SEO Articles

Out now: Keyword research training!

Out now: Keyword research training!

As of today, there’s finally an online Yoast Academy training course on a crucial aspect of SEO: keyword research! We’re so excited! And judging from the comments we got when we announced the training course, so are many of our visitors. And you should be, as well! In the Keyword research training, you’ll find out what keywords are most effective for your site. And how you can rank for those words!

You can get the course for $129, but only in the first week, so don’t wait too long!

Find out how to rank for your most important keywords with our Keyword research training »

$129 – Buy now » Info

Get the new Keyword research training Now$149 $129 (ex VAT) for course, certificate and badge
Why should I be excited about the Keyword research training?

Doing keyword research is not an option, it’s essential. It forms the basis of everything SEO. Without keywords, Google can’t make sense of your copy. Without keywords, there is nothing to build a site structure around. Without keywords, technical optimization is basically pointless. Do you want to know which words your audience uses to find you? Are you frustrated with competing with sites you just can’t seem to beat? Are you ranking for keywords, but not getting any traffic? The keyword research training will solve these problems for you.

What will I learn in the Keyword research training?

The Keyword research training course is an online training you’ll get access to for a full year. You’ll go through every step of the actual keyword research process. In each module, world-renowned SEO experts like Joost de Valk and Jono Alderson provide you with theory, best practices and tips. Then, you can apply your new knowledge immediately, by building your own keyword list step by step.

First, you’ll make a business profile with your mission and unique selling points (USPs). After that, you’ll draft your first list of keywords. Then, you’ll assess the potential traffic, potential conversion and potential to rank top 3 for your keywords.

At the end of the course, you’ll end up with a keyword list to start creating pages and copy for your most effective keywords immediately! And no worries if you’re short on time, you can also just focus on the theory. By the way, you don’t need any previous knowledge to take this training course. We start with the very basics. Nor do you need to use any paid tools: all of the tools we discuss are free.

Get feedback on your strategy!

When you’ve completed your keyword list, you may want to confirm you’re on the right track. That’s why we offer feedback on your work if you want it. If you choose the feedback package, a Yoast expert will check your keyword list within two weeks, and provide feedback on your keywords and their potential. This way, you can make sure your keyword list will help you rank for your most efficient keywords!

Get the Keyword research training with feedback Now$199 $179 (ex VAT) for training and feedback
Conclusion

The Keyword research training provides you with all the tools you need to get the first step in SEO right. In fact, the Keyword research training even goes beyond SEO. You’ll also learn a lot about content marketing in general. It’s a great way to kickstart or recharge your SEO strategy, whether you maintain a blog, an e-commerce site, or any other type of website. Make sure your content gets the attention it deserves by taking the Yoast Academy Keyword research training! You can get it by simply clicking the button below. It is currently available for $129, so get it before the offer expires!

Get the new Keyword research training NowOnly $149 $129 (ex VAT) to master the essential first step of SEO

The post Out now: Keyword research training! appeared first on Yoast.

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Keyword research for SEO: the ultimate guide

Keyword research for SEO: the ultimate guide

Keyword research is the first step in the SEO copywriting process and an essential part of any SEO strategy. Before you write your website content you need to think about which search terms you want to be found for and this means getting inside people’s heads to find out which words they use when searching. Then you can use these exact terms in your content so that you start ranking for them. This is keyword research and this ultimate guide will take you through the many steps involved.

Find out how to rank for your most important keywords with our Keyword research training »

$129 – Buy now » Info

What is keyword research?Why is keyword research important?How to do keyword researchStep 1: What is your mission?Step 2: Make a list of keywordsStep 3: Look at search intentStep 4: Construct landing pagesLong-term keyword strategyThe importance of long tail keyword strategyWhat is the competition doing?Synonyms and related keywordsConclusion on keyword research for SEO
What is keyword research?

Before we start explaining the process of keyword research, let’s look at the most important concepts behind it.

Keyword research can be defined as the work you do to come up with an extensive list of keywords you want to rank for.

Keyword strategy is about the decisions you make on the basis of that keyword research.

Key phrases are keywords containing multiple words. We tend to use the word keyword all the time, but we don’t necessarily mean it’s only one word. ‘WordPress SEO’ is a keyword, as is ‘Google Analytics plugin’. Keywords usually consist of multiple words! So, in this guide, when we talk about keywords, we usually mean a phrase, rather than a single word.

Long tail keywords are more specific and less common because they focus more on a niche. The longer (and more specific) search terms are, the easier it will be to rank for the term. Keywords that are more specific (and often longer) are usually referred to as long tail keywords.

Focus keyword is the keyword or the key phrase you most want your page to be found for. You should put your focus keyword into the meta box of the Yoast SEO plugin.

Search intent is all about discovering what a searcher actually wants. These are not just keywords, but the underlying goals of what a searcher wants to know, do or buy.

Read more: What is keyword research? »

Why is keyword research important?

Proper keyword research is important because it will make clear which search terms your audience uses. At Yoast, we frequently come across clients who use one set of words when describing their products, while their target audience uses a completely different set of words. These sites aren’t found by their potential customers because of a mismatch in word use.

Learn how to write awesome and SEO friendly articles in our SEO Copywriting training »

$199 – Buy now » Info

Sometimes a marketing department decides to give their products a certain name. That can be a smart marketing decision. It can be a way to make people remember your product. For example, you don’t rent out vacation homes, but ‘vacation cottages’. Be aware that very few people search for ‘vacation cottages’ though. If you optimize your text for these terms, you’ll probably rank well on these specific terms. However, you won’t generate a lot of traffic with these terms and you’ll miss a large part of your potential audience.

It doesn’t make any sense to optimize for words that people don’t use. Good keyword research makes sure that you use the same words as your target audience and this makes the whole effort of optimizing your website far more worthwhile. In addition, by looking at search intent, you find out which questions your customer has. Those questions should get an answer in the form of quality content.

Keep reading: The basis of keyword research »

How to do keyword research

For us, there are four steps to keyword research. First, you write down the mission of your business. Next, you make a list of all the keywords you want to be found for. Then you look at search intent and finally, you create landing pages for each of those keywords. This ultimate guide takes you through these steps in much more detail.

Step by step, we’ll guide you through the entire keyword research process, and we’ll give you practical tips to easily start your own keyword research.

Step 1: What is your mission?

Before starting anything, think about your mission. Think about questions like: Who are you? What is your website about? What makes you special? And what promises do you make on your website?

Read on: What is the mission of your website »

A lot of people can’t effectively answer these questions at first. You have to figure out what makes you stand out from the crowd. So take your time and literally write down your mission on a piece of paper, a computer or an iPad – anything will do, as long as you do it. Once you’re able to answer these questions in detail, you will have taken the first and most important step in your keyword strategy.

Things to consider: How competitive is your market?

The market you’re in determines whether your mission will prove genius enough to sell your products to people. Some markets are highly competitive, with large companies dominating the search results. These companies have huge budgets for marketing in general and SEO in particular. Competing in these markets is tough, so ranking in these markets is also going to be tough.

Perhaps you sell cruises to Hawaii. You offer great facilities for children, making the cruises especially suitable for young or single parents. Offering great cruises to Hawaii for young parents could very well be what makes your service unique. Look for the thing that makes your product stand out from the competition. This should be your mission, your niche – and this is what you have to offer your audience.

If you’re launching into in a competitive market, you’re probably best to start out small. Once you ‘own’ a small part of that niche and become a big name in the business of cruises to Hawaii, you could try to go one level up and sell your cruises to a larger (more general) audience. Your mission will then become much more general as well.

Step 2: Make a list of keywords

The second step of keyword research is creating a list of your keywords. With your mission in mind, try to get into the heads of your potential buyers. What will these people be looking for? What kind of search terms could they be using while looking for your amazing service or product? Ask yourself these questions and write down as many answers as possible.

If your mission is clear, you will have a pretty clear image of your niche and your unique selling points (the things that set your business apart from others). These are the terms you want to be found for.

To consider: Make sure the keywords fit your site

Be aware that you should be found for terms that match your site. If we went crazy and did our very best to make yoast.com rank for ballet shoes, people would be rather disappointed to find our site. They would probably instantly go back to Google. If we ranked for ballet shoes, we would have a massive bounce rate. And a high bounce rate tells Google that people are not finding what they are looking for based on their search term. This would inevitably lead to a lower ranking on ballet shoes for our site – and that would be completely justified because we know nothing about ballet, nor about shoes for that matter.

Tools you can use

Making a list of possible search terms is hard. Up until a few years ago you could just check Google Analytics and see the terms people used to find your website, but unfortunately, that’s no longer possible. So you have pretty much no idea which terms people use in search engines to end up at your website. Luckily, there are still some other tools which make your keyword research a bit easier. Read our post about tools you can use in your keyword research for more tips and tricks.

Step 3: Look at search intent

Much of today’s SEO strategy should revolve around answering the questions people have. Whenever someone enters a search query into a search engine, they are on a quest for something. Every type of question needs a specific answer. In my SEO basics article on search intent, I said:

“Search intent has to do with the reason why people conduct a specific search. Why are they searching? Are they searching because they have a question and want an answer to that question? Are they searching for a specific website? Or, are they searching because they want to buy something?”

When planning your content, always ask yourself these questions. There are four types of intents:

Informational intent: Just like it says on the tin, people are trying to find information on a specific topic.
Navigational intent: People want to access a specific website by entering the term in a search engine.
Commercial intent: People want to buy something sometime soon and are doing research before making a purchase.
Transactional intent: People are looking to buy something after doing their commercial intent searches.

Find out which intents apply to you and try to answer these search intents by literally giving people what they want.

Step 4: Construct landing pages

The next step towards a long-term keyword strategy is to create awesome landing pages. In the past, every one of the keywords you want to be found for got its own landing page. Today, however, search engines are so smart that they mostly use search intent to give searchers the best answer to their questions. The page that answers those questions best will rank on top. Search engines also understand subtle differences between keywords so you don’t have to create landing pages for all subtle variations of a keyword.  You can just optimize a page for multiple keywords.

Create an overview

We would advise you to build your page structure in a well-structured way – using a spreadsheet programme like Excel or Google Docs/Sheets is a great way to do this. Create a table then add your list of keywords. Using a table forces you to set up a structure and to make relevant landing pages. Put the search terms in the first column and add columns for the different levels of your site’s structure.

Create landing pages

Then you’ll need to build a landing page for your search terms, but you don’t have to create all these pages immediately – it can be a long-term thing. The more specific your search term is, the further down into your site structure the term’s landing page belongs. The most important keywords will lead to your cornerstone content articles. These are the keywords you definitely want to rank for. To do this, you create the best possible content about that keyword – authoritative and all-encompassing, just like the ultimate guide you are reading right now. All your supporting articles will link to this cornerstone content. This should be part of your internal linking strategy, which Yoast SEO Premium can help you implement.

After completing your keyword research for SEO, you should have a clear overview of the terms people use and the terms you want the pages on your site to be found for. This overview should guide you in writing content for your website

Want to learn practical SEO skills to rank higher in Google? Our Basic SEO training is just what you need! »

$199 – Buy now » Info

Long-term keyword strategy

No website should rely on one single keyword or one keyphrase for its traffic. You should use your mission as a starting point, then take our three steps in carrying out proper keyword research and work towards a solid base: a keyword strategy. This section of our ultimate guide explains why it’s important to have a long-term keyword strategy.

How many keywords?

We can’t tell you the exact number of keywords you should have, but we can tell you that you need a lot of them – as many as you can think of. However, more than 1000 keywords is probably too many!

Even if you’re a reasonably small business, you’ll probably end up with a couple of hundred keywords. But there’s no need to create pages for all of these straight away. The great thing about having a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress is that you can add content bit by bit. Think about what keywords you want to rank for now, and which ones aren’t immediately so important. Understand your priorities and plan the creation of your content.

Keep on reading: Managing a growing blog: content planning »

Ad hoc keyword research strategies

In an ideal world, you would do your keyword research, make a beautiful table and create landing pages for each one. Your site structure would be flawless and you would blog and write every day making your site rank higher and higher in Google. Unfortunately, we live in the real world.

Of course, your keyword research will not always be as extensive. And some posts or articles aren’t written as part of an awesome strategy, but just because the topic was in the news or something inspired you to write it. That’s just how these things work. But this doesn’t have to be a problem.

If you’re writing something that doesn’t exactly fit your strategy, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to make that content rank. You could still use it to rank for something related to the terms in the list of your keyword strategy. Use tools like Google Trends to choose which keyword you’d like to rank for. At least take some time to think about how to make your article or blog fit your strategy. After all, if you are writing valuable content, you might as well make it rank!

Learn how to write engaging copy and how to organize it well on your site: Combine our SEO copywriting and Site structure training. »

$349 – Buy now » Info

The importance of long tail keyword strategy

Focusing on long tail keywords should be an important part of a long-term keyword research strategy. Long tail keywords are keywords or key phrases that are more specific (and usually longer) than more common keywords, often called “head” keywords. Long tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they focus more on a specific product or topic. Read our post about the importance of long tail keywords if you want to know why you should focus on long tail keywords when optimizing your site.

Read more: Make friends with the long tail »

What is the competition doing?

Whether you should go after long tail keywords, which are specific and consist of multiple words, or after head terms largely depends on your competition. If the competition in your niche is high, you’ll have a hard time ranking on competitive head terms. If you have little competition, you’ll even be able to rank for head terms. So how do you determine your competition? What should you be looking for? There are two strategies:

Google and analyze your competition
Try, evaluate and try again.

Google and analyze your competition

Google the keywords that came out of your keyword research. Start with your most ‘head’ term. The most general one. Check out the search engine result page (SERP). These are the websites you’ll be competing against once you optimize your content for such a keyword. To check whether or not you’ll be able to compete with the websites on that result page, analyze the following things:

Are the websites professional websites? Are they company websites? Ask yourself whether or not you are an ‘equal’ to these companies. Does your website belong among these sites? Is your company of similar size and does it have as much influence in your niche?
Does the SERP show well-known brands? It’s harder to rank when you’re competing against sites with strong brand-names. If brands are known from TV or radio commercials, your chances to rank will become even smaller.
What about the content of these websites? Is the content well written and well optimized? How long are the articles on the sites? If your competition has poor content, you’ll have a larger chance to outrank them!
Are there any ads in Google? And how much is the pay-per-click in Google adwords? Search terms that have a high pay-per-click are usually also harder to rank for in the organic results.

Keep reading: Keyword Research Tools »

One simple question

It all boils down to a single question: how does my website hold up, compared to the websites in the SERPs? Are you of equal size and marketing budget: go ahead and focus on those head terms. If not: try a more long tail keyword.

The next step is to do the same analysis with a keyword that’s slightly more long tail. Longer and more specific search terms will generate less traffic, but ranking on those terms will be much easier. Focusing on a whole bunch of long tail keywords combined could very well attract a lot of traffic. Once you’ve managed to rank for those long tail keywords, aiming for more head terms will become a bit easier.

Try, evaluate and try again

Once you’ve done a thorough analysis of your chances to rank on a specific term, the next step is to write an amazing article and optimize it accordingly. And hit publish. Make sure you’ll attract some nice backlinks. And wait a little while. Check out your rankings. Does your article pop up? Did it hit the first page of Google’s SERPs? Or is it hidden away on page 2 or 3? Make sure to evaluate your articles in the SERPs. Google the terms you’ve optimized your articles for. Check whether or not your SEO is paying off!

If you’re not able to rank on the first page, try to write another article, focused on a (even) more long tail keyword. Make it a little bit more specific, more niche. And see how that goes. Evaluate again. Continue this process until you hit that first page of the SERPs!

Synonyms and related keywords

Our Yoast SEO Premium plugin allows you to optimize your content for synonyms and related keywords – up to five per article in fact. This is a functionality we’re developing and extending currently, to make our content analysis just as smart as Google. Marieke has written a roadmap for this here. We’ve also written a post about why you shouldn’t use your focus keyword more than once.

Singular or plural focus keyword?

Should you aim for the singular or the plural keyword? Well, this depends on the query. As Google is learning more about search intent of your query, it is able to better guess what you’re looking for. For instance, if you search for book, you get a different result than if you search for books. Apparently Google thinks that in the first case you’re looking for a definition or certain stories, in the second case it believes you’re looking for books to buy. So make sure you know what you offer on your page and that it fits with the query and results Google gives on that query.

Read on: How to choose the perfect focus keyword »

Conclusion on keyword research for SEO

Keyword research should be the start of any sustainable SEO strategy. The result will be a long list of keywords for which you’d like to be found. But the hardest part is still ahead: writing all that content. You should write articles and blog posts on every single keyword you would like to be found for. That’s quite a challenge!

Keep on reading: SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide »

The post Keyword research for SEO: the ultimate guide appeared first on Yoast.

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How To Fix Broken Links To Improve Your SEO

How To Fix Broken Links To Improve Your SEO

How To Fix Broken Links To Improve Your SEO

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re visiting a site to get answers, but ended up on a 404 error page? Broken links are not only annoying, but it can hurt your SEO efforts as well.

I did a Google poll recently on which thing that annoys the users the most, and look at the results!

Compared to the others, “Broken Links” has the most votes that annoy users the most.

When visitors found out that you have broken links, they wouldn’t want to continue to explore the other pages.

And when visitors spend lesser time on your site, search engines will assume that your website is not providing a good user experience to the visitors. Eventually, search engines will give you a lower rank.

Not only the users, but search engines hate broken links too. Broken links will chase your visitors away and hurt your SEO efforts. Therefore, it is best to fix them up. Nobody wants broken links on their website, but not many website owners are willing to spend their time to check on the links and fix or remove them.

According to LinkTiger, even the big companies such as Apple and IBM have the most broken links on their website.

Well, it will definitely take a lot of time to check all the links on your website, especially when you have a large site and don’t know where to start. Therefore, let’s start by identifying the broken links first.

What Are Broken Links?

Broken links are links that send a message to its visitors that the webpage no longer exists, triggering the 404 error page.

There are 2 types of broken links on your website:

1) Internal Links

The internal links refer to links that go from one page on your website to another. These links are the ones that you have the most control on your website. For example, in the ‘Tutorials’ page, you will see that I have linked the next tutorial at the bottom of the page.

These are internal links s I still direct them to the same website, but a different page.

So whenever you update or make any changes to your website, you should always check your internal links and make sure that the links are working. If you would like to read more on internal links, here’s another piece written by my team! Have a read: Why Internal Links Matter To Your SEO Effort?

2) External Links

The external links or outbound links refer to the links that are pointing to another website where we usually use as a reference. For example, I am referring to Neil Patel’s blog post on how he used a case study to grow his sales by 185%, and I’m linking it here. This will be an external link because it is linking to another website.

However, the thing about external links is that you need to spend more time on checking the external links because you wouldn’t know when will the link changes as we are not in control. So you’d have to check it from time to time to see if the link is still working or not.

Let’s say I have linked to a particular website, but a few months later, the website owner took the link off their website. So when Google Spiders crawl my site and follow that link to the other website, Google Spiders will read it as a dead end. When Google Spiders detected too many of the 404 error pages, your website’s value will decrease from the search engines’ perspective.

So if you think that having broken links on your website wouldn’t damage your site, you are wrong. Not only search engines might give you a lower rank, there are a few things that you should notice as well.

Broken Links Will Affect:

404 error page doesn’t only upset the search engines and users, it will affect your business too.

Your Revenue

Broken links are roadblocks in the conversion process. No matter how much time you have spent in getting customers to your site, if they can’t get to the conversion page, all of your SEO efforts will be a waste.

Other than losing revenues, you are losing the customers as well. This is because when one customer is unhappy, he/she will let their friends know about it and you will end up losing not one, but more customers.

KISSmetrics has done a calculation about this and it has proven that 44% of users will tell the others when they have a bad online experience.

If you’re not providing a good user experience, your visitors will spread the word and you will end up losing more customers.

After all, you wouldn’t want to waste your time and effort building your website, but ended up having unhappy visitors, right? Just think about how annoying it is to find a link that you wish to get more information, but ended up on a 404 error page that the answer doesn’t exist.

Your Bounce Rate

404 error page is not just frustrating, but it could hurt your bounce rate as well. Bounce rate is measured by the amount of time a visitors spends on your page, and if the user doesn’t stay for a certain amount of time, they will be considered to have “bounced” from your page.

When you have unhappy visitors on your site, each of them will leave your website, resulting in a higher bounce rate. When search engines see the high bounce rate on your page, it will raise a red flag on your page, and the entire site will seem irrelevant to the search engines.

Therefore, it is very important to keep the visitors happy when they visit your site by providing a good user experience.

Your Google Ranking

Like what I mentioned above, a high bounce rate can actually cause a lower ranking in the Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

When Google sees that visitors are leaving your page within seconds of landing, they will assume that the visitors didn’t find what they’re looking for. Then, Google will remove the page from the SERPs as a credible and reliable website.

Another factor that will affect your Google ranking is not having your page indexed. Google uses their Spiders to crawl through your entire site to gather valuable information that tells the search engines what is your page about.

But when Google Spiders reach a broken link, it is like hitting a brick wall. That first broken link is all it takes for Google Spiders to stop the indexing process, which can ruin your chances to get a higher rank.

Now, can you see how broken links hurt your site?

There are a few ways to prevent that from happening, which is to check all the links on your website. When you have healthy links on your site, you wouldn’t have to worry about the broken links anymore.

How To Check For Broken Links On Your Site?

If you don’t have a large site and external links, you will only need to check your site each time you update or make changes to your site. But if you have just a few external links on your site, you should check for broken links at least once a month.

If you run a large site, then you should be checking the entire site for at least once a week. This is mainly because when you have a large site, there is a higher possibility that your site will create a larger amount of broken links, especially if you neglect the links.

The best way to keep an eye on these problems is to monitor your website. Whenever you notice changes in the conversion rates, bounce rates or your traffic, it might indicate a problem. In most cases, these problems are usually related to broken links on your site.

It will be overwhelming to check every single link on your website manually, which is why our team uses SEOPressor Connect, another alternative of website link checker that makes things easier for everyone.

Monitor And Check For Broken Links With SEOPressor Connect

Our latest version of SEO plugin, the SEOPressor Connect introduces a new feature – Link Manager to help check all of the links on your website automatically. With this, you don’t have to check for broken links post by post.

SEOPressor helps to monitor your broken links and address them to you in Link Manager so that you can fix them before it damages your site. Best of all, you don’t have to do it manually, but easily. Let me show you how!

Once you’re at the Link Manager, just look at the ‘Broken’ links and fix them.

You can easily check for broken links in SEOPressor Link Manager.

If the broken links on your page are internal, it will be a quick and easy fix. Just simply make the changes within your page by renaming or moving the links to the correct places.

If the broken links are external, it may take a longer time to fix them. But you can still see the broken links on Link Manager, and then check on the site that you linked to.

You should check whether the site was moved or removed. If the link is not that crucial to your site, then the best solution is to remove or replace it with a new link that provides the same value to your readers.

