Top 10 Tools to facilitate web development

30-second summary:

  • Web development is very essential for guiding you past the traditional methods of website development and approaching to other more unique and efficient prospects in the IT field.
  • Building an app or website is real but sometimes can be better facilitated through the testing and implementation phases of web tools.
  • Entering the new age of the digital world is just impossible without proper deployment, scaling, and database management. And this where the best web development weapons are on standby.

Web development tools are necessary to adapt and integrate in the development environments since they help you create a webpage, gather metrics, discover layouts and designs. Web development is all about evolving and stepping up the game you are currently very proficient in. Along with that it doesn’t demand much money,  require enormous sources or expect big money. The only thing development tools are incorporating is your boosted ultimate website performance. What is simply left is finding the right assistant on this journey. Here are the top 10 we have picked for you:

1. Chrome DevTool

If you are searching for a web assistant that would ensure your safety and optimize development, Chrome DevTool is sincerely recommended in this case. Taking into account that this is the most popular cross-platform browser of all, you should be certain that such a Chromium-based development technology will allow you to inspect, debug, and guide you through the browser.

While varied development tools are primarily focused on setting up websites, creating online stores, and launching blogs, Chrome DevTool is highly helpful in inspecting and tweaking. Although it is a bit hard to navigate through so many tabs and functions, Chrome DevTool offers you numerous panels for boosting productivity, analyzing load performance, and enhancing better user-friendly experience:

  • Elements panel
  • Console panel
  • Sources panel
  • Network panel
  • Performance panel
  • Memory panel
  • Application panel
  • Security panel

Such a division gives you a more fixed structure on elements and commands that you can apply depending on the existing page you are willing to diagnose. In order to access Chrome DevTools, you won’t even need to pay for anything, as it is built into the browser itself. Here is how you can open it.

2. VironIT

Good software development company’s support can facilitate your user experience with its comprehensive and all-inclusive approach even more. VironIT offers you a list of the new age web development tools and services to create a highly adaptable website or attractive web application.

If you wonder what kind of development tools are combined in one software, it might actually vary from AR&VR development (augmented and virtual reality) to IoT Software development (data visualization and analysis). Such a useful package of cross-platform tools in one place makes it easier for you to write, maintain and promote better development and react to possible vulnerabilities. In addition, it guarantees you rapid functionality of apps, programs, websites and its well-organized software designs.

There is nothing more efficient than a versatile service providing the fast and most secure web frameworks. You share the main goal.

3. React JS

React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces and reusable UI components. Why do many developers use this web development tool is mainly because of the ease of breaking a developing application into several simple parts. Moreover, the style of application code derived with the help of React components can be used for any program’s interface which significantly speeds the process up.

Obviously, if you are willing to learn ReactJS, you need to know how to work with JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS. The solid knowledge of any of these markup languages makes the optimization journey with ReactJS more helpful and enjoyable:

  • It is faster because it performs optimization while drawing up code to JavaScript.
  • It is also error-free since all technical mistakes can be spotted during compilation.
  • It is easier to write templates, especially when you are familiar with HTML.
  • It is entirely automated since it can handle the JavaScript code, which is suitable for many browsers.

4. Github

You have no clue what the new age of web development means if you don’t try out GitHub. This web platform enables you not only to manage the web applications by coordinating the tools and its usability, but also to deploy regular teams and campaigns to the completion of these same applications or projects. GitHub accesses you a lightweight, branch-based workflow that helps you experiment with taking over new tasks and managing the existing workflow.

  • It helps you make changes, reviews without affecting other involved branches.
  • It offers a smooth documentation process that often complements the quality coding process.
  • It can modify pages’ content and style remotely via the web or locally on your computer

Why GitHub? The suggested privileges of breaking down barriers within a team when the project is implemented and keeping everyone focused on having the best performance. In the same way, it can let your business flow run smoothly and consistently at any point in time.

5. Novi Builder

You can’t even imagine what excellent sophisticated features you have been holding back when you were not a member of the Novi Builder community. This easy-to-use development tool offers you facilities for HTML drag and drop builder, access to all existing and future templates including free of charge themes. Also, it provides you with 20 must-have plugins and elements, such as Social Plugins, Contact form, Sliders, Countdown, Google Maps, and more.

The functionality and designs are exactly built for beginners developers who want to evolve and rise up on their IT working ladder. It is a great chance for deepening your understanding of website creation and ensuring solid knowledge of application development.

Along with the above-mentioned features, here is what else Novi Builder has to offer:

  • It offers advanced code editor support.
  • It supercharges your projects just from scratch
  • It can install an app and make it live in several hours at low cost
  • It empowers and modifies your existing HTML website with additional application integration facilities

6. BugMuncher

The BugMuncher’s list of integrations includes GitHub, Jira, Trello making it more accessible and easier to edit packages and manifest files. The toolkit enables you to draw the problems captured on your website and send it across as a screenshot. Generally, BugMuncher teaches developers how to make visual highlights and get immediate feedback with the most accurate details. In addition, this feedback comes not just from random visitors but your current customers when they interact with your service and share the reports of JavaScript and AJAX errors.

Unlike the rest of the feedback tools, this one doesn’t misuse or distort gathered information. It does exactly the opposite by testing development phases and saving your existing project from bugs. If you are quite hesitant it takes too long to collect BugMuncher feedback, you should remember that it is not about your colleague’s professional suggestion, a customer as a prime source of feedback. They can deliver you the most constructive criticism that would help you hone your business’ website or app development.

7. Bootstrap

Bootstrap is low-key the most popular HTML, CSS, and JavaScript framework for developing responsive, mobile-first websites. Its open-source toolkit stores different templates and designs for creating common user interface components. These elements usually include forms, buttons, navigations, dropdowns, alerts, modals, tabs, accordions, carousels, tooltips, and so on. Basically, it allows you to build mobile-friendly websites with a smart drag and drop facility.

Moreover, ready-made blocks of code and flexible layouts needed for HTML, CSS can be easily customized and used in accordance with your project’s requirements. The greatest Bootstrap’s features of all are:

  • Extensive list of components
  • Solid guarantee of the project’s responsiveness
  • Useful icon library

8. Notepad++

Notepad++ is your great assistant in text editing, syntax highlighting, plugin maintaining and this list of handy features can actually go on. Although it is available on Windows only, it can still be supported by GitHub, a primary distribution party.

Additionally, Notepad++ supports 27 programming languages. If you go to the Binary Translations page you can easily choose the language you need. Alternatively, you can open User Language Define System to help you define the definition of keywords or regular expressions. Moreover, if you are advanced at coding in languages like C++, Batch, and HTML, Notepad++ is just an ideal service for you. Imagine that:

  • You can find every instance of a word and perform actions on it.
  • You can access the replace function and get a change reference for each word.
  • You can also save time by typing the keyboard shortcut and skipping the appeared code next time or previous time.

Doesn’t it sound amazing to apply a word-search and text-editor tool like this with just a quick installation and some default language setting? You should definitely try it out.

9. Source tree

We wouldn’t bet on the wrong horse if we said that most of you are intermediate or even advanced developers who’d rather focus on coding than interacting with the Git repositories. SourceTree is a free web development tool available for Mac and Windows and perfect for database visualization and management. However, Source tree equally claims to serve both powerful experts, as well as absolute beginners. Yet, understanding the interface specs is easier than you can even think:

  • Bookmark windows represent database you are aligned with
  • Toolbar lets you take action without any command line
  • The sidebar is where you access the information about your current project
  • Repository history and code diffs share control to monitor previous changes

From now any coding changes will be demonstrated in real-time and with the aggregated view on all of your work.

10. Lambda Test

Certainly, before displaying your website to the users’ eyes, as a developer you are in charge of rendering it over different browsers. Depending on the coding language you use (like HTML, CSS  & JavaScript) they should be tested beforehand. Lambda Test is your main guide to ensure that your web application is adaptable for any browser even after you push code changes. Such cross-browser test automation offered by Lambda Test has a very simple and easy to understand interface. Even more, better addition is a vast collection of integration facilities (screenshots screen recording, plugins, and so on). All in all, this unique rendering mechanism is less complex, time-consuming, and instead much cheaper and faster in use.

