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12 Headline Writing Tips To Drive Traffic & Clicks

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12 Headline Writing Tips To Drive Traffic & Clicks


Picture this: You’ve spent hours researching and writing a phenomenal article.

Obviously, you want people to read the article since you worked so hard to create it.

But here’s the sad truth: on average, 6 out of 10 people only look at the headlines before sharing an article.  And only 49% claimed to read the articles.

What is a content creator to do?

There’s a clear connection between the value and interest of an article’s headline and whether people are intrigued enough to click on it.

Writing a strong headline isn’t an exact science, but plenty of data has been compiled and studied over the years to provide some clues as to what makes a strong headline great.

Here are some headline-writing tips to win those readers over and earn more clicks.

12 Tips To Write Click-Worthy Headlines

Your headline serves the essential role of making a first impression on a potential reader.

We all know how important first impressions are.

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Being average isn’t better than being bad. Your headline is either exceptional, or it’s forgettable. There isn’t much gray area.

The following tips and methods below will help you turn a poor or average headline into one that earns clicks and pulls in readers.

1. Look At Google Search Results

Once you’ve researched the keyword(s) you’re planning to target, analyze the search engine results page (SERP) to see the articles you’re competing against.

How can your content stand out?

What is the user intent?

Are the top results listicles? How-to articles? Commercial content?

If you’re going to rank on Page 1, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of what kind of content is already there if you’re going to be a serious competitor.

2. Make An Emotional Connection

Emotional headlines dependably perform better than neutral ones.

Using power words to evoke emotions in your reader enhances their first impression of your content while building curiosity, dread, or anticipation to read more.

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The best emotional headlines target:

  •       Happiness.
  •       Love.
  •       Fear.
  •       Anger.
  •       Disgust.
  •       Affirmation.
  •       Hope.

However, exercise caution when using emotional headlines. You don’t want to fall into the clickbait trap of not delivering what you promised readers.

3. Use Names

For this headline trick to be successful, the names need to be well-known to your target audience.

Brand names can be just as powerful as people.

See also  Seven Alternative Keyword Research Tactics to Uncover More Ranking Opportunities

For example, when targeting SEO topics, using “Google” in your headline will bring in clicks, as will using “John Mueller.”

These are widely recognized brands and figures within the industry.

The names you choose to feature in your headline should be tailored to your specific brand niche.

4. Use Numbers

Numbers are natural eye-catchers.

In an endless sea of words, numbers snag our attention and make us pause. We remember numbers because they help our brain organize information.

Use the power of listicles and numbers to beat your SERP competitors.

 Screenshot taken by author on July, 2021

5. Make The Benefits To Your Reader Clear

When a reader is deciding whether or not to click on an article, the question they’re asking themselves is, “What do I get out of this?”

Your headline should indicate the value a reader can expect from clicking through and reading it.

High-performing content serves one or more of these purposes:

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  •       Entertain.
  •       Engage.
  •       Empower.
  •       Enrich.
  •       Educate.
  •       Inform.
  •       Inspire.
  •       Answer a question.
  •       Provide a solution.

When a reader decides to click on your article and invest their time and attention, they’ve already set expectations based on the benefit your headline promised.

Make your reader benefit clear, but don’t overpromise.

12 Headline Writing Tips to Drive Traffic & Clicks 2Screenshot taken by author on July, 2021

6. Optimize For Humans And Search

Your first priority is optimizing so your human audience will find your content and want to click on it.

Your second priority is optimizing for search engines, especially Google.

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The good news is, humans and search engines can generally agree on what they like to read, including content that is:

  •       Accurate.
  •       Comprehensive.
  •       Credible.
  •       Engaging.
  •       High-Quality.
  •       Informative.
  •       Specific.
  •       Unique.
  •       Useful.
  •       Valuable.

Be sure to include your primary keyword in the title to optimize it for Google and help people find your content when searching for the topic.

If you’re in need of inspiration, check out free title generator tools to help you write a better headline.

Keep in mind, though, that these tools don’t know your audience as well as you do, and just because a headline was generated automatically doesn’t mean it’s the most advanced for SEO.

