Neil Patel Gave Me Access to his BigSpy Ad Tool: My First Take and Why Ad Spying?

Neil Patel Gave Me Access to his BigSpy Ad Tool: My First Take and Why Ad Spying?

If your line of work involves marketing and advertising, it is imperative that you always keep up with industry trends and practices. It’s easier said than done, though, especially since advertisers like to keep their strategies close to their chest and away from competitors’ reach.

Still, if you want to emulate the best practices of advertisers the world over, it would be useful to have a way to access their ad details, information, and results.

That said, you might want to welcome the idea of ad spying. In this article, we discuss ad spying and how a technology called BigSpy can help you do it.

What is Ad Spying?

Nowadays, the proliferation of digital ads is beyond what any person could imagine. There are numerous platforms to choose from when it comes to boosting ads, and there are different types of ads, targets, and objectives that you have to optimize to get the best results. 

Given all the available ad type permutations, it can be confusing to mix and match ad elements until you get the ad set that works for you. Save budget and boost ads that work by knowing what type of ads work and optimizing your ad according to that ad format.

On the surface, ad spying is all about observing the practices of your competitors and other advertisers. See how their ads performed and which advertisements you can try to adapt to your own ad sets. It may seem easy, but you’ll find out that it’s quite challenging to get useful data and insights if you do not have first-hand administrator access to their ad accounts.

What are the advantages and drawbacks of ad spying?

You have a lot to gain with ad spying. Yet, without the proper tools, the type of data you can access will be limited. To give you an idea of what you can and cannot do with ad spying, here are some of the advantages and drawbacks of this practice:

Advantages:

  • You will be able to review the best practices of your competitors.
  • It allows you to save money since you won’t need to experiment with your ad set-ups from scratch.
  • You can review the content of your competitors and see which practices to avoid when making ads.
  • It lets you see which platforms your competitors use when boosting ads.
  • You will be able to see trends in advertising and mold your ad to ride on that wave. 

Drawbacks:

  • You will only be able to see limited data since you do not have administrator access to your competitors’ ad accounts.
  • The limited information on their ad sets may lead to wrong conclusions, which means that the budget you spent on ads with wrong practices will be money wasted.
  • Just as you can have a surface-level view of their ads, they will likewise be able to view your ads and study the marketing strategy you are currently doing.

Will BigSpy be able to help advertisers have a better understanding of competitors’ ads?

The benefits of ad spying are practically endless, but there’s only so much you can do with limited information. BigSpy is one of the many ad spying technologies around. Let’s take a closer look at what BigSpy can offer to help advertisers in studying their competitors’ advertisements.

You can check what type of images and videos other advertisers use.

Facebook (which is one of the biggest platforms for ads nowadays) reported that they see 2.3 times more engagement when people post content with images.

Depending on your audience, some types of images may work better than others. Sometimes, styled images receive high reach and impressions, but there are cases when catalog images or layouts with messaging work better.

With BigSpy, you will be able to view the type of images advertisers use to see which ones work well with audiences similar to yours. From there, you can adapt the way they style and layout their images and edit their videos.

If your ad emulating the trend on images and videos worked, then it means your ad spying worked. If not, it may mean that other factors, apart from the image or video, played a big part in the success of the ad.

You will see the ad details and insights.

BigSpy lets its users view ad details you wouldn’t be able to usually see with basic ad spying. You will get to review the duration of ads that work well, the performance in terms of likes, comments, shares, and even the growth of engagement per ad on a 7-day to 30-day basis.

You can even get access to ad’s demographics— from the age range, gender, to even the localities of the people who have reached and engaged with the ads.

These details will help you have a read on what type of ad works faster. Since most necessary details are already indicated, then you will be able to more or less have a grasp on what type of strategy to employ for your ads.

You can check which ads other advertisers are tracking.

You’re not the only one doing ad spying. Most other advertisers from different industries are probably reviewing numerous ads to see what strategy they should use for their next ad sets.

With BigSpy, you can track the top ads other advertisers are looking at as well. You’ll be able to easily see trending ad sets that are catching the eye of other advertisers.

From there, you can decide if you want to ride on that trend or do something unique to stand out. The choice ultimately depends on you—but BigSpy gives you an edge since you will be able to see quickly what others are looking at currently.

Should you give BigSpy a shot?

The answer is definitely yes. BigSpy grants you access to the information you wouldn’t be able to easily see with surface-level ad spying. It scrapes information from numerous platforms as well—from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, to even Pinterest. Gathering ad sets from all the biggest platforms and organizing top ads will make your team work faster and help you utilize your budget better.

Give BigSpy a chance and see how well it could help you stay on track with your ads.



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What Are Website Traffic Exchange Sites? (And Why You Shouldn’t Use Them)

What Are Website Traffic Exchange Sites? (And Why You Shouldn’t Use Them)

Traffic matters. The more traffic your website generates, the greater your chances of capturing visitor interest, encouraging user action and generating sales.

So it’s no surprise that traffic remains a top priority no matter what kind of site you run. As noted by a recent Forbes piece, everything from specific search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to contextually-relevant content can help boost traffic volumes and increase key metrics, while more technical traffic attractions such as reducing page load delays and improving user experience on mobile devices can also enhance your website impact.

The potential downside? These traffic-boosting tactics aren’t quick fixes. They require time and effort to deliver ongoing results — and they’re not guaranteed.

Website traffic exchange sites offer a supposedly speedy solution to deliver increased impressions and help your click-throughs climb the charts, but as noted by Google, they also come with significant risk “because they may lead to invalid clicks or impressions and result in your account being disabled.”

Here’s what you need to know about website traffic exchange sites, how they work — and the red flags that make them a non-starter for sustained traffic over time.

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What is a Website Traffic Exchange?

The idea behind a website traffic exchange is simple: Quid pro quo — you do something, and you get something in return.

In this case, what you’re doing is visiting other business owners’ websites, and they’re visiting yours in return. The theory holds that with enough visits your site will start to climb relevant search rankings and eventually drive more organic traffic your way.

At face value, this doesn’t seem like a bad idea: Since website owners all want the same thing — traffic — why not band together and use the power of the Web at large for collective gain?

But problems crop up as traffic trends away from the organic views and user engagements that search engines are now built to detect. Since you’re visiting sites as quickly as possible to generate their traffic and get the same in return, your website impressions are feather-light and fleeting; there’s no engagement with content and no context for the visit.

As search engines become more sophisticated, meanwhile they can detect this lack of legitimacy — and penalize your site for it.

Understanding Website Traffic Exchange Sites

The most common form factor for these traffic exchange options is as traffic exchange websites. Do a quick Google search and dozens will pop up, all offering high-volume, low-risk services.

These websites are simply groups of website owners who all agree to visit the other sites on the list and in return have their own sites visited. Some are free to join and have hundreds or thousands of sites listed; others come with a fee and may support millions of sites worldwide.

While smaller sites typically operate on a one-for-one model — you visit one website and get a visit in return — larger operations may impose a site-viewing ratio, especially if your site is just starting. For example, if your ratio is 0.5 you must visit two sites before getting one visit in return.

To help smaller companies boost their profile more quickly, many of these website traffic exchange sites now offer for-pay options that promise to deliver a certain quantity of digital visitors in a specific time frame. They may also run contests or promotions that group members can enter (for free or for pay) which will boost their traffic multiplier and supposedly get them closer to the top of relevant, front-page searches.

Red Flags: Why You Shouldn’t Use Traffic Exchange Services

So far, these traffic exchange sites don’t sound like a terrible idea: You get traffic for free or for pay and provide traffic for other sites.

But here’s the problem: As noted by Google, their AdSense program specifically prohibits any artificial means of generating impressions or clicks — if your website is found to be using these methods, your AdSense profile may be suspended and your search ranking will drop. Although website traffic exchange sites use a slightly different model to deliver click-throughs and visitor impressions, they may create similar red flags for popular search engines in turn causing your site’s search ranking to crash.

There’s also the larger problem of organic and contextual traffic. Your ultimate goal is to attract visitors with relevant website content that drives specific action — such as signing up for a newsletter, filling out a contact form or making a purchase. Achieving this goal requires two things: Organic searches that return your website as a top result and contextual, value-driven content that creates consumer engagement

Traffic exchange sites provide the first part of this equation, since group members may be given specific keywords to enter which return your site and boost search rankings. But they fall short on the second half, since these aren’t real visitors but other group members clicking through and then bouncing away while waiting for you to return the favor. This creates an issue for intelligent search engine algorithms that notice your traffic increase — and commensurate lack of engagement, in turn red-flagging your site and potentially damaging your search ranking.

Green-light Options for Increasing Your Website Traffic

If website traffic exchange services are a non-starter, what can site owners do to increase traffic, drive more leads and deliver ROI?

Some of the most effective options include:

  1. Creating relevant content
  2. Buying targeted ads
  3. Writing guest posts
  4. Capturing better backlinks
  5. Repurposing old assets

Curated, context-aware content matters to improve traffic metrics. This means creating website layouts and resources that are relevant to your target audience and provide actionable information about your products, unique market position or pricing.

Free press is great, but it’s not always easy to find. As a result, it’s worth doing your research and purchasing targeted ad space on the social platforms preferred by your buyer personas. For example, if you find significant group numbers of Facebook dedicated to discussions of products or services in your industry, it’s worth considering some targeted ad spend to attract specific user interest.

Many website owners are experts in their field, making them ideal authors for guest posts on more popular blogs or sites. Start by reaching out to site admins about writing a guest post with the caveat that they’ll include a link to your site. This lets you capitalize on larger traffic pools without paying for traffic exchange sites.

Speaking of backlinks, it’s worth trying to generate as many great backlinks as possible. Start with a quick search of your brand, product and service names — if you see them mentioned in search results but unlinked, reach out to the author and ask for a backlink. It’s also worth checking the most-searched terms in your market vertical; if you can capture these searches with on-site content, there’s potential to secure backlinks on popular “best of” articles and listicles.

You’ve got content you’re no longer using, but that doesn’t mean it’s useless. While simply reposting it won’t generate new traffic, you can repurpose popular resources into something else. For example, a well-performing blog post could be turned into a video or serve as the jumping-off point for a discussion, while a whitepaper could see new life as an infographic with updated statistics.

The bottom line? More traffic means better search rankings and improved user engagement on your website.

But not all traffic is created equal. While traffic exchange websites promise high volume and velocity, the value of this tactic comes with risk — and can’t compare to value-driven, user-focused traffic building that steadily boosts your search ranking and helps turn first-page curiosity into a functional sales conversion.

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75 Stop Words That Are Common in SEO & When You Should Use Them

75 Stop Words That Are Common in SEO & When You Should Use Them

From blog titles to URL slugs, you might not realize how frequently you use SEO stop words. But, to be fair, if Google doesn’t pay much attention to them, why should you?

Research shows that 25% of blog posts are made up of stop words. However, these words have little to no relevance to the topic of the post. These are words that help you compose sentences and connect ideas together, and they don’t have much impact on Google’s search results.

But, excessive use of stop words can impact your brand in the long run. They make content harder for search engines to process which can end up negatively affecting how they index your pages.

In this post, we’ll walk you through exactly what SEO stop words are, how they can hurt — or help — your online presence, and which words are considered stop words by Google and other search engines.Access Now: 20 SEO Myths to Leave Behind in 2020

What Are Stop Words in SEO?

We use stop words all the time, whether we’re online or in our everyday lives. These are the articles, prepositions, and phrases that connect keywords together and help us form complete, coherent sentences.

Common words like its, an, the, for, and that, are all considered stop words. While they’re important for communicating verbally, stop words typically carry little importance to SEO and are often ignored by search engines.

Let’s review some of the most common stop words in the section below.

Common SEO Stop Words

The most common SEO stop words are pronouns, articles, prepositions, and conjunctions. This includes words like a, an, the, and, it, for, or, but, in, my, your, our, and their.

When people search for something online, search engines like Google omit these words in their results because they don’t relate to the keywords in the search. So, rather than looking up content that’s related to these words, Google removes them altogether and prioritizes the keywords.

So, the next time you’re trying to hit a word count when writing a blog post, try filling that open space with keywords rather than filler copy that doesn’t improve your SEO.

While it would be great to load up your content with only meaningful keywords, the reality is that stop words are needed for every type of copy. After all, even if you rank highly on Google, it won’t mean much if your content is incomprehensible or doesn’t resonate with your audience.

Are Stop Words Beneficial for SEO?

There’s a time and place for SEO stop words. First and foremost, stop words help the reader understand the content. It can be confusing to read titles and subheaders without stop words.

You also might find instances where stop words help you differentiate between two topics. For example, you can search ‘flamingos’ and you’ll see information about beautiful, bright pink birds. Add ‘the’ to the front, and you’ll be directed to YouTube to listen to the band, The Flamingos. This tiny, three-letter stop word makes a world of a difference in this case.

In the next section, let’s look at some other times when you should be paying attention to stop words to optimize your content’s search ranking.

Removing Stop Words

Should you be removing stop words from all of your content?

Like anything else, it depends on how you’re using them. If your titles, headings, URL slugs, and keywords make sense without them, then it can be beneficial to remove them.

SEO Stop Words in Titles

If your titles don’t make sense when you take out those articles or prepositions, then it’s best to leave them be. After all, you want your audience to actually click and read your content. If the most prominent parts — including the title — don’t make sense, the website could come off as unprofessional or even spammy.

It usually makes the most sense to leave stop words in titles and headings, as these are wayfinding elements for users navigating your content. Just keep in mind that the optimal character count for titles is 50-60 characters, as search engines cut off longer titles, which could omit important information for the visitor. If you have lengthy stop words in your title, consider rewriting them to balance brevity and clarity.

Stop Words in URL Slugs

When it comes to URL slugs, stop words typically don’t have much significance in SEO. They’re relevant, however, if they make your URL slug particularly long. Google ranks URLs based on their length, and longer URLs typically rank lower than shorter ones — as outlined by the chart below.

SEO-stop-words

Image Source

Stop Words as Keywords

As we touched on in the last section, there are some times when stop words are crucial to keywording because they differentiate a proper noun from something else. For example, if you searched “Jets New York” you’d probably get a list of flights coming in and out of New York City. But, if you searched, “The New York Jets,” you would get content about the professional football team instead.

Now that we’re familiar with what stop words are and when we should use them, let’s look at a broader list of stopwords that you should be aware of when creating and optimizing content.

75 Stop Words in SEO

There are many, many more stop words out there, but here’s a list of some of the most common stop words to be mindful of when creating content online.

A

About

Actually

Almost

Also

Although

Always

Am

An

And

Any

Are

As

At

Be

Became

Become

But

By

Can

Could

Did

Do

Does

Each

Either

Else

For

From

Had

Has

Have

Hence

How

I

If

In

IS

IT

ITS

JUST

MAY

MAYBE

Me

Might

Mine

Must

My

Mine

Must

My

Neither

Nor

Not

Of

Oh

Ok

When

Where

Whereas

Wherever

Whenever

Whether

Which

While

Who

Whom

Whoever

Whose

Why

Will

With

Within

Without

Would

Yes

Yet

You

Your

 

Using SEO Stop Words

SEO stop words are important if you want to create a strong SEO strategy and rank highly on search engines like Google. Overusing them can hinder your ranking, but avoiding them altogether will make your content confusing and unclear. By understanding what stop words are and which words qualify as stop words, you can craft content that works to your brand’s advantage.

For more ways to rank higher on search engines, read these SEO tips.

seo myths

SEO Myths to Leave Behind