How to Create Backlink-Worthy Content

How to Create Backlink-Worthy Content

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Backlinks are vital to your SEO strategy. They tell Google that your content is of high quality and that others think it’s good enough to link to.But getting backlinks can be difficult. You could always offer a guest blog in exchange for a backlink, but not every site that you want to link back to you wants to take that offer.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have a backlink strategy and employ other methods of gaining backlinks. But you can increase the number of organic backlinks to your site simply by offering high-quality content that people want to link to. So what kind of content generates organic backlinks?

Think

Think About Why People Link

The first step to creating backlink-worthy content is to know why people link in the first place. If you link to an external site either on a webpage or on a blog post, why do you choose that site? Usually, it’s because you get something out of it – it lends authority to your own content, there are images or video content that you want to reference, or even because you think it would be helpful for your own readers.

Take a close look at content that you choose to link to and think about what characteristics led you to link to that content over something else about the same topic. Then, try to create your own content to reflect those characteristics.

high-quality content

Be an Authority

A key characteristic of high-quality content is that it’s informative. It’s something users want to read. Sure, it’s important to include keywords and alt text for SEO, but your content should cater to readers, not to search engines. The search engines are taking user experience into account when ranking sites, so it’s important to make sure that you’re creating content with your users in mind.

Research what’s already out there and then put your own spin on it. Make sure to link back to credible sites. If your content is better than the other content that’s out there, then yours will be what people will naturally link to.

use videos or images

Use Video and Images

The Internet is steadily moving towards video. Users will spend more time watching videos than they will reading text. So not only will this help with your SEO, but it’ll also attract more users who will spend more time on your page. And it’s not just about videos, either – images and infographics are also essential to your content.

Visuals can help break up the text so it’s less intimidating to users, as well as helping users understand what your content is about. It makes your content much more engaging to your users, who will spend more time on your page, improving your bounce rate. Studies have shown that in addition to all of that, visual content also helps you obtain more organic backlinks.

The quality of your content and how it resonates with your users is the most important thing. Adding visuals improves your content, which has the knock-on effect of improving user experience, which increases your CTR and the number of backlinks you can get, which then improves your search rankings.

Need some help growing your web presence and strengthening your brand? You’ve come to the right place.

UX Signals and Why They’re Important

UX Signals and Why They’re Important

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UX signals are how your users tell you whether or not they’re finding the content on your website valuable. UX stands for user experience, which has been Google’s primary focus since its inception back in 1998. Google’s early updates, including Panda and Penguin, were designed to improve user experience and discourage the black hat SEO tactics that were making the Internet a great place for shady marketers but a discouraging place for users.

Google Is for Users

Google didn’t stop updating its algorithms with Panda and Penguin. Every update since has been intended to improve the online experience for users. SEO has thus had to change its focus over the years.

In the early days of Google, SEO was, for many, a way to manipulate the search engines and game the system to be the top results. Users and websites who were focused on providing high-quality content for their users were left behind. Google has since made a lot of updates to change this and to punish such black hat SEO techniques while rewarding sites that provided a good user experience.

User experience is the most important factor in SEO. The better your UX, the more users will visit it, the more Google will reward your site by moving it up in the search rankings, and the longer users will stay on your site. But how do you know that your website is really providing a good user experience?

What Are UX Signals?

This is where UX signals come in. They’re the Internet’s way of letting you know whether your users are happy with your content or not. UX signals are behavioral patterns, which are used by Google to affect your page rankings. The most important two are click through rate (CTR) and bounce rate, which Google takes the most seriously. These two UX signals definitely affect your page rankings.

Click Through Rate

Click through rate, or CTR, is the number of users who click on your snippet on the SERP, or search result page. If your CTR is high, that’s a good sign and Google will bump your page higher in the search results. If your CTR is low, it will rank lower. Google wants to display at the top to pages that users click on the most, trusting users to click on the best pages.

It’s important for your SEO that you monitor each page to see what its CTR is. Those with a high click through rate are definitely doing something right. For pages with a low CTR, check out the meta-description of the page and model it after the pages that have a higher CTR. Having a more engaging and appealing snippet will help draw more users to that page.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the rate at which users click on the SERP link to your page and then bounce, or click back to the search results page again. A high bounce rate indicates to Google that while your page’s snippet may be enticing, the site itself isn’t engaging or valuable enough to users to keep them on your site.

