Grow Your Business with Online Marketing (Without Spending a Fortune or Getting Overwhelmed)

August 19th, 2022 Posted by Digital Marketing 0 comments on “Grow Your Business with Online Marketing (Without Spending a Fortune or Getting Overwhelmed)”

Want to grow your business with online marketing without spending a fortune or getting overwhelmed?

Then you’ll want to check out our latest free video training on exactly this topic.


To claim the special offer from this presentation, click here.

How Your FAQ Page Can Become a Valuable Content Marketing Source

April 27th, 2021 Posted by B2B Marketing, Digital Marketing, Guest Blog 0 comments on “How Your FAQ Page Can Become a Valuable Content Marketing Source”

An FAQ page isn’t always the first thing you think about when building an effective content marketing plan for your website. 

However, just like your blog posts, social media content, and how-to guides, your FAQ page can demonstrate incredible business value.

Frequently Asked Questions are where you address the various queries and concerns your customers might have when interacting with your business. 

You can deal with concerns about shipping and returns or just let your customers know where your supplies come from. 

FAQ pages are excellent for informing and educating your customers, meaning they’ll usually feel more confident about buying from you. 

At the same time, that’s where you can build your digital presence and even boost business credibility. 

Let’s see what makes FAQ pages so effective. 

FAQ Page Can Improve Your SEO

SEO is an essential part of building an effective business and making sure customers can find you online.  (more…)

Why You MUST Use Custom Landing Pages for Your Campaigns

April 8th, 2021 Posted by Conversion Optimization 0 comments on “Why You MUST Use Custom Landing Pages for Your Campaigns”

I’m going to tell you a secret that changed our business forever and skyrocketed our client’s marketing results.

Are you ready?

Build standalone landing pages for your campaigns.

Sounds simple, right?

Like almost bordering on silly, simple.

Well, let me tell you a quick story.

A case study that proves the point

We used to run Google and Facebook Ads to our client Easton Motors’ website. We thought they had a pretty solid conversion rate in the 3-5% range.

With a 3.33% conversation rate, you need 33 visitors to your page to get a conversion.

With a 5% conversion rate, you need 20 visitors to your page to get a conversion.

So for this client, we needed somewhere between 20-33 visitors to get a conversion, aka a lead for their sales team to sell to.

From what we could see in their Google Analytics and HotJar screen recordings, it looked like a lot of people would hit the site, then browse the vehicle inventory.

But the real goal for this client was to get their website visitors to start the finance application process to see if they qualified for in-house financing. If they didn’t then it didn’t make sense to have them browsing the cars on the site.


What Structured Data markup does for your local SEO

February 10th, 2021 Posted by Local SEO 0 comments on “What Structured Data markup does for your local SEO”

Attractor theme is extremely customizable, fully responsive and HiDPI ready WordPress theme based on a well structured framework which allows you […]

5 Ways to Protect Your Websites from Google Algorithm Updates

January 4th, 2021 Posted by Google, Guest Blog, SEO 0 comments on “5 Ways to Protect Your Websites from Google Algorithm Updates”

Google is the “Gatekeeper to the Internet” and the one in charge of making sure that search results match the user’s query. It has developed several algorithm updates to ensure the quality of content that appears in search result pages.

The two algorithm updates that most people are familiar with are Panda and Penguin. These updates are designed to keep some of the lower quality websites from appearing in search results. If a website was previously penalized by a Google update, it could redeem itself if it had improved the quality of information being presented on the site.

Why Is There a Need to Monitor Sites for Quality?

There are a few people who have figured out ways to fool Google into ranking their websites higher and bringing them more traffic in the past. The problem is that the sites getting all this traffic were low-quality sites with thin content which is very frustrating and disappointing to the user.

For the past few years, Google has been working to improve the search engine and the quality of information it collects and presents to the searcher. User experience is very important and something that weighs heavily into customer satisfaction.


How Much Would You Pay for a Lead? Google Ad Conversion Costs

November 18th, 2020 Posted by Google Ads, Google AdWords 0 comments on “How Much Would You Pay for a Lead? Google Ad Conversion Costs”

A prospect recently asked me what sort of results they can expect if they run Google Ads for their local service business.

What to expect in terms of Google Ads results is a complicated question to answer, because it depends on your:

  • Click-through rate (CTR), which can affect your Cost per click (CPC)
  • Conversion rate %, which affects your Cost per lead or acquisition (Cost / Conversion)
  • Lead close rate, which affects your Cost per sale

So how much is an average sale worth to you in revenue and profit?

If your Cost per sale is lower than your Average Client Profit (over whatever time you determine: one year, five years, ten years, etc.), then you have found a profitable way to grow your company. Congratulations!

You can see why, even if your Google Ad campaign isn’t profitable immediately, it can be worth tweaking and optimizing until it is, because IT’S MAGICAL TO BE ABLE TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS BY JUST BUYING NEW CUSTOMERS!

Should I try Google Ads?

For this reason, it’s best to decide whether or not to try Google Ads and give it a good go for 4-6 months.

I speak and write about this elsewhere, but to recap, there are many good reasons to try search engine advertising:

  • you only pay per click for people searching for what you do
  • you can actually measure the results of your marketing

Neither of these things is strictly true for other forms of marketing. The next closest might be Facebook Ads, where people are hanging out but not searching actively for any products or services.

So What Kind of Results Can I Expect from Google Ads?

Because our agency manages Google Ads for dozens of clients, we can give you rough ballpark estimates based on what our clients see.

But just remember: it’s best to take a testing mentality in order to find a profitable marketing channel that you can later scale up by investing more in ads.

With all that said, here are some numbers I see for other local service business clients in our Google Ads Manager Account from Oct to Nov 17, 2020:

What to make of this data?

The first thing to note is how much the Costs Per Click (CPCs) vary. Google Ads are an auction, so for competitive verticals like Law, we generally see much higher CPCs, even way up in the $9-16 per click range.

Whoa! That’s like running a LinkedIn Ad.

But it can still be worth it. Law clients are worth a lot of money, so paying $103-123 per lead can still be profitable.

Speaking of which, I included conversion rates in these numbers so you can see how much these vary. The higher your conversion rate, the fewer clicks you need per lead.

That reduces your cost per lead, which can ultimately reduce your cost per sale.

One way to improve conversion rates is to create custom landing pages like the one below to send people to. That way the people who click on your ads don’t get distracted by your whole website, they can just opt-in to be contacted.

What Should I Do Next?

  • Determine internally what your acceptable cost per lead and cost per sale is.
  • If paying somewhere in the neighborhood of $50-200 per lead could be profitable to you, I strongly recommend trying Google Ads.
  • Performance could be even better than that, but there’s no way to know unless you try.


Feel free to reach out to us if you’d like us to set up and/or manage your Google and Bing Ad campagins.

How to Avoid the Most Common Pitfalls of Content Marketing

October 26th, 2020 Posted by Blogging 0 comments on “How to Avoid the Most Common Pitfalls of Content Marketing”

Content marketing has become one of the most critical activities in business. Currently, more than ninety percent of businesses worldwide use it to promote themselves and their products. However, despite this widespread use, businesses still walk straight into common content marketing pitfalls. 

These mistakes waste time and effort, hinder their marketing goals and often cause the loss of other important benefits.  


brands logos

Branding Strategies: How to Make Your Brand Unique

August 24th, 2020 Posted by Digital Marketing, Guest Blog 0 comments on “Branding Strategies: How to Make Your Brand Unique”

In a world saturated with brands competing for your target market’s attention, you need solid branding strategies to stand out from the crowd.

By making your brand more unique, you can attract new customers into your online sales funnel and stay top of mind when they’re ready to purchase.

In this article, we’ll discuss several ways you can create a unique place in the mind of your prospects. That way, your company can beat the competition with superior marketing campaigns. Let’s get started:

Stand for A Cause

People will go to greater lengths to support a bigger cause than a purely profit-driven business. Consider the bigger picture of your brand. Ask yourself if there is a correlated cause or mission that you can actively support through the business.

For instance, a shoe company can offer to give a pair of shoes to those in need for each pair purchased by customers. Professional service providers can offer pro bono work to the same effect.

And there is always the option of donating a certain amount of revenue each year to a chosen charity.

But supporting a cause doesn’t even need to incur such financial costs. You can bring awareness to an important issue to magnify it using your existing platform. Think creatively about how your business can make the world a better place.

Connecting your brand with a higher purpose doesn’t just make the world a better place — it also increases profits.

Provide More Value with Webinars

Webinars are an underutilized tool for growing your brand. Live video interaction is the next best thing to being in the same room with your customers.

When you provide value in an in-depth webinar, you build brand loyalty and stand out from the companies who simply put the bare minimum effort into their sales process.

You can use webinars in your branding strategy in various ways, for example:

Dramatize Your Product

Some products are difficult to understand without seeing it demonstrated. Show your product in action. Demonstrate live how it solves your customers’ most pressing pain points.

Through a long-form video presentation, you have much more time and interactivity than a mere landing page.

Answer Questions Live

Webinars provide an excellent opportunity to be different from the competition. Instead of merely providing a help section, you can answer questions in real time.

Your answers to these questions can be revised and incorporated into your sales process. That way, you are getting twice the value from the same time investment.

Direct Participants to Dedicated Sales Representatives

People are more impatient than ever before. While they may feel like buying your product during the webinar, they might lose interest over time.

Strike while the iron is hot by offering live calls with sales representatives. Even if they don’t make the sale, they can glean vital information for future sales calls.

Make Unique Social Media Content

If you aren’t using social media effectively, you’re missing out on the opportunity it provides to make your brand more unique. Social media is your microphone to the world. Broadcast what your brand is all about, using your unique brand voice.

Keep in mind that you don’t just need to communicate within your brand guidelines. Different social media platforms have certain unwritten ‘rules’ determined by how people prefer to communicate on that platform.

The campaign you create for LinkedIn may differ from that of Facebook, Google, or Instagram. Consider what you are selling. If you have a visual product such as a luxury watch, then excellent photography and videos can differentiate you from the crowd.

On the other hand, a home repair company might find that paid ads with high buying intent such as those on Google Ads are a better strategy, wherein your ad copy and landing page do more of the work.

Add a Personal Touch

In the digital world, the art of the personal touch seems to have been lost. But companies who make the extra effort are noticed and remembered. One example of this is the handwritten note.

However, there is something much more powerful you can use nowadays: a customized app.

Mobile app development is easier than ever before. It allows you to personalize your customer experience. You can reach customers instantly right through the app and recommend products to them based on their buying habits. You also avoid gatekeepers, such as social media platforms.

Through your app, your brand lives in your customer’s pocket. By implementing push notifications, personalized content, and useful features that simplify communication and purchasing, your brand will always be at the forefront of your customer’s mind.

This means you have unlimited access directly to your market. And once you have the app developed, there are no costs to communicate your brand messaging again and again.

Be Consistent

Billion-dollar brands have been built on the concept of being consistent. When you provide a consistent experience, you make your customers’ lives easier. They know exactly what to expect so they can make a mental shortcut by repeatedly buying from you.

For more commoditized products, this comes in the form of quality control. For entertainment companies, it means communicating with a consistent brand voice.

Review the implicit and explicit promises that you make to your market through your advertising and ensure that you are delivering on them.

Many companies take this for granted. They assume that their customers know what they know. But you need to constantly remind your target audience exactly what you stand for and what value you can provide for them.

If you pair a solid branding strategy with an excellent product or service, you will face less competition from those who are simply following the crowd.

Wrapping Up

Your brand has the opportunity to reach an unprecedented number of people today. However, so do others around the globe. Even if your business provides a unique solution, you are competing with others who are solving the same customer problems.

The art of communicating your brand’s unique qualities can be a challenge without the right tools. But if you implement the branding strategies above, you can position your brand as a one-of-a-kind solution. As a result, you can enjoy more growth and profit going forward.

Use this email template to ask for Google Reviews

June 17th, 2020 Posted by Google, Local SEO, Reviews, SEO 0 comments on “Use this email template to ask for Google Reviews”
How can you get more Google reviews? It’s simple. You need to make asking for them a consistent part of your business processes
Customer talking about how happy they are with your product or service?
Ask them for a Google review.
Client been working with you for a while now and seeing great results?
Time to ask for that online review.
Done with a job and won’t see the customer again?
Ask them for a Google review!
It’s rare that someone will say no. And if you’re able to follow up with people, asking twice pretty much always does the trick. 

Why Google Reviews Matter

Reviews on your Google My Business page are almost certainly a ranking factor for Local SEO
Plus, social proof is a critical part of your marketing, so you want future prospects to hear from your current happy customers or clients. 
Wisconsin SEO map pack results plumber
Those stars next to your business name help you stand out and make searchers want to click on your listing. Just look at the example above for “plumber verona.” Which of the three would you click if your shower drain was backed up?


How can you get more Google reviews? It’s simple. You need to make asking for them a consistent part of your business processes
Customer talking about how happy they are with your product or service?
Ask them for a Google review.
Client been working with you for a while now and seeing great results?
Time to ask for that online review.
Done with a job and won’t see the customer again?
Ask them for a Google review!
It’s rare that someone will say no. And if you’re able to follow up with people, asking twice pretty much always does the trick. 

Why Google Reviews Matter

Reviews on your Google My Business page are almost certainly a ranking factor for Local SEO
Plus, social proof is a critical part of your marketing, so you want future prospects to hear from your current happy customers or clients. 
Wisconsin SEO map pack results plumber
Those stars next to your business name help you stand out and make searchers want to click on your listing. Just look at the example above for “plumber verona.” Which of the three would you click if your shower drain was backed up?


Tracking Toward a Goal in Google Data Studio

June 11th, 2020 Posted by Google Data Studio 0 comments on “Tracking Toward a Goal in Google Data Studio”

Multiple clients and trainees have asked us how they can use Google Data Studio to track their organization’s progress toward a goal, such as an annual sales goal, traffic goals or the number of leads they received (as measured by Google Analytics goals).

Here’s a way to do it:

(You can take our FREE Google Analytics and Google Data Studio course here.)

  1. Create a scorecard and pull in your comparison metric that’s working toward your goal. (In this example, I’ll use Google Analytics Sessions and say we want to hit 3,000 per month)
  2. Select your Metric, then select “Create Field.” This creates a new metric that you calculate from your comparison metric divided by your set goal. Just make sure you have the right Data source selected such as Google Analytics (which is called Get Found Madison in the screenshot below),

3. In this case, we want to know Sessions/3000. Set the number Type to be a Percent (under Numeric).

Voila! You can now see the percent of your goal that you’ve reached! (We often rename the Google Analytics Sessions metric to “Visits” for the sake of clarity for our clients.)

If you want to create a bar graph, you can do that, too!

Create a new bar graph, select your metric, then click under that main metric > Add metric > Create Field and set your static goal.

In this case, we’re going for 3000.

If you want to see the percent toward your progress, create your metric like this (just like you did with the scorecard).

Try this for sessions, users, leads, revenue and more!

Don’t forget to sign up for our free Google Analytics and Data Studio Course here.

How a Gym Owner Pivoted During the Crisis to Retain 85% of Clients

May 7th, 2020 Posted by Local SEO 0 comments on “How a Gym Owner Pivoted During the Crisis to Retain 85% of Clients”

In this Zoom interview, Jared Markiewicz from Functional Integrated Training discussed how he and his team pivoted their brick and mortar gym to online offerings and retained an incredible 85% of their clients.

Marketing in Uncertain Times

March 24th, 2020 Posted by Digital Marketing 0 comments on “Marketing in Uncertain Times”

What on earth is a marketer to do with all the changes that are coming at us daily in the current crisis?

In short, we provide value where we can and pivot when we need to.

Here’s a video I made about this. Hope it’s helpful.

Ready to learn more?

You can sign up for my March 26 webinar here.

Your Productivity: How to Seriously Double It

March 11th, 2020 Posted by Productivity 0 comments on “Your Productivity: How to Seriously Double It”

Wondering how to be more productive on your computer and at work in general?

Here’s the actual productivity program we at our digital marketing agency use as a company to win competitively.

I’ve been told by my team and some clients that I should share it, so here it is.

There may be some things in this guide that surprise you, from the broader strategies to the detailed computer productivity tactics.

I hope you get as much value out of these tricks and strategies as I have and continue to.

I strongly believe it’s very doable to double your productivity if you’re strategic and focused.

In some cases, tools can help get you there. In others, you’ll need to change how you structure and use your time.

Why This is Important

One of your major advantages as a worker and as an organization needs to be how much better you organize and use your time than your peers and similar organizations.


Announcing Digital Marketing Mastery 3.0!

March 2nd, 2020 Posted by Marketing Training 0 comments on “Announcing Digital Marketing Mastery 3.0!”

We’re kicking off the third version of our annual digital marketing training course for local marketers.

You can sign up on Eventbrite for the free kickoff here.

(Not in town or can’t make Wednesday morning? Check out the webinar here instead.)

How We Turned $391.88 in Ads into $5,942 in sales (for a 1,516% return)

February 5th, 2020 Posted by Facebook Ads 0 comments on “How We Turned $391.88 in Ads into $5,942 in sales (for a 1,516% return)”

Here’s Facebook Ads case study from Splendid Beast Pet Paintings.

We ran a Q4 campaign where we spent $391.88 on Facebook Ads and made $5,942 in sales for a 15.16x Return on Ad Spend (or ROAS).

You can see the results below from our Facebook Ads Manager.


Online Marketing Boot Camp Starts this Thursday!

December 3rd, 2019 Posted by Marketing Training 0 comments on “Online Marketing Boot Camp Starts this Thursday!”

Ready to make more sales next year? Working on your marketing plan for 2020?


Because this Thursday I’m going to be teaching everything I know about how to get more business from online marketing (see the syllabus here).

All you have to do is email me by end of day this Wednesday if you’d like to join the all-day Boot Camp on Thursday.

I’m condensing down a full year’s curriculum from my Digital Marketing Mastery course into just two days: Thursday, Dec 5, 2019 and Thursday, Jan 9, 2020.

At a high level, here’s what you’ll learn if you join us at Lift Consulting’s office on Yellowstone Dr. in Madison, WI:

  • How to create buyer personas and write effective copy to sell via any channel (including offline)
  • Where to find your prospective customers and how to reach them online (search engines, social media, email and video)
  • How to measure the results of all your marketing and double-down on any channel with a positive return on investment (ROI!)

That’s the whole game. When you can acquire customers in a profitable way, you have everything you need to grow your business. Period.

Here’s what’s included with the Boot Camp:

  • 2 Days of In-Person Instruction in Madison (see syllabus here)
  • Lifetime access to over 16.5 hours of step-by-step videos of me showing you how to implement the strategies
  • Monthly Virtual Office Hours in 2020 for you to ask any questions or get advice
  • A printable online workbook to create your own marketing strategy and plan for growth in 2020

When you hire a marketing team or agency to set your strategy and implement it for you, it can cost you $60,000-$100,000+ easily. But when you’re willing to learn and work hard to implement new skills and strategies, you can SAVE BIG.

Plus, these are some of the most valuable skills of the 21st century and they’re not going away.

Here’s the cost of this Boot Camp and how you get in:

  • $1,000
  • Just email Eagan by Wednesday with this information:
    • what you absolutely must learn to make this worth it for you and your organization
    • to whom I should email the invoice
    • any questions you have

Can’t make the in-person training but still want the online course, office hours and strategy planning workbook?

  • Still email me
  • The cost is $500 and I’ll grant you access to the online course right away

Here’s what previous students of mine have said about my Digital Marketing Mastery course on which this Boot Camp is based:

“Whether you are new to digital marketing, wanting to expand your knowledge or simply understand what your digital marketing team does and learn how to improve on it, Eagan’s class will allow you to learn and grow your digital marketing skills. Eagan is an awesome teacher and provides plenty of materials and tools to help you understand the material both inside and outside of the classroom.

Personally, my skills expanded further than I thought they would. Having taken marketing classes in college I knew the fundame

ntals of marketing but none of the current digital marketing strategies that are essential for companies to be competitive. I highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to learn or strengthen their digital marketing skills to help grow their co

mpany’s digital presence.”

-Robin Lawson, SullivanBUILD



“It was a very useful overview to all that digital marketing has to offer in bite-size chunks I could digest and understand. As Marketing Director, I’m not going to have to be expert in any of the areas, but I certainly feel I have enough knowledge to integrate FIT’s vision into a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.”

-Annalise Simsek, Functional Integrated Training


“The in-person format was the best part of the learning for me. I am more committed in that scene and I like to learn when it is interactive. One of my clients is now creating a new web site because of this course and I’ve also become the creative online director for another company.”

-Shawn Smith, Shawn Smith Marketing







Watch this video below of Elise Chan from Powderkeg Web Design


Email me now to claim your spot! We have limited seats available.

Hope to see you on Thursday at Lift Consulting!


Marketing Fundamentals x Digital Marketing = 10x Results!

November 7th, 2019 Posted by Marketing Fundamentals 0 comments on “Marketing Fundamentals x Digital Marketing = 10x Results!”

One thing I’ve really been digging into in the last few months has been marketing fundamentals.

I often say digital marketing is the new and better game because it’s more targeted and can be measured. You can grow your business faster when you use smart online marketing.

That’s a simple fact.

But the reality is, we can stand on the shoulders of marketing giants. We can learn from the greatest marketing minds of the 20th century to knock it out of the park in the 21st century.


Because we’re still communicating with our fellow humans. We’re still trying to get them to take that next step to buy from us.

The hardware is the same, and it’s just the tools that have gotten more sophisticated.

So I’m viewing our clients’ marketing (and my own marketing) using the lens of marketing fundamentals. I’m doing this because I see how:


If you’re reading this, then you already know it’s important to compete and earn “impressions.” You need new prospects to see you on search engines, social media, websites they visit, and in their email inboxes because that’s where people’s attention is now.

But you can make your impressions even more effective when you speak directly to the needs of the person who is seeing a link to your website or visiting one of your pages.

So how do you do that?

Create a Persona for Your Prospects

Think about your very best customers or clients.

Draw each of them as a circle, then create a Venn diagram with the overlapping circles.

The part in the middle where all the circles are overlapping is what we’re going for.

  • Who are they? What is their role in what kind of company or who are they demographically?
  • What are the qualities that are similar between them?
  • What are their common struggles when they first come to you?
  • Most importantly: how do they describe their problem before they came to you and how do they describe the value your company provided them?

It’s worth reading that last one again, because it’s literally worth millions of dollars.

I’m serious.

Find the Magic Words

When you capture and leverage the voice of your customer (sometimes called VOC), they’ll bring you more just like them.

Here are some ways to find your customer’s language:

  • Call your customers and ask them
  • Read through your online reviews and testimonials
  • Record your happy customers on camera for a video testimonial (which is itself worth its weight in gold)
  • Send a survey
  • Add a second web form on your thank you page after people submit a form or buy from your website

Here’s another amazing trick​ from conversion copy writing expert Joanna Wiebe from CopyHackersdon’t ask “Why did you buy from us?” or “Why did you reach out to us?” but instead ask “What was going on in your life that led you to reach out/buy today?” 

​There’s something about the construction of that sentence that puts people back in their original frame of mind, rather than just answering “Why?” which might elicit a new answer they make up since they already took the action and are justifying it for different reasons now. 

(Human brains spend a lot of time rationalizing the decisions we already made out of emotion.)

A Few Examples

For my digital marketing agency Get Found Madison, we have a few different types of clients we work well with (and get great results for!), so we are developing a persona for each:

  • ​Local Service Business Owners
  • Ecommerce companies in the $1M-10M range
  • B2B Companies with Marketing Teams eager to learn digital marketing

​Here’s what Katelyn from the marketing team at our B2B client Naviant recently said in my Digital Marketing Mastery​ course. Before working with Get Found Madison, they had another SEO company they weren’t happy with. Specifically, they:

  • Didn’t communicate what they were working on or why
  • Didn’t achieve results
  • Were expensive 

 Then she said, “Honestly, we’ll probably never switch from you guys. It’s been so great working with you.”

I’d trade my kingdom for a video of what Katelyn said that day at the DreamBank in Madison (luckily she’s agreed to go on camera and say something similar again!). 

The headline writes itself:

“Are you tired of your expensive SEO agency leaving you in the dark about what they’re doing and not achieving results?” 

That could go in SEO titles and descriptions, Google Ad headlines, email subject lines, and web page headlines.

It could be the first sentence I speak in my next video.

Because are there other companies out there like Naviant who are experiencing the same pain points right now?

You better believe it.

If at all possible, I always try to speak to pain rather than pleasure. It’s the far greater motivator. (If you don’t believe me, you can read more about Kahneman and Tversky’s work on Loss Aversion.)

Surveys and Copywriting for Ecommerce

While we sometimes run video testimonial contest for my ecommerce company Splendid Beast Pet Paintings, we’re not always able to talk directly to our customers (though I bet we could if we tried!).

As such, it’s important for us to survey our customers (at least) annually to ask them about their experience and how we improve.

This year I made sure to include a version of the magical Joanna Wiebe question:

Think back to when you ordered your pet painting. What was going on in your life that led you to buy one?

If I wrote that question again, I’d probably say “your Splendid Beast pet painting” so we’d get responses the might demonstrate how people see our paintings differently than the competitors.

In any case, the vast majority of people who answered said it was either a gift or a way to commemorate a pet they’d lost.

At first, I was primarily interested in the quantitative data when we manually coded the customers’ free-text responses into birthday, Christmas, wedding and other types of gift.

But perhaps even more important is the qualitative data: the phrasing the customers used.

Check this one out that highlights a pain point Splendid Beast solved that I never would have thought of:

My parents are extremely difficult to buy presents for, so my brother and I got one of your paintings with both our dogs in it (the American Gothic template). Needless to say it now hangs at the bottom of my parent’s stairs and they get to smile at it every morning.

Wow. You can’t buy copy that good.

I’m ready to run that as our Facebook Ad copy right now.

Are there plenty of pet owners out there who are difficult to buy gifts for?

You know it!

And now we know how Splendid Beast can solve that problem.

Ready to do this for your business?

Persona creation and copywriting will be part of a Digital Marketing Boot Camp I’m offering soon. Email [email protected] if you’re interested.

Guest Blog Case Study

June 24th, 2019 Posted by Blogging, Local SEO, SEO Link Building 0 comments on “Guest Blog Case Study”

Guest blogging is a great way to build backlinks to your website, build relationships with people in your industry, grow your referral traffic, and improve your website’s SEO. Check out this guest blog case study about how we successfully landed a guest post for our client Reynolds Transfer & Storage.

Finding the guest blog post opportunity

One of the best tools to find guest blog posting opportunities is free and easy to use – Google! To find blogs and websites that accept guest submissions in our client’s industry, we used Google Search Operators combined with keywords and common phrases related to guest posting.

  • Keyword + “guest post”
  • Keyword + “guest blog”
  • Keyword + “guest post guidelines”
  • Keyword + “guest blog guidelines”
  • Keyword + “submit a post”
  • Keyword + “write for us”
  • Keyword + “contribute”

To find guest blog opportunities in the residential moving industry for Reynolds Transfer & Storage, we searched multiple combinations of target keywords and guest post phrases. Through this process, we found a number of relevant blogs that accepted guest post submissions, including Apartminty. Apartminty, an apartment search resource with a blog about apartment living, has a page dedicated to Guest Post Guidelines that appeared in our Google searches. 

Guest Post Outreach

Once we identified Apartminty as a potential guest blogging opportunity, the next step was research and preparation for outreach. The Apartminty Guest Blog Guidelines includes what they’re looking for in a guest post, an application to be considered for a guest blog post, and contact information for the blog. Working with the team at Reynolds Transfer & Storage, we brainstormed potential blog post ideas tailored to Apartminty’s audience and submitted the application to the contact information listed on the page.

Along with the application, we focused on keeping the email containing the attachment short and to the point, with a clear subject line: 

Guest Blogger Inquiry for Apartminty


I am reaching out on behalf of Reynolds Transfer & Storage, a Madison, Wisconsin-based moving company specializing in residential moves with a commitment to environmentally sustainable business practices. We are interested in contributing guest blog posts for the Apartminty blog. I have attached the completed questionnaire for your consideration. 

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Hannah Biggs

The Results

Once we submitted the application, we heard back from the Apartminty team with a preferred topic. We wrote the blog post, submitted it for review, and received a publication date. Finally, our guest blog post for Reynolds Transfer & Storage was live on the Apartminty blog. 

The post includes a bio with a link back to the Reynolds Transfer & Storage website. Below is the estimated domain authority for the backlink from Apartminty. 

Screenshot of estimated domain authority for a backlink from Apartminty.

For more about improving your website’s SEO through guest blog posts, check out our post How to Write High-Quality Guest Posts.

How to Create a Proper Competitor Backlink Analysis

May 20th, 2019 Posted by Local SEO 0 comments on “How to Create a Proper Competitor Backlink Analysis”

Researching the competition is one of the most important elements of business success in the modern business world. In fact, keeping tabs on the most successful actors in your field has always been an excellent way to bring prospects to your doorstep and surpass the competition in the long run.

Needless to say, backlink analysis falls right into this category and remains a crucial part of the discovery process. How else are you going to find out who’s linking back to their websites and how many outlets are there that are supporting their growth, brand reach, and boosting their rankings?

You need to research your competitors’ backlink portfolio and strategy in order to gain a competitive advantage and increase your own websites’ traffic and conversions. Here’s what you need to do to achieve this goal.

It all starts with keyword research

In order to improve your online authority in the eyes of the public and reach the top spot on Google’s result pages, you need to rank high for keywords relevant to your brand, services, and niche. With that in mind, your first order of business should be to conduct in-depth keyword research that will tell you what people are searching for. With these keywords in your hands, you can find out how your competitors are ranking for the same phrases.

What you might be surprised to find out is that there are smaller actors in your niche you never heard about that are ranking higher than you for specific phrases, so that you can broaden your search and discover even more opportunities for your own content. Once you have the list of keywords, you can go ahead and Google them.

Identify your competitors

The sheer number of keywords related to your business and niche makes it very difficult for your competitors to achieve monopoly over them. This means that not all keywords relevant to your business are dominated by the biggest competitors in the field.

This creates an opportunity to rank your website higher for select keywords, but it also hints at the possibility that smaller, yet equally important, competitors might be lurking in the shadows.

By Googling the keywords you’re most interested in, you can zero in on the competition in its entirety.

More importantly, this type of research will let you find out if their content is actually delivering and solving their audience’s problems. If not, they might get penalized for going after irrelevant keywords, which is something you should watch out for as well.

Now that you have them in your sights, it’s time to check out their backlink portfolios.

Examine the competitors’ backlinks

Here comes the good part. Find the list of all the links on the web that lead back to your website. Building this network of backlinks efficiently and effectively means positioning organic KWs on these target pages by finding and reaching out to authoritative influencers in your specific industry and niche. Keep in mind, though, you’re not the only one doing this, which is why discovering your competitors’ backlink profiles becomes imperative.

You can use a number of tools to monitor your competitors’ backlinks and discover the blogs that are linking back to their websites. One of these tools is Ahrefs. You can start by finding your domain-level competitors by using Ahrefs Competing Domains option. Results can be sorted by common keywords, keywords unique to competitor or keywords unique to target.

Once you do this, seek for page-level competitors. These don’t necessarily need to be your direct competitors but websites that rank well for a topic/keyword of your interest, thus competing with you. This can be done by using Keywords Explorer option – just add a keyword you’re trying to rank for (in this example I’ve used keyword Onsite SEO)

Then, scroll down for results in the SERP Overview section.

Finally, once you determined your main competitors, use the Backlink Profile option to directly find their backlinks. You can simply do this by adding their website in the Ahrefs search. These backlinks can be sorted by anchor text, date, domain rating, traffic, referring page… (In the example below you can see how Moz backlink portfolio looks like, since it is one of Ahrefs’ main competitors).

With all this Ahrefs data in your hands, you can analyze the top-performing content, the blog they’re featured on, and use it to discover new bloggers and opportunities for your own content and backlink strategy.

Monitor backlinks regularly to discover lucrative opportunities

It’s not just about discovering your competitors or checking out their backlink portfolios one time – it’s about continuous research and diligent backlink monitoring that will allow you to find new backlink opportunities for your website. After all, if a blogger was willing to publish a link to your competitors’ websites, then there is a distinct possibility they will be willing to do the same for you.

This is all provided that you have mastered the fine art of guest blogging, that is. Keeping tabs on their backlinks will also allow you to discover broken links and lost backlinks, which presents the ideal opportunity for you to step in with your own content and fill the gap, effectively replacing your competitor’s link with your own.

Improve on the best practices

If the competition is fierce, you need to be fiercer. There is no way around it, your content needs to have higher quality content, better storytelling, offer a simpler solution, and of course, take a more in-depth approach to every topic. Using the time-tested skyscraper method, you can offer higher quality content to bloggers and thus boost your brand authority while enhancing the authority of the blogger at the same time.

Complementing stellar content with careful social listening will further allow you to keep tabs on your competition and react effectively to their every move in the future.

In closing

Building backlinks is an essential part of a winning SEO strategy, as every link that leads back to your website has the potential to improve your traffic, conversions, and ranking in the online world. Use these techniques to analyze your competition’s backlink strategies and capitalize on their success.

HotJar heat map example

Make your website work harder (so you don’t have to)

April 12th, 2019 Posted by Conversion Optimization 0 comments on “Make your website work harder (so you don’t have to)”

Short story: I’m speaking next Tuesday at Tingalls about how to improve your website and you can sign up here.

Longer story: You’ve likely heard me talk about optimizing your website for search so it shows up in the top spots on page 1 of Google where most people click, but what about optimizing for conversions?

Wait, what’s a conversion again?

That’s the action you want your visitors to take on your web page. 

It could be:

  • Completing a form
  • Purchasing your product
  • Calling you
  • Emailing you
  • Subscribing to your email list

If more of your website visitors took these actions, then you wouldn’t necessarily need to bring a lot more people to your site. You’d be getting more leads and sales with the traffic you already have.

Make sense?

Conversion Optimization, baby!

That improvement process is called Conversion Optimization.

(It’s also sometimes called CRO, as in “Conversion Rate Optimization,” usually when a lot of website traffic is involved.)

The very best and largest companies in the world constantly test tweaks to their web pages to improve their results.

You don’t need to make hourly changes like they might, but you shouldn’t just “set it and forget it” when it comes to your website either. 

If you’d like to learn more about this, I’m speaking next Tuesday during lunch at Tingalls Graphic Design on Fish Hatchery Road in Fitchburg as part of their Munch-n-Learn series.

I’ll be covering how to:

  • identify problem areas of your website using Google Analytics
  • record actual sessions of your website visitors
  • create heatmaps to see where people are clicking
  • use psychology and design to make your website more effective
  • ask for feedback to improve your website

You can sign up by clicking this link. Hope to see you there!