Are Google Ads Worth It or Wasting your Budget?

Posted by on Nov 10, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Are Google Ads Worth It or Wasting your Budget?

Google Ads is one of the most popular forms of digital advertising. That said, there are some that are reluctant to use it out of concerns that they will waste their money. This concern is not misplaced, as a poorly run campaign can leave you with nothing to show. However, when you truly know how […]

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20211110 SEL Brief

Posted by on Nov 10, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 20211110 SEL Brief

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Google is testing the IndexNow protocol for sustainability

Posted by on Nov 10, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google is testing the IndexNow protocol for sustainability

A Google spokesperson has confirmed that the search company will be testing the new IndexNow protocol first introduced by Microsoft Bing and Yandex a few weeks ago. Google said while its crawling efforts are efficient, Google will test to see if it can improve its overall sustainability efforts by leveraging the IndexNow protocol.

Google’s statement. Google told Search Engine Land “we take a holistic approach to sustainability at Google, including efforts to develop the most efficient and accurate index of the web.” “We have been carbon neutral since 2007 and we are on pace to be carbon-free by 2030 across both our data centers and campuses. We’re encouraged by work to make web crawling more efficient, and we will be testing the potential benefits of this protocol,” a Google spokesperson added.

What is IndexNow. IndexNow provides a method for websites owners to instantly inform search engines about latest content changes on their website. IndexNow is a simple ping protocol so that search engines know that a URL and its content has been added, updated, or deleted, allowing search engines to quickly reflect this change in their search results.

How it works. The protocol is very simple — all you need to do is create a key on your server, and then post a URL to the search engine to notify IndexNow-participating search engines of the change. The steps include:

Generate a key supported by the protocol using the online key generation tool.Host the key in text file named with the value of the key at the root of your web site.Start submitting URLs when your URLs are added, updated, or deleted. You can submit one URL or a set of URLs per API call.

Submit one URL is easy as sending a simple HTTP request containing the URL changed and your key. and the same would work by using

How does it work with Google. We asked Google if would work with the search engine and we await to hear back. The protocol works that if you submit it to Bing or Yandex and, one would assume now Google, that one submission to any of those search engines would send them to all the search engines participating in this protocol. So submitting it to Bing, would essentially also submit it to Yandex, Google and other participating search engines.

Google changed its mind? When this first was introduced, we were told that Google is aware of the IndexNow initiative and the company was asked to participate but that Google did not. I guess Google had a change of heart?

Google crawling is efficient. Google’s crawling mechanism is supposedly very efficient and Google has continued to improve its crawling efficiency. Last year Googlebot began supporting HTTP/2, the next generation of the fundamental data transfer protocol of the web. HTTP/2 is significantly more efficient than its predecessors and it saves resources for both Google and web sites. Google uses HTTP/2 in over half of all crawls.

Why we care. Like we said before, instant indexing is an SEO’s dream when it comes to giving search engines the most updated content on a site. Google has been very strict about its applications indexing API, used for job postings and livestream content only now. Google’s change of heart here can be an exciting change for SEOs and site owners.

The protocol is very simple and it requires very little developer effort to add this to your site, so it makes sense to implement this if you care about speedy indexing.

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How to Pass Google Digital Marketing Final Exam

Posted by on Nov 9, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Pass Google Digital Marketing Final Exam

In this guide, you’ll learn how to pass the Google digital marketing final exam on the first attempt. I’ll explain what to expect in the exam and give you a list of exam questions and answers to prepare for the big date.

The Google Digital Marketing Certification (Fundamentals of Digital Marketing) offered by Google Digital Garage is one of the most popular digital marketing certifications.

It’s a great certification to get started with digital marketing and learn the fundamentals. The course includes 26 modules of self-paced learning material and videos. Upon completion of the course, and passing the digital marketing exam, you get certified.

The certification is globally recognized and it is one of the most precious Google certifications to pursue if you want to get into digital marketing.

How to Pass the Google Digital Garage Final Exam

To successfully pass the Google digital marketing exam, follow these steps:

Register with Google Digital Garage
Complete all course modules (including quizzes)
Practice with exam questions and answers
Take the exam and download your certification

1. Register with Google Digital Garage

The first step is to go to Google Digital Garage and register for a new account. Depending on your location, the learning platform may be called Google Digital Unlocked.

Don’t worry, it’s the same course and exams but with a different name. Either way registration and certification are free.

Once you log in, click the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing from the list of courses to start your learning journey.

2. Complete all course modules (including quizzes)

The next step is to go through ALL the 26 modules of the course, watch the lessons and pass the short quizzes at the end of each module.

The total estimated time to complete all lessons is 40 hours.

Things to know while working through the course

Skip to quiz: If you feel comfortable that you can answer the multiple-choice questions at the end of a lesson without watching the video, you can skip the material (by clicking the skip to quiz button) and go directly to the quiz.

But use this option with caution because you can do this only once per lesson. This means that if you click the skip to quiz button and don’t manage to pass the quiz, you’ll need to complete all lessons in the module in order to access the quiz again.

To access the final exam you need to complete all modules: While you can take the different lessons in any order you want, to get to the final exam, you have to complete all modules and quizzes.

There is no time limit: You can go through the material at your own pace. There is no time limit or limitation as to the number of times you can go through a lesson or assessment.

Use additional learning resources: If you’re new to digital marketing you may find some topics difficult to understand. What you can do to prepare for the exam and also get a better understanding is to enroll in a digital marketing course.

There are many third-party online courses available you can use to enrich your knowledge and get practical advice too.

One such course is the Reliablesoft Digital Marketing Full Course. It’s a complete course for becoming a certified digital marketing expert fast and for passing the Google garage exam on the first attempt.
Module Quizzes Questions and Answers

The assessment at the end of each module consists of a few questions. Some of them are skippable (i.e. you can skip them without answering) but there are mandatory questions too. To complete a lesson, you have to answer all non-skippable questions.

The quiz questions are multiple-choice and easy to answer. They cover material taught in the video lessons so you should have no problem getting them right.

You can find below 5 sample questions to get an idea of how the quiz questions look like.

Question: Which tool helps you measure the success of your website?

Keyword Planner
Ad Gallery
Ad Preview Tool

Answer: D

Question: Which of the following statements is true when it comes to developing a web presence for a business?

Customers can learn about a business by downloading a mobile app, but they can’t place an order using an app
Building a new website requires a large budget
Mobile apps enable your customers to purchase your products without being on your website
All businesses must have a website to sell products

Answer: C

Question: What should you consider when developing your website content?

What your customers are looking for
Your latest promotions and discounts
Your brand values
Whether the content will go viral or not

Answer: A

Question: What is the first step in creating an online business strategy?

Identifying business goals
Understanding what the competition is doing
Knowing the market
Aligning goals to the strategy

Answer: A

Question: Why are search engines a great place for a business to be found?

People pay to use search engines, so there is a wealthy customer base there
People who search are actively looking for information, products or services
Search engines are a big trend these days
Search engines guarantee new customers

Answer: B

For more quiz questions and answers, click the button below to download 100+ quiz questions (grouped by module) in PDF format.

Download Quiz Questions and Answers (PDF)

3. Practice with exam questions and answers

Once you complete all course modules (and pass all quizzes) it’s time to prepare for the exam by going through practice questions and answers.

Google Digital Marketing Final Exam Questions and Answers

You can find below a list of sample questions/answers you can expect to find when taking the exam. Google is constantly changing the questions to make the exam more credible but the questions below will give you a pretty good idea of the actual exam questions.

You can also use the download button below, to get 100+ more questions/answers for practice purposes.

When you can solve all the questions in the PDF correctly, you’re ready to pass the Google Digital Marketing exam!

Sample Questions/Answers

Question: Gaining backlinks to your website is a great way to improve the SEO performance. What best practice will encourage people to link back to your site?

Pay people to link back to your site
Write some great content they will find useful
Ensure your staff link back to your site
Link to them first, regardless of whether they have anything interesting on their site

Answer: B

Question: Search engines see the content on a website as written code, how can you help search engines identify the images on your website?

