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Top four social listening tools for 2020 and why they’re great

October 15, 2019 No Comments

Every business wants as much customer feedback as possible. That’s why we obsessively measure NPS (which barely has any statistical validity) and run surveys (which, in addition to being biased by definition, can negatively impact customer experience) like it’s the end of the world.

But the feedback we really want is different. It’s genuine, quick and easy to get, and structured enough so we can analyze it effectively. That’s where social listening, or social media monitoring, comes in.

Social listening is the process of monitoring mentions of keywords (for example, a brand name) or key phrases across social media and the Internet at large. Think of it as a way to measure people’s awareness of any subject – and their opinion on it – without having to ask questions.

Google Trends

More and more companies are adopting social media monitoring every year, and social listening tools are also evolving quickly. Even though they’re called social media monitoring tools, many apps go beyond social media and monitor the web at large. Finally, they analyze the data in order to provide you with insights you can learn from and act on.

In this post, we’ll look at the best social media monitoring tools you can use in 2020.

1. Awario

top-Four social listening tools for 2020 and why they're great Awario

Awario is one of the best options in terms of bang for the buck. With pricing starting at $ 29/month, it comes equipped with many features of Enterprise-geared tools: sentiment analysis, topic clouds, Boolean search, and more.

In terms of coverage, Awario monitors Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, news and blogs, and the rest of the web. Let’s look at what makes Awario stand out.

Rich analytics

Awario lets users measure dozens of social listening metrics, such as sentiment, reach, share of voice, key themes, top countries, and more. On top of that, you can use the tool to identify your biggest influencers and compare several brands side-by-side against crucial metrics for benchmarking and competitor analysis.

Boolean search

Boolean search isn’t for every brand. If your company name isn’t a common or ambiguous word (think Apple or Tesla), you’ll be just fine by simply feeding your brand name to the tool.

However, social listening has plenty of benefits beyond brand monitoring: from lead generation and PR, to doing research for your content strategy, this is where Boolean search comes in handy. It’s an advanced search mode that uses Boolean logic, letting you create flexible queries of any complexity to make sure you only get relevant results, whatever your use case may be.

Alert settings

Pricing

Awario offers a free 7-day trial. Pricing starts at $ 29/mo for the Starter plan (with 3 topics to monitor and 30,000 mentions/mo) and goes up to $ 299/mo for Enterprise. 

2. TweetDeck

Top Four social listening tools for 2020 and why they're great - Tweet Deck

Although TweetDeck isn’t a specialized social media monitoring tool, it definitely deserves a place on this list.

First of all, TweetDeck is free. Second, it lets you run Twitter searches using its powerful filters. And third, it combines the search functionality with everything else you’ll need to manage your Twitter presence.

Monitoring and scheduling in one tool

TweetDeck lets you schedule tweets, manage your DMs, and track mentions of your company on the network. You can set up as many searches as you need and reply to tweets right from the dashboard by connecting your Twitter account to the app.

Customizable column layout

Another great thing about TweetDeck is its column layout where you get to choose what each column shows. For instance, you could have your Twitter feed in one column, your DMs in another, and your social listening search in yet another one.

Pricing

TweetDeck is free.

3. Talkwalker

Top Four social listening tools for 2020 and why they're great - Talkwalker

Talkwalker is an excellent social listening tool for digital agencies. The software collects the latest mentions of your brand and offers detailed analytics on your social media presence.

The tool’s social media coverage is pretty impressive, on top of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, the platform also monitors Flickr and Pinterest. 

Demographic analysis

In addition to monitoring mentions, Talkwalker will give you insights on people who mention you, including your audience’s gender, age, interests, and geography.

Image recognition

Talkwalker’s Enterprise plan offers an ability to monitor images and videos, this way you’ll be notified whenever your logo appears in an Instagram photo or YouTube video. 

Pricing

Pricing starts at $ 9,600/year for 10,000 mentions/mo. 

4. Mention

Top Four social listening tools for 2020 and why they're great - Mention

Mention is a social media tool that’s primarily geared towards agencies and big brands, although they do offer plans for smaller businesses. Mention’s focus is on real-time monitoring – if you sign up and create an alert, you’ll only see mentions from the last 24 hours. Historical data is available under custom plans.

API access

For businesses that like to have their analytics in one place, Mention offers API access, letting you integrate it into your own tools. If you’re not into coding, Mention offers an integration with Zapier, letting you automatically send mentions to a Google Spreadsheet, set up Slack notifications, and more.

Influencer marketing

In addition to social media monitoring, Mention lets you search for industry influencers across Twitter and Instagram; on top of that, it finds influential websites that you can partner with or guest post on. 

Pricing

Mention’s pricing starts at $ 29/mo for its basic Solo plan, which lets you monitor one topic. For bigger brands, the app offers custom plans which start at $ 600/mo.

Conclusion

That’s our list of the best social media monitoring tools for the coming year. Each of them has its own unique pros, so I do hope you’ve found one that’s a perfect fit for your use case and budget.

This is a sponsored post from Awario. Awario is a social listening and analytics platform trusted by over 5,000 companies worldwide. The tool gives brands access to meaningful insights on their customers, industry, and competitors through real-time social media and web monitoring. Awario monitors social media networks, news websites, blogs, and the rest of the web in real time, crawling over 13 billion pages daily to ensure you never miss important conversations that spark out online.

The post Top four social listening tools for 2020 and why they’re great appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Five great tools to improve PPC ads

August 24, 2019 No Comments

Every digital marketer wants to reach the top position on the search engine results. However, if you’ve recently launched a new website or your niche is saturated, starting with paid search ads sounds like a good idea.

Strategically created PPC campaigns can drive leads, sales or sign-ups to your websites. You know what? In fact, businesses earn an average of $ 8 for every dollar they spend on Google Ads.

Optimizing PPC campaigns is not easy, but it’s very powerful if you do it properly. Just like SEO, it is essential to conduct extensive keyword research, optimize ad copy, and design high-converting landing pages.

Fortunately, there are a lot of effective PPC tools that will help you analyze your competitors’ PPC strategies, figure out tricks in their campaigns, and improve your PPC campaigns.

If you are ready to take an evolutionary leap in your PPC advertising, take a look at my list of five amazing tools to save you time, give you crucial insights, and raise money for your business.

Five tools to improve PPC ads

1. WordStream Advisor: Streamline your PPC campaigns at scale

WordStream offers a pretty neat tool that is targeted to small and medium-sized business owners who want to manage their PPC campaigns across advertising platforms properly. The tool can integrate with different PPC channels like Google Ads, Facebook, Bing, and Instagram.

One of the best features is the 20-Minute Work Week, a workflow that includes 9 items to help you improve the overall PPC process. It will analyze everything: get suggestions for ad budget and ad changes, identify valuable and negative keywords, split up ad groups, and create reports around conversion and call data. You can read more about it here.

wordstream tool ppc

The true worth of WordStream is the fact that they adapt and integrate all of the changes and upgrades when it comes to Google and its algorithm updates. So, you don’t need to constantly check them.

Cost: Free trial for 7 days, paid plans start at $ 299/month for 3-month plans.

2. SE Ranking: Comprehensive keyword and competitor analysis

SE Ranking PPC research tool focuses on keyword research, competitor analysis, and advertising campaign planning. When researching competitors on SE Ranking, you can enter your domain to find a list of websites that compete with you in paid search.

You can also find which keywords they are using, which ads drive the most traffic, how they rank in search engines, and how their ads look like in paid search. The tool shows competitor’s data like search volume, CPC, KEI, traffic cost, and a number of clicks.

Going to the “Adverts history” section, you can get visual graphs of the previous stats by time period, which displays position, monthly budget, and keywords. Having this information allows you to see all competitors’ keywords they have bid on in the past and figure out whether you should take a similar bidding strategy.

se ranking tool to improve ppc ads

You can easily export all the necessary information into an Excel file that you can share with your team. You can check it out in action here.

Cost: Paid plans start around $ 39 per month. SE Ranking provides a 14-day free trial and demo account.

3. Finteza: Conduct an impactful PPC analysis

Finteza is an advanced advertising analytics tool that shows you the exact percentage of high-quality and low-quality traffic coming to your website. The tool includes collection, processing, and instant data mapping through real-time charts and reports to give the most important information whenever you need it.

Finteza provides plenty of options to create, configure and target marketing campaigns for any website and instantly pull out detailed reports and statistics on clicks, impressions, and conversions of your ads.

finteza tool for ppc ads

You can also set up different conversion goals, and even use the retargeting option to display your optimized ads to the users who have performed a certain action on your website. The tool offers integrations with multiple CMS systems.

One of its biggest advantages is to track end-to-end user interaction. It means that the software provides data of all advertising platforms from which you purchase traffic and enables you to adapt them to individual conversions.

You can get the full list of Finteza’s features here.

Cost: The software offers a 30-day trial, and pricing starts at $ 4/month.

4. Unbounce: Build dedicated landing pages

Effective landing pages are crucial for the overall PPC process. At the very least, your ad will get them there, but conversions happen on landing pages. Creating a solid one with tools like Unbounce intended to simplify the whole process.

The tool includes a wide range of awesome features like A/B testing, dynamic text replacement, AMP landing pages, and real-time data dashboard. You can quickly change the text on your custom landing page to match what users are searching for, and split test them without touching a single line of code.

Unbounce offers over 100 high-converting templates for every type of landing page you need (sales pages, ebooks, events, products, webinar, etc.). It works with tons of in-app integrations and thousands more through Zapier.

Cost: Pricing starts at $ 79 per month, but you can try out a 14-day free trial.

5. Bannersnack: Display ad image creation and inspiration

The main purpose of advertising is to make people curious about your products. If you design banner ads that have interactive content, people are far more likely to click on them. One of the best solutions to do that is Bannersnack.

The tool is designed for advertising specialists to save their time and efforts on designing banners of different sizes. You can create both animated and static banners from scratch or select one of its high-quality templates created by professional designers and optimized by marketers.

bannersnack tool to improve ppc ads

One of its most convenient features is the ability to create the entire banner set on one toolbar within minutes. The banner maker is compatible with all major ad networks, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and social networks. One of the recent features is the option to create AMPHTML ads.

Cost: Freemium; paid plans start from $ 7 per month.

Wrap up

Using the right PPC tools, you can find out your competitors’ best performing keywords, ad copy information, and much more. They help you save a lot of time and efforts as you know what marketing strategies your competitors are using to get maximum results and reach.

What PPC tools do you use and love? Share your views in the comments below.

Irina Weber is Brand Manager at SE Ranking. She can be found on Twitter @irinaweber048.

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Search Engine Watch


Three tools providing actionable competitive research insight

July 2, 2019 No Comments

Spying on your competitors’ marketing efforts is one of the most efficient ways to come up with your our marketing campaigns, learn new tactics as well as predict the future of your niche.

The powerful driving source of any business is its competition. Competitors force us to move forward, implement changes and evolve.

I am not a big fan of competitive research unless you use the data right away to create your own marketing plan. Furthermore, I like plans that are pretty quickly turned into reality. I like action, so here are three competitive research tools that provide highly actionable insights:

1. Spy on your competitor’s traffic

Haven’t you wanted to know where exactly your competitors’ traffic and sales are coming from. Or how their landing pages convert? Or what are their best-performing keywords?

Nacho Analytics is a unique and innovative tool that will help you find answers to all the above questions and more. It uses its own database of “millions” of people who agreed to share their browsing history with the tool to help you spy on how they find and interact with your competitors’ pages.

Now, the most important part about the tool is that domain monitoring starts only when you add it to the tool. There’s no historical data available until you start monitoring any domain, so the earlier to add your competitors, the more data you’ll end up accumulating, with time.

Now, what sort of data is it?

Nacho Analytics looks exactly as Google Analytics, so you’ll see all the reports there. The difference is, there’s no tracking code to install and that’s not your site you are tracking, which sounds even too good to be true, only it’s both good and real. Some of the competitive insights you’ll be able to obtain include:

  • Traffic sources (including conversions, page engagement metrics, etc. for each)
  • Lead sources
  • Conversion funnel analysis

In essence, you can do the same things with anyone else’s data that you do with your own: You can explore traffic acquisition tactics, see real-time data, identify best-performing CTAs, and more.

Screenshot of monitoring competitor's traffic

You can also share any data with anyone for free, similarly to how it works inside Google Analytics.

Nacho Analytics cheapest package is $ 39 and it allows you to track one competitor. For $ 79 a month, you’ll be able to monitor five competitors of yours.

2. Spy on your competitor’s backlinks

Ok, this one isn’t new: Monitoring competitors’ backlink acquisition methods help you create your own link building strategy as well as learn what not to do and how to avoid penalties.

But until now that was a pretty expensive and time-consuming process. Unless it’s your own site you are investigating, you had to pay for link research tools. And if you were dealing with a successful competitor, you had to go through thousands of lines before realizing how to sort and filter them to make sense of the data.

Therefore, I was pretty excited to discover this new backlink checker tool by Neil Patel which is free, available for use without the need to register and extremely usable.

Simply copy-paste your competitor’s domain and the tool will generate the list of backlinks including:

  • The referring page title and URL
  • The target page URL
  • The link anchor text and type (text and image)

Now, there’s also a domain and link scores available but since I am not a fan of any link scoring (to put it mildly), I ignore those for the most part. Yet, if you come to think of those, you can actually use these numbers for sorting purposes. So, unless you miss a good link because of that, they might turn useful.

screenshot of monitoring competitor's back links

The advanced filtering is where the tool really shines. They make it so much easier to filter backlinks by identified patterns, including/excluding:

  • Keywords in the anchor text
  • Domains
  • Words in the URL

screenshot of exporting backlink reports in the Neil Patel backlinks tool

Finally, you can easily export the whole list in a CSV file to keep playing with the data.

Again, this tool is absolutely free, with no registration required.

3. Spy on your own missed keyword opportunities

This, again, is not such an innovative tactic but it’s the format and the tool that can make all the difference.

The best way to improve and diversify your rankings is to expand the list of keywords you are targeting, and the easiest way to discover new keywords is to see what your competitors are ranking for.

“Keyword gap” tactic is about identifying queries one or more of your competitors’ domains is ranking fairly high, while yours is nowhere to be found.

This Domain vs Domain tool takes this tactic to a new level:

  • It suggests competing domains for you to analyze
  • It generates a handy venn diagram showing how close the selected competitors are and how many more opportunities you can explore. The venn graphic is clickable allowing you to instantly load the keyword lists based on the overlap:

venn diagram showing the selected competitors' missed keyword opportunities

The tool also shows current rankings of each domain for each query, as well as its recent movement. The latter should be a signal for you to go ahead and check what they possibly did recently to see the ranking change.

The chart also shows Google search volume for each query. However, sadly, you cannot sort results by it. You can export the whole chart to a CSV or Excel file to obtain more sorting and filtering flexibility.

You can also select a search engine for the analysis which is a pretty amazing feature. I find it absolutely invaluable when clients are trying to enter a new market, especially the same-language market, like Google.ca or Google.co.uk

screenshot of selecting the region-wise domain to generate results

Being able which queries your competitors are ranking for in various versions of Google makes international SEO much easier and more predictable. There’s some more info on how to make the most of the feature.

The tool currently costs $ 19 per month but they are giving up on the cheapest plan this summer.

Which tools are you using to explore your competition and, more importantly, make use of the data? Please share in the comments!

Ann Smarty is the Brand and Community Manager at InternetMarketingNinjas.com. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.

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Search Engine Watch


Five tools for audience research on a tiny budget

April 9, 2019 No Comments

When starting out a digital marketing program, you might not yet have a lot of internal data that helps you understand your target consumer. You might also have smaller budgets that do not allow for a large amount of audience research.

So do you start throwing darts with your marketing? No way.

It is critical to understand your target consumer to expand your audiences and segment them intelligently to engage them with effective messaging and creatives. Even at a limited budget, you have a few tools that can help you understand your target audience and the audience that you want to reach. We will walk through a few of these tools in further detail below.

Five tools for audience research on a budget

Tool #1 – In-platform insights (LinkedIn)

If you already have a LinkedIn Ads account, you have a great place to gain insights on your target consumer, especially if you are a B2B lead generation business.

In order to pull data on your target market, you must place the LinkedIn insight tag on your site.

Once the tag has been placed, you will be able to start pulling audience data, which can be found on the website demographics tab. The insights provided include location, country, job function, job title, company, company industry, job seniority, and company size. You can look at the website as a whole or view specific pages on the site by creating website audiences. You can also compare the different audiences that you have created.

Screenshot of LinkedIn insights

Tool #2 – In-platform insights (Facebook)

Facebook’s Audience Insights tool allows you to gain more information about the audience interacting with your page. It also shows you the people interested in your competitors’ pages.

You can see a range of information about people currently interacting with your page by selecting “People connected to your page.”

To find out information about the users interacting with competitor pages, select “Interests” and type the competitor page or pages. The information that you can view includes age and gender, relationship status, education level, job title, page likes, location (cities, countries, and languages), and device used.

Screenshot of the "Insights" tab on Facebook Audience Insights

Tool #3 – In-platform insights (Google Customer Match)

Google Customer Match is a great way to get insights on your customers if you have not yet run paid search or social campaigns.

You can load in a customer email list and see data on your customers to include details like gender, age, parental status, location, and relevant Google Audiences (in-market audiences and affinity audiences). These are great options to layer onto your campaigns to gain more data and potentially bid up on these users or to target and bid in a separate campaign to stay competitive on broader terms that might be too expensive.

Screenshot of insights gained from Google Customer Match

Tool #4 – External insights (competitor research)

There are a few tools that help you conduct competitor research in paid search and paid social outside of the engines and internal data sources.

SEMrush and SpyFu are great for understanding what search queries you are showing up for organically. These tools also allow you to do some competitive research to see what keywords competitors are bidding for, their ad copy, and the search queries they are showing up for organically.

All of these will help you understand how your target consumer is interacting with your brand on the SERP.

MOAT and AdEspresso are great tools to gain insights into how your competition portrays their brand on the Google Display Network (GDN) and Facebook. These tools will show you the ads that are currently running on GDN and Facebook, allowing you to further understand messaging and offers that are being used.

Tool #5 – Internal data sources

There might not be a large amount of data in your CRM system, but you can still glean customer insights.

Consider breaking down your data into different segments, including top customers, disqualified leads, highest AOV customers, and highest lifetime value customers. Once you define those segments, you can identify your most-desirable and least-desirable customer groups and bid/target accordingly.

Conclusion

Whether you’re just starting a digital marketing program or want to take a step back to understand your target audience without the benefit of a big budget, you have options. Dig into the areas defined in this post, and make sure that however you’re segmenting your audiences, you’re creating ads and messaging that most precisely speak to those segments.

Lauren Crain is a Client Services Lead in 3Q Digital’s SMB division, 3Q Incubate.

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Search Engine Watch


7 social media monitoring tools to check out in 2019

February 5, 2019 No Comments

The beginning of a new year is as good a reason as any other to try something new: a different lifestyle, a new hobby, a brand new marketing strategy.

And, of course, a new tool, since it’s both exciting and rewarding to discover awesome software that helps you deal with work and, sometimes, with life as well.

This is a list of social media monitoring/listening tools you should check out next year.

Some of them have existed for a while, some are new and fresh on the market.

But all of them are worth trying out and using in your marketing tool set (if social monitoring is in your marketing strategy at all, as it should be). So let’s start:

Which social media monitoring tools should you check out this year?

1. Awario

awario dashboard, a social media monitoring tool

Awario collects mentions of your keywords from a large range of sources (that keeps getting larger).

It monitors all major social media platforms, Reddit and other forums, news sites and blogs, and the Web.

It works in real-time: whenever your keyword is mentioned, it will immediately appear in your mention feed, and you’ll be able to check it at any point and reply to the mention straight from the dashboard. All reviews, complaints, questions and comments can be dealt with as quickly as you like.

Awario also does its fair deal of analysis. It analyses the growth of mentions, their Reach (how many people do mentions reach), its sentiment (a percentage of positive, negative, and neutral mentions), mentions’ locations, languages, and sources.

You can also generate reports on mentions’ statistics, compare analytics with your competitors, and see your industry influencers.

One of the features that makes Awario stand out is Awario Leads – a recent addition made specifically for finding hot leads online. It brings surprisingly good results and can properly transform the way you sell!

Price: Starts with $ 29/mo. You can also sign up for a free 14-day trial.

2. Mention

mention dashboard, a social media monitoring tool

Mention is one of the oldest and tried out social media monitoring tools. The French company had the time to mature, discover what the users need, and make sure it delivers the best possible results.

Its main goal is real-time search: you get the results from the past 24 hours after setting up an alert. Historical data is only available on request.

Mention is a good choice for large companies: it monitors all main sources, lets you tag and organize mentions, build your own custom reports and export them in PDF and CSV.

There’s even an automated reports feature: they update you on what’s happening with your alerts on a regular basis. The tool also finds influencers in your industry, reveals their interests, locations, and follower count, and makes it easy to jump into influencer marketing.

Mention is integrated with Slack and Zapier which makes marketing workflow smooth and simple.

Price: Starts with $ 29/mo. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial.

3. Brand24

brand24, a social media monitoring tool

Brand24 is a solid social media monitoring tool for small and medium-sized businesses.

It has existed for a while on the Polish market, but focused on the English-speaking part of the world fairly recently. It monitors Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Reddit, YouTube, Instagram, the web and saves historical data for up to 12 months.

Similarly to Awario and Mention, Brand24 filters by countries and languages, provides mentions’ statistics, and Influencer reports. However, reports aren’t white-label and data export is only allowed in the Premium plan.

Brand24 allows multi-user access for up to 99 users, which is great for large social media marketing teams.

Moreover, they have Slack integration and a mobile app, making social media monitoring a process that anyone from the team can do at any point of their day.

Price: Starts with $ 49/mo. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial.

4. TweetDeck

tweetdeck dashboard, a social media monitoring tool

TweetDeck isn’t quite on the same level as the tools mentioned before, as it only just monitors Twitter.

But that’s fair, since it’s a tool By Twitter for Twitter. The tool doesn’t stop at monitoring: you can also schedule posts for Twitter and look at Twitter analytics.

Basically, it’s a handy tool if Twitter is your preferred marketing channel and the one you want to keep an eye on. After all, it often makes sense: most social media crises happen there, and most brands interact with customers on exactly this social media platform.

Price: Free. Sign up with your Twitter account.

5. Keyhole

keyhole dashboard, a social media monitoring tool

Keyhole is a tool that combines a real TweetDeck and a hypothetical TweetDeck for Instagram.

Keyhole does social listening for these two platforms and analyzes the mentions found. It also does automated posting on Twitter and Instagram. Besides these two platforms, Keyhole monitors blogs and news sites.

What Keyhole does especially well is reports. Clear, customizable, and embeddable reports include growth rates, engagement metrics, historical data, social media influencers, and sentiment analysis. You’ve got access to all kinds of presentation forms: clouds, graphs, charts, maps, and so on. It’s a delight for both users and clients.

Price: Starts with $ 199/mo. Sign up for a free 7-day trial.

6. Brandwatch

brandwatch dashboard, a social media monitoring tool

Brandwatch is a tool made for marketing departments and social media marketing teams that you might find in big corporations. It does social listening across all platforms, blogs, forums, and the web.

It mostly stands out due to its social media analytics and reporting features. Brandwatch collects not only its own social listening data, but also other kinds of data from Hootsuite, Buzzsumo, and Google Analytics.

As a result, you get demographic and psychographic data about your audience, their location and languages, trending topics in your niche, robust sentiment analysis, and all other information you might need to do comprehensive market research.

You also get dashboards that can be exported into customizable PowerPoint presentations.

Price: Starts with $ 500/mo. There’s no free trial, but you can book a demo here.

7. Talkwalker

talkwalker dashboard, a social media monitoring tool

Talkwalker is another social media monitoring tool that’s made mostly for agencies.

It monitors even niche social media platforms, such as Flickr, Pinterest, Foursquare, SoundCloud, Twitch, and so on, in addition, of course, to all the main ones, such as blogs, forums, news sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. It stands out for the ability to analyze images (e.g., find all photos with your logo).

Talkwalker is integrated with Google Analytics and analyses age, gender, occupation, location, languages; identifies main content themes and mentions’ sentiment.

Just as Brandwatch, Talkwalker is meant to work with great amounts of data rather than with specific mentions, and its main uses are market research and reputation management.

Price: Freemium, paid plans start with $ 700/mo. Start for free here.

Conclusion

So here you go: you’ve got a sample of the best social media monitoring tools for every kind of budget and every kind of social listening goals: from customer service to lead generation and extensive market research. Go ahead and start the year with a new tool that is best for you and your business!

Read next:

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SEO tips, tools, and how to’s: Best of 2018

December 29, 2018 No Comments

It’s that time of the year again: reflecting on the year that’s past as we prepare for 2019 lurking around the corner. In this article, we have a roundup of some of our fan favorite pieces from 2018 on SEO.

From how to’s to tips to tools, these were some of our highlights from the past year. SEW spark notes, if you will.

If you missed these pieces throughout the year, they’ll be worth a read. And if you’ve already read them, never hurts to refresh!

On Monday, we’ll have a roundup of our top articles on search industry news and trends.

1. How to force Google to recrawl your website

If you have launched a new website, updated a single page on your existing domain, or altered many pages and/or the structure of your site, you will likely want Google to display your latest content in its SERPs.

While Google’s crawlers are obviously pretty good at their job — indexing countless new pages simply from natural traffic and links from around the web — it never hurts to give Googlebot a little assistance.

In this article, we look at a few ways to alert Google’s crawlers to new URLs on your site.

2. How to set up event tracking in Google Analytics

Because one can never have enough Google Analytics insight, right?

One of the most useful features in GA, event tracking lets you capture all kinds of information about how people behave on your site.

In this article, we go step by step through two different ways you can set up event tracking: first, by adding the code manually, and second, by using Google Tag Manager.

This is a great tutorial for anyone looking to familiarize themselves with the task.

3. A quick and easy guide to meta tags in SEO

Meta tags help search engines and website visitors determine what the content of your page is about. 

They’re placed in the <head> section of a HTML document and need to be coded into your CMS. Depending on the platform you use, this can be quite less intense than it sounds.

Many “out of the box” solutions provide extremely user-friendly, labelled sections such as “meta description” calling your attention to exactly what goes where.

In this article, we take a look at why meta tags are important, along with the six main types of meta tags to focus on for SEO.

4. An SEO’s survival guide to Single Page Applications (SPAs)

For anyone who’s ever had questions about what SEOs should do with Single Page Applications (SPAs), this article is for you. Long, thorough, entertaining, and full of resources.

We start out looking at how the popularity of SPAs, Angular, and React have spiked in the last several years. Many developers eagerly embrace JavaScript for website development — and while that may have been rather inconsiderate of SEO ease (what else is new), it seems JS really is here to stay.

This article is bit of a coming to terms with that reality, accepting SPAs as part of our SEO future, and even dipping our toes in, if you will.

We look at what developers like about JS, how it was never intended for web page content delivery, common SEO problems of SPAs, and a host of other questions you might be asking.

Finally, we end with eleven recommendations for further reading — really, this could become the whole rest of your holiday break — on how Google treats SPAs, core principles of SEO for JS and for SPAs, and more information than you could want.

5. How to check your Domain Authority: 4 tools to use

Domain Authority (DA) serves as a handy heuristic in the SEO industry. It helps tell us how likely a site is to rank for specific keywords, based on the SEO authority it holds.

Many SEOs use Domain Authority to sense-check the quality of their inbound links and to understand how these are affecting their own’s site’s SEO health.

In this article, we round up some of the best ways to check out domain authority. We look at what factors go into DA, and how these tools go about calculating it.

‘Domain Authority’ was devised by Moz and they have naturally taken ownership of this name. Their suite of tools (some of which are discussed in this article) will reveal the authority of particular domains, but dozens of other free tools use Moz’s API to show these scores too.

6. 15 actionable SEO tips to improve your search rankings

This is another quite popular deep dive into SEO tips. We know “improving search rankings” gets a lot of fluff, but this is not that.

Here, we look closely at what makes RankBrain tick, and 15 ways to use that to your fancy.

Sections cover tips around optimizing keywords, optimizing title tags, optimizing descriptions, and reducing bounce rates and dwell times. Fun fact: research by HubSpot and Outbrain found that titles with brackets performed 33 percent better than titles without.

Questions about how to add LSI keywords? How long should long-form content really be? Benefits of long-tail vs medium size keywords? How much difference in clicks will a few characters too long in a headline actually make? All of that and much more (along with lots of screenshots) here.

7. 30 ways to market your online business for free

This article is a roundup of exactly what it sounds like — 30 ways to market your online business for free. It covers everything from emails to social media, from Google Analytics to Search Console, from forums to guest posting, from metadata to Schema.org.

While a few of the ways could be updated — posting to Google+, for instance, might be less helpful anymore — the list still provides some hefty inspiration to anyone needing a little boost of ideas for what to do online.

8. Four tools to discover and optimize for related keywords

This was a quite recent article that has soared. As we know, for SEO these days we need content that includes related concepts, satisfies intent, and provides value. The days of exact keyword matching are far behind us.

In this article, we have four great tools to use when optimizing for related keywords — and of course, how to use them.

For instance, the first tool in the list is TextOptimizer. It takes a term you give it, looks at the Google search results page, extracts snippets, and applies semantic analysis.

With that, it ouputs a list of all the related topics, terms, and concepts that form your topic cluster. From that cluster, it recommends you choose 15-25 of the words for a higher rank.

9. How to optimize your Google My Business listing

Lest we forget: local search.

For those looking to rank higher in searches tied to a user’s location — i.e. users that might be quite near your store and itching to buy something — a Google My Business listing is an essential first step.

This article gives a how to guide for first setting up your listing, claiming and verifying your business, filling out the information, and adding photos. From there, we go over gathering reviews, posting updates, monitoring your profile, and tracking data from Insights.

Of all the many, many things to do in SEO, optimizing a Google My Business listing is very straightforward. It can have a profoundly positive effect on your SEO — a whole wealth of ranking opportunity up for grabs.

The post SEO tips, tools, and how to’s: Best of 2018 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Tools to Help You Survive the GDN Mobile App Changes

August 25, 2018 No Comments

This post is a follow up to our first episode of The PPC Newsflash, the new webinar series where we will bring you expert commentary on the newest updates in the PPC industry. See the video below, or if you’re multitasking and just want to listen, check out the podcast! Once upon a time, mobile […]

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Retail startup Bulletin is giving brands new tools to manage their in-store presence

July 10, 2018 No Comments

If you visited a Bulletin store, or bought products off its website, COO Ali Kriegsman said you might “pigeonhole” the company as a “feminist apparel brand” — a place to buy T-shirts and accessories with fun, provocative political slogans.

And yes, that is part of what draws consumers. But Kriegsman and her co-founder Alana Branston have also laid out their broader vision for a more flexible, WeWork-style approach to brick-and-mortar retail, one where brands essentially rent out shelf space in Bulletin stores.

So brands that may have only sold online can experiment with physical sales, while shoppers can purchase from a curated, constantly refreshed selection of brands and products.

“We’re building this more feminine retail company, but we are also part real estate company, and now, we are also part technology company,” Kriegsman said.

Bulletin Omni

The “now” that she’s referring to is the launch of Bulletin Omni, a software platform that allows brands to apply to sell with Bulletin, manage their inventory and track their sales.

Bulletin has actually been working on something like this since I first talked to the team last year, but according to Maggie Braine, the company’s director of product and brand experience, Omni only just reached the point where the company is ready to roll it out to all of the 150 brands it works with. She said that without it, the company has mostly relied on “emails, phone calls, and a very, very large Google Doc” to manage the process.

Braine gave me a quick walk-through of Omni, showing me how a brand could, with just a few clicks, add a new product to its offerings in a given store, confirm once that product has actually arrived and then see how each product is selling in each store.

That’s “unheard of” in traditional retail, she said, where “there’s very little transparency” once goods are purchased by retailers. With Omni, Braine said the goal is to give brands the same kinds of data around physical purchases that they have access to when they promote and sell their products through online channels.

She also said the team plans to introduce ways for in-store staff to offer feedback to the brands — like whether a product isn’t selling because it’s too expensive.

Bulletin Omni

Kriegsman said that if the software does well enough, she could imagine Bulletin becoming “a retail software destination,” where other companies buy the software to manage non-Bulletin stores.

Either way, she predicted that Omni will allow Bulletin itself to expand more quickly. The company currently has three New York City stores — one in SoHo, one in Williamsburg and a recently opened location near Union Square — with plans to open in additional cities later this year.


Startups – TechCrunch


The best alternative keyword research tools

May 1, 2018 No Comments

Keyword research is an integral part of any search engine optimization strategy – and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Keyword research takes up a significant chunk of time, and this is the case for many marketers, website owners and content creators. But it is something that has been expanding outward toward small and medium business owners as well, as having a fully optimized website is a necessity in running a company with any kind of online presence.

In the past, it was a matter of putting in the leg work – often for hours a day – to find the best keyword strategy. Today it is much simpler as more tools have been developed to make the job much faster and easier than ever before. Unfortunately, many of those tools are costly and over budget for anyone but enterprise level brands.

To keep things more affordable you can use alternative tools – often several to compensate – that are low cost, or even completely free. Here are some keyword research tools that you won’t believe don’t cost a cent.

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest can be used for both content research (and to help surpass any idea blocks) and keyword research tool. By entering a phrase or keyword, choosing the medium (i.e. web, images, Yahoo) and language preference, the platform will give you a list of related searches, along with search volume, CPC, and rate of competition by percentage.

For example, searching for “content marketing” gives 913 results with an overall volume of 18,100, a CPC of $ 23.25, and a competition rate of 0.58. Scrolling down gives you a breakdown of all the variants and how that changes, such as “affiliate ads” having a volume of 140, CPC of $ 4.70, and a competition rate of 0.36.

The tool requires no login and, unlike Keyword Planner (which shows a range), it shows the actual search volume and competition level.

Google Correlate

Everyone knows about Google Keyword Planner and probably uses it, as it is the most accurate keyword tool on the web if your aim is to target Google search.

However, you may not have heard about Google Correlate, which is a very helpful and effective tool that works by taking searches and correlating them with trends happening both on the web and out in the real world. It establishes patterns that you might have never realized existed, and even lets you compare based on time period – both long and short term.

Keyword.Guru

Do you want to know what is popular on all major search engines, and not just Google? Keyword.Guru is a great tool that takes live searches and lets you know the moment you start typing what suggestions it has, so you can see what people are searching for at any given time.

There aren’t any real metrics, but not everyone likes to deal with numbers. This tool is less technical than some, but more accessible if you just want to see what searches are most common without all the associated information, which can be overwhelming to even seasoned keyword researchers.

Soovle

Google, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, Wikipedia, and YouTube: what do they have in common? Soovle covers all of them, which makes it easier to get a good grasp of what is going on through multiple channels.

Being able to search YouTube for video content, Wikipedia for educational articles, and Amazon for sales info is especially helpful for getting a broader glimpse of the current state of search on the web. Soovle doesn’t generate any numbers for each keyword, but lets you quickly get a general idea of what interests your audience across a range of channels.

Akin to Keyword.Guru, it does it on the same page and with live search updates.

Bulk Keyword Suggest Tool

Bulk Keyword Suggest Tool allows you to dig into auto-suggest results from Bing, Amazon and YouTube. It was created by SEOchat and uses core terms to build a wider circle of phrases for use.

It is simple to use, easy to read and very fast to search. You can run a second or third bulk suggest and compare, then export your results or only specific ones based on how you click.

Bonus: Awesome freemium tools

Serpstat

Serpstat is a growth-hacking tool, and an effective at that. It has paid versions starting at $ 19 per month, allowing you to graduate to new levels as your business grows. However, there is also a free version that works with different iterations of Google based on country.

Serpstat calculates keyword difficulty for each search query, shows “special elements” (which inform us on search intent) and social media domains ranking for each term, and offers advanced filters to dig deep into each keyword list. It is also one of the few tools that also works on Yandex.

The graphs that are generated are simple bar graphs that effectively break things down and make it easy to understand at a glance.

WordStream

WordStream has a freemium model and its full featured tool is around $ 260 per month with a discount option to pay annually. However, it also has a free, limited version that I like to use because it allows you to specify industry if you wish.

That makes it a little bit easier if the key phrase you are working with it more general and could apply to unrelated fields. You can also specify based on country, which is great if you don’t want to automatically target a US audience (something that many tools do since it is the largest Google market).

Do you have a tool you feel deserves to be on this list? Let us know in the comments.

 

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Use Facebook Audience Insights Tools to Swipe Your Competitor’s Customers

March 1, 2018 No Comments

Explore how to use the Facebook Audience Insights tool to develop buyer personas, spy on your competitors and more!

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