Search Marketing SEO Costa Rica SEO Strategies SEO tips Social Media

25 Great Design Resources for Your Content Campaigns

People love visuals. It’s not a secret. The idea that a picture is worth more than a thousand words has been an adage for as long as I can remember. And, despite how much has changed in marketing over the past decade, that simple truth remains.

As a result, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing more and more people embrace the idea of visual content. Studies are showing just how important this format is for our content campaigns.

Here are just a few facts to help convince you…

Incorporating images is the #1 tactic marketers rate as important when optimizing a social media post.


70% of marketers plan to increase their use of original visual assets in 2015.


Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets than those without them.


But despite all these facts, studies and statistics, many people still aren’t incorporating visuals effectively. If I had to guess, I’d say the reason for this is that many entrepreneurs and business owners just don’t feel capable of doing so.


Well, you’re in luck – I’ve got some great news for you.

You’re more than capable. For every statistic that tells you visuals are important, there’s a tool to help you live up to those expectations. You don’t need to have an immaculate eye for design to create visuals that engage and convert.

You just need the right tools.


Canva is a start-to-finish program that’s perfect for non-designers. It has tons of templates and tools to help you get the perfect image in just a few minutes.



Buffer’s tool, Pablo, makes designing great social images easier than ever. Their site claims you can do it in under 30 seconds. Go give it a try, and see if the company’s claims are true.



If you need to annotate screen grabs for a data-packed post, you’ve got to try out Skitch. Circle things, point to things, blur things and add text quickly and easily.



If I had a nickel for every screenshot I took, I wouldn’t need my day job. And CloudApp makes uploading those screen grabs to my team and my articles a simple process.



Don’t spend so much time looking for sophisticated products that you forget about the solutions you already have. You can make great images using PowerPoint (or Keynote if you use Mac).

In fact, Hubspot created 60 customizable templates that can help get you started.


You can spend thousands of dollars on a great infographic design. And I believe it’s well worth the money. But if you don’t have that kind of budget, give a try.


Social Image Resizer Tool

The Social Image Resizer Tool helps you get the perfect crop for your image. It even gives you helpful ratios for the different sizes and layouts you may need for your content campaigns.



Ever wish you could take a screenshot of an entire web page – but your screen wasn’t long enough to make it happen?

Well, with Page2Images, your wish can come true. There’s even a bookmarklet that will make the process even easier for you:


Word Swag

I’ve found that people respond really well to quote images on social media. It’s no wonder they’re so popular! Word Swag makes it incredibly easy to create professional-looking images that you can share with your audience.


If you want to share data in a content campaign, then you’ll need a way to show it visually. And that’s exactly what helps you accomplish.



Sometimes, great additions to content campaigns happen on the go. That’s why you need a powerful image editor like Snapseed.



Every great web design project needs great icons. Iconfinder offers both free and paid icon packs to give your project the exact icons it needs.

The company just hit 500,000 icon options, so you’re sure to find something that you’ll love!


Noun Project

The Noun Project is another great source for beautiful icons. They’ve got a huge repository of images that represents an incredible number of words in the English language.



Blurgrounds come in a variety of options. These blurred background images are a great option for website backgrounds, blog headers, or social media images.


Subtle Patterns

Subtle Patterns are perfect for when you need backgrounds that are a little more, well, subtle. With 400 pattern options to choose from, the site is a great resource for your content campaign.



I don’t think you can find many things that are more satisfying than an amazing color palette – and it seems that Pictaculous would agree with me.

The company has built a tool that creates a color palette for you, based off of any image you upload. It’s perfect for getting the colors just right during your next campaign.


Share as Image

According to their website, Share as Image helps you “turn images or text into viral, eye-catching micro-content that you can share in seconds.”

If that doesn’t turn you into a believer, go watch the promo video on their homepage. Yes, it’s as easy as it looks.



Gimp is basically the free version of Photoshop.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s certainly more that Photoshop offers. But for the basic designs that you’ll make for content campaigns, Gimp can get the job done if you don’t want to shell out thousands for some software.



Picmonkey has plenty of features, from tools that’ll cover your basic photo editing needs to options for building social media graphics.

Basically, if you need something simple that will get the job done, then this is the tool for you.



Have you ever seen those word clouds and thought that they’d be really helpful in your content marketing efforts? Well, Tagul can help you put them together without the hours of work it’d take to design them from scratch.

Although there are plenty of other word cloud apps on the market, I’ve found that this is one of the most comprehensive.


CSS Button Generator

Whether you’re designing a microsite or a new landing page, your content efforts need a good looking button. And if you’re not much of a designer, let the CSS Button Generator do all the hard work for you.


There you have it – 25 great design resources that you can use for your content campaigns.

Do you have any others that you’d like to add to the list? Leave me a comment below with your recommendations!

By Aaron Agius SEO Tips.

SEO Strategies SEO tips

5 Easy Google Analytics Tips for Web Publishers

If you’re running a blog or magazine-style website and are having success with it, you have no doubt put in a lot of hard work building an editorial process, publishing articles, and have conducted the necessary hand shaking to build your readership.

