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22 Smart Google SEO Tips for 2022

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22 Smart Google SEO Tips for 2022

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

We’re back with a brand new season of Whiteboard Friday episodes for your viewing pleasure. First up: SEO expert Cyrus Shepard shares his top 22 tips for successful Google SEO in 2022. Watch to find out what to prioritize and what to look out for in the year ahead!

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday, a very special edition, our annual SEO tips of the year edition. This year it is 22 smart SEO tips for 2022. I’m going to be talking about some of the most talked about things in the SEO industry over the past year plus a few tips from last year that we wanted to pull over because they were just that important.

Because we’ve got 22 of them and we don’t want this video to take forever, we’re going to be going through these pretty quick, but for you we’ve linked to some resources in the transcript below so you can explore all of these topics further if you want. All right. Without further ado, let’s get started. 

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On-page SEO tips for 2022

1. A/B testing

I’m going to start with some on-page topics. Tip number one, A/B testing or simply testing.

We’ve seen a lot more testing tools pop up in the last couple of years, which is awesome because SEO is not make a decision and implement it and you’re done. SEO is implement, evaluate, and then make decisions or sometimes course corrections.

Is this something we need to pull back? Did C perform better than D? Which one would we choose? All the tips we’re talking about today can apply to this testing mentality. SEO is incredibly complex, and the old-school idea of best practices just doesn’t cut it anymore. So in ’22, develop a testing mentality with your SEO.

2. Author pages

Number two, author pages. I really love this because Google this year updated some of their advice around author pages and their schema markup. It’s an important part of my strategy and a lot of websites that I use. A good quality author page helps Google evaluate your authors, which can be used for E-A-T and other things, and helps link them with their expertise.

So linking your articles to a good author page usually includes links to other websites, author profiles, links to the articles they wrote, some biographical information. It can help establish your authors as expertise in a certain space. So take a look at your author pages and try to improve them and make this a task. 

3. Google title rewrites

Google title rewrites, number three. I don’t think there is any topic more discussed in 2022 than Google rewriting titles. A lot of studies, including one I did, showing Google rewriting 60%, 70% or 80% of a site’s titles. It can be frustrating. But what we’re finding is a lot of people aren’t evaluating those Google title rewrites. When you do, you can learn a lot about your own titles.

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Why is Google rewriting it? Is my title too long? Am I missing important keywords? Do I have fluff in there that Google doesn’t like? Or in some cases you can go back and try to correct the title that Google rewrote if they’re doing just a terrible job. So Google title rewriting, do an audit of those Google titles and learn what you can do.

5. Nuke the “fluff”

Speaking of fluff, this may be the year that you want to nuke the SEO fluff. You know what I’m talking about with SEO fluff. It’s those flowery keywords. It’s those descriptions and it’s recipe pages. “Oh, I was walking along the Irish countryside thinking about my bread and biscuits.” That is your fluff. We’re finding that it may not be necessary, and it may even be detrimental to your SEO.

Glenn Gabe wrote a great case study where they reduced a lot of their fluff on category descriptions and they actually saw an increase. Google is removing fluff from title tags. So this marketing, flowery, SEO writing stuff, it may not be helping you, and, in fact, it may be hurting you. Today Google is rewarding sites or seems to be rewarding sites that provide quick answers and more direct engagement.

Better engagement, it’s usually better for your customers as well. So experiment with losing the fluff in 2022. 

5. FAQ schema

Number five, FAQ schema. So last year we talked a lot about different schema types, how-to schema, FAQ scheme, different things. If there was a clear winner in 2022, it was FAQ. The reason FAQ is the winner is because so many sites can qualify for it, it’s easy to implement, and if you win a FAQ schema in SERPs, you can gain a lot of Google real estate.

So there are a lot of articles that talk about how to optimize for FAQs. You can get links, deep links in FAQs. There are a lot of things you can do. We’ll link to those in the transcript below. But take a look at your FAQ schema if you’re not currently using it: 

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6. Tabbed content

Last year we talked about tabbed content, bringing your content that is in tabs, in navigation and bringing it out. This year, we’re getting a little more advanced.

Our friends at Merj did a study about types of tabbed content and how easily Google can extract and render and index different tabbed content. So if you still have content in tabs, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take everything out, but you should research if Google is able to index and rank those appropriately. There are better resources this year to try to do that.

So take a look at your tabbed content. 

7. Faceted navigation

Along the same lines, faceted navigation. We’ve been talking about faceted navigation for years, but this is the year to get a little more strategic with it. In certain ways, faceted navigation has always been like a set of rules, like if it has green dress, we are not going to index this or crawl it, but if it is size 12 or higher, we will index it.

Today, smart SEOs are getting a lot more savvy about what they index, don’t index, and crawl with faceted navigation, and these tools are becoming increasingly available for sites like WordPress and things like that, where you can actually look at the traffic each page receives and index, crawl, faceted navigation on a page by page level, and these broad rules aren’t necessarily as necessary.

You can get down to the nitty-gritty and increase your traffic that way, with fine-grained tools. So both tabbed content and faceted navigation, old-school concepts, but we’re getting much more sophisticated with them in 2022. 

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Link building tips for 2022

All right, let’s talk about everybody’s favorite subject, links, because you need links to rank in SEO. But what a lot of smart SEOs know and talk about is you need links to rank in SEO, but you probably don’t need as many as you think.

8. Internal link optimization

If you only have a few good external links, one of the best ways to leverage that is optimize your internal link optimization. We’ve seen a number of new tools and processes talking about internal link optimization. We’re talking about pages that have too few links, under optimized anchor text, pages that have great opportunities that aren’t ranking that should.

So if you haven’t done an internal link optimization audit in a while, this is the year to do it and this is the way to leverage those internal links that you’re getting. 

9. Deep linking

Speaking of which, deep linking. In the old days, if you linked to a page, you just linked to the URL. But we’re seeing an increase in deep linking, linking to specific passages, text fragments, things like that, navigation, jump links.

This is increasingly becoming a popular strategy to get people deeper into the page and give Google and other search engines signals about very specific parts of pages. This seems relevant as Google has recently introduced passage ranking, where they’re not just evaluating the whole page. They can understand individual passages as well.

So making deep linking part of your strategy, as opposed to just linking to the URL, seems to be a great way of moving forward. 

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10. High ROI link building

High ROI link building. I watched a great presentation from Ross Simmonds this year, the Coolest Cool, on link building with assets and determining the ROI of each of them, because everything you build links with, whether it be a tool, a blog post, a free PDF, it has a cost and that cost has an ROI.

Ross found that certain things have higher ROIs than others. Tools have an incredibly high ROI, but they’re also expensive to create. Pages with stats on them, not that expensive to create, but also a really high ROI. 

I’m going to link to that video. It might be a paid subscription. I apologize about that. But it’s awesome. It was voted number one at MozCon. If you do link building, it’s definitely worth watching and definitely worth the cost. High ROI link building, know the cost of everything you’re producing and how much value you’re getting out of it.

11. Reduce redirects

Let’s go old school again. Our friend Nick LeRoy tweeted not too long ago about reducing redirects. This is really old school, but a lot of people are forgetting it these days. If you have a large site and you have thousands or millions of redirects all sending confusing signals, 301 jumps to a 302 jumps to a 404, what is that? 

Looking at your redirect chains and reducing them to a single redirect with a clear directive can help reduce canonicalization errors. It can improve crawling efficiency, and at scale it can influence your rankings. So if you have a large site or even a small site with a lot of redirects, this is the year you want to do a redirect audit. Get on it. Audit, on it.

12. SEO for affiliate links

How about SEO for affiliate links? We don’t talk a lot about affiliate links here at Moz, and Google traditionally hasn’t talked a lot about it either.

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But this year we saw Google introduce specific guidance for affiliate sites, which is something they really haven’t done before. Specifically for review sites, Google talking about what a good review looks like, talking about the good and the bad part of the product, the fact that you should link to multiple merchants so consumers have a choice.

We haven’t seen this from Google before. So if you do SEO for affiliate sites, you do review sites, this is the year to review those Google documentations and make sure you’re creating sites that Google rewards and actually following Google’s guidance on it, which is something in past years I didn’t think I would be able to say about that. So it’s awesome to see.

Google SEO tips for 2022

13. Reputation research

All right, moving on to different topics, reputation research. My friend Lily Ray talks about reputation research a lot in terms of E-A-T. The idea that Google can evaluate your site based on what other people say about you. So if you’re Dr. Mercola and an anti-vaxxer and everybody is saying all these terrible things about you on other websites, Google can disappear you from search.

Reviews, what are other websites saying about you in terms of reviews? Google quality raters often look at other websites to get reputation research, and it’s supposedly believed that Google can do the same thing algorithmically. So making reputation research part of your SEO audit process, what are other sites saying about you, is it incredibly positive, is it incredibly negative, this is especially important for your money or your life sites, sites that are going to be more impacted by E-A-T algorithms.

So if you sell things or dispense medical advice, reputation research is a little bit more important for those sites. 

14. Core Web Vitals — minimums

Boy, last year we talked about Core Web Vitals a lot. One of my happiest things is that we are talking about it much less. Google announced a big update. It was a big hooplala. It didn’t quite work out the way Google kind of explained that it might.

