UX: The New SEO Ranking Factor

UX: The New SEO Ranking Factor

We’ve worked on over a hundred SEO campaigns this year. This gives us access to a ton of valuable data that helps us understand what works (and what doesn’t).

Lately, our data is telling us that UX (user experience) is becoming a more critical component of SEO.

Particularly, when you’ve exhausted all traditional SEO options (on-page improvements, link building, etc.) but still can’t get your website to move past a certain position – chances are it’s poor user experience that’s holding you back.

That doesn’t have to be the case. User experience issues can be difficult to diagnose if you’re used to breaking down your site from a more traditional SEO perspective.

In this post, I’m going to help you by covering:

  1. What is UX and why it’s so critical to SEO
  2. How to develop your audience to baseline your site’s UX
  3. Implementing UX into your current SEO campaign

Let’s get into it.

Webinar

What is UX?

UX = user experience. This is not to be confused with UI (user interface).

UX is a function of marketing while UI is a function of design. UI and UX go hand-in-hand, but UX should be considered first.

UX focuses on:

  • User flows and visitor journeys
  • Mobile vs desktop layouts
  • Site structure and architecture

UI focuses on:

  • Fonts
  • Colors and patterns
  • Front end design styles (material, flat, photo realistic, etc)

Our UX team is made up of marketers with a good eye for design, while our UI team is made up of creatives who we’ve trained in marketing.

ux-vs-ui

 

Why does UX matter for SEO?

Google’s algorithm is looking heavily at searcher satisfaction.

Google has done a tremendous job over the last 2 to 3 years of getting away from ranking signals that can be spammed easily (links, keyword stuffing, etc.). “Searcher satisfaction” is one of those new signals that is difficult to fake, as it looks at how a searcher responds to a Google result they’ve clicked on.

For example:

  • Did the searcher bounce right away?
  • Did the searcher complete an action on the site?
  • Did the searcher share the link on social media?

These are quality indicators to Google’s algorithm that determine whether the search result matched up with what the searcher was looking for. This action can only happen when a page gets clicks, which is only really likely if it’s on the first or second page of Google results.

UX helps to increase “stickiness” of a page and increase user sentiment.

Delivering the perfect online experience is what makes a visitor “stick” and not bounce. That “stickiness” sends the right quality signals back to Google and indicates that your website is the right result for a given search query. Our data is showing us that “stickiness” (i.e. UX) is often the difference between positions 1 and 2.

UX is driven by a deep understanding of your audience

“Audience” understanding is often glazed over by marketers, especially in search marketing. A lack of audience understanding will have you wasting resources chasing people who do not contribute to your growth.

Your audience should feed your website’s UX – you should want to build everything in a way that it caters to your paying customers (colors, layouts, messaging, etc.).

Let’s take a look at case studies to illustrate this point.

 

Example #1 – WEBRIS

I launched WEBRIS agency (now owned by FTF) in 2016 and pushed content hard to drive leads. While the agency was growing, the number of leads we were generating was not proportional to the amount of traffic, video views and overall attention received.

We turned to our data for some answers, and what we found was very interesting.

We were getting:

  • 60,000 monthly website visitors
  • 40,000 monthly video views
  • 10 monthly MQLs

In short, 99.9% of our audience was non-transactional.

audience-understanding-circles

We dug further into our data to get more insights about our audience and realized 2 things:

  1. 90% of traffic was on desktop. Most people in today’s world build their websites around mobile. But if your customer isn’t a mobile user, then focus less on the experience for mobile users and cater all your resources around the user experience for desktop visitors.
  2. My audience was almost all marketing professionals. They were not customers looking for agency services, they were marketers looking for advice and help on advanced topics.

This might sound basic, but it was an mini-epiphany for me.

I was killing myself trying to build my business for the wrong customers.

We went through a massive audience overhaul. Here’s a couple of things we did:

  • Launched more offerings (tools and trainings) for marketing professionals.
  • Rebuilt the website with desktop-first designs, and added a clear sidebar navigation.
  • Refocused messaging and content to focus on advanced marketing problems – no more beginner content.

ux-redesign

Almost instantly, we saw a massive increase in engagement. Our bounce rate plummeted from 75% to 50%.

bounce-rate-ux

Google noticed, too. The increases in “stickiness” of the site helped to push up a lot of keyword rankings to the top of the SERPs.

keyword-increases-ux

This simple change helped us to better nurture our traffic and awareness into paying customers.

customer-growth

A better understanding of our audience helped us tailor our online experience to it, which in turn fueled our growth.

 

Example #2 – Fetch My Vet

Fetch My Vet is a startup that provides in-home veterinary care for your pets (the “Uber for vets”).

They hired us to help build an end-to-end digital strategy for their online brand.

building-a-user-experience

Here’s some things we looked at:

  • The outer ring (awareness: FB, Twitter and engagement data) to dig out an audience persona
  • The middle ring (fans: contact form submissions, live chat and Adwords data) to understand who is engaging with them
  • The inner ring (customer profile: CRM, customer, and in-home data) to understand who was at each stage in the journey for these customers

We discovered their current strategy was built around who they wanted their audience to be, as opposed to who actually made up their audience. Their entire online experience reflected this – layouts, messaging, branding, etc. Everything was speaking to the wrong audience.

Our strategy was built around redefining their audience based on their data and rebuilding their entire online experience to reflect this.

Almost immediately, the company’s trajectory changed. They’re now finding the right customers at a much lower acquisition cost.

Example #3 – Ryan Stewart Consulting

I’ve been a marketing consultant for over 10 years and use a personal site to generate leads.

The site was ranking well for purchase intent keywords like “digital marketing consultant“, but it was stuck on the second page of Google results.

I tried everything to crack the first page – link outreach, “on-page” optimization, internal links and more. Nothing helped.

When I took an objective look at the site from the perspective of my customer, I realized the messaging was confusing. The site was more of online resume that boasted about how great I [thought] I was, and it didn’t speak to my audience (someone looking for a marketing consultant).

We rebuilt the messaging to focus exclusively on the perspective of someone looking for a marketing consultant.

ryan-stewart

The results were astonishing,

Rankings for brutally competitive keywords shot through the roof. And most importantly, we cracked the first page (nationally) for keywords like digital marketing consultant.

keyword-rankings

Now that we’ve talked about audience, let’s talk about…

 

How to implement UX into an SEO campaign

The importance of UX in SEO is important, so we developed a process to implement UX best practices into client campaigns.

At a high level, this process includes:

  • Keyword research and mapping
  • URL architecture, hub and spoke models and user flows
  • Practical user conversations

I’m going to run you through client examples for each step of this process.

 

Step #1: Keyword Research and Mapping

Your website needs to deliver the right experience for the keywords you’re targeting. This begins with selecting the right keywords and ends with understanding how to use those keywords.

Let’s run through an example from an eCommerce client that sells shoelaces for sneakers.

I like to start by Googling my “main” keywords and using “Related Searches” to dig in deeper. This helps me understand what else people are searching for, in relation to my root keywords.

Below are the related searches for the keyword “shoelaces”:

From this, I can deduce:

  • People are looking for shoelaces by shape (flat, round)

Since the website sold both flat and round shoelaces, it made sense to dive a little deeper into “round shoelaces”.

keyword-research-2

From this, I can deduce:

  • People are modifying this search by color
  • People are modifying this search by function

Now, let’s dive deeper into “round athletic shoelaces” and see what happens.

keyword-research-3

From this, I can deduce:

  • People are modifying this search by sizing
  • People are modifying this search by brand

This is a simple process that should be repeated for every page on your website. It helps you paint a picture of what the searchers are looking for, and gives you a base to build your pages around.

Each product page was built around brand, color, sizing and shape.

implemting-UX

We designed HTML tables to speak specifically to sizing information.

UX-product-page

And then we added a section with images to speak to the compatibility of the laces with difference sneaker brands.

keyword-research-products

The results speak for themselves:

UX-seo_results

The site was optimized from the start and dominated the SERPs.

SERP-domination

NOTE: Laces Out was recently sold and is no longer in operation.

 

Step #2: URL architecture, hub & spoke, user flows

If you want to rank for big, competitive keywords, you need a deep, supportive user experience.

We build this out using a “hub” and “spoke” content / architecture model in these competitive spaces.

  • A “hub” is the central topic you’re targeting
  • “Spokes” are related topics that directly support your hub

Let’s look at an example from a client campaign, Sandals Resorts.

Sandals tasked us with ranking them on top for “all inclusive resorts”, a keyword with monthly search volume just over 200,000.

To rank for a keyword this competitive, it’s not enough to just launch a single landing page. You need to build an architecture that supports it.

Hub and Spoke Model

If someone is looking for the keyword “all inclusive resorts”, they’re probably also interested in things like accommodations, locations, activities, dining and so on.

Websites need to support this using a “hub” and “spoke” architecture. For Sandals, we built dozens of additional landing pages that supported the “hub” topic, which linked down to each “spoke” page.

ux-hubs

The “spoke” pages provided supporting content about various “all inclusive” locations, dining experiences, romantic getaways and room accommodations.

ux-hubs

We also bolstered the page with captivating imagery to help tell the story and increase dwell time by adding interactive features like slideshows and multimedia.

ux-examples

Basically, the page was rebuilt for consumption. Our data tells us that people skim pages, so we used features like bolded text to help highlight the main points and push people down the page to consume more content.

Again, the results speak for themselves.

The re-UX of the all inclusive resorts page pushed Sandals up to the top position for that term.

 

Step #3: Practical User Conversations

A lot of UX can be boiled down to practical decisions. Through conversations with your team and customers you can figure out what the optimal experience is.

If you don’t have access to a team or customer data, you can simply put yourself in your customer’s shoes.

Ask this question at every turn: If I was a visitor, would I come back to this site?

Pop-ups SUCK. They’re annoying and ruin user sentiment.

Yet, marketers everywhere still use them.

website-popups

Why?

“Because they work”.

They also work at ensuring people leave your website and never return, crushing your site’s “dwell time”.

We have to do better – and we can.

On WEBRIS, we switched from using pop-ups to a custom slider that stays completely out of the page’s way and doesn’t impede experience.

popups-suck

The switch not only increased time on site, but conversion rate as well.

increase-conversions

The slider was converting at 7% compared to the pop-up at 3%.

If I was a visitor, would this page suffice my needs?

This logic was applied to Laces Out and Sandals Resorts heavily, but those were sales pages. I’d imagine you’ve already asked yourself the same question about your sales pages.

But have you applied that thought process to your content?

I like to use Ahrefs to find pages on a site that have keywords stuck between positions 7 to 20. These are “low-hanging fruit” that, with improvement, can make the jump to to the first page.

A while back we found a post on WEBRIS about “free SEO tools” that was on the verge of gaining some big-time traffic.

seo tools

The page had good content and links, but terrible UX. We added filters to the post, images and improved design.

free-seo-tols

Within a few weeks, keyword rankings improved.

free-seo-tools-keywords

We didn’t add any more content or build new links – we simply rebuilt the frontend to make it “stickier.”

Good content + stickiness = rankings.

 

UX is Underrated (Make It Your Weapon)

Google’s number 1 priority is searcher satisfaction. If your website’s experience doesn’t deliver the right experience, you’re going to have a tough time getting organic exposure.

Understand your audience and use your website to communicate.

Improve your website’s experience and the rankings will follow.

Or, just hire us to do it for you :grin:.

The post UX: The New SEO Ranking Factor appeared first on From The Future.

The Best Free SEO Tools To Super Charge Your Search Rankings

The Best Free SEO Tools To Super Charge Your Search Rankings

best free SEO tools & softwareA lot of SEO tools & internet marketing software can be quite expensive if you’re just starting out. But if you’re ultra-resourceful then you can take advantage of the best free SEO tools and trials that are available.

You can get everything from free email marketing services all the way through to free SEO software.

So I’ve decided to compile a list of all of the best free SEO tools and software in one place for your convenience!

Getting The Most Out Of Free SEO Tools & Software

If you are considering taking out any of the free SEO software below then you’ll want to make sure you squeeze the most out of the trial as possible.

So before you start any trial, take time to familiarise yourself with the service/software via tutorials on YouTube or from forum discussions etc.

If it is a link building software trial for example you should watch tutorials so you know how to use it before you start the trial.

You should also plan out your campaign and prepare all of the content you will need so you can make sure 100% of the trial period is spent building links and not figuring things out.

If you are smart about it you can make a list of all of the trials and design your own full scale marketing campaign around that. Prepare everything you need and sign up to each service as you work through your campaign/plan of attack.

You should never use a tool just for the sake of using a tool – always make sure the tool fits in with your plan of attack, don’t make your plan of attack fit the tool.

The Best Free SEO Software & Tools

I have highlighted all of the best free SEO tools and trials at the top of this list.

I have also split them all into different categories to help you find the what you need quickly-

Tiered Link Building On A Budget

Using the free SEO tools & software below you can setup, track and monitor a tier link building campaign.

Remember the advice above about getting the most out of any of the trials!

Market Samurai (Full 14 Day Trial) – The keyword research and SEO competition modules of Market Samurai are some of the best in the business and this is solely what I use the software for.

GSA Search Engine Ranker (Full 5 Day Trial) – This has quickly become the swiss army knife of link building targeting over 120 platforms at the time of writing. Perfect for automating your tier 2 and 3 links! See it in action here & this blackhat SEO case study.

Link Emperor ($50 links for $7) – Link Emperor is a great web based service to build backlinks easily including private blog network posts & tiers. It has been featured in this tutorial, this one & this one.

DripRevolution (7 Day Trial) – A great service for building a range of social signals to your site at your schedule. They integrate with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+. YouTube & more! Featured in this tutorial.

SEO Powersuite (Free Version) – Get free versions of RankTracker, Website Auditor, SEO Spyglass and Link Assistant. Each tool is an industry leader in its own right and I have relied on this suite of tools for years. Check out my full SEO Powersuite review.

SENuke XCR (Full 14 Day Trial) – SENuke XCR is a very diverse link building tool and is great for creating tier 1 links. It is quite expensive on a monthly basis though but the full 14 day free trial is great. Check out my SENuke XCR review.

Competitor Analysis

Ahrefs (Free Version) – They have the largest database of backlinks which you can use to conduct audits of your competitors link profiles to steal their best links. You can also use the data to conduct an analysis on your own backlink profile. You can read my case study here to learn more about Ahrefs.

SEMRush (Free Version) – This tool is really unique in the data it provides, even for free! You can learn your/your competitors top keywords, how much traffic they get, who their competitors are in search and much more! Be sure to check it out, you can use it for stealing customers.

WebMeUp (Free Version) – The free account at WebMeUp will let you take a look at the backlink profile of your site or your competitors. It doesn’t have the largest database of links compared to Ahrefs – but it does have a different database that is worth checking out! See how it performed here.

Content Creation

WordAI (3 Day Trial) – These guys are the new kids on the block but claim to be able to automatically spin content without making it sound like garbage. Big claims but the trial is worth it!

TheBestSpinner (Full 7 Day Trial / $7) – It really is the best spinner and I have used it personally for the past few years on a nearly daily basis. The API is used in a lot of other link building tools. Check out my The Best Spinner tutorial to see it in action.

Spin Rewriter (5 Day Trial) – Another piece of spinning software for you to consider. Spin Rewriter has a range of features and comes with a fully functioning 5 day trial.

Spinner Chief (Free Version) – A close rival to TheBestSpinner but it feels clunky in comparison. Either way they have a completely free version of the software for you to enjoy!

Email Marketing

Aweber (Full 30 Day Trial / $1) – I use Aweber right here on this blog and have done so for the past few years across all of my sites. It takes the pain out of email marketing and makes staying in touch with you guys easy!

GetResponse (Full 30 Day Trial) – The rival of Aweber, GetResponse offers a similar feature set. It really is just a matter of personal preference between the two of them!

Hosting

Cloud Flare (Free) – The free Cloud Flare CDN service which help to speed up your sites load time which Google takes into consideration. It also provides added security & protection from bots/spam.

Uptime Robot (Free) – Use this to monitor your websites uptime and get instant notifications if your site goes down for any reason. Use this in combination with the free Pingdom Tools account & monitor.

Keyword Research

Market Samurai (Full 14 Day Trial) – The keyword research and SEO competition modules of Market Samurai are some of the best in the business and this is solely what I use the software for.

Long Tail Pro (Full 10 Day Trial) – A great tool for finding profitable keywords quickly. You can also use the tool to measure the competitiveness of the search results. Featured in this tutorial to find your niche.

Keyword Researcher (Free Trial) – This is great for generating keyword ideas and is fantastic for coming up with Google Alerts to monitor. It doesn’t pull in any search volume numbers though.

Link Building

RankCracker (Free) – My personal free SEO software that is truly 100% free. It will show you the quickest and easiest way to replicate your competitors backlink profile & rankings.

GSA Search Engine Ranker (Full 5 Day Trial) – This has quickly become the Swiss army knife of link building targeting over 120 platforms at the time of writing. Perfect for automating your tier 2 and 3 links! See it in action here & this case study.

Link Emperor ($50 links for $7) – Link Emperor is a great web based service to build backlinks easily including private blog network posts & tiers. It has been featured in this tutorial, this one & this one.

RankWyz (30 Day Trial) – Create & manage private blog networks easily with RankWyz. It offers a full range of tools to help you manage everything and publish updates easily.

Inspyder Backlink Monitor (Free Version) – The ultimate tool for monitoring your backlinks. Very easy to use and will automatically sort out all of your tiers for you. Check out my full review.

SEO SpyGlass (Free Version) – Use this to discover your competitors backlinks and breakdown key metrics such as anchor text usage. You can also use it to monitor your own sites backlink profile. Part of this review.

Link Assistant (Free Version) – This is part of the SEO Powersuite set of tools and is great for prospecting link partners. However I have hacked it a bit and use it to manage my guest posting strategy.

SENuke XCR (Full 14 Day Trial) – SENuke XCR is a very diverse link building tool and is great for creating tier 1 links. It is quite expensive on a monthly basis though but the full 14 day free trial is great. Check out my SENuke XCR review.

Magic Submitter (Full 30 Day Trial / $4.95) – This is really the main rival to SENuke XCR and offers very similar features. It can post everything from videos to press releases and is very diverse. However the user interface is a bit tricky to get to grips with at first.

On Site SEO

Raven Tools (30 Day Trial) – Providing a full suite of tools the SEO module will spider your site & provide a detailed audit of problems. It has a range of features across SEO, social, content, PPC & more.

Website Auditor (Free Version) – Part of SEO Powersuite, you can use Website Auditor to spider your site and report any issues it finds. Part of this review.

Xenu Link Sleuth (Free) – A simple easy to use tool to spider your entire website and uncover potential problems like broken links. This is a great free tool!

Microsoft SEO Toolkit (Free) – Finally Microsoft have made a useful product! The free SEO tools will spider your site and report back on any issues.

Pingdom Tools (Free) – Test your sites speed from 3 locations with Pingdom Tools. If you sign up for a free account you can also use it as an uptime monitor.

WebPageTest (Free) – This site is detected to testing your websites load time from a huge choice of browsers & locations from around the world. It provides a huge range of data to help you increase website speed.

Rank Tracking

Rank Tracker (Free Version) – Part of SEO Powersuite this is the best rank tracking solution period. Unlike web based services this desktop application means you own the data and you can track an unlimited amount of keywords as well as your competitors. Part of this review.

SerpBook (14 Day Trial) – Monitor the rankings of all your keywords in the cloud. SerpBook will check the results for you 12 times per day along with other metrics like PR, Alexa rankings & full reports.

CuteRank (free version) – A desktop piece of software that allow you to monitor and check your rankings easily. There is even a version available for Apple Mac users!

SEO Multi Tools

These tools have a wide range of functions and don’t really fit in one category.

Market Samurai (Full 14 Day Trial) – My tool of choice for keyword and competition research but it also includes a rank tracker, domain finder, content finder, content publishing and link finder.

SEO Powersuite (Free Version) – Get free versions of RankTracker, Website Auditor, SEO Spyglass and Link Assistant. Each tool is an industry leader in its own right and I have relied on this suite of tools for years. Check out my full review.

Raven Tools (30 Day Trial) – Providing a full suite of tools the SEO module will spider your site & provide a detailed audit of problems. It has a range of features across SEO, social, content, PPC & more.

SEO Tools For Excel (Free) – A great plugin for Excel that allows you to retrieve a range of SEO data & metrics. It can even hook up to Analytics to create powerful Excel dashboards making it some of the best free SEO software in my opinion.

SEO Spyder (Free version) – Built specifically for Mac users the software will spider your website and come back with a list of errors/suggestions of things for you to fix.

Social Media

BuzzBundle (Free Version) – Made by the same team behind SEO Powersuite, BuzzBundle makes it easier to identify & engage with your target audience online. I have grown traffic to this blog by manually doing a lot of what BuzzBundle can help to automate – read my full review here.

SociSynd ($1 Trial) – Not free, but close enough! The SociSynd system helps you drip feed social signals to any URL’s you want. This includes Facebook likes, Pinterest pins, Twitter shares & more!

DripRevolution (7 Day Trial) – A great service for building a range of social signals to your site at your schedule. They integrate with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+. YouTube & more! Featured in this tutorial.

HootSuite (Free Version) – This is my preferred tool for managing Twitter, Facebook and Google+. You can monitor a number of search terms as well as schedule updates to go out.

TweetDeck (Free Version) – Now owned by Twitter this is a great desktop client to manage your Twitter account.

Buffer (Free) – Connect your social accounts to Buffer and you can easily share/queue/schedule content to be published to them. Whether that’s sharing your new post with the browser extension or clicking a Buffer button on someones site.

TubeTool Box (Free Trial) – A desktop application to manage your YouTube account. You can do things like bulk follow/comment/message people to grow your audience & reach on YouTube. It is great to help you get YouTube subscribers.

WordPress

SumoMe (Free) – This suite of growth hacking tools helps increase traffic, email sign ups, conversions and much more. Take a look at my SumoMe Welcome Mat review for more.

Social Locker (Free Version) – This is the Social Locker I use on the blog to encourage social sharing. While I run the premium version you can get the free version right here!

WP Social SEO Pro (Free Version) – Previously known as Social SEO Booster I use the premium version on this which was featured in this post. There is a free version available here.

S2 Member (Free Version) – A very powerful membership plugin for WordPress, S2 Member is easy to use and was featured in this tutorial. The free version is feature rich!

WPRobot (Free Version) – This is widely regarded as the best auto blogging solution for WordPress. It can pull content from a ridiculous number of sources and when setup correctly can produce some high quality auto blogs. Perfect for tier 1 links 😉

Thirsty Affiliates (Free) – The tool I use to cloak and manage all of my affiliate links on the blog. Easy to use with stats and you can auto replace text with links.

Did I Miss Any Free SEO Tools?

If there are any free SEO tools or trials that I’ve missed then please let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to the post!

Don’t forget to use my tips at the start of the post to make sure you take full advantage of all of the best free SEO software.

The Best Free SEO Tools To Super Charge Your Search Rankings was originally published on Matthew Woodward

What Google Says About Email Outreach Campaign Deliverability

What Google Says About Email Outreach Campaign Deliverability

The Internet is flooded with articles covering every topic related to email deliverability. Many of these are quite valuable, but for marketing outreach professionals, the problem with this information is two-fold:

  1. Most of these articles are focused on traditional email marketing, rather than the outreach that’s typical of PR, link building and influencer marketing.
  2. These posts typically dive into the details without providing an overarching set of principles to consider when thinking about deliverability.

An exception to this is a recent podcast interview of Mark Risher. on the Converge Podcast. If you’re running media or blogger outreach campaigns, you can learn much of what you need to know from a 90 second segment of this interview. 

Risher, Google’s director of product management responsible for preventing unwanted emails, was interviewed by Casey Newton. The interview covered a a broad range of topics, but in the middle of the podcast they specifically spoke about deliverability as it relates to PR and blogger outreach campaigns.

What I found so valuable about this discussion was that, rather than dancing around the specific factors that may or may not be part of Google’s spam detection efforts, Risher explained their guiding principles for fighting “commercial annoyance and abuse” emails.

What also jumped out at me as I listened was the fact these guiding principles are the same ones that our most successful customers employ in their campaigns (as measured by open rates and coverage/placement rates). 

Transcript of the Interview

Here’s a lightly edited transcript of the relevant parts of the interview. If you want to listen to the actual podcast, this discussion starts at around the 33 minute mark.

CASEY NEWTON: Sometimes when someone sends me a marketing email and I hate that email, …I report that as spam. Is that bad?

 

MARK RISHER: Absolutely not, it’s good. Reporting things as spam is the best signal you can give to us. We are processing literally millions and millions of messages every second, and so it’s very important to us to get these signals from you if we might have gotten something wrong. In part because, even though each email might be customized, they’re not a single point. There’s a campaign that’s going on, and the earlier that someone lets us know about it, the faster our systems, and our people, can respond to it and take action on it.

 

CASEY NEWTON: Right. I’m speaking particularly of the case where somebody wants me to write about something and, for some reason, instead of sending me one email, they subscribe me to their mailing list. So, it’s not spam in the sense that they’re sending it to ten million people, but I consider it spam in the sense that I don’t like it.

 

MARK RISHER:  We use that information as the strongest signal. So, for staying in spam in the commercial, kind of annoyance and abuse area, the strongest and almost only signal we care about is whether users want to receive this email or not. We’re not making a value judgment over whether it’s a good newsletter. We’re saying “10 out of 15 recipients said they don’t want to get this thing, so we’re going to take a heavy look at it.”

Breakdown of the Interview

There are only fourteen sentences in this exchange, but if you look at each of Risher’s comments, there’s a lot packed in.  🙂  Let’s look at some of Risher’s comments individually so that we understand their full meaning and the implications to outreach professionals.

Google evaluates campaign emails holistically

….even though each email might be customized, they’re not a single point. There’s a campaign that’s going on, and the earlier that someone lets us know about it, the faster our systems, and our people, can respond to it and take action on it. 

and:

“We’re not making a value judgment over whether it’s a good newsletter. We’re saying “10 out of 15 recipients said they don’t want to get this thing, so we’re going to take a heavy look at it.” 

There are two key messages in these quotes.

First, even if the overall deliverability for your domain and email address is good, it doesn’t necessarily mean the deliverability of a specific campaign will be good. While there are a set of “signals” that impact your overall “sender score” (and it’s important to understand these), Google also makes deliverability decisions at the campaign level.  Through a mix of algorithmic methods and manual interventions, Google tries to identify emails that are part of a campaign holistically and then makes deliverability decision on them together.  

Second, people often think that they can avoid campaign deliverability issues by simply making some low-bar effort to personalize each email. This alone is unlikely to help your emails make it to the inbox. Just because your email includes a reference to a blogger’s website or the name of a post they’ve written in the past doesn’t increase the chances they’ll ever see your email. Again, because Google is making efforts to recognize that these emails are all part of a single list, they evaluate performance at the campaign level.

What this means for you

Over the past year, we’ve seen an increased effort by Google and other mail providers to identify emails that are part of a campaign.

When someone tries to blast a list without qualifying the recipients, increasingly we’ll see the initial emails go through, but shortly after, the sender receives an email saying that the emails are temporarily blocked. In most cases, the remaining emails are never successfully delivered.

While some have found ways to “beat the spam defenses,” we believe this is a short-term play. Bet on Google, Microsoft and other mail providers getting better and better at this over time.

Google’s Guiding Principle for Evaluating Outreach Campaign Emails

So, for staying in spam in the commercial, kind of annoyance and abuse area, the strongest and almost only signal we care about is whether users want to receive this or not.

So, there you have Google’s guiding principle in black and white. If you look at nearly every individual “signal” that gets included in discussions about campaign deliverability (engagement levels, spam complaints, subject lines, etc) nearly all of them tie back to this.

What this means for you

At every stage of a campaign, ask yourself the following question:

 “Is this an email the recipient will want to receive?”

It’s worth noting that, in addition to ensuring that your emails make it to the inbox, this will also have a dramatic impact on conversion rates (as measured by open rates and coverage/placement rates). When we talk to our most successful customers about their approach to campaigns, they almost always talk about the importance of this, particularly at three stages of a campaign:

Segmentation

We often see outreach professionals try to expand the size of their outreach lists by reaching out to multiple verticals as part of a single campaign. This can be a really effective strategy, as long as you’re able to make a very strong case that the additional segments will be interested in your offer. Where we see people get in trouble though is when they expand their outreach to verticals that are only marginally related to their offer.

For example, if you’re promoting a campaign about drone technology, you’re likely to get yourself in trouble if you reach out to everyone in the technology beat…the blogger that writes exclusively about cloud computing isn’t likely to be too thrilled about your “new drone technology” pitch.

Prospecting

Gisele Navarro of NeoMam Studios, one of the most respected outreach professionals in the industry, has said that she only emails someone if she’s 90% confident that they’ll share her confident. This seems a bit too selective, in my view, but I think the sentiment is spot on. After evaluating the journalist’s or blogger’s content, you should have a very high level of confidence that they’re going to be interested in learning more about the thing you’re pitching.

Personalization

What specifically does this person care about and what specifically do they need in order to cover you?  Ideally, each email you send will have been personalized to take each recipient’s interests into account. At a minimum though, you should be sending to a list that has provided some information that demonstrate a clear interest in the topic your pitching.

Final Thoughts

Often when people talk about deliverability, the discussion of the risks creates a fear of sending any emails that might possibly be flagged as spam. In my view, this is an unnecessarily high bar. It’s important to remember that this is all a matter of degrees.

