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Consumer priorities are shifting rapidly as the world faces an unprecedented healthcare crisis.

Sensitivity to consumers’ needs is more critical than ever.

Brands must think carefully about how to engage with consumers in meaningful ways that not only increase conversions but help build brand trust.

Throughout the day, we consume content from blogs, news channels, television shows, social media channels, etc.

All of that content has the potential for native ad placements, which is why the native industry can be complex.

Advertisers know that in order to reach their target customers, they need to have a presence on channels where consumers spend their time.

This is where native comes into play.

Is Content Network Targeting the Same as Native?

In short, no.

But native today isn’t the contextual targeting of yore.

Microsoft deprecated the content network in 2023.

However, Google Ads still allows content targeting in the Google Display network.

Unlike the content network, native ad placements are not based on the keyword or the keywords within the article on page, they are based on audience targeting.

It is worth noting that Google Ads still allows content targeting in the Google Display Network based on:

Topics: Pages about specific topics. Google Ads uses factors such as text, language, links and page structure to determine the topics of a page.

Placement: Specific websites, or subsets of a website.

Keywords: Just that, keywords.

Display expansion for search: A combination of automated bidding and smart targeting.

What Is Native Advertising?

The publisher controls and is responsible for rendering the ad.

For example, a native ad might show up within an article you’re reading on your favorite online news source, or as a post on your Facebook feed.

In-feed placements appear directly in the article or blog post.

Recommendation widgets appear on a publisher’s website and presents recommended content or products that are related to the content you’re already consuming.

Promoted listings, also referred sometimes as sponsored content, are designed to fit seamlessly into the browsing experience.

Is Native Advertising Programmatic?

It depends. (A marketer’s favorite answer.)

Is Google Display Native Advertising?

Yes, Google Display & Video 360 has native creative formats that can be integrated into a display campaign.

The native creative can target:

App install (Google Play or Apple App Store).

Site creative (square or rectangular display format).

Video (similar to site creative, but uses video instead of an image.)

Is Microsoft Advertising Native Advertising?

Currently, Microsoft Audience Ads are available in three formats:

Text Ads.

Product Ads.

They can be set up as part of an existing search campaign that is extended to native or as a separate audience campaign.

Even if you choose to opt into the Microsoft Audience network from within your search campaigns, the ad placement is based on audience targeting using the Microsoft Graph.

The Microsoft Advertising Graph captures billions of signals across our consumer products, such as browsing data, search history and behavior, and deep profile data from LinkedIn.

Microsoft’s audience network spans:

A wide range of brand-safe environments, including MSN, chúng tôi and Microsoft Edge.

Select premium partner properties such as CBS Sports, Everyday Health, Fox Business, the Atlantic, Apartment Therapy, and Reuters.

According to ComScore, the Microsoft Audience Network reaches 92% of the online audience throughout the U.S.

AI-Powered Placements Focused on Quality & Giving Complete Control to the Advertiser

The audience network was created with two priorities in mind: quality and control.

Control encompasses its ability to provide brand-safe environments and data privacy.

Microsoft enforces strict publisher standards and reviews and publisher partners are closely managed and thoroughly vetted.

Global blocklists and the ability to exclude certain sites gives you even more control – and peace of mind.

The Success of Native Advertising Depends on Trust

How do organizations establish and maintain consumer trust?

By putting long-term strategies in place for actively engaging with consumers, listening and acting on customer feedback, adhering to data privacy and protection, and being transparent and authentic.

iProspect proposes that there are three key components to consumer trust: credibility, relevance, and reliability.

Is your brand competent and legitimate?

Do you listen to and act on customer feedback and provide relevant content, products, and services?

Do you deliver a consistent experience that meets customer expectations across every customer interaction?

Native Case Studies: Reaching Untapped Audiences

Ads are credible, relevant and consistent – but not invasive or intrusive.

2X higher on MSN Infopane.

3X higher on publisher partner sites.

Volvo and marketing agency Mindshare decided to test the Microsoft Audience network as a strategy to support awareness and help maintain sales for their best-seller the XC90 luxury SUV.

They combined LinkedIn, gender, remarketing and In-Market audience data to find new audiences to target and to uncover previously untapped audiences.

The campaign drove significant traffic and exceeded their expectations with conversions:

65,000 incremental site visits.

CPA on-par with their non-brand search campaigns.

Running native campaigns in conjunction with search campaigns helped Buyerzone reach business-to-business audience.

1,700% increase in impressions.

20% profit increase on top of their traditional search campaigns.

75% decrease in CPC.

Alan Barish, senior online marketing analyst from BuyerZone said, “almost every single conversion we’ve gotten from the Microsoft Audience Network has converted into a lead, which is amazing.”

Maintaining Trust & Engagement in Uncertain Times

Never in modern history has it been so critical to create meaningful connections between your brand and consumers, and earn and maintain their trust.

With data privacy rising to the forefront of consumers’ consciousness and as recent global events add complexity to the consumer-brand dynamic, delivering targeted, trusted and relevant content is a critical strategy for continued business growth.

Start with a foundation of trust, success is inevitable.

Test using native as a way for your brand to make meaningful connections with consumers that build trust and drive conversions, setting the stage for ongoing credibility, relevance, and consistency, even in uncertain times.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, March 2023

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20 Ways To Increase Conversion Rate Optimization For Ppc Advertising

The mindset of implementing a paid search campaign usually begins with determining what keywords and phrases will bring targeted traffic to a website.  And as critical as this thought process is, a shift to the idea of what targeted traffic will produce the most conversions is in fact a better route to go. “Well, Justin isn’t that the same thing?”  And my answer is “Not really.” While one starts with the creation of a campaign, the latter starts with the end goal centered on conversions. Most PPC Managers think they are considering this point, but four months into a campaign with high cost/conversions and less than appealing conversions, we soon realize we didn’t build out PPC strategies the right way. We didn’t focus initially on the conversion metrics that are important to our companies or our clients.

Determine What Conversions To Track

Reverse Engineer The Path Of Purchase

Most shoppers start at the brand awareness stage and then usher themselves to choosing who to purchase from.  But they may have many avenues to get to that decision. Google Analytics has a nifty tool in many of their reports that showcases behavior, acquisition, and conversion flow. If you have picked up enough data to do this, go to these reports and determine where most of your shoppers are coming from and the standard path to purchase they are taking. You may determine a few pages are assisted conversion paths that are the second or third pages they visit before purchases or end conversions (not including the checkout page).

Don’t forget mobile versus computer and tablet.  There are cross device reports in Google AdWords where you can see where users are making purchases, but more importantly what channels are impacting their purchasing decisions.

Google Conversions & Analytics Segment (My Top 6 Favorite Features)

Screen Taken 4-15-2014

As PPC Managers can attest, the segment views in Google AdWords is extremely useful.  If you are running and tracking conversions, you can make appropriate comparisons across the many segments available.

Time: By viewing the many dimensions of time (i.e day of week, hour of day), you can get a decent idea of what time you are getting more conversions as well as the cost/conversion across each segment. Go to your Setting Tab to set the right schedule that makes the most sense for your campaign and the conversions you want to garner.

Conversion Rate Optimizer: 

For those who love to automate, Google AdWords’ Conversion Rate Optimizer will do the trick. You have to gather enough data (minimum 30 conversions) and in particular conversions for this to work, but overtime Google will dynamically bid on your behalf based on where you are likely to get the best

cost per conversion


Remarketing & Segmented Lists

Sometimes we need remarket to shoppers who engaged with our brand but didn’t purchase. A marketer’s goal should always be to increase standard conversions in a cost-effective way, but if you have the technology to remarket to those buyers…….well remarket to those buyer.

Ecommerce Lovers – Product List Ads (Or The New)

Align Ad Copy With Landing Pages

PPC ad copy must be aligned with the right landing pages.  Using a furniture example, if someone is searching for a sectional sofa, and you’re sending them to your overall sofa category and you have sectional sofas, you could be losing out on shoppers who are either too lazy to search for those sectional sofas or simply cannot find them on your site.

Proper Landing Pages (Sorry, I Had To!)

I said I would not go there, but I must. The set up of your landing pages (e-commerce or not), is the best digital marketing investment one can make. Say you are a business that sells a product or service to other businesses.  Do you have case studies that are intriguing and truly show you solved specific consumers’ problems?  Do you an engaging FAQ page that is not simply a list of FAQ’s but instead of short video of the CEO answering half or most of the FAQ’s?  Focusing more on the layout, feel, CTA’s, and content of your website and its landing pages will improve overall conversions.  Remember that a conversion does not have to solely be a purchase.  You have many other conversions to track and if we know those conversions have the potential to lead to a sale then we are well on our way.

Leverage Special Offers

Negative Keywords

Screenshot taken 4-15-2014

Leverage Mobile More Pseudo Automate (Now The Fun Begins)

I am not the biggest fan of automating PPC campaigns, but when you have big budgets and a lot to manage, developing this level of efficiency from past experience can make you a better marketer and even improve conversions. If you find those hot spots that improve conversions, create rules within Google AdWords that exploit these opportunities.


Maybe as a PPC marketer, your focus is more brand awareness than purchases or other sub-macro conversions.  However, it’s important to consider the brand awareness metrics that are critical to your campaign and measure conversions that take shape for those keywords.

Featured Image Credit: Leszek Glasner via Shutterstock

An Introduction To Duplicate Content

5 DIY options for identifying duplicate content to improve SEO

SEOs talk a lot about why duplicate content matters and what to do about it, marketers don’t tend to.

I think an understanding of duplicate content is important to all marketers who manage SEO so they can ask the right questions of their search specialists or agencies or fix the problem themselves.  So to help bridge the gap, this is first of two posts explaining what duplicate content is, why it matters and what to do about it.

What is duplicate content

Duplicate content is where a search engine identifies different pages as similar. As a result it either doesn’t include them in the index or down-weights their importance. So you may have pages that you think are unique and should attract visits, but the search engines don’t see it that way and pages identified as duplicate content wont attract any visits – that’s why they matter. The reason for this is that search engines like Google can crawl over one trillion URLs, but they only want to store and rank the more relevant ones

Duplicate content on your own site is usually the biggest SEO problem, but it can potentially be a problem where other websites are copying your content for their own gain (it can be innocent and most would not realise the potential impact).

In this post I’ll focus on identifying duplicate content on your own website. If you are concerned about your content been copied by others you can use services like CopyScape to review that.

How to review and manage duplicate content

Google primarily identifies duplicate content through pages which have identical/similar titles, description, headings and copy, so to start with you have to audit these. You can use any of the following methods to help find potential duplicate content issues, the reality is that it will likely require several of them to do an effective job.

Option 1. Use Google Webmaster Tools

This is the best starting point. If you don’t have a budget for SEO then site marketers can do this on their own.

Once your site is verified within Google Webmaster Tools you can navigate down the left to diagnostics & then into HTML suggestions where you will see a information on duplicate title / description tags through to those pages with long titles or descriptions.

If you have duplicate page titles or meta descriptions as in this example you should review these to see whether the pages should be targeted uniquely.

Option 2. Utilise the SEOmoz Tool kit

Use the SEOmoz tool to find duplicate content (you can take out subscription one month at a time for one-off tasks like this). Within the crawl diagnostics panel duplicate content will come up as an error in red, from here you can drill down into the issues and prioritse your work. The full crawl of your site can take up to 7days (depending on size etc) so please bear that in mind!

Option 3. Utilise the Google “site:” command

Select sample generic or product keyphrases in quotes reviewing the site using the Google site: command. To create the screen shot below I typed the following into Google

From here you can identify if titles / descriptions are the same, you may also receive a message like below which means that Google has identified them as duplicate pages and has down graded them to its secondary index.

Option 4. Screaming SEO Frog / Xenu

I have mentioned these two tools a number of times in previous blog posts. They are famed for their ability to report back broken links on your website but they also return information which once in Excel you can use to identify duplciate URL’s, Titles & descriptions. Just by using the sort functions & the formula “=A1=A2” (swap column & row as required) you can easily see where there are potential issues. If the excel formula returns the value “true” then the two rows are identical & therefore a duplicate.

Option 5. Google Analytics Data

Once you have identified duplicate content which should be attracting visitors but isn’t the next task is to identify why this is happening and try to prevent it. That’s the subject of my next post.

An Introduction To Computer Vision With Opencv

This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon


A Brief Introduction to Machine Learning.

An Introduction to OpenCV Library.

OpenCV Python Programming.

Source: GeeksCoders.

A Brief Introduction to Machine Learning.

Machine Learning is a trending field of Information Technology in present times. As can be inferred from the name, Machine Learning is a field in which Machines are trained and taught, exactly how to identify, detect, and recognize patterns in data- both structured and unstructured. Machine Learning lends itself to the modern-day in several aspects- from Medicine to Augmented Reality, to Artificial Intelligence, and more. There are different types or categories of Machine Learning, the most dominant types are:

Supervised Machine Learning.

Unsupervised Machine Learning.

Reinforcement Learning.

Source: TowardsDataScience.

The key aspect of each type is as follows:

Supervised Machine Learning will train a model using Labelled data.

Unsupervised Machine Learning will train a model using unlabelled data.

Reinforcement Learning teaches the model or agent, how to differentiate the right action from the wrong.

An Introduction to OpenCV Library.

OpenCV is a programming library/package that has been created especially for allowing programmers to enter the world of Computer Vision. The primary developer of the OpenCV package is Intel Corporation, and the package was released to the public during the year 1999-2000.

OpenCV stands for Open-Source Computer Vision (Library). It is the most commonly used, popular, and well-documented Computer Vision library. It is open-source, which means that one does not require a license to utilize the software.

As one may know, most Machine Learning Algorithms require inputs to be quantitative in nature, i.e., numerical. OpenCV allows us to apply Machine Learning techniques to images, however, oftentimes we are required to preprocess and prepare the raw images for them to be transformed into features (columns of data) that are useful and usable by our Machine Learning Algorithms.

Source: DataFlair.

OpenCV Python Programming.

We will now how to process an image with the OpenCV package in Python Programming Language. For this learning experience, we will use the OpenCV chúng tôi You may navigate to, and download the image at this link, or you may save the image found below.

Source: Wikipedia.

Loading an Image into System Memory.

To load an image into our system RAM (Random Access Memory), we are required to make use of the imread() method provided by OpenCV. We are aware that images are a source of data- images are sources of data, from which we can acquire information and infer patterns. The crucial point to note about the imread() method is that when we utilize it in our program, fundamentally our raw image is transformed into a data/object type that we are familiar with- i.e., it becomes a NumPy Array. First, let us load our image in GRAYSCALE colour mode, and explore from there.

import cv2 # load it in GRAYSCALE color mode... image = cv2.imread("""C:/Users/Shivek/Pictures/487px-OpenCV_Logo_with_text_svg_version.svg.png""", 0) cv2.imshow('Analytics Vidhya Computer Vision', image) cv2.waitKey(0) cv2.destroyAllWindows() We shall now examine the above lines of code. import cv2

If one is familiar with the Python Programming Language, one will understand that this is the standard syntax used to import dependencies/libraries/packages into the current script. In this line of code, we import all methods, operations, and functions that are offered by the Computer Vision library.

# load it in GRAYSCALE color mode... image = cv2.imread("""C:/Users/Shivek/Pictures/487px-OpenCV_Logo_with_text_svg_version.svg.png""", 0)

We thereafter load the image in grayscale color mode, and we do this using the imread() method. The imread() method takes in two primary arguments, viz., filename (of string datatype), and flag (of integer datatype). Please Note: you will be required to replace


-with the location in which the image is stored on your computer. As one can see, I have passed in the filename and location of the image on my pc, and thereafter used a flag of 0. Flags are essentially predefined arguments that do not change, and are used as required- The flag 0 will load your image in the GRAYSCALE format- meaning black and white. Taken from the OpenCV Documentation, here are two flags you are most likely to use in your experience with OpenCV:

Hence, in our example, since we would like to obtain our image in GRAYSCALE format, we have used a value of 0, which corresponds to the predefined flag for IMREAD_GRAYSCALE.

cv2.imshow('Analytics Vidhya Computer Vision', image)

We make use of the imshow() method to display the image that has been loaded into memory, onto the digital display (screen). We need to understand that the imshow() is a very powerful OpenCV method because it creates a display for us- it will return a GUI Window to us, which contains our image that has been loaded into memory. This method requires two arguments- A title for the window to be displayed (containing the image); and the image itself- remember that an image may be stored in a variable- Hence, we are able to pass in the variable name containing our image- in our case the variable image.

The GRAYSCALE image output will be as follows:


You see, when the imshow() function displays the image output on our screen, the window that pops up with our image tends to disappear as soon as it shows up; this is because there is no signal or flag to prompt the window to be visible until or unless a specific action or event has occurred or passed. In situations like these, if you wish for the window to remain on the screen you will specify a parameter to the waitKey() function. This function will accept an integer value representing the number of milliseconds you would like the window to remain on your screen before the window is destroyed/terminated. The question you are likely to have in mind is: What should I do to make the window display on my screen for an infinite duration of time?

There are two solutions to this problem:


Pass a value of 0 to the waitKey() function. Zero is the predefined flag that will specify to the GUI system, to display the window for an infinite duration of time- to be precise- waitKey(0) will wait infinitely for terminating the image window. Termination is prompted when the user presses any character or directional key on the keyboard.


The default behaviour for the waitKey() function is to wait infinitely, i.e., display the window for an unlimited period of time. The name of the argument to which we are passing a value is delay. And the default line of syntax for the waitKey() function is as follows:


And delay=None provides us with the same output as delay=0.


The above line of code will do as specified in the syntax- i.e., it will destroy all windows that have been created during our OpenCV session. If you would like to destroy/close a single, specific window- you may pass the name of the window as a string.

Source: DataDrivenInvestor.


This concludes my article on Machine Learning: An Introduction to Computer Vision. I do hope that you have new OpenCV takeaways from this article.

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Thank you for your time.

The media shown in this article are not owned by Analytics Vidhya and are used at the Author’s discretion.


An Intuitive Introduction To Bayesian Decision Theory

This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon


Bayesian decision theory refers to the statistical approach based on tradeoff quantification among various classification decisions based on the concept of Probability(Bayes Theorem) and the costs associated with the decision.

It is basically a classification technique that involves the use of the Bayes Theorem which is used to find the conditional probabilities.

In Statistical pattern Recognition, we will focus on the statistical properties of patterns that are generally expressed in probability densities (pdf’s and pmf’s), and this will command most of our attention in this article and try to develop the fundamentals of the Bayesian decision theory.


Random Variable

A random variable is a function that maps a possible set of outcomes to some values like while tossing a coin and getting head H as 1 and Tail T as 0 where 0 and 1 are random variables.

Bayes Theorem

By Using the Chain rule, this can also be written as:

Here, equation (1) is known as the Bayes Theorem of probability

Our aim is to explore each of the components included in this theorem. Let’s explore step by step:

(a) Prior or State of Nature:

Prior probabilities represent how likely is each Class is going to occur.

Priors are known before the training process.

The state of nature is a random variable P(wi).

If there are only two classes, then the sum of the priors is P(w1) + P(w2)=1, if the classes are exhaustive.

(b) Class Conditional Probabilities:

It is the probability of how likely the feature x occurs given that it belongs to the class wi.

Sometimes, it is also known as the Likelihood.

It is the quantity that we have to evaluate while training the data. During the training process, we have input(features) X labeled to corresponding class w and we figure out the likelihood of occurrence of that set of features given the class label.

(c) Evidence:

It is the probability of occurrence of a particular feature i.e. P(X).

As we need the likelihood of class conditional probability is also figure out evidence values during training.

(d) Posterior Probabilities:

It is the probability of occurrence of Class A when certain Features are given

It is what we aim at computing in the test phase in which we have testing input or features (the given entity) and have to find how likely trained model can predict features belonging to the particular class wi.

For a better understanding of the above theory, we consider an example

Problem Description

Suppose we have a classification problem statement where we have to classify among the object-1 and object-2 with the given set of features X = [x1, x2, …, xn]T.


The main objective of designing a such classifier is to suggest actions when presented with unseen features, i.e, object not yet seen i.e, not in training data.

In this example let w denotes the state of nature with w = w1 for object-1 and w = w2 for object-2. Here, we need to know that in reality, the state of nature is so unpredictable that we generally consider that was variable that is described probabilistically.


Generally, we assume that there is some prior value P(w1) that the next object is object-1 and P(w2) that the next object is object-2. If we have no other object as in this problem then the sum of their prior is 1 i.e. the priors are exhaustive.

The prior probabilities reflect the prior knowledge of how likely we will get object-1 and object-2. It is domain-dependent as the prior may change based on the time of year they are being caught.

It sounds somewhat strange and when judging multiple objects (as in a more realistic scenario) makes this decision rule stupid as we always make the same decision based on the largest prior even though we know that any other type of objective also might appear governed by the leftover prior probabilities (as priors are exhaustive in nature).

Consider the following different scenarios:

But if P(ω1)= P(ω2), half probable of our prediction of being right. In general, the probability of error is the minimum of P(ω1) and P(ω2), and later in this article, we will see that under these conditions no other decision rule can yield a larger probability of being correct.

Feature Extraction process (Extract feature from the images)

A suggested set of features- Length, width, shapes of an object, etc.

Fig. Picture Showing pdf for both classes

Image Source: Google Images

Fig. Formula of Bayes Theorem

Image Source: Google Images

The evidence factor, p(x), works as merely a scale factor that guarantees that the posterior probabilities sum up to one for all the classes.

Bayes’ Decision Rule

The decision rule given the posterior probabilities is as follows

Probability of Error

To justify our decision we look at the probability of error, whenever we observe x, we have,

As they are exhaustive and if we choose the correct nature of an object by probability P then the leftover probability (1-P) will show how probable is the decision that it the not the decided object.

We can minimize the probability of error by deciding the one which has a greater posterior and the rest as the probability of error will be minimum as possible. So we finally get,

And our Bayes decision rule as,

This type of decision rule highlights the role of the posterior probabilities. With the help Bayes theorem, we can express the rule in terms of conditional and prior probabilities.

So by eliminating the unrequired scale factor in our decision rule we have, the similar decision rule by Bayes theorem as,

Now, let’s consider 2 cases:

This completes our example formulation!

  Generalization of the preceding ideas for Multiple Features and Classes

Bayes classification: Posterior, likelihood, prior, and evidence

Posterior = Likelihood* Prior/Evidence

We now discuss those cases which have multiple features as well as multiple classes,

Let the Multiple Features be X1, X2, … Xn and Multiple Classes be w1, w2, … wn, then:


Prior = P(wi)

Evidence = P(X1,… ,Xn)

In cases of the same incoming patterns, we might need to use a drastically different cost function, which will lead to different actions altogether. Generally, different decision tasks may require features and yield boundaries quite different from those useful for our original categorization problem.

So, In the later articles, we will discuss the Cost function, Risk Analysis, and decisive action which will further help to understand the Bayes decision theory in a better way.

End Notes

Thanks for reading!

Please feel free to contact me on Linkedin, Email.

About the author Chirag Goyal

Currently, I am pursuing my Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur(IITJ). I am very enthusiastic about Machine learning, Deep Learning, and Artificial Intelligence.

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20 Essential Skills For Digital Marketers

Many people come into the digital marketing industry with the soft skills they need to do a great job. These skills can make it easier for them to learn the hard skills necessary to perform their job duties.

It’s been said that soft skills can’t really be taught, but I strongly disagree with that.

It takes both hard and soft skills to do your best work in digital marketing. And the good news is, you can work on building both types.

Depending upon your experiences with the world, you may give up easily because you’ve never gotten what you wanted. You may not want to ask questions because you’ve had questions shut down before. With the proper environment, those skills can definitely sharpen.

Here are 20 essential skills to help you succeed in digital marketing.

Soft Skills 

Soft skills are skills related to how you work. These are skills many people possess without really thinking about them.

Here are 10 soft skills that are the most important ones from my experience.

1. Curiosity

I love when an employee wants to learn more. There are so many aspects of digital marketing and so many little niche areas. Craving more knowledge about how it all fits together truly makes you better in any role.

2. Tenacity

If you give up easily, digital marketing is probably not the field for you.

You may work to rank a site and an update crushes you, or you may pitch ideas that get rejected. You may be called in to help figure out why a site isn’t doing well.

Every day there’s something new, and that’s what keeps it all interesting.

3. Willingness to Listen and Learn

I have been wrong so many times it’s crazy. My employees (and clients) know to argue their points with me if they think I’m wrong, and I’ve learned to really trust what they say.

I’ve had clients give me instructions that I don’t think will work out but I try them and have been surprised quite often. Thinking you know everything means you don’t have the opportunity to get better.

4. Adaptability

With my team, assignments can vary from month to month depending upon our client roster. They might be working on a finance client for one month then they’ll need to switch up to a travel client.

They may need to pitch in and help someone else out on a client they’ve never worked on.

When I first started out, I got thrown into technical SEO, content writing, and PPC all at the same time. There’s always a chance that you’ll need to do something else or extra so you might as well be prepared for it.

5. Ability to Multitask

There are always a ton of things going on at once in digital marketing. You want to read the latest articles, see the latest relevant tweets, do your job, figure out how to do something in a different way that saves time, do reports, etc.

If you can’t multitask well, you will quickly fall behind.

6. Empathy

Being able to see things from someone else’s point of view is essential to marketing of any kind. It’s important to understand why someone thinks a certain way.

Empathy is so important that I wrote an entire article about it.

7. Taking Your Own Ego out of the Picture

Sometimes we are so caught up in what we think needs to be done, we can’t take a step back and listen to someone else because all we are thinking is that we know what’s best.

We all need to realize that we don’t always get it right, and even if we are right, sometimes it just doesn’t matter.

You can’t take it personally when you think you should bid on certain keywords and the client wants you to bid on different keywords.

I can’t take it personally when I submit an article to this very site and my editor asks me to make a change.

8. Strong Work Ethic

Obviously, you really need this in most careers but with something like link building, you are never going to do well without wanting to work hard as it’s very frustrating and tedious at times.

When marketing fails, it can be extremely difficult to start over. You will encounter lots of roadblocks in some form or another so it’s critical to keep trying and not give up.

9. Honesty and Transparency

One of my pet peeves is when someone can’t admit to a mistake.

You’ll always be found out.

We had a couple of employees who would leave work on the clock and think they wouldn’t be caught, for example. We had someone clock in from another state and pretend that I just hadn’t seen them in the office.

People say completely absurd things. With so many people available to replace you, not being honest is unacceptable.

10. Being Able to Say “I Don’t Know”

I don’t know why this is so difficult but it seems to be. I worked for someone who told me to never admit to not knowing something, and I think that is ridiculous.

You don’t learn unless you admit that you don’t know something. If I don’t know something, I want to dig in and figure it out.

I don’t find it embarrassing to not know everything. I’ve never thought less of anyone who admitted to not knowing something.

With so much information thrown at us constantly, it’s impossible to keep up.

Hard Skills

Hard skills are teachable skills. Here are the 10 hard skills that I think are the most achievable and the ones that can help you forge a broader knowledge of the industry.

11. How to Search Well

People constantly ask questions they could easily query in Google. It can waste a lot of time.

You need to be able to dig for information and get better with your search queries so you aren’t wading through tons of irrelevant information.

We’ve had employees who started to work on a new client and would email to ask me to explain what a certain product was used for, for example.

I’d then spend my own time searching Google and figuring it out, then emailing back. I’d much rather do my own research than ask someone else to do it for me.

13. Conducting Research and Gathering Data

You will most likely need to pull data from various sources at some point. You may have to do a technical audit on a website.

There are so many tools and sources for information that it’s critical you can figure out where to look and how to get what you need.

If you’re creating content, you’ll also need to be able to find and verify information.

14. Using Google Analytics

You can get so much information from Google Analytics that it would be a real missed opportunity not to try and master it.

If Google is giving you information about your site, you absolutely need to use it.

From looking at traffic to tracking conversions, Google Analytics is a must-have tool, and it’s free.

15. Using at Least One Major SEO Tool

Outside of Google Analytics, it’s good to know how to use at least one tool that can give you a different dataset. I use a few because each has its strong points.

It’s amazing to see how much information you can get from these tools and their reports.

16. Analyzing the Effectiveness of Your Efforts

Some people measure progress by increased traffic. Some like conversions.

Whatever your KPIs are, you need to know how to track them reliably.

17. Communication

Whether you communicate better through writing or speaking, good communication skills are absolutely critical.

My employees are remote workers and none of my clients are anywhere near me, so I spend a lot of time emailing back and forth with everyone.

I think good communication skills come naturally to some people. But if they don’t to you, it’s definitely something you can work towards improving.

18. Figuring Out What’s Going On and What’s Gone Wrong

If traffic suddenly drops or your bounce rate drastically increases, it’s important that you know how to start tracking down potential causes.

Not everything is cause for alarm, of course. There may be logical explanations for what you’re seeing.

You simply need to know where to look and how to grab enough information to get an idea of what’s happening and then start to fix it.

19. Using a Crawler

There are several great crawling tools out there and you should familiarize yourself with at least one of them.

Even if you aren’t getting too technical with your work, just being able to get information about redirects or duplicate content can be incredibly helpful.

20. Coding or Understanding Code

I came into SEO from a programming background so I’m a bit biased, but I do think that SEO professionals should at least know basic HTML.

Coding also teaches you how to think very logically and improves your problem-solving skills. Even if you never have a chance to code, you will be better equipped to think through problems.

Do You Really Need to Possess All of These Skills to Be Great at Your Job?

Absolutely not. There are countless SEO pros who don’t know how to code, for example, and they can do their jobs well.

There are people who don’t possess a lot of the soft skills and they’re fine.

With today’s level of remote work situations there is more flexibility than ever to be yourself, work where you like, sometimes work whenever you feel like it, and simply get the job done.

But when it’s time to grow your career and enhance your professional value, you’ll definitely want to work on a few of the key digital marketing skills above.

More Resources:

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