SEO Keyword Research: 13 of the Biggest Mistakes You MUST Avoid

My Post - 2019-11-13T125626.456.pngKeyword research is an integral part of any SEO marketer’s job.

But according to a study compiled a few years back, few people actually love keyword research.

Keyword research was ranked as one of the top three most difficult tasks by SEO professionals (behind link building and content creation).

That might be because 66% of us perform our keyword research in-house as opposed to finding a specialist or outsourcing it.

Keyword research can also be a daunting task – as almost 44% of us only do it when we have to.

It makes sense.

When you do your keyword research sparsely, it can feel like a huge project, and there are quite a few pitfalls that make it feel even more laborious.

When I polled SEO pros on Twitter about what they think are the biggest mistakes businesses and marketers make when performing keyword research, I got almost 40 responses – but many hit on the same themes.

Here is a list of the top-named biggest keyword research mistakes to avoid:

1. Forgetting Searcher Intent

So many people mentioned that the biggest keyword research mistake was forgetting to truly examine searcher intent.

What’s the point in ranking your site or content for a query that doesn’t match what the user is looking for?

So many marketers are more obsessed with driving traffic than they are with the bottom line – driving conversions.

And that’s where the searcher intent comes in.

Searcher intent examines what the user is actually looking for when they look for something online.

If you have a recipe site, chances are people want the recipes – not a 2,000-word essay on what this meal meant to you in your childhood.

Match your content to what people are actually looking for or ensure that the right types of queries are driving traffic to your site.

2. Not Looking at Actual SERPs


Part of understanding searcher intent and what search engines understand the intent behind users’ queries to be – is to actually look in the SERPs.

Too many people spend too much time in the tools, and don’t look at what’s actually ranking for keywords.

You may see that the content that Google serves users for a particular query doesn’t match the content you have for that keyword. Maybe you’re writing a blog, but search engines interpret the query to need a product page result.

Look at what type of content is ranking for that keyword and model your content on that framework. – Read more

7 To-Dos Before Launching a Business Website

My Post - 2019-11-12T143714.170.pngThese seven steps will increase your ranking on search engines and boost conversions.

Launching your new website can be very exciting. You’re about to unveil a new look for your brand. It’s important, therefore, to have everything in place to ensure a successful launch.

There are several common mistakes that developers and business owners make when launching a site. You can avoid them by planning your launch carefully and well in advance. These seven tips will give your business a great new start as you launch your website.

1. Use calls to action.

A well-designed website with compelling content is ineffective without calls to action. CTAs give users something to do with the information they’ve received from your site. It makes their interaction on your website feel complete. It can also direct the user further along your sales funnel.

It’s important to place CTAs on nearly every page. You can use them to influence user behavior. It’s very common to ask visitors to read more content and stay on your site longer. You can also ask them to share a post or sign up on your site. Membership sites often use CTAs to convince people to sign up to access gated information.

You can use CTAs strategically to increase conversions. Launching your website without them leads to missed opportunities.

2. Add analytics.

When you’re creating a website, you may put off adding analytics until later. Very often, the front end of the website is a priority, which leads to back-end features being neglected. If you don’t add analytics before your website launches, you won’t have the ability to measure web traffic and glean other insights from day one.

Tools like Google Analytics let you know if your marketing strategies are working. It also tells you more about your site visitors so you can figure out what’s not working. If you have an online store, you need Google Analytics Ecommerce Reports to understand what products are making the most conversions. You can track your lead conversion rate or the changes and your website revenue in Google Analytics.

3. Create a Coming Soon page.

Build anticipation and create user engagement before your website launches. You can create an attractive Coming Soon page to give users information about your business in advance.

You can also use it to create an email list while your site is still under development. If you don’t have a Coming Soon page, you miss a lot of opportunities to make your brand memorable. Use a tool like SeedProd to create a Coming Soon page and to get analytics before your website launches.

4. Apply SEO before the website launch.

Incorporating search engine optimization before you launch your site saves time and resources later. Ranking on search engines matters, because 95% of people don’t search beyond the first page. You avoid having to redesign your website when you make SEO part of the design process.

Search engines rank websites that are well structured and offer good user experience features. By applying SEO guidelines, you get a faster-loading site and good navigation. SEO best practices also ensure that you use keywords appropriately in page titles, URLs and metadata.

It’s an enormous challenge to add SEO to your site once it’s done. Apply SEO strategies before your website launch, or you may find yourself redesigning your website. – Read more

PPC Landing Pages Not Converting? 10 Ways to Optimize

My Post - 2019-11-12T142941.242.pngLanding pages form the backbone of any PPC campaign.

All the keywords, ad copy, and targeting in your PPC account are instrumental in getting visitors to your landing page, but are you keeping visitors engaged? Are they taking the action you want them to take?

If you find yourself struggling with low conversion rates and high bounce rates—even though clickthrough rates are soaring—chances are your PPC landing page is the problem. There are a few best practices to follow when creating your landing page, and after that, it’s a constant cycle of testing and more testing until you find that winning combination that makes your conversion rates soar.

PPC Landing Page Best Practices

1. Establish Landing Page Goals

Consider this before launching your landing page: What action do you want people to take when they visit your landing page? Depending on your industry, the answer could be to watch a demo, sign up for a free trial, sign up for a newsletter, or schedule a call.

Once you’ve established the goal of your landing page, everything else—content and offers—should center around that goal.

Ideally, you’d want your landing page to focus on one specific goal in order to keep page visitors focused on one action.

2. Consider Your Target Audience

When building your landing page, the first thing to consider is who your target audience is and what they are looking for. The copy, hero image, call to action, and lead form should be geared toward capturing user attention.

Understand the search intent of your audience by putting yourself in their shoes. Someone searching for a small business CRM has a significantly different intent than someone searching for a CRM for lawyers. By gearing your landing page to your audience’s search intent, you gain their trust because you’re offering them exactly what they’re looking for.

3. Capture User Information

You’re directing visitors to a landing page because you want their information. At the very least, you want their name, phone number, and email address. This is the information that people find the most difficult to part with because it’s personal. When they provide you with this information, it’s because they find your landing page meaningful.

Keep your lead forms short and focus on the information that you need, not the information you want. If a name and email address fulfills your purpose, don’t ask them to fill out 10 different form fields.

4. Use a Clear CTA

Consider this: You visit a beautiful, intuitive website that doesn’t have a call to action. You can appreciate the design, but what is your next step? Lacking a clear CTA impacts your bounce rates and is one of the most common reasons behind PPC landing pages not converting.

Always have a clear CTA above the fold. For paid traffic, this not only serves as a reminder for why they are on your landing page, but it also reinforces the action you want them to take. – Read more


Everything You Need to Know About Google Ads Remarketing [+ Expert Strategies]

My Post - 2019-11-08T161953.092.pngOne of the most critical campaign types for your eCommerce marketing strategy is Google Ads remarketing.

Google remarketing takes the search power of Google and enables you to reach your target shoppers – those who are already familiar with your brand and products – well after they have left your store.

Google Ads remarketing campaigns statistically result in lower CPCs, but that’s not their top benefit. Because there is already brand awareness, there is a big chance that remarketing CTRs will be higher, which in turn means more conversion potential. Who wouldn’t want more clicks and conversions for less spend?

In this post, we look at everything eCommerce sellers need to know about Google Ads remarketing: from beginners’ set up to expert retargeting strategies and top optimization tips, so that you can capitalize on this powerful marketing tool to drive sales.

How Do Google Ads Remarketing Campaigns Work?

By using browser cookies generated by a Google remarketing tag placed on your website, categories and pages, Google allows advertisers to retarget previous site visitors based on their behavior while browsing your store. This enables you to show ads to potential shoppers who already know your brand while they are browsing Google or partner sites, by using remarketing lists.

Newbie Tip: How to Set Up Remarketing Codes

Step 1: Make sure you have had at least 1,000 active visitors or users within the last 30 days for Search remarketing, or 100 active visitors or users within the last 30 days.

