May 2018

27- May2018
Posted By: Mary Holfelner
20 Views

The Latest Google Update: What We Learned This Past April

Well, Google has done it again.

Inside the core April 2018 Google Algorithm update.

What’s that you ask? They changed their mind about ranking factors and what the algorithm is going to be? AGAIN?!

Yes, again. And it won’t be the last.

Inside The Core Google Algorithm Update

Truth be told, this isn’t a big shock, in fact Google has admitted that they make changes daily. This is what Moz says: “Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times.”

However, the core updates happen maybe 2 – 3 times per year. and when they do happen, these changes are felt, and cause quite a buzz.

This particular update started in March and seems to have settled in mid April. We’ve felt it with many of our clients here at Guardian Owl, which is why were working diligently to find a solution.

But is there one?

What is most interesting to us in all of these updates is that this time, more so than other times, Google is telling those who feel they have been impacted by the change to just sit tight. They claim your website isn’t “wrong” so no need to fix it. Or however Google phrases these things.

Which is a lot easier said than done, right?

The rumor and early evidence shows that Google is doing some early testing with the mobile search algorithm as well as voice search.

Hey, Alexa….

Google hasn’t been quiet about preparing the results for voice search. So when Alexa gives you an answer that you’ve asked for, it is thanks to this most recent update.

Where Did It Start?

Early in the algorithm change Google was really updating up what they displayed in search results.

For example, a search for “time” would only yield results for the time zone in which you were located, and no other results.

Something was missing. What if, when Googling “time”, the intent was to see a result for Time Magazine. That option was no longer there with the initial change.

Since that initial change, Google has pivoted and adjusted the algorithm showing more results. Sites that had previously been moving up in rankings and garnering more organic traffic have been plummeting.

In the last week, we’ve noticed that the sites are recovering and bouncing back to their original ranking positions.

Google Has Begun Mobile First Indexing

In English, this means Google is favoring websites that are optimized for the best mobile experience.

For example, a site that automatically resizes across different devices with be giving more preference by Google than one that doesn’t. This isn’t a new expectation from Google. In fact in 2015 they set a hard deadline to bring your website to mobile responsive standards.

Check out this quote about what mobile first indexing means, directly from Google.
“Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our — primarily mobile — users find what they’re looking for.”

This means if your site looks better on desktop than mobile, you might be in trouble. While we know most designers work on desktops to create your amazing website, it’s more important now than ever before to make sure they are catering the design to mobile. This means users don’t have to zoom in and out to read things, and navigation is easy for fingers to tap on.

So if your mobile website looks like something straight out of 2001, feel free to give us a call and we’ll hook you up with someone who can fix that.

For an Added Bonus, Let’s Talk About Meta Descriptions

Have you been wondering, why in the world the meta description that you took so much time crafting, isn’t showing up on Google search?

Don’t worry, you (likely) haven’t done anything wrong, Google has just started using dynamic meta descriptions. In other words, Google is deciding what they think is the best description to show. Thats not to say your meta description should be planned out, just not to have your feelings hurt if Google displays something different.

Also, remember when they gave more characters late last year for meta descriptions? Well, they have taken that away as well. Another lesson to be learned by Google is that the only constant is that there is no constant.

What Can Be Done About These Changes?

While it is never easy to sit back and wait to see what will happen, this time, it appears that the guidance Google has given has been correct. So, at this point, no news is good news. Don’t worry though, we have our finger on the pulse of what has been happening and will make sure to inform you of any new information that we come across.

If you feel like your website has been affected by this change, we’d love to chat with you about how Guardian Owl can be of help in turning things around!

 

nest of baby owls

16- May2018
Posted By: DPadmin
10 Views

7 Lessons Every SEO Practitioner Needs To Learn

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a fairly forgiving online marketing discipline. It’s a long-term strategy, so if you make one mistake, you’ll usually have plenty of time to correct it.

On top of that, your search rankings are the sum total of hundreds of variables, so you might be able to safely miss one or two without jeopardizing the effectiveness of your campaign.

However, there are some important lessons every SEO practitioner must learn early on.

1. Don’t try to outsmart Google.

First, understand that you’re never going to outsmart Google. SEO is about understanding Google’s algorithm and working within it to provide better content for your visitors and, hopefully, earn higher organic search rankings in the process. If you try to find loopholes in that algorithm, or rely on “black hat” tactics to inch your way up the rankings, it’s only going to work against you in the long run.

 Too many newcomers believe they can get away with tactics like spamming links or stuffing keywords, but it never works for long; Google’s quality indicators have always been good, and they keep getting better, which means even if you get away with a tactic now, you probably won’t get away with it later – and you may find your website with an algorithmic or manual ranking penaltythat can be exceptionally difficult to recover from.

2. The same strategy won’t work for everyone.

Let’s say you’re working with a single client, and you have everything in order. You’ve picked the right keywords, you’ve developed great content, and you’ve built great links to see fast growth. Now you acquire a new client, with a different brand and a different audience. Do you use the same strategy? 

It’s tempting for SEO newcomers to copy and paste the same approach, but this is inadvisable; your clients (or employers) will have different goals with their SEO campaigns, different competitors, keywords, and other variables, and may respond to different variables in strikingly different ways. Learn from your past strategies, and use elements from them in your new campaigns, but avoid trying to replicate any strategy in its entirety.

