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10 Women In SEO & Marketing Share How They #BreakTheBias

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10 Women In SEO & Marketing Share How They #BreakTheBias

This International Women’s Day, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are top of mind.

Why? Well, women are expected to make up 47.2% of the workforce by 2024.

Yet even still, the gender pay gap still has a long way to go. Women’s wages were only 82.6% of the average man’s as of Q1 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

International Women’s Day focuses on a specific message each year, and this time it’s #BreakTheBias.

Employers cannot rely on their teams to naturally promote diversity, equity, and inclusion on their own.

It’s up to each and every one of us, from the front lines to leadership, to actively call out gender bias, discrimination, and stereotyping where and when we see it.

What else can you do to nurture an inclusive culture in your organization – especially if it hasn’t been an area of focus before?

And how can you, as a woman in the industry, combat bias in their working relationships and situations?

These women in SEO and marketing have some tips to share with you.

Some are from the recent ‘Showstopping SEO: Women Making Waves‘ panel talk I attended, while others were shared with SEJ by email.

I hope each one inspires you to find creative ways to break the bias when you see it – and to recognize it more often as it happens.


Know The Value Of Your Skills

Julie Adams, Affiliate SEO

“Sometimes women are used as a buffer in the industry or in meetings.

Sometimes women are seen as the note-takers or a body double without providing any value to a conversation.

I busted my butt for 5-6 years learning SEO at an agency, managing 80-90 clients. Affiliate marketing was my way of making money without having to deal with clients.

I’m able to make money based on my skills and not my skills at keeping clients.

You have to exude confidence.”


You Don’t Want The Clients You’ll Lose By Getting Paid Fairly

Bibi Raven, BibibuzzBibi Raven of Bibibuzz.

Do you get nervous about asking for an increase or a rate you worry may scare off a prospective client?

“When showcasing your work to potential clients, try to be as transparent as possible. Show them, ‘This is how I work, this is what you’re getting, and manage expectations from there’.

I keep everything on my website so potential clients know what to expect. From there, I send them a questionnaire to see if they’d be a good fit.

You determine what you think you’re worth, then double it.

People sometimes see raising rates as a life or death situation. Surprisingly, if you raise your rate, you get better clients.”


Know Your Non-Negotiables

Cassandra Le, The Quirky Pineapple StudioCassandra Le of Quirky Pineapple Studio

“Removing gender is a great start to inclusiveness when you’re writing. Refer to people as people.

With the way the world is currently moving, it’s better to be inclusive. There are a lot of people who identify with different genders, are more in tune with their identity.

The more inclusive you are, the wider the audience you can reach.

If you are a freelancer, sometimes your values don’t match your clients’ ideology or language.  So think about what your non-negotiables are.

Sometimes, there are values that can be negotiated or flexible based on the situation.

Sometimes, it’s best to end a relationship with a client if they breach your non-negotiables.”


Get Used To Women In SEO Taking Space

Marie Ysais, Rule Your RankingsMarie Ysais

“To be successful in SEO, being consistent is key.

Stubbornness is another quality to have. You can’t give up and have to want to keep going, no matter what.

Having a support system is so beneficial in this industry because you have a safe group of people to talk to, who you know will have your back.

Sometimes clients feel they know more than you do, yet they hire you. If I can’t run the show because they’re getting in their own way, I part ways with them immediately.

We need to speak up and be ourselves. Let’s get used to women in these positions and taking up space.”


Speak Up & Share Your Expertise

Kayle Larkin, Marketing Analytics ConsultantKayle Larkin

“I used a male pseudonym earlier in my career. I was a young woman in the space and it was challenging.

I also hid behind my agency name. When I started my own business, I didn’t want to be the face of the business.

The people I work with now want to work with me because of my skills. My alter-ego at the beginning of my own business was not respected as much as I am today.

Sometimes, what you think you’re getting out of doing actually provides the opposite effect.

Don’t be the note-taker. Be the speaker.

You’re going to be shaky, your heart will be pounding, but the more you speak up and show your expertise, the more people start to trust you and stop questioning everything you have to say.”


Challenge Your Own Biases – We All Have Them

Chiara D’Ambra, ClearpierChiara D'Ambra of Clearpier

“Having gender balance and a diverse workforce is important, because the more diverse the group is, the more wisdom it contains.

Everyone has assumptions and biases, it is human nature. Unfortunately, they are not healthy and helpful.

That’s why awareness is so important.

Whenever I get caught in a bias, I try to switch perspectives and have a rational view of things.

Whenever someone is having a bias about me, I’m trying to not take it personally.”


Own Your Mistakes & Actively Move Your Career Forward

Alina Dobrzinsky, Spyke Media GmbHAlina Dobrzinsky of Spyke Media GmbH

“If you stand behind your work with passion and creativity you can achieve anything. Always follow your goals.

When we are aware of our strengths and weaknesses we can adapt better to different circumstances and positions.

We can only fully exploit our potential if we dare and aren’t afraid to take on responsibility.

Every woman should actively influence her career instead of waiting for others to do so. We do not have to be perfect as long as we do our best.

Don’t let setbacks or bad decisions lower your self-esteem. Everyone makes mistakes, including men.

Stand by your decisions and show passion for the job.

Be self-confident and open to learning new things, because, to continue to be successful in marketing, you should consider that technical understanding is increasingly required.

Always create an overview and stay ‘on top of things,’ and don’t be afraid of confrontation.”


Find Your Mentors

Iuliana Popa, Ads and MoreIuliana Popa of Ads and More

“If you want a career in the tech industry, start as soon as possible. Be flexible and do the best you can.

Chase your idea no matter what and seek advice from people who started something similar or from those who achieved what you want to achieve.

And always remember nothing is perfect and you should not be too: problems happen, good things too.

Having someone who knows tech on your side is always a clever idea: it can be a tech person you hire, a good tech solution, or a tech advisor.

This is the industry of the present and because of that, it is very volatile.”


Go Where Your Talents Are Appreciated

Oleksandra Gipsh, ApptrustOleksandra Gipsh of Apptrust

I believe the best advice I could have given to my younger self is – don’t be afraid to speak up.

So often, our fears of being judged or misunderstood stop us from contributing with our opinion. I think this advice comes along with ‘don’t doubt yourself,’ as well.

All ideas are valuable and all ideas are worth hearing – and if your work environment doesn’t appreciate your input – you probably are in the wrong place.

I am happy & proud to be working in an environment where ideas are welcome – processes are there to be changed and developed.

My source of energy at work is people.

Seeing our team succeed, seeing our interns growing professionally – is what gives me joy at work.

I believe the main priority for me was building a true team and I love seeing how people connect and create true bonds at work.


Shatter Your Own Glass Ceiling

Yogeeta Chainani, SwaarmYogeeta Chainani of Swaarm

“Confidence and self-trust are key qualities that I would attribute to success in any industry.

Women can be held back for a variety of reasons, including a lack of recognition and trust from colleagues and peers – but also by their self-doubt.

My most important piece of advice to them would be to shatter the glass ceiling of social norms and mindsets and to flaunt their self-assurance.

No one else will believe in them if they do not believe in themselves.


Thank you to each of the above women for their participation in this campaign and advocacy for DEI in the workplace!

We have a lot more work to do together.

IWD 2022 organizers ask that women do the following this year:

“Strike the IWD 2022 pose and share your #BreakTheBias image, video, resources, presentation or articles on social media using #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias to encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world.”

You can learn more about IWD-approved charities, fundraising activities, and cause-related marketing on the official website.

More resources:


Featured image: Shutterstock/Southworks




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Five things you need to know about content optimization in 2023

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5 Things You Need To Know About Optimizing Content in 2023

30-second summary:

  • As the content battleground goes through tremendous upheaval, SEO insights will continue to grow in importance
  • ChatGPT can help content marketers get an edge over their competition by efficiently creating and editing high-quality content
  • Making sure your content rank high enough to engage the target audience requires strategic planning and implementation

Google is constantly testing and updating its algorithms in pursuit of the best possible searcher experience. As the search giant explains in its ‘How Search Works’ documentation, that means understanding the intent behind the query and bringing back results that are relevant, high-quality, and accessible for consumers.

As if the constantly shifting search landscape weren’t difficult enough to navigate, content marketers are also contending with an increasingly technology-charged environment. Competitors are upping the stakes with tools and platforms that generate smarter, real-time insights and even make content optimization and personalization on the fly based on audience behavior, location, and data points.

Set-it-and-forget-it content optimization is a thing of the past. Here’s what you need to know to help your content get found, engage your target audience, and convert searchers to customers in 2023.

AI automation going to be integral for content optimization

Technologies-B2B-organizations-use-to-optimize-content

As the content battleground heats up, SEO insights will continue to grow in importance as a key source of intelligence. We’re optimizing content for humans, not search engines, after all – we had better have a solid understanding of what those people need and want.

While I do not advocate automation for full content creation, I believe next year – as resources become stretched automation will have a bigger impact on helping with content optimization of existing content.

CHATGPT

ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a powerful language generation model that leverages the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) architecture to produce realistic human-like text. With Chat GPT’s wide range of capabilities – from completing sentences and answering questions to generating content ideas or powering research initiatives – it can be an invaluable asset for any Natural Language Processing project.

ChatGPT-for-content

The introduction on ChatGPT has caused considerable debate and explosive amounts of content on the web. With ChatGPT, content marketers can achieve an extra edge over their competition by efficiently creating and editing high-quality content. It offers assistance with generating titles for blog posts, summaries of topics or articles, as well as comprehensive campaigns when targeting a specific audience.

However, it is important to remember that this technology should be used to enhance human creativity rather than completely replacing it.

For many years now AI-powered technology has been helping content marketers and SEOs automate repetitive tasks such as data analysis, scanning for technical issues, and reporting, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. AI also enables real-time analysis of a greater volume of consumer touchpoints and behavioral data points for smarter, more precise predictive analysis, opportunity forecasting, real-time content recommendations, and more.

With so much data in play and recession concerns already impacting 2023 budgets in many organizations, content marketers will have to do more with less this coming year. You’ll need to carefully balance human creative resources with AI assists where they make sense to stay flexible, agile, and ready to respond to the market.

It’s time to look at your body of content as a whole

Google’s Helpful Content update, which rolled out in August, is a sitewide signal targeting a high proportion of thin, unhelpful, low-quality content. That means the exceptional content on your site won’t rank to their greatest potential if they’re lost in a sea of mediocre, outdated assets.

It might be time for a content reboot – but don’t get carried away. Before you start unpublishing and redirecting blog posts, lean on technology for automated site auditing and see what you can fix up first. AI-assisted technology can help sniff out on-page elements, including page titles and H1 tags, and off-page factors like page speed, redirects, and 404 errors that can support your content refreshing strategy.

Focus on your highest trafficked and most visible pages first, i.e.: those linked from the homepage or main menu. Google’s John Mueller confirmed recently that if the important pages on your website are low quality, it’s bad news for the entire site. There’s no percentage by which this is measured, he said, urging content marketers and SEOs to instead think of what the average user would think when they visit your website.

Take advantage of location-based content optimization opportunities

Consumers crave personalized experiences, and location is your low-hanging fruit. Seasonal weather trends, local events, and holidays all impact your search traffic in various ways and present opportunities for location-based optimization.

AI-assisted technology can help you discover these opportunities and evaluate topical keywords at scale so you can plan content campaigns and promotions that tap into this increased demand when it’s happening.

Make the best possible use of content created for locally relevant campaigns by repurposing and promoting it across your website, local landing pages, social media profiles, and Google Business Profiles for each location. Google Posts, for example, are a fantastic and underutilized tool for enhancing your content’s visibility and interactivity right on the search results page.

Optimize content with conversational & high-volume keywords

Look for conversational and trending terms in your keyword research, too. Top-of-funnel keywords that help generate awareness of the topic and spur conversations in social channels offer great opportunities for promotion. Use hashtags organically and target them in paid content promotion campaigns to dramatically expand your audience.

Conversational keywords are a good opportunity for enhancing that content’s visibility in search, too. Check out the ‘People Also Ask’ results and other featured snippets available on the search results page (SERP) for your keyword terms. Incorporate questions and answers in your content to naturally optimize for these and voice search queries.

SEO-and-creating-content-in-2023

It’s important that you utilize SEO insights and real-time data correctly; you don’t want to be targeting what was trending last month and is already over. AI is a great assist here, as well, as an intelligent tool can be scanning and analyzing constantly, sending recommendations for new content opportunities as they arise.

Consider how you optimize content based on intent and experience

The best content comes from a deep, meaningful understanding of the searcher’s intent. What problem were they experiencing or what need did they have that caused them to seek out your content in the first place? And how does your blog post, ebook, or landing page copy enhance their experience?

Look at the search results page as a doorway to your “home”. How’s your curb appeal? What do potential customers see when they encounter one of your pages in search results? What kind of experience do you offer when they step over the threshold and click through to your website?

The best content meets visitors where they are at with relevant, high-quality information presented in a way that is accessible, fast loading, and easy to digest. This is the case for both short and long form SEO content. Ensure your content contains calls to action designed to give people options and help them discover the next step in their journey versus attempting to sell them on something they may not be ready for yet.

2023, the year of SEO: why brands are leaning in and how to prepare

Conclusion

The audience is king, queen, and the entire court as we head into 2023. SEO and content marketing give you countless opportunities to connect with these people but remember they are a means to an end. Keep searcher intent and audience needs at the heart of every piece of content you create and campaign you plan for the coming year.

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Headings With Hierarchical Structure An “Awesome Idea”

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Headings With Hierarchical Structure An "Awesome Idea"

Google’s John Mueller discussed heading elements with a member of the SEO community where he affirmed the usefulness of using hierarchical structure when using heading elements.

Background Context to What Mueller Said

Heading elements <H1> – <H6> are supposed to be used to indicate what a section of a webpage is about.

Furthermore the heading elements have a ranking order, with the <H1> being the highest rank of importance and the <H6> being the lowest level of importance.

The heading element purpose is to label what a section of content is about.

HTML specifications allow the use of multiple <H1> elements. So, technically, using more than one <H1> is perfectly valid.

Section 4.3.11 of the official HTML specifications states:

“h1–h6 elements have a heading level, which is given by the number in the element’s name.

If a document has one or more headings, at least a single heading within the outline should have a heading level of 1.”

Nevertheless, using more than on <H1> is not considered a best practice.

The Mozilla developer reference page about the use of headings recommends:

“The <h1> to <h6> HTML elements represent six levels of section headings. <h1> is the highest section level and <h6> is the lowest.

…Avoid using multiple <h1> elements on one page

While using multiple <h1> elements on one page is allowed by the HTML standard (as long as they are not nested), this is not considered a best practice. A page should generally have a single <h1> element that describes the content of the page (similar to the document’s <title> element).”

John Mueller has previously said that it doesn’t matter if a webpage uses one <H1> or five <H1> headings.

The point of his statement is that the level of the heading isn’t as important as how they are used, with the best practice being the use of  headings for indicating what a section of content is about.

What Mueller Said on Twitter

A member of the SEO community was joking around and gently ribbed Mueller about using more than one H1.

He tweeted:

The SEO followed up by sharing how he preferred using the best practices for heading elements by using only one <H1>, to denote what the page is about and then using the rest of the headings in order of rank, give a webpage a hierarchical structure.

A Hierarchical structure communicates sections of a webpage and any subsections within each section.

He tweeted:

“I’m too traditional with header elements. (HTML 4 for Life! lol)

I’d still recommend using just one H1 element on a page.

I patiently go back to pages to implement header hierarchy for fun.”

John Mueller tweeted his approval in response:

“I think that’s an awesome idea & a great practice.

Header hierarchy is not just useful to Google, it’s also important for accessibility.

(Google still has to deal with whatever weird things people throw up on the web, but being thoughtful in your work always makes sense.)”

Hierarchical Page Structure

In the early days of SEO, <H1> used to be counted as an important ranking factor, one that was more important than an <H2>.

So, back then, one always put their most important keywords in the <H1> in order to signal to Google that the page was relevant for that keyword.

H1 used to have more ranking power so it was essential to use the <H1> to help rankings.

Google’s algorithm was using keywords as a way to “guess” what a webpage was about.

Keywords in the anchor text, keywords in the title tag and keywords in the <H1> helped Google guess what a page was relevant for.

But nowadays, Google doesn’t have to guess.

It is able to understand what sections of a webpage are about, and consequently, what the entire webpage is about.

Despite those advances, many SEOs still believe that using an <H1> is some kind of magic ranking factor.

Headings are no longer about shouting what keyword you want to rank for.

The role of heading elements are now about telling search engines what a section of content is about.

Each section of a content is generally about something specific.

Heading tags make it easier for search engines to know what a page is about.

And that helps them rank the page for the topic.

And according to the official HTML specifications, that’s technically the proper way to use heading elements.

Lastly, Mueller mentioned a quality of the heading element as a way to better communicate for accessibility reasons, like for people who use screen readers.

The official HTML specifications say:

“Descriptive headings are especially helpful for users who have disabilities that make reading slow and for people with limited short-term memory.

These people benefit when section titles make it possible to predict what each section contains.”

So thank you John Mueller for calling attention to the benefits of using headings with a hierarchical structure, for calling attention to how hierarchical structure is useful for Google and for accessibility.

Featured image by Shutterstock/Asier Romero



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The Challenges & Opportunities For Marketers

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The Challenges & Opportunities For Marketers

Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., reported its fourth straight quarter of declining profits.

It made $76 billion in sales over the past three months, but it wasn’t enough to meet Wall Street’s expectations.

Google’s revenue was down 9% compared to last year, and its biggest business, Google Search, saw a 1% drop in revenue. Even YouTube’s advertising sales fell by nearly 8%.

Alphabet has decided to cut its workforce by 12,000 and expects to spend between $1.9 billion and $2.3 billion on employee severance costs.

This latest earnings report shows tech giants like Google are facing challenges in the current digital advertising landscape.

But Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, believes that the company’s long-term investments in AI will be a key factor in its future success.

In a press release, Pichai says he expects major AI advancements to be soon revealed in Google search and other areas:

“Our long-term investments in deep computer science make us extremely well-positioned as AI reaches an inflection point, and I’m excited by the AI-driven leaps we’re about to unveil in Search and beyond. There’s also great momentum in Cloud, YouTube subscriptions, and our Pixel devices. We’re on an important journey to re-engineer our cost structure in a durable way and to build financially sustainable, vibrant, growing businesses across Alphabet.”

Alphabet’s CFO, Ruth Porat, reported that their Q4 consolidated revenues were $76 billion, a 1% increase from the previous year. The full year 2022 saw revenues of $283 billion, a 10% increase.

Going forward, Alphabet is changing how it reports on its AI activities.

DeepMind, which used to be reported under “Other Bets,” will now be reported as part of Alphabet’s corporate costs to reflect its increasing integration with Google Services and Google Cloud.

What Does This Mean For Marketing Professionals?

It’s important to stay updated on the latest developments in the tech industry and how they may affect advertising strategies.

Google’s declining profits and decreased revenue in their search and YouTube platforms are reminders that the digital advertising landscape is constantly evolving, and companies must adapt to keep up.

Marketers should consider diversifying their advertising efforts across multiple platforms to minimize the impact of market swings.

Additionally, Google’s focus on AI and its integration with Google Services and Cloud is something to keep an eye on.

As AI advances, it may offer new opportunities for marketers to target and engage with their audience effectively.

By staying informed on the latest tech advancements, marketers can stay ahead of the curve and make the most of these opportunities.

Despite Google’s recent financial setbacks, the tech giant is still a major player in the digital advertising landscape, and its investments in AI show its commitment to continued growth and innovation.


Featured Image: Sergio Photone/Shutterstock

Source: Alphabet



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