Conclusion

Now, you are completely forearmed to successfully lead the war of web development. Getting an application done or an advanced code supported has never been easier. Try these top tools out and you will not regret it.

The post Top 10 Tools to facilitate web development appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Speed and performance of Web dev, SEO, and marketing agencies websites

30-second summary:

  • The research shows most agencies failed when it comes to the performance of their website.
  • Search engine ranking is a multi-factor game, and performance, while it matters for many reasons, is just one piece in this puzzle.
  • Nebojsa Radakovic shares insights.

Ever since Google announced that page speed would be a ranking factor in its mobile-first index in 2018, the need for speed became one of the most important aspects of web dev trait. A lot of businesses jumped onto the speed train. 

Sure enough, one year later, Google reported that sites are faster, and abandonment rates are down since making page speed a ranking factor.

With performance being one of the top-selling points of a modern-day web dev architecture Jamstack that we are so into, it was only natural to take a deep dive into the industries that tackle website performance and see how we stand against our peers.

TL;DR: Key findings

Don’t have the time to read through the research? Here are the key findings:

  • 27% of websites from our 20K sample still run on HTTP
  • 65.7% of the websites are built with WordPress
  • Only 2.7% of websites have good performance scores
  • 2.9% of websites provide good user experience to their users, ie Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) occurs within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading

What data was I interested in, and why?

Lighthouse performance metrics. There are a couple of popular speed testing tools, but most people use Lighthouse. While it may not be perfect because it provides a mix of both lab and field data about a page, I’ve used Pagespeed Insights API as described in James McNulty UpBuild post here, although updated to show core web vitals.

CMS. WordPress or not. 37% of all websites are powered by WordPress. Being the most popular web dev solution, it would be interesting to see and compare different solutions in terms of speed and performance.

Where did I get my URLs from?

Gathering URLs is a time-consuming work. But I managed to get 20k URLs (20397 URLs to be exact). I’ve cross-referenced results I got from scraping the first-page organic results of a set of keywords (like SEO agency, web dev agency, etc.), results I got by using tools such as Phantombuster to scrap review websites, and results I got from hiring virtual assistants on Upwork and Fiver.

There are a couple of issues I had to take care of first. Amazingly 27% of websites from my 20K sample still run on HTTP. That’s not good at all. On top of that, I had a bunch of URLs coming up with NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID error message in Chrome. Once those were taken care of, I ended up having results 13945 URLs instead of 20K.

The data

Popular CMS- Speed and performance research

Of course, the most popular CMS is WordPress, with 65.7% of websites from my sample using it. For 18.8%, I was not able to detect any CMS. 2.58% run on Squarespace, 1.6% are built with Drupal, 1.41% are on Wix, and so on.

The results should not come as a surprise given that WordPress powers 37% of all the websites on the Internet or 63.6% of all the websites with known CMS.

Performance scores – How scores are color-coded by Google

The metrics scores and the perf score are colored according to these ranges:

  • 0 to 49 (Red): Poor
  • 50 to 89 (Orange): Needs Improvement
  • 90 to 100 (Green): Good

You can read more about it here.

As far as the performance scores for all websites are concerned, 77.1% of the websites are in the poor range, which means there is a lot of room for improvement.

URL performance - Speed and performance research

Pretty much the same story when we check only WordPress websites, 83.9% are in the poor performance range.

Performance WordPress - Speed and performance research

Core Web Vitals

By now, you probably are well aware of Core Web Vitals. Their importance is twofold:

  • Google considers them essential in a webpage’s overall user experience, and understanding them can help you improve the quality of experience you are delivering to your users,
  • Google plans to make a page experience an official Google ranking factor with Core Web Vitals being an essential part of it.

The current set for Core Web Vitals focuses on three aspects of the user experience: loading (described with Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) metric), interactivity (described with First Input Delay (FID) metric), and visual stability (described with Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) metric).

For this research, numbers follow the performance scores. For example, check out the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) results.

Largest-Contentful-Paint-(LCP): Speed and performance analysis

Conclusion

Being that I’ve tested only 20k URLs (actually 13945), let’s not generalize conclusions. However, the general ‘feel’ is that the ones required to think of speed and performance failed the test.

Performance, while it matters for many reasons, is not and should not be the end goal. It depends not only on the tech used but also ‘features’ you’ll have on a website, which pretty much depends on the industry/theme your website is in. And balancing performance and functionality successfully depends on the value a feature brings to your business versus the reduction in speed that results.

The thing is, whatever tech you use, you can end up with good scores (some easier than others). The real question is, how important are the scores for your client, their business, and their audience?

Nebojsa Radakovic is an SEO wiz with 20 years of experience. He is also an extreme sports enthusiast. He can be found on Twitter @CookieDuster_N.

The post Speed and performance of Web dev, SEO, and marketing agencies websites appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Accessible Machine Learning for SEOs — Whiteboard Friday

Posted by BritneyMuller

Machine learning — a branch of artificial intelligence that studies the automatic improvement of computer algorithms — might seem far outside the scope of your SEO work. MozCon speaker (and all-around SEO genius) Britney Muller is here with a special edition of Whiteboard Friday to tell you why that’s not true, and to go through a few steps to get you started. 

To see more on machine learning from Britney and our other MozCon 2020 speakers, check out this year’s video bundle. 

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Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Hey, Moz fans. Welcome to this special edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today we are taking a sneak peek at what I spoke about at MozCon 2020, where I made machine learning accessible to SEOs everywhere.

This is so, so exciting because it is readily at your fingertips today, and I’m going to show you exactly how to get started. 

So to kick things off, I learned about this weird concept called brood parasites this summer, and it’s fascinating. It’s basically where one animal tricks another animal of the same species to raise its young.

It’s fascinating, and the more I learned about it, the more I realized: oh my gosh, I’m sort of like a brood parasite when it comes to programming and machine learning! I latch on and find these great models that do all the work — all of the raising — and I put in my data and my ideas, and it does things for me.

So we are going to use this concept to our advantage. In fact, I have been able to teach my dad most of these models that, again, are readily available to you today within a tool called Colab. Let me just walk you through what that looks like. 

Models to get you started

So to get started, if you want to start warming up right now, just start practicing clicking “Shift” and then click “Enter”.

Just start practicing that right now. It’s half the battle. You’re about to be firing up some really cool models. 



All right. What are some examples of that? What does that look like? So some of the models you can play with today are things like DeOldify, which is where you repair and colorize old photos. It’s really, really fun. 

Another one is a text generator. I created one with GTP-2 — super silly, it’s this excuse generator. You can manipulate it and make it do different things for you. 

There’s also a really, really great forecasting model, where you basically put in a chunk of time series data and it predicts what the future might have in store. It’s really, really powerful and fun.

You can summarize text, which is really valuable. Think about meta descriptions, all that good stuff. 

You can also automate keyword research grouping, which I’ll show you here in a second. 

You can do really powerful internal link analysis, set up a notebook for that.

Perhaps one of the most powerful things is you can extract entities and categories as Google perceives them. It’s one of my favorite APIs. It’s through Google’s NLP API. I pull it into a notebook, and you basically put the URLs you want to extract this information from and you can compare how your URL compares to competitors.

It’s really, really valuable, fun stuff. So most importantly, you cannot break any of this. Do not be intimidated by any of the code whatsoever. Lots of seasoned developers don’t know what’s happening in some of those code blocks. It’s okay.

Using Colab

We get to play in this environment. It’s hosted in Google Drive, and so there’s no fear of this breaking anything on your computer or with your data or anything. So just get ready to dive in with me. Please, it’s going to be so much fun. Okay, so like I said, this is through a free tool called Colab. So you know how Google basically took Excel and made Google Sheets?

They did the same thing with what’s known as Jupyter Notebooks. So these were locally on computers. It’s one of the most popular notebook environments. But it requires some setup, and it can be somewhat clunky. It gets confused with different versions and yada, yada. Google put that into the cloud and is now calling it Colab. It’s unbelievably powerful.

So, again, it’s free. It’s available to you right now if you want to open it up in a new tab. There is zero setup. Google also gives you access to free GPU and TPU computing, which is great. It has a 12-hour runtime. 

Some cons is that you can hit limits. So I hit the limits, and now I’m paying $9.99 a month for the Pro version and I’ve had no problems.

