7 Incredible Free Features of Paid SEO Tools A Marketer Should Know

7 Incredible Free Features of Paid SEO Tools A Marketer Should Know

Is your business in need of SEO but short on budget? We got your back.

Undoubtedly, SEO is need of the hour and there’s probably no brand/business online which can sustain without it. So when you know how important it is, you wouldn’t want to miss any opportunity to benefit from it. But everything comes for a price…and SEO tools are no exception. Yet you can still make a significant difference using the free features of the popular paid tools.

We did a little bit of research to round up some of the best features of paid SEO tools so that every marketer gets a treat (You can also check our collection of top 12 online marketing tools here). So why waiting for Christmas…let’s check out the details below.

NOTE: From beginner to the expert ones, these features are of great use for every passionate marketer.

Moz’s Keyword Explorer

Even though the usage is limited to 2 queries daily, Moz’s Free Keyword Explorer is of great use for finding the right keywords. So while you can’t do a complete website analysis with its free usage, you can still begin your keyword research and gather the initial keywords.

moz’s_keyword_explorer

It offers you keyword ideas and search volume along with useful insights such as keyword difficulty. The tool further lets you manage, review, and export the report to CSV. What sets Moz’s Keyword Explorer apart is its ability to show additional info and run a SERP analysis. The extra details include page and domain authority, backlinks, etc.

There’s an option to sign up for free trial and analyze more keywords.

AuthorityLabs

AuthorityLabs is a widely used paid SEO tool among marketers, yet a very few people know that it can actually be used as a free tool. The free tools offered don’t require you to sign up or subscribe. All you need to do is just select a tool from its Free Tool Page and submit some info like your email ID to get the access link.

You can use these free tools for running basic SEO audits and do research. You even get support for free tools!

Screaming Frog

The SEO Spider and SEO Log File Analyzer by Screaming Frog are two free tools offered by Screaming Frog. it is pretty helpful for doing technical audit of a website. It crawls and then scans a site’s links as well as media including images, codes, et to fetch necessary info and offer reports.

Screaming Frog

You can track around 1000 log lines and 500 site URLs , excluding customer support.

Moz’s Open Site Explorer

The Moz team has another tool for the free users. It provides you an insight of a site’s outbound and inbound link model. The Open Site Explorer further displays the top domains that link to the website. These info can be organized as per DA, domain authority, spam score, etc.

You can easily find damaged links on your site using this easy to use SEO tool.

Topvisor Free Keyword Grouper

The Free Keyword Grouper by Topvisor helps you design a complete keyword model on the basis of page relevance. It’s pretty fast and takes only a few seconds to perform. First you need to upload your keyword list and analyze the SERP rankings in order to fetch relevant pages and shortlist keywords using the tool.

BuiltWith

Want to find basic info about a site? BuiltWith is your best bet! It provides you complete information regarding any domain present on the web. It includes list of technologies used for building a site. These technologies comprise of encoding, javascript libraries, servers, and more.

Note that the individual domain searches cost you nothing yet you require to buy a specific plan in case you need more.

WordStream’s Free Keyword Tools

You get a powerful set of keyword tools with WordStream. These can be used for both keyword research and grouping. What make them great is the ease of use and smooth interface. It fetches keyword suggestions, PPC data, search volume, and opportunity store.

WordStream’s Free Keyword Tools

All you need to start using the tool is to register email ID and enjoy all the data right in your inbox. Remember that if you don’t register your email address, you will be shown only first 10 keywords.

A Few Words…

So now you know that it doesn’t always cost too much to enjoy the best of popular tools. You can gain much more from the free features of top paid SEO tools. So feel free to use one, a few, or use a blend of all the tools mentioned above, in any case you are going to benefit from these super-useful SEO tools.

Untold Success Story of Sarahah: The Anonymous Honesty App That Took The App Store By Storm

Untold Success Story of Sarahah: The Anonymous Honesty App That Took The App Store By Storm

Are you on Sarahah? The anonymous messaging app is on top of the download charts these days and here’s everything that you might be looking for about this mysterious app!

Downloaded by millions of people across the globe, the app has managed to hit #1 in App Store in 30 countries including the US, UK, and France (As per the 1 month stats mentioned in its official tweet). Within its very first month of launch, Sarahah enjoyed more than 250 millions visitors and 1 billion page views!!!

The phenomenal performance of the honesty app seems pretty startling and of course mind-bending to app makers. Given the record-breaking figures, people are trying to know more about its usability, origin, and what made it so successful!

You too interested? Dive in and find out every nook and cranny about this new, most hyped honesty app.

So basically what’s Sarahah and Honesty App?

Meaning honesty in Arabic, Sarahah is an interesting concept created as an anonymous way to offer supportive criticism in the workplace. It is meant for team members for somewhat secret one-way communication…at least that was the idea of the makers initially!

Here are some enticing facts about the app in brief:

Developed by Tawfiq, the concept was finally launched as an app after its success in Arab. With contribution of a third-party company, an iOS app was introduced to the App Store on June 13, 2017. That was the time the app first became available in English. Within its first week only, it received over 2 mn unique visitors.

Here are some enticing facts about the app

On July 5, Snapchat also released a new update and just three days after this, for the first time, Sarahah jumped to top 1500 apps in App Store (as stated by analytics by Sensor Tower). Post 4 days, it again promoted to 104th position. Then 2 days later, the rank was #17 and finally three days later, Sarahah surpassed the records and claimed #1 position on the App Store. This made it leave behind all the major social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and rest of the popular platforms.

What made Sarahah buzz of the town?

Only positive word of mouth couldn’t be credited as the sole reason for record-breaking performance of the app. Coming over to the business point of view, there’s something more than the hypes. We tried to look deep on to the app and other factors and here’s what we found equally responsible for its success.

For a regular user, the app brings a new, innovative, and engaging app which offers them a way to connect to the people they know without those people knowing anything about “who sent what!” This is the first reason why Sarahah gained so much popularity from users across the globe. Yes we know that there have been some similar like Yik Yak, After School, and Secret in the recent and far away past, yet there’s something about it that lures the people.

Also, the idea that it’s the latest option available right now and has somewhat brought back the old concept the new way has also triggered users to secretly share their thoughts about the people they know.

This idea of an anonymous app at the time when people are so involved in social networks and communication is yet another plus point.

From the business eye…THE SNOWBALL EFFECT…

The app seems to have followed the snowball effect, which is characterized by people being influenced by their friends and colleagues for something and then joining the same row. Let’s make it clear to you with the help of an example.

You are probably on Sarahah now…ever guessed why!!!

Let’s say one of your friend shared his/her Sarahah profile link with you inviting you to share your thoughts about them secretly. You ignored first but tempted to find out what it is and finally clicked the link.

You saw the page and found it interesting to leave comments about your friends that they wouldn’t find out you sent. Then you thought why you should be different and you created an account and shared your profile link with your friend as well.

That’s where the whole game begins. This SHARING is the base of Sarahah getting viral tremendously all over the social media as users have been posting the comments they received ever since they joined the app.

***A few people checked out the app, they shared the link and comments with their friends or public on different social networks, and then more people joined it….and the series continued***

Now interestingly, a normal user doesn’t calculate and do the aftermath. People try something for a reason or for nothing, they like it and they connect with it. But business doesn’t go like that. If the app is at the top of App Store today, it is owing to several factors that contributed towards its success.

From marketing perspective, Sarahah seems to have been successful due to the hype created by people and strong presence of social networks to promote and share it.

If you understand the idea, you will be able to know why the previous apps couldn’t be that successful…due to less craze and role of social media in their lives.

There are some other things as well that make it somewhat better:

  • Revived version of the old concept
  • Better interface and UI
  • Social media kick
  • Of course, positive word of mouth and the viral stage

And it’s secret you know~!

What can be improved?

Even though the app is on the hitlist of users these days, there are a few points we’d like it to add or improve, including:

  • No options to delete sent comments.
  • If you don’t have app version, you won’t be able to share the comments directly from within the app.
  • Too many spams.

Beware of the SPAMS…

Soon after people joined the app, they have been receiving spam messages with the name of Sarahah for eg, Sarahahcheck.com, Sarahahemoji.com.

These spams invite you to download third-party apps in exchange of revealing usernames of anonymous senders. Users are recommended to ignore and keep a check on such spams and share no information on such sites.

Beware of the SPAMS

These spams invite you to download third-party apps in exchange of revealing usernames of anonymous senders. Users are recommended to ignore and keep a check on such spams and share no information on such sites.

Sarahahcheck.com

Our Opinion

Well it might be too early to comment anything on the app yet the benchmark it has set within such a short span is worth analysis. So we paid a little attention and came to the thought that Sarahah seems to be an interesting app with potential to sustain longer. Yet for now, it is no exception to flaws and needs a couple of improvements in some aspects.

Despite the doubts regarding how anonymous the app really is or the involvement of spammy third-party apps and ads, the platform is anyhow able to engage users and might be expected to come up with something different and new features in the near future (that’s what we hope). Keeping all this aside, Sarahah seems fun and something unusual than the regular FB, Twitter, or WhatsApp, which makes it more appealing to us and to everyone around.

Google Search: How The Search Giant Works

Google Search: How The Search Giant Works

Google and the Internet continue to be a similar thing for the majority of people even today. Every second million of searches take place…do you know what makes it possible?

We know and in this blog post, we will share with you the insights about the way Google Search works!

You may be searching something everyday on Google and never gave a thought to how it happens. It’s acceptable…but don’t you want to know? We bet you do and this post will help you understand the process in detail. So no more Google mysteries or scratching heads thinking what on earth Google considers when it comes to search! Here we will discuss in detail the three stages of Google Search – Crawling & Indexing, Algorithms, and Spams.

1. Crawling & Indexing

Not even millions or billions, but the search on Google happens in trillions! A query starts earlier than something is searched, where the process of crawling and indexing the hundreds of thousands of documents continues.

Let’s get the facts straight…

Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to more than 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.

How It Works…

Well well… these are the two founding processes that make it possible to collect and arrange all the info on the world wide web in order to bring only the most meaningful and relevant results matching your search query. Google’s index range is more than 100 million gigabyte and the credit goes to the 1 million hours spent in computing to build it.

The process is simple. The search giant first finds the information with the help of crawling and then organizing is done by indexing them. Check out the detailed info below.

Find Info With The Help Of Crawling

Also known as web crawlers, these are used to find publicly available pages. This software go through the web pages, follow the links on these pages, and ultimately fetch data back to Google servers.

For this purpose, it uses past crawls and sitemaps. Attention is paid to the new websites or modifications in existing sites as well as dead links. Everything from listing the sites to crawl, how often to crawl them, and what numbers of pages to fetch out of each website. Note that Google NEVER accepts any kind of payment for crawling a particular site more than others.

Organize This Info With Indexing

After the info is crawled from different web pages across the web, now comes the turn for organizing this fetched data. The web works more like a public library where there’s no filing system but the continuous addition of new books. During crawling, Google collects web pages and on the basis of their relevancy, it creates an index. After this, you come to see the search results when you enter a query.

From a heading to a single word written on a particular page, Google keeps the record of every info from the most basic level and then with the help of algorithms, it finds the results according to your search query.

That’s where the whole process becomes all the more complex. There would be thousands of pages with the same name yet Google won’t show you that many when you type it, for example, Apple. You might be looking for anything on Apple like images, videos, or info. Here Google algorithms work differently and using its Knowledge Graph, it surpasses keyword matching to bring better results from the pages that may be useful to you.

2. Algorithms

It’s obvious that when you search on Google, you want the results not a pile of documents or web pages threw over you at a time. This is where algorithms prove to be useful by surfing through clues so that they bring back only the most relevant results matching your search query.

Algorithms can be expressed as computer (automated) process and formulas that accept your input (search query) and bring you back the suitable results. In the present time, Google’s algorithms depend on over 200 unique factors (otherwise clues) which are responsible for estimating what the user wants.

The clues can be anything from the keywords or content written on the website, how updated the content is, your location, etc. Under Google Search Projects, the company works with more than 21 projects to help the search process and the results pages as well. The technology behind all this math is constantly updated and innovated to provide better results and search experience to the user.

A new algorithm is made from a simple idea on how to enhance search. Using data-driven approach, all proposed algorithms then go through deep quality testing and analysis before getting finally released.

Sometimes, these are released as a testing in beta phase to know the reaction and results.

3. Spams

Google is no exception from spam and every day, millions of spams are created and added to the web. The company aims to fight spam with a mix of advanced computer algorithms and manual techniques. Spam sites, as you may know, try to outscore the web with black hat techniques. Spam sites can be in different in appearance, size, and shape. In order to top the search results, they often do keyword stuffing and uploads invisible text to the screen. The result…the relevant ones get lagged behind and users compromise useless results for their queries.

There are more than 10 types of spam as per Google, but fortunately, Google is able to identify most of the spams and ban or demote it automatically for using the tricks. Apart from the automated ways, the company also fights spam manually by reviewing sites.

Alerting the Website Owners…

Whenever an action is taken manually on a website, Google notifies the site’s owner regarding the issues so that they can take measurable action to fix them. When site owners do not optimize in spite of warnings, then Google finally demotes them.

Feedback

Google welcomes feedback from site owners when a notification is sent to them. As soon as the changes are made and issues are fixed, they can request Google to reconsider their website for ranking. This process is ongoing and handled manually. If you look at the past reports, then the majority of sites submitted for reconsideration were actually affected manually with spam activities. They can be suffering anything from the traffic flow to algorithmic change and technical glitches which prevent Google to access the content on these sites.

Summary…

All in all, Google makes every possible effort behind the curtains to keep the search process as smooth and relevant as possible for users across the globe. The combination of innovative algorithms and manual reviewing makes it possible for the search giant to maintain the web of queries and answers. Even when there are so many details available on the way search works, it’s still only an estimate of the real factors that Google considers. Yet if you are a website owner, you can anyway take care of what Google doesn’t want you to do!

How LinkedIn Sales Navigator Helped My Business Grow by 42.7%

How LinkedIn Sales Navigator Helped My Business Grow by 42.7%

Are you on LinkedIn and you’re serious about generating high-quality leads? Then you better be systematic with the way you search and approach them.

Well today, I’m going to show you 9 amazing techniques of LinkedIn Sales Navigator to GUARANTEE that you get extensive potential leads and possibly, more conversions!

These techniques have helped me in increasing my leads by 42.7% and a flood of views on my LinkedIn profile.

In this post, I’ll reveal the exact techniques that I used for getting the best out of Sales Navigator for my business.

But First, My Quick Story…

6 months back, my partner and I decided to find new sources for getting projects. Until then, we were getting projects from a single source. So now we were in search of some very powerful source that could actually help us in getting potential leads and growing our business globally (and possibly as many projects :P).

Initially, we started exploring things and there we found the LinkedIn Sales Navigator!

This underrated tool has come to mean more to our business than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat combined altogether.

With more than 400 million members worldwide, LinkedIn has a huge pool of potential leads. Every second, 2 new users sign up for LinkedIn. 128 million of the total users are only from U.S. i.e. 30% of total annual LinkedIn users.

Despite its great usefulness, I am damn sure you’d also ignored using Sales Navigator in your marketing strategies. Right? You are not alone. Main neglectors beings the B2B companies, the tool is still underrated due to less knowledge and its complex features.

That’s just not true!

Another problem that businesses find with Sales Navigator is that they don’t know its full potential and what wonders it can do to their lead generation campaigns.

Now that it is available with the improvements and a lot of new features, you can simply sign up and start boosting your sales.

I know by now you dearly want to implement Sales Navigator in your LinkedIn profile, let’s dig in.

1. Using Lead Builder For Filtering Prospect Searches and Making Your Sales Target Profile.

The Lead Search feature of the tool has been fairly improved. You can access the Lead Builder from the right of the search box in the Sales Navigator tool. The platform has added new enhancements which open more doors for finding the opportunities to filter search results (pick from the 22 available search filters) and engage with the leads. It has a lot of other useful features to play with and benefit from.

Entering a new territory without having knowledge of the same can be a big risk. The same rule applies to your business as well. You should first get complete details of the audience or goals you are targeting before jumping off to the Lead Builder.

This information can be anything important like its address, its niche, the size of the company, industry, title, affiliation, type of content they share or cover and more. Selling on the platform is a great way of searching, reaching, engaging, and building professional relationships worldwide.

Getting Started

To get going with the tool, click on Settings and at the end of the page, click on Import to Sales Navigator link to import contacts.

Another new feature of the tool, the import will show all the notes and tags you have put to your connections.

Now from the available filters, choose the one according to your choice or you can stick to the traditional Boolean search.

Using Lead Builder For Filtering

Your initial search results will be listed, which can be further shortlisted with the help of other filters on the left pane.

Once you are on the results you desire, click Save Search.

To recreate a search in future, just enter the name and the info will be displayed.

Saved Searches can be found under the LinkedIn’s search box. To do so, simply hover over the search you are looking for.

There are more options to explore in the search section. You can even find the leads that are following your company. This lets you know about the leads that already know you, making it simpler to build a connection with them on the platform.

search section

There’s another option to see who has shared experiences with you. It can be skills, mutual groups, as well as connections.

After you have a potential lead, just click on Save as Lead option and then assign it a location (company or account).

Save as Lead

After saving the lead, click on the lead’s name to view their profile. Here you can further add notes and tags to the lead. (Even BETTER – LinkedIn gives you suggestions on related people working at the same company like your lead).

2. Find Valuable Accounts With Keywords

LinkedIn already suggests you accounts during the setup process in the beginning, yet you can find new again. To do so, just click on the search box and hover over the Search for Account option.

Search for Account

You can even filter your search results using keywords or other factors like industry, headcount growth, geography, department size, department type, and more. For saving a new account:
Click on Save Account in the search or you can click on Save as Account option in the account itself.

3. Use Advanced Filters to Identify Your Ideal Customers

LinkedIn says that your chances of cracking the first meeting with a client/target are up to 5 times higher when there’s a mutual personal connection between you two. I recommend using the TeamLink Connection filter for this purpose as it really helps in searching the prospects matching your criteria and additionally shares a connection with you.

The filter further taps the other members’ networks in your sales team as well as your first-degree connection. Awesome isn’t it!

4. Save Your Search

There’s a TeamLink Search option available on the window that lets you save the information regarding a prospect that is not your connection at present. Just enter all the details in the search parameters apply the TeamLink Filter AND click on the ‘Save Search” option. You’re done!

LinkedIn has kept the option to let it send you emails of your leads in the new Sales Navigator as well. I really suggest you use this oft-forgotten feature to receive automated emails on the daily or weekly basis by the service itself.

NOTE: There are many other filters available and you can check all of them to know what they do. It’s just that TeamLink filter did the best for me so it’s my personal favorite.

5. Using Salesforce in Your Sales Team.

Salesforce is a great tool to give your efforts a level up. Apart from Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce is another authorized CRM integration within Sales Navigator. Even if you are not Einstein of marketing, your sales team can use it into its active leads and potential sales leads. When both the CRMs are used along with the tool, your sales experts are able to better manage daily calls with the help of an instant view of your prospect’s present activities.

These activities include job changes, content sharing, affiliations, backgrounds, etc. all this information can be quite useful for your sales team in monitoring their strategies.

6. Import Your Leads to Sales Navigator

This part is comparatively easier as you just need to play with the Sales Solution section of the tool here. LinkedIn will show you the setup process when you open it for the first time. It’s really easy to get started with this friends,

  • Import the leads and targeted companies or accounts to this section.
  • Synchronize the information with Salesforce (remember I told you to use it above, this is why!).
  • Now choose the parameters like job functions and territories according to the purpose.

Now from this info that you input into Sales Solution, LinkedIn will provide you recommended accounts to review and save for later.

One thing I loved about Sales Navigator is that it serves as a great tool for both account-based marketing as well as individual efforts. Importing connections to LinkedIn has become so easy and hassle free with Sales Navigator compared to the early methods which required you to first export your contacts and then re-import them.

7. Finding Prospects Who Share Content Recently

On the Saved Leads page, you will see three tabs one of which is Posted on LinkedIn in Past 30 Days.” Using the filter, you can shortlist the prospects who recently posted something on the platform. When doing so, I’d said you stay and spend some time checking out their posts to use it as insights for making personalized messages and engage with the content they posted.

8. Don’t Forget to Comment

You believe it or not but comments are of great importance when building engagement with your prospects and the best way is to SHOW them you care. Start increasing value and establishing the connection with your buyers by commenting and reacting on content they share or post.

The entire mystery of adding value in Sales Navigator is through comments. As soon as a lead shares or posts something new, it will be shown in the Sales Rep’s Homepage and an email in the rep. That’s the best chance to start a conversation with the buyer.

But not all reps are productive so here’s my trick –

Be strategic and don’t rely only on well written post for adding value. Spend time on thoughts and add some quotes or phrases that connect to them, their business, vision, etc or something which they will tend to reply with a follow-up query!

Bonus: By using the ‘@’ for tagging a prospect in your comment, you draw the full attention to your activity.

AND finally, InMail!

9. Send InMails to Common LinkedIn Group Members (For FREE!)

InMails play a great role in reaching out to your potential leads by sending them personalized messages. The tool gives you an opportunity to send up to 15 messages every month (free of cost…which I loved the most :D). With the free alternative on your side, you don’t need to rely on those paid InMails that share a common LinkedIn Group with you.

As said above, use the search filters, keywords, and advanced filters to find the suitable clients/companies/partners. You need to pay a little attention here in choosing only the second and third-degree connections. Once selected, now click on any of the shortlisted prospects to review their profile. If there’s any mutual group you two share, it will be highlighted at the top of their profile.

If any, go to the share group on the top-right of their profile page, there will be a link showing the group members total. Just click on it.

A Members page will open, you can search them by their name in the search box to highlight them in the results. From here, click on the MESSAGE icon to send them a direct message.

REMINDER: The tool offers only 15 free messages, which can be used collectively every month in all groups. Also, the messages not sent will not be carried forward to the next month, so USE them as required accordingly. The messages sent counts the ones sent directly from your group as well as your first-degree connections.

Follow-Up By Monitoring Lead Engagement

After you are done with the tool, searched, saved prospects, and sent them messages as well, you need to know where are your endeavors going. Wouldn’t you like to know if your efforts are bringing some fruits?

Monitor the leads, your activity, and your prospect’s activity on your gestures. Doing so will help you find out the high and lows of your efforts.

The End…

While it could have taken some pages to tell you every step from signing up to cracking the deal, I am sure the tips and information described above will help you make the most of Sales Navigator. Even if you have tried it out before and did not get anything useful…here’s your chance to do it now!

LinkedIn has done so much to the new Sales Navigator and no matter if you are an individual business or a firm, if you are there and has something to offer…this tool is for you to reach heights and make profits…even more than what I made!

Google Shopping Insights: Smart Way to Know What Your Customers Want

Google Shopping Insights: Smart Way to Know What Your Customers Want

Released at WSJDLive, October 20, 2015, Google launched an exceptional tool called Shopping Insights in beta phase. The tool is meant to show retailers and other businesses statistical data about what and how much customers are searching for a specific product in their cities. Google Shopping Insights is helpful in showing the top searched and trending products on the city level for a particular month.

So What Exactly is Google Shopping Insights

Shopping Insights by Google, is a service aimed to help retailers understand the way consumers shop for different products via Google. Introduced 2 years back, the feature was first made available in the beta version with next significant update in November 2016. It gives you an edge over exploring details about specific products trending on Google.com, their trend track record, comparative analysis based on regions, and much more.

Using the feature, retailers can get to know how customers shop for products using their devices and PCs on Google. At present, the majority of people search online, still, most of them buy products from physical stores. What makes Shopping Insights interesting for retailers is the way it shows them consumers’ preferences and mindshare for different products on the basis of the city, state, or country.

Google Shopping Insights Vs AdWords Keyword Planner

Well, of course, there is already the AdWords Keyword Planner which helps you find current search trends and new keywords, but Shopping Insights goes one step further from finding out the latest trends only…it offers the capability to understand consumer’s shopping trends in detail on a city-by-city level with a lot more useful features. Also, it is more of a decision-making tool to adjust your strategy than a concrete AdWords helper.

Main features of Shopping Insights

As already said above, Shopping Insights is meant to serve retailers with proper information on the trending and popular products searched and bought by customers using Google as the medium.

Main features of Shopping Insights

There are three main categories:

Featured Stories

It shows the featured stories about different niche and products, services, etc on the basis of their popularity and search.

Top Products

This category deals with the top 10 searched products on Google. The tool ranks products which have the highest query volume for a specific month. The top products are decided as the top 10 products with the highest search volumes for a certain month. This list is then displayed in descending order.

Trending Products 

This is where comparative analysis is offered. Trending products are calculated with a comparison of search volumes for the particular month against the previous month. This category shows 5 top and the least trending products in a somewhat graphical way to show their performance over the month in consideration. It also shows the estimated growth or downfall in the popularity or demand of that specific product over that month and is sorted according to the highest volume of change.

Other than these visible features, the tool has much more interesting stuff hiding under its hood. Here’s the roundup:

Trending Products

Heat Map

This indicates a product’s popularity in a particular time period throughout different regions. The darker shades on the map mean higher consumer interest in that item(s). One thing to note here is that the data displayed on these heat maps is relative to a specific city with the highest level of interest (max 100). When you zoom, you will be able to view info on a micro level for all the listed cities, states, and regions. You can zoom until each city becomes a visible circle. When you hover on a circle, it will display you the interest level in that city as compared to the city with the highest interest.

Data Filter 

If you’d like, you can even filter the data on the basis of a device. This will let you compare and analyze the interest ratio on smartphones against laptops or desktops. What’s more, you can additionally compare multiple products. The entire data is normalized in comparison to the highest point for the specific chart in a review.

Time Series Graph 

You can also view the time series graph to get an idea of consumer’s interest in an item over particular time periods. This data is shown in form of percentage with the highest point on the graph as 100 (as already said).

How Google Shopping Insights Work

  • Using Shopping Insights is quite easy. Google provides data input to Insights tool on the basis of search queries made by users/customers through Google.com as well as Google.com/shopping.
  • The data collected is then aggregated, emphasizing on a specific product on the basis of queries (extensive samples of searches for that particular item).
  • At the same time, it factors the overall probability of people searching for the same item using different keywords or phrases.

The current version of Shopping Insights lets you conduct the search based on their name or brand name. One thing to note here is that the search giant is more concerned about customers’ interest levels in the specific products rather than the keywords. Hence, a single keyword is used to represent every product or brand name.

The tool is all centered around retailers having physical stores as stats show that most of the goods are purchased offline (from the stores). This can help retailers understand the taste and preferences of customers trending for that particular month on the city level.

Use from Retailer’s’ Perspective

So you must be thinking now how exactly is this new tool important for business owners. Right? Well, it’s more like Google Trends for retailers. The data offered by Shopping Insights serves businesses with the ability to overview and understand consumers’ shopping patterns and trends in specific locales. Using this info-rich statistical data, they can better analyze and generate suitable models, strategies, and campaign concepts keeping in mind their target audience.

To sum it up, Google Shopping Insights is a great way to understand the local shopping trends of customers and performance of specific products over local or other regions (as offered by Google).

Let’s Take an Example

Situation I: Without Shopping Insights

  • Suppose you have a shoe retailing business in a City A and B, selling shoes of different brands like Adidas, Puma, Reebok, and more.
  • You have been selling your stuff like always and don’t have any idea on what the target audience is actually after.
  • Your sale for the month of June:
  • City A – 240 pairs of shoe
  • City B  – 412 pairs

google insight

  • You can’t differentiate why there’s a gap between sales despite similar infra of shops and all other factors being constant. This leads to a problem in designing new strategies to buck up the sales.

Situation II: Using Shopping Insights

  • Now let’s suppose you use Shopping Insights to get data about the trending shoes in both the cities.
  • The data from the new tool will show you top searched branded shoes in both the cities (if they are listed) by customers
  • Search volume in City A – 12780, number of shoe pairs sold – 240 (Adidas – 145, Puma – 60, Reebok – 20, Nike – 15)

google-insight-city-a

– While the same for City B is 23467, number of shoe pairs sold – 412 (Adidas 72, Puma – 129, Reebok – 104, Nike – 95)

  • Using this data, you will get to know which brand is leading in which city (Adidas in City A | Puma and Reebok in City B) for June and you can plan your stock accordingly.
  • When you know what your target customers are looking for and you have that in your stock. Even the online retailers can search for local product hotspots so that they can accordingly adjust their strategy which will eventually invite more sales, hence more profit.

The tool is additionally a bonus for businesses who will welcome the resourceful insights as offered by the data to know the product’s popularity and trends. This info can then be used by a wise product marketer to target AdWords.

Use From Users’ Perspective

It is not that the tool is only for the businesses and retailers. Shopping Insights is not equally but pretty helpful for customers as well. If you are someone who likes to stay with the latest trends, you can easily find out what specific product is leading in your city.

Let’s take an example

 

  • For instance, you want to buy a phone yet you are not sure which one’s best.
  • You just look up to Google Shopping Insights and enter phones.
  • You get a statistical estimate of the top trending phones as well as the least trending ones.
  • You simply go through the trending ones and make your decision (what’s most people are loving means it’s probably the better choice…isn’t so!) or at least you get a clear idea.

That’s it!

What’s New!

Soon after its release, Google added more features and data to its tool. The most recent update is Shopping Insights v4.2, which was released last year on November 17. The latest version has new interest-based visualization, availability of demographic and national level data, as well as user feedback interface. Additional features were also added, including an option to explore trending products for preceding month, a graphic representation of split between desktop and mobiles, along with a streamlined data picker.

How to Use It

We won’t make it long. Google has made it easy for people to familiarize themselves with the tool. You can visit the official link to get started –
https://shopping.thinkwithgoogle.com/

Google’s Official demo video –

Drawbacks and Limitations of Shopping Insights – Maybe Not a Jack-of-all-Trades!

Like every other thing, Google Shopping Insights is no exception from flaws and limitations. The main issues with the tool are:

  • For now, the data provided by the tool is only about search queries made from April 1, 2014.
  • The data offered is available only for US-based markets.
  • Even the city level data is limited to 16000 US cities.
  • You can only search and analyze the products/services as allowed under Google Shopping Policy.
  • The available data is rated on a 0-100 scale. The reason behind this is to allow a simpler comparative analysis. Yet, the drawback is that the numbers are only estimates and do not reflect the actual search volume.
  • The Shopping Insights tool is no help to the product merchants of items that are regarded under the moderate niche but are still searched and requested by customers.

So What’s Next?

Google Shopping Insights is a great and beautifully designed tool for understanding shopping trends.

For now, everyone has been treating the tool for retailers and suppliers. Interestingly, Shopping Insights is a boon for e-commerce as it opens a new world of opportunity for e-commerce channels to come up with productive and successful strategies. Although limited, it’s a great tool for understanding latest trends for different products on the city level. The tool stresses basically on retailers, e-commerce, and comparison of local shopping trends.

Google said the tool is a gift for offline retailers, however, it’s significantly useful for online-only retailers as well in redesigning their campaigns on product hotspots. The only big catch in the tool is its inability to serve sellers who offer products that are listed relatively niche yet are still demanded by many users. These products include gifts with limited editions for festivals or special occasions.

All in all, the tool CAN do MUCH MORE yet it all depends on Google that how much it improves it in future. Until then, Shopping Insights can offer businesses a clear sense of what their target audience is searching for BUT it’s still unable to predict what is ACTUALLY being sold.

Although Shopping insights will help retailers to see the existing shopping trends, they will still need to rely on their personal analysis and estimates for real data.

 

Posts on Google for Small Businesses: Make Your Business Stand Out From the Crowd

Posts on Google for Small Businesses: Make Your Business Stand Out From the Crowd

Haven’t got a Google My Business Account yet?

You better sign up!!!

Businesses, brands, celebs, and everyone else has been posting content on Google previously as well, but with Posts on Google, the search giant has recently introduced a completely new way to do so. Released on June 22, 2017, the all new Posts on Google feature offers you a new, better way of sharing fresh content with the target audience and everybody who is searching you online.

We know you may have read or heard of the feature already, but do you exactly know what it packs for the local businesses? Not only freshen up your online visibility but Posts on Google can  help your local business improve and pitch new customers too!

Hop on and go through this complete post to understand every nook and cranny about Google’s new posting feature.

Who Can Use Posts on Google

The feature was initially released during US election for candidates to post relevant content. Later, it was made available for a few categories only, including:

  • Sports teams
  • Museums
  • Sports leagues
  • Movies in the US
  • Musicians in brazil

As per its commitment, Google lately made the feature available for small businesses as well. That’s the main part of the story.

Posts on Google for small businesses is the hot topic in the local business sector. But to use it, there’s one condition that you need to fulfil, i.e. you must have a Google My Business account.

For those who already have an account on Google My Business, it is a one-click process to use the feature. For the unregistered users, they will first need to sign up for the service and then continue.

How to Use Posts on Google

Using the feature is no less than a cakewalk. In case you don’t have a GMB account, here’s a breakdown of steps to use Posts on Google:

  • Click on Request Access

How to Use Posts on Google

  • You will see a form asking some details, fill up the form according to your purpose with right information

How to Use Posts on Google 2

  • You will see a popup that reads “Thank you for joining the waitlist to Posts on Google.”

How to Use Posts on Google 3

  • If you want, you can also submit a new response to Posts on Google.

NOTE: For businessmen, select Business from the list of categories.

Once Google reviews your request and permits you the rights, you can start using the feature to make your brand more lively online. The interface seems similar to that of uploading a new post on Facebook.

For those who already have a registered account on Google My Business, their page will look somewhat like this:

WebsperoBusiness

Posting on Posts on Google is very easy. All you need to do is just type in the text, add images or several call to action buttons to your post. You can also schedule posts or create events. Another interesting feature is that you receive full updates regarding the views and interactions on your posted content.

Here’s what options you get while posting new content:

  • Option to add media, including Image, GIF, or video
  • Description – maximum 300 words
  • Event title
  • Start and end dates, and times for the event created
  • Learn More – to add your website link
  • Call-to-actions – Buy, Reserve, Get offer, Sign up, Newsletters

The post you upload instantly shows up on both mobile and desktop.

How Google Posts Looks in SERPs

Well, the posts do not show up in Google+ rather after creating a new post, a new column adds to your business listing in the SERPs. The effect is immediate and shows all of your latest posts (two posts at a time).

Below is an example of how the new posts look on your business listing in search results.

HGoogle Posts Looks in SERPs

What it means for small businesses?

With majority of people searching for local info online (i.e. via search engines like Google), the best place to promote your business is Google Listing (Not using it yet? Sign Up here). In the positive case scenario, where the audience already knows the business it is searching, they will anyway want to know detailed information on what the business offers and everything interesting about it.

That’s exactly the reason why Google My Business has introduced Posts to local businesses. By doing so, Google has offered the small businesses a simple way to drive new customers and establish stronger relationships with the existing ones.

How it can benefit small business?

Posts on Google helps businesses in a number of ways, some of which are:

  • Share Daily Offers: Sharing daily discounts, offers, current or temporary promotions that not only motivates new and existing customers but also lures them to try your offers.
  • Promotion: Great way of promoting products, services, events meanwhile informing customers about upcoming events at your location.
  • Products: Best place to display your products as well as list the new additions.
  • Connect With Audience: Options available to connect with the audience right from Google Listing. These options include – giving audience a one-click way for reservation, signing up for newsletters, get info about new offers, and buy particular products from your website.
  • Better Click-Through Rate: The feature will help businesses achieve improved click-through ratio from business listing.

How Small businesses can use it?

Around 82% of people use search engines for finding answers of their queries and 70% people research different businessmen before taking a final decision. With Posts on Google, businesses will be able to share regular, relevant updates and info on Google Search and Google Maps in order to help their businesses become visible to customers from the crowd.

With the ability to add call-to-action phrases (like “Reserve,” “Sign up,” “Learn more,” “Buy” or “Get offer.” ) to business listing, you can even decide the way you want to connect to your customers and target audience.

As already mentioned above, registered Google My Business users can start using the feature directly. You can create Posts anytime, anyplace with the help of Google My Business app for Android, iOS, and web.

If you haven’t signed up for Google My Business account yet, sign up today to get started with managing and improving your business listing on Google. Once Google verifies your business and details, you will be allowed to start posting content.

Anything else to know about Posts on Google?

Link Posts: The most interesting and probably the most important feature of Posts on Google is that it lets businesses link their posts to their own sites. This way, it can be used as a medium of driving more traffic, more sign-ups from newsletters, and more potential customers to particular product pages.

Postscript: One thing to note here is that the posts you upload are only visible for a week. After seven days of posting them, these posts automatically expires. Businesses all over have reported that they received a notification a day before saying the Google Post will expire.

Anything else to know about Posts on Google

Additional features

One good thing about the new feature is that Google has made it even simpler to use by offering a Help Center. So just in case you find yourself stuck with the options or anywhere while using the feature, you can simply visit the link above to get assistance.

Why You Should Start Using Google Posts Right Now…

  • The first and the best thing about Google Posts is that it’s available for free. Businesses can use it without actually paying a penny! It’s a part of your business listing options and all you need to spend is only your time.
  • Google loves fresh content and although nothing can be said if Google really follows it, yet the past experiences with rest of the Google features and services hints a little. When you post an updated listing and regularly post informative content on the search engine, the listing tends to show better in SERPs as compared to the ones without any update.
  • Who doesn’t love its own features! Google too loves it when you use its services and features. Being a business owner with a thought of expanding your business online, you gotta do what Google wants you to and Posts on Google seems no exception to that.

What this means for your Google Business Page.

Well, with the advent of Posts on Google, it seems more like Google’s effort to bring back its lost repo in social media marketing. Even though that does not mean that you will see Google+ coming back in form again, but it’s definitely something that can help businesses (especially local or small ones) maintain a better online presence and share relevant info/content with their customer base.

Google seems to be putting more power to business owners with the way they handle their search presence and customers. According to me, the feature can be somewhat more fruitful when combined with the targeted keywords in the text part of the posts. For more promotional benefit, even the media could contain links you think are good for your business.

From the customer’s’ point of view, the feature seems a new and better way to find latest info, offers, products, and services in their local region. This could be a plus for overall user experience not only from the business’ perspective but also for Google.
Our suggestion is to use the feature on a regular basis like weekly strategy for marketing your business. Then of course, sum it up with fresh content, call to actions, and active communication in your selected media outlets.

There’s no word if the feature would be a forever free service or the search engine will charge you for using it. But you can expect new enhancements to Posts on Google and introduction of many more interesting features to Google Business Page in near future.