Manage Your Links Smartly

It is definitely not recommended to leave the broken links on your site, so it is important that you fix, remove, or replace any of the links you find immediately. With SEOPressor’s Link Manager, you can now have a perfectly healthy sitewide link profile all thanks to the broken link checker!

There are also a few main factors that cause broken links. Here are a few that you should observe to avoid broken links. When you:

Rename or move a website and forgot to change the internal link.
Formatted the URL wrongly.
Link to a 3rd party page, and not knowing that they have changed the URL or moved the page.

So make sure to take note of these factors and don’t forget to change your links.

Also, if you have recently purchased SEOPressor Connect, you can check out the tutorial on how to manage your website’s link profile here.

Do you think that this article is helpful to you? What do you think of our newly introduced feature to check for broken links? Share your thoughts with us down below in the comments box, we’d love to hear from you!

This post was originally written by Joanne and published on April 13, 2016. It was most recently updated on Aug 24, 2018

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SEO Negotiation: How to Ace the Business Side of SEO – Whiteboard Friday

SEO Negotiation: How to Ace the Business Side of SEO – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by BritneyMuller

SEO isn’t all meta tags and content. A huge part of the success you’ll see is tied up in the inevitable business negotiations. In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, our resident expert Britney Muller walks us through a bevy of smart tips and considerations that will strengthen your SEO negotiation skills, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie to the practice.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hey, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. So today we are going over all things SEO negotiation, so starting to get into some of the business side of SEO. As most of you know, negotiation is all about leverage.

It’s what you have to offer and what the other side is looking to gain and leveraging that throughout the process. So something that you can go in and confidently talk about as SEOs is the fact that SEO has around 20% more opportunity than both mobile and desktop PPC combined.

This is a really, really big deal. It’s something that you can showcase. These are the stats to back it up. We will also link to the research to this down below. Good to kind of have that in your back pocket. Aside from this, you will obviously have your audit. So potential client, you’re looking to get this deal.

Get the most out of the SEO audit

☑ Highlight the opportunities, not the screw-ups

You’re going to do an audit, and something that I have always suggested is that instead of highlighting the things that the potential client is doing wrong, or screwed up, is to really highlight those opportunities. Start to get them excited about what it is that their site is capable of and that you could help them with. I think that sheds a really positive light and moves you in the right direction.

☑ Explain their competitive advantage

I think this is really interesting in many spaces where you can sort of say, “Okay, your competitors are here, and you’re currently here and this is why,”and to show them proof. That makes them feel as though you have a strong understanding of the landscape and can sort of help them get there.

☑ Emphasize quick wins

I almost didn’t put this in here because I think quick wins is sort of a sketchy term. Essentially, you really do want to showcase what it is you can do quickly, but you want to…

☑ Under-promise, over-deliver

You don’t want to lose trust or credibility with a potential client by overpromising something that you can’t deliver. Get off to the right start. Under-promise, over-deliver.

Smart negotiation tactics

☑ Do your research

Know everything you can about this clientPerhaps what deals they’ve done in the past, what agencies they’ve worked with. You can get all sorts of knowledge about that before going into negotiation that will really help you.

☑ Prioritize your terms

So all too often, people go into a negotiation thinking me, me, me, me, when really you also need to be thinking about, “Well, what am I willing to lose?What can I give up to reach a point that we can both agree on?” Really important to think about as you go in.

☑ Flinch!

This is a very old, funny negotiation tactic where when the other side counters, you flinch. You do this like flinch, and you go, “Oh, is that the best you can do?” It’s super silly. It might be used against you, in which case you can just say, “Nice flinch.” But it does tend to help you get better deals.

So take that with a grain of salt. But I look forward to your feedback down below. It’s so funny.

☑ Use the words “fair” and “comfortable”

The words “fair” and “comfortable” do really well in negotiations. These words are inarguable. You can’t argue with fair. “I want to do what is comfortable for us both. I want us both to reach terms that are fair.”

You want to use these terms to put the other side at ease and to also help bridge that gap where you can come out with a win-win situation.

☑ Never be the key decision maker

I see this all too often when people go off on their own, and instantly on their business cards and in their head and email they’re the CEO.

They are this. You don’t have to be that, and you sort of lose leverage when you are. When I owned my agency for six years, I enjoyed not being CEO. I liked having a board of directors that I could reach out to during a negotiation and not being the sole decision maker. Even if you feel that you are the sole decision maker, I know that there are people that care about you and that are looking out for your business that you could contact as sort of a business mentor, and you could use that in negotiation. You can use that to help you. Something to think about.

Tips for negotiation newbies

So for the newbies, a lot of you are probably like, “I can never go on my own. I can never do these things.” I’m from northern Minnesota. I have been super awkward about discussing money my whole life for any sort of business deal. If I could do it, I promise any one of you watching this can do it.

☑ Power pose!

I’m not kidding, promise. Some tips that I learned, when I had my agency, was to power pose before negotiations. So there’s a great TED talk on this that we can link to down below. I do this before most of my big speaking gigs, thanks to my gramsy who told me to do this at SMX Advanced like three years ago.

Go ahead and power pose. Feel good. Feel confident. Amp yourself up.

☑ Walk the walk

You’ve got to when it comes to some of these things and to just feel comfortable in that space.

☑ Good > perfect

Know that good is better than perfect. A lot of us are perfectionists, and we just have to execute good. Trying to be perfect will kill us all.

☑ Screw imposter syndrome

Many of the speakers that I go on different conference circuits with all struggle with this. It’s totally normal, but it’s good to acknowledge that it’s so silly. So to try to take that silly voice out of your head and start to feel good about the things that you are able to offer.

Take inspiration where you can find it

I highly suggest you check out Brian Tracy’s old-school negotiation podcasts. He has some old videos. They’re so good. But he talks about leverage all the time and has two really great examples that I love so much. One being jade merchants. So these jade merchants that would take out pieces of jade and they would watch people’s reactions piece by piece that they brought out.

So they knew what piece interested this person the most, and that would be the higher price. It was brilliant. Then the time constraints is he has an example of people doing business deals in China. When they landed, the Chinese would greet them and say, “Oh, can I see your return flight ticket? I just want to know when you’re leaving.”

They would not make a deal until that last second. The more you know about some of these leverage tactics, the more you can be aware of them if they were to be used against you or if you were to leverage something like that. Super interesting stuff.

Take the time to get to know their business

☑ Tie in ROI

Lastly, just really take the time to get to know someone’s business. It just shows that you care, and you’re able to prioritize what it is that you can deliver based on where they make the most money off of the products or services that they offer. That helps you tie in the ROI of the things that you can accomplish.

☑ Know the order of products/services that make them the most money

One real quick example was my previous company. We worked with plastic surgeons, and we really worked hard to understand that funnel of how people decide to get any sort of elective procedure. It came down to two things.

It was before and after photos and price. So we knew that we could optimize for those two things and do very well in their space. So showing that you care, going the extra mile, sort of tying all of these things together, I really hope this helps. I look forward to the feedback down below. I know this was a little bit different Whiteboard Friday, but I thought it would be a fun topic to cover.

So thank you so much for joining me on this edition of Whiteboard Friday. I will see you all soon. Bye.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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How Long Does It Take SEO Traffic To Recover From Blocking Googlebot?

How Long Does It Take SEO Traffic To Recover From Blocking Googlebot?

Two weeks ago a client reset its bot-blocker, unintentionally blocking Googlebot. We had SEORadar monitoring the site so we quickly discovered the problem and alerted the client. Unfortunately, by the time they fixed the bot-blocker settings, they had lost about 100,000 daily visitors from Google. Of course, the first thing they asked was:

How Long Will It Take Our Google Traffic To Recover From Blocking Googlebot?

While your mileage may vary, in this case the answer is about one week.

Here’s my theory on how this process works:

You block Googlebot from crawling your site (the most common reasons I see are improper bot-blocking settings or adding a “Disallow: /” rule to the robots.txt file).
Googlebot gets a 403 error when it tries to crawl the site or just stops crawling because of the robots rule. After hitting the home page (or robots.txt) a few times, it gets the message and starts demoting the site’s URLs. Traffic drops dramatically within a few hours. In this case, the site saw about a -50% drop within two hours and a -60% drop within 24 hours that held for most of the time Googlebot was blocked.
GSC showed that crawl rate dropped from about 400,000 URLs/day (it’s a 5MM URL site) to about 11,000 URLs/day. I haven’t investigated how Googlebot was able to crawl 11,000 blocked URLs yet. That’s for another post.
When you unblock Googlebot, it starts to crawl again. In this case it immediately went back to its pre-block levels, but if you don’t have a strong domain, you may need to do something to spur crawling (aka “get links”).
As Google recrawls previously inaccessible URLs, it starts reevaluating their rankings. As best I can tell these URLs were never excluded from Google’s index (the URLs still showed up in site: queries), but it does appear the content of their Google caches were deleted. So Google needs to “see” the page again and reapply its algorithms.
On a big site, or a small site with weak backlinks, it may take several days/weeks for Googlebot to recrawl all of the URLs it had demoted. So the recovery pattern can be gradual. Here’s what it looked like for the site in question:

 

On the bright side, when you block Googlebot from your entire site, your avg time downloading a page metrics improve quite a bit pic.twitter.com/CGV3UItX0z

— Andrew Shotland (@localseoguide) August 18, 2018

The post How Long Does It Take SEO Traffic To Recover From Blocking Googlebot? appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

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Five easy tips to improve the creative assets for your next campaign

Most designers and other creative professionals are well aware that people don’t always know the best way to work with them. “Clients from Hell” is a popular site lampooning this fact, featuring actual conversations between designers and their clients.

While things aren’t that bad for most designers, there are still improvements to be made. A survey we recently conducted at Wrike gives us some new insights into the challenges that creative professionals face when trying to get work done.  

It turns out that some of the biggest challenges are caused by lack of visibility and lack of process between creative pros and their stakeholders in business roles. Great creative isn’t the result of magic. Ideas can be stoked, molded, and coached to greatness. But teams needs to be on the same page about how to best work together, and have respect for the stresses each other face. 

Remember that creatives are partners – and experts 

One of the top three challenges creatives identified in our survey was “being seen as a service provider, and not a partner.” This mentality likely means that people are sending ideas to creatives and ask them to execute, rather than collaborating with the creative team to generate ideas early on in the project to help develop impactful concepts.  

By education and by nature, creative professionals often look at marketing and storytelling differently. Their creative and artistic perspectives are just as valuable as their counterparts in business and operations, and yet, they are not always treated that way. 

When we ask creatives to execute ideas from non-creative teams, we underutilize their strengths for simplifying complex ideas into visually striking pieces of art. 54% of our survey respondents said another leading challenge is there’s “not enough time to be creative”. Increasing creative’s involvement in the early stages of campaign planning should help overcome this challenge, which will yield strong dividends in the campaign’s results. 

 

More details in briefs

According to our survey, the second biggest challenge for in-house creative teams when it comes to working with other departments is “not enough details in briefs”. This means that designers are often left to forage for the details they need in meetings or follow up emails; both of which take valuable time away from doing higher value, creative work.  

Creative team managers and their operations team should require comprehensive briefs from other departments in the organization. This can be achieved by creating detailed request forms with mandatory fields that call for rich descriptions of needs, context into the how the assets will fit into a broader campaign to help the business reach its goals, and links to outside examples or existing relevant assets. This will allow designers to focus on producing great work; not gathering information before they can even begin. 

 

Keep your communications organized

Above all else, it’s critical that communications between designers and non-designers stay organized. It’s not uncommon for designers to get feedback from multiple stakeholders, their art director, a brand manager, and fellow designers. That’s a lot of conversations to track and without proper tools in place, constructive feedback may fall through the cracks – lost between emails, chats, and other collaboration tools.  

Communications fragmentations is a big problem for digital workers. In another survey our team conducted, respondents said that “missing information” was their number one source of stress while trying to work. This doesn’t have to be the case. You can give each asset a single, clear thread, which makes all files and comments easy to find, and easy to take action upon. 

 

Review your assets on time

42% of our respondents said half or more of their projects are delayed, citing the number one cause for delays as “reviews and approvals aren’t completed on time”. Take this into account when you’re working with a designer. There is a domino effect as designers are juggling multiple projects, so delays in one can lead to delays in another. Help them out by taking the time to review your assets and offer speedy approval or feedback as needed.  

Designers can keep the process moving by setting deadlines for feedback and providing a clear timeline for milestones and deliverables. Designers should also make their production calendars available to the departments that depend on them. The visibility into their busy schedules and workload should provide the soft persuasion needed to encourage stakeholders to take action. 

 

Minimize ad hoc requests

An ad hoc request is something that seems small to the person making it, but it still requires time and energy from a designer. 61% of designers say they get ad hoc requests at least once per week, which is probably not surprising to any designers reading this article. A small update to an existing asset may only take a few minutes, but it’s disruptive to the creative flow of someone whose focused on larger, brand defining concepts.  

Creatives can help themselves by filtering all requests through the same process for scheduling and prioritization. “It’s just a quick tweak,” shouldn’t be an excuse for derailing a designer’s entire schedule. Creative managers aren’t doing their teams any favors by accommodating ad hoc requests without pushing back. It should be the responsibility of other departments to do a better job of assessing their desired assets well in advance and planning accordingly. 

Designers can help their non-creative stakeholders by putting processes in place that foster execution with clarity with respect for competing priorities in an organization. Non-creatives can help designers by thinking strategically about their needs well in advance, which will help reduce ad hoc and last minute requests.   

Better together  

This relationship can be strengthened through the use of digital tools for collaborative work management that walk stakeholders through the steps of submitting detailed briefs, and designers through the steps of delivering and iterating on their creations. As partners, creatives and non-creatives can produce great work that define their brands and products – on time. 

 

 

 

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