Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the update cycle. The last known update to the public Google PageRank number (as shown via the toolbar and tools like WebsiteGrader.com), was around April 30th 2007. So, as I write this article, it has been over 4 months since the last update. In all the time that I’ve been watching the Google PageRank updates, this is the longest lapse I’ve seen. This likely means that we’re going to see an update “any day now”. Measuring SEO 2. Updates happen inconsistently (you never really know when the next one is coming) Most SEO experts are of the opinion that the Google PageRank number that is available to the public (often known as the “toolbar PageRank”) is not very important. The toolbar PR (TBPR) is the number shown via the Google Toolbar and other software applications (like WebsiteGrader.com’s Originally published Sep 10, 2007 11:22:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 If you’re interested in knowing when the next Google PageRank update happens, I have a simple solution for you. Just 3. It’s a coarse number (0-10 — no fractions) in comparison to the “internal” PageRank number Google uses for its ranking algorithm. SEO Report First off, if you don’t know what Google PageRank is, then here’s a quick So, although Google PageRank has its limitations, it continues to be monitored and cited (if you’re in the market for buying a website, one of the things you’ll likely look at is the Google PageRank of the site). All of these are legitimate reasons that do indeed severely limit the utility of the public Google PageRank. However, this number continues to be interesting to many folks primarily because it is the simplest abstraction that can easily be accessed to determine the general “authority” for a given web page. It factors in the two most important things from an SEO perspective: The number of inbound links to a given web page and the power/authority of those links. Topics: What does this mean to you? If you have a relatively new site, or have just started getting meaningful inbound links recently, don’t fret if your Google PageRank is zero. Since there hasn’t been an update in a while, chances are your current PR (or lack thereof) is simply based on the old data. Once the update occurs, you should see yourself move up. WebsiteGrader.com is currently at a PR5 (which is not bad), but I expect the site to jump to a PR6 as it has more powerful links than some of our other sites which already have a PR6. introduction to Google PageRank register for this site and we’ll send you a quick email when the update happens. We monitor hundreds of websites on behalf of our users, so when the change happens, we’ll likely be one of the first ones to know — and so will you. . SEO experts think Google PageRank is not a particularly meaningful number for a variety of reasons: . 1. Updates happen infrequently (every few months) Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
marketing analytics . You may come across an app that lets you organize your analytics in a way that helps you get more out of measuring your marketing. The gallery is chock full of tools to help Analytics users understand their web stats. It is currently divided into 12 categories, including business intelligence, campaign management, content management, data collection, e-commerce, , mobile solutions, phone call tracking, reporting tools, Originally published May 5, 2010 12:57:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 they should be Google’s Analytics Application Gallery Learn how to measure the effectiveness of Your web site. If you’re a Google Analytics user, take some time to browse the new gallery and check out Google’s Topics: If you’re a marketer, web analytics (different from Today’s launch of will hopefully make it a little easier. The new gallery offers applications that extend Google Analytics’ reach deeper into specific areas like eCommerce and content management. search optimization ). Analytics help you determine how each of your initiatives are performing and can indicate whether you need to change or improve upon your existing programs. In a nutshell, web and marketing analytics ) are a significant part of your marketing programs (and if they aren’t, Google Analytics Have you taken a look around the gallery? Are any of the offered tools useful to you? Share some of your favorite Google Analytics apps in the comments below. help you determine the ROI of your marketing efforts. Why is this helpful for marketers? Editor’s Picks email marketing Download the free video Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Trying to get more out of your Google Analytics? , site audit, and widgets & gadgets. Currently, there are 38 available apps, though this number will continue to rise as developers submit their new apps to the gallery. to learn how to measure the effectiveness of your web site. Video: Marketing Analytics 101: How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Website
released this month by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 92% of adults use search engines, with 59% using one on a typical day. But what’s most compelling is that, despite the significant growth in social media usage over the past several years, search and email are still on top as the most popular online activities. According to data SEO Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack has really boomed since 2004, when only 11% were using social networks. That figure has more than sextupled to 69% in 2011. using social networks Young, Educated, Wealthy Most Apt to Use Search Marketing Takeaway With search and email still topping the list of the most popular online activities, marketers must be sure not neglect these important channels just to take advantage of the rise in popularity of social media. Remember, The rates of online adults performing most common online activities have remained fairly stable since 2002, with email use increasing 8% from 85% that year. Getting news online and buying products online have also moderately increased since 2002. There are no significant differences in search use by gender or ethnic background. However, search is most popular among the youngest adult internet users (those ages 18-29), 96% of whom use search engines to find information online. But even among the oldest internet users (age 65+), 87% are search engine users. However, the rate of online adults These same groups: young adults, the college-educated, and higher income adults, are also the most likely to use search engines daily. Discrepancies in daily search are much greater than discrepancies in overall search. For example, 75% of college graduates perform daily search, about 2.6 times the 29% of those with less than a high school diploma; and 78% of the wealthiest online adults use search engines daily, which is roughly double the 38% of those without a high school diploma. Originally published Aug 11, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 In addition, adults who have attended college (96%) and the highest income adults (98%) make more use of search engines to gather information online when compared with other adults. The widest discrepancy exists between college educated adults and adults with some high school education (81%), who are about 16% less likely to use search engines. successful internet marketing strategies leverage various tactics, channels, and platforms, including social media, email marketing, and SEO. Make sure your marketing strategy has a healthy mix of multiple channels and isn’t relying too much on just one strategy. Topics: Are you leveraging your long-tail keywords and your in-house email lists to maximize the results of your inbound marketing program?
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Jul 11, 2012 3:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 We all know there are many different strategies and tactics that can factor into generating more traffic to your website. And there are even more to consider if your business targets an audience that spans multiple countries, because you’ll need to create a global SEO strategy for your website, too!But going global can be a daunting task, and you may not know where to start. That’s why we’ve created an international SEO guide compiling all the best tips international marketers should know. That being said, it’s also important to know about the biggest global SEO mistakes international marketers typically make so you know to avoid them. So without further ado, here are the 9 worst ways to do global SEO:1. Translate All Your Content Using Google TranslateWant to make your website sound like a complete idiot and undermine your company’s credibility to an international audience? Just take all the content on your main website, run it through Google Translate, and paste that into your foreign language site. It will sound totally Google Translated — in other words, robotic, unnatural, and in many cases, completely nonsensical — to anyone who speaks the language natively. Want to avoid sounding like an idiot? Get help from someone who is fluent in the language you’re creating content for.2. Avoid Language- or Country-Specific Sites for Fear of Duplicate ContentYou might have avoided setting up a .co.uk counterpart for your .com site for fear of Google deeming this as “duplicate content,” since there’s not much of a language difference. However, Google now supports using the rel=“canonical” link element across different domains. This means you can have similar content on both the .com and .co.uk extensions of your site, and use the canonical link element to indicate the exact URL of the domain preferred for indexing. This will make duplicate content a non-issue. Also, keep in mind that this is not required when using different languages. Google does not consider foreign language translations to be duplicate content. But keep in mind that it is something to consider for multiple locale sites in the same language.3. Neglect Your Google Webmaster SettingsAccording to Trimark Solutions, many webmasters will simply keep one single sitemap for their entire website, which is not nearly as efficient to maintain and update. Google Webmaster tools allows you to submit multiple sitemaps, so you can submit one for each country or region you are targeting. Note that this is only necessary if you’re using subdirectories for each of your locale sites.In Google Webmaster tools, you can also geographically target certain websites or sections of your website to certain locations. You can find these settings by logging into your Webmaster Tools account, looking under ‘Site Configuration,’ and changing your geographic targeting in the ‘Settings’ tab.4. Assume One Keyword List Will Work for All CountriesIf you create one keyword list and assume it will serve your SEO purposes across all the countries you target, you definitely won’t be targeting your audience in those countries effectively. Different keywords may cater to different audiences depending on location, so as an international marketer, you need to identify which keywords are most popular in each country you’re targeting, and optimize the pages on that country’s section of your website accordingly. In addition, remember that even a correct and accurate translation of a keyword or term may not be what people actually use to search for a product or service locally. To help you identify international keywords for your global SEO strategy, the advanced option in Google’s free Keyword Tool enables you to choose keywords by country and/or language. Just enter one of your keywords, choose the language and/or country(ies) you wish to target, and Google will provide you with a list of keyword ideas and their associated monthly search volume.5. Make Your Different Locale Sites Hard to FindEven if you’re taking all measures possible to send website visitors to the right domain or website section, such as auto-detecting their location and redirecting them to the right web page, there will be people who are traveling, or simply slip through the cracks and end up on your main .com. So make sure your different locale sites are easy to find. If you have several versions of your site in different languages, add visual cues linking to your multilingual content in or near your top navigation. For example, you can use flag icons to link to each country or language’s site/website section. You can also add links to each country or language site in your sitewide footer.6. Add Multiple Languages to a Single Web PageGenerally speaking, you shouldn’t mix languages on the same web page. You might think that doing this will help your website visitors understand that your website caters to them even though your company is based in another country, but in reality, it will not help your website’s overall user experience. You’ll only be making your page confusing to sift through, as your visitors might not understand the content at the top of the page, leading them to immediately click the back button. Instead, refer back to #5, and use your website’s top navigation or footer to link to sections on your site dedicated solely to that country/language.7. Build Inbound Links Only to Your Main HomepageGenerating inbound links is one of the most important elements of SEO, no matter what countries you’re catering to. The more inbound links you have from external websites, the better your site will rank, and the more visibility it will have in search engines. However, when you guest blog or request inbound links, make sure your homepage isn’t the only page getting linked to. You should aim to increase inbound links to each of your locale sites from sites of the same country. In other words, get sites in the UK to link to your co.uk extension, sites in Ireland to link to your .ie extension, etc.8) Make Cultural AssumptionsAs you’re designing your website, you might think your sleek white layout will have a positive connotation for website visitors around the world. After all, in most of Europe and the Americas, white is associated with purity and marriage. But did you know that in Japan, China, and parts of Africa, white is traditionally the color of mourning? The same cultural assumptions might hinder your SEO strategy. If your business targets customers in countries foreign to yours, learn about the different countries’ cultures to understand what appeals to them versus people in your country.9) Forget to Take Local Competition Into AccountIf you’re located at your primary headquarters, you know who your local competitors are. But when doing global SEO research, don’t forget that your competitors in different regions may be different. Just because you’re an international business, doesn’t mean that all businesses abroad are also global. In other words, there might be some competition that you don’t even know about yet! Take that into consideration when you’re identifying keywords to target in each country so you can compete for search engine ranking positions local searchers may be using to find products and services like yours.Do you have anything to add to the list? Add your #10 in the comments below! SEO Strategy
Originally published Nov 13, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Website Redesign I’m sick of looking at you, website. We started off well. You were a major improvement over my last website. But the thing is, you’re just not working for me anymore. It’s not your fault. The truth is, things have changed — I’ve changed. My businesses needs and you are just not compatible anymore. It’s time I start anew. You understand … don’t you?Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignOn average, we marketers redesign our websites every 18-24 months. Our reasons vary — from building a better customer experience, to reflecting a new corporate brand strategy. Regardless of the reason, we’re a constantly iterating breed.The good news is there’s a ton of content out there to help you make the right decisions for your website redesign. However, that’s also the bad news.With so much advice and content on redesigns, it can be hard to filter through it all to get to the best resources. Because I like you guys (and because we’ve gone through our fair share of redesigns ourselves), I’ve compiled a handful of top-notch resources for your next redesign.Deciding on a RedesignMake sure you’re not redesigning for the wrong reasons.I mentioned that marketers redesign their sites every two years on average — I didn’t say that every one of those redesigns is a good idea, though. This post by my colleague Jess Meher gives some common red flags that indicate you may be redesigning when you don’t need to.Scope out the project correctly.Website redesigns can take several months, but you are traveling a well-trodden path. Why not borrow the road maps of those who came before you? The following two resources should give you a good head start when it comes to scoping out your redesign project:Working with a designer? Inbound Marketing Agency Lynton Web has mapped out the 5 Phases of an Inbound Website Redesign.Doing it on your own? HubSpot’s got a Website Redesign Planning and Progress Kit that includes a spreadsheet to help you map out milestones, goals, benchmarks, and more. We’ve used this spreadsheet in our own designs to help us stay on track.Identifying Benchmarks and GoalsWebsite redesigns are filled with subjective measures. While gut reactions are worth listening to, the only way to really know if your redesign is working is to identify some benchmarks and set some goals.The effectiveness of your website can be measured by everything from bounce rate to conversions. To decide what works for you …Take a primer on marketing analytics.There’s a lot to cover in analytics. Should you track visits or unique visits? What’s the right balance of new vs. returning visitors? How do the rest of your marketing analytics fit into your website analytics? This 85-page guide covers the full gamut of marketing analytics, but pages 5-22 are all you need for your website redesign. Set up goals in Google Analytics.Google Analytics is the de facto free analytics program out there, but it changes quite often, so some of the content you may find out there is slightly outdated. This helpful post on Steamfeed, however, was published in September 2013 and gives step-by-step instructions on setting up your goals in Google.Compare the two types of analytics.Your website is not an island. As part of your redesign you should consider how website analytics fit into your larger marketing strategy. This post by fellow HubSpotter Pamela Vaughn explains the differences between website analytics and marketing analytics and guides you on what to measure for each. Preserving Your SEOIn 2009, Toys R Us paid $5.1 million to buy the Toys.com domain name, in an effort to scoop up the SEO benefit of having such a prominent keyword in their domain. So essentially, that’s $5.1 million the company spent to top the search charts.In a great error, however — that honestly could’ve happened to almost anyone — Toys R Us forwarded the entire domain of Toys.com to ToysRUs.com without using 301 redirects, and, in turn, Google de-indexed all of the Toys.com pages. It’s a fascinating story in and of itself, and one you can read about here.The lesson here? Be sure you preserve your SEO whenever going through a redesign. Here are a few more useful resources to help you make sure SEO is top of mind in your redesign.Learn the different types of redirects.There are a handful of different types of redirects you can use if you’re moving your pages from one web address to another. Search Engine People and Moz both have useful posts on the differences between these redirects. Search Engine People’s post is a bit more straightforward while the one by Moz is a bit more comprehensive.Discover other SEO strategies.There’s more to SEO than just the redirect. A website redesign offers you an opportunity to map out your content to really rank for certain keywords. Search Engine Land has a helpful post about building a keyword strategy in the context of a larger website redesign.Use an on-page SEO template.When you’re ready, HubSpot has a free on-page SEO planning template you can use to track all of your work and ensure all of your loose ends are tied down for the redesign.Planning Your Design and ContentOptimize your site for mobile.Mobile optimization is an essential part of creating an excellent visitor experience, driving conversions, and even ranking on search engine results. Make sure that any redesign includes a plan for mobile optimization. You can see how your current site looks on mobile devices here and learn the differences between mobile approaches here. Carefully plan your design.There is plenty of great advice out there on website design. Probably the most comprehensive is this post by Smashing Magazine, which covers everything from about-us pages, to 404s, to breadcrumbs, to calls-to-action. Some other great resources you can check out:Get inspired by looking at different homepage examples.Get scientific (sort of) through KISSmetrics’ Anatomy of an Effective Homepage Infographic.Understand your essential homepage elements.Learn why you don’t have to worry about the infamous website “fold” in this KISSMetrics post.Write your content.Words matter. A beautiful design and compelling words work together to make your site memorable and deliver your company’s unique value. I scoured the web to find some practical advice on moving your web copy from good to great.Get an overview of writing for web: This quick course in copywriting by Smashing Magazine is a nice primer in some of the concepts behind good copywriting.Don’t make it all about you: This Unbounce post explains some of the common pitfalls of company-centric website copy. Make a clear case for the problem that your company will solve for customers.Determine your value proposition: Different than a slogan or a tagline, your value proposition explains to prospective customers how your company will advance their goals. This post will walk you through a few steps to identify and communicate your value proposition.Choosing a Content Management System A website redesign is probably the best timing for assessing your current content management system and trying to decide if you are happy or want to move to a different platform. You’re starting over from scratch, so you have the opportunity to consider all the facets of the way you market online.To determine the best platform for you, think about your core needs. Would it be better for all of your marketing tools to be integrated into one platform or are you ok with separate tools? Is mobile optimization important to you? Do you have a designer to work on your site or need pre-made templates? One of the best ways to get to know the different platforms available is to take a look at review sites. There are a number of review sites around, but a few newer sites are doing a good job with crowd-sourcing reviews from actual users. Take a look at TrustRadius or G2Crowd to compare vendors. If Salesforce integration is important to you, you’ll also want to check out the reviews on its app exchange.Of course, we’re happy to talk with you about HubSpot’s content optimization system to help you determine if it’s a fit for your redesign. Don’t forget to share this post! 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Originally published Nov 7, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Imagine a party where Bono, Drew Houston, Eva Longoria, and 20,000 of your lovably nerdy tech friends show up. Add colorful sheep, some intermittent Wi-Fi issues, and a whole lot of drinking, and you’ve got the Dublin Web Summit, one of the hottest tech and marketing events of its kind.The event is remarkable unto itself, but it’s even more remarkable when you consider that the event grew from 400 attendees just four years ago to 20,000 attendees this year. The conference is growing as fast as the Dublin tech scene — as Barry O’Dowd, Head of Emerging Business for IDA Ireland told us, “there is little doubt that the Web Summit has helped put Ireland’s tech scene on the international stage.”Not all the action happens on stage at the Summit, of course. Local legend states that Uber’s 2011 funding round was finalized in a pub at the Summit, and last year’s top 25 startup winners from the Summit raised over $400M over the past twelve months. We tried interviewing the sheep for comment (they politely declined), so instead we found the most tweetable, shareable insights we could find from many of the speakers and assembled them all into one doc for easy inspiration and motivation.Whether you attended the Summit for the first time this year, watched the live stream, or just heard about it from friends, here’s a SlideShare and a few tweetable takeaways of our favorite insights from our friends in the Emerald Isle, thanks to HubSpot’s Melissa Obleada: Topics: Conferences 1) “Amazing people need a purpose beyond profits.” -@dharmesh (Click to tweet!)2) “Deal with disruption by being the disruptor.” -@andymarkowitz (Click to tweet!)3) “Life is too short for bad software.” -@sweetlew (Click to tweet!) 