Hubspot Pricing – Is It Worth The Cost?

Hubspot Pricing and Return on Investment (ROI)If you have had a chance to read up on the features and benefits of Hubspot, then you know what a game-changer it has been for Inbound Marketing professionals.  Hubspot makes managing your Inbound Marketing campaign simple and effective.  What’s more, the integrated reporting makes showing your results and ROI a piece of cake.  The only part of Hubspot that many see as a downside is that it is Hubspot Pricing.  But as with most products or services that cost money, you can’t just look at the dollar going out – you have to consider the dollars coming back in, AND, the dollars saved as a result of using Hubspot. (more…)

Author Rank + Plus: Google’s Secret Weapon To Beat Facebook

Author RankWant to know how Google is going to get users to leave Facebook and use Google Plus?  They are going to pay them to do it (indirectly).

Author Rank is only being talked about in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Content Marketing circles at the moment, but the effects of the coming SEO earthquake it causes could be felt by everybody before it is over.  It is not just a tool to improve their search engine.  It is an asset they intend to use to take over social media. I’ll explain . . .

If you’ve followed social media over the last few years, you’ve seen Google launch round after round of social platforms, each with a characteristic belly-flop ending — Friend Connect, Lively, Wave, Buzz, and Plus.  But slow down. Maybe we’ve written Plus off too quickly.

A Bunch Looked, The Geeks Stayed

Plus launched in 2011 and didn’t gain a lot of marketshare.  The tool itself seems to be excellent, but there wasn’t a good enough reason to leave Facebook and Twitter for the (more…)

How Long Does It Take Author Info To Show Up In Google Results?

UPDATE JULY 19, 2013: The information below was posted in January 2013.  We have since seen a client’s author verification take place in 6 days.  We used Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to make sure the verification was set up correctly and that may have sped the process up.  Now back to our previous post . . .

So how long does it take author info to show up in Google results?  We’ve seen this take months (example 1 example 2), but our answer is 3 weeks.  We would love to think that Google just loves us that much more than the other folks, but it may just be that they are speeding the process up as it becomes more refined.

Leave a comment letting us know the date you set authorship up and your domain/page and we will track how long it takes on an ongoing basis! (That will make this post an even better resource for those who come after you.)

We made the changes on December 21. We’ve checked daily (weekdays) since then and noticed it showing up yesterday, Monday, Jan 14.  That’s actually 24 days, but we’ll give Google the benefit of the doubt and say it happened when we weren’t watching over the weekend, which is right at 3 weeks.

Here’s a quick look at how the authorship verification looks in SERPs . . .

Google Author Page

NOTE: In Google’s example image of this author display, the author’s name shows up in bright blue. The example author is in over 800,000 Google+ Circles, which may have something to do with his name displaying in a different color than mine. 🙂

Google’s authorship verification system involves linking your Google+ Profile to any content that you write.  You can do this adding the site to your “Contributes To” section in Google+,  and either verifying a branded email address with site itself or inserting a “rel=author” code snippet to any page with your content.  We inserted the code snippet.

[sam id=”10″ codes=”true”]

Why Bother With Author Verification?

Besides being vain and liking having your picture show up on a SERP, what advantage is there to bothering with Author Verification?

There is a lot of strong speculation that “Author Rank” will play heavily into Google’s algorithm very soon (they’ve been working on it for years) and that may make huge waves in the SEO industry.

What we do know is that authorship verification means that Google trusts you and that you should receive more click-thrus because of your picture and profile info showing up in SERPs, regardless of if it actually affects the rankings themselves.

Do your blog a favor and take just a few quick minutes to verify your authorship. And let us know how long it takes in the comments.

How To Build Links And Influence People

How To Win FriendsAre you looking to get some momentum with web traffic?  Trying to figure out how to build links and bring in more customers?  This post is for you.

I’ve been listening to that lavishly written classic on human relations “How To Win Friends And Influence People” while jogging lately.  What a powerful book.  This is probably my fourth time through the audio version.  It will not be my last.

It got me thinking about how building web traffic (link building, SEO, social media) is basically winning friends and influencing people online.  So it makes sense that we can take what Dale Carnegie said back in the 30s and tweak and update it some to implement his techniques on the web.

There is a great deal to be learned here for content and inbound marketers.  The outline below is verbatim from Dale’s book with his statements in bold and my comments following each.  Some of the points deal with winning friends (and getting links), while others deal with influencing people (converting visitors into customers).  Parts 1 through 3 of the book relate to content marketing, while Part 4 is about leadership which doesn’t apply here.  These comments are through Part 3 only.

How To Build Links And Influence People

Part One

Fundamental Techniques In Handling People

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.  In all online interactions, keep on the sunny side. This is especially true with the use of sarcasm, which never plays well in text form.  Stay light years away from negativity, whining, and sarcasm. (more…)

Inbound Marketing on a Dime – Generate More Traffic Today!

So you’ve read articles, watched webinars, maybe even attended a seminar or two about Inbound Marketing. You’re hooked. You’re ready to get started!  The only problem is, you’re not sure you have the budget for a full-on Inbound Marketing campaign.

Inbound Marketing on a Dime

Inbound Marketing doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg!

You have probably heard of Hubspot as well.  Inbound and Hubspot typically go hand in hand, and if you are running a serious inbound campaign, Hubspot is by far the best option and in the end, the most cost effective solution.  As a result, many people have had their excitement about inbound tempered by sticker shock when they see what agencies typically charge for their monthly fees.  We are going to do something though that might fly in the face of what a software partner should do — we’re going to tell you how to attack an inbound marketing campaign WITHOUT Hubspot.

3 Major Components

A good inbound marketing campaign needs a minimum of three major components: (more…)

Shift of Power to the Consumer

Shift of Power to the Consumer

My nephew Oliver illustrates the new found power of the consumer.

I am 4 pages into writing a new eBook.  We’re working on an accompanying InfoGraphic as well.  Stay tuned.  I’m having a blast writing it.

In some of my research, I came across what I think is one of the best statements of the tectonic shift away from Outbound and toward Inbound Marketing that I have ever read.  And it is not from a company that has anything to benefit from promoting Inbound.  Here you go . . .

Shift of Power to the Consumer

Euromonitor International published a study in January titled “Online Travel: Shift of Power to Consumers” with the following synopsis . . .

The online travel revolution which has taken place in the last 10 years has led to substantial changes in the travel industry’s competitive environment. These are so significant to force companies to re-think their business models. In particular, consumers now play a much more central and active role, while technology players have become essential partners for travel companies. Customer knowledge and social interaction are key requirements to compete successfully in this new environment. (emphasis ours)

Those are heavy words.  Revolution. Substantial. Significant. Force. Re-think. Essential. (more…)

Hubspot, Inbound Marketing, SEO, SEO for Small Business, Social Networking