Every search engine optimization (SEO) strategy needs to include identifying and answering searchers’ queries among its main components. The Q & A (Question and Answer) section is an integral aspect for any website. The implementation of an effective Q & A strategy depends on a number of different mechanisms.
Let us first learn about the advantages of refining a website for accommodating the questions based on the targeted keywords as well as the answers to these questions. Some of them are listed below:
- Meeting the user intent on the web page and providing the required context for boosting the organic rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Revealing the depth of expertise on any given topic, to the search engines.
- Having a chance to earn Featured Snippets, People Also Ask, and other such fraggles within Google search results
- Having a chance to earn Rich Results in the search engine results pages (SERPs) after making use of structured data.
- Offering opportunities to boost user-generated content (UGC) in the website
- Revamping the local search engine optimization (SEO) experience within Google MyBusiness
- Enhancing the potential for Scroll to Text highlighting within the Google Featured Snippets
- Effective utilization of the Q & A section in the website can enhance the user experience in the site and also boost the conversion rates
Some of the mechanisms involved in the Q & A strategy are: Google Search Console (when the website is already receiving traffic and impressions for the questions available in it), People Also Ask (an interactive widget that appears within Google Search Results which lets the users scroll through questions that are related to their own queries), People Also Search For (displayed on few Knowledge Panels), Google Trends (a resourceful mechanism which the searchers can use to develop questions/queries), as well as user generated content (UGC) sites (such as: Quora, Reddit and such others).
Content developers are constantly looking for ways to strengthen or boost their position in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Creating compelling content that is also rooted in facts, informative and entertaining all at the same time goes a long way towards achieving that goal.
Listed below are a few search engine optimization (SEO) pointers for the content developers and publishers to grow their audience:
- Optimizing the website architecture: Undertaking mobile optimization and structured data will definitely help any website to attain a good position in the search engine results pages. However, it is highly imperative for content developers to optimize their website architecture in order to strengthen and boost (if possible) that position. They can enable the search engines to crawl and index their website by: having consistent and noticeable primary navigation, having a visible sitemap, along with defining the editorial universe in their website home page.
- Following the on-page search engine optimization best practices: Some of these on-page SEO best practices include: setting up SEO titles using keywords, fully utilizing the meta descriptions and creating compelling calls to action (CTA), using the SEO titles as the headlines for the content, and using subheadings within the entire content.
- Adding author biographies along with their pictures: It is a good practice to add the biographies and pictures (if possible) of the authors of content as it helps in gaining the trust of the visitors to the website. This is a user experience aspect that helps content developers in establishing their expertise, authority and trustworthiness (E-A-T) within the search engine results pages.
- Optimizing for Google Discover: Optimizing the content for Google Discover enables the users in discovering the topics/concepts related to their interests easily based on their browser history, search history, app activity and location. This optimizing can be done by: consistently developing engaging and trustworthy content, retaining evergreen content, using images and videos within the content, as well as by supporting multiple languages.
- Using attention-grabbing featured images: Making use of original art, graphics, and custom images related to the content will grab the attention of the readers. It is essential to compress the images for increasing the page load speed, customizing the image file names (using keywords for names), writing SEO-friendly alt text for the images, making the images mobile-friendly, and clearly defining the image file path structure.
- Publishing industry news instantly: It is a good practice to be first in line while trying to publish industry related news on individual websites. This can be done by: following RSS feeds and creating Twitter lists, joining the Facebook and LinkedIn groups, as well as monitoring the competitors’ activities through social media.
- Making use of other channels to support their search engine optimization: Making use of other channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Tiktok can gain leads and support the website’s search engine optimization efforts.
- Inserting images and videos in the content: Inserting visual content such as images, videos and infographics can enhance the overall readability of the website as well as boost traffic to the website.
Content creation is an integral aspect of marketing. It is one of the most significant means for gaining traffic for any website. The content needs to be well researched, rooted in facts, able to keep the audience engaged, and compelling enough to merit repeat visitors to the website. The content should also be easily understandable and user-friendly.
Having powerful and noteworthy content in a website enables users to engage with the site, buy the products/services offered by the brand/business, push impressions for ad space, and fill the lead forms placed in the website. The content of any website is what drives people to link with the website ‘naturally.’ the content can be in any shape (text only, text with images, infographics, etc), size (short or long-form) or form (data, informative resources, the methods of performing specific tasks, quizzes that are contextually relevant, along with Q & A (question and answer) sessions); while covering a wide variety of topics. Content provides details about the webpage in the form of header tags, title tags, internal links, and such.
It is imperative to have a natural-mix of the different types of backlinks such as:
- Branded links, keyword-rich links, and citations
- Dofollow, nofollow, and sponsored user generated content (UGC)
- Bloggers and producers of other types of content, comments, news/media, as well as freebies from the online communities and forums
- Industry resource sections, directories and local guides
Content makes use of internal linking to help website developers in building the site structure and architecture. Developing a natural internal linking structure helps marketers in directing the users towards useful and informative resources as well as the purchasing options offered by the content related to buying (comparison guides, product/service lists). This enables search engine spiders as well as the website visitors crawl and navigate the website easily. They can find the most relevant topics and pages within the website in a natural way.
Blogging is an art. Businesses and brands consider blogging not only a marketing technique but as a means of enhancing consumer awareness, maintaining communication with the consumers and keeping them engaged.
Listed below are some of the ways in which businesses can benefit from blogging:
- It helps in boosting online traffic
- It enables the businesses/brands to nurture and convert customers
- It helps in keeping the existing customers engaged
- It sets the business apart from competitors in the industry
- It instigates rising demand in the products/services offered
Marketers need to maintain a regularity of posting blogs on their websites. These blogs need to be compelling, cohesive, informative (fact-based) and entertaining all at t include he same time. This will incite interest in the viewers, thereby increasing traffic to the website. The increased traffic can result in more leads for the business.
Blogging consistently can help in attracting new customers to the business. Content developers need to take SEO (search engine optimization) best practices into consideration and make sure that the blogs are being adequately promoted online across social media platforms, newsletters and through other websites (backlinking). It is a good practice to add calls-to-action (CTA) within the blogs.
Brands can include a portfolio of their previous work in their blogs (using images, infographics and catalogues (with brief descriptions of the project done)). The advantage is that new leads and customers continue to build up long after the blogs are published. Refining the previous blog posts with additional data also helps in retaining the visitors to the website.
It is imperative for any brand/business to establish trust. Blogs help the brands/businesses in building and then maintaining trust in the minds of the customers. It is highly essential for any brand/business to track and measure the results of blogging on its own website and also make the most of guest blogging on other websites within the same industry.
Keyword research is an integral aspect of search engine optimization (SEO). Marketers need to conduct keyword research in order to understand the shifts in consumer intent and behaviour that are caused by the ongoing tumultuous circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Brands and businesses need to adapt to the changing trends and focus their marketing efforts accordingly.
There are certain resources made available to users by Google that can help marketers transition easily into what is now called the “new normal.” The resources (mechanisms) are listed below:
- Rising Retail Categories: Think with Google established an interactive mechanism called “Rising Retail Categories“ to help users understand: the swiftly emerging retail categories that appear in Google Search Console, the areas in which they are emerging, and the queries associated with these categories. Marketers need to identify the currently trending categories and market their products/services accordingly.
- Corona virus Search Trends: Google had established “Corona virus Search Trends” during March of this year. Initially, there was a surge in search intent for the topic ‘corona virus’, but it has gradually reduced.
- Shopping Insights: Google had previously established “Shopping Insights”, which lets marketers keep track of the competing products in their categories as well as assess how well they are measuring against their competitors. This mechanism enables marketers to better understand the customers’ shopping intent online, thus prompting them to make well appraised advertising and inventorying decisions across online as well as offline channels.
- Market Finder: Established in November 2017, Google’s”Market Finder” enables marketers to identify those areas which offer the potential for growth, depending on the key metrics for their chosen categories.
- Google Surveys: Google has renamed the previously established market research mechanism “Google Consumer Surveys” (in March 2012) as “Google Surveys” in October 2016. It collects data from the survey questions that the marketers prepare and then provides notable insights into the minds of the target audience. Google Surveys help marketers to assess the searcher intent.
- Google Trends: Established way back in the year 2005 (in May), “Google Trends” is a mechanism that has previously not been used much by SEO (search engine optimization) professionals. Yet now it has gained momentum, in these trying times.
The uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has pervaded almost every sector of the global economy. Marketers are looking for ways to sustain themselves amid these trying times. This ongoing crisis has fast forwarded the digital transformation trends that have long been in the making. Ecommerce is on the rise once again. Online shopping is becoming more and more prevalent day by day.
Listed below are some of the search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) tactics to be followed by marketers to make the most of online shopping:
- Revisiting the local search listings: Marketers need to update their stock inventory in keeping with the current circumstances; along with emphasizing the availability of their products.
- Conducting analysis of the search trends: It is essential for marketers to analyse the most popular search queries related to their product categories. This is a crucial aspect for the brand’s strategy of search engine optimization. This process provides real-time consumer insights that in turn help in determining what message is to be conveyed over all marketing platforms.
- Creating new content: With the constant shifts in consumer demand, it is imperative to keep up to date with the changing trends. Marketers should refine their content, build new web pages and make sure that the customers are aware of the brand’s flexibility to accommodate their demands and meet their requirements. Creating compelling content that also contains information helps in directing traffic to these web pages.
- Developing a combined shopping strategy: Organic and paid search teams can work together on developing a shopping strategy, because of the return of free listings to Google Shopping. This has also enabled the blending of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimization (SEO) tactics.
- Adding visual content to search: Google is the most popular search engine and it is a progressively visual platform. Marketers need to insert images and videos in the strategy and ensure that they are consistent across both PPC and SEO.
- Planning the PPC budget according to the query value: Marketers need to plan and use their budget to focus on high-value queries, the results of which are dominated by paid listings. They also need to look for ways to rank for those queries which have the potential to draw a high click-through rate (CTR).
Using PPC for testing the content: Making use of paid search results for testing the content is a good practice. Marketers need to try new innovations in imagery and brand messaging in order to figure out what works best for their audience and use the results for their search engine optimization assets.
Bumper ads are the instantaneous video campaigns that are created and run using Google Ads. They are generally of very short duration (six seconds or so). These ads are unskippable, so the users inevitably view them in their entirety without getting irritated (owing to their extremely short length).
Bumper ads make use of target CPM (cost per thousand impressions) bidding. These video ads are equipped with a countdown timer which displays how long the ad will last. The extremely short length of the ads specifically helps in holding the user’s attention. Bumper ads also assist in driving a notable boost in ad recall. Advertisers need to be meticulous in their planning of the ads and ensure that they make the most of the ad campaigns.
Effective Utilization of Bumper Ads
Listed below are a few major fundamental aspects that the advertisers need to keep in mind while developing bumper ads:
- Using the bumper ads in combination with other bumper ads: The bumper ads should be displayed collectively along with a bunch of other bumper ads, so as to make an impact. The purpose is to link these short ads together to form a bigger picture that conveys the message which the advertisers intend to pass on to the audience. Each of these ads depicts a significant aspect of the message being conveyed.
- Blending the bumper ads with other ad formats: The bumper ads can be blended in with other ad formats such as print ads or display ads in order to enhance, magnify or to reiterate the message being conveyed within six seconds. Advertisers can also make use of other ad formats by adopting them as launch pads for the bumper ads.
- Concentrating on one thing: It is imperative that the message is prompt and precise, while concentrating on only one aspect, since the bumper video ad lasts for only six seconds. Advertisers may be able to: tease one new product or feature one common pain point or answer one question posed by a customer or highlight one unique feature of the product being displayed or highlight one use for the product line being showcased.
- Making sure that all ads are aligned with the marketing goals: Advertisers need to make sure that the bumper ads, while being created in combination with other bumper ads or by being blended with other ad formats; are perfectly aligned with the purpose of reaching their marketing goals.
It is crucial for brands to maintain communication with their consumers with a great deal of care, sensitivity and awareness, during the ongoing crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those brands which try to understand their customers, as well as show empathy, stand a good chance in retaining their customer base.
Marketing Strategy amid COVID-19 Crisis
With the imposed social distancing and self-isolation continuing even now, people are looking for ways to engage themselves while staying at and working from home. Undertaking DIY (do it yourself) projects, watching YouTube videos (on cooking new and special items), watching tv series and movies on OTT (over the top) digital platforms (such as Hotstar, Voot, ZEE5, Sony Liv, ETV WIN, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video ) etc. are a few of the ways in which people are making the most of what is currently an unfortunate situation.
Brands need to be conscious of their efforts to remain relevant. They need to make sure that the customers believe in the quality of their products/services while assuring those customers that they remain steady yet flexible in their approach to marketing with them. The brands should be willing to try new and innovative methods for connecting with their customers and learning what exactly they require. Marketers need to keep up with the changing trends and align their strategy according to the shifts in consumer behaviour.
Developing content is a long drawn and well thought-out process that includes multiple steps, such as: conducting research, collaborating with other people involved in the process, as well as making sure that the content is SEO-friendly (search engine optimization). Finally, the reviewing, editing and refining of the content take place for presenting it to the audience.
Mechanisms for Creating Compelling Content
Let us look into each of these steps in a more detailed manner.
Conducting research is the first and most important step in content development. You need to have a clear idea of what you are going to write, what your ultimate goal is and how to go about accomplishing these tasks. There are several different mechanisms that can help you along this process:
- Buzzsumo: Buzzsumo takes the keywords into consideration and pulls up the popular posts based on these keywords. Then it categorizes the results by analyzing their reach on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. This process helps you in determining what topics your target audience is interested in. You can also widen or narrow the search parameters based on filters such as: the location, gender and age of your audience.
- Portent’s Content Idea Generator: Portent’s Content Idea Generator is a free mechanism which produces unique and unusual content ideas that can attract the attention of your audience.
- Ubersuggest: Ubersuggest is another mechanism that produces content ideas which are quite effective. It takes the suggestions from Google Suggest and Google Ads Keyword Planner and then expands the seed keywords.This mechanism offers long-tail keywords which can be used as titles for your content.
- Quora: Quora is a Q&A (Question and Answer) website that helps you a great deal to understand what your target audience wants to know. Various useful suggestions will pop up once you use the built-in search feature of Quora.
It is imperative to have a unified platform in place that can undertake tasks such as file sharing, project tracking, and the collaboration among the teams of people. A few examples are given below:
- Google Docs: This is the most commonly used shared platform. It is cloud-based and it enables the editing of documents (provided that multiple users are given access). You can add images, insert tables, create bulleted/numbered lists and customize your fonts.
Slack: Slack is another unified workspace in which you can share files, images, audio, video and such. It also enables you to monitor when the employees are logging in and out.
Content creation is generally a well thought-out process. It is highly imperative for businesses and brands to be goal-oriented in their content marketing strategy. The first step in the strategy is to be absolutely clear about the purpose for which the content is ceaudien created. It is essential that marketers assign a purpose to each piece of content that is produced.
Creating Content for a Purpose
There needs to be a solid reasoning behind the development of a blog or the creation of a video or the designing of an infographic and so on. Generally, there are certain common reasons for producing content, such as: for building links, for ranking in the SERPs (search engine results pages), for driving social engagement, as well as for educating the audience. The reasons are discussed in more detail below:
- Building links: The most common types of content that are produced with the purpose of building links include: infographics backed by factual data, results of surveys, expert comment additions, guest posts, along with interactive tools. These types of content are linkable and they help in gaining visibility in the search results.
- Ranking: It is imperative for businesses to rank in top positions within the search engine results pages in order to earn traffic from organic search. This can be accomplished by conducting keyword research along with taking the user experience and searcher intent into consideration.
- Driving social engagement: It is a known fact that businesses need to have a social media presence these days, with more and more people being active users. Developing powerful content for the purpose of driving social engagement is an assured way of boosting brand awareness among the audience.
- Educating the audience: Producing content with the intention of educating an audience leads to moving the potential customers and clients through the sales funnel.