4) “Great marketing is marketing for people, not at them.” -@robnewlan (Click to tweet!)5) “One of the key triggers, statistically, for shareability is emotional intensity.” -@sarahfwood (Click to tweet!) Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Originally published Oct 10, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated October 10 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: We all have different reasons for getting up every morning and doing what we do every day.So why is it that, on some days, it can feel harder than others to get up when your alarm goes off, do your workout, crush a work or school assignment, or make dinner for your family?Motivation (or a lack thereof) is usually behind why we do the things that we do.There are different types of motivation, and as it turns out, understanding why you are motivated to do the things that you do can help you keep yourself motivated — and can help you motivate others.Download our complete productivity guide here for more tips on improving your productivity at work.In this post, we’ll dive into the two types of motivation — intrinsic and extrinsic — to learn the differences between the types, the benefits of each, and how to use both types to inspire productivity.Definitions of Intrinsic and Extrinsic MotivationIntrinsic motivation involves doing something because it’s personally rewarding to you. Extrinsic motivation involves doing something because you want to earn a reward or avoid punishment.What Is Intrinsic Motivation?When you’re intrinsically motivated, your behavior is motivated by your internal desire to do something for its own sake — for example, your personal enjoyment of an activity, or your desire to learn a skill because you’re eager to learn.Examples of intrinsic motivation could include:Reading a book because you enjoy the storytellingExercising because you want to relieve stressCleaning your home because it helps you feel organizedWhat Is Extrinsic Motivation?When you’re extrinsically motivated, your behavior is motivated by an external factor pushing you to do something in hopes of earning a reward — or avoiding a less-than-positive outcome.Examples of extrinsic motivation could include:Reading a book to prepare for a testExercising to lose weightCleaning your home to prepare for visitors coming overIntrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation: What’s the Difference?At first glance, it might seem like it’s better to be intrinsically motivated than extrinsically motivated. After all, doesn’t it sound like it would be ideal if you didn’t need anyone — or anything — motivating you to accomplish tasks?But, alas, we don’t live in such a motivation-Utopia, and being extrinsically motivated doesn’t mean anything bad — extrinsic motivation is just the nature of being a human being sometimes.If you have a job, and you have to complete a project, you’re probably extrinsically motivated — by your manager’s praise or a potential raise or commission — even if you enjoy the project while you’re doing it. If you’re in school, you’re extrinsically motivated to learn a foreign language because you’re being graded on it — even if you enjoy practicing and studying it.So, intrinsic motivation is good, and extrinsic motivation is good. The key is to figure out why you — and your team — are motivated to do things, and encouraging both types of motivation.When Intrinsic Motivation Is BestResearch has shown that praise can help increase intrinsic motivation. Positive feedback that is “sincere,” “promotes autonomy,” and “conveys attainable standards” was found to promote intrinsic motivation in children.But on the other side of that coin, external rewards can decrease intrinsic motivation if they’re given too willy-nilly. When children received too much praise for completing minimal work or single tasks, their intrinsic motivation decreased.The odds are, if you’re reading this blog post, you’re not a child — although children are welcome subscribers here on the HubSpot Marketing Blog. But the principles of this study are still sound for adults.If you’re a people manager, be intentional with your praise and positive feedback. Make sure that it’s specific, empowering, and helps your direct reports understand your expectations and standards. But make sure you aren’t giving too much praise for work that’s less meaningful for your team, or they might lose intrinsic motivation.If you’re an individual contributor, tell your manager when their feedback is motivating — give them positive feedback, too. By providing positive feedback to your manager when they give you praise that keeps you motivated, you, in turn, will extrinsically motivate them to keep managing you successfully. (Meta, huh?)When Extrinsic Motivation Is BestExtrinsic rewards don’t just involve bribery (although bribery can work). In some cases, people may never be internally motivated to complete a task, and extrinsic motivation can be used to get the job done.In fact, extrinsic rewards can promote interest in a task or skill a person didn’t previously have any interest in. Rewards like praise, commissions, bonuses, or prizes and awards can also motivate people to learn new skills or provide tangible feedback beyond just verbal praise or admonishment.But tread carefully with extrinsic rewards: Studies have shown that offering too many rewards for behaviors and activities that people are already intrinsically motivated to do can actually decrease that person’s intrinsic motivation — by way of the overjustification effect.In these cases, offering rewards for activities the person already finds rewarding can make a personally enjoyable activity seem like work — which could kill their motivation to keep doing it.If you’re a people manager, use extrinsic rewards sparingly to motivate your team to take on new responsibilities or achieve lofty goals. Bonuses, commissions, recognition prizes, and promotions can be an effective way to motivate or reward your team for learning new skills, taking on new challenges, or hitting a quarterly goal. But make sure you’re giving your team members the time and resources to explore skills and projects they’re already excited about independently — without making them a part of their regular responsibilities, which could demotivate them.If you’re an individual contributor, work for the rewards you want, but don’t over-exhaust yourself in the pursuit of extrinsic prizes. Make sure you’re taking time, in your job or in your personal life, to explore activities that you enjoy just for the sake of doing them, to keep yourself balanced. Productivity
Topics: Hiring good people can be difficult, time-consuming, and costly. If you’re in a constant cycle of hiring, I don’t have to tell you about the time warp it can cause — but what about the cost?The more interviews you do, the more you spend. And the more time you spend absorbed in lengthy interviews the more likely you are to take shortcuts and make mistakes.Qualify top marketing candidates faster with this collection of 100 interview questions.And according to Dr. John Sullivan, the hiring process is getting even harder:”Aggressiveness, the need for counteroffers, higher rejection rates, and a renewed focus on recruiting the currently employed will all return to prominence.”What if I told you I could help you be more efficient with your time, and get the information you need to make decisions for next steps — in about half the time you’re currently committing?The advantage of reducing your hiring time will add to your bottom line, perhaps more than you realize. A report from UrbanBound illustrated the time demands, and how costs can add up:”Onboarding can be an extremely time-demanding project. It can cost up to 1/3 of an employee’s salary to onboard and train new hires, especially when that employee’s job description does not have to do with onboarding. Therefore, if a small company has a flawed onboarding plan, they risk having a bad retention percentage which can be extremely costly.”Considering this, it’s logical to believe organizations would be better off spending less time overall on interviews, but more quality time during that initial conversation. So, how would one shorten the time commitment and reduce overall costs, and give a better interview in the process? Consider my process for a 30-minute phone interview, below.How to Run a 30-Minute Phone InterviewI know what you’re thinking … 30 minutes seems really short when you are trying to find a fabulous candidate, how do you make it worthwhile? You’re probably asking yourself:What questions do I ask?How do I prioritize the questions?If I run such a tight agenda, how will we connect?Okay, maybe not that last one. But if you structure a simple agenda, prepare quality questions, and are disciplined throughout your time in front of candidates, I believe you can answer all of your questions after just a few interviews. Let’s start with time management.Managing The First 5 MinutesIf you’re going to pull off an effective interview in 30 minutes or less, you have to be organized and efficient. You’ll want to start strong and there’s no better time than the first five minutes.4 Things to Cover in the First 5 MinutesIntroduce yourself: “Hi, I’m the Managing Partner of Revenue River Marketing. We’re growing quickly and I’m looking for the very best marketers in the country.”State your intent: “We’re hiring for position XYZ and I’m looking for a specific type of candidate. I’d like to move quickly so we can both decide if there’s a good fit for us.”Set the agenda: “I’d like to spend 10 minutes asking you a few questions, then I’ll give you an equal amount of time to ask me anything you’d like.”Confirm buy-in: “How does that sound?” (If they say anything other than ‘absolutely’ or ‘I’m ready’, I’d be concerned. Anyone who just starts rambling clearly isn’t picking up on your goals.)The Next 10 Minutes: Getting Answers to Key QuestionsIf you’re going to get through enough quality questions in 10 minutes, you’ll want to ensure you’re on point with your preparation. You’ll want to prepare a set of direct questions and count on the candidate being perceptive enough to answer with brevity.I’ve noticed that observing how candidates handle the pace of this section can be very telling. If the candidate decides to grandstand during replies to your questioning, it’s a clear disqualifier.Instead of interrupting to get through your questions efficiently, I advise you let them talk. They’ll cost themselves the chance to answer the remainder of your questions, and likely a chance at employment with your organization.Conversely, a good candidate understands that you’ll ask follow-up questions if you want more detail. Some of our very best hires have quickly and artfully answered our most direct and pointed questions with quick-witted responses.While I can’t provide the exact types of key questions you should ask for your own specific position, I can give you a sense of qualities you want to look for that are predominantly universal for any job.Giving Them 10 Minutes to Pass the “Test”Now it’s time for your candidate to impress you with their prepared questions. Your goal for this ten-minute segment is to see how prepared the candidate is and how much they want this job in particular. You want to know if they’re just looking for any job they can find, or if they’re truly interested in a career with your organization.Good candidates prepare well. They study your website, your bio, your team, and your offering. They have a list of specific questions that demonstrate their understanding of your business, and hopefully even some observations on how they believe they can add value.Many candidates won’t realize how important this segment of the interview is, and they’ll reveal something about themselves you missed previously. The candidates that used active listening during the first five minutes will operate at the same pace you did and respect the agenda.Insight to Gain during Candidate QuestioningDid they study your website? Test them on it.Do they understand what you do? Ask them questions about it.Are they more interested in compensation or job duties?Are they more interested in benefits and vacation or company growth trajectory?Remaining 5 Minutes: Wrapping Up with Next StepsSomething to remember during this initial interview is that the goal is not to hire, but to qualify for next steps. Each candidate is either ready for another interview or they’re being ruled out. You’re not hiring them today, so don’t overdo it. Just get through the critical questions you think need to be answered and wrap things up.You likely won’t have exactly five minutes here, but that’s okay. Let them know your plans for next steps and let them know your expectations for follow-up.Follow-up should always be the responsibility of the candidate and never on the executive. I’ve been surprised by some great interviews that were followed by poor follow-up and their responsibility here allows them to demonstrate their skills further, one way or another.5 Important Qualities To Focus On in a 30-Minute Phone Interview1) CoachabilityEmployees that aren’t coachable struggle to get through tough times, and those who are receptive to instruction improve quickly. As Derek Lauber from Lightbox Leadership puts it, “Hiring for coachability can help you find those individuals with the traits necessary to becoming long-term valuable members of your organization.”Example Question: What would you do if you found yourself struggling to meet your objectives after 90 days?2) TransparencyYou can substitute in the word “honesty” here. I love asking questions that allow the candidates the chance to prove they’re not completely honest. A transparent workplace is important in maintaining a positive culture, and you don’t want to let any bad seeds take root. Jessica Miller-Merrell of Glassdoor advises, “When one person is not aligned with the organization, it is significantly more likely that everyone below them will be out of line as well.”Example Question: Why shouldn’t I hire you? (Please don’t tell me because sometimes you care too much) 3) DesirePeople that really want something for themselves work harder than people who just want to live a life of leisure so I look for people who are hungry. These are the people you want in your organization, pure and simple.Example Question: Why is this position the direction you want to go with your career?4) Organizational SkillsThe modern workplace is a massive game of dealing with distractions– organization creates efficiency and that means better productivity. In “Organizational Skills in the Workplace,” Rick Suttle advises, “Planning is a needed workplace skill, and it is particularly important as person advances into more supervisory or managerial roles.”Example Question: How do you plan your day/week, and what tools have you used to do so?5) HumilityThe best players on any team have humility — ego and selfishness can cause cancerous behavior that can destroy what you’ve built. As John Baldoni put it in HBR, “Humility is more than an important characteristic for leaders, but for employees as well. It is this trait which allows leaders and employees to work well individually and as a team. A humble employee is aware of his own limitations and is willing to accept –- and give –- help as needed.”Example Question: Those are some impressive results. To what do you owe that success?Additional Questions & CommentsYou’ll also want to spend a couple minutes on some resume specific questions. You should prepare a few direct questions about their resume you can mix in with the others. Here are a few questions I like to ask to see if I can get someone to complain, make excuses, or show inconsistencies for the character traits I’m targeting at this time.How was your relationship with your boss at this job?Which of these positions do you feel held your career back?These can be clear indicators of disqualifiers for your role, so don’t shy away from them.With Practice Comes PerfectionAfter you’ve used this 30-minute phone interview script with a few candidates you’ll perfect the process and refine your style. Once perfected, cutting your initial interview time in half with these concepts will save time and money while improving results during this step in the hiring process.Start by spending a little more time setting up your own script, and you’ll be sure to benefit once you’ve applied these tactics.Ready for the half-hour interview? Try out some of these great interview questions on your next candidate. Don’t forget to share this post! Interviews Originally published Oct 4, 2017 7:58:00 AM, updated April 18 2018
Text variations: Try a couple different CTAs or change up the text to present your video differently, as we did in the test of a narrative vs. a listicle.Length: See if a short, medium, or long video gets the best results. We tested 0:15, 0:30, and 0:45 versions of the same video in one of our tests and the 0:30 video had a stronger click through rate. But we’ve seen instances where a long video has performed best and those where a super short looping clip has won, which is why testing is important! Originally published May 21, 2018 7:00:00 AM, updated July 12 2019 “Video marketing” is one of today’s hottest industry buzzwords — and, of course, we at Animoto agree that video is a priceless tool when it comes to engaging your audience, sharing stories and information, promoting products and services, piquing interest, and more.But we also know that video in and of itself isn’t a magic bullet. You should never go into any marketing initiative assuming what’s going to work. You need to test to find out what works for your company, your audience, and your objectives.Free Lookbook: 50 Facebook Ad Examples That We Actually ClickedTo that end, we set out to take Animoto’s HubSpot-inspired video templates for a spin. We ran thousands of dollars worth of tests with Facebook Ads Manager to see how video stood up to other types of content — when it worked, when it didn’t, and how to optimize its performance.We were interested in answering these questions:Do videos really perform better than images or links?When it comes to videos, which types perform best?Here’s what we found out.Videos or images? Which perform better?The first question we set out to answer was: do videos really perform better than images in Facebook ads?The answer: it really depends on the video or image!Test 1: Video vs. Blog Post Meta-ImageWe started with a test driving traffic to a post on the HubSpot blog, 22 Companies With Really Catchy Slogans & Brand Taglines. We tested a video teaser, with a taste of what the blog post had to offer, against a simple shared-link posting that auto-pulled the meta-image from the blog post.Vs.The ResultsWhat did we find? The video outperformed the image … by a lot. The video got 20 percent more clicks than the image.But wait, we asked ourselves. Was that really the best image to promote this blog post? What did a cityscape really say about catchy slogans and brand taglines? We went back to the drawing board on our next test to see if video would still perform better than image if the image was optimized.Test 2: Video vs. Optimized ImageFor our next test, we decided to promote a different HubSpot blog post, How to Recover From a Bad Sales Call. This time we tested two different video variations — one listicle, featuring three of the tips from the post, and one with more or a narrative appeal that speaks to the viewers. Check out both in the following video:The two videos were run alongside an image test, but this time we pulled a relevant screenshot from the video that made it clear what people would get if they clicked through.The ResultsWith an optimized image, things turned out a little differently. This time, the image actually beat one of the videos — the listicle. The image got more clicks at a lower cost than this video.However, the narrative video won out in the end with the most clicks and a 3 percent lower cost per click. The narrative video had a 34 percent lower cost per click than the listicle.Takeaway: It’s all about testing.In the end, it turned out that videos don’t always perform best, and images don’t always perform best either. It really depends on the content. We saw image perform better than some videos, and videos perform better than some images. But testing different types of marketing collateral allowed us to figure out what type of ad and content would maximize ROI for the particular use case.Optimizing Ad CreativeSo if you’re embarking on a Facebook ad campaign, or really any type of social ad campaign, how do you ensure you’re getting started with optimized creative? We’ll break down some general rules to help you get started, based on the findings of our tests.Optimizing VideosFirst things first, we did learn a few things from our tests about what you can do to optimize the videos you’re creating for advertising:Go square. Square videos take up 78 percent more space in the News Feed and have consistently outperformed landscape videos. In one of our tests, we created a video to promote a HubSpot blog post, 22 Handy Slack Hacks Everyone Should Know. We created square and landscape versions, and the square video performed better across the board, with a 50 percent lower cost per click and 45 percent more engagement.Think about your objective. This is important. Your video needs to address this objective. If you want to tease a blog post, for instance, you’ll want to make sure it’s clear what the blog post is about and you’ll need to include a clear CTA letting them know where they can read more. Topics: Facebook Advertising Optimizing ImagesWe also learned that an optimized image can do wonders for the success of your ad. Here are a few tips to help ensure your image is optimized:Watch the text. Facebook ads may run with reduced impressions, or not at all, if too large a percentage of your image is covered by text. Use Facebook’s Image Text Check to make sure your image doesn’t exceed the limit. This is what we used to create the optimized image for our second test above.Be clear. Make sure that the image makes clear what people will get when they click through to learn or read more. This’ll help ensure that the folks that are coming to your page are actually interested in the content and will help reduce bounce.Be eye-catching. Choose something bright, clear, or unique to stand out in the News Feed.But as we discovered, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, so it’s important to test –try a few different things, see what works, what doesn’t, and iterate.Optimizing ROI with A/B testingWhether or not you’ve used A/B testing in the past, thinking about testing in the context of video can be a lot to wrap your head around. There are all sorts of things to test, from CTA copy to colors, fonts, what photos and video clips you use, what story you tell, and everything in between. Test videos against images; test videos against other videos; test everything and improve your results over time.What Variations to TestNot sure which variations to test? Here are some suggestions:Media variations: Try using different photos or video clips in a video to see which performs for you. Or, if you’re testing an image, try to optimize the image to suit your needs, as we did in the second test above. In this example, WV Skydivers tested two video variations—one starting with a photo and one starting with a video clip. The video clip variation reached 10K people, while the photo variation reached only 1.2K. How to Set up A/B TestsYou can set up A/B tests in Facebook. To get started you’ll need a Facebook page, a Facebook Ads Manager account, and some ad variations — two or more videos, two or more images, or a combination of images and videos. Simply run two versions of your ad and be sure to keep everything the same except for the variation you are testing. This includes the ad objective, budget, target audience, and any copy that runs alongside your ad (unless the copy is the variation).As you test, you’ll begin to understand what resonates with your audience and can hone your strategy going forward. By not assuming that one type of content will work best for your advertising you can start creating ads that perform.Animoto and HubSpot recently joined forces to create a collection of video templates for business owners looking to create professional marketing videos to promote blog posts, boost event registration, or collect leads for a product. Don’t forget to share this post!