Trust us, we know how much hard work it takes to become a successful web publisher. We all started at the same place at one point. However, once you’re a successful plateau of content generation, you may find yourself wanting more… wanting to build a better experience for your users that generates more page views, more engagement, more signups, and of course, more revenue. And, that’s where really understanding Google Analytics comes in to play.

Let’s focus on three specific reporting tips that fit well for web publishers:custom dimensions, segments, and goals. Before we jump into each, let’s take a look at a few things every Google Analytics report consists of: dimension and metrics.

Dimensions – On the left side of your report you will view the report dimensions. Dimensions describe your data. An example of this would be the Location report (found under “Audience”). The location information you see on your left (country in this screenshot) is the dimension of the report.

Untitled document - Google Docs

Metrics – On the right side of the reports, you’ll see the metrics – quantitative measurements of your data. In the screenshot above you can see the acquisition and behavior metrics that correlate with each location dimension.

Custom Dimensions

Now that we have the basics covered, let’s jump into some of the more advanced things we can do with Google Analytics account that will give us a better understanding of how users interact with our website and content.

Now, by default Google Analytics gives us a ton of different dimensions. But, because every website is different, with varied content and users, it’s important to get specific with the kinds of reporting to make right choices for our content. This is where custom dimensions come into play – they allow the web publishers full control to generate reports that feature just about any kind of information or data set that you can think of regarding user data. A few examples of custom dimensions for web publishers are:

  • Article category: Which of your article categories is the most popular?
  • Article tags:  Which tags are your users clicking on the most?
  • Author: Who is the top author of your content?
  • Publication year: Is the current year the most popular of a previous year?
  • User login status: How do data points change for logged-in users (if enabled)?
  • Article length: What is the average length of are your most popular articles?
  • Featured image: Do users spend more time on articles with a featured image?
  • Video: How does your audience respond to posts with videos included?

Once you decide which custom dimensions best describe your content and audience, you can use those specific dimensions to learn more about readers wants/needs. Using some of the examples above, you can find out information about say, your readers’ favorite article category. Now, you may be spending all of your time crafting all of your content about “category A”, but then find out after setting up a custom dimension that “category B” is getting all the attention. Armed with this information you can now adapt to your user’s interests and create content for the preferred topic.

Another example could be content that features video. Maybe you’re not happy with the user engagement data you’re seeing in your analytics overview – time on site is short and bounce rate is high. For some reason you can’t seem to keep your users around long enough. Then you create a custom dimension that looks at your video content, and notice that compared to your overall data, time on site is way up and that bounce rate goes down. You can now make a decision on how to include more video content and create a richer experience for your users.

In order to get started with custom dimensions, you must first make sure your account has been upgraded to Universal Analytics – chances are if you’ve set this up in the last few years it already is, but an older Google Analytics installation might have to go through the upgrade process. You won’t be able to view any custom dimension data until you actually define them – Google Analytics will only track that data from the initial date of setup. You can only define a total of 20 custom dimensions in the free version of Google Analytics so choose them wisely.

Creating a custom dimension is a fairly painless two-step process.  The first step is accessing the custom dimensions tab in the admin section of your Google Analytics account; go to admin and then access the “custom definitions” drop down in the center column (labeled “properties”):

Untitled document - Google Docs (3)

Next, you will create your first custom dimension:

Untitled document - Google Docs (4)

Then, you will define the type of dimension you are looking to track:

Untitled document - Google Docs (5)

The last step will require you to update your Google Analytics code to track the specific data properly. If you’re not the primary developer for your website, you’ll need to reach out to your web developer to make sure the code is properly installed. If you’re a WordPress user using, for example the popular Google Analytics plugin by Yoast, if you upgrade to premium version of the plugin you’ll be able to track custom dimensions without touching a line of code.


Next, let’s jump into segments, a tool that helps us understand our content and users. Segments are nothing more than subsets of our data and they can be applied to any Google Analytics report easily.

Let’s look at a hands-on example to explain importance of segments.


Looking at this report, we can tell that bounce rate is 54.96%. Does this mean estimating likelihood next user to visit our site will bounce at just under 55% is the best we can do? Absolutely not. And, that’s where segments come to the rescue.

Digging deeper into our sample website data, trying to figure out why bounce rate wasn’t lower got me to audience geo-report that simply lists our top countries, ranked by number of sessions.


You see how bounce rate for one country REALLY stands out? For some reason Spanish people hate this website. Perfect time to create our first segment. Read about the “how to’s” of building segments here. For this example, all you need to know is that segment represents a subset of traffic that’s coming from Spain.

Once you have created a segment or picked one of the built-in segments, you can apply it to your reports and see a subset of data from all reports associated with that particular segment.


Applying the “Spain” segment allowed me to discover something interesting. The screenshot above is from Exit Pages report (since I was looking into bounce rate) and it helps me see which pages Spanish audience is leaving my site from. Unusually high percentage of people from Spain, compared to site average, leaves my blog page. I know there’s nothing offensive to Spanish audience there, but I also happened to run across a report that says of all EU countries, Spain has lowest percentage of people able to hold a conversation in English.

That is a clue. It tells me I could probably try translating a few posts to Spanish to see if that reduces bounce rate for this particular segment, which will in turn decrease overall bounce rate. Then I can focus on another segment… and another… and another. So, instead of trying to break a bundle of sticks all at once, segments let you break them one by one. Aesop and segments for the win.


While custom dimensions and segments are extremely important in helping you gain some wonderful insight into how your user base interacts with yourcontent, unless you’re tracking goals conversions, how can you tell if your business is succeeding or failing?

Let’s take a look at the 4 types of goals you can create in your analytics account, but before we do, keep this in mind, a Google Analytics will only start tracking goal conversions after you have defined your goals. You can’t create a goal and see how many people would’ve converted on it in January 2012.

Destination Goals

Destination goal is triggered when a user visits a certain page, or multiple pages in specified order. A great destination goal example would be user visiting your “sign up for our newsletter” page, followed by that same user visiting “thank you for subscribing” page after they’ve clicked confirmation link in an email.


Duration Goals and Pages Per Session Goals

These two goal types are similar in sense that they both track engagement, they just do it in different ways. A duration goal will convert every time a user session lasts longer than time you specified, pages per session goal will convert whenever a session consists of “X” pages or more, “X” being number you specified when creating the goal.

They’re both easy to set up and very important for web publishers, so they are a great way for you to familiarize yourself with Google Analytics goals.

Event Goals

Finally, event-type goals are triggered when user complete an action or multiple actions you defined. These can be many different interaction with your site, but a great way to think about them is, for example, wanting to track specific clicks on an advertisement. How valuable would that information be to sponsor? Using this example you would use a line of Google Analytics code to tell analytics to trigger these clicks as an event, then set up an event goal to create the reports. Then you could track different ad placements to see how they perform against each other. Other examples of event goal tracking include goals that don’t have destination pages – download links or ajax buttons that complete a goal without sending the user to an additional web page.


Bonus: Goals & Segments

Remember those built-in segments I mentioned earlier? Three of those are goal conversion segments and they help isolate users who convert and sessions in which conversions occurred:

  • Converters
  • Non converters
  • Sessions with conversion

By applying these to your reports you will be able to tell what it is that makes users convert. Perhaps a certain acquisition channel converts far better than others? Are there some landing pages that help conversions? Getting answers to these questions is easy if you apply one of these segments.

In Summary

If you’ve made it this far, you’re ready to jump into your analytics and start answering some of the questions you no doubt have bouncing around your head.

  • What categories of content are my users most interested in?
  • Which one of my guest authors is crushing it?
  • Do people prefer posts with videos in them?
  • Does anyone download that free PDF I spent months working on?

The list will be different for everyone, but they’re all great questions to ask.

Remember, use custom definitions to describe your content better than Google Analytics does it out of the box. Create user segments to better understand your users, and most importantly track goal conversions to know if your website fulfills its target objectives.

This process will help bring your website goals closer to your actual business goals, and you’ll develop more ability to change and adapt at a pace that will have a huge impact on revenue.

By Slobodan Manic SEO Tips.

SEO Strategies SEO tips

4 Data Analysis Techniques Illustrated via The Pigeon Algorithm

Phantoms and Pirates, ohhhhh no! Pandas and Penguins, cute! Pigeons…ewww, gross! In the nomenclature of Google filters, algorithms, and updates, the last few years brought symbols we either love or fear.

This deep-dive data analysis will look at the local directory industry and why it continues to fly high after Google released the Pigeon update.

(Note: There was no official name for the July 24, 2014 update, so the name given by Search Engine Land stuck: “Pigeon is the name we decided on because this is a local search update and pigeons tend to fly back home.” The operative word was “tend,” as Pigeon never came back home for many unlucky websites.)

A major cause for introducing Pigeon may have been complaints from Yelp about poor ranking. There is also much to be said for Andrew Shotland’s theory that “Pigeon may just be Google’s way of saying that going to a local business’ website is not the best way to make a decision when you are in the initial research phase.”

In laying out findings, the intent here is to pass on techniques for search engine trend analysis to SEOs and content strategists. Techniques for evaluating a Google algorithm’s effects on a niche can be applied to how other effects specific to industries and sectors change their Google rankings.

1. Find Events to Correlate With Changes for Your Industry or Niche

Consider how to extend this research for your industry. For example, what do ranking changes based on news, cultural trends, seasonality, or big shake-ups for companies in your sector tell you?

All data below comes from SEMrush and graphs are from Tableau Public. Results come from historic information on the 40 million most popular keywords per month and associated metrics. It is the “most popular” characteristic that makes the historic data useful for sector, niche, or competitor research.

If we researched data from a year ago and “most popular” gave unequal weight to certain industries or entities, comparisons would not be accurate. A limitation of SEMrush data, though, is it logs search strictly from a national level, and excludes data in SERP that appear for searches from local IPs (Search Engine Metrics, for example, started looking at this data alongside Google’s Universal results).

2. Pull Historic Data and Analyze Results

local directories

Fourteen local directories were chosen to track based on an article on Vertical Response about top local directories. Websites with local directories as only part of their focus were excluded. Ranking improvement is tracked via number of keyword wins in top 20 position on Google SERP, month to month. There was a very slight improvement for the sites from June 2013 to the Pigeon launch in July, 2014. Pigeon had its most dramatic effect on local directories in the first two months, but the most interesting result here is how steady it’s staying power is to date.

The moving average a few months before the filter was about 16 million keywords. Over the past few months the average was at about 20 million keywords. The websites continue to win very similar numbers for keyword rankings every month. There are many factors effecting keyword wins over time. However, with a steady, clear trend, the amount of “noise” clouding the correlation is very unlikely here.

3. Use Content Overlap Data to Uncover Websites Others Overlook

content overlap

I found my list of local domains from an article on an authoritative website. I wanted domains people would immediately recognize as directories. Alternatively, consider finding industry or niche domains with data research on web websites that have large content overlap to an authoritative list. We are accustomed to researching via imputing one variable and seeing how everything relates.

This is not multivariate, and loses the power of a many to many comparison versus a one to many comparison. If you run a local directory website covering dance clubs nationwide, and you want to understand winning strategies of others in the space, look at the collective properties of the group. Why crunch Excel data for each club’s profile from the SERP in a silo, isolated?

Most tools that look at Google Search big data do not allow bulk search of their data. To get at bulk comparisons, API access usually works best, but it is clearly possible to use data from one by one queries which are combined in a spreadsheet.

In the above graph, the Y axis shows how many of the 14 have similar keyword phrase profiles. To the left under “data” are and, both similar to ten of the 14 in our list. We’ve now “discovered” similar websites in our niche that don’t make most lists.

4. Analyze Content Overlap To Uncover Characteristics of Sector

One result is clear immediately: directories focused on vertices within the local sector have some of the largest overlap. Of the vertices that overlap with our 14 general local directories, most are restaurants (food) and jobs. We go out locally to do work (or find work) and eat more than we go to a dentist, a lawyer, a real estate company, a movie, or an insurance broker.

The overlap comparisons show a common trait: these common websites areportals for users. The national websites are focused on local topics, and visitors often go through them to smaller local websites. True, these sites aim to give you the main facts to answer user local search queries, but they are also portals to visiting websites of the local businesses or organizations. The label “portal” was one of the most important for websites in the Web 1.0 era. Yahoo, the top destination on the web in 2001, was considered a portal. The word inexplicably disappeared, as did many others, from our web 2.0 vernacular.

If we start doing content marketing in a sector we need to look beyond the websites similar to ours and to those that are also similar to others in the sector. Keyword phrase overlap for is strikingly similar to the typical profile of sites in our sector. Is it a local directory? Perhaps not, but it is a website we can examine for new ideas about links, subjects to write about, and keywords.


Mobile device usage caused big changes since last July. Watch for effects from Mobilegeddon to push down small local businesses further, giving more traffic to the directories and portals. Local Mom and Pop retail businesses suffer from inadequate budgets for website development and marketing. They couldn’t afford or didn’t prioritize responsive design two years ago, and when they have the budget for a redesign, many will be ill-equipped to understand the Mobilegeddon filter.

Are Mom and Pop businesses doomed to play second fiddle to Google’s own local products listed organically in SERP and to sites like Yelp? That is the picture today, and I’d bet a month’s supply of bird seed it will be true this time next year.

By Eric Van Buskirk SEO Tips.

Search Marketing SEO Costa Rica SEO Strategies SEO tips Social Media

11 Things You Need to Know About Yandex SEO

Yandex is Russia’s most popular search engine with a 62% market share, and also has a stronghold in Poland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Turkey. Google is still a major stakeholder in the Russia market, but if you are marketing in Russia, you should optimize for Yandex first, Google second.

Yandex has several SEO requirements that differ from other search engines, which makes SEO in Russia a different ball game. This also makes Yandex one of the most interesting search engines to optimize for because it’s different from what SEO professionals tend to work with day-to-day.

Yandex search engine

Here are 11 things you need to know about SEO for Yandex:

1) Russia’s Business Market

If you work at a company outside of Russia, you probably don’t get very many requests for Yandex SEO. That’s because Russia has its own SEO agencies that specialize in Yandex, and most Russian companies do not operate outside of Russia. Because of this, most Russian companies hire agencies within Russia. There is a very good chance you may go your entire career without ever having to optimize a site for Yandex unless you live in Russia or one of its bordering countries.

2) MatrixNet & Thematic Index Citation Score

MatrixNet is Russia’s page priority algorithm (similar to PageRank). MatrixNet measures site popularity and the sum and relevancy of backlinks to determine a thematic index citation (TIC) score, which plays into MatrixNet. Rather than scoring on a scale of 0-10 like PageRank, TIC is scored on a scale of 0-10,000. The TIC score is also the same for every page on the website rather than on a page-by-page basis. A TIC score quantifies the importance of a piece of content, which is included in SERPs to help users determine the quality and credibility of the content. A plugin called Yandex Elements will allow you to see the TIC score for sites with a score higher than 10. TIC scores are also influenced by rationality of content and inbound links.

3) Yandex Indexing

Yandex’s index is re-calculated a few times a month for static pages, and several times per day for blog posts, whereas Google constantly crawls and indexes content. Yandex also respects rules set up in robots.txt. Creating a sitemap will also help Yandex index your content quicker.

4) Geo-Targeting

Local SEO for Yandex is highly targeted towards a user’s metro area. Local search results are delivered to users in more than 1,400 cities, resulting in users having very different search results depending on where they are in Russia. Of course, this is mostly only true to geo-specific search queries. For companies with regional businesses, you’ll need to set up regional preferences in Yandex Webmaster Tools, add preferences to Yandex Catalog, and use regional domains or subdomains along with region-specific content.

5) On-site SEO

The on-page factors and what is most important differs greatly from Google. Here’s what Yandex looks at, and how much weight they place on each factor:

  1. Heading tags – very important
  2. Title tags – very important
  3. Regional domains – important
  4. Keywords in URLs – very important
  5. Internal links – somewhat important
  6. Importance of single pages – somewhat important
  7. Importance of whole domain – very important
  8. Length of content – somewhat important
  9. Anchor text optimization – not important
  10. Domain age – very important
  11. Domain trust – very important
  12. Importance in link diversity – very important
  13. Side-wide inbound links – not important

6) SERP Snippets

Unlike Google, how your search listings appear in SERPs isn’t quite as easy to influence.

7) Anchor Text

Having a lot of variations in anchor texts of inbound links is very important. This doesn’t mean you should build a bunch of links with optimized anchor text. You should still build links naturally, but having some diversity in the anchor text will help.

8) AJAX Indexing

AJAX content is able to be indexed by Yandex, but it needs to be coded in a certain way for Yandex’s spider to crawl it effectively. See this guideline for information on how AJAX content should be implemented.

9) Social Media and Online Dialogue

Although the impact of social media signals is unclear for Yandex SEO, forum posts, comments, and blog posts seems to help improve SEO performance. Russia also has a few social media networks that are not popular outside of the country including: VK,, and Odnoklassniki (OK). As with any social media network, creating and promoting your content can result in inbound links and online dialogue about your brand.

10) SEO Results

Early success and quick ranking is easy to achieve in Google, but not nearly as much in Yandex. Since Yandex’s indexation is slower and the algorithm takes much more time to rank a piece of content, you will need to focus heavily on showing long-term results.

11) Yandex Quality Guidelines

Much like Google and Bing, Yandex offers website quality guidelines that should be followed to improve SEO. Here’s a brief run-down of what Yandex recommends for creating a quality site:

  1. Create interesting and useful content
  2. Put users first, search engines second
  3. Only place links on your site that will be useful to users
  4. Make your site easy to use
  5. Make sure the keywords you target match your site’s content, and that the context is correct for search queries

Just like every other search engine, Yandex has its own guidelines of what not to do.

Here’s a list of what Yandex considers to be black hat tactics:

  1. Shallow, low quality, or duplicate content
  2. Doorway sites redirecting users to other domains
  3. Auto-generated text
  4. Keyword stuffing
  5. Hidden text or links
  6. Excessive advertisement
  7. Linking to other sites to increase their rankings
  8. Link farming
  9. Cloaking
  10. Malicious behavior
  11. User behavior manipulation
  12. Groups of websites by the same webmaster offering the same products or services being used to cannibalize search results

Sounds familiar, right? These are pretty much the same webmaster guidelines used across most major search engines.

Yandex SEO isn’t much different from doing it for other major search engines. The priorities of ranking factors are a bit different, indexation isn’t as quick, and local SEO differs greatly, but over all, it is still pretty simple to optimize for Yandex.

By Harrison Jones SEO Tips.

Search Marketing SEO Costa Rica SEO Strategies SEO tips Social Media

14 Conversion Rate Optimization Tools Every Expert Needs

At the end of 2014, digital marketers put conversion rate optimization on the top of their priority list.

That’s right, ahead of content marketing, mobile marketing, and search engine optimization, marketers listed “driving increased conversion rates” as the number one priority.

And why wouldn’t we? For the same traffic, we get more revenue. It makes sense.


So as marketers, how are we doing?

According to the TrustRadius survey on Conversion Rate Optimization, 72 percent have implemented some CRO processes while only 18 percent consider conversion optimization as a part of their DNA, which is a bit like saying you do content marketing, when in reality you only blog once per month.

OK, but how are we approaching testing and optimization? Surely we’re doing this better, right?

Unfortunately, that’s not good news either, as 63 percent of marketers optimize websites based on intuition and best practices.

How do eCommerce companies approach testing anf optimization

Ugghh! If you have ever wondered why conversion optimization isn’t working for your business, there is your answer. You are optimizing your website based on things you have heard or read.

How Can I Get Started with Conversion Rate Optimization?

You need to invest in a great set of tools, and through these tools you will have the data you need to optimize your website.

The data is important because it will help you understand how people engage with your website and how they perceive your brand. And to do this, you need to conduct research,and then test improvements. Once your tests are statistically significant, you can then implement the changes to your website.

It’s a clear framework: Research your visitors, test your changes, and then implement the winning results.

You can’t expect to understand and convert your web visitors without the right set of tools. A handyman doesn’t turn up without his toolbox, does he?

But conversion rate optimization tools are expensive, right?


Although the TrustRadius report shows that 58 percent of marketers spend more than $10,000 on digital analytics tools for conversion rate optimization, the conversion rate optimization tools listed below are free (at least to begin with). At this price, there are no excuses for doing CRO the wrong way.

Below is a list of 14 conversion rate optimization tools to help you succeed.

Analytics Tools

Why you need these tools: To perform quantitative research, which provides you with the numbers and hard data about where things are going wrong on your website (exit rates, bounce rates, shopping cart abandonment, etc).

Google Analytics

Google Analytics allows you to track website behavior and reports on visitors, engagement, traffic sources, content, and e-commerce sales. Google Analytics is the most popular web analytics platform on the market and can help you identify your most profitable marketing channels.

Cost: Free


CrazyEgg offers a range of tools, but the best tool to optimize your website is the heat map. The heat map allows you to see where visitors click on your website. This lets you identify pain points on a page that show where visitors are clicking and where they are not clicking.

Cost: Free 30 day trial


Clicktale Analytics now comes in a freemium package that tracks up to 5,000 recordings per month. Clicktale records website visitors but will hide any sensitive information for user privacy. You can watch website visitors take action on your website and understand how they use the site, or what issues they run into when navigating.

Cost: Free up to 5,000 visitors


Mixpanel is an advanced analytics platform for mobile and web. While Google Analytics measures pageviews, Mixpanel helps you analyze visitors’ actions and optimize funnels. For example, an action can be uploading a picture, watching a video, or sharing a blog post. This platform allows you to understand exactly how people interact with any web page and how they navigate through your site.

Cost: Free for up to 25,000 data points


Formisimo is an advanced form analytics tool that records how a user interacts with a web form and checkout fields. Formisimo records how users engage with the form, the fields they do not complete, and when they use autocomplete versus manually entering their information. This information helps you eliminate fields that cause friction.

Cost: Free 14 day free trial

Research Tools

Why you need these tools: To perform qualitative research, which provides you with insights into the “why”: Why customers complete a purchase or more importantly – why visitors do not buy your product or service?

Peek (by

Launched earlier this year, Peek provides you with a free five-minute usability test. You simply enter your website URL, and the test participants will review your website. Having a tester browse your website and complete “simple” actions will unlock plenty of hidden usability issues that you can work on to improve the user experience and boost conversion rates.

Cost: Free


The i-Perceptions has been endorsed by Google Analytics Evangelist, Avinash Kaushik, and it’s a pop up that asks three simple questions to website visitors. The three questions include:

  • “How would you rate your site experience?”
  • “What describes the primary purpose of visit?”
  • “Were you able to complete the purpose of your visit today?”

You can use the feedback to understand how people engage with your website and find opportunities for improvement.

Cost: Free

Survey Monkey

Collecting customer feedback is essential to understanding what turns a website visitor into a customer. Survey Monkey allows you to ask up to 10 questions and collect up to 100 responses for free, which means you can ask questions such as:

  • What made you buy [product]?
  • What’s the best thing you like about [service]?
  • How would you describe [brand] to your friends?

Answers to these questions will give you great insight into how your customers view your brand.

Cost: Free for up to 100 responses

Cross Browser Testing

Cross Browser Testing allows you to view your website in real-time through a wide range of browsers and operating systems. This tool helps you to identify why some browsers convert better than others.

For example, if you find that the latest version of Chrome converts better than IE9, then you might want to look at how IE9 is being displayed to your visitors. Using the Cross Browser Testing tool, you can see exactly how it is displayed and what you need to fix.

Cost: Free trial for 60 minutes

Testing Tools

Why you need these tools: To experiment and test your hypothesis, which is based on the quantitative and qualitative research (Congrats! You’re now testing based on historical data and no longer testing based on best practices).

VWO (Visual Website Optimizer)

VWO (which I do have an affiliation with) offers split testing for as little as $49 per month, but the free trial allows you to test for up to 30 days for 1,000 visits. You can edit, modify, and remove elements on your web pages through the VWO editor; and you can test images, copy, design, and web-forms. At the end of your tests, you can see which test won and then implement the changes directly onto your website.

Cost: Free for up to 1,000 visitors


Fivesecondtest allows you to ask for community feedback on new landing page designs, without having to change any elements on your website. Your new design will be displayed for five seconds and then a series of questions are asked to the user. Feedback comes in the form of answers and a word cloud, to identify the most prominent elements that the user remembers.

Cost: Free for 20 responses


Unbounce is an easy-to-use landing page platform that allows anyone to build great landing pages without the need for a designer or IT. You can create landing pages from scratch or choose one of the many landing page templates. You can use Unbounce to create landing pages for your paid search campaigns or to quickly test out new web page designs.

Cost: Free trial

Website Tools

Why you need these tools: To growth hack your way to a better conversion rate. Be aggressive in what you want your web visitors to do, and at the very least get that email address from your visitor.


Screenpopper helps you convert more users through a pop-up appearing on top of a web page, with the goal of promoting a single call-to-action. The benefit is you get the visitors immediate attention, which can be used to for conversion purposes. If your goal is to get more newsletter sign ups, you can use the pop-up to offer an incentive in exchange for an email address.

Cost: Free 14 day trial


Hellobar is an optimization tool, which displays a visible bar that sits at the top of a web page to draw the web visitors’ attention. Hellobar acts as a primary website call-to-action. You can include Hellobar on one page, several pages, or across your entire website. For example, if you are launching a new eBook, you use Hellobar to include a simple message to promote it.

Cost: Free


These conversion rate optimization tools are easy to implement and mostly require a single line of code that you or your developer can insert into the header of your website.

And while some of the tools listed above are free for the basic packages, they do come with limitations. However, even with the limitations, you will still be able to collect mountains of data to help you grow your conversion rate.

At no cost, there are no more excuses. You could double or triple your conversion rates for free!

I know I haven’t been able to include them all. What are some of your favorite conversion rate optimization tools? How many of these tools do you use?

By Steven Macdonald SEO Tips.

SEO Costa Rica SEO tips

3 Must-Have Call Data Integrations to Boost Sales

When it comes to converting leads, having a solid understanding of user behavior is essential.

For instance, the increasing number of e-commerce platforms and ways to buy online would lead many marketers to believe that most online shopping is completed online.

But by using the correct tracking, it becomes obvious this is not the case. recently published an infographic stating “64% of website visitors complete their purchases offline”, making it clear that many internet users treat the internet like a virtual shopping window.

Not only are the majority of consumers making purchases offline, but according to a recent call tracking case study released by Mediahawk, a client of mine, the telephone plays a vital role in converting leads both offline and online. For instance, they discovered consumers who spoke to a group of online retailers on the telephone converted much more quickly online than website visitors who didn’t call at all. But without tracking and integrating this call data, they wouldn’t have been able to follow these leads through the sales cycle.

Lets talk about the three most important call data integrations and how tracking offline data can boost your profits and marketing efforts.

What Can You Use to Track Offline Purchases and Interactions?

There are a wide variety of ways to track your website users’ behavior such as event tracking, clicks, cookies, and heat maps. But when the user switches from online to the telephone, this is where the tracking finishes.

Call tracking extends the online tracking to an offline medium, allowing marketers to continue to collect information related to their callers’ website activity. It’s an effective way to distinguish which pages were visited and a good indication of why a website user picked up the phone, and if they went on to make a purchase.

So, instead of having gaping holes in your sales attributions, you’ll have a clear and complete picture of a lead’s full interaction with your website, social channels, phone conversations, and other marketing networks.

And why wouldn’t you want to track your telephone interactions?

It’s a well-known fact that telephone calls provide some of the highest quality leads and have a 10-15 times higher conversion rate than web inquiries.

How Call Tracking Works

Call tracking works by assigning unique numbers across different marketing channels so you can track which marketing collateral has been viewed and how a user has interacted with your site right up until they call you.

visitor call tracking

You can assign as many numbers as required to cover all possible paths of user behavior. So, for example, if a user decides to interact with your website by clicking on a paid advertisement, then that assigned phone number will be displayed. This is also the case if a different user opts to interact via a social network referral.

Call tracking enables you to have a more complete view of your marketing efforts. And which areas need addressing.

Drill Down Even Deeper by Analyzing Individual Calls

Detail and accountability is so important in marketing, which is why there’s the opportunity to drill down deeper into your call data. The best call tracking services utilize individually assigned numbers that sync with Google Analytics. This enables comprehensive and detailed reporting that reveals everything from visitor time on site, pages visited before, during, and after calling, and crucially, the keyword referral that prompted the visitor to make the call.

Here you can see my agency’s call data for one particular visitor who interacted with our content up to 30 times before making a call.

visitor ID call tracking

Our call tracking reporting suite tracks the activity as a sequence of events that reveal the user’s journey up until they called us, including the type of content they’re interested in – we’re even able to listen to the call to see how successful we were with converting them.

Because each lead’s conversion path can be broken down into these steps, it is much easier to improve the efficiency of the conversion path and ultimately improve your return on investment. You’ll soon collect enough complete data to find out which campaign produces the best conversions – and more sales.

But remember, it’s not enough to look at this call report. You need to integrate your call tracking software with Google Analytics and your CRM system of choice to see the full sales loop in order to optimize the conversion process.

Easy Call Tracking Installation and Integration

Installing call tracking onto your website is quick and easy; all you need to do is insert a piece of JavaScript code into your website. Then it’s just a case of setting up the parameters within your call tracking software – this could be a number assigned to your latest PDF download.

Most call tracking software provides a detailed analysis of call data, which can be assimilated into Google Analytics.

Integration with Google Analytics

In the analytics software, the phone call becomes another element that can be set up as a conversion, just as a click or page visit might. This means you can view offline calls in conjunction with all other aspects of online user behavior you need to track and analyze…and ultimately discern the pages generating the most calls.

Once you set up your campaigns and goal pages within your analytics software, you can head over to Google Analytics to configure phone calls associated with your goal webpages:

  1. Log into Analytics
  2. Click through Admin → Goals → New Goal
  3. Fill in fields:
    • Goal Name
    • Set URL Destination as Goal Type
    • Give the Goal a name
  4. Click Next Step
  5. Set the goal URL as a page name e.g.: ‘/calls.html
  6. Select Create Goal

Goal tracking allows your call tracking service to register each call as a goal within Google Analytics in the same way you track sales or a completed contact form.

call as goal completions

This integration will give you a better understanding of which pages are generating the most calls and perhaps, where your website needs to optimized to generate more calls.

Integration With CRM Software

Many call tracking services can be integrated with CRM systems like Salesforce and HubSpot.

Your CRM software collects all of the call information, so it’s important to integrate this with the rest of your lead data so you can see all your call data in context, tracing the conversion path right back to the trigger keyword.

But what makes this integration even more crucial is that you’ll have lead information about every single prospect who calls, including missed calls.

According to a joint study between M.I.T and, your chances of turning a missed phone lead drop 100% within the first five minutes of expressing interest, while the odds of qualifying that lead decrease 6x after the first 60 minutes.

So really, first contact should be made in seconds, not hours, if you want to turn the missed caller into an interested prospect.

Therefore, by combining call tracking browsing behavior into your CRM, you’ll be able to contact the new lead almost immediately after they enter their information – and you’ll  know almost exactly what they’re interested in, allowing you to prepare the best possible response.

This detailed overview allows you to keep improving the user’s journey so conversions become quicker and more efficient, with fewer obstacles and a clearer call to action.

Why You Need Google AdWords to Increase Your Conversions

Here’s a fact for you to consider – the majority of local mobile searches (70%) end in a call directly from the search results pages. So it’s incredibly important to utilise the “Click To Call” ad extension in your AdWords ads.

This feature is a free add-on and provides your phone number in the search engine results pages as the biggest call to action within your ad. If your call tracking data reveals your best quality leads arise from mobile searches, then placing your number within your ads is like adding a big, shiny button that implores the searcher to make the call. With carefully selected target keywords, this should result in an increase in leads and hopefully conversions.

click to call adwords extension

Google reports that Click to Call mobile campaigns produce around 5-30% more conversions than the ‘click here’ standard call to action favored by desktop users.

The information provided from these mobile calls is valuable data. You’ll be able to discern everything from the caller’s location, the ad they came across, and the keyword that they entered that led them to make the call. With all this data to hand, you’ll be able to continue to fine-tune your ads to increase conversion rates and even use the keyword data to optimise other channels and content.

Displaying your number in Google’s search engine pages makes it much easier for users to contact a person rather than having to go through the rigmarole of filling out online forms on their mobile device. Again, it’s all about making the process efficient, convenient and removing obstacles from the user journey.

Let’s Sum it All Up

In an age of emails, instant messaging and live chat, phone calls are as important as ever to businesses and customers alike. So it is not surprising to learn that data collated from these phone calls is valuable to your marketing strategies, and should be considered a strong influencer when it comes to developing leads, conversions, up-sales and more.

The key to success is a quick response to inquiries and potential leads, and call tracking data allows you to go head-first into the response conversation, armed with the detailed knowledge you need about the prospect.

The question you now need to ask yourself is how call tracking data could benefit your business and increase your conversions.

By Zoe-Lee Skelton SEO Tips.


Search Marketing SEO Costa Rica SEO Strategies SEO tips Social Media

10 Fixes to Keep You Popping Up in Competitive Local Queries

Anyone who owns a business today knows the importance of search engines to their bottom line. This importance gets magnified exponentially when you start looking at local businesses. Considerthis statistic:

SE Local Info

Not only do consumers search for local information, they convert more to local searches, as compared to non-local ones:


So if local searches are 157% more effective in leading to a purchase as compared to regular, non-local searches; it’s time we gave local search the focus it demands.

Local Search Optimization 101

Local search is a specialized field in its own right. There are a lot of details to cover – from ensuring consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) of the business, to injecting a local flavor into the meta data for local pages, to the criticality user reviews hold for both rankings and clicks.

Citations and Business Pages

Getting your business listed on local business pages like Google My Business, Yahoo Local, Bing Places for Business, Yelp, and local directories is often the first step towards building a local search footprint. Managing the data listed about your business on each site, ensuring the citations that you receive from each site are consistent, and focusing on the right websites to earn citations from are all key contributors to local search rankings.

User Reviews

Local search typically revolves around service based businesses where the quality of service is often the deciding factor between success and failure. Reviews feature prominently across organic results as well as the 7-Pack and carousel listings on Google’s SERPs.

User Reviews

Incentivizing customers to leave reviews on Google+ Local, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and similar review sites offers an immediate stamp of authority to your business pages.

Localizing On-Page SEO Elements

On-page SEO elements play an important role in local search as well. Infuse your on-page ranking factors with local flavor like city and state names apart in addition to focusing on important keywords. Local data in critical on-page elements like the page title, H1 tags, title tags, meta descriptions, page URL etc. send direct signals to Google regarding the relevance of your page to a local search.

While creating dedicated local pages for each city that your business operates in is a given, removing duplicate pages from your website and using the rel=canonical link element judiciously all contribute towards a better local rank.


Images play a huge role in deciding whether you go on the carousel or not.

Google Local Images

Images on your local pages must not only be of fantastic quality, they must be optimized for local search with local content in their ALT tag descriptions. Large, relevant and eye-catching images accompanied by a detailed description of your business go a long way.

Other Factors

While the factors listed above were the ‘can’t-do-without’ ones, there are a bunch of local SEO signals your business would do well to maximize.

These include keeping the local flavor alive on your social media platforms and content marketing, keeping your local content across the web fresh and relevant, getting the right places tag on your business listings, keeping up site speed and making sure your website is mobile optimized.

By Pratik Dholakiya SEO Tips.