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.

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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 

 

 

 

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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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Click This Now! Calling Users to Action

Click This Now! Calling Users to Action

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What is a call to action and why should you have one? An effective call to action, or CTA, is an integral part of any marketing campaign. It’s what gets users to perform a desired action, whether that’s to click on a link, to sign up for a newsletter, to buy a product, or to visit a web page. A CTA is also a way to tell users what to expect once they’ve clicked and can help ensure that only users who are truly interested in your page or product. 

Creating an Effective CTA

An effective call to action is one that appeals to users’ emotions and gets them enthusiastic about the action you’d like them to perform. Using strong command verbs (download, subscribe, sign up, click, find out, fill out, buy, order, shop, etc.) and phrasing that shows excitement can encourage that same enthusiasm in readers.

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Be Creative

While it’s always a good idea to see what the competition is doing (which can also be used as inspiration for your own marketing and content), it’s also important to make sure that you separate yourself from the crowd and stand out. Your CTAs shouldn’t just be a reiteration of jargon that’s used in your industry. Not only is that annoying to users, who’ve by now heard that same phrase hundreds of times over, it also doesn’t give users a reason why they should click on your post over others.

Be Yourself

Keep in mind that everything you post, from advertisements to blogs to social media posts, is a part of your brand. CTAs should therefore reflect your brand and what you stand for. The wording should still match the content on your site and fit into your overall narrative. Don’t let your CTAs sound out-of-character and keep them consistent with the content you already have.

Sell… But Don’t Sell?

This may sound counterintuitive, especially if you’re selling something. An effective CTA is bold and clear about selling something (Buy now! Shop Here! Limited-time Sale!), but at the same time needs to not make users feel like they’re being sold to. Keeping a post and a CTA personal may make users instead feel like they’re part of a conversation rather than just being the recipients of a sales pitch.

While Supplies Last

Many users experience FOMO, or the fear of missing out. If your promotion/sale/event is not going to last forever, you can take advantage of FOMO and inform users that they have only a limited period of time to click/register/purchase, etc. Not wanting to miss out can actually be another form of enthusiasm about your product/site/newsletter.

Click Here Now

No matter how excitingly worded your CTA, if there isn’t a good reason for users to click, they won’t. Make sure that the benefits of clicking (or performing the desired action) are made clear to them. Including what makes your product, your newsletter, your site, etc. special is therefore a must – why should users visit your site/buy your product/watch your video?

Make It Easy

The content of the CTA should be easy for users to read and understand. If there is industry jargon that only people already in the industry would understand, don’t use it in your CTA. Be as informational as possible without overwhelming your users with too much text. Users have hundreds of CTAs (or more) coming through on their social media feeds/e-mail inboxes/Google searches/etc. If yours is too long or too difficult to understand, users won’t consider it worth their time to read or take the desired action.

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Social Media CTAs

Social media posts are already great opportunities to share new content on your website. A CTA can therefore be included to get users to click on the link/visit your website/watch your video/etc. Social media CTAs can be used to:

  • Direct users to a new blog post
  • Feature a specific product for users to buy
  • Encourage users to follow/like you
  • Ask users to sign up for a newsletter or e-mail campaign
  • Ask users to register for an event
  • Inform users of a limited time offering/opportunity
  • And more….

Creating CTAs for social media is similar to creating CTAs for advertisements or for your website, but have a few additional characteristics you should keep in mind:

Platform-Specific CTAs

It’s better for SEO purposes to not have social media posts be exactly the same across all of your social media platforms. The same goes for CTAs. Different social media platforms have different CTAs that perform better. For example, Twitter posted a blog that analyzed the top-performing CTAs on Twitter:

  • Download
  • Retweet
  • Follow
  • Reply

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Other social media sites may have similar trends that can help you create posts and CTAs that will perform the best on that site.

Media-Enhanced Messages

CTAs in social media posts can be enhanced by eye-catching media, including images, gifs, and videos. These are eye-catching and can entice users to look at your post when they may not have if it had text only. Images and videos can also provide users with information that they may have ignored if it had been text.

Do the Work for the User

Make sure that the user has the least possible amount of work to do when they click on your social media post. Instead of having it link to your home page, if you want users to sign up or to register for something, the post should instead lead them directly to the page they need. If they have to search for the right page, they may click off without performing the desired action.

Testing CTAs

Some CTAs are more effective than others. Some CTAs are better for certain social media platforms than others. The best way to find out is to do your research and to try out different CTAs to see which ones perform best. Fortunately, CTAs are a measurable quantity and once you’ve got a CTA posted, you can see which ones have the best results.

Tweak Your Tests

Before starting your CTA tests, it’s important to realize that what works on one platform is unlikely to work as well on another. If you have a CTA you believe will get good results on Twitter, it may not be worth your time to try that exact same CTA on LinkedIn or Facebook. Research ahead of time what each social media platform reports are its most successful CTAs, if the information is available. Also check out what competitors are doing on each social media platform for ideas and a place to start.

Factors to Test

Everything that goes into creating a CTA, from the image chosen to the exact wording, can be tweaked and tested for effectiveness. Testing one thing at a time to see if it improves your click-through-rate. These factors can include:

  • Text wording
  • Image
  • Post length
  • Style of post
  • Bulleted list vs. numbered list
  • Emoji usage
  • Post tone, including casual vs. formal and active vs. passive
  • Use of punctuation
  • Headline
  • Etc.

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Putting It All Together

Over time, through measuring and testing the effectiveness of your CTAs, you can improve your posts to bring in a larger number of users. And not just any users – your posts should be tailored to provide the information users need to know whether what you’re offering is something they want. This way, the wrong users won’t be stumbling across your site (and therefore increasing your bounce rate when they realize that your content isn’t what they’re looking for).

The better the fit between your users and your content, the more quality visits your site will get, which will ultimately affect your SEO and your search rankings.

If you need help with aligning your website’s content with both SEO and conversion goals – contact us today for a free consultation!  Fill out our form below.

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Help Your Users Find Your Content

Help Your Users Find Your Content

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Finding Your Website
While high quality content is important both for search rankings and for user experience, if your users can’t find your content easily, they are likely to get frustrated and leave your site. This would lead to higher bounce rates and, eventually, lower search rankings. Therefore, you should make sure that your website is designed to help your users find what they are looking for.

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Finding Your Website

So you have high-quality content you want users to see…but how do you get them to visit your website in the first place?

SEO and Search Rankings

Increasing your search rankings will naturally guide users to your website. Having a good SEO strategy can help improve your rankings for specific keywords. When users search for those words and phrases, the higher your site appears in their search, the more likely they are to visit your site.

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Social Media Sharing

Social media can be an excellent tool for getting your content out there. Maintaining a social media presence and engaging with users there can increase awareness of your content and can drive users to visit your website. You can share new content as well as resharing evergreen content to keep your social media presence active.

Navigating Your Website

Now that users have arrived on your website, how do you help them stay on your site and find more content? navigation menu

Navigation Menu

The navigation menu at the top of the page is perhaps the most important element in helping users find what they’re looking for. It’s their guidemap to your site. Any page on your site that you want users to be readily able to find needs to be linked to the navigation menu. The menu also needs to be organized into categories that will make sense to your users. This can make your site clearer and easier to explore for users. Also make sure that your logo is a home button that will return users to your home page.

Links

Internal links are important tools that can help you guide users to other content on your website that is relevant to what they’re already reading. These links can also be useful for SEO, since both the link and the anchor text are visible to search engines. Don’t overload your page with links, however – too many and users will be overwhelmed and ignore the links. Also, Google has a limit of how many links it will crawl, so it’s best to keep the number of links to only what’s truly relevant and to what is a logical next step for the reader. If you include external links, make sure that they open in either a new tab or a new window – you don’t want to navigate users away from your own page.

Search Bar

Another useful tool that can help users navigate your site is a search bar. There are some disadvantages to having a search bar. For smaller websites, it can look cluttered on your website. If users don’t use the correct search term, don’t include a space, or have a typo in their search, which then returns no results, they may be led to believe that your site doesn’t contain the content they were looking for rather than improving their own search.

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However, especially on larger sites, a search bar can help users navigate directly to the content they’re looking for instead of having to look through a large navigation menu. Some search bar widgets actually use Google, which may result in more accurate results for users. Google’s algorithm may be better able to search within your site and to handle any mistakes users made in their search terms.

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