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Five Lead Magnets that Complement Paid Traffic

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Five Lead Magnets that Complement Paid Traffic

If you are using ads to generate sales for a course or any other product, that costs more than $100, a lead magnet should be part of the funnel. As your conversion rates will be higher when you take the time to nurture the lead and build trust before pitching your product. 

There are so many types of lead magnets out there that it can be hard to decide the best one for your ad. This is why I have made a list of the best lead magnets that work well with ads. 

1. Ebooks

Ebooks are a popular lead magnet you will notice when you browse through your Facebook or Instagram feed. They range from cheat sheets, templates, checklists, worksheets, and so many other types. 

Source: Facebook

They’re popular because they are easy to create. You can just get a template, add your content and branding such as colors, font, and logo, and publish it in less than a week. 

The type of lead magnet you use should depend on the product you are promoting. For example, if your product is a video course, a guide that provides a glimpse of some of the content you cover in the course would work well. 

While if you are selling high-ticket consulting services, a case study where you share details about a result you got for a client would do well. This is because potential clients will want to see proof of experience and credibility before investing in high-ticket services. 

Another important factor to keep in mind is the amount of free time your target audience has available. If you’re targeting busy people a case study or template would do better, but if your audience has more free time you can use long ebooks and white papers. 

2. Webinars

Businesses use webinars as lead magnets to promote all sorts of products like courses, consulting services, and software. I have even seen marketers use them to sell eCommerce products. They are popular because people will always be interested in signing up for one-time live events. They can lower your CPA (cost per acquisition). 

1649685656 167 Five Lead Magnets that Complement Paid Traffic

Source: Instagram

Also, a good percentage of webinar attendees convert to sales as people are more receptive to your pitches after a live educative presentation. 

To get the best results, don’t just think of the webinar as a live event. Picture it as a complete funnel. This includes the follow-up emails you send after the webinar. As more people will buy after the webinar ends, especially when the deadline gets closer. 

You can also automatically deliver a satisfaction survey after the deadline to find out why someone bought the product or didn’t. This will help you create better products and improve your funnel. 

Another great thing about webinars is that after the live event, you can reuse the recording and build an evergreen webinar funnel around it. Most webinar platforms let you record the webinar. Some marketers take the recording and gate it behind a sign-up form on their website and use a funnel that is similar to the live event. When people sign up for this webinar they need to choose a time to watch it at and they receive pre and post-webinar emails. 

1649685656 431 Five Lead Magnets that Complement Paid Traffic

Source: Amy Porterfield

There are several platforms that make it easy to set up an evergreen webinar. But if you go down this route, make sure you don’t ever tell attendees that it is a live event. As it is important to build a trustworthy relationship with potential customers. 

Even though there are so many parts to a webinar, the most important one is the video presentation itself. Make sure you get it right by filling it with lots of unique tips your audience hasn’t heard before. You should also get the timing right. Webinar attendees prefer it when webinars are 45 minutes long. This should include a short introduction, the presentation, the pitch, and a Q&A session at the end. Do your best to make it fun and engaging to limit the number of people who drop out in between. 

Another important factor is the time at which you run your webinar. Usually, the afternoon or evening (after people finish work) is the best time. You can use the satisfaction survey to learn about what timings people prefer. 

3. Quizzes 

One of the most important aspects of marketing is specificity. If you can understand your audience and write highly specific content and copy, you will generate a lot more sales. This is why top marketers constantly run surveys and track email activity such as opens and clicks after people sign up to their list. 

But if you use quizzes, you can figure this out even before people sign up, like in this quiz from DoFasting

1649685656 286 Five Lead Magnets that Complement Paid Traffic

Source: DoFasting

It sells products that make it easier for people to fast. So, it uses this quiz to learn about its audience. In the beginning, it enquires about the quiz participants’ genders. After that, it displays many multi-choice questions related to their experience with fasting. Towards the end, it asks for more personal details like the height and age of participants. Finally, in the end, it creates a free report. But people can’t just download this free report, they need to provide their email to get it. 

1649685657 866 Five Lead Magnets that Complement Paid Traffic

This helps DoFasting attract highly qualified leads. As it segments people who sign up based on their answers. They receive very specific emails that increase conversions and reduce unsubscriptions. 

You can also create several custom audiences with these segmented email lists and retarget subscribers with extremely-relevant ads. 

4. Polls

The problem with quizzes is that it takes time for participants to finish them. The duration depends on the complexity of the quiz. In contrast, people can sign up for other lead magnets in a few seconds by just providing their email addresses. This is why a lot of people will abandon your quiz mid-way. 

An alternative to a quiz is a poll. In a poll, instead of asking people to answer multiple questions, you just ask them to answer one or two multiple-choice questions. This attracts more participants. 

You also won’t need to use a sophisticated tool to create a personalized report that will entice them to sign up. You can simply ask them to sign up to see the results of the poll. There are a lot of poll makers that make it easy to set this up. 

5. Content upgrades

A content upgrade is a lead magnet you create for one specific blog post like in this post on how to write a blog post. You will notice that there is a call to action for a blog post template at the top. As the lead magnet is very relevant to the topic of the post, it will generate a lot of leads. 

1649685657 747 Five Lead Magnets that Complement Paid Traffic

Source: Social Marketing Writing

They work well with ads, especially on platforms like Facebook and Instagram because these networks like it when you promote educative content like blog posts that aren’t gated behind a landing page. You will be able to achieve a lower CPC (cost per click) rate and generate more leads at the same time because of the content upgrade. 

Content upgrades are also very effective for converting organic traffic you generate from social media and search engines. Make sure you embed the opt-in form directly in the blog post several times so that readers don’t miss it. Some great places to add it are the top, middle, and end. 

In the beginning, you can place the opt-in forms in these three areas, but after you start driving traffic, you can analyze how visitors interact with the blog post and forms using heat maps and scroll maps. You can then shift the forms to the best locations. You can also experiment with the messaging and color of the forms and call to action buttons. 

Now create the lead magnets for your ads

When you promote inexpensive products there’s no necessity to use a lead magnet. It will just lengthen your funnel and delay the sale. But when you sell more expensive products, you can’t skip the lead magnet. They will help you build relationships with prospects and generate sales. This could be in a few days or months from now as you can regularly email the leads, nurture them, and pitch your products. 

Therefore, use this guide to determine the best lead magnet for your funnel and to generate maximum leads and sales from your ads.




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6 Google Ads Performance Max Pre-Launch Optimizations

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6 Google Ads Performance Max Pre-Launch Optimizations

Google Ads Performance Max campaigns can be a great tool to help you reach further into the Google network and attract new customers as well as convert existing ones. But this campaign type is also quite a bit different from many others that Google has rolled out in the past. Rather than focusing on one network, like Search or YouTube, Performance Max campaigns can run across nearly all Google-owned properties, meaning your ads could look very different from one place to the next. Additionally, the user’s intent and/or state of mind could also be very different on each platform.

For these reasons and others, I suggest having a few things checked off a list before rolling out Performance Max campaigns, just to make sure you’re being cautious with your funds and putting yourself in the best position possible to see success:

  1. Use brand exclusion lists
  2. Control placements with brand suitability
  3. Take advantage of all creative options
  4. Don’t be shy with audience signals
  5. Confirm all conversion tracking and set clear goals
  6. Track lead quality performance

Google Ads Performance Max campaigns: 6 pre-launch optimizations

Let’s take a deeper look at the six optimizations you should make before launching Google Ads Performance Max campaigns.

💡 Already running Performance Max campaigns but not sure if they need to be further optimized? Find out with our free Google Ads Grader!

1. Utilize brand exclusion lists to avoid search cannibalization

If you’re running traditional search campaigns and Performance Max is a planned expansion, I encourage you to add a brand exclusion list to your Performance Max campaigns. This list will provide added control so your Performance Max campaign will not show for branded queries, meaning your search and shopping campaigns won’t have any internal competition for those terms.

google ads performance max campaigns - brand exclusions navigation screenshot

These lists are very simple. First, navigate to the tools portion of the left-hand navigation, then shared library, and click brand lists.

google ads performance max campaigns - brand list screenshotgoogle ads performance max campaigns - brand list screenshot

From there, you’ll be prompted to create a new brand list. You’ll be able to give that list a name, which could be useful if you have multiple brands being advertised in the same account. Next, start typing in your brand name and select the box next to the brand that matches yours.

You may be surprised how many brands Google already has available in the list, but if you don’t see your brand identified here, you do have the option to Request a New Brand down at the bottom.

google ads performance max campaigns - brand exclusionsgoogle ads performance max campaigns - brand exclusions

Once you’ve created your list, you’ll need to apply it to your Performance Max campaign in the campaign settings section. This is nearly always hidden under “additional settings” toward the bottom. Select the brand lists you want excluded from that campaign and you’ll be on your way.

2. Control placements with brand suitability

As I mentioned earlier, Performance Max campaigns can be shown across the whole Google network, and with each of these platforms comes its own worries about what your ads will show up next to.

Search and shopping exclusions

In addition to the brand exclusion lists mentioned above, you can also control the queries your Performance Max campaigns will show for with account-level negative keywords.

google ads performance max campaigns - negative keywords list google ads performance max campaigns - negative keywords list

While this is a great improvement over no negative keywords, you still need to be cautious. Adding negative keywords at the account level prevents every campaign in your account from showing on those queries. That includes Performance Max, but it also includes your regular search and shopping campaigns as well.

If there are terms that are not suitable for your brand to show up for in any scenario, adding them at the account level can help control both your traditional campaigns as well as Performance Max.

google ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of admin account settingsgoogle ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of admin account settings

Account-level negative keywords can be found in the account settings portion of Google Ads (under Admin) in the main navigation and function the same as regular negative keywords.

Display and YouTube exclusions

Beyond search and the control of keywords, we also need to monitor the content our ads are showing alongside on YouTube and the Google Display Network.

google ads performance max campaigns - content suitability in navigation panelgoogle ads performance max campaigns - content suitability in navigation panel

The best way to prevent your brand from showing on unsavory content is to use controls available in the content suitability section of Google Ads.

google ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of excluded contentgoogle ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of excluded content

Toward the bottom of the page is a list of additional exclusion categories you can utilize. Each of these settings will apply to its intended network type, meaning they’ll help control either the display placement, YouTube placement, or both for your Performance Max campaigns.

google ads performance max campaigns - content exclusionsgoogle ads performance max campaigns - content exclusions

You can use the broadest set of controls and select exclusions based on their sensitive content category (shown above), or you can add in content keyword exclusions or even individual placements like websites or YouTube channels if you know where you want to avoid.

🌱 Get more ways to grow your business across all your marketing channels with our free growth strategy guide!

3. Take advantage of all creative options

Since Performance Max campaigns have many different options for placements, there are tons of different forms your ads could take. You’re given space for text, images, videos, brand identifiers, and ad assets all in the same location. Take advantage of them!

google ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of performance max ad editorgoogle ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of performance max ad editor

Both fortunately and unfortunately, your ad itself is what the user has to make their first impression of you. If your ad looks clunky and boring, you’re not really creating any sort of appeal.

Utilize the review tool in the right-hand portion of the builder to get an idea of what your ads will look like in all of the available placements. If one is slacking, go find new assets to slot in and make sure you’re creating the impression you want, not just the one you have to settle for.

4. Don’t be shy with audience signals

In the same asset group builder, you’ll find where you can influence the audience that Performance Max campaigns target.

google ads performance max campaigns - audience signals screenshotgoogle ads performance max campaigns - audience signals screenshot

As you can see above, you have quite a bit of options when it comes to providing audience signals. These can be from your data sets, like remarketing lists or customer uploads. It can also be based on additional signals like interests that include in-market and life event audiences as well as detailed demographics like parental status and household income.

google ads performance max campaigns - search themes examplegoogle ads performance max campaigns - search themes example

Additionally, you can provide search themes, which are keywords (up to 25 per asset group) that you identify as some words or phrases users may look for when searching for your products or services. They’re best used when you’re launching a new product or your site doesn’t have complete details about your offerings to help guide Performance Max to find more qualified users. These are optional but can be useful in the scenarios mentioned above.

google ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of google ads performance max network explanationgoogle ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of google ads performance max network explanation

However, both of these sets of directions only go so far when you’re trying to influence your audiences. As Google states: these are just a starting point and they’ll serve ads based on what the algorithm says is a qualified user.

I encourage you to add as detailed insights as you can in this section as they will work in conjunction with the next optimization to make sure your ads are showing to the right users across the Google environment.

5. Confirm all conversion tracking and set clear goals

Performance Max campaigns are driven heavily by the goals you set at the campaign level. On every placement, they’re trying to help you drive either sales, brand awareness, content downloads, or some other goal. But for Performance Max to be successful, you have to feed it accurate conversion data.

performance max campaigns - conversion goalsperformance max campaigns - conversion goals

In the campaign setup process, you’ll be prompted to choose the goals you want to optimize for in this campaign. Be sure you have all of your conversion actions and goals set up properly so you can easily opt into the actions you want for this campaign. (If you need more guidance on conversion goals in Google Ads, you can watch this video.)

This also opens up a new world of optimization with Performance Max. For example, if you wanted to have one Performance Max campaign optimizing for brand awareness and another focusing on your bottom-funnel conversion actions, this is where you would set that up. Don’t hesitate to be creative with how you can use this machine learning to influence your portfolio of campaigns rather than just one at a time.

6. Track lead quality performance

From my own experience as well as that of others I’ve talked to in the industry, Performance Max does really well for direct sales and ecommerce types of campaigns. All of the sale and revenue data is available directly from the platforms and product feeds usually have tons of creative and copy to work with.

google ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of Google Ads lead quality tipsgoogle ads performance max campaigns - screenshot of Google Ads lead quality tips

Unfortunately, that means lead generation campaigns have a harder time. (Don’t they always?) The quality of leads can be, well, really terrible from Performance Max if you’re not careful. There are some strategies Google suggests you employ to improve lead quality, but you’ll notice these are all on your site, not directly through PMAX controls.

Regardless, I think these are all very valid suggestions and can help you prevent your forms from getting flooded with bot leads and annoying your sales department. If you’re running lead generation campaigns, I highly suggest you leverage at least one of these tactics to help avoid junk leads and keep the data clean.

Get ahead of your Google Ads Performance Max campaign optimization

Performance Max campaigns can be great tools to extend your reach beyond single network campaigns and can help drive results, but they almost always need handholding to make sure they’re hitting the targets you want. This list of optimizations should help you focus your campaigns right from the start and see decent performance after launch rather than starting without any controls and hoping things turn out.

Here are the six ways to optimize your Google Ads Performance Max campaigns before they go live:

  1. Use brand exclusion lists
  2. Control placements with brand suitability
  3. Take advantage of all creative options
  4. Don’t be shy with audience signals
  5. Confirm all conversion tracking and set clear goals
  6. Track lead quality performance

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March Content Ideas for Blog Posts, Videos, & More

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March Content Ideas for Blog Posts, Videos, & More

March is the start of spring. The clocks spring forward, flowers bloom, and people get excited for the warmer months ahead. So why not design your March content calendar to capitalize on the anticipation of the season? There are dozens of creative ways to make your March blog, video, and other content sing with spring feelings.

Of course, whenever you’re creating content—in any season—it pays to keep two things in mind: Your broader marketing goals and the audience you want to reach.

You set yourself up for success when you use your strategy and your customers to guide your content output. Here’s how to fill your March marketing calendar with blogs, videos, and more that will get attention and build trust.

Table of contents

 

Tips for approaching your March content ideas

Before we get into specific March content ideas, let’s step back and explore content strategy and creation. 

Building a strategy is about more than assigning publish dates in your marketing calendar. To get it right, you want to ensure each piece of content you publish throughout the year is working to serve your broader business goals.  

Here’s a high-level look at what your content strategy and creation process should look like this March.

🗓 Get year-round marketing ideas, tips, and examples for inspiration with our new 2024 marketing calendar!

1. Know what your goals are

Your business has goals for the year, and your marketing efforts are designed to support them. Make sure they’re SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).

march content ideas - wordstream smart goal chart

Your big business goals might look like:

  • We want to increase sales by 20% year-over-year.
  • We want to sell 5,000 units of our new product in the first 30 days after it launches.
  • We want 300 people to register for our event when we announce it in March.

2. Define how marketing can support those goals

With those macro goals in mind, you can brainstorm ways your marketing team can contribute to achieving them. Take that sales growth goal as an example. Your marketing team will look to create content that supports filling up your marketing funnel. That includes:

  • Top-of-funnel content to build awareness and attract a new audience.
  • Educational content to support those in the consideration stages.
  • Content that creates a top-notch customer experience when they decide to convert.

🌱 Discover more ways to grow your business this March and beyond with our easy-to-use growth strategy template!

3. Get clear about who’s in your audience

So, what do these people moving through your marketing funnel look like? The best marketing content speaks directly to your audience and their needs—and you can’t do that if you don’t know who your audience is!

That’s where research comes in. Look at your current customers. What characteristics do they share? Can you send them a survey or conduct interviews to understand why they chose to do business with you?

march content ideas - screenshot of audience surveymarch content ideas - screenshot of audience survey

In this example, the project management tool ClickUp invites users to submit feedback and feature requests on its site.

Knowing who your current customers are and how they act, think, and feel can help you create content that will speak to others like them.

4. Start defining your content needs

At this point in the process, you can begin looking at how to create content to speak to your ideal customer and serve your business objectives.

Start by evaluating the content you already have. Are there gaps in that content? Are there pieces that could be repurposed, refreshed, or otherwise spruced up or repackaged for your needs? What else can you create to complement or enhance your existing content?

This is a great place to undertake some competitive research and see if there are opportunities for you to own a specific search term or fill a content gap left by your competitors.

5. Home in on content types and ideas

Once you’ve done all of this work upfront, you can get specific about your March content ideas. Now’s the time to brainstorm different types of content.

march content ideas - content marketing funnel chart march content ideas - content marketing funnel chart

Returning to the example of the sales growth goal, you might create content like:

  • A webinar series that lets your in-house subject matter experts share advice on a topic your ideal customer cares about.
  • A blog series that addresses a significant pain point your customers have.
  • A gated white paper that details proprietary research you’ve done in your area of expertise.

Once you have a broad sense of where you want to go with your content, you can place things on the calendar and find opportunities to refine the idea in line with the season.

How to brainstorm content ideas for March

What kind of content do you want to put on your calendar in March?

Look to the season to help you brainstorm specific ideas. There are quite a few noteworthy days that fall in March, including:

  • Women’s History Month (March 1-31)
  • International Women’s Day (March 8)
  • Ramadan (begins March 10)
  • Start of Daylight Savings (March 10)
  • Pi Day (March 14)
  • Patrick’s Day (March 17)
  • First day of spring (March 19)
  • NCAA March Madness (begins March 19)
  • Purim (March 23-24)
  • Holi (March 24-25)
  • Easter (March 31)
  • International Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31)

march content ideas - womens history month march content ideas - womens history month

Spelman College, a women’s college and HBCU, celebrated Black women trailblazers last Women’s History Month.

In addition to these March holidays and celebrations, specific seasonal themes may apply to your business. For example:

  • A landscaping business can discuss how to care for your lawn as spring and summer approach.
  • A restaurant might share information about its spring menu, with fun facts about the seasonal ingredients they plan to incorporate in March dishes.
  • A test prep business may launch an informational webinar series for parents of students preparing to take the SATs in May and June.

You can also consider other national and international days that apply to your business. A dentist could create content for World Oral Health Day (March 20), while a direct-to-consumer mattress brand might celebrate National Napping Day (March 11).

March content ideas for blogs, videos, and more

So you’re ready to create some killer March marketing campaigns? Here are some March content ideas to help you fill out your calendar.

Post some short-form videos

This video format is ideal for your website’s home page, a tutorial on a product page, or sharing on social media. Consumers’ attention spans are short, so 30-60 seconds is the sweet spot for these snack-sized pieces of content from your brand.

With short-form video, the key is to give your content a beginning, middle, and end in a very short time. It also helps to open with a compelling hook. People might scroll right by if you don’t have a strong opener.

march content ideas - st patricks day video examplemarch content ideas - st patricks day video example

Ingredients brand Amoretti shared five St. Patrick’s Day drink recipes on its YouTube channel (featuring Amoretti syrups, of course!).

Here are some ideas for short-form videos you could post in March:

  • A time-lapse video of your team switching over your store to spring merchandise.
  • A mini-tutorial on a seasonal topic (ex., a home cleaning service offers five tips for spring cleaning your closet).
  • A behind-the-scenes look at your prep for a special day (ex., a bakery shows its process for making 314 mini-pies for Pi Day).
  • A recap of a seasonal event you hosted at your brick-and-mortar location (ex., an Irish pub shares the best looks from its St. Patrick’s Day costume contest).

Host a webinar

Webinars are a fantastic way to showcase your team’s expertise and build your prospect mailing list.

Start by brainstorming topics your ideal customers would want to hear from you about. These should be something more complex than you’d cover in a social media video but not something so thorny you can’t speak to it in 30 minutes or less.

  • A real estate agent might partner with a local mortgage lender to host a webinar for first-time homebuyers, helping them prepare for the busy spring and summer season.
  • A garden center might do a rundown of spring planting basics and share suggestions for the best types of plants to select in various environments (low water, high shade, etc.)
  • A college or university might host a “college search 101” for parents of students wrapping up their junior year of high school.

march content ideas - webinar topic examplemarch content ideas - webinar topic example

Source

Don’t forget to promote your webinar! Post about it on your social media, send email invites to existing contacts, and create a customized landing page on your website where interested prospects can register. You might also consider putting some advertising dollars behind your webinar promotional efforts to help you reach a wider audience.

💡 Are your Google Ads campaigns ready to effectively promote your March content? Find out with our free Google Ads Grader!

Launch a seasonal newsletter

Maintaining a newsletter is a big undertaking. It requires constant attention and a steady stream of new content to establish a regular publishing cadence.

If you don’t have the bandwidth to launch a year-round newsletter, why not start a seasonal one instead? A limited-run newsletter allows you to reap the benefits (that is, regular contact with your audience) without the long-term commitment that comes with a perennial one.

Think about ways to share seasonal content in a time-bound manner. You might establish a newsletter like:

  • A weekly plan to help your followers achieve a discreet goal (ex., A fitness studio might launch a 10-week exercise plan to get fit for summer)
  • A series of tips leading up to a set holiday or date (ex., A tutoring organization might share a weekly piece of advice for parents whose children are preparing for the June SAT date)
  • A newsletter that explores different customer viewpoints or approaches in each edition around a shared topic (ex., A home goods store shows how five different customers choose to celebrate the Easter holiday—their favorite traditions, decor styles, table settings, and more)

Draft a how-to blog

The best blog content provides value to your audience, and what’s more valuable than your expertise?

Sharing your knowledge through how-to blog content can do great things for your brand. It’s how you build trust with a new audience and position yourself as the go-to source for learning and advice.

march blog post ideas - example march blog post march blog post ideas - example march blog post

Lawn Love created a seasonal blog post that also worked its geography into the title to help with local search. That’s a win-win!

Want to take your blog content up a level? Include high-quality images! This helps break up the text, makes your piece more scannable, and adds further context to your written content.

Design an infographic

Visual aids are a powerful thing. Research shows that 40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text.

Infographics are a great way to help your audience retain useful statistics, regardless of their learning style. Plus, they’re highly shareable. When you include your logo and website on your infographic, you enjoy free promotion whenever someone reshares it.

March into spring with a host of March content ideas

When you approach the process of content creation with a strategy-first mindset, you set yourself up for success. Speaking to seasonal trends and timely topics empowers you to take your content marketing to the next level with relevant, intriguing blogs, videos, and more that will delight your audience and serve your business goals.

Here is our list of popular March content ideas:

  1. Post some short-form videos
  2. Host a webinar
  3. Launch a seasonal newsletter
  4. Draft a how-to blog
  5. Design an infographic



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6 Common SEO Issues & How to Solve Them

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6 Common SEO Issues & How to Solve Them

The WordStream blog has been around and producing top-ranking content for over a decade. Suffice it to say that we know a thing or two about SEO. But all that we’ve learned has not come to us on a silver platter. It’s been through the challenges we’ve faced and how we handled them.

In this article, we’re sharing some of the most common SEO issues and what to do about them so you can keep your traffic and rankings in top shape.

Here are the six SEO issues we’ll cover:

  1. Keyword competition
  2. Not keeping up with algorithm updates
  3. Slow page speed
  4. Low local ranking
  5. Page not indexing
  6. Resource constraints

With the goal of SEO being to rank high and increase traffic, one might think that the only two SEO issues out there are a drop in ranking or a drop in traffic. But because SEO is dependent on so many practices, there is actually a slew of SEO issues that could be behind these performance dips. Let’s take a deeper look at six of them.

SEO issue #1: Keyword volume and competition

If you’re seeing less than stellar results for a piece of content, check up on the keyword volume (how many times the keyword is searched per month) and competition (how difficult it is to rank for the keyword). Depending on the keyword, you may see volume and competition fluctuations due to seasonal, cultural, industrial, and economic trends.

Also, some keywords simply get harder to rank for over time, while others get easier.

SEO issues - Graph showing change in keyword difficulty.

Keyword volume and competition can fluctuate for certain keywords.

How to fix it

Here are two recommendations for dealing with this pesky SEO issue.

Improve the quality of the content

If competition has gone up, make sure your content is up to date, in line with what other ranking results show, and refreshed with new links. Use our on-page SEO guide to make sure everything is optimized properly.

Target a mix of keyword types

Yes, high volume keywords can increase traffic to your site, but they can be difficult to rank for. By targeting lower competition and lower volume keywords, you can accrue traffic and engagement, which sends positive signals to Google and increases your SEO strength. This can help you rank faster—and maintain rank—for those higher competition keywords.

👋 SEO is just one way to get more visitors. This guide, 25 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website, will show you many others.

SEO issue #2: Not keeping up with algorithm updates

As technology advances, data increases, and machine learning gets more refined, Google is constantly updating its algorithm. The dozens of small updates it makes each month, like for spam, are usually harmless.

However, core algorithm updates, which target those stronger SEO signals, can cause strange fluctuations in traffic and performance. Examples of more impactful updates include the page experience update, page speed update, and the page title update.

SEO update- graph showing traffic change due to googles title update.SEO update- graph showing traffic change due to googles title update.

The page title update caused some major problems for us!

How to fix it

Fixes for this depend on exactly what’s happening.

Update pages

Sometimes, with an algorithm update, some of your old content simply loses its value in relation to other content on the web. In this case, you’ll want to examine any pages that dropped in traffic and look for updates you can make. While this can be disappointing, you may also find that some of your newer content begins to rank higher.

Give it time

Other times your traffic drops because the changes to the algorithm may shift the way things rank initially, putting some pages on top that shouldn’t be there. Since the algorithm factors in user behavior, the pages end up in their right places over time. In this case, the best thing to do is to let the results pages settle. Wait about 30 days to see if the page finds its way back to its due ranking.

Stay in the know

Regardless, it’s best to stay on top of algorithm updates. Know what they are ahead of time so you can prepare if possible, and once they happen, use SEO forums to see if other people are experiencing the same problems. SEO Roundtable, the Google Search Central algorithm update blog, and Google’s ranking updates release history can be really helpful here.

SEO update- Google search status dashboard.SEO update- Google search status dashboard.

Use the Google Search Status Dashboard to stay in the loop on algorithm and ranking updates. 

Focus on quality

Though the Google algorithm is always evolving, it’s not exactly a moving target. That’s because its goal is always the same, and that is to surface the highest quality content for searchers. As long as you create evergreen content using Google’s E-E-A-T principles, you can minimize the impact of algorithm changes on your traffic.

SEO issue #3: Slow page speed

Another common SEO issue is slow page speed. Google does not like pages that load slowly because users don’t like pages that load slowly. In fact, after about five seconds, every one-second delay reduces user satisfaction by 16% and decreases conversion rate by 4%.

SEO update- graph showing effect of slow page speed.SEO update- graph showing effect of slow page speed.

Source

Google has always prioritized page speed, but it became even more important in 2021 with the page experience update and introduction of Core Web Vitals.

How to fix it

There are many reasons for slow page speed. Luckily, the Core Web Vitals report within Search Console and Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool will help you identify the culprits. Here are some of the common ones.

Compress large files

Make sure your images are compressed to the smallest file size without compromising quality. You can usually get a good image at around 70-100KB. There are plenty of free compression tools like Tinify. Also, be careful with videos and GIFs. Embed videos wherever possible and avoid or compress GIFs, as they can take up a LOT of space.

SEO update- three images of different compressions that look similar.SEO update- three images of different compressions that look similar.

Compressed images are much smaller in size but still look the same, as you can see in this example

Optimize your code

There are different ways to do this. For example, minification involves reducing excess characters from the code; asynchronous loading allows elements to load at the same time; and lazy loading loads the visible elements on a page first.

Enable caching

Caching occurs when your browser saves a copy of a webpage so that when a user returns to it, it doesn’t have to reload the entire thing. You can enable caching at the browser or server level on your site.

You can find more tips for improving page speed here.

SEO issue #4: Low local rankings

Another common SEO issue, which impacts small businesses in particular, is local ranking. When you search for your service, you’re either not showing up or you’re seeing competitors rank higher than you. This is a big problem since so many buyer journeys start with a search engine.

How to fix it

Luckily, the fix for this is pretty easy. It’s all about local SEO. We offer a free Local SEO course via LocaliQ’s Marketing Lab, but here are some basics.

Do your local keyword research

Make sure your website targets keywords that represent your services and your location. Include those keywords in page titles, URLs, headings, image files, alt text, and body text.

Optimize your listings

Get on the top business directories and fill out your profiles completely. Leave no sections blank and keep your information as consistent as possible across platforms.

Get more reviews

This one is huge. Reviews are a major ranking factor in local SEO. Use our post on how to get more Google reviews so you can stand out above competitors in results.

In some cases, however, competitors are going to win out simply due to proximity. In the example below, I searched “electricians stoughton.” While Edward Flagg has the most reviews and is open, it ranks below both Suburban and Dykeman because those two companies are in Stoughton. In this case, you can’t do a whole lot to improve your ranking.

SEO update- marked up google search result showing reviews for several results.SEO update- marked up google search result showing reviews for several results.

SEO issue #5: Pages not indexing

If a page is set to “index,” this means Google can find it, categorize it, add it to its index (picture a big website page library), and retrieve it for relevant searches. In simple terms, “indexed” means “it can show up on Google.”

There are certain cases where you will deliberately de-index a page—such as with duplicate or gated content. But there are times when a page you want to be indexed is not indexing.

SEO update- URL inspection screenSEO update- URL inspection screen

How to fix it

This SEO issue has a few steps you can take to resolve it.

Check the page settings

First and foremost, check to see if the page was accidentally set to “no index.” This will look different depending on the website builder you use. Sometimes it’s a snippet of code and other times it’s a simple checkbox.

Request indexing

If the above setting was the issue, make the fix and then submit the page for indexing. You can do this by going to Google Search Console and entering the URL in the box at the top.

SEO update- Google search consoleSEO update- Google search console

Once Google retrieves the URL, you’ll see the option to request indexing:

SEO update- Google ask to index screenSEO update- Google ask to index screen

Further inspect the URL

If you can’t figure out the issue, take the same step above of inputting the URL into Google Search Console. Google can help you troubleshoot why it’s not indexing. Once you make the fix, submit for indexing.

Add links

Google is always re-crawling sites to update its index with new pages. So, it can usually be counted on to find new pages you publish on its own. But some pages are harder to find than others. When you publish a new page, make sure there are links pointing to and from it so that there are multiple ways for Google to access the page.

Republish the page

We’ve had blog posts where, despite doing all the steps above, they just couldn’t find their way onto the SERP. If this is the case, unpublish the page, copy the code onto a new page, and try republishing.

SEO issue #6: Resource constraints

This final SEO issue is not on the search engine side but on the real-life side. That is, budget, bandwidth, and skill. SEO is not just one action, nor is it a one-time project. Effective SEO is a set of practices that you have to do consistently over time—like publishing fresh content, updating old content, checking in on technical website health, building and monitoring backlinks, optimizing images, and more. If you’re not seeing the results you want, it could be that you’re not investing enough of what it takes to see returns.

How to fix it

SEO is a long-term strategy that takes work, but the compounding results are well worth it. If you’re finding that you’re limited by budget or manpower, here are some things you can do.

Use an SEO agency

If you have the budget but not the bandwidth, consider outsourcing your SEO to an agency. They can take care of everything for you, from one-time actions to ongoing best practices.

Hire an SEO freelancer

If you have less budget but more bandwidth, you might consider hiring a consultant to audit your site and identify action items that your team can then carry out.

Use free SEO tools

If you don’t have the budget but you have the skill, there are several SEO tools you can use to audit your site and identify problem areas. And there are also plenty of free SEO courses and resources out there to help you implement the right fixes.

🛑 Use our free Website Grader to see if your site is performing at its max potential.

Get your SEO issues resolved now

SEO is an ongoing practice that requires attention to several different areas of your website. You’ll need effort up-front, but once you start seeing results, your traffic and rankings will compound on one another, and good performance will get easier over time. And if you run into any of the SEO issues we covered in this post, you’ll know what to do!

To recap, here are the most common SEO issues:

  1. High keyword competition or low volume
  2. Algorithm updates
  3. Slow page speed
  4. Low local ranking
  5. Pages not indexing
  6. Resource constraints

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