Category: SEO Services

What is Keyword Research, and Why is it Necessary?

If you’re looking to drive organic traffic and improve your website’s ranking, keyword research is a necessary tool.

Rank Boss combines an understanding of search intent, traffic potential, difficulty, and business potential. For example, a list of keywords relevant to your brand.

seo

You can do this using a free tool or a premium paid one like Moz’s Keyword Explorer.

Keyword research is developing an extensive list of keywords for which a website owner wishes to rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). That involves digging deep into what people type into Google when searching for a certain product, service, business, or type of content. The goal is to find keywords relevant to the company and highly searched so that when someone clicks on one of the resulting SERPs, it takes them to high-quality website content that meets their needs.

The types of keywords marketers identify vary depending on their goals and the needs of their audience. For example, broad keywords associated with an industry, such as “making money,” have many searches but are highly competitive because many websites want to rank for those words. Luckily, with the help of a few free tools, it’s possible to find variations on a core keyword that have a smaller volume but are less competitive and can still drive traffic.

Once a business has identified the right keywords, it must create a content strategy focusing on them. That means creating posts, articles, and other content addressing those keywords. Search engines reward sites that are authoritative and useful, so making sure your content is genuinely helpful to your audience will go a long way toward helping you rank for your chosen keywords.

Another aspect of keyword research that’s becoming increasingly important is understanding how intent impacts SEO. Because a consumer’s search is more about the outcome they wish to achieve than just the information that carries that keyword, marketers must ensure their content matches that intent.

It’s often useful to conduct keyword research at the start of the content creation process or even before that to scope out trends and blind spots that competitors may have missed. It’s also wise to re-evaluate keyword research regularly to keep up with search engine algorithm changes and uncover new opportunities for ranking well.

Keyword research is discovering what search terms your audience uses to find products, services, and businesses like yours. You then use these keywords in your content to make it more likely that those searchers will see your content among the results of their queries.

It’s important to remember that keyword research is not just about the words you use but about understanding your target audience and their intent. Knowing why they’re searching for something can help you create content that addresses their needs, wants, and expectations.

There are several tools you can use for keyword research. Some are free, like Google Keyword Planner, while others require a subscription. A few of the most popular are Moz, Semrush, and Answer The Public. These paid tools offer more in-depth information on search volume, search difficulty, and other data that can be helpful when creating an SEO strategy.

The first step of the process is to develop a seed keyword. That is any keyword or phrase that defines your niche and helps you narrow down the search results. Then, you can enter the seed into a tool like Semrush to generate a list of keyword ideas for you to choose from.

Once you have a list of potential keywords, take some time to consider each one. The monthly search volume (MSV) and the competition level can be examined. The higher the MSV, the more competition there is for that keyword, so it may be harder to rank highly.

Similarly, the lower the MSV, the less competition there is for that keyword. It’s also important to consider what kind of content you will create for each keyword, whether a blog post or an e-commerce product page. You need to ensure that your content meets the searcher’s intent – if you try to sell something to a consumer looking for information, they will quickly leave your website.

Once you’ve settled on keywords, you can start creating your content. It’s a good idea to have an SEO checklist to help you keep track of your work and ensure that each piece of content you produce meets your goals.

Keyword research is developing a list of keywords that search engines estimate are likely to bring in traffic. For example, if you sell a product that helps people with back pain, you might want to target “back pain relief.” Then, you can create content around those keywords that align with your audience’s intent. With a good set of keywords, ranking well in search engine results pages (SERPs) is easier.

People type keywords into search engines when looking for information or products. But finding keywords can be challenging, even with the right tools.

Several keyword research tools are out there, all of which work roughly the same: you plug in one seed keyword, and the device pulls out suggestions for related keywords. The most popular and well-known is Google Keyword Planner, which is made for advertisers who want to display paid search ads on Google, but it’s a useful tool for SEOs, too.

If you’re on a budget or prefer a simpler interface, there are free keyword research tools that can help you find keywords. These tools usually only have a limited number of keyword suggestions and may not provide the most accurate results, but they can be helpful for beginners.

For more advanced users, there are tools like Answer the Public, which my agency uses at NP Digital, and Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, which is available for Pro members (though that membership also includes competitor analysis and other features not related to keyword research). These tools provide a more comprehensive data set but are often more complicated than Google Keyword Planner.

Once you have a list of keywords, it’s important to prioritize them and determine the effort required to rank for each. For example, if you’re writing an article about “back pain relief,” it will probably take much more time and resources to rank for that keyword than for “back injury recovery.”

Checking your competitors’ ranking for each targeted keyword is also good. That can help you identify gaps in your content and ideas for new pieces. It can also help you avoid keyword cannibalization when multiple articles or blogs target the same keywords.

Keyword research aims to help people find your business, whether you have a blog or an e-commerce website or offer local services such as lawn care. To do this, you need to develop a list of keywords describing your potential customers’ search terms when looking for your offer. Then, it would help if you prioritized those keywords based on traffic potential, ranking difficulty, and competition.

Many online marketing experts suggest focusing on keywords with low competitiveness and high traffic potential. Still, consider the search intent behind each keyword to ensure it’s relevant to your business. You’ll also think about how difficult it would be for your business to rank for each keyword and whether you have the resources and expertise to compete with larger companies that can invest heavily in SEO.

Choosing seed keywords is the first step in keyword research. These words describe your product or service and that you can plug into a tool such as Google’s Keyword Planner or a paid tool such as Ahrefs, Semrush, Wordtracker, or Ubersuggest. These tools will then generate a list of related keywords and phrases that you can use to refine your seed keyword.

While the criteria for identifying keywords can be debated, most researchers agree that keywords are the central building blocks of any cultural discourse. They are inescapable, and the choice of a keyword may reflect social interests as much as linguistic characteristics.

You Sell Widgets, You Rank for Widgets, But You Also Want to Rank for Gizmos. Should Gizmos Get a Separate Site?

“Does Google expect my site to focus on just one thing?” is a common concern people have about their SEO campaigns, both local and non-local.  You might also have that concern if you’re thinking about wheeling out a service or product on your site that’s very different from your other services or products.

The one offering seems at least a little out-of-place with the other offerings on your site.  You wonder whether by adding it to your site you’ll mess up any existing rankings.  Maybe you also wonder whether the different/unusual service or product even can pull in some rankings on the main site, or if it needs to live on a separate site.

In considering an additional site, you’re not looking for extra work, but rather just don’t want to mess up a good thing or go on a fool’s errand.   Of course, there may also be a “branding” concern, but I’ll set that aside because it may not be an issue for you, or maybe you’ve already figured it out.  So I’ll assume your main worry is purely an SEO one – about whether you’ll water down your site and end up not ranking for much at all.

I’ll give you my short answer now, and fill in some gaps in a minute: you CAN successfully branch out on your site and rank for a service/product that’s different from the others, if you play your cards right that will not mess up your rankings for the other offerings, and unless branding is a big concern you do not need a separate site.

As usual, what I say is based on what I’ve seen for clients and observed in the wild.  In keeping with that, here are a few real-life examples I’ve been involved in, which may sound like the situation you’re in:

Example situation #1: A roofing company tries to rank also for siding terms and gutter terms, and succeeds.

Example situation #2: A divorce attorney tries to rank also for bankruptcy and personal-injury terms, and succeeds.

Example situation #3: A couples counselor tries to rank also for individual-therapy terms, and succeeds.

Example situation #4: A dentist who focuses mostly on cosmetic procedures tries to rank also for implant-dentistry terms, and succeeds.

Example situation #5: A battery shop tries to rank also for phone-repair terms, and succeeds.

I have more examples, but you get the idea.  In those cases and in many others I’ve seen, the branching-out didn’t involve whipping up a separate site for the different service.  You’ve probably also seen exactly what I’m talking about: No doubt you have seen some local businesses outrank you for terms that are dead-on relevant to your business and not very relevant to theirs, and thought “Why are they outranking me for that term – WTF?”

The kicker is that if those competitors went the route you’ve considered – if they had created separate sites for the relative oddball services or products – there’s a good chance they wouldn’t have outranked you.  Instead they chose to kept everything together, and it seems to have worked out perfectly.

 

But wait a minute.  Doesn’t Google care about the theme of your whole site?  Don’t you get some advantage from focusing on a niche?  Doesn’t Google favor specialists over generalists (especially in the Google Maps results)?

Yes, to some extent.  Where all else is equal, the specialized site has an advantage over the plump site, probably because generally more of the pages are relevant to the niche and viable to rank, because the domain name is probably dead-on relevant, because probably a greater percentage of the links are from sites relevant to the niche, and for about half a dozen other reasons I can think of (speculate on).  That’s why you can create a separate site, and why (with some work) it can be extremely effective.

But the older site and the newer site are not equal.  Probably the most important difference is the old site typically has more links from relevant sites than the new site will for a while.  Google knows more about the older site in general, and sees more signs of life, including whether you whip up a page for the new service and existing visitors go to it right away (even before it ranks for anything).  Your site may already have a smattering of rankings for terms related to the unusual service or product, even though you don’t have any pages for it yet.  The difference is that in one case you’re raising a kid for 5-6 years and then teaching him or her to ride a bike, and in the other case you’re only teaching a kid to ride a bike.  One of those processes is much quicker.

You have options.  You can whip up a new site to target the different or unrelated service, but it will take longer.  In my experience it’s easier to expand the range of terms the existing site ranks for.

How do you go about that?  By doing the basic steps I talk about all the time, most importantly:

On your longtime site that’s all about widgets, make a detailed page on the gizmo you offer.Go heavy on the internal links to the page about the gizmo, including on the homepage, main navigation, footer, and on a couple of other other products/services pages.Add to your homepage a section all about the gizmo(s). Keep all the existing content about the widgets you’re so renowned for.Get links from a couple of sites that are more relevant to gizmos than to widgets, to complement the links you’ve already got from widget-related sites.Get Google Maps reviews and other reviews from customers who bought the gizmo and who go into a little detail in their reviews.If possible, specify a “Gizmo Maker” or “Gizmo Seller” category on your Google Business Profile (Google My Business) page.Study the “performance” tab in Google Search Console and see if you’re getting any impressions for gizmo terms.On an ongoing basis add detail, internal links, FAQs, reviews, photos, videos, or other content to your “gizmo” page.In the later stage of that process revisit the idea of the separate site for gizmos. Yes, the one I said you should skip in favor of working on the existing site. If it ranks well, great.  It may.  Or if it doesn’t rank, you can always redirect or axe it.  It probably won’t do as well as the page (or pages) on the older site, or it will take more work than you’re willing to put in, but that’s what you’re here to find out.  Once you’ve avoided a situation where a dime is holding up a dollar, experiment away.

 

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Wrapping up 2021 with our top 10!


30-second summary:

12 months, several curveballs, and some masterstrokesIf you missed out, today is a great day to look through the Search Engine Watch lens for the year gone byKey themes that were front of mind in 2021 – Google’s updates, cookie death counter-strategies, mastering customer experience elements, trust-building, and alternatives for search marketing and ranking

As the world, people, and of course businesses motored through a year of uncertainties – these crackers of articles gave your strategies an unfair advantage.

#1 – Google Page Experience update is all set to launch in May 2021 – Webmasters, hang in there!

You asked, “What is Page Experience, anyway? Do we really need to have an overflowing to-do list?” – and we answered everything around this enigma. This piece touched upon every aspect, angle, and action point that SEOs needed to know.

#2 – The search dilemma: looking beyond Google’s third-party cookie death

The ad tech and search industry continued to remain precarious that Google will use the cookie deprecation as a new way to establish market dominance to feed its own interests. Google expert, Susan Dolan drew from her rich experience and detailed realities of the search scape. She also shared insights and predicted future key themes that rose out of the 3p cookie death.

#3 – Everything you need to know about the Google MUM update

As the industry bid farewell to BERT, Google’s Multitask Unified Model (MUM) update in June 2021 opened new search experience dimensions. The cranked-up competition for search visibility between businesses and advertisers – left SEO practitioners and agencies with yet another burning question, “How will we win MUM’s good graces?” Joe Dawson’s comprehensive guide left no stone unturned.

#4 – Why killing your content marketing makes the most sense

“Kill your darlings”, yes, we said it! Though it sounded outlandish, this piece held wise and valuable advice from best-selling author Joe Pulizzi on why this could be one of the best business decisions you could’ve made in 2021.

#5 – Quora and Reddit: Powerhouses for SEO and marketing in 2021

Everyone is obsessed with Google, but did you know Reddit is the seventh most popular website in the US while Quora has a DR of 91? This guide shone a light on how your search strategy could take advantage of these platforms with diversification, tap into great brand-building opportunities, and enhance your E-A-T standing.

#6 – Now is the best time to stitch your search marketing loopholes before 2022

The third-party cookie still stands at a crucial intersection between digital marketing, SEO, paid media, web design, and several business tangents. The industry needed to think hard and think differently for a contingency plan. SEO pioneer, serial entrepreneur, and best-selling author, Kris Jones helped weave a tight SEO and search marketing strategy way ahead of 2022. Why? Because a stitch in time saves nine.

#7 – Seven first-party data capturing opportunities your business is missing out on

The internet continued zigging in a privacy-focused direction as a response to consumers’ increasing demand for a transparent, responsible, and ethical outlook towards their data. First-party data became indispensable and consumer trust, invaluable. While the playing field inched closer to the great reset, we revealed some hidden first-party gems every business could use to redesign their search marketing strategies.

#8 – UX: an important SEO ranking factor

The story of SEO and UX began almost 20 years ago with both making a foray into the market in the 1990s. Since then, SEO practitioners saw seasons change and the Page Experience, paired with data analysis finally etched UX as a key ranking factor. Atul Jindal condensed years of his experience working with fortune 50 companies into this SEO guide to help you win at SEO and search experience.

#9 – Cross-channel marketing: why you shouldn’t put all your eggs in the Google basket

The pandemic didn’t let us forget that while every business is unique, budgets too took a hit, making allocation stringent. But why did so many businesses still stick to the “big guns” when allocating spending? Adzooma CEO Rob Wass and Cambridge University’s Akanshaa Khare joined forces to challenge this notion. They produced some truly unique insights that would make stakeholders rethink their media spending habits.

#10 – Core Web Vitals report: 28 Ways to supercharge your site

Everyone remembers the chaos surrounding the Core Web Vitals in early 2021. SEO folks were keen to get ahead on optimizing their site and Twitter threads were full of speculation. Armed with information, we shared a 28-point checklist on action items to spot, optimize, and embrace the inevitable rollout of these new ranking factors.

Thank you for being valuable supporters throughout our journey. Team Search Engine Watch wishes everyone a happy year-end and an adventurous 2022!

*Ranked on page views, time on page, and bounce rate.

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2021 Google updates round up: everything businesses need to win at search

30-second summary:

There have been three core updates in 2021, released in June, July, and November, while another was rumored but unconfirmed in OctoberFeatured snippets that fell under the YMYL algorithm were unexpectedly removed in February, then restored in MarchProduct reviews came under the microscope in April, with marketing and sales-centric language penalized in favor of expertise on review-centric websitesMultiple spam updates unfolded throughout the year, though these updates should not impact any website that follows Google’s guidelines

Successful SEO strategy is akin to dancing the tango with Google updates. Unfortunately for copywriters, the Big G can be an unpredictable partner at times. In addition to daily algorithm tweaks that go unnoticed, we all brace ourselves for core updates that have a sizeable impact on page ranking and performance. Throughout 2021, Google has confirmed a handful of updates.

Further updates have also been speculated by experienced web-based professionals, reporting these to aid others in remaining on the right side of an adjustment. Throughout this guide, we’ll discuss the updates rolled out by Google in 2021 to date.

