5 Tips to Optimize Your Content for Google Voice Search

Google Voice Search, initially termed as Voice Action, is an advanced Google product that allows Google searchers to use the Google Search system by speaking on a computer or mobile instead of typing the search queries. The popularity and percentage of users of this Google functionality are growing at a great speed due to its ease of use. Virtual Home Assistants (VHA) and Devices with Smart Speakers are playing a huge role in promoting this awesome Google product.

With the Google Voice Search getting so popular and the amount of voice searches approaching to almost 50% by 2020 (as per a comScore prediction), you can safely say that Voice Search is the future. Therefore, you cannot overlook the importance of optimizing your content for Voice Search.

Here are 5 great tips for you to optimize your content for Google Voice Search.

  1. Write in a Natural and Conversational Tone

Google’s John Mueller emphasizes on natural content and encourages content marketers to create content in a natural and conversational tone. Content that can be read aloud is preferred for voice search by Google and other search engines. Natural content has a clear language to engage users and help search engines understand the context in a lot better way.

Creating natural content is kind of a general guidance, and it really has a great significance every time you talk about content optimization. There is no substitute to great natural content. Naturally written content that your users will find easy to read is great for voice search.

To achieve a better user engagement rate and conversational tone you can ask yourself some of the general questions that you think your searchers would potentially ask. Create clear and concise answers or responses to those questions to get a good idea of how you need to create and format your content. Build from there.

  1. Use Structured Data

John Mueller wants content owners to help them (Google guys) with some additional information about what their content or page is about. That will help them understand the page and figure out which voice queries that page matches with.

This is where Structured Data (Schema Mark-up) comes into play. Integrate structured data into your website’s backend and tell search engines what a particular page or piece of content is all about. Search engines would then understand your data better and crawl the page more efficiently. This has become an important ranking signal to power search results.

  1. Study Search Intent

Studying the user’s intent behind the search query is essential. This works the same when your user types the query or gives voice commands to the search engines.

If you are able to study the searcher’s intent properly and create your content accordingly, you stand a greater chance of outranking your competitors on the search results page. This is because search engines, of late, have seen giving importance to search intent rather than just search words.

You should see and examine a bunch of question-based search queries and try to include exact and accurate answers in your content. Include a good amount of relevant longer tail keyword phrases in your content to develop your outreach with greater accuracy. Sooner or later, search engines will see that and give you the reward you deserve.

Moreover, you can do a research about some of the commonly asked questions about your business niche. Make a list of those questions and provide direct, detailed and accurate answers. With that strategy you have a chance to get included in the Google’s Paragraph Answer Featured Snippet.

  1. Focus More on Local Content

Local content that gives information about a local business or businesses is a great candidate for voice search results.

Give a close look at how people speak or converse. You will find they prefer uttering names of locations or venues more often while performing a voice search. This means, if your content is optimized for local SEO, it can naturally be pulled by search engines for voice search results. The devices used by your users for voice search will first try to find relevant information from a Google My Business listing, so yes, your Google My Business (GMB) profile should play a significant role here.

Make sure your GMB profile is clean and complete, and it has a lot of content best optimized for immediate answers to your users and potential customers. Optimize all your local listings with local content and information to ensure appropriate answers are always available for your users.

  1. Provide Exact Answers Fast

Providing clear and exact answers to searchers is a killer SEO strategy for desktop search, mobile search and voice search.

Your content has to go by that rule and try to provide exact answers to some of the potential questions right in the opening paragraph without your readers having to scroll down. If you do execute that simple thing, there could be 2 possible outcomes. Either your users go on to read the rest of the copy with increased interest and curiosity, or they go back with ample satisfaction. Either way, they were happy with your content and liked it, which is why most of them will return. Search engines will notice all of that and with happy users you get happy search engines.

Since voice searchers doing voice searches on their mobile devices look for direct answers fast, creating mobile-optimized shorter content, bulleted lists, audio and video content is always going to benefit you.

Word of Caution:

  • Avoid putting links into your content.
  • Don’t over optimize your content for voice search. Content that has a number of questions but only single answer or very little information to support the answer are treated as doorway pages, and are flagged by Google and other search engines.
  • Avoid content that has large tables full of data because that’s not the format suited for voice search. Simple reason is that no searcher likes an answer of that sort when they perform a voice search.

Does White Hat SEO Really Exist? 5 Myths about Black Hat SEO

I have been in this industry for over 8 years now, and I have witnessed a lot of things come and go. I live the web and SEO every single day. From clumsy HTML sites to clean WordPress designs, from old keyword-stuffed SEO to modern reader-centric SEO – I’ve seen all of those, and I proudly say I’ve been part of almost everything related to the web and search in these past 8 years.

For you, a period close to a decade might sound huge, but I never feel like that because I’m still coming across a lot of new things every day like I was doing in those initial months. The crazy nature of how search works amazes me every time I look closely at it and make future game plans.

All search engine optimizers go by the belief that search engines are getting stronger and stricter, and sites engaging in Black hat SEO techniques are getting flagged.

That’s been taught to every one of us, but what does this Black Hat SEO exactly mean? Does it mean the SEO tactics that are implemented to gain short-term rankings are purposely kept hidden from search engine bots? If yes, then its counterpart White Hat SEO must mean that the techniques are all clean and transparent to search engines?

But I’ve never seen any SEO strategy that goes entirely by the search engines’ guidelines. And, I don’t think any website does 100% transparent stuff and shows everything it implements to the search engines.

I believe these Black Hat and White Hat SEO are nothing but some exaggerated or overstated terms mostly used by marketers. There is no broad significance of either of those that would trouble the SEOs.

In this post, I’m going to prove exactly that.

Let’s first know what Google says about White Hat or Black Hat SEO.

Google’s Viewpoint

Google says SEO means awesome content on the pages and making those pages easy to crawl. Anything other than that will be treated as Black Hat.

Quite interesting, right?

But, do you understand anything from Google’s viewpoint? Do you see Google tell anything about the so-called White Hat SEO?

No!

To make it more interesting let me tell you that Black Hat and White Hat SEO have in fact one major similarity.  Both try to exploit the loopholes in the search guidelines and use them to their advantage and gain rankings. That’s what both Black Hat and White Hat techniques do. White Hat techniques are no great or 100% ethical because White Hat was originally focusing a lot on buying links but they stopped that practice after Google decided to start penalizing link selling and buying tactic.

So, when both Black Hat and White Hat do technically the same, why do we differentiate between them? Why do we even care about them or give them a little worth when they don’t deserve it?

5 Myths about Black Hat SEO You Must Know

1. Black Hat SEO Tactics are Unethical

This is a serious misconception about Black Hat or any SEO technique. The reality is SEO techniques are not based on ethics, they are based on whether they are going to achieve the result or not. Following Google’s guidelines doesn’t make someone ethical and not following those guidelines doesn’t make unethical.

If Black Hats are painted as unethical just because they use strategies that are beyond search engine guidelines, White Hats should also be regarded as unethical.

So, instead of naming the SEO techniques as ethical or unethical we should name them as Good or Bad. That’s understandable and makes more sense.

2. Black Hat Tactics Gain Short-term Results

Most black hatters know that their efforts are going to get them short-term results, and they openly admit this. Making short-term profits when the opportunity is available is not a bad idea at all. If you don’t do that, someone else will. There is no point of showing good, putting little efforts and waiting for the result to come in this ever-changing digital age where changes are occurring way too fast.

If a White Hat technique is built and implemented with the purpose of getting only long-term results, then who knows there might be NO RESULTS at all by the time the same technique dies.

3. Search Engines Hit Black Hats Badly

Search engines are changing and evolving. They can hit anything or anyone that doesn’t follow their guidelines, so not only Black Hats, but also most White Hats can get penalized if they are against those guidelines.

In this situation, Black Hats have an edge over White Hats. They make enough profits until search engines actually know this and punish them. On the other hand, White Hats try to fool search engines by buttering up and acting smart, but that doesn’t make them invincible. Search engines can hit them anytime.

4. Black Hats are Useless

This is not true. All Black Hat SEO techniques are not useless. In fact, majority of the Black Hat tactics work because there has been a well thought out game plan upfront that acts as a support system. Google or any search engine only decides what is good or constructive SEO and what is aggressive SEO. Oftentimes, a Black Hat tactic does the job it’s supposed to do before it’s caught.

Most White Hats claim they use all good SEO techniques, but they don’t. They too spam. A proper scan finds that they have a black hat under their white hat. Their work and activities prove this.

5. Black Hat SEOs Have NO Knowledge of SEO

This is a big myth because most Black Hat SEOs have a thorough knowledge of SEO. They know exactly how SEO works and they make strategies accordingly.

They use some Black Hat techniques to earn more in less time, and also use White Hat techniques to generate a good amount of value for a long-term business. Many reputable SEO people have admitted that they have used the Black Hat SEO model knowingly for a short-term gain. Do you think they have no knowledge of SEO?

So, here’s my final word for you.

  • Don’t think of Black Hat or White Hat, or Any Hat. These are only marketing gimmicks.
  • Stay within what the search engine giant Google says. Create awesome content only for users, give plenty of reasons to them to love your website and make your pages easy for crawling. That’s all.
  • Tell everything that you do to your clients, never hide anything. Tell why you’re doing it, so they know what to expect. Hiding anything from them will make you unethical, violating search engine guidelines won’t.
  • Do good for your users, readers, clients and customers. There’s no need to be extra good to search engines.
  • SEO is a long-term model. Help your clients understand that.

Disclaimer:

I don’t support or use any Black Hat tactics, and I don’t encourage any of my support staff to practice that. It’s not because we treat Black Hats as unethical or unlawful; it’s because we believe Black Hat techniques don’t bring in a long-term success for our clients.

5 Steps to Design a Powerful Regional SEO Model

Regional SEO is an intermediate stage between Local SEO and National or Global SEO that tells a business is well equipped to target a larger city or town or even multiple towns within a large geographic location, but it’s not fully ready yet to target an entire nation or the customers in different countries.

If you are running a service area business and targeting multiple locations or areas, then a well-strategized regional SEO model should be an ideal marketing campaign for you. You cannot afford to construct your own brick and mortar stores or physical offices or rent them in all of the cities you are targeting.

That would certainly be expensive.

So, rather than real offices you can set-up your virtual offices at those locations, create individual web pages for each one of them and optimize those pages to leverage your business. This is known as Regional SEO campaign, which is a solid alternative to having physical offices in all cities to drive your potential customers from those areas.

This is post will tell you the useful techniques to design a strong and productive Regional SEO model, but before that here’s a word of caution that you need to know and remember.

Google says, “If your business rents a temporary, ‘virtual’ office at a different address from your primary business, do not create a page for that location unless it is staffed during your normal business hours by your business staff.”

You can find the details of Google My Business Help & Guidelines here. If you violate the guidelines by Google, they may consider suspending your organic listings within a short period.

In order to help protect your listings, here’s a detailed 5-step guide for you to design a powerful Regional SEO model that will go in accordance with Google’ guidelines and help leverage your regional business.

Step-1: Research Your Target Locations

First things first. Do a thorough research about all your potential target locations that you think can be ideally productive for your region-specific business.

There may be a number of locations in the vicinity that you think are ideal in driving customers, but real data obtained online may tell a different story about the search interest of the internet users in those areas. Some areas showing good results now might also change after some weeks or months down the line. You should take that into account as well.

Here’s how you would begin your research.

•Enter ideal search queries on Google local search. Your ideal search queries are your product or service names + geo modifiers. Find the geography report data in your Google Analytics and compare between your ideal search phrases. This will give you an idea about the cities that show good search interest.

At this point, you would have a long list of cities, but it’s not possible to create separate regional pages for all of them, so you need to group some cities to shorten the list further.

Step-2: Create Selling Regional Pages

Your regional SEO campaign depends a lot on your regional location pages.

Like any web page today, a regional page has to look good. Plus, it must provide amazing user experience. The text, the images and the call-to-action buttons or phrases – all these elements must captivate your page visitors to ensure they engage in certain activities on the page before leaving it.

Here’s how you would construct your regional pages:

1. Write a 100% unique description about the area. This would tell what this regional page is all about.


2. Include the benefits, usefulness or importance of your service or goods in that particular area. This should answer the ‘why’ part clearly.


3. Next, include a little bit of history of the business in that region. Describe the exact service location by adding any landmark or highway cross-section details.


4. Include photos of any significant work done by your business in the region.


5. Link to other regional pages that target the nearby areas.


6. Include details of your past customers or clients in that area along with their testimonials if any.


7. Your logo has to stand out from the rest.


8. Optimizing image names and including image alt text for the images is a good practice. Do that.


9. Include an attractive and informative map showing your entire target region and highlighting your business location.


Step-3: Manage Doorway Pages Well

Doorway pages, according to Google, are duplicate pages or similar pages that are created to rank highly for particular search phrases and all those pages lead to the same destination. This may harm the user experience.

On 12 Dec 2017, Google’s John Mueller conducted a live Google Webmasters Hang-out session, where he clearly said that doorway pages are fine if they are well-crafted and implemented correctly.

So, should you create doorway pages, or should you not?

No clear and concrete answer to this, but since your users don’t like doorway pages you shouldn’t actively involve in this practice. But then, it’s up to you. As long as you manage to satisfy both search engines and your users alike with your well-crafted doorway pages nobody is saying a NO.

Step-4: Focus on Niche Link Building

There are a lot of different ways you can accomplish niche link building for your regional pages.

Here are some of the popular ways:

1. Target your clients that have their own website. Write guest posts for them about your service or goods.

2. Don’t miss out on a single opportunity to interact with your potential customers. You should participate in all local events or charity programs.

3. Choose the popular niche directories and submit your regional pages to them.

Step-5: Set up Your GMB Profile

Setting up physical offices at all target locations is expensive, but you should try and have one regional office somewhere in the heart of the most popular area where you can manage multiple nearby regions easily. If you could afford that, then creating a GMB (Google My Business) profile is a great option.

After the profile is set-up your regional business shows in the target regions, and your customers can easily find the detailed information about your business, product or service. Local searchers are getting more interested in finding information from GMB profiles nowadays.

Although you cannot have offices at all of the regions you can set up a service area business in Google My Business and grow your customer-base from across all your target locations.

Is there anything else you think we’ve missed out that can further strengthen a regional SEO model? Please feel free to share your views in the comments below.

Add These 4 Features to Your Content to Earn Countless Links and Conversions

The industry of Web and SEO is humongous!

There is so much stuff happening and changing every single day and you really can’t keep track of all of that unless you have a super human body and a robot’s brain.

But not being able to keep track of all of those fast-moving changes is absolutely fine. You can still grow as a search professional, a digital marketer and even as an online business owner just by following certain rules, doing the basics right and moving in the right direction.

Whether you’ve been a part of this huge digital world for a long time, or have recently joined it, you know it very well that “Content is the Boss”. It’s safe to say that Digital Marketing stands because of Content, and it is Content that drives the entire online marketplace.

So, do you already know how to create quality content that sells automatically?

If yes, great!

If no, here’s some help for you. Go through the following 4 important points and make sure your content possesses these characteristics to help you earn a good number of links and sales.

Quick note: We’re going to talk about elevating the value of only the text-rich content, not other forms of visual content like images, graphics, videos or podcasts. With 100% pure visual content, it’s easier to attract users and win their hearts, but text-based articles have got their own sweet taste.

So, here are the 4 important characteristic features of content that can earn sales.

  1. Stats and Figures

What will your readers or audience look for when they first visit your page content?

Simple, they want a direct answer as quickly as possible.

If you could get them that direct answer in the first couple of sentences, then the job is done. But that’s not always possible and there’s a good portion of audience that will love to spend some time actually reading your text (if it’s got the power to captivate them).

