There are two types of data you can collect on your website, qualitative data and quantitative data. Quantitative data includes numerical values and qualitative data includes observed or reported feedback. When these two data types are combined you can better understand how your site can be improved. Let’s go over how to collect qualitative and quantitative data on your blog.

Qualitative vs Quantitative — What’s the Difference?

Qualitative Data

Qualitative data is genuine feedback. It is more than just a number. It is an observed or reported experience. This type of data is often expensive, time consuming, and difficult to analyze. But, it can provide a deeper understanding and help you understand the why behind the numbers you’re analyzing.

Quantitative Data

Quantitative data is measured with numbers. It’s easy to analyze but can be difficult to understand underlying causes or why the numbers look how they look.

Why Use Both Qualitative and Quantitative Data?

When you use both qualitative and quantitative data you can create a clearer picture and sometimes solve mysteries.

Reviewing only quantitative data oftentimes raises more questions than it answers. When you combine it with qualitative data it can help you understand why you see the quantitative data you see.

The quantitative data can help you assess qualitative observations to understand where to focus your efforts. Sometimes qualitative data can uncover a problem, and then you can refer to quantitative data to determine how large of an issue it could be and if it seems many people experience the problem.

You can also do the reverse. If you find an issue with the metrics you’re reviewing in your quantitative data, you can get more information by running some qualitative tests in related areas.

Combining the two types of data is how you’ll be able to create clear data stories and uncover the complete picture.

How to Collect Qualitative and Quantitative Data

Okay, so now we understand the difference between qualitative and quantitative data, and we understand why we need both. Now, let’s go over some of the different sources you can use to actually gather the data on your website.

Qualitative Sources

Interviews

One way that you can get qualitative data is from interviews. Interview members in your community. If you have an email list or a facebook group you can reach out to your community and select a few people to interview.

Surveys

Surveys are a popular way to get qualitative data. Specifically, open ended questions in surveys. These questions give people the ability to give specific and detailed feedback.

To collect survey responses from your existing audience you can use Google Forms. It’s a free and easy tool to create a survey. Then, you can share the link with your email list and social networks.

You can also collect survey responses from website visitors. This is a fun way to do it because you get feedback from people who you otherwise may never hear from. You can create a survey so it triggers when someone is about to leave the site and then ask them why they choose not to complete the purchase.

You can also add a survey to your website to ask just a real simple question to all visitors. You can ask how likely they are to recommend the site to a friend or what they hope to accomplish on the site.

The tool I like to use to add surveys directly to my website is Hotjar. It’s easy to set up and use and they offer a free account.

No matter what tool you use, when you collect open ended survey responses the tricky part will be analyzing the data. You will get the most value out of the data if you take the time to actually read every response. It can be difficult to identify trends when you have such a manual process.

When you’re reviewing your survey responses have a system in place to try and create quantitative data with the responses. Create categories of most common issues reported and tally your findings.

You can also use tools to create a word cloud with your responses. A word cloud is a visual representation of the most frequent words. The words that are repeated most often will be largest, and the words that are less common are tiny. The words are all put together in one image so at a glance you can see what really stands out.

User Testing

Another way to get qualitative data is from user testing. User Testing is where you provide a specific task for a user to accomplish on your website. It can be something as simple as “Look at the homepage and tell me what this page is about” to as complicated as “You want to purchase a vacuum. Navigate to the vacuum you want and go through the process to purchase.”

When you perform a user test, you provide the task, then a user attempts to complete the task. What you receive is a video recording where you get to watch the entire process. Depending on the software you use for the test, you may even have audio where you can hear the user saying their thought process out loud as they navigate your site.

The goal here isn’t for the users to give you feedback on what you need to change. The goal here is to observe how real people actually use and understand your site. For each task you give a user, you’ll have an ideal route or answer in mind. But when you get the results, it becomes quickly apparent that people don’t always navigate our site as we’d expect. Witnessing how real people use the site is eye opening and can help you improve the user experience future site visitors receive.

There are several different sites you can use to administer user tests. Lately, I’ve been using UsabilityHub. UsabilityHub has a free account and if you have your own audience, you can recruit your own participants. If you use their panel of participants you have to buy credits. The required number of credits varies depending on the complexity of the tests. For simple tests, you end up paying $1-$2 per panelist. And as a general rule of thumb, you want at least 3-5 users for each test.

So, although this is not a free option, you can run a test for a small amount of money. If you have the budget, it’s a nice way to see if people understand how to use your website.

Session Recordings

One more source that you can use to gather qualitative data are session recordings. You can record what people do on your website so you can analyze and learn from their behaviors. I like to use Hotjar to gather this data.

This is different from user tests because you haven’t given these people specific tasks to perform. And these are anonymous, you don’t have personal information about the user and you won’t get any direct responses from them. What you get is a video where you can see the mouse move as people navigate your website and observe where they click and when they leave.

These recordings can provide a lot of value, but reviewing them is time consuming. Your best bet is to filter the recordings so you prioritize watching the ones where people navigate to a specific page you’re looking to improve. This can help you understand what people are looking for on the page, what they already have seen or know before they landed on that page, and where they decided to leave the site.

Quantitative Sources

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an amazing source for quantitative data. It gives you a tremendous amount of knowledge about your website. You can find out how many people visit, where they came from, what they looked at, and if they converted. And it is all free.

Google Analytics is one of those tools that’s easy to get started with but difficult to master. We have a guide you can follow to get Google Analytics set up. That is where you’ll want to start. Then, if you want to get the most value out of it you can set up goals and look into event tracking.

Split Tests

Another way to get quantitative data is by running tests. This can be a really fun way to answer questions. If you aren’t sure what version of a page will perform better, you can test it. You can create both versions, then send half of the traffic to one version and half to the other. Then, you’ll be able to see which version had more people successfully complete your goal.

A good tool for this is Google Optimize. It’s free and it uses the Google Analytics goals you already have configured.

There is a caveat, split tests don’t provide meaningful results if you don’t have very many conversions. If you have more than 500 goal completions monthly, then you’ll have no problem. But if you only have a couple of goal completions each week, your results won’t be statistically significant. That means, there won’t be enough cases to trust the data. To get meaningful results, you’ll need more data.

So, if your website doesn’t have many goal completions yet, that’s no big deal. You’ll get there. Just don’t spend your time setting up a split test.

Heatmaps

Another quantitative data source are heatmaps. Heatmaps are a visualization of quantitative data.

A heatmap is a screenshot of a page on your website with colorful shapes overlaid on top. The colors indicate user behavior. Depending on the type of heatmap they can show a few different things. The most common heatmaps show mouse movement, mouse clicks, or scroll depth.

This is another report I like to get from Hotjar. It’s nice to be able to see where the focus is. Do people click on elements that aren’t clickable? Do people ever scroll down low enough to see the call-to-action to be able to convert?

Heatmaps make it easy to get an idea of where people look on your website so you can make sure the important elements are in areas your audience focuses on.

Conclusion

The bottom line is more data is better than less. If you’re trying to troubleshoot a problem on your website and improve the user experience you want to look at it from multiple angles.

If you use both qualitative and quantitative data sources you’ll have an easier time solving problems and creating the ideal user experience.

Have you used any qualitative or quantitative data sources that I didn’t mention above? If so, please share in the comments! What was the data source and would you recommend it?

To get the most value out of Google Analytics, you need to customize it for your business. That means, you need to add goals that matter to your business so the data is meaningful and specific to you. You need to be able to measure metrics that matter. Let’s go over how to set up a goal in Google Analytics so you can make data-driven decisions.

Why do Goals Matter in Google Analytics?

Before we dig into how to configure goals, let’s take a minute to discuss why it matters. Setting up goals allows you to customize the data and reports to fit the needs of your website. It allows you to get a more complete picture.

With goals, you can not only see if your website is getting traffic, but if that traffic matters. Are the visitors the right visitors? Do they play your embedded videos? Do they sign up for your newsletter? Do they share articles with friends? Have they created an account?

Without understanding and tracking your goals in Google Analytics, the metrics are vanity metrics. They don’t tell a complete story. You can use them to brag, but you can’t make meaningful decisions because you aren’t sure what is moving the needle.

What Kind of Goals Should You Track?

Goals should be metrics that grow your business. Just because you want to track something, doesn’t necessarily mean it should be a goal. It’s great to add events and track everything you can. Reserve your goals to track metrics that move the needle for your business.

Some of the items you may want to add as goals are:

  • Form submissions or leads
  • Account signups
  • Newsletter signups
  • Downloads
  • Video or podcast plays

You’ll want to track both macro and micro goals. The macro goals will be the goals that directly affect your primary business objective. They are what you typically think of when thinking of your goals. These are things like getting leads, payments, and new signups.

Micro goals are sometimes harder to identify but also important. These are goals that play a role in the overall conversion process. These are small conversions that move people closer and closer towards completing a macro goal. These are things like newsletter signups, downloads, and clicking play on an embedded video or podcast.

How Many Goals Should You Have?

Google Analytics allows you to track up to 20 goals. You don’t need to use all 20 slots though. Just track the right amount of goals for your business.

First, try to identify your primary business goals. Then, identify the metrics you can measure and track those goals. The specific number of goals will vary depending on your website and business.

Google Analytics separates the goals into 4 sets with up to 5 goals per set. When you add your goals, make sure to group your macro goals and micro goals in separate sets. You can organize your goals however they make sense for your business. You’ll be able to view the report data by set. So, your data will make the most sense if you organize your sets with related or similar goals.

Where Do You Configure Goals in Google Analytics?

To access the goal configuration settings, click the Admin gear icon in the lower left of your Google Analytics account. Then under the View panel (the list on the right hand side), click Goals. Click on the red New Goal button at the top and you’ll be ready to add your goals!

how to access goals in google analytics

How to Set Up Google Analytics Goals

When you go to add a new goal, you may see a list of templates. If you’ve selected an industry category for your Google Analytics profile, then they provide a handful of customizable templates.

Though this seems helpful, it’s generally easier to just start from scratch. So, if you don’t see templates, don’t worry about it. If you do see templates, scroll down to the bottom and select Custom. Then just continue on to the following steps.

There are four different ways to track goals in Google Analytics. You can track goals by destination, duration, pages per visit, or events. Let’s dig into why you would use the different goal types and how to set them all up.

Destination (URL) Goal

This type of goal allows you to specify a URL as the trigger. So, when a user accesses a particular page on your website it registers as a completed goal.

This is useful for thank you pages and confirmation pages that people view after they’ve submitted a form, registered, or made a purchase. This goal type is the most common. It’s often used to track your macro conversions.

This type of goal is also nice because it allows you to set up a funnel. Funnels need a URL for every step, so this is the only goal with the option. A funnel allows you to visually identify if there is a particular step where the majority of people are leaving the conversion process.

The funnel is only useful if a specific path is required. If not, people will come in and out of the funnel often and it will be difficult to make sense of it.

How to Add a Destination Goal:

  1. Enter a name for your goal in the Name field.
  2. Select the Goal slot ID. Remember to group similar goals in similar sets. You don’t have to use sequential goal IDs.
  3. Click Destination as the Type and click Continue.
  4. In the Destination field, you’ll see a drop down and a text field. Start with the text field and enter in the URL you want to use to trigger when this goal completes. So, if you are tracking form submits, and your form goes to thank-you.html after the submit button is clicked, you will use thank-you.html as your destination URL in this field.
  5. Next, look at that drop down to the left of the URL text field. This is how you’ll choose a match type for the URL. The options are Equals to, Begins with, or Regular expression.
    • If the URL you used is always the same then choose Equals to.
    • If the URL you used sometimes has parameters at the end of it, and those parameters change, choose Begins with. Most likely, if the URL has parameters you will see something like thank-you.html?id=1&kw=none. In that case, the URL is still thank-you.html and that is what you would have in your text field, but the match type would need to be Begins with so this URL would trigger the goal as well as thank-you.html?id=2&kw=something.
    • If matching the URL is more complicated than the first two scenarios, you’ll need to choose Regular expression. If you’re not already familiar with regular expressions, this may be a little more than you want to dig into because it is an advanced setting. Instead, you may want to figure out if you can make multiple goals to accomplish the same task.
  6. In the Destination section you will also see a Case sensitive checkbox. Check this if you want your goal URL to only trigger when the cases are an exact match.
  7. If there is a dollar value associated with your goal, you can switch Value to On and add it.
    • If Ecommerce Tracking is set up, you can leave this turned off and the monetary values will show up under the Ecommerce reports.
  8. If this goal requires a specific series of steps to be followed you can enable the Funnel.
    • This allows you to add up to 10 steps that a user must go through before reaching the goal. This allows you to see where users are leaving the funnel.
    • The match type of the funnel URLs will use the same match type as your primary goal URL.
  9. When finished click Verify this Goal to ensure it looks accurate. Then click Save.

Duration (Time) Goal

I’ll just start off by saying that this goal is not useful very often. It allows you to set a length of time on the site as a goal. For the goal to trigger, a visitor has to spend more time than the goal length.

