Serpstat: An In-depth Look

Serpstat: An In-depth Look

The SEO Hacker Toolbox contains some of the best SEO Tools available. Whether it be free or premium, we always ensure that we have the best tools that can help make our jobs much easier. We have covered a good number of these tools recently, which includes, Link Cheetah, Ahrefs, Mangools Online Tools, and even SERPED.net.

Despite the amazing array of tools that we already have, we are always on the lookout for more tools that can optimize our services and generate better results. One of the latest tools that we have been trying out recently is Serpstat, which is another versatile SEO tool that enables us to monitor an array of data and statistics.

With that in mind, let’s see what Serpstat can do:

Setting up a Project

One of the first things that you can do in Serpstat is set up projects for each of the websites that you are handling. This makes it much easier to track each website and asses their performance. As an SEO company, we tend to handle a high number of clients on a regular basis, which makes this feature a very useful one.

SERPStat New Project

To add a project, all you have to do is to click “Add new project” and input the details, which include the website URL, name of the project, and the group where you want to place your project in. The process takes less than 5 minutes, and you can readily view data, such as SEO and PPC keywords, referring domain and pages, and be readily able to start a website audit. Another important feature is the option to track keyword rankings live, which ensures that you are able to keep watch of all of the keywords in your websites. These two features make Serpstat perform functions that SEO professionals have to purchase separate tools for.

Site Audit

Starting a site audit is as simple as starting a new project, all you have to do is to click “Start Audit” and set a limit to how many pages of your website will be audited, and set the scanning speed. Depending on your plan, you can audit hundreds of pages with a single click.

Serpstat Audit

The audit can take a while depending on the number of pages, but once done, it will look like this:

Serpstat Audit Results

You get a detailed set of data, that allows you to review and asses website performance, and check out important elements such as meta descriptions, title tags, H1 headers, and even duplicate content. As someone who was experienced in using website audit tools, I can say that the data presented by Serpstat is helpful when it comes to optimizing websites.

Serpstat Audit Results 2

Position Tracking

Position Tracking allows you to track down keyword rankings live, which is a very important feature that allows us to keep us on our toes when it comes to ranking fluctuations and algorithm updates.

Serpstat Position Tracking Information

To begin tracking, all you have to do is to input details such as the project name, competitors, the search engine you want to track, keywords, the length of time that you will be tracking, and where will you share this data. Serpstat provides search data from Google and Yandex, which makes this a good tool to use when tracking keywords for websites in Russia and their nearby neighbors that use the search engine.

For the keywords, Serpstat will automatically scan the list of keywords in your website, which makes it a quicker process compared to typing each one manually. Sharing allows you to select a specific number of people that can view the data, which provides more privacy and security.

Serpstat Position Tracking

After putting in all of the necessary information, you get to view a list of keywords and their position and volume. A nifty feature that I like is having the option to export data, which comes in handy when a client asks for a report on how their keywords are performing. Overall, the position tracking feature works well and allows us to track rankings in a single place without the need to switch to other tools.

Website and Domain Analysis

Website and Domain analysis provide a look into a variety of data and statistics that indicate how well your website is performing. You can view a summary of all of this data in the overview page, which is quite detailed yet concise enough to be able to get a general impression.

SERPStat Overview

The overview presents initial data such as search traffic, organic keywords, and a list of keyword positions and volume.

Keyword Research

 Serpstat Keyword Position Distribution

Next is the keyword position distribution, which shows the average position of keywords. This helps visualize how well your keywords are performing.

Visibility Trend

The next important statistic is the Visibility Trend, which is a visual indicator of how much your web pages show up in search results pages. To summarize this, the higher the trend, the better the visibility.

Serpstat Keywords Trend

Next up is the Keywords Trend, which shows your domain’s keyword pool history. This shows how many possible keywords can lead to your website. Since our website talks about new trends and strategies in SEO, it is evident that new keywords and search terms just keeps expanding.

Serpstat Pages With Highest Visibility

Pages with the highest visibility show you pages that get searched and seen the most. This helps you see pages that perform the best, which helps you analyze further on what makes them gain that amount of traffic.

Competitor Analysis

You can also view your competitors through organic search, search graphs, and even through ads. This helps you see how well your website is performing compared to your closest competitors. This really comes in handy, as we have clients in very competitive industries aiming to outdo one another. Being able to see their data helps in giving us the edge when it comes to crafting quality strategies.

Backlinks Analysis

Serpstat Backlinks Analysis

Along with website audit and keyword research features, Serpstat also allows you to track backlinks within your website. This allows you to view the amount of referring domains and pages, track the amount of new and lost backlinks, and even view the most frequently used anchor texts.

This adds yet another new dimension to the already versatile tool, as you have a link building tool that helps monitor backlinks with efficiency and ensures that you don’t miss any of your links.

Rank Tracker

Serpstat Rank Tracker

The last important feature is Rank Tracker, which provides you an in-depth look into the positions of your keywords. This is a more detailed look at the position tracking feature and allows you to look into the history, and even the keywords of your competitors. You also have the option of tracking the performance of your landing pages as well. Once again, a solid feature that makes this tool even more versatile.

Verdict

Functionality and versatility are elements that help create a quality SEO tool, and Serpstat definitely has both. With a variety of functions that help us make work more efficient, it is definitely a great addition to our SEO toolbox. This is a toll that we will surely recommend to SEO newcomers and professionals alike, as it has the right features that make it work well.

Key Takeaway

Once again, we have found another helpful and versatile tool that makes our SEO much more effective. Tools like Serpstat prove that a tool can be simple in design and purpose yet be effective at the same time.

If you have questions and inquiries about SEO tools and SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

Serpstat: An In-depth Look was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

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Learning to Rank

My last Post was Five Years of Google Ranking Signals, and I start that post by saying that there are other posts about ranking signals that have some issues. But, I don’t want to turn people away from looking at one recent post that did contain a lot of useful information.

Cyrus Shepard recently published a post about Google Sucess Factors on Zyppy.com which I would recommend that you also check out.

Cyrus did a video with Ross Hudgins on Seige Media where he talked about those Ranking signals with Cyrus, called Google Ranking Factors with Cyrus Shepard. I’m keeping this post short on purpose, to make the discussion about ranking the focus of this post, and the star. There is some really good information in the Video and in the post from Cyrus. Cyrus takes a different approach on writing about ranking signals from what I wrote, but it’s worth the time visiting and listening and watching.

And have fun learning to rank.


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Learning to Rank was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Customer Motivation: How a craft brewery tapped into the element that most affects conversion

If you want conversion rate increases, the No. 1 factor to consider is customer motivation, according to the Conversion Sequence Heuristic from MECLABS Institute (parent research organization of MarketingExperiments).

That’s why the letter “m” has the biggest multiplier (4) in the heuristic.

When we talk about motivation, we often talk at a granular level — understanding where traffic is coming from or where customers are in the thought sequence to help your landing page optimization.

I recently came across a great example of an entire product built solely on customer motivation: A small brand went up against a giant competitor by tapping deeply into customer motivation. You may not be able to go this far with your products, but extreme examples like this are nice because they help us brainstorm possible outside-the-box ideas we can do with our own marketing.

“It begins with an ancient story”

Our story begins with the 2017 AFC Championship football game. The Jacksonville Jaguars versus the New England Patriots. David versus Goliath. If you’re unfamiliar with this part of the story, John Malkovich tells it far better than I can.

Except, when David slew Goliath, there were no referees involved to influence the outcome. In the case of the Jaguars versus the Patriots, a controversial call by the refs decided the outcome of the game. Goliath (the Pats) went on to the Super Bowl, and David (the Jags) was sent into a long offseason.

In case you’re unfamiliar with football, I’ll briefly overexplain what happened. If you’re totally uninterested in football, feel free to skip the next two paragraphs.

The most controversial call in the game came when Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack stripped the ball (took it away) from Patriots running back Dion Lewis in the fourth quarter of the game. After stripping the ball, Jack got up and started running to the end zone for a touchdown. But he stopped because the refs blew the whistle, in effect saying he was touched by Lewis, meaning he was down by contact and the play was over.

However, upon looking at the slow-motion replay, it appears that Lewis didn’t touch Jack, and therefore Jack wasn’t down. However, once a play is blown dead by the refs’ whistle in the NFL, they can’t overturn the call from the instant replay. If the refs had waited on the whistle, allowed the play to run its course, Jack likely would have scored a touchdown, the replay would have shown he was never touched and therefore never down, the Jaguars would have had an insurmountable lead and headed to their first Super Bowl.

Instead, Goliath won.

This botched call became a thing. A meme. It went viral. Whatever you want to call it, it created a deep and abiding motivation in a large percentage of people living in the Jacksonville area.

Which also created an opportunity.

Every marketer faces their own Goliath

Before I complete the story, let’s jump to a challenge you likely face — how to compete with a larger rival. How do you defeat your industry’s Goliath? Unless your brand dominates its market, you likely have to face a larger competitor. In ecommerce, that competitor is Amazon. In B2B, it might be IBM. In the beer industry, that company is Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV and its $246.13 billion in assets.

Intuition Ale Works is a Jacksonville-based craft brewery and taproom. I don’t know the value of its assets, but it is significantly less than AB InBev.

So how to compete?

You need a compelling story powered by a forceful value proposition because you’re fighting against a whole lot of money. Money that can drive logistical efficiencies that allow your bigger competitor to be profitable at a much lower cost than you can bear. Money that can buy loads of advertising and sponsorships and endorsement and expertise.

For Intuition Ale Works, part of its value proposition is beer brewed in Jacksonville. But actually, that isn’t unique. AB InBev also has a brewery in Jacksonville.

Another part of its value prop is that Intuition has a greater degree of intimacy with its customers. It is better able to tap into their motivations.

“We try to keep a close eye on the buying patterns of our customers,” Brad Lange, Chief Operating Officer, Intuition Ale Works said. “Every morning our sales team reviews updated metrics that show how our core beers are performing. (Core beers are available year-round in package and draft format throughout Jacksonville, as opposed to seasonal, specialty and limited-release beers that have shorter lifespans). We also check the previous day’s sales report in our taproom.”

He continued, “This gives us insight into how our seasonal and specialty beers have been selling. I’d say that we are obsessed with data, at least when it comes to consumer interest in our beers. Part of this interest is business related. But at a deeper level, we want to provide Intuition drinkers with beer that they are excited about. We let the sales numbers tell us what consumers like and what they don’t.”

Customers vote for their motivations with their wallets

Intuition had a new beer in the works, brewed by owner and founder Ben Davis, that needed a name. “Our brand is typically more outdoorsy and Florida-related, and the beer names are simple and straightforward. For example, Jon Boat Coastal Ale, I-10 IPA, and King Street Stout,” Lange told me.

However, they knew the whistle heard around the city had an undeniable allure to their customers. So they decided to stray from the brand in order to tap into the customer’s motivations. The customer’s motivations trumped the company-derived brand.

“As most people in Jacksonville know by now, the phrase ‘Myles Jack Wasn’t Down’ has gone viral locally. It’s become a rallying cry, of sorts. Ben mentioned it and we all thought it was great, even though it is completely off-brand in terms of how we normally name our beers,” Lange said.

And so Myles Jack Wasn’t Down! became the name of the brewery’s latest product.

Not all purchases are logical. Customers aren’t dismal scientists, coldly calculating how supply and demand affect their decisions. The purchases that tap most deeply into their motivations are based less on product features and benefits and more on an ability to express themselves in a cold, noisy and overpowering world. “I’m here. I matter. And this is what matters to me.”

Apple understood that with its legendary Think Different campaign. “I’m a misfit, I’m a rebel, I can’t buy a PC.”

Patagonia has tapped deeply into customer motivations with its environmental activism (probably less as a marketing strategy and more as a core belief). As a result, revenue and profit have quadrupled over the past 10 years, and the company now sells about $1 billion per year in outdoor clothing and gear.

It’s difficult for a customer to logically compare the features and functions of every jacket on the market and determine which will best serve their short- and long-term needs. However, it’s easy for a customer to understand that they have a deep motivation to support public lands. And they see Patagonia is fighting for public lands against Goliath (even though the refs are being unfair). So they subconsciously think, “While I might be a mere speck of dust in this universe, I’m going to stand with Patagonia and public lands and the environment by buying this jacket.”

And so it is with beer as well. While the actual product and the football play really have nothing to do with each other, the Myles Jack Wasn’t Down! beer name has had an undeniable effect. “It has sold incredibly well. We don’t try to actively market our beers. But once we announced the name, it sort of took on a life of its own. People came in right away to try it. A lot of them have been wearing Jaguars gear. It has been a pleasant surprise for sure. Myles Jack’s family actually contacted us and are planning on stopping by to try it,” Lange said.

While Lange says they don’t actively market their beers, I will disagree. Sure, in the typical business connotation they don’t. They don’t buy advertising, hold focus groups or build an official marketing plan. They don’t have a drip campaign built into their marketing automation platform.

But customer-first marketing doesn’t always look like the traditional definition of marketing at first glance. The core of customer-first marketing is understanding and serving a customer and then creating messaging so the customer perceives that your product will serve them. All that other stuff is just a means to get that message to your ideal customer. And in that sense, I think Lange and his team engage in some serious marketing.

It’s not always sunny in Jacksonville, Florida

I could have ended the story right there, on an up note. But the sun doesn’t always shine in the Sunshine State. As we’ve seen, David doesn’t always defeat Goliath. And sometimes, dark clouds form around products as well.

Part of customer intimacy and deeply understanding customer motivations is being able to say goodbye to products. Customer motivations aren’t static. They change. As your customers age. As new technology is developed. As competitors get a better fix on what customers want. As the shifting tide of trends and public opinions ebbs and flows.

For example, Intuition recently decided to retire one of its first beers.

“This was a really difficult decision because it played such a key role in the development of our brand the past seven-and-a-half years. When a beer doesn’t sell as well as it once did, it tells us that something has changed. Maybe a style isn’t that popular in the market anymore. Or we’ve developed a similar beer that just tastes better, and our customers prefer it. It’s our job to figure out why sales fell off and then to create something different that our customers will be excited about,” Lange said.

Grab your slingshot and go into battle

If your brand is facing down its own Goliath, I hope this story provided a bit of inspiration in your day. Remember, size isn’t everything.

Your slingshot is your understanding of the customer — whether you’re using data analysis or A/B testing, sales reports or in-person customer interviews.

Whichever brand understands customer motivations best, wins.

Related Resources

Five Questions to Ask to Understand Customer Motivation

Analyzing Customer Motivation to Create Campaign Incentives that Resonate

Harnessing Customer Motivation: How one company increased conversion by 65% by aligning page elements with customer desire

Customer Motivation: How a craft brewery tapped into the element that most affects conversion was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

SEO Writing: Creating SEO Friendly Content in 6 Easy Steps

Content

Looking for guidance on how to write content that improves your chances of moving up in the SERPS?

Then today is your lucky day!

This guide is aimed at answering your questions like: “What’s is SEO Writing?” and “How Do I make content SEO Friendly?”.

But that’s not it, I’ll also walk you through a step by step process of developing an SEO content strategy and how to put that strategy into action so that you can call yourself SEO writers!

So let’s jump in.

What is SEO Writing?

SEO writing refers to the skill of composing text in a rational manner that provides context and value to both website visitors and search engines.

That’s right…it’s a skill. It doesn’t mean for writers to just create an article or blog post that is cluttered and has tons of keyword stuffing in it.

It means to create quality content that is so helpful and valuable that Google has no option other than to include it because it enriches the search results.

How to Develop Your Content Strategy?

To be able to write content that is more effective in Google, you must start by performing the necessary research.

You can’t expect to just write different types of content and have it rank. There is pre-planning involved to be able to ensure what you compose actually warrants Google to rank you.

To be able to pre-plan, start creating an outline by answering the following questions:

1. Who’s Your Audience?

Think about it, how can you write about a topic if you aren’t sure who your audience is.

Go to Google Analytics…Audience…and pull both Demographic & Interest data.

Once you have this information you are able to understand who your target audience is and you can make sure your copy is catered to them.

2. What Are You Writing About?

Now that you know who you are writing for…you need to know what you’re going to write about.

The foundation of any successful SEO content is keyword research.

The purpose of this guide is not to teach you how to perform keyword research, that can be found on this helpful guide from Ahrefs’ (Why reinvent the wheel).

Keyword research can provide you with insight into how topics are searched for, what their wants & needs are, and ultimately you’ll understand your audience better.

3. What Questions Must Be Answered?

So you have a primary keyword that you want to cover. The next phase of your pre-planning research should be focused around understanding user intent.

To understand user intent you need to know if your topic is Informational or Transactional?

Informational means that the keyword is broader and that the user typing that into Google is searching for more information to help guide them (hence the name).

An example of this would be: “How to Ride a Bicycle”

Notice that the results for this term are primarily videos and articles explaining the process of learning to ride a bicycle. There are no listings of websites that try to sell anything because Google understands the user intent is trying to get an answer.

Transactional means that the topic indicates there is an intent to make a purchase or complete a purchase or transaction.

An example of this would be: “Mongoose Bicycle”.

Notice how sponsored shopping ads are being displayed, followed by organic results of websites that sell Mongoose bicycles. Google understands based on the history that users that type this query in, people are typically looking to make a purchase.

Now that we know what Informational & Transactional mean, why is this important for SEO?

To effectively write content that can perform well in the SERPS it is imperative to know user intent. This is essentially Google telling you the type of content that must be written to have a chance at success.

Using the example above for “mongoose bicycle”. By taking a look at the organic listings I can immediately tell this is transactional so I will want to make sure the copy I create is written to focus on a consumer who is looking to make a purchase instead of simply writing about the history of the mongoose bicycle.

There are other clues that you can take from the organic listings as well that help in answering users questions:

Notice how Google displays types of bikes, prices, reviews, & parts. Knowing that Google is connecting those terms with the main topic, I want to make sure in my writing, I talk about those descriptors.

4. How Comprehensive Is My Topic?

As mentioned above, when creating content you want to make it so helpful that Google has no option but to rank you because you have covered this topic better than anyone else.

Based on this you need to know how comprehensive a particular topic is. One of the best ways of researching this is to analyze the Page 1 organic listings and identify the length of their text. I then average out the length of that copy.

How do find this?

While there are several tools that do this, my favorite is SEMRush’s SEO Content Template.

After inputting a primary topic or keyword, SEMRush does most of the work for you. They scan the top 10 ranking sites and spit out the average text length.


While this is not a hard and fast metric, it should be used as a directional metric.

This is helpful because if the Top 10 ranking sites average text length is 3000 words and I write a piece of content that is 400 words, there is a good chance Google won’t view my coverage of the topic as comprehensive enough.

This can sometimes be construed the opposite though as well. It also doesn’t mean that by writing 10,000 words you will be viewed as the best.

Make sure you try to answer the user intent and do so as thoroughly as possible.

5. What’s Your Unique Value?

The last step in developing your content strategy for individual page optimization is identifying your unique value.

  • What have the top sites failed to cover?
  • Where have they covered but not extensively enough?
  • Could the reader benefit from seeing visuals within the copy to better understand?
  • Do you have a special understanding of a topic better than most where you can give more insight than a layman?

There are many scenarios where one could cover the same topic as many others but tie in their unique value.

Unfortunately, there are no magic tools that do this for you. One must analyze by manually reviewing the competing pages to find those opportunities or gaps.

But finding your unique value is the difference between everyone else and the best in class.

How do you make content SEO Friendly?

Now that you have researched and developed the pre-planning strategy of your content, now comes the actual writing.

There are 6 steps you will want to follow to make sure your content is written with search engine optimization in mind:

Step 1: Create a catchy Title (Headline) that incorporates your primary keyword

Not all Titles are created equal. Outside of the content itself, a quality headline is arguably the biggest difference between successful engagement and a flopper.

This is the first thing that a user will see when performing a search. In fact, on average 5 Times as many people read the headline as the body copy.

Best practice is to try to incorporate your primary keyword towards the front of your Title if at all possible.

The Title should be no longer than 600 Pixels in length. (if you use WordPress and have Yoast installed they tell you this when creating the page. If you don’t have WordPress, I’d recommend using the Moz Title Tag Preview Tool.)

It takes time to write an engaging headline. One of the fastest ways to do this is to use the Coschedule Headline Analyzer.


After inputting your Title, it will score your text and provide suggestions on how to make it better.

Do this until you have found a winning combination and achieved at least a score of 80 or higher if possible.

Step 2: Write a compelling meta description

A meta description is used to summarize the content of a page. Search engines typically show the meta description as a snippet of text in the results pages.

While not a direct search engine ranking factor, meta descriptions are vital to gaining high click-through-rates from the SERPs.

It is a best practice to try to incorporate your primary keyword(s) within the description in a natural, non-spammy way. Always ask yourself, is this how a person would talk? If no, you might want to consider writing it more instinctive way.

While Google can truncate your snippet, it is also recommended to try and stay below 300 characters.

One way to test or preview a meta description is to use Portent’s handy SERP Preview Tool:

You simply enter in your description idea and see how it fits character wise and also looks in the preview.

Step 3: Write the Content using your pre-planned outline

This step is pretty self-explanatory. This is where you actually write the content using all of the elements you previously gathered in your analysis.

I find it helpful to just write and once I feel like I have covered the topic completely, then go back and edit where necessary.

You don’t want to feel too boxed in and have it alter your creative freedom.

Step 4: Make sure your Content answers your audience’s questions

Briefly discussed in the content strategy above, you want to make sure your content answers the common questions your audience might have.

Incorporating this ensures your copy is comprehensive in nature.

So, how do you find this?

There are many tools to help, but I’m going to give you the few that I use based on personal preference:

  • Google – The first thing I do is type in my primary keyword(s). At the bottom of the results you will see a section titled “Searches related to”
  • Google – The second thing I look for is to see if that same results page has a section called: “People also ask”
  • Ahrefs Keyword Explorer – There are many keyword research tools available but I tend to lean towards Ahrefs. If you enter a keyword and click on “questions”, they will provide you a list of the search queries that include the primary term you entered.

Once I have the common questions, I look to ensure my content has answers to the most common questions related to my topic.

Step 5: Incorporate semantic keywords to enrich your text

When it comes to “search”, semantic essentially means related. As it relates to the contextual meaning of a word.

From an SEO perspective, having semantically related terms to your “primary keyword(s)” helps provide a more connected and complete understanding of your topic.

So how do you do this?

By now the content should be written. This is important because to get the most accurate data back, you want to analyze the copy you just wrote against the copy of the top ranking websites for your primary keyword(s).

There are several great tools you can use to do this, but I tend to use Ryte’s Content Success tool.

If you click on “optimize your content” you can literally enter in all the copy you wrote and specify your primary keyword and Ryte will do the analysis for you based off researching the top ranking sites.

It will tell you what keywords to incorporate more within your text, which ones to reduce, and which ones to remove altogether.

As you update your copy you can continuously re-check for completeness. While this doesn’t guarantee you will rank, it helps ensure your content is topically in-line with your competitors.

Step 6: Review the final content to ensure its readability

The final step is to look at your content from a subjective point of view. If you were to come across this content, how easy would it be to read?

Have you checked for:

  • Grammatical errors
  • Spelling errors
  • Sentence structure
  • Etc.

The question you must ask yourself is, is your content fitting for your target audience?

Conclusion

Writing effective SEO content takes thorough analysis &  planning. But when done properly, the results speak for themselves. Take the extra time to do it right because releasing low-quality or thin content that doesn’t provide value only hurts your site in the long run.

Happy writing!

SEO Writing: Creating SEO Friendly Content in 6 Easy Steps was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Mangools Online Tools: An In-depth Look

Mangools Online Tools: An In-depth Look

SEO professionals have long been using the best tools available to assist them in crafting successful and effective strategies for different kinds of websites. In fact, it’s pretty hard to imagine a world where these tools do not exist at all. Doing SEO without tools can feel like baking and mixing pastries only with your hands, very taxing.

Thankfully, with the abundance of SEO tools available, we can ensure that we will be able to perform to the best of our ability and generate the best results. These tools can perform tasks like keyword research, content research, SERP analysis, backlink checking, rank tracking, and even grammar checking. We have had many experiences with different tools, and we always make sure to try everything out and see how they can make us work more efficiently.

One of the latest tools that we will be looking into is from Mangools, which offers 4 tools in one single package. We have covered versatile SEO tools before, and this looks like another tool worth trying out. Let’s take a closer look:

Mangools Tools

Mangools offers 4 different SEO tools in one package, namely the KWFinder for keyword research, SERPChecker for SERP analysis, SERPWatcher for Rank Tracking, and LinkMiner for link tracking. Before we get into more details, we’d like you to register and try the tools out yourself and see what you think about this versatile package.

Now let’s start with the KWFinder:

KWFinder

One of the most important tools that you need when crafting an effective SEO strategy is a keyword research tool. Finding the right keywords is the first step that you have to take, as your strategy will fall apart if you do not use the right keywords that will help users find the websites you manage. This makes KWFinder one of the tools that you would be using more often.

KWFinder

Using KWFinder is similar to most keyword research tools. All you have to do is to enter your keyword and see the results.

KWFinder Results

After entering the keyword of your choice, you not only get data about that keyword but also gather data from other possible keyword choices. One thing that I liked about KWFinder was how well the data is presented to the user. Along with the usual search volume, CPC, and PPC stats, you also get SERP results from the keyword, which allows you to access sites that contain that keyword, which is a good feature to have when doing research for content marketing.

Overall, this is an effective keyword research tool that presents its data in a way that even SEO newcomers would be able to understand much easier.

SERPChecker

Along with keyword research, another crucial part of a successful SEO strategy is taking a look at the search results that appear after entering the keyword of your choice. This allows you to analyze what kind of content do people see when typing that keyword into their search engines. While KWFinder might have links to what you would be able to see in the SERPs, SERPChecker allows you to go in-depth.

SERPChecker Main Page

Like KWFinder, all you have to do is enter the keyword and look into the results.

SERPChecker

The amount of data that is presented is quite a good amount, from domain rating, to even the number of Facebook shares. Along with the top websites and articles related to the keyword, you can also view featured snippets and similar queries to further expand your research. You can also publish the results if you need to create a report on your findings, which can even include a preview snapshot of the search results.

Once again, the presentation of the data is well-done and simple to understand. SERPChecker is a straight-to-the-point tool that is effective in helping you find the results that you need.

SERPWatcher

Tracking website performance is key to monitoring the progress of your SEO campaign and having a tracker like SERPWatcher allows you to monitor multiple websites and see how well they are doing.

SERPWatcher New Tracking

To start things off, enter the name of your website, add the domain, and then the keywords. After entering these details, SERPWatcher is now ready to track your website.

SERPWatcher Demo

As you can see from the live demo, you can view each website and track their Dominance Index, which is an indicator of their visibility and relevance in SERPs. Going further, you can also take a look at the performance of your keywords as well. SERPWatcher provides users with the ability to track website performance in a single location and provide another in-depth look.

LinkMiner

The last tool that we will be taking a look at is LinkMiner, which is a backlink analysis tool that allows you to monitor the backlinks of your website.

LinkMiner Start

To start, enter the URL of your website to begin the tracking process.

LinkMiner

After entering the URL, you can now view all of the backlinks within your website, along with statistics such as Citation and Trust Flow, and even the website’s Alexa Rank. One of the highlights of this tool is the ability to be able to view the web pages that your website is linking to and run it through SERPChecker for further analysis.

Having this much information already makes LinkMiner a quality backlinks analysis tool and compliments the already versatile package of tools that Mangools offers.

Verdict

When it comes to versatility and simplicity, Mangools provides us with a lot of functionality, along with credible data that allows us to perform our tasks more efficiently. It’s user-friendly interface also makes it a great tool for SEO newcomers, as they would be able to understand and learn much better.

Key Takeaway

Mangools has provided us with a quality tool that is a great addition to our SEO Hacker Toolbox. Being a useful set of tools for both professionals and newcomers alike, this will surely help us create successful strategies that will help improve one’s online presence.

If you have questions and inquiries about SEO tools or SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

Mangools Online Tools: An In-depth Look was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

UX: what is it and why does it matter?

Why are we talking about UX?

Put simply, UX is important in every part of our daily lives, probably more than most of us even notice. Let’s walk through an example.  

The 2000 U.S presidential election was extremely contentious. Here are the results:

Pay attention to the highlighted “Electoral vote” and “Popular vote” statistics. In the United States, the president wins by getting a majority of electoral college votes. Each of the 50 states has a number of electoral college votes and whichever candidate wins your state gets all of the electoral college votes from your state. The election that year came down to the state of Florida and its electoral college votes. George Bush won the state by 537 votes out of almost six million votes. Crazy!

It gets even more interesting. Here is what a ballot looked like in a county in Florida that year:

If you were voting for George Bush, which button would you press? The answer is the button marked with an A. Easy.

What would you press if you were voting for Al Gore? Well, he is second on the list so you would press the second button labeled B. Wrong. Pressing B would send your vote to the Reform candidate Pat Buchanan. If you wanted to vote for Gore, you would need to press the button labeled C. If you are confused, so were many voters in Florida.

The small margin of victory and this confusing ballot lead to a recount of votes and a U.S Supreme Court decision.

This is a clear example of poor UX. The design choices for the ballot lead to confusion and error and impacted the result of a U.S election.

Why does any of this matter for SEO? Let’s talk about it.

How does this matter for SEO?  

In one phrase: Machine Learning.

Machine learning algorithms are taking over SEO. Google still uses traditional SEO signals (links, keywords) but machine learning adds another layer to their algorithm.

Google uses traditional SEO signals to show initial results but then uses machine learning to iterate on those results based on user feedback. If Google displays a page, a user clicks and lands on that page, the user then immediately bounces back to the SERP, Google’s machine learning algorithms will know not to display the result.

When a user does not engage with a page, that sends a very clear signal to Google. This is why UX has become crucial if you want your site to rank.

Is UX hard to measure? It sure is. We at Distilled have been talking about this for years.

Here is an article that explains our approach to quantifying UX and quality signals. Google has human testers who go onto sites and manually rate them on quality and UX. Our survey emulates Google’s human testing and gives us information on UX related issues.

How else can you know that UX is a problem for your site? Think about how many of the following issues your site can relate to:

  • You have done a full technical audit and there is nothing (or very few) technical issues with your site
  • You are not hit by any manual penalty
  • Your site decreased in rank (and traffic) around the same time Google announced quality updates
  • Your domain authority is relatively high compared to your competitors and your backlink profile is in a good place

If all or most of the above sounds familiar to you and your site does not rank competitively in its space, UX is a huge potential opportunity.

UX has several components and as Google’s algorithms continue to advance, sites who take care to emphasize UX will reap the benefits in the SERPs.

Whether or not you are designing a ballot for a presidential election or making a site to sell t-shirts, UX matters.

Ok, UX is important. I get that. I still don’t know what it is and what I can do?

You

What is UX?

The phrases UX and UX Design get thrown around a lot. Often, if a website or app does not look visually appealing, people say “that site has bad UX.” But what is UX and what does it really mean?

UX is composed of seven key factors:

  • Useful
  • Usable  
  • Findable
  • Credible
  • Desirable
  • Accessible
  • Valuable

Useful

This is simple. Is your product / website useful? If you have a website, then the question you need to ask yourself is “is my website promoting a product or service people want?”

It is important to note that “useful” is certainly in the eye of the beholder.  Your website can be promoting products or services that provide non-practical benefits such as PPC. What matters most is that your target audience finds it useful.

Usable

Can users utilize your website or product effectively and efficiently? If not, then you may lose out to competitors. In a world where websites are increasing and attention spans are decreasing, if your site is not easy to use, your competitors will reap the benefits.

Findable

Can users find your product? In the case of websites, is the information and content easy to find? This about Wikipedia. As soon as you land on the page, you know exactly where the content is and what to expect. In the vase of a Wikipedia biography, the first sentence usually contains the pronunciation of the persons name. The right corner usually has a box with a picture as well as info on birth dates, education, and profession. It doesn’t matter who the person is, if you go on Wikipedia and look at the biography you will be able to find the information you are looking for.

Credible

“Fool me one time, shame on you, fool me twice can’t put the blame on you” – J.Cole

Web users have no patience for sites that are not credible. For a product, it should do the job but also last a long time. For a website, the information provided should be accurate and fit for whatever brought the user to the page. Even search engines have gotten into the credibility game by delivering benefits to sites that are HTTPS vs HTTP.

Desirable

Do people want your product? Do people brag about using your product or site? Think about cars. A Toyota and a Mercedes are both great cars. If given either for free, which would you choose?

Desirability is all about branding, design and aesthetics. This is not to say that sites that lack in these areas will not perform well. But if a user can access the same information from a more desirable website, they will undoubtedly choose to do so.

Your local newspaper and news outlets such as the New York Times and the Guardian probably cover similar issues when it comes to major world events. Which outlet do you read?  

Accessible

Accessibility often gets overlooked, but it is crucial. Accessible products and sites are those that can be used by an audience of a wide range of abilities.

Accessibility needs can be those with physical or learning impairments. This crucial area of UX gets overlooked due to judgements made that disabled individuals do not make up a big percentage of the market. However, the US census estimates that nearly 20% of Americans have a disability. This number is expected to be even higher in developing nations.

Accessibility is so important that Google has created documentation to help webmasters make their sites more accessible.

Value

Value is what encompasses all of the other principles mentioned. Users will find your product or service valuable if it is useful, usable, findable, credible, desirable, and accessible, then users will see value in your product or site. If your site does not provide value, then it will not get users.

Thanks for taking the time to read. If you have any thoughts or questions feel free to reach out to me in the comments below or via the Distilled Twitter account.

UX: what is it and why does it matter? was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Farewell Google Adwords: Popular Service to be Rebranded into Google Ads

Farewell Google Adwords: Popular Service to be Rebranded into Google Ads

After 18 years in service, Google will be retiring the popular Google Adwords, and launch a rebranded service called Google Ads within the year. Along with Adwords, DoubleClick will also be rebranded into Google Marketing Platform for advertiser products and Google Analytics 360 Suite, and Google Ad Manager for publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange.

This rebrand is a move to optimize Google’s services, and can also be seen as a way for Google to shift its focus away from keywords, and push for more keyword-less formats, which can help ads become more diverse and versatile. While advertisers and big brands might be reluctant with these changes, the need to adjust and adapt to new strategies remains as crucial as ever. Financially, this is a sound move by Google, as they would be able to gain more revenue in return due to fewer limitations on their advertisements.

New Trends, New Adjustments

With the current trend of digital marketing leaning towards making use of voice search and mobile optimization, new strategies are continuously being developed to adapt to the ever-changing landscape. One of the biggest factors that led to these changes was the increasing amount of video content on social media and streaming sites. Video content garners a lot of social interactions and traffic and is increasingly becoming an important element when it comes to creating viral social media campaigns.

Video content has also become the avenue in which brand advertise their products as well, as evidenced in websites like Facebook and YouTube, where users would encounter an advertisement before, during, and after playback. The potential reach and lower cost make this form of advertisement the most effective in today’s market, as more users are more likely to use mobile devices compared to seeing billboards, print ads, or television commercials.

What Google Ads will offer

Google Ads

Along with the rebranding, Google Ads offers up new features that help make digital advertising work for your brand, especially for small business wanting to expand their reach to further their growth. This feature is called Smart Campaigns and allows these small businesses to create their own elaborate advertising and social media campaigns through the use of features like machine learning and automated targeting.

This campaign allows these businesses to advertise and connect with their audience on various Google platforms such as YouTube and Google Maps. While not many features have been announced yet, Google will be holding an event called Google Marketing Live in July 10 to demonstrate what else the new Google Ads can offer.

Google Marketing Platform and Ad Manager

Google Ads Manager

The other part of the rebrand sees DoubleClick advertiser products and Google Analytics 360 Suite being integrated into a single brand called Google Marketing Platform. This new brand allows businesses to be able to manage their digital advertisements and customer relations in a single platform, which allows digital marketing teams to be able to perform more efficiently. New features also include Display and Video 360, which performs in similar ways to Google Analytics 360 Suite. Along with Google Ads, Google will be demonstrating these new features on July 10 on Google Marketing Live

Another unified platform is the Google Ad Manager, which combines the functionality of DoubleClick Ad Exchange and DoubleClick for Publishers. This is another tool that enables users to be able to manage advertising campaigns much more efficiently and make them work.

Effect on SEO

Google Adwords is one of the most heavily used tools for a lot of digital marketing companies, and it is a tool that we will surely miss. This tool has helped launch so many successful campaigns for our clients, which helped them generate conversions and engagements that help them grow. The new Google Ads aims to pick up from this and allow brands to craft more advertising campaigns that will thrive in today’s SEO and beyond.

Key Takeaway

Google Adwords has been one of the most effective digital marketing tools available, and this rebranding will definitely be felt by a lot of digital marketing practitioners. This rebrand not only provides new features, but it also helps digital marketing grow for the future. When it comes to our team, we are definitely looking forward to using these newly rebranded tools to craft successful campaigns.

If you have questions and inquiries about Google Adwords, and SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

Farewell Google Adwords: Popular Service to be Rebranded into Google Ads was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

5 creative blockers and how to break through them

The not-so-great thing about having the word “creative” in your job title is the pressure that comes with it. Because there, in your email signature, is the expectation that you’ll come up with something good.

The Oxford Dictionary defines creativity as “The use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.” And never are you more aware of that weighty definition than when you’re starting out on a new creative brief: a blank screen or piece of paper in front of you, a process to follow, and the knowledge that in a few days or weeks, you’ll have to fill those blanks with new, exciting, eye-catching ideas.

The use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.

Oxford Dictionary

If your job description tasks you with coming up with imaginative ideas, concepts, projects or campaigns (big or small) on a regular basis, you’ll probably already have a process of some sort that works for you – and if you don’t, this is a good place to start.

Your way to finding those ideas might be different to mine, but one thing is universal: creative block. We’ve all hit that wall – when you can no longer tell if your ideas are any good, or if the sky’s even still blue. So  if that’s you right now, here’s what might be happening, and some ways to get going again.

1. You’re doing too much research right at the start

At the beginning of every brief, it’s always a good idea to do a bit of background research. At Distilled, we call it an ‘Inspiration doc’, or as I like to call it, ‘stuff other people have done well’. The idea is that we spend time looking at existing content to help kick-start our imaginations. This includes our own work, campaigns by other agencies or brands, or relevant articles and stories that got wide coverage, and hundreds of links, or thousands of shares.

But research is like tequila: good and bad ideas come from it, and it’s important to know when to stop. When you’re working on a particularly tricky brief, not only can research end up being an excellent way to procrastinate, it can also be a hindrance to creativity. At this stage of the creative process, what you need more than anything is an open mind. And by delving too much into everyone else’s successful ideas, you can end up filling your head with a list of “things that have been done” instead of opening it to “things that could be done”. Aside from anything else, comparing your yet-to-be-fully-formed-ideas to other people’s brilliantly realised work can result in your confidence taking a hit.

What to do instead

  • Do just enough research to familiarise yourself with the industry or wider topic areas. This will help steer you into areas that are relevant, give you a bit of perspective on themes that might resonate.
  • Don’t just focus your research on the most shared, successful content. Sometimes stuff that hasn’t done so well can be improved upon.
  • Set yourself a time limit for research, then get on with the hard bit. Once you’re informed and know your market, start finding your own ideas.

2. You’re working in isolation

Creative work is inherently personal. Even if the topic is a million miles away from your day-to-day life, these are still your brain’s ideas; this is your interpretation of the brief. And as with anything that’s a bit personal, sharing it with other people isn’t always the easiest thing to do.

Then there’s the solitary element of creative work – the bit where it’s just you, burrowing into a post-it note filled tunnel, existing solely on chocolate biscuits and tea. If I’ve spent too long working on my own, that’s when I start getting blocks. I become convinced my ideas are either brilliant, or absolute duds. And at that point, the thought of running them past someone else, let alone a group of people, can seem like a scary prospect. What if they’re all rubbish? What if, after all this work, someone picks holes in everything? What if all you get are blank stares? Well, look – that’s the nature of creative work, and this might happen. But in reality, that’s the moment when you need other people’s opinions the most.

What to do instead

  • Ask for feedback little and often.  Instead of gathering your colleagues in one big meeting room, get into the habit of checking in regularly and having casual, quick chats about your ideas (and not just the good ones).
  • Get opinions from people you don’t work with. Sometimes the less connected someone is with your work or the client, the more useful their insights can be.
  • See what gets people talking. Which ideas make people share their own experiences? Which ones don’t?
  • Know what feedback is useful, and what to ignore. That little zing of excitement you feel for some ideas over others is your gut feeling. Don’t ignore it.

3. You’re stuck inside your own bubble

Routines are good, routines are healthy. Routines are extremely good at helping us catch our train to work in the morning. Alas, routines are not all that great at delivering brilliant creative ideas into our brains. Often you’re sitting at the same desk every day, and speaking to the same people, and following the same daily patterns, which means you’re always going to be drawing from the same selection of experiences. Except different experiences are what helps us make connections between separate ideas, which is the bit you need to nail to do truly creative work. This is the basic premise behind “cognitive diversity”, which says that in order to solve problems, you need to have a diverse selection of thoughts knocking around.

Our brains get easily distracted when we do one thing again and again. Just as it’s unhealthy to eat only one kind of food all the time, you shouldn’t have one kind of stimuli for your work.

Fast Company

What to do instead

  • Get into the habit of learning new things regularly. “Creativity requires drawing analogies between one body of knowledge and another” – what small thing can you do each day to learn something new?
  • Be constantly curious. If something piques your attention – whether it relates to the thing you’re working on, or not – dig around, find out a little bit more about it.
  • Shake up your daily routine however you can. Take a different route home from work. Swap desks for the day. Visit a museum at lunch. Try a new hobby. Listen to a podcast on a topic you know nothing about. Read a book or article about a topic entirely unrelated to your own life, written by people with different backgrounds to your own.

4. You need to do something else entirely

Finding that interesting connection between two or more seemingly unrelated topics is often the hardest part of creative work. It’s the bit where you’ve got a load of different, good ideas, but you’re missing the link; the thing that’ll make your idea better or more original than what’s already been done. It’s the hard bit. Your brain is consumed by the topic, you’ve exhausted every avenue. If what you’ve got is any good, shouldn’t there be a lightning bolt by now?

There’ve been times I’ve reached this point and assumed – wrongly – that this mental block, the inability to find The Interesting Link, is because I’m just not that good at my job. Then I get frustrated and sit there for hours trying to force it. The temptation is to keep going, to work on the problem even harder, to do more research, to draw more lines on the page, rack my brains until the answer comes. And usually, it doesn’t.

What to do instead

  • Step away from the computer. Literally. Get up, walk away from your desk, leave the office, borrow someone’s dog and go for a walk. Better yet, take a break overnight and come back to the problem tomorrow.
  • Give your mind a bit of space to relax. There’s a reason we get some of our best, strangest, and most random thoughts in the shower: it’s because we’re relaxed, which gives our brains the opportunity to think about other things.
  • Allow your mind to wander. Stop everything. Take a break. Stare out of the window on the way home, let yourself be distracted by the world. Speaking of which…

5. Your phone is face down on the table

Look, I’m sorry. I know it’s difficult. You love that thing. You hold it in your pocket as you walk, you need it – for Instagram, for emails, for asking your partner how their day’s going five minutes after you’ve both left the house. And you already know it’s a distraction because you’re an intelligent person and you’ve read all the articles about phones, probably on your phone, but we’ll ignore that. Which is why when you’re getting on with Important Creative Work, you put your phone face down on the table and leave it alone, right?

Unfortunately, that might not be enough. Recent research from the Harvard Business Review tested how much having a smartphone nearby affects our cognitive abilities. They found that ‘merely having [their] smartphones out on the desk led to a small but statistically significant impairment of individuals’ cognitive capacity — on par with effects of lacking sleep.” They found that even having your phone turned off on your desk can hinder our ability to learn and solve problems – which are two major factors that help make connections and do truly creative work.

What to do instead

  • Work in short bursts. Delve into a topic for 20 minutes or half an hour at a time (also known as the Pomodoro technique). If you get stuck, move on, or take a quick break.
  • Ideally, turn your phone off completely. Or put it on airplane mode while you’re working, and leave your phone either in your bag or in another room.
  • Use a productivity app. If the idea of going cold turkey turns you chilly, apps like Forest can help. Set the timer, and trees start growing – as long as you don’t use your phone.

Hopefully, this has given you a few pointers about what to do when you get creatively stuck. But perhaps the most important thing to remember is that creative work is hard. Finding solutions to difficult problems is part of the process, and it happens to everyone. You’re definitely not on your own.

If you’ve got your own solutions to get through a creative block, I’d love to hear them. leave them in the comments below or come and say hi on Twitter.

5 creative blockers and how to break through them was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Why You Should Make The Switch to HTTPS by July 2018

Why You Should Make The Switch to HTTPS by July 2018

With the Google Speed update being rolled out this July, another update sees websites that have not made the switch to HTTPS labeled as “not secure” on Google Chrome browsers. With the latest version of the Chrome browser launching in the same month, this makes switching one of the most urgent tasks that a lot of website owners face.

We have written about making the switch to HTTPS, along with providing a guide to mobile optimization and preparing for the Google Speed update, which ensures that your website would be well-adjusted by the time the updates arrive. Website security has always been an important matter for the longest time, as safe browsing enhances the user experience, and ensure websites are safe from different kinds of threats like malware and viruses.

With GDPR now in place, online security and data transparency have now been put into more focus than ever before, and important updates from tech giants like Google aim to ensure that users would only experience positive results.

Chrome 68

The latest edition of Google Chrome aims to bring in further improvements, such as being able to add applications to your home screen, a new Payment Handler API for online shopping and e-commerce websites, and a Lifecycle API for web pages, which helps improve browser and webpage performance by a significant amount by regulating activity and usage.

Chrome 68

Along with these updates, Chrome 68 will also receive a set of updates that optimize interoperability and simplify certain processes to make the popular browser more efficient. Going back to the topic of HTTPS, Chrome 68 will mark sites that have not switched to HTTPS as “not secure”, which will definitely affect user preference, which in turn would impact your search rankings.

HTTPS on Chrome

By switching to HTTPS on Chrome, it has been seen that there is potential to create safer browsing, which in turn helps keep traffic steadily increasing. Using Google Chrome also allows users to be able to switch to HTTPS much easier through the use of Google Lighthouse. By using Lighthouse, users would be able to look for resources that can already be switched to HTTPS, while also looking for elements that need to be optimized. Along with looking for resources, Lighthouse allows you to audit your websites and look for steps that can improve their quality as well.

Google Lighthouse Extension

Looking at the Global Picture

Google Chrome is the most popular web browser in the world, with millions of users browsing pages daily. With that in mind, the impact of HTTPS cannot be understated, as it affects user experience and page preference. Having a website that is not secure means being vulnerable to harmful software that can not only hamper user experience but also negatively affect traffic. Users will prefer to steer themselves away on sites that are not secure rather than risk getting their data compromised.

We have made sure that we have made the switch as early as possible to ensure that security issues would not be encountered. This has proven to be beneficial, as we are able to maintain the performance of our client’s websites. Switching to HTTPS also gives websites a slight traffic boost, with Google preferring secure HTTPS websites to ensure optimal user experience.

Key Takeaway

2018 has been one of the most important years for Google, as they have been going non-stop in optimizing their services and tools to provide the best experience for their users. With updates like Google Speed, AMP integration, and HTTPS optimization, Google SEO is truly having a big year, and it is best to make sure that you keep up with the trend.

If you have questions about HTTPS or SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

Why You Should Make The Switch to HTTPS by July 2018 was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

What We Learned in June 2018: The Digital Marketing Month in a Minute

You can now see any active competitors ads on Facebook and Twitter

Off the back of claims of interference in the US presidential election by Russian companies using bots, both Facebook and Twitter have taken significant steps to make their ad platforms more transparent. From the end of June you can now see any ads using the Twitter transparency tool or by visiting any Facebook page and clicking ‘Info and ads’ in vertical navigation on the left side of a page.

Facebook and Twitter now let you see anyone’s ads (Distilled)

Google Search Console Analytics API now comes with 16 months of data

The overhaul of Google Search Console continues. Previously 16 months worth of data had only been available via the user interface, but Google has now opened this up to the API as well.

Read the full story (Search Engine Land)

Google simplifying branding of Adwords and DoubleClick

After almost two decades, Adwords and DoubleClick will cease to exist as Google look to rebrand their current offerings to better reflect their current capabilities. The major rebranding has resulted in Google Adwords becoming Google Ads, DoubleClick and Google Analytics 360 Suite becoming Google Marketing Platform, and DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange becoming Google Ad Manager.

Read the full story (Search Engine Land)

Supreme Court Rules States Can Collect Sales Tax on Web Purchases

The supreme court has ruled that online retailer can now be required to collect online sales tax from customers. The ruling which will impact retailers such as Amazon, Apple, Macy’s, Target and Walmart, has overturned a ruling which previously meant retailers didn’t have to charge the tax, as long as customers paid it themselves. In the vast majority of instances, customers weren’t paying this tax.

Read the full story (Guardian)

Google releases new URL inspection tool

As part of the ever-changing Google Search Console, a new URL inspection tool has been released. The tool provides detailed crawling, indexing and serving information directly from the Google index. If for whatever reason, a page isn’t indexed you can now learn why.  Additional features that have also been rolled out recently into Google Search Console include 16 months of traffic data, recipe reports (structured data support), and new Search Appearance filters.

Read the full story (Google Webmaster Central)

Instagram now worth an estimated 100 times the amount Facebook paid

Back in 2012 Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion. At the end of June, Bloomberg Intelligence estimated that the company is now valued at 100 times that. In that time, it has seen massive growth in users, increased ad revenue, and with the recent announcement of Instagram TV, it has a promising future as a video platform as well.

Read the full story (NY Times)

Breaking up Google

“Google accounts for about 90 percent of all Internet searches; by any honest assessment, it holds a monopoly at the very gateway to information in the modern world.”

In this article, The Boston Globe takes a look at the dominance Google has as a search engine and its ability to consume anyone who becomes a potential competitor and the case for breaking up the company.

Distilled CEO, Will Critchlow shared his opinions on the article over on Twitter arguing that “I am very much not convinced that any kind of Alphabet break-up that leaves Google search intact would really fix anything”. Read his full Twitter discussion here.

Read the full story (Boston Globe)

How Twitter Made The Tech World’s Most Unlikely Comeback

#RIPTwitter was tweeted over a million times in February 2016. Twitter had lost some of its star employees, laid off hundreds more, shares were down to $14, and it looked as though the writing was already on the wall. Another social media platform in the social media graveyard.

Alex Kantrowitz tells the story of how Twitter became the bird that emerged from the ashes.

Read the full story (Buzzfeed)

Site speed still matters

An upcoming speed update in July is due to measure incremental changes to site speed rather than dinging websites as just fast or slow. John Muller said changes will impact rankings “a little bit”.

Read the full story (SE Round Table)

What you need to know about Apple’s war on ‘digital fingerprinting’

At its annual WWDC keynote Apple announced that it would work on blocking another way sites and advertisers track you: canvas fingerprinting. Canvas fingerprinting is used to create a unique profile that can be used in a similar way to cookies, sharing information about browsers, operating systems, fonts and other pieces of data. Apple says that Safari for macOS Mojave will stop this type of tracking by limiting the browser data that sites can access, thus making it harder to track users.

Read the full story (Engadget)

How to Diagnose Your SEO Client’s Search Maturity

One of the stand out posts on Moz this month came from Heather Physioc. In her post, she takes a look at client maturity to make sure that we are pitching projects at the right level, giving us as agencies or consultants the best opportunity to create a successful working relationship and to get things done.

Read the full post (Moz)

2018 Email Industry Conditions

For those of you interested in email marketing, Really Good Emails recently released their industry survey. Data collected from over a thousand email marketers provide oversight of the current trends in the industry.

Read the full story (Really Good Emails)

Google launches Indexing API for job posting URLs

Google has made significant efforts in its abilities to index job content by releasing its indexing API for jobs. The primary aim of this API is to speed up the process of indexing jobs due to the fast-paced way that positions are often filled. On the other side of the coin, they are also stepping up their efforts to remove filled vacancies, thus providing users with a better search experience.

Read the full story (Google Webmaster Blog)

Distilled

As always, we’ll finish this month off with a round-up of what we have been up to here at Distilled. June saw lots of conference-based activities. We wrapped up SearchLove Boston and created a great big roundup, and for the first time ever we have opened SearchLove London to community speakers.  

Apply to speak at SearchLove London

We are looking for speakers looking to make the transition to a bigger stage and be given the opportunity to share their knowledge with 400 people. On top of that, we are offering speaker training in our London office, along with a pass to SearchLove and lots of cool swag. Read here for more information on becoming a SearchLove London speaker.

Elsewhere on the blog, we saw Will argue that we don’t need to be changing our search strategies to accommodate voice searches, as actually there aren’t that many searches to be going after.

New York Analyst, Meagan Sievers made her Distilled debut with her post ‘How to Drive Traffic to Your Website with Instagram’ and creative regular Vicke got herself featured in the Moz top ten with her post on free creative resources when you’re short on time.

Finally, our consulting team were out in force over on the Moz blog. Dominic Woodman took a look at some of the strange technical issues we see here at Distilled and provided some actions on how to debug them. Meanwhile, Serge Stefoglo took a dive into the world of JavaScript with his post on ‘The Minimum Viable Knowledge You Need to Work with JavaScript & SEO Today

Is there any news we missed out in this months round up? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below or hit us up on @distilled over on Twitter. Until next month!

What We Learned in June 2018: The Digital Marketing Month in a Minute was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing