Say hello to the next three members of our team! This is the fourth instalment of our Meet the WooRankers series, where you get a behind-the-scenes look at the staff of WooRank, both in Brussels and abroad. Is this your first time here? Not to worry — the staffers that have already been introduced can still be found in the first, second and third editions of the series!
From the Development Team – Olivier Cuypers, Web Crawling Wolf
Meta Description: Olivier is an all-around developer and a data-mining ninja. Father, husband and handy man, you can find him enjoying the Belgian rain breaks in a kayak or sail boat. Length: 165 characters
Keywords: Team Player, Believer in Human Good Nature, First to Help Out
Detected: English, Dutch
From the Communications Team – Javier Sanz, Brandketer
Meta Description: Javier is our go-between man. He puts the V in versatile and speaks in code, tweets and marketing-ese. He’s also the man who rocks WooRank’s hispanic market. Length: 126 characters
Social Impact: Discover a range of insights on the internet @malditojavi
Keywords: Internet Kid, Spaniard, Metal Lover, Tester-Extraordinaire
Detected: English, French, German
From the Communications Team – Deanna Witwer, Content Editor
Meta Description: Deanna is in charge of quality control of the blog and provides customer care for you North American WooRankers while the Belgian contingent is asleep. She is Canadian to the core with a soft spot for all things Belg. Length: 185 characters
Social Impact: Catch her (let’s be honest) re-tweeting @DeannaWitwer
Keywords: Sentence Crafter, Dance Artist, Bird Hunter, Tea Obsessed
Detected: French Nouns
Favorite Twitter Feeds: @fabpot, @AmyHoy, @DiegoMarino, @CIAwesome
Favorite Blogs/Websites: www.echojs.com, www.bonillaware.com newsletter, www.upcyclethat.com
Favorite Books: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture, SuperFreakonomics, Lonesome Dove
(All links non-affiliate)
What started as an innocent Twitter conversation between one of our marketers and US-based digital marketing expert Mike King quickly escalated into a full-blown SEO and digital marketing meetup. WooRank was happy to welcome Mike to our headquarters on November 19th (last Tuesday) for our very first hosted event, co-organized with FeWeb, the Belgian Federation of Web Agencies.
The evening’s lineup was stellar; in addition to our visiting star, we also had the privilege of hearing from our very own Aleyda Solis (who joined the WooRank team this month), as well as well-known Belgian digital marketers Stéphane Bouchez and David Hachez. We started by hearing a keynote presentation from Mike in which he outlined how he developed a digital marketing strategy for his previous company, iAcquire. A panel discussion followed in which we heard from all of our visiting rock stars about creating strategic digital marketing campaigns on a budget.
Here’s a run-down of what we learned from Mike:
Switching from Link-building to Inbound Marketing
Mike started at iAcquire by shifting the company focus from link-building to inbound marketing. After a PR nightmare outed his company for selling links, Mike turned the bad press into an opportunity to turn around the online marketing brand into a fully white hat gig. ”I don’t develop marketing plans, I develop a quarterly content strategy,” he told us. He utilized diversified content types like the “Pay With a Tweet” tool & custom comic strips to get the word out about the areas where his brand had expertise.
With the success of their new strategies, two new teammates were brought on board for help in social media management and analytics. Real brand exposure came from getting out to conferences and talking with people, as Mike shared the expertise of iAcquire. His team also developed ideas for small complimentary tools and took advantage of guest posting to gain visibility as knowledge leaders.
Mike said that if he were to do it over again, he would start with goals & measurement plans. He also talked about how they made personas to inform their strategy of who they were communicating with (their audience!). After defining a core strategy and finding their brand’s voice they went for a full-on website redesign, highlighting the content areas that analytics told them people were searching for the most.
The success of these inbound strategies turned into the hiring of more collaborators and increased organic search traffic – right on!
Mike’s team used further strategies like getting leads from referral sources, holding webinars on new topics of interest, hosting events and improving their landing pages’ conversions to achieve increased traffic and gain new clients.
- Identify knowledge gaps that set you apart
- Focus on content strategy
- Choose channel owners
- Over communicate with your team
- Track everything
- They don’t build links, but have earned over 11,000 links organically
- Customer Acquisition Cost:Lifetime Value = 1:14
There were still “failures”, things that never got fully implemented; but hey, its always better to have too many great ideas than not enough.
Check out Mike’s slide deck for yourself below!
We also loved the panel discussion that followed. Aleyda, Mike, David and Stéphane shared great insights and answered questions from the audience on everything from how to effectively increase Twitter followers to the future of gamification.
After the formal event was over, guests had the opportunity to enjoy drinks, snacks, and networking in WooRank’s new office.
A big thanks from the WooRank team to all of the participants who made the event a great success!
Interested in attending a WooRank event? We would love to read your topic ideas in the comments below!
WooRank Projects are now Advanced Reviews
WooRank users will be getting a brand new tour of their data this week, thanks to a big update in our monitored reporting features. Project data will now be stored under the new Advanced Reviews area as our classic website review data is joined by graphs and information from Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, SERP tracking, backlinks monitoring, server uptime and more.
As our goal is to make the lives of digital marketers easier, in the coming weeks users will see new features building off of Advanced Reviews that we think are really exciting! Our faithful users have been sending us lots of feedback, and we promise we’ve been listening.
Get a sneak peak of what’s inside Advanced Reviews with screenshots from the new tour below.
1. Welcome to WooRank
On the Overview page we’ve added new Getting Started content – start the tour at any time, immediately find the FAQ and stay up-to-date with digital marketing tips from the WooRank blog.
2. Review a Website
Nothing has changed here, it’s still easy as ever to run a website review and add your competitors.
3. Download your Branded Report
Don’t forget that our branded reviews make reporting quick and easy.
5. Define your Settings
There are so many great options in Settings, don’t miss out on email sharing and competitor tracking.
6. Prioritize your Job
7. Enjoy Clean Advanced Metrics
You’ll now find all of your Project data within Advanced Reviews, putting all of your website data in one convenient place.
9. Get Things Done
Browse each category of your Marketing Plan to view your tasks, their descriptions and resources to help you complete them.
From free to freemium… and to profitability: here’s what we learned along the way.
When we first started WooRank and launched our website analysis tool in January 2010, the service was entirely free for unlimited use. Being a bootstrapped startup, however, we needed to generate revenue fast to stay afloat. Initially we made money by charging customers to generate white-label SEO reports while at the same time adding useful new features to the product.
In March 2012, our core product had matured enough for us to comfortably charge customers for an upgraded, premium service, especially the heavy users who we knew were making (more) money for their own businesses with our product. These users were typically digital agencies using WooRank to run instant website reviews for their clients in mere seconds, enabling both better service and the acquisition of more customers.
Despite this, the reality at the time was that the company was in jeopardy, and needed to find a better way to generate revenue not just to stay alive but to grow. We weren’t in dire straits yet, but we realized something needed to be done to fine-tune the freemium model.
Our options were two-fold and based on capping usage:
- Limit the number of website reports our users could generate (e.g. only 1 full report per week).
- Limit the content of the reports by showing less data and fewer actionable tasks.
We quickly decided to go with option one, because we wanted to:
- Make sure every business customer had access to a full rather than a ‘crippled’ report.
- Be able to demonstrate the full capacity of the software to every free user.
- Charge for heavy usage of the product as we were giving those customers a lot of value.
It was a quick decision, but that doesn’t mean it was an easy one. We feared that we would make a lot of our users unhappy, and that’s the last thing we wanted. We were also afraid that we would lose out on a lot of the traffic that helped us get to where we were in the first place.
What actually happened:
- Traffic did not drop much at all (phew).
- Sales multiplied three times in just one month.
We went from being close to running out of cash to profitability in a short period of time, allowing us to grow the team exponentially and significantly improve our product and customer service.
There were also a few unexpected consequences. We noticed that after our decision to start charging some of our users, searches for things like ‘WooRank alternatives’ and ‘WooRank clones’ shot up.
That was good news for us, perhaps counterintuitively, because we know how difficult it is to build a high-quality website analysis and SEO tool, and how impossible it is to simply clone it. We were sure that people who tried these lower-quality alternatives would come back to us eventually, due to the quality of our product; speedy results that are at scale and with a much higher level of accuracy (and care), thanks to our phenomenal developer team.
All things considered (and in hindsight), we made the right choice in going from free to freemium because we did it for all the right reasons. The assumptions we made out of fear turned out to be wrong, and in the end we learned that people appreciated the great service we offered at a reasonable price point, even if it took them some time and trying out of other products to realize it.
Starting to charge professionals and other heavy users allowed us to stay alive, and it not only helped these users make more money and win more clients over time, but it also allowed WooRank to continue offering once-a-week full reports for casual users free of charge. It was a win-win-win situation.
Has your company experienced anything similar? Or is your company in a similar state of transition? We’re interested to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
We’re super excited to announce that WooRank has hired international SEO specialist and search marketing professional, Aleyda Solis, as Head of Digital Strategy. If you’ve frequented any SEO conferences on the global scene lately, chances are you’ve seen on stage – or bumped into – Aleyda, and you’ll likely have read her popular blog.
Not only is Aleyda an internationally known authority on search engine optimization and digital marketing, she is also a tremendously energetic, kind person and we couldn’t be happier to welcome her to the WooRank family.
We are on a mission to make it as easy as possible for professionals to generate instant reports about their websites and learn how they can be optimized for search engines, increased conversion and a better return on their marketing investments with clear, actionable insights and comprehensive tasks.
Aleyda knows this space inside out, and will help us continue keeping the WooRank methodology bullet-proof, spread the good word and keep WooRank in touch with the latest digital trends.
Aleyda will be relocating from Madrid, Spain to Belgium to work from our offices in Brussels, and will regularly travel to represent WooRank at industry events the world over.
Starting on the 12th of November, Aleyda will become our 19th team member, and what a diverse and amazing team it has become.
WooRank now has a presence in North America (Canada), Europe (Belgium) and Asia (India) to ensure that all our customers can enjoy the best support possible. All in all, our team now boasts 8 nationalities (hailing from countries like the USA, Canada, Spain, Belgium, France, India and Nicaragua) and speaks more than six languages, including English, Spanish, French, Dutch, German and Portuñol.
Eager to meet the next three members of our team? We’re eager to introduce them! Welcome to the next instalment of our Meet the WooRankers series, where you get to know the staff of WooRank, both in Brussels and abroad. Is this your first time here? Not to worry — the staffers that have already been introduced can still be found in the first and second editions of the series!
From the Development Team – Olivier Kaisin, Development Wolf
Meta Description: Olivier Kaisin came to our team as a young budding developer. Since then he’s proven himself as a talented coder with an eye for design and a mind for problem solving. He’s still the youngest member of our team! Length: 177 characters
Social Impact: You can follow his thoughts on developing, design, and life on the internet @olivierkaisin
Keywords: Passionate Developer, Perfectionist, Entrepreneur
Detected: English, Italian
From the Operations Team – Sylvain Mariën, WOOperations & Data Manager
Meta Description: Sylvain is the one we go to with questions about data of any kind. He has a mind for numbers, spreadsheets, and finance, and on occasion he helps with customer care. He’s also known to give great fitness advice! Length: 175 characters
Social Impact: For links to articles on all things internet, fitness, and general interest, you can find him @sLyZah
Keywords: Relentless Trainer, Former Developer, Constant Hunger
Detected: Flemmish, English
From the Communications Team – Divi Fernando, Search Engine WOOptimizer
Meta Description: WooRank feels very fortunate to have Divi’s input on the communications team. She helps us to put together the vision and text of the WooRank blog, and has a passion for good content creation. Length: 159 characters
Social Impact: If Search Engine Optimization is your game, it happens to be hers, too! You can follow her @DiviFernando
Keywords: Curious Explorer, Event Organizer, Dance Fanatic, Kitchen Scientist
Detected: English, Hindi, Marathi
We’re happy to announce that Local SEO has arrived at WooRank. Now included in your website review is a check for your business in Google Places, Foursquare and Yelp along with an overview of your most recent online reviews.
Our development team has been working tirelessly to make this new criterion as smart as possible: detecting listings from countries all over the world, whether or not the business uses a URL with a country domain or a generic domain such as .org or .com.
Let’s take a tour of what you’ll now find in your WooRank Website Review’s new Local category.
In the new Local criterion you’ll find the details of your listings on Google Places, Foursquare and Yelp, including: how many stars you currently have, your total number of reviews, a link to your listing and a notification to let you know if you still need to officially claim it.
Online Reviews criterion:
Here, you’ll find up to ten of your most recent online reviews from Google Places, Foursquare and Yelp. Find out what people are saying, in what language they’re saying it and how many stars they’re giving your business. Reviews are an important way to build your online reputation and discover valuable customer feedback.
The importance of Local SEO is growing daily. With this new feature, WooRank is delighted to help your business take local search optimization to the next level. Test it out by reviewing your website today!
Ok, WooRankers. We heard you. The WooRank social stats in our reviews can be confusing, especially if you’re looking directly at your Facebook page and seeing what appears to be a major discrepancy in the numbers. Hopefully this blog, once and for all, will explain what we’re actually trying to show you in our reviews.
Let’s use the example of BetaGroup.be. In their case the Social stats look like this (and hopefully so do yours, give or take a few).
You might see this and think, “That doesn’t look right!” So you rush to your Facebook page to see if you’ve had a sudden drop-off in fans, but instead you see this:
Now you’re probably thinking, “What’s the deal, WooRank? Sixty-five and 1805 are not anywhere close to the same!” And, well, you’d be right.