Again, I’m not affiliated with this whatsoever. I’m just super passionate about it, and the fact that they offer you a free version is so exciting. I’ve already seen a lot of people get started in this. It’s also something to note that it’s probably not as secure or robust as Google’s Enterprise solution. So if you’re doing this for a large company or you’re getting really serious about this, you should probably check out some other options. But if you’re just kind of dabbling and want to explore and have fun, let’s keep this party going. 

Using pandas

All right. So again, this is basically a cloud hosted notebook environment. So one thing that I want to really focus on here, because I think it’s the most valuable for SEOs, is this library known as “pandas”.

Pandas is a data frame library, where you basically run one — or two — lines of code. You can choose your file from your local computer, so I usually just upload CSVs. This silly example is one that I really did run with Google Search Console data.

So you run this in a notebook. Again, I’m sharing this entire notebook with you today. So if you just go to it and you do this, it brings you through the cells. It’s not as intimidating as it looks. So if you just click into that first cell, even if it’s just that text cell, “Shift + Enter”, it will bring you through the notebook. 

So once you get past and once you fire up this chunk of code right here, upload your CSV. Then once you upload it, you are going to name your data frame. 

So these are the only two cells you need to really change or do anything with if you want. Well, you need to. 

So we are uploading your file, and then we are grabbing that file name. In this case, mine was just “gsc-example.csv”. Again, once you upload it, you will see the name in that output here. So you just put that within this code block, run this, and then you can do some really easy lines of code to check to make sure that your data is in there.

So one of the first ones that most people do is “df”. This is your data frame that you named with your file right here. So you just do “df.head()”. This shows you the first five rows of your data frame. You can also do “df.tail()”, and it shows you the last five rows of your data frame.

You can even put in a number in here to modify how many rows you want to explore. So maybe you do “df.head(30)”, and then you see the first 30 rows. It’s that easy just to get it in there and to see it. Now comes the really fun stuff, and this is just tip of the iceberg.

So you can run this really, really cool code cell here to create a filterable table. What’s powerful about this, especially with your Google Search Console data, is you can easily extract and explore keywords that have high click-through rate and a low ranking in search. It’s one of my favorite ways to explore keyword opportunities for clients, and it couldn’t be easier.

So check that out. This is kind of the money part right here. 

If you’re doing keyword research, which can take a lot, right, you’re trying to bucket keywords, you’re trying to organize topics and all that good stuff, you can instantly create a new column with pandas with branded keyword terms.

So just to walk you through this, we’re going “df[“Branded”]”. This is the name of the new column we’re going to create. We have this query string “contains,” and this is just regex, (“moz|rand|ose”). So any keywords that contain one of those words gets in the “Branded” column a “True”.

So now that makes filtering and exploring that so much faster. You can even do this in ways where you can create an entirely different data frame table. So sometimes if you have lots and lots of data, you can use the other cell in that example. All of these examples will be in the notebook.

You can use that and export your keywords into buckets like that, and there’s no stall time. Things don’t freeze up like Excel. You can account for misspellings and all sorts of good stuff so, so easily with regular expressions. So super, super cool.

Conclusion

Again, this is just tip of the iceberg, my friends. I am most excited to sort of plant this seed within all of you so that you guys can come back and teach me what you’ve been able to accomplish. I think we have so much more to explore in this space. It is going to be so much fun. If you get a kick out of this and you want to continue exploring different models, different programs within Colab, I highly suggest you download the Colab Chrome extension.

It just makes opening up the notebook so much easier. You can save a copy to your drive and play with it all you want. It’s so much fun. I hope this kind of sparked some inspiration in some of you, and I am so excited to hear what all of you think and create. I really appreciate you watching.

So thank you so much. I will see you all next time. Bye.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com


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Why behavior analysis is important online business

30-second summary:

  • A typical consumer now owns an average of 3.6 devices which means a person’s journey may start from a laptop and end on a mobile or a tablet.
  • In the ecommerce business, the cart abandonment rate is the thing that haunts most of the business owners.
  • Developing analytical skills can help you better manage these obstacles.
  • MD of SEO Discovery shares a guide to help you understand Cohort Analysis and Behavior Analysis to eliminate roadblocks and improve engagement.

In today’s digital age, the customer journey is getting complex day by day and if you are doing online business then it’s vital to understand your customer journey. A typical consumer now owns an average of 3.6 devices which means a person’s journey may start from a laptop and end on a mobile or a tablet.

In the ecommerce business, the cart abandonment rate is the thing that haunts most of the business owners. According to Statista, 88.05 percent of online shopping orders were abandoned in March 2020 worldwide, which means over 88% of people added selected products into the cart and left without buying for various reasons. This is a massive business opportunity loss for ecommerce players.

Developing analytical skills can help you better manage these obstacles. Without adequate knowledge of analytics, your marketing won’t work because you won’t know what worked and what didn’t work. All the marketing suits come with analytics tools to help perceive the behavior, engagement metrics, and demographics of the visitors coming to a website. The most common web analytics tools are Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Kiss Metrics, and Mixpanel. They generally come with the following features and capabilities:

  • Real-time analytics
  • Mobile analytics
  • Attribution modeling
  • Segmentation
  • Ecommerce tracking
  • Funnel analysis
  • Cohort analysis
  • Cross-device tracking
  • In-page analytics (Session recording, click tracking, heatmaps)
  • Goal conversion tracking
  • Event tracking
  • A/B testing

Every feature has its own data sets which can be compared to help you make informed decisions. Today we are going to understand Cohort Analysis and Behavior Analysis to eliminate roadblocks and improve engagement.

What is a Cohort Analysis and why is it important?

Cohort analysis is a subset of users grouped by shared characteristics. It simply allows you to compare the behavior and metrics of different cohorts over time.

Cohort Analysis Example – Finding Engagement Drop

Let’s suppose you have an online food ordering website/app and using acquisition date (when users started their first sessions) cohorts you can find out when in the customer lifecycle your users tend to drop off.

Cohort table for behavior analysis

The best way for visualizing this data is to chart out the retention curve, portraying retention over time.

Cohort Curve - Behavior analysis

This retention curve clearly reflects the most important insight – around 75% of the users stop using the website after the first day. We can see a downfall in the engagement. Hence, it’s evident to improve the overall experience and abet customers through daily offers/coupons to boosting retention.

Cohort Analysis Comparison – Organic vs Direct

The below cohort analysis indicates that organic traffic has a better retention rate than direct.

Cohort - Organic vs Direct - Behavior analysis

 

Visitor behavior analysis and its importance

It’s a process of tracking user behavior on a website and there are some great tools in the market that give accurate information. Tools like Hotjar, MouseFlow, Crazy Egg record visitor sessions to see how visitors are navigating on the website. They also offer click tracking and heatmaps to analyze the most engaging and ignored (skipped) elements on a page.

Screenshot - Mouseflow - Understanding visitors' behavior analysis

If you look at the above heatmap, you would notice that no one bothered to click on “PORTFOLIO” in the top menu, which means people aren’t interested in see the portfolio. Maybe we have to replace it with something more interesting (like Case Studies, Achievements, and more) which grabs a visitor’s attention. These kinds of insights help you add/remove elements to improve page engagement.

Using filters, you can further segment your audience to dig deep and pull out actionable insights, see those filter below:

Screenshot - Mouseflow_Filters

In Google Analytics, behavior flow gives you a visual presentation of how people are navigating on your website. You can apply segments to get a deeper view of their behavior and it also enables you to apply different dimensions on top of these segments to get actionable insights.

 GA Behaviour Flow

The power of these analytical tools lies in the fact that it allows you to view which customers leave and what’s making them leave your website/app – so that you can fix it. You can also hire a professional digital marketing agency that can help you find these hurdles and remove them to enhance your overall engagement.

Mandeep Singh is the MD of SEO Discovery. He’s mission is to provide affordable digital marketing services to startups and SMEs. He’s an official member of Forbes Agency Council. You can find him on LinkedIn.

