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How to avoid SEO penalties in algorithm-stricken industries

Posted by on Apr 8, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to avoid SEO penalties in algorithm-stricken industries

When trying to rank on Google through search engine optimization, there are some industries which are far more competitive and prone to algorithm updates than others.

Industries such as casinos, insurance, loans, hosting, and FX are highly competitive, and many SEO practitioners will turn to black hat techniques to secure Page 1 positions.

Google is the most popular search engine used by consumers; it makes regular weekly algorithm changes. As a result, firms may find their initial SEO progress is shot down by a penalty which can ultimately lead to a significant loss of traffic and revenue.

The guide below gives some vital tips when trying to rank in the most penalty-stricken and volatile search results on Google.

Choose a good domain

 When trying to rank for a highly competitive keyword, SEO professionals might look at selecting a domain which is very similar to the ‘big money’ keyword. There is certainly evidence that having a domain with competitive keywords in it will give you an SEO boost. For example, carinsurance.com or onlinecasinos.com

However, in today’s marketing landscape, this is not as essential, and Google looks more at brands rather than just keywords within a domain name.

Firms which have an exact match domain or partial match domain (i.e. loans or insurance is in the domain name), will need to be a little bit cautious, however. This is because there will likely be a higher mention of ‘danger’ words, like insurance and loans, a lot more in the content, the meta-data, and the links acquired.

SEO professionals need to be aware of keyword stuffing, or over-use of sensitive words, their brand’s anchor text as this is likely the first thing Google will look at if they are going to penalize a business.

Strong competitor analysis

 Competitors are a good starting point for any SEO professional. Those which rank on the first two pages of Google’s search results will provide insight into what works and what does not.

Not only can SEOs then emulate the right kind of techniques for said industry, but they can also see who has potentially fallen within the search rankings and been hit most by algorithm updates and penalties.

Since the casino and insurance sectors are known to have their own kind of algorithms, SEO’s working in these markets will need to play close attention to whether the landing page, or homepage, is used to rank. Consideration will also need to be given to URL structures, meta titles, and how frequently is a keyword mentioned on a page.

With language in mind, SEOs will also need to take heed of what kind of rhetoric and language is being used within competitor sights, as well as what links are used.

As a result, looking at competitors is essential for ranking in a highly specialized and competitive industry. Firms which are well established in the market are likely to have gone through the motions and have overcome penalties in the past in order to secure such strong positions.

Using low risk link building strategies

 SEOs assisting firms in more penalty-ridden industries will need to be more careful with the links built and acquired.

For starters, getting brand name links to a homepage is always going to be low risk. Spreading these links across several resourceful blogs and guides, will help build a business up as an authority, while appearing organic.

Linking to homepages and guides is much harder to penalize than if links are embedded within ‘money pages’ of hyperlinked to words like casino or loans. However, firms need to ensure their content is not thin and includes real statistics, graphs and images which validate their resources.

It is important, therefore, for SEO professionals to review what percentage of links go to their organization’s homepage, money pages and guides; looking at competitors and their split can be very useful here. In fact, using tools like Majestic can show you this immediately.

Be cautious with link anchor text

 When choosing the anchor text of a links, SEOs should ideally be on the cautious side. In general, no legitimate site will offer hyperlinks of ‘car insurance’ or ‘best casinos’. Instead, SEOs should look to hyperlink to phrases like ‘find more information here’ or ‘check your eligibility’.

Hyperlinking to phrases which can be actioned – like ‘quotes from $300 per month’ – is also likely to be more effective. Using a mix of these techniques will look more organic within money pages.

The use of synonyms can also be helpful when considering which phrases to hyperlink. The word ‘car insurance’ can easily be interchanged with ‘motor insurance’, for example. Rephrasing is also a popular technique used by SEO professionals – instead of ‘car insurance policies’, try ‘insurance for your car’.

Avoiding abbreviations is also a common technique used by SEOs. Instead of saying ‘VPNs’, ‘virtual private networks’ can be used to anchor text more naturally.

 Patience is key 

Overall, the competitive industries mentioned within this article are so valuable that they attract a lot of attention from SEO practitioners, and this means black hat techniques who are trying to game the system and generate some quick traffic.

Whilst cautious techniques will take several months to have an impact, firms can have peace of mind they you will sustain good quality rankings and traffic and avoid future penalties.

Firms which make sure they look carefully at competitors and avoid overusing the big keywords in their content and links should be good to go!

The post How to avoid SEO penalties in algorithm-stricken industries appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Google doesn’t want your AI-generated SEO spam content

Posted by on Apr 7, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google doesn’t want your AI-generated SEO spam content

Google doesn’t want your AI-generated SEO spam content

Search marketers are buzzing about Google’s John Mueller calling AI-generated content “spam.” He did this while answering a question during the April 1 Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout (and it was no joke).

Mueller’s response is not shocking. Especially considering Google has answered this question many times in recent years. Plus, automatically generated content has long been part of their webmaster guidelines as something to avoid.

Yet, AI-generated content is a popular topic of discussion on social media, forums and in private groups. Especially in recent years as the technology has advanced.

Let’s recap Google’s history on this topic and what it means for you. 

The latest Google statement on AI content

First, it’s always important to remember that when Mueller speaks during office hours, he is generally answering specific questions about certain situations. Often, his answers get misinterpreted to apply more broadly or mean more than what he actually said. If not blown completely out of proportion. 

In this instance, the question was: how does Google react to websites hosting AI-written content? 

The answer was straightforward: this falls into the category of automatically-generated content. Which, again, dates back to Google’s earliest days. 

But here’s where things get interesting. Can Google tell the difference between content written by AI or a human? Mueller declined to say that definitively. 

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if the content is written by a human or a robot. Google can detect whether it is high-quality, low-quality, or outright spam. At some point, it’s highly likely that Google’s Page 1 results will be filled with content generated by robots.

Heck, for some SERPs it looks like this is already happening. I just did a search for [benefits of AI content] and saw this article ranking in Position 2:

Did a human write that ? Or a machine?

I know plenty of terrible human writers. They could publish content online. But that doesn’t mean Google has to index it or rank it. But anybody can publish any content of any quality online. 

Official Google guidance on automatically generated content

Straight from Google Search Central documentation, here is everything Google says about automatically generated content:

Automatically generated (also called “auto-generated”—content) is content that’s been generated programmatically. In cases where it’s intended to manipulate search rankings and not help users, Google may take actions on such content. Some example cases include, but are not limited to:

Text that makes no sense to the reader but which may contain search keywords.Text translated by an automated tool without human review or curation before publishing.Text generated through automated processes, such as Markov chains.Text generated using automated synonymizing or obfuscation techniques.Text generated from scraping Atom/RSS feeds or search results.Stitching or combining content from different web pages without adding sufficient value.

More past statements from Google on AI content

2022: Mueller was asked about AI-based content creation tools like Jasper and tweeted back: “Content generators / spinners have been around since the start of the web. People have used all kinds of tools & tricks to do that (see image). As far as I can tell, most sites have trouble creating higher-quality content, they don’t need help creating low-quality content.​​”

2021: Mueller said that Google would likely shift to focus more on the quality of the content rather than how it was generated. Meaning, essentially, that Google might be OK with ranking machine-written content. But that day hasn’t arrived yet.

2020: In discussing how GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3, which can produce human-like text and translate content) underperforms, Google’s Gary Illyes said Google doesn’t want machine-translated content in its index. He shared an amusing example on Twitter: “All boiled together After boiling, the sugar dissolves can be used. Do not let boil for long Coconut milk will be children.”

2019: Mueller was asked whether auto-translating content could lead to a manual action. In short, he said no, but if the content was poor it likely wouldn’t rank well. Also that year, Mueller said machine-written content is not OK. However, he noted that at some point “down the road” Google might be more open to content generated by a machine. The key would be Google would have to be unable to tell whether it was written by a script or a human. 

2017: Illyes was asked whether tools that generate readable content for humans using data are considered “automatically generated content”. Illyes replied that Google was thinking about this but had nothing to say at the time. 

2010: Mueller said using ​​automated translation tools (like Google Translate) to create content for your website could, in some cases, be viewed as “creating auto-generated content, which would be against our Webmaster Guidelines.”

An ironic stance?

Google has called itself an AI-first company. They use hundreds of machine learning models in various products – search, Ads, YouTube, Gmail and beyond. Why? Because it helps improve the product.

So why is content in search results different? Is it? Well, it all comes down to quality, or at least how Google’s algorithms interpret quality. 

But this isn’t an ironic stance really. Google has been consistent about wanting to reward high-quality content. The Panda update was one of Google’s big attempts at cleaning up the mess that content farms had made of search results. 

AI content risks vs. benefits

Below are a few risks and benefits of AI content. This is by no means an exhaustive list. 

Risk: Google takes action on your page/site

A manual action can have serious consequences for your brand or business. In addition to all the resources you put into this type of content, now you have to sink even more resources into cleaning up the mess and (hopefully) getting back into Google’s search results. 

Risk: Not original

While AI content generation is more advanced than the older content spinners, it’s still basically the same thing. You’re copying other people’s work that already exists online – probably including your competitors. So you’re just altering the words and ideas of others. Following, instead of leading, is a dangerous model for any business and pretty much will guarantee you’ll always be number two at best.

Risk: Quality is low

What you get is going to need extensive editing. Best case, you’ll get robotic, vanilla content. With the same (or less) time and resources you invest into technology, you probably could hire a human writer.

Benefit: Writing is time-intensive

It takes humans time to produce content. AI content can cut down this time. That said, you should factor in a resource for proofreading whatever content you get. The Associated Press got some attention for using robot journalists on stats-heavy stories a few years ago, but it increased output while freeing up 20% of journalists’ time.

Benefit: Good content isn’t cheap

And there’s a reason for that. Generally, there’s much more involved with content than the actual writing. There’s research (keywords, what’s ranking, who you’re competing against, etc.). How much editing is required? Are any graphics needed to support it? Is the writer a subject matter expert in the topic? Expertise is a cost. That doesn’t even factor in the promotion of the content. So if you can live with content that is “good enough” (due to limited resources/budget or maybe you operate in a niche with low competition), then AI content could be a benefit for you.

Benefit: Good for idea generation

Writer’s block is the worst. AI can help you come up with ideas for content. At this point, it’s not quite good enough to fully create content from scratch. But maybe there is enough value in the tools to use them for brainstorming content ideas.

Why we care

Much of SEO is about weighing risks versus rewards. Google’s stance is if it detects this type of content, you could receive a manual action or be deindexed. That said, AI can help with content creation. But even then, a human layer is needed. Whatever route you go with, always make sure your company or client is comfortable with and aware of any and all risks associated with using AI-generated content. 

The post Google doesn’t want your AI-generated SEO spam content appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Top data and analytics trends for the digital-first marketer

Posted by on Apr 7, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Top data and analytics trends for the digital-first marketer

Top data and analytics trends for the digital-first marketer

As digital-first customer behavior accelerates, marketers have adopted equally critical mandates —customer satisfaction and growth. Because data is central to this dual mandate, we sought to understand how marketers use data to understand customers, build trusted relationships, optimize performance, and maximize the ROI of every investment.

Salesforce’s 3rd Marketing Intelligence Report reveals insights trends on data and analytics from 2,500+ marketers worldwide. Join us as we unpack how data has become central to marketing success.

Register today for “Top Data and Analytics Trends for the Digital-First Marketer,” presented by Salesforce.

The post Top data and analytics trends for the digital-first marketer appeared first on Search Engine Land.

How to add a blog to your Shopify store

Posted by on Apr 7, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to add a blog to your Shopify store

How to add a blog to your Shopify store

You’ve just set up your new online store on Shopify. Or maybe you’ve already been on Shopify for a while. Regardless of how new your Shopify store is, you probably want to attract some more people to your website. A great way to draw people in is by creating content that they’re searching for online. So let’s make that possible and add a blog to your Shopify store! In this post, we’ll explain how to properly set up your Shopify blog.

Let’s get started

It’s good to know that Shopify actually adds a default blog to every online store on its platform. This blog section is called News and it allows you to start blogging right away. But you can also choose to add a custom blog to your Shopify store if you prefer that. We’ll discuss both options here.

Use the default News blog on Shopify

When you have an online store on Shopify, you automatically get a blog section with the name News. Just login to your Shopify admin and click on Online Store in your Sales channels section. Clicking on that will open up a menu below, where you can click on Blog posts. This brings you to the default blog section where you can start adding blog posts right away.

In the Blog posts section, you can also make a few changes to this default blog by clicking Manage blogs at the top of your screen. Clicking this button brings you to an overview of the blogs that are on your Shopify store right now. Simply click on the blog you want to edit, the default News blog in this case, and it will bring you to a screen where you can make a few changes to your blog.

Make changes to your Shopify blog on this screen

You can change the title of your blog, how comments are handled, and choose a template for the appearance of your blog. In addition, this page gives you a preview of how your blog might appear in the search results. By clicking on Edit website SEO, you can actually fill in what title, description and URL you would like to see appear in the search results. Although there’s no guarantee, there’s a reasonable chance that Google (and other search engines) will adapt these details. So it’s worth filling in these fields.

Add a custom blog to your Shopify store

It’s also possible to add another blog to your online store. Log in to your Shopify admin, click on Online Store in your Sales channels section and click on Blog posts in the menu that appears below Online Store. This takes you to an overview of the current blogs on your Shopify store. In the top right corner, you’ll see the button Add blog, which brings you to a screen that is very similar to the one in the screenshot above. Here you can fill in the title of your blog, how comments should be handled and choose a template for your blog. It’s also possible to fill in some information that the search engines can use to display your blog in the search results. Just click on Edit website SEO and fill in the fields that appear.

How to create your first blog post

After you’ve made the necessary changes to the default blog or added a new blog to your Shopify store, you can start writing your first blog post. Go back to the Blog posts section and click the Add blog post button at the top right corner. This will take you to a new screen where you can start writing your blog post.

Adding a blog post to your Shopify store

The fields on this page probably speak for themselves. You can write your blog in the Content section and don’t forget to add a title, excerpt and featured image. Also, make sure to change the visibility to visible when you want your post to show up on your website and don’t forget to click Edit website SEO to fill in the fields in the listing preview. When you scroll down a bit, you can also change the author and add tags to your post. After you’ve written your blog post and filled in everything you need to, don’t forget to click Save.

How to write blog posts that attract visitors

So far, we’ve explained how to add a blog to your Shopify store and how you can write your first blog post. But although it’s good to be enthusiastic, we wouldn’t recommend just publishing posts on whatever you can think of. You want to make sure you’re writing on a regular basis, about topics that your audience is interested in. Here are a few tips to start off the right way!

Start with keyword research

Of course, you can always write about stuff that you’re interested in and stuff that’s related to your products or services. But before you start, you should definitely conduct some keyword research. Keyword research helps you figure out what your audience is searching for online and what topics they’re interested in. You can use this input to tweak your list of blog ideas to make sure that your audience is able to find your content and actually lands on your website. We have an article on keyword research for your online store that can help you find the right topics for your blog posts.

Create a content calendar

When you have an online store, it can be tricky to create new content on a regular basis. We get that. But it is essential to keep it up, as it can really increase the traffic to your website. And it shows Google that your website is alive and kicking. A good way to make sure that you’re spending enough time on content creation is by having a content calendar.

Use an Excel sheet, or a service like Trello or MeisterTask, to create this calendar. Whatever works for you and your team. This will allow you to keep an overview of your ideas and set due dates to make sure you’re adding new content to your blog on a regular basis. Just make sure to set realistic goals for yourself. If you’re struggling with writing multiple posts per week, bring it back to one per week. Try to find a balance that works for you and your website.

Write user-centered content

You now have all the basics to get started on your first post. But how can you make sure that it will be any good? That you’re spending your time on content that will attract people to your website and keep them there? The most important thing is that you create content that is relevant and readable for your audience.

Doing keyword research helps you figure out what your audience is interested in. But you also need to keep your user in mind while writing. Don’t just push your products, but write content that solves the problems that your audience is facing. Build trust between you and your audience by giving them tips and helping them out. If you sell garden tools, don’t just use your blog to tell people about your latest hand trowel, but blog about how to maintain your garden during every season. Your audience will probably consist of people who love gardening and that will look for those kinds of tips. They will view you as a garden expert and trust that your products will help them maintain their beloved plants and flowers.

Readability is another important factor when it comes to content creation. You want to make sure that people enjoy your writing style and get to the end of your blog post (or at least further than the introduction). Just having a ‘wall of text’ on your page will scare people off. That’s why you should make sure to use enough headings, divide your text up into paragraphs and write in an active voice. The Yoast SEO for Shopify app actually comes with a readability analysis that gives you actionable feedback while you write. This app also helps you optimize your content for search engines, which we’ll explain next.

Yoast SEO helps rank your online store

Unlock powerful features and much more for your Shopify site with the Yoast SEO app!

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Write SEO-friendly content

Have you heard of SEO? It stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is the practice of optimizing your web pages to make them reach a high position in the search results of Google and other search engines. This is how adding a blog to your Shopify store can help you attract more people to your website. Because a lot of people are searching online nowadays and it really pays off to be one of the top results, not only in site visits but also in sales you make.

By writing blog posts that help your audience and show up high in the search results, you’re creating content that will lead to more customers and a growing business. But that does mean that your content and pages need to be SEO-friendly. Writing user-centered content is already a great start, but there’s more you can do. You can find most of it in our ultimate guide to Shopify SEO, but we would also like to mention our Yoast SEO for Shopify app. This app makes sure your online store meets the highest technical SEO standards and provides you with useful feedback while creating product pages and blog posts.

Read more: 7 tips to get more traffic to your Shopify store with SEO »

The post How to add a blog to your Shopify store appeared first on Yoast.

Google may update business hours in local listings with AI

Posted by on Apr 7, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google may update business hours in local listings with AI

Google may update business hours in local listings with AI

Google said that is can use machine learning and AI to update the business hours of local listings when the search company thinks the hours listed are inaccurate. Google wrote “we developed a machine learning model that automatically identifies if business hours are likely wrong, then instantly updates them with AI-generated predictions.”

Why do we care. This is why it is important to regularly, on a consistent basis, review your business hours listed for your business listing but in Google Business Profiles and how searchers see it listed in Google. If Google changes your business details and hours, you can quickly update it in Google Business Profiles. This is just good local SEO practice in general because your listing details may change through Google’s AI or other edits done by Google Local Guides or searcher’s suggested edits.

How it works. How does Google change your listing with machine learning? Google said it looks at multiple factors to determine if the hours listed for a local listing is accurate. These include:

When was the last time the business updated their business profileWhat other local business hours are set toThe Popular Times information for that local listing (real user traffic)Street View images look specifically for business hour signs on the door

Then if there is conflicting information, Google may go ahead and update the hours automatically.

20 million businesses. Google said the company is on track to update the business hours of “over 20 million businesses around the globe in the next six months using AI.”

Google also uses Duplex to automatically call businesses to verify hours and other details.

The post Google may update business hours in local listings with AI appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Google Analytics 4 gains autosuggest for faster report access

Posted by on Apr 7, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google Analytics 4 gains autosuggest for faster report access

Google Analytics 4 gains autosuggest for faster report access

Google Analytics 4 made a small but powerful upgrade that helps you locate the report you are looking for faster. Google added autosuggest to the search box within GA4 to help you find that report in less time.

The announcement. Here is how Google announced this feature, “the search box at the top of Analytics now provides suggestions to help you find information. Analytics shows useful queries as you type, bolding the suggested portion of the text. You can use the up and down keys to highlight a suggestion and press enter to accept one. For example, when you start typing “user”, you will see the following suggestions in the Search panel.”

What it looks like. Here is a screenshot of autosuggest for search in GA4:

Why we care. Any feature that helps marketers save time, we are a fan of. And this feature should help marketers find the reports they are looking faster and possibly even uncover reports that you may not have known were available. So give it a try and explore some of the reports available to you within GA4.

The post Google Analytics 4 gains autosuggest for faster report access appeared first on Search Engine Land.

How to use SEO for a great ABM strategy

Posted by on Apr 7, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to use SEO for a great ABM strategy

How to use SEO for a great ABM strategy

30-second summary:

Account-based marketing (ABM) helps build a personal bond with your target audience, assuring them that you understand their unique wants and needs
ABM is considered the most financially successful marketing approach by 97 percent of businesses
ABM can be used in conjunction with inbound marketing for maximum effectiveness, which ties into an effective SEO strategy
Use SEO keywords to learn what your target audience is looking for and attract interest from all levels of a business
SEO analytics – especially insights into consumer interests, behavior, and preferences – aid the construction of an effective account-based marketing strategy

Priorities in business marketing have drastically shifted in the online age. Throwing enough mud at the wall, hoping that at least some of it will stick, is now an outdated approach. Consumers are savvy, seeking to be wooed by products and services that meet their unique needs.

Naturally, this means that an effective marketing campaign will fish in shallow waters instead of casting a wide net into the ocean. Any business with serious intentions to capture a captive and loyal audience should take the account-based marketing (ABM) approach – and SEO can be essential to such a strategy.

What is account-based marketing (ABM)?

With so many different types of marketing packages available to businesses in 2022, it can be tricky to keep on top of all the different terminology. However, one of the most essential and successful modern approaches is account-based marketing (ABM).

ABM revolves around pinpointing a precise marketing target, such as a unique business – or even a department within a major company – and tailoring a promotional campaign, especially to them. In many cases, that involves breaking down your campaign step-by-step.

Let’s imagine that your business revolves around manufacturing protective cellphone covers. You may sell these covers to high street stores as generic items, but you feel that your business would be taken to the next level by teaming with a cellphone manufacturer. If you could get a contract with Samsung, for example, maybe your cellphone cover will be pushed as a must-have accessory to accompany the latest Galaxy handset.

In this instance, you would need to tailor a unique approach to exactly what Samsung are looking for in a collaborator. You cannot just send the same pitch that you would to Target, asking them to sell the item – a supermarket is just interested in whether they can buy cheap and sell higher, turning a profit on a product that is always in demand.

If you’re going to forge a long-term and successful relationship with Samsung, you’ll need to prove to them why your cellphone cover is the best on the market – better than your competitors, better than any other product the business currently uses, and how you’ll meet expectations going forward. All of this needs to be achieved through a marketing campaign that is impossible to ignore for your targeted account.

How does ABM benefit a business?

There are countless reasons to adopt an account-based marketing approach for your business. These include:

Building a substantial profile of your target audience through extensive research, providing an invaluable platform
Rapidly earning the trust of a client base, enhancing your chances of loyalty and a long-term working relationship
Reducing wasted time spent on managing inappropriate or inefficient marketing leads
A simple analysis of the performance and ROI of any campaign – the results will be comparatively black and white
Keeping sales funnels tight – there will be no need to continually cajole and encourage consumers to complete their conversion as they are in the bag
Enhanced reputation within your industry – you’ll earn a standing as a business that knows exactly what your audience wants

Notably, ABM is often very effective when aimed at global businesses that employ teams in multiple countries. These companies are often dealing with more complex supply chain issues, and are looking for a supplier who understands their needs and can be relied upon to meet them regularly. Prove your worth to such clients, and you’ll reap substantial financial rewards.

Is ABM the same as inbound marketing?

Account-based marketing is not quite the same as inbound marketing, but it could be considered a companion approach. If you’re going to make the most of ABM, keep at least one eye on your inbound marketing strategy.

For the uninitiated, inbound marketing involves laying bait for your potential consumers and waiting for them to come to you. We’ll shortly discuss how SEO aids ABM in greater detail, and inbound marketing will factor heavily into this. The online presence of your business, most notably blogs and social media accounts, will frequently be discovered through organic internet searches.

However, the core difference is that ABM is active whereas inbound marketing is passive. Both approaches involve appealing to the core interests of your target audience, but with ABM, you’ll be approaching the consumers in question. Let’s return to our example of creating cellphone protectors for Samsung products.

You could create content that will potentially attract their attention – blogs with titles like ‘This is the perfect protective barrier for a Galaxy S22’ and infographics on how and why your product will benefit users. This will take a long time to see results, though – and even then, you’ll need to ensure that the right employee from the right department at the right company gets in touch. ABM means reaching that employee yourself.

Overall, there is definitely a place for inbound and account-based marketing under the same umbrella – often working side by side. Both approaches will show potential consumers that you understand, and care about their interests. Just know that an ABM strategy is likelier to yield an immediate investment return. 97 percent of businesses claim to see greater results from ABM than any other marketing approach.

How to use SEO as part of an ABM strategy

We’ve buried the lede for long enough. It’s time to discuss how SEO can work in perfect harmony with ABM to create optimum campaigns that will yield business results. SEO and ABM share five fundamental links that should be embraced to see success. These learnings can be applied to any ABM campaign, no matter how large or small the client may be.

SEO performance reveals the core interests of your target audience

SEO and keywords are intrinsically linked – there is no getting away from that. This can benefit your ABM strategy, though. By focusing on the crux of your SEO strategy, you’ll gain an ever-greater insight into what your potential clients value most.

Understanding what keywords are performing best is critical to making the most of your SEO strategy – and, by extension, understanding who to target for an ABM campaign. Using Google Analytics, you can investigate how visitors to your site respond to keywords. If you’ve paid for a plum keyword, you’ll be expecting a conversion after a user interacts with it. Watch to see if users bounce from the page that is connected to the keyword or stick around and interact. Keep an eye on your Google Quality Score too, as this should be steadily improving with effective use of keywords.

If your keywords are failing to generate traction, this suggests they’re not as important to your target audience as you suspected. This suggests that your choice of keywords – and by extension, your macro and micro-copy – is not resonating with the specific needs of your target audience.

It’s better to learn this before you attempt to build an ABM campaign around inefficient keywords. You only get one chance to make a first impression, after all, and a reputation as an irrelevant offering is anathema to successful account-based marketing. Use SEO to practice and road test your use of keywords to perfect your choices – short- and long-tail alike – before approaching a potential ABM client.

If your keywords are performing, however, it’s all good news. You now have an idea of what seems to matter most to your audience. You can then bring these features into your ABM approach. If ‘free trial’ is performing well, you can write to a business offering an exclusive trial of a software package that lasts a month rather than the standard two weeks. Alternatively, if a particular adjective that describes your product or service gains traction, focus heavily on this when marketing.

Social media marketing is particularly effective once you have a core understanding of keyword performance. Once you know what keywords are likeliest to yield success, you can head to Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and start applying PPC campaigns to business pages. This will go hand in hand with ABM, as social media campaigns will allow you to tailor your target audience and do all you can reach only the most receptive of eyes.

SEO opens doors to your target audience

It can sometimes be challenging to decide where to pitch a marketing campaign, especially in a B2B setting. It makes sense that you’ll try to win over the hearts and minds of decision-makers, as these are people that will ultimately control the purse strings of a company account.

Before building your ABM strategy around occupants of the C-Suite, remember that CEOs and financial controllers lack time to pore over the value proposition of a product or service. They’ll ultimately sign off on a purchase based on the recommendation of their staffing teams. Each of these employees will have different priorities based on their unique roles. This is where SEO comes into play.

Promises of free or discounted services will attract the interest of financial departments, who will welcome any opportunity to improve the bottom line of a business. Support and administrative staff will be more concerned with how the product or service will resolve any common pain points, especially if they’re labor-saving. Managers are likeliest to respond well to any promises of improved performance and higher productivity levels from their subordinates.

By addressing these varied priorities in your SEO strategy, you’ll attract the attention of a wide array of business employees. Launching an ABM strategy aimed straight at the head of a company after laying these foundations means that you’re much likelier to see success. If a business leader asks their team if they are familiar with your offering, they’ll respond positively.

If you can use SEO to pinpoint a particular individual or business interested in your offering, the world of ABM is your oyster. Imagine that you notice significant traffic from a local business, and their offering is aligned with what you are looking to market. Clearly, you are attracting the attention of this business. You need to reel in the catch, now that you have successfully baited the hook.

SEO generates new ABM leads

In an ideal world, you will identify your ABM targets early on and enjoy roaring success with every campaign. Sadly, none of us do business in a perfect world. It’s unlikely you’ll hit the bullseye every time, especially when starting with ABM. You’ll always need to keep at least one eye on your next campaign target.

If your business has a solid SEO strategy, you’ll be tracking a great deal of data – most notably, who is visiting your website and how they’re behaving once they arrive. This is where ABM and inbound marketing start to co-exist. If your content is piquing the curiosity of consumers or other businesses, build a profile of these visitors.

Is this aligned with what you consider your existing target audience to be? If not, you have a new stream of potential clients to aim an ABM approach to. Something about what you have to offer is attracting attention. Use Google Analytics to dig a little deeper into this – sign into your dimensions and metrics summaries, and review reports that summarize page views, bounce rates, and sessions durations. Use these analytics to learn what is attracting the greatest attention.

Once you have this data, you can identify where these visits are coming from (more on that anon) and start approaching potential leads for an ABM campaign. Your content marketing has already done most of the heavy lifting, and these SEO-generated leads are low-hanging fruit. Pluck them with your ABM approach, and turn this potential client into a returning, long-term client.

SEO reveals the buyer journey of your target audience

As discussed, SEO and ABM combine to identify the perfect buyer persona. However, getting in touch with the right person is only half the battle. You also need to understand how this individual prefers to complete a transaction. The average B2B purchase encompasses four stages.

Awareness
Your product or service is discovered through SEO marketing, typically a Google search based on relevant keywords. This discovery could be organic or based on a pay-per-click campaign

Exploration
Interest piqued by your SEO content, the potential customer will look further into your offering – ideally sharing any blogs, videos, and infographics over social media

Comparison
Users will conduct further research into your product or service, comparing it to competitors. This is where you should strike with an effective ABM campaign – use what you have learned through SEO to convince the buyer that your business will meet their needs best

Conversion
Content that you understand their unique needs and desires, the customer completes a conversion – hopefully, the first of many in a long and fruitful working relationship

Use SEO to learn how you can appeal to your target audience through these steps, reinforcing promises of trust, value for money, and exemplary performance throughout. That means reviewing where your core web traffic is coming from and building a profile of who is visiting. Is your site more popular with local searches, or do you appear to have an international audience? Is your traffic spread across the globe, or do you appear to be particularly popular in certain regions, such as Eastern Europe or Western Asia? What pages are attracting more clicks than others, and does this mean that you should shift your primary SEO focus and use different keywords? Take each of these learnings and apply them to your conversion funnel, tailoring the experience to what appears to be an increasingly promising set of leads.

SEO analytics provide insight into ABM campaigns

Above all, you should use the results of your Google Analytics to build a tailored, account-based marketing campaign that ticks every box for your potential buyer. This will offer the greatest chance of success for a conversion.

Now, your mileage will vary on what metrics merit the most significant investigation. Every business will have varying priorities, while disparate industries will also attract unique customer behaviors. Examples of analytics to embrace include:

Does the user visit your website through a desktop computer or a mobile appliance? Should you develop an app and push this as part of your marketing approach, declaring it the most convenient way to do business?
Which channel does the potential customer use most to visit and interact with you? Do they come to your site via Google, or are they spending more time on a particular social media platform? Focus your ABM energy on whichever channel appears to delight the user most
Study user behavior once they are on your website. If they are spending prolonged periods on Page A and bouncing from Page B, you should tailor your ABM around the former – though consider adjusting the content of the latter (one more note)

Of course, knowing is only half the battle here. You’ll also need to take these educational opportunities and put them into practice. The first step of this creating audience clusters in Google Analytics and targeting different groups for different stages of the sales funnel.

In an ideal world, you’ll be able to use Google Analytics to identify regular visitors from a particular business. Sign into your Analytics account and select Audience, Technology then Network. From here, you can see the ISPs of who has been visiting your site – and with the aid of a little detective work (and, if we’re being realistic, a paid tool like Leadfeeder or something that suits your business best) you’ll uncover who has been visiting your site.

Let’s consider an ideal case scenario here, returning to our previous ABM business example. Imagine that you have clustered a group that spends several minutes at a time browsing your website, including the product pages, but never attempt to make a conversion. Research informs you that they all appear to be hailing from Samsung HQ in your country.

That sounds like you have the perfect lead-in for a targeted ABM campaign. You know that a number of people at Samsung know who you are, and what you do. This provides the ideal opportunity to introduce yourself as a business contact and seek to open a dialogue about how your two companies could work together.

Ultimately, SEO analytics are a goldmine for all marketing opportunities – including ABM. If effective SEO is the foundation of a successful business, consider account-based marketing the flair and finesse that helps you build and expand a business empire.

Joe Dawson is Director of strategic growth agency Creative.onl, based in the UK. He can be found on Twitter @jdwn.

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The post How to use SEO for a great ABM strategy appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Google multisearch – search by image and text at the same time

Posted by on Apr 7, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google multisearch – search by image and text at the same time

Google multisearch – search by image and text at the same time

Google multisearch is Google’s latest innovative search feature that let’s you search by image and then add text to that specific image search. Google says this lets searchers “go beyond the search box and ask questions about what you see.”

What is Google multisearch. Google multisearch lets you use your camera’s phone to search by an image, powered by Google Lens, and then add an additional text query on top of the image search. Google will then use both the image and the text query to show you visual search results.

How Google multisearch works. Open the Google app on Android or iOS, click on the Google Lens camera icon on the right side of the search box. Then point the camera at something nearby or use a photo in your camera or even take a picture of something on your screen. Then you swipe up on the results to bring it up, and tap the “+ Add to your search” button. In this box you can add text to your photo query.

Here is a GIF of this in action but you should be able to try it yourself in English, in the United States:

Here is a static image of the flow of how this works:

How is Google multisearch helpful. Google said this feature can help you narrow down your searches, here are some examples of how multisearch can be helpful.

Screenshot a stylish orange dress and add the query “green” to find it in another colorSnap a photo of your dining set and add the query “coffee table” to find a matching table  Take a picture of your rosemary plant and add the query “care instructions”

MUM not yet in multisearch. Google made a comment in its blog post saying “this is made possible by our latest advancements in artificial intelligence, which is making it easier to understand the world around you in more natural and intuitive ways. We’re also exploring ways in which this feature might be enhanced by MUM– our latest AI model in Search– to improve results for all the questions you could imagine asking.”

I asked Google if Google multisearch currently uses MUM and Google said no. For more on where Google uses MUM see our story on how Google uses artificial intelligence in search.

Available in US/English. This feature is live now for me, and should be available as a “beta feature in English in the U.S.” Google said. Google also recommended you try it with shopping searches.

Why we care. As Google releases new ways for consumers to search, your customers may access your content on your website in new ways as well. How consumers access your content, be it desktop search, mobile search, voice search, image search and now multisearch – may matter to you in terms of how likely that customer might convert, where the searcher is in their buying cycle and more.

The post Google multisearch – search by image and text at the same time appeared first on Search Engine Land.

How to gain quick SEO wins and maximize business impact with a small team 

Posted by on Apr 7, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to gain quick SEO wins and maximize business impact with a small team 

How to gain quick SEO wins and maximize business impact with a small team 

As digital marketers, we often get asked for quick SEO wins, usually without many resources or budget. However, digital teams can still have massive impact in a reasonable period. This is especially true in SEO, where technology can help digital teams generate cost-effective business results and quick wins.   

As companies across all industries undergo digital transformation, the role of SEO is evolving rapidly. As a result, we see a huge shift in SEO investment. This year, over 90 percent of organizations BrightEdge surveyed indicated a more significant emphasis on SEO than the year before. SEO has gone mainstream. It is the number one channel fuelling content, video, email and overall digital performance.   

SEOs have a massive opportunity to become strategic consultants within and across their organizations. For example, 70% of the 600 survey respondents indicated that SEO now plays an active role in business intelligence. SEO insights are helping organizations better understand their market and audiences and shifts within each.  

While the opportunity is massive, time and resources are not infinite  

Many digital teams are often small and expected to deliver results quickly. However, winning in SEO can often be more of a marathon than a sprint. Building authority around high-value concepts takes time, and implementing technical work can take even longer.   

Digital marketing teams need to have the right people, processes and platforms in place to deliver traffic, conversions and revenue. Without these, teams lack agility and compromise sustainable long-term growth.    

Learn how to leverage technology to save valuable time and uncover quick SEO wins  

Join us April 19th as we host a panel of leading SEOs sharing how they have leveraged technology and automation to scale high-impact SEO programs. Join your peers and gain valuable insights into how they have leveraged BrightEdge, the gold standard in SEO technology, to attain quick, impactful wins.

Quick SEO Wins and Big Impact with a Small Team 

Tuesday, April 19th at 11 a.m. PST / 2 p.m. PST 

Save Your Spot

Speakers:

Hasan Chaudary – Senior Solutions Consultant, BrightEdge
Dan Pizzolato – Assistant Director of Organic Search, Crowe
Dan Lauer – SEO Manager, HNI Corporation 

You will come away with new ways to streamline your SEO programs and reduce manual work.  

Learn how to:   

Minimize or eliminate manual SEO work and quickly uncover impactful quick SEO wins  Translate SEO efforts from essential organic marketing into meaningful business insights  Maximize digital channel strategies to drive results without deep technical expertise 

In addition, we will be sharing practical tips that some of the top SEO teams in the world use to deliver high-impact results quickly.   

Do not miss this opportunity to join your fellow SEOs and digital marketers and learn how to prove your strategies are sound while fuelling your company’s success.   

Register now.

The post How to gain quick SEO wins and maximize business impact with a small team  appeared first on Search Engine Land.

The right approach to multilingual marketing strategy

Posted by on Apr 7, 2022 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on The right approach to multilingual marketing strategy

The right approach to multilingual marketing strategy

“The customer is always right.”

That business mantra highlights the importance of empathy and understanding the customer’s point of view. It isn’t just an emotional sentiment.

However, the translated version of that phrase doesn’t have the same impact or meaning in different languages and cultures. For example, in France, they say  “Le client n’a jamais tort,” which means the “customer is never wrong.” In Spanish and Italian, “El cliente siempre tiene la razón” and “il cliente ha sempre ragione.” are both phrases that translate to “the customer always has a reason.”  

In Germany, “der Kunde ist König” it is the “customer is king” and in Japan, “okyakusama wa kamisama desu” (お客様は神様です), the meaning is “the customer is a god.” 

Some advertisers believe translating word for word what works in one country will work in another. But people in different cultures, languages and countries think differently. Failing to do your multilingual marketing correctly will lead to missed opportunities and lost revenue.

Let’s consider a popular item, such as an O’Neil tank top. “Tank Tops” sell well enough in North American outlets and online stores. However, sellers need to incorporate the word “vests” to sell more items in the UK. Vest is the preferred term used by consumers living in the UK, which is entirely different from consumers living in the U.S. I have a good friend in the UK who will almost always argue that a vest is a tank top and not a waistcoat.

Just because something works in North America, it can’t always be duplicated in the UK, even if English is the primary language in both areas. Otherwise, O’Neil’s vests risk losing an opportunity and, even worse, the brand alienating itself from the target market.

What follows are five examples of multilingual marketing strategies that must be pivoted to adapt to a given market and meet their mark in making advocates and sales.

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1. Focus on localization

Brick-and-mortar stores warrant preliminary strategy regarding geography, the buying behavior of locals, the presence of competition, etc. However, online vendors often have local, national or even international intentions.

Providing web content in another language, such as Spanish, sounds smart. However, most Hispanics (outside of Spain) speak a different version of Spanish recognized by those in Spain. Often, words or terms used in Spain are unfamiliar (or not preferred) by those in Latin America.

Let’s assume we’re marketing for Ralph Lauren, wanting to expand to new territories and offer products to more consumers. We’ll use the term “jerseis” since basic English to Spanish translation tools would tell you that’s correct.

However, that term is not recognized or used by consumers in Mexico. Furthermore, it may be unfamiliar to more consumers throughout Latin America.

It’s a social faux pas and an opportunity to lose dollars and advocacy. Do not rely on simple automated translation tools when offering products in another language or converting web content. Using a native speaker who can localize the language appropriately is always a best practice.

2. Mold marketing to geography

North America’s fast-food chains feel the need for speed. Burger King’s drive-thru time was 359 seconds in 2021. That’s beating Arby’s but still coming in behind McDonald’s. The U.S. consumer is obsessed with drive-thru speed. However, for those in Mexico City, one of the most road-congested globally, BK saw an opportunity to fixate on the lack of speed.

Rather than rely on consumers coming to them, Mexico City’s Burger King marketing team focused on getting meals to commuters who were otherwise inert in bumper-to-bumper traffic. BK concocted a strategy so that Mexico City’s consumers could download an app, place a remote order and have it delivered to them (on motorcycles) despite paralyzing traffic.

The campaign boosted delivery orders by 63% in the first week of the test and led to a 44-fold surge in Burger King app downloads. The campaign focused on the most congested areas, and BK has plans to replicate the strategy in Los Angeles, São Paulo and Shanghai.

Burger King used the culture and realities of Mexico City to ingrain the brand further and make an impact on consumers. In some cases, it’s more appropriate to fixate on drive-thru seconds. And, in others, it’s more profitable to focus on the delivery method.

If you understand your customer on the ground, you’ll know their wants and needs. Adapting to their cultural needs is critical for success.

3. Transcreating content that translates and resonates

The toy brand Mattel had a smash hit with its creation of the Barbie doll. Later, with social coaxing, the brand realized that its Barbie doll was not directly relatable to many young people across America and the world. Now, Barbie dolls are created to reflect the likeness of many ethnicities and cultures.

But what if Barbie were an animated character who had to represent the looks of other little girls and their cultures too? Or how would a young person in India relate to America’s teen superhero, Spider-Man?

We all know the story of Spider-Man. His real name is Pavitr Prabhakar. He lives in Mumbai with his Uncle Bhim and Aunt Maya. He gained his powers from a mystical yogi, and his archnemesis is a wealthy industrialist possessed by a demon.

If this doesn’t sound like the Spider-Man you know, it’s because that’s the Indian version of the tale.

Back in 2004, a transcreated version of Spiderman was conceived due to licensing agreements in India. It was decided that elements of the story should be recreated to translate better into Indian culture.

The process is called transcreation.

More than mere translation, transcreation accounts for culture and consumer perception. When creating content, consider whether it needs translation or transcreation. Something written from the ground up using your content as a reference point.

4. Emphasize culture before launch

Once upon a time, Puma wanted to pay tribute to the United Arab Emirates. At a glance, this seems like a sound marketing decision. Who/what nation wouldn’t want to be represented by a sneaker? In short, the answer is the United Arab Emirates.

The sentiment created a backlash because the Arabic culture sees the shoe as something that comes in contact with the ground. It’s dirty. For example, throwing a shoe at another is seen as a sign of great disrespect in the UAE. So, imagine how seeing the country’s colors on a shoe went over.

Puma would have done better in first studying and coming to understand consumers throughout the United Arab Emirates. The misuse of a word can stymie marketing campaigns, but the ignorance of culture can do much worse.

5. Understand the why behind the how of m-commerce

Mobile commerce is a rising trend throughout the United States. Mobile (m-commerce) via smartphones is estimated to surpass $660 billion by 2025. Sales made specifically via smartphones will represent over 90% of all U.S. retail mobile commerce sales.

Like other digital trends, we can theorize that other countries will follow suit. But some are already there.

Ironically, smartphone search grew in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America due to a lack of quality Internet infrastructure. Depending on the region, it’s easier or more accessible for many to use a smartphone to search and subsequently make purchases versus a desktop.

Brazil was forecast to be the country with the highest growth in 2021 mobile commerce retail sales, with an expected increase of almost 35 percent. And two additional Latin American countries followed suit; Mexico and Argentina both had over a 30 percent growth rate, according to Statista.

Yet, the acceptance of payment methods is another layer to consider. For example, many people throughout Latin America do not have bank cards. Therefore, it’s beneficial (maybe necessary) for vendors to offer alternative forms of digital payment.

When creating content or even ad campaigns, recognize that some markets are entirely mobile. Remember to create content for mobile infrastructure. Not all countries have people using desktop computers and tablets. Make sure your payment systems are common to the market you are targeting.

Marketing wins are exciting but can be blinding

Winning in one place can lead us to assume such can be scaled or duplicated elsewhere. Digital marketing requires far more focus and preliminary research, especially for success in other regions.

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