Month: March 2018

Analyzing Google’s March Algorithm Update

Google March Update

It is no secret that Google updates its search and ranking algorithms every now and then without informing users firsthand. Some of these updates and changes can come off as minor and will not affect rankings drastically. However, those that do tend to shake things up to varying levels that can cause a good amount of concern.

One of the more recent cases happened during the first half of March, which saw a good amount of rankings fluctuate and rise up, which caused some SEO professionals and clients to worry about the state of their rankings. The jumps happened in a span of a week (March 5 to March 9), which prompted a good number of SEO professionals to think that a new update has been launched by Google without providing prior information.

Google’s Response

Thankfully, Google cleared things up by announcing on their @searchliaison account that a new algorithm update has indeed been launched, and added that these kinds of major updates would be happening during the year as well. The tweet mentioned that these kinds of updates are “broad updates”, which mean that these are the major updates that can shake things up in a big way. Meanwhile, “focused updates” refer to smaller and more specific updates that optimize some minor yet significant details.

Search Liaison Tweet

The Impact of the March update

One of the most noticeable things about the March update is the rise and drop of some rich snippets in search results.

Rich Snippet Example

With the update focusing on website quality, it has seen a lot of websites that have been improving to be able to have rich snippets. However, this has caused other websites to lose rich snippets as well. Seeing these kinds of things happening means that the update is in full effect, and means that your website needs to be optimized to keep up in search rankings.

With this update being a major one, this will bring in significant changes that will affect the long-term picture for your websites. With quality being the emphasis of this said update, this means that It is important to deliver quality content, which has been the driving force behind high traffic.

This makes blog articles and authors much more important for your SEO efforts, as factors like quality articles and expert authors ensure that there would be a constant stream of traffic to your website, courtesy of interested users that know that you deliver relevant and timely content.

The user experience must also be put into focus, as accessibility makes users want to visit your site more. This means creating a more organized structure with a layout that is easy to become familiarized with.

Consequences of Low Quality

With quality optimization being the main focus, it is apparent that Google is cracking down on low-quality sites, making them rank lower, and keeping the high-quality ones up top. There is no doubt that a lot of websites would be greatly affected by this update, which can result to some being removed from the search index, which is definitely something that no website owner would like to happen.

How to keep up the pace

There are many ways to keep up with the latest Google update, all of which would help keep your site from getting traffic and keep users happy. Here are some handy ways to do it:

Remove Intrusive Ads from your website: Having advertisements on your site is not a bad thing but having ones that are intrusive can hamper the user experience. Deceptive and intrusive marketing is not a way to attract more users, which is why removing these kinds of ads would be a healthy start.

Keep running Website Audit tools: With tools like Woorank and Google Lighthouse providing detailed information about your website within a few clicks, it is best to use these tools more often, as these help track elements that can be improved on your website. This would not only help you gather much-needed data for your website, but also deliver reports to your clients in an instant as well.

Listen to your users: Once again, user experience matters, which is why listening to their requests will pay dividends in the long run. User input helps you iron out some of the key details that users might have issues with and smoothens out the process much more. There are many brand and websites that are not keen on this practice, and this has a large chance of damaging their image. Sometimes, taking a look at your comments section will help you find something important.

Key Takeaway

Another day, another Google update. 2018 is shaping up to be another big year for the search giant, and these updates aim to maintain their quality service to their users and deliver the best results. With more updates expected to arrive, it is best to always come prepared.

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

Analyzing Google’s March Algorithm Update was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

How to do Keyword Research Using Ahrefs

How to Do Keyword Research Using Ahrefs

When it comes to keyword research tools, there are few that are as effective and efficient as Ahrefs. It is one of the most frequently used tools in our link building and content management teams, as it has given us the best results that help our clients achieve high search rankings that lead to more traffic.

We have covered Ahrefs in some of our previous posts, such as how to use it to solve keyword cannibalization, along with an in-depth review which takes a look at its features. One of the best features of Ahrefs is the Content and Keyword Explorer, which allows you to find the best keywords and related content that helps generate more traffic to your website.

With that in mind, here is a short guide on how to do keyword research using Ahrefs. If you want to try out Ahrefs for yourself, you can avail of its services by going to their site.

Getting Started

To get started with doing keyword research, all you have to do is to access the Keyword Explorer. From there, you would be able to enter a certain number of keywords. For this example, I’ll be entering “Google” as my keyword to get things going.

Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

After entering the keyword, you now proceed to a new page that contains all of the data from the keyword that you entered. You get to see important details such as Keyword Difficulty, Search Volume, Clicks, and Global Volume. These help you measure how frequent the keyword is being used, along with the current trend, and countries where the volume is high.

Overview

Ahrefs Keyword Sample

Along with these statistics, you also get possible alternative keyword ideas that you can use, search suggestions, and newly discovered keywords that are gaining more traffic. Scroll further down and you get to view the SERP position history on websites that use the keyword. This will allow you to see the rankings from a certain period in time.

Ahrefs SERP Position History

Along with that, you would also be able to see related links in which the keyword is present. For this example, I used the keyword “laptop for sale”, which brought in a lot of links from e-commerce and shopping websites.

Ahrefs SERP Overview

Along with getting the overview of keyword search volume, you also get to look similar keywords and phrase matches even further. Phrase Match allows you to view related keywords, along with important details such as search volume and cost per click.

Ahrefs Phrase Match

With the Keyword Explorer, you get a robust research and analysis feature that allows you to find the best performing keyword for your website.

Content Explorer

After successfully doing your keyword research, the next step is to look for content related to your keywords. Like Keyword Explorer, all you have to go to get started on Content Explorer is by entering the keyword and click away. You can filter the results per region as well, which helps you focus on region-specific content, which works really well for local SEO.

Ahrefs Content Explorer

Upon entering the keyword, you are presented with content that is sorted by relevance on the default setting, although you can change this setting to change your preference. You also have more options to filter your content, with options like date of publishing, content language, number of social media shares, domain rating, referring domains, organic traffic, and even number of words.

Ahrefs Content Explorer Details

Once you have found content that you would like to view and analyze further, clicking the “Details” button allows you to look into more statistics. This section allows you to view backlinks, anchors, referring domains, and organic keywords. You can view each section individually to view more data, which allows you to explore and discover even more content that you can use as a reference.

When it comes to crafting content and keyword research, Ahrefs is an invaluable tool that allows performing these tasks efficiently and be able to find the best keywords and content for your website. This tool has helped us create some of the best content for our clients, and find the best keywords that helped them rank on Google’s first page. If you are looking for a robust keyword research tool, look no further than Ahrefs.

Key Takeaway

When it comes to value and quality performance, Ahrefs is one of the best SEO tools available. It’s diverse set of features, combined with some of the best and most accurate search data make it a must-have for anyone doing SEO.

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

How to do Keyword Research Using Ahrefs was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Assessing Site Safety and Page Loading Speed Using Tools From Google

Assessing Site Safety and Page Loading Speed Using Tools From Google

As we have mentioned before, Google is one of the providers of some of best software that can help your website when it comes to SEO. From analysis tools such as Page Analytics, to tools that help you with content management like Google Trends. These tools have helped us bring in more efficient results that enable websites to perform better.

Speaking of website performance, we here at SEO Hacker ensure that we make sure that loading speed and user experience would remain at optimal levels, as these are ranking factors that help get you to the first page of Google’s search results. Every now and then, you would like to quickly know how your website is performing. Thankfully, Google has the tools that would give you a quick, yet detailed look at your website’s performance, from checking the loading speed, to assessing website security.

Google Lighthouse (Chrome Extension)

As we have discussed in one of our previous articles, the Google Lighthouse Chrome Extension is one of the most effective website review tools that provide you a detailed report on the website just by entering the URL. The review data that you receive is detailed and concise, offering you some of the best steps to take when it comes to website optimization.

Google Lighthouse Summary

The reviews and analysis are based on Google’s ten major ranking factors, which means that you are getting the best kind of data. The different categories present you with passed and failed audits, along with suggestions on how to improve your website’s performance. These categories include Performance, Progressive Web App, Accessibility, Best Practices, and SEO. Each category has a score which shows how well the website is performing, which means getting a 100 means that you are doing good.

