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Where Can You Go to Learn Local SEO?

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9 Local Search Developments You Need to Know About from Q2 2022

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

Image credit: Fattoria la Maliosa

In 2023, I’ll have been studying local SEO for 20 years, and I definitely still won’t know it all.

If you’re just entering this fine and spacious field of local search marketing, welcome to what will be a habit of lifelong scholarship. In the next 20 years, you’ll see as many (or more) changes than we’ve witnessed in the nascent decades of this discipline. You’ll study how to lay a feast of options before the local businesses you market, regularly setting out new dishes as new promotional opportunities arise. Your education is what will keep this buffet fresh and hot while keeping you enthusiastic about your work.

Here’s the view from my side of the table of what’s happened culturally over the past two decades in the industry: we started out from a real place – marketing quite actual local businesses – and have come to prize their qualities of realness more with each passing year as we’ve learned to prioritize owner expertise, their earned authority, trustworthiness, community involvement, economic essentialness, and basic human-ness! It’s been good growth that has handily paralleled Google’s own messaging about what they want and it’s been a steady evolution, set amid an otherwise-hectic rate of technological change.

It’s this combination of how to consistently think local like a philosopher coupled with how to selectively act local like a chef in a stocked pantry that you’ll be pursuing as a career scholar in local SEO. Today, I’d like to set my table for you with high quality paid and free local SEO educational resources and tools to keep you thinking and acting successfully in the years ahead.

Resources for formal local SEO training

Photo of two white signs pointing to the right that say
Image Credit: Andrea Alba

You can’t major in local SEO in college, but being able to access organized training will be a faster path to education than trying to cobble information together from a bunch of random sources. If you’re hoping to get a job in local SEO, are already working for a local business that needs to market itself, or have decided to expand your marketing agency’s service menu, dedicated programs like these will help you absorb a lot of knowledge in a logical order:

Moz Academy’s Local SEO Certification (Paid – $395, 5 hours and 45 minutes)

Invest in this paid on-demand video course and you’ll access nearly six hours of formal but fun training in how to do local SEO. Take an exam at the end and receive a certification badge as proof of your proficiency and accomplishment. I contributed course materials for this program which is led and presented by Moz’s Senior Learning and Development Specialist, Meghan Pahinui, and I don’t know of another learning opportunity quite like it anywhere else on the web in terms of its completeness, quality, and value.

BrightLocal’s Local SEO On Demand Course (Paid – £300, 3 hours)

I haven’t personally taken this three-hour paid course, but I have been a longtime viewer of the instructor, Greg Gifford, whom I consider to be a master at video-based teaching. BrightLocal’s track record of publishing excellent local SEO materials gives me the confidence to include this resource in my formal training list as doubtless being of high quality.

Sterling Sky/LocalU’s Agency Training (Paid – $1500 per session with volume discounts)

Pay for live, modular teaching from some of the best in the business. While I haven’t personally taken these classes, I can vouch for Joy Hawkins’ world-class SEO skills and am confident that any program developed by her organization would be of excellent quality for agencies ready to make a substantial business investment in one-on-one training.

Pigzilla’s Private Local SEO Training Community (Paid – $5-$49 per month)

This is a subscription-based community run by Dani Owens in which you pay monthly for access to ongoing local SEO mentorship and materials. I’m not a member, but respected local SEO, Claire Carlile, gives it her endorsement and this could be a good fit for new marketers in search of supportive guidance. A seven-day free trial will help you decide if it’s a good match for your style and needs.

The Essential Local SEO Strategy Guide (Free)

Prefer to teach yourself from great materials? Look no further than this comprehensive 9-chapter, totally free guide from Moz. I’m the chief contributor to this resource that will walk you through conceptualizing and marketing local businesses from the ground up. If your company is onboarding new local SEOs, give them this guide as a training manual.

If none of these training resources are exactly what you were looking for, an alternative tip would be to contact an experienced local SEO whom you really admire and ask if there is room on their calendar to coach you at an hourly rate. Some may be too busy, but others may welcome the opportunity to mentor you.

