Lesson 3: Make the Audit An Ally to Your ‘Better Marketer’ Quest

21 Jun 2017
| Last update: 21 Jul 2017

Welcome back! Ready for a new round of growing knowledge?

We sure are. And our squirrels as well – except they only grow strong teeth to gnaw at their nurturing hazelnuts.

Oh, wait, are we talking about “strong”?

Then, it’s time we ask a question: how strong do you feel about your marketer skills?

Or, better said, how can you assess marketing improvement?

If you really think of it, the roadmap to being a better marketer is actually a quest implying several battles with:

  • The digital marketing world
  • Search engine algorithms
  • Yourself

Truth is, an improving marketer has to be a person of many talents: content craftsman, analytics wizard or social media campaign virtuoso – among others.

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But as most of us know, the trigger to enhanced marketing skills can lie within the uncanniest of places and moments.

While some seek for self-help books, workshops or mindfulness sessions, others take a more pragmatic route and constantly seek to pursue new ways of paying attention to what actually matters – their content.

At Squirrly, we had always been aware of this.

But how could we empower other people to do the same? How could we switch on?

Why Are We Qualified to Help Marketers Improve - and How We Pulled That off

First, we had to set off on a quest of providing real value.

We were going to go big about educating our users to see their content in a different way.

Here’s how.

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At the beginning of their #BetterMarketer journey, our users had low SEO Star scores. Having used Squirrly’s SEO Plugin, you can see 49,000 of them improved to reach SEO Star Level.

What happened in-between?

They used Squirrly’s:

  • Audits
  • Performance Analytics
  • Educational materials

And it’s not only us who claim this. Neil Patel himself made it as clear as daylight:

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The cool thing about winning by helping others win is we, as a company, are constantly challenged to think forward.

Two quick reminders:

  1. Remember the ‘Bonus: under construction’ section at the bottom of the infographic above?
  2. Remember what you read in Lesson 1 and Lesson 2?

Well, this means the lessons you’re currently following are part of our dream of creating another 100,000 better marketers this year.

So far, you’ve learned about realizing the importance of harnessing the whole potential your content carries. Just by that, you’ll be able to transpose that information into better marketing approaches.

At least, that’s what we did with our #BetterMarketer campaign.

But, in order to leverage this stage, we had to rely on concrete indicators and set the proper KPIs.

In Lesson 2, you saw how we did that with ContentLook.

In Lesson 7, we’re going to talk more in-depth about building metrics and putting every piece of the #BetterMarketer puzzle together.

Because it is, indeed, a puzzle. Or, as we mentioned in the first lesson, a maze you have to navigate to the best of your abilities.

This is particularly hard to do with the ultra-dynamic marketing environment we have to adapt to.

We've Got Your Back. Ready to Kick off Your Own #BetterMarketer Quest?

All right. You already know content management is a handful to deal with if you want to improve.

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Now what?

Well, here’s the good news: you can get a valuable ally to your efforts.

It is the same one we at Squirrly now rely on – ContentLook. We’ve actually grown to employ it whenever we work on campaigns.

When we worked to improve our visibility on Pinterest, we used it to track the articles performance. Rather than getting nice figures from Twitter or LinkedIn -as we’d expected – ContentLook indicated a traffic spike from Pinterest.

That’s when we learned we should cast our attention to Pinterest as the main social media platform for a certain kind of article. Once ContentLook recommended that, we could start building a Pinterest search engine strategy to become more visible there.

Instead of using countless spreadsheets or tools to track the content we needed for, we just went to ContentLook, added the articles and boom! we instantly saved time and resources.

Now, it’s true this is not enough for a #BetterMarketer performance.

So, just like a faithful ally, ContentLook is always prepared – and built – to provide help whenever we need it. And we, marketers, sure need as much help as possible on our quest to enter the promised land of #BetterMarketing.

Ready to arm yourself with the first shield against website content mishaps?

Then, let us disclose the name of your future marketing partner:

ContentLook Site Audit Score - Powered by Squirrly

Indeed, it does not sound like someone volunteering as help when the White Walkers will be warring in Westeros, but this doesn’t make it less of an ally. Or less helpful and providential.

Let’s see why.

First, a site audit is an in-depth analysis of your website’s content. It is a particularly necessary operation for uncovering the contributing factors to your site visibility in search engines.

More on these factors is to be covered in Lesson 8 and Lesson 9, which will cap off the last part of the #BetterMarketer quest.

For now, you need to know the audit insights concern these 6 areas:

  • Blogging
  • Traffic
  • SEO
  • Social
  • Links
  • Authority

 

How Do You Get to Call Your SEO Ally?

Go to the top left corner where you see the Site Audit icon – ContentLook will immediately generate your audit score, so that you know where to start on your improvement journey.

And then…

The 6 icons represent 6 essential lanes a website’s content is performing onto.

In the screenshot above, you could see the audit score generated is 45.

Turns out, ContentLook is not quite … content with what it found.

So, like a true coach, it starts by pointing out the pain points of your website.

See the message “Check the status for each channel below”?

Then, the progress bar around each icon.

Now imagine that you – the webmaster – are actually engaged in this #BetterMarketer quest and you’re battling not on one, but on six fronts.

You have two options:

  1. Dive headfirst to conquer them all.
  2. Take a moment to plan your next action and prioritize.

While the former may seem more grandiose, the latter makes more sense – this is what a true ally would suggest.

ContentLook doesn’t just suggest, but it also sets your mindset on strategizing mode.

For each of the 6 channels, it offers to get you back on track with a suite of instructions and insights.

It even sends them to you via email, so that you can make the best decision whenever you have a peaceful time to check your inbox ;).

 

After Strategy Comes Investigation

Now let’s investigate what area of the website was lacking and keeping the owner away from gaining more traction and territory towards the goal of their quest.

Uhm, snap! There are three of them! Traffic, SEO and Links are their Achilles’ heel.

We can still reclaim territory here, though. If you click on the “Let’s improve my score” button, ContentLook will direct you to a separate section dedicated to basic marketing know-how. Think of it as an extensive training you cannot skip if you wish to really improve.

Just make sure you don’t forget to press “next”, so as not to miss any of the pages in the section.

We strongly advise you to take your time to read everything thoroughly, since this is basically a marketing knowledge base. Whenever you need to get back to work, press “Back to the Audit”.

Now that you’re back, you can start investigating the website issues you need to fix.

For starters, let’s click on the Traffic icon.

Now ContentLook crawls your website and generates:

  • A list of Top 10 best-performing pages for the current week
  • An Estimated Traffic report – notice ContentLook warns you about a lower performance in this area. But it is not just scolding you, it also grows your marketing knowledge.

You will see these two insights listed as tasks. The former is informative, whereas for the latter you’ll need to take further action.

At this point, ContentLook tells you what‘s wrong, why and how you need to sort out the traffic issue. For those which need even more insight, it also offers additional resources and links you can check.

See the Read and How Do I Fix It buttons? There you go; here are the hidden secret weapons to help you regain strength for the rest of your quest.

How Do I Fix It is a button ContentLook displays for every task you need to work on. Once you complete the task, you’ll get another message:

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If you click on Learn what this task was about, ContentLook will outline all the information related to that particular task, so that you can revisit it for future reference.

For some tasks, ContentLook will retrieve the pages which are underperforming or causing issues on your website. Click on How Do I Fix It, read the information and your thumbs down will turn into a thumbs up.

Informative tasks will only display URLs and a few relevant insights for a quick look.

If you seek to be even more thorough with your strategy, look at the left lateral bar and discover the Pages Insights button.

PRO TIP: You can choose how you want ContentLook to display your pages. What you see above is called the Table view. But you can switch to a more graphics-rich option – the Items view:

See where this insights section takes you. But more on that, in lesson 9, where you’ll unearth technical SEO weapons.

 

Take a Look in the Marketing Mirror

You can assess your own understanding of what a #BetterMarketer means to you.

Which were the moments you realized you were on the right track? Or the times you grasped you still had a long way to go.

Starting with a clear overview of your content performance is not the only recipe – but it sure is a verified path to follow.

We actually learned that with our #BetterMarketer campaign.

By listening to our audience’s voice, we were the first to become better marketers.

After all, we got a taste of our own medicine, right? 🙂

And it was quite sweet, to be honest.

Here are snippets of our users’ content marketing insights:

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Note: you can check all the answers, by looking for the hashtag #BetterMarketer on Twitter.

The most important takeaway here: first and foremost, improving marketing skills requires that you win a battle with your own mindset.

That is, you need to operate a shift – from thinking like a human to getting into Google’s head. As much as possible.

This is not some dystopian scenario where artificial intelligence takes over. It’s just that, as marketers, we should constantly seek to think from other perspectives.

Because Google sees websites completely differently than we do. For Google, not all URLs are created equal – some will have several interactions with the crawlers which determine indexation, some not.

Good news is, there are ways we can overcome this hurdle.

Even more good news: your ally is still by your side at this step as well, always pushing you to keep track of your performance.

Ready to Attack Your Marketing Strategy?

Marketing mindset improvement starts with knowing where your website(s) stand – which site audits are for. Once you master this stage, you get a strong foundation for prospective content marketing strategies.

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Could ContentLook turn out to be the one content tool to rule them all?

We shall see in the lessons to follow.

There are many other aces up its sleeve, waiting to be discovered by valiant and inquisitive #BetterMarketer hopefuls.

We sure wish you’re one of them. (And no, we’re not secretly plotting on world domination – rather, on growing an army of genuinely improved professionals).

What say you?

Will we still find you standing next time when we return with a new lesson?

 

Ioana Budai
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Ioana Budai

Lover of books and whimsical accessories, Ioana is a wandering mind seeking to find some order in writing.
Supercharged by drama and ideologies, as well.
Ioana Budai
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