Month: October 2018

SEO Powersuite Review Part 2: WebSite Auditor and LinkAssistant

SEO Powersuite Review Part 2: WebSite Auditor and LinkAssistant

SEO Powersuite is one of the most versatile SEO tools in the market, with four different tools that allow you to devise your own successful SEO strategies. In our previous article, we have reviewed the Rank Tracker and SEO Spyglass, and saw a good amount of positives that make SEO much more effective.

The first two tools gave us a good impression on what SEO Powersuite can provide, which makes us very excited to see what the next two tools would provide. Let us take a look at the next pair of tools and see how they perform.

WebSite Auditor

The first of the second pair is the WebSite Auditor, which allows you to be able to analyze links within a website and look through each resource. We have experience using these kinds of tools, as Woorank and Google Lighthouse are the other audit tools that we have tried out.

To get started, all you have to do is to start a new project and enter the URL of the website that you want to audit. Depending on the number of pages and links, it can take a while for the tool to thoroughly assess.

Once it has been done, you can take a look at the Site Structure, which breaks down each part of the website audit into parts that would help you understand and assess much more efficiently. The Site Audit section provides you with an overview of the important parts of your website and assesses elements such as mobile-friendliness, indexing, redirect links, images, and URLs.

Site Audit

This section works like a standard website auditing tool and provides an instant look into website issues that you might need to resolve. For example, clicking the Broken Links section allows me to take a look at these links to see for myself which of these links are not working, allowing me to be able to update them.

Visualization

The next section is Visualization, which provides you with an interactive map of all of the links within your website. This allows you to see which pages are interconnected to each other and track down specific links that you want to work on. While it may look like a fancy feature at a glance, this is pretty helpful, as you can instantly see connected links much better, and have a better idea on how each web page is connected to one another.

Pages

Pages are the section where you would be able to view each web page and view details such as the number of links, links from the page, tags, and word count. This comes in handy when it comes to checking individual pages, like blogs, and see if they contain the right links and amount of words to generate traffic.

All Resources

The next section is the All Resources, which allows you to see all of your website resources and take a look at some of the links that can be found on other pages. This is a more organized list of links, which makes tracking them down and splitting them into categories a much easier task.

Page Audit

Page Audit is a section that works in a similar way to Website Audit, except in single page form. This works well when taking a look at pages that are performing well, along with ones that aren’t, as you can see if there are any issues that need to be resolved.

Content Editor

Content Editor allows you to be able to edit parts of your web page directly, allowing for more quick edits when needed. This comes in handy for typographical errors or adding or removing entries requested by a client.

TD IDF

TF-IDF is a section where you can view keywords from various pages. This allows you to see which web pages are using competitive keywords, which aids your keyword research strategy to an extent.

Reports

Finally, the Reports button allows you to compress all of these sections into one single report that can be printed and sent to your team or clients. A reports feature is a staple in most SEO tools, and Website Auditor provides a detailed and concise set of data easy to view and understand.

LinkAssistant

LinkAssistant is a prospect finding tool in a vein similar to Prospect.io and allows you to analyze web pages to look for possible leads and contacts. The Prospects section allows you to search for prospect email addresses within web pages. This is very effective, as our team tends to do this manually, which takes more time than it should.

Prospects

This feature allows us to execute this process much quicker, as it helps us look for contacts that we might overlook, expanding our contacts list much better.

Email

Emails allow you to send in emails to your contacts instantly, which means you would not have to switch browsers when sending in emails to your prospects. This also makes looking for prospect emails much easier, as you would no longer have to filter them out in your work account.

Browser

The Browser section allows you to harvest URLs within a single web page and look for prospects. This makes the process of looking through web pages for contacts a much better experience, and almost guarantees that we would be able to find contacts.

Overall, this might be the simplest of the four tools, but it certainly is one of the most effective, as it enables us to look for more people that might be interested with working for us and build business connections that enable more growth.

Verdict

The second pair of SEO Powersuite tools is surely very effective and useful, just as the previously-reviewed tools were. The ability to be able to analyze websites and provide quick fixes and assessments, along with being able to find more prospects in a more efficient fashion makes these set of tools a must-have.

Key Takeaway

SEO Powersuite is truly a wonderful SEO tool package, as you have four effective tools that provide a diverse variety of functions. From keyword research to searching for prospects, this is truly one of the more versatile SEO tools around, and definitely a fitting addition to anyone’s toolbox.

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

SEO Powersuite Review Part 2: WebSite Auditor and LinkAssistant was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

How Google’s Knowledge Graph Updates Itself by Answering Questions

How A Knowledge Graph Updates Itself

To those of us who are used to doing Search Engine Optimization, we’ve been looking at URLs filled with content, and links between that content, and how algorithms such as PageRank (based upon links pointed between pages) and information retrieval scores based upon the relevance of that content have been determining how well pages rank in search results in response to queries entered into search boxes by searchers. Web pages connected by links have been seen as information points connected by nodes. This was the first generation of SEO.

Search has been going through a transformation. Back in 2012, Google introduced something it refers to as the knowledge graph, in which they told us that they would begin focusing upon indexing things instead of strings. By “strings,” they were referring to words that appear in queries, and in documents on the Web. By “things,” they were referring to named entities, or real and specific people, places, and things. When people searched at Google, the search engines would show Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) filled with URLs to pages that contained the strings of letters that we were searching for. Google still does that, and is slowly changing to showing search results that are about people, places, and things.

Google started showing us in patents how they were introducing entity recognition to search, as I described in this post:
How Google May Perform Entity Recognition

They now show us knowledge panels in search results that tell us about the people, places, and things they recognize in the queries we perform. In addition to crawling webpages and indexing the words on those pages, Google is collecting facts about the people, places, and things it finds on those pages.

A Google Patent that was just granted in the past week tells us about how Google’s knowledge graph updates itself when it collects information about entities, their properties and attributes and relationships involving them. This is part of the evolution of SEO that is taking place today – learning how Search is changing from being based upon search to being based upon knowledge.

What does the patent tell us about knowledge? This is one of the sections that details what a knowledge graph is like that Google might collect information about when it indexes pages these days:

Knowledge graph portion includes information related to the entity [George Washington], represented by [George Washington] node. [George Washington] node is connected to [U.S. President] entity type node by [Is A] edge with the semantic content [Is A], such that the 3-tuple defined by nodes and the edge contains the information “George Washington is a U.S. President.” Similarly, “Thomas Jefferson Is A U.S. President” is represented by the tuple of [Thomas Jefferson] node 310, [Is A] edge, and [U.S. President] node. Knowledge graph portion includes entity type nodes [Person], and [U.S. President] node. The person type is defined in part by the connections from [Person] node. For example, the type [Person] is defined as having the property [Date Of Birth] by node and edge, and is defined as having the property [Gender] by node 334 and edge 336. These relationships define in part a schema associated with the entity type [Person].

Note that SEO is no longer just about how often certain words appear on pages of the Web, what words appear in links to those pages, in page titles, and headings, alt text for images, and how often certain words may be repeated or related words may be used. Google is looking at the facts that are mentioned about entities, such as entity types like a “person,” and properties, such as “Date of Birth,” or “Gender.”

Note that quote also mentions the word “Schema” as in “These relationships define in part a schema associated with the entity type [Person].” As part of the transformation of SEO from Strings to Things, The major Search Engines joined forces to offer us information on how to use Schema for structured data on the Web to provide a machine readable way of sharing information with search engines about the entities that we write about, their properties, and relationships.

I’m writing about this patent because I am participating in a Webinar online about Knowledge Graphs and how those are being used, and updated. The Webinar is tomorrow at: #SEOisAEO: How Google Uses The Knowledge Graph in its AE algorithm. I haven’t been referring to SEO as Answer Engine Optimization, or AEO and it’s unlikely that I will start, but see it as an evolution of SEO

I’m writing about this Google Patent, because it starts out with the following line which it titles “Background:”

This disclosure generally relates to updating information in a database. Data has previously been updated by, for example, user input.

This line points to the fact that this approach no longer needs to be updated by users, but instead involves how Google knowledge graphs update themselves.

Updating Knowledge Graphs

I attended a Semantic Technology and Business conference a couple of year ago, where the head of Yahoo’s knowledge base presented, and he was asked a number of questions in a question and answer session after he spoke. Someone asked him what happens when information from a knowledge graph changes and it needs to be updated?

His Answer was that a knowledge graph would have to be updated manually to have new information place within it.

That wasn’t a satisfactory answer because it would have been good to hear that the information from such a source could be easily updated. I’ve been waiting for Google to answer a question like this, which made seeing a line like this one from this patent a good experience:

In some implementations, a system identifies information that is missing from a collection of data. The system generates a question to provide to a question answering service based on the missing information, and uses the response from the question answering service to update the collection of data.

This would be a knowledge graph update, so that patent provides details using language that reflects that exacly:

In some implementations, a computer-implemented method is provided. The method includes identifying an entity reference in a knowledge graph, wherein the entity reference corresponds to an entity type. The method further includes identifying a missing data element associated with the entity reference. The method further includes generating a query based at least in part on the missing data element and the type of the entity reference. The method further includes providing the query to a query processing engine. The method further includes receiving information from the query processing engine in response to the query. The method further includes updating the knowledge graph based at least in part on the received information.

How does the search engine do this? The patent provides more information that fills in such details.

The approaches to achieve this would be to:

…Identifying a missing data element comprises comparing properties associated with the entity reference to a schema table associated with the entity type.

…Generating the query comprises generating a natural language query. This can involve selecting, from the knowledge graph, disambiguation query terms associated with the entity reference, wherein the terms comprise property values associated with the entity reference, or updating the knowledge graph by updating the data graph to include information in place of the missing data element.

…Identifying an element in a knowledge graph to be updated based at least in part on a query record. Operations further include generating a query based at least in part on the identified element. Operations further include providing the query to a query processing engine. Operations further include receiving information from the query processing engine in response to the query. Operations further include updating the knowledge graph based at least in part on the received information.

A knowledge graph updates itself in these ways:

(1) The knowledge Graph may be updated with one or more previously performed searches.
(2) The knowledge Graph may be updated with a natural language query, using disambiguation query terms associated with the entity reference, wherein the terms comprise property values associated with the entity reference.
(3) The knowledge Graph may use properties associated with the entity reference to include information updating missing data elements.

The patent that describes how Google’s knowledge graph updates themselves is:

Question answering to populate knowledge base
Inventors: Rahul Gupta, Shaohua Sun, John Blitzer, Dekang Lin, Evgeniy Gabrilovich
Assignee: Google
US Patent: 10,108,700
Granted: October 23, 2018
Filed: March 15, 2013

Abstract

Methods and systems are provided for a question answering. In some implementations, a data element to be updated is identified in a knowledge graph and a query is generated based at least in part on the data element. The query is provided to a query processing engine. Information is received from the query processing engine in response to the query. The knowledge graph is updated based at least in part on the received information.


Copyright © 2018 SEO by the Sea ⚓. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact SEO by the Sea, so we can take appropriate action immediately.
Plugin by Taragana

How Google’s Knowledge Graph Updates Itself by Answering Questions was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

3 SEO Split Tests You Should Try

Yes, split testing for SEO is a thing, and a powerful one at that. In How Split Testing Is Changing Consulting, Will sums up why high priority SEO changes linger in developer backlogs, and how we’re addressing these issues with our ODN platform that allows us to test and roll out these recommendations without using our clients’ developer resources: we can substantiate best practices like H1 changes, alterations to internal links, and rendering content with and without Javascript.

Let’s get started with three tests you should try to see if you can increase organic traffic to your site.

1. Do H1 changes still work?

It won’t come as any surprise to SEOs that testing on page elements can produce significant changes in rankings. That said, I’ve found that folks can put too much stock in on page elements: we tend to get keyword-tunnel vision and chock up our rankings to keyword targeting alone. As a result, being able to test these assumptions on Google can help (dis)prove our hypotheses (and help us prioritize the right development work).

For iCanvas.com, prioritizing web development work is key: they’re a canvas print company with a robust team of developers, but like most companies, they have limited resources to test technical changes. As a result, dubious SEO-driven changes can’t be prioritized over user experience-driven ones.

We did, however, notice that iCanvas was not targeting product type in their H1 tags. As a result, this is what a typical category page (like this one) looked like.

Here, the H1 tag was simply “Beach Decor.” iCanvas was communicating the style and subject of their products in their title tags–that product being canvas art prints–but that context was lost on a given category page. We hypothesized that if we told the world (and, more specifically, Google) what the products are (canvas prints), that we would better meet users’ search intents resulting in more organic search traffic to our test pages. Here’s what the H1 looked like for the test::

After less than a month, we had our answer: our test pages with canvas prints appended to H1 tags gained significantly more traffic than our control pages. How’d we measure that?

It helps to know how ODN works (also check out Craig’s post, What is SEO Split Testing?). The most important thing to know in understanding the chart above is that ODN observes the organic traffic your site captures in real time to develop a forecast for the organic traffic we’d expect to receive in the future. That’s how we got to the nice “7.7% uplift if rolled out” estimate. There is of course volatility–forecasts are rarely perfect, and ours isn’t an exception. Which is why we also measure statistical significance within the normal range of variance we’d expect.

As a result, we were confident that this change would positively impact traffic to their site, so we declared this test a winner and rolled the change out to all of their category pages through ODN. This meant that we didn’t have to hijack our developers’ work queue in order to see an immediate benefit. Additionally, we had evidence we could bring to our devs instead of relying exclusively on the promise of following “best practices” in keyword targeting.

2. Will altering internal links give you a big payoff?

Testing changes to internal links is often an ill-defined endeavor. Do you measure changes to PageRank (dubbed local PageRank by Will Critchlow)? Should you look at your log files to observe changes to Google’s crawling behavior?

In our case, iCanvas had a somewhat simpler internal linking issue we wanted to address: self-referential links. As an art company, it’s essential to attribute the creator’s name to their work of art.

As a result, they had made the decision to include a link to the artist of the work on every product listing.

For instance, in the above screenshot of a category page, you can see that each product has its artist listed, and those artists’ names are linked to pages listing all of their available artworks on iCanvas. While this application made sense for category pages where various artists’ products are featured alongside each other, it resulted in redundant links on those individual artists’ pages.

Each of these artist attributions, on the artist’s category page, were linking back to themselves (thus: self-referential links). Our hypothesis was that if we removed these redundant links, we’d better consolidate our PageRank. We knew this change could have a dramatic impact on artists’ products, resulting in more organic traffic flowing to their product pages. Our test, however, would measure the impact of organic traffic acquisition to our test group of artist pages. So how did it turn out?

As it turned out, our test was a success: artist pages in our test group received more organic traffic than our control pages. We were again able to test something that would’ve been touted as “best practice” before rolling it out sitewide, or manually setting up test and control groups and measuring the results ourselves. Once we saw the positive impact (less than a month later), we rolled this change out sitewide and the validation we needed to get the necessary development work prioritized.

3. How good is Google at crawling JavaScript?

If you follow our blog, you’ve already read about how we tested Google’s ability to crawl and render JavaScript. We posited that, because Google wasn’t reliably displaying iCanvas’ products in its Fetch and Render tool, iCanvas’ category and product pages would receive more organic traffic if we used a CSS trigger to load their products instead of relying exclusively on JavaScript.

Above is a screenshot of what we saw (and, presumably, what Googlebot saw) in Fetch and Render of a category page.

After our tweak, however, we plugged one of our test URLs into Fetch and Render, and we could finally produce what users see in their browsers with JS enabled. But did it actually result in additional organic traffic to our test pages?

As you can see above, it did. Based on the performance of our test pages, iCanvas would see an extra 88 pageviews daily with their products triggered through a line of CSS instead of JS. Measuring the impact of this relatively simple change could have taken much longer than this month-long experiment. By the end though, we were ready to roll this out sitewide to ensure that all iCanvas products were crawlable and discoverable.

Split testing something as simple as on page SEO can produce meaningful traffic changes that’ll allow you to validate best practices and get necessary evidence for your stakeholders (and developers) to buy into your suggestions. Is it time for you to try SEO split testing?

3 SEO Split Tests You Should Try was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

The Easiest Way of Adding Aggregate Rating Schema using Coding

The Easiest Way of Adding Aggregate Rating Schema using Coding

In this digital age, with businesses flocking to the convenience of the internet, competition for the customers’ attention is high. In order to win in the online business world, you will have to get the attention of the customers first. One way of getting it is the implementation of aggregate rating.

What is aggregate rating?

Aggregate Rating

Have you noticed that when searching the internet, you encountered some search results with star ratings? And admit it, even though those results are not at the top of the SERPs or Search Engine Results Page, those sites caught your attention first.

Aggregate rating is a collection of reviews from users. This enables Google to feature your review ratings and attract customers with it.

There are three forms of markup that you can utilize to enable aggregate ratings on your site.

Microdata

Microdata is one of the forms of structured data markup that is nested within the HTML content. It is usually nested in the page body and can also be used in the head. It uses HTML tag attributes to label the properties that you want to turn as structured data.

RDFa

RDFa or Resource Description Framework in Attributes is an HTML5 extension similar to Microdata. However, it is utilizing a different set of codes compared to Microdata when it comes to describing your content to search engines. RDFa is commonly used in both the head and body sections of the HTML page.

JSON-LD

JSON-LD or JavaScript Object Notation-Linked Data is a JavaScript notation embedded in a <script> tag in the page head or body. This is considered to be the simplest to implement by inserting the markup in the HTML without wrapping it within the HTML elements.

In this article, we will be applying aggregate ratings using JSON. Not only that it is easier to implement compared to Microdata and RDFa, but it is also what Google recommends to use for structured data whenever possible.

What you need to do before adding the aggregate ratings:

Before you start adding your codes to enable your aggregate rating, remember these essential requirements.

  • Have a reviews page. Not only this serves as a reference for your aggregate ratings, it will also show that you didn’t make up your ratings.
  • Never place your ratings on your homepage. According to Google guidelines, implementation of reviews should refer precisely to a specific product or service and not a category or a list of items. Therefore,
  • By default, Google assumes your site uses a 5-point scale. Where 5 is the best and 0 is the worst but you can also use other scales. However, remember not to go overboard with your ratings.
  • Mind your review count and avoid faking your review count. Another one of Google guidelines stated refrain from marking up misleading and irrelevant content.
  • Slow down from marking up all your pages at once with review stars, it is best to do it gradually.
  • Doesn’t mean that you applied the code means you will see your star ratings to appear. You need to have authority and page for that.

How to Add it:

There are many ways you can add aggregate rating schema on your page. Coding it manually is one of them. Here’s how you can apply an aggregate rating schema using coding.

Identify the details

If you are adding aggregate ratings for a product, you have to list the details to be marked up. For example, if you have a product, you will be marking up the name of your product, it’s description, availability, etc. Moreover, you have to know the status of the ratings that the product have.

There are some properties in aggregateRating that require some information to work. This is why identifying the details that you wanted to mark up is important.

 

Assign details according to schema.org

If you are adding an aggregate rating in your product in JSON format, here is a sample of a basic and working code that you can use. Just replace the name of your product and the appropriate values in the parenthesis.

Note: the aggregateRating array can be placed anywhere and can still work. However, to make it easier for you, it is best to place it after the details.

aggregate Rating Array

Integrating your code

Using JSON markup is easier. As long as it is within the <script>, it will not affect your HTML codes and just adds the markup. If your markup has an error, it will not affect your page in any way, however, the star rating that you placed will not be featured. You can put your markup code either within the <head> or the <body> of your HTML code. However, it is preferable that you put in within the <head>.

Checking your code

There are plenty of tools online that you can use in order to check the status of your markup. One of the most useful and reliable tools is Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. You can test and check your codes there as well as preview some of the snippets that will be shown in the SERPs.

Using the above code, if it works, you’ll be able to see this result in the tool.

aggregateRating Result

Bear in mind that there is no guarantee you will be able to see your star rating appear in the search results. Google will decide whether to feature it in the SERPs or not. Knowing the guidelines is very important if you want to increase your chances that Google will feature your markup.

Implement review stars accordingly

Despite being in the technological era, people still value other people’s opinions regarding a specific product or service. In the digital world, it is represented by reviews.

By having your very own star rating when your site shows in the SERPs, you are showcasing your credibility and worth to the searchers. And as mentioned before, star ratings are great with catching attention. Utilizing review stars for your services or products, this will increase your click-through-rate.

So are you ready to reach for the stars?

The Easiest Way of Adding Aggregate Rating Schema using Coding was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Shopify SEO Best Practices: 7 Traffic Boosting Tips That Work

Ecommerce

If you want to succeed in today’s ecommerce world, search engine optimization (SEO) needs to be a substantial part of your strategy.

You can have great products, the best online store, and a top-notch product. But if no one can find you in the search engines, you won’t sell anything.

But SEO can be a difficult task. And if you go it alone, there’s a lot that can slip through the cracks.

One potential solution to this is to use an ecommerce platform like Shopify to help ease your introduction to SEO and help you sell effectively.

In this article, I want to introduce you to Shopify and how it can impact your SEO.

So to get started, let’s look at what Shopify does and why you should consider it.

Why Use Shopify?

As I’ve already alluded to, Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows you to build a store and start selling with relative ease.

And when you look at the success stories, it’s easy to get drawn in by everything Shopify has to offer. For example, the indie game developers at Snowman recently launched a merch store through Shopify that brought in 60% of their previous year’s revenue in just 30 days.

That’s a huge positive push in Shopify’s direction.

But does it live up to the hype?

From a numbers perspective, Shopify is no small apple. They boast that more than 600,000 businesses have won more than $63 billion worth of sales on their platform.

(Image Source)

So for store owners who are looking for a solid, proven platform, Shopify seems like a good go-to pick. Reviews widely agree that it’s easy to use for newcomers and a great choice for a more aesthetically-oriented user experience.

If you are new to selling online or if you get stuck, Shopify also gives you access to tons of helpful resources that can help you troubleshoot and fix common issues.

And if you’re not a gifted web developer and designer, there’s a vast library of plug-and-play themes that will help you.

More benefits include:

  • High level of flexibility
  • Easy-to-use backend
  • Built-in tools designed to help you grow
  • No coding required.

And on top of all that, Shopify’s platform comes at a fair price.

So it’s clear that Shopify is an enticing ecommerce platform. No matter what your experience level is, it can help you sell your products.

But now for the big question:

Is Shopify a good ecommerce platform for SEO?

And here’s the honest answer: It can be.

Get Your Free Shopify SEO Checklist

Enter your email and instantly get a Shopify SEO Checklist to ensure that your store is following SEO best practices.

If you are human, leave this field blank.
Get Checklist

As we’ve seen, Shopify is great if you want to keep things simple. In keeping with that theme, they’ve designed their platform to be a great turnkey solution for those who are new to SEO. You don’t have to sweat the basics, which is a huge plus for many.

But there’s one major downside with Shopify that undermines your ability to get to the top of the search rankings.

Shopify technically owns your store, even if you use your own domain name. That means that much of the true SEO tinkering that you’re able to do with a WordPress site is nonexistent.

You’re completely at the whim of their larger structure, which may not always be good for your specific brand.

That being said, there are still ways that you can optimize your store and improve your rankings.

Tips to Improve the Organic Performance

If you want to beef up your Shopify SEO efforts, there are at least seven proven tips that will help you boost your traffic. Let’s take a look at them.

SEO tip #1: Be sure to use SSL

When someone comes to your site to spend money, they want to know if their information will be secure.

Consequently, so does Google.

They announced in 2014 that HTTPS encryption (also referred to as SSL) on sites would be a minor ranking signal. Since that announcement, webmasters have seen a steady increase in HTTPS pages that make it on the front pages of Google.

(Image Source)

So if you want to generate more traffic to your online store, then one of the best ways to start is ensuring security across the board by using HTTPS.

And thankfully, Shopify makes this easy by offering it as a free service. But since it’s not a default setting, you’ll still need to turn it on.

To do so, you’ll just go to your Shopify Admin and Activate SSL.

It’s a simple step, but it’s a great start for your SEO.

SEO tip #2: Use an SEO app

While Shopify boasts solid out-of-the-box SEO, it’s always a good idea to use an extra tool where you can. It has a robust app store with thousands of possible add-ons for your store, which you should use to your advantage.

When it comes to SEO, there are plenty of affordable and effective apps that will help you double-check your efforts and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

A good place to start is with an app called SEO Doctor. It offers a quick fix for many basic SEO issues, and it will even help you see what your competition is doing for SEO.

(Image Source)

Finding the right SEO app is by far the fastest way to get everything optimized for your online store. At the very least, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that you have the basics taken care of.

SEO tip #3: Utilize Google Search Console

One of the major SEO pitfalls of Shopify is that it doesn’t always make it easy for Google to crawl and categorize your online store.

And if Google doesn’t have a good understanding of your store, then it will be much harder to rank.

Thankfully, this is a pretty easy fix. You’ll just need to manually submit your sitemap to Google Search Console.

Here’s a quick video that will help you find your sitemap:

https://youtu.be/kM1m4fQUr4Q

Once you have your sitemap’s URL, navigate to Google Search Console and set it up if you haven’t already.

You’ll see an option that says “Sitemaps” in the navigation bar. When you find it, click it.

On this page, you’ll see a toolbar where you can add your sitemap URL. Copy/paste it into the box and then hit “Submit.”

That’s all there is to it. Google will now have an accurate picture of your site, which means that it can crawl and assess it the way you want them to.

Get Your Free Shopify SEO Checklist

Enter your email and instantly get a Shopify SEO Checklist to ensure that your store is following SEO best practices.

If you are human, leave this field blank.
Get Checklist

SEO tip #4: Focus on user experience

Customers that come to your site want to be able to use it intuitively. If it’s hard to find products or navigate, then they’ll likely just leave.

That means that everything you’ve done to win that traffic just goes down the drain.

That why SEO and user experience should work hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other.

So how can you do that with Shopify?

One essential element that you must have is a mobile-friendly site. Google recently announced that mobile-first indexing is rolling out, which means your mobile site is going to be the biggest factor of your SEO.

If you have a poorly designed mobile site or none at all, Google will see that as a poor user experience and dock your rank accordingly.

But besides a mobile-friendly site, here are the recommended user experience tips from Shopify:

  1. Prioritize function over design. Get them to work together if you can.
  2. Customer-centric copy comes first.
  3. Build your navigation so that it’s intuitive.

Those tips are rather broad, but that’s for a good reason. Every site is going to have a different user experience, structure, navigational need, and so on.

And it’s broad because user experience requires input from a broad range of inputs. You have to consider the humans behind the design, your desired outcomes, and the hard data about how your site performs.

(Image Source)

Thus, this is an extensive, long-term process. You’ll have to refine your user experience over the years — much like other SEO disciplines.

But the pursuit is worth it. With the right user experience in place, you’ll be able to win more traffic, keep them longer, and turn them into customers.

SEO Tip #5: Boost Your Site Speed

If you haven’t already heard, your website’s loading speed is a huge ranking factor in Google’s recent updates.

So if your site is slow, you’ll have a hard time edging out the competition.

Thankfully, there are some robust (and free) tools that can help you stay ahead of this situation.

First of all, you’ll need a reliable way to test your site’s speed. A quick Google search will give you about a dozen or so, but you only need one. My suggestion is to use a site like Pingdom.

Image Source

When you insert your website’s URL (or a product page’s URL), Pingdom lets you test its speed from anywhere in the world. If you have an international audience, this a great tool to ensure their load time is optimal.

You also get a pretty good assessment of how fast your site loads, as well as a comparison to other sites from around the world.

Image Source

And if you don’t like what you see, there are options to help you lower your site’s size and boost overall load times.

For example, a tool like Tiny PNG will allow you to compress large images into smaller, speed-oriented versions. This is especially useful for product pages that may have more than one image.

Another good option would be to utilize Accelerated Mobile Pages (or AMP) to create near-instantaneous load times on your mobile site.

Any of these options are good for optimizing your site and decreasing load times. It may not sound like much, but every second counts in ecommerce.

SEO Tip #6: Optimize and Update Your Product Pages

When you’re creating your finished product page, you want to make sure that it’s using the best practices, and that you update it from time to time for “freshness.”

Let’s look at what that means in practice with a real-life Shopify store created by Bremont.

On any of their product pages, you’ll find keyword-optimized titles, internal links to high-value pages, suggestions for cross-selling, and top-notch product imagery.

Image Source

Combined, all of these elements means the page has a higher chance at ranking well for the given product.

Another great example of this, albeit with a different style, comes from Condor Cycles. Their emphasis is more copy-driven but still contains the elements pointed out above.

Image Source

But where do updates come into play with these product pages?

According to a study published by Moz, Google seems to have a preference for “fresh” content.

Over time, your product descriptions, images, and other copy will start to get a little “stale” from an SEO standpoint. That means it will be less successful for the searches you want to rank for.

Image Source

To combat this, it’s good to do regular audits of your product pages (and other content) to ensure that it’s not stagnating. If you see a page moving in the opposite direction, that’s a good sign that you need to update your copy and images.

Get Your Free Shopify SEO Checklist

Enter your email and instantly get a Shopify SEO Checklist to ensure that your store is following SEO best practices.

If you are human, leave this field blank.
Get Checklist

SEO Tip #7: Set Up 301 Redirects For Unused or Discontinued Pages

In many cases, when a product is temporarily out of stock, you’ll want to display that on your product page without changing or redirecting your page. While inconvenient to your customer, product pages with out of stock items will still retain their SEO value.

But what happens if a user comes to your site expecting to find a product that you’ll never sell again, only to find a 404 error page?

The likely outcome is that they leave your site forever.

When users “bounce” like this, it can severely impact your SEO.

The solution is to set up 301 redirects in this situation.

To do this in Shopify, select the Online Store section in your toolbar. Then choose Navigation and find the URL Redirects option.

Image Source

Use this to set up the redirect to a newer page with an in-stock item. Or, if you do a full website redesign at some point, use this to ensure that you don’t miss customers due to newer URLs.

With fewer bounces, you’ll have better long-term SEO, and hopefully more customers as well.

Just make sure to use this strategically and only when absolutely necessary. You don’t want to lose your SEO progress on a page that you intent to use again.

Conclusion

If you’re starting the process of building your online store, Shopify should be on your list of ecommerce platforms for a number of reasons.

As we’ve seen, it’s a large platform with plenty of tools and themes that can help you, no matter what your experience level is. It’s also built for fast and visually-oriented execution, which are two huge plusses.

But when it comes to SEO, things can get a bit tricky. You’ll still need to ensure that you have the basics in order if you want to be at the top of search rankings.

The perfect starting point is to ensure that your free SSL certificate is turned on. Google views secure sites favorably, which will help in the long run.

Then, make sure you install an SEO app to double-check that you’re doing everything you can to boost your traffic.

You should also take the time to submit your sitemap to Google Search Console. This will help Google crawl your site and assess it as accurately as possible.

It’s also a good idea to spend some time optimizing your user experience. The last thing you want is for hard-earned traffic to leave because they can’t use your store.

Take some time to improve your site’s speed, as this will lower bounce and lead to improved revenue over time.

And take strides to keep your best-performing products and landing pages. Google often prioritizes fresh content, which can give you an edge.

Finally, set up 301 redirects for old pages that may no longer exist. This will lower bounce and help your SEO in the long run.

If you implement all of these tips, you’ll be in a far better position to win traffic to your Shopify store in the long run. With more traffic, you should see more customers, revenue, and long-term growth.

Get Your Free Shopify SEO Checklist

Enter your email and instantly get a Shopify SEO Checklist to ensure that your store is following SEO best practices.

If you are human, leave this field blank.
Get Checklist

Shopify SEO Best Practices: 7 Traffic Boosting Tips That Work was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

SEO Powersuite Review Part 1: Rank Tracker and SEO Spyglass

SEO Powersuite Review Part 1: Rank Tracker, and SEO Spyglass

When it comes to looking for quality SEO tools that can be used by our team, one thing that we look for is versatility. This means that we look for multi-faceted tools that can accomplish a wide range of tasks with high efficiency. We have had many positive experiences with these kinds of tools, which include Ahrefs, SERPED.net, and Mangools Online Tools, as we are able to execute tasks and make our process much smoother.

However, while versatile tools are really great to have, there are times that these tools would have multiple functions, but each function would only feel barebones and limited. We tend to avoid these types of tools and make sure that we get all the functionality for every tool. SEO Powersuite is one of these kinds of tools that is not only versatile but also helps us become more efficient with our work.

Boasting four different SEO tools that allow users to be able to execute a multitude of tasks, we believe it is only fitting that this review would be divided into two parts, The four tools that can be used for SEO Powersuite includes the Rank Tracker, SEO Spyglass, Website Auditor, and Link Assistant. We will be starting this review with the Rank Tracker and SEO Spyglass and review the last two for the next review.

Without further ado, let us take a look at the first set SEO Powersuite’s tools.

Rank Tracker

The very first tool that I want to review is the Rank Tracker, which allows you to track keyword rankings, and even conduct keyword research. We have had numerous experiences with keyword ranking tools such as Accuranker, and these tools are perhaps the most crucial, as these determine the success and growth of our SEO strategies.

The key to a good keyword ranking and research tool is accurate rankings, and Rank Tracker allows me to be able to track keyword rankings from across different search engines across the world. For this review, I’ll be tracking rankings from Google, Bing and Yahoo search engine rankings from the United States, India, and the Philippines.

Rank Tracker New Project

To start tracking keyword rankings, the first step is to begin a new project by entering the URL of the website that you want to track.

Rank Tracker GA Integration

After entering the URL, you can allow Rank Tracker to integrate Google Adwords and Analytics, which comes in handy when wanting to take a look at the traffic the website is receiving.

Rank Tracker Keywords List

The third step is adding the keywords that you want to track in your website. You can add as much as you would want to ensure that you track important keywords that drive traffic.

The last step is selecting which search engine rankings you would like to track. You can choose between Google, Bing, Yahoo, and even sites like Baidu. After finishing this step, you can now begin tracking the keywords. The process can take longer with the more keywords being tracked.

Rank Tracking Keywords

After tracking has been done, you can take a look at the rankings per search engine. This helps you see how well you perform in different areas across the world, and even see countries that you didn’t know you’re ranking at.

Rank Tracking Keyword Map

Another important section is the Keyword Map, which helps you see the number of searches, expected visits, landing pages, and more.

Rank Tracker Keyword Research

Keyword Research allows you to enter a URL and look for keywords within a certain website. You can also perform a multitude of functions as well, such as related searches, autocomplete tools, and even access a keyword sandbox.

Domain Strength

Lastly, you have the Domain Strength, which is a score (out of 10) based on numerous SEO success factors. This score is an indicator of how successful your website is, and if the strategies that you have implemented are working to help this score keep growing. You can also publish a summarized report for all of these categories

Overall, the Rank Tracker tool is a reliable tool that comprehensively analyses keywords and provides rankings from multiple search engines. This is something I would definitely recommend to my team to use when tracking rankings and doing keyword research.

SEO Spyglass

The second tool that I’ll be reviewing is the SEO Spyglass, which is a tool that takes a look at the backlinks within your website. Similar to starting a new project in Rank Tracking, all you have to do is to enter the URL of the website, and the Spyglass will be analyzing the backlinks.

SEO Spyglass Summary

The summary page allows you to view in concise detail all of the statistics about backlinks, including links connected to the home page, and the countries where the backlinks originate from.

SEO Spyglass Backlinks

The Backlinks section is where you would be able to view all of the backlinks in your website. You can also view details such as the linked page and the anchor text.

SEO Spyglass Linking Domains List

Linking Domains is a list of domains connected to your website, which means that you would be able to view the location the link is located, along with the number of dofollow backlinks.

SEO Spyglass Anchor Text

Anchor text allows you to view which words and text do people click to go to the backlinks.

SEO Spyglass Domain Comparison

Lastly, the domain comparison enables you to compare domain ratings, backlinks, domain age, top TLDs, and the number of anchor texts. This allows you to quickly compare your website to competitors and how it stacks up. This allows you to make competitor analysis a much more elaborate and efficient process.

Verdict

SEO Powersuite’s Rank Tracker and SEO Spyglass is a pair of reliable tools that work very well, and have elaborate yet user-friendly functions that make it a great tool to use by any SEO team. It also provides you with a quick and concise look into your website’s domain rating and strength, which helps you know if your website is growing. So far, my experience with SEO Powersuite has been really good, and I’m looking forward to trying out the next set of tools in my next review.

Key Takeaway

Rank Tracker and SEO Spyglass are two very effective SEO tools that we would be happy to have in our ever-growing toolbox. With tools like these, we would definitely ensure that we would be able to create better strategies and make sure that the websites that we are handling would perform much better.

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

SEO Powersuite Review Part 1: Rank Tracker and SEO Spyglass was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

SEO Strategies and Trends That Will be Big in 2019

SEO Strategies and Trends That Will be Big in 2019

2018 has become a big year for SEO and digital marketing, with new trends, updates, and tools that helped optimize our techniques and strategies and perform better overall. This helped boost SEO to new heights, leaves more room for growth in the near future.

Speaking of the near future, 2019 is coming in very soon, and like every other year, new trends, tools, and strategies abound. With companies like Google always looking ahead to improve their search services, it is best to ensure that we are able to keep up the pace and prepare for the impending changes that will come our way. Here are some SEO strategies and trends that are sure to become big in 2019.

The Continued Growth of Voice Search

 

Voice search has become an increasingly essential element in online search during the past few years, as AI Assistants and enhance voice recognition software helped it move further forward. Being user-friendly and accurate, voice search allows users to be able to look for instant search results, especially for question-based and exact search terms.

AI Assistants like Siri and Google Assistant have helped establish voice search as a viable option, along with enhancing its functionality beyond search and allowing more tasks to be automated. More and more search engines and companies are looking to capitalize and follow the trend, and 2019 could see voice search become more widespread. When it comes to optimizing your strategy, an increased focus on exact search terms and long-tail keywords would prove to be very beneficial when it comes to generating more traffic to your website.

Social Media and Live Video

Facebook Live Stream

Ever since the advent of live video features on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the number of users and brands making use of it have increased exponentially. Along with social media platforms, streaming sites like Twitch and YouTube have added new features that enable users to interact and create a more social atmosphere.

With improved internet speeds all over the world, users now have the ability to take live video anywhere, allowing them to capture various events in real-time, and the ability to be able to interact with the audience instantly. These are the ingredients that make a live video successful on social media. With more and more users streaming videos about events like sports, podcasts, and even video games, this is another digital marketing technique that more brands should take advantage of, especially in 2019.

AI and Chatbots

Why Google Assistant Can Be The Most Intelligent AI Assistant Yet

AI Technology has been slowly but surely become much better in recent years, fuelled by AI assistants and chatbots that help companies connect to users during their off-hours. Companies like Google have been developing AI technology that can interact with people, with the ability to create their own speaking patterns and executing tasks without user assistance. Google’s new Duplex application enables this feature on Google Pixel smartphones, which somewhat serves as a test platform to see if the new technology is able to become effective in its current state.

Chatbots have become more frequent in various social media pages and company websites. With its ease of use and integration, chatbots provide 24/7 service, making sure that messages would be able to receive a quick and detailed response to their inquiries. This has also become a cost-effective measure as well, as it helps lessen the human workload to a certain extent.

When it comes to SEO and digital marketing, having AI technology allows more automation to a website, providing users with a guide that enables them to navigate in your website further, even guiding them to the Buyer’s journey that leads to conversions.

Authentic and Evergreen Content

The push for quality and evergreen content is almost always a similar message every year, but with SEO continuing to develop and evolve in the upcoming months, the recent algorithm updates clamp down on this idea further by ensuring that only quality content will be getting good search rankings. With the advent of fake news and privacy invasions, website security factual accuracy is now more important than ever before.

Creating authentic and trustworthy content is an important element in a successful SEO strategy and using the right tools and targeting the right market allows your website to receive substantial traffic. Content should always be informative and helpful to users and must contain the right keywords that will lead them to access the said content. With voice search becoming more relevant, creating content that answers questions and how-tos are now more relevant and appear on Google’s first page more often than not.

Becoming more social

Share A Coke

Social media has influenced the growth of numerous websites and brands, helping them gain online presence and traffic in a similar way that search engines do. With more platforms linking to each other, it is common to see brands have multiple social media accounts to spread their presence and influence.

There are millions of active social media users at any given moment, and all of them have the ability to trigger viral marketing campaigns or distribute content at a very fast pace. Tapping into this audience helps generate more traffic, with content marketing being the main focus of most digital marketing strategies. Social media is helping people and brand become closer to one another, and the right strategy will help set a balance between the two.

Key Takeaway

SEO has come a long way during 2018, and with 2019 on the horizon, it would not be surprising to see new strategies and techniques being used and developed to continue optimizing our services. SEO is an ever-changing game, and it always pays to get ahead.

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

SEO Strategies and Trends That Will be Big in 2019 was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Creative Inspiration: Content We Enjoyed this Summer

As we bid farewell to the glorious 35-degree-days of summer, and brace ourselves for the inevitable autumn chill, here’s a look back at the creative content that tickled us this summer.

One of the reasons why I love writing these posts each quarter is because, if nothing else, it helps me and the creative team here at Distilled broaden the ways in which we think; and it inspires us to consider the more-varied, perhaps less-expected executions, that we could try.

After a successful run with the same topics and execution style, ideas can become formulaic, and can soon become dull and uninspiring for us and those experiencing our content. So it’s all the more important that turn to others for inspiration, and keep ourselves open to new ways of seeing and representing the stories we tell.

Imagery reimagined

Concepts that leave a lasting impression are often those that illustrate something we know well in an alternative way. Each of these campaigns reimagine everyday images differently, whether it’s in a comical or shocking way.

Hot and SpicyKFC

This ad for KFC certainly makes you look twice. Fire has been replaced with fried chicken. It’s that simple. The organic patterns of the deep fat fried batter really do take on the life of expanding balls of exploding exhaust fire. Cars backfiring, or rockets launching into space – this image ad replacement hits the smart and succinct notes perfectly.

Unprotected TextNHS

Communicating safe sex to younger people can seem dull, awkward or just something the target audience do not want to think about. This aptly-named ‘Unprotected Text’ campaign, however, cleverly taps into how young people communicate, using the not-so-secret alternative emoji meanings. Emoji are innately light-hearted, accessible and simple, and so allowing the NHS to talk about a slightly embarrassing topic in an eye-catching and memorable way, specifically targeting the 16-24 age range where STIs have been on the rise.

Population by PixelWWF

This campaign left me really concerned – is that really how many gorillas are left in the wild?! Campaigns about near-extinction and the depressing statistics that face some of the world’s greatest creatures are often not the most creative. They can be quite scarring and off-putting, shocking but not necessarily compelling people to donate. Instead of using gore tactics, this campaign simply shows the number of animals left in a certain species by the number of pixels used to depict them – the more pixelated an animal is, the more endangered. The mechanism is simple, but the impact is everlasting.

VelocipediaGianluca Gimini

It turns out most people don’t know what a bike looks like… Something we see every day, but for some reason we can’t remember how those tubes of metal connect to make the frame. Using this method of collecting what one item looks like and crowdsourcing drawings of it, means that the variety of executions far exceeds what one person could imagine. With the highly polished graphics and computer renders we are used to, seeing an amateur’s naïve drawing has a charm of its own. This artist turned these quick sketches into realistic images of bikes, immediately highlighting how flawed they were in their design.

Manipulating Maps

Connecting neighbourhoods through live musicMedium

This visualisation shows the touring routes of famous musicians on a map shown on a gig ticket. Different music genres are more prevalent in certain locations and fan bases are not always the same, so the routes on the maps vary wildly. There’s also a noticeable difference in patterns when comparing the route that tour buses take versus cross-state flyers.

Tube maps on satellite images – Various digital artists

We are so used to going underground in cities and popping up in new neighbourhoods, we often give little thought to the ground covered. Tube maps are simplified for easy navigation so usually, don’t represent the actual routes. These visualisations, show us exactly where these lines go, passing over iconic monuments that help us navigate our cites.

Here’s How America Uses its LandBloomberg

This scrolling data visualisation manages to simplify how the US uses its land, only 3.6% being used for urban areas and a massive 55% being used to feed the country with crops and pasture land. Having watched Cowspiracy recently the piece later goes on to highlight what this documentary tries to hammer home in that cows and cow feed production takes over a disproportionate amount of the country. Perhaps it’s time to finally give up those beef burgers! The data was gathered using surveys, satellite images and categorisations from various government agencies.  

Where’s WallyGoogle

For April Fools Day this year, Google hid Wally (or Waldo, depending on where you are from) in Google maps. You are taken to an area where he is hidden and you are then zoomed into one of the famous Where’s Wally illustrations to begin your search.

Social Media and Mental Health

Life fakerSanctus

Mental health company Sanctus have created a tongue-in-cheek page and video that aims to highlight the effect social media has on our mental health. People are often trying to one-up each other by showing the glamorous holidays they have been on, or delicious meals they are eating, this often leaves people feeling inadequate if they are not able to keep up. Life faker makes a point by offering a library of images, so you can fake the life that everyone seems to want to show. My favourite quote from the video is ‘I have never seemed happier’ which really highlights the irony of it all.

Real World Visualisation

T’s and C’s lengthZen City

Living in such a digital landscape I always get excited when people create physical data visualisations. We all know the length of terms and conditions can be a joke, and this piece highlights the actual length and comparison between the T’s and C’s of different apps. If you’re interested, Instagram takes the lead, closely followed by Snapchat.

What content have you enjoyed lately? Let us know in the comments.

Creative Inspiration: Content We Enjoyed this Summer was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

3 Creative Ways To Increase Your Organic CTR

Crafting compelling meta titles and descriptions or doing other efforts to increase CTR, isn’t always a top priority for digital marketers and SEO’s, even though it’s becoming more and more important. Let me show you 3 creative ways that you can increase your CTR!

But first, let’s start with the basics. What is CTR?

Well, CTR is a shortened term for Click Through Rate and is a performance metric that measures the numbers of clicks a specific link gets divided by the number of impressions. The formula looks like this:

 

ctr formula

 

This metric can be used to measuring performance for both email marketing, SEM and SEO among other digital marketing channels. However, in this article, I will focus on the latter!

 

Why is Click Through Rate important for SEO?

 

As I mentioned, in the beginning, CTR is becoming more and more important in the SEO world, but why is that you’re maybe wondering? Let me explain!

Beyond the fact that Click Through Rate is an overall important metric to:

  • Analyze user intent
  • Measure the quality of your copy
  • Analyze the effectiveness of your call-to-action

CTR is also important to boost your organic search positions

Something that people have suspected for a long time. Even back in 2013, a blog post on SEMrush stated that CTR is important for SEO because:

“Your website’s ranking for a particular keyword on Google depends hugely on the number of inbound links. Yet, you should not forget the fact that Google also checks the searcher votes you get when someone clicks on your website in the search engine results to get through to your website. A combination of external votes and searcher votes would lead your website to the top of the rankings for a particular keyword. This would help you a great deal with its SEO.”

As well as:

“Every marketer wants his/her website to appear on the first page of the search results for the main keywords. However, even if your website is on the first page but not getting clicked on enough, Google has every reason to push you down the ladder. Sometimes, websites from the second and even third page of the search results manage to make it to the first page simply by having a higher click-through rate. Falling off the first page isn’t exactly ideal for your SEO.”

RankBrain and CTR

After the introduction of RankBrain in late 2015, a new machine learning algorithm from Google, things changed and CTR became even more important. Something that a Google engineer called Paul Haahr confirmed when he showed this slide on a conference:

 

rankbrain and ctr

 

In other words, the slide is basically saying that the new algorithm sometimes ranks pages higher up then they “should” rank. Also, if that page gets an above average Click Through Rate, Google could use that as a sign that the page should get a permanent ranking boost.

To verify this WordStream conducted a test to see whether or not an above average CTR would mean higher rankings. This is what they found:

ctr test

 

In connection with this, they also stated that:

“The more your pages beat the expected organic CTR for a given position, the more likely you are to appear in prominent organic positions. So, if you want to move up by one spot (e.g., Position 5 to Position 4) in Google’s SERP, you need to increase your organic CTR by 3 percent. If you want to move up again (e.g., Position 4 to Position 3), you’ll need to increase your CTR by another 3 percent.”

How to increase your CTR

 

The basics of increasing your Click Through Rate in the organic search is to make your page stick out from the crowd. Something that could be done by simply crafting flawless meta titles and descriptions.

Even though a compelling copy is great, there’s nowadays a lot of other things you could do to make your page stand out in the SERP and increase your CTR!

Use review snippets to increase CTR

 

A great way to make your page stand out from the rest of the SERP as well as making it more compelling for people to click on is by using review snippets:

review snippet

The review snippet has created a major stir in the SEO world the past years since people, like many other things in this space, started to abuse it. It all happened when more and more people started to realize that pretty much any site could achieve the review snippet by just adding the aggregateRating schema markup to their pages.

 

(Hint: when I say that people started to add the aggregateRating schema markup to their pages I’m not talking of a handful of pages. I’m talking about every single one of them!)

 

For a long time, there’s been a lot of unclear information on what triggers the review snippets to appear in the SERP. Now Google has made all of the heavy lifting, making a complete guide to the review snippets.

In the guide they state that you could expect to see a review snippet when Google finds a valid review or rating markup for the following kind of content:

  • Local businesses
  • Movies
  • Books
  • Music
  • Products

In supplement to using structured data, they also recommend you to follow these guidelines:

 

review snippet guidelines

 

Some people would probably also claim that it’s possible to achieve review snippets by using third-party review software such as TrustPilot. Even though I’ve also experienced this (at least on Swedish customers), I would recommend you to first follow the guidelines from big brother aka Google.

 

Use emojis to increase CTR

Another creative way to increase your CTR is by using emojis in your meta title and description. Something that has received a lot of attention lately, not least due to Garrett Mehrguth’s amazing article How to Increase Your Click Through Rate With Emojis as of recently.

Google has been experimenting with this for a long time. In fact, they first introduced the emojis in mobile SERPs in 2012, then pulled them all back in 2015 and then, as of the beginning of 2017, they brought the emojis back:

 

emoji in serp

 

As you can imagine, having one or several emojis in your meta title or description will make your page more compelling for people to click on. Though, there’s no reason to start overuse them since Google will only display them in results where they are relevant, useful and fun.

Instead, use them with care and try to think where they can be relevant, useful and fun since this will increase your chances of having the emoji showing up at all. Also, if you want some inspiration, you can check out the result from a study SISTRIX recently conducted showing the most used emojis in the SERPs:

 

common emojis in serp

 

Use descriptive URLs to increase CTR

Most SEO companies know that a descriptive URL and a good URL structure is a great way to receive better rankings, but did you know that it could also increase your CTR? A study from Microsoft found out that a descriptive URL get so much as 25% (!) more clicks compared to “generic” URLs!

Best practices for an SEO friendly URL that increases your CTR is to keep it:

  • As short as possible
  • As descriptive and readable as possible (for both search engines and users)
  • As consistent as possible (make a plan and stick with it through your whole website)
  • Surrounding your target keyword/phrase

Here’s an example of a good and a bad URL:

 

good and band url

 

That’s it, three relatively easy and creative ways that can increase your organic CTR as well as your rankings. What tactics will you use to improve your Click Through Rate? And how well do they work for you?

Author bio

 

Albin Sandberg is currently working at a digital marketing agency, called Adsight, where he helps customers with everything from SEO and SEM to social media advertising. He’s also a regular contributor to various publications.

 

3 Creative Ways To Increase Your Organic CTR was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Prospect.io: An In-depth Review

Prospect.io: An In-depth Review

Email prospecting has been the driving force that has helped our team grow over the past few years, allowing us to be able to reach clients that are looking for our services. When it comes to executing this process, our team usually begins by sending in emails manually and at times, individually.

While our team is able to successfully send in an email to our prospects, the process of doing it manually means that it can be a time-consuming process that could have been more efficient with the right tool. This right tool eventually arrived in the form of prospect.io, which is an email prospecting tool that aims to make the process an efficient and user-friendly experience that would be able to reach more clients in a lesser amount of time.

Before we begin with the in-depth review, we would like to invite you to try out prospect.io yourself and register your account to experience a quality email marketing and prospecting tool.

Getting started

Prospect Dasboard

After getting your account registered, Prospect.io will guide you when it comes to setting things up, such as adding contacts, creating lists, adding your sending address, and eventually sending your first set of emails. While having a guide is common on most SEO and digital marketing tools, Prospect.io’s setup guide and checklist are more comprehensive, as it helps you understand each element with more detail.

Prospect Setup

This user-friendly feature is one highlight for me, as it helps make the tool easier to understand, making it much easier for our team to learn and use the tool effectively. The guide can be accessed anytime by clicking on the Explore and Setup button, which means that you can do the same steps repeatedly until you have become familiar with how things work.

Adding Prospects

Prospect Dasboard

Adding prospects in Prospect.io is simple, as you only need to click on the Create Prospect button (the green plus sign on the top corner). From there, you can add information such as the name of the prospect, company name, industry, phone number, country, and job title, and a short description.

Create Prospect

 

After adding the prospect, you can track the emails that they have received, and see the time that the last email was sent. You can also filter your prospects through each category as well. For example, I can filter out prospects from the digital marketing industry or filter them by job title. This allows me to be able to target a specific set of prospects and make sure that I would not be sending any emails to the wrong person.

Prospect Filter

List

The second section is the Lists, which allows you to create a list each set of prospects for a specific email campaign. This allows you to monitor each set of prospects accordingly, and make sure that they would be receiving the right emails. You can also view active and archived prospects and monitor each account in that campaign. This makes sure that your email listings are more organized, and each prospect is in the right spot.

Drip Campaign

Prospect Drip Campaign

The next and perhaps most important feature is the drip campaign. This is where you would be setting up your email campaigns and send them to the right prospects. To begin, all you have to do is to compose your email, and then name your campaign.

Prospect Drip Campaign Create Email

Along with composing your email, you also have the option of selecting options such as when prospects exit your campaign, what days would the emails be sent, and whether or not you want to send the email step as a reply or new email.

Prospect Drip Campaign Stats

After starting your campaign, you can choose to keep it active or have it paused. You can also view the statistics of the campaign, allowing you to see how many prospects were able to receive and respond to your emails.

Reports

Prospect Drip Campaign Create Email

The Reports section is similar to the statistics found on the Drip Campaign and shows you the number of emails sent. You can also see the number of contacted prospects, conversions, and bounces. You can also view specific statistics of each list to see which campaign is more successful. You can also filter the report by selecting a specific timeframe and select contacts.

Chrome Extension

Prospect Chrome Domain Search

Prospect.io also has a Google Chrome extension, which allows you to search and add prospects while browsing all over the internet. This comes in handy when looking through business listings and company websites, as you can instantly create a list of contacts that you can send articles to.

Verdict

User-friendly and efficient Prospect.io is an email campaign tool that makes the process of sending emails to specific groups a much easier process. With a clean user interface that helps you step by step, this is a very reliable tool that makes sending emails a much better experience. I’d definitely recommend this for link builders, social media specialists, and SEO professionals, and include it as a part of our growing SEO toolbox.

Key Takeaway

Email campaigns are a huge part of our growth and continued success as a company, and tools like Prospec.io help contribute to this growth. The latest addition to our SEO toolbox is a sure time-saver that makes us do more and reach out to a wider audience.

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

Prospect.io: An In-depth Review was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing