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Workflow Automation Explained & 6 Best Workflow Software for 2022

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Manual data entry might be one of the most tedious and inefficient tasks in the corporate world. Not only does it put you to sleep, but it also wastes precious time and resources, slashing your productivity to bits.

According to Zapier, 94% of workers perform time-consuming, repetitive tasks. Fortunately, there’s technology that can automate these mind-numbing tasks, eliminating human error and letting you focus on the work that actually matters — workflow automation.

By leveraging self-operating processes that run manual tasks, workflow automation can help your business save time and money, diminish errors, and boost productivity.

Table of Contents

How does workflow automation work?

Workflow automation typically relies on a series of if/then statements to trigger another task. It then branches off depending on the action that was taken by a lead, employee, or another stakeholder.

Let’s walk through an example workflow for turning a form submission into a deal opportunity.

  • A website visitor submits a form.
  • The action automatically enrolls the visitor in a drip campaign. It creates a new deal and sets the status to “New.”
  • The first email of the drip campaign is sent to the lead, requesting to schedule a meeting.
  • The lead clicks through to the meeting scheduler and creates an appointment.
  • A thank you email is sent to the lead, confirming the date and time.
  • The CRM creates a new task and assigns it to a sales rep.
  • The sales rep then reaches out personally, ending the automated workflow.

Here’s what a workflow can look like from start to finish.

Workflow automation example in HubSpotImage Source

Almost every department in your business can benefit from workflow automation. Whether it’s marketing, human resources, or finance, the technology can help you work smarter, not harder.

Below, we’ll cover some of the most popular workflow automation examples.

Workflow automation can be used in virtually any team and in any business scenario. While it’s mostly related to marketing and sales, it can also be used in customer service, operations, human resources, and finance.

Marketing Workflow Automation

Marketing workflow automation example in HubSpot

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Some of the most repetitive tasks in marketing, such as sending emails and posting social media updates, can be automated with workflow automation. With marketing automation software, you can schedule your entire social media calendar and set up workflows that nurture certain types of prospects with email offers.

Automated workflows in marketing include:

  • Subscribing a user to a drip campaign when they download a resource from your website
  • Welcoming a user to your company after they purchase a product
  • Reminding a user to check out after they’ve added various items to their cart
  • Scheduling social media posts across multiple platforms
  • Distributing marketing tasks across team members

Additional Reading

Sales Workflow Automation

Sales workflow automation example in HubSpot

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Sales workflow automation streamlines tedious lead and prospect management tasks, so that reps can focus on selling, not entering data. Aside from taking leads automatically through the pipeline based on their actions, an automated sales workflow can enroll prospects in drip campaigns and update deal stages as the deal moves forward.

Automated tasks in sales include:

  • Placing each lead at a different stage of the pipeline when they take a certain action
  • Moving a lead out of the pipeline if they’ve stopped responding to emails
  • Sending an introduction email from a sales rep to a lead after they download an ebook
  • Updating the deal stage once the lead has scheduled an appointment or meeting
  • Creating tasks for sales reps once a lead has scheduled a meeting

Additional Reading

Customer Service Workflow Automation

Customer service workflow automation example in HubSpot

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Workflow automation is incredibly useful in customer service. Aside from launching surveys, workflow automation can take care of tickets, cases, and common questions by sending a series of emails or creating tasks.

Automated tasks in customer service include:

  • Creating a new ticket in the system when someone reaches out through social media or email
  • Onboarding customers with a series of helpful emails
  • Sending NPS® surveys and enrolling them into different email campaigns depending on their rating
  • Assigning tickets a priority label depending on the tone of the message or email
  • Resolving and archiving tickets once a resolution has been reached

Additional Reading

Operations Workflow Automation

Operations workflow automation example in HubSpot

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Operations is the lifeblood of any organization, and it, too, can be automated to reduce instances of manual data entry.

