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18 Ways to Improve Your Organic Click-Through Rate (CTR)

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Many times, marketers focus their SEO efforts entirely on discoverability.

They want to tick that careful balance between keyword optimized and “keyword stuffed,” but here’s a secret: being on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs) won’t do you any good if searchers aren’t interested in your content.

Instead of focusing all your efforts on creating local SEO content to bag that top spot, you need to understand what turns searchers into readers, and readers into customers, through first improving your organic click-through rate (CTR).

Why Should You Care About Your Organic CTR?

Organic click-through rate refers to the percentage of users who click on a search engine result. In this case, that result would be your URL. While it’s primarily dependent on ranking position (the more people that see your content, the higher chance they’ll click), it is also influenced by a variety of other factors.

If you focus your efforts on improving organic CTR, you can also improve your Google ranking. When URLs are being frequently visited, the search engine algorithm will consider your page to be valuable and relevant to future queries containing your content keywords.

18 Ways to Improve Your Organic CTR

Now that you know what organic CTR is and why it’s important, let’s dive into how you can improve yours.

1. Use Long-Tail Keywords

One of the first ways you can boost your organic CTR is by using long-tail keywords—especially in your headings and title tags. Long-tail keywords are highly descriptive and, as a result, they match your content to search intent.

When users see a descriptive long-tail keyword relevant to what they’re looking for, they’re motivated to click on your URL as they’re confident your post will contain the information they’re looking for.

How do you find long-tail keywords that meet user intent?

Using keyword research tools like Ubersuggest will help. Simply plug in your seed keyword in the search bar and click “search.” Next, click on the “Keyword Ideas” in the left sidebar.

Use tools like Ubersuggest to find long-tail keywords that help boost your organic CTR.

All that’s left is to select the keywords that are relevant to your post, and include them in your new content.

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2. Write Effective Meta Descriptions

Another strategic way of improving your organic CTR is to write effective meta descriptions. These are the snippets of text that appear below your title tag in the SERPs. An effective meta description informs users what your page is about and also compels them to click through to your post.

Again, your keywords will come in handy here. Use them to show users that your article solves a problem they’re needing answers for. Other ways of optimizing your meta description include:

  • Answering questions: If you can answer your users’ questions in the meta description, you’ve won half the battle driving your organic click-through rate up.
  • Make it specific and relevant: You only have 160 characters to craft a meta description. That’s why you must make yours as specific and relevant as possible.
  • Powerful language: Use persuasive and powerful language, such as emotionally charged words to elicit strong responses associated with your post to improve your CTR.

Meta descriptions shouldn’t just be a product feature—turn it into an elevator pitch to convince users you have the content and solution for them. If possible, you can also add a CTA (such as “learn more” and “find out how.”)

3. Implement Structured Data

Implementing structured data is a great way to “speak” to search engine algorithms. You can do this by using Schema.org to change your content into code that search engines can easily process. This will help them display rich, interactive search results. These are commonly called rich snippets (which we’ll talk more on later).

Of course, this type of search result attracts more clicks because:

  • They appear at the top of the SERPs.
  • They are more attractive than plain URLs.
  • They give more information about the content at a glance.

Implementing structured data will boost your organic CTR rates as people love interactive content.

4. Create Posts With Images

Using images in your posts is a common practice, but did you know it can improve your organic CTR? Images in your content are a powerful way to boost engagement. They are an essential ingredient to your content appearing in the featured snippets and other infoboxes on the SERPs.

Using images is a great way to boost your organic CTR.

Not only that, but it also improves the chances of your URL being clicked on when users look for search results in the images section. For this to work, you must implement image SEO best practices like naming your images properly and adding alt text.

See also  Google’s Apps Work Different on iOS 15

5. Use Descriptive URLs

Your page URL is one of the main pieces of information shown on SERPs. As such, you must optimize it to help you improve your organic CTR.

One way you can do that is by making it as descriptive as possible.

Using descriptive URLs helps improve your organic CTR.

Try to naturally include your keyword in your URL. This will reinforce the core topic your post is about, thereby showing users that your content is relevant.

Another tip for optimizing your URL is to keep it short. This makes it easier on the eye as well as more attractive. As a result, more people will click on it.

If you’re a WordPress user, you can change your URL in your permalink settings.

6. Simplify Your Title Format

Your title tag is another part of the information displayed on the SERPs, and you must take your time to format it properly. The best way to do so is to keep it simple.

Remember, people usually skim through the search results looking for the most relevant result. If your title is simple and clearly explains what the post is about, you’ll drive more clicks.

Another title tag tip that will optimize your organic CTR is to leverage your corporate or personal branding. Here’s how I do it:

Improve organic CTR by paying attention to your title tag.

This tip will work especially well if you’re already an authority in your niche. Recognizing that the post is from a respected and trusted source will give users the confidence to click on your URL. Make sure you:

  • Don’t frontload your brand: I used to put my name at the front of the title but then I noticed it caused my rankings to drop.
  • Make sure your title is clear: notice that the title in the above screenshot is cut-off, but the topic has already been covered.

Use tools such as Avid Demand to preview what your content will look like on the SERPs.

7. Localize Your Content

Mobile has rapidly overtaken desktop for internet traffic sources. Most mobiles have locations turned on, for map functions, allowing Google to read their location and provide local solutions. Creating localized content is great for SMEs who only operate in certain areas and in-person service businesses.

Increase your organic CTR by localizing your content. Local content is what most mobile users search for.

Through localized content, you can target your audience efficiently—and receive high-intent customers as a result, who are already looking online for something you sell or offer.

One way of localizing your content is to add your location in your content, meta description, and title tag. Another tip is to list your business on Google My Business (GMB). This literally puts you on the map. When local searches are made, your location and other business info will appear in the search results alongside competitors.

Remember, to drive clicks, you must offer relevant information. For local searches, it doesn’t get more relevant than seeing your location in your metadata.

8. Use the Listicle Format

People love lists.

Why? Listicles require minimum cognitive effort to digest.

Include them in your content strategy to improve organic clicks. To do that, make sure to include numbers in your headline and title tag. This will make it clear to users that beyond the click is an easy-to-read listicle.

Another organic CTR boosting reason to use listicles is that they increase your chances of appearing in featured snippets.

Listicles are a great content type that helps boost organic CTR.

Notice how the headline doesn’t include a number, yet Google shows users that the post is a listicle in the featured snippet? Google’s SERP knows what content types are most useful to its audiences, and using listicles is bound to boost your organic CTR.

9. A/B Test Headlines on Social Media

Your headline is your first chance to compel users to click on your article. As it plays such an important role, you must make sure it resonates with your target audience.

See also  DuckDuckGo Adds Quick Answers to Search Results

One way to do that is by testing it on social media.

Once you’ve optimized your headline with tools like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer, test out your headline by sharing your article on your favorite social media platforms.

Give it a few days and then change the title of your headline and re-publish your post. Share the new article on social media and wait for the same number of days as you gave the first post then check the engagement rates for both.

The headline that drives the most engagement wins and should be the headline to use. This A/B test works best if you have a large audience on social media.

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10. Use Yoast Preview (in WordPress)

For WordPress users, Yoast is another SEO tool you can use to improve your organic CTR. Before you publish your post, preview your snippet as it will appear on SERPs. You can then make changes according to the recommendations given.

This will help you see if any keywords are cut off, or even if your snippet makes sense. It also works for mobile, too, so no need to worry about cross-platform searches.

11. Use Google Ads to Preview (Other CDN)

Google AdWords Preview Tool is an alternative to Yoast SEO that also has an extra feature: it allows you to preview Ads.

Ad previews can also be optimized for organic CTR on both mobile and desktop, with alternative titles provided. This is a great way to see how different ideas would work while possibly generating new ideas for content.

12. Identify CTR Winners and Losers

One essential step to improving your organic CTR is to calculate the winners and losers of your current pages. This will show you which pages, titles, and content types are performing well as well as which are performing poorly.

You can easily use Google Analytics for this information.

First, go to “Acquisition,” then “Search Console,” then “Queries” and learn which Google searches lead to your current pages.

Google Analytics shows you the current organic CTR of your pages.

The report will show you valuable information like the clicks, impressions, CTR, and average SERP position of your pages. It also shows bounce rates, sessions, conversions, and other valuable data.

Next, in the same menu, you can also check your landing pages.

Using these two reports, you can see what works and what doesn’t. You can then revisit old pages and web content to optimize them for more organic click-throughs.

13. Optimize Site Speed

With Google prioritizing Page Experience and Web Core Vitals as ranking factors, site speed has never been more important.

If your website isn’t optimized for speed, people may click on your link but will quickly bounce off, negatively affecting your organic CTR. To put it in perspective, on mobile devices, a leap from one to three seconds in site speed increases bounce rates by 32 percent.

A 3 second lag in page load speed can cost you as much as 32% of your traffic. Your organic CTR will take a hit.

Again, this is where a tool like Ubersuggest comes in handy. To check your site speed, enter your URL into the search bar and click “Search.” Next, head to the left side of the sidebar and click “Site audit.” Scroll down to “Site Speed” and you’ll be shown the loading time for mobile and desktop. In addition to loading time, it also tests:

  • First Contentful Paint
  • Speed Index
  • Time to Interactive
  • First Meaningful Paint
  • First CPU Idle
  • Est. Input Latency

Ubersuggest will outline where you can make site improvements. Take its guidance into consideration, make the necessary changes, and then test your site speed again.

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14. Utilize Rich Snippets

As we touched on earlier, rich snippets are another way you can drive clicks to your website. These are search results with data displayed alongside. Here’s an example:

Rich snippets are an excellent way to increase your organic CTR.

The only ways to show those reviews and ratings in search results are either (A) activating a rich snippet plugin or (B) coding it manually. The extra information (like ratings, for example), helps users decide whether to click on your URL or not.

See also  5 Ways You Can Really Steal Organic Clicks from Industry Giants

15. Activate Breadcrumb Navigation

Breadcrumb navigation” is coined after the trail of bread crumbs left by Hansel and Gretel to find their way back home. Just like in the fairy tale, its secondary navigation helps you easily trace your steps back on a website.

The primary purpose of bread crumb navigation is to provide users with a positive user experience. This has a snowball effect that results in your website ranking higher and thus results in higher organic CTR.

Activating bread crumb navigation on your website is not an option. It’s vital to your success, and must be a deliberate part of your strategy. Here are detailed instructions on how you can do just that.

16. Leverage Google Analytics Reports

Have you been keeping an eye on your Google Analytics reports? These actually deliver the information you need to improve organic search performance and your landing page conversion rates. This will result in better calls-to-action and, ultimately, a higher quality score.

If you know what to look for, your Analytics Dashboard can tell you exactly how Google’s AI and your users perceive your site’s pages. You can then tailor them to be optimized to rank and for engagement.

17. Build High Converting Landing Pages

Landing pages are an essential element of your digital marketing strategy.

After all, designed well, they are an excellent source of traffic. To ensure your landing pages succeed in doing that you should:

  • Understand landing page anatomy—elements such as a clear and concise headline, high-quality images, well-produced videos, persuasive copy, and calls-to-action should be done right.
  • Optimize for UX—give users a positive experience by ensuring the landing page loads fast and is easy to read.

Doing this will likely increase your conversions and improve your click-through rates.

18. Use Heatmaps to Improve Site Clicks

A smart way to get the most out of your site users is to understand the areas of your web page where they click the most. It’s also an excellent idea to check where most users drop off. This is essential as it will help you know which parts of your website to improve.

Why is this important?

When people spend more time on your website and engage with it by clicking through to other pages, search engines take it as a signal that your content is valuable. On the other hand, if your bounce rate is high, your website will be ranked lower as search engines see that as a sign that your content is unhelpful.

Organic CTR Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Good Organic CTR?

The average organic CTR is between 3-5 percent. However, a good organic CTR is not benchmarked against industry standards but against your own CTR curve.

What Is the Significance of the Organic CTR ?

Organic CTR is an important metric to track as it impacts your rankings and the amount of traffic that comes to your website.

What Are Some Common Reasons for a Low CTR?

Common reasons for low CTR include metadata that’s not compelling enough. It could also be because of not utilizing rich snippets among other things.

Is a High CTR Good or Bad?

Having a high CTR is good for business as it means more traffic to your website. It also means better brand awareness as your rankings will improve.

Organic Click-Through Rate (CTR) Conclusion

Your organic CTR plays a crucial role in the success of your digital marketing campaigns.

It’s “free” customers coming in to browse your business, brand, products, and services.

Therefore, optimizing your content must be a priority.

With so many options for improving CTRs, it’s no longer a hassle for website and business owners. Plus, the results are certainly worth the effort and speak for themselves.

What strategies do you use to improve your organic CTR?

See How My Agency Can Drive Massive Amounts of Traffic to Your Website

  • SEO – unlock massive amounts of SEO traffic. See real results.
  • Content Marketing – our team creates epic content that will get shared, get links, and attract traffic.
  • Paid Media – effective paid strategies with clear ROI.

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SEO

19 Easy (But Effective) Digital Marketing Tips

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19 Easy (But Effective) Digital Marketing Tips


Looking for some simple yet effective digital marketing tips? You’re in the right place.

Get ready to implement the tips below, which will improve your business:

  1. Set SMART marketing objectives
  2. Track the right KPIs
  3. Design a simple, logical website structure
  4. Create a clear positioning statement
  5. Create a Google Business Profile
  6. Target low-competition topics
  7. Build a following on one social network
  8. Build a damn email list
  9. Target topics with search traffic potential
  10. Steal” your competitors’ keywords
  11. Create a versus page
  12. Make a statistics page
  13. Use HARO
  14. Capture featured snippets
  15. Rank videos on Google
  16. Run ads on less popular platforms
  17. Outsource boring tasks
  18. Double down on what’s working
  19. Be different

1. Set one to two SMART marketing objectives for the year

What is the first thing you do when you begin planning for a vacation? You decide where to go, aka the destination.

It’s the same for marketing. To head somewhere, you must first decide where you want to go. You can’t know if you’ve reached your destination if you don’t set one in the first place. 

That means knowing what marketing objectives you’re trying to achieve.

You can’t be vague too. “Increase sales by 30%” inspires no one. Instead, you should create objectives that fit the SMART criteria:

  • Specific – Clearly state the desirable outcome and explain who, what, when, how much, etc.
  • Measurable – Track progress with key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Achievable – Set bold goals, but also be realistic; use the current growth as a benchmark.
  • Relevant – Does the objective align with your overall marketing and business strategy?
  • Timely – Set up a time frame for achieving the goal.

For example, if we were to create a marketing objective for our blog, it might be something like this:

Grow organic traffic from 300K to 700K by the end of 2022.

Recommended reading: Marketing Objectives: How to Set Them Right (With Examples)

2. Track the right marketing KPIs for your marketing objectives

Your GPS tells you if you’re going the right way when traveling. But what’s the GPS for your marketing?

Those are your marketing KPIs. After you’ve decided on your objectives (i.e., your destination), these KPIs tell you if you’re going in the right direction.

But not all KPIs are equal. You likely don’t care about how many kilometers you’ve traveled. You just want to know if you’re getting closer or farther away. Same goes for marketing. There are many KPIs you can track, but most are simply vanity metrics.

You only need to track a few to know if you’re going in the right direction. Read the article below to find out which KPIs are worth your time.

Recommended reading: 7 Marketing KPIs Actually Worth Tracking

3. Design a simple and logical website structure

People and search engines may struggle to find pages on a disorganized website. So it’s usually best to use a flat website structure where all pages are no more than a few clicks away from the homepage.

Respective flow charts of flat and deep site structures. One shows homepage dropping down to a few layers; the other shows homepage dropping down to many layers

If you’re launching a new website, plan your structure something like this:

Flow chart showing ideal way to organize website structure

Credit: Backlinko.

We recommend that most of your pages should be no more than four clicks from the homepage. If there are pages more than six clicks away, consider bringing them closer to your homepage to make it easier for visitors and search engines to find them.

Recommended reading: Website Structure: How to Build Your SEO Foundation

4. Create a clear positioning statement for your business

Even in tiny Singapore, there are hundreds of gyms and fitness centers. Why should someone choose your business over the others?

They won’t—unless you tell them why.

This is called positioning. And in your positioning statement, you must clearly explain what your product or service is, why it’s different, and why it matters to your target customers.

It is impossible to teach you how to create one in a blog post (it’d take a book!), so I highly recommend that you read April Dunford’s “Obviously Awesome”—a step-by-step guide to creating a positioning statement.

Here’s a quick Cliffs Note:

  • Understand who your best customers are
  • List your competitive alternatives
  • Figure out the attributes and features that make your product/service unique
  • Figure out what these attributes and features do for your customers
  • Find a target market that cares about these values

See also  Does Google Have A Problem With Big Robots.txt Files?

5. Create a Google Business Profile

If you’re a local business serving local customers, you’ll need a Google Business Profile. Claiming this profile helps you rank better on relevant Google searches—both on web search and Google Maps.

Optimizing this is easy with Google My Business and takes only 30 minutes of your time. It’s a low-hanging fruit you should pick.

Follow the guide below to learn how to create an optimized profile.

Recommended reading: How to Optimize Google My Business in 30 Minutes

6. Target low-competition topics

Finance writer Morgan Housel writes:

The key is recognizing that the long run is just a collection of short runs, and capturing long-term growth means managing the short run effectively enough to ensure you can stick around for a long time.

Simply put, if you can’t survive now, you can’t exist in the long term. So even if you want to rank for the most valuable keywords for your business, that’ll take time. Meanwhile, start ranking for low-competition keywords.

These are keywords you can rank for without much effort. You usually won’t have to build many links or have high website authority to rank for them and get organic traffic for your website.

How do you find these keywords? Watch this video to learn how:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7hR-i6Go4c

Recommended reading: How to Find Low-Competition Keywords for SEO

7. Build a following on one social network

Should you start shimmying on TikTok or go old-school and stick with Instagram? Perhaps you should create multiple 🧵 on Twitter or write broetry on LinkedIn. Or maybe you should take a punt on that new, upcoming social platform.

Whatever it is, just choose one. Don’t join a platform just because it’s the latest, shiny tool.

The allure to be present on multiple social media platforms is huge. But don’t give in to that temptation. Doing well on each platform means creating content that fits in natively. That is a lot of time, effort, and resources.

It takes work, even if you’re repurposing content. Sure, Gary Vee may make it look easy, but that’s because he has a team behind him. If you’re a one-person operation, you can’t replicate his efforts overnight.

Which social network should you choose? Well, that goes all the way back to your marketing objective (tip #1). If your target audience is on Twitter and it moves you closer to your goal, then that’s the platform you want.

After you’ve built a strong following, expand to other social media platforms. For example, Instagram has been around since 2010, but we’ve only recently started our Instagram account.

8. Build a damn email list

Even though we recommend building a following on one platform, you should remember that you’ll never own that audience. You’re “borrowing,” which means you’re always at the mercy of the platform.

If it wants to limit your reach one day, it can. But email is different—you own the list. Nobody can limit your reach. So even though building an email list seems like digital marketing advice from 2005, it’s not bad advice.

Every business should have an email list.

The simplest way to build one is to offer potential subscribers something in exchange for joining the list. This can be anything: an eBook, a course, a discount, or more.

For us at Ahrefs, we have a simple “subscribe” opt-in:

Text field for people to enter email address

9. Target topics with search traffic potential

If you want to rank on Google, the topic you’re targeting should be one that people are searching for. That makes sense, right? Yet, most businesses begin blogging by creating an article and praying that it ranks.

Hope is not a strategy. We want to get intentional. We want our articles to rank. To do that, we need to target topics with search traffic potential.

How do you find such topics? Here’s how:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter a relevant topic
  3. Go to the Matching terms report
  4. Switch the tab to Questions
Matching terms report results for "basketball"

As you can see, there are over 197K topics you could potentially target. Eyeball the list and pick out topics that are relevant.

Recommended reading: Keyword Research: The Beginner’s Guide by Ahrefs

10. “Steal” your competitors’ keywords

What if you could figure out which keywords your competitors rank for so that you could replicate their strategy?

Good news: you can. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer
  2. Enter a competitor’s domain
  3. Go to the Top pages report
Top pages report results

Here, all your competitor’s pages are ranked by the amount of organic traffic they receive, plus the keyword that sends each page the most traffic.

Look through the list and tackle the ones that are most relevant to your business.

Your customers want the biggest bang for their buck. So they’ll compare you and your competitors. Once again, rather than leave it to chance, you should take the initiative.

Create a versus page where you compare the pros and cons between your business and a competitor’s.

How do you know who your customers are comparing you with? Here’s how to find out:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter your brand name
  3. Go to the Matching terms report
  4. Under the Terms menu, choose “vs” (or some other term that signifies comparison)
Matching terms report results. Sidebar showing "vs" selected

Doing this for our own brand shows that people are comparing us with Moz, SEMRush, and Majestic.

At this point, most businesses will create separate comparison pages for each competitor. However, we decided to do something different and created a versus page that tackled all of them at once.

Excerpt of Ahrefs' "versus" page

One page or a few—the choice is yours.

12. Make a statistics page

Journalists often need to back up their arguments with data. However, they don’t always have access to this information. So they’ll look for data online, then mention and link to that source of data.

For example, in 2020, Ahrefs was mentioned in Bloomberg because of our top Google searches data.

Excerpt of Bloomberg article mentioning Ahrefs

But not everyone has access to unique data. So one way to get around this is to curate a list of statistics for your industry.

That’s what we did when we created our SEO statistics page. Since then, we’ve ranked #1 for the query “SEO statistics” and have accumulated ~2.4K links from ~1.1K unique websites.

SERP overview for "seo statistics"

Learn how we did it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTF6OBwidhc&list=PLvJ_dXFSpd2u_ABxIRO6RVK3ucKyzn96Y

Recommended reading: Link Building Case Study: How We Built Backlinks With a ‘Stats’ Page

Not only do journalists need data, but they also need expert insights. And Help a Reporter Out (HARO) exists to connect journalists to experts.

If you’re an expert in your industry, you can be that source of information too. Sign up, monitor the requests in your category, and respond with valuable information as soon as possible.

My colleague, Michal Pecánek, has tons of experience with HARO. Here are some tips from him:

  • Check the publication – Avoid those that aren’t authoritative.
  • Be picky – Only respond to requests where you can truly provide great information.
  • Respond as fast as possible – Many people are monitoring the same niche as you.
  • Get help – Don’t hesitate to bring colleagues on board if they’re more qualified to answer.
  • Stick to the script – Don’t deviate from the format the author is requesting.

Recommended reading: 9 Great Public Relations Tactics With Campaign Examples

14. Capture featured snippets

If you’ve searched for something in Google and seen this…

Ahrefs' featured snippet on Google SERP of "how to do seo"

… then you’ve seen a featured snippet.

Capturing one means leapfrogging all the other ranking websites and jumping into the first position. And you can do this without having to build links or rewrite your content.

The easiest way to begin is to leverage content you already own. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer
  2. Enter your own domain
  3. Go to the Organic keywords report
  4. Filter for featured snippets (where target doesn’t rank for) using the SERP features filter
  5. Filter for positions #2–10 using the Position filter
Organic keywords report results

You’ll get a list of low-hanging opportunities to steal featured snippets from your competitors.

Then, how do you capture these snippets?

We have a step-by-step guide that shows you how you can rework your content so that you stand the best chance of capturing the snippet. Read it below here.

Recommended reading: How to Optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets

15. Rank videos on Google

YouTube videos rank on YouTube. Duh. But did you know YouTube videos rank on Google too?

In fact, our YouTube channel got over 200K views from Google in the past year:

Table showing data on Ahrefs' Youtube channel

To do this, you’ll need to rank for topics that have both:

  1. Search traffic potential – People are searching for these topics on YouTube and Google.
  2. Video intent – People who prefer to watch a video instead of reading. 

Here’s how to find these topics:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer
  2. Run this search: site:youtube.com inurl:watch title:topic
  3. Sort the results by Page traffic
Content Explorer search results

This should give you a list of relevant YouTube videos that currently get organic search traffic from Google. Eyeball the list for ones that are relevant to your business, then create a video that ranks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BObU_VCwnvY

Recommended reading: Video SEO: How to Rank YouTube Videos on Google

16. Run ads on less popular platforms

Everyone knows Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads. Those are the go-tos when it comes to paid advertising. But don’t forget that YouTube, Twitter, Quora, and even TikTok have advertising platforms too. If your target audience is on these platforms and they fit your marketing objectives, then they’re worth considering.

For example, we regularly run ads on YouTube.

We also run ads on Quora:

Ahrefs' ads manager on Quora

17. Outsource boring tasks

There’s a common saying that you should never do the same thing twice. If you find yourself doing something over and over again—and you’re not enjoying it at all—then it’s a task you can outsource.

Some tasks can be easily completed with the right tool. For example, instead of “copy-pasting” drafts to WordPress, we simply upload them by using Wordable.

For other tasks, you may have to hire freelancers or even a full-time staff. Create standard operating procedures (SOPs), hire and train people using those documents, and refine your system.

Learn how to outsource your marketing tasks using the framework below (it’s for SEO but can be generalized across any marketing channels):

Recommended reading: How to Outsource SEO (Simple Framework)

18. Double down on what’s working

As you’re applying the tips from this post, keep a lookout for what’s working. Do the same for the existing channels and tactics you’ve been using.

Then, double down on them. Invest your resources. Make it generate more returns for you.

That’s what we did at Ahrefs. We started with the blog. And when it was working, we scaled it up by hiring more writers, creating SOPs, etc. And since we knew that content marketing was working for us, we invested in creating more content—this time on YouTube.

With an eight-figure annual recurring revenue (ARR), our results speak for themselves.

Pablo Picasso once said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

Inspired by this quote, marketers started copying each other. If there was a strategy that worked, countless others would follow suit—sometimes without consideration for their own circumstances.

Sometimes, this idea worked. But most of the time, what happened was that the marketplace was glutted with imitations.

Marketing is about differentiation. That’s why you need a positioning strategy. That’s why you create a comparison page. You want to stand above the competition. But if you are the same as the rest, there’s no reason for others to choose you.

I think there’s nothing wrong with following best practices. But try to add your own twist. For example, look at our homepage and our versus page.

The tactics we used are not unique, but we’ve always tried to be different.

Final thoughts

I hope you’ve walked away from this post with a handful of actionable digital marketing tips you can test for your business.

Did I miss out on any cool tips? If you have any to share, let me know on Twitter.





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How To Drive Facebook Leads Via Phone Calls

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How To Drive Facebook Leads Via Phone Calls


By now, most advertisers are aware of the potential Facebook offers as a lead generation channel.

Whether you’re a mom-and-pop retail store or a massive multinational conglomerate, chances are that the largest social network on the planet has a product that can help you.

This platform can identify and activate hand-raisers who are interested in doing business with you.

And as the digital and privacy landscape has evolved, so have the lead generation offerings from Facebook.

Apple’s iOS 14 update in 2021 has made the traditional approach of sending traffic to your website to transact more difficult to track and attribute.

Lead generation forms can fill the void by allowing audiences to submit their contact information directly within the Facebook or Instagram platform.

However, these leads (if not properly qualified) can be of poor quality.

Messenger now offers lightweight chatbots and can capture the same type of leads you would through a form, but through Facebook and Instagram’s native conversational tools.

But there is one lead generation method that Facebook has been quietly improving over the past year – a method with the potential to supplement your existing lead generation strategy conveniently.

Phone calls.

Sure, driving phone calls may not be the most digitally sexy way to put would-be customers in contact with your business.

But, maximizing the impact of your lead generation efforts means giving your audience several options to contact you, phone included.

How To Set Up A Facebook Phone Call Lead Generation Campaign

Experienced Facebook marketers will remember that phone calls have been an option for a while.

However, before the recent addition of phone calls as an optimizable event within the lead generation objective, the only way to drive calls from FB ads was by using the Reach objective.

This was generally ineffective at driving inbound calls, as Reach-optimized campaigns did little more than displaying your ads for the lowest possible CPM.

Tracking was also non-existent.

But now, Calls are integrated into Facebook’s lead generation objective and are available alongside Forms and Chats, and the initial setup is very straightforward.

Step 1: Create A New Lead Generation Campaign In Ads Manager

Screenshot from Facebook, January 2022

Step 2: Select Phone As Your “Lead Method” Under The Ad Set Settings

How to Drive Facebook Leads Via Phone Calls | SEJScreenshot from Facebook, January 2022

Step 3: Create A New Ad And Enter The Phone Number You Wish To Route Incoming Calls To

How to Drive Facebook Leads Via Phone Calls | SEJScreenshot from Facebook, January 2022

How Phone Lead Generation Works

Setting up a phone lead generation campaign is as simple as the execution.

See also  Google Responds to Criticism Regarding Desktop Search Changes

Facebook audiences will see your ad, and instead of the usual and customizable CTA button options, your ad will have a “Call Now” CTA.

Clicking on the ad or CTA button will generate a prompt on the user’s smartphone to confirm if they would like to call the number you entered in Step 3 of the setup process.

If they confirm, the call will go through. Easy.

Unlike previous iterations of Facebook click-to-call ads, where tracking was hard to come by, marketers will now be able to see how many people clicked confirmed they would like to initiate the outbound call.

Similar to lead generation forms submitted or messenger chats initiated, this is the event that Facebook’s algorithm will use to optimize the phone lead generation campaign.

How to Drive Facebook Leads Via Phone Calls | SEJScreenshot from Facebook, January 2022

In essence, it works similar to a Traffic objective, where Facebook is optimizing your campaign to landing page views – not just people who clicked on your ad, but people who took the extra step to confirm they wanted to call your business.

In theory, that extra confirmation step will reduce the number of accidental button clicks and ensure that the people who are calling the number are legitimate leads.

How Phone Lead Generation Performed For Us

Our agency had the opportunity to test the phone lead generation optimization in mid-2021 when it was relatively new.

The client was looking for ways to bolster their existing lead flow on Facebook, which previously consisted of lead generation forms and an option for users to visit their website to create accounts.

We found that the phone lead objective efficiently drove inbound calls. The average form lead CPL was around $100 when an inbound phone call was around $4.

See also  Should Freelance Writers Sign Non-Compete Agreements?

But before we started popping champagne corks, it turned out that there were a lot of incoming poor-quality calls.

  • Around 50% of the calls didn’t make it to the IVR (interactive phone response) menu.
  • Nearly 15% of the calls made it through and spoke with a sales representative.
  • But those who did speak with a representative qualified at a 2x higher rate compared to form leads.

In the end, the cost per net qualified lead was relatively on par with form leads, and the client decided to maintain a phone lead generation campaign on a limited basis.

How To Maximize The Potential Of Phone Lead Generation Campaigns

A phone lead generation campaign will make your phone ring.

So you’ll want to have the appropriate staff dedicated to answering inbound sales calls.

Have An Inbound Call Plan

For small businesses, resist the temptation to use your personal phone and instead have a dedicated, regularly-monitored line available.

Be prepared with an appropriate greeting and script, knowing that people calling this line are potential customers looking for more information.

If your company uses an automated phone menu, please note that you will likely see many inbound calls abandon once they hit it.

This could be a good or bad thing depending on your qualification process.

Too many poor-quality calls will tax your sales team, while your menu system might be eliminating otherwise quality leads because they get frustrated waiting.

Consider Call Tracking Software For Additional Insights

Facebook platform data will show you all of the KPIs and metrics that take place on the platform: impressions, clicks on your ad, call confirmations, etc.

But once they leave Facebook and start the call, that’s it.

Call tracking solutions like Invoca or CallRail can provide additional insights to give you more valuable data, like call duration, quality, and conversion rate.

These platforms also allow you to create additional phone numbers for specific internal purposes, so you don’t need to rely on existing numbers.

Retarget Smartly

If you are nervous about the volume of calls that a prospecting campaign could generate or aren’t seeing the quality if you’ve already tried it, consider using phone calls as a retargeting-only contact method.

See also  8 Quick SEO Wins For Your Brand New Website

Start with uploading a list of previous leads that have not been contacted, with an offer to call for more information.

Instead of using a form or a chat, see if this audience is more inclined to convert via phone call.

You can also use phone calls as an opportunity to upsell existing customers who may be eligible for incentives.

Also, don’t be afraid to delve into the demographic data and tailor phone lead generation campaigns to audience segments who are not converting via more digital methods.

It’s all about giving your customers a variety of ways to get in contact with you.

Use Lifetime Budgets To Daypart Campaigns

Chances are, you don’t want your phone to be ringing at all hours of the night.

Since your team is likely only available to answer calls during specific business hours, you’re going to want to make sure your ads don’t show when you don’t have people available.

Unless you want to manually pause and unpause your phone lead generation campaign every day, you should daypart it.

To do this, you’ll need to select Lifetime budgets, either on the campaign level if you’re using campaign budget optimization…

How to Drive Facebook Leads Via Phone Calls | SEJScreenshot from Facebook, January 2022

OR on the ad set level if you’re not.

How to Drive Facebook Leads Via Phone Calls | SEJScreenshot from Facebook, January 2022

Selecting Run ads on a schedule will give your ad sets the ability to selectively run when you want them to, instead of all hours.

How to Drive Facebook Leads Via Phone Calls | SEJScreenshot from Facebook, January 2022

Advertisers also can run ads during times specific to the viewer’s time zone or the default time zone for the ad account.

Conclusion

Driving phone calls to your business via Facebook is a viable tactic for advertisers thanks to some recent updates to Facebook lead generation campaigns.

Making the most of phone leads will require pre-planning and a solid process that ensures inbound leads are routed quickly to the right people.

However, once these processes are worked out, the result could be a supplemental source of high-intent leads that convert better than more traditional tactics.

As is the case with just about every facet of digital marketing, it’s worth a test.

More resources: 


Featured Image: sergey causelove/Shutterstock





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Visualizing Google Core Update Winners & Losers With Python

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Visualizing Google Core Update Winners & Losers With Python


For SEO experts, Google’s core updates are a way of life. They will happen at least once – if not multiple times – a year.

Naturally, there will be winners and losers.

So while Google doesn’t disclose most of the ranking factors behind the algorithm updates, there are things we can do to get a greater understanding of what’s going on, in terms of:

  • Which site content is affected.
  • Sites operating in your search space.
  • Result types.

The limit is your imagination, your questions (based on your SEO knowledge), and of course, your data.

This code will cover aggregations at the search engine results page (SERP) level (inter-site category comparison), and the same principles can be applied to other views of the core update such as result types (think snippets and other views mentioned above).

Using Python To Compare SERPs

The overall principle is to compare the SERPs before and after the core update, which will give us some clues as to what’s going on.

We’ll start by importing our Python libraries:

import re
import time
import random
import pandas as pd
import numpy as np
import datetime
from datetime import timedelta
from plotnine import *
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from pandas.api.types import is_string_dtype
from pandas.api.types import is_numeric_dtype
import uritools  
pd.set_option('display.max_colwidth', None)
%matplotlib inline

Defining some variables, we’re going to be focusing on ON24.com as they lost out to the core update.

root_domain = 'on24.com'
hostdomain = 'www.on24.com'
hostname="on24"
full_domain = 'https://www.on24.com'
site_name="ON24"

Reading in the data, we’re using an export from GetSTAT which has a useful report that allows you to compare SERPs for your keywords before and after.

This SERPs report is available from other rank tracking providers like SEO Monitor and Advanced Web Ranking – no preferences or endorsements on my side!

getstat_ba_urls = pd.read_csv('data/webinars_top_20.csv', encoding = 'UTF-16', sep = 't')
getstat_raw.head()
Screenshot by author, January 2022
getstat_ba_urls = getstat_raw

Construct the URLs by joining the protocol and URL string to get the full ranking URL for both before the update and after.

getstat_ba_urls['before_url'] = getstat_ba_urls['Protocol for Nov 19, 2020'] + '://' + getstat_ba_urls['Ranking URL on Nov 19, 2020']
getstat_ba_urls['after_url'] = getstat_ba_urls['Protocol for Dec 17, 2020'] + '://' + getstat_ba_urls['Ranking URL on Dec 17, 2020']
getstat_ba_urls['before_url'] = np.where(getstat_ba_urls['before_url'].isnull(), '', getstat_ba_urls['before_url'])
getstat_ba_urls['after_url'] = np.where(getstat_ba_urls['after_url'].isnull(), '', getstat_ba_urls['after_url'])


To get the domains of the ranking URLs, we create a copy of the URL in a new column, remove the subdomains using an if statement embedded in a list comprehension:

getstat_ba_urls['before_site'] = [uritools.urisplit(x).authority if uritools.isuri(x) else x for x in getstat_ba_urls['before_url']]
stop_sites = ['hub.', 'blog.', 'www.', 'impact.', 'harvard.', 'its.', 'is.', 'support.']
getstat_ba_urls['before_site'] = getstat_ba_urls['before_site'].str.replace('|'.join(stop_sites), '')

The list comprehension is repeated to extract the domains post update.

getstat_ba_urls['after_site'] = [uritools.urisplit(x).authority if uritools.isuri(x) else x for x in getstat_ba_urls['after_url']]
getstat_ba_urls['after_site'] = getstat_ba_urls['after_site'].str.replace('|'.join(stop_sites), '')
getstat_ba_urls.columns = [x.lower() for x in getstat_ba_urls.columns]
getstat_ba_urls = getstat_ba_urls.rename(columns = {'global monthly search volume': 'search_volume'
                                                   })
getstat_ba_urls
Before and after URLsScreenshot by author, January 2022

Dedupe Multiple Ranking URLs

The next step is to remove the multiple ranking URLs by the same domain per keyword SERP. We’ll split the data into two sets, before and after.