Step 2: Add your global site tag and the optional event snippet.

Alternatively, this can be done with a Google Analytics tracking code – but more on that later!

Google Ads Remarketing Options for eCommerce

Google Ads remarketing options include standard remarketing, remarketing lists for Google Shopping, dynamic remarketing, remarketing lists for Search ads, video remarketing and customer list remarketing. Let’s take a look at each.

1. Display Remarketing

Google Display Network (GDN) remarketing ads allow you to show ads to previous store visitors while they browse other sites and apps. Some advantages of Display Network remarketing include:

  • Ability to create highly-targeted, segmented campaigns that improve campaign messaging that ups your chance of results
  • Keeping your brand front and center in the minds of your potential shoppers, AKA consistent brand exposure
  • Lower CPCs and better budget control
  • A broad reach, with access to more than 2 million websites and 90% of internet users

Read more

6 tips to help you create content that will impress humans and Google

My Post - 2019-11-08T153107.332In partnership with the UK Domain, we explain how to create content that is pleasing to humans as well as Google and other search engines.

Quality content is central to a successful marketing strategy.

But what is ‘quality content’? Unfortunately, much of the answer lies in personal taste. The upside is that there are things you can do to impress both human and robot.

So, it isn’t merely a case of just writing something and shoving it out. The content creation requires some finesse.

We’ll share some tips to help you write posts that will rank high on Google and be a valuable resource for your readers.

Content for humans or for Google: which is more important?

SEO specialists will tell you to write for the human first. Though search engines scan your content for essential assets, it’ll be people that are relying on it for information that’s both informative and entertaining.

Google’s main priority is ensuring your content meets the searcher’s purpose. This flows on to the second tier of expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.

‘Google’s main priority is ensuring your content meets the searcher’s purpose’

One thing you must do is include information about who is responsible for the content with a byline or a link to the creator’s bio or website. Articles with generic ‘staff’ or ‘team’ credits will be down-ranked by Google.

Finding trending topics

The quickest way to find topics is to look at what’s in the news and on Twitter’s own trending topics. It can give you a hook for a more detailed explainer or feature.

For longer term pieces you need to know what questions people are asking around the topic which either aren’t being answered, or at least not from the angle of the demographic you’re looking to target.

Answering reader questions and pinning down keywords

As time becomes increasingly scarce for readers, they’ll want answers to their questions – fast. A lot of browsing time is spent asking questions in search engines, giving you the opportunity to drive traffic if you know what they’re looking for.

Search engines work in a simple way: people ask questions, the search engine finds webpages it thinks will answer the questions. If a reader clicks on your page and clicks straight off that generally means that you haven’t answered their question.

Google Trends will, of course, tell you what’s trending on Google in different parts of the world. You should also try websites like and Keyword Sheeter. They generate keywords and commonly asked questions around a topic of your choosing. If you want detailed results, use paid-for platforms like SEMrush and ahrefs which are more sophisticated.

Look for searches that are higher in volume and lower in competition. They’ll be more obscure, so it helps to know exactly who your target reader is to maximise the reach of your posts. – Read more

Google Ads New Lead Form Extensions Beta

My Post - 2019-11-07T163020.232.pngGoogle announced, ten days after it launched, a new beta called lead form extensions.

This gives customers who click on your ads a faster way to give you their information, so you can follow up with them later with more details.

Lead form extensions capture interest when potential customers are searching for your company, products, or services on Google. A fast, mobile-optimized experience makes form submission easy and eliminates the extra step of navigating to your mobile site lead form.

Read more

What to Do When Google Is Ranking the Wrong Page for Your Keywords

My Post - 2019-11-07T144916.470.png

It’s typically a good thing when you find out your website is ranking for a keyword you’ve been targeting, right?

But what happens when, upon further investigation, you learn that the page you wanted to rank for a particular keyword isn’t the page that Google wanted to rank? (And that it’s another page on your site altogether?)