Complete list of 2021 Google updates

As promised, let’s review all the algorithm updates issued by Google during 2021, major and minor alike. Some of these are official, confirmed by Alphabet themselves. The core updates are an obvious example of this. Others were noticed by webmasters of influential brands and discussed online. These unconfirmed updates are marked in red below.

1. Passage indexing (February)

The passage indexing update, announced in October 2020, is probably better described as passage ranking. The purpose behind the update is simple and noble. It will pick out one particular sentence or paragraph from a long-form article, aiding a niche web query and avoiding irrelevance.

Essentially, this update seeks out keywords and terminology in an entire article rather than focusing primarily on titles and subheadings. At the time of writing, Google projects that this will impact around 7 percent of search queries. At this point, the passage indexing update also only applies to copy written in US English, though this will eventually become global and translingual policy.

Now, you may be wondering how this differs from a featured snippet. The short answer is that a snippet is chosen based on the whole web page, seeking relevance to the subject at hand in all aspects of the query. The passage indexing update can pick up on a small element of a broader discussion that would otherwise be banished to the mid-page and beyond. Speaking of featured snippets, however…

2. Featured snippet drop/featured snippet recovery (February and March)

In mid-February, MozCast noticed that featured snippets vanished from countless SERPs on Google. This involved a decline of some 40 percent, the largest in over six years. Snippets that revolved around medical or financial advice were particularly impacted. Some of the keywords and terms that experienced this plummet included:

AcneAutismDiabetesFibromyalgiaInvestmentIRALupusMutual fundsPensionRisk management

As you’ll see, the YMYL broad algorithm appeared to be a particular bone of contention. We’ll never know for sure, as this update – if indeed there was an update – has never been confirmed or denied by Google. What’s more, around a month later, these snippets returned as though they had never been away.

Without any explanation behind the mystery, it’s impossible to offer advice to webmasters on how to avoid a future unwarned absence of featured snippets. The fact that YMYL was hit so hard suggests that it was a deliberate action, though. Whenever working within this niche, proceed with caution – especially if relying on SERPs for ecommerce opportunities.

3. Product review update (April)

April’s product review update was also critical to ecommerce sites and those that collate product insights. Google is adamant that this has not been a core update. However, the approach that content marketers must now take mirrors the core updates that arose later in the year.

Following the review update, it’s more important than ever that product reviews remain strictly factual. That means discussing a product’s qualities (or lack thereof) without clear and obvious attempts to push for a sale from an affiliate. Sites that used their copy to talk up the qualities of a product using popular keywords and directing consumers toward Amazon were typically penalized.

Thin copy, as always, captured Google’s attention too, and not in a positive manner. Meaningless, fluffy words designed to pad out a page, along with repetition, will see a page slide down the rankings. A product review site that hopes to remain in good stead with Google must remember the fundamental rules of E-A-T. You can still attempt to make a sale, but not at the expense of demonstrating expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.

4. Multitask Unified Model aka MUM (June)

June was a busy month for Google, starting with the Multitask Unified Model update, better known as MUM. This update could be considered a logical extension of the previously discussed passage indexing update. MUM also used AI to improve the search experience for users, replacing BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers).

It’s claimed that MUM is at least 1,000 times more powerful than its predecessor. In addition to providing greater, much more insightful data for users, MUM works to eradicate language barriers, including misspellings, leaning upon nuance to meet the expectations of a search.

Perhaps more importantly, MUM means that irrelevant content, picked up through a questionable use of keywords to game the SEO system, will soon disappear from the top of the page in favor of more appropriate content. The core update that came later in the month garnered most of the headlines, but don’t sleep on the impact of MUM.

5. Spam updates (June)

Next in June came a spam update, which took place over two weeks. In theory, this update should not have impacted any website operating under white hat SEO rules. It was designed purely to keep content relevant and appropriate, battling against sinister tactics.

As always, though, there was room for error with this update. It’s always advisable to keep on top of the latest webmaster guidelines laid out by Google. This way, a site is considerably less likely to fall foul to a misunderstanding and accusations of black hat traffic-hoarding.

Updates to Google’s Predator algorithm could also be considered a crucial part of this update. Google has been taking lengths to protect people from harassment online, and a big part of this is downgrading sites that seemingly exist purely to denigrate a reputation.

6. Page experience update (June)

Page experience update sounds like a grand event, comparable even to a core update. In reality, this was a pretty low-key affair. It was also a slow procession, kicking off in June and rumbling on until August. All the same, there will be a degree of ebb and flow as a result. Discuss the update with your UX designer and ensure it remains at the forefront of your thinking.

One of the biggest takeaways from this update is that AMP is no longer essential to rank as a top new story. That could make a sizeable difference to any reporting site. The usual caveats still apply, though – sticking to the established policies of Google News is non-negotiable. Although AMP is no longer critical, ensure your news articles remain mobile-friendly, hosted on a fast and secure server, and unfold devoid of interruptions such as intrusive advertising.

7. Core update (June and July)

Here’s the big kahuna that has every web admin across the globe on tenterhooks – Google’s major summer core update. In 2021, Google announced two updates over June and July, both of which would be connected.

As always, there were winners and losers from this update. In a recurring theme, YMYL sites appeared to lose a great deal of traffic throughout the update – especially in June, when the changes were most volatile. Thin content in any niche also seemed to be a particular focus of this update, with such sites pruned cautiously.

However, some sites that were previously heavily penalized may have experienced a little bounce back. It has been claimed that the biggest priorities of the June and July updates, other than thin copy, have been domain age and the use of backlinks.

Review the traffic of any old sites that you wrote off after the game-changing updates of 2019. These sites may have experienced a revival in page ranking and could be worth reinvestment. Just be mindful that Google may consider this an oversight and reverse the decision at any moment.

8. Link spam update (July)

Another spam-detecting algorithm rolled out in July, this time focusing on backlinks. What’s interesting here is that Google referred to this update as ‘nullifying’ spam links, not penalizing them.

Essentially, Google will just stop counting inappropriate links toward a page ranking and quality score. Naturally, though, it would feel like a punishment if a site relied upon these links previously – this is an important Google update for link-building professionals to pay attention to.

Keep an eye on the links on your site if you have seen a drop in traffic, ensuring that they meet Google’s link scheme standards. It could be all too easy to fall foul to this update based on outdated copy that has not been updated in some time and now links to an altered and irrelevant online location.

9. Page title rewrites (August)

Here’s an interesting update from August. Google started to adjust carefully selected page titles, leading to different ‘headlines’ in search results. This may have SEO consultants across the world wailing and gnashing their teeth, seeing meticulously curated messaging adjusted according to Google’s whims.

Rest assured, the page titles are not undertaking complete rewrites. We are talking about adjustments, not wholesale changes, to title tags. All the same, it could be enough to leave a webmaster frustrated with the outcome. Nobody wants to be accused of click-baiting, especially when the news industry has a questionable reputation with a cynical population segment.

There is little anybody can do to prevent this. To retain some measure of control, though, keep your H1 headings short and readable, and be mindful of your H2 headings. These may be used, in part or whole, to adjust the title of a search result.

10. Speculated core update (October)

We previously discussed how, back in February, MozCast acknowledged some strange patterns pertaining to featured snippets that Google never acknowledged. Something similar unfolded in October when various significant webmasters noted sizeable changes in traffic and performance. This led to claims that Google had engaged in another core update.

Much like February, these changes remain unconfirmed. However, as we’ll discuss in a moment, there was a reasonably seismic core update in November. Given that the previous update unfolded over two months, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Google adopted the same practice this time around.

11. Spam update (November)

Another spam update occurred in November 2021, once again targeting infractions that break Google’s general content guidelines. A website that does not contravene basic regulations or cut SEO corners should remain unaffected. Do keep an eye on your traffic and performance, though. If you notice any fluctuations, it could be time for a refresh of your content.

12. Confirmed core update (November)

Finally, we had another core algorithm update in November. At the time of writing, this was still a very recent development. As a result, the impact of the update will become more apparent over time. Some early responses and acknowledgments have been noted, though.

The most significant adjustment appears to be mobile searches, which were declared 23 percent more volatile than the previous update. Again, much like earlier in the year, featured snippets and ‘quick answers’ in the YMYL niche seem the most heavily impacted. Health and real estate, in particular, have seen a big change in performance.

Now, it’s worth noting here that Google felt compelled to address the timing of this update. Danny Sullivan took to Twitter and accepted that an update just before Black Friday and the Christmas shopping season is not ideal for ecommerce sites – especially those that already adjusted their copy based on previous updates.

Source: Twitter

It will be interesting to see if this will change how Google approaches algorithm updates in 2022 and beyond.

This concludes our trip through the Google algorithm updates of 2021. Just remember, more tweaks and changes are made each day. Most of these adjustments have little to no impact on the performance of your website. If you have spotted a change in fortunes, though, review when this occurred. You may find the answer lies above.

Joe Dawson is Director of strategic growth agency Creative.onl, based in the UK. He can be found on Twitter @jdwn

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

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Google AdSense Guide: increase earnings and escape low CPC

30-second summary:

There are many factors that affect your AdSense performance right from content quality, ad placements, media selection, and so onHigh traffic doesn’t directly indicate high earnings, in fact, some of your practices may be equivalent to handing out money to your competitionHere are six informed steps to help you earn more from AdSense

Throughout this guide, you’ll learn how to increase your Google AdSense earnings by making some very simple changes and by following a few simple tips. In my personal experience, this can help skyrocket your AdSense CPC and results can increase your AdSense earnings by more than five times.

Your aim and objective throughout should be to gradually increase your AdSense CPC and CTR little by little and by following these simple tips you are bound to see results.

Don’t forget to keep on testing and your AdSense earnings will surely increase over time. Just don’t give up quickly!

1. Content is king on the internet and also on AdSense

The reason content is placed at the top of all the other tips is because it is the single most important rule to follow on your journey through SEO and internet marketing. It is the first thing your visitors, advertisers, and bots (ad bots and crawl bots) will notice after coming to your webpage.

If you are providing your users with low quality or outdated content, Google will rate your website much lower and your CPC (the bids advertisers make to appear on your website) will greatly fall. This can also get you smart-priced, even if you generate quality traffic on low-quality content.

So remember, always provide your readers and visitors with something unique and worthwhile which will actually acknowledge rather than something which has already been posted on a thousand other websites.

2. Ad sizes and placements are decisive

Do not neglect the placement and size of your Google AdSense ads as they play an important into delivering a better user experience and thus, improving your AdSense earnings.

“While creating ad sizes and placements, user experience and ad viewability should be the center focus”, explained SEO expert Boris Dzhingarov, in an email interview.

“Some placements and ad sizes will disrupt users, particularly if they’re covering content. Others, however, will fail miserably as the users never see them leading to a decrease in AdSense revenues”, he added.

So the question now is: where should you place your ad and which of Google’s display ad sizes are best for your business? The answer is pretty simple, place two ads inside your blog posts (or content) and one outside the post. Keep one 336 x 280 large rectangle ad on the top of the blog post just below the title and place the second ad in the middle of the blog post as a 468 x 60 sized banner. The remaining unit can be placed to the right of your post inside your sidebar.

Position your AdSense ad units as such to not annoy your visitors by popping right in their faces. Instead, perfectly fit inside your content, or in positions that you aim to get more clicks from.

For example, a site that provides file downloads can have an AdSense Ad Unit right near the download link to get a High CTR.

3. Monitor and limit the use of AdSense ad units

Have you tried limiting the use of your AdSense ad units? The biggest difference I myself have noticed is that by reducing the ad units which had the lowest CTR you can quickly and easily increase your AdSense CPC.

What usually happens is if you don’t have enough content to support all the ad units is that lower-paying ads start showing on your websites. This may increase your click-through rate (CTR) and bring in more clicks but because the ads may not be relevant to your website (public advertisements). This results in your CPC falling and your AdSense earnings decreasing. If you are increasing your ad units ultimately you are making it easier for advertisers to be shown on your website meaning an even lower CPC (because of low bids).

Remove the low CTR ad units and replace them with the higher paying ad units which have a higher CTR and your earnings will rise automatically.

Trying these tips for a couple of days will make you notice a real improvement and an important increase in low AdSense CPC.

Google AdSense Custom Channels will be necessary to keep track of things. This will give you a precise and clear idea of the best-performing ad slots. Measure the CTR, CPC, CPM, and earning of every ad unit.

Create custom channels for every ad slot and monitor their performance for at least two weeks to get an idea of things. If you keep changing ad units too often without testing them thoroughly you might get inaccurate results and miss out on better opportunities by placing your ads elsewhere.

How this is going to help in increasing your AdSense CPC?

Remove the low-performing ad units from your website (Compare CTR and final earnings of different units). Google should now serve better ads to other remaining ad slots which are performing well, so your earnings and CPC will increase.

4. Enable both text and image, media-rich ads

Always enable both text and image ads on your websites. Never limit your ad visibility to ‘Only image/media-rich ads’ or ‘Only text ads’ as this will lower the bids for advertisers to appear on your website. This directly means low AdSense CPC.

If you enable ‘Both text and image ads’ AdSense will automatically show the ad with the highest bid on your website which means a higher CPC for you.

In short, the more advertisers that are bidding to appear on your website the higher your AdSense CPC will be.

5. Keywords, keywords, and more keywords!

Try researching to find keywords with ‘High AdSense CPC’ and a ‘High Search Volume’. Searched globally using the Google Adwords keyword tool. Search, search and search some more to find specific keywords which have low competition, high CPC, and high search traffic.

After researching you can start creating your website pages, blog posts, and articles on such high-value keywords. Always use these keywords naturally at the beginning, the middle, and the end of your content. It is also very useful to add them to your headings or tags.

Try not to bother with keywords that pay a few cents and those that have a low CPM. Ideally, I would recommend grabbing keywords with a CPC higher than $2.50.

This should be the most important part of your mission. You would never want a page that earns one dollar from five to 10 clicks. Rather you want a page that pulls an impressive four to five dollars out of just two ad clicks, or maybe even $40 dollars out of just eight clicks!

If you don’t concentrate on your keywords, even if you have a lot of traffic you will be wasting it and not earning a substantial amount. Imagine this as handing out money to your own competition! By targeting the right keywords you can make a lot more with a lot less traffic.

Research on the Google keyword tool today and increase your Adsense CPC and earnings.

6. Reduce fraud, accidental, and useless clicks

Do you have an ad unit placed near the top of your content that gets a high CTR? Can this also be because of the awkward location that some people end up clicking on your ad by mistake? When this happens, the visitors often back out or close the ad. This is counted by Google as either an accidental or fraud click.

You may temporarily get earnings from these clicks but they will most probably be reverted due to the low-quality nature of the click.

So always try to minimize any accidental or useless clicks on your AdSense ad units and NEVER ask your friends or family to click on your ads!

Jacob M. is a copywriter, marketing blogger, inbound marketing consultant, and founder of Write Minds. He can be found on Twitter @jmcmillen89.

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The post Google AdSense Guide: increase earnings and escape low CPC appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Four Google SERP features for ecommerce SEO

30-second summary:

Holiday season shopping is on and your ecommerce store whether a local shop or an international ecommerce brand needs visibility for salesHow do you jump right in front of your potential customers and drive sales in a highly competitive space?SEO pioneer, former Pepperjam founder, and serial entrepreneur, Kris Jones shares a practical ecommerce SEO guide

There is perhaps no type of business that is more primed for SEO than ecommerce companies. Think about it: where a local law firm can put up a billboard or buy ad space in a regional newspaper in addition to doing SEO, ecommerce businesses essentially have one resource available to them, the internet.

That’s where they do 100 percent of their business, and it’s where they’re going to reach the customers they want. So, ecommerce companies should spend a lot of time getting their SEO just right. One crucial way of doing that is to optimize your site to appear in Google’s various SERP features.

There are so many ways you can tell users about your business just from the SERP even before they get onto your website. And the information you present could mean all the difference between capturing your ideal traffic and losing it to competition.

Therefore, to market yourself in the best light to all potential customers searching for your products, you have to optimize your website specifically for the SERP features that drive conversions.

How do you do it? Here are four of the most vital Google SERP features for which you should be optimizing your ecommerce business’ SEO

1. Rich cards

Back in 2016, Google introduced a new mobile SERP feature called rich cards. By using structured data, SEOs could make a business’s results “richer,” that is, more visually appealing, clickable, and therefore more likely to generate an organic click.

If you search for a certain type of product, results marked up with the proper language tell Google to show the product along with an image that can help users know if they want to explore more. Users simply swipe to see more items.

Now, why am I recommending a SERP feature from 2016?

It’s because in the first quarter of 2021, mobile traffic accounted for almost 55 percent of online traffic worldwide, and that number is only going to increase. Basically, mobile search results are even more relevant today than they were in 2016.

With that in mind, how can you optimize your ecommerce products for rich cards?

You need to use the JSON-LD method of marking up your products. You can then test your work with the various free rich results tools on offer from Google.

2. Google Images results

Somewhat related to rich cards is the need for ecommerce businesses to optimize their content for Google Images results. Relevant images will appear at the top of a SERP, before any organic results.

A good product description does indeed go a long way, but don’t forget to think simply, as well: if customers can see clear, high-quality images of your products, that will help your credibility along, and hence drive conversions.

How do optimize for Google Images results? Well, Google doesn’t read images like it reads text, so it’s all going to come down to how you prepare your images on the back end.

First of all, ensure your images are originally yours. You don’t stand much of a chance trying to rank for stock photos.

Next, give your photos descriptive file names that tie into the pages where they will be placed. In the case of ecommerce, since you’ll probably have a series of photos for each product, give the image files titles that reflect the product, with words separated by hyphens.

Here’s an example: unisex-sneakers-blue-brandname-yoursitename

And don’t forget to provide descriptive alt text to each image in case it can’t load and be seen.

Finally, be sure you’re not uploading huge image files that will weigh down a website. Compress them down as small as you can to give your site enough breathing room while still ensuring the images show what you need them to show. Check out this comprehensive guide on image optimization.

3. Rich snippets

Wait a minute, you might say, why are you talking about both rich cards and rich snippets?

With ecommerce products, rich cards will stop you at the images. You can choose to go a step further for appropriate products by optimizing for rich snippets

Rich snippets add in extra details about your products. These get placed inside your search results, under the meta title, and above the meta description.

To get rich snippets on your product results, you’ll use structured data just like you did for rich cards. You can choose which information to enter based on what specifically can grab your potential customer’s attention and satisfy their search query.

For ecommerce companies, it makes the most sense to optimize your rich-snippet products for prices, in-stock status, sales, different brands, customer reviews, and star ratings.

Think about each of these features. Doesn’t it make sense that a customer searching for this type of product would want to see this information from your online store?

Rich snippets are one great way of reaching users with extra information without the need for the users actually to click on your result. You’re taking the most concentrated bits of data about your product offerings and jumping right out onto the SERPs at the user.

Sure, you can choose not to do this for your products. But if your competitors are, who do you think stands the better chance of getting a click and making a sale?

Rich snippets are just good ecommerce SEO, plain and simple.

4. Sitelinks

Finally, you should attempt to optimize your site for SERP sitelinks.

I say “attempt” to optimize because this isn’t a SERP feature you can just click on and off, like alt text or structured data.

So we’re all on the same page here, sitelinks are the clickable buttons below your result’s metadata on a SERP. They typically offer opportunities for users to navigate directly to sections of your website.

In the case of ecommerce, the most logical sitelinks you would want to get listed in your result would be for your most popular product categories.

But again, I’m saying “would want” because sitelinks are chosen by Google’s algorithm. That doesn’t mean you can’t influence which sitelinks Google places there. Which pages Google links in your results is based primarily on your site’s navigation.

As SEOs, we always recommend having a direct and easy-to-navigate website structure. It helps the user experience, supports navigation, and prompts Google to crawl your pages.

Other things that help Google crawl your site include keyword-optimized content, smart internal linking, and simple, intuitive menus.

It is through these elements that you stand your best chance of defining what your SERP sitelinks will be. When you tell Google which pages are most important to you and your customers, the search engine will respond in kind by generating helpful sitelinks.

This is yet another example of having your SEO jump right to the SERP at users without them having to do anything.

And when you’re in the competitive ecommerce space, that really matters.

Go forth and optimize

Businesses always have it tough when going up against the competition. Whether you’re a local shop or an international ecommerce brand, there’s always someone else trying to beat you at your own game.

While SEO can never make anyone do anything, we put ourselves on the best possible footing when we take the above steps to optimize our websites for the SERP features.

If you’re not doing these things already, you’ll want to get started as soon as you can! And then sit back and watch what happens.

Kris Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and affiliate network Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay Enterprises in 2009. Most recently Kris founded SEO services and software company LSEO.com and has previously invested in numerous successful technology companies. Kris is an experienced public speaker and is the author of one of the best-selling SEO books of all time called, ‘Search-Engine Optimization – Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing’, which has sold nearly 100,000 copies.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post Four Google SERP features for ecommerce SEO appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Why Use A Realtor When Selling Your House?

house for sale

There are numerous benefits to selling your house to a realtor. You may have sold other types of the property before and will be confident in your ability to sell a house. Real estate is not as simple as selling the house on your own. A realtor can present your home most professionally, as well as be knowledgeable enough to know where to advertise your place.house for sale

A realtor is familiar with houses that have been recently sold, so she will know how much work or expense is involved after you sell your home. A realtor is also trained to deal with banks and understand their rules about selling a house. This can cut down on the hassle of trying to sell your home independently and avoid additional fees.  

Many people assume that they do not need a realtor when they sell their house. However, there are many benefits to listing your house with a realtor. Realtors have an extensive amount of knowledge of properties and will make sure your house looks attractive. They can also find buyers for your property, which is extremely beneficial if you are looking to sell your house for a exceptional price.

Once your house for sale has been listed with a realtor, she will assist in preparing it for showings. She will prepare your house with the lighting and furniture fixtures, as well as the landscaping and staging of the front yard. Your house will be made to appear appealing and ready to sell.

When you hire a realtor to help you list your house for sale, you will be spending less time than if you attempted to sell your house on your own. This is because a realtor has a large amount of experience in selling houses and will be able to save time. Realtors will also be aware of the market and will know if your house is a good candidate to purchase. If you decide not to sell your house on your own, it will take you months to bring it up in front of potential buyers. A realtor will save you from this lengthy process.

One of the benefits of having your house for sale through a realtor is that they are able to list your house for sale with the most amount of publicity possible. There are several ways to advertise your house, but a realtor will know which methods work best depending on where you live. For example, if your house is being advertised in a newspaper, your realtor may choose to post signs in and around your neighborhood in order to maximize exposure.

Another benefit is that a realtor is experienced in finding qualified buyers for your house. In most cases, it will cost more to list a house for sale through a realtor. This is because a realtor will have a large number of people working on your sale and will have to spend time contacting them. They can also help you find qualified buyers for your home, as they will have many leads to work with. They can easily find interested buyers and set up meetings with them in order to close a purchase and finalize all the necessary paperwork and house inspection prior to putting your house for sale in front of potential buyers.

It doesn’t matter if you plan to sell your house yourself, use a realtor, or if you’re going to hire both a realtor and buyer. Having a professional who knows how to market your house is very beneficial and will help you sell your house quickly. Selling your house on your own takes time and can be very stressful. Hiring a realtor will ensure that you have buyers interested in your house in a very short period of time. No matter what method you choose to sell your house, hiring a professional realtor will give you great results and make selling your house easier than ever before.

What Is SEO?

What Is Included in SEO?

SEO meaning

How to know what SEO is? Want to know about SEO techniques and how to use them in your online business? Wondering how to get the most from your SEO campaign? This easy-to-read guide has made this easy to educate you on all about SEO meaning, SEO strategy, and SEO traffic.

 

What is SEO? SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is an important aspect of any Internet marketing campaign. SEO means ranking high on the natural or organic search results for a particular key phrase or word. This naturally means an increase in website traffic and potential sales.

 

Why are they important? Web admins and business owners understand the importance of SEO to their websites and Internet businesses. In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to remain visible to a target audience. As a result of this growing need to connect with web surfers, search engines are increasingly banning websites that are not optimized for search engine results.

 

SEO plays a critical role in search engine ranking algorithms. Google, for example, rewards sites that are optimized for specific keywords. Thus, having relevant content that uses appropriate keywords in the title, description, and meta tags can help to achieve higher rankings with the search engines. SEO also requires website owners to submit unique and interesting content and create compelling pages with relevant links and white hat SEO strategies that target internal linking components and employ methods to improve the rankings of internal pages.

 

Why should you care about SEO? SEO offers several benefits. First, search engines reward unique and informative content, which will help your site gain higher rankings in the organic search engines. Second, when you optimize your site for search engine optimization, you will attract more organic traffic and have an increased chance of making sales. Third, having high-quality links to your site will also boost your rankings.

 

What exactly is SEO? Search Engine Optimization, also called SEO, is a set of marketing practices used to increase the visibility of websites on the internet and make them easy to find and understand by potential customers. SEO consists of several processes: creating and using unique keywords, optimizing the website for the various search engines, and submitting the website to the major search engines. This will increase the chances of a person searching on the particular keyword linked to your site. On the other hand, a low SEO rank can decrease your chances of gaining organic traffic. The process of SEO is divided into three basic stages to help with understanding:

 

On-Page SEO or on-page optimization includes creating keyword-rich content, designing appealing and user-friendly websites, and using Meta tags, alt tags, keywords in titles, images, and videos. Off-Page SEO or off-page optimization includes using directory submissions, writing press releases and SEO articles, social media marketing strategies, directory submission, posting to blogs, and building keyword-rich ads. Content writing and posting have been proven to be one of the most effective SEO techniques to increase traffic. SEO experts say that the key to a successful SEO campaign is to mix both on-page and off-page SEO. In addition, the goal is to build one’s own backing portfolio.

 

To obtain the best SEO result, one must always remain honest about the nature of his business and seek any possible penalties that may result from his actions, such as paying for spamming or artificially inflating search engine results. To optimize your website, always keep a close eye on the organic statistics and update them as necessary. A company that consistently maintains its website’s organic position is guaranteed to enjoy the free search engine results, targeted organic traffic, free targeted traffic, organic backlinks, high conversion rates, and more. Organic SEO can provide instant results for you while also providing long-term success. Do your due diligence now, before your competitors do!