How to get sitelinks

How to get sitelinks

As a site owner, you want to come across as an authoritative result, as well as stand out in the search results. Even if you’re already ranking #1. Sitelinks can help you with that. What are sitelinks, you ask? Sitelinks appear under the main search result, highlighting subpages of a website in a menu-like structure. They often appear for specific brand searches.

Let’s take a look at what those sitelinks look like:

sitelinks in the results pages for yoast SEO

As you’ll understand, sitelinks can push down the pages of your competitors on the results pages, and provide potential visitors more options to navigate to your site and find what they’re looking for. Of course, this could be beneficial to your traffic.

You’ve probably seen sitelinks in the search result pages at some point, but how do you get Google to add them to your site? As it happens, getting sitelinks isn’t for just anyone, unfortunately. Neither can you influence which links appear as sitelinks. In this Ask Yoast, we’ll go into this some more!

Sergiu Tere sent us this question:

I see that some sites have sitelinks, but not from Google AdWords. How do they do that?

Watch the video or read the transcript for my answer!

Getting sitelinks

Well, it’s very easy. Sitelinks are given to you. It’s not something that you can put in somewhere. Google will give you site links if it thinks you are very ‘authoritative’ for that query, so if you’re a very important result for that query. In that case, it will add site links from your site, based on how people browse your site and how they use your site.

So, it’s not something that you can change; it’s not something that you can opt-in for, it’s not something that you can do specific SEO for. You just have to become very important for that specific query.
Good luck!

Read more: Google’s sitelinks searchbox & Yoast »

The post How to get sitelinks appeared first on Yoast.

How Google Ads is fighting click fraud

How Google Ads is fighting click fraud

Click fraud is one of the most talked about issues affecting advertisers on Google and other Pay Per Click (PPC) platforms.

According to Click Guardian $7.2 billion was lost to click fraud between 2016 and 2018. That’s a staggering amount that millions of advertisers are losing to fraudsters and click errors.

So what is click fraud? According to Google it is an illegitimate action such as an unintentional click or a click resulting from malicious software.

In fact, Google chooses not to call it click fraud and calls it ‘invalid clicks’ instead. That’s understandable considering the confusion surrounding this topic and the various reasons why some clicks may be legitimate or an error.

Google uses a number of methods to fight click fraud. These include manual reviewers, automated filters, deep research and a global team of scientists and engineers.

In this article we will look at some common types of click fraud; examples of legitimate clicks that can be mistaken for fraud; what Google is doing to fight it and what you can do to prevent and report it.

What are the common types of click fraud?

1. Manual clicks intended to increase your advertising costs

This click fraud is one advertisers’ fear most. And some estimates report that it’s the most prevalent type of click fraud.

This is when other businesses that compete on your keywords deliberately click on your ads to drive up your costs.

Whatever keywords you’re bidding on, it’s almost likely you’re not the only one bidding on it. So that can often turn into a serious battle for clicks, customers and traffic.

One of the negative effects is that everyone’s costs go up, especially when competition is high. So, with a limited budget, the funds can run out and stop receiving any more clicks. And because of this, competitors have a strong incentive to click your ads and drive up your costs.

Some industries with high click fraud include insurance, personal finance services like mortgages, paid advertising and others that have cost per click rates as high as $10 per click.

2. Manual clicks intended to increase profits for website owners hosting your ads

This type of click fraud is only applicable to advertisers that use the Google Display Network. So, if you run ads on this network your ads will appear on third party websites owned by webmasters.

For a webmaster to be able to display your ads on their website, they need to first join the Google AdSense program. And for every person that clicks your ad on their website, the webmaster earns 68% of the amount paid to Google.

So, if the cost per click is $3, then the webmaster will earn $2.04. Multiply that by a hundred clicks and that could be a healthy sum of $204 for a webmaster.

The reason for this is many webmasters have trouble acquiring quality traffic and will often resort to such tactics to increase their revenue. And in some cases will invite and encourage others to do the clicking.

Although this is a violation of Google’s strict policies, there’s no doubt that it happens.

Google has partnered with millions of websites and apps that provide ad results through their Google AdSense program. Before any website is accepted in the program, it is thoroughly checked to ensure it meets Google’s high third-party policy requirements.

Any placement violating these rules is immediately banned from the program. This includes any suspicious clicks that don’t provide any value for advertisers – especially when it’s used to increase revenue for the website owner.

Google will also ban publishers that generate an excessive amount of invalid traffic. If, on the other hand this seems to be accidental, they may suspend the publisher until the problem is fixed.

3. Clicks by automated clicking tools, robots or other deceptive software

These are automated programs that run on internet servers or hijacked computers that are used for click fraud. They are programmed to create a large number of invalid clicks, impressions and traffic and are made to appear like real users.

Google uses automated filters to capture such activity but its manual reviews are usually more effective. They have a dedicated team of specialists hunt and stop botnets from harming advertisers, publishers and searchers.

Google has also partnered with the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) https://www.tagtoday.net/ to create a glossary of common click fraud tactics to fight actions such as cookie-stuffing, crawler traffic and more.

Accidental clicks that provide no value to the advertiser, such as the second click of a double-click.

This also includes unintentional clicks on mobile, when a user tries to click a link but clicks an ad instead. The engagement for these tend to be very low and bounce rates are usually up to 100% for all traffic.

These provide no value for advertisers and Google employs its tools to stamp out these clicks.

Google takes a proactive approach to click fraud. Any click that is deemed as invalid is automatically filtered from your reports and billing schedules – so you’re not charged for them. And if any clicks have escaped their detection filters, you may be eligible to receive credit for them. These are known as ‘invalid activity’ credit adjustments.

screenshot from Google Ads of "invalid activity"

Each click on your ad is examined by the Google system.

Examples of legitimate clicks

There are legitimate clicks that may appear as fraud. It’s important to be aware of these and not mistakenly affect the performance of your ads by making changes.

Competitors doing competitor research – it’s inevitable that competitors will click on your ads. They will do this as they carry out competitor research and it’s likely they’ll be clicking on other advertisers’ ads too. So, there’s little you can do about this.

Multiple clicks from the same IP address – if your reports show many clicks from the same IP address, it’s likely that this is because of ISP allocation. ISPs will often provide the same IP address in similar locations to a large number of users.

Returning visitors – many searchers click ads multiply times as they search for products and services. They will do this multiple times when comparison shopping or returning to your website for more information.

What to do if you suspect click fraud

The first step is to optimize your ads and keywords to ensure you only target relevant searches. Conversion rate is one of the best indicators of success and identifying and correcting a low conversion rate will help identify potential invalid activity.

Setup Google Analytics to monitor any suspicious activity. Analytics provides powerful reporting and helps you to track the performance of your keywords and assess any suspicious clicks from specific locations.

Check your Google Ads account for any invalid interactions that you have been credited for. You can do this by logging into your account and then clicking the Tools link in the top right section.

Next, under ‘Setup’ click the Billing & payments link. Finally click ‘View Transactions and Documents’.

screenshot from Google Ads about how to see if you've been credited for invalid clicks

Any invalid credits that you’ve received will be available here and will be labelled ‘invalid activity’ on the transaction history page.

Monitor invalid interactions in your account statistics. You can customize your columns by adding the interaction invalid data columns to quickly see the number and percentage of invalid clicks. You aren’t charged for these, but it helps you to quickly see the percentages.

screenshot from Google Ads, showing summary of invalid click activity

Reporting click fraud

If you’ve updated your ads, investigated your reports, and checking billing settings and still suspect that you have indeed been affected by click fraud, then the next stage is to contact Google.

As the first step, share as much information as possible. Send a description of the invalid activity and details of why you suspect the activity to malicious and what you’ve done to counteract it.

Their team of specialists will use a range of click and impression tools to identify invalid activity. This can take several days to complete because of the amount of data that they have to deal with.

If this is proven to have been invalid and you’ve been charged, then you’ll receive a credit in your Google Ads account.

Summary

Google continues to improve its fraud detection capabilities and with help from advertisers this problem can be minimized.

The post How Google Ads is fighting click fraud appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Visual search: The future is now

Visual search: The future is now

We are a visually oriented species. Humans can understand pictures in the blink of an eye. In comparison, we read terribly slow and understand the text even slower. What’s more, a percentage of the world’s population consists of visual thinkers — people who also think in pictures. Considering this, it is not strange to see search move towards a more visual way. You might just start your next search by opening the camera app on your smartphone. Meet visual search.

What is visual search?

Visual search consists of every search that uses real-world images like photos or screenshots as a starting point. Every time you point your Google Lens camera at a piece of clothing, you are performing a visual search. Whenever you use Pinterest to do a style match, you are doing a visual search. Visual search answers questions like: “Show me stuff that’s kinda like that but different”, or “I don’t know what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it”.

It’s not just style matching that awesome outfit you saw or finding out what type of chair is in that hipster interior, it going much farther than that and still we’re only at the beginning. Photo apps can read text in images and translate it. Computer vision can recognize tons of entities, from celebrities to logos and from landmarks to handwriting. At the moment, visual search is making waves in the fashion and home decor sectors, with big brands like Amazon, Macy’s, ASOS and Wayfair leading the way.

Research shows consumers are very interested in using visual search as part of their shopping experience. What’s more, a recent Sparktoro article uncovered that Google Images is the second largest player in the search engine market with 21% of searches starting there. Images are here to stay.

Many US internet users would consider visual search a great addition to regular site search channels:

Today, people are taking pictures of everything, not just beautiful sceneries or mementos of their adventures, but stuff they need to remember or tasks they need to do. Visual search will increasingly help turn those images into actual tasks. Take a photo of a business card and automatically add the contact details to my address book. Or take a photo of my written shopping list and add the items to the shopping cart of my favorite supermarket. Everything is possible.

Visual search differs from image search

Visual search is part of something called sensory search, which consists searching via text, voice and vision. In the past, nearly every search started with someone typing in a couple of words in a text field. Today, increasingly, searches start by voice or by pointing a camera app at something. You’ll see these different types of searches converge more and more as visual search is a great addition to text and voice search.

Google Lens immediatly recognizes this cute dog as a Shiba Inu

While visual search uses visuals as a starting point, image search is different. Image search has been around forever. A classic image search starts with a typed search prompt in a search field and leads to a SERP that shows a number of images that match that specific search. These images can be narrowed down by selecting smart filters from the menu bar.

Cute fluffy Japanese dog on Google Image search
Google Image search gives great suggestions and lets you easily filter the results

How does visual search work?

People have been talking about visual search for a long time, but over the past couple of years it has really come into its own. Very powerful smartphones, increasingly smart artificial intelligence and consumer interest drive the growth of this exciting development. But how does visual search work?

Visual search is powered by computer vision and trained by machine learning. Computer vision can be described as the technology that lets computers see. Not only that, it makes computers understand what they see and to make them do something useful with that knowledge. In a sense, computer vision tries to get machines to understand the world we as humans see.

Computer vision has been around for ages, but thanks to hardware developments and vast new discoveries in the field of machine learning it is improving with leaps and bounds. Machine learning provides much of the input needed for an algorithm to make sense of images. To a machine, an image is just a bunch of random numbers — it needs context to get even the slightest understanding of what’s on it. Machine learning can provide that context.

Teaching a computer to see

Using machine learning, you can literally teach a computer what something is with a training set — starting small and then scaling up quickly. Feed it enough data and it can tell the differences between slight variations as well. To increase the knowledge of these machines, Google cross-references its finding with its knowledge graph. This way, it is becoming much easier for machines to connect the pieces of the puzzle to find out what’s in a particular image and how that image fits within the bigger picture — pun intended. Many providers also give their computer vision models OCR capabilities, meaning they understand text as well.

There are many third-party providers of this kind of technology if you want to add integrate computer vision into your software. In addition to all the third-party providers, platforms like Google’s Cloud Vision and Bing’s Visual Search Developer Platform give you various ways of incorperating visual search into your sites and apps.

Bing visual search matches intent to skills

Uses of visual search

You might be mistaken to think visual search is of not much use to the average site owner. Or maybe you think it doesn’t mean much for SEO. That would be wrong. Big brands are out there testing this and condition their consumers to use visual search. If you’re in commerce, you have to keep an eye on this development. We’ll see many more players enter the visual search ecommerce space, or quickly build their presence and power, like Pinterest with their new automated Shop The Look pins. There’s a lot happening, but visual search is still only at the beginning of its lifecycle.

Currently, the focus is on making sense of images and doing something useful with it. Soon, we’ll also see visual search come into contact with augmented reality and maybe even virtual reality? While AR and VR have been hyped to death by now, the killer application of these technological developments still has to be found. Maybe augmenting the real-world onto visual search results might be just that?

Visual search can be used for a lot of things, like helping you discover landmarks in a strange city, helping you increase productivity or find the beautiful pair of shoes that fits perfectly with that new dress you bought. It can also help you identify stuff like plants and animals and teach you how to do a particular chore. Who knows what else?

Some visual search applications

When we think of visual search there are a couple of players that immediately come to mind. It’s not so weird that almost every big brand is experimenting with visual search or doing research into what computer vision can bring for their platform.

Facebook, for instance, works on building an AI powered version of their Marketplace. They even purchased a visual search technology start up called GrokStyle that could drive that development. Apple also bought several companies active in the visual search space, mostly to improve their photo apps, while their ARKit developer program has very interesting options for working with visuals. Both Snapchat and Instagram let you buy stuff on Amazon by pointing your camera at an object.

Here are some of the most used visual search tool of this moment:

Pinterest Lens

Visual search has been around for some time, but there’s one platform that brought it into the limelight: Pinterest. Pinterest is the OG, so to say. It is an inherently visual platform as it lets users collect images in boards and helps them get inspired by looking at other peoples boards. While helpful and interesting, it was a fairly static product.

A couple of years ago, the company started investing loads in computer vision, AI and machine learning that eventually led to an app called Lens. Ongoing development brought things like Shop the Look, which was the first visual shopping tool of its kind. Things really took off for Pinterest. In 2018, a year after the release of Lens people did more than 600 million visual searches every month. That’s a 140 percent increase year over year. That suggests a meteoric rise, but its platform dependency makes it too ‘closed’ to reach critical mass. Plus, the competition is picking up speed.

Shop the Look lets you discover similar items

Google Lens

Google Lens wants to turn your phone into a visual search engine. Hit the tiny Lens icon, point your camera at an item and voila! Google is pushing Lens pretty hard. You can find it everywhere: the Photos app, Google Search app and Google Assistant. That last one is interesting, as you can use Assistant to do something with the images you capture. Take a picture of a recipe and ask Assistant to add it to your recipe book. Or use Google Translate to translate the foreign text on that sign — live, if you want.

Google Lens works in real time and recognizes over a billion products. At the end of last year, Google announced that Lens was also available for regular Image searches. The US only for now, but it is expected to be rolled out worldwide later this year.

Bing Visual Search

Bing is very active in the visual search space. Microsoft has been doing a lot of research and making lots of knowledge freely available. Not only do they have integrated their visual search in a really cool mobile app for the large platforms, but they also have a dedicated web platform. This website demonstrates the power of Bing visual search and it works very well. Just upload an image and see what Bing makes of it. Or use one of the example images to get a quick idea of how good it works.

While Bing mobile does much of the same stuff the other visual search providers do — point your camera at something and have it figure out what it is —, they have a big differentiator: skills. Developers can harness the power of visual search to append a skill to a matched image. So, if you have loads of products that Bing recognizes, you can define what a searcher should be able to do once your image has been analyzed. For this, the visual search identifies the intent of the search and requests different skills based on that intent. After that, Bing combines the skills and sends them to the app. If you have a home decor store, a search like this might not only yield a buy skill, but also a DIY skill. You can build these skills yourself. Try it on the Bing Visual Search Development Platform.

You can visual develop a skill for Bing Visual search

Amazon

Amazon is using their visual search technology mostly to provide other platforms a way of visually shopping for stuff. I’ve already mentioned they are working with Snapchat and Instagram to let shop via their camera app. For Amazon, visual search is important as it gives them a new way to have users shop. Now, if you see something in a store you can take a picture of it with the Camera Search functionality inside the Amazon app. It shows you all the relevant products that are available on Amazon and you can refine your search via visual attributes if you want.

Apparently, Amazon was working on an AI-powered shopping platform called Scout. Last month, however, Amazon announced a new delivery robot with the name Scout. As of now, it’s unclear what happened to the old Scout product. The old Scout let users build up a sort of taste database by liking or disliking products and product variants. This would eventually help them narrow down the number and uncover new products that would fit their taste.

Another interesting thing Amazon is working on, is combining visual and voice search. Products like the Echo Show and Echo Spot bring a smart voice assistant into your home, that supports the search results with visuals. Amazon also offers a lot of insights into how visual search works and how you can build your own integration on AWS.

But how does Google Image search tie into this?

Reading all this, you might think that good old image search is on its way out. Well, you’re wrong. A large part of searches happen in image search. Visual search is a kind of add-on for image search. You use it in different circumstances. The results are different as well. If you know what you need, you’ll go find an image in image search. If you see something interesting on an image, but you’re not quite sure what it is, hit that image and let visual search do its job.

Google Image search had a makeover this year. Almost every month, Google changed something or added new features. I’ve already mentioned the availability of Lens inside the image search results on mobile. Simply tap an image and see if Lens can see what it is. Image search now also has related concepts filters that let you drill down into your topic or uncover related items you never thought of. There are now badges to identify if something is a product you can buy directly. This is only a small sampling of the changes Image search underwent. O, did I mention that you can just type [fluffy Japanese dog] to come up with the search result of those cute Shina Ibu dogs you saw earlier in this post? Yay entities, yay knowledge graph!

Image SEO: More important than ever

As we are using images more and more to search for stuff, we need to take better care of our image SEO. Image SEO has always been something of an afterthought for many people, but please don’t be like that. You can win a lot if you just high-quality, relevant images and optimize these thoroughly. Google sees the massive potential and is putting even more weight into it. Here’s Googles Gary Illyes in a recent AMA on Reddit:

“We simply know that media search is way too ignored for what it’s capable doing for publishers so we’re throwing more engineers at it as well as more outreach.”

Gary Illyes

Last year, Google’s latest algorithmic change for Image search focussed on:

  • ranking results based on both great images and content
  • authority
  • relevance
  • freshness
  • location
  • context

It’s not hard to get your images ready for image search. We have an all-encompassing post on image SEO if you need to learn more. In short:

  • Use structured data where relevant: mark up your images
  • Use alt attributes to describe the images
  • Find unique images — not stock photos
  • Make them high quality if you want AI to figure out what’s on it
  • Add them in a relevant place, where they provide context to the text
  • Use descriptive filenames, not IMG168393.jpg
  • Add captions where necessary
  • Use the right sized images
  • Always compress them!

Our world is visual: now you can search with visuals

Over the past year, we truly see sensory search come to light. Everyone was all about voice search, but visual search is providing a helpful new dimension. Lots of the time, a visual search just makes much more sense than a spoken one. And sometimes, it’s the other way around. That’s why voice and visual will never be the default search experience: they build on the others strength and weaknesses. Combined with good-old text search, you have every possibility to search the way you want!

Now… where’s that mindreader?

The post Visual search: The future is now appeared first on Yoast.

❤ 14 Lovely SEO Tips for Valentine’s Day

❤ 14 Lovely SEO Tips for Valentine’s Day

It’s that time of the year when everybody is feeling deeply in love and thinking about presents and plans for Valentine’s Day. On this special occasion, we thought that a few SEO tips can really help both business owners to get more clients and customers, to buy the perfect gift for the beloved person.

 

A true love story doesn’t work without its successful ingredients. Same goes with SEO and UX – which is a true love story, SEO & content writing, SEO & PPC, SEO & social media. Different love stories, all bound to succeed if there’s commitment, honesty, transparency and hard work.

 

14_Lovely_SEO_Tips_for_Valentines_Day

 

SEO can be a nightmare, but also a blast. Getting your website ready for the occasion is a huge deal, so UX, content optimization, social activity, mobile setup, good website architecture should not be missing from your plate.

 

Below you can see our top SEO tips recommendations for online marketers that want to hook the client and offer beautiful V-Day experiences besides creating a long term relationship.

 

  1. Find the Correct Timing to Meet Users’ Wishes and Needs
  2. Select the Proper Keywords for the Occasion
  3. Content Optimization Would Be like a Good Catch on Tinder
  4. Speak on Your User’s Language as You’re Speaking to Your Perfect Date
  5. UX Is Your Perfect Match
  6. Don’t Place Content Marketing in the Friend Zone
  7. Create Themed Landing Pages to Look Like a Fancy Location
  8. Use Internal Links to Have a Strong Foundation
  9. Don’t Use Nofollow Links like in a Friend with Benefits Relationship
  10. Use Images for Eye-Contact
  11. Social Media Is Your Wing Man
  12. Setting AMP Is like Offering a Beautiful Valentine’s Day Gift to Your Partner
  13. Have a User-Friendly Website to Create the Most Intimate Atmosphere
  14. Create a Natural Flow on Site Like an Itinerary for Your Loved One
 

1. Find the Correct Timing to Meet Users’ Wishes and Needs

 

Correct timing is, just like in every relationship, highly valuable. You have to know when to enter the market and promote your business. For that, you must know your audience and understand their needs and be prepared to offer what they are ready to receive.

 

Since we’re talking about Valentine’s Day, which we know it’s a seasonal period, the preparations should start at least a month before the official event.

 

Google Trends can be used as a research tool to see the evolution of searches for different queries and topics. If you take a look at the next screenshot, you can see that the searches for Valentine’s Day start during Christmas.

 

Valentine's Day trends in Google

 

Marketers should launch their campaign early; when there’s interest in the trend and they can start to build up on that. 14th of February is the peak of the season. That means most people buy, search and get inspiration on the celebration day as we can see from the screenshot above.  

 

In addition to the timing topic, we’ve got to mention something we’ve written on the blog a little time ago. You all know that through our hundreds of written articles and tips gathered on the blog, we’ve learned together with you, our readers, some pretty valuable lesson. A few months ago, we talked on our blog about startup fails and gathered digital marketing tips from owners for all sorts of situations. And one of the company had a problem regarding bad timing.

 

Calxeda, the company that started to provide computers based on the ARM architecture moved faster than their customers’ understanding. They had problems getting in line with clients’ knowledge level.

 

Finding topics of interest and relevant queries and jumping in the online world at the perfect timing shouldn’t be a painstaking task. In the next digital marketing tips, I’ll show you how to select the right keywords to have an accurate representation of the topic.

 

2. Select the Proper Keywords for the Occasion

 

We’ve talked about finding the proper keyword for the occasion. And that implies keyword research. Our top favorites keyword research tools are Google Keyword Planner and Keyword Tool and Content Assistant.

 

They both can help you get quality keywords recommendations for optimizing your website. Google Keyword Planner aggregates data on average monthly search volume, competition, cost per click, localization. You have to search for a query and the tool will offer some keyword ideas. As you can see in the screenshot below, we could use “Valentine’s Day gifts”, “Valentine’s Day gift ideas” or simply “Valentine’s Day ideas” amongst other combinations.

 

Google Keyword Planner

 

For a more segmentation and accuracy on keywords, you can use Keyword Tool and Content Assistant. You have the option to see recommendations based on their typology:

  • having all terms: which mean you find all the keywords that contain all the combination of words;
  • phrase match: combination of keywords that contain the query you’ve searched for;
  • search suggestions: informational type of keywords; (in the tool you can also find brand keywords and commercial keywords)
  • focus keywords: those keywords that are recommended by Google in the Searches related to your query section, on the first page of search results;
  • questions: question-type of queries (what, why, how, who, when.. and so on)
  • or group topic: where you can find groups based on a particularity.

 

Search Valentine's day in keyword tool

 

Beside the part where you get keyword ideas and have lots of ways to filter and get what you need, there’s the competitive analysis section. In Ranking Analysis you can find your top competitors for a specific keyword and take inspiration. You can get some topic ideas from your competition, too. Basically see what they are writing, what type of content is ranking for that keyword (product page, homepage, blog post, youtube video and so on), how many words are on a page.

 

Ranking analysis pentru valentine's day gift

 

If you look closely on the screenshot, you can see that the searched keyword is commercial, that means the content that answers to this query should be commercial, too. After a full-size study on the market, you are ready for content optimization.

 

3. Content Optimization Would Be like a Good Catch on Tinder

 

Content optimization: everybody wants it and needs it, just like a good catch. I think that SEO & content marketing is the perfect marriage. Before SEO found its true love – the content gal – it was all over the internet fooling around together with spammy links, in its black hat SEO period. Everybody has teenage memories, but for SEO, black hat was a tough time.

 

Content strategy is salvation. It’s a treat! How you try to optimize your content should be a sweet ride, not a bumpy road though. Content Assistant is your best buddy because it shows tips and keyword recommendation. In the screenshot below you can copy-paste the content from your webpage, or simply import the URL. Based on that, you can see keywords you should use once, or more often.

 

Optimizing articles with Content Assistant

 

For a smart piece of content, try and add those keywords naturally into the page, as synonyms, or directly instead of other keywords. Get ideas on how easy it is to read and how many words are on a page.

 

You don’t have to create blockbuster content for Valentine’s Day, you just have to create content that the users want. Try and add pictures and create short sentences, because they are easier to follow.

 

Below you can see an example of a good page for Valentine’s Day. It has a simple introduction, eye candy images and presentation. Then you can see ideas for the occasion.

 

Valentines day example of website www.gifts.com

 

4. Speak on Your User’s Language as You’re Speaking to Your Perfect Date

 

Language, terminology, and context can’t miss from the secret love recipe. As an online marketer you must know your audience, what their needs and ”talk the talk” are.

 

For enticing the user to convert, you’ll have to speak their language, otherwise, they disappear as fast as they entered the website. Use words they know, don’t overcomplicate the meaning of the sentences or use complex phrases. Avoid insider language.

 

There are 6 golden rules for speaking the same language as your users:

  • Write short and simple sentences. There are tools for scanning content and calculating a readability score. Content Assistant has integrated the Flesch–Kincaid readability tests designed to indicate how difficult a passage in English is to understand.

 

Readability score

 

  • Observe word order typology which is Subject + Verb + Object (SVO).
  • Keep short paragraphs. It is highly important to have “breathable” spaces between paragraphs so that the users can read the article faster and get an idea from all of it. Otherwise, they will be stuck in the introduction, get bored, annoyed and leave the website.
  • Use the first voice. It would be like talking to somebody, making a conversation and not making assumptions in vain.
  • Lose the jargon. Valentine’s Day should not use any jargon, or language for a specific niche, or something more technical, because that’s not the case. You need to write for everybody to attract a bigger piece of pie from the market. Make sure the content is using a normal language, understandable to non-specialists or technical persons.
  • Spell out acronyms on first reference. For example, don’t use the language of millennials.
 

5. UX Is Your Perfect Match

 

Self-explanatory: visitors will have a good experience on site if it looks ok, with hearts, cupids; everything is in place and doesn’t take too long to load. Yes, content is a must but it is highly important to have good UX that accompanies it.

 

Great content with bad user experience would be like a smart date, who arrives looking sloppy; looking like they didn’t prepare for the meeting at all. If that was a real situation it would be like leaving the gym without showering and going out looking sweaty and smelly.

 

I mean, you had great talks before the meeting, but if they show up like this when they first meet you, it’s like they didn’t make any effort, and basically, don’t care. Which in terms of UX and content, should never happen. You must show interest in the user and really practice it. UX is one way to show it.

 

UX is like frosting on the cake. It completes it and makes it more appealing. And easier to digest it.

 

Just take a look at the next screenshot: Can you read the next text? Well actually you can not because of two reasons: one, it’s in a foreign language and two, the diacritics are looking funny.

 

Diactritics SEO - bad example

 

UX can arrange your website and make it look better. For Valentine’s Day especially, when everything has to be perfect and look more appealing, it’s important to have an easy-to-read website. That means:

  • readable font (size and font type);
  • line and paragraph spacing;
  • avoiding bright or neon colors for text;
    high-quality pictures that load fast on webpages;
  • creating a high-speed loading website;
  • not using bright color text on images or textured background with colored text (like the example below)

 

Neon or Rainbow Colored text and background

 

6. Don’t Place Content Marketing in the Friend Zone

 

We’ve previously talked about content optimization and the importance of it. We really hope you didn’t skip it. Content marketing isn’t something you need to miss and it truly needs your attention.

 

Content marketing isn’t about rewriting history but making it.

 

For a successful content marketing campaign, you need to put in action all the steps included by this strategic marketing approach, which means creating, publishing, and distributing content. While the first two steps are highly important, a lot of people forget about the last one – distribution.

 

Content marketing doesn’t mean only the writing process.

 

Content distribution refers to the way you share your content through online platforms. Amplification is a good technique to reach a wider audience and distribute your content. The good thing about this last step is the fact there are lots of ideas you can implement. Maybe some of the most effective and interesting are the next actions for content amplification:

  • try email outreach;
  • use content syndication on websites such as Medium;
  • post on Zest.is app to attract new audiences;
  • share your content on Mix, a replacement to Stumbleupon;
 

7. Create Themed Landing Pages to Look like a Fancy Location

 

Having a webpage designed for the occasion will be highly appreciated. For product pages, you can create categories for her and him, for types of gifts, for the longevity of the relationship, for the type of person you want to offer the gift (friend, lover, married partner).  

For example, the website below has designed a love calendar and additional categories gifts by the day such as:

  • Hug day specials
  • Flowers for Valentine’s Day
  • Valentine gift combos
  • Cakes for Valentine’s Day
  • Chocolates for Valentine’s Day
  • Personalized gifts and so on

 

Valentine's day themed webpage

 

That is a an example of good practice for an innovative way of presenting Valentine’s Day gift ideas. There are lots of options. Either you use page builder in WordPress to create a template or use different fonts, themed pictures & icons designed by the same template.

 

Don’t forget the singles! Create a category for single people, too. They might be an unexplored niche for certain products. Being a holiday that is associated with spending money, targeting singles might be an unexpected way to generate new leads and make singles invest money on themselves.

 

8. Use Internal Links to Have a Strong Foundation

 

As it has been proven numerous times until now, internal links are rising in popularity. Dawn Anderson says that:

 

Internal links are often as powerful as external links.
Dawn Anderson
International SEO consultant & Digital Marketing Lecturer Move It/ @dawnieando

 

Since you’re trying to hook the user and increase their time spent on the website, internal links are the connections you should build.

 

Internal links are like tree roots. Anchoring in the website ground to collect information to supply the user.

 

Internal links work in a similar way as external links do. They carry value and can improve the performance for certain pages and make them acquire better positions on search engines. The more internal links pointing to one page of your website, the greater the value of that page within the website. For example, if you a have a page with 10 internal links pointing to it, it will have a higher value than a page with 3 internal links. If you link to another page from that page with 10 internal links, it will pass greater value than linking from the ones that only have 3 links.

 

To put them into a more romantic lighting, internal links are like memories you create with your better half. There might be times when you find yourself in a situation that is connected to something you experienced as a couple in the past.

 

For a website, you create internal links to redirect the user to a piece of information that could help them, in addition to what they’re already reading.

 

Put into another perspective, when a page has no links to it, that page does not exist because no one will ever be able to access it. Internal links can help pages from your website get noticed and receive backlinks.

 

Site Audit allows you to analyze the internal links and find the issues. For example, you can see orphan pages, which are pages that are not linked to from another section of your site and cannot be found by search engine crawlers.

 

Orphan pages

 

A good internal link appears when the needs arises. Basically, if you’re writing about a heart-shaped cake recipe, you can link to similar recipes that would work great with these instructions. Another good example, since we’re talking about heart-shaped cakes, is linking to other articles on how to make icing colors so that the users see how to make red icing or create buttercream flowers or link to products available on site, such as food colors and more.

 

feb-14-Chocolate-Espresso-Valentines-Heart-Cake

 

9. Don’t Use Nofollow Links Like in a Friends with Benefits Relationship

 

Nofollow links are like those intriguing, already-know-what’s-gonna-happen telenovelas. Some say it’s good, some say it’s bad, but if Google let them on this planet, that means they should exist. An equal distribution of both dofollow and nofollow links is ok. Also, if you have fewer dofollow links still ok. In case you have more dofollow links thank nofollow ones, the situation might not look so bright.

 

Using only nofollow links will be like a friends-with-benefits relationship. Sooner or later it will blow up in your face, and somebody will get hurt. Most probably you.

 

On our recent study, we dicovered that unnatural backlink profiles are related to a high number of nofollow links. We analyzed 100,000 unnatural links to see their effect and discovered that websites with highly unnatural backlink profiles have over 70% nofollow links.

 

Unnatural dofollow links and nofollow links

 

Since you want to attract visitors on Valentine’s Day and basically rank on Google to gain organic traffic, it’s important not to fall in any trap. Don’t overstep on Google’s shoes, because it can become a bitter mother-in-law.

 

10. Use Images for Eye-Contact

 

A relevant and high-quality sized image can attract users and help them remember the information better. A study by Brain Rules shows that people remember only 0% of a piece of information three days later after they hear it, rather than 65% of the information if a relevant image is paired with that same piece. That happens because 70% of all your sensory receptors are in your eyes.

 

Visual receptors

Source: neomam.com

 

Images can keep your users more on the site. People can follow directions with text and illustrations 323% times better than people following directions without illustrations.

 

Using relevant visual content can do your website a lot of good in terms of SEO too. Recently, Google’s John Mueller commented in a hangout that it’s worthwhile to have unique images on each page not only as a good branding move but possibly as a search engine optimization one as well.

 

People follow instructions with illustrations

 

Having original images on every page of your website isn’t going to catapult your site to position zero. But, it may help you get your images featured in the answer box or in the image box results, which is great brand exposure.

 

Valentine’s Day is all about the visuals, beautiful scenery and romantic looks, so you can’t skip this part. The page should express romanticism and give you a warm-hug feeling.

 

An example of Valentine’s Day campaign for brand awareness that used images as a creative and smart was is Practo, an app for finding the right doctors for your problems. The campaign was called #HealthyBreakups and you can see below some illustrations. It could inspire you to do better campaigns for online advertising.

 

Practo-HealthyBreakups

 

11. Social Media Is Your Wing Man

 

Previous studies (proudly conducted with lots of love by us) show that on average, social presences (which includes likes, shares and comments on Facebook, plus shares on Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest) are negatively associated with site rank, that means the higher the average number of shares, comments and likes on social networking sites, the better ranking websites have in Google.

 

Social-Signals-Influence-SEO-

 

A proper campaign distributed on social media can have a high impact and collect site traffic and leads. Social Media doesn’t impact SEO directly but rather influences it in an indirect way, on the long run.

 

The 2017 Total Retail Survey by PWC shows that 47% shoppers choose either “social networks” or “visual social networks” as their main sources of inspiration. And that is a good practice because you can see what others are doing and see what hashtags are trending.

 

You can create social media marketing campaigns for everything. And the message is very important. If you want to be remembered, you need something short and smart. Take for example the #LoveInOtherWords campaign created by the publishing company Penguin Random House (PRH) in India.

 

 

12. Setting AMP Is like Offering a Beautiful Valentine’s Day Gift to Your Partner

 

AMP is a good implementation for websites that have a slow loading time. Developers claim that an accelerated mobile page is capable of loading up to 4 times faster than a regular HTML page. AMP is not mandatory, but it is desirable.

 

Google regularly stated that AMP is a not a ranking factor, but encourages webmasters to build them. As a business owner, you want the best and according to experts, mobile pages built with AMP are likely to outperform existing mobile pages in terms of speed.

 

AMP setting can be a plus for your website during Valentine’s Day, when you want everything to work smoothly.

 

13. Have a User-Friendly Website to Create the Most Intimate Atmosphere

 

A proper strategy for having a user-friendly website is a fundamental part of SEO. Your website needs to be device-friendly especially if we’re talking about sales, because you want sales on Valentine’s Day. And lots of them.

 

It is a self-understandable fact that mobile searches have increased together with the increase of mobile devices purchased. More than that, Statista has found that mobile traffic globally has a larger share of internet usage than desktop traffic, which is 52.64%.

 

Percentage of all global web pages served to mobile

 

As a recommendation, you should have a responsive website. Also, all the well-designed features, pop-ups, and ads appearing in the website must also be very well-thought. Try installing plugins to make the website work smoothly with all the additional information that loads on page for Valentine’s Day.

 

14. Create a Natural Flow on Site like an Itinerary for Your Loved One

 

Just like you’re following instructions for getting to the fancy restaurant with your better half on Valentine’s Day, it’s natural to give similar instructions to the users that want to search for information on your site. Site architecture and a well-thought sitemap are in the driver seat of the limousine you could be riding. You are imagining yourself drinking campaign in the limousine, aren’t you? You’re not the only one. [*guilty giggling*]

 

Using a sitemap doesn’t guarantee that all the items in your sitemap will be crawled and indexed, as Google processes rely on complex algorithms to schedule crawling. However, in most cases, your site will benefit from having a sitemap, and you’ll never be penalized for having one.

 

A sitemap is where you provide information about your web pages and the connections between them. An XML Sitemap explains to Google how your website is organized. You can create sitemaps and add them in Search Console. 

Google-Webmaster-Tools-Add-a-Sitemap

 

Search engines like Google read the sitemap file to more intelligently crawl your site. A sitemap tells the crawler which files you think are important in your site. In case you are having any issues regarding your sitemap, use the Site Audit and find out the crawled pages, the included URLs and check sitemaps HTTP status codes.

 

Sitemap Site Audit

 

Conclusion

 

Valentine’s Day is a special occasion that should target both couples and singles for successful results. You need SEO and smart marketing strategy driven by awesome content with good UX, relevant pictures and good architecture on website.

 

A successful receipt for good rankings and lots of sales on Valentine’s Day requires you to follow our heart-shaped cake receipt. You start from the bottom-up using lots of layers, which includes the site architecture layer, then the UX buttercream filling, the second layer is content marketing covered on top by content and image optimization as the buttercream filling.

 

For the top, you’ll nead AMP and mobile setting crumb coat and for decorations, you’ll need links icing and social media sprinkles. And there it is: a really nice, clean, smooth SEO layer cake. Of, course you can add more layers, more decorations to it. It all depends on the business.

 

Good luck “baking” and growing your love and your business!

The post ❤ 14 Lovely SEO Tips for Valentine’s Day appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.