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What happened was Google released Core Web Vitals, and some sites saw a boost, other sites saw a decrease, but it wasn’t as intense as we thought it might be. A lot of sites did improve. But we’re finding in 2022 maybe we don’t need to worry about it as much as we thought.

My colleague Tom Capper did a study that showed that slow sites were still ranking and fast sites were ranking even higher, but the effect wasn’t as much. The one thing Tom did find though, that was important, was sites that failed all three Core Web Vital requirements were definitely in the dumps. So we should optimize for speed always, but perhaps in 2022 we don’t need to obsess over it as much as possible, based on Google advice.

Speed is awesome. You should make your sites as fast as you can. But Core Web Vitals, don’t sweat it as much as we were in 2021.

15. Ditch AMP?

Other things we might want to consider not sweating, AMP. 2021 was the year that we’ve seen a lot sites start to ditch their AMP. This is because Google no longer requires it as a ranking factor in their top stories. It does provide some speed benefits. It’s kind of a neat technology. We know people who work on it. It’s really cool. But a lot of companies were stressing out trying to maintain two different versions of their website to get that ranking boost. A lot of sites are starting to like, “Well, we don’t want to have two different versions. It’s a lot of overhead. It’s a lot of engineers. What if we just got rid of it?”

They’re finding it really doesn’t make a difference. They can just work with one platform and still get as much rankings as they want. So if your company is struggling with AMP, this might be a year to experiment with ditching it. Or keep it if you like. It’s great, but a lot of people seem to be walking away. 

16. Google Discover

On the flipside, a lot of people are flocking to Google Discover.

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Google Discover is interesting. It’s not traditional SEO traffic, where you research a keyword and people are converting. It’s a little bit more like social media traffic. In fact, social media sharing seems to be one of the ranking factors that can influence how much traffic you get from Google Discover. 

But what we’ve seen in the last year is some publishers are optimizing for Google Discover, publishing those stories, and seeing huge amounts of traffic for that. Great for like news sites, blogs, popular things, things that talk about popular topics. 

We’ve gotten some Google Discover traffic here at Moz. We’re going to link to a couple of articles to show you how to optimize for Google Discover. But if you haven’t tried it yet, it may be a channel for you to explore in 2022. 

17. Local SEO GBP categories

We’ve got to squeeze in one local SEO tip. We’re doing this for our friend Darren Shaw, who publishes the Local Search SEO Ranking Factors every year, doing an awesome job at it. If you have a local site and you just have five minutes to do one thing, the number one SEO tip for 2022, get your GBP categories in order. Ranking factors studies show that it is the number one thing that can influence rankings.

Do an audit of your Google Business Profile categories. Darren has a lot of tips over there with that Local SEO Ranking Factors. I would encourage you to look at it. Also Joy Hawkins is doing a lot with experimentations. I’d encourage you to look at her site as well. 

18. Favicon review

My tip, the tip that I’m going to die on this hill — favicon optimization. Why favicon optimization?

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I talked about this last year, but I don’t think people took me seriously enough. Over 50% of search results take place on a mobile phone where your favicon shows, and people are not optimizing those favicons. A good favicon can draw attention. It can zero you in on a very busy SERP, and it does it with just a few pixels.

A good favicon can raise your click-through conversion rate one or two percent, which is awesome. How does it work? What do you notice on this screen? You notice the tip with a favicon. A good favicon is usually bright, it’s usually high contrast, and it draws your attention to your search results. So optimize your favicon, folks. I’m dying on that hill.

SEO career tips for 2022

All right. So I want to spend a few tips on talking about your SEO career, because I don’t think we talk about this enough. What should you be learning this year, aside from Python because everybody loves Python? 

19. Learn GA4

This might be the year that you want to finally familiarize yourself with GA4. GA4 is the product that’s replacing traditional Google Analytics.

You’re going to see it in a lot more client accounts. It can be a little confusing to people. Some of the metrics aren’t there. It’s got some cool things in it admittedly, like they basically got rid of bounce rate and replaced it with engagement metrics, which is great because a lot of SEOs are a little too focused on bounce rate and engagement may be more representative, a holistic way that Google views your website.

Our friend Dana DiTomaso has a course on LinkedIn that you can check out. But familiarize yourself with GA4 so you can walk into those meetings and you can present those reports and know what you are talking about. 

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20. Attend virtual conferences

Conferences. COVID moved a lot of conferences virtually online. People attended them.

A lot of people are getting burnt out on virtual conferences. But looking back at all the virtual conferences of 2021, there’s some great value there. Here at Moz, we had MozCon. We had some tremendous speeches. It also makes it more affordable for people all over the world. Traditional conferences, you pay $1,000 to $2,000 just to attend the conference plus travel and all that.

But with virtual conferences, oftentimes they’re free or just $100 or $200. You can attend virtually and focus on the content and the learning and advance your career, and do the networking, reach out to the speakers. There are lots of opportunities there. So I would commit in 2022 to attending two or three virtual conferences and make that part of your career advancement.

21. Charge more

Finally, the last tip on the career, charge more. 2022 is the year to charge more for your SEO services. Our friend John Doherty at Get Credo publishes his annual salary report or agency fee report. If you’re an independent consultant or agent, you can check to see what you’re charging compared to your peers.

But, in general, SEO services are in high demand all over the world, especially high-quality SEO services. The power is in your hands to charge what you are worth, not undermining yourself. If you’re working in-house, it might be time to evaluate your salary and make sure you’re getting paid what you deserve, especially if you’re not getting paid as much as your colleagues or you’re part of an underrepresented group.

Charge more in 2022. Make more money. 

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And finally…

22. Be the last click

Final tip of 2022, this was the final tip of 2021. It’s my favorite SEO tip of all time. Be the last click. That means satisfy your users. When someone is searching Google or any other search engine and they’re presented with a list of results, they’re clicking around, looking for what they want to be, make sure you are the last site that they click.

Why? Because when they clicked to your site, they found what they were looking for. You satisfied them so much that when they see your site again, you’re going to be the first one that they click on because you gave them the answer. Provide awesome experiences for your users. Think of them first. Give them everything they want. Give Google no excuse not to rank you number one in the search result.

All right, 22 tips for 2022. That’s all I’ve got. I would love to hear your tips. Please leave them in the comments below. Reach out to me on social media. If you liked this video, please share it. Thanks, everybody. It’s been fun.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com




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5 Psychological Tactics to Write Better Emails

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5 Psychological Tactics to Write Better Emails

Welcome to Creator Columns, where we bring expert HubSpot Creator voices to the Blogs that inspire and help you grow better.

I’ve tested 100s of psychological tactics on my email subscribers. In this blog, I reveal the five tactics that actually work.

You’ll learn about the email tactic that got one marketer a job at the White House.

You’ll learn how I doubled my 5 star reviews with one email, and why one strange email from Barack Obama broke all records for donations.

→ Download Now: The Beginner's Guide to Email Marketing [Free Ebook]

5 Psychological Tactics to Write Better Emails

Imagine writing an email that’s so effective it lands you a job at the White House.

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Well, that’s what happened to Maya Shankar, a PhD cognitive neuroscientist. In 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs asked her to help increase signups in their veteran benefit scheme.

Maya had a plan. She was well aware of a cognitive bias that affects us all—the endowment effect. This bias suggests that people value items higher if they own them. So, she changed the subject line in the Veterans’ enrollment email.

Previously it read:

  • Veterans, you’re eligible for the benefit program. Sign up today.

She tweaked one word, changing it to:

  • Veterans, you’ve earned the benefits program. Sign up today.

This tiny tweak had a big impact. The amount of veterans enrolling in the program went up by 9%. And Maya landed a job working at the White House

Boost participation email graphic

Inspired by these psychological tweaks to emails, I started to run my own tests.

Alongside my podcast Nudge, I’ve run 100s of email tests on my 1,000s of newsletter subscribers.

Here are the five best tactics I’ve uncovered.

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1. Show readers what they’re missing.

Nobel prize winning behavioral scientists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky uncovered a principle called loss aversion.

Loss aversion means that losses feel more painful than equivalent gains. In real-world terms, losing $10 feels worse than how gaining $10 feels good. And I wondered if this simple nudge could help increase the number of my podcast listeners.

For my test, I tweaked the subject line of the email announcing an episode. The control read:

“Listen to this one”

In the loss aversion variant it read:

“Don’t miss this one”

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It is very subtle loss aversion. Rather than asking someone to listen, I’m saying they shouldn’t miss out. And it worked. It increased the open rate by 13.3% and the click rate by 12.5%. Plus, it was a small change that cost me nothing at all.

Growth mindset email analytics

2. People follow the crowd.

In general, humans like to follow the masses. When picking a dish, we’ll often opt for the most popular. When choosing a movie to watch, we tend to pick the box office hit. It’s a well-known psychological bias called social proof.

I’ve always wondered if it works for emails. So, I set up an A/B experiment with two subject lines. Both promoted my show, but one contained social proof.

The control read: New Nudge: Why Brands Should Flaunt Their Flaws

The social proof variant read: New Nudge: Why Brands Should Flaunt Their Flaws (100,000 Downloads)

I hoped that by highlighting the episode’s high number of downloads, I’d encourage more people to listen. Fortunately, it worked.

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The open rate went from 22% to 28% for the social proof version, and the click rate, (the number of people actually listening to the episode), doubled.

