Month: November 2017

Google Vince and Venice: How These Two Updates Changed the SEO Landscape

Most of today’s SEO strategies and techniques have been done to address the updates made by Google. Every now and then, Google would announce updates and tweaks into their metrics and algorithms, to which SEO professionals would respond accordingly. These updates were made to optimize Google’s performance, and ensure that users are getting the best information possible.

While most of these updates would only mean minor tweaks into your SEO campaign, major updates, like Google Vince and Google Venice, have caused major changes that can still be felt today. Here are how these two updates changed the SEO landscape to what it is today.

Google Venice: Going local

Before this update went online, the method that you have to use to track your local search listings is through Google Places. While this was handy method of going through local search results, there are occasions where some search results which add local listings, despite the search terms not asking for it.

This changed in 2012, with the new Google Venice update. This allows your search results to show some local listings based on your IP address, or even your physical location. This allows you to be able to look for the closest businesses and establishments near your current location, which comes in handy when you are travelling or planning a place for a meeting or an event.

This has helped local SEO in a big way, as local businesses are now able to gain more traffic and visibility, which helps them compete with larger and more established businesses. Google Venice also made using Google My Business much more important, as local businesses are able to track their local SEO and SEM through this effective free tool.

Google Vince: Ranking the Big Brands

There are times when even the smallest of changes can have large implications, and this can be evident when it comes to SEO. Google Vince is one of these kinds of updates, as it was able to help the bigger businesses rank up better in search results pages. While this may have been considered by Google to be a minor update, it has caused such an impact that it affected the SEO industry.

This update was meant to improve the search quality of Google itself, and further enforce the value of branding in the internet. This benefited some of the biggest companies, along with government sites, which are seen to have more authority and quality information compared to smaller websites. Despite the apparent dominance of  these brands in search results, this prompted other websites to improve their quality, and create content that is trustworthy and high quality.

The impact of both updates

Looking back, it seems that these two somewhat simple updates have had a significant impact on how search results are being shown on Google. This has helped businesses gain more footing in search rankings, and has helped create websites with better overall quality, and keep harmful and misleading websites in check. In short, these updates make SEO for businesses that much more competitive.

Key Takeaway

Google’s updates have helped create a better search engine that would be able to provide the best results. Google Vince and Google Venice were two such updates that helped establish business websites as pages that have the relevance and authority to be at the top of search rankings.

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

Google Vince and Venice: How These Two Updates Changed the SEO Landscape was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Back to Basics: the Do’s and Don’ts of Contacting Journalists

I’m what’s affectionately known (hopefully) at Distilled as a ‘boomerang’. That is I worked here many moons ago as Head of PR and now in the immortal words of, well a million people in a million movies, “I’m back baby”.

One of the things I’ve learned over the years, working with smart people in hard-working teams is the tendency to try and run before you can walk. So, with the benefit of new experiences and hindsight, I’m gonna take you all back to the basics of PR and outreach (specifically contacting journalists) with a list of do’s and don’ts.

Do

Be human

When you’re in ‘getting shit done’ mode it can be easy to turn into a mega methodical machine – ticking through that to-do list and hammering out hacks to make you as efficient as can be. But treat bloggers and journalists as a mass group at your peril. A little personalisation goes a long way. This applies to tone too. They’re just people at the end of the day – don’t bamboozle them with corporate speak, or worse, marketing jargon. They don’t want to ‘touch base’, they just want a blimmin’ good story!

Don’t be mistaken for a robot in your emails.

Golden rule: Read your email out loud. How does it sound? If you wouldn’t say it (er, hello ‘kind regards’) then why write it?

Find the story

To continue in the same vein, for journalists content isn’t king, stories are. You can have the best graphic, game, quiz or visualisation in the world but if you can’t find a relevant hook or peg – journalists won’t be interested. Put the groundwork in and find a relevant way to pitch your piece. Is there a fitting (and well known) anniversary coming up? Can it be tied to something topical that’s already being reported on? Or perhaps you have an influencer you can use to make it more newsworthy? Whatever is it, find a way to hook your content to the news or prepare to be ignored.

Golden rule: This one’s quite simple really – read the news! The more you read, the more you know. Plus, using a news aggregator like Google News, you’ll be able to learn about the stories from different angles, allowing you to tailor your pitch to suit individual publications.

Write well

We all have pet peeves. What may seem pedantic to many will really piss off a few. For most writers this peeve is as obvious as it sounds; writing! If you email them with sloppy grammar and spelling, don’t expect to be taken seriously. We’re all guilty of making the odd typo or two but now is not the time. Take care with your pitch emails. Avoid evil cliches and jargon, be careful with capitalisation, proofread, proofread, proofread and – most importantly, make sure you get their name right.

Make sure your writing is bulletproof.

Golden rule: Even the biggest grammar pedants among us (oh hai!) make mistakes. Use an extension like Grammarly to be super confident you haven’t made any errors.

Don’t

Be a salesperson

You know when you go to a department store to buy something… You’re busy, you know where you need to be. You’re focused on getting to the right-hand corner of floor three, grabbing the thing and getting the hell out of there. Now picture this, you accidentally look the sales guy in the eye and he’s onto you. There’s no getting away now – you’re forced to listen to some scripted sales patter about some shit you’ll never want, or need. You die a little inside as you wonder how to politely tell him to ‘do one’.

And that’s how journalists feel when you try to convince them your content will work for them. If you’ve made a decent piece and found a decent angle all you need to do is present it to them alongside the facts. Don’t pepper your pitch with adjectives or tell them how great the content is. If it really is great, it’ll speak for itself – and journalists (they’re human, remember) are smart enough to make that judgement for themselves.

Golden rule: Do the work up front and the content will sell itself.

Over complicate

Just as it can be tempting to try to ‘sell’ your piece, it can be tempting to over complicate too. Made an irreverent game loosely hinged on politics? “Hey! Let’s peg it on the next election and write a press release on the pros and cons of each UK political party.” Hmm, or not. Why not peg it to the latest gaffe by whatever politician has most recently made an arse of themselves, and pitch it for what it is – a bit of lighthearted fun. Tell it how it is, it’s much easier for people to understand that way.

This applies to pitch emails too. Don’t write reams and reams of explanation – just send a brief synopsis and tell the journalists why you think it’s relevant to them and their publication.

Golden rule: If in doubt, KISS (keep it short and simple).

Pester

Journalists are inundated with calls and emails and their workloads are insane, so it’s fair to say the odd email or two may slip through the net. To this end, being chased by PRs is par for the course so they expect the odd follow up or two and it’s totally fine to check in and see if they’re interested. But there’s a line. Following up is fine but pestering is not cool. Not cool at all. If you’ve emailed and called a few times, give up the ghost, they’re not interested. Don’t demand feedback and don’t burn bridges. Maybe they’ll be interested next time.

Golden rule: Don’t assume just because a journalist covered your last piece, they’ll cover your next. Relevance is key. And if you make this assumption you’re at serious risk of pissing them off.

In conclusion

So there you have it, a back to basics guide that you’ll do well to remind yourself of. We’re all guilty of picking up the odd bad habit or two along the course of our careers but, if you start at the beginning, and get the fundamentals right, you’ll stand a much better chance of success.

Back to Basics: the Do’s and Don’ts of Contacting Journalists was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Form Optimization: The importance of communicating value before making the “ask”

If you want to maximize your revenue, it’s not enough to optimize your landing page; you should ensure form pages reinforce your value proposition, minimize unnecessary friction and alleviate customer anxiety.

Pay attention to your PPC ad links. Do they send prospects to your landing page or directly to your form page? If the latter is the case, your bounce rate may be high simply because visitors have too many unanswered questions — questions you addressed on your main page but neglected to answer on your form page.

In short, you can’t send them to the “ask” page until you have communicated the value you are offering. Remember, the marketer’s goal is not simplicity; the marketer’s goal is clarity.

We are trying to help the customer manage the unknown.

— Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS Institute

In this Quick Win Clinic, Flint McGlaughlin looks at a form page on Home Warranty Reviews website from the visitor’s viewpoint — and is left confused. Watch the video to get tips on how to see a webpage through the eyes of the customer and increase your sales.

Form Optimization: The importance of communicating value before making the “ask” was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Knowledge Panels Up and Featured Snippets Down: What You Need to Know

Knowledge Panels Up and Featured Snippets Down: What You Need to Know

Featured Snippets in Google have been on an upward trend during the past few years, with more websites looking to attain “position 0”, which puts you on top of the search engine results pages. This allows websites to attract more users to gain more traffic, and gain more leads. This also allows users to get the best results to their search terms, and give them the best information available.

Despite the rising trend, the end of October and early November 2017 saw a drop. This means that search terms that have featured snippets are now gone, which would definitely affect a lot of websites and their traffic. The period of October 27 to November 14 alone saw a 10% drop in searched that has featured snippets. This is a kind of drop rate that would have people in SEO concerned. During that drop, there has been an increase in knowledge panels, which is also another SEO concern that needs to be checked. Let’s get to the bottom of things and find out.

