5 Creative Ways To Increase Sales Volume For Your Business

Want to make more money?

Then you need to find a way to get more sales.

Of course, that’s easier said than done… But it can be done.

You just need to think outside the box.

Today we are going to discuss five creative ways to increase sales volume.

You will surely find at least one idea that you can apply to your business!

5 Out of The Box Ideas to Increase Sales

Here are five creative approaches to marketing, pricing, and sales:

You can use them to make more money per sale, increase sales volume, and generate more revenue.

Let’s take a closer look at each of them…

#1 Cross-Sell To Your Existing Customers

You have probably heard the terms “upselling” and “cross-selling” before. But what do they mean?

  • Upselling is offering the customer a better version of the product. Remember how McDonald’s employees used to ask “Would you like to supersize that?” when you ordered a meal? That’s upselling.
  • Cross-selling is offering the customer a complementary product. You know how McDonald’s employees ask “Would you like fries with that?” if you order a burger? That’s cross-selling.

Today we are talking about increasing sales volume, so let’s take a closer look at cross-selling, which can help you do just that.

Here’s how you can get started with it:

  • Examine the products you sell. Which of them go well together?
  • Once you have identified complementary products, make sure that when the customer decides to buy one of them, you also offer them the others.

You can use software to set this up and put cross-selling on autopilot.

It may take a while to get it right, but once you do, you will start getting more sales without having to do much to keep them coming in.

Example: Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club is a company that broke into the men’s grooming and hygiene industry with an innovative business model: subscription boxes.

You take their quiz, they create a custom box for you, then they ship it to you every two months.

Cross-selling was one of the sales techniques that they used to get to their $1 billion acquisition by Unilever

They would send an email offering the customer relevant add-ons before shipping their box to them.

This allowed them to move more inventory without having to spend much extra time, energy, or money on it.

cross selling example from dollar shave club

Cross-selling works best for ecommerce companies, but it may make sense for other types of online businesses as well, depending on their product range.

#2 Drop the Free Plan

The freemium pricing model is extremely popular.

You offer people several pricing plans, including a free one.

 One of the most famous freemium success stories was Evernote which used it to reach a $1 billion valuation and get the coveted “unicorn” status.

Back in 2010, a then-CEO of Evernote Phil Libin even told the Fast Company magazinethat “The easiest way to get 1 million people paying is to get 1 billion people using”.

But in 2015, the company’s growth started to slow down, and, as Tom Petrocelli phrased it a year later, it fell prey to the Catch-22 of the freemium model.

A few years after that, the media started talking about it being in a “death spiral”, with the New York Times doing a piece on Evernote’s struggles in 2019.

Think about it. Even the poster child of the freemium model can’t figure out how to make it work in the long run. It seems that this approach to pricing is not as great as we have been led to believe.

So if you have a free plan now, consider either downgrading its functionality or dropping it entirely.

This may seem scary. After all, once you drop the free plan, there comes the inevitable moment of truth. Do people value your product enough to pay for it?

But it’s better to face the reality, whatever it may be, than use an unsustainable pricing model to fuel unsustainable growth. – Read more

4 Helpful Tips to Get the Most Out of Your PPC Campaign

Are you ready to use pay-per-click ads for your business? Keep reading for some helpful tips to get the most out of your PPC campaigns.

Approximately 65 percent of all clicks made by searchers who are ready to make a purchase go to paid advertising (i.e., pay-per-click ads). In fact, these ads are what helped to generate the bulk of Google’s revenue in the past year.

Unfortunately, many business owners aren’t aware they can actually pay Google less and get better results. If you want to maximize your PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns and squeeze as much as you can out of every marketing penny, use the tips and information here.

After more than a decade working in the marketing industry and fine-tuning multiple PPC campaigns, I have found specific strategies and efforts that provide the desired results. Now, I will share these with you.

Determine Your Goals Before Creating a Campaign

Consider the specific action you want your searchers to take. This may be to call your store, visit a landing page, fill out your online form, buy a product, or learn more about your services. How are you going to measure this?

The best way to measure this is by tracking the conversions you achieve. Also, when you know what the end goal is, you will also know if your PPC marketing efforts are effective.

Determine If You Want Your Ad to Show Up in the Display Network or the Search Network

The search network is where your ads will appear in Google and in search engines that have partnered with Google. On the other hand, the display network lets your ads appear on thousands of websites in the Google Display Network, which shows Google Ads. If you are planning to run your ad in both, do so using separate campaigns.

It is important to note that one option is not necessarily better than the other, but one may be more effective for your specific niche than the other. You need to figure out where your target customers are, and then target that area with your PPC campaigns.

Use Geo-Targeting

When creating PPC ad campaigns, every dollar counts. This means you should take advantage of Google’s targeting feature— especially for targeting customers in specific geographic areas. You can use the targeting tool to consider factors such as page structure, link structure, language, and text. It will also help to determine the central themes of every webpage and then target ads based on the topic selections you have made.

Select the Proper Match Types

When setting up your ad campaign, there are four main match types you can choose from. These include:

  • Exact Match: The searcher must type in the specific keyword you have selected to see your ad.
  • Broad Match: With this, Google determines the search queries that are relevant to the keyword you have selected.
  • Phrase Match: The keyword must appear in the same order as the search query for your ad to appear.
  • Broad Match Modifier: Involves a mix of phrase and broad match and lets Google know the order that must be present for your ad to appear.
  • Read more

How to Get Google to Index Your Site (Faster)

For your landing pages, blogs, homepages, and other online content to show up in Google’s search engine results, you need to ensure your website is indexable. Google Index is basically a database.

When people use the search engine to look for content, Google turns to its index to provide the relevant content. If your page isn’t indexed, it doesn’t exist in Google’s search engine. That’s bad news if you’re hoping to drive organic traffic to your website via organic search.

This guide provides greater detail about indexing and why it’s important. It also explains how you can check to see if your page is indexed, how to fix common technical SEO problems that cause indexing issues, and how to quickly get Google to recrawl index your site if it’s not already indexed.

What Is Google’s Index?

Google’s index is simply a list of all the webpages that the search engine knows about. If Google doesn’t index your website, your site won’t appear in Google’s search results.

It would be like if you wrote a book, but no bookstores or libraries stocked that book. Nobody would ever find the book. They might not even know of its existence. And if a reader were looking for that book, they’d have a really hard time finding it.

Why Is Site Indexing Important?

Websites that aren’t indexed are not in Google’s database. The search engine thus can’t present these websites in its search engine results pages (SERPs).

To index websites, Google’s web crawlers (Googlebot) need to “crawl” that website. Learn more about the difference between crawlability versus indexability

As a refresher, here’s a quick overview of the search engine process:

  • Crawling: Search engine bots crawl the website to figure out if it’s worth indexing. Web spiders, or “Googlebot,” are always crawling the web, following links on existing web pages to find new content.
  • Indexing: The search engine adds the website to its database (in Google’s case, its “Index”).
  • Ranking: The search engine ranks the website in terms of metrics like relevance and user-friendliness.

Indexing just means the site is stored in Google’s databases. It doesn’t mean it will show up at the top of the SERPs. Indexing is controlled by predetermined algorithms, which factor in elements like web user demand and quality checks. You can influence indexing by managing how spiders discover your online content.

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How Do I Check If Google Has Indexed My Site?

There’s no doubt that you want your website to be indexed — but how can you know if it is or not? Luckily, the search engine giant makes it pretty easy to find out where you stand via site search. Here’s how to check:

  1. Go to Google’s search engine.
  2. In the Google search bar, type in “site:example.com.”
  3. When you look under the search bar, you’ll see the Google results categories “All,” “Images,” “News,” etc. Right underneath this, you’ll see an estimate of how many of your pages Google has indexed.
  4. If zero results show up, the page isn’t indexed.

Alternatively, you can use Google Search Console to check if your page is indexed. It’s free to set up an account. Here’s how to get the information you want:

  1. Log into Google Search Console.
  2. Click on “Index.”
  3. Click on “Coverage.”
  4. You’ll see the number of valid pages indexed.
  5. If the number of valid pages is zero, Google hasn’t indexed your page.

You can also use the Search Console to check whether specific pages are indexed. Just paste the URL into the URL Inspection Tool. If the page is indexed, you’ll receive the message “URL is on Google.”

How Long Does It Take for Google to Index a Site?

It can take Google anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to index a site. This can be frustrating if you’ve just launched a page only to discover that it isn’t indexed. How is anybody supposed to discover your beautiful new webpage via Google? Luckily, there are steps you can take for more efficient indexing. Below, we explain what you can do to speed up the process.

How Do I Get Google to Index My Site?

The easiest way to get your site indexed is to request indexing through Google Search Console. To do this, go to Google Search Console’s URL Inspection Tool. Paste the URL you want to be indexed into the search bar and wait for Google to check the URL. If the URL isn’t indexed, click the “Request Indexing” button.

Note: Google had temporarily disabled the request indexing tool in October 2020. However, it was just restored in Search Console!

However, Google indexing takes time. As mentioned, if your site is new, it won’t be indexed overnight. Additionally, if your site isn’t properly set up to accommodate Googlebot’s crawling, there’s a chance it won’t get indexed at all.

Whether you’re a site owner or an online marketer, you want your site efficiently indexed. Here’s how to make that happen. – Read more

How to Build a Site Structure for SEO

Getting your website’s structure right is one of the most important technical SEO basics, yet it’s often overlooked.

A website shouldn’t be a random collection of pages and posts. It should be an organized collection of content that’s easy for search engines and users to navigate and understand.

In this guide, you’re going to learn how to build a site structure that works and helps your site achieve SEO success.

Specifically, we’ll look at:

What Is Site Structure?

Your website’s structure is the way that content (pages and posts) is grouped. This is sometimes referred to as your website’s architecture and is all about how your content is linked together and presented to users and search engines. It’s your website’s framework. 

A good website structure makes it easy for users to navigate between pages and search engines to crawl your content and understand what your site is about.

Think about it as how pages on your website relate to one another, specifically how they branch off your homepage and are grouped within deeper directories.

And planning a site structure includes considering your:

  • URL structures
  • Navigation menus
  • Categorization
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Internal linking

The Importance of Your Site’s Structure

Whether you have a small website or a large website, site structure is an important component for success as your site structure impacts both users, in terms of its accessibility and user-friendliness, and for search engines, in terms of crawlability and technical aspects.

So let’s take a look at the reasons why you need to take the time to properly define this for these two key reasons…

Site Structure for Users

Your website’s primary purpose is to put your products or services in front of your target audience, such as your next customer or client. That means that your users should be at the heart of everything you do.

And when we look at the reason why your site’s structure is so important for your users, we can break it down into three key things:

Site Structure Is Important for UX

The structure you choose has a direct impact on your website’s usability, and this means making it easier for users to find the products, services, or information that they’re looking for.

The easier it is for someone to find what they landed on your site for, the higher the chance that they’ll become a client or customer. 

A Good Site Structure Makes It Easier to Navigate

When you carefully plan out your site’s structure to help users find what they want as easily as possible, you’re making it easier to navigate.

Since one of the key functions of content on a website is to help push prospects through your sales funnel, it makes sense that you’d want to make it as simple as possible for a user to flow through the sales funnel by improving your navigation.

A Good Site Structure Groups Content and Makes Pages Easy to Reach in As Few Clicks As Possible

No one wants to spend an age looking for the content that they’re after. A good site structure makes it easier to find pages and posts in as few clicks as possible, keeping users engaged and stopping them from bouncing. 

Site Structure for Search Engines

While a good site structure is important for presenting a great user experience, it’s also a key part of achieving SEO success.

Structure your site in the right way, and it’s easier for the search engines to understand and rank your content higher on the SERPs.

The key reasons why site structure matters for search engines are:

Topically Grouped Content

Topical SEO is a big deal, and your site’s structure is a key way to showcase how different pages and posts are connected.

Often referred to as topical relevance or topical authority, grouping together related content pieces helps to position you to search engines as experts in your field, showcasing that you cover a topic in great depth. 

This helps search engines understand what your website is about and give context to the keywords you should be ranking for. 

Highlight Your Most Important Content

The right site structure helps you highlight your most important pages (often called pillar pages or hub pages) and position them as the pages that should rank for competitive, high volume keywords (think generic terms).

A Good Structure Makes Your Site Easier to Crawl and Find New Pages Faster

A good site structure makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site and find new pages (and changes to existing pages) faster.

If Google can’t crawl all of your website’s pages, it’s going to struggle to index them. However, you shouldn’t face this issue with the right structure as all content should be linked to from at least one other page.

Your Site Structure Passes Link Authority

Backlinks are a key ranking factor. To maximize the benefits from your link building strategy, you need to make sure that you’re properly distributing link authority throughout your site.

To earn high-quality backlinks, you want to have different pages answering different questions. This way, you have several pages across your domain that are beneficial to users. You’re able to acquire more relevant, quality backlinks this way, too.

The right site structure helps you to do this effectively. 

Helps to Prevent Keyword Cannibalization

Keyword cannibalization can prevent your site from ranking as well as it could when two or more pages that have the same intent compete with one another. The right site structure can make it easier to stop this issue from occurring due to a clearly defined place on your site for a particular topic or piece of content. 

What Does a Good Site Structure Look Like?

We’ve already defined that a good site structure should:

  • Group topically related content together
  • Highlight your most important pages
  • Keep content simple and organized in a logical hierarchy

Before we dive into how to define your website structure, here’s what a well-organized structure looks like:

See how content is grouped around key pages that come off from the site’s homepage? Content is placed in a logical hierarchy, and it’s clear to see how this could easily be expanded as the site grows. 

This site architecture is based around what is known as topic clusters, and we’ll give a quick breakdown of the strategy:

Topic clusters are a group of content that revolves around a central topic and use a pillar page to link to and from. In short, topic clusters are centered around a single topic and offer multiple internal linking opportunities to keep readers on your site. 

They’re an effective approach to structuring your site, helping you group topically related content together and putting in place a solid internal linking structure. Here’s an example topic cluster with a pillar page:

Using topic clusters helps you showcase topical authority, which is vital for earning top rankings on the SERPs. 

How to Define a Site Structure That Works

Ready to plan out a site structure that works great both for your users and search engines? Here’s a step-by-step guide to defining your website structure: – Read more

How To Generate Leads on Social Media: A Step-By-Step Guide

Want to generate leads for your business on social media?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, we’re going to talk about why social media is one of the best places for generating leads, and then we’ll give you a step-by-step plan for executing your social media lead-gen strategy.

(It’s not as difficult as you might think)

Onward!

The Undeniable Power of Social Media for Lead Generation

By far the most constant challenge that marketers mentioned (61%) in a HubSpot survey was “generating traffic and leads”, followed by “proving the ROI of our marketing activities” and “securing enough budget”.

statistics on traffic generation challenge

There’s no denying it.

Getting people to pay attention is a challenge.

Getting the right people to pay attention is even more difficult.

And while social media isn’t an end-all solution to that common problem, it is one of the best places to generate leads… if you know how to do it.

After all, social media is host to billions of users.

In the U.S. alone (which has 328 million people), there are about 223 million social media users.

statistics on USA social media users

The good news, then, is that your target market is almost certainly on social media…

… because darn-near everyone is on social media.

But lest you think that those numbers represent empty lead-gen potential, consider this brief compilation of statistics…

lead generation percentage from different social media

So it’s not a question of whether your business can generate leads on social media or not, it’s a question of how you can generate leads on social media… systematically so that you don’t have to rely on random bursts of motivation or creativity.

That’s what we’re going to talk about next.

Here our 5-step process for systematically generating leads on social media.

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Step 1. Choose Your Platform(s)

Most people talk about social media marketing as if it’s one thing.

But that’s not really true.

There are a lot of different social platforms where you could generate leads for your business.

Which platform should you choose?

Well, each platform attracts a different audience, encourages a different style of content, and ultimately, is good for generating different types of leads.

If you’re marketing for a B2B business, then LinkedIn is the king of lead-gen.

linkedin twitter and facebook lead generation statistics

If you’re marketing for a B2C business, then you might consider generating leads on Facebook and Instagram (the most general of the social media platforms) — those would also work for a B2B business.

facebook user statistics

Pinterest, on the other hand, is ideal if you’re targeting women…

age and gender based pinterest user statistics

…in the following niches…

women user activity statistics on pinterest

Twitter, like Facebook, is a bit of a generalist platform and would work for most types of lead-gen strategies.

gender age and location based twitter user statistics

TikTok is new to the social media landscape but has had viral growth over the last year. Its platform is made up mostly of young people. However, since TikTok is seeing such massive success, advertising on the platform is a bit more expensive than some other social media channels.

statistics on US tiktok user based on age and income

Which platform or platforms are you going to use for your lead-gen strategy?

The answer depends on the type of business you’re trying to promote.

Choose the platform that will get you in front of your target market most consistently.

And be honest about your bandwidth — if you don’t have time to manage content creation for multiple platforms, then just start with one.

You can always add more to the mix later.

Step 2. Create Your Lead-Gen Sales Funnel

Anyone could use social media to generate a few leads here and there…

But that’s not what we’re after.

We need to build a system for generating leads over the long-term. One that is easy to manage and gets real results with the least amount of maintenance possible.

That’s where your sales funnel comes in.

What’s a sales funnel?

Don’t get overwhelmed — it’s just a series of pages that are crafted to systematically guide each visitor toward taking the action you want them to take… in this case, becoming a lead.

So while we call it a “sales funnel”, it’s more of a lead-gen funnel. 😉

This is what we specialize in here at ClickFunnels.

The real beauty of a sales funnel is that, once it’s built, all you have to do is drive traffic from, say, social media, to the first page of your sales funnel.

So long as your funnel is built to convert (we’ll help you with that in a moment), then you’ll generate leads on autopilot so long as you keep driving traffic!

We recommend building either a Squeeze Page Funnel or an Application Funnel (if you need more detailed info from your leads). – Read more

Lessons Learned in Automated Bidding for PPC

Automated bidding, dear reader, is here to stay whether you’ve been embracing it with arms wide open or neglecting it like the Dursleys neglected Harry P.

I started in this industry right around the same time automation was just starting to be rolled out, much less considered as a viable strategy for improved performance!

Enhanced Cost Per Click (ECPC) bidding was the first automated bid strategy I remember Google debuting and, in hindsight, it really was a brilliant way to start to get us Digital Strategists/Account Managers to start slowly, very slowly, getting comfortable with automation.

Why The Slow Adoption?

As with most things, there are the innovators, early adopters, and late adopters. I’ve often believed that it’s most advantageous to be in the innovator/early adopter groups if for no other reason than to have a type of first-mover advantage. I think this is less true with automated bidding, compared to things like RSAs, however, the general adoption curve still holds true. And that’s the thing about the adoption curve – sooner or later we all adopt the new tech/process. Automated bidding is no exception.

early adopters chart

I think the one thing that most of us struggled with when it came to adopting automation was relinquishing control. To embrace automation meant letting go of much of what we had been taught/previously found successes in. A peer of mine, Dani Gonzales, discusses that idea in more depth in her blog, “A Guide For Letting Go of Outdated Google Search Best Practices”.

How to Make it Work

Automated bidding is inherently different from manual bidding in the sense that the bidding algorithm can actually learn over time and make gradual improvements. “How does automated bidding learn to make those improvements?” you ask? Simply put, the bidding algorithm, over time, takes all the data points we’re feeding into it and learns to recognize patterns. Those patterns allow the bidding algorithm to recognize patterns that lead to success (like a conversion) or patterns that lead to failure (a non-converting click).

With that said, this means that in order to find success with automated bidding, we have to structure our accounts in ways that would maximize the amount of data going into a single bidding strategy. As per Dani’s post, gone are the days of hyper-segmentation of our account structures. The goal being to maximize the number of impressions or clicks/ad groups. In doing so, we allow the automated bidding process to learn as quickly as possible.

Attempting to make use of automated bidding while still adhering to the best practices of yesteryear is likely a reason why you may have yet to have found success with automated bidding. I certainly didn’t find automated bidding to be successful right off the bat but through trial and error I’ve found that automated bidding is able to not only outperform manual bidding but it also saves you a lot of time. Time that is better spent strategizing than manually changing bids once a week.

The key here is consolidation. Consolidate your campaigns/ad groups as much as you can and, if possible, segment those new campaigns or ad groups by intent or business objective, rather than match type. – Read more

The Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up a Blog

Did you know that there are more than 600 million blogs on the internet, and that 77% of web-surfers read blogs regularly?

Blogging has exploded since its humble beginnings in the 1990s, and many people today interact with blogs frequently if not daily.

By setting up a blog, you have the opportunity to make meaningful connections with other people, whether you want to share your recipes, talk about your lifestyle, or sell products and services. Whatever the topic, blogging serves as an outlet that can even become profitable.

But before you see dollar signs, you’ll need to set up a blog, which involves choosing a content management system (CMS), deciding on themes and color schemes, and reaching your target audience.

This guide will help you navigate the process of setting up a blog successfully across various platforms.

But before you set up a blog, you’ll need to choose a CMS. Let’s dive into that, first.

How to Choose a CMS

You can’t have a blog without a CMS, or a content management system. As the name suggests, this is a system that manages your content. While you could certainly build a blog from scratch with savvy coding skills, a CMS does the hard work for you.

This software makes it nearly effortless to switch up your blog’s font styles, colors, and overall theme. It also means you can generate content much easier, simply clicking a few buttons to add photos and videos.

All of these seemingly simple actions can be difficult to implement through HTML and CSS coding, which is why many bloggers opt to use a CMS. This way, you can dive right into making great content.

When you’re looking at different CMS platforms, there are a few things to consider.

  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Price
  • Customization
  • Support
  • Extensions
  • Security
  • Marketing Capabilities

Let’s dive into each element to help you decide what you need in a CMS.

1. User-Friendly Interface

The point of choosing a CMS is to make creating your blog easier for you. If you find it difficult to navigate the dashboard or the text editor, blogging will just like a chore.

Look for a CMS with drag-and-drop capabilities, and unless you have top-notch developer skills, steer clear of anything that requires heavy coding.

2. Price

As we’ll cover below, it is completely possible to start a blog for free. But if you are looking for more robust features, you’ll need to consider your budget.

If you are looking at paid platforms, consider what you get with each CMS for the price, and double-check for hidden fees.

3. Customization

You want your blog to look and perform how you’ve envisioned it, so make sure your CMS allows for customization through different themes and templates that can also be adjusted as you see fit.

For example, with Ceros, you can completely customize every element of the content you publish without adding a single line of code.

4. Support

If your blog glitches while you’re writing an important post, you’ll want to be able to get help right when you need it.

CMS support ranges widely — you might only find a digital handbook or FAQ page full of common issues and fixes with no number or live chat to reach for urgent matters.

Or the platform could only have an email or number available during standard office hours, Monday through Friday. Meanwhile, some CMS platforms have extensive support options, including agents available 24/7.

If you don’t have experience working with CMS systems and want access to hands-on support, take this into consideration when comparing platforms.

5. Extensions

One of the most helpful features for CMS platforms is the ability to work with third-party extensions or plugins, which add even more functionality to your blog.

There are extensions for nearly everything you could think of, so whether you want help with search engine optimization (SEO) or the ability to create galleries or social media feeds on your blog, extensions and plugins can help you do so. If your CMS isn’t compatible with most of these applications, your blog could suffer. – Read more

Subdomain vs. Subdirectory: Which Is Better for SEO?

One of the biggest ‘arguments’ in SEO is the subdomain vs. subdirectory debate. 

Which is better for SEO? Does it actually make a difference? If a blog is hosted on a subdomain, should you migrate it into a subdirectory? What’s Google’s stance on this?

These are just a few of the many questions commonly asked in the SEO community on social media, often met with differing responses.

And in this guide, we want to clarify the confusion and help settle the debate about ‘subdomain vs. subdirectory.’ We’ll dive deep into the technical SEO considerations that you need to take and outline the instances when they make the most sense to use.
Specifically, we’ll look at:

Understanding Subdomains and Subdirectories

Before we look at which is best for SEO, let’s first take a quick look at the technical difference between subdomains and subdirectories.

Subdomain: blog.yourdomain.com
Subdirectory: yourdomain.com/blog/ 

Essentially, a subdomain is a child of the parent domain, and they are sometimes used for hosting:

  • Blogs
  • ecommerce stores (when these are part of a larger site)
  • Internationalization (different websites to target different markets)
  • Separate mobile sites
  • Quote forms 

Notice that in the subdirectory (also known as a subfolder) example, the /blog/ sits within the main domain. It’s part of the main yourdomain.com website in the same way that any other page would be. For all intents and purposes, this is just another page on this website.

But a subdomain sits outside of the main domain; it sits within its own partition of the domain. In this example, it’s being used to host a blog.

A subdomain will always sit before the root domain when looking at a URL, whereas a subdirectory will always sit after.

If you’re currently not sure how many subdomains your site is using, or if it’s using any at all, you can use the Semrush Site Audit Tool to view your site’s structure, including any subdomains:

Just make sure when setting up the tool that ‘including all subdomains’ is selected for the crawl scope.

