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).
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.
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).
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.
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.