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How To Avoid Going Down Google’s Instant Answer Search Trap

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How To Avoid Going Down Google's Instant Answer Search Trap

Editor’s note: This week, we’re giving everyone a taste of Content Marketing World 2022 by featuring recaps of articles filled with insights from this year’s speakers.

For years, marketers claimed victory when their page made it to the first organic listing or even a first page ranking on a Google search results page.

Now zero-click and other featured results deliver answers immediately to searchers and bury those organic links further down (or even off the first) page. What’s a content marketer to do?

Here’s what 10 experts presenting at Content Marketing World suggest.

1. Build brand and community

The instant answers are answers that are easy. Even with featured snippets, if your content is tackling a complex subject matter, Google will still refer people to your site. That said, you want an insurance policy against Google, and that policy contains two things: brand and community. Build both, and SEO will work for you, but more importantly, your marketing will work without SEO. – Christopher Penn, chief data scientist, TrustInsights.ai

You want an insurance policy against @Google that contains two things: brand and community, says @cspenn via @CMIContent. #SEO #CMWorld Click To Tweet

2. Pay attention to the details

Even though most searches do not end in a click, your content can still get attention on the SERP. This is where metadata matters most. Make sure the results showing up on Google are the results people are looking for. Answer questions directly in your meta descriptions or give people a good reason to click through and learn more. – Ahava Leibtag, founder and president, Aha Media Group

Answer questions directly in your meta descriptions or give people a good reason to click through and learn more, says @ahaval via @CMIContent #CMWorld #SEO Click To Tweet

3. Go beyond the instant

Optimization and a savvy understanding of the search landscape are the best way to own the instant answer space. Many searches don’t trigger an instant answer, so SEO is crucial to impact those search results. And even with the instant answer, there are still 75% to 90% of organic clicks available, and SEO is the best way to win that traffic. Finally, when done correctly, SEO is an excellent way to understand your audience and create content that speaks to them, answers their questions, and supports them along their journey. – Katie Tweedy, associate director of content marketing and SEO, Collective Measures

#SEO and a savvy understanding of the search landscape are the best way to own the instant answer space, says @katie_tweedy_ via @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

4. Expand your horizons

I love the Lee Odden quote, “Content is the reason search began in the first place.” The instant answers in Google may increase click-throughs, so it’s important to structure your content appropriately (e.g., FAQ schema) to try to get those placements.

But ultimately, SEO-plus-content strategies must continue to co-exist so that great content can be found. Those looking for in-depth, valuable, and engaging resources will not stop at the first instant answer Google serves up. But you do need to make sure your content is differentiated, comprehensive, and more engaging than the search results you’re competing against. – Ali Orlando Wert, director of content strategy, Qlik

#SEO-plus-content strategies must continue to co-exist so great content can be found, says @AliOrlandoWert via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

5. Skip the glossary content

Google gives instant answers to short questions, satisfying fact-intent queries super fast. So an SEO strategy based on content that gives short answers is death. It’s not going to work. The let’s-build-a-search-optimized-glossary strategy doesn’t work anymore.

But an SEO strategy based on content that gives detailed, long-form answers to big questions is still super effective. The let’s-publish-search-optimized-best-practices-for-our-industry strategy works great. – Andy Crestodina, co-founder and chief marketing officer, Orbit Media Studios

The let’s-build-a-search-optimized-glossary strategy doesn’t work anymore, says @Crestodina via @CMIContent #CMWorld. #SEO Click To Tweet

6. Make it all about business

I’m afraid SEO is becoming a vanity metric. Many marketing managers I know can’t answer a simple question: why do you want your brand to be the No. 1 in a Google search? If SEO isn’t connected to your business model, take a step back and analyze why you should invest time and money in that. – Cassio Politi, founder, Tracto Content Marketing

If #SEO isn’t connected to your business model, analyze why you should invest time and money in it, says @tractoBR via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

7. Create assets

Every time you publish a blog post, video, podcast, or even a long-form piece of social content, you’re publishing a business asset that will serve for years to come. Knowing what keywords you want to rank for and be found with will never go out of style. – Chris Ducker, founder, Youpreneur.com

Knowing what keywords you want to rank for and be found with will never go out of style, says @ChrisDucker via @CMIContent. #SEO #CMWorld Click To Tweet

8. Answer your audience

For B2B technical buyers, research shows that engineers are more likely to go 10 pages deep than they are to stop at page one. The instant answers are helpful for simple topics, but if the stakes are high or the search topic is complex, skeptical buyers will invest the time to find the most accurate results from the most credible sources. – Wendy Covey, CEO and co-founder, TREW Marketing

Skeptical buyers will invest the time to find the most accurate results from the most credible sources, says @wendycovey via @CMIContent #SEO #CMWorld Click To Tweet

