Joe Goers – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tue, 20 Nov 2018 22:40:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 6 ways to boost organic video results /6-ways-to-boost-organic-video-results-308461 Wed, 21 Nov 2018 14:15:57 +0000 /?p=308461 The importance of video marketing continues to grow and video SEO is an effective way to differentiate your brand and outrank your competitors.

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It’s no secret that videos are a powerful tool in the world of content marketing. Videos provide an opportunity for marketers to create strong emotional connections by visually capturing the attention of customers, leading to higher brand engagement and increased leads and sales. In fact, according to Forbes, by 2019 video will account for 80 percent of global consumer Internet traffic!

Another indication of the growing importance of video is Google’s recent SERP change. Google replaced video boxes with a video carousel for desktop search. This format allows searchers to easily access more than just three videos.

How can digital marketers capitalize on the growing importance of video? Below are 6 recommendations to boost your organic video results.

1. Analyze your video library and understand current visibility

Do you have all your videos identified, categorized, prioritized and optimized? If not, here are 3 steps to get started:

  • First, analyze video metrics from YouTube, your website’s Google Analytics account, or your video hosting provider. Understand which videos are getting views and which aren’t.
  • Second, analyze the video content and perform keyword research to identify optimization opportunities for each topic.
  • Third, analyze the SERPs and find the videos that are being displayed for relevant keyword phrases.
    • These videos become your initial high-priority Video SEO list.
    • By further optimizing videos that are already showing in the search results you have the best opportunity to drive additional brand awareness, qualified traffic and results.

Though this process takes a little time and effort, it can be one of the most fruitful. This analysis helps you prioritize your video optimization plan and allow you to establish baseline metrics from which you will improve.

The following table includes the main attributes you will want to understand to start documenting and categorizing your video library.

2. Identify video content gaps

Analyze popular search queries and compare these keywords to your current video library. This will allow you to find holes and develop new video content to bridge content gaps. For example, you might have many videos related to the implementation of your software solution, but you may be surprised to learn that people are mostly searching for how to integrate your software with a particular tool or platform. This is a valuable customer insight that can be turned into actionable video content.

This search query analysis helps you understand buyer needs and identify specific marketing opportunities. It allows you to identify gaps in your current video library. Furthermore, optimizing these newly developed videos will be very effective because of the known popularity of the topic.

3. Incorporate videos into related web content

I recommend that marketers review top webpages viewed and analyze engagement metrics. Is there an opportunity to add a video to this content? Might this improve engagement? Embedded videos provide a rich experience that can potentially spark visitor curiosity… leading to increased pageviews, time on site, and conversions.

For example, this BPM.com page could really benefit from a video. It is informational and educational in nature, but very text heavy.

4. Utilize videos to expand your SEO keyword focus

Video content provides an opportunity to expand your SEO focus. Instead of using the exact same Keyword Map you’re focusing on for your website, take this opportunity to target additional keyword variations within your video titles and descriptions.

For example, videos often focus on processes and procedures; implementation tips; or “how-to” steps. This is a great opportunity to expand your SEO scope to include target keyword phrases that contain “procedure” or “process” or “implementation.”

5. Add optimized links

While it seems obvious, I actually see this happen quite frequently: videos with no links back to the website! It’s important to add links within your video descriptions to relevant website content so users can quickly and easily access additional information on your site. Don’t make prospects search for additional information related to a video topic; provide a direct link in your video description.

Here is an example of a video with an obvious missed linking opportunity. The website URL is provided, but it is not a clickable link:

6. Utilize video to beat the competition

Review your competitors’ YouTube Channel and their on-site videos to see what type of content they have created and what keywords they are targeting. This might spur some ideas on ways to fill current content gaps, or you might find new video ideas.

For example, you might learn that a competitor is creating videos that showcase how their solution can be implemented in specific industries. If this is part of your marketing strategy and if you have identified industry-specific keywords as part of your SEO Plan, this might be a great video expansion idea!

I urge marketers to analyze competitors and understand the videos that are ranking for top priority keywords. Here is an example of a Competitive Video SEO Assessment.

Goals of a competitive video assessment include:

  • Understand which videos are ranking for your high-priority keywords – in search results and on YouTube.
  • Analyze competitors’ video views and compare this to how long the video has been available on YouTube. This allows you to prioritize video topics based on market interest and popularity.
  • The final step is to determine if you have a video that is relevant to this keyword or related to this topic.

Once you have a solid understanding of competitors’ videos, you can identify gaps, determine your video priorities and reverse-engineer a winning SEO strategy.

Summary

I urge marketers to understand their video library, analyze video visibility, identify content gaps, expand keyword focus and incorporate links within videos to drive website engagement, leads and sales.

The importance of video marketing continues to grow and these are just a few get-started video optimization tips. Remember, video SEO as an effective way to differentiate your brand and outrank your competitors.

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8 simple ways to utilize a blog to improve SEO results /8-simple-ways-utilize-blog-improve-seo-results-287261 Fri, 01 Dec 2017 16:32:18 +0000 /?p=287261 Is your blog living up to its full potential? In this beginner-level how-to, columnist Joe Goers explains several ways to utilize your blog for SEO gains.

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Seemingly every company has a blog these days. Unfortunately, very few organizations fully capitalize on their blog content to maximize SEO results. Here are eight simple ways a blog can improve your website’s organic visibility, traffic and results.

1. Create a compelling name for your blog

It irks me when I go to a company’s website and the name of the blog is… “Blog”! I urge marketers to be creative and more descriptive when naming the blog section of a website. Your blog name is also an optimization opportunity. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the overarching theme of the blog?
  • What would be a compelling description in my industry?
  • Can I incorporate important SEO keywords in the blog’s title or name?
  • Specifically, who am I trying to reach?

Coming up with a descriptive name and optimizing around a theme can lead to incremental organic traffic. For example, office supply retailer Staples has its “Staples Business Advantage blog,” which discusses topics ranging from office productivity to workplace safety. And Berghoff Brewery has its “Berghoff Beer Blog,” which covers topics from beer festivals to food pairings to seasonal beer reviews.

Remember, if you find it difficult to create a name for your blog that includes keywords you are trying to target, then try to at least include those keywords within the page title of the blog. For example, check out the page title for the RENTCafe blog:

2. Reach a specific audience with each post

I recommend that each blog post be written for a specific segment of your target audience. This allows marketers to create content that is optimized for specific customers and contains target keywords related to specific needs and solutions.

For example, if you sell marketing services, you might include a post in your blog about a hot topic in the industry (e.g., ABM marketing) that targets a particular audience you are trying to capture (e.g., B2B marketers).

3. Implement an effective URL structure

An effective URL naming convention is good for marketers and website visitors for several reasons:

It makes results reporting easy

I’ve noticed that some companies do not include “/blog/” in their URL syntax when keeping the blog on their main website domain. This can make it a little more difficult to track the overall progress of the blog within analytics. I recommend that you include /blog/ in your URL structure to improve the ease of blog results reporting.

You can ensure user-friendly URLs

When it comes to creating the URLs for each post, many marketers include every single word in the title of the post in the URL. This can lead to long, hard to read URLs. Tip: Try to make your blog URL descriptive but also short and relevant. Remember to leave out conjunctions such as “and,” “but” and “or” within your URLs. For example:

Longer, non-user-friendly URL:

https://examplesite.com/blog/3-tips-for-sending-your-email-newsletter-at-the-right-time

Shorter, optimized URL:

https://examplesite.com/blog/email-newsletter-tips-sending-right-time/

4. Continually optimize blog content

Recycling is not just good for the environment; it’s also good for SEO!

SEO improvements do not always require new website content. Look for additional opportunities to optimize existing blog posts. Review current content and identify opportunities for additional on-page SEO. Here are some possible optimization techniques for existing blog content:

  • Add internal links to other relevant pages on the website.
  • Add optimized images (or optimize existing images).
  • Link one post to another related post.
  • Review title tags and meta descriptions to ensure targeted keywords are included.

Leveraging existing blog content can save precious time and resources.

5. Find & fill content gaps

Blogs can be a fast and easy way to create content specifically designed to fill SEO gaps.

Are there high-priority SEO phrases that you are struggling to rank for? Does your website lack content related to these words? If yes, these topics are great candidates for new blog posts.

6. Add optimized images & videos

Images help to create a positive experience and can increase visitor engagement. They also provide incremental SEO value. Remember to include images in your blog post and optimize them with descriptive alt tags (including high-priority keyword phrases where appropriate).

Lights, camera, action! Blog posts also provide a great home for video content. Review your YouTube page. Do you already have video content that could enhance a blog post? Videos keep users engaged and allow marketers to provide additional educational opportunities.

7. Mark it up

Let’s not forget about structured data markup. Structured data markup can be added to your HTML to provide information about a page, classify the page content, and in some cases improve the way your page is represented in SERPs.

I recommend that you include schema markup in your post to ensure that this content is fully optimized. Here is an example of how you can use JSON-LD structured data to mark up a blog post:

<script type="application/ld+json">
{ "@context": "http://schema.org",
"@type": "BlogPosting",
"headline": "Insert Blog Title Here",
"image": "Insert Blog Image URL Here",
"editor": "Insert Editor/Author Name Here",
"genre": "Theme/Blog Category Here",
"wordcount": "Insert Blog Post Word Count Here",
"publisher":
{
"@type": "Organization",
"name": "Insert Company Name Here",
"logo": "Insert Company Logo Image URL Here"
},
"url": "Insert Blog Post URL Here",
"datePublished": "YYYY-MM-DD",
"dateCreated": "YYYY-MM-DD",
"dateModified": "YYYY-MM-DD",
"description": "Insert short description of blog post. Try to keep it around 150-156 characters",
"articleBody": "Insert entire blog post here",
"author": {
"@type": "Person",
"name": "Insert Author Name"
}
}
</script>

8. Capitalize on social media sharing

There are a lot of benefits to sharing blog posts on social media:

  1. It keeps your social media sites current and relevant.
  2. It helps keep your audience engaged.
  3. Because social signals are included in the ranking algorithm, it improves SEO results.
  4. Social links help to increase referral traffic.

I recommend that you always share the blog post on social channels. Try to share a couple sentences describing a brief summary of the post or an excerpt from the post. Remember to include keywords you are targeting within the social media posting as these social signals can help with rankings.

Summary

Make sure that you are fully realizing the potential SEO benefits of your blog. Create a compelling blog name; create optimized content for specific audiences; optimize your blog URLs; add images and videos; implement schema; and share blog content via social channels.

Remember, a blog is one of the fastest and easiest ways to implement or enhance website content and improve SEO results.

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Successful SEO programs require content that supports the entire buy cycle /successful-seo-programs-require-content-supports-entire-buy-cycle-261990 Fri, 04 Nov 2016 14:53:50 +0000 http:/?p=261990 Columnist Joe Goers argues that many websites are focusing too much on the bottom of the funnel -- to the detriment of their SEO success.

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Every SEO has heard these four words: “I need more traffic!”

It seems that websites are becoming less focused on top-of-funnel content (general informational and educational materials) and more focused on bottom-of-funnel lead generation offers. In my opinion, this is a short-sighted strategy, and one that will not drive a high volume of qualified traffic. Successful SEO programs require website content designed to reach prospects across the entire buy cycle.

Excuses, excuses

When bringing up the idea of having more informational content on a website to better support the SEO program, I often hear:

  • We won’t be able to rank for these general topics and high-volume keywords.
  • This traffic won’t convert.

It seems the fear of “not ranking” trumps the “let’s give it a shot” mentality. This way of thinking can crush SEOs’ creativity and limit your results. By developing top-of-funnel content and providing helpful, educational information, you will be able to rank for specific derivatives of high-volume keywords.

You can also take advantage of current events. For example, recently there was a DDoS attack across many networks, and search volume on this topic skyrocketed. This is a perfect time for a network security company to provide general information on the subject of DDoS attacks (a high-volume, competitive keyword that is difficult to rank for).

The idea that traffic for higher-level content won’t convert tends to come primarily from a lead-gen perspective. Many companies look at their paid search results and see that broader topic keywords don’t generate many conversions/leads. What they don’t understand is that SEO works differently from paid search — and that the customer journey can often have many stops on the way to a conversion.

This anti-top-of-funnel mentality hinders the full potential of website content and its ability to help users throughout their entire discovery and decision-making process.

Websites are created to serve customers, not your sales team

Remember, one important purpose of search engines is to guide people with questions to websites with answers; and many of these searchers may eventually end up becoming your customers.

Great websites are designed to help prospects and customers (versus focusing solely on enabling sales teams). Make sure you are providing unique, compelling, helpful information for prospects as they move through their research and buying process. This means providing content that is designed to raise awareness and educate visitors, as well as information that is appropriate for prospects who are ready to engage and take action.

For example, many B2B websites offer free trials, demos and custom price quotes, and these options typically require registration. These calls to action are great for lead-gen purposes and might resonate with prospects who are ready to test and buy. But what about all those website visitors who are not ready to offer their contact information and are not ready to engage with a sales person?

By focusing only on lead-gen content, the site may be missing a huge opportunity to provide helpful information designed to drive interest, increase awareness and educate prospects. Non-gated assets, general information and educational content help these top-of-funnel visitors. These people now know your brand and your website, and they are likely to return as they continue their journey.

Furthermore, general content is required to support a robust SEO program — a program that reaches prospects across all phases of their research and buying process.

Widen your website net

If your website is solely focused on lead generation, you are casting too small a net. You are missing the marketing opportunity search engines provide to increase brand awareness, educate people and start to engage with new prospects.

Examples of B2B content that supports early buy phase visitors, enables top-of-funnel SEO programs and helps move prospects through their buying journey include market research, get-started guides and industry overviews.

Don’t be solely lead-gen-focused. Make sure your website enables your SEO strategy and supports all your business goals. Help prospects throughout their entire research and buying process. Ensure that your website it aligned with customer needs, not sales team quotas.

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