SEO Articles

Google’s Responsive Display Ad go vertical for a better mobile experience

Google’s Responsive Display Ad go vertical for a better mobile experience

The popular automatic display ad type Responsive Display Ads (RDAs) will be undergoing a major transformation in the second half of this year. RDAs have been the default display option since 2018 and these new enhancements are geared toward a better mobile offering for advertisers.

Portrait images and videos now welcome. The versatility of RDAs has the ability to flex images to display on mobile devices, but Google will allow for portrait images and videos to be used.

RDA using a horizontal image (left) vs RDA with new portrait image (right)

Previous options required a landscape or a square image while using machine learning to fill in the gaps for mobile ads. This new upgrade should be a welcomed option as it gives advertisers more control over their mobile appearance.

Auto-generated vertical video. If you are an advertiser that doesn’t have vertical videos handy, Google will now be able to help create those assets for your RDAs. Google is leveraging machine learning to use existing assets to create vertical video for campaigns.

Google is using “machine learning to speed up the design and iteration process, you can deliver engaging display ads faster than ever.”

If you are an advertiser that has tight branding/brand standards, you may want to view automated vertical videos before testing, as some advertisers have been dissatisfied with auto-created videos within Performance Max campaigns.

Image uncropping, powered by machine learning. A unique addition coming to RDAs is the ability to “uncrop” images via machine learning. Google said this “automatic improvement lets your products shine by seamlessly expanding to fill the available space.”

RDA using different images in the current state (left) vs RDAs using the uncropping technology (right)

As you can see in the sample image, this does look to be a big improvement with big bold images and less white space. This shouldn’t be a problem if all ad sizes are uploaded, but it should help those advertisers who are missing sizes. 

Creative inspiration. If you are an advertiser looking for inspiration with your assets, Google has a new home for you. Creative inspiration is a filterable tool that allows you to surface some of the best ad creative from around the globe.

The filtering includes a helpful “Ad Format” option to allow for browsing by ad type. 

For more information on the improvements, see the full release and stay tuned for more after the May 24 Google Marketing Live event.

Why we care. Google said its advertisers see “2X more conversions, on average, when adding a responsive display ad to an ad group with a static display ad.” This additional image size and vertical video support should allow advertisers to deliver more specific messaging by device.

The filterable additional creative inspiration center is a nice touch for advertisers looking for new ideas. Additionally, the uncropping of images should help advertisers with a hodgepodge of image sizes in their ad groups. These tools should be warmly welcomed by advertisers everywhere.

The post Google’s Responsive Display Ad go vertical for a better mobile experience appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Read More

Yoast SEO 18.8: XML sitemap improvements

Earlier today, Google announced some changes to how they read and support XML sitemaps. And just a few hours later, we’ve already released an update to our plugins. Our users can stay right at the cutting edge simply by upgrading to the latest version.

Stay on top of best practice

The SEO landscape is always changing and evolving. Google, and other search engines, frequently update their guidelines, algorithms, and expectations. We’re proud to say that we help our users to stay on top of those changes. Our team constantly monitors documentation, news sources and social media, and we react quickly when there are important changes.

Not all of Google’s changes are big, though. Today’s update was, in fact, very small. But success in SEO often comes from many small tweaks, changes and improvements. Every small advantage counts when you’re competing against other websites.

So, what changed?

Changes to XML sitemap standards

Today’s changes focused on XML sitemaps – a big feature of our plugins. Google stopped supporting some forms of image and video metadata, which we (used to) include in our sitemaps. For example, they no longer read captions, titles, and licensing information about images. We’ve safely removed these deprecated properties.

Streamlining sitemaps also has some positive side effects – those files become smaller, faster, and easier to generate. At scale, that’s great for energy consumption and great for the environment. At Yoast, we’re all for creating a sustainable world (wide web) for everyone.

Isn’t this information valuable?

It may come as a surprise that Google is declaring that they don’t want to know important information about your images and videos. We know that in the world of SEO, metadata, captions, and other information can help them to better understand, process, and rank your content.

Thankfully, you don’t need to worry. XML Sitemaps were first introduced in 2005, and the web has changed a lot since then. Google can extract key information directly from images and videos – and for everything else, they can use structured data from your content. That’s much more efficient than bundling extra information into sitemaps.

What changed?

In today’s update we remove all <image:title> and <image:caption> properties from <image:image> structures. From now on the <image:loc> property will be the only property left in image metadata. This applies to all of our WordPress plugins.

Our technical documentation about XML sitemaps has been updated to reflect all the changes.

Yoast Video SEO

We’ll also update our Yoast Video SEO plugin to remove the following properties from video metadata:

The allow_embed attribute (and value) on the player_loc property.The category property.

Stay up to date

Today’s update is one of the many small tweaks, changes and improvements that we’re constantly making to our plugins. Getting the latest version means that your site will always be as fast, efficient, and optimized as possible; so it’s important to make sure you’re up to date. It’s time to update!

Go Premium and get access to all our features!

Premium comes with lots of features and free access to our SEO courses!

Get Yoast SEO Premium »Only €99 EUR / per year (ex VAT) for 1 site

The post Yoast SEO 18.8: XML sitemap improvements appeared first on Yoast.

Read More

Accelerate customer journey automation with this CDP roadmap

Accelerate customer journey automation with this CDP roadmap

Leading companies are focused on creating stronger customer experiences that span multiple channels and feel cohesive and meaningful to end-users. But many teams struggle to effectively combine legacy tools and emerging technologies required to build effective omnichannel experiences.

Autodesk partnered with ActionIQ to develop a future-proof stack that would empower a self-service approach to achieving superior omnichannel CX. Join this virtual session to learn how you can accelerate your approach to mastering omnichannel customer journeys.

Register today for “Is Your Marketing Stack Ready for Omnichannel CX?” presented by ActionIQ.

The post Accelerate customer journey automation with this CDP roadmap appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Read More

What is quality content and how do you create it?

Writing quality content should be a key aspect of every SEO strategy. But when is your content considered high-quality? And does high-quality mean the same for your users as it does for Google? In this article, I’ll discuss what quality content is and how you can make sure your content hits the mark. It will require some creative writing skills. But don’t worry, you don’t have to become the next Hemingway. By focusing on the right things, you can create high ranking quality content that your users will happily read.

What is quality content?

That is the million-dollar question. Knowing how to write quality content helps you get more visitors, lower bounce rates, and higher conversions. But who determines the quality of your content? The easy answer is: your users. However, this also makes creating the right content more difficult. Because every user is different and has a different search intent. They have one thing in common, though. Every user knows what they want. Meanwhile, you’re still figuring out what your audience wants to read about!

That’s not how you would expect an article about writing quality content to start, is it? Don’t worry, we’re definitely not done yet! Although the quality of your content is eventually determined by your users, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you end up with well-thought-out, readable, and attractive content. In other words: content that’s eligible to be considered as high-quality by your users and search engines. And yes, this will take some time. But it’s time well spent, trust me. Just remember what I said earlier about what you can attain by writing quality content.

How to create quality content

1. Write for your readers, not yourself

If you have an ecommerce site, you want readers to know about the products or services you offer. If you’re a blogger, you want readers to get to know you and the topics that interest you. However, it is also important to take into consideration what your users actually want to read about. What interests do they have? What events or news do they follow, that you can relate to your business?  And what ‘problems’ are they trying to fix that have led them to your site?

The first step in creating high-quality content is to make sure that it contains the information your audience is looking for. To find out what information your users are looking for, you have to conduct proper keyword research. This will help you determine what subjects to write about and what words your audience uses. Keyword research also helps your rankings, as more visitors and lower bounce rates tell Google that your page is a good result to show in their search results.

2. Make your content readable and engaging

If you want to get your message across and make sure that people read your entire blog post or page, make your content easy to read. What does this mean? It means thinking about the structure of your text and the words you use. Too much text without any headings or paragraphs tends to scare people off, so make sure you use them. They give your readers some air while reading. Additionally, try to limit the use of difficult words and be cautious of the length of your sentences. These can make your content harder to understand, which in turn will slow down your reader. And lastly, it’s good to use variation in your text to make it engaging. Use synonyms, and alternate longer sentences with shorter ones.

Another important thing to focus on: Have fun while writing! And be personal in your writing. This helps you write quality content that’s different from your competitor’s, and it helps users get to know you and your brand. Want to know more? In this article, we dive deeper into these tips for writing readable blog posts.

3. Think about search intent and your goal

Let’s start with the basics. What does search intent mean? Search intent is the reason why someone conducts a specific search. It’s the term used to describe their purpose. For example, do they have a question they need answered? Or do they want to buy something online? Someone’s search intent makes a difference in how they consider the quality of your content. If it fits their need at that moment, then they will stay on your page longer. But if they need an answer to a question and the page they land on only tries to sell them products, they’ll be gone before you know it.

It’s important to take search intent into consideration while you’re creating the content for a specific page. That’s why I would advise you to match your goals to the different search intents users might have. Is one of your goals to get more subscriptions to your newsletter? Then you should add that subscription button to pages where users with an informational intent land.

Does a visitor have a transactional intent (meaning: they want to buy something)? Make sure they land on the right page. If someone searches for the term “Product x”, you don’t want them to land on a blog post discussing a topic related to that product. Ideally, you want them to land on a page dedicated to “Product x”. However, a category page when you have multiple variations of “Product x” works too.

Of course, experience tells us it’s not always that black and white. Still, it’s good to consider the search intent your users might have. It will help you determine the focus of your content and what call-to-actions you want to add to a specific page or post. A great way to get started, is by adopting a content design mindset. This mindset helps you produce user-centered content based on real needs. Also, for some input, I would recommend having a look at the search results to create great content.

4. Be trustworthy

When people land on your page, it’s also important to build trust. Especially when they’re not familiar with your site yet. You have to show your audience that you’re trustworthy. How? First, by writing in a clear and user-oriented way. Second, try to stay away from stock photos, as genuine photos create more trust and give your site a personal feel. The same is true for your ‘About us’ page. Try to use actual photos of your team. 

Third, add ratings to Google, testimonials to the right pages, and set up HTTPS. This will help your users and Google to understand that your site belongs to an actual business or person, which allows them to happily and safely browse your site. Do you own an ecommerce site? Then have a look at these 7 ways to increase sales by creating trust.

5. Keep your content up to date

Another key element of writing quality content is making sure it’s up to date and relevant. This means you have to update your content from time to time to make sure people are able to find the right information. But why is this so important? Because it shows your users that you’re on top of recent developments and can always provide them with accurate information. In other words: it builds trust and keeps your audience coming back to your site. Keeping your website and blog posts up to date is also important for SEO, as this shows Google that your site is ‘alive’ and relevant. So, make sure you schedule in a time to update your content regularly.

Bonus: Invest time in site structure

The five steps we’ve discussed so far will help you write content that is easy to read and user-centered. Next, I would like to highlight an extra step that is equally important: working on your site structure. This is important because it will help users and search engines find your quality content.

Site structure refers to the way you organize your site’s content. It is a vital part of any solid SEO strategy. When you structure your site well, search engines will be able to index your URLs better. It helps Google determine the importance of your individual pages and which pages are related to each other. Additionally, a good site structure will allow users to find their way around your site more easily. It will help them find your quality content in the search results and on your website. That’s why there’s quite a lot to gain from perfecting your site structure. Read more on how to work on your site structure and the importance of doing so.

A quick recap on quality content

Although well structured and readable content might not instantly take you to the top position in Google, it will definitely have a positive effect on your SEO in the long run. So, before you start publishing post after post (or page after page), it’s worth it to consider a few steps.

Make sure to write for your readers, make your content readable, match search intent with your goals, be trustworthy, keep your content up to date and work on your site structure. The end result: attractive content that your readers will appreciate. This will have a positive effect on your number of visitors, bounce rates and conversions. If you want to find out if there are still areas of content SEO you can improve, you can take this short test. Or take a look at our guide to SEO copywriting for more tips and tricks!

Go Premium and unlock these features!

Unlock these features and get free access to all of our SEO courses with Yoast SEO Premium:

Get Yoast SEO Premium »Only €99 EUR / per year (ex VAT) for 1 site

Read more: SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide »

The post What is quality content and how do you create it? appeared first on Yoast.

Read More

LinkedIn changing feed, will show less low-quality content, polls

LinkedIn is now reducing the visibility of several types of content in its feed, including polls and engagement bait.

Here’s what LinkedIn announced is changing. 

Less “low-quality content.” Any posts that explicitly ask for or encourage engagement, such as comments or reactions, will have less visibility in the feed. LinkedIn said users find these types of posts that exist solely to boost reach “misleading and frustrating.” 

Fewer polls. You had to know this one was coming. If you regularly browse LinkedIn, it’s become common to see multiple polls in your feed every day. Many of these are from people you don’t know. LinkedIn said it has better filtering and promises to show only “helpful and relevant” polls, from people in your network.  

Less irrelevant updates. Ever seen a connection congratulate someone you’ve never met about a recent job change? LinkedIn says it will reduce how often users see this and try to show “more targeted activity” from your network. 

“I don’t want to see this.” In addition to algorithmic feed changes, LinkedIn is giving users a way to tell LinkedIn what they don’t want to say. All individual posts will include an “I don’t want to see this” option. You can limit content by authors or topic – plus you can choose to not see any political content. 

Why we care. These are positive and needed changes that LinkedIn hopes will result in a feed full of relevant, reliable, credible and authentic content. Hopefully, you haven’t been using engagement-baiting tactics on LinkedIn. But if you have? Expect your engagement and reach to decline as LinkedIn’s algorithm will no longer reward these tactics with greater visibility.

The post LinkedIn changing feed, will show less low-quality content, polls appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Read More

Business redressal complaint form adds option for this business does not exist

Business redressal complaint form adds option for this business does not exist

Google has updated its business redressal complaint form over here to add “this business doesn’t exist” as an option on why you think the business listing is fraudulent. This gives you one more way to communicate to Google why the business listing should be removed from Google Search and Google Maps.

This business doesn’t exist. You can see the new option, which was added over the past several days, in the from in the screenshot below. It says “this business doesn’t exist” for an option on how you identified the content on Google Maps that you claim might lead to fraudulent activity.

The previous options. The older options were not removed, they just added “this business doesn’t exist” the existing options which include:

TitleAddressPhone numberWebsite

What is the business redressal form. Google said you can use this form “if you come across misleading information or fraudulent activity on Google Maps related to the name, phone number, or URL of a business.” Google said “you may use this form to submit a complaint.” “Complaints submitted through this form will be reviewed in accordance with our guidelines for representing businesses on Google Maps,” Google added.

Why we care. Google Maps and local search business listings has its fair share of spam and fraudulent information. This gives you one more way to communicate to Google that a specific business listing is fake and should not show up in Google Maps or Google Search.

The post Business redressal complaint form adds option for this business does not exist appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Read More