There are two main reasons why this goal is not useful. First, if a user spends a long time on your site there is no guarantee that they are spending time productively. There could be user experience problems and they are unable to navigate to the page they are looking for.

The other problem is that Google Analytics can’t measure time very accurately. The length a visitor is on a page or the site can only be calculated if there are multiple page views. So, if a user views one page and leaves, or if a website only has one page, Google will show the time spent as 0 minutes and 0 seconds regardless of the actual time spent.

How to Add a Duration Goal:

  1. Enter a name for your goal in the Name field.
  2. Select the Goal slot ID. Remember to group similar goals in similar sets. You don’t have to use sequential goal IDs.
  3. Click Duration as the Type and click Continue.
  4. In the Duration section, enter in the length of time you want someone to spend on the site before it triggers the goal.
  5. If there is a dollar value associated with your goal, you can switch Value to On and add it.
    • If Ecommerce Tracking is set up, you can leave this turned off and the monetary values will show up under the Ecommerce reports.
  6. When finished click Verify this Goal to ensure it looks accurate. Then click Save.

Pages Per Visit Goal

Very similar to the duration goal, this is another goal type you probably won’t use. Although this can be useful to track support sites, there will probably be a better goal type you can use to track more accurately.

Pages per visit is not a useful goal type because it focuses on quantity instead of quality. Just because someone visited a ton of pages on your website, doesn’t mean it was a good experience. They could have had issues navigating and locating the content they wanted to find.

How to Add a Pages Per Visit Goal:

  1. Enter a name for your goal in the Name field.
  2. Select the Goal slot ID. Remember to group similar goals in similar sets. You don’t have to use sequential goal IDs.
  3. Click Pages/Screens per session as the Type and click Continue.
  4. Enter in the number of pages you want someone to surpass before the goal can trigger.
  5. If there is a dollar value associated with your goal, you can switch Value to On and add it.
    • If Ecommerce Tracking is set up, you can leave this turned off and the monetary values will show up under the Ecommerce reports.
  6. When finished click Verify this Goal to ensure it looks accurate. Then click Save.

Events Goal

The last goal type is to track events. Events are very useful to track interactions on your website such as button clicks. Then, Google Analytics makes it easy to add those events as goals. If the goal you want to track on your website isn’t associated with a URL, events are the next best option.

This is a great option to track items like video plays or form submits that don’t load a new page.

How to Add an Event Goal:

  1. Enter a name for your goal in the Name field.
  2. Select the Goal slot ID. Remember to group similar goals in similar sets. You don’t have to use sequential goal IDs.
  3. Click Event as the Type and click Continue.
  4. In the Event conditions section, you can enter in one or more of your event parameters to target the event(s) that should trigger this goal.
    • You can enter in a category, action, or label. You can choose if you select the event based on one, two, or all of those attributes. You can even choose the match type (Equals to or Begins with).
    • You can also target the event by value. You can enter in a value and specify if it is greater, less than, or equal to that value.
  5. For the value of an event goal, the default action is to use the value already associated with the event. You can however toggle that option to No and enter in a different value to use for the goal.
  6. When finished click Verify this Goal to ensure it looks accurate. Then click Save.

Verify Your Goal

Google Analytics provides an easy way to verify your goal. All you do is click the Verify this Goal link and you will be able to see if the goal has triggered in the last seven days. This is just a test to confirm it’s configured correctly, this does not predict how well the goal will perform.

If it shows there are no goal completions in the last seven days it may still be set up correctly. Go find the data in your reports that you’re trying to set up as your goal. Do you see any results for the last week or is zero the correct response?

If your goal looks too high you’re likely collecting data from more pages than you intended. Take a look at your URL match type.

You can also use the Realtime reports to make sure the goals are working properly. Go to Realtime > Conversions > Goal Hits to view your goals triggering in real time. If you run a test yourself, I’d recommend running it on a mobile device with wifi turned off. That way, your IP won’t be filtered out of your analytics data if you’ve enabled internal IPs to be filtered out.

What Else Should I Know About Google Analytics Goals?

There are a few other things you should be aware of when it comes to goal in Google Analytics.

Data collection starts when the goal is created. Historical data from before the goal was set will not be included in the goal data.

You can edit goals. You will be able to go in and modify everything about your goals even after they start gathering data. Your edits will only change the future data, not historical data.

You can disable goals. If a goal becomes irrelevant, you can disable it. They can not be deleted but you can disable or edit it.

Where Do You View Goal Data in Google Analytics?

There are a couple of different reports where you will be able to review your goal data in Google Analytics.

The primary goal reports are found under Conversion > Goals > Overview.

However, several other reports in Google Analytics include goal metrics. For example, if you go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels you will see goal data included in that report. There is a conversion drop down menu on the right side of the data table that allows you to adjust the goal data in the report.

Tracking your goals in Google Analytics will allow you to take full advantage of the data it offers. It fine tunes the reports to meet the needs of your business. That way, you can use the data to make decisions and grow your business.


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Search marketers normally focus on optimizing for Google. Since Google has a large percentage of the search engine traffic share, that makes sense. But, how do you rank on Bing? If you optimize for Google will that automatically rank you well on Bing too? And does it even matter? Let’s discuss what you need to know about how to rank on Bing.

Does Bing Matter?

Before we talk about how to rank on Bing, let’s talk about if ranking on Bing even matters. Most marketers focus only on Google because most searches happen on Google. But how big of a share does Bing have?

According to ComScore, Bing (Microsoft Sites) has about 25% of the share for desktop searches. Now, that is specific to desktop. And mobile Bing searches are drastically lower than desktop. But still, 25% of desktop shares is a big enough piece of the pie to matter.

comscore search data

This share might be larger than expected. Bing not only powers the search results on Bing, but they are also used for Yahoo search results.

So, Bing not only has a decent chunk of the market share, but there is also less competition. If you start focusing some effort towards Bing you may find the traffic converts better than Google. The search engines both have different demographics so the traffic you receive from the search engines will not be equal. It’s worth seeing if the Bing audience converts better or worse on your website than the traffic you receive from Google. (Towards the end of the article we’ll go over how to view how much traffic you get from each search engine in Google Analytics.)

Start By Listening to Bing

Bing provides a few options to make it easier to understand how they rank content.

Bing Webmaster Guidelines

The first, are the Bing Webmaster Guidelines. This is a pretty short read. It is a concise overview on some of the most important ranking factors and on-page elements Bing takes into consideration when ranking websites.

It’s good to review the guidelines so you have a clear understanding of what is important to Bing.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Next, are the Bing Webmaster Tools. You’ll want to setup and monitor the Bing Webmaster Tools. This is a portal Bing provides to website owners at no cost that has a ton of free information and tools.

