13 of the Best Facebook Ad Examples That Actually Work (And Why)

On average, Facebook is home to 1.45 billion daily active users — from CEOs, to students, to companies. And while the community is clearly there, connecting with them from a marketing standpoint isn’t always easy.

For brands, posting on Facebook alone isn’t enough anymore — especially for ones just starting out. Sure, you can throw money at your efforts to drive people to your Facebook Page and send them to your website, but that only works if you’re smart about it.

One way to do just that is to create optimized Facebook Ads targeted at the right audience. Optimized ads can help you spend your PPC budget wisely and see a positive return on your investment.Click here to download our free ebook on the future of global Facebook  advertising.

So, what does optimized Facebook advertising actually look like? If you’re looking for some great examples, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll quickly go over the following about the best Facebook ads:

  • Facebook ads best practices
  • Facebook ad formats
  • Facebook ad templates
  • Examples of the best, most effective Facebook ads we’ve ever seen (with some insights to apply to your own Facebook marketing)

Before we get to the Facebook ad examples outlined above, let’s discuss what makes a great Facebook Ad — regardless of the format and template the ad is using.

4 Facebook Ads Best Practices

1. It’s visual.

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Visual content is not only treated more favorably in the Facebook algorithm, but it’s also more likely to be shared and remembered than written content. The lesson for Facebook marketers? No matter what type of ad you create, your image needs to be visually appealing.

Check out this blog post for a detailed guide to image sizes for various ad units on Facebook along with some tips on posting visual content.

2. It’s relevant.

Relevance is critical for success when using Facebook advertising. Remember, you are spending money when someone views or clicks on your ad (depending on the settings you use). If you’re showing ads that aren’t relevant to your target audience, you’re wasting your time and money and will likely not see success with any kind of advertising.

Back in February 2015, Facebook launched a feature in the Facebook advertising platform that rates your ads and gives you a relevance score, similar to Ad Rank in Google AdWords. The more relevant your ad image, ad copy, and destination page is to your audience, the higher your score is — and the more favorably Facebook will treat your ads.

3. It includes an enticing value proposition.

A value proposition tells the reader why they should click on your ad to learn more about your product. How is your product or service different from any other? Why should the viewer click on your ad to see your website?

Your value proposition should be believable. For example, saying you have the greatest sandwiches in the world will not make people come to your business’s Page, but maybe offering 20% off will. Or, perhaps adding social proof will help — something like, “Sandwiches loved by over one million people every year! Come try yours today and get 20% off your order with this coupon.”

4. It has a clear call-to-action.

A beautiful and relevant ad is great, but without a call-to-action (CTA), your viewer might not know what to do next. Add a CTA like “Buy now and save X%,” or “Offer ends soon” and add a sense of urgency to your viewer. Your CTA should encourage people to click on your ad now.

3 Primary Facebook Ad Formats

Format 1: The Right Column Ad

Right Column Facebook Placement.png

Image via Facebook

This type of ad is the most traditional on Facebook, it appears on the right side of a user’s Facebook News Feed. This is the first type of advertising Facebook had, and it still exists today.

Although ads in the News Feed are likely to get higher engagement metrics due to its native advertising features, right column ads shouldn’t be forgotten. We often see less expensive clicks and conversions when using these ads. In order for a right column ad to be successful, it needs to be relevant, have a value proposition, a good visual, and have a call-to-action.

Format 2: The Desktop News Feed Ad

Screen Shot 2016-11-29 at 1.16.38 PM.png

Image via Facebook

This type of ad appears directly in a user’s News Feed when they access Facebook on a desktop computer, and it looks more like native advertising. In our experience, these ads have a higher engagement rate than right column ads, but they can also be more expensive. These ads must follow organic Facebook posts best practices and be both engaging and visual.

Format 3: The Mobile News Feed Ad

Mobile Facebook Ad Placement.png

Image via Facebook

Like the desktop News Feed ad, this type of ad appears in the user’s mobile News Feed and displays like an organic post from the people and Pages they follow.

8 Facebook Ad Templates

Template 1: Video Ad

Facebook ad template for video

Image via Facebook

Video ads appear fairly large in the user’s New Feed and offer more engaging content than static posts. And with 8 billion videos being watched on Facebook every day, it serves as an interesting — and potentially profitable — ad type for marketers to try out.

How can you create your own video ad? First, understand Facebook video ad requirements including length and video size. We suggest keeping your video as short as possible, even though Facebook allows you to upload a much larger video. Create a video that displays your product or service, and upload directly to the Facebook ads manager by following these instructions.

Template 2: Photo Ad

Facebook ad template for photo

Image via Facebook

Another type of rich media advertising on Facebook is a post of an image. This is one of the most popular types of ads ever since Facebook began favoring visual content. The optimal size for News Feed photo ads is 1200×628 pixels, otherwise your image will get cropped. Adjust your image based on the target audience’s needs and by what will appeal to them the most.

Template 3: Multi-product Ad

Facebook ad template for multi-product

Image via Facebook

Multi-product ads allow advertisers to showcase multiple products within one ad. Viewers can scroll through the images and click on individual links to each product. You can promote multiple of anything, not just products — like different blog posts, ebooks, or webinars. These ads can be created in the Facebook Power Editor.

Template 4: Reach Ad

Facebook ad template for reach ad and local awarenessImage via Facebook

Reach ads on Facebook are designed for to grow your local awareness. They only work if your business has a physical location to which you’re trying to drive real foot traffic. If you fall into this category, locally targeted Facebook ads might be a great fit for you, as you can hyper-target on Facebook down to the mile.

If your business has an offer or event going on at your store, set up a few Facebook Reach ads that appear only to people within a short distance of your store. Have these ads appear a few days prior to the event and on mobile devices while the event is happening. You may want to reach some people the day of the event who happen to be in the area and checking their Facebook account on their smartphones.

Template 5: Offer Ad

Facebook ad template for offerImage via Facebook

An offer ad is a form of Facebook advertising wherein a business can promote a discount on a product or service that can be redeemed on Facebook. The benefit of this? It eliminates one step in the buyer’s journey, which ultimately increases sales.

The offer ad has many benefits. First, it drives the user directly to the offer. The user claims it directly on Facebook, removing any added friction of needing to go to your website for the offer. You also can reach any type of audience that you want, as all the Facebook targeting options are possible.

Finally, you can include all the information needed for the user to decide if they want it or not, including the time period it is usable, the number of people who has already claimed it, and the exact amount the offer is. This will eliminate any unqualified clicks, which cost you money.

Template 6: Event Ad

Facebook ad template for event

Event ads promote a specific event. The CTA on these ads usually send users directly to the ticket purchase page, wherever that happens to be hosted.

Using this type of ad will help drive a targeted group of people to attend your event. These will show up in the News Feed of the specific audience you’ve chosen. Events are a big part of most businesses, but getting people to attend even a small event, can be tricky. Promoting your event to a targeted specific audience on Facebook can help drive the right kind of attendees.

A good ad in this format will clearly show the benefit of attending the event: the price, dates, and a clear CTA to purchase a ticket.

Template 7: Boosted Ad

Facebook ad template for boosted postImage via Stealth Seminar

A boosted post is an organic Facebook post that was originally on the homepage of a company’s Facebook, and that later was boosted with advertising money.

This is different from the above ads because it’s not created in the Facebook Ads Manager. You can include more in the description, as there is no limit to word count on boosted posts like there is in ads. You can also have a link in the copy.

The cons? Boosted posts leave you fewer options for bidding, targeting, and pricing. You also cannot run any types of A/B tests because you’re promoting a post that has already been created; you’re not creating one from scratch.

Template 8: Retargeting Ad

A retargeting ad promotes an ad to a specific list of previously identified people. Have you ever seen ads follow you across the internet after visiting a certain website? Then you’ve seen a retargeting ad.

Facebook has the same capability. An advertiser can advertise to a list of leads or customers by uploading a list of email addresses it already has into the Power Editor to make a custom audience. A good retargeting ad acknowledges that the brand knows you’re already interested in its product. (Because, let’s face it … retargeting can be a little creepy.)

Now that we’ve covered the main ad best practices, formats, and templates, let’s dig into a sampling of the best Facebook ads that embrace the above guidelines.

13 of the Best Facebook Ad Examples

1. Kay Jewelers

Video Ad

Facebook video ad by Kay Jewelers

This Facebook video ad from Kay Jewelers tells a quick but moving story — something Kay Jewelers is well-known for — using just a few seconds of your time. You don’t even need the sound on in the video above to know what’s happening and the message Kay is sending.

If you’re advertising a product with sentimental value, like Kay Jewelers, video ads are the way to go. Just be sure your video has a clear (and happy) ending — people view videos more passively on Facebook than they would on YouTube, and don’t have time to interpret your ad if it’s too long or complex.

Why This Ad Works

  • It’s visual. Even though this is a video, I have a general idea of what I will be watching, thanks to the screen capture it started with. Additionally, I can understand the gist of this ad without playing with the sound on, which is important given that 85% of videos on Facebook are now viewed without sound.
  • It’s relevant. It’s relevant to me because I was recently scouring jewelry websites, specifically for necklaces like the one in the ad.
  • It’s valuable. Kay shows potential customers the value of purchasing with the help of the happy reaction from the woman receiving the gift in the ad. Plus, who doesn’t love dogs?
  • It has a solid call-to-action. This ad is set up to drive Page Likes, which is an easy, one-click way for me to get more relevant content served up to me.

2. Monday.com

Photo Ad

Facebook photo ad by Monday.com

Monday.com is a task-management tool that caters to multiple operating systems, both desktop and mobile. But in the photo ad above, the company used its compatibility with Mac computers to remix its own logo in the original rainbow colors of the Apple brand.

For growing businesses like Monday.com, it’s a smart idea to pivot off the brand awareness of household names. By filling the Monday logo with Apple’s famous rainbow color-way, the ad above captures the attention of Mac users who’d recognize those vintage rainbow stripes anywhere (and could use a new task-management tool that works on their computer).

Why This Ad Works

  • It’s visual. The rainbow colors filling the Monday logo are both eye-catching against the black background and familiar to any Mac user.
  • It’s relevant. For Mac users, and those who need to organize their tasks on a regular basis, this ad is relevant to their lifestyle in more ways than one.
  • It’s valuable. The ad calls attention to Monday’s compatibility with Mac computers, making the product’s user experience more valuable to Mac users as a result.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. The “Learn More” CTA on the bottom-right of the ad is a clear invitation to find out more about this product’s usage on Apple hardware.

3. Amazon

Event Ad

Facebook event ad for litter box by Amazon

This is how an event ad from Amazon looks in the News Feed on a desktop. This ad works well on a few different levels: A sample product is clearly displayed, the ad shows an impressive (but honest) rating of that product, and you know which event Amazon is promoting right away — Black Friday.

Ecommerce companies like Amazon use event ads to boost sales at specific points during the year, and Facebook event ads make this easy. When investing in event advertising, build a list of the holidays, shows, conferences, and awareness months your business cares about. That way, you know exactly which marketing campaigns line up with these occurrences and when to promote it on your Facebook Business Page.

Why This Ad Works

  • It’s visual. Not only is this image larger than the right column ad display, but it also uses warm colors, white space, and directional lines, which drew my eye towards the featured product.
  • It’s relevant. As a cat mom, this offer is clearly tailored to my consumer needs.
  • It includes an enticing value prop. Amazon has advertised a self-cleaning litter box here, which is of tremendous value for any cat owner. Additionally, it shared the strong customer ratings below an image of the product. (Social proof, anyone?)
  • It has a clear call-to-action. Amazon instructs me to click on its ad today, after which point the deal for the litter box will presumably disappear. “Now” is strong CTA language that compels clicks.

4. NatureBox

Photo Ad

Facebook photo ad by NatureBox

This photo ad by NatureBox features a creative point-of-view shot that is perfect for the angle at which you’d dive into the company’s various health snacks. The ad makes you imagine your next house party … I thought the peanuts spilling out onto the table was a nice touch.

In your next Facebook photo ad, play around with live-action photography and digital design in the same image. As you can see in the ad above, NatureBox was able to design a vibrant “free trial” icon right on top of an image that would’ve worked just as well on its own.

Why This Ad Works

  • It’s visual. The image shows you exactly what you’re getting, and it calls out the “free trial” CTA well.
  • It’s relevant. Everyone likes to snack. In all seriousness, the person who saw this is a fan of several lifestyle subscription companies, which is what NatureBox is.
  • It’s valuable. This ad is full of value. First, the “free trial” callout is the first thing your eyes go to when looking at the image. Second, it clearly mentions the healthy aspects of the goodies in its product.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. NatureBox is asking you to try its free sample. It couldn’t be easier to know your next step.

5. Winc

Retargeting Ad

Facebook retargeting ad by Winc

Here’s an example of a short and sweet (literally) retargeting ad from Winc (formerly known as Club W). This ad is displayed on the right column of Facebook specifically for users who browse wine-related content online. When your ad caters to people who you know would be interested, modeling the product the way Winc does above can be a home run for your brand.

Why This Ad Works

  • It’s visual. The visual is clear, simple, and appealing to all types of wine-lovers.
  • It’s relevant. This came up in my wine-obsessed colleague’s News Feed. Need I say more? Two thumbs up on relevance.
  • It includes an enticing value prop. Three bottles for $19? What a steal. They also pull the viewer in with an additional value: a discount on their first order of wine.
  • It has a strong call-to-action. The word “get” is strong call-to-action language, and it’s used twice here. A time limit on this offer would have made it even stronger.

6. Shutterfly

Multi-Product Ad

Facebook multi-product ad by Shutterfly

Here’s an example of a multi-product ad from Shutterfly, along with the additional images that are used in the ad. Each image has a different offer, to appeal to many different demographics in one ad.

In each image, the product being promoted is consistent in the look and feel of the Shutterfly brand — this an important quality of ads that showcase more than one item and picture.

Why This Ad Works

  • It’s visual. This series of images leans on a consistent color palette, making it feel both cohesive and on brand. (Having a cute cat doesn’t hurt either.)
  • It’s relevant. The person who saw this loves taking photos and creating sentimental gifts. Spot on, right?
  • It’s valuable. There is a very clear value for the user, 40% off each of the products being advertised. The code and sale end date are also clear in the ad description. This ad also has an added level of value, it is showing the many different ways people can use Shutterfly, in ways many may not be aware of.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. I know I need to use this before February 17th when this deal expires, so I would be encouraged to take action right away.

7. MU Campus Dining

Reach Ad

Facebook local ad by MU Campus Dining

This Facebook reach ad from Mizzou Campus Dining promotes amenities at the University of Missouri, using two familiar logos and a marketplace that anyone on campus might recognize.

The ad copy beneath the image invites customers in “after the game” — a reference to campus life that helps Facebook users imagine when they might want to stop in for a sandwich.

Why This Ad Works

  • It’s visual. This image has college pride, a variety of salty and sweet treats, and a well-known logo to attract hungry college students.
  • It’s relevant. This ad is likely only being shown to students on campus who are in its target audience. It also mentions the sports game that was going on at the time, and plays to the student’s current needs: snacks and Subway sandwiches.
  • It’s valuable. Mizzou Market is telling hungry college students that it has everything students need for the big game.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. This ad has the option to show directions, making it extremely easy for a college student on the go to follow the walking directions to this market.

8. Boston Sports Clubs

Offer Ad

Facebook offer ad by Boston Sports Clubs

All consumers really need to see is the boxer pictured above to know what this ad by Boston Sports Clubs (BSC) is offering. The woman in the photo even looks like she’s staring at the text to her left, getting viewers to shift their attention to the promotion right away.

This Facebook offer ad makes it obvious what customers would be signing up for when they click the “Sign Up” CTA button below the picture. Offer ads can easily mislead viewers into pressing their CTA just to get them to click on it, but it ultimately doesn’t convert viewers into customers. BSC’s approach above is clear and upfront about what it’s offering throughout its conversion path.

Why This Ad Works

  • It’s visual. The featured photo uses bold colors and clear typography to draw my attention to the details of the offer, and the woman exercising gives me an idea of what I could gain from purchasing the offer.
  • It’s relevant. I recently moved to Boston and have been searching for gyms in my area online, so this ad is highly relevant to my recent Facebook and search activity.
  • It’s valuable. Paying $5 for a monthly gym membership is a great deal. Even though the price may increase in the future, the low price definitely makes me want to click.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. The CTA emphasizes that the discount offer is limited and should be claimed quickly using the word “hurry” and telling me when the offer expires.

9. Allbirds

Video Ad

Facebook video ad by Allbirds

This video ad by Allbirds, a shoe maker, uses simplicity and whitespace to its advantage. The video only lasts nine seconds, but Allbirds demonstrates the product in a way that catches your attention and resonates with the individual wearer.

There’s a lot of ad content on Facebook, and when Facebook users scroll through their News Feeds, that content start to blend together. Sometimes your best chance at sticking out on Facebook is by using subtle movements and details — like Allbirds did, above. Let every other video on Facebook be quick and flashy, and yours will be a breath of fresh air to your audience.

Why This Ad Works

  • It’s visual. The video has a clear focus on a subject, and that subject is engaging in a movement that means something: These shoes are comfy. I subconsciously started wiggling my own toes as I saw this ad for the first time.
  • It’s relevant. I’m always interested in finding new shoes — I probably search or click on something related to footwear once a week. This ad feeds that interest in a unique way.
  • It’s valuable. The opening quote above the video is reason enough for me to want to learn more about why these shoes are so comfortable. Allbirds also sweetens the deal with “free shipping,” “free returns,” and a note below the video that the product is “machine washable” — all without taking the focus away from the video itself.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. If I want these shoes, there’s a “Shop Now” CTA button to the bottom-right of the ad, waiting for me take a closer look at them.

10. The New York Times

Photo Ad

Facebook photo ad by the New York Times

This photo ad by the The New York Times is driving traffic to a written article with an intriguing illustration. The drawing literally depicts the article’s ideal audience — millennials. For young readers who are even a little interested in health and fitness, this cartoon (along with the enticing headline) pokes just enough fun at them to get their attention.

When publishers advertise on Facebook, they need to be especially creative with their featured images — if their main product is a reading experience, the photo they choose has to complement their written content perfectly. The New York Times’ ad above is an example of photo ads done right.

Why This Ad Works

  • It’s visual. The quirky cartoon drew my eye as I scrolled on my mobile News Feed through lots of text and photography. The nontraditional illustration pulled me in for a closer look at the content.
  • It’s relevant. I’m a person in my 20s, and I used to write about health care. This is an article I would definitely be interested in reading, and it helps that the ad appears like a native post promoting an article in my New Feed.
  • It includes an enticing value prop. The ad shows me which of my Facebook friends also like, and presumably read, The New York Times. This social proof makes me more likely to click and read the article.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. This ad is dedicated to increasing the page’s Likes, and by asking a question in the ad, the call-to-action makes me want to click the article to learn more.

11. Tortuga Music Festival

Event Ad

Facebook event ad by Tortuga Music Festival

Successful event ads have at least two important qualities: the event’s schedule and something to justify why people should attend. The event ad above for the Tortuga Music Festival accomplishes both of those things — it displays the date and time and the bands playing, and shows you a picture of the amazing time you’ll have if you come.

Why This Ad Works

  • It’s visual. The picture alone is worth a thousand words about how much fun this concert would be. Not only is it on the beach, it was also taken on a gorgeous day and the stage looks amazing. Also, it clearly represents what to expect during the event, and it catches the eye as someone scrolls through their News Feed. (The beautiful ocean water definitely helps.)
  • It’s relevant. The person who saw this ad is a fan of Kenny Chesney and has been to his concerts before. They’re also originally from Florida, which is where this event takes place.
  • It’s valuable. Since the image was taken on a beautiful day, it looks like an ideal place to be — especially to those of us viewing it from our office desks. It also clearly tells you the cost of the ticket so you know before you click. (This is also good for the advertiser: By including the price, the ad allows users to self-select based on whether they can afford the ticket. If they can’t afford it, they won’t click through, thus saving the advertiser money on unqualified clicks.)
  • It has a clear call-to-action. The CTA is clear: “Buy.” The advertisers also add urgent wording with the title “Time is running out!”, encouraging you to purchase your ticket now before it’s too late.

12. Adrianna Papell

Retargeting Ad

Facebook retargeting ad for Adrianna Papell wedding dresses

Last week, I started shopping around for a bridesmaid dress for an upcoming wedding I’ll be in. Today, the ad above appeared in my News Feed.

Retargeting ads enable you to get in front of those viewers who are already looking for what you’re offering. This retargeting ad by Adrianna Papell doesn’t just show me what I’m on the market for — it excites me about how beautiful our own wedding party pictures will look on my friend’s big day.

Why This Ad Works

  • It’s visual. The image gives me a good idea of what to expect from the designer’s website, and it definitely helps that the gowns are both unique and stunning. Talk about a showstopper.
  • It’s relevant. The ad called out that I was already shopping for bridesmaid dresses, and what’s more, I had previously looked at dresses on this exact website, so this ad is highly relevant to my search.
  • It’s valuable. The variety of dresses in the ad’s image and in the description make this website worth a visit for someone trying to find the perfect gown out of thousands of options.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. The CTA is “Shop Now,” which encourages me to click to purchase the beautiful dresses in the ad’s image.

13. Bustle

Boosted Post

Facebook boosted post by Bustle

Here’s an example of a boosted post from Bustle, who promoted one of its articles on Facebook. Paying to “boost” a post you already posted organically to your Facebook Business Page can greatly benefit content that has mass appeal — versus a post that targets a specific segment of your audience. Bustle’s choice of boosted post here falls into that first category.

From Amazon’s vibrant neon sign in the photo, to the high number of examples included in the article (42, to be exact), Bustle’s boosted ad is sure to pique the interest of many Amazon and Bustle followers.

Why This Ad Works

  • It’s visual. Lots of people are familiar with the Amazon Prime logo, but not in neon lights in a window display. It made me do a double-take while scrolling through Facebook.
  • It’s relevant. As we’ve already learned from earlier examples, I like shopping on Amazon and also read Bustle, so this article is a combination of those two behaviors.
  • It’s valuable. “Brilliant” is a strong adjective to describe products, which makes me curious to learn more about purchasing them.
  • It has a clear call-to-action. The ad entices me with information about useful and “brilliant” gadgets I can get delivered to my door within two days, which I’m happy to click to learn more about.

There you have it: A list of all the different types of Facebook posts and a few examples of awesome ones from all different brands. The Facebook Ads Manager platform will walk you through how to set these up with simple, step-by-step instructions — so don’t feel overwhelmed. Or, watch this short video for tips on creating and optimizing Facebook ads.

 
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Now, stop reading and start creating.

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from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33319/10-examples-of-facebook-ads-that-actually-work-and-why.aspx

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The HubSpot Culture Code: Creating a Company We Love

Several years ago, we published a public beta of the HubSpot Culture Code slide deck. This deck started out as an internal document, and as a company who values transparency, we decided to share it with the world.

Like HubSpot, the Culture Code is a perpetual “work in progress,” so we’ll update it periodically. To date, we’ve updated it more than 25 times, and what you see below is our latest version. The presentation has been very well received, with more than 3.9 million views so far. (Thank you!)

HubSpot is growing. We have about 44,500 customers and more than 2,200 employees in the company now. We have more than $375 million in annual revenue. We are grateful to our customers and to the inbound community for the success we’ve had so far.

And we’re grateful to those of you who have hopped on for the ride. We thought it could be interesting and possibly even useful to offer up this inside look at HubSpot and the people behind it. What do we believe? What makes us tick?

The answers to those questions (and more!) are in the mega-slide-deck included above. The document has evolved and expanded over several years into this latest version. We hope you like it and will share it.

Download our free culture code guide here to learn how to create a company culture your own employees love.

HubSpot Culture Code Highlights

  • Culture is to recruiting as product is to marketing.  
  • Whether you like it or not, you’re going to have a culture. Why not make it one you love?
  • Solve For The Customer — not just their happiness, but also their success.
  • Power is now gained by sharing knowledge, not hoarding it.
  • “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” -Louis Brandeis
  • HubSpot has a no-door policy, where everyone has access to anyone in the company.
  • You shouldn’t penalize the many for the mistakes of the few.
  • Results should matter more than when or where they are produced.
  • Influence should be independent of hierarchy.
  • Great people want direction on where they’re going — not directions on how to get there.
  • “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”
  • We’d rather be failing frequently than never trying.

We hope you found the deck useful. If you’d like to reach out or provide feedback, you can do so in the comments below.  Or, you can find me on twitter @dharmesh.

download free guide to company culture

from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/34234/the-hubspot-culture-code-creating-a-company-we-love.aspx

How to Write a LinkedIn Recommendation in 2018 [Quick Tip]

“Lisa has recommended you!”

Awww, she has?!

When I get a LinkedIn recommendation from someone I respect and admire professionally, I feel both honored and encouraged to return the favor. But for some reason, I always get writer’s block. I never know how to start or what to say — only that I like this person’s work and I want others to know it.

Unfortunately, simply writing “Lisa is the best!!!!” isn’t reflective of Lisa’s skills — plus it makes you look like a total goon.

Luckily, in the past few weeks I’ve written a couple of LinkedIn recommendations that I think turned out pretty well, and they reflected a pattern that’s easy to replicate in subsequent recommendations. I thought I’d share that pattern with others that suffer the same writer’s block.

Download our ultimate guide to LinkedIn here for more tips about how to use LinkedIn for professional networking.

Here’s a quick little “template” you can use that makes for a LinkedIn recommendation that’s specific, honest, succinct, and helpful for the person you’re recommending.

How to Write a LinkedIn Recommendation (in 6 Steps)

1. Explain the nature of your professional relationship.

That sounds really serious, but it’s simply a helpful piece of context that acts as an “intro” for your recommendation. Whether it’s a coworker you’ve worked closely with for years, a manager, a direct report, a point of contact at an agency, or something else entirely, it sets the stage for the reader to learn why you’re writing this recommendation.

For Example:

I’ve worked alongside Lisa for close to two years now.

2. Provide details of the position for which you’re recommending the person.

Are you recommending this person for their work in one position? Or are you writing about their work across multiple jobs they’ve held while you worked with them? Either way, a great next step is to explain some of the notable parts of their job(s). It may feel strange — kind of like you’re listing out their job description. But this is very helpful for anyone reading the recommendation, looking to get a feel for what precisely it is they did in their job.

Resist the urge to create a laundry list of their job duties. If they’ve really worn that many hats, I recommend contacting them to see if there’s a certain part of their role they’d like emphasized over others.

For Example:

In those two years, I’ve seen her not only excel at the core elements of her job — like copywriting and copyediting — but also learn other tasks that extend well beyond the scope of her role, like email marketing, event planning, and even championing our company’s internal communications.

3. Explain how they’ve grown at the company.

If this person reports (or once reported) to you, this aspect of a LinkedIn recommendation can go a long way. Explaining how a person has grown — either in their role or from one role to another — can demonstrate an ability to adapt as the organization expands.

Just be careful not to overstate any low points in their career that can dilute the value of the growth you’re trying to highlight.

For Example:

Lisa has grown as quickly as our business has, and her willingness to learn and take on these new responsibilities is something to be desired in any professional.

4. Indicate how their contribution helped grow the team or company.

This could be an explanation of how their performance helped hit hard metrics, or it could demonstrate a contribution toward more esoteric things, like leading their teammates or fostering new initiatives.

For Example:

Lisa’s mastery for both her core role, and the projects that extend beyond it, have been critical to the company’s growth. In fact, her taking on internal company communication aligned with a sharp increase in employee happiness.

5. Explain what these achievements reveal about that person.

By now, you’ve included some specifics — so let’s explain what those specifics mean for the larger theme of your recommendation. Do the examples you’ve detailed reveal that person is hard-working? Ambitious? Great for team morale? Connect their accomplishments with their attributes.

For Example:

This rare mix of productivity and ambition sets a great example for the rest of the team, and explains why everyone loves working with Lisa — no matter where they fall on the org chart.

6. End with a note about the personal aspect of working with him/her.

In this section, hit the message home with a mention of how you felt working with the person, your hopes for their career, or simply a prediction about their future.

For Example:

While Lisa’s work has continued to pay dividends long past her tenure here, I certainly miss working with her every day. I have only optimistic predictions for her career trajectory.

LinkedIn Recommendation Sample (for a Manager)

Now, writing a LinkedIn recommendation can seem easier said than done. What if the employee you’re recommending is your superior? This can make it more difficult to recommend the person — even if you’re saying stellar things about them.

To avoid sounding patronizing or tone deaf when addressing a higher-level professional, here’s a sample LinkedIn recommendation — written in full — that a manager would be proud to receive (notice how it embraces every step outlined above).

I’ve worked for Lisa for two years, and in those two years, I’ve seen her quickly take on new responsibilities while having the time to teach this information back into her employees. By inheriting tasks like campaign analytics and email A/B testing — both of which extend beyond the scope of our team — she’s made our department much more agile, and set me up for a promotion last month. Lisa is as great a person as she was a manager, and her next employer will be lucky to have her.

Now proofread, and hit send. Remember, the recipient has the opportunity to review and request changes to your recommendation, so if you’re concerned you haven’t written a recommendation in the most helpful way possible, they can still get in touch with edit requests.

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from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/write-linkedin-recommendation

Email Writing: How To Craft Effective Emails For International Teams

Are you a non-native English speaker who needs to regularly write emails to your international colleagues?

It can be a challenge to write effective, conversational emails when English isn’t your first language, but this article will provide some helpful tips to help you improve the overall quality of your emails and sound more like a native English speaker.

Being a non-native English speaker doesn’t mean you need to be limited by fear and insecurity every single time you hit the “send” button. Once you’ve applied these simple strategies to your writing, you should be able to confidently send emails to anyone (even those from native English-speaking countries like the US.)

Email Writing Tips for International Teams

Most people won’t tell you this, but crafting a good email begins even before you put down a single word. Writing a good email starts with your mindset.

When you’re in the correct frame of mind, you’ll be able to write effective emails that communicate and persuade.

Sounds logical … but how do you enter the “correct frame of mind”?

You internalize a few important email writing rules that you should apply to every single email you write. The best part is — these rules can also be applied to any form of communication, not just email.

Email Writing Rule #1: Imagine Receiving The Email You’re Writing

Have you ever received an email that it was so incoherent you couldn’t even finish reading it, let alone even consider replying? Or included a completely irrelevant proposition?

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 12.17.34 PM

Ahrefs is an SEO tool, yet they received an email from a fishing company

One of the biggest problems when it comes to email writing is the lack of empathy for the recipient. Before even writing an email, most people won’t even consider whether their email will be well-received by the other party.

If you want your email taken seriously, you need to be able to empathize with your recipient before you even start writing. Think about the person you’re sending an email to:

  • Why are you emailing this person?
  • What does the person you’re emailing want?
  • Is this the right person to contact, considering what I’m trying to achieve?

Of course, if you’re already close to this person, then these questions are not as necessary. You can probably dash off a quick email, and still get a reply.

But, if you’re sending an email to someone new, or unfamiliar, then take some time to reflect on these questions. Your answers will help you write a more thoughtful, coherent email.

Email Writing Rule #2: Write Like You Talk

If you’re not a native English speaker, it’s normal to feel like you should be more formal when it comes to your email writing.

However, this results in emails that are too formal, and come off as awkward or stiff. For example:

Native English speakers write more informally — their writing sounds like one person talking to another.

Here is a quick grammar tip that will always help you sound more native: Write in an active voice and avoid the passive voice.

An “active voice” shows that a subject is performing the verb’s action, e.g.: “Marilyn mailed the letter.”

In contrast, the “passive voice” shows that the verb is acted upon by the subject, e.g.: “The letter was mailed by Marilyn.”

Instead of writing “your feedback would be much appreciated”, try saying “I would appreciate your feedback.” Instead of writing “your request has been received”, try saying “I received your request.”

Notice how writing in an active voice sounds more human.

How To Write An Effective Email

1. The Subject Line

The subject line is usually the first thing someone reads before they decide to open your email. This also means that the subject line holds the key to whether your email is opened, ignored, or deleted.

Unfortunately, non-native English speakers don’t always know what to write in the subject line.

Take a look at this example:

This particular subject line (real-life example by the way) is vague, indirect and does not hint to me at all what the content of the email will be about.

The result? *Delete*.

Subject lines are especially important if you’re reaching out to someone for the first time. The recipient doesn’t know who you are, and can only judge you from your subject line.

Even if you’re sending emails internally at your company, it still pays to write a great subject line so your recipient has an idea of what to expect. Like any busy person, your teammates receives a ton of email every day, and would certainly appreciate the extra effort of a descriptive subject line.

So, how do you write a good subject line?

Be clear, direct and describe the content of your email. Don’t be afraid to take up the whole subject line. Go ahead and tell them what to expect.

As you can see, there’s no need to resort to sneaky tricks or clickbait titles just to induce an open. Remember – you don’t want people to be tricked into reading your email, you actually want them to read it and take some kind of action.

You want to associate positive feelings with your email, not anger and disappointment.

Here are some good examples of subject lines:

  • I’m going to be in Town next Tues – are you available?
  • Introduction to Kevin Bacon
  • FAQ — will you take you 2 minutes — need answer today
  • Susan suggested I reach out to you

2. Start with an appropriate greeting.

To kick off the email, you should begin with an appropriate greeting. There are two components to the greeting: the salutation and the opening sentence.

Most non-native English speakers, probably out of fear of offending someone, tend to stick to just one salutation — Dear [X]. No matter the context, non-native English speakers will use Dear [X] over and over again.

The appropriate salutation actually depends on the situation. If you’re writing a formal email to a bank or government institution, it would be better to start off with Dear [X].

If you’re sending an email to someone you know, or work in a casual environment, then it is perfectly fine to go with a Hi [name].

To help you out, here is a list of salutations you can open with in your emails:

  • Dear [First Name]
  • Dear Mr./Ms. [Last Name]
  • [Name]
  • Good morning/afternoon
  • Hi
  • Hey
  • Hey/Hi there

Once you’ve gotten the salutation out of the way, it is time for an appropriate opening sentence. While the subject line determines whether your email is opened, your opening sentence determines whether your email is read till the end.

The best way to do this correctly is to research the person you’re writing to. Find out what your recipient is interested in. Look around their social media profiles (e.g Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), and if they publish, read some of their blog posts.

Do a Google search on their name, and see if anything interesting comes up. Visit their company’s website, read their About Us page, and find out what they are working on or interested in collaborating on.

With this information, you can write an opening sentence that builds rapport. Show that you understand them, what they need, and how you can help them.

With this, you can also show that you’re different — that you’re interested in them, are willing to go the extra mile to find out more. Showing that you understand their challenges helps build trust.

Of course, this is not necessary if you’re emailing a colleague or someone you know, but it is still important to establish some kind of context so that they know what’s happening.

3. Keep your message short and concise.

According to Statista, we send and receive roughly 269 billion emails a day.

If we average out across everyone in the developed world (~4 billion people), every single person would receive about 68 emails/day!

This alarming statistic make one thing very clear: we spend a lot of time reading emails.

To write an email that is opened, read and acted upon is not easy. You have to put in the work upfront to ensure that the email is professional, empathetic, and easy to read.

You have to respect your readers’ time. While you may feel like you need to tell them everything in one email, don’t. No one is eagerly awaiting a three-page essay arriving in their inbox. Here’s one I received recently:

Ugh.

Instead, keep the email short, concise and to the point. Stick to essential and specific information.

Think about it this way: what’s the ONE thing you want to achieve after the person sees your email?

Make sure the email is written in such a way where it achieves the end result you want.

When you need to include a lot of information in an email, it’s probably better to suggest a phone call or a meeting instead.

Pro-Tip: Use this free meeting tool to schedule your meetings faster and avoid back-and-forth emails.

4. Use standard fonts.

If you’re using a non-English keyboard, your fonts may not show up properly on the other person’s device.

If you’re trying to look like a native speaker, use standard fonts. Some fonts for languages have their own “English font”, which are a dead giveaway that the person writing is a non-native speaker:

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 12.24.37 PM

To prevent all kinds of tech issues from coming up, stick to what is safe. Use web-safe email fonts like:

  • Arial
  • Courier
  • Georgia
  • Helvetica
  • Lucida Sans
  • Tahoma
  • Times New Roman
  • Trebuchet MS
  • Verdana

In fact, this is the exact list Gmail gives:

This will ensure that your recipient will receive your message in a normal font no matter what devices or operating system they are using.

5. Writing your closing.

Once you’re done with the content of your email, it’s time to close it off.

You don’t have to make it fancy — just keep your closing simple and straightforward.

So, nothing like this:

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 12.25.59 PM

Instead, stick to the safe, proven closing lines — and you should be good.

You can choose from some of the most common closing lines below:

  • Yours sincerely
  • Yours truly
  • Yours
  • Sincerely
  • Best regards
  • Best
  • Warm regards
  • Warm wishes
  • Kind regards
  • Kind wishes
  • Thank you
  • Thanks

If you’re really looking for something out-of-the-ordinary and fancy, then take a look at this list of email sign-offs that you can try.

6. Schedule your emails.

Because you’re writing an international email, time zones matter.

Due to the influx of emails one receives, an email you sent early in the morning could be buried at the bottom of his inbox by the time your recipient checks it. This may also mean that all your hard work spent crafting the email would be wasted.

Instead, set yourself up for success.

Remember Rule #1? Put yourself in their shoes.

When would they be most receptive? When would their inbox be “emptier”?

It might be during lunch. It might be Sunday evening when they are preparing for the week ahead. It might even be Friday — they’re probably in a good mood because the weekend is coming.

Then, use our free email scheduling tool to ensure that your emails are sent at the right time to the recipient’s inbox.

7. Do a final spelling and grammar check.

Don’t fail at the last mile.

Don’t spend all your time crafting a perfect message, only to be ignored by the recipient because it’s riddled with spelling and grammar errors.

After you’ve finished drafting your email, copy and paste it into Microsoft Word or Google Docs to give it a quick grammar, phrasing, and spelling check. Alternatively, you can also use checkers like Grammarly to automate the process while you’re drafting.

 Do a quick read-aloud to make sure that you’re not writing clunkily, or sound like a robot. You need your email copy to sound human.

Remember — help the reader focus on the message, not on your spelling errors.

Want more? Learn how to send the right email to the right person and provide maximum value with this free email marketing lesson.

 

 

[a]Source: http://shortwavedxer.blogspot.com/2013/01/china-tibet-broadcasting-voice-of-china.html%5Bb%5DCouldn’t replicate what you wanted.. But I found this example.[c]Made the change

from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-writing-for-international-teams

The Definition of Market Research in 100 Words or Less

In some circles, market research is a catch-all term for asking the industry what it wants. “Do we know what the demand is for this product? Who’s even looking for our services? Let me do some market research to find out,” someone might say.

Market research can answer various questions about the state of an industry, but it’s hardly a crystal ball that marketers can rely on for insights on their customers. Market researchers investigate several areas of the market, and it can take weeks or even months to paint an accurate picture of the business landscape.

However, researching just one of those areas can make you more intuitive to who your buyers are and how to deliver value that no other business is offering them right now.

Subscribe to HubSpot Research to get industry data just for marketers.

Here’s a simple definition of market research that encompasses all the possible goals of this practice, in fewer than 100 words:

To give you an idea of how extensive market research can get, consider that it can either be qualitative or quantitative in nature — depending on the studies you conduct and what you’re trying to learn about your industry. Qualitative research is concerned with public opinion, and explores how the market feels about the products currently available in that market. Quantitative research is concerned with data, and looks for relevant trends in the information that’s gathered from public records.

Let’s talk about four different types of market research studies you can conduct, a potential goal of each one, and how these studies help you better understand your market.

Interviews

Qualitative information

Interviews are the personal, one-on-one conversations you can have with the buyers in your industry. You can conduct interviews in person or over the phone.

Your interviewees can answer questions about themselves to help you design your buyer personas. These buyer personas describe your ideal customer’s age, family size, budget, job title, the challenges they face at work, and similar aspects of their lifestyle. Having this buyer profile in hand can shape your entire marketing strategy, from the features you add to your product to the content you publish on your website.

Focus Groups

Qualitative information

Focus groups are similar to interviews, but in this case, you’re assembling a large group of people for one shared interview. A focus group consists of people who have at least one element of your buyer persona in common — age or job title, for instance.

This type of market research can give you ideas for product differentiation, or the qualities of your product that make it unique in the marketplace. Consider asking your focus group questions about (and showing them examples of) your services, and ultimately use the group’s feedback to make these services better.

Surveys

Quantitative information

Surveys are a form of quantitative research, and you can distribute them over the phone, via email, or through an online survey. A survey could cater to people who’ve downloaded content from your website or interacted with a member of your business.

Enough completed surveys can help you determine your customer satisfaction level. This denotes how happy your customers are with what you’re selling them. You might include questions like, “How well did we solve your problem?” and “Would you recommend our product to a friend?”

Secondary Data

Quantitative information

The interviews, focus groups, and surveys are all sources of primary data. Secondary data, on the other hand, is the public information — online and offline — that characterizes your industry. This includes competitor websites, social media business pages, trade magazines, market reports, and even census data published by the government.

If you examine enough secondary data, you can learn how much brand awareness you have in the marketplace compared to the companies that provide the same product or service as you.

The market research you perform doesn’t have to include every source of information described above. What data you collect will depend on the needs of your business and what you might be most interested in at the moment. Ready to give market research a shot? Learn how to get started in this blog post.

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from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/market-research-definition

What is the Deep Web? A 3-Minute Rundown

Most marketers say the best place to hide a dead body is on page two of Google. I disagree. There’s a darker digital graveyard. It’s called the deep web. A place where Google can’t find anything.

I’ll admit, that was a pretty grim description of the deep web. But it isn’t the sinister abyss of illegal and disturbing activity that the media clamors about. That place is called the dark web.

The terms “deep web” and “dark web” are often used interchangeably — they’re not the same thing, though. The dark web is technically a tiny sliver of the deep web, making up 0.01% of it, but the horror stories you hear about the dark web don’t actually happen on the deep web.

In fact, most of the content on the deep web is quite similar to the content that you can find on Google, which is called the surface web. And we use it everyday without even knowing it.

The deep web is just content you can’t find on a search engine, like your personal email account, social media accounts, online banking account, a brand’s gated pages, or a corporation’s private database.

The only difference between the deep web and the surface web is that a thin layer of security stonewalls the public from accessing content on the deep web, whereas anyone can access content on the surface web.

Over 96% of online content is on the deep web — most of the information we access on the internet requires authentication, like your online banking portal or email account. Imagine if anybody could access these accounts by just Googling your name. Your most personal information would be publicized to the entire world.

Websites don’t index these authentication-protected pages for Google to find for good reason — only certain people should have access to them, not everyone.

The deep web isn’t entirely without fault, though. While the dark web only makes up 0.01% of the deep web, this tiny sliver is arguably its most dangerous part.

You can’t access the dark web through a standard web browser like Google Chrome or Safari — you need to download an encryption software like Tor to do so. Tor anonymizes users’ identity, location, and data transfers, so there tends to be a lot of criminal activity on the dark web. According to a study by two cyber-intelligence threat experts, over half of sites on the dark web offer illegal products or services. And it’s virtually impossible to track any of these criminals or their activities.

But even though it’s nearly impossible for law enforcement to catch these criminals, the dark web’s anonymity is actually beneficial for its ethical users.

Since you can use the dark web to communicate online without leaving a digital footprint, political whistleblowers, activists, and journalists who live in oppressive countries that censor the internet or punish outspoken citizens can leverage the dark web to state their true opinions without revealing their identities.

The dark web has two stark spectrums. It can be a platform for the silenced or it can be a breeding ground for illegal activity. And that begs the question …

They support Tor because it protects the privacy of activists who are trying to upend their countries’ tyrannical regimes. These people’s survival and freedom depend on this technology.

The Deep Web: Unfairly Misunderstood?

The deep web is mistakenly associated with the dark web’s illegal activity all the time, and it’s also called the invisible or hidden web, which further mystifies its surprisingly normal uses.

The deep web isn’t just a marketplace for drugs and other illegal items — that description isn’t even remotely accurate. The deep web is mostly harmless and extremely important for protecting our personal information and privacy.

It’s essential for everyday life.

from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/what-is-the-deep-web

The Rules of Link Building – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by BritneyMuller

Are you building links the right way? Or are you still subscribing to outdated practices? Britney Muller clarifies which link building tactics still matter and which are a waste of time (or downright harmful) in today’s episode of Whiteboard Friday.

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The Rules of Link Building

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Video Transcription

Happy Friday, Moz fans! Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today we are going over the rules of link building. It’s no secret that links are one of the top three ranking factors in Goggle and can greatly benefit your website. But there is a little confusion around what’s okay to do as far as links and what’s not. So hopefully, this helps clear some of that up.

The Dos

All right. So what are the dos? What do you want to be doing? First and most importantly is just to…

I. Determine the value of that link. So aside from ranking potential, what kind of value will that link bring to your site? Is it potential traffic? Is it relevancy? Is it authority? Just start to weigh out your options and determine what’s really of value for your site.

II. Local listings still do very well. These local business citations are on a bunch of different platforms, and services like Moz Local or Yext can get you up and running a little bit quicker. They tend to show Google that this business is indeed located where it says it is. It has consistent business information — the name, address, phone number, you name it. But something that isn’t really talked about all that often is that some of these local listings never get indexed by Google. If you think about it, Yellowpages.com is probably populating thousands of new listings a day. Why would Google want to index all of those?

So if you’re doing business listings, an age-old thing that local SEOs have been doing for a while is create a page on your site that says where you can find us online. Link to those local listings to help Google get that indexed, and it sort of has this boomerang-like effect on your site. So hope that helps. If that’s confusing, I can clarify down below. Just wanted to include it because I think it’s important.

III. Unlinked brand mentions. One of the easiest ways you can get a link is by figuring out who is mentioning your brand or your company and not linking to it. Let’s say this article publishes about how awesome SEO companies are and they mention Moz, and they don’t link to us. That’s an easy way to reach out and say, “Hey, would you mind adding a link? It would be really helpful.”

IV. Reclaiming broken links is also a really great way to kind of get back some of your links in a short amount of time and little to no effort. What does this mean? This means that you had a link from a site that now your page currently 404s. So they were sending people to your site for a specific page that you’ve since deleted or updated somewhere else. Whatever that might be, you want to make sure that you 301 this broken link on your site so that it pushes the authority elsewhere. Definitely a great thing to do anyway.

V. HARO (Help a Reporter Out). Reporters will notify you of any questions or information they’re seeking for an article via this email service. So not only is it just good general PR, but it’s a great opportunity for you to get a link. I like to think of link building as really good PR anyway. It’s like digital PR. So this just takes it to the next level.

VI. Just be awesome. Be cool. Sponsor awesome things. I guarantee any one of you watching likely has incredible local charities or amazing nonprofits in your space that could use the sponsorship, however big or small that might be. But that also gives you an opportunity to get a link. So something to definitely consider.

VII. Ask/Outreach. There’s nothing wrong with asking. There’s nothing wrong with outreach, especially when done well. I know that link building outreach in general kind of gets a bad rap because the response rate is so painfully low. I think, on average, it’s around 4% to 7%, which is painful. But you can get that higher if you’re a little bit more strategic about it or if you outreach to people you already currently know. There’s a ton of resources available to help you do this better, so definitely check those out. We can link to some of those below.

VIII. COBC (create original badass content). We hear lots of people talk about this. When it comes to link building, it’s like, “Link building is dead. Just create great content and people will naturally link to you. It’s brilliant.” It is brilliant, but I also think that there is something to be said about having a healthy mix. There’s this idea of link building and then link earning. But there’s a really perfect sweet spot in the middle where you really do get the most bang for your buck.

The Don’ts

All right. So what not to do. The don’ts of today’s link building world are…

I. Don’t ask for specific anchor text. All of these things appear so spammy. The late Eric Ward talked about this and was a big advocate for never asking for anchor text. He said websites should be linked to however they see fit. That’s going to look more natural. Google is going to consider it to be more organic, and it will help your site in the long run. So that’s more of a suggestion. These other ones are definitely big no-no’s.

II. Don’t buy or sell links that pass PageRank. You can buy or sell links that have a no-follow attached, which attributes that this is paid-for, whether it be an advertisement or you don’t trust it. So definitely looking into those and understanding how that works.

III. Hidden links. We used to do this back in the day, the ridiculous white link on a white background. They were totally hidden, but crawlers would pick them up. Don’t do that. That’s so old and will not work anymore. Google is getting so much smarter at understanding these things.

IV. Low-quality directory links. Same with low-quality directory links. We remember those where it was just loads and loads of links and text and a random auto insurance link in there. You want to steer clear of those.

V. Site-wide links also look very spammy. Site wide being whether it’s a footer link or a top-level navigation link, you definitely don’t want to go after those. They can appear really, really spammy. Avoid those.

VI. Comment links with over-optimized anchor link text, specifically, you want to avoid. Again, it’s just like any of these others. It looks spammy. It’s not going to help you long term. Again, what’s the value of that overall? So avoid that.

VII. Abusing guest posts. You definitely don’t want to do this. You don’t want to guest post purely just for a link. However, I am still a huge advocate, as I know many others out there are, of guest posting and providing value. Whether there be a link or not, I think there is still a ton of value in guest posting. So don’t get rid of that altogether, but definitely don’t target it for potential link building opportunities.

VIII. Automated tools used to create links on all sorts of websites. ScrapeBox is an infamous one that would create the comment links on all sorts of blogs. You don’t want to do that.

IX. Link schemes, private link networks, and private blog networks. This is where you really get into trouble as well. Google will penalize or de-index you altogether. It looks so, so spammy, and you want to avoid this.

X. Link exchange. This is in the same vein as the link exchanges, where back in the day you used to submit a website to a link exchange and they wouldn’t grant you that link until you also linked to them. Super silly. This stuff does not work anymore, but there are tons of opportunities and quick wins for you to gain links naturally and more authoritatively.

So hopefully, this helps clear up some of the confusion. One question I would love to ask all of you is: To disavow or to not disavow? I have heard back-and-forth conversations on either side on this. Does the disavow file still work? Does it not? What are your thoughts? Please let me know down below in the comments.

Thank you so much for tuning in to this edition of Whiteboard Friday. I will see you all soon. Thanks.

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