Web Optimization

Visualizing Speed Metrics to Improve SEO, UX, & Revenue – Whiteboard Friday

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Posted by sam.marsden

We know how important page speed is to Google, but why is that, exactly? With increasing benefits to SEO, UX, and customer loyalty that inevitably translates to revenue, there are more reasons than ever to both focus on site speed and become adept at communicating its value to devs and stakeholders. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Sam Marsden takes us point-by-point through how Google understands speed metrics, the best ways to access and visualize that data, and why it all matters.

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Video Transcription

Hi, Moz fans, and welcome to another Whiteboard Friday. My name is Sam Marsden, and I work as an SEO at web crawling platform DeepCrawl. Today we’re going to be talking about how Google understands speed and also how we can visualize some of the performance metrics that they provide to benefit things like SEO, to improve user experience, and to ultimately generate more revenue from your site.

Google & speed

Let’s start by taking a look at how Google actually understands speed. We all know that a faster site generally results in a better user experience. But Google hasn’t actually directly been incorporating that into their algorithms until recently. It wasn’t until the mobile speed update, back in July, that Google really started looking at speed. Now it’s likely only a secondary ranking signal now, because relevance is always going to be much more important than how quickly the page actually loads.

But the interesting thing with this update was that Google has actually confirmed some of the details about how they understand speed. We know that it’s a mix of lab and field data. They’re bringing in lab data from Lighthouse, from the Chrome dev tools and mixing that with data from anonymized Chrome users. So this is available in the Chrome User Experience Report, otherwise known as CrUX.

CrUX metrics

Now this is a publicly available database, and it includes five different metrics. You’ve got first paint, which is when anything loads on the page. You’ve then got first contentful paint, which is when some text or an image loads. Then you’ve DOM content loaded, which is, as the name suggests, once the DOM is loaded. You’ve also got onload, which is when any additional scripts have loaded. That’s kind of like the full page load. The fifth and final metric is first input delay, and that’s the time between when a user interacts with your site to when the server actually responds to that.

These are the metrics that make up the CrUX database, and you can actually access this CrUX data in a number of different ways. 

Where is CrUX data?

1. PageSpeed Insights

The first and easiest way is to go to PageSpeed Insights. Now you just plug in whatever page you’re interested in, and it’s going to return some of the CrUX metrics along with Lighthouse and a bunch of recommendations about how you can actually improve the performance of your site. That’s really useful, but it just kind of provides a snapshot rather than it’s not really good for ongoing monitoring as such.

2. CrUX dashboard

Another way that you can access CrUX data is through the CrUX dashboard, and this provides all of the five different metrics from the CrUX database. What it does is it looks at the percentage of page loads, splitting them out into slow, average, and fast loads. This also trends it from month to month so you can see how you’re tracking, whether you’re getting better or worse over time. So that’s really good. But the problem with this is you can’t actually manipulate the visualization of that data all that much.

3. Accessing the raw data

To do that and get the most out of the CrUX database, you need to query the raw data. Because it’s a freely available database, you can query the database by creating a SQL query and then putting this into BigQuery and running it against the CrUX database. You can then export this into Google Sheets, and then that can be pulled into Data Studio and you can create all of these amazing graphs to visualize how speed is performing or the performance of your site over time.

It might sound like a bit of a complicated process, but there are a load of great guides out there. So you’ve got Paul Calvano, who has a number of video tutorials for getting started with this process. There’s also Rick Viscomi, who’s got a CrUX Cookbook, and what this is, is a number of templated SQL queries, where you just need to plug in the domains that you’re interested in and then you can put this straight into BigQuery.

Also, if you wanted to automate this process, rather than exporting it into Google Sheets, you could pull this into Google Cloud Storage and also update the SQL query so this pulls in on a monthly basis. That’s where you kind of want to get to with that.

Why visualize?

Once you’ve got to this stage and you’re able to visualize the data, what should you actually do with it? Well, I’ve got a few different use cases here.

1. Get buy-in

The first is you can get buy-in from management, from clients, whoever you report into, for various optimization work. If you can show that you’re flagging behind competitors, for example, that might be a good basis for getting some optimization initiatives rolling. You can also use the Revenue Impact Calculator, which is a really simple kind of Google tool which allows you to put in some various details about your site and then it shows you how much more money you could be making if your site was X% faster.

2. Inform devs

Once you’ve got the buy-in, you can use the CrUX visualizations to inform developers. What you want to do here is show exactly the areas that your site is falling down. Where are these problem areas? It might be, for example, that first contentful paint is suffering. You can go to the developers and say, “Hey, look, we need to fix this.” If they come back and say, “Well, our independent tests show that the site is performing fine,” you can point to the fact that it’s from real users. This is how people are actually experiencing your site.

3. Communicate impact

Thirdly and finally, once you’ve got these optimization initiatives going, you can communicate the impacts that they’re actually having on performance and also business metrics. You could trend these various performance metrics from month to month and then overlay various business metrics. You might want to look at conversion rates. You might want to look at bounce rates, etc. and showing those side-by-side so that you can see whether they’re improving as the performance of the site is improving as well.

Faster site = better UX, better customer loyalty, and growing SEO benefit

These are different ways that you can visualize the CrUX database, and it’s really worthwhile, because if you have a faster site, then it’s going to result in better user experience. It’s going to result in better customer loyalty, because if you’re providing your users with a great experience, then they’re actually more likely to come back to you rather than going to one of your competitors.

There’s also a growing SEO benefit. We don’t know how Google is going to change their algorithms going forward, but I wouldn’t be surprised if speed is coming in more and more as a ranking signal.

This is how Google understands page speed, some ways that you can visualize the data from the CrUX database, and some of the reasons why you would want to do that.

I hope that’s been helpful. It’s been a pleasure doing this. Until the next time, thank you very much.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Web Optimization

SEO Channel Context: An Analysis of Growth Opportunities

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Posted by Branko_Kral

Too frequently do you see SEO choices and analyses being made without thinking about the context of the marketing channel mix. Similarly as typically do you see big spending plans being put into paid advertisements in manner ins which appear to forget there’s a great deal to acquire from accommodating popular search need.

Both circumstances can result in dripping conversion funnels and missed out on chance for long term traffic streams. This post will reveal you a case of an SEO context analysis we utilized to identify the significance and function of SEO.

This analysis was among our deliverables for a marketing firm customer who employed us to notify SEO choices which we then became a report design template for you to get influenced by and replicate.

Case description

The consisted of charts reveal genuine, live information. You can see the entire SEO channel context analysis in this Data Studio SEO report design template

The traffic examined is for of a generating income from blog site, whose marketing group likewise takes place to be among a lot of enjoyable to work for. For the sake of this case research study, we’re providing a magnificent undercover name —– “The Broze Fellaz.”

For context, this blog site started with material for the very first 2 years prior to they released their flagship item. Now, they offer a brochure of items extremely pertinent to their material and, thanks to among the most amusing Shark Tank episodes ever aired, they have actually gotten financial investments and an extremely engaged specific niche neighborhood.

As you’’ ll see below, natural search is their greatest channel in lots of methods. Facebook likewise runs both as natural and paid and the group invests numerous an hour inside the platform. Email has actually elaborate automated circulations that aim to take advantage of customers that originate from the outstanding material on the site. We for that reason selected the 3 —– natural Search, Facebook, and e-mail —– as a mix that would yield an extensive analysis with insights we can quickly act upon.

Ingredients for the SEO analysis

This analysis is an outcome of a long-lasting retainer relationship with “The Broze Fellaz” as our continuous analytics customer. A lot was needed in order for data-driven action to take place, however we ensure you, it’s all manageable.

From the analysis finest practice drawer, we utilized:

2 cups of pertinent channels for context and analysis by means of contrast.3 cups of various touch indicate recognize channel functions —– generating traffic, producing opt-ins, closing sales, and so on5 heads of unbiased lettuce and preparedness to alter present status quo, for a group that can perform.457 oz of focus-on-finding what is happening with natural search, why it is going on, and what we can do about it (otherwise, we’’d wind up with another scorecard export).Imperial systems utilized in approximate numbers that are tough to think of and therefore feel large.1 to 2 heads of your expert brain, baked into the analysis. You’re not making an automatic report —– even a HubSpot intern can do that. You’re being a human and you’re examining. You’re making human analysis. This assists prevent having your task taken by a robotic.Complete tray of Data Studio visualizations that attract the eye.Sprinkles of criteria, for highlighting significance of efficiency distinctions.

From the measurement setup and stack tool kit, we utilized:

Google Analytics with customized channel meanings, improved e-commerce and Search Console combination.Occasion tracking for opt-ins and changed bounce rate by means of MashMetrics GTM setup structure .UTM regimen for social and e-mail traffic executed through Google Sheets & UTM.io .Google Data Studio. This is my preferred visualization tool. Regardless of its spaces and defects (as it’’ s still in beta )I state it is much better than its paid equivalents, and it keeps improving. For information sources, we utilized the native adapters for Google Analytics and Google Sheets, then Facebook neighborhood adapters by Supermetrics Keyword Hero . Thanks to semantic algorithms and information aggregation, you are certainly able to see 95 percent of your natural search inquiries (take a look at Onpage Hero, too, you’ll be astonished).

Inspiration for my method originates from Lea Pica , Avinash , the Google Data Studio newsletter, and Chris Penn , in addition to our dear customers and the concerns they have us respond to for them.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Analysis of the customer’s SEO on the context of their channel mix1) Insight: Before the check out

What’s going on and why is it taking place?

Organic search traffic volume blows the other channels out of the water. This is typical for websites with quality routine material; yet, the distinction is plain thinking about the active effort that enters into Facebook and email projects.

The CTR of natural search depends on par with Facebook. When comparing a natural channel to a channel with high level of targeting control, that’s a lot to state.

It appears like e-mail circulations are the clear winner in regards to CTR to the site, which has actually an extremely engaged neighborhood of users who return relatively typically and promote passionately. It likewise has an item and material that’s extremely appropriate to their users, which couple of other business seem proficient at.

There’s a high CTR on online search engine results pages frequently suggests that natural search might support funnel phases beyond simply the top.

As well, e-mail circulations are sent out to a hot audience —– interested users who went through a double opt-in. It is to be anticipated for this CTR to be high.

What’s been done currently?

There’s an active effort and spending plan allotment being put towards Facebook Ads and e-mail automation. A content strategy has actually been put in location and is being carried out vigilantly.

What we suggest nextApproach SEO in a manner as methodical as what you provide for Facebook and email circulations.Enhance meta titles and descriptions by means of screening tools such as Sanity Check . The natural search CTR might end up being regularly greater than that of Facebook advertisements.Presuming you’ve dealt with enhancing CTR for Facebook advertisements, have the very same individual deal with the meta text and titles. More than likely, there’ll be patterns you can duplicate from social to SEO .Run a technical audit and enhance appropriately. Understanding that you sanctuary’’ t done that in a long period of time, and seeing just how much traffic you get anyhow, there ’ ll fast,big wins to delight in. Outcomes we anticipate

You can quickly increase the natural CTR by a minimum of 5 percent. You might likewise tidy up the technical state of your website in the eyes of spiders -—– you’’ ll then see much faster indexing by online search engine when you release brand-new material, increased impressions for existing material. As an outcome, you might take pleasure in a significant spike within a month.

2) Insight: Engagement and opt-ins throughout the check out

With over 70 percent of traffic pertaining to this site from natural search, the metrics in this analysis will be greatly manipulated towards natural search. Comparing the rate for natural search to site-wide is often definitive, other times not definitive.

Adjusted bounce rate —– through GTM occasions in the measurement structure utilized, we do not count a check out as a bounce if the go to lasts 45 seconds or longer. Due to the fact that such an adjusted bounce rate is much more actionable for material websites, we choose this technique. Users who discover what they were looking for frequently check out the page they arrive on for numerous minutes without clicking to another page. This is still a remarkable check out for the user. Even more, remaining on the landing page for a while, or keeping the page open in an internet browser tab, are both great indications for identifying quality, interested traffic, from all traffic.

We consisted of all Facebook traffic here, not simply paid. We understand from the customer’’ s information that the bulk is from paid material, they have a strong UTM regimen in location. Due to increased posts, we’’ ve experienced huge errors when splitting paid and natural Facebook for the functions of channel attribution.

What’s going on and why is it occurring?

It appears like natural search has a bounce rate even worse than the e-mail streams —– that’s to be anticipated and not actionable, thinking about that the e-mails are just sent out to current visitors who have actually gone through a double opt-in. What is significant, nevertheless, is that natural has a much better bounce rate than Facebook. It is safe to state that natural search visitors will be most likely to keep in mind the site than the Facebook visitors.

Opt-in rates for Facebook are ideal above website typical, and those for natural search are ideal listed below, while natural is generating a bulk of e-mail opt-ins in spite of its lower opt-in rate.

Google’s algorithms and the draw of the material on this site are doing much better at winning users’ attention than the in-depth targeting used on Facebook. The natural traffic will have a greater possibility of keeping in mind the site and returning. Throughout all of our customers, we discover that natural search can be a fantastic retargeting channel, especially if you think about that the website will turn up greater in search results page for its current visitors.

What’s been done currently?

The Facebook advertising campaign of “The Broze Fellaz” have actually been constructed and enhanced for driving content opt-ins. Website material that ranks in natural search is less deliberate than that.

Opt-in positionings have actually been checked on a few of the greatest natural traffic magnets.

Thorough, constant and innovative material calendars have actually remained in location as a structure for all channels.

What we advise nextIt’s terrific to keep utilizing natural search as a method to present brand-new users to the website. Now, you can attempt to be more deliberate about utilizing it for driving opt-ins. It’’ s currently serving both of the phases of the funnel.Test and enhance opt-in positionings on more traffic magnets.Test and enhance opt-in copy for leading 10 traffic magnets.When your opt-in rates have actually enhanced, concentrate on growing the channel. Contribute to the material deal with a 3-month sprint of a substantial SEO job Assign Google Analytics objective worths to non-e-commerce actions on your website. The existing opt-ins have various functions and levels of value and there’’ s likewise a handful of other actions individuals can take that result in marketing results down the roadway. Evaluating objective worths will assist you develop much better circulations towards pre-purchase actions.Facebook projects appear to be at a point where you can put more spending plan into them and anticipate proportional boost in opt-in count.Outcomes we anticipate

Growth in your opt-ins from Facebook must be in proportion to increase in budget plan, with a near-immediate result. At the very same time, it’’ s relatively sensible to bring the opt-in rate of natural search more detailed to website average.

3) Insight: Closing the offer

For channel attribution with loan included, you wish to ensure that your Google Analytics channel meanings, view filters, and UTM’’ s remain in leading shape.

What’s going on and why is it taking place?

Transaction rate, along with per session worth, is greater for natural search than it is for Facebook (paid and natural combined).

Organic search adds to even more last-click earnings than Facebook and email integrated. For its fairly low volume of traffic, e-mail circulations are exceptional in the volume of income they generate.

Thanks to the combination of Keyword Hero with Google Analytics for this customer, we can see that about 30 percent of natural search sees are from top quality keywords, which tends to drive the deal rate up.

So, why is this occurring? The majority of the item on the website is extremely appropriate to the details individuals look for on Google.

Multi-channel reports in Google Analytics likewise reveal that individuals typically find the website in natural search, then return by typing in the URL or clicking a bookmark. That makes natural a source of conversions where, really frequently, no other channels are even required.

We can conclude that Facebook posts and projects of this customer are constructed to drive content opt-ins, not e-commerce deals. Email circulations are developed particularly to close sales.

What’’ s been done currently?

There is committed personnel for Facebook posts and projects, also an extensive system devoted to automated e-mail circulations.

A constant material regimen remains in location, with knowledgeable personnel at the helm. A piece has actually been released each week for the last couple of years, with the material calendar filled with ready-to-publish material for the next couple of months. The neighborhood is extremely engaged, checking out times are high, remark count skyrocketing, and effectiveness of material exceptional. This, in addition to collaborations with influencers, assists “The Broze Fellaz” use up a half of the very first page on the SERP for a number of rewarding subjects. They’’ ve been attaining this even without a detailed SEO task. Material appears to be king.

Google Shopping has actually been attempted. The project looked appealing however didn’t yield incremental sales. There’’ s far more browse need for educational inquiries than there is for item.

What we advise nextOrganic traffic is all set to grow. Resource allowance ought to be thought about if there is no budget plan left. In paid search, you can typically merely increase spending plans. Here, with outstanding material currently carrying out well, a detailed SEO job is asking for your attention. Focus can be taken into structure and technical elements, in addition to material that much better accommodates browse need. Believe enhancing the website’’ s info architecture, interlinking material for foundation structure , log analysis, and technical clean-up, meta text screening for CTR gains that would likewise result in ranking gains, tactical ranking of long tail subjects, deliberate growing of the backlink profile.3- or six-month extensive sprint of detailed SEO work would be suitable.Outcomes we anticipate

Increasing last click earnings from natural search and direct by 25 percent would cause a gain as high as all of the existing earnings from automated e-mail circulations. Thinking about how big the development has actually been currently, this gain is more than attainable in 3–– 6 months.

Wrapping it up

Organic search existence of “The Broze Fellaz” need to continue to be the number-one function for bringing brand-new individuals to the website and bringing individuals back to the website. Doing so supports sales that occur with the contribution of other channels, e.g. e-mail circulations. The analysis explains is that natural search is likewise efficient at playing the function of the last-click channel for deals, many times without the assistance of other channels.

We’’ ve dealt with this customer for a couple of years, and, based upon our understanding of their marketing focus, this analysis points us to a positive conclusion that a committed, detailed SEO job will cause high incremental development.

Your turn

In acting and drawing analytical conclusions on them, there’’ s constantly more than one method to shoe a horse. Let us understand what conclusions you would’’ ve drawn rather. Copy the design of our SEO Channel Context Comparison analysis design template and reveal us what it assisted you provide for your SEO efforts —– develop a comparable analysis for a paid or owned channel in your mix. Whether it’’ s remarks listed below, tweeting our method, or sending out a smoke signal, we’’ ll be all ears. And eyes.

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Web Optimization

Rewriting the Beginner’s Guide to SEO, Chapter 7: Measuring, Prioritizing, & Executing SEO

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Posted by BritneyMuller

It’s lastly here, for your evaluation and feedback: Chapter 7 of the brand-new Beginner’s Guide to SEO, the last chapter. We top off the guide with guidance on how to determine, focus on, and carry out on your SEO. And if you missed them, take a look at the drafts of our overview , Chapter One , Chapter Two , Chapter Three , Chapter Four , Chapter Five , and Chapter Six for your reading enjoyment. As constantly, let us understand what you consider Chapter 7 in the remarks !

.Set yourself up for success.

They state if you can determine something, you can enhance it.

In SEO, it’’ s no various. Expert SEOs track whatever from conversions and rankings to lost links and more to assist show the worth of SEO. Determining the effect of your work and continuous improvement is important to your SEO success, customer retention, and viewed worth.

It likewise assists you pivot your concerns when something isn’’ t working.

.Start with completion in mind.

While it ’ s typical to have numerous objectives( both macro and micro), developing one particular main objective is vital.


The only method to understand what a site ’ s main objective need to be is to have a strong understanding’of the site ’ s objectives and/or customer requirements. Excellent customer concerns are not just valuable in tactically directing your efforts, however they likewise reveal that you care.


Client concern examples:

. Can you provide us a short history of your company?What is the financial worth of a recently certified lead?What are your most successful services/products (in order)?

Keep the following pointers in mind while developing a site ’ s main objective, extra objectives, and criteria:

. Setting goal pointers. Quantifiable: If you can ’ t procedure it, you can ’ t enhance it.Be particular: Don ’ t let unclear market marketing lingo thin down your goals.Share’your objectives: Studies have actually revealed that jotting down and sharing your objectives with others enhances your possibilities of attaining them. Determining.

Now that you ’ ve set your main objective, examine which extra metrics might assist support your website in reaching its objective. Determining extra (appropriate )standards can assist you keep a much better pulse on existing website health and development.

. Engagement metrics.

How are individuals acting once they reach your website? That ’ s the concern that engagement metrics look for to respond to. A few of the most popular metrics for determining how individuals engage with your material consist of:


Conversion rate- The variety of conversions( for a single preferred action/goal) divided by the variety of distinct sees. A conversion rate can be used to anything, from an e-mail signup to a purchase to account development. Understanding your conversion rate can assist you determine the roi( ROI) your site traffic may provide.


In Google Analytics, you can established objectives to determine how well your website achieves its goals. You can set that up as an objective if your goal for a page is a type fill. When website visitors achieve the job, you ’ ll have the ability to see it in your reports.


Time on page- How long did individuals invest in your page? If you’have a 2,000-word article that visitors are just investing approximately 10 seconds on, the possibilities are slim that this material is being taken in( unless they ’ re a mega-speed reader ). If a URL has a low time on page, that ’ s not always bad’either. Think about the intent of the page. It ’ s regular for “ Contact United States ” pages to have a low typical time on page.


’Pages per see- Was the objective of your page to keep readers engaged and take them to a next action? Pages per go to can be an important engagement metric if so. If the objective of your page is independent of other pages on your website (ex: visitor came, got what they required, then left), then low pages per see are all right.


Bounce rate- “ Bounced ” sessions show that a searcher left and went to the page without searching your website any even more. Lots of people attempt to reduce this metric since they think it ’ s connected to site quality, however it in fact informs us extremely little about a user ’ s experience. We ’ ve seen cases of bounce rate surging for revamped dining establishment sites that are doing much better than’ever. More examination found that individuals were merely pertaining to discover service hours, menus, or an address, then bouncing with the objective of checking out the dining establishment personally. A much better metric to assess page/site quality is scroll depth.


Scroll depth -This determines how far visitors scroll down specific web pages. Are visitors reaching your essential material? If not, test variousmethods of supplying the most crucial material greater up on your page, such as multimedia, contact kinds, and so on. Think about the quality of your material. Are you leaving out needless words? Is it attracting for the visitor to continue down the page? Scroll depth tracking can be established in your Google Analytics.

. Browse traffic.

Ranking is an important SEO metric, however determining your website ’ s natural efficiency can ’ t stop there. The objective of appearing in search is to be picked by searchers as the response to their question. You have an issue if you ’ re ranking however not getting any traffic.


But how do you even identify just how much traffic your website is obtaining from search? Among the most exact methods to do this is with Google Analytics.

. Utilizing Google Analytics to discover traffic insights.

Google Analytics (GA) is breaking at the joints with information– a lot so that it can be frustrating if you put on ’ t understand where to look. This is not an extensive list, however rather a basic guide to a few of the traffic information you can obtain from this totally free tool.


Isolate natural traffic — -GA enables you to see traffic to your website by channel. This will reduce any scares triggered by modifications to another channel (ex: overall traffic dropped due to the fact that a paid project was stopped, however natural traffic stayed stable).

Traffic to your website with time -GA permits you to see overall sessions/users/pageviews to your website over a defined date variety, in addition to compare 2 different varieties.


How lots of check outs a specific page has actually gotten -Site Content reports in GA are terrific for assessing the efficiency of a specific page– for instance, the number of special visitors it got within a provided date variety.


Traffic from a defined project -You can utilize UTM (urchin tracking module) codes for much better attribution. Designate the project, medium, and source , then add the codes to the end of your URLs. That information will begin to occupy in GA ’ s “ projects ” report when individuals begin clicking on your UTM-code links.


Click-through rate (CTR)- Your CTR from search engine result to a specific page( suggesting the percent of individuals that clicked your page from search engine result) can supply insights on how well you ’ ve enhanced your page title and meta description. You can discover this information in Google Search Console,’a totally free Google tool.

In addition, Google Tag Manager is a totally free tool that permits you to release and handle tracking pixels to your site without needing to customize the code. This makes it a lot easier to track particular triggers or activity on a site.

. Extra typical SEO metrics. Domain Authority &Page Authority (DA/PA )- Moz ’s exclusive authority metrics offer effective insights at a look and are best utilized as standards relative to your rivals ’ Domain Authority and Page Authority . Keyword rankings – A site ’ s ranking position for wanted keywords. This ought to likewise consist of SERP function information, like included individuals and bits Also Ask boxes that you ’ re ranking for. Attempt to prevent vanity metrics, such as rankings for competitive keywords that are preferable however typically too unclear and put on ’ t transform along with longer-tail keywords. Variety of backlinks- Total variety of links indicating your site or the variety of distinct connecting root domains( suggesting one per special site, as sites typically connect out to other sites numerous times ). While these are both typical link metrics, we motivate you to look more carefully at the quality of backlinks and connecting root domains your website has. How to track these metrics.

There are great deals of various tools readily available for monitoring your website ’ s position in SERPs, website crawl health, SERP functions, and link metrics, such as Moz Pro and STAT.


The Moz and STAT APIs( to name a few tools) can likewise be pulled into Google Sheets or other personalized control panel platforms for customers and fast at-a-glance SEO check-ins. This likewise enables you to supply more refined views of just the metrics you appreciate.


Dashboard tools like Data Studio, Tableau, and PowerBI can likewise assist to produce interactive information visualizations.

. Examining a website ’ s health with an SEO site audit.

By having an understanding of specific elements of your site– its existing position in search, how searchers are engaging with it, how it ’ s carrying out, the quality of its material, its general structure, and so on– you ’ ll have the ability to much better reveal SEO chances. Leveraging the online search engine ’ own tools can assist emerge those chances, in addition to possible concerns:

. Google — Search Console – If you sanctuary ’ t currently, register for a totally free Google Search Console (GSC) account and confirm your site( s). GSC has lots of actionable reports you can utilize to discover site mistakes, chances, and user engagement. Bing Webmaster Tools – Bing Webmaster Tools has comparable performance to GSC. To name a few things, it reveals you how your website is carrying out in Bing and chances for enhancement. Lighthouse Audit – Google ’ s automated tool for determining a site ’ s efficiency, availability, progressive web apps, and more. This information enhances your understanding of how a site is carrying out. Gain particular speed and ease of access insights for a site here. PageSpeed Insights – Provides site efficiency insights utilizing Lighthouse and Chrome User Experience Report information from genuine user measurement( RUM) when readily available. Structured Data Testing Tool – Validates that a site is utilizing schema markup ( structured information) correctly. Mobile-Friendly Test -Evaluates how quickly a user can browse your site on a mobile phone. Web.dev – Surfaces site enhancement insights utilizing Lighthouse and supplies the capability to track development gradually. Tools for web devs and SEOs – Google frequently supplies brand-new tools for web designers and SEOs alike, so watch on any brand-new releases here.


While we put on ’ t have space to cover every SEO audit inspect you need to carry out in this guide, we do use a thorough Technical SEO Site Audit course for more information. When auditing your website, keep the following in mind:


Crawlability: Are your main websites crawlable by online search engine, or are you inadvertently obstructing Googlebot or Bingbot through your robots.txt file? Does the site have a precise sitemap.xml file in location to assist direct spiders to your main pages?


Indexed pages: Can your main pages be discovered utilizing Google? Doing a website: yoursite.com OR website: yoursite.com/specific-page check in Google can assist address this concern. If you observe some are missing out on, examine to ensure a meta robotics= noindex tag isn ’ t omitting pages that ought to be indexed and discovered in search results page.


Check page titles &meta descriptions: Do your titles and meta descriptions do an excellent task of summing up the material of each page? How are their CTRs in search engine result, according to Google Search Console? Are they composed in a manner in which lures searchers to click your outcome over the other ranking URLs? Which pages could be enhanced? Site-wide crawls are necessary for finding technical and on-page SEO chances.


Page speed: How does your site carry out on mobile phones and in Lighthouse? Which images could be compressed to enhance load time?


Content quality: How well does the existing material of the site satisfy the target audience ’ s requirements? Is the material 10X much better than other ranking sites ’ material? If not, what could you do much better? Think of things like richer material, multimedia, PDFs, guides, audio material, and more.


Pro pointer: Website pruning!

Removing thin, old, low-grade, or hardly ever checked out pages from your website can assist enhance your site ’ s viewed quality.Carrying out a content audit will assist you find these pruning chances. 3 main methods to prune pages consist of:

Delete the page (4XX ): Use when a page includes no worth (ex: traffic, links )and/or is obsoleted. Reroute( 3XX): Redirect the URLs of pages you ’ re pruning when you wish to protect the worth they contribute to your website, such as incoming links to that old URL. NoIndex: Use this when you desire the page to stay on your website’however be eliminated from the index.


Keyword research study and competitive site analysis( carrying out audits on your rivals ’ sites) can likewise offer abundant insights on chances for your own site.


For example:

. Which keywords are rivals ranking on page 1 for, however your site isn ’ t?Which keywords is your site ranking on page 1 for that likewise have a highlighted bit? You may be able to supply much better material and take control of that bit. Which sites connect to more than among your rivals, however not to your site?

Discovering site material and efficiency chances will assist design a more data-driven SEO master plan! Keep a continuous list in order to prioritize your jobs efficiently.

. Prioritizing your SEOrepairs.

In order to focus on SEO repairs efficiently, it ’ s important to initially have particular, agreed-upon objectives developed in between you and your customer.


While there are a million various methods you might focus on SEO , we recommend you rankthem in regards to significance and seriousness. Which repairs could offer the most ROI for a site and assist support your agreed-upon objectives?


Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, established a convenient time management grid that can relieve the problem of prioritization:

. Source: Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People .

Putting out little, immediate SEO fires may feel most efficient in the short-term, however this frequently results in disregarding non-urgent crucial repairs. The essential &not immediate products are eventually what typically move the needle for a site ’ s SEO. Don ’ t put these off.


. SEO preparing &execution. “ Without method, execution is aimless.Without execution, method is worthless. ”- Morris Chang.

Much of your success depends upon efficiently drawing up and scheduling your SEO jobs. You can utilize totally free tools like Google Sheets to plan your SEO execution( we have a complimentary design template here ), however you can utilize whatever approach works best for you. Some individuals choose to set up out their SEO jobs in theirGoogle Calendar, in a kanban or scrum“board, or in a day-to-day coordinator.


Use what works for you” and stay with it.


Measuring your development along the method through the metrics discussed above will assist you monitor your efficiency and permit you to pivot your SEO efforts when something isn ’ t working. State, for instance, you altered a main page ’ s title and meta description, just to see that the CTR for that page reduced. Possibly you altered it to something too unclear or wandered off too far from the on-page subject– it may be great to attempt a various method. Watching on drops in rankings, CTRs, natural traffic, and conversions can assist you handle missteps like this early, prior to they end up being a larger issue.

. Interaction is important for SEO customer durability.

Many SEO repairs are executed without being obvious to a customer( or user).’This is why it ’ s vital to use excellent interaction abilities around your SEO strategy, the time frame in which you ’ re working, and your criteria metrics, in addition to regular check-ins and reports.


Sign up for The Moz Top 10 , a semimonthly mailer upgrading you on the leading 10 most popular pieces of SEO news, ideas, and rad links revealed by the Moz group. Considerit as your special absorb of things you do not have time to hound however wish to check out!

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Press Marketing

How Local Marketing Can Transform Your Small Business

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In collaboration with Simply Business

3rd in a series of posts checking out how to make 2019 your service’’ s finest year.

By Rieva Lesonsky

Many small companies depend on regional consumers to endure—– merchants, dining establishment owners, accounting professionals, professionals, remodelers, house companies, amongst numerous others. For these entrepreneur, marketing has actually ended up being a little bit more complex.

In this post and a following one, we’’ re going to check out the “ marketing musts” ” your organisation requires to use to be effective in 2019.

.Sites are a must.

It must go without stating that every company, no matter its size, should have a site. Shockingly, an approximated 40% -50% of organisations still do not have a site. If you wear’’ t have an organisation site, you should construct one right away. A site assists you construct your brand name and offers you a constant online ““ house ” for your service. (A social networks platform is not a replacement for a site.) Services that actively engage online can anticipate to grow 40% faster than they would without an online existence, according to a report from BCG .

If you’’ re simply beginning, put on’’ t tension. Your very first site does not require to be sophisticated. Simply ensure to consist of the essentials: address, contact number, costs, hours, and services. Be sure your site consists of a map and instructions if you desire individuals to visit your physical company place (certainly crucial to dining establishments and retail shop owners).

You’’ ll requirement to discover a domain for your site (check out NameStudio ), which should, if possible, be the comparable or exact same to the name of your organisation . If you desire to DIY your site or employ a web designer to develop a website for you, Figure out. And after that choose what your website requires to consist of, such as:

.Variety of site pages.Quantity of site storage (images &&videos require more storage area).Tools (for instance, online kinds, blog sites, consumer evaluations, maps, slideshows).Hyperlinks to/integration with social networks.Video and/or audio gamers.Shopping cart.Tech assistance.Relieve of upgrading material.

Check out this Checklist to Build a Website to get more information.

.Make your website mobile-friendly.

All sites need to be enhanced for mobile watching. Google’’ s algorithms mostly utilize the mobile variation of a website’’ s material to rank pages from that website, which affects your positioning in the online search engine.

More essential, customers require mobile-ready sites. As Eric Reynolds, the SVP and CMO of Clorox states, all ““ marketing basically is mobile today.” ” On Thanksgiving, for the very first time ever, according to Adobe Analytics and reported on CNBC , customers phoned $1 billion in sales by means of their smart devices. And over $2 billion in sales on Black Friday originated from smart devices.

Overall this year, almost 40% of e-commerce sales originated from mobile phones, which ought to skyrocket to nearly 54% by 2021, according to Statista . Research studies reveal customers choose to finish their whole shopping journey on mobile phones; nevertheless, mobile conversions are still lower than desktop since the mobile user experience stays below average.

You wear’’ t wish to lose consumers, so make certain

. Your website loads rapidly—– you can check the speed of your mobile website here Photos are big enough for consumers to see, however wear’’ t slowdown load time. Kinds are brief with drop-down alternatives.Your website is protected. If it’’ s not https://’, Google ’ s Chrome web browser reveals a ““ NOT SECURE ” cautioning beside the URL.Getting discovered online.

While it’’ s essential for all companies to appear on the significant online search engine (Google, Bing, and so on), for regional companies it’’ s much more essential to be visible on regional search websites and directory sites. When customers browse on smart devices for items, services, and companies (which about 70% of customers do), Google thinks about the phone’’ s place prior to showing search engine result, providing organisations utilizing regional SEO an edge.

To carry out a regional SEO technique:

.Declare your service listing on regional search directory sites. Start by declaring your totally free listing on Google My Business . You might currently have a listing, however if you sanctuary’’ t “ declared ” it, it ’ s likely not finish. Ensure the info about your service that’’ s vital to prospective clients—– company name, address, contact number, and hours of operation—– is right.Utilize your Google My Business info as the basis for developing listings on other regional search directory sites and maps. It’’ s essential your address, phone, and name (NAP) info is precisely the exact same on all regional search directory sites. (According to Search Engine Bay , the leading 5 regional directory sites are Google , Bing , Yahoo , Yelp , and Facebook .)Improve your listings by including information, consisting of images (““ prior to and after ” shots catch customers’ ’ attention), menus, existing promos, or seasonal hours.Include your service address in the footer of your website’’ s” web page, “ Contact United States ” page, and any place else it’’ s proper. Include location-specific keywords (your city and community) in your website’’ s meta tags, title tags, descriptions, and material.Your information requires to be kept current. This can be lengthy and tiresome, so think about farming it out to a firm or your webhost.Voice: the brand-new frontier.

Voice search is the latest part of regional marketing. Customers are rapidly accepting their digital voice assistants (Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Google Home, and so on). The stats are engaging:

.By 2020 there’’ ll have to do with 76.5 million wise speaker users in the United States, according to eMarketer. Currently more than 17 million Americans purchase items utilizing wise speakers.ComScore anticipates that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be through voice. Capgemini reports that 24% of customers would rather utilize a voice assistant than go to a site.

Consumers browse in a different way on voice, so you’’ ll requirement to alter your search method. When utilizing voice search, individuals speak naturally, completely sentences. This indicates targeting long-tail keywords is a must. To do this, consider what concerns customers would ask when looking for organisations like yours. Answer the general public has a terrific tool to assist you with this. Take a look at, for example, these concerns for a lawn-care organisation .

While voice search is reasonably brand-new, customers currently have expectations:

.52% wish to find out about your promos, sales, and offers.48% desire individualized pointers and details that assists make their lives much easier.42% wish to find out about upcoming activities and occasions.39% utilize their gadgets to get more details about a service, such as hours of operation and area.

These are simply a few of the methods you require to accept to much better market your items and services. In the next post we’’ ll take a look at how you can get the most out of e-mail marketing, social networks, and scores and evaluation websites.

Be sure to read our other Countdown to 2019 posts:. How to Manage Your Business Cash Flow During the Slow Season How to Manage, Schedule, and Track Time for Employees on Multiple Job Sites

About the Author

 rieva lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and customized material business concentrating on small company and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at rieva@smallbizdaily.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/ Rieva , and visit her site, SmallBizDaily.com , to get the scoop on company patterns and register for Rieva’’ s complimentary TrendCast reports.

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Web Optimization

The SEO Cyborg: How to Resonate with Users & Make Sense to Search Bots

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Posted by alexis-sanders

SEO is about understanding how search bots and users react to an online experience. As search professionals, we’re required to bridge gaps between online experiences, search engine bots, and users. We need to know where to insert ourselves (or our teams) to ensure the best experience for both users and bots. In other words, we strive for experiences that resonate with humans and make sense to search engine bots.

This article seeks to answer the following questions:

How do we drive sustainable growth for our clients?
What are the building blocks of an organic search strategy?
What is the SEO cyborg?

A cyborg (or cybernetic organism) is defined as “a being with both organic andbiomechatronic body parts, whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements.”

With the ability to relate between humans, search bots, and our site experiences, the SEO cyborg is an SEO (or team) that is able to work seamlessly between both technical and content initiatives (whose skills are extended beyond normal human limitations) to support driving of organic search performance. An SEO cyborg is able to strategically pinpoint where to place organic search efforts to maximize performance.

So, how do we do this?

The SEO model

Like so many classic triads (think: primary colors, the Three Musketeers, Destiny’s Child [the canonical version, of course]) the traditional SEO model, known as the crawl-index-rank method, packages SEO into three distinct steps. At the same time, however, this model fails to capture the breadth of work that we SEOs are expected to do on a daily basis, and not having a functioning model can be limiting. We need to expand this model without reinventing the wheel.


The enhanced model involves adding in a rendering, signaling, and connection phase.


You might be wondering, why do we need these?:

Rendering: There is increased prevalence of JavaScript, CSS, imagery, and personalization.
Signaling: HTML <link> tags, status codes, and even GSC signals are powerful indicators that tell search engines how to process and understand the page, determine its intent, and ultimately rank it. In the previous model, it didn’t feel as if these powerful elements really had a place.
Connecting: People are a critical component of search. The ultimate goal of search engines is to identify and rank content that resonates with people. In the previous model, “rank” felt cold, hierarchical, and indifferent towards the end user.

All of this brings us to the question: how do we find success in each stage of this model?

Note: When using this piece, I recommend skimming ahead and leveraging those sections of the enhanced model that are most applicable to your business’ current search program.

The enhanced SEO modelCrawling

Technical SEO starts with the search engine’s ability to find a site’s webpages (hopefully efficiently).

Finding pages

Initially finding pages can happen a few ways, via:

Links (internal or external)
Redirected pages
Sitemaps (XML, RSS 2.0, Atom 1.0, or .txt)

Internet Applications

Side note: This information (although at first pretty straightforward) can be really useful. For example, if you’re seeing weird pages popping up in site crawls or performing in search, try checking:

Backlink reports
Internal links to URL
Redirected into URL
Obtaining resources

The second component of crawling relates to the ability to obtain resources (which later becomes critical for rendering a page’s experience).

This typically relates to two elements:

Appropriate robots.txt declarations
Proper HTTP status code (namely 200 HTTP status codes)

John Mueller

Crawl efficiency

Finally, there’s the idea of how efficiently a search engine bot can traverse your site’s most critical experiences.

Action items:

Is site’s main navigation simple, clear, and useful?
Are there relevant on-page links?
Is internal linking clear and crawlable (i.e., <a href=”/”>)?
Is an HTML sitemap available?

Side note: Make sure to check the HTML sitemap’s next page flow (or behavior flow reports) to find where those users are going. This may help to inform the main navigation.

Do footer links contain tertiary content?
Are important pages close to root?
Are there no crawl traps?
Are there no orphan pages?
Are pages consolidated?
Do all pages have purpose?
Has duplicate content been resolved?
Have redirects been consolidated?
Are canonical tags on point?
Are parameters well defined?
Information architecture

The organization of information extends past the bots, requiring an in-depth understanding of how users engage with a site.

Some seed questions to begin research include:

What trends appear in search volume (by location, device)? What are common questions users have?
Which pages get the most traffic?
What are common user journeys?
What are users’ traffic behaviors and flow?
How do users leverage site features (e.g., internal site search)?

Rendering a page relates to search engines’ ability to capture the page’s desired essence.


The big kahuna in the rendering section is JavaScript. For Google, rendering of JavaScript occurs during a second wave of indexing and the content is queued and rendered as resources become available.

online customers

Image based off of Google I/O ’18 presentation by Tom Greenway and John Mueller, Deliver search-friendly JavaScript-powered websites

As an SEO, it’s critical that we be able to answer the question — are search engines rendering my content?

Action items:

Are direct “quotes” from content indexed?
Is the site using <a href=”/”> links (not onclick();)?
Is the same content being served to search engine bots (user-agent)?
Is the content present within the DOM?
What does Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool’s JavaScript console (click “view details”) say?
Infinite scroll and lazy loading

Another hot topic relating to JavaScript is infinite scroll (and lazy load for imagery). Since search engine bots are lazy users, they won’t scroll to attain content.

Action items:

Ask ourselves – should all of the content really be indexed? Is it content that provides value to users?

Infinite scroll: a user experience (and occasionally a performance optimizing) tactic to load content when the user hits a certain point in the UI; typically the content is exhaustive.

Solution one (updating AJAX):

1. Break out content into separate sections

Note: The breakout of pages can be /page-1, /page-2, etc.; however, it would be best to delineate meaningful divides (e.g., /voltron, /optimus-prime, etc.)

2. Implement History API (pushState(), replaceState()) to update URLs as a user scrolls (i.e., push/update the URL into the URL bar)

3. Add the <link> tag’s rel=”next” and rel=”prev” on relevant page

Solution two (create a view-all page)Note: This is not recommended for large amounts of content.

1. If it’s possible (i.e., there’s not a ton of content within the infinite scroll), create one page encompassing all content

2. Site latency/page load should be considered

Lazy load imagery is a web performance optimization tactic, in which images loads upon a user scrolling (the idea is to save time, downloading images only when they’re needed)
Add <img> tags in <noscript> tags
Use JSON-LD structured data

Schema.org “image” attributes nested in appropriate item types
Schema.org ImageObject item type


I only have a few elements relating to the rendering of CSS.

Action items:

CSS background images not picked up in image search, so don’t count on for important imagery
CSS animations not interpreted, so make sure to add surrounding textual content
Layouts for page are important (use responsive mobile layouts; avoid excessive ads)

Although a trend in the broader digital exists to create 1:1, people-based marketing, Google doesn’t save cookies across sessions and thus will not interpret personalization based on cookies, meaning there must be an average, base-user, default experience. The data from other digital channels can be exceptionally useful when building out audience segments and gaining a deeper understanding of the base-user.

Action item:

Ensure there is a base-user, unauthenticated, default experience

organic search strategy


Google’s rendering engine is leveraging Chrome 41. Canary (Chrome’s testing browser) is currently operating on Chrome 69. Using CanIUse.com, we can infer that this affects Google’s abilities relating to HTTP/2, service workers (think: PWAs), certain JavaScript, specific advanced image formats, resource hints, and new encoding methods. That said, this does not mean we shouldn’t progress our sites and experiences for users — we just must ensure that we use progressive development (i.e., there’s a fallback for less advanced browsers [and Google too ☺]).

Action items:

Ensure there’s a fallback for less advanced browsers




Getting pages into Google’s databases is what indexing is all about. From what I’ve experienced, this process is straightforward for most sites.

Action items:

Ensure URLs are able to be crawled and rendered
Ensure nothing is preventing indexing (e.g., robots meta tag)
Submit sitemap in Google Search Console
Fetch as Google in Google Search Console

A site should strive to send clear signals to search engines. Unnecessarily confusing search engines can significantly impact a site’s performance. Signaling relates to suggesting best representation and status of a page. All this means is that we’re ensuring the following elements are sending appropriate signals.

Action items:

<link> tag: This represents the relationship between documents in HTML.

Rel=”canonical”: This represents appreciably similar content.

Are canonicals a secondary solution to 301-redirecting experiences?
Are canonicals pointing to end-state URLs?
Is the content appreciably similar?

Since Google maintains prerogative over determining end-state URL, it’s important that the canonical tags represent duplicates (and/or duplicate content).

Are all canonicals in HTML?

Presumably Google prefers canonical tags in the HTML. Although there have been some studies that show that Google can pick up JavaScript canonical tags, from my personal studies it takes significantly longer and is spottier.

Is there safeguarding against incorrect canonical tags?

Rel=”next” and rel=”prev”: These represent a collective series and are not considered duplicate content, which means that all URLs can be indexed. That said, typically the first page in the chain is the most authoritative, so usually it will be the one to rank.

media: typically used for separate mobile experiences.
hreflang: indicate appropriate language/country

The hreflang is quite unforgiving and it’s very easy to make errors.
Ensure the documentation is followed closely.
Check GSC International Target reports to ensure tags are populating.

HTTP status codes can also be signals, particularly the 304, 404, 410, and 503 status codes.

304 – a valid page that simply hasn’t been modified
404 – file not found
410 – file not found (and it is gone, forever and always)
503 – server maintenance

search program

Google Search Console settings: Make sure the following reports are all sending clear signals. Occasionally Google decides to honor these signals.

International Targeting
URL Parameters
Data Highlighter
Remove URLs


Rank relates to how search engines arrange web experiences, stacking them against each other to see who ends up on top for each individual query (taking into account numerous data points surrounding the query).


Two critical questions recur often when understanding ranking pages:

Does or could your page have the best response?
Are you or could you become semantically known (on the Internet and in the minds of users) for the topics? (i.e., are you worthy of receiving links and people traversing the web to land on your experience?)


On-page optimizations

These are the elements webmasters control. Off-page is a critical component to achieving success in search; however, in an idyllic world, we shouldn’t have to worry about links and/or mentions – they should come naturally.

Action items:

Textual content:

Make content both people and bots can understand
Answer questions directly
Write short, logical, simple sentences
Ensure subjects are clear (not to be inferred)
Create scannable content (i.e., make sure <h#> tags are an outline, use bullets/lists, use tables, charts, and visuals to delineate content, etc.)
Define any uncommon vocabulary or link to a glossary

Multimedia (images, videos, engaging elements):

Use imagery, videos, engaging content where applicable
Ensure that image optimization best practices are followed

If you’re looking for a comprehensive resource check out https://images.guide

Meta elements (<title> tags, meta descriptions, OGP, Twitter cards, etc.)
Structured data

Schema.org (check out Google’s supported markup and TechnicalSEO.com’s markup helper tool)
Use Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA)
Use semantic HTML (especially hierarchically organized, relevant <h#> tags and unordered and ordered lists (<ul>, <ol>))


Image courtesy of @abbynhamilton

Is content accessible?

Is there keyboard functionality?
Are there text alternatives for non-text media? Example:

Transcripts for audio
Images with alt text
In-text descriptions of visuals

Is there adequate color contrast?
Is text resizable?

Finding interesting content

Researching and identifying useful content happens in three formats:

Keyword and search landscape research
On-site analytic deep dives
User research



Visual modified from @smrvl via @DannyProl

Audience research

When looking for audiences, we need to concentrate high percentages (super high index rates are great, but not required). Push channels (particularly ones with strong targeting capabilities) do better with high index rates. This makes sense, we need to know that 80% of our customers have certain leanings (because we’re looking for base-case), not that five users over-index on a niche topic (these five niche-topic lovers are perfect for targeted ads).

Some seed research questions:

Who are users?
Where are they?
Why do they buy?
How do they buy?
What do they want?
Are they new or existing users?
What do they value?
What are their motivators?
What is their relationship w/ tech?
What do they do online?
Are users engaging with other brands?

Is there an opportunity for synergy?

What can we borrow from other channels?

Digital presents a wealth of data, in which 1:1, closed-loop, people-based marketing exists. Leverage any data you can get and find useful.


Content journey maps

All of this data can then go into creating a map of the user journey and overlaying relevant content. Below are a few types of mappings that are useful.

Illustrative user journey map

Sometimes when trying to process complex problems, it’s easier to break it down into smaller pieces. Illustrative user journeys can help with this problem! Take a single user’s journey and map it out, aligning relevant content experiences.


Funnel content mapping

This chart is deceptively simple; however, working through this graph can help sites to understand how each stage in the funnel affects users (note: the stages can be modified). This matrix can help with mapping who writers are talking to, their needs, and how to push them to the next stage in the funnel.


Content matrix

Mapping out content by intent and branding helps to visualize conversion potential. I find these extremely useful for prioritizing top-converting content initiatives (i.e., start with ensuring branded, transactional content is delivering the best experience, then move towards more generic, higher-funnel terms).



Regardless of how the data is broken down, it’s vital to have a high-level view on the audience’s core attributes, opportunities to improve content, and strategy for closing the gap.

Internet Applications


Connecting is all about resonating with humans. Connecting is about understanding that customers are human (and we have certain constraints). Our mind is constantly filtering, managing, multitasking, processing, coordinating, organizing, and storing information. It is literally in our mind’s best interest to not remember 99% of the information and sensations that surround us (think of the lights, sounds, tangible objects, people surrounding you, and you’re still able to focus on reading the words on your screen — pretty incredible!).

To become psychologically sticky, we must:

Get past the mind’s natural filter. A positive aspect of being a pull marketing channel is that individuals are already seeking out information, making it possible to intersect their user journey in a micro-moment.
From there we must be memorable. The brain tends to hold onto what’s relevant, useful, or interesting. Luckily, the searcher’s interest is already piqued (even if they aren’t consciously aware of why they searched for a particular topic).

John Mueller

This means we have a unique opportunity to “be there” for people. This leads to a very simple, abstract philosophy: a great brand is like a great friend.

We have similar relationship stages, we interweave throughout each other’s lives, and we have the ability to impact happiness. This comes down to the question: Do your online customers use adjectives they would use for a friend to describe your brand?

online customers

Action items:

Is all content either relevant, useful, or interesting?
Does the content honor your user’s questions?
Does your brand have a personality that aligns with reality?
Are you treating users as you would a friend?
Do your users use friend-like adjectives to describe your brand and/or site?
Do the brand’s actions align with overarching goals?
Is your experience trust-inspiring?
Using Limited ads in layout?
Does the site have proof of claims?
Does the site use relevant reviews and testimonials?
Is contact information available and easily findable?
Is relevant information intuitively available to users?
Is it as easy to buy/subscribe as it is to return/cancel?
Is integrity visible throughout the entire conversion process and experience?
Does site have credible reputation across the web?

Ultimately, being able to strategically, seamlessly create compelling user experiences which make sense to bots is what the SEO cyborg is all about. ☺

organic search strategy

Ensure site = crawlable, renderable, and indexable
Ensure all signals = clear, aligned
Answering related, semantically salient questions
Research keywords, the search landscape, site performance, and develop audience segments
Use audience segments to map content and prioritize initiatives
Ensure content is relevant, useful, or interesting
Treat users as friend, be worthy of their trust

This article is based off of my MozCon talk (with a few slides from the Appendix pulled forward). The full deck is available on Slideshare, and the official videos can be purchased here. Please feel free to reach out with any questions in the comments below or via Twitter @AlexisKSanders.

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