Have you ever considered using social media as a way of getting more leads? If you’re already using social media for your business, either to get more engagement, more traffic to your website or to raise awareness of your brand, why not also make an extra effort to also get more leads out of it?

An infographic by Wishpond (at end of post) shows us just how useful social media can be when it comes to generating leads: for example, 77% of “B2C marketers say they have acquired a customer through Facebook”, “34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter and 20% have closed deals” and “LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook and Twitter”, with 77% of B2B marketers saying that they have acquired a customer through LinkedIn.

Social media also leads to more “indirect” leads, as it helps you get more traffic that you can try to convert once they get to your website, and studies have shown that most buyers (77%) are “more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media.”

Generating leads using social media doesn’t happen instantly, like all other social media results. It takes a bit of effort, and the bigger and better your social media profiles are, the better the chances that you will generate more leads.

1. Use social media to share valuable and useful content.

If you have a blog you can share your content on social media – the more valuable and useful this content is for your audience, the better your chances at getting more leads. It’s also important to share other people’s content, and not just yours, but make sure it is content that your audience will truly value and appreciate. By sharing your own useful articles and resources, you will establish yourself as a knowledgeable person, and ultimately one that people will want to hire for their insight. When writing articles, try to think of the type of content that your target audience will truly value and want to read more about.

2. Always be nice on social media and engage with your audience.

By constantly engaging with your audience and always being polite and nice (even when they don’t really deserve it!) you will create a great first impression to all potential leads. But, perhaps even more importantly, this way you will start building long-lasting relationships with your fans and followers that can later lead to more leads and conversions.

3. Add links to your website/s on your social media accounts.

This is a very important aspect if you want more social media leads. Simply write your website address in your profile descriptions or in the designated spaces so that interested people can easily access your website and lead to more conversions.

4. Don’t just wait for the leads to come to you – look for them yourself.

Occasionally, people will use social media to look for a specific business they need. This is especially the case with B2B, where a particular business requires some services and asks around on social media to find the best candidate for the job. Try to check related groups and communities regularly and make keyword searches to find anyone that could be interested in your services, and approach them.

5. Calls to action.

Don’t be afraid to sometimes be a little salesy on social media. Among your regular updates and engagement with other social media users, you can sometimes post updates where you advertise your services or products and their benefits, and encourage people to go to your website to see what you offer. Don’t go overboard however so as to not alienate your followers and so that they think that you are only using social media to sell, as this will have the opposite of the desired effect.

6. Advertising on social media.

Advertising on social media can help you find lots of quality leads. On Facebook, you can use the Promoted Posts feature to advertise your most valuable posts and drive more targeted traffic back to your website which can lead to more conversions. You can also use regular advertising, which usually helps raise traffic, and try to target your ads as much as possible. If you have any special offers running, advertise them on social media to reach your target audience. It’s always preferable to try to link back to landing pages in order to increase your conversion rate.

7. Be helpful.

The more influential and respected you become on social media, the more questions and inquiries you will get. Make sure to take the time to respond to these questions, and also let them know that if they need any more help with anything else, they should contact you for your help. By being helpful this way, you increase your chances of getting quality leads in the future – some of the people you’ve helped may come back to you when they need your help and this time even employ your services or buy your product. It will also help you become more influential on social media, and create a better name for yourself, one that people respect and go to whenever they need the help. It’s important to understand that it is not by any means about short-term gratification – it requires a lot of work, time invested, and patience to get the results you want.

8. Add a contact form to your Facebook Page.

This is easy to do and can lead to great results. Simply get one of the contact form apps for Facebook and install to your Page – try Contact Form and install it in seconds:


9. Hold a Google Hangout.Untitled6-1

With Google+’s Hangout feature, you can easily set up a webinar that can help you not only get more traffic, but also more quality leads. For example, you can set up a Hangout where you hold a webinar where you teach the viewers something useful that relates to your business, or even present one of your products or services. Your viewers will feel like they are getting something useful out of the Hangout and there will be more chances that they will go to your website and buy something from you! When you set up your Hangout, make sure to advertise across your social media profiles and consider sending an email to your list to help spread the word and get more viewers.

10. LinkedIn.

LinkedIn can be an amazing source of quality leads if used properly. Start by making sure your profile is complete with all the relevant information about your company, links to your websites, images and work history. Then find people you know and have worked with in the past to get Recommendations from them – this way you will be more influential on LinkedIn and your profile will look much better. Once your profile is all set up, start to engage with other users and build relationships with them before approaching them directly. Then start joining different relevant groups or even consider start one yourself. Make sure you engage with people in groups and try to look for question and enquiries that you can help with. There’s much more that you can do to get leads from LinkedIn, so much so that it requires it’s own article – so make sure to keep checking Socialable for a post on this in the very near future.

Are you using social media to generate leads? Have you been successful so far? And if so, what techniques do you use? Please leave your comments below!


The post 10 ways to generate leads using social media appeared first on Socialable.





Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Once you take the (big) leap of faith to starting a freelance career, growing your client base and expanding your network can be a real challenge. While there are plenty of job boards and websites designed specifically for freelancers, sometimes these boards can seem downright overwhelming.

Constantly submitting pitches blindly to prospective clients is not always the most effective use of your time, especially on job boards where you may never receive any feedback as to why your pitch didn’t make the cut. Besides marketing yourself through a stellar website and fantastic content, how else can you land your next gig?

While I’m not a freelancer, I am a solopreneur who understands the challenge of reaching new clients and expanding your business profile. One of the best tips I ever received from a fellow solopreneur was to focus on growing my network reach through social media. Sure, nearly all of us have a LinkedIn page that acts as our online resume.

But what about sites like Twitter or Instagram? Is it possible to grow your personal brand here and reach new clients? Absolutely. Here’s how freelancers can leverage the power of social media to connect with potential clients outside of LinkedIn:


As a popular micro-blogging platform, Twitter is still ground zero for cultivating your personal brand and amassing a following – as long as you’re willing to get a bit more personal about your daily life. Twitter is the place to showcase your thoughts, passions and interests that go beyond your business profile.

Start by nailing the basics: upload a professional headshot, build out a keyword-rich bio, add a website link to your profile and select a location. Even if you travel a lot for work, it’s still critical to indicate a home base, otherwise your Twitter profile could fall outside the parameters of a targeted search.

Next, position yourself as an expert resource on a specific subject matter you want to write more about, be that budget travel tips or B2B content marketing. Be genuine, inject a little humor, wit or sarcasm into your posts (in keeping with your personality), and be smart about who you follow or re-tweet.

Follow the publishers and publications for which you wish to write, and be smart about tagging them in posts or retweeting their content. Never pitch an editor directly over Twitter; a lengthy series of messages is unprofessional and can be downright annoying to receive. Instead, once you’ve built a basic relationship, send a direct message or shift the conversation to email.

Your tweets may only be 140 characters, but your profile and the type of content you post (and curate) will say a lot about your brand. Since tweets have a very short lifespan due to Twitter’s real-time newsfeed, remember you’ll need to invest consistent time and energy each day into maintaining an active presence.


While Twitter is great for freelance writers, it’s not always the best medium for showing off creative visual work. You may already be posting design work on Instagram as well as Facebook and Pinterest. By bringing more focus to your brand building efforts on Instagram (like these designers do), you can build your own design niche and expand your following.

Developing your brand as a graphic designer is all about leveraging social media sites like Instagram to tell a story through great work. Here’s the problem: most designers promote their work with a simple image post of their latest project and a few relevant hashtags. Get more mileage out of your posts by creating context and telling a story.

You don’t need to go overboard with a full-on case study, but do consider adding a line or two about your client’s problem and how you went about solving it. Showcase your work as it develops through the creative process: perhaps an initial pen-and-paper sketch followed by a rough design, and then the final product. Take your followers along for the creative journey and get them invested in the outcome.

Many freelancers I know wish they could be more creative in their day-to-day work, and have started using Instagram as an outlet for expressing this creativity. For example, let’s say most of your jobs are developing B2B logos. The opportunities for creativity are a bit more limited here than they would be with other clients.

Perhaps you enjoy sketching or typography; use Instagram to showcase these sketches and typeface designs. Doing so not only bolsters your reputation as a creative but also lets potential clients know that you’re open to a wide variety of projects beyond your immediate portfolio.

Bottom line: There’s nothing easy about breaking into a creative field and turning a side hustle into a full-time job. From broadcasting your authentic voice on Twitter to showcasing your creative eye on Instagram, leveraging the power of social media to curate content is key to successfully building out your personal brand.

Focus on one to two channels, post regularly to maintain an active presence, and take your followers along on your creative journey. You may be surprised by just how many folks start following your posts, commenting on your content, and even reaching out for work opportunities.

Picture Perfect: 4 Steps to Building Powerful Links With Images


Written by Neil Patel on September 8, 2015

The things that go into a healthy diet, also go into a healthy backlink profile.

A healthy diet requires moderation – eating a bit of diverse types of foods.

Links are no different. You want people to link to you for all sorts of reasons, and you need to create different types of content to give them the chance to:

  • your content
  • case studies
  • product reviews
  • pictures

Images are among the most important parts of a link building strategy that are often ignored.

But that’s a mistake – the Internet is increasingly becoming focused on visual content.

In a study of 100 million articles, Buzzsumo and Okdork found that infographics (one type of image) were the most shareable type of content by a decent margin:


Anyone who’s familiar with Quick Sprout know how important infographics were in building the site’s traffic.

While they’re not quite as effective as they used to be, infographics can still be effective when used as link-bait.

But don’t limit yourself to just infographics, there are many types of images that you can make to get high quality backlinks pointing to your site.

These will drive immediate traffic, but also help you drive consistent organic search traffic for years to come.

Even if you have no design talent at all, you can still build links with images. You’ll probably just have to outsource the image creation part of the process.

And I’m going to show you how to do it.

To build links from images there are only 4 steps:

  • Step 1: Create an image that people love
  • Step 2: Do some initial promotion
  • Step 3: Get your content in front of linkers
  • Step 4: Get bonus links from people using your images

I’m going to break down how to each and every step in this post. 

What makes an image worth linking to?

Am I making this too complicated?

Why not just take a picture of your cat and ask people to link to you?

Obviously, a picture of a cat is completely irrelevant for most niches, so you won’t actually get any links from it.

Some images are more linkable than others. That’s why some get hundreds of links, but most get 0 or just a few.

Images that get a lot of links can have any (or all) of the following properties:

  • new – No one wants to see another infographic about the basics of SEO. You need to come up with a new topic, or a new angle on an old topic that people can get intrigued about.
  • relevant – If your site is about gardening, produce images about gardening or related topics (e.g. landscaping) if you want links from related blogs.
  • funny – All images need to provide some sort of value. Some types of images, like comics, lend themselves to providing value through humor.


  • interesting – The most reliable way to provide value through an image is to show something interesting in it. It could be research, expert opinions, or information on a hot topic.
  • controversial – Images can communicate something in a simple way that would take thousands of words to say. That makes them perfect for summing up controversial topics that can stimulate discussion (and links!)
  • high quality – If you’re not a great artist, it’s almost always better to outsource your image creation. No one wants to link to an image that looks like it was made by a kid.

The more of those properties that you can include in your images, the better results you will get (in general).

Sometimes you won’t be able to include them all, and that’s fine. Just hit as many of them as you can.

Ready to get started now?

Let’s go…

Step 1: Create an image that people love

Without a great image, you can use the best promotional techniques in the world and still fail.

It’s a lot like content marketing. People only naturally link to great content, just like they only link to great images in most cases.

There are 2 approaches that you can take:

  • Image type first – You can pick your image type first, and then come up with a topic that fits it later.
  • Topic first – With this approach, you come up with an interesting topic in your niche, and then decide which type of image suits it best.

Both can work, without a doubt, but I’ll be going through the image type first option.

The topic first approach is a little more abstract. You’ll generally need a little experience with image link building before you start to see good content ideas that could work in image format (the second approach).

The top types of link building images: The first part of your image building campaign is to decide on which type of image(s) you will create.

Some types of images attract more links than others, and have different costs.

I do recommend testing many types of images to find out which ones produce the best return on investment (ROI).

For now, though, start by picking one of these proven types of images:

  • infographics – As the name implies, infographics convey information in a graphical format. They started really becoming popular around 2010, and are now relatively common, which reduces their effectiveness. If you’re going to make a high quality infographic, expect to spend $500-1,000 on a good designer.


  • comics – Entertainment is one of the main uses of images, and comics are a perfect format for that. While they’ve been around for decades in newspapers, they’re just starting to get more popular online in marketing circles. You can produce a small series of comics for the price of one or two infographics.


  • hand drawn pictures – Hand drawn pictures are not easy or cheap to make, and that’s why they work. As I shared in the $100,000 case study, we had some very good success using hand drawn pictures.


How to get an image created: There is no shortage of great artists out there these days looking for work, which is good for you and me.

The amount that you will have to pay depends on how good of an image you’re looking for (and how complex), as well as how much work you want to do yourself.

You might be able to get away with finding a foreign designer through a platform like Upwork, but you’ll basically have to specify everything, or you’ll get a sub-par product.

If you go with an experienced, top designer, you can be more confident that they’ll figure out the best way to lay out information.

Here are a few suggestions of places you can find designers:

  • dribbble.com – Look through top-notch artists and reach out to them to hire them.
  • 99designs – Have thousands of designers that specialize in web images. You’ll pay a premium, but you get dozens of designs to pick from.
  • Upwork – Post a job and you’ll get several (minimum) designers apply for the gig. Designers range from cheap foreign designers to high priced North American and European designers – Good for an unsure budget.
  • /r/forhire – A subreddit dedicated to hiring freelancers and hobbyists for small jobs. You can find a lot of talented, unexperienced designers that are hungry to work (usually cheaper than professional agencies and freelancers).

It doesn’t matter where you find a designer, just find one that meets your quality expectations and that you can afford in your budget.

Pick a topic that is likely to be linked to: Once you have a designer (or a plan to get one), the next thing you’ll need is a topic.

If you know your niche inside and out, you may be able to think of one off the top of your head.

However, in most cases, it’s better to follow a simple process for coming up with topic that people will be interested in.

If you find past images on your topic, you can see which ones are the most popular. These are obviously topics that your audience will be interested in. You can then make an image about the same topic from a different angle, or create one about a similar topic.

Even if you come up with a great idea off the top of your head, you should still research your competition to make sure that no one has done it in the same way as what you’re planning.

Some types of images are easier to search for than others. Since infographics are so popular now, they are the easiest to research, so let’s start with them.

Go to the Visual.ly gallery and search for your topic in the search top at the top:


If you’re just looking to see if someone has done an idea before, look at the search results.

If you’re looking to build off the most successful infographics, select “viewed” from the sort drop down menu:


This will show you infographics sorted by the most viewed, even though some may not be as relevant as you’d like.


These top few have several thousand views each, and that’s just on Visual.ly. They likely have many thousands more on other sites.

So, if your site was a motivation site (searched for “motivation”), you could get a few spin off ideas from these top results:

  • X Unusual Ways to Stay Creative
  • X Ways That Famous Authors Stayed Creative
  • Chances of Success: The Journey of Y – Pick a well-known name for Y (like Steve Jobs, or Elon Musk)
  • The Science of Motivation

Next up, head over to Pinterest. Create an account if you don’t have one already, as you’ll need that to be able to search.

Type in both your niche or topic, plus the type of image you’re interested in:


There’s no easy way to sort them, but look for the ones with the most pins and hearts in their descriptions, then base your ideas of these:


As I said before, if you’re searching for less popular types of images, you won’t get as many relevant results.

So if you searched for “motivation comics”, you’ll get other images that aren’t comics. But if you scroll down a bit, you’ll still find some good ones:


As a last resort, head to Google Images.

The big benefit of Google Images is that you’ll be able to find tons of images of any type on just about every topic:


The downside is that there’s no easy way to know which of these are more popular than others. (In general the most popular will be first, but this is far from always true.)

Gather research: Not all images will need much research and data, but this is the time to do it.

Unless your designer also offers to find supporting research, you’ll have to do it yourself.

If you’re new to this, I’ve gone over some researching techniques in my guide to writing a data-driven post.

Once you have what you need, hand it off to your designer.

Publish it: It may take a few rounds of edits, but your designer should hand you a polished image that’s ready to go get some links.

Start by publishing it on your website (you want to get credit for it first!).

I generally include a small intro before the image, which is good for readers and can help with search rankings:


If it’s a comic or other small picture, you may just want to put it in one of your upcoming posts (instead of making a separate post just for it).

At the bottom of the image include embed code to make it as easy as possible for someone to put the image (with a link) on their site.


Step 2: Generate initial buzz and links with communities

You’ve finished your image(s) at this point. All done, right?

Unless you have a very large following – no, you aren’t done.

You need to get your image in front of people who will like it. You can do this yourself, or hire a virtual assistant (VA) to do it for you.

It’s up to you how much time and resources you invest into the initial push, but more is almost always better.

Option #1 – submit it to relevant subreddits: Reddit is a gigantic content aggregator with millions of users.

For the most part, the users on Reddit hate typical content. However, they loveimages, which makes Reddit the perfect place to start.

Reddit is composed of different categories called subreddits (e.g. /r/comics is about comics). Refer to my beginner’s guide to Reddit if you’re not familiar with the site.

You’ll want to submit your image in at least a couple different subreddits.

Start by submitting it in image-based subreddits.

The comics subreddit has tens of thousands of active visitors, so if you create something with wide appeal, it could lead to tens or hundreds of thousands of views as it spreads:


In addition, there is also an infographic subreddit, although it is strangely not as popular as the comic subreddit:


Finally, there are a few other image based subreddits you may want to submit to:

Next up, you’ll want to submit it to any relevant subreddits.

For example, if you made a comic about motivation, you’d want to submit it to the largest motivation subreddit.


Option #2 – post it on niche-relevant forums: Forums will always be around, all full of people who are craving high quality content.

For the most part, you can simply start a new thread and post your image (assuming you’re an existing member already). If it’s a good image, it will be loved.

Here’s an infographic that was posted to start a thread on a gaming forum:


It’s a beautiful infographic, and went on to encourage 13 pages of replies and thousands of views:


There is one exception though: Most marketing forums hate when members do this (think forums like Warrior Forum). They know that you’re sharing it to get views and links and don’t like being “marketed to”. I’d skip this particular option if you’re in the marketing niche.

If you have a hand drawn image, it may not warrant it’s own thread.

What you can do in that case is post it in a reply when it’s relevant. People post images and videos all the time in replies to make a point:


Option #3 – submit it to infographic sites: There are tons of sites that consist solely of infographics. Their userbase loves them and are usually happy to share them as well.

That being said, most of these sites are worthless, and will only get a few (if any) views.

If you stick to the better known ones, you’re more likely to get hundreds or thousands of views. However, that still depends on getting your infographic featured.

Here are some of the most well known infographic submission sites:

If you want more, here’s a list of other infographic submission sites.

Some have a “submission” link in the header or footer, but most you will have to contact the team behind the site and ask to be included:


Option #4 – share it on social media with the hopes of going viral: Remember that graph I showed you at the start? Infographics, and images in general are highly viral.

All this means is that people like to share them (if they’re good). This also means that social media is a great place to get started.

In addition to sharing your infographic through your normal social media channels, you should also consider a bit of paid advertising.

Social advertising is relatively cheap, and for a few dollars you can get your infographic in front of a few hundred targeted viewers.

You’ve already put a few hundred into your image, it makes no sense to cheap out on the promotion side, which is arguably more important.

Images spread fast on Stumbleupon: In addition to your normal social channels, submit your image to Stumbleupon.

Create an account, and then click the drop down in the top right. This will bring up a menu with the “add a page” option that you should choose:


Add your image URL (or page URL), a category, and then tags and comments:


If you get a bit lucky and have a great image, you can get tens of thousands of views on your content in days, with hundreds of more shares, and often a few backlinks.

But if you want to remove a bit of the luck from the equation, you’ll need to useStumbleupon’s paid advertising.

It’s very simple to get up and running.

Create a new campaign, then enter your URL.


You get to choose your targeting options, so you can be sure that your image will be shown to the right people.

I suggest using “precise targeting” so that you can drill down to a specific interest to target.


As you choose your options, you’ll get to see how specific your campaign is in the right sidebar. It will also give you a few interest suggestions:


The more specific you are, the more it will cost per view, but you’ll also get way better results (viewers will be most interested in your images).

Finally, you need to set your budget.

I recommend starting small at just a few dollars a day. If it starts to catch on, you can consider bumping up your spending a bit:


You get to choose how much you pay per stumble. The more you pay, the more priority you get.

If you’re budget per day is small, start on the low side, because you don’t really need priority. If not enough people are seeing the image, then bump it up.

When you go back to you dashboard later, you can see the performance of the ad. The “earned” views are the natural ones that came because the paid viewers stumbled and shared your image:


If your image takes off, you can get the cost per view down to under a cent.

If you’re not seeing results after a few hundred paid views, either try different targeting options, or end the campaign.

Step 3: Efficient outreach produces results

Email outreach is arguably the best method for connecting with other website owners.

It’s part of almost every white hat SEO technique there is, including building links with images.

While these emails don’t always drive much traffic (although sometimes do), they do have a fairly high chance of resulting in a link.

Start by emailing your sources: When you want to get on an influencer’s good side, what do you do?

You feature them in an article (or other piece of content).

Well, you can do the same thing here.

While citing studies is always a good thing, try to find sources of information or inspiration for you picture from other blogs and writers.

You’ll notice in my infographics that I cite SEO blogs and articles written by marketing writers quite often:


Then, I can email them with a short message like this:

Subject: Thanks for your research

Hi (Name),

I just wanted to quickly say thanks for your great bit of research on (topic). I’m referring to this post you wrote – (URL).

I actually created an infographic around (topic), and used some of your research (cited of course!).

Thought you might be interested in seeing it, could I send you the link?


(Your name)

Say you had a custom picture drawn instead of an infographic. You could email someone with a similar message, but say that you “drew inspiration from one of your drawings” instead to make a connection.

Then, find people that have linked to similar images in your niche: Next up, we’re going to target blog owners.

There are 2 main ways that you can do this.

The first is to simple Google phrases like:

  • “Top (niche) blogs”
  • “Best (niche) blogs”
  • “(niche) sites”

From the results, you should be able to compile at least 50-100 blogs. Either collect the contact information yourself or have a VA do it.

Then, you can send them an email asking if they’d want to see your image (since it’s relevant to their work).

This approach can work, but you have to realize that blog owners are constantly being asked to look at infographics and other images, so it has a limited effectiveness.

The better approach, in my opinion, is to find sites that like including images like yours on their site.

Find similar images using the methods we used all the way back in step 1 to find a topic. Copy down the URL of each image.

On Google Images, click the image of the camera to perform a reverse image search.


Then, enter an image URL in the pop-up:


And then click search. You’ll hopefully get a long list of pages that have the picture on them (or a similar one):


For each of those results, you want to examine the page and find the author:


The first result published the infographic on its own page.

Your next step is to find the author’s contact information. Sometimes it will be on the site somewhere, other times you may have to search their name on Google and find their personal site. (Here’s how to find anyone’s email address.)

Once you’ve done this for all your images, you should be able to send at least a few hundred emails to likely linkers.

It will be similar to the last one, with a few small changes:

Subject: An (image type) about (topic)

Hi (Name),

I love that you cover (topic) on such a regular basis.

I noticed that you’ve published a few (topic) (type of image) in the past on your blog, and that your audience seemed to have liked them (judging by social shares).

I actually created an infographic around (topic), which I thought that you might enjoy.

Would you mind if I sent you the link? If you’re interested in sharing it with your audience, I’d be happy to write a custom intro for you.


(Your name)

That last little twist will make it easier for someone to say yes. Instead of having to write an intro themselves, you’ll do it for them. (That tip courtesy of Backlinko.)

Step 4: Get bonus links from people using your images

If you do everything up until now right, you should get at least a few thousand views and a few dozen links.

There will be variance. Sometimes an image will go viral, other times it will have a limited spread. That’s why you need to be consistent.

This final step happens a bit down the road from your initial promotional work.

Many times, sites will use images, but not link to it, either because they didn’t know they should, or just forgot.

If you can find people that have used your image, but haven’t linked to you, you can send them an email and politely ask them to include your link. It should have a decent success rate.

First, get a list of all the images on your site: It’s a good idea to keep a list of all the image URLs of images that you create and publish here on out.

If you have been publishing some high quality pictures in the past that you know other people have probably used, go back and compile a list of these image’s URLs.

If you have a large site, it might be worth investing in Screaming Frog SEO Spider or hiring a VA to do it.

With Screaming Frog, open up the spider configuration and make sure only “check images” is ticked.


Then, enter your URL and click “start” in the top bar:


This will give you a report of all the image URLs on your site.

Second, find sites that used your images without linking to your site: Next up, we’re going to use Google Images’ reverse search again.

Enter in your first image URL into the tool:


You will again get a list of all the pages that have your image on it. Copy down these URLs into a spreadsheet for later.

Now, repeat the search for all of your images.

Alternatively, use Image Raider instead: There’s a tool called Image Raider that was created specifically to find out which sites use your photo.

In the basic tool, just paste in your image URL and click “Check URLs”:


It will give you a list of domains, plus a list of the pages that use the image:


In addition, if you create an account, you can have it automatically check for new pages using your images periodically. This is incredibly useful if you will be creating many images in the future.


Finally, ask them for the link: Once you have your list of URLs that use your images, you need to visit each of them and see if they already link to your site. If they do, remove them from your list.

You should be left with a more manageable list of URLs that do not give you credit for your image.

Find their contact information and send them a quick email like this (it can be a template):

Subject: Image on (site) article

Hi (Name),

I stumbled across (site) today. More specifically, this article – (Article URL).

I noticed that you actually use an image from my site, so I wanted to say thanks for including that!

I would really appreciate it if you could add a link back to my site so that your readers know where it came from.

If you could, that’d be great. Here’s the HTML code to save you some time:

Image courtesy of <a href=”http://site.com”>(Site name)</a>


(Your Name)

If they don’t get back to you, don’t sweat it. There’s a lot of scraper sites and unmaintained sites that there’s nothing you can do about.

However, if you use this tactic, you’ll score a few extra high quality links on a regular basis.


Just like content, images are going to be a part of web content for the foreseeable future.

Image link building is not easy, but if you follow the steps in this post, you can pick up some great backlinks that will improve your search rankings across your site.

Finally, remember that image link building takes practice.

Expect to create a few images before you get the hang of it and start seeing solid results – don’t give up too soon.

I know that some of you have tried image link building in the past. It’d be great if you could leave a comment below and share your experience.

17 Mistakes You’re Making on Twitter and How To Fix Them

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Do you want to be a success on Twitter?

There are things that  you’re probably doing right now that are preventing you from getting more followers, causing people to unfollow you, or decreasing the number of clicks that you’re getting on your tweets.1

Or worse yet, people could be so annoyed with you that they’ve blocked you all together on Twitter.

I’ve been on Twitter for a while and I can tell you from experience what works and what doesn’t.

That’s a big part of the reason why I created the free guide to getting hundreds of Twitter followers, the safe and legal way.

In this blog post, I share with you 17 mistakes that you can make on Twitter and how you can fix them.

I’ve made some of the mistakes mentioned in this blog post and other’s I’ve read about on the best social media websites and blogs.

Avoiding these Twitter mistakes has helped me to get the more than 100,000 followers that I currently have (thank You Lord  :-D)

If you need help getting started with using Twitter, check out this blog post.

Mistake 1: You send an auto-DM to everyone that begins following you

The problem:  There’s software or web apps that you can use that will send everyone that begins to follow you a direct message (after you’ve auto-followed them back).

Those who use these apps will setup their Twitter account to send a direct message with a generic message asking their followers to visit their website or to buy their product.

The problem with this is that most people view this as spam.  As a result, the click-through ratio on the links in these DM’s are very low and it prevents people from building a relationship with you.

The solution:  Don’t auto-send a DM to anyone on Twitter.  Build relationships with people first to find out what their needs are.  Then if you think your website or product is going to be helpful, go ahead and share it with others.

The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.2

-Proverbs 28:20

Update:  After publishing this post, a few people told me that they experienced some success with sending auto direct messages to their new Twitter followers.

I still think that it would benefit you more in the long run to build a relationship first with others before asking them to do your call to action.

Nevertheless, feel free to experiment and measure your success if you like.

Mistake 2:  You post too much

The problem:  You love Twitter and you’re replying to tons of people and sending out lots of cool tweets that your followers find valuable.

The only problem is that you post too often and your tweets are not spaced out.

When your followers look at their timeline or their lists that you’re a member of, they see a flood of your tweets.

They don’t want to see every single public conversation/reply that you’re having and they’re not seeing enough of your cool tweets with your most valuable content.

I’ve been guilty of this myself and I found that a bunch of people unfollowed me when I reply and send all of my tweets one right after the other.

The Solution: Limit your tweets to no more than 2 per hour.

If you do a lot of public replies on Twitter, try posting one reply followed by one tweet that has valuable content for your followers so that they don’t get bored.

You can also spread out your tweets throughout the day without going to Twitter 5 million times.

All you have to do is use an app that will allow you to schedule your tweets in advanced.  My personal favorite is Hootsuite.

There is a free version and a paid version of Hootsuite.  For me personally, I need some of their premium features so I’ve signed up for their premium account.

Mistake 3:  You post too little

The problem:  Yes, not posting enough on Twitter is a Twitter sin although you might not know it.

If you aren’t posting multiple times a day, then you aren’t interacting with others and you aren’t driving traffic back to your website.

The solution:  You’re probably really busy and you don’t have time to visit Twitter multiple times a day to tweet.  I feel you.

So again, this is where a tool like Hootsuite comes into play.  Visit Hootsuite once a day and schedule multiple tweets for that day (at least 3).

If you know you’re going to be unavailable in advance, then you can schedule for the next day or even week.

Mistake 4:  The things you tweet have nothing to do with your target audience or niche

The problem:  In the guide that I’ll be releasing on how to get thousands of Twitter followers, I tell you in step 5 that in order for you to be a success on Twitter, you need to create a tweeting strategy.

If you’re just tweeting whatever you want whenever you want, people will stop following you and you’ll have a hard time getting new followers.


The solution:  Find out what your Twitter goals are.  Is it to drive traffic back to your website?  Connect with professionals in your industry? Sell a product?

Once you’ve done that, decide who your target audience is and create tweets that they’re going to find valuable.

Mistake 5: Your tweets are all about YOU

The problem:  All you ever tweet about is stuff about you, your website, or your products.  The problem with this is that people see it as selfish, self-centered, and boring.

The solution:  Tweet links and videos about other things that your followers are going to find valuable.  Re-tweet other people’s tweets and send other people traffic back to their sites.

The selfish shall be punished but the generous shall be rewarded, especially when it comes to social media. http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/tweet_button.420281f7dd393a35b17552fb11b499a9.en.html#_=1441198089670&count=horizontal&dnt=false&id=twitter-widget-i1441198089648251366&lang=en&original_referer=http%3A%2F%2Fnotashamedofthegospel.com%2Ftwitter%2Ffix-mistakes-on-twitter%2F&size=m&text=The%20selfish%20shall%20be%20punished%20but%20the%20generous%20shall%20be%20rewarded%2C%20especially%20when%20it%20comes%20to%20social%20media&type=share&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnotashamedofthegospel.com%2Ftwitter%2Ffix-mistakes-on-twitter%2F

Mistake 6: You post at the wrong times

The problem:  You send your tweets at times when your followers aren’t online.  As a result, your tweets don’t get clicked on and you don’t get re-tweeted.

The solution:  You need to find out when a majority of your followers are online and schedule your tweets for those times.  Luckily, there are a couple of services that can help.

I’ve used Tweroid and Fruji to help me find out when most of my followers are online.

I recommend trying both because Tweroid will give you detailed information organized by day of the week . On the other hand, Fruji will give you basic time zone information but it will give you other really useful information as well.

Mistake 7: You give bad apps access to your Twitter profile

spam apps

The problem:  Because Twitter is so darn popular, many apps and software that are created today can integrate with your Twitter account.

You have to authorize an app to have access to your Twitter account so that you can tweet from it.

The problem is that not all apps and software are created equally.  Some apps are bad and will post tweets and direct message on your behalf to your followers.

These tweets are considered spam and they can contain links to virus-infested websites.

The solution:  Only authorize reputable apps that want access to your Twitter profile.  How do you find out if an app has a good reputation?

Be familiar with the app’s website and take a look at its user base.  Spammy apps aren’t going to be very popular with people and they tend to have a shady element.

You’re going to need to use your discernment on this one.

If you need to remove an app’s access to your Twitter account, just follow these instructions here.

Mistake 8:  You’re not using any kind of metrics to measure how your tweets are doing

The problem: Yes you’re creating tweets, yes you’re interacting with others on Twitter, but how do you know if you’re tweets are doing well?

How do you know if people are clicking on your links?

You need to be able to measure how your tweets are doing so that you can make necessary adjustments when your tweets aren’t getting clicked on and so that you can keep doing the things that have been working for you.

The solution:  There are a number of free tools that can help you by giving you an inside look at how your tweets are doing.

  1. Hootsuite:  These guys have built-in reporting using their own Ow.ly system that they created.  Their reports are very insightful.
  2. Buffer App:  This is another tool that helps you to schedule your tweets and that gives you analytics that show you how your tweets are doing.
  3. Bit.ly:  This is a url shortening tool that will give you reporting if you use their free service.  You can integrate your Bit.ly account with a majority of third-party Twitter apps.

Mistake 9: Your Twitter handle is too long

The problem:  You have a Twitter handle that looks like this: @JohnSmith123XYZ.  When people want to re-tweet you by adding your Twitter name in their tweet, it causes them to go over their 140 character limit.

Many people get frustrated when they are over their 140 character limit and will just delete the tweet that was going to mention you.

The solution:  You have two choices and I recommend doing both:

  1. Change your Twitter name: you can easily do this by going into the settings and choosing something else with less characters.  Once you’ve done this, tweet out to your followers a few times throughout the week that your Twitter name has changed.
  2. Create Tweets with some padding:  That means that don’t ever create a tweet that takes up all 140 characters.  Give yourself room of at least 12 to 20 characters so that people can easily re-tweet you without them going over the 140 character limit

Mistake 10: You thank everyone & their cousin for following or re-tweeting you

The problem:  Every time you get a new follower, you send them a mention thanking them for the follow.  Every time someone re-tweets you, you thank them for the re-tweet.

The problem with overly doing this is that you fill up other people’s timeline with your thankyou’s and a majority of them don’t find that very valuable.

People will get tired of this very quickly and they can either unfollow you, block you, or just ignore your tweets all together.

thanking everyone on Twitter

The solution:  Thank people for the follows and the re-tweets sparingly.  Also, once you find out when a majority of your followers are online, schedule the thankyou’s in advance to go out during your non-peak times like I shared with you in mistake 6.

Mistake 11: Your tweet’s are timed too close together

The problem:  All of your tweets are sent out in just an hour or two throughout the day.

For example, let’s say that you send out 10 tweets, you send 6 of them at 12 pm during your lunch break and the remaining 4 at 7 pm after you eat dinner.

The problem with this is two-fold:

  1. You followers don’t wants to see a whole bunch of your tweets filling up their timeline at one time.  They’d rather see a variety.  Some people will unfollow you if you continue to do this.
  2. Your tweets don’t get enough exposure if you don’t schedule and space them out in advance to coincide with when your followers are online.

The solution:  Use Tweroid or Fruji to post your most valuable tweets when most of your followers are online.  Space them out as much as possible during that time period.  Also, read the solution to mistake 2.

Mistake 12: Every other word in your tweet is a hashtag

The problem:  If you’re not sure what a hashtag is, you can go to my guide on how to use Twitter where I’ve dedicated a section on hashtags.

The problem when using too many hashtags in your tweets is that they become harder to read.

Also, some people will stuff their tweets with hashtags hoping to get more exposure so they add keywords that aren’t really relevant to the tweet or the link that they’re including.

The solution:  If you want to include hashtags, limit your use to just 1 or 2 per tweet.  Your followers will thank you for it and you’ll get more re-tweets :-).

Mistake 13: Your tweets are filled with mentions (replies) and not enough content

The problem:  You reply to different people’s tweets and send them at the same time (ex. 5 tweets at 5 pm).  Or, you want to reply to someone but you need more than 140 characters so you create 3 or 4 tweets that go out after one another.

The problem with this is that your followers typically find this annoying because again, you’re stuffing their timelines with tweets that they don’t find valuable.

Also if you have a potential new follower who is considering following you and is looking at your tweets to see whether they should follow you or not, they’ll see a whole bunch of replies and many won’t follow you if you do this too often.

The solution:  There are several things you can do:

  1. Schedule your replies in advance using a tool like Hootsuite.
  2. If you have a lot of replies to people, schedule them during non-peak times.
  3. For every reply that you have, follow it up with a Tweet that has valuable content for your followers
  4. Use a service like Twitlonger that will help you to create a tweet without the 140 character limit.

Mistake 14: You tweet people asking them to follow you back

The problem:  You want someone to follow you so you send them a tweet that looks like this:

follow me on Twitter please

This makes you look desperate and it doesn’t put you in the best possible light.  People should follow you because they find your tweets valuable and because you’re a delight in conversation.

You shouldn’t have to tell anyone to follow you.

The solution:  Don’t ask anyone on Twitter to follow you back.  Instead, use my guide to gettingmore Twitter followers.

Mistake 15: You ask people to unfollow you when you don’t like their bio or tweets

The problem:  Someone started following you and you check out their Twitter page.  You don’t like their tweets, or their bio, or you don’t want them to view your tweets so you ask them to stop following you.

The solution:  Please don’t do this.  It’s quite impolite and offensive.

The whole Twitter culture revolves around following and unfollowing others and it’s as simple as that.

If you feel really strongly about that person that just followed you, use the block button to block that person.  I don’t even recommend this but it’s the next best option.

Mistake 16:  You send tweets asking influencers you don’t know to tweet your link

The problem:  You find someone that’s following you that has a large following and you send him or her a tweet asking them to tweet your link to their followers.

The problem with this is that influencers with large followings get tweets like this all the time.  Many of them just ignore these requests because they feel like you are using them for their influence.

The solution:  Build relationships with influencers first.  See first what you can do for them and not what they can do for you.  After that, if God opens up the doors for them to tweet your links, then it’s a win-win situation.

Mistake #17: You never engage your followers


The problem:  People like your tweets and so they reply to them.  Only you never reply back and you don’t keep the conversation going even it’s just a polity acknowledgement.

This is a good way to make your followers feel disengaged and like you don’t really care what they have to say.

The solution:  Reply back to other people’s replies when you can.

Once your Twitter following grows, you won’t be able to keep up with everyone that mentions you so you’re going to have to pick and choose.

Nevertheless, replying to some people is better than not replying to anyone at all.  Also, don’t forget to space out and schedule your replies so that your followers don’t just see a bunch of your conversations in their timelines.

Key Takeaway

Be a blessing to everyone that you can on Twitter.

The result will be that people will follow you, people will re-tweet you, and you’ll be blessed 100 times more in return.

Be others minded and do everything that you can to help your followers meet their Twitter goals and they in turn will help you to meet yours.


Peter Guirguis

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I’m the Technology and Social Media Manager of Calvary Chapel South Bay, a church in Gardena, California. My passion is to see people give their life to Christ both online and offline. I’ve created the free guide to getting thousands of Twitter followers to show ordinary people how to get extraordinary results on Twitter.

Advanced SEO: How To Easily Analyze Your Competitor’s Keywords

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Written by Neil Patel on September 1, 2015, Shares his deep insights to concentrated research

Competition can be scary, especially when it comes to SEO.

When trying to rank for a keyword, you might be going up against a junior intern, or you might be going up against an experienced SEO company.

Typically you will be competing with other SEOs around your own skill level, although that’s not always the case.

The good news is that, if you take the time to do comprehensive keyword competition analysis, you’ll be able to identify keywords that haven’t been targeted by the most skilled SEOs in your niche.

While it will take you a lot of time up front, it will save you much more in the long run.

Assuming you’re producing high quality content, you’ll have a much easier time getting it seen and getting it ranking highly on Google and other search engines.

You will need exponentially fewer backlinks, which will save you either a ton of time or money.

In truth, there are only a small amount of low competition keywords in a niche at any given time (new keywords pop-up as others disappear), but that’s all you need.

Ranking for just a handful of low volume, but low competition keywords will get your organic search traffic started. Traffic has a tendency to grow exponentially.


As you build your authority and trust with visitors and search engines, you’ll be able to start ranking for more competitive terms down the line without any major new investment.

I’m going to show you a comprehensive method of analyzing keywords to target. None of it is too complicated, but it is a lot of work. Be prepared to put it in now and it will save you effort in the long-term. 

Why no competition analysis is perfect

Before we get going, there’s something important that you need to learn.

Keyword competition analysis is an estimate of the competition for a keyword, but it’s not a science.

Just because a keyword appears to be easy, or easier than another keyword to rank for, doesn’t mean it will be easy to rank for in all cases.

Yes, competition analysis is very useful. It will give you a good idea of what you’re up against and where your opportunities are.

However, remember that your results won’t always be accurate. There are 2 main reasons for this.

First, no one knows what Google is thinking: While we understand which ranking factors are most important for the most part, we can’t exactly quantify them.

Your competition analysis is a reflection of how you think Google ranks sites. But even teams of very smart analysts have been unable to recreate the Google ranking algorithm.

This means that our competition analysis methodology isn’t 100% accurate.

In addition, Google constantly changes their algorithm (about 500 times per year).

So even if you’re able to perfectly predict the competition level for a keyword today, it might be a bit off in a few weeks or month.

Secondly, there’s a tradeoff: When doing keyword analysis, you will always face a tradeoff between efficiency and accuracy.

The more ranking factors that you try to take into account, the more resources (time and money) you will need to do your competition analysis.

If you only take into 1 or 2 ranking factors into account, you can do competition analysis quickly, but it won’t be too accurate. As you add more ranking factors into the equation, you start to get more accurate results, but it takes more time.

It’s up to you to decide on a good balance between efficiency and accuracy for your situation.

The most important SEO factors to consider

The main strategy behind keyword competition analysis is to look at how the top rankings fare when it comes to the most important SEO factors.

For example, one of the factors we will look at is the number of backlinks. If a page has 0 backlinks, it’s likely to be easier to beat than a page with 100 or 1,000 links.

When we do this for several factors, we are able to see if a keyword is “low competition” or “high competition.” Then, you can decide whether or not to target that keyword.

Our first step is to decide on which factors to consider in our competition analysis.

To do that, let’s turn to SearchMetrics 100 page report of the most important ranking factors.

This report’s data consists of over 100,000 different search engine result pages (SERPs). The team looked at different potential ranking factors to see if top ranked sites tended to score higher (in regards to these factors) than low ranking sites.

Below is an image excerpt of the factors with the highest correlations, which means that top sites tended to have the most of these factors:


One key thing to remember is that correlation does not equal causation.

What this means is that just because top ranked sites had a lot of Facebook likes and engagement, doesn’t mean that Facebook likes and engagement causes you to rank highly.

In fact, in that specific case, it’s more likely that it doesn’t. Sites that rank highly get more traffic, which likely leads to the boost in social sharing.

In addition, sites that have large social followings are usually large sites that already have a lot of domain authority, so they naturally rank higher.

Are any of those correlations useful?

Yes, because some are legitimately caused by the factor helping sites to rank better.

It’s our job, as SEOs, to test each factor individually and figure out which ones do and don’t help.

For years, we’ve known that backlinks help. However, Google has come out and stated that social signals do not affect rank in the past. Some case studies have seen temporary ranking increases from social signals, but it’s not a factor I would suggest focusing your attention on at this time.

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to look at the most important factors that are known to help pages rank. If you’d like to add more on top later in your own analysis, then you’re welcome to.

Factor #1 – Backlinks: When a site links to another site, it counts as a “vote” for the site being linked to. That’s nothing new. We know that backlinks are a key ranking factor, and they need to be part of any analysis.

However, we need to look at them on a few different levels, which is where it can get a bit tricky for beginners.

First, we need to consider that backlinks are important on both a page level (links to the exact page), and a domain level (total amount of links to all pages on the domain).

Second, we need to consider that not all links are created equally. Links can have different value based on which page they are located on.

To analyze backlinks, you need a backlink database tool. For a serious analysis, you’re going to need a paid plan to one of the best tools. I recommend Ahrefs or Majestic. They are by far the 2 most comprehensive backlink database tools.

When you want to analyze a specific page (from a SERP), you’ll simply plug it into the textbox on one of these tools.

As an example, let’s say that you saw my beginner’s guide to online marketing in a search result, and decided you wanted to see how hard it would be to outrank it.

Typing the URL into Majestic reveals that there are 232 domains that link to that specific page, and over 4,600 total backlinks from those domains.


That’s quite a bit for any single page.

In addition, you also need to check how strong the domain is in general. By switching the dropdown beside the URL, or changing the URL to the root domain, you can see all the links to Quick Sprout:


Just about 16,000 referring domains, and well over 1 million backlinks.

So that’s how you look at quantity, but how do you look at quality?

One high quality link is worth hundreds or thousands of low quality links, so it’s important to not just go by numbers.

You could examine the quality of each link individually. A high quality link is:

  • on a page that has a lot of links to it itself
  • relatively high up on the page
  • found naturally in the page’s text (surrounded by appropriate description)
  • is on a relevant page
  • is on a page without too many links (link power is divided by number of links)

In other words, quite a bit goes into it.

It would be impossible to evaluate this for every single link.

Luckily, link database tools have a pretty good solution for us. They algorithmically try to determine the quality of each link. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good.

On Ahrefs, every page and domain get a score:

  • URL rating: A score that represents the overall quality and quantity of links pointing to that specific URL, on a scale from 0-100.
  • Domain rating: A score that represents the overall quality and quantity of links pointing to anywhere on the domain, also on a scale from 0-100.

Majestic is slightly different. It uses 2 metrics:

  • Trust flow: A score purely based on the quality of links to the page you enter.
  • Citation flow: A score based on the quantity of links to the page you enter.

In general, citation flow will be a bit higher than trust flow, but if it’s more than about 1.5 times higher, it’s likely that the page has a lot of low quality links.

Instead of manually checking the quality of every link to a page, we’ll be using these metrics (or similar) for a quick check.

Factor #2 – Relevance: When it comes to search results, relevance is the most important factor. When someone searches for “yellow tables”, they will be disappointed unless they find a page about yellow tables.

A long time ago, relevance was mainly determined by having the exact keyword in the domain, title, and body of the page.

However, Google is now great at picking up synonyms, along with user intent.

So now, if a searcher types in “yellow tables”, Google knows that they probably want results where they can buy a table, not a fluff article about what a yellow table is. That’s user intent.

In addition, Google would also include synonyms for either yellow or table in the results. So you might see results for “golden tables” or “yellow stands.”

This is a factor that you will have to assess manually. I have not come across a reliable wide-source automated tool for this.

We can look at basic keyword density, but it’s very difficult to understand user intent and include the right synonyms without manually looking at a page.

Let’s walk through a quick example.

Pretend you were searching for:

“content promotional tactics”


Google will bold synonyms in meta descriptions and URLs. In this case, we see that Google knows that “content promotion strategies” means essentially the same thing as what we searched.

If we’re assessing the top few results for relevance, our main question is: “how well does this satisfy someone who searches for the keyword?”

If the answer is, “not very much”, you can probably outrank it.

So here’s the second result from that search:


This page has “50 promotional tactics”.

And while that’s fairly comprehensive, I feel that the quality could be improved. The picture above is of the first 2 tactics, which aren’t really promotional tactics at all.

They are also not very data-driven and there’s no clear cut examples or walkthroughs, which the visitor would probably appreciate.

Overall, it is relevant, but I think it could be improved on significantly.

If you come across a keyword where the first 3 results are basically perfect answers for the query, don’t bother trying to outrank them, it’s going to be very difficult. However, that’s also a rare situation.

Factor #3 – User satisfaction: This is related to relevance, but there are a few differences in how we will evaluate it.

It also needs to be done manually, but we can look at a few different factors to determine how much users typically like the page.

Since we can’t see things like bounce rate and time on page, we need to rely on public information.

First, we can start with how many social shares it has. A page that everyone loves will have a decent amount of social shares. So if we see a page with few shares (in niches where people aren’t embarrassed to share), we know that it’s probably not fully satisfying searchers.

On most sites, you can see the share count displayed somewhere prominent:


But if you can’t find the share count, use a share count tally tool.

Just type in the URL when prompted and submit it:


It will pull up the number of shares from the most popular networks:


The second place that we’re going to look is the comment section (if there is one).

If people are saying things like:

  • “Amazing post!”
  • “This changed my life”
  • “This is the best post on (topic) I’ve ever read”

Then they’re likely satisfied. On the other hand, if there are a lot of complaints or suggestions, most visitors probably left the page unsatisfied and went back to the search results.

Look for both the number of comments, and what’s in the comments themselves.


Factor #4 – Do you consider all your visitors?: Google has made it clear lately that it wants you to optimize your website for your visitors.

With the recent mobile-friendly update, and preference given to fast loading sites in search results, it’s clear that Google wants mobile friendly and fast pages in their results.

If the top results are not mobile-friendly and load slowly, it’s an indicator that Google has to rank a page that it doesn’t really want to. Unfortunately, there are no other pages of the same content quality, but that are faster and responsive. You could fix that.

This is another manual check, so you won’t need to do it for every search result. But it can be used as a final check before you make a decision to target or not target a keyword.

First, check if the page is mobile friendly by using Google’s own mobile-friendly test:


Put in the URL of the page and click analyze. It’s a simple pass and fail test.

Next, check site speed using a site speed tool like Gtmetrix. Paste in the URL and click “analyze.”


After a quick scan, you’ll get a performance report for the site. Pay special attention to the “Page Details” box:


In this case, the page isn’t slow, but it’s not fast either.

In general, a fast loading page loads in under 2 seconds and only has a few dozen requests. If you see a page that takes 4+ seconds to load, there’s a real opportunity to beat it.

Tools to help you do this faster

By now you might realize that it would be next to impossible to do a large scale keyword competition analysis without the help of some automation, which is where tools come in.

There are hundreds of tools out there to do this specific job, some better than others.

Most of them work similarly, so I’ll walk through a few so that you can understand how to use them, and how they work.

Tool #1 – Term Explorer: This tool can be used to find keywords, but also to analyze their competition, which is what I’ll focus on.

Your first option, once you create an account, is to run a bulk keyword job:


You enter one or more keywords, and it will give you a list of results anywhere from 1,000 to 90,000, depending on your account type and choice.


Once you run the job, you will get keyword results along with search volume data. You can easily filter the results according to keywords or search volume.


If you find a few keywords that you like (or many), you can check the box beside them, and then click the blue button at the top to send them to the keyword analyzer:


Alternatively, you can enter in keywords from other sources into the keyword analyzer directly.

You will get a similar report this time, but you will see an overall “difficulty” score from 1 to 10. This is based off the 3 categories to the right: relevancy, link strength, and trust.


A higher difficulty means that it’s more difficult to rank for the term. With this particular tool, a score under 3.5 or so is “easy”, while 3.5-5.0 is “normal”, and above that is difficult.

Tool #2 – KWfinder: This is another tool similar to Term Explorer. To generate keyword ideas, enter a seed keyword into the only box on the page:


It will quickly generate a list of keywords (I believe based on Google’s Keyword Planner).

You’ll also note that each keyword will have an “SEO” score beside it:


The scores range from 0-100 and are color coded (green is easy, red is hard). If a score isn’t showed by default, you will need to click the magnifying glass.

In addition, you can get a more detailed look at the competition behind any of the keywords.

If you click a keyword, the search results for that keyword will pop-up on the right. It shows data from Majestic (trust flow, citation flow), and shows you an SEO score for each search result.


The average score is the one you initially saw.

This is important because average scores can be skewed by one or two results. If there are some very low scored pages at the bottom of the first page (maybe they’re temporary), they could make the keyword look much easier than it really is.

Tool #3 – Moz Keyword Difficulty tool: A third tool for keyword competition analysis that you can use comes from Moz.

It’s one of the many tools that comes with a Moz Pro subscription.

Type in any keywords you’d like to analyze into the tool’s main text box.


It will bring up a quick report that shows you the keyword difficulty as a percent (maximum 100).

To get more detail, you can click the “view” button under the basic SERP report column:


The bottom section shows the same information as the top section, just in a bit more detail.

Note that the page authority and domain authority here come from Moz’s Open Site Explorer, which isn’t as reliable or complete as the other link databases we’ve looked at.

Tool #4 – Ahrefs Toolbar: This tool isn’t an automated competition checker. However, it can be used to quickly assess the strength of an actual SERP.

When you search for a term in Google, the toolbar will load a small bar under each result:


It shows link information from the Ahrefs database on a page and domain level. In particular, you can look at the URL rank (“UR”) and the domain rank (“DR”).

Step #1: Gather your keywords

Now that you have a good idea of what competition analysis consists of, and some of the tools that you can use to simplify the process, I want to walk you through, step-by-step, of how to actually do it.

Before you analyze the competition of keywords, you’ll need to gather a rather large list of them. It’s more efficient to do competition analysis in bulk.

Keyword research is an important skill by itself, and it’s something that you should spend some time learning before doing competition analysis. Here are some guides that will help fill in any gaps in your knowledge:

Try not to take the easy way out when you’re doing keyword research.

If you just plug in a popular keyword like “content marketing,” you’re going to get the exact same keyword list of thousands of SEOs before you.

Using some of the creative methods in those guides above, you can find “hidden” keywords that fewer people are targeting.

When less people are targeting a set of keywords, you’re more likely to find some low competition keywords ripe for the picking.

Step #2: Start filtering out keywords

Once you have a large list of keywords, it’s time to start assessing the competition of them.

Unless you have an experience eye (and even then it’s difficult), you’re not going to be able to reliably pick out low competition keywords without a thorough assessment.

This means you have 2 options:

  • a manual assessment: You could manually review all of your keywords. However, unless you have a few weeks of free time, this isn’t really feasible.
  • an automated/manual hybrid assessment (recommended): You can use tools to get started and find the highest competition keywords. Take these out of the results and then manually review the more promising keywords.

I would hope you’d pick the second option.

Run your keywords through a tool I showed you above (or similar tool) so that you can get an estimate of the competition:


It’s important to remember that this is just a quick estimate. There are many ways that the results can be skewed.

If you’re creating a ton of content, you might be able to just target all the lowest marked keywords, and then see which pages are ranking the easiest. However, most people need to be more selective.

You can typically check the box beside a keyword and save the selected ones to a private list. If not, save the most promising ones manually to a spreadsheet.

The idea here is to take out any keywords that are obviously going to be too difficult to target.

Step #3: Dig in deeper

By the end of that process, you should have a much smaller list of keywords. I recommend aiming for between 10 and 20% of what you initially started with.

Give the list a quick look over and take out any keywords that don’t make sense for your site.

Once you have a final list, the hard work begins.

Your tools have told you that every query you are left with is relatively easy to rank for based on the most common metrics, which is usually a combination of domain and trust authority.

Now, you get to see how easy they are to rank for from a user’s perspective.

For each keyword, search it in Google, but you need to make sure it isn’t personalized.

Go to “http://Google.com/ncr”, which is the global Google search (the “ncr” prevents redirection to your local Google). Make sure you’re in a private (or incognito) browser and you aren’t logged in to any Google account.


You can choose how many results to look at. I recommend starting with the top 3, and if you’re not sure if the keyword is low enough competition, continue with the next 5 to 7.

For each of the results for each keyword, you want to evaluate the following things:

  • how many (and what quality) backlinks point to the page
  • how many (and what quality) backlinks point to the domain
  • if I was a user who searched this keyword, would I be fully satisfied with this result?
  • does it load quickly?
  • is it mobile friendly?

You can also add in any other Google ranking factors to your analysis as you’d like, but it will take you more time.

Step #4: Make a decision

After you analyze each keyword, you have to decide if it’s worth going after or not.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic metric or tool that will help you this.

To make this decision, you need to first consider many factors:

  1. How strong is your domain? (How many links point to it, what’s its domain authority?)
  2. How easily can you get backlinks? (Do you have experience in SEO? Do you have a network of contacts to ask for links from?)
  3. What level of content can you produce? (Do you have the skills or financial situation to create the best content?)

At some point, the authority, trust, and relevance of the page you create for a particular keyword, needs to exceed all other results that you have examined.

The stronger your domain, the easier it is to rank.

The easier you can get quality backlinks, the easier it is to rank.

The bigger the budget you have for content, the easier it is to produce something that no one else can match. Not only does this make it easier to rank short term, it also makes it easier to stay there.

Based on these factors, you have to determine if a keyword is worth going after during your manual review.


Keyword competition analysis is not a science.

While you can get some information from a tool, you’re also going to have to apply some SEO expertise of your own to find low competition keywords.

This is going to take some practice and time. The good news is that you’ll save that time, and so much more, if you pick your keywords carefully.

The easier the keywords that you target are to rank for, the more consistent your results will be.

  1. Neil,Great job! I think there is no point reinventing the wheel. The best way to get more leads is to spy on your competitor. Afterall, it is said that if you want to travel to a place you have not been to before, the best thing to do is to ask those who are have gone there. Great job and very in-depth and apt for me,typical of Neil Patel.

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Twitter is possibly the most versatile social media network and since its rise to prominence less than a decade ago, it’s been used for any number of different things.

Using Twitter smartly and well can result in it truly being a fantastic tool for learning and other areas too. This is why it’s being used in the educational sphere by teachers and tutors increasingly. Amazing considering its 140 character limitation. So, let’s evaluate some of the ways educators are using Twitter for learning and the reasons why you should too.

Why Educators Should Use Twitter?

There are numerous reasons that Twitter should be used in and out of the classroom:Child-pic3

  • It allows teachers and students to connect personally
  • Interaction can be outside the classroom
  • It’s easy to differentiate learning for individuals
  • It provides the chance to link to other communities
  • It’s brief, to the point and so works well in an age where attention spans are often short

Some Innovative ways to Use Twitter for Learning

There are numerous ways that educators can use Twitter for learning and getting more from their lessons and here are a few.


The humble hashtag can be put to amazing use in the classroom. Simply create specific hashtags around lessons and all members of the class will be able to find and also add to the message thread. This allows students to participate, interact and broaden the educational discussion.

Of course, you can also help students enhance their own leaning by offering them hashtags to really great resources such as #TED or #Geography – plenty of interesting stuff there too.

Twihaiku and Language Learning

There are also numerous different sorts of language related games and learning on Twitter. Hashtags can be used to exchange micro reviews, create Twitter fiction or to even cite Tweets in academic papers as you can see here. Twihaiku’s are also a common part of the Twitter landscape.

Message Board

Twitter can also be used as a message board quite easily, informing students to different news and information. Whether it’s a reminder for a test or a cancelled class or tutoring session, Twitter can be very useful in this regard. A specified Twitter can be used to capture all the news, views and events in a school or on a course, class or campus – something that can make organisation a lot easier.

Great for Shy Students

The fact that Tweets are short in their length and also don’t involve some of the aspects of traditional communication means children that don’t participate often may do so. Twitter walls are a common visualisation software used at events, however they can be used in the classroom and for tutoring too according to UK 11+tutor James Goldsmith, who use them regularly for different sorts of prep. The web app simply projects a discussion based around a hashtag onto a screen, showing all the different participants in the conversation. These Twitter walls tend to encourage and entice even the quieter students to join in and can really encourage interaction from quieter students – something.

Class Newspaper

There are a number of great apps out there that allow you to curate and create content around specific subjects. Paper.li and Storify can be used to this effect and are ideal for starting a class or subject based newspaper. These social feeds compile a variety of social media activity to create a real time online newspaper. Needless to say there are numerous obvious benefits of such a newspaper creation tool in the classroom.


Finally, it’s quite easy to use Twitter for recaps. Educators can use the tool to make it a go to place for after class or lesson discussions. Used in tandem with rewards for students that participate, Twitter can be a great place to engage students, recap lessons and even encourage them to take part in mini Twitter quizzes that keep them interested in the specific area of study.

Twitter is an amazing tool and one that is extremely versatile inside and outside of an education or training setting. These tips and ideas should help you get more from it in and out of the classroom.