An increase in knowledge panels

While featured snippets have seen a decline, knowledge panels, meanwhile, have seen a gradual increase. During the period in which the featured snippet rates were dropping, the number of search terms with knowledge panels have increased by 14%. Knowledge panels, like the one on the image below, provide some reliable information with regards to your search terms. This can be in the form of contact details, Wikipedia links, and the like. In fact, some of the pages that have lost featured snippets gained knowledge panels, some of which provide helpful information, while some just provide generic and simple information.

Featured Snippets Drop Knowledge Panel

With the rise in knowledge panels, it seems like Google has been testing around, which results to have them being featured more prominently, and attempt to improve the quality of information that is received by the users. So far, most of the knowledge has been too simplistic in some search results, giving people what they already know and not giving more substantial details. This is something that definitely needs to be addressed in the upcoming months, as information quality is always a crucial detail that must be ironed out.

A long-term concern?

With the constant rise in featured snippets in the past few years, this development is indeed concerning. While a change in strategy is one of the best ways to keep yourself on top of search pages, this short-period drop still needs to be looked into , as it may only be temporary, and Google might be simply optimizing their search results and algorithms again, which is something that happens often.

Despite some inconsistencies, Google’s featured snippets were helpful to a lot of websites, as they are able to gain organic reach, and compete with other websites to rise to “position 0”. With the increase in knowledge panels, some websites would have more difficulties gaining that organic reach, which would mean information would come from fewer sources.

Key Takeaway

While this may be an issue for the time being, all we can simply do is to wait it out and do some daily monitoring to see if this will be an issue that will cause a change in SEO strategies and practices. This can also simply be a simple case of Google trying to change things up temporarily to see what is working or not, which means things may get reverted to how it used to be, and we’ll all be fine.

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

Knowledge Panels Up and Featured Snippets Down: What You Need to Know was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Does your website exude E-A-T?

website-eat Does your website exude E-A-T?

When it comes to SEO, there are no secret magic tricks. Contrary to what many want you to believe. In fact, over the last several years, Google themselves has proactively provided more and more details on what it takes to perform well online. One of those ways is through their Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

These guidelines provide Google’s human raters instructions on how to evaluate search engine quality, website quality, & page quality.

One of the more important takeaways from the 160 page document is the acronym E-A-T. That is the question today, Does your website exude E-A-T? If not, it’s time to rethink your website altogether and make improvements if you want to see success in SEO.

What is E-A-T?

The acronym stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. In short, websites that exude more EAT are considered to be of higher quality than those that don’t.

In fact, the guidelines themselves state that EAT is one of the most important factors when determining an overall Page Quality rating.

How is E-A-T determined?

When trying to determine whether your website exudes EAT, look at the following characteristics and be honest with yourself:

1. Does your website/page have high quality main content?

This doesn’t mean that the pages that have more content on them are better it simply means that the pages that do the best job at answering the user’s query in the most complete manner is likely to see higher quality ratings than not.

You should be an expert in your field. Provide the credentials to show that off and make sure your content speaks to your expertise. If you’re website is medical, financial, or legal in nature this is even more important vs that of a humor website.

When the raters evaluate the quality of the main content they spend time examining it before determining a conclusion. Is the content is factually accurate? If your page features calculators, videos, or pictures, do they all work and show? If your page is a shopping page, does it have products and if you add to the shopping cart, does it work?

All of these little things are taken into consideration when determining the quality. A great way to see if your website’s main content meets the user’s needs is to look at the websites that are ranking well and see what they are doing that you aren’t. Also, look at the People also ask section for a SERP and see if your content includes answers to those common questions.

people-also-ask Does your website exude E-A-T?

2. Does your website make it clearly known who is responsible for the website and how to contact you?

Yes, it is important for users that visit a webpage to clearly see information about who you are & how to get in contact with you. Do you show your address? Phone number? Email addresses? Explanations about your business or website? Having this information helps build user trust which is part of the examination when a human rater determines quality.

3. Does your website have a positive reputation?

When you Google your business or website name and look at the results in the SERPS, do you have articles talking bad about you? Are your reviews mostly negative in nature? If so, those will likely affect the rating you receive. While have a negative review is common in nature, it’s more about the quantity and if the majority of the coverage about your brand is negative. If you have 10 reviews and 2 are negative then it’s likely not going to have any impact.

E-A-T Good Feel Good

Your website will only be as good as what you put into it. If the time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill that has gone into your pages is lacking, then it’s time to update and improve. It’s not me that is saying this, it’s Google so take it to heart and make the necessary changes so  you can start seeing success in SEO.

Does your website exude E-A-T? was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Analyze and Audit: The SEOmator Review

We have had a good number of SEO tool reviews over the past few months, and some of them have become an important part in our SEO arsenal. When it comes to SEO-related tasks, one of the most important is website analysis and audit. When it comes to this task, we use SEOmator as our main tool, and it has been in our SEO toolbox for quite some time. Here is an in-depth review of SEOmator, what it does, and see if this is the tool that you should be using on your SEO team.

What is SEOmator

SEOmator is a tool that site crawling and auditing tool that allows webmasters and SEO professionals to assess their websites and see if everything is in running order. The tool monitors the technical and architectural details of the website. This enables the tool to send an assessment report that contain suggestions and steps that can improve the performance of your website.

SEOmator Dashboard

The dashboard provides a list of all of the projects that you currently have, along with the option of adding a new project. You also have your current plan, which is a list of objectives that you want to have accomplished for the week or month. The navigation bar on top of the page allows you to different sections of the site, which includes Domains Comparison, Embedded SEO Audit Widget, Bulk Processing, Monitoring, and Profile.

Before we delve into these sections, let’s begin with the Overview page, which can be done by clicking one of your projects:

Overview page is the summary of all data that SEOmator has collected from your website. By using this data, they are able to asses the strengths and weaknesses of your website, which would be the basis of their scoring metric, which is rated from 0-100.

SEOmator lists down all of the concerns that have to be addressed in order for your website to perform better. Along with these concerns, you also get to view some important metrics, like domain authority, page indexation, HTML tag performance, usability, web technologies that are being used in the site, server response, backpage links, social media, and competitor data. This page allows you to instantly have all of the data you need, and the best part about it is that we are just getting started.

On-page

Now that we are done looking at the overview, let us take a closer look at the various functions when we take a look of the on-page optimization options.

HTML Tags

SEOmator HTML Tags

This is one of the foundations of a good SEO campaign, which is why it is one of the first things that you should look at. SEOmator will analyze your website’s title tags, headers, and mets descriptions and see if everything is in order. You can also see which URLs have errors, which would help you find the ones that need fixing. Finally, all of the data will be shown in the form of a pie chart and bar graph, which helps you get a clear idea on what needs to be done.

Internal links

SEomator Internal Links

With linkbuilding playing an important role in SEO, checking on your internal links is always a must. This section allows you to see how many incoming and outgoing links you currently have, and classifies it into follow and nofollow links. This data is essential in knowing how much authority your page has. The various charts present in the section simply show how much links you currently have.

Content Quality

SEOmator Content Quality

This is the section for blog management members, as it helps you understand how your content is distributed in various pages. You will be able to see the average word count of your posts, and look for duplicate content that can affect your rankings.

Mobile Usability

SEOmator Mobile Usability

Accelerated Mobile pages is one of the newest SEO trends that can impact the whole industry in the near future, which is why having your website optimized for mobile is essential. You will be able to see how good is the quality of your mobile webpages. There is a screenshot preview of the mobile version of your website, followed by a report on the bottom, which gives a score based on how user-friendly your mobile site is.

Structured Data

The simplest section of SEOmator shows two charts that show whether or not structures data is found within your site. You can also see what kind of data is it, and see which URLs are they present.

Page Speed

Loading speed is a big factor in the user experience, as it can give you some advantages when it comes to your rankings. You can see both charts and tables that show the average response time of your website, and the page size, which also affects the loading speed.

Text Statistics

Keyword density is one element you need to look at to see if you have the right balance of keywords within your website. This section shows you your most used keywords, which can help you avoid getting penalties from Google.

Site Structure

SEOmator Site Structure

In the last part of the On-site section, Site Structure deals with the site’s overall architecture, and sees how deep your pages are. This will help you see if you need to change the amount of links that are in each page.

Off-site

Now that we are done with the On-site features, let us take a look at the Off-site features and see what else SEOmator can do.

Social Media

SEOmator Social Media

Social media plays an important role in SEO, as content is mostly shared on these platforms. This section allows you to see where is your content being shared or posted, and how many times it has been done. This is a handy section that can help you see if social media users are contributing in the spreading of  your content.

Backlinks

SEOmator Backlinks

Backlinks are another important part in linkbuilding, which is why it is best to constantly monitor them. You will get a quick and simple overview of all of your backlinks and you can also see how many of them are dofollow and nofollow links.

Organic Presence

SEOmator Organic Presence

This section help you analyze the competition and their keywords, and help you see how you are doing against them. This helps you get a good idea how well your site is ranked. You can assess certain parts of your strategy, and see how you can improve over your competition.

That’s all of the Off-site features, now let us look at the final two sections in this review:

Crawler Report

SEOmator Crawler Report

This section checks your website’s overall functionality, and shows the response codes, and which URLs are being crawled on. This is also the section that checks canonicalization, which helps  you remove duplicate content on your site.

PDF Export

Finally, this section allows you to download all of the data that you have viewed, and place it all in a single PDF file. This is very helpful, especially if you have clients who are looking for a summarized report of their SEO progress.

Along with these features, SEOmator has some more in store, namely:

Domains Comparison – This allows you to have a side by side comparison of your domains, and the domains of your competitors. This gives you a quick look at the competition, which can help you strategize.

Embedded SEO Audit Widget – This widget is helpful in generating leads, and gives your visitors complete site audits. It is customizable as well, which allows you to adjust it to your preference.

Bulk Processing – This allows you to check on multiple websites, and you can get an email of all the results.

Monitoring Tasks – While this feature is still in beta, this is a feature that SEO professionals will surely love. This monitors all of the changes in your website that can affect your SEO campaign, and alerts you if something goes wrong.

Verdict

When it comes to the functionality and the amount of data you can acquire, SEOmator is surely one of the best. Versatility is one trait an SEO tool must have, and SEOmator has a good amount of features that SEO professionals would sure enjoy, as it would help make their job much simpler.

Key Takeaway

We have had other SEO tools in the past, and it is safe to say that SEOmator definitely passes the mark. Not only it has all of the analysis and data that you need, it is also able to assist you and give you reports on how you can improve your overall SEO strategy.

If you have any questions and inquiries about SEOmator, and other SEO tools, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

 

Analyze and Audit: The SEOmator Review was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

3 Awesome Things You can do with LinkedIn’s New Website Demographics

Recently, LinkedIn rolled out its new Website Demographics feature which allows any business that has a LinkedIn Ads account to better identify who exactly is coming to their site. While Google Analytics has for years shown us aggregate data with sessions, pageviews, and more, we actually don’t know who makes up these metrics. What LinkedIn aspires to do here is provide granular information about your website’s visitors such as:

  1. Job title

  2. Company industry

  3. Job seniority

  4. Job function

  5. Company size

  6. Location

  7. Country

  8. Company

What’s really cool about this is that you’re able to actually break this down at the domain, subfolder or page level, so you can see exactly who is visiting a certain sections or pages of your site. But there’s so much more. Data isn’t intrinsically valuable by itself, one needs to know what they’re going to do with that data in order to make it valuable. Because all of you are busy, I’ve taken the liberty of hashing out a couple of the best ways to use this data for good with your company.

Getting started with Website Demographics

As I mentioned before, to get access to Website Demographics, you’re going to need to have an Ads account, so you if you don’t already have one, go ahead and set one up or at least get access to one. If you do not have a LinkedIn Ads account set up and would like to have one, click here for information on how to do so.

I’m going to assume for now that you either already have an Ads account or have just set one up, so we’re going to get into the implementation stage. Once in your account, you’ll need to click on account assets and then “Insight Tag”, as shown in the screenshot below:

What is the Insight Tag you ask? The kind experts at LinkedIn describe it as “a piece of lightweight JavaScript code that you can add to your website to enable in-depth campaign reporting and unlock valuable insights about your website visitors. As a LinkedIn Marketing Solutions customer, you can use the LinkedIn Insight Tag to track conversions, retarget website visitors, and unlock additional insights about members interacting with your ads.” If you have more questions about how the tag will affect your site, you can check out this page, but in a nutshell, it’s pretty much all benefit and little negative as the tag is unlikely to slow down your site in any significant way, but you would be providing LinkedIn more information about your site’s visitors.

After you click on the Insight Tag button, you’ll be brought to the following screen:

You’ll need to verify it for your domain, but then you’ll be able to place it on all of the pages of your website. My favorite way to do this is via Google Tag Manager which makes it very simple. The Insight tag can be handled as either custom HTML tag (just copy and paste the code above) or within the pre-made option (seen below) that just requires your partner ID, which can be found in the second line of the JavaScript of the image above. Though some people may disagree with me, I find it easier to just copy and paste the entire script and add it as custom HTML.

After you have your Insight Tag on all of your pages, you can click on Website Demographics and begin to create an audience. I like to segment out by visitors to different pages to get an idea of who is visiting what pages on the site in question.

Examples of your audiences could be visitors to:

  • the homepage

  • a sales page

  • a services page

  • the entire blog section

  • literally anything else

Save your audience and then you’ll need to let your audience build. Once a minimum of 300 LinkedIn members visit the page or pages, you’ll start to have data and it will be visible under Website Demographics, but until that threshold is reached, it’ll say your audience is still building and you need to wait. This could take days to weeks depending on how much traffic your site gets, so plan accordingly. Eventually, you’ll get your visitors, the data will populate, and you’ll be able to explore around and glean some pretty cool insights. Don’t know where to start once you have this data? That’s ok. That’s the point of this post.

Use case #1: Better LinkedIn ad targeting

Let’s call a spade a spade, LinkedIn developed and released Website Demographics because it anticipates that with this new information, companies will be more likely to spend on their platform. Without a doubt, the information provided best dovetails with LinkedIn advertising. Why? Well, all of the information it provides such as job title, location, job function, seniority level, company size, etc. all happen to be targeting functions on LinkedIn.

In the event you have landing pages and/or forms that require a person to fill in their job title, it’s quite likely that your CRM will eventually contain examples like this:

  • Vice President

  • Vice President, Finance

  • VP Finance

  • VP

  • VP, Finance

  • Vice Pres

  • Executive VP

The problem with this is that if you try to collate this data with a pivot table, each one of these titles will be calculated as a separate entity, which makes calculations difficult, especially if just about every single one of the job titles collected has 8 or so variants. With Website Demographics, all of this data is easily processed and streamlined because LinkedIn will bucket the job titles into groups that it allows you to target via ads. No more guessing if certain titles can be targeted by LinkedIn.

Beyond this, there are also bits of business intelligence such as company size, company industry, job function and seniority level that other analytics sources such as Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Facebook, or Twitter likely won’t be able to provide. This allows you to take your segmentation to the next level by analyzing exactly who is landing on what pages and providing you the opportunity (though you’ll have to seize it) to target to an incredibly specific audience and serve them content that is highly targeted and relevant to their interests.

Sponsored InMails might be a great tool here as you’ll be able to tailor your messages specifically and be able to use your credits wisely. As a reminder, sponsored InMail messages are those that get sent to your message inbox as opposed to appearing in your news feed or in a module on the right-hand side where LinkedIn text ads are found. They allow you to contact anyone on LinkedIn without an introduction or contact information. InMail messages can have up to 200 characters in the subject line and up to 2,000 characters in the body, so there’s plenty of space to get your message across. LinkedIn does not let you send Inmails without a subject line.

Use case #2: Business intelligence for content creation (organic search/paid social)

Yes, Website Demographics can be immensely helpful if you want to run LinkedIn ads, but it does, in fact, have other use cases besides helping to fill LinkedIn’s coffers. Once we have the valuable business intelligence about who is visiting our website, we need to ask ourselves, are we currently providing these audiences with the content that they’d find useful? In the digital marketing industry, I tend to view anything that comes with a guarantee skeptically. However, I can nearly guarantee that by adding more exceptionally high-quality content to your website that specifically addresses the problems and pain points of your newly identified (or confirmed) audience, your business will only benefit. I’ve never had a single client who has said, “No thanks, we don’t want anymore qualified organic traffic than we already have.”

For example, think about the seniority and job functions of the people who are visiting your site. Is it possible that the junior-level account manager would likely respond best to different ad copy than a senior-level partner? Do they have different needs? As Tom Critchlow, recently wrote, “there’s too much mediocre content written for no-one and spread to everyone.” Tailor your content to be as relevant as possible to the audience that searches for and reads it and you’ll give your organization in a much better chance to achieve more conversions (and probably higher rankings too, which doesn’t suck).

If your business doesn’t already have personas, this very well could be the time to create them, comparing the data from LinkedIn with the data you have from your CRM on who your best (and worst) clients are. Match the data from LinkedIn and interview similar profiles from your actual customers asking:

  1. What value do they receive from using your company?

  2. Do they perceive your company to be an industry expert in the field?

  3. Do they turn to your company for updates within the industry?

  4. How does your company make their job easier?

  5. What benefits do they get from working with your company over a competitor?

  6. What information would they like to see that you currently don’t produce?

  7. What information does your company have that would make their lives easier if they had access to it?

  8. On what channels/sources do they get their industry news from?

  9. On what channels do they share industry news?

Ideally, you find out what matters to your segmented audiences and those topics also have significant organic search volume. This post is not on keyword research, but if you’d like to read some good posts on how you can quickly and effectively do keyword research in your nice, you can check out:

  • Paul Shapiro’s Searchlove Boston 2016 presentation

  • Geoff Kenyon on how to use SEMrush

  • Me on how to  do keyword research in 90 minutes

But not all content that you create needs to have great search volume, another option is to create content that is likely to be engaged with because it provides value, often when your target audience doesn’t know they need it. A few companies that I think do this really well are DeepCrawl, Botify and Onnit, which send out periodic emails and well-timed articles on social media that I open strictly because they make my life easier both in my professional life (DeepCrawl and Botify) and my personal life (Onnit). The key takeaway here is not to create and send emails just because you think you should or your boss says to, but to actually deliver relevant content that provides value. Just look at the screenshot of my inbox when I do a search for Botify:

As an SEO, all of these headlines appeal to me. If you’re only sending me updates about your company or speaking about how I can learn more about your company, you’ll lose me. Targeted emails and social media posts need to make my life easier or better in order for me to open or engage with them and Linkedin’s Website Demographics provide great information about who your audience is. Now you just need to give them what they want, minimizing the guesswork.

Use case #3: Engage with visitors to specific pages

This last part use case may seem a bit creepy, but I’d ask, isn’t nearly all marketing creepy these days because of the level of granularity we have? If your marketing isn’t specific or targeting a highly relevant audience, aren’t you just wasting money and not properly leveraging the tools at your disposal? Ethics aside, let’s get to the targeting.

This use case may be most helpful if you work in the B2B space and have a Contact Us or a Services type of page. If you’re responsible for business development or closing leads, you might have CRM that tracks your leads or just your email to know with whom you’re engaging. If you see a particular company is visiting your conversion pages and they’re demonstrating interest, but you also know that that company had emailed you a few days or weeks earlier, maybe it’s time to send a follow-up.

This can be used exactly like LinkedIn’s feature for showing you who is visiting your profile, but in this case, you know they’ve accessed specific pages. Of course, you could, in theory, employ this use case for any page on your website and there certainly might be a reason to do that, but putting the finishing touches on a warm lead and sending a friendly reminder just as that person is visiting a specific page on your site might be enough to close the deal. Feel free to modify this to best meet your exact needs, but the main takeaway here is that in some cases, you might be able to tie the data back from who is a lead in your system to who is visiting your site. Engaging with that person at the right moment could be the difference between money in your pocket or money in your competitor’s.

Rounding it all up

LinkedIn’s new Website Demographics tools is super easy to use and requires very little effort to deploy. I’m of the belief that it’s always better to have more information rather than less and even if you don’t know what to do with all that data now, you could always use it later.

Without a doubt, the best use case for Website Demographics information is to plow it back into LinkedIn for highly effective targeting, but the knowledge can be used off of the platform if you have the ability to leverage the insights for content creation or following up with leads. This is a new tool so I personally don’t have all that much experience with it yet, so if you come up with other cool use cases for this data, I’d be excited to see it.

Happy marketing!

3 Awesome Things You can do with LinkedIn’s New Website Demographics was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Conversing with the Customer: Beware of using too many nouns

Not long ago, I wanted to upgrade my phone. To begin my research, I went to a webpage that I’d visited many times before. Right in the center of the white, nearly empty page was one word — APPLE. Ten minutes later, I joined 90 million other satisfied customers as the proud owner of an iPhone.

As a marketer, Apple’s minimalistic marketing may be appealing to you, and you might even be tempted to try a similar approach. But here’s the catch. You are not Steve Jobs, and your company is not the largest tech provider in the world. Apple has earned the right to use a single noun on its landing page. You and I have not. In fact, very few brands can get away with simply using a noun or two as their value proposition because a webpage must provide very good reasons for the customer to continue to stay and engage, rather than click away.  And that requires a complete thought.

In today’s Quick Win Clinic, Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO of MECLABS, compares the value propositions of three different webpages —  AppViewX, Core Hospitality FurnitureVideo Brewery — and shares tips on how to more effectively communicate your brand.

His first caution — beware of using too many nouns.

 

Conversing with the Customer: Beware of using too many nouns was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

SEO Holiday Checklist: Things You Need to do Before the Year Ends

SEO Holiday Checklist: Things You Need to do Before the Year Ends

The Holidays are about to arrive, which means it’s time to unwind, and spend some valuable time with your friends and family. Although it is nice to get a break, especially after busy months of working in your campaign, SEO does not take a break, as you have to keep your website active during the break.

It is best to prepare your website for the upcoming holiday season by having your own SEO Checklist. This must contain all of the tasks that you will need to accomplish to not only maintain your SEO campaign over the holidays, but also help you get prepared for the upcoming year as well. Here are some SEO tasks you would need to do before 2018 arrives.

Schedule your posts

Since the holidays mean that you would not be able to access your computer or devices as much as you would want to, your time will be more spent on the holidays. With this in mind, you would have to make sure that you would still be able to post new content while you’re still away. To help me do this, me and my team uses tools like Onlywire, PushCrew, and Socialoomph to queue our posts, and have them posted on a later date. This will ensure that your website still has new content posted to keep the traffic rolling on your site.

Add some holiday flair to your content

Add some holiday flair to your content

Since it’s the holiday season, expect most websites to add some holiday spirit by adding some colorful graphics and layouts that fit the occasion. There are many holiday-themed graphics and themes that you can choose from, and it will make your website look cheerful and festive for a short period of time.

Along with the visuals, you can also create some holiday-themed content to match. For example, you can add some clever holiday references in your blog post to change the mood, or write a holiday-inspired post altogether. The holidays are a time for celebration and merriment, and having content that match would help set the mood.

Use the Holidays as a time to look back

As the year is about to end, you can use the holidays as a time to look back and see the progress of your SEO and linkbuilding campaigns. With most of the year done, you can see the analytics and metrics to see the performance of your website. This would also help you in your year-end report and evaluation, and assess what new strategies and techniques you can use for the next year.

Do some holiday keyword research

Before going into the holidays, one task that you should be doing is to do some keyword research, and see which ones are searched a lot during the season. This would help you get some much-needed search traffic to your site, which is a welcome sight, as the holiday season may be a slow time for most websites.

Get ready for the next year

Get ready for the next year

Now that you have all of your keywords and content ready, you can now prepare all your strategies and techniques for the next year. You can also look into the SEO trends for 2018, and see what you should focus on to improve your rankings. There are many new trends for SEO in the next year, like the increased focus on Accelerated Mobile Pages and such, which is why it would benefit you to do some research to keep you up to speed on the latest SEO news.

Key Takeaway

The holidays are a wonderful season of joy and giving, but it is always important to keep your website active during the season itself. With these tasks, you are guaranteed that you are prepared for the next year and beyond, and make sure that you have a wonderful holiday.

If you have any questions or inquiries about SEO and linkbuilding strategies and techniques, leave a comment below, and let’s talk.

SEO Holiday Checklist: Things You Need to do Before the Year Ends was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Google is requiring your Canonical and AMP Pages to Match in 2018

As announced by Google last November 16, 2017, they are enforcing a policy that would require Canonical content to be compatible with the AMP page content. With AMP becoming an integral feature in various domains, this announcement aims to improve the overall user experience, especially for mobile users. Google set the deadline, which is on February 1, 2018.

With the abundance of smartphones and tablets, more users opt to access the internet through their devices, which prompted Google to create a system in which these webpages would have mobile version that is optimized and user-friendly. This does wonders when it comes to increasing the number of users visiting the page, as the faster loading times allow for better viewing and access.

The announcement was done due to the fact that some websites have canonical content, while having a different AMP page. This means that they do not match, can affect user experience, as it would make users click for “full content” or the equivalent.

Having close parity between the original and mobile content is necessary, and websites that do not comply will not be considered for search features that require AMP. This includes the Top Stories carousel. Another consequence for those who do not comply after the deadline is that users would be redirected to a non-AMP site, which may affect user experience.

For those who have not optimized their website and content to comply with the changes, you can go to the AMP open source site to be able to make your own AMP pages.

Importance of AMP

We have stressed the importance of using AMP, along with a guide on how to make it work on your WordPress in our previous article. Despite Google stating that it is not a direct ranking factor, there has been some evidence that it can somewhat affect the ranking factors indirectly. As said on another one of our articles, this can mean that AMP will soon be the norm for SEO services worldwide.

Key Takeaway

AMP is a feature that looks to become an important part of SEO in 2018 and beyond. With the emphasis on improving page performance to improve the user experience, it is no surprise that Google wants to incorporate AMP more in the immediate future.

If you have any questions and inquiries about AMP and SEO, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

Google is requiring your Canonical and AMP Pages to Match in 2018 was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing