Category Archives for "SEO"

marketing-testing-for-online-marketing-campaigns

Split Testing Content, Email And Social Media Marketing Campaigns

How can you make sure that your online campaigns are achieving their highest potential when there are so many factors responsible for their success or failure?

AB Test - Split Testing Marketing Campaigns Online

Are you split testing your content marketing, email marketing and social media marketing campaigns?

And with U.S. digital ad spending reaching $72.09 billion in 2016 according to e-marketers, why waste money on campaigns that are under performing?

Split Testing Provides Results You Are Likely Missing Now

Split testing, or A/B testing, is a method of experimentation that places two variables against each other to measure success rates.

Split testing landing pages

Split testing landing page shows big improvement in conversions (recent leadpages testing results for a marketing offer after just 3 weeks)

The basic premise of split testing involves keeping one variable constant, while changing the second variable to see if it makes the campaign perform better. As a result, marketers are left with the best way to use each variable in a campaign.

With a variety of different online marketing campaigns, from email to social media, there are a number of approaches to split testing and the variables you can test to optimize performance.

Check out these suggestions for just a few of the main online campaigns.

Split Testing Content Marketing Campaigns

As split testing is working with variables, remember that only one variable should be changed at a time. Otherwise you won’t be able to tell the cause of performance changes.

As with other online marketing campaigns, content marketing involves a number of steps to consider:

  • style and subject of article
  • type of writer
  • length of article
  • image use or not
  • what publisher will post the article
  • position on the webpage
  • will be a call to action and what specifically

Each of these can be considered a variable during split testing, and will need to be tested individually to see what works best for you.

For example, as a beauty brand you might test different publishers by placing the same article on a fashion website and an online travel magazine.

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From there, you can test the variable by keeping track of the number of comments, page views, how many times it’s been shared and whether the viewer scrolled to the bottom of the page to find out which publisher results in more audience engagement.

Split Testing Email Marketing Campaigns

As emails are sent directly to each individual customer, it is important to approach it in a manner that is both relatable and applicable to your target market.

Otherwise, audiences can often feel annoyed or like their privacy has been invaded. A great approach to split testing is to see what has worked in the past.

If you’ve noticed anything that definitely did not work, make sure to look into that particular variable.

Variables may include:

  • subject headings
  • in-text banners
  • the type of call to action

…all of these can be tracked and can have an impact on open and click-through rates.

It may be a good idea to use tools to manage the success of each variable.

InboxGuru used in tandem with Infor CRM is a great tool for implementing, managing and enhancing email campaigns.

This method, alongside split testing, can be an efficient way to maximize performance.

Split Testing Social Media Marketing Campaigns

A great social media post often means targeting a specific audience with the right image and the right copy, posted at the perfect time.

Here are important considerations for social media post testing for performance:

  • Images and videos use
  • Style and tone of copy
  • Subject of the post
  • Time of day when posted
  • Frequency of distribution
  • Networks

These are just some of the variables that should be considered in your split testing process. In order to really get the best outcome from split testing, it is important to keep an open mind and maintain an all-encompassing approach so that you get the best combination of features in your campaign.

For example, try looking at your outdoor campaigns for social campaign inspiration.

Maybe a billboard you did performed well and the same image could be used on a social post?

Try being creative and don’t be afraid to test out different things.

Making a few adjustments to your online campaigns can ensure that your time, effort and money pay off.

Try split testing your online marketing campaigns in order to figure out what works best for your brand, and to ensure it’s performing the best that it can.

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Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.
why-content-marketing-matters

4 Facts About Why Content Marketing Matters

Content Marketing: An Innovation In Marketing?

The creation of the Internet was accompanied by the development of innovative marketing and advertising strategies.

Scholars have attributed this new trend in marketing and advertisement to the need for businesses to improve consumer awareness, business image, and pass the corporate message.

One marketing and advertisement strategy that developed, in the recent past, is content marketing.

According to Rebecca Lieb, a marketing expert, content marketing is the creation and distribution of organization-related content in a bid to retain existing market share, attract new customers, and improve an organization’s image (Lieb, 2012).

For this reason, content developed in should be target-oriented and attractive enough to pull customers to a company.

Content marketing is currently an important part of many businesses. This is because it has far-reaching effects on business operations.

This article seeks to discuss why content marketing matters in the contemporary economy.

As such, it explains how content marketing impacts brand building, traffic, and SEO.

1. Brand Building And Positioning

Well-written content enables businesses to develop a strong brand.

Most economists believe that building an authoritative brand is one of the most difficult tasks in today’s markets.

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However, proper application of content marketing businesses can be used to build an authoritative brand. This is because content marketing creates a unique perspective of a product or service in the consumer’s mind.

When businesses write content about a product or service, they often include the best attributes in the description.

Customers often gain necessary information, such as product specifications, how to use the product, and the merits of the products, from business content.

Therefore, consistent provision (create a content marketing calendar) of important details in your business content will improve the level of brand recognition, credibility, and loyalty.

In addition, if a product or service description aligns with a customer’s tastes and preferences, customers would trust that specific brand.

Therefore, it is imperative that businesses maintain high levels of honesty, consistency, and integrity, in their content marketing strategies, to ensure the development of an authoritative brand.

Ross Crooks, a contributor to the Forbes magazine, was of the opinion that brand building in content marketing entails more than cute descriptions.

Instead, the author believes that content for the brand building should incorporate camaraderie as well as accountability that would inspire companies to develop a product to match their content (Crooks, 2015).

2. Web Traffic Increase And Visitor Consistency

Besides assisting in the development of strong brands, content marketing also contributes towards increased website traffic.

People usually prefer to learn about company profile, product, or service through content.

This is because content provides in-depth information about different aspects of a company.

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This notion was proven in a Roper Public Affair poll, which found out that 80% of business stakeholders prefer to gain knowledge of a company from content rather than advertising (Lieb, 2012).

Therefore, when companies write content and post them on their websites and other platforms on the internet, many people would visit these sites to read their content.

This, in turn, generates traffic and increases consumer awareness about a company or its products.

Marketers believe that increased website traffic is a business advantage because it ensures that companies can meet their marketing goals and objectives.

This implies that companies might sell more products, increase their revenues as well as the profits.

Therefore, investment in quality content marketing strategies and distribution (promotion) should be a priority if you seek to increase the traffic in your online platform.

3. SEO Boost And Link Building

Even though website traffic is an important aspect of online marketing, various other factors play a role in ensuring that companies can generate significant traffic.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is currently one of the methods of generating free traffic to your website. SEO has been, and always built around content / keywords and links.

Backlinks and the process of back linking and analysis is considered foundational work for Google ranking and traffic success. Implementing a detailed SEO audit process is an essential part of this work.

Search engines, such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo (now becoming defunct), usually provide results for users based on what it considers as relevant information to the user.

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This is usually achieved without incurring any expenses or costs – other than the work done for ongoing organic SEO campaigns.

However, for search engines to have your website as part of the primary search results, you should have high-quality content that is deemed relevant by the majority of the internet users. They provide a favor to you by “voting” for your website and pages with a link back to you.

Generating quality content and linking it back to your business or brand is often accompanied by positive repercussions.

The positive results often come in the form of increased traffic, increase in sales (assuming a good conversion funnel) or an improvement in revenues.

However, you should note that the content must be of high quality and possess the right keywords or phrases. High quality is considered to be expert in nature, authoritative and trustworthy (See the E-A-T model)

Today, low-quality content, which is rich in keywords no longer attracts customers and is often bypassed by customers and search engines.

Outreach Marketing

Connecting with a target audience should be part of any link building effort for search. Outreachmama has a great list of 700+ guest posting sites you should check out.

And, no – guest posting is not dead!

There was a BIG uproar when announcements came from Google (Matt Cutts, a Google engineer) in the past, and filters and penalties were applied to some big blog networks. High visibility press announcements and comments from the Big G scares a lot of folks in the community. The truth is — when done right — outreach marketing and guest posting is a winning combination.

4. Customer Loyalty Improvement And Trust

Content marketing also plays an important role in building customer loyalty.

Consumers are often seeking important information on different topics.

Therefore, providing free information to consumers can ensure that you build a closely connected group of consumers, who are loyal to your products and services.

Customer loyalty usually develops gradually as customers read the content you provide and find a valid reason to invest their time and resources in your products or services.

In addition to building loyalty, good content marketing ensures that you get to know your customers. This is especially true for businesses that deliver their content through social media platforms.

Loyal customers would often communicate with their suppliers on social media platforms and provide useful feedback that can be used to improve products as per the customers’ specification.

Content marketing at its best may also inspire discussion between customers and business, thus allowing the business to gain knowledge of their consumers.

Conclusion

The rapid development of technology and the internet has led to the development of new marketing and advertising strategies such as content marketing.

Today, many businesses utilize content marketing to improve customer awareness, increase sales, generate traffic, and build authoritative brands.

However, marketers believe that these benefits of content marketing can only be achieved if businesses create original and quality content that can attract consumers.

Attributes of quality content include camaraderie and accountability.

This type of content attracts consumers who seek information and may encourage them to make purchases.

In addition, it fosters discussion, which allows businesses to gain knowledge of their customers.

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References

Crooks, R. (2015). Retrieved May 1, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/rosscrooks/2015/08/12/content-marketing-and-the-future-of-humanity/#44b5c346263d

Lieb, R. (2012). Retrieved May 1, 2017, from Google Books

Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.
web-crawling-budget-google-seo

How to Positively Affect Google Web Crawling For SEO

It is surprising to see that so many believe that when Google indexes web content (Caffeine indexer) it stores ranking information at the same time.

However, the Google search engine builds rankings instantly during the serving of organic results. And, it typically happens in milliseconds…impressive!

We know that consistently garnering top rankings in organic results can drive more quality traffic and lift a brand’s trust.

The question remains…

Is there a close to sure-fire way to affect how Google (and search engines in general) displays your web pages and properties at the top or on the first page of search results?

There is no easy answer… but subjects like crawling, indexation, topical alignment, semantic-lexical-logical words/phrases, relevancy, on-page and off-page tactics, authority and trust building are all important in this discussion. Clearly a lot to cover in ONE article.

However, this post is not a detailed or deeply instructive guide on how to impact all search ranking factors (there are 200 we know of).

Start With Optimizing The Crawl

Rather, we’ll discuss essential keys to success that begin with managing the search engine “crawl budget”. Or, as Google calls it internally: “host load”. It’s all about the number of URLs Googlebot can and wants to crawl.

Bot crawling is the first step in a series of complex tasks to get your pages seen on the first page of Google.

You must ensure that all your designated web properties are crawlable and that servers, pages and discoverable assets contain no unwanted search engine blocks.  And, your information should be made available in text format which is what search engines still use.

You must also host your pages on a fast and scalable server infrastructure. A low crawl rate may indicate a low-quality site and will not get the “love” you need.

Essentially, you must allow the search engine bots (robots, spiders, crawlers) to access your designated content. The bot software should easily access, crawl and subsequently store (index) your information in their databases. Crawling typically occurs faster / deeper on high PageRank URLs, but other signals affect it as well.

The information you want search engines and users to find will be pulled and ranked instantly from these collected data sets.

Here are important considerations in this debate:

Does A Website Size Matter For Crawling?

If you have a website and assets that are low in count, you must still ensure crawlers can easily access these, but you will not need to focus on crawl budgets in the same way larger sites must. It’s all about balancing crawler frequency, crawler scope and server performance.

What Is A Robots.txt File For Controlling Spiders?

This is a text file, case sensitive: ‘robots.txt’ – that is stored at the root of your domain name location. You can access it by entering www.domain-name.com/robots.txt.  You can block unwanted URLs, directories and file types.  It can really help with duplicate content URL control and aids in strategically thinking about how bots (and users) can access your information.

Should I Use The noindex Meta Tag?

This is a meta robots tag that is placed inside your page(s). It’s great for conditional restriction of crawling or indexation, whereas robots.txt is typically easier to manage for URL patterns. If you are blocking a page with robots and then apply noindex to the same page it will not see it. However, a noindex tag applied on verified pages (for index exclusion) is a viable strategy for most webmasters. Search results will not show a “Cached” link when used appropriately. While a robots.txt exclusion may still show pages in the search index, a “noindex” will not. (…just wait until the bot has visited the page, and it will be gone. Or, you can remove it inside GSC (below), which is faster).

meta-robots-no-index-example

Can I Use Google Search Console (GSC) for Crawl Diagnostics?

Make sure to have Google Search Console (Google Webmasters) configured for your website. It’s like having a (free) 24x7x365 web doctor listening and watching your entire “body” at regular intervals. The tool provides many key data metrics to help you.

Pages must render properly

You must make sure pages don’t send negative signals to the rest of the site (error pages, on-site duplicate content, hacked pages, etc.). Redirection with a 301 header status can solve many of these problems.  You can see these ‘problem pages’ inside GSC.

For example, if you have a large amount of “page not found” – you might leave them alone, but more often you can a) create an actual 404 page and provide logical navigation and content to help the user, and/or b) 301 redirect to the relevant pages or previous URLs (if you are doing a web migration for example) that were working before.

NOTE: Review data in Google analytics to see if these are (look at a wide range in the date history) heavily trafficked pages. Make sure to also look at conversion metrics.

Another tip to control ‘page dups and orphaned pages’ is to verify and provide the actual number of pages for bot management. Begin by using the ‘site:’ command in Google. Numbers are not exact, but it returns how many pages are seen in the index at that time. Compare those pages to your actual pages in your CMS or e-commerce system (actual pages, not product filters) and within the Google Search Console tool. It’s important to consider issues with faceted navigation and parameterized URLs (session ID’s) as well.

The difficult and laborious task of building incoming links should be a consistent behavior on your team.

Check the “Links to Your Site” section under “Search Traffic” inside GSC.

Can I use Server Logs To Optimize My Website?

Download daily, weekly and monthly logs and scan them using desktop log analysis tools to get more details than analytics can provide.

There are massive amounts of significant data to help you optimize what you may have missed before.

You’ll access all the URLs that the various bots crawl on your site. Sort and filter by non 200 and 301 header codes to start and fix obvious page errors and redirect issues. Many advanced SEOs will use server logs, and you should too.

Do Redirect Chains Affect Crawling?

These pesky redirect chains are not visible to users, but can be a nuisance over time, and especially on large websites. Search engines must deal with them.

If you are going through a web migration, moving to SSL, or digging into historical data, or upgrading your URL structure (including use of trailing slashes or not) – it’ll be something you’ll want to address. You want short and concise 301 redirects.

What Are Common Filetypes That Google Can Index?

While the list below is usable for crawling, try to stay within recommended guidelines: Create & submit content that is text-based. (reference)

While Google enjoys major market penetration globally, all search engines crawl pure text based assets. You can use rich media, but make sure to add specific meta information via text as much as possible.

For example, you may have a relevant and educational YouTube video. Since Google cannot crawl the video, ensure that all meta data is provided in text format.

If you are embedding a video on your blog, provide rich text around it – within the body of your page content, including a link to it on YouTube.

If Google search results pages display video results for a query, you may be showing up next…once you have optimized it.

How To Find Filetypes In Google?

Do you wish to find certain filetypes in search? When you search in Google using advanced search operators – and with the filetype: search operator, you can filter by filetypes. Alternatively, you can find terms within them. Its basic construct looks like this – filetype:doc [term].

Here’s an example of finding Powerpoint files with a specific term: affordable health care act filetype:ppt (copy)

List of Filetypes:

  • Adobe Flash (.swf)
  • Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf)
  • Adobe PostScript (.ps)
  • Autodesk Design Web Format (.dwf)
  • Google Earth (.kml, .kmz)
  • GPS eXchange Format (.gpx)
  • Hancom Hanword (.hwp)
  • HTML (.htm, .html, other file extensions)
  • Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx)
  • Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx)
  • OpenOffice presentation (.odp)
  • OpenOffice spreadsheet (.ods)
  • OpenOffice text (.odt)
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg)
  • TeX/LaTeX (.tex)
  • Text (.txt, .text, other file extensions), including source code in common programming languages:
  • Basic source code (.bas)
  • C/C++ source code (.c, .cc, .cpp, .cxx, .h, .hpp)
  • C# source code (.cs)
  • Java source code (.java)
  • Perl source code (.pl)
  • Python source code (.py)
  • Wireless Markup Language (.wml, .wap)
  • XML (.xml)

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Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.
international-seo-duplicate-content-hreflang

International SEO Strategies And Hreflang Tags To Avoid Duplicate Content

“Many websites serve users from around the world with content translated or targeted to users in a certain region. Google uses the rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” attributes to serve the correct language or regional URL in Search results.”

Questions For Your Marketing & Executive Team:

  1. Are you planning international expansion for your website and are concerned about SEO?
  2. Do you have an existing site and have issues with international SEO already?
  3. Is content not showing up correctly in search results? (Duplicate content issues, targeting issues, display/meta info issues, etc.)

If so, then this will be the most important post you’ll read this year on globalizing your website for users and search engines.

WARNING: Before Starting International SEO

When you plan to “go global” with your website, don’t just translate and publish!

Consider the operational context as well as the softer values: You’ll still need to address cultural, market and audience concerns. And, money management: Are you selling in US dollars only today, but can’t manage international currencies?

That includes getting and providing support from users in the new language. They should help by recommending, linking, reviewing and adding clients or customers to your marketing and sales funnels.

Your international expansion should follow your best practices of business building as you first created it in your core language.

Think business “speak” before “geek”.  And yes — that must include traffic research (in your market and your web analytics), core message and (sales) conversion opportunities. Does it even make sense to expand or are you just sitting on a pile of cash and want somewhere to spend it? (Don’t!)

Message, Market & Speed Still Matters

Focus on your message, market match, user experience, page speed and overall search engine friendliness.

For example, for speed concerns, a CDN would be a good option for optimizing user load times in an international context. Check with your hosting partner for options like Cloudflare and MaxCDN. Try to use a local hosting company.

International Site Configuration and Language

The international site structure carries importance.

You must decide on a country or language specific targeting option. You might consider a complete, separate top level domain (.co.uk, .de or .fr) – or a language specific sub-domain or sub-directory. Variations of these can exist in each configuration.

The local language and nuances within it must be considered. The content must be updated regularly so as to not appear stale.

If you need additional support (customer service, sales, etc) – make sure you can relate to their concerns (speak the same language, no pun intended!). Provide a well-trained, competent staff to support this international expansion. Different currencies and exchange rates will play into your back office and sales support as mentioned.

Company Team Support Is Not An After Thought

Internally, you need to set expectations properly. Create or adopt a search first mentality within your global expansion.

Always think about how to stay search friendly and how your content and pages can help users. Let Google know how you have expanded and configured your site. Hreflang is a signal to help search engines figure this out.

Hreflang Syntax for International SEO

This is a signal that was formerly supported by Google in 2011.

You can use the  rel=alternate” hreflang = “xx” in an on-page markup, or as a link attribute in the head in the documents, or in the link http header.

As an international SEO agency, our favorite option is to configure these signals inside an XML sitemap, as it covers all alternates for each URL and you can easily submit them to Google via the search console.

For example, the “xx” value can be set to “en” for all English speakers worldwide, or “en-gb” for English speaking in the UK, specifically. (Great Britain)

Hreflang Examples:

English – broad:

<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en” href=”http://en.example.com/page.html” />

German – specific:

<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”de” href=”http://de.example.com/seite.html” />

Here is an example scenario of different English speaking countries and hreflang use for SEO:

hreflang-map-us-uk-au

The specific hreflang syntax to support the above international website business case study:

hreflang-syntax-english-speaking

Test from different search IP numbers

Even without the hreflang signal, (hreflang checker) Google will try to find the best search results.

It often is not enough, however.

And, you can easily test this: Run different searches on your brand using a VPN after you’ve changed the IP origin. You’ll notice that the results are often not what you expected. Configure the right site structure and use hreflang to help you.

Hreflang In The Operational Context

If you have complex URLs, session ids that create duplicate URLs, make sure to use hreflang to the canonical version of the URLs.

All alternates should be specified on each page whether you use XML sitemaps, https headers or on-page markup.

As a webmaster, you can control these signals, and place the syntax on the same or separate domains, even sub-domains. That includes country specific of generic, top-level TLD’s (top level domains).

The information architecture should be similar to your original site. It will help on support, and also crawling.

TIP: Inside the Google search console you can also target using the geographic targeting feature in the webmaster tools. It’s not specific to all country versions, however. Bing webmaster tools also should be used.

Make sure to add each profile to the search console including separate Google analytics IDs.

Hreflang and The Benefits

The hreflang signal when applied correctly can have big benefits and outcomes for you.

First, it helps search engines consolidate multiple indexing signals, by understanding relationships between your sites, and to more accurately crawl and index pages. This includes discovery of new pages as you expand your site content.

Secondly, users and search engines (Google!) are always striving for relevant, targeted (geo) results. Providing relevant web addresses that show up in their related country specific locales is an obvious win for users, search engines and you.

User experience and user engagement is more important than ever before.

As you either expand sites, or want to add multiple languages, consider check listing your current international SEO efforts as outlined, and use ccTLDs, subdirectories or subdomains in your approach.

Avoid using country specific parameters or session ids as it is the least search friendly option.

Need Assistance With International SEO?

NEED HELP? Contact Us Here and we'll set up a time to help you get started. (We love this stuff so much, we'll even send you a free e-gift, because you took time to reach out.)


Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.
seo-audits-for-results

Forensic SEO: 7 Considerations Of An SEO Site Audit In 2017

Within the living medium as dynamic and ever-changing as the Internet, nothing needs more attention today than your website.

That includes your website health, your online business goals and what you are hoping to achieve.

You must consider the entire picture, which include strategic and tactical elements and adjusting to metrics from real-world user testing.

forensic SEO audit chaosmap

Forensic SEO audit to create high performance selling websites

And, if you need consistent and converting traffic, there is nothing more trusted than SEO-driven, organic clicks that come from top search engine visibility.

And, there are over 200 factors that count into the search relevancy algorithm for Google.

For example, most business owners don’t know that the search engines look at freshness and recency of data. Plus, click metrics and user behavior now counts as one of several “new” important indicators for online success with search.

While many of these factors are not known, we’ve learned about most of them over the last decade that we’ve worked within the search and digital space.

get-a-free-seo-audit-chaosmap

An important SEO audit letter for you

A Comprehensive Forensic SEO Audit

After a questionnaire and interview questions, we create an audit for large websites, E-commerce and transaction based websites, which may include 100’s of thousands of pages, or a million+ pages.

The resulting document contains a detailed study of your

  • domains,
  • pages,
  • content,
  • backlinks,
  • traffic patterns,
  • usability,
  • engagement,
  • technology,
  • infrastructure,
  • search analytics (search console)
  • overall search friendliness and on multiple devices (e.g. mobile)
  • and much more

These are just a few, but are absolutely essential to understand and get right, in order to sustain long term visibility in search.

Review all the features and goals of your site and get a comprehensive list with inner-working details.

Then, begin to develop a proper go-forward SEO plan.

All the data points must not only be captured, but also be updated ongoing.

This is important, because you need to compare progress as things get implemented and fixed.

A system for continually monitoring changes in SERPs (search engine results pages) – it is paramount to all SEO work.

Go Beyond “SEO”

Consider the soft, non-technical aspects of an SEO audit. It’s part of a wider scheme, namely the overall company marketing and campaign intent. You can find and solve technical issues all day long, but SEO is much more than that.

SEO is about the inclusion of the total business eco-system.

That also means “user experience” and focusing on the core goal: serving the visitor’s initial request.  This is what intent is all about.

As an SEO expert, you must deeply know how websites, marketing, business and the web works.  Your web pages with  their content assets must serve, inform, entertain and educate the audience as they move along the customer journey.

REMINDER: Simple technical updates or content changes can have a ripple effect through larger sites. Be careful!

Here’s a top level view of broad categories within SEO forensic audits:

Branding and Market Conditions
Trustworthiness, site links, title tags, headline tags, competitor keywords (branded & non-branded), traffic (mobile & desktop), web analytics (Google analytics audit) and call to action.

Onsite SEO
Penalties, keyword plans and content structure (including duplication issues), server issues, crawling errors, internal links, broken internal links, robots management, page speed / timings (including geo-locations, connection speeds & browser types), image optimization, SSL, AMP, mobile friendliness, canonicalization and International SEO. Focus on user experience and relevancy.

Learn more about tools and strategies to start your SEO on-page analysis.

Offsite SEO
Penalties, back link audit, broken links, site / domain quality, social, reviews and citations, bad neighborhood linking, disavows, blacklists, link diversity and link growth / frequency.

TIP: Learn more about how to use blogging can be used as one of the popular backlink-building, traffic-driving, SEO off-page strategies.

The Benefits of the SEO Audit

benefits of seo audit for b2b

NUMBER 1:

Some of the most important are finding out where and how to get more quality traffic, discovery of how traffic may have dropped (quickly or over time), or if any past penalties (Panda, Penguin) is currently holding your site back. You need clarity and focus on keywords, content and analyzing the right engagement metrics. (Visitor trends, bounce rates, conversion rates, time on site, etc.)

NUMBER 2:

You may be thinking about an upcoming domain migration, or have recently redesigned or migrated the site(s) and lost rankings and traffic and need to understand what happened, and how to fix it …FAST.

NUMBER 3:

You may be considering moving to SSL across single or multiple domains, and must understand the whole picture, the impact – while minimizing the fall-out.

NUMBER 4:

You may be launching a series of websites or needing to re-boot an existing one — and require a clear path and plan on how to get more converting traffic while building a trusted brand.

NUMBER 5:

Or, you’re trying to understand what products to keep or filter out from search engines based on traffic and sales. This also considers profits and is an important strategic consideration. This discussion goes beyond just “being #1 in search results” which is not always what you need.

NUMBER 6:

Sales! Considering revenue is critical and real sales is what your CFO is looking for, not rankings (although your marketing team may initially feel differently!)

And, if you use the popular WordPress platform there are likely many search engine blocks preventing you from top rankings and converting traffic – right now!

seo-audit-prevents-disaster

Don’t build a website on shaky ground. Build SEO for stability and long term.

Building a Website On Strange Land?

Imagine building a beautiful, pretty house (your website) on a major earthquake fault line or a sloped hill, and you don’t even know it.

It’s a disaster waiting to happen. Revealing all the issues along with a detailed explanation, education and plan about all the potential concerns, would be essential.

You already understand that you must have a user-and-search friendly site, and that includes BOTH mobile and desktop.

All pages and content must be specific, measurable and have unique quality content that serves the right audience and that is socially ready and aware.

When you start with the 7 components below – all search engines will reward you with a higher position in natural search results.

The art and science of SEO (search engine optimization) is simple as they say, but not easy.

And, for larger sites and SEO website migrations, things can get very complex quickly.

7 Action Steps for Better Search Results:

This is not a comprehensive audit checklist, but a starting place to ask questions.

seo-audit-starting-listSEO is more than just creating a page or website and deploying it.

You must think strategically about keywords, content, users and link building opportunities.

It’s also important to address all the technical issues – from any server side issues to the HTML code and possible robots blocking.

As mentioned, engagement metrics are essential, and you must understand your analytics to a deeper detail.

Google specifically is looking at user behavior and click patterns. (e.g.: ‘Did the visitor to the web page click back or off the page immediately?’, ‘did the page serve and meet the needs of the visitor’, etc.)

Begin with these 7 questions:

  • Keywords – do you have keywords and phrases that people search for on your pages? Did you analyze your market and perform keyword research? Are they included naturally throughout your page(s)? Relevancy is key.
  • Links – are you creating enough quality content to attract links from others? Link quality matters more than link quantity.
  • Anchor text links – are you receiving links with “keyword phrases” in your inbound link profiles? For example, “Bankruptcy Attorney New York” is better than “Click Here” (Note: However, don’t over-use this. Balance it with natural backlink profile).
  • Popularity – how “popular” is the page that is linking back to you? How relevant is the exterior page and link? If your theme is about topic “X”, get more relevant links from within that community
  • How do the visitors see your site? How favorable is that view? Make sure your traffic and click-through-data matches the search query, and that you don’t have a high bounce-rate. Both desktop and mobile are crucial in this review.
  • Are you including social media? Search engines (indirectly) use signals from activity on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and others. How well is that traffic converting?
  • Page speed and website up-time. Make sure you are hosting with a professional grade hosting partner, and that you have fast load times of pages and all online assets (code, images, documents, etc)

Finally, ensure you are found not only for informational keywords, but also for your buying / transactional keywords.

Remember, keywords must match your pages and content topics.

You can use the Free Google Keyword Planner Tool to get a sense for the market and levels of competitiveness.

Other tools like Bloomberry and AnswerThePublic will help you understand what your audience is searching for. You’ll also create new ideas for content for your own website.

You should already have web tracking scripts from Google Analytics installed, and linked up the Google Search Console.

seo-audit-getting-startedHere at Chaosmap, when we look at doing an SEO audit for your website – we look at all these factors, indexation issues, crawling issues and as many as 150 checkpoints during our audit process.

We use free and paid SEO tools including proprietary, internal systems and software to gather metrics that we manually add to our 150+ page report.

Depending on the size of the site, and issues found, SEO audits can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks.

A detailed, and in-depth Website Analytics Audit is also highly recommended.

This audit will ensure that your “website house” will be designed and constructed on solid ground.

It will create a high-performance asset for your company. Hopefully, for a long time – and with an updatable implementation plan you can use with your marketing team.

Want Us To Help Take A Deeper Look?

CONTACT US when you want to get advanced and detailed information to 10x your sales and improve your overall website performance.

Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.
3 Website Improvements That Make for Happier Customers

3 Website Improvements That Make for Happier Customers

As technology improves, customers have higher expectations for business websites.

For instance, 52 percent of consumers say a high-performing website is their most critical expectation when visiting an e-commerce site.

website-improvements-make-happy-customers

Technology And Website Improvements Make A Big Difference

Forty-eight percent of users won’t wait for more than five seconds for a site to load and 33 percent will leave to buy from a competitor if a site takes too long.

Customers also expect more from mobile sites, with only 35 percent willing to wait longer for a mobile site to load compared to a desktop, compared to 44 percent of respondents willing to wait in 2014.

Staying competitive in today’s market means keeping up with your customers’ expectations of your website.

Here are three key areas where it’s crucial to make sure your website meets customer expectations in order to keep your customers happy.

#1 – User Experience

Your visitors’ user experience helps form their first impression of your website and your brand, which can play a crucial role in determining whether or not they decide to become a customer.

Business consultant Larry Alton recommends three initial steps you should take to optimize your visitors’ user experience.

Page loading impact

First, since page loading time has such a large impact on whether or not your visitors stay on your site, you should make sure your page loads quickly.

Google provides PageSpeed tools that your developer can use to analyze your site and identify areas for improvement.

The benefits of an SEO audit are undeniable and should always be considered before starting any SEO planning.

Ensuring that code is built correctly is important, including e-commerce and WordPress developed sites.

Website and data security

Second, with cyber attacks on the rise, it’s important to make sure your site and your customers’ data is secure.

Limit the number of users who have administrative access to your site, and use two-factor authentication to reduce the risk of being hacked.

Make sure anyone on your staff with access to your site follows your security policies.

Third, adopt a streamlined design layout that users will be able to view comfortably on mobile devices.

This means reducing excessive text and focusing on large graphics and video when possible.

For instance, if you view Apple’s home page on a smartphone, you will see a clean look with an emphasis on graphics and white space, minimal text, and icons for menu options.

#2 – E-commerce

E-commerce & SEO is another area where you should take steps to optimize your visitors’ experience.

The vast majority of your visitors come to your site not yet ready to buy a product. This means that you need to offer content that motivates them to stay on your page and get into your sales funnel.

One effective way to do this is having your home page offer a case study, e-book, guide, or video that addresses some need that your visitors have.

Your home page should also include calls to action oriented towards visitors who are looking for information or resources but are not yet ready to buy from you.

As for your sales page and shopping cart, the easier you make it for your customers to buy from you, the higher your sales conversion rate will be.

For example, Amazon includes a shopping cart icon at the top of its home page so that it’s easy for visitors to begin the purchase process as soon as they arrive.

Amazon also makes it easy to add products to the cart, begin the checkout process, choose shipping and payment options, review orders and make repeat purchases with one-click ordering.

#3 – Customer Service

Customer service is another crucial component of an effective website.

Forrester research shows that 76 percent of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a representative on the phone.

A good contact cloud center solution can help ensure that you’re able to provide your customers with consistent support across live chat and other media.

When customers do need help, they increasingly prefer live chat, with 65 percent now using live chat compared to 43 percent in 2012, according to Forrester.

NEED HELP? Contact Us Here and we'll set up a time to help you get started. (We love this stuff so much, we'll even send you a free e-gift, because you took time to reach out.)


Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.
mastering-the-art-of-video-editing-more-traffic

Mastering the Art of Video Editing

If you are considering video as a strategy to drive more traffic and leads to your business, you are making a smart move. You should test it for your market.

But, while the content strategy is just as important in video as with other media channels, you must make the video look good to ensuring higher user engagement.

You probably know this, but let me remind you: the edit is the most powerful tool in video making.

“There are many factors that go in to creating the perfect marketing video. Having an intelligent script, skillful camera and audio work, and seasoned producing and directing are crucial aspects to making a marketing video successful.  But perhaps the most important piece, the place where all of this comes together to form a coherent story is during the editing process. “ – Skillman Video Group

What comes out of the editing room is what the audience will see from your brand. See basic editing examples on Wistia.

video-editing-basics-wistia

Wistia.com – the guys are having fun while sharing great editing insights

Knowing how to edit in a compelling way ensures your message will get across and the viewer will enjoy the experience.

Types of Edits

There are countless kinds of edits and cuts that are used depending on what needs to be portrayed.

Straight cuts, fast cuts and smash cuts are a few of the easiest to use.

  • Straight Cuts: These are an editor’s bread and butter. Essentially, they are used to change the angle of a shot or to move between shots. They keep the story moving forward and keep interest in the scene.
  • Fast Cuts: These change how the audience perceives the energy of the scene. You see this style of editing in montages and high-energy videos when you don’t have more than a second to see the frame before moving on to the next one.
  • Slow Cuts: These are the direct opposite of the fast cut. Where fast cuts get your heart rate going and you are taking in a lot of information, slow cuts build the tension in a scene. Think of scenes in horror movies when you know the monster is in the house and the camera stays on the main character as the monster comes up behind him or her.

When to Use Different Cuts

Editing styles have changed drastically over the last 50 years.

King Kong – Storified in a movie

Older movies tend to have fewer cuts with more emphasis placed on each cut. Today, cuts tend to happen more quickly and move the story along in a specific way. When you decide to cut influences how a scene plays out.

For instance, long takes with few cuts let tension build and enable viewers to take in all parts of the frame.

Alternatively, a lot of quick cuts lead viewers to see what the director wants them to.

The length of the final project also has to do with how many edits there are.

Short videos and ads aren’t conducive to a slow cut, and an interview would be jarring and difficult to follow if there were a lot of fast cuts.

Editing Commercials

Commercials, especially for fun products like food and drinks, use quick cuts to give off a lot of energy in a short period of time.

Videos that are only 15 seconds long also have to cram as much information as possible into that segment as possible.

Take a Captain Morgan commercial as an example.

captain-videos-youtube-fun

Captain Morgan Videos – editing examples

One of the brand’s 15-second videos can have up to 20 cuts, none lasting longer than one second.

This is just enough time for the viewer to process the general message those frames are trying to convey without wasting time on explanation or detail.

Editing Interviews

A more subdued video, like an interview, still benefits from good editing.

In this case, editing is needed to keep the viewer’s attention for longer periods of time.

A single angle of two people talking is boring, so certain editing techniques were developed to keep viewer’s interest longer.

Cutting on action means that you change your angle when the subject is doing something.

For instance, if the subject is turning away from you, you would cut before the turn is complete to eliminate the awkward second when the speaker is not facing the camera.

Another good example is if a speaker gestures toward another person. You would want to cut to their reaction to make the scene look natural.

Editing out a speaker’s “umms” and “ahs” also makes for a more engaging video.

While these moments may seem minor in a normal conversation, they add extra seconds to the final product and are seconds when the audience may stop listening.

These can easily be taken out by cutting to a different angle and trimming down the audio from the first segment.

Drive More Traffic

Once you have created, edited and produced a video, make sure to publish it to your YouTube channel, and optimize it for search engines (SEO). You’ll get ranked, drive traffic and build a targeted audience for your email lists and retargeting campaigns.

Tools of the (editing) video trade:

  1. http://www.telestream.net/screenflow/overview.htm (Favorite)
  2. https://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html (Favorite)
  3. http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere.html (Favorite)
  4. http://www.apple.com/ios/imovie/
  5. http://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/
  6. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/get-movie-maker-download
Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.
marketing-strategy-paid-owned-earned-media-which-is-best

Owned Media, Earned Media, or Paid Media: Which is Better?

When determining your online marketing strategy for brand visibility, traffic and (sales) conversions, you have a number of pathways you can choose to pursue.

jon-rognerud-speaking-SEMPO-search-marketing

Jon Rognerud presenting “Owned Media & SEO” At #SEMPOForum San Diego, CA

From owned media, to earned media, to paid media, each strategy comes with its own set of benefits depending on the message you are looking to deliver, and what’s most important to your business now.

Each kind of online marketing strategy has a unique set of characteristics.

content-marketing-strategy-paid-owned-earned-media-ensemble

Chart from http://www.altimetergroup.com/

But before you decide which is right for you and the campaign you are developing, you’ll need to completely understand what each consists of, how each works, and what kind of results you can expect from each marketing strategy.

Owned Media (“Customers”)

When you are in control of the website, blog, social media page, or other online platform you’re hoping to use to deliver your marketing message, this would be considered “Owned Media.” It’s your corporate content.

“Owned media is defined as communication channels that are within one’s control, such as websites, blogs, or email;” – Wikipedia

With owned media, you are able to provide and updated the exact message and content you want, whenever you want, free of charge. (other than your time)

Because you have full control over your social media accounts, website and blog, you can put whatever information you want into any of the pages and profiles.

This gives you complete control over your marketing strategy, allowing you to manipulate exactly what is said, what is shared, and when it is posted.

An example of owned media would be sharing content (even sales copy) on your Facebook page, without paying to promote the ad any further than to the followers you already have.

Owned media is best for targeting return or loyal customers, or displaying a new product, a promotion, or new information to customers you have already done business with.

If your marketing campaign is targeted to getting more return purchases, using owned media could be the best strategy.

And, when you combine this strategy with SEO (search engine optimization), you have the added advantage of driving new eyeballs to your pages with keywords and links.

The biggest drawback with only using your owned media is that it can be slower to market, and it is more challenging to reach a new audience.

This kind of marketing strategy will usually be preferred to reach your followers, loyal customers, and fans, unless you choose to also implement some paid media or earned media strategies.

Paid Media (“Strangers”)

“Paid Media” is your traditional sense of marketing and advertising, where you pay to promote the posts on your own social media pages — or you pay for advertising space on partner sites (display) or in search (Google Adwords, for example).

“Paid media refers to publicity gained through advertising” – Wikipedia

Your paid media is placed with the goal of directing potential customers and purchasers to your website pages (landing pages) and products.

Other forms of paid media include paying “influencers” of your target market to share your links, products, or website.

These influencers may be celebrities, social media personalities, or other companies that already have a following comprised of the people you want to visit your website and purchase your products or services.

Because you are paying for the advertising space or the shout out to your company or product, you almost always will have control about what is said, or at least get to approve the message before it is sent out.

For paid media outlets, you may even develop ads for the other individual to use or post, or you will send exactly what you want to be posted to the company or individual you are paying.

Paid media online is not much different than paid advertising in magazines or newspapers, it is just done in a digital marketplace now.

Paid media is usually relatively easy to secure.

Your biggest challenge with paid media will be finding the right fit, with the right audience, and the right way to display your products, services and brand to get the best results.

Taking the example of the Facebook ad you shared to your own Facebook page in the owned media section, that same ad can become a form of paid media if you pay to boost or otherwise promote the post further.

When you pay for a Facebook ad to be promoted, it will appear as sponsored content to individuals who don’t already follow you.

Once that ad starts appearing on other people’s pages who are not already associated with your social media account, it becomes a paid media form.

Earned Media (“Fans”)

Where paid media and owned media are relatively easy to secure and control, earned media is the exact opposite.

“Earned media (or free media) refers to publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising” – Wikipedia (ref)

With “Earned Media” you and your company will have no say in what is talked about, shared, or promoted. This is UGC (User Generated Content) at its best.

Instead, you rely on your fans, followers, and customers to promote your business. They essentially can become brand advocates – and that you don’t pay them for.

There are a few forms of earned media, and each has its own benefits, but it is usually the most difficult to secure. It is however, the most beneficial to your business success.

Retweets, mentions, shares, voluntary testimonials and other social media interactions that you do not pay for are all forms of earned media.

When other marketers mention you by name or keyword on their page(s), and with links back to you, you’ll earn better SEO rankings and traffic over time.

Earned media is free, but the only way to get it is to become a company and business worth talking about.

A good way to view earned media is as digital “word of mouth” or recommendations throughout the web for your products and services.

In many cases, a word of mouth recommendation is more believable and taken more seriously than advertisements on paid media or owned media.

This is because the individual recommending your company does not have any incentive to do so.

People will share if you provide excellence.

They are simply sharing a good experience or recommending your products because they have found so much success, they want others to find the same level of happiness.

Because the number of online shops, experts, and services is constantly increasing and becoming more and more available to a wide variety of people, people are more protective of where they choose to buy from and who they trust to deliver a service worth their money.

Establish a great reputation.

In order to use earned media in your online marketing strategy, you already need to have a good following in place and you need to develop great content that is easy to share and appeals to a wide variety of individuals.

Because you have little control over what goes viral, these kinds of campaigns can be extremely difficult to be successful in.

If we again return to the example of the Facebook ad, earned media comes when Facebook users comment, share, or like the ad, regardless of if they saw the paid media form or the owned media form.

If you have a strong network of followers, paid media might not be necessary because shares and likes can attract friends and followers of your loyal customer base.

However, paid media will allow you to test ads, keywords and landing pages quicker, so keep that option open.

Conclusion

When developing your online marketing strategy to drive traffic and create further visibility for your brand, all three types of models should work together to achieve your marketing goals.  And, what those goals are will influence what media you should target.

Knowing your audience and applying a persona-driven attribution marketing framework will help you drive higher converting traffic to your early, middle and late stages in your sales funnel.

You can use paid media to drive behaviors via your sponsored assets (ads, videos, content) which eventually will turn into sponsored knowledge.

Benefits come from all three areas.

Each kind of media channel in the POEM (paid, owned, earned media) model has benefits specific to it and can drive different results. You have to take action, and test this for your own business.

“Paid media creates ‘brand awareness’ and allows you to gather valuable marketing data quickly, owned media builds and supports the ‘brand experience’, while earned media boosts the ‘brand conversation’.”

It is difficult to say which is the most important because each will give you a different outcome.  But there is no doubt that the trifecta model works, and all should be applied and tested. The power of “converged media” (the delta that emerges when you lay each ‘circle’ to form a Venn-diagram) working for you is ideal.

You must also consider the “time vs budget” conversation. What does this mean in your business right now. Do you have more time than money? If so, you may start in the Owned media area first.

To determine which pathway is right for you, you’ll need to assess where your company currently is, where you would like it to go, and what means you would need to take to get there.

NEED HELP? Contact Us Here and we'll set up a time to help you get started. (We love this stuff so much, we'll even send you a free e-gift, because you took time to reach out.)


Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.
seo-write-for-people-not-search-engines

Use These Essential Writing Tips For Better SEO Copy

When you are creating new copy for a blog or creating content for the Web, there are two objectives that you need to fulfill:

  • first, make the content useful, pleasant and attractive for human users,
  • and second, do the same thing, and add topical relevance (with well researched keywords) for Google’s algorithm so that your page will get a lot of traffic.
seo-user-experience-optimization-content

7 Things To Consider for user friendly content (From http://contentmarketinginstitute.com)

These sometimes overlap and occasionally contradict each other.

In this post, we will run down some of the most important tools and structures in your content and how they serve users and SEO (infographic) outcomes.

It is important to understand how to craft great content, because it can be the cornerstone to a website and help you build your brand.

By taking the time to learn the best ways to improve your copy, you are investing in the future.

Structure

The structure of each piece of content makes a big difference in how many people will spend the time to read it.

Especially online, it is becoming ever harder to attract and keep a reader’s attention. One of the best ways to do that is to use short sentences and small paragraphs.

chaosmap seo blogging tipsKeep your paragraphs no longer than 3-5 sentences.

This is advice from journalism, where keeping a reader’s attention with short paragraphs is an old trick.

How users read on the Web: “They don’t. People rarely read Web pages word by word; instead, they scan the page, picking out individual words and sentences.” – Jakob Nielsen

You should also use plenty of subheaders with boldface to let the reader know exactly where they are. People scan (not read) content on the Internet.

All of these structural tips are aimed at making your content easier to skim.

It is rare for people to read a post or article all the way through, but very common for them to skim it and read only the sections that seem most interesting to them at the time.

Layout

It is hard to make a choice about layout, because here the human and SEO objectives clash a little bit.

This graphic shows the essential SEO elements to build into a web page.  And you must to all you can to avoid the common web design mistakes.

layout-vs-design-seo

Consider SEO elements and balance Design and Layout of a web page

On the one hand, having more images and even infographics can be quite attractive to human viewers. They are perfect for supporting and reinforcing text and they also serve those people who prefer to skim.

However, any content that you put into an image won’t be crawled by Google (make sure to add relevant keyword text in the image alt attribute, so it will help drive SEO benefits. And, you’ll get found in image search!)

You also don’t want to put in too many images because that can affect the speed at which the page loads, and we’ll talk more about that later.

chaosmap seo blogging tipsIf you use WordPress – use an image optimizer to get better page load performance.

You want the navigational bar to be easy to find, clear, and located in a consistent place, because readers should never be confused about where they are or how to get to where they want to go. Here’s an article on how to use breadcrumbs for SEO and your navigation.

Clarity takes priority over flashiness in all elements of web design.

Headlines

You need to pick headlines for your content appropriately. This also goes for subheads. They are important for both SEO and readership.

seo-headlines-important

David Ogilvy on the importance of headlines in copy (and SEO)

The goal of a headline is to describe what is to come in the following content in a condensed, enticing phrase.

A headline that is too long will take too long to read and spill onto multiple lines. If it’s too short, the headline won’t be descriptive.

chaosmap seo blogging tipsA useful tip: don’t put your keywords into your headlines and subheads too often.

That will make Google’s algorithm suspicious that your content is not organic and genuine. If you think ahead, you can make your headlines into tweets for when you announce your content on social media.

Remember that headlines and subheads are what your viewers will see first and are the thing they are most likely to remember, so spend some extra time crafting them and think long-term.

Bulleted Lists

Adding lists with bullets to your content is a great way to summarize repetitive or similar ideas without needing to create an image or relying on long, loose sentence structure.

seo-time-on-site-copy

Improve time on page for SEO (writing layout)

There is no rule of thumb for when to add a list, but if you have, for example, a set of pros and a set of cons for an item, then that is a good candidate for creating some lists.

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There is a happy medium when it comes to the length of a list.

chaosmap seo blogging tipsIt shouldn’t be so long that it seems tiresome, but if you have less than three entries the list seems superfluous.

It’s also not a good idea for list items to spill too far onto a second line, because that can be distracting and take away from the list’s appearance.

Lists are a perfect way to break up walls of text, which are anathema to engagement.

Social Media

Social media is a very important part of sharing your content.

share-button-improves-traffic-research

Mentions per site goes up 7 times with a Tweet Button (research)

First of all, social media is a means for people to find your content.

You share everything you post via social media channels, because then you have people who can stumble across you in more places than just Google.

chaosmap seo blogging tipsMake sure to add ‘social share buttons’ on your essential pages and make it easy for users to share your content in social networks.

More importantly, when your readers share your work across their own social networks, you gain many more potential followers and loyal readers. This effect is called propagation, and it is very powerful.

The more a piece of content propagates, the more readers you get with no investment of your own: your readers are actually spreading the content for you.

In addition, social media engagement is a positive sign for Google, and it will get you a higher ranking as long as the propagation is organic. In other words, don’t try to buy likes or shares.

Mobile Users

It’s more important than every before to think about mobile users. They now constitute more than half of all Internet users worldwide. The recent Pew Internet Mobile Report shows usage, behaviors and that people’s technical sophistication is growing.

Today nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and 19% of Americans rely to some degree on a smartphone for accessing online services and information and for staying connected to the world around them – PEWINTERNET.ORG

That means if you are not ready to serve them, you will miss out on a large number of potential readers.

Set your content up for mobility by choosing pictures that will resize themselves, making sure your fonts do not become blurry on small screens, checking for the column width so that it doesn’t cause lines to break up on mobile, and so on. Your developers can install plugins (if WordPress), or utilize CSS and mobile detection to serve the right content and navigation.

chaosmap seo blogging tips

Take the mobile test on Google.

There are a lot of little details that can affect how content displays on a mobile device. You need to carry out tests to ensure that things work properly and all of the content displays as intended for mobile users.

Not only are you including them in your readership, but mobile platforms are perfect for social media engagement, so it interacts well with your social networking and outreach.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that the best way to make your content and copy as good as it can possibly be is to put yourself in the shoes of your potential readers.

Ask yourself what they would want and then decide how you can provide that value.

Test out your site on friends and family to see how they react to it and use testing tools to look for any flaws in the design.

chaosmap seo blogging tips

Try usertesting.com or feedbackarmy.com to get real feedback on how well your site and pages are working (or not).

Make your copy easy to scan and digest, and encourage readers to leave comments and share it on social media.

Greater engagement will give your readers a better sense of connection to your copy as well as improve your standing from an SEO viewpoint.

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Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.
chaosmap-clever-seo-keyword-research-tactics

7 Clever SEO Keyword Research Tactics

It’s no secret that keyword research should be at the core of every online marketing campaign.

While there are plenty of marketers who downplay the role keyword research plays in terms of crafting content, boosting traffic and improving conversions these days, it’s important to understand that it still reigns supreme even after all the updates released by Google.

(One of these major Google updates: Google Hummbingbird, is changing how we look at the ‘keyword game’. Instead, we’re looking for answer-box query opportunities… with search context and user intent in focus. It’s obvious: “display the best search result to a query, but also the one that searchers click + engage with”).

chaosmap-hummingbird-google-update-context-user-intent-seo

Google Hummingbird Infographic – Courtesy business2community.com

The thing is, most marketers do not know how to do keyword research the right way.

If what you do when researching for keywords is entering a seed term in Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner, downloading the results and then sorting the list in a spreadsheet, then you are definitely missing out on a ton of opportunities. (However, it’s a starting point).

This same method is being done by countless other marketers every single day.

Sure, you might discover a hidden gem, but why limit yourself? If you have an authoritative domain (research domains via keywords too), then this shouldn’t be an issue for you.

But if you’re still working your way up, then you want to uncover keywords that few others will target, and still have good conversion chances.

Lower competition means higher chances of ranking on top of the search results, and if the messaging (copy) and call-to-action is done right, you’ll boost your bottom-line too.

Your first order of business is to change your perception about Google’s Keyword Planner. (NOTE: The Google kw research tool is found inside the Adwords product. It’s geared towards paid search (PPC), and leaves many SEO and long tail terms ‘hidden’).

It’s not the only avenue through which you can research keywords for your content creation strategy. Read on and discover other places where you can find highly targeted keywords to boost the traffic and revenue of your online business.

7 Ingenious Keyword Research Techniques To Drive Traffic & Increase Revenue

1. Education Marketplaces

There has been a rapid increase in demand for online training and learning.

“Here’s A Guy Who Makes $1,000 An Hour Tutoring Kids Of Fortune 500 CEOs Over Skype From His Apartment”

coaching training skype over $1,000 an hour

Anthony Green: coaching & training over skype at $1,000 an hour

Countless people are willing to shell out money to get high quality training courses.

Skillshare and Udemy are just two sites that offer online courses for students.

This particular market is interesting in that you can guarantee that they eager to spend money in exchange for quality education.

skill-share-training-make-money-research chaosmap

Creating content that attracts students can prove to be very profitable for your site.

The first step is to find out the top courses in the category under which your niche falls.

Udemy works particularly well here for two reasons: first, their training courses are created by experts, which means they already have a working understanding of the language used by the target audience; second, the courses can be sorted by popularity, making it very easy to find the most taken courses.

You can narrow down results by picking a sub-category.

Afterward, sort the courses by popularity. You’ll see filtering options on the left of the screen.

In the “level” filtering option, choose the appropriate audience. So if you’re creating content for beginners, then be sure to tick the “beginners” option.

You’ll then be presented with a list of courses related to your niche. What you want to do is read through the course descriptions and find keywords that have great potential.

As mentioned, these are written by experts, so they probably know what they’re talking about. Use their knowledge and incorporate the keywords and further strategy they use in your own content and educational materials.

2. Question and Answer Sites

What are the best kinds of keywords? Obviously, those that come directly from your readers. It’s now easier than ever to find these keywords. Through the help of some third party tools, you can find keyword ideas based on content found in question and answer sites.

Faqfox is one tool to consider within your online marketing toolkit. It scrapes threads from different forums and aggregators based on the keyword you enter. You can even add a specific forum. Use it as an aggregation tool.

seo-keyword-research-faqfox-questions-answers

After clicking the search button, you’ll be presented with a list of thread titles. You can find full questions that were asked by your target audience. This gives you incredible insight about what they’re looking for.

You can also scrape popular forums in your niche. As you know, people go to forums to discuss a certain subject. You can gather thread titles and enter them in a keyword density tool.

What this does is it allows you to see the most commonly used terms by your target audience. This might not initially seem that helpful, but knowing whether your audience uses the word “best” instead of “top” can mean a wealth of difference.

3. Competitors’ Websites

Who says you can’t steal keywords used by your competitors?

This one is a bit trickier than the previous two methods, but if you know how to do it correctly, you can gain a significant advantage over your competition.

There’s a good chance you’ve experienced searching for a particular keyword and seeing one result that shouldn’t be there (both in SEO, PPC and Local search). In many cases, authoritative domains rank for keywords for which their content isn’t really optimized. Their authority and trust factors simply push them to the top of the first page.

You can take advantage of this opportunity by using Google’s Keyword Planner. If you’ve never used the space where it says “your landing page” before, now is a great time to do so. Enter the URL of your competitor’s website. It’s up to you whether you enter the root domain or a URL of a specific page.

keyword-research-competitors-adwords-kw-tool-chaosmap

Upon hitting “Get Ideas,” you will get hundreds of keywords related to the site.

You’ll see the grouped results (the default display) in the area below the monthly search volume trends. This can also be displayed as a list of “keyword ideas”. (Note: the grouped options are helpful if you are creating an Adwords campaign).

In most cases, you’ll see keywords which you wouldn’t get if you simply entered a seed keyword in the text box. The next step is to plug the keyword list into a rank tracker. Your goal is to find keywords for which your competitor’s website ranks. Ideally, for your own projects, you want those that rank either in page one or two of the search results. You’ll should begin to collect and compare data between the GKT (Google Keyword Tool), GA (Google Analytics) and the GSC (Google Search Console). While Google Analytics doesn’t reveal all the natural keywords anymore, you can infer patterns of usage and certainly narrow down what pages (content drilldown) need more help to rank and drive conversions.

4. Twitter Chats

A lot of marketers use Twitter to reach their target audience, but only a handful know how to use it to generate targeted keywords for their business.

The hashtag is a powerful tool that lets you in the conversation of your potential customers.

By reading Twitter chats, you can learn what your audience likes to talk about. You can then glean relevant keywords which you can use when crafting content.

Again, you need to use a few tools for this method:
Tweetchat, Twitterfall and Hashtagsorg work well here.

These tools basically work in the same manner: You enter a hashtag and it returns Twitter chats that contain the hashtag you used.

tweetchat-keyword-topic-research

Search for popular and niche hashtags for keyword research

The problem is that the results you see are usually not useful. What you really want to do is participate in the Twitter chats. This can be done by staying updated about the schedule of the chats. Twubs and Tweetreports are two places where you can find schedules of Twitter chats relevant to your business.

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Hashtags.org – #searchengineoptimization hash tag analytics

Once you’re in the conversation, be sure to jot down the questions raised by other participants. Also be on the lookout for commonly used terms, as they can be a difference maker when it’s time to write your content.

NOTE: many of these tools require you to authenticate your Twitter account. It’s a usual and expected practice these days.

5. YouTube

Many marketers forget that YouTube is the second largest search engine, trailing only its parent company Google. Millions of people use YouTube to watch videos not only for entertainment purposes, but to educate themselves about certain topics.

You can use a tool like soovle.com to get a full picture of many destinations online, including YouTube.

youtube-keyword-research-tools-seo-soovle

This tool can be useful for writing traditional text, it’s not just about ‘streaming media’. You might even find keywords that the Keyword Planner wouldn’t show you.

Aside from the YouTube keyword tool, you can also utilize the auto complete function of the search box.

Simply enter a keyword and see the related keywords that show up under it. This can prove to be a goldmine as the keywords are already sorted by popularity.

youtube-auto-complete-search-keywords

YouTube.com – ‘auto-complete’ keyword search suggestions

And while you’re at it, you might also want to look at the comments and see what people are talking about.

YouTube comments often have both positive and negative comments, but you can find a few gems here and there if you know where to look.  Plus, you’ll learn what videos seem to work better than others based on the feedback.

For example, here’s a video of mine on ‘local seo tips’.

6. Amazon

If you’re an affiliate marketer, there’s a good chance you’ve joined Amazon Associates.

Aside from selecting what products to sell and getting your affiliate links, it is important to utilize the power of Amazon in terms of helping you craft the best product reviews and research what others have written. Take note that this method also works even if you’re not an Amazon affiliate.

reviews-amazon-ratings-keywords

Amazon reviews: a niche keyword research and feedback treasure

In some cases, writing product reviews can prove to be too difficult. This is particularly true if you have no firsthand experience of using the product (and you shouldn’t lie!).

If all you include in your review are the same things such as product descriptions and features, then you are not really offering anything of value to your readers.

The secret to writing excellent product reviews is answering the questions of buyers.

Where can you find these questions? On Amazon, of course.

Many do not notice that product pages on Amazon have a dedicated question and answer section. This is where customers can ask questions about the product before they make a purchase.

It’s safe to assume that these questions are also typed in search engines. By providing the answers to these questions, you can build trust among your readers, thus compelling them to purchase through your referral links.

All while you gather further keyword research data that you can embed in your own site(s).

7. Keyword Tools

There are several keyword tools out there. Google’s Keyword Planner is the most popular since it’s free and most of the tools on the market extract data from it. It’s important to understand that each tool comes with its own limitations. This is why it’s a must to utilize multiple keyword tools to get the most comprehensive and relevant keyword list for your online business.

One way to get a lot of long-tail keyphrases is to use Ubersuggest.

Here’s an example of first level results from ‘search engine marketing’:

ubersuggest-search-engine-marketing-keyword-research

Ubersuggest.org – long tail keyword research

Basically, this tool works by adding a letter or a number to your keyword.

It uses the auto complete suggestions from Google and records all results for you. You can then download the list and plug them into Keyword Planner or another tool of your choice.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Here’s a 3-page list of free and paid keyword research tools (PDF) you can and should review for yourself.

Conclusion

Perhaps the biggest takeaway here is that keyword research isn’t all about entering a keyword into Google’s Keyword Planner.

SEO is changing, and the future of SEO is will include more of ‘user intent’ thinking, improvement and leverage of long tail keywords, local search (including mobile), and ROI.”

There are more places in which you can discover highly targeted keywords.

With a little bit of creativity and common sense, you can surely find the best keywords for your online business, allowing you to craft the perfect content and optimize your campaigns to ultimately increase revenue.

P.S.
Have you looked into ‘regular’ magazines? Most keyword research happens online, but stroll down to your local library or bookstore, and pick out some magazines for your market. You’ll get more ideas from ‘offline’, and that may include some great headlines for your pages.

Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.