9. Stop the blue link strategy

Responses that require a simple answer or SERP feature-based answer are a unique query type and important to consider in any content marketing effort. Understanding SERP features and where you succeed and don’t is critical. Also, understand the impact of SERP features like Answers and People Also Ask. SEO is about understanding the potential and how the flux connected to the SERP isn’t just about 10 blue links anymore. – Jeff Coyle, co-founder, CSO, MarketMuse

Understanding SERP features and where you succeed and don’t is critical, says @jeffrey_coyle via @CMIContent. #CMWorld #SEO Click To Tweet

10. Look for unexpected opportunities

I still see a ton of value from our search traffic, and it’s absolutely worth it to continue to use search to inspire new content ideas. I think YouTube is also an underrated area for optimization, and Google provides you with search data directly in YouTube now. – Jennifer Jordan, vice president and global head of content, Babbel

I still see a ton of value from our #Search traffic. It’s absolutely worth it to use search to inspire new #content ideas, says @jenastelli via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Update your SEO plan

You live in a zero-click, but that doesn’t mean you should only follow an instant answer path. As with everything in content marketing, reflect on your business goals and consider how your audience behaves, then update your search strategy to achieve the best for both those worlds within the current search environment.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

Want more insight from these and other Content Marketing World speakers? Register for a virtual pass to get on-demand access through Dec. 31, 2021. Use code CMIBLOG100 to save $100.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

One of the most important parts of having a website is making sure your audience can find your site (and find what they’re looking for).

The good news is that Google Search Essentials, formerly called Google Webmaster Guidelines, simplifies the process of optimizing your site for search performance.

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Salesforce rolls out new edition of Marketing Cloud for small businesses

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Salesforce summer 2023 release: The business executive's guide

Today Salesforce announced Marketing Cloud Growth, an edition of Marketing Cloud designed specifically for small businesses.

With help from AI, this edition makes it easy for marketers to segment audiences, create and execute email campaigns from text to image, optimize campaign performance and create unified customer profiles. It also has a prompt builder that can store and manage known reliable prompts for organizations.

Dig deeper: 70% of SMB marketers willing to pay more for tools with AI or automation

Salesforce developed the new edition by looking at the most common use cases for which small businesses frequenty don’t have the people or resources. This includes things like personalizing campaigns and advanced testing.

The company is also letting small businesses (those with fewer than 200 employees) that have Sales or Service Enterprise Edition “get started with Data Cloud at no cost.” Marketing Cloud Growth will initially be available in the U.S. and Canada and is expected to roll out to Europe, the Middle East and Asia by the end of the year.

Why we care. First of all, small businesses need all the help they can get. This creates an opportunity to start using AI within a centralized marketing workflow rather than importing content from independent generative AI tools. Perhaps it’s also a sign of Salesforce moving to compete with platforms (can we say HubSpot?) that more overtly court SMB clients.

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Elevate Your YouTube Channel: Top 4 Video Editing Tools

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Elevate Your YouTube Channel: Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Launched in 2005, YouTube now stands as the second largest search engine after Google.

Almost 2.7 billion people use YouTube worldwide every month and 87.7% of those users access it on their mobile phones.

Owing to the large number of video content available on the platform, you want to ensure that yours stands out.

To make it happen, you need to master effective content creation tips, use fantastic lighting, and invest in powerful video editing software.

There are tons of editing tools on the market that promise amazing results. 

To help you cut through the noise, I’ve curated a list of the 4 best YouTube video editing software.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s something for you. Keep reading.

1. Movavi Video Editor

1708399564 369 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399564 369 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Top on the list is the Movavi Video Editor, one of the best YouTube video editing software for beginners.

It enables you to create compelling videos using advanced tools like audio correction, motion tracking, and chroma key without requiring any technical knowledge.

Additionally, you’ll find several ready-made YouTube intro videos and a large library of background music and audio clips.

Although the user interface is easy to navigate, Movavi still provides video tutorials to make you feel confident while editing.

Movavi runs on Windows (versions 7 to 11) and Mac OS X (10.15 or higher).

Key Features

  • AI background remover: Replaces backgrounds without a green screen
  • AI motion tracker: Sticks effects and images on moving objects
  • Precise frame cuts: Makes cuts with precision and attention-grabbing montages in one click
  • Color correction: Boosts colors so viewers can stay glued to your YouTube channel
  • Overlay effect: Offers 13 blending modes to create professional-looking videos
  • 4k resolution: Saves videos in ultra-high quality form
  • YouTube Integration: Saves you time by sharing videos directly to YouTube

Pricing

Movavi offers a generous free plan and three paid plans with different sets of features. Here are the prices for various plans it offers:

  • Free
  • Video Editor: $49.95/year
  • Video Editor + Effect Packs: $155.95/year
  • Video Suite + Effect Packs: $94.95/year
1708399564 966 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399564 966 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Usability

Easy to use

Tool Level

Beginner/Intermediate

2. Adobe Premiere Pro

1708399565 365 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 365 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

If you’re looking for the best YouTube video editing software that can transform a basic clip into a ready-to-upload video, Adobe Premiere Pro is your best bet. 

