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SEO Competitive Analysis for B2B — Whiteboard Friday

SEO Competitive Analysis for B2B — Whiteboard Friday

Posted by Joyce.Collarde

In the B2B space, it’s important to be realistic about who your competitors are. 

Keeping that rule in mind, in our last Whiteboard Friday episode before 2021, guest presenter Joyce Collardé of Obility walks you through how to conduct a competitive SEO audit, helping you address your improvement areas and surpass your competition in the SERPs. 

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

Video Transcription

Hi, Moz fans. Thank you for joining me today as we talk about SEO competitive analysis for B2B businesses. My name is Joyce Collardé. I am the SEO Supervisor at Obility. Obility is a digital marketing agency based out of Portland, Oregon, with offices in Austin and Boston and that specializes in B2B businesses. 

So I wanted to talk about SEO competitive analysis because it is a really crucial part of your SEO strategy and of your SEO success. As you know, SEO doesn’t work in a vacuum. So if you want to be able to improve your SEO traffic, your click-through rate, your keyword position, and eventually your conversions, you have to be able to take the space of some existing competitors. 

Today I’m going to walk you through the five phases of the competitive analysis. We’ll start with how to select your competitors. Then we’ll discuss the keyword distribution and what is important to understand the keyword distribution. Then we’ll discuss keywords and content gaps and opportunities. Then we’ll move on to technical health of your website and your competitors’ websites.

And we’ll finish with backlink analysis. 

Selecting competitors

So selecting competitors is the step that is really important, especially in the B2B space, because the B2B space is very competitive, and in this space we have a few marketing giants like Oracle, AWS, Marketo, Google, that can be considered the de facto competitors for everyone. 

Unfortunately, with that line of thinking, you are really missing out on a lot of interesting insights because those websites are so huge that they might rank for hundreds of thousands of keywords. Sometimes we see millions of links and have a Domain Authority of 98. So when you compare yourself to them, then it will be really difficult to actually find good nuggets of information about your website.

You will always be at the bottom, and it’s also really discouraging. 

So I really would recommend that you are realistic about who your real competitors are. And nothing prevents you from refreshing your competitors in six months or a year from now if you feel like you’ve outgrown the competitors you selected in the first place. 

One thing I want to highlight as well is that you should have different sets of competitors for each funnel stage. For example, let’s say your target keyword list includes definitional keywords like “what is cloud computing.” So your competitors for “what is cloud computing” might be ZDNet or TechTarget, for example. 

But let’s say you want to target “cloud computing solution,” then your competitors could be IBM. But the intent of the user who is looking for “what is cloud computing” versus “cloud computing solution” or “cloud computing software” is very different, so you cannot target the same competitors for each level of the stage funnel.

You will miss out on a lot of good insights, too. 

I also do want to point out that your competitors will be very different in different areas of digital marketing or even offline marketing. Your PPC, your paid search keywords, or your paid social keywords will not be the same as your SEO keywords.

Really the best way for you to identify good competitors is just to Google your target keywords. It’s really as simple as that. And then see who comes up and see what their strategies are. 

Keyword distribution

So let’s take a look now at keyword distribution. One thing that I want to point out is that sometimes we audit competitors that seem like they’re ranking for thousands of keywords, and it’s a little intimidating.

But really ranking for thousands of keywords isn’t the end-all be-all. You should really pay attention to their keyword distribution. Out of those thousands of keywords, how many are branded, how many are not branded? 

Of course, you won’t be able to rank for your competitors’ branded name. So you really have to focus on the non-branded keywords.

Also, those keywords, do they have a lot of volume? Are they really difficult to rank for? Are they ranking for hundreds of keywords with zero searches or 10 searches per month, for example? Are those the keywords that you really want to target? And if you do manage to take their place on the first page, is it really going to help your overall SEO strategy? 

Another good thing to look at is diversification. Are your competitors only ranking for one keyword category, or are they targeting different categories? A competitor that, let’s say, ranks for only branded keywords or keywords that have very little search volume or that is targeting only one specific category wouldn’t be very dangerous keywords.

And as we talked about earlier, you should not have the same competitors for every set of target keywords that you are working with. So make sure that you repeat this step for each set of competitors. 

Keyword gaps and opportunities

Next comes the content and keyword gaps and opportunities. So in this stage, you should really think about the keyword gaps — the content gaps between you and your competitors.

It’s not just how often do they post or what do they target. It’s also which topics do they publish on the most, or which topics do they focus on the most on their product or their solution pages. What kind of content type do they prefer? Are they publishing only blog posts?

Are they publishing mostly videos, glossary pages, e-books, white papers, webinars? You really have to pay attention to that, because if all of your competitors are using blog posts and then you come in with your webinar that people need to sign up for and give you their information, then you are not going to be able to beat them at their own game.

You have to kind of align to what is available in the competitive space. 

Frequency is important, too. If your competitors publish twice a week on their blog or have a live demo every week, or release a new e-book every month that they will email to their customer base, you also have to align on that frequency.

I would say out of the competitive analysis, this is one of the most important stages because you really have to be aware of the type of opportunities that you are going for. 

And it really comes back to what we were talking about earlier with the competitor selection. You have to be realistic.

It is very important to know what you’re going against. Otherwise, you can keep publishing blog post after blog post after blog post, but if you have not identified the proper competitors or have not identified the proper type of content that you need to create, all of those blog posts will not amount to improved performance on your site. 

Technical health

The fourth stage of the competitive analysis is technical health.

So I think we can all relate to how annoying it is when you get to a website and it’s full of 404 errors and the links are broken and it’s too slow. It’s just a really bad user experience. And Google is very smart, and they know that we don’t like a bad user experience, and that if the user experience is bad, then they are going to put other websites above you. 

So I did mention page speed, so don’t be scared. I know it’s always a huge ask to fix your page speed. But I would recommend that you use the Google PageSpeed Insights and take a look at those easier things to fix. One thing that comes up all the time is images being too big or too heavy, taking too long to load.

So if that’s the case, take a look at your main images and see if you can reduce the size of them. Usually, the images that are the heaviest are the ones that will be on your homepage slider or in the background on your product or solution pages. So just by fixing a few pages on your website, you could improve your page speed by several seconds, and we know it means a lot when you’re a user.

Definitely do those two steps with your competitors, too. 

For example (you can do it with Moz or you can do an on-site crawl for any website), let’s say that all your competitors are missing H1s or are missing meta descriptions or have a lot of 404 errors, then you know those are the top priorities that you need to fix.

Again, think about your competitive advantage. If all your competitors’ websites are really slow, then fix your page speed first. If it’s a horrible user experience because you keep hitting 404 errors, fix your 404 errors first. 

Backlink opportunities

The last part of the competitive audit should be the backlinks opportunities.

So you can use the Moz link discovery tool to find out about everyone’s lost and discovered new links. This makes link building a little more approachable than just saying, “Oh, I will target The New York Times,” because by looking at people’s competitors and lost and discovered websites, you can identify websites that probably know you, or know your competitor, or at least know your industry, and so may be more willing to link to you. Especially if they used to link to your competitor or are currently linking to your competitors. 

Definitely do this for your own website as well, to identify the links that you have recently lost and that you can try to reacquire. I would recommend that you repeat this step on a monthly basis because you have better chances of reacquiring links that you recently lost rather than if you contact someone saying, “Oh, two years ago you used to link to me. Can you please link to me again?”

You’re out of that person’s thoughts. So try to stay on top of it. And you might have a lot of links at the beginning, but if you do it regularly, then it’s much more manageable. 

Also, when we’re talking about backlinks, I would advise you to look at your competitors’ Spam Score and link diversity. For example, I did a competitive analysis recently and I saw that one of the competitor’s Spam Score was 23%, which I had never seen before.

It was so high. It was ridiculously high. So it made me happy in a way, because it seemed unachievable at first to get to the number of external links that they had, but then it turns out that the majority of their links were spammy. And with a Spam Score of 23%, I don’t think they’ll be able to carry on much longer. 

Link diversity is also really important because you don’t want all links coming from blog posts or all links coming from one type of publication. So when you think about new links that you can acquire, definitely make sure that you have different types of websites linking back to you, that they’re using varied anchor text, that sort of thing, so that you don’t look spammy and you don’t end up with a Spam Score of 23%. 

Time management

So I wanted to also talk a little bit about this pie chart over there. It was how much time you’re supposed to spend on each of these steps. So the biggest one, as I mentioned earlier, was the gaps and opportunities audit. That is really where you should spend the majority of your time.

Something that is also really important is the competitor selection as I talked about earlier. If you don’t have the proper competitors to audit, then you won’t get the helpful type of insight that you are looking for. Technical health would be the third most time-consuming, important step of this competitive analysis.

As we talked about, good user experience is very important. And the last two that should take you a little less time are keyword distribution and backlinks. So if you’re really, really pressed for time, you can forgo the backlinks for now and do it later and focus on that part of the on-site SEO.


So to recap, the five stages of the competitive analysis that you should include in your own competitive analysis are selecting the right competitors, auditing the keyword distribution, looking for content and keyword gaps and analysis, performing a technical check on your website and your competitors’ websites, and auditing your backlinks and the competitors’ backlinks.

If I can leave you with one more thing is really to be realistic. That goes back to the competitor selection and even when we’re talking about distribution. Be realistic in your target keywords. Don’t go for keywords that are extremely difficult if you are a website with a lower Domain Authority or you’re just starting with SEO.

And don’t go after those B2B giants if you’re a mid-market B2B company. Know that you can refresh this at any time if you feel like you’ve outgrown your competitors. So thank you again for spending time to talk about competitive analysis with me. Now go and audit those competitors.

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17 Ways to Speed Up The Time It Takes To Make Your First Online Sale

17 Ways to Speed Up The Time It Takes To Make Your First Online Sale

Starting an eCommerce store can be an exciting experience. But, once the launch is over you’re probably wondering how long does it take for an online business to take off?

There are a variety of factors that’ll determine how long it’ll take to make that first online sale, as you’ll learn below.

Luckily, you can speed up how long it’ll take for you to make your very first eCommerce sale by implementing some of the tips in this post.

How Long Before Making Your First Online Sale?

There isn’t a set amount of time it’ll take to make your first online sale. There are a variety of factors that’ll influence the time it takes.

For some store owners, the sale could come the same day you launch your store, while for others it could take weeks.

There are several factors that’ll influence how long before the first online sale like, the price of your products, the types of products you’re selling, how much traffic you’re getting to your store, and the type of traffic that’s visiting your store.

Below you’ll learn about the biggest factors that’ll influence how long the first sale takes.

Factors Affecting How Long Does it Take to Get Sales

Every website is different. For example, if you already have an engaged audience and you’ve been building hype about your product, then you can expect to make a ton of sales the first day.

However, if you’re starting completely from scratch with no existing traffic, then it’ll take some time to generate buzz and sales.

Here are some of the most common reasons you’re not making sales yet:

Product price. Are you priced too high, or even too low? Your price should be in alignment with the current market.
Type of traffic. Are you reaching the right audience that’ll actually buy your products?
Checkout process. Is your checkout process fast and easy? Does it work on mobile devices?
Payment options. Do you offer enough payment options? At the very least you should accept multiple credit cards and PayPal.
Website trust. Do visitors trust you enough to buy from you? At the minimum, you’ll need an SSL certificate and solid customer reviews.
Product descriptions. Are your descriptions confusing? Or, do they accurately describe your products?
Slow website. Does your site load fast? A slow-loading website can kill sales, 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with site performance are unlikely to shop from that site again.

17 Ways to Make Your First eCommerce Sale Fast

Identify your target market
Design a sales funnel
Run targeted paid campaigns on Facebook and Instagram
Run keyword-based ads on Google
Start blogging
Boost your blog posts on Facebook
Use internal banners to drive traffic to your sales pages
Optimize your checkout process
Hire social media influencers
Start an email list
Add product discounts and limited-time offers
Create a customer testimonials page on your website
Give incentives to customers to leave product reviews
Setup Facebook Product Ads
Create a Google Shopping Feed
Answer questions on product-related forums
Listen to your customers

1. Identify your target market

If you don’t know who you’re selling to, you’re going to have a difficult time converting traffic into buyers. Instead, you’ll be forever asking the question, how do I make my first sale online?

The most valuable audience often doesn’t mean the biggest, but instead, one that’s composed of people who will buy what you’re selling.

Getting 500 relevant and targeted visitors is better than 100,00 visitors who will never buy from you.

Let’s look at an example. If you sell children’s toys your target market won’t be kids, but instead the parents of kids. You could narrow this down further to parents of kids of a certain age, and even certain countries.

Overall, your target market is the general audience who’s likely to respond to your marketing message.

You should start with the most narrow audience possible, and slowly expand out into different market segments in time.

2. Design a sales funnel

By creating a sales funnel you’ll have a clear path that you want your customers to take the moment they land on your site.

Digital Marketing Funnel

Here’s a standard sales funnel process:

Awareness. Visitors are aware of their problem and became aware that your store could provide a solution.
Consideration. Now visitors are considering your products, researching, reading your content, and maybe have joined your email list.
Decision. At this point visitors are ready to buy, they’ve added the item to their carts and close to purchasing.
Loyalty. During and after purchase you can ensure customers stay with you over the long-run.

For an eCommerce store the process could look like the following:

Your visitor comes to your site via a targeted Facebook ad
They browse around your site, read a blog post, and join your email list
They receive a 10% coupon that encourages them to purchase a product
Your follow-up email sequence keeps your store at the top of their mind

3. Run targeted paid campaigns on Facebook and Instagram

Facebook has over 2.7 billion monthly active users, which means your target audience is probably using the platform.

Since Facebook owns Instagram you can run ads on both Facebook and Instagram at the same time.

The advanced targeting features let you narrow in on your exact target audience that’ll purchase your products.

Find your target market with Facebook Audience Insights

Here are some of the targeting options available:

Reach customers in specific countries, cities, and communities.
Filter your audiences based on age, gender, education, job, and more.
Target ads based on past behaviors and device usage.
Filter based on hobbies, interests, movie preferences, and more.
Include people who follow your Facebook Page, or exclude them for entirely new audiences.

You can also run Facebook retargeting ads which will show product ads to people who’ve visited certain pages on your site. This can help you pick up customers who visited your store, but didn’t purchase anything.

4. Run keyword-based ads on Google

Keyword-based ads are shown above the Google search results when people search for keywords related to your product.

These ads are highly targeted since people are already looking for products that are related to what you sell.

Here are some tips for improving your ad copy:

Focus on your customer’s needs. Describe how your business and products benefit your customers.
Use keywords. Include our target keywords in your headline and body copy.
Include a CTA. If possible add a time-sensitive CTA that encourages people to take action and click your ad now.

Another great feature of running Google Ads is that you can set up dynamic campaigns. These ads differ from traditional keyword campaigns in that instead of using actual keywords, the campaigns are based on your website or product feed.

Google will automatically match user input keywords with the type of products you sell. The result is hard to distinguish from standard ads, but easier to set up and can bring a great result, since they’re more product-focused.

5. Start blogging

Content marketing is the process of creating articles that provide value and information to your visitors. Usually, this is more top-of-the-funnel content, since you’ll be addressing user problems and more-so speaking to lifestyle issues.

For example, if you’re selling workout supplements the majority of your blog content will focus on workouts, healthy eating habits, tips and tricks, supplement breakdowns, and more.

Another purpose of your blog is to provide educational content surrounding your product. You can publish case studies, answer common questions, demonstrate the features of your product, and show how your product can help accomplish certain tasks.

Creating a successful blog strategy begins with keyword research. Finding the right keywords will help to guide what blog posts you create and which keywords are bringing your competitors the most traffic.

6. Boost your blog posts on Facebook

If you’re looking to attract more top-of-the-funnel visitors to your site, then consider promoting blog posts on Facebook. This lets you show your blog posts to new and current readers.

If these readers enjoy your articles and are a fit for your products, there’s a good chance they’ll become customers.

Boosting your blog posts has other advantages as well:

Exposing your blog post to more readers means more social shares and a chance for backlinks, which improves your overall authority
Allows you to get your content in front of new targeted visitors in your market
Build greater brand awareness. You can retarget people who visited your site via the blog post and your ads will “follow them” around the web
Share in-depth case studies to show that your products work, and elevate user trust in the process

7. Use internal banners to drive traffic to your sales pages

Every page of your site should be pushing visitors to your sales pages. No matter if it’s a blog post, about page, or even your contact page you should be pushing visitors into your funnel or product pages.

For example, throughout your blog posts, and on your sidebar, you could have internal banners that direct people to your sales pages.

Ideally, you’ll want to view your entire website as playing a role in your funnel. Whenever someone visits your website your ultimate goal should be for them to become a customer.

Here are some common ways of getting visitors to become customers no matter what page they’re on:

Use exit-intent pop-ups to get subscribers as they’re leaving your site
Include forms and internal banners within blog posts and pages
Keep your navigation simple and only include valuable pages

8. Optimize your checkout process

Purchasing items in your store needs to be a seamless experience. If you have any points of friction during the checkout process this can lead to cart abandonment.

Think about how ordering items from Amazon is so seamless, you want buying products from your store to be this easy.

If you have an existing cart sequence you can use a free tool like Microsoft Clarity which will record your existing user sessions, so you can see where your users are abandoning the checkout process.

Here are a few quick tips for optimizing your checkout page:

1. Don’t ask for too many details

Ideally, you’ll want to ask your customers for the minimum amount of information. All you need to effectively process payments are name, email, address, and payment information. If you want to collect additional customer information you can do so on the backend.

2. Allow for guest checkout

Don’t require your users to create an account before they make a purchase. A user account will save their login and purchase information for future purchases, but some users might not want to fill out all that information from the start.

3. One-page checkout experience

Your checkout page should never go on to multiple pages. All of your purchase form fields need to be entered on a single page. This setup also performs better on mobile devices.

4. Multiple payment options

If your visitors preferred payment option isn’t listed, they won’t complete their purchase. You should offer multiple credit card options, along with PayPal, which most people have.

9. Hire social media influencers

A lot of massive eCommerce brands got their companies off the ground by using influencer marketing. For example, the watch brand Daniel Wellington utilized micro-influencers on Instagram to grow its brand to a powerhouse that’s worth over 200 million today.

You don’t need to pay massive fees for social media celebrities either. No matter your budget you’ll be able to find a handful of influencers who are willing to promote your products in exchange for a sample or free product.

Working with smaller influencers can be more advantageous since their followers are likely to be much more engaged and convert into customers.

If you do decide to go the social media influencer route make sure that you create unique tracking codes for every influencer you work with. That way you can track the influencers who have been the most effective, and improve your conversions with new influencer campaigns in the future.

10. Start an email list

One of the best ways to create a relationship with your customers is through email. Again and again, email is proven to have a very high ROI.

To get people onto your list you could offer an incentive like a free coupon. Even a simple 10% coupon for first-time buyers will convert a lot of visitors.

Here are some tips for improving your email marketing:

Create great subject lines that entice your reader to open the email. This also includes your preview text that’s shown to the right of your email headline.
Personalize your emails with user information. This includes using your subscriber’s name where possible, tagging users based on actions they’ve taken, and more.
Create abandoned cart sequences. These run when users fail to complete a purchase and you gently remind them they have items remaining in the cart.
Use coupons. Reward your most valuable subscribers with coupons and deals that are only for them.

Finally, make sure that you test your emails. By split testing, you can test different subject lines, links, CTAs, and more so you can learn what converts best for your audience.

11. Add product discounts and limited-time offers

Creating urgency around your products is a great way to generate sales fast. There’s a reason that Black Friday sales generated around $9 billion in revenue this year. People can’t resist a good deal, especially when there’s a deadline attached to it.

One great option for eCommerce is to implement scarcity. This can either be a limited number of products or a time-based deal.

For this to work you’ll need to accomplish the following:

Use the fear of missing out trigger (FOMO)
Add an active action-based CTA
Use time or product-based scarcity

For example, you could create stock-based scarcity by showing the stock levels on your products. Or, you could create a time-sensitive 24-hour coupon or even a 3-day sale where products are discounted 50%.

12. Create a customer testimonials page on your website

Create a dedicated page on your site to host reviews, this will show up on google when people search for your company name + reviews or testimonials

Social proof can be an incredible way to sell more products. Some of the most popular search terms include “product name + review”. Third-party reviews are well trusted by consumers.

There’s a reason that some of the best-selling products on Amazon also tend to have the highest number of reviews.

You can take advantage of this for your site by creating a dedicated page for reviews and testimonials. Having a dedicated page can increase the chances of this showing up in Google, so you could pick up some additional traffic.

Plus, this will help visitors convert into customers as nearly 92% of online shoppers look at reviews before making a purchase.

13. Give incentives to customers to leave product reviews

Product reviews can make or break your business. Negative reviews allow you to improve as a business, while positive reviews can help improve your sales process.

Getting customers to leave reviews about your business can be tough. Most satisfied customers won’t say anything, but unhappy customers can be very vocal.

Here are some tips to encourage positive product reviews:

A simple ask. Often, all you have to do is ask and make it easy for your customers to leave a review. Something as simple as an automated email with a link to a review platform will suffice.
Follow-up for reviews. Part of your monthly workflow should be sending a quick email asking customers for reviews. You can tag customers in your email marketing provider
Give coupons for reviews. One of the quickest ways to get more customer reviews is to offer coupons to people who leave reviews on past products.

Here are some third-party platforms you’ll want to encourage customer reviews on:

Trustpilot. This is a community-driven review platform that helps companies collect user reviews. All the reviews are verified and can go a long way towards boosting consumer trust.
Amazon. If you’re selling products on your site and Amazon, you need to encourage Amazon reviews. The number and rating of your reviews will set your product apart.
Choice. If you have customers in Australia, then you can encourage users on this platform to leave reviews about your products. Members can test a product, create comparisons, and buyer guides.
TestFreaks. This platform helps companies collect reviews. It also includes a question and answers section where customers can post questions, and your support team can answer.

14. Setup Facebook Product Ads

Facebook allows you to integrate your eCommerce products into ads.

This can be advantageous for customers since they can learn more about your entire range of products. These ads are more geared towards the top of the funnel prospects since you can show a wide range of product offerings. This also allows you to be a bit broader with your targeting as well.

After you’ve uploaded your products you can let the Facebook algorithms choose which products to display based on the consumer and their past behavior.

15. Create a Google Shopping Feed

Google Shopping feeds, also called Product Listing Ads, appear above the organic search results and include a product image, title, and price.

When a user searches for a term that’s related to your product, there’s a good chance one of your products could be listed.

Google Product Ads

Benefits of Google Shopping Ads:

Build brand awareness. Having your product or products listed when people search on Google makes your brand stand out.
Get more quality leads. People searching for specific types of products on Google are already past the awareness stage and looking to buy or compare prices on products.
Easy to implement. Google product ads are easy to manage on the backend. Once you upload and optimize your products, Google will automatically show products based on the user’s search. No need to set keywords, or create specific product ads.

Creating a Google Shopping feed can also be useful with retargeting. Once a user visits your product page and doesn’t make a purchase, your product ads will automatically show up in the search results for products and related terms.

16. Answer questions on product-related forums

Chances are there are dozens of different platforms where you can answer questions related to your products and provide value. If you’re growing in popularity, then there’s a good chance that people are talking about your business online.

This could be in forums, Facebook groups, Reddit, and even question and answer sites like Quora.

You can set up Google Alerts to notify you every time your brand or product is mentioned online, so you can respond.

Or, you can take the alternative approach of joining relevant groups and answering questions.

For example, you could spend time answering questions related to your niche and providing value. You don’t have to link out to your products specifically, but have links to your store in your author bio and profile. As you become a known resource people will follow your link and you’ll have highly qualified visitors coming to check out your store.

17. Listen to your customers

One of the keys to improving your sales process is to listen to what your customers want. Maybe it’s a new product feature, something you could fix, or even comments that you can add to your product copy to make it convert better.

There is a myriad of ways you can gather customer feedback, but one of the simplest is to create an email survey and send it out to your list.

You can use your existing email marketing provider and link out to a Google Form, or even create a series of questions you send out via email if you only want 1-2 questions answered.

You can also incentivize your customers to participate in the survey, by adding their name to a giveaway if they send you their survey answers.

Key Learnings

By now you should have a better understanding of how to make your first online sale.

Things like your existing audience size, traffic levels and targeting, product pricing, site speed, and more will all influence how long your first sale takes.

However, there are a handful of strategies you can implement to sell your first product and scale your store.

The process begins with knowing your target audience and creating a sales funnel that guides them from first-time visitors to customers and satisfied buyers.

You can then start testing out different strategies to see what works best for your store including:

Create targeted ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram
Promote our products with micro-influencers on social media
Create an email sequence that entices customers to leave reviews
Optimize your checkout process to reduce buyer friction
Start blogging to rank in the search engines and get more targeted traffic

Getting your first sale might take some time, but once you find that first ideal buyer, you can scale your store infinitely using the strategies above.

The post 17 Ways to Speed Up The Time It Takes To Make Your First Online Sale appeared first on

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Google December 2020 core update is now fully rolled out

Google has confirmed minutes ago that the December 2020 broad core update that began rolling out on December 3, 2020 is now completely rolled out.

Google said “the December 2020 Core Update rollout is complete.”

The facts. What we know from Google, as we previously reported, is that the December 2020 core update started to roll out around 1:00pm ET on Thursday, Dec. 3. Like all core updates, this was a global update and was not specific to any region, language or category of web sites. It is a classic “broad core update” that Google releases every few months or so. In this case, it was the longest stretch since a confirmed broad core update, one that took just under seven-months, as opposed to the typical three-month time frame.

It was a big update. This update, according to many of the tool providers and the SEO community was a very big update. Many who were either negatively or positively impacted saw gains or declines of 10% to over 100% of their current levels of organic search traffic.

Previous updates. The most recent previous core update was the May 2020 core update, that update was big and broad and took a couple of weeks to fully roll out. Before that was the January 2020 core update, we had some analysis on that update over here. The one prior to that was the September 2019 core update. That update felt weaker to many SEOs and webmasters, as many said it didn’t have as big of an impact as previous core updates. Google also released an update in November, but that one was specific to local rankings. You can read more about past Google updates over here.

Timing the update. There has been concern about the timing of this update, that it was released a couple of weeks prior to the holiday season. Google said it was done after the Thanksgiving season, after Black Friday and Cyber Monday but before the holidays. But for some, especially those that make a lot of their sales right before the holidays, this update can be devastating to their business. The roll out just finished a several days away from Christmas and during the Chanukah holidays – tonight is the 7th night of Chanukah.

What to do if you are hit. Google has given advice on what to consider if you are negatively impacted by a core update in the past. There aren’t specific actions to take to recover, and in fact, a negative rankings impact may not signal anything is wrong with your pages. However, Google has offered a list of questions to consider if your site is hit by a core update. Google did say you can see a bit of a recovery between core updates but the biggest change you would see would be after another core update. Now that the update is done rolling out, you should know if your site was impacted or not and decide on the necessary course of action.

Why we care. It is often hard to isolate what you need to do to reverse any algorithmic hit your site may have seen. When it comes to Google core updates, it is even harder to do so. If this data and previous experience and advice has shown us is that these core updates are broad, wide and cover a lot of overall quality issues. Now that this update has been fully rolled out, it is time to dig into your analytics and data and decide on what next steps you need to take for the web sites you manage.

The post Google December 2020 core update is now fully rolled out appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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FIXED WordPress Jetpack Plugin Error on Line 41

FIXED WordPress Jetpack Plugin Error on Line 41

WordPress Jetpack Plugin Error will cause you to see the below error message when you try to load your website? If so it is possibly due to the fact of a Jetpack plugin error that recently surfaced.

With the release of WordPress 5.3, there is a new WordPress Error “There has been a critical error on your website”. There are a lot of errors that you can encounter with WordPress, like internal server errors, database connection errors, and even ones that say “There has been a critical error on your website.” A lot of times, the full error is:

“Fatal error: require_once(): Failed opening required ‘/home2/johnkno5/public_html/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/class.jetpack.php’ (include_path=’.:/opt/cpanel/ea-php73/root/usr/share/pear’) in /home2/johnkno5/public_html/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/load-jetpack.php on line 41”

Taking everything in account, you’re probably contemplating what it means, and how to fix it? In light of everything, in a perfect world you’ll have the alternative to enlighten it, anyway on the off chance that you’re not content with researching WordPress issues, or uncertain you’ll obliterate something, WP Fix It can help with this issue.

What does this error mean?

If you’ve anytime thought about the Blue Screen of Death with Windows, well WordPress has a proportionate, which is known as the White Screen of Death. That has all the earmarks of being alarming. The bungle “There has been a basic blunder on your site” is actually an equivalent variation of the White Screen of Death. After WordPress 5.3, this is commonly watched instead of the past White Screen of Death. Generously note that in spite of the way that it may be alarming, your site isn’t lost. It might be fixed.

How to Fix the WordPress Error “There has been a critical error on your website” issue

A lot of times, the direct issue is to rollback the site. To do that, you must have a support of your site. Incredibly, few out of every odd individual backs up their site, so in the event that you’re getting this, and one of those people who don’t have a fortification available, by then this examining instructional exercise is for you.



So as to fix the issue, you need to discover where the issue turned out badly. You do this by investigating whether it was a subject or module strife.

Plugin Conflict Because of Jetpack

If it’s not the theme, it might be a plugin issue. In a way, troubleshooting is similar. However, it’s much easier to rename the plugin folder to ‘pluginsOFF’. Visit the site, and log-in. This will turn off all of the plugins. Please note that it won’t remove the original settings of those plugins, as they will be there when you reactivate them later on.

Once the plugins are off, go back and rename the folder back to ‘plugins’. Go to your WordPress admin area and reactivate each, one-by-one, until you get the screen that says “There has been a critical error on your website”. The plugin that you just reactivated, is the problem.

(Change plugins folder name via cPanel)

(Change plugins folder name using FTP – Filezilla)

Once more, in case you’re not happy with doing any of these investigating steps, WP Fix It is here to help solve this issue.

When you’ve discovered the issue, you probably need to rollback the subject or module that caused it. You can do this several different ways.

Download the original plugin files directly from the WordPress plugin directory, and replace the plugin via Filemanager with your web host (or cPanel), or through FTP or sFTP.
Use WP Rollback plugin to roll the plugin back to the previous version.

If you use WP Rollback, it will give you several versions to choose from. It will tell you what version you have. Below, you can follow the images to get an idea of how to use WP Rollback.

Step 1: Choose the plugin to rollback. Click ‘Rollback’ if it is available in the plugins listed in your WordPress admin.

Step 2: Choose the version you want to rollback to.

Step 3: Read the warnings. It might be better to test, before rollback. Only rollback if you’re sure.

You will want to hold off to update when the developer does another release of the plugin or theme.

Hopefully this article will help you through solving this issue with “There has been a critical error on your website”, but if you’re not computer savvy to troubleshoot, then no worries, we’re here to help at WP Fix It.

When you’ve investigated the issue and everything is up and working on your WordPress site, true to form, you ought to consider utilizing a reinforcement tool like UpdraftPlus, and backup up your site.

The post FIXED WordPress Jetpack Plugin Error on Line 41 appeared first on WP Fix It.

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The Best Top Local SEO Blog Near You 2020!

The Best Top Local SEO Blog Near You 2020!

I did not expect to open my inbox this morning to find that LSG has been voted the Top Local SEO Blog of 2020 on BrightLocal but 2020 has been throwing curve balls all year so why should today be any different?

I’d like to thank the Academy, my family, and SEOTwitter, but most of all, I’d like to thank the amazing team we have here at LSG. Dan, Tess, Nick, Nik, Amber, Steven, Zoe, Heckler, Sam, Aimee, Wesley, Celia, Jill, and especially our awesome intern, Tim . We have been on quite a journey over the past few years and it feels like we are only getting started. I think we’re going to have a lot of great stuff to blog about soon.

And of course I’d be remiss if I did not thank our fellow nominees who do a fantastic job of providing the industry with some of the best insights and advice, not to mention everyone else who contributes to the space, particularly some voices that don’t often show up in these polls. I highly recommend you check out:

Allie Margeson

Amanda Jordan

Jessie Low

Krystal Taing

Niki Mosier

Rachel Anderson

I like to think there is no “best Local SEO blog”. The whole industry is really just one giant Local SEO blog and we’re glad to be a part of it.

Thanks again to everyone who voted for us. Maybe this will get my teenage girls to pay attention to music recommendations now. Then again, probably not…


The post The Best Top Local SEO Blog Near You 2020! appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

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A Darker Shade of Gray

A Darker Shade of Gray

Google’s original breakthrough in search was placing weight on links & using them to approximate the behavior of web users.

The abstract of
The PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web reads

The importance of a Web page is an inherently subjective matter, which depends on the readers interests, knowledge and attitudes. But there is still much that can be said objectively about the relative importance of Web pages. This paper describes PageRank, a method for rating Web pages objectively and mechanically, effectively measuring the human interest and attention devoted to them. We compare PageRank to an idealized random Web surfer. We show how to efficiently compute PageRank for large numbers of pages. And, we show how to apply PageRank to search and to user navigation.

Back when I got started in the search game if you wanted to rank better you simply threw more links at whatever you wanted to rank & used the anchor text you wanted to rank for. A friend (who will remain nameless here!) used to rank websites for one-word search queries in major industries without even looking at them. 😀

Suffice it to say, as more people read about PageRank & learned the influence of anchor text, Google had to advance their algorithms in order to counteract efforts to manipulate them.

Over the years as Google has grown more dominant they have been able to create many other signals. Some signals might be easy to understand & explain, while signals that approximate abstract concepts (like brand) might be a bit more convoluted to understand or attempt to explain.

Google owns the most widely used web browser (Chrome) & the most popular mobile operating system (Android). Owning those gives Google unique insights to where they do not need to place as much weight on a links-driven approximation of a random web user. They can see what users actually do & model their algorithms based on that.

Google considers the user experience an important part of their ranking algorithms. That was a big part of the heavy push for making mobile responsive web designs.

On your money or your life topics Google considers the experience so important they have an acronym covering the categories (YMYL) and place greater emphasis on the reliability of the user experience. Some algorithm updates which have an outsized impact on these categories get nicknames like the medic update.

Nobody wants to die from a junk piece of medical advice or a matching service which invites a predator into their home.

The Wall Street Journal publishes original reporting which is so influential they act as the missing regulator in many instances.

Last Friday the WSJ covered the business practices of, a company which counts Alphabet’s Capital G as its biggest shareholder.

Behind’s appeal is a pledge to “help families make informed hiring decisions” about caregivers, as it has said on its website. Still, largely leaves it to families to figure out whether the caregivers it lists are trustworthy. … In about 9 instances over the past six years, caregivers in the U.S. who had police records were listed on and later were accused of committing crimes while caring for customers’ children or elderly relatives … Alleged crimes included theft, child abuse, sexual assault and murder. The Journal also found hundreds of instances in which day-care centers listed on as state-licensed didn’t appear to be. … states on listings that it doesn’t verify licenses, in small gray type at the bottom … A spokeswoman said that, like other companies, adds listings found in “publicly available data,” and that most day-care centers on its site didn’t pay for their listings. She said in the next few years will begin a program in which it vets day-care centers.

By Monday’s stock was sliding, which led to prompt corrective actions:

Previously the company warned users in small grey type at the bottom of a day-care center listing that it didn’t verify credentials or licensing information. said Monday it “has made more prominent” that notice.

To this day,’s homepage states…

“ does not employ any care provider or care seeker nor is it responsible for the conduct of any care provider or care seeker. … The information contained in member profiles, job posts and applications are supplied by care providers and care seekers themselves and is not information generated or verified by”

…in an ever so slightly darker shade of gray.

So far it appears to have worked for them.

What’s your favorite color?

Related: Google is now testing black ad labels.

Spotted on Google (Chrome on mobile) yesterday. They seem to be testing a new way of showing ads (a sneaky way) I couldn’t get them to trigger again.#PPC #ppcchat @sengineland @sejournal— Darren Taylor (@thebigmarketer) March 13, 2019

Update: recently removed most of the overt low-quality spam from their website., the largest site in the U.S. for finding caregivers, removed about 72% of day-care centers, or about 46,594 businesses, listed on its site, a Journal review of the website shows. Those businesses were listed on the site as recently as March 1. … Ms. Bushkin said the company had removed 45% of day-care centers in its database, a number that hasn’t been previously reported. She said the number is different than the Journal’s analysis because the company filters day-care center listings in its database through algorithms to “optimize the experience,” adding that the Journal saw only a subset of its total listings.

Categories: publishing & media

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