You need to target those audiences that actually read, but don’t stretch your content too much or they will get bored.

If your topic headline is a direct answer or sounds very similar to that, they your readers are hooked.

Next, get to a compelling introduction by adding certain facts or emotion.

Adding valid stats and figures to start the introductory paragraph is also a good way to captivate readers that test the authenticity of the content. Actual readers also love to know additional stats associated with their query.

So, yes you need to add emotions, facts, stats and figures to the introductory paragraph and touch the pain point of your readers or audience right at the beginning.

But, remember to keep it short because too much stats and figures will look like an unnecessarily wordy paragraph.

  1. Voice of Authority

While adding numbers and stats to the beginning of your article adds authenticity to your piece, adding a voice of authority makes it trustworthy.

In today’s social media-driven fast life, anything that has a spark can go viral in no time. But many a times, it’s also been seen that a sudden bump can end with a quick fall, and you cannot afford to make that happen to your content.

One way you can add longevity to your article or blog post is by adding voices from other high-profile authors that have a huge follower-base.

You can add an image, a video or a quote made by the leaders in the niche you’re writing about, and that will contribute immensely to your article. If your readers see a famous personality that is already liked and revered by many and possibly by some or most of your readers, they trust your article automatically. It becomes quite easier for your article to get trust and links down the line, and that’s how you make your content live longer.

  1. Motivation for Readers/Users/Bloggers/Publishers

Giving a direct and quick answer is the first step to motivating your readers. But links won’t always come from your own readers or audiences. There are other bloggers and publishers out there who are a great prospect to link to your content.

So, how do you motivate them?

Well, constructive content marketing is a long game, and other bloggers and publishers that you think can contribute to your content program would be thinking the same way. All you need is a comprehensive win-win proposal.

If your content has certain depth and value, and its own growing audience, then content marketers will notice that. Find a way to let them know your content has the power to drive theirs. Build and connect with your network, offer to help others and create long-term relationships.

Participate in meet-ups, interact with influencers and engage in discussions. If you think you can further improve their content strategy in any way, don’t shy away from talking to them. They will definitely link to you.

  1. Ease and Clarity

Clarity wins.

If your readers feel that ease reading your post and find clarity about what they’re truly searching for, they would get that psychological comfort that “Yes, this blog is for me”! That experience will compel them to bookmark your blog and keep coming back.

Your choice of words does also matter a lot. Oftentimes, simple words with clarity in meaning and presentation can do a magic.

Same way, you can gain the trust of other bloggers and content marketers you like to connect with.

You’re doing a lot of hard work for your content. They are doing the same thing. This needs to be understood by all. Maintaining ease and clarity for your readers during content creation can work afterwards when you’re talking with other content creators about linking.

How effective is your content strategy? Could you please spare a minute to drop a comment below?

How to Effectively Target Long-tail Keywords and Boost Your SEO

How robust is your keyword strategy?

We, the SEO people, live in an industry that has plenty of uncertainties and surprises. We have been facing them every single moment and are learning to cope with the situation.

“What” was being done 8 or 10 years back has remained fundamentally the same, but “How” things were being executed has changed drastically, and it will keep changing for sure.

Optimized on-page update, quality content creation, authoritative link building – they all are very important factors responsible for search engine ranking. But, ‘keyword research’ is always the stepping stone, and without a proper keyword research your entire search engine ranking model fails.

How the keyword research was getting done has changed and today the focus is not only on the keywords searched, but also the real intent behind the search queries.

Keywords with higher search volume and competition level (typically short-tail keywords with 1 or 2 words in the entire search query) are believed to be more productive because more searchers are looking for products or services related to those search terms, and more advertisers and web masters aim to rank for those keywords.

But the scene has changed quite a bit.

Although short-tail keywords (aka seed keywords) are popular worldwide and they always have a high level of global competition, those are not necessarily the best SEO keywords for all businesses.

Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, have less competition, but if they are thoughtfully targeted to serve the real intent of the searchers, they can actually be way more productive than the seed keywords.

So, let’s learn about certain important points about an effective long-tail keyword strategy and how you can use it to your advantage.

A few points first…

Long-tail keywords, in general, are search queries that contain 3 or 4 (or more) words to match the exact search terms typed by the searchers. Example: “How to reduce body fat”. This search query contains 5 words, and it resonates with the specific intent of the searcher.

Long-tail keywords have low search volume and low competition level.

Almost 70% of all search traffic comes from long-tail search terms.

Rate of Conversion associated with long-tail SEO keywords is high because they serve the exact intent of the searchers.

It’s easier to rank for the long-tail keywords and achieve a good amount of conversion.

In certain cases, brand names comprising 1 or 2 words with highly specific low search volume can also be treated as long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords help optimize for Semantic Search. Semantic search is a data searching technique in which the search engine shows search results based on the intent and contextual meaning of each word searched by the searcher.

Long-tail Keyword Strategy

Now that you know the advantages and efficiency of targeting high-converting long-tail keywords for your business, it’s important to learn how to find those long-tail keywords that can be highly productive from the business point of view.

Here are the steps:

1. Open your Google Search Console and click Search Traffic

2. Search Analytics and select Clicks, Impressions and Position

3. Scroll down and click on the Download button on the bottom to get the whole list of keywords.

Next, you would need to download the same for your other campaigns such as PPC, YouTube Videos, Facebook Page, Twitter Account, Instagram etc. that you think can provide you with a good list of long-tail keyword choices.

Save all the entries in a single document to make sure you have them all in one place for reference.

Extend this process further to find some more potential long-tail keyword choices within your niche that you could rank for.

Here are the steps to collect the potential long-tail keywords manually:

1. Gather a list of seed or short-tail keywords. You may use a keyword planning tool to prepare this list, but don’t use Google Adwords program because it would likely try to prohibit you from getting to your real target keywords that are long-tail with low search volume and can be highly profitable for your business.

2. Use Google’s auto-complete suggestions to prepare your list of potential long-tail keywords. Type any short-tail or seed keywords into Google search and note down the auto-complete suggestions provided by Google. Those terms are what searchers are looking for with high intent.

3. Use Google’s related search suggestions to a good effect. You can find the related search suggestions section at the bottom of every search engine results page (SERP). Since most searchers are searching for those long-tail keywords, you can easily target those complete phrases to drive more potential sales.

4. There’s no reason you can ignore other search engines and their search suggestions, so yes, you can try the above steps on Bing and Yahoo to broaden your list of potential long-tail keywords. If you think this method of manual long-tail keywords searching can be a pain and a time-consuming task, there are numerous software programs like this one available online to help you out. You may try a few different long-tail keyword finding tools and choose the best.

So, your list of long-tail keywords is ready. Now you can go for adding them to your page content meaningfully.

Creating Quality Content Using Your Target Long-tail Keywords

After a long and painful research you’ve come up with a huge list long-tail keywords. But, you cannot create dedicated landing pages for each one of those. You can group them to shorten the list.

Multiple keywords will fall under one group based on their common search intent. This way you’re going to deal with a smaller list of keywords. If possible now, add the keywords to your existing page content, or else, create new content around your long-tail keywords where those keywords will live naturally.

Remember to create internal links inside your new content, so you can easily accommodate your long-tails. That’s a good SEO practice anyway.

This holistic long-tail keyword strategy will give you an SEO boost that adds value to your business.

Long-tail target keywords and your content strategy work in tandem. You should keep creating high-value assets and blog posts about your niche. Create powerful content and post them all over the places (as much as you could) to build up your online reputation. Optimize your pages for search engine ranking under those high-converting, long-tail keywords, and keep track of your traffic growth on a regular basis. Communicate and engage with your visitors, and keep improving your own knowledge from time to time.

Importance of Fresh Content & Content Syndication in Google Ranking

 

Ever since Google officially announced its ‘Freshness Update’ back in November, 2011, content freshness has been in the limelight within and beyond the content marketing industry. The Freshness Update was basically a change or update in Google’s ranking algorithm that began to focus on providing its searchers with fresher or more recent search results. Fresher content including current events, hot topics and recurring events have been getting ranked higher right since the update. A fresh and newly published web page nowadays stands a higher chance of getting ranked over pages that have been published earlier.

Today, all webmasters and content marketers understand it really well that Google bots like to see fresh content on the pages they crawl and index.

In this post, we will learn in detail how this content freshness adds value to your Google ranking strategy. We will also learn about another important ranking factor – Content Syndication along the way.

Let’s now dig deeper to learn and understand this ‘content freshness’ thing in detail.

So, yes, the term freshness refers to newness, which means the content has to be recently published in order to be liked by Google for ranking more than content that is published earlier, but there’s a catch – Not all kinds of newly published content units or posts can outrank their older counterparts. Although date of publication matters in case of web pages showing current events or news related articles, web pages with general information or basic educative articles cannot be ranked only on the basis of their date of publication.

Here’s an example.

If a blog post title reads something like “Top 5 SEO Ranking Strategies in 2019”, Google will definitely try to bring the most recent web pages right up on the search results. This means the date of content publication matters here.

If a blog title reads “Major Constituents of Human Blood”, date of content publication will have little to no impact on the ranking because a web page with the same old post can still outrank all its newer versions if the page has higher traffic and authority.

So, Google aims to show the most relevant results to its users after studying their search queries. And it’s Google, who determines which search queries are looking for fresh content.

In order to sum up this Content Freshness thing, here are a couple of points you need to know and understand.

• Google gives a ‘freshness score’ to web pages depending on when the content has been published, so yes, you should try to have up-to-date content on your pages that you want to get indexed and ranked. The older the content, the lower can be the score. This means you need to maintain regular updates to your content to keep that freshness score up.

• Links from ‘fresh’ and up-to-date websites or pages to your content can help boost the freshness score of your content. This will also extend the relevance of your content and the chance of getting ranked higher. The more the links, the merrier!

• The newest post cannot always be the most relevant search result in Google’s eyes. Old posts with value, traffic, authority, popularity, proper in-depth information and low bounce-rate can still rank higher than new posts. But yes, in case of pages publishing news or current events the date of content publication can play a role.

Let’s now discuss about Content Syndication, a popular tactic to copy and re-publish a piece of content that has already been published earlier on a webpage.

With the hopes of keeping the content freshness score high many content marketers try and steal some high-ranked and popular pieces of content from other websites and post those onto their own site. They also use this content syndication tactic within their own website reposting a piece of content on a page that was posted on another page at an earlier date.

However, to their absolute sorrow and failure, content syndication tactic doesn’t work the way they think it does. When Google bots see the identical content on multiple pages, they index and rank only one page that has high traffic and authority.

Therefore, if you are copying or syndicating content from pages that have higher authority and traffic than yours, stop that today. You are going to be the loser, and your organic traffic will get reduced.

Content syndication, if done the right way, can however bring something to you.

Here’s how you should use content syndication to your benefit:

Make a plan. Well, the first step is to set a target audience and create high-quality content for them.

Find suitable syndication partners. Finding your potential syndication partners can be easy and at the same time hard, but if your content has the power to win, you will definitely find many syndication partners that will be interested in your content.

Choose sites that are bigger. By bigger I mean higher in rank and traffic. Also, they must have the same target audience as you have.

Research the best way to syndicate. You might want to syndicate the entire blog post or only part of it such as the topic headline. Ask for a link back to your website or a special credit to you as the original content creator, so it can drive a certain portion of their site visitors to your website. If your syndication partner agrees, you can put call-to-action to increase the conversion chances.

Set up a 301 redirect. If you have syndicated content on multiple pages within your own site, set up a 301 redirect to request Google to index the right page.

Use a meta noindex tag or a rel=canonical tag. This is also used to let Google know the original content.

Content syndication is not bad if done the right way. But if you steal and republish someone else’s content without their permission, then that is wrong.

Intent Research and Its 3 Major Advantages for Businesses Doing SEO

It’s impossible for SEO people or search marketers to decode the complex algorithm of the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, and understand its internal set-up to know how it actually works. If you are a search marketer yourself, all you can do is focus on building quality links, remove any broken links, insert the target keywords in the right places, create top-class content and market it, and make sure your entire optimization model is going in the right direction.

There’s no short cut. Do all the hard work, repeat, and then repeat again! Do this consistently and then hope for a rise in your ranking. A time will come when your efforts will pay.

If you closely study the target search queries and how they’re performing, you will come to know that Search Engines are slowly becoming Answer Engines. ‘Searcher is the Boss’ and all search engines are working towards providing the best possible search results to the searchers. All that is shown on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) must satisfy the searcher in the best possible manner. That’s what search engines are looking for.

The kind of ‘Keyword Research’ you were performing 5 years ago is not going to work now. It’s not merely the keyword, but the INTENT behind the keyword that matters. Therefore, you would need to optimize your website for the real purpose or the intent behind a search query, not just the search keyword.

That is what this post is all about. Stop performing the old-school keyword research. Start performing the new age Intent Research.

So, what exactly does this “Intent Research” mean?

Intent Research is studying the exact purpose of a searcher behind performing a particular search in the search engine. Of course searchers type words or text (known as search keywords) in the search box, but every search keyword can have multiple meanings. It’s important to study and find out ‘what’ exactly the searcher’s intent was behind that search.

Let’s put it this way:

Suppose ABC.com is a very big full-service web design company out there in your state offering their services to a very big geographic location. In comparison to them XYZ.com is very small and are primarily offering basic web design consultation and training to absolute beginners.

At a given point of time, a searcher performed a search by typing the keyword “Web Design” in the search engine. The searcher had no idea how search engines show results, but the intent was to find an ideal web design training center online that would provide useful consultation and proper training on web design basics. The searcher basically is not looking for advanced paid course or web design service.

In such a scenario XYZ.com would be a better choice for the searcher than ABC.com although the latter is much larger in size than the former and they both come up on the search results for the particular keyword.

This is one instance where Intent Research wins. Even though there are multiple search results for a given keyword, the website that is optimized for the exact intent of the search gets customers and sells its product(s) or service(s).

So, how do you find out the actual intent of the searcher?

The answer is: There’s no hard and fast rule or tried and tested formula, or at least there’s no formula as yet.

But, you can apply your common sense and go deep learning how searchers are behaving upon your target search terms. Moreover, you can analyze Google’s Universal Search system to understand the searchers’ intent up to a certain extent.

Here are a few features of the modern search results that can signal the searcher’s intent:

  • Google’s Search Suggestion as the searcher begins typing the search query.
  • Google’s “Quick-answer” search boxes and “People Also Ask” features show informational intent.
  • Google’s Shopping results that include product images and prices show high-intent searches.
  • Google’s Local results and Knowledge graph.
  • And, Google’s “Search in Search” feature to learn a searcher’s intent.

After studying these modern search results features you can design your own formula to target the intent of the searchers and organize your keywords effectively.

So, Intent Research clearly has many advantages over Keyword Research. Let’s quickly discuss 3 major advantages below and wrap things up.

  1. Faster Ranking

Let’s discuss a little bit more about the same example we mentioned above. “Web Design” as a keyword is highly competitive and for businesses like XYZ.com (that only target absolute beginners that are looking for basic consultation or training on web design) optimizing for “web design” cannot be productive. Due to the excessive competition worldwide it will take a long time to get ranked.

Alternatively, if they study the intent of their searchers and add a word or phrase to form a keyword like “basic web design training” or “web design consultation for beginners”, they could rank much faster. Long-tail keywords rank faster due to their low competition level.

  1. Better Conversion Rate

Correct intent research helps website owners find their right target audience, and if all goes well they make conversions easily. Studying the user’s intent behind a particular search query will help you understand what your user actually wants or needs. It helps you create proper landing pages and design your products/services that can sell easily.

A well-thought-out intent research always has a positive impact on the conversion rate.

  1. Easier Product/Service Management

The digital team finds out the signals obtained from Intent research and passes the ideas on to the relevant team. For example, keywords with information intent should be forwarded to the content people as important content ideas, keywords with commercial intent need to be passed on to the product development team or straight to the designers that design the landing pages.

This way, the product/service management gets streamlined easily and quickly. Less time, less effort – and focus is on boosting the productivity.

It’s the searcher’s intent that matters!

4 Effective Ways to Lower Your Website’s Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is bad for any website. It’s the percentage of visitors that land on a particular page of your website and leave the site without visiting any other page. The higher the bounce rate of your website, the lower is the conversion, so you need to ensure that your website’s bounce rate is as low as possible.

Well, people get confused with a similar term known as “Exit Rate” of a web page. The difference between these 2 terms however is that Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave the landing page and the whole website without visiting any other page, but Exit rate is the percentage of visitors that leave a particular page (they may or may not navigate through the website’s internal pages).

Every Bounce rate can also be the Exit rate, but every Exit rate is not necessarily the Bounce rate. Clear?

OK, since Bounce rate is more harmful for a website than Exit rate, it’s important to optimize the Bounce rate of a website, and this post is going to teach you exactly that.

Bounce rate of a particular page = [(Total number of visitors that left the page without navigating beyond that page) / (Total number of visitors on that page)] * 100. Bounce rate over 50% is bad and when it reaches 70-80%, it’s too bad for the website.

So, how do you check your website’s bounce rate? You can check your website’s bounce rate by signing into your Google Analytics account.

Here are the steps:

1. Sign into your Analytics account and select the website name.

2. On your Audience Overview page, select the Bounce Rate metric. This will show you the Bounce Rate of the entire website.

3. If you want to see the Bounce Rate of individual pages, you would need to go to Behavior >> All Pages. The 6th column from the left is the Bounce Rate column that shows you the different bounce rates of individual pages.

4. You can change the date range from the top right corner setting if you wish to view the bounce rate for a different time period.

If the bounce rate of your website (and/or its internal pages) is above the 56-60% mark, it’s bad and hence you need to reduce this number.

Here are 4 effective ways to lower the bounce rate:

1. Create Highly Engaging Content

What a visitor sees after landing on a particular page of your website is the content on that page. First thing is that the content must be appropriate or relevant to the visitor. It must be clearly answering the visitor’s purpose of landing on the page. But more than that, it’s the look of your content that matters because a web page visitor likes to see content that looks good to their eyes before s/he will even think about reading through the paragraphs. In order to make your web page content engaging you can consider a few different things, such as:

• Include a Catchy Topic Headline.

• Make your opening paragraph do the job for your visitor. You may ask – when the opening paragraph does it, why would one even bother reading on the next paragraphs? Well, it doesn’t go like that. The opening paragraph providing a brief answer to the visitor only means that the visitor is more interested in reading further. Include a good combining sentence after the opening paragraph to politely take your visitors down to the subsequent paragraphs. This works in case of service sites or e-magazines where visitors get to see text-rich content and the site owner wants their visitors to actually read through the content. In case of e-commerce stores, they can add less texts and more visual elements like images and videos for better engagement with their visitors.

• You can also consider maintaining a good consistency rate of posting content onto your pages.

2. Add Push Notifications

There may be a point when you would feel the bounce rate is still high even after posting extremely appealing and highly useful content consistently. You may then try and add push notifications to see if your visitors are interested in additional stuff like freebies or extra discount offers. Who knows, you may be able to hold the abandoning visitors for a few more time and some of them might even engage themselves in doing other activities on the site. You may try this trick for an improved bounce rate of your site and individual pages, as most digital marketing are using this method today.

3. Optimize Page Loading Time

Page loading speed is an important factor responsible for improving the bounce rate of the web page. Nobody likes to land or stay on a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load completely. If your loading time is higher than that, then it’s a critical warning for you that your page bounce rate will naturally be higher than you would expect because your visitors will leave the page and your site right away.

There are many different tools out there online that can test your page loading time. If you have built your website using WordPress, then there are a couple of free plugins that you can install and boost the loading speed of your web pages.

4. Perform Regular A/B Tests

A/B Testing is an effective method to optimize the bounce rate that most website owners seem to overlook, but you don’t do that. You never know a few number of small tweaks on a particular page like trying out different font types, font styles, adding a pop-up, changing the color of the call-to-action button etc. can do wonders in holding your visitors for a longer time.

There are many such things you can try and test on your landing pages that can earn you a better conversion rate by lowering the bounce rate. Perform thorough A/B testing on a regular basis to make sure your website produces more. Above all, try your best to make your website and its internal pages look good with catchy texts, attractive images, videos and slick call-to-action buttons. Adding suitable amount of white space onto a page and in between paragraphs is also a good idea to add beauty to your content.

Have you ever used any other trick(s) to reduce your site’s bounce rate that actually worked for you? Please feel free to share those in the comments below.

5 Proven Steps to Writing a Quality Blogpost Fast

How often do you hear from web marketing giants that quality content is the key to getting more traffic and business? All the time, right? Agreed! Both for retaining your existing customers and getting more out of your website, high-quality content is essential. However, we cannot deny the fact that posting content on a regular basis earns a good deal of exposure and you get ranked up on Google when you have a fresh and updated content profile.

So, the point is you cannot just focus on enhancing the quality of the content and take days to publish a single piece of it on your site. The fact remains that more content means more traffic, and more traffic means better opportunity for ranking up and generating healthy revenue. Therefore, a good balance between quality and quantity of your posts counts. How do you achieve this? Read on the article that shows you 5 proven steps to writing a quality post amazingly faster.

Plan and Prepare Well

A fair amount of Planning and Preparation is a must no matter if you are just a newbie or a pro. Today, the web has almost everything already, so what you are going to pitch is not new. All you can do for an impression on your readers or users is put your voice differently and attractively. So, plan and prepare well before you speak your mind.

Fix a Deadline for Each Post

You have thought about publishing this interesting post this Tuesday means you have to post it on Tuesday morning – no delay! Fixing deadlines works out well mostly. Unless you have a fixed deadline for each of the articles, you would easily be held up by the common distracting bits that come in your way every day.

Write at Your Best Times

It’s a normal thing that your efficiency or productivity is at the peak when you work at your best times. There would be no interruptions, so you get to put and deliver the most. So, pick your best times of the day and do nothing but work on your article to make it pull off for your brand. Seasoned pros have practiced this art, so it’s easy for them. However, new bloggers struggle but they learn it with time.

Go with Your Natural Tone

The source that provided you with the idea(s) no longer matters once you have acquired the gist. You might have gotten it from one or multiple sources, but you eventually have to put your own taste and creativity into it. It has to sound natural and unique. If you believe in using simple words, go simple. If you are capable of putting more insights and make it even more creative, you may. Nobody is forcing you to do this or that, but it has to come up as an interesting and easily understandable blogpost in the end. So, go natural, go your own way.

Proofread Before Publishing

Once you are done with the concluding lines, it’s important to proofread the copy. You may do this yourself if you are handy enough, or ask a professional proofreader to do this for you. A publish-ready post ensures that all the sentences are formed correctly with no typos or grammatical issues in it. Self-editing may sometimes go wrong since you may skip your own mistakes, which another person can easily point out. So, make sure you’ve created a master piece of content that will be liked and shared by your users.

These 5 steps or techniques we’ve discussed here are intended to help make your content fast and decent. If you do follow the way, you can save a good amount of time of yours yet end up with a great post that markets itself. Do you have anything more to add? Please, write in the comments.

3 Ways you can make Your Website Content More User-oriented

It takes countless hours and tons of effort to produce your website content, and you cannot let all that go to waste by overlooking certain important points while creating the content. You want each piece of your content to pay you back. Put differently, you want your content to attract users naturally, engage them and sell them your products and/or services.It takes countless hours and tons of effort to produce your website content, and you cannot let all that go to waste by overlooking certain important points while creating the content. You want each piece of your content to pay you back. Put differently, you want your content to attract users naturally, engage them and sell them your products and/or services.

So, it comes down to just one thing – ‘user-oriented content’. The more user-oriented your website content is, the better engagement rate it shows, and the more is the chance of making a sale.

There are many ways to creating user-oriented, or in other words user-focused, content, but this post outlines 3 common, basic and simple ways of making your website content more user-oriented.

Present all Attributes Perfectly.

If you are selling products, be sure to give complete information to your visitors so they can get enough knowledge about the products. Create individusal pages for each single product. Some of the key elements you must add on each product page are:

  • Multiple high-quality images captured from all angles. Complete texts describing the product. Multiple color options (if available). Details of the material used, attributes/features, how to use and how to care the product. Pricing and/or discounts (if any). A short explainer video.

If you are offering services, you may not have many pictures for your visitors, but you should not skip the details. You must include all that a user may want the answers for. Besides covering the ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘practical benefits’ of your services include your achievements and success. How you’ve helped a past client may come extremely helpful to your current and future users and some of them might find it to be their own story, and that gives you a good chance of selling your services. Why would they go somewhere else if they get all their questions answered automatically?

So, include as much details as you possibly could! Partition Your Content.

Online visitors want instant solutions. They don’t have time or interest to read through a post (except for certain number of informational blog posts) entirely. They like to jump straight into the part that answers their question or solves their query. So, don’t forget to partition your content into multiple segments possessing some relationship with one another and all supporting the main idea of the topic.

The intent is clear. Your user would get multiple options and engage more with the content. Your visitors would obviously differ from one another in terms of mentality, interests and behavior. You certainly have no idea who’s going to choose which part of your content, but with a certain amount of research on customer behavior you can know how to design and partition your content, so it can be useful to a wide variety of audience.

Constructive linking is a vital technique that keeps your users intact. You can link each segment of your content with others, so a user can click a link to explore the specific part as per their choice.

Partitioning your content is a good way of making your entire content more user-oriented. Easy to find – Easy to read – Easy to sell the stuff! Blame Yourself for Anything Wrong

Many a times, people in the web sphere do a lot of mistakes. They do this, they do that, and they do all the crazy things that go wrong. But don’t criticize them for not doing the right thing.

As an instance, say a user clicked on a broken link and landed on an error page. What would the message on the error page read?

“Oops, you may have clicked a wrong link or typed in an incorrect URL” Or, something like this: “Sorry, we tried but couldn’t find the requested page. You might try the following pages instead!”

The latter one is more polite and gives your users an impression that you’re really taking care of them. You’re taking the responsibility for the mishap on your own shoulders rather than criticizing them.

In web, when you cannot have a face-to-face interaction with your users, these small things in your language matter a lot. More user-oriented content means better chance of conversion.

Please, drop a comment to share your experience.