How to Schedule Tweets using Twitter

Twitter announced its new scheduling feature yesterday. This has been expected for a while now, more so because of Twitter’s IPO and the need to project Twitter as a sophisticated advertising platform. Twitter’s official announcement says:

Starting today, all marketers using Twitter’s Ad Products can schedule organic or Promoted Tweets for specific dates and times up to a year in advance. These can be coordinated to go live with new or existing Promoted Tweet campaigns to enable you to plan your real-time campaigns at your convenience.

Twitter’s focus on advertising becomes obvious when you see that scheduling option is implemented as part of ads.twitter.com and not in the core twitter.com UI. But don’t worry, you can schedule tweets even if you are not advertising on Twitter. Here’s how:

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Monday Marketing Mash-up: Google Won’t Show Search Terms

It’s bad news.

The day many SEO professionals hoped would never come, but feared eventually would, apparently has arrived today. It appears that Google has cut off keyword data altogether.

Nearly two years after making one of the biggest changes to secure search that resulted in a steady rise in “(not provided)” data, Google has switched all searches over to encrypted searches using HTTPS. This means no more keyword data will be passed to site owners.

 What does this mean? Search Engine Land explains:

When searches are encrypted, search terms that are normally passed along to publishers after someone clicks on their links at Google get withheld. In Google Analytics, the actual term is replaced with a “Not Provided” notation.

Why does this matter? Search terms are a great measure of user intent, and we won’t have that anymore. We’ll still see how many visits we’re getting through Google search, but not what those visitors were searching for. So it’s going to be difficult, to put it mildly, to optimize your pages for search if you don’t know what terms you’re ranking for. We’ll all be left shooting in the dark.

So what do we do? Ruud Hein explains five ways to get around this, including keyword data from other search engines and using Google Webmaster Tools.

Edited to add this excellent post that went up after I published this: Neil Patel explains how this move by Google might actually make you a better marketer. He also provides some great tips for managing the change.

Ultimately, none of these other tools will make up for the visibility we’re losing with this change, but we’ve got to work with what we have. The silver lining I see is maybe we’ll stop obsessing over keyword rankings and search results and algorithm changes and focus instead on delivering the best content for our audience.

Monday Marketing Mash-up: Productivity and Tools

To-do list on memo padLet’s talk about productivity! Raise your hand if you think you work at a terrific pace and rarely waste time being unproductive or procrastinating. What, no one? I’m shocked.

Check out Nilesh’s post about seven free tools he’s used that might help you improve your productivity.

It’s easy to see which of us is more tech-savvy. My recent post about productivity on the Spin Sucks blog described how I use my favorite productivity tool: paper.

That’s right: I have ten notebooks, each with a designated use. Don’t believe me? Check out the post: I have details and a picture.

This is a really interesting list of apps and plug-ins you can use to counter procrastination. I’ve started using Strict Workflow myself to keep me on track.

I also use Rescue Time to check up on my productivity (since Bhaskar recommended it),  and of course, email (I write myself notes on things I need to remember) and Google Calendar. I have also found Streak useful to keep track of emails I need to follow up on. I’ve used Remember the Milk and Trello as well, but with less success.

And if you’re feeling stressed out about your productivity levels, Amber Naslund’s post might help you gain perspective.

There is no magic system. Stop looking for it.

So let’s get to work now, you and me both.

Create A Few Great Pieces of Content: Advice from Brian Dean, SEO Expert and Blogger

Brian Dean of BacklinkoBrian Dean, as he says himself, is “living the dream”: his SEO expertise enables him to “work as a digital nomad and travel in countries like Thailand, Japan, Spain, and Turkey” (and currently, Germany). He is also a popular blogger: his SEO blog, Backlinko, has fantastic resources and advice about SEO.

We ask him about how he got to where he is, and get him to share tips about SEO and blogging.

My questions and comments are italicized.

1. Your profile is intriguing: tell us how you got here. You make the shift from freelance writer to SEO sound so easy: was it actually as easy as that?

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Five Ways to Find Relevant People to Follow on Twitter

A common question business-owners who use Twitter ask us is, “How do I find relevant people to follow?”

In my last post, I talked about who you should follow on Twitter: now let’s look at how to find these people.

1. Twitter Advanced Search

A useful but rarely used feature of Twitter is Advanced Search.

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Tracking Website Metrics on Google Analytics, Part 3: Language, Location, Mobile

What do you know about your website visitors? Earlier, we looked at site traffic and engagement metrics on Google Analytics, and at how your visitors get to your site. Now let’s look at your visitors and what we can find out about them.

The Audience Overview report is what shows up first when you open Google Analytics. So you can scroll down and click to view the detailed report of language and locations of your visitors, or you can click on the left sidebar on Audience > Demographics > Language (or Location).

Language

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6 Free Tools for Creating Product and Promotional Videos

Are videos part of your content marketing? If not, they should be. Be it a quick product demo, a walk through your facility or office, a testimonial from a happy customer,  a training video for some complex feature of your product or an introduction of your team – videos are a great medium for all of this.

But getting professional videos done is so difficult and costly that most of us shy away from it. We recently created a bunch of videos of our product and team, and in the process, discovered that it’s not as difficult as it seems.

There are a number of easy and mostly free tools that you can use to create different kinds of videos quickly. Don’t expect the production quality to be really great, but this will serve the purpose for the most part.

Take a look at the videos we created here, and below is the list of tools we used.

1. Powtoon

Powtoon - Create professional looking animated videos and presentations

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Google AdWords Keyword Planner Just Launched

Yesterday Google officially launched its new tool, AdWords Keyword Planner, to help create better AdWords campaigns. Keyword Planner will replace our favorite Google Keyword Tool and AdWords Traffic Estimator.

You should learn to use this tool even if you never used Keyword Tool or Traffic Estimator and do not plan to use Google ads. Understanding search terms is important because that tells you what words your potential customers use to describe yours and similar businesses so that you can tweak your marketing and sales content accordingly.

Adwords Keyword Planner

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Tracking Website Metrics on Google Analytics, Part 2: Sources, Referrals, Search Terms, and Campaigns

Last week, we looked at basic site traffic and engagement metrics on Google Analytics, such as visits, page views, time on site, bounce rate, etc. We also looked at how to look at the performance of individual pages on your site.

This week, let’s take a look at a few other metrics that you should be looking at regularly. (Haven’t set up Google Analytics yet? Here’s how.)

Sources

From where are people coming to your site? The Sources report answers this question. Click on Traffic Sources on the sidebar to see your options.

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Weekly Reading: Trackbacks and Data Hub Activity on Google Analytics

We have been talking a lot about Google Analytics lately. Do you know of the new Google Analytics reports that show trackbacks and links from social media more explicitly? You should, so read this week’s links for details.

But first, how do you get to these reports? On your Google Analytics sidebar on the left, go to Traffic Sources, and then Social. You’ll see the links for Data Hub Activity and Trackbacks.

Here’s a screenshot of our Trackbacks report. It shows us who linked to our site recently.

Google Analytics Trackbacks for Markitty

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Tracking Website Metrics on Google Analytics, Part 1: Visits, Page Views, Time, Bounce Rate, Pages

If you have a website for your business, you must track visitors to your website and what they are doing. There are a number of tools available for tracking this, and the most popular and one of the most useful is Google Analytics. (Here’s how to set up Google Analytics if you haven’t yet.)

In these two posts, I’ll explain some important metrics you should be looking at in your Google Analytics data (or any other website tracking tool you are using).

The first thing to do, after you have logged into your Google Analytics account and selected the website you want to view data for, is to adjust the date range to your liking. The date range you select at the top applies to all the graphs and tables inside Google Analytics. I usually set it to current month or current week. You can change this any time you want, so feel free to try out different options. Click on compare to get all data for the previous period as well.

Set Date Range in Google Analytics

Now let’s get started.

Visits: Total Visits, Unique Visitors, Page Views, Pages per Visit, Time per Visit, Bounce Rate

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How to Set up Google Analytics for Your Website or Blog

Do you know how many people are visiting your site and where they are coming from? Do you know how much time they are spending on your site and what content they are looking at?

It’s easy to get answers to these questions, and as a business-owner you are missing out on very valuable information if you aren’t looking at this regularly. Google Analytics is a free (and most widely-used) tool that you can use to track visitor and usage information  for your website or mobile application.

Track Website Traffic Using Google Analytics

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Using Markitty: Compare Tweets with Retweets and Mentions, and Your Followers to People You’re Following

Twitter offers users no stats at all, unlike most other social media sites. You can look at your followers and your total number of tweets from your home page (timeline), and click on the @ Connect button for recent retweets and mentions. But that’s it: you can’t see whether your follower count has increased from last week or last month (unless you’re using a separate method of keeping track); you have to count to see how many tweets you posted yesterday.

 Markitty’s Tweet Performance and Profile Performance graphs give you a quick glance at all of these for the last three weeks. The Tweet Performance graph compares your tweets each day with retweets you got and mentions of you by others.

Why compare tweets with retweets and mentions? Because common sense suggests that the more you tweet the more your mentions and retweets should increase (though not necessarily in the same day). If this isn’t happening, maybe you should look at the quality or relevance of your tweets.

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Using Markitty: Compare Website Visits, Referrals, and Social Referrals

I’m going to show you some useful Markitty graphs, stats, and features, and explain why we put them in and how you can use them. For the very first in this series, I’ve picked this graph displaying data from Google Analytics.

Markitty graph screenshot: website visits, referrals, and social referrals

As the graph title says, this line graph shows you the total visits to your website, the number of visits that were referred by other sites, and the number of visits referred by social sites. You get all of these for the last three weeks (if you signed up with Markitty over three weeks ago).

Why did we put this graph together?

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Markitty Software Update: More Graphs, More Tables, More Recommendations

Markitty: Software UpdateWe just released an update to Markitty with several significant (and a few not-such-a-big-deal changes). We’ve focused on adding more stats and recommendations that you can use to make marketing decisions. We have tried to format tables consistently throughout the site, and made some UI changes that we’re pretty excited about.

We’ve also added a Help page that should answer some of your questions and explain the data we show you. When you’re signed in to Markitty, the “Help” link is on the top right of the menu bar.

On to the details.

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Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Let’s Say Goodbye to Google Reader

A sprained ankle, and then food poisoning. The last three weeks have not been good to me. And then I resurface this morning, only to be hit by the news that Google Reader is dying.

Yeah, yeah, it’s been on life support for a while, but still. It’s much too soon, Google. I’m not ready to say goodbye.

Mourning Google Reader

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5 Reasons I Like Buffer (the Company)

Buffer is one of my favorite tools, but it’s not just the application itself I like, it’s the company. So well, let me count the ways.

Simple App That Focuses on One Benefit

I love how simple and easy Buffer is to use (in fact, I liked the earlier interface even better, because it was more simple). I’ve tried a few social media scheduling tools, but this is the only one I stuck with.

Tweets scheduled on Buffer

One click on the text box, type in or paste your tweet, and you’re done.

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How To Use Google’s Keyword Tool

Update: Google launched the Keyword Planner which will replace the Keyword Tool. Read about it here.

Have you ever used the Google Keyword Tool? No? Then go on reading and make sure you use it today. You can use this easy (and free!) tool for a number of things:

  • As part of your market research to understand how many people search for a certain product or service online.
  • When they search for the product or service you offer, what words do they use?
  • What keywords are you using most prominently in your website?
  • What keywords your competitor (or any other company) is using most prominently on its website?

How do you do all that? Let’s take a quick look.

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