SEO Articles

Google removing support for some video and image sitemap extension tags

On August 6, 2022, Google will no longer support some video and image sitemap extension tags. Gary Illyes from Google said it is removing support for those sitemap extension tags to simplify sitemap extensions and to help “reduce complexity of your codebases” by making sitemaps “less cluttered in general.”

What is being removed. The following sitemap extension tags are no longer going to be supported:

Within image sitemaps:

captiongeo_locationtitlelicense

Within video sitemaps:

categoryplayer_loc[@allow_embed]player_loc[@autoplay]gallery_loc, price[@all] tvshow[@all]

August 6, 2022. Google said the “deprecated tags will have no effect on indexing and search features after August 6, 2022.”

This does not mean you need to race to remove these tags or attributes from your video or image sitemaps. Google said “there’s no immediate action required; you can leave these tags and attributes in place without drawbacks.”

Search Console notifications. Google did add that sometime in the future, if you still have these tags or attributes in those sitemap files, Google may notify you that they have been deprecated via messages or errors in Search Console. “the future, Search Console may show warnings once these updates are included in the next schema versions of the Image and Video extensions,” Google added.

Why we care. If you use these tags or attributes in your video or image sitemaps, you should be aware that they will no longer be supported in about a month. You should also expect notifications of this via Google Search Console. But no rush on making changes – keeping them should not negatively impact your site’s performance in Google Search.

The post Google removing support for some video and image sitemap extension tags appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Why good content costs serious money

Why good content costs serious money

Have you ever done an online search and wanted to read average content?

Me neither.

Everyone appreciates great content. But when it comes to paying for excellence, the marketing industry is in a race to the bottom.

Why? Let’s dive in.

Content that’s designed to rank vs. content that’s written to be read (you must know this)

Before creating content for a website, you generally need to answer a few questions.

Who is this for?

What do we want this content to do?

The answers will dictate what kind of marketer you are.

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Affiliate marketers exist to get the click. They combine two of the core phases of the messy middle of the search. Subject exploration and evaluation of choice. And they then offer a “done for you service.”

“We’ve explored options for you; we’ve narrowed your choices down; click here to find a great price.”

What matters most for this type of marketer is that a human views the content, and the viewer clicks a link.

Detailed reading is not required. Scanning and clicking are all they need and want.

With this type of content, the cost is upfront. The marketer can’t profit until it ranks, so it makes sense to try and generate content as cheaply as possible.

Content written to be read is different.

Because if it’s not read, the content can’t achieve its goals.

You might ask: what do we want the content to achieve?

We write great content so that change can happen.

That change is internal to the reader.

That change might be how they think about your business. That change might be that the reader sees you as the expert and loves your cause or values. They start to desire your products, your expertise, your ideas.

And unless the words get read, the change can’t happen.

Your goal for the content you create matters. If you want them to skim and click, then the price of the content doesn’t matter. The cheaper, the better.

You’re in a race to generate profit, so quality generally means the minimum topic coverage to satisfy the search engine’s AI.

But if you are a business that serves humans? Those humans have a choice.

Then the onus is on you to create content that affects readers.

But what goes into that type of content?

Let’s find out.

What goes into great content? 

Answer: Blood, sweat and tears.

It’s never just a blog post for a business.

It adds value to the web and adds value to the business.

The problem is that for years, marketers have entered into a race to the bottom for content.

“What’s the minimum price we can get our content for?”

As a result, we see a lot of poor content.

It’s the wrong way to think about content.

Cheap content is rarely top quality.

There’s a cost for great content. And it’s often heavy.

Here’s why.

Great content is built and not written.

And so, content writers are content builders, and every piece of content they create has layers of their blood, sweat and tears embedded within.

The architect’s road to great quality content

If great content is built and not written, it makes sense that skilled labor creates that content.

And skilled labor requires payment that reflects the time spent learning the trade.

The mental model for content should be, “we need to create great content. What does it cost to create great content?”

Breaking the content process down, great content requires:

Keyword researchOutliningSubject researchKnowledge of grammarWriting skillWriting experienceImage creationPost optimizationHeadline creationEditingDesignUpload

I’ve probably missed a few areas, but each area above is a skill in its own right.

But when the above come together in the right amounts, magic happens.

That’s the alchemy that lies within the creation of good content. And yes, this might mean that multiple people of varying skill sets work on creating great content.

However, it’s words that will always do the heavy lifting.

When Brian Dean created his famous skyscraper technique post, he made a post designed to be read and not just ranked online.

The result. It’s probably one of the most well-known and well-used content and SEO techniques.

And it generated more than 15,000 backlinks from more than 3,000 domains.

Sure, he could never have predicted how that content would perform.

But using a combination of all the skills we’ve listed above, the content smashed records.

Had he not designed the content, had a great writing style and added images in all the right places, it would have flopped.

But just what should good content cost?

To decide this, we need to look at the science behind what content does.

Content is alchemy. Price accordingly

Attempting to turn any metal into gold was the task of the ancient alchemists.

Today, modern alchemy happens within the mind.

Behavioral science has shown us that humans are often looking for signals so we can make sense of the world.

We eat at a busy restaurant and avoid the quiet one, believing it will serve better food.

We pick the expensive bottle of wine, believing it will taste better.

Nestled within behavioral science is what is called “costly signaling theory.”

“Costly signaling theory – the fact that the meaning and significance attached to something is in direct proportion to the expense in which it is communicated.”

Rory Sutherland, “Alchemy”

And this is part of the alchemy of quality content. At a human level, we all know that writing content at any level consumes a considerable amount of resources.

Be that writer’s time, uploading, designing images. Even if the reader is unaware of the other intricacies of content creation, there is a mental recognition that “work” goes into the content.

Or, in other words, content is a visible investment in the reputation of your business that the reader can judge.

The content screams at your prospects.

“We’re experts. Choose us. We aren’t going anywhere”.

And when the reader absorbs the content, the change you seek can happen.

That change might be the decision to make a purchase.

It might be to subscribe.

Or it could be that they remember your business when they’re ready to make a purchase.

But it also goes a little deeper.

Because we’re a species of information hunters, and we need feeding.

The content hunger games

In 1990, Peter Pirolli and Stuart Card developed the information foraging theory.

The idea is simple. Information is a resource that we consume, just like food. And we look for high-quality sources of information. This is how, as a species, we evolved through shared knowledge.

Today, the internet handles a large quantity of our shared knowledge. And we are now online hunters, looking for rich patches of information to consume.

As a business, you’ll be judged by the quality of your information. And you’ll be initially judged based on what is known as “information scent.”

“The information scent of a source of information (such as a webpage) relative to an information need represents the user’s imperfect estimate of the value that the source will deliver to the user, derived from a representation of the source.”

Neilson Norman Group

In short, this means that users will judge your content based on how much value they think the content will provide them before they consume it.

Yes, just like a book, your content is judged by the cover, except the cover is a scan read of your content.

Design elements such as typography numbered lists, and interesting H2s play a huge role in the reader deciding to consume your content. And then your words need to keep them on the page, moving line to line through your content.

Your prospects will judge you by the effort you put into your content because they are on the hunt for high-quality information to help them make an intelligent purchase decision.

This is why the quality of your content at all levels is so important.

Great content = large impact. Achieving that impact requires effort, time and skill.

And you should be prepared to pay for this.

But how should you judge what quality content costs?

Selling the invisible impact of content

If content makes a tangible impact, we should start to charge for that impact.

So, how do you do this?

The old model of content is to price “by the word.”

It’s cheap and it produces content waffle.

Word count should be a guide rope. It helps you to understand the required depth of the content quickly. But it’s not a target.

Content is finished when the content is good. Not because we reach a word count.

Content connects a business to a customer.

It’s a bridge that helps prospects to make intelligent decisions.

It also serves as a costly signal of intention and reliability. It can generate leads and be pushed to the prospect via paid and organic social media.

Or it can pull customers to your website, acting as a door through a good email marketing message or ranking on Google.

And as stated repeatedly, good content showcases expertise.

So, what is that worth?

I know it’s tough, but to make life easier. Don’t think of what content should cost. Think of what your budget for content is.

How to establish the right content budget

Generally speaking, your content budget should come out of your brand marketing budget and can form part of your SEO retainer.

Think about your needs.

Do you need 45 articles to generate traction for your business, or just 12?

But that’s the question.

“What do I need to create for the change we seek to happen?”

You should then seek the budget to make this happen.

But what about individual articles? What should you spend?

This is the wrong question.

Instead, consider this.

What are you prepared to pay for the change you seek to happen?What is an article that ranks online and showcases your business worth to you?What is it worth for a person to positively think about your business?

This is the figure you mentally start your inner negotiations with.

From there, you need to find and assemble the people who can help you build great content.

SEO specialists, writers, content designers and editors.

This might be one person. It might be an agency. It might be several skilled people.

And if this sounds expensive, it’s because it’s going to be.

This is why you must establish a significant budget for your content.

Great content is the expensive bottle of wine on the supermarket shelf.

You’re not buying it because you fancy a drink.

You’re buying it because you want to feel the impact of quality wine.

And if you want your content to have a significant impact on your prospects.

You need to invest in the content assets that will have that impact.

The post Why good content costs serious money appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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How to Leverage Ubersuggest SEO Reports to Keep Your Strategy in Check

How to Leverage Ubersuggest SEO Reports to Keep Your Strategy in Check

There are no two ways about it: SEO works. It’s one of the main tools I used to build this site, and I’ve seen it work for hundreds of clients around the globe.

However, SEO is complicated. It requires data insights, analytics, tracking, and constant upkeep. While there are plenty of SEO tools on the market, many of them are expensive and hard to use.

This is why I created Ubersuggest—to help marketers and business owners get access to the SEO insights they need to drive massive amounts of traffic and increase revenue.

Why Should You Use Ubersuggest SEO Reports to Support Your Digital Marketing and Content Strategy

Ubersuggest’s SEO reports provide a massive amount of insights into the overall health of your website, including SEO opportunities, backlinks, content ideas, and a whole lot more. Why should you use it?

If your SEO is lacking, you risk losing traffic to your competition. Consider these statistics:

75 percent of users never scroll past the first page of search results. Organic traffic is responsible for 53 percent of all site traffic. The typical person will search Google four times a day.

If you want traffic to your website, you need to be on top of your SEO game—and Ubersuggest can help. More than 50,000 users, from small businesses to enterprise companies, currently use Ubersuggest.

Why do they love it? Here are a few reasons:

Ubersuggest is 70 percent cheaper than alternative SEO tools. It’s easy to use, and we provide tons of support to make sure you can make the most of it. We keep adding features, which means you’ll always have access to the tools you need to drive traffic and improve your SEO. Gain access to tools, worksheets, and templates to increase the ROI of all your digital marketing efforts.

If you’re just getting started in SEO, I highly recommend watching the video below to understand the basics. Keep reading if you want to learn how SEO reports from Ubersuggest can help increase your SEO ROI.

Ubersuggest is a full-featured SEO tool that offers tons of SEO reports and tools to help your site succeed. Here are seven ways Ubersuggest will help you stay on top of your SEO game.

1. Use Ubersuggest SEO Reports to Identify Top SEO Opportunities

The first five organic results account for 67.60 percent of all the clicks, while results ranking 6 to 10 account for only 3.73 percent of clicks. This means if you want traffic, you need to find and leverage SEO opportunities.

Ubersuggest makes this process simple with our Top SEO Opportunities report. Here’s how to access it:

Sign in to Ubersuggest, then look at the Top SEO Opportunities in your dashboard. This list serves as a checklist to improve your current SEO strategy. The list will automatically update as you make changes and as new opportunities arise. For example, if a competitor starts to gain traffic with one of your core keywords, we’ll let you know.

Check it at least once a week, and try to tackle at least one suggestion a week from the list to keep your momentum going.

This report doesn’t just tell you what’s wrong—it also tells you how to fix it. Take a look at the screenshot above. If you click “Optimize for Keyword,” Ubersuggest will tell you what topics to cover and even provide a basic outline you can use to create the high-quality content Google loves.

It’s kinda like having your own personal SEO consultant keeping an eye on your website 24/7.

2. Use Ubersuggest to Perform Monthly SEO Audits

SEO audits should be performed regularly to ensure your website stays in good SEO standing. Most businesses, however, only perform an SEO audit two to four times a year.

It’s easy to understand why SEO audits are time-consuming and difficult, especially if the process is unfamiliar.

SEO audits don’t have to be a pain. With Ubersuggest, you can easily perform an SEO audit in just a few minutes. Here’s how:

Log into your Ubersuggest dashboard. Click on the “Site Audit” button in the left sidebar. Enter your website URL.

That’s all you have to do. Ubersuggest will crawl your website and deliver a detailed SEO audit. If you have a large site, this could take a few minutes, so be patient.

Ubersuggest shows your on-page SEO score, organic traffic, number of backlinks, organic keywords you are ranking for, insights into load time, and SEO issues.

This is a great place to go to understand the current state of your website. You will get a detailed SEO overview of your website, as it stands today, so you can understand your technical strengths and weaknesses.

You can use this information to prioritize what’s most important and create monthly to-dos to tackle.

If you decide to hire someone to help with your website, just hand over the prioritized list to them each month. We tell you what changes will make the most impact on your website and how difficult the updates are, so you can decide what to tackle yourself and what to outsource.

3. Use Ubersuggest SEO to Find Profitable Keywords and Track Your Progress

Keywords are the backbone of a solid SEO strategy. However, finding the right keywords can be a challenge. Just because a keyword has a high search volume, for example, doesn’t mean it will drive traffic to your website.

You should perform keyword research on at least a monthly basis. The good news is that Ubersuggest can do it for you.

Use the Keyword Overview report to understand search volume trends, SEO, and paid difficulty, plus the average CPC for your targeted keywords.

This will help you find other keyword ideas that might be easier to rank for within the Overview report (think lower volume, lower-paid and SEO difficulty, lower CPC.)

Note, these change with seasonality for a lot of companies, so check this at least once a month.

You’ll also see a table of Keyword Ideas. Keep special note of the keywords that have a low SEO difficulty, as these are generally easier to rank for. If you don’t currently have content covering that topic, now is the time. Just make sure those terms are relevant to your customers.

You can also see what keywords drive traffic to your competitors’ websites with the Keywords by Traffic report. I recommend checking this monthly to see how keyword trends change for them as well.

Track how you perform for your targeted keywords with the Rank Tracking report. It’s best to have at least 30-50 keywords saved in any given month and to check weekly to ensure you aren’t losing ground with keywords you’ve worked hard to rank for.

You’ll also see which keywords you are ranking well for. If you’ve recently updated content, earned new backlinks, or made other changes, this data will tell you it’s working. (And that you might want to use those same strategies on other pages.)

4. Use Ubersuggest SEO to Discover New Content Ideas as Your Company Grows

Every day, more than 6 million blog posts are published on the internet. That makes finding new content ideas a challenge. If it feels like every topic has already been covered, you’re not alone.

Finding new content ideas is challenging, but Ubersuggest can make it a lot easier.

Use the Content Ideas report to discover what types of blogs are popular on the internet. Get inspiration from the list and choose topics you’re comfortable writing about that you may have a different angle to talk about.

This report also helps you to stay away from writing about a topic that others have already covered and are ranking well for, which makes them harder to compete with.

Don’t ignore topics that have already been covered. Instead, look for ways to create better or more in-depth content. For example, you could:

Write a longer post that covers a topic in more depth. Share insights or case studies that show how to implement a strategy. Consider other content formats, such as videos, infographics, or white papers.

The list of ideas in this report is ever-changing, giving you endless ideas to work from.

5. Use Ubersuggest SEO to Identify Backlink Opportunities

According to research by Backlinko, the number of domains linking to a page has the highest correlation to Google ranking. In fact, the number one result in Google has an average of 3.8 times more backlinks than those in positions 2 through 10.

One of the best ways to improve your SEO is to increase your backlinks—the right way. Buying links, trading links, and other black hat strategies won’t deliver the results you want. Instead, I recommend using the Ubersuggest Backlinks report to see how your competitors are performing and find opportunities for your own site.

Links to both your and your competitors’ websites change regularly (for some, it’s happening daily). Head to the Backlinks Opportunities report often to see who’s linking to your competitors but not to you, then reach out to those companies with similar (not the same) content and ask them to link back to you.

Not sure what to say? Here’s a link to backlinks email outreach ideas and templates

Once you’ve gained some momentum, check your Backlinks Overview report at least monthly and pay special attention to the Backlinks Overtime report. This will show your backlinks growth and understand how many new websites are linking to you each month (and how many you’ve lost).

This can also help you find other websites similar to the ones linking to you already, and you can reach out to the ones who stopped linking to you to understand why.

6. Use Ubersuggest SEO for Weekly Check-ins for the Biggest Impact

Google’s algorithm uses more than 200 factors to determine which website to rank for a specific search, and those factors are constantly changing. This means the most effective SEO strategies are constantly changing, too.

So how do you keep up? By using Ubersuggest to get weekly notifications about the health of your site’s SEO.

Turn on weekly notifications here to get a quick view of the following:

Rank Tracking Alerts: Get email and in-app notifications about important rankings gained and lost, new positions conquered and lost.Site Audit Alerts: Get email and in-app notifications of new SEO issues and errors found on your website, as well as on-page improvements that can increase your rankings.Keyword Opportunities Alerts: Get email and in-app notifications about keywords that are rising in popularity and when it’s the perfect opportunity to invest more time and effort into ranking for these keywords.

Successful SEO is an ongoing process, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours every week digging into analytics. These SEO ranking reports allow you to keep an eye out for issues while you stay focused on your long-term goals.

7. Use Ubersuggest Support for Personalized Assistance

We’ve covered how to use Ubersuggest to pull the best SEO reports you need to track your performance. What happens if you have a question or aren’t sure what a suggestion means? The Ubersuggest team is here to help.

In fact, there are five ways to get additional SEO support from Ubersuggest, including:

Coaching Call: If you get stuck with anything, Ubersuggest offers monthly coaching calls where you can call in and get your questions answered by one of their SEO experts. Register here.SEO Unlocked 8-week Free, self-paced course: My course covers everything you need to know about SEO, from what SEO is to performing keyword research and optimizing your website. Customer Support: Have issues with Ubersuggest or aren’t sure where to find something? Submit a ticket and my team will get back to you ASAP. Knowledge Base: This post covers the SEO reports in Ubersuggest, but there are even more features to love. Search in the Knowledge Base here to learn more. Chat: Want immediate help? You can ask a question in the chat box at the bottom right of any page in Ubersuggest.

SEO Reports Frequently Asked Questions

What should an SEO report include?

A good SEO report should include overall traffic, keyword ranking, a list of backlinks, time on site and bounce rate, top traffic by page, keyword search volume, competitor data, SEO tasks to complete, and an overview of the entire SEO report.

What does a good SEO report look like?

A good SEO report should provide the data and insights you need to improve your ranking in search engines. Ideally, it should cover overall traffic, keyword ranking, backlinks, traffic per page, and SEO errors. The format should be easy to use and understand. With Ubersuggest, you can view all this data in the dashboard or screenshot the charts and embed them in a Google Slides presentation.

How do you read SEO reports?

It depends on the report you’re viewing and what type of data you need. I recommend starting with the overview of the SEO ranking report, then drilling down into specific areas based on your goals and needs. For example, if your overall traffic is dropping, the SEO errors are a good place to start as there might be an issue impacting your entire website.

How do you create an SEO report?

The best way to create an SEO ranking report is to sign up for Ubersuggest, add your website, and use the SEO report tools to pull the data you need to drive traffic. Alternatively, you can dig into Google Search Console and Google Analytics to pull the relevant data. However, those tools often don’t provide the level of detail or recommendations you need to drive SEO success.

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Conclusion: Get the Best SEO Reports from Ubersuggest

The cost of SEO varies based on the size of your site and your goals. However, the average small business can expect to pay between $750 and $2,000 per month for ongoing SEO support or up to $35,000 for one-time projects.

Despite the importance of SEO, those rates can be difficult for many businesses to manage. Luckily, Ubersuggest’s SEO Reports can provide visibility into your SEO for just a few dollars a month, and you won’t have to sacrifice results.

If you’d rather have an SEO expert do the work for you, we’re happy to help. Reach out to my team, and let’s talk about your SEO goals.

Have you used Ubersuggest’s SEO reports? What is your favorite feature?

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Keyword Research: How to Do It, Tips, Tools & Examples

Keyword Research: How to Do It, Tips, Tools & Examples

68 percent of online activity begins with queries in search engines like Google or Bing.

That’s why keyword research should be the basis of any online marketing campaign.

The goal of keyword research is to find out what your target audience is searching for online and determine what it will take to actually rank in search engines for those keywords.

Without knowing what keywords you should be targeting, how will you effectively optimize your website, target phrases for link building, or know what content to develop for your audience?

In this first section, we’ll go through setting up a spreadsheet for your keyword research and discover the best keywords for both your main website’s search engine optimization and topics for content development.

In the next section, we’ll discuss what data will help you choose the best keywords to target.

The final section will be a compilation of the top posts on keyword research.

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research refers to the process of discovering what search terms your target audience is entering in search engines to find businesses and websites like yours and optimizing your content so you appear in the search engine results.

For example, my target audience for this blog is primarily marketers and small businesses looking for help with their SEO and digital marketing strategies. This means I want pages from my website to appear in the SERPs when my audience searches for terms related to SEO and digital marketing.

Let’s say someone in my target audience is searching for “what is SEO?” I want to make sure I have content on my website that comes up early in the results for that search term. Luckily, I do! Here are some of the top results for the phrase:

Why Is Keyword Research Important?

If you want your audience to find your website–whether’s it to your blog, e-commerce website, or for local services like lawn care–you must develop a strategy to help them find you. That’s where keyword research comes in.

The top result in the Google search results for a given search query (aka “keyword”) gets the most traffic 49 percent of the time. The second results get the most traffic 22 percent of the time. By the time you get to the second page of Google, users click on each result less than one percent of the time.

In order to drive your audience to the website, you must identify the keywords they are searching for, and create content that matches their search intent.

How to Do Keyword Research

There are many methods and tools you can use for keyword research. We’ll outline some of those methods and tools below, so you can pick and choose what works best for you.

Prework: Spreadsheet Set Up

The first thing you will want to do is set up a spreadsheet to record your data.

I’ve set up a basic spreadsheet that you can access. This document has columns for data using all tools mentioned in the first two parts of this blog post.

You can add or delete columns as you wish in order to match your keyword research needs. The columns included are as follows.