It provides data specific to your website and has a ton of useful tools. It has a tool to submit your sitemap to Bing, an SEO analyzer to identify SEO improvements on a page-by-page basis, and lists out any crawl errors. You can even use it to submit URLs to Bing that you want indexed. It also notifies you of suspicious activity or security issues.

This is the best way for Bing to get in direct contact with you. If there is an issue with your website preventing you from ranking as well as you could be, this is where they are going to tell you about it.

The other nice option about the Bing Webmaster Tools is it not only allows Bing to communicate with you, but you can also contact them. There is a help menu at the top (question mark icon) with a link to contact support.

contact bing

This will allow you to send them an email with a specific question. Now, if your question is generic and can be answered with their support forum you probably won’t get a response. But, if you have a question specific to your account this is a great option.

Create Content for Searchers, Not Search Engines

Before we worry about the specific ranking factors, we should remember to always create content for searchers, not search engines. This comes directly from the Bing Webmaster Guidelines, but it applies to every search engine.

Whether you want to rank on Google or Bing, your best bet is to provide the best value possible for your target audience. This is how you’ll see long-term SEO success. Search engines want to provide the best experience possible for their audience, and if your website helps accomplish their goals, then you’ll rank higher.

Instead of trying to take advantage of every new trend to rank higher, think about how you can provide the best content and experience for your reader. Then, as search engine algorithms change, your website will only get ranked higher and higher. You won’t need to worry as much about changes and new trends.

Bing Ranking Factors and Differences from Google

User engagement is the primary focus for Bing and their strongest ranking factors are based on engagement. Those factors include pogosticking, social, and site authority. There are several other factors that play a role as well. We’ll go over some of the most important Bing ranking factors and how they vary from Google.

Pogosticking

One of the important metrics used to determine engagement is referred to as pogosticking. This is when a user clicks your link in the search results, visits your site, but then immediately clicked back to the search results page and selected the next response. When this happens, the search engine decides the page did not match the search query in a way that was helpful to the user. If that happens often, the page will start to rank lower. This behavior is something Google monitors as well.

pogo-sticking

The best way to monitor this behavior on your website is by looking at your bounce rate metric.

Social

Bing has made it clear that social networks do play a role in their ranking algorithm. (Google claims social has no impact on their rankings.) Bing has also made it clear that trying to game the system will not help you. They have a system in place to gauge influence. So, by using social networks in a natural manner and building your following over time, you can positively impact Bing rankings as well.

Site Authority

Bing places high value on site authority. They look at factors such as the age of the domain and the name, brand, or keywords in a domain. Google looks more at the authority of each individual page whereas Bing looks more at the site as a whole. The Page Rank metric was actually created by Google and is completely irrelevant on Bing.

Exact Keywords

Bing prefers exact keyword usage more than Google. Both in the site content and as the text in links. Google uses synonyms interchangeably but exact keyword usage still plays a role in the Bing ranking algorithm.

Mobile

Bing does want your site to be mobile friendly. It doesn’t use a mobile first index like Google does, but it does still factor into your ranking.

Page Speed

And just like in Google, page speed does matter. However, Bing doesn’t believe the user experience should be jeopardized to improve page speed. You won’t be penalized on Bing for having a 4 second load time instead of a 1 second load time if the experience the site visitor gets on the website is ideal.

Where to Review Bing Data

You can review your Bing data in Google Analytics and the Bing Webmaster Tools.

Google Analytics

In Google Analytics go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. Then, click on Source at the top above the data table. This will list out each search engine as a source. You may see Google, Bing, and Yahoo listed.

bing data in google analytics

Bing Webmaster Tools

You can also see data directly in the Bing Webmaster Tools. Once you login, just click on Search Performance. This will show you your search impressions, clicks, average click-through-rate (CTR), and average position.

bing webmaster tools data

If you want to compare the data found in Bing Webmaster Tools to Google, you can log in to your Google Search Console account. In the Performance tab in Google Search Console you’ll see the same metrics listed. This will allow you to easily compare the data.

For the most part, if you’re focused on optimizing for your target audience, your search rankings will increase in both Bing and Google. But, knowing the differences and how you can improve your Bing rankings can help you get an advantage over your competition.

Do you focus on optimizing for Bing or only Google? Do you plan to change that in the future? Please share in the comments!


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So, you have a blog and you want some more traffic. You’ve heard SEO is a good way to get traffic to your blog. But, you don’t know how, you don’t have a team, and you don’t have a budget to outsource it. Can you do it yourself? The short answer is yes. Let’s go over how to do SEO yourself, even if you’ve never done it before.

Is it hard to do SEO yourself?

If you haven’t done SEO before and you’re starting at the very beginning, it will be as hard as learning any other skill. You will be able to do it, there is a place to start. Just like any other skill, as you continue to learn about SEO, it will become easier and you will be able to do more and more of the SEO tasks that you once considered to be hard.

It has a learning curve just like any other skill. The good news is it isn’t too steep. You don’t have to be scared to start. And you don’t have to be a master to see results. Do what you feel comfortable doing, it will be better than nothing. There’s no reason to overwhelm yourself with advanced SEO tactics until you feel comfortable with the basics.

Here are six steps you can follow to do SEO yourself.

Step 1: Know Your Audience

First off, you need to know who you’re talking to. To do this, create a persona. Really, this should be done before you even begin your blog, but if you haven’t done it already, just do it now.

Creating a persona helps you form a story to better understand your target audience. It allows you to visualize exactly who your website is for.

This will help you create and optimize your content for a specific person. Your SEO will be more effective if you are targeting a particular type of person. Not only does this benefit SEO, it will help the entire process.

Your blogs will resonate with the right people because you are speaking directly to them. Then, that person will sign up for your email list because the lead magnet is exactly what they need. Later, when you have a product or service to sell them, they will buy because it is the exact item they need to solve their original problem that brought them to your site initially.

Having a clear picture of exactly who you’re talking to will help align the content with the goal.

Step 2: Have a Content Plan

Content is going to be an important piece of SEO. You need content in order to optimize it for SEO. You need content pages for search engines to display in the results. And, you need content so your website stays current and continues to help your readers.

Post Regularly

You need to post on a regular basis. Posting on a regular basis will help grow your website traffic and make it easier for your readers to know when they can expect a new article.

How often you post depends on your availability and what you can commit to. If you can, add a new post weekly. If that’s too much for your schedule then do every other week or monthly. If you have enough time for daily posts, great!

If you can’t post weekly, that’s okay. It just will take longer to see results. Being consistent is important so choose a schedule that makes sense for you and stick to it.

When you’ve decided on a frequency (weekly, monthly, etc.) choose a specific day of the week and time you will post. You want a specific plan. This is a benefit to your website and readers, and it helps hold you accountable when you have a clear deadline you need to meet.

Perform Keyword Research

When you’re creating your content, don’t just write whatever article comes to mind. Do keyword research to make sure you’re focusing on the ideas that are most likely to see success.

I have an entire article you can read to learn exactly how to do keyword research, so I won’t go into the details here.

Keyword research will help you organize your brainstorm ideas in a productive manner. It provides a system to prioritize existing ideas while gathering new ideas.

Writing content takes time. That’s why you want to make sure you’re writing content on topics people are looking for.

Create a Content Calendar

The last step in creating a plan is a content calendar. So, you know how often you want to post and you have a list of keyword ideas. Create a content calendar to map it all out.

I like to do this with a spreadsheet. You can use a calendar or a text document if you prefer.

I normally create a spreadsheet with my post dates in the left hand column. Then next to that is the keyword or topic for the article and then I add all of the data from my keyword research in the following columns.

I like to plan out through the quarter as a minimum but sometimes I’ll plan it out all the way up to a year. Just add in the dates you are planning for, then map your keyword ideas to the dates that make sense. This lets you adjust for holidays and seasonal articles.

You don’t have to stick to everything in your calendar. Things change and it’s good to be flexible. But having a content calendar gives you a great place to start and speeds up your process. It allows you to get started on the next article as soon as you’re ready.

Step 3: On-Page Optimizations

You want to have a basic understanding of the on-page optimizations that improve SEO. That way, when you’re writing your blog posts you can add these optimizations as part of your original post.

It will save you time so you aren’t later reviewing your articles to determine how to improve them for SEO. And once you’ve done it a few times, it becomes a very natural process and the SEO updates can appear as natural and authentic additions to your article. And that is exactly how you want them to be for long-term SEO success.

Here are the on-page optimizations you want to be aware of.

Title Tag

Make sure you have your keyword in the title tag. The closer to the beginning of the title the better.

If you’re using WordPress, this will probably be the post title field.

To confirm what text you have in your title tag:

  1. View the page on your website
  2. Right click and select View page source
  3. Use Find (ctrl+F) to search for <title>
  4. The text directly after that tag is your title
<title>This is Your Title</title>

Meta Description

You want to add your keyword to the meta description as well. For information on how to do this view the full article on meta descriptions.

Article Body

You also want to add the keyword within the body of the article. Specifically you want it to be in the H1 tag, first paragraph and subheadings.

H1 Tag

The H1 tag is the primary header on the page. You can check to see what text is in your H1 tag the same way you checked to see what text was in your title tag. But instead of searching for <title>, you search for <h1>. The text between <h1> and </h1> is your H1 tag.

You can also view this by looking at the code for your post in your admin panel. In the interface where you add your blog articles, if you view the post code, you should be able to see what text is in the H1 tag.

First Paragraph

You want to include your keyword somewhere in the first paragraph of your article. If this isn’t possible, then include it as close to the top as you can. You want the article to make sense for the readers. Don’t add a keyword for SEO purposes if it doesn’t also make sense for the readers.

Subheadings

Try and include the keyword in at least one subheading. The subheadings are in H2, H3, and H4 tags. You can find them the same way you found the H1 tag. And remember, keep the user in mind. Only add the keyword to subheadings when it makes sense for the reader.

URL

If you can include the keyword in the URL, do it. If the article already has a different URL, or this is not easy to do with your system, then don’t worry about it.

Step 4: Add Internal Links

After you’ve published your article, make sure you add internal links. If you have any questions about how or why to do this you can view the complete guide on internal links.

You want to add internal links on your new article to any older relevant articles within the text of the post. And you also want to do the opposite. Add links to your new article on any older relevant articles.

You are using internal links to create a web. You are making it easier for readers and search engine spiders to navigate through your website. You always want to think of people first, if a link would benefit a reader, add it.

Step 5: Gather Data

Even if you don’t understand analytics yet, start collecting data. You’ll figure out what it all means soon enough.

You can set up Google Analytics on your website. It’s easy and free.

The data in Google Analytics will start being collected when you install the tracking tag. You will not have any data from before that tag was set up on your website. So start collecting now and worry about what it all means later.

It will be better to have the data so you can make informed decisions when you’re ready.

Step 6: Keep up with Industry News

Things change all the time with SEO. You need to have a plan to stay up to date with the SEO industry.

Whether you subscribe to an email digest, listen to a podcast, or follow some SEO related blogs, you need to have a plan to make sure you’re aware of any big upcoming changes. Here are my favorite marketing resources to stay up to date.

Bonus: Use ClearPath Online

This is a bit of a shameless brag, but another great way to do SEO yourself is to use ClearPath Online. Full disclosure, this is our product and normally our blogs offer free support and advice with no selling. This felt like an important message to add though since it could be a big benefit.

If you want to do SEO yourself, but you need a task list that tells you what to do, when, and how; that is exactly what ClearPath Online does. It breaks down SEO tasks into manageable action items with step-by-step directions.

Instead of staying updated with SEO changes yourself and juggling which tasks you did last and what you need to do next, it takes care of all of that. The system is preloaded with everything you need to do.

The most important part about doing SEO yourself is to start now! It’s a process that takes time. No matter which route you decide to take to get started, do it and it will become easier and more beneficial as time goes on.

Are you ready to start doing SEO yourself? If not, what’s stopping you? Let us know in the comments!


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Building your blog, or your entire website, on WordPress is a great option. It offers flexibility, documentation, and a ton of community support. There are thousands of themes and plugins that you can use to create just about any functionality you can think of.

But, sometimes the vast number of options available can be overwhelming. To cut through some of the clutter we’ve put together five WordPress blogging tips you can follow to start strong.

Tip #1: Use a Responsive Theme

You want your website to be mobile friendly. You don’t want to get stuck duplicating content and wasting valuable time. When you’re looking for a WordPress theme, make sure it’s responsive. Start with a responsive theme from the very beginning.

When a theme is responsive, that means the width of the website can readjust to fit on mobile, tablet, or desktop. Depending on the device size, the elements on your website will be displayed differently.

On a desktop, you might have a four column layout. On mobile, those columns would be stacked on top of each other vertically instead. On a tablet, they might be displayed as a two column layout with two rows.

This allows for a great user experience regardless of what device people use to access the website.

Tip #2: Use Only the Plugins You Need

Plugins are great. They make it easy to add complex functionality to a WordPress site without knowing how to code. For the most part, they are plug and play. You download one, activate it, configure a few settings to specify your needs, and it’s good!

There’s nothing wrong with using plugins, but you only want to use the plugins you need. The more you use, the more potential issues you’ll run into. Normally, plugins are fine. But, sometimes, they can conflict with each other.

Since adding plugins is so easy, it’s also easy to have way more than you need. Sometimes when I’m looking for a new plugin I end up downloading about five plugins. I try them all and then decide one is the best and go with it.

There’s nothing wrong with that. But when you’re done, remove what you aren’t using. Don’t just deactivate it. Completely delete it so it doesn’t appear in your list of plugins anymore. If you don’t delete it you will still need to update it and you still have those files on your server.

So, if you need a plugin, use it. If you install it, don’t like it or don’t need it, get rid of it. Don’t let it be a possible vulnerability.

The same thing goes with themes. There’s no need to keep the default themes if you aren’t using them.

Tip #3: Be Cautious with Customizations

If you want to change the way a plugin or theme works, try to change it in the available settings first. Don’t play with the code unless you have to. If you don’t understand code, stay out of it.

If you make the customization directly in the plugin or theme code it will get overwritten when there’s a new update. That means your change will be gone and there’s a chance you will break something unexpected.

Always look through the available settings first. Most themes will have a dedicated area for you to add custom CSS and javascript.

Plugins normally offer quite a few customization settings as well. Chances are you’ll be able to find a settings interface to control the element you want to manipulate. And if you don’t, try a different plugin. Editing the plugin code should be a last resort.

Tip #4: Download Yoast SEO

You want to start off by adding SEO elements such as meta descriptions to your pages from the very beginning. It will be easiest to optimize your posts for search engines as you create them instead of going back and editing several existing pages when you decide to focus on it.

There are a few different SEO plugins worth using. I like to use Yoast SEO. They allow you to specify the target keyword for the page and then they have a checklist to quickly identify what remaining optimizations need to be added to the post.

Tip #5: Have a Plan for Backup and Security

Your blog will be a place you end up putting a lot of time and hard work into. You want to make sure you have a backup plan.

WordPress normally runs great. I can count on one hand the number of failed updates I’ve had in the last decade and none of them ended up needing to be restored from a backup. But still, things happen, and you want to be prepared.

I like to use UpdraftPlus for backups. It’s a plugin. You can run a backup before you run updates so you have a fresh copy in case there is an issue. You can also schedule it to run backups on a regular basis and save them somewhere else such as Dropbox or Amazon S3.

And just as important as a backup, you also want to make sure your site is secure. I like using Wordfence for this. It’s another plugin. It’s a great safeguard to have in place so you’re getting notified of any suspicious activity on your website.

Just follow these five tips and you’ll be off to a great start!


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Building a community on Facebook can be a powerful way to connect with your audience. Talking to people, understanding their pains and frustrations, can be beneficial for product development and growth of your company. But, eventually you get to a point where you want your Facebook fans to be able to easily connect with your website and subscribe to your list. You don’t want a 3rd party network, such as Facebook, to be your only route to talk to these people. That’s when you want to add a custom welcome tab on Facebook.

What the Welcome Tab Won’t Do

First, before we dig into how to add a custom Facebook welcome tab, let’s talk about the history of the welcome tab on Facebook. In the past, this has been an amazing feature. Unfortunately, a lot has changed and it simply does not do what it used to do.

It Won’t Be a One-Click Setup

It used to be that you can add a custom welcome tab by clicking one install button on a Facebook page to install an app. That is no longer the case. You can’t set it up with an app install. There is no option already in your Facebook page manager. You will need to use the Facebook developer tools.

It Won’t Be Editable in Facebook

You won’t be able to edit HTML directly within the tab on Facebook. Instead, you’ll need to have the page hosted somewhere and provide a secure (https) link to Facebook.

It Won’t Be the Default View

You can create a custom tab and you can rearrange where it appears in your list of tabs, but you can’t make it the default. The Facebook default home tab will remain the default and the very top in the list.

Way back when, you could make a welcome tab that was the default view for everyone that landed on your Facebook page. You could even create it as an incentive for people to like the page. They would see one image with an incentive, then after they click like the tab image would change to reveal a coupon. Those days are gone. That is no longer an option.

It Won’t Be an Option for Everyone

And lastly, the biggest change, not everyone will be able to add a custom tab. There is now a prerequisite that the page must have a minimum of 2,000 likes.

How I Got 2,000 Facebook Likes Using 1 Image

Okay, so the biggest hurdle to add a custom Facebook tab right now is the 2,000 page like requirement. For a big business, this is no big deal. But for a startup, a blogger, or a solopreneur who is new to social and still building their audience, this can be a difficult goal to reach.

My Facebook page had less than 100 likes. So, before I could create my custom tab I first needed to gain over 1,900 likes. To speed this up, I ran a paid ad.

These days I focus on organic efforts over paid efforts. So, my process was simple and could have been far more optimized. But, these are the steps I took.

Step 1: Get an Image that Creates Emotion

The first step is to find the right image. You need to capture attention. The best way to do this is with emotion. You can use an image that creates anger and fear or joy and delight. I decided to go with humor.

I wanted an image that would resonate with my desired audience. Something that a blogger trying to do their own marketing could relate to. And, ideally, something they would want to share.

I decided to commission a chart by Matt Shirley. If you aren’t familiar with these charts, you should really check out his Instagram feed. He strikes a perfect balance between information and humor. Even though these charts aren’t factual, they are entertaining and often easy to relate to.

And for any marketer, whether a DIYer or a pro, charts and analytics are always an important and exciting part of the day. So, it seemed like a great fit.

I reached out, he pitched three brilliant ideas, we picked one and a week later I had my image.

Here it is:

Growing an Audience chart

Step 2: Target Your Audience

Okay, now that I had the perfect image to use in my ad, I needed to set it up on Facebook.

The ad itself was simple. I added my chart as the image. Then I wrote a small line of text. I wanted to encourage people to comment and engage on the post. So, I added text asking who could relate to the chart and put a raised hand emoji for myself.

The more difficult part was determining the best people to target. Now, you can keep the audience broad and the ad will be cheaper. That is not what I wanted to do though. Since I was already spending money on the ad, I wanted to reach the right people. I didn’t want my page to have 2,000 likes from the cheapest 2,000 people Facebook could find me. I wanted it to have 2,000 people that I have the potential of helping.

So, I limited my ad first by country. I targeted the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. In Google Analytics I can see that these are the three countries that bring in the majority of my organic website traffic, so this made sense for my site.

Next, I restricted the ad by age. I know from my marketing personas what age range I’m targeting. So, I focused my ad on the age most likely to benefit from my product.

