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Google to sunset old Search Console message panel

Posted by on Jun 13, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google to sunset old Search Console message panel

Google to sunset old Search Console message panel

Google Search Console will sunset the old legacy version of messaging starting on August 1, 2022. If you try to access the legacy version of the Search Console message panel, you will be presented with a notice that reads “Important: This report won’t be available after Aug 1, 2022. Please use the new Message panel instead.”

The notice. Here is a screenshot of the notice that I can see for one of my verified sites in Google Search Console:

All messages moved. There is no need to worry, back in February 2022, Google moved all messaging from the old Search Console to the new Search Console. Google said then it has “finished the migration of all the messages into the new Search Console interface.” As a result of this, you should expect even “more user messages in the messages panel.”

More details. When Google rolled out the new Google Search Console in 2018, not everything was migrated from the old to the new platform. In fact, there are still several tools in Search Console that are not yet migrated. In 2019, Google revamped the Search Console messages into a bell icon in its own panel. But not all messages were found in that section when that launched. Now, all messages should be accessible in that message panel and the old version will go away in the next several weeks.

Why we care. It is now easier for you to see all the messages you would be getting from Google Search Console in one place. It might be a bit overwhelming to see all these messages, but don’t worry, scan through them and anything that seems concerning or important, speak to your SEO consultant, agency or developer for their assistance.

Removing the old version will force some of you who continue to check those messages to just focus on one message panel going forward, hopefully saving you time and resources.

The post Google to sunset old Search Console message panel appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Top 7 SEO tips for WordPress sites

Posted by on Jun 13, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Top 7 SEO tips for WordPress sites

Top 7 SEO tips for WordPress sites

If your WordPress site rank is not performing as expected, all hope is not lost.

There are a couple of things you can do to improve your SEO ranking. The seven methods outlined below are quick, simple, and proven to show results.

1. Make sure HTTPS is enabled

Using an SSL certificate to secure your website lets your viewers know your site is secure, which helps with ranking.

SSL certificates are available both free and paid. Once you have an SSL certificate installed for your site, use a plugin like Really Simple SSL to assure your content is served from the secure protocol.

2. Optimize your URLs

A good permalink structure is crucial to SEO-friendly URLs.

WordPress gives you this functionality from installation, but you can make changes to it with plugins for more modifications.

URL optimization is important when optimizing your pages on your site for certain search queries and keyword phrases.

Placing your primary keyword in the URL is considered a best practice for on-page SEO.

When a search engine crawls your site, it’s easy for them to understand what your content is about.

3. Use an SEO plugin

SEO plugins are a great way to diagnose and improve both technical and on-page SEO recommendations. Consider installing one of these recommended plugins.

Yoast SEO – One of WordPress’s most popular plugins. The free version of Yoast boasts tools to help optimize your content for SEO and improve overall readability.

Rank Math – Rank Math has an intuitive panel on your page or post that allows you to see changes that would positively affect your SEO.

4. Meta descriptions

Meta descriptions or tags is an element that summarizes the content of your post or page. It gives search engines a brief description of what they will read or find on your website.

A meta description should not be longer than 275 characters long as that is all Google will display.

A compelling meta description can bring more readers to your post, adding to your SEO rank. You will want to add your keyword to your meta description for easy lookups and add it to your content.

5. Craft good content

High-quality content is one of the best ways to improve your SEO. Good quality content goes deeper than the material you write or create on your website.

Assure you have a deep understanding of the subject you are writing about and do some keyword research to best capture your audience’s attention.

Avoid creating duplicate content on your site. Duplicate content refers to ideas or topics that have already been created or discussed on your website and will negatively affect your SEO score.

A good model to follow is the E-A-T model, which creates trust with your user and an overall better SEO ranking.

What is E-A-T content? Google uses search quality guidelines to ensure the content on a site is good for users. It is not a ranking factor for SEO, but it affects how your content is read.

E-A-T stands for the expertise of the writer, authoritativeness of the content or site itself and trustworthiness of the content provided.

Assuring your website has an about us page will show your authoritativeness and expertise to your readers. Because of this, collaborating with other experts contributes to your SEO.

6. Site optimization

Today, site speed is another important factor for SEO optimization, as serving content as fast as possible is what a lot of users need—every second matters.

Use a hosting provider that is optimized for your WordPress site with options such as NGINX or Redis for server-side caching.

An example of WordPress optimized hosting is InMotion Hosting’s Ultrastack, which uses NGINX to intelligently cache frequently-used resources to save memory.

Images should also be optimized. If they are too large or take too long to load, it will strain your website. Using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to serve your content helps reduce load times.

The Jetpack plugin provides a free image CDN, but there are other hosting resources that can be used such as Cloudflare.

If your current hosting provider does not provide server-side caching, you can use a caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache or WP Rocket.

7. Keep an eye on your analytics

Google Search Console and Google Analytics go hand in hand to track how your website is performing. These metrics give you detailed information about how visitors interact with the content on your website.

Other resources are Bing’s Webmaster Tools and third-party options such as Semrush.

Utilizing these tools also allow you to review your keyword rate, as well as site speed.

Final words

SEO can be challenging, especially if you are a new website creator or small business owner; however, keeping the tips above in mind will help you along the way. Having the right foundation to start and creating good quality content will ensure your website and media rise to the top.

Get WordPress Hosting that’s optimized for performance and SEO.

The post Top 7 SEO tips for WordPress sites appeared first on Search Engine Land.

6 Amazon marketing strategies to implement in 2022

Posted by on Jun 13, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 6 Amazon marketing strategies to implement in 2022

Amazon’s reign as the king of ecommerce won’t end any time soon.

