fbpx

Stop Using These Five Outdated SEO Strategies

Web technologies change fast and with them, website optimization is constantly evolving, leaving many people confused about which SEO strategies are still relevant, and which have become obsolete.

In 2017, good user experience makes the best SEO strategy. Optimizing content for users is the best way to rank higher since RankBrain rewards content, garnering clicks and engaging users. Google webmaster guidelines always urge brands to create content for humans and the newest algorithm updates recognize user intent. But in spite of producing content for users, there are other things you need to look out for, like staying up to date with the SEO tactics and strategies and selecting which you should continue to use.

Truth is, many tactics and strategies that used to work are no longer relevant, and may actually hurt your website. If you still use any of those strategies, your site might be penalized or even lose your presence in the SERPs. In order to help you stay up to date, and to prevent you from going down a rabbit hole, we outlined five outdated SEO strategies that you should stop using right now.

 

1. Don’t Create and Optimize the Content for Search Engines

In the beginning of SEO, content would fall into one of two categories: content for people, and content for the spiders which crawl the web and are responsible for page ranking. The first type often meant creating clunky, keyword-heavy content, which would be awkward for users.

Now, years later, even though keywords remain important, this practice is not only outdated but can get you penalized. Keyword stuffing is considered a black hat technique and you should avoid it completely. Focusing on optimizing your content for search engines is a waste of time, and resources.

Instead, write your content in a natural and friendly tone, make it readable and understandable for your audience, and use your keywords moderately. Only by making your content high-quality and valuable, you can convince RankBrain that your content is relevant and useful for the users.

 

2. Don’t Neglect Optimizing Your Website for Mobile

After Google officially announced in January 2017 that: “…pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as high.”; you’d think that it’s natural for businesses to optimize for mobile, but many still neglect this crucial aspect of SEO.

Many web designers noticed and accepted the mobile-first trend that started a few years back. And companies are beginning to get more and more aware that they are missing out on a lot of mobile traffic even when the majority of their visits come from a desktop computer.

So, if you want to improve your ranking, first, start by switching to a mobile responsive WordPress. Make sure your text has readable zoom, and avoid using Flash or other software that is uncommon and won’t run on mobile devices.  Try to place your links far enough apart so the users won’t click multiple at once. Also, AMPs are becoming increasingly important, so consider using them. Lastly, don’t forget to check out Google’s webmaster’s guide on mobile friendly sites for in-depth information on how to keep your website mobile-friendly.

 

3. Stop Trying to Rank Multiple Keywords on a Single Page 

As we mentioned before, keywords are important, but are beneficial only if you use them moderately. There are two extremes that are still out there though.  One, trying to rank multiple keywords on a single page, or two, creating individual pages for each keyword you wish to rank for. In both cases, the results are penalized.

Whether there is a redundancy of keywords and long-tail keyword variations on a single page, or too many similar pages covering different variation of a keyword, it creates a usability nightmare.

Instead of doing this, try using a SEO plugin that can help you with the quality of the content, helping you analyze the keyword density. Focus on the clicks and quality, using proper calls to action and good writing. Make sure usability is your first and foremost consideration, and you will not get penalized.

 

4. Don’t Use Old Link Building Strategies

One of the best ways to get high-quality websites to link back to you is to create relevant content. And network with those who write about the same topics in order to get insights and strengthen connections. There’s no shortcut around this.

But many sites still use some of the old strategies for getting backlinks, like link exchanges, buying links, comments and forum links, article spinning, etc. And sadly, these can get you penalized.

As we said before, don’t go looking for a shortcut to link building. And stop obsessing over quantity. Develop relationships with high-quality websites in your industry, focus on creating valuable, original content and they will naturally link back to you. Engage in guest posting, it’s still valuable, especially when you’re present on sites with high Domain Authority.

 

 5. Stop Using Irrelevant or Over-Optimized Anchor Text

Optimizing your anchor text is, again, related to the content quality. And it plays an important role in creating a great user experience. Using the exact keyword into anchor texts for external and internal links used to be a thing for getting a higher ranking, but it got over-used, and now this outdated SEO technique can get you penalized because Google considers those “unnatural links. And you should stay away from them.

Stick to writing for people, and inserting the links in the text naturally. Don’t add words or phrases just to link them, but find a way to turn a part of a sentence that has a natural flow and talks about the subject from your link into anchor text. Other good practices are using the exact brand name you are linking to, such as Visible Factors, or the naked URL, like visiblefactors.com. Each link should fit the content and add extra value for the uses.

 

BONUS: Don’t Ignore Social Signals

The times are changing, and SEO is no longer all about links, code and content. But now social networks and social signals play important roles in sear engine rankings since both Google and Bing use that data to determine how to rank websites.

Plus, having more social media followers means that your brand and content get exposed to a larger audience, which means more chances for engagement and content traction, increasing your chances for getting backlinks.

