SEO Articles

Competitor Keyword Analysis: 3 Steps on How to Steal Your Competitor’s Traffic

Competitor Keyword Analysis: 3 Steps on How to Steal Your Competitor’s Traffic

For most SMBs, the key to generating more traffic, leads, and sales lies in outsmarting your competition.

In digital marketing, especially, the established brands make it incredibly difficult to compete. They not only can attract the best sales, marketing, and research talent but also possess the financial clout to quickly outmuscle you in a toe-to-toe contest. It means that if you’re not smart, you’ll forever feed on scraps.

So, how do you get past this hurdle? How can your small business compete despite these obvious challenges? Simple – competitor analysis – researching your competition! Competitor analysis allows you to;

Find out what makes your competitor tick; what’s their secret?Uncover and exploit opportunities the competitor has overlooked

This guide should help you plan and execute one of the most rewarding forms of competitor research in digital marketing – competitive keyword analysis.

It’s not exactly easy. But, with dedication, you can do it even on your own. Let’s start with a definition;

What is Competitive Keyword Analysis?

Competitive keyword analysis, also known as SEO competitor analysis or SEO keyword competition analysis, is just that – unraveling your competitor’s keyword strategy. 

By analyzing the competitor’s keywords, you’re able to gain insight into the interests of your shared audience and adjust your SEO campaign accordingly to improve your SERP performance.

Benefits of SEO Competitor Analysis

There are three main reasons why you should prioritize competitor SEO analysis for your search engine optimization campaign;

Discover keywords that work

Using SEO competitor research tools, you can find out the full list of keywords your primary competitors use, along with the number of clicks received for each keyword, and overall search volume. You can then sort out these terms to come up with a list of proven keywords to drive your campaign.

Find out keywords you omitted

If you already do SEO, competitor SEO search can also be instrumental in finding out valuable keywords that you might have overlooked in the past. What’s even better is that most competitor SEO analysis tools now let you compare your SEO keywords with the competitor’s to uncover the keywords missing in your campaign.

Gives you a competitive advantage

Business is about outsmarting the opponent. It’s about finding new ways to stay ahead of the pack. Competitive SEO analysis adds another weapon to your business intelligence arsenal. Once you know the keywords that are driving your competitor’s success, you can find high-performance long-tail versions and even alternative keywords to outrank that competitor.

How to Perform Competitive Keyword Analysis in 3 Steps

So, having learned about the above benefits, you’re probably thinking – where do I start my competitor keyword analysis? Here’s how to proceed;

Step #1: Define Your Competition

Who are your competitors?

Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer to this question. While it’s easy to discover your local rivals by searching your primary keywords in Google, SERP results alone won’t reveal all your global competitors.

For instance, for a local bakery trying to rank for the keyword “tasty buns in Texas,” the competition would be limited to bakeries in Texas. But, the moment the same bakery attempts to rank for a how-to article, it’d be up against even national brands such as Taste of Home and the Food Network. Making it to the first page then becomes a lot more difficult than in the first scenario.

For purposes of competitive keyword analysis, therefore, we prefer to define a competitor as; “anyone who ranks in the first result page for your target keywords, whether or not these people are your local business competitors.”

Step #2: Find Out Your Competitor(s) Keywords

This part should be easy! Pick an opponent (one of your competitors) and use SEO analysis tools to discover the core keywords driving their campaign.

Begin by searching your target keyword in Google and see the results that come up. Then, pick brands/companies behind those results and analyze their SEO strategies one-by-one.

There are multiple tools you can use to accomplish this process, including Google Analytics, SEMRush, and Moz. We, however, prefer (and recommend) BiQ Ranking Intelligence. With BiQ, all you need is the competitor’s site URL. Once you enter the URL into BiQ, the dashboard fills up with all the intelligence data you need.

Even better, BiQ allows you to select from five SEO intelligence parameters, i.e., keyword, content, link, rank, and site intelligence. You only pay for the selected parameter(s).  

In this case, you’d select keyword intelligence. Under this parameter, BiQ will help you;

Discover your competitor’s keyword profileCollect all the keywords you likeFind trending keywords for your contentUncover hidden long-tail keyword opportunitiesConduct keyword searches for local SEODetermine the real SEO value of each keyword

The “real SEO value” in this case refers to metrics such as search volume, average CPC, and the average competition for that keyword.

Step #3: Pick the Best Competitive Keywords

Not all keywords are equal – some promise more traffic and leads than others. Additionally, some keywords are extremely competitive. Getting an article to the first page for the term “content marketing,” for example, isn’t easy because it’s one of the most competitive keywords at the moment. You need to pick keywords that justify your efforts.

For the above reasons, sometimes, you may need to assess every keyword on your list to pick out the right ones. It’s what makes this part a little more challenging. To shorten the process, we recommend that you focus on finding;

Keywords your competitor ranks for that you don’t

Are you leaving a few vital keywords out of your SEO strategy? Could your competitor be ranking higher in SERPs because they use these keywords you’ve often overlooked? If so, you need to start using the keywords more often.

High-ranking competitor content that doesn’t match search queries well

Is your competitor benefiting from a lack of quality content for a particular keyword? Do they have rather poor content at the top of SERPs because there are no quality alternatives? You can take advantage of this situation by creating high-quality articles around these keywords.

Keywords your competitor is paying for that you can rank for naturally

If your competitor is paying for these keywords, it follows that they’re valuable keywords in your industry. So, what do you do? Try to see if you can rank organically for these words. Create quality articles around the keywords and submit them to Google for indexing.

Invest in Keyword Gap Analysis

Finally, competitive keyword analysis isn’t complete without keyword gap analysis. A gap analysis entails comparing two domains (such as your site and a competitor’s site) to identify disparities in keyword use and performance.

We’ve already talked about finding keywords that your competitor ranks for, but you don’t. A keyword gap analysis will help you reveal such keywords.

But that’s not everything. A gap analysis will also help you discover long-tail keywords you might have overlooked as well as terms you perhaps need to use more frequently. 

Conclusion

Competitive keyword analysis can significantly benefit your SEO campaign. With informed SEO competitor analysis, you could even topple some of the mainstays in your industry to rank at the top of SERPs for specific keywords. It’s something you should prioritize going forward.

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FIXED “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.” Host Gator Issue

FIXED “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.” Host Gator Issue

If you are currently hosting your WordPress website or several WordPress websites at HostGator and you’ve come across “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.” we can help you get this fixed quickly by following the steps in this post.

This is a very common issue in HostGator’s hosting platform because of the way their server environment is set up. The good news is the way to fix it is just a few steps and pretty painless.

How To Fix “Missing MySQL Extension” Error

In the video below, we will walk you through identifying this error and then the steps that will need to be taken to resolve it.

It is possible to have multiple .htaccess files that you may need to edit. If you find you are still getting this error after editing the .htaccess file in the public_html folder, you will need to check your root directory.

Navigate to the root directory by clicking on the top option in the left-hand panel that starts with (/home#/user), where user is your cPanel username.

Scroll down in the right-hand panel until you locate another .htaccess file. Any .htaccess file containing a string of numbers or additional characters in the name is disabled and can be disregarded.
Proceed with the instructions below, starting with Step 4.

Here are the steps outlined in the video above.

Log in to cPanel.
Locate and select File Manager.
Locate and open the public_html folder.
Locate the .htaccess file, right-click on it, and select View.

Here is a video guide to assist you in locating and editing your .htaccess file.

The steps in the video are outlined below.

To access the .htaccess file:

Log into your cPanel.
In the Files section, click on the File Manager to open.

To display the .htaccess file, click Settings in the upper right-hand corner.
Make sure the Show Hidden Files (dotfiles) is checked.
Click Save. This will refresh the page, and all files starting with a “.” (dot) will be displayed.

