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.
It is imperative for pay per click (PPC) marketers to be aware of all the factors that influence the overall profitability of their campaigns. They need to understand Google Ads and the auction process at a deep level while also considering other financial metrics based on microsoft Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram, and so on.
Marketers need to perform the following calculations in order to gain knowledge and practice:
- Establishing the ROAS (Return on Ad Spend): Marketers need both the total cost of advertising and the total conversion value in order to determine the ROAS (return on ad spend). They need to use the formula: total conversion value / total cost of advertising in order to calculate the ROAS.
- Establishing the break-even ROAS: The PPC account managers need to know the profit margin of their clients in order to determine the break-even ROAS for them. They need to use the formula: 1 / profit margin to calculate the break-even ROAS. Marketers can boost their profit margins and consequently reduce their ROAS by determining the average lifetime value (LTV) of a customer or a client.
- Establishing cost per conversion for form submissions: Marketers need to know the average cost per conversion (cost per form submission) as well as the average form conversion rate (the percentage of forms that convert into sales) so as to determine the cost per conversion for form submissions. They need to use the formula: average cost per conversion in Google Ads / form conversion rate in order to calculate the true cost per conversion for form submissions.
- Establishing the break-even cost per conversion for form submissions: Marketers need to use the average profit per sale and the form conversion rate so as to determine the break-even cost per conversion for form submissions. They need to use the formula: average profit per sale x form conversion rate in order to calculate the break-even cost per conversion for form submissions.
Establishing the break-even cost per conversion for complex sales cycles: The marketers need to know about the average profit per sale, the webinar conversion rate (the percentage of registrants that attend the webinar), and the sales conversion rate so as to determine the break-even cost per conversion for complex sales cycles. They need to use the formula: (webinar conversion rate x sales conversion rate) x average profit per sale in order to calculate the break-even cost per conversion for complex sales cycles.
Recent analysis has proved that creating shorter content is the way to earn the most backlinks. However, it is prudent to note that generally the length of the content varies depending on the topic as well as on the type of content being created.
The analysis focused on the linkability and shareability of the blogs/articles which had a length of less than 700 words. The share count and backlink count of the blogs/articles were taken into consideration so that the marketers could gain relevant insights into what type of content needs to be created. This also enabled the marketers as well as the SEO (search engine optimization) professionals to pinpoint the ways in which the content can be optimized for link building.
The analysis then focused on the significance of evergreen content when compared with timely content. Any piece of content that can maintain its relevance over a long duration is considered to be ‘evergreen’ content. The content piece was assessed over a period of 30 days after it has been published to note how many backlinks and social engagements it has received. This has also proved that timely content is likely to generate many links if it is original, relevant as well as interesting. DIY (Do it Yourself) and how-to blogs were found to be the most evergreen among all the blog types.
The analysis also took into consideration the most shared content based on the share count per type of content and the vertical that it is related to. Based on the number of shares received, the top five content types are as listed below:
- How-to blogs/articles
- Bulleted or numbered lists, and videos
- How-to blogs/articles with videos
Based on the number of backlinks received, the top five content types are as listed below:
- How-to blogs/articles
- General blogs/articles
- Lists or general blogs/articles
Google Analytics is a wonderful mechanism for SEO (search engine optimization) professionals and marketers to reach and engage with customers. It enables them to look and think beyond the basics such as: the number of sessions, time spent on the page, as well as the total number of conversions.
It is imperative to optimize the use of Google Analytics in order to understand the customers better. It is a good practice to follow certain rules while developing a digital marketing strategy that will focus mainly on data. These rules are: taking only valuable insights into consideration (which result in savings on spend and which can boost conversions), taking simplified steps (no need to have advanced knowledge of analytics), and having no requirement for additional code (since all the reports can be easily accessed through Google Analytics).
A few pointers for making the most of Google Analytics are listed below:
- Using multi-channel paths for conversion: Google Analytics makes use of last click attribution to enable reporting on the conversions. A user’s path to conversion includes multiple touchpoints; which can be visualized in the Multi-Channel Funnels (MCF) Top Conversion Paths report. Marketers need to select the desired conversion, filter it to a particular medium, edit the primary dimension, and add a secondary dimension; in the MCF report.
- Making comparisons among the various traffic sources and conversions based on the market: In case their business has ac presence in multiple markets, the marketers need to compare the various traffic sources and the conversions based on the market: per city (if the business is at the national level), and per country (if the business is at the international level).
- Re-engaging users for retention along with the acquisition of new users: Marketers need to check at what point they should re-engage the users for retention (by advertising new products or by running email campaigns) for enhancing the performance. The brand or business also needs to acquire new users for this purpose.
- Measuring the flash sale success: Marketers need to grasp the buying behaviour of new customers during specific seasons (festival seasons or other holiday seasons) and comparing the metrics such as: “transactions per user” and “revenue per user.” This is done by conducting flash sales during these seasons and measuring their success.
- Using machine learning to calculate the probability of conversions: Marketers can make use of the machine learning aspect of Google Analytics to calculate the probability of the customers to convert. Previous audience interactions provide insights that enable the marketers to create website content and develop advertisements which are highly relevant.
Making use of the Custom Google Analytics Dashboard: While Google Analytics comprises a standard default dashboard that provides basic insights into the number of web visits, the number of pages visited, as well as the total number of accumulative conversions; it is imperative that marketers invest in a customized Analytics dashboard that will display only those metrics that they need. They can also simplify the process of reporting by sharing this customized dashboard with others in the company so that they can replicate it.
Employment-oriented online service LinkedIn has introduced new features for the company pages in its website. This is to enable businesses to remain connected with the communities, in the midst of the ongoing crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; which has resulted in remote working.
The shift in the working atmosphere has caused people to almost lose contact with one another. The new features have been developed in order to enable the page administrators to connect with their employees, highlight the forthcoming office-related events as well as to gain insights into their new followers.
Let us have a detailed look at the new features that have been added to the company pages in LinkedIn:
- ‘View Page Followers’ Tab: The companies can see all the individual persons who are the followers of their LinkedIn page using the ‘View Page Followers’ feature. The pages are now able to access all those pieces of information about their followers which is already publicly available. The pages can now also segregate their followers according to their location, current company and industry. All this enables the companies to better understand their audiences and develop the content which is suitable to them. Also, the companies can establish their LinkedIn community over the most relevant conversations.
- ‘My Company’ Tab: The new ‘My Company’ tab is a designated space for employees in which everyone can engage with one another, celebrate their accomplishments together along with staying connected all around while working remotely. The ‘MyCompany’ tab comprises new features such as:
- Highlighting those occasions which are momentous for the employees (such as: anniversaries, promotions, new hires, and such)
- Content from the coworkers that is trending
- Recommendations for connecting with other people that the employees may be acquainted with at their company
It is significant to note that this feature is available only to those company pages which have more than 201 employees. This can be determined by the ‘company size’ attribute.
‘Events’ Tab: As long as the pandemic persists, it is inevitable to conduct virtual events. However, it is not easy to find out about the virtual events as it is to find out about the in-person events. In order to resolve this issue, a new ‘Events’ tab has been added to LinkedIn. This tab will automatically access a view of the page’s previous, current, along with forthcoming events on LinkedIn. The virtual event can be in the form of a webinar, an individual panel or an entire conference.
The process of running a paid search campaign involves a lot of effort. Undertaking this venture includes managing the various components of the campaign such as: the campaign buildouts, the landing pages, brand compliance, and conversion tracking. However, offer development is the most important component that the marketers need to focus on.
Marketers can follow the step-by-step process stated below in order to develop profitable paid search offers that can convert, as well as sell:
- Determining what to sell through the paid search: The first step is to determine what to sell. After taking inventory of which products they are promoting, the marketers need to describe the offers. An offer generally encompasses the product being sold, the price of the product as well as the reasons for purchasing it.
- Looking for the product-market fit: Businesses and brands need to establish a solid product-market fit prior to investing in advertising. Product-market fit proves that the offer resolves an issue along with meeting a requirement of the audience. The campaign goal should be clearly defined as being conducted in order to run strategic experiments, if the marketers have decided to make use of paid search for testing the validity of their ideas.
- Using the middle of funnel (MoFu) offers: It is a good practice to use either the middle of funnel (MoFu) or the bottom of funnel (BoFu) (of the sales funnel) paid search offers as they generate interest, consideration and evaluation of the products being advertised; in the minds of the customers. They will then try/test the products and decide to make a purchase.
- Developing a plan to evaluate the back-end profits: Marketers need a way to keep track of as well as to measure the profitability of their paid search campaigns. The leads and return on ad spend (ROAS) do not give the complete picture. The marketers need to develop a plan to evaluate the back-end profits. This can be done by creating goals and targets by making use of the estimates for profitability according to the existing inputs, and then verifying the assumptions after collecting sufficient data.
- Using landing pages that exclusively promote the paid search offers: The landing page can be either a website home page or a dedicated landing page (LP). This is the page that becomes visible to the visitor after he/she clicks on the ad. It is imperative to make sure that the landing page is optimized to drive sales.
- Bolstering the three Ps (Product, Price, Positioning) of the offer: Marketers should strengthen the visitors’ desire to take action after they click on the ad. Including product features, benefits and outcome is one way of accomplishing this. Offering warranties and guarantees on the products will solidify the prospects’ intention of investing in them. The positioning of products also plays a key role. Marketers need to review their competition and adjust their messaging for acknowledging as well as responding to the implications and claims from the competitor landing pages (LPs).
Enterprise SEO (search engine optimization) is crucial in order to ensure that any business venture can succeed. In turn, there are several factors contributing to the success of enterprise SEO. Let us have a look at some of the integral aspects that need to be balanced in order for the search engine optimization to succeed.
- Error management and technical search engine optimization as part of the SEO mitigation: Geneally, an SEO manager spends time in identifying any issues related to the project that may arise after the project has been initiated. But, it is the responsibility of the SEO manager to collaborate with the various teams that are working together on the project, identify underlying issues (if any) beforehand, and then try to mitigate them prior to initiating the launch of the project.
- Evaluating all the assumptions and reporting on all the successes as part of the SEO analysis: Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic and revenue rely heavily on search engine optimization. Every enterprise company needs to be aware of this irrefutable fact. Analytics experts use the data from Google Search Console for tracking the number of clicks for particular keywords and then evaluating the percentage of all the clicks so as to obtain the estimated revenue for those keywords. This enables the companies to gain insight into: the performance of their SEO, the successful efforts, and the scope for opportunities.
- Managing the projects for search engine optimization and determining the growth as part of SEO project management: It is imperative for the SEO team to identify the upward trends in the searches as well as the gaps that need to be filled in the current or previous efforts for search engine optimization. Large scale initiatives are identified that impact major sections of a website. A project manager is then tasked with implementing these initiatives, which include: realigning the design and content on a set of pages, and prompting the initiatives for an internal linking plan which influences several aspects of the website.
- Endorsing search engine optimization to the stakeholders as well as to the other teams as part of relationship building: Every enterprise SEO needs to have certain core strengths, such as:
- Communicating across the different channels as well as the teams effectively
- Promoting search engine optimization through documentation and education
- Collaborating with various teams for prioritizing the SEO initiatives
- Identifying opportunities while reporting on the SEO to the key stakeholders
- Managing the vendors, including the consultants, agencies, tools, etc.
- Keeping themselves apprised of the latest SEO trends