The post Why behavior analysis is important online business appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Guide to using interactive 404s to boost your SEO

30-second summary:

  • Reducing bad user experience of 404 errors by branding and customizing them.
  • Including links to 404s allow users to navigate the website even when they come across a potential dead end.
  • Boost SEO by placing your sitemap, homepage tab, and search bar.
  • Usage of conversational language along with attractive visuals reduces user’s contempt and frustration.
  • Mention of blog on your customized 404 error page promotes your intellectual prowess for possible users who might be interested in your content.
  • Amanda Jerelyn shares some amazing methods to improve the SEO of your site even through 404 pages.
  • Lastly, some tips to help you avoid 404 errors wherever possible.

Bad user experience can lead to your website’s demise and can also adversely affect your website rankings. This is why 404 errors are considered deplorable when taking into their perspective regarding both user experience and the search engine rankings of your website.

However, there are ways through which you can use 404s to boost your SEO, as in some situations, it is not a broken link but an error by the user that can cause them.

A 404 can be generated when a user types in a faulty address, and this may result in an error being generated on their browser that may look bad, but you can definitely address the situation.

According to a recent study conducted by Gomez, a commercial platform that runs tests for web performance, 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience.

In the light of this information, let us take a quick look at some of the ways you can use 404s to negate such inferences and strengthen your SEO.

1. Add links to them

Creating interactive 404s - Add links

Screenshot Credits

Perhaps one of the best ways to make use of 404s is to design them so that it can link random internal pages from your website. This will allow you to get more website pages indexed through your 404 error pages. This can be achieved by running an algorithm that can help you to link out to a random number of internal pages.

Hence whenever a 404 page is generated, the links also change each time. According to Neil Patel’s own practice, he was able to boost TechCrunch search engine traffic by 9% in just a matter of 30 days. As far as search engines go, Google itself encourages developers to create custom 404 pages.

Since it is a standard HTML page, developers can customize it the way they want to, hence adding links to 404 pages shouldn’t be a big hassle.

2. Brand and customize them

Creating interactive 404s - Brand and customize

Screenshot Credits

The inconvenience user experiences when they run into a 404 can be quite infuriating; however, this is also a moment where you can use creativity to capture their attention. By branding and customizing your 404 pages, one can actually boost their website revenues and increase their conversions.

However, this might involve additional effort where a 404 page has to be properly designed and optimized in order to turn lost visitors into loyal customers. A standard 404 page doesn’t look good at all. In fact, it seems like coming for an era that was far less progressive. We understand that visuals play a huge role in attracting customers.

Several social media and marketing statistics proclaim the power of visuals, such as the fact that 96% of online shoppers watch a video about a product or a service before making a decision and that 88% of marketers prefer visuals in their published content.

So why refrain from using visuals and not branding your 404s? The answer is that you should definitely not only brand them but also customize them to make them even more appealing for your users.

3. Put in a search bar

Creating interactive 404s - Add a search bar

Screenshot Credits

Another great tactic to follow with your 404 pages is to add in a search bar. This is further reflected by the study published by the Search Engine Journal, where 81% of users think less of a brand if it’s outdated, and that 40% of users consider search box as the most important feature.

Therefore this should be plenty of reasons for you to make this change happen. A search bar added to your 404 is like sweet candy to a small kid who just dropped their ice-cream.

Surely it is not what they were expecting, but with the power of search in their hands, they can begin their adventure anew. Plus, a nice consolidating message to go along with it would also work wonders.

It is all about compensating for the error they just ran into. Hence you are covering damages and making it easier for your users to recover from them.

4. Include mentions of popular landing pages

Creating interactive 404s - Add popular landing pages to encourage engagement

Screenshot Credits

Remember that your main goal is to create attention for your online users and direct them to your most profitable and viable landing pages. Hence even when your customers accidentally land themselves on a 404 error page, you can continue your efforts to divert their attention from the error and towards your most popular products and services. It is like a never-back down approach.

Sure, you would be offering them some comforting words to soften the impact created by the error. However, marketing is all about never quitting. Hence your 404 actually becomes like a landing page. It is true no one would actually land on a 404 with intention.

However, when they do, you will be prepared for them to divert the traffic to the most popular pages on your website. This can downright act out as a recommendation for your users. According to a recent report by McKinsey and Company, 35% of Amazon’s and 75% of Netflix’s revenues are generated by their recommendation engines, respectively.

5. Place your sitemap

Creating interactive 404s - Place your site map

Screenshot Credits

If you are from the SEO side of things and adept in the knowledge that encircles the mastery of search engine rankings, then you know for sure that sitemaps can be extremely good for your websites. Since they are listed in search control, there is no doubt that Google does pay attention to them. Hence it would be great for your 404s to include a sitemap on them.

This will allow users to easily navigate through your website without leaving your website or going back to the SERPs (search engine result pages) to start their journey all over again. Hence you would be effectively reducing pogo-sticking. This will thus enhance your users’ dwell-time.

6. Use conversational language

Creating interactive 404s - Use conversational language

Screenshot Credits

It must be pretty obvious by now that a remedy for a 404 lies in offering users a human touch that softens their impact, and this can be further augmented with the use of conversational language.

You want your customers and website visitors to feel less infuriated, and in order to do that, you need to spread out some comfort for them so that they do not feel agitated.

This can be reflected by a recent study by Business 2 Community, where they emphasize the use of conversational marketing. According to the study, 79% of consumers are willing to use messaging apps for customer service, 82% consider immediate response as extremely important, and 36% of companies are actively using live chat for marketing and sales.

Hence the idea over here is to make your users feel as if you are directly speaking to them, and this can help break the ice and reduce the tension created.

7. Get to homepage tab

Creating interactive 404s - Homepage tab

Screenshot Credits

Probably one of the easiest get around for your 404 pages is to link back to the homepage. What you are doing is here is giving your customers the easiest route to start their search all over again without letting them go and trying to keep them on your domain.

8.   Mention your blog

Mention your blog

Screenshot Credits

Blogs are considered a good choice for your audiences as well. While they may not be good for directly influencing their behavior, they can certainly create awareness that your domain does publish interesting content that users might find interesting to read.

It’s just a small nudge in the right direction. Obviously, customers who are looking to buy products or hire services would like to be directed to their requested pages, but mentioning your blog on a 404 is like saying, “hey there, we have more in store for you!”

Many students nowadays also go through blogs while they buy research papers online to increase their pool of knowledge relating to their field of study.

9.   Avoiding the 404 Error

Lastly, I would like to share some guidelines with you to help you avoid 404s where you can possibly manage to reduce them. This will only make your user experience skyrocket and help negate dissonance from users. Here are some quick tips:

  • Log into your Google Search Console account.
  • Check the Coverage report to see how many URLs are returning error codes.
  • Use the URL Inspection Tool to find more details about each error.
  • A 301 redirect is considered a good option for rectifying a 404 status.

Why are we doing this after all of the discussion above? This is because having too many 404s can prove to be detrimental to your user’s experience. Hence if you are notified about their existence, you should resolve them.

Conclusion

The 404 error codes undoubtedly leave a negative impact on your users and visitors. However, there are various ways you can make them add value for your customers.

I hope this post was able to offer you some meaningful ways through which you can use 404s in an interactive manner to boost your website’s SEO. For more questions regarding the topic, please feel free to post your queries in the comment section below.

Amanda Jerelyn currently works as a Marketing Manager at Dissertation Assistance, a perfect place for students to buy academic writing services from expert dissertation writers UK.  During her free time, she likes to practice mindful yoga to keep herself fit and healthy.

The post Guide to using interactive 404s to boost your SEO appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Top 15 Chrome extensions for social media marketers

30-second summary:

  • When it comes to the internet browser, Google Chrome, with its extensive list of extensions is the indisputable chart-topper.
  • As a digital marketer, you have to keep track of so many things – different projects at various stages of development, research, reporting, new leads, existing clients, et cetera.
  • Bhavik Soni shares a list of the top 15 Chrome extensions that will make social media marketers more productive, smart, and efficient.
  • These are categorized into extensions for – Productivity, research and tracking, content creation and implementation, and digital marketing. Dive in!

When it comes to the internet browser, Google Chrome, with its extensive list of extensions is the indisputable chart-topper. From simple theme-based to technical coding-related, the extension list in chrome is practically endless.

This extension-packed list also boasts a wide variety of efficient social media extensions that boost professionalism, punctuality, and productivity. And, who wouldn’t love a convenient free plugin that makes life easier!

As a digital marketer, you have to keep track of so many things – different projects at various stages of development, research, reporting, new leads, existing clients, et cetera. These extension apps create a focus-orientated and organized work environment by keeping marketers updated on project developments, sending to-do reminders, enhancing content, and more.

In short, these install-and-use plugins act as the ace up their sleeves for social network marketers. They work as useful gadgets and trained assistants. They are the must-have social media marketing tools for every marketer.

You can optimize and make Google work for you in a jiffy by adding these 15 Chrome Extensions to your browser today.

Chrome Productivity Extensions

1. StayFocused: App block & website block google chrome extension

Designed to boost productivity, the StayFocused extension limits the amount of time you spend on vanity Googling. It offers the brute force you need somedays to anchor your focus to what’s more important.

Pricing:

Free

2. Momentum: Personal dashboard new tab chrome extension

Perhaps, Momentum is the best Chrome extension for productivity. It steers your focus from idle to important by motivating you with quotes, encouraging positivity with mantras, and inspiring with serene photography. Features like Daily Focus, To-Do, Countdowns, Metrics, Event Reminder and Links help you browse the internet with intent. What’s more? The plus version is available for just $3.33/month.

Pricing

$3.33/month

Research and tracking extensions

3. Diigo Web Collector: Highlighter and bookmarker for chrome

Diigo is a research chrome extension that lets you highlight important phrases, bookmark and save pages, write notes, and collect references at a single place. It comes in handy for social media marketers, who generally invest hours in R&D for planning a campaign, learning trends, and comparing the competitor’s strategy.

Pricing:

Free

4. Google Analytics URL Builder: Online UTM tracking

This is a tracking extension that lets you build UTM parameters. With the help of this plugin, you will be able to gauge the effectiveness of the UTM tags used in the campaigns. Google Analytics URL Builder also allows you to share templates with others, saves time when you have to generate URLs manually, and shares progress with clients.

Pricing:

Free

5. Ghostery: Makes web cleaner, faster, and safer

Ghostery is designed to block ads and trackers, this productivity chrome extension makes a great social media marketing tool. With its help, you will be able to learn the trackers on the competitor’s sites that they use to attract, engage, and convert the visitors.

Pricing

$11.99 USD /month/user*

6. SpyFu: SEO and PPC tools for professionals

Yet another efficient tracker extension that lets you peek into the competitor’s site data. Spyfu reveals extensive information, including where the competitor appeared on Google in the past nine years. The social media marketing (SMM) plugin also shows all keywords bought on AdWords, every ad variation, and every organic rank for $33/month.

Pricing

$33/month

Content creation and implementation

7. Canva: Design is all around us

How social media advertising will perform relies a lot on visuals. Photo-driven platforms like Instagram and Pinterest yield better ROI than content-driven Twitter or Facebook. It is because photos get more engagement. To ensure you can make most of this social media trend, creating impressive and attention-grabbing posts become imperative. It is where Canva comes into the picture.

Pricing

Free

8. Figure it Out: Solve your time zone pain

A digital marketer works for clients and target audiences in different time zones. For them, Figure it Out proves to be a handy tool. It is an extension that lets you keep track of up to 10 time zones, and makes scheduling posts accordingly.

Pricing

Free and paid ($3/month)

9. WhatFont: Identify fonts on web pages

We get it, fonts are tricky. Download an app, and it gives you hundreds of fonts that are too similar-looking, too familiar, or too quirky for your campaign. One day you browse a site – may be a competitor’s – and find just the font you were looking for but have no clue which one it is.

That’s when WhatFont comes to the rescue. A single click and it reveals not only the name but also the family, style, weight, size, line height, and color of the font.

Pricing

Free

10. Unsplash Instant: Beautiful photos in your new tab

For every social media marketing post, there is a tedious task to find high-quality, professional stock pictures, usually for free. Unsplash Instant lets you find great photos ranging from flowers and skies to desktops and artsy portraits. You can save them for free and use it for all kinds of commercial use.

Pricing

Free

11. Colorzilla: Advanced colorful goodies

Colorzilla allows you to hover over any color shown on a webpage and learn about its hex code for future use in a social media ad post. With this plugin, you will be able to create consistent color themes, appealing visuals, and come up with perfect palettes.

Pricing

Free

12. Sniply: Drive conversion through content

Social media promotions through third-party content are more effective when they include a tempting call-to-action that takes the reader to your own online space. Sniply helps you make those conversion-generating posts by letting you add custom CTA to any piece of content. On the dashboard, the plugin will show how many clicks your links are getting and the level of engagement for tracking purposes.

Pricing

$29/month

Digital marketing extensions

13. IFTTT for Marketing and social media automation

IFTTT free digital marketing extension syncs multiple apps and automates them, thus saving a lot of time and effort. In simple terms, you could post a pic on a dozen different platforms all at once.

Pricing

Free

14. Buffer: Share content easily

With this social media extension, you will be able to schedule and manage posts across different platforms. Buffer will also let you follow up with analytics to track the performance of each post.

Pricing

$85/mo

15. LastPass: Free password manager

By downloading the LastPass Chrome extension, you will not need to remember dozens of passwords to each social media platform. This free password manager will do it for you. You could also create a master password through LastPass.

Pricing

Free

Let’s sum it up

Here’s a guide to 15 best Chrome extensions available for social media marketers. From saving bookmarks to managing posts and passwords, these plugins will work as assistants to digital professionals.

Note: Details like pricing are subject to change as per the respective tool provider.

Bhavik Soni is a Creative Writer at Auto Monkey. We provide an original analysis of the latest happenings in the social media industry. Connect with Latest Social Media Trends and News plus tips on Twitter, Facebook, and other social tools on the web.

The post Top 15 Chrome extensions for social media marketers appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Creating viral content: Is it possible to harness viral trends?

30-second summary:

  • STEPPS model singles out social currency, triggers, emotional value, public popularity, practical value, and background stories as common points between viral content.
  • People’s tendency to mimic popular behavior and be a part of a group activity results in viral trends.
  • The internet likes content that is raw and genuine.
  • Evelyn Johnson details the elements of viral content and how brands can achieve it.

George Miller, famously known as Joji is one of the fastest rising musicians. He’s the first Asian-born artist to top R&B and hip-hop charts, he achieved this feat with his first studio album. But Joji is no stranger to fame. Before he was a teenage heartthrob —Joji was garnering millions of views on YouTube as FilthyFrank. This online persona was edgy, outrageous, and oftentimes, outright filthy which helped qualify as viral content.

To top it all off, FilthyFrank was responsible for creating one of the biggest viral trends in the history of the Internet.

The Harlem Shake

Back when TikTok wasn’t a thing and Twitter was just a few years old —viral trends were somewhat rare. It was unusual for people to replicate a popular video and take part in activities just because others were doing it on the internet.

The Harlem Shake changed all this. It’s hard to describe this trend so I will let Wikipedia do its job.

“The videos usually last about 30 seconds and feature an excerpt of the 2012 song “Harlem Shake” by American EDM producer Baauer. Baauer’s song starts with a 15-second intro, a bass drop, then 15 seconds with the bass, and a lion roar at the end of the first 30 seconds. Usually, a video begins with one person (often helmeted or masked) dancing to the song alone for 15 seconds, surrounded by other people not paying attention or seemingly unaware of the dancing individual. When the bass drops, the video cuts to the entire group dancing for the rest of the video”.

To explain it simply, a small 30-second clip of Joji dancing in his Pink Guy persona along with his friends in outlandish costumes caught fire, and soon, everyone wanted in on the act. Even the Norwegian Army joined in the fun.

Now, does this make any sense? Of course not.

The internet can be pretty senseless at times (or maybe most of the time). It’s hard to determine what exactly will capture the imagination of the masses.

But this hasn’t stopped social scientists from analyzing virality and what causes people to participate in a trend.

What exactly makes something go viral?

Let’s say you are a marketing manager at an ecommerce store trying to create a viral promo code. You may look at popular trends and get bedazzled by their randomness. Should you gather a group of individuals in random costumes and make them dance? Maybe it will turn out to be the next Harlem Shake?

Hopefully, it wouldn’t come to that as many academics and marketing professionals have tried to make sense of internet virality. Among them, Jonah Berger STEPPS Model and Robert Cialdini’s Principle of Social Proof and a study by Cambridge University gives an important insight into the psychology behind viral videos.

1. Jonah Berger’s STEPPS Model

When it comes to understanding virality, Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger is a familiar name. In his book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Berger attributes six main reasons for the success of videos that go viral. He defines it as the STEPPS model:

  1. Social Currency: People share content that makes them seem smart and cool. While most of us would like to believe otherwise, we do care what others think of us.
  2. Triggers: Relates to the idea of “top of mind, tip of tongue”. People talk about things that are in their minds.
  3. Emotion: When people care, they share. Individuals are likely to share content they found emotionally arousing.
  4. Public: Anything that’s already popular is more likely to be shared further. People imitate other people.
  5. Practical Value: Useful stuff is also widely shared. Informational content has great value and hence “How to” videos often go viral.
  6. Stories: People are always interested in compelling narratives and stories. Anything that connects with the audience has a chance of being shared.

It’s hard not to trace at least some of these attributes in content that goes viral.

Old Town Road

Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road became a hit because it had a certain social currency. It was a cool genre-bending song about country life that people loved sharing. Since the song was released around a time when a game with similar themes —Red Dead Redemption, was extremely popular, it triggered a massive response.

People were sharing the memes of Old Town Road long before it became number one at Billboard 100. This means the song had a public aspect as well from the STEPPS model.

Admittedly, the song provided no real practical value. But it had an intriguing story: the song was removed from the country chart as critics believed it did not belong to the genre. This prompted country legend, Billy Ray Cyrus, to come out in the song’s support and collaborate with the singer.

2. Robert Cialdini’s principle of social proof

In his book, ‘Influence — The Psychology of Persuasion’, Robert Ciadini introduces the concept of social proof. In his own words:

“The greater the number of people who find any idea correct, the more the idea will be correct…We will use the actions of others to decide on proper behavior for ourselves, especially when we view those others as similar to ourselves”.

It’s also known as herd mentality or groupthink, where we assume an action is appropriate because others are performing it.

Consider this: How many times have you retweeted a tweet that already had thousands of retweets?

“When a social media post reaches a certain level of popularity —it is likely to get shares from individuals who are more influenced by the number of likes than the content itself,”

says Julia Markle, the head of digital content at ClothingRIC.

“This generates a chain reaction that transforms a popular post into a viral post.”

3. Viral altruism

Virality on the internet is most often random and spontaneous. But sometimes it is by design. In a paper published by the University of Cambridge, the famous ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was dubbed as “viral altruism”.

Social psychologist Dr. Sander van der Linden described some key psychological factors that cause such trends to catch fire. Among these is the power of social norms, in particular the attraction of joining a social consensus and the aspiration to conform to prosocial behavior, a clear moral incentive to act, and the need for a “warm glow”: the emotional benefit that’s gained from feeling compassionate.

In simple words, people act:

  • To participate in a popular activity
  • To gain the emotional reward of giving to others
  • When they believe it’s morally the right thing to do

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge appealed to people’s good side and this made it widely successful. Its virality resulted in $220 million being raised for battling the disease. However, not all similar challenges that go viral have a charitable aspect.

For instance, the “Don’t Rush Challenge” wasn’t for a greater cause but became popular as it allowed people to come together and build a connection by mimicking a popular behavior.

What makes the Ice Bucket Challenge special is that it demonstrated how internet virality can be harnessed and used to inspire action. Of course, this is easier said than done for brands.

How can brands create viral content?

The internet is filled with listicles that guide brands in crafting viral content. But having well-designed infographics, solid backlinks, and hiring influencers don’t always drive a flood of visitors to your website.

It’s important that along with covering the basics, you keep one important factor into consideration; authenticity. From the Hit or Miss video to Old Town Road and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge —all these popular trends were raw and genuine.

Considering this, brands should create content that fosters human connection. Almost all individuals who’ve studied virality believe “being involved in something big” motivates people to share content and participate in challenges. So whether you hit or miss, there’s no harm in spreading your word through genuine content that’s designed to go viral.

But don’t make the mistake of creating something that’s a blatant attempt to cash in on the internet culture. Millennials and Gen Z in particular will be especially hostile towards any such effort.

The post Creating viral content: Is it possible to harness viral trends? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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How to Turn One Piece of Content into Multiple for SEO

Posted by liambbarnes

As most SEO specialists have learned, you must create quality content to grow organically. The same thing can be said for businesses that are building a social media presence or a new newsletter following.

But as people consume more and more content each day, they become less receptive to basic content that doesn’t provide a new perspective. To counter this issue, you must make sure that your content is native to each platform you publish on.

However, that doesn’t mean that you need to start from scratch. There’s a way to take one content idea and turn it into multiple, which can scale across multiple platforms and improve your brand awareness.

It takes time to write a brand-new blog article every day, especially when you’re an in-house team with a low number of resources and budget. The biggest challenge here is building a content strategy at scale.

So, how do you create a lot of great content?

You start with video.

If you have a video on a relevant topic, it can be repurposed into various individual pieces of content and distributed over a period of time across the right channels. Let’s walk through the process.

Using video to scale content

Did you know that the average person types at 41 words per minute (WPM), but the average person speaks at about 150 WPM? That is about 3.5 times faster speaking rather than typing. 

In fact, this article was transcribed.

For every article you write about, you must do extensive research, write out your first draft, edit, make changes, and more. It can consume an entire workday.

An easier way to do this? Record yourself on Loom or another video software, save it, and send the video file to an audio/video transcription service. There are so many tools, like Rev.com or TranscribeMe, that do this for relatively cheap.

Of course, even if you’re relying on text-to-speech, there’s still editing time to take into account, and some would argue it will take MORE time to edit a text-to-speech transcription. There isn’t a “best way” to create content, however, for those who aren’t strong writers but are strong speakers, transcription will be a powerful way to move at a quicker pace.

The step-by-step process 

Once you write out your content, how do you ensure that people read it?

Like any other content strategy, make sure that the process of planning, creating, and executing is written down (most likely digitally in a spreadsheet or tracking tool) and followed.

Let’s break down how to get the most out of your content.

1. Grab attention with your topic

    Sometimes, content ideation can be the most challenging part of the process. Depending on the purpose of your content, there are various starting points.

    For example, if you’re writing a top-of-funnel blog article where the goal is to drive high amounts of organic traffic, start by performing keyword research to craft your topic. Why? You need to understand what your audience searches for and how to ensure you’re in the mix of search results. 

    If you’re creating a breakdown of your product or service, you may want to start by interviewing a subject matter expert (SME) to gain real-life details on the product/service and the solutions it provides to your target audience. Why? Note what they’re saying are the most important aspects or if there is a new feature/addition for the audience. These points can be tied into a topic that might pique the target reader’s interest.

    2. Create an outline for the blog

      When you’re building out your blog structure, record a video similar to how you would write a blog article.

      In this case, by creating an outline for the article with the questions that you ask yourself, it’ll be easier to format the transcription and the blog after you record.

      3. Pick your poison (distribution strategy)

      Now that you’re ready to begin recording your video, decide where your content will be distributed.

      The way you’ll distribute your content heavily influences the way you record your video, especially if you’re going to be utilizing the video as the content itself (Hello, YouTube!).

      For example, if you run a business consultancy, the videos that you record should be more professional than if you run an e-commerce surf lifestyle brand. Or, if you know you’re going to be breaking the video up, leave time for natural “breaks” for easy editing later on.

      By planning ahead of time, you give yourself a better idea of where the content will go, and how it will get there.

      4. Your time to shine

      There are numerous free video recording software available, including Zoom and Loom.

      With Zoom, you can record the video of yourself speaking into your camera, and you will get an audio file after you hang up your call.

      With Loom, you can use the chrome extension, which allows you to record yourself in video form while sharing your screen. If you have additional content, like a Powerpoint presentation or a walk-through, this might be the tool for you.

      Regardless of the way that you record, you need an audio file to transcribe and transform into other content formats later on.

      5. Transcribe your video

      The average writer transcribes one hour of audio in around four hours, but some of the best transcribers can do it in as little as two hours.

