Connect with us

SEO

18 Online Review Statistics Every Marketer Should Know

Published

on

18 Online Review Statistics Every Marketer Should Know

Online reviews are an unavoidable part of doing business in today’s digital age.

Every marketer worth their salt knows that online reputation is everything.

Whether you own or manage a small mom-and-pop restaurant, a computer software company, or a chain of coffee shops, your customers are likely to look for you online.

That means one of the first things they’ll do is look for online reviews about your business.

Of course, positive reviews help you to create a trusted brand, which people are more likely to purchase from. However, how you respond to negative reviews also says much about your business.

Why Online Reviews Are So Powerful

Yelp, Google Business Profile, TripAdvisor, and similar are a boon for consumers, giving them a platform to learn about businesses before patronizing them.

For business owners? Not so much.

It seems that no matter how hard you try, you’re bound to get that one bad review that could potentially overshadow all your glowing reviews.

Online reviews, however, are an unavoidable part of doing business online.

For millennials, reviews are empowering, helping them make an informed and thought-out purchase decision (useful when deciding if a restaurant’s $15 avocado toast is worth it).

If you still aren’t completely on board, here are online review statistics that may change your mind.

1. Positive & Negative Reviews Influence Consumers

According to a 2021 report by PowerReviews, over 99.9% of customers read reviews when they shop online.

Furthermore, 96% of customers look for negative reviews specifically. This figure was 85% back in 2018.

When people look for bad reviews, they’re interested in knowing some of the company’s weaknesses. Where could they improve? If the downfalls are minor, it makes the researcher feel assured.

A near-perfect rating is often viewed as less credible and leads to consumer skepticism if reviews are too positive.

2. Consumers Trust Reviews Like Recommendations From Loved Ones

BrightLocal’s local consumer survey shows that 49% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family members.

Screenshot from BrightLocal, January 2023

When you consider just how much we trust the people we love, it’s compelling to think that every 1 in 2 people trust online reviews as much.

However, the research reveals that some occasions cause consumers to suspect a review’s validity. So, you do need to be mindful of this.

Situations that can raise suspicion that a review may be fake include:

  • The review is overboard in its praise (45%)
  • The review is one of many reviews with similar content (40%)
  • The reviewer uses a common pseudonym or is anonymous (38%)
  • The review is overboard in negativity (36%)
  • The review is one of only a few positive amongst many negative reviews (32%)
  • The review contains hardly any text and is just a star rating (31%)

3. The More Reviews, The Better Reputation

The More Reviews, the BetterScreenshot from BrightLocal, January 2023

BrightLocal’s research also found that 60% of consumers feel that the number of reviews a business has is critical when reviewing and deciding whether to use its services.

Although this has dropped since 2020, it’s still a high figure, especially compared to 2019, 2018, and 2017.

4. Most Consumers Don’t Trust Advertising

While online reviews are seeing a rise in consumer trust, the same can’t be said for traditional advertising.

According to Performance Marketing World, 84% of millennials don’t trust conventional advertising.

If anything, this finding is a sign of the times. People are tired of ads being pushed on their faces, especially ads that belie the truth of the quality of the products and services they get from brands.

5. Shoppers Research Product Reviews On Their Phones – Outside Of Your Store

OuterBox recently revealed that every 8 in 10 shoppers use their smartphones to look up product reviews while they are in-store.

Before buying an item, shoppers will quickly search to see what other people have had to say about the product in question.

Some will compare prices, determining whether they can find the item elsewhere cheaper.

This statistic shows how the online and offline worlds are becoming increasingly integrated. If you don’t have a good online review presence, it can have a negative impact on the number of sales you make in-store.

6. Reviews Shared On Twitter Increase Social Commerce

Yotpo has revealed that reviews on social media platforms increase social commerce, especially on Twitter. You can see this displayed in the chart below:

Reviews Shared on Twitter Increase Social Commerce by More Than 6%Screenshot from Yotpo.com, January 2023

When we think of social media, we associate it with building brand awareness. However, it’s also effective for driving sales.

