As the paid search industry migrated towards a more automated environment advertisers were met with a spike in cost per click (CPC). Coming out of 2018 Merkle reports a higher rate of click growth than rise in CPC. Advertisers worked over the past year to harness automation and understand how to reap the benefits without inflating costs. However, many advertisers continue to report a rise in despite the downward trend reported industry-wide. This article will help identify areas that could be the cost of high CPCs
Read more at PPCHero.com
Look around you, people are either watching vlogs and video interviews or enjoying branded video content and live stream recordings. This goes to imply that video marketing is at its peak as people are engaging with video content more than ever before.
Talking about video marketing, one cannot help but mention YouTube, the platform synonymous with it. Being a video marketer, YouTube SEO needs to be at the top of your priority list.
You might be uploading stellar videos on a daily basis, but nothing matters if your videos don’t manage to get seen. After all, with 400 hours of video content being uploaded every minute, how do you ensure yours stands out and attracts viewers?
Don’t let your YouTube marketing efforts go waste. Here are eight effective ways to ensure your videos get ranked highly on YouTube and attract views.
1. Use relevant keywords
Be it Google or YouTube SEO, the first and foremost step is conducting keyword research. Start with making a list of potential keywords related to your video, it can be anything that people will use that can direct them to the video.
Next, use YouTube’s autocomplete feature to identify the popular keywords people use to search. You will be met with long-tail keyword suggestions here which prove to be a lot more accurate than the generic short-tail ones.
2. Optimize the title, description, and tags
When you are browsing videos, the first element that catches your eye is the video title, isn’t it? Not only should the video title be compelling and interesting, but it should also contain the target keyword/s. The same applies to the video description and tags that best attribute your video.
YouTube video descriptions are highly underrated. Marketers don’t realize that this space provides context and influences ranking too. While you have 5000 characters to play with, YouTube just displays the first 157 characters. So use this space wisely, infused with keywords and appropriate call-to-action words.
Another important SEO element is adding relevant tags which make your video easily discoverable.
3. Create engaging videos
Ultimately, people will watch your videos and will keep coming back for more if you upload fresh, engaging and informative content which happens to be an important ranking signal to YouTube’s algorithm.
The more compelling your videos are, the higher is the audience retention which automatically increases your chances of showing up under YouTube’s search suggestions.
In addition to the content, it is important to pay heed to the production quality too. For example, poorly lit and inaudible videos will certainly not entice viewers. So, invest efforts in enhancing the production quality of your video in order to drive views.
4. Encourage subscriptions
Managing a YouTube channel that barely has subscribers and viewers is as good as talking to a wall. Don’t stop at just uploading a video, make it work for you by reaching your target audience and encouraging them to engage with your channel and subscribe to it.
Building a strong subscriber base increases your chances of being ranked highly on YouTube because it goes to show that you have an engaged community which is a huge plus point.
Now, how do you get people to subscribe? Start with asking for it. Make it a practice to insert this call-to-action at the end of every video and include it in the video description. You must also encourage subscriptions outside of YouTube by adding a widget on your website or asking your followers to subscribe on your Facebook or Twitter pages.
5. Add compelling thumbnails
If you have been using YouTube’s auto-generated video still as the thumbnail, you need to stop being lazy and change your ways.
The thumbnail is the first visual reference your audiences get of your video which influences their decision to view it. So it needs to be compelling enough to grab their attention. Instead of settling for an auto-generated still, why not use customized thumbnails which are far more appealing?
It is a good idea to show the close-ups of human faces to strike emotional connect and the appropriate amount of text to make it click-worthy. You can also add your brand logo but make sure it doesn’t overshadow the thumbnail, given the restricted space.
6. Use the closed caption feature
You might have come across “CC” while watching videos on YouTube. CC stands for closed captions, an important YouTube SEO tool.
Closed Captions (CC) refers to the text overlay or transcription of the video. Using closed captions in videos makes it appeal to a wider audience and lets your viewers watch your video with ease irrespective of their surroundings. This leads to higher user engagement in the form of likes, comments, shares, and subscribers.
Discovery Digital Networks conducted a study and found an overall increase of 7.32 percentage in views for captioned videos.
While YouTube generates auto-captions, you rather add closed captions for search engines to accurately index. This impacts your SEO ranking.
7. Name files appropriately
It’s easy to overlook this step but the fact is that naming your video file appropriately is more important than you think. Instead of going ahead with “video_final.mp4” or “brand_filmFINAL.avi,” it is important to rename the video to include the keywords as it is an indicator to search engines about what your video file is about.
8. Be consistent
To improve your rankings and build an engaged community, you must be consistent with uploads. You need to be committed to churning out unique and relevant video content and stay at the top of your game because that is the only way you can improve engagement which in turn boosts search rankings.
Just like any other social media platform, maintain a content calendar for YouTube and ensure you reward your community with videos on a regular basis.
For more on getting videos to rank, also check out our guide on YouTube optimization. Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Marcus is the founder of Brew Interactive, an inbound digital marketing agency that specializes in marketing to the affluent audience through digital. He is also the author of the highly raved book, Social Payoff.
The post Eight tips to getting your videos ranked on YouTube in 2019 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Since its inception back in 2007, Facebook Ads has changed the way companies approach their online advertising strategies. Early on, many advertisers have tried and failed with Facebook Ads NOT because they were targeting the wrong audience, but because they did not fully understand the dynamics of this (non-search like) Ad platform. The confusion (still today) is due to the enormous traffic volume of users (which many of them disclosed their likes, interests, age, sex, race, political views, education, marital status, household income, etc…) that are skewing the overall performance which forces many advertisers into believing that Facebook is a scam. In this post, I will try to reinforce the notion that Facebook Ads can be successful for advertisers if they approach their strategies on a more micro-targeted level.
Over the years, marketers (like myself) started to change the methodologies of campaign structures just like we did with Google to obtain a good Quality Score. In March of 2014, Facebook rolled out a bunch of new features which seemed to model that of Google Adwords. Some of these updates included:
- Self-serve ad tool, Ad Sets, Ads Manager, Power Editor, 3rd party interfaces
Even before the adoption of Ad Sets, marketers started to realize that in order to “offset” the huge traffic volume and identify what was working and not working, they needed restructure everything at a Micro-level. This strategy of creating individual campaigns for each specific interest is what empowered many to re-think their expectations of what Facebook could do for them.
Below is a quick example of a standard Facebook Ads campaign that focuses on one specific audience. As you can see, we are focusing on Green Tea only (not Tea Drinkers in general). We are also segmenting Women-only as well as different Age Ranges which allows for a more granular understanding of interest and interaction.
#1 Why Micro-Targeting Works
In order to get the most out of your Ad dollars as well as identify winners and losers, micro-targeting is a must for every advertiser. Yes, it’s a lot of work and yes it requires many hours to set it up correctly. However, not investing in this time could cost you even more later down the line because all of the work that was done, can be utilized again in the future with little to no effort to update.
#2 Facebook Ads Creates Storytelling
Wouldn’t it be a great story to tell your CEO or client (Tea Company) that the majority of the FB conversions came from Single Women, 35-40, who live in Baltimore MD, and enjoy Pilates and Yoga. That specific piece of information was made possible by the micro-targeting created in Facebook Ads and quite possibly created a whole new level of both online and offline marketing strategies for years to come.
#3 Geo-Targeting Matters:
As mentioned in the storytelling example above, geography is a huge proponent of micro-targeting because of the different social behaviors that surround us. For example, advertisers that are interested in reaching a younger audience (25-35) that enjoy nightclubs and dancing, would be more likely to choose to target their ads in USA cities such as NYC, Miami, Las Vegas, LA, and Chicago instead of other locations that are not as likely to be interested.
#4 The Power of Indirect Targeting:
Lets assume that avid Tea Drinkers are also more likely to be fans of the Food Network and other TV cooking shows. With Facebook Ads, we have the ability to create individual campaigns targeting not only the Food Network, but also specific shows such as Man vs. Food, Barefoot Contessa and others… The fact that we can create TEST campaigns to see if those “in-direct” yet similar audiences could convert is a game-changer in all aspects of marketing.
#5 Why Timing Matters:
We are constantly being bombarded by news everyday coming from TV, radio and the internet. However, the one thing that is NOT constant is the “shelf-life” of the news story and that is where Facebook Ads (including all Social Media) provides a unique advantage for advertisers. For example, lets say the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) comes out with a study that says people who drink 2-3 cups of Green Tea everyday have a better chance to fight the symptoms of the common cold. This report obviously not only shines a positive light on the Tea Industry but it’s also fresh in everyone’s mind and when they see an ad for Green Tea in their Facebook Feed, they are likely to remember that news story about the health benefits and are more inclined to make an impulse buy.
Truth be told, Facebook Ads may not be a fit for everyone. While certain industries may thrive on having a social-friendly presence, many others will not find their target audience in that social environment. However, I implore that all advertisers/marketers to keep an open-mind when looking at Facebook Ads because there is more strategy potential than you think. In my opinion, FB Ads has become more a testing ground than a standard vehicle for website traffic. Facebook Ads may not be a GEM for everyone, but with an open-mind it could be a diamond in the rough.
When we hear the words “lead generation,” our minds automatically conjure up a B2B marketing strategy aimed at filling the top of the sales funnel. But leads are not exclusive to B2B companies.
Every type of business, be it wholesale, retail, startup or whatever else, needs qualified “potential” customers who can be nurtured into actual paying customers. Ecommerce is no different.
With the barriers to starting an ecommerce business tumbling faster than you can say Jack Robinson, the ecommerce industry has become competitive like never before.
Besides new competitors mushrooming every day, there is the entrenched Goliaths – Amazon – which will eat away close to 50% of the market within the next three years!
HubSpot’s State of Inbound report revealed that for 3 out of 5 marketers, generating traffic and leads is the toughest challenge. No surprise then, that 70% of them intended to expand their demand generation budgets in 2018.
But bigger budgets are useless if you use the same old strategies that didn’t work before.
How about embracing tried and tested strategies that guarantee leads in the New Year? Here goes!
Three top lead generation tips for ecommerce businesses
1. Rewrite your product descriptions with a focus on SEO
This mistake, like history, has been repeated time and again in the world of ecommerce. While the importance of having unique product descriptions is plastered all over the web, rookie ecommerce companies still make the same mistake of using manufacturer’s descriptions and putting off giving them a custom twist until later when they’ve “made some sales.”
But hey, if you won’t make them unique, how will Google rank you for those products? And if Google doesn’t rank you, how will you get any visitors? And if you don’t have any visitors, how will you have any leads? In fact, a study by AWR found that click-through rates from Google SERPs to retailers’ sites dropped from nearly 30% for position 1 to less than 5% for position 5. Thereafter, you might not as well exist.
According to this post by Tracy Vides, there are four critical factors that are important for SEO, lead generation, as well as sales, which you’d do well to address on your product pages:
- A well-defined buyer persona that matches your most valuable customer profiles
- Descriptions that answer every possible question that a potential customer might have
- In-depth reviews from existing customers
- A simple, intuitive, quick, easy path to purchase
Don’t be afraid to go into great detail with product descriptions. Clearly explain all the features; in fact, make it so simple that a five-year-old should be able to use your product by reading what you have to say about it. The same goes for the “usability” of your product pages. The more (and better) content you have on your pages, the better Google will understand and consider it, the more time readers will spend on it, and the more qualified leads you will eventually get into your funnel.
2. Continually expand your email list, segment it for maximum impact
There’s no better (and cheaper!) way to stay in touch with your customers than via email. I could quote research that shows how every dollar spent on email marketing brings back up more than $ 40 in revenue, but even if you don’t get such exponential ROI, email marketing is a channel you absolute must leverage.
While getting your hands on customers’ emails are easy to get for ecommerce businesses, it’s important to also capture email addresses of website visitors and browsers. This article explains how ecommerce businesses typically gather 3x their regular number of emails with email capture pop-ups. Depending on the type of pop-up you choose – exit intent pop-ups, timed pop-ups, sidebar pop-ups, and more. You can potentially capture emails from 3 to 16% of website visitors at close-to-zero cost.
Once you’ve set up your email capture pipeline, don’t go indiscriminately mass mailing your list and put them off from all your communications. Instead, create clear segments within your database to which you can communicate distinctly different messages.
Novelty apparel retailer Johnny Cupcakes discovered the benefits of simple and basic segmentation to their pleasant surprise. They leveraged social media data to piece together a more detailed profile of their customers, with information on their gender, interests, media habits, and brand preferences, and found that a large proportion of their customers were sports fans, especially baseball.
So they decided to experiment with a new product line of baseball shirts, with distinct male and female categories. They segmented their 80,000-strong email list by gender and sent them the email creatives you see below.
Source: Marketing Sherpa
The results blew them away. CTRs grew by 42%, conversion rate went up by 123% and revenue per campaign rose by a whopping 141%. What a difference relevant content can make to marketing outcomes!
3. Bring back lost souls with remarketing
As the old adage goes, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Getting users to come to your site in the first place is hard enough. But having them leave without buying a thing is simply heartbreaking. Put the brakes on your users’ exodus by retargeting them with two of the most effective methods available – retargeted emails and retargeted ads.
Retargeting emails or abandoned cart emails, sent to users who’ve added items to their cart and then dropped off from the buying journey, are a great way to remind potential customers of what they’re missing and nudging them back into the sales funnel. These emails have the power to win back at least 15% of revenue that’s typically lost, thanks to cart abandonment.
Source: author’s inbox
Retargeted ads come in different avatars. Just as you remind a user about an “almost” purchase with retargeting emails, you can remind users of their last visit to your site in the form of display ads, as they browse other sites across the web. The different types of retargeting ads relevant to ecommerce include:
- Search retargeting – target users that searched for keywords related to your business, but may not have visited your website
- Site retargeting – target users that visited your site and were “cookied” on their way out
- Contextual retargeting – target users that visited sites or liked pages similar to yours, or those of competitors
Users’ familiarity with your products and brand means CTRs for retargeted ads are 10x those of regular display ads. Data shows that website visitors that are exposed to retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert than those who never saw the ads. That’s massive!
Not only is retargeting better cheaper than traditional display and search advertising in terms of CPA (cost per acquisition), it also assists in reinforcing your brand on your customers’ minds – a nice little bonus!
Source: Blue Mint Marketing
Remarketing ads offer best results on the Google Display Network and Facebook, thanks to their massive reach and extensive data on potential buyers.
No matter what industry you operate in, at the end of the day, your revenue growth is inextricably linked to growing the number of customers who shop with you. These new customers could come in from glitzy, high-budget, multimedia advertising campaigns or they could come through low-cost, high-hustle marketing that gives lasting results. I know which path I’d take. How about you?
Available ad impressions on social media are hitting a wall as user growth slows, driving up CPC and CPM prices. As demand increases, it becomes even more important for advertisers to properly optimize campaigns to maximize their return on investment for paid social.
According to Merkle’s Q2 2018 Digital Marketing Report, advertiser spend increased 40% year-over-year in Q2, while impressions fell 17%.
The influx of advertising dollars to social media platforms with a steady number of available impressions means that the average cost-per-click (CPC) is rising.
Many paid social media campaigns do not maximize their return on investment because of poor or incomplete optimization, limited distribution, incomplete tracking, and undefined goals.
Here’s what you need to do to squeeze more out of your paid social media campaigns.
Advertising for the funnel
Each advertisement you run must have a clear goal in mind, and that goal must fit into a larger piece of your paid social media strategy. Moving prospects from the top of the funnel to the bottom—as efficiently as possible—is necessary for a successful ad campaign.
Keep in mind that it may take multiple interactions with your advertisements and content before someone works their way through the funnel. Your ad campaigns should never take on a one-and-done approach.
An ad targeting a past purchaser will be very different than an ad targeting someone who is completely unfamiliar with your brand and products.
This makes it important to segment your customers into the correct phase of the buying process. Run different ads with different messages and calls to action for each segment.
Advertise smarter, not harder.
Simple process improvements
A number of small improvements can greatly impact the success of a paid social media campaign. Not implementing these is basically leaving money on the table. Remember, we are trying to squeeze every last drop of ROI out of these campaigns, even if getting the maximum return takes time.
While the examples I cite relate to Facebook and Instagram, we can see equivalents on Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Snapchat to some degree.
Whichever social media platform you are advertising through, follow platform best practices and make sure everything is set up properly—through tracking pixels and UTM codes. Everything should be properly attributed across platforms.
First, make sure that Facebook’s tracking pixel is properly implemented on your website.
Facebook Pixel Helper, a free Chrome browser extension from Facebook, can help you troubleshoot any issues. You can find information on how to set up Facebook Pixel from scratch on Facebook’s website.
You also need to set up Facebook Pixel with standard events like newsletter sign-ups and successful e-commerce actions (add to cart, purchase, etc.) to help with creating higher quality custom and lookalike audiences.
Facebook and Instagram have powerful tracking and conversion optimization abilities in their ad technology, so use them.
Using Facebook’s custom audiences feature is a must if you want your paid social media campaigns to really perform.
It is foolish to not capture and harness information about your website’s visitors, especially when it is free and requires only minutes to set up. Facebook offers a number of ways to create a custom audience in the Facebook Ads Manager.
If your Facebook Pixel is properly set up, it can record every action taken by visitors on your website in the past 180 days. The actions include page views, button clicks, abandoned carts, and purchases.
You can create audiences to build lookalike audiences or use them for remarketing.
Advertising to someone who has already been to your website and possibly even completed on-site actions has a much higher chance of converting than advertising to a first-time visitor.
With proper implementation, you can track offline events, like sales at physical retail locations, after someone has interacted with your Facebook advertisements.
There are two ways to set up offline activity: either upload the offline data CSV file manually to Facebook or sync your CRM directly with Facebook. The customer information will then be matched to the correct user IDs on Facebook.
This approach will show you if someone took a specific action, like purchasing after viewing.
You can create lookalike audiences in the Facebook Ads Manager to find audiences that have similar traits and characteristics to your ideal user.
The lookalike audience is created based on a custom audience, which acts as a seed audience. This allows you to greatly expand the number of potential customers you can target based on a higher-quality custom audience.
Conversions are of paramount importance for e-commerce stores. Website traffic is useless unless it results in sales. Luckily, Facebook and Instagram can help optimize your campaign’s delivery for successful conversions.
Conversion tracking depends on the proper implementation of the tracking pixel and properly set up ad campaigns. You also need to set up standard events or custom conversions on Facebook to accurately measure and optimize for conversions. Google Analytics offers conversion tracking as well, but it’s based on a last-click-attribution model.
There is no reason not to track and optimize for conversions. Even media companies that generate revenue by on-site ad units can benefit from optimizing toward conversions by focusing on pages-per-session to find a higher quality user, opposed to general website visitors.
Remarketing with social media ad managers requires proper implementation of each platforms’ tracking pixels.
For example, Facebook’s audience and lookalike audience features are powerful tools that can track users and specific website actions up to 180 days in the past.
Remarketing with these audiences in mind is a strategic approach, and entire campaigns can be built around them. In fact, these types of campaigns often yield the highest returns.
Sequential advertising is when you show different ads to the same person over a period of time. Large television campaigns sometimes use this tactic, but there is no reason why it cannot be successfully applied to paid social media campaigns.
For example, you may show an audience an ad focusing on one benefit of your product. The next ad, after the majority of people in the audience has seen the first one, would highlight another benefit of the product. The third ad would highlight a customer testimonial. You are showing your audience the same product but with different messaging.
If you are running video ads, you could also share a related story via that format. Think the Budweiser Frogs television campaign or some of BMW’s mini-movies. A sequential advertising campaign does not have to go to such lengths to be successful, but fresh, on-brand, eye-catching creative in any form is generally a good thing.
Besides improvements to the advertising process, further optimization to paid social campaigns can be achieved through maximizing the campaigns’ distribution. That will ensure your campaign is successful based on your set goals. Not maximizing the distribution of your ads will leave money on the table.
Regularly refresh your creative
Using the same creative—images, video, and text—over and over can quickly cause fatigue. This means your audience will start to ignore your ads—or worse, start leaving mean comments on them. You’ll also start experiencing an increase in CPM and CPC as you lose more in Facebook’s ad auction.
Regularly refresh your creative to avoid this. It makes a difference, even if you’re just refreshing your images or copy every month.
Standing out in the newsfeed is a big part of successful paid campaigns. If you are using photographs or videos, they need to be high quality and relatable to make the user stop scrolling through their newsfeed.
Pay special attention to resolution, aspect ratio, and how the ad units look on a mobile device. The majority of users will see your ad on their phone, so make sure it’s thumb-stopping.
Use all available placements
Facebook is always optimizing for the lowest event cost possible. The vast majority of your results will come from ads run on the Facebook or Instagram newsfeed. But don’t forget about other placements, like the sidebar, messenger, and marketplace.
Automatic placements are the best option to maximize results beyond the newsfeeds.
All placements selected.
Limited placements selected.
Optimize for mobile
Unless you specifically target only desktop device users, the majority of the impressions or clicks you receive will be from mobile devices. This means you better make sure your creative is mobile-friendly.
Make sure all of your images and videos are formatted to maximize the viewable space on mobile for the type of advertisement you are running. Your headlines and accompanying text also need to be optimized to fit.
If you’re using videos, make sure they’re formatted to a 1:1 aspect ratio (square videos) to take up the most room on the Facebook mobile newsfeed and outperform horizontal aspect videos.
Minimize restrictions for the Facebook algorithm
Don’t try to control Facebook too much. Instead, give Facebook room to show your ads to the correct users at the correct time with the least necessary targeting restrictions. The more freedom the algorithm has to use your pixel data, the better able it is to encourage conversions.
Josh Thompson is Senior Social Media Strategist at Portent—a Clearlink Digital Agency. Josh is Facebook Blueprint Certified and has worked in social media advertising for seven years.
The post Tips to maximize ROI on paid social: Facebook + Instagram appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
It’s that time of the year again: reflecting on the year that’s past as we prepare for 2019 lurking around the corner. In this article, we have a roundup of some of our fan favorite pieces from 2018 on SEO.
From how to’s to tips to tools, these were some of our highlights from the past year. SEW spark notes, if you will.
If you missed these pieces throughout the year, they’ll be worth a read. And if you’ve already read them, never hurts to refresh!
On Monday, we’ll have a roundup of our top articles on search industry news and trends.
If you have launched a new website, updated a single page on your existing domain, or altered many pages and/or the structure of your site, you will likely want Google to display your latest content in its SERPs.
While Google’s crawlers are obviously pretty good at their job — indexing countless new pages simply from natural traffic and links from around the web — it never hurts to give Googlebot a little assistance.
In this article, we look at a few ways to alert Google’s crawlers to new URLs on your site.
Because one can never have enough Google Analytics insight, right?
One of the most useful features in GA, event tracking lets you capture all kinds of information about how people behave on your site.
In this article, we go step by step through two different ways you can set up event tracking: first, by adding the code manually, and second, by using Google Tag Manager.
This is a great tutorial for anyone looking to familiarize themselves with the task.
Meta tags help search engines and website visitors determine what the content of your page is about.
They’re placed in the <head> section of a HTML document and need to be coded into your CMS. Depending on the platform you use, this can be quite less intense than it sounds.
Many “out of the box” solutions provide extremely user-friendly, labelled sections such as “meta description” calling your attention to exactly what goes where.
In this article, we take a look at why meta tags are important, along with the six main types of meta tags to focus on for SEO.
For anyone who’s ever had questions about what SEOs should do with Single Page Applications (SPAs), this article is for you. Long, thorough, entertaining, and full of resources.
This article is bit of a coming to terms with that reality, accepting SPAs as part of our SEO future, and even dipping our toes in, if you will.
We look at what developers like about JS, how it was never intended for web page content delivery, common SEO problems of SPAs, and a host of other questions you might be asking.
Finally, we end with eleven recommendations for further reading — really, this could become the whole rest of your holiday break — on how Google treats SPAs, core principles of SEO for JS and for SPAs, and more information than you could want.
Domain Authority (DA) serves as a handy heuristic in the SEO industry. It helps tell us how likely a site is to rank for specific keywords, based on the SEO authority it holds.
Many SEOs use Domain Authority to sense-check the quality of their inbound links and to understand how these are affecting their own’s site’s SEO health.
In this article, we round up some of the best ways to check out domain authority. We look at what factors go into DA, and how these tools go about calculating it.
‘Domain Authority’ was devised by Moz and they have naturally taken ownership of this name. Their suite of tools (some of which are discussed in this article) will reveal the authority of particular domains, but dozens of other free tools use Moz’s API to show these scores too.
This is another quite popular deep dive into SEO tips. We know “improving search rankings” gets a lot of fluff, but this is not that.
Here, we look closely at what makes RankBrain tick, and 15 ways to use that to your fancy.
Sections cover tips around optimizing keywords, optimizing title tags, optimizing descriptions, and reducing bounce rates and dwell times. Fun fact: research by HubSpot and Outbrain found that titles with brackets performed 33 percent better than titles without.
Questions about how to add LSI keywords? How long should long-form content really be? Benefits of long-tail vs medium size keywords? How much difference in clicks will a few characters too long in a headline actually make? All of that and much more (along with lots of screenshots) here.
This article is a roundup of exactly what it sounds like — 30 ways to market your online business for free. It covers everything from emails to social media, from Google Analytics to Search Console, from forums to guest posting, from metadata to Schema.org.
While a few of the ways could be updated — posting to Google+, for instance, might be less helpful anymore — the list still provides some hefty inspiration to anyone needing a little boost of ideas for what to do online.
This was a quite recent article that has soared. As we know, for SEO these days we need content that includes related concepts, satisfies intent, and provides value. The days of exact keyword matching are far behind us.
In this article, we have four great tools to use when optimizing for related keywords — and of course, how to use them.
For instance, the first tool in the list is TextOptimizer. It takes a term you give it, looks at the Google search results page, extracts snippets, and applies semantic analysis.
With that, it ouputs a list of all the related topics, terms, and concepts that form your topic cluster. From that cluster, it recommends you choose 15-25 of the words for a higher rank.
Lest we forget: local search.
For those looking to rank higher in searches tied to a user’s location — i.e. users that might be quite near your store and itching to buy something — a Google My Business listing is an essential first step.
This article gives a how to guide for first setting up your listing, claiming and verifying your business, filling out the information, and adding photos. From there, we go over gathering reviews, posting updates, monitoring your profile, and tracking data from Insights.
Of all the many, many things to do in SEO, optimizing a Google My Business listing is very straightforward. It can have a profoundly positive effect on your SEO — a whole wealth of ranking opportunity up for grabs.
Interested in learning more about SEO in 2019? Here are the key trends you need to follow to improve your search optimization skills.
It’s easy to get confused by the information overload when you’re just starting with SEO. Too many tactics can discourage you from practicing your skills. However, it doesn’t have to be scary to learn more about search engine optimization.
That’s why we’ve analysed the key SEO trends for 2019 and what they mean to someone who’s just getting started with search engine optimization.
1. Start with optimizing your site for mobile devices
Mobile optimization is critical when you’re getting started with SEO. Start by testing your site’s performance and load speed across all devices.
Every delay in browsing may be a missed opportunity to engage a new visitor.
People are spending more time on their phones every year, which means that a new SEO strategy cannot ignore mobile optimization. Moreover, it goes beyond improving e.g. the site speed on your site. SEO in 2019 is about understanding the ‘mobile consumers’ and how their searching habits differ when they are on the go comparing to a desktop user.
Think of your own searching habits when you’re in a rush and you’re looking for a fast answer. Or think of the search result that grabs your attention. Chances are, it’s mobile optimized and it takes into consideration that you’re looking for a clear and quick answer without further delays.
2. Understand how users search
We tend to assume which keywords will perform better over others. Keyword testing is always a good idea but SEO nowadays is focusing more on understanding the search intent. It’s not enough to find an effective keyword that leads traffic to your site.
A long-term SEO strategy relies on search intent and the reasoning behind every search. Once you start understanding how your target audience is using search engines, then you’re able to optimize your site more successfully.
Searches are becoming more dynamic and it’s not enough to rely on assumptions. Start testing how your optimization can affect your search traffic and start applying more conversational queries to your keyword mix.
3. Write for humans, optimize for search engines
A successful SEO strategy does not ignore the human element when optimizing a site. We are not just picking good keywords to improve our site’s rankings. The goal is to pick the right keywords that your audience would use in a way that the content remains relevant and engaging.
Always start by thinking of your audience when creating your content. Your content should be both interesting and relevant to them so that they want to read more about it. Once you start understanding the content that your readers want from you, it’s time to focus more on its optimization.
It’s not enough to create good content if you don’t get people to read it. That’s why you want to optimize your content to reach higher in the SERPs.
There’s no need to start adding keywords in your content simply to appeal to search engines. Google and the rest have become way too sophisticated to reward such techniques.
On the contrary, the quality of your content and its relevance, for example, can help you increase your search traffic. Find the right balance between quality content and search optimization for the best results.
4. Analyse your existing search traffic
If you’re not sure how to get started and what to test then start by having a closer look at your current search traffic.
What are the best-performing pages? Which keywords is your audience using to access your content?
Analyse your top 10 posts and what they all have in common. Is it the quality of your content? The length of each post? Did you follow the best practices of on-site optimization?
Find the posts that work well as evergreen content and think of new ways to update them. A closer look at your search traffic and current SEO performance can even help you update your content calendar with topics that your audience would appreciate.
5. Stay up-to-date with the latest changes in SEO
If you want to master SEO, you need to follow the latest trends and the algorithm updates that might affect your tactics. As with every new skill, it’s useful to keep reading about it to stay informed about any recent changes.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced professional, it’s still important to keep reading about the latest SEO updates and what they mean to your strategy.
6. Learn the most important ranking factors
As we’ve just mentioned in the previous tip, it’s useful to dedicate some time every month to catch up with the latest SEO updates.
A great starting point is to read more about all the ranking factors that affect your position in the SERPs.
From the relevance and the use of the right keywords to the page speed and the use of backlinks, it’s good to learn how each ranking factor can affect your optimization tactics.
The list may be long, but here are some important ranking factors to help you optimize your page in 2019.
7. Never underestimate UX
User experience is becoming more important for SEO year over year. As Google is evolving, search results are becoming more personalized and the goal is to offer the best experience to the users.
The quality and the relevance of your content are very significant, but you also need to ensure that your site’s UX is appealing enough to encourage people to keep reading.
A good post cannot be engaging if your page is not, for example, optimized for mobile or if it doesn’t facilitate longer reads.
What you need is the right balance between great content and even better user experience. None of the two alone can lead to great SEO success.
Start analyzing your current bounce rate and the time spent on site and see how these compare with your site’s load speed.
Test your site’s performance across different browsers and devices and start improving all the issues that may risk you losing your readers.
8. Discover the link between social media and SEO
Social signals may not be among the ranking factors, but it’s still useful to understand how your social presence can affect your search results.
As social media becomes a bigger part of our lives, it can define a big part of our online presence and authority. The same occurs to all brands with an existing social presence.
Google has started integrating social results to the search answers in an attempt to present a more holistic idea of an online presence. By indexing more content to the search results, users are able to find the right answer to their questions as fast as possible. Thus, it’s good to keep in mind that your online presence and authority are not limited to your search results.
Similarly, social networks are turning into their own search engines where users are still looking for an answer to their questions. YouTube and Pinterest have become very popular visual search engines, while Twitter and Facebook can be helpful for finding more information about a person or a news event.
This means that our searching habits are changing and it’s useful to understand all the different ways someone can find your content on various channels.
9. Understand how voice search works
Voice search will be the biggest trend to shape SEO in 2019 and 2020. It is already seeing a growing adoption rate and more consumers are expected to use voice commands in 2019.
This means that search optimization should change to understand the new kind of search intent. People tend to use longer questions and more conversational queries in voice search. The challenge is to understand which keywords will be more relevant to your audience and how to measure the success of your strategy.
Although the measurement is still at an early stage, it’s still useful to understand the difference between text and voice commands.
The more we think as consumers, the higher the chances of answering their questions in the most relevant way.
SEO doesn’t have to be complicated. You can start the new year by boosting your skills to try out new ideas.
One step at a time can help you improve your site’s optimization. The best way to get started is to pay attention to your readers’ online habits.
- How do they behave on your site?
- What are your best-performing pages?
- Which keywords do they use?
- What can you improve today to boost your SEO strategy?
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