SEO

Google June 2019 Core Search Algorithm Update

As many of us know, Google rolled out some updates in June 2019, and already, reports are coming in about how this update has affected some business niches and websites. While it is still too early to understand and see the impact of the update fully, we felt it was always important to monitor what we are seeing happen.
When Did the Core Update Begin?
The June 2019 Core Update was initiated on June 3rd and would continue until all data centers were updated. There were no specifications on how long the core updates would take. The broad core algorithm updates affect how search results are ranked and listed in the search results. This is not an unusual occurrence, as Google routinely rolls out broad core updates every couple of months throughout the year.
What is a bit unusual is this update was announced, which is not how Google usually handles such things? So, why did Google suddenly make a change? The community has been asking Google to share when such updates would occur so that they could be proactive in dealing with any changes that may happen as a result of the updates. There isn’t anything extraordinary about this update; they don’t want SEO managers and site owners scratching their heads at the sudden shift.
What Major Data Providers Have to Say
In response to the updates, several large data providers have released information about how this update has impacted them. Sistrix, SearchMetrics, Moz, and RankRanger own massive datasets around Google rankings, and they can see a broader picture of what is occurring with their business and the broad core algorithm update. With their findings, we can get a reasonably good idea on the effect of the core updates.
Sistrix shared on their blog post an astonishing number of sites that had a positive response to the core update. Their “winners” list included 20 websites that saw an increase of visibility ranging from 19% to an astonishing 54%, more than half of them reaching at least 20% increased visibility. One thing they noted was that unlike previous updates, the scope of affected domains was much more extensive. It is ranging from YMYL websites, retail sites, classical new sites, and a wide variety of others. It is incredibly reassuring to see such a positive change.
RankRanger discovered some slightly different results in their datasets. They noted that gambling, health, and financial niches were hit with less visibility. More interestingly, they note that many sites fluctuate up and down, but search results pages did not vary as generously.
SearchMetrics reports that their initial analysis is that some parts of the core update that happened in March, reverted during the June core update. They do not believe it was systematic. They are convinced that the March broad core algorithm update changed factors in brand/authority excessively, thus reverting them. Medical sites that had lost their visibility from the previous core update are now seeing increased visibility.
Moz also noted that the health niche gained quite a bit in the core update but Dr. Axe, specifically, lost quite a bit. SERP features didn’t see any significant shifts, not even the medical panels. Moz also noted that the vertical flux was unusually high for Health (114 degrees) and Food & Groceries (109 degrees). However, it is essential to note that Moz is split into 20 verticals, so the sample size is reduced quite a bit.
Across the community, people are noticing how the core update has affected their visibility, and on average, we see 30% increases. Some people are reporting no change or a drop in visibility, but the “wins” seem to outnumber the losses so far.
What Google Says
Of course, Google jumped into the discussion. They are reporting positive responses to the broad core algorithm update and have declared that the update will be 100% noticeable. When asked how long the update would take, they would not give a clear answer. Their answer was anywhere from a day to a few weeks.
Overall, it’s early in the game. Way too early to say how the updates will affect websites because Google is still rolling out the updates to data centers. While the word on the street is extremely positive, we do think everyone should stay relaxed and continue watching how things roll out. Once the updates have had a chance to set in a little bit, take the time to check your analytics and see if you notice any changes to your visibility. Then evaluate how to use that visibility best, or make changes to achieve more.
Google has offered advice previously about updates, and it’s good advice to keep in mind. Google does release one or more updates daily that focus on improving search results. Not all of them are broad core algorithm changes, but at times it is necessary to roll out a broad core update. With any minor or significant change, some sites will see a drop or rise in visibility. There is nothing truly wrong with any page that is suddenly performing less when it was once a high-ranking search result. The changes are merely benefitting other pages that were unrewarded before the change. There is no real quick fix to adjusting your visibility, and it requires patience and time. The one thing you can do is keep providing great content so that your website rises back up to where it once was. If your site has suddenly increased in rankings, it may only be temporary. You should also stay on top of creating great content so that any future drops are minor and you can quickly bounce back.
As SEO managers, we plan to give Google feedback on how this update compares to others. Google needs to know how we feel about the announcements from them, and that we want more of them. Though Google does plan to keep the announcements coming, letting them know we appreciate it will only help us in the long run.

Case Study: Launching a Tool on Product Hunt is a Strategy for Success

This is such a true statement. If you successfully launch your tool, you can get a high number of visitors to your site. These visitors can become daily users and accelerate your revenue goal.
Even in our own team, we didn’t know this at first. We wanted to move our startup further along and find ways to shout about our SEO tool to a broader audience. As we brainstormed, we also came up with the idea of ​​launching the tool at Product Hunt. Finally, we tagged this idea with a lower priority and postponed it. Later, we got back to it, prepared it properly, and the final results surprised us pleasantly. Thanks to PH, we have received positive feedback on the tool, along with many new registered or paying customers.
Product Hunt is full of people who are passionate about technology, designers, marketers and developers in need to make their work or life easier by using better applications. Whatever your application is, launch it on Product Hunt!

Spotibo is a specific tool that can’t be used by everyone. It’s an SEO analyzer that can only be used by a person who has his own website or by a consultant helping a client with search engine optimization. This is the reason why we were surprised by the feedback and reach we achieved.
So, I am happy to share our results and strategy with you.
What are the main goals of a PH campaign?
To get traffic and new customers. I won’t tell you how to turn traffic into buyers, but I’ll tell you how to get traffic to your site from Product Hunt. To get the maximum results, try to be in the top 5. If your product makes it to the top of the list, all Product Hunt email subscribers will receive a newsletter a day later, where your tool will shine and you will get even more traffic.

Top hunts during our launch day. Our profile on PH here.
What web traffic to expect?
The answer to this question is very subjective. If you prepare everything for the launch in the best possible way, then you can expect traffic to be numerous times higher than you are used to on a regular basis.
In our case, we added 1,596% more new users during the launch day compared with the previous day. The traffic kept coming during the next two days in high numbers, too.

Traffic growth thanks to launching on PH.

The difference comparing launch day and the day before.

And what about online attention and backlinks?
We received dozens of tweets on Twitter, so the attention was big! But what was more interesting to us were backlinks.
We love backlinks. We are SEO specialists, so we know how domain authority is important, and that backlinks can help us to get better rankings. We also know how hard it is to get them.
After the launch, people started writing about the tool spontaneously, and for free! They published reviews and guides on how to analyze SEO, and they published it not only in English but also in different languages.
How to prepare for the launch:
When I was preparing the Product Hunt checklist for my team, I got inspired by this checklist from SpreadShare. In their checklist, there are tons of cool tips to not forget any single step throughout the process of preparation, submission, outreach and follow-up. I created a short version of the checklist according to the needs of our own working plan, and we followed these 20 steps one by one.
There are several guides on how to run a Product Hunt campaign on the web, and I don’t want to repeat the same “tips” all over again. Instead, I will try to skip to the questions that came to my mind during the preparation itself and for which we were unable to find answers.
Do we need a product hunter?
When you look at the products on PH, you’ll see that some were submitted by the creator, and some were created by another person — by a product hunter. What is better? Honestly, I don’t know. Internet opinions vary. While someone explicitly recommends reaching out to a product hunter who would be willing to launch the product and support it in front of his PH followers, some say it is nonsense to annoy people who may have nothing to do with the success of the tool.
In the beginning, I went the first way, and I was looking for a product hunter who would be interested in our tool and could consider it a quality one. There is a list of the top 50 hunters where I approached three users via LinkedIn, and I have not received any answers.

So, I chose another strategy. I opened previously submitted products that were similar to our tool (some kind of competition). I rummaged among the users who supported, commented or submitted the products and started to outreach them. Finally, Nivas Ravichandran, who also wrote the article How to generate leads on Product Hunt, said yes! Although he is not in the top 50, the launch of the tool was smooth, and I think his support helped us.
Can I change product information submitted by a hunter?
Cool, I found someone who will do the job. But what if I need to change information about the tool later on? Can I do that?
Yes. Hunter tagged me and our CEO as makers, giving us the right to make any changes. In addition, we could also add a comment under the product to describe our story and the problem we are trying to solve with our product.
When is the best time for launching?
The answer is simple – 00:01 Pacific time (PT). At that time, a new day starts on Product Hunt. The sooner you get to the list of products, the more time you will have for promoting it and to succeed.
After launching our tool, I noticed that other products popped up in similar time. During the day, more projects had been added, but only a few. This lowered their chances of getting a larger number of upvotes — a lot!
It was so important that our product hunter knew that our product needed to be posted during that time. He wouldn’t have done that if it was 3 a.m. and he had been sleeping. We were lucky because it was 9 a.m. for us in Europe, 2 p.m. for our hunter and midnight in Pacific time.
What promo materials do I need to prepare?
All these promo materials are needed:

Screenshots of the tool
Logo
Title
Short description
Creator comment

Be sure to be as creative as possible in this section of preparation. Design and fun play a big part on Product Hunt.
We tried to play with the logo (for which we eventually created the gif), title, keywords and emoticons. On the other hand, we didn’t prepare a breathtaking video, and our picture materials could have also needed the touch of a graphic designer.

Do I need to support my website?
Yes, you do. Although we received 1,300 sessions, our tool was a bit overloaded, and unfortunately, we had some blackouts. Throughout the day, our developers were ready to act immediately.
Should I create a landing page?
We were also thinking if we should create a landing page specifically for PH. Some makers create a landing page that contains some graphics edits. Some of them also provided discount code. Some makers don’t adjust the landing page at all.
We decided to add a simple banner with a discount to the top bar. I think it was a good decision. Users of Product Hunt who clicked through our site saw that they were in the right place. In addition, I consider it more professional if the launch is ready on all fronts.
The discount prompted several users to buy our tool, which was a good outcome.

What we had forgotten and what we considered to be important after the fact was the preparation of this landing page for indexing on Google. Our PH optimized landing page was duplicate (https://spotibo.com/seo-analyzer?ref=producthunt to https://spotibo.com/seo-analyzer). After we got increased traffic, mentions from Twitter and a few backlinks, Google started indexing this page, and we really didn’t want that.
Therefore, when creating a new landing page for PH, do not forget to place a canonical tag in the header of the page. That should ensure Google understands which URL is unique and which one is duplicate.
Can I promote it?
Yes and no.
Upvote requesting is not officially allowed. Be aware that you can’t ask friends or users for upvoting. Although, you should absolutely tell your clients or followers that it’s a big thing for you and they should check it out.
During our launch, we were constantly monitoring the development of upvotes, along with the comments we were answering. At the beginning of the day, the tool remained at fourth or fifth place. After a few hours, another product took over. Suddenly, we were in the sixth position. I was surprised. and I was also worried we would stay in sixth place and thus we would not get to the top 5 products of the day. But the more I observed the product that took over ours, the more I began to suspect the unfair practices they used to get more upvotes and comments. The numbers grew rapidly, and the users who were involved were mostly newly-established accounts.
A few hours later, the product with a higher number of upvotes fell to a position under Spotibo. The team at PH probably judged that they were using unauthorized promo and manually moved them down.
The lesson is clear — don’t push hard, because you can get into trouble and you will not get to the top 5. Upvotes must look as natural as possible; and shouldn’t be received only from new accounts or users from one country.
My final advice is — do not hesitate and launch as soon as your product is ready; it’s worth it.

101 Small Business Marketing Ideas Part 4: Promotions

Are you a business owner who wants to grow your business but doesn’t know much about marketing? Do you want to attract more customers to your business? Do you want a quick checklist of things you can do to grow your business?
This post is the fourth installment in the 10 part series which takes you through the basics of small business marketing.
Ultimate Small Business Marketing Guide Overview
The 10 part guide is divided into the following sections:

Naming, Logos & Branding
Your Product / Service
Marketing Planning Basics
Online Marketing
Promotions
Pricing
Email Marketing
Social Media Marketing
Content Marketing
Grow Your Network
Customer Focused
Physical Evidence
Teaching

In this article, we share some quick tips to effectively promote your business without spending a lot of money. You can quickly increase your reach by creating promotions for your business.

Add an effective call to action button

What good are your products and services if nobody knows where to find them on your website? You can urge customers to take action when visiting your website with an attractive call to action buttons. Some examples of call to action include “Buy Now”, “Hurry! Limited time offer”, “Try it now” and “Read More”. See here for tips on CTA microcopy.
With an effective call to action text, you generate a sense of urgency in the mind of the customer which then results in better conversions. A successful call to action has three main features which are the placement on the website, the design of the button and the text used on the button. You can play around with each of the features to see what works best for your business.

Create a promotional video

Although a promotional video is a popular way of promoting your business, many small business owners shy away from the idea. The attention span of customers is growing smaller, and hence a promotional video can help you attract more customer attention with fewer efforts.
Nowadays, many affordable options available in the market who can make the video for your business. A promotional video can help you reach a broader audience. It’s a one-time investment which is also long-lasting.

Create your personal booking system

If your business offers services to your customers then a great way to promote business is to get an online appointment booking system. It works great for sales teams, individual lawyers, driving instructors, repair professionals, etc. who offer individual services and for session booking services like yoga classes, coaching sessions, tour operators, B&B homes who offer customers to book a session with them or a particular resource.
The system allows you to set your availability, monitor booking statistics, send automated reminders and notifications, integrate it into your website, accept online payments, sync with personal calendar and set cancelation policy.
You can customize your booking schedule with your colors and logo, customize booking forms and share the system with your staff members. Another great feature of the system is that you can coordinate multiple schedules automatically with the system which saves you a lot of manual efforts, hence, resulting in improved revenue.

Claim your free Google listing

Google my business is a free tool by Google which allows you to manage how your business appears on Google Search and Google Maps. You can claim your free Google Listing and customize your business details like business name, location and business hours. You can add photos for your business and monitor and respond to customer reviews on Google. It’s a great way to improve the discoverability of your business.

Free Business Listings

A simple and easy way to reach more customers is to claim free business listings on multiple websites like Yelp, Yellow pages, Bing Places, Foursquare, Yahoo Local, etc. You can research the internet to find the directories where your competitors are listed and ensure that you’re also listed on the same websites. Many websites allow you to create a free account and add your business information. Listing your business on multiple websites will also help your SEO efforts.

