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New Google Search Console report checks site speed

Posted by on Dec 5, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on New Google Search Console report checks site speed

Google is rapidly expanding the capabilities of Search Console — its must-have tool for site owners/managers. Not too long ago it was a couple of new structured data reports and today we’re talking about an enhancement report dedicated to site speed. It’s important to have a fast site and Google’s new tool helps you monitor it and improve it. Here’s is a quick guide to its capabilities.

What is the Speed report in Google Search Console?

The new Speed report gives you an idea of how fast or slow your pages load over any given time. It gives you insights that were almost impossible to get up until now. Running page speed analysis on your complete site is not something the average user can do. Testing a couple of pages in PageSpeed Insights, fine, but 1,000 pages? The new Speed report in Google Search Console gives you an idea of how your site loads. It puts all pages in buckets conveniently labeled slow, moderate and fast. 

The new Speed report overview in Search Console (desktop view)

As you know, site speed has been a hot topic for quite a while. Google even declared it a ranking factor. The search engine is rolling out all sorts of initiatives to help visualize site speed and prioritize improvements, like PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse. Sometimes, they do it quietly, but other times it’s a little bit over the top. Case in point: Chromes new “speed badge of shame”. It is one of the indicators in the Chrome browser that helps users understand why a site may be loading slower. In reality, this is more a not so subtle jab at site owners to do something about their slow sites.

Chrome’s upcoming slow site badge

This focus on site speed is understandable. Site speed is user experience and users expect fast. But in regards to all those pretty numbers and colors, it’s hard to know what to look for. But as our own SEO expert Jono Alderson loves to say: “Don’t optimize for scores — just make it faster.” Scores say a lot, but all that matters is the perception of speed by users. How quickly can you make your page feel ready?

What does the Speed report do?

The Speed report looks at the pages on your site, checks their loading speed in the Chrome User Experience report and puts these into buckets. There are mobile and desktop specific checks and these might differ. Due to hardware and network differences, it is harder to get a good score on mobile than it is on desktop. You’ll notice, though, that the same URLs are often troublesome both on mobile as well as desktop. They might load slightly faster due to changes in test setting, but they are a point of interest nonetheless.

Two specific reports help you analyze the different sources

While not the end-all tool for measuring site speed, the Speed report is a valuable addition to Search Console. It helps you find problematic URLs which you can check in PageSpeed Insights to get a deeper understanding — plus ways of fixing it. This way, you can keep an eye on all speed-related things, spot trends, make improvements and keep track of the results of those changes. 

Where does it get its metrics?

The cool thing about the Speed report is that it uses data from the Chrome UX Report. The Chrome UX Report is a public data set of real user experience data collected from millions of opted-in users and websites. This way, loads of data are collected — like connection type, type of device and much more — from real situations and used to give a better understanding of performance in the real world. This data is put to good use in several speed-oriented Google tools, like PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse.

What should I look for?

When looking at site speed tools it is easy to focus on the wrong stuff. Many tools check site speed in particular circumstances, like a set location at one point in time. There’s not enough context to make a decision based on this data. That’s why our advice in this has always been for you to look at a multitude of site speed tools. Combined these will give you a better handle on the problem.

The Search Console Speed report has been built around two metrics: First Contentful Paint and First Input Delay. Here’s what these metrics mean:

  • FCP (first contentful paint): The first contentful paint happens when the first element of a requested page appears on the screen. This gives users the confirmation that the page is actually loading.
  • FID (first input delay): The first input delay is the time between the first interaction of a user with an element on the requested page and the reaction of the browser to that input. How quickly your page reacts to input is of utmost importance for it to appear fast and responsive.

The results lead to slow, moderate or fast pages. According to Google, the speed of a URL is the lowest speed assigned to it. So if a page has a slow FCP, but a moderate FID it is considered slow. If it has a fast FCP and a moderate FID, it is considered moderate.

These insights give you a good idea of how your pages are performing. As said before, you probably need to run a couple of more tests to get the full picture.

Further analysis on a per-URL basis in PageSpeed Insights

URL grouping

Instead of showing a gazillion URLs and the corresponding results, Google uses aggregate scores and URL groups to make the results slightly less intimidating. For any issue, you’ll see a number of URLs getting the same score or issue. So it might be that from a specific URL, 70 other URLs suffer from the same performance issues. That makes it easier to uncover issues on a grander scale because all these pages probably have the same problems. Of course, you can do a deep-dive and check individual pages by clicking on the URL list and picking a URL to analyze using PageSpeed Insights.

Grouping URLs with similar perfomance issues makes the report easier to digest

Aggregate scores

The same goes for scoring. Grouping makes it easier to digest the results. The Speed report in Search Console focuses mainly on FCP and FID, as mentioned above. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on PageSpeed Insights as well, as this has a multitude of other metrics, graphics of the loading process and suggestions to improve the results.

In the Speed report, the FCP and FID are calculated from all the visits to those particular pages. 

  • Aggregate FCP: The aggregate first content paint is the time it takes for 75% of the visits to a URL in the report to reach FCP.
  • Aggregate FID: The aggregate first interactive delay is the time it takes for 95% of the visits to that URL to respond to interactions on that page. 

The calculation of these scores continues to fluctuate due to outside influences. That’s why you might see the trend line go up and down.

The aggregate FCP is the point when 75% of visits to that URL get FCP

Fixing issues and validating fixes

The Speed report allows you to monitor your site for speed-related issues. It helps you find problems and prioritize their resolution. Once you or your developer have run through all the suggestions and improvements you can validate the fix. Google will then monitor the pages for 28 days to see if the issue is fixed for these URLs. 

Site speed resources

This post is not about telling you how to fix your site speed issues, but rather guiding you through the new Speed report that might give you the insights you need. To get practical, you can start here:

Last but not least, an incredible source of information: Jono’s slide deck on site speed from a talk at SMXL Milan.

The post New Google Search Console report checks site speed appeared first on Yoast.

An Inside Look at Google’s Future Plans

Posted by on Nov 28, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on An Inside Look at Google’s Future Plans

Everyone talks about algorithm updates, but Google does a
whole lot more than adjust algorithms.

Some of the moves they are making are really going to impact
your marketing efforts.

So, what are these non-algorithm changes?

Well before I get into them, keep in mind that you aren’t
going to like some of them, and that’s ok. Instead, I want you to focus your
energy on how you can leverage these changes before your competition.

Let’s get started…

Change #1: Google executives are big on “ambient
computing”

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of ambient computing,
here’s a quick definition:

Ambient computing is a term that encompasses many different concepts. At its core, it is the combination of hardware, software, user experience, and machine/human interaction and learning, all of these things becoming the idea of using a computer or internet-enabled device, without necessarily consciously using it.

In other words, Google wants you to use them 24/7 no matter
where you are or what you are doing. They are doing this by integrating
products everywhere.

Whether it is Nest, Android devices, Chromebooks, smartwatches, Google Home, or anything else they can drum up.

Because their mission is to spread the usage of all Google
related products, it will eventually open up new ways for you to drive traffic
and monetize.

An obvious example is to create apps on mobile devices that
work on Android phones. Uber, Netflix, and Candy Crush are all examples of apps
that work on Android devices.

You already know about apps, but I bet you don’t have one.

To give you an idea of how well you can do with a mobile
app, there are roughly 2 million mobile
apps
, and there are over 13
billion mobile devices
.

Of course, a lot of those devices are old or in landfills. But still, there aren’t that many apps for how many mobile devices that exist. Especially when you consider that there are over 1,518,207,414 websites.

In other words, there are 759 times more websites than
apps, so consider creating one. 😉

If you don’t know how you can always use services like Build Fire.

And in addition to apps, you’ll need to start looking at generating traffic through all voice devices. Phones, watches, and even the smart home assistants that Google is creating leverage voice search.

Using tools like Jetson.ai
will help you create a voice version of your website so you can collect sales
and leads.

If you don’t think voice search is that important, 50% of searches are now voice-based.

Again, just like an app, I bet you don’t a voice search version of your website.

Question is, are you going to create one first or is your competition?

Change #2: Future generations are more likely to be
hooked on Google devices

Do you have a Chromebook? Chances are you
don’t.

But if you have kids, or nieces or nephews, ask them if they
have ever used a Chromebook.

Chromebooks are not only affordable, but they are taking
over the world, at least when it comes to millennials and generation z.

Just look at the percentages
of schools that use Chromebooks
.

In some countries like the United States, 60% of the schools
use Chromebooks.

That’s a ridiculously high percentage.

Apple has also been trying to penetrate classrooms, but they
haven’t been having the same success as Google.

All this means is that kids are going to grow up using
Google devices and fall into their ecosystem.

Sure, social sites like Instagram, Tiktok, or whatever else is new will always be popular, but the chances are these young kids will get to those sites using a Google device.

Even though Google isn’t as sexy as it once was, you shouldn’t
take it for granted. It’s not going anywhere, and future generations will
continue to leverage them. Just don’t drop your eye on Google and you’ll be
fine.

Change #3: Expect Google to buy someone big in the
ecommerce space

When you think of ecommerce, what name comes to mind?

I bet you are thinking of Amazon.

We all use Amazon and, of course, every major tech company wants a slice of the ecommerce market.

Even when I’m using a search engine to find something to
buy, I usually click on an Amazon listing because we all love their Prime
shipping feature.

Google’s been trying to take a piece of that market for years. From shopping actions to Google Shopping nothing has really been too effective.

As consumers, we are just trained to go to Amazon to buy stuff.

And if you aren’t going to Amazon, you are probably going to Walmart or one of their online stores that they own all around the world.

To make matters worse, Walmart has removed all of its products from Google Shopping.

Google hasn’t made any big ecommerce or commerce purchases in general but you can expect that to change.

They may decide to buy a grocery delivery company like Instacart, but knowing them, I believe they will stick with the software, just like most things that they are doing.

Expect them to go after Amazon by helping people create
their own ecommerce site. Whether it is through a Shopify
acquisition or Bigcommerce or any other
platform out there, they want to own the ecommerce market.

It’s going to be too tough to go head-on with Amazon, and that’s I think they will take a different route and go after a platform like Shopify.

If you are selling products online you should, of course, be on Amazon, but don’t rely on them. Make sure you have your own website and look to see what platform play Google makes as you may eventually want to consider moving over to whatever they buy.

Change #4: Google will dominate the hardware industry

And no, I don’t mean they are going to create something
better than an iPad or an iPhone.

Apple, at its core, is a hardware company and they are clearly the winner when it comes to producing amazing devices that we use. But there is a big issue with Apple devices and even Samsung devices.

They are expensive.

If you want to buy a brand new iPhone, expect to drop $699 for the lowest model.

Google, on the other hand, does have high-end devices, but they also try and produce affordable devices. They also let other manufacturers use their operating system for their phones.

Their goal isn’t to make the most money per phone. Their goal is to get everyone in the world using their hardware.

Why?

Because that means they are collecting more data and that allows them to generate the most amount of money from advertising because all of these devices drive people to their search engine that is filled with ads.

It’s a pretty smart move.

I highly recommend that you watch this…

They aren’t just using this strategy with their phones, they
are trying to make all of their products affordable. That way people all over
the world can afford them.

Because if you live in places like Brazil or India, Apple
devices are too expensive, which leads people to choose a Google device.

Less than 5% of the world lives in the United States… the money is in the global markets.

If you are debating which platform to build on, consider Google, even if it isn’t the sexiest due to sheer volume. Android’s market share is roughly 87% because of its affordable hardware and partnerships.

Change #5: Expect Google Ads to go offline

Right now you mainly see ads on their search engine.

Yes, you will also find ads on some of their other properties like Maps, but expect them to be everywhere.

For the first time, the 2019 digital ad spend overtook traditional ad dollars in the United States.

But still, ad dollars offline is more than a hundred billion-dollar industry, and that’s just in the United States.

Over the next few years, I bet you’ll see Google dip into offline advertising.

Just think of it this way. Google owns Waymo, a self-driving Uber type of service that is growing fast in popularity.

They have data from the Google devices in your home and the watch on your wrist and they know where you going through Waymo… essentially, they have more data on you than anyone else.

Heck, they are even starting to offer checking
accounts
.

With all of that data, who better to serve you offline ads?
They’ll be able to target people better and make them more relevant.

This will also increase the value (cost) of offline ads as
well as online ads in the long run.

Change #6: Search results won’t look the same in the
future

You are probably going to hate this change the most, but it
will also make their search engine more usable.

They are testing a lot of different ad types.

For example, as a business, you can collect leads through Google.

And eventually, you’ll just be able to book a hotel room right on their search engine without going to the hotel’s website.

The same will happen with mortgages, auto insurance, and many more industries.

This doesn’t mean that SEO will be dead or no one will go to
your site from search engines, it just means you will have to adapt.

For example, you can create educational-based content, rank highly, and when people land on your website, you can convert them through sales funnels.

You can also use tools like Hello
Bar
to create sliders and popups to drive visitors to your money pages.

Conclusion

The future isn’t going to look the same. Companies like
Tesla aren’t the only ones who are innovating, most big companies are.

Don’t expect Google to just stay the same and not adapt just
like every other tech company is trying to do.

It’s the only way to stay ahead and win.

As marketers and entrepreneurs, Google won’t be the only one
disrupting how you are growing your sales and traffic. But instead of getting
upset or complaining, accept it.

Be productive with your time and focus on adapting. Because
when you are adapting while your competition is complaining, you’ll win.

What other changes do you see Google making in the
future?

The post An Inside Look at Google’s Future Plans appeared first on Neil Patel.

Did Local Review Spammers Just Get Self-Served?

Posted by on Nov 28, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Did Local Review Spammers Just Get Self-Served?

{
“@context”: “https://schema.org”,
“@type”: “WebPage”,
“headline”: “Expert Local SEO Consultants for 13+ Years | Local SEO Guide”,
“about”: [
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “SEO”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Consultants”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consultant”}
],
“mentions”: [
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “StartUps”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Startup_company”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “eCommerce”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-commerce”},
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “InsiderPages”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insider_Pages”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Branding”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brand”},
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “Google”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google”},
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “Showtime Networks”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Showtime_Networks”},
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “NBC”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBC”},
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “CitySearch”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citysearch”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Betteridge’s Law of Headlines”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge’s_law_of_headlines”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “expertise”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expertise”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Audits”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audit”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Domain”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_name”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “GMB”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_My_Business”},
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “Management”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIT_Sloan_School_of_Management”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Process”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_process”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Ranking”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Tools”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tool”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Spammers”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spamming”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “website”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Website”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Internet”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “clients”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer”},
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “Law”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_University_Law_School”}
] }

See Betteridge’s Law of Headlines for the answer. For those looking to procrastinate, feel free to read on.

Yesterday’s Google announcement about it’s new “algorithmic updates” review mark-up caused a fair amount of Local SEO Twittering and Slacking.

My interpretation of this is “we’ve had enough of businesses publishing 5-star reviews of themselves on their sites and displaying rating stars in the SERPs for them.”

That’s all well and good. Abuse of structured mark-up has been a hot mess for years and the implementation guidelines are often so fuzzy they feel like missives from Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man.

Of course brands that pay 3rd parties to monitor and aggregate legitimate reviews may likely wonder why they lobbied hard for that budget. Of course there are plenty of non-schema reasons to add reviews to your site, but let’s face it, those orange stars in the SERPs were the big selling point. Kind of like GMB messaging was before Google shut that down…

I bet it will be fun for everyone explaining why CTR suddenly tanked for brand queries.

If Google can clean this up, and that’s a big “if,” then this feels like a good move. But as we often see with Google’s algorithmic fixes, closing one loophole tends to open up ten others. Some potential new loopholes:

1. Create separate entities (e.g. Local SEO Guide, Inc. & Local SEO Guide, LLC) and add marked-up reviews of the new entity to your site.

2. Create separate domains for reviews of your business (e.g. LocalSEOGuideReviews.com) and mark up those reviews.

3. Build a directory of local businesses that you have no relationship with, include your business, publish a ton of reviews (real and/or fake), and mark them up. Maybe call it “Yelp” or something.

The post Did Local Review Spammers Just Get Self-Served? appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

The Practical Guide to Finding Anyone’s Email Address

Posted by on Nov 27, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on The Practical Guide to Finding Anyone’s Email Address

Posted by David_Farkas

In link building, few things are more frustrating than finding the perfect link opportunity but being completely unable to find a contact email address.

It’s probably happened to you — if you’re trying to build links or do any sort of outreach, it almost always entails sending out a fairly significant amount of emails. There are plenty of good articles out there about building relationships within the context of link building, but it’s hard to build relationships when you can’t even find a contact email address.

So, for today, I want to focus on how you can become better at finding those important email addresses.

Link builders spend a lot of time just trying to find contact info, and it’s often a frustrating process, just because sussing out email addresses can indeed be quite difficult. The site you’re targeting might not even have a contact page in the first place. Or, if the site does have a contact page, it might only display a generic email address. And, sometimes, the site may list too many email addresses. There are eight different people with similar-sounding job titles — should you reach out to the PR person, the marketing director, or the webmaster? It’s not clear.

Whatever the case may be, finding the right email address is absolutely imperative to any successful outreach campaign. In our industry, the numbers around outreach and replies aren’t great. Frankly, it’s shocking to hear the industry standard — only 8.5% of outreach emails receive a response.

I can’t help but wonder how many mistakes are made along the way to such a low response rate.

While there are certainly instances where there is simply no clear and obvious contact method, that should be the exception — not the rule! An experienced link builder understands that finding relevant contact information is essential to their success.

That’s why I’ve put together a quick list of tips and tools that will help you to find the email addresses and contact information you need when you’re building links.

And, if you follow my advice, here is a glimpse of the results you could expect:

Screenshot of high open and reply rates on an email

We don’t track clicks, in case you were wondering 😉

ALWAYS start by looking around!

First, let’s start with my golden rule: Before you fire up any tool, you should always manually look for the correct contact email yourself.

Based on my experience, tools and automation are a last resort. If you rely solely upon tools and automated solutions, you’ll end up with many more misfired emails than if you were to go the manual route. There’s a simple reason for this: the email address listed on your target website may, surprisingly, belong to the right person you should contact!

Now, if you are using a tool, they may generate dozens of email addresses, and you’ll never end up actually emailing the correct individual. Another reason I advocate manually looking for emails is because many email finding tools are limited and can only find email addresses that are associated with a domain name. So, if there is a webmaster that happens to have a @gmail.com email address, the email finding tool will not find it.

It’s also important to only reach out to people you strongly believe will have an interest in your email in order to stay GDPR compliant.

So, always start your manual search by looking around the site. Usually, there will be a link to the contact page in the header, footer, or sidebar. If there’s not a page explicitly named “contact,” or if the contact page only has generic email addresses, that’s when I would recommend jumping to an “About Us” page, should there be one. 

You always want to find a personal email, not a generic one or a contact form. Outreach is more effective when you can address a specific individual, not whoever who is checking [email protected] that day.

If you encounter too many emails and aren’t sure who the best person to contact is, I suggest sending an email to your best hunch that goes something like this:

And who knows, you may even get a reply like this:

Screenshot of a reply telling you to contact someone else

If you weren’t able to locate an email address at this point, I’d move on to the next section.

Ask search engines for help

Perhaps the contact page you were looking for was well-hidden; maybe they don’t want to be contacted that much or they’re in desperate need of a new UX person.

You can turn to search engines for help.

My go-to search engine lately is Startpage. Dubbed as the world’s most private search engine, they display Google SERPs in a way that doesn’t make you feel like you just stepped into Times Square. They also have a cool option to browse the search results anonymously with “Anonymous View.”

For our purposes, I would use the site: search operator just like this:

If there is in fact a contact page or email somewhere on their website that you were not able to find, any competent search engine will find it for you. If the above site query doesn’t return any results, then I’d start expanding my search to other corners of the web.

Use the search bar and type:

If you’re looking for the email of a specific person, type their name before or after the quotation marks.

With this query you can find non-domain email addresses:

If that person’s email address is publicly available somewhere, you will likely be able to find it within the search results.

Email-finding tools

There are many, many excellent email finding tools to choose from. The first one I want to talk about is Hunter.

Hunter has a Chrome extension that’s really easy to use. After you’ve downloaded the extension, there’s not much more that needs to be done.

Go to the site which you are thinking about sending an email to, click on the extension in the top right corner of your screen, and Hunter, well, hunts.

It returns every email address it can find associated with that domain. And also allows you to filter the results based on categories.

Did I say “email address?” I meant to say email address, name, job title, etc. Essentially, it’s a one-click fix to get everything you need to send outreach.

Because I use Hunter regularly (and for good reason, as you can see), it’s the one I’m most familiar with. You can also use Hunter’s online app to look up emails in bulk.

The major downside of working in bulk is coming up with an effective formula to sift through all the emails. Hunter may generate dozens of emails for one site, leaving you to essentially guess which email address is best for outreach. And if you’re relying on guess-work, chances are pretty high you’re leaving perfectly good prospects on the table.

There are several other email finding tools to pick from and I would be remiss to not mention them. Here are 5 alternative email-finding tools:

Even though I personally try not to be too dependent on tools, the fact of the matter is that they provide the easiest, most convenient route in many cases.

The guessing game

I know there’s no word in the digital marketing world that produces more shudders than “guessing.” However, there are times when guessing is easier.

Let’s be real: there aren’t too many different ways that companies both large and small format their email addresses. It’s usually going to be something like:

If you’ve ever worked for a living, you know most of the variations. But, in case you need some help, there’s a tool for that.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you just pick any one of these random addresses, send your email, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. Far from it. There are actually tools that you can use that will indicate when you’ve selected the right one.

Sales Navigator is such a tool. Sales Navigator is a Gmail extension that is easy to use. Simply enter the name of the person you’re looking for, and it will return all of the possible standard variations that they may use for their email address. Then, you can actually test the address from your Gmail account. When you type in the address into the proper line, a sidebar will appear on your screen. If there no is no information in that sidebar, you have the wrong address. If, however, you get a return that looks like this:

Congratulations! You’ve found the right email address.

Obviously, this method only works if you know the name of the person you want to email, but just don’t have their email address. Still, in those scenarios, Sales Navigator works like a charm.

Trust, but verify

There’s nothing more annoying than when you think you’ve finally struck gold, but the gold turned out to be pyrite. Getting an email that bounces back because it wasn’t the correct address is frustrating. And even worse, if it happens too often, your email can end up on email blacklists and destroy your email deliverability.

There are ways to verify, however. At my company, we use Neverbounce. It’s effective and incredibly easy to use. With Neverbounce, you can enter in either individual email addresses or bulk lists, and voila!

It will let you know if that email address is currently Valid, Invalid, or Unknown. It’s that easy. Here are some other email verifiers:

Subscribe to their newsletter

Here’s one final out-of-the-box approach. This approach works more often with sites where one person clearly does most, if not all, of the work. A site where someone’s name is the domain name, for example.

If you come across a site like davidfarkas.com and you see a newsletter that can be subscribed to, hit that subscribe button. Once that’s done, you can simply reply to one iteration of the newsletter.

This method has an added benefit. An effective way of building links is building relationships, just like I said in the opening. When you can demonstrate that you’re already subscribing to a webmaster’s newsletter, you’ll be currying favor with that webmaster.

Conclusion

When you send a link building outreach email, you want to make sure it’s going to a real person and, even more importantly, ending up in the right hands. Sending an email to an incorrect contact periodically may seem like a negligible waste of time, but when you send emails at the volume a link builder should, the waste adds up very quickly. In fact, enough waste can kill everything else that you’re trying to accomplish.

It’s well worth your time to make sure you’re getting it right by putting in the effort to finding the right email address. Be a picky link builder. Don’t just choose the first email that comes your way and never rely solely on tools. If you email the wrong person, it will look to them like that you didn’t care enough to spend time on their site, and in return, they will ignore you and your pitch.

With the tips outlined above, you’ll avoid these issues and be on your way to more successful outreach.

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I Need Your Help With Ubersuggest

Posted by on Nov 21, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on I Need Your Help With Ubersuggest

It’s been more than a year since I launched the “new”
Ubersuggest.

And over the last 12 months, I have made a lot of progress.

Just as a quick recap: Ubersuggest went from a basic keyword research tool to now containing backlink data, rank tracking, content ideas, site audit reports, and many more features.

If you haven’t played with Ubersuggest in the past few months, give it a try. Type in a URL or a keyword and click around.

The reason I am asking you to give it a try is that I need your help to determine what I should develop next so I can help you improve your traffic and rankings even more.

But before we get into that, let me first tell you what I am releasing in the next few months.

Upcoming features

So, let’s break it down by section as I am making a lot of
small changes that should not only improve the data, but also the usability of
the product.

Funny enough, there will be changes to every section of the
tool.

Keyword research

Over the next month, the keyword overview is going to change in which I will start to tell you demographic data. You’ll see what percentage of the searches are done by males or females as well as the average age range of a searcher.

You’ll also see what portion of the clicks for any given keyword go to SEO results, ads, or result in no clicks.

I am also going to break searches down by mobile versus
desktop.

More accurate data

Another big change that is happening, and this one won’t be
visual, is all of the data will become much more accurate.

From traffic estimations for a domain, to even keywords,
you’ll start seeing a more accurate database.

For example, when I look at all of the keywords
neilpatel.com ranks for, a lot of them are junk keywords that don’t drive much
traffic.

Sure, the report still provides value as a lot of the keywords are good and can provide good SEO insights, but with more accurate data it should make your job easier.

New backlinking data

Another feature that I am excited about is the new backlink charts.

I’m adding historical link data over time as well as a
snapshot of daily new and lost links.

In addition to that, you’ll start seeing more data on anchor text or link distribution.

Alerts

A huge problem with Ubersuggest is that you have to continually come back to get value. In the next month or so, you will start seeing email alerts that will tell you what’s happening with your site and what you should fix.

The overall purpose is for you to not have to come to
Ubersuggest to figure out what you need to fix.

Usability fixes

The biggest problem with Ubersuggest is people don’t know
what to do with the data or how to improve their rankings.

This will be fixed in the upcoming months.

From an education center and demos to tutorials and more, we are creating a guided path so you can see better gains in your search traffic.

Alright, so now that you know what I am working on, I now need your help to figure out what I should do next.

Where do you want me to take Ubersuggest?

I have a few options for you, but I am not sure what you
want me to do with the tool.

Sure, I know you want more free features and I will do that,
but what’s going to provide you with the biggest gains?

Here are some options…

  1. Automated SEO – would you like me to focus my efforts on automating your SEO? All you would have to do is add a javascript to your site like Google Analytics and it would automate 40 to 50% of your SEO tasks. It would even adjust your code for you automatically no matter what CMS you use. Again, it would ONLY automate 50% or so of your tasks, I can’t automate all 100%… yet.
  2. Ad management – do you want an easy to use ad management system? From Facebook and Google to even smaller sites like Quora, there are tons of ad opportunities. I could create an easy to use system that helps you find all of the ad opportunities and optimize/manage them for you in an automated way.
  3. Free email marketing – I know there are tools like Mailchimp that are great, but what if I made it so you can send an unlimited amount of emails to an unlimited number of contacts for free?
  4. Chrome extension – what if I took extensions out there from tools like Moz, Ahrefs, Keywords Everywhere, and SEMrush and combined the best features and made it free?
  5. Or do you have any better ideas? I am open to anything.

Conclusion

I can take Ubersuggest in many different directions. There isn’t really a right or wrong approach and, wherever I take it, I will make sure that the product is still really easy to use.

The question is, what do you want me to focus on first?

That’s all that matters in the grand scheme of things because I am building this for you.

So, if you can, leave a comment below letting me know where you want me to take Ubersuggest. It can be one of the options above, or if you have a better idea, I am open to that as well.

The post I Need Your Help With Ubersuggest appeared first on Neil Patel.

My 6-Step Content Marketing Formula That Drives 3,549 Visitors

Posted by on Nov 16, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on My 6-Step Content Marketing Formula That Drives 3,549 Visitors

Writing a blog post is easy.

If you don’t write often, you may feel otherwise, but just follow this
and you’ll be good to go when it comes to writing. Or, you can just watch the
video below.

But still, you write a blog post and then what do you do?

Well, I’ll tell you this… most people forget the “marketing” in content marketing. Most people write content but don’t do a great job of promoting it.

Here’s the thing: I figured out the perfect formula to promoting content.

Best of all, it’s not complex. Heck, it doesn’t even take 30 minutes. It’s so easy that I broke it down into 6 steps.

And just to give you an idea before we dive into the formula, it’s so effective here is the traffic to my latest blog post.

35,492 visits in a week isn’t too shabby. The post didn’t do exceptionally well and it didn’t tank. It was just an average post.

Now you probably won’t see the same results as me as I’ve
been doing this for a long time, but your results will be much better than what
you are currently getting. Hence, I used the number of 3,549 in the title as
you should be able to drive 1/10th of what I am generating.

So, let’s dive right into the formula.

Step #1: Optimize your headline

8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 people will click through on your headline to read the rest of your article.

No matter how well written your content is, promoting it won’t
be effective if no one likes your headline.

Now I know what you are thinking… I’ve already published my
article, is it too late to change my headline?

Nope, you can always change your headline, just try not
to change the URL of the article once it is already published.
And if you decide
to change the URL, use a
301 redirect
.

There’s a really simple way to come up with headlines that work. Heck, it doesn’t even take more than a minute or two.

Just head over to Ubersuggest and type in the main keyword or phrase your article is about.

You’ll see a report that looks something like this:

Now I want you to click on “Content Ideas” in the left-hand navigation.

You should now see a report that looks like this:

This report shows you all of the blog posts around the web
that contain your keyword or phrase within their title. And it breaks it down
by social shares, backlinks, and search traffic.

You can use this to see what is working in your space.

Ideally, you want to look for headlines that have thousands of social shares (or hundreds if you aren’t in a popular industry), at least 10 backlinks, and more than 100 estimated visits. Just like the example below.

Making your headlines similar to ones that meet those 3 criteria
will increase your odds of getting more traffic.

Step #2: Add 3 internal links

The easiest way to get your new content more love is to
build links.

Yes, links are hard to build, but internal links are not…
plus they are still effective.

I rank for competitive terms like “digital marketing”…

A lot of it has to do with internal links. I link to my main
digital marketing page within my sidebar and within my content.

Every time you publish a new blog post, I want you to go into your older content that is relevant to your newly published blog post and add a link to it. Do this to 3 of your older blog posts.

This helps with indexing and it also helps your new
content rank higher on Google.

Step 3: Share your content on the social web carefully

The problem with social media marketing is that people think they can just share their content on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn and it will automatically do well.

Sadly, it won’t because billions of URLs have been shared
already.

In other words, we just tend to ignore most of the links
people share.

But there is a simple way to stand out and get thousands of visitors from the social web, just like I get.

So, what’s my secret?

Well, I will give you a hint. Just look at one of my most
recent posts on LinkedIn:

And here is one from Facebook:

Do you notice a pattern?

I’m evoking curiosity. In other words, I am piquing your
interest and if you want to know the “solution” you have to click through to my
site.

With the LinkedIn post, I tell you that marketing is going
to change next year. I also make a point to say how it is going to change in a
way that nobody is talking about.

I do this because we all can assume marketing will change. But
by saying it is in a way nobody is talking about, it evokes curiosity. And if
you want to know how it will change you have no choice but to click through
over to my site to read the rest.

With my Facebook post, I also evoke curiosity. I talk about a Google algorithm update, but I hint that I have an answer to leveraging Google’s latest algorithm update. And if you want to know what it is, you have to click through over to my site.

Whenever you post on the social web, evoke curiosity if you want people to head over to your site.

The easiest way to do this is that every time you share one of your articles on the social web, add a few sentences above the link that helps pique peoples’ interest.

Step #4: Message everyone you link out to

It’s common to link out to other sites within your blog
posts.

Heck, sometimes I even link out to my competition.

If you don’t ever link out to other sites, you are making a
big mistake. It helps with authority and trust.

If you are using stats and data within your article, you
want to cite your sources. This brings credibility to you and it helps brand
yourself as an expert which can help with Google’s medic
update
.

Now, when you link out to a site, go and search their email
address. You can typically find their email address on their website.

Or if you can’t find their email address, look for a contact
page on their site, you’ll typically see a form that you can fill out.

Whether you find an email address or contact form, I want
you to message each and every single site you link out to with a message that
goes like this:

Hi [insert their first name],

I just wanted to say, I love your content. Especially your article on [insert the name of the article you linked out to].

I linked to it from my latest blog post [insert URL of your blog post]. It would make my day if you checked it out and even shared it on your favorite social network if you enjoyed it.

Cheers,

[insert your name]

When I send out these emails, I am getting 50 to 60% of the people to respond and share my content. But of course, my blog is popular, so for me, it isn’t too hard. But it hasn’t always been that way, and I’ve been leveraging this tactic for ages.

On the flip side, I also use this tactic on a few of my
blogs that are in other niches and don’t use my name (no one knows I own them)
and I am seeing success rates around 20%.

Just make sure you don’t use this tactic to ask for a link back.
Your success rate will be slim.

Step #5: Send an email blast

These last two tactics produce a large portion of my
results, and you shouldn’t take them for granted, no matter how basic they may
seem.

If you already haven’t, start collecting emails from your
site. You can use free tools like Hello Bar
to create popups or sliders.

Hello Bar will plug into whatever email provider you are
currently using.

Once you are up and running, every time you release a new
blog post, send out an email blast.

Here’s an example of one of my email blasts.

It’s so effective it generated 13,544 clicks.

I’ve found that you can drive good traffic from emails as
long as you do the following:

  1. Scrub your list – if someone doesn’t open your emails over the last 30 or 60 days, remove them from your list. It helps keep your emails in people’s inboxes.
  2. Send text-based emails – if you look at the email I sent, I keep it simple. No images, nothing fancy, just text and a link back to my site. It’s that simple.
  3. Evoke curiosity – just like how I explained with the social media posts, your emails won’t do well unless you evoke curiosity.

As you write more content you will get more traffic, which will cause your email list to grow. That will also cause you to get more traffic. 🙂

Step #6: Send a push notification

I don’t know why so few sites are leverage push notifications. It’s so effective I believe I will get more traffic from push notifications in 2020 than I will from email marketing.

To give you an idea, when I analyze my competitors in the
marketing arena, only 3 out of 19 use push notifications.

In other industries, the percentage is far worse, which means there is more opportunity for you.

Here’s how push notifications work….

Someone comes to your site and through their browser, they get a message if they want to subscribe to your site.

A portion of your visitors will click “allow”. With NeilPatel.com, roughly 5.4% of visitors are currently clicking “allow”.

You can send push notifications and get subscribers using a
free tool like Subscribers.com.

And then when you write a new blog post, you log into Subscribers.com and click on the “Create Notification” button. From there you will see a screen where you can enter the title and description of your latest post.

As you can see from the image above, you’ll notice that I use an “icon” image, a “large” image, and I show “custom buttons.”

Using those 3 elements is the key to getting the most
traffic from push notifications. Here are some of my stats from using
Subscribers.

I’m getting roughly 6,000 visits from every push notification
I send. That’s not too bad.

And if you are curious about what a push notification looks like, here’s what people get when I send it out.

What’s cool about push notification is no matter what
website someone is on, they will see a message similar to the one above, which
will bring people back to your site.

No dealing with spam filters or messages not going through. Plus, if someone isn’t online when you send a push notification, the next time they use their web browser they will see your message.

Conclusion

Promoting your content doesn’t have to be hard.

You don’t need “advanced” tactics or anything that is out of
the box. The basics work well, and I have been using the above formula for
years… literally.

