Search Marketing

14 Best SEO Plugins for WordPress Sites in 2017

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Editor's Note: Alex Levitov curates the online publication Beautiful Life. Today he joins us to comment on the importance of SEO for a stable web presence, and to count the best SEO plugins for WordPress blogs in 2017.

 

Designing and handling a website is no easy task. There are certainly many user-friendly drag and drop website builders and customization options available nowadays; but at the end of the day, it is SEO that makes all the difference in traffic.

Your website can have a great design and incredible content, but if it does not rank highly for your target keywords on any of the popular search engines, traffic will still be hard to come by. The truth is, SEO can make or break a website.

A high SEO score automatically brings your site higher traffic and gives it better visibility. Fortunately, for entrepreneurs who use WordPress to manage their site or blog, there are plenty of simple plugins to help with the job of optimizing SEO.

Today, we are sharing our top 14 picks for SEO plugins in 2017, listed in no particular order -

1. Yoast

Yoast easily ranks among the best WordPress SEO plugins by offering all the basic features required to optimize your website to the fullest. Other than regular functions such as a keyword searcher and integrated editor, Yoast offers XML sitemap generation and submission, Google Analytics, on-page analysis, real-time tracking and so much more.

On-page analysis allows you to instantly gauge the position and ranking of any given content on your WordPress blog. It also gives you a preview of optimized content before it is published. You can even add and manage social media links and URLs for better web presence. Free, flexible, and easy to use, Yoast is great for beginners and professionals alike.

2. Akismet

Akismet for WordPress is an SEO plugin that is completely free, open source and easy to handle. The software will help you to clean out spam comments and safeguard your site against malicious content. Spam comments are usually submitted to your site by users and other websites either to exploit visible space for promotional purposes, or to deliberately hijack your content - either way, the effect on SEO is not desirable.

With Akismet, you can check the source and history of all comments and user profiles that have visited or connected with your website. The plugin provides a free trial version for personal blogs and a paid version for commercial sites.

3. Google XML Sitemaps

Google XML Sitemaps boosts page ranking and SEO of your WordPress web pages by submitting your website information to all popular search engines including Bing, Yahoo, Google and others. It generates quick reports stating the intent and structure of the site to enable quicker and easier access to search engine scrapers.

A good website builder with SEO features will offer built-in XML mapping features, but if you’re using WordPress, special plugins are the only way to go. XML Sitemaps supports all WordPress custom URLs, and issues a prompt notification to search engines every time you publish a new post or add a new page. You can also use the plugin to add internal links, get better indexing features, and insert rich snippets without compromising the speed or efficiency of your website.

4. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

Google Analytics Dashboard is an indispensable tool for any webmaster, but especially for online marketers. It is primarily used  to help gauge the overall reach and performance of your website by reporting exactly where you stand with respect to many values, such as traffic, bounce rates, and more.

Google Analytics Dashboard creates detailed reports of your site's problem areas, and loose sections of content that need improvement. The tool enables users to track traffic sources, number of visitors, acquire new channels and optimize pages based on these insights. All in all, this plugin is a must-have for anyone who wants to optimize their WordPress site.

5. Premium SEO Pack

Premium SEO Pack is a good choice for any established WordPress sites that could benefit from advanced solutions for enhancing the visibility of their content online. SEO Premium Pack makes it easier to create quality websites and get higher rankings on search engines. The plugin also includes features for improving content monetization.

Using the minification option can quickly boost the speed, user-friendliness, and SEO appeal of a website. The plugin will also help to identify and remove 404 errors as well as 301 redirects.

6. All In One Schema Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets enables you to enhance the description of your website that appears on the results page of any search engine. Using the plugin, you can customize fonts, add color, images, star ratings, pricing, authors and many other details to make your site stand out from the crowd. Rich Snippets is a quick, efficient way to bring in more visitors by giving your site a better, more professional appearance in search results.

7. SEOPressor

SEOPressor is another powerful WordPress plugin that lets you customize and optimise your content for better SEO. Here, you can find the most useful keywords related to a topic, analyze the readability of content, and make it easier to index for search bots. A keyword search tool is integrated into the plugin and assists you in creating high-quality content. You can then score the content and analyze its overall appeal to readers.

8. WP Meta SEO

WP Meta SEO is a perfect tool for both professional and casual bloggers. For starters, the dashboard is loaded with functionalities that allow you check the page ranking and reach of content. Secondly, the plugin enables you to customize meta titles, descriptions and other technical aspects of your website easily. Finally, WP Meta SEO allows users to edit content in bulk: multiple items can be corrected for common errors, and analyzed for suggested improvements.

9. SEO Ultimate

SEO Ultimate is for all the web developers, coders and software experts out there who love tweaking the basic HTML5 coding or CSS stylesheets of a website. With this WordPress plugin, you can customize meta descriptions and control open-graph. The tool also enables rich snippets, 404 monitoring, and auto-linking functions. It improves the overall appearance of a website and increases the click-through rates in Google search results.

10. W3 Total Cache

If you are having trouble bringing up your SEO rank, it may have something to do with poor website design. While an SEO rank is determined in part by the popularity and performance of a website, page loading speed and user-friendliness are also major factors that Google emphasizes since users tend to click away from sites that are poorly optimized in these areas. W3 Total Cache improves the overall performance of a site by making it score well in the technical aspects of SEO.

11. Rankie

Rankie, while not a normal SEO plugin, is nevertheless an important tool for monitoring and boosting your SEO page ranking. It gives you valuable feedback and stats about the overall performance, reach and exposure of your site on a weekly or monthly basis.

This data is fairly insightful, and very useful for developing SEO friendly content as well as improving old content for better SEO traction. Rankie also tracks keyword usage, which will help site owners to navigate the best way forward in terms of writing and publishing new content.

12. SEO Squirrly

One of the best ways to generate more traffic is by posting fresh, authentic, and trendy content. The SEO Squirrly plugin helps you with just that. Keywords are the core of an SEO strategy: including popular and relevant keywords not only boosts the readability of content but also increases page ranking. Squirrly optimizes a website by checking for keywords in important sections of the content such as title, URL, sub-headings etc. It also tracks all aspects of your SEO marketing strategy and gives you a weekly report on how you’re faring.

13. Redirection

404 errors, exceptions and redirections are some of the worst nightmares for a web developer. No one wants to spend time on a platform that doesn't give easy and immediate access to desired pages. With the Redirection plugin, you can tighten up the loose ends of your WordPress website.

This SEO plugin is especially helpful for users who plan on migrating content from a former WordPress directory or any former website. The custom "pass-through" redirection function, for instance, lets you pass through a URL into another site or file. It also collects all the 404 error logs and maps them with 301 redirects, ensuring that your website runs as smoothly as possible at all times.

14. AMP for WP

Gone are the days when a majority of people used desktop computers for Internet searches; today, most of them use smartphones for browsing websites. Your website has to be compatible with other devices and platforms to make the most of a wide viewer base. To this end, the AMP for WP plugin is an indispensable SEO solution that enhances the speed and design of your WordPress website immensely.

The Custom AMP editor also allows you to personalize your site, add content, and change fonts for mobile devices with just a few clicks. The plugin also comes with solid Google Analytics integration for better performance tracking and management.

To learn more about optimizing your WordPress site for SEO, check out our classes on the following topics:

SEO For Business Owners

The Primary Social Media Platforms: Blogging Platforms

Search Engine Optimization: How Understanding Your Analytics Gives You The Edge

Convert More Website Visitors into Customers: Best Practices for Usability and Analytics

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

 

 


How to Recover from an SEO Rankings Drop

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Editor's Note: Anthony Tisara is a Content Marketing Strategist and SEO expert with My Biz Niche. Today he joins us to discuss recovery from an SEO rankings drop and troubleshooting guidelines that will keep your site on page #1.

 

For webmasters, few things are more horrifying than waking up to find their website has dropped out of page 1 of the search engine rankings for a particular keyword. They will naturally ask themselves, "Why did my website drop in Google?" over and over again, wondering why their coffee tastes more bitter than usual.

Panicking is a perfectly understandable reaction dropping in SEO rankings, but it’s definitely not the most productive one. In the midst of a crisis, online marketers have to keep a clear head and recognize that losing SEO points is not the end of the world. It’s not even the end of the website!

Websites fall in rank and recover all the time; this is simply the natural cycle of running a website, and it will happen no matter how hard you work. With that being said, after calming down, walking the road to recovery is the next crucial step. So in this article, let's discuss troubleshooting tips to determine why your SEO scores have gone down, and how you might recover them.

1. You got penalized by Google

Did you know that Google has webmaster guidelines? Whether intentionally or unintentionally, it's not very hard to play fast and loose with these rules. Google will automatically or manually penalize websites that don't follow these guidelines carefully, so reviewing them and auditing your site for compliance is important.

Finding out if you've suffered a penalty isn't too hard: pull up your Google Webmaster Tools account, and see if Google sent you any notifications about a penalty and the reasons for it. Dozens of Google penalty checker tools can also help with this step.

Whatever prompted the penalty—duplicate content, unnatural links, etc.—you just have to accept Google’s decision calmly and focus on fixing the problem. Remove the duplicate content, unnatural links, irrelevant keywords, or anything else that is strictly against Google's guidelines.

After cleaning up, send a reconsideration request to Google to recover from the penalties. Keep in mind, however, that getting back your position in SERPs can take some time.

While you’re waiting to recover, make sure to tighten up your website so future penalties are unlikely to occur. Employing honest white hat SEO tactics at all times is a good place to start. Don’t even think about trying to sneak in so-called black hat SEO tactics; Google’s latest though algorithm update dubbed 'Fred' is scrupulous, and you won't get away with it.

2. You lost important backlinks

It’s very possible that your rankings dropped because you lost backlinks from a high-quality website. There are several reasons why something like this would happen:

  1. The website with your backlinks could have gone offline
  2. Google may be having issues connecting to the host
  3. The page or content where your links were hosted may have been removed, updated or replaced

As a solution, you can contact webmasters and ask for links to be replaced, but your time and effort is better spent on building new, high-quality inbound links. The best way to do that, of course, is by creating more relevant and helpful content that will make your site attractive to other webmasters.

To prevent rankings loss in the future due to lost links, consider keeping track of backlinks to your websites using a variety of tools for that purpose. This will allow you to act before losing a backlink dings your site.

3. You need a better web host

Your website can check off all the "awesome" boxes. You can have all the bells and whistles like great content with rich anchor text, good SEO practices, and still suffer a rankings drop.

This can happen when your pages take an eternity to load, no thanks to your web hosting company.

No internet user wants to wait for extended periods of time to reach a website. According to statistics, if users have to wait more than 10 seconds for a page to load, they are almost certain to go somewhere else. This will cause your traffic to fall, which will eventually impact your rankings as well. Google has made it clear that website speed impacts Search Engine Rankings.

Speed tests can help to determine if your web host is bringing down SEO scores. If the problem lies with your web hosting company, find a better one. Even if your host is fine, your hosting plan may still cause problems: for instance, 'shared hosting' plans are popular because they are cheap. But a shared host serves hundreds and maybe even thousands of other websites.

Switch to a more expensive but infinitely faster dedicated hosting instead if your loading time stubbornly refuses to improve.

4. You redesigned your website

On the Internet, never underestimate the potential impact of small changes, much less big ones. If you redesigned your website immediately before experiencing an SEO drop, it’s likely that the launch had a negative impact on your search rankings.

You may have forgotten to install redirects, for one thing. It’s also possible that Google re-evaluated the relevance of your page for certain topics or keywords because of changes you made to content while redesigning the site.

When doing a site redesign, it’s always smart to have a 301 redirect plan in place. This way, you can send visitors to new and improved pages. In the process, you also get to tell Google to disregard the old page and rank the redesigned page instead.

5. Your competitor outranked you

Search Rankings are a competition, and sometimes going down doesn't mean you failed; it can mean someone else did a better job.

Getting to the top of a search page is one thing, but staying there is another. If you do not defend your position and keep an eye on competitors, sooner or later they will have their day at the top of the search engine mountain, pushing you down in the process.

Getting outranked by a competitor is an everyday fact of SEO life. Here’s one more fact of SEO life: your competitor’s rankings can fall too, and your site can take their place. Contrary to popular myth, SEO work never gets done. Just continue your optimization efforts. Monitor and analyze your competitor’s sites to get a clearer picture of what they’re doing, and adjust your SEO strategies accordingly.

6. The mysterious Google flux

At the end of the day, no matter how well you run your website, you are the mercy of almighty Google. And as Google tampers with its algorithm, unpredictable changes occur on a regular basis that upset the position of websites. This phenomenon is called "Google flux". Like a freak weather disaster, nothing can be done to prevent these fluxes, and if trial and error can't show you where you went wrong, maybe you didn't go wrong. Maybe you were the victim of Google updates.

On the one hand, this may seem depressing. But on the other hand, it can be comforting to realize that every dip in SEO rankings does not prove bad practice. To minimize the possible damage brought on by algorithm updates, just make sure to follow SEO best practices, and never put all of your eggs in one basket. Rank for several keywords so that a drop in one does not necessarily equate to a drop in another.

Also recognize that at the end of the day, Flux is just as likely to boost your website for a certain keyword as it is to sink you, so it will theoretically balance out.

To keep your website at the top of Google search results, learn more about best SEO practices with our expert-guided classes on search engine optimization.

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

 


A Simple Guide to SEO Keyword Research

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Editor's Note: Chris Raulf is an educator and founder of Boulder SEO Marketing. He joins us today to share a simple guide for SEO keyword research that can skyrocket your website's position on search pages.

 

It goes without saying that people make billions of Internet searches everyday, from movie showings to nearby pizza places to oil changing services. Data consistently shows that Internet users typically select one of the first few search results, and if they find what they’re looking for, they stop searching. 

In fact, according to the statistics, more than 70% of all clicks go to the top five organic search results. So if your website shows up below #5, you’re missing out on a great boost for traffic to your website, and ultimately on sales.

If you want your business to grow and capture more organic search opportunities, climbing to the highest search positions is a good priority. And a great way to climb higher in rankings is to apply SEO (Search Engine Optimization) best practices.

Keywords - the word or words that people use to search for something in a search engine - are the foundation of SEO. In order to understand how people use search engines, you need to do keyword research in a scientific way. This is the first of many activities you can do to improve your website’s ranking in organic search results.

And it really does work! For example: my practice helped one client by applying a comprehensive digital marketing and SEO strategy to their business, and as a result, we doubled their Google traffic in less than 8 months:

In this article, I will explain the basic principles we used to do this so you can apply them too.

Let's dive right in!

What Are Keywords?

It may seem simple, but it's always best to start with basics. As mentioned in passing: a keyword is a word or string of words that people use to find something with a search engine. A keyword can be short tail, which is one word or two words strung together, such as “SEO,” “running shoes”, or “seo company”.

Keywords can also be long tail, which is three or more words strung together such as “SEO keyword research,” “running shoes for men” or “what are seo marketing packages.” Google continues to perfect its search algorithm and nowadays, long tail keywords seem to be the top choice for searching online. After all, users now expect Google to display a good answer to complex questions right at the top of the page:

Why Do Keyword Research?

You should do keyword research because it eliminates the guesswork behind choosing good keywords, and gives you confidence when executing an SEO strategy. During my SEO training classes and webinars, 80-90% of my attendees tend to admit that they haven't done keyword research.

And if they do keyword research, they are often surprised by what they find when I show them how to do it scientifically.

One of the most common and easily fixed mistakes made by SEO novices is trying to optimize for short tail keywords only, which are overly general and extremely competitive to rank for. People who use long tail keywords know what they want, and are more likely to convert interested buyers. 

Another mistake I frequently see is that people simply aren’t selecting the right keywords. This is not as mysterious as it may sound; they may optimize their site for internal terminology, product names, or branded terms, without realizing that this is completely ineffective on non-customers who have never countered those words before. 

By researching your keywords ahead of time, you can bypass many common mistakes, and forego trial and error by jumping straight to the most promising terms for your website.

A Brief Primer on Researching Keywords

Here are the key steps to doing keyword research for SEO at a very high level.

  1. The first thing to do is pick a research tool. There are many good choices, both free and paid. I usually recommend starting with Google Keyword Planner since it’s free, and made by Google. One of my favorite paid tools is SEMRush, because it provides many extra features that will help you to analyze the best keywords as carefully as possible. It should be noted that to take full advantage of Google’s Keyword Planner tool, you will need to set up and run an active Google AdWords campaign, so it isn't completely free in the end.
  2. Assuming you go with Google's Keyword Planner, you first need to set up an account. After doing so, you can start with keyword research and I recommend you do the following: If your website could rank number one on Google for only one search term, what would it be? Enter that term into Google Keyword Planner and you’ll see all kinds of data about it. The average number of searches per month is always interesting - it might surprise you in a good or bad way. You’ll also see that Google provides keyword ideas based on your keyword. These ideas are really useful to create a set of complementary keywords to use along with the primary keyword.
  3. Next, you’re going to download data about the source keyword and the keywords recommended by the tools so that you can analyze these three data points: Avg. Monthly Searches, Competition and Suggested bid data. Download the data to an Excel CVS file or to Google Drive as a Google spreadsheet.
  4. Now you should prioritize the keywords based on which ones you want to dominate, so add a column for priority (you may use a rating of 1-3, for instance). You should also categorize the keywords based on the products and services you offer. Essentially, the spreadsheet should look similar to the one below:

Next Steps

Once you know what keywords you want to focus on, you’ll need to assign 2-4 keywords to each webpage of your website. This process is called keyword mapping. Once you have properly assigned the right keywords, you’ll want to start optimizing the meta tags for each page. But don’t stop there! The more high quality content you develop with your target SEO keywords (i.e. blog posts, articles, white papers, case studies, etc.), the higher you’ll eventually rank in search engines.

Conclusion

There is a lot to keyword research and it’s impossible to capture everything in one article. However, I hope this short guide has given you a useful starting point. The Online Marketing Institute offers a ton of educational resources by some of today’s top digital marketing experts - take advantage of these resources so that you can achieve the results you’re looking for. I also invite you to read a guide that I recently published called SEO Keywords: The Step-by-Step Guide to Keyword Research.  

About the Author

Chris Raulf is the founder of Boulder SEO Marketing, a boutique digital marketing training and consulting agency located in beautiful Denver and Boulder, Colorado. Chris is an SEO training expert and teaches students around the globe to improve their website’s rankings in Google search results. His international background makes him one of few professionals in the industry who truly live and breath multilingual search engine optimization on a daily basis.

Learn more about Chris and Boulder SEO Marketing by connecting with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

 

A Step-by-Step Guide to Keyword Research

Optimizing Your Website in a Post-Penguin World

Keyword Mapping

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

 


5 Tools to Use Google Analytics Like a Data Scientist

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Editor's Note: Josh R Jackson is a contributing editor at BestMarketingDegrees.org. To complement the brand new Google Analytics' classes in our updated catalog, he joins us to discuss five ways to approach the ubiquitous platform like a data scientist.

 

Google Analytics is simultaneously the most widely used and under-used analytics platform on the Internet.

How can it be both at the same time?

There's a simple reason: the freemium web service boasts more subscribers than any analytics platform in the world - but few users ever harness the sprawling interface to its full potential.

If you think of site development as building an office from the ground up, Google Analytics is a toolbox full of everything you need to build that office, complete with floors, desks and even a breakroom. But if you only know how to use a hammer and nails, that office will not just take a long time to build; it will be missing key components you can’t assemble without using the rest of the tools in the box.

Google Analytics has the potential to flip a website from a rundown office into a booming business that will attract the attention of thousands (if not millions) of people, especially if you know how to use its features like a data scientist.

With that being said, here are 5 ways you can start to use Google Analytics like a data scientist.

1. Use Funnel Analysis

Funnel analysis allows GA users to chart the path their customers will take through various pages of a website. This tool is particularly useful at pinning down exactly where (and maybe why) a customer abandons their journey through a site, whether it be a blog post that has no internal link structure, or a shopping cart that has a confusing layout.

As the go-to tool for tracking progress on a set list of conversions, funnel analysis is ideal for visualizing exactly how customers engage with calls to action across their entire online presence, especially because it can process data spanning multiple platforms.

2. Use Segmentation

Segmentation is perfect for marketers who want to know more about their audience. The tool allows Google Analytics users to organize and isolate various audiences according to the geographic, demographic, and conversion rate data of individual site visitors.

Segmentation also provides its users with the ability to import behavior information, e-commerce data, marketing data and other external data to complement what it collects on your audience. This way, segmentation users can plug in data collected by multiple tools - including AdWords - to generate marketing and advertising campaigns designed specifically for certain segments of their audience.

3. Use Real-Time Reporting

Real-Time Reporting is a fast way to peek beneath the hood of your website and get an idea of how recent changes may be affecting site traffic.

Real-Time Reporting is ideal for monitoring new content and small promotions that are designed to boost the number of your visitors and conversions. Real-Time Reporting is an excellent tool for monitoring the response an audience has to new information that is deemed particularly relevant or important to your audience prior to publishing.

4. Use Diagnostics Tools

One of the most important tasks of any data scientist is separating anomalies from important trends. Google Analytics’ Diagnostics Tool automatically does this by notifying users when a variety of events or metrics are outside an expected range of values for your site. In other words, it tells you when something extraordinary is occurring.

Google Analytics also provides users with Analytics Assistant, which uses machine learning to learn your preferences and work as an automated data scientist, helping you uncover trends and insights according to the metrics that interest you and your business most.

5. Use Predictive Analytics

Like its name suggests, Predictive Analytics helps users predict things like user behavior. That includes which users are most likely to convert.

Because it isolates audiences that are most likely to convert, Predictive Analytics is especially useful for devising remarketing campaigns in AdWords. If you’re just starting a site and aren’t yet able to measure conversions, then try harvesting data by using Predictive Analytics features like Smart Lists or Smart Goals.

Are you using Google Analytics like a data scientist? Take our newest classes on Google Analytics to start scraping and processing data that will help your website reach its maximum potential.

 


What’s AdTech & MarTech, and Why Should Your Business Care?

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Editor's Note: Josh R Jackson is a contributing editor at BestMarketingDegrees.org. To compliment the brand new classes in our updated catalog, he joins us to introduce AdTech and MarTech and explain their ever expanding role in marketing.

 

AdTech & MarTech are two of the biggest buzzwords and most difficult-to-understand practices in the modern marketing industry.

There are two reasons why:

    1. AdTech & MarTech are still developing. Trying to understand them is almost like trying to understand two teenagers based solely on the fact that they play the same sport. In other words, it's too early to know where they will end up with any certainty.
    2. AdTech and MarTech are virtually becoming the online marketing industry. Any time you use a service that provides you with analytics and feedback on how people see and engage with your business online (think: Facebook and Twitter for Business), you’re harnessing the power of AdTech & MarTech networks. Translation: AdTech & MarTech are an ever-growing part of an ever-widening industry.

Despite the fact that they’re moving targets, we can say two things for certain: AdTech & MarTech are converging, and they have been riding waves of venture capital-backed search interest for at least ten years.

But arguably the biggest reason they are so important is not because of top-down investment, but because of bottom-up interest. That is, because businesses are recognizing that AdTech & MarTech​ affect their digital footprint​​, no matter how large or small that footprint is.​

Look no further than the top three search results the next time you google your business or industry—those first three returns will likely come from Google’s Search Network, an adtech service hosted by Google AdWords. If you or your business isn’t in that network, it will appear below those entries.

Complex search algorithms are at work behind adtech systems like Google’s, and these algorithms require some awareness of data management to properly integrate advertising platforms. But ultimately, that integrated advertising platform - or omnichannel - makes online advertising much easier to use and understand.

Definitions for AdTech & MarTech: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Despite the growing size and complexity of the marketing industry they influence, AdTech & MarTech can be broken down into simple definitions that parallel and complement each other.

AdTech (noun; adj)

  1. Short for "advertising technology."
  2. The industry name for any tool or application for researching audiences and delivering targeted advertisements to them.
  3. A group of platforms and software for hosting the automated exchange process of buying and selling advertisements through a machine-based ad network or marketplace (e.g., Adobe Advertising Cloud).
  4. Used in a sentence: "Were you able to attend that conference on AdTech in NYC? Reps from Fortune 500 companies sponsored a great exhibit on this adtech and artificial intelligence platform that helps you advertise on social media."
  5. See: "Facebook Ads," "Google Ads," and "MarTech" 

MarTech (noun; adj)

  1. Short for "marketing technology."
  2. An industry term that encompasses a vast body of tools, platforms, processes, and applications that we use to market online products and services (e.g., Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Marketing Analytics, and Marketing Management).
  3. Platforms and software for managing marketing data and automating marketing processes (e.g., Oracle Marketing Cloud).
  4. Used in a sentence: "Did you see the martech issue of Ad Age? They did a cover story on how the number of companies in MarTech has grown exponentially since 2011."
  5. See: "Facebook for Business," "Twitter for Business," and "YUGE DEAL."

Advertising is just one form of marketing, and AdTech is just one form of MarTech. As such, it's best to think of AdTech & MarTech as two sides of the same coin: AdTech is the front (what most people recognize a coin by), and MarTech is the tail that most people touch and see everyday without noticing.

So What (Do AdTech & MarTech Mean for My Business?)

Data and Targeting

Because AdTech and MarTech are driven by data collection, data analysis, data presentation, and data management, they have a much more nuanced research methodology for delivering ads than traditional methods of marketing and advertising.

Traditional methods tend to operate on the principle of "shoot-first-ask-questions-later" (e.g., billboard ads, radio ads, television commercials, and online banner ads). Traditional methods do involve at least a small amount of research, such as finding the best locations to air an ad for a targeted demographic. However, they also reach a substantial number of people who are not the intended audience for their particular product or service. This overreach can result in annoyance (or worse, distrust) for brands that are particularly repetitive or intrusive. Just think about the last time an infomercial for cleaning products interrupted your regularly scheduled programming when you weren’t in the mood.  

AdTech & MarTech make it possible to target your intended audience without as much overreach, so that video or banner advertisements will reach an intended audience that is not only more likely to be interested, but also most likely to convert.

Ad networks like those owned by Facebook and Google are particularly good at this, since they can deliver "native ads" in user feeds to appear more like solicited information than annoying or intrusive advertisements.

How are you using AdTech & MarTech?

Whether you know it or not, you probably already are. If you want to learn more about controlling the size of your digital footprint in marketing and advertising technology, view our new classes on search engines, data management, and integrated advertising platforms, free for ten days!

 


A Simple Guide to A/B Split Testing

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Editor's Note: Elena Tahora is a marketing manager at Web Design Malta. Today, she joins us to discuss how A/B Split Testing can improve the success of your online platforms, and various methods to make it work.

 

Creating a new website, ad, or conversion page can sometimes feel like a shot in the dark, and shooting in the dark is scary for online marketers. However, there is a way to make design choices more smartly: A/B split testing is a marketing technique that compares two separate versions of web content to determine which performs best on your audience.

The basic A/B testing process is easy to understand: after creating an item you want to test, you create small variations, and use trial runs to determine which has a higher conversion rate. The best version wins, and from that point on, further A/B tests can refine your product into something highly effective.

Applications

A/B testing has a diverse range of applications, and all of them can help to make the most of your web traffic. Options include:

  • Headlines and Subheadlines
  • Testimonials
  • Paragraph Text
  • Call to Action (CTA) Text
  • CTA Buttons
  • Links
  • Images
  • Social Proof
  • Content Near the Fold
  • Badges and Awards
  • Media Mentions

Although this list focuses on design features that can be optimized with A/B testing, the method can be used on basic sales copy as well. You can experiment with free trial lengths, pricing structures, sales promotion, delivery fees, and basically anything else that can be changed on your site.

While it's clear that this method can do a lot for your business, A/B split testing is also subject to many regulations which - unless followed carefully - can sink your website quickly. For this reason, it's generally safest to conduct your trials with tools designed specifically for the purpose.

In the following paragraphs, we'll review some of the best commercial A/B Split Testing tools. Let's jump in!

A/B Split Testing Tools

1. Content Experiments by Google Analytics

Google Analytics is such a prominent resource for online marketers that it hardly needs introduction. This suite of analysis tools is a baseline for data analytics across the web, providing users with an opportunity that none can rival: retrieving data directly from the world's largest search engine.

For A/B split testing, Google Analytics provides you with Content Experiments. This feature allows you to split-test page variants for a particular campaign. Advanced reporting options give you a detailed understanding of what worked, and why.

google a/b split testing

The main advantages for Google Analytics are: it's free. And as already mentioned, it taps into the largest source of content information on the web.

The only downside is that Google will not provide you with tools for generating variant pages, and Analytics is a complex tool which can be hard to understand if you're just starting out. For beginners, options with a more visual bent may be helpful.

2. Visual Website Optimizer

Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) is an effective A/B Split Testing tool with a great track record. Prominent case studies range from the car manufacturer Hyundai to computer chip maker AMD.

VWO is also very easy to use, involving the following steps for absolutely any content on your website:

  • Include simple source code from VWO on your webpage to make it active 
  • Developing variations on content using a visual HTML editor.
  • Select goals to optimize for (engagement, revenue, clicks, etc.)
  • Start running your tests and track the test results

VWO has a variety of plans that depend on the size of your business, beginning at $49.00 a month for sites with 10,000 monthly visitors.

3. Optimizely

Optimizely is both well-known and widely used, and specializes in boosting CTA conversion rates. Used by nonprofits such as the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, it's a great place to go if you want to increase your presence and get more people on board.

Optimizely has a three step process:

  1. You must collect data on your current site performance before deciding your goals.
  2. Predict future anticipated progress before creating variants to test.
  3. With variations set, you can start running the experiment and finish by analyzing the results obtained from the A/B split tests.

Optimizely has the big advantage of offering a thirty day free trial period which allows you to see how it works and what it can do before committing to any payment schemes. Pricing after this period is not published on the site, but reviewers indicate that it is mainly affordable for large or mid-range enterprises.

4. SiteSpect's A/B Testing Tool

SiteSpect is a company that offers extensive testing of business ideas, with a designated A/B testing platform that is very easy to use. The provided visual editing tools make it a cinch to brainstorm small adjustments, and generated analytics data will help your company to understand factors that affect conversion rates, reduce costs, drive revenue and mitigate risks.

Like Optimizely, SiteSpect offers a trial period which can help your company to determine if its worth the cost.

5. Unbounce

Not everyone needs the ability to test every font, subtitle, link or button on a website. Some people pursue A/B Testing for one specific goal, and that goal is common enough that Unbounce has one purpose: optimize landing pages.

Whether you are promoting a webinar, a course, or a single product, landing pages are an easy default destination for potential customers. A/B Testing with Unbounce will help you to optimize for the specific goal of gaining more conversions and sign-ups, and also offers more than 80 pre-designed landing page templates to experiment with in case you don't know where to start.

For some users, this tool has everything they need to get started. Through its simplicity and specialization, Unbounce offers a nice contrast to the range of complex features in Google Analytics.

Going Alone...

As mentioned in the beginning of the article, A/B split testing tools help you to avoid pitfalls that could reduce your site rankings. But in case you decide to forego tools and formulate your own code/strategy, bear in mind that Google is watching you, and it has a few things to say:

  1. Avoid cloaking. This means showing one variant of content to your normal site visitors, and another set of content to web crawlers. This is considered extremely fishy, and it's a sure way to get hit with a penalty.
  2. Use rel=“canonical” tags to distinguish a test page from the main version. This is more a matter of sensible practice than a law: unless Google knows which page is your real page and which is the test page, the real page may go down in rankings because visitors won't be able to find it.
  3. Use 302 redirects. When directing users away from a page to a test page, 302 redirects - as opposed to standard 301 redirects - tell Google that this redirection is only temporary. They'll back off and wait for you to finish.
  4. Get it over with. At some point, you have to get on with business and leave A/B split testing behind. So don't test forever, and don't perpetually use the exact same test. This is suspicious, and you'll get in trouble for it.

You can read Google's full list of detailed guidelines here.

Conclusion

Every online marketer wants more visitors, and after getting more visitors, more conversions and sales. A/B split testing is a great multitasking strategy which can boost response rate to a diverse range of prompts.

Whether you pick a tool or develop a strategy on your own, you can't go wrong by trying new things and seeing what works best.

 

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

Testing, Behavioral Analytics & Metrics Best Practices

Strategic User Experience Design

How to Create Personalized Web Experiences That Increase Engagement

 

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

 


5 Easy Ways to Find The Right Keywords For Ads

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Editor's Note: Roy Dopaishi writes about content marketing and advertising for Paidtraffic. Today, he joins us to share the best methods for finding great keywords to use in content and PPC campaigns.

 

An AdWords campaign is driven by keyword research. Target the right keywords, and your ads appear at just the right moment when prospects are searching for the products and services your business offers. But if you target keywords that are too broad or narrow, you run the risk of failing to reach customers and wasting your adspend.

This is why it’s so important to identify the right keywords before launching your campaign. But what’s the best way to do it?

There are many tools to help you with this vital task. Google’s Keyword Planner is often cited as a useful start - in addition to giving keyword ideas, it uses analytics to make predictions and improve suggestions.

The problem with Google’s tool is that thousands of others use it, so there will most likely be plenty of competition for your target keywords. Relying solely on this tool also restricts your reach, as it only provides limited keyword samples.

Fortunately, there are many other methods of finding the right keywords to target. Implementing these can give your AdWords campaign a major competitive advantage, since most advertisers don't bother. Let’s get started!

  1. Question and Answer Sites

Quora is an excellent way to find common questions that prospects are asking.

A search for “kitchen remodeling” yields the following results:

quorasample

Browsing through Quora results provides rich keyword suggestions that you may have otherwise missed. These queries can then be plugged into Keyword Planner to generate even more ideas.

For example: if your business does kitchen renovations, then after reading related conversations, you might include keywords such as “cost of kitchen remodel” or “finance a kitchen remodel” in your ad groups. These are also excellent topics to create blog posts around.

Yahoo Answers is another popular question and answer site you can use to find keyword ideas.

  1. Google Keyword Suggestions

When typing in a search query, Google displays keyword suggestions in the search box.

keywordsuggestions

This is another way to find related keyword ideas based on your initial search query. Entering in different letters of the alphabet displays additional results. However, typing in each letter and copying the results can be rather tedious.

KeywordTool.io is a free keyword research tool that uses Google Autocomplete and other search engines including YouTube and Amazon to generate a comprehensive list of keywords. This tool parses the results so you can easily select relevant keywords and export them to a spreadsheet.

keywordtool

Here is an example of Google Autocomplete results:

autocomplete

And results from Amazon:

amazonresults

One thing to keep in mind is keyword intent and type. Simply adding every single keyword to your ad groups is a recipe for disaster. Instead, think about the intention behind your keywords and whether they apply to your business.

  1. Competition Research

There is one source you should never overlook: your competitors.

Competitors in your industry are more than likely using AdWords to bid on relevant keywords, so keeping an eye on your competitors can provide additional keyword ideas. Identify competitors by searching for your target keywords and entering their URLs into SEMrush.

Here is an overview of top organic keywords for trekkinghero.com:SEMrush

And top paid keywords:

SEMrushtop

 

Note that the tool only provides limited keyword data. To see a full report, you need a paid subscription to the site, but you can perform basic keyword research for free.

  1. LSI Keywords

Search engines are getting increasingly sophisticated.

LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are phrases semantically related to your main keywords. For instance, if a page contains keywords like “Apple”, “Macbook”, and “computer”, Google knows the page is about technology rather than fruit, and won't deliver it to the wrong people.

Use tools like LSIGraph to generate a list of LSI keywords:

LSIGraph

These keywords can not only be added to your campaign, but included within the content on your page to help it rank better in organic search results.

  1. Your Own Search Data

If you have a Google AdWords campaign running, then you already have potentially valuable keyword data at your fingertips.

You can view actual search terms that have triggered your ads from the Campaigns menu. Simply click the “Keywords” tab, and then click the “Search terms” button:

adwordsmenu

 

The Search Terms report shows queries that are triggering your ads.

This information is valuable for two reasons, as you can:

  • Identify search terms with high profit potential
  • Identify irrelevant terms to add as negative keywords

Be sure to regularly comb through your own data to find more valuable keywords to add to your PPC campaign.

Conclusion

Finding the right keywords is essential to gain measurable results, and it doesn’t take much effort. Less than half an hour of your time can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your ads, so there simply are no downsides to doing the research. Take advantage of your new knowledge, gain an edge on your competitors, and get started today!

Learn more with these related OMI classes:

Fundamentals of Measuring Search ROI

Creating and Curating Content People Love

SEO For Business Owners

Visit the Online Marketing Institute to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space.

 


4 Critical Steps to Gain an Impressive B2B Online Reputation

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Is the online reputation of your business heading south?

Do more negative than positive reviews come up when someone Googles your business?

Does your potential client-base prefer your competitors over you?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then this article is for you!

Why Online Reputation Matters for B2B Businesses

B2B decision-makers are forming an opinion of your business based on what the search engine giant Google has to say about it. Here are few stats that prove this fact:

  • 42% of potential clients Google the people that they are going to do business with.
  • 45% of people change their mind after reading about a company online.
  • 68% of business owners consider reviews to be the most important trust indicator.

Furthermore, although most B2B businesses have a higher profit margin when compared with B2C businesses, they also have a smaller customer base. Additionally, generating a lead in B2B is more difficult than in B2C. It is therefore vital for B2B businesses to build a solid reputation online.

There are a number of ways for a B2B business to build and maintain its online reputation. Here, I have assembled a list of 4 tactics to help you build a solid reputation for your firm in the industry vertical:

Step #1: Capitalize on the Benefits of Client Testimonials and Case Studies

To evaluate vendor products and services, the first thing a potential client will do is Google the business. The very next step is to visit the corporate website: this makes it vital for B2B entrepreneurs to ensure that no  mistakes are made when designing the website.

Website visitors tend to make decisions on impulse, so you only get a few seconds to impress them.

How can you turn visitors into customers in less than a minute?

The best way is by leveraging ‘Social Proof’.

Positive reviews and recommendations from clients on your website will entice visitors to stay longer and motivate them to take action. B2B entrepreneurs must therefore publish captivating client testimonials on the homepage. Another great way to build a positive reputation of your firm is to publish detailed case studies about client experiences with your firm.

You should also include snippets of your clients’ feedback in other marketing arenas such as email, social media posts and PPC ads.

Step #2: Harness the Potential of Social Media

Social media has revolutionized the world. Millions and millions of people are using social platforms to inform purchasing decisions, as well as to keep up with friends. This is true for B2B firms as well. If reports are to be believed, almost 81% of B2B decision makers use online communities to analyze a business.

This whopping figure makes it vital for B2B businesses to be actively present on social platforms. Moreover, search engine giant Google gives social platforms high authority. As such, positive comments on social platforms will lead to higher rankings with search algorithms.

However, not all social platforms are a good fit for your business. You need to figure out the ones where your target audience is present. Popular social platforms for B2B firms include Twitter, Linkedin and APSense.  

Being actively present on relevant social platforms gives you a golden opportunity to build brand awareness, establish credibility, and ensure that your business has a competitive advantage over others in your industry. It's important to study the best social media practices for business in order to succeed.

Step #3: Make Your Brand A Thought-Leader Through Content

The best tactic for a B2B business is to have an outstanding online reputation!

According to reports, content marketing is considered an important marketing strategy by 88% of B2B companiesso there is a high chance that your competitors are leveraging this tactic. To stand out from the crowd and create a strong impression of your company, brand yourself as a thought leader.

The key to being a thought-leader in your industry vertical is to regularly publish relevant, informative and fresh content.

To make your content contagious, figure out exactly what your target audience needs, what their problems related to your market are, how your product/service can help them in solving their problems, and build this information into engaging articles. Take the time to learn how engaging content is crafted, and make sure to keep track of the latest changes in your industry to prevent your platform from becoming irrelevant.

Maintain a content calendar and stick to it. This way you will get desired attention, build reputation in your industry, and generate qualified leads for your business.

Step #4: Invest in Monitoring Tools

These days, word-of-mouth travels almost at the speed of light, thanks to technology. The negative impact of this on B2B companies is that years of brand-building can be tarnished by a single negative comment or tweet on social media. Even worse, if the negative reviews are on review platforms with high search engine rankings, any potential customer doing a Google search on the company will probably see them. These negative search results can jeopardize your company’s online reputation.

This makes it crucial for all B2B companies to monitor and analyze conversations about their brand that are occurring in the social-sphere and on review platforms.

Social monitoring tools such as Mention, Topwalker and Topsy allow you to track conversations, demographics, geographics, keyword tags and more. Monitoring social conversations can help you alleviate a social media crisis before it spirals out of control. Monitoring tools can therefore help to strengthen your brand and improve your overall reputation.

Implementing a Reputation Strategy for Your Business

If you are not taking the aforementioned steps to build your online reputation, don’t forget - your competitors are.

It’s critical to tie your reputation strategy to your digital marketing strategy. Invest your dollars in building and maintaining your brand reputation. A strong reputation online will automatically promote your brand, generating more leads for your business.

Author Bio:

Kim Smith is a Content Consultant at GoodFirms, a full-fledged research firm that offers a transparent and unique platform for web development agencies to stand out from competition and magnify their industry-wide credibility and visibility. Online you can find her on twitter: @contactkim11

Want to learn more about any of the subjects mentioned above? Here are some relevant classes: Social Media Strategy for Business, Creating and Curating Content People LoveCrisis Management with Social Media

Visit the Online Marketing Institute  to browse over 400 classes in the digital and social media marketing space. Ready to start learning? Sign up here here.

 


How to Create Incredible Content even if You Feel Uninspired

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Content Marketing

Brainstorming your next content piece

A writer’s greatest battle is between him and a blank screen, or a sheet of paper, if you still prefer the old way. Battling against a looming deadline only comes second.

I’m willing to bet you’ve suffered from the hurdle of a writer’s block at least once in your life. Personally, I think I may have had a face off with this enemy every single time I am working on a writing assignment! It comes in so many forms, but the effect is still the same--a creative slowdown.

A writer’s block is an umbrella for all sorts of mental and creative blockages, which is why it is often considered as a huge, insurmountable hurdle. Most cases of writer’s block are commonly caused by the following: timing, distraction, and fear.

Among the three, it is fear that often leads to creative paralysis. You may have an idea, but you’re scared it might not be the right one or the right way to tackle it. Or you begin exploring a concept, and do actual writing, but at the middle of your work, you stop because you’re unsure of where you and your content is heading. After all, I’d like to believe that any kind of writing can grow a life of its own as it is being formed. In cases like that, the skill of restraint comes in handy to ensure that you can guide your writing into the expected output.

Given that writer’s block can spring from various reasons, let’s try to break it down to its different reasons, and identify solutions to each.

Maybe you’ve run out of ideas, or you’re in a creative rut. Whatever it is, you can’t get started because you don’t have anything to start with. Ironic as it may sound, you’re done even though you haven’t even started.

What you can do:

Simply write.

Although I have to disagree with the above mentioned problem, as I think that there can never be an absence of idea, people who experience it can overcome it by simply beginning to write.

Do free-writing exercises. You don’t have to write about something spectacular at that instant. Ideas are always there, and can be triggered by even a simple object. You could actually write about your realizations on your previous project, your breakfast, or even the yellow paperclip on your desk. It’s a matter of getting your fingers or hands moving, so your brain would follow suit.

Consult other writers.

A conversation can stir up your brain for ideas. You can exchange thoughts with your friends and colleagues to get your creative brain muscles working.

A great online resource you can check out is EduGeeksClub writing service. It’s a group of professional writing assistants that you can consult with regarding your writing process. Their competent writers and editors can help you get started with your idea through insightful comments and guided discussions. Moreover, EduGeeksClub offers proofreading, formatting, and editing services for instances you need to focus on just the actual writing, leaving you more time to focus on that task alone.

Problem: I have a lot of ideas in mind, but I can’t pin one down.

The thing about having too many ideas is the risk of an incoherent content. You will tend to put everything you want to say into your writing, but without sufficient and effective substantiation. You don’t want an output that’s all over the place, do you?

What you can do:

Organize your thoughts by mind mapping.

Mind maps are your thoughts laid down and dissected with the use of visual cues and codes. This process can help you untangle your jumbled thoughts, and put them into order. Identify your main and central concept, then work your way to a coherent outline as you branch out subtopics. This way, you also get to enrich your thoughts as you work with your visual outline. MindNode is an app you can use for easier mindmapping, especially if you work with a number of gadgets.

Plot an editorial calendar.

A mind teeming with ideas can be advantageous for writers like us. We don’t have to put everything in one go. It would be wise to have an idea bank, where we can select one, and work on that for a content. Keep in mind though that ideas can peter out, unless we note them down.

The best way to handle an idea bank is to have an editorial calendar. You can lay down your ideas and the appropriate story angles for each, and schedule a date for its output.

Once you’ve come up with an editorial content, you can turn to social media management apps like Buffer or Hootsuite to handle your varied content for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Problem: I find it difficult to express my thoughts in words.

I admit to having encountered the same in my writing experience. Sometimes, writers look for the word that would be a perfect fit to their ideas. The search for that word can take some time though. The next best thing you can do? Don’t say or write a word then.

What you can do:

Communicate via visuals.

When words fail you, you’ve got images to talk for you. After all, didn’t they say that a picture is worth a thousand words?

In addition, visuals add a layer to your content through the use of colors and shapes. Visual content is also more appealing than text alone, especially if you are targeting to publish your output in social media platforms.

Helpful apps for this aspect are ThingLink, which allows you to include interactive images and videos in your content, and Easel.ly, which provides you with a wide range of templates for your infographic needs.

Problem: I need my Muse to inspire me.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not a problem. That’s an excuse that keeps you from writing. You’re either without an idea to begin with, so see answers to the top most problem, or distracting yourself from distraction...and the number one form of distraction at this age are your social media apps.

So if you want to produce great content, disconnect from your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Messenger.

Stay Focusd is a Chrome extension that prevents you from wasting time on online activities other than work. You identify the websites that you want to block after you used up your allotted time per day for browsing through them.

This way, you can still go visit your social networking sites, but you’re more mindful of the time you spend on them unless you want to temporarily lose access to those sites once you’ve used up your time.

Another great app you can use is the Pomodoro time. You have the option to set up the amount of time for work. Say, you settle for 25 minutes, which means you need to work for 25 minutes straight, without getting distracted. Once time is up, you can take a short break. Cutting your working hours into short segments keeps you focused on the task at hand, and makes sure you’re consistently productive throughout the day. Frequent breaks also prevent your mind from being overworked.

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 10.05.10 AM

Author's bio. Karen Dikson is a writer and blogger from New Jersey. She finds her inspiration in reading and travelling and she cannot imagine her life without writing. Connect with Karen on Twitter.

 


How to Increase Your Content Visibility in Google Knowledge Graph

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How-to-Increase-Your-Content-Visibility-in-Google-Knowledge-Graph

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Varun Sharma is a digital marketing expert and a director of the fastest-growing digital agency in India, KVR WebTech. You can also subscribe to Varun's personal blog at varun-sharma.info.

As a digital marketing expert, I inevitably find myself struggling to keep up with the happenings around the world. I’m always keen to grab more and more knowledge from everything I come across, but it can be difficult.

I wonder about the enormity of the human mind. From the day we are born till the moment we die, our brain collects, loads, and stores everything. This immense knowledge aids us in dealing with our routine.

What’s even more exciting about our minds is that we can think of one thing, and thousands of other relevant thoughts will pop in our heads. It’s amazing how our mind is reshaped by the information it grabs every minute.
thoughts-process-answers-processThe way our mind acquires, operates, and responds reminds me of the Google Knowledge Graph.

Google Knowledge Graph is the largest warehouse of knowledge in digital history—and it’s doing it with your help.2 (highlight to tweet) This revolutionary system has changed the definition of the online search process.

What Is Google Knowledge Graph?

Google launched a new system in 2012 to improve its search process, Google Knowledge Graph, aiming to provide an enormous amount of information in an organized way and make it accessible universally.

In a nutshell, Google knowledge graph is a systematic way of organizing facts, people, and places to improve the relevancy of search outcomes. With this approach, users now get quick access to surplus information and the option of exploring related subjects within that search.

At the launch of the Knowledge Graph, Google Product management Director Johanna Wright said, “We’re in the early phases of moving from being an information engine to becoming a knowledge engine, and these enhancements are one step in that direction.”

Google Knowledge Graph does this by organizing information into “Entities” and the “Relationships” between them.

How the Knowledge Graph Works

When you look up a person on Google, say “Barack Obama,” Google will refer to its data bank (the Knowledge Graph) and will display everything about Obama. Google’s Knowledge Graph is its own pool of data, where all the information is collected from authoritative sites. The search results are presented based on a user’s search patterns.

This is similar to how our mind functions. When we think of a person in our life, say our best friends, our mind immediately presents a picture carousel before us comprised of their names, faces, families, good and bad moments we shared together, etc.

Here, the data we look for is known as “Entities.” Knowledge Graph revolves around these entities and their “Relationship” with one another and utilizes them to organize relevant data for presenting in the search result. These entities real-world things, including individuals, places, organizations, works of art, movies, and so on.

Google no longer takes a search query as a string of keywords, but rather as distinct entities.

Below is a simple Entity Relationship Diagram:

entity-relationship-diagram
While “Barack Obama,” “Oval Office,” “USA,” and “President” are entities here, they are related to each other through relationships: “Work In,” “Located In,” “Lives In,” and “Designation.”

If you want to know the different entities on your web page, read this comprehensive post from Barbara Starr.

The Significance of Google’s Knowledge Graph

There are several English words with multiple meanings. Interpreting such words depends on their context. Till now, Google ignored the actual context used in phrases. With the launch of Knowledge graph, Google has greatly improved its semantic search; it can actually understand the meaning of a given word and its relationship with the entities.

Gone are the days when the Google search process was based on keyword match. The Knowledge Graph works just like our mind and is easily able to distinguish between the various search queries and their meanings. With the Knowledge Graph, Google has now become more flexible. It is now capable of understanding the objective of a particular search query and answering successfully by refining the search result.

5 Types of Knowledge in the Knowledge Graph

Google divides the Knowledge Graph into five main types.
Google-knowledge-graph-types

The Google Knowledge Graph is smart, and you’ll need to get smart as well to utilize it in the most efficient way. You’ll need to cultivate a better understanding of how users can get things they’re looking for in the search. Here are six tips for increasing your visibility in Google Knowledge Graph.

1. Build Your Brand Presence in Wikipedia

Knowledge Graph collects information from authoritative sources in order to ensure data reliability and accuracy. And what could be more promising than Wikipedia?

Having your brand on Wikipedia hooks your online presence up to a high-value online encyclopedia. Wikipedia is an influential data source, open for all, but it does follow strict guidelines on what information it accepts. To get listed your page on Wikipedia, follow these tips:

  • Get mentioned in third party sources like newspapers and magazines.
  • It’s important to have multiple users contribute to the page.
  • Collect and include references to other reliable sources
  • Get referenced in other Wiki pages. This helps to bolster your notability.
  • Encourage an active discussion page.

If you can create a Wikipedia page for your brand successfully, you’ve got a higher chance of increasing your content visibility in GKG.

2. Register Your Brand in Public Data Centers

Besides Wikipedia, Google also refers to sources like Wikidata.org to retrieve relevant information about entities. Wikidata.org acts as a secondary repository for Wikipedia and Wikisource that records statements and their sources, which in turn helps in reflecting the diversity of information available and ensuring that it is verified.

Similarly, the CIA World Factbook is a reference resource that offers detailed information about the demographics, geography, government, communication, economy, and military of the 267 international entities around the world.

Registering your brand on these data centers ensures Google will collect verified information about your business.

3. Organize Your Content by Schema Markup

Schema markup is a set of predefined code that defines elements of your webpage and support search engines to return the best search results to users for a given query. Schema helps search algorithms understand your page content and provide additional information about the entities in an organized way. This is what the GKG demands.

If you really want to increase the visibility of your content in the GKG, put effort into defining important things on your website. Structured data can be used to mark up all kinds of items, including products, places, organizations, individual, events, and even recipes
implement-google-knowledge-graphYou'll Also Like

4. Make Your Social Media Profiles Optimized

Your social media presence serves as evidence that your business is an online entity. When you stay updated on your social profiles with regular posts and reviews, it informs Google that you’re actually using your page. Moreover, Google Knowledge Graph displays information about your social media profiles when displaying information about your business in the search result.

Also, make sure to have a Google+ page for your business. Out of all the social media channels, Google+ has the most impact on Google Knowledge Graph. In order to create your knowledge graph, Google will use the information obtained from your Google+ profile much more extensively. In addition, use Google+ author relation tag to make your recent posts and other valuable information visible.

5. Get More Mentions

A mention from the right blogger can trigger a cascade of great press for your business. Getting more mentions on the web helps you increase your brand awareness and credibility, which ultimately gets you more traffic. The more you get mentions, the more chances your business has to be recognized by Google Knowledge Graph. Sharing great content with consistency and regular tweeting are just some of the ways you can get more mentions on the business.

6. Optimize Your Google Local Business Page

According to Google, over 73% of online activities are associated with the local search. In order to learn and evaluate the companies in their area, customers often turn to local search. By appearing in the Google Knowledge Graph, you can keep your business at the top of the local search results and can get the maximum traffic.

Make sure that your Google Local business page has a 100% score, with all the information filled in completely. This means in addition to filling in the required text fields, you should fill in the optional ones as well. Your page should also contain product or service keywords in the description, customer reviews, and your contact details. This will help Google get complete and viable information about your business.

While it’s your job to provide as much information possible about your business, your place in the Knowledge Graph also depends on the Google’s ability to synthesize the information it receives over the web. Still, when it comes to user search queries, Google Knowledge Graph can have a huge impact on your content visibility.

Google Knowledge Graph is not about quick wins and tricks—it’s about high-level reliable marketing efforts. The basic aim of Google Knowledge Graph is to give useful information to the readers and allow them to make the best decision.

This article was originally published by ConvenienceandConvert.com