Resources for thinking local

Photo of a red triangular street sign with an exclamation point in the center, with a rectangular white sign below reading
Image credit: Taymaz Valley

Once you’ve accomplished a basic level of training in local SEO, cultivating your ability to think of everything from a local perspective will be an ongoing practice that sets you apart professionally and helps you bring value to any relevant organization. Get into the best possible local mindset with these resources:

Near Media (Free)

Respected industry figures Mike Blumenthal, Greg Sterling, and David Mihm publish this podcast, newsletter, and blog which has become the best place I know of to view commerce, search, and social through a local lens. Industry developments are assessed with practicality and an eye keenly focused on benefitting real local businesses. I’ve contributed to the blog at Near Media, and am a weekly reader and viewer of everything published by this organization because, for me, it defines thought leadership in the local space. Become a local SEO who thinks as logically as these gentlemen do and you will be a major asset to any business or agency.

Moz Blog’s Local Column (Free)

In company with some outstanding industry guest contributors, the local column of the Moz blog is my home base, and I’m including it in the “think local” section of this guide because my own interest in local search has always had a philosophical root. I truly see local as a tool for prioritizing people and planet over mere profit and I hope readers are taking my work and using it to develop more inclusive, diverse, and sustainable local communities. Applause for you if you are thinking deeply about what strategic local SEO tactics can do to build a better world for all of us.

The Institute for Local Self Reliance (Free)

Start reading ILSR’s remarkable series of reports and you’ll quickly come to see the links between local businesses and larger concepts like politics, human rights, energy, and society. Keep a close eye on this organization for original data and statistics you can use to tell persuasive local business stories and get buy-in from colleagues and bosses on initiatives.

The American Independent Business Alliance (Free/Paid)

With a membership of more than 50,000 local businesses and organizations, AMIBA is a need-to-know resource for US local SEOs whose clients should be part of the Buy Local movement. AMIBA helps communities develop IBAs, and has both paid memberships and free learning resources to enable independently-owned companies become part of larger local initiatives. Truly a great org.

MozCon (Paid)

You’ll find outstanding local SEO takeaways from the live and livestreamed popular annual conference that is MozCon. MozCon is a general SEO and marketing conference with some presentations being local-specific and nearly all speakers sharing trends in thought and tactics that are applicable to most business types. Missed the most recent event? Check out the video bundles.

Local University (Free/Paid)

Free weekly video round-ups of local search news and a celebrated paid traveling conference series have made LocalU an industry favorite for many years. Some of the best minds in the local search community are involved in this organization, many of whom I’ve learned so much from outside the formal conference circuit. Great news is that LocalU has a virtual event planned for late 2022, so you can attend the conference from any location.

Street Fight (Free)

If the local businesses you market tend to fall into more highly-funded categories, Street Fight’s publication keeps a running tab on new local tech and bigger brand developments, acquisitions, and news. Awareness of what’s going on at the cutting edge of commerce can often provide inspiration for smaller-scale implementation for SMBs. All Local SEOs can benefit from learning how big businesses think and selectively draw lessons from this about how they want to operate and differentiate.

Pro tip for a never-ending stream of localistic thoughts enriching your mind: find your favorite local SEOs on Twitter and look at their profiles to follow whomever they follow. Their chosen sources will sometimes surprise you and can be real gems.

Resources for acting local

Photo of a field next to a roadway with a yellow sign reading

Now things are getting exciting. Once you know local search fundamentals and are working to develop your own business philosophy, you’ll want to be able to take bold action on up-to-the minute developments and use good tools effectively. Learn, test, and iterate with help from these resources:

Search Engine Roundtable (Free)

The local category of Barry Schwartz’s famed publication reports new local developments faster than any other site on the web. If you want to be the first (or the second) to know when Google rolls out a new feature or experiences a new large-scale problem, be a regular Roundtable reader.

Sterling Sky’s blog and forum (Free)

For some of the best actionable local SEO advice anywhere, tune into the ongoing small-scale studies Joy Hawkins’ agency conducts. Data-based tactics are best! Meanwhile, if you run into a problem while doing local SEO, head to her forum for good, free advice from the community.

Moz’s Competitive Local Business Audit Spreadsheet (Free)

Make a copy of the spreadsheet and start documenting client vs. competitor wins and losses to help you create an informed local search marketing strategy. This work deserves to be foundational and primary to most campaigns, and a ready-made spreadsheet makes it easier.

Whitespark’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey (Free)

The tactics you prioritize for each unique local business you market should be customized to their potential and goals, but it’s great to know which factors a large pool of local SEOs feel are currently having the most observable impact on Google’s local and organic rankings. This annual survey has become an industry institution.

Whitespark’s Local Rank Tracker (Paid)

This paid tool is a step ahead of many others because it allows you to emulate rankings from local packs and Google Maps, which are typically different. There are also Google organic and Bing options as well, to give you a very big picture of online performance.

MobileMoxie’s SERPerator (Free/Paid)

Emulate mobile local ranking for free three times a month, and upgrade to a paid account if you love this.

Whitespark’s Review Link Generator (Free)

So quick, easy, and doesn’t cost a penny. Make it a cinch to request reviews from customers with this link-generating widget from the good folks at Whitespark.

GMBSpy Chrome Extension (Free)

For another vital action, get this great Chrome extension to reveal all the Google Business Profile categories being used in your market and industry.

GMB Everywhere (Free)

This extension also surfaces categories, but does even more in terms of auditing competitors’ posting strategy and contents.

Moz’s Check Presence Tool (Free)

Get an at-a-glance sense of the health of any local business’ citations by simply entering the company name and address.

Moz Local (Paid)

Build out and maintain a high-quality set of local business listings and manage your reviews with this trusted software. The tool also offers basic review sentiment analysis, which is one of the most important tasks of local campaigns.

Moz Link Intersect tool (Paid)

If you are a Moz Pro subscriber, don’t overlook the highly useful Link Intersect feature of Link Explorer which lets you discover local competitors’ linked unstructured citations, enabling you to see where you could earn linktations for the businesses you market.

Notify (Free)

Get slack or email notifications any time this tool finds social mentions of your business. Being where your customers are talking about you is a fundamental local search marketing practice.

Buzzsumo’s Content Analyzer (Free)

Get publication inspiration by entering a topic, keyword, or domain name into this widget to see how many social shares are occurring around that theme.

Aircam.ai (Paid)

This newcomer service is at the cutting edge of both the image and visual search trend we are watching take over the local space. This service generates local business photography that is geared at improving conversions.

Riverside.fm (Paid)

Working with a local business owner who is an expert at what they do, but doesn’t excel at writing? Film them talking with this up-and-coming tool and use a single session to spark multiple types of content.

Postamatic (Free)

If you can use a spreadsheet, you can use Noah Learner’s cool application for publishing Google posts to multiple Google Business Profiles.

Microdata Generator (Free)

Generate local business schema with this simple widget from Steven Ferrino.

This list could go on forever, but I’ll cut it off here and hope you’ll add some of these actionable resources to your kit.

Map of a wilderness area with a blue
Image credit: Jaime Walker

I’m not saying you should! Local may not be your dream career, but here’s something to consider: Google has been ruling the SEO world for as long as I’ve been working online, and local is the ace up their sleeve. They are deeply staked to it. It’s what they have that Amazon doesn’t, and, for that matter, local is the thing Amazon keeps trying to experiment with by opening and shuttering a series of physical stores of their own. Virtual e-commerce may have spiked over the past few years, but it’s downtrending again. And, to put it bluntly, saving the planet means breaking our overdependent long-distance shipping habit in favor of local fulfillment because of the problem of fossil fuels.

As we covered here in a recent column, working with independent local businesses can align well with personal convictions about healthy societies, but if that’s not a deciding factor for you, it could just be that local businesses are as old as dust and have great sticking power. You can choose to make career gambles on affiliate marketing, or crypto, or whatever the next thrilling surge may be. Many people thrive on the excitement and some get rich. But if you’d prefer a safer bet, look around your own town and see how many people are on their way right now to the grocery store, bank, diner, and doctor. They’ll keep in those well-worn grooves for the foreseeable future, and you can create a good niche for yourself in teaching established models the newest tactics for promoting themselves to a society in love with tech.

For me, local offers all the excitement I can handle, and if you value a working environment in which constant learning is part and parcel of the job, you may have just discovered the “you are here” on the big map of your career options.

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How the LinkedIn Algorithm Works in 2023 [Updated]

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How the LinkedIn Algorithm Works in 2023 [Updated]

LinkedIn bills itself as “the world’s largest professional network” — and they have the numbers to prove it. With over 875 million members in more than 200 countries and regions, LinkedIn is immensely popular and well-used. On top of the sheer size of the platform, nearly 25% of users are senior-level influencers; about 10 million are categorized as C-level executives, and LinkedIn classifies 63 million as “decision makers.”

If you’re a B2B marketer or brand, you probably already know this social media platform offers you an excellent opportunity to reach your target demographic. However, seizing that opportunity is easier said than done since LinkedIn uses a unique algorithm to serve content to users.

In this article, we will walk through how the LinkedIn algorithm works in 2023, best practices for beating the algorithm with organic content, and how brands can elevate their presence on the platform.
 

What is the LinkedIn Algorithm?

 
The LinkedIn algorithm is a formula that determines which content gets seen by certain users on the platform. It’s designed to make each user’s newsfeed as relevant and interesting to them as possible to increase engagement and time spent on the platform. In this way, the LinkedIn algorithm is similar to the Facebook or TikTok algorithm, though LinkedIn’s is slightly more transparent (which is good news!). 

In fact, LinkedIn itself is a good source for demystifying the algorithm and understanding what content is prioritized for members. But the general function of the LinkedIn algorithm is to review and assess billions of posts every day and position those that are most authentic, substantive and relevant to each user at the top of their feeds.  

How the algorithm achieves that function is a little more complex.
 

How the LinkedIn Algorithm Works in 2023

 
 
LinkedIn users’ feeds don’t show posts in chronological order. Instead, the LinkedIn algorithm determines which posts show up at the top of users’ feeds, meaning that sometimes users see older or more popular posts before they see more recent ones.

Several factors influence the LinkedIn algorithm, and the factors change relatively often. Let’s take a closer look.
 

1. Assess and Filter Content by Quality

 
When someone posts on LinkedIn, the algorithm determines whether it’s spam, low-quality, or high-quality content. High-quality content is cleared, low-quality content undergoes additional screening, and spam content is eliminated. 

 

  • Spam – Content flagged as spam can have poor grammar, contain multiple links within the post, tag more than five people, use more than ten hashtags (or use expressly prescriptive hashtags like #follow, #like, and #comment) or be one of multiple postings from the same user within three hours. 
  • Low-quality – Content categorized as low quality isn’t spam but is judged as not particularly relevant to the audience. These posts can be hard to read, tag people who are unlikely to respond or interact, or deal with topics too broad to be interesting to users.  
  • High-quality – “Clear” content is easy to read, encourages engagement, incorporates strong keywords, uses three or fewer hashtags, and reserves outbound links to the comments. In other words, it’s something your audience will want to read or see and react to in a substantive way.

 

2. Test Post Engagement with a Small Follower Group

 
Once a post has made it through the spam filter, the algorithm distributes it to a small subset of your followers for a short time (about an hour) to test its ability to generate engagement. If this group of followers likes, comments or shares the post within this “golden hour,” the LinkedIn algorithm will push it to more people. 

If, on the other hand, the post is ignored, or your followers choose to hide it from their feeds (or, worst of all, mark it as spam), the algorithm will not share it further.  
 

3. Expand the Audience Based on Ranking Signals

 
If the algorithm decides your post is worthy of being sent to a broader audience, it will use a series of three ranking signals to determine exactly who sees it: personal connection, interest relevance and engagement probability. 

These signals boil down to the level of connection between you and the user who potentially sees the post, that user’s interest in the content’s topic and the likelihood of that user interacting with the content. We’ll break down exactly what these ranking signals are further in the post.
 

4. Additional Spam Checks and Continued Engagement Monitoring

 
Even after a post is pushed to a broader audience, the LinkedIn algorithm continues monitoring how users perceive it in terms of quality. If your content is marked as spam or entirely ignored by the new audience group, LinkedIn will stop showing it to those audiences. On the other hand, if your post resonates with new audiences, LinkedIn will keep the post in rotation. So long as the post gets a steady stream of engagement, posts can stay in circulation for months.
 

8 Best Practices to Make the LinkedIn Algorithm Work for You

 
 Understanding how the LinkedIn algorithm works is the first step to reaching more people on LinkedIn and ensuring your content is well-received and engaging. The next step is optimizing your content based on the factors the algorithm prioritizes to maximize its effect. This is where mastering the ranking signals comes into play.

Here are eight tips for crafting high-performing LinkedIn content:
 

1. Know What’s Relevant to Your Audience

 
Relevance is what the algorithm prizes above all other content qualities. For LinkedIn, relevance translates to engagement, which leads to more time spent on the platform, which results in more ad revenue and continued growth. Following this tip will win you points in the “interest relevance” and “engagement probability” ranking categories. 

The entire LinkedIn ecosystem is set up to prioritize highly relevant content. To ensure your posts are relevant, create content focused on your niche and your audience’s specific needs and interests. As LinkedIn’s then-Director of Product Management Linda Leung explained in 2022, “we are continuously investing in the teams, tools, and technology to ensure that the content that you see on your feed adds value to your professional journey.” 

Use customer research and analytics from other social media platforms to learn more about what your audience wants to know. Focus on creating high-quality, valuable content that helps professionals succeed in formats they prefer (for example, videos, which get three times the average engagement of text-only posts). But above all, posting content that is personal and has industry relevance is vital. 
 

2. Post at the Right Time

 
As with most things, timing is crucial for successful LinkedIn posts. It’s even more critical when considering the “golden hour” testing process integral to the algorithm’s rankings. Remember, how much interaction a post gets within the first hour after it’s published determines whether it gets pushed to a broader audience. That means posting at the optimal time when your followers are online and primed to respond is a central factor to success.

You are the best judge of when your top LinkedIn followers and people in your network are most likely to be on the platform and engaging with content. But for the general public, data suggests the best time to post is at 9:00 a.m. EST on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Cross-reference these times with your own analytics and knowledge about your audience — like a common time zone, for example — to find the best time for your posts.
 

3. Encourage Engagement

 
Your post format can play a significant role in user engagement. The LinkedIn algorithm doesn’t explicitly prioritize videos over photo and text posts, but LinkedIn’s internal research has found video ads are five times more likely to start conversations compared to other types of promoted content. 

Asking a question is another great way to encourage interaction with your post. If you’re sharing industry insights, open the conversation to commenters by asking them to share their opinions or experiences on the topic. 

Additionally, tagging someone in your LinkedIn post can expand its reach, but only tag relevant users and people likely to engage with the post. You don’t automatically get in front of a celebrity’s entire following just because you tagged them. In fact, the algorithm’s spam filter can penalize your post for that. But when you tag someone relevant, the tagged person’s connections and followers will also see your post in their feeds. 
 

4. … But don’t beg users to engage

 
The LinkedIn algorithm penalizes posts and hashtags that expressly ask for an engagement action like a follow or a comment. In an official blog post from May 2022, LinkedIn said that it “won’t be promoting” posts that “ask or encourage the community to engage with content via likes or reactions posted with the exclusive intent of boosting reach on the platform.” Essentially, content that begs for engagement is now considered low-quality and should be avoided.
 

5. Promote new posts on non-LinkedIn channels

 
LinkedIn doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and neither do its users. Content that gains traction in other channels can help boost LinkedIn posts and vice versa. Sharing posts on your website, other social media platforms, or with coworkers can spark the initial engagement required for a viral LinkedIn post. Promoting content on other channels can also encourage inactive LinkedIn users to re-engage with the platform, and that interaction will be interpreted as net new engagement for your post.
 

6. Keep Your Posts Professional

 
As the “professional social networking site,” LinkedIn has a well-honed identity that extends to the type of content it favors. Specifically, business-related content that users will find relevant and helpful to their careers or within their industry. 

This might seem common sense, but it can be tempting to think that content that earns lots of clicks or likes on other social media platforms will perform similarly when cross-posted on LinkedIn. Unfortunately (or fortunately), hilarious memes, TikTok dance clips and personal videos don’t resonate with the LinkedIn algorithm. 
 

7. Avoid Outbound Links
 
 

The urge to include an outbound link in a LinkedIn post is real, especially for B2B marketers using LinkedIn to generate leads and traffic to their websites. But this is universally regarded as a tactic to avoid. LinkedIn wants to keep users on the platform and engaging; link-outs defeat that purpose. Therefore, the algorithm tends to downgrade content that includes an outbound link. 

Posts without outbound links enjoyed six times more reach than posts containing links. Does that mean there’s no room for a link to your brand’s website or blog with additional resources? No. But the best practice is creating content that encourages a conversation and letting the audience request an outbound link. If you feel compelled to link to something off-platform, include that link in the comments. 
 

8. Keep an Eye on SSI

 
LinkedIn has a proprietary metric called the Social Selling Index, which measures “how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships.” Per LinkedIn, social selling leaders create 45% more opportunities than those users with lower SSI scores.

A higher SSI boosts users’ posts closer to the top of their audience’s feeds. While this impacts post visibility for individual posters rather than brands and companies, it remains a significant influence on LinkedIn’s algorithm and is worth noting. 

Source: Business 2 Community
 

An Overview of Ranking Signals on LinkedIn’s Algorithm

 
 
As mentioned earlier, there are three ranking signals the LinkedIn algorithm uses to rank posts in a user’s feed:
 

  1. Personal connections
  2. Interest relevance
  3. Engagement probability

 
And here’s how each signal impacts a post’s ranking:
 

Personal Connections

 
In 2019, LinkedIn began deprioritizing content from mega influencers (think Oprah and Richard Brandon) and instead began highlighting content from users’ personal connections. To determine a user’s connections, LinkedIn considers these two things:
 

  1. Who a user works with or has previously worked with
  2. Who a user has interacted with before on the platform

 
At the top of the feed, users now see posts by people they engage with often and by anyone who posts consistently. Users also see more posts from connections with whom they share interests and skills (according to their LinkedIn profiles). 

That said, as of 2022, LinkedIn is also “creating more ways to follow people throughout the feed experience,” including thought leaders, industry experts, and creators that may be outside of a user’s network. So it’s important to remember that personal connection is just one factor influencing post ranking.
 

Interest relevance

 
Relevance is another of the three ranking signals – and in many ways, the most important one. LinkedIn explains on its engineering blog: “We already have a strong set of explicit and implicit signals that provide context on what content a member may find interesting based on their social connections and the Knowledge Graph (e.g., a company that they follow, or news widely shared within their company).”

LinkedIn also uses what they call an “interest graph” that represents the relationships between users and a variety of topics. This lets the LinkedIn algorithm measure the following:
 

  • How interested users are in certain topics
  • How related are different topics to one another
  • Which connections share a user’s interests

 
The algorithm also considers the companies, people, hashtags, and topics mentioned in a post to predict interest. To maximize the interest relevance ranking, you have to understand your target audience and craft content that they’ll find relevant.
 

Engagement Probability

 
Interaction plays a significant role in a post’s ranking on LinkedIn. The platform uses machine learning to rank interaction in two ways:
 

  1. How likely a user is to comment on, share, or react to a post based on the content and people they have interacted with
  2. How quickly a post starts receiving engagement after it’s published. The faster users interact with a post, the more likely it will appear at the top of others’ feeds

 
Users who regularly interact with others’ posts in their LinkedIn feed are more likely to see interactions on their content, which in turn means that they’ll be more likely to show up on other people’s feeds.
 

Elevate Your Brand’s LinkedIn Presence

 
The LinkedIn algorithm can seem intimidating, but it really isn’t. It relies on a series of rules and ranking measures that can be understood and mastered to present users with content they find helpful in their professional lives.

Knowing that the algorithm prioritizes engagement, relevance and connection will help get your posts in front of more LinkedIn users and improve your overall performance on the platform. And by following the eight best practices outlined in this article, you’ll be able to keep your audience’s interest and create plenty of opportunities for them to engage with your content. 

Tinuiti helps brands strengthen relationships with new and current customers through expert social media strategy and brilliant creative. Reach out to our Paid Social services team to learn how to start advancing your LinkedIn strategy today.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2021 and has been regularly updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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A Digital Practioner’s Guide to Starting the New Year Right

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A Digital Practioner’s Guide to Starting the New Year Right



It’s that time of year again – the holiday excitement has faded as we fall back into the workweek. With a year’s worth of work stretched in front of us, there can be both a sense of opportunity and overwhelmedness 

Because transitioning back into the swing of things can be daunting, We’ve gathered key takeaways from the previous year, global Opticon Tour, and how we can successfully apply those learnings in 2023.  

1. “Work about work” is holding teams back. Take this chance to declutter.  

Consider the reality of what most digital teams are up against. When it comes to managing the content lifecycle, draft documents that are stored in separate places and disparate tools that don’t work together are the norm for many. With no centralized point of communication and cumbersome workflows, it can take forever for teams to create and approve content, and work is often duplicated or unused.  

After work is completed, it can be easy to dismiss the headaches caused by inefficient, siloed workflows and processes. But the long-term effects of inefficient and bulky collaboration can be detrimental to a brand’s digital experience – and bottom line. (Those who joined us in San Diego at Opticon might recall this concept played out via ). 

Digital teams with unwieldy content lifecycles can take back control using , saving countless hours and frustration over the year.  

2. Change is constant. Set your team up to be adaptive. 

We all know how difficult it is to create amazing customer experiences these days. The world is moving faster than ever, and change is constant and chaotic with uncertainty on nearly every level: economic upheaval, rapid cultural change, ever-escalating customer expectations (thanks, Amazon), and a tight talent market.  

To not only stay the course but to also grow in this unpredictable environment, it’s important that teams constantly stay on the lookout for new ways to drive more sales and increase loyalty. In other words, consistently deliver modern, relevant, and personalized commerce experiences.  

But keeping pace doesn’t necessarily mean working harder. Optimizely’s Monetize solutions, teams can drive sales and loyalty with fewer costs and efforts.  

3. Data fuels a great customer experience. Test and optimize every touchpoint. 

As practitioners, we all know that the best customer experience wins.  

When teams don’t clearly understand what’s happening and when, they miss the mark. With little patience and high expectations, today’s customers will simply switch to a competitor that better understands them and provides a more personalized experience.  

But when teams work together to inject data across silos, they have the insight needed to make the right decisions and create with confidence.  

For instance, take the marketing team: with access to a slew of customer touchpoints and experimentation data, marketers should be a critical resource for understanding customers’ wants and needs. Developers, product teams, and beyond should utilize this data to remove the guesswork and inform strategies, priorities, roadmaps, and decisions.  

With customer-centricity at the heart of any great digital experience, the best experiences are fueled by data uncovered by high-velocity experimentation. Consider the power that Optimizely’s Experimentation products can have on your entire team’s ability to unlock personalized insights and better connect with customers.  

Hopefully, your new year is off to a great start – but if you’re feeling a little off track, contact Optimizely today to learn more about our DXP can impact your business and set you up for a successful and productive year.  

A special thanks to our sponsors at Opticon London – Microsoft, Google Cloud, Valtech, and Siteimprove – and Opticon Stockholm – Microsoft, Google Cloud, Valtech, and Contentsquare. 


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Top 6 SEO Tips for Bloggers that Will Skyrocket Google Rankings

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Top 6 SEO Tips for Bloggers that Will Skyrocket Google Rankings

The majority of blogs rely heavily on search engines to drive traffic. On the other hand, there is a misunderstanding that creating “SEO-optimized content” entails stuffing keywords into paragraphs and headers, which leads to barely readable blog articles.

But that’s not what SEO is all about. In this article, you’ll discover the top 6 SEO strategies and how crucial they are for improving your blog posts rank in Google search results.

How Important Are Google Rankings For Your Blog?

Search engine traffic is essential if you’re blogging in hopes of growing your business. After all, what’s the point in writing content if no one is going to see it? The higher your blog post ranks in Google search results, the more likely people will find and read it.

And the more people who read your blog post, the more likely someone will take the desired action, whether signing up for your email list, buying one of your products, or hiring you as a coach or consultant. So, it is essential to have SEO optimized blog.

How To Incorporate SEO Into Your Blogs?

It would help if you started putting these six pieces of constructive SEO advice for bloggers into practice immediately:

1. Write For Your Readers

The standard of blog writing started significantly declining when “SEO content” became a buzzword. Instead of writing for people, they began to write mainly for robots in search engines. Unfortunately, some bloggers still express themselves in this way nowadays.  

