Introduction to content marketing
It is a truism to state that traditional methods of conducting advertisements are becoming more and more unreliable by the day. Forward-thinking marketer s will tell you that there is a better way of doing advertisements, a way that is efficient and strategic in nature.
Content marketing is a marketing approach that is strategic and is primarily focused on the creation and distribution of consistent, relevant and valuable content for the purpose of attracting and retaining a well-defined audience as defined in the business, content and marketing plans.
Ultimately the goal is to propel customer action that is profitable in nature. Instead of pitching one’s services and products you focus on providing the customer with content that is useful and relevant with the goal of helping them find a solution to their problems.
Why marketers should consider content marketing and its benefits
This type of marketing strategy focuses on creating, distributing and publishing to a specific audience. Businesses use this type of market strategy to achieve the following goals;
- To engage the vast online community users
- Expansion of clientele base
- Increase or generate online sales
- Increase the credibility of a particular brand together with its awareness online
- Generate leads while drawing attention to a particular product or service
Content marketing is an efficient way of attracting prospective customers and also turning those prospects into customers or clientele. This is achieved simply by creating and sharing free information or content online that is useful to your target audiences.
The use of this strategy helps businesses, companies and organizations create brand loyalty that is sustainable, it helps in providing the customer with information that is valuable and it also creates willingness among both prospective customers and returns customers to engage the firm in the future for business.
One thing that makes content marketing stand out from other online marketing strategies is the fact that it heavily relies on meeting and anticipating the needs of the existing clientele in terms of information.
As James O’ Brien of “Contently” eloquently put it to marketers, the idea central to this marketing strategy is that a brand must provide something valuable in order to get something valuable in return.
The gist of this statement is that instead of merely being the commercial, one should endeavour to be the show instead of just being the banner advertisement aim at being the feature story.
Effective content marketing requires that one produces large amounts of content continuously, the content should come ideally, from a well-formulated content marketing strategy. A business that decides to use this marketing strategy should primarily focus on the needs of the customers or prospective customer.
Once the need of the customer or prospective customer has been positively identified, valuable information can be presented to the prospects and customers in various formats. The business may decide to use case studies, white papers, videos, podcasts, blogs, how-to-guides, email newsletters and infographics. Most of these formats for presenting information to prospects and customers are found in digital channels.
Therefore, digital content marketing is a process whereby the management uses electronic channels to forecast, identify and satisfy the content needs of a particular online audience. The digital content must also be updated constantly so as to have an influence on the behaviour of the customers and prospective customers.
But why content marketing?
In answering the question why content marketing? It is important for one to understand the steps of the buying cycle. There are four steps in the process of buying or purchasing goods or services these four steps are as follows;
Before being aware, the customer or prospect may have a particular need that needs to be satisfied but they are not aware that there is a readily available solution.
Once the prospect or customer comes to the realisation that there is a solution that can satisfy their need, they begin conducting research with the aim of educating themselves about it. For example, a buyer may try to find out the different types of motor vehicles that exist and which one will be best suited for their needs.
At this point, the customer begins to compare and contrast products from different sellers with the aim of establishing which among them is offering the best deal in terms of pricing and quality.
At this point, the customer makes a final decision and moves forward to complete the transaction.
Research has shown that content marketing focuses primarily on the first two steps of the buying process. Content marketing is interested in raising awareness about a certain product or service that is being offered while at the same time educating the customers or prospective customers about a service or product that they may have never come across.
Businesses that have used this marketing strategy effectively have reported an increase in terms of profitable customer action. This means potential customers or clientele find value in their content and by the time they are contacting respective businesses they are already convinced that they should do business with a particular enterprise.
The implication of this on businesses is that they find no need to engage in high-pressure sales campaigns. It becomes a matter of going through details, signing agreements and getting started on a transaction.
One major benefit of content marketing is that it helps in establishing trust between the prospective customer or customer with an enterprise. The trust that needs to be worked on during high-pressure sales campaigns is already acquired even before the business itself is aware of the existence of a potential customer.
Benefits of content marketing
There is a popular phrase that says ‘’ content is king.’’ For a while content marketing used to be a way that business and organizations set themselves apart from the rest.
Over the past few years, this has changed drastically, content marketing has become essential for any modern brand worth it’s salt. Behind every reputable brand, there is a great wealth of valuable and relevant content that effectively connects with that particular brand’s audience.
Below are some top reasons why one should consider employing content marketing as a strategy to propel your business into the next level.
Brand’s Reputational Improvement
Content marketing is an effective way of cultivating a sustainable relationship between a product or service provider with their prospects and customers.
The capabilities of building a good reputation for a brand is something that makes content marketing a must for many businesses. Today’s digital market place is a beehive of activities; it is therefore, of paramount importance that a business strives to build trust using their leads and customers alike.
Building trust with your clientele is essential in creating and sustaining a brand reputation that is positive. Creating content that is custom is a fantastic way of building and cultivating goodwill between the business and its customers.
When a customer begins to read the content of a business they automatically begin to form an opinion of your business and brand. If the information they find therein is useful, educative and engaging the same will be translated in the manner they perceive your enterprise. This being the case, one should realise that the more value your content generates the easier it becomes to build trust with your prospects and customers.
Great content is helpful in influencing conversions
If you study conversion statics you will be able to understand why content marketing is so important.
According to ABG Essentials content marketing provides businesses with conversion rates 6 times more than other digital marketing strategies.
According to a research conducted by Content Marketing Institute, it was shown that after reading a blog and its recommendations, 61% of online users in the United States of America decided to buy a particular product.
This marketing strategy helps increase conversions mainly because it allows the business to connect and educate its customers and leads effectively.
By helping the consumers make educated purchasing decisions, one is able to gain their trust and in the process, this helps in improving conversions.
In order for one to maximize their content for conversions, it is advisable that they add a call to action. The purpose of including a call to action is to guide the readership on what to do next.
Whether conversion means contacting the firm’s sales team, more information or buying a product or service it is important that you make this very clear to the person reading.
Great content is effective in optimizing your SEO efforts
The importance of content as a marketing strategy becomes crystal clear if one considers the important role content helps improve your company’s Search Engine Optimization.
SEO operates to improve your firm’s or company’s online visibility. For a company’s online visibility to improve it must create content that is optimized.
According to a study conducted by Tech Client, the creation of content is usually the most effective way of achieving online visibility. The more content you have on your firm’s website, the more likely a search engine will show users in their search results.
Secondly, it is important to note that having more pages does not necessarily mean more traffic or higher traffic. What this does it enables or provides an opportunity for your brand to appear for more keywords during a search. Something worth mention is the fact that the more content you have on your site the more reasons visitors have to stay around. This is great because a higher on-site time can greatly impact your SEO
Creating content that is great is a cheap way of bringing in new leads
Lead generation is very important for small firms or businesses. These establishments are reliant on traffic that is consistent so that they may grow their brand and boost their sales. Content marketing affords small enterprises a great way to conduct lead generation without breaking their banks.
According to Demand Metric, although content marketing costs 62% less than the ordinary marketing strategies, it generates three times as many leads. The affordability of this marketing strategy makes it a must-have for many small enterprises that are looking to maximize their budget.
Content affords you the opportunity to showcase your expertise in a certain field
Consumers are very keen on ensuring that they are dealing with people who are well versed with what they do.
They need to be assured that you are well versed with the ins and outs of your respective field or industry. One is able to demonstrate their expertise through the content they provide their readership.
As you are providing the readers with valuable information you are building trust while at the same time helping the client makes educated decisions in regards to a purchase. Make a purchase or not, the customer will remember the brand site that offered them the most valuable information.
The consumers need to have a piece of mind; they need to feel that their needs are being taken care of by industry experts who can easily troubleshoot issues that come up and give them credible answers to their queries.
Recommendation or content marketing takeaway
If you are still wondering why content marketing is the future of your enterprise, consider how effectively it can help you build a sustainable relationship with your clientele.
Once you have that in your mind consider the immense benefits that come with having a good reputation within the market place.
Reputation precedes your business a good reputation guarantees you customers long before you even interact with them. Failure to use this strategy at this day and age is an act equal to shooting oneself in the foot.
The strategy has been proven to work over the years and its results are when used effectively nothing short of phenomenal.
Using content marketing as a marketing strategy is a good way of ensuring your customers come back and secondly it is a good way of creating powerful brand ambassadors.
Content marketing is helpful to businesses of all sizes; it not only helps you boost your online visibility but also helps in building better relationships with your leads and customers.
The Future of Advertising and digital consumption
Advertising is here to stay. As long as there is commerce, there will continue to be advertising. There’s just no other effective way to make products and services known to consumers. And if they don’t know your product exists and what it does, they will not buy. Since the inception of mass media, advertising has continued to evolve tremendously especially in the digital ecosystems. When television took the world by storm, we didn’t see anything else coming until the Internet empowered us in ways we never thought possible. We can currently use Google Adwords, Social Media Marketing and other digital marketing platforms to reach our target audiences.
While we still continue to enjoy the freedom and benefits of online advertising, there is a growing expectation that the future of advertising is far beyond anything we’re seeing or doing today. If you were thinking about holograms or some form of space advertising because of something you saw in a SciFi movie, well, maybe you’ve drifted a little too far. We’re yet to adequately take advantage of what the Internet can do in the world of advertising, and I expect that to be done in the nearest future.
Television has clearly taken the lead for over a century, especially as it concerns reaching targets simultaneously. But a recent report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau has shown that digital advertising revenue has surpassed that of television, with US $72.5 billion spent in 2016. Even with this growth, we expect unprecedented transformations within the digital ad industry in the coming years. But within this budding ad industry, what will internet marketers focus on to push their products in the future?
What will drive Advertising in the Future?
The future of advertising is probably already with us. There is a noticeable paradigm shift in the way smart marketers want to connect with internet users. The truth is that the present interruptive and forceful ads that flood the Internet do not exactly enhance the browsing experience of users. There are more pissed users than satisfied ones, and more people are beginning to shut down popups even before they fully appear. To move forward, ads should connect and not just try to inform or persuade.
So what will marketers focus on in the future when they plan their campaigns?
- Content Marketing
In the years to come, the importance of content will be emphasized more than ever before. Consumers are increasingly seeking for brands they can feel, and not just brands they can see. They are increasingly seeking for the How and Why and not just the What. Pop-Ups and Interruptive advertising are unable to provide better information about a product. Plus, Internet searchers do not want to be distracted from a page they’ve spent the last hour searching for.
So what is Content Marketing? According to the Content Marketing Institute, it is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”. I have decided to adopt this definition by CMI because no other definition can clearly encapsulate the true components of content marketing.
This goes beyond pitching your product or forcing it on people. With content marketing, you’re providing useful and relevant information that can help them solve their problems. If consumers find your content useful enough and can rely on the information you have provided therein, they’ll more readily trust your product too. The world has moved away from the time when advertisers treated consumers as robots and people who couldn’t think for themselves. Then, the hypodermic needle theory was in full practice.
Things have changed today. The future of advertising will depend on marketing campaigns that truly respect the consumers and answer their questions. As consumers become more aware, it is expected that content marketing will lead the train in the future. But it didn’t just start today. Content marketing has to be embedded in everything you’re already used to; from SEO, social media, PPC, and content strategy to your public relations practices. The key is for the receiver to get value from it.
The image below illustrates how content marketing needs to work.
To better understand why content marketing will play a better role in the future, consider the statistics.
Forms of Content Marketing
- Web pages: If you desire to place marketing contents on a webpage, you must realise that it is different from just any kind of content. Your marketing content has to be fascinating, valuable and relevant. It must capture the attention of the audience and provide “useful”, “valuable”, and “relevant” information.
- Videos: I know YouTube comes to mind here for their vast experience and reach. Regardless of how much content marketing videos you think you’ve seen, this form is still largely untapped. People are still intrigued by what they can hear and see. This will go on for many years to come. If you can pass your information using a quality video, you can’t imagine how much it can do for your business.
- Books: eBooks have suddenly become a big deal in the content marketing world. Apart from teaching people a thing or two, smart publishers now use this effective medium as a way to sell their products and services too. Besides, it’s a status conferral symbol to be called an author. It makes you feel important and also like an authority in the subject you’ve written about.
- Influencer Marketing
Just as it has been for the last 100 years, influencer marketing will continue to be a large part of advertising in the future. The celebrity culture doesn’t seem like it will ever fade away, and as long as people have their idols, they can be easily influenced. People Magazine attracts 4.6 million readers every week and it is the most read American Magazine. The simple reason is that people are obsessed with their celebrities. They want to see what’s happening in their lives, and yes, what they’re wearing too.
This is why celebs get a lot of endorsement deals, especially from fashion companies, automobiles, wristwatches, and so on. The simple explanation is that I want to wear a Rolex because I have seen Dicaprio wear one, and I believe it will make me feel like I belong to a certain class. The best brands who take advantage of influencer marketing actually look out for stars who already use their products and advertise with them. I have mentioned Rolex before because it is a very good example.
In the last 5 years, attention to influencer advertising has grown dramatically. It truly can make sales rise through the roof and it is very cost effective. There are three (3) key factors that smart marketers should pay attention to in the future.
- Use Influencers who are interested in your Products: It is not worth your money and time to use just any celebrity because they have a huge social media following, if they don’t use your product or service. Apart from it being a little deceptive, you will get the best results when people actually see your favorite celeb rocking your brand in public or even in their homes.
- Be sure the Celeb has the Attention of your Target: Just because your proposed influencer has 10 million followers on Instagram doesn’t mean they can successfully reach out to your targets. Understand that there’s a difference between “reach” and “reaching out to”. While the former is a factor of numbers, the latter has to do with influence. However, will using a particular celebrity translate to buying decisions by his followers? That is the question to ask.
- Hold Celebs Accountable: For some reasons I may never understand, some companies are satisfied with just paying an influencer and producing a campaign without any attention to success. I often advise business owners to clearly spell out their goals from the very beginning. Let them know what your short and long-term goals are and what you’d like that specific campaign to achieve.
A successful influencer marketing campaign must put the following into consideration;
- Ensure the influencer is the right person (character) for the job.
- Give your influencer some creative freedom to express herself.
- Identify small-circles influencers too.
- Be sure to clearly negotiate the price.
- Don’t be carried away by the Influencer’s follower count.
- Don’t be too promotional with the campaign. Be more organic than sales.
- Carry out campaign analysis to check the progress.
- Don’t be afraid to state your objectives and demand value for your money.
But it’s not just “celebrities” that can influence people to buy your products. There is a growing market that we need to pay attention to. People trust their friends to recommend products they have used. This is a kind of mouth-to-mouth influencer marketing. The image below explains the power of this form.
- Social Commerce
This is a very new digital form of advertising and has grown noticeably in recent years. Social commerce enables you to buy a product from a third-party site while you engage normally in the social media experience. Here, you don’t even need to leave the social media site to buy a product. You can browse, compare and buy the product on the same platform, Facebook, Twitter or any other platform. You don’t even need to go to the actual seller’s site to do that.
Presently, only Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest lead this social commerce trend, but I expect more platforms to join in the coming years. Did you even know you can now sell and buy on the Facebook Store? You can talk to potential buyers, upload pictures of your products and sell directly on Facebook. Just be sure to post the right products on your shop page and pay close attention to your top sellers. This is how social media is establishing itself in commerce, not just through backlinks, but as a major tool for social commerce.
Twitter has also partnered with several e-commerce platforms to make shopping on Twitter quite seamless. If you already have a vast following, this is one avenue you must take advantage of. Then, there’s Pinterest. Since its buyable pins introduction in 2015, the company has recorded more than 100 million users already. It is also the leading site in terms of average value of sales made, currently at $50. Social commerce is making e-commerce so much fun.
You’re interacting with your friends and loved ones, and the next moment you’re selling a few items. This is what the future holds and it’s amazing. By 2018 and the years that follow, I expect more social media platforms to follow suit and more companies to take advantage of this form that may well become the future of advertising. So while you contemplate on the next steps for your company, you should put this into serious consideration and set aside a reasonable budget to push this through.
- Mobile Advertising
When Mary Meeker predicted in 2008 that mobile will overtake fixed internet access by 2014, I’m not sure a lot of people doubted it. Even at that time, the signs were clear for everyone to see. It was clearly proliferating the world in ways we couldn’t even imagine. Today, it amounts to more than 60% of internet searches. In 2020, 80% of internet users will be doing so with their mobile devices. I think you should write that down.
A recent report by smartinsights.com, and compiled by ComScore, on mobile usage across the World showed that mobile devices dominated total minutes spent online, with 71% in the United States and as high as 91% in Indonesia. With this huge potential, knowing that the world is going mobile, it will be disastrous to have a site that is not mobile-friendly. It will even be unwise not to adopt a mobile-first index when planning your ads. From inception, we know that mobile usage has continued to rise globally.
Now that we know, it’s no longer a question of whether mobile marketing is important or not, because we know it is, you should be planning how you can take advantage and build your campaigns to be mobile compliant. That is the way. If anything, the mobile revolution will drive the future of advertising, making it easier, faster and more convenient for people to see your ads and make buying decisions on the move.
When I say the future, it is here already. The revolution has started and just like the age that we’re in, people are moving really fast. The future of advertising will depend on so many factors, but those who will lead that future and dominate in business are those who will pay attention to the signs and adopt these practices.
Understanding and leveraging visibility using Google’s Major Ranking Signal
Google ranking factors. Do you feel like you’re doing enough and not getting the SEO results you desire? Does your webpage rank poorly on Google’s SERPs? By the way, that means Search Engine Results Pages. The truth is, you’re probably not doing just enough, or maybe you’re doing too much of the wrong things. Arguably, SEO retains its top spot as the single factor that can enhance your site’s visibility on Google, but to take advantage of this, you must understand Google’s Major Ranking Signals.
There are more than 200 components that make up Google’s ranking algorithm but you might be wasting your time if you try to do everything. So let’s stick to the major ones. SEO isn’t really about ticking every single box; it is more about identifying your priorities and handling them diligently. While there are a few I would talk about, backlinks remain a top factor. You need to learn link building strategies for local SEO, as it is a major ranking signal for Google SERPs.
- Link Building (Backlinks)
This is one of Google’s Major ranking signal that you should closely consider. Whether you run a local or global business, it is important that you pay attention to link building as a major tactic for Search Engine Optimization. After all, once you’re on the web, you’ve gone global already. There are quite a number of link building strategies that can help your local SEO results. Some of them include;
- Attend Local Meetups
If you run a local business, servicing a particular state or country, local meetups can truly help you build the links you get to your pages. You can visit meetup.com to check for local meetups and get involved. Most of these local meetups lack permanent locations for their meetings. You can offer them your business as a meeting location. This will help you familiarize yourself with them and have them know your business well. One or two other investments in their activities can win you that local link you truly desire.
- Focus on Local Review Sites
I know we all like to focus on big review sites with enormous popularity and lots of visitors. However, if you intend to improve on your local SEO, you should focus on local review sites for their local relevance amongst your target customers. These sites and their contents are targeted at local searchers who require the services you offer and providing backlinks for your site will greatly help your business.
- Local Blogs
This is another important link building strategy for local SEO. You should target local bloggers who are actually out looking for content. The same is true about local newspapers that have an online presence. While they can do a lot with the rich information you provide, they also help you get more links to your site.
- Local Directories
The image above shows some of the best local directories with which you can share information about your business. They do not have to be huge and generic with very flamboyant names. Just ensure they’re genuine, reputable, and relevant to your business type. This can also help you with massive link building.
- Event Sponsorship
This is much like attending and sponsoring local meetups. However, it’s a little different in scope. You should throw in a little investment for these events and promote your business in return. Do not settle for just having your logo placed. You can request that they also link them back to your site.
What else you can do…
Generally, links help you drive traffic to your site directly. We all want great traffic on our sites because that is what leads to an increase in sales, and consequently, an increase in ROI. There are some other general link building strategies for local SEO that you can adopt;
- Know Your Audience: This doesn’t only refer to your present audience, but more importantly, your potential audience. You need to know who your ideal audiences are, their online behaviors, and how you can get them to your site. By knowing your audience, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what websites they’ll likely visit and perhaps try to build contents around those.
- Identify Websites that Attract Your Ideal Audience: This has to do with knowing those websites that your present and target audiences already find appealing. It’s a good thing you already know who your audiences are. This will aid you in finding out those websites that already have their attention. Building links on these websites will help direct them to your site.
- Create Beautiful Contents: You cannot attract other websites to link to your site if you do not produce amazing contents. Also, the audience you’re trying to win over must find your contents engaging and appealing. Consider the structure, truth, authenticity and authoritativeness of your content. These are what attract your audience, as well as what Google looks out for in ranking your site.
- Pair Contents with Suitable Websites: Now you already have a list of websites you identified as appealing to your target audience. You also have your amazing contents available. It is now time to match these contents with the appropriate websites. Lookout for the websites on your list that fits the theme and philosophy of your content. It is only when you’re sure that your contents are relevant to their sites that you can reach out to them.
- Contact the Selected Websites: This is naturally the next thing to do. You should reach out to these sites that you have found to suit the contents you have written. Remember these are the websites with which you want to enhance your link building capacity. A phone call, an email or even a Tweet is a good way to get in touch with them. Don’t be too formal about it, but respect courtesy.
- Take Advantage of Social Media: Social media platforms are other great ways to get links and reach new audiences. You can post about your blog or site on Facebook, leaving a link in the process. Tweets are also a good way to reach both old and new audiences and drive traffic to your site. This link building mechanism is getting very popular amongst business owners, especially due to the continued proliferation of social media.
Your link score in all of these link building efforts is one factor that Google uses as a ranking signal. Other ranking signals include;
We’re all aware of the internet marketing phrase; “content is king”. But we also need to know what specific content quality Google is looking out for. Generally, there are two types of contents; the main content and the supplementary content. While the main content is the article of focus- properly written, well positioned and with the right size- that brings a user to your page, the supplementary contents are what might keep them on your page. If you don’t believe me, here’s what the world’s richest man has to say;
They are obvious enough to be noticed, but should not take attention away from the main content. There are basically three things that Google will check to see if you did right.
- Length: The length of a page’s content is obviously important to its quality. That is according to Google’s search quality guidelines. This will also determine your site’s ranking. However, Google admits that your page’s title and purpose should determine the length of your articles, but advice that you look out for pages with similar keywords that already rank high, and have an idea of what a satisfying amount of content will be.
- Keywords: There is no way to get your page appearing at the top of SERPs without adopting the right keywords for SEO. And for keyword usage, your title is key. It remains the most important signal to Google and must be properly optimized with the right keywords. Also, using keywords in your meta descriptions and the article’s body are also very relevant, even though not as powerful as the title. The H1 tag usually carries the most SEO weight of all the headings.
- Comprehensiveness: This has to do with how relevant your content is to the subject it has treated. Can people find the right information about certain issues that your page has supposedly treated? Can people rely on your page for both qualitative and quantitative answers to their questions? Will people find good user satisfaction when they read your content? Google looks out for such metrics in likely terms and phrases that should appear in your article.
- Authoritativeness/Expertise: This is how you win Google’s trust and respect. It is what is generally called E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness). To ensure that users have confidence in information they get from a page, google asks that they look out for the site’s About Us,
Contact or Customer Service, and other details on who runs the site and is responsible for the contents.
- Technicality of Page
SEO is also greatly determined by the technicality and architecture of your site, and google is also curious. For technical SEO, they need to know two things;
- Mobile Friendliness: Before anyone can even determine the quality and comprehensiveness of your contents, they need to be able to access your page, even with their mobile devices. More than half of google searches come from mobile devices. If your pages are not optimized for Mobile phones, there won’t be any mobile search ranking for you, and that is a major loss for you in today’s business world.
- Speed: Google recently confirmed that speed has become a ranking signal. It is important that your page is able to load in less than two seconds (all other things being equal). Otherwise, you will be a victim of lower conversion rates. You should be sure to compress resources such as pictures, scripts, and CSS files if you’re going to rank high on google for speed.
- User Experience
Google believes searchers are in the best position to decide what is relevant and what is not. What this means is that if users have chosen to go with a particular search result, it is likely to be more relevant than the other pages on the SERPs. One way to measure this is to look at Click-through Rate (CTR). CTR is merely a ratio of the number of times a SERP listing was clicked to the number of times it appeared. It is a major ranking signal used by google.
Reviews are the major determinant of your site’s reputation and what people (and yes, google) will think about your product or service. It is a bit outside of the original SEO factors, but, according to google, can tell a lot about the quality of a site, and therefore how well or badly it will rank. In Google’s words, “When the website says one thing about itself, but reputable external sources disagree with what the website says, trust the external sources.” Expert opinions and experiences of users often count more than what you say about your site when it comes to Google’s ranking signals.
Two things that are essential for your site to do well in Google’s SERPs are Relevance and Quality. If you look closely, you’ll realize that most of the things I’ve explained here as Google’s major ranking signals all revolve around the quality of your site and its relevance. Even in link building for local SEO, the sites that you intend to place your links are interested in the quality of your page and how relevant your content is to their users, and so should you.
Google has also taken it as a point of interest to assess the quality of the websites that provide you with links. As much as you must maintain strict quality and discipline on your site, be sure that those on which you have your links have a great online reputation too.
This guide has been able to expose you to link building strategies for local SEO and how they combine with other factors that make up google’s major ranking signals. You will do well to pay attention to these things so that you can adjust your site’s viability by enhancing its SEO and watch it soar high on search engine results.
12 ways to establish and implement successful SEO for an E-commerce website
Since the e-commerce revolution began some years ago, there’s been an increasing competition for online users by businesses that have online platforms. Search Engine Optimization has been identified as the major factor that can clearly lead to a successful online business. Evidently, there is a continuous effort to boost SEO for successful e-commerce and increased profits. However, many people don’t get the results they desire.
There’s a need to understand the current online business landscape and identify the processes that have pushed SEO in 2017 and will continue to do so in 2018. By detailing 12 processes to establish a better and successful e-commerce SEO, this guide provides you with the best SEO practices for 2017 and 2018. If you want to increase your website’s visibility and transform visitors into buyers, you should understand these 12 processes for successful SEO that I have explained here;
- Link Building
Link building as a major SEO activity has been with us for a while. In 2017, it became even more prominent as a major technique that can help boost ecommerce. I do not see any reason why this would stop in 2018. I expect more online businesses to take advantage of links as an effective way to build traffic in the coming months and so should you. The strategy is not to merely look for new links, but to identify quality links that will really add value to your site.
Furthermore, you should look out for authority sites and trusted blogs if you truly want to be seen and ranked high by search engines, especially Google. But to do this, you need to identify other sites that your potential customers like to visit. This is done through intensive customer research. Once identified, you can reach out to them with quality contents that are sellable.
- User Experience
Google has made it clear that it is placing more focus on users in carrying out its ranking classifications. I believe this will continue to be a major focus for SEO ranking. As a business owner, having a successful SEO would also be determined by the satisfaction users derive from your site. How fast was it? Did they get the answers they needed? Did you solve their problems? How long did they stay on your site? Did they find the site generally useful?
These are the questions bordering on user experience. If you want your site to rank high, you must build on your SEO by making your site relevant to searchers. Ensure you monitor your site’s readability, speed, and navigation structure, and then know how you can improve on these components to increase your conversions and, consequently, your ranking.
- Featured Snippets
Companies who wish to claim position 0 in search engine result pages have long embraced featured snippets as the best way to catch the attention of searchers. Because snippets appear at the very top of SERPs, businesses are continually struggling to have relevant enough results to people’s queries. Google looks out for very precise snippets that clearly answer questions that searchers have.
This has opened up the conventional SEO struggle to be at the top. Snippets are referred to as Position 0 because they are the first thing you see on a search page. A recent survey of over 1.4 million Google queries has shown that almost 30% now display featured snippets. You must determine what Google looks out for in online contents to consider them fit enough to be featured snippets.
- Reaching out to Communities
This is what some experts may call hijacking communities. Online communities continue to be a major way to establish a better and successful eCommerce SEO. You need to be able to identify those communities that cater to your line of business and play host to your target audience. It works in two ways. The community can be made up of your potential customers or people who can help you get to them.
Once a relationship is established with such communities, you can then get them to help you promote your products, services and brands in their communities, by providing links that direct them to your page. This is a great way to build links and generate traffic to your site. And because you already know that they’re target customers, it is an intentional marketing activity and can lead to great conversions.
- Existing Websites Acquisition
This is one SEO activity that a lot of businesses shy away from. While some people think it is too expensive, others don’t even see the need. Even in the real world, companies acquire competitors to expand and to reduce the competition for customers. You can look out for sites who offer similar services to yours and buy them over, especially if they have good traffic. What this translates into is more traffic for you, less competition, and more customers for your products or services.
This SEO technique truly works and will prove very profitable in the future. I have bought over sites for $1,500 before. That is not so much, considering the immense impact the move will have on my ROI. I had taken over the traffic of the previous owner, links of the website, and an influx of new contents. Everything that the website has been able to achieve over the years will now become yours through this acquisition.
- Competitor Analysis
Here, I will focus on competitive link analysis as a major SEO technique. You need to be able to monitor and analyze your competitor’s links; the pages that provide them, how related they are to their content, and so on. By looking at their websites and pages that link to them, you can work towards developing similar links. But just be sure it is working for them. This is a crucial part of the general competitor analysis and is an effective way to boost your SEO activities.
You would require a link analysis tool though. Something like moz’s Opensiteexplorer.org could work. It will help you get the backlinks data of your competitors. Another good tool you can use is Site Explorer. Visit the websites and see what your competitor does there. If she writes for them, nothing stops you from doing the same, because you most definitely cover the same subject matters. Otherwise, you won’t be competitors.
- Pay Attention to Video Content
The visual world is fast becoming the searcher’s choice in modern times. Demand for video content production is currently over the roof. In fact, Facebook alone recently released a report that its users now watch more than 100 million hours of video every day. By the time you consider other social networks and then webpages, you may have a clue of this revolution. However, search engines only have a little problem understanding the video content yet, except for those uploaded via YouTube.
What this means is that the audio does not yet count for keywords. It is for this reason that it is not just enough to have captions for your videos but to also have a full transcription. It is this written words that will reveal the keywords in the video and make it more visible to searchers. You can even go ahead to add some extra details not mentioned in the video, add relevant links and make it very engaging too.
- Mobile-First Index
I am very sure you must’ve seen this somewhere else already, but it is becoming clearer that mobile devices are becoming the future of the Internet. Already, about 60% of all online searches are done on mobile devices. My projection is that the number will rise by another 10% before the end of 2018. Searchers are ordinary people like you and I who probably do not also have the time to just sit in front of the computer. They search on the move.
Mobile phones give them the freedom to do so. If you want to build a better and successful ecommerce SEO, this is one area you should prioritize. Yes, that’s the word. It is no longer enough to simply make your site mobile friendly. It should now be mobile first. It should no longer be something extra you do after you must’ve set up the website. It should be a major part of the initial plan. It is something you should think about first. Accelerated mobile pages are also a good thing to consider.
- Keyword Research
The relevance of keywords to SEO isn’t fazing out yet. For a long time to come, keywords will remain a major way to make your website rank high. But most of the time, we neglect research, probably due to laziness or a mere oversight. We assume that we know what searchers type when they need answers. You may come close if you think about what you will be searching for if you needed your product or service. However, coming close isn’t enough.
Many experts believe your SEO should begin here. How do you boost traffic and sales if you don’t even know what your niche searchers are actually searching for? This is why research is important. Keyword research will help you target and optimize for the right keywords. The mistake many people make is that they try to focus on too many keywords at the same time. Try and focus one keyword on one article. Apart from seeking a friend’s opinion, you should Google the keyword you have chosen to compare the results with what you have written. This illustration by Ahrefs should explain it better.
- Taking Advantage of Q&As
If you’ve ever heard of Quora, you’ll have a good idea what I’m talking about here. It is a site where people go to ask questions they need answers to. Take advantage of such sites by providing answers to their questions, especially questions that appear to have been asked repeatedly with no relevant answers. Within your answers, you can provide links that direct them to your site. Also, at the top of your answer, you should clearly state your name and your website, with some details of what you do.
If people come to trust your answers over time, they will begin to visit your sites when they need answers in the future. Searchers like to derive satisfaction, and they know they can get this from websites that provide useful and relevant information to their queries. Quora, for instance, ranks for a number of relevant keywords. You can also find them by using Ahrefs. Just enter Quora.com on the site explorer, then search for keywords under positions 3 and below related to your niche. It is that simple.
- Content Building
One question I get a lot is whether; content is still king. One website owner asked; “Can’t I just throw in the right keywords and get it up there on SERPs?” The truth is, no matter how appropriate your keyword placement is, you need to fix them in a well-written, relevant and useful content. Google still looks out for this. Remember I have already discussed User experience. Take a look at the best-ranked sites (the first 3 on SERPs) and you’ll see what I mean.
You cannot simply produce a haphazard content and think you’ll be ranked high. A successful SEO requires that your contents pass the plagiarism test, the grammatical test, and should provide answers to the most troubling questions about a subject. It begins with a great idea, followed by greater research. I always advise that you use real-life case studies and make your contents as engaging as possible. If you do this correctly, you’ll begin to understand why content building is one of my 12 processes to establish a better and successful eCommerce SEO.
- Link Reclamation
Let me explain this SEO practice in the simplest way possible. There are times when a site or blog mentions you or your product on their pages without providing a link. If you do stumble on such, it is important that you ask them to link your page. This can help drive traffic to your site in the thousands. In fact, this doesn’t require so much effort on your part. It only shows that you’ve been doing the right thing and that’s why you’re getting the mentions. But you do deserve credit, and you should ask for it.
This is a guide on 12 Processes to Establish a better and Successful E-commerce SEO. It contains some of the best SEO practices you can carry out in 2017/2018. If you really want to rank high in SERPs and turn visits into conversions, SEO is the way. These techniques will help you do that effectively and in good time too.
10 Link Building Strategies for Local SEO
Link Building is arguably the most important strategy in every search engine optimization effort. The important things any business person certainly wants is more leads, an increased customer base and of course, more financial returns. This is common with every business person whether local or otherwise. Search engines provide a very excellent way to achieve this. Many times, people who are in search of various goods and services end up having to search google for the answers they need. This simple fact provides a great opportunity for you, as a local business owner, to attract customers to your business.
However, the first step is to be on Google’s listing but this is not all. There are a number of other things you can do as a local business owner to get more customers and in turn, more revenue. These are referred to as search engine optimization and are the things you do to give your business a higher ranking. As a matter of fact, it can be even a lot easier and faster to get results for a local website than a site for an international business. But you will have to give it some of your efforts.
Basically, getting a link of very good quality is one important thing you must do to be able to get the top listing on Google. As a local business owner trying to promote your business, you should pay attention to not just getting links but getting links that will attract your target audience, that can build the image of your brand, that are relevant to your industry and are also from a site in your target local area. As earlier noted, it’s not just about getting a link. It’s about getting a good quality link that can help you grow your business. And there are strategies which you can use to achieve this. Below are ten good strategies you can use to build quality links for your local business.
- Take advantage of local partnerships
If you have your eyes on the people in a particular community or geographical location, then you should form partnerships with organizations in that area. This will provide you with the opportunity to get backlinks from their sites.
Look out for local businesses rather than big national or international ones. This way, you can help your business to attract the perfect audience in your area and not a widespread audience you do not need. Look out also for local news as well as community blogs and contribute to them while also contributing to blogs run by local businesses.
If you find local events that provide services to small businesses, it is a great addition to your business to sponsor them when you can. This will help to give your brand recognition as well as provide an opportunity for you to get backlinks.
- Own a Resource Page
This is another great way of attracting attention to your site and business and goes a long way to show that you are an expert in that area. You can create a page that provides information about small businesses in your locality. If you are a hairdresser in Philadelphia, for example, you can create a resource page that provides a list of the best weave manufacturers in your area. Providing valuable information will compel people including your competitors to link to your resource page. Here’s a search result showing some resource pages online.
Once this page begins to attract the attention you are looking for, you will get the opportunity to begin to be a participant in various forums that are concerned with or interested in the business you do. In this way, you get the opportunity to build links from all these sites whose events you have participated in. Besides, you will also get leads and customers from people who are interested in what your resource page contains.
- Spy on Your Competitors
Pay attention to and look out for what your competitors are doing. You can use the SEO Spyglass tool to access your competitors website and what they have ahead of you. When you enter the URL of their website, you will see an overview of their link profile as well as how strong it is. With this tool, you can see a list of the backlinks of your competitor(s) as well as the statistics. Here’s an image showing components you should consider.
This will enable you to find and pursue new opportunities. You will be exposed to links from which you can pick out backlinks of high quality using their InLink ranks.
- Have your customers link to you
If you have customers who have been loyal to you over a period of time and who love your brand, get them to link to you by sending out partnership badges. This works just the same as getting customers to wear your branded T-shirts or use your stickers on their cars, maybe. The only difference is, this one is on the internet but can achieve just the same feat.
Another great advantage of this is that it will introduce the name of your product or service as the anchor text. This, way the name of your business or product is made prominent. If your customers give you good reviews which will most likely be the case if you have a good product or service, then here is another great opportunity for you.
- Make guest posts
Here is another excellent way to build links. Writing very high-quality content for other websites is a great way to get good links back to your own site. Remember, however, that unless otherwise asked, you should not try to drop links into the body of the content especially if it’s your first time. And when you do provide a link, make sure that the article is on a topic that matches the link you are providing in your bio. Over time, as you build a relationship, you may be able to only include your sites in the main article and not in the bio. This helps to make you appear authentic to the site and not just as a guest.
A recent study by blogger jet on guest posts shows that they can actually help to drive a lot of traffic to your page.
One more thing you should know about guest posting is that while it may be tempting to keep your best posts for your own blog (which can make a lot of sense) don’t be tempted to write a low-quality content for your guest post. This is because, either way, you are your own brand and so you must make sure to represent that well. You don’t want to come appear on a post like you do not know what you are talking about because it will be a great minus. Besides, you can’t expect high-quality blogs to accept just anything you offer so at the end of the day, you may not even get that posting with a low-quality piece.
- Organize contests and giveaways
You can co-sponsor a giveaway on another website or simply put, get another website to work with you so that you can organise a giveaway. This is a great way to come to the notice of potential customers. Do not just give away the products on your site, do that rather on a popular blog or site. Do something like asking people to visit your blog or site from the blog you are partnering with. Ask them to come back and say something about your product. This should be what qualifies them for the win. In this way, you introduce your site and business to potential customers.
In addition, people generally tend to keep talking about giveaways and contents like this. This means, most times, that they will link to the site you partnered and in turn, your own site. Hence, it is not just the people who partook in the contest that get to know about your business and products but also the people on various platforms who will learn from them. And what’s more? This will cost you a lot less money.
- Make your Product Details Page (PDP) shareable
Now this one should totally be very common knowledge but most people do not use it right. First of all, have your customers review your products and share the reviews on your page. Create emails to send messages to your reviewers. The emails should include links to their reviews so that they can share it.
You can choose to include share buttons on the emails to help them share easily to their social media platforms (this would also be a very excellent addition). This way, you can get the word out to a larger number of people.
- Host an event in your community
This will help you in a click to get listed on your community website. Just get to host an event which will have so many members of the community. If you run a local business then the people in your city are your target audience. You hosting the event naturally means that your site will be linked to the city’s website for everyone to see. There is no way you won’t get leads through this. Just figure out something in your community that needs attention and create an event around it. Something about helping street kids is a good example.
And if it is an event that involves public codes such as those of safety, you may get listed on the websites of those public departments. Who knows, you might even get lucky enough to get covered in the news. If you can get the event to happen at your business premises, the better for you. This can also get your NAP listed on the website.
- Make a donation to a local club
Almost every community has a club. As a matter of fact, there is barely a community that does not have one. The Rotary Club and Lions Club are two popular that can be found in just about every city. If you have been a member of any of these clubs, great. And if not, it still does not stand in your way.
Most of these community clubs also have their own websites. Look out for the needs which these clubs may have and donate to them. This would mean that you get mentioned on their site(s) as well as the various platforms they have and it will in turn, bring you leads.
- Always show appreciation to your linkers
It is important to keep every business relationship alive and in good health because it does not always have to end with one affair. Maintaining a good relationship with your linkers can help you earn more links and traffic in the future. These people could also help you to connect to influencers and you certainly do not want to miss out on something like this. It is also not a bad idea to give small rewards to your linkers from time to time. Many times, even a simple appreciation email can go a very long way.
Having a successful local business site that can actually really kick ass and bring you the leads and customer base you want does not take too much. Well, of course, it does take a little time and effort but it’s nothing you can’t handle. If you have been struggling to raise the status of your business as well as the ranking of your internet site, then I guess you have just been at the right place.
Most local businesses struggle mostly only because they do not know the right things to do, or because they do not apply the strategies right. However, the above-listed strategies are some of the simple tricks you can apply to raise your business and website to the top positions and gain more conversions to your site. If you are a local business owner looking to enhance your business and get better leads, the above strategies will do you a lot of good.
How to Optimize an AdWords Account for Better ROI
ROI (Return on Investment) is definitely the most important part of AdWords paid search ppc advertising. Advertisers use this to measure how much effect Adwords has had on their businesses and to be able to evaluate how much profit it has been able to bring to their businesses. Having an effective AdWord account is one very essential way to raise the rates of returns you get and you might have been wondering just how you can run an effective account. Here are a few things you can do to optimize your AdWords account to help you maximize your Return on Investment.
- Target Customers by Their Level of Income
Understanding who can afford your products will go a long way in increasing your rates of returns. Knowing who can get your products will help you target the right people. Use Google’s location settings to select the areas where you can likely find profitable customers.
Make sure that your location targeting settings are set at “people in my targeted location.”You can also just use a campaign’s “location groups” settings menu in the case of national campaigns. Review conversion rates for all the brackets to enable you to know exactly which group of people you should target when you put out your ads. You should also filter out brackets that are not profitable to you so you can focus on which ones you need.
- Deactivate Automatic Audience Targeting Expansion
Don’t let Google make random choices of customers for you. When you set up a Google display campaign with a targeting option of a predefined audience list, Google lets you decide by default whether you want to let the campaign go beyond the specific list you have given to Google.
While this can be a great feature for successful campaigns, leaving it on will not give you the best results if you are running a new campaign or targeting smaller lists. If you do not deactivate this feature, it might greatly increase the cost of your advertising without adding any increase to the amount of income your campaigns bring.
- Add Search Terms
This requires you to use keywords and is a great way of achieving high conversions. Just go to your ‘keywords’ tab and select ‘search terms’. Click on the part that says ‘customize columns’ and add conversions. After you have done this, look out for the largest possible date range beginning from the time the account has been able to keep records of conversions and click on ‘all time’.
This done, pick out the keywords that have any conversions at all.Use the added/excluded filter and select ‘none’ to make sure that the search terms shown are the ones that are not already added to your campaign.Download this report to excel and then upload it.
If you see that the CPA of the keyword you are adding is higher than what your target CPA was, you can give it a ‘safe’ bid which means that you are likely to get conversions at the price you want. If on the other hand, the CPA of the keyword you are adding is less than your target CPA or just the same as it, look out for what the average CPC for that search term is and set it as your bid.
- Use Negative Keywords
This will again require you to use search terms. Go to the keywords tab and select search terms. Add the conversion columns and like before, look out for the largest possible date range and select it. Now, filter all the search terms that have no conversions. This time, do not use the added/excluded filter.
If you find keywords that cost a lot of money but do not have many clicks, it should be a good idea to add it to your campaign. This will allow you to control your bid for it.
You will now have to justify adding a search term as a negative by deciding how many clicks and how much cost a search term should have to be considered as a negative. This will depend, however, on your budget. If you have a budget limitation on your account, you should add negative search terms that cost up to double or triple the CPA you are targeting. Also, see that they received up to double or triple the number of clicks that usually bring conversions to your own account.
- Schedule Your Ads
It is essential also to find out what hours are better than others to get conversions since a lot of accounts convert better during certain hours of the day. Go to the dimensions tab. Select view, select a time and select the hour of the day.
After this, select a date range large enough to provide data that gives tangible statistics. Include your conversion columns, add the ‘day of the week’ segment and then download to excel. In your excel report, delete the bottom row ‘total’, create a pivot table in any cell within the report. Drag the part that says ‘hour of day’ to the rows and take ‘clicks’, ‘cost’, and ‘conversions’ to the values part. Also create 2 other columns: a CPA that you can use to measure cost and conversions and a C/R that you can use to measure conversions and clicks.
If you sort the table from lowest to highest, you will see that the hours that have the lower CPA have the higher conversions. If you find an hour of the day that has a high conversion rate to go along with a low CPA, you can mark that as a good hour to schedule your ads on.
- Deactivate AdSense for Mobile Apps
Google allows you, by default, to use mobile apps for ads. Choosing to turn this off may, however, be a more profitable decision. If you have not deactivated targeting on your mobile app, you will see that ad clicks are still coming in through your campaigns. The thing is that mobile app clicks do not provide good quality leads because a good number clicks on mobile apps may be accidental. To deactivate targeting on your mobile app, go to the 2 places ‘ad group exclusions’ and ‘campaign exclusions’. It is easy to deactivate.
In conclusion, maintaining an effective AdWords account requires quite an amount of energy. Knowing the AdWords platform and how to maneuver it will do you a lot of good. The above 5 optimization steps should go a long way to improve your AdWords account and bring you a lot better returns if you follow them.
Learn how responsive website design can enhance your SEO efforts
Responsive web design is a relatively new approach where the design and the development of the website will respond to the user’s environment and behavior. It is based on the size of the screen, the platform used, and the orientation.
In today’s world, companies are going to need a website that is mobile friendly. Most people who own cell phones have a Smartphone, and these people search the web more often on their phones today than they do on their computers. Searching for websites on mobile phones is just more convenient. Most people have their phones with them at all times.
If a person wants to search the web for a particular product or service, they would rather use their phone instead of getting up and going to their computer. A responsive web design will make the website both mobile and desktop friendly. While responsive web design is important for sites to get more visitors, it also has plenty of SEO benefits. At the end of the day, SEO is extremely important for a website. The higher the ranking on the search engine, the more traffic the site will get.
#1 Because Google Says Responsive Web Design Is Important
Since Google chooses which sites are listed first during a search, companies should do what Google says. Most companies rely on search engine results for their site to be found quickly and easily. Because Google recommends responsive design configuration for mobile sites, web designers should listen. By doing what Google says, the website can get serious SEO value. When the site has SEO value, it will be listed at the top of the search. Since most people often click on the very top result listed, this is extremely important.
#2 Keeps From Creating Duplicate Content
One of the biggest problems of building a mobile site to go along with the website is that it will be a standalone site. This means that each page would be considered a separate entity. This means that you could be creating duplicate content. Even though Google says that mobile versions with the same content as desktop sites won’t cause any issues, the duplicate content could cause problems. This means that users could click on the desktop version on their Smartphones or the mobile version on their desktop. Either way, it will make getting on the website difficult.
#3 Stronger Link Building
A responsive site will have a single URL for each page. This is not the case with a mobile or a desktop version. A responsive site will link the user to both the mobile and the master site. Because of this, the page’s rank on Google won’t be lower. In fact, it can build a strong backlink on either the mobile or desktop sites. When it comes to SEO, this is huge.
#4 Reduces the Bounce Rate
If companies don’t use responsive web design, they risk customers getting fed up with their site and moving on to a competitor’s. If they are searching on their mobile device and it is designed for a desktop, they will likely deal with horizontal text and letters that are so small even squinting cannot help them see what they are reading.
This frustration can cause them to move onto a site that is easier to navigate. The bounce rate is not only bad for the company’s business, it can also affect their ranking with Google. If users close the site after just a few seconds and if they don’t click through any pages, the site’s bounce rate will rise and Google will drop the site’s rankings, which will reduce in less traffic. A responsive web design makes the site easier to use, so users won’t be leaving the site quickly, keeping the bounce rate down.
#5 Decreases the Page Load Speed
If a website is not responsive, it can take a mobile site over 7 seconds to load. This is not acceptable for Google. They prefer that the page loads in one second or less. If the website is responsive, it doesn’t need to redirect to a different URL to see the page, therefore, the page loads much faster. There are no true statistics regarding the load speed on rankings, however, it is clear that a good user experience is good for the Google rankings. A decreased load speed will also make users happier. If a mobile site takes too long to load, users are likely to get frustrated and search for a new site. This could lead the user right to the company’s biggest competitor.
#6 Improves Mobile Search Rankings
According to Google, mobile sites are ranked in the same way that master sites are ranked. Since more people today are searching for sites on their mobile phones, it is best that websites are able to accommodate mobile users. A mobile-friendly website will get a much higher ranking on Google than a mobile site that is not user-friendly. Not only will this make their experience on the site a better one, Google will also increase the search ranking on mobile devices. Since mobile searches are so popular today, mobile sites need a high Google ranking just like the master site does.
If a company wants their site to be seen, they are going to need to focus on SEO. If the site is not SEO friendly, the sites listing could end up on the second search page, where most people never even look. There are plenty of ways to make a site SEO friendly, and one of them is to make the website responsive.
Considering all of the ways that a responsive site can improve the Google ranking on both desktop and mobile versions, companies would be crazy not to take advantage of this option. The higher the site’s ranking on both desktop and mobile versions of the site, the more traffic it will get. The more traffic a website gets, the more customers the company will have. The more customers they have, the more money they make. In business, at the end of the day, it is all about the money.
How to Use Analytics for PPC and Adwords
Using Analytics and Adwords can become a daunting task for the unsavvy. The online world is expanding every day. Individuals and groups are increasingly carving a niche in its limitless space every minute. With this enormous potential, the Internet has become a hub for business activities, with increased marketing opportunities. However, with the continued proliferation and the constant battle for traffic, there is a need to evaluate how much of your online campaigns and activities reach your target.
That is not all. If you’re running pay-per-click campaigns (PPC) or advertising on AdWords, you want to know how people are interacting with your site and marketing messages. This is where Analytics comes in. It is important to assess your marketing efforts, so you can better plan for future campaigns and know where you need to improve. This guide will show you how to use analytics for PPC and Adwords, so that you can take advantage of its huge benefits.
What is Web Analytics?
Analytics is a broad term in the fields of mathematics, statistics, and computer programming. Contextually, it refers simply to a process of measuring web traffic and web user behaviors in order to help website administrators manage their sites better. It is fast becoming an important part of business communications management and has been recognized as a crucial tool for success.
Web analytics helps you assess what parts of your online campaign visitors interact with the most. It also helps you analyze trends, segment visitors, and identify choke points that prevent visitors from accomplishing objectives on your site. It is also important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). With all of this, you can know how profitable your PPC advertising and Adwords marketing are and what you need to do, if you need to improve conversion rates.
But how do you use analytics for PPC and AdWords? It is important to understand the numerous dynamics before you can efficiently utilize whatever results from analytics. Apart from Google analytics which you probably already know about, there are some other platforms, including;
Piwik recorded 1 million users by July, 2017. It is a very popular, especially because it is an open and free source web analytics. The application was written by a team of international developers who sought to provide a competitive alternative to Google analytics, with Matthieu Aubry as its known creator. What it does majorly is to track visits to a particular website, and display them for proper analysis. With under a hundred million websites on the internet, Piwik had 1.3% of that figure as users of its application in July.
This application which began in 2007 has witnessed tremendous evolution since then. In fact, in November 2008, SourceForge.net reintroduced Piwik to developers as a hosted application. It has remained a strong force since then. Just last year, the establishment of InnoCraft Ltd by Aubry made it possible for professionals to buy premium plugins including Search Engine Keywords, Form Analytics, A/B Testing and Heatmap.
In 2012, Daven Patel, a web software engineer, founded Cyfe Inc as a business intelligence application software. It is called a freemium because, although the software is provided for free, some payment is made for proprietary features. Based in Los Angeles, this application software is designed to track and monitor several business metrics in a single place. A dash app is a key feature of the company; able to analyze, transform and report data from integrated business intelligence sources.
Currently available in 15 countries globally, the company continues to grow and expand, establishing itself as a global web support system. However, it was in 2013, that Cyfe began to offer proper analytics services to businesses and websites around the world. With cyfe, you can analyze large sets of data from sources such as Google AdWords, Facebook, Google AdSense, Twitter, Shopify, SalesForce, and so on.
Open Web Analytics:
The Open Web Analytics software was created by Peter Adams. It is an open source web analytics software, meaning anyone can install and run it on their own host. This makes it unique from Google analytics which is completely offered by Google. It uses a MySQL database and written in PHP, giving it compatibility with several other web servers. This app conveniently tracks and observes the number of views on your website, as well as tracking those of your competitors.
One good thing about OWA is the freedom it offers. You can practically own it after a download and run it on your own host. It is greatly compatible with WordPress and WikiMedia.
Clicktale has been described as a cloud-based Software-As-A-Service analytics system that enables you to see what your customers do on your website, especially from their own perspective. You can analyze interactions on your site as heatmap aggregate and reports, having the ability to replay individual sessions. By finding website issues, you can greatly increase conversion rates and, as a result, increase your revenue.
Using Analytics for PPC and or AdWords
Using analytics requires that you know what reports it offers and where to find them. I will be focusing on 6 major variables in analytics, with information on how to use them.
- Organic Keyword Report:
We all know how important it is to use the right keywords when we generate content for our websites. However, the challenge has always been the inability to know what words play in the heads of consumers who make searches. This is where analytics comes in. By providing reports on your PPC keyword viability, it does not only show you where you need to improve but helps you carry out a keyword research and offers a keyword planner.
How to Use it…
In Google analytics, you can find this report by following the simple steps; Acquisition-Keywords-Organic. A table, like the one above, should appear showing you the keywords and every other detail you need to know. The benefit is that you can find terms that are already bringing in conversion traffic. When combined with historical Adwords data and the keyword planner, this report can change your business for good.
- Devices (Organic Segment)
It is equally important to determine the expected results of a particular device before you use it. Desktop computers, tablets and other mobile devices yield different analytics results. Know which one suits your website and attract the most visits. This will help you plan your site better and yield more revenues.
How to Use it…
You can calculate which bid modifier to use for any particular device so that you can hit your targets. Do this by first reviewing the conversion rate for every device. Go to Audience-Mobile-Overview to find this analysis. Also, to change the segment to “Organic traffic”, click “All Sessions”. A clue is to begin with a -50% bid if the conversion rate is 50% of tablets.
- Keyword Position:
I suggest you compare bounce rate, conversion rate and other metrics between the different ad spots for focus keywords. The keyword position report is done between top and side positions. Comparing those rates between the different ad positions will provide a more accurate result. This is because the position for each click is moved into Google AdWords.
How to Use it…
To locate this report, click Acquisition-Adwords-Keyword Positions. Identify the high-volume keywords and review the conversion rate for each of them. This will help you determine what I term the “hot spot”, or “sweet spot” according to some other experts. You should check if position 1 generates a high bounce rate (poorer quality traffic) on selected keywords as a result of accidental clicks.
- Product Performance:
This will simply help you determine what products are top sellers using factors such as revenue, volume, and Average Order Value. The major question here is; “what are they buying?” It provides a useful insight into how customers are interacting with and reacting to, your products. With such detailed metrics, you will know the next step to take towards improving your business.
How to Use it…
Top-selling products should be reviewed and compared to the keyword coverage. You want to be sure that your keywords are actually working. Keywords are an important factor for SEO. You should target strong, visible keywords for top products, so that they can do better.
- Time Lag:
Your PPC and AdWords campaigns won’t make much sense if you do not ascertain the time lag on your web analytics. It is simply the difference in time between the first date of interaction and the date of conversion within the same look back window. A good example of this is shown above. You should use this report to ascertain the actual AdWords cookie length. For Google analytics, the standard campaign cookie length is 6 months.
How to Use it…
Review the percentage of conversions and the value on the current AdWords cookie window in the last 6 to 12 months. If you find that an account has a high percentage of conversion and increased revenue after a period of one month, you might want to expand your AdWords cookie length. Ordinarily, you’d have less data to review if you focused on the AdWords time lag report. Click Conversions-Multi-Channel-Funnels-Time Lag to see this report.
Also, check to see if there are lost attributions and calculate the value. This result will help you determine what adjustments you need to make to your conversion tracking settings. It will also help you determine the best time to make bid optimizations. A trajectory of conversions and revenue based on time lags from the past can be made.
- Landing Pages:
With data on landing pages, you gain unlimited access to all entry points to your site. You will see how all these entry points are performing from all channels. And if you’re using GA, you can go beyond previous PPC landing pages.
How to Use it…
To find landing pages, go to Behaviour-Site Content-Landing Pages. By using this feature, you can tell which pages are more viable for paid search traffic. You can also see what pages work best for searches by narrowing your result to the organic traffic section. You can discover major breakthrough pages you didn’t know about before and decide which page works best for what.
Tips on Using Analytics for PPC and AdWords
The major objective of analytics is to create a better, active and more profitable website. Here are some tips to consider when using analytics for PPC and SEO;
Identify your Customers’ Needs
One major thing to do is to identify your customers’ needs. If you can better satisfy the needs of people who visit your site, you’ll have a better chance at an increased revenue. There is a growing concern about carts abandonment, with many statistics showing it is four times higher than the rate of sales. The fact that analytics helps identify what sales path records the highest cart abandonment, it can help you identify areas that need improvement.
Identify your Objectives
To better achieve your objectives, you would need to create specific goals. Know what parts you need to improve and what actions you need to take. Once you can identify the problem you want to solve, determine how best to solve it, using realistic and definitive methods. If your goal is to increase sales by a certain percentage, you can decide to make your page more user-friendly by reducing the processes involved in making a purchase.
Analyse your Metrics
This analysis saves you the stress of going through a ton of data you might not need. By classifying these metrics, you can pay attention to only those data that will help your business. The major variables to consider are whether new visitors are attracted to your site, how much time they spend on it, where they spend the most time, how loyal they are to your site, what their buying behaviors are, and so on. These are some of the factors that can actually help improve sales.
You can simply sign up to a client-side solution, pay setup fees and monthly fees depending on monthly traffic, and get a tag. This tag provided by the vendor is designed to detect data about your visitors. Once the code is added to your site, data is sent to your vendor’s database once a visitor downloads your pages. This is because your pages have coded tags already.
Since PPC requires that you pay for every click on your ad, it is important that such a click by any user results in a sale. Your keywords bid on AdWords should also yield positive results. All these issues can be efficiently resolved if you know how to use analytics. This knowledge will help boost your SEO, and lead to increased sales and revenue for your business. This guide has provided some tips on how to use analytics for PPC and Adwords. Get started and you can thank me later.
What is content curation
Good content curation methods are usually not easy to come by. Content curation refers to the gathering of information related to a particular area or topic of interest. People who gather this information are called content Curators. Most businesses and individuals benefit from content curation methods as it groups enough information in a single place. Unlike the museum curators, content curators compile original information in the form of commentaries. Individual companies can also curate original content basing on their information. Here is a good content curation guide for you. Content marketing works hand-in-hand with SEO services and it is one of the best methods when creating viral content used by SEO companies and consultants.
You can carry out content curation either automatically, manually or through a combination of both manual and automatic methods. Manual curation is made by specialized curators while automatic curation follows three methods. These include;
- Social rating,
- Collaborative filtering, and
- Semantic analysis
Content Curation Methods
With this approach, the curators adopt recommendations and user ratings of content. The system identifies people whose interests are similar to the end user and make recommendations basing on the activities of the selected people. Most social sites such as Flipboard and Facebook use social rating by providing information basing on user’s likes, favorite pages, and recommendations.
The social ranking method considers the parameters such as page likes and shares. This reason explains why when you like a particular page on Facebook, you get other suggestions of groups dealing with the same topic. Other sites like Pinterest allow users to share and discuss the curated content
This method works on the belief that the selections a user makes now, predicts his future selections. It’s a process where the system forecasts the user’s behavior basing on past choices or selection. In most cases, collaborative filtering depends on the views of a particular social group or their votes on a certain topic. Most modern trends use the collaborative filtering method of content curation.
Businesswise, this curation method helps entrepreneurs to predict the overall target consumer pattern. They also determine the kind of content to suggest for these target groups basing on previous selections. This method explains how sites such as YouTube, Reddit, Amazon, and Digg operate.
Semantic curation works on the policy of factor analysis whereby relationships between various content is studied. The method examines how different elements relate to the source of information found in a given document. In this case, the system picks up and analyses all the topics and terms in a given source of information.
Sites such as StumbleUpon use this method of breaking down the content as per the topic, subtopic, and particular category. You can get all information you want by following the prompts on this site. Other sites combine semantic analysis, the AI technology, and user feedback to make refined content selections.
Content Curation Ideas
It’s imperative to apply various curation techniques to realise maximum results from content curation. Here are the top suggestions for maximising on curated content.
Social Media Sharing
Share a link to your favourite social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. You need to provide a link that best explains what your content is all about. This form of curation attracts many users to your website through the link provided on the social site.
Creating Original Content
It’s possible to create fresh content by commenting on third-party content. A good example of this form of curated content is commenting on a major favorite site and linking the comment to your site. This approach performs better especially when you use a compelling title that attracts many readers. Once you grab the attention of many people, you are sure of increasing traffic on your site via the link provided in the commentary.
You can request experts’ opinion or answer a specific question. The experts will provide answers in the form of original content. Most curators use this method because of the originality of the content. The experts provide informative answers which make your site authoritative and dependable.
Using Aggregate Created Lists
This type of curation is essential for attracting social media shares. However, you must write the files in an informative and entertaining pattern. The curator must get the information from various authentic sources before coming up with a comprehensive list. He can also add more useful information and categorise it accordingly. Writing an easy-to-read and comprehend content attracts many shares, thereby increasing traffic and even converting clicks into sales.
Collaborating to Create Social Content
In this method, the curator is in charge of the content and its presentation to the readers. This type of content is generated by users and is more informative to the end-user. The curator retains the right of making the content better to meet the requirements of the users. You can request your audience to provide original material to your content. Yours is to add a commentary and an appropriate title to the content. This method allows you to collaborate with customers, prospects, social media followers and other relevant influencers to create a quality original content.
Create the Top Lists
Many people like reading information ranking various things or categories. Lists help consumers to compare the available options before making a final decision.
You can create the lists ranking the best people or companies and share them through your social media handles. The people on the top lists will spread the word about your work. Additionally, your site will receive many visitors looking for the best services. This method is golden because many people love to be ranked among the best.
It’s advisable to publish various forms of curated content to enhance the participation of the audience. A good curator makes original content that is relevant and helpful to the public. Mixing different forms of curated content helps provide relevant content to your audience.