Place them well within your text
Make them eye-catching
Put branding on them
Give them descriptive names

Answer: D

Question: What can you achieve if you divide your search engine marketing account into relevant campaigns and ad groups?

Drive more traffic to your website
Target more people in different areas of the world
Ensure people see relevant ads that relate to their search query
Stop using negative keywords

Answer: C

Question: If you want to track a completed order on your website, what would be a proper place to add the conversion tracking code?

Website’s homepage
Order confirmation page
Order form page
Contact us page

Answer: B

Question: When looking to promote a business on social media, what is a good way to grow your social media following or engagement quickly?

Paid advertising
Pay for followers
Follow all of your competitors’ followers
Overuse hashtags

Answer: A

For more practice questions click the button below to download 100+ exam questions and answers.

Download Google Digital Marketing Exam Questions and Answers (PDF)

4. Take the exam and download your certification

When the big date comes, you can relax and schedule a time to take the exam.

Things to know about the Google digital garage certification exam:

The exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions.
To pass the exam you need to achieve a passing score of 80% or above. This is equivalent to getting 32 questions correct.
The total time to complete the exam is 75 minutes.
If you fail the digital marketing exam the first time, you need to wait 24 hours until you can try again.

Google Digital Marketing Certificate

Once you successfully pass the exam, you’ll be able to download a PDF of your digital marketing certificate from the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course page.

Is Google Digital Marketing Exam Hard?

The Google digital marketing exam is not hard to pass. It’s a beginner-level exam and all questions are easy, provided that you have gone through all course modules and watched the video lessons.

The exam questions are straightforward and not difficult for someone that knows the basics of digital marketing.

What To Do After Passing The Exam?

Passing the Google digital marketing exam does not make you a digital marketing expert. In order to make a successful career in digital marketing, you need to gain hands-on experience with all digital marketing topics.

The Google Digital Marketing course is great for beginners but it’s theoretical. To gain practical skills, you need to start using digital marketing on your own website or get an entry-level job.

That’s the only way to understand how digital marketing actually works and what it really takes to use the different techniques you’ll learn in a course, to increase traffic to a website and make more sales.

You can also consider expanding your skills by following a Google professional certification course.

Google offers various Google Ads courses through Google Skillshop that are great for building your Google PPC skills and obtaining an additional certificate to enrich your resume.

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How ‘near me’ searches can help your local SEO

Posted by on Nov 9, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How ‘near me’ searches can help your local SEO

How ‘near me’ searches can help your local SEO

Google keeps getting better at handling near me searches. Needless to say, mobile is the de facto way for most people to search for businesses and products — especially while out and about. Location-based ‘everything’ needs to be taken into account while optimizing the mobile and local SEO for location-dependent businesses. It’s clear that Google is stepping up its game for local SEO. In this article, we’ll give you some insights into near me searches and what you can do to make sure your online presence is set up the right way.

Table of contentsWhat can I find near me?Near me is nowNear me searches and voice searchHow to optimize for near me for local SEOGoogle’s Possum update in 2016Improving for near me searches

What can I find near me?

Near me searches are searches that consumers do when they are looking for something right here, right now. For a lot of searches, Google tells you what business is closest to your location. Often, searchers have questions that need to be answered right at the moment, so they need something right now. So these near me searches not only have a local aspect, but also a time-based one. People are in need of something and they want it now! You have probably done a Google searches like this from your phone, looking for a gas station in an unknown town because you are almost out of gas. In the suggestions that Google gives you, keywords like these appear:

Near me;closest;open;nearby.

All of these things are immediately related to your location or dire needs at that time. Searchers can also combine these terms: [gas station near me open now] or [movies playing near me tonight]. Here are some examples you might see on a mobile phone:

‘Near me’ searches lead to very specific local search results answering your question

Near me is now

While testing this, you’ll find that there many returning combinations of words people use to find these local businesses. These are what we call near me searches. Over the past years, traffic on these search terms keeps going up:

And yes, you can help your local SEO strategy by optimizing for these near me search terms. What’s more, you can help out people in the moments they need your help the most — they will be glad they found you!

Near me searches and voice search

While voice search is still picking up steam, you can optimize your local listings for it. Every day, people speak to their phones or smart devices asking for tips on local destinations or help with shopping. In that first example we shared, you might be driving along the highway and want to ask your phone to help you find a gas station near you. ‘OK Google, find a gas station near me that’s open right now.’ You can do that while leaving your hands safely on the steering wheel. You can even ask Google to navigate you to the location.

If you want to increase the chance that Google shows your business the next time someone asks that question, you need to find ways of answering those questions. Understand the search intent users have. Think about what questions users might ask before they get to your business. Then, you need to provide highly readable content that’s easy to understand for machines. Using the Yoast SEO FAQ content block, you could start by adding FAQs with answers to specific questions many users have. Plus, the structured data the plugin adds makes your site instantly more understandable for search engines.

How to optimize for near me for local SEO

Optimizing for near me searches resembles your local SEO process. As said before, for near me searches, it’s all about the search intent. People have a goal — they need something and they need it now. You have to offer that to them and you have to appear the most trustworthy of options. There are a few steps you really need to take:

Make your site super mobile-friendly

Near me searches mostly happen on mobile, at a time when the consumer needs it the most. Your site has to offer a great mobile experience if you want Google to consider you for mobile search results. You don’t want people to wait for a minute to load just one page on your site, right? Focus on user experience and site speed.

Add your NAP details and opening hours to your site

We’re talking Name, Address, Phone number, in an easy to read and index format. Preferably, we’d say to add one page per location, if you have more than one. Also, add your opening hours! On your site, don’t forget to optimize the landing pages for the various locations — if you have multiple locations or if you are targeting those.

Add NAP to Google Business Profile (formally known as Google My Business)

Add those exact details, like the address, phone number, opening hours, and website URL to your Google Business Profile page. Then, add your business to the correct category and make sure to add nice photos. If you have multiple locations but only need to promote one as the main headquarters, add multiple locations to one listing. If your business consists of a number of smaller businesses, feel free to add multiple Business Profile pages/accounts. Don’t forget to update your listing whenever you change something!

Be sure to add LocalBusiness structured data to your address

We made a plugin for that: Local SEO. It adds the appropriate LocalBusiness structured data markup to the address listed on your website, including the phone number and opening hours. This makes it easier for search engines like Google and Bing to index and fully understand these details.

Get positive reviews

We can’t deny the fact that positive reviews on Google, Yelp, or similar websites help your local ranking. It’s like the market. If locals recommend a business, we’ll be more tempted to go there. Of course, search engines will pick up on this. Don’t forget Facebook in this! People also use that a lot to search for local businesses.

Write great content and get localized links

Another way to get your local business noticed in the search results is by writing high-quality content about you, your product, or your location. Good content has a great chance to be linked to by relevant (news) outlets, maybe even getting your links with proper anchor text with your name and location.

One of the most important things you need to remember is that you need to have your details consistent at all times. If there’s a discrepancy between your Google Business Profile account and your website, Google might not know what to trust. As a result, you might not show up for those searches you long for.

Google’s Possum update in 2016

While Google has been working on its local search results for ages, it did a big update in 2016 that improved its handling of local searches. This algorithm update was loving called Possum, and it targeted local search rankings starting in September of that year. The effects were pretty noticeable.

According to local SEO expert Joy Hawkins, the update focuses mainly on combating spammy and duplicate listings in the local search results. Among other things, Google started to filter out listings that shared affiliation in their details. In addition, Google got better at understanding service areas and that improved the rankings of businesses just located outside these areas. As a result, the local search results got a lot more varied.

All of the above means that if you have a local business, you should make sure you have your local optimization in order. Don’t try to game the system, as Google is getting better and better at filtering out spam. Focus on simply being the best result for your brand, business type, or product.

Improving for near me searches

For a local business, the local three-pack and the organic search results are essential to their findability. As more and more people are doing near me searches the need for businesses to show up for these searches is growing as well. With a solid Google Business Profile and a mobile-friendly website full of factual NAP details, you might be well on your way to getting there!

Read more: The ultimate guide to small business SEO »

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How to Prepare for the Adobe Analytics Business Practitioner Exam

Posted by on Nov 9, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Prepare for the Adobe Analytics Business Practitioner Exam

Getting certified for your Adobe Analytics knowledge is a complex and intricate process to prove your proficiency. Check out Bounteous’ preparation guide below to ensure you’re well prepared to approach this opportunity head-on.

Pricing, deals, and checkout features now live in Microsoft Bing Shopping

Posted by on Nov 9, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Pricing, deals, and checkout features now live in Microsoft Bing Shopping

New features announced in the Bing Shopping roadmap have just gone live to help shoppers find what they’re looking for at the best prices and to help retailers showcase their inventories in new places.

What’s new? “Deal-conscious shoppers will now see ‘sales’ and ‘price drops’ marked on applicable items, alongside deal rankings that are ‘good’, ‘great’, or ‘epic’. Additionally, shoppers can choose to compare prices across stores or find a product’s price history over time, in just one click,” said Microsoft Bing’s Blog. We first announced this in our coverage last week, as Microsoft works to become more of a recommendation engine for shoppers online: “Using privacy-focused shopper data, the shopping experience will eventually become ‘query-less’ says Chatterjee. Being able to make ‘for you’ recommendations will ‘add another dimension for users.’ Bing will be able to customize shopping suggestions based on these shopper types and the overall retail landscape trends it’s seeing.”

Checkout directly in Edge browser. Along with these deal indicators for price-conscious shoppers, Microsoft Bing is making checkout as easy as possible to smooth any barriers to conversion for shoppers: “When a shopper is ready to buy, they can easily see if their item is available for ‘curbside pickup,’ or can try our new ‘Buy Now’ feature for Amazon products that directly adds the item to Amazon’s cart. We’ve also begun rolling out express checkout on Edge to make purchase just a few clicks on any seller website!”

Why we care. These new features enhance the experience for shoppers who want to be able to compare prices, get the best deals, and know what’s trending — all in a single interface. For retailers, it’s easy to participate in with feed-based Merchant Center integrations, like Shopify. While there is some disadvantage to not being able to make the case why your product may cost more (commoditization of products), having them all in a single view for shoppers can reduce barriers to conversion and easy checkout could improve those conversions. It’s worth trying and monitoring.

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9 ways to level up your search marketing career

Posted by on Nov 9, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 9 ways to level up your search marketing career

9 ways to level up your search marketing career

It’s no secret that it’s a job seeker’s market right now. While the pandemic may have initially hampered companies’ investment in SEO and PPC, as the lockdowns continued and more people took their lives online search marketing became paramount. Even anecdotally, I noticed an uptick in businesses interested in SEO services as they realized that they needed to be found online now more than ever.

Employees are getting antsy for career development and advancement. This shift means that search marketers have the power to set the tone for what’s next in their careers, but we’re not the only ones. According to Prudential Financial’s Pulse of the American Worker survey, 26% of workers planning to switch jobs post-COVID, 80% are doing so because they’re concerned about career advancement. The pandemic has led to a “very real experience that employees have had around a lack of career progression and a concern around skills development,” says Rob Falzon, vice chair at Prudential. People feel that they have been working hard but have not been given opportunities to advance professionally in their current company, wrote Caroline Castrillon for Forbes.

Shifting search landscapes mean shifting career skills. In search marketing, we’re seeing a move toward the larger players taking away our individual controls and levers. To advance we have to rewrite the old search marketing playbook. Problem-solving has always been our forte, but we have to be even more creative now as data is taken away, more of our processes are being automated, and we have to expand beyond our own siloes to get things done. Leveling up your career — regardless of how you decide to advance it, is all about becoming a strategic leader.

In my opening keynote at SMX Next today, I’m going to go through these nine key tips for becoming a search marketing leader in your area. It’s about more than just your spreadsheet skills (though that’s important too).

A caveat. Before we dive in it’s important to remember that career progression is not always linear. Especially with the fluctuating nature of work over the past two years, you may have found yourself having to take a break to help with homeschooling or taking care of a sick family member. Or perhaps your work increased dramatically faster than you anticipated and you’re still reeling. Whenever you are right now, just remember: You’re exactly where you need to be. And these are the steps to take to get to where you want to go.

1. Tech skill are important.

The foundation of SEO and PPC are technical skills. Search engines are giving us the numbers behind user experience, and we need the quantitative and specialized skills to be able to make those changes a reality. A while ago, someone asked Barry Schwartz what he thought would be a differentiator in SERPs in the coming years, and he replied, “Content.” His reasoning was that technical SEO and PPC skills will become table stakes. We will all need to have them just to get by.

We’re seeing a huge wave of more technical skills in both emerging as practitioners are finding new ways to automate their own processes, pull and analyze data to create reports that matter for each target audience, and manage the more specific back-end details of website accessibility. We’ve always been a technical field, and those skills aren’t going anywhere.

2. People skills are important-er.

While tech skills are table stakes in search marketing, the “softer” skills are often more varied and sometimes harder to come by. There’s, of course, an element of search marketing that’s just, sort of, intuition. Once you’ve been working in the field for a while, you can just tell what searcher intent is with specific queries. You learn your target marketing and your industry so well that you truly understand the people you’re serving.

The other key people skill in SEO and PPC is empathy. Microsoft regularly promotes their Marketing with Purpose Playbook which talks about expressing to your customers that your products and services are for them: “85% of consumers say they’ll only consider a brand if they trust the brand,” said MJ DePalma at Microsoft Advertising. “Authenticity is the most important attribute to brand performance.” Being able to convey authenticity in your search marketing isn’t easy! It’s a skill we have to work to build and hone, but it’s one worth investing in.

3. Not everyone wants to be a manager.

Many times when people move to the next level of their careers, they think it means they have to become a manager. The fact is not everyone wants to manage people. Some people really love the individual contributor work that they do and don’t want to give that up! In her book Radical Candor, Kim Scott talks about two types of employees: rock stars and superstars.

Rock stars are the steady rock of a department. They know how to do what they do really well, and they get exceptional results. Their growth trajectory may be more steady, but they love their jobs and don’t really want their boss’s job.

Superstars, on the other hand, are the type of people who absolutely cannot stand the thought of doing the same job two years from now. They have a much steeper growth trajectory and are excited at the thought of taking their boss’s job someday (someday soon, preferably).

The path that I think Radical Candor leaves out is for people who want to go out on their own. They don’t want their boss’s job because they don’t want a boss at all! Any of these career paths are great. And, honestly, you may want to partake in any of them at any time given what’s going on in your life.

4. It’s ok if you don’t have a 5-year plan.

Someone told me once that when she asked for a raise at her job her boss countered by asking for her five-year career plan with the company. She asked my advice, and I honestly didn’t have anything good because 5 years is a long time! Sure, having an idea of where you want to go is great! But no one needs a detailed career map with an accompanying timeline.

So much can happen in 5 years. I bet 5 years ago no one could have predicted COVID-19 and how it would affect the workforce. If a career map makes you feel better, then don’t let me sway you from achieving your goals, but also remember to be flexible in your timelines and trajectories. You may get there a little slower or a lot faster than you anticipated.

5. Work on negotiation.

Regardless of whether you want to be a manager, an individual contributor, or an entrepreneur, almost everyone can benefit from leveling up their negotiation skills. While it can help you increase your salary and get better benefits at work, it’s also a beneficial skill in general. Negotiations are truly just conversations where two sides are coming together to discuss their interests and come to an agreement.

Negotiation skills can benefit you when you’re working with vendors, problem-solving with colleagues, determining scope of work with clients, or even determining whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher at home. Many people are nervous about negotiating, but the most you practice it in everyday life, the easier it gets. If you can work on negotiating in these smaller conversations, the bigger negotiations (like salary!) will come a lot easier.

6. Pursue your strengths.

In his book The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris talks about relentlessly pursuing your strengths and not worrying too much about your weaknesses. “By improving your strengths over your weaknesses, you focus on multiplying the results as opposed to incrementally fixing your flaws,” summarized Elle McFarlane for Oberlo. In business, this is called, “niching down.” The idea is that YOU know where you are the absolute expert and pursuing that arena would benefit you more than trying to learn everything about search marketing.

For example, I found out about Kristie Plantinga from iPullRank’s People Supporting SEOs list. I found her site really beautiful and asked her how she decided to niche down into SEO specifically for therapists: “I work with therapists because I was going to become a therapist [but] pursued my love of writing instead. Before working with therapists, I worked with lawyers. [I found out that some] lawyers are really aggressive, so I decided to niche with professionals I knew would be kinder and more patient. I didn’t end up working directly in mental health, but now I can support people who do,” she told me on Twitter. She pursued her strengths and area of expertise and serves the therapy community.

Instead of trying to fix all your areas of weakness, find ways to amplify your strengths like Plantinga!

7. Start a win list.

Along with helping in potential job negotiations, starting a win list gives you a tool to help kick imposter syndrome when you’re feeling it sneak up on you. Start by creating a folder on your desktop or Google drive and any time someone says anything remotely nice about you, your work, or working with you, take a screenshot. Put the screenshot in the folder for when you need it later.

This is also a great place to keep a running document of your achievements and projects. Keep track of the quantitative and qualitative wins you achieved (and things you said yes to outside your scope of work). That way, when it does come time to ask for a salary bump, you have the metrics and testimonials to prove you earned it. Plus, you can look at all your win list screenshots and organize them by themes. This will tell you what your superpowers are so you can continue to pursue them (see tip 6 above!).

8. Ask for what you need at work.

As I mentioned in the intro, it’s a search marketer’s job market right now. Not only has the pandemic accelerated the need for SEO and PPC, but it’s also dramatically changed the way we work. We’re working from home more, and it’s been nice to give up commuting and save money on lunches out. But it also means we are balancing more than ever, and there’s often no real differentiator between work time and home time since they all occur at the same place now.

There is a viral TikTok video going around now talking about the 8-hour workday. The premise is that the way our workweeks were originally built catered to those doing assembly-line-type jobs. Nowadays we can work from anywhere and get our work done at any time, so the way companies think about a workday should shift to accommodate that.

All this is to say that you have the power as the employee to advocate for what you need to make yourself a successful search marketer. Ask for what you need and don’t be afraid to ask your coworkers if they’d like to join in the negotiations with you. Now is a great time to consider what you need to do your best work and to talk with your leadership about making it happen.

9. Give back to the search community.

Finally, once you’ve worked relentlessly to become the best, next-level search marketer in your industry, make sure you consider giving back to the SEO and PPC communities. Even if you don’t want to become a manager, you could always give back by becoming a mentor.

I did an informal Twitter poll a while back asking how people learned search marketing. Only 10% of search marketers had a mentor guide them along the way:

Mentorship is one way to help accelerate the careers of others in SEO and PPC. Plus, there are some benefits to you as a mentor:

Improve your communication and personal skills.Develop leadership and management qualities.Reinforce your own study skills and knowledge of your subject.Increase your confidence and motivation.Increase your network.

The Search Engine Land mentorship program, for example, hosted three mentorship matches each in both SEO and PPC. These mentorships varied in topics from technical SEO skills to how to manage a team all the way to getting your dream job in search. It doesn’t have to be a formal commitment like our program, but any way you can take your career advancements and offer a hand in search will grow the community as a whole.

Career progression isn’t always linear. Whether you’re entry-level or the CEO of a thousand-person organization, there are always areas to continue to develop to improve your career and its effect on those around you. These nine tips are a good starting point to continue to cultivate your career path and keep growing as a human and a search marketer.

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Google Keyword Planner Tool gains year-over-year, 3-month change and trends data

Posted by on Nov 9, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google Keyword Planner Tool gains year-over-year, 3-month change and trends data

Google Keyword Planner Tool gains year-over-year, 3-month change and trends data

Google has is testing adding a few new columns of metrics to the Google Keyword Planner Tool. The new columns we’ve seen on the Google Keyword Planner Tool include year-over-year change, three-month change and trend type.

New in Keyword planner tool. You can access the keyword planner tool over here if you have a Google Ads account. When you run a new report, Google may pop up a message saying “Keyword trends: Now you can compare recent and past keyword trends.”

Google’s Keyword Planner tool helps you research keywords for your Google Search campaigns. You can use this free tool to discover new keywords related to your business and see estimates of the searches they receive and the cost to target them.

New columns. Google has added new keyword trends data including:

YoY Change – The year over year change compares the monthly search volume of the latest month with the same month the previous year.Three month change – The three month change shows a three month change in search trends by comparing the latest month’s data, with the data from two months prior. For example, if the latest month is July, the July data would be compared to May to show change in search volume over three months.Three month trending type – This shows you if the trend is going up or down or remaining flat for the keyword. I no longer see this but Google was testing this.

What it looks like. Here are screenshots of these new columns; one from Patrick Garde on Twitter and the other from Arbab Usmani’s on Twitter:

New YoY Change Column

Three Month Trend Type Column

Google statement. “This is a small experiment. We’re always testing new ways to improve our experience for our advertisers and users, but don’t have anything specific to announce right now,” a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land.

“This is a small experiment. We’re always testing new ways to improve our experience for our advertisers and users, but don’t have anything specific to announce right now," a spokesperson told @sengineland. #PPCChat

— Carolyn Lyden (she/her) (@CarolynLyden) October 4, 2021

It looks like Google has continued to experiment with new keyword planner columns.

Why we care. Having more data, be it trending figures for the past three months or year-over-year, can be useful for marketers to see trends and plan their campaigns with more insight. Check out the keyword planner tool and utilize as much of the data Google is giving you to benefit your customers and your own campaigns.

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Yelp’s new home feed looks like a certain popular social media app

Posted by on Nov 9, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Yelp’s new home feed looks like a certain popular social media app

Yelp’s new home feed looks like a certain popular social media app

Yelp is introducing a new home feed experience, consisting of a vertical feed of visual content from local restaurants, for its mobile app, the company announced Tuesday. The Instagram-like feature is now rolling out to iOS users in nearly 150 metropolitan areas across the United States.

The new vertical home feed in Yelp’s iOS app. Image: Yelp.

What content appears in the feed? Photos of Popular Dishes, which are determined by Yelp’s machine learning systems based on user-submitted photos and reviews, and Yelp Connect posts can appear in the new home feed.

When a user taps on a Popular Dish in the home feed, they’re redirected to more photos and reviews mentioning the dish. Photos can also be images of a restaurant’s interior or exterior; when a user taps on one of those images, they’re shown more details about the photo on the business page.

A Yelp Connect post, with the “Sponsored” label, in the home feed. Image: Yelp.

Subscribers of Yelp’s paid Connect feature will also gain more visibility in the new home feed. Connect posts are distinguished by the “Sponsored” label shown above. When users tap on a Connect post, they’ll be presented with an option to view the business’s Yelp page or share the post.

Bringing social media features into Yelp. Yelp is also adding a heart icon to all home feed content, according to Phillip Zukin, group product manager of consumer product at Yelp. “That said, businesses are only notified that their content is resonating with potential customers when a consumer taps the heart icon on a Connect post,” he added. Users are not currently shown how many “hearts” a post has received.

Personalization for users. Home feed content is personalized to users based on various factors, including their physical proximity to the business, the popularity of a dish in reviews and the recency of the content.

Why we care. This social media-inspired UI tweak may make discovering new businesses easier for users on Yelp’s iOS app. This visual format is a sharp contrast to its main competitor, Google Maps, which may help Yelp attract users that are looking to be served recommendations as opposed to searching a map interface for the right place to eat. And, as with any interface change, how users behave within the app is likely to adapt, which may mean increased engagement for businesses if the new home feed is well received. 

The new home feed also provides more visibility for businesses using Yelp Connect, which may raise the utility of the service for some subscribers. “Our initial testing showed that this new experience may help increase consumer engagement with businesses’ Connect posts by as much as 30%,” Yelp said in the announcement.

Yelp also has plans to roll out the new home feed experience to Android users as well, but did not provide a timeline for the release.

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