In your .htaccess, you should see the PHP handlers entries. First, you’ll have to identify the one that needs to be removed.

The old PHP handler you’ll want to remove will look similar to one of these:

# Use PHP71 as default
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php71 .php
<IfModule mod_suphp.c>
suPHP_ConfigPath /opt/php71/lib
</IfModule>

or

#Use PHPedge as default
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php-edge .php
<IfModule mod_suphp.c>
suPHP_ConfigPath /opt/phpedge/lib
</IfModule>

Note: If you do not see any of the two old PHP handler entries in your current .htaccess, try checking the .htaccess from one level above your document root. Click Up One Level from the top menu and look for any .htaccess from the list of files.

The PHP handler you want to keep will look like the one below. You will notice that it says “cPanel-generated handler, do not edit” in it as previously created by the MultiPHP Manager.

# php — BEGIN cPanel-generated handler, do not edit
# Set the “ea-php73” package as the default “PHP” programming language.
<IfModule mime_module>
AddHandler application/x-httpd-ea-php73 .php .php7 .phtml
</IfModule>
# php — END cPanel-generated handler, do not edit

These PHP handlers are conflicting with each other, which is why your site is showing an error. You will need to remove the old PHP handler so the .htaccess will read the MultiPHP handler code instead.

Once you’ve identified these PHP handlers, create a backup of your .htaccess file before making any changes.

In the pop-up, it will provide the beginning of the path of where to store the backup. It will begin with /public_html, and you’ll fill in the rest so that it reads /public_html/.htaccess.bak, then click Copy File(s).
Now you’ll see the backup file in the main window named .htaccess.bak. You can always restore this by removing the .bak extension.

Right-click on the .htaccess and click Edit.

To disable the PHP handler that you don’t want, you can add a “#” at the beginning of each line, as we’ve done in the example below.

#Use PHPedge as default
#AddHandler application/x-httpd-php-edge .php
#IfModule mod_suphp.c>
# suPHP_ConfigPath /opt/phpedge/lib
#/IfModule>

Click Save Changes and then Close to exit the editor.

Pull up your site to check if the error is already gone.

Hopefully the above information has helped you to resolve this very common error at HostGator of “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.”

If the instructions above do not work and your site is still displaying an error, we can do this for you with our General Support service at https://www.wpfixit.com/product/wordpress-support/

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The post FIXED “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.” Host Gator Issue appeared first on WP Fix It.

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A comprehensive guide on using Google Trends for keyword research

A comprehensive guide on using Google Trends for keyword research

30-second summary:

Keywords are still important for SEO, but what’s increasingly important is their relevance, uniqueness, and popularity over time.
Google Trends is a powerful tool that lets you gauge this and more.
With Google Trends, you can get a view of what keywords to include, what to avoid, and what to plan for.
You also get deeper dives into related topics, predictions, and how to overcome blind spots.

As an SEO professional, we’re sure that there’s one word you’ve heard and used often, and that is, “keywords”. After all, if you know what people are searching for, you can create content that guides them to your site. A great way to identify effective keywords is by using Google Trends, one of the world’s largest real-time datasets. It can give you an insight into what people are searching for, interested in, and curious about.

With more than 3.5 billion Google searches conducted every day, this is a powerful tool you can’t ignore. In the words of the Google Trends team, “you can now explore minute-by-minute, real-time data behind the more than 100 billion searches that take place on Google every month, getting deeper into the topics you care about.”

Now, you may be thinking that this sounds great — but where do I begin? Take a deep breath and pay attention because we’re going to outline the 11 best ways you can use Google Trends to come up with apt keywords.

Ready? Let’s go.

1. Understand keyword search volume

Keyword search volume refers to how many times specific words were searched for during a given time frame. If sites contain words with a high volume, it’s clear that they’re going to get more traffic.

If you enter any keywords into Google Trends, you get to see how interest in that topic has increased or decreased over the course of time.

Here’s an example. Type in “coronavirus” and see for yourself the peaks and valleys in consumer interest. You can also see which regions it is more or less popular in.

Here, we should point out that the popularity of the keywords shown is relative. The graph represents the ratio of the number of times that word was searched relative to the total number of all searches during that time.

2. Identify seasonal trends

One of the great advantages of having search data mapped on a graph is that you can easily spot the highs and lows of how many times keywords were searched for.

As a savvy marketeer which you must be, or you wouldn’t be reading this – you know that capitalizing on seasonal popularity means attracting more customers. You can craft campaigns around such trends and adjust your sales plans and inventory accordingly.

Here are some obvious examples. If you type in “pizza”, you get a graph that’s fairly consistent and more or less flat. But if you type in “Christmas pudding”, you’ll see a flat line rising to a very high peak in December.

Correctly identifying such trends means being able to plan in advance and then taking advantage of heightened interest. Sounds like something you’ll want to do.

3. Avoid jumping onto the trendy keyword bandwagon

When doing keyword research, you need to know whether a search term is going to remain popular or whether it’s just a result of short-lived buzz. Here again, Google Trends can help.

There’s a table on the page that lets you view search interest for a specific keyword over the last few years. This way, you’ll immediately see whether a topic has just spiked once and then dropped or whether it’s of lasting interest.

Here’s another example. Type in “fidget spinners,” and you’ll see that there was a huge spike in 2017 when no-one could get enough of those toys. So if you were counting on attracting people to your site using “fidget spinners” that isn’t going to happen.

4. Stay away from unicorn keywords

Hold on. Aren’t unicorns what they call start-ups valued at over USD one billion? Yes, that’s right, but there are other types. Unicorn keywords, for instance.

These are generic industry terms that may sound good to include in your content but don’t necessarily make much of a difference. They are high volume but low competition. For example, “cloud computing” or even “courier services”.

It’s always better to use more precise keywords. For example, you could modify unicorn keywords to more accurately reflect your services. Checking Google Trends will provide you with information on such generic keywords, which you can then adapt for your needs.

5. Find relevant trending topics

Trends. We all want to stay on top of them as this will attract more customers. Well, Google Trends can obviously help in this case, too.

You can check Google Trends to find out which topics are trending in your niche and then keep track of traffic.

6. Find related topics

Often, even keywords not directly linked to your business can be helpful. There are other keywords that may be related but will still boost traffic.

It’s simple to do this with Google Trends. After you type in a relevant keyword, you can scroll down to find tables of related topics and related queries.

Typing in courier services, for example, will show you rising and falling trends for this search phrase. But in the related queries section, you’ll see “overnight courier services”. If you can use this as a relevant keyword, chances are your traffic will increase. Overnight.

7. Use trends predictions

You can look at Google Trends as a mirror to show you what people are interested in at this moment. But this tool can also help you use forecasting and trend data to suggest which keywords are going to rise in popularity in the future. This lets you plan ahead and prepare for traffic boosting opportunities that will arise in the days to come.

As a start, you can look at this prediction from the Google team on themes that are rising in 2021: equality, data ethics, and reaching the at-home consumer.

8. Use local SEO tactics

You already know the importance of leveraging local SEO strategies. There are many consumers near you, and they are the ones that can easily be targeted with effective digital and keyword tactics.

Google Trends can be a great help with this approach, too. You can use local keyword trends to see which regions need your products or services. And then, you can fine-tune your strategy to reflect this.

For example, you could type in “cloud computing”, with a USA filter to get overall trends for that keyword phrase. And then drill down further to see in which towns and cities the phrase is most used.

9. Video SEO

A statistic on HubSpot indicates that 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. That’s not surprising, after all, 85% of all internet users in the United States watched online video content monthly on any of their devices. And 54% want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.

[Source.]

Hence, video SEO is critical. It’s the process of optimizing your video to be indexed so that it ranks on the results pages for keyword searches.

How can Google Trends help you with this?.

Enter your search term, and then change web search to YouTube search. You can find the relevance and also related queries, as well as which words are trending. This should give you invaluable insights to tweak your video titles and descriptions for better results.

10. Use long-tail key phrases

Long-tail keyphrases are defined as those that are different from general keywords. They are specific to whatever product or service you’re selling.

For example, while “running shoes” can be a generic keyword, a long-tail version of this could be “men’s running shoes with thick soles”.

As you can see, such phrases have low competition and high conversion. This is why they are so important for effective SEO.

With Google Trends, you can cross-reference the popularity of different keywords. And then, you can combine related terms to get a good idea of relevant long-tail keywords. Whether you’re into cloud computing or running shoes, it makes a difference.

11. Identify blind spots

Blind spots exist in life and also in keywords.

There are keywords that we feel are important, even though they may be generic and high-volume. There are other keywords that somehow never occur to us, even though they may be of interest to consumers.

Intelligent use of Google Trends means that you can probe these areas to arrive at insights that let you capitalize on what’s trending with your target audience.

Use various combinations of keywords, always check the related queries box, and get a wider view of the timeline. Combine these to check whether keywords are popular over time, whether there’s just a specific spike, and if there are other aspects that consumers feel are important.

All this will let you get over the blind spots to give you 20/20 vision.

In conclusion: Google Trends is your powerful keyword partner

At a time when every online expert is hunting for keywords, Google Trends can give you the edge.

You can use it to come up with powerful, popular keywords to boost traffic in surprising and positive ways. 

It can help you discover keywords that make sense in context. It can help you to spot profitable trends. And it can help you come up with long-tail keywords that consumers are searching for. 

The 11 principles outlined above should go a long way in setting precise and effective keywords for your business. After that, if you want more of a deep dive, head on over to Google’s own training center for more lessons.

Aayush Gupta is Sr. Manager, Brand & Marketing at Uplers. He likes to stay on his toes when it comes to marketing and doing things worth risk-taking. He loves traveling and exploring local cuisines. In his free time reading books with coffee is all he wants.

The post A comprehensive guide on using Google Trends for keyword research appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Case study: Schneider Electric’s digital transformation through centralized search

Case study: Schneider Electric’s digital transformation through centralized search

30-second summary:

Digital transformation affords businesses opportunities to make genuine connections with customers through personalized marketing experiences.
Digital buyer behavior is changing, with increased consumer expectations for digital-only interactions and reduced tolerance for traditional sales tactics like cold-calling.
Paid search is a fast-growing channel that warrants a data-driven approach to strategy and execution.
Evan Kent, VP Integrated Marketing at Schneider Electric, and Kimberly Dutcher, SEM Manager at Merkle share their collaborative approach to a paid search strategy redesign that continues to drive positive business results.

There’s no more denying that digital transformation is here. It’s on the mind of every business leader, changing how businesses employ digital technologies and organize their business models to create more value for their brand. In the marketing space, digital transformation affords businesses countless opportunities to make a genuine connection with customers through personalized marketing experiences. By designing business organization, strategy, and technology around digital transformation, brands can ultimately deliver customer experiences that are contextually relevant and personally informed.

Schneider Electric and its paid search partner of five years, Merkle, tackled the digital transformation challenge head-on in 2019. They engaged in a more purposeful way than ever before to redesign the brand’s approach to paid search marketing in an effort to align with the business’s overall digital transformation initiatives.

Diving into digital transformation

Schneider Electric’s purpose is to empower everyone to make the most of their energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. As the global specialist in energy management and automation, it is the business’s mission to be a digital partner for sustainability and efficiency. To support this mission, the Schneider Electric team recognized an immediate need to redesign their search marketing program to improve the quality of traffic driven to the website.

With recent changes in digital buying behavior, the Schneider Electric team quickly recognized that overall search volume was outpacing their investment. The market was growing, yet Schneider Electric’s investment was shrinking. The brand’s soft voice in the market was compounded by a siloed approach to marketing investment. Paid search programs were defined by available investment from business units (BUs) versus starting with the available search volume and then defining an investment need. This resulted in campaigns that were under-funded, chasing search volume that simply did not exist, and a general lack of evergreen brand paid search.

The Schneider Electric team decided it was time for a change. To resolve its in-house challenges, the business created a team of dedicated search specialists to work side-by-side with its digital agency, Merkle. These specialists are the link between deep knowledge of Schneider Electric’s audiences and account optimization. The Schneider Electric paid search team made an intentional shift from creating and running reactive paid search campaigns to proactive market and industry-based planning. Their search mission changed to focus on traffic, landing pages, and the basic need to answer the questions searchers have.

Unifying digital transformation with paid search

Having worked with Schneider Electric for five years on paid search, the Merkle SEM team had valuable historical information on the business and its paid search trends. This data was invaluable to proposing a consolidated, centrally budgeted paid search account structure for the US. The restructure evolved Schneider Electric’s US paid search program from 14 paid search accounts and 22 budgets for seven BUs to one account with one budget. This drove considerable performance improvements and allowed for a robust test-and-learn environment.

The account redesign was also an opportunity for the unified paid search team across Schneider Electric and Merkle to lay the groundwork for future paid search marketing expansion and success. For the first time, the teams were able to take a big-picture, data-driven, strategic approach to the channel that gave all parties the information they needed to drive big results for the business, rather than driving localized results for individual BUs.

Key levers for successful transformation
1. Keywords

In creating a transformed US paid search account aligned to Schneider Electric’s business goals of driving the right search traffic to the right pages on the site, the unified paid search team wasn’t starting from square one. Years of historical data and analysis helped guide the teams on which keywords were historically the best performing. In the case of this paid search digital transformation, a keyword audit was a critical piece to start with, ensuring the team was focused on the right keywords for the brand and its critical products and solutions. Click-through rate (CTR) and cost per click (CPC) were the team’s primary key performance indicators (KPIs), given the strong historical data in the engine and the wide breadth of optimization levers that could help improve those metrics in the early stages of account optimization.

2. URLs

The unified paid search team took a two-pronged initial approach to their paid search final URL selection. First, the team worked to identify whether they had assigned the most relevant URLs for the keywords. Boosting quality score was a critical KPI, as the quality score is a major factor in how often and how high your ads show on the search engine results page (SERP). Second, the Schneider Electric paid search team translated the quality score for the Schneider Electric web team to improve overall page quality and user experience on the site. It is these types of cross-channel collaborations that are necessary to drive continued marketing success; the business’s digital transformation can’t be successful without it.

3. Efficiency metrics and results

Continual monitoring and optimization of the team’s high-level KPIs, CTR, and CPC is what ultimately drove success for the business. Over the course of 2020, the paid search team drove a 137 percent year-over-year increase in CTR through keyword audits, URL audits, ongoing performance optimizations, and flexible allocation of budget to the most efficient keywords. Collaboration with the Schneider Electric site analytics team was critical for measurement as well, with bounce rate and site engagement becoming key user experience measurement metrics.

Continually evolving paid search with digital transformation

In 2020, the first year of the transformation, the paid search team was focused on the basics:

Who is the target audience?
Where on the site would they land?
Do we have the answer to the searcher’s question?
Are we bidding on the right keywords?
Is there an existing search volume? How much investment do we need?
How long should a program run? How do we integrate other media functions to optimize the buy?
Do we have the best ad copy?

Designing this customer-first approach took time and optimization is an iterative process, but the results have been exponential:

Lower cost per click
More traffic to the site
Searchers go deeper into the site

Now that the paid search team has a solid foundation, the door is open for experimenting with new and more advanced search techniques to further optimize audiences, bidding strategies, and cross-sell opportunities. With the right traffic coming to the site, the team can focus on monetizing that traffic by driving and measuring site engagement, leads, and contribution to revenue. Paid search is no longer a guessing game – data-driven and statistical techniques are used to optimize investment.

With a number of 2021 paid search marketing trends emerging, especially around automation in the industry, the Schneider Electric and Merkle paid search team is excited to dig into what opportunities exist for further expansion of their marketing efforts. B2B advertisers are changing the way they play the search marketing game in 2021, and those who innovate early and often are the ones who rise to the challenge, and, ultimately, capitalize on the opportunity.

Evan Kent is VP Integrated Marketing at Schneider Electric and Kimberly Dutcher is SEM Manager at Merkle.

The post Case study: Schneider Electric’s digital transformation through centralized search appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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What is orphaned content?

What is orphaned content?

If you want your content to rank in Google, it needs to know about the existence of that content. That means that you (or another site) should link to this content. Google follows these links and saves every post or page it finds through links to in the index. So, you’ll understand that it’s important you add contextual links to all of your content. That sounds simple, but if you’re creating and publishing a lot of content, your linking structure might not be a top priority, and some of your articles may not get any links. Here, we’ll explain all about this so-called orphaned content: what it is, why it matters for SEO and how to fix it with the Yoast SEO plugin!

Did you know our Site structure training helps you prevent creating orphaned content? Find out how to build the best possible structure for your site. You can get access to this training course, and all of our other SEO courses with Yoast SEO Premium.

What is orphaned content?

Orphaned content is content that doesn’t get any links from other posts or pages on the same website. As a result of that, this content is hard to find, for both Google and visitors. Posts and pages need internal links to them, to fit into a site’s structure and to be findable. Note that ‘links’ in this case means: contextual links. If content is linked to from the homepage, sitemap, or category and tag pages, but lacks text links, it’s still considered orphaned content. The reason for this is that text links provide both users and search engines with context and therefore, add more value.

Why does orphaned content affect your SEO?

To rank content, Google obviously needs to know about it. Search engines follow links and save all the content of pages in their index. Orphaned content has few meaningful internal links from other pages or posts to it. Google will consider this type of content less important. So, if an article is important to you, you should make that clear to Google (and your visitors). Link to that specific article from other (similar) content.

How is orphaned content created?

If you write a new blog post, publish it and then forget about it, you probably won’t link to it anymore in your new posts and pages. Is this a bad thing? Well, that depends on the blog post. It is definitely a bad thing if you want people and Google to find this post because it’s important. In that case: make sure Google and your audience can find that orphaned blog post. Linking to it from articles that generate a lot of traffic in the search engines will help Google and your audience get to your blog post.

How do I use the orphaned content check?

You can find the orphaned content filter in your post overview. If you have Yoast SEO Premium installed, your post overview will look like this:

Clicking on the orphaned content filter will give an overview of all the posts without text links linking to them. On Yoast.com, we have quite a few orphaned articles as well (content team, are you reading this? We still have some work to do here ;-)).

Scrolling through our own orphaned articles, made me very aware of the fact that recent articles are often orphaned. We just don’t get around to adding links to these articles in our older blog posts. Still, for articles that are important to our SEO strategy or to our brand, we should make sure to add links in posts that generate a lot of traffic. That’ll help Google and our audience to find those important posts.

Should you always fix orphaned content?

For some articles, it isn’t that important to fix an orphaned content status. Some blog posts are only important for a short period of time. At Yoast, we sometimes write about our events that are coming up. Announcing such an event makes for a great blog post, but such a post probably has less value next year. It’s no problem for such a post to remain orphaned. In fact, perhaps you should consider deleting these pages (properly of course!) altogether. That’ll clean up your site a bit.

Conclusion: keep an eye on that orphaned content!

As I have shown, it’s easy to unwittingly create orphaned content, if you’re writing a lot of posts. Luckily, you can use the orphaned content feature of Yoast SEO Premium to stay on top of things. You can easily check which posts and pages are orphaned, and add links to important content, so both Google and your users can find it!

Read on: Site structure: the ultimate guide »

The post What is orphaned content? appeared first on Yoast.

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Yoast SEO 15.8: A free block for your breadcrumbs

Yoast SEO 15.8: A free block for your breadcrumbs

Yoast SEO 15.8 is out and it comes with a cool new gift: a breadcrumbs block for the WordPress editor. This makes it easy to just drop your breadcrumb in a page, without having to touch any code. Now available for everyone! We also have a cool new update for our Video SEO add-on that loads your videos in a much smarter way. Read all about it!

Free breadcrumbs block for the block editor

Blocks are the future. We’ve been big fans of the new block editor — a.k.a. Gutenberg — for a long time and we’re excited about what’s ahead! We loved using and building blocks that help us improve not only our own site, but yours as well. We built several blocks, like the table of contents block, the internal linking blocks and the structured data blocks for FAQ and how-to content. Today, we’re adding another one: a breadcrumb block.

With full-site editing (FSE) coming to the WordPress block editor soonish, we were looking for a way to simplify adding breadcrumbs. In addition, we also wanted to change the behaviour around breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs can help both Google and site visitors to more easily understand the way a site is structured.

One of the ways Google discovers breadcrumbs is by “reading” the Schema.org structured data on your site. After consulting with Google, Yoast SEO will start to output breadcrumb structured data by default — even if you haven’t activated the breadcrumb feature. This another way to make your site more understandable to Google.

Adding breadcrumbs via blocks

Adding breadcrumbs to your site was always a chore. Of course, Yoast SEO can generate breadcrumbs for you and we have had a shortcode for use with the classic editor for some time. What’s more, there’s even a widget for adding breadcrumbs in Elementor. Plus, many themes support Yoast Breadcrumbs out of the box, so for some it’s just a matter of activating the breadcrumbs feature.

But if your theme doesn’t support it, you need to add a bit of code to it to get it to work. We wanted to simplify that with a new breadcrumbs block that works without having to add code. As said, full-site editing in WordPress will make it possible to use this block to add those breadcrumbs where you want.

Even today, with a recent version of the Gutenberg plugin, you can drop the breadcrumbs block in the widget area to be more flexible in where you want it to appear. Simply go to Appearance > Widgets and add the block in your widget area of choice.

Of course, you add the block also simply add the breadcrumbs block to individual posts and pages. You can find the Yoast Breadcrumbs block in the list of blocks by typing Yoast or breadcrumbs. Simply pick a spot to drop in the block and select it from the list. Et voila, you have breadcrumbs on your page!

Yoast Video SEO 13.6: now in the sidebar, plus smarter video loading

The past couple of months, we’ve been giving our Yoast SEO add-ons special attention. We’re working on improving the user experience of the plugins and making it easier to use these inside the block editor. Among these, is an add-on that helps you make your videos appear in the search results: Yoast Video SEO.

For this release of the plugin, we had to rebuild the meta box to make the settings and features available in the sidebar of the block editor. In addition, we also improved the UX and interface. This makes the features more sensible for you and using it more self-explanatory.

Preventing your video page from slowing down

Last but not least, in Yoast Video SEO 13.6, we’ve changed the way we load the code necessary to embed videos. We now only load the thumbnail image for the video and, after that, we’ll only load the necessary JavaScript code when a user interacts with the video. This will keep pages with embedded videos from becoming slow to load — enhancing the user experience. Plus, it will keep your pages from performing badly in site speed tests because embedding YouTube videos in a post will immediately decrease that post’s Core Web Vitals scores. You can turn this feature on in the Embed settings.

Enable the YouTube embed feature in the Embed settings of Yoast Video SEO

Yoast SEO 15.8 is out today

Yoast SEO 15.8 is not a huge release, but it does bring a nice goodie: the Yoast Breadcrumb block. Simply drop this on any post or page and a fully-formed breadcrumbs will appear. Easy peasy!

The post Yoast SEO 15.8: A free block for your breadcrumbs appeared first on Yoast.

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