Now, I know there are other things you can do to promote your content, but let’s be realistic: we are all strapped for time. And I’ve found the ones I’ve mentioned above to produce the biggest bang for the buck.

So, what other simple ways do you promote your content?

The post My 6-Step Content Marketing Formula That Drives 3,549 Visitors appeared first on Neil Patel.

Microsoft Advertising talks intelligence, UI updates, audience solutions in SMX keynote

Posted by on Nov 14, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Microsoft Advertising talks intelligence, UI updates, audience solutions in SMX keynote

NEW YORK – As brands look to compete in today’s market, identifying ways to connect with audiences is critical – especially since growth relies so heavily on the marketer’s ability to find better ways to meet the needs of customers, said Christi Olson, head of evangelism at Microsoft Advertising and Bing, during a keynote session at SMX West on Wednesday.

“Consumers want brands to help them, anticipating their needs and making their buying experience frictionless,” said Olson. “Our [Microsoft’s] goal is to help retailers become more competitive and deliver more engaging customer experiences that unlock new revenue and fuel future growth,” she added.

Customer journeys are also getting more complex and less linear, which means it’s more imperative than ever for advertisers to understand the advanced technologies and innovations that drive meaningful brand engagement.

Delivering value with AI

According to Olson, Microsoft is leaning heavily on artificial intelligence and machine learning to create better experiences for customers. One example is the Seeing AI app, which has helped over a million people with vision impairments read a menu in a restaurant or count out money when making a purchase. Another example includes the integration of AI into Microsoft Dynamics 365 products to help our customers manage information and tackle common business challenges. Moreover, AI can now help service teams quickly identify and resolve equipment issues remotely, or empower HR teams to land top candidates. 

(See Also: Get the just-released Periodic Tables of PPC)

“Creating better experiences for your customers, people you engage with is not about handing off your advertising to machines. At a time of advancing automation, creativity remains the essential differentiator of greater value than at any other point in human history,” Olson said.

To help organizations adopt AI-driven capabilities quickly and easily, Microsoft aims to integrate intelligence with the products and services that consumers already use daily. Olson said that Microsoft will be launching a new class of purpose-built Dynamics 365 AI solutions aimed at delivering out-of-the-box insights from unified data. That data can then be infused with advanced intelligence to support integrated team actions across sales, customer service, and marketing.

Personalization at scale

In our connected world, a user’s device is the key stepping stone to understanding the consumer, Olson said. Devices provide context, which helps marketers better understand what matters to a consumer in a particular location and at a particular time. The right message at the right moment is the next level in customer service and can turn intent into action.

Context also allows retailers to better than ever anticipate what a customer might need based on when, where and how they arrive at their site and help them decide how to respond to them. Consumers are always on the hunt for product information, deals, local availability and local discounts online. Retailers who don’t make efforts to supply the right, personalized information at the right time will lose out.

“As we think about this enormous opportunity, we at Microsoft see four key areas of opportunity for retail,” Olson explained. These include:

Know your customer. Deliver unforgettable customer experiences that make your brand stand out from the crowd.

Empower your employees. Provide your team with the tools that enable extraordinary customer service.

Deliver intelligent supply chain. Improve agility to reduce costs and drive customer satisfaction.

Reimagine your business. Stand out in today’s competitive retail environment by reinventing your business model, starting with the customers and working backward.

Uniting the Internet and the Intranet

One of the biggest challenges facing organization is the difficulty of finding and accessing company information through company intranets. Earlier this month, Microsoft introduced the new Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Bing for business.

Olson said Microsoft’s ambition is for Bing and Edge to deliver the best search and browser experiences for businesses and consumers alike. With enhanced capabilities like deep intranet integration, improved people search, and features that support business resources, Microsoft aims to make employee productivity more efficient and impactful.

Olson said Microsoft will be introducing even more features for the consumer audience in spring 2020.

Microsoft’s redesigned UI

In October, Microsoft Advertising unveiled the platform’s interface refresh, designed to better align with the update Google Ads rolled out in full a year ago.

The redesigned UI, explained Olson, enables advertisers to manage campaigns more easily with the following improvements:

Improved usability and navigation. The new online navigation includes more intuitive features for greater integration with Google Ads, saving advertisers more time when it comes to campaign management. Advertisers can use the new global menu to switch accounts, quickly access tools and settings like ad preview, shared library, conversion tracking, Google Import, and more.

Better organization of features. The new vertical page menu includes Ads & Extensions, Audiences, Experiments, and other features to deliver more streamlined access for advertisers. As advertisers navigate campaigns, page menus will adapt to only display the pages and data that are applicable to each campaign.

Modern look and feel. The new online experience is now more up to date and consistent with other Microsoft products.

Intelligent audience solutions

Currently, Microsoft Advertising offers intelligent audience solutions designed to help advertisers reach a target audience with a personalized ad experience at the right time.

These solutions include AI-driven targeting capabilities such as location, device, in-market audiences, Google Import, campaign-level associations, and more. Microsoft is currently piloting LinkedIn Profile Targeting, product audiences, similar audiences, and customer matches.

Eventually, Olson said, Microsoft plans to roll out customer combinations with “or” and “and” logic.

Amping up for new retail solutions

“For retailers to power great experiences on their website, search is critical,” Olson said.

With Intelligent Search, Microsoft aims to bring advertisers closer to understanding shopper intent with scale, intelligence, and AI. To do this, Olson pointed to Bing’s index that retailers can embed on their sites to grow visibility. Bing technology allows marketers to understand consumer behavior and trends while leveraging the power of machine learning and AI to help automatically optimize to boost conversion rates, Olson said.

As part of Microsoft’s vision to further unlock search for retailers, Intelligent Search will deliver personalized product recommendations through deep learning algorithms. Experimentation and custom rankings will help businesses achieve goals and drive up consumer satisfaction. Additionally, advertisers will have an improved ability to analyze transactional, behavioral, and demographic data from the sites.

Microsoft PromoteIQ, a vendor marketing solution that enables retailers to generate high-margin advertising revenue with their own advertising experiences, will become fully integrated with the Microsoft advertising platform. Currently in private preview, the PromoteIQ Network will allow retailers to scale commerce advertising revenue using an expanded integration with the Microsoft Advertising platform and sales teams, providing access to new channels to help retailers maximize monetization.

The age of digital marketing is
behind us, and our new reality—though it may at times seem daunting—is
marketing in the digital age. One in which marketers simply cannot find success
talking at
customers through single, traditional channels. Instead, brands must engage
with them on new and meaningful levels, wherever they are.

As Olson stated during her session, Microsoft is setting out “to help reimagine how [advertisers] serve customers and grow your business, deliver more engaging customer experiences that unlock new revenue and fuel future growth.”

The post Microsoft Advertising talks intelligence, UI updates, audience solutions in SMX keynote appeared first on Search Engine Land.

14 Ways To Improve Your Search Ranking With Video

Posted by on Nov 14, 2019 in Greg's SEO Articles | Comments Off on 14 Ways To Improve Your Search Ranking With Video

Are you disappointed with your company’s search ranking? Have you tried a video strategy yet?

Nobody can deny that video is the king of content: a billion hours of video are watched on YouTube every single day. And YouTube is the second-largest search engine. With numbers like that, it stands to reason video content could help you improve your ranking.

But with 400 hours being uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s easy for any one video to get buried in search. Be aware that not just any video will drive up your ranking. You need to create the perfect video for your audience and optimize it to rank high.

In this article I’ll teach you how I got the number-one spot on YouTube and some tips for your video to shine on search engines, helping to improve your ranking, as well.

How to Improve your Search Ranking with Video
1) Include Your Brand Identity
Your video is one key element of many that will build a sound brand identity. If that personality is unique, your brand will be recognizable for your prospective client. Ask yourself: Who would your brand be if it was a person? What would it sound like? Why is it different from other brands?

Watch this example to understand how to do it with an animated video:

2) Define Your Target Audience
One of the key steps for a successful video is to define your target audience.

Gender, age and location are basic demographics that you need to narrow down in order to develop a successful creative strategy. You could also think about psychographic data such as periods in the life cycle or social class.

Don’t forget to analyze seasonality and purchase behavior: Is there a time customers buy your products more than others?

If you build a well-thought-out profile, your video will deliver what they need.

3) Focus on Giving Solutions to Their Problems
What are your audience’s pain points? How can your brand help them to solve those problems?

An easy way to address your audience’s needs is to create a story in which somebody has an issue (your target audience) and your brand will be the hero who help them to sort it out.

Check out how you can achieve that by combining live action with animation:

4) Keep It Entertaining
You don’t need to use a formal tone to be taken seriously. Even if you have a B2B product you can entertain your audience with a hint of humor. Don’t forget that this can be applied to what you say and what you show.

Here you have an example:

What could be more serious than financial transactions? This video, however, uses animation to be dynamic and entertaining.

5) Bring Out Emotions
Don’t forget that emotions underline most of our purchase decisions. Apart from the product’s features, try to think about what kind of emotions it triggers. This could be a key element in your video.

How will your client feel while enjoying your product? Happy? Relieved? Powerful? Whether your video is 30 seconds or three minutes long, you need to tell a powerful story that includes a start, a development and an end.

That story should be driven by well-developed characters to whom your audience can relate. Emotions—no matter if it’s love, disgust or awe—make your video more shareable, which will have a drastic impact on your rankings.

Watch this short video in which a brand tells a short story about a family and their feelings when they enjoy their product.

6) Use the Power of Educational Videos
First, you need to know that Google’s algorithm prefers video content to answer certain kinds of search queries:

Tutorials (“Photoshop tutorial,” “How to paint a wall”)
Fitness (“Yoga class”)
Reviews (“New Galaxy S9”)
Funny videos (“Cute babies”)
Explainer videos (“How a business works”)
search-rankings-video-example
In general, people are visual learners, and they prefer a short explainer video to a long-form article. So they look for videos on a wide range of topics to help them solve everyday problems, whether that be learning a new skill, deciding which phone to buy or losing a few pounds.

When creating an explainer video, think about what problem you can solve for potential customers. Then think about how they would search for the answer to that problem online. Tailor your video to that search and your video should gain some serious organic traffic.

7) Hook Your Audience
Whatever length you choose, bear in mind that YouTube’s algorithm rewards audience retention. If people watch the whole video (or most of it) the platform assumes it provides useful information and quality entertainment.

Nothing is more important than hooking your audience from the beginning. The topic should be stated as soon and as clearly as possible but, don’t show all your cards too soon.

Ask questions that your viewer wants to know but don’t answer them immediately.

For example, this is how our relative audience retention graph looks for our video “What’s the best explainer video style?”:

search-rankings-video-audience
8) Engage Your Audience
Subscribing and liking are two of the most important metrics that YouTube values. Take advantage of YouTube Cards to encourage your audience to take any of those actions.

Comments also have great value when it comes to driving up your rankings. Have you tried to ask questions directly to your audience? You could even let them get involved with the creation of a new product, for example.

Check out this video to know how an outdoor gear company provides useful information to its target audience by teaching them camping recipes. In the end, they encourage the viewer to subscribe and watch related content with this image:

9) Make Sure Your Video’s Length Is Friendly
To establish the ideal length of a video is tricky because it depends on how complex the topic is. Some experts say “the shorter, the better.”

But in a recent analysis of 1.3 million YouTube videos, Backlinko found that longer videos significantly outperform shorter videos. According to the research, the average length of a first-page YouTube video is 14 minutes, 50 seconds.

search-rankings-video-length1
You should think about your particular needs to establish the perfect length for your video.

10) Optimize Your Video Using Strong Keywords
The first step to optimizing your video is to know what your potential clients are searching for. First, brainstorm words that are related to your business and your video topic. Think about the questions users would ask Google to find the information on your site.

For example, if you have a tutorial video on how to snake a drain (and you sell drain snakes), think about the things people would search for: “how to snake a drain,” “snaking a drain,” unclogging a drain,” etc. Those are your long-tail keywords. Keywords related to your business — drain snakes, plumbing, clogs — would be your short-tail keywords.

You can then research your keywords in a keyword planner tool like Google AdWords and compare how many search queries that set of words has had on average.

You’ll notice a lot of the short-tail keywords have hundreds of thousands of monthly search queries, meaning that a lot of companies will fight to rank for them. Your ultimate goal is to rank higher for those keywords, but that’s hard to do when you’re just starting out.

Instead, you should try for some more specific long-tail keywords that will be less competitive.

Let’s see an example:

Our company, Yum Yum Videos is an animated video production company and its keyword was “explainer video” which has huge competition:

search-rankings-video-keyword-high
To rank one of our videos on YouTube, we chose a long-tail keyword, “Explainer video styles,” which has a maximum of 1K average monthly searches:

The strategy is to start with a medium-competition keyword that’s easier to rank for and rank on the high-demand keyword in the long term. Following this strategy — and the other techniques that I explain in this article — it’s high in the Google ranks, being one of the first videos to appear.

search-rankings-video-google
11) Optimize Your Video on YouTube
YouTube looks at many features to understand what your video is about. Those features also grab your audience’s attention.

Title

Include your long-tail keyword toward the beginning of your title and be brief and clear about your content.

Video Description

Write a paragraph telling the viewer what your video is about. Use two or three keywords without repeating them too much. Add a link to your web page and your social media profiles. Remember, that’s why you‘re creating a video! You should also include the keyword-optimized video transcript like we did here:

search-ranking-video-yumyum
Tags

Use your keyword first and some variations of it later. You can also add tags about other topics that your video covers. Don’t be afraid to use the same tags as your competitors. That way, your video will be added to their suggested video sidebar.

You can see YouTube tags with apps like VidIQ. These are the ones we’ve chosen for our explainer video:

search-rankings-video-tags
Customized Thumbnails

When viewers see a list of YouTube results, they’ll click on the most engaging one. The percentage of people who click on your video is your click-through rate, or CTR, and YouTube’s algorithm pays close attention to that.

When a video is uploaded, you can choose a thumbnail from the three options that YouTube randomly generates, but those are probably not the best ones.

To boost your CTR, create attractive thumbnails that clearly state the topic of the video. For example, between these four options we chose the upper-left image for our video:

search-rankings-video-thumbnails
Captions and Text Overlays

Most users are mobile, and that means they probably won’t turn the sound on when watching a video. aIf they don’t understand the content, they will keep scrolling.

To prevent that, your video should be able to stand on its own without sound. Adding captions and overlaid text will help your audience understand the content even on silent mode.

12) Boost Your Video With YouTube Ads
Investing some money on YouTube Ads will give your video an initial boost and increase the chances your video will be liked and shared.

Once you get some traction, stop investing and see how your view rate grows organically. The more it grows organically, the more your brand gains credibility.

13) Increase Views by Embedding Externally
It’s very hard to make YouTube rank your video on the first pages from the start, that’s why viewers have to find it somewhere else first.

Embed your video anywhere you can: on social media, blogs, newsletters, etc. That will increase the views of your video. Eventually, YouTube will notice and start suggesting it.

On this graph based on our “What’s the best explainer video style?” video, you can see (in red) how in the first three months around 95 percent of our viewers came from external sources (outside YouTube).

Later, that number dropped to 35 percent and the rest (green and blue) comes from YouTube’s suggested videos and YouTube’s searches, getting 300 percent more views per day if we compare it with day one.

search-rankings-video-views
14) Embed Your Video on Your Webpage
When a video is displayed on a site, people tend to stay on the page longer to watch it. The longer people stay, the more trust Google will give your site and the higher it will rank.

That time will also allow your brand’s message to sink in. Your visitor will probably have a higher level of interaction, clicking on different pages, another positive signal for Google’s algorithm.

Conclusion
An engaging video can help you communicate your core message and values in a compelling way that will build up your brand reputation online and boost your rankings effectively.

Take your time to think about what is the absolute best video for your product, who is your target audience and what they need.

To prevent your video from getting buried in the results, don’t forget to use keywords strategically.

Google starts new Search Console training series on YouTube

Posted by on Nov 13, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google starts new Search Console training series on YouTube

Today at SMX East, Daniel Wasiberg a Search Advocate at Google, announced a new YouTube series aimed at training users on how to get the most out of using Google Search Console.

It’s on the YouTube channel. The new series will be on the Google Webmasters YouTube channel available at https://www.youtube.com/googlewebmasters/

What it covers. The series covers everything from the basics, such as getting started, verifications, reports and settings. The series will go through how to monitor your site traffic, fix numerous issues reported by Search Console, as well as help searchers find your web site on Google search.

Coming soon. Right now, Google only posted a teaser video on the channel, but Daniel Waisberg said the series is coming soon.

The trailer. Here is the trailer:

Why we care. Google Search Console offers a critical set of tools that should be mastered by everyone in the SEO space. It should also be a toolset used by developers, webmasters, publishers and site owners. This video series should help everyone learn more about how to use Google Search Console through tips and advice from a Googler, Daniel Waisberg, who not only gets search but deeply understand analytics and the publishing world.

The post Google starts new Search Console training series on YouTube appeared first on Search Engine Land.

How to Fix the WordPress Error “There has been a critical error on your website”

Posted by on Nov 13, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Fix the WordPress Error “There has been a critical error on your website”

With the release of WordPress 5.3, there is a new WordPress Error “There has been a critical error on your website”. There are a lot of errors that you can encounter with WordPress, like internal server errors, database connection errors, and even ones that say “There has been a critical error on your website.” A lot of times, the full error is:

“There has been a critical error on your website. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions.

Learn more about debugging in WordPress.”

There has been a critical error on your website

Things being what they are, you’re likely thinking about what it means, and how to fix it? All things considered, ideally you’ll have the option to illuminate it, however in case you’re not happy with investigating WordPress issues, or apprehensive you’ll destroy something, WP Fix It can help with this issue. https://wpfixit.com/product/wordpress-support/


What does this error mean?

On the off chance that you’ve at any point known about the Blue Screen of Death with Windows, well WordPress has a proportionate, which is known as the White Screen of Death. That appears to be frightening. The blunder “There has been a critical error on your website” is really a comparable adaptation of the White Screen of Death. After WordPress 5.3, this is generally observed rather than the previous White Screen of Death. Kindly note that despite the fact that it might be terrifying, your site isn’t lost. It very well may be fixed.


How to Fix the WordPress Error “There has been a critical error on your website” issue

A great deal of times, the straightforward issue is to rollback the site. To do that, you have to have a reinforcement of your site. Shockingly, not every person backs up their site, so in case you’re understanding this, and one of those individuals who don’t have a reinforcement accessible, at that point this investigating instructional exercise is for you.

So as to fix the issue, you need to discover where the issue turned out badly. You do this by investigating whether it was a subject or module strife.

Theme Conflict Troubleshoot

To perform this, you just activate a default theme, like Twenty Nineteen. Unfortunately, because your site is showing an error, you will need to perform the troubleshoot with either your web host’s file manager (like cPanel’s Filemanager), or use FTP or sFTP (it’s like secure version of FTP.) It’s important to note that in switching themes, you won’t lose your chosen theme’s settings. To do this, you rename your active theme’s folder by adding DISABLE or OFF to the end of the folder’s name. For example, if you’re using Twenty Eighteen and the folder is ‘twentyeighteen’, you would name it ‘twentyeighteenDISABLE’ or ‘twentyeighteenOLD’ . Go back to the front of your site and refresh.

The objective is to check whether the mistake leaves. In the event that it doesn’t, it is anything but a subject issue. Try to rename the organizer back to its unique name when you’re finished investigating.


Plugin Conflict Troubleshoot

If it’s not the theme, it might be a plugin issue. In a way, troubleshooting is similar. However, it’s much easier to rename the plugin folder to ‘pluginsOFF’. Visit the site, and log-in. This will turn off all of the plugins. Please note that it won’t remove the original settings of those plugins, as they will be there when you reactivate them later on.

Once the plugins are off, go back and rename the folder back to ‘plugins’. Go to your WordPress admin area and reactivate each, one-by-one, until you get the screen that says “There has been a critical error on your website”. The plugin that you just reactivated, is the problem.

(Change plugins folder name via cPanel)

(Change plugins folder name using FTP – Filezilla)

Once more, in case you’re not happy with doing any of these investigating steps, WP Fix It is here to help solve this issue. https://wpfixit.com/product/wordpress-support/

When you’ve discovered the issue, you probably need to rollback the subject or module that caused it. You can do this several different ways.

  1. Download the original plugin files directly from the WordPress plugin directory, and replace the plugin via Filemanager with your web host (or cPanel), or through FTP or sFTP.
  2. Use WP Rollback plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-rollback/ to roll the plugin back to the previous version.

If you use WP Rollback, it will give you several versions to choose from. It will tell you what version you have. Below, you can follow the images to get an idea of how to use WP Rollback.


Step 1: Choose the plugin to rollback. Click ‘Rollback’ if it is available in the plugins listed in your WordPress admin.

There has been a critical error on your website

Step 2: Choose the version you want to rollback to.

There has been a critical error on your website

Step 3: Read the warnings. It might be better to test, before rollback. Only rollback if you’re sure.

There has been a critical error on your website

You will want to hold off to update when the developer does another release of the plugin or theme.

Hopefully this article will help you through solving this issue with “There has been a critical error on your website”, but if you’re not computer savvy to troubleshoot, then no worries, we’re here to help at WP Fix It. https://wpfixit.com/product/wordpress-support/

When you’ve investigated the issue and everything is up and working on your WordPress site, true to form, you ought to consider utilizing a reinforcement tool like UpdraftPlus, and backup up your site.

The post How to Fix the WordPress Error “There has been a critical error on your website” appeared first on WP Fix It.