Lastly, I restricted the ad based on interests. I targeted bloggers, entrepreneurs, content marketers, affiliate marketers, and founders.

Step 3: Send Invites to People Who Like the Ad

Lastly, I engaged with people who engaged with my ad. I liked or replied to every comment. Sometimes both. To every single person who liked the post but not the page, I sent them an invite to like the page. Facebook makes this pretty easy. Just click to view the post likes and to the right of each name it will either say liked or it will have a button that says invite.

The post got 935 reactions, 30 comments, 219 shares and ended up getting me 1,977 page likes. It did its job. It was interesting, engaging, and people shared and liked it.

facebook campaign
facebook campaign engagement fb engagement metrics

How to Create a Page in WordPress to Use as a Facebook Custom Tab

Once you have your 2,000 fans there is one other requirement you will need to deal with. You need a page to display the content you want to appear on your custom tab. Facebook is only going to allow you to give them a URL, so you need the page to live somewhere other than Facebook.

Adding a page to your existing website is going to be the easiest option since you already have that domain set up and hopefully secured with SSL. But, chances are you don’t want your standard website layout to appear on your Facebook tab. You probably don’t want your header or footer and the width constraints on Facebook are likely smaller than your standard website width.

You can hide those elements on a single page so you can use it as your Facebook tab content. I’ll explain how to do this for a WordPress website.

, create a new page and find the page ID. When you’re editing the page in the WordPress admin interface, the page ID will appear in the URL. At the end of the URL look for where it says post.php?post=. The 4 digit number that appears after post= is your page ID.

Next, preview the new page you are creating. Right click on the element you want to remove, such as the header. Click on Inspect. This will open the dev tools and allow you to view the code for specific page elements. This works in most browsers, I normally prefer to do it in Chrome.

Identify the class for the element you want to remove. If you have the element selected properly it should highlight the area when you hover over the code in the dev tools. In the code you’ll see class=. That will show you the class name(s). Copy that.

Then, in your WordPress admin interface, go to Appearance > Theme Editor. Go to your style.css file and add in a new style rule. You’ll take your page ID and your class that you copied from the element you want to hide and specify that it should not be displayed.

Here is an example of what the style rule would look like:

.page-id-1234 .navbar.navbar-inverse.navbar-fixed-top.affix-top {
display:none;
}

That says, on the page with the ID of 1234, for the navbar element with those particular classes, do not display it. That will hide the navbar only on page 1234.

Next, you need to go back to your page and add Facebook friendly content. Facebook specifies that the content should be a maximum width of 520 pixels and a maximum height of 810 pixels. To keep the content in those constraints you can add a div to the page, and then add all of your content within that div.

Here is what the div would look like:

<div style="max-width:520px;max-height:810px;">
… Your Content …
</div>

What to Put on Your Custom Facebook Tab?

What you put on your custom Facebook tab will depend on your goals and your brand. If you already have a lead magnet on your website, I’d start there.

If you have some kind of giveaway or freebie like a cheatsheet or free course that you use to get people onto an email list, add that to your custom Facebook tab. Embed your email subscribe form so people can sign up directly through Facebook. This will help you move your Facebook audience to a source you have more control over such as email.

How to Add a Custom Facebook Tab

Okay, so now we have our 2,000 fans and content we want to display on the tab. We can finally add our custom Facebook welcome tab. Here is how you add it:

  1. Go to https://developers.facebook.com/apps.
  2. Click Add a New App.
  3. Enter the Display Name (the name you want to use for your welcome tab app) and Contact Email. Then click Create App ID.
  4. add facebook app
  5. Navigate to Settings > Basic and then scroll down to the bottom.
  6. Click Add Platform then click Page Tab in the box that appears.
  7. add facebook platform
  8. Then enter in the secure URL (https) you want to use for your page tab and the tab name.
  9. After you’ve entered in the details click Save Changes.

Now, the next step to actually implement the custom page tab app into your Facebook profile is not intuitive at all. I didn’t find any information from Facebook directly on how to do this, but I did find a very helpful article from Opace that explained the entire process.

To add the app to your Facebook page, you’ll need to copy and paste the following URL into a browser tab. You’ll replace the APP_ID and URL attributes with your own values.

http://www.facebook.com/dialog/pagetab?app_id=APP_ID&next=URL

The APP_ID attribute will be found at the top of the basic settings panel.

facebook app id

The URL attribute is the secure URL you provided earlier as the page tab contents.

When you enter the URL with the appropriate attributes you will be taken to a page with a dropdown to select your Facebook page. Select the page you want to add the tab to and press Add Page Tab. That’s it, now it’s added to your page.

You can rearrange the tab by going to your Facebook page. Then navigate to Settings > Templates and Tabs. Scroll down and you will see all of the tabs for the page. You can drag to rearrange them.

Was it Worth it?

The short answer is no. The long answer is it depends.

I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I have more likes and a custom tab. And, if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be able to write this article or give advice on the topic.

Now, if you already have at least 2,000 likes then there really is no reason not to add a welcome tab. You might as well take every opportunity you can to get social followers on your website and list.

But, if you don’t have the social followers this is not a high priority item. I’m glad I have more than 2,000 likes now but it really doesn’t move the needle for my business. It’s more of a vanity metric than anything else.

Out of those 2,000 people, only 10-30 of them see each of my posts organically. If I want more of my audience to see my posts I have to pay Facebook to boost them.

Additionally, while it’s great that I have a custom welcome tab now, the tab is not ideal and has low visibility. It doesn’t appear at all on mobile, it’s only on the desktop version. Because of that, it’s only possible for a small percentage of my followers to ever see it. And, it will never be the first thing people see. You can’t replace the default Facebook home tab. People have to choose to click on another tab. Because of these restrictions it just doesn’t get very much visibility.

So, if you already have enough followers, then yes, you might as well add it. If you don’t, there are better ways to spend your time and money.

Do you have a custom Facebook tab? What content do you display on it and does it convert well? Let us know in the comments!


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Have you ever wondered, should I start a blog? Starting a blog is a commitment. Not only is there some technical setup involved, there’s also a time commitment. Creating content takes time. And, you have to consistently post content to see traction. It can take months or years, and to be successful, you’ll have to stick with it for the long haul.

So, how do you know if blogging is right for you? Should you start a blog? Here are the five signs to watch for that indicate you are ready to start your journey as a blogger.

Sign #1: You Want to Establish Authority

Are you trying to find a way to establish yourself as an expert in a particular field? You can do that with blogging.

Blogging gives you a voice. If you know what you’re talking about, that becomes clear in your blog. You will be able to build your authority by sharing your knowledge and letting your voice be heard.

