Content is a prerequisite for every brand and/or business website. It is imperative to create high quality content that is also readable, relevant and useful to the people who visit the website. Let us look at a few tried, tested and true techniques that enable writing incredible content that can be retained in the minds of the viewers long after they have left the website.
These techniques are listed below:
- Scouting for topic ideas for the content: It is imperative to thoroughly research topic ideas for the content.
- Maintaining focus: It is highly essential to maintain focus while writing content. Turning off all notifications on mobile phones, laptops, tablets or ipads; informing family members about the writing (so that they don’t disturb during that time) are some of the ways of maintaining focus.
- Organizing the content: It is an excellent practice to organize the content in the form of developing an outline first (from introduction to conclusion of the content piece) and then filling in the body text (using titles, subtitles, infographics, etc.).
- Using Active Voice: It is a good practice to use active voice while writing the content as it resonates more with the audience.
- Choosing the POV (point of view) wisely: It is a good practice to use first and second person perspective (point of view) in any content. It is important to maintain that point of view throughout the entire content.
- Using short sentences and short paragraphs: Using short sentences and short paragraphs vastly improves the readability of the content. The website users can easily understand the content when the text is in the form of short phrases.
- Reading out loud: After finishing all the edits, it is better to read the content out loud so as to avoid further errors and correct them (if any occur).
Conducting keyword research: It is imperative to conduct keyword research prior to starting to work on any piece of content since it provides additional insights and ideas to improve the content.
With the widespread use of social media these days, it is imperative for brands and businesses to have a social media presence. They can reach and engage with a multitude of persons from all over the world. Brands and businesses need to go above and beyond their usual marketing tactics in order to drive results through social media.
Let us look at a few pointers for creating incredible content on social media:
- Inserting photos within the text: It is a good practice to insert photos within the text since visual stimuli is much more effective than plain text at engaging the audience.
- Repurposing evergreen content in the form of infographics: It is an excellent idea to repurpose the best pieces of evergreen content available; in the form of: infographics, charts, graphs and social media images. It is also advisable to choose quotes from the content and highlight them.
- Sharing customer reviews and testimonials: Sharing favourable customer reviews and testimonials about the products/services goes a long way towards influencing the social media users to make a purchase.
- Discovering the latest trends and using visuals accordingly: It is pertinent to search for the latest trends which are currently the most popular. This can be done by visiting Pinterest’s most repinned page, searching for the most popular hashtags on Instagram, and conducting a Google search for the popular image trends.
- Hosting contests: Hosting contests on the social media channels would encourage the users to participate in them as well as to learn more about the brand/business and its products/services.
- Tagging the bloggers and influencers: It is quite resourceful to tag the influencers on social media with links to the brand’s/business’s content. This is a surefire way to attract the attention of their followers and thus gain more engagement for the brand/business.
- Adding social media buttons to the email newsletters: Adding social media buttons to the email newsletters is a surefire way to attract the attention of the readers.
- Using the correct hashtags: Using the correct number of appropriate hashtags is very crucial in gaining engagement. It is imperative to remember to use only 1-2 hashtags on Twitter, only 1-2 hashtags on Facebook, 2-5 hashtags on Pinterest, and 5-10 hashtags on Instagram.
There is quite a bit of confusion regarding the concepts of remarketing and retargeting. Although remarketing and retargeting have similar goals, they are fundamentally different. The strategies as well as the audience for remarketing and retargeting vary from each other.
Most of the time, it is a good idea to target those people who had already visited the website more than once as well as those people who had previously interacted digitally with the business development managers/marketers. Retargeting denotes the online ad placement and the display ads which are used to target those users who have previously interacted with the website in particular ways without purchasing anything. When a visitor views a website, clicks on a product/service or takes any other specific action, a cookie will be set in their browser. The marketers/business development managers can then make use of this information to ‘retarget’ the visitors with ads according to their interactions after they leave the website. These ads are generally placed by third party sources such as Facebook or Google Display Network (GDN). These third party sources enable the ads to trigger on other websites which the visitors go to.
‘On-site’ retargeting involves targeting those individuals who have already visited the website. This type of retargeting can be done based on the way in which they found the website (social media, a search, or other inbound events). Retargeting campaigns attain high conversions and engagement compared to non-retargeting campaigns. ‘Off-site’ retargeting involves targeting those individuals who have interacted with the website indirectly through other means such as by using social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) of the brand/business.
Remarketing involves re-engaging the customers through email. Some examples of remarketing include emailing customers for renewing any service or upselling any accessory. Remarketing makes use of the information obtained from the customers’ purchase history and uses it to prompt the customers to take any pre-planned actions.
Webinars are online seminars. Conducting webinars is a powerful method for a brand/business to grow. The webinars can also establish and increase the authority of any brand/business in the industry, and generate a multitude of leads. They can be repurposed in the form of blogs, videos and other types of content.
Webinars enable live and direct interactions between the presenter and the audience. They can help in reaching people all over the world. Webinars help in establishing trust in the minds of the audience and in gaining leads (since registering for webinars requires the visitors to submit their email addresses). Knowing about the attendees to the webinar is to be considered first and foremost while organizing a webinar. Visual branding needs to take place within the webinar, in that the brand logo should be inserted in such a way that it can be retained in the minds of the audience long after the webinar has ended. The webinar organisers should also make sure that they are using those colours, fonts and other visual elements which match their brand’s style. It is a good idea to increase the size of the text and visuals so as to enable mobile users to easily watch the webinar. It is imperative to choose a webinar platform that supports mobile.
Offering products and/or services as add-ons within the webinar is also an excellent way to build brand awareness. Sometimes, it is better to organise a paid webinar series in which the visitors need to pay for participating in the webinar. It is highly imperative to focus on the content first by choosing a relevant topic that is informative to the audience. Using a compelling title can grab the attention of the audience and prompt them to probe further, thus enabling them to decide whether to sign up for participating in the webinar.
Instagram is an amazing marketing platform for brands and businesses. Instagram marketing is becoming more and more popular day by day. A majority of the Instagram users follow at least one brand, discover new brands or products through the platform, as well as decide whether to buy a product/service or not by using Instagram as a frame of reference.
Here are a few tactics that businesses can follow to enhance their visibility and boost their sales by using Instagram:
- Inserting attractive images: Choosing images which connect to the audience, then enhancing those images using editing apps (such as: VSCO or Canva or A Color Story), and then posting those images on Instagram go a long way towards boosting visibility on Instagram.
- Running contests: Another way to boost visibility on Instagram is to run contests using ideas such as: asking users to like, follow and comment on the business posts in order to enter the contest, offering one entry for every friend the user tags in the post, as well as encouraging the audience to create their own unique posts (user-generated content).
- Adding videos: It is a good idea to add videos with captions to the Instagram posts in order to boost engagement.
- Including compelling content with stories: Businesses can use Instagram stories to display behind-the-scenes action to attract viewers.
- Responding to the comments: It is imperative that the brands/businesses respond to the comments they receive for their posts on Instagram.
- Joining the Instagram Pods: Businesses and brands can join Instagram Pods (groups of Instagram users who get together to boost each other’s followers and engagements) in order to boost their engagements.
- Using more hashtags: Businesses and brands can use hashtags in their posts in order to grow their audience.
- Using the links wisely: Businesses and brands can add links within their bio pages on Instagram and in Instagram stories.
- Collaborating with influencers: It is a good practice for businesses and brands to collaborate with influencers as they help in gaining followers.
- Inserting emojis: Inserting emojis within the posts attracts more viewers to the brand’s Instagram page.
Running attention-grabbing Instagram Ads: Businesses and brands can run ads on Instagram with compelling calls-to-action (CTA) for attracting the audience.
Breadcrumbs are the navigational features of a website that enable users to track where they are on that website and how far they are from the homepage. They also enable the users to backtrack to a web page that they had visited previously.
Breadcrumbs are used to develop an enhanced UX (user experience) and boost the website’s crawlability. They are generally positioned at the top of the website or just below the navigation bar (in some cases). Breadcrumbs can be easily implemented and they impact search engine optimization (SEO). Google is now displaying breadcrumbs in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and it is making use of these breadcrumbs to classify information in the search results.
Let us look at the different types of breadcrumbs based on the purpose they serve:
- Location-based breadcrumbs (Hierarchy-based breadcrumbs): These are the most commonly used among the types of breadcrumbs. They let the user know where he/she is within the site structure as well as how to return to the homepage.
- Attribute-based breadcrumbs: These are the type of breadcrumbs mainly used by the ecommerce sites to indicate what attributes the user has clicked.
- History-based breadcrumbs: This type of breadcrumbs indicate to the users what all pages in the site they have visited.
Now let us consider some of the benefits of using breadcrumbs:
- Breadcrumbs enhance the user experience (UX): Breadcrumbs enable the users to navigate the website easily and also prompt them to visit other sections of the website.
Breadcrumbs boost the site ranking: Google uses breadcrumbs to classify and review the content. This enables the websites using breadcrumbs to rank among the top 10 results in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
It is time bloggers and content developers moved past creating great content with the sole intention of ranking well in the search engine results pages (SERPs). The current scenario calls for compelling content which is also of high quality, informative, motivational, as well as which provides actual value to the readers.
Let us look at a few aspects to take into consideration in order to create incredible content that also meets the criteria mentioned above. The aspects are listed below:
- Accuracy of the content: Accuracy is the first and foremost aspect to check for before beginning to develop content of any kind. Verifying the facts (such as: quotes or claims or statistics); as well as revisiting the previous content for updating it are surefire ways to verify the accuracy of content.
- Understandability of the content: The content developers need to make sure that their content pieces are cohesive, readable and easily understandable, even by laymen. Also, the content should be straightforward and able to answer the questions the readers may not realize they had, prior to reading it.
- Credibility of the content: The next aspect that the content developers need to check on is the credibility of the content pieces that they create. They need to make sure that they are contributing expert, authoritative and trustworthy content; as well as convey this fact to the readers by including author bios (with pictures, links to social media handles, list of awards and /or other accomplishments, the author’s domains of interest and years of experience).
- Ensuring that the content is engaging: Every piece of content should have the ability to be engaging to the readers so that they may retain it in their minds for a long time to come. Content developers can follow a few tips like adding headers, using bulleted or numbered lists with sub-headings, using infographics or plain images along with keeping the text short.
- Ensuring that the content is informative: Content developers need to make sure that every piece of content they create is informative to the readers.
- Uniqueness of the content: Every piece of content needs to be unique in that it should be precise and direct. This can take any shape, size and form, such as: ‘how to’ or DIY (do it yourself) articles, FAQs (frequently asked questions), product descriptions, landing pages, or navigational resources (like: pages contact information, sitemaps etc.).
- Usefulness of the content: Content developers need to be clear in their minds as to what purpose the content is serving (even if only to entertain. It is pointless to create a piece of content that serves no purpose.
Every search engine follows certain basic rules in order to generate results from the web pages: crawling, indexing, and ranking (serving). These steps follow one after the other systematically. Ranking cannot take place without indexing and indexing cannot take place without crawling.
Crawling is the process in which mechanisms known as ‘web crawlers’ access the web pages that are publicly available. Indexing is the process in which a search engine reviews the content of every page and accumulates all the pieces of information it finds. Ranking is the process in which a search engine presents the most relevant results taken from its index in a chronological order after a user types a query.
A website’s internal linking structure is very crucial since crawlers use the links on the website to find other web pages. New websites, any changes made to the existing websites as well as the dead links are prioritized accordingly by the crawlers. The websites which are to be crawled, the frequency of crawling, as well as the number of pages which the search engine will fetch; are all determined by an automated process. The hosting capabilities including the bandwidth and the server resources also influence the crawling process.
This is where the crawl budget comes into play. Crawl budget denotes the number of web pages that a crawler is prepared to crawl in a certain period of time. The search engine establishes the crawl budget for any website automatically, by taking certain key factors into consideration, such as: the size of the website (bigger sites need more crawl budget), the server setup (page load time and the site performance), the frequency of updates (content that is updated regularly will be prioritized), and the links (dead links and the internal linking structure).
Search engines like Google have mechanisms that ensure that their crawlers visit a website only as frequently as is feasible for the website. Crawl rate limit is one such mechanism which enables Google to establish the crawl budget for any website. Crawl demand is another such mechanism which takes into account the demands from any specific URL from the index; so as to determine how active or passive the URL should be. URL popularity and its staleness are the two factors that help in determining the crawl demand.
An advertising manager needs to consider certain aspects before making an informed decision regarding the Google Ads account, such as: evaluating the performance based on location targeting, query matching, checking for changes made by the competitors, and looking for other possibilities for the account structure.
Let us look at each of these aspects in detail:
- Evaluating the performance based on location targeting: It is an excellent practice to choose the location of interest option in the Google Ads account settings, because it encompasses both the people living in the target location as well as the people only interested in the target location (but not living there). Also, evaluating the performance based on user location will enable the ad manager to pinpoint the areas which can boost the costs per acquisition (CPAs) and returns on ad spends (ROAS) for the business.
- Query matching: The ad manager should create a file in Google Sheets and use the pivot table function for arranging the search queries in the order in which they match the campaigns and ad groups that have been previously listed.
- Checking for changes made by the competitors: It is always good to keep an eye on the competition’s actions, both online (in the form of social media or anywhere else over the web) as well as in the market. The advertisers need to check for changes made (if any) by their competitors. They can accomplish this task by making use of the Auction Insights mechanism.
Looking for other possibilities for the account structure: The advertisers need to reassess their Google Ads account structure based on the business type of the account, its performance, as well as on the constraints (if any exist). Then they need to decide whether to look for other possibilities for the account structure (after the reassessing).
Voice search optimization (VSO) is an integral aspect of search engine optimization. It needs to be a part of every SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. The appeal of voice search lies in the fact that it is hands-free, faster and it enables people to multitask.
It is now more important than ever to focus on voice search amid the current crisis situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; since the hands-free technology minimises the chances of contact as well as of contamination. With the steady advancement in technology, voice chat is becoming more and more reliable. The users of mobile phones, smart speakers and connected devices consider voice chat as a necessity. Voice search is progressively evolving from voice recognition to voice understanding. People using voice search for their queries generally need instant results and swift responses.
Listed below are a few tactics which the marketers can use for succeeding in their business website’s voice search optimization:
- Understanding the type of customer along with the device behaviour: The voice search algorithms make use of location, searcher intent and several other data points in order to understand context. Similarly, marketers need to conduct real-time research and gather data on how people are using voice search and on which voice-enabled device; so as to gain insights into the consumers and their behaviour.
- Concentrating on conversational keywords: The marketers need to concentrate on conversational long-tail keywords to decide on the questions they need for giving the answer.
- Creating incredible content that is persona-based: Context, its relevance, and brevity are the essential aspects to be considered while optimizing for voice search. It is highly imperative to create incredible content that resolves the users’ pain points by answering their questions in a clear and concise manner.
- Providing context by using Schema Markup: The marketers need to use schema to mark up their content and notify the search engine what their website is all about. This HTML add-on enables the search engines to understand the context of the content and in turn helps the content become more relevant in specific queries made by using voice search.
- Building pages in the website that answer FAQs (frequently asked questions): The users of voice search generally begin their queries with the adverbs: ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘when’, and ‘where.’ Marketers need to develop FAQ (frequently asked questions) pages in their websites in order to answer these queries. They also need to ensure that the navigation and informational structure can be found easily in the website.
Thinking mobile and thinking local: It is important to remember that when it comes to voice search, mobile and local are interlinked. Mobile devices enable users to conduct on-the-go local queries; and in turn, voice search enables these users to ask hyper-local questions. The marketers need to ensure the readability of XML sitemaps and directions to brick-and-mortar locations on their website for the visitors and search engines.