Watsapp Discussions of MASTERMIND (October 2019 to December 2019)

edited January 9 in General
My total posts so far is around 42. I used canva to make some infographics. I used smallseotools image compressor but it says some images are not optimized. I have made it a habit to compress any image as soon as I download it. yet my images dont seemed to be optimized. i have poor scores. What to do?

Unni sir- For WordPress use webp express image plugin and w3 total cache for optimisation.

Ivan sir- for the moment focus on documenting all the issues with you HOME page as carefully as possible.

Don't let your mind dwell on what the errors are, how they will be fixed, costs and time and all the other issues that trouble the soul of a website owner.Images and Google Page Speed Insights have a very special relationship.

Again don't be concerned when appropriate you'll either fix them yourself OR you'll get someone to fix it for you.
Mindset's and attitudes and approach may need to be tweaked but then that's what a Mastermind is all about.
Even if you don't know CSS and JavaScript and other such languages, remember 98% of website owners are in exactly the same situation as you.

If you want to enter the 2% of website owners that do not have such issues in their web pages, you will have to find a solution that works for you.

That takes time and patience.You are now beginning to realize that the convenience of WordPress and Elementor come at a price.That said there are solutions for all of this.


  • The document giving a brief analysis of reports on webpagetest.org

    This is in accordance with the small session taken by Ivan sir in the evening.

    If anyone feel anything needs to be changed, please do the same. All you need to do is to open the file via Google Docs.
  • Ganesh: I have a doubt. I converted the images from PNG into webP format. But elementor plugin (which I used to build my website) doesn't accept webP format images.

    I have installed webP express plugin. Then saved the settings. But when I test my website , I says I have PNG format images . I think WebP express is not working or I have to change some settings. When I googled , people talk about SMUSH plugin as a solution .

    Is it ok to keep experimenting with plugins ?

    Unni sir- Smush is a jpeg, png compression engine. EWWW also does the same thing. Google now insists that for mobile you should use modern image compression formats such as webp, or jpeg2000. So the best case scenario is to use these formats. The worst case scenario is to use the older compression formats.

    Ivan sir- Read about how exactly the webP express plugin for Elementor handles the webP image format.

    Since Elementor does not handle the WebP image format by default, perhaps the WebP express plugin is converting your WebP images to .png format which is a image format that Elementor handles.

    That may tie up what you are experiencing. Just do some Googling for this issue.

    If you figure it out please add a paragraph to the Google doc explaining what you've discovered. Others could benefit from this.
  • Ivan sir:
    on another note if Google Page Speed Insights cannot determine whether a website uses images in .webp format then I cannot see the value that the webP express plugin brings to a WordPress website.

    priya - There is settings in webp express plugin to change the source set as well. If we do that correctly . As it changes the code so need to chk with the theme if it works well or not. Regardless of it . Though the basic implemenation of having webp will give good user exp .

    Ivan sir: [11:57 AM, 10/8/2019] Ivan Sir: my solution to this issue is all static website pages Home, About, Contact Us, About Us, Privacy Policy, Disclaimer and any other use hand coded HTML5/CSS3/jQuery/ coded based on the Bootstrap responsive framework.

    In each of these pages I use a .webp sprite. i.e. It's a single image files that contains all the other images used on a single web page. This image may be a largish one BUT there is a just a single call made to the webserver to download the sprite.

    Since the .webp file format is essentially a pure text based format the download of the largish image is very fast.
    All other page in the site can be handled by WordPress with .jpeg or .png or .gif images used in the page. I recommend using a sprite as well instead of making multiple download calls to the webserver for each image file.
    This is because the other pages and Blog Posts may not be of the same importance to your business model as your websites static pages
  • Shared by sid:

    I guess these two links could help everyone on what exactly needs to be done.
  • Ivan:
    I've been following Brian Dean's articles and YouTube videos for a really long time now. He has awesome clarity of mind and concept.

    It may be a good idea to quote what you find puzzling in any of Brian Dean's articles here and ask anyone to help you.

    That's how being part of a Mastermind can shorten your learning / application of your learning.

    In 2019, it's of prime importance that all digital marketers have a sound understanding of the tech underlay that drives websites.

    Its the DM that have to instruct 'Techies' what needs to be done and often 'How To Do It'. The strength to do, this comes from learning and knowing, the tech layer that drives a website equal to (or better than) the average techie.

    While most DM are not taught this anywhere in India to the best of my knowledge, abroad learning 'Tech' it's definitely part of learning DM if one what's t be recognized as competent / capable.
  • sudipta:
    Use builtwith.com to find out tech stack

    unni :I dont think builtwith is identifying the tech underlying PP correctly.

    For those you who want to know, it's a CMS called ProcessWire.

    You can learn about it here: www.processwire.com

    It's a developers CMS and one of the most elegant and flexible ones in PHP.

    We have been votaries of PW for over 5 years now and you will find references to Pp on the PW website.
  •  Ivan Sir: Here is a pretty authoritative article written by Brian Dean about Page Load Speed. It's definitely worth reading. Do make your own notes so that you can jog your memory later

    Do check the engagement that Brian Dean got for this post. To me that is breath taking. SE's flag content that has this sort of content engagement as authority content.
  • unni - Why we shouldnt use slider/ carousels

    Check this article on why you shouldn't use carousels and sliders. Two, these also add to the page weight/speed apart from the conversion issues.

    Check the links on this page for those who need quick, tested heuristics on usability followed by federal/ state websites in the US.

    This is good stuff for us too.
  • How to fix font related errors?
    Try this to fix font display error in google speed https://wpspeedmatters.com/fix-foit-font-in-wordpress/

  • Unni sir: My developers say that Fastest Cache is one of the best out there and the paid plugin is worth the money.
  • Problem:
    I wanted to add critical path for css using sitelocity.com . But one of my plugin has minified the css codes and I am unable to find body and head codes. What can be done sir ? Is it possible to add the critical path some other way ?
    I wanted to remove the unused CSS using Dev tools.

    Solution by ivan sir:
    If you have access to your .css file then all you have to do is Google for Un-compress utilities on the Net. There are tons.

    Pass you compressed file to the utility and it will un-compress the .css file and return it to you.
    Once you have the un-compressed file you ought to be able to edit it any way you want/need.
    On a cautionary note, please ensure that you uninstall w3 total cache completely and delete it along with its cache before you install Fastest Cache.

    There is the real danger of slowing down your content delivery because these to plugins are known to clash over 'Cache Space'.

    For what its worth do not have multiple Cache plugins installed in your WordPress site. Have only one. Spend time learning to and configuring whichever Cache plugin you choose to go with.

    Far to may WP users install a Cache plugin and haven't a clue on its configuration. Hence, most just leave cache plugins un-configured.

    They are of the opinion that the 'Default' (God how I HATE that word) Works! --> It Does NOT.

    I also believe that there is 'Very little difference' in how WordPress Cache plugins work when configured correctly.

    On a completely different note, check with your web host if they have their Webserver cache switched 'ON' for your WP site. IF Yes, then understand that the WP cache plugin passes its content to the Server cache who then passes the content to a requesting Browser.

    Right! I hope you understood this --> By adding a WP cache to the Web host cache you've actually slowed your response time down.

    Caching is not rocket science BUT its certainly not 'Defaults' either. Finally, premium cache product do work better than free cache products for a dozen reasons BUT never when left 'un-Configured'.
  • Ivan:
    Hi Folks, Here's some food for thought.

    WordPress cannot be 'Speeded Up' beyond a specific point. The WordPress PHP core ensures that.

    WordPress cannot be 'Speeded Up' using and AdHoc approach of tweaking a few plugins and hoping for the best.

    If that was true then there would be no real web page, speed of loading issues would there?

    Everyone would be able to get awesome web page load speeds delivered by their WordPress websites on the 'Cheapest' web hosts.

    To get the 'Best Page Load Speed' from a WordPress website needs carefully thought through planning and execution of several different website / webpage factors.

    I strongly recommend that everyone listens to the Podcast shared by @Priya Master Mind earlier in this thread.

    Keep paper and pencil handy when listening.
    Jot down Mani Karthik's approach to speeding up a WordPress website. It's a very step by step, logical approach.

    Do a 'Gap Analysis' between what his approach and your WordPress website. i.e. Document what's the differences between what he is saying an what you have.

    Tune everything up systematically and carefully documenting what missing, what and how you fixed that.

    Check you site using Google Page Speed Insights.

    Then accept the ranks delivered for Mobile and Desktop as the 'Best' you are going to get.

    Stay away from AdHoc, unplanned tweaks. You could be chasing the next shiny thing while hurting yourself
  • Siddarth Khetan: Just a small question for my understanding.

    What I understood is till now that there are several unwanted rendering resources which sends request to server while a page is loading.

    Those unwanted resources delays the page load speed. .

    If a plugin could detect resources which send request to server and allow us to choose which resource should send request and which should not, will this help us in anyway?
    Like I would not like any form filling resource to send request for my home page as it's not used there but in contact us page.

    So my I guess this should be effective

    Ivan Sir: Yes! it will help you.

    Notice you used the word "If a plugin could detect resources" do notice the "If".

    Then ask yourself why 90% of the WordPress site are still slow?

    Then ask yourself why do you need to trust 'Oxygen'.

    Then read the first line again. After that make your onw call.
    Unless you load the short code for form display in your home page, the page cannot make any 'Form Requests' to the web sever.
  • I'd like to raise a word of caution.

    WordPress uses PHP code on your web host to deliver HTML code to a requesting Browser.

    If you 'View Source' at the Browser and make changes you are making temp changes only at your Browser level.

    What that means is the next time any Browser makes a request to your WP driven website they will receive the same terrible HMTL code that you received.

    Translated: When you tweak your webpage HTML code at your Browser level, nothing at all happens at the WordPress / Webserver end.

    Hence, after understanding what tweaks you've made in your Browser, one needs to note that down carefully, so that this can be either:
    1. Changed by you in the WordPress theme PHP code
    2. Changed by your 'Techie' in the WordPress theme PHP code

    That's when the changes you've discovered become permanent.

    This is combination of HTML with in-line CSS code, that your web page creator 'Elementor', is forced to add to your webpage when you use it to create your webpage.

    Always remember that about 80% of any webpage code created by any page builder, is unnecessary BUT needed by the page builder.

    That's really the terrible trade off between 'Convenience' (i.e being able to create a webpage without being a coder) and being capable crafting competent HTML / CSS code yourself.

    That translates into 80% code bloat, which must be downloaded to a requesting Browser from your web host, irrespective of whether the requesting Browser is on a Mobile device or Desktop device.

    If you can speak several languages reasonably, I see no reason at all why you cannot speak to your CPU using HTML just as reasonably.

    That said, the call of what you must use to create web page is entirely your own.

    For what its worth that is not compressed (or minified) code, UNLESS you've specifically gzipped the code at your web host end prior dispatch.

    I'm assuming you haven't because IMO (based on what you've said before) you haven't the tech skill to do this.

    Hence, my assumption that the above is not compressed code spec.
  • unni sir:

    you need a goal/ purpose for your blog first.

    The goal cannot be traffic, the means is traffic.

    The goal could be;
    1. Sell X,Y,Z services by building trust and authority for those services
    2. Monetize my blog using Adsense, Affiliate Marketing.

    Then you work on tactics to achieve those goals.

    Traffic is not an objective by itself.

    Once you have got a clear in-sight into how Pro's craft their Blog post content which is what I did on the 18th Oct 2019 at 08:00PM in the MM.

    Kick off your own 'Study', 'Documentation' and 'Process practice' for your Blog post creation.

    No one outside can answer the question you've raised because:
    1. They do not know your audience demographics and/or personas
    2. They are not involved with your business model - wants/needs
    3. It's very likely they are making their own mistakes with their Blog post - Structure and content flow
    4. It's very likely that they've got equally poor engagement for their own Blog posts

    From where I stand, the most common reason for little or no engagement, is that your 'Content' is of 'Little or zero interest' to the readers coming to your Blog site to take a look.

    Far too many Bloggers believe that lack of engagement is a 'Process' issue.
    i.e. the 'Keywords are wrong',
    the 'Publishing time is wrong'
    The publishing channel(s) are wrong
    The headlines don't arrest
    The image are inadequate
    The sub-headlines need to be tweaked
    Neil Patel's Headline generator is real 'Crap'
    And so on.
    Very few sit back and analyze their target market carefully.
    - Largely because they don't know how to
    - Because they are too lazy to do the work involved.

    Hence, they make their own decision that their 'Content' is fantastic
    Are horribly puzzled because of the lack of engagement.

    Without engagement they know that their Blogging efforts are not worth the time and energy they've put in to create their 'Fantastic'
    Blog post.

    My advice:
    - Take a step back.
    - Do your reader analysis
    - Share your reader analysis in the group using a Google doc
    - Specify exactly what your Goals (wants/needs) are right at the top of the -- > same Google doc

    That will give MM members the baseline statistics they need to come up with useful suggestions.

    Just remember where you wanted to apply a fix for lack of engagement AND what the stats are speaking. What I'd like you to take away is that there is no magi bullet to fix these issues.

    Each site issue needs to documented in an XL sheet and tackled appropriately.
    i.e. Using your own time and skills OR hiring where needed.

    The structure of a Blog post, i.e. its decomposition of Headline, Sub-headlines, paragraph (idea selling), image insertion and more are all small pieces of a puzzle that must come together correctly.
  • Unni sir:
    For those who want to learn HTML, css to world class levels, here goes the recipe we use at Pigtail Pundits, to train folks.

    Phase 1
    Use w3schools to learn both and then practice at CodeAcademy.

    Phase 2: Advanced Css
    Get hold of Smashing Css by Eric Meyer and gobble it 3 times.

    Get hold of Responsive Websites by Ethan Marcotte to understand the concepts of building responsive websites.

    Then get a book on Bootstrap.

    Practice everything on Bootstrap.

    You can get all the books above using <keyword> filetype:pdf in Google.
  • Ivan sir:
    For those in the group interested in digging deeper into how to craft Blog posts that get read and shared do read:

    Create note on what Neil Patel says about the structure of a great Blog post with S.E.O. woven in appropriately.

    Then read you own Blog post and identify 'GAPs'. Fix those gaps. Keep practicing this. Over some time the Blog posts you publish will really be read, shared and engaged with.

    Do not expect 'Immediate Miracles', that rarely happens.
  • Unni sir:
    Guys, DM requires multiple skills to come together. The biggest in my view is the ability to communicate. With it comes persuasion, human psychology, behavioural economics, copywriting, etc. The next is marketing and with that strategic thinking. Then design, then programming.

    With each of us these skills will be present in some proportion. The idea is to balance it through learning.

    Stats are irrelevant as they only limit you.

    The field is so large and dynamic that it can keep you interested for a lifetime.

    I have been in it for 23 years now and am still a student.

    between Kindle and Scribd, I prefer Scribd. Subscribing to Kindle books on Amazon costs Rs 169 pm. Subscribing to Scribd costs Rs 650 pm. But , Scribd has something called documents apart from unlimited books and audio. Documents are PDFs uploaded by members and contain some of the best books and knowledge that you can download and keep.

    That means essentially for the price of one book per month you can download some of the best books on any given subject via documents.
  • Sid:
    2. Use book indices from Amazon.
     Look Inside, Gen Library Books [gen.lib.rus.ec], or Udemy/ Lynda/ Skillshare Courses
     Use <Keyword> + filetype:PDF queries in Google
     Grasp the structure of the PDF by reading it

    can you please elaborate on this?

    Unni sir:

    The blog topics are what you get from Amazon Book indices and the other places.

    When you are asked to write on topics with continuity, the structure is what you need to focus on first.

    Once you have the structure with you the Google for the sub-structure.

    Then flesh the topic out.

    This way you will sound like an expert.

    Say for eg that you want to be a trusted authority on SEO.

    The way you should ideally approach this topic is first understand the constructs of SEO.

    Find a book, or course that explores SEO clearly.

    Identify the topics and sub-topics you need to write on first.

    Eg, SEO can be broken into Technical SEO, On-page SEO, and Off-page SEO.

    Plus SEO audit that covers all these three factors for a brand as well as competition.

    This understanding then results in an SEO strategy.

    You can then use the broad topics to go granular with articles, cheatsheats, templates and such.

    Else you would be catching the elephant by the tail and describing the tail.

    So always start with a structure first and then go granular when you think blogging.

    Don't research one blog topic that someone else had written and start from there.
    The problem with most blogging is that it is random, not structured with a start and an end point for blogs.

    With the constructs of audit, plan, execution, promotion and measurement, you can cover almost any topic in digital marketing.

    You will notice the same constructs repeating for every major topic such as persuasion, SEO, SMO, Ppc
    This repetition of patterns has a parallel in nature too. It's called fractals. Google it.
    Our job is make sense of the madness in DM.

    To do that effectively we need quick thumb rules for action. Some of these are provided by frameworks. Yet others happen when you reflect deeply on the subject.
  • tarun kumar:
    I attended lead generation ads-full funnel sessions in Facebook Gurgaon Office on 14 November. Noted a couple of aspects! It will be very useful for beginners!

    1-Follow full funnel in lead generation ads (awareness, consideration, conversion). Don't run only lead gen ads.

    2-Contact the leads within a day to get a better response.

    3-Use automation tools like zapier, lead bridge, etc.

    4- Facebook suggests automatic placements. My take is to choose a data-driven placement.

    5-Try to invoke conversation in ads for better response.

    6-Try messenger ads.

    7-Use video wherever possible. One can use some inbuilt facebook video templates.

    8-Some people don't install facebook pixels while running lead generation ads. Have a website with pixel installed.

    9-Test custom audiences (fb page, video, lead gen, website etc) to optimise.

    10-Make different ads for different customer persona.Don't use single ad copy for whole audience.
  • ganesh:
    Sir I have a doubt.

    Now suppose we take good money from the client and the client is not happy with the conversion or things dint go as expected, in that case what is the plan of action?

    Sometimes clients will be known to our relatives or some other friends.

    I am sure you might have seen set backs too. What was your plan of action in that case ?

    Unni sir:
    Ganesh, you have to do all it takes to make it work.

    Assess why it isn't working. Is it the product? Or is it the digital marketing?

    In DM is it messaging and hooks or is it the medium?

    Ganesh :Let's say something went wrong in the ads and cost got escalated. Thats a possibility right ?
    Or the client says I expected 25% but you gave me only 20%

    Unni Krishnan Sir: In classical advertising the agility is a lot less.
    Two, always get a 3 month commitment from clients.
    That gives you sufficient time to get things right and purring.
    Get a written agreement always.
    Ganesh understand that business and marketing is part of life.
    Is life predictable? The same uncertainties that plague life, are at play in business and marketing too.
    Two, in baseball there is saying: the more the tries, the more the hits.
    The same works for marketing. All of us will fail some of the time.

    Ramdoss sir:
    Always ensure you have a written statement. It could be a formal contract or a statement of intent.
    If the client has come through a friend or relative explain that this written agreement is just to clearly state the intent of both parties so that there is no misunderstanding later.
    Make sure you cover all the deliverables from both parties in this statement.
    Deliverables should be measurable in terms of output not results. For example don’t promise sales, promise to reach x number, promise a site which meets the standards etc.
    Particularly when dealing with references from family this statement is very important because it can otherwise lead to emotional blackmail when the business model fails.
    Remember it is not your job to make his business successful, your job is only to deliver your bit that is committed

  • sid:
    I will like to add few points. (Pls correct me if i am wrong).
    I work with a real estate company. Our digital marketing campaigns are outsourced to an agency.
    There comes a point when the campaign and strategies that were working earlier are not working now.
    Why? Digital agency has no clue.
    But we as in-house marketing team worked out that change in market environment was the reason.
    Hyderabad is probably the only booming market for real estate. Hence many builders are coming in. Now buyers have more options. Hence their behaviour changed.
    Thus an intensive research with proper logic and reasoning along with data is a necessary. (One which Unni sir and Ivan sir keep on saying)
    If we have this skill, then with the information a good client will understand, support and pay you.

    Unni Krishnan Sir: The practice of solving digital marketing problems. The more you solve the better you get, Ganesh.
    You need to test multiple campaigns, audiences, messaging hooks, in DM. The best marketers in DM are not those who get it right always. But those who test and arrive at the right results. So there could be several reasons why something is not working. The campaign becomes stale. The LP can use better persuasion. The keywords that you use are being outbid by competitors. Your competitors are doing better job than you are. Depending on your analysis you need to fix the problem and test new approaches.

    Just to summarise what I told you guys yesterday.Do a competitive audit to understand the industry.
    Take 4 competitors with high DR. Start with Persuasion Audit using Pastor on these websites.
    Next do a Content of Value Audit. Identify content which is customer-focussed for all 4. Next do a Retention Audit. Assess the number and variety of capture devices on the website .Next do a Tech Audit using Wapalyzer. Uncover Marketing Automation and Analytics used.

    Then use AHREFs to understand DR, Backlinks, Number of Domains linked to, etc. Just the summary is needed here for all 4. Then use SemRush to understand PPC spends, ads, Then use WooRank to get Social data. Give me the 4 competitors so that i can give you SimilarWeb data on Marketing Channels and social traffic.Then with all this data before you the strategy and gaps will state at you. Give your recommendations. Work the plan out based on the recco.
    Cost the plan. End with a short note on your agency and why they should do business with you.

    This is a data and proven framework driven proposal. Anything else is a cost without explanations or understanding of market forces Remember the client is looking for confidence in the agency.This method gives him the confidence.

    Ramdoss sir:
    Costing is the most important part - Split everything you will have so into broad and then granular components- estimate the hours for each component, ideally 3 numbers- pessimistic, most likely and optimistic.

    Present the client with the estimates of the broad hours. Tell them that you will be consulting/using experts for some parts(this will let you add to the rates since they will treat your time as if it is worth nothing, particularly if they are family and friends) Then add the number of hours you will spend and a cost for that. Then add a profit margin.
    Present it to them in this detail, be prepared to give up most of the profit margin you are quoting in the negotiation. Make sure you have padded your profit into the cost estimates itself.

    I would suggest making the first presentation only about the time and effort estimates.
    Then tell them to identify what all they want and say you will present a cost estimate subsequently. This gives you one more meeting and builds trust since others who are presenting will not be this detailed.
    Also you can ask at this point what their budget is saying that you can then trim components of the plan based on their budget.

    If they give you a number then the next time show then two estimates, one of what you can do within their budget and another one of what you can do if they increase their budget by 25% and show substantial additional features here. Remember that their first number to you will always be lower then what they are really willing to spend.

    Always remember as far you are concerned a project is successful if it put money in YOUR pocket, even if the business fails. Don’t undersell yourself. Once you have some answers from them discuss the pitch and the pricing with us.... there are lots of inputs we can give based on our experience

    I can tell you a few things about pricing. Splitting things to understand your costs is fine.

    But when you sell do as car dealers do: bundle the price so that the individual elements of the bundle are not costed for separately and you get to sell the whole thing.

    When you sell with granular pricing, the problem is that you give Clients the option to pick and choose. That may not work out for you or for them. So the best strategy is bundled pricing with the elements laid out but the costs are for the whole thing.

    Eg: content marketing uses blogs, social media posts, repurposed content and backlinks. Do not sell these separately. Sell them as a whole.

    Bargaining will always happen and you need to structure the offer in such a way that the guy takes it all on his own without feeling that he is being forced to do it

    but when you are small and desperate for the deal because it will add enormous value to your portfolio being prepared to walk off is so difficult. I believe that you should fix three numbers in your mind... the max you think you can charge, the reasonable amount that you would be happy to get and the stop loss, the point below which you will not go.

    Unni Krishnan Sir: Yes it does. Bargaining is for those who are desperate. Clients are sharp and can sense if you are desperate. Be prepared to walk off and see the magic. If you offer value, and signal that value effectively, there is no need for bargaining. Reduction in budgets is different. Then the client gets what the reduced budget gives, nothing more.

    Ramdoss :
    Ah Unni .... but when you are small and desperate for the deal because it will add enormous value to your portfolio being prepared to walk off is so difficult. I believe that you should fix three numbers in your mind... the max you think you can charge, the reasonable amount that you would be happy to get and the stop loss, the point below which you will not go.That’s why the component wise pricing is important no? Because right now we don’t have a clue on the clients budget.

    Unni Krishnan Sir: Yes, Ramdoss agree with you. This is largely psychological and you just need to be equipped mentally for it. Component wise pricing results in picking and choosing. That may not be ideal. Rather it's better to work with a budget. And bundle.Think car dealers with base model, next level, next level and so on. You get a bundle not individually priced components that you pick and choose. That's the model to emulate for services pricing too. So the structure has to be thought through. Work the granular pricing only for yourself.
  • Ganesh : Unable to do all the work. is it wise to outsource in fiver?

    Unni sir:
    you can outsource the tech bits locally to someone. But it's important to understand and insist on site optimization and W3c validation errors when you do. Hopefully, Ivan's rigor in this has helped all of you do just that.

    Next, you must understand that a creating a world-class website has got its pains. There's technology, Persuasion, content of value, Seo, design, retention systems that need to be orchestrated. In an agency different folks are tasked with all this.

    As an agency owner, I have to know all this, first. Else the output and orchestration will get spotty, even lazy. There is no escape from that.

    All of us are comfortable doing some parts of this. But if you can get uncomfortable and learn a bit about the other parts you will do well to get international quality outputs.

    I too am a writer, not a coder. I am also a marketer by training and practice. My job is to push everyone with me to get out of their comfort zones to give me their best.

    This is relentless exercise, day in and day out, for years on end.You can hire people and get them to output what you want, only when you know that subject.Else, it will be a recipe for substandard work. net you have to know just enough about a lot of things to get quality work. Your own speciality is not good enough.

    Two, clients want a solution to their problem. So you have to be able to harness all the skills you have to give that solution.

    No clients wants to deal with and oversee 10 different types of vendors to get one solution. So see the problem from your customers perspective, not just yours. You will get a more balanced view that way.

    many years ago i learned some harsh lessons. We were dependent on an internal tech team for answers. So if they said something could not be done, we used to convey this to the client.

    One of my smarter US clients came back with a string of Urls for the answer/ solution.From that day, i resolved that moment someone says that it cannot be done, the first thing is to check in Google. Embarass the folks with answers and you will notice how quickly they learn.
  • Rishi:

    the costing part is yet to be taken care of

    Ramdoss sir:
    My immediate suggestion would be that in the first pitch meeting don’t talk about costing/pricing.
    Ask them for their budget and then say you will draft a proposal accordingly. One of the first rules of negotiation is that you try to get the other side to state a number first. Tell them that you can make a proposal depending on their budget for anything between 5 lakhs and 50 lakhs. Just my arbitrary numbers.... plug in what you think is sensible.

    If the client has told you he has X amount that is a good sign.... he is actually thinking of giving you money!!
    Identify what is the maximum that you can do within that budget. Define deliverables(what you will do) and EXPECTED results. I would normally give 3 numbers for pessimistic, most likely and optimistic expected results.
    Now remove two items from the list you have made. When you present your proposal, the guy you are talking to will want to negotiate. So one of the two items are needed at this stage, it satisfies his ego and gives home something to say to his boss(Assuming he is not the decision taker and that is usually the case).
    Then he will ask you to talk to the decision taker and you will need the second item to sweeten the deal and close at that point. This is necessary for the ego of the boss so that he can show his junior how he was able to negotiate even better. If the person you speak to first is himself the decision taker use the second item to say-“if you will sign the contract and give me a cheque right now, I will also give you...” the second item. Keep a printed contract with you which has a separate annexures of services - just add the two element by pen to the annexure. Make sure you insist on a check even if it for a small amount with the signing of the contract

    Unni Krishnan Sir: The big thing about pricing guys is delivering value far in excess of the price.For eg, one of the things we do in this MM is to share value with others.Now take this same habit and play it with clients.Learn to pass value over and beyond your remit.Things that help folks do their jobs better, make better decisions, etc.Then watch the magic unfold.The perceived value of your offering then quantum jumps. So do the fallouts from that.
  • chandan:
    @all I have a query regarding Emails...I have noticed in my mailbox that most brands use a creative and copy ...instead of only text ....Is this a standard way of sending emails or we can also use only text based emails using the frameworks taught earlier. Require suggestions on the same

    there is something as IP Warming.IP warming is the practice of gradually increasing the volume of mail sent with a dedicated IP address according to a predetermined schedule. This gradual process helps to establish a reputation with ISPs (Internet Service Providers) as a legitimate email sender. Send text mail first in low quantity, land in the primary email box. then you start experimenting

    Ivan sir:
    I know it's important to focus on what you want (and structure questions correctly). It's perhaps MORE important to listen and hear what others are saying.What @Sudipta Mastermind was saying is important AND he said beautifully.
    Your starting emails in any series must be pure Text. Mail clients do not automatically flag such email as spam or promotional. They get into the recipients primary mailbox.

    That's crucial to you.

    After several emails are dispatched and the recipients have opened a few and read them, the mail client automatic filters relax. That's when you can add images, videos and more to your email content.

    If you kick off your email sequence with images there's a 98% chance it will wind up in the recipients SPAM or promotion folder.
  • ganesh:
    When our blog is new , suppose I wrote an article on SEO. I gave an outbound link to Brian Dean 's article on - page speed. Now naturally I don't have a link from his blog. So no back link also.

    In this case , there is a high chance we will lose the traffic. So won't It be counter productive sir ?

    I understand the importance of outbound link and creation of web . But this thought just occurred to my mind.

    Neil Patel often changes his article every six months. I read one of his SEO articles long back and I read the same article today. This time he has added articls link of Brian Dean where he analysed the page speed of multiple CMS.

    Should we do this too ? Make frequent changes ?

    In that case, how to track developments in that field easily ? Are you using any app ? On a day to day basis when we have so much work, we might tend to forget it or maynot be able to revisit.

    Unni sir:
    @Ganesh, you gain credibility, both with Google and the reader when you acknowledge the sources of your article.

    Remember that you are writing to help the reader, the Google robot as well.

    Best practice is to give at least 2 links to external sites of authority.

    You can have more depending on the context of the article. Make it readable and of value to your customer. Don't overly worry about losing link juice.

    Changing articles is a good thing as a lot changes in our business over time. This also refreshes an old article and gives it a fresh lease of life.

    How to track new developments in your field?

    1. Follow the top blogs in your niche. Use alltop.com for this.

    2. Go to zest.is and add it to your browser to get your daily information fix.
  • Ganesh:

    Unni sir , I came across a Facebook post

    A person owns a school bag factory . He has listed his product in Flipkart and Amazon since 3 years. But from last few months he Is not getting enough demand. So he was asking how to promote it.?

    Most of the people are saying use Facebook ads , use Instagram ads , make e commerce website and make ads.

    I suggested proper listing in Flipkart and Amazon . Use high resolution pics and focus on keywords to optimise PPC .

    Now there are two things here.
    1)Bag did well till last few months and now demand has gone down.
    2)maybe they dint bring new style bags .
    3)Real reason why his bag has declined is because bags in Amazon and Flipkart are imported from china and sold here. Those bags are better than Indian bags in terms of quality and price.

    Sir in this case can we really promote it using Instagram ads , Facebook ads etc ???

    Such type of clients can come to us also.

    When there is problem from product side, can digital marketing really help ?
  • Unni sir:
    There could be various reasons for this.

    There is stiffer competition now. There are much lower priced offerings at one level.

    At another level this could be a messaging issue. If competition is stiff you may need to use FAQs to deal with objections on your LP.

    FB is not a great medium for direct selling. Thisbis getting increasingly so.

    The best bet on Facebook is to prime the prospect with non salesy messaging, get them to interact and then sell. Two, retarget those who have visited the site but not yet bought. Unless ypu follow some logic here it will not result in sales.

    The reason for this simple. In social media build trust, likability first. Then ride on that to sell.
    Perhaps you need Be Indian, Buy Indian kinda messaging.

    if the folks who buy bags are the newer gen, then they will search for and find lower price bags. This does not mean you can't sell. Just that selling will be more difficult.

    A few years ago we did a site for weighing scales for eaglescales. Their product with taxes and GST retails for twice as much as the same thing sold at a local store withou any taxes. So are they selling. Yes. Because the messaging had been framed with warranties, guarantees, etc which the local store may not give. So messaging can create that distinction.
    So at one level it is the product. What the guys need to do is go Indian ethnic designs which are not offered by the Chinese. Keep changing this often and offer warranties, returns, etc which is not possible by the Chinese.

    Essentially, reframe the context of the bag to compete effectively. Then work with Fb and experiment with campaigns to see what works best. Remember the best marketers are nothing but agile experimenters.

    Ivan sir:
    Ganesh, if you want to be a marketer you have to believe that you can sell snow tomthe Eskimo's.
    From what you've posted it appears you were worried that as a marketer you'd not be able to offer the Indian bag guy a marketing solution. IMO, that's a defeatist approach. If you intrinsically believe there's no solution your mind will not discover one. Just saying.

    Ganesh:Not worried sir. I was wondering how to get the product side right. Rest of the people just recommended build own site , run FB ads , run insta ads etc. It is usually hard to fight the price point without right strategy. Unni sir gave me the right perspective.

    Unni sir:
    Reframing the context is your answer @ganesh. When everybody is fighting in the same turf, then the lowest price wins.
    Now, change the context by adding differentiators to the product. Design, material, guarantees, messaging can all be contributors to differentiation. Have you seen those guys who do ethnic indian tshirts - mantra or something.
    Take a leaf out of their bag.

    When everybody is selling Maruti Altos, think of selling a Mercedes 4 matic. Redraw the context completely. Reframe the product. Add layers of differentiation. C Offer superior customer service and toll free number.

    Study how Zappos uses customer service to differentiate itself, above and beyond other competitors. If you dig deep you will be able to observe many areas of product differentiation. Some are waiting to be discovered and signalled via messaging.

    Yet others need to be put in place before you signal it.

    Stack it so that you offer a truly differentiated product, or service. Don't contrive value. Just be meaningful in its offer to customers.

    Visit the mfg facility. Speak with the product designers, managers. Is there value hidden but not communicated? Can new value be added without toppling the boat? Once you have the details then redraw.
    Shift the context away from price. Can you get some local agency to certify, approve the bags? Something the Chinese can't? Be curious and childlike? Think that you are a 5 year old, unadulterated by modern education. The answer is not in DM always, but in how you frame the pain/ solution for that you need to dig deep. Take some pointers from the Persuasion Code ebook. Then distill it all into better sell.
  • Tips to target US customers from India:

    Unni sir:
    First off guys, it's difficult to get domain names in other countries unless you have a local, verifiable address.

    You don't have make this so complicated. Get a dot com domain, host it in a US server, target the audience not through domains in the country but using FB hypertargetting, cold email, lookalike lists, etc.

