Archives October 2018

Search specialist shares five ways to adapt your search strategy in uncertain times

The events of the last few weeks have had a dramatic effect on millions of people’s lives. Uncertainty over health, childcare, work, food and the wellbeing of loved ones has dominated all of our thinking over the past few days.

Not only has it changed the way we’re shopping and interacting with others, an expert at online search specialist Epiphany, Paul Norris, has looked at how it has impacted what users are turning to the internet for and advises how businesses can adapt their search strategy during this tricky time.

The Prime Minister’s speech on 13th March 2020 served as a catalyst for many to search for “working from home essentials” with searches such as computer chairs increasing by 185%.

As a nation, we also considered our options for emergency deliveries, including “wine delivery” services, which nearly tripled in just one week.

search strategy and trends in tricky times

As people’s searches change to reflect new (increasingly home-based and socially distant) situations, it’s important that marketers adapt to the shifts in search behavior.

Here are a few ways to navigate the next few weeks and to prepare for when we emerge from the current situation:

1. Identify and capitalize on emerging trends

Monitor your search query reports closely – look for increased use of convenience and supply modifiers as availability and fulfillment is valued more. Searches containing “near me” have started to fall as queries for “online” services have increased.

If your business offers quick deliveries (and can still fulfill them), ensure it’s prominent in messaging, listings and on-site. Searches for next and same-day delivery will only continue to grow.

2. Listen to your visitors – use your site search reports and Hotjar polls

Your on-site search function is an absolute gold mine in times like these – demand and behavioral changes from your visitors are picked up directly. Use the Site Search report in GA (found under “Behaviour” on the left-hand side) as a listening board.

closely monitor site search reports to effectively work on your search strategy

Surface the most-searched-for products and services on relevant high traffic pages. Rethink, test and measure your carousels and other key product and service listing elements where relevant. Enabling Hotjar (or similar) polls can also enable you to get more specific insight.

3. Shift budget into investment channels

If you’re pulling back on sales activation because demand is dropping, look to move that budget and resource into a medium and longer-term activity that will pay dividends when demand picks up. With the previous points in mind, conduct a meta-data review and weave more highly valued services such as next day delivery into titles and descriptions. Has content taken a back seat? There are some definite benefits to content strategy, planning, and creation with the headspace you’re afforded when working from home.

4. Bypass dev queues and do what you can from your CMS

Prioritizing your activity in a busy dev queue can be difficult at the best of times. If dev time is booked up because the team is completely promo and sales activation focused, do what you can. Are you able to edit content and optimize existing pages in the CMS? Can you create new landing pages in your CMS without tech intervention? If so, now is the time to utilize those capabilities.

5. Maximize performance where demand is strong

Identify where demand remains strong (or has even picked up) and do what you can to capture and convert it. Your top landing pages and product reports are a good first port of call and can provide you with some quick wins. Segmenting and analyzing site performance by product/area/service (depending on your sector) can help you identify and capitalize on bigger emerging trends. If you’re a retailer, think about splitting out essential and non-essential products.

Paul Norris is Senior Strategist & Head of London Operations at Epiphany.

The post Search specialist shares five ways to adapt your search strategy in uncertain times appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Update your cancelled or postponed events with Schema

The outbreak of COVID-19 led to a wave of canceled or postponed events. Some events made the switch from an offline event to an online one. As everyone is scrambling to look up the latest information on events online, it is important to have all the latest details on your website. Search engines can pick up these details and post the correct information in the search results. New Event Schema helps speed up this process.

Events structured data expanded quickly

In last week’s release of Schema.org 7.0, you can find several updates to the Events structured data. You can give your event an eventStatus of EventCancelled when it’s cancelled or an EventPostponed when it’s been postponed. In addition, you can also set a rescheduled event as EventRescheduled.

A new option is available for events that moved online: you can now update the eventStatus to EventMovedOnline. Here, you can also mark events as online-only by setting the location to VirtualLocation and set the eventAttendenceMode to OnlineEventAttendanceMode.

An example for YoastCon 2020

We had a new edition of YoastCon planned for April, 2020. As everything else, we rescheduled that to a date later in the year. I thought I’d let you see how one of these additions could look in code.

Below, you can find a part of the Schema code found on the YoastCon page. I’ve added the eventStatus, plus the corresponding EventRescheduled property. Also, I’ve added the old, plus the new date. Now, search engines know this event was rescheduled to a new date and can update the listing accordingly.

{ "@type":"BusinessEvent", "@id":"https://yoast.com/yoastcon/#yoastcon", "mainEntityOfPage": { "@id": "https://yoast.com/yoastcon/#webpage" } , "name":"YoastCon", "description":"Due to the recent COVID-19 health concerns both locally and among our (international) speakers, we're sad to announce that we're postponing YoastCon 2020.", "organizer": { "@id": "https://yoast.com/#organization" } , "startDate":"2020-09-10T07:00:00+00:00", "endDate":"2020-09-10T07:00:00+00:00", "eventStatus": "https://schema.org/EventRescheduled", "eventAttendanceMode": "https://schema.org/OfflineEventAttendanceMode", "previousStartDate": "2020-04-21T19:00", "url":"https://yoast.com/yoastcon/", "image":"https://yoast.com/app/uploads/2019/10/YoastCon2020-600x338.png", "location": { "@type":"Place", "name":"Theater 't Moza\u00efek", "url":"https://www.mozaiekwijchen.nl/", "address": { "@type": "PostalAddress", "addressLocality": "Wijchen", "addressRegion": "Gelderland", "addressCountry": "The Netherlands", "postalCode": "6602 HX", "streetAddress": "Campuslaan 6" } }

Moving the event online

Many events now move to online-only, for the time being or completely. You can now let search engines know that the event has turned into an online event — or a mixed event with both an offline and an online component.

In the YoastCon example, I could move the event by adding an EventMovedOnline property, combined with a new VirtualLocation property with a link to the page where the event is happening online. Code is truncated.

"eventAttendanceMode": "https://schema.org/OnlineEventAttendanceMode", "eventStatus": [ "https://schema.org/EventRescheduled", "https://schema.org/EventMovedOnline" ], "previousStartDate": "2020-04-22T19:00", "location": { "@type": "VirtualLocation", "url": "https://yoast.com/yoastcon/"

Of course, you can combine both online and offline locations of the event. Simply add the MixedEventAttendanceMode to the eventAttendanceMode and set both a virtual as well as a real location for the event. This might look something like this:

 "eventAttendanceMode": "https://schema.org/MixedEventAttendanceMode", "eventStatus": "https://schema.org/EventScheduled", "location": [{ "@type": "VirtualLocation", "url": "https://yoast.com/yoastcon/" }, { "@type":"Place", "name":"Theater 't Moza\u00efek", "url":"https://www.mozaiekwijchen.nl/", "address": { "@type": "PostalAddress", "addressLocality": "Wijchen", "addressRegion": "Gelderland", "addressCountry": "The Netherlands", "postalCode": "6602 HX", "streetAddress": "Campuslaan 6"
}
}]

Google has a special page in on its developer website describing how to get your event in the search results correctly.

SpecialAnnouncement for broadcasting announcements

The new SpecialAnnouncement type lets governments announce important happenings, like the closing of businesses and public recreation areas. While the initial offering is focused entirely on the spread special announcements during the Coronavirus pandemic, this will be extended at a further date. Both Bing and Google accept SpecialAnnouncement and will highlight these pages in the results how they see fit. You can find more information on SpecialAnnouncement on Schema.org/SpecialAnnouncement.

We’re working on this as well

As you see, it makes a lot of sense to add this to your event pages. Unfortunately, at the moment Yoast SEO doesn’t have to option to add this code automatically. We’re working on that, though! Our structured data content blocks already let you build great FAQ pages and how-to articles, but we’re also working on blocks for events and recipes, among other things. In a while, you can add events and mark these as online, offline or mixed, while the correct structured data will be applied automatically.

Other things you can do to get provide accurate and up-to-date information

In the current COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic, it is crucial to give people accurate information about your event or business. A lot things have changed, many people sit indoor and have to go online to find out which businesses they can still visit or which events take place when. So, please take a moment to bring all your listings up-to-date.

Please check your listings on Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp, TripAdvisor et cetera. Also update your social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. In addition, it might be a good idea to put a COVID-19 related FAQ page on your website answering the most pressing questions on how your business or event is handling this crisis. The Yoast SEO FAQ content block helps you make such a page in an instant. It also automatically adds valid structured data that makes sure the FAQ shows up in Google. Use it to your advantage.

Also, make sure to read Google’s documentation on how to pause your business online in search during this crisis.

Stay indoors. Stay safe!

The post Update your cancelled or postponed events with Schema appeared first on Yoast.


Comprehensive guide to exact match domains in 2020

Exact match domains (EMDs) are domain names that incorporate the exact keywords that you are trying to rank for in Google’s SERPs.

Examples of exact match domains include:

  • carinsurance.com
  • buygroceries.com
  • dogfood.com

In some industries, people will call their company’s name after the product that they offer, for example, Window Cleaners London.

But in the competitive world of SEO, EMDs are commonly bought by webmasters to gain a quick advantage when it comes to ranking on search engines.

Other studies have shown that having an EMD can help clicks with PPC, given that it targets a particular search enquiry.

The history of exact match domains

Looking back at the evolution of SEO over the past 20 years, having an exact match domain was originally a sure-fire way to rank top of Google.

Even dating back 10 years ago, many SEO practitioners benefitted from just buying an exact match domain, adding a bit of content and getting links from directories and this was enough to secure a page one position.

A new market emerged from domain-name selling. Many entrepreneurs were eager to get their hands on a valuable domain name, whilst thrifty businesspeople held onto domain names hoping to ‘flip’ them at a higher price.

This market continues today, with companies like GoDaddy and 123 Reg offering a marketplace for buying and selling domains, amongst other products.

But webmasters holding onto domains for their potential value has seen the most promising businesses never seen to be made, with websites such as cars.com, food.com, loans.com offering affiliate sites but not transpiring into major brands.

With long-winded exact match domains starting to rank such as buybluejeans.com and carinsurancequotesonline.com – Google responded with an EMD update in 2012 to penalize and filter these out.

Is using exact match domains a problem in 2020?

Not necessarily, there is a place for EMDs in 2020 and the right level of SEO can make it successful.

You do not get penalized just for having an EMD and in some cases, you will get a boost.

However, for the larger part, using exact match domains is going to be like walking on thin ice and could make you very prone to Google penalties.

For instance, creating new landing pages becomes an issue and you risk the possibility of keyword stuffing or over-optimization.

Your homepage should be the welcome page for your website and you should have nicely optimized landing pages coming off it and this where a lot of your SEO traffic will go to. The issue is that if your homepage is homeinsurance.com, using the right words for landing pages becomes tricky. Would you realistically create a page homeinsurance.com/home-insurance and would Google rank this?

When your homepage is likely to have more links pointing to it initially, there will be difficulty in ranking for other landing pages for that exact match keyword.

However, it is link-building that really becomes tricky.

Whatever anchor text you use, you risk the chance of using too much exact match anchor text – and this is a simple way to get a penalty. There are ways around this, such as using a wide range of anchor text, but finding the balance is tricky and it only takes one link of yours to be shared numerous times to make it look like you are running an exact match anchor text campaign.

The role of partial match domain names

Partial match domain names are a combination of the main keyword you are trying to target and something that is not related. A number of successful brands have used other words with the main keyword such as “hut”, “hub”, “network”, “market”, and so on.

Some examples of partial match domain names:

  • suitsdirect.co.uk
  • booksetc.co.uk
  • brownsfashion.com
  • sunglasseshut.com

These brands only use half the target keyword, service or object, such as “sunglasses” or “fashion”.

This approach means that natural landing pages can be created without the risk of keyword stuffing and there is no risk of anchor text causing penalties when the brand name is linked.

Another partial match option is that you take a different word, which is more of an adjective or selling point.

A good example is a price comparison site, Forces Compare, which benefits from having ‘compare’ in its domain, and therefore gets a boost for every product it compares across cards, accounts, loans, and more.

There is also the business provider, Funding Invoice, which benefits from having the word “invoice” in its domain.

Some smart uses of partial matches could involve using words such as “free”, “cheap”, and “best” or locations such as “London” and “California”.

Using the right words by association

If you want to generate brand value, but do not want to risk the chance of a Google penalty, you can use a domain that has an association. You do not gain any immediate benefits from Google, but it will certainly look good from a user’s perspective and gaining a good click-through rate (CTR) will notably benefit your rankings.

This includes the infamous doorbell company, Ring.com, the dog food provider, Paws.com and the dating site, Match.com.

Are some industries better than others for using exact match domains?

Yes, we have to accept that Google treats some sectors very differently and when it comes to very competitive industries such as fashion, insurance and finance, they do not want to give anyone a quick advantage just because they own an EMD.

The best approach is to look at each industry and the SERPs that you are targeting. For some industries such as loans and insurance, there are very few (if any) in the UK search results, where “loans” and “insurance” are mentioned in the domain and they are positioned on page one.

However, if you look at the key term “casino bonuses”, around seven to eight sites on page one have the word “casino” in their domain name – highlighting the importance of researching each industry.

For industries where there is less competition and fewer penalties handed out (and this is particularly in local listings), there is only going to be a handful of people searching for “good plumbers in Orange County” or “pizza places in Brooklyn”– you are more likely to be successful using an exact match domain.

Is it too late to change my exact match domain?

No, if you have started with an EMD and have struggled to get it to rank or have been subject to penalties, you can look at changing the domain and you will still hold a lot of the good SEO you have built up.

Doing a 301 redirect to the new domain will hold 90% to 95% of the SEO value and also have a very quick turnaround time, providing that you have good content and UX to back it up.

A recent rebrand of the company Bridging Loan Hub to Octagon Capital showed that the rankings were restored within two weeks and continued to grow back to their original positions, and higher.

Example of exact match domain sites - Octagon Capital

 

 Conclusion: Do your research and focus on the brand

Exact match domains (EMDs) still have a role to play in successful SEO and this includes some target industries and local searches.

One has to be careful if they have a large SEO strategy depending on optimizing an exact match domain since this could see initial growth but also be high-risk in the penalty department.

The best advice is to research the industry and see who is ranking on pages one and two of Google. Do they use exact match, partial match or neither?

Either way, Google does not want SEO to be easy and they want it to be earned through other factors such as good design, UX, content, and link-building.

Every time, the most effective and risk-free approach will be to create a keyword-free brand name and build an online brand using good, clean SEO. This should be complemented with other traffic sources such as direct, email, referral and social media to see the maximum effect.

Daniel Tannenbaum is co-founder of Tudor Lodge Consultants.

The post Comprehensive guide to exact match domains in 2020 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Best Practices for Finding and Reaching out to YouTubers That can Help Your Brand

Being an online marketer, it’s up to you to find new and more effective ways to market your brand. Sticking to traditional advertising channels will cause you to drown out in the crowd.

Most marketers think that they should be looking for content publishers/bloggers to promote their businesses, but there is one very significant group that they are missing out on:

YouTubers.

There is a huge trend in video-based influencers taking over as major players in the industry. And one of the most popular platforms that these influencers use? YouTube.

YouTube is the second most visited website in the world only after Google. Not utilizing the potential of this powerful platform would be a mistake.

In this article, we are going to talk about the steps and best practices you can follow to find the right YouTuber to represent your brand. We will also talk about how you can reach out to them effectively to form a successful collaboration.

How To Find The Right YouTuber For Collaboration

Step 1: Set Goals

The first step you need to take before you start any kind of marketing campaign is to create a timeline and plan for your outreach. This will help you set concrete goals, targets, etc.

Get creative and create a timeline graphic using a tool like Venngage. A graphic like this will allow you to convey your timeline clearly to your team, and in this case, the YouTube influencer as well. 

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Use these timeline graphics to hold you and your team accountable.

My personal goals for this phase is to reach out to 10 influencers per month with a persistent (but not annoying) cadence. I’m hoping that I can get responses and continue the conversation with at least three of the influencers. The others that didn’t respond should be bumped for six months before you reach out again. 

Step 2: Fix Your Budget

Once your plan and timeline are in place, it’s time to fix a budget for your outreach. There are different levels of YouTubers based on their popularity, number of subscribers, and the average number of video views

A majority of Youtube influencers will request sponsorship money rather than being paid on a performance basis. YouTubers that have millions of subscribers and millions of average video views will charge you much more compared to smaller YouTubers. If you have a budget of $10,000, do you want to do a test with two influencers at $5,000 each? Or would you like to test  20 influencers at $500 each? 

Personally I like to test on a wider scale. If I can find 10 influencers that will take $1000, I’m going to get a good mix of results. Some will be stinkers; just chalk it up to a learning lesson. However, there are going to be few that blow up and make you look real good.

The important thing to keep in mind here is that you need to first identify your target audience, and then choose the category of YouTubers that caters to your specific audience.

Step 3: Identify Your Target Audience

Suppose you own a business that sells high-end, luxurious, and expensive make-up. Would you rather target an audience of:

  1. A) women
  2. B) women between the ages of 30-50 years, who have already shown interest in expensive cosmetics?

The second group would make more sense since there is a higher chance of those women purchasing your products. 

Create a target customer profile and then look for influencers with an audience most similar to your created profile. Find a free customer avatar creator that will help you narrow down exactly who you should be targeting. 

Google is constantly identifying Youtube viewers and categorizing them. They share that data freely (not all of it) with each Youtube channel. When you reach out to influencers, request they send you stats on their audience. If they can’t provide that to you, they probably aren’t a partner you want to work with.

Step 4: Find Prospective YouTubers

Now that you have set your budget and created your target customer profile, it’s time to find prospective YouTubers to pitch to.

You can do this in two ways. The first is using Google search and YouTube search to type in your keywords and find a list of influencers you could pitch to. 

Pretty straightforward right? 

But the problem with this method is that you get an unfiltered list that you need to personally check for audience, number of subscribers, and other information.

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The second way (and the simpler method) is to use special tools with lists and filters that help you pick a handful of YouTubers according to the criteria you enter.

These tools have a database of YouTube influencers along with a ton of information about them such as their subscriber bases, locations, and average video views.

My first stop is always SocialBlade. This free tool will give you quick stats on all the Youtube channels, along with a grade for the influencers. I really love the “similar channels” feature that will give you a list of 20 other channels that might be good prospects. 

If you are willing to invest other resources, here are some other tools that make life even easier

BuzzSumo is an excellent resource for finding all social stats on each influencer. You’ll be able to find the right contact info and keep track of who you reach out to as well.

FameBit is a content platform that helps you easily connect with influencers that are ready and willing to make partnership deals. You can negotiate the terms and price right on their platform.

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GrapeVine a great influencer platform focused on Instagramers.

TubeBuddy is a Youtube video optimization tool that helps influencers maximize the SEO value. I use this to view how much care the influencers take in optimizing each video.

Influicity is more of a turnkey solution that will find the right influencers for your brand and negotiate the deal on your behalf. They excel with podcasts and other avenues besides Youtube as well.

Influenza has a really nice solution to turning the keywords you want into a nice list of potential partners.

Step 6: Study the Youtuber and Build a Relationship

It may look like a certain YouTuber is the perfect choice for your brand with their target audience and their average number of video views. However, it is crucial that the influencer resonates with your brand and can portray your products or services in a way that is consistent with your brand image.

Remember: always choose compatibility over popularity.

It also pays to take time and build a relationship with the influencer. You could create a podcast and host popular YouTubers in your niche. This will allow you to build a good rapport with them and their followers. 

You can then cross-promote with them hosting you on their YouTube channel so that both your brand as well as the influencer get recognized by each other’s audiences.

I have personally found that offering influencers something upfront is key to kicking off the partnership on the right foot. It can be something small like a free product, or a linkback to their site. You want to get them invested, not only in your product, but in your relationship.

Step 7: Reach out to Youtube Influencers Strategically

If you own a small brand (one that’s not yet well-known), you will need to build authority before you approach video influencers. Remember that you are spending time and energy to find and reach out to these influencers, and all efforts will be in vain if you don’t do it strategically.

Local citations are a great way to link to your business online. They could mention your address, phone numbers, and website address. 

Local citations could be in the form of business directories, social media mentions, photo citations or video citations. They help you improve your SEO and gain organic traffic.

Before reaching out to video influencers, try to obtain local video citations with a service like Loganix to build authority. 

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This will help you provide samples and expertise to your target influencers, rather than cold pitching them with nothing to show or offer.

Take a sales outbound approach where you start sales engagement tactics on YouTubers. The Outbound Sales Playbook by Reply has some great tips on beginning an effective outreach campaign.

Here is one of the tips from the book:

“Even the most complex sales process can be automated, without losing any of the personalization and quality that gets you results.”Outbound Sales Playbook

Sounds great, doesn’t it? What a perfect way to save time and build a strategic process!

In your outreach, be sure to offer a calendar invite that allows the prospect to schedule a meeting on their own time. 

For example, tools like Woven allow you to send a link to your calendar to schedule meetings with ease. 

This ensures a higher conversion rate on your campaigns rather than back and forth of scheduling. 

Step 8: Set Expectations & Setup for Success

When you first communicate with the prospective video influencer, you need to be clear and set your expectations. This will save both you and the influencer a lot of time down the line.

Setting clear expectations of what you want the YouTuber to promote and a general idea of how you would like it to be done will help them understand you and your brand better.

You’ll also need to provide all the assets they need to succeed. Free products are always a must offer. Give them the proper tracking links to utilize in descriptions. Let them know how long you expect their videos to be and what selling points they should be focusing on.

One big expectation I like to set is the definition of success. If my company investing money upfront, I want to see sales coming from this campaign. I want this influencer to bring the energy our product deserves so that sales can thrive and we can replicate this partnership deal again. If the influencer is not invested in bringing the energy to their audience, the sales will suffer and future sponsorship will be off the table.

Step 9: Negotiations

Never settle for what the influencer’s initial request for sponsorship. They are trained to shoot for the stars and will ask for a crazy amount of money, just in case some big brand is willing to pay it. 

Go in there with a level head and a target deal based on their audience. If you cannot reach a middle ground, move on.

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I like offering up hybrid deals for every sponsorship. For example, let’s say a Youtuber with 100,000 subscribers wants $1000 for a 30 second read in the middle of a video. No deal. Instead I would counter-offer with 1 minute read, $400 upfront, and commissions for all sales they bring in. 

The key here is to present it in the right light. They will have the opportunity to make MUCH more money if they can bring in sales. This will also motivate the influencer to be invested in making sales. Their tone will be much more positive and upbeat if they have skin in the game.

Step 10: Leave Room For Creativity

There are many ways by which YouTubers collaborate with and promote brands:

  • Unboxing Videos

You could send the influencer your product and they could do an unboxing video where they show their subscribers the package they received and what your product looks like at first glance.

This is a great way to build curiosity and excitement for a new product in the market.

  • Reviews

The next kind of video is a review video where the YouTuber uses your product or service for a while and gives his or her viewers an unbiased review of what is good and/or lacking in it.

It is always good for them to give an honest review as this shows that the YouTuber is genuine and has no intention of tricking his or her followers by making false claims about your product.

For example, Zoma Sleep uses the strategy of sending a free product (in this case, their sports mattress) to popular YouTubers in their niche to review. In fact, I reached out to one of their sleep experts, who detailed their process of finding Youtubers to help their brand: 

“On YouTube, we’ve designed our outreach strategy to focus on individuals who are experts in the sleep and mattress industry. They’re generally more receptive to reviewing our mattress since they’re able to understand the unique design and technology we incorporate into our products. While a creative pitch might pique their interest, they’re ultimately more excited in the granular product differentiators since they know that’s what their audience is looking for too. Plus, we look to build longer-lasting relationships with them and regularly offer the inside scoop on new product launches. This has been really effective in getting us exposure to consumers who wouldn’t have heard about our brand otherwise.” 

James Nguyen, sleep expert at Zoma 

In this video, Slumber Yard (a YouTube channel that reviews mattresses), was sent the sports mattress in exchange for a detailed review.

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  • How-To Videos and Tutorials

YouTubers also can use your products in a tutorial video. For example, if you own a baking utensil company, they can use your baking utensils and other products in a tutorial video on how to make a chocolate truffle pastry.

  • Contests and Giveaways

Another way YouTubers can promote your products is by hosting contests or giveaways where they ask viewers to share your business’ social media posts along with their posts for a chance to win your products for free.

Step 11: Optimize For SEO

Lastly, every YouTube video should be optimized for SEO. This will help people find the video when they search for the target keywords on Google.

For instance, in the example of Zoma Mattress, they use hashtags and other keywords in the description box such as ‘sports bed’, ‘mattress for athletes’, ‘sports mattress’, etc. to make the video SEO optimized. 

Tags are also an extremely important factor to the ranking, so make sure the video description includes some of the tags you list.

Maybe the most important key is the description box. It’s vital match the title keywords, tags, and wording in the description to get the most eyes on a video.

Conclusion

Reaching out to YouTube influencers to promote your products or business is a great idea since they are all the rage these days. Video influencers are capable of driving buying decisions.

To find and reach out to the most suitable YouTubers for your brand, you need to set goals and fix a budget. Then once you have identified your target customer, you need to look for YouTubers with a similar target audience.

Build a relationship with the YouTuber if possible, and then reach out to them strategically. Let them know your expectations right from the start. Find the best ways in which you can make this collaboration successful. Once the video is created, remember to optimize for SEO so that the video can be easily found by people interested in your product.

The post Best Practices for Finding and Reaching out to YouTubers That can Help Your Brand appeared first on BuzzStream.


Multi-Domain Strategies: Making the Best Choice for Your Business

Most companies will go through occasional periods of consolidation, but most will also be on the lookout for the next new business opportunities and new markets. When the time comes to expand your business’ online presence, it pays to have assessed the different options and be ready with a strategy that represents the best choice for your business. Should you set up a new domain, or add subdomains or subdirectories to your existing root domain? In this post, we explain the pros and cons of different multi-domain strategies in terms of SEO, complexity and resources.

Can we support with the implementation of your upcoming SEO and content strategies? Then arrange a non-binding appointment with our Digital Strategies Group consultants and see where we can help:

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Why should I consider a multi-domain strategy?

There can be many reasons why you might want to consider adopting a multi-domain strategy for your business. The following summarizes some of the most common goals that a multi-domain approach is designed to achieve:

  • Diversification/Expansion of your Business Offering: It’s not easy to make a one-size-fits-all approach work – and the larger and more diverse the products or services a company offers become, the harder it can be to serve different audiences and provide content suited to all relevant niches and sales funnel stages on just one domain. This can be a challenge for companies with a corporate structure that includes several sub-brands. Or for companies that have a strong brand, but that want to enter new markets and/or segments that would be better served by websites specific to the unique conditions of these markets.
  • Expansion into new Countries: When companies expand into new markets, there are a number of options available for their online presence. New language or country versions of the website can be incorporated as subdomains, subdirectories or country-specific ccTLDs (top-level domains). More on these different approaches follows below.
  • New Online Services (Blog, Forum, Shop): If you are planning a company blog, then you might not want to position it on the root domain, because the target audience, content and form of address could deviate from the company’s normal corporate identity guidelines. Similar multi-domain strategy considerations apply when setting up a community or online shop.
  • SERP Domination and Backlink Power: Another aim of a multi-domain strategy can be occupying several positions in the search results for one keyword – e.g. with the shop page and the blog both appearing in the rankings. If one company occupies multiple positions, then it has an increased market share for this keyword, which will bring more traffic and turnover, and reduce the number of clicks going to the competition. This is possible with subdomains or it can be useful to set up microsites that adequately represent the full diversity of a company’s offering.

New Domain, Subdomain, ccTLDs – or perhaps a Subdirectory?

When talking about multi-domain strategies there are often discussions about the best way to integrate the new content into the website. Should an expansion into new markets be supported by the establishment of new ccTLDs or should everything be setup on a generic TLD? Should I put my blog, cumminity platform or shop on a separate subdomain or would a subdirectory on the main domain be better? Here is a brief overview with a comparison of the different options available:

Build a New Domain or Brand

A company looking to expand its business, enter new international markets or create a new brand can opt for a new domain that needs to be established and promoted from the ground up. With this approach, content, authority and trust have to be built up slowly. However, if you already have a strong root domain, or other domains in your control, then you can take advantage of network effects, using the larger domains to support the smaller “satellite pages”.

Examples include the domain networks of large publishing houses like the German giant, Axel Springer SE. Their main publishing organ is bild.de (currently the 14th most visible website in Germany), the online version of their print newspaper, but they also run niche portals with content on specific subjects like electronics (Techbook) or travel (Travelbook). These smaller sites are beneficiaries of the link-power generated by backlinks from bild.de.

ccTLDs

For a company with a successful business – and an established website – in one country, an option when expanding into new markets is to create separate Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) for the new countries.

  • The advantage of country domains is that regional or national characteristics can be better represented. This means that topics and forms of address can vary from country to country. Country-specific domains can also benefit from more trustworthiness for users, and be hosted in the relevant country. A business looking to enter the Chinese market with a .co.uk, .fr or .de domain will stand out like a sore thumb in the Baidu search results and potentially appear untrustworthy to users. (You can read more about the peculiarities of the Chinese search market in our blog series, Postcards from China.) Another advantage of running multiple country domains is that, should your website be hit by a Google Update or penalty, then it’s possible this will only affect individual country domains. If you only have one domain and this gets hit, then your whole web presence could suffer.
  • A disadvantage of country-specific ccTLDs is that you have to run and maintain different domains, which increases the workload. You also effectively have to build up content, authority and link power from scratch for Google to consider your new domain as relevant in the new market.

Subdomains vs. Subdirectories

Two other options available to a website looking to go international are the establishment of country-specific subdomains or subdirectories on the main domain. These options also apply when a company extends its online offering to include new segments or content topics. The question is often whether the new topics would be better placed on a separate subdomain or set up within subdirectories on the main domain. These two variants have always existed, so here’s a comparison of the pros and cons:

  • When is a subdomain a good idea?

Brands and websites can use subdomains to structure their content into thematic silos or by language. This makes sense if the new content is thematically detached from the company’s primary (existing) business, or if webmasters don’t have complete control over it. An example could be the leasing of subdomains on publisher websites or for sites with User Generated Content, like forums. A subdomain can also be recommended if the backend processes, such as shop or CMS systems – differ from the tools and processes used by the main domain.

Internationalization can also be implemented using subdomains. Wikipedia is an example of a huge international website built using subdomains for the different language versions: en.wikipedia.org, fr.wikipedia.org and so on. However, subdomains benefit less from content and links from the root domain, links are treated as external links, and more resources are needed to set up and maintain a good link structure across different subdomains.

  • When should I go with subdirectories?

Setting up a subdirectory is much easier and requires fewer resources than a subdomain. If you are using an integrated CMS for your website, you should first look into using subdirectories. This applies, again, to both an extending of your content or online offering and when expanding internationally. New country or language versions of the website can be implemented as directories, e.g. example.com/en, example.com/fr etc. An advantage of this route is that – as well as being less complex and requiring fewer resources to implement – there is an additional SEO effect, as all positive measures impact the whole domain. The main domain’s link power, trust and authority can be passed down to subdirectories without being diluted.

On the flip side, a Google penalty or changes to the search algorithm are likely to affect the entire domain en masse, including all subdirectories. With subdomains (or completely separate domains), the risk of a negative impact on rankings is spread out more.

Subdomains vs. Subdirectories: What’s better for SEO?

This is a question that SEOs and online marketers have been wrangling with for years, with the trend currently leaning more and more towards subdirectories, not subdomains. The main driver of this trend is that pooling resources for one root domain is the stronger option for long-term sustainability. Content is kept together and SEO and technical resources are all focused on one site, enabling this one domain to fulfil its potential and build up authority and trust with Google.

Subdomains, by comparison, are clearly separate from the root domain, which reduces efficiency in setup and maintenance. However, this can be a preferred option for online enterprises that meet one of the following criteria:

  1. website covers highly diverse content and business segments or
  2. webmasters lack complete control over the new website sections.

Google answered this question with a straightforward, fence-sitting response: “Google web search is fine with using either subdomains or subdirectories,” stated Google Webmaster Analyst John Mueller.

However, John Mueller goes on to say that content should ideally be as close as possible within a domain – which points to the subdirectory option. If, on the other hand, there are large differences in the content, then subdomains are the preferred option, Mueller says. Finally, for anyone having difficulty deciding and who’s unsure what’s best for their business, he recommends going with the subdirectory option.

Would you like help setting up your SEO strategy? Then why not speak to a consultant from our Digital Strategies Group?

Get in touch


Data Studio Template: Diagnostic Tool for COVID-19 Business Impact

The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging companies across all industries to quickly adjust to shifts in their customer’s needs.

During volatile times like this, remaining aware of user behavior on your website and ensuring accurate data is populating into Google Analytics is of the utmost importance. However, knowing what data points to check and finding the time to do so can be a difficult task.

To make it easier to monitor Google Analytics data, we’ve created a Google Data Studio dashboard template for you to use as a diagnostic tool.  

You can easily plug in data from your Google Analytics account and start monitoring traffic immediately (after a little custom configuration). The dashboard will quickly raise “smoke alarms” that you can dig in on to better understand your audience’s shifting needs and how you can support them during this time. It can also be used after the pandemic passes to continue to ensure your Google Analytics data remains healthy and to stay up to date on site trends.

Make a copy of the dashboard below in order to follow along with the steps in this post and be on your way to easily monitoring your Google Analytics data during COVID-19 (and after!).

MAKE A COPY OF THE TEMPLATE


1) Make a Copy & Connect Your Data

Ensure that you’re logged into the Google account that has access to your Google Analytics data and add your main reporting view as the new data source.

blog new data source

After clicking “Copy Report”, it will use your data source to create an adjustable copy of the 4-page dashboard. We recommend that you give the dashboard an initial scan to ensure that no visuals broke during the data source transfer.

2) Customize Your Pages

PAGES 1 & 2: DATA DIAGNOSTIC

The first two pages of the dashboard contain universal metrics that you should be monitoring for most, if not all, of your Google Analytics views.

However, if there are visuals that are not relevant to your site’s data, feel free to delete or replace any charts in the dashboard.

PAGE 3: GOAL COMPLETIONS

Page 3 aims to help monitor your Google Analytics Goals. It’s important to keep a close eye on how your goals are trending, as these are typically key indicators of your website’s performance, which ultimately may lead to your overall business objectives.

You’ll notice that Page 3 contains 20 slots to hold potential goal data. While Google Analytics allows for up to 20 goals per view, you may not have all 20 goal slots in use.

blog goals

You may want to delete unused scorecards to reduce the noise in your dashboard. In the free space, you can add any other visuals that may be relevant to how you monitor your Google Analytics goals.

Additionally, you can Edit the time series chart above the cards to visualize your most important goals. We recommend keeping under 5 goals within this visual to keep it from being cluttered and allow the end user to easily analyze the data within the chart.

PAGE 4: ECOMMERCE

Lastly, Page 4 contains visuals to help monitor Ecommerce product and revenue data.

If you do not have Ecommerce reporting enabled in Google Analytics, feel free to delete this page altogether.

blog ecommerce

If you do have Ecommerce enabled, however, this report can be used to monitor for anomalous spikes or drastic drop offs in your core sales metrics. More on analyzing Ecommerce data in Google Analytics.

Monitor Shifts & Outliers

Now that your dashboard is all setup and customized to you, it can start being used as a diagnostic tool to monitor your data! We recommend you check the dashboard multiple times per week to ensure you are staying up to date with shifting user needs during this time. Look for:

  • Spikes in internal traffic coming from remote team members whose personal IPs may not be filtered out in Google Analytics.
  • Significant changes in users located in regions that are heavily impacted by COVID-19.
  • Benchmarking any events or goals related to user activity that may be affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19.

We also recommend that you continue to monitor your data at least weekly after the pandemic ends. This will help you catch shifts in site traffic behavior, identify broken tracking, or spot user experience issues sooner rather than later.

Schedule Email Delivery

Google Data Studio has an automated email delivery feature that allows you to send an up-to-date copy of your dashboards to your inbox on a predetermined basis. At Seer, we like to send our dashboards to our inboxes every Friday so that we have a weekly reminder to check on our data.

Here’s how to set up an automated email delivery in Data Studio:

Click the drop down menu next to Share and choose “Schedule email delivery”.

blog email deliver

Next, add the appropriate recipients and choose your delivery cadence.

blog email delivery 2

If you have multiple Google Analytics views to monitor, we recommend making a copy of the dashboard for each view, as the automated email delivery will send a copy of the dashboard using the current data source.

You can schedule it to send every day if you’d like to use it as a daily gut check — but keep the other Share options in mind if you’d rather it live outside of your inbox.

Toggle Google Analytics Views

If you’re juggling between multiple Google Analytics Views, you can also use the data control feature that allows you to change between different data sources (as long as they are within the same Google account).

blog ga view control

This will allow you to easily review your multiple Google Analytics views without having to create multiple dashboards. If you don’t want to take the time to create individual dashboards for each of your views, you may find this method is simpler.

The only caveats are the lengthier load time induced by toggling between data sources, as well as the potential for calculated fields (like goal names, Ecommerce variables, Custom Dimensions, or Custom Metrics) to break between views.

Your site’s data is more important now than ever. Using this dashboard to monitor variation in user behavior and avoid lingering tracking issues will help you stay ahead of the curve and respond quickly to your user’s changing needs.

If you have any other questions around how Seer can help your company’s site, feel free to reach out to us here.


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What is speakable schema markup and how does it impact the future of SEO?

Google’s recent release of a new markup specification, the speakable schema, brings the digital technology to another leap. The term speakable currently points to the ability of Google Assistant and News to provide internet users with excellent results that fit their needs.

The new schema SEO is useful when asking for specific topics and news related to a particular brand or happening. The returned results are then read back by Google Assistant with speakable texts.

Google’s new feature is currently intended to provide users with a summary of a story’s key points but has a later possibility for expansion.

Available documentations from schema.org  points out to the text to speech conversion of a news article and available online documentation supporting the new feature.

Documentation for schema.org

What is Google’s new speakable schema markup?

Current technology is heading towards speakable-friendly smartphones and gadgets supporting voice searches. Google’s speakable schema markup tool allows businesses to indicate content sections that support voice search technology.

This new Google algorithm will allow businesses to pick the most crucial information relating to their business, highlight such content, and give them better visibility to their intended audience.

This is similar to how featured snippets work only that the information is delivered via voice assistant that reads to your website content to the visitors.

The new Google speakable schema markup is currently in its beta version, which can only be accessed by news publishers. It also has a limited audience reach, exclusively servicing the US for now and only working with Google Home devices including the Google Assistant.

How does Google’s speakable schema markup work?

Similar to the traditional way we get our websites to rank, optimizing your voice searches require you to input significant information fragments featured in your SEO campaign.

It means sections of your campaign material can be optimized for voice search.

The schema helps Google’s algorithm determine the importance of your chosen content fragment with your specific niche, helping it rank in the SERP. Content that is found relevant by Google, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Home streamlines that information and finds a way of reading them back to your website’s intended audience.

The way Google pulls up that information is based on its sophisticated algorithm. News publishers, though, are solely responsible for selecting text fragments that they want Google to feature.

The search engine will determine how relevant the information is and how it relates to their user’s voice search queries before voicing it out.

The current setup of Google’s speakable schema is only accessible to news publishers, allowing them to highlight parts of a news feature in voice search optimization.

Though the technology is still in its early stages, news publishers have the option of presenting the most accurate answers to any internet user’s query.

In its initial state, Google’s speakable schema is a powerful way of obtaining information about recent news and current events.

There are several points to consider when having your content optimized for the speakable schema. Most of these requirements fall under the precepts of meeting the demands of current and possibly future inquiries.

  • The topic should focus on one subject and storyline with understandable and relevant writing
  • All the information presented in the publication must be accurate in all aspects and must be factual
  • The text should not contain ad campaigns
  • The content cannot contain vulgar words or hate speech directed towards a person or entity
  • The news should include the author’s information, including the publication data and contact details

Speakable content is available to businesses creating content but is currently limited to news publications. The points highlighted are just some of the specifications for the new Google schema to ensure all new information meets industry standards.

How will the speakable schema affect SEO?

The tech industry continually shapes itself with innovations like the speakable SEO feature of Google to accommodate existing and future demands.

The rise of voice-enabled searches primarily impacts the search engine optimization landscape, making it more demanding for businesses to ramp up their website performance.

Speakable is still in its beta form, and there are currently no effects on a website’s SEO performance. But as the industry adapts voice searches, we can see speakability becoming one of the forefronts of ranking in the Voice Assistant tools.

As such, the speakable schema will have a tremendous impact on how we use the internet and search for information. This predicament will also be another burden for some companies as they start figuring how to provide better services to their customers.

More and more companies will fine-tune their website content, so it adopts the voice-friendly features of Google. It entails restructuring current content and shifting their market options to include voice-search enabled gadgets and devices.

How to prepare your business for the speakable schema markup?

In the meantime, speakable is still in its early stages. The tech giant continually tests and further enhances its speakable schema markup to strengthen its capabilities. Nonetheless, it won’t take long before companies, and their website starts feeling its effects.

Getting ahead of Google’s SERP race will give your company a better chance of landing the top spots considering your site is at par with the latest algorithm demands of most search engines.

Here are the best practices to implement so your website content meets with the future SEO demands or hire an SEO agency to make it easier:

  • Create coherent and conversational statements on your website relevant to your business niche. This will help stay ahead with speakable-type technology and make it easy for you to determine which information effectively relays to your intended audience.
  • Using short and understandable sentences makes them acceptable to your website visitors. Remember that most people have only a minute of attention span, and you want to capture your audience in that small timeframe to get their interests.
  • Writing in a conversational voice tone is the best way to reach a broader scope of website visitors. You want your audience to get a full grasp of what you are offering, so a short, concise, and simple-worded statement will get them glued to what you are providing.

How do you use speakable markup?

To start using the TTS suitability of Google’s speakable schema, you need to follow four critical requirements set by the search engine.

  1. Following all guidelines, including the technical side, content, webmaster, and structured data protocol, is the starting point of enabling the audio playback capabilities of your website texts
  2. Include Google’s speakable structured data semantics into the code of your web page
  3. Test and approve your chosen structured data
  4. Submit the content for eligibility and onboarding process

What are the benefits of speakable schema markup?

There are a lot of undeniable benefits to using Google’s newest schema platform. Though the speakable SEO is available for an online publisher, for now, future expansions will include almost every business with a website.

Among some of the benefits of using the speakable schema include:

  • There are better opportunities for improving SERP ranking positions
  • A speakable schema improves brand recognition
  • It increases the click-through-rates of your website
  • Position your website for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa’s voice search
  • Increase your website’s social media following
  • Provide your audience with a sneak peek of what your content offers without looking at their device screens

Depending on your market niche, Google’s upcoming speakable schema offers your business with industry-related benefits. This includes getting more views for your music and videos, getting more job applicants on your page, or increasing the popularity of a specific product or service.

But all these benefits are what we can foresee in the future. The fact is, Google’s speakable schema is still in its easy concepts, and it is not clear whether the tech giant would put the feature outright. The Beta version of the new algorithm already allows news publications to read featured information off a webpage.

Conclusion

The future of speakable markup depends on how the general population will receive it. Adaption of the new schema would mean expansion outside of its current scopes to include all aspects of the web. Additionally, industry acceptance of this new schema will only be derived depending on how universally the markup is put to use.

And as voice search becomes an accepted method of looking for information on the web, we might see Google pushing the new schema into its existing ecosystem. Regardless if these search engine changes are seen as a threat to existing methods or an opportunity for advancement, we can look at it as an answer to the changing needs of internet users.

Emily Browne is a web content enthusiast with three years of experience in SEO writing. She can be found on Twitter @Emilyrownee.

The post What is speakable schema markup and how does it impact the future of SEO? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


7 keyword research mistakes you should avoid

Thinking about the keywords you want to rank for is really the first and foremost step you need to take for your SEO strategy. Still, keyword research can be quite daunting. So, which keyword research mistakes should you avoid at all times? In this post, I’ll take you through the most common keyword research mistakes people are making. Being aware of these mistakes helps you set up a successful keyword research strategy and avoid practices that harm your rankings.

Overwhelmed by all the intricacies of keyword research, and afraid you’ll still make these mistakes or others? Take a look at our keyword research training, part of our Yoast SEO academy training subscription, and let us help you carry it out!

1. Not executing your keyword research correctly

Some people seem to think that they can forego keyword research, or that it’s no longer important. Doing proper keyword research can indeed be a tough, time-consuming process. And it’s true that ranking high isn’t just a matter of stuffing the right keyword in your text, and it hasn’t been for a long time. But skipping or winging your keyword research means you create content without a single idea of what your potential users are looking for. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’ll just instinctively know what your audience wants. 

It’s still crucial you take some time to really dive into the language of your audience. Which words do they use? What terms do they search for? Which terms are competitive and which less so? The result of your keyword research should be an extensive list of keywords you would like to rank for. Make sure to update your keyword research list or sheet regularly. Your audience may change, as could your business focus and business needs. That has implications for your keyword strategy as well.

Read more: Keyword research: the ultimate guide »

2. Aiming at unrealistic keywords

Make sure you aim for realistic keywords. Some niches are very competitive. Ranking in competitive niches is hard, especially if you’re just starting your website or business. If you’re just starting out, you shouldn’t aim for the competitive ‘head’ keywords (yet). Instead, focus on long tail keywords (which are easier to rank for and have a higher chance to convert).

For instance, if you have a fitness center and start a blog about fitness, it will be too hard to start ranking for the term [fitness]. Find out which aspects of your blog are unique and try ranking for those terms. Perhaps you write about fitness exercises for retired people. Aiming to rank for [fitness routines for retired people] could be a good strategy. In that case, you should also aim for [fitness tips for seniors], [fitness exercises for retirees] and so on. If you have been around in your niche for a little longer and you successfully rank for long-tail keywords, you could aim to rank for more head terms as well. Ranking for competitive keywords should be part of a long-term successful keyword research strategy.

Keep reading: Why focus on long tail keywords? »

3. Not thinking about search intent

More than ever, taking a good look at search intent is a crucial part of keyword research. You need to have a clear idea of the kind of intent that’s behind your keywords. People could be looking for information (informational intent), a specific website (navigational intent), or they might want to buy something (commercial or transactional intent). And that’s not all there is to it, as search engines aim to give users the exact answer they’re looking for. In other words, if your content doesn’t match searcher’s intent, it probably won’t make it to the results pages, no matter how great and well-optimized it is.

So, it’s important to evaluate whether the content you plan to publish for a certain keyword is in line with what people are looking for. You can do that by looking at the search results. Do the types of intent match? What answers do people want? Is your content in the right form? For instance, if you wrote an extensive DIY post to rank for the term [wedding decorations] and all you see in the results pages is online stores selling wedding decorations, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Check out this post about writing intent-based content for your keywords for more information on how to do that!

4. Using irrelevant keywords

This mistake is partly related to the previous one. If you don’t look at search intent, you’re more likely to optimize for words that potential visitors or customers won’t use. Two things can happen: either you do offer something people are looking for, but these potential visitors simply use different keywords and therefore won’t find you. Or, your keywords are too long tail and don’t get any traffic.

The keywords you aim to rank for should be the same words your customers use. Always try to use the language of your audience. Imagine yourself selling dresses for gala events. In your marketing, you refer to these dresses as ‘gala dresses’. However, most people do not search for [gala dress]. They search for [gown] or [evening dress]. You won’t get much traffic for the search term [gala dress] compared to the search terms [gown] or [evening dress].

Schermafbeelding 2016-09-07 om 11.37.13
As you can see, a lot more people are looking for [gown] and [evening dress] than for [gala dress]

The second problem could occur when you focus on long tail keywords that are so obscure they simply don’t generate any traffic. Long tail keywords are a great way to start your keyword strategy. These words attract less traffic, but you’ll have a higher chance to convert your visitors into buyers or returning visitors. People that use specific terms, to search for exactly that thing you’re writing about, are just a very good match. However, if your keyword is too specific and doesn’t bring in any traffic, it won’t help your SEO. So make sure you aim for long tail keywords that actually generate some traffic!

5. Focusing on only one keyword per post

If you write a nice blog post, its ranking opportunity may not be limited to one exact keyphrase, but includes related terms as well. So, if you can optimize for related (long tail) keyphrases without stretching it, you should definitely do so. For example, we have a post about timeless SEO tips. It’s optimized for [timeless SEO tips], but also for the similar phrases [universal SEO tactics] and [universal SEO improvements], and it’s doing quite well for each of these keywords. 

Not sure how to optimize your content for related keywords and synonyms? Our Yoast SEO Premium plugin can help! It allows you to optimize for related focus keyphrases, and also gives you the option to define synonyms for your focus keyphrase, so that it can take them into account. Awesome, right?

6. Not checking whether you should use singular or plural

Always check if you should target the plural or the singular form of a specific keyword. Should you aim to rank for [ballet shoe] or for [ballet shoes]? Do people search for [holiday home] or [holiday homes]? While Google can recognize that the plural and singular versions of a word refer to the same thing, the search result pages and the number of results are often still different, because what users are looking for differs slightly. 

In this case, again, it’s important to think about the intent of people searching for your keyword. Someone looking for the singular version of a keyword may be looking for information, while someone looking for the plural version could be looking to compare products and/or buy something. In any case, whether you should use a singular or a plural depends on your specific keyword and its intent, so take that into account.

7. Forgetting to evaluate

If you aim to rank for certain terms, make sure to check whether you succeed. You need to evaluate regularly if people actually find your articles. One way to do that is googling your proposed focus keyword every now and then. But be aware that your search results may be biased because Google has personalized search. So, use a private browser session, or a tool like https://valentin.app/ and check if your article turns up in the results. If you forget to evaluate, you won’t know whether you could aim for more competitive keywords or you should focus on long tail variants.

Read on: Adapting your content SEO strategy »

Conclusion: avoid these mistakes for a successful keyword research strategy

Executing keyword research takes a lot of time. It’s important that you take that time and really think about the terms you want to rank for. Read Keyword research: the ultimate guide for lots of practical tips that’ll help you to set up a successful keyword research strategy. And if it’s starting to look good, you can check for other common SEO mistakes as well.

Keep on reading: Why every website needs Yoast SEO »

The post 7 keyword research mistakes you should avoid appeared first on Yoast.


RICE Model Forecasting for SEO

Investing in anything at the moment is not an easy decision. Now imagine you have to invest in something as perceptually flaky as SEO. Now imagine you have to convince someone else to invest in SEO. You’d better have your shit together.

With that in mind, I’d like to offer you Local SEO Guide’s version of the RICE Model for SEO. The RICE Model provides a data-driven way to forecast potential results from SEO projects. While it’s by no means perfect, it provides managers with a way to prioritize SEO activities against other priorities and against each other.

“RICE” stands for Reach, Impact, Confidence and Effort, which are defined as follows:

Reach: The % of pages affected by the project. For example, if you are recommending updating a template with 10,000 URLs out of a 100,000 URL site, the Reach would be 10 (we don’t use % for Reach to make the final score larger and easier for management types to grok).

Impact: The % traffic lift expected by the project. This will typically be a guess based on your experience with similar projects.

Confidence: A score that reflects how confident you are that the project will succeed. We use the following scale for Confidence:

90 Google explicit statement or we have conducted our own tests
80 Google implied (Looking at you @JohnMu & @Methode)
70 We have seen this work in the past, but not certain it still works
60 Reputable pros have stated but we don’t know
50 We need to test

Of course, you can tweak these based on your preferences. For example, a Google explicit statement about an SEO technique might equal a Confidence score of 0.01 to you 😉

Effort: The estimated # of Dev days or hours the project will take.

You then put these data in the following formula to get the RICE Score of the project:

(Reach x Impact x Confidence)/Effort = RICE Score

Once you do this for all projects then you can compare the RICE Scores of each to prioritize. You can also add estimated revenue impact based on these scores to have another metric to work with. Once you have the basic formulas, the model can become pretty flexible to accomodate variables specific to your projects.

Anyhow, here’s a free version for you to use.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1GkuiQi5n9mOTsAdtGhp3r0XHDYlI3gf3hZ7RCDEq-1c/edit#gid=0

Happy forecasting!

h/t to Traian Neacsu for the inspiration!


Fastest Historic Index Update

We have built a new release of the Majestic Historic Index in record time – which our techies make the fastest build of historic since 2012!

The stats are, as ever, mind-boggling:

Historic Index

Unique URLs crawled: 2,361,260,434,768
Unique URLs found: 9,165,400,849,448
Date range: 07 Aug 2014 to 08 Mar 2020

This follows our previous release on Thursday March 5th [https://blog.majestic.com/company/majestic-historic-index-normalising-builds/], suggesting the new Historic build cluster is now fully operational!

Historic Index is available on Majestic PRO and API plans, and to a number of customers grandfathered on legacy subscriptions.

Majestic