      To put that into perspective, the average one-hour audio file is about 7,800 words, which would take the average writer around three and a half hours to write.

      Additionally, you have to add research time, internal linking, and many other factors to this, so on average it’ll take around an hour to write 1,000 words of a high-quality blog post.

      Transcription shortens the length of this process.

      When looking to transcribe your audio, you can send files out to transcription tools including Rev or TranscribeMe. Once you send them the audio file, you’ll typically receive the audio file back in a few hours (depending on the demand).

      6. Alter transcription into blog format

      You’ll receive the transcribed content via email, broken out by speaker. This makes it much easier to format post-transcription.

      If you properly outlined the blog prior to recording, then this editing process should be simple. Copy and paste each section into the desired area for your blog and add your photos, keywords, and links as desired.

      7. Chop your video into digestible parts

      Here’s where things get interesting.

      If you’re using your video for social media posts, shorten the video into multiple parts to be distributed across each platform (and make sure they’re built to match each platform’s guidelines).

      Additionally, quotes from the video can be used to create text graphics, text-based social posts, or entire articles themselves.

      Think of the watering holes that your target audience consumes information on the internet:

      • Google
      • LinkedIn
      • Instagram
      • Facebook
      • Twitter
      • YouTube

      Each platform requires creating a different experience that involves new, native content. But that doesn’t mean you have to start at zero.

      If you have a 10-minute-long video, it can be transcribed into a 2,500-word blog that takes about 10-15 minutes to read.

      Boom. You have another resource to share, which can also include proper keywords so it ranks higher on the SERP.

      Let’s say you end up editing the video down to about five minutes. From here, you can make:

      • A five minute video to post on YouTube and your blog
      • Ten 30-second videos to post across several social media platforms
      • Twenty 100-word posts on LinkedIn
      • Thirty 50 to 60-word posts on Twitter

      Woah.

      Not to mention there are other platforms like Reddit and Quora, as well as email marketing, that you can also distribute your content with. (Turn one of the 100-word LinkedIn posts into the opening in your latest newsletter, and attach the full video for those who want to learn more!)

      By starting off with an all-encompassing video, you extend your content capabilities from a regular blog article into 50+ pieces of content across multiple social media platforms and search engines.

      For example, Lewis Howes (and many other brands and marketers) are famous for utilizing this method.

      As you can see below, Howes had an interview for his podcast with Mel Robbins, which is scaled across YouTube and podcast platforms, but he took a quote from her in the interview and scaled it across Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

      When you build out your content calendar, simply copy and paste certain sections into an excel spreadsheet, and organize them based on date and platform. Make sure they make sense on the platform, add an extra line or two if you need to, and work your magic.

      This will save you hours of time in your planning process.

      8. Distribute

        Now that you have created your various forms of content, it’s time to make sure it appears before the right eyes.

        Having a consistent flow of relevant content on your website and social media platforms is a crucial part of empowering your brand, building credibility, and showing that you’re worth trusting as a potential partner.

        As you repurpose older content as well, you can repeat this process and pull together another 50+ pieces of content from a previously successful article.

        Improving organic search visibility

        “Discoverability” is a popular term in marketing. Another way to say it is “organic search visibility”. Your brand’s search visibility is the percentage of clicks that your website gets in comparison to the total number of clicks for that particular keyword or group of keywords.

        Normally, you can improve your visibility through writing a piece of content that reflects a target keyword the best and build links to that page, which improves your rankings for that keyword and long-tail variations of that keyword.

        However, as you begin to grow your business, you may begin heavily relying on branded search traffic.

        In fact, one of the biggest drivers of organic traffic is branded traffic. If you don’t have an authoritative brand, it’s challenging to receive backlinks naturally, and therefore more difficult to rank organically.

        One of the biggest drivers of brand awareness is through social media. More than 4.5 billion people are using the internet and 3.8 billion are using social media.

        If you want more people to search for your brand, push relevant social media campaigns that do just that.

        But even further than that, we are seeing more and more social media platforms such as Pinterest, YouTube, and Twitter showing up as search results and snippets. For example, below is the SERP for the keyword “how to make cookies”, where a series of YouTube videos show up:

        And this SERP for the keyword “Moz“ has the most recent Tweets from Moz’s Twitter.

        Writing content that ranks will continue to be important — but as Google keeps integrating other forms of social media into the SERPs, make time to post on every social media platform to improve search visibility and make your brand discoverable. 

        But, duplicate content?

        Duplicate content can be defined as the same content used across multiple URLs, and can be detrimental to your website’s health. However, from what we have seen through multiple conversations with marketers in the SEO world, there is no indication that websites are getting penalized for duplicate content when reposting said content on social media platforms.

        Conclusion

        Say goodbye to the time drain of creating one piece of content at a time. The most effective way to create a successful content marketing strategy is to share thought-provoking and data-driven content. Take advantage of this process to maximize your output and visibility.

        Here are some final tips to take away to successfully launch a content marketing strategy, using this method:

        1. Consistently analyze your results and double down on what works.
        2. Don’t be afraid to try new tactics to see what your audience is interested in (Check out a real-world content strategy I helped get results for here).
        3. Analyze the response from your audience. They’ll tell you what is good and what is not!

        Have other ideas? Let me know in the comments! 

        Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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        How to create compelling content based on existing data

        30-second summary:

        • Data-driven content lends credibility and authority to your brand.
        • Existing public data sources offer a great starting point for implementing a data-driven content strategy.
        • While they may initially require more heavy-lifting to find and parse through, public data sets offer endless content possibilities.
        • Fractl’s Project Manager Claire Cole shares strategies for creating original, compelling content from data available to anyone.

        The key to creating newsworthy content that captures the attention of audiences is to focus on data collection, analysis, and illustration.

        This content strategy allows you to take something convoluted and present it to readers in a compelling manner in a way that hasn’t been done before.

        While data can be an intimidating medium to work with, it doesn’t have to be.

        In this article, I’ll explain how you can use data that’s already out there to create your own newsworthy content and drive engagement.

        Where to find public data

        What can deter marketers and content creators from working with existing data is not knowing where to find the data they want. It’s true that few organizations and entities broadcast the existence of the data they release, so you need to know where to look.

        To start, here are some government agency sources we’ve relied on:

        • Environmental Protection Agency
        • Consumer Complaint Database from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
        • U.S. Census Bureau
        • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from the CDC
        • Integrated Public Use Microdata Series

        US data census

        All of these sources include a multitude of variables to dissect in many different ways. Don’t settle for just looking at the top-level data. Consider how you can explore particular angles to reveal new, specific insights.

        Take the American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, for example. Beyond standard demographics you’d expect from a nationwide survey like gender, age, employment status, and earnings, this existing data set features less obvious subjects like fertility, usage of food stamps/SNAP, and health insurance coverage, among many others.

        If an entity that might already have public data on the subject you’re interested in doesn’t come immediately to mind, there are other general sources that can be worth a look. 

        The website FiveThirtyEight, while an outlet built on creating original works of data journalism, often makes the existing data they use in their pieces open to the public, meaning you could find a new angle to explore that they didn’t.

        Kaggle and Google Public Datasets are other good platforms for finding a variety of data for use.

        Top three ways to create content from existing data

        Let’s say you’ve found a public data source. It involves a lot of data, so you have many angles and stats to explore, and the topic can be tied back to your brand. 

        However, you’re having trouble creating a narrative around all the numbers and decimals and demographics. Here are three strategies to consider when trying to tell a story with data.

        1. Consider the implications of time

        One of the simplest ways to find interesting takeaways within a data set and create a narrative arc is to compare how variables change (or don’t) over time. Nathan Yau created a project for Flowing Data looking at how the American diet has changed over the years. 

        Data - How American diet has changed

        The project uses data from the Department of Agriculture’s Food Availability Data System, which keeps numbers on food production as well as American consumption. 

        While insights can be derived from a single year of this data, the power of the project comes from looking at trends over a long period of time. 

        Adding a time element to data content may not seem groundbreaking, but it can be overlooked when hunting for takeaways. Data doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so putting it into context with a time element can make for a compelling story.

        2. Look for interesting demographics to drive the narrative

        Sometimes finding an interesting or unusual demographic to build content around can help focus data from an existing source. We did this with a project for our client FundRocket, which was about small businesses, a very common topic. 

        What set the project apart, though, was that it compared small businesses owned by US-born citizens and naturalized citizens. 

        American Community Survey

        Using data from the American Community Survey, we compared the two demographics across a number of variables: top industries, fastest-growing industries, metropolitan areas with the most businesses owned by naturalized citizens, and more. 

        The use of this unique demographic comparison makes the project stand out among other content produced around small businesses. 

        Look at how Business News Daily not only covered the project but included key takeaways at the top of the article.

        Use of data to create content - American Community Survey

        When analyzing your data, always visualize what insights a publisher might take away from the project. If you’re able to come up with a few key points, that means you’re on the right track to creating a compelling project. (It also helps you maintain focus as you continue working on it.)

        3. Consider a common topic from an uncommon angle

        Asking the right questions of your data can lead to compelling findings. A great way to create unique data-focused content is to explore a common topic from an uncommon angle or point of view. 

        For example, perhaps there’s a topic in your niche that is discussed a lot but never in conjunction with data. Or perhaps a topic generally framed with data could have new life breathed into it by tapping a different data source or metric.

        We took this approach for our client The Interview Guys with a project that looked at the occupations that require the most and least work experience. 

        Work experience is an incredibly common topic in the career and HR spheres. There are articles on everything from how to framework experience on a resume to whether companies are expecting too much of entry-level candidates these days. With all of that competing content, it can be difficult to breakthrough.

        Thankfully, data can give us a leg up over other content. In the case of The Interview Guys, their project was differentiated because we took that topic and married it with public data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Requirement Survey and Wage Estimates. 

        Using data like wage estimates to create content

        This gave the project the added authority of government data while still answering practical questions job seekers and people considering a job change may have, and it was compelling enough to earn media coverage on CNBC.

        Building a data-driven content strategy

        Creating content around data doesn’t have to be intimidating. There are plenty of publicly available data sources that can be tapped and used to great effect in a diverse content strategy.

        Considering data trends over time, seeking out unique demographics to examine, and brainstorming how data can create new angles to a common topic are easy ways to get started building content around data that already exists. 

        Claire Cole is Project Manager at Fractl, creating data-driven campaigns in a variety of verticals to meet client goals. When she’s not poring over spreadsheets and data visualizations, she’s reading the latest bestseller while snuggled up with her rescue pup, Penny. She can be found on Twitter @claire_cole18.

        The post How to create compelling content based on existing data appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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        How to make your website ADA-compliant and win at SEO

        30-second summary:

        • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed in 1990 does now include mobile apps and websites.
        • An ADA-compliant website helps more people than those covered by ADA.
        • There are many SEO benefits such as increased visibility on google image searches, and featured snippets.
        • Co-founder of Ally digital media, Abhishek Shah says, “Responsive websites help with ADA compliance and further improve your website’s overall search presence.”
        • The four best ways to make your website ADA-compliant with a clear outline of its ADA as well as SEO benefits.

        The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed in 1990 does now include mobile apps and websites. Specifically, Title III of the ADA has taken an official stand on how websites should be accessible for disabled users. However, when you look at what’s necessary to make a website ADA-compliant, you will see that these also will help improve your site’s SEO.

        Some elements such as title tags, heading structure, alt text, and responsive design are things all websites should include. By ensuring these are done properly and in an ADA-compliant way will maximize your website’s effectiveness.

        How ADA accessibility prioritization benefits everyone

        Ensuring your website complies with the ADA helps you serve a larger audience and gives a boost to your search engine rankings. This is because most of the necessary components of making your website ADA compliant feed directly into SEO best practices.

        After all, the whole point is to make your website easier to view, understand, and navigate. What business doesn’t want all that for their website?

        Four ways an ADA-compliant website helps improve your SEO

        Here are 4 ADA-compliant must-haves (in no particular order) that will help improve your SEO. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it is a good place to start.

        1. Title tags help screen searches and readers

        Title tags are very basic SEO. They let the reader, and search engines, know what the page is about. A title tag doesn’t show up on your website. Rather, it appears on the results page of a search engine, and the tab at the top of your web browser.

        SEO benefits

        Title tags, while basic SEO, are very important. This tag needs to match your user’s intent. For example, when someone googles “best phone” the phrase best phone (or a variation like “best smartphone”) will appear in the title tag.

        Writing a title that accurately reflects what the page is about is the best way to get found and clicked on. It’s why a title tag should be specific: “The best Android phones for 2020” is far better than “Why you will want to buy one of these phones.”

        ADA benefits

        For those who need screen readers to help them use a computer, a specific title tag such as the above example is much more user-friendly. So, it is vital the title tag accurately reflects the page content.

        The accessibility guidelines say the title should be “The best Android phones for 2020” instead of “Why you will want to buy one of these phones.”

        2. Descriptive alt text

        Alt text is not the same thing as a caption. A caption is visible usually beneath an image. Whereas alt text is not visible on the front end of the site. The alt text is a written alternative to a page’s visual elements. This includes: .jpegs, .pngs, and .gifs. the alt text is a description of an image that lives in the backend of the site.

        SEO benefits

        Alt text lets search engines know the subject matter of an image. It also helps search engines to better understand the page. Additionally, if you want images to show up in Google, then writing descriptive alt text is a must-have.

        ADA benefits

        For web users with visual impairment using screen readers, descriptive alt text is read aloud. This helps a visually impaired reader get a better sense of what’s going on, on any given page.

        A useful descriptive alt text might be: “woman at café with laptop drinking coffee” 

        A useless alt text would be: “SEO tips for freelancers | Get more clients with SEO | Writing your way to success with SEO”

        3. Responsive design

        Responsive design has been around since 2012/2013 in one form or another. But it means more than just your website being able to adapt to whichever screen size it finds itself on.

        It’s about where your logo sits, how easy is your site to navigate, how easy is it to read, and how quickly does it load?

        SEO benefits

        Websites that offer good, functional user experience rank better in search results. User experience isn’t just one ranking factor but an umbrella term for quite a few. Google has said that a site that takes longer than three seconds to load on a mobile site will rank higher.

        How easy content is to read (and how useful it is) is also an important ranking factor.

        ADA benefits

        Good responsive design puts the user first. It starts from the premise that a website needs to be easy to look at, easy to navigate, and be easy to understand.

        This is why you need legible text for the visually impaired. As well as quick load times for people with slow internet. And straightforward navigation to make it easy for people to get around your website.

        4. Proper heading (and subheading) structure

        Headings (which show up in the code as <h1> or <h2> or <h3> etc.) define your content’s hierarchy. These headings (and subheadings) work along similar lines to when you wrote essays in school.

        Proper heading structure:

        • Goes in order: a h3 doesn’t go directly after a h1.
        • Describes the copy beneath it.
        • Follows a sequence: if your h2 is “4 ways…” then the h3s would be each of those points.

        SEO benefits

        When your writing is clearly structured it is easier to read, and easier to follow. It’s also easier for Google to crawl your content and understand what is the most important (starting with h1, and so on).

        Good header structure can also your content appear in the featured snippets in the search engine results page (SERPs).

        ADA benefits

        For users who have limited reading comprehension or cognitive impairments, clear and direct headings make it easier to read. Headings and subheadings let a reader know what’s worth reading and what’s worth skipping over.

        And just like a reader skips heading, so too can a screen reader. Which only reinforces the need for a strong, clear heading structure.

        An example of a website that has both good SEO and is ADA compliant is Enviro Safety Products. When you review this site you will see it ticks all the boxes, and provides the user a seamless, friendly experience.

        Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA-compliant) - Example

        Source: Enviro Safety Products

        How making your website ADA compliant will help you win at SEO

        By applying all the necessary ADA compliant elements to your website, you are helping the one in four Americans with a disability use your website. Additionally, you will also greatly enhance your website’s SEO.

        If you would like to know more about how making your website ADA compliant will help you win at SEO, you can throw questions in the comments section below.

        Abhishek Shah is the co-founder of Ally Digital Media, a leading voice in digital media and marketing. He advocates for evidence-based marketing strategies to fuel the businesses. He can be found on Twitter @abiishek.

        The post How to make your website ADA-compliant and win at SEO appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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