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3 ways to crush your paid search competition

Posted by on Jan 20, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 3 ways to crush your paid search competition

3 ways to crush your paid search competition

The world of Paid Search is constantly evolving at lightning speed (new “things to do” travel ads, shipping annotations added for holiday campaigns, expanded text ads will be removed in June 2022), which means the rules of 2021 do not apply for 2022.

Join search expert Ashley Fletcher, VP, marketing, Adthena, and learn three ways you can maximize your return on search investment and get ahead of your competition.

Register today for “3 Ways to Conquer Your Paid Search Competition in 2022” presented by Adthena.

The post 3 ways to crush your paid search competition appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Google Ads launches placement reports for Performance Max campaigns

Posted by on Jan 20, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google Ads launches placement reports for Performance Max campaigns

Google Ads has launched placement reports for Performance Max campaigns, the company confirmed to Search Engine Land on Thursday. Placement reports can be generated to see where ads have served for Performance Max campaigns as well as how many impressions they’ve received.

Tip of the hat to Gianpaolo Lorusso and Giuseppe Scollo for bringing this to our attention.

Why we care. Google created the placement report to provide some insight into where Performance Max ads are showing, which may help advertisers with their brand safety efforts.

Unfortunately, the data only shows where ads have served and their impressions — not click data. Nevertheless, this data may help inform your campaigns. 

Google’s statement. “Placement reports for Performance Max campaigns are a new reporting resource for advertisers to easily see where on Google’s channels ads have served and associated impressions,” a Google spokesperson said, “We created these reports to give advertisers more transparency and assurance around where their ads are showing.”

Marketers should keep an eye on Performance Max campaigns. Introduced in October 2020, Google has steadily built out this automated campaign type. Support for it has been added to the Google Ads Insights page as well as within the Google Ads API.

Performance Max campaigns became available to all advertisers in November 2021. Google also announced that, beginning sometime in 2022, Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will be rolled into Performance Max, which might indicate that the company is trying to usher more advertisers to this campaign type.

The post Google Ads launches placement reports for Performance Max campaigns appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Sustainable SEO: How to focus on a lasting SEO strategy

Posted by on Jan 20, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Sustainable SEO: How to focus on a lasting SEO strategy

You’re probably familiar with SEO, but what do we mean by sustainable SEO? Well, it’s all about spending your time on the right things in order to outrank competitions in the search engines! But how do you keep doing SEO in an efficient and successful way? How do you keep ranking in the long run? If you’re not in it for the short-term success, but for the long haul. And is Artificial Intelligence (AI) a sustainable SEO solution? Read all about sustainable SEO in this blog post! 

What is sustainable SEO? 

Ranking in search engines usually doesn’t happen overnight. It’s hard work. So, if you do succeed in ranking high in Google, you want to keep ranking that high in Google. A good SEO strategy takes time and effort and is always focused on long-term results. In order to have a sustainable SEO strategy, you need to comply with Google’s mission. Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google wants to give people the information they find accessible and useful. That means that you need to make sure that your website provides just that. 

No games and no tricks

In the old days, SEO was all about tricks. You could write a text and mention your keyword in every other sentence. That would help with your ranking. Writing white text on a white background could fool Google. However, Google has gotten amazingly smart in understanding texts. The algorithm of Google is trying to mimic a human being. It tries to read texts like human beings. Therefore, it is not a good idea to stuff your writing with keywords, because texts like that are awful to read. Imagine yourself reading an article about car tires where almost every lines has the phrase “car tires” in it, most likely you will get annoyed and stop reading. The many different updates of Google – Panda, Hummingbird, BERT – have all shown us that Google ranks texts that are easy to read. Google wants to serve its users with accessible and useful information.

SEO should not be a game. SEO should not be about tricks. We often joke that the acronym of SEO actually stands for Seriously Effortful Optimization. This is because SEO requires efforts to succeed. Writing high-quality content, providing a good user experience (UX), and building a beautiful and accessible website is a lot of work. Shortcuts often lead to suboptimal results. Games and tricks lead to a bad user experience and penalties by Google.

Is Artificial Intelligence a trick?

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to write content is a shortcut. You don’t have to do the hard work. Does that mean that using AI cannot be part of a sustainable SEO strategy? Will it be bad for your rankings?

Not necessarily. The latest AI tools are actually quite good. They use natural language processing and actually draft readable, findable and optimized texts for the search engines without overdoing it at all. I tried out a couple of tools and was not disappointed at all. My favorite so far (although I haven’t done extensive research yet) is Copymatic. You can do a free trial and see how a text could read. I don’t think these AI-generated texts will hurt your rankings. In fact, these tools can actually help you write texts that are nice and easy to read.

Should I use AI to write content?

Indeed, AI can help you do the work when it comes to writing content. This does not mean, however, that writing is not an important skill, nor that AI can take over writing blog posts altogether. Texts written by AI do not provide any original ideas. If you want to write a text about guinea pigs, then the AI tool uses information that’s already out there on the internet to draft a text about guinea pigs. The AI isn’t able to come up with new information about guinea pigs. Perhaps that isn’t a big deal if you write about guinea pigs or if you draft a lot of product descriptions. But, for a lot of websites, original ideas are important.

I always state that high-quality content has three major demands. It should be original, it should be readable and it should be findable. The AI tools can help you make your content more readable and findable. However, your content will not be original if it is written entirely by AI. Writing is a means to get a certain message across. That’s why you should write content because you have a story to tell or a vision to share. It should be more than just some generated information about guinea pigs.

Is AI bad for sustainable SEO?

Using an AI tool to write your content is not necessarily a bad idea. In fact, it could even fit well into a sustainable SEO strategy. It all depends on how you use such a tool! You should be the architect of the story you want to tell. The idea, the message, the originality should come from you. And if you’re the architect who designs the building, then someone else can help do your construction work. If you use an AI tool to do the construction work for you, it could probably work out just fine! Just make sure to design an awesome story!

Some tips on how to do sustainable SEO 

What should you be doing if you focus on ranking in Google in the long run? Let’s check out our three top tips!

1. Write some awesome cornerstone content

First and foremost, make sure to write some really good articles on your website. It is of great importance that you put effort into writing articles with content that is evergreen and valuable for years to come. Those articles should be lengthy, well-optimized, readable little gems. Moreover, make sure to put in some SEO love and update such articles regularly.

2. Get your internal linking structure in good shape

Google has a hard time figuring out which content is the most important. Your internal linking structure is really important to help Google figure out where the most important content on your website is located. Internal linking is something you need to maintain and update regularly.

3. Regularly do keyword research

You need to make sure you’re writing about the topics your audience wants to read about. And that could very well change over time. So, every now and then you need to get inside the heads of your readers again. Which topics do they like, which words are they using to search and find your content? Is your keyword strategy still up to date or does it need refinement?

Conclusion: Sustainable SEO needs to be part of your routine!

In order to really have a sustainable SEO strategy, you need to have a routine. You just need to make sure to regularly evaluate what you’re doing. You can definitely use tools like Semrush for your keyword research or even an AI tool for your content.

Nonetheless, you should never stop thinking and evaluating yourself, as sustainable SEO has to do with carefully thinking about what content would benefit your user most. If you keep your audience in mind, you’ll always be on the right track. So whether you want to use AI tools or not, using our Yoast SEO plugin will always help you to focus on the most important things. Keep aiming for those green bullets and create a great user experience — it’s a strategy that will always stand the test of time.

Buy Yoast SEO Premium now!

Unlock powerful features and much more for your WordPress site with the Yoast SEO Premium plugin!

Get Yoast SEO Premium »Only $99 USD / per year (ex VAT) for 1 site

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Semrush acquires SEO training website Backlinko

Posted by on Jan 20, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Semrush acquires SEO training website Backlinko

Semrush acquires SEO training website Backlinko

Semrush, the SEO toolset provider, has acquired SEO training website Backlinko, the company announced Wednesday, for an unannounced sum.

Why we care. Semrush’s acquisition will likely strengthen the company’s own SEO education hub, Semrush Academy. This could make Semrush a more robust source of SEO knowledge and may help it pull away from other toolset providers.

Additionally, Backlinko draws in 500,000 organic visits a month, according to the announcement. Semrush is likely to market to those users to drive them further down its sales funnel.

Why Semrush may have acquired Backlinko. “The desire to acquire Backlinko was fueled by Semrush’s commitment to inspiring both the current and next generation of digital marketers,” according to the announcement.

In an email sent to Backlinko subscribers, Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko, explained that he wanted to further scale his business, but had hit a plateau in terms of what he could do on his own. “Then, out of the blue, I got an email that changed everything,” Dean wrote, sharing that he was approached for this deal by Max Roslyakov, SVP of marketing at Semrush.

Image: Sugandha Bansal.

Some SEOs have speculated about other potential reasons for the acquisition: “How much was Backlinko worth to Semrush? Breaking down courses, traffic, and estimated MRR from converting that traffic. What if a competitor came in?” tweeted Victor Pan, head of technical SEO at HubSpot.

“That’s what makes the acquisition itself the joke about our industry — A leading, listed tool company, buying a site, purely for the links gained by publishing nonsense,” Peter Mindenhall tweeted, suggesting that one of the motivators behind the deal was the acquisition of Backlinko’s backlink profile. Mindenhall’s remark about “publishing nonsense” refers to the mixed reception that some of the guidance in Backlinko’s content has garnered from the SEO community.

The future for Semrush/Backlinko. “On joining Semrush, Backlinko founder Brian Dean and his colleagues will continue to grow the Semrush community by creating and curating original content for the Semrush Academy,” according to the announcement.

“As part of my agreement with Semrush, I’ll still be working on Backlinko for the foreseeable future on a part-time basis,” Dean tweeted.

The post Semrush acquires SEO training website Backlinko appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Adobe Experience Manager Cloud Service Migration: Purpose Built Vs. Compatible

Posted by on Jan 20, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Adobe Experience Manager Cloud Service Migration: Purpose Built Vs. Compatible

As you prepare to migrate to Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service, know the significant difference in value of being compatible with vs. built for the platform.

10 Best Online Business Courses (Free & Paid)

Posted by on Jan 20, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 10 Best Online Business Courses (Free & Paid)

According to NASDAQ, the small business economy is set to soar in 2022 and beyond. Following the pandemic, countless entrepreneurs are leaving their previous roles behind to launch their own companies and pursue their professional passions. Of course, starting a business is no small feat. Even with the internet to make building and marketing your […]

The post 10 Best Online Business Courses (Free & Paid) appeared first on reliablesoft.net.

Supercharge Your SEO with A Keyword Generator

Posted by on Jan 20, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Supercharge Your SEO with A Keyword Generator

Supercharge Your SEO with A Keyword Generator

SEO keywords are vital to building high-quality content. Plus, you can get to know your target market better and give you valuable search data. Simplify your keyword research process now with an SEO keyword generator.

You will learn:

Understand SEO keywords, from what it is to their importanceKnow how to use an SEO keyword generator effectively

Whether you’re a big business trying to dominate the competition or an SEO agency working with small businesses, finding the right keywords is essential for improving a website’s rankings. Keywords and SEO are directly connected to running a successful search marketing campaign.

However, sometimes this work is not easy, especially when you started off from a blank canvas.

Getting the right SEO keywords is a delicate process involving trial and error, but the basics are easy to understand. This article will show you all the information needed to find the relevant keywords for your content marketing.

We will also show you how you can save time using a keyword generator. Let’s get started today!

Understand SEO keywords

What is an SEO keyword? 

“Keyword” is a popular term that we’ve all heard. If you’re new to SEO, you might be confused about what keywords are and why they’re so important.

SEO keywords are the words and phrases in your content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines. They are what your readers type to search for in the search engines.

The importance of SEO keywords:

In fact, according to Zero Limit Web, the first 5 organic results in the SERPs account for 67.6% of all clicks. 

When you align your content creation and optimization with the words, topics, products, and services your target audience is looking for, you have a better chance of showing up in the search results.

It’s true that SEO has many more elements than a keyword, but it arguably plays the most essential role throughout the process.

You need to know how people are looking for your products, services, or information and make it easier for them to find you. Otherwise, they’ll land on one of the many other pages in the Google results.

To drive search engine traffic, whether, through organic search or paid search advertisements, you need the right keywords. Do you know that 15% of all Google search terms have never been searched for before? 

While we certainly can’t optimize for that 15%, what we can do is to ensure that we show up for the rest of the 85%.

To rank for that 85%, you need to help the search engines understand what your page is about.

For example, if a blog post has a title tag with the keyword “best coffee shop,” and a list of the best coffee shops in your city, it is telling search engines that it’s a relevant page to show for people looking for a coffee shop in your city.

SEO keywords can bring your content to the next level.

As a result, SEO keywords give you a better chance of showing up in the search results.

It’s time to use an SEO keyword generator

What is it?

When creating website content, you need a tool that can help you write the most relevant content. An SEO keyword generator is one of these tools since it automates the keyword research process and shows you all the keywords that you should use in your content.

An SEO keyword generator is a tool that helps you come up with more keyword ideas based on exact match keywords and phrases. Some tools also show data like search volume and trends to help you analyze the effectiveness of keywords.

What can you do with an SEO keyword generator?

A keyword generator has a number of great features that give you information to do SEO better. For example:

Traffic estimations Keyword search volume and competitionBest keywords for a selected language or countryCPCHistorical data

An SEO keyword generator can give you a lot of information.

What do these data mean?

Search Volume: The number shows how frequently people searched the phrase in the last months. This is important to make sure the keywords are something people are actively looking for. If a keyword has 0 search volume, you probably want to look elsewhere.Cost-per-click: When you run a marketing campaign, you also need to consider your budget to run ads. The CPC data is extracted from Google AdWords so you can be sure of how valuable a keyword is. Keywords with higher CPC are usually more valuable, but they are also more expensive to target.Competition: This shows you how difficult or easy it is to rank for this keyword.

A good keyword generator can also help you find new trending keywords before the competition as their keyword suggestions are constantly updated based on search trends and topic popularity.

There are several SEO keyword tools that you can use to find keywords related to your business, both free and paid. To determine which you should use, you should consider which features you’ll need and your budget.

To help you shortlist the best tools, we introduce you to our 3 favorite generators: LSIGraph, BiQ and RankingGap. Let’s see what you can do with these SEO keyword generators.

LSIGraph

LSI keywords stand for Latent Semantic Indexing keywords, which can be understood as a list of related keywords under the main keyword’s umbrella.

Not only can you have one or two main keywords, but you can also have a list of related keywords with just as much search volume. As a result, you can link all of it up to build a list of high-ranking articles.

All you have to do is type in your primary keyword. Wait for a minute, and then you’ll be served with a list of related keywords, with data like trend, volume, CPC, and competition. 

LSIGraph can be accessed for free, but you can find the best features with the premium membership. With premium features, you’ll get access to LSV information, add to projects and be able to export keywords. Latent Semantic Value in LSIGraph considers the search volume, keyword competitiveness, and traffic potential from the database from over six years of service. 

LSIGraph has an algorithm that can tell you precisely how valuable an LSI keyword is. The number will range from 0 to 100, with 100 being the best and 0, the worst. Keywords with a high LSV will be the keywords that give you the best return with the least effort.

What’s even more? 

Unlimited LSI keywords search 24/7 (with extensive data on all the keywords you’ll need to rank.)Search volume data for the past 12 months of each LSI keyword.Latent Semantic ValueExclusive white-label reports give you free rein to customize the report.Project manager for every project and client. It can keep the details from the very first day you use LSIGraph. Add Semantic Writer

BiQ – Keyword Intelligence

BiQ allows you to conduct SEO keyword research in over 50 languages with long-tail key phrases and keywords. All these words are linked semantically to your main keywords. You only need to enter a single seed keyword for BiQ to generate numerous long-tail keywords. 

BiQ’s features include keyword intelligence, content intelligence, rank intelligence, and rank tracking, which helps you conduct local SEO and decipher customer behavior through keyword intent analysis.

As a result, you can also easily use BiQ to discover the ranking content and search snippets you should be targeting.

RankingGap – Identify the gap in keywords between you and your competitors

This tool can identify specific keyword gaps against your competitor. In the end, you can establish a laser focus strategy to reduce the gap and outrank them.

RankingGap isn’t just a keyword research tool but also a rank discovery tool. You can have a massive list of common (keywords you share with your competitors), missing (keywords you don’t have but all your competitors do), and unique (keywords only you have) views.

What is the next step?

You might wonder what you need to do after finding out your list of relevant keywords. Now you can make these SEO keywords work for your content and get SEO results like search-driven traffic, conversions, and so on.

Choose your keywords group.

Based on metrics and data from tools (such as CPC, volume, competition, latent semantic value, etc.), you can sort out the most valuable keywords for you.

Read more about search volume here: What is a Good Keyword Search Volume? The Ultimate Guide 

Then, keyword grouping is a step you must apply here to get the best use of these keywords. By dividing your keywords into small, manageable groups of related keywords, you’ll cut down on your workload.

To kick off this process, you can start thinking about the topics you want to rank for in generic buckets. About 5-10 topic buckets, essential to your business, are enough for you. Each of those topic buckets will have your related keywords.

Apply to your content

On the one hand, SEO best practices recommend that you include relevant keywords in a number of high-attention areas on your site, these are places like titles, headings, URL, and more.

For a more comprehensive list of where to use your SEO keywords, here are our suggestions:

Using the keyword in the title of the pageUsing the keyword in the URLUsing the related keyword, and variations, throughout the page copy (when relevant)Using the keyword in the meta tags, especially the meta descriptionUsing the keyword in any image file paths and the images’ alt extUsing the keyword as the anchor text links back to the page from elsewhere on the site

However, do not spam your keywords every part and do not force these words into your content. 

TL;DR

So now you have learned basic information about SEO keywords. Using the right SEO keywords can help you communicate with the SERPs and rank higher. You can also catch your target audience and gain more traffic to your sites. Although the finding keyword process can be complicated, an SEO keyword generator is vital for you to do online marketing work.

Remember that choosing the correct keywords is essential for a blog to succeed, but this is just one of the aspects to work on, and you cannot neglect other important factors. Be sure to re-evaluate these keywords every few months — once a quarter is a good benchmark. 

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Ultimate Formula: Tips To Create Click-Worthy Headlines

Now that you know the list of most effective words to create a headline, it’s time to plug them into a fool proof formula and start generating clicks.
We’re giving you all the tips you need to master creating a powerful headline that can gain you traction, don’t miss this!

20220120 SEL Brief

Posted by on Jan 20, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 20220120 SEL Brief

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Long-Form Content vs. Short-Form Content: Which Should You Use?

Posted by on Jan 20, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Long-Form Content vs. Short-Form Content: Which Should You Use?

Author | Amanda Sullivan – SEO Strategist at Brainlabs 

Bio | Amanda is an SEO Strategist with a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin. She joined the Brainlabs team in January 2021 after earning a certificate in Digital Marketing where she honed in on her passion for SEO. She enjoys spending her time working closely with her clients to find creative and tailored solutions to unique challenges.

We know that word count is not a ranking factor, but there are often queries where the best user experience is unlikely to be a page that contains only a sentence or two of text.  

Conversely, because longer content can be more costly to produce and maintain, it’s equally unlikely that writing a lengthy article for every page on your site is going to be the best strategy.

This conundrum can make it difficult to know where to start. 

The good news is that there are questions you can ask to help you make the best choice.

But before we dive into determining which content length is right for you, it’s important to understand the difference between long-form and short-form content, and whether either of these is better for SEO.

What Is Long-Form Content?

While the exact word count used to define each content length is up for debate, a reasonable definition of long-form content would be a text of 1,200 words or more.

This word count is most often seen in formats such as:

Whitepapers

E-books 

How-to-guides

Many blog posts

Long-form content is great for informative or evergreen topics that require an in-depth explanation or analysis.

What is Short-Form Content?

Short-form content is often simply a sentence or two, but technically it’s everything shorter than 1,200 words.

This shorter word count is more commonly seen in:

Emails

Social posts

Infographics

Short-form content is useful for seasonal topics that may lack the need for robust copy or product and category pages where the copy isn’t the main focus. Shorter news articles and blog posts can also fall under this category.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that short-form content has become more popular in mobile-first content strategies.

Which is Better for SEO?

While it appears that longer content outperforms its shorter counterparts based on industry studies, the correlation here does not imply causation.

This is because Google’s John Mueller has stated on multiple occasions that word count is not a ranking factor, indicating that long-form content success is not a direct result of Google’s algorithm rewarding word count.

Rather, it’s a demonstration that high-quality, long-form content more often provides better answers for queries than short-form content, the keyword here being quality.

In addition, high-quality, long-form content has a better track record of keeping users engaged with a website and is often more shareable, which can signal to Google that the site is valuable.

Finally, long-form content also appears to be better for acquiring backlinks which can pass authority onto a page and therefore boost rankings.

These factors work together to indicate a site’s overall authority which is otherwise more difficult to prove through shorter content. This is most likely the reason word count was previously thought to have a direct impact on ranking.

However, despite long-form content’s history of success, this does not mean that it is the definitive answer and it shouldn’t necessarily be considered the default.

So how do you choose?

Back to the Basics: Questions to Ask When Deciding Content-Length

The process of determining content length requires going back to marketing basics, centering on audience research, and putting the user’s needs first and foremost. 

With this in mind, here are five key questions to ask to answer the long-form vs. short-form content debate:

Who is your target audience?

Knowing who you’re writing for is the most important consideration when creating content. More specifically, what are users looking for, where are they looking for it, and how can the business help them?

Users who prefer how-to video content are not likely going to be interested in reading a 5,000-word blog post, whereas users who are conducting research may need as much information as possible from a written reference.

Provide your best answer and set up internal linking to take the user to the next step if your audience is one that prefers shorter, bite-sized content.

Understanding your audience, what information they seek, and which format they prefer is imperative in avoiding writing too little or too much.

What stage of the customer journey are they in?

What stage of the funnel the user is in is another great indication of what kind, and how much, content they’re looking for.

A new user may be looking for any and all information the business and its competitors may have on a topic. 

For example, if a user discovers they have a need for a home security system, they’ll need details around what to look for and why it’s important.

In this case, it’s necessary to put in the effort to provide the best answer with as much information as possible and without bleeding over into unrelated topics or search intents. 

Again, proper internal linking goes a long way here.

Contrarily, a more experienced user may be trying to decide between your business and a competitor and looking for the most straightforward comparison, pricing, or specs.

In the home security example, you would want to provide your security system’s price points and key differentiators in a quickly digestible and easy-to-read format. Shorter content would work better in this case.

Is the topic evergreen or seasonal?

If you’re having a difficult time determining the type, Google Trends is a great free tool to use when tracking down any trends surrounding a topic. 

Image source: Google Trends

If you’re refreshing content and data is available, you can additionally take a glance at your analytics to identify year-over-year patterns in page traffic specific to the business. Remember to notate any increases due to promotions or algorithm updates.

What type of content is performing well in the SERPs? 

Running a quick competitor analysis can be another avenue for determining which content length is likely to perform best.

The answer to this question is especially important if your writers have limited resources for content creation and need to hone in on the right content length on the first go. 

Generally speaking, if pages ranking in the top five positions contain more than 1,200 words on average, then long-form content is more likely to bring success and vice versa for short-form. 

Helpful Tip: The Ahrefs SEO Toolbar provides an easy way to quickly check the word count of top-ranking pages.

In the example below, the query “how to start camping” has an informational intent. Users are likely looking for a detailed article explaining camping for beginners, pointing to long-form content being the answer in this scenario.

Image source: Google 

However, it’s important to note that occasionally one competitor will rank with a couple of paragraphs or list, while others will rank for full-blown guides.

This is a good example of why it’s important not to put too much weight on word count. Consequently, never promise success based on content length recommendations.

Remember, correlation does not imply causation. Always focus on knowing your audience and answering their queries above all else.

What are the business’s goals?

Is the company trying to establish expertise and authority through a strong blog presence or is it summarizing product details on an e-commerce site?

What the business is trying to accomplish and the types of solutions offered can provide additional insight into what content length to go with.

This can seem contradicting if you’re following a user-centric strategy, but the two should go hand in hand if your marketing strategy is in alignment with overall business goals.

If your content is not performing, start with reevaluating the basics and making sure that your team’s goals are properly aligned through the questions above. How much content your audience is looking for can typically be identified through the answers.

If everything checks out, the next step would be looking into other areas that commonly affect SEO.

Other Considerations

Here are other factors that commonly play a big part in ranking and overall performance and should be taken into consideration alongside an optimal content strategy.

If your content is not ranking, take a look at: 

Technical SEO  

When was the last time you ran a technical audit? If the website is riddled with errors such as poor page speed or indexation issues, you may not see the benefits of content optimization.

Competitor Authority

How does your marketing budget and strategy stack up? If your competitors are overshadowing you with their revenue and years in the market, the fight to rank in the top ten positions of Google’s SERPs may be a long-term battle.

Content Quality

Is the copy bursting at the seams with information or is it lacking substance and direction? Long-form content can still be considered thin content if it’s just spinning its wheels and not benefiting the user. If possible, take time to audit the subject matter expertise of your writers to ensure you’re providing the best answer.

Backlink Quality

Are low authority domains or spammy websites linking to your site or content? If you don’t know the answer to this question, it’s time to do a backlink audit. After reviewing your findings, be sure to disavow links from any questionable sites to uphold a positive reputation.

SEO Best Practices

Look for any gray or black hat SEO practices that may impact your authority. While it’s not commonplace for marketers to outright implement black hat practices, it does happen. However, oftentimes it’s due to lack of knowledge around SEO best practices and therefore it’s worth double-checking with the broader team to ensure everyone knows how to go about boosting traffic and rankings the right way.

If your content is ranking but not converting, try reviewing:

Content Structure

If you’re waiting until the final paragraph to answer the user’s query, this could lead to high bounce rates and poor conversions in an era of shortened attention spans. When in doubt, try the inverted pyramid approach. Users can then decide if they want to digest every detail beyond the initial answer.

User Experience (UX/UI)

Is the website user-friendly or is it difficult to navigate? Unclear CTA’s, excessive internal linking, and lack of whitespace can all impact conversion rates.

While this is not an exhaustive checklist, these are some of the major culprits impacting rankings and conversions.

It’s important as an SEO to work with the broader marketing team to ensure your efforts and recommendations stand the best chance at making their intended impact. 

If possible, you should have conversations with the developers, CRO’s, and content writers to gauge their understanding of SEO and help bridge any gaps through education and collaboration.

Final Thoughts on Content-Length

The key takeaway is that there is no definitive answer on which content length is better. Oftentimes the answer is subjective and circumstantial.

What optimal content length ultimately comes down to is how much information the user appears to require in order to feel satisfactorily informed on a particular topic, in addition to what’s appropriate based on industry type, business goals, and topic type.

Whether you’re creating new content or simply refreshing, remember not to get too hung up on word count as the one thing that’s going to lead to big wins. Again, word count is not a ranking factor and anything pointing to this concept being fact is purely happenstance.

If you’re having trouble ranking, take a look at the larger marketing strategy to ensure teams are in alignment for the best outcome. 

If something is off, have conversations around how everyone can work together to get things moving in the right direction. This will undoubtedly have the biggest impact on SEO success in the long run.

How analyzing search data can improve your decision-making

Posted by on Jan 19, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How analyzing search data can improve your decision-making

How analyzing search data can improve your decision-making

Much like a physical marketplace, the online search environment has both its successful businesses and those that fail to gain traction. Matt Colebourne, CEO of Searchmetrics, used the analogy of a “high street” — the main area of commercial or shopping — to describe the current state of search marketing in his presentation at SMX Next.

“Just as you have the winners and the losers in the physical space, you have the same in the digital space; page two of Google or any search engine is fundamentally the ‘backstreet,’” he said. “That’s where a lot less audience is going to end up.”

Marketers have long used search data to optimize their content so it meets user needs. But many fail to apply those same insights to inform decisions that impact the long game.

“A lot of companies make the mistake of optimizing for growth way too soon,” Colebourne said. “They settled for their current product set and their question becomes, ‘How can we optimize sales of what we have?’ Whereas the questions they should be asking are, ‘What are the sales that we could have? How much of our target market do we have right now?’”

Each day Google processes over 3.5 billion searches, which provides marketers with a wealth of data. Here are three reasons why analyzing this search data improves marketers’ decision-making processes.

Search data shows where your growth is coming from

“Currently, about 15% of search terms that appear on Google every month are new,” said Colebourne, “So, that starts to give you an inkling of the pace of change that we have to deal with. We see trends come and go in months, and some cases even weeks. And as businesses, we have to respond.”

Many organizations focus too much energy on driving growth while neglecting to determine where that growth is coming from. And in this digital age, there’s a good chance much of it is coming from search. This data offers marketers valuable insights, especially those relating to their industry segment.

“You have to understand how your industry and category is structured and ask the right questions,” he said. “If, for example, you sell specialty sports shoes, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to compare yourselves with Nike or similar companies who have much much bigger coverage, but may not be leaders in certain segments.”

It helps address your most significant decision-making challenges

Data — specifically search data — should be part of any company’s core decision-making process. To show how often brands use it, Colebourne highlighted a survey from Alpha (now Feedback Loop) that asked 300 managers how they made decisions.

“The question they asked was, ‘How important or not important is it to you to use data to make decisions?’” said Colebourne. “And I think nobody is going to be surprised by the results — 91% think data-driven decision-making is important . . . But the corollary to this question was, ‘How frequently or infrequently do you use that?’”

Source: Matt Colebourne

The answer was just 58%.

Clearly, knowing search data is valuable isn’t enough to be successful — marketers need to use these insights from searchers to make better business decisions. Otherwise, they’re going to miss out on a good source of traffic insights.

“65% of all e-commerce sessions start with a Google search,” Colebourne said. “I would argue that makes it a good source for decision-making. It’s a massive sample set, completely up to date, and it’s continually refreshed.”

Search data gives you more consumer context

“That [search] data — sensibly managed and processed — can show you the target market and provide you with the consumer demand,” said Colebourne. “It can show you if the market is growing or contracting.”

Source: Matt Colebourne

Analyzing search data can give marketers a clearer view of their consumers, especially for those groups they haven’t reached yet. Reviewing what people are searching for, how often they’re searching and how your competitors are addressing the challenge can make decision-making that much easier.

But more than that, marketers must look at the marketplace as a whole, using search data to inform decision-making.

“We’re all very focused on keywords and rankings and all these good things that we know how to manage,” Colebourne said. “But what we need to do is step beyond that and not just look at what we have or what competitors have, but look at the totality of the market.”

“Let’s look at the input search data to understand what the real demand is and how big this market is,” he added.

Watch the full SMX Next presentation here (free registration required).

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