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responsive website design

How responsive web design benefits SEO

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.

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How to use analytics and adwords ppc

How To Use Analytics For PPC and Adwords

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 continuous 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 Analytics:

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.

  • Cyfe:

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:

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.

Clicktale was founded in 2006 by Dr. Tal Schwartz and Arik Yavilevich. It is available in 102 countries and serves over 25,000 optimized websites. Using JavaScript, client-side recording, consumer-rendered HTML is captured mostly on a session-by-session basis and allows you to replay such sessions and monitor what they did on your site, including what they typed into fields.

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.

  1. Organic Keyword Report:

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.

  1. Devices (Organic Segment)

organic segmentation

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.

  1. Keyword Position:

keywords positions

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.

  1. Product Performance:

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.

  1. Time Lag:

 

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.

  1. Landing Pages:

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.

Data Collection

Whether you’re using web server log data or the more recent JavaScript page tagging, your accounting log file will help you capture micro details of user interaction. You can determine cross-side traffic and page flows among sites by aggregating data from distinct websites. The application service provider (ASP) hosted solution model, which uses the JavaScript page tagging, is becoming more popular because it presents a lesser barrier to entry than the software solution.

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.

Conclusion:

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.

 

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Content curation methods

Content Curation Methods And Tactics

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.

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

Social Rating

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 the and discuss the curated content

Collaborative Filtering

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 Collaboration

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.

Expert Contribution

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.

Parting Shot

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.

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what is accelerated mobile pages "AMP"

What is AMP

How important are accelerated mobile pages “AMP” for SEO and UX

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) refer to an initiative by Google, created to compete with Facebook’s instant Articles. Its main role is to design fast mobile pages. This online publishing format is optimized to for use on the mobile web. This project aims at enhancing the performance of the internet. It eases the creation of ads and websites that perform well across all distribution platforms at high speeds.

Technically, AMP refers to an HTML page designed to be light and load at fast speeds. It is a form of HTML that is stripped down to enhance super fast loading of pages on different platforms. HTML of this kind comes with some restrictions to enhance reliability. Google launched AMP-HTML officially in February 2016.

In most cases, the HTML pages are customized to make common patterns that ease their performance. There are three options of AMPS for you to choose. These include non-AMP version, a simple AMP version of an AMP version of your page.

Components of the Accelerated Mobile Pages

AMP has several elements that enable the system to perform better. The AMP JS (Java Script) library speeds up the rendering of MP HTML pages. It actualizes all of AMP’s excellent performance, manages the loading of resources and provides custom tags to enhance quick rendering of the client’s page. It asynchronies everything coming from external sources thereby ensuring smooth page rendering. This feature blocks all barriers that limit effective page rendering. It also sandboxes all iframes and pre-calculates the layout of all page elements before loading the resources. This technique also disables the slow CSS selectors that might hinder the overall page performance.

AMP Cache

AMP cache made by Google is used to serve the cached HTML pages. The Google AMP cache refers to a network that uses a proxy to deliver all valid AMP documents. It selects AMP pages, stores them and enhances their performance automatically. With Google AMP cache, all JS files, the document and the images load from one origin that uses HTTP 2.0 for enhanced efficiency. The cache has a validation system that confirms that validity of the page. The validation system proves that the page is made to work without depending on external resources. This system confirms this by running several assertions that confirm the page’s markup qualifies as per the AMP HTML specifications.

There is also another type of validation that comes with every AMP page. This validation system logs errors directly to the console of the browser during the rendering of the page. This feature allows you to understand the effect of complex code changes to the page performance and experience of the user.

What AMP Provides

Accelerated Mobile Pages make the loading speeds faster because they only include CSS and basic HTML. They, therefore, promote the higher performance of search pages and engagement. All web pages published in the AMP format load very fast thus affording the users an engaging and smooth online experience both on the desktop and mobile. It also provides advertisers and publishers with a choice of presenting their content online while enhancing key performance indicators.

Reasons for Using AMP

There are many reasons for using AMP for your website. Using AMP makes your site to be displayed differently on Google. You can notice the AMP level in your Google search results easily by looking at the carousel. The benefits of using AMP include;

Increased Speed:

AMP enabled pages load faster as compared to normal pages. This factor reduces the bounce rates when people try to access your website. A page that loads faster is most likely to increase conversions.

Improved S.E Ranking:

Google has developed a mobile-friendly ranking boost. Despite the fact that AMP works independently, the pages that load fast and are user-friendly increase their ranking.

Increases Click through Rate:

The Content displayed in the AMP enabled pages has higher visibility as compared to that of normal pages. This factor encourages visitors to clock on your website thereby increasing the click through rate.

Supports on-site Ads:

Pages that are AMP enabled support many types of ads including info-links, Ad-Sense, Media-Net and much more. This feature provides a sure way of monetizing your pages.

Assured Quality:

Many big companies such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, Chartbeat, WordPress among others use AMP. Major media companies including Times Inc, CNN, The Washington, ABC and Fox news use AMP. This factor is a clear assurance of AMP’s role and value.

It is worth-noting that the entry of AMP into the market defines the order of things with Search engines. It promotes faster web experience thereby promoting online business. Most companies and individuals are yet to understand the role of AMPs. However, the few who have adopted them are smiling all the way. AMP is one of Google’s latest open-source developments that has revolutionized life on the net.

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how to identify and solve google penalty issues

How To Identify And Solve Google Penalty

How To Identify Google Penalty And Find Solutions

Website owners dread Google penalties since this is the worst thing that can ever happen to their operations. However, there are ways you can identify this problem and also rectify it to put your website back on track and improve rankings. Here is how to know if your website was penalized.

Google Webmaster Tools (GWT)

You can easily tell if your site has been penalized with GWT. This will help you know whether you have a manual Google penalty. You only need to login to your GWT account then click “Search Traffic”. Click on the “Manual Actions” option. A window will then display that will state if you have any Google penalty or not. In most cases, websites will be penalized because their backlink’s profile doesn’t look natural.

Google Analytics

After you have reviewed your site’s organic traffic chart, it should be easy to detect a change in your website’s ranking. So you should proceed to identify the date on which the change took place. Try and look on industry leading, SEO websites to confirm if there is anything that was rolled out on the day the changes occurred.

Moz Algorithm Update

Normally, Moz automatically provides an updated list of official and unofficial updates to Google’s algorithm. If you don’t have Google Analytics or GWT implemented with your website, then this could be a resourceful tool to use. Since this list dates all the way back to 2000, it is efficient to provide you with a starting point and give you an insight of what happened during the time of your impact.

There are two major updates Google has recently done. They include:

  1. Panda— This targets sites that have duplicate content and are of low quality.
  2. Penguin—This targets websites that have over optimized anchor texts.

How To Recover From Panda

Panda is a site-wide quality algorithm that will detect low-quality content. But over the years, it has graduated from just looking for low-quality content to also ranking high-quality content. It is thus important to have high-quality content.

To recover from this, you should first identify the most common quality issues page by page. Evaluate if that page is the best on the internet for the topic. After you have identified the quality issues, correct them. Make sure you correct the content length, copied content and missing critical site-wide information. It is important to understand that although a single element can trigger Panda penalty, a combination of all elements can also determine your quality score and influence the penalty.

Panda will in most cases require drastic changes to the header, footer, navigation and content of the website. In some instances, webmasters will be required to update hundreds of pages while others will do so to a few. So to speed up your recovery, know exactly what to update.

After you have fixed your site, give Googlebot enough time to recrawl your site and redo a quality check. So if you have successfully removed the Panda penalty, you will see traffic increase within 48 hours after you have received a new score.

How To Recover From Penguin

Penguin looks at attempts to manipulate search engine rankings. It will thus detect unnatural links that point to your website. So to recover from this, you will need to remove the links that harm your page. First, you have to locate the page and keyword being penalized. However, a good SEO company should be able to help if you subscribe to a monthly SEO package or payment plan.

You should then download your entire link and identify which link Google considers bad for the website. You should then get rid of the link then wait for Googlebot to re-crawl the changes. This process will take from 3 hours to 3 months. The speed depends on the crawl frequency and the number of links you had to remove. If you also have a manual action attached to your website, you will require a reconsideration request.

Conclusion

With that in mind, you should always check your Google Webmaster tools for warnings when you notice fallen rankings and traffic. If there is no message, then the loss of traffic is due to algorithm update from Google. Check for updates and if the penalization is as a result of previous updates. To be on the safe side, always write content that’s long and useful, mix your anchor tests, avoid building too many links and make sure you verify for duplicate content.

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social media competitor analysis

How To Perform Social Media Competitor Analysis

How to carry out social media competitor analysis for your business

Social media has fast taken over, and it’s difficult to get an edge over your competitors especially if you’re just starting out. As a newbie, you have to struggle to get followers, create content and establish a connection with your audience.

However, the good news is that you can still get ahead of your business rivals thanks to competitor analysis.

What is Competitor Analysis?

Competitor analysis refers to the process of identifying your competitors and evaluating their strategies to determine their strong and weak points as compared to your own product or service. When carrying out competitor analysis for social media, you’re looking at your competitor’s social activity and accounts.

How Do You Perform a Social Media Competitive Analysis?

Here are a few steps on how to conduct a social media competitive analysis.

Know Who Your Competitors are. Here, we are talking about demographics and mapping out the real target audiences.

While some companies have no problem identifying who their competition is, some do require work especially for international businesses. You can identify who your competitors are by using the Google search.

Know Their Brand Voice

Do your competitors post as a person within the brand or as the voice of the brand? Although most big brands post as the brand, posting as a person within the brand can add a personal approach.

Identify What Their Fan to Follower Ratio is

Once you’ve known who your competitors are, it’s time to take note of their fan to follower ratio. You’ll notice that some brands only follow a handful of people while others follow everyone that follows them, especially on Twitter.

Establish How Active they are on Social Media

This will require some manual work. Take note of how many times they’ve posted unique content and the duration.

Measure Their Engagement Rate with Fans

When analyzing their engagement data, take a couple of posts and note how many comments they get, retweets, likes, or repins. You need to take the average engagement per post and decide this by the number of fans they have.

Determine The Type of Content Being posted

Are they posting polls, videos, photos, trivia or contests as part of their content? Having this information will help you in regards to engagement and fan involvements. Check to see if they use hashtags frequently, if they repost content from other brands, or if they are using a link shortener service.

Are They Using Paid Media?

While it’s hard to know the exact amount of money your competitors are spending on social media, you can find out if they do spend money by looking for sponsored ads on both Facebook and Twitter. Hosting a lot of giveaways could also be an indication that they are spending a huge amount of money to increase their following.

Tools You Can Use For Competitor Analysis

You can now find a variety of tools that can offer insights over a range of areas.

Here are some tools you need to consider.

SEMrush

With tools from SEMrush, you can view your competitor’s keywords, rankings, and even paid search. You can opt for the free version that gives you limited results of up to 10 URLs. Alternatively, you can go for the premium version to see all the data at only $70 a month.

CRO Monitor

This tool shows you when the competition is carrying out A/B tests, taking screenshots that are displayed in a dashboard, or visiting pages from different IP addresses. You can use the free version or upgrade to view different watch lists.

Alexa

Being one of the most popular tools, Alexa mainly ranks websites based on their traffic volume. With Alexa, you can know the time spent on the site, demographics, bounce rate, and daily page views per visitor.

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo allows you to search for content by entering your competitor’s URL or by typing in a keyword. You can then narrow down the results by shares across social sites, content type, and publish date. With the paid account, you have access to more tools and data.

Competitor analysis for social media allows you to look at how your target audience engages with your competitors. This gives you an insight on how to interact and engage with them on social media. Moreover, you can identify their weaknesses and use this as an opportunity to increase your brand’s exposure.

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Artificial intelligence and robotics

The Future of Artificial Intelligence

What is the future of artificial intelligence and content

Automation is a big draw in the market today, as the world of business is always looking for a way to cut costs and increase profit. The use of Artificial Intelligence, or AI, instead of live people to complete content and handle marketing for the business, can mean an appealing cut in costs for the company and less personnel to worry about managing. However, SEO companies will have difficulties automating their SEO services because of the complexity in Google’s algorithms.

However, is it really going to be a beneficial idea? Is it possible? Below, we look at the aspects of marketing affected and the potential for the use of AI in these areas.

Automated Marketing

Automated marketing is a sort of precursor to actual AI use in marketing. Live people still have to create the content, but the repetitive tasks associated with marketing, like sending emails, posting blogs or social media posts or other actions related to releasing content to the target audience, are handled by a specific software. This frees up time for people who were previously swamped with repetitive tasks to focus more on new strategies and creating new content.

Automated Marketing Related to AI

There are two sides to marketing: the science of how to reach people effectively and the art of creating copy that resonates with them and increases their interest and likelihood of investing in the product or service in question. With the way that technology continues to improve and increase its impact on the world, it only makes sense that these two aspects of marketing are headed toward a central point.

Some companies have already created software that can generate content comparable to that written by a human. They then use that material to draw traffic to their platform. Other companies have increased the use of AI in their marketing by streamlining the approach to organizing and evaluating the data they use on a regular basis. Still, others use data they have gathered and AI platforms to create narratives to further their marketing strategies.

Will AI Take Over Content Marketing?

Consider the fact that organizations like The Associated Press are already counting on algorithms to generate 3,000 articles a year and suddenly the reality of robots creating content isn’t as futuristic as it seems.

The approach to using AI to create content brings a lot of benefits to the table. This includes more personalized content for each reader, spinning the article to relate to the direct effects of elections, natural disasters or even war on your home and family.

It is entirely possible that; content marketing and all of its related tasks will be handled by AI in the foreseeable future. What does that mean for the humans in the field? Well, there will be a considerable cut in the number of jobs available. However, those who do enter the workforce will be focused on other content strategies and approaches that can not be handled by algorithms effectively.

Early Adoption vs Late Adoption of AI Marketing

Adopting the techniques that involve AI Marketing early, which means in the next couple years, will mean resorting to a lot of articles that are more click bait than valuable content. This can result in a decrease in traffic to your site, as people are well aware of click bait now and tend to avoid it when possible.

However, it can get you in on the ground floor of the algorithm use and give you an idea of how this process will work when the content produced is more refined. In a few years, around five or so, the content may be the quality of an entry level human writer, and you will be in a good place to benefit from these upgrades.

Meanwhile, for businesses that wait until later to adopt AI Marketing, their website will continue to draw in traffic now that appreciates the quality articles compared to click bait. Also, this dependability will mean a less significant drop in readers later when the business does switch to AI content and it is of lesser quality. Since it will seem written by humans, that may not affect readership in a way that is notable.

Future Challenges for AI

Using AI to create content is going to increase the quality standards set by search engines. As we have seen as the Internet has evolved, the more push to automate processes and scam the system, the more refined the algorithms are made to find content that can truly benefit the reader. While AI may be generating content using data now, it will need significant improvements in the coming years to even come close to comparing with the quality pieces that are crafted by the human mind.

The use of AI to create content will become a popular and sought-after process when the software is more readily available. After the initial demand, however, the challenge will become finding ways to keep the interest of the businesses that want something more personalized. In order to stand out from the crowd, the AI will need to be more complex and customizable. That can increase cost and time spent on improvements. In turn, the software may become more costly and customers will lose interest, as they can find cheaper alternatives for the same results.

Therefore, the likelihood of AI taking over content marketing completely is currently low – at least within the next decade or so. It will continue to increase in value as the efforts are made to refine algorithms. However, the element of human thought and talent still win out over the use of AI to come in at the top of your field. For now, anyway, that remains true.

Keep in mind, also, that the AI software used to create content will become more available, and that level of content quality will be common and easy to find. Then, it will be more important than ever to maintain better quality content and utilize that to get to the top of the food chain and stay there. Content marketing may be handled by AI in two decades, but for the foreseeable future, humans will stay key to business success.

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2017-2018 SEO strategies

9 SEO strategies for 2017-2018

9 SEO strategies that deliver results in 2017-2018

Now that Hummingbird, Penguin and Panda have arrived to weed out the low-quality websites from Google’s SERP’s, it’s more important than ever for online businesses to find superlative SEO strategies. Here are eight of the very best of them in an order that leads to a final summation of a well-defined SEO campaign. From defining target audiences through keyword research, finding the gaps and opportunities, surpassing the competition and on to thought leadership, these SEO Strategies should be helpful and informative.

Define Target Audiences.

A website must provide content that is useful and relevant to visitors to the site. The first step in this process is to clearly define the target audience and their specific interests and needs. You may need to use several research methods in defining the needs of the target audience. Research methods such as those below may prove very useful in defining the terms and phrases used by the customers you want to attract to your website.
• Market Research Studies can be valuable. It may be necessary to pay for high-quality research studies, although websites that offer free market studies do exist.
• You can discover more about the preferences and needs of your target audience by placing a survey on your site, or by directing customers to a site that generates marketing data through surveys.
• Focus groups can generate top-quality information about products. You may be able to organize a focus group yourself, but if not, many companies run paid focus groups.
• Find out if a topic or product is producing excitement, or buzz, by researching on sites that track brand-metrics.

Keyword Research.

Now that you have gathered as much information as possible about the Target Audience, the next step is to refine the keywords. Keyword Research can begin with a deeper look at either the product, the service, a topic, or the customer persona if you have created one.

Start by creating a template, such as an Excel spreadsheet. It may help to create clearer keyword categories if you use a separate tab for each keyword. Be creative and explore as many keywords as you can, as some keywords can be deleted if they do not produce the search traffic volume that qualifies them for inclusion. For the easiest keyword research, a Google AdWords template includes a column in which you can fill in the Google estimated monthly search volume for each keyword.

Start Keyword Research on the Google AdWords template, by typing in a keyword from one of your categories and then, from the Match Type Categories it is essential that you choose Exact. By going through this step, you may find further high-volume keywords that you wish to add to your categories and perhaps even your website. Export this data to your Excel spreadsheet, so that you have two columns: the terms for the keyword category and the results from the Google AdWords search. Finding the

Gaps and the Opportunities.

When we refer to Gaps we are saying that page analytics have revealed that referral volume, or visitors directed by links from other websites, is low.
When we speak about Opportunities we mean that page analytics have revealed that there is noticeable search volume for certain content that has not been included on your web page.

To define Gaps and Opportunities find the referral numbers derived by your analytics system and add them, in an extra column, to the Excel spreadsheet you have been working on. You need not obtain the referral numbers for every keyword category, but by choosing a sample set based on either high-volume or low-volume search terms, you will be able to come to some understanding about areas where you are going well as opposed to areas where you are not going so well. It is possible to pull referral data for the whole list, but remember that your time is valuable. Pull the referral numbers for the keyword categories that you know are going to give you the most insight.

Enter the correct data into two new columns, the first entitled Referrals and the second entitled CTR. Use the Excel page capabilities to calculate the CTR numbers from the Referral numbers.

Once these four columns have data in them, the Excel spreadsheet is able to reorganize the data so that the keyword categories are now sorted from highest CTR to lowest CTR. If you have scored a CTR rating of 35% or more for a keyword, that’s very good news, as even the head keywords rarely score 100%. The keywords which have scored 2% CTR or fewer reveal Gaps. Once you have assessed the reasons why this Gap has appeared in your CTR’s, note it down. Opportunities are revealed where the high-volume search terms are not matched by high referral rates and CTR. You may be able to find ways to incorporate new material into your website, the opportunity to do this having been revealed by the data generated via the Excel spreadsheet.

Defining Competitors.

Competitors could be defined directly as the companies that sell the same product or service as your own website, but competition can also be defined under the headings of the keyword categories for your site. By searching for the sites that top the listings under a series of related keywords, you may be able to discover more about what your strongest competitors are doing. For instance, a site that sells furniture is in direct competition with other sites that sell furniture, but by typing related terms into a search engine, such as cane furniture, patio furniture or dining room tables, more insight about competitors can be derived.
Record the results of such a keyword search in a new Excel spreadsheet, or go to the Keyword Difficulty Tool on Semrush.com, Alexa.com, or Moz.com.

Learning from Your Competitors.

This is the portion of the eight-step SEO Strategy in which you try to define what makes your competitors so popular by examining certain features and comparing them to similar features on your own website. The major purpose of this comparison is to find out what brings people to your competitors’ sites, what encourages people to go back there, what makes people want to tell their friends about them, basically, what makes people love this site?
An Excel page can be used to list these features, which may be the content, landing pages, social media presence, widgets and tools that appear on your competitors’ web pages. Features such as Likes and Dislikes, In-links, On-Page and Traffic are headings which could be used, but you may also analyze competitors’ web pages in whatever way you see fit to do so. Just remember that the idea is not just to beat the competition but to actually offer a better product than theirs which will grow its own natural popularity.

Site Speed.

Google has indicated that site speed and the resultant page speed are signals that affect page rankings. Both the user experience and the conversion rate are also negatively affected by a site that loads slowly. In order to reduce page speed, you must compress files that are larger than 150 bytes; there are software tools which allow you to perform this task easily. You may also decide to enhance your code by removing commas, spaces and other irrelevant symbols. On the subject of compression, it is important to ensure that all the images on your site are loaded as either PNG or JPEG files are that they are not too large.
Help your site to load efficiently by subscribing to a Content Delivery Network, in which copies of your site will be stored at data centers across the globe. By doing this, you offer users more consistent site access.

A Mobile First Approach

The Google algorithms have altered; they now reflect the user experience more than previously. Now that mobile devices outnumber desktop devices and most searches are made from mobile devices, it is crucial to develop websites that are responsive on tablets and smartphones.
The smaller screen space on mobile devices demands a simpler page design, but CSS and JavaScript should still be included. By this means, Google Smartphone bots can perceive content that is identical to that which users perceive.
For special effects on the screens of mobile devices, webmasters should use HTML5, rather than plug-ins. Rich snippets in search results and concisely worded content will stand out on smaller screens. Building an app is another method of adapting the mobile experience for users, although Google crawlers prefer the responsive web design.

Thought Leadership.

Though leadership may be an even better marketing and SEO tool than straight out advertising. Although the results may take a little longer to become evident, the brand perception of your company will be enhanced, and you may eventually find that your brand dominates its niche.
Demonstrate that your company has insight and authority by regularly publishing long-form articles that are based on highly-quality study, exploration and research, in-depth case studies, thoughtful, incisive blogs, informative infographics and finally by adding high-quality research links to your site. Due to the perception that your brand is a thought-leader, you may be able to request that higher prices be paid for your product.

Off-Site SEO

Just as important as On-page SEO, Off-page SEO may be carried out by several methods, all of which contribute to the positive branding of a website or company. One way to look at Off-Site SEO may be to consider that creating an excellent product or service is the best way to foster interest in that product or service. Word-of-mouth, guest blogs, and reviews on other sites than your own are all part of this cycle of positive publicity. Customer service, another type of Off-Line SEO, should ideally be a form of referral for your product. The key concept that applies to customer service is Positive Interaction. A smile is a form of free publicity when it is perceived from an SEO angle.

The role of social media in on-page SEO has been debated. It could be said that social media plays a changeable role in SEO, as changeable as the Google search algorithm itself. A social media account may become useful in attracting visitors to your site, even if Google page ranking spiders do not rate social media likes or dislikes. A well-managed Facebook or Twitter account may stir interest in your product and drive traffic to your site.
Some additional Off-Line SEO strategies revolve around catching the attention of thought-influencers. You may come into contact with these people at public events or seminars. With regard to Off-site SEO, put yourself out there and get an understanding of what other SEO experts are doing.

Final Thoughts and Summarising Your SEO Campaign.

Once you have completed the steps above, you may find it rewarding to place all the insights you have gained into a single document. This final step is a way of creating a new vision for your SEO Strategy. You have probably been able to derive some specific insights which you would like to go to work on straight away.
It is not wise to implement an overall SEO Strategy in a random way. By creating an overview which places the strategies in a logical order you will be more likely to re-create your website by making it different in the ways that matter most.

 

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Google's voice search technology and the impact on SEO

The future of voice search and SEO impact

The Future of Voice Search and Its Impact on SEO

Voice search has evolved over the years and has become a very popular means of browsing the internet. It is seemingly the fastest growing search method to be invented. It is fast, hands-free, fun, accurate and allows for easy multitasking.

Voice search or voice-enabled search is the use of a voice command to search for information on the internet. The voice search is used to make inquiries, search for information and get answers to questions.

With everything going on with voice searching, questions are rising and answers will be needed to feed those questions. Apart from the answers being needed, consider this a medium to learn more about the effects and the benefits as well.

Why is voice search important?

There are some people who do not really type the way they talk. They find it difficult to express their verbal words exactly the same way in written form. There is usually always a little difference and that “little” difference makes it difficult for the results they are looking for to be found. However, when they talk or use the voice search feature, they get rapid answers. The trick is that, while typing, they just type in the keywords like for example “food-Kenya”, meanwhile, if they used the voice search feature they could ask questions directly using their voice like; “what is the best meal in Kenya”? A search of this type will certainly get more accuracy.

Voice search allows users to search the internet while doing other things. It provides a quicker option for those who do not like typing on their phones to still access the internet.

Since voice search provides answers quickly, it helps to reduce negative signals such as high bounce rates. This helps in improving the ranking of a website if it has been optimized for voice search.

Brands that fuel the rise in voice search

Google has revealed that voice search is one of the fastest growing forms of search and they’ve invested heavily in it. As more gadgets like apple (siri) are becoming more reliant on voice search, some website owners and tech giants also woke up to this type of search development including the likes of; Alexa by Amazon, Cortana from Microsoft, google now, etc.

These companies set the trend for voice searching and more brands are beginning to appreciate the importance of adopting it, so as not to be left behind. The fact that some of these technology giants invested millions of dollars into these digital assistants is an indication of its potential and this has made some other brands to consider implementing it.

What are people using the voice search technology for?

Spelling correction

You can use the voice search to make corrections or specify what you’re actually looking for. For instance, if you search for ‘whales’ on the internet using voice search and you get wales instead, you can simply spell W-H-A-L-E and the appropriate result will pop up.

The previously searched

The use of voice search will also help you make follow-up searches. A typical example is when you search for something like the “LONDON BRIDGE”. Afterward, you can also ask “who built it?” Google will understand the context in which “it” is being used.

Understanding Context based on location

People use the voice search to get the timing for their next trips. Here’s a sample of how it works; you can ask Google “how far is the airport from the stadium?” and Google will immediately know that your current location is the stadium.

Understanding Application Based Context

If you are chatting with a friend about a particular restaurant on an application like fiber, and you voice-ask Google what the menu is, Google will know the restaurant’s menu you’re trying to get.

On screen context

Let us say you’re reading something on Wikipedia about Tom Cruise. Once you say to Google, show me pictures of Tom Cruise, you’ll be sure to find it.

About you

You can ask Google things about you. You could ask Google “where’s my house address?” and using Google voice search, your house address would pop up with Google knowing the context “my” refers to.

In general, voice searching is mostly used to ask questions and locate places.

How will the voice search technology impact SEO?

The use of voice search is on the rise. With the increase in accuracy of voice searching and the adaptation of the technology by more mobile companies, more and more people would turn towards voice searching. It is obvious that voice search is going to be the future of web search. As a digital marketer who wants to implement some SEO strategies, it would be smarter to incorporate voice search into these strategies so that you can capitalize on the increasing amount of people using voice search to access the internet. Here are a few strategies you can adapt to leverage the benefits of voice search.

Using Long Tail Keywords

People do not use keywords on voice search the same way they would do when typing. They ask more direct questions to get better corresponding answers. Long tail keywords are usually more conversational which is the way voice-searchers access the web. Inputting long tail keywords in your content increases the chances of it ranking high on SERPs for voice search. Also, try to develop contents using an informal tone.

Optimize microdata on your site.

Visitors, search engines, and mobile voice search users are usually all about the basics. The very small things like directions, locations, sitemaps, and all other basic things that mobile users are after should be optimized on your site.

FAQ Pages

Most searchers usually just ask questions about the content they need. One way to increase your ranking is to have an FAQ page on your website about your content. That way, when questions are asked, your website comes up as well.

Keyword Research

From time to time carry out keyword research on the questions that are frequently asked by users of voice search technology and develop your content with the focus on those keywords.

Conclusion

The Use of voice search continues to increase daily with millennials forming a greater part of that number. People now want information faster and in the easiest way possible. Voice search is being used to ask for everything from directions, locations, types of foods to how to prepare some foods, the best fashion, and best beauty products. Implementing voice search technology to SEO is no longer an option, but a necessity if a brand wants to stay within the competition. Voice search is the future of web search and should be adopted to increase traffic, increase user engagement, improve ranking and bring profit to the business.

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Google keyword planner

How To Use Google Keyword Planner

Let’s show you how to use Google Keyword Planner

Google keyword planner is a free keyword research tool for both experienced and non-experienced online marketers. It does not matter whether you have a website or working on another person’s website. Google Keyword Planner was created for their Adwords or PPC users. However, the tool is an important arsenal for SEO and as well as Pay Per Click. It helps you to create an effective foundation for either SEO or AdWords campaigns.

Why should you use Keyword Planner?

Whether you are running a PPC or SEO campaign, Keyword planner will help you to identify the key phrases to target. It shows search volumes and the approximate costs associated with Adword Campaigns. It reveals the type of searches performed by your target audiences. You can dive into the research and discovery phase by entering your domain name in the search or by simply entering your target keywords. With this approach, it becomes very easy to identify relevant keywords for your Ad groups, compare the competition based on costs, discover relevant key phrases for your SEO campaign and decide on either to target longtail with less competition or to go for those high search volumes irrespective of costs.

Keywords competition for PPC and organic search

Google does not hide away the level of competition for keywords. The competition for some keywords is very fierce and as such, the cost of bidding on those keywords are usually inflated by the big guys especially when they are experiencing a high return on investments. The level of competition is identified by the following descriptions; high, medium and low. It speaks for itself. However, keywords indicated with high or medium volume search will show the costs associated whilst those with low volume search will either show the associated costs and sometimes not.

Businesses and entrepreneurs with low advertising budgets have in the past years embarked on long tail keywords because of limited competition and consequently cheaper advertising costs. Let’s say you selling “kids shows” and you have a shop based in Coventry, UK. It is best to target buyers within 10 miles away from your shop. So, instead of target “kids shows”, you will instead target “Kids shoes in Coventry or kids shoes Coventry”. As there might not be many businesses vying for your target keywords, the cost will relatively be cheap.

While the tool provides all the necessary key information you need to succeed, it is but true that a good “quality score” is all you need to rank on the first page. The reason you want to appear on the first page is because that is where you make money. 4/5 of online searches start and end on the first page. When a searcher is unable to find what they are looking for, they simply change the keyword.

What is quality score

Quality score is a methodology that Google deploys to determine the position of your ad. It gives you a perfect picture of your ad’s strengths and weaknesses. The method of quality score calculation and scoring takes into account the following;

  • Landing page relevancy
  • Click through rate
  • Ad relevancy
  • Historical account performance

Google cares about user experience and satisfaction than anything else. As such ads with higher quality score tend to receive more clicks and as such more return on investment because such ads are appearing in prominent positions.

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