3. You have to change how you talk about SEO.

The more familiar you become with SEO, the deeper your technical knowledge will become. You’ll have an internal dialogue (or a dialogue with your peers) that freely uses terms like “robots.txt” or “meta data” like everyone knows what you’re talking about. But when you report your results to a client, or a boss who doesn’t understand the technical side, you’ll have to learn to talk about these technical factors in a way that makes sense to a non-SEO-expert.

Spend some time preparing to talk in this other level of language.

4. People don’t always search the way you expect.

When you start brainstorming keyword ideas, it’s a good idea to put yourself in the mind of the average searcher, imagining what words and phrases they might use to find a brand like yours. You may also use keyword research data to indicate which keywords are potentially most valuable for your brand. These are sound strategies, helping you both quantitatively and qualitatively predict how your users might search in the future.

But you should know that users don’t always search the way you’d expect them to; prepare to be surprised, and to adjust your campaign as you learn what your users are really searching for.

5. Only trust what you can measure.

You may think you have an amazing piece of written content, but how much traffic is it attracting? How many comments has it encouraged? You may think you’ve built a high-quality link, but how is it impacting your domain authority? How much referral traffic are you getting from it?

Even though you might feel like you’re developing an instinct for how campaigns develop (especially in the later stages of your career), it’s better to only trust what you can objectively measure.

6. Audit and reevaluate everything periodically.

Just because a strategy worked for you last year doesn’t mean it will this year. Things change too quickly, from the nature of the algorithm that drives how Google search works to the consumer preferences that drive search patterns. Accordingly, you’ll need to regularly reevaluate your tactics, determining whether they’re still worthwhile and finding opportunities to improve. I recommend doing a full sweep of your approach annually.

Monthly check-ins, when you report on results, are also a good idea, to spot high-level issues or successes in time to respond quickly to them.

7. Reading and talking is the only way to stay up-to-date in this fast-moving industry.

Remember what I said about things always changing? Early in your career, you’ll learn that to stay relevant, you need to plug yourself into the community. You’ll need to read relevant publications, and talk to other people like you on a regular basis if you want to stay relevant and up-to-date with the latest strategies. If nothing else, you’ll get helpful tips—and proactive words of warning if you’re taking the wrong approach.

 Are you familiar with these SEO principles? Good. You’re going to need them if you want to be successful. Though you’ll have many years to correct your behavior and accumulate assets like content and links to improve your campaign, if your underlying SEO philosophies are out of order, you may never achieve your true potential as an SEO ninja.

Source: 7 Lessons Every SEO Practitioner Needs To Learn

16- May2018
Posted By: DPadmin
10 Views

5 Tips to Make PPC Ads Work for Your Business

According to recent studies, paid ads get 65 percent of clicks in searches with high commercial intent. This can include a paid ad set up to target a specific audience. Take a look at how to set up new PPC campaigns for good returns.

PPC advertising has become one of the most influential online marketing options for businesses. It is designed to engage people and lead into sales that can improve the bottom line. To make sure you do this the right way and launch a good PPC campaign, it’s best to understand the intricate details beforehand.

What is PPC advertising?

The term stands for pay-per-click advertising, meaning that each time someone clicks the ad, a set rate is charged to the advertiser. This rate can vary based on the agreement you’ve established beforehand.

You can use PPC to display ads for specific services or goods depending on what you’re selling. The goal is to put these ads in front of people who are already interested in the subject and might be looking for the product through search engines, forums or websites.

Setting up PPC campaigns

1. Establish a budget.

Start by establishing a daily, weekly or monthly budget as soon as possible. This is the set rate at which you will launch the ads. If you don’t have a budget, it is easy to start wasting money on failed campaigns. A set budget can streamline the setup and make sure it works according to your financial means. If not, it is easy to toss away money without even noticing it.

Look at the various rates and learn more about them before launching the ad on a platform. This will give you the gist of what’s going on and how much it will cost per click.

2. Set campaign goals.

You can only see the value of PPC advertising if you sets goals for your business. This can include the number of leads you want to come in via ads or even the number of recorded sales per ad. All of this information should be tracked and kept in mind during the campaign.

By looking into and establishing these goals, it’s easier to avoid making mistakes. A PPC ad is only as good as the person running it. Setting goals helps you remain on top of things without failing.

3. Split-test ads and platforms.

Take the time to split-test as much as possible, whether with advertisements or platforms. You want to take all of this information into consideration beforehand. The goal is to determine how the ads will be run and how they will work.

For example, imagine one ad doesn’t work well but another does. You don’t want to keep running the failed ad because you don’t know which one is doing well. This happens all the time when you put up a bunch of ads and hope for the best.

4. Emphasize relevance.

PPC advertisements have to be as focused as possible because of the value they bring. Relevance is the name of the game, because putting ads up in front of the wrong people will lead to inefficiencies. Targeting is essential for the long term.

Focus on a solution that is as relevant as possible. Take the time to sit down and write specific keywords that relate to your business and its products. The goal is to have a good feel for what you want to target.

5. Don’t ignore tracking.

Let’s imagine an ad has been set up and it’s time to start raking in new leads. How are you going to keep tabs on what’s working and what isn’t? This is where tracking can help, as it ensures each lead who engages with the ad is recorded. With Google AdWords, you can have all of this information listed in the main console online. It’s best to go through this information and set up a personal tracker as well. This reduces the wasted money from unrefined campaigns.

PPC advertising can have a lot of benefits, but it is important to set things up properly. It takes time and a lot of work, but it is well worth the hassle. A good PPC advertising campaign can launch your business forward better than anything else could. This is why it is such an appreciated online marketing method: It works well and can change the outlook of a business in a matter of days or even minutes.

Source: 5 Tips to Make PPC Ads Work for Your Business

16- May2018
Posted By: DPadmin
9 Views

The Best Alternative Keyword Research Tools

Keyword research is an integral part of any search engine optimization strategy – and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Keyword research takes up a significant chunk of time, and this is the case for many marketers, website owners and content creators. But it is something that has been expanding outward toward small and medium business owners as well, as having a fully optimized website is a necessity in running a company with any kind of online presence.

In the past, it was a matter of putting in the leg work – often for hours a day – to find the best keyword strategy. Today it is much simpler as more tools have been developed to make the job much faster and easier than ever before. Unfortunately, many of those tools are costly and over budget for anyone but enterprise level brands.

To keep things more affordable you can use alternative tools – often several to compensate – that are low cost, or even completely free. Here are some keyword research tools that you won’t believe don’t cost a cent.

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest can be used for both content research (and to help surpass any idea blocks) and keyword research tool. By entering a phrase or keyword, choosing the medium (i.e. web, images, Yahoo) and language preference, the platform will give you a list of related searches, along with search volume, CPC, and rate of competition by percentage.

For example, searching for “content marketing” gives 913 results with an overall volume of 18,100, a CPC of $23.25, and a competition rate of 0.58. Scrolling down gives you a breakdown of all the variants and how that changes, such as “affiliate ads” having a volume of 140, CPC of $4.70, and a competition rate of 0.36.

The tool requires no login and, unlike Keyword Planner (which shows a range), it shows the actual search volume and competition level.

Google Correlate

Everyone knows about Google Keyword Planner and probably uses it, as it is the most accurate keyword tool on the web if your aim is to target Google search.

However, you may not have heard about Google Correlate, which is a very helpful and effective tool that works by taking searches and correlating them with trends happening both on the web and out in the real world. It establishes patterns that you might have never realized existed, and even lets you compare based on time period – both long and short term.

Keyword.Guru

Do you want to know what is popular on all major search engines, and not just Google? Keyword.Guru is a great tool that takes live searches and lets you know the moment you start typing what suggestions it has, so you can see what people are searching for at any given time.

There aren’t any real metrics, but not everyone likes to deal with numbers. This tool is less technical than some, but more accessible if you just want to see what searches are most common without all the associated information, which can be overwhelming to even seasoned keyword researchers.

Soovle

Google, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, Wikipedia, and YouTube: what do they have in common? Soovlecovers all of them, which makes it easier to get a good grasp of what is going on through multiple channels.

Being able to search YouTube for video content, Wikipedia for educational articles, and Amazon for sales info is especially helpful for getting a broader glimpse of the current state of search on the web. Soovle doesn’t generate any numbers for each keyword, but lets you quickly get a general idea of what interests your audience across a range of channels.

Akin to Keyword.Guru, it does it on the same page and with live search updates.

Bulk Keyword Suggest Tool

Bulk Keyword Suggest Tool allows you to dig into auto-suggest results from Bing, Amazon and YouTube. It was created by SEOchat and uses core terms to build a wider circle of phrases for use.

It is simple to use, easy to read and very fast to search. You can run a second or third bulk suggest and compare, then export your results or only specific ones based on how you click.

Bonus: Awesome freemium tools

Serpstat

Serpstat is a growth-hacking tool, and an effective at that. It has paid versions starting at $19 per month, allowing you to graduate to new levels as your business grows. However, there is also a free version that works with different iterations of Google based on country.

Serpstat calculates keyword difficulty for each search query, shows “special elements” (which inform us on search intent) and social media domains ranking for each term, and offers advanced filters to dig deep into each keyword list. It is also one of the few tools that also works on Yandex.

The graphs that are generated are simple bar graphs that effectively break things down and make it easy to understand at a glance.

WordStream

WordStream has a freemium model and its full featured tool is around $260 per month with a discount option to pay annually. However, it also has a free, limited version that I like to use because it allows you to specify industry if you wish.

That makes it a little bit easier if the key phrase you are working with it more general and could apply to unrelated fields. You can also specify based on country, which is great if you don’t want to automatically target a US audience (something that many tools do since it is the largest Google market).

Do you have a tool you feel deserves to be on this list? Let us know in the comments.

16- May2018
Posted By: DPadmin
8 Views

The first steps of your SEO audit: Indexing issues

Even a magic SEO wand will not get a web page to rank if the page has not been indexed. Contributor Janet Driscoll Miller suggests that making sure web pages can be indexed is key during an SEO audit.

Indexing is really the first step in any SEO audit. Why?

If your site is not being indexed, it is essentially unread by Google and Bing. And if the search engines can’t find and “read” it, no amount of magic or search engine optimization (SEO) will improve the ranking of your web pages.

In order to be ranked, a site must first be indexed.

Is your site being indexed?

There are many tools available to help you determine if a site is being indexed.

Indexing is, at its core, a page-level process. In other words, search engines read pages and treat them individually.

A quick way to check if a page is being indexed by Google is to use the site: operator with a Google search. Entering just the domain, as in my example below, will show you all of the pages Google has indexed for the domain. You can also enter a specific page URL to see if that individual page has been indexed.

When a page is not indexed

If your site or page is not being indexed, the most common culprit is the meta robots tag being used on a page or the improper use of disallow in the robots.txt file.

Both the meta tag, which is on the page level, and the robots.txt file provide instructions to search engine indexing robots on how to treat content on your page or website.

The difference is that the robots meta tag appears on an individual page, while the robots.txt file provides instructions for the site as a whole. On the robots.txt file, however, you can single out pages or directories and how the robots should treat these areas while indexing. Let’s examine how to use each.

Robots.txt

If you’re not sure if your site uses a robots.txt file, there’s an easy way to check. Simply enter your domain in a browser followed by /robots.txt.

Here is an example using Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/robots.txt):

The list of “disallows” for Amazon goes on for quite awhile!

Google Search Console also has a convenient robots.txt Tester tool, helping you identify errors in your robots file. You can also test a page on the site using the bar at the bottom to see if your robots file in its current form is blocking Googlebot.


If a page or directory on the site is disallowed, it will appear after Disallow: in the robots file. As my example above shows, I have disallowed my landing page folder (/lp/) from indexing using my robots file. This prevents any pages residing in that directory from being indexed by search engines.

There are many cool and complex options where you can employ the robots file. Google’s Developers site has a great rundown of all of the ways you can use the robots.txt file. Here are a few:

Robots meta tag

The robots meta tag is placed in the header of a page. Typically, there is no need to use both the robots meta tag and the robots.txt to disallow indexing of a particular page.

In the Search Console image above, I don’t need to add the robots meta tag to all of my landing pages in the landing page folder (/lp/) to prevent Google from indexing them since I have disallowed the folder from indexing using the robots.txt file.

However, the robots meta tag does have other functions as well.

For example, you can tell search engines that links on the entire page should not be followed for search engine optimization purposes. That could come in handy in certain situations, like on press release pages.

Probably the two directives used most often for SEO with this tag are noindex/index and nofollow/follow:

  • Index follow. Implied by default. Search engine indexing robots should index the information on this page. Search engine indexing robots should follow links on this page.
  • Noindex nofollow. Search engine indexing robots should NOT index the information on this page. Search engine indexing robots should NOT follow links on this page.

The Google Developer’s site also has a thorough explanation of uses of the robots meta tag.

XML sitemaps

When you have a new page on your site, ideally you want search engines to find and index it quickly. One way to aid in that effort is to use an eXtensible markup language (XML) sitemap and register it with the search engines.

XML sitemaps provide search engines with a listing of pages on your website. This is especially helpful when you have new content that likely doesn’t have many inbound links pointing to it yet, making it tougher for search engine robots to follow a link to find that content. Many content management systems now have XML sitemap capability built in or available via a plugin, like the Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress.

Make sure you have an XML sitemap and that it is registered with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. This ensures that Google and Bing know where the sitemap is located and can continually come back to index it.

How quickly can new content be indexed using this method? I once did a test and found my new content had been indexed by Google in only eight seconds — and that was the time it took me to change browser tabs and perform the site: operator command. So it’s very quick!

JavaScript

In 2011, Google announced it was able to execute JavaScript and index certain dynamic elements. However, Google isn’t always able to execute and index all JavaScript. In Google Search Console, the Fetch and Render tool can help you determine if Google’s robot, Googlebot, is actually able to see your content in JavaScript.

In this example, the university website is using asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX), which is a form of JavaScript, to generate a course subject menu that links to specific areas of study.

The Fetch and Render tool shows us that Googlebot is unable to see the content and links the same way humans will. This means that Googlebot cannot follow the links in the JavaScript to these deeper course pages on the site.

Conclusion

Always keep in mind your site has to be indexed in order to be ranked. If search engines can’t find or read your content, how can they evaluate and rank it? So be sure to prioritize checking your site’s indexability when you’re performing an SEO audit.

Source: The first steps of your SEO audit: Indexing issues – Search Engine Land

16- May2018
Posted By: DPadmin
9 Views

3 essential techniques for SEO success

In today’s rapidly changing digital world, SEO techniques can change with the direction of the wind. Tricks that won you a front-page position two years ago may be useless now.

In order to drive a digital marketing campaign to success, it is vital to understand the importance of SEO. When used properly, SEO facilitates in increasing traffic to your site, engagements, as well as conversions.

Key metrics to assess your content marketing success

Here are three SEO techniques that you must master this year to ensure your content gets seen.

High-quality content is key

Though the marketing buzzphrase “content is king” often leads to a wave of eye-rolls, when it comes to SEA the quality of your content really is vital.

When creating your content, it is important to think like Google. With the search engine goliath constantly making efforts to enhance their search results, you must ensure you’re providing searchers with good quality, informative, interesting, and entertaining content.

Why not experiment with less “traditional” content such as video blogs. Source: Shutterstock

Google’s ranking algorithm has shifted towards user intent, so you must ask yourself- does your content fulfill the reader’s needs, or leave them having to look elsewhere?

Good quality content goes beyond a blog post. Less “traditional” content such as videos, infographics, images, and more have been shown to engage readers at a far higher level and is more shareable. This shareability factor is also a powerful way to build backlinks.

Tip: In order to provide consumers with what they really want, try finding out where your audience are on social media via groups and hashtags, and from this join the conversation. Ask for suggestions about topics to talk about. Additionally, creating a blog post on “frequently asked questions” will increase your SEO by showing Google that you are answering the questions of consumers.

The importance of link building

Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own and is a technique that you should perfect in order to improve your SEO.

Previously, backlinks were mainly about quantity, but now the effectiveness of backlinks is about the quality of the content which they lead to.

The theory behind this technique is that when another website links to yours, they are basically saying that it is a good resource. This is a strong signal of the quality of a page and is much like making a recommendation to a good restaurant.A few high-quality backlinks will do well in helping your website climb the SEO rank.

Tips: Reach out to bloggers in your industry to link back to your content, for instance, by providing them with infographics, images, etc. Also, ensure you include strong internal links, report broken links, produce high-quality content. This will all help to increase the visibility of your site and increase traffic.

Make your content mobile-friendly

Today, more searches are conducted on mobile devices rather than from desktop. As a result, it is vital to ensure your SEO targets mobile platforms as well in order to reach success.

With more people making searches on mobile, it is vital your content is optimized for this. Source: Shutterstock

A responsive design is essential in order to attract and retain visitors to your site who are so reliant on mobile to find information. It’s also integral to the user experience you provide.

Not getting it right on the mobile screen isn’t an option, especially for businesses that deal with consumers directly. How’ll they impulse shop if you make them wait to surf through your site?

Tip: Ensuring that your mobile-website is speedy, works on all mobile devices, has key information easy to access, and offers a variety of content formats is all vital to increase your SEO ranking.

Source: 3 essential techniques for SEO success – TechHQ

16- May2018
Posted By: DPadmin
8 Views

Beyond keywords: What really matters in SEO content 

Going beyond keywords to write high-quality content that attracts new customers and is SEO-friendly is the way to go, says contributor Jessica Foster. Here she shares eight ways to create content that satisfies people and engines.

Just when we thought the saying “Content is king” was gone for good, there it goes showing its sneaky little face again in the search engine optimization (SEO) world.

Bearing in mind also that “Content is queen,” it appears that content is, in fact, pretty danged important — so important that a new sub-industry has squeezed its way into the search engine world: SEO content writing.

Otherwise referred to as “SEO copywriting,” SEO content writing has a bad reputation for being chock-full of keywords and little else. Though this may be more of a stereotype than reality, there is something to be said for going beyond keywords to write high-quality content that attracts new customers AND is SEO-friendly.

What’s the deal with ‘high-quality’ content?

The focus is typically on “high-quality” content — a term that becomes more subjective by the minute. It leads to questions like

  • What really makes SEO content “high-quality?”
  • Is it measurable?
  • More importantly, can it be recreated again and again?

The standard formula of:

keyword research + good writing + on-page SEO = high-quality content

may not be the move anymore. It’s simply not enough. In fact, keywords may be even less important than we all think.

Uh-oh.

Beyond keyword research

Being consistent with great SEO content writing doesn’t mean it should be formulaic.

Depending too much on robust keyword research and on-page SEO will result in dry content that appeals more to search engines than it does your target audience. Mastering the art of SEO content writing can be the difference between attracting a few website visitors and creating dedicated customers

That all being said, there is a sweet spot between creative content and “content” as we know it. The key lies in going far beyond keyword research and really understanding how words can be used to both attract traffic and drive conversions.

1. Keyword research, the right way

Though this post is all about going beyond keywords, it’s worth addressing what level of keyword research should be done before hopping into content writing. Keywords are still a component of SEO content — but perhaps shouldn’t be as important a component as traditionally thought.

First, your approach to writing new content should fit in with your existing SEO strategy. This should be a no-brainer, but it is a frequent issue I see in SEO content.

For instance, many business owners and SEOs outsource copywriting with little collaboration with the writer on what keywords are to be used. And, even if keywords are provided, it is unlikely that the writer really understands the fundamentals of using keywords in their writing beyond “keyword density.” This results in content that is incohesive and not SEO-friendly.

Second, when it comes to performing keyword research for your new content, look beyond the data. Sure, SEO tools can tell us a lot in terms of search volume and competition level, but can they tell us what content is really engaging to users? Doing a Google search on your target terms and seeing what post titles come up and how many comments and even social shares they get will give you some ideas as to what content is drawing people in and enticing them to engage.

Finally, SEOs and copywriters alike can spend far too much time focusing on terms they think are relevant without stepping back to see the full picture.

Sure, your rankings may increase due to great SEO, but there are many other factors to consider. Is your audience reading through the entire post? Are they sharing it? Are they opting into your calls to action? These elements of your writing should be your main focus. Be sure to have an outline in place, along with your keyword research, to ensure that you aren’t skimming over what matters most: what is going to help you drive conversions.

2. Get organized

How often have you had a new content idea pop into your head and instantly put fingers on the keyboard?

As much as I am a fan of writing when you feel inspired, there needs to be a structure for your content from the very beginning. Content that is too “stream-of-consciousness” or unorganized simply doesn’t convert well. There is a difference between having a conversational tone and writing whatever comes into your brain. I’m here to say that there is a way to capture that creative flow, all while putting out content that works.

Create an outline of the potential post or page, including the title and headings. Organize your content into sections that are cohesive and keep the reader interested. Figure out if and where the content fits into your website overall and what purpose it serves. You can even go as far as to decide what internal links will be used. Having a plan will both help in overall organization and ensure that it fits into the framework of your existing site.

3. On-brand is your best friend

One component of SEO content writing that is rarely, if ever, talked about is branding. As more SEO experts become aware of the intersection between SEO and a larger marketing strategy, it becomes apparent how big a role branding plays in a business’s success.

Your website content is no exception. This is why hiring out for copywriting outside of the brand, or even the industry, can be a risky move. For one, you risk having the overall tone of the writing shift and become incohesive with the rest of the brand message, and even the most subtle variations can be picked up by readers.

A good way to ensure that your content is on-brand and stays true to the business message is to utilize language that is used throughout the existing site and marketing materials.

For instance:

  • Does the brand use the word “passionate” rather than “driven?”
  • Are there elements of their tagline that can be broken down and used throughout the text?
  • Does their About page have a conversational tone or a professional one?

These are all subtleties to look out for that can make all the difference.

A great SEO copywriter will be able to pick up on the tone, vocabulary and message a brand is putting out and capture it in the posts and pages. There should be no question from the target audience who the content came from and what the message is.

On-brand content means that users can come to depend on the brand acting and sounding a certain way. It ultimately comes down to trust. If a user trusts a brand and understands its core mission, then they are more likely to buy.

4. Integrity & authenticity matter

Integrity and authenticity may seem like “fluffy” words that have no place in the often formulaic world of SEO. But when it comes to writing content that drives more than just traffic (i.e., sales), then these two elements can be the difference between website visitors and paying customers.

There are many SEO and marketing strategies that can drive traffic to a page. What matters is what actions users take once they get there. No amount of strong-arming will convince a user to buy. It takes integrity and authenticity to get them there.

People are becoming more and more aware of shady marketing tactics, and traditional methods of manipulation simply don’t work anymore. A website that makes it clear what the brand’s message is, the service it provides and how it can help potential customers truly has a leg up on the rest. Your content should be authentic, honest and in line with the ethics of your business. Otherwise, you will lose your customers before you even get them.

5.Know your target audience

Creating great SEO content goes beyond writing what you think your target audience wants to read to truly listening to what they want to know.

Are you in tune with their needs? Are there questions in the comments section that should be addressed? Are you writing down their common concerns and pain points? If so, these all open the door to creating solid content that will meet their immediate needs and drive them to seek out your services.

It is not enough to do keyword research to see what they are searching for. If that is the foundation of your content, you are likely to attract some readers but little else. But if you are able to keep them on site longer by creating a vast web of information, you are more likely to get them hooked from start to finish.

Even more, if you engage with them using language they understand and bring up their pain points, you are likely to convince them to fill out that contact form, subscribe or pick up the phone.

If you are struggling to think up fresh and engaging content ideas, be intentional about paying attention to what your customers and potential customers are telling you and asking for. Then, do a quick search to see if any other sites have addressed this issue, and how.

If you aren’t snatching up those opportunities, and another business is, you may be leaving money on the table.

6. Micro-engagement makes the difference

Long-form content can be a bore. For that reason, keeping readers engaged throughout the content can be quite difficult. However, mastering the art of micro-engagement can take your SEO content to the next level.

When it comes to informative content that can be a bit of a yawn, it’s a good move to try some different tactics to keep users engaged. Micro-engagement, as I refer to it here, means incorporating elements in your content to keep readers clicking, scrolling and reading more.

This is where a solid understanding of your target audience really comes into play. You should have a sense of what kind of content keeps your audience engaged. Testing different approaches and looking at the results can be a great data-driven method for seeing what works and what doesn’t.

Here are some suggestions to boost micro-engagement:

  • Numbered or bulleted lists.
  • Engaging photos (that are relevant to the text).
  • Funny GIFs or memes.
  • Informative and interesting videos.
  • Infographics.
  • Quizzes or surveys.
  • Visually appealing design.
  • Calls to action.
  • Block quotes.
  • Bold text.
  • Thought-provoking questions.
  • Stories.
  • Examples.
  • Helpful tips.

Incorporate a few of these ideas into your SEO content and see the difference. Over time, you will get a sense of what your audience likes, what keeps them engaged and what entices them to perform certain actions on your site. This list is by no means exhaustive; feel free to get creative with it and see what happens!

7. Content ‘freshness’ and competitive analysis where it counts

SEO in 2017 - mobile optimisation as a competitive advantage

“Freshness” usually refers to having fresh new content on your website, but I believe this should extend beyond that. In other words, you should be putting unique ideas out into the world. How do you do that? By making competitive analysis a part of your SEO content strategy.

Scroll through any SEO or digital marketing site, and you are likely to find the basic posts and pages: “What is SEO?,” “Why You Should Hire an SEO Expert” and the like saturate these sites, and these topics are covered ad nauseam.

What these sites, and others outside of the SEO industry, fail to do is proper competitive analysis when coming up with new content ideas. That is, they are rewriting and reworking the same content that their competitors are using. This is not a good move.

What takes businesses to the top is looking at what competitors are doing and doing it better. Sometimes this even means doing something different. Whenever you are about to write a new piece of content, look to see what your competitors are doing, and consider how you can take it up a notch.

Your best approach is to stay ahead of the curve.

8. Data is everything

You simply can’t create great SEO content without looking at the data.

With a vast array of tools, SEOs and business owners alike should be looking to see what content is performing well, and why. They should be tracking conversions everywhere users are performing an action and seeing what works. This data will indicate the kind of content they can and should create in the future.

Staying on top of your analytics will not only show you the numbers in terms of traffic, but time on page, bounce rate and other valuable metrics that indicate how your content is performing. Through these, you can learn from your mistakes and imitate the strategies that are working. Without this knowledge, you are essentially flying blind and are again playing the guessing game.

Following the data throughout the process will help ensure that you are on the right track and that your utilization of the above principles is working for your business.

To close

There is no cookie-cutter approach to SEO content, but the fundamentals are still there. Write content for people, structure it for search engines and create an experience that is engaging and bound to drive the traffic you deserve.

Source: Beyond keywords: What really matters in SEO content – Marketing Land

16- May2018
Posted By: DPadmin
8 Views

SEO Strategies and Keyword Rankings: Mobile Versus Desktop

As if we didn’t already have enough to think about in any given SEO campaign, it is now imperative to separate and refine your approaches to mobile and desktop search.

While mobile has become hugely significant over the last couple of years, this shouldn’t be to the neglect of desktop. Although SEO for mobile and desktop follow the same basic principles and best practices, there are nuances and discrepancies that need to be factored in to your overall strategy.

Part of this is the keyword rankings: you won’t ever know how to adapt your strategies if you’re not tracking the rankings separately for each. Research from BrightEdge found that 79% of listings have a different rank on mobile devices compared with desktop, and the top-ranking result for a query is different on desktop and mobile 35% of the time. These are statistics that simply cannot be ignored.

Why do they do differ?

Before delving into how to compare keyword rankings on mobile and desktop, it’s first important to acknowledge the why and the what: why they are different and what it means for your SEO strategy.

It’s paramount to understand that desktop and mobile searches use different algorithms. Ultimately, Google wants to provide the best user experience for searchers, whatever device they are using. This means creating a bespoke device-tailored experience and in order to do that, we need to delve deeper into user intent.

It’s all about user intent

The crux of the mobile versus desktop conundrum is that user intent tends to differ for each device. This is particularly important when considering how far along the funnel a user is. It’s a generalization, but overall mobile users are often closer to the transactional phase, while desktop users are usually closer to the informational phase.

For example, we can better understand user intent on mobile by understanding the prevalence of local search. If a user is searching for a product or service on mobile, it is likely to be local. In contrast, users searching for a product or service on desktop are more likely to be browsing non-location-specific ecommerce sites.

Let’s also consider the types of conversions likely to occur on each device, in terms of getting in touch. Users on mobile are for more likely to call, by simply tapping the number which appears in the local map pack section. Alternatively, desktop users would be more inclined to type an email or submit a contact form.

What on earth is a micro-moment?

To better understand the different ways in which consumers behave, it may help to spend a little time familiarizing yourself with micro-moments. These refer to Google’s ability to determine a searcher’s most likely intent, and is particularly important for mobile users, when a consumer often needs to take immediate action.

For example, if a user is searching for a local product or service, the local map pack will appear, but if they are searching for information then the quick answer box will appear. These micro-moments therefore have a significant impact on the way the SERPs are constructed.

Once you’ve understood the user intent of a given searcher, you can ensure that you are providing content for both mobile and desktop users. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that content with longer word counts continues to perform well on mobile, despite the general consensus that people on mobile simply can’t be bothered to consume long form content. This harks back to Google’s prioritization of high quality content. Besides, anybody who has a long train commute into work will understand the need for a nice, long article to read on mobile.

Rankings tools

With that context, we can now return to the matter at hand: rankings. Of course, you could record the rankings for both desktop and mobile the old-fashioned, manual way, but who has time for that? In short, any good SEO tool worth its salt will enable you to track both desktop and mobile rankings separately. Here are some favorites:

  • SEMRush is a personal favorite among the plethora of fancy SEO tools. SEMRush provides a comprehensive breakdown of mobile vs desktop results (as well as tablet if you really want to geek out) and displays the percentage of mobile-friendly results for your domain.
  • SearchMetrics offers Desktop vs. Mobile Visibility metrics, detailing individual scores for desktop and mobile, as well as overlap metrics which show how many keyword search results appear in exactly the same position for both. You can also drill down further to view how a website performs with regard to localized results.
  • Google Search Console. Don’t have access to any of the above tools? Don’t worry as you can still rely on the trusty Google Search Console. When looking at your search analytics, filter devices by comparing mobile and desktop. Even if you do have access to an SEO tool that allows you to do comparison analysis, it’s definitely still worth checking in on your Search Console insights.

Rankings are only part of the picture

It’s important to remember that rankings are only a tiny part of the picture; it’s essential to take a more holistic approach to the mobile vs desktop issue. This means taking the time to dig around Google Analytics and unearth the data and meaning beyond the vanity metrics.

You may have higher rankings for mobile, but those users might be bouncing more regularly. Is this a reflection of the user intent or is it a poor user experience? Does higher rankings for one device correlate to higher conversions? If not, then you need to consider the reasons for this. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, so you must take a tailored approach to your strategy.

Quick tips for differentiating your strategies

You’ve got your mobile and desktop rankings sorted. Now you need to create or amend your strategies for both devices. Here are some quick tips to do so:

  • Separate mobile and desktop-specific search terms in your keyword research
  • Factor in voice search for mobile devices
  • Consider implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages where appropriate
  • Carry out a mobile SEO audit on your site
  • Include mobile vs desktop into your tracking and reporting, going beyond the rankings
  • Revisit your content strategy to ensure you are factoring in both mobile and desktop optimized content – cater for both types of user.

In short, tracking your keywords on mobile and desktop is absolutely essential for both reporting accuracy and supporting separate SEO strategies for each device. But don’t stop there; it’s more important to understand why the rankings differ and how you can use that information to refine your SEO strategies.

16- May2018
Posted By: DPadmin
10 Views

Google AdWords new responsive search ads can show 3 headlines

We’re finally here. Set up one ad with multiple headlines and a couple of descriptions, and Google will start testing combinations dynamically to serve the combination deemed most likely to achieve the advertiser’s stated goal. Oh, and get more real estate than a standard text ad for giving the new machine learning option a go.

Google’s new responsive search ads are now in beta in AdWords, though not available to all advertisers yet.

They are part of the continuum to let machine learning models do the work of ad creative optimization. Some of the initiatives that have come before it: dynamic search adsautomated ad suggestions (formerly known as Ads Added by Google) and Google’s efforts over the past year to get advertisers to give up manual A/B testing and add at least three ads per ad group. This is the same concept, just more automated. And, of course, there’s the push to automated ad rotation optimization.

The argument for having multiple ad options is that your ad groups will have opportunities to compete in more auctions when there are more options for the keywords to trigger your ads. It also requires relinquishing more control to the machines, which can give those devoted to strictly controlling their ad tests agita. But responsive text ads are just one more indication that the days of manual A/B testing are coming to an end, and fast.

Need an incentive to try them? Google’s giving responsive search ads more character real estate than expanded text ads.

  • Show up to three headlines instead of two.
  • Show up to two 90-character descriptions instead of one 80-character description.

Advertisers add multiple headlines and descriptions when setting up Google’s new responsive search ads.

Writing ad combinations and ‘pinning’

Advertisers can set up as many as 15 headlines and four descriptions in a responsive search ad. The other fields are the same as expanded text ads.

The extra lines and automated order mean you’ll need to think through all the various combination scenarios. Google suggests writing your first three headlines as if they’ll appear together (in whatever order) in the ad.

Try to make the headlines distinct from each other, spotlighting different features, benefits, offers, calls to action and so on.

The best practice for responsive text ads — writing headlines that are relevant to the keywords in the ad group and including at least one of the keywords in your ad group in the headlines — remains valid.

There is an option to “pin” headlines and descriptions to specific positions. This will be particularly helpful for advertisers in sensitive categories that require disclaimers, for example. Keep in mind that if you pin just one headline or description to a position, that will be the only thing allowed to show in that spot. It’s possible to pin a few headlines or descriptions to a position to provide more flexibility in the dynamic matching.

To see reporting metrics on responsive search ads, create a filter for them in the ad type column then download the report or open it in Report Editor.

While they’re in beta, advertisers will only be able to add responsive search ads to ad groups with existing ads. You can find more details on the AdWords support page.

Source: Google AdWords new responsive search ads can show 3 headlines – Search Engine Land

02- May2018
Posted By: DPadmin
15 Views

Is it time to add pay-per-click to your marketing mix?

With increasing online competition, pay-per-click (PPC) is becoming a critical way to get your content in front of your potential customers.

With increasing online competition, pay-per-click (PPC) is becoming a critical way to get your content in front of your potential customers.

One pay-per-click program is called Google AdWords.

AdWords is an online advertising service where advertisers pay to display brief advertising copy, product listings and video content within the Google ad network to web users.

Here are three myths that may be keeping marketers from implementing successful AdWords campaign.

Myth #1: People don’t click on Google ads

Google is a publicly traded company—anyone can access their financial records that tell the story.

Google generates more than $100M in revenue every single day from people clicking on their ads. With an average cost per click between $1 and $2 that’s more than 50M clicks/day.

Google experiments constantly to make their ads entice more enticing.

They’re not going to present you with a free, organic result at the top of the search engine results page when they could showcase several ads that generate revenue. Start paying attention: The first few line items at the top of every search is an ad.

One more thing: Think about your own behavior

When you see an ad that entices you, do you click on it? Of course you do!

Smart companies are using remarketing efforts that identify customer tastes to present you with items that you may have been looking at earlier in the day.

They may serve up similar items or those by the same designer or manufacturer. I shop almost entirely online, and I’m fascinated by remarketing, which illustrates how marketing has gotten smarter.

Myth #2: My competitors can just click on my ads all day, costing me money

Google has extremely sophisticated technology to prevent “click fraud” and “invalid clicks.” This involves the analysis of several click-pattern factors.

Google provides very good reports on AdWords campaign performance, and any suspicious activity is quickly exposed. If a business is concerned they are victims of click fraud, they can contact Google directly to launch an investigation. Google reimburses questionable clicks.

Myth #3: AdWords is an outbound marketing tactic

AdWords is designed to showcase your content when potential customers are initiating a Google search. It’s the only inbound marketing tactic that guarantees your content will rank high on Google when a user performs a search. This is one very attractive reason to be using Google as your PPC platform. The sheer number of Google searches/day makes you part of this community.

PPC delivers a better user experience for the searcher

Think of the information you provide when you set up your Google account. This all becomes part of a huge database, and databased information makes it searchable.

Because of this information, when you create a Google ad, you are able to drill down by location, demographics, interests, etc.

This is not specific just to Google—Facebook, Linkedin and other social channels also provide rich search preferences.

Integrating AdWords with your inbound marketing strategy

Along with your existing content marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) efforts, PPC is becoming a critical component of an inbound marketing strategy.

Source: Janet Peischel’s The Internet Marketer: Is it time to add pay-per-click to your marketing mix?