Why is there such a significant debate in the SEO community between subdomains and subdirectories? And is one better than the other when it comes to ranking on the SERPS?

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Giving Context to the Debate

Let’s clear one thing up; your website’s structure significantly impacts your organic search performance. 

The choice between a subdomain or a subdirectory for certain areas of your site can help or hinder your ability to drive growth. But similarly, there are instances when it does make sense to host part of your site on a subdomain.

This is very much an ‘it depends’ scenario. It’s important that you understand the different use scenarios and how they can impact your site’s organic performance. 

So then, where does the confusion come from?

This debate is sparked by the fact that Google treats subdomains as separate entities to your main domain, largely because some websites place different content on subdomains that shouldn’t really be associated with the main site. Or in some instances, those subdomains of the main domain are controlled by different people. – Read more

Email Lead Generation: 6 Techniques To Get More Leads Fast

It’s not really up for debate.

Email is the single best platform for generating leads, nurturing customers, and making consistent sales.

I know… THE best? Really?

That’s a big claim.

But it’s backed by some big data.

According to Email Mastery, email has an ROI that pays back $40 for every $1 spent. Compare that to other marketing channels, like SEO, display ads, catalogs, keyword ads, etc…

return on investment statistics on different digital promotional channels

The winner is pretty clear.

But that’s not the only evidence of email marketing’s prowess.

More than half of people check email in the morning before they even check text messages, phone calls, or social media. And in 2019, there were 3.9 billion active email users, compared to just 1 billion Instagram users or 330 million Twitter users.

More importantly, email is a marketing channel that you own.

You can message them whenever you want, as often as you want, and you can direct them to any landing page you want.

different types of traffic illustration

In fact, many email marketers believe strongly in the $1-per-subscriber rule, which states that you can make an average of about $1 per subscriber per month.

Growing your email list, then, should be a top priority.

But how do you generate email leads consistently?

Well, doing so is actually pretty systematic (it doesn’t require much creativity). You can just follow the below techniques.

But first, let’s take a look at some inspiring examples of effective email lead generation.

3 Inspiring Examples of Effective Email Lead Generation

We can talk about how to generate email leads until we’re blue in the face.

But until we look at real examples, it’s all just hypothetical 🙂

So I reached out to a few friends with awesome email lead-gen strategies, took screenshots of their landing pages, and asked them to share their conversion rates.

(They did!)

To start, let’s take a look at one of our most successful ClickFunnels webinars of the last 12 months.

(We love using webinars to generate leads!)

lead capturing landing page screenshot

With this webinar, we’re attracting email leads with a simple promise — to reveal the biggest differences between the 1% of ClickFunnels members who’ve joined our Two Comma Club and the 99% who haven’t.

Naturally, that’s appealing to online entrepreneurs.

And the conversion rate speaks for itself, averaging 30% over the last 12 months.

landing page opt in and pageview statistics

In fact, we didn’t run the variation you see in the above screenshot for very long because it only had a 10.87% conversion rate.

Here’s what the variation looked like…

lead capturing landing page screenshot

What’s the difference?

Well, the only significant difference is that we added a countdown timer to the higher-performing page.

Pretty crazy that a bit of urgency can increase the conversion rate from 10% to 30%, huh?

But webinars aren’t the only way to generate email leads.

Jacob McMillen, a freelance writing coach, offers a free course as his “bribe to subscribe”.

jacob mcmillan's site homepage screenshot

And he’s getting a conversion rate of 5.69%, which is solid for a website homepage. In fact, this page has had more than 41,000 visitors (mostly through SEO) and converted 2,345 of those into email subscribers.

email subscription and conversion statistics

The more lead magnets you examine, the more you’ll realize that the most successful ones offer to solve the target market’s most immediate problem… for free.

In the ClickFunnels example, that’s giving ambitious entrepreneurs a proven blueprint to growing a 7-figure business.

For Jacob McMillen, that means giving his audience a free crash course to grow their freelancing business to $15,000 per month.

And for Email Mastery, it’s offering marketers a free 7-day course to master email marketing. – Read more

HTML Sitemap: The Benefits for SEO and Users

Well-executed technical SEO means making your website crawlable. An HTML sitemap is the key to success. Search engines read your sitemap and use it to crawl your site — meaning they send a bot to the webpage to “read” it. Google bot and other search engine crawlers then determine what’s on that page.