More than 2 billion people visit Amazon each month, according to Statista.

So, how do you stand out and generate more sales? 

The core belief behind Amazon’s algorithm is straightforward. They want customers to continue buying. They are interested in sales just as much (if not more) than you are as a seller.

The difference? Amazon doesn’t have any loyalty toward any brand other than their own.

More sales lead to higher rankings, which in turn, leads to more sales.

But how can you get past the chicken vs. egg scenario to start seeing improvements?

Here are the six marketing strategies you can use to grow your Amazon sales.

1. Cover the basics 

Tips and tricks don’t replace solid marketing fundamentals. In general, you should be thinking in terms of strategy, not just tactics. 

Do you have high-quality photos and strong copy? How are you positioning your brand/product? Are your prices competitive or is your product differentiated? 

These matter on every channel —  especially Amazon. You can’t start optimizing until your basics are covered.

2. Reanalyze your keywords and focus on keyword relevancy

Amazon’s algorithm may be focused on customers buying products, but that is similar to saying Google’s algorithm is focused on providing the best answer. While it may be true, a lot of variables and nuances go into rankings. This includes:

Ratings.Sales fulfillment.Sales velocity. Inventory.Pricing.CTR.

With the A10 Algorithm update (which seems to be based on several updates throughout the years instead of one major update), matching the shopper’s interest/intent has taken center stage. Amazon is attempting to show products based more on searchers vs. their own profitability. 

While you may have done keyword research when you first set up your product detail page, shopping behaviors may have changed. You should regularly conduct keyword research and make sure you have the terms placed throughout the product detail page. This includes important areas like title, description, and bullet points.

This isn’t simply stuffing keywords in your copy. You still have to write for shoppers in a way that drives conversions. The algorithm may rank your product, but it doesn’t buy it. 

Shoppers are the ones reading and making the decision whether to purchase. Your copy must help convince them that your product is the right choice.

3. Invest more in advertising

As expected, Amazon Advertising continues to grow and be an essential part of the company’s revenue.

Amazon’s ad revenue was more than $31 billion in 2021. That’s more than triple its 2018 ad revenue of $10 billion.

If you want to be successful on Amazon, an ad campaign is a must.

Amazon rewards sales and running Amazon ads allows you to get those sales. Unlike Google Ads, where paid ads have no impact on organic placement, Amazon does. You can stimulate sales velocity and improve your rankings by investing more in Amazon Ads. 

As the competition continues to grow, so does the cost.

The good news is that Amazon also continues to refine its ads platform to give you more options and data to improve your Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS). ACoS is calculated by dividing your ad spend by your ad revenue and multiplying it by 100.

4. Bring in more off-Amazon traffic

Amazon is dominant online and they want to remain that way. A good way to do that is to get traffic from other sites. That is why Amazon does take into account traffic that leads to sales from off-Amazon channels like Google and Facebook. 

Take advantage of the Brand Referral Bonus program and create an external traffic campaign for your product listings. Whether it is Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or any other type of campaign to drive traffic, you can set yourself up to receive a commission from Amazon and higher organic listings for your products when done properly.

5. Use a coupon with Amazon advertising

Everyone loves a discount and a good deal. You can play off both psychological triggers by running a coupon for your sponsored product ads. 

Sponsored product ads allow your product to be shown within the search results for specific terms.

When you run a coupon at the same time searchers can see your product with a discount. This not only helps the CTR from the search results but also leads to a higher conversion rate – both crucial metrics for successful Amazon marketing strategies.

In many cases, it isn’t even the amount of the coupon that makes the difference, but simply having one is enough.

Even if you can’t offer a coupon with advertising and turn a sustainable profit on your sales, you should still consider it for a period of time. The improvements in your rankings could lead to higher sales well past the full advertising blitz.

Keep your guard up, however, because you are never operating in a silo. Competitors will always be after your market share. 

6. Invest in high-quality videos

Photos still get most of the attention (rightfully so), but videos have earned their place among the must-haves when it comes to listing quality.

The more information you can give to potential buyers to make them understand and trust your product the higher your sales and the better your reviews will be. 

These four video tips may help you produce more sales from your Amazon listing:

Shoot a video describing and using your products.Make sure you have a plan to address the pain points your product solves and highlight other important differentiating factors.Highlight how your product compares to others and show it being used with a lifestyle video to determine what resonates most with your buyers.Keep it focused on sales.

Remember, Amazon wants happy customers and more sales — just like you. 

Even though it may feel like it, it isn’t you vs. Amazon. It is you vs. the other products someone would buy instead of yours on Amazon.

Keep strategy focused on awareness and conversion. If you implement the right strategy, Amazon should reward you with higher rankings. 

The post 6 Amazon marketing strategies to implement in 2022 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Twitter removes nofollow attribute from links in tweets

Posted by on Jun 10, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Twitter removes nofollow attribute from links in tweets

Twitter removes nofollow attribute from links in tweets

Twitter has removed the nofollow link attribute from Twitter posts, tweets, in its source code. It is unclear if Twitter removed this attribute on purpose or not and if even search engines, like Google, would value links from Twitter or not.

Timing. According to Chris Silver Smith, Twitter removed the nofollow link attribute sometime in the past couple weeks or so. He said on Twitter “Twitter is apparently no longer using rel=”nofollow”. This includes links you find on “profiles, tweets, and other pages on Twitter may now contain followed links,” he said.

SEO folks, you might be interested to know that Twitter is apparently no longer using rel="nofollow". So, profiles, tweets, and other pages on Twitter may now contain followed links! Observations pic.twitter.com/P5ldLSfaxq

— Chris Silver Smith (@si1very) June 10, 2022

Back in 2008, former search quality lead and spam fighter, Matt Cutts, posted that Twitter added the nofollow link attribute to bio sections on Twitter. Within a year later, Twitter added the attribute to all tweets and other sections of their site.

Will these links count? It is hard to know if Google or Bing or other search engines will start to now follow and count links found on Twitter.com and within tweets. We know Google can sometimes treat links that do not have a nofollow attribute, as if it does have a nofollow attribute. I would assume Google would by default do that with most social networks, including Twitter, because user generated content and links, are hard to trust in general.

Will it last. Also, I suspect Twitter will soon add the nofollow link attribute back to external links as soon as they hear about this publicly. So this may be short-lived. We have reached out to Twitter for a statement.

Why we care. Twitter is one of the largest social networks and is used heavily by SEOs and marketers. If links remain unfollowed, it potentially might lead to more link spam on that network and both hurt the usefulness of Twitter and potentially the value of links in general on Twitter.

But again, I really don’t think Twitter intentionally removed the nofollow but we will see.

The post Twitter removes nofollow attribute from links in tweets appeared first on Search Engine Land.

YouTube lifts some restrictions for mastheads ads

Posted by on Jun 10, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on YouTube lifts some restrictions for mastheads ads

Google has just announced that they are pulling back restrictions on some previously prohibited categories from showing on the YouTube masthead. 

Effective today. Google will now allow booking for masthead ads for the following categories:

Sports betting (US only)Alcohol (where legal)Prescription drugs (US, CA, NZ)

What Google says. A spokesperson from Google stated “We’re constantly reviewing our ad requirements  to improve our products and services. Given the evolving regulatory landscape for sports betting and following our successful implementation of our new “per market” YouTube masthead format, we believe that this decision balances the needs of advertisers and consumers.”

Categories for election and political ads, as well as (non-sports) gambling remain restricted.

Additional YouTube masthead changes. In 2020 we reported on Google’s announcement that they would discontinue full-day masthead reservations and replace them with more targeted options. The new CPM option allowed mastheads to be more accessible to a broader market of advertisers. 

View the changelog. You can view the changelog and new policies here.

Why we care. Mastheads are just one of many YouTube and Google advertising formats, and only a fraction of overall ad impressions for YouTube on any single day. But advertisers in any one of the previously restricted categories above can now select that placement, giving them more options for their ad campaigns.  

The post YouTube lifts some restrictions for mastheads ads appeared first on Search Engine Land.

10 quick and easy tips from LinkedIn for creators

Posted by on Jun 10, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 10 quick and easy tips from LinkedIn for creators

10 quick and easy tips from LinkedIn for creators

Want to publish great content on LinkedIn? 

Coming up with content ideas can be a challenge.

Sometimes the hardest part is coming up with the right idea.

It also can be easy to talk yourself out of your own ideas.

So if you’re in need of some ideas or inspiration, here are 10 quick and easy tips to come up with topics.

All of the following tips were provided by various LinkedIn for Creators team members during their live What Creators Need to Know: Episode 4. I’ve summarized those for brevity and also sprinkled in a few of my own thoughts to add some context.

1. Look up common hashtags

Focus on hashtags that are used by, and relevant to, your industry.

Click on the hashtag to find high-performing posts. Use this for some inspiration on topics.

However, don’t steal or slightly reword posts from other creators. You will probably be called out.

2. Talk about timely topics

This can be current events or industry news. You can also use LinkedIn’s trending section to find popular news stories and conversations, which you can use as inspiration for your next post.

Do you have to weigh in on partisan or controversial issues? That’s your call. Just know that your post could get filtered out if it’s political or you could lose followers who disagree with you.

3. Experiment with formats and publishing times

Try out a variety of content formats – mix up photo, video and text posts. See what works with your audience.

If you do livestreams, for example, figure out what works best for your audience. Try out a couple of different days of the week and times of day to see which gets you the most views. 

Consider polling your followers to find out when they would be most likely to watch. Once you figure out your time, be consistent to make watching you a habit. 

4. Quality over quantity

Not every LinkedIn post has to go viral.

Focus on creating content that could directly help one person – or even just a few people. 

If that post also happens to go viral, that’s an awesome bonus.

But numbers shouldn’t be the only way you measure success.

Before hitting Post, think about your audience. Could you content help them:

Become better at their job.Advance in their career.Solve a problem they’re experiencing.Learn something new. Understand current events, an issue, or other types of changes.

5. Share your truth

The good, the bad, the ugly. Show your personality. 

People want to see your real life, voice and story.

LinkedIn is a professional network, but that doesn’t mean you always have to be super polished and super professional.

6. Spark conversations – and keep them going. 

Ask your audience a question that will elicit a response and also encourage them to share their insights and thoughts. Help keep the conversation going by responding to comments.

Aside from adding questions to your post, you can use polls or tag others who you think would be beneficial to the conversation or anyone your audience would like to hear from. 

That said, tag wisely. Don’t just make a post and tag dozens of your contact – those people may find it annoying and it may do more harm than good.

Also, avoid sales pitches.

You want to be approachable. Selling is the exact opposite of being approachable. It will turn off people and can hurt your engagement.

7. Be authentic

Be yourself. Tell your story. Just be you and stay true. 

Hair, makeup, lighting, audio – it doesn’t always have to be perfect. Show up as your best, most authentic self. Do what you love and show it on video.

I believe it was Dr. Seuss who said “There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

8. Share your experiences

Share your entire journey with your followers – your wins, challenges, losses, and everything else in between.

Be vulnerable. Be open with your audience. 

Great content doesn’t have to be perfect. Life is a little messy – so record it.

9. Stop overthinking content

Approach content with a mindset of documenting rather than creating all the time. 

Things you read or hear, conversations you have, questions you answer, problems you solve – all of this is content just waiting to be created every day.

10. Ask for a quarter off for metrics

This ties back to experimenting. 

Sometimes you need space to test, learn and set a baseline to measure performance. It typically takes time to see results on a new platform – so the last thing you want to do is think you have no traction when, in fact, you’re just starting to build the traction you will need for start seeing tangible results in three, six, or 12 months.

The best time to start creating great content on LinkedIn was years ago. But the second-best time is now.

The post 10 quick and easy tips from LinkedIn for creators appeared first on Search Engine Land.

LinkedIn announces boosting for Event posts

Posted by on Jun 10, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on LinkedIn announces boosting for Event posts

LinkedIn announces boosting for Event posts

LinkedIn has just announced that they’re expanding the Boost button to the LinkedIn Events page. This means that advertisers will be able to promote events and drive registrations.

Last year LinkedIn gave advertisers a new feature to Boost organic posts from their page. This allowed them to promote an organic post to more of their followers, or specific professional audiences of their choice. 

How it works. To Boost an event, simply navigate to the Boost button on your Events page. Select the target audience you want to see the ad. Set the schedule, and budget, and enter the payment info. This will create an event ad that will appear in the feed of professionals you’ve selected as your target audience. 

What LinkedIn says. “Over the last few years, we have seen virtual events bringing communities together. Companies across industries have used LinkedIn Events to promote their content and continue building on their community of professionals.”

Learn more. Read the full article here.

Why we care. Boosting posts isn’t new. Facebook has been allowing advertisers to boost posts for years. The option allows time-sensitive content to be shared easily, without having to navigate the ads manager dashboard. This week LinkedIn also announced the introduction of a centralized Business Manager. While we’re glad they’re finally catching up to where the rest of the platforms have been, we are curious, what’s next?

The post LinkedIn announces boosting for Event posts appeared first on Search Engine Land.

15 Market Research Tools That Will Help You Uncover Incredible Insights

Posted by on Jun 10, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 15 Market Research Tools That Will Help You Uncover Incredible Insights

15 Market Research Tools That Will Help You Uncover Incredible Insights

In a world of increasing competition, understanding your target market is vital.

Conducting thorough research of past, current, and prospective customers helps you uncover insights to improve your product or create more effective marketing messages.

Those insights don’t have to be hard-won, either. Thanks to new tools and data sources, businesses no longer have to rely on traditional methods like surveys and focus groups.

Ready to learn what your audience really wants? These are the 15 best market research tools to use.

Benefits of Leveraging Marketing Research

There’s a reason the global revenue of the market research industry has more than doubled since 2008 and is now valued in excess of $76.5 billion. It comes with a heap of benefits. Any business wanting to improve their product or launch a new marketing campaign will be at a significant disadvantage without it.

Market research keeps your target audience at the center of every decision. By understanding their needs and desires, you can tailor everything from your product to your marketing to your customer. In doing so, you’ll reduce the number of bad customer experiences—one or two of which are enough to make 66 percent of customers switch to a competitor.

Market research tools can also help you discover new business opportunities and threats. New markets become obvious when speaking to customers and understanding their behavior. So, too, do competitors and external threats that could threaten your business if you don’t act.

Ultimately, using market research will give you a huge competitive advantage. That’s because of the benefits above and because less than 40 percent of marketers are using consumer research to drive decisions.

How to Use Marketing Research Data in Your Marketing

You can leverage market research data in several ways, but using it to inform and optimize your marketing strategy, from campaign creation to execution, is one of the most powerful.

For instance, market research can ensure your new product launch goes off without a hitch. Almost half of all product launches are delayed, and 20 percent fail to meet targets. By understanding exactly what customers want, a successful product launch simply becomes a case of delivering it.

Market research can also help you focus your marketing efforts on areas where you have a competitive advantage. By understanding what customers are really searching for, you could identify untapped markets with very little competition in terms of paid ads or SEO. Focusing your efforts here, rather than on saturated verticals, will send your ROI soaring.

Finally, you can use market research data to optimize your marketing efforts after launch. Analyzing social media and other types of user engagement data can highlight how effective each message is so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

5 Best Free Marketing Research Tools

You don’t have to spend a dime to get the benefits of marketing research. There are plenty of free market research tools out there. I’ve highlighted five of my favorites below.

1. Google Trends

Google Trends shows you what people are searching for on Google. It was introduced in 2006 and tracks the popularity of topics over time by location. You can see exactly how popular searches are for Taylor Swift in the U.S. this year. Or how searches for Brexit have declined in the U.K. since 2019.

At the time of writing, Google processes 102,000 searches every second. That’s 88 billion searches every day, making it the largest and most valuable search data source in existence. Google Trends gives you access to that data in a categorized and aggregated way.

Enter a trend and Google will show you how trendy that term is with a line graph and give you a score out of 100. You can also compare different terms.

Pros

easy to usevisually appealinghuge amount of data

Cons

doesn’t show the exact search volumerelated topics aren’t always relevant

Price

Free.

2. Facebook Page Insights

Facebook Page Insights is a fantastic and free market research if you use Facebook to market your business. If you don’t use Facebook for marketing yet, you probably should. With 2.9 billion monthly active users, it’s one of the best social media platforms for marketing.

The tool provides insights into your audience, post performance, and the health of your pages. You can use the tool to see who likes your page and why, which posts get the most engagement, and learn how to increase the reach of your content.

If you’re struggling to get started, Facebook offers two courses: one on how to generate insights and make data-driven recommendations and one on how to make the most of marketing insights.

Pros

unparalleled insight into your Facebook audienceeasy to usecourses available

Cons

limited to your Facebook pagesnot as comprehensive as it once was

Price

Free.

3. Think With Google

Think With Google is one of the search giant’s lesser-known tools, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful. It’s a free-to-use resource library of facts and figures based on Google’s own data and other research that can supercharge your marketing efforts.

If you want a broad understanding of what’s going on in the world, Think With Google is a great starting point. Search the platform, and you can uncover marketing trends, understand the latest consumer behavior and find the insights you need to drive your marketing strategy.

The site is split into four areas (Consumer Insights, Marketing Strategies, Future of Marketing, and Tools) which you can use to find the insights you’re looking for.

Pros

huge resource of statistics and studieseasy to usegreat for marketing research

Cons

limited to marketing studies

Price

Free.

4. Living Facts

As part of the Pew Research Center, LivingFacts provides a free overview of how Americans live today. It’s bursting with research, statistics, infographics, and videos that can help you understand the opinions of your U.S. customers on everything from religion and work to health and family.

The site gets its data from several sources, including the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel, the U.S. Census Bureau, and other reputable organizations. If that wasn’t reassuring enough, you should know the Pew Research Center has over 160 staff members and 11 different research teams. In other words, you can trust the data on LivingFacts.

Pros

great for understanding U.S. demographicshuge amount of free informationunderstand your target audience across multiple topics

Cons

limited to the U.S.research can be too basic for some

Price

Free.

5. U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau website lets you search U.S. census data for free. The Bureau of the Census conducts over 130 surveys a year (which are used to allocate billions of dollars in federal funds), making it an in-depth source of reliable data.

You can filter by several variables, including age, location, and income. It also provides visualization of some data sets. One interesting way to use this data set is to filter the results using your business’ NAICS code to see where and with whom your industry is most popular. This is a great way to discover new target markets.

Pros

one of the biggest demographic resources onlineeasy to search through reports

Cons

limited to the U.S.older census reports can become outdated quickly

Price

Free.

10 Best Paid Marketing Research Tools

Free market research tools are a great way to dip your toes into the industry. However, there will always be limitations when you don’t pay for the data. If you’re serious about market research, you’re going to want to pay for premium access. These are the best paid market research tools to use.

1. SurveyMonkey

So far, we’ve only discussed secondary data sources. If you want to collect your own market research data, polls and surveys are one of the best methods. SurveyMonkey is one of the best and most popular tools to use, with over 20 million questions answered using the platform each day.

The company’s enterprise-grade platform makes it easy to create, send out, and analyze surveys. Surveys can be sent via a link, email, social media, or embedded into a web page. You can browse through individual responses or use the tool’s custom reports and charts to visualize data.

Pros

easy to usegood template selectiongreat free plan

Cons

analytics could be improvedlack of customer support

Price

Basic plan is free. Standard plan costs $99 per month.

2. Statista

Statista is a hub of visual data, market research reports, and statistics. It collates data from several reputable sources, turning most of them into graphs and charts that are easy to digest. Because Statista’s data is continually updated, you can keep coming back to the same chart year after year to see how trends are changing.

The site has data on almost any topic you can imagine, making it a great way to discover consumer behavior and market trends, no matter your business.

Getting started with Statista is as easy as searching for a particular topic. The site’s search functionality is excellent and will return hundreds of reports and dashboards that you can use to influence or support your marketing efforts.

Pros

one of the best statistical resources onlinegreat UXeasy to search for data

Cons

free plan is limitedvisuals aren’t the best

Price

Basic account is free. Premium account costs $59 per month.

3. Typeform

Typeform is another survey-based market research tool and an alternative to SurveyMonkey. It benefits from a more user-friendly design with a bunch of pre-made templates, making it easy to create forms and online surveys that you can send to customers. Typeform drives more than 500 million digital interactions every year and integrates with hundreds of other apps.

You can format questions in multiple ways, including multiple-choice, scale ratings, and open-ended answers—perfect for collecting quantitative and qualitative data. You can even use conditional logic to change the structure of your survey based on a respondent’s answers.

The respondent experience is also different. Unlike other survey tools, respondents are only shown a single question at a time. This makes for a more user-friendly and less intimidating experience that can increase the number of responses.

Pros

easy to userespondent-friendlystrong data visualizationmobile-optimized

Cons

lack of customer supportdata reporting isn’t amazing

Price

Limited free plan available. Premium plans start from $25 per month billed annually.

4. ​​Buzzsumo

Think of Buzzsumo as the content marketing and social media market research tool. It analyzes over 8 billion articles and 300 trillion social engagements, so you can see which topics or types of content receive the most engagement, what’s getting shared on social media, and find influencers who can help increase the reach of your content.

This makes Buzzsumo an incredibly effective market research tool for any marketer looking to put together a content marketing strategy. There’s no need to second guess what’s going to rank well and receive engagement when you can use Buzzsumo to see what’s getting traction at the moment.

There are several ways you can use Buzzsumo. The easiest way is to use the tool’s Content Analyzer to search for a topic and see which articles have the most engagement. You can also set up alerts to monitor mentions of a particular optic or keywords.

Pros

accurate social share countsgreat for competitor research

Cons

doesn’t include every social media channelfiltering could be better

Price

Free plan available. Premium plans start from $99 per month.

5. Qualtrics

Qualtrics is an all-in-one market research tool. From creating advanced surveys to segmenting markets and analyzing data, Qualtrics does it all. Create your own survey to gather data or upload an existing data set and Qualtrics will run statistical tests and apply visualizations to help you gather insights.

There’s no need to spend time finding respondents for your surveys, either. You can use the platform to find a representative sample of your target audience and have them fill in your survey.

There’s even on-demand training to help you get the most from the platform.

Pros

easy to build surveysexcellent data reporting

Cons

software has a steep learning curvelimited customization of surveys

Price

Plans start from $1500 per annum.

6. Qualaroo

Qualaroo is an advanced customer survey tool that helps you ask the right questions at the right times. What separates Qualaroo from other survey tools is that you can embed surveys into your site, allowing you to catch users in real-time, with context. That makes their responses significantly more valuable and insightful.

Creating surveys is easy thanks to a wide range of templates and customization options. Analyzing and reporting results is also a breeze thanks to the platform’s AI-powered analytics tool. There are also tons of other features like dozens of answer types, branching questions, and automatic language translation.

Pros

easy to create and deploy surveysanalytics reduces reporting timeeasy to learn

Cons

pre-built templates can be genericdashboards could be improved

Price

Plans start from $80 per month.

7. BrandMentions

BrandMentions is another social media monitoring platform similar to Buzzsumo but with a greater emphasis on social media. It estimates it currently analyzes billions of social media mentions for over 10,000 companies.

You can use the tool to quickly understand social media users’ opinions on practically any topic. Simply search for a keyword, and BrandMentions will display the most recent social posts as well as the context in which it was used. So not only do you see what people are saying, you understand the broader sentiment around the topic.

The tool also shows a range of other metrics, including how many people view the topic each day, how many people engage with the topic, and which days the topic trends on.

Pros

great for social media researchcan also be used for brand monitoringintuitive UX

Cons

can be time-consuming to automate reportsonly analyzes social media data

Price

Plans start from $99 per month.

8. Gartner

Global research and advisory firm Gartner is a heavyweight when it comes to market research. The company has three core services (trusted insights, strategic advice, and practical tools). We’re only going to focus on its trusted insights offering here.

Trusted insights offer an incredible amount of detailed, verified, and peer-driven research. It’s a fantastic way to identify trends in your industry, spot gaps in the market, and discover other insights to power your business.

These reports are at another level compared to other research teams. Gartner boasts over 2,000 research experts and several proprietary research methodologies to deliver objective and unmatched insights.

Pros

unmatched insightsunbiased data

Cons

very expensive

Price

Plans start at $30,000.

9. Tableau

Tableau is a business intelligence suite centered around data visualization. You can connect to almost any data source and Tableau will transform that data into beautiful visual reports that make it easy to analyze and share with stakeholders.

You don’t need to know any code to use Tableau, and the tool makes it easy to be as broad or granular as you like with data analysis. Import data from tons of different data sources, like PDFs, spreadsheets, and Google Analytics.

Tableau is a trusted market research tool for some of the country’s biggest companies, including Verizon, Lenovo, and Charles Schwab.

Pros

best visual data reporting toolacts as a central repository for dataanalyzing data is easy

Cons

can be slow to upload large data sourcesrequires you to source your own data

Price

Tableau Explorer starts at $42.

10. Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is one of the best tools for doing SEO and PPC-focused market research. Put a phrase into the search bar and it will provide you with a list of other relevant keywords people are searching for, along with search volume and a difficulty score. You can also enter your own domain or that of a competitor to identify areas for improvement.

It’s a great tool for identifying the size of a potential market, how competitive that market is and what chance you have of ranking in it. You can also use it to get the low-down on a competitor and find out which audiences they’re targeting.

Pros

great UXone of the best market research tools for digital marketingwide range of affordable plans

Cons

limited to SEO and PPC data

Price

Plans start at $29 per month or $290 for lifetime access.

Market Research Tools Frequently Asked Questions

What are the primary market research techniques?

There are five main techniques for conducting primary research: surveys, one-on-one interviews, observational studies, focus groups, and field trials.

The best insight from market research is the discovery of a relevant and actionable insight about your target market you can use to improve your offering or influence your marketing efforts.

Are market research tools worth the cost?

If you are on a budget, there are plenty of free market research tools available. However, the best market research tools cost money and provide access to more data and additional capabilities that can increase the effectiveness of your market research.

Why is it important to do market research?

Market research uncovers important information about your business and target market that can highlight opportunities for your business that would otherwise be missed.

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Conclusion: Market Research Tools

Market research tools are an invaluable way to find out exactly what your target audience is thinking. Whether you use free market research tools or paid market research tools, you can uncover plenty of insights that can have a transformative effect on your business.

Stop making uninformed decisions and start taking time to understand your customers and use that information to inform your marketing strategy.

What are your favorite market research tools?

Entity search is your competitive advantage

Posted by on Jun 10, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Entity search is your competitive advantage

Entity search is your competitive advantage

Entity search has become a competitive advantage for businesses and brands.

With Google opening its topics API and releasing the most comprehensive deep learning algorithms, such as PaLM, LaMDA2 and MUM, it’s critical to understand the semantic web and how to create and operationalize entity SEO.

This article will start our exploration of the what, why and how of leveraging entity search and deploying a winning strategy across the organization. (There is much more to come in my future Search Engine Land articles.)    

What is entity search and why is it critical?

Before diving deeper into entity SEO or semantic SEO, let’s start with what problems search engines are trying to solve and how entities help solve these problems.

Simply put, search engines are trying to provide the best and most comprehensive answers to every search query across all devices. 

Search evolution from keywords to entities

However, the way we search has evolved.

A few years back, searching meant typing keywords into a search engine. Today, 40-50% of searches are conversational from various devices, such as smartphones, Google Home, Alexa, etc. 

A major challenge for search engines is understanding the context and intent behind the user query. Search algorithms that previously matched content with keywords are inadequate to process and understand queries that are often sentences and paragraphs and match them with the most relevant result.

A search engine can only cater to this changing search behavior by understanding relationships between words without ambiguity.

What are entities and entity search?

An entity could be a person’s name, place, object, event, concept or numerical expression that a search engine can understand without ambiguity, regardless of language.

For example, let’s look at a query like, “what is the cheapest price for a hotel in the San Francisco Bay Area?”

How many ways can that question be asked? How would it appear in different languages? How can search engines understand that all those permutations and combinations of queries mean the same thing? 

In the example above, search engines can understand the highlighted text:

What: a concept – a question qualifierCheapest: numerical expression – lowest costPrice: numerical expressionHotel: organizationSan Francisco: locationBay Area: location

By connecting these entities, search engines can understand both the query and the intent behind the query.

Once the query and the intent are understood, search engines try and find relevant information around “entities” in the query.

Search engines use various sources – the Knowledge Graph, citations, Wikipedia, reviews and various digital content – to provide the most accurate results.

The process of retrieving information by scanning all structured and unstructured content and using AI to provide the most relevant results is called entity/semantic search. 

Traditional SEO versus semantic SEO – the difference

In traditional SEO, pages are ranked based on information retrieval scores using relevance, authority, and backlinks from other popular sites. 

Semantic SEO focuses more on providing the most comprehensive information for user queries using entities, facts associated with those entities, associated attributes, and questions related to that fact.

With entity SEO, the focus is on making it easy for searchers to get the answers they want and the brands that provide the most comprehensive topical information satisfying searcher query intent.  

How does entity optimization work?

Entity optimization brings together three concepts to provide the most holistic results

Simply put, entity optimization brings three concepts together:

What: the central topic of the query and what the searcher expects in the content when they search for that topic. It does sound similar to keywords, right? If you recall the example above, how many different ways can a question be asked in different languages and with cultural nuances? All those different queries are distinct keywords, but they are just one topic since they mean the same thing. Ensuring your content is the most comprehensive source of information on the topic by covering as many related topics as relevant to the searcher helps close topical gaps and address your audience’s needs.Why: The intent behind the query. Are they seeking information? Are they considering and evaluating options? Are they looking to navigate or seeking directions? Are they looking to transact and make a decision? Ideally, your content should cater to every need of your audience across their buying journey. Using a combination of what and why will help you identify all the possible entities relevant to your business. You can then create a content strategy around those topics and inter-connect them, building relationships between these entities.How: How your content is delivered is just as important. If your audience expects a video and you deliver text, it may not have the desired impact. Video, images, headings, bulleted and numbered lists, hours of operation, question and answer, recipe and calories (if you are a food business), the list goes on. These are various entities that we put together to create the most holistic semantic SEO strategy. Therefore, page/content layout becomes a critical part of a semantic search strategy.

These content elements can be marked up with structured data to help search engines understand the context and relationships between the content elements and the entities in your content.

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Why semantic SEO/entity SEO gives you a competitive advantage

Clearly, semantic SEO is critical for businesses. Here’s why to adopt this strategy.  

Search algorithms favor semantic search

SEOs in the past focused on link building and utilizing keywords to help search engines find the information. Search algorithms have surpassed keywords and determine the context and intent behind queries by understanding relationships between entities.

Optimizing keywords will help to some extent. Still, the most sustainable way to succeed is to optimize entities in your content and adopt an entity-first or semantic approach to SEO.

Entities help provide the most comprehensive topical information and relevant SERPs. When page structure is optimized for entities/topics, the page’s focus is to provide the most comprehensive information about the topic, including text, FAQ images, videos, bulleted lists and everything else that entity/topic is associated with. SERP results referencing these topical pages are most relevant across all types of searches, including voice, web, images, video, etc. More areas to rank in SERPS: Google Discovery and Google Trends also appear in results based on entities. Google Discovery helps build layers of relevant entities.Optimizing content around semantic search or entities often yields more longer-term growth: Chasing keywords may give growth momentarily, but you must revisit and revise the content to keep the results.Higher impressions, engagement and traffic value: Content optimized for semantic search leads to higher impressions, more engagement, more rich results and much better-quality traffic.SERPs with rich results also provide traffic that engages downstream and converts better: This is because the media type is directly relevant, and they bring the users closer to their desired answer.

Position zero

Marketers sometimes worry that providing rich results, like in the Quick Answer/Featured Snippet listing, People Also Ask or a How-to, gives the user the information in the SERP without them clicking on the listing and driving visitors to the website.

While this is true, the benefits of appearing high up in the SERP outweigh the perceived detriment of users who do not click.

This is especially true when the listing would otherwise have been below the fold lower down on the search results page.

Entity optimization can also guide you when optimizing the content and rich results to maximize CTR from the SERP.

Milestone Inc. research on rich media frequencies in SERPs across over 500 websites

Milestone Click Curve Research showing saturation of SERPs after optimizing for semantic search

Milestone’s click curve research shows that appearing in rich results listings leads to higher engagement. On average, rich result listings get 41% higher engagement in terms of clicks than standard text SERPs without rich results.

Which entities should you focus on? 

The easy answer is any entity that relates to the content of your business, with two categories being the most important. 

The first is any entity that can help reduce ambiguity, such as business type, location, product details, and contact elements. To identify the right entities related to your business, you should review the schema.org classification for your business.

Entities and schema classifications for any business recognized by Schema.org

The second category is those elements where Google provides insights and demonstrates the structure of the business in the Search Console under Enhancements and Search Appearance.

Your website should have all these entities where relevant to ensure the topic/structure of the website is well understood.

Enhancements from Google Search Console

Why understanding what is recognized and classified by Google and Schema.org is critical

Establishing a comprehensive understanding of what is recognized by Google and schema.org will help you come up with the right site and page structure.

Every business may not have a recipe; however, videos, FAQs, sitelinks and breadcrumb navigation are key elements that should be part of the content strategy for the website. 

This shows the benefit of a well-structured page in SERP appearances and search impressions:

Various rich media search appearance clicks and impressions

Entity-first SEO

Entity SEO is more topical and contextual and often includes rich media to help you position your content as the best answer for any query.

Adopting an entity-first approach can:

Give your brand a competitive advantage in search.Future proof your content and digital asset creation strategy.Give your brand a competitive edge.

The post Entity search is your competitive advantage appeared first on Search Engine Land.

How to attract your ideal customers with quality content

Posted by on Jun 10, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to attract your ideal customers with quality content

Search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing often work together to help businesses grow organically.

You probably know how powerful the combo is and what great results you get when using the two together. 

But do you ever find yourself looking for content ideas that will attract your ideal customer?

The key is being strategic about the content you’re creating if it’s going to turn browsers into buyers.

What’s the best way to do that?

Zero in on topics that will appeal to your ideal customer and bring them to your website.

Finding content ideas that attract customers

Start with your sales funnel and your current customers

What questions do you get asked all the time? Our own frequently asked questions can often lead us to content ideas that will help grow our business.

Start by brainstorming the questions you get asked constantly and write them down. At this stage, there’s no good or bad question. You can go through them later and determine which ones you want to pursue and which ones you want to ignore. What does your ideal customer need to know before buying?Think about the questions your ideal customer doesn’t know to ask, but still needs to know before purchasing. Go through your sales notes, and think about the process you take with prospects in your sales funnel. What information do you find they need to consider before deciding to purchase? There may be content ideas here. What do they want to do that your product or service can help them with?Now think about how your customers use your product or service. What might they do with your product that you can help teach them? What might they want to accomplish, where your product is the solution or a tool they need to complete the job? 

For example, I worked with a makeup brand and we saw lots of people asking for makeup tutorials. They wanted to learn how to create specific looks, so we set out to create videos and blog posts teaching them how to create those specific looks.

Our products were showcased in the videos, so people who watched the video were more likely to buy products from this client than someone else because they saw it used to achieve the look they wanted.

Snoop on the competition

Look around and see what your competition is doing on their website, blog or social media.

Don’t simply copy your competition. Consider this as a content research audit. Take note of what they’re doing and what followers respond to.

Are they doing lots of Reels or tutorials on YouTube or Instagram? Are they writing blog posts that highlight the features of specific products?Are they addressing the benefits? How is the audience reacting (if you can tell)?

Use keyword research tools 

Go to Google and start searching with keywords related to your business and the content topic you’re thinking about.

What you see in the search results are terms people are searching for right now. Google will try to autofill your search bar with the information they think is relevant to your query. Pay attention to any relevant suggestions.

Take a look at everything that shows up in Autocomplete. This data can be useful when trying to find content ideas that will attract your customers.

Use online research tools 

You can use a tool like AnswerThePublic to find out what questions people ask about topics related to your business.

Start a search with your primary keyword and see what questions the tool generates.

Use your own website

Does your website have site search?

See what questions or keywords your current customers are searching for on your website. You may find that people are looking for specific information that you don’t have on your website or that isn’t easy to find.

These results can help you write blog poss or FAQs

Social listening

Spend a little bit of time on social media simply listening to the conversation.

Join a few social media groups where your ideal customer spends time and listen to the conversation.

See what questions people are asking. Is there misinformation being shared? If so, maybe you need to create a piece of content on myths or mistakes people make related to your field, product, or service. Are they looking for solutions you offer? Take note of what they’re asking and the language they’re using because that’s how you’ll be able to connect with them.

Organizing your ideas and brainstorming notes

Take all of your notes, brainstorm ideas, go back to your keyword research tool, and dig a little deeper into the ideas and keywords you could consider using.

You may even find additional content topics in the keywords you discover. Many queries today are in question form, and a lot of them are great topics for blog posts.

Choose the topics that you think will be the best fit for your ideal customer.

Decide if your product or service is an option for that customer, or if you can truly provide value if they read your blog post.

Next, choose the keyword or keywords you have the best chance of ranking for. You will often want to choose the keywords with the greatest search demand and the lowest competition.

Decide what type of content you will create

When deciding what type of content to create, think about your ideal customer. Are they going to be helped the most with a video or a blog post with lots of images? What will provide the most value to them?

Suppose you’re creating a tutorial such as my client’s makeup tutorials. In that case, you’re probably going to want to use video because that’s going to help your ideal customer more than a blog post with images will.

If you’re creating a checklist or something that will walk your ideal customer through a process that leads to a buying decision, you may want to create a blog post with images and maybe even a checklist they can reference later.

Create helpful content

Your next step is to create that valuable piece of content.

Don’t focus on using your keyword X number of times or writing X number of words. Instead, focus on telling your ideal customer what they need to know about this subject.

Provide value by answering their questions. You will naturally use your chosen keywords because your content piece is about a related topic. But you can always go back and review your piece when you’re done and see if you can add additional keywords or remove them if they’re used too many times.

Make sure your content is optimized to get organic traffic

Make sure you optimize every piece of content you want Google to find and share with more new customers.

Follow SEO best practices and use your keywords in the title, meta description, URL, copy, header tags, image file name, and ALT text on your image.

Choose topics you know your ideal customer is interested in and searching for. Write great content that helps them, and optimize the content for Google. As long as you’re choosing keywords your website can rank for, you’ll start seeing results.

The post How to attract your ideal customers with quality content appeared first on Search Engine Land.