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8 Best Shopify Apps to Boost Your Shopify eCommerce Store ROI

Shopify is one of the most popular and easy to use eCommerce platform and if integrated properly, it can boost your eCommerce sales at large extant. There are thousands of Shopify apps available on their official portal which is recommended to use with your store. In this article, we will be discussing about those app which you can use to optimize your eCommerce store for better performance.

If you recently launched your store at Shopify or looking to boost your sales quickly, this article is for you. Here you will learn about how to integrate Shopify apps to improve the performance of your eCommerce store quickly. Before I share the apps, lets see some interesting facts about Shopify.

It is one of the fastest and easiest way to set up an online store and has convinced thousands of businesses across the globe to use its services. As per builtwith statistics, there are more than 26,15,389 Shopify merchants as of today and out of them 10,53,433 are live websites at the moment. Interestingly, Shopify crossed 1 billion in revenues in the year of 2018 and the total revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018 was $343.9 million, a 54% increase from the comparable quarter in 2017. You can do the estimation! Another important thing to note here would be that Shopify merchants are present across 150 countries, making it the most popular shopping solution.

All of this being said, being able to sell is quite different that being able to come up with your online shop. However, Shopify again comes to the help, with more than 2000 useful apps that makes your ecommerce venture more productive. As more and more standalone ecommerce solutions are becoming the game changer in online marketing, Shopify has been able to customize quite a few of them to be easily integrated into your shopping website. They range from email marketing (MailChimp), accounting tools (QuickBooks Online) to CRM and Salesforce related tool. Cloud ready, intelligently designed, cost effective and portable, these apps will be able to bring together clients, customers and the business on an operational level. App integration with Shopify is a simple process, saves a lot of time, eliminates data duplicates/related errors, offers smarter insights, makes apps customizable, and makes selling smarter.

Here are 8 such Shopify apps become widely popular among Shopify users in the recent months:

Best Shopify Apps

#1 Google Shopping Feed

Google shopping feed shopify app

Google shopping ads can be your best source of traffic once you launch an ecommerce store. Shopify is offering their own shopping feed app but if you are looking to optimize the shopping ads campaign in Google ads, this shopify app has lot more features to offer.

The developers of this shopify app has worked with over 150 plus store and based on their vast experience, they developed this app to solve all different problems associated with shopping feeds and Google ads campaign creation. Some of the most interesting features are:

  • You can submit all product variations
  • It can instantly sync with Google merchant center
  • Allow you to optimize shopping feed products title and descriptions
  • You can create promotion feed for all or a specific product from this app
  • The interface is very easy to use

I personally liked this app because of their support! yes, their support is very prompt and their team is having very good knowledge of Google shopping ads. They will not only help you to fix feed related issues but also will help you to optimize the Google shopping ads campaign.

#2 SEO Image Optimizer

seo-image-optimizer-shopify-app

Developed by Booster Apps, SEO Image Optimizer for Shopify is an all time favorite with more than 4000 reviews and nearly 1 million images processed with it. Using this app, sellers can turn their product images into SEO marketing tools and expect an improved rank in Google SERP. The app gets installed in just 30 seconds and will require zero coding knowledge.

Developer Booster Apps

Reviews & Ratings 4300+ Reviews (5 Star Ratings)

Price Free Forever

#3 Free Shipping Bar

free-shipping-bar

Shipping fee has always been a surprise for most online consumers and this is also where most shopping carts are abandoned. This app integration is however targeted to increase you overall order values and thereby boost sales. The ‘free shipping’ bar featuring on your product page will allow customers to gain more confidence and according to latest reports, free shipping enhances online purchases by more than 88%. The “Free Shipping Bar” is completely customizable and can display several kinds of messages including “free shipping above $50” or “Free shipping across Canada”. The app is completely optimized and also helps in geo targeting.

Developer Hextom

Reviews & Ratings 8800+ Reviews (5 Star Ratings)

Price From $0.00 / month

#4 Sweet Tooth Loyalty Program

loyalty-program-shopify-app

The concept of loyalty program is about offering special rewards (discounts and cash backs) to regular customers. Sweet Tooth Loyalty Program app will add points with every buy that a customer makes and allow it to be redeemed against free products. This will also more likely encourage repeat purchases. You can customize the loyalty points for purchases made, referrals done, social shares by customers, new account registration, birthday bonuses, social follows, and other types of weekly rewards.

