12 Tips for Making a More Engaging Video for Facebook Live

As a marketer, you know how important it is to create a connection with your audience.

It’s essential for slashing through the barriers that divide us, for establishing a unique brand identity, and for building trust.

There have been times I’ve been successful in doing so. But at other times, I’ve fallen flat.

It’s getting easier than ever to create a unique connection because we now have the technological tools to do so.

One of the best tools enabling you to do this is Facebook Live, which “lets people, public figures and Pages share live video with their followers and friends on Facebook.”

The concept is simple. You record a live video your audience can watch in real time and respond to by commenting.

Facebook Live provides the perfect framework for connecting, and its personable nature is ideal for facilitating interaction.

In fact, initial data has found that people comment over 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos.

But how can you ensure your videos are engaging?

Here are some tips that should point you in the right direction.

1. Consider investing in some equipment

First things first. You really want to strive for quality with your videos.

You want to look like a professional.

Any sign of amateurism can drive a wedge between you and your audience.

That’s why I recommend buying some basic equipment to enhance your quality.

This doesn’t need to be anything over the top, but a simple tripod can help stabilize your videos so they don’t look shaky.

You can usually find a decent tripod for as little as $10, so this shouldn’t break the bank.


Or if you’re recording from a location where a tripod isn’t viable, you can always use a selfie stick to serve as a stabilizer.

2. Experiment with lighting

Lighting is important for producing a good video because it can impact its overall quality in a big way.

If you’re filming outdoors, this shouldn’t be a problem as long as it’s reasonably sunny.

But if you’re filming indoors, you’ll want to try out different lighting options to see what looks the best.

Generally speaking, the more lighting, the better.

If you’re in a room with dim lighting, you may want to bring in an extra lamp so that you’re more visible.


3. Test the process before going live

Let’s be honest. You’ll probably run into a few glitches when first starting out.

It can also be a little nerve-racking when you start broadcasting yourself to a large number of your followers.

That’s why I recommend testing everything beforehand and getting comfortable with the idea of being in front of the camera.

You can do this by switching the privacy setting to “Only Me,” which can be found by clicking on “More” and scrolling to the bottom.


Record a couple of test videos until you’re familiar with the nuts and bolts of the way things work.

This way everything should go relatively smoothly, and you’ll be less likely to freeze up once you’re live in front of an audience.

4. Make sure you’ve got a solid connection

You definitely don’t want a weak connection when recording a video.

According to Facebook, “WiFi tends to work best, but if you can’t find a nearby network, you’ll want a 4G connection.”

This shouldn’t be an issue if you’re indoors. But if you’re in a fairly remote outdoor location, it most definitely can be.

If you’ve got anything less than 4G, you’re probably better off choosing a different location.


If you see that the “Go Live” button is grayed out, you have a weak signal.

5. Create an outline

From my experience, it’s best to have a basic game plan when using Facebook Live.

You don’t want to jump in without knowing what you’ll be talking about.

Of course, you’ll want to ad lib to some extent, but I recommend having at least three or four main points to cover.

You’ll also want to address each point in a logical, sequential order so that your audience doesn’t get confused.

6. Leave some room for spontaneity

At the same time, you don’t want your outline to be so rigid that there’s no wiggle room.

Because your video is in real time, you never fully know what’s going to come your way.

An interesting idea may pop into your head, or a viewer might ask a question that steers your video in a slightly different direction.

This is why I suggest trying to achieve a nice balance between an outline and spontaneity to ensure things stay on track but don’t become boring.

7. Provide context

Before you jump into all the gory details of your broadcast, it’s important you briefly explain to your viewers what’s going on.

You’ll want to introduce yourself, identify where you’re at if you’re out in the field, and provide a basic rundown of what you’ll be talking about.

This will inform your viewers about what’s happening and will provide some essential context.

8. Recap what’s going on


Another thing you need to keep in mind is that viewers will tune in at different times.

Here’s what I mean.

At the beginning of a video, you may have only 10 viewers. But at five minutes in, you may have 100.

At 10 minutes in, you may have 250 and so on.

In order to keep everyone in the loop, you’ll want to periodically restate who you are and what’s happening.

This is why it’s smart to recap the details from time to time. I’ve found that the following intervals tend to work well.

  • Two to three minutes in
  • 10 minutes in
  • 25 minutes in

Just make sure you keep your recaps brief because this can be annoying to viewers who have been watching from the start.

9. Be yourself

This little snippet of advice is quite possibly the most cliché thing ever.

But nonetheless, you’ll want your tone and verbal delivery to be hyper-authentic and match your brand identity.

Most people can spot phoniness a mile away, so I discourage you from trying to be something you’re not.

If you’re polite, courteous, and friendly by nature, keep your video content in line with this.

Or if you’re a little cynical and snarky, that’s fine too. Just keep it real, and let your personality shine through.

The bottom line is that you should make your videos match your brand.

10. Be relaxed

Okay, this is easier said than done.

It’s common to get a case of the jitters and be a little unnerved by the whole prospect of being broadcast live to potentially hundreds, or even thousands, of viewers.

But it’s important to get yourself in the right headspace when recording.

Although it’s normal to be a little nervous, especially if you’re new to Facebook Live, you’ll want to remain as calm as possible.

This should help you be more fluid with your delivery and make your content more interesting.

11. React to viewer comments

One of the easiest and most effective ways to crank up the engagement level is to simply respond to what your viewers are saying.

During a video, viewers can leave their comments and ask questions. Be sure to spend part of the time reacting. This is key to making the process as intimate and organic as possible.

I even recommend addressing some of your viewers by name because this really gets them in on the action.

And because people have a natural affinity for hearing their own names, it’ll give you some brownie points that can pay off in the long run.

If you know you’ll be so preoccupied with recording a video that you won’t have the time to respond to comments (this can be really difficult when comments come in fast), I suggest having a partner who is also logged into to the primary account.

They can be responsible for answering comments and can help facilitate the overall process.


12. Stay live for longer to extend your reach

Want to reach as many viewers as possible and maximize the engagement level?

Stay live for longer.

Facebook recommends you stay live for at least 10 minutes per video, but you can go for as long as 90 minutes.

Think about it. The longer you stay live, the better your chances of reaching a larger audience will be.

While 90 minutes may be overkill when you’re first getting the hang of Facebook Live, somewhere between 15 to 30 minutes can be the right formula.

Once you’re more familiar and comfortable with the process, you can go live for longer and longer.


Facebook Live is no doubt a powerful medium for bridging the gap between you and your audience.

If you use it correctly, you can create incredibly engaging content that “pops” and allows you to connect in a personal, intimate way.

This form of two-way communication can be just the ticket for tightening your relationship with your audience and for taking your brand to the next level.

What has your experience been like with Facebook Live?

A Thirty-Day Plan for Gaining 100 Authoritative and Relevant Backlinks to Your New Website

30 day

Link building. It’s the backbone of SEO.

The way we build links has changed quite a lot over the past decade, but links themselves are no less valuable.

Like me, you may remember the early days of online marketing, when generating backlinks to a website was as simple as requesting links from link farms and other sketchy sources.

Google put a stop to that, so generating backlinks for a brand-new website is a bit trickier these days.

That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, though. The sooner your site has a decent number of backlinks from authoritative, high-quality websites, the sooner its performance on the major search engines will improve.

Although this is largely a waiting game, there are things you can do right now to generate first-rate backlinks to your new site.

Follow the advice here, and you can easily generate upwards of 100 authoritative and relevant backlinks to your new site in just 30 days. 

Forget the old way of doing things

First, don’t even think about employing black-hat techniques to generate backlinks to your site. Google’s algorithms are far too savvy to be fooled, so such efforts are bound to backfire.

As frustrating as it may be, quality trumps quantity every time when it comes to building a top-notch link profile.

Link building has long been the most volatile field in SEO. There has been much misinformation and rancor over the best way to build links, how quickly to build links, which links to build, and even whether or not to attempt link building at all.

Google’s algorithm changes are less frequent and impactful than they once were. However, we’re still discussing algorithm changes around the subject of links.

The latest of these was the September 2016 update to the Penguin algorithm:


The most substantial change of the algorithm was that “Penguin doesn’t penalize for bad links.” The conversation among the SEOs suggested as much:


What does this mean for link building?

Link building today: What matters most

First, don’t be afraid of link building. No, you shouldn’t be pulling any old-school link wheels, but neither should you be afraid of creating and unleashing a link-building strategy.

Unlike in the past, when a link was a link was a link, effective backlinks today share a few key characteristics.

First, they occur naturally. Rather than being compelled to add a link to your site for whatever reason, website owners link to yours because your content is too terrific to pass up on.

Effective backlinks come from authority sites relevant to yours. I’ll delve more deeply into what constitutes an authority site later, but suffice it to say that your links shouldn’t come from just anyone.

As for relevance, a hundred links from sites that have nothing to do with yours pale in comparison with a single link from a highly relevant site.

What constitutes an authority site?

Authority sites usually share the following traits:

  • They’re credible
  • They enjoy a high ranking on major search engines such as Google
  • They receive huge amounts of traffic and lots of shares on social media
  • They’re influential

Additionally, they lack the characteristics of a bad website, which include blatant keyword stuffing, high link-to-content ratios, excessive numbers of ads, and low-quality content and website design in general.

How to find relevant authority sites

The first step in your 30-day plan is to identify authority websites relevant to yours.

You can easily use Google for this. Use search operators to zero in on suitable sites more quickly. For example, use site:.gov, .edu, or .org to limit your search to such sites.

Search for the keyword of your choice to find sites that rank highly for it, and go from there.

Another option is to use the Moz SEO toolbar, which is offered as a free extension for Firefox and Chrome.

It displays useful metrics and information about the site you are currently visiting, including its page authority, domain authority, links, and a general analysis of the page itself.

What to offer

Okay…so far, so good.

Here’s the rub, though: You can’t approach these authority sites without offering anything in return.

Since your website is brand new, what can you possibly offer?

I hate to break it to you, but you should ideally build up a decent content library before attempting to solicit backlinks from authority sites.

Luckily, the content doesn’t have to rank well. It just has to be top-tier in terms of the quality of the information it provides.

Prior to launching your site, devote a few weeks to developing a small arsenal of content. When the time comes to work on your link-building strategy, you’ll have stuff to offer other website owners.

After all, why would they link back to you if you have nothing for them to link to in the first place?

Making contact

When it comes to approaching website owners for backlinks, you already know what to do. Navigate the site in question to track down contact information.

If you can’t snag an email address, use a contact form.

Don’t be blatantly promotional. In fact, you might even hold off broaching the subject until you’ve had a few exchanges.

Flattery will get you somewhere, so try breaking the ice by complimenting the site owner on a piece of content.

Later, show them some of your stuff, and suggest swapping links.

10 tips for getting quality authoritative backlinks to your site this month

Okay, now that you got the gist of tracking down and soliciting relevant authoritative sites for backlinks, it’s time to get down to brass tacks regarding effective link-building strategies.

I have all sorts of tricks up my sleeve, and I’m sharing the very best ones right here.

1. Blog – A LOT

According to HubSpot, companies that blog on a consistent basis have up to 97% more backlinks than those that don’t. From day one, commit yourself to posting new posts consistently.

Quality still counts, though; so, create a schedule that allows you to post regularly while offering readers real value.

2. Offer free resources

You’ve got something to offer free, right?


Like you, other website owners are always looking for useful, credible sources of information. There’s no reason why you can’t provide it.

Create a library of white papers, e-books, and other pieces of content that provide detailed, useful, and well-researched information.

Offer these resources free, but make one small request: credit in the form of a link back to your website.

Alternatively, offer the content free as long as it’s directly linked to from your site.

3. Become a PR whiz

When they’re done properly, press releases can effectively plant seeds for new backlinks to your site.

By “properly,” I mean that they provide newsworthy information and that they include a non-promotional link back to your site.

Reserve press releases for truly newsworthy events.

You should have plenty to go on with a new site since so many things are in the hopper.

4. Create and share infographics

Breaking up text with high-quality images is smart.

Not surprisingly, there’s a strong demand for top-notch images online, and infographics are especially popular. Build a library of infographics that relate to your industry or niche.

Whenever possible, create an infographic for an important trending topic that affects your industry or business. Readers love to share newsworthy graphics and use them as a form of social currency on social media.


Source: youthnoise.com

Sprinkle in a bit of SEO to ensure your infographics are easily found through the search engines.

People will want to share and use your infographics. When they do, organic, high-quality backlinks to your site will ensue.

5. Develop charts and tables

Humans are visual by nature, so charts, tables, and other visual representations of data tend to go over very well.

Load your site with tables and charts pertaining to your niche to plant the seeds for more backlinks.

You don’t have to be a data scientist to make this happen. Find reliable sources of information, and put their data into graph or table form.

Use a site such as OnlineChartTool.com to quickly and easily create eye-catching charts and graphs others will gladly link to.

6. Build an image library

Website owners are always looking for images in general-especially if they are offered free.

Make sure the images are of high quality. If you don’t possess the skills to take excellent photos yourself, you need to be willing to hire someone who does.

Post each image on its own page. Include a detailed description, and use SEO best practices to increase the odds of it ranking well in Google Image Search.

Include a form for quickly grabbing the file and link code to ensure you get your links.

7. Repurpose effective content

A quick note: never, ever copy content from the Internet.

I’m not just saying this because plagiarism is wrong; I’m saying it because Google will penalize you so hard that your site may never recover.

That being said, there is nothing wrong with identifying useful pieces of high-ranking content from other sites and repurposing them to suit your needs. But make them truly your own by optimizing them to be relevant to your website.

And don’t just repurpose text-based content as text-based content.

Take a text-based piece and turn it into an e-book, an infographic, a video, or some other form of media.

8. Fill a gap

Yes, the Internet is jam-packed with content.

Chances are, much of what needs to be said regarding your niche or industry has been said. Still, others have surely overlooked important topics. Identify those gaps, and fill them with high-quality content of your own.

Similarly, look for gaps in the types of available content. For example, perhaps there’s an overload of posts and articles about a subject but no in-depth pieces or e-books.

Be the first to provide them, and you will reap all kinds of great link karma.

9. Interview influencers

Seek out influencers within your niche, and create a roundup post.

Such a post essentially includes several links to several different influencers while covering a specific subject.

A great way to round out this type of content is by interviewing the influencers in question. After finding key influencers, follow them on social media. Interact with them to establish a relationship, and then approach them about interviewing them.

Even very busy influencers can usually take time to answer a question or two via Twitter or another social media site, so this is a worthwhile option to consider.

10. Scope out the competition

What kinds of backlinks do your competitors have?

Chances are, you could benefit from receiving links from similar sources too. Do a little sleuthing to discover who’s giving them link love.

Use a site like SEMrush.com to track down your top competitors based on relevant keywords. Next, input each competitor’s URL into a site like OpenLinkProfiler.org.

You’ll get a list of links to your competitors’ sites, and you can follow them to see where you might want to concentrate your efforts.

11. Try broken link building

This technique is especially valuable for new websites.

Put simply, you seek out broken links on relevant websites and approach site owners with replacement content they can link to instead.

Since 404 pages can negatively impact a site’s ranking, website owners usually appreciate being alerted to the issue. Use something like the iWebTool Broken Link Checker to search a specific URL for dead links.

Contact the owner, but make sure you have something for them to link to instead.

12. Make useful comments

In the old days, conventional wisdom said to post links back to your site in comments sections to boost your link profile.

These days, that comes across as spam, so you need to take a subtler approach.

You need to keep up on industry news anyway, so get into the habit of regularly reading relevant blogs and websites. When you have a useful comment to contribute, do so.

When someone comments on your site, acknowledge the comment!


Chances are, they’ll remember the gesture and reciprocate in the future. Even if they don’t, it’s good karma.

13. Write guest posts

As you already know, generating enough content for a business isn’t easy.

Site owners are often happy to be offered free content for their sites, and you can do so by offering to create guest posts and articles for them.

Get to know a website or blog before approaching the owner. Make sure your content complements theirs. Have a unique angle or insight to offer, and then make your pitch.

One more thing: reciprocate by offering to let them guest-post on your site too.

14. Solicit backlinks in person

If it’s feasible, attend trade shows and other events within your niche to meet influencers in person. Face-to-face interactions go a long way.

When interacting with an influencer in person, make sure you know who they are and why you want a link from them. If the opportunity presents itself, ask about getting a link.

At the very least, you can forge a new connection that could pay off well in the future.

15. Harness the power of social media

Your site is new, so your social media game has to be strong.

Whenever you create new content, promote it across all social media channels. Even if each post generates only a few shares, the odds of backlinks being generated increase.

Later, don’t be afraid to promote old content on social media again. You may have new followers now, so it certainly doesn’t hurt.


The trick to getting backlinks from the tips provided above is putting them to work right away.

Again, before doing anything else, get a decent stockpile of quality content.

If necessary, pay good money for it. It will be worth it in the long run.

Which of the suggestions above are you likely to try first?

10 Contact Page Techniques That Make People Get in Touch with You


Your website’s contact form may seem like the most mundane element of your site, but every marketer should pay attention to it.

In the past, I didn’t give contact forms much attention. It was a sub-secondary didn’t-care-about-it page when I had a lot more to worry about.

Then, I ran some tests on removing a single form field and found this one change boosted my conversions by 26%.

A 26% lift may not seem impressive to some, but from an annual perspective, that one change grew revenue well into six figures.

If you know anything about me, you know I’m obsessed with split testing. I kept testing, kept tweaking, and kept optimizing my contact page. With every test, I learned some new lessons.

Here’s my big takeaway: Getting people to contact you is valuable. Making it easy for them to contact you is even better.

Why? Because these are warm leads.

Anything you do to move qualified leads into your funnel is a smart move.

How do you turn your boring ol’ contact page into a massive lead magnet?

Let me give you the perspective-setting intro, then we’ll dive into some tricks.

Shift perspective to focus on the right things

When marketers are examining their funnels, they typically look at everything under a microscope, especially calls to action (CTAs).

There’s this huge drive to make sure CTAs are perfect. So we change, test, retest, compare samples, examine confidence levels, play with colors, and test some more until we feel like our landing pages are kicking ass and taking names.

Do a search for conversion optimization case studies, and you’ll see what I’m talking about:


I searched and came up with pages of landing page, sales page, e-commerce and opt-in case studies.

What you see less often is case studies on the performance of the contact page. Yet, it’s the one constant customers tend to be most familiar with and use for a variety of reasons:

  • can’t find something on the site
  • need help with a return
  • custom order information
  • wholesale request
  • vendor inquiry
  • press and media requests
  • affiliate requests
  • finding out hours of operation

That’s just a few things that funnel through the contact page.

The magic of contact page optimization

Given its potential for not only generating leads but also acting as a potent trust signal and delighting customers, the contact page should be in your top 5 list of conversion points to fix.

Here’s a case in point. Click Optimize took on a client that saw, on average, 3,800 monthly visits, which generated around 56 goal completions on the “contact us” page.


They tightened up the contact page and added a short-list contact form in the sidebar of the content. The result was impressive. Without any real change in the amount of traffic, the goal completions climbed to 175.


Imaginary Landscape relies on its contact form to generate new leads for the company. The original form on the “contact us” page contained a total of 21 fields and check boxes. Clearly, the company wanted to gather as much information as possible on leads.

The downside is the data-heavy form was seeing a conversion rate of just above 5%.


The company revamped its contact page, trimming it down to four fields to minimize the load on the visitor:


What I’ve consistently seen with contact pages is that less is more.

When you look at forms like the first one above, with all the extra information, a lot of those fields are extraneous. They provide little value in terms of qualifying a lead.

When you trim it down to just the information that’s important, conversions go up. In this case, they rose from 5.4% to 11.9%-an increase of 120%.


But I want to clarify something here because I don’t want to set a dangerous precedent and have you running to your “contact us” page and chopping fields from it.

Less is more, but just the fact that you have less of something doesn’t mean you’ll have more of something else.

It’s okay if that doesn’t make sense. I’ll clarify with another case study by Econsultancy. They shared a daring test from Kindercare.

Kindercare is a national chain with more than 1,700 child care centers throughout the United States. That means it has to maintain a careful balance of increasing contact conversions while gathering as much information from parents as possible.

In one split test, Kindercare decided to increase the length of its form:


Based on everything I’ve said up to this point, you would expect that to be a mistake.

To their surprise, conversions didn’t plummet. There was no drop from using the longer form, and they benefited by getting extra information for their sales team while the quality of leads increased.

That’s the point I want to make about this: It’s not always about fewer form fields.

It’s about collecting the right information and using fields that have a higher perceived value to the prospect.

If they feel that they’re forced to share pointless information, you’ll lose them.

Dan Zarrella researched the contact forms of 40,000 of their customers and found that conversion rates improve by almost half when the number of form fields is reduced from four to three.

Results vary, of course. You need to test what works on your contact page specifically, and that’s what this post is about.

Here’s everything else you should be looking at to design a contact page that creates more conversions and provides real value to you and your visitors.

1. Long forms or multi-step

Since we’re talking about form fields, there’s another point I want to address.

You don’t always have to chop the fields to simplify the submission process of getting in touch with you.

If you absolutely must collect information, but your conversions are abysmal because of the opt-in you’re using on your contact page, you should consider a multi-step contact page.

You’ll see this a lot with landing pages because it’s effective. It presents the visitor with a few basic fields-the most vital information you need to obtain.

When they click “submit,” they are taken to another form that gathers just a little more information. This gives you the extended information you need, but the visitor feels they are only making short submissions.

It reduces the chance for the visitor to feel fatigued or frustrated.

Vendio’s design is an example of it:


The version on the left was a bulleted list that led to the contact form in a multi-step submission.

The version on the right had the contact form embedded into the first page and was a single-step process.

In that case, the two-step process lead to a 59% increase in form completion.

2. Building trust with visitors

The people visiting your site have already taken time out of their day and spent it with you. They have some kind of a problem, and they’re hoping you offer the solution. When they’re ready to engage, they visit your contact page.

And that’s where they are met with fields asking for a lot of personal information.

If you want them to hand the info over, you need to establish trust and reduce friction. Achieving that is a lot like the way we engage people in the real world. It comes down to the little things you can do when engaging someone:

  • Be clear about how personal information is used and the purpose of the form.
  • Articulate that all information is kept private and link to your privacy policy.
  • List your contact information on the “Contact Us” page; it’s easier for people to share information with other people and not some blindly labeled web property.
  • Keep the user experience in mind; don’t use complex fields that require dashes or special characters.
  • Place trust signals on your contact page: affiliations, certifications, awards, and membership badges.
  • Show social proof with testimonials that include faces.


3. Be hesitant to use mandatory form fields

But we need all this information for our sales people.

Have you heard that before?

It doesn’t matter what you want. It’s what the customer wants. Don’t be one of the reluctant marketers who hate optional form fields.

Countless tests have shown you can get better data, and better qualified leads, by not requiring data in your form. Here’s an example:


The above form, void of required fields, converted 31% more visitors into leads. Not only that, the leads were actually more qualified buyers.

Trust goes both ways, and your prospective customers are more likely to respect you more and supply better information when they feel like you trust them.

4. Ask only for information that matters

Simply put,

if you don’t need to know it, don’t ask for it.

You’ll get far more conversions from your contact page by sticking only to the information you need to make an initial contact with a lead.

Everything else can be plugged into your CRM later once you have a chance to make a personal contact.

Right now, it’s just about getting them to click “submit.”

It’s amazing how much friction is generated by asking for unnecessary information. For example:

  • Asking for age reduces conversion by 3%.
  • Requiring a telephone number, or even asking for it, creates the implication that someone will be calling. This can drop conversions by 5%.
  • Asking for targeted geographic data, like city and state, reduces submissions by 2%.
  • Get even more specific with a street address, and conversions drop by another 4%.image15

Total it all up, and you’ll get a significant number. Depending on how much traffic you get, a drop of up to 15% in conversions can be pretty significant.

Every single item on the above list can be acquired after you make contact with your prospect.

5. Be responsive

By responsive, I don’t mean quick to reply. I’ve talked before about the importance of responsive designs and having sites that function well on mobile devices. This is certainly no exception.

Eighty percent of Internet users own smartphones and use them to browse the web, followed by 47% who use tablets.

If your contact page isn’t optimized for a mobile experience, you’re eliminating a huge segment of your audience who won’t bother wrestling with your contact form. They’ll simply leave.

This is especially important if you have a brick and mortar business and use maps or other identifying information on your contact page. When your visitors can’t manipulate, see, or interact with your local contact information, you’ll have a hell of a time getting them into your store.

To make sure your contact page looks and functions great on mobile, go to UserTesting.com and crowdsource UX testing. You’ll get unbiased consumer feedback on your contact process.

6. Reduce friction with minimal design

There are endless ways to design a contact page. Service-based online businesses can streamline the contact process by almost completely reducing friction on their contact pages.

InvisionApp doesn’t get flashy with its contact page. It asks the most basic information, and it gets the job done. Other than its drop-down menu, there’s virtually no friction on this page:


While drop-down menus can potentially cause significant friction, I don’t feel like it would be as limiting on this contact page due to a simplified form and effective use of negative space.


7. Match your brand

When you’re trying to create a branded experience on your site, don’t let your contact page feel like a blemish that ruins the overall experience. While minimalist contact forms can be an effective way to get submissions, you can also do well when your form is a seamless transition that supports the message you’re trying to send.

For example, Mostly Serious is a digital agency that provides great interactive experiences, covering content, branding, and site design.

Their contact page is a brilliant representation of their approach to branding and interactive experiences. While asking for a lot of information, the form reduces friction by breaking the information into segments. There are also interactive sliders that provide a kind of customization element that’s almost enjoyable to complete.


Browns Court Bakery is another good example of maintaining branding on the contact page:


8. Take a new approach

In a world filled with contact forms, it’s refreshing to see a different approach that works. Built By Buffalo provides a number of ways for their customers to get in touch with their team. Rather than clutter their contact page with all the methods plus a contact form, they eliminated the obvious form fields.


Instead, the company targets their primary communication channels as a means of making personal contact with the team. It’s a great example of how to include a lot of detail without clutter.

9. Change your call to action

There’s no shortage of lessons on the web about how to create amazing call-to-action buttons that maximize conversions. It’s not really necessary to go that in-depth on the subject with your contact page.

The best piece of advice for your call to action on the contact page is to stop using “Submit.”

In one study, forms using the CTA “Submit” showed a decrease in conversions of almost 3%.

Instead, use less-common action words and phrases. Using “Click here” resulted in a 30% increase in conversions, while “Go” showed a 25% lift.

10. Drop the Captcha

I get that security is important and you want to eliminate spam. It’s annoying when garbage comes through your contact form. But Captcha fields don’t stop the spammers from making manual submissions (and they will).

They will, however, stop your prospective customers from converting on your contact page. One study showed that Captcha can reduce conversions by as much as 3%.



Don’t spend too much time focusing on the design of your contact page. Your visitors won’t be wowed by aesthetics. That won’t drive them to contact you. Instead, focus on reducing friction to improve conversions.

No matter what you do with your contact form, the more friction you eliminate, the more goal completions and submissions you’ll see.

Make the experience a better one; test everything you do; and you’ll find that communication and conversion will improve overall.

What are some ways you’ve improved your contact page to generate more leads?

How to Become a World-Class Copywriter in One Month or Less


Want to know a little secret? It’s not something I’m super proud of…

In fact, most people have no idea whatsoever that I used to be a terrible copywriter. It took me years to learn the most basic fundamentals of writing.

And yet, here I am. I’ve been blogging for more than 10 years and have had the privilege to publish content on many great websites.

My businesses thrive on content marketing. Or more accurately, they were built with content marketing. So, obviously, content worked for me.

How? I got better. I learned how to write in a way that captivated my readers and convinced them to trust me.

And I don’t mean sell-anything-knock-your-socks-off better. I mean good enough to succeed online and grow three multi-million-dollar companies from scratch. Let’s face it: I’m no Hemingway.

But money doesn’t lie.

That is the power of copywriting. In fact, great copywriting is one of the most essential skills in digital marketing today.

If you can leverage your writing to tell a compelling story while convincing customers of the need for your product, there is no limit to the growth your business can experience.

However, if you are stuck writing generic emails, ads, and sales letters, you can expect to spend the rest of your entrepreneurial career struggling to make a single sale.

But how in the world do you actually become a good copywriter?

  • Should you spend countless hours handwriting famous sales letters?
  • Should you read hundreds of books on copywriting?
  • Should you go to college and spend $100k on yet another advanced degree?

I think there is a better way to become a world-class copywriter-an easier way that requires almost no investment from you and that will only take you about 30 days.

The first thing I want to point out is that this article is designed to help you become a world-class copywriter, not a master copywriter.

To become world-class (the top 5%) takes only about a month of focused, intentional work.

Breaking through those extra four percentile points to become a true master copywriter (the top 1%) will take you years, if not decades, of practice and dedication.

However, unless your entire career is dedicated to copywriting, all that effort is unnecessary. If you can break out of the realm of good copywriting and become great, the extra four percentage points are simply not needed to run a successful business.

Becoming world-class is completely achievable and can be done faster than you think.

With that definition out of the way, let’s begin.

1. Understand your customers

Before you even start thinking about how you can write compelling copy, you need to have a deep understanding of the people for whom you are writing that copy.

This is the single most important part of writing great copy.

Your product could be completely irrelevant to your audience (not something I would recommend), but with good copy, it would still sell.

If you understand your customer.

You can have a terrible product (again, not something I would recommend) and still sell it through great copy targeted at your customers.

If you understand your customer.

Understanding your audience and their fears, wants, and needs is the first step to writing great copy.

How do you do this?

First, put yourself in their shoes. This should be relatively easy if you are selling a product that solves a problem you once had.

For example, my company Crazy Egg helps entrepreneurs figure out why customers are leaving their websites. Quite frankly, it’s easy to write copy to sell my services because I used to struggle with the same problem.

There are no hypotheticals or guesswork involved when I am writing posts for The Daily Egg. It’s like biking downhill. No effort. I know the pain of having a high bounce rate; I know how it affects people’s businesses; and I know how to fix it. This makes it easy for me to speak to other entrepreneurs facing the same issues.

However, if you are selling a product or service you would not use yourself (a common problem among freelance copywriters), you need to gain more knowledge about the issue.

This is where customer surveys are a lifesaver. Instead of having to guess what your customers are looking for, just ask them directly.

Ideally, you’ll have some sort of marketing persona already created and can use this to target your customer.


If you are not working directly with your final client (for example, if you are a ghostwriter or run a copywriting firm), make sure to find a way to survey the end user.

This will allow you to gain deep insights into what your audience is looking for whenever you are writing your copy.

2. Understand your product

Once you have a deep understanding of your customer, you need to have a deep understanding of your product.

This is typically easier for entrepreneurs-many of whom create the product themselves and hire the sales people-than for freelance copywriters.

Regardless of whose product you are writing copy for, here are a few questions you should ask yourself to truly understand what you are selling.

Question 1: What is my elevator pitch?

If you had to sell your product to someone in 15 seconds or less, how would you do it?

With an elevator pitch.


One of the biggest mistakes most copywriters make is writing verbose copy. Their headlines are too long; their subheadings could be the intro to a Game of Thrones book; and the body of the copy drags on longer than an Ayn Rand novel.

By writing down your 15-second elevator pitch, you’ll learn how to get your point across quickly and clearly. People do not have the attention spans they used to have, and learning how to condense your message is key to holding their attention.

Question 2: What are the main features and benefits of my product?

The next question you need to ask yourself is: “What are the main features and benefits of my product?”

Make sure you understand the difference between features and benefits.


But you should also go a step further. Ask: “What pain points does my product solve?”

Why would someone need your product or service? Not “Why would they want it?” but “Why would they need it?” What can you offer that they cannot live without?

While this is significantly easier for companies addressing common needs (dating, fitness, and business niches), every company should have an “offer their customers cannot refuse.”

You just have to figure out what that is.

Question 3: What sets your product apart from the competition?

One of the most important questions you can ask yourself is: “What is different about my product?”

Why would someone choose your product over the competition’s? And don’t just say, “Quality.”

Everyone thinks that their product is the best or that it has the most to offer.

But in my experience, nine out of 10 entrepreneurs who believe their product is superior have something very similar to their competitors’ products in terms of quality.

You need to know which specific benefits set your product or service apart from your competition.

  1. Do you solve a certain pain point that your competition does not address?
  2. Do you offer a more in-depth analysis with your services?
  3. Does your product have some sort of special unique feature not found among other products?

Figure out where your advantage lies, and you will be able to write incredible copy that will convert like crazy.

Your ability to answer the above three questions will largely determine your ability to succeed as a copywriter.

Most people think copywriting is all about mechanics. But in truth, great copywriting starts with knowledge.

Once you have nailed down your understanding of your customers and your product, then the mechanics come into play.

3. Write attention-grabbing headlines

Before we delve into the secrets of writing persuasive copy, we need to address the elephant in the room.


Headlines can make or break your copy.

It doesn’t matter whether you are writing for ads, a website redesign, Facebook posts, or landing pages. Headlines convince readers to click on your article and give your copy a fighting chance. How do you write attention-grabbing headlines?

There are 3 keys to attention-grabbing headlines.

1. Your headlines should be unique

The Internet and advertising world are full of copycats and people who thrive on plagiarizing other people’s content.

Don’t be one of them.

If you want to stand out from the crowd and sell your products, you need to have unique, attention-grabbing headlines.

2. Your headlines should be extremely specific

As soon as your audience reads your headline, they should know exactly what they’ll receive from your product or service.

Steer clear of generic or ambiguous phrases, and describe what your potential customers will get very specifically (this is where the elevator pitch comes in handy).

3. Your headline should convey a sense of urgency

You want your audience to think about what they’ll lose if they don’t take immediate advantage of your product or service.

Are they losing clients? Are they missing out on potential social opportunities? Capitalize on people’s fears of missing out (FOMO), and your headlines will help your copy convert like crazy.

4. The secrets of persuasive copy

And now we get to the good stuff.

  • You understand your customers and your product better than the back of your hand.
  • You’ve written attention-grabbing headlines that have cut through the noise and piqued your audience’s interest.
  • Now, you have to keep that interest and get them to click that “Buy Now” button.

Here are my three favorite copywriting tactics for converting traffic into paying customers.

1. Focus on benefits over features

Imagine you are reading copy designed to sell content marketing training.

Which of these two phrases would make you more likely to buy?

“Enjoy our three 2-hour-long video modules, detailing all the nuances of marketing your content through social media, email, and guest blogging.”


Discover the content marketing secrets that will help you write viral articles guaranteed to make you massive amounts of passive income in a few short weeks!”

I think the answer is pretty obvious.

Whenever you are writing copy, you need to remember that people don’t really care about your product or service.

What they care about are the benefits they will receive from your products or service.

2. Get (even more) specific

Once your copy is focused on benefits over features, make your copy as specific as possible.

Detail exactly what people will receive from your products or services.

Tell them how their lives will be different once they use your product or service. Let them visualize a different-better-life, thanks to your product.

Explain in painstaking detail what benefits they’ll reap from buying what you have to offer.

3. Target emotion above all else

The final ingredient of killer copy is a deep understanding that human beings are emotional creatures.

You need to remember this and target people’s emotions, not their logic.

For example, if you are selling a fitness or weight loss program, people inherently know they need to lose weight and get in shape.

But reminding them of this fact alone will not sell a single product.

However, if you target their emotions, it’s a different story.

  • Paint a picture of how their lives will change in 3 months if they buy your product.
  • Talk about how their confidence, energy, and sex appeal will be completely transformed.
  • Talk about the fact that they will act differently in social situations, be more driven, and experience life on a new level.

Pinpoint the emotions your customers want to feel, and then ruthlessly target those emotions within your copy. If you can do this, you will become a selling machine.


Copywriting is not an easy skill to master. But it is one of the most important skills you can master.

Luckily for you, if you know what to focus on, you can easily improve the conversion of your copy 3, 5, 10, or even 200% overnight.

And now, you know the exact steps you need to take to achieve these numbers.

Remember, this is not about perfection or mastery. It is about improving your copy and becoming a world-class copywriter.

With one month of intentional effort and following the guide I’ve laid out, not only is this doable, it is all but inevitable. So get out there, and start honing your writing skills.

What is your best hack for quickly improving your copywriting skills?

Millennial Marketing Is So Last Year – How to Reach Generation Z

Over the past few years or so, millennial marketing has received the lion’s share of attention in terms of reaching an age-based demographic.

And it’s easy to see why. “Millennials have $200 billion in buying power.”

But if I’ve learned anything about marketing, it’s that success revolves around perpetual evolution.

Limiting yourself to a certain mindset or set of marketing techniques will only lead to stagnation.

While it’s true that millennials will continue to demand much of our attention for years to come, it’s important to acknowledge the presence of Generation Z-people born after 1995.


They’re on the rise and already have a significant influence.

Why should you care about generation Z?

Although it wasn’t all that long ago that this generation was still in diapers, things have changed, and they’re growing up quick.

A portion of Generation Z is already in college, and some of them have entered the workforce.

They’re also consumers and currently have $44 billion in buying power.

By 2018, their spending will reach $200 billion. That’s a massive increase in only a short period of time.

What’s even more interesting is their overall influence on spending. In fact, Gen-Zers influence $600 billion in family spending. That’s a lot!


As of now, Generation Z makes up 26 percent of the population, and by 2020, they’ll account for 40 percent of all consumers.

Think about that for a second. In just a few short years, nearly half of all consumers will be from this generation.

When marketers look at stats like these, it’s easy to see why they’re chomping at the bit to reach this demographic.

Tailoring your marketing campaign to reach Generation Z right now can pay dividends in the long run.

It should also give you a decided edge over competitors that are still primarily focusing on reaching millennials.

So, let’s discuss how you can adjust your marketing efforts to better align this Gen-Zers.

Understanding the psychology of Gen Z

In order to connect with this generation, it’s first necessary to gain an understanding of their mindset and overall mentality.

We need to know what differentiates them from millennials and older generations.

Quite frankly, there are some considerable differences between this age group and the millennial generation.

As you might imagine, Gen-Zers are incredibly tech-savvy.

They’ve never known a world without the Internet, and the overwhelming majority of their media consumption is done online.

They use a variety of different devices, including desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, and so on.

It should also come as no surprise that they have short attention spans.

In fact, Bloomberg reports that “this new generation has an eight second attention span, down from 12 seconds in 2000, and 11 percent are diagnosed with attention deficiency syndrome, compared to 7.8 percent in 2003.”

What may come as a surprise is Generation Z’s desire to make the world a better place.

Even though they’re young, they seem to share a collective urgency to have a positive influence on the planet.

Sixty percent of 16- to 19-year-olds want their jobs to impact the world, 26 percent currently volunteer, and 76 percent are concerned about humanity’s impact on the planet.

These numbers are significantly higher than those for millennials, who seem to be far less concerned with having an impact on a global level.


As a result, companies with strong values and a focus on social responsibility can be appealing to Gen-Zers.

Finally, this generation has a penchant for performing research and “self-educating.”

Thirty-three percent of them watch lessons online; 20 percent read textbooks on their tablets; and 32 percent work with classmates online.

How does this information translate into a marketing approach?

Here are some specific tactics I find to be tremendously valuable when attempting to reach Generation Z.

Gen Z wants videos

I think that, hands down, video content is one of the most effective ways to market to this generation.

Studies have actually found that “93 percent of Gen Z say they visit YouTube at least once a week, and 54 percent visit the site multiple times throughout the day.”

These numbers are a clear indication that video is one of your best bets for getting your brand in front of this demographic.

More specifically, creating videos that serve a purpose and that are educational/entertaining can be highly effective.

The whole concept of “edutainment” is really huge right now, so taking this route can bring about some solid results.

The key is to be relatable and showcase the personality of your brand. If you come across merely as some faceless, overly-corporate company, you won’t have much of an impact.

Gen-Zers want brands they can genuinely connect with.

Just think about successful YouTube stars as a template. They’ve got personality and are great at relating directly to their audiences.

Gen Z isn’t all about Facebook

I think it’s safe to say that Facebook is the marquee social network for many brands.

And why wouldn’t it be? With well over one billion users, Facebook is the ultimate social media titan.

But did you know that a quarter of 13- to 17-year-olds have left Facebook this year?

If this trend continues, Facebook may merely be an afterthought in five years when Gen Z is all grown up.

When it comes to reaching older generations, Facebook is still one of your best bets, and this is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future.

But when it comes to Generation Z, it’s important you go beyond Facebook and target other networks.

Maybe Facebook is losing its cool factor because so many of Gen Z’s parents are now on it, or maybe it’s because it doesn’t have quite the same appeal as newer networks.

Whatever the reason, your impact with Facebook is likely to be minimal.

Some specific networks that should be on your radar are Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine.

All three feature easily digestible content with images on Instagram and brief clips on all three that users can view in a matter of seconds.

A couple of other lesser known networks you may also want to experiment with are Whisper and Secret-also ideal for those with limited attention spans.

Gen Z likes social causes

As I mentioned earlier, a sizable portion of Gen-Zers are socially conscious and have a genuine desire to have a positive impact.


As you can see from this graphic, there’s a strong urge to change the world, and many Gen-Zers are passionate about certain causes.

Showing you genuinely care and are committed to a worthy cause can be your ticket to making a connection with this demographic and building brand equity.

If it’s clear you’re in it only for the money, these individuals will see through it, and it’s going to be nearly impossible to gain their respect or trust.

If you haven’t done so already, try to work social good into your marketing campaign and consider becoming active in philanthropy.

One of the best examples of a company that’s great at this is TOMS shoes with their “one for one” concept: they donate a product to a person in need for every product that’s purchased.

They have philanthropy woven into the very fabric of their brand identity and have been wildly successful as a result.


While you don’t necessarily need to go to this extreme, I would strongly suggest translating that into something your company legitimately cares about.

Gen Z prefers visuals over text

Keeping in line with their inherently short attention spans, it’s clear that long-winded, laborious text-based content just isn’t going to do the trick with Generation Z.

They simply won’t hang around long enough to hear your message.

Remember, this is the first generation that has basically grown up accustomed to auto-correct and emojis.

That’s why you’re way better off sticking with a steady regimen of visual content.

And if you are creating long-form content (like this article), you’ll want to break it up with plenty of images along the way.

Gen Z is on mobile

You should also keep in mind that Gen-Zers use more devices of differing screen sizes than millennials.

In fact, they prefer to use five different screens for multitasking:


This means your content needs to be mobile-friendly.

If you’re unsure of how to go about this, I recommend checking out this article I wrote on the topic.

Some specific ways to make your content more mobile-friendly include the following:

  • Ditch or simplify pop-ups. Getting hit with irritating pop-ups immediately upon landing on your site can be a deal-breaker for Gen-Zers.
  • Break up your text into smaller paragraphs. Using plenty of white space makes it easier on your readers’ eyes when they are scrolling through content and reduces cognitive overload.
  • Use a lot of subheaders and bullet lists. Generation Z prefers scanning content rather than reading it in its entirety. Highlighting main points in this manner allows them to absorb your content with greater ease.

Gen Z has a short attention…hey, what’s that?

Did I mention that Generation Z has a short attention span?

But seriously, you want to keep your product pitches extremely brief. Otherwise, you’ll lose the majority of your leads.

I think the term “snackable content” captures the essence of what you should be going for.

They don’t want to have to filter through piles and piles of information just to figure out what you’re selling.

Instead, your message needs to be quick, concise, and to the point.

For example, rather than recording a 10-minute video on YouTube, go with a 6-15 second clip on Instagram or Vine.

The good news is that creating content for Generation Z is significantly less time-consuming than it is for millennials or Generation X.

Gen Z is curious

These younger folks have an appetite for knowledge.

They love researching things and learning on their own.

This is actually how many Gen-Zers make their purchasing decisions. They first spend time doing research, learning about the company and determining whether or not a product/service is right for them.

In particular, they enjoy using social media and YouTube for performing research.

You can capitalize on this tendency by creating an archive of content they can use to guide their decision-making. Experimenting with multiple forms of visual-centric media that educates is ideal.

For example, you might create a series of informative brief videos, infographics, slideshows, etc. that will help this younger audience learn more about your product/service.

Gen Z is turned off by salesy stuff

Rather than taking a more old-school-“BUY NOW!”-approach, you’re likely to have much more success educating Generation Z and subtly weaving the ask into your marketing message.

It’s important to note that this younger demographic as a whole really loathes ads.

They’re also incredibly adept at avoiding ads, especially the ones that are completely over-the-top and annoying.


The bottom line is that screaming your marketing message at the top of your lungs is likely to fall on deaf ears.

Instead, you should have way more success when you educate Gen Z consumers on your product and industry.

You definitely don’t want to come across as a sleazy used cars salesman. It’s more about humanizing your brand and being relatable.

By first gaining Gen-Zers’ interest and trust, you’ll be in a better position to promote your product/service to them and should see some solid conversion rates as a result.


To thrive as a marketer, you need to look to the future and stay on the cutting edge of things.

From a consumer perspective, there’s somewhat of a generational shift that will be happening over the next five years or so.

As Generation Z continues to account for more and more of many companies’ customer bases, it’s important to tailor your marketing campaign accordingly.

Reaching younger consumers requires a different approach and different channels.

By implementing these techniques, you should be able to get your marketing message in front of Generation Z. And more importantly, you should be able to build genuine rapport with them and convert them into actual customers.

How much attention are you currently giving to reaching Generation Z?

The Psychology of Search Engine Optimization: 10 Things You Need to Know


Think you know SEO? It’s all about keywords, content, and optimization, right?

Not quite.

Despite what you may think you know, search engine optimization has far less to do with content, coding, or site architecture than with psychology.

The reason why people search for things in the first place is what matters. That’s especially true when it comes to effective SEO.

I know, I know. You’ve been told time and time again to use specific keyword densities and to otherwise tweak the way in which words are arranged on the screen.

What does psychology have to do with any of it?

As today’s most effective SEOs know, understanding the psychology behind why people behave the way they do plays a crucial role in establishing an effective online marketing strategy.

That applies to SEO just as much as it does to any other digital marketing channel.

I’m not telling you to get a psychology degree. All of the answers you need are available to you through effective market research and a carefully developed SEO strategy.

In the meantime, here’s a quick primer on understanding the relationship between effective SEO and the psychology behind those who search for information online.

1. Know your customers

Without knowing what makes your customers tick, any marketing technique you employ is sure to fail.

As a business owner, you need to understand the people who need or who will benefit from your products and services.

If you haven’t done so already, develop detailed personas for the different types of people who are likely to use your products or services.


Get the ball rolling by speaking extensively with your existing customers. What attracted them to your company? What are their pain points?

But don’t stop there. Engage in market research to identify other types of people who may be viable prospects.

You will start to see patterns and similarities in people’s backgrounds and motivations. Sort different types of customers into different personas.


With fully developed personas, you can paint a vivid picture of what your ideal customer looks like. This understanding will allow you to gear your content and optimization toward guiding them through to conversion.

2. Identify customer intent

In the old days, SEO revolved around identifying the words people used to query search engines and sprinkling content with the resulting keywords.

Things didn’t go much deeper than that, so search engine results were clunky at best.

Today’s search engine algorithms are incredibly sophisticated. Nowadays, they can assess user intent with incredible accuracy. By understanding the intent of your ideal customer, you can make major strides while engaging in SEO.

Most customers are in one of four phases: awareness, research, decision, or purchase. Their search queries will reflect that intent.


How are you supposed to know the intent of your customers? The answers lie in the personas you’ve developed (I hope you did).

Everyone loves options. Each persona may have a different intent, which is why it’s important to produce specific types of content for specific personas.

For example, one of your personas may be mostly concerned with getting a great deal. Another’s top priority may be to get their hands on what they need as quickly as possible.

Once you figure out what your customers are after, give it to them with engaging, informative content, optimized to attract their attention.

3. Address specific pain points

Giving customers the information they need increases the odds of their conversion. It is crucial to understand the issues they are trying to solve and ways your products and services can help them.

SEO is no longer about cramming content with as many keywords as possible. To be effective, your content must be useful to actual people.

Useful content concisely and effectively addresses customers’ pain points, and those pain points may vary from one type of customer to the next.

During the course of your market research and through communications with existing customers, you will learn a lot about the problems your ideal customers face.

Using this information to inform your content and SEO strategy will put you ahead of the game.

For example, let’s say you run a fitness supplement website.

Your research reveals that some customers’ main issue involves losing weight quickly. Another large group is more concerned with building muscle.

Needless to say, producing content strictly for one or the other won’t get you too far.

Therefore, the psychology of SEO demands that different types of content must be developed to address different pain points.

4. Use search engine queries

Much of the psychology of SEO is reflected in the way in which people query search engines.

Before algorithms progressed to their present level of sophistication, the best way to do so was by using a handful of short, concise search terms, which is exactly why keywords were once so crucial.

Now that algorithms consider the semantic and thematic meaning and intent of users, the way in which users query search engines has evolved. People are more conversational with their queries-they ask actual questions much of the time.

Rather than searching for “shoes for sale San Jose,” for example, someone searching Google today is likelier to type, “Where can I find shoes for sale in San Jose?”

Increasingly, they might actually ask the question out loud by querying Siri or another mobile app.

When developing your SEO strategy, consider how people will ask Google to find the products and services you provide.

Gear your content toward answering those questions. When it makes sense to do so, include long-tail keywords and key phrases that mirror how people query the search engines. Using longtail keywords in your search strategy is the only way you can gain more organic traffic.

Longtail keywords are, by far, the most commonly-used search method.


Ultimately, though, if your content is truly useful, informative, and relevant to your users, it will naturally pose and answer the proper questions.

5. Get media-rich with images and videos

An important thing to remember about user psychology is that humans are highly visual.

To really connect and resonate with your audience, your SEO strategy should incorporate images and videos whenever it makes sense.

According to studies, people process information presented in images around 60,000 times faster than text. To connect with customers quickly, which is hugely important on the Internet, it pays to include relevant images and videos.

Not just any videos or images will do, however.

For example, loading your posts with generic clipart and stock photos won’t work nearly as effectively as including images and videos of actual customers or employees.

Images and videos make your SEO more effective and your content more relatable and approachable. Thanks to today’s technology, they’re also easy to produce.

6. User experience

In the world of SEO, a lot of attention is paid to site architecture and the way in which it affects the user experience. The two have a lot of overlap:


From an SEO standpoint, using appropriate title tags and the like and organizing content so that it flows logically helps a great deal.

By designing the layout of your site according to the psychology of your personas, you will increase the odds of converting them into actual customers.

After all, you need to make sure they interact with your site instead of merely landing on it and bouncing away.

The goal here is to ensure that the right content gets in front of the right persona at the right time.

Understanding your customers’ motivations and backgrounds will make it much easier to lay out your content appropriately.

Well-optimized landing pages help guide the on-site user experience. A good landing page should target specific personas, which you can then guide according to their pain points and desires.

7. Sharing

You don’t want people to merely read and digest the content you provide.

You want them to share it too. When someone shares your content, they are essentially vouching for your brand. The very act of sharing it proves they are actively engaged.

The question, though, is: what prompts people to share content in the first place?

The New York Times Customer Insight Group conducted a survey regarding this very thing, and their findings are incredibly insightful:

  • 84 percent share content that supports a cause they care about
  • 78 percent share content to stay connected to friends
  • 69 percent share content to feel more involved in the world
  • 68 percent share content to define themselves
  • 49 percent share content as a form of entertainment

From this, we can conclude that the best content helps customers define themselves and their relationships to the world.

It also delivers value people want to share with others.

Shareable content is informative, interesting, and helpful. It also reflects customers’ ideals.

Keep the above survey results in mind while working on SEO and content creation to increase the odds of having your content spread far and wide.

8. Keep the conversation flowing

An effective SEO strategy also considers how and why conversions happen.

A conversion doesn’t always mean a sale. It can mean opting in for an email newsletter or participating in a quick survey.

What compels someone to switch from a passive website visitor to an actual customer? A huge amount of information is available online regarding how and why people convert.

Educate yourself about conversion psychology to boost the overall effectiveness of your SEO efforts and conversion optimization.

When it comes to understanding the psychology behind conversion, having a clear understanding of the sales funnel is an absolute must.

You should have content matching every stage of the funnel as well as every persona type.

Yes, this means you need a lot of content. And yes, that content must be of the highest quality.

You may have your work cut out for you, but the good news is that it will pay off in spades down the road.

9. Guidance

As much as we dislike admitting it, people are followers.

They look to each other to decide how to behave. This is just as true online as it is in person.

To motivate visitors to your site to do what you want, you must guide them. Expecting them to take the initiative is unrealistic.

I’m not saying you should “bark orders” at them through your content; rather, you should subtly guide them.

Calls to action are a prime example of guiding visitors through your site. They’re definitely the most dramatic example as well.

Beyond that, it helps to consider the path your ideal customer may follow through to conversion.

For example, someone who freshly arrives on your site may be doing very initial research. Content that provides a clear but effective overview works well here.

At the end of the content, there should be additional resources to help them progress to the next stage. Every step of the way, use action words to guide users along.

Never assume they will know where to go, and don’t be afraid of coming across as a little bossy.

10. Value versus cost

Humans are mostly concerned with two things when considering a solution. They ask themselves:

(1) What’s in it for me?

(2) How much will it cost?

That’s human psychology 101, really, and it proves to be quite useful for crafting an SEO strategy.

For the value end of things, your content must provide something your audience truly needs. This typically means providing answers, information, and guidance, so fluffy, meaningless content is absolutely useless.

As for the cost, well, most of the content on your page will be free for the taking.

However, cost involves more than money. What kinds of hoops will your customers have to jump through to get the information they need?

Ideally, content should be readily accessible. Since you can also gather crucial data about customers by having them opt in from time to time, make the barrier to entry as low as possible by asking only for a small amount of information.

If you ask them to complete a lengthy form, it’s unlikely many will comply.


Before developing a new SEO strategy, you need to get inside your customers’ heads as much as possible.

More importantly, remember that the content you create shouldn’t just be geared to appeal to search engine algorithms; it should be geared toward actual humans-paying customers who want what you have to offer.

None of the above tips will get you anywhere until you invest considerable amounts of time and effort into understanding what makes your ideal customer click.

Do it now, and then craft your strategy based on what you learn.

Have you developed personas of your ideal customers yet?

How to Become an Innovative Growth Hacker in One Month

growth hacking

So, you’ve got an amazing idea for a new business. If you build it and market it the traditional way, they will come, right?

Not anymore.

It doesn’t matter what your niche is. There are bigger competitors in it, and traditional marketing has gotten them far. As for your business coming in and taking over? Good luck with that.

I tried that once. I created a product with my co-founder, Hiten Shah. It was pretty amazing.

But then we realized something disturbing.

We were competing against Google.


Google? You don’t compete with Google. Instead, you get squashed, obliterated, bought out, or ignored.

We had to do something different. And that “something different” turned out to be growth hacking, and that’s when I first developed my fascination with the field.

We still compete with Google, sort of, but our product is highly differentiated, incredibly value-added, and distinct in every way. (Business is booming, by the way.)

Let’s face it: The old way of doing things works reliably only for large, established businesses-companies that have huge customer bases and vast marketing budgets.

Enter growth hacking. Since the term was coined by Sean Ellis in 2010, the concept has been shown to deliver amazing results time and time again. If your business is floundering despite supposedly tried-and-true techniques, it may be time to get on board.

Speaking of time, though, you may not have much of it. Don’t worry. Right here, you’ll learn everything you need to know to become an innovative growth hacker in a single month. 

What is growth hacking, anyway?

Perhaps I’ve gotten ahead of myself a little. You can’t embrace growth hacking without knowing what it is.

At its essence, growth hacking is a method of quick product development and experimentation across marketing platforms. It aims to pinpoint the most efficient and effective ways to grow a company.

An affordable alternative to traditional marketing, growth hacking involves quickly testing and tweaking various marketing tactics to increase conversions while reducing the cost of customer acquisition.

Unlike with traditional product development, in which a product is fully formed before being tested, user testing begins during the earliest stages in growth hacking, and ideas are tested every step of the way.

