How (and Why) You Should Use Internal Link Optimization

If you’re working to improve your website’s structure and search engine optimization you’ve likely focused on publishing great content and building backlinks to that content. However, one aspect of SEO that is easily overlooked is optimizing your internal links as well. Internal link optimization can drive long-term wins for your organic rankings and site traffic. 

First of all, What Are Internal Links?

Internal links are links on your website that point to other pages on your site. These types of links are useful to both users navigating your site and search engines crawling the pages on your site.

The Different Types of Internal Links

  • Contextual Links: These are text links embedded within your content. You may add these to a blog post to link to another post on a specific topic that you think your readers will find valuable or interesting. For example, if we were discussing on-page vs. off-page SEO (← this is a contextual link) in a blog post we could include a link to another one of our blog posts on that topic.
  • Navigational Links: Navigational links are intended to make it easier for visitors to your site to find other pages on your site. These links could be in the header bar of your site, or included on longer pages to take users to specific points on the page.
  • Footer Links: Footer links are any links you add to the footer of your website. These links can be powerful SEO tools because they show up on every page on your website. Adding footer links to your most important pages can help give them an SEO boost by letting search engines know which pages are the most important on your site.
  • Calls To Action: Call to action (CTA) links are typically included on your site’s landing pages and within blog posts to encourage users to convert, which could be buying a product, signing up for your email list, or downloading a lead magnet.

What is the Purpose of Internal Linking?

Internal links can serve a number of purposes – from making your site more user-friendly to making it easier for search engines to crawl your content. Internal link optimization should also accomplish the following two things:  

Give your site structure.

When you add internal links to your existing content in new pages or posts on your site you improve your site’s structure. Adding internal links to your site helps reduce the crawl depth (or the number of clicks it takes to reach a URL) for your content. 

In addition to reducing crawl depth, internal links are another way of grouping related pages on your site. If you have a blog post on a certain topic, it makes sense to add internal links to that post to any other pages on your site that discuss that topic.

Improve User-Experiences

UX and SEO are actually closely related. Higher quality content is more likely to keep users on your site longer. This can be an indication to Google that your site is worthy of ranking for a given keyword. Adding internal links to your site can make it easy for users to visit multiple pages on your site, which will help increase the average time users spend on your site.

Internal Linking Strategy Works Together with Your Content Strategy 

To truly crush your internal link optimization strategy, you need to have a range of pages and blog posts on your site to add those links to. If your goal is to get more organic traffic to your site, you need to focus on content strategy first, and then focus on building internal links into that strategy.

Internal Links Work How People Assume Backlinks Work

Internal links tell Google which pages to prioritize and which to ignore. The more internal links a given page has, the easier it will be for you to rank. The opposite is also true. The fewer internal links a page has, the harder it will be for that page to rank.

Google confirms in its Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide that internal links are a ranking signal that Google uses when crawling and indexing your content. 

How To Improve Your Internal Linking

1. Use Natural Links and Anchor Text

When adding internal links to your pages, it’s important to optimize your anchor text so your links have the maximum impact. You shouldn’t over-optimize your anchor text to the point that it hurts user experiences.

The anchor text should align with the target keyword of the page you’re linking to – and should make it clear to users what the page is about. Having vague or nondescript anchor text will make users less likely to click on your links.

2. Link to Deeper Pages

You can use internal links to deeper pages on your site to make them easier for users to find. For example, if you have a high value blog post on your site but it’s buried deep on your site people may not be able to easily find it. Adding internal links can keep users visiting your old content, and can also make it easier for search engines to crawl your site.

Adding internal links that go to your homepage doesn’t provide much value, because people can already find that page easily. Your homepage is likely already linked from your header and footer, so adding additional links to your content isn’t necessary.

3. Make Links Useful

Including useful links that people will actually be interested in will help maximize the impact of your links. If you’re able to strategically include links within your blog posts, for example, rather than people bouncing off your site – they will continue reading the next article. This will keep users on your site for longer and will give them more opportunities to convert to become customers.

4. Use Follow Links

When adding links to external sites, sometimes it can make sense to add ‘nofollow’ tags to those links. For internal links though, you should use ‘follow’ links. This allows you to pass on the “link juice” to the pages you’re linking to, and allows search engines to crawl those links. 

5. Don’t Use An Unreasonable Amount of Internal Links

All this being said, more internal links doesn’t necessarily mean that your site will be more SEO friendly. A page that has tons of internal links stuffed in won’t provide much value. Too many links could be distracting for users, make it difficult for search engines to know which pages to prioritize, and can make your site look spammy.

Another thing to consider is that adding too many links in your footer can have negative effects. If every page on your site has hundreds of links in the footer, it can cause your site to look spammy, and can even lead to Google penalizing your site.

How We’ve Used Internal Linking To Improve Tuff’s Organic Results

Over the past couple years at Tuff, we’ve placed a strong emphasis on growing our organic traffic. Internal link optimization has played a strong role in contributing to our organic growth, as we’ve continued to publish new content on the site.

We’ve Implemented a Pillar and Cluster Content Strategy

As we develop content strategies for our website, and for our partners, we spend a lot of time on keyword research. If we find a keyword that is especially relevant and high-value to our business and organic goals, we will create a landing page that specifically targets that keyword. That landing page is a “pillar page” – which provides in-depth coverage of the page’s topic, and includes links to more specific pages or blog posts on our site. 

These specific pages targeting more specific keyword variations are known as “cluster pages”. In addition to targeting more long-tail keywords, cluster pages also provide internal links back to our pillar page.

We Implemented a Site-Wide Footer

Part of our internal linking strategy was adding a footer to our site with links back to our key pages. We included links to our key landing pages that are valuable from an organic search perspective, and that are valuable for visitors to our site looking for specific services.

Example of Site Footer Structure from Tuff Site

Footer links are especially powerful because they show up on all the pages on our website. So adding a page link to the footer is a quick way to build hundreds of internal links quickly.

All of Our Blog Posts Include Internal Links to Our Existing Pages

We consistently publish new posts on the Tuff website, and every one of those blog posts includes internal links back to other pages on our site. 

For example, if we’re writing a blog post about growth marketing strategies, we’ll likely include links back to our Growth Marketing Agency landing page. Not only does this improve our site structure and make it easy for Google to crawl our site, it also helps our pillar pages rank for their target keyword.

SEO Doesn’t Have to Be a Mystery

Whether it’s technical SEO improvements, a strong on-page strategy, or marrying a good user experience with traffic-driving content, you don’t have to do it alone. If you’re stuck in the weeds with your content strategy and SEO work, let’s talk!

How UX and SEO Can Work Together to Increase Organic Traffic

You can have a website that is 100% optimized for search engine ranking, but what if that comes at the expense of your site’s user experience? Well, you could actually be holding yourself back from ranking for your target keywords.

Tuff’s SEO team works with our UX designers to publish SEO-friendly landing pages with great user experiences. This collaboration has boosted our SEO team’s results for Tuff’s clients. So what is the link between user-experience (UX) and search engine optimization (SEO)?

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) involves making it easier for people to find your business online. You can achieve this by making changes to your website to make it easier for search engines to understand your content. You’ll also need to upload new pages and content to your site to answer people’s questions. And finally, drive traffic back to your site through links and mentions from other sites.

What is UX?

User-experience (UX is how people interact with and experience a product, website or software tool. For websites, it encompasses how users navigate the site, how quickly they find what they’re looking for, and how intuitive the design is on the page.

Is SEO a part of UX?

SEO focuses on aligning your content with the questions people are searching for on Google. After someone clicks on your webpage in the search results, it’s important to make it easy for them to find the answers to their questions. Having a good UX design for your landing pages and blog posts will make it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for.

There is no reason why you can’t optimize your site from a UX and SEO perspective at the same time. In fact, working to align your SEO and UX efforts can actually boost your results in both areas.

Your SEO efforts will drive traffic to your site, while UX will make sure the information on your site is easy to find.

SEO content that is written only for search engines will be hard to read and not very useful. A website that isn’t designed for PEOPLE will be difficult to navigate and understand.

Why is UX Important for SEO?

UX and SEO Are Both About Making Your Users Happy 😃

The goal of SEO is to bring users to your site to give them the information they are searching for. The goal of UX is to make it easy to navigate the page on your site to find that information. One important aspect of SEO is looking at user-intent and aligning your content with that desire or motivation. Improving the UX design on a page can help meet that user intent faster.

Making your website search engine-friendly is key for driving organic traffic. However, if you want to maximize the impact and reach of your content, user-experience is just as important.

UX Makes Your Website Sticky

A good user-experience will keep people on your website for longer. This can encourage them to visit more pages on your website and can even make the call-to-actions on your site more enticing. 

Optimizing your site’s user experience can make it easier for your visitors to navigate to other pages on your site that interest them. This helps increase the time that visitors spend engaging with your content.

Good User Experience is a Ranking Signal for Google

Google says that “when ranking results, Google Search evaluates whether webpages are easy to use and promotes more usable pages over less usable ones, all other things being equal.”

Google’s RankBrain algorithm looks at “behavior metrics such as the site’s bounce rate, organic CTR, pages per session, and dwell time.” In addition to looking at the quality and structure of your website, it’s also important to look at your site’s user-experience to give your content the best chance of ranking in Google Search.

UX Impacts How People Perceive Your Brand

Your website’s user experience (UX) is partly driven by search engine optimization (SEO). The two work together in the sense that both affect how users perceive your site.

The most prominent component of your website’s UX is, of course, your content. If you want to write SEO-friendly content, you need to make sure that your writing is structured well and easy to understand. If people view your site as a trustworthy source of information they will be more likely to return to your site, or do business with you.

On the other hand, if you write content that reads like it was written for search engines, your users will find it difficult to read and not very useful. This could turn them away from your site and lead to them doing business somewhere else.

UX Helps Improve Your Conversion Rate

While SEO focuses on bringing users to your site, UX focuses on how to best keep those users on your site and how to increase the conversions you get from that traffic. By placing CTAs throughout your pages and by making your site easier to navigate, UX designers can play a key role in conversion rate optimization.

6 Steps to Improve Your Site’s UX and SEO

  • Make your site responsive: This improves user experiences for visitors on mobile devices like phones and tablets. Google predominantly uses mobile versions of content for indexing and ranking, even if your visitors are exclusively on desktop.
  • Break up your content: Use headers, bulleted lists, and graphics to break your content into smaller, easier to read pieces. Avoid large chunks of text, which can cause users to look for the answers to their questions elsewhere. This will keep visitors on your site longer, which can be a strong signal for Google that your content is valuable.
  • Improve your site speed and page load times: When your site loads quickly, visitors won’t have to wait around for your content to load. This allows them to jump right into your content rather than potentially clicking the back button.
  • Make your site easy to navigate: Once users land on your site, it should be easy for them to navigate through your content to find what they are looking for. If you have other pages that they might also be interested in, you should make it easy for them to find those pages as well.
  • Minimize your bounce rate: A high bounce rate indicates that users can’t quickly find the information they are looking for, or they are running into another issue that is causing them to leave your site immediately after arriving. Improving your pages’ UX can help decrease your bounce rate.
  • Improve your site’s hierarchy: By organizing your pages on your site in an intuitive way, you make it easier for users to navigate through your site. The navigation on your site guides users from one page to another, so making this as intuitive as possible will improve user experiences.

Do UX Designers Need to Know SEO?

Not necessarily, but it’s certainly a valuable skill for anyone to have when making changes to your website. If the UX designer isn’t knowledgeable of SEO principles, they can still work alongside an SEO specialist to make sure that their changes are having the intended impact on your site, and that your site is search engine-friendly.

What are Best Practices for UX and SEO?

A strong user experience and search engine optimization are two of the most important aspects of managing a website.

Users and search engines alike benefit from the following practices: 

  • Make your content easier to digest by breaking it down into smaller sections
  • Use bullet points and numbered lists
  • Use more images and illustrations to communicate your message
  • Write content that aligns with your users’ intent
  • Test your pages on different devices (desktop and mobile) and different browsers
  • Minimize your CSS and JavaScript
  • Make your site load quickly
  • Publish content that is user-centered and easy to read

Integrate Your UX and SEO Practices

Rather than publishing SEO landing pages on your site and then trying to go back through them and optimize them from a UX perspective, you should try to implement UX best practices at all stages of the development process.

If your UX and SEO teams can collaborate and exchange constant feedback, you’ll end up with a much better end product.

Conduct a UX/SEO Audit to Find Opportunities to Improve Your User Metrics

  • Look at time-on-site metrics like average session duration or bounce rate. Pages on your site with a low average session duration or high bounce rate, could likely benefit from a UX redesign or content update.
  • Monitor your site for broken links or slow loading pages. Slow loading pages and broken links are frustrating for the people visiting your site. Redirect or replace your broken links and speed up your page load times to improve your user experience.
  • Check for pages with low conversion rates. If certain pages on your site are getting a lot of traffic but aren’t driving conversions, you may need to adjust the CTAs on the page to make them more relevant.

Here’s how our SEO and UX teams go about developing new content for our clients:

  • We identify a need for a certain page on the website. This typically comes from keyword research, if we notice that a relevant term for their business has a high search volume or is especially valuable for our client.
  • Our SEO team creates an outline for the page and works with our writers to source the copy. The outline is where we determine the direction and the structure of the page. We then make sure that the copy is clearly written and aligns with our target keyword and search intent.
  • The SEO team formats the brief and hands it off to our UX team. When providing our UX designers with the copy for a landing page, our SEO team formats it in a way that makes it easy to understand the structure of the page, and the important sections that need to be included.
  • The UX designers create mock-ups of the new landing page. Our UX team creates wireframes and mockups in tools like Figma or Adobe XD, for the client to approve. This step makes sure that the new pages are optimized from a UX and CRO perspective.
  • We present the designs and walk the client through the mockups. After putting together the mockups, we share them with our clients to walk them through the new content and give them a chance to provide any feedback.
  • Then, we hand off the mockups to the developer to implement and push live. Once we’ve received approval, we give the mockups to the developer to implement on the site.
  • The last step is to make sure the page was implemented properly and optimized. We make sure the focus keyword, meta description and other SEO data are set correctly and that the page doesn’t have any bugs or broken links.

How We’ve Combined UX and SEO for Tuff’s Clients

For new landing pages on our clients’ websites, our SEO team works closely with our UX team to produce landing pages that are optimized from both an SEO and UX perspective.

Landing Page for Visory’s Bookkeeping Service

Tuff worked with Visory, an online bookkeeping service, to create landing pages around bookkeeping for specific industries. Our SEO and UX teams collaborated to create pages that were optimized both for ranking on Google and for providing great user experiences.

Homepage example for Visory

This landing page, for example, is targeting keywords related to “bookkeeping for eCommerce”. We looked at the top ranking pages for our target keyword and identified what we needed to include on our page to match the search intent for our target keyword.

Our UX team also considered how we could make this page intuitive to navigate and easy to read. We also looked at how we could make the calls to action (CTAs) more enticing for users to click on, to optimize the page’s conversion rate.

Footer Navigation for Salams

Tuff worked with Salams, a Muslim dating app, to increase organic traffic to their website and to drive organic app installs. We were able to increase organic traffic by 117% in 90 days by publishing new content on their site and making technical SEO optimizations.

Beyond just publishing this new content, we also redesigned the footer on the Salams website to improve both SEO and UX.

Salams footer example

As we started publishing new landing pages, we noticed that many of these new pages were “orphan pages” and weren’t linked to from other pages on the site. Our solution was to add these new pages to the footer so that they would be linked to from every page on the site. This helps show Google that this content is important and is worthy of ranking.

This also helped improve the UX on the Salam’s site. By having these pages linked in the footer, users can easily navigate to other pages that they might be interested in on the site. This helps keep people browsing on the site rather than clicking the back button and looking for more information elsewhere.

testing different desktop landing pages

How Does Site Health Impact SEO?

testing different desktop landing pages

If you’re not familiar with some of the more advanced aspects of SEO, you may not have heard of site health before. However, if you’re trying to get more traffic from Google and other search engines, improving your site health can play a role in getting your site to outrank your competitors.

What is Site Health?

Site health is a metric that SEO tools, like SEMRush and ahrefs, provide to measure your site’s structure, speed, security and technical SEO.

SEO tools provide this metric to give you an idea of how your site compares to other websites from a technical SEO standpoint. If your site is full of broken links, slow-loading pages, and other technical issues, your site will be given a lower site health score than a similar website without those issues.

Site health itself is not a metric that Google looks at to determine whether or not your site ranks, but having an error-filled site could certainly impact your ability to rank for your target keywords. If you want to increase your site’s organic traffic and improve your keyword rankings, improving your technical SEO is a good place to start. Site health is a valuable metric because it allows you to easily monitor the progress you have made over time with your technical SEO changes.

Which Factors Play a Role in Your Site’s Health?

  • Site Architecture and Crawlability: It’s important to make it easy for search engines to crawl and understand the content on your site.
  • On-Page/Content Structure: Along with making sure that search engines can understand the structure of your site, it’s also important to make sure that the content on individual pages is easy to understand. This means making sure each page only has a H1 header, meta description, and title tag.
  • Core Web Vitals: One of the best ways to improve your site health is to look at Google’s Core Web Vitals. Your site should load quickly and when loading it’s best if the content does not shift around due to slower loading elements on your page.
  • HTTPS Security: If your site isn’t using HTTPS (as opposed to HTTP), now is the time to set that up. People visiting your site could be getting a warning message if you don’t have HTTPS setup with a current SSL certificate.

SEMRush and Ahrefs Both Use Three Categories of Site Health Issues

The two leading SEO tools, SEMRush and Ahrefs both assign issues to one of three categories based on the severity of the issue:

  • Errors: Errors are issues of the highest severity detected on your website during the last audit.
  • Warnings: Warnings are issues of medium severity detected on your website during the last audit.
  • Notices: Notices are not considered severe issues, but we recommend that you fix them.

If you’re working on improving the technical SEO on a website, these dashboards are easy ways to see if the changes you’re making are accomplishing their goal.

SEMRush Site Health Dashboard

SEMRush Site Health Dashboard

Ahrefs Site Health Score Report

Ahrefs Site Health Score Report

What is a Good Site Health Score?

At Tuff, we aim to maintain a site health score of 90% or greater for our website and for our partners. This ensures that we don’t have technical issues preventing us from ranking on Google when we start publishing new content on the site.

According to SEMRush, the top 10% of websites have an average site health of 92%. If you want to be sure your site is healthy from a technical SEO perspective, 90% a good goal to shoot for.

Why You Should Monitor Your Site Health Score

If you are consistently publishing content and adding new pages on your site, it’s important to monitor your site health to keep an eye out for any technical issues with the new posts and pages that you’re publishing.

Site health can be useful for identifying issues that you wouldn’t notice when visiting your site, but that could have an impact on your search rankings. New content on your site could be uploaded without proper meta tags or without an SEO-friendly title tag, and this makes it more difficult for Google to understand what your page is about.

What is Site Health’s Impact on Your Site’s SEO?

Improving your site health can actually provide a sizable lift in traffic and search engine visibility for your site. The search console data below is for one of our partner’s websites that increased its site health from 72% to 95%. 

This site saw a 13% increase in organic clicks and a 27% increase in organic impressions following the site health improvements we made. We’ve seen similar results from other sites that we’ve worked with after improving site health.

Google Search Console Results

Fixing technical SEO errors and improving your site health can actually make a noticeable difference in your search rankings and typically these fixes can be made with just a few hours of backend work on your website.

Poor Site Health Could Be Preventing Your Site from Ranking

If you’re frustrated that your SEO efforts aren’t providing the traffic you were hoping for, we strongly recommend improving your site health as that could be something holding your site back from ranking and getting traffic.

Fixing technical SEO issues can require some knowledge of web content management systems (CMS) and some basic HTML skills. If you work with a web developer these fixes should be simple for them to make. If not, a technical SEO agency can help you make these changes to give your site the best possible chance of ranking for your target keywords.

migrate to webflow

SEO Checklist: How To Migrate Your Website to Webflow

migrate to webflow

When it comes to web content management systems, WordPress has been the dominant player for over a decade. However, in recent years no-code solutions like Webflow have become much more popular for both personal and business websites.

Webflow has become more popular with startups and scaleups in particular due to the ease of use. Since Webflow is so versatile, organizations of all shapes and sizes are leaning on it to take their site experiences to the next level. 

Does Migrating a Website Impact SEO?

Yes. Moving your website to a new CMS means that the appearance, the content, and the code on your site will be changing, even if just slightly. When Google goes to crawl your new version of your website, it will notice that things are different. If you are able to properly migrate your site and make it easier for Google to understand what is on your page, you can actually increase your rankings and the traffic you get from Google.

Migrating your website from one CMS to another can impact your organic search traffic, but if done correctly you can actually see your search traffic increase

Why Do You Need to Consider SEO When You Migrate to Webflow?

When migrating any website from one CMS to another it’s crucial to account for technical SEO or you risk losing organic traffic that your website is getting. 

How Do You Prepare to Migrate to Webflow?

When starting with a website migration project, the first priority is always scoping out what all needs to be done. For example, if your existing site has a lot of technical SEO errors, we highly recommend fixing those in conjunction with the site migration. 

Another common thing to consider when preparing for a website migration is how your user experience will be changing. Will you be adding new pages? Will you be deleting existing pages? Does your new content management system have different technical requirements for lead capture with your existing CRM? Having a full, robust scope of the project before preparing for migration is key. This prevents project delays and fire drills when the new site is migrated and launched. 

How To Transfer a Website Without Losing Your Organic Search Traffic

Gather Existing Site Page URLs

Prior to migrating your website over to Webflow, you will want to audit your existing site’s pages and URLs to see which pages are getting search traffic. If you want to maintain your traffic, you’ll need to make sure that these pages are either transferred to your new site or you can set up redirects to send users to another page.

Map Existing Pages to New URLs

The next step you need to take is to map your existing URLs to the new URLs they will use on the new version of your site in a Google Sheet like this:

Map Existing Pages to New URLs

Export Your Website Content

Use a plugin or a built in export feature on your existing site in a format that you can easily upload to Webflow. This will make the transfer much quicker than trying to manually copy and paste each blog post to Webflow.

Identify Deleted Pages and Setup Redirects

If you’re planning on deleting some of your existing pages from the new version of your website, you need to consider where to redirect users if they try to visit the old URL. You should avoid just deleting pages without providing a redirect to another page on your website. Doing so will cause any backlinks to these pages to return a 404 page, which could lead to people bouncing from your website (a negative ranking signal for Google).

If possible, you should redirect users to a page that will provide similar information or answer similar questions to the deleted page. This will ensure that people stick around and actually read the content on your website, rather than looking for the information elsewhere. 

Check Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and other Structured Data

Auditing the structured data on your website regularly is an SEO best practice, but is especially important when migrating to a new content management system. Google uses title tags and meta descriptions to understand what your website is about and which keywords are relevant for your site to rank for. If your meta tags make it easier for Google to understand the content on your page, you will be more likely to rank for the keywords that you are targeting.

When transferring your site to a new CMS, you should set a focus keyword for every page on your site and make sure that the content on the page, your title tag, meta description, and each image’s alt text aligns with that focus keyword. 

So, Will You See a Traffic Drop After Migrating to Webflow?

Migrating your site to a Webflow doesn’t have to have a negative impact on your search traffic. The most important part of migrating to a new CMS is to either keep the same URL structure as your existing site, or that you have properly set up redirects for any pages that aren’t being transferred to the new site.

Webflow SEO Migration Results

Can Migrating a Website to Webflow Increase Your Search Traffic?

Yes! If your current website structure is making it difficult for Google to crawl your website or making it confusing for people to navigate, your current website could be holding you back from ranking for valuable keywords. Migrating your site to Webflow can help solve some of these issues and can lead to you seeing an immediate increase in search impressions and traffic.

Case Study: How Moving to Webflow Improved a Tuff Client’s SEO

In the fall of 2021, we partnered with an organization moving from WordPress to Webflow. In the process of migrating the content, we implemented technical SEO fixes that improved their SEMRush site health audit from a 56% to a 98%. 

With the new site, the organization did not add any additional content, and removed several pillar landing pages that they deemed were no longer necessary. The technical fixes, in addition to moving to the SEO-friendly platform of Webflow lead to significant improvements in their site performance. 

The Data:

  • 55% increase in total keywords ranked for
  • 1,726 new keywords ranked for 
  • Site Health: +42%

Search Rankings Performance: 

  • Search Rankings 1-3: 121 (-2) 
  • Search Rankings 4-10: 207 (+11) 
  • Search Rankings 11-20: 280 (+45) 
  • Search Rankings 21-50: 1,586 (+885)

In the two months since this Tuff partner’s site launched, they have generated over 2,900 additional clicks to the site compared to the previous time period, and have seen an increase of 184,000 search impressions. That is a 7.25% increase in organic traffic, and 36% increase in search engine visibility, all without adding additional content to their site.

SEO Results

people working in a conference room

Most Valuable Software Tools for Growth Marketers

people working in a conference room

If you’re new to growth marketing, it can be difficult to know where to start. With so many software platforms covering everything from analytics to web development, it’s easy to get lost in the intricacies of individual tools, and lose focus of your ultimate goal: growth. 

But even for experienced growth marketers, there’s no map to navigate the ever-growing network of software tools available. Choosing the right tools to invest in goes a long way to helping you drive growth, but identifying the platforms that will be most effective for your business is very situational. It depends on your industry, optimal marketing channels, and the skills of your team, alongside many other factors. 

Using these growth marketing software tools is non-negotiable. As a growth marketing agency, we leverage a suite of these tools to unearth game-changing insights and optimize performance. These tools can be broken down into a few categories. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the best tools in each category and share how to best leverage them to drive growth for your company.

Analytics Tools

Analytics is at the core of all growth marketing. Access to high-quality data enables marketers to measure the performance of different channels, campaigns, and creatives, ultimately helping them make better decisions.

Many of the tools discussed in this article have built-in analytics features. But when it comes to tools that offer a holistic overview of a company’s entire marketing stack, there are a few standout analytics platforms. 

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is packed with advanced analytics capabilities, and is perhaps the most widely used analytics tool. Growth marketers can use it to track various aspects of their strategies, including:

  • Acquisition Channels
  • User Experience
  • Conversion Events
  • User Demographics

Google Analytics works with any website, and is simple to install, only requiring the implementation of a short tracking code to unlock a host of powerful insights. 

Google Search Console

Another popular tool is Google Search Console, which enables marketers to understand organic performance on Google Search. 

Marketers can track the performance of their site over time, accessing analytics on everything from popular search terms to the average position of their web pages in Google Search. The platform is particularly useful for those running Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaigns, providing a simple yet powerful set of analytics that track performance over time. 

Hotjar

Once website visitors come to your site, tracking their behavior can yield all kinds of insights. That’s where Hotjar comes in. 

Hotjar enables marketers to run A/B tests and other experiments. It’s possible to view heat maps that show how customers navigate your site, capture screen recordings of individual browsing sessions, and identify points of friction which hurt user experience. Apply these insights to optimize user experiences and improve conversion rates. 

Website Auditing Tools

Websites are foundational elements of any growth marketing strategy. They’re where you’ll drive traffic to, the place you’ll engage with users, and ultimately, the platform where you’ll convert prospects to paying customers. 

Growth marketers should regularly audit both their own websites, and those belonging to competitors. And while there’s plenty of site optimization best practices, identifying opportunities for improvement often means digging into the data. These website auditing tools help you do exactly that.

Alexa Site Audit

Many companies underperform on organic search because their sites are saddled with undiagnosed technical errors. Alexa helps marketers identify, understand, and fix technical SEO issues. The tool conducts periodic reports, giving sites an overall grade and pinpointing issues that should be addressed. 

Alexa also offers tools to assist with competitor research, keyword identification, and target audience analysis. By leveraging these features, companies can start bringing in significantly more organic traffic, helping them reach new customers. 

Similarweb

Assessing competitor strategies and identifying opportunities to outperform them is an important aspect of growth marketing. Similarweb enables marketers to understand web traffic patterns for any website, offering an opportunity to understand the strategy and strength of a competitor.

The platform also provides tools for sales intelligence, keyword research, and industry benchmarking. Together, these enable marketers to identify and capitalize on growth opportunities.

SEO Tools

SEO tools should be in every growth marketer’s arsenal. These platforms enable growth marketers to improve both on-page and off-page SEO, boosting search engine rankings and driving high-intent traffic to their websites. 

SEMRush

SEMRush offers solutions for everything from social media marketing to PPC advertising, but their SEO tools remain what they do best.

With SEMRush, marketers can discover high-potential keywords, run technical SEO audits, and assess competitor backlink profiles. The platform has a plethora of tools that cover every aspect of SEO, helping marketers grow their organic search performance quickly. One of the best features is the search ranking tracker, which displays changes in rankings over time. 

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is similar to SEMRush, and offers marketers a suite of SEO tools that enable better analysis, tracking, and performance. 

In addition to their core features, Ahrefs has a ton of content to help get you up to speed on all things SEO, as well as an active community of 10,000 SEO marketers who frequently share best practices. 

Yoast SEO

If you’ve got a WordPress site, Yoast SEO is indispensable. It’s a plug-in for WordPress that optimizes your site content and keywords to improve organic performance 

With plug-ins for everything from video SEO to local SEO, Yoast helps marketers enhance every aspect of their site. Users can optimize keyword selection, leverage real-time content quality and link suggestions before they publish, and access every course in the Yoast SEO Academy. 

Web Development Tools

Growth marketers have to be able to quickly iterate their company’s websites to reflect new trends, account for changing user behavior, and run experiments. And if your website is coded manually, it’s near impossible to do that. 

Marketers are embracing no-code web development tools, which use templates to enable marketers to quickly build landing pages, sign up forms, and more. Here are some of the best web development tools.

Webflow

Webflow is perhaps the most sophisticated out of the web development tools mentioned here, allowing users to design, build, and launch fully responsive websites. No code is required, and there’s a range of templates for different kinds of sites.

Once the site is built, Webflow hosts it, and provides SEO tools and integrations with other marketing platforms to enable users to start growing their site fast. It’s perfect for growth marketers looking to quickly launch new projects or initiatives, minimizing the time spent on web development.

WordPress

Did you know more than 42% of the internet is built on WordPress? There’s good reason for that: WordPress is an easy-to-use website builder with more than 50,000 plug-ins and themes that enable users to build beautiful, functional websites without any coding. 

Users can launch a website in just a few minutes. There’s tools and integrations that help scale your website from a simple informational page to a comprehensive online platform, and support for everything from eCommerce to mobile apps.

Squarespace 

Squarespace offers no-code web development tools for product and service based businesses. There’s a range of templates available to build your site with, powerful commerce features, and integrations with a wide range of third-party apps to help you automate your growth strategies. 

There’s also an ever-growing marketing toolkit, with features including an email marketing platform, social media tools, and an analytics suite that offers a comprehensive overview of the entire stack.

Creative and Design Tools 

Growth marketing isn’t just about acquiring new users; it’s also about retaining and evangelizing existing ones. One of the best ways to do that is by creating memorable, beautifully designed user experiences. 

This requires collaboration between marketers, creatives, and developers. The tools that enable this are a crucial component of any growth marketing stack.

Figma

Figma is a graphic and user interface design platform. It’s used to design everything from website wireframes to marketing collateral, and makes collaboration between teams and contributors a breeze. 

Everyone can collaborate on the same file in real-time, and you can even create interactive prototypes. The newly-launched FigJam is an online whiteboard that helps remote teams collaborate and brainstorm together. 

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is a collection of more than 20 of Adobe’s top apps, including Photoshop, InDesign, and Premiere Pro. If you’re creating assets for a marketing campaign, Creative Cloud will help you take your designs to the next level. 

Impactful creative is critical to successful marketing. And with Adobe’s industry-leading design tools, you’ll be able to produce creative on par with the best brands on the planet.

Project Management Tools

Part of being a successful growth marketer is the ability to juggle several balls at once – seamlessly hopping between managing PPC campaigns and designing landing pages. Many growth marketers have multiple clients, all with different campaigns, strategies, and budgets. 

Managing this complexity demands sophisticated project management tools that help keep everything on track. At Tuff, we’ve tried out a few in our time. Here’s our favorites:

Teamwork

Teamwork is the perfect platform for teams who work with a number of different stakeholders. It streamlines the project management process, enabling marketers to manage clients, freelancers, and their internal team in one place. 

We recently switched to Teamwork, and it’s been a gamechanger for our team. If you’re transitioning from another project management tool, you can import all existing tasks and projects to Teamwork in just one click.

Notion

Notion is a project management platform that functions as an all-in-one workspace for your team, blending a number of common applications into one location. 

Use Notion as a centralized hub for teams, projects, and important documents. There’s a series of templates as well as fully customizable workflows to help you quickly configure the platform to your needs. 

Trello

Trello is one of the world’s most popular project management tools. It enables growth marketers to track projects on a Kanban-style project board, with automation for routine tasks, and integrations to productivity tools like Google Drive and Slack.

At Tuff, we used Trello for a long time before switching to Teamwork. We work with a lot of clients, so while Teamwork was a better fit for us, if you’re more focused on internal projects, Trello might work best for your team. 

CRM Tools

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are vital for all types of company –– not just B2B companies. After all, investing in relationships with your customers and building a database of warm leads are important aspects of any growth marketing strategy. 

CRM tools automate the vast majority of that process, enabling companies to scale faster and improve the quality of the customer experience throughout the sales process. 

Salesforce

Salesforce boasts an extensive suite of marketing and sales tools suitable for businesses of all sizes. There’s tailored products for certain industries, and solutions for everything from customer support to complex analytics. 

However, the main focus is customer relationship management, and there’s an excellent range of tools that help companies grow by building their business around their customers. 

HubSpot

HubSpot provides inbound marketing, sales, and service tools. Their CRM platform automates many of the tasks that would traditionally be done by salespeople, generating insights on prospects, scheduling meetings, and helping teams close more deals.

There’s a range of different features for growth marketers, including tools for lead generation, marketing automation, content management, and more. 

Marketo

Marketo simplifies complex customer journeys using a range of marketing automation tools. With support in areas like email marketing, lead management, and revenue attribution, Marketo helps growth teams scale quickly, all while collecting data that helps optimize campaigns. 

The platform’s core capabilities include content personalization, cross-channel engagement, and advanced marketing analytics. Altogether, Marketo helps marketers deliver a uniform experience across brand touchpoints while arming them with the insights required to fuel further growth. 

eCommerce Tools

For online stores, eCommerce tools are indispensable. But building your own platform is a long, expensive process. Instead, leverage one of the amazing solutions already out there. 

The best eCommerce platforms are more than just online storefronts. Instead, they provide a wide range of tools that help marketers grow revenue. 

Bigcommerce

Bigcommerce enables businesses to build, innovate, and grow their online eCommerce businesses. There’s solutions for a wide range of industries, and no matter whether your business is D2C, B2B, wholesale, or something else, there’s probably a solution for you. 

With tools that enable cross-channel commerce across dozens of platforms, marketers can dramatically increase their reach with minimal extra work. There’s support for companies growing internationally, and tools for design and conversion optimization that enable marketers to maximize their online channels. 

Shopify

Shopify is an online eCommerce platform used by more than one million businesses around the world. The platform comes with a range of marketing tools, as well as a dashboard packed with important analytics covering various aspects of business performance. 

A unique element of Shopify is the Shopify App Store, which offers more than 6,000 apps that businesses can add on to their eCommerce platform. There’s a number of apps perfectly suited to growth marketing, including Klayvio and AdRoll

Social Media Management Tools

Social media plays a central role in many growth marketing campaigns. Whether it’s going viral on TikTok, running influencer campaigns on Instagram, or sharing Twitter threads, practically every business can leverage social media to drive growth. 

Managing campaigns across multiple social media channels can be a challenge for even the best growth marketers, which is why it’s common to use social media management tools to schedule posts and analyze performance. 

Buffer

Buffer enables marketers to schedule social posts in advance on all major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. Analytics help marketers determine the most optimal time to post, and it’s easy to respond to comments. 

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is an all-in-one social media marketing platform that enables marketers to plan, schedule, and publish social content across multiple platforms. There’s also a range of analytics and engagement tools, as well as social listening tools that help marketers uncover audience insights and trends to improve the relevancy of their marketing strategies. 

Start Experimenting with Growth Marketing Tools Today

If you’re a growth marketer, we bet you’ve heard of, if not used, more than a few of these tools. They’re indispensable partners in your growth marketing efforts, helping you to understand which channels are working best, optimize individual campaigns, and keep all your projects on track. 

But just a few years ago, this list would have looked completely different. New tools are emerging all the time, and identifying them can help you get a step on the competition. Keep track of new tools, experiment with them, and reach out and let us know if you find any we should add to this list.

Best Growth Marketing Tips from 10 Experts

person building email drip campaigns on computer

If you’re just starting to make your way in growth marketing, it can be difficult to know where to begin. There are so many blogs, books, cohort-based courses, and thought leaders, and it seems like everyone has their own unique take on growth. 

But while strategies and tactics continue to evolve, the fundamentals remain consistent, and some advice remains evergreen.

In this post, we’re sharing ten tips from some of the top growth marketing minds in the world. We’ve included advice from leaders from all kinds of industries, from SaaS to DTC, so no matter what you’re working on, we bet you’ll find something that’s directly applicable. 

Each of these growth marketers brings a different perspective. But one thing they all have in common? A proven track record of delivering huge growth, at scale. 

As you read these quotes, think about the lessons you can apply to your business, interrogate your current strategies, and reflect on what you might change going forward. 

We’re excited to see where you go.

#1 Cynthia Kleinbaum Milner on Customer Experience

A seasoned marketing leader with experience leading teams at Bonobos and Gilt Groupe, Cynthia Kleinbaum Milner is now at Walmart, and leads marketing for Walmart+, Mobile, and Online Pickup & Delivery.

Heading up growth initiatives at the world’s largest retailer might seem complicated, but for Cynthia, it’s all about keeping the customer experience simple

“Simplifying the customer experience enables higher conversion rates and better retention. It allows companies to use resources more effectively—if you’re always working towards a small number of goals, and everyone is aligned on what success looks like, it’s easier to optimize your human and financial resources, enabling synergies”

#2 Gabriel Weinberg on Finding Scalable, Effective Growth Tactics

Gabriel Weinberg is the CEO & Founder of DuckDuckGo, a search engine that puts user privacy front and center. He’s also the co-author of two best-selling books: Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth and Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models.

As a founder taking on the behemoth that is Google Search, Gabriel’s focus is on constantly iterating to find highly scalable growth tactics. Here’s an excerpt from Traction, where he shares his thoughts on how startups should configure their growth marketing stack:

“The faster you run high quality experiments, the more likely you’ll find scalable, effective growth tactics. Determining the success of a customer acquisition idea is dependent on an effective tracking and reporting system, so don’t start testing until your tracking/reporting system has been implemented.” 

#3 Lucy Heskins on Customer-Led Growth

Specializing in early-stage growth marketing, Lucy Heskins shares highly actionable startup marketing ideas on her blog Oh, Blimey, and also heads up growth at Big Lemon.  

In a recent interview with TechCrunch, Lucy shared the concept of customer-led growth, a strategy startups can use to optimize every aspect of their customer journey, improving experiences and driving significant growth: 

“Look at the entire customer journey, from the struggle stage right through to when they’re a customer, and break each section down to where there’s an opportunity for growth. It’s really helpful for startups—especially post-COVID because chances are, your customers’ needs have changed.”

#4 Eric Ries on Vanity Metrics v. Actionable Metrics

Eric Ries is the best-selling author of The Lean Startup, a book widely regarded as an essential manual for founders and growth marketers. Drawing on his background as a successful founder and investor, Ries proposes a framework that focuses on rapid testing and iteration to reach product-market fit as fast as possible.

In this guest post on Tim Ferris’ blog, Ries discusses the importance of focusing on actionable metrics over vanity metrics:

“The only metrics that entrepreneurs should invest energy in collecting are those that help them make decisions. Unfortunately, the majority of data available in off-the-shelf analytics packages are what I call Vanity Metrics. They might make you feel good, but they don’t offer clear guidance for what to do.” 

#5 Joanna Wiebe on Effective Copywriting

Effective copywriting is central to every growth marketing strategy – regardless of what your business sells. As the cofounder of Copyhackers, Joanna Wiebe is regarded as the original conversion copywriter. 

These days, she helps digital marketers and entrepreneurs sharpen their copywriting skills through a series of online courses. Here’s one of her most fundamental tips about copywriting for growth:

“Here’s the only thing you’re selling, no matter what business you’re in and what you ship: you’re selling your prospects a better version of themselves.” 

#6 Ryan Holiday on Growth Loops

Ryan Holiday’s book, Growth Hacker Marketing, explores the mindset of growth hackers, teaching readers the core principles of growth hacking in an accessible, concise manner. 

Though the book was published back in 2013, the lessons still hold up today, including this tip about the compounding effects of growth marketing:

“Growth hacking is about scalability––ideally, you want your marketing efforts to bring in users, which then bring in more users.” 

#7 Laura Fitton on Value Proposition

For any business to be successful, it has to solve a clear customer problem. Laura Fitton knows that better than most. 

After pioneering the use of Twitter as a growth marketing channel, she spent eight years at Hubspot teaching companies how to leverage inbound marketing. These days, she’s working on a new startup that’s putting market forces to work solving climate change. 

Here’s her advice on defining your company’s value proposition:

“Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content and enthusiasm and ideas about how to solve that problem.”

#8 Brian Balfour on Building a Growth Machine

The ultimate goal of growth marketing is to build a scalable growth machine, but that’s far from easy, as Brian Balfour, former VP of Growth at Hubspot, will attest. 

On his blog, he shares thoughtful essays on user acquisition and growth strategies, which include this nugget of advice on building a scalable growth strategy:

“The reality of growth is that there is never a silver bullet.  This doesn’t mean you won’t have experiments that produce outlier results. You absolutely will.  Most outliers result from combined learnings of a bunch of previous experiments.  They come from knowing your channel, product, and customer better than anyone else on the market and taking informed risks based on those learnings.”

#9 Kristin Luck on Building Brand Awareness

Kristin Luck is the Founder and Managing Partner of ScaleHouse, a management consulting firm that helps startups scale. She’s founded and sold several successful companies, has helped launch dozens of brands, and regularly writes in publications like Forbes and The Journal of Brand Strategy. 

Here’s her advice on how businesses can grow brand awareness:

“A brand launch or awareness push should be a coordinated multichannel strategy. Ensure you’re building a strategy that incorporates every potential client touchpoint, from your website to social media, to utilizing press and media outlets.”

#10 Julian Shapiro on Content Marketing

Julian Shapiro is the founder of DemandCurve, a full-service growth marketing agency that also provides training programs to marketing teams around the world. He writes about growth marketing extensively on his blog, Twitter profile, and in TechCrunch

His handbook on Growing a Startup is a must-read for founders and growth marketers, covering every phase of growth marketing in great detail. Here’s an excerpt explaining his thoughts on content marketing: 

“Content marketing applies to every business. There’s no reason not to test it. But content marketing is no longer a factory farm approach. There are no reliable SEO shortcuts. Content has to be extremely high quality and must satisfy the searcher’s intent. And it has to be optimized for conversion.

Embracing a Growth Mindset

There’s plenty of growth marketing thought leaders out there, and new ones are emerging all the time. The growth marketing community is active on Twitter, and there’s a lot of podcasts and additional growth marketing blogs where you can dive deeper on all kinds of growth topics. 

Consume this content with an open mind, but make sure to question how the strategies and tactics that are discussed apply to your business. 

Did we miss any of your favorite growth marketers out here? Drop the team a message and let us know!

Best Growth Marketing Blogs to Read in 2021

Teams in nearly every industry, from individual founders who are self-funded, to large established players with multi-million dollar ad budgets have begun to invest in growth marketing to attract and retain new customers. But what exactly is growth marketing?

Companies that adopt growth marketing embrace a wide variety of marketing strategies and verticals, continuously experimenting and iterating to determine how to best optimize their growth efforts, seeking to achieve the perfect formula that sends traction and scale into overdrive. 

Growth marketing is a very fluid field, and new best practices, software platforms, and marketing strategies are constantly emerging. For growth marketers to stay up-to-date and continue to keep driving their companies forward, it’s important to embrace a growth mindset focused on constant learning. 

One of the best ways to learn? By paying close attention to the very best growth marketers out there. The easiest way to do that is to read the writing of the most innovative growth marketers out there today. But knowing who to trust can be an issue – how can marketers separate the signal from the noise? 

This list provides eighteen of the very best growth marketing blogs out there in 2021 and beyond. Each of the marketers and organizations on this list have a proven track record of driving huge successes for their brands and clients, and openly share their best practices with the rest of the industry. 

Ready to explore what they’re currently excited about? Let’s dive in!

#1 Deviate Labs

Deviate Labs is a growth marketing agency that applies growth hacking techniques to help brands scale. They work with companies of all shapes and sizes, from billion dollar brands like Dollar Shave Club to small local service businesses. 

The founders of Deviate Labs, Raymond Fong and Chad Riddersen, quite literally wrote the book on growth marketing, codifying the growth tactics employed by leading Silicon Valley tech companies into a simple framework any business can apply. 

Read Deviate Labs’ top posts:

#2 Relevance with Misty Larkins 

As the president of Relevance, Misty and her team consistently publish high-value resources to feed growth marketers with email, PR, off-page SEO, and content strategies.

Working with over 300 expert writers, academics, executives and practitioners, Relevance builds thought leadership with the most advanced strategies and tactics for navigating the complex growth marketing landscape. 

Read Relevance’s top posts:

#3 Tuff Growth Blog

Here at Tuff, we take a transparent approach to growth marketing. In our blog, you’ll find breakdowns on a variety of topics, from SEO to TikTok. Each post is written by one of our channel experts. You’ll be getting the best growth marketing practices straight from the minds of dedicated pros who spend all day working on the channel they’re writing about.

Here’s a couple of our most-read articles:

#4 Lenny Rachitsky

Every week, Lenny Rachitsky writes a newsletter packed with valuable, actionable advice for entrepreneurs. Backed by years as a founder and his experience leading growth at Airbnb, Lenny’s areas of expertise include product strategy, growth marketing, and people management. 

You can read his monthly newsletter for free, or join 80,000 other paid subscribers for weekly updates. 

Lenny’s top growth marketing articles:

#5 Brian Balfour

Having led growth at Hubspot and successfully scaled user bases to millions of daily users at venture-backed startups, Brian Balfour is now the Founder and CEO of Reforge (more on them in a minute). 

On his blog, Brian pens essays that explore growth and user acquisition strategies in great detail. He’s also taught Growth at Harvard Business School. 

Here’s a couple of Brian’s most popular essays:

#6 Reforge

Let’s stick with Brian Balfour for a second. He’s now the CEO of Reforge, which provides high-calibre training programs for growth marketers looking to take their career to the next level. 

The company’s blog is packed with articles and insights on growth strategy from leading executives at companies like Slack and Tinder. 

Check out Reforge’s best reads on growth strategy:

#7 The Appcues Blog

Appcues is a no-code solution that enables businesses to improve their user onboarding and product adoption process, with the ultimate goal of helping companies dramatically boost their customer retention rates. 

Remember, growth marketing isn’t all about getting new users – it’s also about effectively retaining and evangelizing them. And by reading Appcues’ blog, you can learn more about strategies across product marketing, growth, and UX design that help businesses do exactly that. 

Read Appcues’ blog posts on user journeys and onboarding:

#8 OkDork by Noah Kagan

Noah Kagan was an early employee at Facebook and Mint, and is currently the Founder and CEO of AppSumo.

On his website, OkDork, Noah shares his thoughts on all things marketing and entrepreneurship through blog posts, podcasts, and videos.   

Noah Kagan’s top posts:

#9 GrowthMentor 

With leadership from Foti Panagiotakopoulos and Jessica Volbrecht, GrowthMentor is a curated platform of invite-only startup and marketing mentors which have proven experience in their respective fields. 

The team consistently publishes insights and growth marketing articles on the blog — often articles written in-house or straight from the growth marketing community. 

GrowthMentor’s top posts:

#10 Portent Digital Marketing Blog

The team over at Portent are a full-service digital marketing agency, with experience leading growth strategies for companies like Adidas and Tumi. Their blog regularly dissects the latest industry news, breaking down the latest issues in ways growth marketers can easily digest and translate into actionable strategies of their own. 

Read Portent’s top growth marketing blog posts:

#11 Orbit Media Content Marketing Blog

Orbit Media is a web design agency based out of Chicago that focuses on building beautiful websites that convert at high levels. In their blog, they share practical tips for all things marketing, analytics, and web design, helping marketers around the world to leverage content marketing strategies to grow their business.

Check out Orbit Media’s most popular posts:

#12 Grow and Convert Blog

The team at Grow and Convert are passionate about creating content marketing strategies that actually drive conversions for the brands they work with. 

On their blog, they share case studies detailing the strategies and tactics they use for their partners, and provide all kinds of guidance about how marketers can employ content strategies to drive serious growth.

Grow and Convert’s best posts:

#13 Copyhackers by Joanne Weibe 

Copyhackers’ blog produces content to help teach you how to write copy you’ll be proud of because it reflects your brand and vision AND converts. With a focus on revenue-generating content, Joanne’s team has blog content, ebooks, videos, training, and more. 

Copyhackers best posts:

#14 Criminally Prolific

On the Criminally Prolific blog, growth marketer Dmitry Dragilev teaches entrepreneurs how to scale their business by using growth tactics like cold email outreach, content marketing, PR, and SEO. 

Check out these Criminally Prolific articles:

#15 Part and Sum 

We’re such big fans of Part and Sum at Tuff — and especially their growth marketing content. Part and Sum was founded in 2018 and has teams in Los Angeles and New York City. Their team has deep experience in strategy, innovation, growth, and data. 

You’ll find a variety of topics to dig into on the blog, from performance creative to calculating CAC, their content spans across multiple stages of the user journey. 

Read Part and Sum’s best posts:

#16 Quicksprout

The team at Quicksprout puts out a huge variety of business content, and if you’re just starting to learn about growth strategies, their marketing blog is the perfect place to begin.

You’ll find rundowns of the best software tools for growth marketers, as well as a series of entry level guides that make it easy for first timers to get started with growth marketing.

Read Quicksprout’s best posts:

#17 Growth Media

Growth Media is a revenue focused agency that helps SaaS and eCommerce businesses scale quickly. In their blog, they share the strategies that they use to deliver rapid growth, with articles covering everything from backlink strategy to conversion rate optimization.

Check out Growth Media’s top blogs for growth marketers:

#18 Venture Harbour

Venture Harbour is a startup studio focused on building and scaling bootstrapped businesses. In their blog, the team shares their insights, guides, and war stories from their years of experience building and scaling these high-growth businesses. 

Read Venture Harbour’s most insightful articles:

Other Growth Marketing Resources

This list is by no means exhaustive. Growth marketing is a diverse, growing field, and new thought leaders are constantly emerging. Be sure to explore some of the following resources too to find the content that’s most useful for your business:

Quora

Quora is a question and answer platform that anyone can use to pose a question to subject matter experts. The platform organizes content into different categories: of particular interest to growth marketers are spaces like Growth Hacking, Product Marketing, and Digital Marketing

Reddit

There are several active communities on Reddit where growth marketers gather to share case studies, discuss strategies, and ask for advice. Some of the best subreddits include r/GrowthHacking and r/DigitalMarketing

Twitter

Virtually all of the growth marketing blogs listed in this article have an active Twitter presence. In addition to those listed above, check out Twitter users like Alex Garcia and Growth Tactics for detailed growth marketing threads and case studies. Follow them and watch who they interact with to discover more growth leaders. 

Podcasts

Podcasts offer a unique opportunity to hear the unfiltered perspectives of some of the top growth marketing leaders in the world. Some growth marketers, like Noah Kagan, have their own podcasts, whereas other podcasts like Marketing Trends feature interviews with founders and top executives from high-growth startups. 

Start Your Personal Growth Today

This is a long list, and we’re not saying that you have to consume all this content to be a successful growth marketer. But learning, and personal growth, is in many ways similar to growth marketing. By exposing yourself to new ideas and strategies, you’re putting yourself, and your business, in the best position possible.

Read a few of these blog posts, experiment with some of the strategies they outline, and return to the writers that work best for you. Levelling up your information diet is one of the best ways to expose yourself to high-impact growth marketing concepts that can help you take your business to the next level. 

Did we miss any of your favorite growth marketers? Reach out and let us know!

search rankings on google on mobile

How to Use Off-Page SEO to Supplement Your Growth Content

search rankings on google on mobile

SEO can be a confusing topic for marketers who typically focus on paid strategies for acquiring customers. If you split SEO into on-page and off-page, it’s even easier to get confused about what you should focus on. At Tuff, we primarily help companies with developing on-page SEO content strategies and fixing technical SEO issues. Once you’re up and running with on-page SEO and you’re starting to see some traction, you can supplement your efforts by focusing on off-page SEO.

What is off-page SEO?

Off-page SEO is anything done outside of your website that can influence your search engine rankings. One misconception about off-page SEO is that all you can do off of your website to improve your rankings is to build backlinks to your site. There are actually many more strategies that you can use to improve your search engine rankings and organic traffic to your website.

The key to doing off-page SEO well is figuring out where potential customers are researching your industry or your business and making sure that you are represented in as many of those places as possible. 

What is included in off-page SEO?

Backlinks

Backlinks, while not the only aspect of off-page SEO, play an important role in showing Google that your site is trustworthy and valuable. It’s important to focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks from trusted websites, rather than getting a ton of low quality links from shady websites. Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors for getting your content to rank highly on Google.

search console top linking sites

Backlinks from highly reputable sites like Yahoo, The Wall Street Journal, or Wikipedia will provide the most benefit to your search engine rankings, while links from spammy sites can actually hurt your ability to rank.

As you acquire more backlinks and establish more domain authority for your site you can begin targeting more competitive, high-value keywords and start driving more organic traffic from those keywords as you start to rank. 

If you want to start building backlinks for your website, we put together this guide to SEO link building that includes an email template for reaching out to sites for backlinks and guest post opportunities.

backlink example

Guest Posts

Guest posts are incredibly valuable, especially for newer startups or businesses that are having trouble getting their website to rank for their target keywords. You can create content targeting these keywords for other sites to capture the same search traffic that you’re struggling to rank for. 

Guest posting can be a long process as you’ll likely have to go through a submission process, and or build relationships with the site’s editors to even be able to submit a post. However, even if the process is difficult, the backlinks you can acquire from these posts are typically high-quality, and can provide consistent referral traffic to your site.

Business Listing & Review Sites

Business listing and review sites like YelpExpertise.com or CNET are important for making sure your business is represented when someone is doing research before making a purchasing decision. Whether you are an ecommerce business or a restaurant, people are likely to look at different listing sites to determine if your business is the right fit for them. The more active you are on these sites, the more control you have over the first impression that people will get when looking for more information.

business listing and review sites example

In the same way that testimonials on your website are a powerful marketing tool, having positive reviews and testimonials on third-party websites is another way to build trust with potential customers and ultimately drive more revenue for your business.

Off-Page SEO vs. On-Page SEO

Both on-page and off-page SEO play a key role in a complete SEO strategy. They are related because your site needs to be optimized (on-page) so that when someone finds you on another website and clicks a link to your site (off-page) they don’t run into slow load times or other technical SEO issues.

On-page SEO

On-page SEO is about making your content and your website’s structure easy for search engines to understand. When search engines can clearly interpret what your website is talking about they are more likely to rank your content higher and start sending organic traffic your way. 

It’s important to do an on-page SEO analysis to fix any issues your site may have before focusing on off-page SEO, otherwise new visitors to your site may find broken pages or other issues that cause them to bounce from your website. If you find that your site is running slowly or some pages are broken, a technical SEO agency can help fix these issues and set you up for success when you start publishing content.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO is everything that you’re doing away from your website to try to improve your site’s ranking and traffic. This could be building backlinks on other websites, getting your business mentioned in list posts, or responding to people talking about your brand in forums or on social media.

Both on-page and off-page SEO are useful for gaining traction for your website, so neither is inherently better than the other. They both play an important role in attracting visitors to your website.

Read More: The Difference Between On-Page, Off-Page, and Technical SEO

How Off-Page SEO Supplements Your On-Page SEO Efforts

It’s important to focus on-page SEO to ensure that when people find your website they aren’t running into technical issues like broken links or slow pages. Before focusing on off-page SEO to drive traffic to your site, it’s important to build a solid on-page foundation so that people are able to easily find the information they are looking for on your site. After getting your site optimized for the best user experience possible, you can start looking at off-page SEO to bring more visitors to your site.

Off-page SEO allows you to expand your footprint on the internet beyond your website. The most important aspect of off-page SEO is putting your brand/business in all the places that your customers could potentially find out about you. This could be industry blogs and authority sites, product review sites, or even social media. You can have the best website in the world, but if people aren’t finding it or searching for your brand, your SEO efforts won’t be successful.

Why is off-page SEO important?

Off-page SEO can provide huge benefits for your business, by showing Google and potential customers that your company is an authority in your industry.

Domain Authority

Off-Page SEO is especially valuable for young companies that haven’t established a high domain authority for their websites. If your website is relatively new and hasn’t acquired valuable backlinks, it’s unlikely that your content will rank for competitive keywords. Off-page SEO allows you to gain awareness for your brand without having to put in the months of work to develop your website’s domain authority.

For example, if you have a software as a service (SaaS) business and you’re trying to outrank your competitors you can publish blog posts and landing pages on your website, but they aren’t going to outrank established websites in your niche. If you get listed in articles like this one from HubSpot – people searching for your product will see that an established, respected brand has mentioned yours and might click through to your website.

Off-Page SEO Allows You To Own More Search Engine Real Estate

Take a look at the results page for a given keyword. You will likely see a list of webpages all from different websites. If you’re only focusing on on-page SEO, you could be leaving valuable space on the search engine results page open to your competitors. 

When you publish content on other websites besides your own, you can occupy more space on the front page of Google and capture more of the attention share for a given keyword.

One way to understand the impact this can have is to look at branded searches. When you search for a major brand name on Google — McDonald’s for example — you’ll see more than just their website. You’ll see the company’s Twitter and Facebook pages, you might see a news story about the company, and maybe a Wikipedia page. These are all examples of off-page SEO. 

Authority Hacking

Not only can you indicate to Google that your business is reputable and a solid choice for your target audience — off-page SEO allows you to build awareness and authority simply by showing up in more places that potential customers are looking. If someone is searching for a solution to their problem and they see that your business is mentioned in the top 5 articles on

Google, they will be more likely to trust that you are the right choice for their needs.You can gain awareness from inclusion in listicles, reviews on listing sites, guest posts, and roundup posts. Because these types of mentions are from third parties, they often appear more trustworthy than content you post on your own website. You can build trust by getting your brand to show up in lists of the best companies in your industry. 

Domain authority is a metric that estimates how trustworthy and reputable your website is. Google rewards sites with higher domain authority because the content on these sites is more likely to be high quality and valuable.

Use Off-Page SEO for Referral Traffic

One use of off-page SEO that often gets overlooked is using strategically placed off-page links to drive traffic back to your site. Let’s say you’re having trouble ranking for a keyword that is valuable for your business, you can use off-page SEO to target that keyword from another site.

If you’re able to get a guest post published on a site with high domain authority and a large readership, you can rank for more difficult, higher competition keywords. If you can place valuable backlinks to your site within the guest post, as the post starts to rank, you will likely see some referral traffic start coming in from the article. The great thing about this type of traffic is that even though it may take some time to get working, once the post is ranking and people start clicking through to your site the traffic can be really consistent (and free)!

How do you make an off-page SEO strategy?

If you’re new to off-page SEO, it can be overwhelming to decide how you will go about creating and implementing a strategy. Choosing the best off-page SEO tactics for your business depends a lot on what industry you’re in and what type of traffic is most valuable for you.

Figure Out Where Your Customers Spend Time Online

It’s important to understand which websites your target audience spends the most time on if you want your off-page SEO strategy to be effective. For example, if you’re a software company that targets ecommerce businesses, you need to figure out what sites ecommerce business owners and employees read to learn more about their industry.

Determine the best way to capture their attention.

After you’ve identified a few places you could reach your customers, you can decide which type of content they are most likely to find valuable and interact with. It’s important to consider the questions that they may be asking and the problems that they need help solving.

Create content that provides value and encourages clickthrough to your website.

From there you can decide what type of content is most valuable to them and you can reach them by getting guest posts published on the sites they read. One important part of the content is that it should have a clear call to action that directs readers to your website. Linking to the content on your own website will provide a backlink and will make it easy for readers to learn how your business can help them.