So pick a social network that best suits your business needs, learn how to best use it, and make your presence noted. Generally, start by posting regularly, be consistent in your efforts, engage your audience and be responsive. Then, include ways for visitors to sign up for your social account on your website, and to your email newsletter. And if you still feel like you are stuck and wish to give up, read up on Social Media Examiner’s guide on improving ranking using social media. You might get a few ideas.

 

Search engine optimization is a crucial part of growing your website and getting more organic traffic. But it’s not something you can learn once and practice it in the same way indefinitely. SEO trends change, and if you want to keep your high place in the SERPs you have to keep up with the trends. Out with the old, and in with the new. It’s the only way to stay on top.

This year, the focus is on creating better user experience and value for your prospects and customers. So make sure you provide them with a seamless experience. If you’re still unsure whether your website is stuck with outdated SEO techniques which actually hurt your ranking, here at Visible Factors have an awesome SEO team ready to help you.

Learn to Share the Right Content at the Right Time

Anyone who is involved in content marketing knows that effective customer engagement requires more than simply publishing content on the company blog and social media to the same aggregated audience. Reaching the audience that is most likely to take action – like, share, comment, sign up for your newsletter, click to get a special discount code, or visit and browse through your website – requires the right timing. The first step to being successful in content marketing is to create quality content that answers your audience’s most important questions. The next, is sharing that awesome content at the right time.

Here are guidelines on how to time your content sharing strategy better and improve your audience’s engagement.

 

1. Learn About Your Audience

You may already know how your regular buyers behave around your website and social media profiles, and tailor your efforts around that knowledge. You might want to rethink that approach. Yes, knowing how your current clients behave is great, but your content is aimed at engaging a wider audience that is your potential customers and prospects. So listen closely to the audience, and make sure you keep up with the newest trends. They evolve together with your prospects’ habits so you must evolve as well to stay current, informative, and engaging.

Besides being active on social media and listing to your customer’s online conversations, continue to learn about your customers by using your own customer data. Extract data and statistics from all of your internal resources like your website, social network profiles, analytics, and CRM. This will help you follow your clients’ journey, from prospects to buyers, and learn how they move through every stage, and what type of content pushes them further down the sales funnel. Which leads us to the next step.

 

2. Map Out the Buying Cycle of Your Buyer Persona

Now that you assembled all the data, it’s time to map out each step of the way that your buyer personas make, from being a new visitor to becoming a customer. Analyze which devices they use, what type of content they find most engaging, and what questions they need answered in every stage.

By analyzing the audience’s’ engagement with your content throughout the sales funnel, you’ll be able to identify which types of content work at the beginning of the cycle, and which work in the later stages of the cycle.  Once you identify the patterns of your buyers’ decision making cycles, you will be able to identify their typical paths to purchase and utilize predictive analysis with your overall content strategy. The insights about your audience’s behavior can also be very helpful in the process of optimizing your ecommerce conversion funnel.

 

3. Choose the Right Time

After understanding your potential and current customers, you need to figure out when to publish your content. Since everything we post online is available at any time, you may wonder why it is important to pick a specific time. The answer is: because you don’t want your content to get lost in your customers’ cluttered news feeds and inboxes. Sending too many emails may tire them and push them to unsubscribe, and sending a message too late can cause a permanent loss of conversions.

The content may be accessible at any moment, but your buyers aren’t accessing it all the time. So it’s very important to deliver your message at the precise moment when your audience is ready and willing to read it. The best way to determine the right time for sharing content, depending on the types of content and your audience’s preferences, is to test publish at different times.

Generally, people connect early in the morning, while having their breakfast, and later in the evening when they come back home, after dinner. Also, lunchtime is when people are usually active on social media and check their personal emails. Another observation we made is that we can divide two phases of connection among young professionals: one to personal social networks in free time, especially over the weekend; and one dedicated to professional platforms upon arrival at work and during waiting periods between tasks and appointments.

 

4. Decide on the Right Publishing Channel and Format

By now you have learned from your data who to target and when. But in what format and which device do you need to broadcast it? Mobile users may not want to see and interact with the same information as a desktop user. Downloading and reading an ebook on your smartphone is not very convenient.

The way you relay your message will greatly influence the way it is perceived. So make sure you structure your content accordingly to the format and channel you are using, and the device you are targeting. Again, make these decisions based on the customer data you collected and analyzed before. People who are in different stages of the buying cycle respond differently to social media posts, emails, ebooks, or videos. Make sure you match the content with the stage they are in, especially if you are sending personalized content.  And make sure that you have content suitable for each audience member and each buying cycle stage throughout your website, social media profiles, email campaigns, newsletters, and whatever additional content type you share.

 

The greatest dilemma of sharing the right content for the right customer at the right time can be precisely answered only if you listen closely to your audience, and constantly analyze your data. In the Age of the Customer—when the customers are in control, and have access to tons of information and countless choices, it’s the marketer’s’ job to precisely meet their expectations at every moment in their buying cycle, or risk losing them to the competition.

We know that the struggle to create the content is hard enough, and additionally learning when, where and what to post can make if even more complex and time-consuming for you. And you end up spending the time on learning about content marketing. Let’s make a proposition – let us help you with your content marketing efforts while you focus on running and improving your business and creating new valuable business relationships.

 

Grow Your Business

Get in touch and find out how our team can help you drive results!

Contact us today

 

Can You Use Text on Images in Facebook Boosted Posts?

Facebook ads are a great way to increase your reach and expose your brand or products to new audiences. And creating them right from your Page is one of the fastest and most convenient ways to reach the people who matter the most to your business on Facebook and Instagram.

Depending on the action you want your audience to take, you can choose from the different types of ads Facebook offers – promoting your page, promoting your website or boosting a post.

If your goal is to have people like or react, comment or share on the posts you create on your Page, then the best way to do this is to boost posts. Boosting a post is very easy by locating the blue Boost Post option in the bottom-right corner of your post. Boosted posts are an excellent way of increasing the engagement with your audience, existing and new. When you boost a post, you turn it into an ad, which is then optimized to reach people who are most likely to take action and like or share the post.

An Image is Worth a Thousand Words, Right?

We have all heard the phrase, yet we continue to add text to our images. Sometimes, it’s to enhance the depicted action or describe the objects shown.  Other times to simply share a message or announce a special offer. The use of text on images for advertising purposes is a common practice, but unfortunately frowned upon by Facebook. Up until mid-2016, their advertising policy didn’t allow advertisers to use images, which covered more than 20% with text in ads. Facebook had enforced a rule that limited the amount of text in images, and by using a 5×5 grid, advertisers could see if there’s text in more than five of the squares, which meant the image would be rejected. Of course, there are ways to go around this. For example, you could use the same grid while creating the ad image to simply move the text around or make it smaller so the image would be in compliance with the rule.

This rule was recently changed though. Now, advertisers can use more than 20% text on images for their boosted posts. But, Facebook still prefers images that have less text. And actually, the more text you use in your advertised content, the less exposure Facebook might give to your paid content in the News Feed.

 

Boosted Post Image Categories

Yes, Facebook acknowledges the importance of images in your ads: “Adding a relevant image of your product or service can be one of the most powerful factors in determining the success of your Facebook ads. Yet, there are still some rules and guidelines when it comes to using text on images in your Facebook ads.

Now that more than 20% text in images is allowed, Facebook makes a distinction in the amount of text in images, and categorizes boosted posts and other ads with images in four categories, or as Facebook calls them, ratings:

–  Image text: OK – this is the preferred image style and it means your ad’s image contains little or no text, and your ad will run normally

–  Image text: Low – this means you have a bit more text, and your ad’s reach may be slightly lower

–  Image text: Medium – this means you have a lot of text, and your ad’s reach may be much lower

–  Image text: High – this means your ad’s image has too much text, and your ad may not run

But, as with every rule, there are exceptions, and these image text-categories don’t apply to:

–  movie posters

–  book covers

–  album covers

–  product images: when the entire product is visible, and just a zoomed in part of it

–  posters for concerts, music festivals, comedy shows or sporting events

–  text-based businesses: calligraphy, cartoons and comics, etc.

–  app and game screenshots

–  legal text

–  infographics

In order to help advertisers overcome the problem of determining whether the image would be categorized as “OK” or “Medium”, Facebook has created the “Image Test Check” tool (“Text Overlay Tool”) to help find out in which category your image belongs. Also, whenever you create an ad in the Create an Ad tool or in Power Editor, you will get a warning if the amount of text you intend to use may limit your ad’s distribution.

 

Make Sure Your Content Appears in the News Feed

For several years now, Facebook has been decreasing the free reach of Pages. Starting as early as 2012, they’ve been limiting the amount of Page content that appears in the fans’ News Feeds. And at the end of June 2016, Facebook announced they will make more changes to the News Feed, making it even more difficult for Pages to have their content seen by those who liked the Page. And in spite of the decrease in organic reach, out of 60 million active Facebook Pages, only around 10% of Pages choose to pay and boost content and advertise on Facebook.

Very few pages do well on Facebook without paying, and this is because they have built a very engaged audience that visits their Facebook Page frequently. But for the majority of Pages it’s hard to get their content in their fans’ News Feed.  And if your fans don’t see you on Facebook, they may not remember to come to you when they need what you offer. That is why boosting your posts is an excellent way to get in front of your audience and ahead of the competition.

But keep in mind that in order to ensure that your current and potential fans see your content in their Facebook News Feed, you need to pay, at least for boosted posts. If you don’t, a tiny portion of your fan-base will get to see what you’re posting. Whether you’re maintaining less than 20% text and spend as little as possible, or decide to test the limits and add more text to images and pay more for distribution, it’s up to you. But don’t underestimate the power of boosted posts.

Recently, the internationally recognized Facebook expert, Mari Smith stated that: “Facebook organic (free) reach is down to a mere 1-6% of your fans. That is, for every 100 people on Facebook who liked your business page, only 1-6 of them actually see your posts in their News Feed.”

 

We are pretty convinced that businesses paying for Facebook ads and boosting posts enjoy greater success on Facebook. And with the latest organic reach decreases, as well as the new image text rules in mind, we are ready to help you advance in your Facebook posting and advertising strategies.

Get Better Reports with Google Data Studio

Businesses run on data. The majority of business decisions rely on solid facts and numbers. In a world where almost all business actions and marketing efforts are digital, reporting is one of the best ways to get these facts and numbers to help business owners and digital marketers analyze their results.

Reporting and gathering data is especially challenging to marketers because it is difficult to find the best starting point with the amount of complex data out there. This is especially true if you are an agency that provides clients with analytical reports using Google Analytics or AdWords data, then creating charts and diagrams to make the data visual for the client. But there must be a way to make reporting better. Right?

Introducing Google Data Studio

Now thanks to Google Data Studio, there is a way to create reports that even your clients will understand easily. The idea behind Data Studio is to make reporting better for small and large businesses by turning boring data into informational, easy-to-understand reports using data visualization.

Google Data Studio is part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite, the paid version of Analytics, and is available in beta even for those that use the basic free version of Google Analytics. Beta-version users can create up to five custom reports and use all editing and sharing capabilities.

How it works?

Google Data Studio allows you to access all the data sources you need to understand how your business performs and to help you make better decisions. It works by syncing with all your Google data – Analytics, AdWords and more, and brings it all to one place easily by providing pre-built data connections. Moreover, you are not limited to using data only from your Google products, but you can even import Facebook data and use it in your reports, as long as you are using a Google Sheet document.  You can use any data you want if you can convert it to Google Sheets.

Once you import the raw data you can easily transform it into meaningful reports and dashboards by choosing from the vast array of calculated metrics and functions. To make things even better, the reports are dynamic, meaning once you update your data sources, it will also update in the reports where it is used. It’s up to you to choose how to present the data – in bar graphs, charts, line graphs and more. You can change the fonts and the colors, and even brand the reports with your logo. The reports and dashboards are shareable, and just like sharing a Google Doc or Sheet, you can grant people viewing access and/or allow them to edit the reports.  

Access and Use

Accessing Google Data Studio begins with logging into your Google Analytics account, here: https://www.google.com/analytics/data-studio which is the free ad limited version of Google Data Studio. As we mentioned above, in the free version you can create up to five custom reports.

After log in, will see the Reports tab in the Home page. Google has put several sample reports, and we suggest you open and explore each one of them to get acquainted with the look and feel of the reports, and learn the types of information you can use for creating your own reports.

The interface Data Studio uses is similar to Google Drive, so it will be familiar if you are a Google Drive user. As with many other Google products, creating a new report is very simple and straightforward – you can choose from the templates shown on top, or just click on the big blue plus-sign button at the bottom right-hand corner and open a blank report.

The templates are a great way to quickly create a report but sometimes include metrics you may not need. Blank reports on the other hand, are a great way to go through the features and options of the Data Studio on your own, and build a report that best fits your specifics.

 

Make the Most of Your Reports

Google Data Studio is a great tool that makes reporting easy and fun (OK, we’ll discuss fun another time). But if you don’t like creating and reading spreadsheets, then you will definitely enjoy Data Studio reports. In case this is the first time you’re using a reporting tool, Google has prepared informative and educational materials. Among the sample reports, there is a “Welcome to Data Studio!” tutorial that will give you a step-by-step walkthrough of Data Studio, as well as a YouTube video to teach you how to connect data sources and create your first report.

And if those still don’t help, and you feel like you are missing out on the good stuff and can’t figure out how to incorporate certain metrics, or how to stack them, feel free to contact us. We’d love to help you out with your digital marketing effort, such as SEO, PPC and social media.

 

Grow Your Business

Get in touch and find out how our team can help you drive results!

Contact us today

Predictive Content – Why You Should Leverage It as a Marketer

If you’re a marketer, you almost certainly already use analytics every day.  The most common, and most obvious, way to use analytics as a marketer is to understand what brings visitors to your site, and what activities they engage in while they’re there.  However, there is a second use of analytics, and that is to use scoring algorithms to identify potential conversions, and use that data to identify what content will be most effective for the consumer.  This is called predictive content analytics.

What is Predictive Content Analytics?

Predictive content analytics is a relatively new approach to content marketing in which the supply of content is customized to match the demand.  As content marketers, there is a constant struggle to produce content that consumers will actually – well, consume.  The answer in the past has been to influence consumers in order to better shape demand, and the other approach (and typically, the domain of market research) aims to tailor content to more closely match demand.  Predictive content analytics streamlines the tailoring of content, taking it out of the hands of market researchers and into the hands of the content marketer.

Why Use Predictive Content Analytics?

To understand the benefits of Predictive Content Analytics, consider an example situation: you’re a content marketer consistently producing content, but then your traditional analytics show that only 5% or so of the content you produce is responsible for over 80% of your website’s interactions.  In other words, 95% of your content is failing to generate any results at all.  If this sounds familiar to you, there’s a reason: it’s very typical of most content marketing efforts.

So, as a business owner, how do you justify the expense of a content marketing strategy that is 95% useless?  Simple: the content that does produce conversions makes up for the cost of the content that doesn’t.  That’s the power of content marketing.

Imagine if you were able to get a higher percentage of your content to perform with that kind of efficiency.  Imagine you could get all of it to perform that way.  This is the power of predictive content.

How Predictive Content Analytics Works

So, all of this may sound well and good, but how does it work?  When developing a predictive content strategy, it is important to first understand where your current strategy is failing.  Why is it that 95% of your content is failing to draw interactions?  The answer, of course, is because all content is developed, more or less, based on educated guesses as to the habits and interests of consumers.

Using predictive analytics allows you to move out of the area of trial-and-error keyword research and content development, and get right to better results.

Predictive Analytics vs. Descriptive Analytics – Key Differences

In marketing, and content marketing in particular, we rely heavily on hindsight to do what we do.  Predictive analytics, rather than looking in the past, builds out a map of prospect interests right now and iterates those interests into the future.

Predictive content works by collecting data based upon what consumers are actually reading and interacting with right now.  Once that data is compiled, it can be predictively modeled, as long as you have access to predictive content analytics.  Predictive analytics systems take this data, and then take a look at your content repository, along with the content repositories of your competitors.  Then, for every piece of content, the analytics system builds a topic composite, defined by a cloud of keywords extracted from the content, consisting of the primary topics, peripheral topics, and associated topics that give that particular piece of content its unique character.

This allows you to do something you’ve not been able to do with traditional analytics:  look forward rather than backward.  With this composite, you can construct interest profiles on consumption patterns, and as consumers interact more content, those profiles actually evolve.

In this way, by performing simultaneous surveys of industry topics along with profiling their inter-relations and keeping track of interactions as always, the predictive content marketer can track user behavior pertaining to specific topics, and use it to build a projective content strategy.  This allows you to predict – in a measurable way – what content will capture the interest of consumers moving forward in a way that is constantly evolving.

The Brass Tacks of Predictive Content Analytics

So far, our discussion of predictive content analytics, fascinating though it may have been, is a little on the conceptual side.  Let’s talk about some real ways you can leverage predictive content analytics in your own content marketing practices, once you begin compiling interest data for both your own and competitors’ content.

  • Personalized Content Experience: By utilizing predictive content analytics along with simple tracking cookies, you can do something magical: display different content to different readers, based upon that reader’s unique interest profile.
  • Competitor analysis: By considering not only your own content but also competitors’ content in your interest profile, you can get a clearer picture of where those competitors stand in the content supply-demand race.
  • Anticipate Trends: Using predictive analytics, you can keep a closer eye on what industry thought leaders are writing about – allowing you to keep you finger more firmly on the pulse of your industry.

When it comes to crafting a successful marketing strategy, analytics is an important tool: but by allowing hindsight-laden traditional analytics to dictate your practices, you could end up living in – and marketing to – the past.  Predictive content analytics enables you to take a more real-time approach to development, make more accurate and informed decisions, and develop a deeper understanding of your own industry as a whole.

Have you used predictive content analytics? If so, would love to hear your ideas in the comments. If you’re looking for help getting predictive content analytics set up, reach out and our team would be glad to help!  And, remember to follow Visible Factors on Twitter.

Grow Your Business

Get in touch and find out how our team can help you drive results!

Contact us today

How to Design the Perfect Landing Page That Converts

While there are many ways you can attract potential customers to your website, the best way to get the conversion is to create a specialized landing page for each of your offerings. Directing the interested customers to standalone pages, separate from your main website, improves your results.

Simply creating a unique landing page is not enough. The quality of the landing page is also crucial to conversion. The page should be designed keeping your product as well as your consumer in mind. The layout should be simple yet provoking and the message should be clear. Here are some of the ways you can achieve that.

Attention Grabbing Headline

Whether your consumer hasp landed on your page through search engine results or social media ads, you have to keep them interested. A well thought out headline should be a part of your page to grab their attention. It is a good idea to keep the headline short and concise. It must support the link that brought the reader to the landing page in the first place. It must be relevant and should focus on the benefits of the product in an upbeat way.

Persuasive Body

Follow your headline with a persuasive sub-headline. Your sub-headline can be longer and really drive home the point as to why your product makes sense. Do not forget to add a short feature list that gives an idea about the things that set your product apart. A nifty benefit list can further strengthen your case and help persuade the reader to give your product a go. Keep your tone conversational and avoid unnecessary jargon.

The Power of Media (add video into the content)

Pictures and graphics have been shown to have more persuasion power than words when it comes to conversions. Use relevant pictures in an imaginative way without going off the message. If you are selling a tangible product, featuring it front and center makes sense. Graphics and images that enforce your message and service also deliver good results. Ensure the use of high quality and original images to have a better chance of making an impact.

Gather Information

If you need to gather some information from the visitors make sure the form you have placed on your landing page is simple and short. Most consumers do not like filling forms. Detailed information may increase the quality of your lead however entering it in the multiple fields may dissuade the consumers. 3 to 4 form fields are enough to collect information like name, username and email address etc.

The All Important Call-To-Action

Call to action button is what gets you your conversions. Be smart about it. The CTA should be unique, impactful and bold. Make it large and compelling. It must get the prime location on your landing page. Placement matters when it comes to CTA. The flow of the page and the placement of the content should be such that a viewer’s eye is directed towards the CTA. Images of people or lines and arrows can be used to get the intended result.

It is a good idea to get your CTA in colors that are in contrast to the rest of the content. You can also use multiple CTAs if your offer asks for it. However, make sure to visually emphasize your primary CTA. To really make your CTA stand out make sure to avoid generic language. Instead of your CTA saying “Submit”, get it to say something like “Get Your 30 Days Free Trial”.

Earn Their Trust

Security assurance as well as quality assurance can help persuade the user to share information with you and buy your product. Adding security seals can encourage the consumers to share private information vital to conversion. Adding testimonials from satisfied customers preferably with their pictures can help make a case for your service. Make sure the testimonials are specific and highlight the most-prized qualities of your product.

Show Your Authenticity

Adding contact details on the landing page are not necessary, however, they can help. Including a few modes for the consumers to contact your business strengthens their trust in you. When you are asking your consumers for their contact details, it helps if they have your phone number or email address. Giving a link to your website’s contact section can also do the trick. You can also add some social media buttons to further improve your chances.

Uncluttered Page

Whatever features or content components you put on your landing page you need to ensure all of them contribute to the ultimate goal, conversion. If something is not essential for conversion, drop it. Cluttering your page with unnecessary navigation bars as well details about your business goals and philosophy does more harm than good. Keep the copy brief and focus on visuals more than text.

A well-designed landing page can improve your bounce rate and increase the time an average visitor spends on the page, improving your conversion rates. Make your landing page interesting and impactful. Make it simple for the users to click on the CTA button and give your product a chance!

 

Grow Your Business

Get in touch and find out how our team can help you drive results!

Contact us today

Content Marketing Metrics

Every content marketer wants to be able to measure the results of their campaign. But, very often they believe that they can’t accurately measure the results generated by their content. And the truth is, most content marketers give up after they check numbers of page views or social shares. The scope of metrics, however, goes way beyond that, extending to the fundamental business and its goals.

Let’s take a look at the four categories of content marketing metrics and what they actually mean. Then, you can decide which ones are most significant to you. 

Basic Consumption Metrics

Basic consumption metrics measure brand awareness and web traffic, answering the most fundamental content questions about how your strategy is performing. You get to see how many people viewed and accessed your content, while gaining an overall idea of which pages of your website are most popular and attractive to users.

Basic consumption data can be found in Google Analytics.

  • Users: total number of unique visitors to a particular page on your website
  • Page views: total number of times a particular page on your website is viewed
  • Pages/Sessions: total number of pages a user visits while browsing your website
  • Average time on page: average time spent on one page, for example a blog post  
  • Downloads: total number of times users downloaded your content
  • Retention metrics: number of returning visitors to your site and specific content pieces  
  • Bounce rate: percentage of people that leave a page of your website without viewing other pages
  • Email open rate: total number of opened emails shows how many people are interested to read your email content

The resulting numbers show which pages are attractive and unattractive to let you see which campaigns were effective, while providing insight into how you can drive people to your website

Sharing and Engagement Metrics

These metrics measure brand awareness and user engagement, showing you how your audience interacts and engages with your content. You will gain a clearer understanding about what types of content are more interesting to your audience and inspire interaction.  But keep in mind that sharing metrics measure publicity, not actual competitiveness of your content.

Some data can be found in Google Analytics, the social networks you use, as well as other free and paid tools.

  • Likes, tweets, +1s, pins: number of (positive) social reactions to the content you share on social media   
  • Shares: number of shares via social media but can also be analyzed as shares depending on type and length
  • Forwards: number of content forwards from one user to another, via email or direct messaging
  • Referral links and inbound links: number of link backs, usually to your website content
  • Comments: how many people commented on your social media posts

Social metrics are useful for determining what types of content you need to create to keep your audience engaged with your brand, and which to avoid. Also, they might reveal opportunities for future content campaigns.

 

Lead Generation

Lead generation and lead nurturing metrics track how your content is performing and whether it is fulfilling its purpose – converting visitors into leads that your sales team can take over, and turn into customers.

Google Analytics, as well as other tracking or CRM software can help you gather the necessary data.     

  • CTR click-through rate: measures how many clicks your calls-to-action- received
  • Form completions and downloads: total number of people who completed a form to download content
  • Email subscriptions: total number of email subscribers, old and new
  • Blog subscriptions: total number of people committed to reading your blog
  • Blog comments: number of people who interacted with your brand and need more information about a product or service
  • Total lead attribution: tracking where your leads are coming from
  • Conversion rate: total number of visitors who became leads

This group of metrics will inform you about content performance and help you identify which efforts push visitors further down the sales funnel, and which push them away. For example, you can identify if the copy or calls-to-action need improving, or perhaps you need to change the incentive.

Sales

Sales metrics are pretty obvious. You get to see how many people transitioned from visitors, leads, and to finally customers. They demonstrate whether your content marketing efforts were successful and profitable for the business. But to be able to measure the impact of content marketing, you need to create something trackable.

Typically, sales are measured though CRM systems, ecommerce systems, and other analytics software.

  • Online sales: number of online sales resulting from online marketing campaigns
  • Offline sales: number of offline sales supported by your overall content efforts
  • Manual reporting: number of unofficial sales deals made with future customers
  • Customer retention: number of returning customers that stay loyal to your brand due to special content efforts directed towards them
  • ROI – return on investment shows the profit generated as a result of your content marketing efforts

Sales metrics are an excellent way to quantify your content marketing results. They will express your overall content performance in terms of closed sales and generated profit, and show you how to proceed in order to gain more customers.

Each metric group compliments each other while providing valuable insight.  All metrics combined, when gathered systematically and analyzed carefully, will help you realize which campaigns work. You will find the types of content that work best, what customers need to know to make a purchase, and much more. Just follow the data, and make adjustments accordingly.

 

We believe that content marketing is part of a larger integrated marketing approach, and we aim to create content that attracts new audiences, provides visibility for your brand, and retains customers. Let us help you create your next big content marketing campaign. Contact us today and start measuring success right away!

 

Grow Your Business

Get in touch and find out how our team can help you drive results!

Contact us today

 

Google AdWords: A Guide to Finding High-value Keywords within Campaigns

Your work is only just beginning after you launch your campaign.  To get the ROI you need from your campaign, it is crucial to determine the strongest keywords within your AdWords campaign as soon as you have actionable data. The only way to keep your campaign strong enough to meet your goals is to regroup and analyze the performance of your keywords. This can seem daunting, especially if it is your first AdWords campaign. Fortunately, there are several simple ways to analyze and pin down high-value keywords within your campaign without relying on any expensive tools or secret tricks.

1. Pay attention to your click-through rate

If your CTR is low, your keyword selection and corresponding copy isn’t inviting clicks. This could be from poorly written ads, or mismatched keyword grouping. Your bid price goes up if you mismatch keywords with ads, further diminishing your ROI, so pay attention.

An easy way to boost your CTR and improve your ads readability is to use the {keyword} variable to generate a headline or sub headline for your ad based on the related search. To utilize this variable properly, you also need to choose a keyword for Google to fall back on if someone searches for a word or phrase that exceeds the ad text character limitations. The code is then {keyword:replacement text}. If you don’t choose a proper keyword that matches up with the text, it can confuse your audience.

Using Google’s keyword matching system is an important way to make your keywords work harder and improve your click-through rate. The fact is your audience is more likely to click on ads that reference their specific search query.

Utilizing Google’s keyword matching system, you can control how Google chooses whether or not to display them on a certain page of results. Search for bids on keywords with these variations to refine how your keywords target your audience:

Keyword = broad match

[Keyword] = exact match

“keyword” = phrase match

Eliminate any quote when you enter your keyword to match it as broad a search as possible. Add the square brackets, and Google will match your keyword to a search of the exact phrase.  Use quotes, and Google will match the words to the specific sequence they are entered. This further refines when your ad appears, further increasing the potential for a higher click through rate. Of course, there is no reason no bid on all three varieties to improve your results!

 

2. Experiment with keyword grouping

How many ad groups have you created? Your PPC campaign’s success hinges on connecting your target audience with the correct ad. If you are only showing one ad regardless of the keyword entered into Google then you are setting yourself up for failure. This is a major reason for low click-through rates. Take the time to create different ads based on your keyword groups. Make sure they make sense! And make sure they match.

If you are using too many keywords, usually over 20, you could be aiming too broadly with your keywords. Create new ad groups and refocus your keywords and their corresponding ads.

Also as important, is creating more than one ad for your group of keywords. Creating two or three ads is a great way to test your copy and see which ad is sharpest. This is also a great way to test how dynamic your keywords are, and what kind of language works best for them.

3. Pay attention to your ROI

Are your keyword purchases putting the right ads in front of the right crowd and creating conversions? If not, your keyword choices are either too broad or too specific.

Usually, it is the broader, short tail keywords that are problematic. They are usually high cost and high risk because they appeal to a broad audience. Short tail keywords do not necessarily create more conversions because they lack actionable phrasing. Stick with specific phrases and similar keywords. These long tail keywords are better for your ROI, generally being cheaper and stronger at connecting your target audience and creating conversions.

4. Compare your conversion rate to your landing page

If your conversion rates are low, your keywords and your landing page might not be meshing. It’s also possible that your keyword usage on the landing page or your call to action is weak. Sometimes all the keyword strategy in the world can’t make up for a dud of a landing page.

Start by tightening up your copy by keeping things relatable. Make sure to buy words that match the audience’s intent on their journey from the search, to your ad, to your landing page. Take a look at what your competitors are doing.  Compare your keyword choices with the choices of your competitors. How do they stack up? How does your copy and its use of keywords stack up? Are your keyword choices matching the ads you’re writing?

5. Use conversion tracking code to see which keywords are working and where

Google will supply any advertisers with a conversion tracking code that can be placed into certain parts of your site code to monitor whether your click-throughs are creating the desired effect of your campaign. You must place the code after the point on the page you want your audience to reach. This is crucial so you can accuratly track the visitors who reached your call to action or email sign up list, not just visitors to the page. Your keywords and their integration into the copy will have a large role in creating conversions while serving as a handy tool for gathering data to manage your keyword selection and usage.

 

Grow Your Business

Get in touch and find out how our team can help you drive results!

Contact us today

All you Need to Know about Google RankBrain

Google RankBrain: What it is and Why it is important

Over a year ago, in October 2015, Google announced they are going to use machine learning techniques of artificial intelligence in research. The topic raised a lot of questions and led to confusion about what Google RankBrain is, what it means for search marketing, and what brands should do about it. Today, a year and a half later after the dust settled, we learned (everything) we could and decided to share that knowledge with you.  We intend to answer all remaining questions you might have and eliminate all uncertainties.  

What is RankBrain?

First and foremost, let’s settle this dilemma: RankBrain is NOT an ‘update’ to the search algorithm. In fact, it is the third most useful search ranking signal, right after content and links. The actual list includes 200 different ranking factors. So what actually is RankBrain? Google RankBrain is a machine learning AI (artificial intelligence) system used to assist the processing of Google search queries.   

How Does RankBrain Work?

Google’s main goal is to provide its users with the most useful and relevant results for each query entered. In order to complete that goal, Google has to understand the search queries and to be able to match them with the appropriate content, even when the words of the search query are very different. In the past, Google’s algorithm was focused on matching user searches to the same webpage wording. Now, Google’s decided to take a slightly more sophisticated approach in trying to understand that actual context and search intent, and use it to deliver improved search results. That is why Google created RankBrain.  

RankBrain’s main purpose, according to Google, is to interpret queries that are very complex or just haven’t been seen before. Therefore, it converts the innumerable search words and keywords from Google Search, into quantitative figures that machines can understand and decipher. Instead of being pre-programmed and scripted, by using mathematical processes called vectors, plus additional advanced semantic processes, RankBrain learns people’s search patterns inference and then applies those interpretations to future search results.

Simply put, RankBrain is a system that aims to better understand search queries and give them meaning by identifying the real “user intent” and returning the best and most fitting results to the user.

Why is RankBrain important?

There are more than two trillion searches entered in Google yearly. And most of those searches are not limited to short phrases or a couple of words, but rather use full sentences such as, “What’s the best place to eat pizza in Napoli?  These searches cannot be effectively processed with an ordinary search algorithm. That’s why Google created RankBrain – a technology that studies and learns from the study – to learn from the search query and give more comprehensive results.  RankBrain avoids simply matching all words in the query and returning exact or filtering the nearest results related to the query.

At first, RankBrain processed around 15% of the searches, but now it is used to help with every search query.  Besides being able to process queries better and more accurately than before, there are several other ways in which RankBrain impacts search engines. In addition to faster query processing and increased optimization for search results, RankBrain is more relevant and user-friendly.  RankBrain is effective by learning from searches and drawing from offline phrases to understand more complex and long-tail keywords. 

How Does RankBrain Influence SEO?

It is well known that keywords play a crucial role in your website’s SEO, especially when you are creating content. So far, Google’s algorithm was able to identify the keywords in the page content and use them as a ranking factor. Now, Google has learned to identify great content, and keywords alone are not enough to get you high ranking. With RankBrain as part of the ranking equation, great content is more important than ever, and if you don’t provide great user experience, you lower your changes of ranking success.

The search ranking algorithm has also undergone major changes with the emergence of RankBrain. Before RankBrain, the algorithm produced constant search rankings until the next update. Now, we see constant updates of the ranking algorithm with fluctuating results to ensure better accuracy. Therefore, website owners, SEO consultants and content creators need to increase their versatility in content creation and keyword choice.

RankBrain employs AI technology to understand the user’s search intent and to determine what the user really wants. So instead of creating pages focused on a single keyword, it’s better to create content that targets the main keyword or phrase with related keywords and synonyms.

 

It is safe to conclude that RankBrain is changing the search landscape while helping users find what they are looking for easier and faster. From an SEO perspective, we can say that RankBrain is not something you can specifically optimize for in terms of ranking factors. RankBrain is a little bit different. According to Gary Illyes from Google, the only way to optimize your website for RankBrain is to simply optimize for natural language. And that might be a good thing because website owners will create web pages optimized for people, not machines, yielding quality results for users.

 

Grow Your Business

Get in touch and find out how our team can help you drive results!

Contact us today