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Phone calls critical for business during the pandemic; Tuesday’s daily brief

Posted by on Mar 2, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Phone calls critical for business during the pandemic; Tuesday’s daily brief

Phone calls critical for business during the pandemic; Tuesday’s daily brief

Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.

Good morning, Marketers, what solutions dominate your search marketing toolkit these days?

As we celebrate the recent launch of our Enterprise Marketing Attribution and Predictive Analytics Martech Intelligence Report (MIR) I’ve been thinking deeply about effectiveness data. I find it fascinating that our industry continues to raise the bar in terms of what is possible to measure, innovating past hurdles like new privacy regulations and the deprecation of cookies. It’s one of the things that most energizes me about working in this space — it never stands still. 

And speaking of not standing still, this is the first newsletter issue that embodies our new Tuesday focus — research. Each week, I’ll aggregate important and insightful research we’ve recently come across, and we’ll also do a bit of original research ourselves, asking our audience for their perspectives on subjects challenging the industry — from strategic thinking to today’s best practices. We’ll gather what you say and then share the results so we can all learn from one another — we hope you’ll participate and that you’ll find the conclusions valuable in your day-to-day work. 

This week, we ask that you share how your search marketing stack has changed in 2021. We’re so curious how the events of 2020 have impacted your workflows. 

Read on for more data on how searchers’ devices impact their likelihood of clicking on the first result, and for a look at trends in the call analytics space. 

Pamela Parker,
Research Director

Video with Steve Marin and Barry Schwartz on SEO & Content

Barry Schwartz spoke with Steve Marin of Spark PPC about a slew of search marketing topics. This video was recorded a few months ago but covers topics on SEO, content development, how to help your clients write better content and how to come up with the right structure for your pages of content.

They also spoke about ranking for keywords to fill your ego needs and to prove a professional point. They ended their talk about the importance of proving your search marketing campaign assumptions with real hard data.

Telephone calls emerge as critically important in pandemic  

Even before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted American lives and businesses, the telephone — particularly the smartphone — had become an integral part of the consumer purchase journey. More than 170 billion inbound mobile calls to U.S. businesses were forecast in 2020, according to BIA Advisory Services. 

When faced with the worst public health crisis in more than a century, U.S. consumers used the telephone more than ever before. During the first half of 2020, Google My Business recorded a 61% jump in consumer calls, from inquiries about open hours to arrangements for curbside pickups. For the 12 months ending June 2020, call volume increased 35% and continues to track 27% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Learn about enterprise call analytics solutions>>

New perspectives on the eternal question 

Savvy search advertisers are continuously optimizing their campaigns to achieve the best results for the lowest spend, and new research published in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) sheds light on the importance of one critical factor: the device upon which the ad is displayed. The study concludes that the device people are using when searching significantly influences whether they’re more likely to click on the first result or scroll further down — at least where non-branded queries are concerned. 

Users on tablets or smartphones were more likely than those on desktops to click on the first result for unbranded queries. When tablets and smartphones were compared, interestingly, people using tablets were most likely to click on the top result for unbranded searches, which would seem to confound an interpretation that smaller devices = more reliance on the top results. For branded searches, the lure of the top result held steady when it came to tablet users, but there wasn’t a significant difference between desktop and smartphone users.

Why we care. The results add weight to what’s become a best practice for search engine advertisers — to use bid customizers and even break out devices into separate campaigns, so you can tailor placements to the characteristics of those users. For example, you could compete aggressively for the top spot in campaigns running on tablets and for non-branded campaigns running on smartphones. 

The study’s authors, Chongyu Lu of Pace University and Rex Yuxing Du of the University of Houston, analyzed more than 20 million ad impressions from 13 different advertisers across a variety of industries.   

Pinterest powers up creators during stressful times

In addition to helping its audience navigate a stressful time, Pinterest has also taken steps to grow and strengthen its community. Often, they have done so to distinguish themselves from other platforms like Instagram or YouTube, instead of following standard social media practice. On Pinterest, there is following and sharing, but for years they’ve emphatically denied that they are social media. They define themselves as visual discovery.

What they call themselves isn’t as important as what they help members of their community do. And this is important for marketers because last summer Pinterest topped 400 million monthly active users. It’s growing among millennials and Gen Zers, including a 50% boost year-over-year for men on the platform.

Strengthening Pinterest’s creator base powers the entire community and makes it even more valuable to brands. The moves Pinterest is making in this direction show how users and their preferences have changed.

At the end of September, Pinterest introduced Story Pins, the ability for creators to tell multi-page stories. This beta version also included a new creator profile and analytics tools to track performance. Pinterest is also giving creators access to analytics across the community through its trends tool.

At the heart the new Story Pins format is a wager against how other digital stories are told. For instance, the stories on Instagram expire after 24 hours. On Pinterest, they stay where they are. This feature leverages the evergreen value in Pinterest content, allowing Pinners to discover and rediscover what might have been overlooked in the past.

Read more here.

How to identify your products for Google

Making it easier for search engines and marketplaces to identify your products will also make it easier for your audience to find and, potentially, buy them. To that end, Google has published a list of best practices for manufacturers, retailers and publishers about how it identifies products and what they should do to ensure that Google understands what product is being referenced.

The most important, and repeated, piece of advice is to use the right Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). Recycling or inventing GTINs can cause marketplace catalog data to become inconsistent and create confusion. Additionally, retailers and content creators should apply structured data whenever possible (including the GTIN); retailers should also submit structured data to Google via their product feeds. To some, this may sound like obvious stuff, but it’s important enough for Google to publish an entire post about, so make sure that your product data is accurate — sales could be depending on it.

Read more here>>

Weekend Google search ranking update – unconfirmed.

Weekend Google search update. It has been turbulent times in February 2021 when it comes to unconfirmed Google ranking updates. This past weekend, to round out the month of February, there were signs of another Google Search ranking update – again, unconfirmed.

Add Return Policies to your Shopping Ads. Google is really doubling down on trying to make returns as clear as possible on Shopping Ads, says Duane Brown. “Google may show your policy information to help customers with their purchase decisions,” the screenshot says.

Be different with SEO. John Mueller of Google said on Twitter “the beauty of SEO (and lots of roles) is that people can have an impact in so many different ways. Sometimes, doing something different – *not* doing what others are doing – is the best way to have an impact. Try to make your case by the effect, not just through actions.”

We’ve curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader.

Google Discover surfacing YouTube in ‘Short videos’ carousel – 9to5GoogleGoogle is Removing Pages From the Search Index Based on False DMCA Claims – Joe YoungbloodGoogle See Results That Mention Filter On Left Side Panel – Search Engine RoundtableHow To Find & Fix Layout Shifts with Chrome DevTools – UpBuildThe complete guide to Google News SEO – DeepCrawl

The post Phone calls critical for business during the pandemic; Tuesday’s daily brief appeared first on Search Engine Land.

WordPress Mixed Content Warning FIXED

Posted by on Feb 28, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on WordPress Mixed Content Warning FIXED

WordPress Mixed Content Warning FIXED

Are you having trouble getting a GREEN PADLOCK on your browser bar for any visited URL on your site? If so you have a WordPress Mixed Content Warning and we are going to show you how to fix it fast! See the image below. By the end of this post you will be on the GOOD side…

The whole reason this is happening is because the URL where you see a broken padlock has paths in the code that are using HTTP instead of HTTPS. So your goal is to make sure that any resource needed to load on any page in your website loads using HTTPS. Makes sense so far?

There is a developer technique you can do is see what is causing your padlock not to be GREEN and kicking out a WordPress Mixed Content Warning. To do this you will need to use your browser to diagnose what paths are loading that are not using HTTPS.

If you are not familiar with using your browser console to display the errors on your site there is a really cool walkthrough for each and every browser at THIS LINK.

If you look at the image below you will see an example of a browser console report where it is showing that there is content trying to load using HTTPS but it cannot because the path it is loading is using HTTP.

This step is actually not fully necessary unless you are having trouble drilling down the exact cause of a path that is making the padlock break. You do not necessarily need to use the browser console tools to see which parts are broken because in the next steps were going to show you how you can update all of the paths within your website using some quick, tried and true techniques.

The browser console tool to identify mixed content is helpful in some situations when you do have a broken browser padlock and you’ve already completed the next steps that we are going to outline. We will discuss this further later on.

So let us first think about all of the different areas of content that make up the entire WordPress website. We have our files which consists of our images, your active theme and any plugins that you are using. Then you have your database which stores all of the data that is populated to display content on your website. It also stores the settings for your plugins and theme.

Now within the above mentioned areas that make up your website we need to make sure that all of the paths that are loading resources are loading with HTTPS in the URL structure. Doing this will ensure that you do not have a WordPress Mixed Content Warning and the browser padlock will be green.

Where WordPress Mixed Content Can Exist 

Okay let’s get into the actual steps that you will take in order to fix a WordPress Mixed Content Warning. We have done our best to make this process as simple and as easy as possible so you can get it done on your own and get your browser bar to have that lovely GREEN padlock. It is only 3 steps!

STEP #1 – Install & Setup Really Simple SSL Plugin

This step here is actually going to save you a lot of time and it’s going to take care of many of the paths that are currently loading in HTTP on your website but need to be changed to load in HTTPS. You just have to love WordPress and the plugin developers that are part of the community that create these great free plugins that save us time and energy to accomplish important tasks on our website.

The developer that created this plugin has definitely done a great job. With over 5 million installs you can be sure that you will not have any issues using this plugin or will it have any negative impact on the speed or the functionality of your website.

Please watch the short video below to show you exactly how to install and setup this plugin.

There is an available pro version of the plugin which offers additional options but fixing the WordPress Mixed Content Warning on your website can be done with the free version.

How is the list of items that this free plug-in does on your website.

The plugin handles most issues that WordPress has with SSL, like when you’re behind a reverse proxy/loadbalancer, or when no headers are passed which WordPress can use to detect SSL.
All incoming requests are redirected to https. Default with an internal WordPress redirect, but you can also enable a .htaccess redirect.
The siteurl and homeurl are changed to https.
Your insecure content is fixed by replacing all http:// URL’s with https://, except hyperlinks to other domains. Dynamically, so no database changes are made (except for the siteurl and homeurl).

Now in some cases this may be the first and last step that you need to do to ensure that you have fixed the WordPress Mixed Content Warning and every path on your website is using HTTPS. The majority of the time there are however additional steps that need to be completed. See more below.

DOWNLOAD THE PLUGIN HERE

STEP #2 – Install & Run Better Search and Replace Plugin

This step is going to ensure that any path which was missed in step #1 well be changed to HTTPS. The process in which we are going to complete right now is going to scan your entire database and make sure that any URL paths that you are searching for are replaced with the string you want in its place.

FOR EXAMPLE:
Search String = http://example.com
Replace String = https://example.com

You are basically doing a search for the HTTP version of your website URL and replacing it with the HTTPS version. I also like to do the same search and replace process adding the www in the search string and the replace string. After we complete this search and replace process we will be left with all of our website URLs in the database using the HTTPS prefix.

Please watch the short video below to show you exactly how to install and setup this plugin.

DOWNLOAD THE PLUGIN HERE

STEP #3 – Run Why No Padlock Report

You have made it to step #3…congratulations! You are now in the home stretch of fixing the WordPress Mixed Content Warning. Give yourself a pat on the back and let’s dive into the reward for your hard work.

We now need to ensure that the browser padlock is green and everything is loading in HTTPS. To do this we are going to use a free online tool called “Why No Padlock“. 

The free version of this tool will allow you to scan any single URL and it will check to see if it passes the green padlock test. They do have a premium option which will allow you to scan all of the URLs on your website instead of one by one.

USE WHY NO PADLOCK TOOL

Some Odds and Ends Just In Case

So if you have gone through all of these steps and you are still having troubles getting the browser padlock to turn green and pass the “Why No Padlock” test there are some additional things that you can do to reach your goal.

If you have some type of path hard coded into your theme files or your plugin files and these paths are using HTTP, the steps that you just went through above would not correct those paths. If this is the case you have to track down where those paths are and manually change them.

Remember in the beginning of this post when we talked about using the browser console to identify what paths are loading as mixed content? This is the exact tool that you will need to drill down those hard coded HTTP URLs in your plugin files or theme files. The browser console tool will show you the path that is being loaded as mixed content. Once you identify this and make the adjustments to your files you can go back to step #3 and run your website through the “Why No Padlock” test.

WE CAN FIX THIS ISSUE FOR YOU RIGHT NOW

FIX MY SITE NOW!

Just Wrapping Up

We really hope that this article was helpful for you to fix the WordPress Mixed Content warning on your website. It is so important that every URL on your website loads with a green and happy padlock. If there is a URL on your website that has a broken padlock the browser will display a not secure message to your website visitor. Make sure that it looks like the GOOD example in the image below. Please comment below if oyu get stuck or have any questions.

The post WordPress Mixed Content Warning FIXED appeared first on WP Fix It.

How To Track Passage Ranking SEO Performance in Google Search Console (And Why You Might Want To)

Posted by on Feb 25, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How To Track Passage Ranking SEO Performance in Google Search Console (And Why You Might Want To)

How To Track Passage Ranking SEO Performance in Google Search Console (And Why You Might Want To)

UPDATE

You’re really not an SEO blogger until @rustybrick has called bullshit on one of your posts https://t.co/Us4eajHBx9

— Andrew Shotland (@localseoguide) February 11, 2021

So I may have jumped the gun on the “passage ranking” thing, but even though this may be old news, these URLs started showing up in a lot of GSC accounts over the past week so I wouldn’t be surprised if these are related to passage ranking. And I do think the idea of using the slugs for content research is a good one – Ed

*********

Google just announced that “passage ranking” is now live in the SERPs:

Update: passage ranking launched yesterday afternoon Pacific Time for queries in the US in English. It will come for more countries in English in the near future, then to other countries and languages after that. We’ll update this thread as those further launches happen.

— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 11, 2021

I think it actually launched about a week ago as that’s when I noticed that odd-looking URLs were showing up in the Search Performance Report in Google Search Console like:

It’s possible, these may not be actual “passage ranking” URLs, and are just some other flotsam Google has launched. I am seeing them popping up over the past week on several client sites. But for the sake of this post, let’s assume these are passage ranking URLs. It’s an SEO blog post so cut me some slack.

If you want to track the performance of your content with passage ranking, all you have to do is filter the GSC Search Performance Report by Page containing “/#:~:text” and you get a nice little graph like:

Looks like we need to do some work on getting some actual clicks from these though….

Why should you track passage ranking URLs in Google for SEO? (yes I am trying to rank this passage)

Based on what I am seeing so far, the URL slug displayed in GSC provides some pretty interesting clues as to what content on the page Google matched with the query. For example, according to GSC https://www.localseoguide.com/#:~:text=Obligatory%20Impressive%20Client%20Logos%20%26%20Case%20Studies appeared for searches for “local seo” and “local seo expert.” This may be a signal that “case studies” are important to searchers when they are looking for local SEO help.

Hell, even if these aren’t passage ranking URLs, this is still a good technique for figuring out what content on your page Google is prioritizing for certain queries.

 

 

The post How To Track Passage Ranking SEO Performance in Google Search Console (And Why You Might Want To) appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

Yoast SEO 15.9: Performance improvements

Posted by on Feb 23, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Yoast SEO 15.9: Performance improvements

Yoast SEO 15.9: Performance improvements

Today sees the release of Yoast SEO 15.9 and Video SEO 13.7. In Yoast SEO 15.9, we focussed on performance improvements and general enhancements. In addition, we made Video SEO available in Elementor. Find out more!

Performance improvements

Improving the performance of our plugins is always on our radar. Sometimes, we do big changes that enhance the performance and other times they are small. But, like they say, from the tiny acorn, grows the mighty oak. For Yoast SEO 15.9, we picked two changes that might not seem huge but that do have an effect on overall performance.

For one, we limit the database queries for indexing the homepage. As a homepage doesn’t typically change that often, we don’t need to fetch it all the time. This saves a request. Two, in the redirects section of Yoast SEO Premium, we changed the order in which we load a piece of code. This simple fix prevents two extra queries that are not needed on every page load.

Structured data visual guide

Have you seen the rich results, structured data and Schema visual guide we launched recently? It helps you understand a complex topic in an easy to understand format. Check out the structured data visual guide!

Visual enhancements

In various places in Yoast SEO, you can upload images to use in your meta data. Up until now, we didn’t always show you a preview of that image. For instance, in the Search Appearance settings, we wouldn’t show you the image you uploaded in Knowledge graph section. In Yoast SEO 15.9, we’ve fixed that and you’ll now see the image you uploaded.

You now see the uploaded logo in all its glory

Video SEO: Now compatible with Elementor

A couple of weeks ago, we updated our Video SEO plugin. We cleaned up the UX and added a new way of handling YouTube videos. You can now tell the plugin to only load YouTube videos once a user interacts with it. This keeps the page from loading heavy JavaScript that might not be necessary — thus, keeping the page quick to load.

In Video SEO 13.7, we added another cool feature to bring it in line with Yoast SEO. Video SEO now works in our Elementor integration. Elementor user can now seamlessly optimize their videos and work on their video SEO!

That’s Yoast SEO 15.9 for you!

Yoast SEO 15.9 comes with a couple of nice improvements. In addition, we’ve updated our Video SEO plugins with a cool new Elementor integration. Happy updating and thanks for using Yoast SEO!

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10 Best Practices to Perform Keyword Research For SEO

Posted by on Feb 22, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 10 Best Practices to Perform Keyword Research For SEO

10 Best Practices to Perform Keyword Research For SEO

Keyword research is a critical step of SEO. Knowing what users type in a search engine will help you create relevant content to satisfy their intent.

When you do this successfully, your pages will start ranking for those search terms and this translates to an increase in SEO traffic.

In this guide, you’ll learn what keyword research is, the keyword research best practices to follow, and how to do keyword research successfully.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the SEO process of finding out which words or phrases users type into a search engine when looking for information, products, or services on the Internet.

By knowing the exact search terms, you can provide them with relevant content that satisfies their intent.

The outcome of the keyword research process is a list of keywords:

That can potentially bring you traffic. Trying to rank for keywords that won’t generate website visits is a waste of time and resources.
That can increase your conversions. In other words, keywords aligned with your business goals to generate sales, leads, or affiliate earnings.
You can actually rank for. The web is a saturated place, and unfortunately, it’s impossible to rank for all the keywords you want.

You can use the list as the fuel for all your digital marketing campaigns.

Why is keyword research important for SEO?

Keyword research is important for SEO for many reasons:

If you don’t know the actual search phrases people are using in Google, you risk optimizing your website for the wrong keywords.
Without analyzing the potential of a keyword, you don’t know if it’s a keyword you want to rank for.
Without doing research you cannot know for which keywords you can actually rank for and you might be targeting keywords you will never be able to rank well.
Keyword research will help you understand your industry and identify your true competitors.
Keyword research will give you a list of keywords to monitor their rankings and evaluate your SEO performance.
With keyword research, you get to know the size of your potential audience, a metric useful in setting marketing goals and creating growth plans.

Different types of SEO keywords

When doing keyword research, you’ll come across different definitions like ‘seed keywords’, ‘focus keywords’, ‘long-tail keywords’. It will be less confusing to know about the different types of keywords before starting your research.

Seed Keywords – Also known as the head, focus, or main keywords, are usually or two words search phrases that have a high search volume. These keywords are also highly competitive with hundreds of websites competing for one of the top spots in the SERPS.

Here are some examples of seed keywords: ‘SEO’, ‘Social Media’, ‘Online Marketing’, ‘diet’.

Synonyms or closely related keywords – These are keywords closely related to each other. It’s keywords that have the same meaning but written differently.

Here are some examples: ‘how to replace a light bulb’, ‘how to fix a light bulb’, ‘how to change a light bulb’.

Long-tail keywords – Are search phrases consisting of 3 or more words. They have less search volume compared to head keywords but their intent is more specific.

Here are some examples of long-tail keywords: ‘What is SEO’, ‘How to become an SEO Expert’.

Semantically related keywords – also known as LSI keywords, are keywords that are related to each other conceptually.

For example, for the search phrase ‘keyword research’, some semantically related keywords are ‘search volume’, ‘keyword analysis’, ’google keyword tool’.



In this video, you’ll learn two different techniques you can use to perform keyword research and find lucrative keywords for your SEO campaigns.

10 Best Practices to Perform Keyword Research

These are the keyword research steps to follow to find keywords to use in your SEO campaigns.

Get to know your Niche
Write down topic ideas and create topic buckets
Find seed keywords for your topics using keyword research tools
Examine the search intent of each keyword
Find long-tail keywords
Find keywords your competitors are ranking
Choose the right keywords for your website
Convert keywords into content titles
Find Semantically Related Keywords to use in your content
Keep checking for trending keywords

Step 1: Get to Know your Niche

The first step of the keyword research process is to find out as many details as possible about your niche.

Knowing who you have to compete with, will help you create a realistic keyword list and an SEO strategy that can get you results.

Let’s get started.

Go to Google and start typing search terms related to your niche. Visit all websites that come up on the first page of Google and take note of things like:

Their posting frequency (how often they update their website with new content)
Type of content they publish (is it text, videos, etc.)
How their website is structured (what they have on their homepage, menus, etc.).
Learn more about their social media presence (channels they are active, how many followers they have, what they are posting, etc.)
Use tools like SEMRUSH or Ubersuggest to find out their domain authority.
Register to their newsletter (if they have one) and add them to your Feedly (to get notified of content updates)

The main idea behind this exercise is to identify your main competitors and get new ideas about topics/keywords you can target.

What is important to understand before doing keyword research for SEO purposes, is that there is a big difference between the keywords you would like to achieve high rankings and the keywords you can actually rank high on Google.

If your website is new, some keywords might be impossible to target (usually these are highly competitive keywords), so it’s good to know this from the beginning to adjust your keyword strategy to go after keywords that you have more chances of reaching the first page of Google.

Related Resources

Best Keyword Research Courses – A list of great courses to improve your keyword research skills.

Step 2: Write down topic ideas and create topic buckets

Once you are done with step 1, it’s time to get more specific by writing down (in a spreadsheet), topic ideas.

Do your brainstorming and write down anything that comes to mind related to your niche, industry, and products.

Put yourself in the position of the Google searcher and try to think what search terms they might type in Google.

If needed, revisit the websites noted in step 1 and take a closer look at their page titles. This can give you more ideas about topics related to your niche that you might have not thought about.

Group your ideas together to form topic buckets. Each topic bucket should include related ideas.

Let me give you an example of how this works.

Let’s say that you are in the digital marketing niche and want to find keywords that can potentially help you get clients for your digital marketing agency.

Your target market is small businesses and startups looking for different kinds of services related to digital marketing.
Your topic buckets might include the following:

Examples of Topic Buckets

General Information Bucket. This bucket includes ideas related to general questions about digital marketing.

Small Business Bucket. This bucket includes search terms that a small business owner might use in Google when looking for digital marketing agencies.

Services bucket. This bucket includes search terms related to specific marketing services like SEO and social media marketing.

If this is the first time you’re doing keyword research for your website, you may end up having many topic buckets. This is perfectly fine.

Remember that this is an ongoing process and not something you have to complete 100% on the first go.

To begin with, write your basic ideas and move on to the next step.

Step 3: Find seed keywords for your topics using keyword research tools

Now that you have a list of ideas grouped into topic buckets, it’s time to convert your ideas into SEO keywords.

SEO Keywords are the actual queries people type in a search engine that are important for your website.

To do that, we need the help of keyword research tools. I will demonstrate the process using SEMRUSH, but you can use your favorite tool to go through the process.

If you don’t have a SEMRush subscription, you can take advantage of our exclusive offer and get a 14-day free subscription to SEMrush pro.

Login to SEMRUSH and go to the KEYWORD MAGIC TOOL.

Take your first topic bucket and start your analysis.

Go through the list and select all keywords related to your business and click the ADD TO KEYWORD MANAGER button.

At this stage, we don’t care about the monthly search volume or Keyword difficulty but to select the most relevant keywords for our website.

SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool

Repeat the process to analyze at least ten ideas from your topic buckets.

When you finish adding keywords to your list, you go to KEYWORD MANAGER to view your selected keywords.

SEMRush Keyword Manager Tool

Click the Update Metrics button to refresh the metrics and sort the keywords by volume.

Step 4: Examine the search intent of each keyword

Now that you have a list of seed keywords, it’s time to examine each keyword’s search intent.

The search intent is simply the type of information users are looking for when they perform a search.

For some keywords, the search intent is obvious but for others, it needs more investigation.

For example, when searching for ‘SEO packages for small businesses, their intent is clear, but searching for ‘SEO’ is very vague.

The best way to figure out the search intent of a keyword is to type the keywords in Google and examine the first page of the results.

Google is doing a great job in understanding the user’s actual intent so what they show on the first page, is very close to what users are looking for.

You need to do this exercise to find and eliminate from your list keywords that have a different intent than what you are offering. You don’t want to waste your time targeting keywords that won’t get you the right type of traffic.

For example, I initially added the keyword ‘Freelance Digital Marketing’ to my list.

When you search for this keyword on Google, you will see that most of the results are resources on how to become a freelancer.

Since my goal is to find keywords to get clients, this keyword is not a good fit. The intent of the searcher is not to hire a freelancer but to learn how to become one.

Step 5: Find long-tail keywords

As you work through the list of your seed keywords, you will realize that most of them (if not all), are highly competitive.

In other words, when you search for these keywords on Google, you find hundreds of websites competing for one of the top 10 positions.

If you have an established website, this may not be a very big issue but if you are starting out now, this is a huge problem.

What should you do? Adjust your keyword research strategy and start looking for keywords that are less competitive i.e. long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords make up 70% of all searches and it’s your only opportunity to start ranking high on Google for keywords that can bring targeted traffic to your website, in a relatively short amount of time.

Long Tail Keywords – Search Curve

You might think that the issue with long-tail keywords is that they have less search volume and while this is true, less is better than nothing.

In other words, there is no point in spending your time and effort on popular keywords that it’s impossible to rank. Better start with the low-hanging fruit and built your way up.

Once you manage to achieve high rankings for several longtail keywords, you also increase your chances of ranking for seed keywords as well.

How to find long-tail keywords? There are a number of ways to find long-tail keywords.

You can manually search Google and look for the ‘People also ask’ or ‘related searches’ section. You can also go to Wikipedia and Amazon and see what people are searching for.

The fastest way is to use two SEMRUSH functions, the ‘Keyword Magic Tool’ and the ‘Topic Research’ tools.

Revisit the Keyword Magic tool and use the ‘Advanced Filters’ to search for keywords that have 4 words or more. Just enter the number 4 into the ‘Words Count’ box and click Enter.

Find long-tail keywords

What you see now are keywords that consist of more than 4 words. Select the keywords that match your business, examine their search intent by analyzing the Google results, and add them to your main list.

Another way to find longtail keywords is to use the ‘Topic Research’ tool. Select the topic research option from the menu, type your topic ideas and click GET CONTENT IDEAS.

Find Related Keywords using SEMRUSH

Look for the ‘Interesting Questions’ section and find questions that relate to your business and products.

Step 6: Find keywords your competitors are ranking

While doing your keyword research, you created a list of websites that are your direct competitors. You visited their websites and analyzed their content, now it’s time to learn for which keywords they are actually ranking and the amount of traffic they receive from Google search.

Go to SEMRUSH, select ORGANIC RESEARCH from DOMAIN ANALYTICS, and type in a competitor’s URL.

Analyze your competitor keywords

What you see are the keywords your competitors are ranking. Click on VIEW ALL ORGANIC KEYWORDS to go to the full list and use the advanced filters to find keywords with a decent search volume, exclude brand-related keywords and keywords that do not fall into your line of business.

Find keywords with a decent search volume

Your goal with this exercise is to find keyword ideas that you might have not thought of before and use them to enrich your keyword list.

You can also follow the above procedure to find out for which specific keywords a competitor’s page is ranking.

In other words, instead of using the domain in the search box, type in the URL of a specific page.

Find keywords a webpage is ranking

What you see now are all the keywords that the particular page is ranking, the monthly search volume, and whether they generate traffic to the website.

Step 7: Choose the right keywords for your website

Once you reach this point, you should already have a list of keywords (both seed and long-tail keywords), you would like to rank for.

For sure it’s a big list and not easily manageable.

Now it’s time to revise the list once more and narrow it down to 20-30 keywords you can target by either creating SEO optimized landing pages, optimizing your homepage, or creating new pages (blog posts).

To decide, which keywords to keep or discard, we’ll use data gathered so far from the previous steps and add two more parameters to the mix, keyword difficulty, and authority of the domains ranking on the first page of Google.

What is keyword difficulty?

It is an estimate of how difficult it would be to rank well in Google organic search for that keyword. It is given as a percentage, the higher the percentage the more difficult is to rank high for the specific keyword.

Each tool has its own way of calculating keyword difficulty but in general the lower the value, the better.

In all SEMRUSH reports, you can see the keyword difficulty of a keyword, the column is marked as KD%.

Authority of domains ranking on the top positions

I’ve mentioned this a couple of times so far but it’s time to make it more specific.

When you search for a keyword on Google and you notice that the first 10 positions are occupied by big and well-known websites, it means that it is very difficult for a small business website or blog to get there.

For example, if you search for ‘Digital Marketing’ you’ll see websites like HubSpot, Moz, Wikipedia, and other giant websites.

This means that although ‘digital marketing’ is a term I would like to rank for, Google tells me that this is not possible so I take that term out of my list and instead look for variations (long-tail search terms) that are possible to target.

How to decide which keywords are the correct keywords to target

Go through the keywords one by one and decide whether to keep or remove them from your list, by answering the following questions:

Is the keyword search intent in-synch with your marketing goals?
Is the keyword difficulty low compared to other keywords?
Does Google rank normal websites in the first 10 positions or is it only big and well-known websites?
Is there a decent search volume (above 50) for that keyword?
Can you provide good content for that keyword?

If the answer to all the questions is YES, then keep that keyword in your list, otherwise if the answer to any of the above is NO, remove it from your list.

If at the end of this exercise, you have a short keyword list, you need to go back and repeat all keyword research steps and find more keywords to enrich your list.

Remember that the goal of keyword research is not to create a long list of keywords that you will not use but to create a list of keywords that you can actually use in your content marketing campaigns.

Step 8: Convert keywords into page titles

Once you reach this point you can relax, the difficult part is behind you. Now, it’s time to convert those keywords into page titles and write the content.

Why pay attention to your page titles?

Good SEO best practices indicate that each page or post on your website should target a specific keyword only.

There is too much content on the Internet and Google tries to pick up the 10 best pages for a particular keyword.

To help them in this process, you need to make sure that each page is focusing on a specific keyword and that this is reflected in your page titles.

To convert keywords into page titles, follow these simple rules:

Search for the keyword on Google and examine the first 10 page titles
Create a title that contains your target keyword but make it unique i.e. Make sure that it’s not the same as one of the titles that are already shown on the first page. You need to do this because Google rarely shows pages with the same titles in the SERPS.
Make your title interesting by adding powerful words (like Amazing, complete, easy, etc.)

For more information on how to optimize your page titles, read: How to create SEO-friendly titles.
Step 9: Find Semantically Related Keywords to use in your content

Now that you have your titles ready the next step is to create high-quality SEO-friendly content.

One of the things that you need to consider is semantically related keywords.

Semantically related keywords (or LSI keywords) are keywords related to your target keywords or keywords that have the same meaning.

By adding these keywords to your content, you make the content more relevant to search engines and this dramatically increases your chances of ranking for your main keyword.

You can use SEMRUSH to find RELATED keywords (by clicking the RELATED button as shown below) or if you don’t have a SEMRush subscription, you can use tools like LSI Graph.

How to find conceptually related keywords

While optimizing your content for SEO, make sure that you add these keywords to your copy.

Step 10: Keep checking for trending keywords

Besides the above steps, you also need to monitor your niche for trending keywords and new keywords that rise to the surface.

It’s a fact that 30% of the queries entered into Google on a monthly basis are NEW and keywords that Google has never seen before.

This means that the keywords tools won’t show a big search volume for these keywords or not show them at all.

Most probably it’s keywords your competitors are not aware of, so this gives you a competitive advantage since you can rank for them faster.

I personally use this method a lot and it works great for almost all niches and industries.

Google Trends is the tool to use for this exercise. Go to Google Trends and enter your seed keywords.

Filter the results by area (if you are targeting specific areas), by categories, and Google search channel.

Look for the RELATED QUERIES section and drill down to get more details for a specific query.

Related Queries in Google Trends

A piece of advice, don’t give up too soon on this tool, try different filters and different keywords/topics and you can find some great keywords to target before everyone else does.

Add in your calendar a reminder to repeat this exercise at least once every 3 months.

How to use keywords in your content

Besides using your target keyword in the page title and adding LSI keywords within your content, there are a few other places where you need to add your keywords.

This is explained in detail in the SEO writing guide, the most important guidelines are:

Use your focus keyword in the page title – as explained above
Use your focus keyword in the page URL
Use your focus keyword in the page title tag and H1 tag
Use Long-tail keywords in your H2 and H3 headings
Use related keywords in the image ALT Text
Use related keywords and synonyms in your copy
Use LSI keywords in the content (as explained above).

Keyword Research Tools to Use

To perform keyword research, you need the help of tools. There is a lot of data to analyze and it’s impossible to do it manually.

These are the tools that I use and recommend.

SEMRUSH (Paid)
SEMRUSH

This is my favorite tool for keyword research and the tool I use on a daily basis for all digital marketing tasks. It’s not free, it comes with a monthly subscription but worth’s every cent.

For keyword research, you can use SEMRUSH to do topic research, find out seed keywords, long-tail keywords, and related keywords.

If you don’t already have a subscription with an SEM tool, then SEMRUSH is the way to go.

Before selecting SEMRUSH, I have tested a number of other tools but none of them has the functionality of SEMRUSH at this price range.

You can register for a 14-Day free trial and test it yourself.

SEMRUSH 14 Day Trial

Google Keyword Tool (Free)
Google Keyword Planner

The Google keyword tool is a free tool provided by Google that allows you to do keyword research for PPC (Google Ads) purposes but you can also use it to do keyword research for SEO.

The tool is free but in order to use it, you need to have an active Google Ads account.

Go to Google Ads and register for a free account. Then, create a Google Ads campaign but do not activate it, keep it paused, and access the tool by selecting TOOLS and then KEYWORD PLANNER.

Google Keyword Planner

UberSuggest (Free)
Ubersuggest

Another free keyword research tool that is worth exploring is Ubersuggest. You can use it to do both topic and keyword research.

While the tool is free, the only disadvantage is that it does not allow you to create an account to save your reports or keywords and this means that every time you want to do keyword research, you need to start from the beginning.

This is not the case with SEMRUSH, where you have an account and all your lists/data saved and always accessible.

Ubersuggest

Google Search Console (Free)
Google Search Console

While the primary function of the Google search console is to optimize your website for technical SEO, it’s the tool to use to optimize your pages after they are published.

Keyword research is an on-going process and the best tool to use to find out the actual keywords your pages are ranking is the Google Search console.

Why this is an important step? When you optimize a page for a keyword, it does not always go as planned.

Google may rank the page for different keywords and the way to ‘correct this’ is to find out for which keywords the page has more chances of ranking and add those keywords in your content.

Here are the steps to follow:

Create an account and verify your website.
Access the ‘Search Performance Report’
Look at the ‘search terms’ and ‘positions’ columns
Identify keywords that are not included in your content.
Change your content to naturally add those keywords
Re-submit your page to Google.

Google Trends (Free)
Find Search Terms using Google Trends

As explained above, another tool you can use to find out about new and trending keywords is Google Trends.

Go to Google Trends and perform several searches, using different filters to find out what is trending in your industry.

Key Learnings

Keyword research is an important process of SEO. Through keyword research, you can find the keywords that really matter for your business and use them in your SEO and content marketing campaigns.

Keyword research is not a once-off process but it’s an ongoing process. You do it initially when you start a new website or SEO campaign and depending on the results, you need to go back and revise your keywords list.

The process is simple but it’s time-consuming. As your website grows you will need to find more keywords to target and this is the part that is becoming more challenging.

You cannot do keyword research without the help of tools. While you can use free tools like the Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest, for long-term projects you need the help of more reliable tools like SEMRUSH or Ahrefs.

Finally, if you already have an existing website with rankings then don’t forget to use the Google search console when doing keyword research.

Through the GSC you can learn which keywords bring Google traffic to your website now and which keywords Google believes are a good fit for your website and content.

The post 10 Best Practices to Perform Keyword Research For SEO appeared first on reliablesoft.net.

How to Market Your Business on Social Media Without Following

Posted by on Feb 18, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Market Your Business on Social Media Without Following

How to Market Your Business on Social Media Without Following

Social media can be one of the most effective marketing channels for all kinds of businesses.

The biggest social media platforms have a large audience base and make it easy to target users based on their interests and personal characteristics.

While a big social media following can be beneficial, you don’t need to have a huge following to market your business on social media.

In this guide, I’ll go through how to market your business on social media even if you have zero followers.

Benefits of Having Social Media Followers

There are several benefits to having a large number of social media followers. To start, it indicates popularity. A social media profile with 10,000 followers is obviously more popular than a page with 1,000 followers.

Pages that are more popular appear more trustworthy, which is key to standing out in today’s competitive landscape.

Pages with more followers also have a wider audience base to reach with organic posts. Not all your followers will see your posts as social media platforms continue to update their algorithms to cut down on the number of people you are able to reach with organic content.

But even if your organic posts only reach 4% of your followers, a page with 10,000 followers will reach ten times as many people as a page with 1,000 followers.

How to Market Your Business On Social Media Without a Following

Choose your social media networks
Optimize your business pages
Add some posts to your pages
Set your marketing goals
Setup conversion tracking
Start with Facebook ads
Take advantage of machine learning
Optimize your advertising budget

1. Choose your social media networks

Before you invest the time and money to market your business on social media, it’s important to understand that not every business should focus its attention on every social media platform.

Each platform has a different purpose and functions in a different manner. Each also has a unique user base as different demographics prefer different social media platforms.

Your business should focus on the social media platforms that your target audience uses the most.

Producing great social content and maintaining a highly-active presence won’t do much good if the people that you want to reach are not present.

You should find the best social media networks for your business by defining your customer profile and understanding the prominent demographics of the user bases of the most popular social media platforms.

Defining your customer profile

Your customer profile should list all the traits that your ideal customer would have.

Start by analyzing your current customers to find common attributes among them.

Here are some of the attributes you should look for:

Demographics: Demographics include attributes like gender, age, race.
Socioeconomics: These attributes relate to education level, income level, household size, and neighborhood.
Psychographics: This data gives insights into your customers’ beliefs and values and includes attributes like pain points, activities, lifestyle choices.

Once you have defined your target customer profile, you can compare it to the predominant user base of each social media platform to find the best matches for your business.

Social media platform demographics

Let’s take a look at the core characteristics of the audiences for each of the most popular social media platforms.

Social Media Platforms Demographics.

Facebook – Facebook is the most popular social media platform (not counting Youtube) and has a healthy amount of users across all demographic groups as over 50% of all age brackets (except those 65 and over) use the platform. It is also equally popular among men and women and different levels of income.

Instagram – Instagram is predominantly used by people between the age of 18 and 29 and is more popular among women than men. The audience is spread fairly evenly among income brackets but is slightly more popular in urban areas.

Twitter – Twitter is more popular with younger age groups and is used equally among men and women. Individuals with at least some higher education use the platform more than those without it.

Pinterest – Pinterest is more popular among women and people ages between 18 and 49. Pinterest’s user base also has a higher average income which can make it a very effective channel for businesses selling luxury goods.

Linkedin – As a social network for professionals, LinkedIn is most popular among users between the ages of 18 and 49. Like Pinterest, users have a higher income on average when compared to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. LinkedIn is popular among decision-makers at companies so if your business sells B2B products or services it can be a great channel for generating high-quality leads.

Resources to Learn More About Social Media Marketing

How to Become a Social Media Manager
Best Social Media Marketing Courses
Facebook Ads Course

2. Optimize your business pages

Once you identify the social media platforms that present the best opportunity for your business, you will need to create your accounts and begin optimizing your business pages so that they have the intended effect.

Let’s examine the different elements of your business pages you should optimize before creating content and trying to grow your following.

As I break down the key components, I will use USAA’s Facebook page to give some firsthand examples of a business optimizing its profile appropriately.

Facebook Business Page Example

Up to date info

This may seem obvious, but many brands create their social media accounts and never complete their profiles. You’ll want to create a high-quality description of your business, filled with accurate information.

Locations and contact methods should be up to date and if your profile is linked to a store catalog, only available products should be present.

Facebook will take the longest to complete as it has more profile fields than other social media platforms. The core information such as locations and contact details should be the same across all your social media pages.

Your business description doesn’t need to be exactly the same as you can make slight adjustments to account for the design and audience of a particular platform. But there should be consistency across platforms as you should use the same keywords and present your brand in the same manner.

If you look at USAA’s Facebook page you’ll see a complete and up to date description as well as current contact information.

Images

Images are a core part of any business’ social media profile. They help convey your brand’s messaging and are effective for engaging your target audience.

Images on your business page should be high-quality, relevant to your target customer profile, and consistent. Consistency across your images will establish your brand identity and make it easier for your customers to recognize your business on sight.

Upon scanning the images on USAA’s Facebook page, you’ll see a consistent use of the company’s blue branding color throughout the photos.

Friendly URL

For business profiles, having a clean URL (or social media handle) is important for maintaining your brand image. Friendly URLs also make it easier for your audience to search and find your business page.

In the same way, consistency across designs and images can increase brand recognition, consistent social media handles/URLs across can have the same effect.

If you look at our example USAA Facebook page, the handle is as simple and direct as can be:

https://www.facebook.com/USAA

Any visitor who wants to contact the company through Facebook Messenger can simply type in @USAA to pull up the chat.

If you look at the URLs for the company’s Instagram and Twitter profiles, you’ll notice they are the same with a simple /USAA.

Profile image, logo, and cover photo

Your profile image and cover photo are usually the first things a visitor sees when landing on your business page. It is generally a best practice to use your business logo as your profile to provide immediate brand recognition.

Each social platform has different requirements for image dimensions for cover and background photos so you want to be aware of the differences so that your photos fit with each platform.

Contact points

Your business page should make it easy for your visitors to know how to contact you. The important contact points to provide on your page include:

Website URL
Phone number
Email address
Locations (if applicable)

Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have contact points built-in to the platform with Messenger and Direct Message.

For these communication methods, it is important to actively monitor and respond to incoming messages as these are channels many visitors will use when they want to reach out to your business for the first time.

Call to action

If you want to eventually turn your visitors and followers into leads or customers, eventually you will need to get them to take some actions after landing on your business page.

By adding a relevant call to action you can get your visitors to take the step down your marketing funnel. This could be visiting your website, signing up for an email list, or purchasing something from your Facebook Shop.

Going back to USAA’s Facebook Page, in the About section you can see a CTA directing users to their site with the following message:

Find out how we are supporting our members and the community at usaa.com/coronavirus.

3. Add some posts to your pages
Facebook Popular Content Types

After you create your social account for the most relevant platforms and optimize your business pages, you’ll want to begin adding content to your pages.

Doing so will make your business appear active to any visitors instead of having pages that look deserted and unmaintained.

If someone were to land on one of your social media pages and the most recent post was weeks ago, that person is unlikely to follow you or come back and check for updates.

After all, what’s the point of following a business that isn’t posting content?

You can start by posting links to content on your website, whether it’s blog posts or product pages.

If your business lacks relevant content to post, you can get started by sharing other pages’ content to add some activity to your profile.

4. Set your marketing goals

If you begin posting content on social media without a coherent plan, you are not likely to find success.

To ensure that you are getting the most of your social media marketing efforts, you’ll want to define your marketing goals and determine how you will measure your progress towards those goals.

Now, different businesses will have different objectives from their social media marketing campaigns.

If you’re a business that provides some form of professional service your social media objectives aren’t going to look the same as a retailer that sells physical products.

Here are some of the more common goals for social media marketing and how to measure their success.

Marketing Goals – Examples.

Brand awareness

Brand awareness indicates how popular your business is on social media and how many people even know that you exist or what your products and services are like.

If your goal is to improve brand awareness you can design your marketing campaigns to hit a certain cost per brand lift. This metric measures the effect that your marketing campaigns on brand awareness by assessing users’ recognition and approval of your brand before and after the campaign.

Other metrics that will help you measure the impact of your campaigns on brand awareness include:

Reach
Brand mentions
Impressions
Shares

Lead generation

Social media can be a powerful tool for generating leads to fill your business’ sales funnel.

Most prospects aren’t going to make a purchase the first time they encounter your business so the ability to collect their contact information to continue the conversation can make your social media marketing campaigns worth the effort.

If lead generation is your social media marketing objective, you can design your campaigns to hit a target cost per lead.

Important metrics to monitor the success of your lead generation efforts include:

Email subscriptions
Contact form completions
Phone calls

Sales

The goal of your social media marketing campaign could simply be to generate sales. When your social media campaigns lead directly to sales, it’s easy to see the value of your efforts.

If your social media goal is to drive more sales you could design your campaigns to hit a certain cost per acquisition (CPA) or return on ad spend (ROAS).

The following metrics will help you measure the impact of your campaigns on

Sales by channel
Conversion rate

Mobile apps growth

Businesses with a mobile app can use their social presence to increase downloads and spread awareness.

If you choose to focus on app growth as a marketing objective, you could structure your campaign to hit a target cost per install or cost per daily active user.

Useful metrics to measure the growth of your mobile app include:

Installs
App engagement
Daily active users

5. Setup conversion tracking
Benefits of Conversion Tracking

Without proper conversion tracking, you won’t be able to measure the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns. Conversion tracking is also needed to take advantage of the advanced AI functionality offered by platforms like Google and Facebook.

By enabling conversion tracking within your Google campaigns, you can get a clear idea of what is working well and what is not. You can then optimize your ad copy and other components to improve your results.

Conversion tracking will also allow you to use Google’s automated bidding features. With access to your conversion data, Google can look at the characteristics of the customers that are converting on your site to optimize the bids for your ads.

Searches from customers who match the traits of your previous buyers will receive higher bids, while searches from customers who seem less likely to purchase based on your conversion data will receive lower bids. The result is a more efficient use of ad spend and increased conversion rates.

You can enable conversion tracking for your Facebook campaigns by installing the Facebook pixel on your website. Facebook will then track all the conversions on your website and you can view the data in your Facebook Ads Manager.

The conversion data will allow you to define custom audiences and run highly-targeted dynamic ad campaigns.

6. Start with Facebook ads
Facebook Ad Types

Facebook has a diverse user base and is popular among nearly every demographic. This makes it an effective marketing channel for all kinds of business.

Once you optimize your profiles and start consistently creating content, you can increase your reach on Facebook by running paid advertisements.

Be sure to install the Facebook Pixel before launching your campaigns as the tracking and remarketing data that it allows you to collect will help you optimize your ads going forward.

Launch your campaigns

When you log in to Facebook Ads Manager to create your campaign you’ll notice that Facebook gives you 11 different marketing objectives you can assign to the campaign based on what you want to achieve. This includes:

Brand awareness
Reach
Traffic
Engagement
App installs
Video views
Lead generation
Messages
Conversions
Catalog sales (for Facebook Shops)
Physica store traffic

Audience Targeting

After you set your objective, you’ll define the audience for the ad. You can add a custom audience (I’ll explain this more later on) or you can create your audience by selecting characteristics like age, gender, and location.

Facebook will give you an estimate of your potential ad reach and this number will adjust as you change the audience criteria.

Different types of Facebook ads

Facebook provides businesses a wide range of ad types to use for their campaigns. Some of the more effective ad formats include:

Image ads
Video ads
Carousel ads
Collection ads
Dynamic ads

You will also have the option of where to place your ads. You can select Automatic Placements and Facebook will automatically place your ads across its different properties including Instagram, Messenger, and the Audience Network.

Or, you can choose to only have your ads appear in certain places and can filter the placements based on platform, device type, operating system, and more.

It will take time and some trial and error before you master the art of Facebook Advertising to yield maximum results.

If you want to shorten the learning curve, our comprehensive Facebook Ads Course will teach you the ins and outs of Facebook Advertising so that you can quickly start to see your campaigns turn into sales.
7. Take advantage of machine learning

You can improve your advertising campaigns by taking advantage of the machine learning capabilities offered by platforms like Facebook and Google.

Lookalike audiences

With Facebook Lookalike audiences, you can use your previous website visitors and customers to target an audience with similar characteristics.

This allows you to bring more qualified prospects to your business and improve the efficiency of your ad spend.

You simply give Facebook details about what your target customer looks like, and Facebook will use their machine learning algorithms to provide you a new audience segment full of users that match your criteria.

Some of the different sources you can use for your lookalike audiences include:

A customer file with your customer’s email addresses
Website visitors who viewed certain pages or took a specific action
People who have previously engaged with your business on Facebook or Instagram
People who have engaged with your business through offline channels

Google Dynamic Responsive Ads

Responsive dynamic ads on Google are a mix of text and banner ads as they contain both a text and an image component.

The ads are responsive to the space they are being served. Google will choose from the many possible text and image combinations to display an ad that is most relevant to the user and the medium in which the ad is being placed.

You can choose to target your responsive ads on all devices or you can fine-tune the targeting to only show on specific devices.

Because Google leverages its machine-learning algorithm to serve the best possible ad combination unique to each placement and user, these ads can be highly effective at improving click-through rate and yielding better ad performance.

Google Smart Campaigns

Google Smart Campaigns

With Google Smart Campaigns, you can take advantage of Google’s machine learning capabilities to streamline how you create and manage your advertising campaigns.

Regular Google Ads have a wide range of components you need to configure. This includes ad creation, keyword research, bidding, placement, and more.

Individuals and businesses with less digital marketing experience or time available to properly see to all these components can find it challenging to create effective campaigns.

With Smart Campaigns, Google fully automates most of the campaign creation and management. They will create ads based on your business’ website and use an algorithm to select the targeting options.

Once your campaigns are up and running, Google’s algorithm will consistently look for areas of improvement and adjust your campaigns accordingly.

8. Optimize your advertising budget
Marketing Budget Optimization

When you invest valuable financial resources into advertising your business on social media, it is essential to optimize your advertising budget to get the best results.

It can be tempting to spread your budget out across a variety of different channels, however, this is not recommended.

After you identify which social media channel presents the best opportunity for your business, you should focus your ad spend on that channel.

You can then evaluate the success of your ads on that channel and make changes only if you are not seeing the results that you want.

There are several important metrics you will need to monitor to evaluate the success of your advertising campaigns:

Cost per Acquisition (CPA) – This metric measures the average cost it takes to acquire a new customer. For example, if you spend $1,000 on a campaign that leads to 10 sales from new customers your CPA for the campaign is $100.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) – This metric measures the average total amount of profit each customer will bring to your business over their lifetime. To find your CLV you multiply your transactions per period, average order value, average gross margin, and average customer lifespan. You then divide this amount by the number of customers per period.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) – You calculate this metric by simply dividing your revenue generated from an ad campaign by the amount spent on ads. You can multiply this number by 100 to find a percentage of return. For instance, if you spend $1,000 on an ad campaign that generates $5,000 in ad revenue your ROAS is $5 for every $1 invested or 500%.

When measuring the efficacy of a campaign, you should look for the CLV of the customers you gain to exceed the CPA. This simple comparison will tell you if you make more from each customer over their lifetime than you pay to acquire them.

If your advertising campaigns for your primary social media channel consistently perform well, there isn’t a need to divert your advertising budget to different channels.

But if your campaigns start to see diminishing returns or stop yielding the target results, you can consider shifting part of your ad budget into secondary channels.

Key Learnings

A large social media following can be beneficial but you can still market your business on social media without one.

The first step to marketing your business on social media is to choose the best social media networks to focus on. To do this, you’ll define your customer profile and match it to the predominant characteristics of the audiences for different social media networks to find which platform is best for reaching your desired audience.

Once you choose your social networks, you can begin optimizing your business pages by adding all crucial components such as contact info, about us, profile image, cover photo, and making sure you have a clean and friendly social handle/URL.

Visitors are unlikely to engage with an inactive page, so it’s important to begin posting content regularly so that your business appears active.

You also want to establish your marketing goals early on and how you’ll measure their success. Popular social media marketing goals include:

Brand awareness
Lead generation
Sales
Mobile app growth

If you want to take full advantage of everything Facebook has to offer, you can begin running Facebook Ads campaigns.

It’s important to set up conversion tracking before launching your campaigns so you can better understand your performance and make use of Google and Facebook’s AI capabilities.

This will allow you to use tools like Facebook custom audiences or Google Smart Campaigns to improve your ad campaigns by targeting a highly-target group of people and optimizing your bidding strategies.

Another way to get the most of your campaigns is to optimize your ad budget. You can do this by focusing your ad spend on the most profitable channel and only diverting your budget to other channels when you stop seeing results.

You may not have a social following right now, but if you follow the steps in this guide you can market your business while building your following as you go.

The post How to Market Your Business on Social Media Without Following appeared first on reliablesoft.net.

What is Zapier? And 5 things you can do with it!

Posted by on Feb 17, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on What is Zapier? And 5 things you can do with it!

The automation tool Zapier works with Zaps that you can create from scratch. These Zaps can link different apps and services to each other to create a smarter workflow and save you lots of time. But that still doesn’t give you a clear answer to this question: What is Zapier exactly? In this post, we’ll discuss how Zapier works, what it can do for your workflow and why we’ve created a Zapier integration in Yoast SEO Premium.

What is Zapier?

Zapier is an online platform that helps you automate workflows by connecting your apps and services you use. This allows you to automate tasks without having to build this integration yourself. Or hiring someone to build this integration for you.

To give an example, Zapier can automatically send out a custom tweet right after you’ve published a post. The custom part meaning that you set up once what these automatic tweets will look like and what they will contain. But with over 2000+ destinations other than Twitter, Zapier can handle lots of automatic tasks for different platforms or destinations.

It does so by letting you create “Zaps”, automated workflows that consist of a trigger and one or more actions. When you set up and activate a new Zap, it will run its action(s) every time the trigger event occurs. To get back to that example: let’s say you set a Zap for a custom tweet that goes out for every published post. In this case, publishing a post is the trigger event and the custom tweet is the automated action that follows.

How to get started with Zapier

To use Zapier, you need to create an account. You can sign up for a free account, which allows you to use Zapier for 100 tasks per month. Note that a task is different from a Zap, as you can set up a Zap that will probably be used more than once. Otherwise, what’s the point of creating a Zap for it?

Every time you trigger this Zap you’re asking it to perform a task. That means that one Zap that you use once a day, accounts for around 30 tasks in a month. There is also the option to choose one of their paid plans, which gives you more tasks per month. But you can always start with a free account to figure out what Zapier can do for you.

What can you use Zapier for?

Sending out a custom tweet for every post you publish is cool, but it’s just one of the many possible automated workflows that you can create with Zapier. So let’s take a look at what else you can let Zapier automate for you.

The idea behind this automation tool is to help you create a smarter and customized workflow. To save you time and make it possible to focus on the important parts of your work. And because everyone has different apps or services that they use throughout their workday, Zapier offers integration with so many different destinations. If you’re wondering if your favorite app is among these, check out all the apps that Zapier integrates with.

What this means is that you can use Zapier for lots and lots of different things. Sharing your new post on LinkedIn right away, adding events from several apps to your Google Calendar, or even receiving an alert in Slack when you’ve received an email with an attachment that automatically gets downloaded to your Dropbox. Whatever automated task that can help you find more focus and rest in your workday.

Automatically share your post with Zapier

If you’re like us and regularly post new content to your site, it would be great to automatically share this on your favorite platforms, right? That’s why we’ve created a Zapier integration in Yoast SEO Premium. This integration lets you send out your published post, that you’ve optimized with Yoast SEO, to any of its 2000+ destinations. You’ll only have to set it up once to make use of this integration. Go to the Integrations tab in Yoast SEO Premium and follow the steps to activate the connections.

When you’ve done this, you’re ready to connect to the platform you want to publish to and make your own Zaps. This allows you to customize what you want to publish and how you want to do that. After doing so, make sure to test your new automated workflow and it’s ready to automatically run whenever you publish a post using Yoast SEO! Check out all the steps in our help article on how to use Yoast SEO with Zapier.

Top 5 Zaps in Yoast SEO Premium

To give you an idea of the options, we’re sharing this realtime overview of the five most popular Zaps in Yoast SEO right now. Of course, this isn’t all you can do, as Zapier lets you connect to lots of other platforms. But it can give you an idea of the things you can do with Zapier in Yoast SEO:

What do you think, is Zapier for you?

To summarize all of the above: Zapier is an automation tool that allows you to automate certain parts of your workflow. What parts and how this automation looks is totally up to you. But it does allow you to save time and focus on the work that needs your attention most.

So check it out, and if you’re a Yoast SEO Premium user, check out our integration with Zapier. With this integration, you can automatically share your freshly published content on the platform of your choice and attraction attention to it!

Read more: Does social media influence your SEO? »

The post What is Zapier? And 5 things you can do with it! appeared first on Yoast.

SEO Case Study: 534% More Organic Traffic

Posted by on Feb 17, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on SEO Case Study: 534% More Organic Traffic

We grew a client’s organic search traffic by 534%. Here’s how we did it: How to Grow Organic Search Traffic by 534% Using AMP…? The client in this case study runs a media website in the competitive legal space. Here’s what we did to grow their organic traffic in a short amount of time: 1. …

Read moreSEO Case Study: 534% More Organic Traffic

The post SEO Case Study: 534% More Organic Traffic first appeared on Gotch SEO.

Competitor Keyword Analysis: 3 Steps on How to Steal Your Competitor’s Traffic

Posted by on Feb 17, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Competitor Keyword Analysis: 3 Steps on How to Steal Your Competitor’s Traffic

Competitor Keyword Analysis: 3 Steps on How to Steal Your Competitor’s Traffic

For most SMBs, the key to generating more traffic, leads, and sales lies in outsmarting your competition.

In digital marketing, especially, the established brands make it incredibly difficult to compete. They not only can attract the best sales, marketing, and research talent but also possess the financial clout to quickly outmuscle you in a toe-to-toe contest. It means that if you’re not smart, you’ll forever feed on scraps.

So, how do you get past this hurdle? How can your small business compete despite these obvious challenges? Simple – competitor analysis – researching your competition! Competitor analysis allows you to;

Find out what makes your competitor tick; what’s their secret?Uncover and exploit opportunities the competitor has overlooked

This guide should help you plan and execute one of the most rewarding forms of competitor research in digital marketing – competitive keyword analysis.

It’s not exactly easy. But, with dedication, you can do it even on your own. Let’s start with a definition;

What is Competitive Keyword Analysis?

Competitive keyword analysis, also known as SEO competitor analysis or SEO keyword competition analysis, is just that – unraveling your competitor’s keyword strategy. 

By analyzing the competitor’s keywords, you’re able to gain insight into the interests of your shared audience and adjust your SEO campaign accordingly to improve your SERP performance.

Benefits of SEO Competitor Analysis

There are three main reasons why you should prioritize competitor SEO analysis for your search engine optimization campaign;

Discover keywords that work

Using SEO competitor research tools, you can find out the full list of keywords your primary competitors use, along with the number of clicks received for each keyword, and overall search volume. You can then sort out these terms to come up with a list of proven keywords to drive your campaign.

Find out keywords you omitted

If you already do SEO, competitor SEO search can also be instrumental in finding out valuable keywords that you might have overlooked in the past. What’s even better is that most competitor SEO analysis tools now let you compare your SEO keywords with the competitor’s to uncover the keywords missing in your campaign.

Gives you a competitive advantage

Business is about outsmarting the opponent. It’s about finding new ways to stay ahead of the pack. Competitive SEO analysis adds another weapon to your business intelligence arsenal. Once you know the keywords that are driving your competitor’s success, you can find high-performance long-tail versions and even alternative keywords to outrank that competitor.

How to Perform Competitive Keyword Analysis in 3 Steps

So, having learned about the above benefits, you’re probably thinking – where do I start my competitor keyword analysis? Here’s how to proceed;

Step #1: Define Your Competition

Who are your competitors?

Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer to this question. While it’s easy to discover your local rivals by searching your primary keywords in Google, SERP results alone won’t reveal all your global competitors.

For instance, for a local bakery trying to rank for the keyword “tasty buns in Texas,” the competition would be limited to bakeries in Texas. But, the moment the same bakery attempts to rank for a how-to article, it’d be up against even national brands such as Taste of Home and the Food Network. Making it to the first page then becomes a lot more difficult than in the first scenario.

For purposes of competitive keyword analysis, therefore, we prefer to define a competitor as; “anyone who ranks in the first result page for your target keywords, whether or not these people are your local business competitors.”

Step #2: Find Out Your Competitor(s) Keywords

This part should be easy! Pick an opponent (one of your competitors) and use SEO analysis tools to discover the core keywords driving their campaign.

Begin by searching your target keyword in Google and see the results that come up. Then, pick brands/companies behind those results and analyze their SEO strategies one-by-one.

There are multiple tools you can use to accomplish this process, including Google Analytics, SEMRush, and Moz. We, however, prefer (and recommend) BiQ Ranking Intelligence. With BiQ, all you need is the competitor’s site URL. Once you enter the URL into BiQ, the dashboard fills up with all the intelligence data you need.

Even better, BiQ allows you to select from five SEO intelligence parameters, i.e., keyword, content, link, rank, and site intelligence. You only pay for the selected parameter(s).  

In this case, you’d select keyword intelligence. Under this parameter, BiQ will help you;

Discover your competitor’s keyword profileCollect all the keywords you likeFind trending keywords for your contentUncover hidden long-tail keyword opportunitiesConduct keyword searches for local SEODetermine the real SEO value of each keyword

The “real SEO value” in this case refers to metrics such as search volume, average CPC, and the average competition for that keyword.

Step #3: Pick the Best Competitive Keywords

Not all keywords are equal – some promise more traffic and leads than others. Additionally, some keywords are extremely competitive. Getting an article to the first page for the term “content marketing,” for example, isn’t easy because it’s one of the most competitive keywords at the moment. You need to pick keywords that justify your efforts.

For the above reasons, sometimes, you may need to assess every keyword on your list to pick out the right ones. It’s what makes this part a little more challenging. To shorten the process, we recommend that you focus on finding;

Keywords your competitor ranks for that you don’t

Are you leaving a few vital keywords out of your SEO strategy? Could your competitor be ranking higher in SERPs because they use these keywords you’ve often overlooked? If so, you need to start using the keywords more often.

High-ranking competitor content that doesn’t match search queries well

Is your competitor benefiting from a lack of quality content for a particular keyword? Do they have rather poor content at the top of SERPs because there are no quality alternatives? You can take advantage of this situation by creating high-quality articles around these keywords.

Keywords your competitor is paying for that you can rank for naturally

If your competitor is paying for these keywords, it follows that they’re valuable keywords in your industry. So, what do you do? Try to see if you can rank organically for these words. Create quality articles around the keywords and submit them to Google for indexing.

Invest in Keyword Gap Analysis

Finally, competitive keyword analysis isn’t complete without keyword gap analysis. A gap analysis entails comparing two domains (such as your site and a competitor’s site) to identify disparities in keyword use and performance.

We’ve already talked about finding keywords that your competitor ranks for, but you don’t. A keyword gap analysis will help you reveal such keywords.

But that’s not everything. A gap analysis will also help you discover long-tail keywords you might have overlooked as well as terms you perhaps need to use more frequently. 

Conclusion

Competitive keyword analysis can significantly benefit your SEO campaign. With informed SEO competitor analysis, you could even topple some of the mainstays in your industry to rank at the top of SERPs for specific keywords. It’s something you should prioritize going forward.

FIXED “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.” Host Gator Issue

Posted by on Feb 16, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on FIXED “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.” Host Gator Issue

FIXED “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.” Host Gator Issue

If you are currently hosting your WordPress website or several WordPress websites at HostGator and you’ve come across “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.” we can help you get this fixed quickly by following the steps in this post.

This is a very common issue in HostGator’s hosting platform because of the way their server environment is set up. The good news is the way to fix it is just a few steps and pretty painless.

How To Fix “Missing MySQL Extension” Error

In the video below, we will walk you through identifying this error and then the steps that will need to be taken to resolve it.

It is possible to have multiple .htaccess files that you may need to edit. If you find you are still getting this error after editing the .htaccess file in the public_html folder, you will need to check your root directory.

Navigate to the root directory by clicking on the top option in the left-hand panel that starts with (/home#/user), where user is your cPanel username.

Scroll down in the right-hand panel until you locate another .htaccess file. Any .htaccess file containing a string of numbers or additional characters in the name is disabled and can be disregarded.
Proceed with the instructions below, starting with Step 4.

Here are the steps outlined in the video above.

Log in to cPanel.
Locate and select File Manager.
Locate and open the public_html folder.
Locate the .htaccess file, right-click on it, and select View.

Here is a video guide to assist you in locating and editing your .htaccess file.

The steps in the video are outlined below.

To access the .htaccess file:

Log into your cPanel.
In the Files section, click on the File Manager to open.

To display the .htaccess file, click Settings in the upper right-hand corner.
Make sure the Show Hidden Files (dotfiles) is checked.
Click Save. This will refresh the page, and all files starting with a “.” (dot) will be displayed.

In your .htaccess, you should see the PHP handlers entries. First, you’ll have to identify the one that needs to be removed.

The old PHP handler you’ll want to remove will look similar to one of these:

# Use PHP71 as default
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php71 .php
<IfModule mod_suphp.c>
suPHP_ConfigPath /opt/php71/lib
</IfModule>

or

#Use PHPedge as default
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php-edge .php
<IfModule mod_suphp.c>
suPHP_ConfigPath /opt/phpedge/lib
</IfModule>

Note: If you do not see any of the two old PHP handler entries in your current .htaccess, try checking the .htaccess from one level above your document root. Click Up One Level from the top menu and look for any .htaccess from the list of files.

The PHP handler you want to keep will look like the one below. You will notice that it says “cPanel-generated handler, do not edit” in it as previously created by the MultiPHP Manager.

# php — BEGIN cPanel-generated handler, do not edit
# Set the “ea-php73” package as the default “PHP” programming language.
<IfModule mime_module>
AddHandler application/x-httpd-ea-php73 .php .php7 .phtml
</IfModule>
# php — END cPanel-generated handler, do not edit

These PHP handlers are conflicting with each other, which is why your site is showing an error. You will need to remove the old PHP handler so the .htaccess will read the MultiPHP handler code instead.

Once you’ve identified these PHP handlers, create a backup of your .htaccess file before making any changes.

In the pop-up, it will provide the beginning of the path of where to store the backup. It will begin with /public_html, and you’ll fill in the rest so that it reads /public_html/.htaccess.bak, then click Copy File(s).
Now you’ll see the backup file in the main window named .htaccess.bak. You can always restore this by removing the .bak extension.

Right-click on the .htaccess and click Edit.

To disable the PHP handler that you don’t want, you can add a “#” at the beginning of each line, as we’ve done in the example below.

#Use PHPedge as default
#AddHandler application/x-httpd-php-edge .php
#IfModule mod_suphp.c>
# suPHP_ConfigPath /opt/phpedge/lib
#/IfModule>

Click Save Changes and then Close to exit the editor.

Pull up your site to check if the error is already gone.

Hopefully the above information has helped you to resolve this very common error at HostGator of “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.”

If the instructions above do not work and your site is still displaying an error, we can do this for you with our General Support service at https://www.wpfixit.com/product/wordpress-support/

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The post FIXED “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.” Host Gator Issue appeared first on WP Fix It.