Whether the page is irrelevant or just not the best fit in your eyes, means that all the traffic that’s visiting your site from this newfound keyword isn’t going where you want. This might result in less conversions or a higher bounce rate than previously anticipated.

But don’t worry – this problem is more common than you might think, and it is fixable. Here’s how.

How to Improve a Page’s Ranking Signals for a Specific Keyword

Step 1: Evaluate the User Intent of Your Focus Keyword

User intent is essentially defined as the goal a person has when they type in a search term into Google.

Over the past year or two, ensuring the page you want to rank for a query matches the user intent has become vital.

  • Is the goal to buy something? (Transactional)
  • Is the goal to find a particular website or page? (Navigational)
  • Is the goal to find helpful information to further answer a question you have? (Informational)

Tailoring your content to the intent is crucial.

For example, if your focus keyword was “best laptop computers” and you wanted your product page or category page to rank for this, you probably have no shot.

What to Do When Google Is Ranking the Wrong Page for Your Keywords

In the example above, you can clearly see that all the top ranking websites are from third-party aggregators and review sites where they list a comparison of the best laptops.

In fact, not one manufacturer or retail site is ranking on Page 1 for this so you need to shift focus away from this keyword altogether or understand what you are dealing with to better align.

Step 2: Evaluate the Content on the Page

Once you have ensured your content is matching the intent, you can then move on to ensuring the content on the relevant page is optimized.

Some questions you might want to ask yourself to further analyze are:

  • Is my primary focus keyword in my page title?
  • Do I reference my primary focus keyword in my description?
  • How does the length of my copy compare to that against the Top 10 or Top 20 ranking sites?
  • Do the competitor sites use shared semantic keywords that I need to incorporate into my page?
  • Does my page answer questions a user might have to understand more about this topic?

Two tools that both do an excellent job helping you analyze and answer the questions above are SEMrush Writing Assistant and Clearscope.– Read more

How to Track Offline Conversions from Your Google Ads

My Post - 2019-11-07T141457.261.pngEven if you work strictly as a digital marketer, you know that marketing doesn’t take place solely in an online bubble.

Someone who requests a free trial via an online form may have several conversations with salespeople before buying a service.

A homeowner desperately needing a furnace repaired might find a heating company via paid search but then pick up the phone to schedule an appointment.

A shopper might discover a new energy bar via a banner ad and then drive to their favorite grocery store to purchase it.

For many brands, simply tracking online interactions isn’t enough to provide full attribution.

Thankfully, Google Ads offers a few ways to tie offline interactions to your ad campaigns.

In this article, you’ll learn about three methods to track offline conversions in Google Ads:

  • Conversion import.
  • Call tracking.
  • In-store visit tracking.

Importing Conversion Data

Google Ads allows you to import offline conversion data and associate attribution with your campaigns, as long as you have a way of saving the GCLID (Google Click Identifier) for the conversions.

For instance, you may want to import data for closed sales deals that initially entered your CRM via Google search ads.

Setting Up the Conversion

To start, create a new conversion and select “Import” from the list of conversion types.

You can then choose the source you want to import from.

Import Conversions

If you use Salesforce, they have a direct integration into Google Ads that allows for importing data based on milestones in the platform.

Otherwise, you can import data via a spreadsheet format.

Import Types

For this example, we’ll choose Other data sources or CRMs.

From here, you can choose to import call-based data or click-based data.

We’ll focus on data from clicks and address calls in more detail further on.

On the next screen, name your conversion and choose the category.

You can associate a specific value or choose a dynamic value if revenue will vary per conversion.

Set Up Conversion

Once you’ve defined all parameters, save the conversion, and you’re ready to start importing data. – Read more

11 Reasons Your Website Can Have a High Bounce Rate

My Post - 2019-11-06T133015.218.pngThe dreaded high bounce rate.  It makes the shoulders of online marketers tense up and causes their foreheads to wrinkle up with concern.

What Is Bounce Rate?

As a refresher, bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors that leave your website (or “bounce” back to the search results or referring website) after viewing only one page on your site.

Before you start worrying, consider that “high” is a relative term.

Most websites will see bounce rates between 26% to 70%, according to a RocketFuel study.

average bounce rates

Based on the data they gathered, they provided a bounce rate grading system of sorts:

  • 25% or lower: Something is probably broken
  • 26-40%: Excellent
  • 41-55%: Average
  • 56-70%: Higher than normal, but could make sense depending on the website
  • 70% or higher: Bad and/or something is probably broken

The overall bounce rate for your site will live in the Audience Overview tab of Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Audience Overview Bounce Rate

You can find your bounce rate for individual channels and pages in the behavior column of most views in Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Landing Pages Bounce Rate

There are a number of reasons your website can have a high bounce rate.

Let’s review 10 common ones and how to fix them.

1. Slow-to-Load Page

Site speed is part of Google’s ranking algorithm, so it’s just good SEO to focus on it.

Google wants to promote content that provides a positive experience for users, and they recognize that a slow site can provide a poor experience.

If your page takes longer than a few seconds to load, your visitors may get fed up and leave.

Fixing site speed is a lifelong journey for most SEO pros and webmasters, but the upside is that with each incremental fix, you should see an incremental boost in speed.

Review your page speed (overall and for individual pages) using tools like:

  • Google PageSpeed Insights.
  • Pingdom.
  • GTMetrix.

They’ll offer you recommendations specific to your site, such as compressing your images, reducing third-party scripts, and leveraging browser caching. – Read more

5 Metrics Crucial to SEO Success

My Post - 2019-10-31T182827.412.pngAs you probably know, search engine optimization is a technical term to describe what people do to help a website rank on search engines like Google.

Before I dive into today’s topic, let me first share a few statistics in case you don’t believe in SEO:

  • SEO is an $80 billion industry, and that number continues to grow each year. More and more businesses are heavily investing in SEO for organic results.
  • On average, more than half of website traffic comes from organic search.
  • 81% of online shoppers conduct online research before buying. And where’s the best place to do that? You guessed it—Google.

In short: If it’s done right, SEO can improve both the quantity and the quality of your web traffic.

SEO usually plays off of communications quite well, too. When used cohesively, you can build a powerful, integrated marketing campaign that produces data-driven results.

If you recently started an SEO campaign, you’ll need a way to track the performance—and success—of your work. But which analytics are the most important to track?

Here are five SEO metrics you simply can’t afford to ignore.

1.   Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is one of the primary results of optimizing your website for search engines. The higher your organic traffic, the better your website is performing in Google’s rankings.

The primary goal of investing in SEO is to see this number go up, especially for your desired keywords. Hence, keeping an eye on this metric is super important.

There are several tools to measure this metric, but the most accurate and reliable one is Google Analytics. Here’s a Google Analytics screenshot of a currently inactive site:

SEO panel

2.   Bounce Rate

Another crucial metric is your bounce rate. Tracked in Google Analytics, your bounce rate is a user experience factor, making it an important metric for SEO.

SEO panel

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.

A lower bounce rate means a better user experience, and thus, the better your search rankings will be. Tracking this metric gives you an idea of what pages your visitors don’t find helpful, and how you can improve your website.

3.   SEO Score

Now, this is something you won’t find in Google Analytics.

SEO score, as you might have guessed, is a rating/score that displays how well-optimized your site is from the search engine perspective.

starbucks SEO

Looks like Starbucks has some work to do!

At SureOak, we’ve developed our own SEO checker to check your site’s score. To use it, simply plug in your domain and click the button. The engine will scan your entire website, give you a score based on your performance and offer you personalized tips on how to improve your website for search traffic.

Pretty cool, right?

4.   Domain Authority

Another metric essential to your SEO is your Domain Authority.

starbucks domain authority

In a nutshell, this number shows how reliable/authoritative your site looks to search engines. It’s a metric calculated based on factors related to your backlinks—other websites that link to your articles. Keeping this number higher than your competitors’ usually means that you’ll rank higher than them. – Read more