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7 Essential Elements of an Exceptional Blog Post

As a business owner, one of your main marketing goals is to create engaging and valuable content that will want your target audience coming back to your website for more. Blogging is among the important tool for every small business. Your blog should be eye-catching and provide all the key information your target audience is looking for. To be effective, you will need to know all the key elements of writing an exceptional blog post.

Catchy Topic

Your topic creates an impression and compels your target audience to click on your post. Be sure to carefully choose topics that will spark interest in your readers. Luckily, there are many tools available on the Internet, such as Google Trends, HubSpot Blog Topic Generator, and Buzz Sumo, that can help you generate unique blog topics that are relevant to your niche. Another way to create catchy and compelling topics is by taking feedback from your audience and gathering enough relevant information.

Powerful Headline

Writing a meaningful headline can catch the attention of your target audience to your blog. A blog post with a boring headline can easily get lost in the vast ocean of competitors online. 

Interesting Introduction

While writing a powerful headline can compel people to click on your website, having an interesting induction is key to converting site visitors into readers. Your blog introduction should give your readers an idea of what to expect from your content. You do not have to provide them with that whole picture of your topic, but just enough information to arouse inquisitiveness and curiosity.

Compelling Sub-Heading

In addition to headings, subheadings can effectively emphasize the main elements of the topic, guiding readers and making your blog post easier to read. Your subheading should contain relevant keywords to enable search engines to identify the content of your post and quickly convey key points to your readers. However, avoid inserting the keyword forcibly into the subheading. Make sure that the keywords sound natural in subheadings. 

Format the subheading using the title tag hierarchy. This means that you have to increasingly use a smaller heading format. While most blog posts use H2, you can isolate H2 if it has lengthy content and uses H3 instead. Be sure to use header tags properly.

Interesting Supporting Points

The body is the “meat” of your content that backs up your main topic. When writing a blog, make sure that your story or idea has interesting supporting points that will give your readers something they can sink their teeth into. Carefully lay out your ideas and how you will support them. Make a list of bullet points to organize your ideas. You can start writing the body using these as your main sections. 

Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA

Appealing Visuals

Humans are visual creatures who tend to react and process images much better than reading text. The human brain has a unique way to process complex information, making visualization extremely crucial. Using charts and graphs to explain complex information is much easier than explaining it through words. Do not forget to optimize your images for search and engage your target audience by making them more appealing. 

Compelling Call-to-Action

Once you have captured the attention of your audience with a compelling title, engaged them with an interesting introduction, and led them through the content body with interesting points, then it is time to wrap it up with an engaging call-to-action. 

Call-to-actions should be clear and actionable, giving your audience something to reflect on or respond to. Your call-to-action should effectively entice and encourage your audience to leave a review or comment, answer your question, or share your post on their social media profiles.

5 Best Social Media Strategies for Plumbers

Social media can be a great and cost-effective way to promote a business. Millions of people use it to search for local businesses that cater to their household needs, including plumbing. If you are a plumber, establishing a social media presence can offer numerous benefits to your business, such as attracting and connecting with new customers and building your brand. 

Despite the different social media platforms, getting started can be a bit overwhelming. However, once you learn the basic social media strategies and practices, you will be surprised by the benefits that come with it and even find yourself enjoying the process. 

Know Your Audience

Like other businesses, social media has helped many plumbers improve the concept and transparency of their services while providing their target market with relevant and informative content. To make it work, you need to know and meet where your target audience is at. 

Having the biggest active user base, Facebook is the best social media platform to promote your plumbing services, post updates, encourage customers to leave reviews, and share engaging and relevant content. Other social media channels popular for plumbers include YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, which have their own unique benefits and features. 

Give Customers Advice Online

Not every customer has the time to make a phone call in times of a plumbing disaster. Taking the time to answer their questions, diagnosing their issues online, and providing them with easy and quick plumbing tips can go a long way. Offering good customer service online and in person can help you build your reputation and position yourself as a helpful and proactive plumbing business. 

Use Your Expertise to Make a Good Impression

Many potential customers probe a plumber’s social media profile before hiring them. Establishing an active social media presence means you are always accessible to your customers and an industry leader (depending on the content you share and post on your social media account). Additionally, sharing industry new and helpful tips to your followers can set your business as an authoritative voice in the local plumbing community.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Post Regularly

Some business owners invest millions of dollars annually to track the best time and the frequency of their social media posts on various platforms. However, as a small or medium-sized business, the consistency and quality of your posts are your most important takeaways. You do not need to share 5 inferior blog posts—sharing a single interesting and informative post can get your audience’s attention. Additionally, posting relevant and engaging content every other week is better than blitzing your followers with more than 10 posts in a week and then going silent for the next 4 weeks. Consider which works best for you, make a plan, and stick with it. 

Content Ideas for Social Media Posts:

  • Blog posts and articles: People usually seek answers/solutions to plumbing questions on Google. Show your expertise by answering inquiries or offering solutions to the most common plumbing issues
  • Case studies are a great way to show your target audience the process you used in resolving various plumbing problems and reflect on the success of your work with previous customers.
  • Promotions: Drum up your business by keeping your followers updated with the current or upcoming sales or deals on your plumbing services.
  • Milestones: Celebrate with your followers by sharing your company achievements. It can also be a great way to offer them a promotion.

Engage With Your Audience

Social media is a great way to get social with your target audience and followers. In addition to providing helpful plumbing tips, you can engage with them by asking open-ended questions in your posts, responding to comments politely, and leading them to your website where they can obtain more information about your business and services. When done properly, you can encourage them to submit your contact form and even buy your services. 

6 Key Elements of a Killer Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing has increasingly grown in popularity over the years. Many businesses with an online presence use content marketing to build and strengthen their brand, attract prospects and retain loyal customers, and boost their bottom line. 

At the heart of every effective and successful content marketing effort are the core elements. Incorporating these elements into your content marketing strategy can boost audience engagement, improve brand awareness, and provide a healthy ROI to your business. To achieve these, you will need to develop a strategic method that demonstrates and targets your company’s realistic goals and measures results. 

In this post, you will learn the significant elements of content marketing and how you can implement them in your strategy. 

  1. Brand Story

Having a thorough understanding of the identity of your brand is crucial for communicating with your target audience. As a business owner, you need to identify who you are as a business, your values, your mission, and what your company does. These factors can help create your unique brand and develop a consistent personality and tone of voice to establish customer trust and confidence. In the fierce world of business, creating a unique brand story can make your voice stand out, setting you apart from the competition and resonating with your target market. 

  1. Audience Persona

It is impossible to tell your brand story without knowing who your target audience is. You will need to identify the audience whom you want to target with your content. Here are some tips to do this:

  • Study your existing customers
  • Get to know the latest trends in your industry
  • identify the people who you want to target 
  • Monitor the customers whom your competitors are targeting

  1. Style Guidelines

To develop consistently high-quality content, you need to follow documented style guidelines. It should cover key points from grammar and punctuation to the unique tone of your voice. Having a unique style guideline enables you to create consistent and well-written content that will engage your audience. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
  1. Business Case and Content Marketing Goals

For your content strategy to be successful, you must provide value to your target audience. It should not only capture new readers and followers, but it must also help drive your business forward. It starts with identifying the goals you want to achieve and determining the ways that will bring you closer to our objectives. For instance, find out the number of resources you need to invest in your content strategy and the results you want to attain. 

In addition to your content marketing goals, having a documented business case can help you gain a better understanding of the benefits and costs of content marketing strategy implementation. 

  1. Keywords

Well-written and engaging content is awesome, but you need to identify and use the right keywords to ensure that your content comes up in the top search results. Know the top keywords commonly used by your target audience and develop a strategic plan as to how your content assets can help you rank for the most crucial ones. 

  1. Action Plan

Lastly, you will need an effective action plan that puts together your primary content marketing campaign and projects that you want to achieve for the year. Consider how they will attain the goals that you have previously established for your business. A carefully thought-out action plan enables you to analyze each step to strategize your content marketing campaign. It should cover the following 

To help you choose the right formats and channels for your content, check your historical content performance and study your audience persona.

Proper implementation of these elements can make you feel confident with your content strategy. However, do not stop making improvements. Assess your strategy regularly and make the necessary adjustments. Always keep your strategy up-to-date and comprehensive to take your content marketing to new heights.

How to Create an SEO-Friendly FAQ Page

Did you know that you can use frequently asked questions (FAQs) to boost your website’s search engine optimization (SEO)?

That is right! Some questions on your FAQs page can appear on the search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive traffic to your website. 

Although you may have written complete and thorough content on your website, FAQs can efficiently help fill in the gaps and provide quick and straightforward answers to your customers. 

FAQ pages appeal to both search engines and people. Writing a thorough FAQ section on our website can effectively show your visitors that you care about their experience by providing them with a quick and direct response to their questions and their search queries. 

Here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your FAQ resource and make it both focused and comprehensive:

  1. Do Your Research

Before you start creating FAQs, make sure to identify the most common question that your target customers are asking online. Doing your research can help you write more targeted content for your FAQ section. You can get ideas from the questions that appear in SERPs that are related to your business. You can even make use of the ideas from related searches and existing People Also Ask boxes. 

Also, keyword research can also help you gather a list of words, phrases, and questions that your target audience frequently used to find information in search engines. You can target relevant keywords in your FAQs. Take, for instance, you run a plumbing company. You may come across keywords, such as “drain services,” and questions like “What to do when your drain becomes clogged?” You can use this information as a jump-off point for writing FAQ content. 

You can also find ideas for your FAQ section by looking at the types of searches that your website is showing up for through the Google My Business (GMB) listing. These insights can give you clues about the exact search queries your potential customers use to find your listing. 

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

  1. Optimize Your Questions & Answers

Putting together and optimizing your FAQ section will require you a few things to ensure that search engines can easily find, understand, and index your content. 

  • Follow Proper Formatting: Use header tags for the questions and regular body text for the answers to help both search engines and website visitors easily find relevant information on the page. 
  • Incorporate Keywords & Phrases: Making use of the keywords and phrases and strategically writing them into the question and answers can increase the likelihood of your content being displayed in Google SERPs. 
  • Answer Questions Clearly and Directly: Make sure to provide a straightforward answer within the first sentence of the paragraph, if possible. The closer the placement of your answer to the question, Google will more likely find and index it for relevant search queries. 

  1. Add FAQ Schema

FAQ schema is perhaps one of the most significant on-page SEO techniques you can use. Schema markup is a digital language that relays Google information about the website and how it should be indexed. 

Adding FAQ schema around your FAQ content enables you to communicate to Google how to categorize and use specific information for question-answer search results. Using this technique can help increase the chances of your content being picked into People Also Ask and Position Zero spots in SERPs. 

  1. Create Page-Specific FAQs

While having a designated page for FAQ on your website is a good idea, adding more FAQ content and structured data on other web pages, such as product pages, services pages, or event location pages, is also a great way to provide your target audience with more answers to specific questions about your company, your business offerings, and how they can get in touch with you. Also, providing Google with more indexable content to pull into SERPs can help further optimize your web pages. 

Black Hat SEO Techniques You Must Avoid This 2022

For marketers looking for a shortcut to boost their search engine rankings and increase online visibility, black hat SEO may seem to be the solution. However, if you are planning to use black hat SEO techniques, think twice as it can hurt your SEO campaign more than it can help.

What Is Black Hat SEO and Why You Should Avoid Them

Black Hat SEO is a set of illegal practices used to increase the search engine rankings and visibility of a website. The techniques used work against the search engine guidelines and disregard the user’s intent by attempting to bypass best practices.

While search engines consider the use of black hat SEO unscrupulous, there are still marketers who are still trying to cheat to speed up the organic success of their websites. Although black hat techniques may yield results, they do not last long and often involved damaging effects on your SEO, including:

  • Google Penalty

Violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines can get your website or pages penalized. Penalties can downgrade your search engine rankings or worse, a permanent ban on your website. When your target audience does not see your website on the SERPs, your business will fail as a result.

  • Poor User Experience

If your web pages look spammy, your visitors will likely abandon your website, resulting in a high bounce rate.

  • Malicious Cyber Attacks

While black hat SEO helps improve your search rankings, it can also make your website vulnerable to cyber attacks. Hackers can easily penetrate your databases and spread malware by inserting extra content on random web pages.

Black SEO Practices to AVOID

  • Keyword Stuffing

One of the most common misconceptions in SEO is that inserting too many keywords in your content can make your page relevant to a specific search. However, this black hat SEO technique often results in a poor user experience as it can make the content difficult to read. To avoid the penalties, use your keywords sparingly, but make sure to them relevant.

  • Low-Quality Content

Content is essential for your search engine rankings. While high-quality content is costly and difficult to create, there are still marketers who post low-quality and cheap content to boost SEO. Google loves unique and high-quality content that provides answers and solutions to the user’s queries.

  • Cloaking

Black hat marketers use the cloaking technique to trick search engines into ranking content for a specific keyword, which is not relevant to the web page content. This technique misleads users by showing a piece of content on the website while displaying completely different content on the search engine. This tricks the users into opening your website.

  • Backlink Buying

Building backlinks from high authority sites not only help increase the search engine rankings but also the domain authority and online credibility of your website.

But instead of building high authority inbound links, black hat marketers purchase links to generate as many links to their websites. Buying links that are not relevant to your website can promote spammy content. As a result, backlink buying will hurt your credibility and backlink quality. Instead, earn quality backlinks organically from reputable sources.

  • Spamming

Some black hat SEO marketers use shady practices, such as spamming comments on their competitor’s website with a link back to their website. They leave plenty of comments to attract readers into clicking the links.

  • False Redirects

The act of falsely misleading or redirecting search engines, traffic, and users is another form of black hat SEO technique. It involves setting up a redirect link to lead search engines and users to various pages on their website. Black hat marketers can also redirect a high-quality web page to a low-quality page to boost the search ranking of the latter.

Tips to Make Online Reviews Work for Your Business

Many people rely on online reviews for everything from choosing a pizza parlour to hiring a plumber to install and repair the pipes in your home. In today’s digital marketing world, it is impossible to understate the impact of online reviews on your business. Recent surveys reported that 86% of virtual shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase.

When it comes to online reviews, the key phrase is “social proof.” This shows that people liked the product or service you are offering or competing with. By providing prospects with a number of social proof, customer reviews can help increase conversion and build the credibility of your company.

While customer reviews can help boost your sales, the way you utilize them can leverage your conversion-boosting potential. Here are some helpful tips on how you can empower your business using online reviews.

  • Claim Your Google My Business (GMB) Listing

While you can find customer reviews everywhere online, Google is the most popular review site. About 64% of consumers check the reviews posted on Google before visiting a business. Creating a GMB page enables you to keep track of and respond to your reviews. These reviews will be displayed in Google and Google Maps search results, which helps establish the credibility and quality of your business.

  • Encourage Customers to Leave a Review

Getting reviews from your customers helps attract new prospects. That is why you will need to create a strategy that will continuously encourage customers to leave reviews. However, recency matters to most potential customers are looking for in a review.

According to surveys, nearly 34% search for reviews that are posted between a week to a month. Consistency in getting reviews can be a powerful tool to earn the trust and confidence of your target customers.

Sending a link to your review page on GMB, Yelp, or website can make it easy for prospects to leave a review for your business. It also helps you to respond to their reviews. Customers tend to leave a review, especially if they feel appreciated.

The customer will receive a notification when you respond to their review. According to BrightLocal’s data, 20% of customers expect business owners to respond to their reviews within one day.

  • Resist Deleting Negative Reviews

The last thing you want from your customers is negative reviews. However, deleting reviews on Google is never a good idea. You might be surprised to learn that 46% of consumers do not trust businesses with a perfect five-star rating. Customers often get suspicious of businesses with too-good-to-be-true reviews. Even your most loyal customers will still want to know your potential drawbacks. Additionally, receiving a negative review helps you see how you can improve your products or services.

  • Respond Well to Negative Reviews

Many business owners may feel tempted to censor negative reviews. This dishonesty can have an unpleasant impact on your business. Never let unpleasant reviews sit there. Use it as an opportunity to respond to your customers in a polite, helpful, and constructive way. Replying to customers helps improve their satisfaction and loyalty, and even encourages them to recommend your business to other potential customers.

  • Proactively Feature and Broadcast Reviews

You can strategically display customer reviews on your website or add a headshot if possible, especially if it is written by an industry expert, a celebrity, or an influencer, so people can easily spot them.

Another way to highlight top reviews is by converting them into social ads as it draws more attention, especially on Facebook. Make sure to add the average rating badges on the footer of your website and cite reviews in your nurture emails.

Allow your website visitors to search reviews using keywords or star ratings to filter reviews. Various surveys reported that potential customers who use the search feature on a product or service page are more likely to convert at 202.9%, including people searching for 1-star reviews.

2022’s 10 SEO Trends to Follow

High-quality customer engagement and excellent search ranking have always been the basic tenets of search engine optimization in digital marketing. However, every year, market trends and search engine algorithms are constantly updated. As these innovations continue to change the landscape of global marketing, as a company, you also have to adapt and keep up with them.

This will sometimes require a modification or complete revamp of your current marketing and content development techniques. If you are a beginner, keeping up with a new search engine optimization strategy may take some time to get used to.

Fortunately, you can always educate your marketing team with a thorough search engine optimization course. For added insight, you can look up the upcoming SEO trends for this year and stay a step ahead of your competitors.

Here are the latest SEO trends list:

1. New Search Engines

Photo Credit: Tumisu | Pixabay

Google has always been a key player in web exploration. However, as new companies see the profit in search engines, they too have developed their algorithms and software. In the upcoming years, search engines from Apple, Bing, Yahoo, and more are predicted to dominate the market and cause a change in hierarchy.

This sudden shift in audiences could be an advantage for your company since currently, billions of data are exclusively published on Google, which makes it more difficult to make your content stand out.

As audiences spread out to different search engine platforms, the data concentration in this available database will be more diluted and manageable. So, for now, it’s best to sign up and upload your content to up-and-coming search engines, where there’s more room to catch attention.

2. Democratized Searching

By 2022, the authority signal of a website will no longer matter as much. As Google aims to create a more democratized search space, it will allow netizens to explore more information by making it easier to find overlooked information.

Though domain authority and backlink building will still play a major role in determining a website’s search ranking, the likelihood of reaching that top spot will still be higher. This algorithm change will make it easier for new websites to gain traffic and get noticed, as long as they are regularly dishing out high-quality content.

3. Prioritizing the Basics

Although major shifts in tools and algorithms are always on the horizon, the basics of SEO and digital marketing will stay the same. As a company that’s looking to upgrade its digital marketing campaigns, it’s best to keep your basic view of SEO the same.

Success in 2022’s online industry will still heavily rely on backlink building, premier content quality, efficient on-page SEOs, and well-designed website technicalities.

So, if you’re planning to hire a search optimization expert for your upcoming content development and campaign ads, it’s best to remind them to stick to these basic principles, while incorporating innovations.

4. Long-Form Content

Content described as short and simple is often equated to high-quality information. This has been the norm for the past years as Google tries to weed out weak websites and look for premier information. However, in the upcoming year, as netizens tend to be more investigative, they now prefer a more thorough discussion.

This means the rise of long-form content in 2022. However, the length of the article will not be the main deciding factor for higher search ranking as credible authorship and sources will also be vital. If you’re unsure about how to create this type of article, you can always ask for help from the SEO experts.

5. Structured Data and Quality Snippets

Netizens are always looking for the most precise and trustworthy data for their queries that are delivered to them in a summarized and comprehensive fashion. With that said, Google has tried to accommodate this preference by picking out rich snippets that provide the most information in the shortest format.

These short informative snippets then get placed on top of the SERPs and have more chances of getting clicked and visited. So, next time, when you’re planning out your next content, try to create a summary section that is worthy of getting featured.

6. Software for Content Optimization

You don’t have to conduct your SEO upgrades on your own. A variety of applications have been developed to help you through the process by being capable to identify necessary keywords, synonyms, subtopics, and more.

This will make your content more noticeable to search engine algorithms. SEO companies can help you better in using these tools efficiently to create the best content for your next ad campaign.

7. AI Content

Machine learning that powers AI technology is constantly innovating every year. Equipped with the best knowledge and understanding of the online world, these virtual assistants are capable of creating better-optimized content. They can even write entire articles if provided with enough data.

Although this trend may heavily reduce your need for manpower, it’s still at its early stages, so it’s best to keep your human staff. For now, these AI-powered tools can help you in title generation, meta tag creation, and topic outline.

8. Keyword Clustering

Keyword clustering, an updated version of traditional keyword research, allows you to stand out and achieve a higher search ranking by using closely-related keywords in your content.

Google uses this new kind of content assessment by valuing websites that have the most keyword total while maintaining a comprehensive flow of thought. For a better idea, try contacting SEO experts for help.

9. Recommended Information

Photo Credit: Mikael Blomkvist | Pexels

Recommended queries and FAQs are usually found at the top of SERPs. To get on that spot, you have to create a variety of content related to one another that uses long-tail question keywords. The information that you provide should also be as concise as possible.

10. Core Web Experience

Webpage experience is the main deciding factor that Google algorithms use to assess the quality and authority of a website. As they always prioritize the experience of netizens, the ease of how your visitors navigate through your website is highly valued.

With that said, to be on par with their standards, you have to prioritize faster page loading and improve on first input delay and cumulative layout shifts.

Updating your content development techniques and SEO strategies requires plenty of research, money, time, and effort. However, no matter how tedious it may seem, it’s a good investment that will lead to increased customer traffic and wider market influence.

So, don’t shy away from these trends and try them all. Always remember, that in digital marketing, adapting to updates and innovations is the key to success.

digital trends 2022

7 Digital Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Startup Business in 2022

Many startups encounter various challenges, including building their brand name and attracting potential customers, especially in the early stage. In addition to the lack of brand awareness, most startup business owners have limited resources to promote their business.

Launching a startup is a complicated feat and complex process to take on, especially during a pandemic. While it may seem extremely challenging to pursue entrepreneurship in such uncertain times, with the right digital marketing strategies, the process of growing your business can also be an exciting journey.

Effective Digital Marketing Strategies for Startups

Today, many companies are using different digital channels to reach existing and potential customers. Also, the number of customers making purchases or hiring services online has drastically increased.

Digital marketing is key to running a successful business online. With the right strategies, digital marketing can do wonders for startup businesses. Even with insufficient resources, startups can leverage digital marketing to generate, nurture, and convert leads into sales.

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Having a website for your business is only half the battle—you need your target customers to find your website organically on search engines. Optimizing your website for search engines requires the use of target keywords relevant to your business. SEO ranks your website for specific keywords, making you an authority in your niche.

2. Social Media

Social media platforms are valuable channels to market your business, interact with your customers, and share insights on a more personal level. For startup businesses, social media marketing is a cost-effective yet powerful strategy for introducing your products or services and showcasing what your business is all about and how your customers can benefit from your offerings.

However, you need to choose the ideal social media platform to target your audience. Consider the following tips:

  • LinkedIn is a popular social media network for B2B companies
  • Facebook comes with various features for business profile
  • Instagram is a more popular option if you are targeting younger demographics

3. Blog Content

Creating unique, relevant, and engaging content can help develop your brand authority. Publishing blogs and other content assets regularly are the best way to build a blog resources library that your target audience can refer to anytime they are looking for information. Well-written blogs can entice people to get to know your brand and products better and encourage them to explore your web pages.

4. Videos

Videos are a highly popular form of content that you cannot ignore. Millions of Internet users spend hours watching videos on YouTube. While written articles help educate customers, videos are more engaging and shareable, attracting more videos and shares. Creating how-to and discussion videos helps build your online presence on YouTube and attract more audiences to your startup business.

5. Mobile Experience

Millions of people use their smartphones and tablets to search, shop, and socialize online. However, do not just settle on making your website on mobile devices—be sure your website is designed to deliver an exceptional user experience even on the tiniest screens. Redesigning your website should include streamlining content and improving download speed to keep your visitors engaged.

6. Google My Business

Digital marketing strategies should help customers find your business easily on the Internet. Fortunately, Google provides a free tool to optimize your business profile on Google Search and Maps. Google My Business is not only a vital platform for sharing your essential business information but also enables you to interact with your customers by requesting them to leave reviews. Email Marketing Sending personalized and targeted emails is another effective way to engage and influence your subscribers. When building an email list, use sign-in forms and lead magnets to persuade website visitors to share their email ids and contact information. Do not simply create relevant and engaging email content for your recipients—be sure to convey your brand message. Your email must also include powerful call-to-actions (CTAs) to make recipients take the desired action.

seo

Word Count for SEO: Does It Really Matter?

Every year, Google creates new algorithm updates that keep content marketers on their toes, trying to figure out the secret formula that would send their content to the top of the search engine results page (SERP). Also, some marketers think that writing longer content can help them improve their ranking positions.

Word count has always been considered a contributing metric used by many content marketers to determine the quality of text-based content. In addition to keyword density, word count is also presumed to be a vital search engine optimization (SEO) factor. After all, Google is a machine, so how else would it evaluate the quality of the content? For content marketers, word count is a significant signal that Google can understand.

Is Word Count a Crucial Factor in SEO Content?

Over the years, content marketers debate whether word count matters for SEO. Some believe that longer content is better while others agree that the quality is always superior to the number of words.

John Mueller, Google’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst, has confirmed that word count is not a ranking signal in the search algorithm. He specifically stated that just blindly adding text does not help improve the ranking of your content. Google is more about creating fresh, relevant, and high-quality content. While word count is not essentially a ranking factor, it matters for SEO, especially when combined with quality.

In most cases, the longer and more in-depth the content is, the easier it is for search engines to determine the context of the article. Additionally, the length helps search engine bots crawl and construe what the information is all about and rank the content in the relevant SERPs.

Google and other search engines love lengthier and more in-depth articles. However, it does not necessarily mean writing long-form posts for the sake of it. Google is smart enough to tell if your content is a blunder, and so can your readers.

Creating relevant and unique content that directly reflects your post title is the best approach to satisfy your readers. Otherwise, your target audience will get bored and immediately abandon your page, resulting in an unpleasant impact on your reader engagement or SEO.

Also, lengthy content provides ample room for optimization. For instance, it allows content marketers more opportunities to insert relevant keywords, including long-tail variations, without the risk of keyword stuffing. It also enables marketers to boost SEO by working on other essential content elements, such as headings, links, and images.

Most importantly, writing longer posts allows you to delve into the topic in greater depth, tackle the problem and offer solutions than is possible with shorter content. While you can provide answers to some questions with thin content, a longer and more detailed post has more value to your readers.

How Does Word Count Impact Your SEO?

While there is no given specific, optimal number of words that ensures high search results, it does not necessarily mean that it has no impact on your rankings. Mueller may have stated that word count is not a ranking factor, but he did not confirm that it does not affect other ranking factors. For instance, meta-descriptions may not be a ranking factor, but they can influence the click-through rate and prompt prospective clients to visit your website.

A higher word count not only helps you answer your target audience’s search intent but also boosts your opportunity for other websites to link back to yours, which are both ranking factors.

On the other hand, if your content is overly written and goes off-topic, it loses the relevancy of the user’s search. Just because writing a long-form post ensures you have more word count, keep in mind that it does not equate to quality content. Make sure to always focus on your goal—and that is to provide your readers with relevant, engaging, and informative content.

Google ranking

What to Do When Your Google Rankings Drop

A sudden and dramatic drop in your search engine rankings is the ultimate SEO horror story that no business owner wants to hear. Your website may have plummeted into the second page or worse, outside the top 100. 

The drastic fall in your Google ranking position may be triggered by various factors, including changes in content, an update of the algorithm, technical problems, improvements made by your competitors on the website, changes in the SERP layout, and a Google penalty. 

How to Resolve the Issue

Fluctuations in search engines are inevitable as Google makes daily updates. However, you should be concerned when you find your search ranking position starting to trend in the wrong direction. 

If you noticed your position in Google rankings has plunged dramatically, do not panic.

Proactive, attentive troubleshooting can help fix the issue and get you moving back in the right direction. 

Here are some helpful tips on what you can do to fix and recover your Google rankings:

  • Confirm that your ranking has dropped

In some cases, a glitch or temporary change in the ranking tracker tool may have caused your search engine rankings to drop. However, the problem will naturally resolve relatively quickly. It is important to verify that the drop in your rankings is true so you can immediately take action to fix the issue. 

Here are several steps to take to help you verify the dropped:

1. Check several tools: Check your rankings data and your organic traffic data using tools, such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics. If only one tool shows that your ranking has dropped, it is likely just a problem with the tool. Continue to monitor your rankings over the next few weeks. If your rankings have truly dropped, take the necessary action to remedy the problem.

2. Assess the severity of the change: Check how much your ranking has changed and how long it has been lower than usual to help you know that it is an actual drop and not just a temporary change. Compare and analyze the change to the usual daily and weekly fluctuations. 

3. Consider external factors: Take into consideration the possible external factors, such as a holiday weekend, that may have triggered the drop. 

  • Determine the cause

Knowing the reason why your website rankings dropped helps you fix the issue. The cause of the drop in rankings may fall into 1 of 3 categories:

Changes you made: Examine any recent changes to your website, including potential errors and intentional changes. 

Changes Google made: Google may have made recent changes in its algorithm. Make sure to check if your website may have received manual penalties from Google.

Changes your competitors made: Check if your competitor may have made improvements on their website that may have significantly increased their SEO rankings.

  • Spy on Your Competitor’s Content

Google has always aimed to provide the best experience for their users—that is why web pages with quality content always end up on top. Take a look at your competitor that is ranking for your keywords and check the difference between their content and yours. 

Are they using better keywords? Is their content more in-depth? Do they have unique keywords and ideas? Have you checked their meta-tags?

Use this information as a guide in implementing all necessary changes to help you create better content than your competitors. 

  • Correct the issues

Once you have a clear idea of the factors that may have caused your Google rankings to drop, take some time to work on fixing the issue. If the problem is due to the changes you made to your website, simply revert the change and recover your rankings. If it is caused by a recent change in the algorithm, make necessary adjustments to your SEO strategy to meet Google’s latest standards. However, if the drop was due to the changes made by your competitor, you need to improve your website page to outrank them again. 

  • Adjust Your Keywords and Meta Tags 

After making all the necessary improvements to your content, you do not simply hope for Google crawlers to discover the changes you have made. Continue to take action and submit the URL of your web page to Google Search Console for indexing. 

After that, turn your attention to other important aspects of your business. Within a week to a month, your ranking in Google should start increasing. Keep in mind that adjusting your keywords and meta-tags can help you effectively create better content that results in better rankings. 

Image by Diggity Marketing from Pixabay
  • Keep Checking and Updating Your Content

Ranking your website in search engines is never a one-off process. SEO is an ever-changing landscape and a constant battlefield. Everyone wants to be at the top of the ranking, putting their game face on to reach the spotlight. Monitor your rankings regularly, identify potential problems, know who is dominating in Google, and make improvements—keep repeating this process even after you reach the top. Keep in mind that Google appreciates fresh, relevant content, so make sure to always update your content on a regular basis if you want to keep good rankings. 

  • Monitor your rankings for improvements

After taking all the necessary action to resolve the issue, continue to monitor your rankings to check for improvements in your website ranking over the next several weeks. If there are no improvements in your rankings, reexamine all the potential causes of the problem. Even if your website’s ranking has improved, continue to keep an eye on its ranking. This will help you catch future problems that may affect your search engine rankings again. 

The Best Defense Against a Google Ranking Drop is a Good Offense

The process of determining and evaluating the cause of a Google ranking drop is often complex and time-consuming. The best approach you can take when your rankings start to drop is to do everything you can to avoid them.

  • Get familiar with Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines
  • Learn about Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines
  • Understand the potential problems that can lead to manual action and avoid them
  • Stay current with Google Webmaster Central blog
  • Join #AskGoogleWebmasters and watch the latest videos on the YouTube channel.

Outsourcing SEO: Top 5 Reasons Why You Should

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral part of any business operating a website. It helps boost organic rankings in search engines, which increases traffic and leads for your business. 

Today’s businesses recognize the importance of SEO in their online activity. Without SEO, your business has no online presence and your target audience would not know about the existence of your business. With so many responsibilities, many business owners simply do not have the luxury of time to focus on online marketing. That is why many are outsourcing their SEO efforts to ensure it is executed properly and yields the best results possible. 

However, there are still other businesses that remain unsure about outsourcing their SEO. To help you decide, we have rounded up a quick list of why you should consider outsourcing to a trusted SEO agency and the benefits that come with it.

  1. Save Money and Time

Many do not realize that outsourcing SEO to a team of dedicated experts is both cost and time efficient. A reliable SEO agency has everything they need—knowledge, expertise, and experience—to get your online marketing campaign started to build and strengthen your online presence and promote your business offering to your target audience. 

Working with results-driven SEO professionals ensures that your benefits far outweigh the cost of your investments. It allows you to save more money in the long-term as you do not have to pay for costly traditional marketing, such as TV, radio, or print ads, to reach your potential customers. 

Additionally, with their dynamic expertise and innovative strategies and tools, SEO professionals launch your campaign as soon as possible and optimize your web pages to rank them higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Also, some SEO agency offers services that include developing fresh, engaging, and relevant content that ranks and converts This allows you to focus on other important aspects of running your business. 

  1. SEO Requires Expertise

SEO is a complex field that requires a thorough understanding of how the search engine works. If you are not familiar with SEO, it is best to leave the job to the real “king of the trade.” SEO professionals not only possess the right skills and experience in handling online marketing campaigns, but they are also highly knowledgeable in using the most current and effective SEO marketing tools to ensure more refined improvements. 

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

  1. Get Better ROI

Hiring SEO experts ensure the delivery of the best results. Even if you have successfully ranked your website for specific keywords, working with the professionals ensures you positioned your website on the first page of SERPs. Even if you have someone with SEO skills in your company, it can be challenging for one person to achieve long-term goals. Hiring an SEO agency can help you stand a better chance of acquiring more organic traffic, leads, sales, and better ROI. 

  1. Ensure White Hat SEO Practices

A professional and reliable SEO company only uses white hat practices to improve your website ranking without the risk of being penalized by Google, which is what “black hat” SEO techniques can do. For instance, an SEO company using black hat methods will acquire backlinks from spammy websites and directories, which can hurt both your SEO and domain authority score. 

  1. Stay on Top of the Latest Tools and Trends

For an SEO campaign to be successful, it requires the use of proper tools and an understanding of changing trends. For instance, Google search algorithms change numerous times a year. While these changes are minor, they are still crucial for the optimization and ranking of your website. 

SEO experts are always up-to-date with the trends in Google algorithms, as well as with the new tools in SEO. Outsourcing to the experts gives you access to all updates in search engines and SEO. 

4 Key Web Design Techniques to Improve Customer Experience

In the ever-growing age of eCommerce, online presence has become a must for many businesses to survive the online competition. As a significant part of your brand’s digital marketing strategy, it is critical that every element of your website serves a purpose, especially when it comes to customer experience. From usability to the visual appearance of your website, every element has a huge impact on how your brand can attract and retain customers. 

Your website design is among the critical elements of modern brand building as it can potentially make or break customer experience and satisfaction. Without responsive, modern and customer-centric design, it is impossible for any website to compete with the top-notch web designs in your industry. Not only poor website design can drive away prospects and existing customers, but search engines will likely penalize your website for a subpar experience. 

To ensure customer experience, keep in mind the following web design techniques:

  • Optimize Your Website Structure

When it comes to positive user experience, visitors are not only laser-focused on the visual elements. Your website should be also simple and straightforward. It turns out that you only have less than 10 seconds to send your brand message to your visitor or they will abandon your website. 

Your website layout does not need complicated designs to impress prospects. You only need a simple web design layout that is easy to navigate and follow, and quick to load. Regardless of the multitude of services and content offered on your website, make sure that your visitors can easily find the information they are looking for. Optimizing the structure of your website often includes clear, brand-specific labels, intuitive categories, and a detailed site map. 

Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay

  • Weaving the Brand Into Your Web Design

Without an actual in-person interaction with your customers, it can be challenging to instill genuine emotions through digital experience alone. However, one way to do it is by incorporating your brand into the web design all the way to your logo, font, and colour scheme throughout your website.

Both your content and visual identity must reflect the brand values. Using rand-specific design solutions can help you effectively merge your brand identity with your visuals and message, sparking emotional reactions and building an overall brand image that your customers can relate to. 

  • Improve Website Speed 

The majority of online customers consider the website loading speed to be a deal-breaker. If your web page takes more than 10 seconds to load, it makes perfect sense to devote more time and attention improve our website speed. Living in a hectic schedule, customers do not want to waste their time waiting for your site to load properly. Any delays and slow checkout experience will most likely cause your potential customers to abandon your website and search somewhere else where they can quickly find what they are looking for. 

While website loading speed is critical for decision-making, not all brands are taking them into account when designing their web presence. For instance, the size of your files can affect the speed of your website. Since large-sized files often take longer to load, be sure to optimize your files by reducing the page size as much as possible. 

  • Ensure Website Responsiveness

Responsiveness is another crucial factor that affects the success of your website. When your website design does not properly fit in various screen resolutions on different devices, then it can impact the user experience in a negative way. Today, millions of your target audience use mobile devices. With mobile traffic increasing significantly over the years, failure to optimize your website for responsiveness can potentially mean missing a myriad of opportunities in your business. 

Once you have a better insight and understanding of the importance of good web design on customer experience, it will be easier for you to make the necessary improvements.