Google Lighthouse Accessibility

All of the data that you receive can also be printed into a .pdf format, which allows you to distribute the reports much quicker. The best part about using the Google Lighthouse extension is that this is all free, which means that you can use it as much as you want. By using this tool, you would be able to utilize the next two tools for further assessment of your website.

Transparency Report

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to having a website is the possibility that it could be attacked by harmful kinds of software like malware and viruses. This can cause you to lose precious data from your website, or end up having to move to a new domain entirely. In today’s world where it seems that any form of internet security can be breached, it is best to keep it in check and be prepared.

Transparency Report

This is where Google’s Transparency Report comes in, Which is a tool that helps you find any form of malicious software in your website to ensure that you would be able to respond to it and find quick and effective solutions. Using the tool is just simple, as you only have to enter the website URL to be able to find out the results.

Transparency Report Results

The tool instantly checks your website and gives you the results as soon as you press enter (or that would be the case if the website is completely safe). As simple as it is, this is a tool that would offer you a first glimpse into your website’s safety.

Test My Site

Site speed is one of the most important ranking factors, as the user experience begins once the website starts loading. Loading speed can spell the difference between a high traffic and reliable website, to a slow and low traffic one. If you want a very quick look at how fast your website loads, Test My Site is a handy little tool that helps you do so.

Test My Site Results

Upon entering the URL, it will only take a minute (or three) for your website to be reviewed. The results page show you the average loading time of your website, along with the estimated visitor loss in the website that is caused by the loading time.

Test My Site Industry Comparison

You also get to see the industry comparison, which compares your loading time to other similar websites. This is an essential indicator to help you see how close or far you are from the best loading speeds.

Test My Site Speed Up

Lastly, you get to see a list of steps that would help improve your website to reduce your loading time by a significant margin. Along with Google Lighthouse, this helps provide you with solid analysis for your website performance and allows you to take the best steps towards website optimization.

Key Takeaway

Once again, Google has shown that you do not need to shell out too much for SEO tools when you are just having your start. With these three tools, you are able to provide a detailed report that will help you improve you and your client’s websites. Achieving high performance for your website is necessary, and these types of tools will help you lead to that in the long run.

If you have questions and inquiries with regards to SEO, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

Assessing Site Safety and Page Loading Speed Using Tools From Google was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

16 Hyperlocal Marketing & Advertising Strategies to Drive Growth in 2018

Local

Hyperlocal marketing is a form of super targeted and niche marketing. For instance, it can be a marketing campaign targeting a specific city and the shoppers within that city. In addition, hyperlocal marketing is a buzzword gaining prominence because businesses of all sizes are seeing the benefits of local and time-sensitive marketing.

Moreover, small businesses don’t have to worry about spending money on national ad campaigns just to induce incoming traffic. Hyperlocal marketing can even be focused on one block. Targeted, and localized, marketing is less overwhelming.

Businesses can focus on a smaller number of shoppers within a very specific area. As a result, the marketing effort is much easier to implement, personalize and measure. Continue reading to learn more.

1.Understand the fundamentals

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If you’re ready to change everything about your advertising results, then hyperlocal marketing is the answer you need. In fact, it’s the oldest form of marketing around.

Before the Internet, TV and radio, hyperlocal marketing was the only advertising method available. Local merchants had to advertise locally to survive.

This form of marketing became a buzzword in 2009, and for good reason. It is a system of marketing focused on a well-defined area within the local community.

For businesses, this is advertising very close to home—including within walking distance. It targets the local community. While it started as a buzzword, hyperlocal advertising is here to stay because it works.

One of the first expressions of hyperlocal marketing was word-of-mouth. But, people can only go around shouting about their wares for so long. So, today, we have the Internet and various forms of media. Not to mention, everyone is online, including local communities.

You can start by incorporating hyperlocal strategies online. One effective method is by first optimizing your Google My Business Page. When people search for local businesses and place, they will see various places pop up on their Google Maps application.

For instance, if you type “Tex-Mex restaurant,” Google Maps will show you the nearest restaurant serving that type of food. But, what if your business doesn’t appear for relevant searches in your local area? If you find that to be the case, then it is important to optimize your Google My Business page. Just follow these steps:

  • Enter all your data (physical address, category and phone number)
  • Confirm your location
  • Respond to as many reviews as possible
  • List the correct hours
  • Include high-res photos

It’s also crucial to understand how Google scores local ranking. Here are their criteria:

  • Distance (how far is your business from the local search query)
  • Relevance (does it match what is being searched for?)
  • Prominence (How popular is your business? How much information, links and articles does Google have on your business?)

The only way to get better local Google rankings is to perform the above steps and to understand the criteria used.

There is another fundamental of hyperlocal marketing: getting local reviews. According to this recent survey, 25 percent of consumers will leave reviews if they have had a really good experience. Interestingly enough, the key to getting more reviews is to create an environment where you deliver the best customer experience possible for every customer.

This includes fine-tuning your quality control measures, training your staff regularly and ensuring everyone puts the customer’s needs first. When customers leave feeling exuberant about your business, they are more likely to post a good review.

And, there is nothing like a verifiable and positive review. You can also place signage on your walls, window clings or on your receipts telling customers that you would appreciate online feedback. Another way to get more reviews is to train staff to mention how much your business would appreciate a review.

Of course, you want to be delicate with how you communicate this desire. Don’t say, “Rate our business!” after every checkout. Instead, train your staff to judge each situation and if the customers seem to be enjoying the service and products, then your employee might say something along the lines of, “If you enjoyed your time here, we would appreciate your help in leaving a review about our company. We’re trying to get more local business.”

Also, tell them where they can leave online reviews so that they don’t have to figure it out on their own.

  1. Make the most of deal sites

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One of the most popular daily deal sites is Groupon. Despite the company’s ups and downs, it remains a major daily deals player, nine years after its launch. To date, around 1 billion Groupons have been sold. In addition, the site has 32.5 million customers in North America and 16.6 million customers internationally. So, it makes sense to utilize daily deal sites for attracting more local customers.

Of course, there are many daily deals sites to choose from. Yet, they all work similarly–organizing deals based on location and niche/genre. So, how can your company use daily deals as part of your hyperlocal marketing strategy? Well, people love discounts, especially when finances are tight, or the economy is down.

Who doesn’t love getting a $50 meal for $25? So, get ready to attract a lot of new customers if you market and offer coupons in this space.

It’s also a way to introduce your company to consumers who are not yet familiar with your products or services. A deal is a proven method for luring customers to try your offerings. There is a caveat: the objective is to make sure customers come back again.

So, an investment in daily deals sites needs to be long-term. Think of what you can offer that won’t put your company under, and that you can also upsell.

To illustrate: if you run a nail salon, you might offer a deal of $25 for a $50 pedicure. When the customer redeems their deal, then you might ask them if they would like a manicure, as well, or even a massage.

You’re now getting more local clientele in the door, but you must also get them to purchase products and services, in addition, to your deals. This is how you keep them coming back with or without a deal. In fact, the deal is just the icing on the cake—they should like your other services too.

But, for local deals’ advertising to work, you must put your offers up for at least three months. Consumers don’t always buy from the first advertisement they see. They take time to consider their choices and budget.

Consequently, if they see your company on a consistent basis, they start to trust your company. And, trust leads to sales.

  1. Facebook ads targeting a specific region and audience

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If you want to boost your hyperlocal marketing efforts, then Facebook is the place to be. As of Q4 2017, Facebook reported 2.13 billion monthly active users. Certainly, there will be quite a few users who live within your local community.

In 2014, Facebook launched their hyperlocal advertising feature. So, businesses can now advertise within a mile of their location. Plus, these ads will show up on feeds and mobile phones. Facebook also has the data needed to add a boost to your hyperlocal advertising efforts.

Just type in your preferred address, radius, age range, message, photo and gender to get started. You can even include directions that will launch a map.

As a result, you can drive more foot traffic to your business. Since many users allow Facebook to track them by their IP address, they can see your business ad pop up when they’re in your area.

For instance, a Facebook user might have just finished breakfast. Now, they want to go shopping. They just pull up their Facebook app for a nearby retailer. They make their decision without having to do a search.

Just remember to have a specific goal for your hyperlocal Facebook ads. This way, you can measure your results accurately.

  1. Get employee buy-in

Advertising is a team effort, and this includes buy-in from your employees. It’s not always easy to get your employees on board with a new idea. The goal is to convey the benefits. In terms of hyperlocal advertising, start by listening.

Ask for their feedback on how to get more local business. They are the first line in the company so, they see and hear customer suggestions all day long.

After getting their feedback, it’s time to help them feel more connected to your new initiative. Perhaps they live in the community too so, they would like to serve more locals anyway.

Also, let them know that when they provide excellent customer service, it improves their reputation in the community. Furthermore, local customers can be quite generous. When they know they’re patronizing a business that hires locals, they may be more inclined to give good tips and reviews.

So, emphasize that hyperlocal advertising helps to not only improve their reputation but may also affect their paychecks. Then, once you start your campaigns, make sure everyone understands the where, the what and the how of your advertising.

  1. Set the right marketing expectations

If you fail to set the wrong expectations, you might confuse your target market and, also, miscalculate your campaigns. What’s more is you might doubt yourself. So, it’s imperative to set the right expectations from the beginning.

When planning your hyperlocal marketing campaign, you need to give it time before you connect with your target audience. So, set a timeline.

Also, figure out how many leads you can realistically expect from your campaigns. It’s critical to be realistic.

After you’ve configured your expectations, don’t think of them too much during the first few weeks. During this time, you should measure results, and tweak where necessary. Speaking of measurements, another key facet of successful marketing campaigns is A/B testing. You can test anything including:

  • Headlines
  • Colors
  • Graphics and image
  • Calls to action
  • Product descriptions

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From your results, you can then combine all the most successful segments into powerful marketing materials.

  1. Begin with content rooted in the localized area

Your business will grow quickly if you take the time to understand your target audience. The first question to answer is: who would pay for your products? What types of problems do your products or services solve?

Imagine that potential market has a problem. How does your product or service solve that problem?

You should also study your previous customers. What are their demographics, in terms of age, location, and even job roles?

Moreover, it’s important not to make any assumptions. You might think you know your audience, but it makes sense to work with actual statistics and data. Once you truly understand your local audience, you can then customize your offerings based on their tastes.

If you don’t live in the area, it helps to work with someone who lives in and understands the region. If you run a global business, this helps to humanize your various locations to the local audience. For example, if you have an American-based business that wants to expand in Asia, then it helps to have a local partner who understands the local tastes, customs, expectations, and traditions.

  1. Paid Search Targeting within a Radius or Zip Codes

    Geo-Targeted Mobile Display Performance (Secondary Action Rates) (PRNewsFoto/Local Search Association)

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Paid search targeting by zip code or radius is so specific that you can drill down and target any area of your choice. This hyperlocal marketing strategy helps you to become locally relevant. It doesn’t matter if you are a small or large business, it pays off to be relevant within your local market.

With radius-targeting, you can set a 1-mile perimeter around your location and reach your targeted consumers within that radius. The same is true of zip codes. You can also target consumers based on their walking distance from your location.

If you have an area you would like to focus on, you can create ads that are only seen by consumers in that specific location. Through paid search targeting, you can also identify the audience you would like to convert into paying customers.

After you have set up your campaigns, you can also measure your performance by zip code. Based on your results, you might consider spending more in areas that are performing well.

Fortunately, according to the Local Search Association (LSA), 70 percent of customers don’t mind sharing their location information if they get loyalty rewards in return.

  1. Optimize your mobile site/app

Since mobile has surpassed PC usage, it makes sense to optimize your mobile site or app for local usage. The first step is to highlight your brand in the app name. You can do this by using your brand name as a link anchor text. You also want to include the download page URL.

You’ll also want to make sure your website is linked to your app page. Business owners often forget to include links to their website. For hyperlocal marketing, you should build a dedicated landing page for that local market. Furthermore, always include your address.

  1. Forge partnerships with noncompeting businesses

An overlooked opportunity is the potential for leads you will get by partnering with a non-competing business. This is one of the fastest ways to get new sales opportunities, especially if your new business partner already has ties to your local market. Through research, you can formulate the types of non-competing businesses that would make the most sense for a partnership.

Once the non-competing business is on board, take time to create shared and targeted advertising content. Set up events that allow each partner to present their products and services. You can even pool your resources together to accumulate a larger advertising spend.

  1. Collaborate with local charities

People want to be associated with businesses who give back. Partnering with a charity helps to market your business, while also supporting a worthy cause. The good news is many charities understand the marketing opportunities and are willing to help.

The objective is to choose the right charity. It helps to find one that you believe in. As a result, you will be more excited to give your time and resources. On the business side, you also want to select a charity that will give you better exposure within your chosen market.

Adding your business name to a local charitable cause will help to maximize your hyperlocal marketing efforts. If the cause is high-profile enough, you may even attract local media. You can also ask your charity to make mention of your support in their marketing efforts.

  1. Host a local contest

Contests should always be part of your hyperlocal advertising strategy. These will help to better engage your local audience. You will also increase the number of consumers who interact with your brand, not to mention, you can collect a lot of data from contests.

Consumers are usually willing to share their demographic data in the entry process. Just remember to ask relevant questions.

Contests also extend your reach as your fans spread the word. Think of how you’ve shared contests with your friends and family on your social media pages.

If you add a “share for additional entries” option, social media can help take your marketing efforts to the next level. Just make sure to research local regulations to ensure your contest is legal.

  1. Get creative with advertising

It is critical to note that hyperlocal marketing extends beyond the digital landscape. Think of using some of the more old-fashioned methods of advertising from unique signage to billboards to community-based magazines and flyers. Hyperlocal advertising helps you to become more strategic about your advertising spend and focus only on the most profitable channels.

Sponsoring a local sports team is another way to extend your reach within the local community. The team’s supporters should be part of your target audience. When you deliver effective marketing messages, you can convert the team’s fans into your own customers.

If your goal is to increase brand awareness, then you can easily measure success. An example of a company that takes sports marketing to the next level is Red Bull.

There was a time when Red Bull was just another beverage at the grocery store. Today, it is one of the world’s most popular energy drinks after Red Bull started sponsoring and giving away drinks at sporting events.

  1. Provide an excellent in-store experience

If you walk around any street, you’ll notice almost every brick-and-mortar store offers free Wi-Fi. This is an offering that can attract local customers you’ve never had before. Today, many consumers are used to traveling and venturing out alone to local cafes, pubs, restaurants and stores.

In addition, people often want to multi-task while they enjoy browsing the Internet, eating something or sipping on a hot cup of soothing coffee. So, they need Wi-Fi.

By providing free Wi-Fi, you extend your hospitality and customer service to new clientele. People who need to check email might stop in, and then, decide to purchase one of your products or services too.

But, there’s more to it than that. You can also configure your Wi-Fi service to require an email address for access.

This way, you can acquire basic details of your new customers. Most customers will provide this information without issue, in exchange for free Wi-Fi.

Since free Wi-Fi is pretty much offered everywhere from hotels to libraries, and city centers, you are simply reaching your customer’s expectations. In addition to offering a value for the money, good service, and high-quality products, free Wi-Fi also helps your business to stand out.

Here is another option: if you run a restaurant, then you can attract more local business with a prominent and versatile menu. People like to look at menus and prices before they enter a restaurant. This is part of the online trend where consumers prefer to execute their own research before selecting a place to eat.

When they’re walking by your establishment, you should have a large menu available out front–with the correct prices. This can attract more local customers because they will see menu items they didn’t know you had and will be able to see if they have the budget for it. Some customers won’t walk into a restaurant until they know they can afford the meal they want.

It’s also important to consider the theory called the “paradox of choice.” This theory states that we feel more anxiety when we have more options. Try limiting the options to seven appetizers, seven entrees, and seven dessert choices.

One thing modern consumers don’t want to do is to wait. We live in an instant gratification world. We can get anything we want with a few taps and a swipe.

So, waiting in line, is not something consumers have the patience for–especially if they are new customers. Several ways you can improve your wait times are to:

  • Search for the congestion points
  • Study your processes from the front end to check out
  • Offer opportunities for self-service
  • Consider customer expectations
  • Under promise and over deliver (if you have a 20-minute wait time, tell your customers the wait time is 30 minutes)

When it comes to self-service, this study by Steven Van Belleghem and SSI discovered that 40 percent of respondents prefer a self-service option. Think of how restaurants and grocery stores have successfully incorporated self-service options such as self-checkout and food payment kiosks and replicate that service.

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Today’s consumer is comfortable with technology and convenience. For the most part, customers want a quick in-and-out experience.

It’s also important to keep your delivery promises. If your customer expects to wait no more than 30 minutes for food, make sure you deliver. And remember, that will be their expectation moving forward.

If you have served your customers in under 10 minutes, they will expect that timeframe on each visit. Nonetheless, managing customer expectations and shortening wait times can go a long way in improving your overall customer service.

  1. Local targeting with SEO

Any business that wants to serve local clients should implement local targeting with SEO. This means you must think about factors such as:

  • Links
  • Social media
  • Indexing
  • Local pages

You also need to claim your local profile on Google–and other platforms–to show up for localized results. Another important facet is an online citation that uses your company’s name, phone number, and address all on the same page. You will also need a lot of good reviews on your Google Places page.

It’s worth noting that Google has made the move towards favoring newer and smaller businesses. After the Pigeon update in 2014, all signs point to Google placing a higher priority on local searches.

Google wants to give people unique and individualized results. In terms results, geographic location and search history affect results.

Since users are demanding even more personalized results, the significance of local targeting with SEO will only grow more prominent. Most mobile searches are made while on the go which means location-based searches are becoming more popular.

Searches and results are also getting hyper-specific. This is why you need to target with local SEO. Getting hyperlocal is the key. The fact that mobile search has surpassed desktop search only confirms this fact. Regardless of your business size, you will need to market to smaller niches in order to stay relevant.

  1. Create a specific landing page for each business location

For effective hyperlocal advertising, it is important to have your landing page rank for every location of your business. With unique landing pages, you improve your rankings and may get picked up as a cited website by Google Maps.

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Without a landing page for each local location, your business won’t rank naturally for location-specific queries. However, this doesn’t mean you have to create 50 landing pages.

Think of the areas you want to target and focus on those first. You can link to these landing pages on your main website with a header such as “Locations.”

Usually, consumers will search for a service and a city. Not to mention, Google will localize results based on device location. If you want to show up for “hair salons in Raleigh,” you need to have a local landing page that would be relevant to that query.

  1. Add structured data markup to the appropriate web pages

Google crawlers want to understand your website. If you have structured data markup, you give Google crawlers information they wouldn’t have had previously. Structured data connects all the data points of your website.

Structured data markup also offers rich snippets so that your pages look better on Google search. When someone does a search, a rich snippet provides a small preview of matching information on your site. So, rich snippets give your site a bit more pop, which helps your business to stand out within your local market.

You can only rank on the first page of Google search results if you incorporate structured data markup.

Image source

To implement structured data markup, you need to understand both Java and microdata. If you don’t quite comprehend the basics of programming, there is hope. Google offers a structured data markup helper. Here’s how to use it:

  • Sign in to your Google account
  • Select Add Structured Data Markup to a web page or email
  • Choose your data type
  • Paste in the URL of your web page
  • Choose Data and determine the type
  • Click on “Create HTML”
  • Download and test

Once you have implemented structured data markup, search engines will now have a better understanding of your content–especially for local search queries

Conclusion

Hyperlocal marketing and advertising plays a critical role in creating targeted campaigns. In addition, customers will respond better when they feel connected to your advertisements.

As a result, you drive both growth and ROI. You might have to think outside the box, but the pay-off is worth it–especially if you want to improve your local client base.

16 Hyperlocal Marketing & Advertising Strategies to Drive Growth in 2018 was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

International SEO: Things You Need to Know

International SEO: Things You Need to Know

One of the best aspects of doing SEO is that it is able to take your brand to not only a local audience, but also to an international one as well. Along with working with some of the most well-known and established clients in the Philippines, but also clients from different parts of the world.

SEO has helped branch people of different cultures and backgrounds together, with the goal of doing good business that would benefit both parties. This kind of business just shows how big SEO can be in the near future. When it comes to doing business with international clients, there are some aspects of SEO that you would have to do differently compared to doing local SEO. Here are the things that you need to know if you are thinking of doing international SEO.

Doing your homework

One of the first things that you need to do when starting with international SEO is to do some research on your client beforehand. You can take a look at their website and run a website audit and review by using tools like Woorank and Google Lighthouse, which would give you a general idea of how well your client’s website is performing.

Woorank International SEO Sample

The next step is to do some keyword research to look into possible keywords that can bring in traffic to their website. Keep in mind that the language of these keywords will tend to be foreign, so it is best to study up on their language to make sure that you’re getting them right. A look into Google Trends can help you track some of the most popular keyword in the area as well.

Google Trends International SEO

Getting a domain

One international SEO fundamental that you must do is to acquire a domain from country that your client is from, or planning to do business on. International domains will allow their website to be able to become more visible in their country’s search engines. Of course, another issue here would be domain availability, as there might be a chance that your domain might be taken by another website in that country.

Woorank ccTLD

Thankfully, you can use Woorank to look for the available ccTLD’s (Country Code Top Level Domain) which you can register. While using subdomains and subdirectories might be easier to maintain compared to using ccTLD’s, but will not give you the same amount of reach on search engines.

Foreign expansion?

When doing international SEO, it can mean different things for your client. Is your client planning to do business in a different country? Or is your client looking to target an audience that speaks a different language? Knowing the answer to these questions would help you know where to go and what to do. There are a lot of business and e-commerce websites that prefer to create translated version within their website, since their brand is already established and well-known in a lot of areas.

This factor is highly dependent on the size of your client, and the scope that they want to cover. Whichever method you decide to choose, this is a process that would help their brand gain more traction in the international market, and gain a bigger presence in the web.

Doing more homework

Other than researching about the most popular keywords, and doing a website audit, it is also best to do research about the countries themselves to get a grasp on the culture and language. This research can involve famous personalities, notable locations, cultural norms, local music and art, famous cuisine, and much more. You can delve into hours’ worth of content just by studying their culture alone, but this would definitely make your international SEO effort that much stronger.

This kind of research would prove valuable to the content that you are going to create as well. This means tailor-made content and designs that cater to your audience. You can create blogs about popular events in the country, or even create promotional content that features the most famous sights.

This rings true for the website design as well, as using certain colors and imagery would help attract more people from the targeted country. Having a culturally-sensitive touch ensures that you are able to grab the attention of the intended audience, and gain more traffic and leads.

Hreflang

The tag that is most associated is the hreflang tag. The hreflang tag helps users indicate that certain website has a foreign language version. A hreflang tag looks like this: rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x”. The x refers to the language of the website. The language codes vary, and it is best to identify all of the ones that are contained within the website.

This is for websites that have translated copies, and is important, as it helps your audience get to the version of the website with their language. This helps boost your conversion rate, and makes the user experience that much better.

Geo-targeting

Just like local SEO, regional and geographical targeting is very important for international SEO. Optimizing your keywords with locations, along with creating a local SEO presence would help establish a business in that particular area. For example, a simple keyword + location combination like “Jollibee Milan” would instantly bring you results from the country itself. Using the right locations (which you would know from your research) makes it much more convenient for your users.

Jollibee Milan

As usual, the country and the nature of business matters a lot, as this would indicate whether or not you would be targeting a language, location, or even both. Knowing these factors, you would be able to establish a local presence within the country, which brings in leads.

Key Takeaway

International SEO is a similar SEO ball game with new rules that you should keep in mind. With factors like language, new locations, and culture coming into play, international SEO is an even more colorful world of SEO that opens up more possibilities and bridge diverse cultures.

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

International SEO: Things You Need to Know was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Exploring the Google Lighthouse Extension

Exploring Google Lighthouse

Website audit and review tools are some of the most valuable SEO tools available, as they give regular users and SEO professionals alike with detailed reports with regards to website performance. These tools provide accurate statistics with regards to important elements such as traffic, the amount of links, mobile friendliness, and much more.

With the increasing amount of clients that we have here at SEO Hacker, we have to make sure that we would be able to deliver detailed reports with regards to their website in a quick and efficient fashion. These pieces of data help our clients understand the effects of our hard work to their websites.

We have covered some of these website review and audit tools before, a good example being Woorank. While these tools may be very effective in fetching crucial data, these tend to cost a lot, especially for SEO newcomers and freelancers. Thankfully, Google provides some of the most effective SEO tools for free. We have covered some of their tools before, which include Google Search Console, Google Trends, Google My Business, and Google Analytics.

Today, our focus is on the Google Lighthouse Chrome extension, which is Google’s website review and audit tool. Like other Google Chrome extensions for SEO, this is another tool that can turn your browser into an SEO hub. Let us see how it holds up.

Starting up

Like other Google Chrome extensions, the first thing that you have to do is to download it from the Chrome Web Store. As usual, this is a free tool, and all you have to do is to wait for the download to finish so you can add it to your browser. Lighthouse reviews the website based on various ranking factors used by the Google Search Engine, which means that you are getting some of the most effective data you can use for optimization.

Google Lighthouse Web Store

After downloading the extension, you are now ready to use it on a website of your choice and receive data within moments. All you have to do is to visit the website, and click the “Generate Report” button. Always keep in mind that you must only have one tab open so that the tool would be able to work.

Google Lighthouse Extension

After clicking the button, it will only take a few minutes for Lighthouse to debug the browser, and analyze the website to generate the report.

Google Light House Generating Report

Once Lighthouse is done, a new tab will open, which contains the whole report. Like most website review and audit tools, you would be able to print the whole report with a simple click, ensuring that you would be able to deliver the data on hand to the people who need it. The top most part of the report shows you the score of your website, with 100 being the highest. Lighthouse measures the performance using five categories, Performance, Progressive Web App, Accessibility, Best Practices, and SEO. Let us look into each category and view our findings.

Google Lighthouse Summary

Performance

Performance basically tracks your website’s loading speed, which is one of the most important ranking factors, along with being highly integral to the user experience. Lighthouse presents the loading speed progression of your website in a frame by frame format. In this example, Lighthouse has found that the loading speed must improve, and provides you with a solution on the Opportunities section of the report.

Google Lighthouse Performance

In the last two parts of the section, you get the Perceptual Speed Index and the Estimated Input Latency, which measures the app response time and the speed in which the content populates the page.

Opportunities

The second section of the Lighthouse report presents you with different steps to improve the speed of your website. This list of steps will help you save up on memory, which makes the loading speed much faster compared to what you website had before. Some of these options include image optimization, minifying the Javascript, and enabling the text compression. These steps are highly indicative of what Google wants to see in quality websites, which means that these steps are proven to be effective.

Google Lighthouse Opportunities

Diagnostics

The last part of the Performance category shows you a detailed diagnosis on your website’s performance, and provides you with more metrics to look into. It also shows you some categories in which your website  has passed in, and shows you the boot-up times, network payloads, and even the DOM size.

Google Lighthouse Diagnostics

Progressive Web App

A Progressive Web App is a type of website that provides the best experience for web users. This follows Google’s PWA checklist, which focus on loading speed, and elements such as custom splash screens and brand colors. These are details that websites with dedicated apps should keep in check, as  it would ensure that you have an app that is reliable and engaging.

Google Lighthouse Progressive Web App

Accessibility

The next section of the website review present you with various opportunities to make your web app more accessible for your users. This ensures that your web app has a solid and presentable structure, and that attributes are well-defined. With Google shifting to a mobile-first approach, these factors are important to highlight to ensure that your mobile SEO efforts would bring you the best results.

Google Lighthouse Accessibility

The bottom part provides you with a list of passed and failed audits for your web app, which shows you what important elements you need to maintain, and the ones that you need to improve on.

Google Lighthouse Accessibility 2

Best Practices

This section shows you the best methods to optimize your website’s performance, while highlighting the positive points that you have already accomplished. These technical factors, no matter how small they might seem for most users, are crucial in providing a solid experience. These elements include HTTPS application and presentation of images.

Google Lighthouse Best Practices

These recommendations help you avoid performance issue, and help create a smoother website that is optimized for SEO.

SEO

The last section evaluates your website’s performance in search engines. Lighthouse uses Google’s ranking factors to determine how well-optimized your website is, which means that you are getting some of the most important data that can help increase your search rankings.

Google Lighthouse SEO

These factors include crawling and indexing, mobile friendliness, and content quality. This is a crucial detail for our clients, as this is an indicator of how well our strategies are working to improve their visibility.

All in all, Google Lighthouse is an SEO tool that provides you with important data that helps improve your website performance using the guidelines and policies of Google itself. The best part about this is that it’s free to use, and has a simple and intuitive interface that users would find easy to use.

Key Takeaway

When it comes to free SEO tools, Google provides the best quality and value for users and SEO professionals. With Google Lighthouse, you are provided with one of the best review tools available that helps give you detailed reports when it comes to your website’s SEO.

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

Exploring the Google Lighthouse Extension was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Google Data Studio: The Beginner’s Tutorial

Google Data Studio is a communication tool. It brings together data you store in several places so you can visualize it on one screen. The goal of using Data Studio is to become a data communicator, not a data plumber.

There are several Data Studio beginner’s guides in the wild. I’ve created this one to get you thinking in Data Studio terms. It’s a proper tutorial, taking you through things step-by-step. Where there’s too much to say about a feature, I’ll link to relevant documentation or other blog posts. And of course, this guide is for you — please ask questions and leave feedback so that we can improve it!

Contents

Data Studio lets you visualize data from many sources

You only need a Google account to get started

Get oriented

Make your first report

Connect a sample data source

Get acquainted with the report interface

Now let’s make a chart

Add a time series

Set dimensions and metrics

Set the date range

Update the style to use bars

Label your chart

Admire your work

Add interactivity

Add a filter control

Connect your data [optional]

Share your report

What we learned

Do more, learn more

Data Studio lets you visualize data from many sources

The compelling reason to choose Data Studio is the sources from which it can pull data. With it, you can use almost any data available from Google. That includes Google Analytics, AdWords, Search Console, BigQuery, and more.

Data Studio is also easier to learn and teach than the alternatives. In particular, querying the Google Analytics API requires learning a complete vocabulary of dimensions and metrics (“Page” → “ga:pagePath”) and operators (“Match Regex” → “=~”). Data Studio renders that obsolete for many use cases.

Finally, the fact that Data Studio makes all these data sources available lets you juxtapose charts from many sources in one report. For instance, you might want to chart both organic traffic from Google Analytics and clicks from Search Console in the same report. With Data Studio, you can!

You only need a Google account to get started

Data Studio is a free product. The only way to incur expense is if there are fees associated with accessing your data source. For instance, BigQuery charges for some requests. That won’t happen in this tutorial.

All you need to get started is a Google Account. If you have personal data to work with, experimenting will be much more fun — but it isn’t required.

LOG IN TO DATA STUDIO 

Note that you may have to accept some terms and conditions before creating your first report. For some reason, this process can be a bit finicky. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.

Get oriented

See interface documentation.

The next thing you’ll see is the central Data Studio interface. Data Studio is part of Google Drive — like Docs, Sheets, or Slides. The interface of Data Studio is similar to docs.google.com. The interface lists only Data Studio documents. You’re meant to do organizing within Google Drive as opposed to Data Studio itself. That’s why you can’t make folders on this screen.

Unfamiliar territory!

One difference worth noting is that instead of a single document type, Data Studio has two. There are Reports and Data Sources. In this tutorial, we’ll be manipulating reports, and using the sample data sources provided by default.

Make your first report

See report documentation.

Make sure you’re looking at the Reports section as opposed to the Data Sources section. You should see Reports by default. Click the familiar “+” button in the bottom right corner to get the ball rolling! If everything is going as planned, you should now have a blank canvas:

Connect a sample data source

See data source documentation.

Before you can add any charts to your report, Data Studio needs to know where that data is. Fortunately, Data Studio comes with several sample data sources to help you get started. Each of these has a name that starts with “[Sample]”. For now, choose “[Sample] Google Analytics Data”:

You’ll see a request for confirmation. Click add to report.

This sample data source exposes Google Analytics data from the Google Store. We’ll show you how to add a custom data source later in the tutorial.

Get acquainted with the report interface

See report interface documentation.

At this point you’ve got a blank report in front of you — the world is your oyster! If you want to mess around a bit, feel free. Anything you add will use the data source we just added.

You can always undo anything or create a new report if you don’t like the result!

Now let’s make a chart

I don’t want to bury the lede. Here’s what we’re going to create:

see the finished product

This is a simple chart. It shows sessions to the Google Store website by month and compares each month to the same month last year. It also happens to use most of the features you’ll need to master in Data Studio, so it’s a great starting place. This is what it looks like:

Add a time series

See chart type documentation.

A time series is a type of chart. Its defining characteristic is that its x-axis is a unit of time. In Data Studio, a chart isn’t just defined by how it looks. In fact, there are multiple ways to make something that appears to be a column chart. Instead, a chart also specifies what data it accepts as inputs and how it transforms that data into a visual.

Try adding a time series to your chart now. It’s the very first chart type in the toolbar:

time_series_button.png

Dragging a box on your canvas will result in something like this:

Humble beginnings.

Congratulations — you’ve made your first chart! Let’s take a moment to analyze what just happened. You said you wanted a time series. On the other hand, you didn’t have an opportunity to specify what data you wanted to visualize. Data Studio chose some reasonable defaults for you (charting Sessions by Date). Next, we’ll see how to customize these choices so that you aren’t stuck with these defaults forever.

Set dimensions and metrics

See dimensions and metrics documentation.

Dimensions and metrics in Data Studio are conceptually the same as dimensions and metrics in Google Analytics. If you’re using Google Analytics as a data source, the same dimensions and metrics will be available to you in Data Studio.

A quick refresher: metrics are numbers, and dimensions allow you to slice and dice those numbers in different ways. Pageviews and Sessions are both metrics. Page and Landing Page and Default Channel Grouping are dimensions.

The chart we just created shows Sessions by Date. By selecting the chart, we can change these in the right-hand sidebar shown below.

We’ll keep Sessions the same, but change the time dimension to be Month of Year. Be careful here — Month of the year and Month of Year are two different dimensions. To create our example chart, we want Month of Year. The result will look something like this:

Not a great visual — a time series with only two data points? A little wonky, but never fear. We just need to inspect a wider date range.

Set the date range

See date and time documentation.

The reason that the chart only has one or two data points now is that by default Data Studio will show the last 30 days of data. Most of the time that means a chart by month will only show partial data for last month and this month.

Let’s make things more exciting. In that same sidebar, you’ll see an option to set the default date range. Use it to select “Last Year”.

Now we’ve got an appropriate time range to show off our website’s performance:

Finally, let’s compare this data against last year’s. In the same date range control panel, select a comparison period:

Which results in:

We’re most of the way there at this point. The data that we want to visualize is there; it just doesn’t look quite the same.

Update the style to use bars

See time series documentation.

The most apparent difference between our chart and the target is that the target chart uses bars instead of lines. Since we want to be able to compare specific months against their performance last year, grouped bars will be more natural for our audience to interpret.

Click your way over to the Style section in the right-hand sidebar. At the top, you’ll see a conspicuous option to use Bars instead of a Line to represent your data.

This has the expected result:

So the chart seems correct, but the example also has a pretty title at the top. What about that?

Label your chart

Data studio offers bare essential drawing tools — text box, image, rectangle, and circle:

Choose one or more of these and drag away. Let your inner artist out! Take a gander at the options given in the sidebar. Foreground and background colors can be selected, in addition to basic font choices.

Here’s what I came up with:

If you’d like to have more fun — and maybe make the chart align better with your own brand — you can also play with the style controls. Select the chart and click “Style” in the sidebar. Check out the series color options, and font face and size options. Extreme changes are possible. You can even turn off the axes entirely!

Admire your work

For those following along, you’ll see that we’ve built what we had planned. If you want to scope out what your report really looks like, hit the View button:

This removes the helpful design grid and the rest of the UI elements. It brings your visualization to the foreground.

If you give someone view permission, this is what they will see.

Add interactivity

SEE THE INTERACTIVE VERSION 

One of the great things about Data Studio is that it also accommodates interactivity. Let’s say we’re presenting this chart to our board, who is interested not only in trends in overall sessions but also in the channels from which those sessions began.

We could make a different chart for each channel — and in some cases, that might be the appropriate visualization. But for the sake of our tutorial, we can avoid creating eight different charts. Instead, we’ll add interactivity to our current chart so that we can use it to track each of these

Here’s the end product:

Add a filter control

See filter control documentation.

This pictograph (like an inverted pyramid) represents a filter control. See how the bar starts out large and gets smaller? That’s because it’s been filtered!

Just like a chart or a text box, you can draw a filter element onto your canvas:

Subtle difference — look in the upper right corner!

And, like any other component, you can configure the dimensions and metrics that the filter users. Note that the filter does its filtering on a dimension, not a metric — the metric is merely an aesthetic option. Configure your dimension like this:

By default, a filter control affects all charts on a page. You can change this by grouping the filter with the charts you want it to affect. See the documentation for details.

Now when you go to View mode, you can click on the filter control and choose what Channel Grouping you want to focus on:

Now we’ve got the same chart, but showing only organic traffic.

Connect your data [optional]

See the Google Analytics connector documentation.

I’ll assume you have access to a GA account. If not, that’s fine—you can skip ahead to “Share your report”. Let’s swap your data for the sample GA account we’ve been using.

Select the time series component and click “Data Source” in the sidebar.

This will allow you to select any data source you have. You can also create a new data source from within the report building interface:

To connect to Google Analytics, you’ll have to choose an Account, Property, and View to use. On this new screen, select “Google Analytics”.

Because we’ve chosen a Google Analytics data source, Data Studio already knows how to interpret the data. If you wanted to use another data source you might have to tell Data Studio what its schema is. I’ve written a guide to using Google Sheets as a data source that you might find useful.

When you’re satisfied with the list of dimensions and metrics that Data Studio is showing you, click “Add to Report”.

Your chart will now be using the data source you’ve created. No other configuration required!

Share your report

Sharing a Data Studio report is slightly more complicated than in Google Docs. The most important thing you need to understand is how permissions work. That blog post is a crash course on the subject. The choice you’ll be making is whether you’re letting readers see data using your credentials.

For more details about sharing, check out these three documentation pages:

  1. Sharing documentation
  2. Report sharing documentation
  3. Data source sharing documentation

What we learned

In this tutorial, we covered all of the basics of Data Studio. Here’s a quick summary of what we learned:

  • How to start using Data Studio.
  • How to create a new report.
  • How to create a time series.
  • How to choose dimensions and metrics.
  • How to expand the date range.
  • How to label a chart.
  • How to make a chart interactive.
  • How to connect a data source.

Whew — that’s quite a bit. I hope you feel a well-deserved sense of accomplishment. Nice work!

Do more, learn more

That’s it for our tutorial, but not for your Data Studio journey. Here are a few things to try with your newfound skills:

  • Add a second chart type.
  • Add more pages to your report.
  • Change the size of a page.
  • Add another data source.
  • Make a component report-level instead of page-level.

As you iterate, check out these resources — they all helped me as I learned Data Studio.

Happy visualizing!

Google Data Studio: The Beginner’s Tutorial was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

How the New Google Image Update Helps Increase Traffic To Your Content

How the New Google Image Update Increases Traffic To Your Content

Google Images has seen some significant updates over the past few months, with the most recent update removing the “View Image” button and Image Search function. This update has divided users of Google’s service, as it made searching and downloading images a slightly longer process than before.

While the previous update may have dismayed a good number of users, this new update enhances the Google Image experience by adding title tags to the images that they are looking for. This new update aims to not only provide additional information and context, but also allow users to explore and discover content that is related to the images that you are looking for.

The Update at a Glance

The new Google Images update is released for the Google mobile app and on mobile browsers, which is a sign that Google is shifting its focus on mobile search. This is a good sign for mobile users, as it points to websites improving their page performance on mobile formats.

Let us look into the update. When you search for images in Google Search, the title of the article that the image is posted on will appear.

Google Images Update Title Tag

This brings in a new dimension when doing image searches, as you not only look for images that you need, but also discover informative and insightful articles that may prove to be useful. This update may be simple at a glance, but it opens up more opportunities for different websites to gain more traffic.

Taking Advantage of the Update

With this new update, Google Images can now be used as another way to look for content. The best way to make your content searchable in Google Images is to optimize the alt text of your images, which simply involves adding keywords or relevant tags into your images. This will allow your images to be found on Google Images, and is an effective way to increase traffic.

WordPress Alt Text

This is a simple yet very impactful step that helps your rankings significantly, and with this new update, its importance has now been emphasized much more. This is a great way for more users to access your content, which helps in making your website more visible.

This is even more beneficial for articles with images such as infographics, charts, and graphs, as these types of images are some of the most sought after by users. Image link building is another solid approach that you can take, as these links would direct to other webpages within your website, which further increases traffic.

Key Takeaway

As simple as this update may be, this can be a potential game changer, as users would be able to instantly have an initial idea of what the webpage contains other than the images themselves. Being an update that is released on mobile first also means that Google is strongly pushing to optimize their websites and services for mobile devices. 2018 is another busy year for Google’s tools and services. With updates like the Google Speed coming in the next few months, expect more from the search engine giant.

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

How the New Google Image Update Helps Increase Traffic To Your Content was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

What mathematics can teach us about email marketing?

This is a guest post from Christian Højbo Møller. Christian is educationally an economist but has spent most of his time being a marketer. Although he is specialized in SEO, he has been working with Owned Media as a discipline for many years. He is very data-driven and has an excellent head for math, which makes his view and points on email marketing specialist.

Christian, take it away.


Mathematics is a fantastic but difficult thing.

If you have ever seen the movie Moneyball, with Brad Pitt, then you must also have had the feeling that formulas, metrics and equations can explain things that we, as humans, have great difficulty unravelling ourselves.

When math is done right, it enables us to easily test out hypotheses by doing complex calculations on future scenarios – quickly.

If you are not a sabermetrician like Bill James (the man who began designing the baseball math), then don’t worry. I have done the calculations and build a calculator that will enable you to work with your own hypotheses.

via GIPHY

Just imagine some of the scenarios explained below. They are all developed by a set of neat ideas, good thoughts and important questions, but require a complex mathematical model to truly answer.

Frequency hypotheses

How often should we email our subscribers? How much and in what should we invest our resources to get the best and most lucrative outcome from our email marketing?

Imagine this…

Today your company has a monthly budget (mostly based on employee wages and software expenses) of $1200. Based on this budget the current aim is to send out two monthly newsletters that get a 40% open rate and a 10% click rate.

Create your hypotheses

  1. Would it be better to send three monthly (worse) emails that only get 35% open rate and 8% click rate?
  2. Would it be better to increase the budget by 50% to send that one additional email?
  3. Would it be better to double the budget to simply double the number of emails (we assume that the average click rate will decrease to 9% and the web conversion rate from mail decrease to 4,5%)?
  4. Would it be better to invest $15K to automate some systems that allow the team to stay on the same budget but send three emails a month?

Note: By the term “better” I am strictly referring to “would make more money”.

I have never met or read anyone who has a way of easily answering those questions.

I built a mathematical model for calculating, testing and analysing your email marketing setup in my startup. Follow the first link to read a more thorough account of the model, or scroll to “How to use the calculator” in this post to see it in action.

Additional status quo information

This model cannot tell you how the world works. However, if you have an idea of how the world works, it can tell you which of your thoughts are the best ones!

Given this information:

  • 10.000 existing permissions
  • 800 new permissions per month
  • 1,5% increase in new permissions per month
  • Unsubscribe rate is 0,5% per email
  • A natural 1,17% per month die-rate of emails
  • 0,08% inflation per month
  • 2% alternate monthly rate (discounting rate)
  • 5% sales conversion rate from email traffic
  • Average order value of $80
  • 50% margin on product

Which of the four hypothesis we created together do you expect to be the most lucrative over the next year? Next three years? Next five years?

Even if you are a mathematical genius who can perform multiple discounted cash flows in your head in a matter of minutes, this question requires a model:

When we use the mentioned model, we can calculate the monetary outcome of each hypothesis. This is the output of the model in one year, three years and five years:

Profits

Status quo

H1

H2

H3

H4

Short-term: 1 Year

9.485

10.086

13.498

8.966

2.875

Medium-term: 3 Years

48.253

47.963

66.304

53.794

64.800

Long-term: 5 Years

97.797

94.759

132.331

112.985

136.606

In both the short- and medium- run the 2nd hypothesis, where you increase the budget to send an extra monthly email, would be the most lucrative.

However, in the long run, the 4th hypothesis, where you invest 15K today to automate the process and thereby be able to send one additional email per month, would win your company the most money.

Perform several iterative experiments

What if you combined the 2nd and 4th hypothesis and do both?

Profits in

Status quo

H2

H4

H2 + H4

Short: 1 Year

9.485

13.498

2.875

6.429

Medium: 3 Years

48.253

66.304

64.800

79.447

Long: 5 Years

97.797

132.331

136.606

163.724

The 2nd hypothesis is still the best in the short run, but in the medium- and long run it would be highly beneficial to execute on both the 2nd and 4th hypothesis.

Performing the one-time investment of the 4th hypothesis and the continuous increase in the monthly budget of the 2nd hypothesis would increase profits in present value* from around 98K to around 164K – a huge gain in earnings.

*Money is worth less in the future than it is today. Money can be invested and thereby yield a return. Furthermore, inflation will make money worth less every year. This aspect of financial email marketing planning (called discounting) is important, especially in the medium and long run.

How to use the calculator

You can find the calculator right here, and make your own copy by clicking “File” then “Make a copy” and save a version of the Sheet to your own Google drive.

Below you can see how the calculator works. Input current “status quo” metrics in the first column and add “changes” in the hypothesis columns and watch the numbers change as you go.

What’s the point?

The mathematical model is on point. But that alone does by no mean secure a valid test of our hypotheses. Although the math is objectively true, the inputs are subjective and biased.

Questions like, how much does our click rate drop if we only spent half the time producing a great email? Or how much would our open rate drop if we sent out commercial newsletters once a week instead of once a month?

Those are delicate and unpredictable questions. They will vary from company to company and be estimated differently from marketer to marketer.

But the real world outcome doesn’t matter in decision making. Let me explain.

If you believe that your company’s open rate will decrease by 20% from 40% to 32% if you change your newsletter frequency from 2 times a month to 4 times a month, there is a way to calculate if that outcome is desirable – before running the actual real-world experiment.

I genuinely believe, however, that validating our intuitions can be valuable.

As Henri Poincare, one of the foundation builders of chaos theory said in The Foundations of Science:

It is far better to foresee even without certainty than not to foresee at all.

Knowing and understanding the positive or negative consequences of experimenting with the different variables of email marketing like open rate, frequency or click rates can help everyone make better business decisions moving forward.

Important considerations

Discount rate

One of the main variables in a discounted cash flow is the discount rate. The discount rate is the return you expect on your investments, ROI (in this case per month).

How do you know what discount rate to use?

A good start for someone new to financial models like this one is to ask yourself “how much is our company expecting to grow this year”?

Let’s pretend the answer to that question is 30%. Remember to not simply divide this yearly growth by 12 (30%/12 = 2,5%) to get it in months. Due to compound interest, a monthly growth of 2,5% is actually a yearly growth of 35%.

To easily calculate a reasonable monthly discount rate do this: (1+[forecasted/budgeted yearly growth in decimals])^(1/12)-1

Then you would get a monthly rate of (1+0,25)^(1/12)-1 = 0,0188 = 1,88%

So a monthly growth rate of 1,88% is equal to 25% yearly growth rate.

Short-, medium- or long-term investments

How far into the future do you want to plan? There is a big discrepancy between investing for short- and long-term gains. So, you should consider what time frame makes the most sense for your company.

Furthermore, this decision should be nested on the numbers.

You might not want to lose money next year in order to make 20K more over the next 5 years. However, it would be entirely different if you had to take a short-term loss to realize an extra 500K over the next 5 years.

Hypotheses to play with

  • Would it be lucrative to invest X today to increase the permission growth from Y to Z?
  • Would it be lucrative to invest X today in automating processes that allow you to increase your email frequency by Y emails per month?
  • Would it be lucrative to ask for a budget raise of X to improve the quality of every email and thereby increase click rates by Y percent?
  • Would it be lucrative to invest X today to increase the flow of new permissions per month from Y to Z?

You can also use the model to ask a different set of questions:

  • How much does the open rate have to increase for us to break even on a budget increase?
  • How much should the amount of monthly permission increase to make it worthwhile our resources to create so-called content upgrades for these six popular blog posts?

Collecting the pieces

To sum up, I believe that forecasting, test, calculating and validating our ideas and hypotheses before we do real-life experiments is super, super valuable.

This mathematical model should hopefully empower you to think harder about the tough questions in data-driven marketing and validate you and your team’s email ideas in the future.

I highly encourage you to post any questions in the comment section below or message and connect with me on LinkedIn (Buuuh, no Twitter? No… Twitter is a sad thing in Denmark).

What mathematics can teach us about email marketing? was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Woorank: The SEO Hacker Review

Woorank_The-SEO-Hacker-Review

SEO is a process that is made much more efficient and effective when the right tools are used. Here at SEO Hacker, we ensure that we have the best tools available. That means trying out new the latest tools and technology to see which one would fit best for our team.

Speaking of new tools, one of the tools that we have tried recently is Woorank, which is an SEO and website analysis tool that allows us to track down website rankings, and see how well are they performing. With features like advanced website reviews, competitive analysis, marketing checklist, keyword tool, and site crawl analysis, Woorank aims to bring in more versatility to our diverse variety of SEO tools.

Before we begin this review, we would like to invite you to try out Woorank by signing up for their free trial.

Starting with Woorank

Upon logging into Woorank, you can instantly create a review by simply entering the URL. You can choose between Advanced and Standard Review, with the former providing you with a more detailed report. The amount of Advanced Reviews that you can use is limited, while you can do an unlimited amount of standard reviews. Either way, both options are able to provide you with sufficient amount of data.

Woorank Main Page

Woorank also lists down the reviews that you have already done, along with their score, and options such as starting an Advanced Review, downloading a PDF, and download slides for your report. You also get to see the Woorank score of the website, which is their measurement of website performance, with 100 being the highest. Now that’s been covered, we can start by looking at the reviews.

Website Review

For the website reviews section, let us take a look in one of the reviews that we have done as a sample. The sample URL here is google.com, which has an 88 score at Woorank, which gives it a solid score indicative of good performance. Let’s click on that and begin viewing the review.

Woorank Review Google

Upon clicking the review, you immediately see the Woorank score, along with the options to refresh your review, download the report, or start an Advanced review. All of the data is displayed in a single page, which is why quick navigation buttons are present to make it easier to get through different sections. Let us look into each detail more closely.

Marketing Checklist

Woorank Marketing Checklist

The first section of the review is the Marketing Checklist, which is a list of actions that you can undertake to optimize your website. The checklist is personalized, which means that these steps are tailor-made for your website. You can also perform an internal review of one of the pages within your website, which would provide you with a similar amount of data and steps for individual pages within your website.

SEO

The second section of the website review is about the website’s SEO. This will help  you determine how search engine-friendly your website is by looking into key details. The first few segments of the SEO review tackles some of the basic details, such as title tag, meta description, Google preview, headings, and the Keywords Cloud. The Keywords Cloud shows you some of the keywords that are frequently used within the webpage, which helps with your keyword research efforts.

Woorank SEO 1

The next segment shows the Keyword Consistency, Alt Attribute, and the Discovered Pages. Keyword Consistency shows you some of the most frequent keywords entered by the users. Alt attributes refer to the alt text that help search engines crawl on images. Discovered Pages refer to the number of bots that are able to discover your page, which helps increase its presence in search engines.

Woorank SEO 2

The next section shows Keyword Consistency, which shows the most frequently used keywords in the website, Alt Attributes, which help make your images present in search engines, and Discovered Pages, which is the amount of bots that access your page.

Woorank SEO 3

The next section reviews the links within your website. In-page links lists down all the links present in the website, while Broken Links track down links that need to be optimized. WWW Resolve ensures that your website can be accessed with or without the www. prefix.

Woorank SEO 4

The next section is the Robots.txt, XML Sitemap, Sitemaps Validity, and Underscored in the URLs. Robots.txt and XML Sitemap makes sure that the right pages are being indexed for search engines. Sitemaps Validity and Underscored in the URLs are indicators of webpage searchability, and makes it easier for crawlers to access these pages.

Woorank SEO 5

The last part of the SEO section is the Blocking Factors, Domain Registration, Blog, and Related Websites. Blocking Factors is a list of reasons that your website can be blocked or penalized by Google. Domain Registration shows the Domain age, and the date in which the domain would expire. The blog section check if a website has a blog section for posting content. Related websites show your competitors, and some statistics such as pages, backlinks, and their Woorank score.

Mobile

The second main section of the review is the Mobile, which reviews the mobile-friendliness of your website.

Woorank Mobile 1

The first few parts are pretty straightforward, as you can view the mobile friendliness rating, mobile rendering on desktop and mobile, Touchscreen Readiness, Mobile Compatibility, and Font Size Legibility. Mobile SEO is now becoming bigger this 2018, and making sure that you website is ready for mobile ensures that your website is ready.

Woorank Mobile 2

The next three parts allow you to review your Mobile Viewport, Mobile Speed, and Mobile Frameworks. Once again, these are indicators that would help keep your website’s mobile friendliness in check.

Usability

The third section reviews the usability of your website, and is another look the some of the basic details of  your website. These  include the URL, Favicon, 404 page, Asset Minification, Compression, and Cacheability, and Language.

Woorank Usability 1

Scrolling down, you also get a list of related domains that are available to be acquired. Since we’re using Google as an example, most of the domains registered under their company, along with the typos, are completely taken. This is helpful for websites that are looking for related domains in different regions, or provide users with another way of being able to find your website.

Woorank Usability 2

The last two parts of this section includes Email Privacy and Trust Indicators. Email privacy looks for any email address that might be present within your website, which is a sound security measure. Trust indicators are indicators of how reliable the website is, and how safe it is for children to access it.

Woorank Usability 3

Technologies

The Technologies section take a look at tools and other applications present in your website, along with details like server IP and document type. You also get some speed tips, which would help you optimize your website and improve the loading speed.

Woorank Technologies 1

This section would help you check if the tools that you are using in your website are active, and it does not affect the user experience.

Backlinks

Another common feature in most SEO tools and applications are link checkers. For Woorank, this tool tracks down the number of backlinks present, along with the backlinks score. You also get the number of referring domains. These are important link building statistics that help you know how effective your link building campaign is.

Woorank Backlinks

Social

This section is about your website’s presence and activity on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. This shows you the amount of shared and posts related to your website.

Woorank Social 1

Woorank also checks for your website’s Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages. You also get to view some details like number of followers and URLs.

Woorank Social 2

Woorank Social 3

Local

The Local section is to check if your website is listed in any local directories near your area. This can be sites like Yelp and Foursquare, which provide the location, and the ability for users to post reviews. This is essential for local SEO, as it helps make it easier for users to know about your business.

Woorank Local 1

Visitors

The last section of the review, this part shows the the amount of traffic that your website receives on a regular basis. Along with that, you are able to see the locations where traffic for your website is the highest. This is a handy feature that helps you optimize your website to cater to some of these locations, and know your audience more.

Woorank Visitors

Verdict

With a quick and efficient process, Woorank is already one of the most reliable tools in our toolbox. This tool enables us to create detailed reviews that are easy to understand, which helps us determine the best steps to optimize different websites. This is one tool that we’d definitely recommend and use  regularly, crafting SEO reports can now be made in a few clicks.

Key Takeaway

Once again, we have found an SEO tool that delivers. Woorank is a handy tool to use, and its user-friendliness makes work quicker and more efficient. Finding a tool that does this much can be a challenge. Thankfully, Woorank is an affordable tool that helps you keep track of your website’s performance.

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

 

Woorank: The SEO Hacker Review was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing