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5 Areas of Marketing You Should Practice the "Less is More" Approach

This may be of some interest.

This crisis has created a need to do a lot more with less resources.

Marketers, in particular, are under a lot of pressure to pivot their strategy and ensure their brand stays relevant during difficult times.

But, although quality does make a difference, marketing right now is a game of strategy and scale. At the end of the day, only a small fraction of the people reached by a brand will actually convert.

Which means the more people marketers reach — and the more touchpoints involved — the better. If you’re already feeling stretched thin, don’t worry. Reaching more people doesn’t necessarily mean doing more. In fact, there are a few circumstances where it’s actually better to do less.

Here, let’s dive into five areas of marketing you can practice the “less is more” approach to ensure higher efficiency, and less time wasted.

Less Stress, More Productivity

When you take a hard look at marketing tactics, you’ll see there are actually a lot of opportunities to generate and convert more leads with less work. Let’s dive into five areas of marketing where you might be wasting your time — and how to create more efficient processes instead.

1. Management

Management has two meanings in marketing: the management of employees, and the management of campaigns. Both contain plenty of chances to do more with less work.

Campaigns

Every tool in your marketing stack claims to make your life easier. In most cases, though, they’re just one more window or tool to keep tabs on. Despite the fact that the typical martech stack contains dozens of tools, Gartner research suggests marketers use barely half of them to their fullest potential. That’s the thinking behind HubSpot’s “hub” approach: All-in-one tools are a better investment because they’re more efficient. Not only do employees actually use them, but they spend a lot less time doing things like switching windows and exporting data.

People

If I’ve learned anything about management, it’s that trust and autonomy are key. Nothing creates disengagement quite like micromanagement.

Micromanagement is a double-whammy to productivity because it takes more of managers’ time while reducing employees’ performance. And as someone who co-founded a content marketing company, trust me when I say micromanagement also cuts into content quality.

The best managers aren’t hands-off, but they’re far from hands-on. Instead of worrying about nitty-gritty details, good managers focus on creating the right work environment. Your direct reports should feel safe making their own decisions, but also comfortable coming to you with questions.

2. Scheduling Your Calendar

A “less is more” mentality works both with how you schedule your time, and how other people schedule meetings with you. At a past company, we used what I call the “big rocks” system. Each morning, members of the team would share the top three or four things they expected to accomplish that day.

Although they did all sorts of smaller tasks in between, nobody ever listed “answering emails” or “creating Facebook posts.”

Why not? Because trying to schedule every single chore every day is a waste of time. Appointments fall through. Things come up. Being flexible and squeezing in extra work whenever it makes sense is more efficient than having to rearrange your calendar every hour.

Think, too, about how you schedule things. I spend a lot of my days in meetings, so I could easily spend hours going back and forth in email to set them all up. Instead, I use workflow automation to let people pick a time that works for both of us.

3. Content Creation

I may not be a professional novelist, but one thing I do know is short, snappy writing tends to perform better than long, complex copy.Search engines favor shorter sentences and paragraphs. And more anecdotally, Stephen King, one of my favorite authors, warns writers against overusing adjectives and adverbs.

The point is this: Concise writing tends to be strong writing. Rather than trying to sound like the next Shakespeare in your blog content, be natural. A down-to-earth style is both easier on you and easier on your reader.

4. Conducting Meetings

There are only a few select situations where I would ever hold a hour-long meeting. Not only are they expensive — a hour-long meeting with a dozen employees costs 12 hours of company time — but they simply don’t make sense from a productivity standpoint.

Don’t get me wrong: Meetings can be valuable opportunities to get on the same page. But they can also be enormous time-sucks. In fact, Research published in Harvard Business Review found 71% of executives think meetings tend to be unproductive and inefficient; and 65% of those surveyed said meetings keep them from completing their own work.

Take an “only when necessary and only as long as necessary” approach to meetings. If a message can be conveyed just as well in an email, don’t drag people away from their desks for it. If a meeting is required, send out the agenda beforehand, and explain how long you expect it to take. If it’s done after five minutes, great — let people get back to work.

5. Team Brainstorming Sessions

Marketing is an industry of ideas. Every strategy, campaign, and piece of content begins with ideation. Although I like the cerebral side of marketing, I can’t get on board with how many teams brainstorm.

Nearly 60 years ago, a Yale study showed individuals come up with twice as many solutions to creative puzzles as those working in groups. Yet the team brainstorm remains a staple at most agencies I know.

Just as much time is wasted in post-brainstorm winnowing. Marketing runs on experimentation. The only way to truly tell how a campaign, title, or image will perform is to test it. In the time some teams spend debating different ideas, they could’ve collected real-world data and pivoted if the initial idea didn’t work.

Practice Pulling Back

Doing less might not sound like something that takes practice to get right. But I’ve found marketing is full of Type A personalities: People who hold themselves to high standards, and as a result, tend to give their all to every task they tackle.

When I see members of my team overdoing it, I tell them this: Perfection does not equal performance. I understand the urge to get it right, but remember, marketing is a matter of scale. Doing less is the smartest way to squeeze more in.

Thank you for reading.

Advanced Hack: How to Improve Your SEO in Less Than 30 Minutes

This may be of some interest.

digital marketing

I’ve been testing a new SEO hack and it works no matter how old or how new your site is.

Heck, you can have barely any links, and I’ve found it to work as well.

Best of all, unlike most SEO changes, it doesn’t take months or years to see results from this… you can literally see results in less than 30 minutes.

And here’s what’s crazy: I had my team crawl 10,000 sites to see how many people are leveraging this SEO technique and it was only 17.

In other words, your competition doesn’t know about this yet!

So what is this hack that I speak of?

Google’s ever-changing search results

Not only is Google changing its algorithm on a regular basis, but they also test out new design elements.

For example, if you search for “food near me”, you’ll not only see a list of restaurants but you also see their ratings.

food near me

And if you look up a person, Google may show you a picture of that person and a quick overview.

elon musk

Over the years, Google has adapted its search results to give you the best experience. For example, if you search “2+2” Google will show you the answer of “4” so you don’t have to click through and head over to a webpage.

2 plus 2

But you already know this.

Now, what’s new that no one is really using are FAQ-rich results and Answer Cards.

Here’s what I mean… if you search “digital marketing” you’ll see that I rank on Google. But my listing doesn’t look like most people’s…

digital marketing

As you can see from the image above, Google has pulled FAQ rich results from my site.

And best of all, I was able to pull it off in less than 30 minutes. That’s how quickly Google picked it up and adjusted their SERP listing.

Literally all within 30 minutes.

And you can do the same thing through Answer Cards anytime you have pages related to question and answers.

qa example

So how can you do this?

Picking the right markup

Before we get this going with your site, you have to pick the right schema markup.

FAQpage schema is used when you offer a Frequently Asked Question page or have a product page that contains frequently asked questions about the product itself. This will let you be eligible for a collapsible menu under your SERP with the question, that when clicked on, reveals the answer.

faq rich result

It can also let you be eligible for FAQ Action that is shown on Google Assistant. This can potentially help get you noticed by people using voice search to find out an answer!

faq action

Q&A schema is used when people are contributing different types of answers and can vote for which answer they think is the best. This will provide the rich result cads under your SERP and shows all the answers, with the top answer highlighted.

qa rich result

After making sure you understand what these are used for, Google also has additional guidelines on when you can and can’t use these schema’s for:

Google’s guidelines

Google has a list of FAQpage schema guidelines.

Only use FAQPage if your page has a list of questions with answers. If your page has a single question and users can submit alternative answers, use QAPage instead. Here are some examples:

Valid use cases:

  • An FAQ page was written by the site itself with no way for users to submit alternative answers
  • A product support page that lists FAQs with no way for users to submit alternative answers 

Invalid use cases:

  • A forum page where users can submit answers to a single question
  • A product support page where users can submit answers to a single question
  • A product page where users can submit multiple questions and answers on a single page
  • Don’t use FAQPagefor advertising purposes
  • Make sure each Question includes the entire text of the question and make sure each answer includes the entire text of the answer. The entire question text and answer text may be displayed.
  • Question and answer content may not be displayed as a rich result if it contains any of the following types of content: obscene, profane, sexually explicit, graphically violent, promotion of dangerous or illegal activities, or hateful or harassing language.
  • All FAQcontent must be visible to the user on the source page.

And here are the guidelines for Q&A schema:

Only use the QAPage markup if your page has information in a question and answer format, which is one question followed by its answers.

Users must be able to submit answers to the question. Don’t use QAPage markup for content that has only one answer for a given question with no way for users to add alternative answers; instead, use FAQPage. Here are some examples:

Valid use cases:

  • A forum page where users can submit answers to a single question
  • A product support page where users can submit answers to a single question 

Invalid use cases:

  • An FAQ page was written by the site itself with no way for users to submit alternative answers
  • A product page where users can submit multiple questions and answers on a single page
  • A how-to guide that answers a question
  • A blog post that answers a question
  • An essay that answers a question
  • Don’t apply QAPagemarkup to all pages on a site or forum if not all the content is eligible. For example, a forum may have lots of questions posted, which are individually eligible for the markup. However, if the forum also has pages that are not questions, those pages are not eligible.
  • Don’t use QAPagemarkup for FAQ pages or pages where there are multiple questions per page. QAPagemarkup is for pages where the focus of the page is a single question and its answers.
  • Don’t use QAPagemarkup for advertising purposes.
  • Make sure each Questionincludes the entire text of the question and make sure each Answer includes the entire text of the answer.
  • Answermarkup is for answers to the question, not for comments on the question or comments on other answers. Don’t mark up non-answer comments as an answer.
  • Question and answer content may not be displayed as a rich result if it contains any of the following types of content: obscene, profane, sexually explicit, graphically violent, promotion of dangerous or illegal activities, or hateful or harassing language.

If your content meets these guidelines, the next step is to figure out how to implement the schema onto your website and which type to use.

How do I implement Schema and which to use? 

There are two ways to implement it… either through JSON-LD or Microdata.

I recommend choosing one style and sticking to it throughout your webpage, and I also recommend not using both types on the same page.

JSON-LD is what Google recommends wherever possible and Google has been in the process of adding support for markup-powered features. JSON-LD can be implemented into the header of your content and can take very little time to implement.

The other option is Microdata, which involves coding elements into your website. This can be a challenging process for some odd reason, I prefer it. Below are examples of how each work.

FAQpage Schema JSON-LD:

<html>

<head>

<title>Digital Marketing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Neil Patel</title>

</head>

<body>

<script type=”application/ld+json”>

“@context”: “https://schema.org”,

“@type”: “FAQPage”,

“mainEntity”: [

“@type”: “Question”,

“name”: “What is digital marketing?”,

“acceptedAnswer”:

“@type”: “Answer”,

“text”:”Digital marketing is any form of marketing products or services that involves electronic device”

]

</script>

</body>

</html>

FAQpage Schema Microdata:

<html itemscope itemtype=”https://schema.org/FAQPage”>

<head>

<title>Digital Marketing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Neil Patel</title>

</head>

<body>

<div itemscope itemprop=”mainEntity” itemtype=”https://schema.org/Question”>

<h3 itemprop=”name”>What is digital marketing?</h3>

<div itemscope itemprop=”acceptedAnswer” itemtype=”https://schema.org/Answer”>

<div itemprop=”text”>

<p>Digital marketing is any form of marketing products or services that involves electronic device.</p>

</div>

</div>

</div>

</body>

</html>

Q&A Schema JSON-LD:

“@context”: “https://schema.org”,

“@type”: “QAPage”,

“mainEntity”:

“@type”: “Question”,

“name”: “Can I tie my shoe with one hand?”,

“text”: “I currently have taken a hobby to do many actions with one hand and I’m currently stuck on how to tie a shoe with one hand. Is it possible to tie my shoe with one hand?”,

“answerCount”: 2,

“upvoteCount”: 20,

“dateCreated”: “2019-07-23T21:11Z”,

“author”:

“@type”: “Person”,

“name”: “Expert at Shoes”

,

“acceptedAnswer”:

“@type”: “Answer”,

“text”: “It is possible to tie your shoe with one hand by using your teeth to hold the other lace”,

“dateCreated”: “2019-11-02T21:11Z”,

“upvoteCount”: 9000,

“url”: “https://example.com/question1#acceptedAnswer”,

“author”:

“@type”: “Person”,

“name”: “AnotherShoeMan”

,

“suggestedAnswer”: [

“@type”: “Answer”,

“text”: “It is not possible to tie your shoe with one hand”,

“dateCreated”: “2019-11-02T21:11Z”,

“upvoteCount”: 2,

“url”: “https://example.com/question1#suggestedAnswer1”,

“author”:

“@type”: “Person”,

“name”: “Best Shoe Man”

]

Q&A Schema Microdata:

<div itemprop=”mainEntity” itemscope itemtype=”https://schema.org/Question”>

<h2 itemprop=”name”>Can I tie my shoe with one hand?</h2>

<div itemprop=”upvoteCount”>20</div>

<div itemprop=”text”>I currently have taken a hobby to do many actions with one hand and I’m currently stuck on how to tie a shoe with one hand. Is it possible to tie my shoe with one hand?</div>

<div>asked <time itemprop=”dateCreated” datetime=”2019-07-23T21:11Z”>July 23’19 at 21:11</time></div>

<div itemprop=”author” itemscope itemtype=”https://schema.org/Person”><span

itemprop=”name”>Expert at Shoes</span></div>

<div>

<div><span itemprop=”answerCount”>2</span> answers</div>

<div><span itemprop=”upvoteCount”>20</span> votes</div>

<div itemprop=”acceptedAnswer” itemscope itemtype=”https://schema.org/Answer”>

<div itemprop=”upvoteCount”>9000</div>

<div itemprop=”text”>

It is possible to tie your shoe with one hand by using your teeth to hold the other lace.

</div>

<a itemprop=”url” href=”https://example.com/question1#acceptedAnswer”>Answer Link</a>

<div>answered <time itemprop=”dateCreated” datetime=”2019-11-02T22:01Z”>Nov 2 ’19 at 22:01</time></div>

<div itemprop=”author” itemscope itemtype=”https://schema.org/Person”><span itemprop=”name”>AnotherShoeMan</span></div>

</div>

<div itemprop=”suggestedAnswer” itemscope itemtype=”https://schema.org/Answer”>

<div itemprop=”upvoteCount”>2</div>

<div itemprop=”text”>

It is not possible to tie your shoe with one hand

</div>

<a itemprop=”url” href=”https://example.com/question1#suggestedAnswer1″>Answer Link</a>

<div>answered <time itemprop=”dateCreated”datetime=”2019-11-02T21:11Z”>Nov 2 ’19 at 21:11</time></div>

<div itemprop=”author” itemscope itemtype=”https://schema.org/Person”><span

itemprop=”name”>Best Shoe Man</span></div>

</div>

</div>

</div>

When you are implementing it on your website, feel free and just use the templates above and modify them with your content.

If you are unsure if your code is correctly implemented or not, use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool and you can add your code snippet or the page that you implemented the schema on and it will tell you if you did it right or wrong.

Plus it will give you feedback on if there are any errors or issues with your code.

google structure data testing

You can also try Google’s Rich Result Tester. This will give you a brief look at how your structured data will look like in the results!

google rich snippet

Getting results in under 30 minutes

Once you make the changes to any page that you think is a good fit, you’ll want to log into Google Search Console and enter the URL of the page you modified in the top search bar.

add url

You’ll then want to have Google crawl that page so they can index the results. All you have to do is click “request indexing”.

request indexing

And typically within 10 minutes, you’ll notice it kick in and when you perform a Google search you’ll see your updated listing.

Now the key to making this work is to do this with pages and terms that already rank on page 1. That’s where I’ve seen the biggest improvement.

Will Schema get me to rank for People Also Ask and Featured Snippets?

Will this help with People Also Ask and Featured Snippets? So far, there has been no correlation between schema markup and People Also Ask or Featured Snippets and you do not need them to be featured in them.

Optimizing your content for this will not hurt you though and can potentially improve your chances to be on here.

Google has been testing out how they can show these types of Q&A, FAQ, and How-To results and looking at structured data to help understand them.

It’s better to be early to the game and help Google understand your pages, as well as possibly participating in any of Google’s experiments.

snippet

Will this get me on voice search?

With more and more people using mobile devices to find answers to questions, this is a very relevant question!

Especially considering that over half of the searches on Google will be from voice search in the near future.

Answers from voice search get most of their answers from featured snippets.

And adding structured data on your website increases the chances of getting you into featured snippets, which increases the chance of you getting featured on voice search.

Conclusion

This simple hack can potentially increase the visibility of your brand and help improve the authority of your website. It’s a simple solution that can take a single day to implement across your main question, product, or FAQ page.

I’ve been using it heavily for the last week or so and as long as I pick keywords that I already rank on page 1 for, I am seeing great results.

And as I mentioned above, when my team analyzed 10,000 sites we only found 17 to be using FAQ and QA schema. In other words, less than 1% of the sites are using this, which means you if you take advantage now, you’ll have the leg up on your competition.

So what do you think about this tactic? Are you going to use it?

The post Advanced Hack: How to Improve Your SEO in Less Than 30 Minutes appeared first on Neil Patel.

Thank you for reading.

How to Perform a Thorough SEO Audit in Less Than 3 Minutes

This may be of some interest.

seo analyzer

They say there are over 200 ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.

But are you going to take the time to optimize your site for each and every single one of them?

Well, you should… but you probably won’t.

See, SEO has changed… it used to be that you could do a handful of things and rank well. Sadly, those days are gone.

Now you have to do every little thing and do it well to dominate Google.

So, I decided to make your job easier and release yet another new feature in Ubersuggest that audits your website for you in less than 3 minutes.

It’s called SEO Analyzer.

Introducing SEO Analyzer

If you want to find out what’s wrong with your website, you won’t have to do it manually anymore.

All you have to do is head over to the SEO Analyzer and put in your URL.

seo analyzer

How SEO Analyzer works

Once you put in your URL, you’ll be taken to a report that looks something like this:

seo analyzer

Once the report loads (it typically takes 3 minutes or less), you’ll see an overview like the image above.

The overview is broken down into 3 main sections.

Overview

overview

The first section shows you your on-page SEO score (the higher the better), your estimated search traffic, the number of keywords the domain ranks for, and how many backlinks the site has.

You’ll also see a message from me that breaks down how many pages were crawled and any SEO errors that were found.

When you click on any of those 4 boxes, it will take you to a more in-depth report.

Clicking on the on-page score takes you to a page that lists out your SEO errors. It looks something like this:

seo issues

Clicking on the organic traffic takes you to a report that shows you how well your site is performing.

traffic analyzer

Clicking on the keywords box shows you all of the keywords your website ranks for organically.

keywords

And clicking on the backlinks box shows you all of the sites linking to that domain.

backlinks

Site health

This is my favorite section of the site audit report. This is where you can really dig around and boost your rankings

site health

You can click on any of the four site health boxes and drill down into more reports.

This is important because you’ll want to first focus on clearing up any critical errors. From there, you’ll want to fix any warnings and then, finally, consider doing any of the given recommendations.

The health check box gives you an overview of the healthy pages and the ones that have issues or are broken or blocked or even redirected. By clicking on this box you’ll get taken to a report that lists all your SEO issues in detail.

seo issues

From there you can click on any of those issues and you’ll be taken to the exact pages that contain any SEO errors and what they are exactly. An example of this is pages with too long of a title tag.

long titles

If you aren’t sure on how to fix any of the issues, just click on “what is this and how do I fix it?” and a box like this will appear:

how to fix

And if you click on the critical errors, warnings or recommendations boxes, you’ll see reports just like the ones above. They will be broken down by how important they are.

hard easy

That way you’ll know which fixes have the greatest SEO impact and how hard they are to implement.

You should first focus on the ones that have the highest SEO impact and are the easiest to implement. And I took the liberty to prioritize the table for you, so all you have to do is start at the top and work your way down to the bottom.

Site speed

Speed is important. Not only do faster load times help boost conversion rates, but they also help boost your search rankings.

site speed

There are two sections to the site speed. The section on the left breaks down your desktop load time and the section on the right breaks down your mobile load time.

Site speed varies drastically by a person’s connection and computer, but the charts give you a rough range of how fast or slow your site loads.

Your goal should be to have your site load in 3 seconds or less for both mobile and desktop.

The report even breaks down which areas are slowing down your site speed.

For example, you could have an issue with “First CPU Idle”… and if you aren’t sure what that means, just hover over the question mark and the tool will tell you.

tool tip

Top SEO Issues

I know I said the report has 3 main sections, but the 4th section is just repeating the site health section.

top seo issues

You’ll see the 3 most important fixes that you should make to your site if you want higher rankings.

If you don’t have the time to fix everything, start off by fixing the 3 issues listed here. Those will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

Conclusion

So, what do you think about the SEO Analyzer report? Do you think it was a good addition to Ubersuggest?

I know I haven’t talked about the SEO Analyzer report much, but we’ve been working on it for 4 months now.

For now, the tool crawls the first 100 pages on your website, and eventually, our goal is to increase the limit to 500 or even 1,000. Technically we can do that fairly easily, but for the launch, I’ve capped it at 100 due to the sheer number of users I have and server load.

Give the SEO Analyzer a try and let me know what you think.

The post How to Perform a Thorough SEO Audit in Less Than 3 Minutes appeared first on Neil Patel.

Thank you for reading.