Shopify recently published a survey that revealed the average conversion rate for the social media websites represented in the graph above:

  • The average conversion rate for LinkedIn is 0.47%
  • The average conversion rate for Twitter is 0.77%
  • The average conversion rate for Facebook is 1.85%

Yotpo Data found that when reviews are shared on social platforms, the conversion rate is 5.3 times higher for LinkedIn, 8.4 times higher for Twitter, and 40 times higher for Facebook.

All these statistics show us that reviews are an incredibly powerful form of social proof that results in higher conversion levels across LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Furthermore, a lot of the eCommerce world is underestimating Twitter’s force.

7. Reviews Are Just As Important Among Jobseekers

If you thought consumers were the only ones concerned about reviews, think again.

Research published by Glassdoor indicates that 86% of employees and job seekers research reviews on a business and ratings to determine whether they should apply for a job.

Google Reviews on GlassdoorScreenshot from Glassdoor.com, January 2023

As competition for talent in certain industries gets tougher, companies will have no choice but to be more conscious about their employer brand if they wish to attract top talent.

8. 3.3 Stars Is The Minimum Rating Customers Accept

When deciding whether to engage with a business, it has been indicated that 3.3 stars out of 5 are the lowest rating customers are likely to consider.

If you have a lower rating than this, your business may be overlooked and lose valuable consumers to the competition.

It probably does not come as a shock to discover that only 13% of consumers will contemplate using a company with a rating of 2 stars or less.

9. Sustainability Is A Recurring Theme In Travel Reviews

The Expedia.com Travel Recovery Trend Report revealed that the environment and sustainability are two chief themes for online guest reviews.

Some of the terms most typically found in reviews include the following:

  • Renewable energy
  • LED light bulbs
  • Electric car charging
  • Single-use plastics
  • Recycling

Expedia believes that millennial and Gen-Z travelers are more likely to consider environmentally friendly travel options.

10. 18 – 34 Year Olds Trust Online Reviews as Much as Personal Recommendations

Research shows that 91% of 18 to 34-year-olds trust reviews online just as much as personal recommendations.

Let’s think about this for a second: we’re now trusting online comments just as much as we trust feedback from the people we know and love.

This shows how much high regard millennials and Gen Z give to online reviews.

11. Tiny Subject Line Changes Can Get More Reviews

When soliciting reviews, most businesses send an email post-purchase.

Yotpo studied the subject lines of 3.5 million of these post-purchase review request emails to discover what works and what doesn’t when asking customers for reviews.

While this is much more than a single statistic, here is a synopsis of the top subject line tweaks to get more reviews:

  • An emotional appeal doesn’t greatly impact the review response rates.
  • Include your store name to increase reviews.
  • Incentives inspire more reviews in every industry.
  • Ask a question in the subject line.
  • Exclamation points boost reviews for food and tobacco businesses!
  • Avoid using a totally uppercase word in your subject lines.

12. Reputation Management Software Pays For Itself

Podium released a very interesting report on online reviews, stating that 94% of local companies who utilize a reputation management tool make up for the cost with the ROI.

How your company appears online massively dictates what shows up in terms of your bottom line.

Because of this, companies are investing more in their reputations than ever before.

One way they do this is by investing in reputation management software. This gives them the ability to have clarity regarding how their business is reviewed online.

13. Customers Believe A Product Should Have 100+ Reviews

Power Reviews recently posted interesting statistics about the number of reviews shoppers want.

In a perfect world, 43% of consumers have indicated that they want to see more than 100 reviews for an item.

Take a look at the table below to see consumer expectations regarding review volume:

43% of Customers Believe a Product Should Have 100+ ReviewsScreenshot from PowerReviews.com, January 2023

Consumers indicate that a notably high volume of reviews can have a big, positive impact on their purchase likelihood.

Out of those surveyed, 64% indicated that they would be more likely to purchase an item if it had over 1,000 reviews than if it only had 100 reviews.

Furthermore, 54% are more likely to purchase an item if it has 10,000+ reviews compared to 1,000 reviews. So, more is always better when it comes to quantity.

14. Few Travelers Post Unsolicited Online Hotel Reviews

BrightLocal has also uncovered that 78% of travelers never post unsolicited online hotel reviews. This means you cannot simply rely on customers to post hotel reviews of their own free will. They need to be encouraged to do so.

Customers say that the main ways they have been asked to leave a review are as follows:

  • Via email (41%)
  • During the sale/in-person (35%)
  • When receiving an invoice or receipt (35%)
  • SMS text (27%)

You need to be mindful of how you approach customers when asking to leave a review. The last thing you want to do is come across as pushy. At the same time, you want to make customers feel compelled to post a comment.

Offering an incentive, such as a special discount or entry into a competition, is a good approach.

15. Consumers Are Becoming Increasingly Suspicious Of Facebook Reviews

While online consumers rely on reviews to make purchasing decisions, they’re also suspicious of fake reviews. In fact, 93% of Facebook account holders are suspicious of fake reviews on this social media platform.

Consumers Are Becoming Increasingly Suspicious Of Facebook ReviewsScreenshot from Brightlocal, January 2023

As you can see from the table, only 7% of users don’t feel at all suspicious about Facebook reviews.

Users also have low trust in Google, Yelp, and Amazon reviews.

16. Most Consumers Use Rating Filters

Did you know that 7 in 10 consumers utilize rating filters when looking for companies?

Out of all the different rating options, the most popular is to narrow down a search based on the rating it is, for example, to only show hotels with ratings of four stars or above.

This helps customers only view products, locations, and services that fall within their standards. No one wants to waste their time on things that don’t fit!

17. Customers Expect You To Respond To Negative Reviews Within 7 Days

When customers post negative reviews about a business, they expect a response. Not only this, but they don’t want to wait around for it.

Review Trackers have stated that 53% of customers expect companies to respond to negative feedback within one week.

One in three consumers has a shorter timeframe than this; three days or less.

Therefore, you really need to ensure you’re keeping up with the reviews you receive and responding appropriately.

18. Your Response To A Review Can Change How Customers View Your Business

Podium’s 2021 State of Reviews publication revealed that 56% of consumers had changed their perspective on a business based on how they responded to a review.

We know that it can make you feel sick to your stomach when you receive a bad review from a customer. However, this statistic shows that there is the potential to turn this into a positive.

If you respond empathetically and try to understand the customer, they will feel like you really care about them and the service they receive. You can turn an unsatisfied customer into a loyal one.

And, even if the consumer who has complained does not reply, the fact you’ve tried to rectify their grievance will show your business in a positive light when others read the review.

The Bottom Line On The Impact of Online Reviews

These statistics reveal one unavoidable truth: online reviews are important and are here to stay.

Simply put, online reviews are directly linked to consumer trust and creating social proof.

Rather than fear them, you should look at them as a way to get a direct line to your customers.

If you are yet to begin your efforts to manage your online reputation, now’s as good a time as any to get started by doing the following:

  • Educate your customers on the importance of leaving reviews, but make sure to communicate that these reviews will help you improve your business, which can only be a good thing for them.
  • Take charge of your brand on all review platforms. Respond to feedback and make sure complaints are managed in a timely and orderly fashion.
  • Claim your Google Business Profile to ensure that any information about your business on Google is accurate and updated.
  • Ask and encourage your customers to leave a review of your product or service.

More resources:

Featured Image: ParinPix/Shutterstock



Source link

SEO

Google’s Gary Illyes Answers Your SEO Questions On LinkedIn

Published

on

Google's Gary Illyes Answers Your SEO Questions On LinkedIn

Google Analyst Gary Illyes offers guidance on large robots.txt files, the SEO impact of website redesigns, and the correct use of rel-canonical tags.

Illyes is taking questions sent to him via LinkedIn direct message and answering them publicly, offering valuable insights for those in the SEO community.

It’s already newsworthy for a Google employee to share SEO advice. This is especially so given it’s Illyes, who isn’t as active on social media as colleagues like Search Advocate John Mueller and Developer Advocate Martin Splitt.

Throughout the past week, Illyes has shared advice and offered guidance on the following subjects:

  • Large robots.txt files
  • The SEO impact of website redesigns
  • The correct use of rel-canonical tags

Considering the engagement his posts are getting, there’s likely more to come. Here’s a summary of what you missed if you’re not following him on LinkedIn.

Keep Robots.Txt Files Under 500KB

Regarding a previously published poll on the size of robots.txt files, Illyes shares a PSA for those with a file size larger than 500kb.

Screenshot from: linkedin.com/in/garyillyes/, January 2023.

Illyes advises paying attention to the size of your website’s robots.txt file, especially if it’s larger than 500kb.

Google’s crawlers only process the first 500kb of the file, so it’s crucial to ensure that the most important information appears first.

Doing this can help ensure that your website is properly crawled and indexed by Google.

Website Redesigns May Cause Rankings To Go “Nuts”

When you redesign a website, it’s important to remember that its rankings in search engines may be affected.

As Illyes explains, this is because search engines use the HTML of your pages to understand and categorize the content on your site.

If you make changes to the HTML structure, such as breaking up paragraphs, using CSS styling instead of H tags, or adding unnecessary breaking tags, it can cause the HTML parsers to produce different results.

This can significantly impact your site’s rankings in search engines. Or, as Illyes phrases it, it can cause rankings to go “nuts”:

Google’s Gary Illyes Answers Your SEO Questions On LinkedInScreenshot from: linkedin.com/in/garyillyes/, January 2023.

Illyes advises using semantically similar HTML when redesigning the site and avoiding adding tags that aren’t necessary to minimize the SEO impact.

This will allow HTML parsers to better understand the content on your site, which can help maintain search rankings.

Don’t Use Relative Paths In Your Rel-Canonical

Don’t take shortcuts when implementing rel-canonical tags. Illyes strongly advises spelling out the entire URL path:

Google’s Gary Illyes Answers Your SEO Questions On LinkedInScreenshot from: linkedin.com/in/garyillyes/, January 2023.

Saving a few bytes using a relative path in the rel-canonical tag isn’t worth the potential issues it could cause.

Using relative paths may result in search engines treating it as a different URL, which can confuse search engines.

Spelling out the full URL path eliminates potential ambiguity and ensures that search engines identify the correct URL as the preferred version.

In Summary

By answering questions sent to him via direct message and offering his expertise, Illyes is giving back to the community and providing valuable insights on various SEO-related topics.

This is a testament to Illyes’ dedication to helping people understand how Google works. Send him a DM, and your question may be answered in a future LinkedIn post.


Source: LinkedIn

Featured Image: SNEHIT PHOTO/Shutterstock



Source link

Continue Reading

SEO

Everything You Need To Know

Published

on

Of all the many, many functions available in Google Ads, I have a few that are my favorites. And sitelink assets – previously known as sitelink extensions – are at the top of my list.

Why? Because they’re so versatile. You can do almost anything with them if you think through your strategy carefully.

For example, you can use the mighty sitelink in your advertising to:

  • Promote low search volume themes.
  • Push lagging products out the door.
  • Maximize hot sellers.
  • Highlight certain product categories.
  • Answer common questions.
  • Handle PR problems.

And that’s just a start! Sitelink assets can almost do it all.

Best Practices For Using Sitelink Assets Extensions

If you truly want to get the most out of your sitelinks, you need to think about your intention.

To help you with that, I’m going to lay out a few sitelink guidelines.

1. Get clear on your objectives. Before you start, you need to think about your goals. What are you trying to achieve with these assets? Are you advertising products or services? Will the asset work well with both branded and non-branded keywords? Your answers to these questions will help determine if your sitelinks are versatile and useful to the searcher.

2. Use sitelinks as part of your larger strategy. Don’t think of your sitelinks in isolation. You should also consider the accompanying ad, landing page, and other assets. Make sure they all work together in service to your overarching strategy.

3. Use a mix of sitelinks. Sitelinks can serve multiple purposes, so make sure you’re using a variety. For example, you don’t want to use every sitelink on an ad to promote on-sale products. Instead, use a mix. One could promote an on-sale product, one could generate leads, one could highlight a new product category, and one could direct prospective clients to useful information.

4. Create landing pages for your sitelinks. Ideally, you want to send users to landing pages that tightly correlate with your sitelink instead of just a regular page on your website.

5. Track sitelink performance and adjust. It’s not enough to set up sitelinks. You should also track them to see which links are getting traction and which ones are not. This doesn’t mean that all sitelinks should perform equally (more on this below), but it does mean they should perform well given their type and objectives.

Why it’s Better To Use A Mix Of Sitelink Assets

Let’s dive deeper into this idea of using a mix of sitelinks by looking at an example.

In a new client account, we created four different types of sitelinks:

  • Two sitelinks are product-focused (as requested by the client).
  • One sitelink connects users with an engineer to learn more about the product (“Speak to an Engineer”). It has more of a sales focus.
  • One sitelink allows users to learn more about the products without speaking to an engineer (“What is?”).

The “What is?” sitelink is outperforming the “Speak to an Engineer” sitelink when we measure by CTR. While we need more data before making any changes, I predict we’ll eventually swap out the sales-y “Speak to an Engineer” sitelink for something else.

The fact that the educational link (“What is?”) is performing better than the sales-y link (“Speak to an Engineer”) isn’t too surprising in this case. The product is a new, cutting-edge robot that not many people are aware of, yet. They want more info before talking to someone.

sitelink extensions - performance exampleScreenshot by author, January 2023

By using a mix of sitelinks, and assessing the performance of each, we gained a lot of valuable information that is helping to guide our strategy for this account. So going with a mix of sitelinks is always a good idea. You never know what you’ll discover!

Sitelink Assets Examples

Now, let’s look at some specific examples of sitelink assets in Google Ads.

Example 1: Chromatography

Sitelinks extension - Chromatography exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

Application Search: This ad is for a highly technical product that can be used in a wide variety of applications. (Chromatography is a laboratory technique for separating mixtures.) So putting “application search” in a sitelink here might make sense. It helps prospective clients find what they’re looking for.

Sign up and Save Big: A good sitelink for lead generation and potential revenue.

Technical Support: I’m not a big fan of putting technical support in sitelinks. Tech support seems more targeted to current users rather than prospective users. But who knows, maybe they really do want to help current users get tech support via their advertising.

Guides and Posters: Again, this sitelink is a bit unusual, but it might be appropriate for this product. Perhaps people are downloading branded posters and posting them in their workplaces. If so, it’s a great way to build brand awareness.

Example 2: Neuroscience Courses

Sitelink Extensions - Nueroscience courses exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

I love everything about these sitelinks! The advertising is using them to reach people in all phases of the buyer journey.

For people not ready to commit:

  • Study Neuroscience: This sitelink is broad and informational. It’s helpful to people who have just started to explore their options for studying neuroscience.
  • Get Course Brochure: This sitelink is also great for people in the research phase. And while we mostly live in an online world, some people still prefer to consume hard-copy books, brochures, etc. With this sitelink, the school is covering its bases.

For people getting close to committing:

  • Online Short Course: This is the course the school offers. It’s a great sitelink for those almost ready to sign up.

For people ready to sign up:

  • Register Online Now: This is the strongest call to action for those ready to commit. It takes people directly to the signup page.

Example 3: Neuroscience Degrees

Let’s look at another example from the world of neuroscience education: this time for a neuroscience degree program.

Sitelink extensions - neuroscience degree exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

In contrast to the previous two examples, the sitelinks in this ad aren’t as strong.

Academics Overview: This sitelink seems more appropriate for a broad term search, such as a search on the school’s name. If the searcher is looking for a specific degree program (which seems like the intention based on the term and the ad), the sitelinks should be something specific to that particular degree program.

Scholarships: Just as with the above sitelink, “Scholarships” doesn’t seem very helpful either. The topic of scholarships is important—but probably doesn’t need to be addressed until the person determines that this school is a good fit.

Example 4: Code Security

Next, let’s look at two Google search ads for code security products.

Sitelink extensions - code security exampleScreenshot from Google, January 2023

 

The sitelinks in these two ads look like typical assets you’d find for SaaS, cloud-based, or tech companies. They click through to a lot of helpful information, such as product plans and success stories.

I particularly like the Most Common Risks sitelink in the second ad. It leads to a helpful article that would be great for engaging top-of-funnel leads.

On the flip side, I’m not a big fan of the Blog sitelink in the first ad. “Blog” simply isn’t very descriptive or helpful.

Still, there are no right or wrong sitelinks here. And it would be interesting to test my theory that blog content is not a top-performing asset!

Sitelink Assets Are More Than An Afterthought

I hope I’ve convinced you of the usefulness and versatility of sitelinks when created with specific objectives that align with your broader strategy.

So don’t create your sitelink assets as an afterthought.

Because if you give them the careful consideration they deserve, they’ll serve you well.

Note: Google sitelink assets were previously known as sitelink extensions and renamed in September 2022.

More resources:


Featured Image: Thaspol Sangsee/Shutterstock



Source link

Continue Reading

SEO

How to Automate Dull SEO Tasks

Published

on

How to Automate Dull SEO Tasks

Some SEO processes involve repetitively clicking things on a screen. Not the best use of your time.

With the right tools, however, you can automate various SEO processes—and free up resources for tasks that need more creative, human input.

In this post, I’ll share two examples of how I automate SEO tasks. 

Example 1. Record and email article assignments to writers

Imagine being able to record and email article assignments to writers in seconds using a simple form like this:

Airtable article assignment form

Let’s look at how to set this up.

1. Set up an Airtable database for your writer and article data

Sign up for Airtable and create a new database with a table called “Writers.” The table should have columns for your writers:

"Writers" table in Airtable

In the same Airtable database, create a separate table called “Articles.” 

Set up columns in this table for your:

  • Article titles.
  • Article outline links.
  • Article due dates.
  • Assigned writer (set this column up as a linked record to your “Writers” table so that Airtable can retrieve data on your writers from it).
"Articles" table in Airtable

You’ll also need to add a lookup field to pull the writer’s email address from the “Writers” table. 

Add Airtable lookup field

2. Create an Airtable article assignment form

Next, create an article assignment form for the “Articles” table. You’ll use this form to add new article assignments to the “Articles” table.

Create Airtable article assignment form

3. Set up a new Zapier automation with a “New Record in Airtable” trigger

When you submit your details on the new article assignment via the Airtable form, Airtable will automatically record the new article assignment in your “Articles” table. So that’s the first step of the article assignment workflow sorted.

Demo of how Airtable automatically records new article assignments when the article assignment form is filled out

Now, we’ll use the Zapier workflow automation tool to automate the next three steps in the workflow—namely:

  1. Create a shared Google Drive submission folder for the article.
  2. Create a Google Doc submission document in the shared Google Drive folder.
  3. Use Gmail to email the writer the article title, outline link, due date, and link to the shared Google Drive submission folder.

Sidenote.

Instead of Zapier, you can also use any other workflow automation tool, such as Make, as long as the tool supports the automation triggers and actions you’ll need.

In Zapier, create a new automated workflow (also known as a “Zap”) with:

  • Airtable as the trigger app.
  • New Record as the trigger event.

With this trigger, your Zap will start running when you add a new record to Airtable (such as by submitting your Airtable article assignment form).

Trigger step: New Record in Airtable

4. Add a “Create Folder in Google Drive” action step to your Zap

Next, add an action step with:

  • Google Drive as the action app.
  • Create Folder as the action event.

For the action step’s “Parent Folder” field, select the Google Drive folder in which the new submission folder should be created.

Also, provide a name for the submission folder in the “Folder Name” field. You can map the article title data from Airtable here to name your submission folder after the article’s title.

Action step: Create Folder in Google Drive

5. Add an “Add File Sharing Preference in Google Drive” action step to your Zap

The Google Drive folder created by your Zap will have its sharing permissions disabled by default, so let’s add an action step to grant folder access to anyone who has the link to the folder.

This action step should have:

  • Google Drive as the action app.
  • Add File Sharing Preference as the action event.

Map the file ID of the Google Drive folder created in the previous action step to the “File Id” field of this action step.

Map file ID of Google Drive folder to "File Id" field

In addition, set the “Sharing Preference” field to “Anyone on the internet who has the link can edit.”

Set "Sharing Preference" field to "Anyone on the internet who has the link can edit"

6. Add a “Create Document from Text in Google Docs” action step to your Zap

Now, let’s set up the Google Doc that the writer will use to submit their draft.

We’ll have the Zap create this submission Google Doc in the shared Google Drive submission folder. And since the Google Drive folder will have general access enabled, anyone with the link to the Google Drive folder—and this includes you—will also automatically get access to the Google Doc.

No more frustration over writers forgetting to grant access to their Google Docs!

So add a new action step to your Zap with:

  • Google Docs as the action app.
  • Create Document from Text as the action event.

Map the article title data from Airtable to the action step’s “Document Name” field, and the folder ID of the shared Google Drive folder to the “Folder” field.

You’ll also need to include some default text in the Google Doc, such as “Write your article here!”

Action step: Create Document from Text in Google Docs

7. Add a “Send Email in Gmail” action step to your Zap

Finally, we’ll get the Zap to use your Gmail account to email the writer the article title, outline link, due date, and link to the shared Google Drive submission folder.

Add a last action step to your Zap with:

  • Gmail as the action app.
  • Send Email as the action event.

Map the writer’s email address from Airtable to the “To” field for this action step. Also, map the article title, outline link, due date, and Google Drive submission folder link in the email body.

I also recommend adding your own email address to either the “Cc” or “Bcc” field so you get a copy of the automated email (and can confirm it’s been sent).

Sample text for automated article assignment email

Once you’re happy with your Zap, hit the Publish button to activate your automation!

Example 2. Finding and verifying prospects’ email addresses for link building outreach

Finding email addresses for link building outreach can be a massive pain.

After all, most prospects don’t advertise their email addresses publicly. And even if you’ve managed to dig up their email addresses (or guess them using trial and error), there’s no guarantee they work.

But using Ahrefs’ Content Explorer, you can generate a huge Google Sheets list of link building prospects that looks like this:

List of prospects in Google Sheets

Then as you fill out the “Approve?” column for each prospect with data—such as “Yes” or “Approved”—a Zapier automation will automatically do all these for you:

  1. Find the prospect’s email address using the Hunter email lookup tool
  2. Add the email address to your Google Sheet list of prospects
  3. Verify the email address using the NeverBounce email verification tool
  4. Add the verified email address to the Woodpecker.io email outreach tool so you can start sending customized outreach emails

Here’s how to set this up.

1. Get your list of prospects

Launch Ahrefs’ Content Explorer and search for link prospects. 

For example, if you recently published a marketing survey with unique insights and statistics, you may want to look for marketing statistics pages to pitch. To do this, simply run an “In title” search for “marketing statistics.”

Report of webpages with "marketing statistics" in their title, via Ahrefs' Content Explorer

Next, filter your results to show only webpages that are:

  • In English (unless you’re targeting webpages in another language).
  • Live, as it’d be weird to reach out and say, “Hey, I found you through [this webpage that no longer exists].”
  • On websites with a Domain Rating (DR) of 20 to 80 because you want to prioritize pursuing backlinks from authoritative websites but also that your chances of getting backlinks from super high-authority websites are quite low.
Filtering for live, English webpages on sites with a DR between 20 and 80, via Ahrefs' Content Explorer

Add a last filter to show only one page per domain (since you want to reach out to only one prospect per website).

Ahrefs' Content Explorer "One page per domain" setting

Click the Export button to export your list of prospects in a CSV file.

2. Clean up your list of prospects

As mentioned, we’ll be using Hunter to help us find our prospects’ email addresses.

Hunter uses the first names, last names, and domains of prospects to find email addresses, so we’ll clean up our list of prospects to provide Hunter with the exact data it needs.

Import your CSV list of prospects in Google Sheets and delete all columns in it except for:

  • Content Title
  • Content URL
  • Author

Also, some of the prospects in the CSV don’t have author names, so it’s worth removing these rows from the CSV. To do this, just filter for rows with empty author names and delete them.

Next, use the SPLIT formula to split the author names into their first and last names based on the space between their names.

Using the =SPLIT() formula in Google Sheets to split author names based on the space between the first and last names

Finally, add two new columns to the sheet:

  1. Approve?: Adding data to this column will trigger the Zapier automation we’ll be setting up next!
  2. Email Address: This column will store the prospect’s email address (if found).
Adding of two new "Approve?" and "Email address" columns to Google Sheets

3. Set up a new Zapier automation with a “New or Updated Spreadsheet Row in Google Sheets” trigger

In Zapier, create a new Zap with:

  • Google Sheets as the trigger app.
  • New or Updated Spreadsheet Row as the trigger event.

Map the action step’s “Trigger Column” field to your Google Sheet’s “Approve?” column.

Trigger step: New or Updated Spreadsheet Row in Google Sheets

With this setup, you’ll trigger your Zap whenever you add new data—such as “Yes” or “Approved”—to the “Approve?” column for any prospect row.

Adding of the word "Yes?" to the "Approve?" column in the Google Sheets list of prospects

4. Add a “Find Email in Hunter” action step to your Zap

Next, add a new action step with:

  • Hunter as the action app.
  • Find Email as the action event.

Map the “Content URL,” “First Name,” and “Last Name” columns in your Google Sheet to the “Domain or Company,” “First Name,” and “Last Name” fields for this action step, respectively.

Action step: Find Email in Hunter

5. Add an “Update Spreadsheet Row in Google Sheets” action step to your Zap

The next action step will update your Google Sheet with a prospect’s email address if Hunter finds it. Use:

  • Google Sheets as the action app.
  • Update Spreadsheet Row as the action event.

Map the Row Number of the updated row in the trigger step to this action step’s “Row” field.

Map the row number to the "Row" field

Also, map the email address that Hunter found in the previous action step to the “Email Address” field of this action step.

Map email address to the "Email Address" field

Sidenote.

This email address does not exist. It is for demo purposes only.

6. Add a Filter action that lets the Zap continue only if Hunter has found an email address

Next, set up a Filter action that lets the Zap proceed only if the email address data found by Hunter contains the “@” symbol.

That’s because all email addresses have the “@” symbol. If Hunter happens to find an email address value that doesn’t include this symbol, we won’t want to waste time verifying it.

Filter action: Only continue if email address contains "@"

7. Add a “Verify Email Address in NeverBounce” action step to your Zap

Now, we’ll use NeverBounce to verify the validity of the email addresses that Hunter found. Add a new action step with:

  • NeverBounce as the action app.
  • Verify Email Address as the action event.

Map the email address that Hunter found to this action step’s “Email Address to Verify” field:

Action step: Verify Email Address in NeverBounce

8. Add a Filter action that lets the Zap continue only if NeverBounce returns a “Valid” or “Catchall” status for the email address

When NeverBounce verifies an email address, it will return one of four status text codes: Valid, Catchall, Invalid, and Unknown. Email addresses marked with the “Valid” and “Catchall” NeverBounce status codes have the highest likelihood of being valid.

So we’ll add a Filter action that lets the Zap proceed only if an email address’s NeverBounce status text code matches either “Valid” or “Catchall” exactly.

Filter action: Only continue if NeverBounce status text code is "Valid" or "Catchall"

9. Add a “Create/Update Prospect in Woodpecker.co” action step to your Zap

Finally, we’ll set up the Zap to add the verified email address to Woodpecker.co.

Create a last action step with:

  • Woodpecker.co as the action app.
  • Create/Update Prospect as the action event.

Map the verified email address to the action step’s “Email” field, and your prospect’s first and last name (as obtained from Google Sheets) to the “First Name” and “Last Name” fields, respectively.

Action step: Create/Update Prospect in Woodpecker.co

Hit the Publish button to turn your Zap on.

Now, when you fill out the “Approve?” column for prospects in your Google Sheet, your Zap will automatically do the heavy lifting of finding and verifying their email addresses using Hunter and NeverBounce and adding the verified email addresses to Woodpecker.co.

You can then customize your link building outreach emails in Woodpecker.co for each verified email address and, hopefully, snag yourself some backlinks!

Final thoughts

SEO automation takes some initial setup, but it’s amazing to watch your processes run automatically after that. It’s almost like magic.

And apart from the SEO processes we’ve shared here, there are probably plenty others you can automate.

Think of the apps you regularly use for SEO work. If you can connect these apps using Zapier or some other workflow automation tool, automating the workflows they support is likely more than possible.

Got questions? Ping me on Twitter.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

en_USEnglish