SEO Costa Rica SEO Strategies

4 Smartwatch Predictions for Local Search

How cool would it be to get your hands on one of those spiffy new smartwatches?

Sure, while they’re not exactly a household item just yet, but it’s looking likely that we’ll be adopting these types of wearable technology and using them to access the Internet in the next couple of years.



The Smartwatch and Local Search

We’re guessing the smartwatch is much easier to use than Google Glass. They also seem pretty similar to a smartphone, with a screen-based UI interface. Personally, I’m reminded of Dick Tracy and his watch, with his two way radio and such.

While you may not be interested in looking like a spy or a private detective, as a marketer you’re probably thinking of how this will impact local search. The real question is, what kinds of marketing opportunities exist, and will it change the way people navigate local search?

While we can’t really tell how it will change the search landscape now (unless you’re a fortune teller!), we can only do our best to guess what is going to happen.

Brand Alerts and Messaging

Having a tiny screen, users are going to want more concise content. Not only that, but they’ll want content that is truly relevant for them and information they want to see only.

I imagine there being opt-in messaging and alerts so users can choose what they want to see and when. Perhaps for these local searches, brands and business will need to make it easy to opt-in and out of messages, particularly if they only want local information for a short while (if users wanted to know about local events during their vacation, for instance). These messages also need to have relevant keywords that convey the core of their business. With this type of permission-based marketing, businesses have to be more aware of the types of real-time local marketing in order to stay ahead of the competition.

Going along with that, smartwatches might favor models for customized search, such as Google Now. Users might not want to put so much effort into getting the information they want (given the small screen and all). So the more users can get their search criteria pre-filtered, the better. Local business have the opportunity here to create apps that are hyper localized and relevant to get found easier. I can also see local businesses collaborating together on creating customized search apps.

More Location and Proximity-Triggered Interactions

One advantage smartwatches might have over smartphones is the increased use when triggering location and proximity-based interactions. The fact that users would simply have to look at their wrists or wave their wrist over a sensor to accept a coupon, for example, means that it’s more likely people will respond to these types of interactions given how easy it could be.

If it can be that much easier to gain a user’s attention, then local businesses would be wise to start implementing some sort of location or proximity-triggered interactions now. That way, by the time smartwatches increase in popularity, these businesses can fine tune their content marketing to get found much easier than their competition.

Keyword Relevance

It’s a no-brainer that location-specific keywords are going to be more important with smartwatches. If a user is accessing information on the go (and on a smaller screen no doubt), surely users want information targeted to their location.

Given that location is one of the most important factors that influence real-time consumer behavior, businesses need to focus more than ever on relevant local content (think offers and opportunities) and local search optimization. And all this content needs to be based on where the customer is.

App Optimization

Users will most likely rather digest content in app form, since apps tend to be easier to use than scrolling through website content, and especially on a screen so small. Location-based queries will still reign supreme, I predict, but I think that users will also want to search for apps that help them digest information faster.

What does this mean? Simply put, brands might want to consider creating apps that give concise, streamlined content and tools, rather that it mimic their website. As well, smartwatch users will most likely skip the app store and search for apps using a voice command using the watch’s built-in search engine.

While we won’t really know how well these smartwatches will take off, it doesn’t hurt to be aware of the changes that it will have on local search. Businesses need to realize that they need to diversify their local marketing strategies beyond mobile and searches done on a desktop computer. Smartwatch users will probably look for different type of content altogether.

The lesson here? Figure out what digestible information your customers want. Do the research now, or risk being behind later.

By Bernadette Coleman SEO Tips.

SEO Strategies SEO tips

3 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Start in 2015

Digital marketing works like traditional marketing; there are trends that need to be watched, and savvy marketers need to stay ahead of the curve. As we start 2015, there are trends emerging which will become incredibly important in the next 12 months. Identifying these trends, understanding how they work for your business, and implementing them before you get too far into the New Year is crucial for taking down your competition.

Regardless of whether your business is 100% online, a brick and mortar business, or somewhere in between, digital marketing must be part of your game plan. If you don’t already have a marketing team in your employ or contracted out, make that your first resolution of 2015. Only a pro should be behind these three major digital marketing trends:

Video and Image-Based Marketing

“Content is king”, but content doesn’t necessarily need to be written text. In fact, numerous studies have shown additional numbers of consumers are more likely to enjoy video or other image-based advertising which is why social media platforms like Vine and YouTube are gaining in popularity. Unfortunately, it’s just more appealing to check out a short, high-quality video or scan an infographic rather than read a 450-word blog.

3 Digital Marketing Trends That Will Start in 2015 | SEJ

That means all of your digital marketing outreach, from e-newsletters to what you have on your blog, should be more image-centric. Of course, not all demographics are going to prefer images and videos over text, so dig into your big data and give your audience what they want.

For example, a business that offers retirement advice for baby boomers might have a better shot at sticking with written content—but a new energy drink company targeting the 18-24 demographics? Videos all the way. And your video better be entertaining.

All Mobile, All The Time

In 2014, the era of mobile readiness arrived—but few people were on board to match it up with their digital marketing efforts. This means the majority of people online are using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to get to your site. The age of desktops is coming to a close, and marketers need to adjust their layout using responsive design and overall mobile readiness. How do your virtual newsletters and other outreach show up in a mobile world? Mobile users want the design to match the home page of the webpage so they know where they are and how to easily navigate. They don’t have time to re-learn a new site.

You likely will need to add a mobile version of your site, an app, or both to your strategy. Mobile readiness also requires constant testing, tweaking, and fine-tuning. In other words, you likely don’t have the time or skills to do this yourself. When hiring a web designer/app developer, make sure they’re on the mobile bandwagon all the way. You need someone to lift up your digital marketing efforts into the mobile world and make it sparkle. This is big advertising.

Native Advertising is the Only Online Advertising

Native advertising: It’s those ads “hidden” in other content to make it look organic and it can be done really well or really poorly. If you’re a BuzzFeed fan, you know it by those articles that are stamped “promoted” and sometimes, they can be just as engaging as the “real” articles. However, it’s hard to create native advertising that doesn’t squeeze in that pitch at the very end. Make your video advertising less proper, less stiff. Have fun with it. Your audiences will appreciate your efforts. (Go on Instagram and look at the video advertising that occasionally appears in your feed for some great ideas.)

Native advertising can’t seem overtly manipulative, which can be a tough one for digital advertisers. However, it’s crucial because audiences are over the hard sell and they can sniff out a pitch like a bloodhound. Hone those native advertising skills and you’ll be one step ahead of those fumbling to make a “listicle” that looks natural.

As 2015 starts, make sure you’re keeping up with all the trends to make sure your business is reaping all the rewards. What trends are you seeing that businesses and marketing professionals should be paying attention to?

By Liv Longley SEO Tips.

Search Marketing SEO Costa Rica SEO Strategies SEO tips Social Media

10 Ways to Optimize a Website For Bing

Mozilla Firefox recently made some news by announcing that it was ending its decade long relationship with Google as its default search engine. Instead, Mozilla will embark on a five-year partnership with Yahoo.

Of course those who prefer Google can still switch back since a pre-installed search option will be included. Overall, however, this is exciting news for Yahoo – and more importantly, Bing.

For those uninitialized, Yahoo’s search engine is powered by the Microsoft product. And now that it has become the default search engine for Firefox, maybe it’s time to begin taking Bing a bit more seriously.

Why Bing Matters

10 Ways to Optimize My Site for Bing | Search Engine Journal

This argument has come up many times before. Despite Google controlling 67% of the search engine market share, Bing claims 19.4%, making it the second most popular search engine.

Overall, “Yahoo and Bing represent nearly a third (29 percent) of the U.S. search market.” In fact, the Yahoo Bing Network has approximately 149 million unique searchers each month and 5.2 billion searches a month.

Most interesting, however, is how Bing and Yahoo have fared with specific demographics. Based on an audience study, the Yahoo Bing Network tends to be favored by the following groups:

  • College graduates and graduate school students
  • Mature age group of those 35+
  • Slightly more women than men
  • Households with children
  • Households with incomes more than $75,000

Even more startling is how the YBN has cornered certain audiences. For example, “11 million of the 14 million automotive searchers on Bing Ads were exclusive on Yahoo and Bing.” In other words, Bing has 80% of that audience to itself. Education (79%), Telcom (80%), Travel (71%) and Business & Finance (72%) were other verticals that were exclusive to Bing.

Stop and ask yourself : should you continue to ignore the potential of Bing?

If you want to take advantage of the YBN, then it’s time to get your website optimized specifically for Bing. While some aspects aren’t all that different from Google (HubSpot notes that “optimizing URLs and domain names for keywords and having a large number of high-quality, dofollow backlinks” are important for both), here are 10 ways to get your site ready for Bing.

1. The Age and Type of Website Matter

Google typically favors websites that are newer and popular. Bing, according to Allen Moon on Entrepreneur, “places a lot of emphasis on the age of a domain.” Moon suggests that if you’re just starting out, you may want to purchase an older domain so that your site will rank higher.

Besides the age of a website, Bing also tends to favor domain names that are more official, such as .edu or .gov. HubSpot further explains that “Google is quick to offer up socially relevant sites whereas Bing is more likely to provide factually relevant information.”

This information may not help you if you already have a website, but ti does clue you in on why your sparkling new site isn’t ranking as well in Bing. Over time, this may not be a concern as your site gets older.

2. Get Indexed

As Bing clearly states, “being indexed is the first step to developing traffic from Bing.” To do this, you just simply submit your site to Bing and play the waiting game – Bing apparently doesn’t update their index as much as Google, so be patient.

To take advantage of the Bing Webmaster Tools, don’t forget to also sign-up for a free account – or use your existing Windows Live ID. Once you’re logged in you want to provide detail about your site, like the sitemap, so that it will make it easier for Bing to crawl and index your site. Harsh Agrawal from ShoutMeLoud also reminds website owners to verify their site and create separate sitemaps for images and videos.

If you’re site still isn’t indexed on Bing, it could be one of the following problems:

  • Bing hasn’t crawled your site yet.
  • Bing isn’t able to crawl your site – use Fetch as Bingbot to diagnose.
  • There aren’t any links pointing to your site.
  • Your your robots.txt file is incorrectly setup.
  • You contain <meta name=”robots” content=”NOINDEX”> on your pages.
  • There are blocked URLs.
  • Your site doesn’t meet Bing’s quality threshold.
  • Your site has been removed from the index as a penalty.

3. Have the Right Technical Requirements

There are six technical areas that Bing focuses when ranking your site. These requirements include:

  • Page load time – remember, the faster the better.
  • Robots.txt – this controls where Bingbots can and can not go when crawling your site. Make sure it’s not blocked and accurate by reviewing this guide.
  • Sitemap – Make sure to take care of all of the URLs from your website by keeping it clean and current. You may want to remove unnecessary URLs.
  • Site Technology – Rich media can prevent Bingbots from crawling your site. Bing suggests “a down-level experience which includes the same content elements and links as your rich version does.”
  • Redirects – If you have to move content between websites, Bing prefers that you use a 301 permanent redirect.
  • Canonical Tags – When multiple URLs contain the same content, the rel=canonical element will help Bing figure out which is the original. This, however, should not be used when moving content.

4. Title Tags Are Kind of a Big Deal

Allen Moon states that “Bing seems to place a lot more emphasis on title tags than Google does.” This means that you should use relevant keywords in the title tags of every page throughout your site.

In addition to that great piece of advice, Bing posted an article on its blog back in June that discussed how it selects title tags and how you should choose the best titles for your pages. In fact, you may have noticed that Bing will actually use different titles in the search engine results pages (SERPS).

According to Bing, its “goal is to help the user complete their search tasks as efficiently as possible.”

To achieve this, Bing will:

  • Optimize titles for relevance for the user
  • Optimize snippets
  • Optimize display URLs

If you want to preserve title tags, Bing recommends that:

  • Make the HTML Title relevant to the queries that would be used to search your site without being overly long or repetitive. Avoid generic titles like “Home” or “About Us”.
  • If you embed OpenGraph, etc., make sure it is consistent with the title you want, and that all the fields are correct, for example that your site name is correct.
  • If your site is listed on or other directories make sure the entry is correct.
  • Don’t block our crawler. Please refer to crawler control instructions on how to control the crawler, but keep in mind, you should not block Bingbot if you want your content to be indexed. By slowing the crawl rate (via the Webmaster Tools) or by blocking Bingbot in the robots.txt file, or even blocking our IP addresses, you can prevent us from crawling and indexing your content.

5. Use Straightforward Keywords

Daniel Ruby states in a report from Chitka that “Verbatim  keyword matching is much more important for Bing traffic.” This means that as opposed to Google, Bing doesn’t do well with broad-matching keywords – Ruby uses 401K and Retirement Plan as an example. It’s also been found by Practis, Inc. that Bing uses “no more than two target keywords per page to improve Bing search engine rankings.”

UpCity suggests you use relevant and well-written keywords for title tags, meta-descriptions and in H1 and H2. You should also utilize long-tail keyphrases that include your targeted words as well.