In fact, the two numbers that you’re seeing are completely different statistics. The Facebook likes that we show on a regular review are actually based on your home page URL, not your branded Facebook page. This is also true for Facebook shares and comments.
Let me break down each part of our review’s Facebook Stats a little bit more.
- Likes: If you visit this page, you have the option to set up a like button that can be embedded onto your site. In the setup process, this involves entering the URL of the page you want people to like. This should be your home page URL, or specific URLs of inside pages. When you’ve finished, if someone uses this button to like your page, your WooRank review should reflect it.
- Shares: The “share” statistic is a bit more flexible. If somebody wants to tell their friends about your site, they share your URL on their timeline. This includes both use of official Sharing plugins, and also the copy-pasting of a link to Facebook.
- Comments: This number includes any comments that have been made on a shared or liked post about your URL.
More about Facebook Statistics
It turns out that Facebook data is more complicated than we thought when doing initial research for this. Last year The Next Web and MarketingLand confirmed with spokespeople from the social media giant itself that in terms of “Likes”, the oft-displayed figure next to your like button is actually not the total number of times the button has been clicked. Instead, Facebook uses the aggregate sum of web page likes, shares, comments on likes and shares, and also use of the URL in private messages in order to calculate this figure. To check this out, we set up a blog post which we liked, shared, and commented on in our personal accounts. It’s true – one person can contribute up to an additional four “Likes” to the total sum that Facebook displays. So, if you notice that this number is different than the number of likes displayed in your WooRank review, this is why. It is a third sort of statistic that is actually better for measuring total engagement with the post than understanding how many times your page itself has been liked.
Data about your Facebook Page
If you’re still worried about the likes on your Facebook Page itself, don’t fret; you can find this data when you set up an Advanced Review. On the “Settings” page, you can sync your business’ Facebook Page URL and administrator account, giving you access to your Insights data. As you can see below, this is where you’ll find the 1,805 likes that were missing earlier.
So What Does This Mean?
You might be wondering, “Why do I need to know these numbers?” In fact, this data can be incredibly valuable information for market research. The Social Impact data in reviews gives concrete numbers on how often people evangelize about your brand on various social media networks. Whether you are pitching to a client or working on your content marketing strategy, the review figures represent potential goals of sharability and retention. On the other side, Facebook Insights in your Project can help you to understand how people are engaging with your brand, which will build customer loyalty. One of the holy grails of content marketing is to engage loyal clients who tell their friends about your product, making these statistics a great tool in understanding your own progress and setting periodic goals for your content team for both sharability and loyalty.
We hope that clears things up for you! Still have questions? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer.
The WooRank team learns a lot from them everyday, so we thought we’d share some of their favorite reads from throughout the week with the whole WooRank community.
Without further adieu, the Founders’ Five:
- The dos and don’ts of subject line testing - Experian
- The Habits of Successful People: They Start Before They Feel Ready – Buffer
- How Google will be able to track you without cookies – Quartz
- Time Management is a Myth – George Ambler
- Do Things that Don’t scale – Paul Graham (Y Combinator)
This is the second in our series of blog posts entitled “Meet the WooRankers”! If you missed the first one, don’t worry – you can still meet the other team members from the first instalment!
From the Development Team – Sébastian Geelen, Front-End Development WOOfficer
Meta Description: Sébastian is a mastermind of front end development. He’s been with the team for almost two years, and in his spare time renovates his house, makes office smoothies and throws some killer barbecues. Length: 165 characters
Social Impact: Follow him for musings on development and life at a start-up @Seb_Geelen
Keywords: Chief Smoothie Officer, Expert Renovator, Reformed Dairy Farmer
From the Operations Team – Jean Derély, CEO
Jean is at the helm of the WooRank ship. He’s a man with big ideas (WooRank was one!), and runs the office in any of three languages. Otherwise he loves hanging out with his family and reading up on new ideas in the world. Length: 182 characters
Social Impact: If you’re lucky, you can catch him tweeting @JeanDerely
Keywords: Enthusiast, Optimist, Family Man
Detected: English, Spanish
From the Communications Team – Lana Lile, Communications Manager
Meta Description: Lana runs the WooRank communications department, from blogging and social media down to customer support and strategy. She hails from the great state of Washington and loves nothing more than good hot drinks. Length: 173 characters
Social Impact: You can find her musings about marketing, media, and more @LanaOnTheGo
Keywords: Master of baking, budding yogi, coffee shop connoisseur, nature lover
Detected: Flemmish, French