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What Is It & How Does It Work?

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If your business isn’t focusing on voice search optimization, you could be missing out on sales.

Voice search’s gradual rise and dominance in the search engine landscape can’t be ignored.

Smartphones, smart speakers, cars, smart TVs, smart home components, wearables, appliances, and other connected gadgets are on the rise.

They provide a level of convenience the modern consumer craves.

The simple press of a button, followed by reciting a phrase verbally, can return instantaneous results.

Speech recognition technology has made our lives even easier and shopping more effortless.

And more consumers are catching on to the benefits of using a virtual assistant for their needs.

Forecasts predict by 2024, the number of digital voice assistants will reach 8.4 billion units. This number is higher than the world’s population.

Additionally, nearly one-third of the U.S. population has a smart speaker device.

Before we dive into tips for optimizing for voice search technology, let’s first explore what voice search is and its origins.

What Is Voice Search?

Voice search eliminates a layer of effort, enabling consumers to leverage technology to answer a question or simply to find out more information about a topic.

Voice search functionality works through the automatic speech recognition system (ASR) to transform voice signals into text.

This voice recognition technology allows smart device users to search by simply using their voices.

The voice search technology will then translate spoken words into text.

Then, the search engine uses the text as if it’s a standard search query and delivers relevant search results.

Over time, machine learning improves to better understand natural human language and the searcher’s intent to surface the best results possible.

Artificial intelligence (AI) assists personal voice assistant devices with audio quality, enhanced battery life, and voice control. Natural language processing enhancements continue to better understand the questions and commands given by the end user.

How Does Voice Search Work?

Voice search is complex.

However, having a basic understanding can help guide your voice search optimization endeavors.

Any time a voice search query is conducted, a voice search assistant will, in turn:

  • Filter the sounds, ensuring it focuses on the voice query separate from background noises.
  • Digitize the voice search query, turning sound waves into digital data.
  • Conduct a voice analysis by processing the digital data.
  • Connect to external data sources, such as Google Search, to find and deliver relevant answers.
  • Translate the information to satisfy the searcher’s intent.
  • Recognize patterns and compare the query to existing samples in the database.

Who Are The Major Smart Speaker Players?

Virtual assistants dominate the global smart speaker market at 82% market share. Wireless speakers come in second, followed by other devices.

However, it’s important to consider that most voice searches occur on mobile devices, not smart speakers.

The most owned smart speaker devices, in order of popularity, include:

  • Amazon Echo (20.8%).
  • Google Nest (8.1%).
  • Others (5.2%).
  • HomePod (2%).

Major players in the voice search market include:

  • Amazon.com, Inc.
  • Apple Inc.
  • Avnera Corporation.
  • Baidu, Inc.
  • Deutsche Telekom AG.
  • Fabriq.
  • Meta Platforms, Inc. (Facebook)
  • Alphabet Inc. (Google)
  • Jam Audio.
  • KaKao.
  • Lenovo Group Limited.
  • LG Electronics Inc.

In terms of leading countries, China and the United States are the largest markets for smart speakers.

China accounts for more than 40% of global smart speaker shipments, while 30% of shipments go to the United States.

Brief History Of Google Voice Search

Voice search may seem like it’s just started to cross the chasm, but its origins date back to over 70 years ago.

Audrey, in fact, was the first voice recognition device created in 1952.

Created by Bell Laboratories, Audrey broke ground in recognizing digits spoken by a single voice. It paved the way for voice search technology to come.

Fast forward to June 14, 2011, when Google announced at its Inside Google Search event that it would start to roll out voice search during the coming days. Little did the world know then how voice search would revolutionize how we find information.

Over a year later, on October 30, 2012, Google released a new Google Search app for iOS. This app featured an enhanced Google Voice Search function to compete with Apple’s Siri voice assistant.

By May 2016, 20% of searches in the Google App were done by voice. By 2018, 27% of the global online population was using voice search on mobile.

How Voice Search Differs From Traditional Search

Voice search arguably delivers quicker results than if a searcher uses their mobile phone or desktop computer to type out a query.

Additionally, how a searcher communicates with a voice search device will be different than if they were to type out the same informational need.

Voice search users often talk in a more conversational, natural tone as if they are talking to a friend. They likely will use long-tail keywords in their query.

For example, when searching for an optometrist, prospective customers may conduct a voice search query for “where can I find an optometrist near the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco?”

Mobile phone users conducting a search may instead simply type “optometrist near me” in the search bar.

Both location-based search queries will return relevant search results, however, as you can see, one is much more specific (and longer) than the other.

How Voice Search Differs From Traditional Search

Now that you’re equipped with the history of Google Voice Search, the difference between a voice search query and a traditional query, and the breakdown of smart device usage, let’s dive into voice search optimization strategies for your site.

Utilize Search Engine Optimization Best Practices

Follow standard SEO best practices when drafting content for your web pages.

This includes optimizing your title tags, using schema markup to target rich results, incorporating long-tail keywords into your content, and more.

Above all, your content should be relevant and useful to the reader.

Prospective customers want instant answers, and if they can’t find that within a few seconds of reading your content, the vast majority will look elsewhere.

Create a list of questions before drafting your content to ensure you address each. Avoid fluff, and focus on providing the best information possible.

Surface that information at the top of your article rather than making prospective customers scroll through your content to find what they need.

Be Found Everywhere Searchers Are Looking

Your content must be indexed everywhere customers look, especially on major platforms such as Google Search, Google Maps, and Apple Maps.

A voice search query likely will have local intent, and the first place they may find you is your local business listing.

Additionally, your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) must be completely accurate with up-to-date information, as this is a common place where prospective customers will find your business.

At a minimum, your business should ensure the following is correct on your local listings:

  • Business name.
  • Business description.
  • Address.
  • Phone number (a number where phone calls are routed to a real individual).
  • Attributes.
  • Opening and closing hours.
  • Reviews (and review responses from business owners).
  • A link to your local landing pages or to book a service.

Create An FAQ Page

Creating an FAQ page is a great idea for brands, as they give the end-user a quick answer to common questions.

Many voice search users have a question they need to solve. An FAQ page presents answers to those common questions customers are asking.

Start with questions your customer service team receives most often. You can also source your questions from the Google Q&A section on your location’s business listing.

Leverage FAQ Schema Markup to improve your chances of appearing in a featured snippet on Search and reach the right users.

Conduct Ongoing Keyword Research

Keyword research is not a one-and-done digital marketing strategy.

Instead, it entails consistently revising and refining to achieve maximum results.

When considering which keywords to target, consider how a consumer will conduct a voice search query. They’ll likely ask a question.

Keyword research tools, such as Soovle or AnswerThePublic, can show you the most popular questions consumers are asking around a seed keyword.

Your internal team, too, serves as a great resource for question ideas.

Google Search is another prime place to find question ideas. Simply type your seed keyword in the search bar, and Google will auto-populate a list of ideas.

For example, if you’re a women’s retail store looking for questions to target, you may type in [cocktail dresses]. A list of popular search phrases will appear below your search.

Screenshot from search for [cocktail dresses], Google, September 2022Google Search Cocktail Dresses Example

If you simply add the start to a question in your search query, [where cocktail dresses], Google will surface different question keyword suggestions.

Google Search Cocktail Dresses with Question ExampleScreenshot from search for [where cocktail dresses], Google, September 2022Google Search Cocktail Dresses with Question Example

Consider, too, that many voice search queries are conversational in nature. If you’re not also targeting long-tail keyword terms, you’re missing out on a lot of voice search queries.

Ensure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly

Google found more than a quarter of the globe is using voice search on mobile.

If your site isn’t mobile and search-friendly, your customer experience is flawed.

To create a seamless customer journey across all voice search compatible devices, you must ensure your user’s experience remains consistent, regardless of how or when they engage with you.

To create a mobile-friendly experience, ensure you’re adhering to the following basics:

  • Build mobile-responsive pages.
  • Create content to be more readable on smartphones, such as shorter blocks of text and subheadings.
  • Keep your site’s design simple and intuitive.
  • Surface your CTAs at the top of the page.
  • Serve images that are optimized for mobile.
  • Reduce your page speed load time.
  • Place your contact information in a prominent location.
  • Test your content to ensure it can be properly viewed on different devices, platforms, and operating systems (e.g., Apple and Android devices)

Concluding Thoughts

Voice search has long been iterated and tested to become the fast, functional time-saver it is today.

While it’s been 70 years in the making, it will only continue to grow and improve over time.

Brands must adapt to the growing usage of digital assistants and voice recognition tech to adapt to consumers’ growing need for convenience.

If your brand hasn’t adopted a voice search strategy, today is the day to start.

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How to Add a Stats Dashboard On Your WordPress Site

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Do you want to add a stats dashboard on your WordPress site?

Analytics helps you discover how people find and use your website, so you can keep them coming back.

In this article, we will show you how to easily add a stats dashboard on your WordPress site.

Why You Need a Stats Dashboard in WordPress

Usually, you can install Google Analytics and view your reports by logging into your Google account. This sounds great, but many people forget to check their blog stats on a regular basis.

The two biggest reasons for that are:

  1. You have to log in to a separate website like Google Analytics to check the stats.
  2. You have to dig around in the Google Analytics dashboard to find what you’re looking for.

While GA is a powerful tool, it often takes a lot of time and clicking around to get to the data you want to view. Most beginners never make it this far.

Adding a stats dashboard to your WordPress website solves this problem. You will be able to quickly view the stats that matter without leaving your WordPress admin area.

That said, let’s take a look at how to easily add a stats dashboard on your WordPress site.

Adding a Stats Dashboard in WordPress

The best way to add a stats dashboard in WordPress is by using MonsterInsights. It’s the best Analytics solution for WordPress, and it helps you set up Google Analytics in WordPress without editing code.

For this tutorial, we will use the MonsterInsights Pro version because it includes powerful addons and advanced tracking features such as affiliate link tracking, eCommerce tracking, and dashboard reports.

There is also a MonsterInsights Lite version you use for free. It helps you configure Google Analytics in WordPress and shows a quick overview report in the dashboard.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the MonsterInsights plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you’ll be taken to the MonsterInsights welcome screen. Simply click the ‘Launch the Wizard’ button and follow the onscreen instructions to set up Google Analytics.

Launch setup wizard

For more details, please see our guide on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress.

Now, let’s look at the stats dashboard MonsterInsights adds on your site.

How to Add Stats to WordPress Dashboard

On your main WordPress dashboard screen, MonsterInsights adds a widget that shows stats about your site’s performance. You can quickly view your website traffic and identify top posts and pages.

Simply log in to your WordPress admin panel. On the home screen, you’ll see the MonsterInsights dashboard widget.

Dashboard widget stats

You can also click the expand icon at the top and view the dashboard widget report in full-width mode to get more details.

The expanded widget displays the number of sessions, pageviews, average session duration, and bounce rate in the last 30 days.

Additionally, it also shows your top-performing posts and pages, new vs. returning visitors, and a device breakdown.

Expand dashboard widget report

Next, let’s see how MonsterInsights helps you view statistics for each blog post and landing page in the WordPress dashboard.

See Page and Post Stats in WordPress Dashboard

To see how individual articles and pages perform, you can use the MonsterInsights Page Insights addon.

First, you can head to Insights » Addons from the WordPress admin panel and navigate to the ‘Page Insights’ box. Go ahead and click the ‘Install’ button.

Install page insights addon

The addon will now automatically install and activate on your site.

Next, you can go to Posts » All Posts from your admin panel to see the stats of individual posts.

You’ll see an ‘Insights’ column added to your WordPress posts and pages screen.

View insights column in dashboard

A small window will open if you click the ‘Insights’ icon for any blog post.

You can then view stats for a specific post or page. For instance, the plugin shows stats for only that post, including bounce rate, entrances, page views, time on page, page load time, and exits.

MonsterInsights page insights reports

Using these stats, you can find out how your content is performing without having to leave your WordPress dashboard.

On top of that, MonsterInsights also lets you see stats for any post or page from the front end of your site. When viewing any post or page, you can simply click the ‘Insights’ button in the admin bar to see 30 days of performance stats for that post.

View insights stats on frontend

Viewing More WordPress Stats with MonsterInsights

With MonsterInsights, you get easy-to-understand dashboard reports. It neatly organizes data from Google Analytics and helps you make data-driven decisions.

Here’s a quick rundown of the reports you can see in MonsterInsights and how you can use them.

Overview Report

To view your WordPress stats dashboard, simply go to the Insights » Reports page.

First, you’ll see the ‘Overview Report.’ At the top, you will see two tabs, each giving you a graph of your WordPress visitor sessions or pageviews. This gives you a quick overview of incoming traffic to your website.

Overview report in MonsterInsights

Below that, you will see a comparison of your website stats against the previous 30 days. These boxes will show the number of sessions, page views counter, session duration, and bounce rate.

Below that, you will see a chart showing new vs. returning visitors. You can use these stats to see how many people return to your site. Similarly, there is a device breakdown chart, which helps you optimize your site for different devices.

Device breakdown and top countries report

This is followed by a list of the top countries people visit your website from, as well as the top websites that send the most traffic your way. You can use the top countries report to set up geolocation targeting, create personalized messages, and boost conversions.

MonsterInsights also acts as a pageview counter and shows your most popular WordPress posts and pages. This helps you find your top-performing content so that you can plan your content strategy accordingly.

Top posts and page report

Publishers Report

In the Publishers report, you get more details about the performance of your content. It’s great for content-rich websites like blogs, news, or magazine sites.

The report shows your top landing pages and the number of visits, average duration, and bounce rate they got in the last 30 days.

Top landing pages report

You can also view the top exit pages and see from where people leave your website. It helps optimize any WordPress blog a high exit rate. For example, you can show a popup and offer a free ebook to leaving visitors in exchange for their email addresses.

If you scroll down, then you’ll see reports on top outbound links and top affiliate links. With the help of these 2 reports, you get to track link clicks on your site.

Outbound and affiliate links report

For example, you can see which affiliate is performing the best, so you can promote it more on your site. Similarly, outbound link tracking helps create new partnership opportunities where you can get more backlinks, sign up for an affiliate program, and more.

MonsterInsights also helps track file downloads on your site. It shows which download links are getting the most clicks. This way, you can uncover the type of downloadable content your audience prefers.

Lastly, you get to see your visitor’s demographics and interests in the Publishers report. MonsterInsights will show the age and gender of your audience and their interests.

Demographics and interest reports

The plugin also enables scroll tracking on your site. It shows how far people scroll your content before exiting. You can use this information to improve conversions and placement of call-to-action (CTA) buttons and ads.

Search Console

If you’ve connected Google Search Console with Google Analytics, then MonsterInsights will show the top 50 search terms in your WordPress dashboard.

Simply visit the search console report and find out which keywords people use to find your website on the internet. You also get to see the number of clicks, impressions, CTR, and average position for each search term.

Search console report

Using the report, you can optimize keywords close to reaching the top 10 positions in Google search and increase your organic traffic. Plus, the report helps perform keyword research and uncover new search term ideas for your site.

eCommerce Report

If you run an online store or a membership website, then you’ll love MonsterInsights eCommerce tracking features.

MonsterInsights offers an eCommerce addon that helps track your online store’s performance in Google Analytics. The best part is that MonsterInsights works with popular eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce, MemberPress, Easy Digital Downloads, GiveWP, and more.

For more details, please see our guide on how to set up eCommerce tracking in WordPress.

To view stats about your online store, you can head to the eCommerce tab.

eCommerce reports

In the reports, you will see a breakdown of conversion rate, transactions, revenue, and average order value. This gives you a quick overview of your store’s performance.

Besides that, MonsterInsights also shows top products on your website. For instance, if you have a WooCommere store, then you can see which product your customers like to buy the most. This way, you could find similar products or bundle different items together to boost sales.

MonsterInsights also shows your top conversion sources. These are sites that send the most sales to your store. You can partner with these sources and offer exclusive discounts to visitors from these websites.

Top conversion sources

Dimensions Report

With MonsterInsights, you can easily track additional information in Google Analytics that’s not possible by default and view them in the dimensions report.

For example, you can set up author tracking and see which writer’s posts attract the most visitors. Similarly, you can also track categories and tags using custom dimensions.

It also helps test the best publication time for your blog posts. This way, you can publish articles to get more engagement, comments, and shares.

Best publication time report

Forms Report

Do you want to see stats on how your online forms are performing?

MonsterInsights helps you track form conversions in Google Analytics and shows a report in your WordPress dashboard.

Simply view the Forms report and see which form gets the most impressions and conversions. This way, you can optimize low-performing forms and increase the visibility of forms that are converting well.

Forms report

Real-Time Report

A real-time report is great for getting up-to-the-minute stats about your website.

For example, a real-time report comes in handy if you’re running a flash sale and want to know how your campaign is performing. You get to monitor your website activities as they happen.

View real-time report in MonsterInsights

For more details, please see our guide on how to show real-time online users in WordPress.

Site Speed Report

The last report you’ll see in MonsterInsights is the Site Speed report. Although the report doesn’t relate to the website traffic, but it is crucial for your WordPress SEO and user experience.

Using the report, you can see an overall score of your site’s load time on mobile and desktop.

Site speed report

There are other metrics as well that you can use to improve your site’s user experience. MonsterInsights also provides recommendations for enhancing the score for these metrics and reducing the page load time.

You can see our guide on how to boost WordPress speed and performance for more tips and tricks.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily add a stats dashboard in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to start your own podcast or our expert pick of the best business phone services.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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7 Best Content Marketing Platforms For An Effective Strategy

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“Content is everything.”

At least, that’s one variation of the saying each website owner adheres to. But in the ever-changing landscape of content marketing, content distribution is a close runner-up to the content itself.

Organizations must invest in effective content marketing by leveraging various content marketing platforms as competition becomes more fierce.

How fierce? 47% of companies plan to grow their content teams this year.

Here are seven tools to consider to take your content to new heights.

1. Exploding Topics – Best For Trending Content

Brian Dean founded Backlinko and Exploding Topics, and has been a trusted resource in content marketing since he grew Backlinko from zero to millions of users per month.

Since Dean established his site, he turned his sights on helping others by offering data on growing topics before they take off.

Exploding Topics aggregates data and uses an advanced algorithm that provides the percentage growth of specific topics of choice.

With access to this data, you can start writing content first to gain a first movers advantage over competitors.

2. BuzzSumo – Best For Social Media Content

BuzzSumo exploded onto the scene in 2013.

Since then, this platform has diversified its service offering to become a powerhouse for serious content marketers.

BuzzSumo offers content discovery, research, monitoring, and influencer insights. The influencer option could exponentially increase the odds of virality for your content marketing efforts.

By navigating to the “top sharers” section, you can pinpoint influencers that have shared articles that may correlate to topics you have written and reach out to the influencers to share your article to expand your content reach.

3. Outbrain – Best For Native Content

Outbrain was one of the leading pioneers of native content and has gained tremendous market share over competitors.

Today Outbrain provides 344 billion monthly content recommendations in over fifty-five countries. Getting started with Outbrain does not involve a significant cost investment.

To begin a campaign on the Outbrain network, you can set a campaign budget of $20 and a CPC (cost per click) price point of 0.03 cents.

Considering how rapidly you can expand your content marketing reach and strategically retarget users once they have navigated to your site makes Outbrain a no-brainer, pun intended.

4. Patreon – Best For Content Membership

Patreon offers a premium membership model to content creators.

Monthly pledges from patrons have provided content creators with a consistent way to provide quality content while making a living.

Founded in 2013, Patreon quickly became the go-to platform for content creators to establish a loyal fan base.

Content creators span several focus areas, which include videographers, Podcasters, Writers, artists, and musicians.

If you are a content creator that wants to earn a living without starting a blog, Patreon is the way to go.

5. Contently – Best For Content Scheduling

Scheduling content distribution is easy with the help of Contently. You can easily plan times and dates to distribute content across several platforms.

A feature called Storybook uses proprietary technology to provide a predictive model of which topics will have the most significant impact.

Additionally, Contently provides SEO recommendations and checks the voice and tone of the content. One of the most powerful features Contently provides is access to the premium creative network.

It can be a hassle to vet writers when you are just starting.

Contently has created a premium network of writers you can leverage. Many of these writers have published articles for The New Yorker, Wired, and The Financial Times, among many other established publications.

Contently also provides access to videographers and designers to help create more impactful content through the premium creative network.

If you are looking for an enterprise content marketing platform Contently is a top contender.

6. Scoop.it – Best for Content Curation

Scoop.it is a cloud-based content management platform that discovers and researches content via the web and social networks. Over 30 million web pages are crawled from Scoop.it.

You can quickly scale your curated content needs by leveraging the WordPress integration to publish content directly to your site.

Leveraging curated content will help establish trust and add additional value to your audience while highlighting your specific industry expertise.

You might be losing out if you are not integrating curated content into your content marketing strategy.

Hootsuite advises a ratio of 40% created and 60% curated content to boot your content marketing efforts.

7. Uberflip – Best For Personalized Content

Uberflip offers several options for content marketers, but one of the most valuable features Uberflip provides is the ability to personalize content for audiences.

As a result, content marketers turn to Uberflip to execute ABM (account-based marketing).

The content destination feature allows marketers to engage audiences with tailored messaging and provides customized layouts and personalized branding.

Given the statistics around personalization, content marketers need to be mindful of tailored messaging.

Conclusion

If your organization is not investing in content marketing, it might be safe to assume you are losing market share to your competitors.

Content marketing is not an option but a necessity in today’s current landscape.

As a result, several content marketing platform choices exist to get started quickly.

There is no right on wrong options to get started with content marketing.

You have to jump in and get your feet wet.

Beginning with one of the content marketing platforms mentioned above is a good move in the right decision.

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Featured Image: The KonG/Shutterstock

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SEO Trends, Organic Growth & Personal Branding With Craig Campbell

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The game of search has evolved into something far beyond just optimizing your site for Google alone.

Digital marketers are pressured to deliver results and are often conflicted about which marketing channels to prioritize or add into the mix.

“You don’t want to focus on one way of getting traffic.” That’s the advice of Craig Campbell: a well-known SEO professional from Glasgow and PageOptimizer Pro’s #1 most influential SEO of 2020.

We had a chance to catch up with the man behind the SEO YouTube channel that welcomes you with “knowledge bombs that will make you money” – to get his take on the latest SEO trends, digital marketing tools worth checking out, and agency life.

Read on and glean new insight as he shares bits of hard-earned wisdom from his 20 years of experience in the SEO industry.

Past And Future SEO Trends

Being in the SEO business for two decades, how much has the SEO landscape changed since you first became interested?

Craig Campbell: “While it has changed a lot in some ways, we still have the core fundamentals of content and links being massively important: the same way they were at the very start of my journey in this industry.

Sure, things have evolved a great deal, and the quality of content, the relevance of links, and a lot of other nuances are in place. But the basics are still very similar.

What I do love is that these days, the learning curve is a lot easier, and we have clever people all over the world creating amazing tools to help us with competitor analysis and much more.

Whereas back then, it was a lot of trial and error, embracing the changes and utilizing the tools to make the job a lot easier has helped a lot over recent years.

But I think, for me, learning how to do it the hard way, using my own brain and common sense, and not having everything handed to me on a plate … it really did help me learn.

It took longer, but I won’t lie – it was a lot of fun, too. So these days, I find SEO a lot easier as I once had to do it the hard way.”

What do you know about SEO now that you wish you’d known when you first started?

CC: “I’ve been asked this a lot. I’ve enjoyed the whole journey. And I’ve made countless mistakes, but they have gotten me to where I am today. However, one thing I struggled with at the start was building SOPs and training my internal team to do the tasks I wanted to do.

For many years, I struggled to do this properly, and it massively hampered my ability to scale and contributed a lot of unnecessary stress to my life. So, learning to delegate and building SOPs [standard operating procedures] much sooner would have been good.

Other things, like trying and testing for myself and trying to read between the lines when I watch a talk or presentation, are things I wish I had done. I was a little naive back in the day and used to take things at face value and would simply add some of what other people had said without doing my own testing.

Like many others at the start of their careers, I didn’t know how good I was, but there becomes this part of the journey where you undervalue yourself or allow your prices to be driven down, and before you know it, you have a whole heap of clients who are paying you very little and wasting all of your time, energy, and resources.

So, I wish someone had sat me down and tried to give me that advice. But unfortunately, we [were] all in a similar position when I started in the early 2000s – no one knew what they were doing, let alone their actual value.”

Where do you expect the SEO industry is heading in the next three years?

CC: “This is a question that is really difficult to answer; I’ve seen and heard people say things over the years like ‘voice search‘ is the next big thing, and ‘let’s all double down on that.’

We have seen people talk about ‘AMP‘ and many other things, including AI content and how we will replace content writers with AI. I don’t think a lot of these things have worked out too well.

And without being a specialist in technology and how all of these things are being developed, I don’t see any major dramatic changes over the coming years.

It’s clear as day that Google is trying to force the organic search positions further down. However, organic traffic still converts really well.

But 20 years into the industry, I still see many websites and SEOs still not doing the basics properly. So, I think people need to level up on their processes and SOPs and how they see their website and start to treat them as a real business. I think that’s where people will see gains over the next few years.

Nothing massively new in terms of major changes to the industry; we do evolve, Google does bring updates out, and of course, those cutting corners or not doing the basics right eventually get penalized in some way, shape, or form.”

Marketing Tools And Channels To Drive Traffic

Is there one SEO tool, in particular, that you’d recommend for local businesses?

CC: “One tool, for local, is really hard. I use a number of tools for different elements of local, like Local Falcon, for checking out my Google Business Profile’s ranking positions.

I really do think even now, many small businesses don’t realize how much traffic comes from those map positions.

For sure, loads of people do it in our SEO community, but overall that’s, in reality, a small part of the world. I see so many businesses out there who are not even ranking those, let alone local landing pages.”

How about a particular marketing channel that can be beneficial for driving organic traffic?

CC: “This is something I’m often missing out on. Platforms, such as Reddit and Pinterest, are ones I hear people getting amazing traffic from, but I’ve yet to dive into them properly.

I recently bought a Pinterest course to try and work out what people are doing on there to get all this traffic. But over the years, I have built up a good email list, always capturing people’s data – a very old-school way of marketing, but email marketing works really well even now.

Social media, in general – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok – are the ones I’m on.

Now, it has been reported that TikTok gets more traffic than Google itself. Not sure how accurate that statement is, but what I do know is that there are a ton of people on that platform, and it would be stupid to ignore it due to the sheer volume of people on there.

As an SEO, I’m always looking at ways to drive good traffic to my website, whether that be paid, social, emails, or retargeting via pixels. I think you need to try and grab what you can out there. You don’t want to focus on one way of getting traffic.

YouTube, over the last few years, has been an amazing platform for me personally. When COVID hit, I took the opportunity to do a lot more video content, and that has worked very well in my favor.”

Taking The Leap To Build A Personal Brand

What should a digital marketer know about being in an SEO agency from Day 1?

CC: “I think they should learn as much as they can from agency life, see it as their apprenticeship, and learn as much as they can on the processes, reporting, how to retain clients, and all of the amazing stuff that agencies do very well.

But they should also know that there is a lot of fluff on the agency side and a lot of client deliverables that don’t always mean they are good from an SEO perspective.

I’m not saying every agency does all the fluff or offers substandard work. But I do see a lot of people who come out of agencies and believe in all the fluff that they are trained to speak to clients about.

So, I think, in general, they should know that playing the actual SEO game against what we tell clients is very often a different game. So, they should know the difference, which will stand them in good stead when they leave agency life.

I have a very good friend whom I’ve watched grow in recent years. Ryan Darani worked for a big digital agency, and for sure, he learned some amazing things there, which still work very well in his favor (mainly from an audit, reporting, and technical perspective).

However, there were areas of weakness and some bad agency mindset that had to be ironed out now that he is a freelancer. He has adapted very well and is doing amazing for someone who went out on his own just two years ago.

But overall, grab all you can from agency life, particularly those SOP processes, reporting – all the technical stuff you can, as this is often something many people who haven’t experienced agency life fall short on.”

What’s been your greatest digital marketing achievement to date?

CC: “The best achievement, other than some of the website flips and money gains I’ve made on certain projects – which, of course, no one really cares about – would be making the transition from unknown agency owner into becoming a personal brand.

A lot of people think that it is an easy task. The reality is, speaking at conferences, being on video, and offering value upfront is a lot of hard work. Not just traveling to conferences but speaking in front of an audience took me outside my comfort zone.

Being sat on YouTube, doing podcasts, and all of the other stuff was something I had never done before; and even in my school days, I hated speaking in front of an audience.

Watching many others build up personal brands while I was building my agency was great to watch, and I always had a [voice] inside me saying, ‘You can do this! Why don’t you go and do it? Why let anyone else get up there and get the exposure?’

You have to believe in yourself and make sure that you get yourself up there. While many folks will not want to do that because they are shy, an introvert, or whatever, when speaking to other speakers, they all have similar fears or get nervous before speaking.

And I, for sure, had serious nerves at the start of my speaking career, and it was amazing to push through and overcome those fears, and that was a massive achievement for me.”

Key To SEO And Career Growth

Can you share any SEO growth hack that always works for you?

CC: “For many years, I’ve always seen traffic work very well when sent to a video, blog post, page, or whatever. Even if we take LinkedIn, for example.

If I do a post on LinkedIn, and someone in my network likes it, comments on it, or shares it, that post is then seen by their friends, which turns into more engagement, and then their friends see it and hopefully comment and like the post.

When Google sees something that is widely engaged, it ranks it well. The same goes for any social media platform when you want a post to go viral.

So, tip 1: Offer value upfront. Don’t put out bland, boring content; people will simply not engage. Try and offer some value upfront.

Tip 2: So, when I do a blog post, I will then send it to my push notification subscribers. It then goes out on social media. If it’s a really good post, it will also go out to my mailing list. I then also might do some paid social ads.

This kickstarts the post, article, or whatever you are trying to put out there, but you must utilize your own audience first and use a sequence of events to get traffic onto your articles, which in turn, if done well, should give you the lift you need to make the post viral to some degree.”

What advice do you have for those just getting started in their SEO careers or launching their startup?

CC: “I see so many people early in their careers or when they launch a start-up analyze every single small detail before taking action. I’d highly recommend simply taking action. Why over-analyze things? Keep it simple and use common sense.

A bit of effort never goes far wrong in this industry, and it is always good to learn from mistakes you make anyway. Just start taking action.

I’ve made more mistakes than most, but as long as I learn from them, then it’s always a good thing.

You will never ever hit your goals straight off the bat; whether it’s your SEO career or a project you’re working on, things can be tweaked as you go. No one in this game knows 100% of what they are doing, so don’t be fooled by anyone suggesting that they do.

Read between the lines and never be scared to test and add your own mix to things.”

Check out this SEJ Show episode with Loren Baker, where Campbell shared his insights on domain leasing, link-building best practices, and a lot more.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Courtesy of Craig Campbell/SEO Glasgow

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9 Reasons Why We Switched from Yoast to All in SEO

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Many of our users have asked us about the reasons we switched from Yoast SEO to All in One SEO for WordPress.

At WPBeginner, we decided to finally move to the All in One SEO for WordPress. It has improved our SEO workflow and given us the tools we needed to manage our website.

In this article, we’ll share our top reasons for switching to All in One SEO for WordPress and why we believe it is the best WordPress SEO toolkit on the market.

Why All in One SEO for WordPress?

If you are making a website, then installing an SEO plugin is one of the first things you should do in order to start getting traffic.

When we first started WPBeginner in 2009, we were using All in One SEO Pack because it was the original WordPress SEO plugin. After a couple of years, we switched to Yoast SEO because it was a newer plugin, and they had added new innovations.

Over the next several years, our website grew a lot. However, we felt that Yoast SEO stopped innovating and no longer had the features we needed. For instance, we needed better control over XML sitemaps, powerful schema.org tools, and more.

In 2020, our parent company Awesome Motive acquired the All in One SEO plugin.

The All in One SEO team did a fantastic job of completely overhauling the plugin, adding all the latest SEO features, and truly made it best in class. After numerous rounds of testing, we decided to make the move from Yoast SEO to AIOSEO in November 2021 because our team was convinced that AIOSEO had simply surpassed Yoast in terms of SEO features.

Since then, we have noticed a significant improvement in our editorial workflow and day-to-day SEO tasks.

That being said, here are the top reasons we switched from Yoast SEO to All in One SEO.

1. Better On-Page SEO Tools

On-page SEO is the term used for optimizing blog posts for SEO. This is one of the biggest day-to-day SEO tasks for most users as they add content to their websites.

All in One SEO offers the best on-page SEO experience with helpful features and tools at your fingertips.

On-page SEO in All in One SEO

You’ll see two prominent buttons in the top-right corner of your screen while writing content.

First, there is The Headline Analyzer tool, which gives a score for your post title with suggestions to improve it.

You can also try different headlines without changing the post tile and pick the best one. See our article on how to use the headline analyzer to write better SEO titles.

Headline Analyzer

Under the General settings, you can add a focus keyphrase. This will give you an SEO score for your focus keyphrase with tips to improve it.

Plus, you can optimize your content for more than one focus keyphrase.

Analyze focus keyphrase

The snippet editor allows you to easily add SEO title, meta description, and focus keyphrases.

You’ll also see a live preview of how the page would look in search engines.

Snippet editor

All in One SEO allows you to use dynamic tags in your SEO title and description. This way, you can automatically change the title and description.

For instance, you can use current month and year tags to always display the current year in the post title without editing them manually each year.

Best of all, the tags are searchable and you can easily add them from the drop-down menus, so you don’t need to know all the tags or look up any documentation.

Dynamic SEO title and description

The Social tab under SEO settings will show a preview of how your article would appear on Facebook and Twitter.

From here, you can set the title, description, and thumbnail that you want to use.

Social preview

All in One SEO allows you to choose from a bunch of options for your social media thumbnails.

You can also just use the custom image option, and manually upload an image to use as a social media thumbnail for each article.

Social media image

Need to redirect an article to a different post or page? No worries.

The Redirects feature lets you easily set up redirects for any post or page on your website without harming your site’s SEO.

Set up redirects

Other on-page SEO tools include a Schema generator and Link Assistant. We will talk about them individually later in this article.

Overall, we believe that All in One SEO offers a much easier yet incredibly powerful on-page SEO experience than any other tool on the market.

2. Powerful XML Sitemaps

WordPress itself comes with built-in XML sitemaps and almost all other SEO plugins include some kind of XML sitemap functionality.

However, All in One SEO lets you take your XML sitemaps to the next level.

The plugin will automatically generate sitemaps for all your content types, including posts, pages, custom post types, products, and more.

AIOSEO sitemaps

You can easily exclude any post or page that you don’t want to include in your sitemaps.

Plus, you can also exclude any content types or taxonomies from your sitemaps.

Exclude post types and taxonomies from sitemaps

Some users want to include their standalone landing pages to their sitemaps.

All in One SEO lets you include any page not generated by WordPress to your sitemaps.

Additional pages in sitemap

The plugin also generates an RSS sitemap.

This includes the latest updates to your content and helps your newer content get indexed much more quickly.

RSS sitemap

If you run a news website, then you can generate a news sitemap to appear in the Google News carousel.

Additionally, you can generate a video sitemap. This helps your videos appear in Video search results.

Video, News, and HTML sitemaps

This is the most extensive XML sitemap tool currently available to WordPress users, and it is still incredibly easy to use even for absolute beginners.

3. Most Comprehensive Schema Markup Support

Schema markup is a special type of HTML code that you can add to your WordPress website to tell search engines more about your content.

For instance, you can tell the search engines that a particular page is a blog post, a recipe, a FAQ, a news article, or a product page in your online store. Search engines can then use this data to display rich results.

Rich snippets example

All in One SEO comes with the most comprehensive support for schema markup for your WordPress website.

Starting with the Knowledge Graph data that helps search engines like Google get additional information about your website or business.

Knowledge graph

After that, you can set the default schema type to use for each post type.

Setting default schema markup for post types

You can also generate schema markup for individual posts or pages.

For instance, you can differentiate your regular articles from recipes, FAQs, online courses, and more.

Generate schema markup for individual post

If you run a local small business, then All in One SEO lets you easily add local SEO schema markup.

With local SEO markup, your site gets more exposure in local search results and Google Maps.

You can add multiple locations, display business hours, provide contact information, and more.

Local SEO

This extensive Schema.org support allows you to easily optimize your content for rich results in Google.

AIOSEO also lets you generate custom schema markup for recipes, videos, products, FAQ schema, and more. You can use their next-gen Schema templates to get rich snippets.

AIOSEO Custom Schema Generator for WordPress

For power users, you can even write your own custom schema and save it as reusable templates, and it even has built-in schema validation.

4. Beginner-Friendly User Experience

Not all WordPress users are SEO experts, and even those with SEO expertise can benefit from a smooth user experience.

All in One SEO for WordPress makes SEO simpler for both beginner and advanced users.

It comes with a much cleaner and simpler onboarding experience than other SEO plugins, and a simple setup wizard walks you through the basic SEO setup.

All in One SEO wizard

It uses a modern user interface that is easy on the eyes and fast.

It saves you from unnecessary page loads when making changes to SEO settings.

All in One SEO user experience

The plugin also gets out of your way when you just want to write content or work on your website.

Once properly set up, beginner users can focus on creating content and growing their business instead of reviewing SEO settings.

At the same time, all the advanced features are easily accessible when you need them.

We believe this polished user experience makes a big difference when working on your website and performing day-to-day SEO tasks.

Links play a crucial role in SEO. They not only help your users and search engines discover new content, but they also help search engine rankings.

However, tools that allow you to analyze your website’s internal and external links are usually very expensive.

All in One SEO brings that same functionality to your WordPress website.

The Link Assistant tool helps you analyze internal and external links added to each article.

Link assistant in All in One SEO

The plugin will also make smart link suggestions. You can click on a post to review a suggestion and add the link without editing a post.

This comes in particularly handy for promoting newer articles by adding links to your older articles.

Link suggestions

You can also click on the edit button and change the anchor text or surrounding text without editing the entire article.

We feel that the link assistant tool alone is a strong reason for switching to All in One SEO for WordPress.

6. Redirection Manager

Broken links cause 404 errors in WordPress, which may affect your site’s SEO.

All in One SEO comes with a powerful redirects manager tool that allows you to easily set up redirects on your website.

Redirects manager in AIOSEO

It keeps a log of 404 errors on your WordPress site so that you can easily find posts that may need to be redirected.

404 error log in AIOSEO

Also, if you change a post or page’s permalink, AIOSEO will immediately ask if you want to redirect the old URL to the new one.

Plus, if you ever plan to move your WordPress site to a new domain name, All in One SEO comes with a full site redirect that automatically redirects users to your new domain name.

Full site redirect

7. Social Media Integration

Social media platforms play an important role in promoting your website beyond organic search traffic.

All in One SEO provides deep integrations to social media platforms with open graph metadata integration.

You can add links to all your social media profiles associated with your website and help search engines discover them.

Social networks

Each author on your website can also add links to their individual social media profiles.

This allows search engines to discover social media accounts for authors on your website.

Social profiles for authors

Finally, you can easily set open graph metadata and thumbnails for each article.

This allows you to override default settings and get more control over how each article appears when shared on social media.

Social preview

8. Enhanced Image SEO for WordPress

Image search is an important source of traffic for many websites. All in One SEO allows you to easily optimize your images to get more search traffic.

Simply go to All in One SEO » Search Appearance and switch to the Image SEO tab.

Image SEO in All in One SEO

From here, the plugin can automatically use the filename to generate an image title and alt tags.

You can also tell it to replace dashes and underscores with spaces and change letter casing.

Generate image title and alt tags

With Image SEO, You can also disable WordPress attachment pages and redirect them to the original post or page where the image is embedded.

Lastly, you can optimize filenames by not stripping dashes, changing letter casing, and stripping common stop words.

9. Sitewide SEO Audit

For many beginners and small businesses, purchasing an expensive SEO tool for a site-wide SEO audit or competitor analysis is not a viable option.

All in One SEO comes with a built-in sitewide SEO audit and competitor analysis tool.

SEO audit in AIOSEO

With an SEO audit, you can see an overall SEO health score for your website.

It will also give you a detailed report with practical suggestions to improve your SEO score.

You can also see how your competitors are doing and get an SEO score check for any website.

Competition analysis tool in All in One SEO

Bonus SEO Tools included with AIOSEO

Aside from the above reasons, AIOSEO also gives us dozens of other powerful SEO features that we simply didn’t have previously.

For example, they were the first ones to add IndexNow support in WordPress to speed up search indexing for Bing.

Recently, they added a powerful table of content block that not only helps improve user experience, but it also helps you get multiple links in your Google search results.

Google Includes Table of Contents Entries in Search Results

You can add a table of content block right inside your WordPress editor, and the best part is that AIOSEO automatically generates the markup while letting you fully customize the content (including hiding certain headings).

Your Table of Contents Can Be in a Bulleted or Numbered List

Also if you’re using headless WordPress site, then they also have a full REST API support to improve your SEO rankings.

How to Switch From Any WordPress SEO Plugin to All in One SEO?

Switching to All in One SEO for WordPress is quite simple.

First, you’ll need to install and activate the All in One SEO for WordPress plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Note: There is also a free version of All in One SEO that you can use. However, it may not have all the features we mentioned above.

Upon activation, you will be asked to run the setup wizard. During the setup, the plugin will automatically detect your other SEO plugin and will offer to import SEO data.

Import SEO data from other plugins

Simply check the box next to the old SEO plugin and click on the Import Data and Continue button.

All in One SEO will automatically import all your SEO data, including post titles, meta descriptions, keywords, and more.

You can also manually run the importer by visiting the All in One SEO » Tools page and switching to the Import/Export tab.

Manually import SEO data

Simply select the SEO plugin you were using before and hit the Import button.

We hope this article helped explain the reasons why we switched from Yoast to All in One SEO for WordPress. You may also want to see our complete WordPress SEO guide for beginners or take a look at our detailed side-by-side comparison of Yoast SEO vs All in One SEO.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 9 Reasons Why We Switched from Yoast to All in SEO first appeared on WPBeginner.



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Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): How To Get Started

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Right now, the internet has more than 1.1 billion websites operating across more than 271 million unique domains. That’s a nearly unfathomable number of pages competing for a finite amount of traffic, views, and clicks.

If you’re getting your fair share of them, congratulations – you’re on the right path. But just getting visitors to your website isn’t enough, particularly if you’re running any type of business.

No, you need to convert those visitors once they end up on your site. And you need to do this effectively and efficiently.

One of the best ways to do that is by implementing a conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy.

If you do this right, you’ll not only improve your quality of leads, but you’ll also increase revenue and lower your customer acquisition cost. In other words, it will help you grow. 

In this piece, we’ll dig deeper into CRO, discuss why you should care about it, and provide some best practices for maximizing your conversion rate. 

What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Conversion rate optimization is the systematic process of increasing the percentage of users and visitors who take a specific action on your website, social channels, or other online marketing campaigns.

To successfully improve your conversion rate, you must deeply understand your users. You need to understand how they navigate your website, interact with your content, and ultimately take action.

Examples Of Conversions

Conversions can be any number of things, but some of the most common are:

  • Making a purchase.
  • Filling out a form.
  • Signing up for a newsletter.
  • Adding a product to their shopping cart.
  • Clicking a link.
  • Downloading a piece of content.
  • Turning an occasional customer into a regular customer.

In other words, a conversion can be any action a user performs that results in you collecting their information, making a sale, or otherwise gaining insight into how they interact with your campaigns.

Key Benefits Of Conversion Rate Optimization

Okay, you might be saying right now, I get the importance of CRO as an overall part of a digital marketing strategy, but what does this have to do with SEO?

A lot, actually, both for SEO professionals and the businesses they work for. 

Some of the benefits of CRO include:

Increased User Engagement

Conversion rate optimization improves the way visitors interact with your website and within your campaigns, leading to better engagement and, ultimately, conversions.

An increase in engagement metrics can provide valuable insights into your campaigns’ performance and what entices users to take action.

Better ROI

CRO leads to higher conversion rates, which means you are getting more bang for your marketing buck.

It allows you to land more customers without necessarily generating more traffic or increasing your marketing budget.

Valuable User Insights

The process of CRO requires you to develop a better understanding of your audience. And this, in turn, improves your overall marketing efforts and content.

It helps you be better prepared to reach the right types of customers with the right messaging at the right time.

Enhanced Customer Trust

Many conversions require users to provide their contact information (email address, name, phone number, etc.) in exchange for content like an ebook or information about your services.

But before they’re willing to hand over their info, they need to trust your site. CRO helps you build customer trust and leaves a positive impression on potential customers.

Scalability

Even the biggest markets only have a finite pool of prospects you can tap into – and the more specialized your niche, the smaller that pool is. CRO allows you to make the most of your existing audience (i.e., traffic) to attract new customers.

By improving your conversion rate, you’ll scale your business without running out of potential customers.

How To Calculate Conversion Rate

Before we can get optimizing, we need to first discuss how to arrive at your conversion rate. Don’t worry – no higher math is required.

The conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the total number of users or website visitors, then multiplying this figure by 100 to generate a percentage.

For example, if your website generated 20 contact form fills and 1,000 visitors in one month, your conversion rate would be: 20 / 1,000 = 0.02 x 100 = 2%.

Calculating your conversion rate enables you to set a benchmark for how your webpage or campaign is currently performing.

This means you can compare the results of any changes you make and the corresponding results you generate to your original conversion rate, letting you know what’s working – and what isn’t.

What’s Considered A “Good” Conversion Rate?

There is no single, universal figure that qualifies as a “good” conversion rate. What’s even considered an “average” conversion rate varies across industries, niches, campaigns, and specific conversion goals.

Depending on who you ask, however, a rough global average is anywhere from 1-4%.

This might not necessarily be true for you. In reality, the best measure of what’s considered average is to calculate your past and current conversion rates and compare them to future results.

Instead of obsessing over what’s considered a “good” conversion rate (most businesses don’t publish this information, anyway), you’re better off digging into what drives your particular audience – and then delivering the value they’re searching for.

What Is The CRO Process?

Now that we have that all out of the way, let’s talk about the CRO process.

Conversion rate optimization is the process of optimizing your website, landing page, or marketing campaign to improve the probability of a user taking a desired action.

This optimization process is informed by past user behavior, customer insights, and CRO best practices.

The basic process is as follows:

Audience Research

Surveying your audience and digging into past customer behavior analytics to understand what users are interested in, what they’re struggling with, and how they interact with your brand.

Optimization

Using these new insights to optimize your campaigns or webpages for conversions.

These might include writing more compelling web copy, adding enticing calls-to-action, redesigning your site for better user experience (UX), or removing bottlenecks from your sales funnel.

A/B Testing

Most CRO changes are not one and done. You will want to measure your adjustments against different components to see which ones truly move the needle.

For example, you may test one call-to-action versus another to see which performs better (i.e., has a higher conversion rate).

It may be tempting to skip this step, but don’t – that can lead to false positives.

Let’s say, for example, you changed your CTA like we just described, but you also changed your product descriptions. Which one do you attribute your sales increase to? A/B testing lets you know.

Measurement

Use analytics software (like Google Analytics) to measure the success of your campaigns.

Create goals to track conversions and then calculate your conversion rate by comparing this to your total traffic numbers.

Ongoing Adjustments

Monitor your analytics to track the success (or failure) of your campaigns or webpages. Make adjustments as needed to improve your conversion rate.

Components Of Successful CRO

CRO is a comprehensive process involving various components, from the design of your landing page to the contact forms you use.

A successful CRO campaign requires an in-depth analysis of your target audience, multiple tests to measure performance, and ongoing optimization to ensure maximum results.

There are a limitless number of things you can experiment with to optimize your conversion rate. Still, throughout this process, you’re likely to address a few core elements, regardless of industry:

Design

How your website and landing pages look plays an important role in CRO. An aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-navigate design will improve usability and make it easier for users to convert.

When designing your landing pages, work with a web designer who understands CRO and how users typically navigate a website.

Your site should be responsive and accessible, making it easy for visitors to find what they want. Your fonts and include interactive menus should be easily readable to anyone.

Site Speed

Fast website load speed is an essential part of both SEO and CRO. The longer it takes for your website to load, the more likely users will drop off and go elsewhere.

Ideally, your website should load in under three seconds on both desktop and mobile devices. Decrease image file sizes and remove slow-loading website elements to ensure fast load time. This alone can increase conversions to your site.

Copy

Web copy refers to the words users read on your website and landing pages. Skilled copywriters can craft copy that speaks to the unique needs of your target audience. It’s not enough to simply write “off the cuff” and hope for the best.

This is another place where audience research comes into play. If you know what your audience is struggling with and the solutions they’re looking for, you’ll be able to communicate the value of your offer.

Ultimately, you’re trying to convince users that your service or product is the best solution for their needs.

Call-To-Action

A call-to-action is an often short, concise appeal to users to take some sort of action on your site. The most commonly seen phrases are things like “Contact Us,” “Buy Now,” and “Work With Us.” However, you can get as creative as you like as long as you’re asking the visitor to perform an action.

For example, if you know your audience is interested in a particular offer, your CTA can be more obvious, like “Buy X Here” or “Download Y Now.”

A best practice is to make it obvious what users will get once they click on a link or submit their information.

Navigation

Your site’s structure should be built with the primary goal of making your website easy for users to navigate. You should have a logical layout of where your pages exist on your site and how they interact with each other.

Most sites adopt a hierarchical site structure, with the most important pages living in the main menu and subpages in the dropdown menu. Ideally, your web pages should not be “buried” more than three clicks away from the home page.

Consider how a typical user might navigate your site. Even better, look at a content drill-down report of your site to see how users journey from one page to another.

This might look something like:

  1. Home.
  2. Services page.
  3. Individual service page.
  4. Contact page.
  5. Goal completion (form fill).

Or, for an ecommerce site:

  1. Home.
  2. Products page.
  3. Product category page.
  4. Individual product page.
  5. Add to cart.
  6. Cart checkout.
  7. Thank You page.

Overall, creating an easy-to-navigate website is key to increasing conversions, building customer trust, and improving customer loyalty over time.

Forms

Contact forms are the most popular tool website owners use to collect user information, particularly for service and agency sites. Ecommerce sites, on the other hand, might have individual product pages and a typical shopping cart function.

Your contact forms should be functional and easy to use. By this, we mean that users should easily be able to submit their information. These form fills should be collected within your website to ensure quick follow-up.

Here are a few CRO best practices for using contact forms:

  • The fewer the fields, the better (typically). At the very least, you should collect information that allows you to follow up with leads promptly. If you want to better qualify your leads, you can add additional fields, like Industry or Budget.
  • Design matters. Good-looking forms typically equate to a better user experience. Make your text easy to read, use consistent styling, and make sure the submission button is clickable.
  • Consider customer privacy. With the introduction of GDPR and other consumer privacy laws, it’s become increasingly important to let users know how their information will be collected and used. You should always include a disclaimer that states what users are subscribing to, how you will be in contact with them, and whether they can unsubscribe at any time.

How To Measure Conversion Rate

Several quantitative tools allow you to collect data to track conversions on your website. These include general analytics tools like Google Analytics, website heat map tools like Hotjar, sales funnel tools, and contact form analytics tools.

Basically, any tool that allows you to:

  1. Track conversions or goal completions
  2. See website traffic data (which can be used to calculate your conversion rates).

By measuring your conversion rate, you’ll have data on how your site has performed in the past and how it’s performing now.

Then you can use a variety of CRO tactics to generate even more leads, customers, and revenue for your business.

Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices – Do They Work?

CRO best practices are, by definition, practices that have worked for businesses in the past. This means that the quick CRO “hacks” may not necessarily apply to your business, nor might they be relevant to businesses in the modern day.

With this in mind, businesses should be wary of adopting any CRO best practices without proper measurement and an in-depth understanding of their target audience.

For example, it’s commonly believed that a few simple tweaks are all it takes to improve conversions. These “tips” often include:

  • A/B testing headlines.
  • Changing the color of CTAs.
  • Including contact forms on every page.
  • Always adding customer testimonials.
  • Offering discounts.

Just because something worked for one business doesn’t mean it will work for yours.

Your best bet is to focus on what’s working with your particular audience and then use your own creativity to make adjustments that will improve your conversion rates over time.

Uncommon CRO Tactics

Today’s most progressive brands aren’t following trends – they’re setting them.

To stay ahead of the curve, you might want to adopt some uncommon CRO tactics and measure their impact on your business.

At the same time, keep a close eye on how users interact with your site and use these insights to make adjustments over time.

For example, some CRO-related technology and tactics to look into include:

  • AI-driven CRO tools.
  • Keyword research tools.
  • On-site customer surveys.
  • Mouse tracking and website heat maps.
  • Personalized product suggestions.

How To Improve Your Conversion Rate

By this point, it should be clear: CRO depends on carefully monitoring your customers, tracking their behavior and how they interact with your site, and comparing that information over time.

And while there are tools available for measuring traffic, engagement, and goal completions, no single CRO strategy will work for every site.

No, what works for your website depends entirely on your target audience, what you’re promoting, and user experiences.

For example, you wouldn’t expect a target audience of upper-middle-class men shopping for luxury sedans to behave like teenage girls looking for hoodies.

So, what works for the first audience may have no impact on the second, and vice versa.

But I will promise you this: If you fine-tune your UX, implement A/B testing, improve your website copy, and experiment with CTAs. Eventually, you’ll hit on the conversion formula you need.

More Resources:


Featured Image: 3rdtimeluckystudio/Shutterstock

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4 SEO Experts Share Key Actions To Raise Client Satisfaction

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That’s why, as Sandford advises, you need to proactively communicate both the opportunity and the downsides.

According to him, you should:

Flag the issue in good time.
Flagging a potential issue in a good time frame before it happens shows that you are on the ball. If you can see an issue somewhere down the line, it shows that you are thinking about long-term strategy, and that you are invested in your client’s success.

Don’t try to hide things.
The fact that you are being upfront is valuable, and most clients will appreciate it. You don’t need to frame a potential downturn as a disaster. Rather, think about it as an important insight that can help your client to make informed decisions.

Back up all communications with data.
When you are communicating what might sound like “bad news,” back it up with rigorous data to show the basis of your analysis. Whether it’s competitor analysis, keyword data, or broader market data, this additional insight will add a lot of extra value for clients.

Operate Holistically: Understand All Critical Influences On Your SEO Performance

As Reilly also highlights, SEO performance doesn’t happen in a silo; it’s key to translate that to your stakeholders:

SEO can often be treated as a channel separate from anything else, but in reality, it interacts with so many parts of a business. Working out what makes our clients tick (or struggle) might alter what we invest our efforts into.

Aaron Dicks, Performance Director at Impression, adds the importance of differentiation, especially when catering to enterprise clients:

At the enterprise level, it’s likely there will be a lot of crossover in opportunities presented by agencies, and all will be thorough in their auditing. It then becomes trickier to stand out amongst the crowd.

Future thinking and efficiency techniques (for example, AI integration) are one great way to add to differentiation.

This is where forecasting tools can also make a difference.

Action 2: Highlight SEO Opportunities With SEO Forecasting

SEO forecasting can help uncover unique opportunities and help you evaluate evolving trends before your competitors do.

Uncover Real-Time Market Shifts: Evaluate Shifting Trends

One way to uncover real market shifts and underlying opportunities is to gauge the search landscape, including year-over-year trends, to estimate growth potential.

Reilly argues:

Forecasting can be difficult when it comes to SEO but is also crucial to make sure you’re working towards a target that can provide a return on investment.

We look into the total search volume of the market that our clients are targeting, how much of a share they’re currently getting, and then consider what improvements are needed to get X traffic and Y sale increases.

This really helps bring the opportunity to life and makes [SEO] more tangible as an investment.

Complement this with a forecasting tool that takes into account all key variables influencing your SEO goals, and you’ll create a solid business case that sets you apart.

Because, just as James Euinton, Account Director at The SEO Works, points out, macroeconomic factors are “like the weather, we have little to no control over them but we will inevitably have to face them in business. Though that doesn’t mean we have to be unprepared.”

Euinton argues:

Search volumes are never set in stone and will often change depending on a multitude of factors which we are unable to control.

We need to demonstrate, instead, the factors that we do have influence over in our work and provide our estimations for how they can directly affect the site.

Using the data sets available in SEO, such as those available in Search Console’s performance section and Google Trends, can be a great form of understanding emerging keywords to capitalize on. We can also use these data sets to make estimations on how search volume will be affected going forward and use that to predict what the knock-on effect on traffic and consequent factors will be.

That’s why it’s critical to consider seasonality and year-over-year search trends when forecasting or reforecasting for SEO – you’ll spot hidden opportunities that your competitors will probably miss.

Image by SEOmonitor, October 20224 SEO Experts Share Key Actions To Raise Client Satisfaction

In the end, Euinton explains it best:

Being responsive and having the ability to identify and capitalize on new opportunities quickly can really help to weather the storm of an uncertain business landscape.

Align: Map SEO To General Business Objectives

To prove SEO ROI and keep the cash flow in check, you need to show how your proposed campaign aligns with the general business objectives.

Here’s what Euinton advises:

In order to have a consistent cash flow, you need customers, and in order to have customers, you will likely require some form of marketing.

Marketing service costs are usually the first thing to be considered to be cut during difficult times. But slicing marketing budgets can be detrimental to cash flow later down the line, which in turn leaves less cash for the core operating costs of the business.

The advantage of SEO and similar digital marketing channels is that you have a wealth of data to show and demonstrate the effectiveness of your work.

It’s important that we are mindful of this by showing clients the value that we are providing to the site in a way in which they are able to understand and relay upwards.

Maintaining a good and consistent level of reporting and communication ensures that the client is fully able to understand the role that SEO not only has in terms of our KPIs, such as traffic and conversions, but where they fit into the general objectives of the business, too.

It’s also a question of reiterating the long-term gain of SEO. As a professional, you have the know-how and the responsibility to explain why continuing the investment in SEO makes sense.

Or, as Reilly explains:

Getting buy-in for the long-term benefits SEO can bring is integral. When faced with adversity, companies that are able to continue improving their website and market themselves effectively do tend to reap the rewards from it when out of the other side. Though, as we did during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, giving some payment flexibility is also something we’re keen to do.

A forecasting exercise can be useful to achieve this, as well.

Once you explain how achieving desired ranking targets will bring additional sessions, conversions, and revenue, the mid- and long-term benefits become visible from a business perspective.

By comparing costs and results with their Google Ads spend equivalent, you get an external benchmark that makes your argument more compelling.

4 SEO Experts Share Key Actions To Raise Client SatisfactionImage by SEOmonitor, October 20224 SEO Experts Share Key Actions To Raise Client Satisfaction

Bonus Tip: Always Show How You’re Moving The Needle

This insight comes from The SEO Works, giving you even more arguments to be proactive in client communications and explain the real impact of your work:

Focusing on tasks that move the needle and prioritizing them is key in uncertain times.

There are so many improvements you can make for a website in SEO that it’s difficult to isolate the tasks that are really going to be impactful in terms of obtaining rankings, traffic, and conversions. Add the complexity of different website types (such as ecommerce, brochure, single page apps), CMS platforms and business areas, and this becomes even more unclear.

When we audit a site or draw up tasks for the upcoming quarter, prioritizing impactful work should be the cornerstone.

In addition to assessing the site thoroughly to get a full picture of where a site is at, it’s important to take stock of what issues are raised and consider what the resource cost for both ourselves and the client will be when advising what to tackle.

SEO projects are always going to be undertaken within the confines of a budget, and it’s essential to be able to adhere to this by working as efficiently as possible and prioritizing the correct tasks.

For example, it’s pointless to commit several developer tickets and campaign hours to work on improving a Core Web Vitals score by a few points if the content is unable to be crawled and assessed by Google in the first place.

In addition to the actual tasks, observing our workflow and using tools to minimize repetitive manual work, such as using scripts to automatically test redirects and status codes can be hugely beneficial to project efficiency.

In A Nutshell

Every conversation with stakeholders and clients is an opportunity to be proactive and tackle all uncertainties involving digital marketing budgets, SEO, and business objectives.

Being transparent, sharing potential issues and caveats as the market trends shift, and constantly connecting your SEO work with business KPIs are crucial to keeping churn low.

As you’ve seen from top digital marketing agencies and their advice, showing that you’re a business partner and care for the long-term experience becomes a winning strategy.

That’s why, at SEOmonitor, we’ve developed a forecasting solution that’s fully integrated with our daily ranking data, search data (search volumes, seasonality, and year-over-year trends), and has a transparent algorithm – so you know what makes your business case trustworthy and you can explain it, especially when everything feels uncertain.

Join us if you want to create trust and prove the business value of your SEO work.

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TikTok Moves Forward With Live Shopping In US

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TikTok is moving forward with plans to launch live shopping in the United States, despite an unsuccessful launch in the UK this summer.

The Financial Times reports TikTok is getting ready to launch live shopping ahead of the holiday season with several large brands.

Live shopping combines TikTok livestreams with ecommerce to allow viewers to buy products without leaving the app.

Think of it like QVC for the social media age.

Live shopping is transforming ecommerce in Asian markets but is struggling to take off in the West.

In July, TikTok abandoned live shopping in the UK after it failed to meet expectations.

A launch in the US will make it the second time TikTok has tried to launch live shopping outside Asia. However, this time will be different, as TikTok isn’t doing it alone.

TikTok is set to partner with Los Angeles-based TalkShopLive to bring live shopping to the United States.

TalkShopLive has four years of experience running shopping streams and the infrastructure necessary to bring TikTok’s vision to life.

The Financial Times reports TikTok and TalkShopLive are still finalizing arrangements, and no contracts have been signed. That’s likely why there’s no official announcement yet.

There’s considerable incentive for TikTok to succeed at live shopping, which is why we see the company continuing to push forward with this endeavor.

While brands and influencers make money selling merchandise, TikTok earns a commission on every purchase. The gamble on live shopping has the potential to pay dividends.

Live shopping is a massive success in China, where annual sales are in the hundreds of billions, though western consumers haven’t responded to it the same way.

Meta is learning that first-hand, as it shuttered Facebook Live Shopping at the beginning of October, saying consumers’ viewing habits are shifting to short-form video.

TikTok already has the short-form video market locked down. Now it wants to be the leader in live shopping.

With no established social media live shopping competitors, there’s perhaps no better time for TikTok to move into the US market.

What that means for businesses remains to be seen. We don’t know if TikTok live shopping will be open to all interested businesses or only limited brands.

We’ll likely learn more when TikTok finalizes details and makes an official announcement.


Sources: Financial Times (1, 2, 3), Meta

Featured Image: Chaay_Tee/Shutterstock

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