SEO Articles

Writing with Yoast SEO and Bertha – a content AI tool

Writing with Yoast SEO and Bertha – a content AI tool

If you’re a content creator, you’ve probably considered using a content AI tool to help you write. After all, these tools can be extremely helpful in generating ideas and getting your creative juices flowing. But is it really a good idea to rely on an AI tool for your writing? I wrote this post together with Bertha. This is a tool that will help you to draft your content using AI. In this blog post, Bertha and I will tell you all about our first collaboration!

How to start with Bertha?

This section is actually written by me, Marieke. I was skeptical about AI. I am a writer, an artist, and was not that sure that a robot could take my place. But I decided to give this a try. The first step I took was to let Bertha come up with a blog post outline based on the title of this article. Bertha gave me some great ideas! I chose the following outline:

Introduction: Content AI tool that can help you write better headlines, blog posts, and social media updatesYoast: A content optimization plugin for WordPress that will help you with your SEOWhat does Bertha.AI do?Conclusion: How these two tools can help you take your content to the next level

I decided to skip the second suggestion because that will not be of much use for our Yoast audience. After that, I asked Bertha to write the introduction to this blog post. Admittedly, I added the last three sentences myself (hey, it still is a collaboration :-)). Also, I filled out the focus keyphrase in Yoast SEO for which I want this post to rank for ‘Yoast SEO and Bertha’. With the paragraph generator, I generated the three topics Bertha suggested I would write. It asked me what the paragraphs should be about. So, it’s my opinion and voice you’re reading, but I did not draft those exact sentences. After that, I generated the concluding paragraph.

My (or should I say Bertha’s) readability score remained green throughout the writing process. I did notice that Bertha’s sentences are a bit more lengthy than my sentences generally are. The bullet of the Yoast SEO analysis was orange. So I did some minor tweaks on my SEO after I drafted this post.

Do Content AI tools like Bertha help you?

If you’re someone who uses WordPress and wants to be found online, then you’re the ideal customer for Bertha. It’s a content AI tool that can help you write better headlines, blog posts, and social media updates. Marieke, who was originally skeptical about AI’s ability to write a blog post, is now a big fan of Bertha. She thinks it’s especially useful for product descriptions. With Bertha, you can keep your own voice and let the AI handle the hard writing work.

So what does Bertha do?

If you’re struggling to write a blog post, don’t worry – Bertha is here to help. It’s an AI-powered writing assistant that can help you get the job done. Just enter your topic and Bertha will get to work, giving you the perfect paragraph to use in your blog post. So why not give her a try?

If you’ve ever used an AI content tool, you know that they can sometimes say weird things. In Bertha’s case, she said that Bertha is better than Yoast and that’s simply not true :-). The AI can sometimes make mistakes, especially with longer pieces of text. So it’s important to keep using your brain and not rely too heavily on AI.

Yoast SEO and Bertha: a match made in heaven?

If you’re using WordPress, then you should definitely try out Bertha (next to Yoast SEO). They work great together and can really help improve your online presence. Yoast SEO can help ensure that all the SEO boxes are checked, while this AI tool can do the hard work of writing for you. So there you have it! If you’re looking for a great SEO tool, give Bertha a try.

The post Writing with Yoast SEO and Bertha – a content AI tool appeared first on Yoast.

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How to Generate More Leads Through Your Online Marketing Campaigns

How to Generate More Leads Through Your Online Marketing Campaigns

Are you happy with the number of leads your marketing campaigns are generating? Or, do you wish they were a bit more effective?

If you’re serious about growing your business—whether it’s a B2B company, an e-commerce store, or a startup—increasing the number of leads should be a top priority. Setting up online campaigns is a good start, but it’s not enough. You need to optimize those marketing campaigns to squeeze every last lead from your funnel.

Are you ready to get to work? Here are seven strategies to generate leads like never before.

Why Are Leads so Crucial to Business Growth?

Two of marketers’ top priorities are generating leads and converting those leads to customers. Only increasing customer satisfaction comes close to the importance of getting new leads.

A bar graph of the top marketing priorities in the next 12 months.

It’s no surprise that lead generation is a top priority. Without a continuous flow of new leads, sales dry up. Without sales, there’s no revenue. And without revenue, your business folds.

What’s more, most people who land on your site won’t purchase right away. You need to constantly collect leads so you can nurture them and convert them into buyers in the future.

Not just any leads will do, however. Referrals, conferences, and cold calling are all great lead generation strategies, but they aren’t enough. You also need to learn how to generate more leads from your online campaigns.

Why are advertising leads better? Using targeting you can gather better leads faster and even automate parts of the process. How do you make sure your ads are driving quality leads?

How to Generate Leads Online: 7 Strategies to Drive More Leads

If you aren’t sure how to create a lead generation campaign, I have previous articles to walk you through the process. What I’m going to do is show you how to generate leads online by improving your existing ad campaigns.

Optimize Your Landing Page

Your landing page (or squeeze page) is one of the most important elements of your online lead generation campaign. The goal is to leave the visitor with no choice but to hand over information in exchange for something valuable.

Landing pages convert better than most other ads or offers. The average conversion rate is 2.35 percent, but some have conversion rates in excess of 10 percent. If your landing page’s conversion rate isn’t pushing double digits, you should look to optimize one or more elements ASAP.

I recommend looking at your page’s copy, including its headline, first. Make sure your copy is short, sharp, and engaging. Users need to understand exactly what your product is and how it helps them within a few seconds of landing on your site. Make sure you focus on the benefits of your product to the user, not its features.

Spend more time tweaking and testing your headline than anything else. This will be the first thing a user reads and one of the biggest deciding factors in whether they continue browsing the rest of the page.

You can speed up a user’s understanding of your product by including a video on your landing page. A good chunk of your audience would rather watch a video than read your copy, which is why 76 percent of sales teams say video is key to securing more deals.

Finally, remove all distractions from your page. The layout should be as simple as possible and there’s no need for a navigation bar or links to any other pages on your site. This leaves the user with two options: close their browser window or sign up.

ConvertKit’s Creator Pass is a fantastic example of how to create a great landing page. There’s no headline navigation, the headline copy offers a clear benefit, and there’s an enticing call to action right in front of you.

Generate more leads by optimizing your landing page.

Offer Real Value

Arguably the most important part of your landing page isn’t the copy, image, or CTA. It’s the piece of content, tool, or resource you offer in return for each lead’s email address.

For most brands, gated content takes the form of a PDF download, something like an ebook or a whitepaper. But it doesn’t have to be. Case studies, surveys, webinars and video series are all excellent types of gated content.

Whatever form your gated content takes, it must deliver tremendous value. Otherwise leads will leave your funnel as quickly as they entered. How do you deliver value? By solving a problem your leads have. What are their pain points? Where do they get stuck? What expertise can you leverage to make their lives a little bit easier?

Delivering value also means presenting gated content in the best way possible. Make it visually appealing, with images, videos, and other forms of multimedia content. The nicer it is for your leads to consume, the more they’ll engage with it.

Here’s an example of a non-ebook lead magnet from Leadpages:

Generate more leads by offering real value to the consumer.

They know their leads often struggle to create high converting pages, so they created a training course to solve that issue.

Use Automation to Nurture Leads

Collecting leads is just the first step of the process; you also need to nurture them. Only two percent of sales are made at first contact, yet most salespeople give up after the first attempt. If you automate the follow-up process, you don’t have to worry about a thing.

I recommend using email to nurture when possible. It is a great way to drip feed messages to your leads, it also generates massive ROI. According to research by the Direct Marketing Association, the ROI of email marketing is £42 for every £1 spent.

If you don’t have an email automation platform yet, check out my review of the best solutions. Then integrate your landing page’s form so every email is automatically added to your mailing list.

Next, create an automated series of emails that is sent out at regular intervals. Your goal is to take leads through each stage of the buying process—and that means providing them with the right educational content at the right time. Start by educating them about your wider industry and their general problems. A couple of emails later, you can start to focus on your product and service and how you can help.

The more emails you send, the more you can make your product the hero of the email, and the more direct you can be with the lead.

Use Chatbots to Turn Conversations Into High-Quality Leads

Your salespeople aren’t the only ones who can nurture leads. Chatbots can automate almost every part of the lead generation process. They’re incredibly effective at it, too. Over half of businesses that use AI-powered chatbots generate better quality leads.

Start by replacing forms on your landing page with a chat bot. Forms can be long-winded and rarely offer a great user experience. Chatbots make it easier for prospects to fill out their details. In some cases, users may not even be aware they’re filling out a lead form.

You can also use chatbots to respond to leads at lightning speed. Response time matters in lead generation. A study by Harvard Business Review shows businesses that respond to leads in under five minutes are 100 times more likely to convert them. With chatbots, you can automate the response process and send a message as soon as a lead fills out a form.

Finally, use chatbots to nurture and qualify leads. Chatbots can ask the same qualifying question as your salespeople to separate the wheat from the chaff. The best can be sent directly to sales, while everyone else is added to a nurturing sequence.

Drift’s chatbot is an excellent example of this. It asks a qualifying question as soon as someone lands on the site, putting them straight through to a sales rep if they’re ready.

Generate more leads by utilizing chat bots.

Use Multi-Platform Campaigns

How many platforms are you using to advertise your landing page and gated content? You probably aren’t using enough.

Today’s customer journey is long. Most don’t convert to customers the first time they land on your site. The majority probably won’t sign up on your landing page, either. A recent Google study found it takes between 20 and 500 touchpoints to become a customer.

The solution is a multi-touch campaign, where your message is delivered in multiple formats across multiple channels.

Advertising on a range of channels maximizes the chances that potential customers will see and click your ad. It’s a numbers game at the end of the day. The more shots you take, the more chances you have to score.

Leverage Personalization

If you want an easy way to increase conversion rates at every stage of your online lead generation campaign, try personalization. In a survey of B2B sales and marketing professionals, over three-quarters (77 percent) said personalization made for better customer relationships, and over half (55 percent) said personalization led to higher sales conversions.

How can you add personalization into your funnels to generate leads?

Start by personalizing your ads. While Apple may have made creating hyper-personalized ads a lot harder, Google still makes it relatively easy to personalize paid search ads with dynamic ads.

Next, personalize your landing page, particularly the call to action. Research shows personalized CTAs achieve 202 percent better conversions. Marketing tools like HubSpot and Unbounce can help you create dynamic CTAs that change depending on who views them. But you could also go old school and create several different versions of your page for each ad group and personalize the copy accordingly.

Finally, build personalization into your email automation tool. Every major email marketing tool makes it easy to automatically insert the recipient’s name into the subject line and body copy, so there’s absolutely no excuse not to personalize your nurturing emails.

Target Your Ads Carefully

There’s no point wasting resources nurturing leads who will never buy your product. That’s why you need to target your lead generation ads carefully.

I’ve written extensively about how to find your target audience and identify target markets for paid campaigns, so I’m not going to cover old ground here.

I will say it’s important not to be too hasty when judging the performance of your landing page ads. When pruning and optimizing ad campaigns, don’t just judge performance based on how many people they send to your landing page that sign up. That’s a good measure, but it’s not as important as how many people actually convert into customers.

Think about it. One ad campaign could have a ridiculously high signup conversion rate of 20 percent. But if only a tiny fraction of those people make a purchase, it’s not a particularly effective ad. An ad campaign with a much lower signup conversion rate could be far more effective at generating high-quality leads.

Of course, this means you’re going to have to wait longer to collect relevant data. But the end result should be a much more targeted and effective ad campaign.

The best way to target ads effectively? Target keywords with higher buyer intent. These are search terms that indicate the user is closer to conversion.

Frequently Asked Questions About Generating More Leads

How do you build a lead generation campaign?

Start by having an objective and defining your target audience. Create a valuable piece of gated content and drive traffic to it using paid ads. Collect emails and then use email to nurture those leads.

What is an example of a lead generation marketing campaign?

A gated whitepaper is an example of a lead generation marketing campaign. Webinars can also be used as a lead generation marketing campaign to acquire leads and nurture them using video

How do I optimize my lead generation campaign?

There are several strategies to optimize lead generation campaigns. Improve your landing page copy, put your emails on autopilot, use chatbots to speed up response time, and personalize messaging.

Where should I advertise for my lead gen campaign?

Social media platforms are one of the most cost-effective places to advertise your lead generation campaign. But the important thing is to advertise wherever your target audience hangs out online.

Conclusion: Generate More Leads to Improve Marketing ROI

Improving your online marketing campaigns and optimizing how you generate leads are the keys to growing your business. But you don’t have to use all of the strategies I’ve listed all at once.

Optimizing your campaigns should be an ongoing endeavor, so pick one or two of these strategies to implement at a time. Pretty soon you’ll send your ROI skyrocketing.

Now you know how to generate leads online, which strategy will you start with first?

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Google rich results guidelines now prohibits weapons, recreational drugs, tobacco & vaping products and gambling-related products

Google has updated its rich results content guidelines to align better with the overall Google merchant guidelines thus disallowing rich results for products that are widely prohibited or regulated, or that can facilitate serious harm to self or others.

These include, but are not limited to, weapons, recreational drugs, tobacco & vaping products and gambling-related products.

New rich results guidelines. Google has updated the rich results product content guidelines to add this section:

Don’t mark up content that promotes widely prohibited or regulated goods, services, or information that may facilitate serious and/or immediate or long term harm to self or others. This includes content related to firearms & weapons, recreational drugs, tobacco & vaping products and gambling-related products.

Application. Google said this policy applies to all forms of rich result markup, including star ratings, prices, or availability information and more. This can impact products with rich result structured data markup that are widely prohibited or regulated, or that can facilitate serious harm to self or others. “This could include goods like fireworks, recreational drugs, and other products that can pose acute threats of physical harm,” a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land.

Effective immediately. Google told us this policy goes into affect today, at the time this story has published.

Why we care. If you sell any of these types of products, you will probably want to remove the structured data markup from those pages. If you do not remove the markup, either way, Google will not show rich results for these product categories.

We did ask Google if you will receive some sort of manual action within Google Search Console and Google said it will not issue manual actions, instead Google will simply just remove the rich results for these types of search results. So no manual action will be given but technically the removal of these rich results is the penalty one would receive for violating the rich results content guidelines.

The post Google rich results guidelines now prohibits weapons, recreational drugs, tobacco & vaping products and gambling-related products appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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How to migrate to Google Analytics 4: A step-by-step guide

You’ve likely heard by now that Google is updating Google Analytics from Universal Analytics (also known as GA3 or UA) to a new, upgraded version, Google Analytics 4 (GA4). 

The migration for many of us from GA2 (Classic Analytics) to GA3 (Universal Analytics) was relatively painless 10 years ago.

This migration isn’t quite as simple. 

There are many differences between the current Google Analytics you’re likely using (UA) and the new version of Google Analytics (GA4), and not all of the features of UA are present in GA4. 

Additionally, Google is pressing us to update now. As of July 1, 2023, the free version of Google UA will no longer collect data. 

That means that you need to seriously address your analytics plan as soon as possible to ensure that as of that date that your new GA4 property is tracking correctly and can provide you with accurate year-over-year data.

Here’s how to migrate to Google Analytics 4.

Phase 1: Create your GA4 property and launch it

Of utmost importance is creating your new GA4 properties and launching them immediately. 

Properties won’t be importing historical data from UA, which means that your GA4 property will only start tracking traffic data from the moment you create it and forward. 

So the sooner you create it, the sooner you’ll have data populating in the GA4 property.

Timeline: Ideally, this should be done before July 1, 2022. But if you miss this date goal, just create your GA4 property (or properties) as soon as possible.

To launch the new property, you’ll need to:

Create the new GA4 property.Add the new GA4 tracking tag to your site. 

This is most easily accomplished if you use Google Tag Manager. After deployment, check the new property over the next few days to ensure you’re seeing traffic data populating in the property.

Phase 2: Make a list of your key items

New analytics properties do not inherit specific tracking items (e.g., goals, events) from any other properties (including UA properties). 

The following is a list of the most common tracking items I use in Google Analytics. You may have additional ones to add, but these are some common ones you need to add to the list:

EventsGoals (Conversions)Content GroupingsCustom Dimensions/MetricsReferral ExclusionsProduct Link ConnectionsAudiences

Once you’ve created your list, evaluate what you need to keep, which you can discard, and also perhaps where gaps might exist where you may want to create new tracking items, such as new events, new goals, etc.

Remember that goals are created in each reporting view. Reporting views are not used with GA4, so if you want to preserve all of the goals you currently have in multiple reporting views for the same UA property, then you’ll need to list all of them and recreate them in the GA4 property. 

Like UA reporting views, which limited you to 20 goals per reporting view, GA4 limits you to 30 conversions per property

When you list out your current goals, be sure to note which ones are “non-event” goals (for example, destination-based goals), as you’ll need to make some changes to how you track those going forward.

Phase 3: Begin migrating individual items to GA4

Once you have your list of items to recreate in GA4, the real setup work begins!

Here are the most common items for set up and some tips for setting each one up:

Events

Events in GA4 are similar to UA setup, but you may need to set the tagging up anew for GA4 goals.

Some events you may have manually set up in the past, like scroll depth, are now automatically added for you in GA4.

So first, check the automated goals that are tracking in your GA4 property by looking at the events under Configure in the navigation. No need to recreate events that Google has already created for you!

Like with adding the general GA tracking code to your site, Google Tag Manager is the easiest tool to use for this effort.

Goals (Conversions)

In GA4, goals are now renamed “Conversions”, and all goals are event-based.

When migrating your existing UA goals to GA4, I suggest starting with the event-based goals, as those are more similar to the original goal set up in UA.

Once you’ve set up the events in GA4 and marked them as conversions, start with destination-based goals and engagement goals.

For goals that were previously destination-based, you can either add the goal to GA4 via the interface or via code. For goals that were previously engagement-based, you’ll first need to create a GA4 audience (see below) and then recreate the engagement-based goals utilizing that audience.

Content Groupings

In UA, content groupings were created in the interface itself. However, in GA4 there is no interface setup – all content groups are created through page tagging.

In some ways, this is a nice change, but it requires a lot of time investment at the onset.

A page can have multiple “gtags” on it, and the simplest way to implement these will likely be Google Tag Manager.

If you wish to implement content groupings in GA4, visit this reference guide from Google.

Custom Dimensions/Metrics

Like with UA, setting up custom dimensions and metrics is a two-step process – it requires set up in both the interface and the code.

Your existing UA custom dimensions and metrics tags may migrate over fine to GA4, but you will still need to set up the dimensions and metrics in the GA4 property interface.

To set up custom dimensions and metrics in the interface, refer to Google’s setup guide.

Referral Exclusions

Referral exclusions still exist in GA4, but they’ve essentially been renamed and moved a few layers down from the top admin navigation levels.

To add referral exclusions, under your GA4 property admin menu, select Data Streams, then your site data stream (your URL), then select More Tagging Settings under the Additional Settings section.

Finally, click Configure Your Domains and enter your domain and any other domains (such as those from third-party apps that integrate with your website, like certain marketing automation tools).

Product Link Extensions

You’ll need to reconnect your Google products’ links to your new GA4 property. Note that it’s OK to have your Google properties connected to multiple GA properties, so you don’t need to remove your existing UA product links to connect GA4 too.

Product Links now appear at the top level of the property admin navigation. Select each of the Google products you use, like Google Ads, and connect your new GA4 property(ies).

Audiences

Google Analytics audiences are helpful for advertising purposes and now also conversion setup in GA4. It’s important to set up your audiences long before July 1, 2023 so that you can update your Google Ads campaigns with comparable, viable audience lists when the UA properties stop tracking. 

To recreate your audiences in GA4, first focus on the audiences in your list in UA (at the property level) and look for those that have Google Analytics as the audience type. Those will need to be recreated in GA4.

However, the terminology and way you create audiences has changed in GA4, so refer to Google’s audience creation guide for assistance.

Ecommerce

Like almost all things in the UA to GA4 migration, ecommerce tracking also won’t magically move from UA to GA4. Google recommends creating a separate set of tags for GA4 ecommerce tracking, even though it is the same as UA.

Here again, Google Tag Manager is likely the easiest and fastest way to implement your ecommerce tagging across the site.

For detailed information for ecommerce migration, visit Google’s GA4 ecommerce migration guide.

Timeline: Because these items will only start tracking when they are created, ideally the tracking items above should be implemented before July 1, 2022. However, if you can’t complete them all before July 1, 2022, just complete them as quickly as you can.

Phase 4: Check your items

Once you’ve launched your tracking items in the new GA4 properties, you’ll need to double-check that they are tracking properly. 

Evaluate your ecommerce, conversions, event tracking and more to ensure they are tracking as expected in the new properties. If not, troubleshoot the issue and fix it as soon as you can.

Phase 5: Determine a date for migrating to GA4 as your single source of truth

Organizations rely on Google Analytics for reporting for many departments, so it’s important that the organization agree to when the new GA4 property(ies) will become the “single source of truth” for data and reporting. 

In best practice, you should likely wait until you have year-over-year data in your GA4 property(ies) prior to changing your single source of truth to GA4 in part because the metrics and tracking in GA4 are completely different than they are in UA, ergo you cannot accurately use UA data from one year and compare to GA4 data in another year.

If you can get your new GA4 implemented prior to July 1, 2022, then you can likely start using it as your single source of truth as of July 1, 2023.

Regardless, if you use the free version of Google Analytics, you’ll be forced to migrate to GA4 as your primary source of truth on July 1, 2023, even if the year-over-year data with UA isn’t comparable.

Phase 6: Archive your UA data

To add insult to injury, Google decided that in addition to forcing us all to migrate to GA4 now that they will also delete all of our historical UA data beginning on January 1, 2024

While you do have a bit more time to archive this data, you should plan on archiving in case you need to reference it in the future. 

First, determine what data you regularly need. For example, I often use the source/medium report. 

Then consider the intervals in which you access this data. Typically, I access data on a monthly basis, such as June 1-30. You’ll want to archive your data in a manner that matches these data usage habits.

I personally find the UA interface clunky for archiving purposes. In my example of the source/medium report and pulling monthly data, in the interface, you can only pull two months of data at a time (one as the original month and one as the comparison month), then download the data to CSV. That will take forever! 

Instead, especially if you’re not a developer who knows how to use the Google Analytics API, consider using the Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-On, which works with Google Sheets. It’s super handy and pulls that data fast! 

Just be sure you don’t run into data sampling issues, and if you do, take smaller reports. 

For example, if I pull 10 years of data from the source/medium report broken down by month, it may be so much data that it forces Google to sample the data. If that’s the case, I would try breaking it down into several report pulls, perhaps one year’s worth of data per report. You can always combine the data into one sheet once it’s pulled.

Timeline: If you are using the free version of UA, you will need to do this between July 1-December 31, 2022. Your data will be deleted on January 1, 2023. If you are using UA 360, you must archive your data before June 30, 2023.

Finally, don’t panic!

I know, it’s all stressful. Hang in there. It’s going to be OK. 

I speak on this subject around the country, and recently someone asked me if there’s anything good about GA4.

The answer is a resounding yes! 

GA4 is aiming to get us all closer to true ROI and cross-device reporting. 

However, growth and change are difficult. We humans don’t tend to enjoy it. 

But it truly will all be OK. Just prioritize this now, and if you need my help, please reach out. Data is my passion, and I want yours to be accurate! You can reach me at [email protected]

What you need to know about adopting Google Analytics 4

Want to watch my SMX Advanced session, which explored the differences between GA4 and Universal Google Analytics? You can watch it on-demand.

Not registered for SMX Advanced? Get your free pass here.Already registered for SMX Advanced? Log in here.

The post How to migrate to Google Analytics 4: A step-by-step guide appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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11 Google Sheets formulas SEOs should know

11 Google Sheets formulas SEOs should know

Sometimes the best SEO tools are free.

Look no further than Google Sheets.

While it’s not great at plotting ranking data (inverting the y-axis is always ugly), there are numerous ways to use Google Sheets for SEO.

Here are 11 of the formulas and tips I find myself using for SEO on an almost daily basis – for keyword management, internationalization, content/URL management and dashboards.

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Google Sheets formulas for keyword management 

V LOOKUPCONCATENATEFLATTENLOWER

=VLOOKUP(text,[range to search],

,[true/false]) 

V LOOKUP (documentation)

VLOOKUP, which stands for “vertical lookup”, is arguably one of the very first Google Sheet formulas for SEO anyone learns when getting into the game.

VLOOKUP allows you to essentially combine two data sets on common values, an almost lowbrow JOIN in SQL if you will.

I generally use this formula to enrich information about keyword sets by adding search volume, PPC data or adding downstream metrics like signups. 

The end directive true/false specifies how exact you want the match to be, TRUE means not an exact match, and FALSE means exact matches only.

Tip: LOCK the range you’re searching against using $ ($E$3:$E$5 in the below example) so you can drag and carry the same formula across many rows.

=CONCATENATE(A1,A2,A3) 

CONCATENATE (documentation)

=CONCATENATE(A1,A2,A3) you have the option to concatenate columns=CONCATENATE(A1,” I’m additional text”) or literal words and characters

Concatenate is one of the most commonly used Google Sheet formulas in SEO, and for good reason.

It can serve a variety of use cases, including creating keyword lists (concatenating two+ variables together), creating URL strings, or even bulk templatizing metadata.

As the name suggests, you can use it to simply string any amount of values together.

Just remember: if you need a space between keywords, a literal space “ “ must be added.

=FLATTEN(range1, [range2, …]) 

FLATTEN (documentation)

=FLATTEN(A:D) would compress all ranges in A – D in to one column

There’s a reason FLATTEN is coming after concatenate. After you’ve concatenated several thousands of keywords and a couple of hundred dollars away, you generally need to upload the keywords into your rank tracking tool’s UI or via a CSV bulk upload.

It can be tedious when you have a 20×20 block of keywords to get them into a single column so you can upload all your keywords in one go.

With FLATTEN, you essentially select the range of data you want and the output is all of your keywords in one column to make copy-pasting a dream!

=LOWER(text) 

LOWER (documentation)

This one’s pretty simple – but it can be helpful to LOWERcase all the of the keywords you’re managing (especially if you use a service provider that charges for things like duplicates) or if you’re in a case-sensitive environment like SQL.

LOWER is admittedly one of the simplest Google Sheets formulas for SEO.

The opposite (UPPER) also works, should you feel like auto-capping everything. 

=COUNTIF(range,”[text or function]”) 

COUNTIF (documentation)

COUNTIF lets you count, with accuracy, any literal text you want to match or even some numerical values that meet conditional rules.

It’s particularly useful when grouping together pages, managing an upcoming content calendar or sorting keywords on common dimensions like the page type or product they support.

It can also be used with conditions to match values, such as ones that have CPCs > $10.00 or that have a search volume > 100 searches a month. 

=SUMIF([range to search],”[condition to match]”,[range to return]) 

SUMIF (documentation)

SUMIF is similar to COUNTIF, but is helpful if you’re trying to add up an additional metric associated with the group of interest, like summing up total keyword volume opportunities by themes or search volume by page type. 

Google Sheets formulas for internationalization

=GOOGLETRANSLATE(text, [“source_language” or “auto”, “target_language”])

GOOGLE TRANSLATE (documentation)

source_language = two-letter language code of the source language (or “auto” for Google to guess)target_language = two-letter* language code for your target language, like ES for Spanish

Ahh, one of my favorite and most loved Google Sheets hacks.

Rather than go back and forth to the Google Translate UI and risk carpal tunnel, you can bulk translate lists of keywords in seconds into one, or even multiple languages.

You even have the option to auto-select the origin language by changing source_language to “auto” to let G sheets choose for you (which usually works, usually).

Google doesn’t support translating into all “flavors” of languages (e.g., Canadian French), but supports languages like pt-pt and pt-br, as well as Chinese languages like zh-tw and zh-cn.

Google Sheets formulas for content/URL management

=SPLIT(text,[delimiter wrapped in “”])

SPLIT  (documentation)

Many times when you’re doing an analysis you might be working with data that is not in the required format you need.

There might be extraneous information that is separated (delimited) by things like commas (addresses), phone numbers (parenthesis and hyphens) and more.

While there’s a “split text to columns function” in the toolbar under “Data”, you can also split text that is delimited by a specific character, word or even spaces to individual columns with the SPLIT command directly in the sheet so you can quickly trim and tidy your keyword list.

=LEN(text) 

LEN  (documentation)

LEN is a simple Google Sheets formula for SEO you can use to simply count the characters in a line or string.

It can be most helpful when guiding people (both SEOs and non-SEOs) who are writing their own metadata, to stay within a “safe” enough character count so that it will hopefully not get truncated simply due to length.

=REGEXREPLACE(text, “regular_expression”, “replacement”)

REGEXREPLACE  (documentation)

Regexes are a powerful data mining tool when working on large websites.

If you’ve never even heard of regexes, you’ve probably not yet been challenged with an enterprise-level site.

I find myself using REGEXREPLACE most often when I’m cleaning up or trimming URLs in a sheet, where it can be helpful when I only need a path name minus domain or to manage redirects.

Google Sheets formula for dashboards

=SPARKLINE(B3:G3)

SPARKLINE  (documentation)

=SPARKLINE(B3:G3,{“charttype”,”line”; “color”,”indigo”; “linewidth”,2}) this version of sparkline is in indigo, with a slightly heavier weight

While BI tools like Tableau and Looker offer additional customizations, Google Sheets can be a cheap way to build simple dashboards.

The command SPARKLINE is capable of leveraging data to create simple visualizations in a Google Sheet.

A good amount of SEO and web data looks great on a time series, and Google Sheets can make it easy.

This is most helpful when you have data that is being actively updated inside of Google Sheets and need to skim 10+ trends quickly in one sheet.

A popular use case is to monitor trends like growth in several countries, campaigns or city-level basis. 

=SPARKLINE(B3:G3,{“charttype”,”line”; “color”,”[color you want]”; “linewidth”,2})

Time series/line charts

Time series is probably the most helpful for visualizing changes to traffic patterns over time and is suitable for monitoring most traffic trends and north star goals.

You can also remove the “line width” command, weight and even color for a quick and easy graph, but I find for time series I always need the line to be a little bolder and the contrasting color helps draw attention to the graph.

Column charts and bar charts
Sparkline even supports column and bar charts! Just change the chart type to column (shown below) or bar.

In more advanced use cases, most of the formulas above can be manipulated to have enhanced outputs, like automated conditional formatting or fun Unicode emoticon responses instead of nulls.

No matter how advanced you make them, using these formulas inside of Google Sheets is a great and cheap way to do basic SEO tidying work and keyword research.

The post 11 Google Sheets formulas SEOs should know appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Google documents how to inject canonical tags using JavaScript

Google documents how to inject canonical tags using JavaScript

Google has updated its JavaScript SEO help document to add technical details on how to inject canonical link tags using JavaScript. Google added a new section titled “properly inject rel=”canonical” link tag.”

What is new. Here is the new section where Google recommends not to implement your canonical tags using JavaScript, but if you must, Google explains this is the proper way to do so. Google wrote:

While we don’t recommend using JavaScript for this, it is possible to inject a rel=”canonical” link tag with JavaScript. Google Search will pick up the injected canonical URL when rendering the page. Here is an example to inject a rel=”canonical” link tag with JavaScript:

Google added this warning stating “When using JavaScript to inject the rel=”canonical” link tag, make sure that this is the only rel=”canonical” link tag on the page. Incorrect implementations might create multiple rel=”canonical” link tag or change an existing rel=”canonical” link tag. Conflicting or multiple rel=”canonical” link tags may lead to unexpected results.”

Hit or miss. We have seen cases where Google can pick up these canonical tags or other embedded elements, even structured data, using JavaScript. But it can be hit or miss, so it is recommended that if you are going to use JavaScript specifically to inject your canonical tags, follow these directions precisely.

Why we care. Again, if you are injecting canonical tags using JavaScript, Google has finally officially documented the proper way to implement it. So check the documentation over here and make sure your implementation follows Google’s recommendations.

The post Google documents how to inject canonical tags using JavaScript appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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