This is the first step in getting your page to show up in search results. Basically, the HTML sitemap helps search engines categorize your website, making it more accessible for search engines and humans alike. Below, we explain just what a sitemap is and how to create one.

What Is an HTML Sitemap?

An HTML sitemap is a file that lists all the important pages of your website that you want search engines like Google and Bing to index. Indexing refers to how search engines gather your landing pages and store them in their database. The search engine refers to this database to respond to user search engine queries. If a homepage is not indexed, it can’t be found and won’t rank in search engine results.

The sitemap doesn’t just list the pages on your website. It also contains information about each page, such as when it was created and last updated and its significance relative to the website’s other pages. Creating a sitemap is a critical first SEO step for new websites. However, even if you have an older website, it’s worth making a sitemap.

Google recommends sitemaps for large websites of more than 500 pages, but most experts agree it’s worth establishing a sitemap as soon as you create a website.

Why? Your website isn’t stagnant. It’s constantly evolving. For example, if you have a blog, you’re probably adding new pages every week. As you add pages, having a sitemap will make it easier for search engine robots to find and categorize those pages.

HTML Sitemap vs. XML Sitemap: What Is the Difference?

There are two main types of sitemaps: HTML and XML. Hypertext markup language (HTML) and extensible markup language (XML) are two coding languages used to create webpages.

When it comes to sitemaps, the main difference is that HTML sitemaps focus on making the website more user-friendly for humans, while XML sitemaps are written solely for search engine spiders (crawlers).

Benefits of an HTML Sitemap

Given that search engine spiders prioritize XML sitemaps for fast crawling, you might wonder why you should bother with an HTML sitemap. After all, the spiders are what determine how and if the page is indexed and ranked.

However, don’t forget that Google also factors in user experience when ranking websites. By showing the search engine giant an HTML sitemap, you demonstrate your website’s user-friendly functionality.

Aside from making your website more user-friendly and improving its SEO ranking, an HTML sitemap has other benefits:

  • Organize large websites: The sitemap essentially serves as a directory for all webpages, allowing users to quickly find what they’re looking for.
  • Make it easier for search engines to categorize your content: To properly rank your content, search engines need to know what it’s about.
  • Easily add new content to dynamic sites: Sitemaps are critical for websites that change frequently. When you add a page, a look at your sitemap tells you where it logically fits.
  • Find internal linking opportunities: Your sitemap also allows you to quickly identify internal links, which are also critical to improving SEO.
  • Identify areas to improve site navigation: You can also use your sitemap to see how you can improve your website’s overall navigation. This can be handy if you have an older site with a lot of archived content that isn’t well organized.

Get a Technical SEO Audit of Your Site

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How Do I Make an HTML Sitemap?

Talk of a markup language like HTML might make you think, “I’m not a coder!” and immediately write off the possibility of creating an HTML sitemap. However, it’s very easy to create a sitemap, and you don’t have to be a coding whiz. There are two ways to make a sitemap: using a CMS plug-in or manually.

Whichever route you choose, once your sitemap is complete, submit your sitemap to Google Search Console for indexing. Input your domain and verify ownership, as directed by Google.

You can then access a search console dashboard. On the left-hand side, you’ll find a “Crawl” section. Click on “Sitemaps” and “Add/Test Sitemap.” The tool will flag any errors.

Once these are fixed, click submit, and Google will ensure your website is indexed.

Use a Plug-In With Your CMS

You can use a plug-in for your website’s content management system (CMS) to create a sitemap. If you use WordPress, download the Hierarchical HTML Sitemap plug-in or Sitemap plug-in.

Create a new page for your website labeled “Sitemap.” Then, follow the plug-in instructions to add the HTML shortcode to the page. Publish when you’re done.

There are different plug-ins for other CMSs, like Joomla (e.g., JSitemap) and Drupal (e.g., Site map module).

Add a New Page Manually

If your site is smaller (100 pages or fewer), you can create a sitemap manually. Make a list of all the links on your website and organize them according to pages and subpages. You can also use the sitemap generator XML-Sitemaps.com.

What Does an HTML Sitemap Look Like?

Are you still confused about sitemaps? Seeing an example of one can clarify matters. Here is a peek at the sitemap for Target Careers: – Read more