Automated tasks in operations include:

  • Deleting duplicates once they have been detected or merging two properties if they’re the same
  • Managing team permissions for new team members
  • Establishing priorities for different businesses processes
  • Automatically compiling reports at the end of every quarter
  • Creating tasks in third-party tools such as Asana, Slack, or Zoom

Additional Reading

Human Resources Workflow Automation

Instead of having to manually enter all your new hires’ personal information — like addresses, social security numbers, and other employee information into payroll, expense, and insurance systems — HR automation software can do it for you in minutes.

Automated tasks in human resources include:

  • Removing candidates from the database if they’ve been inactive for a period of time
  • Sending emails to candidates that haven’t made it to the final round
  • Filtering candidates with certain keywords in their job history
  • Sending W2s to current employees
  • Collecting employees’ feedback after they’ve been at the company for a period of time

Finance Workflow Automation

Finance workflow automation exampleImage Source

By allowing you to build forms, design workflows, and track processes, finance process automation software can streamline all of your travel requests, reimbursements, and budget approvals.

Automated tasks in finance include:

  • Taking an expense approval process from start to finish
  • Managing vendor and contract approvals
  • Assigning priorities to ACH and wire requests
  • Managing travel expense requests depending on location and activity
  • Approving budgets based on a predetermined set of parameters

Now that you know everything about using automated workflows, let’s take a look at the top tools you can use.

Best Workflow Automation Software in 2022

1. HubSpot: Best All-in-One Workflow Automation Software

Workflow automation software: HubSpot

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HubSpot’s marketing, sales, service, and operations software operates on a single platform, making it one of the best choices for all-in-one workflow automation. Everything is linked together, allowing you to align all of your teams’ processes and reducing friction from task to task.

You can easily hand leads from marketing to sales, connect a service ticket with an existing contact record, and clean up customer data — all in one user-friendly platform.

Best for: HubSpot is highly recommended for growing businesses that have yet to try workflow automation and for enterprise businesses with established processes. You can begin with a Starter subscription, then upgrade as you require more functionalities. Especially recommended for marketing, sales, service, and operations departments.

Pricing for Marketing Hub: Free; $50/month (Starter); $890/month (Professional); $3,200/month (Enterprise)

Pricing for Sales Hub: Free; $50/month (Starter); $500/month (Professional); $1,200/month (Enterprise)

Pricing for Service Hub: Free; $50/month (Starter); $400/month (Professional); $1,200/month (Enterprise)

Pricing for Operations Hub: Free; $50/month (Starter); $800/month (Professional)

2. Nintex: Best Enterprise Workflow Automation Software

Workflow automation software: NintexWith over 3 million workflow applications operating on their platform right now, Nintex helps more than 8,000 enterprise customers manage, automate, and optimize their business processes, with no coding experience required.

By offering a multitude of workflow automation tools — like process mapping, advanced workflows, and process intelligence — your business is able to map out each of your processes, execute them, and monitor their performance.

Best for: Nintex is highly recommended for enterprise businesses with established processes. It’s a robust software that pairs a user-friendly workflow design tool with powerful integrations that will connect every single one of your apps. Especially recommended for IT, law, HR, and finance departments.

Pricing: $910/month (Standard); $1,400/month (Enterprise)

3. Kissflow: Best Beginner-Friendly Workflow Automation Software

Workflow automation software: Kissflow

Trusted by over 10,000 companies, including Domino’s, Michelin, and Pepsi, Kissflow offers an all-in-one workflow automation software that lets your business create workflows that automate tasks in your human resources, sales, finance, administration, marketing, and purchase departments.

With over 50 pre-installed business process management apps — such as expensing and sales orders, conditions and triggers, and reporting dashboards for your workflows — Kissflow can streamline almost all your business processes.

Best for: Kissflow is highly recommended for small companies that are just now starting to try workflow automation. The tool’s simplicity and user friendliness will make it easier to begin automating processes. Especially recommended for procurement, HR, and finance departments.

Pricing: $200/month (Basic); $495/month (Advanced); $1,900/month (Fully Loaded)

4. Integrify: Best Everyday Administration Workflow Automation Software

Workflow automation software: Integrify

Integrify is a workflow automation software that lets you build workflows in a drag-and-drop builder and run parallel or sequential flows. By being able to collaborate on tasks and requests, test your processes, and set up reminders, you can easily streamline your business processes and automate manual tasks.

Integrify also offers workflow examples and a user knowledge base, a rest-based open API that allows you to integrate with external databases, and the ability to import and export data from Excel and even PDFs.

Best for: Integrify is highly recommended for small-to-medium businesses that are looking to automate everyday tasks. Its drag-and-drop “Process Builder” makes it simple and easy to take a process from start to completion. Especially recommended for administration departments.

Pricing: Pricing available upon request

5. Zapier: Best Workflow Automation Software for Connecting Apps

Workflow automation software: Zapier

With the ability to connect to and share data with over 1,000 web apps, like Facebook, QuickBooks, and Google Drive, Zapier can automate almost any type of business process. All you have to do is build a workflow in their editor, pick the apps you want to include in your workflow, and design it.

For example, if you want to be able to save all your attachments in Dropbox, you can design a workflow that automatically copies any attachment from your Gmail inbox to Dropbox and then sends you a Slack message about the download.

Best for: Zapier is highly recommended for freelancers and small-to-medium businesses that use a wide variety of tools that aren’t talking with each other. For instance, if you’re using MailChimp to send emails and Typeform to collect leads, you could connect those two tools using Zapier. Especially recommended for marketing and service departments.

Pricing: Free; $19.99/month (Starter); $49/month (Professional)

6. Flokzu: Best Project Management Workflow Automation Software

Workflow automation software: Flokzu

Without writing any code, Flokzu allows you to create tasks, deadlines, business rules, and notifications. Their software also sends pending tasks to each of your project’s assignees’ inboxes, and as each stage of a workflow is complete, it’ll automatically assign each new task to a user or role.

Additionally, Flozku offers a reporting dashboard that displays your business processes’

performance and metrics, like the amount of currently delayed tasks there are, tasks assigned to each user and role, tasks completed, and the time each task took, which will give you the necessary data to refine and optimize your future workflows.

Best for: Flokzu is highly recommended for individual teams that want to optimize their time management and task workflow. A key feature of this tool is that users will receive pending tasks in their inbox, making it an excellent project management tool. Recommended for any team.

Pricing: Free; $19.99/month (Starter); $49/month (Professional)

Workflow Automation Will Help You Grow Better

Workflow automation is critical for businesses that want to scale and grow without letting anything fall through the cracks. By letting technology complete manual tasks, you can effectively grow your business without any growing pains.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How To Build a Communication and Implementation Plan

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How To Build a Communication and Implementation Plan

You learn about a C-suite decision that will have a transformative impact on your content marketing team. Perhaps, the announcement included one or more of these directives:

  • “We must produce more content and manage multi-platform distribution with greater agility. We plan to add ChatGPT to our editorial capabilities and implement a headless CMS.”
  • “We’re updating our three-year business strategy and need all teams to align their operations around achieving a new set of goals.”
  • “We’ve been acquired. We will be merging many of our business units and will need to relaunch our website so we can tell a more unified story.”

Or maybe it’s another substantive shift in strategy or operations. As a content team leader, whether excited or terrified, you must get your team on board and ensure the initiative succeeds.

Transformational changes are nearly impossible to implement without a clear plan that communicates the desired destination, the motivation to pursue it, and the path to reach it.

Jenny Magic, marketing strategist and professional coach, shares how to do that in a Content Marketing World presentation she co-developed with Melissa Breker.

You can watch the conversation (beginning at 2:30-minute mark) or scroll down to read her recommendations to gather support, clear obstacles, and keep efforts moving in the right direction.

5 sabotages that disrupt transformational changes

Every organization has unique conditions and challenges, but Jenny points out five common barriers that prevent the successful adoption of new priorities and practices:

  • Forced change. When workers don’t understand or agree with the change, they won’t invest in the process, especially if it requires a lot of effort or a long-term investment.
  • Misaligned goals. You can’t sell a change that benefits the company if employees don’t see how it helps them reach their personal or professional goals.
  • Group-speak. Your team may nod in agreement when the CEO says, “We’re all going to do this together, right?” But that enthusiasm might not hold when the boss’ eyes are no longer on them.
  • Rushed process. Team members already overwhelmed with responsibilities don’t give new tasks top priority. Jenny says if you can’t take something off their plate, communicate they won’t be pressured to rush it through.
  • Lack of team alignment. Everyone must be on the same page regarding the direction, intention, and actions required. Without this alignment, tasks fall through the cracks, and all the hard work may not lead to achieving the goal.

Forced change, group-speak, rushed processes can all disrupt transformational changes, says @JennyLMagic via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

For your change mission to succeed, your communications plan should account for how you’ll address (or avoid) these obstacles. These details will minimize the friction, lack of participation, and flagging enthusiasm you could have experienced during implementation.


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Plan for the transformation journey

Jenny shares a three-part approach she uses to help her consultancy clients get big ideas off the drawing board, onto team members’ priority lists, and into the marketplace.

1. Establish the destination: What’s changing, why, and what’s involved

To get your team to join the journey of change, they need to know where they’re going. Create a change summary to help with that. The simple map summarizes the relevant details about the change, the phases of implementation, and the benefits gained when the goal is reached.

First, identify the most critical details to communicate. Answer these questions:

  • What’s the nature of the change? What is being done differently, and what does that mean for the business and team? What isn’t changing that might be the stability anchor?
  • Why is it happening? Why does the organization think this change is critical? Why is now the right time to do this?
  • Who’s involved? Who will the change affect? What will they be expected to do? What about their roles, processes, and priorities? Why would they want to participate, and why might they be reluctant?
  • When will it happen? Will the change occur all at once or gradually? What happens at each stage, and which ones will require the content marketing team’s involvement?
  • What are the expected results? What is the organization looking to achieve? What benefits or advantages will it bring? What will the company and team see when the goal is reached?

With these answers, you can build a change summary to share in stakeholder and team member conversations. Any spreadsheet or presentation tool will do, though you can create a template based on the document Jenny uses for her client engagements (below).

The summary of what’s changing appears at the top of the page and details of the most critical elements appear below it. Bulleted notes detail what to expect with each element and the benefits for the business and your team. Lastly, a general timeline outlines each project phase.

2. Load up the crew: Gather support and communicate benefits

To achieve the change goal, all players must agree to travel together and move in the same direction. “If our team is not aligned on where the heck we’re going, there’s literally no chance we’re going to get there,” Jenny says.

Team members who immediately see the value in the initiative might follow your lead without question. But some key players may need a little more convincing. Jenny offers a few ideas to get them on board.

Enlist the support of an active, visible sponsor: Social media shows putting the right influencer behind your pitch can move minds. The same goes for pushing through a big change within an organization. Research from Prosci finds projects with an extremely effective sponsor met or exceeded objectives more than twice as often as those with a very ineffective sponsor.

If you have the support of senior team leaders and high-profile company personnel, ask for their help socializing the change to others. They might seed relevant information in their newsletters and other content they share internally or help shape your change activities and messaging to improve their appeal.

Translate organizational goals into personal motivations: Some team members may reluctantly participate because they perceive an impact on their role. For example, workers may think the added work will strain their already demanding schedules. Others may be skeptical because of negative experiences with similar changes in the past or disbelief that the change might benefit them.

A series of stakeholder conversations can help identify the significant concerns and disconnects that might prevent them from engaging. They also can reveal specific challenges and motivations that you can address with more resonant and appealing messaging.

Translate organizational goals into personal motivations so team members can see how they’ll benefit, says @JennyLMagic via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Some marketing tools you use to influence an audience can help you facilitate those conversations. For example, Jenny says, personas can surface critical insights about who may be impacted by the change and what it might take to nurture them onto the path.

Her personas checklist includes these questions:

  • Who’s leading the change? Do any key sponsors directly relate to the persona’s role?
  • Will this persona be impacted more or less than others?
  • Will they need information more frequently or in greater detail?
  • What reactions will they have?
  • How will you approach training for this persona? What support will be provided?
  • At what phase of the change will they be most affected?

Jenny also recommends using your marketing communication and engagement tools. For example, the simple tracking sheet she developed (below) can help visualize the audience, delivery formats and channels, optimal messages, and approval and final sign-off requirements to mention in your stakeholder discussions.

Choose the right messenger – and a customized message: Sometimes, a disconnect occurs not because of the message but because of the message’s deliverer. For example, employees expect to hear about significant corporate initiatives from executives and senior leaders. But for changes impacting their day-to-day responsibilities, they may prefer to hear from a manager or supervisor who understands their role.

Other times, preventing a disconnect could require tailoring the message to the team’s needs. Jenny suggests focusing on the direct benefits once the initiative is activated. “Consider how it might help them further their career, address something they’re struggling with, or offer an opportunity to explore an area they’re passionate about,” Jenny says.  

Surface hidden issues with confidential interviews: Valid concerns can remain hidden, especially for team members who are reluctant to voice their objections in team meetings. Working one-on-one with a neutral or external moderator – someone with no stake in the decision for change – might help them open up.

Ensure they know the confidential interview results will be aggregated so no individual responses will be identified. “It’s really helpful to get that confessional energy,” Jenny says. “It can help you surface individual reservations, causes of their reluctance, and personal motivations. “

A confidential one-on-one interview with an external moderator can help surface concerns from reluctant team members, says @JennyLMagic via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Jenny shares in her checklist (below) some preliminary questions for a moderator to assess during a confidential interview:

  • How does the individual feel about the change?
  • Is it the right change?
  • Is it the right time?
  • Is it supported enough to succeed?
  • What risks do they predict?
  • Do they have ideas about how we could reduce obstacles and challenges?
  • What lessons from past change efforts can they share with us?
  • Could they become a change champion?

The process can fuel opportunities to shift messaging, positioning, or delivery approach to help the outliers see how the change can benefit them and get them more excited about participating. Jenny says it can also reveal valid concerns that need to be solved so they don’t hinder progress.

3. Hit the road: Position and prepare your team for success

Big changes are always risky. They disrupt the status quo, and if they involve multiple teams and business functions, some changes may feel like a win for some at the expense of others.

Taking a few extra steps before executing your plans can keep those issues from diverting the goal or leaving any team members stranded along the way. “This is where we establish commitment and accountability and think about what could go wrong and how we’re going to deal with it,” Jenny says.

Own up to what you do and don’t know: Ultimately, you can’t plan for every contingency. “You’ll lose trust rapidly if you pretend you do,” Jenny says. She offers a few communication tips to set the right expectations from the start:

  • Be clear and candid: Directly address what you do know, don’t know, and what is and isn’t possible with this change. Outline how you will communicate status updates and new information as they arise.
  • Be receptive: Don’t take resistance personally. Listen to your team’s questions and respond to their feedback with an open mind.
  • Be visible: Socialize progress across your team’s preferred communication channels, and make sure everyone knows how to reach you if they encounter a problem. You can regularly host town hall meetings, road-show presentations, or open forums to ensure everyone stays informed and has a chance to share their thoughts.

Position project requirements as opportunities and advantages: Jenny suggests exercising creative thinking to help concerned team members see the new responsibilities as a chance to benefit personally.

For example, if they need to learn additional skills to accomplish their tasks, provide in-house training or access to third-party educational tools. Position the opportunity as a chance to expand their capabilities to help them be more prepared for this change and to advance their careers in the long run.

You can also use the big change to rethink your org chart and rebalance team member responsibilities. “Every single person has work that they hate on their to-do list. I’ve found folks become more open if they’re offered an opportunity to do a task trade-off,” Jenny says.

Incentivize the journey – not just the destination: A lengthy and gradual implementation process should include incentives at regular intervals to motivate team members to stay the course.

Rewards can be specific and tangible, such as bonuses or loyalty program points. Or they can be intangible, such as shoutouts during monthly meetings or in internal newsletters. Arrange team happy hours or give comp time for extra hours worked. These appreciation efforts can make the added burden feel worthwhile.

Overcome obstacles in predictive planning: An element of science exists in the journey of change. You can’t reach your destination if the forces of resistance are stronger than the forces propelling you forward.

Jenny shares an innovation tool from a company called Gamestorming that can help quantify the balance of those forces at each phase. By working through this force-field analysis, you can take steps to ensure the winds of change will be in your favor.

An example of how it works is shown below. In the center, an illustration represents the change you want to implement – transitioning from hierarchical to more transparent hubs.

On one side, the forces of change – all the elements of the vision that characterize the importance of the change and how it works in your favor – are listed. In this example, those forces are:

  • Improve long-term revenue
  • Help meet market demand
  • Satisfies customer expectations
  • Addresses current unsustainable costs
  • Give a competitive advantage in the marketplace

On the other side, the forces of resistance – conditions and constraints that may prevent realizing the vision – are listed. In the example, these forces include:

  • Company culture
  • Time constraints
  • Viability of new tech
  • Client adoption
  • Current costs

Rank each element’s impact on the project’s success on a scale of one to five.  Then add the rankings on each side and compare the scores to see whether you have a stronger chance of success than failure and identify where efforts should be made to overcome obstacles.

Plan the journey for a smoother arrival

Convincing your team to jump aboard the organizational-change train is rarely easy. But with a clear operational plan, aligned support, and open communication, you’ll help them see the benefits of participating and get them excited to reach their destination.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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Alternative Search Engines: Why They Matter and How to Rank on Them

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Alternative Search Engines: Why They Matter and How to Rank on Them

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.

12 billion, 3 billion, 1 billion. That’s the number of searches made in some of the top alternative search engines monthly.

While Google still holds more than 80% of the market share, ignoring search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo can make you lose out on relevant traffic. So don’t limit yourself to Google’s algorithm as you plan the next year’s SEO strategy.

In order to grow in the digital economy, we have to diversify our efforts. What better way to do that than by making sure that you rank on all the top search engines relevant for your audience?

Generally, there’s two reasons why your audience would choose an alternative search engine over Google: geopolitical reasons and/or privacy concerns.

As such, I’ve categorized the search engines below by global market share and by data privacy.

Top alternative search engines by global market share

When analyzing the global desktop market share of search engines throughout the last decade, there are a few small but mighty search engines that stand out. These are:

1) Bing

2) Yahoo

3) Yandex

4) DuckDuckGo

5) Baidu

These are the engines you want to give extra consideration if you intend to expand internationally. They all have their own unique search algorithms that are in many ways as complex and developed as Google’s.

Why they matter and how to rank on them

If you’re like me a few years ago, a die-hard Apple fan remarkably repulsed by Microsoft’s products (I’ve now converted to the seamless team of PC), you might think prioritizing resources to optimize content for Bing or other engines is a waste of time. What I failed to consider then, and what you might be overlooking, is geographic segmentation.

Do you want to reach the American audience using voice search? Consider Bing.

Are you expanding into China? Check out Baidu.

Each search engine matters because of its unique user types. Regardless of how small that market share might look on a global scale, if there’s regional search volume from your target audience, it’s worth the optimization.

Let’s go through them one by one.

Bing and Yahoo

Screenshot of bing.com, November 2022

Since 2018, Yahoo is exclusively powered by Bing Search. So as long as you rank in Bing, you’ll rank in Yahoo.

Bing Search, in combination with Yahoo, is without a doubt the strongest player after Google. Together, they have more than 10% of the global market share for desktop.

Now, some say that Bing’s market share will increase due to mergers and acquisitions, while others argue for its decline due to the death of Internet Explorer.

Still, all Microsoft browsers, such as Microsoft Edge Legacy and Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, have Bing as the default search engine, making Bing Search the natural choice for Microsoft product users. Yahoo, which is powered by Bing Search, is the default search engine for Mozilla’s browser Firefox, adding billions of impressions to Bing’s search results each year.

If we look at the United States alone, Microsoft sites own over 18% of the market share.

This is much due to their partnership with Amazon, where all voice-activated searches on Amazon Echo and Alexa are made with Bing Search.

Microsoft also pushes Bing further by offering easy rewards for searches and more advanced image search capabilities than Google.

Although the algorithms differ, optimizing for Bing search results is not much different than optimizing for Google. With a bit of fine tuning, it’s more than possible to come up with a strategy that allows for high rankings on both.

To rank on Bing, and thus Yahoo, make sure to do the following:

Infographic by AS Marketing, December 2022


1. List your business on Bing Places

Bing Places is the equivalent of Google My Business and is the fastest way to get your business ranking for local seo. Many even consider Bing Places to favor small business owners as Bing puts their information more prominently on display.

2. Upload an XML Sitemap using Bing’s Webmaster Tools

While the debate on how much sitemaps really do matter for Google SEO continues, uploading one with Bing’s Webmaster Tool for XML Sitemaps allows the algorithm to better categorize and manage your content, making it more visible and relevant to the search audience.

3. Match keywords in your content

Check that the exact keyword match can be found in your page titles, meta descriptions and overall content. It’s known that the impact of on-page tactics as a ranking factor is much greater in Bing than Google.

4. Keep your social media profiles up to date

Go social! Bing considers your social media presence more than any other search engine. The Webmaster Guidelines specifically states that Bing considers social signals from third-party platforms to rank your content. Bing might even extract certain information directly from your Facebook company page to your Bing Places display.

5. Use high-quality images to enhance your content

Bing’s image search is much more advanced than Google’s. If you want your landing page to rank, add high-quality design assets to showcase your offerings. If you want your blog to rank, attach too-long-to-read infographics to highlight your points. Like the one above.

Yandex

Screenshot of yandex.com, November 2022

Second to Bing is Yandex, having a total of 1.5% of the market share in global desktop search.

While it looks a lot like Google, its algorithm is different in many ways. Most prominent is the way Yandex indexes pages. Unlike Google’s almost continuous indexation, Yandex indexes pages sporadically. That means that you might have to wait around for a while before your site shows up on Yandex.

Despite this, it is still possible to rank on Yandex. You just need to have a bit more patience.

While waiting for your site to be indexed, take a look at the following:

1. Focus on tags over internal site structure

According to The Ultimate Guide to Yandex SEO, your header tag, title tag and slug are way more important than your internal site structure. In fact, it was only recently that Yandex started to support hreflang tags. Before that, Yandex only allowed the <head> hreflang implementation.

2. Consider search intent to rank

Some argue that Yandex meets search intent better than Google. The modern ICS score, which replaced the Thematic Index Citation, is determined by how relevant a site is to the query. Yandex uses its own version of expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T) test to determine relevance.

3. Eliminate toxic links

Many do not know this, but Yandex was actually the first search engine to roll out a link-based algorithm. Already in 2005, 7 years before Google’s Penguin algorithm, Yandex introduced the Nepot filter, which specifically looked at the impact of toxic link exchanges and spam links.

Baidu

Screenshot of baidu.com, November 2022

With over 3 billion searches daily, Baidu is the Google of China. If you want to do business in China, it’s the place to be.

While the site is available worldwide, the site predominantly favors simplified Chinese. So before taking any other steps, hire a native speaker to help you along the way. To win at global, you have to ditch translations.

Here’s a few steps to get your content ranking.

1. Localize your keywords and content appropriately

As with all multilingual SEO, you need to work with a native language expert to ensure proper keyword localization and content optimization. If your site experiences high bounce rates, Baidu will tank your rankings immediately. As with any search experience, localization matters.

2. Position relevant content and keywords to the top of the page

Baidu favors a completely opposite layout than the Westernized one. The sooner you get to the point the better. Therefore, it is important to position your keywords as early as possible in the text and introduce all relevant content already in the top of the page to rank.

3. Obtain a verification level and get certified

By registering and paying a small fee you can obtain a verification level to improve your domain authority and rankings on Baidu. If you want to secure top ratings, you can get certified and obtain an ICP license, which is much more difficult than getting verified.

Top alternative search engines by data privacy

While most of the search engines mentioned above are tied to big corporations or political forces, global initiatives are setting the stage for more privacy-focused search engines. Among these is DuckDuckGo, the forefront runner with over 130 billion searches processed since launch.

Why they matter and how to rank on them

In many ways, the movement is a response to Google’s invasiveness on privacy. Many are fed up with how they are capitalizing on personal data and controlling the narrative with targeted search.

On a macro scale, the European Union continues to protect data privacy with strict GDPR regulations and the California Consumer Privacy Act indicates similar trends for Americans.

From a micro perspective, documentaries such as The Great Hack shine a light on how global companies monetize on personal data. As a result, privacy-safe search engines continue to rise.

If you’re working for an innovative SaaS startup, there’s a high chance your ideal customer persona is using one of these search engines.

Let’s go through how you rank on DuckDuckGo and two alternative equivalents.

DuckDuckGo

Screenshot of duckduckgo.com, November 2022

Screenshot of duckduckgo.com, November 2022

DuckDuckGo aims to make your search experience as simple and true to its cause as possible, i.e. no tracking for personalized search results and filter bubbles. Instead it uses semantic search to determine search intent for your queries from over 400 sources.

Consequently, this attracts tech-savvy experts with a lower bounce rate. Once they commit to a search, they stay.

Here’s how to optimize for it:

1. Sharpen Your User Experience

UX continues to make an impact on SEO, not to mention for DuckDuckGo. Make your content easily scannable and stay away from intrusive pop ups that harm your users’ experience and ease of navigation.

2. Focus on High-Quality Backlinks

As with any SEO, high-quality backlinks play a huge role for ranking. If you already have a solid backlink profile from your Google strategy, you should be good to go. If your backlink profile has a high level of toxicity, do some cleansing.

3. Rethink Local SEO

Since there’s no location tracking available for searches, location-specific searches such as “services near me” don’t work. If you like to rank for these types of searches, include a specific location in your keyword strategy. Otherwise, you won’t be able to optimize for local seo.

Startpage

Screenshot of startpage.com, November 2022

Startpage could be my personal favorite among the alternative search engines. It basically is Google without the tracking.

And while many consider DuckDuckGo to be the forefront runner of the privacy-focused search movement, many forget how Startpage ‘blazed the trail in 2006’. Offering a search experience without IP recording or tracking back when it was more or less unheard of. Now, it is the common denominator among all privacy-safe search engines.

So, how do you rank in Startpage? Simple. You rank in Google.

SwissCows

Screenshot of swisscows.com, November 2022

There are many more privacy-safe alternatives to search engines than the two mentioned above. Perhaps one without equal is SwissCows – a search engine that prides itself on being the only family-friendly, privacy-safe semantic search engine available on the web.

This means that any intrusive search results, like adult entertainment or offensive content, is naturally censored from the search results. At the same time, they never store any data nor track user specific information.

SwissCows SERPs bring up organic results and paid ads directly from Bing so in order to rank in SwissCows, you need to rank in Bing. Just make sure to omit any content that’s not PG-13.

What do they all have in common?

In the end, none of these alternative search engines can replace Google. As an SEO, I’ll never advise starting out with anything other than a Google strategy.

But when you are ready to branch out and extend your reach, give these alternatives a try. Analyze where your target audience hangs out and optimize thereafter.

Many of the privacy-focused search engines require little optimization as they pull their search results directly from other sources anyways. Simply do a quick check to see how you rank on each one.

And who knows, perhaps Microsoft will continue to steal more of the global search landscape. If that happens, you’ll be there — ranking in first position, ready to reap the rewards of your diversified efforts in an ever-changing search landscape.

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14 Best Screen Recorders to Use for Collaboration

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14 Best Screen Recorders to Use for Collaboration

For your team, screen recorders can be used for several reasons — from creating tutorials for your website to recording a recurring tech issue to sending your marketing team a quick note instead of an email.

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