Month: October 2019

Five Ways to Make Your Workload Less Stressful

Your email inbox is overflowing, you’ve got a day full of meetings, you didn’t finish that research yesterday, and you’ve got that presentation due in two days. Sound familiar? I’ve had a few of these days, so set about finding ways to manage my workload better. The overarching approach to how I manage my workload is to trust in my decisions and create positive habits. 

Here are the top five ways I made my workload more manageable and less stressful; And I became more productive as a result!

1. Gmail is your best friend!

I appreciate you may not be using Gmail, so here’s my first tip; if you can, switch now.

A cluttered inbox always leads me to distraction, but having a well-managed inbox helps reduce stress and frees up headspace. My daily quest is to have no emails in my inbox, known here at Distilled as ‘inbox zero’. How do I do this? Simple. Liberal use of the archive and snooze functions of Gmail.  

1. Archive

I’m ruthless when it comes to managing my inbox. If it’s not relevant, I archive it. If I’ve read it,  I archive it. If I’ve read it and responded, I archive it ( you get the picture). Any opportunity to remove an email from my inbox  I take it. Archiving is excellent, and the email is always there if I need it ( I search for it via Gmail Search). Trust in the archive, if you search you will find. 

2. Snooze

The snooze function is going to be your best friend. If you’re not familiar with snooze, the feature lets you reschedule emails to appear at a time when you want them to. This works great if you’re going to reply later or if you’ve sent a response you want to follow up in a few days. Just click snooze, select the time/date, and the email’s removed from your inbox (and headspace). It will pop back in like magic when you’re ready for it! I use this to follow up proposals or remind me I need to respond, and it’s a great way of prioritising what you need to do and when to.

Bonus tip:  You can do this in any section of your Gmail account ( e.g., your sent emails). 

I’ve found by using these functions my inbox is better managed, helping me to be more productive and less stressed. 

2.  Have a personal organisation system

Having a personal organisation system is crucial to managing my workload and being productive.

Get a system in place where you can collect and prioritise what you need to do and when. Don’t use paper, it will get lost (plus let’s save the environment people). There’s plenty of systems you can plug into (Monday, Taskworld, Asana, and many more)

I use Trello. I’ve created a board that lists the days of the week. Here’s mine below:

It’s simple.  As soon as I have a task, I make a decision when I need to do it, I add it to that list and forget about it until it’s time to do it. I know what you’re thinking, “what if I have to do it every Monday?” I label it appropriately, i.e. “Do this every Monday.” What if one day becomes super busy? I make a decision, does it need to be done, or can I roll it to a later date?

The beauty of Trello is that you can move the card along to another day. If you like, you can also incorporate the organisation into your personal life. You can be a super geek like me; I even have a list of items of clothing I want to buy and where they’re located.

I find an added benefit of having a system in place is that I naturally develop a structure to my day. My ultimate tip is; try to do it consistently, so that it becomes second nature. If you can learn to trust your method, it will free up headspace. When I started using this system to help me develop this habit, I used to add tasks and review what I needed to do first thing in the morning, then at lunch (so I could realign priorities if needed) and then at the end of the day to prepare for the following day. Now I add tasks as and when they come to me; when I get a task, I assess what I need to do and by when. Then I add it to my Trello board.

When you first start to set up your system it may take a bit of time initially to get used to capturing your tasks and organising them.  After a couple of days, it will become second nature, so stick with it, and you’ll reap the benefit. 

Get a system in place that works for you. My system has made it easier and given me more confidence in making decisions. It helps me to capture takes, close loops and, as a result, frees up my headspace because I don’t have to worry about a mental to-do list – I  trust in it and work through it methodically instead of procrastinating or flitting between different tasks as I remember them. It’s helped me to focus on my tasks better and made me more productive. 

3. Be aware of other people’s headspace

If I need an answer, if I need to know how to do something,  If I need to know anything, I Google it. Google is always my first go to. 

Asking someone a question I can find myself takes up others headspace. All I’m doing is shifting my workload and adding stress to someone else. I’m not saying don’t ask any questions ever, rather ask questions when you need to. It’s far easier and more efficient to just Google “how do I do” something rather than interrupting someone to show you, and a bit of self-learning is always fun!

I’ve found I’m less stressed as I can save time and find the answer myself, rather than waiting on someone else and watching that clock countdown. If you can get it done yourself, you’ll be more productive and tick off another thing on your to-do list!

4. Create templates

Creating templates saves time, makes me more efficient, and speeds up getting things done. 

This is about working smart. Only create templates for the most common, regularly occurring things. There’s no point in a template for a super bespoke thing that will never happen again. Use templates as a starting point to save time, but remember adding a personal touch is always a good idea.

I work on a lot of proposals, and all of them are different. That said, there are parts which won’t change, e.g. who we are and what we do.  I’ve created a ‘master deck’ that has all those things which most proposals will include. I can create a structure quickly and get to focus on the questions that need answering. This significantly reduces my workload as I’m not starting from scratch every time. I’m less stressed and have more time to focus on things that will make the difference, e.g. answering that specific client question. Where it works, I share my templates with others to help them reduce their workload, and that creates a  multiplier effect – more people get more time, more stuff gets done!

5. Do you need to do it? 

This is dependent on the kind of person you are. I like to think most people want to help others, and, for me, that can create a challenge.  

Because I like to be helpful, I find that sometimes (fairly often!) I offer to help others or take ownership of tasks that aren’t my responsibility. Ultimately, I’m adding to my workload and stress, and distracting my focus away from the task I’m responsible for. If it’s not your responsibility, don’t do it, direct it to the person who’s responsible. This is the concept of ‘who’s got the monkey’

This helps maintain a workload that consists of things I’m directly responsible for. It also means my time’s productive getting things done that I need to do, and I’m not adding stress by taking on other people’s work!

Summary: Build a routine

You’re always going to have new tasks to do. By using the methods I’ve shared; hopefully, you’ll manage your workload better, feel less stressed and become more productive. I’ve found by developing a routine and repeating the approaches daily until they become second nature, is the way to go. I’d recommend cherry-picking one or two of the tips I’ve shared, to begin with, so you can familiarise yourself and adjust to a new way of managing your workload. 

I’d love to hear what you do and how you manage your workload, do you do anything I do already?

Five Ways to Make Your Workload Less Stressful was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

How BERT Affects SEO and How You Can Optimize For It

Cover Photo - How BERT Affects SEO and How You Can Optimize For It

Google’s roll-out of BERT caused a massive buzz in the whole SEO industry since they deemed it as “the most important update in five years”. This particular update, called BERT, officially impacts 10% of search queries. That’s already a massive number since there are millions of searches made every single day. So, what exactly is the BERT update, how will it affect the SEO landscape, and how can we, as webmasters and SEOs, better optimize our websites for this algorithm update?

What is BERT?

Bert stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. It is a neural network-based technique for Natural Language Processing (NLP) that was open-sourced by Google last year. 

The Google BERT Update

BERT isn’t necessarily an update to Google’s current algorithms but it is a technique to improve NLP. It allows Google to process words in search queries in relation to all the other words contained in the query – unlike the word per word process that Google has been using before. 

Through this process, Google can, therefore, hopefully, understand the whole context of a word contained in the search query. This means that Google’s application of the BERT model enables them to do a better job of assisting users in finding useful information. The primary target for the BERT model are “longer, more conversational queries” where words like “for” and “to” greatly affect the meaning of the query – in my understanding, these are, more often than not, long-tail keywords. 

BERT is currently affecting 10% of searches in the U.S. and it’s currently only applicable to the featured snippets in other languages. 

Here’s an example that Google used to highlight the effect of the BERT model:

Google Example of Applied BERT Model

How You Can Optimize for BERT

According to Google, optimizing for BERT is impossible since there is “nothing to optimize”. It’s a direct echo to their statement during the release of RankBrain. However, SEOs always have ways of understanding an algorithm update in a creative and unique way that allows us to come up with strategies that will help our site navigate through Google’s ever-changing algorithms. With that said, here are some (simple) strategies that can help you with the recent BERT update.

Simpler and Succinct Content

I’ve mentioned in a past blog post that word count isn’t as important as you might think it is and that’s directly related to writing for answering a user’s query. Google has always reminded webmasters that we should write for the users – not the search engines. Of course, there are still some webmasters that put the “technicality” of their content as the most important aspect. If you’re one of the webmasters that still focus on keyword density, keyword placement, etc. inside your content while not giving importance to the quality and “naturalness” of your content, you might be losing out on Google’s recent algorithm updates.

BERT focuses on the context of the words used inside the sentences (or group of sentences) that you used inside the body of your content. However, at the end of the day, BERT is still just a process used by machines and they can only understand so much. Our roles as webmasters must be providing content that is simple but still succinct.

One guiding principle that I’ve followed every time I write content is if a high school graduate can understand (this is dependent on the niche) the content I’m writing, then the search engines can understand it as well. Here are some pointers to always consider when you write your content:

  • Avoid flowery, highfalutin, and unnecessary words
  • Be as straightforward and direct as possible
  • The content should contain new and useful information that is helpful to the readers

By doing it this way, you’re not only optimizing your content for the users but you’re also helping search engines better understand the content you’re putting out. 

Topic Clusters

Here’s the rationale for focusing on topic clusters: being visible for a specific topic is much better than ranking for a particular keyword. Through the use of topic clusters, you can create signals to search engines that you are authoritative/influential for a certain topic that encompasses a wide range of long-tail keywords – which will eventually outweigh the traffic you’re receiving for just a handful of high-traffic, high-difficulty keywords. To help you get started, I’ve written about Topic Clusters Model and how it can help SEO. Here’s an image from Hubspot that help you understand topic clusters:

Topic Clusters

(Image Source: HubSpot)

Be Specific with the Keywords or Queries You Target

One of the main challenges for SEOs for BERT is that this update is not about how Google understands the content of websites but is to better understand what exactly a user is looking for. That means for SEOs, the key here is to be more specific on the queries or questions your content is looking to answer.

It’s similar to starting a business. When you’re an entrepreneur, you should think of a business that solves needs because those are the types of businesses that are profitable. Same with content. The best content are those that answer and satisfy the needs of users.

Put yourself in a searcher’s shoes. If you are looking for a laptop, what would be the exact words you would search for? What search results are you expecting to see? 

The thing is, we often remove stop words or pronouns from the keywords that we are targeting thinking this is how people search. We often forget about long-tail keywords, search terms full of stop words in between, but this is exactly what BERT is trying to accomplish.

Rather than using keyword research tools, use the following to research for content:

  • Google Autocomplete
  • People Also Ask Box
  • Related Searches

The queries that reflect in these areas in the search result are the mirror of what people search and how people search so use these as clues to how you write your content.

Key Takeaway

BERT isn’t a massive surprise since Google has been continuously putting out updates that relate to a much better search experience for the users. Their recent updates all focus on one thing: delivering useful, informative, authoritative, expertly-curated, and accurate information/answers to the users. 

Keep in mind that BERT is not yet applied to foreign search markets aside from the Featured Snippet cards. However, as time goes by, there is no reason for Google to not apply it to foreign language search markets. 

Take note of the strategies I’ve highlighted above since they’re useful for keeping up with Google’s continuous algorithm updates. Do you have any questions? Comment it down below!

How BERT Affects SEO and How You Can Optimize For It was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Blogging Best Practices: Writing Content That Will Perform

Content

Blogging has become a must-do for any business looking to succeed in content marketing.

It is a consistent and powerful way to reach the masses with your expertise. There is no better way to show that you are an authority in your field than with a regularly-updated blog. A successful blog will drive people to your website and improve your business’ SEO rankings.

While anyone can blog, not everyone succeeds and manages to write blog content that performs on the web.

Is a blog right for your business? How does a business create a successful blog?

Read on to find out.

Should Your Business Blog?

Your business should absolutely be blogging. Blogging is a great idea for all businesses, regardless of size or industry.

Why is that?

Blogging is an essential part of the content & digital marketing process. It’s a crucial part of SEO (search engine optimization), as you’re going to need a lot of high-quality backlinks to be able to rank in your industry.

Blogging is a one-stop-shop for showcasing expertise in your field and establishing a good SEO ranking. Not only that, it is a content platform that people understand and are familiar with.

Don’t take my word for it. The benefits of blogging are backed by hard numbers:

(Image Source)

One of the main reasons you should start a blog for your business is because there’s a good chance that your competitors have already done it, and you don’t want to get left behind.

In fact, 79% of B2B marketers use blogs. The effectiveness of blogging is not a secret. That’s why so many businesses are flocking to the platform.

One of the main reasons that businesses blog is because of the impact blogs have made. Blogs are now read by 77% of internet users. That’s an overwhelming number. With numbers like that, it’s not hard to see why 51% of business owners cite blogging as being absolutely critical to a cohesive buyer journey.

Check out some of the companies that you do business with. Everyone from your doctor to your contractor and your lawyer is likely writing some kind of industry-specific blog. Blogging is considered to be useful, important, or critical by 81% of companies.

When you look closely at the numbers, you’ll see the incredible impact that blogging can have on a business:

What Makes a Blog Successful?

Not all blogs are created equal. There are blogs that garner thousands of views, that elevate a business on an SEO level, and attract legions of readers. Then there are the blogs that go almost completely unread.

Usually, these less popular blogs approach content marketing without a plan. It’s not enough to just write down your thoughts and expect people to flock to read your every word. That’s not how blogging works.

So you need a plan. After all, you’re not alone in this blogging endeavor…

(Image Source)

What makes a successful blog? Here are the top 11 reasons.

#1. Successful blogs are informative.

Bloggers have to add to the reader’s knowledge and understanding of a subject. If you’re just stating the obvious or going off on unrelated tangents, you’re going to quickly lose reader interest. And once you lose a reader’s interest, they’re not going to come back. The only way for your blog to gain momentum is with repeat readership.

Readers who find your writing informative will share your content and come back for more. In essence, your readers are part of your blog’s marketing department. But they have to be getting something out of the deal as well. That’s where informative content comes into play.

#2. Successful blogs focus on quality rather than quantity.

Ignore the word count and focus on the heart of the matter. A reader would rather absorb 2,000 words of quality content instead of suffering through 4,000 words of fluff.

That being said, you also don’t want your blog to be mistaken for a blurb. It should be a simple matter to get 2,000 quality words on any given subject in your field. You don’t want to force length, but you also don’t want to be overly brief.

Get to the heart of the matter and present good information. In food terms, skip the veggies and get into the meat!

#3. Successful blogs have a clearly-defined objective.

You shouldn’t just start a blog for your business and make it up as you go along. Like most ventures worth taking, it is best to do some research so that you can enter into the blogging process with defined goals.

For starters, what are you looking to accomplish through your blog? There are many different reasons why a business might decide to start one. It’s important to embark on this project with your specific goal in mind.

(Image Source)

  • Are you looking to improve your SEO ranking?

Blogging is a great way to do it. Not only does it provide you with additional space to drop in relevant high-value keywords, but guest blogging can help your business generate links on other sites that connect back to you. Guest blogging is the process of posting an informative blog on someone else’s website. It is one of the best ways to increase your backlog portfolio and get Google to notice you.

Blogging also helps with internal linking. That’s another important SEO step. You’ll want to include a few different links throughout your blog to other articles or pages on your website.

  • Are you looking to increase your social media presence?

That’s another great goal for a blog. Blogs are incredibly shareable, especially if they’re providing good content for your audience. If you’re making valid points, users will share your content with their friends and colleagues on popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Why do you want that?

More eyes lead to more exposure. More exposure leads to more clicks. More clicks mean more organic traffic and inevitably more sales.

  • Are you looking to bring in new revenue?

That’s something else a blog can do. Create articles that are based around your services, hyping your ability to fulfill the need that the blog has been focusing on. Don’t hype yourself nonstop throughout the article. A simple mention of your capabilities at the beginning and the end are enough. Let your knowledge and expertise do the selling for you throughout the article.

#4. Successful blogs develop a content calendar.

They don’t wing it. You should never be sitting around wondering what kind of blog you’re going to put together this week. You need to have a content calendar completed at least a month in advance.

You should be strategically laying out your content week by week. You can even create little teasers at the end of your articles that hype next week’s topic. You could do themed months where you dive in deep on a specific topic. But you’re only able to do that if you have a handle on where you’re going.

#5. Successful blogs publish regularly.

It’s also important to remember that consistency is key for a successful blog. You want to create a regular schedule and then stick to it if you want your audience to keep coming back for more.

(Image Source)

Let’s say you’re going to be posting three times per week. Your audience comes to know that every Monday, Wednesday and Friday they can expect a new article on your site. People like knowing when content is coming. Your blog can then become a regular part of their week.

(Image Source)

#6. Successful blogs have a clearly-defined “voice.”

You’re going to want to decide your blog’s voice early on and then stick to it. A lot of that has to do with what audience you’re catering to. You don’t want to dumb things down if you’re dealing with an audience of experts. Conversely, you don’t want to confuse an audience of beginners with a ton of techno-babble and jargon. You need to find a well-defined and natural tone that fits in with the wants and needs of your audience.

#7. Successful blogs are focused on value, not self-aggrandizement.

No one wants to see needless self-promotion at every turn. The most successful blogs pass their articles off as a service in and of themselves. If every other paragraph is an advertisement for your paid services, people are going to realize they’re looking at a 2,000-word ad and navigate away from your site.

You can make your blog feel like a service by establishing expertise in your field. Typically, people are coming to a business blog because they’re looking for information. If you can provide quality information without sounding like an infomercial, you’ll earn their trust and establish a sense of brand loyalty early on.

Let’s say you’re a dentist. You’ve written a blog entitled “What to do When You Break a Crown.” That’s something people will typically be Googling during a trying time. (Namely, after they’ve already broken a crown) By providing this reader with understandable expertise, you’ve established yourself as an authority in the dental field. Chances are, when it comes time to get that crown replaced, the person is going to come to you.

Experience and knowledge are the true sales tools of your blog. Establishing and reinforcing trust in your readers will bring in more business than touting your greatness.

#8. Successful blogs are focused.

You’re going to want to find a main focus for your blog. The best blogs are focused on a few key areas, rather than acting as a catch-all for the entire industry.

It’s important that your content remains focused and not fly all over the place. Make sure you’re sticking to your area of expertise. The dentist in our earlier example should stick to oral hygiene and emergency dental situations as the basis for their blog. If they start posting blogs about auto repair, people are just going to be confused.

Outline your niche and stick to it.

#9. Successful blogs focus on promotion as much as creation.

Remember, there’s no point in creating a blog post if no one can find it.

People aren’t going to magically discover your blog because you’ve published. That’s where social media comes in. Promote your posts on social media for maximum exposure. You might want to try boosting those posts with paid advertising for the first few articles. This will bump up your readership, and hopefully people will keep coming back for more week in and week out.

You should also be promoting your blog on the main page of your website. If you have a newsletter (you should!) include preview snippets in there with a link that readers can follow straight to the full article.

#10. Successful blogs are letter-perfect.

Part of creating quality content is ensuring that your articles are not a grammatical nightmare.

So edit them.

In fact, you should be editing your content up to three times before posting it. You don’t want typos in your work. Your blog posts are meant to show off your knowledge and expertise. Nothing undermines expertise more than glaring typos and spelling mistakes. Invest in a grammar checking service like Grammarly, which will check your blog articles for any mistakes or unintentional plagiarism.

#11. Successful blogs only share new information.

Another thing that successful blogs do is keep content updated with new information. Especially in the digital sector, everything is constantly changing. When that happens, the information that you have on your site becomes outdated. The last thing you want is for people to stumble onto outdated data, as it makes you seem unreliable.

It’s a good idea to consistently go back and update well-performing blogs with new information. It keeps the article up to date and is a great way to repurpose old content and push it out via social media again.

In Conclusion

Blogging can be one of the most effective tools at a business’s disposal. Creating and marketing consistent content creates an SEO dream scenario of guest posting, keyword inclusion, optimized images, and more.

Blogging can also help you improve your reputation in your community. It shows off your unrivaled expertise and impresses your prospects. Blogging is a surefire way to build trust.

The benefits of blogging far outweigh any negatives. Develop a blogging plan with your team and create a dedicated blog platform for your business today.

Blogging Best Practices: Writing Content That Will Perform was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Why 80% of the Words on Our Webpages Are Wrong: Learn the #1 key to high-converting copy

This article was originally published in the MarketingExperiments email newsletter


Marketing is a powerful force that can be used to influence the choices people make.

In this video replay of a live optimization session, Flint McGlaughlin walks step by step through a real-life example of a person whose life was saved by strategically directing a conversation toward a certain conclusion. This diffused a volatile situation and caused a person to make a better decision.

If you are writing copy for a webpage, you are having a conversation with a potential customer. But if you fail to establish rapport, then you will potentially lose a customer.

Watch the video to learn common mistakes copywriters make on their webpages, and a strategy for creating copy that starts a trust-building conversation with your visitors.

If you would like to receive more detailed advice from a MECLABS conversion marketing expert via a video conference, visit our Quick Win Consult page to learn more.

Here are some key points in the video:

  • 1:13 Nathalie Birli’s word choice caused her captor to let her go
  • 11:42 Three ways to establish rapport with your website visitors
  • 21:01 How marketing influences choice
  • 25:46 Why you should invert the funnel analogy
  • 31:03 A slide illustrating strategy for influencing choice
  • 33:00 Live optimization – marketing services provider
  • 41:40 Live optimization – inn/motel in the mountains
  • 48:09 Live optimization – nonprofit event

Related Resources

Copywriting for Marketing Leaders: Why you should never delegate the marketing message (and how to get it right)

Value Proposition: In which we examine a value prop fail and show you how to fix it

Why 80% of the Words on Our Webpages Are Wrong: Learn the #1 key to high-converting copy was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Things You Need to Know About Screaming Frog Version 12

Cover Photo - Things You Need to Know About Screaming Frog Version 12.0

Having a web crawling tool is essential for your SEO efforts. Having a handy partner for site optimization like Screaming Frog will make your job easier. If you are new to SEO, you should know that a web scraper is designed to help you work with specific kinds of internet content. For example, if you find yourself not knowing where to start with your SEO efforts, then studying what elements your crawler has can make a world of difference for you. 

With its latest update, version 12, the Screaming Frog team has improved existing features and they have also integrated new ones to the platform. This means that this tool can help you stay competitive and increase your edge further. I’m giving you a brief preview of the tool’s latest update and how you can use it to your advantage. Check it out.

PageSpeed Insights Integration 

In the PageSpeed tab, you can see that the insights integration uses Lighthouse which can allow you to analyze Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) data and Lighthouse metrics. With this, you can level up your game by improving site speed because you can analyze untapped opportunities and diagnostics at scale. Using the field data from CrUx, you can now see user performance in real-time which can be your saving grace in debugging speed related issues. 

Page Speed Screaming Frog

From Screaming Frog’s press release for the new version, they have also stated that you don’t need to use JavaScript rendering because the tool pretty much does that for you. As an SEO, site speed is one of the primary elements you have to intricately work around on. Before this update, you probably use a third-party software to check the site speed and even then, you would know which of the pages are explicitly affected by a factor that slows them down. 

PageSpeed auditing is easier because you can now find all the metrics in one box. The filters can give you more opportunities to create a diagnostics report regarding page speed which you can draw improvements from. It can save you a lot of time in finding out where you are going wrong in optimizing for speed thanks to the PageSpeed Opportunity Filters, Details, and Reporting tab, so this is one of the features you cannot miss. 

Database Storage Crawl Auto Saving & Rapid Opening

Large websites are the bane of SEO Spiders and based on Screaming Frog’s user feedback, the experience has been improved with version 12. Rather than using the bulk of your memory to crawl a large site, the database storage can help you organize your .seospider file will be automatically saved in a database and accessed through the File tab > Crawls…’ in the navigation bar. 

Crawl Menu Details

crawl-menu-details

In addition to having a database storage for files, you can also maximize the use of an overview of stored crawls which allows you to organize, duplicate, export, and delete them in bulk. It would be the quickest way for you instead of constantly saving spider files and re-opening them to check your data. With this, you can even export the database crawls to share it with your team member. It will be compiled immediately and readily available for your perusal immediately. You can find the export and import options. 

Resume Previously Lost or Crashed Crawls

Previously saved crawls can be accidentally wiped out so you would have to start over, or worse, close the program for a new crawl. With this new update, the crawl is stored so wouldn’t have to worry about the file disappearing. Crawls can take a long time to complete and it would be disheartening to do it all over again. But according to the team, you are not completely safe but it is a start, especially if you are dealing with a lot of clients. 

Configurable Page and Link Elements

configurable-link-elements

The specific pages that are being crawled and stored completely will help save memory. The options for this can be seen under Config > Spider > Extraction for configuring page elements. Configuring Link Elements for more stratified auditing can now be done in list mode. Configurable Link Elements can help you configure internal hyperlinks in the site which can improve your link audit efforts. 

 Key Takeaway

Screaming Frog keeps delivering on its promise that they have more planned for the future. This recent update is a testament to that. At SEO Hacker, we believe in the quality work from quality teams and this is why we jump at the chance of becoming a part of their stories. We also do our effort to review how each tool can give you the best value for your money so you can check out our toolbox here. Check out Screaming Frog’s latest update and tell us what you think by commenting down below!

 

Things You Need to Know About Screaming Frog Version 12 was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Netpeak Spider 3.3: Get More Data With Google Analytics and Search Console

Doing on-page SEO takes a lot of time and having all the data that you need in one tool saves you the hassle of jumping from one tool to another. With Netpeak Spider’s new update, you get just that.

Last October 17, Netpeak Spider released its version 3.3 update where it allows users to integrate their Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts. This gives users not only information from crawling data but also information from Google’s point of view. In this post, I’ll run through the update but if you want to read Netpeak Spider’s official post, you could do so here. To tell your friends and colleagues about the update, here’s a pre-populated tweet for you!

Author’s Note: If you want to try out Netpeak Spider version 3.3, you could use our promo code SEO-Hacker-NS-3-3 to get 20% discount on their packages. Check out their pricing page here.

How to Add Google Analytics and Search Console to Netpeak Spider

To integrate Google Analytics and Search Console to Netpeak Spider, you have to go to Settings > General > and click on Google Analytics & Search Console in the left sidebar.

Click on Add New Google Account and it will open a window in your browser that asks you to log in to your Gmail account that is connected to your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts. The window will automatically close after you log in and you will now be able to select the website property you want to check. You can also select the date range and other filters such as Traffic Segment in Google Analytics or Country in Google Search Console.

Before you start crawling, make sure you check the Google Analytics and Google Search Console boxes under Parameters in the right sidebar.

If you weren’t able to check these parameters before you crawl, just click on Analysis in the menu bar and then select Get Google Analytics Data or Google Search Console Data. This will save you the time of having to recrawl the whole website, especially for large websites.

Google Analytics Integration

With Google Analytics connected to Netpeak Spider, you can get a variety of data regarding URLs with or without issues that are receiving traffic and URLs with high bounce rates. There are 4 main areas where you can see this report:

Netpeak Spider Dashboard

In the dashboard, you could see a pie chart showing you an overview of the performance of your website when it comes to website traffic. 

All Results Section

In this section, you can see how much traffic each URL is getting, bounce rate, average session duration, and goal completions on that page.

Issues and Overview under Reports

In this section, you’ll be able to identify the specific pages with or without traffic that has issues.

     

Google Search Console

For Google Search Console data on Netpeak Spider, you’ll be able to see data on the number of clicks, impressions, and average position for all URLs on your website. You could specify the date range, country, device type, and even filter the pages by search queries.

What’s also cool about the Google Search Console integration is that in GSC, you can only see a maximum of 1,000 URLs in your reports while in Netpeak Spider, you get to analyze all of them. Similar to Google Analytics data, you’ll see Google Search Console data in the following areas:

Netpeak Spider Dashboard

All Results Sections

Issues and Overview under Reports

     

Why I love this Update

We have a lot of websites on our plate and each website has hundreds or thousands of pages. If I have to go through each and every page using Google Analytics and Search Console to check what pages are in need of optimization, it would take me months!

When doing an on-page SEO especially for large websites, I try to prioritize which pages to optimize first. I absolutely love that in just a few clicks I could see the pages that are performing well and those pages that need attention. If I see a blog post have only a few impressions and clicks and I see that blog post has an issue, I could immediately make improvements to it. This makes it easy to have a holistic SEO optimization strategy and diversify the number of pages that are ranking for your website.

Netpeak Spider 3.3: Get More Data With Google Analytics and Search Console was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

SearchLove London 2019: The Great Big Round Up

On 14th and 15th October, we made our annual visit to The Brewery in London for our UK edition of SearchLove. This year’s conference was our most successful yet, not only in terms of the number of folks attending but also with regard to the high calibre of speakers who joined us over the jam-packed two days to share their invaluable industry insights. 

This post is a quick-fire summary of the knowledge our speakers had to share, plus their slides & a few photos from across the conference.  All sessions in their entirety will be available with a DistilledU membership in a couple of weeks’ time. And don’t forget that if you feel you missed out this year,  make sure you sign up to our mailing list to be the first in the know for next year’s conference! Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Marie Haynes – ‘Practical Tips For Improving E-A-T’

Google’s algorithms are increasingly considering E-A-T components (expertise, authority and trust) when evaluating sites. Marie shared why and how to improve E-A-T so that you have the best chance at winning in the current and future search landscape.

  • One of the most important things to focus on is the accuracy of the information on your site. This is especially important if your pages are primarily YMYL (‘your money or your life’, in other words, content that can affect someone’s health, safety, financial stability, etc.).
  • Google’s quality raters use the quality raters guidelines as their textbook. If you take a look at the guidelines, you can get a better idea about what Google is actually looking at when they’re evaluating E-A-T components. Try doing a CTRL+F for your industry to see what they suggest for your vertical.
  • There are some practical things you can do on your site to help Google understand that you’re trustworthy and authoritative:
    • Have contact information available.
    • If you’re eCommerce, ensure that your refund policy and customer service information is clearly accessible.
    • Make sure your site is secure (HTTPS)
    • Have correct grammar. How your page reads is important!
    • Make sure that the information on your site doesn’t contradict any known facts, something called scientific consensus. Site all sources as necessary.

Sarah Gurbach – ‘Using Qualitative Data To Make Human-Centered Decisions’

SEOs have a huge amount of data to work with, but often, the data that gets overlooked is that which comes directly from the humans who are driving all of our data points.

By performing qualitative research in tandem with quantitative, we can get insights on the actual human wants, barriers, and confusions that drive our customers to make their decisions and move through the funnel.

Sarah’s steps to conducting qualitative research include:

  • Defining your objective. Write it as a question. Keep it specific, focused and simple.
  • Asking open-ended questions to customers to define the personas you should be targeting. Sarah recommends surveys of 10 questions to 5 customers that should only take around 20 minutes each. More than this will likely be redundant.
  • Actually observing our users to figure out what and how they’re searching and moving through the funnel.
  • You can then quantify this data by combining it with other data sources (i.e. PPC data, conversion data, etc.).

If you don’t have time to conduct surveys, then you can go to social media and ask a question!

Want more on questions you can ask your customers? Check out this resource from Sarah.

Greg Gifford – ‘Doc Brown’s Plutonium-Powered SEO Playbook’

Greg delivered an entertaining, informative and best of all highly actionable talk on local SEO. If you have physical locations for your business, you should not be neglecting your local SEO strategy! It’s important to remember that there is a different algorithm for local SEO compared to the traditional SERP, and therefore you need to approach local SEO slightly differently.

Greg’s key tips to nailing your local SEO strategy are as follows:

  • Links are weighted differently for local SEO! Make sure you acquire local links – quality, and whether these are follow or nofollow, matters far less than in the standard SERP. The key is to make sure your links are local – get your hands dirty with some old-school marketing and get out into your local community to build links from churches, businesses and community websites in your area.  
  • Content needs to actually be about your business and local area. If you can use your website copy for a site in another area, you’re doing it wrong. Also, make sure that your blog is a local destination – if your content is more localised than competitors, then you’ll be one step ahead of competitors. 
  • Citations are also important, but you only need a handful! Make sure you link to your website from places that customers will actually see, such as your Facebook, Twitter and other social profiles. Ensure your business information is accurate across platforms.
  • Reviews need to be strong across platforms – there’s no use having excellent reviews in Google My Business, and then bad reviews on TripAdvisor!
  • Google My Business is your new homepage, so make sure you give it some attention!

    • Bear in mind that users can not only ask questions but also answer them – make sure you create your own Q&A here and upvote your answers so that they appear at the top.
    • Also be aware that clicks from GMB are recorded as direct! If you use UTM tracking parameters, then you can update the tracking so that you can attribute it correctly to organic.

Luke Carthy – ‘Finding Powerful CRO and UX Opportunities Using SEO Crawlers’

Luke Carthy discussed the importance of not always striving to drive more traffic, but making the most of the traffic you currently do have. More traffic does not necessarily equal more conversions! He explored different ways to identify opportunities using crawl software and custom extraction, and to use these insights to improve conversion rates on your website.

His top recommendations include:

  • Look at the internal search experience of users – do they get a ‘no results found’ page? What does this look like – does it provide a good user experience? Does it guide users to alternative products?
  • Custom extraction is an excellent way to mine websites for information (your own and especially competitors!)
  • Consider scraping product recommendations:
    • What products are competitor sites recommending? These are often based on dynamic algorithms, so provide a good insight into what products customers buy together
    • Also pay attention to the price of the recommended products vs. the main product – recommended items are often more expensive, to encourage users to spend more
  • Also consider scraping competitor sites for prices, review and stock
    • Are you cheaper than competitors?
    • Do competitors have popular products that you don’t have? What are their best and worst-performing products? Often category or search results pages are ordered by best-sellers, and you can take advantage of this by mining this information
  • To deepen your analysis, plugin other data such as log file data, Google Analytics, XML sitemaps and backlinks to try to understand how you can improve your current results, and to obtain comprehensive insights that you can share with the wider team

Andi Jarvis – ‘The Science of Persuasion’

Human psychology affects consumers’ buying behavior tremendously. Andi covered how we as SEOs can better understand these factors to influence our SEO strategy and improve conversions.

  • Scarcity: you can create the impression of scarcity even when it doesn’t exist, by creating scarcity of time to drive demand. An example of this is how Hotels.com creates a sense of urgency by including things like “Only 4 rooms left!” Test and learn with different time scales (hours, days, weeks or more) to see what works best for your product offering.
  • Authority: building authority helps people understand who they should trust. When you’ve got authority, you are more likely to persuade people. You can build authority simply by talking about yourself, and by labelling yourself as an authority in your industry.
  • Likeability: The reason that influencer marketing works is due to the principle of liking: we prefer to buy from people who we are attracted to and who we aspire to be. If we can envision ourselves using a product or service by seeing ourselves in its marketing, then we are more likely to convert.

    • Pretty Little Thing has started doing this by incorporating two models to model clothing, to increase the likelihood of users identifying with their models
  • Purpose: People are more likely to buy when they feel they are contributing to a cause, for example, Pampers who has a partnership with Unicef, so consumers feel like they are doing a good deed when they buy Pampers products. This is known as cause-based or purpose-based marketing.
  • Social proofing: It’s been known for a long time that people are influenced by the behaviour of others. In the early 1800s, theatres would pay people to clap at the right moments in a show, to encourage others to join in. Similarly today, if a brand has several endorsements from celebrities or users, people are more likely to purchase their products.
  • Reciprocation: Offering customers a free gift (even if small) can have a positive impact on re-purchase rates. Make sure though that you evolve what you do if you have a regular purchase cycle – offer customers different gifts so that they don’t know what to expect, otherwise the positive effect wears off.

Heather Physioc – ‘Building a Discoverability Powerhouse: Lessons From Integrating Organic Search, Paid Search & Performance Content’

Organic, paid content and the like all impact discoverability. Yet, in many organisations, these teams are siloed. Heather discussed tips for integrating and collaborating between teams to build a “discoverabilty powerhouse”.

  • There are definite obstacles to integrating marketing teams like paid, social, or organic.
    • It’s not unlikely that merging teams too much can actually diminish agility. Depending on what marketing needs are at different times, allow for independence of teams when it’s necessary to get a job done.
    • Every team has their own processes for getting things done. Don’t try to overhaul everything at once. Talk with each other to see where integration makes the most sense.
  • There are also clear wins when you’re able to collaborate effectively.
    • When you’re in harmony with each team, you can more seamlessly find opportunities for discoverability. This can ultimately lead to up-sells or cross-sells.
    • By working together, we can share knowledge more deeply and have richer data. We can then leverage this to capture as much of the SERP as possible.
  • Cross-training teams can help build empathy and trust. When separate teams gain an understanding of how and why certain tasks (i.e. keyword research) are done, it can help everyone work better together and streamline processes.

Robin Lord – ‘Excel? It Would Be Easier To Go To Jupyter’

Robin, a senior consultant here at Distilled, demonstrated the various shortcomings of Excel and showed an easier, repeatable, and more effective way to get things done – using Jupyter Notebooks and Python.

Below we outline Robin’s main points:

  • Excel and Google Sheets are very error-prone – especially if you’re dealing with larger data sets! If you need to process a lot of data, then you should consider using Jupyter Notebooks, as it can handle much bigger data sets (think: analysing backlinks, doing keyword research, log file analysis)
  • Jupyter Notebooks are reusable: if you create a Jupyter script to do any repeatable task (i.e. reporting or keyword research) then you can reuse it. This makes your life much easier because you don’t have to go back and dissect an old process.
  • Jupyter allows you to use Regex. This gives a huge advantage over excel because it is far more efficient at allowing you to account for misspellings. This, for example, can give you a far more accurate chance at accounting for things like branded search query permutations.
  • Jupyter allows you to write notes and keep every step in your process ordered. This means that your methodology is noted and the next time you perform this task, you remember exactly the steps you took. This is especially useful for when clients ask you questions about your work weeks or months down the line!
  • Finally – Jupyter notebooks allow us to get answers that we can’t get from Excel. We’re able to not only consider the data set from new angles, but we also have more time to go about other tasks, such as thinking about client strategy or improving other processes.

Robin has so many slides it breaks Slideshare. Instead, you can download his slides from Dropbox.

Jes Scholz – ‘Giving Robots An All Access Pass’

Jes Scholz uses the analogy of a nightclub to explain how Googlebot interacts with your website. The goal? To become part of the exclusive “Club Valid”. Her main points are outlined below:

  • As stated by John Mueller himself, “crawl budget is overrated – most sites never need to worry about this”. So instead of focusing on how much Google is crawling your site, you should be most concerned with how Google is crawling it
  • Status codes are not good or bad – there are right codes and wrong codes for different situations
  • In a similar vein, duplicate content is not “bad”, in fact, it’s entirely natural. You just need to make sure that you’re handling it correctly
  • JavaScript is your ticket to better UX, however, bear in mind that this often presents a host of SEO difficulties. Make sure that you don’t rely on the mobile friendly testing tool to see if Google is able to crawl your JavaScript – this tool actually uses different software to Googlebot (this is a common misconception!) The URL inspection tool is a bit better for checking this, however, bear in mind it’s more patient that Googlebot when it comes to rendering JavaScript, so isn’t 100% accurate.

Rand Fishkin – ‘The Search Landscape in 2019’

As the web evolves, it’s important to evaluate the areas you could invest in carefully. Rand explored the key changes affecting search marketers and how SEOs can take these changes into account when determining strategy.

  • Should you invest in voice search? It’s probably a bit too early. There is little difference in the results you get from a voice search vs. a manual search.
  • Both mobile and desktop are big – don’t neglect one at the expense of the other!
  • The zero-click search is where the biggest search growth is happening right now. It now accounts for about half (48.96% in the US) of all searches!
    • If you could benefit from answering zero-click searches, then you should prepare for that. You can determine whether you’d benefit by evaluating the value in ranking for a particular query without necessarily getting traffic.
  • With changes in Google search appearance recently, ads have become more seamless in the SERP. This has led to paid click-through-rate rising a lot. However, if history is correct, then it will probably slowly decline until the next big search change.
  • As Google’s algorithms evolve, you’ll likely receive huge ranking benefits from focusing on growing authority signals (E-A-T).

Check out Rand’s slides to see where you should be spending your time and money as the search landscape evolves.

Emily Potter – ‘Can Anything in SEO Be Proven? A Deep-Dive Into SEO Split-Testing’

Split testing SEO changes allow us to say with confidence whether or not a specific change hurts or helps organic traffic. Emily discusses various SEO split tests she’s run and potential reasons for their outcome.

  • The main levers for SEO tend to boil down to
    • 1. Improving organic click-through-rate (CTR)
    • 2. Improving organic rankings of current keywords
    • 3. Ranking for new keywords
  • Split testing changes that we want to make to our site can help us to make business cases, rescue sessions, and gain a competitive advantage.
  • Determining which of the three levers causes a particular test to be positive or negative is challenging because since they all impact each other, the data is noisy. Measuring organic sessions relieves us of this noise.
  • Following “best practices” or what your competitors are doing is not always going to result in wins. Testing shows you what actually works for your site. For example, adding quantity of products in your titles or structured data for breadcrumbs might actually negatively impact your SEO, even if it seems like everyone else is doing so.

Check out Emily’s slides to see more split test case studies and learnings!

Jill Quick – ‘Segments: How To Get Juicy Insights & Avoid The Pips!’

In her excellent talk, Jill highlights how “average data gives you average insights”, and discusses the importance of segmenting your data to gain deeper insights into user behaviour. While analytics and segments are awesome, don’t become overwhelmed with the possibilities – focus on your strategy and work from there.

Jill’s other tips include:

  • Adding custom dimensions to forms on your website allows you to create more relevant and specific data segments
    • For example, if you have a website in the education sector, you can add custom dimensions to a form that asks people to fill in their profession.  You can then create a segment where custom dimension = headteacher, and you can then analyse the behaviour of this specific group of people
  • Build segments that look at your best buyers (people who convert well) as well as your worst customers (those who spend barely any time on site and never convert). You can learn a lot about your ideal customer, as well as what you need to improve on your site, by doing this.
  • Use your segments to build retargeting lists – this will usually result in lower CPAs for paid search, helping your PPC budget go further
  • Don’t forget to use advanced segments (using sequences and conditions) to create granular segments that matter to your business
  • You can use segments in Google Data Studio, which is awesome! Just bear in mind that in Data Studio you can’t see if your segment data is sampled, so it’s best to go into the GA interface to check

If you want to hear more about Jill’s session, she’s written a post to supplement her slides.

Rory Truesdale – ‘Using The SERPs to Know Your Audience’

It can be easy to get lost in evaluating metrics like monthly search volume, but we often forget that for each query, there is a person with a very specific motivation and need. Rory discussed how we can utilise Google’s algorithmic re-writing of the SERP to help identify those motivations and more effectively optimise for search intent – the SERPs give us amazing insight into what customers want!

  • Google rewrites the SERP displayed meta description 84% of the time (it thinks it’s smarter than us!) However, we can use this rewrite data to our advantage.
  • The best ways to get SERP data are through crawling SERPs in screaming frog, the scraper API or chrome extension, “Thruuu” (a SERP analysis tool), and then using Jupyter Notebooks to analyse it.
  • Scraping of SERPs, product reviews, comments, or reddit forums can be really powerful in that it will give you a data source that can reveal insight about what your customers want. Then you can optimise the content on your pages to appeal to them.
  • If you can get a better idea about what language and tone resonates with users, you can incorporate it into CTAs and content.

Check our Rory’s slides as well as the Jupyter notebook he uses to analyse SERP data.

Miracle Inameti Archibong – ‘The Complete Guide To Actionable Speed Audits: Getting Your Developer To Work With You’

It can be a huge challenge to get devs to implement our wishlist of SEO recommendations. Miracle discussed the practical steps to getting developers to take your recommendations seriously.

  • If you take some time to understand the Web Dev roles at your company, then it will help you better communicate your needs as an SEO and get things rolled out. You can do this by:
    • Learning the language that they’re using. Do some research into the terminology as well as possible limitations of your ask. This will make you more credible and you’re more likely to be taken seriously.
    • A team of developers may have different KPIs than you. It may be beneficial to use something like revenue as a way to get them on board with the change you want to make.
    • Try to make every ask more collaborative rather than instructive. For example, instead of simply presenting “insert this code,” try “here’s some example code, maybe we can incorporate x elements. What do you think?” A conversation may be the difference in effecting change.
  • Prioritising your requests in an easily readable way for web dev teams is always a good idea. It will give them the most information on what needs to get done in what timeline.

Faisal Anderson – ‘Spying On Google: Using Log File Analysis To Reveal Invaluable SEO Insights’

Log files contain hugely valuable insight on how Googlebot and other crawlers behave on your site. Rory uncovered why you should be looking at your logs as well as how to analyse them effectively to reveal big wins that you may have otherwise been unable to quantify.

  • Looking at log files is a great way to see the truest and freshest data on how Google is crawling your site. It’s most accurate because it’s the actual logs of how Google (and any other bot) is crawling your website.
  • Getting log file data can be tricky, so it’s helpful to ask devs about your hosting setup (if your server uses load balancing, the log files may be split between various hosts). You’ll want to get 6 months of data if you can.
  • The three main things to evaluate when you’re analysing log files
    • Crawl behavior: look at most and least crawled URLs, look at crawl frequency by depth and internal links
    • Budget waste: find low value urls (faceted nav, query params, etc.) there are likely some subdirectories you want crawled more than others
    • Site health: look for inconsistent server responses
  • Using Jupyter to do log file analysis is great because it’s reusable and you’ll be able to use it again and again.

Dr Pete Myers – ‘Scaling Keyword Research: More Isn’t Better’

Dr Pete Myers discussed how more is not better when it comes to keyword research! Ditch the thousands of keywords and instead focus on a smaller set of keywords that actually matter for you or your clients. Below are his top tips:

  • Pete has developed a simple metric called RankVol to help determine the importance of a keyword
    • RankVol = 1 / (rank x square root of volume)
    • Using this metric is better than sorting by search volume, as often the highest volume keywords that a site is appearing for are not the most relevant

  • Lots of data in keyword research can be irrelevant. Using John Lewis as an example:
    • 9% of keywords John Lewis ranks for are mis-spellings
    • Almost 20% of keywords they rank for are very close variants (plural vs. singular, for example)
    • Dr Pete provides a short script in his deck to group keywords to help strip out noise in your data set
  • If sitelinks appear for your website, Google thinks you’re a brand
  • A new SERP feature (‘best of’ carousel) is appearing in the US, and will likely be rolled out into Europe soon
    • This feature takes you to a heavily paid SERP, with lots of ads (some well-disguised!)
    • If a keyword has a heavily paid SERP, you should probably not bother trying to rank for it, as the pay-off will be small
  • ‘People also ask’ is on 90% of searches – be sure to try and take advantage of this SERP space
  • To summarise, perception is everything with keyword research – make sure you filter out the noise!

Lindsay Wassell – ‘Managing Multinational & Multilingual SEO in Motion’

Lindsay covered the many challenges involved in handling migrations involving multiple international site variants. Her key points are highlighted below:

  • Ask your dev team to make sure it’s possible to implement hreflang via XML sitemaps or on-page; then if there are problems implementing one method, you have another as a fall-back option
  • When deciding site structure and where international sites should be located (sub-folder? Subdomain? ccTLD?) bear in mind that there are no one-size-fits all solutions. It may be best to have a mixture of solutions, depending on each market.
  • If you have hreflang relationship issues, Lindsay advises to use Google Sheets to manage hreflang mappings, in combination with a script that can automatically generate XML sitemaps (link provided in her deck)
  • In order to encourage more people in your organisation to understand the importance of SEO and to make it a priority, highlight statistics such as traffic levels and revenue coming from organic search
  • Also keep in mind that every department has a wish list when it comes to a migration! Be tactical and tack onto other people’s wishlists to get SEO items implemented
  • As a final tip – check redirects before going live, as often dev teams will say it’s under control, and then there can be problems at the last minute

Stacey MacNaught – ‘Actioning Search Intent – What To Do With All That Data’

By analysing search intent, you can gain a ton of really insightful data. Stacey discussed how you can utilise all of this data to optimise your site for organic search and ultimately increase revenue and traffic.

  • Traditionally, search intent is categorised broadly as navigational, informational, and transactional. However, it’s often unclear where things are categorised because sometimes keywords are really ambiguous. Often you can break these categories down into more specific categories.
  • In terms of targeting keywords on your site, look out for opportunities where you may not be delivering the right content based on what query you’re targeting.
    • For example, if you’re targeting an informational keyword with a transactional result, you’re not going to rank. This can be an opportunity for you to create the kind of page that will rank for a select query. If the phrase is “best ballet shoes” and the results are informational pages, then you shouldn’t be serving a transactional result.
    • If you can be objective about the topic at hand and you have someone qualified to write that content, then you should definitely do it.
  • If your rankings drop but revenue unaffected, it’s likely you’ve lost rankings on informational keywords
  • Don’t assume that users will come back of their own accord – work with PPC and get them to retarget to users who have read your content
    • Build out different audience lists according to the types of content or topics that users have been reading
    • Build out separate PPC campaigns for this so you can easily monitor results
    • Stacey saw CPA fall by -34% when she did this for a healthcare site
  • To generate content ideas, talk to the sales and customer service teams to find out what users are asking, then build content around it
    • You can also use Google Forms to survey previous customers to find out what drove their purchase

Will Critchlow – ‘Misunderstood Concepts at the Heart of SEO – Get An Edge By Understanding These Areas’

Most things in SEO can be boiled down to technical accessibility, relevance, quality, and authority. Or: can it be crawled, does it meet a keyword need, and is it trustworthy? However, some of the foundational elements of SEO are misunderstood.

  • Regarding crawlability, it’s important to understand how setting directives in robots.txt will impact your site if handled incorrectly.
    • Robots.txt directives do not cascade. For example, if you set a specific directive to disallow Googlebot from /example, that is the one it will follow. Even if you specify that * (all user agents) are disallowed from /dont-crawl elsewhere in the file, Googlebot will only follow it’s set directive not to crawl /example and still be able to crawl /dont-crawl.
    • The Google documentation, robots.txt checker in  GSC, and the open source parser tend to disagree on what is allowed and disallowed. So, you’ll need to do some testing to ensure that the directives you’re setting are what you intended.
  • We often have  a lot of intuition about how things like pagerank work, but too many of our recommendations are based on misconceptions about how authority flows
  • There are some huge changes coming to major browser cookie handling. The cookie window will be shorter, which means that a lot of traffic that’s currently classified as organic will be classified as direct. Understanding the language around the changes that are happening is, and will be, important
  • There are common misconceptions too about the meaning of ‘long tail keywords’
    • 50% of Twitter respondents incorrectly think it means that there are many words in a query
    • 40% understand the correct meaning, which is that they are keywords with low search volume

That’s it for our London conference for another year. But the good news is we are heading to San Diego in March where we’ll be getting some sun, sea and search at SearchLove San Diego!

If you have any questions about our conferences please leave a comment below or come and say hello over on Twitter.

SearchLove London 2019: The Great Big Round Up was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Google Index Guide: How to Get Google to Index Your Pages Faster

Cover Photo -Google Index Guide- How to Get Google to Index Your Pages Faster

Since you now know how to SEO new websites, the proceeding problem you’re going to face is to wait until Google indexes your new website and consequently displays it in their search results. Google has these processes that enable them to find, crawl, index, and display relevant pages to the users for specific queries. That involves a lot of effort, hardware, and ingenuity since it’s not an understatement when I say that there are billions of websites in the 2019 world wide web. So the challenge for us SEOs and webmasters is to fasten Google’s process of finding our site, crawling and indexing it, and displaying it to the right users.

Google Index

Before Google displays our pages to the users, our websites need to be saved in their massive database. This is what the term “indexing” refers to since it relates to the information collected by Google from the world wide web and them making it a part of their database. 

A much simpler way of putting Google’s indexing process is like a person acquiring a new book (the website) which includes its chapters (web pages) and storing it in their library. 

After the indexing process, Google’s algorithms get to work with ranking the pages based on a variety of factors such as keywords, on-page and off-page signals, E-A-T, etc. This is a summarized version of the indexing process since it’s more complicated and technical than what it seems. 

So, how can you, as a webmaster, make Google’s Index process faster to benefit your website and reach out to your target audience? Here’s how:

How to Get Google to Index Your Pages Faster

The first step is to check if Google has already indexed some pages of your website. There are a variety of ways to check this but the two best ways are to either check it on Google Search Console’s coverage report:

Coverage GSC Screenshot

There you’ll see how many pages have been indexed by Google and which specific page they are:

Submitted and Indexed GSC Screenshot

Creating a search console account is important for all webmasters, but if you are looking for an easier way to check if your pages are indexed by Google is through the use of “site:” search operator. Just type “site:yourdomainname.com” in the Google search bar. This is what it should look like if Google has indexed some of your pages:

Site Operator Indexed Screenshot

However, if Google hasn’t indexed any pages from your site, this is what it would look like:

Site Operator No Indexed Screenshot

So, if you see the above result when you use the “site:” search operator, here are some steps you can do to quicken Google’s Index process:

1. Use Google Search Console’s URL Inspection Tool

  • Just log into Google Search Console 
  • Go to your website’s search console property page
  • Paste the page URL into the Inspection tool bar

GSC URL Inspection Tool Screenshot

  • Click Enter
  • Once you see that the page’s URL isn’t on Google, press the Request Indexing button 

URL is not on google screenshot

  • Once you click it, a pop-up appears that lets us know that the URL was added to a priority crawl queue.

Indexing Request Screenshot

The crawl time is completely dependent on Google’s crawlers since I’ve seen pages that were indexed in a few hours, some after a few days. Make sure to monitor the page so you’ll know once Google has indexed it.

2. Re-submit Your Sitemap

As webmasters and SEOs, a sitemap is already common knowledge since it’s a helpful guide that search engines use to understand which pages are important to your site. One thing you have to note is that the inclusion of a specific page in your sitemap does not assure it being indexed, however, not including that specific page in your sitemap lessens the chances of indexation. 

Creating a sitemap is easy – even more so if you’re using WordPress as your CMS. You can install SEO plugins like Yoast to help you with the creation of your sitemap.

Once you’ve created your sitemap, just submit it in Search Console and wait for Google to successfully fetch it. 

Sitemap Search Console Screenshot

Again, use the “site:” search operator to check if Google properly indexed the pages you WANT to be indexed. 

3. Promote Your Page

Link building is an important aspect of your SEO but it also helps Google find your pages. So, always make sure to promote your page in high-traffic sites (social media, authoritative websites, influential websites). 

Submitting guest posts, sharing your page/content in social media, or any other link building tactic you can think of are ways in which you can speed up the indexation of your page since Google uses these links to navigate the world wide web. 

Of course, internal links are also important since these help crawlers that are already INSIDE your website navigate to the page you want to be indexed. 

4. Regularly Publish Content

You can let Google do it’s routine and they’ll eventually crawl and index your site. This can take as little as 4 days and up to 6 months. If you’re not in a hurry, then you can just let them do the work for you (although I don’t recommend this). Once Google has crawled your website, you can see your site’s crawl stats in search console to see How many pages are crawled per day, kilobytes downloaded per day, and the time spent downloading a page. 

Crawl Stats GSC screenshot

Here’s a tip: regularly put out fresh content. It signals to Google that your website is active and should be indexed regularly. If you don’t continuously put out new and fresh content, your crawl rate will start to diminish. Since I publish twice a week, this website’s average crawl rate is above average than normal business websites. 

Key Takeaway

Your website needs to be crawled by Google regularly – especially if you’re changing or publishing things regularly. A lot of the steps I’ve highlighted above involve the use of Google Search Console – which is one of the most important tools a webmaster and SEO should have. Understanding the ins and outs of Google Search Console can help you understand how Google interacts with your site and the changes you’re making.

Google’s Index process is one of the most important parts of their whole search algorithm and it pays if you have a basic understanding of this facet. Do you have any questions? Comment it down below and let’s talk!

Google Index Guide: How to Get Google to Index Your Pages Faster was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Pricing Strategy: Leveraging customer psychology to maximize average customer value

“You will learn more about marketing if you get outside of the marketing literature and into the mind literature.”

— Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS Institute

(This article was originally published in the MarketingExperiments email newsletter.)

Today’s video replay is loaded with valuable information about how and when to present your price to the customer while on their journey to the final macro-yes — the purchase.

Flint McGlaughlin shares two key factors in pricing strategy — timing and intensity.

He explains the importance of using the customer’s maximum moment of motivation (MMM) to get the timing right. A common error marketers make today is to continue discussing your product’s value after the MMM has passed. This mistake can actually lessen your product’s perceived value in the customer’s eyes, decreasing conversions.

McGlaughlin introduces how to intensify your product’s perceived value by tapping into three primary human desires — pleasure, power and meaning — suggesting that one of these is the top motivator marketers should consider for their pricing/messaging strategy. In doing so, genuine value is added to the customer’s life, as well as the marketer’s.

Watch the replay of this YouTube Live interactive session to gain valuable insights for your pricing decisions.

Here are some key points in the video:

  • (4:40) Pricing strategy resource list
  • (8:39) Price is not a number: How can I get the most value per customer?
  • (19:14) Case study: 97% increase in conversion by finding optimal location of the price in the customer journey
  • (20:25) Why you should not change one variable at a time when testing
  • (26:06) Maximum Moment of Motivation (MMM): Customer’s perceived value of your offer diminishes after this point
  • (28:25) How to map your funnel to achieve MMM
  • (33:00) Value Proposition courses available: https://meclabs.com/education
  • (35:12) “You will learn more about marketing if you get outside of the marketing literature and into the mind literature.”
  • (39:10) How to apply customer psychology to pricing: Freud, Adler, Frankl
  • (44:20) Victor Frankl: The importance of appealing to the customer’s desire for meaning

Related Resources

E-commerce: When should you reveal the price in your shopping carts?

Pricing Psychology Test: Shopping Guide Lifts Order Value 35%

Content Marketing: How a farm justifies premium pricing

Pricing Strategy: Leveraging customer psychology to maximize average customer value was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Content Accuracy Factors You Should Optimize For

Content Accuracy has been a recurring topic in the SEO community, especially now because Google has revealed it as a ranking factor. It has been the talk of the town since Gary Illyes from Google has said so at PubCon, a well-known SEO conference. Content Accuracy is especially important for YMYL sites because according to Google they “go to great lengths to surface reputable and trustworthy sources.”

This is a huge thing but I must admit it is pretty ironic since back in September, Danny Sullivan from Google has said that it is not treated as a ranking factor. However, they may be talking about different facets of content accuracy as a factor for site performance in the SERPs. So I want to discuss this with you, do you think you are optimizing well for content accuracy? Here is a quick cheat guide for you!

Creating the Perfect Content Accuracy Recipe

What you must know about accuracy in digital marketing is that it is not a popularity contest. A piece of content garnering thousands of views does not mean that it is automatically accurate for the user searching for it. We cannot pinpoint the exact elements that Google regards as the standard for Content Accuracy, but I suggest that you strategize according to these metrics:

Correctness

When we measure content based on correctness, it deals more beyond making sure that you do not have grammatical errors and vocabulary lapses. It is also the extent to which you would go to prove that your content is reliable enough to be credited as a source of information.

Think about it in an elementary school sense, if these students would not use your content as a source for their homework, do not bother thinking users actively searching for answers will treat you favorably. Correctness is a great metric of accuracy because it validates your content as something you can promote freely without worrying about user reception and negative feedback.

Credibility and Authority

Another revelation that Google made at PubCon is that they do not keep track of E-A-T scores. Gary Illyes also made it clear that E-A-T and YMYL are concepts instead of a standard that they keep tabs on. With that said, it is still important to establish authority, especially in championing accuracy in your content. One way to know if users see you as an authority in a particular niche is through links. If there are many people linking to you, this basically solidifies your reputation for that particular content. Credibility and authority go hand in hand, especially if you optimize well for topic relevance. Speaking of topical relevance, this is a signal that Google’s systems can rely on to rank content so be mindful of this as well.

Objectivity

Google cannot exactly tell if the content is accurate, according to Danny Sullivan. Instead, they align their signals to find topic relevance and authority. Verifying accuracy is not something that the system can easily accomplish. Be that as it may, you should still optimize your content to be as objective as possible. Meaning, as much as possible, the content you publish should be impartial and not explicitly biased.

danny sullivan content accuracy

Traceability

Author reputation in accordance with E-A-T has always been a part of the discussion for most SEOs. Users today can be turned away by content published by an unreliable source. They can easily question who the writer or content creator is and this will hurt your SEO efforts in the long run. Reactiveness is a major factor in content accuracy, so if their feedback includes doubts, you’re probably on the wrong track.

Key Takeaway

Good content has a great recall. This is a great goal for content accuracy because who wouldn’t want people to read and share their hard work, right? I have been writing for many years now and making sure that I share accurate content is second-nature to me. This is a quality that SEOs should also mirror since it will be a sound investment in the long run.

Seeing as content accuracy is stated as a ranking factor by Google, this has validated its importance even more. More than having a steady quota of content from your site, it should be high quality enough to be promoted and shared with other people. This is how these metrics come into play; by helping you be a trusted and reputable source of information for users.

Content Accuracy Factors You Should Optimize For was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing