November 2017

08- Nov2017
Posted By: DPadmin
174 Views

How do explainer videos boost your SEO ranking? 

How do explainer videos boost your SEO ranking?

Explainer videos are becoming a very popular digital marketing tool. They are used on company websites, on the second largest search engine in the world- YouTube, and as a significant part of social media ad campaigns to create a social buzz.

Explainer videos often contain captivating visual cues and fun animation that make the visitor want to watch it till the end and share it with friends. Data from this study indicates that shoppers who view videos are 1.81 times more likely to make a purchase than shoppers who don’t.

What’s more, this website states that simply having an explainer video on your website makes you 58% more likely to achieve the holy grail of SEO – appear on page one of google organic search results page. How exactly do explainer videos achieve these seemingly amazing feats? Read on to find out.

Keeps your visitors on your website

Laptop illustration

Google’s algorithms may be unfathomable to the average user and sometimes even expert SEO agencies are unable to completely unravel the mysteries of google, however, Michelle Blake, SEO expert at Infintech Designs says “We know for sure that google keeps track of how long visitors stay on a website, as this indicates that the website has useful and engaging content. The average website visit time is 8 seconds.

An engaging explainer video can keep a visitor on your website for up to two minutes, sometimes even longer if they decide to watch it a second time.” This represents a 1500% increase in your average web visit time. This increase in web site visit time can increase your SEO ranking because it makes google classify your site as very useful.

This explains one of the ways in which having an explainer video boosts your ranking on search engine return page.

Google + YouTube is the ultimate combination

Although google may seem to eclipse other search engines, it is crucial that you rank highly on other search engines as well. Did you know that YouTube is currently the second largest search engine and the third largest social media website in the world?

The only way to show up on a YouTube search is to upload a video that could either be independent or used for a YouTube push ad campaign. A captivating and interesting explainer video gives you exposure on YouTube which in turn translates to increased website traffic.

Everybody knows that website traffic is an important factor in Google’s algorithm for SEO ranking. Although YouTube can be used as an independent digital marketing strategy thanks to its extensive reach and popularity, don’t forget to always leave information that links to your company’s webpage at the end of your explainer video.

Google SEO ranking likes video content

Google

Video content has increased in its popularity of use as a marketing tool and for regular online content. Explainer videos are a fun and easy way to learn about different topics no matter how complex.  62% of google search return always include websites with video content. This means that a person is more likely to happen upon a search result that has web content (more exposure for your company).

More importantly, it is also an indication to the fact that google places more emphasis on websites that have video content and are more likely to return a higher ranking for your website if it has video content. Even more interesting is the fact that from this search study carried out by Searchmetrics, 80% of video content returns came from YouTube.

It follows naturally that if you want your website to have a higher ranking then use video content. Improve your chances of being ranked higher than other video content when you upload it using Google’s own YouTube.

Explainer videos attract more inbound links

How do they do that? Explainer videos are sharable. Sharing your videos mean you are getting free promotions based on the fact that people love your explainer video. It is a known fact that animated videos are the most shared type of marketing content.

Shared videos mean more inbound links and more traffic to your website which will in turn increase your ranking on search return pages.

Apart from the impact on your SEO, having a cute and shareable explainer video that people share provides you with free marketing and can help create a buzz on social media for your company.

One word – video thumbnails (oops that was two words)

The appeal of the visual element can never be overstated. If your video appears in a search, google pulls up a thumbnail for it.  Thanks to the appeal of a visual cue, the searcher is more likely to click on the video thumbnail.

If you added your video metadata and created a video sitemap in addition to uploading the video on YouTube and embedding it on your website, then Google will associate the video with your web page.

This is a good way to harness the value of having a video on your webpage and converting it to increased website traffic which in turn improves your SEO ranking.

Viral videos

Technically there’s no real way to make a video go viral. You can only create a great video and put it out there while hoping that the stars align and your video goes viral. Several explainer videos have gone viral before.

A viral video often translate into thousands of views, and sometimes even millions. Again this often translates to heavy website traffic that is a significant factor for a website’s organic search ranking.

Videos in general, and particularly, a very well created explainer video is very important for web page ranking. A good SEO strategy that does not incorporate the use of explainer video is missing a huge piece of the puzzle.

While videos are not good to be used as a standalone SEO strategy, when added to other elements that affect organic search engine ranking the effect is often synergistic and can result in immediate and noticeable boosts to your SEO.

Some may argue that these effects are indirect and as such only have minimal value but the statistics show that these indirect effects when wielded properly has the capacity to result in optimal results.

Source: How do explainer videos boost your SEO ranking? | Easier

08- Nov2017
Posted By: DPadmin
166 Views

How blockchain will impact search marketing

Maybe you’ve heard of blockchain, but why should you care? Contributor Tony Edward describes the dramatic impact the technology could have on digital marketing and advertising.

If you’ve heard of Bitcoin then you most likely have heard of blockchain, the technology that enables Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to exist and function. The technology is forecast to disrupt many industries as it allows users to conduct transactions without a middleman in a secure and transparent format.

Some of the industries that can potentially be disrupted are car sales, voting, ridesharing, real estate, insurance, sports management, loyalty cards and gun tracking. While the search marketing industry is not as mainstream as the aforementioned industries, it can also be potentially disrupted by blockchain.

Now, before we go any further, this article is not about Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. However, if Bitcoin is adopted by large companies such as Amazon or Walmart, it will certainly have an impact on the future of payments between search marketing agencies, website owners, advertisers and others. Contract agreements will also be impacted, as the blockchain could be leveraged for more transparency and accuracy.

What is blockchain

Here is a great definition of blockchain offered by Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of a 2016 book called “Blockchain Revolution”:

The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.

Blockchain ExplainedImage courtesy of weforum.org

In layman’s terms, it’s like a Google Doc spreadsheet that is shared with the public which displays transactions and is tamperproof. Many are considering blockchain to be as impactful as the internet was in the ’90s.

Impact on search engine marketing (SEM)

In the digital marketing world, many central authorities, such as Google and Facebook, connect advertisers with website owners. For example, Google is a central authority in programmatic ads, where it helps advertisers run ads on websites via the Google Display Network. Google essentially is the middleman that helps advertisers and website owners trust each other. If they already trusted each other, they would not need Google as an intermediary taking a cut of the profits.

Without Blockchain Google Website Owner and AdvertiserEnter blockchain, which can verify that every user is genuine with 100 percent accuracy and that the website owner is only charging the advertiser for genuine clicks through to their site. Then the website owner and the advertiser don’t need a middleman to arbitrate their agreement, which would save them both money. Blockchain presents a big threat to Google’s display network revenue.

With Blockchain Advertiser and Website OwnerBlockchain being the unhackable distributed ledger is going to also help reduce online fraud. It will provide transparency for persons involved in a transaction without giving away their personal details, essentially proving they are a real person. Ad fraud is a big problem: It cost advertisers over $7 billion in 2016. A number of players — including Microsoft, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and DMA (in partnership with MetaX) —  are already working on blockchain-based digital identification systems.

Impact on search engine optimization (SEO)

As companies start to adopt blockchain, they will need to integrate it within their websites. This involves the web developers as well as the SEOs, if they are trying to gain organic search benefits as well as display the information from the blockchain transactions.

This will present both technical issues and opportunities in which SEOs will have to work alongside developers to resolve compatibility issues with different content management systems and website platforms. I have noticed that the Schema community has already started to work on Schema Markup for blockchain certificates and user ID profiles. Both items are a work in progress and have not yet been published on Schema.org.

Here is a glimpse of what the codes for both items looks like.

Blockchain certificates

The following sample markup (from our company) is in JSON-LD format. Full details can be viewed on GitHub.

Blockchain Certificate Schema Markup

Blockchain user ID profiles

The following sample markup is in JSON-LD format. Full details can be viewed on Blockstack and GitHub.

Blockchain User ID Profile Schema MarkupAs new blockchains are developed and it is more widely adopted, it will certainly disrupt the search marketing industry in many other ways. For now, search marketers should pay close attention to blockchain as it grows.

Source: How blockchain will impact search marketing

08- Nov2017
Posted By: DPadmin
139 Views

Audience targeting using Google AdWords

Marketing comes in different forms and it is usually with the purpose of advertising a product, brand or service. In this article, we will discuss one of those forms, namely: Google AdWords

What is AdWords?

AdWords is a system of marketing products and services on Google’s search engine and all Google-affiliated sites. It involves using text advertisement that shows up when words related to your product or service are entered into the search engine.

You have the power to determine where the ad will be seen by using paid search and the higher you pay per click, the more likely that you have your ad appear more – although this requires bidding against other marketers. Pay Per Click (PPC) simply means you only pay what you budgeted for advertising when someone clicks on your ad.

How It Works

There some elements that are key to maximizing Google AdWords and these are:

Quality Score

This is a score that is accessed by how relevant your ad is to the one searching and it shows how well your keywords respond to a search typed into the search engine. It is the likelihood of your ad getting clicked which determines the quality score and this also includes your landing page usefulness and how often your page was visited.

The quality score carries a lot of power in determining whether your ad appears first before the other competitors, regardless of the bid results. It is important to note that the higher your quality score, the lower your cost.

Bidding

The two options available for bidding on Google AdWords are:

Cost per Click (CPC) or Pay per Click (PPC)

This is the price you are willing to pay for a click on your advertisement; it is called Cost Per Click (CPC) or Pay Per Click (PPC). It is the most common method and it is within range of the budget for your CPC or PPC that Google uses to bring the maximum click you can get.

Cost per Impression (CPM)

In this case, you pay for every 1000 times your ad appears on the search result page (SERP) and has nothing to do with whether your ad was clicked or not.

What goes on behind the scenes from when the search is keyed in is that, an auction is held by Google AdWords and the ad with the highest bid and quality score is picked as the top ad which will be featured on the search page result all under 0.26 seconds

What you bid is not usually what you pay – what you pay is determined by the AdRank of the competitor lower than yours. So, actual Cost Per Click equals competitor AdRank, divided by your quality score.

How It Targets

For every product or service, there is a target market, so your advertising should be able to reach your targeted audience and communicate with them in a way that they will understand. Google AdWords enables you to use targeting methods that will determine where your ads will appear.

Target Methods

  • Keyword targeting: Your ad will show only when certain keywords you have chosen are entered into the search engine.
  • Device targeting: You may want to be more specific on how and where your adverts show up by choosing a certain type of device, time of the day, etc.
  • Location and language targeting: This targets a particular race or location, depending on the geographical setting and language of your customers.
  • Audience targeting: This targets people that have particular interests as they browse through the net on different apps; pick from the Affinity audience or In-market audience.
  • Placement targeting: This requires picking the websites you want your ad to feature – websites your customers visit, or one that holds complimentary or contrasting services to yours.
  • Topic targeting: With this, you target your ad on pages that are about certain topics selected by you.
  • Remarketing: This allows you to target your ad towards people who have interacted with your business or websites before.

Steps to Add Targeting Methods

  1.    Go to ‘Display Network’ found under ‘All campaign’
  2.    Click ‘add targeting’ where you can choose your target method stated above
  3.    Simply close to save your ad group

Target Controls

There are two options as well that must be set for each target method you choose and they are:

Target and Bid

Your advertisement only shows the target method you have chosen and you can only bid for each targeting method.

Bid Only

You are not restricted to your chosen target method, but you can only set bids for individual targeting.

Conclusion

It is important that you maximize your Google AdWords account by ensuring you create a highly targeted Ad group and be strategic with your bidding.

You are free to combine as many target methods that works for your products and services and depending on your setting, you are able to have your ad show on Google affiliate sites.

Google AdWords management may be helpful and necessary if you are still not sure on all the methods, target groups and strategies you need to engage, see Matter for transparent with AdWords management. You have the power to increase your sales and get your brand out there, so make use Google AdWords today.

Source: Audience targeting using Google AdWords

08- Nov2017
Posted By: DPadmin
151 Views

Top 10 SEO Mistakes Affiliates Make

Affiliate marketing is powerful when SEO and affiliate goals all push in the same direction. But you have to avoid these 10 SEO mistakes.

Affiliate marketing can be really powerful when SEO and affiliate goals all push in the same direction.

Yet it’s also painfully clear that many affiliate marketers are missing out on substantial, sustainable growth by ignoring SEO – or making mistakes that hurt the effectiveness of their affiliate campaigns.

To help you avoid these common blunders, I reached out to Adam Riemer, affiliate marketer and online marketing strategist, and Scott Polk, SEO strategist and CEO of Marketing Nomads.

With their help, I’ve compiled this list of the top 10 SEO mistakes affiliates make.

top seo mistakes affiliates make

Mistake #1: Focusing on Keywords Instead of Solutions

A lot of affiliate sites plug keywords onto their landing pages without pausing to think about how their products benefit their customers. Riemer said this is the number 1 faux pas most affiliates make.

“The biggest mistake I see SEO wise is that they focus on keywords and not providing solutions,” Riemer said. “Keywords are important because they are what have traffic, so use them as a base, but create solutions where your affiliate relationships will provide value and help solve a problem.”

Riemer illustrates with an example:

“If you have a hardware or home repair site, don’t optimize for sub-pumps and drywall. Instead, optimize for how to fix a hole in drywall and incorporate the products in. With the sub-pump, think about the tools and the parts you’ll need to successfully solve the issue and use affiliate links for them.”

Bottom line: Don’t just list your product’s bells and whistles or rely too much on keywords. Show your potential customers how much better their life is going to be after they buy your product.

Mistake #2: Relying on Affiliate Marketing as Your Only Revenue Stream

Another common mistake affiliates make is treating affiliate marketing as a business model instead of a revenue channel, according to Polk.

“There is nothing wrong with self-labeling yourself as an affiliate — just do not treat your business in this manner,” Polk said. “Affiliate marketing is a revenue channel, if it’s the only channel you are using to monetize your traffic, then you may be doing it wrong.”

Bottom line: Diversify your revenue channels and don’t put all your eggs in the “affiliate marketing” basket.

Mistake #3: Not Producing Original Content

Too many affiliate sites are little more than content-less shells with lists of products. You can spur traffic to these sites with PPC ads, but what happens when your advertising dollars run out? Your site will sink.

“A real site has real value and unique content for your visitors,” Polk said. “Why would a search engine want to rank your site over a vendor or the originator of the content? Answer: they generally do not. Yes, there are examples of sites that do rank, but the vast majority of sites that duplicate content do not rank well. You have to add value in order for the search engine to want to rank your site.”

Bottom line: Turn your affiliate site into a hub of useful information that will help it earn organic backlinks and keep customers coming back for more information as they conduct research.

Mistake #4: Forgetting to Delete Inactive Plugins and Themes

You need to be extra careful today about cybersecurity and customer privacy, which means one of the worst mistakes you could make is forgetting to delete inactive themes and plugins.

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t update inactive themes sitting idly on your site. You also might not bother to delete them. Unfortunately, this poses a significant threat to your cybersecurity.

Themes and plugins that sit idly on your site are easy targets for hackers. Regular updates help keep hackers at bay; when you forget or don’t bother to update, they often find ways to exploit old code and create a backdoor to your site by hiding malicious code inside them. Hackers can also hide malicious code in your uploads directory, wp-config.php file, and your wp-includes directory.

So make sure you’re regularly combing your website for suspicious code, updating everything you use to the latest versions, and removing any inactive themes and plugins ASAP.

Bottom line: Make sure all of your themes and plugins are always up to date, and if you’re not using certain themes and plugins, delete them and make sure they’re gone.

Mistake #5: Missing or Duplicating Meta Descriptions

Here’s a simple recommendation that a lot of affiliate sites are missing out on: ensure your listings’ titles and meta descriptions are relevant and unique. These appear as snippets in the SERPs and go a long way toward setting you apart from your competitors.

If you don’t have the resources to write unique descriptions for every one of your products, here’s a simple hack: upload the first paragraph of each page. It may not be perfect or optimized, but it’s better than nothing.

You can also use popular plugins like Yoast SEO (the best WordPress plugin for basic on-site SEO) to create custom templates for your meta descriptions, which makes the whole process a lot easier, or you can try out a plugin that automatically generates meta descriptions, such as SmartCrawl.

Bottom line: Differentiating your products with unique meta descriptions will help your affiliate pages rise through SERPs and sets you apart from your competitors.

Mistake #6: Ignoring Mobile Optimization

Most affiliate sites look awful on mobile devices. This is unfortunate because they’re missing out on a huge opportunity to possibly edge out big brands in mobile SERPs.

“As far as mobile and SEO go, the biggest issues are site speed, especially because of images, plugins that aren’t being used and also forgetting to include ways to get to your website or landing page from an AMP version,” Riemer explained. “If you’re an affiliate and you’re competing against huge brands, they often have red tape which prevents them from using proper image sizes, and they can have tons of excessive scripts weighing their sites down. By creating a faster experience that also provides value, you may be able to outrank them because of their red tape.”

Bottom line: Prioritize mobile optimization. This is especially true since Google is switching to mobile-first indexing.

Mistake #7: Using Free Web Hosting Solutions

Riemer and Polk are generally in favor of WPEngine as a hosting solution, but they warn against free solutions.

“Do not use Wix or Squarespace or any other free web hosting solutions – this is not how you build a real site or business,” Polk said. “These services can change their TOS or even go out of business. You do not own the site design or architecture, and you have less control over elements that will assist with rankings. Own your site, content, and data – always.”

Bottom line: Affiliates need to treat hosting solutions seriously. Cheaping out on a hosting solution could compromise your control over your site – or, worse, endanger your customers.

Mistake #8: Highly-Irrelevant Backlinks

Backlinks are the bread and butter of affiliate sites, but irrelevant backlinks are liable to get you in trouble with Google – they may even be considered link schemes, which will do more harm than good.

The best way to avoid this? Ensure that your affiliate pages all add significant value to anyone who lands on them.

Try to get your affiliate links hosted on sites with a modicum of authority. You can use SEO tools to judge the quality of your backlinks and identify those that might be devaluing your affiliate site.

Bottom line: When reaching out to sites to host affiliate links make sure they’re relevant to your niche.

Mistake #9: Undefined Canonicals

Using canonical URLs will help you improve link and ranking signals for your content. It also makes life easier for your customers by syndicating your content which makes navigation simple and intuitive.

My best-practice advice when it comes to URL structure is to organize your site into silos. Introduce categories into your site structure and then clearly communicate those categories to your customers through the URLs they land on when they follow your affiliate links.

Check out the Google Search Console page for more information on using canonical URLs.

Bottom line: Canonical URLs are key for good content management on your affiliate site and improve your ranking signals.

Mistake #10: Pretending SEO Best Practices Don’t Apply to Affiliate SEO

You don’t get to ignore common SEO mistakes on your affiliate site. Broken links, 404 errors, duplicate content, thin content, and too many redirects are all issues that need to be weeded out.

Download a comprehensive suite of SEO tools that can check your site health for you. This will help you find and eliminate errors that impact your crawlability such as broken links, while also identifying and problematic content you need to correct.

SEO is a lot of work, but the rewards are well worth it — not only will you clean up your site internally, but you’ll also improve your crawl budget, make navigation easier for your customers, and possibly improve your site speed in the process!

“SEO for affiliates is not different than for a merchant or any other site,” Polk reminds us. “The search engines do not care – your site is valued on what you provide your users.”

Bottom line: Affiliate sites need SEO just as badly as other websites, so don’t neglect regular site maintenance and clean-up.

Conclusion

Don’t underestimate the impact SEO will have on affiliate marketing in the long run.

PPC ads are a great way to attract early leads and get some attention to your affiliate site, but if you want to supercharge your conversions, grow your affiliate site over the long-term and cultivate strong organic links, then there’s really no beating SEO.

Source: Top 10 SEO Mistakes Affiliates Make

08- Nov2017
Posted By: DPadmin
152 Views

5 Tips for a Successful SEO Strategy for Your Business

5 Tips for a Successful SEO Strategy for Your Business

The nature of business today requires a wide brand visibility to harness the best opportunities that show up in the market. Advancement in technology and changes in communication systems across the world give businesses great marketing opportunities through online platforms and search engine optimization. SEO is an online marketing tool that is extremely important for small business, as it allows them to increase their customer and client base by leveraging the internet and search engines such as Google. Good rankings on search engines can translate into lucrative business opportunities for an organization that implements the following five tips for a successful SEO strategy.

Narrow the Focus

SEO efforts should work to achieve a unified goal. Even though one might want to diversify the objectives and goals of the business to compete on different levels with the rivals, this method can sometimes lead to great regrets. The best thing to do is consolidating all the resources and expertise to create specialized content. Aim at one thing and build on it with consolidated efforts to make your SEO more effective. Focus your keywords on the main aspect of the business and you will get more traffic and have great rankings in Seo Companies Toronto Narrowed focus gives you time to perfect your content.

Use Long-tail Keyword

Strong keywords are the founding blocks of successful SEO marketing and having long-tail keywords helps you focus on an idea and purpose. Long-tail keywords are longer phrases that have a tacit summary of the content of your business. For instance, the title above “5 Tips for a Successful SEO Strategy for Your Business’’ is an example of long tail keyword structure. Creating such keywords for your businesses will increase the brand visibility by getting better ratings on Google. If you use them well will the top-ranked business in your industry.

Get custom-made SEO Tactics

SEO marketing is extremely competitive. You must be creative and unique to get outstanding command of the market. You must be willing to cash in your efforts, resources, and take time to plan and strategize. Unique content and website design are effective competitive tools to use. Many people will recognize your business by the level of its differentiation from other businesses. Look for the services of reputable people in the industry to help you with making your content unique, as it will generate more traffic and brand visibility. Most importantly, don’t try to copy other businesses.

Choose the Best SEO Service Provider

When choosing an SEO service provider, you must always ensure that they can offer nothing but the best for your business. Don’t rush into making choices that will suppress your business growth and crush all the efforts you have put in to expand your brand visibility. Service providers such as SEO Toronto offer some of the best services for businesses. Have a list of all service providers around your area and choose the best among them. A good service provider will give you authentic SEO marketing and good ranking to propel your business to the next level.

Source: 5 Tips for a Successful SEO Strategy for Your Business

08- Nov2017
Posted By: DPadmin
55 Views

A brief history of Google’s most important local search updates

How has Google’s local search changed throughout the years? Columnist Brian Smith shares a timeline of events and their impact on brick-and-mortar businesses.

Deciphering the Google algorithm can sometimes feel like an exercise in futility. The search engine giant has made many changes over the years, keeping digital marketers on their toes and continually moving the goalposts on SEO best practices.

Google’s continuous updating can hit local businesses as hard as anyone. Every tweak and modification to its algorithm could adversely impact their search ranking or even prevent them from appearing on the first page of search results for targeted queries. What makes things really tricky is the fact that Google sometimes does not telegraph the changes it makes or how they’ll impact organizations. It’s up to savvy observers to deduce what has been altered and what it means for SEO and digital marketing strategies.

What’s been the evolution of local search, and how did we get here? Let’s take a look at the history of Google’s local algorithm and its effect on brick-and-mortar locations.

2005: Google Maps and Local Business Center become one

After releasing Local Business Center in March 2005, Google took the next logical step and merged it with Maps, creating a one-stop shop for local business info. For users, this move condensed relevant search results into a single location, including driving directions, store hours and contact information.

This was a significant moment in SEO evolution, increasing the importance of up-to-date location information across store sites, business listings and online directories.

2007: Universal Search & blended results

Universal Search signified another landmark moment in local search history, blending traditional search results with various listings from other search engines. Instead of working solely through the more general, horizontal SERPs, Universal Search combined results from Google’s vertical-focused search queries like Images, News and Video.

Google’s OneBox started to show within organic search results, bringing a whole new level of exposure that was not there before.  The ramifications on local traffic were profound, as store listings were better positioned to catch the eye of Google users.

2010: Local Business Center becomes Google Places

In 2010, Google rebranded/repurposed Local Business Center and launched Google Places. This was more than a mere name change, as a number of important updates were included, like adding new image features, local advertising options and the availability of geo-specific tags for certain markets. But more importantly, Google attempted to align Places pages with localized search results, where previously information with localized results was coming from Google Maps.

The emergence of Places further cemented Google’s commitment to bringing local search to the forefront. To keep up with these rapidly changing developments, brick-and-mortar businesses needed to make local search a priority in their SEO strategies.

2012: Google goes local with Venice

Prior to Venice, Google’s organic search results defaulted to more general nationwide sites. Only Google Maps would showcase local options. With the Venice update, Google’s algorithm could take into account a user’s stated location and return organic results reflecting that city or state. This was big, because it allowed users to search anchor terms without using local modifiers.

The opportunity for companies operating in multiple territories was incredible. By setting up local page listings, businesses could effectively rank higher on more top-level queries just by virtue of being in the same geographic area as the user. A better ranking with less effort — it was almost too good to be true.

2013: Hummingbird spreads its wings

Hummingbird brought about significant changes to Google’s semantic search capabilities. Most notably, it helped the search engine better understand long-tail queries, allowing it to more closely tie results to specific user questions — a big development in the eyes of main search practitioners.

Hummingbird forced businesses to change their SEO strategies to adapt and survive. Simple one- or two-word phrases would no longer be the lone focal point of a healthy SEO plan, and successful businesses would soon learn to target long-tail keywords and queries — or else see their digital marketing efforts drop like a stone.

2014: Pigeon takes flight

Two years after Venice brought local search to center stage, the Pigeon update further defined how businesses ranked on Google localized SERPs. The goal of Pigeon was to refine local search results by aligning them more directly with Google’s traditional SEO ranking signals, resulting in more accurate returns on user queries.

Pigeon tied local search results more closely with deep-rooted ranking signals like content quality and site architecture. Business listings and store pages needed to account for these criteria to continue ranking well on local searches.

2015: RankBrain adds a robotic touch

In another major breakthrough for Google’s semantic capabilities, the RankBrain update injected artificial intelligence into the search engine. Using RankBrain’s machine learning software, Google’s search engine was able to essentially teach itself how to more effectively process queries and results and more accurately rank web pages.

RankBrain’s ability to more intelligently process page information and discern meaning from complex sentences and phrases further drove the need for quality content. No more gaming the system. If you wanted your business appearing on the first SERP, your site had better have the relevant content to back it up.

2015: Google cuts back on snack packs

A relatively small but important update, in 2015, Google scaled back its “snack pack” of local search results from seven listings to a mere three. While this change didn’t affect the mechanics of SEO much, it limited visibility on page one of search results and further increased the importance of ranking high in local results.

2016: Possum shakes things up

The Possum update was an attempt to level the playing field when it came to businesses in adjoining communities. During the pre-Possum years, local search results were often limited to businesses in a specific geographical area. This meant that a store in a nearby area just outside the city limits of Chicago, for instance, would have difficulty ranking and appearing for queries that explicitly included the word “Chicago.”

Instead of relying solely on search terms, Possum leveraged the user’s location to more accurately determine what businesses were both relevant to their query and nearby.

This shift to user location is understandable given the increasing importance of mobile devices. Letting a particular search phrase dictate which listings are returned doesn’t make much sense when the user’s mobile device provides their precise location.

2017 and beyond

Predicting when the next major change in local search will occur and how it will impact ranking and SEO practices can be pretty difficult, not least because Google rarely announces or fully explains its updates anymore.

That being said, here are some evergreen local SEO tips that never go out of fashion (at least not yet):

  • Manage your local listings for NAP (name, address, phone number) accuracy and reviews.
  • Be sure to adhere to organic search best practices and cultivate localized content and acquire local links for each store location.
  • Mark up your locations with structured data, particularly Location and Hours, and go beyond if you are able to.

When in doubt, look at what your successful competitors are doing, and follow their lead. If it works, it works — that is, until Google makes another ground-shaking algorithm change.

Source: A brief history of Google’s most important local search updates

08- Nov2017
Posted By: DPadmin
93 Views

This ‘Unmeasurable’ SEO Metric Is Incredibly Important

Getting the most out of an SEO campaign is all about measuring the results — everything comes down to data. Examining KPIs sheds light on what’s working and what’s not. That’s all well and good for most metrics like keyword rankings, organic search traffic, referring domain volume and so on. We have plenty of tools and data to do just that. However, there’s one particular SEO metric that’s impossible to measure but incredibly important.

Measuring The Unmeasurable

The unmeasurable metric I’m referring to here is — drum roll — brand signals. Brand signals contribute to your business’s credibility and authority. When I say brand signals, I mean going beyond just signals in the technical sense and looking closer into the actual perception of your brand in the mind of the user. I’m talking about going deep into the essence of how people truly perceive your brand.

Unfortunately, there’s no section on Google Analytics that tells you this straight up. You’ve got to do some digging. So how do you measure what your audience thinks about your brand and how much equity you carry? How do you measure the unmeasurable and make tactical brand mention measurements?

Here are a few ways to connect the dots:

Direct Traffic

I’m going to start with the absolute basics. While direct traffic doesn’t enable you to measure the number of brand mentions per se, it can give you a reasonable idea of how your brand equity is growing. That’s because the vast majority of direct traffic consists of visitors either typing in your URL directly or bookmarking your site on their browser, both of which are obvious indicators of brand knowledge and a receptiveness to your brand.

While there are other instances of direct traffic that essentially boil down to data “not being provided,” the volume your site receives should allow you to make an initial assessment. Any change in direct traffic is an indicator of changes to your brand awareness. In other words, a spike in direct traffic tends to mean an increase in brand awareness and vice versa.

Branded Terms In SERPs

A bit of research with Google search can also lend some insight. It’s very simple, but it should give you a good idea of what the current state of your brand equity is like. For starters, you’ll want to enter your brand name. Ideally, you will appear in the No. 1 organic position or close to it. That’s a good sign.

If you’re a local business, you’ll also want to enter a targeted keyword phrase and a local term. For my company NAV43, an example would be “digital advertising agency Toronto.” Popping up in the local three pack is ideal, but appearing near it is good as well. For instance, we’re ranked fifth overall in organic search results beneath the local three pack.

These two simple searches should give you a better idea of what overall user knowledge is like.

Addressing The Aspect Of Perception

Now it gets a little trickier. How can you measure perception in the mind of the user? Perhaps the most obvious route is to simply examine social media follower volume and growth. This can provide some level of insight, but let’s take it one step further and really get into the crux of the matter. What you really need to find out is how many people are talking about your brand and what they’re saying.

One of my favorite ways to quickly generate some tangible data is to use BuzzSumo. Just type in your brand name to see how many people are sharing your content and how many people are talking about your brand.

Customer Reviews

According to Search Engine Land, “88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.” So you can bet that the quantity and overall sentiment of your customer reviews heavily impact your brand equity.

This is especially true for local brands, where a few negative comments can potentially kill your foot traffic. Taking a look at some of the major customer review sites such as Google My Business, Yelp and so on should give you a bird’s eye view of things.

Monitoring Mentions

Finally, you can learn a lot by monitoring the volume of mentions your brand receives along with the context. One of my favorite tools for this is Mention. This aptly named platform allows you to monitor your brand’s reputation online and provides real-time updates whenever something is said.

It also includes a scoring system that lets you know how much influence someone has when mentioning your brand. For instance, praise from someone with 100,000 followers would carry much more weight than someone with only 100. There are, of course, several other platforms that offer similar services, which you can find out about here.

Brand signals are an extremely important SEO metric and contribute to the success (or failure) of your company in several different ways. Although they’re not measurable in the conventional sense like many other elements of SEO, you can still get a baseline reading with these techniques and work your way up from there.

Source: This ‘Unmeasurable’ SEO Metric Is Incredibly Important

08- Nov2017
Posted By: DPadmin
115 Views

B2B SEO Requires an Integrated Approach 

Complex products and long buying cycles make search engine optimization for B2B sites different than for B2C.

The difference, however, is not in the specific techniques, but in the way SEO and other marketing tactics are integrated to help a B2B ecommerce company perform well in search engines. For B2C, SEO can perform as a standalone channel. But for B2B it is part of several marketing tactics working together.

“If you look at the SEO side of this, the fundamentals are all just exactly the same” as those for business-to-consumer SEO, said Jon Quinton, CEO of Overdrive Digital, a marketing firm, during a November 2016 SEMrush webinar.

“You have to have a site that is technically sound. You have to be relevant to the search queries that people are putting in. You have to have a certain degree of popularity and authority in order to rank, but … the approach [for B2B] …. is very different and often needs to be very different.”

Complex Products

Even seemingly mundane products can be relatively more complex to find, choose, and manage in the B2B channel.

For example, imagine a brick-and-mortar cowboy boot retailer with 20 stores in the Western United States. The company wants to order custom shopping bags for its stores, but it cannot just go out and order the first bags it finds.

The retailer will need to select finishes like matte, gloss, foil, or laminate; choose printing techniques; and even decide whether the extra $432 in setup fees each time it orders is worth it for two-sided printing.

It will also be important to know the supplier’s lead times are and how much the bags will cost.

This level of complexity can make it difficult to simply search for shopping bags on Google and find a good source in even the top 20 or more results.

Consensus Required

The B2B purchase process may require a consensus of several individuals.

Let’s continue with the example of a cowboy boot retailer looking online for custom printed shopping bags.

Unless the retail business is very small, it is likely that at least four individuals or groups will be involved in the buying decision.

First, there will be a person tasked with the initial research. This person may work in the purchasing department or even the marketing department and probably has a title like “assistant,” “specialist,” or “coordinator.”

Next, there will likely be a graphic designer who will want input on bag color, material, logo options, and graphic layout.

A brand manager, art director, or marketing director will need to approve everything the graphic designer selected, and someone from the operations group will weigh in on whether or not the bags are feasible. Will they hold large boot boxes? Do they fit under the counters?

Along the way, each of these folks will presumably go to Google or Bing and search for shopping bags. None of them will use the same exact keyword phrase.

Longer Buying Cycle

Given the complexity of options and the number of folks involved, don’t be surprised if it takes weeks for a B2B buyer to actually make a purchase, even when she is just buying shopping bags.

To be fair, this shopping bag example is hypothetical. Some B2B ecommerce purchases will be fast and easy. But others might be even more complex than shopping bags.

These complex purchases are going to require more work than simply attracting someone’s attention for a single query or a couple of keywords. What’s more, some B2B searches are dominated by third parties.

Integrated Approach

“There was a time when ranking number one for a keyword was a victory wholly worth pursuing — a time when you could build a list of keywords, craft 300-word blog posts, and your site would drive new business. That is no longer the case,” wrote Directive Consulting CEO, Garrett Mehrguth.

“In 2017, we have a different search engine, and it’s critically important that B2B companies understand this….If your B2B SEO strategy is based around ranking your own website instead of positioning your brand, you’re missing the bigger picture. The reality is that your own website is no longer the best answer in Google’s mind for the keywords that are lowest in the funnel. Google favors independent websites that allow visitors to compare and review their options (you can thank Yelp for this).”

Thus B2B ecommerce SEO may work best when it is integrated with the disciplines of search engine advertising, public relations, and content marketing. The goal is not to simply rank for a single keyword or even a group of keywords, but to surround those keywords with your brand.

This can take a few forms.

Search engine advertising. Purchase pay-per-click ads for the keywords your B2B ecommerce business is targeting for organic SEO. If you win the organic ranking, great. If not, you can still show the assistant, graphic designer, brand manager, and operations manager your products — no matter where they happen to be in the buying cycle. Also, use retargeting to follow B2B buyers.

Notice in this screen capture from Google for search results for "custom shopping bags" that some of the companies are buying multiple pay-per-click ads on the page.

Notice in this screen capture from Google for search results for “custom shopping bags” that some of the companies are buying multiple pay-per-click ads on the page.

Encourage reviews. Public relations and influencer marketing may help your B2B products earn reviews on popular sites. A third-party article describing how your custom shopping bags improved customer loyalty may appear much higher in search results than your own content and can still contribute to your sales.

Develop content for the entire buying process. Create useful articles and videos to address questions your prospects will have at each phrase of the buying cycle. This means helping the assistant who does the initial research organize options, helping the graphic designer, and even providing information for the folks in operations.

Ultimately, B2B ecommerce SEO may work best when you supplement your organic keywords with ads, influencers, and content.

Source: B2B SEO Requires an Integrated Approach | Practical Ecommerce

07- Nov2017
Posted By: DPadmin
193 Views

61 Facts About Shopify’s Success Story [Infographic]

This cloud-based, multichannel commerce platform powers over 400,000 online stores. Find out some interesting facts and stats about Shopify’s success story.

Shopify has most certainly become a leader in eCommerce since it was launched back in 2004. This cloud-based, multichannel commerce platform powers over 400,000 online stores and sells products worth more than $34 billion in total. Designed for small and medium-sized businesses, Shopify is easy to set up, use, and manage.

Shopify noted a monumental global growth, especially during the last few years. International brands like Budweiser and Foo Fighters are using Shopify as an ecommerce solution for reaching their targeted markets.

Check this Website Builder infographic to find out some interesting facts and stats that you probably didn’t know about Shopify’s success story.

Source: 61 Facts About Shopify’s Success Story [Infographic]