Blog SEO: How to Search Engine Optimize Your Blog Content in 2018





How do you know what matters and what doesn’t? What are today’s blog ranking tactics, and what’s considered “old-school”? How on Earth can you keep it all straight?

Click here to download our free guide on how to double your blog traffic and leads.

Confusion is a common issue facing digital content marketers — and we want to help. In this post, we’ll cover how to optimize your blog posts for the keywords you care about, along with a few other optimization tactics you should keep in mind.

Note that this list doesn’t cover every single rule under the sun. Rather, the following 10 SEO tips are the on-page factors to get you started with an SEO strategy for your blog in particular.

SEO can be confusing. Listen as HubSpot’s own Matt Barby and Victor Pan clear things up:

HubSpot customers: If you want to see specific SEO optimization tips for your individual blog posts, click the bar graph icon on the far left side of the blog editor when you’re working on the post to access the SEO Optimization screen.

optimize-hubspot-blog.png
If you’re not a customer, you can use these tips as a checklist as you blog.

 

10 Blog SEO Tips to Search Engine Optimize Your Blog Content

1. Focus on 1–2 long-tail keywords that match the intent of your ideal reader.

Optimizing your blog posts for keywords is not about incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible. Nowadays, this actually hurts your SEO because search engines consider this keyword stuffing (i.e., including keywords as much as possible with the sole purpose of ranking highly in organic search).

It also doesn’t make for a good reader experience — a ranking factor that search engines now prioritize to ensure you’re answering the intent of your visitors. Therefore, you should use keywords in your content in a way that doesn’t feel unnatural or forced.

A good rule of thumb is to focus on one or two long-tail keywords per blog post. While you can use more than one keyword in a single post, keep the focus of the post narrow enough to allow you to spend time actually optimizing for just one or two keywords.

Why long-tail keywords? These longer, often question-based keywords keep your post focused on the specific goals of your audience. Website visitors searching long-tail terms are more likely to read the whole post and then seek more information from you. In other words, you’ll generate right type of traffic: visitors who convert.

2. Include these 1–2 keywords in specific parts of your post.

Now that you’ve got your one or two keywords, it’s time to incorporate them into your blog post. Where are the best parts of your posts to include these terms so you rank high in search results?

There are four essential places where you should try to include your keywords: title tag, headers & body, URL, and meta description.



Title Tag

The title (i.e., headline) of your blog post will be a search engine’s and reader’s first step in determining the relevancy of your content, so including a keyword here is vital. Google calls this the “title tag” in a search result.

Be sure to include your keyword within the first 60 characters of your title, which is just about where Google cuts titles off on search engine results pages (SERPs). Technically, Google measures by pixel width, not character count, and it recently increased the pixel width for organic search results from approximately 500 pixels to 600 pixels, which translates to around 60 characters.

Long title tag? When you have a lengthy headline, it’s a good idea to get your keyword in the beginning since it might get cut off in SERPs toward the end, which can take a toll on your post’s perceived relevancy. In the example below, we had a long title that went over 65 characters, so we front-loaded it with the keyword for which we were trying to rank: “on-page SEO.”

Search engine result link with a keyword-optimized title

Headers & Body

Mention your keyword at a normal cadence throughout the body of your post and in the headers. That means including your keywords in your copy, but only in a natural, reader-friendly way. Don’t go overboard at the risk of being penalized for keyword stuffing. Before you start writing a new blog post, you’ll probably think about how to incorporate your keywords into your post. That’s a smart idea, but it shouldn’t be your only focus, nor even your primary focus.

Whenever you create content, your primary focus should be on what matters to your audience, not how many times you can include a keyword or keyword phrase in that content. Focus on being helpful and answering whatever question your customer might’ve asked to arrive on your post. Do that, and you’ll usually find you naturally optimize for important keywords, anyway.

URL

Search engines also look to your URL to figure out what your post is about, and it’s one of the first things it’ll crawl on a page. You have a huge opportunity to optimize your URLs on every post you publish, as every post lives on its own unique URL — so make sure you include your one to two keywords in it.

In the example below, we created the URL using the long-tail keyword for which we were trying to rank: “email marketing examples.”

Search engine result link with a keyword-optimized URL

Meta Description

Later in this post, we’ll dive into meta descriptions a bit more. Your meta description is meant to give search engines and readers information about your blog post’s content — so be certain to use your long-tail term so Google and your audience are clear on your post’s content.

At the same time, keep in mind the copy matters a great deal for click-through rates because it satisfies certain readers’ intent. The more engaging, the better.

3. Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly.

Did you know more people use a search engine from their mobile phones than from a computer?

And for all those valuable search queries being done on mobile, Google displays the mobile-friendly results first. This is yet another example of Google heavily favoring mobile-friendly websites — which has been true ever since the company updated its Penguin algorithm in April 2015.

So, how do you make your blog mobile-friendly? By using “responsive design.” Websites that are responsive to mobile allow blog pages to have just one URL instead of two — one for desktop and one for mobile, respectively. This helps your post’s SEO because any inbound links that come back to your site won’t be divided between the separate URLs.

As a result, you’ll centralize the SEO power you gain from these links, helping Google more easily recognize your post’s value and rank it accordingly.

Pro tip: What search engines value is constantly changing. Be sure you’re keeping on top of these changes by subscribing to Google’s official blog.

4. Optimize the meta description, and use all the space.

To review, a meta description is the additional text that appears in SERPs that lets readers know what the link is about. The meta description gives searchers information they need to determine whether or not your content is what they’re looking for, and ultimately helps them decide if they’ll click or not.

The maximum length of this meta description is greater than it once was — now around 300 characters — suggesting it wants to give readers more insight into what each result will give them.

So, in addition to being reader-friendly (compelling and relevant), your meta description should include the long-tail keyword for which you are trying to rank.

Google result link with extended meta description
In the example above, I searched for “email newsletter examples.” The term is bolded in the meta description, helping readers make the connection between the intent of their search term and this result. You’ll also see the term “E-Newsletter” bolded, indicating that Google knows there’s a semantic connection between “email newsletter” and “E-Newsletter.”

Note: Nowadays, it’s not guaranteed that your meta description is always pulled into SERPs as it once was. As you can see in the above image, Google pulls in other parts of your blog post that includes the keywords searched, presumably to give searchers optimal context around how the result matches their specific query.



Let me show you another example. Below is an example of two different search queries delivering two different snippets of text on Google SERPs. The first is a result of the query “no index no follow,” and pulls in the original meta description:

meta-description-v1.png
The second is a result of the query “noindex nofollow,” and pulls in the first instance of these specific keywords coming up in the body of the blog post:

meta-description-v2.png
While there’s not much you can do to influence what text gets pulled in, you should continue to optimize this metadata, as well as your post, so search engines display the best content from the article. By creating reader-friendly content with natural keyword inclusion, you’ll make it easier for Google to prove your post’s relevancy in SERPs for you.

5. Optimize your images’ alt text.

Blog posts shouldn’t only contain text — you should also include images that help explain your content. But search engines don’t just look for images. Rather, they look for images with alt text.

Because search engines can’t “see” images the same way humans can, an image’s alt text tells them what an image is about — which ultimately helps those images rank in Google Images results. Alt text also makes for a better user experience, as it’ll display inside the image container when an image can’t be found or displayed, and can improve accessibility for people with poor vision who are using screen readers.

Technically, alt text is an attribute that can be added to an image tag in HTML. Here’s what a complete image tag might look like (bolding added for emphasis):

<img class=”wt-blog__normal-image” src=”image.jpg” alt=”image-description” title=”image tooltip”>

Adding keywords to your alt text may seem minor — and it isn’t going to impact your search rankings as much as other things on this list. But it is worth the extra minute it takes to change the name from “IMG23940” to something accurate and descriptive, like “puppies-playing-in-basket:”

puppies-playing-in-basket.jpg
Read this blog post to learn more on-page SEO tips for keyword optimizing the most critical parts of your website.

HubSpot customers: The SEO Panel will recognize whether or not you have optimized your images. Though these elements are not as important as some other optimizations, they’re still necessary (not to mention easy to add).

seo-panel-images.png

6. Don’t use too many similar topic tags.

Topic tags can help organize your blog content, but if you overuse them, they can actually be harmful. If you have too many similar tags, you may get penalized by search engines for having duplicate content.

Think of it this way: when you create a topic tag, you also create a new site page where the content from those topic tags will appear. If you use too many similar tags for the same content, it then appears to search engines as if you’re showing the content multiple times throughout your website. For example, topic tags like “blogging,” “blog,” and “blog posts” are too similar to one another to be used on the same post.

If you’re worried that your current blog posts have too many similar tags, take some time in the near future to clear them up. Choose about 15–25 topic tags that you think are important to your blog and that aren’t too similar to one another, and then only tag your posts with those keywords. That way, you won’t have to worry about duplicate content.

7. Use URL structures that help your visitors.

The URL structure of your web pages (which are different from the specific URLs of your posts) should make it easy for your visitors to understand the structure of your website and the content they’re about to see. Search engines favor web page URLs that make it easier for them and website visitors to understand the content on the page.

This differentiation is baked into the HubSpot blogs’ respective URL structures. If I decided to go to the Marketing section from this main page, I would be taken to the URL http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing. If we want to read the Sales section, all we have to do is change where it says “marketing” in the URL to “sales”: http://blog.hubspot.com/sales. This URL structure helps me understand that “/marketing” and “/sales” are smaller sections — called subdirectories — within the larger blog.

What if there’s a specific article we want to read, such as “How to Do Keyword Research: A Beginner’s Guide”? Its URL structure — http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-do-keyword-research-ht — denotes that it’s an article from the Marketing section of the blog.

In this way, URL structure acts as a categorization system for readers, letting them know where they are on the website and how to access new site pages. Search engines appreciate this, as it makes it easier for them to identify exactly what information searchers will access on different parts of your blog or website.

Get more best practices for URL structure from Moz here.

8. Link internally when possible.

Inbound links to your content help show search engines the validity or relevancy of your content. The same goes for linking internally to other pages on your website. If you’ve written about a topic that’s mentioned in your blog post on another blog post, ebook, or web page, it’s a best practice to link to that page.

You might’ve noticed that I’ve been doing that from time to time throughout this blog post when I think it’s helpful for our readers. Not only will internal linking help keep visitors on your website, but it also surfaces your other relevant and authoritative pages to search engines.

HubSpot customers: The SEO Panel automatically suggests linking to other internal resources on your website. Think of it as solving for your SEO while also helping your visitors get more information from your content.

hubspot-seo-panel-links.png
If you’re looking for more internal links to add to your post but aren’t sure which would be relevant, you can click “Explore some internal links you might use in this post” for a list of recommendations.

9. Use Google’s Search Console.

Google’s free Search Console contains a section called the Search Analytics Report. This report helps you analyze clicks from Google Search, and it’s useful to determine which keywords people are using to find your blog content. Learn how to use it by reading this blog post written by my colleague Matthew Barby, and by checking out Google’s official support page here.

If you’re interested in optimizing your best-performing older blog posts for traffic and leads like we’ve been doing since 2015, this tool can help identify low-hanging fruit.

Line graph showing keyword performance on Google Search Console
A lot of content marketers struggle with optimizing their blog posts for search. The truth is, your blog posts won’t start ranking immediately. It takes time to build up search authority. But when you publish blog posts frequently and consistently optimize them for search while maintaining an intent-based reader experience, you’ll reap the rewards in the form of traffic and leads long-term.

10. Use topic clusters.

The way most blogs are currently structured (including our own blogs, until very recently), bloggers and SEOs have worked to create individual blog posts that rank for specific keywords. The result is disorganized, and hard for the user to find the exact information he or she needs. It also results in your own URLs competing against one another in search engine rankings when you produce multiple blog posts about similar topics.

Here’s what our blog architecture used to look like using this old playbook:

Flowchart of HubSpot's topic cluster SEO model
Now, in order to rank in search and best answer the new types of queries searchers are submitting, the solution is to use the topic cluster model: Choose the broad topics for which you want to rank, then create content based on specific keywords related to that topic that all link to each other, to create broader search engine authority.

Using this model, this is what our blog infrastructure looks like now — with specific topics surrounded by blog posts related to the topic, connected to other URLs in the cluster via hyperlinks:

A set of topic clusters for SEO
This model uses a more deliberate site architecture to organize and link URLs together to help more pages on your site rank in Google — and to help searchers find information on your site more easily. This architecture consists of three components — pillar content, cluster content, and hyperlinks:

SEO model using icons for pillar content, cluster content, and hyperlinks
We know this is a fairly new concept, so for more details, check out our research on the topic, or the video below.

We don’t expect you to incorporate each of these SEO best practices into your content strategy right away. But as your website grows, so should your goals on search engines. Then you’ll be able to do some link building to get other websites to link back to your blog!

Once you identify the goals and intent of your ideal readers, you’ll be on track to deliver content organically that is always relevant to them.

 

7 Best Website Traffic Estimator Spy on your Competitor Traffic

estimate traffic




Today we are going to look at different tools and resources for having insights into competitors’ traffic data. So, here’s the list of best website traffic estimator tools for you that will help you to get the number of visitors a website is generating or how much traffic you may estimate. We have taken care to include the best tools for spying on the website traffic of your competitors. We have shown their strengths and weaknesses, as well as look into the validity and usefulness of the data provided.



In fact, these website traffic estimator tools are great for competitor analysis as they help you to spy on the competitor website traffic.

Moreover, it is a helpful tactic to know how much traffic a top blog in your niche gets. By checking website traffic of your competitors, you can come to know what’s working and what’s not in any niche.

You can then go on to upgrade or amend your online marketing techniques so as to drive more traffic to your website.

Having said that, there are tons out there that do not have an exact idea of what website traffic is and what does it mean?

So, let’s see what web traffic is?

In fact, website traffic or web traffic is the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a website. It does not include the traffic generated by bots.

Website traffic constitutes the largest portion of Internet traffic. It is calculated by figuring out the number of visitors and the number of pages they happen to visit.

For tracking web traffic of your website, you can use tools like Google Analytics. However, if you want to check out web traffic of other blogs or websites in your niche, you can use the tools that have been listed in this post.



These are the best website traffic estimator tools just for you. The best part is that they are free and easy to use. So, you can get website traffic report of any site easily.

Website Traffic Estimator

Why do you need to check your competitors’ website traffic?

Getting to know the website traffic of your competitors has some huge benefits. Here, we list out some of the benefits of estimating web traffic or unique monthly visitors of a blog or website.

  • First of all, you come to know the estimated monthly or daily sessions that your competitor site is getting.
  • You can figure out the top traffic keywords. You can then target those keywords for driving more search traffic to your website.
  • You get to know the traffic breakup of any website. So, you come to know the exact amount of traffic coming from different sources such as Organic, Social, Referral, and Direct.
  • You come to know website engagement details such as Bounce Rate, Time Spent on a Website Page, Page Views per Visit, etc.
  • Last but not the least; you can create “suitable content” for your audience.

So, checking out your competitors’ website traffic has some obvious benefits. Explore the post to know the Best Website Traffic Estimator Tools. Let’s get to know the tools now.

7 Top Website Traffic Estimator Tools

1. SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb is one of the most recommended tools for estimating the web traffic of any site worldwide. By using SimilarWeb, you can check the website traffic of any site for free. Finding website traffic details with Similar Web is very easy. You just have to launch SimilarWeb and type in your desired website URL and get the traffic levels of the site.

It not only furnishes competitive insights of any site but also goes on to show the ranking insights of any website. With SimilarWeb, you get a thorough competitor analysis. It shows you the traffic stats of any website, the number of page views, bounce rate, average time spent by visitors, referrals, social influence, etc. The best thing about SimilarWeb is that it delivers precise and detailed website traffic information and that too for free.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - SimilarWeb

2. Alexa

Alexa offers one of the best website traffic checker tools. Moreover, Alexa is quite popular with webmasters and bloggers as it enables you to get insight into the website rankings. Using Alexa, you come to know website traffic for any site for free. It is one of the best ways to know the details of other blogs including unique visitors per month, bounce rate, and average on-page time.

For using Alexa tool, you have to launch the Alexa.com website. Then enter the website address of the site (for which you want to know the results) in the Search Box available. Once you enter a website address and press enter, you will be shown important website metrics such as Alexa Traffic Rank, Page Views, Bounce Rate, Search Percentage, and Time on Site, as well as Traffic Rank in specific demographics.

Apart from showing these website metrics, Alexa also provides search queries for a website. These search queries are the best performing keywords for that site. It can also be used to compare your website traffic with four other websites of your choice. So, Alexa stands out as one of the best website traffic checker tools out there. The data provided is accurate, so you can instantly figure out the traffic numbers of a website after using this tool.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - Alexa

3. SEMrush

SEMrush is one of the most recommended tools by most SEO experts. Using SEMrush, you can get the website traffic report of any website. Most importantly, SEMrush accurately tracks web traffic of any website. With SEMrush, you get to have the nearest level of visitor count of the website you want to spy.



Apart from providing website traffic details, SEMrush also lists out all the keywords that are helping your competitors in growing their search traffic.

For using SEMrush, go to SEMrush site and enter the URL of the website whose visitor count you want to know. The results are displayed to you showing organic search traffic, paid traffic, and backlinks.

With SEMrush, you come to know the high performing keywords to boost your overall organic search traffic. You can also analyze the backlinks of any site and much more. So, you can use SEMrush to spy on your competitors no matter what your niche is.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - SEMrush

4. Google AdWords Display Planner

Google AdWords Display Planner helps you to figure out the amount of traffic a website gets. In fact, Google AdWords Display Planner is a combination of the Contextual Targeting Tool, Google Ad Planner, and Placement Tool. Using the tool, you can check any website traffic for free.

Moreover, it is one of the most accurate tools to track website traffic. So, Google Display Planner comes out as a reliable web traffic checker tool.

This website traffic estimator tool shows important traffic metrics such as an average number of page views per visitor, unique visitors, total page views, average time on site, total unique visitors to a website in a month’s time, and much more.

For using Google Display Planner, you have to enter the desired website URL in the “Get ideas and estimates” section and then click on the “Get ad group ideas.”

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - Google AdWords Display Planner

5. Quantcast

Quantcast is yet another very popular web traffic checking tool among webmasters and bloggers alike. In fact, Quantcast is a free website traffic estimator tool that delivers free direct audience measurement including information regarding web traffic, demographics, and many other details.

It shows a count of unique daily visitors as well as unique monthly visitors to a website. However, it is only useful if your website or that of competitors has decent traffic volume.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - QuantCast

6. Google Insights

Google Insights is a free traffic checker tool which is useful in getting general trends when it relates to regional information, a list of key phrases, and key phrase groups. It provides insights into a market than your competitors.

Google Insights is mostly used to know about the best key phrases and groups of key phrases regarding rankings. You also get to know which key phrases in a group are most useful in driving more traffic to your website.

However, this free traffic checker tool can get quite tough for many newbie bloggers due to the complexity of data which makes it difficult to read. Its figures are more geared towards search terms, key phrases, and trends. So, the search volume corresponds with the site’s traffic.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - Google-Insights

7. Ahrefs

Ahrefs.com is another comprehensive tool to check site traffic. It is perfect for conducting link research. You get fresh and reliable data which is updated on their index every 30 minutes. Moreover, the site has a ranking database of about 45 million keywords coming from several countries including the United States. The results are shown efficiently, and you get to export data or filter reports as per your requirements.

Ahrefs functions more as a link checker tool than a web traffic estimator tool. It shows the number of new links gained or lost in recent times. However, Ahrefs also shows the organic traffic which can be useful for competitive analysis. That said Ahrefs is not a free tool. It has a subscription fee. When you subscribe you get access to its various features such as Labs/Tools, SERPs Analysis, Site Explorer, and Report. However, it comes with a free trial offer of 14 days.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - Ahrefs

We hope that the article on Best Website Traffic Estimator Tools has presented you with lots of options for easily accessing web traffic. If you liked the post, don’t forget to share it with your friends and colleagues. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

Please share this article if you found it useful. Thx.

Easy way to Build Backlinks 2018/2019 to Rank #1





Hi there. Thanks for stopping by. If you are here then you might what to know how to build backlinks 2018 or seo link building. I am going to give you some ideas on how to build your backlinks from various methods which turns out to be a very effective. Well you might have heard the name “backlinks” from various places. But do you know what it is?



First let me explain you what is backlink?

Backlinks are just links that make google believe in your site or trust your website or blog. I can promise you that without a single backlink you cannot rank top on the google search page. Let me tell you what actually is a backlink.

According to ShoutMeLoud.com,

Backlinks are incoming links to a webpage.When a webpage links to any other page, it’s called a backlink. In the past, backlinks were the major metric for the ranking of a webpage.

yes. I use this simple words for my friends for better understanding, Backlinks are like roads between two sites, that connect each other. below is the example of backlinking of sites.

 

backlinks to your website are a signal to search engines that others guarantee for your content that it is worth to believe or truth.

do you know many call backlinks with different names like incoming link, inbound links (IBL’s), inlink, inward link.

 

RELATED: Simple Strategy to rank in google

Importance of backlink

Backlinks are like award. building each backlink make your blog or website more popular in the blogging world.

According to webconfs,

Backlinks are important for SEO because some search engines, especially Google, will give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks, and consider those websites more relevant than others in their results pages for a search query.

if you want your blog to rank in google first page, then your blog should have inbound links(a lot) so google can trust on your site so that google can provide its customers with quality contents and good internet experience.

The popular blogger, youtuber and successful billionaire and founder of neilpatel.com , Mr.Neil Patel said

“Backlinks will remain a vital Google ranking factor, but effective link building is now about trust and popularity.” 

I Hope with this you got a outline of what is inbound links and why it is important.

Next I’m gonna tell you

How will it help us in our website ranking?

You know why we are building inbound links. but do you know how it will help our site grow.

let me explain this to you.

you made a url writing a beautiful article to your website. Now the search engine got No Idea what’s your article is about.

so, I am telling you to submit your url for indexing. After indexing when you check for your ranking on google, squirrly shows your rank is in top 60.

so, now you are puzzled how to rank in top 10. There comes the saviour. Quality inbound links help you to grow you from those top 60 now.

But, The backlinks must be relevant to your keyword. Otherwise, It will not be considered as important backlink by our new google bots.

on the past days, every inbound links is considered good for you site by google algorithm, but according to new google algorithm only high quality inbound link is considered good for your site.

SO, I tell you to Choose your Backlinks wisely.



SEMrush

 

How can one build backlink 2018 way?

You now know some basics about what is backlink and and how it’s been used.

but, what you came here is for to know how to build backlinks 2018 way. I knew that 🙂

There are many different Methods one can grow his/her website backlinks in today’s competitive world.

But before doing it I think it will be better now to let you know the consequences of choosing the wrong or low quality backlinks.

There are more than 200 ranking factors google look upon for the quality of the site. The major ranking factors are given below in this pie chart.

 

In this chart you can see the most part consuming the google ranking factor is Authority of Domain and anchor text and anchor text strength or External link strength.

Other factor is on page seo. So, before thinking about Seo link building you must take this factors into consideration.

The pages whose Domain Authority and Other factors which i mentioned above is high, Linking to those pages will give you High quality Backlink.

If you do this you will get more quality traffic to your sites.

If you build low quality backlinks from sites like porn sites, free automatic backlink builder , there are chances you might get spammed yourself.

For your knowledge,these free automatic link builders, what they do is tricking the seo and make your site rank. But google keeps updating to stop these kind of actions.

So, when you got up by google, they can dramatically decrease your ranking which you never dreamt of or even block your site or content.

So, if you want to build links you have to choose correct high quality Backlink providers.

I can tell you some most important methods that can dramatically grow your high quality Backlink counts, but can take time. Backlink is all about patience.

BUYING BACKLINKS.

Yes. you can buy quality Backlinks from the sites which offer organic backlinks .

you might heard or seen somewhere that some Offer Free quality backlinks, but After you check the qualities of the sites you are linked will be no relation to your niche. So, It might turn a plaque to your website.

I would suggest you Linksmanagement for  seo link Building. you can choose your Backlink from high quality sites which is related to your niche.

If you are buying 10 links every week it is enough for you to rank in top 10 in google search, According to linksmanagement.com.

If you don’t have money to buying high quality backlinks there are always an another way to proceed.

Just keep on reading.

Guest blogging in relevant websites:

The secret of getting High quality Backlinks is by Building Relations. You may ask how I can build relation if i know anybody.

You have the answer that if you don’t know anyone how will you make your blog visible to others.

Every influencers are ready to build relation If you get to them in a proper manner.

Ask them for a guest blogging opportunity. If they are ready, then you will get a high quality backlink as google trust them as they won’t allow duplicate content.

Guest blogging in your relevant niche websites will drive High quality traffic to your site who are interested in your content.

If you write unique quality article for their website, then you can even get more people to link to them which is more authority which transfers over to your website.

Benefits of guest posting.

There are many different benefits of guest posting. I have given some important benefits of guest blogging.

now let’s move on to the third technique.

 

CREATING INFOGRAPHICS

infographics are the new method of communicating with our readers which has the tendency to attract more than blank text.

our brain deal in a different manner with images when compared to text.

Jeff bulls says in his article that

“Infographics” is one efficient way of combining the best of text, images and design to represent complex data that tells a story that begs to be shared.

use code generator Siegemedia, once you posted your infographic in your page. so, you will get copyright of that content and no one can use it without giving you backlink.



There are 5 Major reason why you should add infographics

  1. They got the tendency to go viral easily
  2. It benefits SEO
  3. The infographic can be shared by another blogger leaving you a backlink
  4. They are compelling and can attract viewers easily
  5. It can increase your traffic.

The more the traffic the more the chances of getting backlink easily to your webpage.

 

BUILDING THE UNIQUE OR QUALITY CONTENT

If you really want a high quality Backlinks, I would recommend you more to build a unique and a quality content.

Blog about something first, I mean result shows one who start a topic get his seo link building list filled.

Quality unique content can attract other bloggers easily and can make them use yours as source in their content leaving you with an inbound link.

The more unique your content = More Backlinks from other blogs.

If a high domain authority website link to your content then you will get more authority which transfer to your website.

so, build a highly compelling unique article for your blog to attract more backlinks to your site.

Ebooks or Learning materials.

You might seem in some websites that they provide ebooks and learning materials for free. After signing up you get their free ebook.

there is no surprise that why they are giving it free.

It is also a content marketing technique. you might seem some words highlighted when clicked opens a webpage.

Below is one of the example of ebooks cover that might attract the viewers.

 

so, more compelling the ebooks, the more it will be downloaded.

The more it is downloaded, the more backlink you can gain through your ebook.

You can add more than 10 links in your ebooks and can also promote your affiliate products through that.

 

SOCIAL PROFILE LINKING:

As I mentioned Above in the GOOGLE RANKING FACTOR chart, Social signals got 11% of the google ranking method.

This social medias are linked to the search engines and will communicate about your blog activities.

So, the best way to increase high quality backlinks from those high ranked social networks is through linking your websites through them.

You can run facebook ads, insta ads, twitter ads which will help your site to have high authority juice flow.

 

RESEARCH BLOG POSTS.

One research say more than 90% of Internet users choose linking to the authoritative and credible researches and surveys, even it is underestimated by most.

If your research is based on true Data and Judgements and is relevant to your blog, Then it can be a powerful tool to build backlinks.

Researching about Something might consume a lot of time. But once you produce the result it will put your website forefront of being an authoritative resource.

If you got solid evidence that the research result is true, Other websites and bloggers might link to it because it makes them look more credible.

So, choose a topic and start your research right now and start to build backlinks from others.

FORUMS AND DIRECTORIES

There are many forums and directories available to post your blog posts.

Submitting your post in these directories will give you a back-link and will also help you to drive more traffic making them visible to most number of viewers and journalist.

But, you must be aware that not every directories and forums are friend to google and google doesn’t like you found on them.

You might get penalised or ranked down if you are found by google with them.

Be careful on choosing the forums and directories.

You can use lot of google friendly forums and directories found over the internet.

What makes a directories google friendly?

Google love their viewers. Some of the directories fail to give what the readers ask for making the readers disappointed or angry.

If readers get angry google gets angry because those directories hurts google love.

So, what I am trying to say is a good directory is something that respond to its viewers with what they want and make them happy.

some of the google friendly directories are

  1. Bloggernity.com
  2. BloggingFusionBlogDirectory
  3. Dmoz
  4. jasmine
  5. Digg

these are some old friends of google where it is safe to submit your website or blog to build backlinks 2018 style.

So, posting your blogs to directories is also one of the effective method to build backlinks.

WRITING TESTIMONIALS ON RELATED WEBSITES TO BUILD BACKLINKS.

Your testimonials on high DA websites can also help you to build a strong backlink to your site and can drive more traffic.

Testimonials of yours in other websites related to your niche is the simplest way for you seo link building strategy.

You are just going to compliment other products in others website where they give back you backlink to your site.

See, writing a 2 to 8 lines in a websites can give you backlink. It is easy right.

Try this and you build your inbound links to your site.

Going on to another method to increase your link list.

 

COMMENT ON OTHER RELEVANT BLOG POST.

Commenting on other Blogs will also help you to gain some backlinks.

There are so many positive things about blog commenting apart from negatives.

  1. Commenting on relevant blogs will build you a backlink if it is a Do-follow comment.
  2. It will help you grow your relation between influencers.
  3. Help you to get small amount of referral traffic
  4. Build Relevancy among the influencers site and more.

You can comment on ones website to build backlinks but in a way of complimenting them. but don’t spam it.

 

What will be the easiest method to build backlinks 2018 or Seo link building.

When coming to seo link building, It takes lot of time to build a proper list of backlinks.

GUEST BLOGGING and TESTIMONIALS are some of the most easiest method to get high quality backlink. But for each guest posting will get one inbound link.

Fastest way to get inbound link is BUYING BACKLINKS. It also take little time, but you will get high Authoritative inbound links if you are ready to spend some cash.

However CREATING INFOGRAPHICS, CREATING QUALITY CONTENT, COMMENTING are also the same, but will help you to grow inbound links quickly.

Seo link building will take time. But it can be done more quickly, if you have a unique quality content and are buying quality backlinks according to me.

 

If you like this article Easy way to Build Backlinks 2018/2019 to Rank #1 and thought might help someone please share this in your social media or mail. Sharing takes less than a second but can make huge impact. Thanks for sharing 🙂

7 Website Analyzer Optimization Tools for Webmasters





SEMrush

The most important rule for web development is always to seek improvements (optimizations), and there’s no better way to accomplish this than to use analysis tools. Keep in mind that no website is already successful in the first build. As a webmaster, you need time to monitor a site’s performance and identify weaknesses that can be improved. Moreover, with the right tools, you can significantly cut the time it takes to gather data and execute optimization. Without further ado, below are seven website analysis/optimization tools that any webmaster can use:



1. SEO Analyzer

neil-patel
Useful for: Obtaining a full performance report on any website within seconds

SEO Analyzer is a lightweight, web-based analysis tool that can give you a full report on your site’s performance in an instant. All you need to do is to enter your website’s URL and hit the big orange “Analyze” button.

Aside from useful insights on your websites’ SEO, content marketing strategy, and competition, you also get free recommendations on how to improve your SEO and page loading speed. You can also download the report in PDF format so you can easily share your findings with your team.

2. Pingdom Website Speed Test

pingdom
Useful for: Quickly identifying website issues that affect loading speed



Your website’s loading speed directly affects user experience and, in turn, conversions. To look for possible bottlenecks that slow your site down, only go to Pingdom Website Speed Test, enter your website’s URL, choose your target audience’s location, and press “Start Test.” Right off the bat, you get a quick analysis of your website’s speed and how it compares with other tested sites.

However, the main advantage of using Pingdom is the comprehensive list of performance factors along with actionable recommendations on how to improve them. You can even view how long it takes to load every single file on your website.

3. Google Mobile-Friendly Test

google
Useful for: Seeing how your site performs on mobile devices

Making sure your site looks and performs just as good in smaller screens is essential, in particular with the ongoing rise of the mobile industry. With Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, you are given a straight answer to whether or not your site can deliver a good experience to mobile users.

4. Google Search Console

 

google-webmasters-support-learn-connect-search-console-google-2016-11-14-11-37-48
Useful for: Keeping track of all your websites in a single location

In Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, you have the option to link your Google Search Console account so you can test multiple sites at once. Apart from that, Google Search Console can also provide you with a thorough SEO analysis for all of your websites.



You can also use the “Fetch as Google” feature to manually update the indexed versions of your site. This is useful if you recently made changes such as new title tags, fresh content, and so on. Just remember that you have to go through the verification process first to prove your ownership of the websites you wish to track.

5. Netpeak Spider

netpeak
Useful for: Directly observing how web crawlers navigate through your site

Netpeak Spider is a desktop app that simulates how search engine crawlers navigate your website. One of its primary purposes is to identify issues that can prevent search engines from discovering or indexing specific pages – from missing headers to connection errors.

It is worth noting that you can get Netpeak Spider with Netpeak Checker, which is a website analysis platform that aggregates data from SEO services like Alexa, Ahrefs, SEMrush, Serpstat, and social networks. Doing so allows you to unify your SEO efforts in a single service.

6. LinkResearchTools

linkresearch
Useful for: Outperforming your competition in the link-building aspect

Modern SEO revolves around building quality backlinks. Surprisingly, a lot of online marketers and site owners are still unsure of how link building works. With LinkResearchTools, you can quickly identify what works and what doesn’t in your link-building strategy.

Remember that LinkResearchTools is not just a single app; it is a suite of tools that can help you with every facet of link-building. You can conduct competitive analysis, monitor the creation or deletion of backlinks, remove bad links that drive your rankings down, and so much more.

7. Google Analytics

ga
Useful for: Collecting raw performance data

You cannot have an analysis tool list without including Google Analytics – one of the most comprehensive, free tools out there for measuring raw site performance. It can help you track the average session duration, bounce rate, the volume of traffic, conversion rate, and so on. In addition to in-depth data, Google Analytics also provides explainer videos that can help you understand what you’re seeing.

Conclusion

Analyzing and optimizing your website’s performance are crucial to online success. With the tools above, you can have all the data you need for better decision-making.

8 Free Online SEO Tools for Webmasters





SEMrush



There are some great tools available to help webmasters with their SEO. Unfortunately. Many tools require subscriptions and paying for them all can very expensive. However, there are also quite a lot of free tools available and many of the subscription services do offer valuable free tools as well. In this post, we’ll look at 8 of the most helpful and free SEO tools available.

 

1. Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed
The speed of your website is an important SEO ranking factor. The faster your website, the better chance it has of ranking higher. Faster websites also retain users longer and have superior conversion rates.

You can easily check the loading speed of your site on desktop and mobile devices by using the free Google PageSpeed Insights Tool. Simply type in your URL and the tool will measure the loading time and performance of your site. The results give you a mark out of a hundred for each device, identify the things which slow your loading time and present you with a list of useful suggestions to make your site even faster.

 

2. Keywordtool.io

Keywordtool

When it comes to SEO, getting the right keywords is vital if you want your site to rank for the right searches. Keywordtool.io is a very useful little tool that provides you with up to 750 keyword ideas based on a single keyword.



All you have to do is enter a keyword, such as ‘men’s shoes’ in the example above, and the tool will provide you with a detailed list of keywords and long-tail keywords to help you rank higher.

What’s particularly useful about this tool is that it finds keywords for particular types of searches. So, if you are looking for keywords that will do well on Google, you can narrow that down to find the best keywords for Google.co.uk. You can also search for the best keywords to use on a range of other sites such as Bing, Amazon, YouTube and the iTunes app store (each of these can be filtered by country too).

 

3. Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Google Analytics
remains one of the most powerful free tools at the fingertips of any webmaster, giving you a complete oversight of the traffic you get to your site. There’s pretty much everything you need to help you understand how well your site is performing and where its weaknesses lie.

Find out where your traffic comes from (location, device used and source), where they land, how long they stay, how they move from page to page, and which pages they exit from. You can track movement and dropout rates from landing pages to checkout pages and even set up goals to measure conversions and other events. Using Google Analytics is a no-brainer – there’s nothing else which is free that has anywhere near the capabilities.

 

4. Google Search Console

Google Search Console

In conjunction with Google Analytics, you should also use Google Search Console, the webmaster tools it provides gives you highly detailed website analysis as well as important alerts and error reports.

Google Search Console enables you to understand how well your site is indexed and whether there are any problems that prevent your pages being found; it gives you vital information about whether your site has been given a manual penalty, and provides a wide range of useful information including letting you know what search terms you rank for, what your rank is for each search term and your click through rates for those terms. Also useful for SEO, it shows you which other sites link to yours.

 

5. Google Trends

Google Trends



Another excellent free tool from Google is Google Trends. This tool lets you compare up to four search terms to analyse changes in their search volumes over time. You can analyse over different periods of time, by location and by a range of other factors, too.

Google trends can give you very powerful insights. If you were thinking of selling a new product and noticed that, year by year, the number of searches were getting smaller, then it would be a clear indication that the product’s popularity was on the decline. It can also throw up some surprising results. Looking at the image above, it’s obvious that far more men in the UK go shopping for shoes online than women. It also shows that they key term ‘kids shoes’ is searched for much more than ‘children’s shoes’ – all very helpful information to have for online businesses.

 

6. SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb

Sussing out the competition is an important SEO strategy for any online business. Some companies pay hundreds of pounds per month to use the powerful, in-depth competitor analysis tools that are available. If you are looking for a free tool, then SimilarWeb can be very useful.

Although you need the pro version to use all its features, the free tool let lets you compare two different websites at the same time, giving you detailed information about their ranking, traffic numbers and sources as well as various other insights into their analytics.

 

7. Find Broken Links

Find Broken Links
Having broken links on your website can affect your ranking because by sending users to error pages you are offering a poor user experience, which neither search engines or visitors like. Links to internal pages or external websites can be broken if content is removed or the URL is changed.

Manually, it would be difficult to keep track of external links and sometimes it’s not easy to remember all the internal links on your own website (links in images tend to be the main source of broken links). However, the Find Broken Links tool can find them for you automatically.

All you have to do is type in the name of your homepage and leave it to run. It will crawl your entire site and provide you with a detailed list of every broken link it finds. You’ll then need to remove the broken links or replace them with working URLs.

 

8. Copyscape

Copyscape

Search engines have a serious dislike for duplicate content, so if another website has identical content to you, it may affect how well you rank. This is particularly important for eCommerce companies and bloggers.

eCommerce companies who simply cut and paste the product descriptions supplied from manufacturers may find that there are thousands of other websites with the same, word for word, content on their pages.

For bloggers, the problem is that content can be stolen. Another website wanting content on a subject you have written about can just copy it from your website onto theirs. It happens all the time.

Copyscape is an excellent tool for checking content duplication. Enter a URL for your website or blog and Copyscape will show you if the same content is found elsewhere.

 

Conclusion

As you can see from reading this post, there are many useful, free to use SEO tools for webmasters. They can help with everything from website analytics, to keyword research to finding duplicate content. Hopefully, there will be tools here which will be of benefit to you.

How to Increase Website Traffic – Beginner´s Guide to free traffic





Have you struggled to increase your website traffic, even though you’ve tried every “method” out there?



No matter what you do, your website traffic numbers don’t budge…

And your website doesn’t make enough money.

Well, I have some good news…

SEMrush

You DON’T need to be an expert at copywriting or SEO to increase your website traffic.

I’ll walk you through the whole process in a moment, but first… Why is getting traffic so dang hard?

The problem: most likely, you’re focusing on the wrong metrics and reading the wrong content…

You see, there’s a lot of content out there about how to increase website traffic. Some of it old, some of it okay, but none of it really that actionable…

Here is what’s lacking: a proven system. One that you can implement with your website right now, and see your website traffic skyrocket in a matter of weeks (or even less).

When you have the right system, it’s really not that difficult to increase website traffic.

At that point, it’s just about following the right steps and BOOM – before you know it you’ll see exponential growth in your traffic numbers.

So, what system am I referring to? It’s the same system that I (and many others) have already used to increase website traffic.

The system is comprised around three steps:

Step #1: Optimize Your Website Content (jump to step 1)

This is the foundation of the system. If you want to truly increase website traffic, you first need to make sure your website content is optimized. Otherwise, the traffic will be fleeting and only temporary.

Step #2: Crush It With Social Media (jump to step 2)

Once your website is prepared for more traffic, you must start driving traffic to it! You’ll discover how to do this with the unique social media strategies we’ll outline.

Step #3: Master Content Outreach (jump to step 3)

Social media is only one part of the puzzle. You must also get your content in front of new audiences. You’ll discover how to do this as well (even if you don’t have hours of extra time to write guest post after guest post)…

How’s all this sound? Let’s jump in and get started with the system!

 

Step 1: Optimize Your Website Content


1. Know Your Current Traffic Statistics

Before you start growing your website traffic, you need to know your current traffic stats. This is your baseline. From here, you can see how your efforts are affecting your traffic growth.

So, make sure you have your Google Analytics tracking code set up. (If you don’t have it set up yet, do it now).

Once you have at least a few days of traffic under your belt, check your website traffic report on Google Analytics.

Here are some of the most important metrics you should note:

  • Unique visitors
  • Pageviews
  • Pages per visit
  • Average time on site
  • Bounce rate
  • Traffic sources (direct, search, and referral)
  • Exit pages

2. Check Website Traffic Often

You’ve probably heard of the old saying, “What gets measured, gets managed.”

Well, it’s true! You’ll be testing new traffic strategies, and you need to know how they’re performing.

So, check your website traffic often – at least a few times a week. This way, you’ll know what’s working, and what’s not, and you can double down on the good stuff to maximize your traffic growth.

3. Create a Better Content Marketing Strategy

Here’s where many businesses fall off the tracks. They either don’t have a content marketing strategy, or if they do, it’s seriously off the mark.

You can try all the SEO hacks, but without a solid content marketing strategy, you’ll be wasting your time.

So, how do you create a better content marketing strategy? Before we get into that, let’s talk about the types of content that should be included in your strategy:

  • Blogs
  • eBooks
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics

A good content marketing strategy has a mix of all these different types of content. Now, as for your actual strategy…

It should include the following elements:

1) The primary goal of your content (i.e. Increase traffic, generate leads, etc.)

2) Your audience, defined (i.e. Who are they? What are their biggest pain points? How can you help them through your content?)



3) How you plan to add value and set your content apart from the competition

4) Frequency of posting

5) Content amplification (i.e. How will you get your content in front of more eyeballs?)

4. Write More Compelling Blog Headlines

A compelling headline is what sells the content. If you want your content to be read – and also to rank in search engines – then great headlines are key.

Now, there are two things you must optimize for with your headlines: Social traffic and search traffic.

To do so, your headlines should have the right keywords, the right length, and also be compelling enough for social media users to click on them.

To find the right keywords, use Google Keyword Planner. Plug in some possible search terms for your blog post idea. For example, if you’re writing a post about how to quit your job, you can plug in terms like, “How to quit your job,” “How to quit your 9-5 job,” “How to quit your job and travel,” and perhaps even “How to become an entrepreneur.”

Here are the results of that query:

Using Google Keyword planner
Google Keyword Planner for the keyword: ‘How to quit your job’

From here, you know that “How to quit your job” and “How to become an entrepreneur” get the two highest average monthly searches, and you can choose which to include in your title.

From there, you can use some of these compelling headline templates so that the title is also compelling for social media:

(Note: just try and keep your title under 70 characters so it doesn’t get cut off in Google Search.)

  • “How X Can do X” (i.e. “How Employees Can Quit Their Jobs and Become Entrepreneurs”)
  • “X People/Things Who Are Doing X” (i.e. “15 Brands Who Are Crushing It on Instagram”)
  • “How to Do X (Even If [Obstacle])” (i.e. “How to Start Investing [Even if You Don’t Have Tons of Money Saved Up]”)
  • “How to X” (i.e. “How to Get More Followers on Instagram”)

And here are some general tips for writing better headlines:

  • Use list posts (i.e. “10 Ways to Do X in Record Time”)
  • Ask a question
  • Create curiosity
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Aim to trigger emotion in the reader
  • Use alliteration occasionally
  • Use power words
  • Make the value as clear as possible

5. Write Better Content

A great content marketing strategy with catchy headlines won’t matter if you don’t have compelling content. Any readers who come to your site will just bounce out immediately – and that will make for an ugly traffic report.

So, how do you write more compelling content?

You can start by infusing these hacks into your writing…

Hack #1: Hook readers in from the beginning. People have low attention spans. If you don’t have a compelling “hook” at the beginning of your blogs, people will click off in seconds. You can hook them in by teasing the benefits of the article (see the intro to this article for example!), telling a story, or stating a common problem that your audience faces.

Hack #2: Use shorter paragraphs. Avoid long paragraphs and huge blocks of text. The more scannable your content, the better. So, try to keep paragraphs under 5-6 lines (ideally 2-3).

Hack #3: Read your writing aloud when editing. What looks good on paper doesn’t always sound good. So, by reading your content aloud, you can discover clunky phrases – and any errors will jump out to you.

Hack #4: Tell more stories. Stories connect with us emotionally and drive us to take action. Add stories into your content to prove arguments, hook readers in, explain a problem, and for whatever else you can think of. Stories are gold.

6. Use Eye-Catching Photos

Is a picture really worth a thousand words? We think so…

Eye-catching photos can do wonders for your traffic. They can make your blog more visually appealing so readers stay on your site longer, and they also make your content more shareable on social media.

In a study by Socialbakers, researches found that images on Facebook constituted 93% of the most engaging posts, compared with all other status updates.

When you combine your title with a strong image, you give it the best opportunity to generate traffic and clicks.

The best part? You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars paying for stock photos. You can use free stock photo sites like Unsplash to find hundreds of eye-catching images (without having to spend a dime).

7. Internal Linking (important!)

Internal linking refers to adding links from one page on your website to another page on your website. This can mean you’re adding links from one blog post to older posts, or from certain pages to other pages.

Most websites don’t use internal linking nearly enough. Sure, you shouldn’t overdo it with 40-50 internal links in each blog post – but there is a happy medium.

Why bother with internal linking? These types of links are useful because they help your readers navigate your website, help improve the search rank of the pages you link to, and help define the architecture and hierarchy of your website.

Here’s how you can get the most out of internal linking:

  • Create more content. The more quality content you create, the more quality content you can link to. It’s really that simple.
  • Use the right anchor text. Using our previous example: if you wanted to internally link to the “how to quit your job” blog post, you can write a sentence in another blog, like “Once you know [how to quit your job], you can start a business and travel the world.” In this case, the reader has a compelling case for clicking on the link because of both the anchor text (“how to quit your job”) and the context of the sentence. There is a clear benefit from clicking the link.
  • Link to relevant content. Don’t link for the sake of linking – always link to content that will add to your readers’ experience.
  • Don’t overdo it. Anywhere from 5-10 internal links can be used in a 1,000-word blog post. Any more than that and you’ll overdo it.

8. Conduct a Content Audit

What if you could delete and third of your content, and yet triple your website traffic? Well, that’s exactly what Todd Tresidder did.

He conducted a content audit, deleted a third of his content, and saw a massive increase in traffic.

You see, when you’ve had a website for several years, you can start running into problems like redundant and irrelevant content that no longer matches up with your message.

By conducting a content audit, you can solve these problems.

A content audit can also improve your SEO ranking. Think about it: quality is the new SEO. Google wants the best quality experience for their users, and by conducting a content audit, you signal that you’re trying to deliver the highest quality experience.

So, how do you conduct a content audit? Before we get into it, here’s what you need to do first…

Go through your entire archive of content and put it into a spreadsheet – every page and every post. Check off and categorize each one according to one of four categories:

1) Keep (good content that will stay on your site)

2) Improve (it’s on-brand, but needs updating)

3) Consolidate (for example, short content on a similar subject can be combined into a single post)

4) Remove (delete because it’s irrelevant or off-brand)

From there, use this step-by-step for conducting the content audit:

Step #1: Edit and improve the content in the “Keep” and “Improve” categories. Consider creating lead magnets for higher traffic articles.

When analyzing this content, use the following criteria:

  • Is the formatting on point?
  • Are the images SEO friendly?
  • Is the writing quality up to par?
  • Is it easy to scan and read?
  • Is the title optimized for search engines AND social media?
  • Are the affiliate links correct?
  • Are there enough internal links? Can older posts link to newer posts?

For posts that you update and consolidate, make sure to delete older comments that are no longer relevant, so as not to confuse readers.

Step #2: Consolidate the shorter, similar blogs into new blog posts.

You’ll probably have several groups of similar posts to consolidate. Once you consolidate them, you should:

1) Choose the most popular blog post of the consolidation grouping.

2) 301 redirect all of the other blog URLs of the consolidation group to the URL of the most popular blog.

(Note: A 301 redirect is a way to send users and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally requested. The redirect saves 90-99% of the link juice to the redirected page. Implementation of the 301 redirect depends on your web hosting – so contact your host for how to do this.)

Step #3: Delete content from the “Remove” category.

Simply delete the content you no longer see fit for your site!

Now, the content audit isn’t an easy process. But if you put in the work and actually do it, you can see some great results with your traffic numbers. So, we highly recommend giving it a shot.

 

Step 2: Crush It With Social Media


9. Share Your Content the Right Way

In terms of how to get traffic to your website, social media is the next big key. You need to make sure you share your content the right way so that you get highest increase in traffic.

Here are some tips for sharing your content so that you get the most engagement, shares, and traffic:



Tip #1: Optimize for each platform

Social media posts appear differently on different platforms. So, you need to optimize your posts so that each can be eye-catching and shareable.

For example, for Facebook, a great post constitutes the following:

  • A high quality photo (like we talked about earlier)
  • Quality description (according to a study by TrackMaven, posts with 80+ words get 2X as much engagement
  • A compelling link description underneath the photo

Do your research and learn how to optimize your posts for the other social media platforms as well, so you can get a higher amount of shares, engagement, and traffic.

Tip #2: Create a sharing schedule

How often are you sharing content on social media? That’s where a sharing schedule comes into play. This schedule helps keep you organized, so you’re not over-sharing or under-sharing your content.

Your schedule should answer the following questions:

  • Which social messages are sent immediately after publishing content? For which platforms?
  • Which messages are sent the next day?
  • Which messages are sent in a month? Two months?

With a consistent schedule, you won’t have to scramble every time you post new content. You’ll know exactly which platforms to post on and when to post.

Tip #3: Don’t be spammy

If a post doesn’t pick up steam the first time you share it, don’t try to keep reposting it the same way.

This is spammy behavior and will turn your audience away if you keep doing it.

Instead, aim for a good mix of social media content – share blog posts and videos, as well as content from other influencers, and also share other interesting and value-adding statuses.

Tip #4: Add sharing buttons to your website

Sharing your content out the right way is important – but an added bonus is if you can get your audience to share it straight from your website. To do that, you need some easy social sharing buttons.

There are plenty of free social media share buttons on WordPress. Select the one you like best, and place the share buttons directly below your articles.

Tip #5: Post during peak hours

According to Hubspot, here are the best times to post to the biggest social media platforms:

(Note: Snapchat isn’t listed here, but you should be posting throughout the day on that platform!)

  • Facebook: Weekends between 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.; Wednesdays between 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays between 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • Twitter: Mondays through Fridays between 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.; Wednesdays between 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • LinkedIn: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at: 7:30 – 8:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Plus, Tuesdays between 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
  • Pinterest: Evening hours everyday and 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.; Fridays at 5:00 p.m.; Saturdays from 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.
  • Instagram: Anytime Monday through Thursday, except between 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

10. Dominate With Quora

Dominating with Quora is one of the best ways to become an authority in your industry and increase your website traffic.

If you haven’t used Quora yet, here’s a quick synopsis of the platform from its founder, Adam D’Angelo:

“Quora connects you to everything you want to know about. Quora aims to be the easiest place to write new content and share content from the web. We organize people and their interests so you can find, collect and share the information most valuable to you.”

The format is quite simple: People ask questions, and you post answers. And if you post good answers with relevant links back to your site, you can receive a big boost in traffic.

Here’s how can you start dominating with Quora:

1) Open a Quora account. Go to Quora.com and create an account.

2) Create and optimize Your Bio. Your bio is what people see when they click your profile. So, optimize it by adding a few sentences about yourself and your experience in your industry, as well as a link to your website.

3) Select relevant categories. Quora offers thousands of categories for you to choose from. Choose carefully, because your Quora feed will be filled with questions based on these categories. Aim to add at least 10-15 relevant categories.

4) Search for great questions. This is key. The better the question, the better the chance your answer will go viral and bring you thousands and thousands of visitors. What constitutes a great question? Look for the following:

  • Correct grammar
  • Nice formatting (i.e. bold, italics, etc. Not just a giant block of hard-to-read text)
  • Relevance to your industry
  • Are fairly new (don’t have any great answers yet)

5) Post strong answers. You must follow up those great questions with strong answers of your own. Here’s how you can write a strong Quora answer:

  • Use the first few lines to hook them in. Users can only see the first 3-4 lines in their feed, so you need to hook them from the beginning so they’ll click on your answer.
  • Tell stories. Some of the best Quora answers contain personal stories of beating obstacles and figuring out problems
  • Use correct grammar and formatting. If your answer isn’t scannable and easy to read, users probably won’t bother reading it.
  • Add relevant links back to your site. Throughout your answer, sprinkle a few relevant links back to your website. The more relevant they are to the question, the more clicks and traffic they will generate. You can also end your answers with a link to your lead magnet, concluding with something like: “Want to know more about how to start a business? Check out my free checklist with 10 steps for starting your first business!” and link to the lead magnet (in this example, the checklist).

Used right, Quora can be a powerful traffic generator for your website. And unlike most other social media, a viral Quora answer can generate steady traffic to your website for a year or more. So, make sure not to overlook this platform.

11. Post and Promote on Reddit!

Reddit is another powerful, yet underused social media platform that can increase website traffic. If you can find where your audience hangs out on Reddit, and deliver the right content, you can generate tens of thousands of visits literally overnight.

(That’s right – you don’t have to hit the Reddit front page to make a big impact!)

So, how do you find your customers on Reddit and promote your content the right way?

Use this 2-step strategy:

Step #1: Find Your Relevant Subreddits

1) Once you go to Reddit.com, use the search box in the top right hand corner of the screen.

2) Search for a relevant keyword and hit “enter”.

3) From here, you’ll find a list of subreddits related to the keyword. Skim through each one and subscribe to those you think are a good match.

4) Repeat this process for the most relevant keywords related to your business.

Got it? These will be your target subreddits. These are the places your audience hangs out on Reddit.

Step #2: Post and Add Value

Once you know your target subreddits, it’s time to start posting.

(Note: before you post in a subreddit, make sure to look at the posting rules for that subreddit on the right sidebar.)

You should include a few elements in your posting strategy:

1) Answers questions and respond to comments in popular threads. This will build your reputation.

2) Post a link to one article per week in the most relevant subreddit (if you can get 100-200+ upvotes on the link, you can expect upwards of 2,000-3,000 visits depending on the subreddit)

3) Always focus on adding value. Balance your links with good advice so you don’t appear spammy.

4) Mix it up. Don’t just submit links to Reddit. Switch it up and add text versions of your blog posts or advice, then, add a link to your post at the end.

5) Post at the right time. Let’s say you want to post in the r/Entrepreneur/ subreddit, but there’s already a post in the #1 spot with 200 upvotes, and it was posted 4 hours ago. If you post then, you probably won’t overtake that #1 spot, and you’ll get less traffic. However, if you wait a day, check back, and see that the new #1 spot only has 12-15 upvotes, then you have a golden opportunity. It will be much easier for you to hit the #1 spot and get hundreds of upvotes.

 

Step 3: Content Outreach


12. Use Republishing to Get Featured on Large Websites

Your website and social media are optimized, but you still need the final step: get your content in front of new audiences.

One of the best ways to do that is to get your content republished on large publications. This is ideal because you won’t have to spend hours writing tons of guest posts every month – and you can also get the link juice from large publications with high rankings.

Now, you may have heard the myth that republishing is bad for SEO. However, Matt Cutts, Google’s “Head of webspam” dispelled this myth. In reference to republishing content, he said, “I wouldn’t stress about this unless the content that you have duplicated is spammy or keyword stuffing.”

So, you’re in the clear here.

As for how to get your content republished on larger publications, it’s a simple process:

Step #1: Find large publications in your industry that republish content.

Large publications have huge content needs. So, if they allow republishing, and you have good, relevant content, then you’ve got a good shot.

With a simple search through their “contribute,” “write for us,” or “guest posting” page, you can see if they allow republished content.

So, find 5-10 large publications in your industry and start this process.

Here are a few publications that republish content to get you started:

  • Entrepreneur
  • Huffington Post
  • The Next Web
  • Lifehacker
  • The Verge

Step #2: Choose relevant content for the publication

What type of tone, style, and content is the publication looking for? Which one of your content pieces matches up with this tone, style, and content?

If you don’t have any content that matches up exactly, you can tweak it to make it a better fit.

Step #3: Pitch the Publication

Your pitch is key. It’s best practice to submit an original piece of content first, so you get your foot in the door before pitching content from your site.

So, you should always be networking and trying to connect with influencers. The more influencers and connections you have, the easier it will be to get published on the larger publications.

As for the actual pitch, here’s how to do it right:

  • Craft a strong subject line
  • Make sure to pitch the right editor
  • A reference to a personal connection (if possible)
  • A quick explanation of how your content will add value to their audience
  • A link to the content (or a Word doc)

Step #4: Prepare your content

Once your pitch is accepted, you need to prepare your content for republishing. Here’s a process you can follow:

  • Review and follow the site’s publishing guidelines
  • Aim to include 3-4 backlinks to your blog posts, as well as a bio with a link to a lead magnet (if you have one)
  • Change the title (so Google doesn’t get confused when ranking the posts)

With this strategy, you can get 3-4+ posts a month republished, without much extra work on your part. And these can bring you a ton of traffic.

13. Get More Guest Posts With This Outreach Strategy

It’s nice to get your content republished, but you should still write 2-3 guest posts a month (or more, if possible). Guest posting helps improve your SEO rank, and it also introduces your content to new audiences.

Now, when it comes to guest posting, the outreach email is very important. But we have an outreach strategy that works well, and we recommend you try it out.

Here’s the basic format:

1) Introduce yourself and explain that you’re a huge fan of their work. Reference something you learned from a specific blog post, ideally one that is a few months old.

2) Explain aside from thanking them for the awesome content, you’re also reaching out because you’re interested in writing a guest post for them. Tell them you have 4 ideas you think their audience would love based on some of their most popular articles.

3) From here, go to Buzzsumo and type in their URL. Then, take a screenshot of their top results. Here’s an example below using Entrepreneur.com:

Results from buzzsumo

4) Send 4 related guest post ideas that are somewhat related to these most shared topics on Buzzsumo (include the title and a 1 sentence explanation for each idea).

5) Explain that you know they’re busy, and that you can write everything up and sent it in one Word document. Also explain that you’ll handle all the editing as well, so it’s all super easy for them.

6) Close it out by promising that it will be engaging content that their audience will love, and asking, “What do you think?”

7) Sign off with your name and website URL

That’s it! That’s all it takes to get more traffic.

You no longer have to wonder about how to increase website traffic.

If you take action and use this proven system, you will get more traffic to your website – and that traffic will stick around for the long haul.

To recap, here is the three-step system:

Step #1: Optimize Your Website Content

Step #2: Crush It With Social Media

Step #3: Master Content Outreach

Interested in getting your visitors back to your website? Build an email list. Here are couple of well-known email marketing software that I recommend using.

You now have all the action steps. So, start putting this system to work and take your website to the next level.

Best Keyword Research Tools For SEO: 2018/2019 Edition





SEMrush



The basic foundation of SEO is keyword research.

Afterward, other factors like on-page optimization, quality of content, a good site UI, and some other factors come into the picture.

Many companies invest thousands of dollars to pay for keyword research to get such targeted content.

But you don’t need to do that. Just follow this guide…

The keywords you choose to focus on for your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts are critical to the success of your website’s rank.

Choosing the right keywords isn’t always easy or intuitive and you need a lot of data to know whether a given keyword will work for you.

If you are completely new to keyword research tools and the process of keyword research, here are some guides from the past which will help you understand the basics:

• Importance of Keywords in SEO

• Keyword Research for Beginner’s Using the Google Keyword Planner Tool

So now you know the basics of keyword research and you have an understanding of how valuable it can be.

Fortunately, there are many tools available that can help you figure out which keywords work the best for your overall web strategy. There are mostly two types of Keyword research tool:

 

1 Basic Keyword research: Use the seed Keyword to find profitable Keywords

2 Competitor based Keyword research: Find proven keywords which are helping other sites to drive traffic.

Personally, I find Competitor based Keyword research to be more effective as the purpose of the Keyword research is to find profitable Keywords. What could be more profitable than something which is already working for someone?

All you need to do after that is to create a page targeting that profitable keyword & reap the benefit of keyword research.

In this exclusive guide, I have covered both the type of Keywords. Most of these keyword research tools are paid and only a few of them are free.

Here are the list of tools listed below:

1Google Keyword planner

2SEMRUSH  (Have given a link below to try SEMRUSH worth $199)

3Ahrefs (Offers 7 days trial for $7)

4LongTailPro

5KWFinder (Have free plan as well)



6SpyFU

7WordTracker

8SERPStat

Best Keyword Research Tools: 2018 edition

1. Google Keyword Planner <Free>

The Google Keyword Planner tool is one of the most used and popular keyword research tools out there.

The only reason for it being so popular is it’s free and is directly integrated with Google AdWords.

To start using this tool you need to have an AdWords account (which you can create one for free).

• Features: The biggest feature of the Keyword Planner tool is the deep information it offers on Google (the largest search engine).

• Limitations: In some ways, that’s also a limitation. If you want to know how your site or a given keyword is doing on other search engines, you won’t get it here.

• Pricing: Free to use.

The Keyword Planner tool is a good, basic tool for the early stages of a website’s SEO.

This my favorite free tool, but if you need more detailed and competitive analysis, I would recommend going for one of the advanced tools that I have listed below.

Check out the Google AdWords Keyword Planner here

2. SEMRUSH <14-Day Free Trial (worth $199)

“What is the easiest keyword research tool for a blogger?”

The answer:

• SEMRUSH

SEMRUSH is not a typical keyword research tool; it offers so much more than just researching keywords.

Unlike other tools where you need to add seed keywords to start your research, here you just need to add your URL (or your competitor’s URL) and it will show you all of the keywords that are ranking for that site.

This makes it easier for you to find short-tail and long-tail keywords that you can target and beat out your competition.

You can get in-depth details on:

• Traffic stats

• Search engine reports

Adsense CPC

• and so many other details that you need in properly managing an SEO campaign.

This is a highly recommended product.

• You can read a detailed review of SEMRUSH here.

Download a 14-day (completely free) trial of SEMRUSH here

3. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer tool

Ahrefs is one of the most popular keyword tool out there. What I really like about them is extensive detail including the keyword difficulty. Ahrefs uses clickstream data to also show how many clicks you will get from the search engine. This is very useful after knowledge graph integration, as many keywords may have huge traffic but they hardly get any clicks from search engine. Reason being, they get answers directly from the Google search result. Example of one such query is: “birthdate of any celebrity”



Another thing which makes Ahrefs Keyword research tool stand out is the great UI & the amount of data they provide. You can also create a list of keywords to target directly from Ahrefs dashboard. You don’t need to use excel & this is a huge time saving.

Take 7 days trial of Ahrefs for $7

4. LongTailPro <$30 Discount>

LongTailPro is a cloud based software for keyword research and one of the most popular in this list.

This is a paid keyword research tool which will help you find amazing keywords for your niche/micro-niche sites. With their “platinum” version, you can get a really amazing and really detailed keyword analysis feature.

They also have a competition checker, which will make it easier for you to pick the right keyword.

You can see a detailed review of LongTailPro here.

Get $30 off of LongTailPro here

5. KW finder: 

If you are looking for one tool which is completely dedicated to Keyword research only, KWFinder is your best bet. They are new in the market yet they are one of the fastest growing SEO tool company.

KWFinder helps you get the Keyword that will help you drive highly targeted traffic. Using Questions based Keyword research option you can quickly find long tail keywords that are related to problem solving. It’s no brainer that problem solving content helps us get more targeted traffic & conversion.

KWFinder offers both free & paid plans. For most of the users basic plan is the best. However do use the free account to see the effectiveness of KWFinder keyword research app.

Visit KWFinder

6. SpyFu

SpyFu is one of the best SEO optimization software products on the market. It’s especially useful if you’re trying to analyze and stay ahead of the competition in a tight niche.

Here’s what you need to know about this one:

• Uses: SpyFu is highly useful for two important reasons.

1 Understanding your competition’s SEO platform.

2 Discovering under-served, un-tapped, or emerging markets.

• Features: SpyFu also has several modules.

Compare Websites module

Keyword History module

Domain History module

Related Keywords module

• Limitations: This program doesn’t have the depth of keywords that some competitors do, although this is changing. Also, the data for SpyFu is monthly, rather than real-time.

• Pricing: SpyFu offers two basic pricing plans as well as an “Agency” plan.

◦ The basic plans are $79 and $99 per month (with a discount of more than 40% if you buy a one year term).

◦ The “Agency” pricing is $999 per month.

SpyFu is a solid SEO product.

It’s useful if you want to check up on the competition as well as find new areas in which to market.

Check out SpyFu here

7. WordTracker

WordTracker is used by small businesses to research keywords, build new links, and develop a strategic SEO platform.

• Uses: The three main tools in WordTracker are the-

Keyword Tool (which helps you research keywords)

Link Builder (which identifies inbound link prospects)

Strategizer (which takes a step back and looks at your entire SEO ranking strategy).

• Features: There are some features that are really cool here.

◦ The Link Builder tool is unique to WordTracker and are not found on any of the products on this list.

◦ The Strategizer gives you a kind of bird’s-eye view that you won’t get anywhere else.

• Limitations: WordTracker often gives fewer results than other services and the interface isn’t particularly intuitive.

• Pricing: WordTracker includes a 30-day free trial.

◦ Monthly pricing is $69 per month.

◦ Subscribe to a full year at $449.

Check out WordTracker here

I would not recommend you pick up all of the tools listed above, but instead stick to one or two and get used to its system.

If you have been using the Google Keyword Planner tool for a while, you have a good basis for getting started with any of the paid and professional tools listed here.  Take a look at some of these tools and decide which works bestfor your business strategy.

My recommendations:

• If you are looking for an easy, yet a great solution, go for SEMRUSH.

• If you are researching keywords for micro-niche sites, use Ahrefs

Whatever you choose, use these tools to supercharge your SEO.

Beginner’s Guide to Google Webmaster Tools





SEMrush



Here is how GWT works.

Adding your website

add website to google webmaster tools

The first thing you need to do after you login to GWT (it’s free to sign up) is to add your website.

After you add your website you’ll have to verify that you actually own the website. You can do this through four ways:

  1. Add a DNS record to your domain’s configuration – You can use this option if you can sign in to your domain registrar or hosting provider and add a new DNS record.
  2. Add a meta tag to your sites homepage – You can choose this option if you can edit your site’s HTML.
  3. Upload an HTML file to your server – You can choose this option if you can upload new files to your site.
  4. Link your Google Analytics account to GWT – You can use this option if your site already has a Google Analytics tracking code that uses the asynchronous snippet. You must be an administrator on the analytics account for this to work.

Dashboard

google webmaster tools dashboard

Once your site is verified you’ll start seeing data on your website. Sometimes it can take a few hours before you see any data, but it’ll start rolling in.

The dashboard gives you a rough overview of everything from what keywords you are ranking for to how much traffic you are getting. In addition to that you’ll see if the Google bot is experiencing any crawl errors when going through your website, the number of sites linking to yours, and how many pages Google has indexed.

Site Configuration

Just like everything else, Google isn’t perfect. So configuring your site can help them do a better job of ranking your website. When configuring there are a few areas that you should be familiar with:

Sitemaps

google webmaster tools sitemaps

Submitting a sitemap will help Google determine what pages you have on your website so they can index them. If you don’t submit a sitemap they may not index all of the pages on your website, which means you won’t get as much traffic.

Sitemaps have to be submitted in an XML format and they can’t contain more than 50,000 URLs or be larger than 10 megs. If you exceed any of those limits, you need to split up your sitemap in multiple files and then submit them.

If you aren’t technical, you can go to XML Sitemaps to create a sitemap. All you have to do is enter in your URL of your homepage and click “start”.

Once your sitemaps have been uploaded, Google will tell you how many of your URLs are being indexed. Don’t worry, it is common for them to not index all of your web pages. But your goal should still be to get as many pages indexed as possible.

Typically if pages aren’t being indexed it’s because the content on those pages aren’t unique, the title tags and meta descriptions are generic, and not enough websites are linking to your internal pages.

Crawler access

google webmaster tools crawler access

There will be some pages on your website that you just don’t want Google to index. This could be private login areas, RSS feeds, or crucial data that you don’t want people accessing.

By creating a robots.txt file you can block not just Google, but all search engines from accessing web pages that you don’t want them to get their hands on. However, for highly sensitive areas of your website you may want to consider password protecting all relevant directories.



Through the robots.txt generator and tester, not only will you be able to create a robots.txt file, but you will be able to see if it is done correctly before you upload it to your server. It’s wise to do because the last thing you want to do is make a mistake and tell them not to index your whole website.

And if you accidentally mess up and find Google indexing pages that you don’t want them to index, you can request them to remove it through this section.

Sitelinks

google webmaster tools sitelinks

Sitelinks are links to a site’s interior pages displayed on a Google search results page. Not all sites have sitelinks, but as you grow in popularity you’ll naturally get them. Google generates these links automatically, but you can remove sitelinks you don’t want.

Through this section you can somewhat control what sitelinks show up when someone searches for your website. The reason you can’t fully control what pages show up here is that you can only block which pages you don’t want to appear, and you can’t pick which pages you want to appear.

Change of address

google webmaster tools change of address

If you are looking to change the URL of your website, you better let Google know or else your traffic is going to decrease.

You can tell them through 4 easy steps:

  1. Setup the new site – You have to get the new domain up and running. Make sure all your content is available for the public to see.
  2. Redirect the old traffic – A 301 permanent redirect tells users and search engines that your site has permanently moved.
  3. Add your new site to GWT – Make sure you also verify your new website.
  4. Tell GWT your new domain – In the change of address section, you can select the new domain name of your website.

Settings

google webmaster tools settings

If your target audience is someone in a specific country, then you can select this option in GWT. For example if my target customer for KISSmetrics lives in the United States, I would then tell GWT that my target audience lives in the United States.

In addition to that you can select a preferred domain name. This is going to be http://yourdomain.com or http://www.yourdomain.com. Either one works, you just have to select which variation you prefer. The reason for picking one is that people may link to both versions of your domain and by selecting one Google will combine the links, which will help your rankings.

The last setting you should be worried about is crawl rate. If you feel that the Google bot needs to be crawling your website more often and faster then you can tell them to do so. Or you can just let them pick the crawl setting for your website. (this is typically the best option because if they crawl your website too often it can cause too much bot traffic going to your server and increase your hosting costs)

Your website on the web

Have you ever wondered how Google looks at your website? After all, it’s a search engine and not a human… so naturally it won’t be able to look at a website in the same way you do.

But luckily for you, through GWT you can see how Google views your website.

Search queries

google webmaster tools search queries

Not only is it important to go after keywords that have high search volume, but it is important to make sure that you have a good click through rate.

By monitoring the search queries page, you can work on improving your click through rate so that people are more likely to click on your listing when they search. Typically you can do this by making your title tag and meta description more attractive as that is what people read before clicking through to your site.

Links to your website

google webmaster tools links to your site

The best way to increase your rankings on Google is to get more sites to link to you. Usually this happens naturally if your website is providing valuable information to potential customers.

A good way to monitor your link growth is to continually monitor this area in GWT. In addition to that, make sure you monitor which pages people are linking to.

If your links aren’t growing fast enough consider writing relevant linkbait that could be submitted throughout the social web. Getting on the homepage of Digg.com can drive thousands of new links to your site.

Keywords

google webmaster tools keywords

You may have a good idea of what keywords you want to rank for, but that may not be consistent with what Google is ranking you for. Under the keywords section you can see what keywords your website is the most related to.

You can also see what variations of each keyword that are also relevant to your website. For example some people misspell keywords and you can find out which misspellings your website is most relevant for.

And if those aren’t the keywords you care to rank for, you can then use that data to adjust the content on your website.

Internal links

Google Webmaster Tools Internal Links



Linking your web pages together is a great way to get more Google love. For example, if you want your about page to rank for your company name make sure you link to it multiple times.

If you don’t link to your internal pages, they will not get as much PageRank and they won’t place as well in the search listings.

In addition to that, this data will also help you determine which pages Google feels is the most important. For example, if you look at the image above you’ll see that website owner felt that their about pages was one of the most important pages on their website. So naturally Google felt that as well.

Subscriber stats

google webmaster tools subscriber stats

If you have a blog, this area of GWT will be useful for you. If you don’t, it won’t.

Under the subscriber stats section you can see which of your blog posts are the most subscribed to by Google’s feed reader. You can then take that data and write more posts that are similar to your popular ones. And of course, you can stop writing blog posts similar to the ones that no one subscribed to, as readers probably didn’t enjoy them as much.

On a side note, if you want to track your RSS growth, you can also check out Feedburner, which will allow you to track how popular your feed is.

Diagnostics

Websites are made by humans, so don’t expect them to be perfect. Your code maybe a bit messed up, and even worse, your website may contain malware.

Through the diagnostics section, you can figure out what’s wrong with your site and how you can fix it.

Malware

google webmaster tools malware

If you have malware on your server, you should see a message here. If you don’t, GWT won’t show you much.

The reason it is important to not have malware on your server is that Google tries not to rank infected sites high because if someone goes to an infected site, their computer may get infected. If you do happen to have malware, make sure you clean it up.

Crawl errors

google webmaster tools crawl errors

The crawl errors section will show you if there any problems that relate to your site on the web or on a mobile phone. The most common error that you’ll see is a 404 error, which means Google’s bot can’t find that page.

The most common reason that you’ll see 404 errors is because other websites sometimes link to pages that don’t exist on your website or used to exist.

What you need to do is get a list of all of the websites that are linking to dead pages on your site and hit them up. When emailing them, ask them if they can change that link to a valid page.

Or if you see a lot of people linking to a dead page on your site, you can always 301 redirect that old URL to the new URL.

Crawl stats

google webmaster tools crawl stats

If you have thousands of pages on your site, then you should expect Google to crawl most of these pages on a daily or weekly basis. If they aren’t, then something is wrong.

Through the graphs and data tables that GWT provides, you should be able to get a good sense if they are crawling enough pages on your website. If they aren’t, consider adjusting the crawl rate under the settings tab.

HTML suggestions

google webmaster tools html suggestions

When Googlebot crawls your site, it may find some issues with your content. These issues won’t prevent your site from appearing in Google search results, but addressing them may help boost your traffic.

The most common problem is related to title tags and meta descriptions. If every page on your site has unique and detailed title tags and meta descriptions, you should be fine. At the same time, you also have to make sure your title tags aren’t too short or too long.

And if that isn’t the case, then you can go through the URLs that GWT tells you they have an issue with, and fix it.

Labs

GWT regularly tests new features out. The easiest way to find out about these new features is to go through the labs sections.

Fetch as Googlebot

google webmaster tools fetch as Googlebot

With Fetch as Googlebot you can see exactly how a page appears to Google. All you have to do is type in a URL and GWT will tell if they could successful see it or not.

There currently isn’t a ton of data that GWT is showing in this area, but I expect this to change in the future.

Sidewiki

google webmaster tools Sidewiki

If you’re a webmaster, you can leave a special Sidewiki entry on pages of your site. You can choose to leave a master entry for the whole site, or create page specific entries to engage your visitors.

All you have to do is:

  1. If you’ve successfully validated your account in GWT, you will see an option to write as the page owner.
  2. Select the “Write as the page owner” checkbox in the entry form. If you’d like to leave a master entry across the whole site, also select the “Show this page owner entry on all pages…” checkbox.
  3. Click Publish.

Site performance

google webmaster tools site performance

Your website’s load time is one of the most important things you should be monitoring. Every month you should be making sure you improve this number because if your website is too slow your Google traffic may drop.

Numerous website owners have seen a positive increase in their traffic by improving their website load time.

If you aren’t sure how fast your website should load, don’t worry. Google will tell you if your website is too slow or quick enough.

Video sitemaps

google webmaster tools video sitemaps

If you have video on your site, you want to make sure you include those raw video files in your sitemap. This way, Google can index them as they may not be able to find them otherwise.

This will help ensure that your videos are getting the traffic they deserve from Google video search.

If you are trying to create a video sitemap, this page should explain how to do so.

Conclusion

GWT is a useful tool that’s free. If you aren’t making use of it, you should start doing so now. The reason it’s worth using is because it will help guide you and tell you what to do if you want to improve your Google traffic.

What are you waiting for? Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools, it’s FREE!

What do you think about GWT?

Does Manipulating SERP CTR Influence Organic Rankings?





SEMrush
It has long been thought of that click-through-rate plays a part in Google’s organic ranking algorithm. Rich snippets were great for increasing SERP CTR, but with most rich snippets now gone (thanks to sneaky, manipulative SEOs misusing them) SEOs have been exploring other options.



Rand Fishkin from Moz has run a few tests to see how SERP CTR influences organic rankings. In these tests, Rand tweeted his followers and asked them to perform a specific Google search and told them which organic result to click on. Within a couple of hours the site he asked followers to click on had been boosted to position 1!

While its not possible to say with 100% certainty that the cause of the ranking increases were a result of the increased CTR for the specific search, it does give us a very strong indication that CTR played a significant part in these results.

So, it’s all well and good if you can achieve these results legitimately with real people, but can you achieve the same results by using bots? Or is Google smarter than that?

This post looks at a 6 week test I did on whether click bots can improve your organic performance. I won’t disclose the site I was testing the CTR bot on (yet) because I don’t need any external influences on it and I will be using this site (along with a few others) in a more in-depth follow-up test. The site used and exact processes will be revealed after the next test so you can investigate.

How Do Click Bots Work?

There are many click bots out there that are ready made and ready to use, or you can get someone on Freelancer to make you one with all the features you want. If you want to do a small test there are even a few Fiverr gigs where you can get someone to use their bot and perform searches for you.

The bot I used for this test does its best to mimic a human user – which is what you want, if you are going to use one!

Due to so many people asking for it, the name of the click bot I’m using is Serp-bot. I am not affiliated with Serp-bot in any way.

The main features of a good click bot (if there is such a thing) are:



  • It runs through a VPN and changes IP after each search. You can select which countries you want the searches to come from.
  • It changes user agents between searches to make it look like the searches are using different browsers, devices and screen resolutions.
  • It clears cache files between searches to leave no trace of the previous search.
  • When it performs a search you can set it to click on competitor sites and immediately bounce before clicking on your site.
  • You can set it to spend a certain amount of time on your site and browse through certain pages. It can also scroll up and down pages – just as a real person would.
  • When it’s finished browsing your site it closes the browser – ie. it doesn’t go back to the SERPs.
  • It waits a specified amount of time before beginning the next search.

So, as you can see, it is very good at imitating human search behaviour and covering its tracks! But does it actually work?

My Results from using a Click Bot

The site I was using for this test had been sitting idle for about 6 months. Main keyword rankings were floating around between positions 30-50+ in Google. It was fairly stagnant. I’m confident in saying that the results of this test are largely a result of the clickbot activity, although, there was a Google “Quality Update” two days into the test, as seen on Algoroo:

algoroo on ctr bot test dates

However, I don’t believe this update had any noticeable impact on this particular site.

How much traffic did I send through the click bot?

**Updated August 15**

Two days after I published this post, this article by Bartosz Góralewicz came out claiming that CTR is not a ranking factor.

Our tests were very different and I have no doubt that if I tried the same method that Bartosz used I would get the same results he had. Bartosz sent a massive, unnatural volume of organic clicks through to the test site and saw negative results. I think the huge volume of clicks is very easy for Google to identify as someone trying to manipulate rankings, somehow.

When setting up my clickbot, I checked average monthly search volumes for each keyword and sent only a small percentage of clicks per day for each keyword. To me, this is a more sensible and realistic approach to take when testing the impact of CTR, especially when the target pages are ranking on pages 3-5 of the SERPs.

Here is how I calculated exactly how much bot traffic I would send per day:

(Average monthly search volume  /10) / 30

This works out to be 0.34% of average monthly search volume per day.



Sending 10% of average search volume to an organic result on page 3-5 of the SERPs is still very high, but it is a lot more natural than if you were to increase average monthly search volume for a keyword by 3781%, as was the case in the Bartosz Góralewicz experiment!

I’m not saying my results are definitive, because they definitely are not! But Bartosz’s results certainly aren’t definitive either and there are flaws with both tests. The biggest flaw being we are using bot traffic instead of real people, like Rand used.

Okay, okay, just show me the results!

I was tracking 30 keywords for click bot test. The ranking distributions graph for the 6 week period can be seen below:

keyword ranking distribution ctr bot test

Changes began almost immediately for specific keywords that were targeted early on and it seemed to have a flow-on effect to other pages on the site at about the 2 week mark.

Overall keyword ranking improvements can be seen below:

ctr bot keyword ranking improvements

How did organic traffic perform?

I know exactly how many organic visits per day came from the bot, so I can subtract these visits from the total organic sessions being reported in Analytics to see the real organic traffic increase.

Comparing the first week of the test to the last week of the test, organic traffic increased just over 150%.

With no other activity going on in this time, I’ve seen enough proof in this test for me to perform another test. The follow-up test will have much stricter processes in place and I’ll be able to improve my reporting on the results.

Can Google Penalize This Type of Activity???

Being fairly confident that this works, it also raises a lot of questions.

Will SERP CTR manipulation one day be viewed on the same level as spammy backlinking and spun content?

It’s certainly a lot harder to detect and even harder to prove that this is happening, and how would Google penalize such activity? A timed manual penalty?

What if it was a competitor that artificially manipulated your SERP CTR? Would this become the new standard way to negative SEO?

Would Google discount CTR in their algorithm as a way of fighting the spammers?

If SERP CTR remains a part of Google’s algorithm you can be guaranteed that black hat SEOs will continue to look to manipulate it and give Google no option but to respond. How they respond will be interesting to see.

The Main Takeaway from this Post?

Your main takeaway from this post should not be that you should all go out and buy click bots and forget about good SEO! (although they are fun to play around with…) 

Your main takeaway should be that CTR is important and you should do everything you can to improve it, naturally.

How can you increase CTR without a click bot, you ask? Here are 3 ways:

  1. Make sure your title tags are well written to entice clicks
  2. Make sure your meta descriptions are well written to entice clicks
  3. Take advantage of any possible rich snippets markup available to you. Images or star ratings in SERPs are great for increasing CTR.

10 AdWords Extensions You Should be Using (But Probably Aren’t) 2018 for Online Marketing, Webmasters and Bloggers

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So, you’re running a Google AdWords campaign. And your results are varied at best. One day, your PPC efforts might bring in a decent chunk of leads, but another day it falls dormant. What gives? Why is it working one day and not another? Well, there are a lot of factors that can contribute to your successful or flailing Google AdWords campaign. I want to talk about one of the ways that you can give your failing PPC budget a better chance. As you probably already know, search engines represent a wealth of lead-, traffic-, and revenue-generating potential.



And Google is the best of them.

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And you can only leverage that potential if you optimize your AdWords campaigns to rake in impressions, clicks, and leads.

Otherwise, you’re sending your budget to the trash can.

Luckily, there is a way you can increase the effectiveness of your PPC ads.

And it revolves around using the best AdWords extensions that Google has to offer.

What are AdWords extensions?

AdWords extensions are just a fancy way of saying, “The stuff that you can change, add, and alter about your AdWords campaigns.”

Different extensions do different things.

With some, you can add reviews or a call button.

With others, you can add a discount or brief testimonial.

That’s why, when you search on Google for something, you often see sponsored results that look different from each other.

You’ll see results like these.

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Or maybe you’ll get results like these.

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Can you see the differences?

The reason shy different results look different is that the marketers behind the scenes are leveraging different AdWords extensions.

Some of them are doing it well, while others aren’t doing it quite so well.

But how can you ensure that you’re in the former category rather than the latter?

You need to make sure that you use the right extensions for your business.

You want to use the ones that raise your click-through rate, lower your cost per click, and increase your ROI.

In case you’re still not convinced, here’s one more reason that you should consider using AdWords extensions, even if you’ve never done it before.

Why should you use them?

Budgets are tight.

All around the Internet, digital marketers are struggling to (1) get enough budget to do all the things they want to do, and (2) get the best ROI possible with their current budgets.

And it’s no surprise.

You, the marketer, know that you need to please your boss. But you also need to please and appeal to your target market.

Otherwise, you won’t bring in sales.

That’s a difficult spot to be in.

Just consider that 28% of marketers listed securing enough budget for their efforts among their top business challenges.

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In other words, you need to make the most of the budget you have.

That includes your SEO budget, your content marketing budget, and, for our purposes, your AdWords budget.

But you can only make the most of your AdWords budget if you’re at least somewhat familiar with all of the extensions they offer.

And that’s exactly why you’re here.

So without further ado, here are ten extensions that you should be using but probably aren’t.

1. Sitelink extensions

The first extension you should know about is the sitelink extension.

These little beauties are additional links that sit under your primary result link.

They go to other popular pages on your website — maybe your blog, special offers, menu, reviews, or pricing page.

Whatever the case, you can use these extensions to encourage users to choose where they’d like to go instead of having them visiting your homepage or landing page when they click on your result.

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These are particularly useful when someone searches for your brand name on Google.

Think about it.

When someone searches for “buy email automation software,” you already know what they’re looking to do, so you don’t need the additional links.

But when someone searches for your brand name, what are their intentions? There’s no way to know. Your guess is as good as mine.

So, having additional links in your AdWords result allows searchers to navigate your website quickly from the SERP.

When I searched for “Domino’s,” for instance, this came up:

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And when I searched for “MailChimp,” this was the first result:

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By using the sitelink extension, you allow users to quickly and easily get where they want to go on your website.

Because, when people type in your brand name, they want to go somewhere on your website.

It’s best to let them do that quickly.

2. Call extensions

Imagine that you’re waiting in the car with the baby while your spouse shops.

But you’re planning to get dinner at the local pizza joint afterward.

Now, you’re browsing on your phone in the car. You type your favorite pizza place into Google, and the first result is the one you want.

But there’s a problem. You don’t see a phone number.

So you go to their website and look around. But after a few long moments, you get sick of searching and decide to get pizza from somewhere else.

That pizza place just lost a sale. But they wouldn’t have if they had been using the call extension on their AdWords campaign.

It looks like this.

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And that call button isn’t just important for local food places.

It’s important for any business that offers customer support or sales via phone.

Which are most businesses.

Here’s what the extension looks like on a real estate advertisement.

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By adding that button, you tell customers that you’re just a phone call away, which builds trust and makes you feel more approachable.

Without it, you’re sure to frustrate certain prospects.

But you might do more than just frustrate them. You could even lose their attention altogether.

The point is, if you don’t have this extension, you run the risk of frustrating prospects and customers before they even contact you.

We’ve all gotten angry trying to find a hidden phone number.

But the call extension will avoid that by putting your phone number front-and-center.

3. App extensions

Do you offer an app for your business?

Today, having an app is practically a must for any serious SaaS or e-commerce company.

MailChimp, Shopify, and Amazon all have native applications for their services and products.

And the reason is that browsing on an app is often easier than browsing on a mobile website.

App designers create native applications so they’ll function smoothly on the device, instead of just fitting the device like mobile websites.

That’s a noteworthy difference.

Even mobile websites can sometimes get tricky to navigate.

But navigating a native application is almost always a breeze.

If you do have an app, you might want to consider using the AdWords app extension. It looks like this:

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Here’s another example:

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And the popularity of native applications isn’t just my opinion. The data backs it up.

51% of people buying products on their smartphone use an app rather than a website.

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It’s hard to blame them. Since the app is so much easier to use, buying on it is practically instinctual.

For that reason, you should consider using this extension if you have a dedicated application for smartphones.

Your visitors, leads, and customers will prefer using it.

4. Review extensions

Few things in the marketing world are as powerful as customer reviews.

When someone says they like your product or service, other people want to like it too.

It sort of says, “This product is amazing! Everyone loves it, and you will too!”

A review is a way of assuring the visitor that they’re going to love your product or service before they even buy it. And they’re important because everyone looks at reviews.

That isn’t just marketing speculation.

It’s science.

When consumers are looking to make a purchase, 64% of them seek out customer reviews to support their decision.

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And 77.3% of buyers in a study claimed that reviews impacted their decision.

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But how does all of that information apply to AdWords extensions?



Well, the review extension allows you to add a short testimonial to your AdWords advertisement. It gives searchers the review they’re craving upfront.

Review extensions look like this:

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You don’t have to wait until people click on your website to leverage the power of social proof.

You can exploit its power right in the search results.

That means that you’ll get more clicks, traffic, leads, and conversions.

5. Callout extensions

If you’re a marketer, then you’re probably familiar with the power of callouts in advertisements.

You know, the part where you say, “Calling all women frustrated with their makeup” or “Are you sick and tired of having to vacuum your carpet?”

I know. It sounds kind of like an infomercial.

And that’s because it is.

But infomercials and QVC have used this strategy for a long time for one reason and one reason only:

It works.

And you can leverage it with the callout Adwords extension.

The extension looks like this:

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Or it’ll look something like this:

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You can use the extension to say a variety of different things.

You can use it to describe the kinds of products you offer, promote a special deal you currently have going, or call out your specific target market.

In other words, who is your target market, and how can you grab their attention quickly?

If you tell them all that, you won’t just win their attention. You’ll win their click.

6. Structured snippets extensions

The structured snippet extension offers another opportunity for you to tell searchers what your business sells.

And the more chances you get to do that, the better.

The reality is that a lot of times when people see your result, they don’t know who you are, what you’re there for, and how you can help them.

A structured snippet can solve that problem if you use it correctly.

Here’s what it looks like in action:

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The purpose of this snippet is to explain to customers the kind of products, styles, or services you offer.

You can quickly list a few different options that visitors will have if they click through to your website.

Ask yourself this: what exactly is it that you offer? Is it email marketing software, clothing, sunglasses, or CRM software?

Whatever it is, include those details in your structured snippet.

That way, searchers will know who you are and what you offer before they even visit your website.

Here’s what a Walgreens advertisement looks like for example.

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After all, if people know who you are and what you offer, you won’t only get clicks. You’ll get the right clicks.

7. Location extensions

It’s probably pretty obvious to you what the AdWords location extension does.

Still, tons of businesses don’t use it.

A lot of online businesses and SaaS companies think that because they are online, they don’t need to provide their address.

But that’s not necessarily true.

After all, when you’re considering working with a new business, you want to know that they aren’t scamming you, right?

Including your address in your AdWords result is a great way to show the legitimacy of your business. That means that people are more likely to trust you and your company.

Your business turns from something ambiguous to something personal and tangible. And I don’t know about you, but I’m far more comfortable buying from a business that feels real.

It’s really simple to include your address on your result, and it’s well worth the trust that you’ll build with searchers.

Here’s what a desktop result looked liked like when I search for “verizon near seattle.”

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Here’s what a mobile result looks like for T-Mobile.

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Even if your business isn’t local, including your location on your AdWords result will likely increase the trust people have for you.

It’s a must for serious business owners and marketers.

8. Offer extensions

I’m willing to bet that you’ve experienced the power of discounts.

You’re familiar with how people flock to the clearance section of your digital store or how you get more conversions on days that your service is 20% off.

The truth is simple:

People love discounts.

They love the opportunity to save money on awesome products or services.

And who can blame them?

We all like to save money.

But what you might not have thought about is that offering discounts can make for a great AdWords strategy.

And you can use the offer extension to do so, just like this:

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But just in case you’re not convinced, consider that everyone from the ages of 18 to 64 who abandons their online shopping cart is more likely to buy those products if they receive a follow-up discount.

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People love saving money.

And, ironically, you can make money because of it by offering a discount on your PPC ad with the offer extension.

9. Social extensions

Few things in this life are for sure:

Death, taxes, and social media.

OK, I added the last one.

But with the rising power of social media, its influence isn’t something to take lightly.

Consumers and business people alike use, trust, and leverage social media for their own benefits.

But did you know you can use social media to enhance the effectiveness of your PPC ad?

In fact, the social extension allows you to do just that.

Unfortunately, you can only connect it to your Google+ account. But that’s better than nothing, right?

Here’s what it looks like.

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Here are a few more examples.

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If you have a particularly high number of followers or likes on your business’s Google+ account, then it would definitely be worth your time to include this extension.

It might just add the extra bit of incentive that browsers need to click on your ad.

After all, you’d hate to lose a click to competitors who are already doing this, right?

10. Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension

OK, you caught me. This extension isn’t technically an AdWords extension.

In fact, it’s actually a Chrome extension for AdWords.

But it’s well worth your time to hear about. It’s called Keywords Everywhere.

Here’s how it works.

Once you’ve installed the extension, whenever you type a search into Google and hit enter, you’ll see the average search volume for those exact keywords and the average cost per click for any AdWords campaigns surrounding those keywords.

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This is incredibly useful because, often, the most difficult part of choosing which keywords to target with your AdWords budget is determining the volume of the search and the average cost per click.

Keywords Everywhere immediately gives you both of those things.

With it, you can quickly find out which keywords will be most worthy of your time and budget rather than trying and failing to find which keywords are most effective.

Conclusion

Few things in your life are as frustrating as an unpredictable AdWords campaign.

One day, it brings in leads. Another day, it doesn’t.

But mostly, it doesn’t.

Luckily, your problem might require a simple solution:

Adding the right extensions to your advertisements.

In particular, you should consider adding the sitelink, call, app, review, callout, structured snippet, location, offer, and social extensions. Then, for your AdWords research, consider using the Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension.

Though the marketing world is often unpredictable, you don’t have to bow to that flailing campaign.

Instead, control what you can with the right AdWords extensions and drive clicks, leads, and conversions like never before.

Which AdWords extensions do you find the most useful for increasing your click-through rate?

 

 

 

How to Steal Your Competitor’s Featured Website Snippets For Better Google Rankings (for Webmasters only) 2018

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You’ve probably worked pretty hard to boost rankings on search engine results pages. You’ve done all of the SEO you can imagine, and you’ve followed every tip that’s in the book to get you where you are today. On your site, you’ve done keyword research, written tons of blog posts, and even shared all of your content to your followers on social media for maximum exposure. But those high rankings don’t mean as much if another competitor owns a featured snippet for the same search queries you’re already targeting. All of your hard work will be overshadowed by the content that Google chooses to feature over everyone else ranking on page one. That’s why you need to steal your competition’s methods and beat them at their own game. Here’s how you can steal your competitor’s featured snippets to earn even better rankings.



Before we get to that, let’s talk about what a featured snippet is.

What is a featured snippet?

A featured snippet, sometimes called a rich answer, is a featured block of information that shows up on the first page of Google above all other results.

Like this.

featured snippet

These usually show up in searches that ask a question, such as who, what, where, when, why, or how.

It contains a summary of the content on the featured web page related to your search query, along with the page title, link, and featured image.

For example, when you search for something like “why do dogs yawn,” you’ll see a featured snippet like this that answers your questions without clicking through to the article.

featured snippet 1

Google pulls information included in the featured snippet from one of the organic listings that already appears for that query.

This gives searchers a quick answer to their question without needing to leave Google.

It makes searchers’ lives much easier because they don’t have to do a ton of clicking around to find what they’re looking for. It’s put right in front of them instead.

If you can land featured snippets, you should see huge results, since the position of featured snippets appears above the first placement.

featured snippet position zero

This ensures maximum visibility and exposure because your page will literally be at position zero.

To sweeten the pot, the area that featured snippets takes up is much larger than regular organic results, meaning that your content will truly be front and center.

And the majority of clicks will go to you, not your competitors, since you’re shown off by Google as the main attraction.

According to HubSpot, featured snippets yield a much higher click-through rate (CTR) than regular results do.

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For SERPs with featured snippets, 8.6% of all clicks go to the featured snippet, on average, according to research completed by Ahrefs.

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That means that featured snippets steal traffic from all of the organic results on the page. Even the number one result.

But you don’t have to already be at position one to earn a featured snippet. The same Ahrefs research shows that only 30.9% of all featured snippets are top ranking pages.

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That means that if you already rank number one, you can still gain a significant increase in clicks with a featured snippet.

And if you don’t rank number one, that number will be even higher.

To land a featured snippet, you’ll need to make sure that your content is formatted correctly and know what content is already ranking on page one.

But before we get into the specifics of how you can earn featured snippets by stealing them away from your competitors, you need to know what the different kinds are.

If you don’t know which kinds of featured snippets are out there, you won’t be able to optimize your content for them.

Paragraph

The first and most common kind of featured snippet is the paragraph featured snippet.

This snippet contains a short excerpt of text that is typically anywhere from 40 to 50 words in length and looks something like this:

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Usually, there is a thumbnail image that accompanies it.

These kinds of snippets come up in results pages when a user searches a question with a descriptive answer, such as “why is ice slippery?”

Google then takes a chunk of the featured site’s post that most actionably answers the question.

List

Snippets formatted as lists are usually taken from pages that list items or steps to a process.

They can be bulleted, like this:

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Or they might be numbered, like this:

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These kinds of snippets appear when searchers look for questions about how to complete a task or make something, like a recipe.

Bulleted lists are triggered when the list featured contains steps that can be completed in any order, while numbered lists appear when there are ordered steps that apply.

Table

Tables come up in featured snippets with queries that request pricing or comparisons between several types of items that can be shown quickly via rows and columns.

A table usually looks something like this when it’s used in a featured snippet:

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This type of featured snippet is often less common than the others, since most sites don’t properly format tables on their web pages.

So if you’re going to add tables to your content, be sure to format them correctly.

Video

A featured snippet containing a video player appears when searchers look for something related to a song or movie.

It can also appear when the answer to a question is contained in a video chosen as a featured snippet.

Take this example for the search query “fastest bike in the world vs fastest car,” for instance.

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The video is pulled with the paragraph snippet format, the video thumbnail, and the YouTube link. The paragraph is commonly pulled from the YouTube video description.

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Put the text that you want Google to consider for your snippet at the beginning of your video’s description for best results.

But this isn’t the only type of video snippet out there.

In some instances, Google will show a full-sized YouTube video player that takes up the entire featured snippet space.

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This is a newer kind of video snippet format that Google is using to promote YouTube.

More often than not, media clips or music videos that are featured contain the full-sized player within their snippet.

Now that you know what the different kinds of featured snippets are, you can move on to stealing them from your competitors.

There are several tools out there that can help you accomplish this, starting with SEMrush.

Use SEMrush to find your competitor’s featured snippets

SEMrush is commonly known for its ability to uncover information about site analytics.

But did you know that you can also use it to identify the featured snippets that are currently owned by your competitors?

You can also use the platform to find out which snippets, if any, you already own.

To check how many featured snippets are owned by any site, begin by entering the site URL into the SEMrush homepage.

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Click “Start now.” Then, complete an “Organic Research” search for that domain. To do this, click “Organic Research” and “Positions.”

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Then, locate the button that says “Featured Snippet” on the right-hand side of the page.

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Click that to view information about the keywords that your competitors are targeting that have earned them a featured snippet.

You can also filter keywords that are “snippable” by using the “Advanced Filters” option and selecting Include – SERP Features – Featured Snippets.

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When you’ve uncovered which snippets your competitors are ranking for, you can begin to optimize your own pages for those same terms.

You can find keywords that your competitors are ranking for in those featured snippets to alter your content.

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You can also take a look at the SERP source to see how the snippet appears on the results page by clicking on the blue number in the row and choosing the “View SERP” button.

And you can use the tool to find variations of related, relevant long-tail keywords that you could also target for the snippets that you already own.

Use Ahrefs to grab low hanging fruit

To come up with even more information about your competition, check out Ahrefs.

To get started, head to the Ahrefs Site Explorer and enter your website’s URL.

To find featured snippets, click on “Organic Keywords.” Head over to the top 10 filter and click SERP Features. From there, click “Featured Snippets” and “All Features.”

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This will reveal any and all queries that you currently rank for that are in the top 10 of all results that also have a featured snippet.

This doesn’t mean that you own every single featured snippet listed. Some of them are owned by your competitors.

Next, you need to filter out all of the snippets that you own so that you can only view the snippets that are owned by your competitors.

This kind of feature hasn’t yet been developed by Ahrefs, but you can use an automated spreadsheet to record the data yourself.

You can download it here.

To save it, hit “File” and “Make a copy.”

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Give your copy a customized name and select where you want to save it. Then once you’ve done that, hit the “OK” button.

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Now, you should have a copy of the file that you can edit and fill in with information that is specific to you and your company.

To do this, follow these steps:

  • Export the report that you just filtered in Ahrefs from “Organic keywords” as a CSV file.
  • Import the file into the Google spreadsheet that you just downloaded by clicking “File,” “Import,” “Upload,” and “Select a file.”
  • Change the “Import location” field to “replace data at selected cell.”
  • Head to the tab titled “featured snippets you don’t own.”

On that tab, you will be able to view a list of search queries found by Ahrefs that contain the featured snippets you don’t currently own.

Ahrefs also lets you change the search volume to find long-tail keyword opportunities.

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Google these queries yourself to find out who owns each of the snippets for those terms.

Analyze the content, because you’ll want to mimic it later.



Use Google to identify potential snippets

Google is another excellent tool for unmasking the snippets that your competitors have earned (and that you could earn in the future).

If you want to know which content you need to optimize for snippet opportunities first, then try to think like your audience.

Put yourself in their shoes. What kinds of questions do people in your industry have?

For instance, if you’re in the coffee industry, try and think up some common questions that your customers have, like, “What is cold brew iced coffee?”

Then, do a quick search for that question and find out who currently owns the featured snippet for it.

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Hopefully, the content is already yours. If it isn’t, make a note of your competition.

Look at their content and the type of featured snippet. In the example above, it’s clear Google is pulling a paragraph format for this featured snippet.

So, when formatting your content, you’ll want to write in 40-60 word paragraphs to have a chance at winning this featured snippet.

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Next, take a look at the “People also ask” section of the search results. This will suggest questions related to the one you originally searched.

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These are the similar questions that your audience is dying to know. Expand each question to find out who owns the featured content for each question listed.

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Just like before, click on each of these competitors and note the differences between their content covering the search query and yours.

If you don’t have any posts on your site that answer questions in the “people also ask” section, think about adding these questions as header tags.

If you include the H2 tag “Is cold brew and iced coffee the same thing?” you have a chance at beating Chowhound since they don’t incorporate any of the terms from “people also ask.”

The same goes for the “people also search for” section at the bottom of Google.

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Use this to outline your article and make sure you’re answering all of these questions or utilizing these as your keyword cluster for this particular article.

Now that you know who your competition is, try to steal their snippet by doing more research and writing even better content.

Once you know which snippets you don’t own, you can focus on stealing them.

How you can steal your competitor’s featured snippet

Now that you know which keywords and queries to target, it’s game time.

If you want to rank for featured snippets, you need to take the good, effective things that your competitors have done with their featured content, mimic it, and take it to the next level.

Start by learning what content is already ranking on page one.

Rank on the first page

While you don’t need to always rank on page one to gain a featured snippet, it does give you a higher probability that you’ll beat your competitors.

Glenn Gabe shared at the SMX East Conference in New York City last year that he found featured snippets that ranked on page two at position 16.

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But it is still considered a best practice to improve your organic ranking before attempting to steal a featured snippet.

Otherwise, the lower your position, the higher the potential for volatile fluctuations.

Rob Bucci displayed this chart at SearchLove San Diego this year to show just how volatile those lower rankings can be with featured snippets.

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All said and done, try to aim for keywords that already rank on page one.

Restructure your content

In some cases, your content may already contain everything that it needs to gain you a featured snippet, but your formatting might just be off.

To fix this issue, you’ll need to restructure your content on pages that already answer the same questions as competitors.

Did they use a bulleted list to answer the question? Use one, too.

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Did they answer the question with a video? Create one, too.

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Does their piece feature a table? Add one to your page as well.

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If your competition has earned a snippet without any type of structured markup on their page, you have the upper hand.

That means that all you have to do to earn a featured snippet is make your content easy to read by formatting it correctly.

To do this, format your page with basic HTML tags to make it more scannable.

Add header tags like <h2> or <h3>, subheaders, <p> paragraph tags, and more.

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This will break up the sections of your piece so that Google can easily understand it’s structure.

And, make sure to choose your schema markup wisely.

Alan Bleiweiss was able to beat big sites like Wikipedia and Psychology Today by formatting the featured snippet correctly.Screen Shot 2018 05 15 at 6.10.20 PM

Once you’ve restructured your piece, you need to go above and beyond what others in your space are doing.

Be even better than your competition

One of the easiest ways to elevate your content higher than your competition is to add images to it.

Most featured snippets have at least one image. You need to add several to your page for best results.

Pay special attention to the space directly after the content that you want to get featured. Add images there that relate to your table, list, or paragraph.

This technique is commonly used by sites like WikiHow. They demonstrate each step of an article with an image.

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You need to do the same.

In addition to adding images, you also need to add some alt images text.

But not just any text. It also needs to be SEO friendly.

Alt image text describes images on your website within the source code of your pages.

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This helps Google understand what the images explain.

To add SEO-friendly alt image tags, add relevant keywords to them, explain the image accurately within them, and keep it short.

It’s recommended for alt text not to exceed 125 characters, or the text may not be read completely.

While it’s great to target for keywords, you should also use keyword synonyms.

Add in synonyms of keywords

Using keywords that searchers are going to be looking for in their queries is important. This is what will ultimately lead them to your pages.

Google will even bold these words throughout results pages and featured snippets so that searchers can rest assured that the results match what they’re looking for.

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But you also need to include some synonyms of the keywords that you already want to rank for.

For example, if your keyword is “firework,” keyword synonyms might include:

  • Firecracker
  • Pyrotechnic
  • Low Explosive
  • TNT

People are searching for these terms, too. And you’re missing out on them.

To find them, enlist the help of an SEO keyword suggestion tool, like this one from SEO Review Tools.

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To use it, enter the keyword that you’re currently targeting and select “Perform check.”

Then, the tool will give you an entire list of related keyword synonyms. Add these to the content that you’re trying to earn featured snippets for.

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Conclusion

You’ve already worked hard to improve your SEO.

You’ve put in hours of keyword research, content planning, writing, and more.

But the high rankings you’ve worked so hard to earn won’t pay off as well as they could if another website owns a featured snippet for the exact same keywords you’ve targeted.

A featured snippet is a section of content from a web page selected by Google that gives a searcher all of the information they need in one block of text at the very top of the page.

This keeps searchers from having to click off to several pages before finding what they need. With a featured snippet, they’ll never have to leave Google.

But featured snippets rank even higher than number one. They’re located at position zero.

So you need to gain more snippets to see higher CTRs.

The good news is that you can do that by stealing the featured snippets that your competitors already own.

Different types of featured snippets include the paragraph, list, table, and video snippet.

Each of them is triggered for a different reason, and different search queries pull up different types of featured snippets.

To uncover all of the featured snippets that your competition is ranking for, you can use a tool like SEMrush.

You can also use Google to figure out which snippets might be worth fighting for (and which questions your customers are searching for the answers to).

Try out Ahrefs to figure out which featured snippets are owned by other brands on pages that you already rank high on.

Then, prepare to steal your competitor’s snippets away from them.

Restructure your content with headers and tags and take it to the next level. Add high-quality images that your competitors aren’t using.

Don’t forget to include alt image text for every image you add.

Finally, do some research on keyword synonyms that are related to keywords that are earning featured snippets.

Target those on your pages, too. Your customers are also searching for those words.

What tactics have you used to win featured snippets from your competitors?

 

 

How to Pull Extra Traffic from Google Voice Search (For Webmaster Only) 2018

Girl using a google smart phone voice search recognition




OK Google, tell me where I can go to lunch today.” And just so I don’t offend the Apple aficionados: ‘Hey Siri, is it going to rain today?” What do these have in common? They’re classic examples of the rising tide of voice search, and they signal a change in the SEO landscape that you can’t afford to ignore. And if you take a moment to look, you’ll find that the voices telling you how to optimize for voice search are many and varied. But what actually works? Is there actually a way you can take steps in the right direction to help optimize people who rely on voice searches? I believe there are, and I want to share them with you.



Before we get started improving your SEO though, I want to show you some overwhelming evidence that voice search is taking over.

What is voice search, and why bother?

The practical applications of voice search are still relatively new, but the feature itself has taken the world by storm.

These days, all you have to do is tell your device what you’re looking for, and it will do the searching for you.

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Anyone with a smartphone or smart home device no longer has the Internet at their fingertips.

They have it at the tip of their tongue.

And let’s be honest, that’s just plain cool.

We’ve reached the “final frontier” of search technology unless telekinesis is discovered (which is highly unlikely).

But more to the point, in a rather illuminating study, Stanford University recently discovered that speech recognition technologies are now three times faster than typing.

So for businesses, this is a matter of user experience and delivering convenience to your customers in a rather innovative way.

And it’s already sending waves through the SEO world.

This is partly because these technologies just keep getting better and better with time.

Recent reports by Microsoft tout that their speech recognition has only a 5.1% error rate and works with a vast variety of languages.

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If you use Microsoft’s Cortana software, that’s good news.

But they’re not the only ones seeing success.

Google is on par with Microsoft, if not barely edging them out:

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That means not only is voice search helpful, but it’s also competitive.

And when Google, Microsoft, and other major tech companies start competing, you can pretty much guarantee that you’re going to see some amazing changes in the coming years.

The inner workings of voice search are both surprisingly human and technical at the same time.

For the first time, computers can hear our voices and guess our true intentions with a staggering amount of accuracy.

Algorithms like RankBrain, which was confirmed in 2015, are already blowing our expectations out of the water with its ability to predict intent.

But speech recognition isn’t the only aspect that’s been improving.

Voice search systems are now able to do much more than just give you the top-ranked answer:

home devices

So the evolution of speech recognition is just one aspect to consider.

Amazon’s Echo devices can now perform over 12,000 different skills, which means they’re becoming a much more integral part in how we use the Internet.

And the sales numbers of these smart home systems only serve to drive that point even further.

In 2017 alone, more than 25 million smart home devices were sold and 11 million of those came in the final quarter.

For a technology that’s still in its infancy, that’s an impressive adoption rate.

Voice search is in our homes, on our phones, and even in our browsers now.

And that means people must be using these features on a regular basis for both work and leisure.

But this also means that if you’re not at the top of a search engine’s rankings, you probably won’t ever see results from voice search.

In fact, even being on the front page might not be good enough anymore.

In essence, this means that the number one spot on Google, Bing, and any other search engine is now more important than ever.

And since almost 40% of voice search users have looked up something online with voice search, you can rest assured that this trend will continue.



12 which of these apps have you controlled with voice

2017 saw a staggering growth of 178% in the utilization of voice search, and I’m confident that the coming years will see that figure grow even more.

So what does this mean for your SEO?

Besides needing to rank as the number one page, it means you have a lot of work ahead of you.

And to start things off, it means the basics of SEO are more important now than ever before.

Start with solid SEO

It may surprise you that I start off with the basics, but honestly, it shouldn’t.

The honest and hard truth about SEO is that it takes forever.

It took me years to start seeing large amounts of organic traffic for my brand, and I’m just one example.

Many fledgling companies that are leading innovation in their industries are fighting the giant, established corporations whose budgets dwarf theirs.

And because they’re newcomers on the playing field, they have to play the long game if they want to win.

This is especially true when it comes to voice search because the climb just got that much steeper.

In an enlightening study, Backlinko did some extensive tests on Google Home’s search results.

What they found won’t surprise any SEO enthusiast, but they prove the necessity of SEO basics quite emphatically.

For example, one of their findings was that load time affected performance significantly:

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The top results of their voice search experiments had an average load time almost half of the top-ranked website on a traditional search.

And that means the already vital aspect of load times just upped the ante on-site owners.

Now, you’re not only trying to keep your visitor’s attention.

You’re also trying to grab the attention of a coveted voice search algorithm.

But that’s not all.

Much like with traditional search engine searches, voice search results preferred long-form content by a longshot.

20 average word count

This validates the message that many other marketers and I have been preaching for years.

The longer and more thorough your content is, the more likely you are to start ranking higher.

It may take you more effort, but it’s clearly worth it in the case of optimizing for voice search.

What’s more, it was also shown that how well your content performs on social media does play a role in your ranking on voice search.

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The average for voice search results may seem rather high, but if you’re creating and sharing the best content, it’s just a matter of time before you see numbers like this.

And the more consistent your efforts, the sooner they can start paying off.

So, we’ve seen that these three basic elements of SEO do indeed affect your ability to rank for voice search.

Those are just three examples.

The Backlinko study I’m citing goes on to show a dozen more ways that basic SEO features affect your chances of becoming the result of a voice search.

And perhaps more importantly, numerous sources have shown that your overall page rank seems to be the top factor that affects your chances of hitting this coveted spot.

where featured snippets tend to rank

An impressive yet daunting 99.58% of voice results are from the top ten pages in a traditional search.

Which means not ranking in the top ten gives your page a mere 0.42% chance spread out with millions of other search results.

If you win with those odds, you could probably just buy a lottery ticket and retire instead of fight for SEO rankings.

You see my point here.

The basic SEO practices are where you should start, simply because without them you’ll have a minuscule chance of being the top voice search result.

So the first and most important step for anyone interesting in cracking the voice search code is to learn and implement the basics of SEO

 

By starting here, you’ll have solid foundations for your brand to grow on.

And once you start to see results, you can implement some of the more specific practices when it comes to optimizing for voice search.

Focus on conversational keywords

Once you’ve settled in on your basic SEO, you’ll want to take a closer look at your keywords to make sure that a voice search can pick them up.

This is because search engines like Google have started the practice of looking for natural language when providing the top results.

dialogue

While this is a rather technical representation of that process, really what it boils down to is how conversational your content is.

If you can keep your content easy to approach and read, Google will pay more attention to you.

Finding a way to be conversational, even for more serious brands, is a challenge that’s unique to voice search.

And this trend is only increasing because as of 2017, the majority of phrases used in voice search were considered “natural or conversational.”

conversational

Seven out of ten voice searches are made with the type of speech we use today.

That includes contractions, slang, and colloquialisms that may not come naturally to your writing style.

But if they get put into a search engine, that means they have the potential to be a keyword.

So how do you implement these keywords without ending up on r/FellowKids?

Start by conducting some thorough keyword research.

Then, dig into some of the keyword usage and trends of voice search.



For example, look at how most voice searches are actually being phrased as questions.

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People using voice search are asking search engines for advice on different elements of their lives.

Questions like “how do you cook a turkey?” or “where is the best burger in town?” are being asked to devices that use voice search.

And as you can see, companies are lagging behind in their effort to create keyword-optimized snippets that seek to answer these questions.

Which means there’s plenty of room for your brand to start making up the difference.

And one of the easiest ways to start with this trend is to use trigger words, as more than 20% of voice search results begin with these words.

best keywords for voice search

That might not sound like a lot but think of the vast areas of application even the top trigger word could have for your business.

Let’s say you sell shoes.

Here are some examples of posts you could create that might lead to a hit from voice search using just the word “how:”

  • How to size for shoes without the right tools
  • How to quickly replace your shoestrings
  • How to tie your shoes as quickly as possible

Do you see how all of these might come up in a voice search?

All it takes is someone to say “OK Google, teach me how to tie my shoes as quickly as possible” and you have a potential hit.

You get more exposure simply because you emphasized a trigger word in your post.

And these are just a few examples.

There are more studies that provide lists of the popular words used in voice searches, like this one from Ahrefs:

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While many of these suggestions are still young, they’re a great place to start when considering your keyword usage.

And as voice search continues to evolve, so should your keywords.

SEO is a process that will never end and you have to treat it as such.

As long as you stay vigilant in your efforts to continually optimize for conversational keywords, you’ll increase your chances of popping up in a voice search result.

Create content optimized for featured snippets

Once you’ve mastered your SEO basics and fine-tuned your keywords, it’s time to look into the final big element of optimizing for voice search.

Aside from a strong domain and content, you need to create a way for search engines to digest and regurgitate your content easily.

That goal is accomplished by optimizing your content for the featured snippets that often appear in the “rank zero” position above the normal search results.

This is an element that you’d be unwise to ignore because Google has explicitly stated that featured snippets help with mobile and voice search rankings.

In practice, these featured snippets are often used to help users find quick answers to questions, like in this example:

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In a regular search, this result would let you quickly skim for your answer and be on your way.

With a voice search, however, the search engine has to give an audible response to the query.

That means these snippets are often the result that’s read aloud to the user.

If your content isn’t set up to easily fit into a featured snippet, then even a highly-ranked page could be passed up for the next result.

It’s also worth noting that these featured snippets have started to display video too, which means your written content isn’t the only option.

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To put it simply, your goal should be to provide easily digestible and repeatable information that can be evaluated and shared quickly.

This bears up under the microscope of various marketing experiments.

Many SEO blogs have started recommending that content creators start considering length more closely when it comes to optimizing for these featured snippets.

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If you’re used to writing three to four sentence paragraphs, it’s recommended that you change that practice immediately.

Even lists are feeling the burn, with a maximum of only eight items and potentially only 64 words.

If you’re used to creating step-by-step guides in a list format, you’ll need to change your approach for voice searches.

What’s more, the Speech Guidelines that have been published by search engines like Google seem to indicate less than 30 words is best for any piece of content you think could be a snippet.

speech guildelines

I count 44 words in that snippet, and Google says that’s too long.

Whereas in this example, Google prefers the shorter snippet even though the answer is incorrect:

guidelines

This result is only ten words, so it’s clear why it would be optimized.

It’s shorter, more to the point, and thus deemed a better answer by the search engine’s algorithms.

And while other factors like authority will factor into the actual answer given by Google, this clearly illustrates the point that succinct is always better.

Now, this trend toward shorter replies might seem odd to some.

After all, the replies are being read aloud.

Why can’t they be longer?

You have to remember that usage of voice search is already quite varied.

gender usage 002

Most of the searches performed by users are in public or with others present, which means that a short-and-sweet result will provide the smallest amount of interruption.

This is where brands that have stiffer, more professional voices start to suffer.

If you’re unable to quickly and clearly address a concern or answer a question, you’ll have a harder time ranking in a voice search.

This may mean that you need to reevaluate some of the more foundational elements of your voice in the future.

If you think this trend won’t affect your industry, I invite you to think again.

More and more sites are adopting the practice of creating featured snippets that help bolster their ability to reach “rank zero” and provide useful information from a voice search.

rise of featured snippet optimization articles in 2017

In just a few years, interest in featured snippets has tripled.

With its growing popularity, it’s quite possible that your competitors are already optimizing for this feature and you should be too.

And aside from simply shortening your content, there’s actually one other element you can focus on to try and edge out the other results on a search engine.

That method is to go back and brush up your site’s FAQs.

You may not have heard much advice about your FAQs lately, but the importance of this content is making a comeback.

Since they’re already designed to be custom-built phrases meant to answer common questions about your products, industry, or brand, it’s natural that they would take the limelight when it comes to featured snippets.

It’s the best place for your visitor or a search engine to find answers, which means you need ways to anticipate what questions they will ask.

One way to accomplish that is by using a service like Answer the Public.

atp

All you have to do is enter your keyword, and then their system will give you the most searched for questions that center around that word.

While it’s marketed as a tool for PR firms, it also has a great application for marketers when it comes to voice search SEO efforts.

Once you get a list of questions to answer from Answer the Public, I also recommend checking out a service like StoryBase to double check for any missed opportunities.

storybase

Much like Answer the Public, StoryBase will let you find the sweet spot between your message and what users are actually searching for.

If you optimize your content and FAQs according to these questions, you’ll be more likely to land in a featured snippet down the line.

And that means your SEO will be that much better for a voice search.

Conclusion

Voice search may be newer, but it’s already playing an important role in the way SEO is accomplished.

With yearly improvements and an astounding adoption rate, this trend is one that you simply can’t ignore.

If you want your brand to act as an authoritative source for voice search results, you have to start by implementing basic SEO practices.

Optimize your on-site elements like word count, time to load, and image use to start building your SEO efforts from scratch.

And don’t neglect off-site elements like backlinking or social media sharing.

All of these efforts will lay the foundation for a search engine to start ranking you higher.

Then once you get the basics covered, start optimizing your content with conversational keywords.

Since voice search queries are typically conversational in nature, this helps set you up for success as more questions are asked.

Finally, make sure you create content that will fit neatly into a featured snippet.

These “rank zero” results are often the top choice of voice search results, which means they’re exactly where you want to be.

Just remember that all SEO takes time.

You won’t be a success overnight.

But in a few years, you can dominate your space with ease.

What tips or tricks have helped you rank for voice search?

 

 

Improve Your Website / Blog SEO in 30 Minutes With Google Analytics Insights (2018)

Improve seo with google insights analytics




SEO is a vast topic. I’ve written countless articles about SEO over the years. In fact, if you search for “SEO tactics” on Google, you’ll get over 4 million results. Almost three out of every four searches start on Google. And the first five results that show up on Google get 67% of all clicks. So you can see why SEO is such an important topic. Thankfully, you don’t need to study the subject for years before you can excel at SEO. I’m going to show you four quick wins you can easily achieve to boost your SEO.



These won’t take you weeks or months of trial and error. You can uncover these wins in Google Analytics in less than 30 minutes.

But first, let’s make sure that you’ve set up your Google Analytics properly.

Make sure you have the basics of Google Analytics down

Google Analytics has no shortage of reports, tools, and data.

At times, it probably feels like there’s too much.

There are times when all of this data can be downright misleading.

Fortunately, I won’t worry about taking you into the advanced settings of Google Analytics right now.

Today, it’s all about finding those quick wins.

I’m going to give you the critical 20% of the work you can do to boost 80% of your results.

However, to get those quick wins, we first need to make sure that you’ve taken care of your Google Analytics and Google Search Console basic setup.

If you don’t have a GA account at all, you can check out a beginner’s guide on how to set it up.

Step 1: Check your XML Sitemap.

You should have your sitemap registered with Google Search Console to help Google properly analyze your site.

A standard sitemap looks like this:

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If you use WordPress, you can simply download the Google XML Sitemap plugin.

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However, just syncing your sitemap isn’t enough.

You need to make sure that Google is reading it properly and that you don’t have any errors.

Indexing errors will skew your Analytics report and make it more difficult for you to capture quick wins.

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Next, you need to find out if Google is actually using your sitemap.

Step 2: Make sure Google is crawling your site.

First, you need to log into your Search Console and click the site you want Google to crawl. Then, click “Fetch as Google” in the “Crawl” section.

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You can then enter the path to the page in the text box.

Select either “desktop” or “mobile” from the drop-down list and click “Fetch.” You should test for both desktop and mobile.

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Once it finishes testing, you can request indexing.

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This helps you make sure that Google is crawling it. You can also ask Google to crawl all of its direct links.

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Additionally, you should use Google’s robots.txt Tester tool to see if you’ve correctly set up your robots.txt file for all of the pages you want Googlebot to crawl (or not crawl).

You can even send your own crawler to your site to check it out.

And there are tools like Screaming Frog that can test for you to make sure that Google’s bots won’t run into any errors.

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Step 3: Check your indexing.

You can check your indexing in two ways.

Your first option is simply to go to Google and type “site:yourdomain.com.”

 

This will instantly tell you how many pages Google thinks your site has.

The second method is to go back to your Search Console and select “Index Status.”

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This will also show you the number of pages Google has indexed. (The number you see here should match the number you got from trying the first method.)

If Google is showing fewer pages than you actually have, it means that Google hasn’t yet indexed some of your content and you won’t be able to get any Analytics data on it.

If, on the other hand, Google is showing more pages than you actually have, it suggests that you might have a duplicate content problem.



You can use Screaming Frog or a tool like Copyscape to identify any duplicate content that Google believes you have.

Now that you know that Google is capturing your data correctly, there’s one more piece you should set up to maximize your Google Analytics data.

Step 4: Create some goals.

Google defines goals as measurements for how often people are taking the actions you want them to take.

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Setting up goals allows you to measure GA data alongside the specific outcomes that are important to you.

To get to the goals section, click the admin tab inside Google Analytics.

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Then, in the column furthest to the right, select “Goals.”

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Click the “+New Goal” button.

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Now, you can either select one of their templates to start from or choose the “custom” button at the bottom.

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I’ll walk you through a template for now, but Google offers further info on setting up custom goals if you’re interested.

Let’s choose the “Make a payment” template as an example.

Select that option and click “Continue.”

From here, you can name your goal and give it a type.

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I’ll choose “Destination” and click “Continue.”

Now, enter your checkout confirmation page URL into the bar and keep the “Equals to” option.

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You can leave the “Value” option off but turn the “Funnel” option on if you want your goal to track a specific journey to conversion.

For example, let’s say you only want to track buyers who go from your homepage to a product page, then from the product page to a checkout page, and finally go to a confirmation page.

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Be careful when you narrow down funnels, though.

Your funnels will make it so that only buyers who follow those exact steps will count toward this goal.

After you finish this section, click “Save.”

Your goal should now be live, and Google Analytics should be recording them. Congrats! pasted image 0 329

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Now that you have your goals all set up, let’s look at some quick ways that you can boost your SEO.

1. Find your best content

There will be some pieces of content on your site that naturally rank and convert better than others.

Using GA, you can quickly find which pages are performing well so that you can capitalize on them.

Let’s start by looking at how you can find your content that’s converting the best.

There are two ways to go about this.

First, you can look at your attribution path to conversion.

Google offers a number of attribution models so that you can see where your customers came from before converting.

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You have to keep in mind that GA’s default is “last touch attribution,” which tends to lie.

If you’re going to use attribution models to identify converting content, then make sure you’re aware of the buyer’s journey.

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As you can see, it’s rare that only one touchpoint is solely responsible for conversion. Buyers typically go through multiple stages.

With the buyer’s journey in mind, you can use the attribution model that will help you best interpret your data.

The second way to find your best-converting content is by looking up your Reverse Goal Path.

Log into GA and look under conversions in the left-hand menu.

You’ll see a “Goals” drop-down, and underneath that, you’ll see “Reverse Goal Path.”

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Simply select the goal you want to track. On the right-hand side, you’ll see the previous steps that happened right before someone converted.

It should look like this:

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Your confirmation or “Thank You” page is on the far left.

Next to that, you’ll see your purchase page or opt-in page.

Then, to the right of that, you’ll see the pages that brought your traffic to make the purchase.

These will often be landing pages. However, you may also see other pages or posts on your site that have strong calls-to-action.

You want to focus on funneling people to the pages in the right-hand column when they’re in the “ready to buy” portion of the sales funnel.

Now that you know that this content is helping conversions, you want to promote it to boost the traffic to those pages.

You can also create more internal links back to those pages to help direct your site visitors to that content.

This is a great approach to help you increase your conversions. But your best-converting content may not be your best-ranking content.

Here’s how you can quickly find your top-ranking content.

In the GA left-hand menu, select “Acquisition,” then “Search Console,” and finally “Queries.”

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This will show you all of the keywords that pages on your website currently rank for on Google.

You can see which pages correspond to which query or keyword and which page they currently rank on.

You should identify any pages showing up on page one and note which keywords they are ranking for.

This allows you to do two things.

  1. If the keywords and content complement one of your top-converting pages, make sure you provide a link and a CTA on the high-ranking page to help draw people over to convert.
  2. Add more internal links to your high-ranking pages to and from other content to help boost its rankings.

2. Help out your lower ranking content

The method I showed you above will help you identify your best content. Now, here’s some good news:

You can use this same method to help you find your second-best content, too.

Why would you want to do this?



Because updating and improving your old content to boost its rankings can be a quick way to improve your SEO.

Unbounce stopped publishing for two weeks in order to go back and update their old content.

Their efforts paid off with 275% more conversions from their 17 highest-traffic posts.

But, if you have a lot of content, how do you pick which posts to focus on?

That’s where Google Analytics comes in.

It can help you find your content with the best potential to perform considerably better with a relatively small amount of work.

You want to keep in mind that there’s a huge difference between page one and page two of the SERPs.

At the beginning of this post, I shared with you that the first five results get 67% of all clicks.

On the other hand, if you end up on the second page of Google, you’re going to get less than 6% of clicks.

So, what does this mean?

It means that the most worthwhile content to focus on is stuff that’s near the top of page two. If you can push it onto the first page, you can expect to see a big jump in traffic from it.

To pinpoint that content, go back to your query page in GA.

Then, click on the “advanced” option and set the “Average Position” to “Greater than 10.”

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Save the results, and you’ll see all of your content that’s currently hanging out beyond page one.

Now, if you have a lot of content sitting on page two, narrow it down to the ones with the most impressions.

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You can also pinpoint all of the potential long-tail search queries that might be sending traffic to the same page.

Now, what do you do about it?

First, refer back to the last strategy. If you have high-ranking content that naturally complements content on page two, then make sure you link the two pieces of content together.

You should also refresh the content and follow the right steps to optimize it, such as:

  • Make sure that you’ve optimized all of your content for mobile
  • Gain quality external backlinks
  • Boost engagement with social shares and comments
  • Improve your visuals

Make sure you’re targeting the top-ranking factors:

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If this looks overwhelming, don’t worry. Just focus on the basic, quick wins for SEO.

 

After all, you’re already on page two, not page ten. That means that you’re on the right track.

Just do a little extra to get your content out of the graveyard.

3. Reduce abandonment on high-traffic pages

Site-wide bounce rates are too broad to provide any use. They’re simply vanity metrics.

Bounce rate will vary according to industries, geographies, user demographics, devise usage, and many other factors.

Bounce rates for blogs tend to be higher than for e-commerce pages.

So, how do you figure out what’s causing abandonment?

Well, you first want to focus on fixing the pages with the most traffic since they’ll have the biggest impact.

Start by pinpointing your high-ranking pages that are bringing in lots of search traffic.

Then we can identify which of those valuable pages are failing to convert your visitors into your customers.

You can do this by looking in your GA account.

In the left-hand menu, under “Behavior,” click on “Site Content” and then “All Pages.”

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If you just want to look at landing pages, you can do that too. But right now, we’re going to stick with all pages.

Once you’re in there, click on the “advanced” option.

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Now make sure that your primary dimension is “Source” and then choose sources containing “Google / organic.”

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This will make it so that your results will only show the top-performing pages you have coming directly from organic Google search results.

It excludes all paid campaigns and any results that are getting big traffic due to social media efforts or other advertising efforts.

Now, when your results populate, you want to sort them so that the highest traffic pages are at the top.

Remember: these are the biggest and quickest wins, so they’re where we want to focus our attention first.

In the columns furthest to the right, you can see the “Bounce rate” and the “% Exit” for each of your highest traffic pages.

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The average bounce rate is just over 58%.

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If you’re seeing higher rates, don’t panic just yet.

Remember that a lot of things can impact bounce rate. The average varies across business type and industry.

If you’re a blogging management consultant site, you should expect a bounce rate that’s higher than the average.

On the other hand, a financial services e-commerce site should have a lower-than-average rate.

Rather than worry too much about your exact number, just focus on your highest rates.

Particularly, focus on pages that have both a high bounce rate and a high exit percent.

Those two metrics combined are a good signal that your page isn’t doing a great job of matching searcher intent.

Check the obvious problems first:

  • Is your content outdated?
  • Is it easy to read with lots of relevant visuals and white space?
  • Have you optimized it for mobile?
  • How long does the page take to load?
  • Is the page too brief to sufficiently answer the topic?

Also, consider the keywords your page is ranking for.

Do any of them have a double meaning?

If your page is ranking for a keyword that can mean more than one thing, this could create a high bounce rate.

If this is the case, make sure your meta tag is very clear about what your content is about.

There are lots of ways that you can use GA to slice and dice your bounce rate further to better understand what is causing it.

However, another quick method is to do some testing to see exactly why people are leaving these high traffic pages.

You can start by using a heatmap.

Heatmaps like those from Crazy Egg, allow you to see where visitors are clicking on your site.

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You can also use them to see which content your visitors have scrolled through.

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These can help you pinpoint what people are paying attention to and which content they touched right before they bounced.

Another way to lower your bounce rate is by A/B testing.

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Some things you may want to A/B test include:

  • Color of your CTA buttons
  • Position of your CTA buttons
  • Images
  • Headlines
  • Subheadings
  • Phrases on your navigation bar
  • Number of form fields required
  • Length of product trials
  • Time-sensitive bonus offers

4. Pinpoint and improve your mobile conversions

Google now uses mobile-first indexing.

Mobile is getting the priority on SERPs.

There’s no real wonder to this since the use of mobile is continuing to grow.

Check out device usage on a regular work day:

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Tablets and phones are dominating the traditional “out-of-office” hours.

But look at this concerning research from Monetate.

Smartphones are responsible for over 51% of website visits.

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But their conversion rate is less than half of the rate for desktop users.

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Most of your site visitors are mobile, but they’re less than half as likely to convert as your desktop users.

So, what can you do about it, and how can GA quickly help?

First, log into your GA account and look under the “Audience” section in the left-hand sidebar for mobile.

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Expand it and select “Overview.”

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This will give you some information on how your site is performing on mobile devices.

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On the far right-hand side, you can select a goal completion for GA displayed next to your mobile performance breakdown.

Then, you can see the difference in conversion rate and total goal completions during that period.

Now you can clearly see if there’s a quantifiable difference in how your mobile site performs versus your desktop site.

Chances are, based on the study above, you will see it converting less. On average, it will convert around 2% less if you exclude tablets and isolate smartphones.

What can you do about it?

You need to make sure that you optimize all of your content for mobile.

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Focus on these 20+ ways to improve your SEO by improving the mobile experience:

  1. Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) markup
  2. Implement schema markup
  3. Choose a responsive web design
  4. Compress images
  5. Remove Flash
  6. Use a heatmap on the mobile version of your site to check for differences from desktop
  7. Check out Google’s repository of info for improving the mobile experience
  8. Make sure your mobile site is blazing fast
  9. Tag posts based on mobile searches
  10. Remove pop-ups from your mobile site

For quick wins, focus on improving the content that Google Analytics tells you is already getting mobile traffic.

In particular, focus your attention on those pages with high bounce rates on mobile devices.

Conclusion

Improving your SEO doesn’t have to consume all your time and energy. But too often, we make it more difficult than it needs to be.

We overcomplicate it or worry about things outside of our control instead of focusing on what’s actionable.

Focus on these quick and easy Google Analytics tips to pinpoint simple SEO fixes you can make right away to boost your performance today.

Optimize your best content.

Try to increase the rankings of page-two content to push it over onto page one.

Focus on decreasing your bounce rate on your high-traffic pages.

Finally, focus on mobile traffic and optimization.

What fast wins have you gotten out of Google Analytics?

 

 

13 Must Have Google Chrome Extensions That Will Improve Your Marketing (for Entrepreneurs only) 2018





Have you ever heard the phrase “a craftsman is only as good as his tools?” No matter what your opinion is on the actual validity of that phrase, there’s no denying that we require tools to do our work. Whether that’s powerful analytical capabilities or simple methods that optimize your time, your tools (Google Chrome Extensions) often make or break your ability to be a good marketer. Which is why I love to share online tools that help businesses achieve their goals. And every now and then, new tools come to my attention that I think are worthy of being shared. This is one such moment. I want to share some of the best extensions that you can add to your Chrome Web Browser.



These tools will help you focus, find new customers, and make informed decisions about your marketing strategies.

All of them have served me well at various times, and I think you’ll like them too.

But first, I want to make a case for why you should be using Google Chrome in the first place.

The case for Chrome

I know that there are plenty of browsers out there.

Just to name a few: Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Whichever one you use, I highly recommend you take a closer look at Google Chrome.

Why? Because it’s considered by many to be the best browser available, and with good reason.

Like most other browsers, it is free to use.

But it’s also strikingly fast, integrates with any smartphone, carries your email, analytics, and so much more in one place.

And more importantly for our purposes, it allows you to download as many extensions as are useful to you.

Don’t just take my word for it though.

Studies have shown that it’s by far the most widely-used browser available.

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Going with the crowd isn’t always the best idea, but a 43% gap in usage should at least turn your head in this case.

At the very least, I recommend trying it out.

But let’s talk more about extensions. That’s what we’re here for after all.

Extensions are simple tools that are designed to increase the functionality of your browser while you use it.

For example, the popular extension HTTPS Everywhere changes unsecured HTTP sites into encrypted HTTPS sites automatically when it’s installed.

That means your browsing and information will be more secure without you even having to think about it.

And extensions are incredibly easy to install too.

All you have to do is go to Chrome Web Store and find the extension you want.

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There are thousands to choose from and each one promises a unique and helpful experience.

Of course, how many you use is completely up to you.

Once you find the right extension, all you have to do is click on it, and add it to your Chrome browser.

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All in all, the process is mind-bogglingly simple, which is one of the reasons why I love Chrome so much.

And don’t worry about test driving an extension you might not like because it’s also easy to remove them from your browser.

Just left-click the icon for the extension, and select “Remove from Chrome.”

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So all things considered, you have nothing to lose when trying out these tools I’m about to share.

And I think you can find one that can help you be a better marketer.

To start you off, I want to give you a tool that can help you be a better writer in every facet of your life.

Tool #1: Grammarly

Grammarly is a tool that’s designed to help you edit and improve your writing without the added homework you may have had in high school.

This tool automatically checks every aspect of your writing, including grammar, spelling, and other common issues.

Their normal platform requires you to either write or copy/paste your words into their own editor.

Then, you’re given advice on elements you can change.

But the extension for Chrome acts as a longer arm, reaching into some of the sites you use on a daily basis and giving you advice instantly inside your email or blog post as you write it.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how their extension works:

Wouldn’t you want an extra pair of eyes on that very important email you’re about to send to a client?

It’s a no-brainer, really. If you can mitigate errors that might impact your reputation, you absolutely need to look into Grammarly.

So the value here is pretty clear, but what about the functionality?

When I downloaded their extension, I decided to test it out in Gmail.

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Just like their advertising promised, my purposefully-placed error created a red notification that warned me not to hit send.

To make sure that nothing else was wrong, I also noticed that you can expand the tool inside of whatever page you’re using.

When I did that, I noticed Grammarly had flagged another part of my sentence.

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The added flag was for an “unclear antecedent,” which means my audience might not know what the word “this” is referencing.

They also provided a quick correction for my blatant misspelling.

I was able to correct both of these errors quickly and then my example “email” was ready to send.

And while this took me a few extra seconds, I like the fact that I can send messages or social posts that are verifiably error-free.

The applications for this tool are limitless for marketers, so go check it out.

Tool #2: Hashtest

I’ve said before that you don’t always need to use hashtags.

However, there are still times when a hashtag is necessary.

On Instagram, hashtags help users see more photos they might be interested in.

So in the instances when you do need hashtags, I recommend making sure that the ones you use are going to provide value.

That’s where Hashtest comes in.

This tool will automatically test the quality of the hashtags you’re considering in real-time.

So when you’re about to create and share a post, this is a great tool to help you see which hashtags are performing best.

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Since it sits conveniently in the upper corner of your screen, it’s simple to use.

It even lets you copy your best results to your clipboard, which means the entire process should take only a few sections.

I also really like how they color code your results, like in this example:

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Clearly, in this case, the #marketing option is better according to their scale.

So while you might not use this tool frequently, it’s still a good one to have around when you need it.

Tool #3: LinkedIn Sales Navigator 

LinkedIn is a great way to boost sales for B2B players.

And finding a way to expand the usefulness of LinkedIn only makes it that much better.

That’s why the LinkedIn Sales Navigator extension made the cut.

What it does is provide a detailed info bank for your Gmail contacts.

While that doesn’t sound like much, it actually makes it easier for you to keep messages relevant without having to dig back into your inbox filled with five thousand emails.

All of the information you need is given to you in the sidebar of your Gmail account, much like this:

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This profile gives a name, company, and even links to social media.

And even more usefully, you’ll find a short list of icebreakers, like connections you share on LinkedIn or any mutual groups you might be involved in.

This information can help you cater your message to your target and heighten your chances of starting a valuable conversation.

What’s more, this is just the lite version of the extension.

Upgrading to the premium service offers more custom features like networking and lead saving directly to your Gmail.

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So if you use LinkedIn Sales Navigator, I highly recommend checking this tool out.

At the very least, you’ll be able to keep your messages on target and stimulate some good conversation.

And if you really like the functionality, you can get more by upgrading.

At the end of the day, you’ll be a better marketer and a stronger asset to your team.

Tool #4: SEMRush

SEMRush is a helpful tool for all marketers to take a look at.

The entire platform is designed to give you a quick breakdown of your site’s search traffic and performance on Google.

Here’s an example of some of the information they have to offer:

semrush

You can see organic search, paid search, backlinks, and tons of other helpful information about your site.

And the extensions only add extra functionality to this already useful tool.

In fact, you actually get a two-for-one deal here.

Because there are two extensions you can use to get quick info on your site or a competitor’s.

The first is called SEMRush Page Rank, and it’s pretty simple.

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It’s just one little button at the top of your screen.

But the real value is in the number it displays.

That number, which looks like a normal notification, is actually telling you how high the page is ranked according to SEMRush’s algorithms.

Which means instead of opening SEMRush, typing in the URL, and then finding that info on your own, you get a quick readout of the authority and status of the page.

It saves you time and gives you helpful information at a glance.

But just like I promised, that’s not all for SEMRush.

You can also use the Open in SEMRush tool to quickly bring up a full rundown of the page you’re on.

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So once again, SEMRush is saving you from having to open their application and type in a specific URL manually.

You’ll get all the data you need in seconds, which keeps you organized and on track.

If you use SEMRush, take a crack at these extensions. You’ll wonder how you ever went without.

Tool #5: Boomerang

Not to be confused with the popular video looping app, Boomerang is an extension that helps you manage the flow of your emails.

To be precise, it helps you time your emails so that your audience is most likely to see and respond to you in the way that you want.

Here’s a look at all of the cool things it can do:

Overall, I think there’s a lot of functionality in this app that makes it worth everyone’s consideration.

For example, I really love the ability to schedule my emails.

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Since marketers have been sending emails, they’ve also been trying to find the best time to send them.

But without the ability to schedule an email, sending emails at the right time has often proved difficult.

Say for example you want to be at the top of someone’s inbox on Monday.

Normally you’d have to wake up at 5 AM to make sure that your email was written and sent at just the right time.

But with Boomerang, you can hit snooze on your alarm with the knowledge that your email will be sent on time.

And that’s just a simple application of that feature.

How you use it is up to your needs and imagination.

But there’s one other function of Boomerang that stands out to me: the ability to see how easy it is to respond to your email.

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This is a really innovative idea for anyone who sends a lot of emails because it’s directly tied to your profitability.

If you’re constantly sending emails that are hard to read and respond to, you aren’t going to see very good results.

But with Boomerang checking your messages, you can improve the likelihood that you’ll actually receive a reply.

And again, the best part is that this process is completely passive. The extension does all the work for you.

Tool #6: Oktopost

For the social media geeks of the world, I want to introduce you to Oktopost.

While it specifically focuses on B2B social media management, the applications are really available to anyone using a social media account for business.

And the extension only adds to the value of what Oktopost has to offer because it allows you to share articles and posts directly from your browser.

The result is that you have a custom-made tool for curation efforts and keeping your social posts relevant.

And it’s very easy to use. All you have to do is click on the extension’s tab when you’re on the page you want to share:

oktopost

You’ll see a drop-down menu that gives you a brief preview of how your post will look when you share it.

From there, you just have to type in your caption and then post.

No more clicking through tabs trying to keep everything straight.

Easy peasy.

Tool #7: BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is another one of those tools that every marketer should know and love.

The site itself gives you a detailed breakdown of how pieces of content perform for a specific topic or industry.

And the extension allows you to do the exact same thing with just a few clicks.

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As you can see in the image above, by using BuzzSumo’s extension you can get information on any page you visit.

Say you’re checking out a blog post your competitor just shared.

If you’re using this tool, all you have to do is open the extension and see what it has to say.

You’ll get a readout of social media engagement, unique pageviews, and other items like shares or backlinks.

This helps you target your content strategy in real-time and without hassle.

So if you’re looking for a quick way to get an edge, this is the Chrome extension for you.

Tool #8: LinkClump

If you’re like me, then you probably do a lot of research on topics every day.

And a lot of research means a lot of open tabs, which can be a blessing or a curse.

In the case of LinkClump, it’s definitely a blessing.

Because it quickly opens tons of links when you’re trying to do a little research.

Which means less clicking back and forth between pages or tabs, and more reading your content.

It’s pretty easy to use, too. All you have to do is install it, hold z, and then click and drag.

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As you can see, the tool will highlight all of the pages you select.

Then when you release your mouse button, all of the pages will be opened in their sequential order.

All you have to do now is start browsing through each of them to see what you can find.

It’s a simple hack, but finding a way to save time while researching is always a good thing.

Tool #9: Liner

Not to keep harping on this, but I love research.

And if you do as much research for your content as you should, it can start to get overwhelming without a way to organize and quickly recall relevant information.

Thankfully, Liner exists to let you quickly highlight from blog posts or web pages when researching.

That way, you can read and highlight the content you like, then quickly rework what you find to be even better than when you found it.

Here’s how it works:

Since it tracks your highlights so easily and keeps a running catalog, it’s easier than ever not to get lost in the clutter.

To activate highlighter mode, just press the “`~” button and then go to town.

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Hopefully, this will help you stay on task and keep your content sources well organized.

At the very least, it’s always good to have a visual reminder of tips or tricks that stood out to you.

Tool #10: Save to Pocket

Do you ever have times when you’re reading through a perfect piece but you don’t really have a reason to share it?

I know I do.

When that happens, I like to use the Save to Pocket extension.

This allows you to quickly save articles you want to come back to and reference in a later project.

Or if you’re a social media manager, you can save something to curate at a later time.

And as this video illustrates, you can save any page for any reason you like.

Don’t worry about getting too unorganized either, because the extension allows you save by category.

So if you use the extension both personally and professionally, you won’t have to wade through scores of saved links to find what you’re looking for.

That way, you can never get lost.

And you can also see other recommended articles based on the topic you’ve saved:

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That not only makes this a good organizing tool but also a decent research tool when you’re in a pinch.

However you use it, Save to Pocket is a great way to keep useful pieces on the backburner.

Tool #11: Push by Zapier

The Push by Zapier extension is one of the extensions that I like to recommend to marketers who use a lot of tools for the projects they’re running.

It’s just that good.

It’s a workflow tool that lets you integrate a bunch of apps you use on a normal basis.

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But when you start to use it, you’ll find that it’s so much more than that.

The reason I say that is because it allows you to set up a “push” for just about any task.

For example, if you use the Pomodoro technique of high-intensity work interspersed with short breaks, you can set up Push to help you keep your regimen.

You can also use the extension to integrate all of your tools and have them work together.

Say you want to create a regular post on your company’s Slack chat.

All you have to do is set up a push, and you’re able to use the extension to create your post even if you’re not currently in Slack.

And Push by Zapier will save every push you ever create:

pushes

If you need to activate, deactivate, or edit, just head over to your Zapier account and check them out.

The flexibility and resourcefulness of this tool are what make it a must-have for busy marketers.

You can save time and stay on track by creating a regular schedule of Pushes that will keep you going.

Tool #12: Evernote Web Clipper

One of the most frustrating parts of browsing is finding a really helpful image or graph but not being able to easily take a screen capture.

So if you’re looking for a tool that will help you do just that, check out the Evernote Web Clipper.

When you install this extension, all you’ll have to do to take a beautiful screenshot is open it up and let it work its magic.

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What’s more, you can also make simple edits like highlights, arrows, or callout boxes to help your audience see what you want them to.

And as you can see in the image above, the arrows match the style I use.

That’s because I use this tool on a regular basis.

Here’s a deeper look at what the tool can actually do:

By saving entire pages at the click of a button, you’ll never again fumble with another screen-capturing tool.

You’ll be able to create clean, powerful imagery for your own content with just a few simple steps.

Tool #13: One Click Extensions Manager

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering how many extensions are going to be clogging up your screen.

Well, with the One Click Extensions Manager, the answer will be none.

Because you’ll be able to take a toolbar that looks like this:

extensions

Or make it look like this:

extensions manager

The result is that you’ll have a clean browser that allows you to quickly find and toggle all the new extensions you’re using.

So don’t worry about creating more clutter in your attempt to be a better marketer.

Just clean up the results with this final extension.

Conclusion

Hopefully, by now, you’ve found at least one Chrome extension that can help you become a better marketer.

At the very least, I think you’ll agree that Google Chrome is a fairly handy way to browse the Internet and make the most of it.

Whether you’re trying to stay on task, research, or simply fine-tune a message, there are dozens of options to help you succeed.

I’ve only mentioned 13 extensions in this post, but I can assure you there are plenty more out there.

All you have to do is find the ones that work for you and then let them help you do your job a little better.

Because with the right tools, I think we can all be better at our craft.

What are your favorite Chrome extensions for marketing?

 

 

Compelling Meta Descriptions That Will Boost Your Google Ranking (for Webmasters only) 2018

soe online marketing tips for websites and blogs




SEO (and especially Meta Descriptions) is a tricky subject. One minute you think you have it nailed and the next everything has changed. And when you consider the fact that Google reportedly changes its algorithm 500 to 600 times per year, you start to see the problem. The only constant in SEO is change. This creates a never-ending pursuit of the coveted number one ranking. But thankfully, there are elements that aren’t likely to become entirely irrelevant, which means you can focus on doing them well in the long term. One such area is the meta description on your website or blog. From the start, meta descriptions have been an essential part of a search engine results page and that isn’t likely to change.



So to help you capitalize on this important aspect of your SEO, I want to teach you how to write one that’s compelling and helps you boost your ranking.

But before we get started, let’s talk a bit more about how powerful these meta descriptions really are.

The power of a meta description

In general, meta descriptions have one very important function on a search engine.

That is, they provide a succinct description of the content of your webpage in conjunction with the rest of the metadata in your site’s HTML code.

And even if you don’t set one up yourself, most content sharing systems will automatically generate a meta description for you.

But that’s definitely not what you want, because it almost certainly won’t be as good as the one you create.

Before we go any further though, if you’re still unsure of what it looks a meta description looks like, here’s the one on my site to help clear up any confusion:

As you can see, it’s just a short and simple blurb on the content I offer to my site’s visitors.

And if you look further at the HTML on my site, you’ll notice that it’s there with all of the other metadata to help show Google what the site is actually about.

Every single page of every single website has the ability to contain and share metadata, including the title, URL, and descriptions.

If they’re optimized correctly, they can be used to help Google rank pages.

And while this is just one element to highlight with your SEO, it’s important to understand why your meta description, in particular, makes a difference.

That means knowing how it affects your SEO and what elements are the most important to consider.

To help answer that question, you should start by knowing that not all elements of your metadata actually affect SEO.

Namely, Google has long held that the meta keywords tag doesn’t factor into SERPs.

These tags are embedded in the HTML of your site like everything else, and once upon a time, they factored greatly into SEO.

meta keywords example

But the practice of keyword stuffing from previous decades killed this trend long ago.

But everything else, including the URL, title, and especially the description can affect your page’s on-site SEO.

And surprisingly, the reason for that isn’t incredibly technical.

Because while Google does take into account your portrayal of your site’s pages, the real marker they look for is user behavior.

You see, they don’t just want to know what’s on your website.

They want to know if people are actually using it.

And since user behavior is affected by user experience, you start to see why meta descriptions actually matter for SEO.

Because of all of the elements of your metadata and the search engine results page, the meta description is the most potential-filled part of how you can start optimizing user experience while users are still off-site.

And with Google going into mobile-first mode, optimizing the user experience is more important than ever.

google mobile ranking factors

They want you to be able to provide turnkey moments that deliver on needs by educating, instructing, or showing off what you can do.

And even though it might be easy to miss, your meta descriptions are the frontline of that effort for organic search.

It’s a small part of your website that acts as a first impression, and that means everything when you’re talking about SEO.

Forge and Smith prove this with some fairly impressive results in an SEO case study of their client Sweet Georgia Yarns.

UX seo

By helping craft different elements of their SEO like meta descriptions, they’ve provided a 215% year over year increase in value.

All with just some words inside a line of code.

Think about what that could mean for your site, too.

And according to Google, this trend toward meta descriptions is only logical:



The general assumption under such an approach is that searching users are often the best judges of relevance, so that if they select a particular search result, it is likely to be relevant, or at least more relevant than the presented alternatives.

Google really wants to know what actions people are taking and why they are taking them.

Because they believe that users are the best measure when finding content that’s actually useful and relevant.

And it seems like they’ve found their answer in meta descriptions.

So you can rely on whatever content publisher you’re using to generate it, but that will only create gibberish.

Here’s an example that a marketer caught of an early iteration of Pepsi’s UK homepage:

Screen Shot 2016 04 21 at 23.11.03

As I said, this was a very early iteration of this site, and it’s since been fixed:

pepsi gb

But how much more interested and educated are you by the second as opposed to the first?

The second description gives clarity about what’s on the page and even provides helpful links to popular pages on the site.

And if Pepsi can go back and change its meta description, so can you.

You can also start writing good ones as you go, which will only make your site that much better.

As long as your focus is on making your meta description appealing so that users will want to click, you can’t go wrong.

 

Your goal should be to master this art so that you can do it quickly.

That’s why I’ve compiled a very short checklist for you with only four steps.

I believe that if you follow these guidelines, you can start creating the kind of meta descriptions that will help boost your rankings in the long run.

And to start things off, I want to talk about how long your description should actually be.

Step #1: Stop focusing so much on character count

Google recently updated their character limitations.

And if you didn’t know any better, you would have thought they set the world on fire.

Article after article has been published since then to analyze and break down what these changes mean for SEOs and businesses.

But in my opinion, focusing on character count alone completely negates the point of SEO.

Again, this is about human behavior, not just an authoritative word count.

So if you only focus on creating an optimal character count, you might see good results.

But I believe you’re better off focusing on the content itself, and there’s recent evidence to back this up.

SEMRush conducted an experiment to test this principle and found the variation of the meta tag they used that exceeded the 320 character count performed better and ranked higher.

meta description dynamic brodie clark

As you can see, the iteration of the description that performed better stopped mid-sentence.

This goes against the conventional wisdom that you must stay within the limits of your character count to perform better.

And while the psychology of this isn’t necessarily clear right now, it does lead to some interesting ideas that SEOs need to start considering.

More importantly, it reemphasizes Google’s vision that user experience in any form is the benchmark we need to consider first.

The statistics SEMRush shared only serve to reinforce that idea, too.

screen shot 2018 02 13 at 25859 pm

The longer description that continued above the character count limit saw an impressive 36% improvement in overall click-through rate from its shorter competitor.

So the results aren’t exactly a minor difference here.

And the implication is incredibly clear.

Focus on experience first.

And if you must focus on character count, shoot for around 300-350, as that’s where the majority of high-performing posts fall.

meta desc 2017 8 4609

But as you can also see, some of these pages ranked with as few as 150 characters.

And while the graph stops at 375, I’m sure you could find a meta description with more characters in just a few Google searches.

My ultimate takeaway here is that word count isn’t necessarily the best bar to consider when it comes to creating the perfect meta description.

Some pages will naturally be shorter or longer than others, and that’s okay.

As long as you’re accurately portraying the content on your page, you’ll be on the right track.

And even though Google will likely change things up again, I think the advice to focus on user experience is the only route that will truly stand the test of time.

Now that we’ve turned you away from your word count woes, let’s talk about the second simple way you can start expanding your description’s SEO.

Step #2: Be unique and interesting

If your descriptions are just so-so, they won’t be helping you get clicks or move up in the rankings.

And with user experience still acting as our litmus test for quality, not getting clicks is exactly what you don’t want.

So how do you innovate and find ways to get people to click?

Well, the ultimate application is up to you.

But there are certain practices you can implement in your writing that will help you be more compelling and get more clicks.

Let’s take a look at a few.

First and foremost, there’s a consensus that you should do your best not to be boring.

While that may sound tongue-in-cheek, I can guarantee you it’s not.



And when it comes to your writing, the best way to not be boring is to use the active voice.

active voice

As you can see in this example above, it has a very active voice that provides a momentous push for the reader.

You’re told what you can expect but without any unnecessary details that might bore the reader or turn them off.

If you’re looking for a simple way to help your SEO, you would most likely click on this link after you read it.

You’ll also notice that the example above is very specific and doesn’t contain any fluff.

This is especially important if you want to rank high in the SERPs.

And more importantly, you want to make sure that the description actually matches the content of the page.

For example, this meta description promises that I can find a wide variety of ways to help organize my home or workspace:

specific

What do I find when I click through?

Tons of options that promise a more organized life.

organize

That’s one of the reasons this page is ranked so highly for the simple, one-word search of “organizer.”

It matches my perceived needs closely and it follows through on the promise made in the meta description.

Do you see how this is still about the quality of your site’s user experience?

Another way you can add to this approach is by furthering your promise with a compelling call to action.

You can achieve this by simply giving your reader a straight shot:

CTA

Or, you can still provide a more thorough description with a call to action at the end to invite your reader to learn more:

end cta

As long as you talk to your audience and don’t just ramble on about yourself, you’ll find yourself in a sweet spot when it comes to meta descriptions.

For example, I like to give previews of the actual content on the page that I think will pique the interest of a more casual reader.

preview

Notice that this description has nothing to do with me, my brand, or what I sell.

It’s just a compelling excerpt from the blog article.

My ultimate goal is to signal value and further your interest, not necessarily get you to buy something.

So whatever you do, find a way to be unique and engaging to your audience.

If you simply provide technical details or go straight for a sale, you probably won’t be all that interesting.

And if you’re not interesting, you won’t climb in the rankings.

Step #3: Please use your keywords

You spend a lot of time generating keywords for your digital campaigns.

You put them in your blog posts, landing pages, and even in your product pages.

So why on earth would you not include them in your meta description?

Because nothing signals to Google sooner than your metadata what your page is about.

Not including a keyword in the meta description could be a fatal mistake.

Here’s a look at what including a good keyword might look like:

yoast meta

This is a top-ranked search for meta descriptions I found while researching this post.

As you can see, Google has highlighted every instance when the words “meta description” appear in the description.

Since they were part of my search term, this provides an early signal that the page can be useful in my research.

The keyword is used naturally and in a way that educates the reader about the page’s content.

The result is fairly clear since this was on the first page of results.

You can still use keywords to emphasize to Google what your post is about.

One of the best and easiest ways to do this for your own site is with the Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress.

focus keyword

By allowing you to set a focus keyword for every page and blog post, this tool makes the keyword implementation process simple.

The only other step you have to take is to make sure that you also use the keyword naturally in the copy and alt tags of your actual page.

This helps create continuity throughout Google’s crawling and subsequent ranking of the page.

And with the Yoast Plugin, you’ll also get a reminder if you forget to establish a focus keyword in the copy or meta description:

analysis

With a checking system like this, you’ll never neglect another keyword in your meta description.

As long as you conduct robust keyword research and try to rank for words that are appropriate to your brand, adding them to your meta descriptions appropriately is just the next logical step.

If you do it properly, you can be one step ahead of your competition and one step closer to the front page.

Step #4: Use more than just your copy

For newcomers to metadata, it can be easy to think that your Title, URL, and description end and begin with the default Google listing.

But this couldn’t be any further from the truth.

Google also allows you to implement structured data that lets you “beautify” your description on the search engine results page.

To give you an example, I want to show you a different version of the highly ranked Yoast page from the previous point:

yoast meta 2

When I made a more relevant search for this page, it looked different.

The data is still the same but now an image is included and the description is above the title and URL.

What changed? The structured data.

Any page that’s highly ranked gets to take advantage of this unique function.

But the catch is that you have to start using this approach before you get to the front page.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can start implementing structured data.

One of the most popular ways you may have seen is when websites implement reviews in their meta description:

reviews

This provides an immediate signal to your viewer that they can find something of value on the site.

Since social proof is such a powerful way to sell and grow your brand, this is a fairly easy hack that lets you start capitalizing on user behavior with ease.

Another good idea is to set up structured data for your branded website as a whole with your logo and company info:

structured data

This increases the chance that someone searching for your brand will actually find you and receive helpful information without having to click the top few results pages.

Since this appears in the sidebar of the results page, you also achieve a bit of a “two for one” deal with this type of structured data.

A user can find your brand, see what your URL is, and then filter their results so that they only see the pages you have to offer.

This helps your SEO, as Google takes these actions as a positive signal toward your brand in the long run.

And if you think you’ll have a hard time ranking for this tactic, you’ll be surprised to learn that 57% of major companies don’t have structured data set up for their site.

Which means you have an opportunity to get ahead of your competitors and boost your SEO that much more.

The easiest way to start is by using plugins like Schema to help you learn the basics.

screenshot 4

This will allow you to edit, test, and improve the structured data on your site without the hassle of digging into your code.

With some simple optimization, you can be on your way to the front page in your industry as your brand grows.

Conclusion

Meta descriptions aren’t going away anytime soon.

The sooner you learn to craft a good description, the sooner you can start boosting your rankings and helping your overall SEO efforts.

Since meta descriptions are a part of the overall user experience of your site, Google takes them very seriously when it comes to your SEO.

And surprisingly, one of the most outstanding ways you can start improving your approach is to just forget about elements like character count.

Instead, try to be unique and interesting.

Engage with your potential visitor and show them what you have to offer.

If you create the right approach and implement solid keywords, you’ll start to see more organic traffic over time.

And if you use structured data elements to position your brand strategically, you’ll stand out even more to both Google and its users.

With time, diligence, and a lot of patience, you’ll start to see the results you really want.

What tactics have you used to improve your meta descriptions through the years?