It integrates with all the apps in Adobe Creative Cloud to help you streamline your workflow.

Adobe Premiere Pro boasts an extensive range of features, from color correction tools and visual effects to collaboration tools for teams. 

Also, you can optimize the export settings to preserve the quality of your YouTube videos when you share them online. 

Although Premiere Pro is popular among professional video editors, follow the video steps for beginners provided on the platform to learn how to use it. All you need is a powerful computer and willingness to study the available tutorials.

The app is compatible with Windows (10 or later) and macOS Monterey (version 12 or later).

Key Features

  • Text-based editing: Removes pauses with ease
  • Project templates: Retains assets, colors, and branding across multiple projects
  • Speech-to-text conversion: Automatically creates captions and transcripts in over 18 languages
  • Auto reframe: Automatically detects and adjusts aspect ratios to easily upload videos to YouTube
  • Adobe stock library: Offers access to stock video footage, photos, and over 75,000 audio tracks and remix the length to fit your video

Pricing

Adobe Premier Pro offers two paid plans. Here are the details:

  • Premiere Pro: $29.99/month
  • Creative Cloud All Apps: $59.99/month
1708399565 222 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 222 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Usability

Has a steep learning curve

Tool Level

Intermediate/Advanced

3. Shotcut

1708399565 295 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 295 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Available on Linux, Windows, and macOS, Shotcut is a comprehensive YouTube video editing software solution. 

It supports various video and audio files, including AVI, WAV, and MP4.

The video editing software is great for complex projects as it allows you to combine several audio, image, and video files into one video. 

Also, editing on the platform doesn’t follow a chronological order; you can make changes at any point.

Shotcut may not be the best editing tool for new content creators because of the learning curve. 

However, the platform has a video editing guide, including a community of Shotcut users who are willing to assist you.

Key Features

  • Native timeline editing: Supports all video and audio formats, including 4k and 8k resolutions
  • Cross-platform editing: Gives you the option to start a project on macOS and switch to Windows without hassles
  • Video effects: Offers built-in effects like auto-rotate, white balancing, timeline fader, and 360° video filters, without installing any plugins
  • Display and monitoring: Ability to preview videos in low resolution to improve the speed of real-time effects
  • Keyframing: Option to define the start and finish points of effects along the video timeline such as transition, sound, and brightness or contrast

Pricing

 Shotcut is completely free to use as it’s an open-source software solution

Usability

It has a steep learning curve

Tool Level

Intermediate

4. Lightworks

1708399565 259 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 259 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

If you’re looking to create the best videos in a short time, Lightworks is the way to go. 

It’s the best YouTube video editing software for beginners who are willing to learn video editing as they grow their YouTube channels.

Similar to Shotcut, the platform is loaded with all the tools you need to go from a beginner to a pro.

You can edit, color correct, add titles, and more using the drag-and-drop interface. 

Also, it’s compatible with YouTube video format and resolution for ease of uploading content.

All versions of Lightworks can work on Windows (8 and later), macOS (10.14 and later), and Linux.

Key Features

  • Universal timeline: Accommodates video footage of any quality, size, or frame rate
  • Flawless audio editing: Offers various audio effects and the option to sync with video for an immersive experience
  • Visual effects: Offers a simplified suite of over 700 customizable motion graphics and titles for easy to advanced editing
  • Easy export and share: Allows you to share videos on YouTube directly from the platform

Pricing

Here are the pricing plans offered by Lightworks.

  • Free
  • Create: $9.99/month
  • Pro: $23.99/month
1708399565 484 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools1708399565 484 Elevate Your YouTube Channel Top 4 Video Editing Tools

Usability

Easy to use

Tool Level

Beginners/Intermediate/Advanced

Pro Tip: According to Attrock guide, the best video maker can offer training resources for non-technical users. This is particularly designed for video marketers who have no high skills in video creation and editing.

Choosing the Best YouTube Video Editing Software

Getting the best YouTube video editing software shouldn’t cost a fortune. 

Platforms like Shotcut and Lightworks offer free tools for both beginners and expert editors.

However, if your YouTube channel is already monetized and you’re willing to spend money on a super-advanced tool, Premiere Pro will be ideal.

Lastly, if you’re ready to level up your video editing game, try Movavi today. You’ll save money while accessing advanced editing features.


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