KeywordGAKT – Competition (Google Ads Keyword Planner)GAKT – Global Monthly Searches (Google Ads Keyword Planner)GAKT – Local Monthly Searches (Google Ads Keyword Planner)GAKT – Approximate CPC (Google Ads Keyword Planner)SEOmoz KA – Difficulty (Moz Keyword Explorer)SEOmoz KA – Competitor 1 (Moz Keyword Explorer)SEOmoz KA – Competitor 1 DA (Moz Keyword Explorer)SEOmoz KA – Competitor 1 RDLRD (Moz Keyword Explorer)SEOmoz KA – Competitor 2 (Moz Keyword Explorer)SEOmoz KA – Competitor 2 DA (Moz Keyword Explorer)SEOmoz KA – Competitor 2 RDLRD (Moz Keyword Explorer)SEOmoz KA – Competitor 3 (Moz Keyword Explorer)SEOmoz KA – Competitor 3 DA (Moz Keyword Explorer)SEOmoz KA – Competitor 3 RDLRD (Moz Keyword Explorer)

In this section, we’ll cover filling up the columns with keyword and Google Ads Keyword Tool data.

In the following section, we’ll look at how to narrow down those keywords using the Moz Keyword Analysis tool (or some alternative methods if you are not a Pro member).

Saving the Google Docs Version

If you are signed into your Google account, simply use the File > Save option to save the spreadsheet to your documents and start filling it in with your information.

Downloading Excel and Open Office Versions

If you don’t have Google Docs, or would prefer to save it on your local machine, go to the Google Docs version and use the File > Download As to save it as your desired file type. I’d suggest Excel for best possible functionality.

Step 1: Keyword Discovery

The first phase of keyword research involves coming up with new keyword ideas.

Sometimes this is the most difficult part of the process as many people unfamiliar with keyword competition will select very broad target words such as pizza, hotel, or Los Angeles.

Others will pick obscure phrases that no one will likely search such as SEO/Link Building/Social Media (yes, I’ve seen people trying to similarly over-punctuated phrases).

So the first thing you will need to do is find suitable, related phrases for their business.

You can always start with some simple brainstorming. Look at the main topics on your website and jot down keywords associated with those topics.

I would suggest doing so in Microsoft Excel or another spreadsheet application.

Then, whenever you’re ready to expand on those ideas, continue to some great keyword tools.

Keyword Discovery Tools

The following are a great collection of free and premium tools that will help you discover new keywords related to your website or business.

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is great for helping you discover new keywords.

To get started, simply enter the keyword or phrase in the tool.

Let’s say we’re researching Social Media Marketing.

Input the phrase and click Search.

You’ll get a breakdown that looks like this:

Search volume – number of searches the keyword has during a monthSEO difficulty – estimated competition in organic searchPaid difficulty – estimated competition in paid searchCost per click – average cost per click for a Google Ad

You’re also provided an overview of what it takes, on average, in terms of backlinks and domain score, to reach the first page of Google for the keyword. This is located above a chart displaying the keyword search volume, both for desktop and mobile, over the past 12 months.

You’ll also be able to scroll down and see different variations of your keyword phrase.

This gives you a wider view of what you can strive to rank for.

For low budgets, you may want to optimize a low competition, low cost per click option that still gets good results. For example, “jobs with social media marketing” fits the mold.

Or, you can pick multiple and A/B test them for the best results.

However you use it, this is a great tool to start with.

Ubersuggest Search Suggestions

Once you have some basic ideas, you can expand upon them by using the five keyword idea variables in Ubersuggest:

SuggestionsRelatedQuestionsPrepositionsComparisons

In the screenshot above, “suggestions” is highlighted by default. But if you’re searching for the largest list of keywords that contain your phrase, click “Related.”

Every keyword on the list now includes your seed keyword, “social media marketing.”

From there, you can experiment with the other search types. Here are some examples of the keyword phrases you’ll uncover for each one:

Questionsis social media marketing dead? is social media marketing worth it? is social media marketing effective?Prepositions guide to social media marketing help with social media marketing problems with social media marketingComparisonssocial media marketing vs digital marketing social media marketing vs traditional marketing social media marketing and SEO

Alternative Search Suggestions

Looking for alternative suggested search boxes?

The following search engines have similar suggested search options that appear below the search box when you start typing in keywords.

YahooBingDuckDuckGoEcosiaDogpile

Depending on your keyword, each search engine will offer different suggestions.

Most people stick with Google as it is the most-visited web platform in the world, but it still doesn’t hurt to get additional keyword ideas from elsewhere.

Google Ads Keyword Tool

The next tool up is the commonly referenced Google Ads Keyword Planner.

If you have a Google account and, better yet, an Ads account, I would suggest signing in to those once you arrive on the Google Ads Keyword Tool to get better results.

To give you an idea, I searched for social media when I was not logged into my account and received 100 keyword ideas.

I searched for it again when logged in and received more than 600.

My suggestion is if you are looking for keywords just for your static website and not interested in the cost per click pricing (CPC), go with the results without logging into Google Ads.

If you are interested in the CPC pricing and also getting keyword ideas to help with content development, go with the results while logged into Google Ads.

Here is what each of the columns displayed in the Google Ads Keyword Tool will tell you about each of the keyword ideas displayed.

Competition – “The Competition column gives you a sense of how many advertisers are bidding for a particular keyword. This data can help you determine how competitive the ad placement is.”Global Monthly Searches – “The approximate 12-month average of user queries for the keyword on Google search.”Local Monthly Searches – “If you specified a country or language for your search, this is the approximate 12-month average number of user queries for the keyword for those countries and languages.”Approximate CPC – “This is the approximate cost-per-click you might pay if you were to bid on the keyword. The CPC is averaged over all the ad positions.”

You can learn more about the search traffic statistics shown in this tool in Google Ads Help.

If you want a simple method to see a broader or narrower range of keywords, you can select this option in the filters on the left side of your screen.

You can also select specific Match Types by clicking the “Modify search” tab and scrolling down to the “Plan your budget and get forecasts” option.

Inputting your search term with the added punctuation will change the traffic volume for Global and Local Monthly Searches based on the approximation of traffic that a keyword gets on Google.

Broad – The sum of the search volumes for the keyword idea, related grammatical forms, synonyms, and related words. If you were doing PPC and targeted the broad match for social media, ads would show with any searches including social or media. Organic results would include the same.[Exact] The search volume for that keyword idea. If you were doing PPC and targeted the exact match for social media, ads would only show if someone typed in social media but not any other variation of that phrase.“Phrase” – The sum of the search volumes for all terms that include that whole phrase. If you were doing PPC and targeted the phrase match for pizza dough, ads would show for anyone who typed in social media, with or without additional keywords such as social media marketing or about social media. Organic results would include only results including the exact phrase social media.

You can learn more about match types (and some additional ones not on this list) in Ads Help.

You can also see the difference in data based on the three match types using the phrase social media in order of broad, “phrase,” and [exact].

And if you were to use these match types in a search, you would get 419 million results for a broad match search for social media and only 304 million results for a phrase match search for “social media.”

Going back to the generic term social media, you might want to remove certain words from the keyword ideas.

For example, you may not want to target anything about social media jobs, so you could add the word job under the Negative Keywords tab on the left side of the screen.

Now, you’ll need to export your data.

To do so, simply use the Download button under the Review Plan tab and export to your preferred format.

You can then copy the data from the exported spreadsheet to your keyword research spreadsheet.

You can also get this data for the keyword ideas you generated using SEMrush and suggested search by copying and pasting those keywords into the Word or phrase box and checking the box to only show ideas closely related to my search terms.

Then export the data for those keywords and phrases by checking the boxes next to them under the Search Terms section.

At this point, you probably have a lot of great keyword ideas.

In the next section, I will cover how to use the Moz Keyword Analysis Tool (or an alternative method to get the same information if you are not a Pro member) to get additional data and then narrow down your keywords to the ones that you should most likely focus upon for your online marketing strategy.

Step 2 – Analyzing and Choosing the Best Keywords

Now that you have a base spreadsheet to use for keyword data entry, let’s look at what’s next.

I want to show you some ways to get even more data about each keyword and further narrow down your results.

Please note that this data will take a bit of time to compile, so you might want to run through the keyword list and remove any obvious ones that you don’t want.

I usually go with no more than 100 keywords for this part of the process.

Keyword Analysis with Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a great tool for analyzing which keywords to use and what websites to examine for ideas.

For example, when we search for social media marketing in Ubersuggest, you can see a list of “content ideas”:

As you can see, a list of pages that rank for the keyword “social media marketing” appears. You can also see how many visits the page gets from the keyword, how many backlinks the page has, and how many shares it has on Facebook, Pinterest, and Reddit.

You can poke around the most successful websites and use that as a jumping-off point for what to include on your own page to rank for the keyword.

Keyword Analysis with Moz

You can get other important data to help you narrow down your target keywords with Moz.

If you have a Pro membership with Moz (you can always get a 30-day free trial if you have just one keyword research project to do), then you have access to a very nice little tool called Keyword Difficulty & SERP Analysis.

This tool will show you the percentage of difficulty for each keyword, giving you an idea of how hard it will be to rank highly for it.

You will also see the top ten sites ranked for each keyword, each listed with its domain authority and the number of root domains linking to it.

The latter is really the information that will help you decide which keywords to target.

You can put in five words at a time, and you can now pick between keyword, root domain, subdomain, or page.

Using our keyword phrase “social media management,” you can see the results of the difficulty assessment, search volume, organic click-through rates, and the balance of ranking ease and end results (Priority).

While this information is helpful, it’s not really anything we don’t already know. We’ve already decided we like this keyword phrase.

If anything, this is just a double-check that confirms the basics you found in the Ads Keyword Tool.

Below this information, you’ll find more keyword suggestions and a SERP analysis of the keyword.

The suggestions are fine for more brainstorming, but we’ll come back to the SERP analysis. That’s the real goldmine.

You can also find a short list of mentions for your keyword at the bottom of the page.

This is useful in letting you know who is using the keyword and how recently they created content with it.

While this information is nice, the real competitor information can be seen when you click on the SERP full analysis for each keyword, such as these results for a social media company.

I like to open them in new tabs for convenience.

This is the part where you can learn a few things.

First off, you can see who you will be trying to beat.

If your website comes up in this list of the top ten, then congratulations – you’re on the first page for a keyword phrase with a highly competitive keyword difficulty of 61%.

If you’re not in these results, you can compare your own website’s domain authority and linking root domains to the stats of the sites ranking in the top ten.

Domain authority is a score from 1 to 100. The higher a website’s domain authority, the more likely it is to rank for the keywords it is optimized for.

The linking root domains is the number of unique domains linking to a website.

You can see that the site with the highest authority and linking root domains doesn’t necessarily win the top spot.

But if you want to make #1, your site may need a domain authority of 28 or higher and hundreds of linking root domains to beat the competition.

Another thing you can learn from this is whether a keyword is drawing commercial or informational results.

This means that you will learn whether your keyword is being searched for commercial purposes (meaning that someone wants to find a product or service) or whether it is being searched for informational purposes (meaning that people are looking for information, not a product or service).

For social media company, the results include seven actual social media consulting companies and agencies.

Comparatively, if I do a full analysis of the keyword phrase “what is social media” you will see that the first page of results is purely informational. All of the results are from highly authoritative domains.

So if you are a social media company, you will probably want to target the phrase social media companies for your main business homepage.

You will also want to create some content based around the phrase what is social media and place it on highly authoritative domains such as YouTube and SlideShare to see if you can get it into the rankings for a phrase searched potentially by a million people monthly.

Alternative to the Moz Tool

If you’re not interested in a premium tool, then you can simply look up each keyword and look at websites ranking on the first page of the results.

If you’re interested in the domain authority stats, you can get some using another Moz tool called Open Site Explorer. You’ll get a limited amount of stats for free accounts though.

Or, you can use the free version of the SEOmoz toolbar – just use that and compare it to your own website’s domain authority.

At least with this information, you can still determine the commercial vs. informational usage of a keyword plus some basic stats to compare against your own website.

Step 3: Putting It Together in the Spreadsheet

The final part of the process is taking the spreadsheet and interpreting the data.

I like to use the Conditional Formatting in Excel to highlight cells a certain color based on the numerical value in the cell.

You simply highlight the cell range you want to compare, then go to Conditional Formatting > New Rule.

Select the 3-Color Scale Format Style, and change the Lowest Value / Highest Value color when applicable.

Certain fields in your spreadsheet will need to display the fact that a higher number is good whereas a lower number is bad.

For those fields (global & local monthly searches), you will want to leave the color settings as default, as shown below.

Other fields in your spreadsheet will need to display the fact that a higher number is bad whereas a lower number is good.

For those fields (GAKT – Competition, GAKT – Approximate CPC, SEOmoz KA – Difficulty, SEOmoz KA – Competitor DA, SEOmoz KA – Competitor RDLRD), you will want to change the lowest value color setting to green and the highest value color setting to red, as shown below.

Once you’re finished, you can highlight the top row and add a filter by applying the Sort & Filter > Filter option.

I like to start with selecting the filter for the SEOmoz KA – Difficulty column and sorting it from smallest to largest.

This way you get the following (click on the image below to see a larger view):

As you can imagine, having the highlighting and sorting options would be very valuable when looking at a spreadsheet with up to 100 keywords.

You could quickly see which keywords have the most searches and least competition or the least competition but most searches.

You could then move over and look at the actual competition for each keyword if you were shooting for #1 rankings.

Step 4: Making the Final Keyword Choices

My suggestion when making the final choice of keywords is as follows:

If your website is commercial (offering products or services), go with keywords that seem to have the most commercial intent based on the current ranking websites. If your website is informational (blogs come to mind), go with keywords that have the most informational intent.Look for a “sweet spot” of high search volume in conjunction with low-difficulty/competition.Look at keywords with high search volume with top competitors that have lower domain authority and backlinks.If your website is already ranking on the first page, but not in the top 5 spots (or beneath other search result areas such as images, local results, etc.) and the keyword has good search volume, focus on getting those keywords and phrases to move up.

Sometimes, it’s not the actual decision that is the most difficult – it is actually compiling the data that takes the most time! Also, don’t forget to take the keywords that are more informational and use them for content topic ideas!

This concludes our method of discovering keyword ideas, analyzing them, and then choosing the best for your website.

We have noticed that there are many various ways to perform keyword research, and you have to try out different analysis methods to see which ones speak to you the best when deciding on keywords.

Keyword Research Resources

A New Way to Do Keyword Research: This article and video walk you through another way to complete keyword research. SEO Unlocked: Keyword Research Part 1: In this video, I walk you through the basics of keyword research.SEO Unlocked: Keyword Research Part 2: This is the continuation of my keyword research walk-through videos. Be sure to check out the keyword research PDF for a more detailed walk-through than this post!

Keyword Research Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know what keywords to target for my website?

Think about the topics related to your industry or business that your audience is likely to search on the Internet. Use a tool like Ubersuggest to find and select the best keywords for those topics.

Are there free keyword research tools?

Tools like Ubersuggest and Moz have free versions of keyword tools you can use, though you will unlock additional data and features when you select a paid version.

Should you do keyword research for paid campaigns?

You should do keyword research for your organic and your paid marketing.

How does keyword research relate to SEO?

SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank in the search results for specific terms related to your business.

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Conclusion: Keyword Research

Completing thorough keyword research is crucial if you want to drive traffic to your website.

There are many keyword research methods to try in addition to those I outlined in this post. As you get more experienced with keyword research, you may want to try out some additional methods.

There are also a plethora of keyword research tools at your disposal. My favorite (biased though I may be) is Ubersuggest. Our team is continually rolling out new features to provide you with better data that other tools don’t provide.

If you don’t want to do your own keyword research, SEO, or digital marketing, you can reach out to my agency for help.

What is your favorite method of keyword research?

What are your favorite keyword research tools?

Read More

Best E-commerce Platforms

Best E-commerce Platforms

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

What would you do with an extra $1,500 a day? 

With a bit of work and the right ecommerce platform, you can create an online store that generates that kind of revenue (and more). 

Shilpi Yadav is an excellent example. She quit her job to start an online clothing store based around her Indian heritage.

Despite all the risks, the brand now makes more than half a million dollars a year (averaging around $1,500 per day). 

She built her online store using Shopify, one of the best ecommerce platforms on the market. However, there are a ton of different options to choose from depending on what you need.

And the most significant thing standing in the way of your own $500k success story is deciding which ecommerce platform is right for your new store. 

In this post, I’ll break down the major aspects to consider in choosing the right platform for your current situation. Then we’ll take a close look at seven of top options available today.

#1 – Zyro Review — The Best for Setting Up Your Web Store in Minutes

There are plenty of good ecommerce platforms for launching your web store. Most of those work best with plenty of careful, gradual planning and site building.

But, with Zyro, you can get a solid online store up and running in no time.

Whether you’re starting with a simple ecommerce site before growing into a larger operation or your company needed a web store yesterday, Zyro is the fastest path to an online store you can be proud of.

Start with one of Zyro’s templates—30 of the over 160 options are already optimized for building an online store—then add your products, make little tweaks to fit your brand style, and then publish your site.

It’s that simple and even the least tech-savvy person can get a solid ecommerce site live in an hour or less.

All the other details are taken care of for you. Zyro includes a free domain for one year and three months of custom email tied to that domain on any of their paid plans. And, since Zyro is a part of Hostinger, you’re getting rock-solid web hosting included for no extra charge.

And that’s not all. What if you’re totally starting from scratch or you’re just building a web store for your side hustle or hobby? Zyro offers a bunch of free tools to help you fill in any gaps quickly.

For example, the refund policy generator will do exactly that—create simple, easy-to-read refund policy for your store and its customers. Or, use the AI writer to generate blog or product copy that you can tweak to meet your needs.

That all makes it a breeze to get started. But what about the long haul?

Zyro isn’t just a solution for simple web stores that want to stay small.

First, you can keep iterating on the ecommerce site you begin with. Zyro’s site builder is easy to use, but holds a lot of customization capability. Expand your inventory, add custom landing pages, completely rebrand the colors and look of your site—there’s plenty of potential for building something incredible over time.

Plus, Zyro offers an array of more ambitious ecommerce features on some of their plans. Need to offer more than 100 products on your digital storefront? Upgrade to the Advanced Store plan and you’re allotted up to 2,500.

That same Advanced Store plan can really kick your ecommerce operations into overdrive. In addition to more products, you can set your web store up to be multilingual for your international customers, sell subscription-based services, send out automated marketing emails, and even easily list your ecommerce inventory on other channels to let you easily sell on eBay, Amazon, Facebook, and Instagram.

That’s really just the broad strokes. There’s a lot you can do on Zyro’s most souped-up plan. So, let’s get into the price now.

Zyro Business (100 products): starting at $4.90 per monthZyro Online Store (100 products): starting at $8.90 per monthZyro Advanced Store (2,500 products): starting at $15.90 per month.

For basic ecommerce or someone just wanting to set up a web store to build upon, the Business plan can do the trick. That supports over 20 payment methods and provides order and inventory management.

The next step up, Online Store, delivers the ability to send discounts and coupons to customers which they can use on your web store, plus support for gift cards, shipping and tax management, and cross-selling to Facebook and Instagram stores.

But if you want a lot of the features we covered, plus even more tools for optimization and growing sales, go with Zyro’s Advanced Store package. At under $16 per month, that’s a better deal than some of the entry-level plans of other options on this list.

So, if you’re in rush or just want the easiest route to a web store, choose Zyro for your ecommerce platform and get building.

#2 – Wix Review — The Best for Flexibility and Customization

Wix is a great option if you’re looking for an affordable and flexible ecommerce platform. It’s famous for its drag-and-drop interface, one that provides some excellent freedom of design.

Instead of having to write code, you can use the visual building tools to get your site looking just the way you want it.

With Wix, you also get access to more than 500 website templates that are ready to go out of the box while also featuring plenty of customization options.

The Wix template selection is really helpful for launching a new online store. Instead of having to mess with settings, you can plug your products into a framework that’s going to look great every time.

People visiting your store will think you spent days getting such a professional look, but it takes hardly any time at all with Wix.

Or, you can create your store’s pages from scratch with complete control.

Furthermore, they have a robust mobile app so you can make changes and manage your store from anywhere in the world.

Wix also includes a wide variety of marketing features, like email accounts and posting Facebook ads and social media posts right from your account dashboard. You can even sell directly via social media.

Their ecommerce plans include powerful features, like:

Support of 90+ languages and local currencies250+ apps to add extra functionality to your siteNo additional transaction feesCustom product pagesWorldwide shipping and taxesCoupons and discountsAdvanced sorting and filteringProduct collectionsCustomizable checkoutRecurring payments

Plus, if you already use Wix, you can upgrade to an ecommerce plan in just a few clicks within your account dashboard. 

Wix offers four ecommerce plans for online shops of different sizes, including:

Business Basic — $23/monthBusiness Unlimited — $27/monthBusiness VIP — $49/monthEnterprise — custom pricing

This is an excellent option if you have a small store or special design requirements. However, If you expect a high order volume and large range of products, you’re better off with BigCommerce or Shopify instead.

Try Wix for free today.

#3 – Squarespace Review — The Best Ecommerce Platform for Creatives

Squarespace is well-known as a free website builder, but they also have a trio of attractive ecommerce packages.

You’re getting the same high quality of templates that Squarespace is famous for, with plenty of customization potential to create a unique shopping experience for your customers.

Some of the other easy-to-use platforms are a little limited with what you can do. Squarespace gives you a lot more artistic freedom.

Install and customize multiple templates at a time to see which one you like best. And switching between templates takes just a few clicks. 

Aside from beautiful templates, Squarespace’s web store plans include:

Subscriptions, digital products, and in-person compatibilityBuilt-in tax tools for automatic tax calculationsDiscount codes and gift cardsAbandoned cart recoveryMobile-optimized checkoutMobile store managementRich product listingsQuick view capabilityInventory managementReal-time shipping estimates

Furthermore, Squarespace integrates with most of the popular email marketing and social media platforms so you can sell and market your products like a pro. 

And they have fantastic 24/7/365 customer support ready to answer your questions and help you get things set up the way you want to. 

Squarespace offers three ecommerce plans:

Business — $18 per month + 3% transaction feesBasic Commerce — $26 per month + 0% transaction feesAdvanced Commerce — $40 per month + 0% transaction fees

As you scan their pricing options, you’ll see a Personal plan for $12 per month. This is great if you want to build a website, but it doesn’t come with any ecommerce features, so it’s not going to work if you want to set up an online store.

They also have an enterprise plan with a dedicated account manager, SEO consultations, and prioritized technical support. 

And while the Business plan offers ecommerce capabilities, I highly recommend choosing Basic Commerce to start. It’s the cheapest plan with no transaction fees, plus it includes other essential features like, customer accounts and ecommerce analytics. 

Learn more and get started at Squarespace.

#4 – Bluehost Review — The Best for Hands-Off WooCommerce Store Setup

I really like WooCommerce. And, fortunately, I’m comfortable enough with WordPress to install, customize, and manage the WooCommerce plugin and the additional plugins that really make it shine on my own WordPress sites.

But I know many folks who would rather not have that responsibility, whether because of a lack of familiarity with WordPress plugins or just a lack of time to self-manage WooCommerce.

Bluehost gets that, too—that’s why they’ve rolled out an easy, turnkey solution to getting a WooCommerce store up and running in no time, for anyone.

With Bluehost’s package for ecommerce powered by WooCommerce, you get a handy guided store creator, plus:

Built-in SSL and Jetpack for securityUnlimited product listingsPayment processingCustomer reviewsCoupon codesManual order creationOne year free of CodeGuard Backup Basic, for daily site backups

And that’s all in the Standard Plan. The built-in SSL certificate is really helpful because it encrypts information customers enter on your website (like credit card numbers or login credentials), and protects everyone from hackers. All you have to do is click a button and your set with Bluehost–this can be much more challenging if the host doesn’t manage SSL certificates for you.

What I think is most convenient, though, is that Bluehost has preselected the top 20 store plugins that your WooCommerce store will need. Not only does that save you the headache of researching and installing plugins on your own, they’re included at no extra charge.

That’s huge. Some of these plugins cost around $200 a pop to install.

Take it one step higher to the Premium plan and you’ll also get:

Online appointment schedulingSubscription-based ecommerceAdvanced product customizationLocal tax managementFree domain privacyCodeGuard Backup Basic, included for free

Pricing is based on your initial term commitment. Choose from month-to-month billing, a one-year contract, or a three-year contract.

The Standard plan starts at $12.95/month for a three-year commitment, while Premium starts at $24.95/month for the same.

Both plans renew at the standard month-to-month rate after the term is completed—$29.95/month for Standard and $49.95/month for Premium.

So, if you want to get a WooCommerce store up in no time with no hassle on your end at all, head over to Bluehost today.

#5 – BigCommerce Review — The Best for Medium to Large Stores

BigCommerce is an all-in-one ecommerce website builder specifically for large online stores. It includes more advanced ecommerce features suitable for managing high volumes and a large number of products. 

With a customer base of 100,000+ stores, including some big names like Ben & Jerry’s and SkullCandy, they’re a smaller player in the industry. 

But that doesn’t make the platform any less powerful. 

BigCommerce plans include access to powerful, industry-leading features, including:

Customer accounts for faster checkoutsMobile-optimized checkoutAbandoned cart recoveryGoogle AMP and AkamaiAdvanced product filtersCoupons and discount codesAdvanced inventory managementCustomer groups for personalized shopping65+ payment gateways with no extra transaction feesBuilt-in shipping management

Plus, all of their plans include unlimited products, file storage, bandwidth, and staff accounts. 

And you can choose between 12 free mobile-responsive design templates or opt for a paid template to make your online store stand out from the crowd without touching a single line of code. 

BigCommerce offers four paid plans (with a 15-day free trial), including:

Standard — $29.95/month with a $50,000 annual sales limitPlus — $79.95/month with a $180,000 annual sales limitPro — $299.95/month with a $400,000 annual sales limitEnterprise — custom pricing

If you’re just getting started, BigCommerce is overkill for your online store. However, if you’re an established business or plan to sell high volumes, it’s an excellent choice. 

#6 – Shopify Review — The Best All-In-One Ecommerce Platform

Shopify is an all-in-one ecommerce website builder that powers more than one million online stores, making it one of the most popular choices on this list. 

However, it’s not as customizable as Wix. But it offers more advanced ecommerce features because it’s built specifically to host online stores. Plus, it’s easy to use with just the right level of flexibility. 

It’s also incredibly versatile, powering micro to large stores, and everything in between. Shopify plans include access to an incredible suite of ecommerce features, including:

Point of Sale for brick and mortar shopsReal-time carrier shipping ratesAbandoned checkout recovery100 different payment gatewaysAutomatic tax calculationsCustomer accounts and profilesFulfillment centersAdvanced inventory managementUnlimited productsIn-depth analytics

Plus, with 70+ professional themes (nine of which are free) and 4,100+ apps, you can create a beautiful and highly functional ecommerce store without having to start from scratch. Or write a single line of code.

Combine that with award-winning 24/7/365 customer support and you have an excellent ecommerce platform. 

Shopify offers five plans for businesses of all sizes, including:

Shopify Lite — $9 per month Basic Shopify — $29 per month Shopify — $79 per month Advanced Shopify — $299 per monthShopify Plus — custom pricing

Shopify Lite is a great option if you want to embed products and “buy” buttons onto an existing website. However, it doesn’t come with the all-inclusive website builder. 

Keep in mind that Shopify has its own payment processor. They charge 2.4% – 2.9% + $0.30 depending on the plan you choose. They also charge additional fees (0.5% – 2%) if you use a separate payment processor like PayPal or Square. 

#7 – WooCommerce Review — The Best for WordPress Websites

You don’t need to settle for a cookie-cutter website builder to run your ecommerce store. If you’re serious about selling online (and you’re using or planning to use a WordPress site to do it), you should opt for WooCommerce, one of the most powerful tools out there.

This lightweight WordPress plugin adds ecommerce capabilities like accepting online payments, configurable shipping options, and product listings to your site. But that’s just the start.

WooCommerce is wildly extendible and able to be integrated with other business tools. Customize it through extensions in categories ranging from inventory, shipping, and fulfillment to marketing, customer loyalty programs, live chat support, and much more.

The platform, like many good WordPress tools, is developer-friendly. Use REST API to tweak and tailor WooCommerce to your needs with custom coding and modules.

Not sold yet? Here’s a taste of some of the other built-in features you get:

140 region-specific payment gatewaysSupport of subscriptions and depositsAutomated tax calculationsReal-time shipping ratesiOS and Android mobile appsPhysical and digital product capabilityEndless product variationsExtensive tutorials and documentationPublic support forum

And the best part? It’s free to download, install, and use. Forever. 

However, some of the extensions aren’t free, so watch out for that if you start digging into those. 

With the power of WordPress behind it, your customization options are only limited to what you can imagine. So, the sky is legitimately the limit with WooCommerce. 

But with that said, it’s not the easiest or most intuitive ecommerce platform. So, I don’t recommend it if you aren’t already using WordPress and 100% comfortable with it. 

#8 – OpenCart Review — The Best for Selling Digital Products

OpenCart is another open source ecommerce platform, much like WooCommerce. However, it’s not limited to WordPress websites. But you do need to have an existing website to use it. 

Over 300,000 online stores use OpenCart to confidently sell products of all shapes and sizes online. Plus, most web hosting companies offer one-click installation or will install it for free, so it’s incredibly easy to set up. 

Note: I only recommend going this route if you already have a website up and running. 

While you can sell products of any kind, the no-fluff interface (and free price tag) makes it an excellent option for selling digital products to make more money with your online business. 

All without adding an extra monthly expense because it’s 100% free forever. 

OpenCart offers a powerful set of ecommerce features, including:

Simple and centralized admin dashboardAdvanced user roles and access controlsManage multiple stores from a single dashboardLimitless product variables and variationsBuilt-in affiliate management and rewards systemDiscounts and couponsUnlimited productsOne-click digital downloadsProduct reviews and ratings36 built-in payment methodsRecurring payments

Plus, with 13,000 modules and themes in the marketplace, you can add any functionality you can imagine including service integrations, conversion modules, email marketing, and more. 

Keep in mind that not all of OpenCart’s extensions are free. You may have to pay for more advanced capabilities. 

And they don’t currently offer support for free, either. 

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on their community forum, you have to pay for dedicated help. Dedicated support starts at $99 per site per month or $99 for a one-time fix. 

#9 – Ecwid Review — The Best for Integrating With Your Current Platform

Like OpenCart and WooCommerce, Ecwid is an ecommerce platform you can use to integrate with your current platform, regardless of what you’re already using. 

It integrates with platforms like Weebly, Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, and more. So, if you already have a website set up and want to add ecommerce functionality, Ecwid is an excellent choice. 

With that said, they also offer an all-in-one ecommerce website builder if you want to start from scratch. However, there are better website builders to use. 

So, I only recommend Ecwid if you want to integrate ecommerce into your existing website. 

This ecommerce platform includes a wide range of features, like:

Multi-channel selling (social media, marketplaces, in-person, etc.)Integrated email marketing and advertising featuresCentralized inventory and order managementNo transaction feesFully responsive designsBuilt-in POS integrationsCustomer accounts for easy checkoutReal-time shipping rate calculatorPoduct variationsDigital product capabilities40 payment options

The biggest downside is that you can’t manage your store from inside your website account dashboard. You have to log in to Ecwid instead. So, you need to manage two separate accounts. 

But the good news is that you can start on the limited free forever plan to try it out before making any investments.

The free plan only allows up to ten products, so you have to upgrade if you need more. Ecwid also offers three paid plans, including:

Venture — $15/month (up to 100 products)Business — $35/month (up to 2,500 products)Unlimited — $99/month (unlimited products)

This is the price if you pay month to month. If you are willing to sign a contract for a year, the price is a little lower.

As a stand-alone store builder you might be better off with other options (like Wix and Shopify). 

But if you already have a website and want to add an ecommerce store, Ecwid is a great alternative to WooCommerce and OpenCart. 

What I Looked at to Find the Best Ecommerce Platform

The best ecommerce platform for your business depends on several factors like your experience level, your customization requirements, and the type of products you want to sell. 

But choosing the right platform can feel overwhelming because there are countless options to choose from. 

It may help to start with a list of requirements and the features you need. From there, you can narrow down your choices based on the following criteria. 

Physical vs Digital Products

Digital products are a booming market. Online courses, music, art, and podcasts are just some of the digital products netting new businesses tons of cash.

But selling and delivering digital products isn’t the same as delivering a physical product to someone’s doorstep. 

If you want to sell digital products, Shopify is a really great option, but some ecommerce may not support digital products at all. So it’s important to understand which type you plan to sell before you make a decision.

Deployment Options

What do you need to do to get your ecommerce platform up and running?

There are a few different ways to deploy your platform depending on where you are starting from and where you want to go.

If you already have a website, the best option is integrating an online store rather than creating a brand new website on a new platform. This way, you build on what you’ve already done. OpenCart is ideal for this use-case.

For people with WordPress sites, you can add ecommerce functionality via a plugin like WooCommerce. This is super simple to set up and easy to manage.

If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll want a website builder and other tools to help you design your platform.

In this case, going with solutions like Wix and Squarespace makes a lot of sense. They bundle everything you need to get started at a really affordable price.

Day-to-Day Management

Order management, product creation, tracking orders, and dashboard navigation are important factors of day-to-day ecommerce management. 

Choose a platform that’s easy to use and manage on a daily basis. It shouldn’t feel like a struggle to create new products, check the status of an order, or update the pages of your website. 

It’s all about finding the right balance of flexibility, customization, and ease of use. The more a platform can do, the harder it is to manage.

You can simplify your workload by choosing a platform that offers just enough flexibility without going overboard for your specific needs. 

Design Capabilities

Some ecommerce website builders (like Wix) are truly drag and drop, meaning the customization options are endless. If you can imagine it, you can build it. But, that freedom also makes the platform more difficult to use. 

Other platforms integrate into your current site, taking the look and feel of your existing website with very few customization options. For some users, this is perfect. 

But others may want more control. 

If you’re just starting out, simple designs and ease of use are more important than design flexibility. 

However, if you already own a physical store or an established brand, design is more important so you can create a cohesive aesthetic from one touch point to the next.

Advanced Ecommerce Features

Do you want to be able to offer discounts or accept payments through different payment processors? Maybe you want to send visitors a reminder email when they exit your website with something in their cart. 

Perhaps you’re interested in creating customer profiles and analyzing advanced analytics. 

Other advanced ecommerce features include:

Email marketing integrationsMemberships and recurring paymentsGift cards and discount codesPartial payments or payment plansShipping and fulfillment managementProduct variationsProduct categories

Think carefully about what you need and what would be nice to have. Then, you can use your list of requirements to narrow down your list of choices. 

Summary

Finding an ecommerce platform does what you need is a breath of fresh air. After using dozens of different options over the years, I’m confident with my selection of the top options available:

Zyro – Best for setting up your web store in minutesWix – Best for flexibility and customizationSquarespace – Best ecommerce platform for creativesBluehost – Best for hands-off WooCommerce store setupBigCommerce – Best for medium to large storesShopify – Best all-in-one ecommerce platformWooCommerce – Best for WordPress websitesOpenCart – Best for selling digital products Ecwid – Best for integrating with your current platform

My #1 recommendation for most users is Zyro, because it’s the fastest route to a new web store and it’s super affordable. Wix is also great for users of all experience levels. But if Wix or Zyro are too customizable for you, Squarespace is a fantastic alternative. 

For large stores, I highly recommend BigCommerce or Shopify

However, if you already have a website, WooCommerce, OpenCart, and Ecwid are excellent choices depending on what you need. 

If you have a WordPress site and want an easier way to set up your WooCommerce store on it, you can’t go wrong with Bluehost’s WooCommerce Online Stores.

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Meet Yoast’s new leadership team!

Today, we proudly present Yoast’s new leadership team. The past year has been quite the year at Yoast. Big things happened at our beloved company. As the icing on the cake, we’d now like to introduce our new leaders to you. Say hi to Chaya, Marieke, Inge, Irene, Herre, Taco and me: the new leadership team that lives and breathes ‘SEO for everyone’!

The road to a new leadership team

Times are changing. After our tremendous growth over the past years, we joined Newfold Digital in August 2021. Not too long after that, in November 2021, I (Thijs de Valk) picked up my new role as CEO after Marieke decided to step back from this position. In March 2022, Joost announced that he will transition to an advisory position within the company. Moreover, my good friend and former CTO Omar recently decided to pursue other dreams after 8 years of full dedication to Yoast.

Omar has always been an essential part of Yoast and helped shape our products into what they are today. He is responsible for getting our development team up and running. Omar started out at Yoast in 2014 with lots of ambition, a bold spirit and countless ideas on how to make improvements. And he definitely lived up to everything. Omar is an incredibly creative thinker, a strategist, and a believer in Yoast and our products. The entire Yoast family wishes him all the best!

With all these changes the need for a new leadership team grew. That’s why we’re extremely happy to present an awesome new leadership team – with some familiar and fresh faces – that will guide Yoast through these new and exciting times!

The new Yoast leaders

First, the familiar faces: I will remain to be at the helm of Yoast, leading the company into this new era. But I won’t be alone. Chaya, as head of operations, will keep overseeing the day-to-day operations. She focuses on running smooth and optimized business processes to get Yoast to the next level and help everyone here move forward. Marieke will be the head of strategy, focusing on the path we should take, in our products and as a company. She will make sure we keep growing and flourishing in Yoast-style.

But there are also a lot of new faces on our leadership team! We’d like you to meet Irene, our new head of research and development (R&D). At Yoast, she’s grown from a linguist to an engineering manager to the leadership position where she’s now. She’s highly dedicated to keep on delivering people great experiences with our products and building a more diverse development team. She will work closely with Herre, our new head of technology. With our talented technical teams, he’ll strive for technical excellence and providing users with the best and most stable software in the industry.

And, Taco, a very familiar face at Yoast and in the WordPress community is taking up the role of head of relations. He knows our communities, customers, and partners like no other. He loves to nurture and improve the relationships with all people we interact with. And last, but definitely not least, Inge, our new head of marketing is deeply driven to keep Yoast growing, bring across our values, and build marketing teams that work together seamlessly.

Want to get to know our leaders a bit better? Check out our leadership team page.

The road ahead

So what does this leadership change mean? Of course, our mission “SEO for everyone” won’t change. We’re still dedicated to offering each and everyone equal chances in the search results with our software and educational material. We’re still dedicated to making SEO accessible and easy for everyone, wherever or whoever you are.

I am 100% confident that this talented leadership team will not only keep our company on course but will also help Yoast and our team of Yoasters thrive in every way possible!

The post Meet Yoast’s new leadership team! appeared first on Yoast.

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