Bonus tip: WordStream has a nifty keyword tool that can help you find the best words and phrases for Bing optimization.

6. Build Up Backlinks

Backlinks are important for every search engine, but they seem especially seem important for Bing rankings. Based on studies conducted by Searchmetrics, “on average, 52-53 per cent of the backlinks of websites ranked among the top 30 results on Bing contain keywords in the anchor text (which is about 10% more than Google). And 2% of backlinks of pages ranked in the top 30 on Bing contain a stop word (while on Google it is 10%).”

Marcus Tober, CTO and Founder of Searchmetrics, stated “The number of backlinks seems to be the most relevant metric for Bing, whereas the majority of the other backlink features – such as no-follow links or the presence of stopwords in the anchor text – seem not yet to be as relevant for rankings as they do for Google.”

In short, utilizing backlinks can boost your rankings as long as they come from legitimate sites.

7. Content is King

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Both Bing and Google want quality content. Bing specifically stats that it’s looking for “clear, deep, easy to find content on your website,” which will be more likely to be indexed and appear in results.

Bings also suggests that your site avoid too many ads and affiliate links and feature content that is easy to “navigate, rich and engaging to the visitor, and provide them the information they seek.”

8. Be Social

While there has been a lot of back and forth on where Google stands with social signals, Bing has made it clear that “social media plays a role in today’s effort to rank well in search results.” HubSpot goes into this a bit further and claims that “When searching on Bing, if a Facebook friend has recommended or rated the company or product mentioned in the search, the user can see it right away.”

Becoming a social influencer has the ability to improve your rank organically eventually. So, don’t be shy. Get out there and engage your audience through various social media platforms.

9. Flash-a-ah

Another difference between Google and Bing is that the Big G isn’t fond of flash media. Bing, however, doesn’t really mind sites with a lot of flash media. In fact, Amanda DiSilvestro states on HigherVisibility that “Webpages created with flash are far more likely to rank well on Bing.”

Because Bing does a pretty solid job of indexing flash media, you should remember to create separate sitemaps for this type of content so that it’s easier for the Bingbots to crawl.

10. Act Local

According to UpCity, “When in doubt, Bing seems to service these up first so it’s more important than ever to have a rock-solid Local listing.”

To optimize your Bing Local Listing, here are a couple of painless pointers from UpCity:

  • Visit the Bing Business Portal and enter your business name and zipcode. If you aren’t listed, then add your listing. if you are listed, make sure you claim it.
  • After adding/claiming your business, you need to complete the Details page, Profile, Mobile site, and add photos.
  • Review your information and make adjustments is needed.
  • Finally, make sure that your information is consistent across the web.

What to Avoid

To play it on the safe side, here are the things to avoid according to Bing.

  • Cloaking – showing one version of a webpage to Bing and another page to visitors.
  • Link Schemes – Bing wants quality links. Any sort of shady practices can result in getting delisted from Bing’s index.
  • Social Media Schemes – Bing wants you to be influential on social media, not just tactics that increase the amount of followers.
  • Meta Refresh Redirects – Instead of a 301 redirect, this automatically sends visitors to other content.
  • Duplicate Content – Having duplicate content on the web can make Bing lose trust in your site.
  • Keyword Stuffing – This is a violation of Bing’s guidelines and will not improve your ranking.


Google may appear to have a stranglehold on the search engine market, but that doesn’t mean that online surfers are neglecting Bing. While the YBN may only not have Google-like numbers, it’s still makes up a third of the search engine market that is preferred by certain demographics.

Instead of just focusing strictly on Google, why not take the time to make your visitors happy and optimize your website for Bing?

Is your website optimized for Bing? If so, how did you make sure that it was Bing friendly?

By Albert Costill 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

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.

Search Marketing SEO Costa Rica SEO Strategies SEO tips Social Media

10 SEO Myths Reviewed

Myths in SEO run almost as deep as they do in Lock Ness and Area 51. Let’s have some fun and look at 10 of them today. By no means a definitely list, these still pop up.

I Need to Rank #1

Yes, it’s nice to rank on top, but you know that actual rankings fluctuate on a daily basis. Does the #1 spot actually get you more clicks and conversions and the # 2 or #3 spot. Depends on the phrase sometimes. And for those trying to get off page 2 of the SERP and onto page 1, be careful. Often the click through rate (CTR) of the top spots on page 2 are far better than the CTRs on the lower positions on page one. If you rank well on page 2, be careful when planning your assault on page one. Unless you can get above the fold, it might be better to stay put and own the top of the second page. All of this will, naturally, vary a great deal form site to site, page to page and even across individual phrases. Sometimes people research on one phrase and buy on another version, for example.

My Title Tag Will Save Me

It’s important, but even the most well-crafted title tag can’t elevate a site skipping everything else. This is a somewhat common refrain from bloggers as some of the most popular platforms don’t include things like meta descriptions in their base code. Plugins exist to easily add them, and allow access to a bunch of other common areas SEOs like to fiddle with. You should spend time getting the title right, but this alone won’t save a sinking ship.

Social is All I Need

Social takes time, I can’t be bothered with SEO, so I’ll just do social. There was a time when ranking a website was like making consommé. You wanted one thing – clear broth. At that time, you could focus on a single tactic and it would boost rankings. Today it’s more like trying to make the world’s best seafood chowder. Success depends on a complex mix of ingredients, freshness and timing. One ingredient alone won’t bring success, and yet without that one ingredient, you don’t have a chowder.

Videos are All I Need

People like to consume content in videos. Videos are easy to produce and easy to consume. It’s pretty easy to make high quality videos today, and even if you don’t the expectations of people online have aligned with more modest efforts. But let’s face it, embedding videos can negatively affect page load times, frustrating visitors. And a video alone won’t help rankings. You’ve got to give the engines something to understand, as they’re not going to “watch” that 4 minute rant you posted. Transcripts are a great way around this little issue. Videos are a great part of growing your content, but aren’t a silver bullet, despite what some ads on Facebook would have you believe.

Buying Ads Helps My Rankings

Nope. No amount of ad buying will get you organically ranked higher. If you still believe this today, click here. The instant and engine starts determining ranking based on ads bought is the instant it loses credibility. Game over, Player One.

I Make Awesome Content

Maybe you do, but it’s not your call to make. Great content is content that’s deemed great by searchers and visitors to your site. All the standards in the world won’t help you if no one likes your writing style, voice or message. Grammar affects how people (readers) perceive you, so that can have a direct impact on engagement and rankings. But never delude yourself into thinking what you produced is excellent just because you put time into it. Watch what visitors engage with and seek to follow that same pattern.

Links are All I Need

While important as a vote of confidence for the content they point to, there is simply so much link spam these days that it’s tough to know where to turn. Obviously buying links is a dead end, and it doesn’t matter how you split this hair: sharing, encouraging, incentivizing, buying – it’s all the same. You want links to surprise you. You should never know in advance a link is coming, or where it’s coming from. If you do, that’s the wrong path. Links are part of the bigger picture. You want them, but you want them to be natural. If an engine sees you growing tem naturally, you’re rewarded with rankings. If they see you growing them unnaturally, you’re rewarded with penalties.

Marking Up My Content Will Help It Rank

No. It will help the engine gain a better understanding of your content, and allow us to use that content in unique ways in the SERPs (should we choose to), but installing the code doesn’t boost rankings.

Usability is Different Than SEO

While technically a different discipline, its time more folks starting seeing them as similar. Both focus on improving a website for users. Investing in SEO and not investing in usability is like tying one sneaker and going for a run. Yeah, you’ll be OK, but wouldn’t it be a better experience with both shoes tied?

SEO is All I Need

Do you want consommé or chowder? SEO is foundational. It’s important and can fuel growth. Like Soylent, it’ll keep you going. But maybe you’d rather sample the entire buffet?

By Duane Forrester SEO Tips.

SEO Strategies SEO tips

4 Profitable Ways to Build Links to E-Commerce Websites

There had been much discussion on whether or not link building should be given importance in the coming years.

Repetitive questions have been asked on forums and Q&A sites if SEOs should stop building links for their websites.

My answer for those questions is complex. Yes and no.

Yes, because links are still valuable in the eyes of Google. The search engine giant uses it as a big factor in their search algorithm to determine the relevancy and authority of a website.

No, because we’re not only building links in this age of digital marketing but we’re earning them. Great content, positive user experience, as well as new, unique, and innovative brand experience will all help a website to earn brand recognition and acquire fresh links to its inner pages (deep links).

1. E-Commerce Link Building

First, you should always think of your brand’s reputation when performing link acquisition, as it will always be a big factor in motivating yourself and doing the hard work that content and link building requires you.

There will be many e-commerce brands (small and large) in Asia-Pacific alone, that will be built in the next four to five years as forecasted by experts, which is for sure will exponentially grow over the decades to come.

If you’re working on an e-commerce marketing campaign today and actively promoting your website, it has been always difficult to build brand trust and earn the reputation/referrals through external links pass on to your site’s category pages.

Today, I’ll be sharing a few simple tips on how to build links to your website and continuously earn them from the right pages that are ranking or will potentially rank in search results.

2. Ranking Highly Converted Forum Threads

Forum marketing has always been one of the effective forms of link building, even after Penguin took its position in the search game. Its ability to drive relevant and targeted visitors to a website is one of its strengths and the reason why webmasters and bloggers are still investing in it.

I always love forums because they send continuous referral visits and links to a particular website.

Here are some ways to find forums that are highly valued in your industry:

  • Use simple search queries (intitle:forum “niche”) in Google to find industry-related forums and filter out irrelevant and low quality homepage results based on their search potential (use Alexa’s estimated search visits indicator), engagement signals (average # of views/replies to related threads), and strict editorial guidelines set by moderators.
  • Do a Google search for customer-related search queries like “where to buy” baby shoes, and discover any forums that are listed down in the top spot of search results.


Screenshot taken September 8, 2014

Because these forums are already ranking in search results for keywords that your customers are using to find your products, potential breakthrough to your referral visits as well as to your assisted conversions is higher.

How to Participate in Forums

  • Target forum participants that are actively engaging in the community (use their # of daily/weekly posts, replies and their own threads as your base metrics). Get in touch with them on the forum board or other marketing channels like email and social networks.
  • Become the first one to answer questions that you know you can answer really well based on your experience and expertise (it is also very important to identify the best time people are engaging on the site).

3. Suppliers, Retailers or Manufacturers’ Resource Pages

I’m a fan of getting links from resource pages since it is one of the easiest and most productive ways to do link building these days. This is because resource pages are built to list down internal and external links under the same category (which if your brand is connected with, you can easily ask for a mention/link).

It does require some matching when looking for resource pages that will best fit to your website. If your brand is an e-commerce supplier or manufacturer, then look for retailers or manufacturers’ resource pages, or vice versa if you’re the former.

To get started with resource page link building, do a Google search for any of the following search terms (just simply add your keyword):

(intitle:links) OR (intitle:sites) OR (intitle:resources) “home design” “retailer” OR “manufacturer” OR “supplier”

(intitle:links) OR (intitle:sites) OR (intitle:resources) “home design” useful recommended helpful

intitle:links “home design” “retailer” OR “manufacturer” OR “supplier”

intitle:resources  “home design” “retailer” OR “manufacturer” OR “supplier”

(intitle:links) OR (intitle:sites) OR (intitle:resources)  “home design”  useful recommended helpful “retailer” OR “manufacturer” OR “supplier”

(intitle:links) OR (intitle:sites) OR (intitle:resources)  “home design”  useful recommended helpful “retailer” OR “manufacturer” OR “supplier”

Screenshot taken on September 10, 2014

Filter out results that are irrelevant, poorly designed, and have low domain authority (DA). Create a list of the filtered resource pages.

If you offer several categories of products in your website, then you can populate your list of link targets by prospecting resource pages for each of your category. So if you’re selling home improvement products, then you can search for resource pages under paint category and links pages under home design toolkit category. Do the same method to all of your product categories to create a huge list of backlink opportunities.

4. Link Reclamation

When your website started to build its own brand in your industry, one of the best ways to consistently earn links from your content marketing and branding efforts is to track existing, non-linking brand or product mentions.

Given that your brand is already familiar to the linker, you have high chances of earning a link from your outreach.

Here are some assets from your brand that you need to track in a regular basis:

  • Past and current logos
  • Unique images of your products
  • Data-based visuals produced by your content marketing team (e.g. infographics)
  • Cover photos of research of your brand (e.g. front pages of whitepapers)
  • Quotes by subject experts from your company

More ways to help your website earn links from relevant blogs/sites in your industry:

  • Optimize your e-commerce site for search engines and users by using SEO plugins (if you’re using WordPress, you can check out some of the plugins in this post).
  • Publish at least one content asset on your e-commerce blog that can be considered the most educational, informative, and comprehensive search results for the target keyword you want to rank for.
  • Strategize internal linking on your site to help converting but non-linked pages to rank high in search results (this approach will help your site earn targeted search traffic in a consistent basis).

There are a lot more ways to build links to an e-commerce website, but the most effective methods are the common ones you haven’t tried before. Do you have anything to add? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

By Venchito Tampon SEO Tips.