    So as i keep saying, never be satisfied with one solution. Keep looking and you will find elegant ones.Two, roll over these ideas in the head, often. Seek better answers. Be dissatisfied with status quo.

    You will go far that way. So keep looking and put your thoughts up here. That's well begun if not well ended, you'd agree. You are right about keyword targetting, etc in the country that you are interested.

    So there is merit in your argument. Plus there's no one right answer to some of these questions. You will find 64 shades of grey in everything. Onwards and upwards then. Here's wishing you more oomph in your investigation of things.
    This article is applicable more to companies like Amazon which sell locally in several countries.

    It's not so applicable to Anamitras issue of targetting countries for business. For Anamitras problem the solution you need is hypertargetting via FB, intent/context search via Google, PPC ads targetted by country, perhaps even other such as push notification ads, messenger marketing, etc. If you have good content available, you can use Taboola, or some such service to target folks in specific geographies using local media networks/ vehicles. The problem is essentially to do with targetting, not internationalisation.
  • Ganesh:
    I have one doubt. 9.5/10 times , when I type digital marketing related things in google.co.in , I land in US based websites. Sometimes I get digital Deepak. They have local servers in india ?

    Question might sound naive. According to Moz , .in should favour the region. But in reality that Is not the case in digital marketing. Is it safe to conclude that their SEO is exceptional and indians suck at it ?

    Unni sir:
    The case is simple Ganesh. .in is a more recent phenomenon. When the web started it was .com, .net, and .org.
    Two, people still prefer .com because the broswer defaults to that.

    Three, the most relevant results for DM will be US based. We have a long way to go to get there though with web becoming cosmopolitan, it's easier now. US folks have a prime mover advantage in knowledge and practices of SEO, content marketing, and across the spectrum of digital marketing activities. As of now, we are just copying them, and still doing a bad job at that. So there's really no surprise here.

    There are reasons for this Ganesh. Since you are typing from India Google assumes that you are looking for courses locally, and not in Azerbaijan.

    When you type DM into Google, it's still looking for local results probably, coming a cropper, and then defaulting to most relevant worldwide
  • priya:
    when i was looking around agencies case studies, many of them showcase Indian clients case studies, so is something that brands looks for agencies in their geography only? Are DM Services preferred to by local agencies by clients?

    For eg when i want a content writer to write a blog, i can do the basic research of the structure, explain clearly what i want from it including links, formatting, etc. Now iterate this process for any activity you wish to outsource and you will get results closer to your expectations. If you do work here then Indian case studies make a lot of sense. If you do work abroad too, then a few case studies of work done for international clients makes sense. The beauty about DM services is that with a few exceptions you can offer it from anywhere.

    The idea in this is to make location irrelevant. This is where zoom, skype, etc come into play. I sit in Chennai, but I do get clients in Mumbai, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Delhi, etc. I also get work from the US.
  • Ganesh:
    Some time back in Learn digital marketing group digital deepak used (similar web i think) a third party software to show the reduced organic traffic after 2019 google update... someone replied that shoutmeout website owner just changed the headings of old articles and that is why he has been penalized.

    1) It is a third party software (so cant be fully accurate)
    2) I dont know if that guy who replied was an expert

    So wanted to know regarding this "confusing" issue of "fresh content" or rather "updated" content

    Ivan sir:
    My take? Google is a monopoly. Never bother butting heads with a monopoly. You'll lose.
    Keep your head down. Create about 150 to 200 top quality Blog posts. Kick off a modestly priced FB Ad campaign to drive site visitors to your site. Watch your business income grow. At the end of the day what you have in your bank account matters.

    Unni sir:
    there are couple of interesting points that you have raised. One is update. The other is relevance.

    If you take a 2012 article and update just the headline and sub-heads, yes it qualifies as an update. Your intent is also seemingly to game Google. But unless the content is still relevant, it won't make much of a difference.

    If you make the content more relevant and update, that's when you are serious and will see some changes in the organic rank. Google algorithms should be wise to either of these by now.
  • Unni sir's view on Website:
    A website today is a funnel. With Lead Magnets, autoresponders, trust building blogs/ case studies/ testimonials and such. To do this effectively you could use page builders. Almost any one of them. WordPress has an autoresponder plugin called Mailster. You can connect this to your capture devices: Newsletter, Lead Magnet, Blog Subscribe, etc
    You then decide what's the ideal mail sequence for each capture and then set this into the autoresponder.
    The autoresponder can also be used for customer orientation after the customer buys something from you, or for upsells. This is the system you need. The question you need to ask therefore is which Theme, set of plugins can I use to get this done? If Thrive helps you do all of this, then it would be great. I use a WP Theme called Stack. It's a very versatile theme for building multiple websites without any of these looking quite the same. We then add plugins for performance optimization: WP Rocket; for autoresponder: Mailster; for forms: Gravity, or some such.
    You don't need to pay monthly fees to Thrive Themes this way.

    A lot of the themes have good UX features, Ganesh. Check out Stack for WordPress. This is done by medium.rare an Ozzie company that brings out superb themes. Take a look at Zingformation.com which is done by PP, or dfrens.com.
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