Sign #2: You Want to Help People

Do you want to help people? Do you have a skill you want to share with others? Or, are you about to learn a new skill and want to share the journey for others to benefit?

A blog is a great way to help people by providing resources and knowledge to help them solve an issue. To really help people, make sure you have a focus. Understand the purpose of your blog and the pain you want your blog to solve.

A clear direction and strong focus will make it easier for everyone. It will be easier for you to plan content. And, it will be easier for readers to understand what the site is about and if it’s right for them.

Sign #3: You Want to Organize Your Thoughts

Blogging gives you a way to organize your thoughts. When you create a content calendar and plan out your blog articles, you’re building a roadmap to plan the future. You can organize your thoughts and brainstorm ideas by scheduling them out as blog articles.

Your entire blog also acts as great documentation. All of your past thoughts are documented thoroughly in a system you can refer back to at any time, your blog.

Sign #4: You Want to Easily Answer Frequently Asked Questions

Whether it’s from friends and family, or random people online, when you have mastered a skill people will ask for your opinion and advice.

Instead of answering each person individually, you can leverage your blog. Create blog articles with the most common questions you hear. Then, when someone asks it next you can just direct them to the article that answers the question.

That way, they’ll get an in-depth response with everything you have to say on the topic. It will be easier for you because you don’t have to explain it all over again. And, it’s better for them because the article will likely have more information than you would have remembered in a casual conversation.

Sign #5: You Want to Become a Better Writer

This is a big one for me. I can’t tell you how many years as a marketer I said the words “I’m not a writer”. I always tried to push writing projects to writers with the excuse that it wasn’t my strong suit. Have a pro write the copy, then I’ll build the landing page, create the email, make the ad, or anything else. Just don’t make me write!

Eventually, I learned that writing is part of marketing. And there’s no secret trick to get good at it. You just have to do it. So now I find myself taking every opportunity I can to write. The more I do it (instead of push it off onto other people) the better I get. It takes time but it’s worth it and a valuable skill to develop.

So, whether you enjoy writing or not, practicing the skill consistently will help you improve. If you’re looking for self-improvement in that area, starting a blog could be right for you.

Bonus Sign: Excitement

The biggest sign of all is excitement. If you’re excited to start a blog, you should do it. If you feel a drive to get your voice out there, feel you have something valuable to share, then do it. Just start now. Taking action and getting started will be the only way you’ll truly find out if blogging is right for you.

How many of these signs did you match? Share with us in the comments!


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One of the most important parts of growing a business is knowing how to prioritize and focus on the tasks that matter most. No one has time to do everything, so how do you know which items are worth your time and should be prioritized? You need to choose your priorities wisely to make the most use of your limited time. And of course, everybody will have different priorities. So, let’s walk through a three step process you can follow to choose the right marketing priorities for you.

Step 1: Know Your Audience

The very first thing you need to take care of in order to choose the right marketing priorities for you, is to understand who your audience is. You need to know who you’re talking to in your blogs, who your product is for, and who you want to visit your website.

Your first step is to define your audience. To do this, create a marketing persona. The persona is a fictional outline of an ideal avatar for your business. Though the actual person is fictional, all of the characteristics and demographics are based on data and the actual people your company supports.

Then, determine the channels where you’ll find the greatest amount of your target audience. Understand where your audience spends their time online. This will help you understand where you should focus your time and effort.

Are you targeting business owners that do most of their research with google searches and contribute to LinkedIn and Facebook? Are you targeting a younger audience that gets their information from Reddit and spends time on TikTok and SnapChat? Are you targeting a community that places high value on visuals and spends time on Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube?

Look at your Google Analytics data to see which acquisition sources are your top sources. Likely, these will be the sources you’ll want to focus on. Also, think about those top sources and consider how they align with your customer persona. Do they make sense? Is there possibly a different channel you don’t see in your existing traffic that makes perfect sense for your ideal customer?

Step 2: Set Goals

Make sure to set one primary annual goal. This will be your guiding light. You need to have a clear direction and goal in mind. That is the only way you’ll be able to determine if you are choosing the correct marketing priority. You need to know where you want to end up to know if each step you take is headed in the correct direction.

Choose milestones for your goal if desired. You can create monthly or quarterly goal milestones to try and make sure you are progressing fast enough toward your annual goal. This is completely optional. It won’t make sense for all goals and it won’t make sense for all people.

Your schedule will not be consistent. You will have busy seasons and slow seasons. Plus, you do have a life outside of work and sometimes that provides you with more or less work time.

If you create too many milestones that expect consistent growth it can be discouraging when you don’t meet them all. Sometimes projects have a slow start. Sometimes projects move quick at first, and you feel caught up, then the last ten percent of the project takes ninety percent of the time.

As long as you have an annual goal in mind, don’t stress about quarterly or monthly goals. But, by all means set them if it makes sense for you, your business, and the goal.

Lastly, set a weekly goal that moves you closer to your annual goal. It’s up to you how many weekly goals you want to set. I’d recommend between one to three. And that can vary from week to week.

The important part is that your weekly goal moves you closer to your desired end result. It should help you reach your annual goal. That is how you will understand how to choose the right marketing priorities.

Does the task move the needle and get you closer toward your target? If it does, then prioritize it. If it doesn’t re-evaluate if it’s worth the time.

Step 3: Review Time Consuming Tasks

Of course you will sometimes have tasks that don’t relate to your primary annual goal. That’s fine, it’s normal, and it will happen. Just be aware that the task is not related to your primary goal. Don’t ignore it completely, but instead be aware that it is distracting you from your primary goal. Monitor the time you spend on secondary tasks and if they start consuming more time than you have, reassess and reprioritize.

Think about what takes most of your time every single week. Is it an important piece of your annual goal? If it is, great. Sounds like that is a high priority item and is well worth your time.

If it isn’t an important step towards your goal then evaluate it. Is it a task that is still worth doing at all? Sometimes we get so used to a routine or system that we forget why we were doing it in the first place. Confirm that the task that is using so much of your precious time is even worth a minute of it.

Next, decide if the system you are using to complete the task is the best system available today. Is there a way you can automate the process? Tools such as Zapier can help anyone create automated systems. You can also use the combination of Google Data Studio, Google Analytics, and Google Sheets to automate some reports.

And lastly, do you need to be the one to do the task? Is it something that can be outsourced or is there anyone else that you can train to take over that task for you? Remember, it’s keeping you from getting to your goal. So, it may feel like it’s important for you to do it. But ultimately, your highest priority marketing tasks should be moving you closer and closer toward your annual goal.

Do you have a different system you use to determine your marketing priorities? If you do please share it in the comments!


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