3. Praise loyal subscribers.

The consistency principle suggests that people are likely to stick to behaviours they’ve previously taken. A retired taxi driver won’t swap his car for a bike. A hairdresser won’t change to a cheap shampoo. We like to stay consistent with our past behaviors.

I decided to test this in an email.

For my test, I attempted to encourage my subscribers to leave a review for my podcast. I sent emails to 400 subscribers who had been following the show for a year.

The control read: “Could you leave a review for Nudge?”

The consistency variant read: “You’ve been following Nudge for 12 months, could you leave a review?”

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My hypothesis was simple. If I remind people that they’ve consistently supported the show they’ll be more likely to leave a review.

It worked.

The open rate on the consistency version of the email was 7% higher.

But more importantly, the click rate, (the number of people who actually left a review), was almost 2x higher for the consistency version. Merely telling people they’d been a fan for a while doubled my reviews.

4. Showcase scarcity.

We prefer scarce resources. Taylor Swift gigs sell out in seconds not just because she’s popular, but because her tickets are hard to come by.

Swifties aren’t the first to experience this. Back in 1975, three researchers proved how powerful scarcity is. For the study, the researchers occupied a cafe. On alternating weeks they’d make one small change in the cafe.

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On some weeks they’d ensure the cookie jar was full.

On other weeks they’d ensure the cookie jar only contained two cookies (never more or less).

In other words, sometimes the cookies looked abundantly available. Sometimes they looked like they were almost out.

This changed behaviour. Customers who saw the two cookie jar bought 43% more cookies than those who saw the full jar.

It sounds too good to be true, so I tested it for myself.

I sent an email to 260 subscribers offering free access to my Science of Marketing course for one day only.

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In the control, the subject line read: “Free access to the Science of Marketing course”

For the scarcity variant it read: “Only Today: Get free access to the Science of Marketing Course | Only one enrol per person.”

130 people received the first email, 130 received the second. And the result was almost as good as the cookie finding. The scarcity version had a 15.1% higher open rate.

Email A/B test results

5. Spark curiosity.

All of the email tips I’ve shared have only been tested on my relatively small audience. So, I thought I’d end with a tip that was tested on the masses.

Back in 2012, Barack Obama and his campaign team sent hundreds of emails to raise funds for his campaign.

Of the $690 million he raised, most came from direct email appeals. But there was one email, according to ABC news, that was far more effective than the rest. And it was an odd one.

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The email that drew in the most cash, had a strange subject line. It simply said “Hey.”

The actual email asked the reader to donate, sharing all the expected reasons, but the subject line was different.

It sparked curiosity, it got people wondering, is Obama saying Hey just to me?

Readers were curious and couldn’t help but open the email. According to ABC it was “the most effective pitch of all.”

Because more people opened, it raised more money than any other email. The bias Obama used here is the curiosity gap. We’re more likely to act on something when our curiosity is piqued.

Email example

Loss aversion, social proof, consistency, scarcity and curiosity—all these nudges have helped me improve my emails. And I reckon they’ll work for you.

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It’s not guaranteed of course. Many might fail. But running some simple a/b tests for your emails is cost free, so why not try it out?

This blog is part of Phill Agnew’s Marketing Cheat Sheet series where he reveals the scientifically proven tips to help you improve your marketing. To learn more, listen to his podcast Nudge, a proud member of the Hubspot Podcast Network.

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The power of program management in martech

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The power of program management in martech

As a supporter of the program perspective for initiatives, I recognize the value of managing related projects, products and activities as a unified entity. 

While one-off projects have their place, they often involve numerous moving parts and in my experience, using a project-based approach can lead to crucial elements being overlooked. This is particularly true when building a martech stack or developing content, for example, where a program-based approach can ensure that all aspects are considered and properly integrated. 

For many CMOs and marketing organizations, programs are becoming powerful tools for aligning diverse initiatives and driving strategic objectives. Let’s explore the essential role of programs in product management, project management and marketing operations, bridging technical details with business priorities. 

Programs in product management

Product management is a fascinating domain where programs operate as a strategic framework, coordinating related products or product lines to meet specific business objectives.

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Product managers are responsible for defining a product or product line’s strategy, roadmap and features. They work closely with program managers, who ensure alignment with market demands, customer needs and the company’s overall vision by managing offerings at a program level. 

Program managers optimize the product portfolio, make strategic decisions about resource allocation and ensure that each product contributes to the program’s goals. One key aspect of program management in product management is identifying synergies between products. 

Program managers can drive innovation and efficiency across the portfolio by leveraging shared technologies, customer insights, or market trends. This approach enables organizations to respond quickly to changing market conditions, seize emerging opportunities and maintain a competitive advantage. Product managers, in turn, use these insights to shape the direction of individual products.

Moreover, programs in product management facilitate cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing. Program managers foster a holistic understanding of customer needs and market dynamics by bringing together teams from various departments, such as engineering, marketing and sales.

Product managers also play a crucial role in this collaborative approach, ensuring that all stakeholders work towards common goals, ultimately leading to more successful product launches and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Dig deeper: Understanding different product roles in marketing technology acquisition

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Programs in project management

In project management, programs provide a structured approach for managing related projects as a unified entity, supporting broader strategic objectives. Project managers are responsible for planning, executing and closing individual projects within a program. They focus on specific deliverables, timelines and budgets. 

On the other hand, program managers oversee these projects’ coordination, dependencies and outcomes, ensuring they collectively deliver the desired benefits and align with the organization’s strategic goals.

A typical example of a program in project management is a martech stack optimization initiative. Such a program may involve integrating marketing technology tools and platforms, implementing customer data management systems and training employees on the updated technologies. Project managers would be responsible for the day-to-day management of each project. 

In contrast, the program manager ensures a cohesive approach, minimizes disruptions and realizes the full potential of the martech investments to improve marketing efficiency, personalization and ROI.

The benefits of program management in project management are numerous. Program managers help organizations prioritize initiatives that deliver the greatest value by aligning projects with strategic objectives. They also identify and mitigate risks that span multiple projects, ensuring that issues in one area don’t derail the entire program. Project managers, in turn, benefit from this oversight and guidance, as they can focus on successfully executing their projects.

Additionally, program management enables efficient resource allocation, as skills and expertise can be shared across projects, reducing duplication of effort and maximizing value. Project managers can leverage these resources and collaborate with other project teams to achieve their objectives more effectively.

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Dig deeper: Combining martech projects: 5 questions to ask

Programs in marketing operations

In marketing operations, programs play a vital role in integrating and managing various marketing activities to achieve overarching goals. Marketing programs encompass multiple initiatives, such as advertising, content marketing, social media and event planning. Organizations ensure consistent messaging, strategic alignment, and measurable results by managing these activities as a cohesive program.

In marketing operations, various roles, such as MOps managers, campaign managers, content managers, digital marketing managers and analytics managers, collaborate to develop and execute comprehensive marketing plans that support the organization’s business objectives. 

These professionals work closely with cross-functional teams, including creative, analytics and sales, to ensure that all marketing efforts are coordinated and optimized for maximum impact. This involves setting clear goals, defining key performance indicators (KPIs) and continuously monitoring and adjusting strategies based on data-driven insights.

One of the primary benefits of a programmatic approach in marketing operations is maintaining a consistent brand voice and message across all channels. By establishing guidelines and standards for content creation, visual design and customer interactions, marketing teams ensure that the brand’s identity remains cohesive and recognizable. This consistency builds customer trust, reinforces brand loyalty and drives business growth.

Programs in marketing operations enable organizations to take a holistic approach to customer engagement. By analyzing customer data and feedback across various touchpoints, marketing professionals can identify opportunities for improvement and develop targeted strategies to enhance the customer experience. This customer-centric approach leads to increased satisfaction, higher retention rates and more effective marketing investments.

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Dig deeper: Mastering the art of goal setting in marketing operations

Embracing the power of programs for long-term success

We’ve explored how programs enable marketing organizations to drive strategic success and create lasting impact by aligning diverse initiatives across product management, project management and marketing operations. 

  • Product management programs facilitate cross-functional collaboration and ensure alignment with market demands. 
  • In project management, they provide a structured approach for managing related projects and mitigating risks. 
  • In marketing operations, programs enable consistent messaging and a customer-centric approach to engagement.

Program managers play a vital role in maintaining strategic alignment, continuously assessing progress and adapting to changes in the business environment. Keeping programs aligned with long-term objectives maximizes ROI and drives sustainable growth.

Organizations that invest in developing strong program management capabilities will be better positioned to optimize resources, foster innovation and achieve their long-term goals.



As a CMO or marketing leader, it is important to recognize the strategic value of programs and champion their adoption across your organization. By aligning efforts across various domains, you can unlock the full potential of your initiatives and drive meaningful results. Try it, you’ll like it.

Fuel for your marketing strategy.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

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2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business: Part 2

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2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business: Part 2

2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business

Before we dive into the second way to assume power in your business, let’s revisit Part 1. 

Who informs your marketing strategy? 

YOU, with your carefully curated strategy informed by data and deep knowledge of your brand and audience? Or any of the 3 Cs below? 

  • Competitors: Their advertising and digital presence and seemingly never-ending budgets consume the landscape.
  • Colleagues: Their tried-and-true proven tactics or lessons learned.
  • Customers: Their calls, requests, and ideas. 

Considering any of the above is not bad, in fact, it can be very wise! However, listening quickly becomes devastating if it lends to their running our business or marketing department. 

It’s time we move from defense to offense, sitting in the driver’s seat rather than allowing any of the 3 Cs to control. 

It is one thing to learn from and entirely another to be controlled by. 

In Part 1, we explored how knowing what we want is critical to regaining power.

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1) Knowing what you want protects the bottom line.

2) Knowing what you want protects you from the 3 Cs. 

3) Knowing what you want protects you from running on auto-pilot.

You can read Part 1 here; in the meantime, let’s dive in! 

How to Regain Control of Your Business: Knowing Who You Are

Vertical alignment is a favorite concept of mine, coined over the last two years throughout my personal journey of knowing self. 

Consider the diagram below.

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Vertical alignment is the state of internal being centered with who you are at your core. 

Horizontal alignment is the state of external doing engaged with the world around you.

In a state of vertical alignment, your business operates from its core center, predicated on its mission, values, and brand. It is authentic and confident and cuts through the noise because it is entirely unique from every competitor in the market. 

From this vertical alignment, your business is positioned for horizontal alignment to fulfill the integrity of its intended services, instituted processes, and promised results. 

A strong brand is not only differentiated in the market by its vertical alignment but delivers consistently and reliably in terms of its products, offerings, and services and also in terms of the customer experience by its horizontal alignment. 

Let’s examine what knowing who you are looks like in application, as well as some habits to implement with your team to strengthen vertical alignment. 

1) Knowing who You are Protects You from Horizontal Voices. 

The strength of “Who We Are” predicates the ability to maintain vertical alignment when something threatens your stability. When a colleague proposes a tactic that is not aligned with your values. When the customer comes calling with ideas that will knock you off course as bandwidth is limited or the budget is tight. 

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I was on a call with a gal from my Mastermind when I mentioned a retreat I am excited to launch in the coming months. 

I shared that I was considering its positioning, given its curriculum is rooted in emotional intelligence (EQ) to inform personal brand development. The retreat serves C-Suite, but as EQ is not a common conversation among this audience, I was considering the best positioning. 

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She advised, “Sell them solely on the business aspects, and then sneak attack with the EQ when they’re at the retreat!” 

At first blush, it sounds reasonable. After all, there’s a reason why the phrase, “Sell the people what they want, give them what they need,” is popular.

Horizontal advice and counsel can produce a wealth of knowledge. However, we must always approach the horizontal landscape – the external – powered by vertical alignment – centered internally with the core of who we are. 

Upon considering my values of who I am and the vision of what I want for this event, I realized the lack of transparency is not in alignment with my values nor setting the right expectations for the experience.

Sure, maybe I would get more sales; however, my bottom line — what I want — is not just sales. I want transformation on an emotional level. I want C-Suite execs to leave powered from a place of emotional intelligence to decrease decisions made out of alignment with who they are or executing tactics rooted in guilt, not vision. 

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Ultimately, one of my core values is authenticity, and I must make business decisions accordingly. 

2) Knowing who You are Protects You from Reactivity.

Operating from vertical alignment maintains focus on the bottom line and the strategy to achieve it. From this position, you are protected from reacting to the horizontal pressures of the 3 Cs: Competitors, Colleagues, and Customers. 

This does not mean you do not adjust tactics or learn. 

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However, your approach to adjustments is proactive direction, not reactive deviations. To do this, consider the following questions:

First: How does their (any one of the 3 Cs) tactic measure against my proven track record of success?

If your colleague promotes adding newsletters to your strategy, lean in and ask, “Why?” 

  • What are their outcomes? 
  • What metrics are they tracking for success? 
  • What is their bottom line against yours? 
  • How do newsletters fit into their strategy and stage(s) of the customer journey? 

Always consider your historical track record of success first and foremost. 

Have you tried newsletters in the past? Is their audience different from yours? Why are newsletters good for them when they did not prove profitable for you? 

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Operate with your head up and your eyes open. 

Maintain focus on your bottom line and ask questions. Revisit your data, and don’t just take their word for it. 

2. Am I allocating time in my schedule?

I had coffee with the former CEO of Jiffy Lube, who built the empire that it is today. 

He could not emphasize more how critical it is to allocate time for thinking. Just being — not doing — and thinking about your business or department. 

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Especially for senior leaders or business owners, but even still for junior staff. 

The time and space to be fosters creative thinking, new ideas, and energy. Some of my best campaigns are conjured on a walk or in the shower. 

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Kasim Aslam, founder of the world’s #1 Google Ads agency and a dear friend of mine, is a machine when it comes to hacks and habits. He encouraged me to take an audit of my calendar over the last 30 days to assess how I spend time. 

“Create three buckets,” he said. “Organize them by the following:

  • Tasks that Generate Revenue
  • Tasks that Cost Me Money
  • Tasks that Didn’t Earn Anything”

He and I chatted after I completed this exercise, and I added one to the list: Tasks that are Life-Giving. 

Friends — if we are running empty, exhausted, or emotionally depleted, our creative and strategic wherewithal will be significantly diminished. We are holistic creatures and, therefore, must nurture our mind, body, soul, and spirit to maintain optimum capacity for impact. 

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I shared this hack with a friend of mine. Not only did she identify meetings that were costing her money and thus needed to be eliminated, but she also identified that particular meetings could actually turn revenue-generating! She spent a good amount of time each month facilitating introductions; now, she is adding Strategic Partnerships to her suite of services. 


ACTION: Analyze your calendar’s last 30-60 days against the list above. 

Include what is life-giving! 

How are you spending your time? What is the data showing you? Are you on the path to achieving what you want and living in alignment with who you want to be?

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Share with your team or business partner for the purpose of accountability, and implement practical changes accordingly. 


Finally, remember: If you will not protect your time, no one else will. 

3) Knowing who You are Protects You from Lack. 

“What are you proud of?” someone asked me last year. 

“Nothing!” I reply too quickly. “I know I’m not living up to my potential or operating in the full capacity I could be.” 

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They looked at me in shock. “You need to read The Gap And The Gain.”

I silently rolled my eyes.

I already knew the premise of the book, or I thought I did. I mused: My vision is so big, and I have so much to accomplish. The thought of solely focusing on “my wins” sounded like an excuse to abdicate personal responsibility. 

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But I acquiesced. 

The premise of this book is to measure one’s self from where they started and the success from that place to where they are today — the gains — rather than from where they hope to get and the seemingly never-ending distance — the gap.

Ultimately, Dr. Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan encourage changing perspectives to assign success, considering the starting point rather than the destination.

The book opens with the following story:

Dan Jensen was an Olympic speed skater, notably the fastest in the world. But in each game spanning a decade, Jansen could not catch a break. “Flukes” — even tragedy with the death of his sister in the early morning of the 1988 Olympics — continued to disrupt the prediction of him being favored as the winner. 

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The 1994 Olympics were the last of his career. He had one more shot.

Preceding his last Olympics in 1994, Jansen adjusted his mindset. He focused on every single person who invested in him, leading to this moment. He considered just how very lucky he was to even participate in the first place. He thought about his love for the sport itself, all of which led to an overwhelming realization of just how much he had gained throughout his life.

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He raced the 1994 Olympic games differently, as his mindset powering every stride was one of confidence and gratitude — predicated on the gains rather than the gap in his life. 

This race secured him his first and only gold medal and broke a world record, simultaneously proving one of the most emotional wins in Olympic history. 

Friends, knowing who we are on the personal and professional level, can protect us from those voices of shame or guilt that creep in. 


PERSONAL ACTION: Create two columns. On one side, create a list of where you were when you started your business or your position at your company. Include skills and networks and even feelings about where you were in life. On the other side, outline where you are today. 

Look at how far you’ve come. 

COMPANY ACTION: Implement a quarterly meeting to review the past three months. Where did you start? Where are you now? 

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Celebrate the gain!

Only from this place of gain mindset, can you create goals for the next quarter predicated on where you are today.


Ultimately, my hope for you is that you deliver exceptional and memorable experiences laced with empathy toward the customer (horizontally aligned) yet powered by the authenticity of the brand (vertically aligned). 

Aligning vertically maintains our focus on the bottom line and powers horizontal fulfillment. 

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Granted, there will be strategic times and seasons for adjustment; however, these changes are to be made on the heels of consulting who we are as a brand — not in reaction to the horizontal landscape of what is the latest and greatest in the industry. 

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In Conclusion…

Taking back control of your business and marketing strategies requires a conscious effort to resist external pressures and realign with what you want and who you are.

Final thoughts as we wrap up: 

First, identify the root issue(s).

Consider which of the 3 Cs holds the most power: be it competition, colleagues, or customers.

Second, align vertically.

Vertical alignment facilitates individuality in the market and ensures you — and I — stand out and shine while serving our customers well. 

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Third, keep the bottom line in view.

Implement a routine that keeps you and your team focused on what matters most, and then create the cascading strategy necessary to accomplish it. 

Fourth, maintain your mindsets.

Who You Are includes values for the internal culture. Guide your team in acknowledging the progress made along the way and embracing the gains to operate from a position of strength and confidence.

Fifth, maintain humility.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of humility and being open to what others are doing. However, horizontal alignment must come after vertical alignment. Otherwise, we will be at the mercy of the whims and fads of everyone around us. Humility allows us to be open to external inputs and vertically aligned at the same time.

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Buckle up, friends! It’s time to take back the wheel and drive our businesses forward. 

The power lies with you and me.


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