Top 13 SEO Metrics to Track Content Performance & Engagement

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We’re now marketing in an era where SEO and content marketing go hand in hand.

If you want to drive success from the search engines, you need create great content.

Understanding the link between SEO and content marketing is important – whether it’s as a link building tactic, a way to earn rankings, or to educate and convert users.

But success doesn’t just come in one metric.

To truly analyze and understand the impact of your content marketing efforts, you need to:

  • Know the key metrics to consider.
  • Learn how to track them.
  • Identify which metrics are applicable to your own campaigns and business.

Here’s a look at some of the most common SEO metrics you need to know.

1. Links

For many SEO professionals, links are one of the primary goals of content marketing efforts.

As an indication as to why, here’s a snippet from Google’s Webmaster Guidelines:

“The best way to get other sites to create high-quality, relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it.”

It’s there in black and white.

Links are one of Google’s top three ranking factors.

High-quality, relevant links are those which are earned as a result of creating unique content which gains popularity.

But links aren’t just links.

Participating in link schemes is a violation of these guidelines and this includes the likes of: – Read more

Closing the Loop with Paid Search: Linking the Right Message to the Right Audience

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An End-to-End Approach

Paid search gives advertisers the unique ability to send a large amount of qualified traffic to their web properties with just the flip of a switch. In the world of digital marketing, this is a powerful capability, but the speed with which paid search campaigns can be created can sometimes lead to strategies that overlook the importance of developing a coherent and audience-driven theme into the messaging used in every step of your account’s creation.

That is why it is so important to start every new paid search initiative with a careful consideration of who you will be targeting with your ads, and ultimately, the goals you have in mind for this traffic. By developing a solid understanding of these things, advertisers can begin building end-to-end messaging strategies that seamlessly carry your paid search strategy from your audience to your ads, and finally, through to your targeted landing page.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of using the end goal of your campaign to reverse engineer your messaging and the audience you will need to leverage in order to support it, along with how you can use this process to develop a more cohesive strategy that maximizes the success you can expect from your paid search initiatives.

Understanding Your Goals

When building a paid search strategy, the first priority should always be to develop a solid understanding of what action you would like to drive on your site and how taking this action can benefit your targeted audience or persona. Are you trying to increase downloads of a gated asset? Perhaps you would like to drive more software demos for your sales team? In any case, take a look at your ultimate goal and put yourself into the shoes of someone who would benefit from taking this action. This will be your targeted persona. Ask yourself how this persona will ultimately benefit from taking this targeted action. Take this process a step further and consider what makes this specific persona unique. Do they have any challenges that your targeted offer helps address? Is there anything that may prevent them from taking action on your site? Using all of this knowledge, you can start to develop how you will target this audience as well as the messaging that you will be using. – Read more

Google Analytics: How to Track PayPal Transactions

My Post (30).jpgMerchants have many options for accepting online payments. “PayPal Payments Standard” is popular, but it can be challenging for Google Analytics to report the sale.

Using PayPal Payments Standard, customers leave the merchant’s website for their account at PayPal. After they complete payment, customers are redirected by PayPal back to the URL provided by the merchant.

There are two issues that can impact reporting in Google Analytics from this process.

First, the customer may not make it back to the merchant’s order confirmation page to trigger ecommerce reporting in Google Analytics. If the return URL is not set properly, the customer may not go back at all or may go back to the merchant’s home page or some other page. None will trigger the Google Analytics ecommerce code. A correct return URL will send the customer back to the order confirmation page, and the Google Analytics ecommerce code fires upon arrival.

This return URL is typically provided by the ecommerce platform in the payment settings. In PayPal, the return URL settings reside behind the gear icon in the top-right after logging in. – Read more

How to Get Started with Remarketing on Google Ads & Facebook

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For those of us who work in digital advertising, any chance we have to make our online strategic approach more successful is much appreciated.

Using remarketing (a.k.a., retargeting) is that chance.

It is a second chance to advertise, an opportunity to cross-sell or an opportunity to nurture your audience with your content marketing efforts.

Inversely, if needed, it is a way to exclude audience targeting and hold advertising dollars for new eyes only.

This Is Old News, Right?

Technically, yes.

Google began remarketing offering for display advertising as far back as 2010. Then remarketing showed up in search advertising in 2013.

So, yes, it has been around for quite a while.

Surprisingly, though, I only see a few new clients who are taking advantage of remarketing – or who even know what it is.

The beauty of remarketing is that our audience targets are what I like to call a “considerate” audience. They know who you are. – Read more

Demystifying Google’s guide to clicks, impressions and position in Google Search Console

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Here are the answers to the most common questions asked about managing metrics in the Performance reporting in GSC.

Google Search Console is packed with important information for site owners and SEOs. Via GSC, Google has done a great job providing reporting and functionality that can help you diagnose problems, understand your organic search traffic, test your site and more.

That said, there are some confusing things that you can come across while traversing the reporting in GSC, and that’s especially the case for those new to SEO. One example is the Performance reporting, which used to be called Search Analytics. The Performance reporting provides a ton of information about your organic search traffic, including queries leading to your site, landing pages ranking in Search, the click-through rate (CTR) for queries and landing pages, average position for queries ranking in Google and more. It’s a powerful report that I’m often analyzing.

While helping clients with SEO, I’ve found some of the metrics could be confusing. For example, it’s extremely important to understand what constitutes an impression and click, and how Google calculates position for queries and landing pages. After speaking with many clients about their own reporting, it’s clear there needed to be a guide for how this works.

And Google delivered! – Read more

Setting Up Your Email Campaigns for 2019 Success

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Whether you’re aiming for an ambitious career goal or vowing to eat more vegetables, the new year means new opportunities to better ourselves — and the same holds true for your email campaigns.

Here are five resolutions to set your email campaigns up for success.

1. Clean up your lists
January is the perfect time to step up your list hygiene. Segmenting your unengaged contacts is key to improving deliverability.

Review your open rates and identify contacts who haven’t opened your last 20+ sends. The length of time they’ve been away will determine your next steps. Has it been 90 days or less? Run them through a reengagement campaign, making sure to scale back your normal email cadence. On the other hand, if they’ve gone two years with no opens, it’s time to unsubscribe them for good.

2. Review your automated marketing campaigns
Automated campaigns like abandoned cart emails, browse abandonment emails, and post-purchase series are easy to “set and forget.” However, even your best-performing campaigns have a shelf life — typically around 12 to 18 months.

The new year is a great opportunity to assess these campaigns and run through a checklist of the basics. Are your email templates mobile-optimized? Could the subject lines or cadence of your emails improve? Have you personalized your content wherever possible? Your campaigns may just need a refresh to start generating results.

3. Test new optimization strategies
Just like your own resolutions, small changes to your email messages often have the biggest impact. Plan to A/B test at least one form of optimization — this may include the subject line, send time, content, or personalization. Depending on the campaign’s goals, focus on one metric to track, such as: – read more

How to Find New Placements to Target on the Google Ads Display Network

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I miss the Display Planner. It was one of my favorite tools in the old AdWords interface. When Google decided to remove the tool from Google Ads, PPC marketers lost a valuable asset for planning out display campaigns.

While I still want the tool back, we can create successful managed placement campaigns in Google Ads. It just takes a little bit more work on our end. (Thanks Google!) Here are a few tactics I use for finding new placements to target.

Look at What Traffic Is Already Working

I love talking about how Google Analytics can usually answer the question, “Who should I target first?” This post is no exception. Whenever I get the opportunity to set up my first display campaign in an account, one of the first places I like to look is the Referrals report in Google Analytics. The Referrals report lives under the Acquisition > All Traffic portion of Google Analytics. Typically, I like to sort by most conversions (or revenue for ecommerce businesses) to see which referral sources are sending quality traffic to my site.  – Read more

 

 

Google AdWords Express is Now Part of Google Ads

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Google is notifying advertisers that AdWords Express has joined the Google Ads platform.

AdWords Express campaigns are now available in Google Ads as ‘Smart’ campaigns.

Previously, AdWords Express was a standalone solution, designed to be a lower maintenance option for small businesses.

Now, Smart campaigns still have all the same benefits as AdWords Express campaigns, but with improved features.

Google highlights the following benefits: – Read more

3 Essential Web Design Trends in 2019

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New year, new design trends!

While everyone is talking about big-picture trends such as designing for voice and virtual reality, there are more immediate design elements that you can see (and deploy) right now for a more on-trend website.

From websites without images above the scroll, to ecommerce that disguises itself as content, to bright blue everything, here’s a look at what’s trending this month.

1. No “Art” Above the Scroll

Have you noticed how many websites don’t have images or video above the scroll? This no “art” design style used to be reserved for coming soon or construction pages that didn’t have images, but it’s trending even for website designs with plenty of other imagery.

If you have a message or statement that is the most important thing for users to know right away, this can be an effective design technique. It works because there’s nothing else to see. (Unless the user refuses to read the words and abandons the design, which can be a risk with this style.)

Make the most of a no art design with beautiful typography and strong color choices.

These design elements can serve as art on their own and help add visual interest to the words on the screen.

Each of the three examples below does this in a slightly different way.

We Are Crowd uses a strong serif-sans serif typography pair on a bright colored background. Users are enticed to delve into the design thanks to an animated scroller on the homepage. The no “art” design actually alternates between image and non-image panels, showing users there is something to look at. – Read more

9 Tips for Creating Your Best SEO Content in 2019

My Post (17).jpgIn 2019, SEO content will be all about the audience.

If you’re looking to improve your content marketing and see real ROI, you have to use practices that will really benefit them.

Content that’s highly ranked, that drives traffic and leads is always user-focused, first and foremost.

That’s why today’s tips for SEO content in 2019 all point back to your reader, A.K.A. the V.I.P. and M.V.P. you need to know and understand to get it right.

Because, when you write to the right people in the right way, your writing and content will climb higher.

9 Keys for Creating Your Best SEO Content in 2019

Ready?

Here are my nine top tips for helping you create your best (most-read, most-shared, and most valuable) content this year and beyond.

1. Write to the Right People with Targeted Keywords

Your SEO content won’t reach the right people if you fail to optimize it with targeted keywords.

What do I mean by “targeted keywords”?

These are key terms and phrases for which your audience niche is actively searching.

To find these terms, you must first understand:

  • Who your audience segments are.
  • What kind of information they need.
  • Why they need that information.
  • Which keywords they’re using to find it.

This may seem like a lot, but it really isn’t if you break it down into a few activities:

  • Audience research: Identify the type of audience you think wants/needs what you offer. Then, go find where they congregate online. Talk to them. Survey them. Figure out their personal habits, preferences, demographics, and stats. (Marketing Land has a good guide on this process.)
  • Keyword research: Find relevant, profitable keywords that relate to your expertise, your products/services, and your audience’s search intent.
  • Topic research: Come up with content topics based on the targeted keywords you discovered and what your audience wants to learn/know. – Read more