Social Media Marketing

The Beginner’s Guide to Digital Marketing Analytics

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Throughout the 20th Century, one of the biggest problems with marketing was that it was difficult to calculate its return on investment.

Is that ad we placed in the newspaper last month really the reason we’re seeing an uptick in store visits? Or, is the billboard on the side of the interstate 20 miles away from our exit drawing in more visitors? It was hard to say for sure.

Today, traditional marketing media like print, television, radio, and billboards certainly still have their place. However, the 21st Century brought us a new, measurable form of marketing: digital marketing.

With digital marketing comes the opportunity to directly track and analyze results using digital marketing analytics. But, that doesn’t mean everyone is tracking their results. Today, only 1 in 4 marketers can prove the impact of their marketing efforts on their business.

Our goal is to show you what you should be tracking, how you should be tracking it, and why tracking is so important. Here is the Beginner’s Guide to Digital Marketing Analytics.

What You Should Be Tracking
1. Organic Traffic and Keyword Ranking

Search engine and keyword optimization is your way to communicate with search engine algorithms in a way that shows what your website is really all about. Each page you create is a new opportunity to rank for a new keyword and drive new traffic to your website. If you are not driving organic traffic through website pages and blogs, you might be failing to check some of the necessary boxes (either with content or keyword selection).

Benchmarks: This number is going to vary a little bit by industry and product, but across all of our current clients, the average is 40% of all website visits come from organic search. When you are doing inbound marketing at full strength, all of your traffic sources should be increasing, but organic search is the primary indicator of how well you are doing with the content creation piece of the process.

2. New Leads/Conversion Rates

As marketers, we know that when it comes to traffic, more is better, but if that traffic isn’t converting into relevant business leads, then it’s not really doing us any good at all. It’s important to create relevant offers and conversion points that connect with your visitors and potential customers that will help move them from strangers who don’t know anything. A lot of companies miss the mark on this metric by creating content offers that are too company-specific. Be helpful, inform your visitors.

Benchmarks: Sitewide, you should be aiming for 3%–5% conversion rate on all your website visits. However, your individual landing pages should be getting a 15%–20% conversion rate at the very least. Some of our clients’ really popular pages get around a 40% conversion rate.

3. Session Duration

The session duration of an average user on your site is a very telling metric. Creating “sticky” content that encourages visitors to stay engaged, visit another page, or watch a video will help you increase the duration. Measuring session duration is especially important as it relates to your organic visitors because Google is monitoring how effective the search results are. If someone visits your site and leaves in under 20 seconds, that sends negative SEO data to Google.

Benchmarks: Every website is going to be different. Take a look at your Google Analytics data (learn more below) and start working on ways to incrementally increase the average session duration. Can you add more links to your blog post and website pages? Maybe you need to add relevant calls-to-action on your best-performing pages? Or try adding some video that keeps users engaged.

4. Email Open/Click-Through Rates

Okay, so we’ve discussed online traffic metrics. Now, let’s move to email marketing (which still works, by the way). The two most important statistics to track for email marketing are open rates (what percentage of recipients opened an email) and click-through rates (what percentage of people clicked on a link within the email).

Open rates tell you how deliverable your email is (i.e. avoiding spam folders, having attractive subject lines), and click-through rates tell you how appealing your email’s deliverables are (i.e. content, coupons, contest sign-ups).

Benchmarks: Again, every industry is different. But, it’s helpful to aim for at least an 18% email open rate and at least a 3% click-through rate.

5. Video Engagement Rates

Video is one of the most engaging forms of content that you can create. So, you should be creating it. And, if you are going to go through the time and effort to add video to your website, then you should definitely be tracking more than the views.

We hear a common myth all the time that shorter video is better, but just like any piece of content, what matters is the quality of the video, not the length. If you have an awesome, compelling video story that keeps people engaged, they will keep watching.

One of our favorite projects was a “Stories for the Soul” video that was about six minutes long. Conventional wisdom would tell you that people stopped watching after the first minute of the video. But, that wasn’t the case, at all. Our video had an 82% engagement rate overall and 78% engagement rate through the 5:24 mark.

Screen_Shot_2016-06-23_at_2.19.48_PM.png

Benchmarks: Measuring engagement rate is less about shooting for a specific number and more about understanding how your audience engages with videos. Do they fall off around the one-minute mark? Will they stay for five minutes if they find it engaging? Are there parts of the video that lots of viewers are re-watching? Without measuring your videos, there is no way to analyze and improve them in the future!

6. Cost per Lead/Cost per Customer

Do you know how much it costs for you to acquire the leads you are getting today? Is it $2,000 or $200? By calculating the cost of your marketing efforts and dividing by the total number of leads/customers converted, you can start to get an idea of the cost per lead/customer. Your cost per lead and customer is going to depend on your business and your average lifetime value of a prospect. You should have a lower cost per lead if your lifetime value of a customer is $2,000 vs. $200,000.

Benchmarks: Again, this number is going to vary a lot by industry, company, and product value. Create a spreadsheet, track your averages on a monthly basis, and look for trends. If there are marketing activities that lead to more customers at a lower cost, then make sure you are doing more of those activities.

These inbound marketing analytics will help you get an understanding of the effectiveness of your campaigns. We love to help companies optimize their inbound marketing process, so if you are looking for help identifying where you need the most help, we’d love to do a free marketing assessment.

7. New Business from New Customers

Not surprisingly, closed business is likely the most important measure of success for marketing and sales. In order to track how many leads are turning into customers, it’s wise to integrate your automation platform with a CRM system to implement closed-loop reporting.

You’ll want to pay close attention to the conversion rate for this metric, the lead-to-customer rate.

Lead to Customer Conversion Rate Formula:
# of customers / # of leads = Lead-to-customer conversion rate

Also, don’t forget to consider the customer’s or account’s lifetime value when looking into closed business. A new customer may be worth more than just the value of the one-time purchase.

Customer Lifetime Value Formula:
Avg sale per customer x Avg number of times a customer buys per year x Avg years a customer will buy from you = Avg customer lifetime value

If your sales team is uploading deal information into your CRM, this should be easy to track and calculate. With this information, you can accurately calculate the return on your marketing investment.

8. Your Marketing Return on Investment (ROI)

Are your marketing efforts worth it? The timeless question. How can you say a marketing campaign was successful if you don’t know if you recorded a return on your investment?

When measuring ROI, you’ll need to calculate your customer acquisition costs for all online marketing efforts. How much does it cost you to acquire a new customer? This includes manpower, technology, and other expenses related to campaigns.

Return on Investment Formula:
(Sales growth – Marketing investment) / Marketing investment

In order to calculate your customer acquisition costs, like the metric above, it’s recommended to integrate your marketing automation solution with your CRM platform.

Keep in mind, if you want to accurately measure marketing ROI, you’ll need to be very diligent recording data and closely tracking the buying journey of a customer. The depth in which you’re able to drill down is dependent on the collection of information. Ideally, you’ll get the correct systems in place and benefit from the ability to truly understand the impact of specific marketing campaigns on your business.

What Tools You Should Use

Now that we know what to track, we need to know how to track it. And there are many tools that you can take advantage of to track and measure your success online. Here are a few that we use along with their specific use-cases:

HubSpot

Because we’re a Platinum Partner with HubSpot, we use it for just about everything. Our website is built on HubSpot, we host our CRM on HubSpot, we send automated emails through HubSpot, and we post on our social media through HubSpot (to name a few).

Therefore, we can track site visits as they turn into leads and from leads to customers, all through one platform, which makes it very easy for us to track specific success from certain campaigns.

You don’t have to build your website on HubSpot to have all these amazing options, though, so don’t fret! If you’re interested in working with HubSpot, they can merge their software with your current website so you can start getting insights and tracking leads without changing your online presence.

But, HubSpot may not be for everyone. Visit their website to learn more about what they can do for you before taking the plunge!

Google Analytics

You’ve probably heard of Google Analytics. In fact, you may have (hopefully) already set up Google Analytics for your website.

Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to build campaigns, see customer behavior, and measure traffic on your website.

Much like HubSpot, there is A LOT of information you can gather from Google Analytics. Dig in deep to find correlations and patterns with your most successful pages and your incoming leads.

Ahrefs

Remember when we talked about growing your organic ranking at the beginning of this blog? Again, that comes from writing and publishing quality blogs with helpful content.

And the best way to know what people are searching for is by conducting your own keyword research.

We have found that Ahrefs is a great source for not only keyword research, but competitive research as well. They have fantastic tools for finding the difficulty and searches per month for keywords, helping you understand what your competitors’ articles are ranking for, and knowing what news is trending related to your business.

Special Shoutout: Keywords Everywhere, a Google Chrome and Firefox plugin, can really help with inspiration for keywords. It’s a free resource, so you can visit their website and install it now.

Wistia

If you’re producing videos (and you should be), you’ll need a tool to host and share those videos. YouTube may be an obvious choice for video hosting, but other video platforms are worth considering. Like Wistia, for example.

Wistia allows you to gather specific data, like your engagement rate (remember the Stories for the Soul example above?). It also allows for more customization, and most importantly, it can integrate with other marketing automation software (like HubSpot) to automatically trigger actions.

For instance, you can send someone an automated email after they’ve watched 1:30 of a Wistia video.

Special Shoutout: If you have HubSpot Marketing Professional or higher, local video hosting services are now included (with automation built-in!). That means customization, workflow creation, and lead capture technology are all included with HubSpot Videos.

Hotjar

If you want to get even more specific with your website optimization, you can use Hotjar (or CrazyEgg). Both of these tools create heatmaps of your landing pages, so you can see where people are looking on your page.

For instance, if you want to place a lead capture form on a landing page, in a spot where your visitors will actually see it, make a Hotjar heatmap of your landing page. This will allow you to see where visitors first place their eyes, which will indicate where you should put the lead capture form.

Why Digital Marketing Analytics Are Important

Digital marketing analytics can help you…

Better understand your customer. Think about it: You will now be able to know what your target audience is searching for by doing keyword research on Ahrefs. Then, you can use Google Analytics or HubSpot to track their behavior on your website, which will help you better understand their buyer’s journey. Not to mention, you can build in pop-up forms that can give them the opportunity to ask questions while they’re thinking about you on the page, or even chatbots that pre-emptively answer their questions!
Better understand your competitor. By researching your industry to gain a deeper understanding of how you can improve your online presence, you’ll get to know your competitors’ niches, and consequently, your niche!
Prove the value of your efforts. We already said it, but I’ll say it again for those in the back: You can directly track the ROI of your efforts with digital marketing! No more guessing games as to whether what you’re doing is actually working — you can track customers from the awareness stage all the way to the purchase decision.

Good luck on your journey with digital marketing analytics. If you need any help along the way, give us a call.

Read more: business2community.com

Web Optimization

An SEO’s Guide to Writing Structured Data (JSON-LD)

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Posted by briangormanh

The Schema.org vocabulary is the ultimate collab.

Thanks to a mutual handshake between Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex, we have a library of fields we can use to highlight and more aptly define the information on web pages. By utilizing structured data, we provide search engines with more confidence (i.e. a better understanding of page content), as Alexis Sanders explains in this wonderful podcast. Doing so can have a number of positive effects, including eye-catching SERP displays and improved rankings.

If you’re an SEO, how confident are you in auditing or creating structured data markup using the Schema.org vocabulary? If you just shifted in your seat uncomfortably, then this is the guide for you. In it, I aim to demystify some of the syntax of JSON-LD as well as share useful tips on creating structured data for web pages.


Understanding the syntax of JSON-LD

While there’s a couple of different ways you can mark up on-page content, this guide will focus on the format Google prefers; JSON-LD. Additionally, we won’t get into all of its complexities, but rather, those instances most commonly encountered by and useful to SEOs.

Curly braces

The first thing you’ll notice after the opening <script> tag is an open curly brace. And, just before the closing </script> tag, a closed curly brace.

All of our structured data will live inside these two curly braces. As we build out our markup, we’re likely to see additional curly braces, and that’s where indentation really helps keep things from getting too confusing!

Quotation marks

The next thing you’ll notice is quotation marks. Every time we call a Schema type, or a property, or fill in a field, we’ll wrap the information in quotation marks.


Colons

Next up are colons (no giggling). Basically, every time we call a type or a property, we then need to use a colon to continue entering information. It’s a field separator.


Commas

Commas are used to set the expectation that another value (i.e. more information) is coming.

Notice that after the informational field for the “logo” property is filled, there is no comma. That is because there is no additional information to be stated.

Brackets

When we’ve called a property that includes two or more entries, we can use an open bracket and a closed bracket as an enclosure.

See how we’ve included Go Fish Digital’s Facebook and Twitter profiles within the “sameAs” property? Since there’s more than one entry, we enclose the two entries within brackets (I call this an array). If we only included the Facebook URL, we wouldn’t use brackets. We’d simply wrap the value (URL) in quotes.

Inner curly braces

Whenever we’ve called a property that has an expected “type,” we’ll use inner curly braces to enclose the information.

In the above image, the “contactPoint” property was called. This particular property has an expected type of “ContactPoint.” Isn’t that nice and confusing? We’ll go over that in more detail later, but for now just notice that after the “contactPoint” property is called, an inner curly brace was opened. On the very next line, you’ll see the ContactPoint type called. The properties within that type were stated (“telephone” and “contactType”), and then the inner curly braces were closed out.

There’s something else in this use case that, if you can understand now, will save you a lot of trouble in the future:

Look how there’s no comma after “customer service.” That’s because there is no more information to share within that set. But there is a comma after the closed inner curly brace, since there is more data to come (specifically, the “sameAs” property).

Creating structured data markup with an online generator

Now that we know a little bit about syntax, let’s start creating structured data markup.

Online generators are great if you’re a beginner or as a way to create baseline markup to build off of (and to save time). My favorite is the Schema markup generator from Merkle, and it’s the one I’ll be using for this portion of the guide.

Next, you’ll need to choose a page and a markup type. For this example, I’ve chosen https://gofishdigital.com/ as our page and Organization as our markup type.

After filling in some information, our tool has created some fantastic baseline markup for the home page:

Hopefully, after our lesson on syntax, you can read most (or all) of this example without a problem!

Creating custom structured data markup with a text editor

Baseline markup will do just fine, but we can go beyond the online generator presets, take full control, and write beautiful custom structured data for our page. On https://schema.org/Organization, you’ll see all the available properties that fall under the Organization markup type. That’s a lot more than the online tools offer, so let’s roll up our sleeves and get into some trouble!

Download a text editor

At this point, we have to put the training wheels away and leave the online tools behind (single tear). We need somewhere we can edit and create custom markup. I’m not going to be gentle about this — get a text editor NOW. It is well worth the money and will serve you far beyond structured data markup. I’ll be using my favorite text editor, Sublime Text 3.

Pro tip: Go to View > Syntax > Javascript > JSON to set your syntax appropriately.

I’ve gone ahead and pasted some baseline Organization markup from the generator into Sublime Text. Here’s what it looks like:


Adding properties: Easy mode

The page at https://schema.org/Organization has all the fields available to us for the Organization type. Our baseline markup doesn’t have email information, so I reviewed the Schema page and found this:

The first column shows that there is a property for email. Score! I’ll add a comma after our closing bracket to set up the expectation for more information, then I’ll add the “email” property:

The second column on Schema.org is the “expected type.” This time, it says “text,” which means we can simply type in the email address. Gosh, I love it when it’s easy.

Let’s keep pushing. I want to make sure our phone number is part of this markup, so let’s see if there’s a property for that…

Bingo. And the expected type is simply “text.” I’m going to add a comma after the “email” property and toss in “telephone.” No need to highlight anything in this example; I can tell you’re getting the hang of it.


Adding properties: Hard mode

Next, we’re going to add a property that’s a bit more complicated — the “address” property. Just like “email” and “telephone,” let’s track it on https://schema.org/Organization.

So, I do see “text,” but I also see an expected type of “PostalAddress.” The name of the game with data markup is: if you can be more specific, be more specific. Let’s click on “PostalAddress” and see what’s there.

I see a number of properties that require simple text values. Let’s choose some of these properties and add in our “address” markup!

Here are the steps I took to add this markup:

Placed a comma after the “telephone” propertyCalled the “address” propertySince the “address” property has an expected type, I opened inner curly bracesCalled the “PostalAddress” typeCalled the properties within the “PostalAddress” typeClosed out the inner curly braces

Can you spot all that from the image above? If so, then congratulations — you have completed Hard Mode!

Creating a complex array

In our discussion about brackets, I mentioned an array. Arrays can be used when a property (e.g. “sameAs”) has two or more entries.

That’s a great example of a simple array. But there will be times when we have to create complex arrays. For instance, Go Fish Digital has two different locations. How would we create an array for that?

It’s not all that complex if we break it down. After the North Carolina information, you’ll see a closed inner curly brace. I just entered a comma and then added the same type (PostalAddress) and properties for the Virginia location. Since two entries were made for the “address” property, I enclosed the entire thing in brackets.

Creating a node array using @graph

On April 16th, 2019, Joost de Valk from Yoast announced the arrival of Yoast SEO 11.0, which boasted new structured data markup capabilities. You can get an overview of the update in this post and from this video. However, I’d like to dive deeper into a particular technique that Yoast is utilizing to offer search engines fantastically informative, connected markup: creating a node array using @graph (*the crowd gasps).

The code opens with “@graph” and then an open bracket, which calls an array. This is the same technique used in the section above titled “Creating a Complex Array.” With the array now open, you’ll see a series of nodes (or, Schema types):

OrganizationWebSiteWebPageBreadcrumbListArticlePerson

I’ve separated each (see below) so you can easily see how the array is organized. There are plenty of properties called within each node, but the real magic is with “@id.”

Under the WebSite node, they call “@id” and state the following URL: https://yoast.com/#website. Later, after they’ve established the WebPage node, they say the web page is part of the yoast.com website with the following line:

“isPartOf”:{“@id”:”https://yoast.com/#website“}.

How awesome is that? They established information about the website and a specific web page, and then made a connection between the two.

Yoast does the same thing under the Article node. First, under WebPage, they call “@id” again and state the URL as https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/#webpage. Then, under Article, they tell search engines that the article (or, blog post) is part of the web page with the following code:

“isPartOf”:{“@id”:”https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/#webpage“}

As you read through the markup below, pay special attention to these two things:

The 6 nodes listed above, each separated to better visualizationThe “@id” and “isPartOf” calls, which define, establish, and connect items within the array

Bravo, Yoast!

Source page: https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/

<script type=”application/ld+json”>

{“@context”:”https://schema.org“,

“@graph”:[

{

“@type”:”Organization”,

“@id”:”https://yoast.com/#organization“,

“name”:”Yoast”,

“url”:”https://yoast.com/“,

“sameAs”:[

https://www.facebook.com/yoast“,

https://www.instagram.com/yoast/“,

https://www.linkedin.com/company/1414157/“,

https://www.youtube.com/yoast“,

https://www.pinterest.com/yoast/“,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoast“,

https://twitter.com/yoast“],

“logo”:{“@type”:”ImageObject”,

“@id”:”https://yoast.com/#logo“,

“url”:”https://yoast.com/app/uploads/2015/09/Yoast-Logo-Icon-120×120.png“,

“caption”:”Yoast”},

“image”:{“@id”:”https://yoast.com/#logo“}},

{

“@type”:”WebSite”,

“@id”:”https://yoast.com/#website“,

“url”:”https://yoast.com/“,

“name”:”Yoast”,

“publisher”:{“@id”:”https://yoast.com/#organization“},

“potentialAction”:{“@type”:”SearchAction”,

“target”:”https://yoast.com/?s={search_term_string}“,

“query-input”:”required name=search_term_string”}},

{

“@type”:”WebPage”,

“@id”:”https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/#webpage“,

“url”:”https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/“,

“inLanguage”:”en-US”,

“name”:”WordPress SEO Tutorial \u2022 The Definitive Guide \u2022 Yoast”,

“isPartOf”:{“@id”:”https://yoast.com/#website“},

“image”:{“@type”:”ImageObject”,

“@id”:”https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/#primaryimage“,

“url”:”https://yoast.com/app/uploads/2008/04/WordPress_SEO_definitive_guide_FI.png“,

“caption”:””},

“primaryImageOfPage”:{“@id”:”https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/#primaryimage“},

“datePublished”:”2019-03-28T14:05:01+00:00″,

“dateModified”:”2019-04-11T12:24:14+00:00″,

“description”:”This is the ONLY tutorial you’ll need to hugely increase your search engine traffic by improving your WordPress SEO. Want higher rankings? Read on!”,

“breadcrumb”:{“@id”:”https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/#breadcrumb“}},

{

“@type”:”BreadcrumbList”,

“@id”:”https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/#breadcrumb“,

“itemListElement”:[

{

“@type”:”ListItem”,

“position”:1,

“item”:

{“@type”:”WebPage”,

“@id”:”https://yoast.com/“,

“url”:”https://yoast.com/“,

“name”:”Home”}},

{

“@type”:”ListItem”,

“position”:2,

“item”:{“@type”:”WebPage”,

“@id”:”https://yoast.com/seo-blog/“,

“url”:”https://yoast.com/seo-blog/“,

“name”:”SEO blog”}},

{

“@type”:”ListItem”,

“position”:3,

“item”:{“@type”:”WebPage”,

“@id”:”https://yoast.com/tag/wordpress/“,

“url”:”https://yoast.com/tag/wordpress/“,

“name”:”WordPress”}},

{

“@type”:”ListItem”,

“position”:4,

“item”:{“@type”:”WebPage”,

“@id”:”https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/“,

“url”:”https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/“,

“name”:”WordPress SEO: the definitive guide”}}]},

{

“@type”:”Article”,

“@id”:”https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/#article“,

“isPartOf”:{“@id”:”https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/#webpage“},

“author”:{“@id”:”https://yoast.com/about-us/team/joost-de-valk/#author“,

“name”:”Joost de Valk”},

“publisher”:{“@id”:”https://yoast.com/#organization“},

“headline”:”WordPress SEO: the definitive guide”,

“datePublished”:”2019-03-28T14:05:01+00:00″,

“dateModified”:”2019-04-11T12:24:14+00:00″,

“commentCount”:”4″,

“mainEntityOfPage”:”https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/#webpage“,

“image”:{“@id”:”https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/#primaryimage“},

“keywords”:”Content SEO, Google Analytics, Mobile SEO, Security, Site Speed, Site Structure, Technical SEO, WordPress, Yoast SEO”},

{

“@type”:”Person”,

“@id”:”https://yoast.com/about-us/team/joost-de-valk/#author“,

“name”:”Joost de Valk”,

“image”:{“@type”:”ImageObject”,

“@id”:”https://yoast.com/#personlogo“, “url”:”https://yoast.com/app/uploads/2018/09/avatar_user_1_1537774226.png“,

“caption”:”Joost de Valk”},

“description”:”Joost de Valk is the founder and Chief Product Officer of Yoast and the Lead Marketing & Communication for WordPress.org. He’s a digital marketer, developer and an Open Source fanatic.”,

“sameAs”:[

https://www.facebook.com/jdevalk“,

http://www.linkedin.com/in/jdevalk“,

https://twitter.com/jdevalk“]}

]}</script

Troubleshooting your markup

With all these brackets, braces, and commas in play, mistakes can happen. So how do we detect and fix them?

Sublime Text error reporting

If you followed my pro tip above and set your syntax to JSON, Sublime Text will highlight certain errors for you.

Sublime Text has detected an error and made a highlight. It’s important to note that errors are “reported” in three ways:

The error is the highlighted item.The error is somewhere on the highlighted line.The error is somewhere in a previous field.

In this case, it’s the third option. Did you spot it? There’s a missing comma after “info@gofishdigital.com.”

Honestly, this error reporting can be confusing at first, but you’ll quickly get used to it and will start pinpointing the mistake(s) fairly easily.

Google’s structured data tool error reporting

Go to https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool > New Test > Code Snippet. Paste and run your code. If there is an error, this is what you’ll see:

Click the error report and the tool will highlight the field after the error. As you’ll see, the missing comma after “info@gofishdigital” has caused the tool to highlight “telephone.” The logic there is that without the comma, that line actually is the error. It makes logical sense, but can be confusing, so it’s worth pointing out.

Sublime Text’s “hidden” underscore feature

Validating structured data markup can be maddening, and every little trick helps. As your structured data gets more complicated, the number of sections and brackets and curly braces is likely to increase. Sublime Text has a feature you may not have noticed that can help you keep track of everything!

In the above image, I’ve placed my cursor on the first line associated with the “sameAs” property. Look closely and you’ll notice that Sublime Text has underscored the brackets associated with this grouping. If the cursor is placed anywhere inside the grouping, you’ll need those underscores.

I often use this feature to match up my brackets and/or curly braces to be sure I haven’t left any out or added in an extra.

Validating your structured data

Of course, the ultimate goal of all this error checking is to get your code to validate. The troubleshooting tips above will help you develop a bulletproof method of error checking, and that you’ll end up with the euphoric feeling that validated markup gives!


Using Google search for unique cases

The lessons and examples in this guide should provide a solid, versatile knowledge base for most SEOs to work with. But you may run into a situation that you’re unsure how to accommodate. In those cases, Google it. I learned a lot about JSON-LD structured data and the Schema vocabulary by studying use cases (some that only loosely fit my situation) and fiddling with the code. You’ll run into a lot of clever and unique nesting techniques that will really get your wheels spinning.

Structured data and the future of search

The rumblings are that structured data is only going to become more important in moving forward. It’s one of the ways Google gathers information about the web and the world in general. It’s in your best interest as an SEO to untie the knot of JSON-LD structured data and the Schema vocabulary, and I hope this guide has helped do that. 

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Read more: tracking.feedpress.it

Web Optimization

10 Basic SEO Tips to Index + Rank New Content Faster – Whiteboard Friday

Posted on

Posted by Cyrus-Shepard

In SEO, speed is a competitive benefit.

When you release brand-new material, you desire users to discover it ranking in search engine result as quick as possible. There are a number of suggestions and techniques in the SEO tool kit to assist you achieve this objective. Relax, show up your volume, and let Cyrus Shepard reveal you precisely how in this week’s Whiteboard Friday.

[Keep in mind: # 3 isn’t covered in the video, however we’ve consisted of in the post listed below. Take pleasure in!]

Click on the white boards image above to open a high-resolution variation in a brand-new tab!

.Video Transcription.

Howdy, Moz fans. Invite to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I’m Cyrus Shepard, back in front of the white boards. Delighted to be here today. We’re speaking about 10 suggestions to index and rank brand-new material much faster.

You release some brand-new material on your blog site, on your site, and you relax and you wait. You wait on it to be in Google’s index. You wait on it to rank. It’s an aggravating procedure that can take months or weeks to see those rankings increase. There are a couple of easy things we can do to assist push Google along, to assist them index it and rank it quicker. Some really fundamental things and some advanced things too. We’re going to dive right in.

.Indexing.1. URL Inspection/ Fetch &&Render.

So essentially, indexing material is not that tough in Google. Google offers us with a variety of tools. The easiest and fastest is most likely the URL Inspection tool . It’s in the brand-new Search Console, formerly Render and bring. Since this shooting, both tools still exist. They are diminishing Fetch and Render. The brand-new URL Inspection tool permits you to inform and send a url Google to crawl it. They put it in their concern crawl line when you do that. That just merely suggests Google has a list of URLs to crawl. It enters into the top priority, and it’s going to get crawled much faster and indexed much faster.

.2. Sitemaps!

Another typical method is just utilizing sitemaps. If you’re not utilizing sitemaps, it is among the most convenient, quickest methods to get your URLs indexed. You desire to let Google understand that they’re really there when you have them in your sitemap. There’s a variety of various strategies that can in fact enhance this procedure a bit more.

The very first and one of the most standard one that everyone speaks about is basically it in your robots.txt file. In your robots.txt, you have a list of instructions, and at the end of your robots.txt, you just state sitemap and you inform Google where your sitemaps are. You can do that for sitemap index files. You can note several sitemaps. It’s truly simple.

 Sitemap in robots.txt

You can likewise do it utilizing the Search Console Sitemap Report , another report in the brand-new Search Console. You can enter there and you can send sitemaps. You can eliminate sitemaps, confirm. You can likewise do this through the Search Console API.

But an actually cool method of notifying Google of your sitemaps, that a great deal of individuals do not utilize, is just pinging Google. You can do this in your web browser URL. You merely enter google.com/ping, and you put in the sitemap with the URL. You can attempt this out today with your present sitemaps. Type it into the internet browser bar and Google will quickly queue that sitemap for crawling, and all the URLs in there ought to get indexed rapidly if they fulfill Google’s quality requirement.

Example: https://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=https://example.com/sitemap.xml

3. Google Indexing API.

( BONUS: This wasn’’ t in the video, however we wished to include it’due to the fact that it ’ s quite incredible) Within the previous couple of months, both Google and Bing have actually presented brand-new APIs to assist accelerate and automate the crawling and indexing of URLs.Both of these services enable the capacity of enormously accelerating indexing by sending 100s or 1000s of URLs through an API.While the Bing API is meant for any new/updated URL, Google specifies that their API is particularly for ““ either task publishing or livestream structured information.” ” That stated, numerous SEOs like David Sottimano have explore Google APIs and discovered it to deal with a range of material types.If you wish to utilize these indexing APIs yourself, you have a variety of possible choices:

.Richard Baxter composed an outstanding post on utilizing SEO Tools for Excel with Google’’ s API Google ’ s Indexing API paperwork .

Yoast revealed they will quickly assistance live indexing throughout both Google and Bing within their SEO WordPress plugin.

. Indexing &ranking.

That’s speaking about indexing. Now there are some other manner ins which you can get your material indexed faster and assist it to rank a bit greater at the very same time.

. 4. Hyperlinks from crucial pages.

When you release brand-new material, the standard, if you not do anything else, you wish to make certain that you are connecting from crucial pages. Important pages might be your homepage, including links to the brand-new material, your blog site, your resources page. This is a fundamental action that you wish to do. You do not wish to orphan those pages on your website without any inbound links.

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Adding the links informs Google 2 things. It states we require to crawl this link at some point in the future, and it gets put in the routine crawling line. It likewise makes the link more crucial. Google can state,” Well, we have essential pages connecting to this. We have some quality signals to assist us figure out how to rank it. “Connecting from crucial pages.

. 5. Update old material.

But an action that individuals usually forget is not just link from your essential pages,however you wish to return to your older material and discover pertinent locations to put those links. A great deal of individuals utilize a link on their homepage or link to older posts, however they forget that action of returning to the older short articles on your website and including links to the brand-new material.

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Now what pages should you include from? Among my preferred strategies is to utilize this search operator here, where you enter the keywords that your material has to do with and after that you do a website: example.com. This permits you to discover pertinent pages on your website that have to do with your target keywords, and those make truly great targets to include those links to from your older material.

. 6. Share socially.

Really apparent action, sharing socially. When you have brand-new material, sharing socially, there’s a high connection in between social shares and content ranking.Particularly when you share on material aggregators, like Reddit, those develop real links for Google to crawl. Google can see those signals, see that social activity, websites like Reddit and Hacker News where they include real links, which does the very same thing as including links from your own material, other than it’s even a little much better due to the fact that it’s external links. It’s external signals.

. 7. Create traffic to the URL.

This is sort of an innovative method, which is a little questionable in regards to its efficiency, however we see it anecdotally working time and time once again.That’s just producing traffic to the brand-new material.

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Now there is some argument whether traffic is a ranking signal. There are some old Google patents that speak about determining traffic, and Google can definitely determine traffic utilizing Chrome.They can see where those websites are originating from. As an example, Facebook advertisements, you introduce some brand-new material and you drive a huge quantity of traffic to it through Facebook advertisements. You’re spending for that traffic, however in theory Google can see that traffic due to the fact that they’re determining things utilizing the Chrome internet browser.

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When they see all that traffic going to a page, they can state,” Hey, perhaps this is a page that we require to have in our index and perhaps we require to rank it properly. “

. Ranking.

Once we get our material indexed, speak about a couple of concepts for possibly ranking your material much faster.

. 8. Create search clicks.

Along with creating traffic to the URL, you can in fact create search clicks.

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Now what do I indicate by that? Picture you share a URL on Twitter. Rather of sharing straight to the URL, you share to a Google search results page. Individuals click the link, and you take themto a Google search engine result that has the keywords you’re attempting to rank for, and individuals will browse and they clickyour outcome.

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You see tv commercials do this, like in a Super Bowl business they’ll state, “Go to Google and look for Toyota vehicles 2019. “What this does is Google can see that searcher habits. Rather of going straight to the page, they’re seeing individuals click Google and picking your outcome.

. Rather of this: https://moz.com/link-explorerShare this: https://www.google.com/search?q=link+tool+moz

This does a number of things. It assistsincrease your click-through rate, which might or might not be a ranking signal. It likewise assists you rank for auto-suggest inquiries. When Google sees individuals browse for” finest automobiles 2019 Toyota,” that may appear in the recommend bar, which likewise assists you to rank if you’re ranking for those terms. Producing search clicks rather of connecting straight to your URL is one of those innovative strategies that some SEOs utilize.

. 9. Target question should have freshness.

When you’re producing the brand-new material, you can assist it to rank quicker if you select terms that Google believes should have freshness . If I simply utilize a couple of examples here, it’s finest possibly.

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Consider a user looking for the term “coffee shops open Christmas 2019.” That’s an outcome that Google wishes to provide an extremely fresh outcome for. You desire the best news about coffee shops and dining establishments that are going to be open Christmas 2019. Google is going to choice pages that are produced more just recently. When you target those questions, you can perhaps rank a little faster.

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Compare that to a question like “history of the Bible.” If you Google that today, you’ll most likely discover a great deal of older pages, Wikipedia pages. Those outcomes do not upgrade much, which’s going to be harder for you to split into those SERPs with more recent material.

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The method to inform this is just key in the questions that you’re attempting to rank for and see how old the most current outcomes are. That will offer you a sign of what Google believes just how much freshness this question should have. Select questions that are worthy of a bit more freshness and you may be able to get in a little earlier.

. 10. Take advantage of URL structure.

Finally, last suggestion, this is something a great deal of websites do and a great deal of websites do not do due to the fact that they’re just not familiar with it. Take advantage of URL structure. When Google sees a brand-new URL, a brand-new page to index, they do not have all the signals yet to rank it. They have a great deal of algorithms that attempt to think where they ought to rank it.They’ve shown in the past that they take advantage of the URL structure to identify a few of that.

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Consider The New York Times puts all its book examines under the very same URL, newyorktimes.com/book-reviews. They have a great deal of recognized ranking signals for all of these URLs. When a brand-new URL is released utilizing the very same structure, they can designate it some short-term signals to rank it properly.

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If you have URLs that are high authority, perhaps it’s your blog site, perhaps it’s your resources on your website, and you’re leveraging an existing URL structure, brand-new material released utilizing the very same structure may have a bit of a ranking benefit, a minimum of in the brief run, up until Google can figure these things out.

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These are just a few of the methods to get your material indexed and ranking quicker. It is by no suggests a detailed list. There are a great deal of other methods. We ‘d enjoy to hear a few of your suggestions and concepts. Please let us understand in the remarks listed below. Please share it for me if you like this video. Thanks, everyone.

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Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Web Optimization

Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid – Whiteboard Friday

Posted on

Posted by DiTomaso

Contrary to common belief, SEO and PPC aren’t at opposite ends of the spectrum. There are a lot of methods the 2 search disciplines can collaborate for advantages all around, particularly when it concerns enhancing your Google Ads. In this week’s edition of Whiteboard Friday, we’re enjoyed invite Dana DiTomaso as she describes how you can harness the power of both SEO and PPC for a much better Google experience in general.

Click on the white boards image above to open a high-resolution variation in a brand-new tab!

.Video Transcription.

Hey, Moz readers. My name is Dana DiTomaso, and I’m President and partner at Kick Point . We’re a digital marketing company method up in the frozen wilds of Edmonton, Alberta. Today I’m going be speaking to you about PPC, and I understand you’re believing, “This is an SEO blog site. What are you doing here speaking about PPC?”

But among my resolutions for 2019 is to combine SEO and PPC individuals, since SEO can find out a lot from PPC, and yes, PPC, you likewise can discover a lot from SEO. I understand PPC individuals resemble, “We simply do paid. It’s so fantastic.” Trust me, both can work together. In our firm, we do both SEO and PPC, and we deal with a great deal of business who have someone, often 2 and they’re doing whatever.

One of the important things we attempt to do is assist them run much better Ads projects. Here I have suggestions on things that we see all the time, when we begin dealing with a brand-new Ads account, that we wind up repairing, and ideally I can pass this on to you so you can repair it prior to you need to call a company to come and repair it for you. Among the important things is this is in fact a lot longer piece than what I can provide on this white boards. There’s just a lot space.

There is really an article on our site, which you can discover here . Please inspect that out which will have the complete 9 ideas. I’m simply going to break it down to a couple of today.

.1. A lot of keywords.

First thing, a lot of keywords. We see this a lot where individuals, in Google it states ensure to assemble keywords that have the very same sort of style.

But your style can be actually particular, or it can be type of unclear. This is an example, a genuine example that we got, where the keyword examples were all legal representative styles, so “defense attorney,” “criminal attorney,”” dui attorney,” “attack legal representative,” “sexual attack attorney.” Technically, they all have the exact same style of “legal representative,” however that’s method too unclear for it to be all in one single advertisement group, due to the fact that what sort of advertisement are you going to reveal?

” We are legal representatives. Call us.” It’s not particular enough. Consider example “dui attorney,” which I understand is an actually extremely competitive specific niche, and after that you can do [dui attorney], [dui legal representative seattle], and after that “dui attorney” and +dui+ attorney+ seattle defined a bit in a different way. I’ll speak about that in a 2nd. By taking this one thing and after that simplifying into a far more particular advertisement group, you can truly have far more control.

This is a constant style in all the ideas I speak about is far more control over where you’re investing your loan, what keywords you’re investing it on, what your advertisements are, having a far better landing page to advertisement match, which is likewise actually crucial. When you’ve got it in all of those advertisement groups, it simply makes your advertisement life so much simpler. I understand it may appear daunting. It’s like, “Well, I have 3 advertisement groups now.If I follow your suggestions, I’m going to have 40.”

But at the exact same time, it’s method much easier to handle 40 well arranged groups than it is to handle 3 truly severely orderly groups. Keep that in mind.

.2. Selecting the ideal match type.

The next thing is choosing the best match type. You can see here I’ve got this bracket things and this expression things and these plus indications. There are actually 4 match types.

.Broad match.

There’s broad match, which is horrible and do not ever utilize it. Broad match is simply you drawing up the keyword, and after that Google simply shows it for whatever it seems like relates to that specific search. We’ve seen examples where it’s like a catering business and they’ll have “catering” as a keyword, and they’re revealing up for all sorts of expressions in catering where they can’t supply catering, so browsing for a location that just does internal catering. Or they’re investing cash on a catering conference or simply absolutely unimportant things. Do not utilize broad match.

.Broad match modifier (BMM).

The upgrade from that is what’s called broad match modifier or BMM, which’s where these plus indications can be found in. This is actually the words dui, attorney, and seattle in any order, however they all need to exist and other things can exist around that. It might be, “I require a DUI attorney in Seattle.” “I reside in Seattle. I require a DUI attorney.” That would likewise work for that specific keyword.

.Expression match.

The next type is expression, which’s in the quotes. This “dui attorney” is the example here, and after that you can have anything prior to it or you can have anything after it, however you can’t have something in between it. It could not be “dui who is actually excellent at being an attorney”. Weak example, however you understand. You can’t simply push things in the middle of an expression match.

.Precise match.

Then precise match is what’s in the brackets here, which is simply those words and absolutely nothing else. , if I have [ dui legal representative], this keyword, if I didn’t have [dui attorney seattle], this keyword would not activate if someone searches [dui legal representative seattle] That’s as particular as possible. You actually wish to attempt that for your most competitive keywords.

This is the actually costly things, due to the fact that you do not wish to squander one single cent on anything that is unimportant to that specific search. This is your head on, it’s actually pricey every click. I’ve got to make certain I’m getting the most loan possible for those clicks. That’s where you truly wish to utilize precise match.

.3. Just one advertisement per group.

Next, ideas. The next thing is what we see is a great deal of individuals who have just one advertisement per group.

.Have at least 3 advertisements per group.

This is not a pointer. This is a criticism up here. The important things is that perhaps, once again, you believe it’s simple for management, however it’s truly difficult to see what’s going to work, since if you’re not constantly screening, how are you going to understand if you could do much better? Ensure to have at least 3 advertisements per group.

.Include psychological triggers into your advertisement copy.

Then take a look at your advertisement copy. We see a great deal of simply generic like, “We are the very best attorneys. Call us.” There’s absolutely nothing there that states I require to call these individuals. Actually consider how you can include those psychological triggers into your copy. Talk with your customer or your group, if you work internal, and discover what are the important things that individuals state when they call. What are the important things where they state, “Wow, you actually assisted me with this” or, “I was seeming like this and after that you was available in and I simply felt a lot better.”

That can truly assist to enliven your advertisements. We do not wish to get too expensive with this, however we definitely wish to make something that’s going to assist you stand apart. Actually include those psychological triggers into your advertisement copy.

.Ensure to have a call to action.

Then the next thing is ensuring to have a call to action, which appears fundamental due to the fact that you believe it’s an advertisement. That’s the call to action if you click it. Often individuals on the Internet, they’re not always believing. You simply wish to state, “You understand what? Simply call me or email me or we’re open 24 hours.”

.When they look at the advertisement, #ppppp> Just be actually particular on what you desire the individual to do. Simply spell it out for them. I understand it appears silly. Simply inform them. Simply inform them what you desire them to do. That’s all you require to do.

.Usage extensions!

Then make certain you include all of the extensions. In Google Ads, if you’re not extremely knowledgeable about the platform, there’s an area called Extensions. These are things like when the address reveals up under an advertisement, or you’ve got those little links that come up, or you’ve got someone stating we’re open 24 hours. There are all sorts of various extensions that you can utilize. Simply put in all the extensions that you potentially can for each single among your groups.

Then they will not all activate all at the exact same time, however a minimum of they’re there and it’s possible that they might set off. If they do, that’s provide your advertisement more realty versus your competitors, which is actually terrific on mobile since advertisements use up a great deal of area at the top of a mobile search. You wish to make certain to push your competitors as far as you potentially can down that search so you own as much of that home as you perhaps can. Something that I do see individuals doing improperly with extensions, however, is setting extensions at state the project level, and after that you have various advertisement groups that cover various styles.

Going back to this example over here, with the various kinds of legal representatives, let’s state you had an extension that talks particularly about DUI law, however then it was setting off on state sexual attack law. You do not desire that to take place. Make certain you have actually fine-tuned control over your various extensions so you’re revealing the best extension with the best kind of keyword and the ideal kind of advertisement. The other thing that we see a lot is where individuals have place extensions and they’re revealing all the area extensions where they must not be revealing all the place extensions.

You’ve got an advertisement group for, state, Seattle, and it’s speaking about this brand-new house advancement that you have, and since you simply filled in all of your area extensions, unexpectedly you’re revealing extensions for something in say San Francisco. Due to the fact that you have not filtered correctly, it’s simply. Actually double-check to make certain that you’ve got your filter established correctly for your area extensions which you’re revealing the right place extension for the ideal advertisement.

I understand that Google states, “We’ll choose the areas closest to the customer.” You do not understand where that individual is browsing right there. They might be in San Francisco at that minute and looking for brand-new house integrate in Seattle, due to the fact that perhaps they’re thinking of moving from San Francisco to Seattle. You do not desire them to see the things that exists. You desire them to see the things that’s at the location where they’re planning to be. Truly make certain you manage that.

.4. Keep screen and search different.

Last, however not least, keep display screen and search different.

By default, Google so helpfully states, “We’ll simply reveal your advertisements all over. It’s absolutely cool. This is what we desire everybody to do.” Do not do that. This is what makes Google cash. It does not make you cash. The reason is since screen network, which is where you’re going to a site and after that you see an advertisement, and search network, when you enter the things and you see an advertisement, are 2 absolutely various monsters.

.Prevent revealing text advertisements on the display screen network for higher project control.

It’s truly a various kind of experience. To be truthful, if you take your search projects, which are text-based advertisements, and now you’re revealing them on sites, you’re revealing a dull text advertisement on a site that currently has like 50 blinky things and click on this link. They’re most likely not seeing us and perhaps they have an advertisement blocker set up. If they are, definitely your text advertisement, which is kind of boring and not meant for that medium, is not going to be the thing that stands out.

Really you’re simply losing your loan due to the fact that you’ll wind up with lower relevance, less clicks, and after that Google believes that your group is bad. You’ll end up paying more due to the fact that Google believes your group is bad. It actually provides you that additional control by stating, “This is the search project. It’s just on search. This is the screen project. It’s just on display screen.” Keep the 2 of them absolutely different. You have lots of control over the search advertisements being for search and the display screen advertisements being for screen.

Don’t blend those 2 up. Ensure to uncheck that by default. Certainly there are more pointers on our blog site here . I hope that this will assist you get begun. SEOs, if you’ve never ever done a PPC project in your life, I suggest simply setting one up. Put 50 dollars behind that thing. Simply attempt it out, due to the fact that I believe what will truly assist you is comprehending more of how individuals search, since as we get less and less keyword information from the various tools that we utilize to find out what the heck are individuals googling when they attempt to look for our service, advertisements provide you a few of that information back.

That’s where advertisements can be a truly fantastic ally in attempting to improve SEO results. I hope you discovered this satisfying. Thanks a lot.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Web Optimization

Creating Quality Content in 2019 (For Search Engines and People)

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Posted by jchamp86

Think back to the last question you typed into Google. Did you find a blog post on the search engine result page that attracted your attention? Did you find the content on the page helpful? Did the page offer a relevant next step to continue learning and engaging with your brand?

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then the author who wrote this piece of content did their job very well: They created a piece of content that fulfilled your intent. In 2019, that’s what search engines like Google care about — solving for their searcher’s intent. 

Read on to learn how to solve for searcher intent to create successful, quality content that makes people (and Google) happy.

Effective content comes with a blueprint

Before we dive in, you may be asking yourself: “How do I solve for searcher intent?”

You can start by creating an experience for website visitors that tells a practical story. That story should educate and inspire them to make a transformation and put their interests and needs above your bottom line. Yes, you want to inform your visitors, but doing that alone is not enough. To really help them transform, you need to make their experience a meaningful one, and that means you need to help them apply what they’re learning. When done correctly this builds trust, and if someone trusts you they’re more likely to do business with you when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision. This is effective content.

Luckily, all effective content like this has a blueprint. You may not easily see it, but it’s there, and it’s meant to help you, the reader, through your journey to making a well-informed, confident decision— whatever that decision may be.

When getting started with creating blog content, you want readers to easily comprehend what it is you’re trying to tell them. If your content is too complicated and unengaging, then chances are readers will abandon it and go elsewhere. There are thousands of blog posts being published every minute, so it’s safe to say you’re not the only resource out there competing for attention.

Let’s review 10 tips that will help you start drafting a successful blueprint for your next blog post.

1. Choose a topic to write about

At a high level, write educational content.

I’m not saying you can’t write about your business when it makes sense, but in order to attract someone to your blog, you need to answer the questions and problems that they’re searching for answers to. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience (aka buyer personas):

What will they be searching for? What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them?

Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.

And when it comes to a topic, make sure to write about your industry, not yourself. Remember, you’re trying to attract strangers to your blog who have never heard of your company before — so they’re not going to find you through search engines if you’re just blogging about yourself. You have the rest of your website to provide that information.

If you’re looking for a place to start with creating content that’ll positively impact your audience, then ask your co-workers from other teams like sales and services for some ideas. Here are a few questions that you could ask and they could answer:

What are the most frequently asked questions you hear? What do our prospects and customers need help with? What do you wish people knew about our industry? What are industry bloggers, social media, and even our competitors talking about?

Before you write anything, you need to pick a topic to write about. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you provide running shoes, then it might be a good idea to write about the topic of running. Expand off of this topic — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “best running shoes for marathons” or “lifetime of running shoes.”


2. Do keyword research

Keywords are the words and phrases typed into search engines. They’re the topics that people are trying to learn more about. Which keywords do your buyer personas use? Which are associated with your industry?

If you’re looking for a place to get started when doing keyword research, then check out Moz’s Keyword Explorer. Keyword Explorer is a time-saving keyword research tool that helps you find profitable keywords and organize work.

Optimizing your blog posts for keywords is not about incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible. Nowadays, this actually hurts your search engine optimization because search engines consider this keyword stuffing.

Mention your keyword at a normal cadence throughout the body of your post and in the headers when it makes sense. That means including your keywords in your copy but only in a natural, reader-friendly way. Don’t go overboard, though, at the risk of being penalized for keyword stuffing.

Whenever you create content, your priority should be to educate and inspire your audience, not how many times you can include a specific keyword on the page. Instead of writing the same words over and over, write synonyms of it to keep it fresh and readable. For example, digital nomad is a topic I write about often, but instead of repeating that keyword, I change it up with synonyms like “remote worker.”


3. Form a long-tail keyword

A good rule of thumb is to focus on one long-tail keyword per blog post. A long-tail keyword is a very targeted search phrase that contains three or more words. It often contains a head term, which is a more generic search term, one or two words in length. The head terms you choose should align with the topics that you want your business and website to be known for and build authority around. For example, if you want your business to be known for SEO terminology like “featured snippets,” then a blog post on “How to Optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets” is a great example of a long-tail keyword in support of this topic.

And why should you focus on long-tail keywords for blog post titles? These longer, often question-based keywords keep your post focused on the specific goals of your audience. Website visitors searching long-tail terms are more likely to read the whole post, and then seek more information from you. In other words, you’ll attract the right type of traffic to your website.

If you’re brainstorming ideas to write about, there’s a good chance you’ll create a long list of ideas for topics you can cover and posts you can create. This will help create a longer-term blogging strategy, making a list of topics that support a specific conversion. For example, if you have an ebook or guide that you want to create and promote, then consider making a list of blog ideas that support this guide’s content. This way, if someone finds your blog post and finds the content helpful, that increases the chances of them wanting to click a call-to-action, aka CTA, to access a relevant offer.

If you’re looking for assistance with blog ideas, then check out HubSpot’s blog ideas generator. This free tool will help jump-start your creative process.

4. Expand long-tail keyword into a working title

Think about how you read things online. You read the title first before you commit. It needs to catch your interest, especially since it’s the first thing that will catch a reader’s attention.

Start by creating a working title for your blog post.

A working title is something to “work” off of as you begin to write your post. Start here to narrow your topic down and focus on one angle. A broad term, like “social media,” could breed multiple blog post ideas. A working title, like “top social media channels for live video in 2019” is now long-tail and specific.

Once you finish the piece, you’ll come back to this title and refine it to be more aligned with the direction you ended up taking in the post.

For almost every piece of content, come up with at least 5–10 different titles. Make it a rule that you spend a minimum of five minutes of brainstorming titles. And once you make a list, send to a co-worker to get their opinion.

Also, make the value of the post clear in the title. Your title should help readers and search engines understand what your post is about. Set the right expectations — what is the reader going to get out of your blog post? What information is covered? What format is the blog post going to take?

In this example, the blog post title explicitly tells you that you’ll be reading about how to create an infographic. Not only that, but it sets the expectations that it only takes an hour to do, and there’s also free templates included. You know exactly what you’re going to get from this blog post — how it’s valuable to you and how much information it contains.

When it comes to the art of the perfect blog post title, HubSpot did some research and looked at how our own titles have performed. Here are the consistent principles that were found:

The ideal blog post title length is 60 characters.Headlines between 8 and 12 words are shared most often on Twitter.Headlines between 12 and 14 words are liked most often on Facebook.

HubSpot also found that headlines ending with a bracketed clarification — like the earlier example with “15 free infographic templates” in brackets at the end of the post — performed 38% better than titles without that clarification.

If you’re having trouble trimming down the length of a title, run it through Moz’s Title Tag Preview Tool to see how the title will appear on a search engine results page. Google typically displays the first 50–60 characters of a title tag. If you keep your titles under 60 characters, you can expect about 90 percent of your titles to display properly.

Title too long? That’s okay! Make sure to create a title for your reader first. When you have a lengthy headline, it’s a good idea to put your primary keyword (aka the head term) at the beginning of the title since it might get cut off toward the end on a search engine results page. In this example, the title got caught off, but the focus keyword, “data visualization,” is at the front.


5. Shorten your URL

The URL doesn’t have to match the title of the blog exactly. Instead, make it a best practice to shorten the URL without losing context to what the page is about. For example, notice how the URL of this blog post is shorter than the title. This way, Moz can update the content over time without updating the URL.

Here’s a pro tip: Don’t include numbers in your URL, like year or steps. This way, if you update the content in the future, you won’t have to update the URL. Updating the URL creates a 301 redirect. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. Making updates to URLs hurts your SEO, and you don’t want that.

6. Optimize image alt-text

Search engines don’t just look for images. Rather, they look for images with alt-text. Because search engines can’t “see” images the same way humans can, an image’s alt-text tells them what an image is about – which ultimately helps those images rank in the image section of search engine results. Consider optimizing your images with different descriptive variations of your long-tail keyword.


7. Create a compelling meta description

Your meta description is meant to give search engines and readers information about your blog post’s content. The maximum suggested length of a meta description is 150–160 characters. Anything longer than that will most likely be cut off.

While meta descriptions might not directly impact your SEO, keep in mind that copy matters a great deal for clickthrough rates because it satisfies certain readers’ intent. The more engaging, and the more context you include that backs up your title tag, the better. In addition to being reader-friendly (compelling and relevant), your meta description should include a variation of your long-tail keyword for which you’re optimizing the post around. But keep in mind that a search engine may not choose to use your meta description as the descriptive text in search results. Search engines are funny that way.

8. Insert links strategically throughout your blog post

As you attract more and more visitors to your blog, that increased traffic means an increased opportunity to build a relationship, gain trust, and generate more leads and eventually customers.

Let’s review some best practices when it comes to using links effectively in your blog posts.

First, link to external content when it’s helpful or supports a stat or claim you’re making.

It takes a lot of work to attract someone to your site and gain their trust. The last thing you want to do is send them off your site unless it’s something that supports your content. I’m not saying you shouldn’t link to content that’s not your own, but just do so thoughtfully and make sure it provides value.

Here’s a pro tip: When linking to external websites, consider having that content open in a new window. This way, you’re being helpful without redirecting people off of your site.

Next, link to other helpful blog posts on your site.

If you find yourself typing a sentence or paragraph that can be explained in more detail on another blog post, then link to it. This helps in two ways: It solves for the reader, allowing and encouraging them to continue bingeing your content; and it solves for the search engine as it communicates to them that there’s a cluster of related content on your site. And if search engines deem your cluster of web content around a specific topic as a credible source, then that can help boost your visibility on the search engines.

Which brings me to my last point: Link to important content on your site that supports conversions.

When it comes to deciding on where to insert CTAs on your blog posts, here are four places to consider. Let’s review each.

First, consider inserting a CTA after the first few paragraphs. To avoid looking too pushy too soon, try including a passive CTA through hyperlinked text as opposed to using an image. It’s important to include these passive CTAs near the top, as you can’t always count on your visitor reading your entire post to take the next step. Think about it: Do you read to the end of every blog post that you click on? Probably not.

HubSpot performs CTA tests all the time. From image and text CTAs to placement of the CTAs, we’re always looking for ways to improve clickthrough rate. Interestingly enough, we found that text CTAs near the top of blogs posts produce the highest clickthrough rates— something you might want to keep in mind and test on your blog posts.

I recommend linking to pillar pages with CTAs at the top of the page as the content is not gated, meaning you’re not forcing someone to give you their email address just yet in exchange for something. Instead, you can lead with educational content, which solves for your reader first. Plus, your educational site pages should support one, if not multiple, conversions so that you can help the reader through their journey accordingly while gaining their trust along the way.

Next, include an image or text CTA near the most relevant content in the body of the post. The best time to support a conversion is just after educating someone. For example, Townsend Security, a full-service data security provider, included an image CTA to a relevant podcast download in this blog post. Notice how the CTA content is similar to the content it’s paired with.

Next, include an image CTA at the end of each post. If someone reads your post to the end, then you want to offer them a helpful next step. This is a CTA at the end of a post titled “Data Visualization 101: How to Choose the Right Chart or Graph for Your Data,” and at the bottom, there’s a CTA for an ebook on how to present data people can’t ignore. When it comes to image CTAs at the end of blog posts, I recommend linking these to a relevant landing page with a form.

Another option, which brings me to the last CTA placement, is a pop-up form that the reader sees as they scroll down the page. This is a great way to have your offer stick around so that the reader can’t just scroll past it.

If you really want to engage your users and have a helpful conversation, then consider offering live chat or a chatbot. A chatbot is a computer program that automates certain tasks, typically by chatting with a user through a conversational interface.

Most bots follow a set of rules programmed by a human via a bot-building platform. It’s as simple as ordering a list of if-then statements and writing canned responses, often without needing to know a line of code. The benefit? A bot will guide you, the visitor, through the various options available and help you get from point A to point B quickly. Behind the curtain, the bot is leading you through a series of dependent questions to collect the necessary information to understand your intent, and then deliver the right content to satisfy your needs.


9. Include other forms of media to keep your visitors engaged

I always save the best for last. If you want to keep people engaged, then offer other forms of media like a quiz or video.

Adding a video to your website can increase the chance of a front-page Google result by 53 times. This is especially helpful if you include a video near the top of the page. Why? Because if people take the time to watch your video, then it’ll reduce bounce rate. Your website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who land on one of your website pages, then leave. They don’t click on anything else. They just get to one of your pages, then leave quickly. Having a low bounce rate is a strong indicator to Google that people find value in your content. And if Google thinks your content provides value, then that can lead to first page rankings for the topics you want to show up for. For example, this page ranks #1 on Google for a list of high-volume terms related to a truck camper.

When you click through to the page, you’ll notice there’s a YouTube video embedded at the top that’s 4 minutes and 13 seconds long. In most cases, the majority of people who visit your site — 79% to be exact — would rather watch a video to learn, than read text on a page. That’s exactly why I included a video at the top of this page to engage the visitor with video content first. In case you’re curious, the average time a visitor spends on this page is five minutes.

Moz has been optimizing their content with video effectively since 2007 with their Whiteboard Friday segment. What I love most about Moz’s Whiteboard Friday series is how they transcribe the content underneath each video — very smart and efficient. For example, the below Whiteboard Friday segment video is eight minutes and two seconds long, which equates to 1,477 words.

This might be something to keep in mind if your business creates video content, and wants to find a way to maximize your content output.

10. Work with industry thought leaders to create a compelling story

Even if you’re not a subject matter expert on a specific topic, that doesn’t mean you can’t create something memorable… And I don’t mean just regurgitating what’s already being said online. If you did that, then you’d just be creating noise, and not adding anything new to the conversation.

Instead, when performing research look for people who author content on a given topic and put your journalist hat on. What do you find interesting about their content? Is there anything you think would be helpful to dig into deeper? Asking questions like this could lead to a new angle for a blog post idea — adding something new to the conversation.

Once you find a few thought leaders, consider connecting with them to see if you can collaborate on a piece of content. By talking to the people you want your blog posts to speak to, you’re able to find out exactly what is on their minds, what they want to know, what they are concerned about, how they feel on pressing issues and all sorts of other important-to-them topics that may make for brilliant blog posts.

Conclusion

And that’s it! 10 tips you can use to create the next blueprint for. Keep these tips in mind when creating and optimizing your blog posts, as it will ensure you’re getting the most out of your business blogging efforts.

If you’re feeling inspired and want to get started on your next blog post, then check out this helpful resource to learn a few more tips and tricks.

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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.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

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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