See also  17 SEO Copywriting Tips To Help Your Rankings

These free tools are best used for idea generation and analysis, not a replacement for a human-created headline.

If you’re using WordPress, tools such as AIOSEO and Yoast are great SEO-based plugins that will give you a built-in analysis of your headline SEO rating (as well as the post as a whole).

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They’ll also give you suggestions to help you improve your rating, as you can see with AIOSEO below:

12 Headline Writing Tips to Drive Traffic & Clicks writingScreenshot taken by author on July, 2021

7. Write Multiple Headlines

Chances are, the first headline you come up with isn’t going to be gold.

And that’s okay! In fact, it’s normal.

Some people advise writing 10 or more headlines per content piece and then selecting the best option.

Write a variety of headlines targeting different formulas. Don’t just swap the word order.

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Try targeting different emotions, points of view, and styles, such as:

  •       Humorous.
  •       Upbeat.
  •       Unexpected.
  •       Witty wordplay.
  •       Numerical.
  •       Question.
  •       Thought-provoking.
  •       First-person (I).
  •       Second-person (you/yours).
  •       Third-person (he/she/they/them).

Use headline analysis tools to keep track of SEO ratings for each option when you’re making your decision.

8. Test Your Headlines

Click data doesn’t lie, but your brain does!

Don’t be too mad at your brain – we’re all biased. Our brains convince us that we’re clever and creative, and of course, all of our headlines are genius.

But plenty of imaginative headlines never get a single click.

Despite what your brain thinks, the people bypassing your article aren’t to blame. It’s the headline.

Eliminate the bias by relying on quantitative data instead of your opinions and feelings.

9. Experiment With Headlines, Too

There’s an art to writing click-worthy headlines, and it does take some practice to make the task feel natural.

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If you’ve followed every rule and still aren’t finding success, don’t be afraid to throw the rulebook out the window and go with your gut.

What kinds of headlines interest you? Go from there.

10. Follow Formulas

Even though there’s an art to crafting headlines, it’s important to keep in mind that your headline isn’t a whimsical creative writing assignment – it’s a science.

See also  Landing Page SEO Best Practices & Tips For Success

No, really.

Headline-writing formulas exist because they work. They’ve been tested over and over again to measure click-through rates.

Understandingly, this begs the question, “If everyone is using the same formulas, how can I make my headlines stand out from the crowd?”

The best advice is to create your own formulas by tweaking others and then testing your click-through rate (CTR) to find the ones that work best for you and your brand.

11. Should You Be Careful with Question Headlines?

Yes.

Question headlines can be an effective tool to spark reader curiosity, but they come with a warning label:

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  •       Don’t ask a question that has an obvious answer. Nobody is going to read your content.
  •       Make sure you actually answer the question in the article. Don’t cop out and waste the reader’s time!
  •       Your answer should be better than other existing content that poses the same question.
  •       Be cautious about withholding information. Your content will come across as clickbait if you do.
  •       If the answer to your question is yes or no, don’t ask the question in the headline.

In most cases, you can write a more compelling headline that isn’t formatted into a question.

12. Be Positive

There’s enough negativity in the world without adding more gasoline to the fire.

Your primary goal should be to help your target audience, whether you’re providing useful information, solving a problem, answering a question, or entertaining your readers.

With that said, some brands want to be associated with negativity. Sparking controversy and getting people riled up does create a strong emotional response, albeit not a positive one.

It all depends on your brand image and the message you want to convey to your audience.

Write Compelling Headlines That Win Readers

If you’re going to break that 6 out of ten reading statistic, your headlines need to raise the stakes.

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That’s going to require a lot of trial and error.

Even if you follow every piece of advice in this article, that isn’t a surefire formula for success every single time.

Pay attention to your audience within your specific niche. What are they clicking on? Which headlines are piquing their interest? Which ones aren’t?

Just like every other type of content marketing strategy, follow-up data and analysis are critical to understanding how to best target your specific audience.


Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal
All screenshots taken by author





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25 Actionable Ideas to Smartly Re-Use Your Old Content to Get You Busy Right Now

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25 Actionable Ideas to Smartly Re-Use Your Old Content to Get You Busy Right Now


We know too well that in order to succeed online we need to create great sharable and linkable content.

What many of us are missing though is that we may already have loads of great content piling up which we once created, promoted and then moved on.

That content is the huge asset we should be re-using again and again. Here are 25 ideas for you to start doing that right now:

Content Re-Packaging Ideas

Content re-packaging is one of my favorite ways to market content and promote my website. It creates so many new opportunities and marketing channels that you find yourself constantly inspired!

*Content re-packaging means turning existing content into new formats.

1. Turn the Article into a PDF File

The easiest way to re-use an old article is to turn it into a new format. This trick works best for:

  • Resource list
  • How-to
  • Guide

If you get into a habit of turning your guides into PDFs, you can then put together a members-only library!

2. Put Together a (Kindle-Friendly) eBook or a Whitepaper

Collect old articles you did on one topic and put together a nice whitepaper or an eBook

3. Create a Podcast Show

Find an old article that’s still valid, buy a voice-over for $5 on Fiverr (or record one yourself if you are good at that) and publish it as a podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud and more

4. Turn It into a Video

Grab that voice-over, download screenshots from the article (as well as some inspirational videos using tools like these) and put together a video version of your article using this online video maker:

online video maker

5. Put Together an Audiobook

Find more old articles on a similar topic, record more voice-overs and (apart from creating individual podcast shows and videos) create an audio-book to promote it via your newsletter list and generate more subscribers!

6. Create a Video Course

With more voice-overs you can create more videos! See if there’s an opportunity to put them together into a video course and market on sites like Udemy.

7. Put Together a New eMail Course

Collect old articles you did on one topic and put together a useful email course to send to your subscribers or market your list.

See also  What Is Forensic SEO?

8. Create an Infographic

Most of the articles can be turned into an infographic. Grab minimum text, numbers and stats and use easy tools to create an infographic.

twitter-search-ideaExample: Here’s how I re-packaged my old guest post into an infographic and then successfully marketed it using My Blog Guest!

9. Create a Cheatsheet

If you have an article listing shortcuts, ingredients, must-have things, etc., put those together into a quick downloadable cheatsheet and use it to promote your old article again.

10. Create a Downloadable Checklist

For longer instructions listing steps, create a checklist.

11. Turn a Guide into a Mind Map or a Flow Chart

If you have a detailed guide with steps or an article explaining some complicated concepts, turn those into a mind map or a flow chart (or both).

12. Turn Old Interviews into Visual Quotes

Visual quotes

Visual quotes provide great opportunities: They can be turned into new blog posts, videos, presentations and more. Plus they do great as social media updates too (especially Facebook and Pinterest). Use these tools to create awesome visual quotes.

13. Create a Slideshare Presentation

Slideshare can be a great traffic source of its own and Slideshare presentations are actually not hard to create. Use these tools to put your old article images, quotes and screenshots into a neat presentation to upload to Slideshare. You can embed videos from #4 above right into the Slideshare upload too!

twitter-search-idea* When publishing that video on Slideshare, don’t forget to link to your original article from within the presentation itself.

  • To create clickable links in a presentation, use Insert -> Hyperlink option in your PowerPoint
  • Links are only clickable starting from Slide #4: Don’t include calls-to-action earlier than that as viewers will be confused and won’t try clicking it again

Ideas for Round-Ups

Articles referencing a collection of curated links are referred to as “link round-ups”. While most round-ups list industry trending content, creating round-ups of old links is a great way to bring more attention to your old content!

When creating round-ups, don’t forget to:

  • Write a one-two sentence description of each link
  • Mention the author of each article (And maybe even create tweet-a-quote links tagging him)

Tweet a quote

14. Create a Yearly/Monthly Round-up

Round-up most popular / useful articles you published the previous year or even a month (depending on how active your editorial calendar is).

  • “What we published in 2015 and our plans for 2016!”
  • “Most popular March posts and April plans!”
  • etc
See also  4 Email Productivity Tips, Tricks, and Hacks

15. Update the Article Using an Expert Round-up

Find an old article that have gone outdated and invite experts to discuss what has changed and how to approach that topic these days

16. Create “Tweetable” Tips Round-Up

Grab a 140-character-long tip from each of your blog old articles and put together “Tweetable tips” roundup letting readers tweet each tip (like here).

17. Create “Best Tools of XXXX Year” Roundup

Do you cover many tools when you write? Collect them all and put together a separate round-up of tools your blog featured last year.

18. Create Most-Popular-Article-of-Each-Year Roundup

Grab the most popular article of each year of your blog existence and create a cool round-up. Not only will this make those articles even more popular, it will give you an opportunity to re-package this list as a pdf!

twitter-search-ideaMarketing idea: This trick works best for multi-author blogs: You can give away badges to the winning authors for them to place on their sites!

19. Create a Timeline Round-up (+Visualize!)

Create your own blog timeline: What were your favorite topics to cover and when? It’s a good opportunity to turn it into a visual timeline too!

20. Publish Your Lists on List.ly

Now that you have plenty of curated links, re-market them on List.ly! If you spend some time there, it can become a traffic source for your blog!

twitter-search-ideaList example: MyBlogU to Help with Every Aspect of Online Marketing (Imagine: All these lists can refer traffic and increased exposure. Plus, you can market each of them as a separate asset)

Social Media Re-Marketing Ideas

Your social media channels are a good way to turn your followers’ attention back to your older content again, especially if you present it as a fun tradition.

21. Publicize on Social Media as “Back in Time” Column

Use this WordPress plugin (it looks inactive but it did work for me!) that emails you every day with links to content you published on the same day years ago. Each time you get that email, tweet your old link.

See also  Google Changes More Structured Data Requirements via @sejournal, @martinibuster

22. Identify Most Shared Articles and Start Regularly Re-Publishing Them on Social Media

Schedule your old articles to be re-shared months ahead. DrumUp is an easy way to do that manually. This plugin is an option too!

Ideas for Future Content

ALL of the above activities are most likely to provide lots of new content ideas but here are two more:

23. Go Through Old Article Comments and Put Together a FAQ Section on Your Site

A “Frequently Asked Questions” section is usually a goldmine of long-tail rankings opportunities. And there’s no better place to find questions to cover there than your blog comments.

twitter-search-ideaUse this WP plugin very useful for building up a FAQ section on any website.

24. Find Where You Reviewed Old Tools and Find New Alternatives to Compare

Tools! In many industries, there are dozens of new tools every year: Here’s your opportunity to create new content while bringing more attention to the old content. Find articles where you mentioned or reviewed tools, find newer alternatives and create comparison articles (Don’t forget to link to your old review too!).

Tool comparisons are effective affiliate commission earners too!

twitter-search-ideaNote: Use Google Suggest to find popular & trending alternatives of tools you already covered:

Find alternatives

Over to YOU

And how are YOU (re-)marketing your old content? Do you see any missed opportunities there?

Further reading from my articles elsewhere:

 


Check out my expert courses:

 

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I am the owner of this blog as well as Brand and Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas and Founder of MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU and ViralContentBee.com

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10 Advanced SEO Skills To Level Up Your Career

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10 Advanced SEO Skills To Level Up Your Career


Many of us get to a stage in our careers as SEO professionals where we feel a little bit stagnant.

We’ve been optimizing sites for a while and feel pretty confident that we can do it well.. but there’s that nagging thought there’s more we could be doing.

That there is another layer of expertise that would make us more efficient, employable, and confident.

In this article, you’ll find 10 skills that can level up your SEO competency.

These aren’t necessarily essential skills for all SEO experts (you’ll find those here).

But developing these advanced SEO skills could help you go deeper within your specialism, become a more well-rounded marketer, and bump you into a new salary or freelance rate, too.

1. Intent Analysis

Intent analysis is the decoding of a user’s intention behind the keyword they enter into a search engine.

When someone types [pizza restaurant] into a search engine, what is the end result they are hoping for?

Do they want to know what pizza restaurants are nearby?

Are they in the market to open a pizza restaurant?

Are they looking for a job in a pizza restaurant?

Developing your understanding of the psychology behind what searchers want is a critical skill for those wishing to go further in their SEO competency.

This will help you both satisfy a user’s need when they land on a page and also increase your page’s likelihood of being ranked in their search.

It can’t just stop there, however.

You must also understand what the search engines perceive users to want from the content they are searching for.

For instance, from my location in the U.K., if I search for [pizza restaurants] in Google from my desktop device, I get a mixture of results.

I get the option to click through to search on other websites:

Screenshot from search for [pizza restaurants], Google, January 2022

This is followed by the Map Pack and then a mix of review and editorial sites and restaurants’ websites.

If I am trying to rank a website all about the history of pizza restaurants in my country, I might struggle.

Google has identified the user intent as being either navigation – wanting to go to a local restaurant – or comparative, as in wanting to compare options in the local area.

Resources To Learn More

2. Coding

There is no question that understanding HTML, CSS, and JavaScript can help you to ensure your websites are set up in a bot-friendly manner.

Although SEO experts do not need to be fully-fledged developers, having an understanding of code can help you to identify issues with rendering, indexation, and crawlability.

There are times when knowing the basics of how code is created, or being able to read code that already exists, can help your SEO.

It can aid your communication with the developers who may need to change it.

It can assist you in pinpointing incremental improvements to your site’s performance.

Learning to code is not a prerequisite for SEO, but it is arguable that knowing the fundamentals of these three commonly used languages is going to set you up well for your career.

Understanding the syntax of code, how it is formed, and being able to see how elements relate to each other can also help you get better at writing and debugging schema.

Learning Python and SQL can also help you to streamline your SEO processes by enabling you to automate labor-intensive activities such as mapping URL redirects and keyword research.

Resources To Learn More

3. Understanding Server Management

No SEO professional should really be the one responsible for ensuring that a server can handle a load of visitors to a site.

See also  Google to Update Googlebot’s User Agent in December

However, understanding the basics of how servers can impact the crawlability, load speed and reliability of a website can propel your technical SEO understanding forwards.

The use of CDNs instead of static servers can aid in speeding up content loading, but without understanding the limitations of fixed location servers it will be difficult for you to argue the need for a CDN.

A better understanding of how web hosting can affect a user’s experience of your site and also Google’s ability to access it is necessary for strong technical SEO foundations.

You need to understand how aspects like uptime and location can impact your site’s performance in the search engines.

This is only the beginning of how knowledge of servers can aid your SEO efforts.

Better knowledge of server codes beyond the standard 404 and 301 can help you to communicate to those in charge of your servers where there are critical issues.

Know what a 502 error is?

Encountered a 504 status code before?

If not, this might be a quick and easy area for you to brush up your knowledge.

A 5XX status usually means there is something wrong with the server that is preventing the processing of a request from the client.

A simple way to find out what status codes mean is to look at httpstatuses.com.

From here, you can identify whether it is an issue with the client or the server and find a fix accordingly.

Resources To Learn More

4. Content Writing

Understanding the process of content writing is an important element of advanced SEO.

You may not be a great wordsmith yourself.

However, in order for you to better brief in copywriting for your colleagues who are, you need to understand what goes into a good piece of writing.

It isn’t enough to know that copy needs to be compelling and have sufficient relevancy to search terms used to discover it.

Get familiar with the process your copywriters go through in researching, writing, and editing their work.

This will help you to better ideate your own requests for copy.

Editing

Editing is another good skill to develop when working with content.

In many organizations, it is the job of the SEO specialist to take content created by others and optimize it further for the search engines.

In practice, this sadly can often result in well-written copy being butchered.

Adding keywords into the first couple of paragraphs to make them more keyword-rich might help you a bit with your rankings, but it could destroy your conversion and brand loyalty.

Learn how to take well-written copy and enhance it, not ruin it.

You may also benefit from having a conversation or two with your SEO copywriters and asking them for details of their process.

Better understanding how they go about copywriting could improve your abilities.

It could also streamline your processes when working together.

Resources To Learn More

5. Reporting

Being able to expertly communicate your progress, results, and reasoning behind your SEO work is crucial to being successful in the industry.

As an SEO expert, you are always juggling the needs and expectations of stakeholders, whether you’re working in-house, agency-side or freelance.

You will find gaining buy-in and budgets considerably easier if you know how to demonstrate the impact of the work you do.

Reporting isn’t just a case of adding labels to a graph or even noting down the cause of increases and decreases.

Truly good SEO reports allow readers to understand the context of the results, draw conclusions and make business decisions from them.

See also  Does Sarcasm Still Confuse Google? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

SEO professionals need to get really good at helping stakeholders understand the priorities and limitations of the work they recommend (as well as mistakes to avoid when reporting).

They also need to help their interested parties recognize how the work will benefit them via data visualizations and their objectives in the long run.

All of this can be achieved through well-constructed, clear, and truthful reports.

Resources To Learn More

6. SEO Forecasting

Similar to the need to be good at explaining past results, experienced SEOs need to develop the ability to calculate likely outcomes.

SEO forecasting is a complicated science.

There are a lot of external factors that are hard to isolate and predict.

A change in competition, the market, or political situations could all cause well-thought-out estimations to go awry.

We should not be putting pressure on ourselves to accurately predict the exact volume of traffic, or visibility, our work might gain.

However, being able to put reasonable estimates and likely ranges into our recommendations can make the budget-holders a lot more reassured by the work we are proposing.

It isn’t enough to shrug our shoulders and cross our fingers when asked about outcomes.

We’re often requesting a lot of time, money and resources go into the activity were recommending.

SEO forecasting is a skill that will not only set you apart when looking for new roles or opportunities, it will also significantly improve the quality and reliability of your work.

Resources To Learn More

7. Log File Analysis

Log file analysis is the process of understanding the records of who or what has accessed your website.

They can tell you when people have visited a page as well as what device they were using to do so.

They can also tell you when bots access your website.

This is particularly helpful in understanding Googlebot and other search engine crawlers’ behavior on your site.

By analyzing log files you can better understand what pages search engine bots can or can’t access.

You can identify where there may be spider traps on your site or the frequency at which certain sections of your site are being crawled.

Log files can appear daunting if you have not spent much time around them.

Thankfully there are some great tools available that make analyzing them a lot simpler than just wading through the naked log files.

Understanding what to do with the information once you have it is the real skill. If you know that a certain area of your site is rarely crawled by Google that should inform your technical SEO next steps.

It should raise questions about your internal linking structure.

Getting familiar with log files is a great first step but to improve your skills make sure you are analyzing the files and drawing actionable conclusions from them.

Resources To Learn More

8. Website Migrations

Getting good at planning and executing website migrations is not easy. It really does take experience.

Many SEO professionals who have worked exclusively brand-side may find they simply have not had the opportunity to carry out that many website migrations.

If you face a particularly complicated one, such as multiple websites merging, it can be very daunting.

Chances are if you have spent any length of time in an SEO agency, you will have migrated a website or two.

It may have been a smooth process but more likely there were unforeseen complications that made the processing time and resource consuming.

There are not really just one or two skills involved in website migrations.

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They are usually a complicated mix of stakeholder management, communication, planning, processes-driving, technical understanding, and knowing when to say no.

But the skills you develop during website migrations will help you enormously with the rest of your SEO career.

Participate in one if you get the chance.

It can give you a great (albeit high-pressured) opportunity to see multiple moving SEO parts in play at once.

Resources to learn more:

9. Optimizing For Other Search Engines

If you truly want to advance your SEO skills, you might want to look further afield than Google.

We can often fall into the trap of thinking only about the traditional search engines when discussing SEO skills.

If we limit our training and experience to just these then we could be missing out on a much larger opportunity.

Traditional International Websites

Many search engines work on similar principles, but with their own specific nuances.

Traditional search engines more prevalent outside of your home region may be unfamiliar to you.

There are some great resources available to get you started in understanding the differences between them and the search engines you’re more familiar with optimizing for.

Nothing beats practice, however.

If you want to refine your knowledge and understanding of unfamiliar search engines then you need to try to rank a site in them and see what works and what doesn’t.

YouTube

For search engines like YouTube, the mechanics may be more familiar to you.

You will, however, still need to learn more about the algorithms in play to ensure you are carrying out the right activity to optimize your video content for the platform.

Other Non-traditional Search Engines

Don’t just stop at YouTube if you’re really wanting to advance your SEO skill set.

Take a look at some other search engines, like Pinterest and TripAdvisor.

These sites may not fit into your current remit as an SEO expert.

They are however still search engines that you can influence the success of your content in.

Resources to learn more:

10. International SEO

One of the most complicated projects an SEO might be involved in usually includes international elements.

It’s a complicated task because there are a lot of factors at play.

To optimize your website for international audiences you will need to employ technical SEO, digital PR, and on-page optimization skills.

There will be a range of questions you’ll need to ask yourself when you are considering expanding a website to international audiences.

These will include questions around the structure of the site – separate sites, sub-folders, or sub-directories?

Do you want to translate or localize the content? Do you want to target geography at the site or page level?

There are a lot of strategies and technical knowledge required to get international SEO right.

You may also need specific language skills or local knowledge resources.

Google has helpfully created an introduction to managing a multi-region website. It is a good place to start to identify the sorts of questions you should be asking.

You can also use it as a jumping-off point for further training or research.

This can help deepen your knowledge of the subject and sharpen your skills.

Resources to learn more:

Conclusion

These are just a few of the skills you can develop to become a more pragmatic SEO professional.

Even if you don’t want to learn all of them, it helps to have an understanding of what they all are.

Even more so, how they can help round out your skill-set as an SEO expert.

More resources:


Featured Image: Alexander Supertramp/Shutterstock





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How to Get More Reach and Shares on Your Social Videos

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How-to-Get-More-Reach-and-Shares-on-Your-Social-Videos


Video marketing is thriving. Industry thought leaders predict video to take an even firmer stance in the years to come, as people don’t want to read that much and images aren’t nearly as dynamic. Companies and small businesses realize the power of video and plug into the video making trend.

Maxwell Hertan, Director of Megaphone Marketing, put it best:

In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg told Buzzfeed News, ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if you fast forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video’. Well, here we are – take a look at your newsfeed. Mostly video? We thought so.

At the same time, there’s been a lot of talk about the new Facebook reach algorithm that makes it close to impossible to make your content seen organically. Some experts predict organic reach to decline significantly on Instagram, too.

In this competitive environment, how do you get more eyes on your video content on social?

Here are 9 surefire ways to give your videos a competitive edge and make them spread like a wildfire.

While you make your video…

In order for your video to get more reach and shares, it has to be engaging in the first place. Which means: your video needs to evoke emotion, be educational, fun, or cute. Preferably all at the same time.

Here’s how.

Make the first seconds count

The more viewers share your video content – the more reach it gets. The more reach it gets – the more new viewers might be able to see it. But before they share your video, the #1 task is to convince your viewer to watch it first. When scrolling through the feed, you only have fractions of a second to show your audience the video is worth seeing.

Add stickers and GIFs

Animated GIFs and stickers have been in the marketer’s arsenal for a while now. They have become a universal communication language, easily understandable by people all around the globe.

Add stickers and GIFs

By adding GIFs or animated stickers to your videos, you make them more relatable and fun, showing the audience you speak their language. GIFs and stickers can also make your videos more comprehensible, giving them an additional sense.

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To add GIFs and stickers to your videos, use tools like Wave.video or Camtasia. Another cool to create animated ads is called Creatopy. Using their “Animator” feature you can give life to any of your ad elements:

creatopy

State what your video is going to be about

To warm up the viewer’s interest, tell them what your social video is going to be about. You don’t have to reveal all the details: this way, it won’t probably be as interesting to watch. A teasing headline will do just great.

State what your video is going to be about

Don’t forget the subtitles

Since 85% of videos are watched with the sound off on social, it does make sense to optimize your video for this behavior. One of the best ways to do it is by adding subtitles or short text on your video.

Platforms like Facebook and YouTube allow you to add captions automatically. If the video doesn’t have a voiceover, you can simply add a short text to every scene, like in this example coming from National Geographic:

Don't forget the subtitles

When you share it…

Now, to create an engaging and fun video is only half the battle. The other half is to share it on social properly. Here are a few tips that might help you out.

Choose a catchy thumbnail

Just the other day, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I stumbled upon this video.

Choose a catchy thumbnail

Even though I wasn’t inclined to watch a video of a girl shaving her hair off, I simply couldn’t resist. I immediately had to know what’s going to happen next. Is she really going bald? (Spoiler alert: she didn’t).

Would I have watched the video if it had had a different, less catchy thumbnail?

Probably not.

So, when uploading your videos to social, make sure to select a catchy thumbnail. By “catchy” I mean a thumbnail that builds anticipation and thirst to know more.

Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube allow you to upload a thumbnail for your video.

upload a thumbnail for your video

Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube allow you to upload a thumbnail for your video.

Unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t have this option. So, make sure the very first second of your video is meaningful, as it’s what’s going to show in the tweet.

Twitter video

Twitter does not allow to customize the thumbnail

Add a catchy description

While a social video itself is a powerful marketing instrument, a description that goes with it is just as important. All the social media platforms allow you to add a post accompanying the video.

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Here are a few things that can help you increase the chances of your audience sharing the video:

  • Make the description intriguing. Use power words like “surprise”, “whopping”, or “scandalous” to heat up the viewers’ interest and make them crave for more.
  • Include hashtags. Using hashtags in your social posts might help you significantly increase the reach of your videos. Use tools like Hashtagify to help you find the right hashtags for your posts.
  • Tag people! It might sound obvious but you’ll be surprised to see how many businesses miss out on this opportunity. Mentioning people (or even brands, for that matter) in your social posts allows you to easily notify them that you’ve created something interesting and thought of them, too.
tag video

Mentioning people (or even brands, for that matter) in your social posts allows you to easily notify them that you’ve

Upload your videos natively

The #1 goal for any social platform is to make people stay on the platform longer. Thus, all major social platforms (including LinkedIn) are heavily investing in video, adding new features like live videos and Stories.

To increase the reach of your videos, it does make sense to upload them natively. This means that instead of sharing a link to a YouTube video (or any other video hosting platform, for that matter), I’d recommend that you upload your video directly to a social media platform using their uploading features.

There are some great advantages to upload videos natively:

  • They are auto-played if this function is not turned off in the settings
  • Reach is higher than that of simple posts with links
  • You can embed the video tweet on your blog or landing page and get more reach

Post at the right time

Even if you come up with the most fascinating video and a stunning description, only a few people will see it if you post it when all of your audience is asleep. For more reach and shares, make sure to post your video content at a time when your audience is most active.

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Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to recommending the best time to post. It depends on many factors: the social platform, your audience, type of content. Here are a few solid guides that can give you an idea:

Reshare far and wide

Once you’ve shared your video on social media, make sure to go back to your scheduling tool and schedule another round of shares. Chances are, some people might have just missed your video when you shared it the first time. Make sure to give it another go.

You can slice and dice your video, and share different parts of video at different times, with various messages. You can also use video content in your newsletter.

You can also repurpose your videos. For instance, create an Instagram Story from a horizontal video by adding margins and captions to it.

repurpose video

Create an Instagram Story from a horizontal video by adding margins and captions to it.

We took a horizontal video and repurposed it into an Instagram Story

With Instagram in particular, you can also reshare your in-feed posts to Stories. Chances are, in 2019 there are going to be more people who watch Stories than those who check out in-feed videos. So make sure you serve both.

Monitor your traffic!

Don’t forget to set up your monitoring routine to keep an eye on how your video content is growing and what type of traffic it is referring. I love using Finteza for traffic analytics because it allows me to see exactly how your traffic is interacting with your conversion funnel:

finteza-youtube-funnel

Conclusion

When it comes to promoting your social videos and driving more reach/engagement, here’s a path to success: have a great video first, post at the right time, and follow the social platform’s guidelines for native uploads.

What are your favorite tips on getting more shares on your social videos? Share in the comments below!

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Olga Bedrina

Olga Bedrina is the Director of Content Marketing at Wave.video, free online video maker. She is excited about video marketing, social media, and new technologies.

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