If you’re sending a campaign that has almost no engagement and is getting marked as spam by multiple people, your risk is high. On the other hand, if you’re getting lots of opens and replies to your outreach, but a very small percentage of your emails are marked as spam, your risk is quite low.

To sum up: as long as you follow the “email the recipient will want to receive” principle, you’ll be fine.

*Thanks to John-Henry Scherck for bringing this interview to my attention.

 

The post What Google Says About Email Outreach Campaign Deliverability appeared first on BuzzStream.

47 Experts Rank Best SEO Audit Tools for 2018 (with Category Leaderboards)

47 Experts Rank Best SEO Audit Tools for 2018 (with Category Leaderboards)

What are the best SEO audit tools?

Ask Google, and you’ll get 9.5M results:

Google SERP snapshot showing the number of people searching for best seo audit tools

You’ll see loads of posts listing dozens of different tools. And, while some are comprehensive, they usually aren’t organized in a way that allows you to quickly identify which tools are best for different parts of the SEO audit process.

See:

A successful SEO audit can be broken down into 4 core areas:

  1. Technical
  2. On-Page
  3. Off-Page
  4. Competitor Analysis

So, how do you wade through the countless tools out there and find a stack that allows you to identify weaknesses AND opportunities across each phase in the audit process?

Rather than tell you what I think, I decided to reach out to 47 SEO practitioners and ask the following question:

Which tools do you rely on most to conduct SEO audits for your business and/or clients?

People listed the most important tools across each of the four audit phases mentioned above. The votes were tallied and used to create the category leaderboards you see below.

These folks are in the trenches every day performing small, medium, and large scale SEO audits for clients across a wide range of industries.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a single tool to assist with a specific part of the audit process, or if you need to assemble an entire toolset from scratch — this post will give you a shortlist of battle-tested options to look at.

Below I have included some jump links to quickly navigate to the different site audit categories:

  1. Top Voted Audit Tools (Overall)
  2. Technical SEO Audit Tools Leaderboard
  3. On-Page SEO Audit Tools Leaderboard
  4. Off-Page SEO Audit Tools Leaderboard
  5. Competitor Analysis Tools Leaderboard
  6. Expert Responses

Disclosure: There are some affiliate links in this article. If you decide to purchase a tool through one of those affiliate links, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

Ok:

Let’s dive in…

Best Tools for SEO Audits (Overall Leaderboard)

Ahrefs was the overall winner, with ScreamingFrog and SEMrush in a close second.

Here’s a list of the top 10 SEO audit tools by total vote count across each of the categories:

  1. Ahrefs (53 votes) [Review // 7 Day Trial]
  2. ScreamingFrog and SEMrush (47 votes) [Review // 30 Day Trial]
  3. Google Search Console (28 votes)
  4. Majestic (14 votes)
  5. DeepCrawl and Moz (12 votes)
  6. Sitebulb (9 votes)
  7. GTMetrix (8 votes)
  8. Google Analytics (6 votes)
  9. Google Pagespeed Insights, Mozbar and Raven Tools (5 votes)
  10. Buzzsumo and Google Lighthouse (4 votes)

Now, let’s take a look across each of the audit categories…

Best Tools for Technical SEO Audits

Technical SEO audit tools feature image

#1: ScreamingFrog SEO Spider (30 votes)
#2: Google Search Console (25 votes)

Screaming Frog SEO Spider is the clear winner in this category. The tool has been around for almost a decade. It can be configured to give a wealth of technical and on-page SEO data for sites of any size.

Coming in a close second is Google Search Console. The tool provides a ton of data, including technical SEO insights about crawl and indexability issues.

Here are 5 ways the experts use Screaming Frog for technical SEO audits:

  • Get comprehensive data on HTTP status, find duplicate content, identify broken links, 404s, redirect errors, and issues with blocked resources.
  • Map internal link structure to optimize your sitemap and identify deep linking opportunities.
  • Use the Log File Analyzer to see the most/least crawled pages on your site, including crawls from bots.
  • Identify large image files and drive down site loading times.
  • During the site migration process, check whether or not old URLs are being redirected by re-crawling the site in ‘List’ mode to check status codes.

Bonus resource: This fantastic guide from SEER Interactive shows you how to use ScreamingFrog to identify a laundry list of technical SEO issues and opportunities.

Best Tools for On-Page SEO Audits

On-Page SEO Audit Tools Feature Image

#1: Screaming Frog SEO Spider (16 votes)
#2: SEMrush (11 votes)

ScreamingFrog tops the list again, and for good reason. The tool makes it incredibly easy to pull data on almost every on-page SEO element you can think of – titles, headings, duplicate content, meta descriptions, site speed, UX, content length, broken links, file sizes and more – in a matter of minutes, for sites of any size.

SEMrush made some serious strides this year with the launch of its new On-Page SEO Checker. The tool provides a wide range of practical suggestions for improving different on-page elements, including the usual meta tags, as well as body copy, relevancy, duplicate content and a lot more.

Here are 5 ways the experts use Screaming Frog for on-page SEO audits:

  • Identify and optimize different metadata – titles, headings, descriptions.
  • Supplement server logs — double check suspect URLs flagged in log files.
  • Ecommerce site structure – use the page depth tool to find category and product pages buried too many levels down in the site structure.
  • Identify thin content and page load issues.
  • Find internal and external broken page links that could hurt UX.

Bonus resource: Check out this 19-step checklist (and automation template) to learn how to optimize any site’s on-page SEO.

Best Tools for Off-Page SEO Audits

Off-Page SEO Audit Tools Feature Image
#1: Ahrefs (25 votes)
#2 SEMrush (10 votes)

Ahrefs is the clear winner in this category. The tool’s massive 12 trillion link index, content explorer and newly added site audit tool make it a formidable opponent.

Here are 5 ways the experts use Ahrefs for off-page SEO audits:

  • Domain vs. domain backlink data and social media comparisons.
  • Reverse-engineer competitor link building strategies.
  • Scrape competitor link profiles to find product review sites to target for PR outreach.
  • Perform content gap analysis to find all the keywordscompetitors are ranking for, but you are not.
  • Monitor new backlinks and media mentions.

Bonus resource: Check out this guide that walks you step-by-step through 50+ practical applications of the entire Ahrefs toolset.

Best Tools for Competitor Analysis

Competitor Analysis Feature Image

#1. SEMrush (19 votes)
#2. Ahrefs (17 votes)

SEMrush consistently ranks as the top tool for competitor analysis. This time beating Ahrefs to the #1 spot with features like its new competitor discovery, keyword analysis, SERP tracking.

Here are 5 ways the experts use SEMRush to outsmart the competition:

  • Monitor organic visibility and keyword rankings changes across multiple domains and device types.
  • Identify pages driving the most organic traffic to competitor websites.
  • Analyze keyword metrics and estimated search volume across 115+ different countries.
  • Use the Keyword Gap Analysis tool to find keywords competitors rank for, but you don’t.
  • Analyzing competitor performance across both the Google and Bing search engines.

Bonus resource: Check out this guide that walks you step-by-step through 34 practical applications of the entire SEMrush toolset.

47 Experts Reveal Best SEO Audit Tools for 2018
(By Category)

Ok:

That’s a quick recap of the top SEO audit tools (and common use cases) in each category. Now it’s time to dive deeper and find out how the experts are using the different tools to run site audits for their business and clients.

 

Luke Sousa

Gustin Quon | SEO Manager

1) Technical: We combine data from Screaming Frog & Search Console to quickly find pages with indexation and accessibility issues.

2) On-Page: Screaming Frog & Google sheets is a lifesaver. We also make extensive use of tools such as GTMetrix to check speed issues, Siteliner for internal duplicate content, Copyscape for external duplicate content, Google’s structured data testing tool to ensure an error free use of Schema, and the SEMrush Site Audit Tool after all is said and done to clean up any loose ends.

3) Off-Page: Majestic is invaluable for finding competitor link opportunities. We also use Whitespark to find valuable citation opportunities for local businesses.

4) Competitor Analysis: Using the “related:” search operator in Google while having the Moz bar activated is a quick & dirty way to identify a client’s competition, and get an idea of each competitor’s domain and page strength.

Dropping the URLs into Majestic will help us quickly find new link building opportunities. After that a gap analysis using SEMrush can help quickly identify keywords our competitors are using to get traffic, but we are not targeting yet.

Rich Missey

Cars.com | Enterprise SEO Senior Manager
Technical:
DeepCrawl is undeniably the best technical crawler I’ve used. There’s a level of detail available in exports and through the interface that – while they may be available in other crawlers – aren’t anywhere near as easy to access, use, and share. DeepCrawl doesn’t just find the issues, it helps us also share insights with relevant team members.ScreamingFrog is one of the standard tools for any SEO’s arsenal. There’s a lot of guides available to showcase how to use its advanced features, which can uncover incredible opportunities.Sitebulb is newer, and I haven’t had a chance to dive in as much as I’d like, but it’s worth a mention. The Crawl Map feature is VERY interesting.Google Search Console – annoying in its limitations and restrictions, but difficult to turn away information from the primary traffic driver.

On-Page:
Google Lighthouse, because mobile friendly insights and recommendations are a must.ScreamingFrog is useful for identifying data points that can be self analyzed later. Custom extractions make these even more interesting.

Sitebulb has the basic crawl-based recommendations on duplicate/missing elements, broken link checks, and other hints.

Ghostery is fantastic for showing the impact all those tracking pixels have on a site,
XPather is extremely useful if you know XPath, and LinkRedirectTrace does an excellent job showing redirect hops.

Off-Page:
Ahrefs is the best at showing offsite profile information in an easily consumable format.

Majestic is the best if you want raw, bulk exports of link data to run your own analysis.

LinkResearchTools is the priciest option, but if you’re looking for power tools, it is hands-down the most powerful link analysis tool on the market.

Competitor Analysis:
SEMrush takes first place in competitive analysis. Trending their data can be obnoxious if you’re looking at daily numbers, but at monthly views, it does the best job visualizing how sites fare against one another.

The competitive insights and gap analysis tools can take some poking and prodding to get what you want, but when it works, its great!

 

Gabriella Sannino

Level343 | Managing Partner

We’re pretty big on SEMrush, MOZ and Majestic.

One of the things that is huge for MOZ is the local SEO research. I love being able to see where a client or competitor stands in terms of social citations and accounts.

For clients, this gives actionable data: places that haven’t been capitalized on yet, or perhaps could use a bit more beefing up. Of course there’s more, but as someone who rides social media all the time, this is a big plus for me.

SEMrush has an awesome and in depth technical crawl. So does MOZ, of course, but I don’t see as many false positives with SEMrush that I see with MOZ.

And MajesticSEO, well, it doesn’t really need an introduction, does it? Being able to look into my clients’ and competitors’ link profile is priceless. Again, actionable data – it’s easy to pinpoint areas that need more TLC.

There are others. For instance, we always start out by just looking over the site as a user might. Computers are all well and good, but the human eye may catch something the computer missed, because it has to do with UI.

Sam McRoberts

Technical:
I use a variety of tools, but my main go-to tools for technical SEO are Screaming Frog and Sitebulb, which do similar things (crawling and extracting data) but present the findings in very different ways.

On-page:
The above tools also play a key role, but I also throw SEMrush into the mix as they have an excellent page analysis tool.

I also like to do on-page analysis the old fashioned way, sans tools, just looking at the page and the code to see what I can spot that tools don’t always catch (I find a LOT of stuff this way that doesn’t show in the tools).

Off-page:
I use SEMrush as well as Ahrefs, Majestic and Moz (they all have a lot of overlap, but the different link indices tend to catch different things).

And of course, last but not least, Google Search Console provides insight right from the horse’s mouth across all of these areas.

There are other tools I use for different pieces of the puzzle (like Pingdom or GTmetrix for site speed, BuiltWith for analyzing site technology stacks, etc.), but these are the main ones.

Sean Si

SEO Hacker | Digital Marketing Consultant

Technical:
One of the tools we immediately go to whenever there are problems with our client’s site’s accessibility or indexation is Google Webmaster Tools or Google Search Console. This is, for me, the top tool to use with regards to a site’s SEO capabilities.

On-Page:
While there are a lot of tools out there, nothing can beat old-fashioned manual checking of the page. Tasks like checking and optimizing a page’s URL slug, keyword placement and density, internal linking, call-to-actions, etc. .

Off-Page:
We use Ahrefs and CognitiveSEO. Ahrefs’ massive database and its features dedicated to link building is top quality and most of our off-page SEO efforts start with Ahrefs.

Competitor Analysis:
SEMrush is the only tool we go to competitive analysis. This tool’s Keyword Gap feature enables us to compare a client’s site with its competitors and check what keywords they are ranking for.

Joe Williams

Learn SEO Fast | Founder and SEO Trainer

 

Technical:
Screaming Frog SEO Spider: its uses are so varied, from identifying technical issues, like incorrect canonical tag implementation, to helping improve site structure, through reviewing page depth of key landing pages.Google Search Console: it’s become increasingly useful through its new Index Coverage reporting.Finally, a way to quickly find which pages are indexed, which are not and which are simply being ignored!

On-Page:Chrome DevTools: if I need to quickly check the HTML structure of an on-page element, I can do this in one click.

Seoptimer: it extracts the important on-page elements from the source code in one go, which can be a real time saver.

Off-Page:Ahrefs: It’s probably the most complete tool for off-page opportunities. When starting a new off-page SEO project, I head straight over to the Link Intersect tool. It helps find high-value backlinks common in a group of competitors (but not the site I am researching), which are often easy to replicate.

Majestic: While I mainly rely on Ahrefs for off-page analysis, Majestic has an impressive database of backlinks and is handy when you need to stretch deeper into the backlink profile of a website.

Competitor Analysis:SEMrush: with historical keyword volumes and rankings at your finder-tips, SEMrush makes it easy to research up-and-coming competitors as well as the more established ones.

Ahrefs: with reliable backlink metrics for off-page benchmarking and an impressive backlink database, it is now also competing with Buzzsumo and SEMrush for content and keyword competitor research.

Emily Yost

SuperScript Marketing | SEO Influencer and Marketing Specialist

1. ScreamingFrog & GSC – Use SF to identify HTTP status errors, canonical errors, meta robots errors, & response time for initial audit. Then crosscheck with GSC to monitor/maintain.

2. GTmetrix & Chrome DevTools for on-page technical issues. Great for uncovering site speed issues and opportunities.

3. Ahrefs – Set up alerts for unlinked brand mentions, broken backlinks, and new backlinks. Also a good tool to mine influencer outreach opportunities.

4. Ahrefs Content Gap tool  to see what keywords your competitors are ranking for that your client is not, on both a domain and page level.

Justin McKinney

Wpromote | Senior SEO Manager

1. Technical: Screaming Frog, Google Search Console, Ahrefs Site Audit tool.
2. On-Page: Screaming Frog.
3. Off-Page: Ahrefs Site Explorer.
4. Competitor Analysis: Ahrefs Content and Site Explorer, Brightedge Datacube.

Screaming Frog is valuable because it provides you with tons of information in a single place. With this one tool you can analyze your metadata, internal linking, image sizes, and much more.

Google Search Console has a lot of useful functions, but for auditing purposes I use the Fetch & Render tool to ensure webpages are being rendered properly on both desktop and mobile devices.

Ahrefs is an amazing platform that keeps getting better. The site audit tool provides you with similar information to Screaming Frog, and you can setup reoccurring crawls to analyze performance and improvement over time.

It’s also the go-to tool for off-page analysis, whether you’re doing backlink reclamation, unlinked mentions, broken backlink building, etc.

Brightedge is a premium SEO and content marketing platform, but if you have access to it, the Datacube is an amazing tool. You can use it to analyze every keyword any domain is ranking for, and then apply dozens of filters to get to the information you want.

Trying to find what Quick Answers your competitors are ranking for? Trying to see what keywords you rank for on Page 1, but not in the top 3? The Datacube can tell you.

Dave Michaels

Sage Groove | Marketing Communications Consultant

Technical:
I’m most concerned with 3 areas: indexing/crawl issues, speed, and mobile-friendliness. Google’s tools – Search Console and PageSpeed Insights – do a great job at identifying any issues to fix.

On-page:
A checklist/visual inspection based on core marketing/SEO principles will go a long way and potentially spot something a tool won’t.

Are the priorities/objectives reflected in the menus, items above the fold, and calls to action, etc.? Will the design/UX drive engagement or will people bounce?

Of course, SEMrush does a good job of filling in any on-page issues including keyword ranking/visibility.

Off-page:
Ahrefs is my go-to tool for off-page SEO audit. It’s great for spotting gaps and opportunities based on your keyword/content priorities. It’s also good for reverse engineering backlink techniques and sources based on what’s already ranking.

Competitive Analysis:
SEMrush is again my go-to tool for comparing competitor performance side-by-side. For off-page, I’m still using Ahrefs.

Ady Berry

CTI Digital | Search SEO Consultant

(1) Technical. Google Search Console is the best tool for checking accessibility and indexation issues.

I also use Screaming Frog’s Log File Analysis tool – this is a great tool for identifying issues such as – exactly which urls have been crawled by bots recently, urls with session ID’s, faceted navigation, infinite spaces or duplicate (non canonical urls), most and least crawled urls, as well as which sections of the site are being crawled more often than others.

I also use log file analysis to identify the date and time when bots enter in order to advise clients planning new content publication.

(2) On-page weaknesses. Screaming Frog is my go-to tool for auditing a site’s on-page performance. It pulls all the info I need for an on-page audit and when tied in with Google Analytics it can give you a great overview of individual page performance.

SEMrush’s On Page SEO checker is also a great starting point for auditing large numbers of pages within a site. It gives you lots of top level technical ideas.

Neil Patel’s SEO analyzer is a great free on page analyzing tool with some great graphics for load times, requests etc. and a general prioritisation of action items.

Google’s PageSpeed Insights still has some value but only for larger traffic sites – as the real world performance data doesn’t show any page speed scores for low traffic sites.

Google’s Lighthouse tool in Chrome is ok as a technical on page checker highlighting any performance issues with a site.

(3) Off-page opportunities. Majestic is my go-to tool for link analysis. It gives me plenty of links to work through and I find the trust flow metric great for working out how topically relevant current backlinks to a site really are.

I combined the links from Majestic with Search Console and SEMrush and use Google Docs to merge all of the backlinks and analyse them using pivot tables.

(4) Perform competitor analysis. SEMrush is perfect for competitor analysis. It allows me to identify the real competition for our clients in terms of both rankings, as well as on and off-page factors. It also allows me to track performance vs. clients.

Andy Halliday

Onpage Rock | Data Geek & Technical Audit Specialist

The SEO audit tools I rely on most:

Technical:

Screaming Frog and Deepcrawl for crawling to find errors and issues across the website.

Depending on the size of the site, I’ll use a combination of both – Screaming Frog helps a bit with Server Log analysis as we can upload a list of URL and see the current response codes.

Deepcrawl is great for automating and comparing the differences in reports. This is great if you have ongoing clients to see what has been fixed and any new areas.

Screaming Frog is great as there isn’t many limitations, the main one being your machine, but it means you can crawl a large number of websites.

Indexations / Technical issues:

The other main tool is an internal tool for auditing server logs – this is a area where most people don’t consider important but its crucial for understanding what Googlebot / Google mobile bot is doing on your site.

The logs holds so much valuable information and can make the difference between doing a good technical audit and a great technical audit.

I have a motto:

“You wouldn’t build a million dollar house on quicksand, so don’t build a million dollar website on poor foundations” sorting out the technical is all about sorting the foundations.

On-page:

Again, I have some internal reports which I am about to make public like I did with my Screaming Frog report – but it uses a combination of paid data and SEO data to identify keyword opportunities. It’s a cool reports, and should be live in the next week or so.

Brian Jackson

Kinsta | Chief Marketing Officer

1. Ahrefs is my go to tool when it comes to competitor analysis. Plug in any competitor’s site and you can instantly see what they are ranking for. Instantly put your site head to head with anyone else. Usually improvements or problems, such as perhaps you need better content, are pretty easy to spot.

I also have been using Ahref’s new audit tool for on-page SEO improvements (spotting weaknesses) and it works quite well! Glad to see they added this feature.

Find duplicate meta descriptions, fix title tags, too many H1s on a page (you one need one) redirect errors, social OG tags missing, bad hreflang tags, etc. One-click scan your site and you’re almost guaranteed to find some pages you can easily improve upon.

And of course, I also rely on Ahrefs for it’s backlink data. In my opinion they have the best database in the industry.

2. AccuRanker: As long as Google uses an algorithm it’s still going to be using keywords and search queries to determine where and what to deliver to people in SERPs. One of the easiest ways to monitor your keyword rankings is by using AccuRanker.

You can publish content and see where you stand against everyone else. On the second page? Then you know you need to improve your content or build some more link juice.

Monitor your updates and watch your keyword move up in SERPs. In most cases, the higher you are in SERPs, the more traffic you get, which results in more conversions.

3. Google Search Console is probably one of the more underutilized tools. Which is a pity because it’s completely free. You can easily see changes in your total clicks, impressions, average CTR, and average position.

The new Google Search Console now includes 16+ months worth of data. So you can easily go way back in time to pinpoint dips and gains.

Google Search Console is probably one of the easiest ways to pinpoint indexing issues.

Adam Rowles

1. Screaming Frog – This is our ideal tool for accessibility/indexation issues. We use to it scrap current on-page elements and test redirects.
2. Semrush – This tool helps us keep up-to-date with technical errors & issues that might arise on-page due to development or content changes.
3. Ahrefs – The perfect tool for backlink audits.
4. Google Page Speed / GT Metrics – Checking site speed. Also, I do manually check websites for above the fold load time.
5. Panguin SEO Tool – Check for any Google penalties

Tyler Tafelsky

Captivate Search Marekting | Senior SEO Specialist

(1) Screaming Frog is my favorite tool for technical analysis. It’s a steadfast platform for breaking down the fundamentals of a site’s accessibility, indexation, and pinpointing technical issues.

(2) Lately, the Moz Toolbar has been my favorite tool for troubleshooting on-page weaknesses. It makes it very easy to find problem areas without having to dig into the code too much.

(3) Ahrefs remains to be my favorite off-page optimization tool. It’s robust, intuitive, and insightful.

(4) In addition to Ahrefs, I prefer SEMrush for competitor analysis. Using these tools in conjunction can help reveal a lot of information and spawn creative ideas.

Michael Salvo

Whitecap SEO | Chief SEO Strategist

As a specialized SEO agency for e-commerce brands, we have found the following tools the most helpful in conducting SEO site audits for our e-commerce clients:

(1) Google Search Console: For accessibility and indexing issues, the solutions are a mix of obviously simple and more nuanced. Either way we start with Search Console to see what alerts Google has provided and most importantly, match up the timeline of indexing issues to development changes.

(2) Screaming Frog: As our focus is e-commerce, Screaming Frog is great for finding product categories that are too broad with pages buried levels deep within a site by using the page depth tool and we also manually analyze page titles and content in Excel exports.

(3) Ahrefs: Product and brand reviews are critical for our e-commerce clients and Ahrefs is a tool we use to find opportunities whether via targeted content searches or competitor backlink profiles.

(4) SEMrush: We’re able to build a large keyword set from competitors and manually refine to our clients’ product lineup and content needs.

Stephen Barringer

InventHelp | Digital Brand Manager

Through Google Search Console you can easily see which pages Google has indexed and if there are any crawling errors. It helps indentify a lot of the technical and indexation issues, if your structured data is set up correctly, mobile issues and more.

SEMrush is a great tool to see on-page weaknesses and missed opportunities.

Ahrefs: Some similar features to SEMrush, but the backlink analysis is a lot more in-depth especially when it comes to comparing profiles with competing sites.

Google PageSpeed Insights: There are many site speed tools available with Google PageSpeed Insights being one of the better options. It’s extremely important to test and fix site speed issues now since it can have a big impact on rankings and conversions.

Cross Browser Testing: I’m currently using Cross Browsing Testing to identify technical issues. With the amount of devices and browsers out there today, it’s important to test your site to make sure it’s working properly on each one.

Annalisa Hilliard

Pole Position Marketing | Search Engine Optimization Specialist

1 – Screaming Frog, SEMrush, SEOquake browser extension, SEO Site Tools browser extension, Lighthouse browser extension, BuiltWith Technology Profiler browser extension, Google Analytics, Google Search Console

2 – Screaming Frog, SEMrush, Show Document Metadata browser extension, Lighthouse browser extension, GTMetrix, Varvy, Google Analytics, Google Search Console

3 – Moz Open Site Explorer, SEMrush

4 – SEMrush, Moz Open Site Explorer, John Reinesch’s SEO Competitor Analysis Template.

Thomas Demers

Measured SEM | Co-Founder

I use a few different tools for SEO audits:

1) Deep Crawl – I typically start here, particularly for larger sites, and work through the reports and “issues”
2) Screaming Frog – I really like specific things like SF’s redirect chain reports, looking for specific HTML elements, etc.
3) Site Bulb – This is great for diagnosing specific javascript related issues, as well as visualizing a site’s information architecture.For competitive research I primarily use Ahrefs to look at keyword data, and major publications in the niche.

Adam Chronister

Enleaf | Director of Digital Marketing

(1) Technical – accessibility/indexation etc – issues;

We use a combination of SEMrush, Screaming Frog and Google Search Console. I also highly recommend that DIY Site Audit Template developed by Annie Cushing for those who want a great resource to take their SEO audit game to the next level.

(2) On-page weaknesses;

For day to day on-page observations we utilize the MozBar and look at things like page authority, meta data structure, markup etc.

If we need to go deeper we will stack on other tools such as the WAVE Web Accessibility Tool and the Web Developer and Page Analytics browser plugins to identify more opportunities to create a fully optimized on-site presence.

(3) Off-page opportunities;

For uncovering off-page opportunities we use a wide range of tools depending on the client and audience. Some of the tools in our inventory include SEMrush, Ahrefs, and ScrapeBox.

(4) Perform competitor analysis.

One of my favorite SEO strategies as of late involves using SEMrush and BuzzSumo to gain insights into a competitor’s top performing blog post. For those interested in the process, we have a step by step guide on our blog.

Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell | SEO Trainer and Consultant

I personally use 3 auditing tools as some tools are better in certain areas than others, while some I use purely to cross-reference.

When starting a website audit I tend to use SEMrush’s audit tool. It’s a solid tool that will flag most on-page issues, whether its a redirect loop, broken links, missing meta data or some other problem with your website.

I also use Screaming Frog as it pretty much covers everything. However, I wouldn’t show a client data from Screaming Frog as its too technical for most. But, the tool itself does a great job and helps me with pretty much every issue you can get with a website.

Deepcrawl is a tool you would use for much larger sites. It provides a clean reporting dashboard you can share with clients, and it integrates with other third party tools.

Danielle Zeigler

Danielle Zeigler LLC | Business Owner

When compiling SEO audits for clients, I use a mix of tools to build a custom report.

The following are my favorites:

1 & 2) For both the technical aspects and on-page weaknesses, I use Ahrefs and Raven Tools the most. Ahrefs is by far my favorite tool, but I prefer the way Raven Tools displays some of the on-page issues.

3) For off-page optimization opportunities I use Moz Local, Google, and/or Ahrefs depending on the type of business. Digging into the actual reviews on Google My Business listings can be helpful for brainstorming content ideas, as well as looking for competitor weaknesses.

4) I use a mix of tools for competitor analysis. Once I start digging around with the usual tools, I get ideas for where else to look. Running a URL through Ahrefs is always a good starting point, though!

Andy Drinkwater

iQ SEO Ltd | SEO Consultant

I use a lot of tools when auditing a website, but I do have a few that I use for specific tasks.

For technical indexation, I use Sitebulb. This tool gives me a great feature unavailable in others that allows me to visualise how a site is structured. Rather than trying to map out a site from a spreadsheet, this shows you exactly what you need to know in a fraction of the time. I also use Screaming Frog to help me look at pages in isolation.

For backlinks, it has to be Ahrefs. The dataset is probably the best in the market and it has some very clever tricks up its sleeve to help you find which are your most popular pages. This feature helps me decide which pages to use when creating a strong internal linking structure.

For on-page, I use a mix of SEMrush, Screaming Frog, OnCrawl and Deep Crawl. Each one gives me something additional to the others I use. These also give me technical input as well.

It is impossible to conduct a thorough SEO audit without using a mix of tools. No one tool gives you everything you need.

 

Chris Dreyer

Rankings.io | Founder & CEO

(1) Technical – accessibility/indexation etc – issues;

Google Search Console – The new Google Search Console provides a very in-depth look at index issues. It also offers the ability to fix and test indexability issues within the console.

In addition, we can see crawl errors, test robots files, get a detailed look at the sitemap, and check for any potential manual penalties. Analyzing a site in Google Search Console is often the first step in diagnosing any issues.

(2) On-page weaknesses;

Screaming Frog – We use Screaming Frog to get a sitewide look at the most important aspects of on-site optimization, including: page titles, headings, meta descriptions, permalinks and alt text. It also offers the ability to sort and dissect other on-site elements (as well as many technical ones). For instance, we can quickly see which pages are utilizing schema, if there are any duplicate pages, or analyze the sites internal linking structure.

(3) Off-page opportunities;

Ninja Outreach – In addition to using Ahrefs to compare backlink opportunities, outreach tools like Ninja Outreach are ideal in helping prospect the best influencers, highest authority sites, and top social media opportunities.

(4) Perform competitor analysis.

Ahrefs – A manual search with google is often the first step in deciphering who the competitors are for a given domain.

Once we determine who that is, Ahrefs gives a great analysis for us to see the backlink gap, keyword gap, and opportunities for content as well. Generally the sites that are ranking at the top of page one are the ones with the highest quality and quantity of inbound links. Ahrefs provides this data reliably.

Callum Mundine

Munday Digital | Digital Marketing Director

(1) Google Search Console: The new GSC interface is great for quickly identifying indexation issues on your site. Best of all – it’s free and simple.

(2) Ahrefs Site Audit: I really love this tool. It provides a detailed breakdown of technical on site issues. It’s cloud based too, so you can schedule frequent crawls to check for changes and identify any new issues.

(3) Ahrefs Site Explorer: In my opinion, this is the best backlink analysis and discovery tool on the market. Whenever I am launching a new SEO campaign, I collect all of the competing websites backlink profiles and try to identify their link acquisition strategy and look for ways to use it, and improve it.

(4) Ahrefs Content Gap: Another great tool from the Ahrefs suite. It provides a nice overview of keywords that your competitors are ranking for, but you are not.

Eugene Farber

Buzzergy Marketing | Senior Marketing Manager

I typically do a thorough scan with Screaming Frog. It’s great for identifying any technical issues that the site might have.

It’s also a good idea to look at Google’s own Search Console. If Google itself is telling you it has identified issues, it’s probably a good idea to get those taken care of.

It’s also a good idea to run a scan through Web Page Test or GTMetrix and see if there are any site speed and performance issues with the site (as this is increasingly important).

For identifying opportunities, there are tons of keyword tools out there – pick the one you like best. I look at SEMrush and Ahrefs to see what competitors are doing in that regard.

Ahrefs is also great for backlink analysis. Although no one tool ever gets them all. So, I’ll take a glance at Majestic as well to try and get a fuller picture.

There’s no tool that will ever replace an experienced SEO that can instantly pinpoint opportunities specifically catered to the type of client they are working with (because different industries and businesses require different work).

Ariel Kozicki

Wpromote | SEO Manager

1 & 2 . Screaming frog! Absolutely an essential tool for site-wide crawls and collecting aggregate data. Screaming frog can help detect room for improvement across URL structure, missing meta data, overly large images, robots tags, and so much more.

3. Ahrefs and Buzzsumo! Both of these are great to get a larger picture of content performance, current backlink trends, and domain authority.

4. For competitor analysis, BrightEdge is my go-to. It’s useful to perform a keyword gap analysis, keep track of share of voice, and monitor how we stack up in terms of our total keyword footprint.

Stacey Caprio

Stacy Caprio | Search Marketing Manager

My favorite SEO audit tools are Moz and SEMrush.

I like to use the Moz Chrome extension to check keyword competition, as well as the Moz open site explorer to check the DA/PA of sites. I use SEMrush to track keyword rankings and manage SEO campaigns.

Ryan Scollon

Bowler Hat | Head of SEO

(1) Technical – accessibility/indexation etc – issues;

For technical issues, we use a mixuture of tools such as Google Webmaster Tools, Deep Crawl and Screaming Frog.

(2) On-page weaknesses;

We use Screaming Frog to review any on-page weaknesses.

(3) Off-page opportunities;

For this, we tend to use good old Google.

(4) Perform competitor analysis.

For competitor analysis, we use Majestic as it allows us to carry out simple comparisons between a handful of sites to see how we stack up against the competition.

 

Felix Tarcomnicu

ProOptimization | SEO Manager

For Technical Analysis I prefer to use ScreamingFrog Web Crawler and the Log File Analyser. These tools can fill up your to-do list very quickly.

For On-Page weaknesses and opportunities, I also rely on ScreamingFrog and sometimes use specific features from SEMrush, for keyword research.

For Off-Page and competitor analysis, SEMrush is my go-to tool.

 

 

Tyler Thursby

Zion & Zion | Senior Search Analyst

1. Screaming Frog; quick way to crawl a site and easily diagnose technical issues including meta data and broken pages.

2. Google PageSpeed Insights; speed is critical in modern SEO, typically one of the first on-site areas I address.

3. Buzzsumo; a useful tool for discovering popular articles that relate to your target keywords, great inspiration to draw from for content or target for link outreach.

4. Ahrefs; provides a general overview of a competing website, including backlinks, ranking keywords and top pages.

Harris Schachter

OptimizePrime | Director of Marketing

My favorite crawler lately is Site Bulb – it might even beat out DeepCrawl for quickly identifying issues.

For on-page audits I typically look at a combination of the top 10 unbranded ranking keywords, and keyword overlap with other pages that have those same 10 ranking keywords. Plugins and crawlers simplify some of the other stuff like alt images, headline copy, titles and metas.

Off-page is typically handled with link metrics from Ahrefs and keyword data from SEMrush (also handy for competitors).

Ilan Shabad

One Egg | Director of Business Development
1) Screaming Frog & Google Search Console
2) Screaming Frog & WAVE Chrome Plugin
3) Ahrefs & MajesticSEO
4) SEMrush & Adthena

Alexandra Tachalova

AlexTachalova | Digital Marketing Consultant
1. SEMrush
2. Ahrefs
3. Deepcrawl
4. Spyfu

Dicky Phillips

CF Search Marketing | Senior SEO Strategist/Analyst

1) For Technical audits regarding crawling & indexation, I like to use ScreamingFrog SEO Spider. It has a ton of flexibility, and when dealing with dynamic pages, it is nice to be able to include or exclude them as I run my audits.

2) On-Page weaknesses is a mix of Screaming Frog for meta tags, Ahrefs for keyword analysis and page performance, as well as webpagetest.org for performance issues.

3) Off Page opportunities: I deal with a lot of local search clients, so tools like YEXT or even Moz Local are nice to use for NAP/Local Listings maintenance. I like to use tools like Scrapebox to seek out new linking opportunities that are localized, relevant and authoritative.

4) Competitor analysis: I will utilize all of the above because as I run these audits, I like to pin them up against top competitors, and point out why competitors may or may not be following best practices. It also allows me to paint a better picture for clients as to why specific weaknesses have allowed the competition to beat them in search.

Kevin Gibbons

BlueGlass | CEO & Co-Founder
Searchmetrics – competitor visibility trends.
DeepCrawl – identifying on-page /indexing / crawling /technical issues.
Majestic – link data analysis.

Jacob Wulff

RavenTools is a great tool we use at Thrive. RavenTools’ Site Auditor analyzes your sites to find all of the desktop and mobile SEO issues that need to be addressed. It also allows you to schedule sites to be audited and analyzed weekly or monthly. The tool will monitor and alert you when a new problem or optimization opportunity is identified.

SEMrush is another great tool used primarily for competitor analysis. Thrive uses the tool to analyze what our clients’ competitors are doing to get their web pages indexed and listed on search engine results pages. It also works great for paid search competitor research.

George Zlatin

Digital Third Coast | Partner/Owner
• Screaming Frog – crawling & indexing site for on-page issues
• seoClarity – competitor analysis, ranking analysis, on-page weaknesses
• GSC – Index rates, on-page analysis, backlink analysis, not provided keywords insight, page speed insights.
• GA – organic traffic and conversion data.
• Structured data testing tool
• GTMetrix – page speed
• Web Page Test – page speed
• Moz- Open Site Explorer – backlink auditing, competitor backlink analysis
• Ahrefs – backlink auditing, competitor backlink analysis

Scott Polk

1) Technical – accessibility/indexation etc – issues – I use quite a few crawlers to identify technical issues. For technical SEO, I use the Deep Crawl, ScreamingFrog and Sitebulb. Each have their strengths and weaknesses, so being able to use the right tool for the job is important.

Chrome DEV tool is also important to view and diagnose javascript frameworks that may not be operating as advertised. For accessibility (ADA WCAG 2.0 AA) I use PowerMapper OnDemand and Tenon.io.

2) On-page weaknesses; Insites QA tool, DeepCrawl, and human review.

3) Off-page opportunities; Ahrefs, Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools for link data.

4) Competitor analysis – SEMrush is our go-to tool for competitor research. We also use SimilarSites and Hitwise if needed.

Venchito Tampon

SharpRocket | Co-Founder and Marketing Director

 

1. Ahrefs
2. Screaming Frog
3. Google Search Console

Andy Crestodina

Orbit Media | Co-Founder and CMO
Technical: Google Search Console
On-Page Weaknesses: SEMrush
Off-Page Optimization: MOZ
Competitor Analysis: SEMrush

Joe Howard

WP Buffs | Head Buff
(1) AWR Cloud
(2) AWR Cloud
(3) Mozbar
(4) SEMrush

Eli Schwartz

SurveyMonkey | Director of SEO & Organic Product
My favorite tools for conducting any sort of site audit are a combination of ScreamingFrog to crawl the site and Ahrefs to understand the keywords it ranks for, competitors and backlinks.

Jay Markwood

Whereoware Llc. | Senior Search Analyst

Google Search Console
SEMrush
MOZ Pro
Screaming Frog

chris makara

Bulkly | Senior Digital Marketing Analyst

I primarily rely on Ahrefs to conduct SEO audits.  However, I occasionally use SERPstat and/or Link-Assistant’s Website Auditor. I’ll also use ScreamingFrog in some cases.

Since there is not a perfect one-size-fits-all tool, I typically rely on a mix and match approach to conducting SEO audits.

Jordan Kasteler

Hennessey Consulting | SEO Director
1) Screaming Frog & Sitebulb
2) Screaming Frog and Pagespeed Insights
3) Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Majestic
4) SimilarWeb and SEMrush

mariachiara marsella

ScreamingFrog
Visual SEO Studio
SEO Zoom
Search Console
Google Analytics
TestMysite, Majestic
XENU link sleuth
…and mostly my brain 🙂

What Tools Are You Using for Website Audits in 2018?

There you have it – 47 SEO experts revealed the tools they use to perform competitor research, technical, on-page, and off-site SEO audits.

Here’s the list of the best SEO audit tools (by total votes):

  1. Ahrefs (53 votes) [Review // 7 Day Trial]
  2. ScreamingFrog and SEMrush (47 votes) [Review // 30 Day Trial]
  3. Google Search Console (28 votes)
  4. Majestic (14 votes)
  5. DeepCrawl and Moz (12 votes)
  6. Sitebulb (9 votes)
  7. GTMetrix (8 votes)
  8. Google Analytics (6 votes)
  9. Google Pagespeed InsightsMozbar and Raven Tools (5 votes)
  10. Buzzsumo and Google Lighthouse (4 votes)

Which tools do you use? Find any new ones?

Let me know in the comments below.

The post 47 Experts Rank Best SEO Audit Tools for 2018 (with Category Leaderboards) appeared first on Robbie Richards.

097: Using Keyword Psychographics To Improve Your SEO w/Marty Weintraub

097: Using Keyword Psychographics To Improve Your SEO w/Marty Weintraub

The second we started this interview I knew it was going to be one for the history books! Marty is a creative, imaginative, strategic thinker AND technical in how he understands data, and the intersection of people with search engines – top it off with years of experience helping companies like Airbnb, Amazon, Square and more with his company Aimclear

Some of the topics we discussed!

  • The value of BRAND searches as “lakefront property”
  • Marketing “unknown unknown” disruptive products
  • Keywords vs Psychographics
  • Why you need to use keywords in your social creative
  • How to tell who is searching certain keywords
  • How to leverage the cyclical nature of search
  • Do facebook ads help rankings?
  • How to build links through paid social
  • And questions from Twitter!

(Quick note: you may notice a slight difference in audio quality on this episode. It’s still very listenable, but my audio interface died and we had to use Skype call recorder for this one.it will be back to normal soon!) 

Listen Now!

BuzzSumo – One of my favorite tools for coming up with content ideas, finding people who share content in an industry, and tons more (like alerts to keep an eye on your competitor’s links). Also, check out their new Question Analyzer Tool (formally Bloomberry!) Listen to the show for a special code to get 30% off BuzzSumo for 3 months.

Related Episodes You Might Like

Show Agenda and Timestamps

  • Show Introduction [0:19]
  • Marty’s Introduction [1:12]
    • Marty’s background in music and how it has helped with marketing [1:42]
    • Was Marty’s shift from music into marketing intentional? [3:35]
  • What does Marty’s Agency, Aimclear, do? [6:53]
    • Brand Terms [7:25]
    • How many people work at Aimclear and what are their roles? [9:27]
  • SEO, paid social, paid channels; Psychographics vs Keywords [11:43]
    • How do you figure out who are the people searching for a particular keyword? [17:12]
    • Psychographic Influencer Distribution against PR and SEO [22:21]
  • Slide: “Cause Keyword Search Early”- Prevent people from searching by reminding them they are about to do it before they do [27:08]
  • Sponsor break with Discount Code!! BuzzSumo [32:07]
  • Has Marty tested whether running paid ads helps SEO [34:02]
  • Listener Questions [38:12]
    • How do you use multiple Facebook campaigns in unison to move prospects through their buyer’s journey? [38:24]
    • What is Marty’s ad strategy for low involvement purchase versus a high involvement purchase? [41:42]
      • What is a facebook engagement retargeting audience? [43:27]
    • Twitter Question from Bill Scully: How would a new unique niche product like http://regiftthewrap.com  with no money start advertising on Facebook? [45:51]
    • Twitter Question from Optimisey: How do you scale an agency? [57:10]
    • Twitter Question from Optimisey: What’s the ROI on awards? How do you know which are worth winning?[1:02:03]
    • Twitter Question from Optimisey: How do you balance running a company and doing the hands-on work yourself? [1:06:47]
    • Twitter Question from Jeremy Rivera: What are you most excited about in digital marketing right now? [1:12:43]
    • Does Marty do some of the photography for Aimclear? Marty’s interest in photography [1:19:35]
    • Twitter Question from Jonathan Hockman: What was the greatest challenge in your life and how did it affect you?  [1:20:50]
      • What helped Marty deal with his mental illness and last thoughts for the listeners [1:24:26]
  • Where to find Marty online [1:28:07]

Tools Mentioned

Articles, Resources, and Links Mentioned

Find Marty Online

The post 097: Using Keyword Psychographics To Improve Your SEO w/Marty Weintraub appeared first on Evolving SEO.

How To Create Content for Ecommerce SEO

How To Create Content for Ecommerce SEO

Content might be the most innocuous word on the internet today, even more so within SEO.

It seemingly has no definition; it’s everything.

We all know we need it, most folks are confused about what it actually is – and it’s even harder to create the elusive, but more desired variation of “great content.”

With all that said, crafting content to serve all the different needs of an Ecommerce website might be the most difficult.

Since we work with Ecommerce sites of all sizes, in a wide variety of niches, on all sorts of platforms, we see an amazing level of  variability in content production…

The good news is this puts me in a unique position to share some specific, actionable insights with you when it comes to creating content for Ecommerce.

My aim for this post is to run through all of the content you should be creating to leverage SEO to drive traffic and sales from your Ecommerce website.

An important note

The content examples contained in this post are going to represent content to support:

  1. Your product architecture (and converting sales)
  2. Naturally attracting links without outreach
  3. Earning links with outreach
  4. Identifying the best opportunities to scale link building at an efficient cost per link
  5. Attract shares on social media and organic press mentions

So let’s get started first with #1, the most important content on your ecommerce website:

Category Content

Category content is what enables you to rank for the highest volume keywords with commercial intent outside of your information architecture and URL-level link profile.

Here are examples of some great category pages:

CCS Skate Shoes

Link Profile

Keyword Footprint

Best Buy Appliances

Link Profile

Keyword Footprint

Men’s Warehouse Sport Coats

Link Profile

Keyword Footprint

SubCategory Content

SubCat content is the first born child of it’s parent; category content. Ranking SubCategories is almost as important as Categories in that the search volume opportunities are likely less, but the commercial intent will be greater.

Costco King Mattresses

Link Profile

Keyword Footprint

Antique Furniture on Ebay

Link Profile

Keyword Footprint

Product Content

Product content is critical in a different way; it needs to build confidence and trust while also selling your target audience on the value of the product.

For the purposes of this post though, we’re going to focus on product page experiences where the content is designed and integrated in a way that drives organic rankings for product-related keywords.

Home Depot Whirlpool French Door Refrigerator

Link Profile

Keyword Footprint

Walmart Sceptre 32″ Class HD LED TV

Link Profile

Keyword Footprint

Beats by Dre Beats Pill+

Link Profile

Keyword Footprint

Content-Based Resources

Content-based resources may sound a bit redundant, and it probably is, but I needed a way to represent that these kinds of resources contain more than just lists of stats, or historical timeline type stuff (think Wikipedia) and instead are more representative of higher-end production, both in terms of research but also aesthetics.

For the purposes of content for Ecommerce, there are 2 flavors of content-based resources:

Content-Based Resources for Outreach

Content-based resources for outreach are those that are unlikely to rank on their own; think infographics and big interactive web experiences. The nuance here is these kinds of resources exist to build links, but those links must be built by pitching and promoting the underlying asset.

The Impact of Plastic on Earth

Link Building Results

Internet of Evil Things Report [2018]

Link Building Results

Basketball Basics for New Players and Coaches

Link Building Results

Content-Based Resources for SEO

Content-based resources for SEO are pages built to acquire traffic (and links) organically, i.e. they don’t require outreach to begin performing both in search engines but also in terms of link acquisition.

The best way to think about this style of ecommerce content is to think about how many people do research for resources and use Google to find references to cite and link to (to back up their claims).

Paintball Safety

Keyword Footprint

Dog Crate Sizes – A Complete Guide

Keyword Footprint

How Many Drinks Does it Take to Reach 0.08 BAC?

Keyword Footprint

Solution-Focused Blog Posts

Solution-focused posts deliver recommendations or provide answers to common problems or frustrations within your niche. These are the true definition of “funnel content” as they often represent keyword targeting at a specific stage in the funnel.

What’s important to remember here is that your customers problems can arise as any stage in the conversion funnel, top (no commercial consideration), middle (awareness and decision phase), and the bottom (price shopping and ready to purchase).

When this type of content is being designed, the focus should be on blowing out your on-page SEO to get these pages to rank for as many relevant and related terms as possible.

5 Top Plugins to Turn WordPress into a Mobile App

Keyword Footprint

Install a Window Air Conditioner

Keyword Footprint

How To Tie a Tie

Keyword Footprint

Trending News Topics

Trending news is not something you usually think about when it comes to creating strategic content for your ecommerce website, however, it can be a great source of short term rankings and traffic and lead to a significant bump in links if syndicated or mentioned in press outlets piggybacking off your research.

What is The Internet of Things

Passive Link Results

5 Trends in 3D Printing for 2018

Keyword Footprint

The Future of Virtual Reality

Keyword Footprint

Scholarship-Based Resources

Scholarships are a popular way to get high trust .EDU links. Now scholarship link building is not what it once was.. and we have even seen some Google Search Console warnings for “unnatural links” for sites going to hard with their .EDU link building campaigns, but if your brand is big enough – this can still be a great way to land links from the thousands of pages on the internet that link to scholarship offers.

Discover’s Scholarship Page

Link Profile

Chegg Student Scholarships

Link Profile

Topical Guest Posts

After Google publicly slammed guest posting via Matt Cutts in January of 2014 many SEO’s abandoned the practice immediately.

To offer some insight from real world, in the trenches experience; it’s not deadthin, craptastic guest posting is dead.

Guest posting, i.e. publishing posts on 3rd party websites, when done using hyper-relevant content for hyper-focused audiences not only is still a wonderfully effective way of building links, but of acquiring qualified traffic.

Below are some examples of putting in the time to write relevant content for the publishers audience, and linking to resources that are also relevant to the topic.

The Ecommerce Guide to Shipping Boxes

Link Profile

Why Electric Auto’s Newest Player SF Motors Hasn’t Said Much

Link Profile

The True Cost of Cybercrime

Link Profile

A Special Thank You

To our smart SEO Intern Kurtis Nysmith for providing much of the research for this post.

The post How To Create Content for Ecommerce SEO appeared first on From The Future.