SEO Articles

B2B paid search forecast: What to expect in 2021

30-second summary:

Google surprised marketers with a few changes in 2020 – an updated search query report, new ad extensions, and new audience targeting, to name a few — which forced advertisers to adjust their SEM strategies and tactics in order to maintain or increase their ROI.
B2B advertisers are testing and investing in different campaign types besides the traditional search and display campaigns, and are seeing good performance with Discovery Campaigns.
In the wake of the changes Google made to the search query report in September, Dynamic Search Ads can complement existing search campaigns and improve CTR, CPC, and ROAS.
Expect to see higher adoption of auction-time bidding, dynamic extensions, and dynamic search ads.

2020 was a tough year for many industries, but for the B2B industry, demand remained strong. Paid search budgets increased in many cases, as B2B companies invested more in digital marketing. The end of Q1 hurt performance, but things started to normalize in Q2, and we observed the usual seasonality the rest of the year.

In addition to the pandemic, Google also surprised us with a few changes – an updated search query report, new ad extensions, and new audience targeting, to name a few. All such changes forced advertisers to adjust their SEM strategies and tactics in order to maintain or increase their ROI.

After an eventful 2020, here are 6 PPC trends B2B advertisers should watch in 2021:

1. SEM campaigns diversify 

Given the high competition in the B2B space, advertisers need to differentiate themselves in order to get their target audience’s attention and drive demand. B2B advertisers are testing and investing in different campaign types besides the traditional search and display campaigns. B2B advertisers are seeing a good performance with Discovery Campaigns – with CTR higher than display, and CPL more efficient than search – so we expect them to increase their investment in this campaign type in 2021.

Quick tip

When launching Discovery Campaigns, be patient. Let them run for a couple of weeks without making changes as the bidding algorithm is learning during that period and you will see fluctuations in all metrics. After that, you can prioritize the audiences that are performing well. Performance improves consistently after 4-5 weeks of launch.

2. Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) gain in popularity

DSA campaigns will become even more popular with B2B advertisers after the changes Google made to the search query report in September 2020. Now that the report includes only terms that a significant number of users searched for, and with advertisers losing visibility into low-volume keywords that drive traffic and can generate leads, DSA campaigns offer an efficient way to find new keywords. Their search query reports can help reveal gaps in keyword coverage. DSA can complement your existing search campaigns and improve CTR, CPC, and ROAS.

Quick tip

For lead generation accounts that have strict lead and CPL goals, create separate campaigns for DSA so you have more control over the budget. Start by targeting your SEM landing pages so you can have some control over potential queries and headlines.

3. PPC managers embrace automation

More B2B advertisers are using automation tools and machine learning in order to improve performance, increase efficiency, and save time. Some of our favorite automated features – automated bidding strategies, responsive search ads, and the optimize ad rotation in Google Ads – will continue to gain popularity in 2021. We should also expect to see higher adoption of auction-time bidding, dynamic extensions, and dynamic search ads as B2B advertisers seek to optimize and scale their paid search campaigns.

Quick tip

When evaluating automated bidding strategies for lead generation accounts, don’t worry about higher CPCs as you will likely be paying more for higher quality clicks. If you are seeing a high volume of leads at a low CPL, you are going in the right direction. And always set your target CPA based on the last 30 days’ average, even if it is higher than your goal. Otherwise, you will see a decrease in lead volume.

4. YouTube ad investment increases

Online video ads have become more important for B2B marketers during COVID-19 times. B2B buyers are using online video ads more often to inform purchase decisions: 64% of B2B buyers have increased their use of online video and 51% have increased their use of search, according to eMarketer.  We expect B2B advertisers to increase their YouTube investment in 2021 and to launch video campaigns both to generate brand awareness and to generate leads. In addition, B2B advertisers will invest more in creating video content — and YouTubes’ new betas will make that content easier to create.

Quick tip

For a full-funnel video strategy, prioritize videos that are 6-, 15- and 30-seconds long as short videos engage users the most. Also, avoid salesy videos and try to create videos that show the personality of your brand so you can connect with your audience.

5. Mobile investment drops

Lower mobility driven by COVID-19 has decreased the number of mobile buyers while increasing time in front of computers, leading to strong desktop growth. During the pandemic, paid search desktop traffic is up 60%, while mobile traffic has dropped 7% compared to the pre-COVID period. Moreover, the conversion rate for desktop has increased by 4% while the conversion rate for mobile decreased by almost 19%. 

Quick tip

Leverage automated bidding strategies to save time and prioritize the devices that are performing best. And don’t forget to look at the assisted conversions report when evaluating mobile performance if you are still using last-click attribution.

6. Paid search messaging becomes increasingly customer-centric

B2B buyers are looking for new solutions as they accelerate purchases, and are expecting more from their solution providers according to the 2020 B2B Buyer Behavior Study. So, we’ll see more ads from B2B companies highlighting features, functionality, customer support services, product training, and implementation support in order to attract and engage B2B buyers. For successful SEM campaigns, promoting relevant content that speaks to industry needs will be a must.

Quick tip

If you have lead generation campaigns and prefer to drive traffic to a landing page with a form, use site links and callouts to highlight the additional services or training you have available for your customers.

With new campaign types and messaging to test, and more automation features and tools at hand, 2021 promises to be fun for B2B advertisers.

Lucia Rodas-Estrada is Senior Search Director at Merkle | DWA.

The post B2B paid search forecast: What to expect in 2021 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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32 Important Social Media Statistics for 2020

Social media represents a key tool for marketers who want to build up a brand or boost a customer base. The article explores in depths the level of growth for different key social media networks. In 2020 it was recorded that nearly 4 million people worldwide are using some form of social media, this is …

Read more32 Important Social Media Statistics for 2020

The post 32 Important Social Media Statistics for 2020 first appeared on Gotch SEO.

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The Ultimate SEO Checklist for 2021 (66 Checks + PDF Download)

The Ultimate SEO Checklist for 2021 (66 Checks + PDF Download)

This is the ultimate SEO checklist for 2021. If you are looking for a comprehensive checklist to follow to optimize your website for Google in 2021, then you just found the right place.

Our SEO checklist is complete and covers all areas of SEO including SEO basics, technical SEO, on-page SEO, keyword research, Off-Page SEO, Local SEO, and mobile SEO.

How to use this SEO Checklist?

The best way is to download the list, print it, and start working through the items one-by-one.

When you do this the first time don’t try and fix things, go through the whole list first, and create your own SEO checklist.

SEO Basics Checklist
Technical SEO Checklist
On-Page SEO Checklist
Keyword Research Checklist
Off-Page SEO Checklist
Local SEO Checklist
Mobile SEO Checklist

For some of the list items, you will have to do some further reading in order to get it right but as long as you are in control of your list, sooner or later you will finish all tasks.

Don’t forget that when it comes to SEO, sometimes it’s a lot of small things together that can make a difference in your Google rankings.

Download SEO Checklist as a PDF

THE COMPLETE SEO CHECKLIST
This is by far the most comprehensive SEO checklist online. Get the list in print-friendly format (PDF).
DOWNLOAD SEO CHECKLIST

The Complete SEO Checklist for 2021

Understand basic SEO concepts and key terms
Add and verify your website with Google Search Console
Add and verify your website with Bing Webmaster tools
Setup Google Analytics and learn how to use basic SEO reports
Check for Google penalties
Check your permalink structure and make your URLs SEO Friendly
Install SSL and make sure that your website is HTTPS
Check the ‘Coverage Report’ in the Google search console for errors
Check and optimize your robots.txt file
Check WordPress visibility settings
Check your comment settings and make sure that all comment links are ‘nofollow’
Optimize your menu and site structure
Optimize your XML sitemap and submit to Search engines
Check for sitemap errors in Google Search Console
Add structured data markup data to your homepage
Test your structured data markup implementation
Enable breadcrumb menus on all your posts and pages
Check that your schema implementation for breadcrumbs is correct
Check that all your pages define a canonical URL
Implement hreflang if your website is available in more than one language
Check and optimize your 404 Page
Check and improve the loading speed of your website
Use Lazy Loading for images and videos
Optimize your logo and favicon
Optimize your page titles (including the homepage)
Optimize your meta descriptions (including the homepage)
Check for your brand name on Google
Optimize your website for Google sitelinks
Optimize your posts for Google sitelinks
Optimize your posts for Google featured snippets using lists
Check and optimize the H1 tag for all pages (including the homepage)
Check and optimize your page headings
Make sure that your target keyword is included in your opening paragraph
Add text content to accompany your non-text content
Optimize your content for E-A-T
Beautify your content (formatting and styling) and make it easy to read
Optimize your images
Create a dedicated image sitemap and submit to Google
Optimize your videos and other multimedia elements (with proper schemas)
Create a dedicated Video sitemap and submit to Google
Optimize titles/description/content of your category pages
Check your internal linking strategy
Give credit to other high-quality websites
Understand what are SEO Keywords
Understand what are long-tail keywords
Learn how to perform keyword research
Learn how to use the outcome of keyword research to optimize your content
Learn what is link building and why it’s important
Learn the basic link building concepts
Get links from high authority websites (11 methods)
Review your link profile to identify and remove bad links
Optimize your logo for local SEO
Add NAP information (Name, Address, Phone Number) on ALL your pages
Make sure that NAP information is consistent across all channels
Add a Google map to the contact information page
Register your company with Google My Business
Use Schema to give more information about your local business to Google
Register your website with relevant directories (examples included
Encourage and reply to every single review on all platforms
Seek mentions (links) from the local press)
Run the Google mobile-friendly test
Check your mobile speed using different tools
Test your mobile website on different resolutions
Check popup usage on mobile
Check that your CTA on mobile are visible and easy to access
Consider implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages

Note: If you need more information for any of the list items, check out the Complete SEO Course  – a comprehensive course that covers ALL areas of SEO and it is literally the only SEO Course you’ll ever need to read.

SEO Basics Checklist

To take advantage of this checklist and use it effectively to improve your SEO, you need to understand the different components that makeup search engine optimization or SEO as it is widely known.

Here is your SEO basics checklist:

1. Understand basic SEO concepts and key terms
SEO Overview

What is SEO?

SEO is a process that has a set of rules you can apply to your website so that search engines can access, crawl, and index your content without problems.

Your overall goal with SEO is to create better websites both in terms of content and usability that will keep both users and search engines happy.

If you have read my previous post on how search engines work, you know that search engines are governed by complex algorithms that use a number of parameters before making a decision as to which websites to show at the top of the search results.

To be able to control the whole SEO process and give algorithms what they want, the various SEO rules are grouped into three main categories and thus how other terms like technical SEO, on-page SEO, off-page SEO were born.

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

SEO Basics: The Complete Get Started SEO Guide
The different types of SEO

2. Add and verify your website with Google Search Console
Google Search Console Reports for SEO

Google search console is a free service provided by Google which gives webmasters access to a number of tools and reports for optimizing their websites on Google search.

You can use the Google search console to find out what Google knows about your website, analyze your Google rankings, identify and fix errors related to crawling and indexing and inform Google about changes made to your website.

GSC is the most important tool to use to optimize your website’s SEO.

To get started with the Google search console you first need to create an account and then add and verify your web properties.

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

What is Google Search Console?

Add and verify your website with Bing Webmaster tools

Bing although it is not as popular as Google, is the second most used search engine and is worth considering.

Bing has a set of tools you can use to optimize your website’s appearance on Bing Search. These are called Bing Webmaster tools and have similar functionality to GSC.

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

How to use Bing webmaster tools.

4. Setup Google Analytics and learn how to use basic SEO reports

To be able to monitor your SEO performance you need the help of analytics and reporting tools and Google analytics is the best tool to use (and it’s free).

The first step is to install the Google Analytics code on your website and familiarize yourself with basic SEO reports.

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

Google Analytics and SEO
Best Google Analytics Reports for beginners

5. Check for Google penalties

One of the basic SEO checks you need to make from the beginning is to ensure that your website is not under a Google penalty.

Google has different penalties (manual and algorithmic) that are imposed as a form of ‘punishment’ to websites that violate their Guidelines.

If your website is hit by a Google penalty, you may have to follow a different route to recover from the penalty first (if possible) and then continue with the SEO checklist.

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

How to check if your website is penalized by Google.

Technical SEO Checklist

Your goal with technical SEO is to help search engines find, access, crawl, interpret, and index your website without any problems.

It is called “technical” because it has nothing to do with the actual content of the website or with website promotion (more on this later).

Here is your technical SEO checklist:

6. Check your permalink structure and make your URLs SEO Friendly

A permalink is the URL of a webpage. It is called permalink because it is not expected to change throughout the lifetime of the page.

For SEO purposes, you need to check and make sure that ALL your website pages have SEO friendly URLs.

SEO friendly URLs have the following characteristics:

They are short and descriptive
They include keywords
They use hyphens (-) to separate the words

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

What is a permalink
How to create SEO friendly URLs
Best SEO Practices for URLs

7. Install SSL and make sure that your website is HTTPS

Having an SSL installed on your website is one of the known ranking factors.

An SSL ensures that any information shared between your website and server is secured.

If you haven’t migrated your website to HTTPS yet, then this is a top priority item in your to-do list.

Adding an SSL to your website is not enough for SEO purposes, you need to make sure that you do it correctly to avoid losing your current rankings.

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

How to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS

8. Check the ‘Coverage Report’ in the Google Search Console for errors
The Index Coverage Report

If there are any problems during the crawling and indexing phase then this is very bad for your SEO.

It can cause huge issues with your rankings so one of the checks you need to make on a regular basis is to visit the Coverage report in the Google search console and check for errors.

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

How to find and fix Indexing errors.

9. Check and optimize your robots.txt file

Robots.txt is a file that resides in the root folder of your site and gives instructions to search engines as to which pages of your site they can crawl and index.

A misconfiguration in the robots.txt file can cause big errors or even de-indexing of your website from search engine results.

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

How to check and optimize your robots.txt file.

10. Check WordPress visibility settings

If you are using WordPress as your CMS then besides checking the robots.txt file, you also need to check the visibility setting in WordPress and make sure that you are not accidentally blocking search engines from access your content.

The setting is found under SETTINGS / READING

Search Engine Visibility Setting
11. Check your comment settings and make sure that all comment links are ‘nofollow’

Another check to make is to ensure that any links within your comments section have the nofollow attribute attached.

Comments are good for SEO and should be enabled on your blog but to avoid getting a Google penalty for ‘unnatural links’, all outgoing links need to be nofollow.

A nofollow link instructs search engines not to pass any PageRank (or link juice) to the target website.

The easiest way to check is to use the INSPECT option of Google developers’ tools.

12. Optimize your menu and site structure

If you want to be a true SEO expert, while auditing your website, you should not forget about optimizing your site structure.

This is a mistake I see all the time when performing an SEO Audit.

A good site structure is no more than 3 levels deep and it allows for any website link to be accessed from the homepage in 3 clicks or less.

Ideal Site Structure for a Small Business Website

The website menu should accurately reflect the website structure.

If this is not the case with your website, then revising your site structure can help you improve your SEO.

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

How to optimize your site structure for SEO

13. Optimize your XML sitemap and submit to Search engines

An XML sitemap is a file that lists all the pages of your site that search engines need to know about.

You need to check that your XML sitemap is properly optimized and valid and then to submit your sitemap to Google and Bing.

14. Check for sitemap errors in Google Search Console

Submitting your sitemap to Google is not the end of the story. You need to regularly check the Google search console for sitemap errors.

Submit Sitemap to Google using Google Search Console.
15. Add structured data markup data to your homepage

Schemas and structured data are nowadays very important for SEO.

They can dramatically help you enhance your website’s appearance in Google search results, they are good for local SEO and for Voice SEO.

Many people forget to add the necessary structured data to their homepage and this is a big mistake.

Your homepage is one of the most important pages of your site for many reasons and when it comes to SEO, it should be treated like the rest of the pages.

When it comes to structured data for the homepage, you need to ensure that you define the following schemas:

Organization (if you are an online business)
Local Business (if you have a physical presence i.e. a shop)
Person (if you are running a personal blog).

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

Homepage SEO Guide

16. Test your structured data markup implementation

Schema definitions sometimes change so it’s a good practice to check your schema implementation regularly using the Google structured data testing tool.

You can use the tool to check the structured data you added to the homepage and the rest of your pages.

Keeping your schema info up-to-date and valid is very important.

17. Enable breadcrumb menus on all your posts and pages
Breadcrumb menu example

A breadcrumb menu is a small menu usually located at the top of a page, used as a navigational aid. It shows the path to go from the current page back to the homepage.

Breadcrumb menus are good for the user experience and thus they are also good for SEO.

Google loves breadcrumbs and they recommend using them on your site.

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

Breadcrumbs and SEO

18. Check that your schema implementation for breadcrumbs is correct

One of the advantages of using breadcrumb menus is that they enhance the presentation of your search snippets in mobile search results.

Google is sometimes using the breadcrumb name instead of the URL in the search snippet so you need to make sure that the relevant structured data is added for your breadcrumbs.

If you are using the Yoast SEO plugin for breadcrumbs, it automatically adds the correct schema and structured data code.

19. Check that all your pages define a canonical URL
what is a canonical URL

Canonicalization is an advanced SEO concept but something that is extremely important to get right.

Canonical URLs can help you solve duplicate content issues, protect your content when other websites use your content (with or without your concern) and it’s the only way to specify your preferred domain to Google.

To learn more about canonical URLs and how to use them correctly, read these guides:

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

What is a canonical URL
www vs non www

20. Implement hreflang if your website is available in more than one language

If your website’s content is available in more than one language, you need to use hreflang tags to tell Google about the localized versions of your page.

Failing to do so can create issues for your indexing because Google might get confused if the same page is available in more than one language.

They usually get it right but with the use of hreflang you minimize the possibility of any issues.

Check this guide for more information on how to SEO your Multilanguage website.

21. Check and optimize your 404 Page

The 404 Page is shown when a page is not found on your site. This can be because users mistyped a URL, a page was deleted from your site and is no longer available.

For the best user experience, you need to ensure that your 404 page is meaningful and gives alternative options to users to find what they are looking for.

This is how my 404 page looks like:

Custom 404 Page
22. Check and improve the loading speed of your website

As part of a technical SEO review, you need to check and improve your website loading speed as much as possible.

Loading speed is a known Google ranking factor and a very important user experience factor.

Google Study: Mobile Speed and Conversions

Slow websites lose money and customers for every second delay.

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

SEO tips for beginners

23. Use Lazy Loading for images and videos

One practical way to improve the loading speed of your site, especially on mobile is to use Lazy loading for images and videos.

Lazy loading is a mechanism that loads images or videos only when they are in the user’s viewport.

Lazy loading can be implemented very easily. If you’re on WordPress you can either use WP-ROCKET (this is the plugin I’m using on this site) or the Native Lazy Load plugin (by Google), to activate this feature on your website.

24. Optimize your website’s logo and favicon

One last thing to review before proceeding to the rest of the items in this SEO checklist is to optimize your website’s logo and favicon

Optimizing means:

Making sure that your logo is an image and not text – Google may decide to show your logo in the search results and in order to do so it has to be an image.

Give your logo the correct name – Do not just use the word logo but use your website name + logo. For example, reliablesoft-logo.png

Add ALT text with your logo – Keep the alt text simple i.e. “reliablesoft logo”

When it comes to the use of favicon, make sure that you specify a custom favicon for your site that is square in size.

Google is testing showing the favicons in the search results so you need to make sure that your website is represented properly.

On-Page SEO Checklist
On-Page SEO Techniques

On-Page SEO is all about the content of your page and it has two major goals.

To help you create content that satisfies the user intent and give you guidelines on how to create SEO friendly content that is easily understood by search engines.

Here is your on-page SEO checklist:

25. Optimize your page titles (including the homepage)

Page title optimization is the most important SEO factor. In your title, you should include your target keywords as this helps both search engines and users get an idea of what the page content is all about.

Besides using keywords in the title, you should also follow these best practices:

Each and every page of your website should have a unique title tag
A page title should accurately describe the page content
Titles should be brief and informative (typically less than 60 characters)

When optimizing your titles, don’t forget about your homepage!

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

Page title optimization

26. Optimize your meta descriptions (including the homepage)

Meta descriptions are shown in the search results and it’s a great opportunity to ‘advertise’ your page to users.

Good meta descriptions can increase your CTR (click-through rate) and get you more search engine traffic by utilizing your existing content and rankings.

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

How to perfectly optimize your meta descriptions (with examples)
The optimum meta description length (case study)

27. Check for your brand name on Google

A check that you need to make (and not many people do), is to search for your brand name on Google and review the results.

You need to ensure that nothing bad (like a negative review), shows up for your brand name because this can have a negative impact on your reputation but also on your SEO.

28. Optimize your website for Google sitelinks
Sitelinks in Google Search Results

Another way to improve the appearance of your website on Google is through sitelinks.

Although you cannot directly control which sitelinks are shown for your website, there are ways to guide Google to pick the sitelinks you want.

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

How to Get Google Sitelinks

29. Optimize your posts for Google sitelinks

Google shows sitelinks for individual posts too. Post sitelinks make your search snippet more attractive to clicks.

For example, look at the post sitelinks for one of my posts.

To help Google show sitelinks for your posts, you can ‘name’ the different sections of your article using the ID attribute or using named anchors.

Here is an example:

Post sitelinks in Google Search Results
30. Optimize your posts for Google featured snippets using lists

Google loves to show lists on top of its search results. This is usually the case with the how-to type of articles, tips, or posts that include lists.

For example, try searching Google for “SEO Tips”, “Technical SEO checklist”, “How to become an SEO Expert” and you’ll see something like this:

Google snippet with a list

The good thing for SEOs is that it’s easy to configure your posts to be eligible for list snippets.

31. Check and optimize the H1 tag for all pages (including the homepage)

One of the on-page SEO elements that are easy to optimize is the H1 Tag.

The H1 tag is the first important element shown on a page and it usually has the same value as the page title.

H1 Tag SEO is easy:

The H1 tag should be the same or slightly different than the page title
Make sure that your H1 tag is visible and not hidden from users
Style your H1 tag differently than the rest of the headings
Use only one h1 tag per page

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

How to optimize the H1 Tag for SEO.
Differences between the H1 Tag and Page Title.

32. Check and optimize your page headings

Besides the H1 tag, you also need to optimize the other headings of your post. That’s usually the H2 and H3 headings.

SEO guidelines to follow:

Don’t use heading tags when other tags such as bold or italic are more appropriate.
Don’t overdo it with the use of headings. Use headings when it matters for structure, navigation purposes and to make the page content easier to read.
You don’t have to use all heading types on a page. You can have the h1 and only h2s, depending on the length and type of your content.
Having a balance between the use of headings and other formatting elements is always the best approach.

Headings Hierarchy

Look at the post you’re reading now as an example.

I use H1 for the Title
H2 for the main headings (On-Page SEO checklist, Technical SEO checklist, etc.)
H3 for the individual items

33. Make sure that your target keyword is included in your opening paragraph

This is one of the basic principles of SEO content. Having the keywords, you want a page to be known for on Google in your opening paragraph makes your page more relevant for those keywords, for both search engines and users.

You don’t have to overdo it, mentioning your target keyword once or twice is enough.

Look at the example below:

Add keywords high in your opening paragraph.
34. Add text content to accompany your non-text content

Search engines can better understand text than any other element so to make their job easier make sure that you always have text content on a page.

Having a page full of images or videos is not a good SEO practice.

35. Optimize your content for E-A-T
Importance of Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness for Rankings.

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. How is this related to SEO?

Google has recently introduced this concept to stress the fact that websites that rank high in its search results need to have a good reputation.

In simple terms, this means that Google is trying to rank websites that are proven to have authority and expertise about a topic and websites that are trusted by users.

36. Beautify your content (formatting and styling) and make it easy to read

Throwing text and images on a page it’s not the way to design a page that is to be eligible for ranking on Google.

You need to work on your formatting and styling and give users a nice experience. You don’t have to do something too fancy, just ensure that your pages are easy to read on all devices.

Don’t use fonts that are too small to read and make use of the available formatting elements to beautify your text.

37. Optimize your images
what is alt text

Image optimization is a must. Search engines are getting better at understanding what an image is about but for image SEO purposes you need to take care of three things:

Optimize the Image Filename

Image Filenames should be informative and accurately describe the image.

Optimize the Image file size

As a general rule of thumb the smaller the image size is (in bytes) the better.

Optimize the Image Alt Text

Don’t use dashes in your alt text.
Write normally and try to describe in a few words what the image is about.
Use keywords that are relevant to the content of the page but don’t overdo it.
Keep your alt text short and to the point

38. Create a dedicated image sitemap and submit to Google

Besides creating an XML sitemap for your pages, you also need to submit your images to Google.

You can add the images in your main XML sitemap or create a dedicated image sitemap like the example below.

Image Sitemap Example

Don’t forget to submit your sitemap using the Google search console.

39. Optimize your videos and other multimedia elements (with proper schemas)

When you add a video to your content, either from YouTube, Vimeo or by uploading it to your website, you also need to add the proper schema to help Google understand what the video is about.

Schema Markup for Videos

In the video schema, you can define the title, description, and thumbnail of a video.

40. Create a dedicated Video sitemap and submit to Google

Just like images, if you use videos in your content, you also need to add them to a sitemap (either to your main sitemap or separate) and submit to Google and Bing via webmaster tools.

41. Optimize titles/description/content of your category pages

I see this all the time. Webmasters spending all their time optimizing their posts and product pages but forget about the category pages.

Category pages need to be treated the same way as ‘normal’ pages. This means optimizing their titles, descriptions, and content.

This is especially important if you have an eCommerce website.

RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE

Category page SEO
eCommerce category pages SEO
WooCommerce SEO

42. Check your internal linking strategy

Internal linking is one of my favorite SEO tactics. The concept is simple, all you have to do is to interlink your website pages together, creating a small web.

Pages that have a greater number of internal links are considered by Google to be the most important pages of your site.

When adding internal links, make sure that you optimize your anchor text.

43. Give credit to other high-quality websites

This is actually SEO advice coming directly from Google and these are the exact words they used.

In simple terms, they are encouraging webmasters to link out to other high-quality websites on the Internet.

The reason is simple, it helps their algorithm in ranking the important websites on the top positions.

The SEO gains from doing so for your website are the following:

You give your users a good option to learn more about a topic
You position your content as a good source that links out to other good sources.

Keyword Research Checklist

Keyword research is a critical process for SEO. If you get your keyword research wrong, you’ll be targeting the wrong keywords.

This means that you may either fail to achieve high rankings because the keywords are too competitive or you may end up ranking for keywords that offer no real value to your business.

To make sure that none of the above will happen, follow the best practices in the keyword research checklist.

44. Understand what are SEO Keywords
SEO Keywords

The first step before getting your hands dirty and start doing keyword research is to understand what are SEO keywords and how to find the RIGHT keywords for your website or business.

This is a recommended step, even if you are an SEO specialist. I’ve been doing SEO for more than 15 years now and I see people all the time failing with SEO because they don’t understand the basics when it comes to keyword research.

45. Understand what are long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords make up 70% of all searches and this means that if you don’t know what long-tail keywords are and how to target them correctly, you are minimizing your chances of getting any decent amount of traffic from search engines.

Long Tail Keywords – Search Curve

So, before proceeding to the next step, make sure that you know exactly the SEO strategy to follow to get to long-tail keywords.

46. Learn how to perform keyword research

Once you know the keyword research basics and have a clear idea in your mind of what you want to achieve with keyword research, it’s time to get your hands dirty and do it.

Your ultimate goal is to come up with a keyword list you can use to optimize your existing pages but also keywords to target with new content.

This combination is what will guarantee long-term SEO success.

47. Learn how to use the outcome of keyword research to optimize your content

To take advantage of your keyword research efforts, you need to know how the outcome of keyword research to optimize your content.

Follow these simple rules:

Use your target keyword in the page title
Use your target keyword in the page URL
Use your target keyword in the H1 tag
Use Long-tail keywords in your H2 and H3 headings
Use related keywords in the image ALT Text
Use related keywords and synonyms in your copy
Use LSI keywords in your content

Off-Page SEO Checklist
Off Page SEO

No SEO checklist is complete without mentioning Off-Page SEO.

Technical SEO and On-Page SEO (including content SEO), will help you create an SEO-friendly website that users will enjoy but to rank higher in Google, you need more than that.

This is where off-page SEO comes to the rescue. In simple terms, off-page SEO is about website promotion techniques and how to convince search engine algorithms that your website deserves a higher ranking in the search results than other websites.

Higher rankings will lead to more organic traffic and this is what all website owners want. Off-Page SEO is not optional but a necessary component of your SEO strategy.

Your overall goal with off-page SEO is to get high-quality incoming links from other related websites on the Internet.

Links act as a ‘vote of trust’ and they are taken into account by search engine algorithms.

Make no mistake, it’s not a numbers game i.e. it’s not about having more links than your competitors but it’s about having the right type of links that can push your rankings up.

Mistakes with off-page SEO i.e. buying links, participating in link exchanges, or other actions that violate Google webmaster guidelines, can get you in trouble.

A Google penalty (either manual or algorithmic) may be imposed on your website and you will lose your rankings and traffic.

Here is your off-page SEO checklist:

48. Learn what is link building and why it’s important

To succeed with off-page SEO, you first need to understand what is link building and why it’s important.

In simple words, links are important because they are part of the search engine ranking algorithms and can influence your ranking positions.

Websites with good quality incoming links are more likely to rank higher in the SERPS than websites with zero or fewer links.

This association of links and rankings was first introduced by Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google Founders) when they wrote the initial Google ranking algorithm in the late 1990s.

Their idea was that websites that are referenced (linked) from other websites on the Web, are more important and thus deserve to rank higher in the search results.

Link Building Overview

Of course, things have changed a lot since then and a lot more factors are taken into account when calculating the ranking position of a page for a given keyword, but links still have a very important role to play.

It’s not only a number game i.e. the website with more links does not rank higher but it’s also a matter where those links are coming from.

49. Learn the basic link building concepts

Besides understanding the importance of link building for rankings, you also need to familiarize yourself with basic link building concepts.

You need to:

Understand the difference between a good link and a bad link

Not all links are equal. Good links can help your rankings, bad links can get you into trouble.

Understand the difference between white hat and black hat link building

There is a lot of talk in the SEO industry about white hat and black hat link building techniques. You need to stay on the safe side and only follow white hat SEO practices.

Understand the difference between normal links and ‘nofollow’ links

Incoming links that carry the nofollow attribute do not count towards your rankings. They are still useful for branding and traffic purposes but they don’t help your rankings.

Natural links are the best links you can get

A natural link is what Google wants and knowing how to get it, can make a big difference to your rankings.

50. Get links from high authority websites

A critical item in the off-page SEO checklist is how to get links that can positively influence your rankings.

This is one of the most complicated and time-consuming processes of SEO but a very important one.

Read the guide below for all white hat link building techniques that are proven to work. I’m sure you’ll find some practices that you didn’t think about.

51. Review your link profile to identify and remove bad links

When working to build links to your website, sometimes things can get messy. You may end up having ‘bad links’ to your profile that can potentially get you into trouble.

It is thus recommended to review your link profile regularly and take action when needed.

Local SEO checklist

In addition to the above techniques, there is a subset of SEO called Local SEO.

Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it appears in the first positions of Google, Bing, and Yahoo for searches that are related to your area/city/ country.

Everything included in this SEO checklist is beneficial for Local SEO, but when it comes to optimizing your website for searches related to specific locations, there a few more optimizations to take into account.

Your overall goal with local SEO is to rank higher for location-aware search queries like ‘Italian restaurants near me’ or ‘dentists in Pennsylvania’ or ‘wedding photographers in Montreal’.

Here is your Local SEO checklist:

52. Optimize your logo for local SEO

This is not the most important local SEO factor but every little bit helps.

Use your logo ALT text to give more details about the location of your business.

For example, if you have a business located in Florida, you can use this (see below) as the alt text of your logo.

<img src=”http://example.com/images/mayers-dental-surgeons-logo.png” alt=”Mayers Dental Surgeons, Tampa, FL”>

53. Add NAP information (Name, Address, Phone Number) on ALL your pages

Any signals you can give to Google related to your locality are useful for Local SEO.

On all your website pages, make sure that your full address details (street number, postcode, state, country, telephone number, fax number, email) are visible as text (not image) in a prominent position.

See below a few examples of good and bad NAP formats.

NAP format for Local SEO
54. Make sure that NAP information is consistent across all channels

It is important to use the same information and format when displaying your name, address, and phone number on different channels across the web. For example on your website, Google My Business page, Yelp, Facebook, etc.

55. Add a Google map to the contact information page
Google Maps for Local SEO

On the contact us page make sure that you embed a Google map and have text content that shows your business name, address, and telephone.

56. Register your company with Google My Business

This is extremely important if you want your business to show up in the Google maps snippet (in the search results) and in Google maps.

Follow these steps to get started with Google My Business.

57. Use Schema to give more information about your local business to Google

Depending on the type of local business, you should use the appropriate schema.

You can read more information about local business schemas from Google and also from schema.org.

Here is an example of how the schema looks for a local restaurant. This piece of JSON-LD code should be added to the homepage.

Structured Data Markup Example
58. Register your website with relevant directories

Besides adding your website to Google My business, there are a number of other trusted directories you can use to list your website and give Google signals about your location.

Directories you can use:

Register your website with Bing Places for Business
Register Your Business with Local directories
Create a Local business page on Facebook
Register your business with Yelp for Business Owners
Register with Foursquare for Business

59. Encourage and reply to every single review on all platforms

Authentic reviews can play a critical role in your local SEO rankings.

You need to encourage users to review your business on different platforms (Google my business being one of the most important) and it is equally important to reply to all reviews (either good or bad) on ALL platforms.

You can ask your customers to leave a review on their favorite platform either by giving them incentives i.e. 5% on their next purchase or by sending them reminders by SMS or email.

60. Seek mentions (links) from the local press

Any mentions (backlinks) you can get from trusted websites in the same city as your business, is a strong signal for your Local SEO.

For example, you can get a link from a local (online) newspaper or a magazine related to your niche.

Mobile SEO checklist

If you haven’t done this already, go and check your Google Analytics statistics and in particular the Devices Report (that’s under Audience / Mobile).

Most probably you will notice that at least 60% of your traffic comes from mobile. The rise in mobile searches has been huge for the last couple of years and it is expected to grow even more in the coming years.

Mobile Search Statistics

This factor led Google to create a mobile-first index. In short with the introduction of the ‘mobile-first-index’, Google will use the mobile version of a website for ranking purposes.

This means that if your website is not optimized for mobile, your rankings will eventually decrease and this means a great loss of traffic.

While going through the mobile SEO checklist, have in mind that your mobile website should include all the content found on your desktop site.

This includes having optimized titles, descriptions, text content, images, video, internal links, and everything that you show in the desktop version.

If you have a responsive website then you already made a big first step but mobile SEO is not just about having a responsive design.

Here is your Mobile SEO checklist:

61. Run the Google mobile-friendly test

The Google mobile-friendly test is a free tool by Google that will check your website and give you recommendations on how to make it mobile-friendly.

It’s a test that will check for basic mobile usability problems like small font sizes but it’s a good start.

62. Check your mobile speed using different tools

Loading speed is very important for users on mobile. Your goal is to make your website load on mobile in less than 3 seconds.

It’s not easy to do, you may need to use the help of a developer to get to that number but it certainly worth’s it.

All the guidelines explained above for improving your page speed using lazy loading for images, optimizing your image file size will help a lot so if you haven’t already done this, add these items on top of your list.

Some tools to use to find out how long it takes for your website to load on mobile:

Google page speed insights
Google mobile speed test
GTMetrix

Don’t forget to also check the speed reports (under Enhancements) in the Google search console.

63. Test your mobile website on different resolutions

Besides checking your mobile speed, it is equally important to test how your website looks on different resolutions.

You need to ensure that the text is big enough to be read on mobile devices, that there are no horizontal scroll bars and that buttons are easy to click.

The best tool to use for this task is the Google Chrome Developer Tools.

64. Check popup usage on mobile

Google punishes mobile websites that make extensive use of popups and banner ads.

As a first step make sure that you don’t use popups on mobile and that there is enough content in the user’s viewport before showing any ads.

65. Check that your CTA on mobile are visible and easy to access

Call to Action (CTA) buttons and messages are important for a website’s success. At the end of the day, you want to optimize your website so that it gets traffic that you can take advantage of.

Since most of your traffic is coming from mobile, you need to check that mobile users can see your CTA buttons and messages and that they can easily access them.

This means that you may have to adjust your mobile design to position your CTA in places where they can be seen, like making use of sticky footers. (access my website on mobile to see this in action).

66. Consider implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages

Accelerated Mobile Pages is a term used to describe a new way of building mobile-friendly pages that load faster compared to traditional mobile pages.

At the core of AMP is AMP HTML which is a cut down version of normal HTML, that allows for better performance when pages are served in the browser.

Google is giving preference to AMP pages in the ‘top stories carousel’, ‘host carousel’, and rich snippets.

If you run a ‘news type’ website, you should seriously consider implementing AMP. If not, you don’t have to because it can complicate things.

Read the guide below to help you decide if AMP is something that will help your website or not.

Conclusion

Having a checklist is a great way to work on your SEO. What you read in our SEO checklist above covers almost all areas of SEO.

If you manage to make your website compliant with all the above items, then you can feel confident that your website is in good SEO shape and this will eventually translate to higher rankings and more traffic.

A great way to learn everything you need to know to implement all SEO practices is to enroll in an SEO certification course. A good course will help you master SEO faster than any other method.

Final Advice

As mentioned in the introduction, don’t skip any of the items even if you feel that they are not very important.

Experienced SEOs know two things about search engine optimization.

The first is that a lot of small optimization changes can bring big results.

Second, besides knowledge another SEO success factor is patience. It takes time for SEO to work and you need to take that into account.

Don’t rush to a conclusion too soon, work through the list items one by one and be patient, results will follow.

The post The Ultimate SEO Checklist for 2021 (66 Checks + PDF Download) appeared first on reliablesoft.net.

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The Advanced Guide to Facebook Watch

The Advanced Guide to Facebook Watch

In 2017, Facebook launched its answer to the burgeoning streaming video market: Facebook Watch. Through Watch, users could view both scripted and live video from professional networks, brands, influencers, and everyday people.

Facebook released Watch to a limited group of users, and for that first year, it flew pretty much under the radar. In 2018, they launched it globally, and the service took off like a rocket.

By 2019, Watch had 270 million monthly users, and by 2020, that number had shot up to over 1.25 billion, according to Facebook.

I covered Facebook Watch in a previous post when it initially launched. Since then, they have expanded their content offerings (even getting into the music space!) and added a ton of features for brands and marketers.

In this post, I’ll dive deep into how to use Facebook Watch for marketing, now that the platform has matured.

Content on Facebook Watch

Facebook is still experimenting with different content types by adding, subtracting, and tweaking to find the right balance for their platform. In 2019, Facebook’s head of global creative strategy Rick Van Veen told Variety,

We’re still figuring it out and learning. When you start a new platform, you’re going to have to throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what works and what doesn’t.

Scripted Content

Facebook’s scripted content can be found under the Show tab. This section is where they’ve entered the ring with the likes of Netflix, Apple+, and Hulu. Here, users can find everything from comedies to critically acclaimed dramas to reality and talk shows.

“Red Table Talk,” for example, is a popular show starring Jada Pinkett Smith, where she brings on guests to discuss sensitive topics such as divorce and gender identity. Meanwhile, Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame stars in “Return the Favor,” which won a Daytime Emmy.

However, they’ve recently scaled back on their scripted content, canceling some of their popular shows in favor of live and sourced content from brands and users.

Live Content

Facebook Live predates Watch by a year. When Watch launched, however, Live was bundled in with the rest of the video content.

Types of videos on Live range from U.S. Senate committee hearings to live author readings and skiers showing off their tricks.

Small businesses have also rushed to Live, creating events and classes to increase revenue.

Music Videos

In August 2020, Facebook launched its new music discovery platform, Facebook Music. Here, users can explore videos by genre, trending topics, artist, and even mood. Currently, the app is only available in the U.S., India, and Thailand, but it’s already garnered a lot of attention.

For instance, Katy Perry debuted her music video “Smile,” the title track of her fifth album, on Facebook Watch.

How Facebook Watch Works

When you create a video on Facebook Watch, whether it’s a live event or a scripted show, you upload it to Facebook using their Creator Studio.

The Creator Studio is the hub for all of your business content for Facebook. From here, you can bulk upload videos, crosspost to different pages, schedule posts, consolidate engagement, and monetize. You can also use their in-depth analytics tools to monitor your content.

On the videos you upload, Facebook places mid-roll ads. Forty-five percent of the revenue from those ads goes to Facebook, while the remaining 55 percent goes to you.

Helpful Hint: Facebook prioritizes longer videos (3+ minutes) and content that engages the audience and sparks conversation. They’re looking for content creators who respond to user comments and pin the best comments to the top of the feed.

How Your Business Can Benefit from Using Advanced Facebook Watch Features

In France, according to Facebook, national broadcaster M6 began creating videos for Watch. Their one-minute video views more than doubled in nine months and they acquired 6 million new follows organically.

Here in the U.S., says Facebook, Buzzfeed has increased their revenue by creating videos over three minutes across their Tasty, Goodful, Nifty, BringMe, Cocoa Butter, and Pero Like pages.

“We moved quickly and increased our payout from total in-stream ads by 20% compared to the previous half,” Maycie Timpone, Executive Director, Video & Publishing at BuzzFeed, told Facebook.

Facebook Watch has become a powerful tool in marketers’ pockets. Let’s take a look at a few ways Watch helps you increase revenue and attract new followers.

Hyper-Personalized Content

Facebook is all about personalized content, and Facebook Watch lets you upload videos right to your target audience. Your videos will also appear in specific categories, such as “Shows Friends Are Following.”

Facebook will also categorize your videos by genre, topic, and even mood.

Recently, Facebook introduced Topics to mobile users. Topics allows users to further customize their video feed by choosing categories that interest them.

Show Pages

Show pages allow users to interact with show creators and fans. They can leave comments, ask questions, or even engage in interactive video content. Just like any other Facebook page, they can like, follow, and share pages with friends.

Real-Time Engagement

This feature is particularly helpful with live video. Viewers can react to, share, and comment on a video in real-time.

Real-time engagement is a great opportunity to get initial feedback on your video and engage with your audience by asking and answering questions and becoming part of the conversation.

Facebook Watch Parties

Facebook’s number one goal is to bring people together. It’s why they added groups a few years back, to allow people with similar interests to find each other.

With Facebook Watch Parties, viewers can bring a group of friends together to watch videos and chat about them in real-time.

Video creators can make content tailored to watch parties to boost engagement.

Playlists

Playlists allow video creators to group videos and post them to their pages. Videos play consecutively to boost views.

Marketers can use playlists for video series or to group videos by topic.

Optimizing Your Facebook Watch Videos

You may be creating killer content for YouTube already, but optimizing Facebook Watch videos is a little different. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your Facebook video content:

First, Make Sure It’s Original

Pulling content over from YouTube or even your website won’t work for many reasons. First, the aspect ratio may be wrong (more on that next). Second, original content exclusive to Facebook will keep people coming back, allowing you to take advantage of Facebook’s monetization tools.

Pay Attention to Aspect Ratio

Facebook gives video creators specific aspect ratios for all pages on both Facebook and Instagram.

You’ll want to follow those guidelines, but in general, make sure your video is shot for mobile. The vast majority of Facebook users access it via mobile, and more than half of ad revenue comes from mobile-first video ads.

Add Captions

Eighty-five percent of videos on Facebook are watched without sound. So, adding captions to all of your video content will naturally boost engagement.

Include a CTA

When you upload a video, Facebook allows you to add a CTA at the end. Whether it’s an invitation to watch more videos, check out a product, or simply like your page, adding a CTA can increase engagement and even boost conversions.

Beyond the Basics: Advanced Uses and Features of Facebook Watch

Recently, Facebook has added a bunch of cool new features that marketers can take advantage of. Let’s take a look at them.

ThruPlay

ThruPlay is a default setting and one you should keep on. With ThruPlay, if your video is shorter than 15 seconds, it will post it to users who are more likely to watch the whole thing. If it’s longer than that, it will deliver it to users who generally watch videos longer than 15 seconds all the way through.

Paid Online Events

Paid online events are a function of live video and have become an essential tool for businesses. Brands can create, host, and promote an event all in one place. They can also set a price and collect payment easily.

Helpful Hint: Facebook normally collects a fee for a paid online event. At least until August 2021, however, they have waived their fees.

Fan Subscriptions

Creating the ability for fans to subscribe to your video page boosts engagement. It also allows you to foster customer loyalty through exclusive offers and content for subscribers.

According to Facebook, it also allows you to predict revenue monthly.

Stars

Another feature is Stars, a tool that allows fans to support your work. Users can purchase stars to send to you. For every star a fan sends to you, Facebook gives you 1 cent.

(Think “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and the hearts he had to earn on his videos.)

The more you engage with users, the more likely they are to send you stars.

Facebook is still rolling out this program to a limited number of users, but you can sign up to show your interest.

A/B Testing Tools

On the back end, Organic Video Post Testing allows video creators to test between two and four variations of a video at a time. Videos are distributed to your target audience, but they’re not posted to your page. The video with the most engagement after a period of time is then posted to your page automatically.

In-Stream Ads

According to Variety, Facebook takes in 22 percent of U.S. digital ad spend. Before Watch, ads that appeared in newsfeeds and the right rail kind of got lost in the mix, right?

However, as pointed out previously, ads that would usually get lost in Facebook feeds get a lot more attention when they appear in the middle of a video.

Mining Audience Data from Your Facebook Watch Viewers

When it comes to analytics, Facebook Creator Studio is a veritable treasure trove. Here are some of the cooler stats you can mine from your dashboard:

Views

There are so many different ways you can parse these metrics. For example, if you want to see the number of minutes viewed, you don’t have to settle for a lump sum. You can break it down by minutes viewed on your page, in shared posts, and crossposts.

You can also see how many views were over three seconds long or how many people viewed the whole video, depending on what comes first.

You can also filter by auto-played vs. click-played and paid vs. organic.

All of the views are measured over a 28-day period.

Audience Engagement and Retention

To get a quick overview of your posts, you can look at the number of reactions, comments, and shares for videos with at least 100 views.

You can also go way beyond that. You can see audience demographics, and you can filter by fans and non-fans to know who you’re truly reaching.

If a video is performing well, you can choose to boost it right from your dashboard.

To dig even deeper into each video, Facebook shows your viewer retention through the entire length of the video. Line graphs like this one show you exactly where viewers dropped off in your video so you can make adjustments.

What’s really neat: when you hover over the line graph, each point of the line displays your video’s corresponding frame.

Finally, you can measure each post against other posts to assess which types of videos and content are working well (or not) for you.

Negative Feedback

Just as important as the positive metrics are the negative ones. Facebook can show you negative comments, as well as how many times people hid your video from their feed or reported it as inappropriate.

Click-Throughs

Finally, Facebook can differentiate between clicks to play your video, clicks on links embedded in your video description, and clicks on your CTA.

Increasing User Engagement Via Facebook Watch (and Why This Matters!)

We’ve talked about all the levers you can pull with Facebook Watch, but how do you use them to increase user engagement? Here’s how to use all their cool features to do just that:

Take Advantage of Real-Time Commenting

Comments give context to all those reactions and shares, but you probably knew that. Of course, you can use them to improve your content by creating more of what gets positive comments and less of what doesn’t.

More importantly, you should be responding to comments, not only on your videos but also on your pages. Show your fans that you’re paying attention, and they will be engaged followers.

Spark Conversations

Instead of simply reacting to conversations already happening, create and direct the discourse yourself. Invite fans to comment on specific elements of your videos, share their tips, or ask questions.

If you’re a part of the Star program, this is a great way to encourage people to send some your way.

Use the Subscription Function

Subscriptions are a great way to create that velvet rope effect. Create an exclusive space for fans to get updates on content before anyone else. Offer content and giveaways for subscribers.

Make them feel special, and they’ll keep coming back for more.

Put That Mined Data to Good Use

As you’ve seen, Facebook gives you a wealth of analytics about your videos, right down to the minute viewers stopped watching your videos.

Use that information to compare and tweak content, experiment with longer or shorter videos, or introduce and keep track of new content.

Don’t Neglect the A/B Testing Functionality

While it is time-consuming to create more than one video, A/B testing multiple versions of videos will only increase your engagement, and you can’t deny how easy Facebook makes it.

Since they don’t post anything to your page until the end of the testing period (which they do automatically), you really have nothing to lose.

Conclusion

Facebook Watch has had explosive growth and attracted the attention of brands, celebrities, small businesses, and influencers. The sheer number of viewers and the amount of ad revenue on the table makes creating original content for Facebook a no-brainer.

The real trick is pulling the right levers to create engaging videos that get reactions, shares, and comments. If you can get subscriptions, even better.

Dive into your Creative Studio to look at all the advanced tools Facebook offers.

How will you use Facebook Watch to build your audience and boost your revenue?

The post The Advanced Guide to Facebook Watch appeared first on Neil Patel.

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Live Blogging the 2020 Election with Scalable Google Trends

Live Blogging the 2020 Election with Scalable Google Trends

7:15 pm PDT update

Well, things are moving right along in this election. I’m going to try to keep these short and sweet to avoid devolving into political commentary lol.

First observation, people are really focusing on “battleground” states and North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin are all in focus. Also people are focusing on the Senate and who will have control of that after the election is over (see below.)

Also, a civil unrest query has popped into the top rising queries as the election starts to shake out. Since it’s looking at current civil unrest it seems people just want to check in and make sure everything is still going “smoothly.”

Will be back in a bit as I’m kind curious how this develops, though made need some whiskey and a cheeseburger. In which case I will see you tomorrow.

________________________________________________________________________

6:28 pm PDT update

Just wanted to see how quickly the data was changing and boy is it fast!!!! Don’t know how people keep up with this without robots. Anyway, in the national data Texas election results have started to come online as strongly as Ohio. While Florida may Florida, it seems like national attention has turned towards this two battleground states.

Looking at individual rising queries New Zealand based Predictit has been showing strong all day. Everyone wants predictions it seems! I just want to watch the data come in. Also, like I mentioned before, people are brand devoted to Fox News. Lastly, Arizona has already started showing up in individual queries, so I would expect to start surging as it’s early results start to come online (given how recent polling has been there.)

________________________________________________________________________

6:03 pm PDT update

 

Running 3 separate instance of our scalable trends load balancer right now.

I believe this is called putting the pedal to the metal @hecklerponics?

Vroom vroom. pic.twitter.com/LfKEou6oMH

— Dan Leibson (@DanLeibson) November 4, 2020

Famous last words!!! So I vroomed this into a bunch of errors, but am back in businesses now as our team built a robust system and now I know to scale our instances before doing that

Alright, so first let’s talk about state level data! This is the first time I’m going to report on the state election query set I ran through trends. Though suffice it to say that people care a lot about swing states as you can see by their disproportionate representation to population like Virginia, Georgia and Vermont even being in the same ballpark as Florida when it comes to population

Also it seriously feels like deja vu with Florida

Now let’s talk about the national data set. This stuff is starting to look really cool! Nationally, the things that are seeing off the charts, turn it up to 11 growth are all local. First up, Ohio. It’s showing up big in terms of both the count and growth of it’s terms as illustrated below:

But also, we are seeing two Texas counties showing up as queries that are skyrocketing (gonna run out of hyperbole to discuss query growth soon.). I have never heard of Bexar or Tarrant county in Texas before but Heckler assures me they exist! They are seeing an increase, per Google Trends, of almost 500,000% growth at the query level. Bonkers.

Also, Broward county Florida, famous as the problem of every national election in recent memory, is also showing up in query data

A couple of last general observations:

The growth of top rising queries is several times bigger than it was even this morning. Basically, A LOT OF PEOPLE are searching right now.

Fox News has some crazy “loyalty”

________________________________________________________________________

4:03 pm PDT update

Alright well it’s after work on the east coast and things are starting to pop in the data. Let’s start with general trends with a nice word cloud

Local issues are starting to pop in the national election data set. Here I have drawn attention to prop 22, a proposition here in California over the regulation of gig economy workers as well as governors races. However, the big dominating theme is Trump’s rally tonight, but more on that later.

This is also the first time I have looked a set of ~1k state election specific terms. Nothing much to report on that data set yet except that there is a lot of searching for historical electoral maps that got surfaced here (screenshot below). I guess people are trying to game this out at home?

And in term of just the top rising queries in the data set, well that is all coming up YUGE for Trump. Also, I think it’s kinda funny that Lil’ Pump has finally surfaced in this trends data so late in the day. Curious how this will progress as the night goes on, but my guess is Trump will work hard to drive search demand. We shall see!

________________________________________________________________________

1:17 pm PDT update

Alright party people, back after some delay as I wanted to give the data some time to change as user behavior and the events on the group have changed. And I’m glad I did because the data is radically different then it was previously. A quick reminder that before Biden vs. Trump was big in the rising ngrams (see previous update below.) Well know that trend has shifted to the Vice Presidential Candidates and Kamala Harris is cleaning up (go CA)

Also, if you back out into the top level word cloud you can see how different things have changed between

Now

This morning

So I expect things to continue to get super interesting as we head into this evening. Speaking of interesting, lots of Trump queries are highly searched queries, including “fox news trump” which could be in relation to his Fox & Friends this morning or a navigation query to Fox’s Trump related coverage.

Not feeling good that 538 continues to insinuate itself into the American election psyche. Oh also, the fly is back

________________________________________________________________________

10:29 am PDT update

Alright, well I have some news! First of all as we get later in the day I’m going to start segmenting out a seed keyword list of state and congressional election results so we can track what is going on with those as well.

Speaking of the data, you heard it hear first: Biden’s numbers are better then next to Trump’s. There are more Biden name related queries that are being searched at a greater rate of increase than Trump.

Also, queries around political violence continue to show up, but since these aren’t breaking through in terms of individual queries trending my guess is that is a self-perpetuating fear where people are doom searching.

Lastly, just look at these rising queries. First of all the Drudge and Real Clear are the two top trending news sources in this data set is very troubling. Second, who cares about either Barron Trump or Kim Kardashian just like in general but especially today. Lastly, “when will the next presidential election be” is a top 15 trending query. If only we planned these things at a regular clip!

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8:17 am PDT update

Alright, things are really starting to get popping now. The midwest has come fully online and we can see people searching for their states specific results starting to bubble up in the trends data (Hi Michigan and Kentucky!)

Are some of the top queries showing the state specific results

And here is the rising in the ngrams (e.g. full topic areas)

I would expect to see state specific results start to dominate as the day goes on. Though of course that could be overtaken by whatever narrative is happening around the election itself as well.

Speaking of, violence has finally broken through to be able to be visualized in a top ngram (bottom right) as well as civil war (top left). American’s are keeping it spicy this am!

For anyone wanting to play around at home, feel free to check our GDS report here

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7:18 am pdt update

This is probably going to be the least interesting update of the day. There isn’t enough movement in the midwest yet for that to really crack into trends. The trending ngrams are relatively the same. Most interesting pieces are Florida has officially entered the chat

and that election riots is trending downward (thankfully)

With the next update things should start to get interesting as the west coast is going to start coming online. I’m also going to release a version of the GDS dashboard for people to play with that will have our 2 test data pulls from yesterday and the first two data pulls of this am.

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6:14 pdt update

Well, now that the east coast has started to full come online the main rising ngrams are dominated by the polls. No real surprise there as a morning baseline check-in for what is sure to be a wild day makes a tone of sense.

Also, individual rising queries have seen some drop off of net worth and age related questions as individual polling queries start to dominate. No idea what the Trump Train Song 2020 is ¯_(ツ)_/¯.

6:40am PDT update

There are some pretty good deep cuts in the top 50 rising queries in the data set. I think the middle class question is really interesting as it’s generally a deeper level of question then I would expect today. And of course we are seeing our first hint of people searching about civil unrest.



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5:17am  PST update

Just ran the tool to capture 8am EST trends data. So far early searcher trends are looking to catch the latest poll numbers, which is unsurprising. Though I do think it curious how focused they are on candidates ages and net worth. As this beginning to develop I expect this data to be rather…interesting.

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Wow, it’s November 3rd 2020! That means election day in the US, and what an election. I’m going to eschew politics except to say GO VOTE. We have the day of at LSG, but I figured this would be a great time to deploy a new tool and to do so i’m going to live blog and tweet the election.

Specifically we hooked up Google Trends to our data analysis stack, built an elastic load balancer to be able to scale jobs with cost and now it’s just party time. And when I say party time I mean we can pass thousands of keywords into Google Trends, get them back hourly, process the keywords as NGRAMs to better understand what they are about.

Okay, first start here with these two fantastic articles by Ruth Everett:

An Introduction to Using Google Trends with Python

Visualizing Python and Google Trends

Okay, now that you have read those articles let me just show you around. First we started with a manually curated seed keyword list, then ran it through a Google scraper of ours to pull related searches. We took that list and ran it through Google Trends and pulled back the top and rising terms as well as their scores. We then ran that through the NLTK ngram library to be able to get categories/topics/themes. Then we data warehouse and dumped it into GDS. Screens below:


This is a view of the ngrams of rising queries from our seed list visualized in Google Data Studio

Ngrams of top queries in Google Data Studio

As you can see themes and topics!

Also, we have the ability to drill down to see the terms that make up the ngrams

This screenshot below is a drill down into “results 2020”

Cool right?

Anyway, I’m going to be updating this every hour and sharing any cool info on this liveblog and on twitter. Also for those wondering, the data set contains ~3,000 keywords.

 

 

The post Live Blogging the 2020 Election with Scalable Google Trends appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

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3 Plugins to Turn Your WordPress Website into a Mobile App

3 Plugins to Turn Your WordPress Website into a Mobile App

Mobile app development is an expensive and time-consuming process ranging between $37,000 and $500,000, and requiring up to 5,000 hours of work.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

And you don’t have to be a highly skilled developer to turn your WordPress website into a native Android or iOS application.

In fact, there are plugins you can use to make this process fast, reliable and affordable.

Read on to find out why you should consider this option and exactly how to do it using one of the three nifty plugins (including the one with a free test).

Why Turn Your WordPress Website into an App?

Whether you run a simple news site, a blog, an e-commerce store or a complex membership-based platform, an app could open a valuable new channel to engage your audiences and increase loyalty.

Let’s go through the most important advantages of having a native application based on your WordPress website.

1. Increasing Revenues with In-App Advertising and Subscription Options

Even if you are already satisfied with the results your website brings you in terms of ad or sales revenue, having a mobile app directly connected to your brand could double or triple your revenue.

Besides having an opportunity to attract more traffic and, therefore, more sales, you can also implement specific advertising solutions within an app so that ad blockers cannot prevent you from monetizing your work.

Apart from the in-app advertising, you can also set up the in-app purchase support to sell access to premium content, monthly or annually memberships and other forms of subscription-based solutions.

2. Attracting More Users and Potential Customers through App Store and Google Play

Having a native mobile application can help you attract much more users than you would normally do with a website only.

First of all, you can acquire new users through app installations on App Store and Google Play.

Second, an app could help you to provide better user experience to everyone interested in your products or services, as it loads a lot faster than the website.

Third, having push notifications enabled could help you retain users and bring more qualified, returning visits to your app.

And last but not least, an application can help you keep users engaged with your app content for a longer time. It means decreased bounce rates and increased dwell times for your app pages.

3. Reducing Costs for the App Development, Maintenance and Updates

Building a custom Android and iOS app, as we already mentioned, could cost thousands and thousands of dollars, depending on the app type, platform, content managements system (CMS), content itself, app features, third-party integrations, and more.

Development phases such as planning, designing, coding, testing, revising, and finalizing the app could take up seven months, sometimes even more.

Besides that, the maintenance and application updates usually require more budget.

On the other hand, by converting your WordPress website into a mobile app using a plugin could provide you with a highly functioning custom native app within hours, even minutes.

Another advantage of this conversion is that plugin developers usually do the maintenance part for you, and it’s included in the price.

4. Faster Loading Time for an Improved User Experience

Mobile apps make your content load much faster by storing most of the data locally.

When we know that 51.53% of users prefer browsing the internet via a mobile device, it goes without saying that boosting up your page loading speed can improve the overall experience users have while interacting with your business online.

A mobile app is also much more convenient to use. Instead of typing in your URL in the browser and searching for your brand online, users can simply come to you by clicking on your app icon on their smartphone home screen.

How to Turn WordPress Website into an Android or iOS App?

Converting your WordPress website into a native mobile app doesn’t require an enormous technical knowledge nor do you have to be a tech-savvy ninja, but there are several prerequisites to this task.

Before using a plugin to turn the site into an app:

Your WordPress website needs to be responsive, meaning it needs to adopt every page element automatically to the size of a screen your users are visiting from. You could use a responsive WordPress theme or make your custom-built website responsive.
You need to download the plugin you want to use and make sure that it works properly with your website. Look for the plugins which are regularly updated, and make sure it is compatible with the WordPress version you are using.
If you notice that the plugin slows down your website, consider deleting some other plugins that you use. This is especially important if you already have more than five plugins running along with your website.
Prepare your brand logo in a form of an image that you can easily upload to the plugin. That image is going to be on your mobile app icon, so make sure it is consistent with your brand style.

Once you launch the new plugin, simply follow the steps within it to complete the process of converting your website into an app.  Make sure not to skip any steps before publishing your app.

Some of the plugins will let you take a preview before publishing it on the App Store and Google Play, some will have a free test included, while others may require you to publish the app yourself using the specific API key provided.

So, are you ready to learn all about the best WordPress plugins for turning your website into an app?

Let’s begin.

Top 3 Plugins to Use to Turn Your WordPress Website into an App (FREE test included)

Plugin #1: MobiLoud


Overview: MobiLoud is a WordPress plugin and an all-in-one solution for everyone who wants to convert a website into a native app for Android and iOS mobile devices without a hassle.

MobiLoud is a paid service based on the done-for-you principles, meaning that you don’t have to do anything on your own. You’ll have the team of app developers helping you every step of the way.

Besides the licence, it provides everything you need to create, customize, publish, maintain and regularly update your app. You’ll get everything done by the team of specialists and you’ll have a premium support along the way.

Once you download the plugin from the WordPress.org and become a paying customer of the MobiLoud, you’ll get the full support.

Pros:

Hassle-free experience, no technical knowledge required
A complete service, including a mobile app customization, submission and support
Comes with a different solution for news sites and e-commerce sites
High level of integration with WordPress and third-party plugins
Designed specifically for sites with high traffic
Offers fully branded app with your brand name, logo and style
Supports mobile app advertising, analytics and membership solutions
Helps you monetize and grow traffic directly from the app
Advanced, unlimited push notifications
Automated content updates synchronized with your website
You can request a demo to find out if it fits your needs

Cons:

You need to become a paying customer of MobiLoud to use the plugin
A subscription-based service, no one-time payment possibility

Price:

Startup Plan: $150/month or $1,440/year
Growth Plan: $250/month or $2,400/year
Custom Plan: from $500/month or from $400/month billed annually

Stats from the WordPress.org:

Active installations: 1,000+
WordPress version: 3.5 or higher
Tested up to WordPress version: 5
Rating: 4.3/5

Plugin #2: WPMobile.App

Overview: WPMobile.APP (previously WPApp.Ninja) is a WordPress plugin that offers a lifetime licence to build a native mobile app from your website at affordable price.

This plugin will allow you to create an app that looks exactly like your website but with additional functionalities such as push notifications, real-time statistics, automated content updates and more.

It is a great solution for everyone who wants a fully customized app that has the name, logo, and style adjusted to your brand.

It requires minimum Android 4.1 and iOS 8 version, so your app will be compatible with a vast majority of smartphones and tablets in the market.

If you are not sure whether this plugin might work for you, you can test the preview for free, without any limitations.

You can learn more on the WPMobile.APP website or download the plugin directly from the WordPress.org site.

Pros:

No technical knowledge required
Automated app building process completed in 20 minutes
Full customer support
White-labelled theme, so your app can be fully branded
100% adapted to all screen sizes
Automated content updates directly connected to your website
All the app content is cashed on user’s mobile device, so everything is accessible offline as well
Unlimited push notifications
Users can share your app pages with one click
Real-time statistics accessible directly from your WordPress dashboard
Free test to preview the app before publishing it
One-time payment

Cons:

There is no option for in-app purchase solutions
There are no in-app advertising options either

Price:

Life-time licence: 79€ for an Android app; 79€ for an iOS app; 149€ for both Android and iOS

Stats from the WordPress.org:

Active installations: 5,000+
WordPress version: 3.7.0 or higher
Tested up to WordPress version: 5.4.2
PHP Version: 5.3.0 or higher
Languages available: English and French
Rating: 4.6/5

Plugin #3: AppPresser

Overview: AppPresser is a powerful Android and iOS app builder for your WordPress website that gives you a lot of control over your app.

Please note that this plugin isn’t an app creator itself. AppPresser plugin helps you connect your mobile app with your website, but before you download the plugin, you need to use the AppPresser platform to build an app.

The good news is that you don’t need experience in the app development to use the AppPresser framework. It is an easy-to-use platform that provides you with just the right tools for putting your business into an app and submitting it to the App Store and Google Play.

You can create an app from every WordPress website, including WooCommerce, BuddyPress, LearnDash, non-profit, membership-based and other sites.

Once you have your app up and running, the AppPresser plugin will help you integrate it seamlessly with your WordPress site.

Pros:

No previous app development skill required
User-friendly, easy-to-use app builder
Fully customized app design
Integrates with all types of WordPress websites
Enables in-app purchases (depending on the payment plan)
The plugin provides a base code to easily integrate your WordPress site with your app
The plugin gives you the opportunity to add featured image URLs from the app using the modified WordPress API key

Cons:

You can use the plugin only after you purchase an AppPresser plan and create an app using the platform
Although the app builder doesn’t require technical knowledge, use of the plugin does

Price:

Standard Plan: $79/month or $59/month billed annually

Professional Plan: $99/month or $79/month billed annually

Advanced Plan: $149/month or $129/month billed annually

Stats from the WordPress.org:

Active installations: 3,000+
WordPress version: 4.7.0 or higher
Tested up to WordPress version: 5.6
Rating: 3.6/5

The Bottom Line

Having a responsive website for your business might no longer be enough to fulfill your audience expectations.

When more and more users are browsing the web on their smartphones and tablets, you might want to consider creating a native Android or iOS application for your business as well.

It can help you speed up the page loading time and help your users interact with your brand without an effort.

If you run your website on WordPress, yet you feel intimidated by the cost and time it may take a professional team of developers to build your app, using WordPress plugins to turn your website into an app might be the perfect solution for you.

Using plugins is an easy and affordable way to create fully customized, completely branded and highly functional apps for your brand.

It means that you could submit your application to the App Store and Google Play within hours (sometimes even minutes) and start attracting new users, increasing your business revenue and providing bespoke experience to your users.

The post 3 Plugins to Turn Your WordPress Website into a Mobile App appeared first on WP Fix It.

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