SEO Articles

Rudy Giuliani, Link Builder

Rudy Giuliani, Link Builder

Four Seasons Total Landscaping non-brand rankings courtesy of SEMRush:

# of referring domains courtesy of Ahrefs:

If you need a cutting edge content marketer to round out your team, I am pretty sure Rudes will be looking for work some time in January.

The post Rudy Giuliani, Link Builder appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

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How to Write PPC Ad Copy Using AI

How to Write PPC Ad Copy Using AI

It’s no secret: the world of PPC advertising is not for the faint-hearted. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up throwing money down the drain.

How can you increase the chances of the right people clicking on your ads? You need to learn how to write ad copy that converts.

Thankfully, technological advancements like artificial intelligence (AI) are here to save the day. AI tools can help you write ad copy that produces results.

How Can Artificial Intelligence Help Your PPC Campaigns?

Just so we’re on the same page, let’s quickly look at a simple definition of AI.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a multidisciplinary branch of science that includes machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), deep learning, and many other emerging technologies.

The main benefits of AI when it comes to creating compelling PPC ad copy include:

Unmatched data processing powerAbility to better “predict” click-through rates and quality scoresIdentify bids that will get the most trafficSaves you time managing campaigns

However, no matter how much data you have at your fingertips and how well you can identify lucrative bids, all that will be to no avail if your ad copy sucks.

AI can help you with that. I’ll show you how below.

6 Ways AI Can Help You Write Good PPC Ad Copy

Many tools can help you write ad copy. However, many AI-powered tools have one huge advantage: unlike their predecessors that relied on historical data, AI-powered tools give you real-time data. This process allows you to refine your copy to better suit the market situation when the content is created and published.

These are tips that will help optimize your ad copy, whether you’re advertising on Google, Bing, Facebook, or any other of the myriad platforms available.

Use AI for Audience Research

The very first thing you need to do before writing ad copy is to understand your target audience. The key to successful ad copy is to know not only who your target audience is, but also to know:

What they’re looking forWhy they’re looking for it

In short, understanding your audience will help you understand the intent behind your prospect’s search. Knowing this could help you write personalized ad copy that will resonate with your audience, eliciting a click through to your offer.

It will also help you create ads that are so targeted that only the right people will click on them. Additionally, it will help you write ad copy that addresses any objections your audience may have.

When you know how to write ad copy that speaks directly to your audience, you’ll likely enjoy a reduction in wasted clicks and an increase in your return on ad spend (ROAS).

How do you get to know your audience? This process is where AI shines best.

AI-powered audience research tools like IBM’s Watson are great for helping you with predictive audiences. These consumers may not look anything alike but have some common threads that make them relevant targets for your PPC ads. By processing data from multiple sources, AI helps you understand the type of people you should target with your ads.

These insights help you significantly reduce the risk of ad waste, as your ad copy will be hyper-personalized, making it appealing to the right people. With ad spend steadily increasing across all industries, AI will help ensure that you get a good ROI from your campaigns.

Conduct Competitor Research Using AI

Before you put pen to paper, you must study the competitive environment.

You must conduct competitor research. This data will help you understand (among other things):

The type of ad copy that generates clicksAd formats that work best in your nicheOpportunities your competitors are missing that you can leverage

The data you get from your competitors’ ad campaigns is invaluable in helping you know how to write ad copy that will perform exceptionally well.

This process is where AI-powered competitor research tools like Adthena come to play.

By gaining insights into your competitors’ PPC activity and market shifts, you’ll be better armed to write compelling PPC ad copy.

The real-time data AI technologies provide may help you gain or keep a corner the market by ensuring you’re up-to-date with trends and news that affect your market audience. Real-time data is also essential when conducting competitor analysis, as any lag in time could result in the competition cornering the market.

Don’t delay to get on the AI bandwagon, especially when it comes to writing ad copy.

AI Can Help You Discover Keyword Opportunities

Everyone knows keywords are the foundation of every good PPC campaign. Unfortunately, with more businesses vying for the same target audience, relevant keyword opportunities are becoming harder to find.

AI can help.

With the competition for profitable keywords being uber-stiff, normal keyword research just doesn’t cut it anymore. You must leverage AI to help you uncover hidden keyword gems.  

This fact is especially true since keyword research for SEO and PPC is not the same. For PPC, your money rides or sinks on the keywords you use. That’s why you must find keywords that will give you a good return when you bid for them.

AI-powered tools like BrightEdge, for example, not only help you discover profitable keywords but are also able to give insight into the intent behind those keywords.

Because they offer real-time data, you are in a better position to write ad copy based on keyword opportunities as they arise. Of course, this will give you an edge over the competition, as your ads will have a better chance of being served to users while keeping your ad spend low.  

Headline Optimization Is Easy with AI

Saying that your headline is a critical part of your ad copy is an understatement. Its value can never be overstated because it’s your first chance to hook your customers.

If your headers are poorly crafted, users will just scroll past your ad. But if you write your headline well, it will stop them from scrolling so they look at the rest of your ad copy. AI can help you craft headlines that stop people in their tracks by helping you write headlines that result in much-coveted clicks.

A great example is Persado. The AI-powered copywriting tool helped Chase Bank increase the CTR on their ads by as much as 450%. How? By crafting headlines that resonate more with their target audience.

There are AI-powered tools that are designed to help you optimize your headers to elicit users to click on your ads.

The success of your ad campaigns rides on your headlines.

The next part users look at is the ad description.

Use AI to Nail Your Ad Description

Next to your headline, your ad description is the most crucial part of your ad copy. While the headline is the hook that grabs your prospect’s attention, your ad description is the sales pitch that gets them to click on your ad.

However, there’s a catch: you have a limited number of characters to use to convince your prospects to click-through to your offer. This means every character counts. It must help elicit a positive reaction from users. That’s why you must make sure you know how to write ad copy that drives clicks.

Fortunately, AI can help you write compelling ad copy.

With AI copywriting tools like Phrasee, you don’t have to guess what kind of copy works.

Using machine learning and gathering data from different platforms, AI copywriting tools have “mastered” the art of writing great ad copy.

Using machine learning (ML), natural language generation (NLG), deep learning, and other technologies, AI-powered copywriting tools can help you create compelling ad copy that stands out from the crowd. AI takes into consideration many facets, such as language, semantics, sentence structure, and a whole lot more to help you create optimized ad copy at scale.

Another great AI-powered ad creation tool you can consider is CopyAI.

Copy AI is designed to take the grunt work out of brainstorming unique ad ideas. It will help you increase your ROAS by helping you come up with relevant audience-based copy that your customers won’t be able to resist. The deep learning platform that powers CopyAI can personalize your ad copy to suit any holiday, occasion, or campaign.

AI-powered copywriting tools are a great way to save time and money as they work faster and more efficiently. And at the end of the day, they’ll help you boost your bottom line.

Calls-to-Action: AI Can Help With That Too

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are a tricky part of writing ad copy. That’s because your CTA is usually made up of 2-5 words to inspire people to take action.

While platforms like Google and Facebook give you some CTA options to choose from as you create your campaigns, it’s always better to create your own CTAs. After all, if you use the options generated by search engines and social media platforms, you won’t stand out from the competition.

Your CTA plays a crucial role in pushing your prospects across the finish line. As such, give it careful consideration. You may get every other element of your ad copy correct, but if your CTA is weak, your hard work will be in vain.

What makes for a strong clickable CTA? One word: personalization.

Different audiences respond differently to CTAs. That’s why you must pay special attention to the language your audience uses and try as much as possible to implement it in your CTAs. This is one area where audience research pays off because it helps you craft personalized CTAs. Studies show that personalized CTAs perform up to 202% better than generic ones.

Note: make sure to create a different CTA for each campaign. Don’t just regurgitate past CTAs, even if they worked well in previous campaigns.

Yes, it may be a lot of work if you do it manually. That’s why you shouldn’t do it manually; use AI instead.

Again, tools like Persado make creating impactful CTAs easier.

Leveraging data such as sentiment analysis (or emotion AI), AI-powered tools help you create CTAs that tug at your prospects’ heartstrings. Of course, every marketer knows that it is easier to loosen your prospects’ purse strings if you can do that.

By leveraging AI in crafting your CTAs, you increase your ad copy’s chances of achieving its goal of boosting your bottom line.

Conclusion

It’s impossible to ignore AI as a digital marketer. It’s everywhere around us. From AI SEO to AI in website design, every facet of digital marketing is becoming more efficient thanks to artificial intelligence.

As a marketer, if you’re looking to know how to write ad copy that converts, you must lean heavily on AI-powered tools to help you. From the planning stage to deployment, AI can help you optimize every part of your PPC ad campaigns.

Though remember: without good ad copy, your ad spend will be wasted. How do you write good ad copy? By using AI.

Sure, AI may not be able to handle the creative side of writing ad copy completely alone. However, it does go a long way in helping you create ad copy that sells.

Are you ready to embrace the power of AI in your ad copy creation?

The post How to Write PPC Ad Copy Using AI appeared first on Neil Patel.

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Concrete steps marketers should take now to get ready for CA’s CPRA in 2023

Last week California voters passed Proposition 24, the California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act (CPRA). It builds upon the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which only went into effect this year. CPRA is slated to replace it in 2023.

Among other things, CPRA expands the types of data covered (any data “shared” with third parties); it also spells out specific categories of sensitive personal information that require special attention. It enables consumers (and employees) to opt-out of “automated decision making technology” (machine learning). And it creates a dedicated enforcement agency to ensure compliance.

We asked a number of digital marketers and technology companies to offer concrete advice for brands, publishers and advertisers about what they could or should do now to prepare for CPRA. Our experts included Cillian Kieran, Ethyca CEO; Simon Poulton, VP of Digital Intelligence at Wpromote; Kristina Podnar, Digital Policy Consultant; Gowthaman Ragothaman, CEO of Aqilliz; and Heidi Bullock, CMO at Tealium.

Kristina Podnar, Digital Policy Consultant & Author

Introduce/Increase transparency. CPRA introduces a slew of new requirements around data uses aimed at increased transparency. This will be a bit of a GDPR throwback for marketers who went through adaptation for that regulation. But for any marketer not yet subject to GDPR, this will be a tough hill to climb. Businesses should start paying attention to data privacy by design and governance practices. Specifically, pay attention to data minimization. In other words, only collect the information you need to do the things you say you will do for the user, tell the user how long you will keep their data, don’t extend beyond that timeframe for your own marketing needs, and only do with the data what you told the user you will do with it. Marketers will need to start paying attention to what data they collect, why they collect it, and how they manage that data throughout its lifecycle.

Show what you do and don’t control. Most digital marketers are oblivious to the AI and ML advances in the marketing stack, focusing only on the front-end functionality and desired customer experience outcome. That will need to change as a result of CPRA, which now recognizes the need for increased regulation around this machine-driven capability. Marketers will now need to tell users if they are profiling them and serving up advertisements and promotions using these capabilities. Businesses need to adjust for the cross-device, cross-channel, cross-business tracking and selling that is in place today. Why? Because under CPRA users can now say “don’t track me in that way.” This should remove the “creepy” noise from the marketing system from a user perspective. However it will certainly make it tougher for marketers and cause more business to move to a zero and first party data model.

Stop controlling users. Related to the above, CPRA specifically limits businesses from engaging users in any cross-context behavior advertising. In other words, marketers need to be transparent and can no longer push users towards services or products in a passive way (e.g., marketers can’t use dark patterns for collecting agreement/consent). The task here is for marketers to rethink consent structures, including CMPs, to avoid dark patterns and implied consents that are ubiquitous today.

Simon Poulton, VP of Digital Intelligence at Wpromote

Be CCPA compliant. Since CPRA will not take effect until 2023, focus on being CCPA compliant in the immediate future (if you’re not already). In many cases, CPRA expands on what is covered by CCPA, so compliance here will still be a step in the right direction. It should be noted that all regulations covered within CPRA will be applied to all data collected from January 1st, 2022 onwards. 

Sharing = Selling. Under CCPA, some brands (e.g., Starbucks) explicitly stated that they did not view the sharing of data as selling. This is now clearly defined, and brands should be mindful of all data-sharing points. 

Inventory your cookies. If you haven’t already, now is a great time to review all of the cookies and data-sharing functions that exist on your website and catalog what they do. It’s likely your legal teams will need to review these sooner rather than later. 

Cillian Kieran, Founder and CEO of Ethyca

Review your ability to categorize data you collect, process or store. There’s lots more nuance in CPRA about how user data is categorized, and processors — including marketers — need to be able to treat different categories of personal information discreetly. An obvious example is the introduction of sensitive personal information (SPI). CPRA allows users to designate that their SPI be used only for the essential delivery of a good or service. This requires finer-grained control for data flows in backend systems. 

Review all contracts , whether you’re the contractor or contractee. CPRA requires a much greater level of specificity regarding your data relationships with partners. Any subcontractor used by a CPRA-bound business must also be able to offer CPRA-level privacy protections. Per IAPP, “Third parties, service providers or contractors [must] enter into an agreement binding the recipient to the same level of privacy protection as provided by the act, granting the business rights to take reasonable and appropriate steps to remediate unauthorized use, and requiring the recipient to notify the business if can no longer comply.”

We’ll leave you with one that’s, on the surface, a bit simpler (although you’ll need to spend plenty of time re-examining data “sales” vs data “sharing”). That “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” link you placed on the homepage, tweak it to read: “Do Not Sell Or Share My Personal Information.”

Gowthaman Ragothaman, CEO at Aqilliz

Leaving third-party data — for good. A significant revision in the CPRA pertains to the amendment to the CCPA’s “Do Not Sell” clause which now covers the practice of data sharing, often leveraged as part of cross-site behavioral advertising and audience targeting. 

For marketers and big tech firms alike, who are already beginning to grapple with the impending obsolescence of third-party cookies, this should come as no surprise. At this stage, marketers should already be exploring alternatives to limit the use of third-party data for audience targeting. Investing in strategic partnerships with publisher networks that have gone on to develop first-party data pools of their own or joining data federations will be essential. Marketers must also adequately vet publisher partners to ensure that data is being obtained in a conspicuous, ethical manner.

