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13 Top Digital Marketing Tools (Incl. Tips on Using Them)

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13 Top Digital Marketing Tools (Incl. Tips on Using Them)

You can easily spend countless hours going through all the options and reviews of tools we have for digital marketing today. I’ve certainly tried too many of them throughout my career.

In this article, we’ll go through these 13 tried and tested digital marketing tools that I’ve used and liked over the years:

  1. Ahrefs
  2. Hunter
  3. Mailchimp
  4. SparkToro
  5. Brand24
  6. Smartlook
  7. Visualping
  8. Google
  9. Google Forms
  10. Google Analytics
  11. Google Search Console
  12. Google Sheets
  13. Google Data Studio

I’ll also include my favorite use case for every tool so you can apply that right away. Let’s dive in.

Most companies consider organic and paid search traffic to be some of their most important traffic sources. Having reliable and insightful data in this space is crucial—and that’s where Ahrefs comes into play.

Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO toolset for optimizing your own website, analyzing competitors, doing keyword research, getting content ideas, building links, and more.

Favorite use case: Finding content gaps between you and your competitors

There are countless use cases of the toolset, so I’ll just explain one of my favorite features: the Content Gap tool within Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.

It shows keywords your competitors rank for but you don’t. These content gaps can quickly give you many new ideas for your content planning.

In Site Explorer, enter your own domain and then click “Content gap.” Your domain will automatically be prefilled in the “But the following target doesn’t rank for” field. All that’s left now is to list a few domains that are your organic traffic competitors:

Ahrefs' Content Gap tool

Hit “Show keywords”:

Content Gap report results

You’ll get a huge list of keywords. Now it’s all about playing with the provided filters.

To increase relevance, let’s choose the option where at least two competitor websites rank for every keyword. You can do so by selecting it in the intersection filter. Then filter for the best keyword opportunities by setting a minimal search volume and relatively low maximum KD score:

Content Gap report results with filters applied

I’m certain you’ll find some great keyword opportunities this way.

Pricing

Monthly plans start from $83 when you subscribe for a year. There’s also a free tier called Ahrefs Webmaster Tools that can be used for verified websites.

As a marketer, you’ll sometimes have to send cold emails. If you’re in PR or link building, it will be a huge part of your job.

But many people don’t willingly share their email addresses with the public, and there’s enough spam out there already. Finding the right email address can take quite a while, and you often have to try and guess too. Hunter is an “email address finding” tool that will make it much easier for you.

Favorite use case: Finding and verifying email addresses in Google Sheets

If outreach is something you often do, you need a more scalable solution than looking up email addresses one by one. Using Hunter’s Sheets add-on, you can run email searches for all your prospects with one click:

Hunter's Sheets add-on filling email addresses the tool can find

This won’t find a matching email address for every prospect, but it usually finds one for a decent percentage of them. You can then use these prospects as your initial “hit” list to test the viability of an outreach campaign. If successful, you can continue finding the remaining email addresses using other methods.

Pricing

Monthly plans start from $34 when you subscribe for a year. There’s also a free tier that allows you to perform 25 searches per month.

Mailchimp is a marketing platform that has tons of products and features—from audience management to marketing automation. But it’s best known for being a leader in email marketing, and that’s what I always use it for.

Favorite use case: Email marketing personalization through segmentation

If you’re growing a newsletter, then you know that not every email you send is a hit. Sometimes, people complain, unsubscribe, don’t take the action you want them to, or don’t even open the email at all.

There are two solutions to this: better emails and targeting. The first one is largely on you; the second is something Mailchimp can help tremendously with via audience segmentation.

Imagine that you’re running a sale, but you only want a certain customer segment to know about it. No problem. Take the customers’ email addresses from your CRM, tag them in your Mailchimp account, and select the tag as the receiver of that “sale” email. Done!

Pricing

Monthly plans start from $11. There’s also a free tier that allows you to send 10,000 emails per month.

Doing market research to understand your audience is essential to your marketing success. There are many methods to conduct it. While I’m a fan of traditional data gathering via surveys, interviews, etc., I also highly recommend using an online audience research tool like SparkToro.

SparkToro provides information about what any audience reads, watches, listens to, and follows. Those insights can be retrieved based on keywords, social media accounts, websites, or hashtags. All of those inputs can be used to better understand the audience in your niche.

Favorite use case: Discovering where competitors’ audience engages

SparkToro is easy to use and navigate. Let’s do an example analysis on the SparkToro audience by plugging in the company’s Twitter profile:

SparkToro text field to key in social account URL to acquire audience intelligence

The tool will return a lot of data regarding the demographics of the audience. But in this case, we’ll focus on social media accounts, websites, podcasts, and YouTube channels the audience follows and pays attention to.

Here’s an example of a report after filtering for personal social media accounts with fewer than 50K followers:

List of people and their social profiles, as well as data like SparkScore, no. of followers, etc

With data like this, you can easily spot new advertising and sponsorship opportunities across many different channels. Just put together all the insights by plugging in your competitors’ social profiles, websites, keywords, and any “owned” hashtags.

Pricing

Monthly plans start from $38 when you subscribe for a year. There’s also a free tier that allows you to perform five searches per month.

Brand24 tracks mentions of keywords that you want to monitor across the whole web with a focus on social media. You can use it to identify and analyze online conversations around your and your competitors’ brands and products.

Favorite use case: Spying on competitors’ brand mentions

Brand24 revolves around setting up a project with keywords you want to track. These keyword mentions can then be segmented, filtered, and analyzed to gain actionable insights. All of those keywords should be brands, products, and hashtags in your niche. I’ll show you why you want to do this for competitors too.

So set up a separate project (or projects) with the name of a competing brand and/or product. You’ll encounter keywords that also have other meanings. You can either leave them out or apply the required and excluded keyword filters along the way to keep the irrelevant ones out of your reports:

Page to set up new project—in this case about Ahrefs

This competitor mentions monitoring allows you to:

  • Adjust your communication based on what works best in your industry.
  • Get product insights based on how people react to the development of your competitors’ products.
  • Assess how people perceive your brand and your competitors’ via sentiment analysis.
  • Benchmark your media reach and share of voice against your competitors.

I’m sure there are even more use cases. Here’s an example of data from a summary dashboard:

Summary dashboard showing key data and line graphs about "Mentions" and "Social Media Reach"

Pricing

Monthly plans start from $49 when you subscribe for a year. There’s no free tier, but you can sign up for a 14-day free trial instead.

Smartlook is a user behavior analysis tool that may surprise you with its capabilities if you haven’t researched such tools yet.

It can show you recordings of what your website visitors do on your website or heatmaps of what they click on the most. Yes, it adheres to data protection and privacy regulations like GDPR.

Favorite use case: Analyzing leaks in your marketing funnel

A marketing funnel is a system designed to attract and convert customers (or clients).

Funnel with four sections. From top to bottom (Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Conversion)

As you can see in the diagram above, the funnel gets narrower the further you go. Well, duh, that’s what funnels look like.

In marketing, this means that what you put into the funnel at the beginning (people aware of your brand) is always a much, much bigger sample than what you get at the end (customers). Many marketing objectives revolve around minimizing the drop-off between different stages of the funnel.

Smartlook can help you with this on your website. It tracks what it takes for each visitor to convert and shows you recordings of those who dropped off in the process:

You can analyze the recordings of those visitors who dropped off, look for patterns, and optimize your website based on that.

Pricing

Monthly plans start from $39. There’s a free tier that allows you to record 1,500 sessions per month.

Website design and copywriting convey tons of information. They’re also constantly in development, being tested, and changing.

And whether you admit it or not, every website takes a bit (or a lot) of inspiration from competitors and other websites in the industry. So you need to know what’s going on in this area.

Visualping is a tool that keeps track of changes on any webpage. You plug in a competitor’s URL, set up alerts, and will be updated on any website changes.

Favorite use case: Getting inspired by UX and CRO tweaks on competitors’ websites

I’ve made a lot of decisions based on website monitoring. Generally, the most common use case for any marketer is getting inspired by how your competitors try to squeeze more out of every visitor to their website.

In other words, we’re looking for user experience (UX) and conversion rate optimization (CRO) tweaks that we can adopt on our website without having to do all the research and A/B testing.

All you need to do is to set up the tracking of your competitors’ websites, and you’ll get alerted whenever there is any noteworthy change. For this use, it’s enough to set up the checking frequency to occur daily or even weekly.

You can also opt in for “any change” or “tiny changes,” as those tweaks can range from small changes in copy to just changing CTA button positions and colors:

AWT page on left; on right, options to customize monitoring frequency of AWT's page

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t blindly copy whatever your competitors do and should always vet the ideas.

Pricing

Monthly plans start from $10 when you subscribe for a year. There’s a free tier that allows you to perform 150 checks per month.

This doesn’t need any introduction. We all use Google every day. It has the largest index of webpages on the planet and arguably the best search algorithm.

But marketers aren’t often utilizing its potential for their day-to-day work. It’s a great tool to find link building prospects but is even better for maximizing the power of internal linking on your website.

Favorite use case: Finding internal link opportunities after publishing new content

Every website has internal links (one page pointing to another on the same domain), but many sites neglect the power and impact they can have on SEO. Adding internal links to your newly published content can make Google discover and index it faster and, what’s more important, rank it on the SERPs.

To do this with the help of Google, we’ll have to use search operators, i.e., commands that help you refine and filter search engine results. It’s easy. All we need here is the site: operator that only shows you results from a certain domain (or a part of it) and “search term” for exact matches of the query.

Here’s what it would look like if I were working on updating internal links pointing to this exact article:

Site operator used to find term "digital marketing tools" on Ahrefs' blog

As you can see, I get three results this way. I’m sure there are more opportunities than these, as I’m only using the exact match of the main keyword I’m targeting here. Let’s broaden the results using the OR search operator:

OR search operator used to find terms "digital marketing tools" and "online marketing tools" on Ahrefs' blog

That’s much better. We’ll just have to decide when to link to which article, as we also wrote an “online marketing tools” article in the past. It’s a similar topic, so overlaps are expected.

Pricing

It “only” costs you your data. 🙂 Oh, and one more thing. As the rest of the article is focused on free Google products, I’ll leave out the “pricing” section from now on.

Google Forms is a useful, free tool for creating survey questions and distributing and analyzing your survey results.

Favorite use case: Conducting a simple market research

OK, let’s face it. Google Forms likely doesn’t have another use case in marketing. But it’s a really handy tool, given the importance of market research.

To make it work, you need a sizable audience whom you can distribute the survey to. Ideally, you can distribute via email, but social media can be used too.

Creating good surveys that provide the data you’re looking for can sometimes be tricky, but you shouldn’t try to do any rocket science here.

Below is an example of a recent survey we sent to our email subscribers:

Ahrefs' Digest survey on Google Forms

And this is what one of the results looks like:

Pie chart showing most respondents (around 90%) want brief summaries of each Ahrefs blog article

This clearly answered our questions about the usefulness of our updated newsletter format.

Google Analytics (GA) is a free powerful tool where you can find tons of insights and information about your website traffic, conversions, audience, etc.

However, using it properly and knowing what you should even want from it takes quite a bit of knowledge and experience.

If you haven’t used GA yet, the good news is that there’s a new version, Google Analytics 4 (GA4), that will soon replace the older GA most marketers of today are familiar with. You’ll be starting on a clean slate. (P.S. I tried to learn my way around GA4 recently and think this is actually an advantage.)

Favorite use case: Analyzing conversion paths

Knowing which marketing channels led to your customer conversions is invaluable. GA4 took a massive step forward in the way it interprets and displays the data (learn more here if you’re feeling nerdy), so here’s how to get it.

Go to Advertising > Attribution > Conversion paths, select the conversion event you want to analyze, and check the impact of your traffic source of choice. Here are some details of organic search traffic:

Conversion paths showing details about organic search traffic

Google Search Console (GSC) is one of the most powerful free SEO tools out there. It’s no wonder, given it provides the most accurate data you can get about your website and search traffic straight from Google. Everyone with a website should have a GSC account.

You can use it to find and fix technical errors, submit sitemaps, see what you rank for, learn how much traffic your pages get, and more.

Favorite use case: Understanding Google through URL Inspection tool

Diagnosing technical SEO issues can be tricky sometimes. The URL Inspection tool provides information about the way Google sees a specific page on your website.

You can look up any of your pages using the address bar at the top of the GSC interface:

URL Inspection report results

You can click through all the tabs. Here’s a snippet of the information you get from the Coverage report:

Snippet of Coverage report showing information on crawls and indexing

PRO TIP

Once you get the hang of GSC, install the Search Analytics for Sheets add-on that allows you to easily export the data to your Google Sheets. GSC itself isn’t very suitable for any in-depth analyses, and it has various limitations. So this add-on is a great workaround without having to use the GSC API directly.

Recommended reading: How to Use Google Search Console to Improve SEO (Beginner’s Guide)

Spreadsheets are a daily tool for many marketers. Google Sheets is my choice, given it’s cloud-based and integrated with other Google apps. I’ve always loved digging into data and interpreting it, but I guess most colleagues don’t share my sentiment.

Anyway…

Favorite use case: Gaining data insights from pivot tables

The official help page for pivot tables explains them perfectly: They help you summarize data, find patterns, and reorganize information. They’re especially useful when you have a bigger data set.

To create them, click on Insert > Pivot table, select the data you want to base the pivot table on, and then reorganize the data to your liking.

For example, here’s one of my latest uses of pivot tables for my Wirecutter SEO case study. I needed to have a simplified view of a bigger dataset with some filters applied to it:

Example of pivot table in a Google Sheet on left; pivot table editor on right

Creating reports can be a repetitive and time-consuming task. This calls for automation, and Google Data Studio (GDS) is here to help with that.

Creating reports in GDS is based on pulling data through connectors of the data sources. At the time of writing, there are 610 different connectors, so the reporting capabilities here are huge.

Favorite use case: Combining multiple data sources

The main use case is also my favorite one. You can combine data from most, if not all, of your marketing platforms into one neat report that gets updated with fresh numbers (or based on whatever time frame you choose).

Here’s an example of me putting together data from GSC and Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker into one report:

Data on the Ahrefs blog from GSC and Ahrefs' Rank Tracker, respectively, pulled onto one report

These are the basics of GDS. Once you get comfortable creating such reports, you can try to do more fancy stuff like blending data from different sources or whatever else pleases your reporting desires and needs.

Final thoughts

Is this it? The complete list of tools you’ll ever need to do digital marketing? Well, no. But it will cover a huge percentage of your potential needs.

That being said, there are digital marketing disciplines I’ve never been involved in much, such as organic social media or anything related to design. So, really, I can only recommend using MeetEdgar as a social media scheduling tool and Canva as a foolproof design tool based on the experience of my colleagues and friends.

Got any questions? Ping me on Twitter.



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Twitter Will Share Ad Revenue With Twitter Blue Verified Creators

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Twitter Will Share Ad Revenue With Twitter Blue Verified Creators

Elon Musk, owner and CEO of Twitter, announced that starting today, Twitter will share ad revenue with creators. The new policy applies only to ads that appear in a creator’s reply threads.

The move comes on the heels of YouTube launching ad revenue sharing for creators through the YouTube Partner Program in a bid to become the most rewarding social platform for creators.

Social networks like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat have similar monetization options for creators who publish reels and video content. For example, Instagram’s Reels Play Bonus Program offers eligible creators up to $1,200 for Reel views.

The catch? Unlike other social platforms, creators on Twitter must have an active subscription to Twitter Blue and meet the eligibility requirements for the Blue Verified checkmark.

The following is an example of a Twitter ad in a reply thread (Promoted by @ASUBootcamps). It should generate revenue for the Twitter Blue Verified creator (@rowancheung), who created the thread.

Screenshot from Twitter, January 2023

To receive the ad revenue share, creators would have to pay $8 per month (or more) to maintain an active Twitter Blue subscription. Twitter Blue pricing varies based on location and is available in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

Eligibility for the Twitter Blue Verified checkmark includes having an active Twitter Blue subscription and meeting the following criteria.

  • Your account must have a display name, profile photo, and confirmed phone number.
  • Your account has to be older than 90 days and active within the last 30 days.
  • Recent changes to your account’s username, display name, or profile photo can affect eligibility. Modifications to those after verification can also result in a temporary loss of the blue checkmark until Twitter reviews your updated information.
  • Your account cannot appear to mislead or deceive.
  • Your account cannot spam or otherwise try to manipulate the platform for engagement or follows.

Did you receive a Blue Verified checkmark before the Twitter Blue subscription? That will not help creators who want a share of the ad revenue. The legacy Blue Verified checkmark does not make a creator account eligible for ad revenue sharing.

When asked about accounts with a legacy and Twitter Blue Verified checkmark, Musk tweeted that the legacy Blue Verified is “deeply corrupted” and will sunset in just a few months.

Regardless of how you gained your checkmark, it’s important to note that Twitter can remove a checkmark without notice.

In addition to ad revenue sharing for Twitter Blue Verified creators, Twitter Dev announced that the Twitter API would no longer be free in an ongoing effort to reduce the number of bots on the platform.

While speculation looms about a loss in Twitter ad revenue, the Wall Street Journal reported a “fire-sale” Super Bowl offer from Musk to win back advertisers.

The latest data from DataReportal shows a positive trend for Twitter advertisers. Ad reach has increased from 436.4 million users in January 2022 to 556 million in January 2023.

Twitter is also the third most popular social network based on monthly unique visitors and page views globally, according to SimilarWeb data through December 2022.


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AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

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AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

We live in an age when AI technologies are booming, and the world has been taken by storm with the introduction of ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is capable of accomplishing a wide range of tasks, but one that it does particularly well is writing articles. And while there are many obvious benefits to this, it also presents a number of challenges.

In my opinion, the biggest hurdle that AI-generated written content poses for the publishing industry is the spread of misinformation.

ChatGPT, or any other AI tool, may generate articles that may contain factual errors or are just flat-out incorrect.

Imagine someone who has no expertise in medicine starting a medical blog and using ChatGPT to write content for their articles.

Their content may contain errors that can only be identified by professional doctors. And if that blog content starts spreading over social media, or maybe even ranks in Search, it could cause harm to people who read it and take erroneous medical advice.

Another potential challenge ChatGPT poses is how students might leverage it within their written work.

If one can write an essay just by running a prompt (and without having to do any actual work), that greatly diminishes the quality of education – as learning about a subject and expressing your own ideas is key to essay writing.

Even before the introduction of ChatGPT, many publishers were already generating content using AI. And while some honestly disclose it, others may not.

Also, Google recently changed its wording regarding AI-generated content, so that it is not necessarily against the company’s guidelines.

Image from Twitter, November 2022

This is why I decided to try out existing tools to understand where the tech industry is when it comes to detecting content generated by ChatGPT, or AI generally.

I ran the following prompts in ChatGPT to generate written content and then ran those answers through different detection tools.

  • “What is local SEO? Why it is important? Best practices of Local SEO.”
  • “Write an essay about Napoleon Bonaparte invasion of Egypt.”
  • “What are the main differences between iPhone and Samsung galaxy?”

Here is how each tool performed.

1. Writer.com

For the first prompt’s answer, Writer.com fails, identifying ChatGPT’s content as 94% human-generated.

Writer.com resultsScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the second prompt, it worked and detected it as AI-written content.

Writer.com test resultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the third prompt, it failed again.

Sample ResultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

However, when I tested real human-written text, Writer.com did identify it as 100% human-generated very accurately.

2. Copyleaks

Copyleaks did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written.

Sample ResultScreenshot from Copyleaks, January 2023

3. Contentatscale.ai

Contentatscale.ai did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written, even though the first prompt, it gave a 21% human score.

Contentscale.aiScreenshot from Contentscale.ai, January 2023

4. Originality.ai

Originality.ai did a great job on all three prompts, accurately detecting them as AI-written.

Also, when I checked with real human-written text, it did identify it as 100% human-generated, which is essential.

Originality.aiScreenshot from Originality.ai, January 2023

You will notice that Originality.ai doesn’t detect any plagiarism issues. This may change in the future.

Over time, people will use the same prompts to generate AI-written content, likely resulting in a number of very similar answers. When these articles are published, they will then be detected by plagiarism tools.

5. GPTZero

This non-commercial tool was built by Edward Tian, and specifically designed to detect ChatGPT-generated articles. And it did just that for all three prompts, recognizing them as AI-generated.

GPTZeroScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

Unlike other tools, it gives a more detailed analysis of detected issues, such as sentence-by-sentence analyses.

sentence by sentence text perplexityScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

OpenAI’s AI Text Classifier

And finally, let’s see how OpenAi detects its own generated answers.

For the 1st and 3rd prompts, it detected that there is an AI involved by classifying it as “possibly-AI generated”.

AI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generated

But surprisingly, it failed for the 2nd prompt and classified that as “unlikely AI-generated.” I did play with different prompts and found that, as of the moment, when checking it, few of the above tools detect AI content with higher accuracy than OpenAi’s own tool.

AI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generated

As of the time of this check, they had released it a day before. I think in the future, they will fine tune it, and it will work much better.

Conclusion

Current AI content generation tools are in good shape and are able to detect ChatGPT-generated content (with varying degrees of success).

It is still possible for someone to generate copy via ChatGPT and then paraphrase that to make it undetectable, but that might require almost as much work as writing from scratch – so the benefits aren’t as immediate.

If you think about ranking an article in Google written by ChatGPT, consider for a moment: If the tools we looked at above were able to recognize them as AI-generated, then for Google, detecting them should be a piece of cake.

On top of that, Google has quality raters who will train their system to recognize AI-written articles even better by manually marking them as they find them.

So, my advice would be not to build your content strategy on ChatGPT-generated content, but use it merely as an assistant tool.

More resources: 


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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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