Developer Sweet Tooth

Reviews & Ratings 3300+ Reviews (5 Star Ratings)

Price From $0.00 / month

#6 Plug in SEO

plug-in-seo-shopify-app

If your ecommerce store is having problems and issues with search engine optimization, Plug in SEO would be an app worth trying. On installation, the app will check your SEO performance, analyze SEO data and offer suggestions for improvement. This will include issues with page titles, product headings, Meta descriptions, structure of blog posts, uniqueness of content, loading speed, image optimization and much more. The instruction for improvements is also followed by code snippets that can be integrated into your Shopify admin to power up your SEO.

Developer Plug in Useful

Reviews & Ratings – 2000+ Reviews (4.7 Star Ratings)

Price From $0.00 / month

#7 Upsell on Exit & Visit

upsell-exit-shopify-app

A last minute special offer will always ensure that a shopping cart is not abandoned and the customer will come back for a repeat purchase. The same applies when a potential customer is visiting an online shopping platform for the first time. Using pop-ups, this Upsell on Exit & Visit will display coupons for free shipping, special discounts, special prices, added gifts and other informational / promotional messages. Upselling strategies like this have been helping several Shopify businesses reach maximum revenue targets from their eCommerce Store. The app comes with an insightful editor and can be thoroughly customized. Embedded code snippets will ensure that the cart is calculated automatically.

Developer SpurIT

Reviews & Ratings – 500+ Reviews (5 Star Ratings)

Price From $0.00 / month

#8 Email Collection Bar by Hextom

email-collection-bar-shopify-app

Email marketing is a crucial means of lead generation of any online sellers. The bigger the subscription base, the more leads can a business hope to generate through special emails and promotional campaigns. Well, Email Collection Bar app comes up with an email collection banner and visitors can expect discount coupons on providing a valid email address. The email is automatically synced with your MailChimp / Klaviyo / Soundest database and you also have an option of exporting it to a CSV file. The app also offers advanced geo targeting and you can choose to set bars for visitors from specific countries. Sellers can hope to integrate this app with zero coding knowledge and seek unlimited number of impressions.

Developer Hextom

Reviews & Ratings – 500+ Reviews (5 Star Ratings)

Price From $0.00 / month

#8 Better Coupon Box [Not Working]

better-coupon-box-shopify-app

Statistics suggest that 50% of visitors to an ecommerce store are likely to switch to a different portal if they don’t see something exclusive. Using Better Coupon Box, you can tackle this challenge by offering special coupon pop-ups in exchange of voluntary marketing like social shares, likes, subscriptions and others. This way, you not only increase your conversion rate but also your fan base on social platforms.

Developer Beeketing

Reviews & Ratings 1700+ Reviews (5 Star Ratings)

Price From $0.00 / month

It is important to understand that the needs of each online business are specific and there will be some apps that provide more value than others. It is necessary that online sellers understand the areas they are lacking in and the ones that can offer more potential in branding, marketing, sales and SEO. Consequently, the right choices can be made. While none of the above apps require coding knowledge, it will also be advisable to consult your developer for the best results.

10 Mistakes to Avoid While Managing Google Ads Account

You allotted a decent budget to promote your business through Google ads and not getting desired sales. Are you not happy with the Google adwords performance? Does your paid marketing campaigns are not giving desired sales? Are you planning to stop using Adwords?

Wait! Before you stop using Google ads, checkout this article. It may happen that your team committing few common mistakes in managing Google adwords account. Here it is very important for you to learn about possible reason behind this poor performance? Therefore to avoid the common Adwords mistakes, it is necessary to take care of the following blunders and to avoid them in the future:

#1 Not doing proper research:

Doing a proper research is the key before you start any paid marketing campaign. The most important and the basic first step for Adwords advertiser is to understand the market. Research can be done by reading tips on industry blogs like Search Engine Land, Google Ads official blog or by talking to others who have advertised on Google Ads. If possible read Google AdWords blog daily and keep your self updated with latest AdWords update & features. It will give you better idea to experiment new things in various client accounts.

Here fundamental understanding of your market and the Google adwords features is highly recommended. It will give you better understanding of your target audiences and the type of ads you should run. So, start doing your research and understand the tool before you start promoting your business via Google adwords.

Pro Tip:

If you are an eCommerce business and looking to generate sales, you need to study Google shopping ads. They not only giving best conversion rate but also can reduce your ads spend as compare to search ads. Here is an example of how Google shopping ads display your advertisement on Google search result.

Google shopping ads example

#2 Not using the right Keywords and Keywords Match Type:

Keywords research is the heart and soul of a Google Ads campaign, especially for the search ads. Thus it is beneficial to correctly judge your keywords before putting them into the campaign. The keywords should be such that they bring conversions and not just clicks. It is important to ensure that you understand your campaign type whether product or content to manage the set of keywords.

keyword-match-types

Break your keywords into small sets and use the right keyword match types combination (broad match, phrase match, or exact match) to optimize your campaign. But of course, this strategy would depend on what you want, traffic, impressions or conversion.

Don’t forget to add negative keywords list which includes terms you “do not” want to respond to, so as to save a lot of costs. In Google AdWords Negative keywords are most important factor as it saves lots of cost and will not show your ad on particular keywords. Here is one such example of the importance of negative keywords.

bad-ppc-agency

In every AdWords campaign there is common set of negative keywords which needs to include while creating any new campaign. You also need to identify that which negative keywords will come at AdGroup and Campaign level.

#3 Ad Copy – Not using multiple ad copies:

If you are creating one or two search or display ad copies, it is wrong practice. Testing advertisement copy is very crucial part while running a paid ads. It is the most compelling reason people click your advertisement and and hence, better ad copy can improve CTR. An ideal ad copy consists of a headline, your keywords and a persuasive call to action. It is wise to test your copy by trying two or three variants to find out what works best. You need to find out what actually will get you conversions thus it is wise idea to test different variations of everything.

You should finally choose a copy that gets you the highest click-through and conversion rate, or the lowest cost per acquisition. It is thus extremely sensible to trust numbers before making a final choice of copy. Here, you also need to understand the importance of AdWords Ad Extensions. Sitelink, Call out, Structured snippet, ratings and location extensions are the most common extensions that every AdWords users use in their campaigns. This extensions often increases CTR, Conversions, Clicks and Converion Rate so use them wisely.

adwords-ad-format

In above ad copy you will find the maximum use of Ad Extensions which drives some useful information for the users hence the chances of clicks and conversions are high.

If the holiday sales are near by than you should set up your campaigns before one month with various ad copies. After setting up the campaigns within 1 or 2 weeks you will come to know that which kind of ad copies are working well for holiday campaigns and on the bases of that you can make necessary changes in it.

#4 Not knowing your customers Life Time Value:

Calculating the LTV for your customers is an integral part of your research to understand how much you can spend on Adwords per acquisition. By calculating this value you can decide how much to spend on your campaign. The Life time value should not be lower than the cost per customer for your campaign especially for an ecommerce business. If your customer stays with you longer that eventually the initial cost may be sensible. Kissmetrics blog provided detailed calculation of Life Time Value represented in Infographic on their blog.

#5 Not understanding the Adwords advance features:

Although the basic campaign set-up is easy yet they require various small setting to make it run better. It is up to you to educate yourself about the use of those features so as to get more results for the same money. Some of the helpful options are AdGroups, Ad targeting, Match types, Keyword insertion and Ad Extensions.

I strongly recommend keep reviewing new and advance features announced by Google Adwords team. They are really working hard to offer best Adwords features that can maximize your business using their tool.

#6 Not using Google Analytics with Adwords:

One of the most powerful marketing tools, Google Analytics is there for you at no extra cost. Connecting your AdWords conversion tracking to your Google Analytics can help you see all kinds of data that your campaign is generating. Google Analytics provides you the product performance report specially for ecommerce business which helps them to make AdWords strategies for particular products or product category.

Google AdWords blog also explained earlier that combining Google AdWords & Analytics can open huge opportunity for advertisers to achieve their goals.

Please note that, this is not a mandatory to use but if implemented properly, you can have a better data to understand customer’s behavior. This can directly impact your marketing strategy and can improve overall performance for sure.

#7 Not directing the Traffic to the category or highly relevant page:

The unique landing pages help the searcher connect easily with the information they seek, and this is much convenient for them rather than landing on your homepage where they have to struggle with finding what they came to your site for.

For an ecommerce site, it is a good idea to send people directly to the product page, bypassing the homepage and the category pages.

There is one added advantage of landing them on highly targeted page is to have a better Quality Score! Google adrank is defined based on your Quality score + bidding and having better QS can result in lower CPC.

#8 Not Testing the Optimal Ad Position for branding:

Positioning is important if your goal is to improve branding. It is obvious that the first few search results get more clicks and if getting clicks is your goal then do ensure you are on the top of the page but if your goal is conversion then your ad content will work for you.

One more important factor of branding in AdWords is that you shouldn’t ignore your own brand while running the campaigns. Yes, you need to run Ads on your own brand keywords. If your business is slowly achieving the goals and people come to know about your business after some time than they will directly search on Google by your business name. But, if you are not running ads on your brand keywords and some competitor grabs this opportunity than you will loose huge business.

buffer-vs-hootsuiteSo, don’t make this mistakes while running AdWords account and make sure your first campaign will be your brand campaign.

#9 Not knowing your competitors:

When you know who are you competing against and what ads are they using you are well equipped to build a strategy for yourself.  It is important to know your competitors keywords and their landing pages to modify yours.

kohls-competitor

If you want to sustain in the market and keep improving your business than you must focus on competitors. Above report is fetched from ispionage which gives detailed report of your competitor like how much they are spending, which ppc keywords they are using and many more. Even in Google AdWords you can check Auction Insights report where you will find how other advertisers participating in the same shopping auctions. It gives you valuable insights for your Google ads account.

#10 For eCommerce – Avoiding Shopping Ads is a biggest mistake:

If you are an eCommerce brand and not running a Shopping ads, you are loosing great business opportunity. Shopping ads has a great importance for an eCommerce and this case study is a great example of it.

As explained in first section, you will have a great benefits of using shopping ads:

  • Only eCommerce portal can run shopping ads (less competition)
  • Your ad will appear with product image / ratings / price and other additional information. This can give you added advantage over search ads.
  • You can use various promotions (through Google merchant center, you can run promotion that will be displayed under your product ads). Better way to increase CTR.

Apart from this, there are various benefits of using Google shopping ads which is already explained in given article.

Over to you:

Just check the given mistakes and review your Google ads account to see whether your team is making these mistakes? These are very basic points but can really save your money and can improve the performance of your adwords account.

If you still need any help, feel free to contact us here by comment or through our contact us page. I will get back to you within 24 hours.

How to Use Micro Moments to Double Your Sales from any (Nearly) Business – eCommerce, Local or Online

Google serve over trillions of search queries every year and out of them over 15% are new search queries they never received before. Day by day the way consumers behave in the digital world is going through a huge change. Especially with more internet searches now taking place on smartphones than desktop or other devices, more shopping searches being conducted from mobile and more local search queries being conducted on the go than ever before. That is why the worldwide ad spends for mobiles have also been immensely increased.

While working with big ecommerce brands, I have seen this swift very closely, especially in last two years. Research says, “We estimate global expenditure on mobile advertising at US$107 billion in 2017, representing 52.6% of internet expenditure and 19.8% of total advertising expenditure (this total excludes a few markets where we don’t have a breakdown by medium). By 2020 we forecast mobile advertising to have grown to US$180 billion, nearly double desktop’s US$94 billion total, having overtaken desktop in 2017. Mobile will account for 65.6% of internet expenditure and 29.3% of all expenditure in 2020 – more than all the traditional media except television put together”. This reflects the amazingly rapid growth of ecommerce marketing on mobile which has brought a revolution among the advertisers and the consumers.

mobile internet growth

It has been noticed that consumers make decisions according to mobile content that serves the appropriate purpose at the appropriate moment. Content, hence, should be addressed to users intentions and accessible everywhere – throughout different device types, various platforms, and varied channels. And in this context, the importance of micro moments comes.

Are you thinking what micro moments are? Well, in this post, that is exactly what I am going to discuss today. After going through today’s post, you will come to know how ecommerce business is dependent on micro moments and in which way these moments can change the game of sponsored advertising. If you really understand these micro moments of your prospect customers, you can definitely increase the sales through your eCommerce website.

Micro Moments - The Game Changer in Online Business World

What is Micro Moments?

Google has nicely classified the Micro Moments which is an intent-rich moments, occur when people turn to a device, especially a smartphone, to act on a need – to know, do, buy, or go. This is a unique way to influence consumers or to get more customers which lot of marketers are still unaware of or don’t leverage it.

Micro MomentsLet me tell you more elaborately what these Micro Moments are:

  • “I want to know” moments – These occur when people research or explore something, but are not really in buying mode.

For example, after adopting an Abyssinian cat, a user has started wondering “what type of food should I get for this cat?” Instead of asking somebody in the family or among friends, the user intuitively picks up the phone and types “best food for abyssinian cats”.

Here the audience is still not in buying position but He may become your customer in the future. If you are looking to expand your brand reach, you can also target “I want to know” users. Here the conversion rate will be low but you can re-target such audiences during “I want to buy” moment.

  • “I want to do” moments – These occur when people require assistance in finishing a task or trying something new.

For example, a user just finished a woodwork for decorating his or her house interior. Now the user wants to stain the wood but is not aware of its actual process. Instead of taking advice from a professional, the user turns to the smartphone and type “how to apply wood stain.” If you are working on content marketing campaign to target such audiences, building such content may result in better ROI for the longer run.

This type of audience generally seeking help but sometime they may need professional services to complete the task and you may generate more business. Building DIY guides and resourceful content promoted through the proper channel can help you to reach proper audiences in specific region.

  • “I want to go” moments – These occur when people search for the local businesses or consider purchasing something or availing a service at a nearby store.

For example, if somebody from a small town in New York wants to increase some muscle mass, the person will naturally pick up the phone and type “gym near me”. This is the best moments for the businesses operating local services. Google provides tremendous opportunity for the business to target these “I want to Go” audiences through Google adwords.

  • “I want to buy” moments – These occur when people decide to buy something and probably require help in what to buy or how to buy it.

For example, on the way back to home from the office, a user feels hungry and wants to grab a bite of pizza. But incidentally all the nearest pizza places are either too noisy to place an order or have no seats available. Instinctively the user picks up the phone and types “order dominos pizza” or “order from pizza hut”.

This micro moment can be best target for an eCommerce website where you specifically run the ads for the “I want to buy” related search queries. Here the conversion rate will be higher and you can generate better ROI too. I know that Shopping ads does not provide the facility to target keywords but you can definitely control them by optimizing shopping feed and using negative keywords list.

Hope you have understood that these acts or moments help the consumers make decisions and shape preferences. In these moments, the expectations of the consumers stay at the highest pick. Thus the marketers should be aware of the micro moments to meet the ever-changing expectations of the consumers and capitalize those moments through flawless consumer interaction.

Micro Moments - The Game Changer in Online Business World 2

What Opportunities Micro Moments Bring for an E-Commerce Marketers?

Research says across numerous major industries, the volume of online searches, especially from mobile devices, is growing year after year. For example, in the home and garden industry, mobile search volume has been increased around 45% year-on-year, whereas the year-on-year growth of mobile search volumes is around 40% in electronics and apparel sector and around 30% in food and beverage industry.

This growth certainly brings a handful of opportunities for the emarketers to communicate with their target audience, build brand loyalty, make customer relationships stronger and nurture conversations. And in all these major areas, a detailed understanding of micro moments can help immensely and can be used as a marketing resource.

If you have a brand to promote, you should turn to micro moments to uplift your brand’s search marketing performance. By being there and staying useful precisely when it is required, you can utilize micro moments as the means of elevating engagement and Return on Investment (ROI).

To be successful in this process, the marketer needs to be aware of the methods to leverage the micro moments the best possible way and what those moments actually look like for their respective brands and the customers. If you make sure that you will be able to be there, give useful answers to every customer and offer a good user experience, there is nothing that can stop you to reap the benefits.

Micro Moments - The Game Changer in Online Business World 3

How to Optimize Adwords Campaign According to Micro Moments

As we already discussed four key micro moments in first part of the article. Now you need to understand that for each moment, users search for particular piece of information. Now, let’s talk about how you can optimize your Adwords campaign and map your ad to the users’ search intents in each of those micro moments.

1. Optimize Your Ad for “Want to Know” Moments

An ideal ad that maps to the query of this kind of micro moment denotes the users that they will get the information they are looking for once after clicking the ad. Such ads can comprise product comparison charts, a click to call link for more information, user-friendly information on a landing page etc. And make sure the pages, having all the information, are mobile-friendly.

comparison between

Detailed comparison data with your competitor product will do the magic here. Representation of information is the crucial part for this type of audiences.

2. Optimize Your Ad according to “Want to Go” Moments

An ideal ad to meet the query of this type of micro moment shows local result and highlights that it can be conveniently mapped out. This micro moment can give you a competitive advantage if you make your ad local in the best possible way.

Google location map

Are you thinking what are the best ways to make your ads local? Well, there are two basic strategies that you should follow:

  • Harness the benefits of location extensions. Connect your Google AdWords account with your Google Places account to active the extensions.
  • Add the location in the ad title.
  • You can also run the call only ads

This way you can tell your users that how exactly your ad is relevant to their “I want to go” micro moments.

3. Optimize Your Ad according to “Want to Buy” Moments

If you want to optimize your ad according to this specific type of micro moment, you need to provide information that matches such queries or show to the users the ways of buying directly from their own devices, especially cellphones.

You can use Adwords shopping campaign to implement local inventory ads, providing details about your business, store, and products. Here you need to user negative keyword lists to stop appearing your ads for other type of micro moments and should focus more on “Want to buy” moments.

4. Optimize Your Ad according to “Want to Do” Moments

An ad, which matches the best with the search query of this type of moment, proffers clear-cut step-by-step directions about the ways to achieve the task a user is looking for. Make sure your ad should be informative rather than mere promotional.

One of the great formats to meet such queries is video content. However, you must ensure that your ad can take a user to a properly optimized mobile-friendly landing page with particular instructions. You can also run video ads to target this type of audiences.

Believe me, this type of ad can help you attain a certain level of goodwill with the users and introduce them to your products.

Over to you

Hope this post has given you a detailed idea about micro moments and their impact on the marketing strategies. So, what are you waiting for? Take your Adwords campaign to the next level by optimizing it according to the micro moments those are relevant to your business. If you have already started using tactics to optimize it, do share your experience with us in the comment section. We’d love to know.

How to Identify and Recover from Google Penalties

Search Engine Optimization has gone stricter after the introduction of Google Algorithms like Penguin and Panda. I have seen many bloggers and websites have seen sudden drop in traffic due to manual or algorithmic penalties by search giant Google. There are still several websites that have not been able to stand up to the new updates and are losing their credibility along with profits. So what could be a certain solution?

Understand the reason of Google Penalty

Before you remove links or submit disavow request, it is very important to understand the reason behind the loss of traffic. In case of manual spam penalties, Google sends notifications to website owners through Google webmaster tool. Whereas in algorithmic penalties you will not receive any notifications. If you observe huge traffic drops, checkout Google algorithm updates history section at Moz to understand the reason behind it. The most common reason behind the penalty is; bad linking. Lets us learn to identify such bad links with the help of aHrefs tool.

google penalty notice

Google, as such lays severe penalty on websites and blogs that try to reach the top of SERPs in inorganic ways. Not only can the SERP rankings can go down but in extreme cases, Google may even choose to thrown away far in the SERPs and are doomed never to be easily encountered. If you want to save your website and blog from Google Penalty then must follow Google Webmaster guidelines properly. Build your brand by organic way else they will ban you.

Identifying Bad Links

The latest Google Penguin updates have come up with thorough guidelines for the use of backlinking in to the website. Several things that were previously considered permissible now fall under the category of bad links or inorganic backlinks. This move has been taken by Google discourage websites building links to improve organic search rankings. Website owners, as such need to understand what is being passed as relevant and what is punished for being Spammy.

Any backlink /hyperlink within web pages that in intended to manipulate SEO ranking is considered as a “Link Scheme” by Google. This is inclusive of any part of the content that tries to manipulate outgoing links from a webpage. Google have certain policy for Link Schemes here are the some examples:

  • Selling/buying links that have passed PageRank, including schemes that offer a user a free service/product in exchange of posting a link
  • Excessive partner pages / link exchanges
  • User automated programs for creating links
  • Marketing with keyword rich anchor text and similar guest posting campaigns

To understand better:

  1. Paid links are incoming and outgoing links that are embedded in blogs/content and are paid for. Many marketers’ partners use paid link building strategies to generate the most backlinks. It is very difficult for search engine to identify paid link building strategies but Google is capable to identify the link pattern followed by particular webmasters. The recent Google PNB penalty is the best example of it.
  2. Link exchange is a process wherein two websites tie up with one another to promote the other’s website/web pages.
  3. Advertorial are advertisement campaigns that contain too much of backlinking in order to gain maximum attention and traffic. Google strongly recommend using nofollow attribute on such links which are built to draw traffic and not a link juice.
  4. Low quality guest posting is often done exclusively to integrate anchor keywords into the webpage and trying to win over SERP ranking.

How to find Backlinks?

There are several ways to identify backlinks built for your websites from an earlier SEO practice. The three widely used methods are:

  1. Searching manually on Google
  2. Checking every link to your website provided by Google Webmasters tool
  3. Checking and analyze link pattern with the help of tools which are specially designed by considering this needs. Ahrefs is one of my favorite tool I am using for all my Google penalty recovery clients to understand their bad linking. Here is the detailed explanation about this unique tool and its features to find spammy links.
  4. You can also study the backlink data of the winners & looser nicely explained in this blog post.

Some Important Features of AHrefs:

  • SEO Report
  • Domain comparison
  • Batch Analysis
  • Backlink Report and
  • Site Explorer / Backlink checker

This tool can also be highly useful if you want to check upon the link acquisition pattern of competitor website and come up with something more unique and impressive. AHrefs.com gives accurate backlinks report of any website because it has large database of domains, keywords & backlinks. Available both as a “free” and “premium” tool, it is being used by many marketers across the globe to get a competitive advantage as far as content and link building is concerned.

How to use Ahrefs.com and find bad Backlinks

Web marketers just need to enter the URL they are concerned with in the Ahrefs.com interface and the results show up themselves. As such, it is very easy to use and one doesn’t require any technical knowledge to run through the process. The interface will automatically warn again errors in URL formats. However, Ahrefs.com doesn’t allow searching for backlinks based on keywords.

ahrefs dashboard

AHrefs.com also allows to export backlinks report with internal/external links & Link URL/Link anchor text. It also allows you to filter backlinks by 1 backlink per domain to understand the pattern easily.

ahrefs backlinks

Ahrefs.com also allows finding all anchor texts present in web page content. If your website is penalized in Google penguin updates, this feature will help you to understand the anchor text distribution of the backlinks. Google is strictly against un-natural anchor text based backlinks.

ahrefs anchor text backlinks

The most important feature of AHrefs.com is that it also allows backlinks report by referring domain. It means it will give only domain names where backlinks are existed. User can also check the backlinks report on particular domain.

ahrefs domain links

This report will help you to identify the relevancy of domain from which your websites is getting backlinks. By identifying non relevant baclinks, you can easily create the disallow file containing these domains. Once you have gone through the Ahrefs.com interface a couple of times, it gets easier and faster to search for backlinks and content elements that can present a SEO setback.

Recovering from Google penalty is not an easy job so we understand this process will be tough for you but don’t worry; after filtering the backlinks data as explained earlier, follow below process.

AHrefs.com also allows to export all backlinks in excel format so one can easily filter all backlinks by anchor text and total external links. Once you entered the URL of your website, export the backlinks in CSV format.

ahrefs export file

Once you export the backlinks data in excel format, checkout this wonderful detailed guide by Brandon explaining each steps to filter out bad backlinks using different MS excel formulas. .

As backlinks plays very important role in organic rankings, we must understand which backlinks are good for website and which backlinks are spammy/bad for website. If you remove quality backlinks for your websites, it may harm your rankings after recovery.

Once you filter the links as explained in given article, here are the steps to recover your website.

How to remove bad backlinks and recover from Google penalties?

Manual spam recovery process requires you to follow some simple steps explain below.

  1. Follow given process to identify bad backlinks to your website and manually remove all those un-natural, non relevant and spammy backlinks by login into website/forum/directory etc… where backlinks are appeared (If have credentials). If you do not have credential or control over website, I strongly recommend sending link removal request to website owner.
  2. Once you manually removed the backlinks, create the list of remaining links which are still there and could not remove by manual request.
  3. Create a disavow list that includes all those links which you want Google to disavow from passing link juice and submit this file from Google webmaster tool.
  4. Once you are done, apply for re-inclusion request, and it’s done!

In case of algorithmic penalties, first 2 steps will remains same but for recovery, you will have to wait for next Google updates. Here you need to understand one very important point; recovery doesn’t mean you recover all your old organic rankings & traffic. Here recovery means, you will start seeing your website back in organic search result depending upon your current website domain authority and link qualities.

How to recover your 100% organic traffic?

This one is obviously the main reason behind doing all specified exercise. I have seen 100s of examples about Google penalty recovery but only few of them recovered their 100% organic traffic. The reason is very obvious that the links previously contributing to their organic ranks are now removed or identified as a spam and overall backlink contribution has declined which directly result in lower organic presence. The best and most recommended way to recover your 100% organic traffic is to generate linkable content.

Here I have explained complete content marketing strategy that will help you to start building effective content to educate your target audiences. If your content can help your target audiences, you will definitely gain organic backlinks to those content and will see improvement in your organic rankings.

It’s actually quite easy to work on bad backlinks, you just need to be honest with your link building strategies. There’s no shortcut in rising to the top, it’s all about quality.

5 Reasons to Vouch for Mobile Apps Against Mobile Websites

“Which one is better? Mobile application or Mobile website” This is one of the most debatable topic in technology era and answer may be vary depending upon requirement. Mobile website is a website which specially optimized for mobile device browsers which is responsive and load faster on smart phones. Mobile website also accesses some mobile specific features like GPS, click to call etc. In other hand mobile application requires to install on mobile devices from relevant app store. Both the platform offers various benefits to users and here we will discuss which one performs better.

Smartphone owners are spending about 86% of their mobile-time on apps. Mobile applications have not just become the source of daily updates/information but are also driving engagement through shopping, gaming and other utilities. Brands have consequently been migrating to applications to ensure that their products and services are offered in a platform that the end user seeks for.

For businesses and organization, it is high time to cater services and business processes via mobile apps. Apps have been the way of several top companies engaging with their customers and employees. As opposed to mobile websites, apps bring in a lot many advantages that will help your brand operate more efficiently. Obviously each has its own benefits and drawback and few features works best for some business where as few will not work the best. Here all scenarios are discussed by considering the majority of the businesses and its operations.

#1 Driving engagement

The smart phone generation is all about convenience. Now, each one of us knows the difference in convenience when it is about accessing a mobile application and accessing a mobile website. With the later, you will have to manually enter the URL (or search it up in Google), before you expect the products to be loaded. Apps on the other hand are highly purpose focused and the home screen isn’t necessarily about the brand’s history and its values.  Another disadvantage with mobile websites is their dependence on browsers – its speed and other functionalities.

app vs mobile webComScore released one report in 2015 which describes better stats of mobile app and mobile browser usage. According to ComScore 87% of all time which is spend on mobile in the USA was spent on mobile apps. People are almost spending 9 out of 10 minutes on various mobile apps and this number increased to 90% since 2013 compares to 54% in mobile browser.

#2 Better security

Mobile applications provide a higher amount of security as compared to websites. Applications can further integrate device management software that doesn’t just help in locking down apps but also retract them, allowing enterprises, a greater degree of control on devices and their functionalities. Apps are continually audited to review the security standards but websites always depend upon the browsers readiness to such events. While mobile websites too are secure, the advantage with apps is related more to the control part of it.

#3 Improved productivity and cost cutting

Mobile apps, especially for enterprises, can help employees communicate, train and access information and resources faster and easier. Apps have been reported to increase employee productivity by more than 40%. In some cases like OLA or UBER, apps have been the only way the company manages its employees and caters to its customers. Mobile websites on the other hand are slow to load, hard to optimize and complicated to access, thereby inhibiting productivity and costing more.

Some ecommerce businesses also shows “Install App” banners on their mobile site while any visitors opens their app. We are experts in paid marketing field and lot of ecommerce business runs Google & Facebook mobile app ads campaigns too to drive traffic and boost sales via their mobile apps.

#4 Accessing offline information

In most cases, mobile apps update themselves whenever there is an internet connection available. Taking the case of maps, apps allow navigation to be saved offline. On the other hand, if you would have sought mobile websites for the same, it would have required contact internet availability. Offline availability and saving of information also ensures that quality time isn’t lost and users get things done. Sometimes your internet connect might be low then Google chrome will load your page accordingly in browser and it won’t give better user interface for sure.

Also Read – Key Advantages of Running Shopping Ads [Google and Bing]

#5 Other important features

Mobile apps come with several extra features that aren’t possible with a website interface. Applications use the devices hardware features including address books, push notifications, camera, gallery, recording, vibration, cloud and cache to enable several useful features that make the apps more interesting and useful. Mobile websites on the other hand are just plain and simple pages that just allows you to interact in the traditional manner. It’s just like accessing information on your laptop, but on a smaller screen.

If user regularly deletes browser history then he/she might need to login to your mobile site every time they open it. If your business has an app then user don’t need to worry about it. They can view/track/book order anywhere and anytime without worrying about log into it every time.

More than 102,062 million mobile apps have been downloaded on Android and iOS phones and this number is projected to rise to 286,692 million by 2017. Today, mobile apps account for as much as half the time spend by users on digital platforms.

statista facts

Stacey Rudolph describes beautifully about mobile app usage stats in an infographic where she describes that 42% of all mobile sales came through mobile apps for the top 500 merchants across the globe.

mobile sales

Understandably enough, mobile apps have been overshadowing mobile websites in all areas. Though mobile websites aren’t yet useless, apps have become the common means to information, for both the consumer and the employee. If you have been running an organization, regardless of the industry, you should be thinking in the lines of investing in a mobile app. It will definitely make it easier for your consumers to stay updated and there is a higher chance of increase in traffic and revenues. Specially tailored and customized apps offer benefits that are beyond competition. IF you haven’t already, now will be the time to begin.

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