It can be tricky to determine whether or not your bounce rate is high because there are different measurements of it. Whether or not users visit other pages on your site counts, as does how long users spend reading your page. Your bounce rate can also vary depending on the type of website. An online store may have a lower natural bounce rate than a blog, where many users read just one article.

Pay Attention to Analytics

Google Analytics will be your best friend when it comes to measuring your UX signals. Not only can you monitor your CTR and bounce rate, but you can also see how long users stay on each page. Look at how many return visitors you have. If it looks like users aren’t visiting very much, don’t stay for long, and don’t look at anything else you have to offer, pay attention to that. Your content may need an update to be more appealing to your target audience.

How to Optimize Your Keywords for Voice Search

How to Optimize Your Keywords for Voice Search

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Voice Search

There was once a time when voice search was firmly in the domain of science fiction. You’d see space ship captains or superheroes search by asking the computer, usually an AI, a question. However, that future is now a reality. More and more searches are voice-based searches every day.

Google Voice Search has been around since 2012 and has been increasing in popularity ever since. Mobile devices have their own built-in voice search as well, including Cortana and Siri. Then came Amazon Alexa and Google Home and the other dedicated voice search virtual assistants.

Ever since 2017, voice search has been one of the top trends in SEO. It’s therefore essential for SEO marketers to take voice search into account when planning any SEO strategy. In particular, keywords are affected by the new voice search trend. So what do we need to do to optimize for voice search?

Google Voice Search

Modern Artificial Intelligence

Imagine artificial intelligence in science fiction. When people interact with it, whether it’s a computer or a robot, it’s always via voice. For the most part, people speak to these AIs exactly as they would a person. The format of any query is conversational.

People don’t usually search for single-word keywords when they search for something using voice search. They ask a question. Keywords should, therefore, be designed to respond to this type of search.

Answer a Question

Say you run a pizza restaurant in Winter Springs, Florida. The keywords that you’d want to rank for would probably be pizza, Winter Springs pizza, best pizza restaurant or something similar. But if people are looking for pizza using voice search, they’re not searching for pizza. They’re asking “What’s the best pizza in Winter Springs?” or “Where can I get pizza in Winter Springs?”

Your keyword strategy should seek to answer questions that your customers are most likely going to be asking.

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are going to be an important part of your SEO strategy. These are key phrases that are generally three or four words or longer and has a head keyword. A head keyword is a short general keyword (like “pizza”) that the long-tail keyword is based around.

The advantage of long-tail keywords is that they more accurately represent how people actually talk. They can answer a question or mirror a question that users are actually asking. Single keywords are nice and easy for typing on a computer but longer key phrases are necessary to respond to users’ voice searches.

Long-tail keywords have the added benefit of being easier to rank for. You’re competing only with other pizza restaurants in Winter Springs for “best pizza in Winter Springs” instead of competing with the entire world for “pizza.”

Optimizing for Voice Search

Answer the Public is a great resource for key phrase inspiration. If you enter a short keyword into its search bar, it’ll provide you with a chart filled with questions that users ask about that particular word. You can look through their list to find the questions that you think your users might want to know the answer to. Then, you can use Google Analytics to see what has the best results.

Need some help growing your web presence and strengthening your brand? You’ve come to the right place.

Facebook 2019: Updates to Look Out for This Year

Facebook 2019: Updates to Look Out for This Year

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Facebook 2019

 

Facebook, which has been a fixture of social media since 2004, has been constantly updating since its founding. 2019 is no exception. This year’s updates include some fundamental changes to Facebook’s approach to online privacy, as well as some more cosmetic changes.

The Future of Privacy

Facebook hasn’t always had the best relationship with online privacy. It’s had repeated run-ins with the FCC over how users’ private information has been handled, often publicly without their consent. But 2019 sees Facebook turning over a new leaf.

In the past, Facebook’s aim was to make as much of its content as publicly available as possible. In fact, many shared more than intended because they hadn’t updated their privacy settings. But today, Facebook has recognized that the future of online communication isn’t public, but actually private.

Most people now communicate online either directly or in small groups, rather than posting things for as many people as possible to see. The idea is to make people feel like they fit in more by creating small communities via Facebook groups and Messenger. Facebook is even exploring the idea of making posts expire after a certain period of time, similar to Instagram Stories.

For users, this is great news. Their privacy will be even more protected online. But for businesses seeking to use Facebook for marketing and SEO, the new focus may necessitate a change in approach. Instead of sharing content to the Facebook world at large, content creators may need to instead direct their efforts towards smaller groups.

Facebook has also made some updates to its logo and website to reflect its new groups and messenger focus.

Ad Updates

There were also a lot of updates to Facebook ads that were announced for this year. You can now insert product stickers into Instagram Stories so that users can click a link directly to an online store if they like the look of a product. But that’s not the only thing that’s new in the world of Facebook advertising.

Starting in 2019, ads will have the capability of using augmented reality – businesses can use this feature to demonstrate how products can or should be used. Ads can also be posted on Facebook Stores – while not as popular yet as Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories will be another option for businesses to reach their customers.

Improved Metrics

Facebook has made changes to its metrics, especially for video advertisements. This should be particularly useful to businesses using video and will help improve the ability to measure an audience’s engagement with videos. There will also be more self-service opportunities to explore what kind of impact your ads have and how they affect your audience’s perception of your or your company’s brand.

2019 should prove to be an exciting year for content providers and brands on Facebook. With the new ad features available, you can engage more directly with your audience. The new metrics can then help you to understand exactly what impact those new ads had for you. These changes should only improve our ability to create and promote brands with Facebook and we can’t wait to use them!

Need some help growing your web presence and strengthening your brand? You’ve come to the right place.

The Importance of Video Content

The Importance of Video Content

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Video Content

The Internet Isn’t Just for Cat Videos

Many people have heard the story about how Google scientists connected 16,000 computers together to create the world’s largest machine learning neural network and then gave it access to YouTube, where it found so many cat videos that it taught itself to recognize cats. But YouTube isn’t just cat videos and tutorials. It’s also the second-largest search engine on the Internet.

YouTube

An Audience of Millions

There are 1.3 billion users on YouTube watching almost 5 billion videos every day. That’s a huge audience that you can capitalize on by adding video content to your marketing strategy. Creating video content and uploading it to your company’s YouTube account can help build your brand and share important content with over a billion people.

Videos Rank

Reaching more people isn’t the only benefit of creating video content. Videos that are optimized will also rank on Google for relevant searches. If you’ve been on Google at all in the past few years (who hasn’t?), then you’ll have noticed that videos show up not only on the Videos tab of the search engine results page but also on the main results page as well.

via GIPHY

 

 

Going Viral

Videos have a much greater chance of going viral than any other type of content. Videos are easily, and therefore frequently, shared content. Users share videos on social media and from there they generate likes, pins, upvotes, shares, and other social signals. Google pays attention to these social signals and will adjust the ranking of your video accordingly.

Videos for SEO

Users like to watch videos and their very presence on your website can actually increase the number of conversions that you get. In addition, if your videos are properly optimized, the video script can be transcribed by Google and then used for your SEO just like your website content, blogs, and social media posts.

Put a Face to the Name

Videos are so popular for a variety of reasons. Users don’t always want to read and the visual content can be incredibly compelling. It also humanizes your company, putting a face to the name. People like to follow other people. They like to know who they’re buying from, or who they’ll be working with.
content marketing

Valuable Content

Your blogs and your text can tell your visitors about your company and products. Videos, on the other hand, can show them. If you sell a physical product, then you can use videos to demonstrate your products. Videos can also be tutorials or even just glimpses into your company’s culture and what it would be like to work with you.

If you can get customers to provide testimonials, having those in video form is incredibly powerful. Real customers’ experiences with your company will be considered more credible than anything your company could say.

Videos Are the Future

The popularity of video content doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. Videos are here to stay and will only increase in the future. Not only is video content a good addition to your marketing strategy now, but it is also a great way to future-proof your SEO, as video optimization will be a major part of SEO for a long time to come.

Why You Shouldn’t Cross-Post on Social Media

Why You Shouldn’t Cross-Post on Social Media

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Why You Shouldn’t Cross-Post on Social Media

Cross-posting is sharing the same content (in the exact same way, with the same image, the same wording, etc.) across all social media platforms. It can also be sharing the same post again on the same platform. It’s easy to do, as it reduces the amount of work you have to put in to your social media posts.

And it’s okay from time to time, for special posts or things that you need to make sure everyone sees. But for everyday posting, it’s also a bad habit to get into.

Different Platforms, Different Needs

What makes a great Tweet won’t necessarily make a great Instagram or Facebook post. By using the exact same post across multiple platforms, you’re actually missing out on the opportunity to optimize your posts for each social media platform.

hashtags

Hashtags

Some social media sites encourage almost unlimited hashtags while on others it should be limited to only a few. Twitter, for example, has character limits on all posts and so too much of the post shouldn’t be taken up with hashtags, while Instagram posts generally have many hashtags.

CTA

CTA Vocabulary

CTA vocabulary can differ across platforms. If you’re not careful about how cross-posted content is worded, you’ll end up inviting users on Facebook to retweet your post. Using the appropriate language for each social media platform is an important part of engaging users with a CTA. If you don’t use the language of a platform at all in an effort to avoid using the wrong words when cross-posting, you may also be limiting your engagement with users on social media.

Target Audience

The target audience may different between different social media platforms. LinkedIn in general has an older audience that is more professionally focused while other platforms may have a higher concentration of different ages groups, genders, etc. Instagram users, for example, tend to be younger and are more often women. Posts that do well with one demographic may not perform as well with others.

Look Sir, Droids 

 

 

 

via GIPHY

If too much of your content looks the same, whether it’s across different social media platforms or even repeated on the same platform, it will begin to look automated. Not only will users think your posts are from bots (which may make them disregard your posts), but the social media platforms themselves may think the same thing. Sites are increasing their efforts to curb spam and bot accounts and you risk getting your accounts banned if your posts look too automated.

 

 

Diminishing Post Quality

If a post is ideal for one social media platform, it can lose a lot of what makes it good in the transition to another platform.

  • Captions
  • Images
  • Links
  • Handles
  • Hashtags

These are all features of social media posts that can easily end up being lost in the transition between one social media platform to another. Not only will users miss out on the benefits of having these in the posts, it’ll also end up looking sloppy. Sloppy posts may make users think that it’s spam and therefore may be ignored.

Creating Unique Posts

Creating different posts for sharing the same content across different social media platforms will take more time and effort than simply cross-posting the same material, but not by much. The content of each post doesn’t need to be wildly different for each post – it just needs to be different enough that it looks like human effort was put into it and so that it is created with each social media platform in mind.

Small Changes Across Platforms

Even the tiniest of changes can make a big difference. Posts will look different to your users who may see your posts on different social media sites. If you’re reposting, having a slightly different headline or caption and a different word order will prevent your posts from looking like they’re from a spam account to the social media platform.

Platform Optimization

Special attention should be paid to optimizing your posts for each specific social media platform. This can include making sure that media is properly formatted for that site, including captions, handles, internal links, tags, and more that will make your post platform-specific. This attention to detail can make your posts stand out – they’re designed specifically for that social media site and are better able to engage users there. They also won’t look like spam.

Schedule Posts Differently

Just like social media platforms have different optimization techniques, they also have different times at which content should be posted for optimal viewing. You can make the most out of your post by making sure it is scheduled for the best time for each social media platform. These times and days may be wildly different depending on when users of each platform tend to be the most active on that site.

Mix It Up

While much of your content may be similar with some tweaks for different platforms, not all content will be appropriate on all platforms. Memes may work better on Twitter than on Facebook, for example. Sharing a new product might garner more interest on Pinterest where it would be totally ignored on LinkedIn. It’s best to determine exactly what kind of content will do well on each platform and make sure you’re tailoring your content to each specific social media site’s audience.

Improved User Experience

As easy as it might be to fall into the trap of cross-posting, ultimately it will benefit both you and your users to spend the extra time and effort in making different posts for different social media platforms. Users will be more engaged with posts tailored to their needs and expectations on social media, which will improve UX with your content, which will in turn send more users to your website. Social media is a part of what brings users to your website and so improving your social media game can ultimately improve your SEO strategy as well.

If you need help evaluating your user experience or SEO strategies, don’t delay – contact us today for a free consultation!

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Need some help growing your web presence and strengthening your brand? You’ve come to the right place.