One helpful way of thinking of growth hacking is with three overlapping circles. Marketing, experimentation, and automation or development of some sort all come together in a nexus of growth hacking.


Why engage in growth hacking?

Growth hacking is a modern alternative to traditional marketing, which has become increasingly ineffective for startups and small companies in the fast-paced digital era.

A hacker is more concerned with achieving an end than following a prescribed course of action and will cut corners to do so. Likewise, growth hackers’ goals are similar to those of traditional marketers-but achieved in innovative ways.

You can have different types of growth hackers. For example, one popular iteration of growth hackers is the content hacker, who looks like this:


So, why engage in growth hacking? You do it when you need to hit the ground running with a new product or concept but can’t afford to rely on traditional marketing efforts.

For example, with traditional marketing, you wait until a product is fully developed before subjecting it to user testing. This, of course, requires you to sink a ton of time and money into something that users may hate. Similarly, you may develop a traditional marketing strategy and follow it to a T only to discover that it falls flat.

With growth hacking, products are tested at every stage of development. Marketing techniques are continually tested and adjusted too.

Who benefits from growth hacking?

Companies that benefit the most from growth hacking are ones that are willing to put intense effort and focus into marketing and launching a product in exchange for much faster growth.

Like many startups and small businesses, yours may not be able to afford the time and money it takes to do things the traditional way. By becoming an innovative growth hacker, you begin marketing and testing right off the bat and continue all the way through product launch and beyond.

How does growth hacking work?

The growth hacking process is actually pretty simple to understand. Once you have a strong grasp of how it works, you can dive right in.

That’s great news for you if you have an amazing idea for a new product and are eager to see how the market responds. By learning how to become an innovative growth hacker, you can watch your ideas either blossom or fall flat more quickly. And that allows you to move on to the next thing right away if need be.

Although it varies a great deal by company and circumstances, growth hacking usually unfolds as follows:

1. Establish mini goals

As a business owner, you probably already have a goal in mind for launching your new product. For example, perhaps you would like to see its website attract more than 250,000 visitors in a single month.

Attempting to achieve that goal in and of itself is daunting. Instead, break things down into mini goals to stay on track and to continually move toward reaching your ultimate goal. For instance, set a goal to attract at least 10,000 visitors to your website in a week.

2. Start analyzing from square one

Modern analytics provide information in almost real time, so there’s no need to wait around to see how various techniques are faring. Since your marketing strategy will likely kick off with online marketing, set up an effective system for analyzing traffic to your site and landing pages immediately.

Continually tracking the effectiveness of your various marketing efforts helps because you can address problems right away. When you try something and it doesn’t work, you can switch tactics virtually midstream.

When setting up your analytics, make sure to be tracking the right metrics. Whether you use Google Analytics or another app, set up advanced segments and goals. Keep an eye on KPIs like time on page and referral URLs. Don’t forget to track mobile usage too.

3. Optimize your sales funnel

Be ready to pounce at every step of the sales funnel to keep prospects and customers moving right along.

For the acquisition stage, focus on content marketing. Amass a large library of high-quality content as soon as possible. Offer free webinars and e-books in exchange for email signup. Create and share infographics regarding trending topics in your niche, and maintain a PPC campaign from square one-even if your budget is small.

4. Act quickly

Growth hackers think quickly on their feet, which is why they are so successful at growing huge customer bases in short periods of time.

As soon as it’s clear you’re barking up the wrong tree with a marketing technique or product feature, scrap it. Better still, have backup plans ready to go so that you can seamlessly introduce them.

At the same time, make the most of techniques and features that do work. Leverage them for everything they’re worth. For example, if you discover Twitter is where you’re most likely to find your target demographic, intensify your efforts there.

Growth hackers aren’t wishy-washy. They are decisive. Don’t second-guess yourself if you need to abort what you initially thought would be an amazing idea.

5. Experiment and tweak

For you as a growth hacker, A/B testing is one of your best friends. Use it extensively while designing websites, landing pages, and other aspects of your campaign to quickly zero in on features that deliver the best ROI.

The simple act of adjusting where a call to action is placed can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of a landing page. The wording you use is highly influential too, especially when it comes to headlines.

As you test what resonates with your target audience, you will also learn more about it. This information will further enhance your ability to grow your business.

Tips for being an effective growth hacker

Now that you know the basics of growth hacking, you’re probably ready to give it a go. Still, knowing which steps to take is merely the first step. True success lies in mastering subtler skills.

As you go about your growth hacking, keep the following seven tips in mind. When they become like second nature to you, you’ll really start seeing results from your efforts.

1. Listen and suggest

Thanks to the Internet and social media, feedback about anything that you offer is readily available. You don’t even have to create an official poll or survey.

Growth hackers know this and embrace it by being actively involved in online conversations regarding their company, products, industry, and niche.

Odds are that users will be commenting about things that matter to you and your business. By being there to hear it, you can implement users’ best suggestions to further enhance growth.

At the same time, offer suggestions to visitors to your site and elsewhere online to keep them engaged in your brand. For example, if someone buys or expresses interest in one product, suggest another one they may like.

2. Be accessible

Don’t assume your products will be used only one way or that those who want them will be found only in one place.

Instead, employ a multi-pronged approach by considering a variety of possibilities. In its infancy, Spotify offered streaming music across a number of different devices and platforms. In a wise move, Spotify also gave different ways for users to enjoy music.


Not surprisingly, the app has had a very broad appeal and has been a massive success.

3. Use scalable techniques

Innovative growth hackers don’t focus solely on the here and now. They’re visionaries, so they always keep an eye on the future. Instead of putting all their eggs in one basket by implementing a massive, expensive technique, they start small and see how things go.

At the same time, they leave plenty of room for growth. After all, that’s what the process is all about. Facebook did this well early on by not sinking too many resources into any one particular thing. Instead, the company started small with new concepts and techniques, designing them to be scalable so that they could grow right along with the company.

4. Deliver content quickly

Rapid growth is likelier to happen when prospects receive content at the right place and time. In other words, you must be ready to pounce with the perfect content at any given moment.

You only need to look to Upworthy to see this done properly, at least when it comes to getting your point across quickly.


Engaging headlines play a huge role in this, so take the time to craft incredible ones. Include plenty of visual elements to pique users’ interest.

Design your content to be easy to share. Viral marketing is a low-cost, low-risk venture you can integrate into your current efforts.


Don’t be afraid to branch out in different directions. Just make sure your content is provided at the right time and to the right people.

5. Roll with the punches

Just when it appears a new product has finally “made it,” its target demographic changes course, and interest peters out. Unfortunately, such is the way of the world. Change is the only constant, and as a growth hacker, you have to be able to roll with the punches.

Instead of fearing change, embrace it. Always be on the lookout for the next big thing in your niche, and be ready to bring it to your customers. Even if you design an incredible product, it won’t be perceived that way forever.

6. Nurture prospects effectively

In the mad dash to grow a business, it’s easy to let viable prospects slip through the cracks. To be an effective growth hacker, you must have a strategy in place for nurturing leads to increase the odds of conversion.

First, you must know what your ideal customer wants in the first place. Once you do, figuring out how to appeal to them is somewhat intuitive. However, the method of doing so will vary depending on the prospect.

With that in mind, have plenty of tools in your arsenal. Ensure your content library is stocked with pieces that can be used to guide prospects along the path to conversion.

7. Be as niche as possible

The most successful growth hackers are thought leaders within their industries. It’s almost always the case because they have focused on a specific niche and have become true experts.

Learn everything you possibly can about your niche. Use that knowledge to create compelling blogs, guest blogs, e-books, white papers, and other pieces of content. Conduct webinars, engage in email marketing, and be highly active on social media.

Eventually, you might even consider establishing a special forum for “insiders.” When they opt in, give them a login so that they can be among the first to learn about emerging trends in your industry.


Growth hacking has become so popular that businesses hire professional growth hackers. Luckily, you don’t have to outsource this particular task. Instead, become a growth hacker yourself.

By taking a more innovative, outside-the-box approach to growing your small business or startup, you’re more likely to get where you’d like to be in a timely manner. So, what are you waiting for?

How will becoming a growth hacker benefit your company?