But luckily, things have greatly improved, especially since the Hummingbird update and the rise of voice searches. The Hummingbird update was developed to assist Google in comprehending the purpose of searches.  

For instance, Google would understand that you are seeking nearby restaurants if you Googled “places to buy burgers.” It influences SEO because search engines are now more geared toward providing answers to queries and supporting semantic search rather than merely focusing on keywords.

You typically utilize Google, Bing, YouTube, or even Siri to find answers to questions. Take that idea and use it to improve your blog. Your writing should address the concerns of your intended audience in detail.

Your blog shouldn’t exist solely to help you rank for a particular keyword. Instead of concentrating on keywords, shift your attention to creating content that addresses the issues of your target audience.

2. Link to High-Authority websites

Don’t be scared to use external links when you construct your blog content. In addition to giving blog visitors more resources to read and learn from, linking to reputable websites demonstrates to search engines that you have done your research.

Research-based statistics from reputable websites are the best way to support blog content. Using compelling statistics will help you create a stronger, more specific argument that will help you win your readers’ trust.

3. Design a link building Strategy

Your search ranking is significantly impacted by link building. Why? Consider search results a contest where the people who receive the most votes win.

Google considers every website that links back to you as a vote for your website, elevating your content’s credibility. You will move up in ranking as a result. Here are some starter ideas for your link-building:

  • Communicate to other bloggers in your niche and offer to guest post on their website. Include a link back to your blog in your guest post.
  • Participate in online and offline community events related to your niche. For example, if you blog about fitness, you could attend a trade show related to fitness or health.
  • Create helpful resources that other bloggers in your niche find valuable, such as an eBook, cheat sheet or template. Include a link back to your blog on these resources.
  • Leverage social media to get your content in front of as many people as possible.

4. Learn About Google Webmaster Tools

Do you remember getting a warning from your teacher when you did anything incorrectly in elementary school? Your opportunity to clean up your act and get back on track to avoid punishment was given to you with that warning. In a way, Google Webmaster Tools serves that purpose for your blog.

Google Webmaster Tools will warn you when something suspicious is happening with your blog by giving you diagnostics, tools, and data to keep your site in good condition.

What you can observe in the Webmaster Tools Search Console is:

  • The percentage of your pages that Google has indexed
  • If your website is having issues with Google’s bots indexing it
  • If your website was hacked
  • How search engine bots see your website
  • Links to your site
  • If Google penalized your website manually

The great thing about Webmaster Tools is that it informs you what’s wrong with your website and how to fix it. To resolve any difficulties Google discovers with your blog, you can utilize a vast knowledge base of articles and a forum.

5. Include Keywords in your Meta Description

Does your post include meta descriptions? If not, you’re probably not providing your content with the best chance of being seen. Google also analyzes meta-descriptions to determine search results. The one- to three-sentence summaries beneath a result’s title is known as meta descriptions.

Use meta descriptions to briefly summarize the subject of your post, and keep in mind to:

  1. Make it brief.
  2. Use between one and two keywords.
  3. Since there will likely be other postings that are identical to yours, you should make your description stand out from the competition.

6. Establish Linkable Assets

A linkable asset is a unique, instrumental piece of content that’s so valuable people can’t resist linking to it. It’s similar to dining at a fantastic restaurant and a merely adequate one. You’ll go out of your way to tell everyone about the excellent restaurant, but if someone asks if you’ve been there, you’ll probably only mention the merely adequate one.

The ProBlogger job board is an excellent example of a linkable asset. For independent bloggers looking for compensated writing opportunities, it’s a terrific resource. The page is constantly linked in blog posts on monetizing your blog or websites that pay you to write for them. Why? Because it is rare and costly.

You can build the following linkable assets for your blog:

  • Free software or apps
  • Ultimate guide posts
  • Huge lists
  • Infographics
  • Online guide
  • Influencer tally reports
  • Quizzes
  • A case studies
  • Industry studies or surveys

Final Thoughts

By following these six SEO tips for bloggers, you’ll be well on your journey to improving your blog’s Google ranking. Remember that SEO is an ongoing process, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. The key is to be patient and consistent in your efforts, and soon you’ll start reaping the rewards of your hard work!

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