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Semantic Search and its Impact on SEO

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Keyword-based search engine optimization, as traditionally practiced, is dead as we witness the rise of long-tail keywords and semantic web technologies. These are now intrinsic to almost every operation performed by the major search engines including Google and Bing. As a result, if you are a search engine marketer and you are serious about maximizing the visibility of your website in the SERPs, you need to have a sound knowledge of how the semantic web works and the incorporated technologies.

semantic-search

But do not take this to mean that keywords are no longer relevant to SEO in 2015. After all, the search engines do require some text to make sense of what it is your company actually does. But what they take great pains to understand (and subsequently store) are other information including places and concepts that ultimately gives the pages on a website their meaning.

In short, semantic search is this creepy functionality within Google and adopted by a few other search engines whereby the engines derive meaning from the words on your website rather than focusing on the words themselves. This was introduced as part of the Hummingbird update released in the summer of 2013.

The Value of Semantic Search

Search begins when words are typed into a search box. This makes ranking for the right keywords one of the most important activities in search marketing. But most people don’t search with one keyword. For example, someone is very unlikely to type “laptop” in Google’s search bar. They would type additional words to give additional clues. For example, they could be looking to:

  1. Buy a new laptop
  2. Buy a used laptop
  3. Have a laptop repaired
  4. Upgrade a laptop
  5. Buy laptop accessories
  6. Or do research for a paper due at school about the evolution of laptops

In turn, the search engines explore the semantics of those additional words and understand the meaning behind them to guess what the user might really be looking for. This has an application in SEO because by incorporating semantic technologies in your SEO campaigns, you can help Google deliver your website pages as the best results possible to user queries. This means you have to determine the right keywords based upon user intent and then create content based on those terms.

Semantic keyword research has many advantages:

  1. Semantic keywords inform high-converting blog posts.
  2. It can improve your click-through rate when the elements of your conversion funnel are aligned semantically, including your landing pages and emails.
  3. It can improve your quality score, which in turn leads to better rankings.

Some Tools You Can Use for Semantic Keyword Research

1. Google’s Advanced Search

Google’s advanced search results is a quick and effective way to generate semantic keywords. Using the example above, say you’re an online laptop store and you are currently having a 30% off promotion. To find keywords that visitors actually type into the search engines, type “laptop discount codes” in Google’s search bar. Scroll to the bottom, and ignore everything in between; at the bottom is a harvest of keywords. Read more

How to Captivate Your Audience & Increase Conversions Through Effective Calls-To-Action

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In the world of online marketing, especially on landing pages and sales pages, it is not uncommon to come across phrases like

  • Buy now
  • Start a free trial
  • Learn more
  • Or Sign up for our service

These are call-to-action triggers, which are simple commands designed to direct customers to take some sort of action. The question at this point is: “Why are they needed?”

call-to-action

Here is the deal: As an online marketer or business owner, one of the things you need to be able to do, is to fight the human inclination to shift our attention to new and unanticipated directions. For example, how many times does it happen that you go online with the intention of reading a news article but 10 minutes later, you are on YouTube, devouring one video after another? After all, one click is all it takes to jump from one topic to the next and everyone online including businesses, media outlets, and bloggers are competing to get that click.

Therein lies the value of calls-to-action or CTAs. They are tools designed to let you survive in this attention seeking economy. The perfect call to action captivates your audience, educates them and increases your conversions. After all, you can write the perfect landing page for a campaign that gets the attention of your customers, draws them in and then pulls them down the slippery slope to the end of your copy but if you fail to close the deal, it would all be for nothing.

In fact, one of the main reasons why landing pages and sales pages don’t convert leads into customers is a weak call-to-action. So how do you create the perfect CTA? The trick is to use a mix of CTAs for the different stages of your sales cycle. Read more

How to Tailor Your Off-Site SEO Based On Your Niche?

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Webmasters who have at least some knowledge about the functioning of search engines know that running a successful website without search engine optimization (SEO) is kind of iffy. However, all SEO is not created equal – you need to adapt your strategy to make it work for your business. On top of that, a good SEO strategy today is significantly different compared to the SEO strategy practiced ten years ago.

SEO-Tools

Search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing have invested a lot in their algorithms, and SEO success today is much more difficult. Unique and engaging content, social media presence, responsive design, and the use of different media are some of the elements of a killer SEO strategy. But there are many different niches, and experts agree that applying a general SEO strategy for every niche won’t provide the same result.

As a matter of fact, it might work great for some websites but may prove to be completely useless in certain niches. This is why a custom SEO strategy for specific niches is recommended.

When you are developing an SEO strategy for a specific niche, you must take a few things into consideration. Read more

8 Ways to Turn Insights Into Action With Google Analytics

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Whether you are new to analytics or an experienced user, Google Analytics can help you turn customer insights into actionable solutions for your business. It brings together the information you need to improve performance across your sites, apps and other marketing channels. Sadly, people only seem to look at page views or the number of visitors they get.

google-analytics-logo

In truth, Google Analytics lets you do a lot more than that. For example, you can use it to:

1. Measure sales and conversions

2. Get to know your audience

3. Get insights into how visitors find and use your site

4. And keep them coming back for more

The question is…How? In the spirit of helping you get the most out of Google Analytics, here are 8 ways you can use Google Analytics to make intelligent marketing and business decisions.

1. Link AdWords to Analytics

Linking your AdWords account and Google Analytics gives you a complete picture of customer behavior right within your AdWords account. This gives you an abundance of data that you can use to refine your AdWords campaigns and improve the overall performance of your business.

2. Optimize keywords

Ranking for the right keywords can make or break a website. This makes keyword research one of the most important activities in search marketing. One of the most useful resources to get knowledge about keyword demand and keyword referrals is Google Analytics. This includes targeting by location because you can see, geographically, where your visitors are coming from or where they are not coming from so you can optimize their experience and build your business. Read more

A 5-Step Process to Outperform Your Competitors in Local Search

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Whether you’re running a small local business or heading an enterprise-level operation, your prospective customers are looking for your business online. To make that connection happen and outrank your competitors, you need to optimize your local search to bring in new website visitors, grow online sales, and keep customers coming back for more.

local

1. Have a Solid Online Marketing Strategy to Attract Customers via Local Search

It is absolutely undeniable that Google, Yahoo! and the other search engines have radically changed how we interact, collaborate and shop within our local communities. In fact, statistically, Google alone handles 100 billion searches per month around the world. Of these searches, 7 billion are unique local searches performed on Google per month in the United States.

So if you have a local business or one that targets audiences in a specific geographic location, you cannot under estimate the potential of local search as a form of marketing. Additionally, mobile search is absolutely exploding. According to a 2014 Google study, 4 out of 5 consumers use the search engines to find local information. Of that number, 88% search on their smartphone.

  • 54% search for business hours
  • 53% search for directions to a local store
  • And 50% search for local store addresses

The study also concluded that 18% of local smartphone searches lead to a purchase within a day. Read more

How to Optimize Your Landing Page for Maximum Conversions?

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So you conceptualized and designed a killer marketing campaign for your business or a new product. Your ads are attracting a lot of attention, your website is performing well in the organic search results and your social media presence is on point. All in all, you have serious traffic being directed to your landing pages. But there is a problem: Not a lot of the visitors are converting.

landing-page-conversion-rate

Where is the problem? Do you need a brand new marketing campaign? Do you need to discard your existing landing pages and start from scratch?

Maybe…

But it’s more likely that your landing page is not optimized enough to attract the right kind of people or its anatomy is wrong. If the traffic to your landing pages is good but lead generation is stalled, by making a few changes, you can significantly increase their conversion rate.

  1. Check for the 9 elements of a high converting landing page

The purpose of a landing page is to act as a springboard for users to step further into your site. The best converting landing pages are focused on a single point- the user’s search query and include the following elements:

  • A clear and concise headline
  • Important details about your product or service
  • A call to action. The button may click to another page on your site, add to cart or any other desired action
  • Testimonials
  • Few navigation and link options. The point is to narrow your focus and eliminate clutter
  • An image or video that will convey better than text the unique personality of your product
  • A breakdown of the benefits of the product or service you’re offering (usually using bullet points)
  • Third Party Verifications
  • Make sure you fit elements 1-7 above the fold

See the template below? That’s what we are talking about! The aim here is to make a great first impression.

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6 WordPress Plugins to Supercharge Your SEO

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As it stands now, WordPress powers more than 23% of the web, from simple websites and blogs to enterprise-level websites and applications. Perhaps some of the features that make WordPress a popular web software include its simplicity, flexibility, fantastic publishing tools, vibrant and supportive community and, of course, the thousands of plugins and themes that you can use to transform your site into almost anything you want. WordPress also offers the advantage of being optimized for the search engines.

WordPress-Plugins

With that said, for more fine-grained search engine optimization, there are a number of SEO plugins that you can use to optimize the many technical and creative elements of your website required to improve its user experience and performance in organic search results.

Some of the most popular SEO plugins that can help you put your site’s best foot forward in terms of both:

1. Visibility in the search engines

2. And your site’s interaction with users include:

All in One SEO Pack

All-in-one-seo-pack-wordpress-plugin

Look at any listing of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress, you are bound to find All In One SEO Pack listed there. It’s a plugin that automatically optimizes your WordPress site for the search engines like Google including feature like:

  • Creating unique and accurate page titles
  • Optimizing the “description” meta tag
  • Creating optimized URLs
  • Google Analytics support
  • Fine-tuning your navigation to ensure convenience for users and the search engines
  • SEO Integration for WordPress e-Commerce sites (All in One SEO Pack is the only plugin with this feature)
  • Avoids the typical duplicate or near-duplicate versions of your content across your site

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