Everyone has a website these days, but not everyone is ranking on the first page. How do you send droves of traffic to your website when thousands of others are competing for the same keywords? Here are some well-known advanced SEO strategies that are proven to increase website traffic for more leads and new clients.
- Repurpose content
- Re-evaluate your keyword strategy
- Build high-quality links
- Update, Merge, Delete
- Invest in video marketing
- Optimize, optimize, optimize…
- Optimize for local traffic
Choose one of your top-performing pages and repurpose the content into another form to take advantage of existing interest and the traffic already flowing to the page.
What does this mean exactly?
Let’s say you have a blog post on 7Advances SEO Strategies that get a high volume of search traffic. Use the content from that post and turn it into a video, podcast, infographic, slideshow or anything you believe will get a good response from your audience.
Why does repurposing content generate more traffic?
Using an alternative form of content gives you another way to deliver your content. Users all have different preferences on how they choose to consume content and so by providing multiple versions you open up new channels of interest.
Those that may have skipped through or skipped your blog post entirely may choose to watch a video or listen to an audio version.
The bonus of repurposing content that it’s not as hard to do as producing content from scratch. A good deal of the work is already done since you have a finished product. The content is already there it’s just a matter of putting it together in a way that users can consume.
Repurpose your blog post into a new infographic
Turning a blog post into an infographic is a popular method of repurposing content. Visualized data has a much higher retention rate for people because it is a combination of images and facts. Images help visitors retain the most important points of a blog post.
Step one: The first step is to determine your key data points.
What do you want readers to remember when they see your blog post? This will form the skeleton of your infographic.
Step two: Organize your infographic with sections and headers.
The key to a good looking infographic is to make it look extremely organized. If everything is balanced and aesthetical it will make more sense to users when they read through the content.
Step three: Keep your text brief and to the point.
The idea behind making the infographic is to give your audience the most important data points. Don’t try to transpose the entire blog post onto your image. Otherwise, they could just read the blog post.
Step four: Include notes for the designers.
Be as descriptive as possible when making notes for the designers. You want your ideas to materialize as close to your vision as possible. Tell designers exactly what to do when it comes to branding, colours and images.
Here is an infographic from Venngage that walks you through these exact steps:
Publish a video
Hey, have you heard about that new website called YouTube?! It should be obvious by now that if you’re going to publish a video, you’ll want to do it on YouTube. Not only is it the second-largest search engine in the world, but also, videos rank on Google all the time for high volume keywords.
Add YouTube traffic to your monthly search volume
Drive traffic from both Google and YouTube by publishing a video optimized for an important keyword that will drive traffic. YouTube is not as competitive as Google when it comes to ranking for keywords, which is something, you can capitalize on.
If you’re shy about being on camera, use the images from your infographic to make a video/infographic. You’ll need to be the narrator and be super engaging if you’re not going to show your face on the video.
Tips for optimizing your video
Make sure your main keyword is in the title, filename and tags. Take your video optimization to the next level by including a keyword-rich video transcript in the description. Add Chapters within your description to break up your video into segments. Take note of the top ranking videos and duplicate the tags they use since it also plays a big role in how YouTube sees your video.
Keep in mind that if people get bored and leave your video before it finishes, it will sink your YouTube ranking. Make sure there are no flat and boring segments. If you can’t help but be super boring then make your videos into short clips. Engagement is the key here.
Publish a slideshow
If you’re going to go as far as publishing a video, you can easily import it to Slideshare to publish a slideshow. That’s not the only option for creating a slideshow. PowerPoint presentations convert perfectly and you can always make a slideshow from scratch.
Slideshows allow you to separate your content from the masses by providing a form of multimedia that isn’t as common as infographics and videos. They require user interaction which entices visitors to stay on your page longer and boosts engagement statistics.
Slideshare also has an average of about 80 million unique visitors a month with approximately 38 million registered users. This option can serve as an excellent source of traffic for B2B marketing.
Create bite-sized information for social media marketing
Divide your blog post into the most important points and post pieces of it on your social media one piece at a time. This can give your posts a longer lifespan for capturing interest and driving traffic to the blog post on your website. Oberlo does this really well with its infographics like this stat that was cut from their social media marketing infographic.
Rather than one post of your entire blog article, you can use multiple posts that are more like teasers to get people to visit your page to read the whole thing. Not to sound like a broken record, but infographics are perfect for this type of social media marketing.
If you’ve turned your blog post into an infographic already you can use each segment as a social media post. Each post will be one of the main data points you’ve chosen for your infographic. With this already done you already have images and the most important messages ready to post.
Save time, resources and boost traffic with repurposed content
If you’re producing content regularly, repurposing content should be a regular part of your routine. It’s not easy to go through years of producing content regularly without experiencing overlap in topic and ideation.
Why not improve the quality of existing content and expand the reach it has by using multiple sources of traffic?
Re-evaluate your keyword strategy
There’s a common misconception that your keyword strategy is a “one and done” type of task. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Your keyword strategy should be re-evaluated periodically to expand on areas that are working to improve your bottom line.
Re-optimize for keyword variations
If there are keywords that are bringing in high converting visitors, you’ll need to pay closer attention to those phrases to build more content surrounding those issues and topics.
Why settle for one high-converting keyword when you can optimize for four or five similar phrases that work to produce the same results? There are many cases where you can get the same page to rank for more keyword variations by making small adjustments to optimize the page. To capitalize on those opportunities, you have to be aware of the keywords that are working to boost your business.
Publish relevant content
The content you publish is heavily influenced by the topics that are important to your audience as well as weighing in the business value the target keywords represent to your company. What you decided were the most popular keywords 5 years ago, heck, even one year ago may have changed in priority and almost most definitely in volume.
It’s important to stay updated on what is being searched the most to continue producing relevant content for your audience. Refreshing your keyword strategy is a way to ensure you’re up to date and delivering fresh and relevant content that drives traffic.
Steal ideas from your competition
An effective keyword strategy is not complete without doing a competitive analysis. Just as you may review popular terms being searched by your audience, you also want to check in on your competition to what terms they’re driving traffic from as well.
You can get ideas by running a competing URL through analytic software to see the both paid and organic traffic that is flowing through their site.
If they’re executing an optimized PPC campaign, then paid traffic can speak volumes about what terms are making money for their company. Why else would they be paying for traffic if they weren’t making money from it?
The organic traffic that’s being driven is an indication of the content that’s being produced. If there are keywords they rank for that you don’t, take a closer look at the pages that rank to analyze the content and see if it’s a good fit for your audience.
If there’s business value in the search terms, you have new keywords and fresh content ideas to add to your keyword/content strategy.
A keyword strategy is a living entity
Think of your keyword strategy as something that is constantly evolving. Just as your rose bush needs priming and pruning, your keyword is also in need of fine-tuning to get the best results. Don’t stop adding keywords that work and taking some away those that don’t from your overall strategy. As your website develops over the years, re-evaluating your keyword strategy maintains relevant content and boosts traffic.
Build high-quality links
There’s no doubt that one of the advanced SEO strategies, high-quality backlinks increases the traffic to your website. Consider what makes a high-quality link and it’s a guaranteed fact that if you’re acquiring high-quality backlinks, you’re increasing search visibility.
If the link is on a highly relevant website that receives a lot of traffic, you’ll receive referral traffic with highly engaged visitors.
If the website has massive domain authority then that domain authority is transferred to your website, thereby raising your ranking ability. With improved rankings, the click-through rate from the SERP skyrockets.
To be in the top 5 (top 3 positions are the bulk of the traffic) you need backlinks. The argument of what comes first, the chicken or the egg can be applied to this situation. Some debate that being in the top 3 ranked position leads to more backlinks, whereas others might say you need to acquire the backlinks to get to the top 3 positions.
Regardless of how you see it, it’s important to make high-quality link building a part of your routine for developing websites that rank at the top of the search results.
What’s the best way to build high-quality backlinks?
In an ideal world, the content on your website would naturally attract high-quality backlinks. Producing good content is a non-negotiable requirement to compete in the top 3 spots, but it’s not enough to acquire backlinks in a reasonable amount of time.
For a page to accumulate a high number of backlinks naturally, people have to know about it. It needs to be promoted through the proper channels and (ironically) have links built to it to get traffic flowing. Here are a few ways to build links to your pages to get your content in front of the right audience.
This is one of the few methods reproducing natural link building at an accelerated rate. The concept of natural link building is people find your page, they like it so much that they link to it from their web properties.
In its simplest form, outreach campaigns are you reaching out to other website owners and telling them about your content and hope they like it enough to link to it. The major problem with this tactic is that it gets an abysmal conversion rate. Most simple outreach campaigns average an 8% conversion rate.
Here are a few themed outreach campaigns that boost your conversion rates to result in more links built to your page.
Broken link building
Broken link building is identifying broken links on your prospects page, contacting them to inform them of it and offering your link as a substitute for that link.
This tends to get a higher conversion rate because website owners care about the user experience of their pages. If there is a link that leads a user to a deleted page then it’s considered the link is contributing to a bad user experience.
By offering a page with content that is similar to what used to be there, you have more leverage by offering more value in linking to your website.
Read more on how to execute a broken link building campaign here.
This form of outreach is themed to contacting website owners or authors who have mentioned your brand without linking to it. This receives a higher conversion rate on average because if your brand was worth mentioning, to begin with, most website owners won’t have a problem linking to your website.
Read more on how to execute an Unlinked Mentions link building campaign here.
This type of campaign targets website owners that have linked to your website, but for some reason, your link was deleted. Links are deleted all the time, whether it by mistake, through updates or moved pages-it happens.
You can save a high percentage of lost links by simply reaching out to owners and asking them to replace your link.
This form of link building is probably among one of the top choices for business owners and SEO companies because it allows the opportunity for branding. Publishing an article on a popular website allows a company to demonstrate their expertise to an outside audience as well as a link back to their website.
Guest posting can land some high-quality backlinks when the websites you link from are highly relevant and have high domain authority.
Editorial links are also considered the crème de la crème of all the types of links you can get.
Read more on how to Guest Post here.
Update, merge, delete old blog posts
As a way to keep your blog content fresh, relevant and ranking highly, it’s important to update, merge and delete underperforming content. This is one of the advanced SEO strategies to add to a periodic routine for improved search visibility and high volumes of traffic.
First off, Google prefers fresh content to stale content. There are some niches where fresh content is a ranking factor because of the continuous changes that can occur in the niche.
SEO is a prime example of a niche where things can change dramatically over a year. In many cases, there’s content that becomes irrelevant and out-dated making it completely obsolete.
Update old blog posts
Look for opportunities to update older blog posts that have slowly lost the traffic it once generated. The chances are that newer posts have been published that cover more information, cover new information, are more updated or just have more multimedia and value-added features.
Merge underwhelming blog posts
There are often situations where you’ve published blog posts that target similar keywords and answer similar search intent. If these blog posts are not ranking in the top 5 spots on the first page, you merge the two to create a monster blog post with more capability of ranking highly.
Combine the content of both pages to make your article a more comprehensive version. You will need to choose which page to keep and which one to delete based on the keywords within the URL and the backlinks that point to each page. It’s necessary to use a 301 redirect to tell search engines that content has moved from the deleted page to the merged page.
Google has made 301 redirects very clean in terms of transferring power from one URL to another, however, err on the cautious side and consider keeping the page that has more backlinks pointing to it. You can also use the volume of traffic and the keywords in the URL as part of choosing which page to delete.
Delete old posts with no traffic
It’s been proven that deleting pages that do not receive traffic can help increase your overall website rankings. Find pages that don’t rank well, or don’t drive traffic and delete the ones that aren’t contributing to your business.
The reasons to delete pages from your blog should match the following criteria:
- The page has not received traffic within 90 days.
- No backlinks are pointing to the page.
- It’s a low-quality blog post.
- There’s no business value associated with the post.
Use a 301 direct redirect to send users to new pages in case external links are pointing to those pages. You also want to save the link juice and send it to a similar page on your website.
Invest in video marketing
Video marketing boasts a slew of statistics that are pretty hard to ignore. One reason that stands out is that videos increase conversions by 80% when you add them to a landing page. This is backed by the fact that almost 90% of marketers are using video marketing in their digital marketing strategy.
Capitalize on social media traffic
Videos have been the preferred form of content for some time now by over 70% of people. The beauty of publishing a video is that once it’s on YouTube not only can you benefit from YouTube traffic but you can use it across multiple social media websites as well.
Facebook reports that video is the most shared form of content. Facebook stories, Insta stories are proving to be some of the most popular ways to get users’ attention.
Incorporate “Stories” for high engagement rates
The FOMO effect (Fear Of Missing Out) seems to be strong with most social media users. The idea of losing out on the opportunity to view a video (as such is the case with Stories) has proven effective for generating higher engagement rates.
Increase ranking on Google search
There’s evidence to support that incorporating video on your ranking pages can help push your ranking higher. Higher engagement statistics create a positive ranking signal and if you’re already ranking on the first page, it could be the added boost that pushes your website towards the first position.
Rankbrain factors in the user engagement statistics of a page to help determine what page satisfies search intent at the highest level. The most noticeable engagement statistic that increases is the average time spent on a page after adding a video. With more users spending more time on your page, the message is being sent that they are enjoying the content you’ve created, making your page more popular.
Increase traffic from Google SERP features
Your video can also appear in video carousels, the video tab on Google search, featured snippets, and the PAA box. As long as you have a link from your video to your web page, your video provides additional traffic to your website.
Optimize, optimize, optimize…
There’s always room to enhance optimization and get your page to generate more traffic. Optimization can occur in a few different areas both on-page content and building off-page.
Target featured snippets
Featured snippets are continuously appearing more frequently on Google, which is creating more opportunities for traffic and branding. Optimizing your content to appear in this feature is an absolute must when it receives the highest CTR. The fact that Google displays your website as the featured result contributes to the excellent branding of your company as industry leaders.
To learn more about optimizing for featured snippets click here.
Target PAA boxes
People Also Ask Boxes can also add a substantial number of visitors to your monthly volume of search traffic. If you rank for one of the questions in the PAA box, there’s a good chance you rank for several variations of that question.
You can optimize for the PAA box by answering popular questions that appear in the box. Tag your question using an h2 or h3 tag and use short, succinctly summarized answers directly after the question.
Optimize for search intent
Optimizing for search intent is a continual process. Make sure your content adequately covers the same topics as any of the competing pages in the top 10 results.
You can create a better page by expanding your topic coverage or improving your multimedia.
Optimize using anchor text links
The number of optimized anchor text links pointing to a page affects the page’s optimization. You can enhance the overall optimization of a page for a specific keyword by concentrating or diluting the anchor text ratio of the keyword you’re targeting.
(Read more on anchor text optimization here.)
Optimize for local traffic
Capitalize on high converting local traffic by optimizing your website with a local SEO strategy. Whether you have a brick and mortar business or not, it makes sense to pick up on searches being made within your area that can land you some extra business.
Creating a Google My Business profile is non-negotiable. It’s one of the easiest things to do-although optimizing your profile can be a little more involved.
How to optimize your GMB profile
The first order of business is to fill out the basic information about your business. Make sure you enter data on every single field that’s available. The more information you provide to Google, the more searches your listing can appear for.
Small details count
Some businesses fail to enter their store hours. Let’s say that your store is open late yet if someone searches “X type of stores open late” you won’t appear because you didn’t enter store hours. Make the effort to include the small and simple details since they can land you more traffic.
Choose the categories that most applicable to your business. Search for important keywords you want your website to rank on the first page. Double-check what categories the companies listed in the local pack have declared. The difference between being a men’s tailor and a men’s clothing store can have an impact on how high your listing is ranked for specific keywords.
To rank as a local business you need to have links from local websites and local directories. List your business in the top directories that are well known, such as Bing. You can transfer your GMB profile directly to a Bing account.
Use other websites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare to get local traction in the search results. See more on the local link building here.
Increase traffic systematically using expert SEO tactics
The traffic generation ideas mentioned above are considered advanced SEO strategies and can be used to increase the volume of traffic your website receives regularly.
If you don’t have time to implement these SEO strategies yourself, feel free to send us a message for professional assistance. We’ll give you a full site analysis free of charge and let you know which of these tactics will help you generate the most traffic to your website.
SEO is a practice that consists of many different tactics, strategies and efforts. It’s an umbrella term that can cover a wide spectrum of different types of SEO techniques that will make your website more optimized for search engines.
Some websites will need more than one type of SEO than others. Knowing which types of SEO techniques your website needs puts you in a position to improve your search visibility for target keywords.
The following are some of the major types of SEO techniques that you should be aware of. All SEO practices can be classified into one of three categories: White, Black and Grey hat SEO.
Although it would be rare to find an SEO company that operates using black hat SEO, it’s important to know what it is and how it can affect your website.
#1-Black hat SEO
Black hat SEO has a very negative connotation attached because it consists of SEO practices that deliberately break the rules search engines try to enforce. Black SEO is any practice that is considered to “game the system” such as sneaky redirects, doorway entrances, automated link building, paid links and type of activity that provides an unfair advantage in the ranking.
Is blackhat SEO considered unethical?
Blackhat SEO is considered an unethical practice in the context of a client and SEO provider relationship unless the provider is being upfront with their practices and explains the risks. If not, the provider could be taking on high (and unnecessary) risks for a quick gain, jeopardizing the status of the clients’ website.
The penalties for violating Google’s SEO best practice guidelines and terms can range from a mild slap on the wrist (decrease in the ranking from an algorithmic filter) to a full-fledged de-indexation of your website (Google exile enforced by a manual penalty).
The only way to recover from a manual penalty is to reverse any wrongdoing and submit an appeal for re-evaluation. Even if your re-evaluation is approved, many violators have said their rankings are never the same and it’s more difficult to gain Google’s trust again.
For this reason, black hat SEO is not an option for most legitimate SEO companies.
#2-White hat SEO
White hat SEO is all of the recommended practices for developing a website and improving its search visibility that fall within Google’s guidelines. White hat practices include publishing high-quality content, natural link building, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization.
White hat SEO is usually a longer process because it takes time to develop content and even longer to accumulate links naturally. The fact that pure white hat link building takes so long has influenced even SEO companies to dabble in grey hat link building.
#3-Grey hat SEO
Grey hat SEO is just as it sounds. It’s the in-between area or “grey area” that neither completely falls within the guidelines, but is not exactly punishable by definition.
Link building, for example, is an issue that many SEO companies struggle with at scale because it’s important to get results for clients in a relatively short amount of time.
Google’s perspective on link building
According to Google, links should be acquired naturally, which means users not only have to find your website but like it so much that they link to it to share it with others. This is all good in theory but with 2 million blog posts being published every day what company wants to wait around hoping people are going to link to their website?
Outreach is a white hat SEO practice that is still heavily favoured by SEO companies because it’s reaching out to people asking them to link to your website. This can take an enormous amount of effort and time and at the end of the day, you’re at the mercy of other website owners to give you a link.
Enter grey hat SEO.
The devious nature of PBN’s
Many SEO companies will build their websites and link to their client’s websites. There are already a few of your reading this, pointing your finger and screaming,
“Witch! Black Magic! That’s a PBN! Private blog networks websites are illegal”
Fine. You may be right however, there is a grey area that this falls into when the website is built, developed and nurtured as a real, purposeful website. How can Google tell the difference between a PBN website and a normal website?
PBN’s were targeted a few years back when they were extremely effective and working to rank websites quickly. All you had to do was buy an expired domain, slap an article on the homepage and link to your website.
Here is what a bad PBN website looks like that leads to a Google penalty.
What about this website? Is it a PBN or a real website?
If a website is publishing articles regularly and has real traffic flowing through it, who’s to say it’s being used solely for link building?
That is an example of grey hat SEO link building-when white hat practices are bent to give more control over the links that a website acquires. It happens all the time and it works very well if you’re good at it.
#4-On-page SEO practices
The optimization of a web page can go into many different degrees of compliance. There’s the technical aspect of optimizing a page to account for what search engines reward as well as the overall user experience that it provides. After all, what’s good for users is good for search engines.
One of the more infamous forms of optimization is keyword targeting. To influence a stronger appearance in the search engines for a target keyword, the keyword should be placed in specific parts of a page to enhance on-page optimization. These areas include but are not limited to:
- First 100 words (the first paragraph is even better)
- Keyword synonyms in subtitles
- Image alt tags
- Meta Description
It’s important to note that this method of optimization is not as powerful as it used to be. The days of ranking pages according to keywords on-page is now over. Search engines will use the topical optimization of the page as a larger ranking factor.
Keyword topic optimization
It should be noted that search engines have evolved past the point of relying on keywords in the metadata to define what a page is about. The ability to provide information in a way that users engage with is a major aspect of how well your page ranks for specific search terms.
To improve the way your page performs in a search query it should have the ability to satisfy search intent by covering a keyword topic in its entirety (as it pertains to the search). This type of coverage creates a resource for users and makes the page relevant to related searches since it is likely covered within the content.
Search intent optimization
The true intent the user has for initiating a search is referred to as user intent and/or search intent. When a user can end their search on a page it is considered to have satisfied their need to search further and thereby satisfies search intent.
To enhance the ability of a page to satisfy search intent you can link to related content that enhances the user’s experience. The connection your page has to relevant resources improves the amount of information you’re providing to the user. This helps the user in their search and therefore contributes as a positive ranking signal for searches related to your keyword topic.
User experience optimization
One of the aspects of optimization means making your page more user-friendly by providing an enjoyable experience. This task can sometimes be fairly technical, while on the other hand there is a creative aspect to improving the user experience.
Page experience can be accounted for systematically since Google provides the exact formula for performance. Your website needs to perform in the following categories to be compliant:
- Core web vitals
- Safe Browsing
- No interstitials
On the creative side, the user experience improves according to your decisions regarding the uniqueness of your page. For instance, the type of multimedia you choose makes a difference to how the user interacts with your content.
If you have a video to explain your page, it provides an additional way for your content to be consumed. Since 0ver 70% of users prefer video as a means of learning about something, it means you’ve improved the user experience for at least 70% of your audience.
In some cases, having a slideshow may work even better than a video. As an alternative form of content, you can create a unique experience for users and in effect, separate your page from the masses.
Audio files and podcasts
Podcasts have taken off over the last few years and more and more people are gravitating towards them as they’ve found a place for them in their everyday lives.
Adding multiple types of media can improve the quality of your content and therefore help to rank higher in the search results. One way of looking at is to ask yourself,
“Would the world miss my content (or website) if it were to suddenly fall off of the face of the universe?”
If it would leave a gaping hole in your niche, then you know you’ve done a great job in providing users value in your content. If your pages are easily replaced and are as similar as everyone else’s, you have room to improve the quality of your page and content.
Optimizing your site off-page is one of the more well-known types of SEO techniques. Search engines, especially Google, consider off-page optimization to be a highly relevant ranking factor that can heavily influence where your website appears in keyword searches. PageRank is what Google uses as one of the major indicators for determining the order in which websites are displayed in the search results.
Establishing credibility and authority
PageRank refers to a page’s ability to rank based on a scoring system that is designed to reflect the popularity, credibility and trust of a website. PageRank is often misinterpreted as domain authority, which is also a term that alludes to ranking ability.
Domain authority is primarily based on backlinks, but rather than using Google’s proprietary formula, it is based on the quantity and quality of backlinks by third-party companies. These companies provide a metric for the authority of the domain as well as a page itself. It can be measured in a few different scales of measurement:
- DA/PA (domain authority and page authority) was invented by Moz.
- DR/UR (domain rating and URL rating) was invested by Ahrefs.
- TF/CF (trust flow and citation flow) was invented by Majestic.
Why is domain authority important?
The ultimate goal of any search engine is to provide the most relevant and helpful results to a user when they type in a keyword. To do this the search engines not only need to assess the relevance of the content, but also the authority and credibility of the website that has published this content.
How to improve domain authority and credibility
Authority and credibility are measured by the overall number of websites that vouch for their content by linking to their pages. The quality of the linking websites plays a big role in the impact of the links that are acquired.
To improve the authority your domain has in its niche you need to acquire backlinks from other quality websites that have authority and credibility in the same niche or a close vertical to it.
One of the first steps to building links is to acquire citations from popular directories and review sites. These types of sites are already trusted by search engines such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Manta, Foursquare, etc. They provide the first layer of trust and can be considered a natural way of acquiring backlinks.
Build high-quality links
As the name “The web” infers, the internet is a web of linked websites. The PageRank theory precludes that the most credible and popular websites should have the most backlinks because they are being shared the most because of the quality of their content.
The secret to a higher ranking is to therefore build high-quality links from websites that are relevant to yours.
What is a high-quality link?
A high-quality link comes from a website in which its visitors would be interested in your content. That would prove the relevance between websites and therefore be good for both users and search engines.
The linking website will power up this type of link if it has a high volume of search traffic or a high number of quality links (from websites that would be a good fit to link to yours).
The effects of a quality link should do one or both of the following;
Provide quality referral traffic: The visitors that arrive on your site via the link should be engaged with your content for the link to be effective. Engaged visitors eventually lead to a goal conversion-which can be anything from an opt-in to an email list, on-site purchase or a phone call.
Possess powerful authority: When a website’s authority metrics are powerful enough to lift your website’s authority metrics, it can be considered a good link. Higher authority means more ranking ability.
The off-page optimization is not only limited to external links. Internal links can also be a powerful form of optimizing a page for a keyword topic or specific search term.
Internal link building
You can optimize a page for a specific search term or topic by linking from other internal pages within your website. Internal links are a way of pointing users to relevant pages that relate to the content they’re currently consuming.
Make use of optimized anchor text
By linking with the keyword as anchor text you can enhance the optimization of a page. When search engines see that a specific term is being used to link to the page, it directly communicates the importance of the term.
There is the possibility of over-optimization so the use of keyword synonyms is highly recommended.
Share link equity
Internal link building spreads link equity. A page that has a high number of links, and therefore a high page authority, will pass on authority when it links to another page on your website.
Increase authority by sharing link equity via internal links.
Build topic clusters
Topic clusters are an effective way to create a content hub that links related content together. The structure of linked content will often point to one core page, known as the pillar page, which covers the topic in breadth.
Linking to a pillar page within a topic cluster improves the authority of the page, which contributes to higher rankings.
Not all off-page optimization comes in the form of content. There are also things you can do to improve the technical performance of your website and its pages.
The time it takes your pages to load is a direct ranking factor. Off-page optimization tactics could include the implementation of a CDN, choosing the best hosting options and leveraging browser caching-all tactics to increase page speed.
The issues that affect indexing can often be found off-page. For example, search engines use the robots.txt file as an instruction manual for which pages to index. If there’s a mistake in that file it could stop your pages from being indexed-which means no one will see them at all.
Negative SEO is a way of attacking the credibility and authority of another website by linking it to unrelated websites. This unethical practice is one of the types. of SEO techniques that usually come in the form of automated link building where the victim site is targeted and the software will automatically build thousands of links to its pages.
Google has become fairly good at detecting malicious attacks and will for the most part ignore massive amounts of links when it’s obvious they aren’t aimed at manipulating ranking.
The more devious attacks can be successful when the attacker uses relevant anchor text repeatedly and links to sites that will negatively impact credibility.
The solution to negative SEO
The solution to negative SEO attacks is to use the Disavow links tool. Google provides this tool to exclude links that are being built to your site which you can’t control.
Upload a disavow file to the tool and once it’s processed, the links will be discounted from your backlink profile.
This tool is a must if you’re issued a manual penalty for link building and can’t get the website owners to delete your links (as is commonly the case when links are automated).
Choose the types of SEO techniques that works best for your website
As you can see, there are many different types of SEO that are available to improve your search visibility as well as SEO practices to hurt your or other people’s websites. Not every website will require the same approach so it becomes necessary to prioritize a list of goals and assign the correct strategies and tactics to achieve them.
If you have any questions about the SEO strategy your website should implement, feel free to call or send us a message for full website analysis. Our team will develop a custom strategy to include the exact types of SEO techniques that make your site rise in the SERPs and dominate the competition.
Landing pages are an essential part of the marketing funnel. The sole purpose of a landing page is to achieve a specific goal conversion that moves visitors closer to purchasing from your company (deeper into your marketing funnel) or guides them to the purchase itself. When you are able to increase landing page conversions you directly increase the number of leads and revenue your website generates.
Before we go any further, let’s take care of the basics.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a page that is specifically designed to explain an offer to visitors, demonstrate the benefits and guide them to a specific conversion. Landing pages are used for lead generation and increasing sales a company generates from its website.
Why are landing pages so valuable?
Ultimately, landing pages are used to increase revenue. The average conversion rate of landing pages (across industries) falls between 3-5.5% according to a recent study by Unbounce.
Create multiple landing pages on your website to facilitate more conversions and ultimately increase the revenue your website generates. Here are a few tips and tactics to help you increase landing page conversions.
#1-Update your headline for higher CTRs
Your headline is the main attraction when a user is choosing between pages in a search result. Spend time crafting multiple headlines to get the most attention from your audience and increase click-through rates.
Update your headline periodically to keep it fresh and relevant to users. When you find a headline that is working well you’ll need to split-test before making any final decisions.
There are dozens of tools you can use (see AdEspresso below) that allow you to test the effectiveness of multiple headlines.
#2-Use social proof within your copy to boost confidence
Did you know that 72% of people trust an online review just as much as a personal recommendation? Think of the impact reviews and testimonials can have on the credibility of your business. It’s imperative to include social proof of your product or service within the copy of your landing page.
If possible get a few clients to write a testimonial specifically speaking about what your product or service has done for their lives. Include a photo to give your testimonial the most credibility.
If you have a strong social media following or a large subscribership, that can also be used to provide social proof of the value of your content.
#3-Focus on one Call To Action
Choose a single CTA to limit your visitor’s options for what they can do on your landing page. With only one option, you increase the probability of your visitors completing the goal conversion since there are no other distractions to lead them away from making a decision.
If you give your audience more than one option it can confuse them as to what they need to do which in many cases results in no action. Constant prodding and guiding in the same direction is a recipe for success on a landing page.
Here is an example of a good single CTA by Digital Marketer. The only option is to fill out the contact form in order to receive the download. No confusion there.
#4-Use contrasting colours on your CTA buttons
It’s just common sense to make your CTA buttons stand out as much as possible. Use colours to make your CTA stand out and scream “Push me” to increase landing page conversions from more user interactions.
The more the user is drawn to the button, the more likely they are to push it. Make your buttons noticeable and attention-grabbing for the best results.
#5-Split test everything
To maximize the conversion rates on a landing page you have to split test everything interchangeable. For example, it’s impossible to know whether a green CTA will be more effective than an orange CTA without getting the data from real user interactions.
Test different headlines, length of opt-in forms, background colours, CTA buttons, images, videos and everything that can be tested. Split testing the things on your page that could affect the conversion rate will optimize your page and maximize your results.
Here are a few examples of the difference split-testing has made:
#6-Make sure your headline matches the offer
One problem that site owners can encounter is a mismatch between the headline and the actual offer/content. Avoid sensational headlines to attract more visitors without actually backing the headline up with the content.
If a visitor doesn’t see what the headline promises, they’re going to leave the page immediately. A misleading headline leads to higher bounce rates and lower conversions.
#7-Use high-quality images
The use of images has been known to help users retain more information as well as make content easier to digest. Use high-quality images to help convey a stronger message and set the tone of your offer. It’s no secret that visual content is an essential part of creating high-quality content. As the list of multimedia continues to expand, users expect more than just text to consider a page worth reading.
#8-Embed a video
If a picture is worth a thousand words, you can only imagine what a video will do for your message. Videos have been known to increase conversions by as much as 80%.
A video provides a more personalized touch and is the preferred method of consuming information by over 70% of users. Try using an explainer video to provide an additional method of getting through to your audience on topics that range from basic to advanced.
Vidyard created a landing page and split tested the results of using a video using Unbounce.
The results were definitive.
#9-Touch on a pain point
One of the most powerful reactions you can elicit from your audience is the avoidance of pain. People want to avoid pain at all costs. Touch the most common pain points associated with your product and then explain how your product provides the perfect solution.
The connection between your product as a way to eliminate the pain associated with a problem increases conversion rates.
Here is an example of how this landing page plays on the frustration of low conversion statistics.
#10-Touch on a pleasure point
Paint the picture of the most attractive benefits of using your product to elicit feelings of pleasure. By creating the scenery and most desired situation of what you’re offering you can show your audience the feelings that could be theirs should they decide to move forward in the buyer journey.
Here is an example of Fastrack using the idea of selling your home quick and painless as a way to increase landing page conversions.
#11-Remove links and navigation
Landing pages are highly focused on achieving a single conversion goal, which means there is no need to lead your visitors to other pages. Remove all links and the navigation bar (if possible) to eliminate the distraction of clicking through to another page on or off-site.
Landing pages that only allow one action-the goal conversion, tend to convert at higher rates than those that allow users to leave without achieving the goal.
Here is an example of how Shopify corners users into one option on their landing page.
Watch landing page conversion rates rise dramatically
One of the most important things to remember when optimizing your landing pages is that there are no absolute rules that apply to every industry. To maximize conversions you have to monitor, track and split test results. This leads to a better understanding of your audience and how they react to various aspects of your page.
Most companies find that creating more landing pages raises the overall conversion rates of a website. Use landing pages for specific keywords and remember that the way your users are finding your page is important to how you optimize your page.
Mobile optimization will be different from email marketing or pay per click optimization. Either way, you choose, continue to discover the options that will increase landing page conversion rates to generate more revenue and new clients for your business.
It was in May 2020 that Google announced the introduction of Core Web Vitals in Google Search Console. There should be no surprise that Core Web Vitals are now going to be included as a ranking factor pending the Page Experience Update in May 2021.
If you’ve been reading about how search engines work, you may have come across the fact that they like when websites provide users with an enjoyable experience. If a user is satisfied with the results provided there’s no need to continue searching.
This is the underlying reason for the Page Experience Update. Google is adding core webs vitals as new ranking factors to consider when assessing the overall experience a page provides to the user.
Page experience can be broken down into the following major categories:
- Core Web Vitals
- Safe browsing
- No interstitials
Google already considers page experience as an influencing ranking factor with the exception of the new additions within the core web vitals.
All truth be told, page speed is already a ranking factor but it is now being broken down into three metrics that make up core web vitals. The May 2021 update will mark the start of including those metrics in Google’s ranking algorithm.
Core Web Vitals
There are three components to measuring core web vitals. Each of the components has a direct impact on the user experience your website offers.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
The LCP is considered the time it takes the main content on your page to load. Users need to see the major content of the page (text block, image or video) before feeling satisfied that the page is useful. According to Google, that moment is the LCP.
Here is an example of where the LCP loads later in the page poad time.
Here is an example of where the LCP loads closer to the beginning of the pages total load time.
To provide a good user experience the LCP of your website should be at or under 2.5 seconds.
First Input Delay (FID)
The FID is a measure of the time it takes your website to be interactive. It measures the time it takes your website to respond to a command such as pressing a button, clicking on a link or interacting with an on-page feature.
The greater the delay in interactivity, the worse the user experience. If a user clicks on a button and there is no response they may click on it again or click on other buttons which can result in unintentional actions.
The FID should be maintained at a time no longer than 100 milliseconds.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
This aspect of UX is a big one because it deals with the stability of your website. The CLS measures the time it takes your website to stabilize (stop shifting completely).
Consider a situation where the user sees two very different options and attempts to select one but at the last second the layout changes causing an unintentional selection.
Below is the perfect example of how this can result in a detrimental user experience.
The CLS standard to maintain a good user experience is 0.1.
How will the Page Experience Update affect your business?
The answer to this, like most things SEO-related, is it depends. It’s hard to say exactly what this update means for your business specifically, but in the general sense, this update will affect everyone.
Content will always win over page speed
For those who aren’t competing for extremely difficult keywords, you may have some leeway when it comes to the technical side of page experience. If your content is the best solution to search intent you may not see any changes in your keyword positions and ranking.
Content trump’s most ranking factors. You may have a slow website, but if users love your content Google will surface your website over another that has fast page speed with weaker content.
We have to put it into perspective that although page experience is a ranking factor, it won’t be as influential as a page’s content and above all, its relevance to a search.
Brand searches would remain unaffected
Would it make sense that if a user types in Home Depot, that Home Hardware shows up first because their site is faster than Home Depots? Or if the site becomes interactive quicker than Home Depots, does it deserve to outrank it in a brand search?
Hopefully, you answered no.
At the end of the day, page experience is just a ranking factor that must be taken into the context of the search query. Relevance would mandate that brand searches will still return the pages from the actual brand itself.
Opportunity to gain a competitive edge
On the flip side, if Home Depot and Home Hardware are both competing for the keyword how to fix a leaky faucet then page speed may start to play a bigger role in the search.
Let’s assume both pages have similar content, similar links yet Home Depot’s page takes 10 seconds to load, while Home Hardware’s page loads under 2 seconds. Here are a few advantages that start to accumulate.
- More users will stay on the Home Hardware page.
- More users will leave the Home Depot Page before it loads.
- More users will click through more pages of the Home Hardware website.
- More users will reach conversion goals on the Home Hardware page.
- More users will spend more time on the Home Hardware page.
Better engagement statistics mean a higher ranking.
All of these factors paint a picture of how users are interacting with both pages. In the case where page speed breaks ties, it will eventually mean the page that performs better, will rank higher. Higher rankings lead to higher click-through rates, increased traffic, leads and revenue.
Improved user experience leads to higher rates of conversion
Apart from a better ranking on Google, all companies should be considering their user engagement statistics seriously. Typically, what’s good for users is what’s good for search engines, so the Page Experience Update in May is just another hint at what will improve the quality of your website.
Page speed directly affects page performance
Google published some shocking stats a few years ago regarding the likelihood of a visitor to stay on your site with slow page speed. Here are the stats Google reported:
Page speed vs. bounce rate
The bounce rate is defined as when a user lands on your page and backs out without interacting with anything else on your site. A bounce is registered when there are no other pages visited, no links clicked.
The bounce rate of the pages on your website can be found by visiting Google Analytics and running a report under Behavior, Site Content, All Pages.
The bounce rate is a measure of the percentage of visitors that land on your page and back off without any further interaction. High bounce rates become a concern when you want visitors to take a specific action on your page. You’re essentially losing traffic, which in many cases, can be traced to slow page speed.
A real-world example of how page speed affects your business
Assume your website has the best content and ranks #1 for an important keyword. The problem is your page takes 10 seconds to load. According to Google, even though a user will most likely click on your page (it’s the #1 result) there is a 131% chance that they will leave if your page takes 10 seconds to load.
Let’s assume that they wait 10 seconds and even read your content. Do you think they are going to wait another 10 seconds to read another page? The chances of a user clicking through to other content have completely diminished because every click is a 10-second wait.
There’s a 131% chance they will back off your page and go to the #2 website.
Let’s assume that the #2 website loads in less than 2 seconds. Viewing multiple pages is easy and fast. The user can read more about the company and get a better idea of what they’re offering.
There’s a much higher probability the user will fill out a contact form or complete a goal conversion when they spend more time and click through more pages on the site.
How do the page experience ranking factors affect my business?
And it’s not just page speed that is in question. There are now additional loading factors (CLS and FID) that Google is telling us can negatively affect the user experience. Keep in mind that the entire page experience encompasses four more of the aforementioned categories that currently influence ranking.
SSL / HTTPS
HTTPS refers to the secure socket layer that is installed on your website. Your SSL certificate is like your internet passport that proves your website is what it appears to be.
Without an SSL certificate, websites can hide malicious software, disguise their identity and attempt to give you a virus or potentially steal sensitive information from you. To reduce the number of harmful websites, Google made HTTPS the new standard for security.
This means your website encrypts data and guarantees a user that a website is exactly what it appears to be. If your website is not conforming to this standard you’re losing one of the ranking signals that Google has already confirmed affects your search visibility.
When browsing on Chrome, a website without an SSL will show as insecure.
Do you think you might lose visitors if this is what they see before they click on your website?
To get to your site you have to click on Advanced and then proceed which I think we all can agree is not an enjoyable user experience.
It should be no surprise that the mobile-friendliness of your website is a ranking factor. After all, more than 50% of total searches are made from mobile devices. Google rewards and penalizes sites (mildly) based on the mobile user experience.
Apart from adjusting the layout to make things more user friendly, there are also specific aspects of web design that could affect mobile usability. For instance, if the font is too small or buttons are too close together.
Although a developer may have made a website responsive, you may need to make minor adjustments to improve the page experience for your visitors.
This best practice ensures that there is no malicious content on your website such as malware. This refers to unwanted software that is harmful to a computer, mobile device, or software. It can be downloaded from a website, without the user’s permission or knowledge by attaching itself to a downloadable file.
Websites that contain this type of content will lose search visibility as it is deemed detrimental to the user experience.
No intrusive interstitials
How much do you love when you land on a page and a pop up completely blocks access to the page without any options given to exit the screen? This is an example of an intrusive interstitial.
Pop-ups, popovers, or annoying advertisements degrade the overall user experience by blocking access to the content the user intended to see in the first place.
Google penalizes websites that utilize ads or sign up forms that don’t provide an easy exit button. Cornering your users into making a decision is considered against best practices and warrants a negative ranking signal.
Provide an enjoyable page experience
Just to be clear, the page experience ranking factors have been around for some time. It is the addition of Core Web Vitals that will take effect in the next Page Experience Update scheduled for May 2021.
Although the impact on ranking can be speculated to be somewhat minimal in most cases, it should be noted that every competitive edge you can add is worth the effort. Not only will this tip the scales in a head to head tiebreaker in competitive situations, but your conversions increase when you provide a better UX for your visitors.
Take the hint Google is offering, along with a plentiful heads up to prepare for yet another update intended to improve the overall quality of the user experience.
The situation is you’ve launched your new website and yet the damn thing cost you damn near every penny you own. It was a mistake not to consider SEO with your web design, however, you’re at the point where you need to attract more website visitors, but you’re not sure how.
If this is the case, you’re definitely reading the right article. This article provides a basic outline to attract more website visitors without all the expensive tags and tools. The truth is if you know your clients inside out you’ve already got half the battle won.
Although there is a lot of technical advice and work that needs to be integrated into your website, if you can nail down the following fundamental tasks, you can create a solid SEO foundation for your website and attract more website visitors from your efforts.
Create a buyer persona
Have you taken the time to sit down and think about who your clients actually are? Piece together details about your ideal client to create a buyer persona. This concept is invaluable since it serves as a guide for all of your marketing efforts.
A strong buyer persona surfaces many of the subtle details about the personality, traits, characteristics and tendencies of your ideal client. Using these details creates an advantage when it comes to creating content that resonates more deeply within your target audience.
We can even take it a step back from content creation and focus on the value a buyer persona has for keyword selection. Understanding the language, tone and major interests of your target audience gives you greater insights into the types of search phrases that are being used in searches.
Use this exercise as a powerful tool for focusing your entire SEO strategy. Identify who your buyers are, how they think, as well as their personal preferences to increase the impact of your efforts.
Choose the right keywords
Once you have a good understanding of who your audience is, you can create a list of keywords that would benefit your website the most. Keep in mind that just because your ideal client may use a keyword is a search doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for your website. You’ll need to consider the difficulty and value of the word to your business.
Avoid difficult keywords
If you’re a business owner doing your own SEO, you want to take the path with the least resistance. Sometimes you can tell when a keyword is highly competitive and sometimes it’s not as obvious.
For example, if you’re in the retail industry and one of your potential keywords produces a search result with Walmart, Amazon, Ebay, and a number of retail giants, you may want to pass on that keyword.
Without an intimate knowledge of on-page optimization, link building or any experience in outranking websites, you’re not going to beat these websites.
Look for comparable websites to compete with
The solution is to look for keywords where the search results produce comparable websites on the first page. This is where you want to start. Choose keywords where you can compete by publishing better content than what is out there.
Structure your keyword strategy
You can’t always avoid the difficult keywords in your industry. Sometimes they are the best options for taking your business to the next level. A keyword strategy is what will prioritize the keywords you’re pursuing for short-term wins and long-term goals.
Use a topical structure to form your content schedule and prioritize the major keyword targets. Using pillar pages and cluster content is an excellent structure for developing a marketing funnel that moves your readers along the buyer journey.
Publish answers to the questions people are asking
When you consider the fact that 80% of the total searches on Google are informational searches, it makes sense that being a resource puts your website in front of a larger audience. When you can be the best solution to a keyword search, your website surfaces more often on the first page of Google.
Blogging is a top method of traffic generation
This is a big reason why blogging has become one of the best ways to produce leads and build awareness of your brand. Your blog content should be based on providing answers to commonly asked questions and publishing solutions to commonly faced problems. When your content can help a visitor with an issue they’re facing, it builds trust and confidence in your expertise.
Publish long-form, in-depth content
There is much to be said about search intent since it is the primary ranking factor that search engines use to display the top 10 results, however, there are distinct advantages to publishing long-form, in-depth content. It’s not the length that provides the value, but the depth (which in most cases is the reason it ends up being long-form content).
“Ultimate guides” are more common
Publishing an “Ultimate Guide” has its advantages. When you can cover a topic in its entirety, it becomes a resource for those who are searching to learn more about the topic. There are multiple keywords that your content asset ranks for because it addresses multiple aspects of the keyword topic.
Producing a content asset that becomes “the final destination” of a search will generate high volumes of traffic. Look for opportunities to create a content asset within your niche to create evergreen content that lives on indefinitely because of the value it provides.
Publish content as often as possible
The more often you publish content, the more leads you generate for your business. In fact, a study revealed that small to medium-sized businesses that publish 11 times a month experience 3.5 times more leads than those that published twice a month.
Just to be clear, don’t publish content, just for the sake of publishing content. If your pages are subpar in quality and don’t drive traffic, your website could become bloated which will drag down your search visibility.
Publish content with the intent of being the best
Publish content with the intention of ranking in the number one position. Make it a mission to be the best solution to search intent. If you’re approach is to continuously produce content that outperforms your competition, you’ll see a difference in the number of keywords your website ranks for which will be reflected by increased traffic.
Target a new keyword with each page you publish
Every page on your website should target a specific and separate keyword. Avoid publishing pages that target the same keyword, phrase or have the same search intent. This is where your keyword strategy comes into play.
Stick to your keyword strategy
It’s best practice to map out the keywords your website will target. Create a content schedule based on the topic cluster you’ve outlined for your website. This way your website is organized topically and you can visualize the way your content covers a broad topic.
If you publish pages that target the same keyword, they are essentially competing with each other. This can spread the resources thin on the efforts you put into ranking that page to the top 10 search results. Rather than focusing on two pages, you can combine content and point backlinks to one page for a higher rank in the top ten.
In most cases, it’s better to have one page that ranks in the top three results as opposed to two pages that rank outside the top three results. The reason is there’s a huge drop in the average click-through rate that a website receives from positions 1-3 to 4-10.
Be an expert where your expertise is needed
People are always looking for answers online. Google is becoming the go-to solution for providing the fastest results, but not all people search this way. There are still those that seek help on social media and niche forums. You can drive targeted traffic to your website by helping people with answers to their questions on these sites.
Every industry has a social media website or two that works well for generating leads. Make sure you’re on the website that is best suited to your business. You can’t really go wrong with Facebook since there’s a group for everything. After all, they have about 3 billion users that are on the site so it’s likely you can drum up some business using them as a source.
Be smart about it. Linkedin is excellent for big-ticket sales and for B2B marketing. Instagram and Pinterest convert extremely well for retail product sales.
Get some help with free software
You can use tools like Buzzsumo to find out what’s being talked about and shared the most in your niche. Join these groups and conversations to get involved with what people are saying and more importantly what questions they are asking.
Answer questions honestly and avoid being overly promotional. People appreciate transparency and they appreciate good advice even more.
Drop a link or two to your website whenever it applies to give people a way to learn more about what you offer while sending them to an article that is relevant to the conversation.
You can accomplish the same task of answering questions on niche forums. In fact, it may be easier to get to a lot of questions since the main reason people are on forums is to ask and answer questions.
Quora is one of the largest Q & A websites where you can get a high volume of traffic to your site by answering the right questions.
Quora is ideal because they allow full HTML responses with links (nofollow only) which means you can take excerpts of your blog posts and paste them in as answers with a link to read more. You can literally help people while promoting the content you’ve already written.
The bonus to Quora is that many of the questions on Quora happen to surface on the first page of Google search results. If your answer is the most upvoted, you not only get the thousands of views from Quora but the search traffic from Google as well.
Monitor keyword mentions
Use software such as Mention or Brand Mentions to be alerted to conversations where your keywords are mentioned. If there are conversations on social media going on that you can contribute to, wouldn’t it make sense to be alerted so you can join in and give your two cents?
Attract more visitors to your website on a regular basis
This entire article has been dancing around the plain facts that if you have expertise to offer make it easy for people to find you by helping them. When you make helping people your first priority you improve your ability to target the things that mean the most to your ideal visitor. This approach makes your content more effective and builds more trust in your brand.
On one hand, search engine optimization is getting more complicated because there are so many things that go into an optimized website.
On the other hand, the importance of providing an exceptional user experience has never waned and has remained THE most important factor that trumps all ranking factors.
Create your website for the benefit of users and use your expertise to help those in need. Put this concept into a keyword-targeted content schedule and you’ve created the best SEO foundation possible for attracting more website visitors.
You may be wondering why email marketing has made it this far in the digital marketing spectrum. This strategy is undoubtedly one of the oldest online marketing tactics and you would think eventually, people get tired of it and it would just not work as well. Wrong! Email marketing is just the opposite. With an average of 3800% ROI and one of the best conversion rates in the business, email marketing strategies have evolved to make it more effective than ever.
It’s never too late to start building your email list. Dozens of platforms are fairly inexpensive (free versions as well) to get you started. If you’re planning on scaling up, make sure you’re aware of the options and features that you’ll need as your list gets bigger and demands more management. Automation will be your best friend so plan ahead and in the meantime, here are some tips that will get you that extra-large audience.
- Confirmed opt-in
- Choose the right frequency
- Choose the right time
- Make your email accessible
- Pay attention to deliverability
- Split test your subject lines
- Follow your subject line up with a headline
- Use images and video whenever possible
- Include a CTA
- Include a welcome email
- Publish pages to create a marketing funnel
Use a confirmed opt-in
A confirmed opt-in box requires your subscribers to confirm their email address when signing up for your list. The reaffirms the interest in receiving emails from your business.
Some may think this is a double-edged sword. If you double confirm your subscribers, won’t you wind up with a smaller email list? Absolutely. You wind up with a smaller list of a more engaged and more responsive audience.
A confirmed opt-in keeps your list clean. Rather than have a lot of “undeliverable” emails from the user typing in the wrong address, you have a list of confirmed subscribers. This saves you the trouble of pruning and weeding out bad email addresses and keeps your engagement reports more accurate.
Go for quality rather than quantity. Use the double opt-in for less headache and a more responsive audience.
Choose the right email frequency
Are you wondering how many times a week you should be sending your list an email? The industry averages indicate that once a week is the best frequency for optimal results.
There are benefits to emailing your list more than once a week but they also come with a trade-off. The more you email your list, the lower your open rate becomes. There’s a drop off in engagement as people start ignoring your email after a certain point.
Start with sending an email a week and test whether your audience responds positively when you add one more per week. If you’re getting more traffic and conversions, there’s a positive correlation with the additional email.
If there’s a steep drop off in engagement and your list starts unsubscribing, you know you’ve reached your limit and need to back off with the additional emails.
Choose the right time
Did you know that there’s a perfect time to send an email to each of your list members? Unfortunately, it’s different across the board for people but there are options using software that can help you send email to each of your list members based on historical open rates.
If your provider doesn’t offer this option, stick with the general bell curve for the most success in getting your email to the top of the inbox. If your email is the first one that a subscriber sees, it will have the best chance of being opened.
Make your email accessible
Thankfully, we live in a time of equality and are always looking to make things easier for our prospective customers. Approximately one-fifth of the world population has some sort of visual impairment so you mustn’t exclude this group from your audience.
Make your content accessible by including descriptive alt tags in your images. The alt tags will at least describe to your reader what the image is about.
Many people use software to have their email read to them so make sure you use the punctuation marks within your alt tags. The reader will pause at the appropriate times and make your content more enjoyable for your audience.
Pay attention to deliverability
It’s important to keep track of the email that ends up undelivered. It may not be the provider or a misspelled email address that is causing your email to fall short of its destination. There are multiple reasons why an email is undeliverable.
Check your email spam score to make sure you’re triggering the spam filter. If your email is ending up in the junk folder then it’s time to reassess the content you’re sending and how you’re sending it.
Monitor the open rate, churn rate, bounce rate and complaints. Identifying the underlying reasons for these metrics will improve the quality of your campaigns.
Split test your subject lines
An email list is an excellent place to test the effectiveness of your content. Use split tests to see what subject lines generate the biggest open rates. Identifying what gets the best response from your list will indicate what type of content to continue sending to your list.
Personalization is a major theme in creating successful campaigns. The more you see what triggers responses from your audience, the more you can effectively engage them in your offering.
Follow your subject line with a preheader
The headline that you start your email with should complement your subject line. It’s a way to follow up with the initial message you’re sending to your readers. Emails with preheaders get an average open rate of 29%.
Remember that the content above the fold is the most important part of your email. It’s what will essentially hold the attention of the reader and entice them to read further and scroll to the bottom.
If the subject line was enough to get them to open the email then your headline will help maintain that initial interest.
Use images and video whenever possible
If an image is worth a thousand words, how many words is a video worth? It’s not always possible to send a video with every email but the use of visual content is vital to getting the most out of your email marketing campaigns.
Videos are the most preferred form of content so it remains your first choice above all. Videos increase engagement, conversions and reportedly generate a 13% open rate.
Images are the next best thing to make your email more appealing. People retain 10% of the information from text-only but retain 60% of the content they read when there are images to explain the talking points.
Use both images and video whenever possible to enrich your content and make your message much more memorable. The result is more click-throughs and higher conversions.
Include a CTA
People need to be told what to do. Never assume that they will know exactly what you want them to do so include a call to action to increase the desired action you want your audience to take.
Be specific with your CTA and provide marked links, buttons or forms to get your audience to take action.
Include a welcome email
Always have a welcome email sent to your list when they first subscribe. Welcome emails get the highest open rates providing a big opportunity to communicate with your list.
Welcome emails can give your audience a breakdown of what to expect and provide options on what they can do and what you’re offering. You can introduce your new subscriber to new content and get more out of your list by making sure they receive a welcome email.
Publish pages to create a marketing funnel
Make sure you have pages that will ultimately lead your subscribers to purchase or completing an action. There are emails you can automate to make sure your audience is being guided in the right direction. Here is a list of the forms that will make a difference in converting your visitors to clients.
Use email marketing strategies that make a difference
There’s no excuse for not starting an email list. You have a variety of options when it comes to providers and there are plenty of free services to get you started.
When you want to take your conversions to the next level implement these email marketing tactics and strategies to get a boost in the traffic and revenue your website generates.
If you travel back in time to the turn of the century, you would find that in the year 2000 marketing was a very different animal. Most marketing was dominated by radio, television and ad placement in magazines and billboards. Fast-forward 20 years and the bulk of the spray and pray tactics are now obsolete since data-driven marketing has proven to be the best way to increase leads and revenue.
There is a much higher demand for personalization from consumers and a world of data to pull from. In fact, if you’re not appealing to specific desires from your target audience, you’re losing them to other companies.
Today’s consumers are naturally trained to glaze over advertisements. There are so many ads that are in our face every day that it’s become a natural response to automatically close popover, pop-ups and generally skip paid ads to get to the organic results.
This behavioural pattern has given rise to the power of inbound marketing and the importance of becoming specialized in a specific area of expertise.
In order to cut through the noise and separate yourself from the masses, you need to apply data-driven marketing strategies to reach the audience that will engage with your brand the most.
By applying statistical facts to your marketing decisions you can outperform the old methods of operating on gut instinct. This is how companies are increasing profit and successfully expanding their audience.
What is data-driven marketing?
Data-driven marketing gives companies insight into the preferences and behaviour of their target audience based on big data and statistical facts. Companies then use this information to make more informed decisions on the marketing tactics and strategies they choose to employ for increased engagement.
Without measuring the impact of your efforts, it’s difficult to optimize your campaigns to be more successful. When data is collected (preferably from a large sample size) it is then used to increase key performance indicators that will result in more leads and revenue.
Example of data driven marketing
Here’s an example of a data-driven marketing campaign: Assume your company is running a PPC campaign where the target city is Toronto. After one month, you assess the results and notice that the majority of clicks are coming from similar postal codes.
You research the average household income for the areas in Toronto, and find that the majority of the clicks is coming from the postal codes where income is the highest.
Based on the results of your first campaign, your data would suggest that you need a different type of advertisement to get lower income areas to click on your ads.
You would need to cater to the lower income households by creating a more appealing-perhaps one that communicates more savings.
This approach would increase the number of clicks and conversions by simply changing your copy to something more personal and applicable to the demographic.
This is data-driven marketing in action.
Who uses data-driven marketing?
You would be hard-pressed to find an industry leader that isn’t using data to help make informed marketing decisions. Here at Digital Ducats, we use Google Analytics to collect data on visitor behaviour and website performance daily. The more time and visitors that pass through a website, the more accurate the data becomes to make informed decisions.
The data we use tells us where visitors enter your website, how much time they spend on each page and where they leave. Analyzing the flow of visitors on your website allows us to identify the improvements they need to make to keep users on your site longer and guide them to pages that convert at the highest rate.
If there are pages that generate high bounce rates, we find the underlying cause why your website is losing traffic to the page. Through testing and making changes, your website becomes streamlined for conversions and leads visitors to purchase decisions or becoming a qualified lead.
Tools for automation
There are tools to automate everything when collecting data on your business. Depending on what your marketing goals are will depend on the tool you need to employ. Here is a list of tools that can generate useful data for making informed decisions on improving performance.
The fact that the tool is free is a bonus being one of the most comprehensive solutions for tracking website data. Analytics tracks every major metric you will need to monitor your website’s performance when it comes to user behaviour.
The most commonly tracked metrics are: monthly search volume, unique users, traffic acquisition channels, flow of visitors, average time on page, bounce rate, conversion tracking and more.
Google search console
This tool is the go-to source for everything that’s happening with your website behind the scenes on Google. As an owner, you are entitled to a free account and can access website performance data such as impressions and clicks to every page.
Core web vitals will officially become a ranking factor in May of 2021 so there is the importance of being alerted to any changes, errors and improvements that need to be made in this department.
You can connect your search console and analytics account for more streamlined and accurate reporting.
Analytic keyword tools
Every SEO company will use a few different tools to provide the best scope and range of information when making decisions on keywords and competition. SEMRush, Moz and Ahrefs are among the top industry leaders for providing access to valuable keyword data and assessing the competition.
Not only do these tools provide keyword generation ideas, they generate loads of information that come with each suggestion to allow greater insight into the keyword.
Information about the level of competition, the average monthly searches, the cost per click, the level of competition, the organic click-through rate and the SERP features that the keyword triggers.
Most of these tools also provide intensive competition analysis allowing you to see what keywords your competition ranks for and the volume of traffic they generate. You can see whether they are paying for traffic as well as the backlinks that point to their web pages.
No SEO campaign would be successful without being able to formulate informed decisions based on the information provided by these types of software.
Running a PPC campaign generates an enormous amount of valuable data that can be used to create more successful marketing campaigns. The detailed creation of PPC campaigns coupled with the amount of data that comes back in the reporting can speak volumes about your target audience.
PPC campaigns provide volumes of data regarding the user behaviour and how they respond to your sales copy, landing pages and products.
What’s more, is the data that is returned can help you build more accurate buyer personas for more effective content and targeting.
Email marketing software
Email marketing software provides you statistics on the success of your email marketing campaigns. Use this data in conjunction with your Analytics to segment your lists and create more personalized content for your audience. You can use tools like Mailchimp, Aweber, Get Response, Campaign Monitor or any you deem worthy.
A simple metric like the open rate can provide you insight into the effectiveness of a subject line in an email. A high open rate would indicate your audience is responding to the topic and delivery of your subject line-which makes it ideal to use variations of it as a title or headline for a blog post or article.
A high click-through rate of an email would indicate the body of content is appealing enough to get users to read further. This gives you a proof of which topics to pursue and build more content around to maintain high levels of engagement.
Tips to create a data-driven marketing campaign
Here are a few tips for creating campaigns that continually become more effective in targeting your audience and more optimized for conversions.
Create a well defined goal
Define the goal that will create a competitive edge in your marketing. You need to have a major objective in your campaign with a clear set of values you can walk away with and use in your next campaign. A clearly defined goal will keep you on track and provide a specific benchmark that can be measured for effectiveness.
Select your tracking tools
Choose the tools that will give you the data you need to make better decisions in the marketing campaigns that follow. Make sure you’re setting up your campaign with the tools that will give you the most accurate values for achieving your objective.
Setting up analytics means creating conversion goals and trackable links to see what’s actually happening on the pages you’re testing. Without using the proper tools your values can be skewed so make sure you’re getting the most from your campaign by using tools that will provide the metrics you need.
Incorporate data from past campaigns
Always make use of previous data to make informed decisions. If you’ve already run a campaign that has presented a set of data, incorporate that data into your next campaign. This creates a more effective, optimized campaign.
Use data-driven decisions to increase your bottom line
Use as much information about your products and consumers as possible to create highly targeted marketing campaigns. The demand for personalization has been made clear and it’s up to you to meet the demands of your ideal audience.
Applying data-driven marketing strategies are the norm for creating the means for more informed decisions on your marketing campaigns. Make use of statistical facts about your audience to see more engagement, leads and revenue on a regular basis.
Of all the ways to increase traffic to your website, it’s not often that you think of the source of new visitors as being from the traffic you’re already receiving. There’s a hidden trove of visitors you can unlock by using several tactics to reduce your bounce rate.
What is a bounce rate?
The bounce rate on your site is the total percentage of visitors that land on your site and leave without interacting with any other pages or links. This is a metric that’s reported in your Analytics and a value that can be crucial in improving the quality of traffic your website receives.
You can find the bounce rate of the pages of your website in Google Analytics by clicking on Behavior,
Used in the right context, this metric can identify problems on your website that may be causing people to leave.
A high bounce rate can potentially indicate a missed opportunity since visitors are already on your page and yet leave without completing a goal such as making a purchase or signing up to an email list.
Related reading: Key Performance Indicators & Data Analysis
What’s a good bounce rate?
A good bounce rate can be different on a situational basis. Many site managers would maintain that a bounce rate of over 60% warrants attention. Others are happy if their bounce rates are under 80% and yet this could be a catastrophic number to another website.
The percentage of a good bounce rate depends on the niche in which you’re competing and the type of page that’s generating your data.
So where is the happy medium for your website?
Your bounce rate should be assessed in light of the goal you have for the user on the page you’re analyzing.
You also need to accurately determine the behaviour of your audience to understand the meaning of the data being generated.
Aim to see the bigger picture
The problem with using bounce rate alone is that it doesn’t give you the entire story of what’s happening on your website. In the words of Dan Shewen,
[bctt tweet="No metric is an island on its own."]
If a user lands on your page and reads every single drop of a 5000-word article, then leaves, it would technically register as a bounce. If 80% of users did the same thing, the first glance at your analytics might tell you visitors do not like your content-which, in reality, this is not the case.
This brings us to the first point…
#1- Reference the average time spent on page
To accurately determine the true meaning of bounce rate on a specific page, you need to compare it to the average time spent on the page. In the example above, the bounce rate alone is a misleading metric without cross-referencing the average time spent on a page.
Significance of longer averages
By recognizing that each user spends 5-8 minutes on your page before leaving paints a more accurate picture of how users are engaging with your content. You can’t be certain that your content is the problem judging from just the bounce rate and not referencing the average time on the page.
If people are spending a long time on your page, it means they’re getting through your content. Consider creating a conversion goal, call to action or offer more options for related content to get them clicking through your site (discussed further in this article).
Significance of shorter averages
A short time spent on your page could mean users aren’t liking what they or they aren’t getting there because your page takes too long to load. If the average time spent on your page is short and you have a high bounce rate, you need to make changes. Users are landing on your page and not even giving it a chance.
Significance of no time on spent on page
If the page in question shows no time spent, the user might have closed the tabs or the browser to end the session on your page. If this happens, there is no time recorded because there is no exit click.
The average time on a page is measured from the entrance click to the exit click. If your users don’t click on anything and close the tabs you have some slightly misleading data being generated.
#2- Establish a CTA or conversion goal for your page
Content alone is not enough to keep visitors from leaving your page. Establish a clear and concise call to action for each of your pages to keep your audience engaged and moving through your website.
Ask visitors to share your content
Are you trying to build a stronger social presence? Ask your visitors to share your article with their social networks. Social sharing plugins are effective and offer a simple click to share option, making it easy for readers to click on the icon and share with their audience.
Ask visitors to join your email list
Present your readers with more opportunities to join your email list.
Include a CTA a few times within your post, which can be on the opt-in form itself.
Create conversions on Google Analytics
Ultimately we want our website visitors to purchase a product or service from our business. Creating goal conversions tracks whether your audience is doing what you want them to do on each page.
Whether it’s a sale, email sign-up form, or a social share, track your goal conversions. When your visitors start clicking on the links you want them to, it eliminates the session from becoming a bounce.
#3- Use interactive content
In the case where users are landing on your pages and leaving almost immediately, you will need to consider updating the content on the page. Interactive content is a solution to get your audience more engaged with your page and improving the stickiness it has for captivating their interest.
It’s a proven fact that people learn more when they are engaged with hands-on learning as opposed to just reading or listening. Interactive content allows your users to elevate the learning curve and retain more information. By getting your visitors to engage with any of several different content assets, you can reduce the bounce rate of your pages.
Infographics may have seen their height in popularity, but they are beneficial for both B2B and B2C sales and marketing. Visual content itself is proven to improve retention from 10% with plain text to 65% with an image. Interactive infographics boost information retention to the next level by allowing the user to interact with the graphic.
Here is an example of an interactive infographic that shows you information on the gay rights of each state in the US.
Whichever state you hover over with the mouse will highlight the information from that state on the sidebar.
Surveys are proven to be one of the most popular forms of content. Incorporate a survey within your content to get your visitors engaged.
You can choose from some of the most popular survey tools as a starter for testing out your audience’s response.
Inserting polls within your content also gives your audience a fun way to answer questions and compare their answers to past visitors.
Inserting a poll in your content can provide a good break-in text and get your visitor to actively participate and engage with your content.
What better way to reinforce the content your visitor has just read than a pop quiz? The response from your audience may vary (some people don’t like to be tested!) but again, it’s a good way to make an option for a user to step outside of the mundane practice of reading and participate in a potentially enjoyable experience.
Click to tweet
Inserting tweets a click to tweet call to action is a simple way for your audience to tweet a message or something worth sharing on your site. The amount of effort required for a user to click on the link makes sharing super simple.
This type of embed serves as a way to break up the text, get your users interacting with what you’re saying and contributes to increasing your audience.
#4- Re-optimize for user intent
When a visitor lands on your page, you have a few seconds before they decide whether your page can satisfy their search intent. Re-optimize your content to enhance your page’s ability to satisfy the user’s intent.
"Give the people what the people want."
The adage, “SEO is ever-changing” applies here when it comes to updating old content. Search intent is constantly in flux and going over old content can reveal out-dated articles that need to be re-optimized for current keywords as well as new ones.
SEO is not static with regards to the fact that at its core, it is based on user intent. People are always changing the way they search for things as well as the language they use to search. It can pay off in dividends to go over old content to make sure that your content satisfies user intent.
Improving the quality of your content and making sure it’s up to speed with the competition improves traffic and will reduce your bounce rate.
#5- Simplify your website navigation and searchability
One of the most common reasons users leave a website is because it’s not easy to navigate. When a visitor lands on a site for a specific reason, they need to believe that your website can satisfy their search. It’s important to provide easy access to all of your important pages so users can find what they’re looking for.
Even if they don’t see what they want at first glance, give them your best options to entice them to click further as well as a search box to search the website for something specific.
Avoid confusing menus and heavily cluttered pages. The actions a user takes on your site should be intuitive and laid out for the easiest and simplest understanding.
Use communicative image icons and a simple navigation bar to encourage more clicks. Think of using the signpost analogy to guide users in the right direction. Drivers need to see signs that communicate clearly what direction they want to take.
Simplify everything and when you’ve got some results and feedback, simplify it again. The easier your site is to navigate the better the UX experience is, which contributes to a reduced bounce rate.
#6- Reduce the time it takes your pages to load
Page speed is talked about repeatedly in almost every SEO article but it’s mentioned for good reason. Google reports that for every second it takes your pages to load you risk losing more visitors.
Some websites have more to gain by improving page speed. If your website is experiencing load times over 10 seconds you have a big opportunity to optimize your page speed to 5 seconds and cut your bounce rates in half.
The result would be the same as doubling your traffic when you consider that you’re now getting the visitors that choose your site already but would never make it with slow loading pages.
#7- Optimize for mobile screens
If you’re not optimized for mobile screens, you risk visitors leaving your site. Reduce your bounce rate by making sure your website is easy to navigate with a layout that’s easy to use on all mobile screens.
Have you ever tried to use the desktop version of a website on a smaller screen?
When users are forced to “pinch” the screen to zoom in and out to read text or use buttons it’s considered to be a poor user experience. This can cause visitors to flee in search of a website that better accommodates their screen size.
Apart from reducing your bounce rate, you may also get a boost in traffic if you’re able to improve your mobile-friendliness. Don’t forget that Google indexes the mobile version of websites before the desktop version.
You can test your website’s mobile-friendliness on the mobile-friendly test site or directly from the SERP.
#8-Link to related content within your website
Use a topical internal linking strategy to provide links to other content within your site that a user may be interested in reading. Not only does this optimize your pages, but also you can lead users to different areas of your site for continued learning and discovery.
If the page your visitor lands on has zero links on it, where would your users go next? The only way out is backwards which registers as a bounce.
Offer related reading within your content and at the end to encourage a higher click-through rate and reduce your bounce rate.
#9- Write long-form content
The advantage of being an engaging writer is that the more you write, the longer people stay on your page! Long-form content also gives you more opportunity to link to related content and direct traffic to product pages and other important pages on your site.
When compared to short-form content, the long-form gets visitors to stay on your site longer and reduce your bounce rate.
Increase traffic with a reduced bounce rate
Reducing the bounce rate on your site could be the key to unlocking a significant percentage of traffic that you already receive. In many cases, the bounce rate represents users that find your website but never make it to see a single scrap of your content.
Deducing the reason for a high bounce rate on your site is a priority that you can’t afford to ignore. Fixing the underlying cause can result in higher user engagement, increased click-through rates and more conversions.
As the competition becomes stiffer and the organic click-through rate dwindles, finding ways to improve the quality of your traffic will be a key element for sustainable growth and increased revenue.
If you have any questions about how to reduce your bounce rate, feel free to contact us for complimentary website analysis and learn how we can help through using custom SEO services.
Search engines display web pages based on multiple ranking factors and specific set criteria defined within its algorithm which changes with every query. The underlying criteria for assessing quality is based on the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines that was published in 2013. The guide defines the principles behind the Google E.A.T. algorithm which continues to play a more integral part in Google’s ranking system.
What is E.A.T. in SEO?
E.A.T. is an acronym that stands for Expertise, Authority and Trust. A page that can demonstrate these qualities at a high level is considered to be of high quality. Understanding how to demonstrate these qualities to Google and other search engines can improve your website’s search visibility.
This aspect refers to the author’s experience or credentials and how it contributes to their expertise on the topic being published. Expertise can be defined as awards, occupation, experience or accomplishments that are relevant to the topic of the main content.
The authoritativeness refers to how recognized the website or author is in their field. Do others mention them in the same niche? Are they well-known within their industry and considered to demonstrate thought leadership?
How well can the website be trusted? Does the website provide security for safe browsing or give a user the confidence to input personal information? Trust signal refers to the means for providing a user with security when browsing the website or interacting with the website.
These three attributes of a web page combine to form the basic principles of E.A.T. and the foundation of assessing the quality of a page.
Why is E.A.T. important?
A search engine function is to display the best solution to a search query. It should come as no surprise that part of this function is to filter out low-quality results and only display high-quality results. To make your website displayed frequently for important search terms to your business, your website needs to communicate the E.A.T. principles where they are most appropriate.
As search engines become better at applying the many different variables that make up a quality web page, the E.A.T. principles will have more impact on your website’s search visibility. Improving these attributes will contribute to higher rankings from increased traffic generation and ultimately increased streams of revenue.
Who does E.A.T. affect?
Technically, the E.A.T. principles affect every website, although it plays a much bigger role in the search visibility of some website over others.
Website’s with subjective content
For example, if a query is made on worlds cutest pets, E.A.T. won’t play as big a role in the search algorithm because the topic is fairly subjective. There isn’t as great a demand placed on a website to prove expertise, authority or trust when providing subjective or entertaining content compared to something that could impact a person’s life.
Does E.A.T. still, play a role in search visibility for subjective content? The short answer is yes. There is still the matter of providing a safe browsing experience and even backlinks that will affect ranking (trust and authority). In this example, however, expertise isn’t really a factor as much as the content itself and how users perceive its value.
Website’s with objective content
When a search is for a recommended dosage of a type of drug, then it becomes a more serious topic. The answer requires a specific level of expertise in order to be reliable and safe instructions for people to follow.
Search engines don’t want to display a search result that could potentially have false or misleading information that could potentially harm someone.
Websites that affect Your Money Your Life (YMYL websites)
Google rolled out the Medic Update in 2018 specifically to target websites that publish content with the potential to impact people’s lives seriously. These sites were referred to as YMYL websites (Your Money, Your Life). The result of the update was devastating for YMYL websites that did not demonstrate the E.A.T. principles.
Below is an example of a website that lost more than 50% of its traffic because it did not demonstrate the proper E.A.T. required for a blog that published health related content.
You can read more about how this website not only recovered its traffic but gained much more by applying the principles to match the Google E.A.T. algorithm.
YMYL websites publish content on topics such as health, finances and any information that affects the well-being of a person’s life. Articles that offer a recommended dosage-even with something as simple as aspirin is now a topic that can only be answered by a doctor.
Here is a search result for the phrase correct dosage of aspirin in which not a single website is listed that doesn’t demonstrate high levels of expertise and authority.
Offering a solution on how to reduce your debt or improve your credit is another topic that should only be published by a professional. Misleading information published on this content could potentially cripple a person financially. The Medic Update now requires searches regarding financial advice to be backed by experts and professionals.
The principles of E.A.T. affect all websites, although there are different degrees in which it affects a websites search visibility
How is E.A.T. applied to ranking?
The Search Quality Evaluation Guidelines outline the specifics on how the quality of a web page is determined. This guide provides a basic structure for what is required to meet the needs of the user and offers examples of web pages in different niches that demonstrate high E.A.T.
Although E.A.T. has been around since 2013, Google and other search engines struggled with a way of applying these principles within their algorithm. Many of these concepts are fundamentally human making it difficult to create an algorithm that could accurately assess content by applying the same concepts.
Google’s solution was to create many smaller algorithms tailored to specific niches that could identify the specifics of what was deemed quality.
Once the engineers have a potential change they want to implement, they will show the results to a team of quality raters both with and without the changes to the algorithm. The team is not informed on which set of search results is from the new algorithm.
The raters will then provide positive or negative feedback on the new algorithm search results. If the reviews were positive from the new tweak to the algorithm, Google will implement the change.
How do you improve the E.A.T. of your website?
Keep in mind that every niche may have a different set of values that impact ranking more than another. There are a set of guidelines that are outlined clearly in the search quality evaluator guidelines.
The key to understanding what’s most important is to think of the user first and what would make their experience better. Here are a few of the general practices that will contribute to a higher E.A.T. rating for your website.
If your website deals with YMYL content, there is no option but to prove what credentials and expertise the author of the content has in their field.
Publish a detailed About page
For example, if you are the only author on your website that deals with medical advice, you will need to have a strong About page that states your qualifications.
Tell users and search engines why you’re qualified to write about the content you’re publishing by stating your degrees, years in the industry, name of your practice.
List your achievements, awards and notable accomplishments or acknowledgements by other credible sources. Publishing these types of details signals to search engines that you have the expertise required to publish this type of information.
The same holds true for other websites in every niche. The example used in the Quality Search Guidelines uses the About page from a fish and chips restaurant as an example of a small business web page showing high E.A.T.
Hire experts or invite guest authors
Best practice to get the most E.A.T. would be to hire experts whenever possible. Have professionals publish content on topics they are qualified to write about. This provides credibility to the content as well as your website.
Provide author bios
Include a section to communicate the expertise of your author. This is the area that you can show users and search engines that your content is written by a professional and boost the E.A.T. signals of your website.
Build authority with high quality backlinks and mentions
Authoritativeness is mostly measured by the quality of backlinks and mentions of your website. This has always been a major ranking factor-since the beginning of Google. This concept is more easily understood through the “voting” analogy.
Aim for a high number of votes of credibility
A backlink or mention of your website by other quality websites are votes of confidence. When you accumulate a high number of votes (compared to your competitors) you’re considered an authority in your niche.
Target websites that are considered high authority
The only difference in this analogy is that unlike the concept of voting some votes count for more than others. Improving the backlink profile of your website creates authority. Strive to acquire quality backlinks from websites that are credible and have authority themselves.
Google is more efficient at determining a quality backlink now more than ever. This is and will be a main ranking factor far into the foreseeable future.
You can improve the trust signals of your website by creating a safe and reliable user experience. The level of trust that you need to demonstrate depends on the type of industry you’re in.
Provide basic trust signals
For example, if you’re in ecommerce, it goes without saying that if your site doesn’t have the basics like an SSL certificate, you’ve already lost an easy trust signal.
Providing secure methods of payment such as using safe and trusted companies like PayPal or Moneris is also another way to make users feel secure with entering payment information while on your website.
Publish detailed contact pages
The contact information your website displays is also considered a way of inspiring trust. When a user is considering a product or service, your accessibility and customer service may play a role in their purchase decision.
A website that has an email address and a contact form does not inspire trust, compared to a dedicated customer service line available 24/7. This would be important for products or services where people need to feel more secure about the type of assistance they’ll get if something goes wrong.
If customer service is a major component to your product or service, providing adequate and detailed contact information will improve the trust signals of your website.
Add structured data markup
Use structured data markup to implement Schema and communicate to search engines any information you want to be highlighted. The added markup contributes to the knowledge graph and connects your website to other web properties/entities to provide additional trust signals.
Structure your site for users
Link to your about and contact pages from the navigation bar or footer of your website to make these pages easily found. Structure your website in a way that users can find everything they need to build confidence in your brand.
What’s good for users is also good for search engines. They are and forever will be linked. Websites that provide a high level of user experience are rewarded with high search engine rankings.
At the end of the day, search engines want what’s best for the user. If you can identify what those things are in your niche, you’re able to apply the most accurate principles that satisfy the Google EAT algorithm and positively impact your search visibility.
The age of video marketing is upon us and in full swing. We’ve already witnessed the rise of video, which can be seen in YouTube’s rapid growth over the last few years.
There are dozens of ways to use video as part of your marketing strategy for 2021 and finding the angle will definitely contribute to additional traffic, conversions and a larger bottom line. Read about the video content marketing trends that are taking the world by storm and which you can capitalize on in 2021.
By definition, ephemeral content expires within a certain time period. The angle is to play on the user’s FOMO (fear of missing out) in order to elicit an immediate response or action. This type of content is being used more and more by marketers because of its effectiveness in getting attention. Stories have increased the time users spend on social media from 15-32 minutes a day.
For those who are dabbling in the world of influencer marketing, ephemeral content can be a less expensive way to get your content in front of an influencer’s audience. Many influencers on Instagram for example, will charge less for a story (that lasts 24 hours) than an actual post on their profile.
Ephemeral content provides an accurate way of measuring the impact of an influencer’s audience. The short bursts of increases in traffic and conversions can be attributed to the influencer campaign, giving investors more accurate insight into the value of influencer marketing.
As a growing form of video marketing Webinars provide an effective method of educating an audience while providing a personalized touch (in your live stream events). Communication webinars have a conversion rate of 67%.
This marketing tool combines the concept of building authority and the confidence of your audience by educating them about a specific topic. Many webinars aim to sell products focus on showing their audience how to solve a specific problem using their product. With a first hand glimpse at what the product can do, there’s a much higher likelihood that users will buy the product.
Webinars can be extremely informative and therefore repurposed into more bite-sized chunks of content to include in your marketing campaigns.
The best webinar software allows you to schedule users to watch the replay multiple times throughout the day to continue driving traffic and generating leads.
Google search results
If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed an increase in the number of videos that appear in the search results. Apart from the fact that Google owns YouTube (which means 95% of the videos are YouTube videos), there is a growing demand for video content that Google is supplying wherever possible.
Videos are appearing in searches in which the underlying user intent may be satisfied with a video. Take product searches for example. Many times a video will appear as a product review or a video on how to use the product.
Considering the fact that entire business models are built on YouTube traffic suggests that there is a massive opportunity. The first-page position on Google, as well as a high-ranking position on YouTube, can contribute to massive traffic to a website or conversion page.
There is evidence that incorporating a video on web pages will also contribute to a higher ranking on Google.
How to capitalize on more traffic from video
Obviously, creating a video is your first step. Many companies are under the impression that it takes a large investment to create a video content marketing campaign. Bentley proved this theory wrong by shooting an entire promotion with an iPhone.
Optimize your videos for SEO
Although a video has the potential to go viral or be shared enough to drive a substantial amount of traffic, optimizing your video can get your content in front of a targeted audience.
Use the basic rules of on-page optimization by including your keyword in the title, filename, description and tags.
Take your video SEO to the next level by publishing a transcript of your video within the description. The more information you give search engines about what’s on your video, the more keywords your video can appear for in searches.
Include chapters to increase appearances for video snippets
A simple way to segment your video into pieces is to create chapters. Write out the times on your video that represents where topics change or where questions are answered in order for search engines to pick up on your snippet.
Simply include the segments of your video in the description with a time next to each chapter.
YouTube will pick up on the markings and segment the progress bar into the different pieces of content that you’ve highlighted.
This results in providing search engines with more accurate information that can be highlighted for appropriate search queries. The segmentation of video content creates smaller snippets of specific information that is shown more frequently in keyword-related searches.
The reach of OTT
Video streaming has already been a major movement that has caused many families to switch from cable to streaming platforms. It is estimated that 87% of families now stream to their televisions and of those, 70% no longer use cable.
YouTube is one of the largest platforms with far-reaching implications. If you’re going to advertise using a PPC campaign, it’s an obvious choice to consider. The challenge becomes being able to target your ads and make sure it’s reaching an appropriate audience.
Video marketing trends are too big to ignore
The world is changing, as we know it. Video has provided us with an easy way of creating content and is now the preferred method of content consumption. With the numbers continuing to rise, it’s obvious that if you’re not including video content marketing in your overall marketing strategy, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.
Look to use the most appropriate video content marketing trends that apply to your business. The effort you put in now will only contribute to higher margins, more leads and increased revenue.