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October 2016

15 Timeless Quotes from the original Mad Man of Madison Avenue, David Ogilvy   Fellow Scot, Genius & Marketing expert David Ogilvy was one of the most in tune Psychological Influencers to ever walk this earth, he understood the human mind and how to Persuade it through Marketing, more specifically Content Marketing.   [caption id="attachment_376" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Yeah Ogilvy isn't just some cool name the agency is named after him dummy. Get your name stapled on a Big Four advertising agency then talk to me.[/caption]   Let's face it -- it's really easy to have Shiny Object Syndrome in marketing today. With such a rapidly changing industry, we're always trying to stay up on the latest and greatest. "New tools! New social networks! New audiences! Gotta try them all!" But sometimes, it's helpful to step back and remember that some marketing advice is timeless. Tools change, methodologies develop, but there are some core marketing truths that can stand the test of time. And sometimes, one person can be the source of a ton of timeless marketing advice. Today we wanted to highlight one such person: David Ogilvy. Widely considered the Father of Advertising, Ogilvy was the founder of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and a prolific writer. Even though his books were published decades ago, his advice is still applicable today. So we rounded up his best advice for marketers to help inspire you on this day. Here's what Ogilvy has to say:   Timeless Marketing Wisdom From David Ogilvy   1) “I don’t know the rules of grammar … If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.” (Tweet This Quote)   2) “It has been found that the less an advertisement looks like an advertisement and the more it looks like an editorial, the more readers stop, look, and read.” (Tweet This Quote)   3) “Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine.” (Tweet This Quote)   4) “Do not address your readers as though they were gathered together in a stadium. When people read your copy, they are alone. Pretend you are writing to each of them a letter on behalf of your client.” (Tweet This Quote)   5) “Consumers [decide] to buy or not to buy [based on] the content of your advertising, not its form.” (Tweet This Quote)     6) “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” (Tweet This Quote)   7) “The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.” (Tweet This Quote)   8) “Good copy can’t be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You’ve got to believe in the product.” (Tweet This Quote)   9) “Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.” (Tweet This Quote)   10) “Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.” (Tweet This Quote)   11) “Why should a manufacturer bet his money, perhaps the future of his company, on your instinct?” (Tweet This Quote)     12) “Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine.” (Tweet This Quote)   13) “Training should not be confined to trainees. It should be a continuous process, and should include the entire professional staff of the agency. The more our people learn, the more useful they can be to our clients.” (Tweet This Quote)   14) “If you always hire people who are smaller than you are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. If, on the other hand, you always hire people who are bigger than you are, we shall become a company of giants.”  (Tweet This Quote)   15) “Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.” (Tweet This Quote)   More...

The Billion Dollar SEO Empire built under the guise of Google Ventures     Have you ever taken some time to reflect on Google’s massive list of acquisitions and mergers? I mean seriously actually sit down and looked at what Google as actual has accumulated over the years? It's quite staggering. Here's just some of their properties.   For a full list just take a look at their plethora of properties here from advanced robotics to digital marketing CRM's they have their net cast across every field. It’s a bit scary if you do. Actually, it might make some of you go hide in the woods before the robots arrive and take over. For the uninitiated, check out this list on Wikipedia and just scan through some of those prices. Is this for real? Yup, they throw around gazillions of dollars like it’s monopoly money. But that isn’t all, they invest in more than just this list of mergers and acquisitions. This is where “Google Ventures” comes in, their investment arm which allows them to dip into all kinds of cool stuff. And that is where things can get a little sketchy. What happens when an investment is heavily fueled by organic SEO from their very own engine? This is concerning to a lot of people in the SEO community, but let’s be honest, Google doesn’t give a shit about us. The reality of the situation beyond just a bunch of whiny SEOs is the potential anti-trust implications, general shittyness, and hypocrisy from Google’s double dipping. A few years back I wrote a saucy piece about RetailMeNot being backed by Google ventures which led to some more light being shined on the company. All was well, then they received a minor penalty. Shortly there after a full recovery. What’s troubling is this seems to be a reoccurring theme with companies getting outted for questionable SEO who are also backed by Google Ventures. The most recent case was with Thumbtack.com who has done very well with aggressive local SEO growth and also received $100 million from Google ventures. These guys were doing some shady shit, no doubt about that, and once it came in the public spotlight from this post (quite similar to my RetailMeNot piece) it was only a matter of time until the hammer came down. Sorry buddy, but been there done that, check my post date ;-) Okay, maybe a bit of jealousy there because his post got shared by Master Fishkin himself and wound up delivering a straight KO punch right in Thumbtack’s gonads. All pretty standard stuff so far, but then Thumbtack managed to get the fastest “get out of jail free” card in the history of Google penalties. In under a fucking week! That’s right, less than seven days and out of the penalty box with shitloads of new backlinks from us SEOs. Have we been trolled? Kind of seems like it but before we start spazzing out we need an overview of all the Google ventures backed companies who have crushed it with SEO. We need numbers to dig deeper into what is actually going on. The Great Big List of Google Ventures Backed SEO Sites To get started I went to GV.com/portfolio (sorry bros, nofollow) and pulled all the outbound links. Shazam, got a list of all their URLs. Now onto SEMRush to get some data on all these. But before getting there I noticed Thumbtack.com is not on the list of Google Ventures investments. Wait a second, there is another “investment arm”, Google Capital which has some interesting companies under its wing as well. Lendingclub, Surveymonkey, Thumbtack, Glassdoor, Credit Karma, and Auction.com to name a few. So farther down the rabbit hole we go. There was one problem though, it was going to take me all day to download 200+ reports one by one. At this point I was forced to utilize the small amount of tech skill I have and use the SEMrush API. But wait, why not just send a quick email instead? Thankfully I have a contact over there and they helped me out. Big thanks you guys are awesome. Here is the data I pulled, enjoy :-)   Google's Portfolio Monthly SEO Stats Provided by SEMrush Show 10 25 50 100 entries Search: Domain Organic Keywords Organic Traffic Organic Cost creditkarma.com 92,767 5,945,665 $14,900,000 glassdoor.com 1,125,085 7,097,346 $14,200,000 retailmenot.com 331,019 12,128,660 $9,946,189 thumbtack.com 109,262 536,320 $4,500,000 uber.com 12,554 1,750,090 $3,683,236 Lendingclub.com 7,778 390,688 $3,400,000 homeaway.com 222,315 2,218,832 $2,687,534 hubspot.com 28,152 324,900 $1,872,331 lendup.com 5,460 150,432 $1,197,143 tunein.com 156,713 2,168,876 $1,024,655 Showing 1 to 10 of 206 entries PreviousNext Some interesting things to note about the data. The total estimated organic traffic cost is about $67 million per month and that is in the United States only. Certainly some of these domains are doing well in other countries so this number is actually much higher. The next number I found interesting and rather low is the total amount of adwords spend. This is around $2.8 million, not bad compared to their estimated overall organic traffic cost, roughly 23 times the amount. Needless to say, their portfolio is reaping the rewards of their search engine quite strategically. They’ve hit some of the most profitable industries: coupons, legal, loans, etc. But hey, wouldn’t you do the same? Well you’re likely not a billion dollar corporation so the implications aren’t quite the same. The real interesting thing is what these properties have done SEO wise.   Let’s look at some explosive growth shall we? CreditKarma Watch out, you might break the backlink checker with this one. Phew, how is the air up there guys? Uber Google loves them some Uber. Can’t really blame them, they got some big stacks invested there. Thumbtack Now this graph might knock you out of your chair when considering they received a penalty. LendingClub Need a loan after all the money you wasted on blackhatworld PBN links? Well don’t worry G ventures has got your back. Just do a quick search for “loans” and you’ll find Lendingclub at #3 and Creditkarma at #1. Shall we dig into the backlinks? Before we start pointing the finger for anything sketchy, freaking out, and starting a riot let’s consider that most large sites are bound to have at least some spammy links from scraper sites or something similar. So the plan is each site gets the 5 minute Jacob King spam check (trademark pending). If I can find some shit in that amount of time then you can make your own conclusions from there. Let’s take a quick look at these sites hopefully without breaking ahrefs. CreditKarma Well they are doing quite nicely. It must be the social signals pushing them to #1 for “credit score” ;-) Or maybe it’s the 6k+ referring domains? Well I started the spam check timer and found some anchor spam at the 1:35 mark. Take a peak at their anchor profile, the untrained eye might miss it.   Ah but wait, exact match anchor text? It couldn’t be, yup, yup it is.   Almost looks like some contextual link spam I’d throw out there, damn near the anchor text profile I’d build too. I’m not going to dig into the actual links as the spam check time ran out. I saw some weird site wide links for “free credit score” on realtor sites and figured I could call it good there. Uber This one is pretty tough, there are just so many links to look at in only 5 minutes. One thing I did notice that looked a bit strange was links to their geo landing pages with some uniform anchor text. I just randomly clicked to the 7th page of anchors, like trying to find a needle in a haystack.   Thumbtack   Wow, 32k referring domains, I thought my hair might turn grey waiting for this one to load. No need to even spam check these dudes since their recent penalty has been posted about a tonnnnn. I’d like to get an estimate of how many new referring domains they picked up from news of their penalty but it’s tough to say with the link removals they did. LendingClub   This one is just too perfect for a closer. So I started peaking at Lendingclub and nothing popped out at me. Then I decided to navigate to the top pages section and check some link building to specific landing pages. Noticed this guy here with a bunch of spam links and the top anchor “consolidated credit “. But wait, upon closer look that’s our friend negative SEO. It’s almost inevitable to get hit ranking on these big SERPs by some spitefull asshole. It’s next to impossible to drop them and if you’re blasting the main anchor it will probably just help them. How did I know this was neg SEO? It’s easy when you spot these anchors: “visit poster’s website” and “strona www” The first is “visit poster’s website” is a default generic anchor text in the software GSA search engine ranker and the second “strona www” is the default from one of the comment engines. Signing Off What can we conclude from all this? Well obviously these sites have done incredibly well and some insights can be gained from them. Although Google has made statements before that an investment doesn’t provide an extra SEO edge or insider information, one still has to wonder. Is Google double dipping? Is it the ultimate case of “do as we say but not as we do”? You be the judge. Save Save Save Save Save...

How to build out a SEO strategy that will gain you 141% increase in organic search volume. Hint: Its Very Complicated, must have a Growth Mindset.   What would your business be like with 141% more organic search traffic? Unless your website is a CRO nightmare… You would see hockey stick revenue growth. In this post, I’m going to show you how we grew a client’s organic search traffic by 141%. Let’s jump in.   Brief Background I will give you as much detail as possible without revealing the client’s niche or website. Here are some quick facts about the client: Their business is between 1-5 employees. They already had an active blog and were promoting their content on social media. They hadn’t done any SEO in the past. Our SEO Strategy My SEO agency uses two different strategies with our clients and they are as follows:   1. Content Driven Strategy This is our preferred strategy, but it requires significant resources, time, and effort. Which is usually beyond what the majority of clients can afford. With that said, our content driven strategy is simple: Create content that attract backlinks. Promote the content so that it actually gets backlinks. The goal of this strategy is to increase the authority of the client’s website. The more website authority you have, the easier it is to rank for keywords. This content driven strategy is exactly what we teach in Gotch SEO Academy.   2. Non-Content Driven Strategy This strategy is exactly like it sounds: we don’t create and promote content. Instead, we optimize a page or many pages for target keywords. This approach is best for smaller businesses or local businesses with smaller budgets. For this client, we used this strategy. Here are the tactics involved with this strategy: Find keyword ideas, analyze the competitors, and have the client approve the keywords Optimize the target page(s) for those keywords Perform an SEO audit to identify all on-site technical issues and off-site backlink issues Fix all issues found within the SEO audit Prospect for link opportunities Begin securing “easy” backlinks Start our blogger outreach campaign Continue acquiring relevant backlinks until the client ranks Now I will show you how this process works in practice.   Keyword Research Right off the bat, the client supplied us with great ideas/keywords they wanted to rank for. We took this information and immediately tossed it into the Google Keyword Planner. The purpose of doing so is to verify that there was enough search volume. Through quick research we identified the keywords with the highest search volume. We ended up with a rough list of approximately 15 keyword ideas. We cut this list down to 9 target keywords. Here is the search volume for the keywords we are targeting: We were able to trim the list through our competitor analysis strategy.   Competitor Analysis We break our competitor analysis down into two stages. The first stage takes no more than 30 seconds. Within this 30 second timeframe, we are looking at the following: PA & DA: we compare the client’s PA and DA relative to the ranking websites Big Brand Dominance: we look for big brands such as Wikipedia or Amazon ranking on the first page. This is can be a sign that the niche is competitive. Pages That Signal Low Competition: we look for “weak” pages such as those from Q&A sites, PDFs, article directories, press releases, or even web 2.0s. These types of pages are easy to outrank. This quick process can tell us whether a particular keyword is worth pursuing. If the keyword passes this first test, we then move onto stage two of our competitor analysis. The second stage is more comprehensive because we analyze the each competitor one-by-one. In this analysis, we are looking at a few different factors including: Total Linking Root Domains: the quantity of unique domains linking to a page is a strong ranking factor, so it’s at the top of the priority list for us. Link Quality: we examine the link quality of the competitor’s page. We do this to get a general picture of what link quality is “accepted” for the keyword. Domain Age: I don’t believe domain age plays a huge role, but it’s something we still consider. Strength of Content: we rate the quality of the competitor’s content on a scale of 1-10. This rating is based on the length, the intricacy, the exhaustiveness, and the structure of the content (from a readability and design perspective).   We always measure these factors relative to the client. Example: if a competitor has 100 linking root domains, then we know that our client must get a similar amount. This isn’t an unbreakable rule. Sometimes it takes more, sometimes it takes less. But it’s a good goal/benchmark to keep track of during the campaign. This entire competitor analysis process is in Gotch SEO Academy. Make sure you sign-up to secure your spot for the next launch. The next stage of the process is to select what pages we want to optimize. Then, actually optimize those pages.   Page-Level Optimization We decided it would be most effective to target the client’s homepage for the set of 9 keywords we selected. These keywords are related, so this isn’t a problem. In most cases, I don’t think you should ever exceed 1-3 keyword themes per page on your site. One keyword theme, per page is best. For example, if I’m targeting the keyword “anchor text“, I wouldn’t also try to rank the same page for “St Louis SEO”. Yet, I can target keywords related to “anchor text” such as “what is anchor text”. That’s because those variations are within the same keyword theme. With that said, here’s what we did to optimize the page: Are you ready? It’s complicated so make sure you hang onto your hat… We added the keywords to the title and META description We added our the “big hitter” keyword (the one with the most search volume) to the first H1 tag on the page We sprinkled the big hitter keyword a few more times on the page That’s it. Mind blowing, right? After we optimized the target landing page, we then began our SEO audit.   SEO Audit Procedure I’ve explained our SEO audit in-depth before, but I’ll explain here again. The purpose of our audit is to identify technical issues that could harm user experience. Or, technical issues that could be leaking website authority. Common technical issues that hurt user experience or leak authority include: Slow website loading speed Non-mobile friendly websites Distracting elements Ugly, confusing, or outdated design 404 pages (only bad if they have link equity) Broken links Redirect chains 302 redirects Duplicate content Thin content Ineffective internal linking After performing the audit, we were happy to see that the client did not suffer from these issues. Their website loads around 1 second. They have a mobile friendly website. Their SSL certificate installed right. They have a clean and modern design. They only had a few 404 pages and broken links. The only issues we identified had to do with the client’s internal linking practices. This wasn’t an urgent issue, but something we wanted to jump on right away. Their main internal linking issues were: A) they weren’t using keyword rich anchors and, B) they were linking to the wrong pages with keyword-rich anchors. Point B can be the most problematic because it can create keyword cannibalization issues. We knew that by fixing these two issues, we could flow internal authority back to the homepage. So, that’s exactly what we did. We changed the internal links to target the homepage and used exact match anchor text. That simple. After we finished up the on-site optimization we moved onto link acquisition.   Link Building We decided to focus on the following link types: Blogger outreach links Niche relevant blog comments Business citations Branded properties These are the link types that we use for most national SEO campaigns. Here are the rough totals of links we built: 30 + contextual backlinks on relevant blogs 100 + blog comments on relevant blogs 15 citations on the best directories 50 branded properties The client has 31 linking root domains before we started. Now the client has around 84 according to Ahrefs. They have more than this because Ahrefs doesn’t capture all link data on the Internet. I know you are likely wondering: “what about the anchor text ratios!?” I got you covered. For the contextual backlinks, we used exact match, keyword variations, and branded anchor text. We used a name for the blog comment anchor text and the citations produced naked link anchors. The anchor ratios are in line with what I’ve been preaching for years now: Less than 1% exact match anchor text 1-5% keyword variations High percentage of branded and naked link anchors If you need help with anchor text, read our guide: https://www.gotchseo.com/anchor-text/ Now let me show you the results of this work.   The Results Here is the Google Analytics data over the course of 9 months: When we started the client was getting approximately 1,885 organic search visitors per month. After 9 months of work, we increased their organic search traffic to 4,541 per month. A 141% increase. There are a few conclusions you can draw from this growth pattern: Growing organic search traffic takes a long time If you quit early, you will never see the fruits of your labor SEO agencies and businesses who hire them, must both understand that SEO is a long game. My agency has achieved explosive growth for some clients within 3-4 months, but this is rare. For most campaigns, it takes 6, 8, 12, or even 15 months to see growth. SEO is NOT a quick fix. In my opinion, it is a supplemental marketing channel. Businesses that rely on SEO or an SEO agency for growth, will lead themselves down a path of destruction.   This is true for two reasons: 1. When you rely on an SEO agency to grow your business, you will use the agency as a scapegoat. When you aren’t converting leads on your site, you will call up the SEO agency and ask: “why aren’t we getting leads” or “we haven’t been getting leads since you guys started”… Here’s the truth: It’s easy to blame an SEO agency or any type of outside marketing agency for your problems. It’s HARD to reflect on WHY you actually aren’t getting leads. More often than not, traffic is NOT the problem. In an ideal world, more traffic would solve your revenue problems. In reality it doesn’t. Getting traffic is the FIRST part of the process. You have to actually convince that traffic to contact you or buy your product. That means you have to understand sales, copywriting, and conversion rate optimization. The reason why businesses stagnate when they have MORE traffic is because of a weak sales funnel. Business is just like real life. For example, your life will be a struggle if you are always looking for someone to blame for your problems. The same is true for your business. Stop blaming. Start reflecting. Now let me rant onto the second reason why you shouldn’t rely on SEO. 2. Businesses built on organic search traffic, have no other choice but to blame the SEO agency. This is the reason why my agency doesn’t work with startups or businesses that do not already have reliable marketing channels. That’s not because we can’t get them results… It’s because we know how those campaigns turn out. A bootstrapped startup will question your every move. They will ask questions like: “Why aren’t we getting results yet!?” …after two weeks of starting a new campaign. I’m going to end my rant here, but I will be writing a blog post on “Why Startups Should NOT Hire an SEO Agency” to elaborate on this further. Subscribe to get notified when it’s published.   Conclusion This client had a great foundation for SEO and made our job much easier. It’s not always this easy to grow organic search traffic when working with clients. Sometimes the clients have years of ineffective/spammy SEO tactics that you must battle against. That’s why my agency loves working with clients who have done little or no SEO in the past. Working with a fresh slate makes your life a lot easier. With that said, this SEO campaign still has a lot of room for improvement. Have some questions about this case study? Leave it below because I answer every single blog comment. Filed Under: SEO Case Studies Featured Article: You’re Making at Least One of These On-Page SEO Mistakes ...

SEO Strategy To 20 Million+ Visitors A Month Three quarters after Yummly launched, its Chief Growth Officer Ethan Smith watched the food discovery platform log its 10 millionth visit in a month. However, like most enduring recipes, it didn’t become a crowd favorite by tossing together ingredients in a fit of inspiration. Yummly’s SEO strategy, which helped the startup top the charts as the best global recipe app for iPhone, iPad and Android, was years in the making, going back to Smith’s first company. Product Hunt is Everywhere - This is How It Got There Smith started his career as a user experience designer and researcher. At Wize, he managed product, design and marketing, until Nextag acquired the product review startup. Since 2010, he’s held various roles at Yummly, including its Head of Product and VP of Growth, helping it tally over 20 million monthly visits. Beyond Yummly, he actively advises startups such as Wanelo, Vinted and Thumbtack on strategies to improve growth and SEO. In this exclusive interview, Smith shares why a specific inflection point with SEO has led to costly misconceptions and missteps. He outlines how to recognize and sidestep them as well as identifies key tenets for high-performance SEO. For any company that has lost confidence in or hit the wall with SEO, Smith’s tactics can help retrofit and reenergize your strategy. A PARADIGM SHIFT WITH SEO One reason the concept of product-market fit resonates is because the balance and reliance between the two elements — product and market — is front and center in its name. But when many startups think about SEO, minds often jump to sly maneuvers and hacking a way to growth. The truth is that optimization is only as strong as one’s understanding of the search engine part of the equation. When the rules of search change, so must the strategy. Over the last five years, Smith has seen startups neglect a shift that has changed a big part of SEO. “A new era for SEO began in early 2011, when Google launched Panda, its change to its search results ranking algorithm. What was once a very simple algorithm was revamped to penalize low-quality, thin sites. Gone were the days of a formula based mainly on keyword density and pagerank,” says Smith. “In the SEO of the past, one could repeat and conceal a bunch of keywords in a tiny font with camouflaged text to increase word density and pagerank. A SEO manager’s job was to find holes like this and exploit them until Google would slap your wrists and patch the gaps. Because the penalties were short-lived, people would go back to finding and exploiting another loophole as soon as they could.” Together with Google Penguin, which penalizes artificial boosts in page rankings through backlinks, Panda brought in somewhat of a new world order with SEO. “While most of the workings of the Penguin filter is public, there was — and still is — more unknowns with Panda. For example, if your site is penalized by Panda, it could take years to get released from it and it’s not obvious how that happens,” says Smith. “Here’s what I’ve seen occur over and over: Founder starts a company. He’s not an SEO expert, but hears that it’s important. He asks around, and is told to launch 50 million pages. The startup starts with 100,000 and sees traffic go up. Then it launches 1 million more pages. More traffic comes. Then it launches 50 million pages. Traffic soars. Then a few months later, traffic tanks. The founder frantically tries to get the traffic back. Months go by, but nothing works.” Aggressive SEO (red) versus gradual SEO (green) THE ERA OF GOOD CONTENT AND ENGAGEMENT It’s not earth-shattering to learn that Google tweaks its algorithm to reward good content and user experience, but the hard part is figuring out how to act to actually reap those benefits. “What’s required is not only a change in behavior, but a switch of mentality. Nearly every get-traffic-quick scheme pulls the carpet out from under you eventually,” says Smith. “You have to think for the long haul; the growth curve you want is more gradual and steady. It won’t look good in the early days, but it will lead to significantly more long term traffic if you’re consistent.” Here’s where to start to embark on the steady curve: Use Google’s guide — not your guesswork — to define what’s good. If improving your content quality and traffic is your goal, there are levers to pull, but don’t assume you can choose which ones. “Most people instinctively nominate themselves as authorities of what’s good when it comes to content and user experience. With SEO, that’s not what actually matters,” says Smith. “What’s important is what Google has defined as good content and good engagement. Note that I didn’t say what is objectively good, but what is subjectively defined as good by Google. Google has a set of guidelines — about 150 pages of them — and has hired thousands of quality raters to rate pages and sites based on their guidelines.” The closer your page resembles those labeled as good content by Google’s rubric, the better your “content quality” is and the more your page will rise in the rankings. “It’s like any sport or board game. Some rules may not make sense, but you have to abide by them to win over time,” says Smith. “For example, scraping and summarizing content can be arguably a very useful thing for users, but Google has decided it’s not. For Yummly, recipes that have a lot of reviews or that have a ‘cook mode’ are ranked highly because Google decided that these make a recipe high quality.” When it comes to Google’s guide to content quality, it’s big theme is EAT, which stands for expertise, authority and trustworthiness. “The guide goes into detail about what standard of expertise is expected for various topics. For example, medical advice should come from people or organizations with the proper accreditation, but forums for spouses of those who died from an ailment are also considered experts. The differentiating factor is what life experience is necessary to credibly give others value. The guide offers a good guiding question: ‘What kind of expertise is required for the page to achieve its purpose well?’” Smith works with companies to help establish high EAT scores for their particular category. “In order to get a high EAT score in shopping, Wanelo shows reviews and photos for each product as well as return policy and shipping information. To show that Wanelo is a highly reputable company, it highlights press coverage in the New York Times, Fortune and other credible media publications on its press page,” he says. “For local services, Thumbtack highlights how many years a practitioner has been in business, whether they are licensed, how many jobs they have completed and, most importantly, lots of 5 star reviews.” With SEO, you can be righteous or right. To be the latter, follow Google’s guidelines, not your gut. Beyond the few hundred pages of SEO guidelines from Google, Smith highlights a few underappreciated tips to consider as you tweak your search engine optimization strategy. Ethan Smith Keep good hygiene. One of the underappreciated aspects of SEO has less to do with what you do and more with what you don’t. It’s not the type of sexy growth hacking that gets written about, but it’s as critical. “Too many people continue with growth strategies that worked before Panda, but which now penalize them. Don’t spend energy trying to get out of Panda’s penalties; direct your energy toward good hygiene and maintenance. This strategy involves striking a balance between testing new SEO strategies and tracking your pages to detect issues early to prevent future penalties.” The Story Behind How Pocket Hit 20M Users with 20 People Here are a few tips from Smith on keeping good SEO hygiene: Schedule a weekly open-ended crawl of your site. A lot of times, companies’ sites will have pages cluttering Google’s index that they don’t want indexed and don’t know about. “What most people don’t understand is that Google will index whichever page they want. It's not about what you put in your sitemap. It's about any page Google can find it will index unless you tell them not to,” says Smith. “Establish an open-ended crawl of your site weekly to look for pages that shouldn't be there. Detecting those is supremely important to improving SEO — and part of good hygiene. Use tools such as Screaming Frog to crawl your site and QA." Track your number of pages, how many are getting crawled, how many are indexed and how many are getting traffic. "Take note of any big differences in those figures. So, the alarm should sound if you have 1,000 pages, but only 200 are getting crawled. Or 1,000 pages crawled, but only 200 are getting indexed. Or 1,000 are indexed, but only 10 are getting traffic," says Smith. "You want all your pages to be crawled on a weekly basis and 95% indexation rate with the majority getting traffic.” Sample Hygiene Report Eliminate incidental indexed pages. It bears repeating: it doesn’t matter if you think your pages are important; what’s key is what Google deems important. Google will tell you whether your page is important by crawling it often, indexing it and sending it traffic. Google doesn’t like sites with lots of thin pages. Once a crawl catches these “thin” pages, get rid of them. Don’t be surprised if you find "thin" pages indexed unintentionally or unknowingly. “Depending on their site architecture, startups can accidentally create and index tons of pages without knowing its impact on SEO,” says Smith. “For example, Yummly users have profile pages for each of its 18 million users. These millions of pages are core to the Yummly feature set and thus are very useful. However, very few people search Google looking for profile pages — they search for a chicken casserole recipe. The issue is that Google will classify these profile pages as too thin and penalize us. We avoid this by being careful about which pages we allow to be indexed.” Once you’ve found “thin" pages, there are a few ways forward. “The best and fastest way to eliminate them is to remove an entire directory by disallowing it in the robots.txt file or using the directory removal tool in Google Webmaster Tools. You can also remove individual pages either with a noindex tag or by returning a 404/410 error code,” says Smith. “But stay vigilant, as there are other ways 'thin' pages crop up. Many sites have HTTPS and HTTP versions of every page; that means that every single page gets indexed twice. Pages can be indexed with and without a “www.” At Yummly, we noticed our DEV servers — like DEV1.yummly.com, DEV2.yummly.com and so on — created duplicate versions of our site. If we didn’t catch it, we’d accidentally have 10 versions of our site getting indexed and causing duplicate content issues.” Flatten your internal link architecture. Pagerank sculpting is dead. What matters now is a sufficiency of links and pagerank. The more you can flatten your internal architecture, the more each of your pages attain sufficient pagerank, and the more your traffic will increase. “Most internal links are skewed toward just a few pages. You might have internal links that are the most recent posts. If you have a thousand pages, the most recent posts are likely ten pages. Then you're not linking to the other 990, which signals to Google that these pages are not important and so they don't get traffic,” says Smith. “Instead, link across all your pages so that Google has many paths to find all of the pages on your site, not just a small percentage of them. So, if you’re showcasing an easy-to-use digital camera, don’t just link to other cameras. Link to other easy-to-use categories, like headphones or TVs. Cross-linking vertically and horizontally creates a more tightly-connected, flat link architecture.” Steal first. Then innovate. The growth strategy that took Smith three years to find and fine-tune at Wize started to work at Yummly after only three months. Given that long term growth in SEO takes time, startups can’t afford a steep learning curve when just getting started. “Worry about innovation when it comes to your core product, not your SEO. It’s not well publicized but most successful growth teams and companies take the most effective strategies from competitors, apply them in-house, then improve upon them,” says Smith. “SEO is no exception. Most of what works is not obvious at the onset, so startups spend an enormous amount of time reinventing the wheel.” Smith has found success with research — not just secondary, but primary. “We look for the most successful SEO companies. We deeply analyze their site and strategy to understand what’s working. Then we try to connect with the person in charge of their SEO to ask them directly what’s working and what’s not,” he says. “Don't just research and reach out to who you subjectively think might be interesting. We use Sistrix and SimilarWeb to evaluate competitor traffic and engagement. For Yummly, we care about certain growth indicators — such as overall traffic, high SERP rank, and a steady growth trajectory — to identify which sites have the most effective SEO strategy. Then we find people who work at those companies, reach out and ask if they’d be open to a call. I never have open-ended chats over coffee. I do my homework and bring a list of pointed questions about specific parts of their site.” Ninety percent of the people that Smith reached out to share techniques with him. “They might not say everything but they’ll answer if I have specific questions. Taken together with other conversations, this helps keep our strategy current. Of course, I offer them ideas on what has worked for us, too, so that the exchange is mutually beneficial,” he says. “It sounds simple, but many just research from afar. We like to both reach out to other growth experts as well as test common attributes across sites — like Yelp, Zillow and Houzz — that correlate with traffic. In fact, don’t just look at competitors, but those outside your category. We’ve actually learned a lot from TripAdvisor’s page structure.” Recommended Article Take Your Fundraising Pitch from Mediocre to Memorable with These Storytelling Tips At Yummly, Smith used both types of research — along with his personal experience — to successfully revamp its category pages. “We launched category pages at my last company where we would find keywords and create pages that target those keywords. So we did the same at Yummly, basing them on structured taxonomies like shopping categories and filters. So there’d be a page for digital cameras and a page for every filter, such as digital camera between $50 and $100,” he says. “It worked, but not well. By talking with peers and pattern-matching with other sites, we realized that our structured taxonomies were not using the words that people use to search in Google form. We then found the phrases that people are actually searching for on Google, such as ‘digital cameras for wildlife photography,’ and curated category pages for those terms. That worked much better because the page exactly matched an actual query that people type into a search box.” Approach SEO as acquisition. According to Smith, most big companies became very successful by being extremely aggressive with their growth. “Airbnb used Craigslist early on to tap into a broader market. Pinterests emails all your Facebook friends telling them you followed them when you didn’t. Linkedin makes it easy to accidentally send invitations to your entire contact list. The most successful companies are also extremely aggressive — with email marketing, paid advertising and referrals — but not SEO,” says Smith. “In the past, SEO success favored the most aggressive companies. After Google Panda or Penguin, success favors companies those that take a steady long term approach to growth. Be aggressive with SEO in the sense that you want to deploy resources to work on it in the first place, but don’t do too much too fast that’s not in your actual strategy.” In the age of mobile, most will claim that websites aren’t important anymore or that SEO is dead. “The truth is that, when used as an acquisition vehicle, SEO is more effective now than it ever has been. In fact, other than gaming apps, the most successful apps, like Pinterest, Yelp, and Houzz, use web SEO as their main app acquisition channel,” says Smith. “Most SEO visitors come to a site, look at a couple pages, then leave. It’s easy to dismiss these passerby users as not valuable. The goal is to get SEO visitors to come back. Whether it’s by getting someone to register, use an engaging feature or download the app. When viewed as an acquisition channel, SEO can be one of the most impactful channels to drive long term lifetime value.” With SEO, you can never be 100% confident. But once you know that, you’re more likely to be good at it.   THE SEO TEAM YOU (THINK YOU) NEED The first mistake you might make — especially as a startup — is thinking that you need a team or person dedicated to SEO from the get-go. “Your SEO strategy and roadmap might come from someone you have in-house, but it’s as likely that it will — and probably should — come from a consultant or advisor,” says Smith. “At Wize, we turned the corner when our consultant, Leo Haryono, gave me his initial recipe, which I took and built from. I know I could have eventually come to the same result, but calling him in helped us shortcut that learning process.” An SEO hire or consultant should join in once you’ve validated some traction and traffic. “For most consumer companies, that'll be around 100,000 visits per month. The role of the SEO manager will not only be to double-down on what’s started to work, but to build really good content, make engagement better and build PR/marketing backlinks through the methods I’ve mentioned,” says Smith. “At this point, the SEO person needs to become a stakeholder in product decisions and should advise on the parameters that the content creators or Product should consider in their work. Make sure this person can point to an SEO engine they’ve built at another company and explain how exactly she grew traffic with tools that don’t cost a fortune. A lot can be done with Google or Bing Webmaster tools as well as free or low-tier versions of Majestic SEO or Sistrix. If she can’t clearly communicate those two elements, take pause and move onto other referrals.” It’s at this point that a startup should double-down with SEO, but through smartly building out its existing teams and product. “You’ve got a team and a dedicated SEO person or consultant. Now it’s about syncing and scaling the teams in an intentional way. If reviews are a lever for growth for your business, build in hooks into your core product to encourage users to write them. Airbnb has done a great job here in creating hooks that feed SEO into the core product,” says Smith. “Nerdwallet is another great example. By scaling into an army of really great finance writers, they have been able to have great SEO. Its focus was not around weird tricks and hidden text, but about writing high-quality articles on topics that people sought out.” Bringing it All Together There has been a sea change with SEO. With the introduction of Google Panda and Penguin, the game has changed over the last five years. The problem is that the methods of many people tackling SEO have not changed along with it. Through good hygiene and understanding of Google’s guidelines, startups can avoid falling into traps that could penalize their traffic and pagerank for years to come. Schedule a weekly crawl of your site to identify and eliminate “thin” pages on your site. Take proactive measures to flatten your link architecture. Start SEO from Day 1, but don’t be too aggressive too fast — either with your strategy or your investment in an SEO hire. The name of the game is slow and steady wins the race. Instead invest in good content and frame SEO as an acquisition tool. Have faith in in in the long term; quick fixes lead to quick declines. “With SEO, even if you find a way to identify every variable, you won’t be able to control each one. You might change a title tag but there are a thousand other factors that you're not controlling for that influence results. The challenges with causation and correlation abound,” says Smith. “If there’s one thing I hope startups take away about SEO is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Quick-twitch muscles won’t do any good here — in fact, they’ll likely get you into trouble. Endurance and awareness are the attributes that get rewarded with SEO. I wish people would swap growth hacking for growth harvesting. That’s the type of approach that truly works.” Photography by Bonnie Rae Mills. Save...

The only guide you'll ever need for creating backlinks in 2016   This new guide will teach how to build backlinks in 2016. Every strategy you will read is battle tested. Through hundreds of successful SEO campaigns, we now know what works best. And of course… What doesn’t work. Ready to get started? Let’s go: What Are Tier One Backlinks? "Tier one" backlinks are external links directly hitting your website. Like so: These links are a large piece of the ranking puzzle. But before we get into the heavy link building strategy...

Are you ready to start ranking sites again? Like it was “back in the day” when you could practically fiddle Google rankings around and whoever spammed the hardest won the day? Well I never stopped trying, I refused to accept that the spam and jam days had come to an end. It’s still possible, they’re still doing it, but why aren’t you? Well it’s a lot of things causing you to fail, but the demon at the gates which Google has sneakily built in is what you need to tackle. If you can conquer this demon, then you’ll have the keys back and SEO will become your bitch again.   You need to start doing SEO without giving a fuck… That’s right, you just read the word “fuck”, if this bothers you then you definitely don’t have the stomach for ranking sites in 2014, you should probably hang it up all together. But if you feel charged up and still have that fire burning to get back to smashing rankings, today is your day. For those with hats, bring it on in the comment section, because the following statements are probably going to piss you off a bit.   1. Content does not matter. Period, end scene, write another script. If you think it does, then Google has got you right where they want you. The game is based on the next two things. 2. Links are everything. Links, links, links, and good ones. What the shit does “good ones” mean? Man that is something so tossed up like “quality content”. Heard of PageRank? Well apparently that dude Larry Page was on to something with that metric, since it’s how you absolutely kill top rankings, PR links. And their weight has only INCREASED since Google has tightened their grip on automated spam.   Don’t believe me? Think PageRank is an outdated metric and DA (domain authority) is the beez neez? Well it’s no surprise you’re having such a tough time hitting P1. You want some domain authority? Send me a couple URLs, I’ll smash on them with GSA search engine ranker for a week or two and hook you up with some solid DA 40+ spamalation. You see, DA does not account for spam, in fact, it scales with spam, so it’s quite possibly the most useless metric in SEO right now. On the other hand, I’m really liking Majestic SEO’s Trust Flow or TF, not the end all be all but it’s the best we’ve got currently. Active PR does not scale with spam, try to GSA spam me a PR 6 domain, it’s not happening. When you realize that, you might start reconsidering how you go about getting links. 3. Anchor Text – Now that points one and two are starting to sink in, you’ll hopefully soon realize that anchor text is Google’s last line of defense next to confusing you with FUD and propaganda. And this is where I hope the power will start to shift back for a small % of us. Google is completely fucked, the reality is good spam ranks and bad spam can literally remove sites in a matter of weeks. So with that all said, what is your best move? It’s NFG or “No fucks given SEO”. Buy and cheat your way to the top, do whatever it takes to be #1, the guys telling you that’s not what this is all about have given up and stopped fighting. And what have they been rewarded with? More scrutiny and more slaps for the stupidest of infractions. Myblogguest? Are you fucking kidding me? Got me scared to even link to the damn domain. Google, you suck, almost as much as FaceBook. But don’t worry, you’re closing in fast.     The above tweet from my buddy Chris sums up the reality of where SEO is in 2014. The reality is that Google has lulled us into a false sense of security that can be taken away by your competitor who decides to reward you with a fiverr spam blast for your great content efforts. It’s time to start doing NFG SEO and realizing what’s actually happened with the game over the last few years. With penguin, the entire paradigm shifted, what we were ALL doing to rank sites suddenly backfired and became the very thing that caused us to tank. Not only that but it spawned a full on industry of link cleanup tools and services. Link cleanups? Are you fucking kidding me? And now where are we, pacing around like a bunch of lost sheep considering dropping a nice neatly placed message to Google on every link we build (the nofollow tag)? Not me, not now, and not ever. Because you see Google, for me, I just don’t give a fuck. I stayed the course, I’m still spamming and ranking sites, in fact it’s easier than ever now that you’re leaning on authority links so goddamn much. If you’d like to join me, then today you must let go, let go of everything you’ve been indoctrinated with and stop giving a fuck, build links like you just downloaded your first copy of Senuke and you’re ready to spam the world. Test that algo every day like it’s your last and please stop listening to him. It’s much more than the tactics or the blog networks, it’s the mindset they’re after, it’s NFG they want to stop, so come on SEOs, it’s time to stop giving a fuck. Filed Under: SEO ...

Growth Hacking The Ultimate Spying Guide for Media Buying (via iAmAtilla)   All right guys, some of you remember me posting a spying thread that explains how to spy on your competitors using a proxy and android apps. That is one way but today I decided to go a little deeper to explore many other ways from cheap to expensive that can help you get a lot of great ideas to minimize your risk, and maximize the profits – I’m calling this iAmAttila’s Ultimate Spying Guide for Media Buyers – because really, it IS really bad ass! I plan to make this guide very detailed, so be prepared … it’s gonna be LONG!   Feel free to skip ahead if you want to the part that is most important to you. Questions i’ll be showing you how to find answers to A) What offers are running on a specific site? B) What offers are being run on specific app placement? C) Where/what placements/traffic sources/sites is the offer being advertised the most on? D) What creatives are being used for specific offer and which ones are being used the most (sizes, angles, etc) E) What landing pages are being used? F) Exposing other affiliates trackers,  learning which ones send the most volume for an offer, and finding their landers/creatives G) Spying on your CPA Network and finding out if they are re-brokering the offer, or you are really going direct to the source Methods & Tools Wee will be using in our journey: In order to do spying you need tools,  these tools are expensive for the newbie but a must for any successful media buyer.     I use all of these tools below myself every time I spy and my friends – the best of the best like Charles Ngo & Finch use ’em too! 1. What Runs Where Mobile [sign up here for $1] 2. HMA+Android Phone+Android Apps [get hma here] 3. Opera Mini Emulator for PC & HMA VPN Proxy  [buy hma proxy] 4. STM Adult Ads Spy (available FREE for STM Members only – get an STM account) 5. SimilarWeb to find who is sending most volume to tracking link/offer landing page 6. Ad planners like Decisive’s, ExoClicks, TrafficJunky’s, etc. to find sites/placements to spy on. are you ready?…    Let’s get started!   A) What offers are running on a specific site Scenario – Adult Dating Campaign / TJ & PornHub 305×99 placement Imagine you are about to do a mobile adult dating campaign,  you don’t have an offer picked out yet, didn’t talk to your reps nothing –  instead you are taking an other approach.   You looked at TrafficJunky and learned that there’s a shit load of volume for CHEAP in Argentina.     The site you have this great opportunity for tons of volume and cheap pricing is on the Pornhub 305×99 banner sizes.     Great!  Now let’s figure out what offers are currently running on it PRO TIP:   You always want to see what offers are running on a placement, because it gives you an idea of what kind of offer WORKS there.  We can use 3 methods here to find out what’s running on the 305×99 placement on PornHub.com Method 1) What Runs Where  This method works great to get an idea on what kind of offer types are running on a specific site’s placement.   While you can’t select exactly the 305×99 size when you follow these steps you will be able to pick out those banner sizes with your eyes right away. -Login to what runs where mobile here -Click the publisher tab, where it says enter domain here,  type in pornhub.com, then click search -From the All Networks drop down select Traffic Junky and click Apply -On the left side menu click on Banner Ads and now you will see all the banners that are running on this particular site. TIP:  To see what’s the best ad that was running the longest click on Sort by AdStrength.    This is usually good sign that this type of offer is working great on this particular placement. Note:  WRW lets you see creatives within a specific time range, ie seen on the last 7 days,  last 14 days, etc.  You can play around with that as you like using the grey menu    Method 2) Opera Mobile Emulator on PC and Apple and HMA Proxy This method is awesome because you can use the opera mobile emulator to pose as any popular smart phone / tablet from your PC or Mac.  If you don’t have Opera Mobile Emulator you can grab it here  Once installed follow these simple steps. 1) Open the Opera Mobile Emulator, select a profile – ie: Samsung Galaxy SIII or iPhone (whatever you intend to target) and click Launch 2) Start up HMA Pro VPN and select the geo you want to spy  -Open HMA Pro VPN –Click DashBoard,  then select a geo from the Quick VPN Location change dropdown menu and then click Connect to VPN 3) Go back to Opera Mobile Emulator, and you should see the opera browser already open, type in pornhub.com in the address bar and press ENTER Method 3) Check out the site from an mobile phone using the built in browser This is fairly straight forward,   if you have a smart phone handy simply go to the site using your mobile phone and refresh it to see what offers are being run right now. You can use your HideMyAss VPN account in connection with their HMA App for Android to spy on different geos.  To do this you simply install the HMA app from Play Store,  then open it, select the geo you want to spy on, connect to the VPN, then go to pornhub and see what banner ads come up.   B) What offers are being run on specific app placement? Scenario:  Picture this..  your AM hits you up and says there’s a hot new global CPI offer called Acme Speed Up!   It pay $10 dollars for 1 install.  WOW.     You are a big super star affiliate,  you don’t mess around and you go for the placements with top volume.   You immediately jump on APPANNIE and see what the top are 20 apps right now in the utilities category are.       Sweet, you jot down the list of top 20 util appz.    Next, you want to pick which apps have your competitors ads on them (lets just say for laughs which apps have clean master advertising)   how do you find out? Method 1)  Grab an android phone, install apps on it, and open them and see whats running there. NOTE: If you don’t already have an android phone,  then you can pick up a cheap one on ebay.com or local craiglists.  I recommend Samsung Galaxy S3 as a bare minimum. #1) Open Google Play Store on your phone by clicking its icon #2) Click on the Magnifying glass to search #3)  Type in the name of the app from your list, and tap search on your keypad.  #4) After you located the app, open it’s page and tap the INSTALL button #5) Repeat the above steps for all of the apps you’ve written down until all 20 is installed. #6) Open each app one by one, and wait a few seconds.  Make note on a piece of paper what ads you saw.     I recommend exiting the app, and opening it again a few times – so you cycle threw a few different sessions to catch more banners/advertisers. #7) One important thing to remember is to always spy in different countries, this is where the HMA Proxy VPN comes in handy.    Basically you’d want to check what kind of banners run on specific placements in the geo the offer you want to promote accepts.   In our case its a global offer so we’d want to test it in a few tier 1 countries, a few tier 2 countries, a few tier 3 countries.  The more data you have the more solid plan you can make. To conclude our scenario:  I’d install the top 20 apps app annie showed me,  check out whats running on them using the steps above, and then figure out which one would be most suitable for my offer (i’d look for competition/same offer that im promoting being advertised – because if someone is already advertising it on a placement, chances are that is where my demo is)   Method 2)  Use a tool like whatrunswhere to see what ads are running on the specific app placement.   If you don’t have an android phone, and don’t want to spend too much time spying – a quick way to get insight whats running on a specific placement is to use a spy tool.  My spy tool of choice is WRW (get it here) for this.      The quick method is good, but the time consuming method #1 I talked about is way more accurate, and solid.     Affiliate marketing is a dog eat dog world, so those take take extra steps are often the ones that are crushing it! Anyway, here’s how you’d look up a specific placement to see whats running on it using WRW: #1)  Sign in to WRW #2)Click on By Publisher on the top menu #3) You have to get the package name of the android app you want to look up.  To do this follow these 3 simple steps a) Head over to http://play.google.com b) Type in the name of the app in the search bar and click Search c) Click the app’s icon on the search results page and when you arrive at its landing page, look in your browsers address bar #4) Now that you have the package name,  head back to WRW and type in the package name and click SEARCH.  That’s it!  You will get all kinds of data,  I personally head over to the Banner Ads section on the left menu, and sort by ad strength to see which ads ran the longest to find what kind of offers do best on this placement.   C) Where/what placements/traffic sources/sites is the offer being advertised the most on? This is a very good question that helps that if you get the answers to can help you save a lot of time and money. Let’s look at an example –  someone is interested in promoting the game CPI Farmville2,    they never promoted a farming game before but have limited funds.    They did their research and know happy farm was killing it before and it is a very similar game to farmville.  So what can they do to find out where happy farm advertised so they can put their ads for essentially the same kind of game on those placements? Lucky for you WRW is very powerful when it comes to answering this question,   while there’s other ways to find out what placements worked great for a specific app,  this is the one that gives the highest impact time invested vs outcome gained.    So let’s answer this question together. Where/what placements/traffic sources/sites does an offer advertise on? #1) Sign in to WRW #2) Click on By Advertiser up top and type in the name of the game –  #3) After a few seconds, WRW gives us a breakdown of Traffic Sources,  Categories,  iFrame Hosts/Placements, etc all on one screen.  We can dive in and explore it in great detail – which I won’t do here. What is important is to take a note of the top traffic sources,  these have been proven to work so if you want to promote this offer – start there!    Also look at the iframe hosts/placements – these are sites that worked well for this offer, again start there if you are budget limited. The data tells the tale of success, if a placement was seen/used for many, many days for an offer that means it was working.       The right demographic that is interested in the offer is on that site, so by targeting the same sites as your competition (similar offer) you are saving yourself a huge amount of guess work. D) What creatives are being used for specific offer and which ones are being used the most (sizes, angles, etc) WRW is very lucrative tool,  I don’t know of any other one for mobile atm that is as good.  By doing a simple lookup you can quickly find out what angles, banner design styles and banner sizes work best for an offer.     Let’s look at a very popular App Mobogenie.    (The process is the same for any mobile offer, you just type in the one you are interested in promoting – I’m just showing you real examples so you can get it easily.) #1) Login to WRW, and click on By Advertiser #2) Type in the box com.mobogenie.markets press search #3)  Click on banner ads in the left column  #4) Next select sort by Ad Strength #5) And look at the banner sizes that come up.   Also make note of the angles, and the look and feel of the banners.    This is all very important.       Taking these ideas, and using it as a jumping board is a great way to find success fast;  never steal – just take an idea lets say a design and change it a little bit, improve it, then test it.   Take the angles (the text written on the banners) and reword it so it has the same meaning, try different variations – you’d be surprised how a little change can mean a huge difference in CR! For Mobogenie I see a few things -The 120×120 and 320×50 banner sizes are most popular -Upgrade your Android Market! Install Now (Angle1),  Mobogenie 1,000,000+ Free Apps & Games,  Download (Angle2) and Mobogenie Market – Download Now (Angle3) are the most popular. -Blue colour, red with white font, and system message looking banner is the style that seems to be killing it. E) What landing pages are being used for mobile offer? To find landing pages for an offer things get a little bit more complicated. Unfortunately more often than not, i’d say 80% of the time WRW is going to be useless here showing you no landing pages other affs are running if you look it up by offer. I am going to show you how to find some landings for the infamous WHATSAPP content billers.     It will be HARD to do this, but I will take you a journey so you can see the methods you can try. Method #1)  Analyzing Upstream Data by Working Backwards First things first, when you are working backwards you want to identify the offer landing page, this is where everyone ultimately sends their visitor that pushes the offer.      To do this, just follow through on the campaign link your AM gave you for the offer. After I followed the link I got from ClickDealer I arrived at http://p.shoopadoo.com/mx/whatsapp.pinsc/ Step #1) For the hell of it, Lets see what WRW brings up when we type p.shoopadoo.com in the where does domain advertise box. As you can see nothing of use to me,  its all the same domains just variations of the official landing page for the offer. Meh.. next.. Step #2)  Head over to Alexa.com and type in shoopadoo.com and press search.    On the results page scroll down to upstream sites. What do we have here?   Hmm..  could these be the tracker URLs of other affiliates?   Let’s find out! Step #3) Go back to WRW, and type in each domain from the list above and see what comes up under landing pages.  1. go2cloud – meh nothing, but i discovered a lot of traffic sources seem to have subdomains on go2cloud top level domain, so that’s something to investigate later maybe.. 2.  textsrving.info – not found in WRW 🙁 3.  softonic.com – some irrelevant text ads found – no lps 4.  srv123.com – nothing found 5.  No search results for “loadingnow.info”. Okay, well that is dissapointing – alexa didn’t get us closer to finding an LP — this method didn’t work this time, lets try another way.. Step #4) Go to www.similarweb.com and type in shoopadoo.com hitting search We now want to check two things,  the top referring sites column, and the top destination sites column. We’re going to run every site in WRW, see if something comes up. UPDATE I ran it and some came up but not with relevant information.  So we’re back to square one.   The reason why I am showing you this hands on follow along style is because I am hoping to get something very important across,   doing spying is no walk in the park – it takes time and effort on your part.  We’ve checked alexa & similarweb and so far nothing concrete, we didn’t discover any landing pages.   So do we give up?  No,  what else can we do? Method #2A) Finding affiliate tracker URLs by looking up the links networks give you  I am working with ClickDealer and MundoMedia for the WhatsApp Offers – the offer links they gave me for whatsapp contain their domain which are: clickdealer: cldmob.com mundomedia: sebcotrk.com chlcotrk.com #1) After you have the offer domains from the links your AM gave you,  fire up WRW + Login. #2) Click the advertiser tab and where it says where does Enter a domain advertise, type in the tracker domains one by one pressing Search. #3) You should now get some data, and see some landing pages – if you are lucky.  Hah,  well I was not lucky so lets take it a bit farther. NOTE: This method doesn’t work often – but that doesn’t mean it does not work at all.   So always try it,   due every step to uncover some great stuff no other guys will because they are lazy to do the footwork required! Method #2B)     Method #2A + Similar Web + Upstream Domains Sending Tracking Domain Traffic We can take Method #2A further if we weren’t happy with our success.   What we want to do is take the tracker domains from our CPA Network, type them in to similar web and look at what sites are sending it the most traffic.     *Remember how we worked with similar web already in our journey to expose mobile landing pages of our competitors?* #1) Hop on to www.similarweb.com #2) Enter the domain(s) from your CPA Network link(s) –  I entered cldmob.com  and pressed the magnifying glass to search #3) Look at referring sites –  For my domain, it said not enough data – if you encounter the same result – look at the next link. #4) Looking up sebcotrk.com showed me referring sites where I was able to find one, that showed landing pages.  Unfortunately the landing pages I found were for toolbar offers and for adult dating – so the guy that was pushing whatsapp was also doing these two other verticals.   Not useful in this case, but I discovered some random stuff. Take away: This method is somewhat useful, but unless you have SimilarWeb Pro you will not have a full list of referrals and will most likely not see the trackers/landing page hosts sending relevant traffic (in our case whatsapp landers).      SimilarWeb Pro is $500/month which a little bit out of reach for most, however if you can afford it – it can unlock the full list of referrals which you can go through to find the landers.   Method #3)  Proxy + Android and becoming a user method We can look at the placements sending the most traffic to this offer using a proxy in MEXICO.  We can visit each placement from a mobile phone, and click through and explore it that way.  Then once we find the trackers/landing page hosts, type those into WRW to see if it has any more details.  If not we’d copy the link from our mobile phone and send it to ourselves for viewing on the PC. This might work, it may not work – it depends on the affiliates running the offer – if they are targeting only specific carriers – we’d need to somehow come from that specific carrier to experience the effect of their targeting, so it really is a very complicated process. Method #4)  Using WRW keyword feature to find landers This method may work or it may not.  You gotta try it.    Again,  what may work for one offer might not for the next… #1) Click on By Keyword #2) Type in offer keyword (in my case whatsapp) and make sure you select Search in ALL Countries – this is important! #3) Press Search #4) Look for banners that relate to the offer – click a few, opening them in new tab (CTRL+Click on PC, not sure on Apple – maybe Command+Click?) Sidenote: YAY Success! Finally we’re getting somewhere with whatsapp.  So keyword search method is working. #5) After you opened a few banners in new tabs,  on the left menu, click landing pages #6) Here we go, we found one whatsapp lander!  #7) Now copy the link from WRW to the clipboard (CTRL+C, CMD+C) and paste it into a new browser tab address bar and press enter, and bam you should see a lander! #8) We are not done yet,   note the domain of the whatsapp lander we found  ->  whatsappmobile.net !! There might be some more landers here, let’s check it out #9) Go back to WRW, Click on  By Advertiser and paste in the domain whatsappmobile.net and press search. #10) Click the landing pages tab on the left, and HOLY CRAP –  for this particular site there are over 114 entries (that means many landing pages for whatsapp baby!)  Now we’ve made it.. we’ve SUCCEEDED in our landing page spying effort after such a long run. NOTE1:   This is just one site I found using the keyword search function > All geos in WRW.  You can open multiple banners, check the banner host URL and look up each using wrw’s by advertiser function. NOTE2:  I said it but I’ll say it again,   this method works for some, but not all offers – that is why I outlined every single way I use to find landers by taking you on a real life journey using whatsapp.   F) Exposing other affiliates trackers,  learning which ones send the most volume for an offer, and finding their landers/creatives Without getting into too much detail why anyone would want to do this … this method can come in handy because it can lead you to many ideas on how to run a specific offer.    To make this easy to understand, I am going to be showing you a scenario.    Let’s say we want to look up who the top trackers are sending traffic to the offer landing page which is http://m.pl.funfone.me/wap/9183/?af=457 Method #1)  Similarweb – Top Referring Sites + WRW #1) Go to www.similarweb.com #2) Type in m.pl.funfone.me – press search #3) Look for the Top Referring Sites #4) Write down every single site in this list in your text editor of choice (for most of us Notepad will be just fine) #5) Now while you hold CTRL (CMD on Apples) click on each of the sites to open them in a new tab. #6) Write down all the top referring sites you see for each site into your text editor as well.    After you complete it you should have around 110 total sites written down. #7) Login to WhatRunsWhere and click on search by Advertiser – typing in one by one the domains from our similarweb top referring sites list we saved in notepad. Do this for all of the ones on your list, checking banners and landing pages in the left tool bar on WRW.     Not all sites will bring back results, but some will and in a big way.  I was able to find landers for pop traffic this way I never thought of. Golden nugget:  I found a kick ass sweeps lander that had testimonials on it where chicks were holding iphones,  it had an automatic javascript to show the todays date,  it said they are part of the phone model rewards program, etc.      And this lander doubled my CR – so it def pays to spy on your competitors!   Method #2)  Using tracker footprints to find trackers! This method is very advanced, and requires even more time.  But time spent can bring huge returns.     I will show you how to do it with prosper footprint  /202-login.php.  #1) Head over to www.google.com #2) In the top url type this:   inurl:/202-login.php  & click on search #3) I ended up getting over 15 pages of results and uncover many trackers this way.. #4) Next I made a list of all the domains I found, and saved them in a text file. #5) After that I went back to my very favorite WRW tool, and plugged each in one by one.     Again a lot of work, but in the process uncovered some real gems that gave me some new ideas for both landers & banners.   G) Spying on your CPA Network and finding out if they are re-brokering the offer, or you are really going direct to the source Why in the world would you want to spy on your CPA Network?  The answer is simple, just because they might say they are #1,  they are honest with you, this and that – at the end of the day their own interests are most important to them – so that means profits.      Many networks might say we have the offer exclusive, and direct but in reality that isn’t true.  That is why a smart affiliate always does his/her homework and spies on the CPA Network to make sure they are pushing offer X as close to the advertiser as possible. I am going to show you what a non-brokered offer looks like vs what a brokered offer looks like.    For this part of my tutorial we are going to be using Live HTTP Headers (get it here for Firefox,  get it here for Chrome) and also HideMyAss Proxy [get it here] Scenario #1 – What a NON-Brokered Offer Looks Like #1) Start up your browser of choice – Chrome of Firefox #2) Take the campaign link your CPA Network gave you (for this example I am using http://mpdotrk.com/mt/w264v24474q233r244s20324/ which is a MUNDOMedia link) and copy it to clipboard. #3) Make note of what GEO the campaign accepts (you will need to disguise as if you are from this geo using HMA) #4) Start up HMA and connect to the geo, wait till it gets an IP #5) Close all other instances of your web browser to make sure only 1 is running, and only 1 tab. #6) Click the Live HTTP Headers icon in the toolbar to open it in a new tab #7) In another tab, paste in the URL of the offer and press enter. #8) Switch to the Live HTTP Headers tab and look at the data. As you can see,  if a visitor hits your campaign link that Mundo gave and is from Spain, they will be taken direct to the advertisers landing page.  Which in this case is wap.mozzi.com.   This is what a NON-Brokered offer looks like, this means Mundo runs this direct (which is what u always want) Scenario #2 – What a Brokered Offer Looks Like Mr Green @ STM setup a brokered offer over at F5 for me, so I can show you what it looks like on the HTTP Live Headers screen when an Offer is BROKERED. #1) I closed all tablets/browser instances leaving just 2 tabs open. #2) I cleared the previous results from the Live Http Headers Screen by pressing the CLEAR button as shown below: #3) I pasted the link I received into the new tab’s address bar and press enter. #4) After looking at the data screen this is what I saw. F5 is brokering the deal from Glispa.   Glispa was sending it to gltrkk.net?   WTF is gltrkk.net – is that the tracker owned by glispa, or another network? Let’s find out! Easy Method to try First –  Type gltrkk.net into your address bar and see what happens  (this method actually confirmed glispa does in deed own this domain – so our search is over) Method #2)  *For the hell of it* What if Glispa Did NOT own that tracker domain? What if it was another CPA Network?   How can we find out who it belongs to? Here are some methods to try,  but again; nothing comes with a guarantee. Way1)   Do a WHOIS lookup – go to www.geektools.com, type in the domain, and look for the company/contact details —  in this case the details were protected by whois guard so that’s no good. Way2)  Reverse Look up the server address of gltrkk.net, then see what other sites are hosted on that server and work your way back using a reverse ip domain checker tool. Way3) Look at the upstream/downstream sites for the domain gltrkk.net using similarweb.com and look for aff network names there. Way4) Type the tracker URL into google.com and see what comes up.   This guide is focused around Android, because I personally hate iPhone (yes I owned one – so I gave it the benefit of the doubt and sold it after 3 weeks and went back to Android) and because Android is the most popular OS in the world and iPhone usage is on a decline anyway.    Regardless, much of the ways on android can be repeated on iPhone with the iphone software version. NOTE:  This guide is 100% unbiased, no one paid me a single cent to write this guide.   Of course there are paid tools in this guide being mentioned because without them you just can’t get from A to B.  If you want to make $1000+/day you MUST invest in proper tools,   these are the tools I use and recommend because they help me, and they will help you.   I used my affiliate links for referrals when linking these tools,  you can skip the links and go direct by typing them into the address bar if you feel I don’t deserve the credit.   Whatever you do,   I thank you for reading this guide....

THE 7 Pillars of Growth Hacking and why Growth Marketing is the Future Through our own experience helping clients grow, we developed (and are continually improving) a general methodology for achieving exponential growth. We call it the RockBoost Growth Playbook, and it consists of 7 foundational pillars. We’re going to share it with you to give you a taste of our approach.   What Is Growth Hacking, Actually? If you have read anything related to startups or marketing this decade, you will undoubtedly have come across the popular term “Growth Hacking” and wondered what all the fuss was about. People everywhere are writing about it. They’re calling it “Lean Marketing” or even “Marketing 2.0.” Did you miss something important? If you’re feeling a bit behind the times, I’ve got good news for you: this post will explain everything you need to know about growth hacking so you can get back up to speed with the rest of us. It is 2016 after all and the world has changed since you studied marketing at university. The term was actually coined by a guy named Sean Ellis in 2010, to describe the process by which many Silicon Valley companies rapidly transitioned from budding startups to multimillion dollar enterprises using creative and unconventional techniques. These “growth hacks” were highly successful tricks, often employing technical expertise, that traditional marketing professionals would never have come up with, nor have had the necessary skills to implement. “A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth.” - Sean Ellis Growth hackers trace their roots back to programming engineers. But they are much more than that. They are creative marketers, product managers and data analysts as well. They are focused on a singular goal: finding the most effective and efficient way to grow a business. This often involves rapid experimentation across marketing channels, constant attention to product (re)development and an unending focus on building and engaging a company’s user base. Most importantly, every decision a growth hacker makes is based on data. A growth hacker knows how and what to measure. They use analytics, landing pages and A/B testing to understand their target customers’ habits and behavior. They test everything, iterating and optimizing until they find the most effective solutions with the most potential for growth. They don’t make assumptions. Instead, they are obsessed with data.     Not yet sure how all these pieces fit together? Let’s have a look at some well-known examples. Growth Hacking Examples   Dropbox One of the most famous examples is Dropbox. Now with more than 500 million users (Statista, 2016), they started small as an invite-only service with a waiting list. By notusing expensive, widespread ads targeting every Joe out there, but by using targeted messages carefully crafted for selected platforms where they knew their potential customers already congregated (e.g. Digg, Reddit), they created a sense of exclusivity. On top of this, they put together a fun homemade video that made the relatively complex cloud service easy for anyone to understand. The video went viral and drove massive amounts of trackable traffic to their landing page. But the real hack was this: They set up a referral system where for each friend invited that subsequently opened an account, the user would be given 250MB of free space. Sign ups jumped from 5k to 75k overnight as users invited their entire contact lists. Spotify Spotify grew enormously by simply allowing its users to automatically post whatever they were listening to on the social media giant, Facebook. How many times do you remember seeing messages about what your friends were listening to on Spotify? Did you ever click on one of these? How many signups do you think this simple automated arrangement led to as people became curious and wanted to show off their own musical tastes to their friends? … Let’s just say quite a few. This hack is a classic example of what we call leveraging other people's platforms or audiences, something many companies have had success with Airbnb Another well-known example is Airbnb. Struggling to scale up, their growth team came up with an ingenious leveraging idea. They wrote a sophisticated API that automatically cross-posted all new Airbnb listings onto Craigslist, who already had a gargantuan user base. By doing this, Airbnb suddenly had distribution access to one of the world’s most popular websites and generated enormous exposure, leading to exponential growth. This is something a traditional marketing team, with all the organizational pressures on them, and with limited technical ability would not have had the capabilities to pull off.     Even though Craigslist didn’t have an official API for cross-posting, through creative thinking, boundary pushing and some clever programming, Airbnb was able to create their own. Craigslist eventually closed the loophole in their system, but by that time the hack had already been a success that helped Airbnb gain tremendous momentum. This example illustrates a key point: Many of the best growth hacks have a limited lifetime, and the new ones are often closely kept secrets. Because of this, the world of growth hacking is constantly evolving as new hacks are discovered and methodologies are developed. Many larger companies, impressed by the successes of these startups, have begun experimenting with many of the same techniques. Growth hacking is no longer just for startups. The good news for you is,  that many of the principles behind growth hacking are simple, easy to understand and don’t require lots of technical knowledge. We’re going to teach them to you.   So, What Are the 7 Pillars of Growth Hacking? Much of growth hacking comes down to systems and processes. It’s about finding the weakness in a system and exploiting it. It’s about the processes of continual ideation, prioritization, testing and analyzing.     Silver bullets like the Airbnb hack are generally few and far between. Growth hacking is not magic. While the examples above, and many others, are oft quoted sensational examples of growth hacking, one does not typically hear about the time invested, the hard work and the perhaps dozens of failed attempts that preceded the breakthroughs. For a growth hacker, however, failures are progress. They are part of the experimentation and learning process. Through our own experience helping clients grow, we developed (and are continually improving) a general methodology for achieving exponential growth. We call it the RockBoost Growth Playbook, and it consists of 7 foundational pillars. We’re going to share it with you to give you a taste of our approach.   1. Achieving the Growth Mindset Growth hacking starts with your mindset. It involves focusing all your efforts on achieving your One Metric That Matters (OMTM). This is typically an ambitious and specific growth goal, for example “to achieve 10 million in revenue by 2020.” It is very important that it be measurable and achievable. It is also important that it be straightforward so you can always keep it in mind, letting it guide your team’s every move. As the person or team in charge of growth, all of your activities should be geared towards achieving your OMTM. The growth mindset is also about challenging yourself and realizing that you are capable of far more than you give yourself credit for. Growth hackers think big, take risks and constantly ask the question “what if?” Relentlessly pursuing a goal, even when it takes you beyond your zone of comfort, is what makes growth hackers effective. “Impossible” should not be in your vocabulary.   At RockBoost we like to constantly remind each other to hustle. By this we mean to take risks and try things that would normally be outside our comfort zone. You never know if something will work or not until you try. We even encourage each other to do silly things like randomly asking the Starbucks barista for a 10 percent discount… just to keep the mindset primed. It can’t hurt to ask, right? You’ll be surprised by how many doors will open for you. Some of our greatest achievements have resulted from practicing this attitude. Hustling is about having the courage to reach out for what others might think to be unattainable.   2. The Right Team Growth hackers’ skill sets are in a T-shape where the horizontal bar represents breadth of knowledge and the vertical bar represents depth. No single person can be an expert in every area, which is why having a solid team is so important. The typical member of a growth team will have knowledge about a broad range of topics while specializing in one or two key areas.   There are 3 primary areas of expertise that are necessary for every growth hacking team to have: 1) creative marketing, 2) software programming & automation, and 3) data analysis & testing. Building a team with this combination of skills--that also understand each others’ T-shapes and can leverage each other’s strengths--is fundamental.   Standard Operating Procedures At RockBoost we take lots of inspiration from the U.S. Navy SEALS. One of the SEAL principles we practice that gives us a cutting edge are standard operating procedures (SOPs). SOPs enable you to standardize common processes for an entire team, allowing things to get done more quickly, consistently and with less energy. They help to remove the thought process behind common activities. The discipline of developing and using SOPs will free up your team’s time and mental energy. Many people ask, “If you set up systems and processes for everything, can you still be creative?” We actually think it allows you to be more creative. Systems and processes save you energy and time on mundane tasks so that you can focus your cognitive energy elsewhere. This is not only good business practice, but a powerful life tool. “The mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” - David Allen   3. Measurement, How and What? As you and your amazing new growth team pursues your OMTM, everything you do to speed up growth should be measurable. If you’re achieving results, great! If not, stop and move on to the next idea.     There is no room in the world of growth hacking for assumption. As the saying goes, “When you assume, you make…” you know the rest. All decisions should be based on data. And in order to have that data, you need to start measuring. Many traditional marketers or small business owners wouldn’t be able to say what the ROI was on their most recent ad campaign, likely because they don’t know what to measure or they just don’t have the right tools to do so. Knowing what and how to measure can be tricky, but it is so essential. If you succeed in reaching some target, but you didn’t measure everything you did, you don’t know what it was that led to success. Conversely, if you fail at something, without measurement you won’t be able to avoid the same mistake next time. Measurement allows you to know what exactly correlates with success and it gives you a baseline to which to compare your performance as you experiment. Luckily, technology has made it possible to track almost everything you do. Here are just a few of the online measurement tools we use to help business track and improve their performance: - Unbounce - Optimizely - Mixpanel - Qualaroo - CrazyEgg - Sumo.me - Inspectlet - Google Analytics - Google Tag Manager - Kissmetrics - Hotjar - Ghostery These tools will give you rich information about how users interact with your websites and apps. Where do they get stuck? Where are they clicking? What makes them leave? Once you understand your customer’s journey, you can begin to formulate hypotheses and start experimenting.   4. How to Listen to Your Market The #1 reason why startups fail is that they try to sell a product that nobody wants.Here’s a news flash: Just because you think you have an amazing product, doesn’t mean that there is a market for it. Accepting this reality early on will save you lots of trouble.     Entrepreneurs sometimes fall in love with a product they create, and when it fails to sell, they are often unwilling to let go. They fruitlessly spend all their time, money and energy trying to push something for which there is no market. Don’t let this be you. How can you avoid this? By listening carefully to your market and tailoring a product to what your potential customers are already asking for. It seems obvious, right? It’s amazing how often this is neglected. One of the most useful things you can do is to create a customer desire map. Research your potential customers as thoroughly as you can until you know what makes them tick. Here are some of the things to look for:   Hopes and Dreams What does your customer want to attain or achieve above all else? Pains and Fears What are your customers wanting to avoid or get away from? Barriers and Uncertainties What is preventing or getting in the way of what your customers want?   Of course you can use surveys, focus groups, interviews and other traditional market research tactics to find this information, but consider some other options as well. Where does your potential customer segment congregate and how can you tap into what they are saying? Amazon book reviews, for example, often contain a wealth of information about what your customers are thinking and feeling. Try looking at the reviews of some of the best selling books related to your subject or business and see what people are saying. Look at question and answer sites like Quora and Reddit. We call this forum mining. The goal with all of this is to know your customers better than they know themselves.   5. The Elusive P.M.F. Using the results from your market research, you can now determine if you have a product market fit (PMF). This is about finding ways to remove all doubts or hesitations your customers might have about your product or service. It’s about offering them a product they cannot live without.     Take a minute to think about some products that you would be devastated if you could no longer use. In most traditional companies, product development teams are separate from the marketing teams. The product developers build it and the marketer's job is to sell it. One of the reasons growth hackers are so successful at helping companies grow is that they don’t live within these boundaries. When you are working towards your OMTM, all options need to be on the table, including the willingness to take your product back to the drawing board and make adjustments based on your continual process of market research, measurement and testing. Based on experimentation and constant iteration, you should tailor your product to your customers. The rule of thumb is this: When at least 40% of your users report that they would be very disappointed could they no longer use your product or service, you probably have PMF. Sean Ellis found this out after working with more than 100 startups. Those who had more than 40% PMF were able to achieve traction and grow. Those that didn’t constantly struggled to stay afloat. PMF is vital to achieving growth. If you don’t have it, your marketing efforts are going to be wasted as you try to push a product nobody wants. When you have PMF, people will be so satisfied with your product that they will become your sales people as they share it with their friends. Product Market Fit is about building growth into your product or service so that it sells itself.   6. Which Traction Channels? If you are handing over bags of money for ads on Google and Facebook without any idea as to your ROI, it is time to rethink your approach. It’s not that these channels are not useful--on the contrary! But they are not the only channels. And they might not be the best channels for your situation at this point in time. So, how can you best reach and interact with your (potential) customers? There are actually 19 different traction channels you could (and should) exploit to grow your business. You definitely don’t want to use all of them simultaneously. But figure out what the right combination is for your business at this moment in time. Remember, it is not about the size of your reach, it is about its effectiveness. In the end it doesn’t matter how many people have heard of you. What matters is that theright people know about you: the people with the highest potential to become loyal customers. Overview of the channels - Viral marketing - Public relations - Unconventional PR - Search Engine Marketing (SEM) - Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Social and Display ads - Offline ads - Content marketing - Email marketing - Engineering as marketing - Target marketing blogs - Business development - Sales - Affiliate marketing - Existing platforms - Trade Shows - Offline events - Speaking engagements - Community building Each of these deserves its own blog post (we will try to do that in the future). But for now, it is enough that you are at least aware of these channels. One of the biggest pitfalls is that people tend to only utilize what they are familiar with. By doing this, you may be missing out on big opportunities. You can never know exactly what your market is going to do, or what channels are going to work best. But you can experiment, measure and test! In order to find the right channels for you to pursue, spend some time thinking with your team. Divide the list into three categories: 1) Promising, 2) Potential and 3) Long-shots. Find the top 3 options, and start optimizing these. And go through this process regularly because they are likely to change over time. Remember, it is not about the size of your reach, it is about its effectiveness.   7. The Key to Optimization By now you have embraced the growth mindset, put together a stellar team with a broad set of skills, you have understood the importance of measurement, you have begun listening to your market, you have developed a product people can’t live without, and you’ve identified the most promising traction channels. So now what? What do you do to achieve exponential growth? The key to growth hacking is to test, test, and keep testing! Using your research and measurement techniques, you should continually search for ways to optimize. This requires a systematic approach in which you develop hypotheses and then test them. Hypotheses need to be simple, clear, relevant to your goals and based on data. Like this: Because we saw [data/feedback] We expect that [change] will cause [impact] We’ll measure this using [data metric] But where should you start? The Lift Model ® Developed by Chris Goward is one guide you can use to ensure you cover many of the most important aspects of your business. It consists of 6 essential elements that you should constantly monitor, measure, tweak and optimize. Value Proposition: Are you communicating the benefits of what you are offering with crystal clarity? Relevance: Are the design elements on your site motivating and stimulating desired action? Clarity: Is the content on your site as clear as possible? Are users getting lost and confused? Distraction: Are there design elements on your site that are preventing or distracting from desired actions? Anxiety: Are you credible? What is causing uncertainty or doubt on your website? Urgency: How can you add a sense of urgency for people to take action? So these are the 7 pillars of the proven RockBoost growth methodology. Start using them, and we can’t promise you will be the next Airbnb, but we can promise that you will see results quickly. We know because we have helped lots of companies accomplish exponential growth.   The RockBoost Mission RockBoost was the first growth hacking agency in the Netherlands. We were already running our own highly successful digital agency, DotControl--a team of software engineers that could build just about anything. But we noticed that having a stellar new website or app didn’t necessarily translate into traction and growth. And so we began thinking about how we could help clients not only with their platforms, but with setting up a system for growth as well. At the same time, the Silicon Valley growth hacking trend was getting bigger, and we took inspiration from the systems approach they advocated. Chris, our lead growth hacker and co-founder, had developed an appreciation for the power of processes while working as an auditor at KPMG, and so growth hacking appealed to him right away. We had now found the missing piece that could help DotControl clients get a bigger ROI on their new platforms, and RockBoost was born in November 2014 as a partner company to DotControl. Since its founding, less than 2 years ago, we have grown from 3 people to a solid international team of 14 and have helped dozens of clients on their road to exponential growth. The RockBoost mission is now all about growth hacking implementation and education. We do the hard work of implementation for you. But we also believe that training your teams is an essential part of setting up your business for sustainable growth.   Let's start growth hacking! Hopefully you have a pretty clear understanding now of what growth hacking is all about. It is for all types of businesses (and individuals) looking to accelerate their growth--whether it be in terms of revenue, customer base or anything else. It’s about understanding systems and processes, and learning to exploit and craft those systems to do what you want. It is about having a ‘hustle’ mindset in which all of your team’s focus and energy goes into achieving your one metric that matters (OMTM). It’s about constant measurement, testing, experimenting and optimizing. It’s about listening closely to your market, achieving product market fit (PMF), and then finding the channels best suited for your situation. Finally, growth hacking is about creativity. It is about pushing the boundaries of what marketing is and trying things that you might not have learned in the text books. All in the name of growth. ...