Offer free trials

A free product trial can result in a win-win situation for both you and your customers. While you invest your money in giving out free product trial, your customers invest their time in learning more about your product. When you offer free trials you’re showing your customers how your product/service works instead of telling them about it in a speech. Experience is always a great way to reduce aggressive selling efforts and increase customer satisfaction. A great product will sell itself and attract more customers with word of mouth marketing.

Start contests

Contests are a great way to generate buzz about your business and increasing your fan base online. You can engage with your customers with interesting contests. Here are the steps to design a contest for your business:

Decide what’s the aim of your contest. The aim could be something like increasing Facebook followers or reaching more people.
Finalize your budget for the prizes and decide how many prizes you can give away in that budget.
Next, build your contest. Think of an interesting idea which people would like to talk about or something which may also help your business. For example, if you’re a yoga studio you may ask people to tweet about “Yoga is important because…”.
Once you’ve finalized your contest details, create your promotion plan. Do you want to limit the contest to Twitter or is it a contest in print media or do you want to use multiple platforms to promote the same?
Once everything falls into place, decide the basic ground rules and the timelines for the contest and create creatives around the contest.
You’re ready to conduct the contest. Once your contest is over, measure the results to see your ROI (return on investment).

Respond to reviews

Irrespective of whether the review is positive or negative, reviews are an important part of your business. The majority of customers search for business information online, and a few negative reviews may hinder your progress. Hence, it is important for you not only monitor reviews but also build a 2-way communication via reviews by responding to them. This will tell your potential customers that you care about your business and their complaints are being heard.

Use occasions

Festivals and occasions are an outstanding opportunity to promote your business and reach a wider audience. You can select a few target festivals in the year, and conduct marketing activities around those areas. You can set up booths in festivals, setup product demonstrations, connect with people to answer their queries and try to engage them in conversations. You can also conduct fun and interactive activities or sponsor some smaller activities during the festival. Don’t forget to collect customer information and reach out to them later to tell them more about your business.
If we missed out on any quick and effective small business promotion ideas, please let us know in the comments section below!
This post was originally published on Just Creative.

7 SEO Analysis Tools You Need to Know About

SEO analysis is a never-ending search for opportunities to improve your website, be it fixing issues, polishing the content or spying on rivals’ strategies.
Each aspect that adds up to your site’s performance in search engines will naturally demand thorough research and careful data evaluation, as well as a keen eye for details to discover the missteps and room for improvement in each. Yet all the deliberate efforts and time invested in it will pay off big times.
The real choice you have is between trying to handle that many-sided task manually or grab a helping hand from a myriad of SEO analysis tools out there. To make a weighted choice, let’s go over the core aspects that a comprehensive SEO analysis tool would dig into for you:
1. Technical SEO and usability auditPoint errors scattered all over the site – be it broken links or pages loading forever – may ruin user experience; unintentional indexation restrictions may be blocking search engine crawlers out of your site; inefficient site architecture may break the internal link-juice flow throughout the pages. An SEO audit tool that can crawl your site in-depth and help you uncover technical issues timely will certainly save you hours of racking your brain over the consequences later.
2. On-page optimization analysisAnother essential part is optimizing your content and metadata to its full potential around the search intent you target. Good tools for SEO analysis would not only help you pinpoint the flaws, but they would also provide actionable recommendations on how to tailor each and every page element considering your target topic and best SEO practices.
3. Competitive intelligenceCompetitive SEO analysis is part science and part art. Comprehending your competitive landscape can help you uncover the winning peculiarities and traits your rivals’ pages have in common, as well as spot their oversights. A good SEO analysis tool would allow you to benchmark your own pages against the top competitors to see how you compare and help you reverse-engineer the raw data gathered from the top SERPs.
To help you find the best fit for your routine, I’ve tested a number of the best SEO tools and looked into the bright sides and drawbacks of each.
1. WebSite Auditor

WebSite Auditor is an SEO analysis tool providing comprehensive insights on your site’s tech health, as well as its optimization potential. The tool crawls each and every page and resource on your site and serves an in-depth site audit report featuring 50+ technical and on-page SEO factors for you to revise, fix or discover an opportunity behind.
The tool covers a vast number of website analysis areas: from site architecture to internal PageRank / traffic distribution, from indexation and crawlability to all kinds of broken, redirected or non-friendly URLs, from duplicate or missing metadata to hreflang errors. The dashboard is extremely intuitive: each factor is accompanied by a short description, actionable how-to’s, and a list of involved URLs. In addition, WebSite Auditor is equipped with an in-app sitemap and robots.txt file generators.
On the page level, WebSite Auditor allows you to analyze any page of your site for the keywords you target with it and compare its optimization level to the top-ranking pages in a search engine of your choice.
Looking through the sections dedicated to each page element – from meta details and body tag to link anchors and image alts – you get full keyword usage statistics and a side-by-side comparison to your SEO competitors’ pages, along with page-specific recommendations on how you could improve the content and metadata. Inspecting the top pages’ details also helps you uncover winning tendencies and best-performing kinds of content for the topic.

WebSite Auditor’s own TF-IDF tool supplies you with an extended list of keywords and phrases harvested from rivals’ pages. The most prominent keywords that you are missing out on, as well as the keywords you might be overusing, are pinpointed for your consideration. With all the ideas and stats at a glance, you are well-armed to create topic-driven content with keywords supported by the semantically relevant context.
Cool feature
Content Editor module – a page optimization playground where you can see how each change impacts the optimization rate on-the-go. A finalized version of the page can be exported to HTML, ready for re-uploading to your site.
Pricing
Starting from $124 for the license key (one-off) with a minor maintenance fee after 6 months (from $4.44/mo), the number of projects you can create and pages you can analyze is unlimited in any paid version. Full trial available, no credit card details required.
2. Google Search Console
The next tool for a thorough analysis of Google’s relationship with your website is, undoubtedly, Google Search Console, a free SEO analysis tool by Google itself. Google Search Console provides all kinds of insights on your site’s well-being, helping you analyze and improve its search performance.
While not being a go-to tool for competitive intelligence, Google Search Console lets you create first-hand reports on how your website is being crawled, pinpointing broken pages and pages with any crawl anomalies, ambiguous restrictions or duplicated ones without canonicals. As it comes to indexing and understanding your pages’ contents, Google Search Console offers detailed reports on mobile usability, drawing your attention to problematic areas, and on structured data usage on your site, listing the valid items and the ones with syntax errors that require fixing. The Links report lists all the internal and outgoing links to your pages and shows the top linked pages for you to see where the linking power is steered to.

In terms of content optimization, Google Search Console won’t give you hints on which keywords to add and where. However, lots of valuable strategic insights can be found in the Performance tab. The report lets you explore the queries your site already ranks for, detect the pages that might go up from page 2 to page 1 with minor efforts, track down the inefficient pages that rank high but have low CTR, or learn which queries are coming from a certain device or country to improve your mobile or local targeting.
Cool feature
The URL Inspection tool that allows you to retrieve the indexed version of a certain page as it’s seen and fetched by Google, check for AMP errors, structured data errors, and indexing issues.
Pricing
Free.
3. On Page SEO checker
On Page SEO Checker from SEMRush is another SEO analysis tool that helps you put together a huge volume of SEO data. During a quick setup, you choose the pages you wish to gather optimization ideas for, your target location, language, and device.
Next, based on the data from SEMRush and by comparing your pages to the top SEO rivals for the target keywords, the tool supplies you with strategic, UX, semantic, content and new backlinks ideas. The pages are automatically prioritized based on the number of ideas gathered, traffic growth potential and ease of implementation. Switching to any page’s individual dashboard, you’ll be able to see where the room for improvement is: a better-choice page that already ranks for the keyword, a SERP feature opportunity you might win, major page elements you need to add keywords to, or optimal content length you should consider.

The semantic ideas section will offer a number of semantically-relevant keywords used by rivals, along with TF-IDF stats. And the Top 10 Benchmarking feature will analyze how your target page compares to rivals’ in a number of aspects like content length, referring domains, keyword usage, markups, and others, highlighting the factors you fall behind with.
Optionally, you can set up Site Audit in the same project for the tool to generate technical SEO ideas based on the found issues. Once the pages have been crawled, you can check the overall number of onpage errors, warnings, and notices, as well as thematic reports dedicated to crawlability, security issues, load speed and internal linking structure. For task prioritization, you may refer to the handpicked top issues, based on severity and the number of affected pages.
Cool feature
Integration with Trello that allows you to send reports with optimization ideas for individual pages directly to your Trello board, turning insights from your project into ready-made tasks.
Pricing
Starting from $99.95/mo for 5 projects, up to 20K pages per project. Full trial available, credit card details required.
4. WooRank
WooRank is a web-based SEO analysis tool running automatic website audits and providing optimization ideas for boosting traffic and visibility. With the tool, you can crawl up to 10K pages of your site to spot a wide range of on-page issues (meta details being too long, too short or duplicate, body content being duplicate, thin or blank), accessibility and usability troubles (5xx server errors, 4xx client errors, redirect chains and loops, mixed content). The tool will also report non-indexable pages or pages buried too deep, as well as canonical and hreflang implementation issues.

Running a review for an individual page, you can revise your meta details as they appear in the SERPs, see the keywords your page is currently optimized around, and check for any structured data, mobile usability and page speed issues.
Promotion section will show where you stand in terms of backlinks, social media presence and local directories reviews associated with your site. If you add your target keywords and connect your Google Analytics account to the project, the Measurement section will keep you updated on your ranking performance and traffic stats in addition.
Tracking up to 3 competitors along with your site, you can see how your pages compare in terms of content optimization, off-page efforts, and rankings, and dig into competitors’ SEO strategies: detect the weak spots to surpass them in, or ideas worth adopting.
Cool feature
Marketing Checklist, which is a tailor-made, prioritized checklist of steps you may undertake to improve your site’s optimization, with an additional option to get help from a WooRank’s certified expert.
Pricing
Starting from $59.99/mo for 1 project with up to 2K pages. Free trial available, credit card details required.
5. SEObility
SEObility is another online SEO audit tool that helps you detect the issues that might be holding your site from climbing up the SERPs.

With SEObility, you can crawl up to 100K pages within one project and get an overview of the technical, structural and content issues. Navigating through technical and meta dashboard, you can find crawling stats, URL details, status codes breakdown, as well as any neglected meta tags and page attributes. Structure analysis will uncover problems related to internal linking, anchor texts distribution, and pages’ distance from homepage.
Based on the pages crawled, you get a detailed report on content duplication issues and text quality. The tool extracts the keywords most frequently used across your website and raises an alarm if multiple pages are competing for the same keywords, to prevent wasting ranking potential.
Checking any certain page, you may look closely into its anatomy and detect the page elements optimized poorly. Analyzing competitors’ pages the same way, you can sport their target keywords and spy on the strategies they stick to.
Apart from performing SEO analysis, SEObility allows you to track rankings of your website alongside your rivals’ to spot any fluctuations or opportunities springing up.
Cool feature
As part of the content quality audit, SEObility reports on duplicate paragraphs within one page, content pieces appearing on multiple pages, and even typos (apart from the complete page duplicates).
Pricing
Free version covers one project with up to 1K pages. Paid plans start from $50/mo with free trial available, credit card details required.
6. ContentKing
ContentKing is a real-time SEO auditing and change management tool that is designed to take your worries away and help you improve your site’s visibility in search engines.

This SEO analysis tool scans all the pages and reports on a wide range of aspects holding your site back: indexability issues, broken links, pages buried too deep, load speed and mobile readiness, and many more.
Each page is scanned for meta details being unique and in place, and is checked for social markups like OG and Twitter Cards, Schema markup, and Google Analytics tracking codes. Integrating your Google Analytics and Search Console, you can also see how pages perform to prioritize your optimization efforts.
At the end of the crawl, ContentKing arms you with an actionable to-do list based on all the pitfalls found.
The tool does not run in-depth content analysis, but only checks for titles, descriptions, and headings; still, it can provide insights on competitors’ overall SEO efforts.
Cool feature
Re-canning your website incessantly, ContentKing alerts you with emails on any technical issues or page-level changes popping up, for a well-timed and informed reaction.
Pricing
Custom pricing depending on the amount of pages, starting from $19/mo for 1K pages. Free trial available with limitations, no credit card details required.
7. Website Grader
Website Grader is one of those free SEO tools, which is more of an express SEO analysis service running a quick review of your domain.

The service quickly scans the homepage to check on major aspects like performance, mobile usability and SEO. The performance report does not go into detail much but only shows the overall stats for the homepage’s size, speed and a few more factors adding up to it. The mobile usability section reports whether your page is responsive and whether the content fits into viewport. Additionally, the tool gives a heads-up in case there are security/SSL certificate issues.
In terms of SEO analysis, Website Grader only checks on the most basic things: availability of a sitemap, presence of meta title, description and headings, showing errors in case those are missing. While the tool does not crawl the website in-depth and won’t provide any keyword usage stats or optimization advice tailored for your pages, it’s still a handy option for a super-quick overview.
Cool feature
Website Grader has no killer feature (funny tooltips, though) but appears to be the most express tool from the list, giving a sneak-peak on a website’s wealth.
Pricing
Free.
Summary
Same way as with any buying decision, your choice will depend on many subjective aspects: your specific needs, the areas your workflow focuses around the most, your budget, and many more. Yet, knowing what kind of SEO tools are out there and having an idea about their cons and pros can help you make an informed choice and consolidate your efforts in the winning direction. Hopefully, the post helped you find a promising candidate to try out!

Should I Start a Company Blog?

With so many social media platforms and online tools, knowing which ones to maintain a company presence on can be difficult. One tool all companies should utilize is adding a blog to your company’s website. Here are some of the benefits of starting a company blog.
Increase Organic Traffic
Blogging is an ideal way to incorporate SEO best practices into your company’s website, which can help it rank higher in search engine results. Blog posts can be created from lists of common questions your customers have, keywords they use when looking for a business like yours, and its services. This gives your website more pages to attract traffic.
Low Cost Campaigns
If your company already pays for its website hosting and domain, it doesn’t cost anything to put up a blog post. While you might have to pay a writer or a staff member once to create the blog content, you won’t have to pay anything to publish it. You can then share your company’s original content on your business’s Facebook page and Twitter account to expand its reach even further without investing more money into it.
If social media shares of your company’s blog posts drive more traffic to your website in a way that increases sales or other key metrics, investing in paid social campaigns could be another relatively low cost way to benefit from blog post content. As long as you’ve narrowed your target audience and have clear goals identified, paid social media campaigns can be successful. It is just imperative that you monitor it for results and adjust the campaign if needed. There’s no reason to pay for a social media campaign that isn’t garnering results.
Benefit from Evergreen Content
Evergreen content remains relevant over time. Unlike a blog post that features information about the employee of the month (who will likely leave someday) or upcoming menu items for a restaurant, evergreen content will remain accurate even several years after it is posted. This makes evergreen content more valuable as the same blog post can continue to attract visitors, bulk up the amount of quality content on your company’s website, and be shared over time.
Become an Industry Expert
Customers want to buy products and services from the best, most informed companies in the market. When you want to buy high quality outdoor sporting equipment, most customers want to buy it from REI over Ralph’s Sports Goods. REI publishes so much educational blog content and guides on its website, product catalogs, and other digital marketing content. It is seen as an industry leader and an expert. Having a company blog can help you develop that kind of industry expertise.
There are two key factors in developing industry expertise through blog content. First, your blog’s content must provide valuable information that your target audience wants to know about. In the case of REI, teaching customers how to skateboard enables people to learn how to participate in a new hobby. These customers wouldn’t have otherwise purchased a skateboard just might. They feel better buying a skateboard from a company with established expertise.
Second, the content must be better than the blog content that already exists. It isn’t enough to simply regurgitate the information that you can find on competitor websites and online publications. Craft compelling posts that delve deeper into topics and give a fresh perspective.
There are many reasons to start a company blog, from increased website traffic to developing long lasting, evergreen content. If you opt to start a company blog, decide how often to post and stick with it. Consistent blog posts perform better than one-off blog posts.

5 Tips to Plan Your Content so You Never Run Out of Ideas

Has this ever happened to you? You sit down at your computer, ready to write a brand new blog post. But staring back at you is a blank page. And suddenly, you don’t know what to write about anymore.
If you’ve been blogging or writing content for any length of time, chances are you’ve faced writer’s block. It happens to all of us.
Below, I’ve come up with five ways to eliminate writer’s block once and for all.
Ask your readers what you should write
Do you know what the most read email you’ll send to your list is? It’s the welcome email! Check your analytics right now and confirm it. (I’ll wait.)
You back?
Some welcome emails have open rates as high as 72%. However, most bloggers and content marketers aren’t taking advantage of it when it comes to planning content ideas.
Think about this. Someone comes to your blog, subscribes to your email list, and you send them an email that gives them the lead magnet you promised. This is all fine and good.
But, if you take the time to also ask the question: What would you like to learn more about when it comes to your blog topic, you’ll receive new content ideas every single day.
Steal Your Competitor’s Topics
One of the best ways to determine what to write about is to see what your competitors are writing about.
However, you need to do this strategically. Instead of just going to your competitor’s website and swiping their content ideas, you need to see which topics and blog posts are actually driving traffic.
One tool you can use to do this is Ubersuggest. All you would do is enter your competitor’s domain in the search bar.

Click on “view pages that drive traffic to this domain”.

And depending on the size of your competitor’s site, you’ll have dozens, if not hundreds of blog post ideas that are attracting your ideal customer.

Use Facebook Groups
One of my favorite places to find blog post topics is to go through the Facebook groups that I’m in. These groups are a hotbed of questions, engagement, and ideas for you to write about.
For instance, check out this post asking about webinars through Facebook live:

Notice how many comments it has. 65 comments is quite a bit for any group. Apparently, webinars through Facebook live is a topic people really care about.
Can you rank your post
If you’ve gone through your competitor’s websites, asked your readers what they want to learn more about, and scrolled through Facebook groups, chances are you have more blog post ideas than you can handle.
Now it’s time to weed them down to those you want to write.
Search Engine Optimization has been the most important factor in my blog’s success over the past three years. One of the ways that I eliminate what posts we write about is getting an estimate for how hard it will be to rank the post on the first page in Google.
For instance, if you have a brand new site and one of your topics is dominated by sites that have been around for a long time, you may want to put that topic on the back burner. It is really hard for a new site to compete with existing sites.
But, if the topic you want to write about has a lot of newer, less established blogs ranking for it, then go for it.
One way to estimate whether a topic is possible to rank for is using Ubersuggest.
In the search bar, enter your topic idea or keyword.

Ubersuggest will give you an estimate of how hard it is to rank the keyword with an SEO difficulty score.

It goes from 1-100, with 100 being almost impossible.
Generally speaking, the lower the SEO difficulty score, the easier it is to rank the post. (Note: This is just an estimate. There are a lot of ranking factors to take into account, and no keyword difficulty score is totally reliable.)
Use a Blog Planner
One of the most critical tools in my toolbelt is a blog planner. At the beginning of every quarter, I make sure I know exactly what topics I want to write about and when I want them to be published.
If you plan your content in advance, you’ll never have to scramble at the last minute to figure out something to write.
In my company’s blog planner, I focus on a few things.
First, I identify which keyword I want to write about. This tells me exactly what I need to write. Then I make a note of the search volume of that keyword and make an estimate of how hard that post will be to rank in Google. Finally, I estimate the value the post will have for my business.
Once I have these key metrics down, I then set publishing dates for each of the blog posts and give some thought on how I plan on promoting the post.
That way, when the day comes to publish the post, I know what I’m going to write, how I’m going to promote the post, and the impact it will have on my business.
Over to you…
By implementing these five strategies, you are guaranteed to have more blog post topics than you can handle and never suffer from writer’s block again.

Create a SaaS Website that Converts

200degrees / Pixabay
Your SaaS website is one of your biggest tools to convert potential customers to a done deal. In other words, it should act as a conversion funnel. It can walk visitors through the sales funnel all the way from awareness to close.
That is, if you have a good website.
For SaaS companies, having that is vital.
Your goal with a great B2B website is to convert 1% of all visitors. So, if you have 1000 visitors, that’s 10 contacts per month. If you don’t know what your website conversion rate is, then you’re reading the wrong post. Start by learning about the metrics behind your website’s performance so you have a baseline before learning more about conversion optimization for SaaS providers.
Keep reading to walk through how your website functions as a sales funnel.
Awareness
When you google something, you’ll probably get a few ads first, maybe the Google Snack Pack shows up, and then most often the rest of the page is filled with blogs. For example, when I google “lead generation for SaaS” I get four ads and then the rest of the page is filled with blogs. Blogs are a great way to increase the SEO ranking of your website and to create opportunities for first contact with potential customers.
Blogs generate awareness of your product. Getting them in front of your target audience is essential for improving your conversion optimization for SaaS providers. In order to do this, you need an SEO strategy. Do you know what keywords your target audience is googling? Once you find out, it’s time to write high-quality blogs that will rank for those keywords. To get the best conversion optimization possible for SaaS providers, you want your blogs to consistently rank on the first page. This way, they generate the lion’s share of awareness of your services as the first page captures 71% of all search traffic clicks.
Interest
Where are your service pages located on your website? Are they obviously situated? Clear and concise? Visually interesting?
Pages like your service pages, about page, and team page make up the interest portion of the website sales funnel. Best practice for conversion optimization for SaaS is to place these pages higher up in the navigation menu than you would your contact us button or pricing pages. When visitors head to these pages, they’re evaluating whether or not you provide the services they need. They’re now aware of your company and are clicking around the site trying to figure out if you’re right for them.
To track the right metrics for the Interest portion of the funnel, pay attention to your gross page views and page visits. This will tell you where a visitor is in the funnel and how many people are considering your services or just reading your blogs. You may not be able to track them yet as they haven’t submitted a contact form, but you should still be able to track your website performance.
Consider
A big part of successful conversion optimization for SaaS providers is to pay attention to your metrics. The consideration part of the funnel can be measured by specific page views. How many people are visiting your pricing pages? Are they looking at downloadable eBooks but haven’t taken the plunge and submitted the contact form yet?
Conversion optimization for SaaS isn’t just limited to navigation menus and blog production. When you get down to the consideration part of the funnel, you need to look at how your pricing pages are designed, the quality of your content, and the layout of each page. Is there one page that’s performing better than another? This could be due to something as little as a different font color, a new graphic, or updating the copy.
When a visitor spends some time going through your pricing pages, they’re considering your products more carefully than if they were just going through the service pages or blog. They’re aware of your product, interested in how it can solve their problems, and now they’re slowly developing an intent to buy.
Intent
Does your CRM send you an alert when someone submits a form? If it does, then it’s probably one of your favorite sounds. Now you have a new contact to work and a potential deal to close. However, getting that little beep or computer pop-up to flash on your screen is no small feat. When it comes to conversion optimization for SaaS, moving from the consideration phase to the intent phase can be difficult.
It’s important to offer different conversion points for your website visitors. With a multitude of conversion points, you can capture leads at different stages of the funnel. For example, maybe someone likes your services and pricing but still wants to learn more about your company. Offering them a gated whitepaper can give them a chance to learn more while also giving you their contact information to nurture them along with an email drip.
Best practice for conversion optimization for SaaS is to create a contact button that stands out. You want it to be in an accent color and clearly placed on your page – likely in the upper right-hand corner of your navigation menu and at the bottom of almost every page. The more opportunities to convert the better off your website will be.
Closing the Deal
Now that you have contact information for a few potential leads, it’s your turn. Conversion optimization for a SaaS provider’s website can help you greatly increase the number of contacts you get from your website. But you’ll still need to put in the effort of reaching out to a contact, either through phone or email and closing the deal.
If you’re looking for more information on how to nurture a lead to close, check out our B2B Lead Generation Playbook. Inside you’ll find 30 tactics and strategies to help you generate leads and close deals.

What is Thin Content and Why Does It Matter?

Thin content was one of the first SEO issues Google targeted with its Panda algorithm update in 2011. That update rocked the entire industry and kick-started the search giant’s war against low-quality content.
It also made life increasingly difficult for black hat SEOs trying to game the SERPs. However, there are plenty of genuine, technical reasons why you might end up with thin content on your website. In this article, we explain exactly what thin content is, how to find it on your site and what you need to do about it.
What is thin content?
Google describes thin content as having “little or no added value”. This is the description you’ll see if you’re unlucky enough to get a manual action warning in Google Search Console, informing you that you’ve been penalized for having thin content on your site.

You definitely don’t want one of those.
The question at this point is: what kind of content does Google consider to have “little or no added value”?
Back in the early Panda days, Google was mostly targeting deceptive uses of thin content – for example:
1. Content that’s automatically created
In this case we are looking at low-quality content, often created by basic machine concatenation, and offering limited, if any, value. For example, grabbing a news story in Spanish and then running it through Google Translate before adding it to your site – a big no-no.
We are starting to see examples of machines (or ‘robots’) writing high value content and this is something that will become more prevalent as AI and machine learning continue to improve. This does not fall into thin content but you would still want a human editor to review this type of content before publishing it.
2. Low-value affiliate content
Affiliate websites offering useful, comprehensive purchase advice have nothing to fear from Google. However, pages filled with affiliate links that offer no useful or relevant information for the end user are prime targets for getting hit by a search penalty.
If you’re in the affiliate game, stick to the following guidelines:

Make sure your website has a purpose beyond that of any affiliate offering alone. Affiliate pages should contribute to a tiny percentage of your total website.
Add something new to the affiliate audience. Not only will this provide access to new online niches, fuelling your affiliate ROI, but will create value to encourage SEO success.
Be objective; ask yourself whether there’s a reason why a user should land on your website before going to the actual product/service originator website. Remember, your site is an added step in the process between the user and their end destination, so there has to be a value-enhancing reason for them to take this detour.
Only offer affiliate opportunities that are closely matched to your target audience. This helps to overcome diluting your offering, mixed messaging signals and barriers with user engagement and interaction.
When you refresh and improve your main website copy, remember to review, update and add depth of value to your affiliate content too. Don’t have scraped, duplicate affiliate content on your website – make it unique, better than any other examples and something of value to your website audience.

3. Content scraped (copied) from other sources
If you systematically add content to your website from external sources, you’re also at risk of a thin content penalty. There are a number of ways in which content is copied (or scraped) from other sources, a few of the more common ones being:

Copying and pasting full articles that were not created by you.
Adding external content in part, or in full, to your site without any extra unique value.
Completing minor tweaks and changes to predominantly copied content.
Using automated means to re-purpose content that exists externally, trying to display this content as unique.
Embedding lots of other content types (video, images, infographics etc.) without bringing anything new or adding value.

4. Using doorway pages to rank in Google
Doorway pages are a means to spam the search engine results pages (SERPs) with very thin content that target a very specific term or close group of terms with the purpose of sending this traffic to another website or destination.
This creates a poor user search experience and adds unwanted steps for the user to get to their desired end result. Often, doorway pages mean that the user ends up on a lower quality and less relevant search result page than required, resulting in excessive searching to discover the content they needed.
It’s all about adding value
Essentially, if your content is copied from anywhere else, generated by software or you’re creating pages with little or no content, you could be in trouble. Even if you’re not trying to be deceptive (for example, reposting relevant news stories), you have to question why Google would choose to rank your page when it’s simply repeating content that’s already available – it has nothing new or valuable to offer.
As Google explains over at Search Console Help:
“One of the most important steps in improving your site’s ranking in Google search results is to ensure that it contains plenty of rich information that includes relevant keywords, used appropriately, that indicate the subject matter of your content.
“However, some webmasters attempt to improve their pages’ ranking and attract visitors by creating pages with many words but little or no authentic content. Google will take action against domains that try to rank more highly by just showing scraped or other cookie-cutter pages that don’t add substantial value to users.”
It all comes down to adding substantial value to the end user because this is what Google aims to deliver as a search engine.
For more info on thin content, take a look at this video from Google’s former head of web spam, Matt Cutts:

It’s not a particularly recent video but everything Matt Cutts says is still relevant today.
What are the dangers of thin content?
While the most publicized danger of thin content is getting hit by a Google search penalty, your problems run much deeper than this if you’ve got too much of it. If Google’s algorithms can tell you’re using thin content deceptively, then you can bet the majority of users who visit your site can see it as soon as they land on the page.
Whatever your objectives are with the page, you’re not going to convince many people to take action this way. You’ll struggle to keep users on the page, encourage them to engage with your brand or inspire them to convert.
Essentially, this is the real danger of thin content: your marketing objectives are going to fall flat.
Now, in terms of the Google Search penalties, these can be pretty devastating and it helps to understand how Google’s Panda algorithm works.
Thin content and Google Panda algorithm updates
The Google Panda update was first released in 2011 with the purpose of de-valuing low-value and thin websites, to stop them from appearing so prominently in SERPs.
The other, lesser communicated, side of this update was the additional ranking gains (tied to content quality signals) rewarding websites creating high-quality content.

Google Panda updates can impact (remember, this ‘impact’ can be positive or negative) a single page, a whole topic or theme, multiple themes, or entire websites.
The Panda filter applies a number of perceived content quality criteria as well as questions that the Google Quality Raters would be asking themselves when manually viewing content – things like:

Does the content convey expertise, authority and trust (E-A-T)?
Are the ‘Your Money or Your Life’ (YMYL) pages present and providing everything needed (think about pages tied to transactions, financial details, private information collection and more)?
Is there depth of content? For example, do core service pages cover the main topic, plus supplemental information, and enable the user to immerse themselves into the topic (and discover more information easily, should they choose to)?
Is the content accessible? Can it be accessed easily within the site structure? How quickly does the content load? Does the content work effectively on mobile devices?

The above is just the starting point for Panda protecting your website and content.
It is important to get a second opinion on your content. Be objective and honest with yourself and your team about the quality of what is being produced, and how it needs to improve.
Not all thin content is deceptive
While the penalties for having too much thin content can be severe, there are quite a lot of scenarios where you’re naturally going to end up with content that could fall into this category.
Search results pages
If you have a search function on your website, the results pages are going to offer very little or no original content. This can’t be helped, of course. The purpose of a search results page is to show snippets of other pages across your site and help users choose the most relevant option.
Solution: Prevent Google from indexing results pages by adding a disallow line for these pages in robot.txt file.
Photo/video galleries
In many cases, it’s perfectly reasonable to have a photo or video gallery on your website. You might be a wedding photographer, a marquee hire company or a business with a bunch of video case studies to show off.
If the purpose of this page is to allow visitors to browse your photos or videos and choose which ones they want to view, this causes some thin content issues. You probably don’t want a load of text getting in the way on the gallery page itself and your problems get worse if each image or video has its own dedicated page.
Solution: This really depends on how you structure your gallery. You might choose to create content for your gallery page and no-index the individual image/video pages, for example. Or you might take the opposite approach and create unique content for each image/video and no-index the gallery page.
Alternatively, you could create a carousel that displays all images/videos on the same URL – it all depends on what you want to rank for and the kind of content you’re planning to create.
Shopping cart pages
Shopping cart pages aren’t there to provide users with valuable content; they’re designed to help people manage orders and complete purchases. Technically, we’re in thin content territory here but the fix is pretty simple.
Solution: Once again, stop Google from indexing these pages by no-indexing them in your robot.txt file.
Duplicate pages
Duplicate pages are a natural part of managing a website. Moving over to HTTPS from HTTP creates duplicates, as does having www and non-www domains while managing multilingual websites and recreating pages for multiple locations can also result in duplicates.
Technically, duplicate content isn’t quite the same thing as thin content but the two do overlap in certain cases.
Solution: Mark the page version you want to rank with canonical tags, use 301 redirects if you’re sending users to a different URL and use hreflang tags for international languages/locations.
In many cases, thin content isn’t detrimental to the user experience at all. In fact, it’s sometimes better to forget about content and simply deliver the functionality users need – eg: shopping carts.
Luckily, keeping these pages safe from search penalties is relatively simple. By no-indexing pages, telling Google which version to index (canonical tags) and/or using 301 redirects to send users to the right place, non-deceptive thin content shouldn’t be a problem.
Can I have thin content on product pages?
This is one of the most common scenarios where thin and/or duplicate content occurs on a website. This is especially true if you’re selling multiple versions of the same or very similar product.
Naturally, brands try to avoid having duplicate content across these pages but it’s difficult to say the same thing in a hundred different ways.
It becomes a battle of thin content vs duplicate content and this causes a lot of confusion for website owners, SEOs and marketers in general.
The truth is, duplicate content is the lesser of two evils here and it’s better to provide users with comprehensive product details – even if they’re the same or similar – than publishing pages with very little (albeit unique) content.
Here’s What Google’s Andrey Lipattsev had to say about duplicate product pages during a Q&A on duplicate content with fellow Googler John Mueller.
“And even, that shouldn’t be the first thing people think about. It shouldn’t be the thing people think about at all. You should think, I have plenty of competition in my space, what am I going to do? And changing a couple of words is not going to be your defining criteria to go on. You know, the thing that makes or breaks a business.”
More to the point, there is no search penalty for duplicate content but there is for thin content.
So, when it comes to product pages, don’t worry too much about duplicate content for very similar products or variations of the same product. Instead, focus on optimizing for the best experience and giving Google any clues you can about which page to prioritize in terms of indexing.
Here are some tips:
The key takeaway from the Q&A on duplicate content is that when pages are similar (or the same), Google is looking for a way to differentiate between them and product descriptions are just one of the hundreds of factors it looks at.

Provide full product details on every page
List the key benefits of each product
Include images and videos where relevant
Create unique content where you can
Avoid copying product descriptions from other sites (eg: Nike’s descriptions of its shoes you’re selling)
Allow users to select different versions of the same product from a single page (sizes, colors, etc.)
Use canonical tags if you want Google to index one version of the same or very similar pages
Focus on adding value beyond product descriptions: page speed, mobile optimization, navigation, etc.

How do you find thin content on your site?
There are a number of ways to discover thin content (levels of words, duplication, and value) and a few of the more common actions can be seen below.
1. Copyscape
Using Copyscape (and other free tools), you can crawl the web to look for any content that has been copied from your domain, as well as any content that may have been added to your own site over the years copied (in part or full) from external sites.

2. Google search operators
You can also use Google search operators to manually check Google for instances of content copying/scraping or duplication.
Here’s an example of what you need to do:

Copy a selection of content that you feel may have been copied (consider more successful content types you have added to the site)
Paste into Google (in this case assuming it was text content) within quotes (“”)
Review the results

Here’s an example of the above in action. In this case checking any duplication of content from a post I created for Search Engine Journal:

As you can see, the first site appearing is the originator website, and as this content is opinion-driven, it is intended to be distributed, shared socially and used on other websites.
An important aspect of this is the purpose of the content, whether it’s to drive traffic back to the main website, encourage shares or something else.
3. Deep data platforms
I’ve been using our machine learning software Apollo Insights for nearly ten years. One of the ways in which I use the data is to locate pages that are not contributing towards total site success.
You can see this in action below (the ‘Page Activity’ widget):

Another metric I use Apollo Insights for is locating content with a limited word count.
Although more words doesn’t always mean better quality content, in most cases a page with very few words is unlikely to be providing the depth of user and search value needed to deliver an optimum search experience.
You can see this below using a deep data grid – in this case I am looking at depth of content based on expected content structural elements, things like the presence of multiple levels of header tags, and checking that the page is active and real:

Remaining with Apollo, ‘Auditor’ tells me how many pages have fewer words on them than I would expect from a high-quality website page. I can also look at the bigger picture and combine this knowledge with items like: external linking, framed content, pages orphaned off from the main website and much more.

How do you fix thin content?
The first stage in fixing thin content is understanding what high-quality and value-enhancing content looks like in the first place. The example below is from Think With Google: ‘The Customer Journey to Online Purchase‘.
Some of the key points which flag this as high quality for me include:

The use of unique data to provide user meaning.
The ability for the user to engage with the content and work with it to create new value.
Mixed content types and content segmentation for easy understanding and skim reading.
Responsive design, supporting universal access to information.
Solving a problem – purposeful content is a key factor for truly valuable content creation.
Detailed supporting information placing the report into context, backing up the stats and enabling further reading on the topic.

Using external comparisons is a great way to put in place the lowest benchmark for your own content quality. The goal is to create content on your website that is far better than any other examples available online.
Once you identify what ‘good’ looks like in your niche, you want to move towards creating ‘great’ content. At this stage, you need to find the content that doesn’t work at present (see previous section on ‘finding thin content’) and boost the content so that it can contribute more towards total site success, as well as its own standalone value.
“You will also need to find new opportunities for effective content creation. Don’t limit your content value by re-purposing alone, there is always an opportunity to create something amazing with digital content.”
Other tactics for creating new quality content include:

Looking at real-time data changes for new content ideas and action points.
Following social media trends to see what your audience needs.
Keeping up to date with industry changes and regularly revisiting old and existing website copy.
Looking at big data (all of the relevant data) so you can base decision making on more than gut feel.
Creating tiered content strategies and aligning them – a blog post is great, but supporting this with an infographic and updating it from the data you receive after it goes live, is much better.
Asking your audience what they want – after all, the content should be primarily to help them solve their needs.

5 Steps to Effective Video Landing Pages

Video landing pages are an effective part of marketing campaigns. After all, video is the most engaging media out there—and engagement is a key step on the buyer’s journey. But if you’re going to add video to your campaigns, you can’t just slap any video on any landing page and call it a day. Here are five steps to making video landing pages that actually work.
1. Put your video in context
Does your video align with the rest of the content on your landing page? If not, you run the risk of confusing your audience and turning them off. If your landing page is informative and educational, don’t add a video that’s focused on your product. Take a video-first approach in your campaign planning—that means you have video in mind right from the start, then build your landing page around the primary message within that video.
2. Make your video BIG
Have you noticed how screens keep getting bigger? Our phones, tablets, living room TVs and even movie theaters are all getting bigger. Video demands to be BIG, and the same is true for your landing page. Viewers love videos that fill the screen—and the fact is, when it’s big, they’re more likely to click “play.”
3. Put your video front and center
Speaking of filling the screen, your video should be front and center when viewers arrive on your landing page. Do you have a hero banner at the top of your page? Maximize that prime real estate and make it a video. You’ll quickly capture your visitors’ attention and keep it.
4. Choose your thumbnail wisely
There’s a hurdle to your viewers clicking “play” on your videos; they want to know if it’s worth their time before they start watching. You need to tell them exactly what they’re getting right off the bat, and a clear, helpful thumbnail is how you do that. You can even add text so it’s super obvious (example: “Three tips to maximize SEO”). Having a person in your thumbnail also entices viewers to click “play.”
5. Optimize your landing page—including the video
SEO is commonly overlooked with video content—but it shouldn’t be. Video Schema Markup helps search engines crawl your video content and deliver your pages to the right audience in search results. Check out our post on video SEO to learn how it’s done.
Video landing page DON’Ts
We’ve gone over the things you should be doing, but there are also a couple things you should avoid when adding videos to your landing pages.
Autoplay
When people go online, they want to be in control of their experience. When they land on a page and a video starts playing immediately (especially with sound on—yikes!), they’re understandably upset. Don’t set your videos to autoplay. Exception: If you are driving people to your video landing page from an email, autoplay is actually a better experience. Your viewers have already clicked the thumbnail within the email; they don’t want to click again.
Lightboxes
Video lightboxes are pop-ups that take over your webpage. These are just another way of taking control away from your viewers; they can’t scroll away or look at any of your other landing page content while the video plays. Embed your video natively, within the landing page so that your viewers can interact with it however they choose.

The Role of Intent Data in SEO Success

Search engines are getting smarter every day. Combine that with the fact that your competitors are creating more content than ever and you have a recipe for search engine optimization (SEO) disaster.
The problem is that SEO is all too often boiled down to keyword research and content creation. We’ve come a long way from spammy keyword stuffing as a means to SEO success. But still, there’s something missing from the usual keyword research/content creation approach—a focus on intent.
New search engine algorithms are better than ever at matching results with searcher intent. Your job isn’t just to optimize your content for specific keywords, it’s to make sure the searcher is getting exactly what they need when they click on your link. And with third-party intent data, you’ll have the insights necessary to do just that.
4 Types of Searcher Intent
When we talk about B2B purchase intent, it’s often in the context of capturing total active demand. But purchase intent insights aren’t static. Being able to correlate intent data to your sales funnel is critical to increasing engagement and conversions. This is true for searcher intent, too.
Today, so much of SEO relies on your ability to understand what a searcher is trying to accomplish with a specific query. And generally speaking, searcher intent can fall into one of four categories:

Informational: This top-of-funnel stage of searcher intent is all about research. Your searchers are trying to gather information about a particular problem and are looking for your content to provide higher-level education. This is an opportunity to educate target prospects from your perspective.
Navigational: In the middle of your sales funnel, searchers are looking for vendors/service providers to solve a particular problem. These queries often include branded keywords and get prospects more familiar with where you stand versus competitors.
Commercial: These queries are often still in the middle of the funnel as prospects are narrowing their search for a vendor. Brand-specific content that compares and contrasts your brand against a competitor can fulfill this kind of searcher intent.
Transactional: This is where you can focus on converting searchers at the bottom of your funnel. In many cases, these queries will be highly specific and come with higher expectations for matching content to intent.

These types of searcher intent are nothing new. SEO pros have been focusing on intent for a long time now. However, SEO doesn’t often come up in the typical conversations around purchase intent. We should be thinking about searchers and prospects as one and the same—because in B2B, they are. And by investing in purchase intent data, you can better understand what content will resonate best both for search engines and in-market prospects.
Boosting SEO Results with Intent Data
One of the biggest advantages of third-party intent data is that it gives you insight into how your prospects are interacting with competitor content. Rather than solely relying on keyword research to dictate topics for content creation, you can see what searchers/prospects are engaging with online and plan your own marketing efforts accordingly.
The best part is that the right intent data can deliver organic, in-market prospect web visits at a rate that’s 4x cheaper than paid search. Instead of spending your marketing dollars on keyword bidding, intent data gives you the foundation of insights to create content that you know will drive clicks and convert.
In the world of SEO, the marketers that best align with searcher intent will win top SERP rankings. This isn’t a competition you should leave to chance. Partnering with a third-party intent data provider that has a proven track record of success is the SEO success factor that B2B marketers are overlooking.
But not all intent data is created equal. If you want to learn more about what to look for when evaluating intent data providers, download our free report, Demystifying B2B Purchase Intent Data.