SEO Articles

What is Cannibalization in SEO?

What is Cannibalization in SEO?

In your quest to rank better in your niche, you may have tried targeting a specific keyword with multiple pages. It sounds like a solid strategy on paper, but you may realize that these pages are not ranking or Google is ranking the wrong page for your target keywords. This situation is called cannibalization, where you are locked in a competition with yourself.

Cannibalization in SEO happens when multiple pages are ranking for the same keyword. Search engines will try and weigh the authority of each page, and they may even not list any of them. As you will see below, however, it is quite simple to identify the issue and fix it. 

What is Keyword Cannibalization?

When you’re targeting the same keyword on multiple pages, it can do more confusion and harm than good.

Keyword cannibalization happens when several pages on your website rank for the same search terms on Google. Google will determine which page to display, and it may be the wrong one for that search query. 

If you sell coats, for example, you may have several pages that target the keyword ‘women’s coats.’ If these posts display similar content, it is best to merge them into a single page. On the other hand, one article can target ‘women’s coats for winter’ and another ‘women’s coats.’ 

These two articles will be cannibalizing on each other’s opportunity to rank. By ranking multiple pages for the same keyword, you will be splitting links, CTR, and conversions between them. 

Why is Keyword Cannibalization not Good for SEO?

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Keyword cannibalization can be disastrous for your SEO strategy. If an undesirable page is ranking higher than a high-performing one, you lose out on conversions.

If you sell laptops, for example, a review you did years ago may rank higher than a current post. Once readers navigate to the higher-ranked page, they will find outdated information. You want your current articles to rank higher since they contain more relevant content, or you have improved on your delivery methods. 

Search engines are mostly accurate, but they only work with what you give them. Google will be inclined to devalue other pages in favor of the wrong one, and this will ruin your authority. Google can also disqualify all pages by assuming that you have insufficient content. 

Keyword cannibalization also dilutes your backlinks. Your internal links will be leading your audience to different pages that contain similar information instead of one authoritative page. Your backlinks will be most effective if they go to a consolidated source of information instead of sending readers to different directions. 

Ranking several pages for the same keyword may seem like the path to more conversions, but it has the opposite effect. Some pages are going to perform exceptionally well, and you want to direct most of your traffic to these pages. If they rank poorly, however, you will experience lower conversion rates. 

How to Recognize Keyword Cannibalization

If you have created multiple pages and they are ranking poorly, you can determine if it is a result of keyword cannibalization. 

Create a spreadsheet and note all of your website’s important URLs and their keywords. This process will be more straightforward with a keyword mapping tool. When running through the list, look for any double entries. 

If you spot similar keyword entries, your website is likely suffering from cannibalization. 

You can also use Google Search Console by navigating to ‘Performance’ and ‘Search Results.’ Create a filter for a keyword and click on ‘Pages.’ You will see all URLs that are ranking in the top few hundred positions. 

Here’s an excellent guide from Jean-Christophe Chouinard that combines Python with your Google Search Console data to quickly vet out cannibalization in your website.

If you suspect some keywords of causing cannibalization, you can also do a simple search on Google. 

How to Fix Cannibalization Issues

To prevent cannibalization in your SEO, you will need better targeting strategies. Some of the tactics to use include:

Content Merging

You can consolidate two pages that have similar content and keywords. Search engines love in-depth and long articles, and you can adapt one material into another to create one authoritative page. 

Do not forget to redirect the article you delete to the primary one so that all links go to one page. 

If you’re using SEOPressor WordPress plugin, you can easily set up a 301 redirect and the canonical page. Just remember to tick on the appropriate boxes under meta.

Canonicalization

This option is useful where you want to keep similar pages, but you want one to rank higher than the other. You can utilize canonical tags to identify the main version so that search engines rank it highly. 

Canonical tags will help you to specify the current articles so that readers find relevant information. Canonicalization is most effective where the content of the two posts are diverse enough for your readers to get different information from both.

De-optimize

You may identify a high-performing page that is cannibalizing another post, but it ranks organically for other keywords. In this case, you want to de-optimize the first page so that it does not rank for those keywords that are causing cannibalization. 

Start by removing any references to the undesirable keyword. You can also remove any internal links that lead to the undesirable post or change their destination. Be especially keen on keyword-rich links as they will attract the most traffic. 

Ensure that no external inbound links lead to the undesired page, and try contacting the websites to change or swap them. 

Use 301 Directs

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You can use 301 directs where multiple pages are ranking for similar keyword queries. Choose the best version, which is the page with the most authority for that keyword, and then use a 301 direct on the duplicate pages.

301 directs will help Google rank the most desired page for a query.

Do take note that when you 301 redirect 1 page to another, that 1 page will no longer be visible for your website visitors. Also, the longer the 301 redirect is in place, the stronger a signal this will be to Google to drop that 1 page off from the SERP, therefore de-indexing it.

Delete one of them

This is the most extreme option, but it is necessary where a low-quality page is cannibalizing on high-performing ones. You can also do away with a page that has no value for readers in the case of outdated articles. 

If there is a good amount of backlink juice on the page or it is still actively receiving visitors, it is always wiser to 301 redirect it so all the SEO benefits will be passed on to the page of your choice.

Restructure Your Site

You can reconfigure the information architecture of your site to make it more SEO-friendly. Convert the most authoritative post into a pillar or landing page and include links to supporting pages. 

Ideally, your site should have a landing page on the general topic, and then other pages that will touch on the subtopics. Your audience will find it easy to navigate through your site, and you will help Google to select the best page for a specific query. 

Having a good website structure will not only solve your cannibalization problem, it will also improve your SEO much much more.

But, restructuring your site can be a big, complex, and even expensive project. So think twice and do a lot of preparation before you decide to jump into that.

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Noindex

This is a favorable option where you want to keep certain pages, but you don’t want them to appear on search results. These pages may have useful information for readers, and an example of this are category pages. 

Readers can still access no-indexed pages, but the post will not cannibalize on your traffic. 

Again, if you’re a user of SEOPressor plugin, you can easily choose to make your page no-index just by ticking the box under the meta tab.

How to Prevent Cannibalization in SEO

The best strategy to avoid cannibalization in SEO is keyword mapping. To start, make a list of all the keywords that you want your business to rank for. You can get new ideas from your competitors’ search results. 

To get started with keyword mapping, you should have a spreadsheet ready, then you’ll need these fields. The keyword, search volume, and difficulty, the last one can be different from one tool to another so if you want more accuracy you can invest the time into grabbing the data from multiple tools.

You should also group the keywords that are closely related to each other and scrutinize if there’s any chance of them cannibalizing each other.

For this, you can use a tool like LSIGraph or whichever that you’re used to to predict the performance of every keyword and filter the ones you will be using. You want to use your high-priority keywords to de-optimize already existing pages and new pages. 

LSIGraph has all the handy information you need to quickly work out a keyword map.

You can also tackle cannibalization by addressing the intent of customers. If customers search for ‘women’s coats,’ for example, they may want to see the trending women’s coats in the current season, or they may be looking for tips on how to style them. 

Conduct a lot of competitor research in order to correctly target the user intent behind each keyword.

Conclusion

Keyword cannibalization is especially common in established sites that have pages and pages of content. If you are starting in digital marketing, you want to avoid this pitfall by being strategic about your SEO.

The steps above will prevent you from competing with yourself, and you will understand Google’s ‘language’ better. 

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Conversion.ai Review

Conversion.ai Review

Background / Intro

One of my longtime friends who was Internet marketing long before I was hit me up on Skype about a week ago praising Conversion.ai. I have to think long and hard about any other time he has really pitched or recommended something like that & really I just can’t think of any other time where he did that. The following day my wife Giovanna mentioned something to me and I was like “oh you should check out this thing my buddy recommended yesterday” and then I looked and realized they were both talking about the same thing. 😀

I have a general heuristic that if people I trust recommend things I put them near the top of the “to do” list and if multiple people I trust do that I pull out the credit card and run at it.

Unfortunately I have been a bit burned out recently and launched a new site which I have put a few hundred hours into, so I haven’t had the time to do too much testing, BUT I have a writer who works for me who has a master’s degree in writing, and figured she could do a solid review. And she did. 😀

She is maybe even a bit more cynical than I am (is that even possible?) and a certified cat lady who loves writing, reading, poetry and is more into a soft sell versus aggressive sales.

Full disclosure…the above link and the one at the end of this post are affiliate links, but they had zero impact on the shape or format of the review. The reviewer was completely disconnected from the affiliate program and I pulled out my credit card to pay for the software for her to test it out.

With that tiny bit of a micro-introduction, the rest of the post from here on out is hers. I may have made a couple minor edits for clarity (and probably introduced a few errors she will choke me for. :D) but otherwise the rest of this post is all her …

An In-depth Review of the Conversion.ai Writing Software

Considering the possibilities of artificial intelligence (AI), we picture robots doing tasks autonomously like humans. With a computer’s brain power, productivity is accelerated significantly. We also expect AI programs to have the capability to evolve intelligently the longer they are used. These types of AI employ “machine learning,” or deep learning to solve problems.

AI technology can be leveraged by various industries, especially with writing. Recently, I learned about the Conversion.ai copywriting tool. It uses machine learning which claims to write “high converting copy” for websites, ads, landing pages, emails, etc. The software is geared towards writers, marketers, entrepreneurs, and agencies that benefit from creating engaging and effective copy. To date, companies such as Hubspot, Shopify, and Salesforce are known to use the software. Currently, it’s offering a 7-day free trial with 20,000-word credits.

To give you the lowdown on Conversion.ai, I wrote an in-depth review of how this software works. I’ll go through its various features and show examples of how I used them. I’ll include the advantages of using Conversion.ai’s Jarvis (that’s what it’s called) in writing scenarios. More importantly, I’ll discuss challenges and specific limitations this tool might present.

Assistance in Creating High Conversion Copy

As a writer doing web copy for 10 years, including the time I took a post-grad creative writing degree, I grabbed the opportunity to try this AI software. For starters, it struck me how Conversion.ai claims to provide “high converting copy” for increased conversion and higher ROI. Such claims are a tall order. If you’ve been in the marketing or sales industry, you’d know conversion depends on so many other factors, such as the quality of the actual product, customer support, price, etc. It’s not just how well copy is written, though it’s a vital part. But anyway, upon more research, I learned the app generates copy based on proven high conversion sales and marketing messages.

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this conversion strategy. I believe it’s a double-edged sword. This is not to undermine facts or measurable data. Basing content creation on “proven content” means you’re likely using the same phrases, techniques, and styles already used by successful competitors. This serves as a jumping board for ideas of course, so you know what’s already there. However, it can be an echo chamber. Marketers must not forget that execution must still be fresh. Otherwise, you’ll sound like everyone else.

Next, while it seems sustainable, it also sounds pretty safe. If your product or service is not that distinct, you must put extra effort to create content that stands out. This applies to all aspects of the marketing strategy, not just in writing content. It’s a crucial principal I learned after reading Purple Cow by Seth Godin (thanks for the book suggestion, Aaron!).

Depending on your product or service, Conversion.ai will generate copy that most consumers keep going back to. Based on the samples it generated, I’d say it really does come up with engaging copy, though it needs editing. If your business must rewrite product descriptions for extensive inventories, Conversion.ai can cut the time in half. It can help automate description rewriting without hiring more writers. That saves money and time, so businesses need fewer writers and editors.

What did I learn? Conversion.ai can make writing and editing faster, yes, especially for low-level content focused on descriptions. It can also inform the strength of your ideas for more creative campaigns. However, it still takes solid direction and creativity to drive good marketing copy forward. That said, it’s only as good as the writer utilizing this app. As a content creator, you cannot rely on it solely for creativity. But as an enhancer, it will significantly help push ideas forward, organize campaigns, and structure engaging copy effectively.

When you use this app, it offers many different features that help create and organize content. It also customizes copy for various media platforms. Beyond rewriting , it even has special brainstorming tools designed to help writers consider various idea angles. This can add more flavor and uniqueness into a campaign.

At the end of the day, what will set your copy apart is the strength of your ideas and your communication strategy. How you customize content for a business is still entirely up to you. AI writing tools like Conversion.ai can only help enhance your content and the ideas behind it. It’s a far cry from creating truly unique concepts for your campaign, but it definitely helps.

Conversion.ai Writing Features & How They Work

This AI writing app comes with plenty of “writing templates” that are customized to help you write with a specific framework or media platform in mind. Currently, Conversion.ai offers 39 different writing templates or content building blocks that deliver results. We’ll provide details for how each one works.

For company or product descriptions, Conversion.ai has a Start Here step by step guide, which says users should alternate between the Product Description and the Content Improver template until they have found the right mix they’re looking for. But for this review, I just focused on how to use the templates for different writing projects. The app comes with video instructions as well as a live training call if you need further assistance on how to use it.

Each template asks you to input a description or what you want to write about. This is limited to 600 characters. Writing the description is the sole basis for how Jarvis will generate ways to write or expand your content. It also helps you brainstorm and structure ideas for an article or campaign.

But as an issue, I find the 600-character limit can hinder reposting the full content generated by the AI back into the template for improvement. Yes, it churns out marketing copy of more than 600 characters. If you want to post the improved copy again, you might have to do this in two batches. In any case, Jarvis can generate as many improved writing samples as you need.

To give you a better idea, here are different Conversion.ai templates and how they work. This is going to take a while, so have your coffee ready.

Long-form Assistant

This is for longer articles, emails, scripts, and stories. It’s also suggested for writing books. It has two modes, a blank document where you can start typing freely and an assistant workflow. The blank document also lets you access the rest of the other writing templates vertically. On the other hand, the long-form assistant workflow is where the app asks you to describe the content you want to create. Consider this carefully. The better you can articulate your topic, the higher quality content Jarvis can help generate.

For the example, suppose I want to write about what it took to finally release Zack Synder’s 2021 Justice League. I want to write this feature article for my film and culture website.

Jarvis asks for a maximum of three keywords. It’s optional, but I presume adding keywords will help Jarvis generate more relevant content. Next, it prompts you to write a working title and start an introductory paragraph. Once you write your initial title, it will generate other title ideas.

For the title, I wrote: The Challenges of Releasing Zach Snyder’s Justice League 2021
It generated the following suggestions:

Jarvis generated a long list of appropriate and catchy titles. I personally liked “The Tumultuous Journey of Zack Snyder’s Justice League 2021,” though I’d shorten it a bit. I also liked “The Darkest, Toughest Production in Film History,” which basically tells audiences how hard it was to produce the version of the film. Though it’s an exaggeration, it can be qualified in the article. The other suggestions with “Behind the Scenes” and “Towards a Better Script” were more specific angles. I like that I could explore those topics too. Generally, I think it’s definitely a great tool to make title writing faster.

So far, so good, right? But when I got to content suggestions, it got a bit messy. It was mainly because the suggested content was too general. It also tended toward suggesting expansions that were incoherent to the main topic. This did not sound very promising. Moreover, the AI added bits of information such as dates and other related information. I had to check if these details were used accurately. In a previous test I did (and even for this example), it completely got a date wrong. So I advise writers to always double check the details suggested by Jarvis.

Take a look below. The top paragraph was the one I wrote, while the ones below are suggested by Jarvis.

Content suggestions from Jarvis:

1) You might not be able to see Zack Snyder’s Justice League on the big screen, but you can catch it online in 2021. It was released digitally by Warner Bros. on November 27th 2020 and we’ve been watching it slowly climb the ranks of IMDB since then. The film had a troubled production between 2016 and 2017 with the script going through major changes before and during shooting. But now that all is said and done, what did people think? Let’s find out!

2) Justice League is a film that was released on November 17, 2017. The movie had been preceded by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Wonder Woman. It’s also the fifth installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Despite being generally well-received by critics, it was considered to be a disappointment at the box office. In this blog post, we’ll take you behind the scenes and show you what went wrong with Zack Snyder’s 2021 Justice League film production!

3) Director Zack Snyder’s Justice League film was one of the most anticipated films of 2017. Unfortunately, the film had a troubled production and was not released until 2021. That didn’t stop it from becoming one of the highest-grossing films of all time. What does this have to do with SEO? When you release content on your website, be sure to include keywords that are relevant to your business and industry!

At first glance, the introduction actually looks appealing to Justice League fans. Many people have been anticipating it on the big screen. But upon further reading, compared to the paragraph I wrote, the AI content had so many problems. Besides being too general, it had issues with imprecise details. Though you can argue these problems are small and editable, it adds time to your work. It can even derail you from focusing on your topic.

The first AI suggestion wrote that Snyder Cut was released digitally by Warner Bros. in November 27, 2020. Upon further research, I found no such confirmation of this. However, there was a YouTube video “speculating” it’s release in November 2020. But from the looks of it, this did not pan out. Officially, Zack Snyder’s Justice League was released in March 18, 2021 by HBO Max via streaming platform, according to Rotten Tomatoes. And yes, it has been climbing the ranks since its digital release.

If you’re not careful about fact-checking, you might end up with misleading information. And frankly, I feel as if some of the other suggestions may tend towards fluff. However, what you can do is choose the best suggestions and put them together into one coherent paragraph. The first suggestion ended the introduction with “But now that all is said and done, what did people think? Let’s find out!” While it’s something I want to touch on eventually, it is not the main focus of my introduction. The AI was not sensitive enough to sense this follow up was out of place. I’d rather get to the details of the challenging production. If I use this suggestion, I’ll have to edit it into “Let’s take a look at what it took to deliver the highly anticipated Snyder Cut,” or something to that effect.

The second example, on the other hand, was quite a miss. It started by talking about the 2017 Justice League film. While it’s good to expound on the history of the project started, it got lost in discussing the 2017 version. Worse, it did not transition the topic smoothly into the 2021 Snyder Cut. If I read this introduction, I’d be confused into thinking the article was about the 2017 Justice League. Finally, it awkwardly ended the paragraph with “we’ll take you behind the scenes and show you what went wrong with Zack Snyder’s 2021 Justice League film production!” Besides the wordy sentence, suddenly it’s talking about the 2021 Justice League out of nowhere. I would not phrase the production’s challenges as something that went wrong. That’s unnecessary hype. It’s confusing, and just an example of bad writing. Again, while it can be fixed with editing, I feel better off writing on my own.

Finally, the third example actually started okay. But then it started talking about SEO out of nowhere. I don’t know where that came from or why the AI did that, but I’ll count it as a totally unusable suggestion from the app. I reckon there might be more of those glitches if I generate more content suggestions from Jarvis.

SIDEBAR FROM AARON: COUGH. SEO IS EVERYTHING. HOW DO I REEEEECH DEZ KIDZ

I noticed these were nuances the AI was not able to catch. It’s probably even based on trending articles at the time, which had a tendency towards hype and dated showbiz information. And though the suggestions were interesting, they were mostly too general or against the direction I needed. If the usage of the information is not accurate, imagine what that would mean for health or political articles. But too be fair, it did generate other usable suggestions with less serious edits. It’s worth looking into those.

However, by this time, I felt I was better off writing the feature without the app, at least for this example. I guess it’s really a hit or miss. Even with so many content suggestions, I think you can still end up with inappropriate samples even if you find good ones. But at least you got a good title already. Personally, I’d rather go straight to researching on my own.

Framework Templates

Conversion.ai allows you to write copy based on marketing frameworks that have been used by professionals for years. It’s ideal for brands, products, and services you need to promote. This features includes the following templates:

AIDA Framework: The AIDA template stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. This basically divides your copy into sections drawing attention from consumers and piquing their interest. The suggested copy also includes content that appeals to the consumer’s desire, then ends with a call to action.
PAS Framework: The PAS template is structured by generating copy which highlights the consumer’s Problem, Agitate, and Solution. It’s focused on how a particular product will help solve a consumer’s problem.
Bridge-After-Bridge Framework: Also known as BAB framework, this copywriting structure revolves around the idea of getting a consumer from a bad place to a better one. It shows the before and after scenario after benefitting from a product.

For this example, I used the AIDA template for an imagined non-invasive weight loss service company. The new company promotes fitness and advocates against fad diets. It performs non-surgical weight loss procedures, such as wraps and thermomagnetic massages.

Again, Jarvis asks for a description. It also requires you to specify the tone of the copy. I placed “friendly” and “professional” under the box. See my input below.

Here’s the first suggestion from Jarvis:

Based on this example, I’d say the AI-generated content is quite engaging. It tried to have a personal touch by letting the customer know they’re here to help. The writing empathizes with consumers who have a hard time losing weight. However, since this is for a new company, the introduction “We have helped thousands of people lose weight and get in shape,” does not apply. So as a writer, I simply have to remove it. This can be replaced with the intent to help more people lose weight and get in shape.

I actually pulled out at least 6 different content suggestions. From these, writers could get the best parts and edit them into one strong copy description. On it’s own, the content would still benefit from a lot of editing. Here are some issues you might encounter while generating copy suggestions:

Hard Sell Copy. The sample content can be hard sell, even if you specify a professional tone of voice. It tends to use exclamation marks (!) per sample. I believe this depends on the product or service you are writing about. Certain products or services may sell more with the hard sell approach, so the AI suggests this strategy. It may also appear like the “proven” way to communicate to consumers. But if you’re going against this direction, it’s a nuance the AI tool might miss. If your business or client specifically avoids exclamation marks your copy, be ready to make the necessary edits.
Can be Wordy, Long, Redundant. In terms of style, here’s where you can’t rely on Jarvis to write the entire thing. If you happen to input a long and detailed product description, the AI has a tendency to generate wordy variations of the copy. If you notice, some details are also redundant. In copywriting standards, this needs tightening. Conciseness can be an issue, most notably if you’re not used to brevity. Thus, I believe this tool will best benefit writers and editors who have considerable experience in crafting straightforward copy.

Product Description

The app comes with a special template for creating product descriptions. If you have a large inventory of product information for rewriting, this is the right tool to use. It even comes with an optional language output translation feature, which is available in other templates too.

However, the language feature is limited. I tried putting Thai, Italian, and Japanese and it generated few suggestions, some mixed with English. Same thing with Punjabi and Vietnamese. In other templates, they just keep making English suggestions. Filipino is also not recognized by the AI, which likely means it cannot translate a bunch of other languages. This feature obviously needs development. But it’s not the main feature, so I doubt they’ll do a lot of improvements.

For this example, I used an imagined tire center that offers products and services throughout the U.S. I specifically wrote that it’s the second most affordable tire center in the country. I asked for a professional and witty tone. I’m not at all fluent in Spanish, but I placed Spanish under the output language box.

Below is the first suggested copy in Spanish:

When translated through Google, it reads:

“Don’t think twice, Adam’s Tire Center is your best option because it offers the largest range of products for cars and wagons. Join our satisfied customers and insure your tires with the Road Hazard Warranty service. Call or visit our sales center in Miami, FL, where we are honored to help you.”

Obviously, I can’t comment much on the accuracy of the translation. Though certainly, I have doubts for how writing in another language can capture certain styles and tones. But right now, what I’m more concerned with is the tendency to use superlative descriptions that might not accurately fit the brand. Things like “we offer the largest range of products” should probably be tweaked to “we offer a wide range of products…” If your tire center does not offer the largest inventory, you should not be writing that. It also assumed a specific location, which prompts the writer to include the actual business location (this is a good suggestion). Again, the AI copy would benefit from fine-tuning to make it specific to your product or service.

Now, back to English. Here are three other content samples generated by Jarvis:

The English AI-generated samples are not so bad. But in the last sample, there is a tendency for hard sell terms like “unmatched in quality,” that you need to watch out for. You can get the best parts and put them into one solid brand description. But again, these tend to be wordy and long. It would help to use the Hemingway app or Grammarly to make the descriptions tight and concise.

Content Improver

Using the Content Improver template will help you tweak the product or service descriptions you came up with. To show you how it works, I placed the content I wrote based on the edited tire center descriptions Jarvis generated.

For this example, I placed professional and witty under tone of voice.

Suggested content from Jarvis:

Based on the sample suggestion, I’d say the first two can pretty much stand on their own. These are straightforward copies that address consumer needs with a direct call to action. Though the first one may sound a bit informal, it might fit the type of consumer demographic you are targeting. Finally, the last example gets a bit wordy but can be fixed with a couple of edits. The major issue is the number (555-5555), which the AI mistook for an address.

Marketing Angles

Besides churning out copy suggestions, Conversion.ai has a brainstorming tool. This basically takes your product or service and comes up with various campaign ideas to promote it. If you’re running out of concepts for promotion, Jarvis leverages on your product’s features and strengths. I appreciate that it tried to come up with benefit-driven copy based on the example I put.

For this example, the product I used is a gym management software. It helps gym owners manage activities, schedules, and handle payments. The software aims to run gyms more efficiently.

I personally find the following suggestions helpful in pushing the strengths of a product. I would definitely use this tool for brainstorming ideas. Here’s what Jarvis generated:

Unique Value Propositions

Another intriguing feature is the unique value propositions (UVP ) template. UVP is essentially a clear statement that describes the benefit your product offers. It also captures how you address your customer’s needs and what distinguishes you from the competition.

If you have a product or service, It claims to generate copy that describes your product’s unique advantage in a remarkable way. To test how this works, I used the previous example, which is the gym software. It came up with several statements that emphasized the product’s benefits. See Jarvis’ suggestions below. Personally, I like the idea of software that helps me make more money with less work.

Feature Benefit

The feature benefit template comes up with a list of advantages offered by your product. For this example, the product is a camisole for plus size women. You’ll see how it took the paragraph details and made bulleted benefits based on those features. It’s a useful tool if you want to break down your product’s unique selling points so you can further emphasize them in your campaign.

Persuasive Bullet Points

Another related function is the persuasive bullet points template. This is very similar to the feature benefit template. Personally, I think it’s either you use this or the feature benefit template if you want to highlight product advantages in bullet points. On the other hand, this template doesn’t categorize benefits as emotional or standard advantages.

Copy Headline and Sub-headline Templates

Conversioan.ai also comes with copy headline and sub-headline templates. They claim the AI is “trained with formulas from the world’s best copywriters.” It also guaranteed to create “high-converting headlines” for businesses. At this point, the only way to know if it does have high conversion is to see actual results. Right now, my review can’t prove any of that. But it would be interesting to know from companies who have been using this software for results.

Perfect Headline: For this template, I used an earlier example that provides non-invasive weight loss services. You’ll see the product description I used, followed by the suggestions made by Jarvis. I specifically liked the headline: Science-based approach to safe, effective fat loss. It’s right concept I was going for.

Website Sub-headline: I used the same product description for the sub-headline. I also used the suggested headline generated by Jarvis, which is “Science-based approach to safe, effective fat loss.” Based on Jarvis’ suggestions, I liked the last one, which emphasizes non-invasive slimming. It also tells consumers the procedure is safe. Though it tends to be wordy, I appreciate it provides different ways you can get your message across.

Sentence Expander

Another interesting feature is the sentence expander. It claims to make your sentence longer and more creative. I guess it should help you get to another thought if you caught writer’s block. But I’m wary what kind of suggestions it might give. When I tried it, it’s just another way to rewrite your sentence in a longer, more detailed way.

In any case, see my sentence below.

Here’s what Jarvis generated:

I’m actually not a fan of long-winded sentences. However, I do appreciate the extra details added by the AI. I can use these suggestions if I make further edits on them. But realistically, if I’m writing an article, I’d skip this and go directly to what I’m trying to say. That would save me time. If I want to talk about the negative psychological effects of social distancing, I’d write that point per point. My idea of expansion is moving an argument forward, not merely adding more details to what was already said.

Creative Story

Here’s an interesting template I was curious to try. I wonder how Jarvis would develop a two sentence plot. It’s fascinating to see how an AI that uses “proven high conversion data” would suggest story development.

For my example, I took a horror story plot inspired by the Bone Turner from a popular horror podcast called The Magnus Archives. See my plot description and the suggestions made by Jarvis.

Story suggestions by Jarvis:

I have to say, these are very interesting ideas for an introduction. It’s also funny how it used the name “Jonathon,” because the actual name of main character in the Magnus Archives is “Jonathan.” I kind of think that was on purpose, since the AI probably knows the Bone Turner is from a popular online show.

In any case, I particularly liked the second suggestion. With some editing and fine-tuning, you could fix the details to fit the story in your head. On the other hand, I’m wary authors might rely too much on this to bridge plot gaps. While it’s amusing, it’s more compelling to read plot twists and resolutions that are not forced. At this stage, I’m still not convinced the AI can make a story without contrived plot twists.

Email Subject Lines

Besides creative writing tools, Coversion.ai also has templates for email marketing. This feature is made for businesses or individuals who want to promote products and services via email. The app claims to come up with catchy subject lines that draw consumers to open your email. In this example, I used an imaginary cake shop that delivers throughout LA. I thought Jarvis came up with a long list of creative subject lines. These were spot on for the example. Since I am a cake person, I’d likely read this kind of email.

Personal and Company Bio

You can also generate creative personal and company bios through Jarvis. If you’re running a personal blog or website, Jarvis generates personal bios in first person or third person POV, whichever you are more comfortable with. I’m actually pleased with what the AI suggested. It’s a good start, because I find it hard writing about myself.

The example below is not me, of course. I made up Jessica Ackerman as the founder of Mad Cakes in LA.

Here’s what Jarvis generated:

It does sound like a personalized bio. Especially with the detail about cuddling with cats and dogs. Again, I’d edit it to be more particular about details. Other than that, I think it’s a good tool to use.

Next, Jarvis also generates company bios that sound professional. I put a three-sentence info about a company that boosts website conversion for businesses. I was surprised how long the suggestions were. It also presumed the names of clients the company has serviced (TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc.). Again, for particular information like this, it’s important to edit or remove them. Otherwise, you might publish copy with misleading details.

Suggestions from Jarvis:

Real Estate Listing – Residential

You can utilize this template to create creative and descriptive residential listings. It’s helpful for real estate agents and people who are planning to sell their property. The following shows information about a house for sale, followed by listing suggestions by Jarvis.

Suggestions from Jarvis:

It’s interesting how the suggested content appeals to the consumer’s idea of a perfect home. It tries to paint a picture of affluent living just based on the golf course description I supplied. But again, for accuracy, these added details should be edited by the writer.

Templates for Specific Online Platforms

Besides articles and product or brand descriptions, expect Conversion.ai to provide special writing features for online platforms. This includes Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google, and Amazon accounts. The AI’s content suggestions are based on posts and ads that have generated high traffic on these platforms. I think this a good tool to use if you want an edge over what already sells.

Facebook Ad Headline: Makes catchy headlines for FB ads, claims to increase chances of clicks that lead to sales.
Facebook Ad Primary Text: Claims to generate high converting copy for FB ad’s primary text section.

For the Facebook ad headline, my example is a cake shop that delivers a wide assortment of cakes in Los Angeles. It specifically mentions delivering cakes “within an hour or your money back.” Here’s the example and Jarvis’ suggested content.

AI ad sample headlines:

I must say these sound like fun and friendly FB headlines. I personally would like a last minute dessert. And if I don’t have time to pick up cake, I’d certainly like one delivered. Just not sure about “Get 500 Instagram Followers,” the suggestion is out-of-place. I’d use this tool for a fresh and exciting FB headline.

Here’s the AI sample for Facebook ad primary text:

Based on the FB text sample, the AI instantly suggested to give away free cake. Most of the generated samples headed toward this direction. It didn’t just generate engaging copy, it likely showed you what other cake shops do to draw more customers. I think it’s a great marketing strategy to have promos and free cake. I also like that it suggested catchy hashtags. But again, I’d fix the wordy and adjective-ridden descriptions. With a little editing, the samples should read more smoothly. Other than that, it’s a fast way to come up with social media copy.

Photo Post Captions for Instagram

You can use the app for a company or store’s IG accounts. Here are some samples based on a Mad Cakes Black Chocolate Indulgence photo. If you need ideas for your IG post, this tool can suggest copy that’s simple and straightforward for IG. Depending on your product or service, it suggests content that typically targets your customers base.

Video Writing Templates for YouTube

Next, Conversion.ai offers specialized templates for videos, specifically for platforms such as YouTube. But I also think you can use the content similarly if you’re posting on other video sites. However, the suggestions are based on content with high traffic on YouTube. It includes the following features:

Video Topic Ideas: For brainstorming video content concepts that rank well on YouTube. For example, your initial topic is baking homemade cake. It’s a useful tool for letting you know what people are actually interested in. It gives you an idea what to work on right off the batt. Here are the AI’s suggestions. It mentions concepts for cake baking videos many people look for:

Video Script Outline: Helps make script outlines for any topic. However, this works more suitably for how-to and listicle type videos, not the ones with a narrative. The example below for how to spot aurora borealis or Northern lights. From the AI suggestions, you can choose the best strategies to come up with your own outline. I noticed many suggestions can be too general, besides the more specific ones I posted below. It’s still best to do your own research to make your video content more nuanced and unique. Otherwise, you may just parrot what other content creators have already done.

Video Titles: Like the other templates, there’s also a video title feature. As an example, many users on YouTube like to create content about shows or films. Suppose you want to write a feature about the anime Attack on Titan. For the suggestion, the AI actually came up with pretty awesome titles and topics you can start researching on. While this is based on high-traffic fan search, what you can do is watch what’s already there. This will help you come up with more unique insights about the show that has not been tackled. Again, try to focus on what would set your content apart from what’s already there.

Blog Post Templates

Conversion.ai provides templates that help you conceptual blog posts for your brands. It has tools to help you brainstorm topic ideas and outline your content. These suggestions are all based on high ranking topics on Google. It also comes with features that help compose blog post introductions and conclusions.

Blog Post Topic Ideas
Blog Post Outline
Blog Post Intro Paragraph
Blog Post Conclusion Paragraph

For the example, let’s focus on the topic template. I used the earlier example, Best Shape, which is an imaginary non-invasive weight loss service. See the AI’s suggestions below.

Jarvis’s results show topics that trend around non-invasive weight loss methods. Trending topics around your market is always good to know. For ideas on blog topics, I think Conversion.ai will really be a useful tool. If you need help structuring your outline, I think it’s worth using it especially if you’re having trouble with organization.

Personally, after getting different topics, you can start writing your post without the app. You won’t need it especially if you already have an idea what to write. It’s still better to do proper research than rely on the app to add information on your post. As you’ve noticed, it has a tendency to supply the incorrect information, which you must diligently edit.

Would I Recommend This Software?

After crash testing Conversion.ai, I would recommend this tool to agencies or individuals that deal with extensive online copywriting and product rewrites. They will benefit the most by eliminating the time-consuming process of doing product descriptions. I would also recommend it for businesses that run social media campaigns, including Google and Amazon ads. This will help generate and organize copy ideas faster, especially if you have a lot of products and services to promote. And because the AI suggestions are based on high-ranking topics, you have a better idea of what your client base is also looking for. It can also enhance messaging concepts and help brainstorm new campaign ideas for a product or brand. Just remember to always edit the content suggestions.

On the other hand, I would not recommend this app for long-form writing. I do not think it is ideal for any writing that requires a lot of research. Because the AI suggestions tend towards incorrect information, you’re better off researching current data on your own. It’s an interesting tool for wring stories, but I also worry authors might be too reliant on the app for plot ideas. There is a difference between carefully worded prose versus long-winded sentences composed by this app. Human writing is still more precise with expression, which the AI has yet to learn.

While it’s a good tool to have, the bottom line is, you still need to edit your content. It will help you structure your outline and compose your post. However, the impetus for writing and the direction it will take is still on you, the writer. My verdict? AI writing technology won’t fully replace humans anytime soon.

Categories: seo tools

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How to Become a Digital Marketing Specialist (10 Steps Guide)

How to Become a Digital Marketing Specialist (10 Steps Guide)

Working in the digital marketing industry is a great experience. For the last 15 years, I’m working as a digital marketing manager and in this post, I’ll explain how to become a digital marketing specialist with no prior experience in marketing.

Becoming a digital marketing specialist requires a lot of effort and hard work but it’s the best digital marketing job you can get in the online marketing industry.

Nevertheless, if you are willing to put in the required effort, there is nothing stopping you from pursuing a digital marketing career.

In this guide, you’ll learn what does a digital marketing specialist do, how to build the necessary skills, and what to expect in terms of annual salary.

What does a Digital Marketing Specialist Do?

A digital marketing specialist is a professional with a diverse set of skills, responsible for the online promotion of a website (business or products), using all available digital marketing channels.

He / She needs to have a good knowledge of all Digital marketing disciplines and tools. The job responsibilities include:

Designing, implementing, and monitoring SEO campaigns
Analyzing and optimizing PPC campaigns
Supervising content marketing campaigns
Utilizing social media networks (for traffic, awareness, and sales)
Managing the other members of the digital marketing team
Coordinate the activities of all digital campaigns
Set goals and analyze the performance of all digital marketing channels

The difference between a digital marketing specialist an SEO specialist or a PPC specialist is that a digital marketing specialist needs to be an expert in more than one area and have a broad knowledge of how digital marketing works in general and not just a single discipline.

10 Steps to Become a Digital Marketing Specialist

These are the 10 steps to follow to become a digital marketing specialist.

Learn Digital Marketing Essentials
Work as an SEO Expert
Master PPC Advertising
Build Social Media Marketing Skills
Implement Content Marketing Campaigns
Learn How Email Marketing works
Build Team Management Skills
Learn How to Use Data Analysis / Reporting tools
Get a Digital Marketing Certification
Stay Updated on the Latest Digital Marketing Trends

1. Learn Digital Marketing Essentials

The first step to becoming a digital marketing specialist is to learn what is digital marketing and how it works.

Watch this video to get an idea of what a digital marketing specialist is expected to do.

Digital marketing is not a single discipline but it’s a term that encapsulates a number of techniques and methods you can use to promote a website or products online.

The most important digital marketing channels are:

Website Marketing
Search Engine Marketing (includes SEO and PPC advertising)
Content Marketing
Social Media Marketing
Email Marketing
Affiliate Marketing
Video Marketing

As a digital marketing manager, you need to know what is the role of each channel, what it does, and how to use it.

LEARNING RESOURCES

Digital Marketing Full Course – a comprehensive course to learn everything you need to know about digital marketing.
Best Digital Marketing Courses – The 10 best courses to learn digital marketing and become an expert.
How to Learn Digital Marketing – A step-by-step guide on how to start learning digital marketing (for free).

2. Work as an SEO Expert

Once you get a general idea of what do we mean by digital marketing, the next step is to master SEO and become an SEO expert.

SEO has a critical role to play in the success of a digital marketing campaign, that’s why it’s important to learn how to optimize a website for search engines.

Building your SEO skills will also make it easier to work with other online marketing techniques.

Although it is more likely that you will have dedicated SEO experts in your team, as a digital marketing expert you’ll have to supervise them and the most efficient way to do this is to have working experience with SEO.

LEARNING RESOURCES

SEO Certifications and Courses – The fastest way to learn SEO is to follow a course and get certified and these are the best courses available online.
How to Pursue a Career in SEO – Explains the job responsibilities of an SEO, includes resources on how to get a job as an SEO.
The Complete SEO Course – a step-by-step course to help you become an SEO professional.

 3. Master PPC Advertising

A considerable amount of your time and budget will be allocated to managing PPC campaigns either on Google Ads or Facebook.

As a digital marketing specialist, you need to know about the different types of campaigns you can run and how to correctly measure and analyze the results.

Depending on the size of your team and industry, it is common for a digital marketing campaign to only have PPC campaigns running so mastering PPC is more than critical.

LEARNING RESOURCES

Best Google Ads Courses – Best courses to learn PPC marketing and get certified.
How to Become a PPC Expert – The steps to take to become an expert in PPC advertising.
Facebook Blueprint – Free guides and courses on everything you need to know about Facebook Marketing.

4. Build Social Media Marketing Skills

Besides using paid ads on Facebook, you also need to learn how marketing works on other networks.

Depending on the type of website to promote, you may have to explore other social media networks like Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn, and thus is important to have the necessary skills.

LEARNING RESOURCES

Social Media Marketing Tips for Beginners – An introduction to social media marketing
Social Media Marketing Courses – a list of the best courses to learn social media marketing fast.
How to Become a Social Media Manager – a detailed guide on how to become a social media manager.

5. Implement Content Marketing Campaigns

To power all your digital marketing campaigns, you need content that has the following characteristics:

Satisfies the user intent
Interesting for users to read
Optimized for each platform (SEO, FB, etc.)
Generates rankings, leads, and conversions

Content can be in the form of text, video, or audio and can be in different formats like articles, YouTube videos, landing pages, podcasts, etc.

As a digital marketing expert, you need to prepare a plan on what type of content to produce and when and how to measure the performance of each content type.

This is what content marketing is all about.

In a well-structured digital marketing team, your job will not be to provide the content (you will have dedicated writers for this task), but it’s your responsibility to ensure that the right type of content is produced for the different campaigns.

LEARNING RESOURCES

Content Marketing Courses – a list of high-quality courses to master content marketing and get certified.
Content Marketing Specialist – the steps to follow to become a content marketing professional.
How to Get Into Content Marketing – advice on how to start a career in content marketing with no experience.

6. Learn How Email Marketing Works

Email is still one of the most popular selling tools. Despite the rise of social media networks, marketers use email marketing to finalize a sale, get more leads and engage with their customers.

Email marketing is usually the last step of a marketing sales funnel. All other digital marketing campaigns (SEO, PPC, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing), generate leads for email marketing and email marketing will do the sales (or any form of conversion), through a series of targeted emails.

In most teams, the role of email marketing specialist is missing so the responsibility of running email marketing campaigns falls directly under the supervision of the digital marketing manager.

Learning Resources

Email Marketing Specialist – a beginner’s guide to email marketing.
Email Marketing Courses – the 10 best courses to understand how email marketing works.

7. Build Team Management Skills

To become a digital marketing professional, you need to have good team management skills.

The reason is that part of your job responsibilities will be to lead and manage a team of other specialists that make up a digital marketing team.

In big digital marketing agencies, the digital marketing manager is essentially the manager of the team (or team leader if you prefer) and besides the technical knowledge, he/she needs to have the necessary skills to manage a team of people.

This means knowing how to work with project management tools, setting goals and targets, training your team, and all other tasks that a person in a managerial position is supposed to do.

For small teams or digital marketing experts who work as freelancers, you may not have to manage people but you still need to know how to create project plans, set milestones, and monitor the progress of a project.

8. Learn How to Use Data Analysis / Reporting tools

Besides monitoring and optimizing digital marketing campaigns, part of the daily tasks of a digital marketing professional is to analyze data and prepare reports.

Whether it reports to the marketing department or to the client directly, a digital marketing manager needs to know how to use several digital marketing tools.

The must-know tools are:

Google Analytics
Google Data Studio
Google Search Console
Facebook Ads Reporting
SEMRUSH or similar (Ahrefs, Moz, HubSpot, etc)

LEARNING RESOURCES

Google Analytics for Beginners – A list of the most popular analytics reports to use on a daily basis
Google Search Console – a step-by-step guide for beginners

9. Get a Digital Marketing Certification

One of the fastest and most efficient ways to become a digital marketing specialist is to follow a comprehensive digital marketing course.

A digital marketing course will teach you everything you need to know about digital marketing without having to read separate guides or look for additional resources.

Getting a digital marketing certification from a reliable company, it’s a great way to show that you know Digital marketing.

Becoming certified does not prove that you are a good digital marketing professional but it does show that you have the necessary knowledge for the job.

Of course, to secure a position in a big agency or company, you need to have several years of working experience and ways to demonstrate your expertise (success stories and case studies).

10. Stay Updated on the Latest Digital Marketing Trends

Google is making thousands of updates per year to its search results and algorithms, Facebook is adding/changing new features all the time, Google Ads move towards AI, etc., etc.

The changes happening in the digital marketing industry are continuous (I would say daily) and are a lot.

Learning never stops for digital marketing experts and this is something that makes this profession very interesting and challenging. You never get bored as there are always new things to learn.

If this is something you cannot accept, then becoming a digital marketing specialist is not the best choice for you.

If on the other hand, you like working in a dynamic environment, you need to make sure that you stay informed of all the latest trends and the resources below will help you do that.

LEARNING RESOURCES

Search Engine Roundtable – Covers topics related to SEO and digital marketing. A must-follow resource for digital marketing professionals.
Think With Google – Latest marketing research and digital trends
Marketing Land – Daily updates on everything related to digital marketing
Facebook Newsroom – Updates on Facebook marketing and related topics
Google Blog – Updates on all Google Products and Services

How much do Digital Marketing Specialists Make?

Now that you know what it takes to become a digital marketing specialist, you may be wondering if is worth the effort.

As with many professions, the salary of a digital marketing professional depends a lot on the experience, country, and type of job (working in a company or freelancing).

The annual salary of digital marketing specialists in the United States is between $40K and $60K.

The following table shows the average annual salary of digital marketing specialists (from payscale) in the United States according to years of experience.

Digital Marketing Salary – Years of Experience

Entry Level (less than 1-year experience) – $40, 453
Mid-Career (5-9 years of experience) – $55, 850
Experienced (more than 20 years of experience) – $61, 763

Zip Recruiter sets the average to $52,190 per year or $4349 per month.

Average Digital Marketing Specialist Salary

If you plan to work as a freelancer, an experienced digital marketing manager can make up to $140 per hour.

Digital Marketing Specialist Consultancy Rates Per Hour

Key Learnings

If you want to become a digital marketing expert, you need to have in mind three things:

You need to learn how to use each and every digital marketing channel.
Digital marketing is a dynamic industry and continuous learning is part of the daily routine of a digital marketing professional.
The salary and compensation depend a LOT on years of experience and results.

You don’t need to have a formal university degree, although there are many schools that offer digital marketing degrees.

If you are willing to learn and put on the required effort, there is nothing stopping you from starting a career in digital marketing.

The post How to Become a Digital Marketing Specialist (10 Steps Guide) appeared first on reliablesoft.net.

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[Announcement] SEOPressor Connect v6.4 With Improved WordPress 5.6 Compatibility

[Announcement] SEOPressor Connect v6.4 With Improved WordPress 5.6 Compatibility

Did anyone order an update baked fresh from the oven?

Because we’re rolling out the piping hot v6.4 update for your SEOPressor Connect plugin!

We’ve received inquiries and requests. And we’ve been hard at work, upgrading the plugin so you can use it with maximum comfortability.

WordPress 5.6 compatibility

We’ve tweaked and tinkered with our plugin to ensure that it’s compatible with WordPress 5.6 block editor.

This includes not only ensuring the UI elements are appearing on your plugin, but are also working without any bugs or issues.

If you happen to be using previous legacy versions like WordPress 5.5 or 5.4, fret not! Our SEOPressor Connect plugin still works just fine with the legacy versions!

Updated deprecated jQuery function

If you install a WordPress plugin called “Enable jQuery Migrate Helper”, there were issues where you can’t edit any WordPress pages. This new plugin helps plugin developers migrate over to the new WordPress.

Any attempts to edit any WordPress pages will result in seeing the error message as below.

We’ve updated the deprecated jQuery function to resolve this issue.

 There were also other bugs reported and squashed. Feel at ease with the latest update installed!

SEOPressor Connect v6.4 Changelog

Improved compatibility with WordPress block editor (Up to 5.6)Updated deprecated jQuery functionFixed a rare bug where the readability shows 0% for all pagesFixed a rare bug where the plugin shows inaccurate word count for all pagesFixed a rare bug where users are unable to scroll through the items listed in “Suggested Optimization” and “LSI Keywords Extension”Fixed a rare bug where “Suggested Optimization” suggests to add keyword(s) in URL, even though the keyword is already in URLMiscellaneous bug fixes

Follow these 6 simple steps to upgrade your SEOPressor Connect now to version 6.4:

Uninstall and delete your existing SEOPressor version from your domain. (You don’t have to worry about losing your SEO settings, they are saved and will be carried over once you install SEOPressor Connect.)Go to https://seopressor.com/upgrade-seopressor/. Enter your purchase email/receipt number.Once you’ve entered your purchase email/receipt number, click on the “Download SEOPressor” button and your SEOPressor Connect file will start downloading automatically. You will also receive an email containing your SEOPressor Connect activation code.Go to your WordPress dashboard > Go to “Plugins” > Click “Add New”.Click “Upload Plugin” > Click “Choose File” > Open your downloaded SEOPressor file > and click “Install Now”.Once SEOPressor Connect is installed, activate it by entering your activation code into SEOPressor’s plugin settings.

Follow the steps above and enjoy the newest updates on your favourite plugin!

You can always visit our tutorials page to learn more on how to get the most out of SEOPressor.

Let us know what you think about this update! As usual, any thoughts and feedbacks are always welcomed

Thank you for your continuous support!

Happy optimizing!

Sincerely,
The SEOPressor Team

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That movie where those two guys drink wine – How Google is understanding your searches, DistilledLive video discussion

How does Google understand your searches? Well, in the latest DistilledLive video Will Critchlow and Tom Anthony share their thoughts on some of the new ways that Google is ‘understanding’ the web. On a similar subject to Will’s recent talk on the Future of Search, the guys talk through how Google is now interpreting our search results and their relevancy rather than just indexing them.

So, how can the search for ‘that film where those two guys drink wine’ really work? (It does!) And what does this mean for the state of search? Will and Tom talk through it using a few examples [here’s the Reddit one] in the video. You can find the full transcript below.

How do the changes we’re seeing in Google shape user expectations and what does this means for the future of search? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

DistilledLive | How Google is understanding your searches

Will: Hi everyone. Welcome to another Distilled Live. I’m Will Critchlow. This is Tom Anthony, one of my colleagues here in London. Tom and I have been talking recently a lot about some new models for thinking about how Google is understanding the Web and how that is influencing the way people are searching. The first thing we talk about is a move from indexing to understanding. You want to tell us a little bit about that, Tom.

Tom: Yeah, basically the old model of just Google understanding a word and perhaps some synonyms has moved aside, and with the Knowledge Graph and everything Google are starting to understand the Web more than just index it. So a great example would be, if you search for Usain Bolt, you get the little fact box at the side, and it might tell you how tall Usain Bolt is.

Will: They know he’s a person, that’s it’s an entity.

Tom:  They know he’s a person. Yeah, so you get his name, nationality, the important stuff about a person. So it’s starting to really understand, and that’s the key I think.

Will: Yeah, and we see that as well with some kind of longer tail searches. There was a great Reddit thread, which we’ll link to . . .

Tom: Yeah.

Will:  . . .  where you can search for movies in really obscure ways. That one movie where those two guys drink wine is a search query that really shouldn’t work Yet on Google it does, and on pretty much any other search engine it doesn’t.

Tom: Doesn’t. Yeah.

Will: Precisely because there’s entity modeling.

Tom: Exactly. Another example would be, going back to the Usain Bolt thing, if you search for say Eileen Collins, who was an astronaut, it doesn’t tell you how tall Eileen Collins is. It tells you how long she spent in space. So not only are they . . .

Will:  Whereas you don’t get that for Usain Bolt.

Tom:  No, you get how tall he is because that’s what you’re probably interested in for an athlete. So not only is it understanding that he is a person, so understanding what properties about him are important, what properties about another person are important for a different reason.

Will: Which also relates to conversational searches, which we see in voice activated, where you can do a search for Usain Bolt and then follow up with how fast does he run the 100 meters.

Tom: Yeah.

Will: I don’t know if that exact query works, but those kind of queries.

Tom: Yeah. So the one I’ve seen is like, “How old is Justin Bieber,” and then, “how tall is he?” So you just use the pronoun, and it still understands. You’ve got this conversation where it’s understanding the entity we’re talking about.

Will: There was a keyword related example that I’ve been using recently, which is there’s been a growth, if look on Google Trends, there’s been a growth in searches including the word “best.” And as we were talking about, that doesn’t necessarily mean what it used to mean.

Tom: No. So before people might be searching for best because it was . . . 

Will: There might not be a good reason.

Tom: No, no.

Will: But the model would have been pages that used the word “best” on them.

Tom: Exactly. Rather than expecting Google to understand the concept of best and somehow . . . also it shows the expectation of users of a search engines. They are now starting to believe. If you look at that trend, which we’ll flush out, you can see that there’s more and more trust in users that Google is going to understand what best means and help you.

Will: Right, people are assuming that that is a sensible thing to search for.

Tom:  Yes.

Will: Best restaurant. Best whatever.

Tom: Which it definitely didn’t use to be.

Will: Definitely didn’t use to be. So all of that tied together has led us to this new model for queries. We’re starting to break down the context of the query as well into . . . what was your word for it Tom?

Tom: Aspects.

Will: Aspects. Implicit and explicit aspects. So walk us through that.

Tom: Exactly. So basically, it used to be the old model was the whole of your query was the keywords you typed in, which was what you explicitly searched for.

Will: Yeah.

Tom: And over time, like a few years ago, SEOs were talking very heavily about personalization and all that stuff. But I think personalization is too narrow a concept. It doesn’t cover everything. So we’ve been using the term context to cover more and more of what we term the implicit aspect of a query. 

Will: So where you are, what device you’re on.

Tom: Exactly.

Will:  What time of day is it. What searches you’ve done recently. All those things.

Tom: Yeah. Like a couple of years ago it came out that Google were using 57 signals when you weren’t logged in.

Will: Okay.

Tom: So these were 57 different signals. So we can’t even imagine what they all are. But that implicit part that Google’s trying to use these signals to give a better search result to you. Basically, these are part of the query, if you look at it like that. A great example is someone searching for “London tube stations.” If I just tell you someone searched London tube stations and tell you nothing else, it’s really difficult to understand what that user’s intent is. What are they looking for?

Will: Do they want a map? Do they want photos?

Tom: Is it a child looking for the history of the tube or something for some homework? But if I now tell you that London tube stations is the explicit part of the query, what they’ve typed in, but now to give you some of the implicit aspects. They’re an iPhone user. They’re on the street. They’re in London. And suddenly it becomes far easier to determine their intent.

Will: Right, that they want a tube station near where they are.

Tom: Nearby, exactly.

Will: That makes perfect sense. And so we have this model that we should be thinking of the query, not just as the words typed in, that’s the explicit aspect of the query.

Tom: Yeah.

Will: The implicit aspect of the query is everything else that goes along with that, which, as we said, is things like where you are, what time of day it is, what device you’re on, what searches you’ve done recently.

Tom: Yeah.

Will:  Your full search history.

Tom: Exactly.

Will: And even other information that they gather from other Google services.

Tom: Including the social aspects, which we’ve been deeming personalization. So personalization is part of this context.

Will: Sure. So who’s in your circles, who has you in their circles.

Tom: Exactly.

Will: Who’s plus’d one stuff and other social signals as well. So what does this mean over time? What we’re saying is that going back far enough the whole query was just the keyword. 

Tom: Yeah.

Will: Then we started getting this additional implicit aspect on top of that.

Tom: Yeah.

Will: And what are we seeing now?

Tom: So now we’re seeing people are starting to understand that Google, as with the example with best, people are starting to understand and trust in Google, without knowing it, that’s the implicit part of the query . . .

Will: To understand them.

Tom: To understand them and to take in some implicit aspects. So it used to be, for example, that if I was searching for a restaurant and I was in Finchley in North London, I’d search “restaurant Finchley.” Nowadays I don’t do that. I just search the keyword “restaurant” because I understand and most users understand that Google is going to take into consideration where you are.

Will: Because they get that feedback. They do a search query like that. They start seeing it get personalized, all the implicit context. .

Tom:  Exactly. So over the last few years people have been doing more and more of those searches.

 Will: Absolutely. Actually, I vividly remember giving a talk about keywords – it must have been four years ago – and mocking the kind of business owner who wanted to rank for “restaurant.”

Tom: Yeah.

Will: What does that search even mean? But now, of course, we know what it means.

Tom: Yeah.

Will: And we’ve had personal experiences of this. I’ve been referring to a time I was in Boston and I did search for breakfast. Just typed the word “breakfast” into Google without even thinking  about it.

Tom: Yeah.

Will: This was not me testing out anything. And it worked. Instead of getting a definition of breakfast on Wikipedia, which is probably what we would have got a few years ago, I got great places to have breakfast near where I was at that moment in time. It knew where I was. It knew I was in a new city on the right device, etc. We’re getting these personal feedbacks, but we’re seeing this kind of growth of the total information being passed to the search engines coupled with potentially in some cases the decline of the explicit keyword part of the query.

Tom: Yeah. 

Will: And we think that this probably has implications for all kinds of measurement and I guess the culture of Google as a whole.

Tom: Yeah, and the culture of SEOs.

Will: Right. 

Tom: Because for the last decade or more, the number one word you associate with SEO would be keyword. People were very keyword focused, and we’re not at the point now where some people talk about the death of keywords and everything like that. We’re not at that point. But we’re certainly seeing a shift away from it, and Google are doing the not provided thing they say for privacy reasons, but I’m sure there’s other aspects of that. But also the whole keyword focus, we need to start moving away from that.

If you’re reporting on rankings for your clients, or you’re looking at their analytics and what keywords they’re ranking for, that’s becoming less and less useful. Now, if you’re a small Indian restaurant in Finchley and your SEO comes to you and says that you’re ranking really well for restaurants, you’re probably going to be like, “Whoa.” But that’s because you’re ranking for restaurants when someone within half a mile on a mobile device is searching for you.

Will: A subset of users. And right now that’s not an easy thing even to diagnose actually.

Tom: Yeah.

Will: So I guess probably where we’ll wrap this up is, looking to the future, we don’t really know what the measurements are going to look like, what the tools are going to look like, or actually in detail what some of the signals will be that will influence how you rank different kinds of implicit aspects to queries. But that’s what makes the whole game fun.

Tom: Yeah, I think the first step is for us as SEOs to start educating our clients and changing client expectations.

Will: Showing some of these queries. .

Will: Showing the change in user behavior and taking advantage of . . . there will be undoubtedly be tools and data that we can use to power this stuff as we go along. Well, thanks Tom. Thanks everyone. We’ll see you soon.

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Using SEO data analytics to identify business gaps

Using SEO data analytics to identify business gaps

30-second summary:

Are your leads slipping through the cracks in these business gaps?
SEOs have a great vantage point in the form of data that actively helps identify business opportunities and gaps
SEO pioneer, serial entrepreneur, and best selling author, Kris Jones identifies three critical aspects that can be fixed to create the foundation of a successful SEO strategy in 2021

One of the strangest things to try to explain to someone who isn’t so familiar with digital marketing is how business owners can start targeting business opportunities that aren’t currently on their radars. After all–if we consider the problem semi-philosophically–how can we know what we don’t know? Relying on human logic alone would make that task quite difficult.

Thankfully, as SEOs, we have plenty of tools available that can help us identify business opportunities and gaps. That means keywords we aren’t targeting, audiences we aren’t going after, backlinks we aren’t getting, and content topics we aren’t covering on our websites. In other words, these are the foundations of a successful SEO strategy in 2021, and you could be missing out on leveraging them for yourself. Here are three pointers for using SEO analytics to identify your business gaps, in the area of keywords, content, and backlinks.

Find your keyword gaps

Digital marketers know the fluctuation in the importance of keywords since the late 1990s. But no matter how much that has changed, you still need to be ranking for the right keywords, or else you won’t be showing up for anything.

But have you ever done a few searches for keywords you want to rank for and not even been able to find your website in the SERPs? Doesn’t it frustrate you to see your competitors on page one?

You can be as good as they are. The way to do it is to run a keyword gap analysis in a tool such as Semrush or Google Search Console (GSC).

Semrush is better and more user-friendly for this, but if you don’t have access to that, let me cover GSC first.

You first have to link your Google Analytics and GSC together. After that, go to Analytics and navigate to Acquisition>Search Console>Queries.

You’ll see the search terms people have used to get to you, as well as those queries’ clicks, impressions, and click-through rates (CTRs).

Export that data into an Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet, and then compare the number of actual site visits that those keywords got you to the number of impressions you got for those keywords. The percentage of difference between them will give you a measurable idea of where you need to improve.

However, I prefer Semrush’s Keyword Gap tool for this. You simply input your URL and those of a few competitors, and it compares your keyword numbers against your competitors. The tool shows you a keyword overlap diagram as well as your top opportunities for getting new rankings.

Find your content gaps

You likely know that no serious SEO today writes content for keywords alone. Keywords have their place as subject identifiers for Google, but we need to focus content around actual topics. We need our content to address questions people are asking.

And maybe your top competitors are doing that much better than you are.

As a result, they rank well for this or that query, and you don’t. So, how do we use SEO data to find content gaps?

Well, we are going to build on the previous point and use our competitors’ keywords to find this out. I mentioned earlier that we write content for topics over keywords, but keywords are still how the public finds your content.

In Semrush or your spreadsheet from before, you can filter your keyword gap analysis to show the keywords you’re ranking for in positions 11 through 100 or any number you like. If your competitors are doing well for this or that term, while you are languishing in position 18 or 22, then it’s time to take a look at the content you’ve built around those terms.

What’s wrong with it from user experience and SEO perspectives? Is the information outdated? Is the content thin? Does it not address a certain issue within the buyer’s journey?

For instance, are you writing blog posts about making an appointment with a doctor when you haven’t even covered why you might need to see a doctor? Not everyone who’s browsing a medical center’s website is ready to take action.

Analyzing your content this way (as well as the content of your competitors, by mining the SERPs, for instance) tends to be more of a manual approach, but the keyword gap analysis you did should really come in handy.

You can also use what you’ve learned from that data to generate new ideas for content marketing if you need to. Tools such as BuzzSumo, Answer the Public, and Semrush’s Topic Research tool aggregate user analytics to show you the currently trending topics around certain keywords.

Find your backlink gaps

When we’re discussing using SEO data to identify your business gaps, then the icing on the cake is a good, thorough backlink gap.

Where keywords get you found and content earns customer trust, backlinks flex your site’s authority for Google. A backlink is a vote of confidence. It’s the equivalent of someone standing up in a crowd and saying, “Yes, I believe in what you’re doing.”

The way to a strong backlink profile is through your content marketing, reaching out to influencers to see if they would like to link to your useful and authoritative content.

But then, your competitors are doing the same thing, and possibly to much greater effect.

Here again, we can use SEO analytics to find where you’re falling behind.

You can certainly use everything already mentioned here to analyze your competitors’ content, but in the end, you’ll likely need a paid tool to perform a full-fledged backlink gap analysis.

You can use Ahrefs, Semrush, Moz’s Link Explorer, or something else. You can check out how each works with a free trial, but to stay on top of your backlink gaps, you would need a paid subscription.

From your research, input your site and a few of your competitors’ sites. Whichever tool you use, you will need to view the total number of backlinks and referring domains.

Now, note that it is quite common to have more backlinks than domains. That just means that some domains are linking to you more than once. That doesn’t sound so bad, but if you want a large and varied backlink profile, you will want to ramp up the number of domains that link to you.

At this point, though, it’s all about sifting through the data to see where you’re missing the mark. Check out your top competitors’ backlinks. What kind of content gets the most links? Is it long-form blog posts? White papers? Or is it some other content format that’s winning those links?

Find out what your competitors are doing well, and then create better content! If these domains linked to that type of content for someone else, they can certainly do it for you.

Similarly, if you’ve filtered to see your top pages for backlinks and notice you’ve gotten a ton to a certain type of post, then make more of those in the future!

In conclusion

In the end, whether it’s keywords, content, or backlinks, the best overall presentation wins in SEO. You have to be useful and authoritative to human users and Google.

As SEOs, we’re used to sorting through data. The everyday business owner might not be, though. In that case, I hope readers have learned a lot from this about how analytics data is your friend when you’re looking to identify gaps in your business’s SEO strategies.

When you start to get this right, you’re going to share in those wins, too.

Kris Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and affiliate network Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay Enterprises in 2009. Most recently Kris founded SEO services and software company LSEO.com and has previously invested in numerous successful technology companies. Kris is an experienced public speaker and is the author of one of the best-selling SEO books of all time called, ‘Search-Engine Optimization – Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing’, which has sold nearly 100,000 copies.

The post Using SEO data analytics to identify business gaps appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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