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How to Get Traffic to Your Website (Neil Patel’s Ultimate Guide)

Posted by on Jul 25, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Get Traffic to Your Website (Neil Patel’s Ultimate Guide)

How to Get Traffic to Your Website (Neil Patel’s Ultimate Guide)

I don’t think anyone would argue that I’ve written a ton of content over the years about how to get traffic to your website. Still, it’s one of the most important skills to learn. Optimizing your website for conversions won’t matter if you don’t have any traffic to begin with. It’s like expecting to sell merchandise when nobody visits your brick-and-mortar store. Once you know how to get traffic to your website, you can optimize your content and pages based on patterns among your target audience. That’s step two. But as they say, you have to walk before you can…

The post How to Get Traffic to Your Website (Neil Patel’s Ultimate Guide) appeared first on The Daily Egg.

Viral Marketing Campaigns and How the Next One Can be Yours

Posted by on Jul 25, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Viral Marketing Campaigns and How the Next One Can be Yours

Viral Marketing Campaigns and How the Next One Can be Yours

Viral marketing got its name from acting like a virus. Spreading from one person to another at a rapid pace. Would you want your content to spread that way? I would definitely love to.

Let’s take a look at some viral marketing examples.

Examples of viral marketing campaigns and what they have in common

1. Dollar Shave Club

On 2012 Dollar Shave Club uploaded their ad featuring one half of their founder, Michael Dubin presenting their company and products package with a poised air paired with some outrageous actions. The video went viral in an instant and helped secured 12k of orders in the first 2 days it went online.

By 2018 the video has accumulated 25 million views on YouTube and remains one of the first things to pop up whenever someone mentions viral marketing.

The ad itself is straightforward enough. Michael brief the audience about what the company does and encourage the audience to try out their product. However, it is presented in a humorous and exaggerating way. That is why it has garnered so much attention. Their tagline “Our blades are f***ing great” was also refreshingly blunt and honest.

To sum it up. The ad is refreshing, blunt and wacky. The products sound good enough and don’t make a dent in your wallet. People are convinced to give it a try. BAM! Business.

Our Blades Are F***ing Great went viral the moment it went online and prompted 12k of orders in a 2-day span

2. The Blair Witch Project

This is the first ever movie to went viral before we are even aware that a movie marketing campaign can go viral. They created a mystery, an urban legend that lure the crowd in. They are so successful in creating the illusion that instead of a film, it’s an actual found footage that they sparked a debate on the topic.

A couple of websites were built to fuel the background story of the Blair Witch and the characters who went missing. To make it more believable, they even passed out flyers encouraging the public to report to the police if they come across any information regarding the missing characters.

Due to its successful campaign, the movie grossed $250 million worldwide over a $6 million budget. The movie itself became a cult favorite and has a big loyal following.

The key to success of their campaign is they have sparked questions. Is this a movie or a documentary? Is the Blair Witch real? Where are the actors? People got so involved because of the sense of suspension that they rush to the theatres to get their answers.

The movie makers created a backstory of the Blair Witch to make everything seems so much more “real”

3. Red Bull Flugtag

Red Bull is known for their association with an active lifestyle and extreme sports. But they are also not afraid to get a little comical along the way. One of their biggest events is the Red Bull Flugtag, first started in 1991 in Viena.

Flugtag means flight day in German. Participants would try to launch their homemade aircraft from a pier into a body of water. More often than not, they fail to do so. But, the main point of the event is not to have a successful launch. Instead, participants would rack their brains to come up with the most outrageous and eye-grabbing air crafts.

The main selling point of the event is entertainment. People laugh their hearts out at the epic launching failure. The viewers are happy. The participants are happy. Everyone remembers and associates red bull with this happy memory. They’ll be more likely to grab a can of red bull the next one they saw one in the chiller.

The main point is, they created an event where everyone can participate and everyone can get a good laugh out of it. Extreme sports don’t have to always be grueling and keep you off your seats. Getting your product associated with a funny and happy memory will never be a bad idea.

One of the team participated in the Red Bull Flugtag with their eye catching flying machine

A huge crowd gathered to witness the Red Bull Flugtag event

What viral marketing can do to your business
Now that you have seen some viral marketing examples, let’s see how they can affect your business.

1. Increase visibility and traffic

When people are intrigued by your content, they will share it on social media. Via the shareable link, the audience would link back to the page of your content thus generating traffic. The more viral your content goes, the more traffic you’ll gain.

Traffic means exposure and visibility. Let’s look at Dollar Shave Club again, they are literally a freshly launched company that came out of nowhere. But thanks to their viral ad, they gain a ton of traffic. People actually notice them and got the company and their tagline engraved into their memory.

Exposure is especially important to a startup. Putting your name out there and got people to know about your brand could be a long and gruesome battle. But, if you got a campaign going viral, you can get a explosion of recognition. When people recognize your brand they are more likely to buy your product.

2. Evergreen content

People come back to a good content again and again. While your marketing campaign is going viral and being shared everywhere, you want to make sure that people would visit it again and again. A good example of this is the Red Bull Flugtag, people would search for videos of the event when they want a good laugh. Thus creating a constant traffic and help build brand image and recognition.

If you run a blog on your company website, creating a good, informative and fresh piece of content also has the chance to go viral. A good piece of content may not go viral among the general public like a funny video would, BUT it can go viral among a certain demographic. The demographic would most likely be your targeted customers where the content matters to their concern.

When a knowledge sharing piece gained authority it will surely gain publicity and popularity thus becoming your evergreen viral content.

3. Increase backlink volume

Numbers of backlink is one of the weightage to get your website ranked on Google search page. A marketing campaign content getting viral means getting shared and getting shared means a lot of different websites are linking back to your website. Thus greatly increasing your backlink volume.

Although Google would not take each and every one of your backlink into consideration while deciding on your rank, getting more backlinks is better than getting no backlinks.

In seo, link building is one of the major concern. Like everything else, getting to a level where you have a significant number of quality backlinks can take a lot of time and effort. A viral marketing campaign can help you gain a burst of backlinks in a short amount of time.

If you have managed to craft a marketing campaign that has both went viral but is still considered an evergreen content, your site will be able to get constant fresh links. As in people would link to your site constantly instead of just once when your campaign go viral. Google take fresh link into consideration while ranking. Getting fresh links would give you more advantage to rank on the search page.

What makes a piece of content viral worthy?

1. IT HAS TO BE ATTENTION GRABBING. Be it a wacky commercial, sponsoring an extreme sport or let everyone feel like they’re involved on a personal level.

Leave an impact on the viewers and be memorable. Make them go “WOW! I need to share this with my friends!”. If they don’t even remember your content, what’s the point?

2. It has to be sharable. More often than not, pictures and videos work better than words alone. They tend to leave a stronger and longer impact on viewers. Coupled up with social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, the content could be easily shared. Sharable contents let the audience do the work for you. They could share it with their followers thus amplifying your audience outreach.

All you need to do is create a piece of viral-worthy content and plan an initial outreach. After that, you can lay back and see the views start rolling in. Because instead of you, the crowd is spreading your content.

3.Next, the piece should contain a message that you want to tell. Of course, a picture of a gleeful pup stuck in a bush can go viral, but that won’t do anything to your business. Well, I can argue that the optimistic Shiba Inu is telling us to keep our head up even when you’re stuck, BUT, it still won’t do anything to your business.

These are just a handful of the most straightforward reasons that a campaign can go viral. However, they are also the core to creating a viral-worthy content that feeds into your business.

How to build your own viral marketing campaigns

Now that you’ve seen some examples, you know why viral marketing strategies are important and you know what can make you go viral, let’s see how to create a marketing campaign for yourself.

1. Remember that it is a part of branding

Keep in mind that what you published would be forever associated with your brand. The tone you set, the characters who appeared, and even the color scheme should be thoroughly considered before it set in stone.

Take GoPro as an example, their campaign showcases adventurers setting out to explore the world while recording it all down with a GoPro. Instead of a product, they have been elevated into a lifestyle. Anyone owning a GoPro would be perceived as someone who is adventurous and leads an exciting life. When setting out to a new travel destination you’ll be tempted to buy a GoPro to get that rush of being a REAL adventurer.

This is the extent of their campaign and how successful they are at branding their product as a lifestyle.

GoPro embracing and promoting as a must-have for every adventurer.

2. Make sure that the content is relevant to your company and product

Plan your campaign in accordance with the message your company wants to deliver. Without relevance, your ads are just another picture or another video that doesn’t move the crowd to put their attention on you.

Take GoPro again as an example, their product line of action cameras fit in just nicely with their dynamic ads showcasing people going on an adventure.

You wouldn’t want to create a viral content just for the sake of going viral. You want the audience to convert into potential customers. That’s why you need to repackage your message in an interesting and eye-catching way.

3. Choose the appropriate influencer for your initial content outreach

When you have a content, you would want to share it. But where and how? The simple way would to put it up on YouTube or Facebook and pray that people would pick it up. OR, you could do some research beforehand. Look for some influencers who have similar reader demographic as your target. Who are already talking about similar topics, and start writing some emails.

You can be professional or you can get a little more personal, that’s your choice. But what you want to accomplish at this point is to reach out to influencers and ask them to share your content with their followers. That would be the first point of amplification. After that, if the content did go viral, views will start rolling up without your active effort.

However, you will need to filter out a list of influencers with an audience who overlaps with your targeted customers demographic. You also need to make sure that they have a big enough outreach and a good ranking among others.

TL;DR

Some examples of viral marketing campaigns include Dollar Shave Club, The Blair Witch Project and Red Bull Flugtag. The three overlapping reason that pushed their popularity is how those campaigns make the audience feel relatable, it builds up anticipation and also give a good laugh, or evoke a certain emotion. With a viral content in your belt, you can increase your visibility and traffic, have a constant fresh link with a evergreen content and increase your backlink volume. Meanwhile, they’re also attention-grabbing, sharable and give out a message. In order to build a right campaign yourself, you need to keep in mind that a campaign is a part of the campaign. Build an image for your brand, make sure your marketing campaign plan is relevant to your product and choose the appropriate influencer or platform to share your content.

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Learn How To Make Your Content Go Viral With This E-Book

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WordPress Web Design – 4 Big Mistakes to Avoid when Making a Website for SEO

Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in Greg's SEO Articles | Comments Off on WordPress Web Design – 4 Big Mistakes to Avoid when Making a Website for SEO

If you need a website for your business or personal use, you probably must have heard of WordPress web designing. WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) and blog platform used by millions of individuals and business owners. This is no surprise as the platform is easy to use, versatile and requires little or no web design knowledge to manipulate.

In this article, we shall discuss 4 big mistakes to avoid when making your WordPress website for SEO. Before then, let us consider some basic reasons why WordPress is an ideal platform for web designing.

·        Easy Customization

WordPress has been the major driven force behind most successful website design and development. The success of these projects is as a result of the easy customization process that WordPress offers. With user-friendly and intuitive features, WordPress can be used by beginners and professionals to build and create a website that is suited to their need.

There are thousands of custom themes and plug-ins available online. Some of these varieties software are free while others are premium. Due to this, many owners are able to customize their website to reflect their personal preference and choice. This accounts for why WordPress is the most preferred web designing platform. More so, WordPress is compatible with most browsers and is another advantage.

·        Search Engine Friendly

WordPress design is simplified with search engine friendly features. These features come in default with the WordPress configuration. WordPress offers an easy way for individuals and business owners to achieve their search engine goals.

For instance, WordPress allows you to create custom URL addresses that are friendly to search engine, publish contents whenever you like and install new plug-ins for added search engine features. What’s more, WordPress automatically and instantly submit your contents to the search engine immediately after you hit the publish button. The Content Management system allows you to moderate your contents and decide which one to index and how the results are displayed.

·        Plugins

WordPress comes with its own default features and you can extend these features even further through the use of Plug-ins. With so many plug-ins out there, blogging on WordPress is increasingly getting easier than before. No matter what you are looking for in a website, there are plug-ins that will do just that.

WordPress has thousands of Plug-ins in stock each with its own unique feature. Whatever you need, just go to the plug-in page and search for your preferred one. Many argue that premium plug-ins are more effective than free ones. However, your choice will depend on what you need.

·        Themes

In order to create and design a befitting WordPress website to taste, there are thousands of WordPress themes available for you. Many of these themes are provided by the WordPress developers and others by third-party developers. Explore the numerous options available and see the one that looks good for your website.

More so, these themes can be modified and customized to suit your taste. It is possible for you to like the layout of a theme but not the color. The customization option available allows you to alter certain features of the theme.

·        Cost Effective

Apart from the cost of purchasing domain and hosting, maintaining a WordPress site is relatively not costly. Themes and plug-ins are free except if you need a premium feature. More so, the cost of licenses to the premium theme and plug-in features are inexpensive and one-time.

·        Easy to Use

Needless to say, the WordPress user interface is simple, easy, and user-friendly. It is quite easy to use for beginners without any coding experience. However, a little coding experience will enable you to modify and make substantial changes to the website design.

·        Search Engine Optimization

WordPress is very efficient when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. With an intuitive content management and permalink system, you can easily format your contents into a search engine friendly one. Furthermore, WordPress is built with a simple programming language that search engine bots can easily understand and indexing isn’t an issue.

However, in order to enjoy the dividends of WordPress website design, there are some 4 big errors you should avoid.

4 Big Mistakes to Avoid when Making a Website for SEO

1.     Missing or Duplicate Title and Meta Description tags

Meta tags are HTML codes that are inserted into the Head part of a web page, just after the title tag. There are some WordPress plug-ins that allows you add a custom Meta tag to each page. Perfect Mata tags help to explain the details of your website to the search engines and give directions as to how the website will be ranked. Simply, a Meta tag indicates how a web page should be ranked and what it is to be ranked for.

Without a Meta title, tag, and description, search engines would find it difficult to rank your website. Since Meta details tell the search engine how and what to rank your website for, your website may end up being neglected by search engines.

Duplicate Meta details, however, can cause confusion and discrepancy to the search engine robots. It is necessary for you to have comprehensive, non-duplicate Meta details in order to catch the attention of the search engine bots.

2.     No “About”, “Contact” or “services” pages

When creating a WordPress website, the first few pages to prepare are the About US, Contact Us, and Services page. The about us page gives information about yourself (the owner), about the business (or company) and what the website is all about. The Contact Us page should contain information on how your readers can contact you. Typically, a Contact Us page must contain contact information like email, phone number, and postal code.

The Services page shows the types of services you offer on your website. If you blog for personal purpose, then your services can include the several categories of posts your blog covers and a brief introduction about them. If you use WordPress for an official purpose (for your company), you may want to include the services your company offers.

3.     Website images are too large in byte size

Large Images slow down the page speed of a website. Websites that are too slow to load are often ignored by search engine robots. In fact, users generally love a fast and responsive website. The best practice is to avoid the use of images as much as possible. Instead of using images, you can opt for icons or even gave a simple design using HTML codes.

We understand that it is relatively impossible to avoid using images on a website. In fact, some websites deal with displaying images of products. Still, images with larger sizes are not good for your WordPress website.

To resolve this, you should compress your images as much as possible in order to reduce its file size. Also, you should optimize your images after they have been uploaded. There are some WordPress plug-ins that focus on image optimization. You should check them out.

4.     Missing Physical Address

Physical address proves that you are authentic and reputable. Apart from the fact that users love to deal with a company they can trace physically, search engine gives priority to websites with a physical address. Adding a physical address isn’t just about adding any random address. We recommend that you add a Google verified address, such as Google+ or Google map.

Of course, having a Google verified address is a great boost for SEO. Users want businesses they can track physically and search engines have configured their robots to prioritize such websites. With a verified address, your website would be given a top priority.

Conclusion

WordPress is a popular Content Management System and blog platform that allows individuals and businesses to create and design a custom website to their taste. WordPress has a number of interesting features which makes it a better option for other website platforms. One of these features is Search Engine friendliness.

WordPress is configured in a simple language which makes it easily accessible and understandable by search engine robots. However, there are some big mistakes you should avoid when optimizing your website for SEO. This article contains 4 big mistakes to avoid when setting up your website for SEO. We hope you will find this piece useful.

The Future of SEO: It’s Not What You’re Expecting

Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on The Future of SEO: It’s Not What You’re Expecting

The Future of SEO: It’s Not What You’re Expecting

What do you think the future of SEO is?

And no, I am not talking about what Google will look like 10 years from now… I’m talking about how you’ll be able to rank your site in the future.

You know, that one thing that’ll just skyrocket your rankings.

So, what do you think it is?

I can tell you this… it’s not link building and it’s not on-page SEO.

Sure, those things help, but they don’t skyrocket your rankings. When you build links, it can take months if not a year for them to kick in.

And everyone is doing on-page SEO, so there is nothing unique about it anymore.

So, what do you think it is? Shall I give you a hint?

The accidental SEO hack

I stumbled on the “future” of SEO by accident. Back in March 2016, I was able to take my traffic from 185,980 visitors a month to 195,596 a month.

And it all happened within 30 days.

Here was my traffic in February 2016:

After I ran my accidental marketing experiment, my traffic grew by 9,616 visitors (to 195,596 monthly visitors in March).

I know what you are thinking… there are more days in March than February. And although that’s true, the majority of those additional 9,616 visitors came from search.

So what happened?

As I mentioned above, I accidentally stumbled upon this.

But once I noticed that the side effect of this marketing experiment was that it increased my search traffic, I ran it again.

And this time, on a much larger scale.

Let’s look at my traffic in June 2016:

And now let’s look at July 2016:

And now look at August 2016:

That growth rate is ridiculous! I grew my traffic to 454,382 visitors a month in August from 240,839 in June!

See, during that time period, I wasn’t trying to figure out any cool SEO hacks that would boost my rankings… it just accidentally happened. And it happened because I was running a marketing experiment that wasn’t related to SEO, but funny enough, it impacted SEO (in a major way!).

As you can see from the graphs above, I was able to drastically boost my rankings and search traffic over time.

So, can you guess what it was?

Let me give you a hint…

How Google deals with the Internet cesspool

The EX-CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, talked about how the Internet is becoming a place where false information is thriving. Essentially, the Internet is becoming a cesspool.

He went on to discuss how brands were becoming more important signals whether or not content can be trusted.

And in his words:

Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.

In other words, if you want to do well in the long run, you have to build a brand.

When you look at Google you can see clearly that it’s dominated by big brands. From Huffington Post to Wikipedia to CNN… the list goes on and on.

Sure, these sites have a lot of content and backlinks, but they also have huge brands.

When my traffic grew from 185,980 visitors a month in February 2016 to 454,382 visitors in August, it was due to one thing.

My brand kept growing!

Just look at the brand queries for my name over time according to Google Trends:

Over time, my brand has grown in popularity. And as it’s grown, so has my traffic.

In the last 28 days, 40,412 people found my site by Googling variations of my name.

That’s a lot of people!

But what’s cool is, the traffic increases didn’t mainly come from people Googling “Neil Patel.” It mainly came from an increase in rankings for non-branded terms like “online marketing.”

It’s so effective that I generate over a million visits from Google each month now:

To clarify, the way Google looks at brands is that if a website gets a higher amount of brand queries than their competition (the number of people searching for your website name each month), it tells Google that people prefer that one brand over another.

And when Google is determining where to rank a website for all of the terms they are optimizing for, they give more preference to the ones with the most popular brands because those are the sites that people prefer more.

So why does Google put so much emphasis on brands verus other search signals?

Why Google loves brands

Just think about it, it’s the hardest thing to manipulate.

You optimize your on-page code with very little effort these days.

Heck, if you have a WordPress blog you can just use the Yoast SEO plugin and it will do a lot of the work for you.

And when it comes to links, it is harder, but not impossible. You can do email outreach, guest posting, buying links, reciprocal link building, content marketing

Now, I am not saying you should leverage all of these link building tactics because Google frowns upon many of them and they are short-sided (always think long-term).

You get the point… it’s not that hard to build links these days if you know what you are doing.

But the one thing that is hard to build, no matter how good of a marketer you are, is a brand.

Even if you do massive PR stunts, which causes everyone to know your brand and search for your brand on Google (that’s how they measure it), it won’t help you in the long term.

And trust me, I’ve tried it all.

I even tried to get people to search for my name by having famous people hold up signs with my name as it causes others to wonder “who is Neil Patel” and perform a Google search. I also did that throughout the world in different languages.

I even had Larissa Manoela, a famous Brazilian actress, post this on her Instagram account for her 15+ million (million!!) followers.

The concept behind this marketing stunt was that no matter what industry you are in, everyone follows celebrities (or at least knows about them). And if you can get these celebrities to talk about you, it will create buzz and get new people to learn who you are and potentially become an avid follower. Or at the very least, search for you in Google.

And if you can get a lot of celebrities (or social influencers) to talk about you during the same time, it will create even more buzz and potentially cause newspapers and news websites to talk about you as well.

Now I didn’t have enough money to pay A-list celebrities, so I took Internet celebrities (and a few big names in countries outside of the US) and got them to hold up signs with my name on both Facebook and Instagram.

This created buzz, which then caused more people to Google my name. This, in turn, increased my popularity over time. And the end result was that I increased my rankings for non-branded terms (like “online marketing” and “SEO”).

That’s how I got the big boost in traffic from February 2016 to August 2016.

Although that will help boost your search traffic in the short run, it won’t last long unless you continually build up your brand. Google is looking to see how many people are searching for your brand name on a daily basis… and ideally, they want to see this increase over time.

In other words, if you can’t maintain your brand’s popularity, your search traffic will die off if you use short-term strategies as I did. That’s why you see huge spikes in my brand when you look at the Google Trends image below.

But if your brand continues to grow in popularity, so will your search traffic for all of your non-brand related terms.

It’s hard to see it in the chart above, but before I focused on building my brand, I was only generating 18,304 brand queries per month, versus 40,412 that I am generating now.

So how do you build a brand?

As I mentioned above, you need people searching for your brand name on a consistent basis.

The only way to really do this is by creating value.

Just look at me… I blog on a regular basis, produces educational videos, I have a daily podcast, and I even speak at conferences.

All in all, it has caused my brand to grow over the years.

And this works even better for corporations. If you create an amazing product or service, people will love your brand and keep coming back.

I learned this from my Ubersuggest acquisition. When I bought the brand and merged it into my website, my number one search query become the term “Ubersuggest” and variations of it.

People love the tool… so much so that they access it by Googling the brand name. Sure, the tool has more direct traffic, but people also go to sites using Google.

But to get back to the question of how you can build a brand?

Well, there are no very detailed strategies I can give you as it will range from business to business. I can give you an overview of strategies that have worked for me though, as well as some stats to go along with it:

Blog weekly

I’ve found that if you blog on a regular basis you get more brand queries.

When people are expecting content from you on a regular basis, they’ll Google your brand to come back to your blog and read your latest content.

When I blogged daily, I generated 11% more brand queries than when I blogged once a week. This is why sites like CNN, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and every other news site generates a lot of brand queries… they blog numerous times per day.

Create videos

You don’t have to copy my YouTube strategy, but you should create some sort of videos related to your product, service, or industry. Not because of Google or YouTube, but because of social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn love video content.

So much so that it’s easier to get eyeballs on Facebook and LinkedIn for video content than it is on YouTube.

This will cause more people to see your brand, and build a relationship with you or your company.

What I’ve found is that the more videos I create the more brand queries I get. Just look at the screenshot below:

The screenshot shows how many views my videos received on YouTube over the last 28 days from people searching for my name. It’s 3,806 visitors to be exact.

I know YouTube brand queries doesn’t mean more brand queries on “Google.”

But if you can push out video content on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn, it can’t hurt. It will cause more people to see your brand, and eventually, this should cause more people to Google you.

Now, the reason I am emphasizing LinkedIn and Facebook is that it is easier to generate views on those two social networks for video content. I know they count views differently, but there is a huge difference (and even if there weren’t, it’s extra views).

Just look at my YouTube views for my video on GoogleRank Brain, it has 10,010 views:

And on Facebook it has 31,000 views:

And on LinkedIn it has 29,506 views:

So if YouTube is creating roughly 3,806 brand queries per month when it’s generating fewer views than Facebook and LinkedIn, just imagine what these videos are doing for my brand.

Sadly, Facebook and LinkedIn don’t share stats in the same way as YouTube, but you can come to the conclusion that it probably helps in a similar fashion.

That’s why you need to create videos in order to promote your personal or corporate brand on all social sites (you can use the same content, just upload it to each social network).

Speak at conferences

Every time I speak at conferences I see an influx of brand queries.

It’s harder for me to see these days as I already have a lot of brand queries, but I used to see big swings in my brand queries when I was starting out because of my participation at conferences.

Every time I spoke at a conference with at least 300 attendees (the number of people attending your speech, not the total number of people registered for the event), I would see an increase in brand searches within 24 to 48 hours of my talk.

Each speech would typically bring me 110 to 180 extra brand queries. Although that seems high, you have to keep in mind that reporters also sit in on speeches and are blogging about your speech. This creates more press related to you and your company, which helps with brand queries.

And if the conference you are speaking at uploads the video of your speech to YouTube (or even live streams the event on Facebook) you’ll see even more brand queries.

The larger the audience the better as it creates more potential searches. If you don’t know how to get speaking spots, check this out.

And if you don’t have the time to travel, you can speak at virtual events. They won’t have the same effect, but it is better than nothing.

Build an amazing product or service

I learned this one from my Ubersuggest acquisition… if people love what you are building, your brand queries will really skyrocket. It’s so effective, that it has become my new SEO strategy.

As you can see, the better product you build, the more brand queries you’ll receive.

With Ubersuggest I took a simple approach, just take what my competitors are charging for and give it away for free.

And my brand queries don’t even compare to companies like Dropbox, Apple, Slack, and the loads of other companies that have built amazing products or service.

This strategy is easy to replicate and you’ll see the results fast as long as you take what your competition is charging for and give it away for free.

Just look at the chart above: it shows a huge spike in just 1 month. That was when I released more features for free.

Performance-based press

There are companies like PRserve that charge for performance-based press. If they get you press, you then pay. If not, you don’t pay a dime. It won’t cause tons of brand queries at first, but over time it will help.

If you want to do it yourself, here is an article I wrote breaking down how to get press. It takes longer and it’s harder than hiring someone, but as long as you are willing to put in the time, you will see results.

You can also check out sites like Help a Reporter Out, where journalists ask questions and people go to help them out. When you see a question related to your expertise or industry, you should respond and you can get free press.

Release a book

This works better for personal brands, but publishing a book is a great way to get more brand queries. There are even companies that can streamline the whole process for you.

When I released my book Hustle, I learned three important things:

Don’t co-author a book – I love my co-authors, but I would have received much more of a brand boost if I self-authored the book.
Write a book about your expertise – Hustle was a mainstream book that appealed to most people versus people who wanted to learn about marketing. If I wrote a book about marketing, which is where my expertise is, I believe my brand would have grown faster (even if fewer people purchased the book).
Don’t focus on being a New York Times Bestselling author – I was on the list 3 weeks in a row, and I don’t think it did much for me. Focus on building a following within your space, versus just generating book sales from people who don’t care about your business.

Hopefully, the strategies above will give you a start on building your brand… it just takes time and a lot of elbow grease.

There is no quick solution and what worked for me may not work for you. So get your creative juices flowing and think outside the box.

Conclusion

Branding may seem like a waste of money, but it isn’t.

I used to think companies like Nike were wasting money with all of their TV ads when they could have focused on channels that produced a direct ROI like Google Ads.

But what’s funny is, when you think of shoes you naturally think of “Nike.” You don’t have to Google them, you just know about them because they’ve built a huge brand and are everywhere.

Same goes for Visa. When you think of credit cards, Visa comes to mind because they are accepted worldwide and run tons of ads.

The list keeps going on and on… from McDonald’s to Coca-Cola… the one thing you have to learn from these big companies is that you have to build an amazing brand. Not only will it create more brand searches, but it will help drive more revenue in the long-run.

Most of the companies I mentioned above don’t generate the majority of their sales from Google… they generate their sales from having a huge brand that people trust and love. The brand queries that they get on Google is just an added benefit.

And if that doesn’t convince you, here is an interesting stat. One of my friends works for one of the largest travel companies in the world. They are publicly traded and run television ads as well as spending millions on Google/Facebook ads each month.

When they run TV ads, their Google cost per click (CPC) goes down by roughly 20% because people are seeing their brand everywhere and are more willing to click on it. When they turn off the TV ads, they see the CPCs go back up.

They also own so many travel sites in the space, so they tested this out with a handful of them. Every time they saw similar results, no matter which travel site they tested it on.

More money spent on branding equals a cheaper CPC. When they don’t run TV ads, CPCs go up.

I know you probably don’t like the idea of branding because it isn’t something that is instant, and it is hard to manipulate. But that’s why creating a strong brand drastically increase your non-branded rankings.

So, what are you waiting for… are you going to focus on building a brand?

The post The Future of SEO: It’s Not What You’re Expecting appeared first on Neil Patel.

How to minimize CPU usage in WordPress

Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to minimize CPU usage in WordPress

How to minimize CPU usage in WordPress

CPU usage problems are widespread in WordPress websites. They become more prevalent when you use shared resources or a hosting plan that doesn’t have that many resources. However, the CPU usage can also happen in a good hosting plan. When that happens, it slows down your website considerably as there are no resources to serve content to your site.

CPU usage problems can lead you to not only poor user experience but can quickly impact your website ranking.

In this article, we will learn how to minimize CPU usage in WordPress. All the tricks that we will share are simple and easy to follow. However, if you can always use a developer that can do it for you. So, without any delay, let’s get started.

1.    Get rid of the unnecessary plugins

Plugins offer excellent value when it comes to adding features to the website. Any website would require a set of plugins to work correctly. However, it is clear that we as users install plugins that we don’t need. Sometimes, we install plugins to test and then forget to remove them. In other scenarios, some plugin features are overlapped to an extent. In both the cases, it is always good to remove those plugins and bring down the CPU usage.

Note: Always uninstall plugins according to the official guidelines. If you are not sure always refer to the documentation as removing the plug in the wrong way can affect the site functionality undesirably.

2. Configure WP Disable

Another nifty way to reduce CPU usage is to use WP Disable. WP Disable is a plugin that lets you disable WordPress settings that consume unnecessary CPU cycles. For example, you can disable embeds, emojis and much more. Furthermore, it also helps you to reduce HTTP requests that can further improve the website performance. Once you install the plugin, you will get the option to do so with an easy to use interface.

It also provides dashboard stats so that you can monitor important things right from the go. We recommend disabling things that you just don’t need. Remember, you can always enable them back by toggling on the option. Also, if you are not sure about an option and what it does, it is better to ignore it.

3. Image optimization

 

Another most significant bottleneck that modern websites go through is because of lousy image optimization. Let’s take an example to get a better understanding. When a page loads, it loads different elements including images. With images, their metadata is also loaded. However, the metadata doesn’t help (in some cases). So, you can remove metadata from images and make it easy for the CPU to process the page.

You can use PNGGauntlet to do the job for you. It is a free plugin. However, if you can also use JPEGmini, a compressor that is paid. You can get it for just $19.99.

Both the above-recommended plugins also let you compress images. Furthermore, you can also use plugins such as WP Smush.it, EWWW Image Optimizer and more.

4. Configure WordPress crawl rules

Believe it or not, your website is crawled by a lot of crawlers. But, not all crawlers are useful. Some are there to scrap your data for other use. As a crawler crawls a site, it uses precious CPU cycles. To ensure that it doesn’t happen, you can easily block them and only let the important ones crawl your website.

You can use the “crawl rate limiting rules” function in Wordfence to ensure that a useful bot does crawl. Also, you can change settings for crawlers providing that your website doesn’t get slow due to unnecessary CPU usage. You can also block IP address if you think someone is continually hammering your servers for no reason whatsoever. This will improve the experience of legit visitors and enhance CPU performance in every scenario.

5. Limit Google+ Bing Crawl

Popular search engines crawling your website is critical. However, they are resource-hungry especially Google crawler. The good news is that you can limit site crawl rate for both Google and Bing. By doing so, you are not affecting your Google rankings. According to Google, you can customize the crawl rate according to your preference. For example, a news website should always have a higher crawl rate compared to a site that published once a day.

If that’s the case, you should go to the Google Search Console and search for the “site settings.” There you can find the option of crawl rate to low. Bing also offers similar crawl rate control. You can do it by going to Bing Webmasters Tools and then change it in the “Crawl Control” settings.

6. Database cleaning

Another proper way to improve the CPU performance is to clean your database. If a database is bloated with unnecessary information, it takes more CPU time to process a simple query. Now, imagine how much database learning can impact if your website requires multiple queries per second.

With regular queries, your database stores a lot of data that is not required for proper functioning of the website. Some of the examples include post revisions, trash, transients, and so on. Also, plugin data is stored even after a plugin is uninstalled. This can lead to a bloated database.

The best approach is to use optimization plugins such as WP-Optimize and WP Rocket regularly. You can use both the plugins to automate the cleaning.

7. Avoid high CPU usage plugins

You can find a lot of plugins that can have a massive impact on site performance. These plugins should be avoided if you want to have your CPU usage in control. Some of the plugins that can slow your website or eat precious CPU cycle are Jetpack, SumoMe, Visual Composer, and so on. To know the impact of a plugin on your site, you can install it and then go to GTmetrix to check its website impact. If it is too much, it is better to avoid it and find an alternative.

If you are not sure which plugins are CPU intensive, you can use free hosting to try out the plugins. There are various hosting providers like 000webhost who offers free hosting for beginners. You can also choose to use localhost and check the CPU usage. If everything looks good, you can then install the plugin on your live website.

Conclusion

These seven tips will surely help you to minimize CPU usage. You can also use cache plugins to improve CPU usage further. There are many points that we are not able to cover. However, the above points will surely help you in getting a decent improvement.

 

Playing detective: how to identify bad backlinks

Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Playing detective: how to identify bad backlinks

Playing detective: how to identify bad backlinks

I completed a backlink audit recently, and this is the post I wish I’d had when starting the tedious task of identifying the nasty links. Not all dodgy links are obvious, heck some are even near-impossible to find, especially when you have a spreadsheet containing thousands of them.

This is not a post about how to do a backlink audit from A-Z – that’s already been written about loads of times. Instead, I’m going to take you through how to identify patterns in your backlink data to quickly and accurately uncover spammy links.

I’ve written this post for the greater good of all SEOs, and yes, you’re welcome.

Wait – do I even need to do a backlink audit?

There has been some confusion since the last Penguin update as to whether or not SEOs even need to carry out backlink audits anymore. After all, Google has said that now they only devalue spam links as opposed to penalising the site receiving them, right?

Well, the short answer is: yes, you probably should continue to carry out backlink audits and update your disavow file. You can read more about this here and here.

Why can’t I just use an automated tool to find the bad links?

I know it’s tempting to get automated backlink tools such as Kerboo to do all the hard-lifting for you. Unfortunately, though, this isn’t a great idea.

In the backlink audit, I did recently, 93% of porn links were assigned a link risk of ‘neutral’ with a score of 500/1,000 (0 being the safest link and 1,000 being the riskiest). Links from the BBC also received a ‘neutral’ rating, with some getting a higher risk score than the porn links! Go figure.


Automated backlink tools can be super valuable; however, this is because of all the data they draw together into a single spreadsheet, as opposed to them being particularly accurate at rating the risk of links. To rely solely on their link risk metrics for your backlink audit is a quick ticket to trouble.

Is this guide relevant to my site?

This post is not a ‘one-size fits all’ strategy to a backlink audit, so please use your common sense. For example, below I recommend that root domains containing the word ‘loan’ are generally indicative of unscrupulous sites. However, if you’re doing a backlink audit for a financial services firm, then this generalisation is less likely to apply to you.

It’s up to you to think about the guidelines below in the context of the site you’re auditing and to adjust accordingly.

You will need

Before you start, you will need to have all your backlinks neatly assembled in a spreadsheet along with the following information:

URL (one example per linking root domain)
root domain
anchor text
citation flow (Majestic) or domain authority (Ahrefs or Moz)
trust flow (Majestic) or domain trust (Ahrefs or Moz)
backlinks
IP address
title
page language
link location
and anything else you can think of that could be useful

This article can bring you up to speed if you’re not sure how to assemble this data. Make sure to combine data from as many sources as possible, as different SEO tools will contain different information and you don’t want to miss anything! As I said earlier, I would also recommend Kerboo as one of your data sources, as it pulls a lot of the information you could want into one place.

How to spot the patterns

Fortunately for us, the bad guys almost always do their dirty work in bulk, which makes life easier for us good guys who inevitably have to clean up after them. It’s rare to find one dodgy directory submission or a single piece of spun content containing a paid link. This is a massive help – use it to your advantage!

Pivot Tables

I highly recommend creating a pivot table of your data so that you can see how many times an issue has occurred in your data set. This can help you to quickly spot patterns.


Above: spotting suspicious anchor text using a pivot table

For example, let’s say you’re doing a backlink audit for a clothing site. By pivoting for anchor text, you might be able to quickly spot that ‘buy cheap dresses’ appears several times. Given the commercial nature of this anchor text, it’s likely it could be spam. You could spot check some of these URLs to make sure, and if they’re consistently dodgy, you can reasonably assume the rest of the links with this anchor text are too.

Above: putting together a pivot table to spot anchor text frequencies (view large version of gif)

Word Clouds

Another thing I like to do is to dump my data into a word cloud generator. This is useful because it visualises the data (the bigger the word, the more times it appears in your dataset). It can help me to quickly catch something that looks like it shouldn’t be there.

Keeping on top of your data

Make sure you make a note as you work that explains why you’ve decided to disavow a set of links. It helps not just at the end when you’re reviewing your links, but will also be a big help when you come to spot patterns. It will also stop you from revisiting the same links multiple times and asking yourself ‘why did I decide these were bad links?’

Above: screenshot from my recent backlink audit with ‘action’ and ‘reason’ columns

Examples of common patterns to find bad backlinks

I’m now going to give you specific examples of bad links which you can use to find patterns in your data.

It’s not always a clear-cut answer as to whether a link is spam or not, however, the guidelines below should help guide you in the right direction.

When you’re unsure about a link, ask yourself: ‘if it wasn’t for SEO, would this link even exist?’

Words to look for in the root domain or URL
X-rated words in the URL

You’ll immediately want to disavow (unless of course, these are relevant to your site) any x-rated links. These usually contain one of the following terms in their URL:

porn
xxx
sex (also sexy can result in some shady sites)
escort
dirty
adult
and any more dodgy words you can think of that relate to orgies, orgasms and other obscenities

Be careful not to accidentally disavow URLs where ‘sex’ is in the middle of a word – such as sussexhotels.com or essex.ac.uk. This will require some manual spot checking.

Root domain contains references to directories & listings

Next, you want to look for any URLs that indicate manipulative SEO link-building tactics. Directories are an obvious example of this, and while not all directories are bad (here is a good article on how to tell the difference), generally those created purely for link-building purposes contain the following words in the root domain:

‘directory’ – especially ‘dir’ and ‘webdir’
‘links’ – especially ‘weblinks’, ‘hotlinks’ or ‘toplinks’
‘listings’

You might notice I’ve specifically said ‘root domain’ as opposed to ‘URL’ here. There is a reason for this: you might find lots of URLs in your dataset where ‘links’ is in the URL path. As a general rule, these are a lot less likely to be manipulative links. Compare http://www.lutterworthyouththeatreacademy.co.uk/links.html with www.speedylinks.uk. One of these is spam, and the other isn’t – can you spot the difference?

Root domain contains references to SEO

You’ll also find that if the root domain contains SEO or web-related terms, it’s likely it exists simply to serve the purpose of building links. Look out for the following words in the root domain:

‘domain’
‘search’
‘seo’
‘web’

Bear in mind that lots of sites have ‘search’ pages, so your best bet is to focus on the root domain for this to be an indication of anything suspect.

Content farms are another common feature of a poor backlink profile. Look for any domains that contain ‘article’.

Other dodgy root domains

The following keywords in the domain are usually indicative of dodgy link-building practices:

‘cash’
‘loan’
‘com’ (such as com-com-com.com – yes, really)
‘world’
‘ads’

Root domain contains consonant or number clusters

Another obvious sign is any root domains which simply do not make sense. You’ll likely have lots of domains linking to your site consisting of bundles of consonants and letters, such as ‘1073wkcr.com’ or ‘a0924111232.freebbs.tw’. Watch out for domains like these, as more often than not they are low quality.

You can easily find URLs like this by sorting your root domain column from A-Z. You will find that:

any domain starting with a number will appear at the top of your list.
scrolling to the bottom to letters x, y and z usually throws up lots of domains with consonant clusters that do not make sense.

The ccTLD is uncommon

Uncommon ccTLDs are usually indicative of dodgy sites. Any site worth its salt will try and obtain the .com, .net, .org, .edu or relevant country ccTLD for its domain name. The less common ccTLDs are an indication of a lower quality site and those examples I found in my most recent backlink audit which indicated spammy sites were:

.biz
.casino
.clothing
.ooo
.properties, etc

Looking at titles for further clues

When the domain name or URL isn’t particularly insightful, the page title is the next place to look. Look out for the same keywords listed above, as well as the following phrases:

‘most visited web pages’
‘reciprocal links’
‘link partner’
‘link exchange’
‘seo friendly’

Another clue is to find any site titles that are completed unrelated to the niche of your site. Titles that contain commercial terms are particularly suspect, such as 

‘louis vuitton belts’
‘nike shoes’

As I mentioned before, bad backlinks often operate in bulk, and there’s nothing like a load of duplicate titles to lead you hot on the heels of a group of spammy URLs.

What can anchor text tell us?
Is it keyword-heavy?

A popular SEO tactic in the pre-Penguin days was to link to your site with keyword-heavy or commercial anchor text, such as ‘cheap red dresses’.  Make sure to put together a pivot table of your anchor text so you can quickly scan for any recurring anchor text that looks suspiciously well-optimised and check out these links to see if they’re legit – they probably aren’t.

Does it make sense?

In addition, any anchor text that simply doesn’t make any sense or is completely unrelated to the site you’re auditing is highly likely to be low quality.

Is the language consistent with the rest of the page?

Finally, any anchor text that is in a different language to the rest of the content on the page is likely to be a paid link. You can use the ‘language’ column (provided by Ahrefs and Kerboo) to see what language the page is in, and you can compare this to the language of the anchor text of your links. Anywhere where there is a mismatch is likely to be suspicious.

Duplicate root IP address

Pivot your data to see if there are several with the same IP address. If there is a block of URLs that share the same IP address and one of these is spammy, it could be likely that the rest are too.

Make sure to do a manual spot check of the sites to make sure you’re not disavowing anything harmless. For example, sites hosted at blogspot.com and wordpress.com are commonly hosted at the same IP address, and many of these will be harmless.

Where on the page is the link located?

In many backlink reports, there’s a column which tells you where on the page the link is located. In Kerboo, this column is called ‘link section’, and it’s another nifty tool for us to use in our hunt for dodgy links. Filter this column for keywords contained in the footer and sidebar to see if there are any which look suspicious on opening the page.

Footer and sidebar links are prime locations for dodgy backlinks. Why? Because these are site-wide, they are often targeted for paid link placements as the recipient of the link can often benefit from the most link equity in this way.

In addition, if the link is providing no value to users on the site (for example, if it’s completely unrelated to the site content, which is likely if it’s a paid link) then the footer is a useful place to essentially ‘hide’ the link from users while still providing link equity to the recipient.

Where is the link pointing to?

In the ‘link to’ column, look out for links pointing to the ‘money pages’ on your site – these are any pages which are revenue-drivers or particularly important for other reasons, such as product pages or sign-up pages.

It’s natural in a backlink profile to have the majority of links pointing to your homepage; this is where most people will link to by default. It’s much harder to build links to pages deeper in a site, especially product pages, as it’s not particularly natural for people to link here.

By glancing an eye over links which point to money pages, it’s likely you could spot a few suspicious links which have been previously built to help boost the rankings of important pages on your site.

Taking things to the next level

All the tips I’ve shared with you so far have involved mining data that is easily accessible to you in your backlink spreadsheet – things such as root domain, URL, page title and anchor text.

To take your backlink audit up a level, it’s time to get savvy. This is where Screaming Frog comes in.

Using Custom Search to spot link directories

You know how earlier we mentioned that not all directories are bad? Well, an easy way to spot if a directory exists solely for link-building purposes is to see if the page contains phrases such as ‘submit link’, ‘link exchange’ or ‘add your site’.

These telltale phrases will not necessarily be in the URL or page title of your link, so this is why it’s necessary to take things up a step.

To find pages which contain these terms, you can run a crawl of your backlink URLs using the Screaming Frog Custom Search feature.

Above: using Screaming Frog ‘Custom Search’ to find web pages containing suspicious text

Once the crawl is finished, you can then download the URLs that contain the phrases above. These will most likely be some obvious link directories that you’ll want to disavow pretty sharpish.

Using Custom Search to spot spun content

The Screaming Frog custom search feature isn’t just useful for finding directory links. This is where you really need to put on your detective hat and to have a good think of any patterns you’ve noticed so far in your backlink audit.

When I did my audit recently, I noticed a recurring theme with some of the paid links. There were links to other sites with commercial anchor text that kept appearing alongside the link to the site I was auditing. This was a piece of spun content that had been copied and pasted across multiple sites and forums, and whoever had done the work was clearly being lazy, lumping a load of unrelated links together in one paragraph.

Apart from the fact the text made no sense whatsoever, the anchor text of these other links was extremely commercial: ‘cheap nike free run 2 for men’ and ‘chanel outlet UK’ where a recurring theme.

Above: example of spun content that appeared in my recent backlink audit

I’d tried to find a pattern in the URLs or titles of these pages, but it was a bit hit and miss. It was then that I realised I could do what I had done to find the directory links – Screaming Frog custom search.

I, therefore, carried out a Screaming Frog crawl that looked for recurring anchor text such as ‘cheap nike’ and ‘chanel outlet’ to identify any URLs that I hadn’t yet uncovered. It was extremely useful and allowed me to identify some URLs that up to that point I had been unable to identify from the data in my spreadsheet alone.

To wrap up

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! I appreciate this post was a lot of writing, but I hope it’s really helped you to dig out any dodgy links that were lurking under the surface.

If there’s one thing to take away, it’s to look for any patterns or consistencies in the dodgy links that you find, and to then use these to dig out the less obvious links.

Do you have certain criteria that you find helpful when identifying bad backlinks? Comment below!

Why SEO Is Important to Any Business Nowadays. Top 21 SEO Benefits

Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Why SEO Is Important to Any Business Nowadays. Top 21 SEO Benefits

Why SEO Is Important to Any Business Nowadays. Top 21 SEO Benefits

In the office, in the online world, on social media, on the phone, in the chat, everywhere people talk about SEO. Everybody who has a business has heard about SEO. But also anyone who has a business probably said at least once: Do I really need SEO? What can SEO do for me? 

 

Since the moment SEO appeared in our lives, everybody in the field started talking about it. It became a never-ending discussion. We want to know all the facets of SEO. Why is SEO important? And this is what you’re about to find out: Top SEO benefits to inspire you and never let you underestimate search engine optimization. 

 

 

Curiosity flourished and we wanted to put it simply into words and see the key benefits of SEO in the life of a business. We found 21 reasons why SEO is crucial to any business living on the internet. 

 

SEO Blends into Your Marketing Funnel
SEO Helps You Get into the Spotlight
SEO Creates a Stronger Relationship with the Audience
SEO Pulls out Traffic
SEO Is Cost Effective Comparing to PPC
SEO Is Live 24/7
SEO Increases Sales and Leads
SEO Improves Your ROI
SEO Has the Greatest Impact on Lead Generation
SEO Traffic Is More Convertible
SEO Increases Brand Awareness
SEO Increases Marketing Attribution
SEO Is One of the Best PR Strategy
SEO Improves CTR
SEO Can Eliminate Cold-Calling
SEO Builds Trust and Credibility
SEO Is a Long-Term Strategy
More Effective Than Other Traditional Strategies
SEO Can Help You Attract Great Individuals
SEO Isn’t the Final Step, but the Center of Things
SEO Can Boost Your Efficiency

 

Some us even keep talking while sleeping or keep thinking about SEO while staying in traffic or cooking and so on (*half-joking*). But leaving the joke aside, SEO doesn’t sleep. It’s alive. If done right, it keeps your website alive, too, right there on the first page of Google, getting the attention of someone that might buy something from your site or recommend it to others.

 

If we’re looking at the evolution of the interest people put into SEO, we can see how beautifully it has grown over the years and it is constantly changing. 

 

 

SEO is like the popular kid in school. Everybody talks about it. There are some groups that worship it and follow everything what it is doing, but there are also some groups that hate it, don’t like it and speak badly about it.

 

 
1. SEO Blends into Your Marketing Funnel

 

Your marketing funnel starts when the prospect hears about your brand in the awareness stage. It will continue when your brand generates interest, desire and will make them take an action afterward.

 

Source: www.aweber.com

 

SEO blends in all the stages of your marketing funnel. The most important step is the first one, when you hook the user. But he must find your website. You need search engine optimization to get there, on the first page.

 

The inbound marketing sales funnel has three stages: top of funnel (TOFU), middle of funnel (MOFU) and bottom of funnel (BOFU). Each stage requires a proper set of marketing tactics and techniques, which includes SEO. So, when I was saying that SEO starts right at the top of the funnel, that happens because there is your audience, and you want to attract a larger portion of it.

 

Track top of funnel keywords (informational keywords), create content maps and make your site’s structure user-friendly to keep the user as long as you can on your website and you’ll push them down the funnel. In the TOFU stage, the user will land on your blog, which is the most common type of content.

 

For the middle of funnel, your focus should be on creating high-quality content and have hooks on your website that will keep the user, such as a high loading speed, high quality and lossless images, mobile-friendly website, un-broken pages and lots of other technical SEO requirements. Technical SEO has a great impact on the user’s behavior.

 

Engaging the users and sending them down the sales funnel can be achieved through CTAs, surveys, content downloads.

 

At the bottom of funnel you must persuade the user with other techniques. But up to this point, SEO blends very well in each stage of the funnel.

 
2. SEO Helps You Get into the Spotlight

 

When we talk about search engine optimization, we talk about creating the best version of our website to get user’s eyes, which nowadays means to be on the first page. And that turns out to be a pain in the neck most of the time.

 

But it doesn’t need to be annoying. If you follow the natural path of things, SEO can help you achieve the desired position. Hard work and dedication can come a long way.

 

A content audit is needed at this stage, to understand the actual status and then decide what you have to optimize. For a correct content audit, you must gather all the articles into a spreadsheet, add metrics (such as CTR, organic search traffic, internal and external links, shares, comments, rank) and order them to see the pages with the lowest metrics.

 

www.contentmarketingup.com

 

Use a tool for content optimization and voilà. You have awesome content. Get in the spotlight by promoting it and earn lots of links. Once you’ve managed to get on the first page of Google, you’ll gain visitors, who might become clients. But once you’ve got there, you must work hard to stay put. After that you could take it up a notch. That means social sharing, emailing, promotion, internal linking in other pages that have high influence.

 
3. SEO Creates a Stronger Relationship with the Audience

 

If you managed to get on the first page in the search engines, that means you’ve gained the trust of Google or Bing. Which should lead to earning the trust of your audience.

 

Words play an important role in digital marketing and content is the pivot.

 

Content marketing is the most effective SEO technique. Websites with blog content have 434% more search engine-indexed pages than other business sites that don’t publish content.

 

If your page has a good user experience, the audience will like it and you have a great chance to create a strong relationship. But that is not the only indicator. Quality content with valuable information that answers the audience’s questions using their own words is another indicator.    

 

Integrate a comment section in your blog to hear your audience. Make sure you filter the spammy comments before publishing them. User-generated content is a good sign of quality information. You can speak directly to your audience, hear their thoughts and opinions, allowing you to create a relationship quickly.

 
4. SEO Pulls out Traffic

 

Yes, that’s true. SEO can pull out qualified traffic. It turns out search engines drive 300% more traffic to sites than social media.

 

If done right, SEO can pull your website on the first page and from that moment you’ll have a lot to gain from. That means traffic, too. If your website is in the sight of the viewer, then most probably they will enter your website.

 

So, the better you optimize your website on-site (with a proper headline, URL, meta description, cover photo and pictures with alt-description), the higher the chances to attract the user on your website. You need to differentiate yourself from the others and be the unicorn in a crowd of donkeys, as Larry Kim often says.

 

Create unicorn content. This is your best, most magical content, performing among the top 3 percent of all your content.

Larry Kim

CEO MobileMonkey & Founder WordStream

 
5. SEO Is Cost Effective Comparing to PPC

 

It is not justified that PPC is highly costly comparing to SEO, which is more effective. SEO has a longterm value, while PPC has a shorter lifetime value. As long as you pay, you’ll appear in Google; if you stop paying, then your ad will disappear.

 

PPC is better to use when you launch a product or your business because at that stage it is harder to get awareness using SEO. PPC works best for promoting products and commercial content because you invest money to gain clients and sales.

 

You invest in SEO for awareness, for web traffic and other metrics that lead to sales. But the thing is that you don’t need to invest so much money on SEO like you need on PPC.

 

SEO offers the better value in search marketing. That’s its true strenght.

 

Studies say that SEO has approximately 20X more traffic opportunity than PPC on both mobile and desktop. And Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization said that 87% of search engine dollars are spent on PPC vs. 11% spent on SEO efforts.

 
6. SEO Is Live 24/7

 

SEO can run free because it is live 24/7. Even when you’re sleeping, or you are offline, it can pull out your site and keep it in the sight of the visitors, because SEO never sleeps.   

 

A unique perk of optimizing your website is the timeless characteristic. To understand how it works imagine you are looking for a specific product and searching the internet. Each webpage from SERP is like a store you walk in and look around to see if they got what you’re searching for. Those on the first page are open, near to you and well-known businesses (let’s say). If your page is there, then you might get a chance to get a new lead.

 

But unlike a store, which has open and closing hours, your website has SEO, which means it is open all the time and can receive the potential customers anytime.  

 

Search engine optimization it is practically like an open sign.

 
7. SEO Increases Sales and Leads

 

Since we were talking about new leads and potential clients, SEO puts your website on the map and impacts the buying cycle.  

 

The thing that differentiates it from other forms of marketing and adds value to it is the fact that sales will increase without having to increase proportionally your promotional costs.

 

You can start SEO and content with no monetary investment. But if you want to scale your business to get high revenue, then you’ll have to make some investments. In case you want to start with no monetary investment, then you’ll have to put more effort into creating high-linkable content, optimize for money keywords and keywords with a high volume and sustain your content with emailing, social media, syndication and other ways to promote it.

 
8. SEO Improves Your ROI

 

SEO can push your marketing goals to better ROI comparing to other forms of marketing. Your website can be a prospect magnet, based on your high-quality keyword and be where your customers are. If you are in the sight of the visitor, you’ll be able to direct them to your website and offer solutions to their questions/problems. 

 

Your website should be the apple to the user’s pie. ❤

 

Jayson DeMers, founder of AudienceBloom, had quite a unique approach to the way SEO works as an investment for each business:

 

SEO works very much like the stock market. You choose your stocks (keywords) based on the knowledge you have at hand, and then you wait. You’ll likely experience periods of growth and decline (like ranking fluctuations), but one thing is certain: the stock market and SEO are both long-term endeavors. There’s no quick path to riches in either case.

Jayson DeMers

Founder of AudienceBloom

 

SEO might have one of the biggest ROI compared to other marketing forms.

 
9. SEO Has the Greatest Impact on Lead Generation

 

The key to generating more leads for your business is optimizing your site for search engines. According to a study by NewsCreed, 57% of B2B marketers said that SEO has the greatest impact on lead generation.

 

To generate revenue and expand the local area of your business you must take the online stage and dominate your competitors. The way to do that is to have a well-optimized website.

 

SEO has the ability to enable the flow of leads, but you have to help it and optimize the inner content through:

fitted keywords with high search volumes;
high loading speed time websites;
quality content;
get ahead of your competitors by spying on their content and their SEO strategies.

 

Search engine optimization plays an important role in cultivating organic traffic and generating leads. The message you transmit through your content is very important. Did they land on commercial or information content? There are money keywords and information keywords. Depending on what type of content they landed on your website, it will give you a more accurate insight on the level the sales funnel they came from: leads, prospects and in the end clients.

 

According to a report by Chitika Insights, it seems that number 1 position in Google gets 32.5 % of search traffic. And the first 5 positions account for 75.7% of the search traffic. That’s a strong indicator of the power of SEO. If your website is in the first 5 positions, then you’ll have a high chance of attracting leads.

 
10. SEO Traffic Is More Convertible

 

One other reason why SEO is crucial for any business online is the power of converting. Indeed, SEO traffic converts better. Search traffic converts 10x higher than the social media on desktops according to a study by SimilarWeb. Moreover, it seems like search is by far the largest traffic driver.

 

 

Studies talk by themselves. eMarketer discovered that 76% of US agencies worldwide said SEO provided excellent or good return on investment (ROI). Which better reason to stick to SEO, than these results?

 

If you’ve managed to find the working SEO strategy for you, then you can’t go wrong and you’ll benefit from juicy results. By positioning your website on the search engines, your business will gain more conversions.

 
11. SEO Increases Brand Awareness

 

Besides all the SEO benefits in the internet marketing field that we’ve talked about, SEO has the power to make your brand discovered and remembered, but you have to help it, as usual.  

 

The sale funnel is a long process, so the visitor has a long way before converting. They might not be prepared to buy from you, but the fact that they entered your website is a good opportunity. They will be aware of what you’re offering before making an action.

 

SEO helps your website to get awareness.

 

Let’s say you’re searching for something online, for “how to dye your hair at home” and you want to know more about that. It is the first time dyeing your hair, you don’t know anything about it.

 

 

Just like in the example shown above, you find a website where you see informational content along with commercial one (example of product with the price and the name of the store). In case you have a website like this, you might get benefits if people are buying for those type of websites.

 

Being one of the top results will bring awareness to your website. People will know more about you and might search your website for other information and take other actions around there.

 
12. SEO Increases Marketing Attribution

 

When your brand awareness increases, the marketing attribution will increase as well. Attribution represents the number of actions (“touchpoints”) a visitor is taking on your website. Basically, it tracks down the events that engaged the user before converting them.

 

The more times users see your brand, the better chance to increase the marketing attribution. Better optimized pages, with quality content and trustworthy websites will get you more “touchpoints” from the users.

 

Unfortunately, just a small amount of marketers use attribution in their marketing strategy. A study by Delhi School of Internet Marketing says that 34.1% of businesses don’t use any attribution model to measure marketing performance. And that’s sad.

 

Businesses that don’t use attribution might lose 50% of potential sales.

 

Those who used attribution and lead nurturing generated 50% more sales at 33% lower cost.

 
13. SEO Is One of the Best PR Strategy

 

You heard that right, SEO is one of the best PR strategy. You might think they came from two different worlds, but in the online world, SEO takes the form of public relations.

 

We all know that PR is the practice of spreading information about something (brand, product) or someone in the public eye. SEO can do exactly the same thing. It will bring your brand to the public attention. But for that you need links and quality content, to rank in the top positions.

 

Links are a form of recognition for your website.

 

It means that those who linked to your website found useful and valuable information and want to share it to others. This type of action can be categorized as word-of-mouth and PR movement. The more links, the more visibility for your website.

 
14. SEO Improves CTR

 

Optimized pages, with a high CTR, influence rankings and achieve top positions. That will improve the results, and get high CTR again. It is an on-going process. SEO and CTR are influencing one another.

 

A website that is very-well optimized will get featured in SERP and will receive clicks, impressions. A top position in Google can have a high CTR.

 

 I can most certainly say with confidence that CTR is impacting rank.

Larry Kim

CEO MobileMonkey & Founder WordStream

 

Usually, pages with a higher CTR tend to have higher conversion rates. Increasing your CTR by 2x will increase your conversion rate by 50%.

 

There are some ways to step up the game and increase your SEO and, therefore, your CTR:

First, start by looking at those pages that have a low click-through-rate using Google Search Console (or Google Analytics):

 

Then look at the pages or queries that have a low CTR but high position. Start by optimizing those pages and their snippets.
Another thing you could do is look at the duplicate content on your website and remake the meta descriptions and title tags that are duplicated.

 

Create unique titles that stand out in front of your competitors. Search for the keywords you want to rank in Google and look at the results you found. After that, create your headline by provoking an emotion.

 
15. SEO Can Eliminate Cold-Calling

 

Invest in SEO, rather than cold-calling. If you’re tired of sending emails, calling on the phone or performing other forms of outreach, then SEO is the only “call” you have to make. After all the reasons we’ve talked on why SEO is important, you can understand that it takes a few steps forward for your business and could eliminate cold calling.

 

It works pretty simply. Imagine you’d like to contact somebody regarding a proposition or collaboration idea. If you have a well-known brand due to your SEO efforts (that means that it appears in the search results pages for important and convertible keywords) and say you are John from X (the brand you’re representing), then you’ll have a higher chance to get noticed. The discussion can get to a positive result faster and the response rate can be higher.

 
16. SEO Builds Trust and Credibility

 

Google has lots of ranking factors and search quality raters that analyze and evaluate ranking websites and pages. Which only proves that Google takes a high interest in showing relevant, trustworthy and newsworthy content to the visitor. SEO on the same note is providing trust and credibility to the website. That type of strong indicators from a website will send quality signals to Google. Not to mention that SEO helps you grow your online reputation. 

 

Sites that send a strong trustworthy signal have one or more of the following elements:

HTTPS protocol;
Security certification;
Business blog with comments area;
Social networking components;
Current contact information;
High-quality pictures, clean web design and great UX;
Recent activity on site (easy to see through the blog);
Social media activity (social signals have a strong impact on SEO).

 
17. SEO Is a Long-Term Strategy

 

It takes approximately 6 months to see optimal website rankings for a new site, and it can go up to 12 months. If you follow a natural path to grow a business online and follow Google’s quality guidelines to increase your website rankings, you have a high advantage. Because once you get a place in the top positions of Google you rarely change it. The only times you can see a decrease in rankings is due to Google algorithm updates or high competition. Studies have shown that search engine results had gotten more useful and relevant over time as 52% of consumers acknowledge.

 

The thing that I’ve seen working best for ranking in Google is content. Not any type of content, but quality content. The key is to create informational content and connect it with the commercial type (through internal linking) to create linkable content and grow up your website.

 

A blog can go a long way. 72% of marketers say relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic according to Ascend2.

 
18. More Effective Than Other Traditional Strategies

 

SEO has proved a lot of times to be more effective than any other traditional strategy (passing flyers, print advertising, television and radio or direct marketing) because the user is searching for something and receives the results. It is not exposed to a information that he doesn’t need at that moment (like it happens in the traditional marketing process).

 

The popularity of traditional marketing dropped over the years. Digital marketing started to rise and SEO has received the crown to rule over the empire.

 

 

We can see how broadcasting had a tremendous drop in searches in 2009. Direct marketing had a slow death. And SEO had a natural growth in the last years. We can’t say for certainty that was the real evolution of how traditional marketing involved and SEO evolved, but we can point out people’s interest in them.

 

SEO starts by creating amazing content. The fact is that content will persuade the user into making an action. 93% of B2B companies say content marketing generates more leads than traditional marketing strategies, which can only prove the graphic from Google Trends.  

 
19. SEO Can Help You Attract Great Individuals

 

If you have a strong website and people heard about you, you have a higher chance to attract talent. In case you have open positions in your company and you are searching for some individuals that could fit your team, SEO can be a great “tool”.

 

On the same topic, TripAdvisor did something really cool in one of their recruitment processes. They were searching for someone in IT and did that through the robots.txt:

 

 

So, either you are using your website to send a message to the future colleagues or offering information on sight, SEO can help you. If you optimize the page for the job you’re offering, you might save some money spent on dedicated platforms or other sorts of promotion.

 
20. SEO Isn’t the Final Step, but the Center of Things

 

I hear a lot of people that designed their website and left SEO at the end like it’s some magic powder you can spray on top. No! Wrong and wrong. When a new website is created, SEO is the first thing you should be considering, along with UX.

 

Take SEO into consideration when you develop your website’s architecture or decide the platform – CMS, the URL syntax, canonical URLs, other HTML codes important for having a reachable and clean website for the bots and users.

 

You wouldn’t like to be in the situation where you invested a lot of money in your website’s design and after that, you find out that Google doesn’t see your website as it should, the user doesn’t find the website in the search results or has a weird snippet. And after all that investment, you have to spend more money to resolve the issues and make it visible.

 
21. SEO Can Boost Your Efficiency

 

All the benefits of SEO that we’ve talked about until now will help your business grow. And SEO is the one that multiplies your efforts. It delivers what promised.

 

Optimizing your content will get you the benefit of getting a higher space into search, that means more keywords ranking on upper positions offering a higher visibility in SERP.  We tried pushing the content optimization a step higher, by selecting a list of pages and making a massive content optimization a few months back.

 

Source: https://explorer.cognitiveseo.com/?u=cognitiveseo.com&m=*U*#section/4

 

As you can see the evolution of the search visibility started to have a beautiful increase since the moment we’ve optimized the pages.

 

SEO is a digital business card.

 

If you manage to improve the rankings on your website, you can beat up competition and you can beat up skepticism, which are two of the biggest fishes to catch.

 

Conclusion

 

The perks of search engine optimization are several. Every SEO expert you ask will tell you how beneficial is SEO for a website. SEO is laser-targeted, which means it can achieve great results and push your marketing goals upper. It is one of the smartest marketing investment you can make at the moment we speak because in online SEO is the form of marketing that has the longest lifespan vs. money spent.

 

SEO will help you spread your wings through all the web. You need to include it in your marketing mix because it is a lifevest for your business. You can’t survive without SEO, not now or never.  It has lots of advantages that can bring awareness to your business and bring a higher impact on your marketing goals. Driving traffic to your website can be easier once you’ve gained a high position of Google due to a well-done SEO campaign.  

 

Either you’re building an SEO campaign for the first time or you’re doing this for a long time, you must always remember that SEO is a long-term strategy, and also a continuous process of improvement. Use this guide to SEO to get the results you desire. 

The post Why SEO Is Important to Any Business Nowadays. Top 21 SEO Benefits appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

9 Types of Keywords in SEO You Need to Know to Convert

Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 9 Types of Keywords in SEO You Need to Know to Convert

9 Types of Keywords in SEO You Need to Know to Convert

9 Types of Keywords in SEO You Need to Know to Convert

“I’m not exaggerating when I say that without keywords, there’s no such thing as SEO.” Brian Dean, Backlinkho

Keyword is the first step to a successful SEO. And when you nailed your SEO, that’s when your organic views start coming in. More views, more potential customers, more conversions, profit.

The thing is, there are so many talks on keywords. But how can we know what kind of keywords to choose when we’re doing a keyword research?

Which type of keywords should we use to really maximize our SEO effort?

You need to understand that you should use different keywords to target different audiences at each stage of the funnel. That way you can reach a broader range of people and increase your chance of securing a customer.

Before we go there, do you know how many types of keywords there are?

In this blog post, let me introduce you to 9 types of keywords that you need to know. Starting from the more common ones like short-tail and long-tail keywords to more technical ones like LSI keywords.

Take advantage of the strengths of different types of keyword to truly optimize your web pages.

1. Short-tail keyword

As the name suggested, short-tail keywords are short keywords (surprise!) that are made up of three words or less. Sometimes they are also called the head keyword.

Short-tail keywords have a huge amount of search volume but is also highly competitive.

For the audiences, they use short-tail keywords when they are at the very first step of researching for stuff.

That’s why it’s very difficult to pinpoint the clear search intent for short-tail keywords because they tend to be all around the place.

Let’s look at an example when someone searches for “lemon”, they might be searching for what vitamins are provided by a lemon, or how much calories a lemon has.

Short-tail keywords don’t convert well because of the difficulty in matching searcher intent.

Characteristics: high search volume, high competitive rate, broad search intent, low conversion rate; use it as a theme keyword that appears consistently throughout your website.

As you can tell, the short-tail keyword that consistently appears in our website is SEO and inbound marketing. This gives Google a strong signal that that’s our forte.

2. Long-tail keyword

Long-tail keywords consist of more than 3 words. They are also usually much more specific than short-tail keywords.

They have a much lower search volume compared to short-tail keyword. But they make it up by being much less competitive.

The most important thing you have to know with a long-tail keyword is you can easily pinpoint the search intent.

Let’s look at an example, “ 4 x 12 fl oz S.Pellegrino mineral water”.

This definitely means the searcher is looking for websites that sell this mineral water. So if you want to target them, you know you’ll need to have the price, shipping fee and your store location on the website.

Better yet, when the users are making searches with these long, and detailed keywords, they are usually ready to make a purchase!

Characteristics: low search volume, low competitive rate, specific search intent, high conversion rate; use this for targeted pages especially product page and blog posts.

You can use GoogleAds Keyword planner to discover low competition long-tail keywords.

3. Short-term fresh keyword

When you think about fresh keywords, you need to think about something that is hyped recently.

The latest blockbuster movies titles is an example of a fresh keyword. Take The Avengers: Infinity War as an example.

As you can see, the search volume peaked around the time of the movie’s release but drops sharply after.

You can make use of a fresh keyword’s explosive volume of search to attract more organic views, but be prepared for a harsh fall when the hype is over.

The thing with fresh keywords is, you can chime in with the latest news and attract some new audience, breaking from you old, existing audiences.

Characteristics: explosive search volume, medium competitive rate, specific search intent, high conversion rate; use it to create up-to-date content for view.

4. Long-term evergreen keyword

Evergreen keywords are those that is relevant all the time. The search volume might fluctuates now and then but there won’t be extreme changes.

The point is, you can be sure that from the moment you publish something focusing on the evergreen keyword until let’s say two years later, there will still be users searching for and wanting to read about it.

So for pieces focusing on evergreen keyword you need to make sure that it can age gracefully, or better yet, keep it updated perhaps once a year.

The views may not be explosive, but they will be consistent. Double that with the stretch of time, you will have a sizeable amount of views with this one content.

Contents surrounding evergreen keywords tend to be informative and educative.

Remember this, if you have a nicely crafted informative piece, that can add on to your authoritative points.

The more educative contents you pump out, the more authoritative you become. Which means higher position inP. Bringing you more exposure, more views, and more loyal readers.

Characteristic: moderate search volume, medium competitive rate, specific search intent, high conversion rate; use them to craft detailed, informative pieces that can be updated regularly or age well.

Search Engine Optimization is an example of an evergreen keyword that has a consistent search volume.

5. Product defining keyword

This is the keywords that explain and describe your product.

It’s not just a Keyword Tool, it’s a LSI Keyword Research and Planning Tool. See the difference?

Searchers searching for a product defining keyword is looking for something very specific. And you can either be exactly what they want, or not at all.

When searchers go for product defining keyword they are already at the early stage of purchasing.

All they need is a little more information to click on that checkout button.

So when you’re targeting a product defining keyword, remember to be as detailed as possible.

The best way to get your product targeting keywords is very simple, just look at your product list, then create a detailed description for each of them.

Now look at those descriptions and pick out two fundamental dve keywords. Add them to your product name, and there you have it.

Characteristic: low search volume, low competitive rate, specific search intent, high conversion rate; use it on your product pages to stand out from the generic crowd and match user intent.

Define your product to match them with user intent to increase conversion rate.

6. Customer defining keyword

You have your targeted persona right? If you don’t, create an imaginary profile for your targeted audience.

It’s simple.

Are they mostly male or female? How old are they? Where are they from? What is their job?

The more detailed you can be the more information you can use to your advantage.

Let’s use this again as an example, instead of just “LSI Keyword Research and Planning Tool” add in your customer defining keyword: LSI Keyword Research and Planning Tool Built for Marketers.

One-size-fits-all products are rare. So address to your target audience clearly, focus on their painpont because one keyword will make a whole lot of the difference.

Also consider using customer testimonials to build a narrative on how your product benefits them. That will help build better credibility and draws familiarity to the readers who share similar profiles.

Characteristic: low search volume, low competitive rate, specific search intent, high conversion rate; use it to address your customers directly to create a sense that the product is tailored made for them.

7. Geo-targeting keyword

You can target a specific neighborhood, city, state or even country using geo-targeting keyword.

This is especially useful for smaller local businesses where you’d want to attract the most relevant customers, the local customers, to your storefront.

How can I get my geo-targeting keywords? Well, this is actually the easiest keyword to acquire on the list. The area that your business serves is your geo-targeting keywords, just that.

You might already have your address on display at the sidebar, but inserting it into the content itself can bring a big difference.

Characteristic: low search volume, low competitive rate, specific search intent, high conversion rate; critical for local business and delivery base business.

8. LSI keyword

LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) Keywords are thematic keywords that are closely related to your main keyword.

Let’s look at it this way, your main keyword is lemon, its LSI keywords could be lemon tea, organic lemon, lemon nutrition etc.

In order to get an LSI keyword, you need to first decide on the main keyword.

LSI keywords are useful in a sense where you can create topics to fit a broad theme and target all the smaller branches all based from one root keyword.

This keyword will work wonderfully for content or blog posts creation.

LSI keyword is a little tricky to get your hands on.

You can look at the suggested search section at the search result page to get an idea of what keywords the search engine relates to the performed search query.

LSIGraph (full consent, this is our sister product) is another great tool that will automatically give you a list of LSI keywords together with their search volume and competition. Just type in your main keyword and voila happy content planning.

Characteristic: low search volume, low competitive rate, specific search intent, high conversion rate; boost ranking signal for main keyword and good for content creation.

9. Intent targeting keywords

When a user performs a query, their intent will fall into these 3 categories:

Informational

Users want general information on a specific item or topic. So use keywords like benefits of, ways to, guide on, facts. These keywords tend to appear in informational contents aiming to educate the reader. You can also make use of the Ws like where, what, who to craft your informational content.

Commercial

Users with a commercial intent are more serious about making a purchase. So starts use keywords like specifications, expiration date, place of origin, shipping fee, etc to give a clearer and product-specific information.

Transactional

This is the last step before a user places an order, at this point they are comparing products from multiple stores and trying to get the best deal. Use keywords like this, best price, sale, best quality, guaranteed, no fuss refund etc to make them feel comfortable to buy from you.

TL;DR

There are 9 types of keywords: shorttail, longtail, short-term, long-term, product defining, customer defining, geo-targeting, LSI and intent targeting. All of these keywords have their special strength that can multiply your SEO efforts when used in different situations. Now that you know how to use them, happy optimizing!

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18 Essential SEO Tools To Optimize Your Website

An up-to-date list of SEO tools for every marketer to optimize your website.
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Bad Reviews, Good Reviews, No Reviews and 5 Tips to Deal With It

Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Bad Reviews, Good Reviews, No Reviews and 5 Tips to Deal With It

Bad Reviews, Good Reviews, No Reviews and 5 Tips to Deal With It

Reviews are the new word of mouth in the world of Google.

Clicking on a business listing on Google with zero reviews is like walking into a store with no signboard. I just wanna get a sandwich for my lunch, not a panic attack wondering what kind of service I’ll be getting.

So here are five tips for you to get more review and how to handle those reviews.
1. ENCOURAGE REVIEWS

“It’d be great if you can give us a review. Do you mind if we send you an e-mail with a quick guide to it?”

This is the most direct way to ask for reviews. While sending your clients off, you can offer them a simple line as above. A happy satisfied client will be more willing to leave you a review. Follow up quickly with an e-mail with instructions like so. Being requested directly like this, more often than not the clients would say okay. But there is always the risk that they won’t follow up with their promise. Sending them an e-mail can act as a little reminder.

Instead of e-mailing your clients with the guide, you can also just give them handouts. That way it’s even more informative. After that, if you want you can send them an e-mail with the guide again as a reminder. That may come off too pushy though. So make sure your clients are really happy and willing to give you a review before doing this.

An example of a review handout

That way, perspectively, it would feel more like a “Hey, just in case you need it but lost it, here’s the guide.” instead of “Hey, we need your review, don’t forget to review us now!”

Encouraging your customers to give you a review is ok, bribing them or buying reviews, on the other hand, are not. There are instances where Google would take down reviews if it’s exposed that they’re fueled by bribery. While Yelp doesn’t want you to ask for reviews at all.

Putting up signs like this around your premise to ask for reviews in an offhanded way

Now, what you can do to encourage reviews but in a more offhanded way is by putting up signs in your premise. Stick a little sticker on your door saying review us on Google, Yelp, and Facebook etc. Or put up little signs on your counter. You’re not actively asking them for a review. But you’re telling them that they can give you a review if they want to.

A review us page

You can also create a “review us” page on your website. Showcase some testimonials, ratings or reviews on your website. That gives them some examples on how to write a review in case they are not familiar with it. Then link them to review sites directly. You’re asking for something from them, putting in some effort to make it hassle free for them will pay off for you in the long run. There are some free websites out there that can help save you some trouble such as Owly, bitly, or this plugin from GetFiveStars.

2. BE RESPONSIVE & PERSONAL TO REVIEWS

Now that some reviews started to dribble in, you gotta show them that you appreciate their effort. They are not obliged to give you a review, instead, they’re doing you a favor. So it’s only right if you return the sentiment.

A simple trick to make a thank you message sound more personal is by addressing them by their name. “Thank you, Kate. I’m glad that you’re happy with our service. Hope to see you again.” would sound better than “Thank you, hope to see you again.”

Replying to a bad review though is a little more tricky. First of all, APOLOGIZE. Pacify them first before explaining yourself then offer a solution and finally end the reply with another apologize and express your desire to turn this situation around.

Identify what went wrong is a very important part of handling a bad review. Give them the reason for why it happened. Don’t give an excuse. A lousy excuse will only agitate the customer more. Don’t shift the blame to the customer. What’s worse, don’t take it personally and go into defensive mode. Remember that it’s business and you need to stay professional.

Here’s a couple of example on how to reply to bad reviews on Yelp

Notice how they both sound apologetic and tried to make amends. A review posted online is there for everyone to see. You wouldn’t want to get into an ugly argument because of a bad review in front of every one of your potential customers. Answering a bad review is showing every potential customer out there that you care. It shows that you want the best experience for your customers. That you will go to great lengths to make it up for any less than satisfied customers. That is what I call great customer service.

3. ENCOURAGE FEEDBACKS FROM CUSTOMERS

Now we want reviews, but we also only want good reviews. I mentioned how answering to a bad review can show the potential customers that you care. But isn’t it better if you don’t get any bad reviews in the first place? A way to help curb on bad reviews is to make sure you resolved any complains before they have the chance to reach the reviews sites. You can achieve that by encouraging feedback on the spot. In your premise where you’re present and can have a face to face conversation with an unsatisfied customer.

Again you can go the more straightforward way or the offhanded way. The straightforward way is, of course, asking something along the way “Is everything ok? Can I help you with anything?”. Make sure you tend to the customers’ need. If you’re running a service-based business. Let the customer review your work result and make sure they’re satisfied with your work. If they aren’t, you can handle the situation right away.

Like before, you can put on little signs around your premise. “Ask us anything!” or “Approach any of our staff members if you need help.” Putting up signs like this around the store can encourage customers to reach out to you first. Handling any unsatisfied customer first can curb them from having the anger bubbling in their chest and lash it out on review sites. At that time, it will take more effort and time to turn around their anger or disappointment.

Make sure any complaints go to you first

This way, you can make sure any reviews that did reach the review sites will only be happy reviews.

Making sure your customers are satisfied and happy is the surefire way to ensure happy review in return. Therefore, start working on customer service to make sure they are having a good experience. Like I mentioned before, happy customers are more willing to leave you a review. Their reviews will also, of course, be positive reviews. The kind that everyone likes.

4. TAKE SUGGESTIONS INTO CONSIDERATION

Reviews are not only useful for potential customers to decide whether they want to pay you a visit. It is also useful for the business owner to understand what people like or don’t like about your business. Monitor it actively so you can express your gratitude to happy customers. Handle any less than satisfied customers. Along the way, you can understand what you need to do to give your customer the ultimate experience to make sure they’ll only be leaving you praises on the internet.

Little gestures are what make an experience unique. Here’s a personal example, my favorite Japanese restaurants provide every table of customers with warm hand towels before the meal is served. That little gesture really makes the difference. You can start putting in little uniques gestures that may enhance a customers experience. Then monitor the reviews to see whether they noticed. If they do, voila! Now you know what gives you extra points.

Thank any customers who give you a suggestion, or have listed out what they like or don’t like about their experience with you. Compile all the points together. If a point is being mentioned frequently, take it into consideration and make a change accordingly.

Think of reviews as a two-way conversation

This can only be achieved if you actually receive reviews. Be it good reviews or bad reviews they will be helpful for you to gain incredible insights on customer experience.

So be sure to encourage customers to leave you reviews and also encourage feedback to curb any negative reviews before it happens.
5. DON’T TAKE BAD REVIEWS PERSONALLY

Last but not least, everyone takes pride in owning a good business where customers are satisfied and good reviews are gushing in. However, don’t take it personally if a bad review does happen.

You did everything. You encouraged feedbacks from customers. You attend to their every calls and cry. You trained your staff to be as attentive as possible. But still, one morning you woke up to a one-star review after a long hard day of work. I can imagine how heartbreaking this is for you. But does the customers care that they broke your heart? No, they won’t. For them this is business and they only expected the best for what they’ve paid.

So you gotta remember to treat it as business as well. Stay professional, remember that business is business and customer may not all be friends. Put on your best business smile (although they can’t see it behind the screen you get the gist), apologize and offer to amend to turn that angry customer around. Pull your hair out if you want. But once again they won’t care.

So the best way to handle this is to don’t take it personally and treat it as professional as you can. Make sure they’ll be satisfied with what you can offer as a peacemaking handshake. Turn that angry customer into a happy one, make sure they leave you a good review this time. That is the only way you can win this and gain something in return.

TL;DR

Encourage reviews either by actively asking or subtly by putting on “review us” signs. Respond to your reviews professionally but with a personal touch. Encourage on the spot feedbacks to curb any bubbling negative reviews. Take what your customers say into consideration to provide them with better service and lastly stay professional. Don’t take bad reviews personally, remember that business is business. If you manage to turn an unsatisfied customer into a happy one, consider that a win.

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Annelieke’s Analytics: 16 months of Google Search Console data

Posted by on Jul 23, 2018 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Annelieke’s Analytics: 16 months of Google Search Console data

Annelieke’s Analytics: 16 months of Google Search Console data

The new Google Search Console is out! Since the beginning of this year, more and more users have gotten the pleasure of the new functionalities in Google Search Console. After you get used to the totally new interface, you see all the cool stuff it has to offer. One of those awesome features is the 16 months of data in the Search Analytics report. Curious about where you can find this bunch of data? Well, read on then.

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16 months of Search Analytics data, where?

The new Google Search Console dashboard looks completely different and uses other words than the ‘old’ Google Search Console does. So first, let’s find out where you can find your precious 16 months of data.

You need to go to the performance dashboard, which used to be Search Analytics. When you get there, you’ll see a cool bunch of stuff already. Like total clicks, impressions, Click Through Rate and your average position. And there are filter types possible, at the top of the page. You can even add new filter options. I’d recommend you play with that – just a little pro tip. One of the filter options is Date, set by default to 3 months.

If you click on that Date filter, you can see all the date options available:

 

 

 

 

 

Next to seeing 16 months of data, you can also compare dates. For instance, the last 7 days compared to the same 7 days last year. And at the bottom of all options, you can customize your date range. Clicking on the ‘Last 16 months’ filter will give you an output that looks a bit like this:

To get something like the screenshot above you need to select the Average CTR only. You can click on all four of the items to see all four in the graph. Now another thing I noticed is these little small grey balls near the x-axis. These are messages from Google Search Console that something happened on a particular date. For this particular website, an event occurred that could’ve affected the data. Now, this is very valuable information because you then know that the data before this date is less precise. And that knowledge is especially useful when you want to compare dates because you now know that you can’t compare a recent date range with a date range before this event.

What to do with 16 months of Google Search Console data

The first thing that comes to mind is that it resolves a lot of frustration. In the ‘old’ Google Search Console, the oldest data you could get was 90 days old. People then just downloaded months old data every month and created their own Google Search Console database. But now, there’s no hassle anymore with getting a lot of data in your dashboard by exporting data sheets and adding it to your main Google Search Console data sheet. If you work for clients who want to see how the website’s done over the year, because they want to know if it’s in line with their KPI for example, that data is now just a few clicks away. Saving you a lot of time – time you can spend on actually optimizing websites – and making them better.

When it comes down to the actual data, having over a year of data means you can do year-over-year comparisons and see if you can spot a trend. Are you doing better than last year? Have your efforts been successful? Analyzing year-long trends in your data in just one click. Looking for things like seasonality is now easier, for example: is April a month in which you get more clicks than in other months? Or how is this June doing compared to last year’s June?

As you can see in the screenshot above, June 2018 had fewer impressions than June 2017 had. June 2018 also had fewer clicks, a lower average position. The only thing that went up was the Click Through Rate (CTR). Looking at a wider time frame will give you more context and can tell you if June 2017 perhaps was an above average good month or if this website is performing worse than it did last year. Those are signs for you to work on your SEO more or that your SEO efforts aren’t taking any effect.

In the Performance report in Google Search Console, you can see more information than just this graph. I’ve set the data comparison to the last 3 months compared to the same months in 2017. If you scroll down you can see more specifics about where your possible drop or rise is coming from.

I’ve sorted this grid on where the biggest difference between the last 3 months in 2018 and the same time period 2017 is. Enabling you to quickly identify the difference between the 3 months. If you notice important keywords having fewer impressions now than in 2017, that might be a reason to act. Time to work on your SEO!

You can see Queries, Pages, Countries, Devices and Search Appearance in this grid, and you can add Clicks, CTR and Position to the grid as well. Making it very informative for you to check where your priorities should lie, which keywords and pages to tackle first.

Be critical about the data you’re seeing

Please think about the time frame you’re using when comparing dates. Sometimes it doesn’t make any sense to compare June 2018 to June 2017. Perhaps it makes more sense to compare June 2018 with May 2018. You know your website best, you know when you started optimizing for a certain keyword for instance. Think about what questions you want answered before diving into this bunch of Google Search Console data. Those questions will be the answer to what to look at when you open the Performance dashboard.

At the beginning of this post, we noticed Google Search Console is showing notifications about things that occurred that can affect data:

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If you see something similar, please do not compare data with data before these notifications because your data isn’t reliable anymore and you might be drawing the wrong conclusions.

Conclusion

The Performance dashboard in the new Google Search Console lets you analyze 16 months of data. This wider time frame prevents a lot of hassle and there’s no longer need for shoestring solutions to create your own useful Google Search Console database. Making it so much easier to do your reporting. 16 months of data also allows you to make meaningful comparisons and to spot trends. But as always, think about the questions you want answered before diving into a big dataset. Otherwise, you might be drawing conclusions that don’t make any sense.

Read more: How to connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO and fix errors »

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