Keeping count. Similar to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, CPRA demands far more stringent reporting requirements, mirroring the GDPR’s clause on the Record of Processing Activities. Firms will be responsible to disclose all the information collected about a given consumer, directly or indirectly, irrespective of where data sharing took place.

In light of this, marketers should be prepared to bolster existing tech investments to incorporate record-keeping tools. Now, more than ever, due diligence will be key. Having a historical record of the data throughout its entire lifecycle, will be crucial in ensuring that marketers are sufficiently prepared for the more rigorous reporting and disclosure required under CPRA.

Focusing on what’s necessary, rather than what’s nice to have. The CPRA has also widened the scope of what it defines as “sensitive personal information.” Beyond financial account information such as credit card numbers and government-issued identifiers, this now also expands to include racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and perhaps most significantly, “precise geolocation,” which is key for audience targeting. Under the CPRA, consumers will now have the ability to limit both the use and disclosure of sensitive personal information. 

As marketers look to the future of audience segmentation and targeting efforts, significant changes will need to be made. Though the industry has historically reveled in a mindset of data abundance, marketers will need to make a crucial shift in thinking by taking data minimization to heart. In order to ensure adequate data minimization practices, businesses should not only reexamine their data retention practices for appropriate retention times, but also consider integrating data, storage, and purpose minimization into their data management strategies. Opt-out options for the collection and use of sensitive personal information should also be included. Audience engagement strategies will need to be re-defined and to go a step further. Tech vendors and infrastructures should also now be selected on the basis of better enabling a culture of data minimization. 

Heidi Bullock, CMO at Tealium

Understand your data alongside consent. Brands need to know the exact content and source of their data, especially as we face a future filled with myriad new regulations. This includes pinpointing the types of data being collected — from call center to email and website data — and how that data flows across the company. Other factors to consider include, where the data originates, how it’s stored and how it’s being used by the brand. All of this needs to be done in the context of the individual consent that’s collected with it, which lays out the rules for how each person’s data can be used.

Update brand policies. It’s good to revisit CCPA policies and ensure all processes are updated to adhere to the newest regulations, including the CPRA’s new right to correction. Ensuring that policies still align with and are clear for employees and consumers helps maintain an overarching understanding of privacy across the brand. 

Maintain consumer trust. This is pivotal, especially since these regulations are in the best interest of consumers. A recent Tealium study found that, pre-COVID, 91% of consumers wanted the state or federal government to adopt strict regulations to protect their data.

Acknowledge new governance concepts. CPRA now limits the time brands can hold onto personal information in a new storage limitation requirement, so it’s important to consider this timeline when collecting, utilizing or sharing consumer data to ensure it remains within a reasonable window. The ability to govern data at an individual level in an automated, real-time manner will be critical for companies to comply with these new concepts.

Designate a privacy expert. As more and more regulations surface, it becomes crucial for brands to assign tasks internally to remain both accountable and organized. Internal processes are just as important as consumer-facing communications. Privacy experts with deep understanding for Martech are now more needed than ever, as the complexity of Martech alone kept companies busy beforehand.

The post Concrete steps marketers should take now to get ready for CA’s CPRA in 2023 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Marketing Funnel Stages Explained with SEO Strategies

Marketing Funnel Stages Explained with SEO Strategies

We actually believe you should start by building a high-ROI SEO sales funnel. If you’re new to marketing funnels, we’ll show you how. 

Many of you are probably already familiar with the basic benefit of SEO. Your content ranks higher for your targeted keywords, and you end up with more organic traffic on your website. 

However, many marketers just focus their optimization efforts there. Thing is, the benefit can go so much deeper if you build and optimize a conversion funnel. 

Martin Zwilling, Founder and CEO of Startup Professionals, recently said something that will completely change how you view marketing. Writing for Inc.com, he says; “If you’re still focusing on selling rather than how your customers are buying, you’re missing out on great business potential.”

And, finally, we’re vindicated!

Zwilling is simply saying the same thing we’ve repeated a thousand times by now – that buying is a process. It’s not just about prices. You need a plan for the entire journey – a robust conversion funnel.

Specifically, you can use SEO to engage your target customers as they travel through the conversion funnel. Just imagine if you can rank for all the search terms and queries that correspond to each stage of the conversion funnel, you can engage customers through the entire buying process. 

To do this, you need to integrate keyword optimization, strategic content marketing, and clear site architecture to make sure your leads are engaging with you throughout their entire buyer journey. 

In this post, we will go through each marketing funnel stages and the work you need to do to build an SEO conversion funnel. So let’s start broad. 

What is a Conversion Funnel?

There are tons of conversion funnel models out there.

But generally, a conversion funnel is similar to the traditional sales marketing funnel and is works as a visualization to help marketers plan for the different phases of digital marketing.

With a conversion funnel, you know;

What to sayWhen to say itWhere to say itHow to say it

More formally, it’s defined as “a way of representing the buyer journey through which prospects go until they make a conversion.”

An SEO conversion funnel is named so because it focuses on organic traffic generated through search engines.

What Makes SEO Conversion Funnel Important?

Many companies still market their products based solely on price. To them, selling begins and ends with your lower prices.

How wrong they are!

Although the price is still an important consideration for people who buy, everything about your product can no longer revolve around price. Why? Because the consumer has changed. Digital commerce changed everything.

Today, at the initial stages, web searchers aren’t even thinking about the price yet. In fact, maybe they’re still researching if buying a certain solution would be a great idea. In that case, you’d need to begin by convincing them on the benefits of making the purchase. 

An SEO sales funnel is designed to organize your SEO campaign to quietly rope in potential customers and gently “push” them through to conversion.

Marketing Funnel Stages Explained

The SEO conversion funnel has three main parts – the top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel, and the bottom of the funnel. Here’s what you need about each stage.

Top of the Funnel (TOFU)

Also known as the awareness stage, the top of the funnel, this is the stage where you try to capture potential customers. Here, the consumer is just browsing around. Perhaps they don’t even realize they have a problem.

You need to do three things.

First, make them aware of their problem (if they don’t know yet that they have one) or remind them if they’re already aware.

Secondly, make them know the full cost of that problem. How much money are they losing or leaving on the table?

Lastly, let them know there’s a solution to the problem.

It might seem that to engage your leads at this stage, you should target broad key terms and create content that addresses those broad interests. 

But that’s not entirely true. Even your broad keywords can stem from your buyer keywords. For example, if you are an SEO company, you can create content on the difference between hiring an SEO and doing it yourself. 

Content in this stage should focus on agitating the pain, which in this case should emphasize more on the benefits of hiring an SEO rather than doing it yourself.  

Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)

The middle of the funnel is also known as the consideration phase. Here, the consumer now understands that they have a problem.

They also know that there’s a solution out there. But, they’re not actively thinking about fixing it yet. It’s not yet a priority.

So, what’s your job? To make it a priority; to convince them to get the solution now.

You want to make them know that they stand to save a lot of money if they fix the problem. Telling them exactly how they would benefit can be invaluable here.

Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)

The bottom of the funnel, also known as the decision stage, is where the consumer is convinced about acquiring the solution. Now, all they need to do is choose a product and vendor.

As such, your job is to get them to choose your brand and product. They’re likely to come across endless ads and check out lots of websites. You need to convince them to choose you!

SEO Tactics and Strategies for Each Stage of the Funnel

You’ll need to focus on specific content types and keywords for each stage of the SEO funnel. Here are a few tips;

Awareness Stage

In the awareness stage, focus on content that makes the consumer aware of their situation and potential solutions. Some of the best performing content options for this stage include;

Educational blog postsIndustry researchAnalyst reports

With regards to keywords, “prevent,” “improve,” and “troubleshoot” work excellently as they encourage the consumer to rethink their position.

Consideration Stage

In the consideration stage, you need content that encourages the consumer to start thinking about getting the solution. Some content options that work extremely well here, therefore, include;

Expert guidesLive interactionsCase studies

As for keywords, popular options include “provider,” “service,” and “tool.” Essentially, you want to use words that tell consumers that a solution exists for their problem and that they should acquire that solution.

Decision Stage

Finally, in the decision stage, you want to focus on content that helps the consumer choose the right solution and vendor (ideally your products). So, consider;

Vendor reviewsProduct comparisonsProduct guidesWhitepapers

Some of the best keywords for this stage include “pros and cons,” “compare,” and “review.” “Free Trial” and “Test” are other words/phrases you should consider.

Map your Customer Journey with Interlinking

Beyond content and keywords, you also need to develop a flawless Information Architecture (IA) for easy and fast discovery of and access to your resources.

The Search Engine Journal has created a detailed guide on how to approach IA. In a nutshell, you need to focus on;

NavigationSitemapPage structureWireframesContent organizationStory outline

The goal is to provide the right content and use the right keywords for each stage of the funnel. Links play a central role in mapping the journey. Using links, you can direct the consumer through the different stages of the funnel until they finally convert.

Ways to Optimize SEO Conversion Funnel

There are several steps you can take to optimize your SEO conversion funnel for search engines. Consider the following;

Use your domain name frequently: Domain names are simple and easy to remember. They also boost credibility, brand recall, and direct searches.Combine SEO with PPC data: Incorporate the same keywords you use in Google AdWords and other PPC campaigns into your SEO funnel.Embrace the long-tail theory: Leveraging both head and long-tail keywords will help you cast your net wide for maximum conversions.Build a keyword funnel: An SEO marketing funnel is incomplete without an accompanying keyword funnel. You need to identify the perfect keywords for each stage of the funnel.Build a content map: A content map is a plan that outlines your content strategy. It answers the what, who, where, and when of content marketing.Do split tests to improve your campaign: Split tests will help you discover new opportunities for growth. Elements to consider for split-testing include keywords, CTAs, and headlines.

Conclusion

Every digital marketer needs a plan to generate the right traffic, drive leads, and convert sales. An SEO conversion funnel is an answer to this need. A well-designed SEO funnel attracts the right readers (in their numbers) and keeps them in the loop, right to conversion.

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Is Google Digital Marketing Certification Worth It? (Review)

Is Google Digital Marketing Certification Worth It? (Review)

Google Digital Marketing Certification is definitely worth it. It’s a great course to follow if you want to break into digital marketing. It is offered by Google, it’s free and accredited by Open University and other organizations.

We know that searching and researching for the right online course to invest in can be overwhelming and mentally exhausting.

There are just so many options out there in the digital world. But these online courses are truly the most efficient way to grow your knowledge and skill when it comes to furthering your career or growing your business.

We’ve already given you a list of the best digital marketing courses, so now we are going to give you a more comprehensive review of one of those courses.

We are diving into the Google Digital Marketing Certification so that you can decide if it’s a good fit for you.

In this review, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the Google Marketing certification.

We will talk about what this course entails, the time and money investment required, how it’s delivered, it’s features and benefits, and how to obtain that Google Digital Marketing Certification for your resume.

By the end of this post, you should have a good idea if the Fundamentals of Google Digital Marketing Certification is worth your while.

Let’s get started.

What is Google Digital Marketing Certification?
Is Google Digital Marketing Course Free?
Is it a Good Course to Follow?
What You’ll Learn in this Course?
How to become Google Certified?
Google Digital Marketing Certification Alternatives

What is Google Digital Marketing Certification?

Google Digital Marketing Certification is a certificate awarded by Google after successfully completing the requirements of the Fundaments of Digital Marketing Course. The certificate is accredited by Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and The Open University.

It is a basic yet well-rounded course for those who are looking to learn the fundamentals of digital marketing or even brush up on their digital marketing skills and knowledge.

The Google digital marketing course is offered through the Google Digital Garage library. With 26 modules of 40 hours of time investment, this is the only digital marketing course provided by Google Digital Garage that offers a certification.

Google Digital Garage is a learning platform owned by Google. It’s a library of free online courses offered by both Google’s professional trainers as well as a variety of other course platforms.

Google Digital Garage Courses

Google Digital Garage aims to give professionals a simple and flexible way to learn the real-world skills they need to succeed in business. So it’s a good idea to explore the collection of other courses that it provides.

Is Google Digital Marketing Course Free?

Yes! It’s free and simple to register for. When you click the Register button you can either log in with your Google account or register using a different email account.

Once you create your account, you can track your progress, download your certificate (after completing the course and passing an exam) and get free access to all the online lessons and face-to-face workshops available in Google Digital Garage.

Track your progress as you work through the course.
Is it a Good Course to Follow?

If you are looking for foundational information to jumpstart your own digital marketing career this course is for you. Even if your sole purpose is to learn more about how to market your own business, this Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course will move you in the right direction.

Here are some practical reasons you may want to say yes to the Google Digital Marketing Certification course:

It’s easy to use.

Not only is the registration process simple, but the layout of the course is broken down into bite-sized chunks so that it’s easy to digest. Each of the 7 sections of the course contains anywhere from 1-7 modules consisting of both videos and check-in questions to ensure you are retaining the information.

Google Certification Lessons

At the end of some lessons, there are even some action items to implement in order to move your business forward in the digital space. After you have completed the modules in each section, there is a quick quiz that follows.

Another convenient feature is being able to adjust the YouTube playback speed. If you are an avid note-taker, you can make it slower to allow yourself time. If you are looking to power through the course or are reviewing it for a second time, you can speed it up. A small convenience, but sometimes very valuable!

It covers the fundamentals of online business

The world is online, and even though it’s hard to believe, there are many local businesses that still aren’t taking advantage yet. This course is for those that are starting a new online business, or learn how to make digital marketing a career for themselves.

In this course, you will learn how to build an online marketing strategy, improve how a website ranks on search engines, and use analytics tools to understand online performance. It’s foundational, but a necessary first step.

Obtaining a certification shows that you are dedicated and willing to invest time into your professional growth

Why choose a course that provides a certification? Not only does it show potential employers that you have the knowledge and skills they are looking for, but it also shows that you are responsible, dedicated, and understand that professional growth is important to your success. It goes a long way!

It’s a reputable and credible source

Google knows what they’re talking about when it comes to digital marketing. When it comes to searching for the right course to take online, it can get overwhelming since there are many digital marketing certificate programs out there. Going with Google Digital Garage is a safe bet, especially when wanting to learn the fundamentals of online marketing.

Not only will it give you peace of mind in knowing you are learning legitimate and current information, but it will also hold some weight when putting this certification on your resume.

What You’ll Learn in this Course?

This course, although free, is robust and full of great foundational content. With 26 modules, there are approximately 40 hours of videos, check-in questions, and quizzes. The modules are broken up into 7 main sections that are titled:

Take a Business Online
Make It Easy for People to Find a Business on the Web
Reach More People Locally, on Social Media, or on Mobile
Reach More People With Advertising
Track and Measure Web Traffic
Sell Products of Services Online
Take a Business Global

Google Digital Marketing Certification Modules

Within each of these sections, there are modules that include videos, quick check-in questions, action items, and a quiz that wraps up the lesson. The videos are great, but if you prefer reading, you can simply click on the “view transcription” button to expand the text and read your way through the course. This is a great way to get your notes as well.

These 7 sections include detailed lessons on:

Building your web presence
Planning your online business strategy
Getting found on Google search
Deep-diving into social media
Discovering the possibilities with mobile
The ins and outs of online advertising
Finding success with analytics
Building your online shop
Expanding internationally

So even though this is a foundational course and the titles of the 7 main sections seem a bit basic, the content within the sections are packed with practical information to get your business off the ground or even your career as a digital marketing consultant to the next level.

How do I get Google Digital Marketing Certified?

After completing all 26 modules and passing the 40 question exam, you will earn your Google Digital Marketing Certificate to share on LinkedIn or resume.

Obtaining the certificate is as simple as downloading the PDF from the course page after successfully completing the final exam.

Google Digital Marketing Certification

This certification is accredited by Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and The Open University. It’s globally recognized which makes it beneficial for you to add it to your resume.

Google Digital Marketing Certification Alternatives

Of course, as I’m sure you know, there are many courses online that will uplevel your skills and, ultimately, your business. Sometimes a course may not be the right fit for you, and if that’s the case with Google Digital Marketing, here are some alternatives for you.

Digital Marketing Full Course by ReliableSoft Academy

This is our 8 courses in one bundle that includes our SEO, Digital Marketing, Keyword Research, Content Marketing, Google Analytics, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and eCommerce SEO courses.

With checklists, actionable tips, and step-by-step instruction, this bundle of courses is designed to make it easy for you to take action in your business and see results right away.

Our courses are updated frequently as we continue to test the market and make the appropriate changes, so you will always have the most current digital marketing best practices.  Within the course, you will not only learn the practical tips but be inspired by real success stories.

The value of this course is $312, but we are offering it at 70% off for only $87. With our 60-day money-back guarantee, it’s essentially risk-free and worth checking out if you are looking for the best bang for your buck.

Udemy – The Complete Digital Marketing Course

This course dives a little deeper into specific platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest marketing. At $149.99 it’s a reasonable price, and if you catch it on sale, even better.

With a 30-day money-back guarantee and many good reviews, it’s definitely worth checking out if you are looking into more detailed instruction.

SEMrush Academy

If you’re wanting another free option, SEMrush is a well-known, credible, and reputable company in the digital marketing world.

They have a wide range of courses in their academy including digital marketing, content marketing, SEO, affiliate marketing, and social media marketing.

These courses do also provide a certification upon completion of an exam.

Conclusion

We’ve established that selecting and completing the right online course is not a waste of time. It is a quick, simple, flexible, and effective way to gain knowledge in the digital marketing space.

Since the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course is completely free, the question to ask yourself is whether or not it is worth your time investment.

Here is a summary of the course features:

It’s provided by a leader in the space (Google) which makes it a credible source
It’s FREE!
It has a simple registration process with no strings attached (you can opt-out of emails so that you are not on yet another email list).
It’s user friendly and easy to navigate through.
With a mix of video, text, action items, and quizzes, it’s bite-sized lessons were designed with a busy professional in mind.
Its content covers the fundamentals but is practical enough to allow the student to implement and see results in their business.
For those that are looking for digital marketing certification for their resume or LinkedIn profile, this course provides a globally recognized certification after successfully completing a 40 questions exam.

With so many digital marketing courses available, we believe that the Google Digital Marketing Certification course is definitely one that is worth your while.

Definitely take the time to explore everything that the Google Digital Garage has to offer. Between its library of online courses, certifications, live training, and other tools and resources, you are sure to grow your skill or freshen up on your knowledge.

The post Is Google Digital Marketing Certification Worth It? (Review) appeared first on reliablesoft.net.

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Does changing your business phone number affect SEO?

30-second summary:

Although a business phone number isn’t as tough on your SEO as a complete rebrand, changing it can have an impact on your SEO.
Preserving NAP consistency should be your primary goal when changing your phone number.
Your marketing strategy can help make the transition easier for your customers, too, as you can notify them of the change ahead of time.
The key goal in addition to retaining your ranking should be to not lose the trust of your customers by changing your information – hence the need to approach the process carefully.

Much like all other aspects of digital marketing and brand positioning, SEO is a constantly changing game. With so many moving pieces and evolving trends, it’s no wonder that brands aren’t quite certain which decisions will negatively impact their SEO, and which ones are safe enough to make. 

One day, it seems that one kind of behavior is perfectly fine, while the next Google will penalize it because they’ve implemented algorithm changes. Add customer expectations into the mix, and it gets even more difficult to figure out just what’s worth the effort, and what should be left alone. 

When it comes to your business details, including your name, address, and phone number (neatly packed into the notion of NAP information), change can be good. After all, entire companies have successfully rebranded without a hitch. However, changing a single piece of information such as your phone number can change the entire customer journey if not done right.

Here, we’ll tackle a few essential steps in the process to keep in mind, so that your phone number shift doesn’t impact your ranking or your brand perception negatively. 

NAP it in the bud

Local search is a vital component of your overall SEO strategy, all the more so when you’re running a strictly local business with a physical presence, such as a pastry shop, a car repair facility, or a beauty salon. Your foot traffic heavily depends on your customers’ ability to find correct information online when they search for your services.

If they stumble upon an outdated number, they’ll call the next business in their search results with solid reviews and forget that you exist. Simply put, consistency matters. Google doesn’t want to disappoint its users, so it penalizes businesses with inconsistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information across the internet. As soon as your directories, your website and other online listings don’t show your actual phone number, your ranking will suffer.

The remedy is fairly simple. If you have decided to change your phone number or your entire communications system, for that matter, you should take the time to revise all your local business listings and directories where your company pops up. 

NAP consistency is a vital ranking factor that can either plummet your business in the eyes of search engines, or it can help you reach those topmost desirable spots in the SERPs. So, while changing your business phone number might not be a cause for worry on its own, how you distribute it will greatly matter in local rankings. 

Take care of your call tracking

Some businesses steer clear of call tracking simply because they aren’t sure how to go about it, afraid to damage their SEO in the process. Even more importantly with regards to call tracking, every business needs to adhere to those key legal requirements, such as the EU’s GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, to make sure their customers’ sensitive information is safe. But when the time comes to move from outdated landlines and change your numbers or merge them, you can also reap the benefits of this potentially SEO-beneficial process.

Wanting to unify and improve their communication systems, companies are switching to digital phone solutions such as voice over internet protocol (or VoIP for short). There are many perks of such a transition for call tracking, smarter customer support, and better customer engagement, all of which can support your SEO efforts in the long run. As you learn about VoIP and its many applications, you’ll be able to make the most of your phone-based interactions with your customers to serve your brand reputation, but also your ranking.

In addition to having more business phone numbers at your disposal if you need them, you should know that VoIP platforms come with other useful features such as call analytics, recording, emailing, and texting. Collecting all of that data and implementing SEO-safe call tracking with the help of Dynamic Number Insertion both work in favor of your SEO.

Building and preserving customer trust

When done right, changing your business phone number can be a seamless process that doesn’t do any damage to your ranking. However, it’s important to remember the reason for the ranking in the first place: search engines want to give users the best, most trustworthy results first and above all other available options online. In doing so, they reward businesses that accurately portray themselves online, and contact information is a vital component of that representation.

The basic premise goes as follows: if a customer calls you and gets a notification that the number no longer exists, they lose trust in your brand. Google and other search engines recognize that lack of trust and thus push other businesses above yours, with accurate and verified contact details available. In a sense, it’s customer trust that drives search engine ranking. 

Research has confirmed this, as 80% of surveyed respondents in BrightLocal research have stated that they would lose trust in a business with incorrect and inconsistent contact details. If you’ve decided to change your phone number, making sure it’s consistently represented across all of your digital outlets is the key piece of your SEO puzzle: to preserve customer trust and thus to preserve your ranking. 

Notifying the customer in time

Thankfully, you can make sure that your customers have the correct information in a few simple ways. If you’ve taken care of all of your business directory listings, your social media pages, messaging app presence, and your website, you can use your marketing strategy to get the word out. 

Your subscribers and return customers will want to know that your business has changed a vital piece of information. Just like you don’t want them to spend an hour going to an old address of your café only to discover a weird-looking shop for plumbing supplies, you want to have your new number added to their contacts list.

You can use your weekly/monthly newsletter to notify them of the switch, post a social media update letting customers know the new number they can reach you on, and post a little announcement on your website, too, especially if you gain plenty of call traffic from all of these outlets.

Changing a business phone number can be a simple process in itself, but its impact on your business will not be unless you prepare properly. Taking care of all the business registers where your company is listed paired with implementing search engine-approved tracking tactics as well as customer engagement will be more than enough to help you through the process. 

Emma Worden is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. You can find Emma on @EmmaRWorden.

The post Does changing your business phone number affect SEO? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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