See also  How To Simplify Boring Tasks & Win Customers Over

Then we’ll group by keyword and perform the deduplication:

getstat_bef_unique = getstat_ba_urls[['keyword', 'market', 'location', 'device', 'search_volume', 'rank',
       'result types for nov 19, 2020', 'protocol for nov 19, 2020',
       'ranking url on nov 19, 2020', 'before_url', 'before_site']]
getstat_bef_unique = getstat_bef_unique.sort_values('rank').groupby(['before_site', 'device', 'keyword']).first()
getstat_bef_unique = getstat_bef_unique.reset_index()
getstat_bef_unique = getstat_bef_unique[getstat_bef_unique['before_site'] != '']
getstat_bef_unique = getstat_bef_unique.sort_values(['keyword', 'device', 'rank'])
getstat_bef_unique = getstat_bef_unique.rename(columns = {'rank': 'before_rank', 
                                                          'result types for nov 19, 2020': 'before_snippets'})
getstat_bef_unique = getstat_bef_unique[['keyword', 'market', 'device', 'before_snippets', 'search_volume', 
                                         'before_url', 'before_site', 'before_rank'
                                        ]]
getstat_bef_unique
keyword trackingScreenshot by author, January 2022

The procedure is repeated for the after data set.

getstat_aft_unique = getstat_ba_urls[['keyword', 'market', 'location', 'device', 'search_volume', 'rank',
       'result types for dec 17, 2020', 'protocol for dec 17, 2020',
       'ranking url on dec 17, 2020', 'after_url', 'after_site']]
getstat_aft_unique = getstat_aft_unique.sort_values('rank').groupby(['after_site', 'device', 'keyword']).first()
getstat_aft_unique = getstat_aft_unique.reset_index()
getstat_aft_unique = getstat_aft_unique[getstat_aft_unique['after_site'] != '']
getstat_aft_unique = getstat_aft_unique.sort_values(['keyword', 'device', 'rank'])
getstat_aft_unique = getstat_aft_unique.rename(columns = {'rank': 'after_rank', 
                                                          'result types for dec 17, 2020': 'after_snippets'})
getstat_aft_unique = getstat_aft_unique[['keyword', 'market', 'device', 'after_snippets', 'search_volume', 
                                         'after_url', 'after_site', 'after_rank'
                                        ]]

Segment The SERP Sites

When it comes to core updates, most of the answers tend to be in the SERPs. This is where we can see what sites are being rewarded and others that lose out.

With the datasets deduped and separated, we’ll work out the common competitors so we can start segmenting them manually which will help us visualize the impact of the update.

serps_before = getstat_bef_unique
serps_after = getstat_aft_unique
serps_before_after = serps_before_after.merge(serps_after, left_on = ['keyword', 'before_site', 'device', 'market', 'search_volume'], 
                                                right_on = ['keyword', 'after_site', 'device', 'market', 'search_volume'], how = 'left')

Cleaning the rank columns of null (NAN Not a Number) values using the np.where() function which is the Panda’s equivalent of Excel’s if formula.

serps_before_after['before_rank'] = np.where(serps_before_after['before_rank'].isnull(), 100, serps_before_after['before_rank'])
serps_before_after['after_rank'] = np.where(serps_before_after['after_rank'].isnull(), 100, serps_before_after['after_rank'])


Some calculated metrics to show the rank difference before vs after, and whether the URL changed.

serps_before_after['rank_diff'] = serps_before_after['before_rank'] - serps_before_after['after_rank']
serps_before_after['url_change'] = np.where(serps_before_after['before_url'] == serps_before_after['after_url'], 0, 1)
serps_before_after['project'] = site_name
serps_before_after['reach'] = 1
serps_before_after
rank difference before vs afterScreenshot by author, January 2022

Aggregate The Winning Sites

With the data cleaned, we can now aggregate to see which sites are the most dominant.

See also  5 Ways You Can Really Steal Organic Clicks from Industry Giants

To do this, we define the function which calculates weighted average rank by search volume.

Not all keywords are as important which helps make the analysis more meaningful if you care about the keywords that get the most searches.

def wavg_rank(x):
    names = {'wavg_rank': (x['before_rank'] * (x['search_volume'] + 0.1)).sum()/(x['search_volume'] + 0.1).sum()}
    return pd.Series(names, index=['wavg_rank']).round(1)

rank_df = serps_before_after.groupby('before_site').apply(wavg_rank).reset_index()
reach_df = serps_before_after.groupby('before_site').agg({'reach': 'sum'}).sort_values('reach', ascending = False).reset_index()

commonstats_full_df = rank_df.merge(reach_df, on = 'before_site', how = 'left').sort_values('reach', ascending = False)
commonstats_df = commonstats_full_df.sort_values('reach', ascending = False).reset_index()
commonstats_df.head()
calculate weighted average rank by search volumeScreenshot by author, January 2022

While the weighted average rank is important, so is the reach as that tells us the breadth of the site’s presence in Google i.e. the number of keywords.

The reach also helps us prioritize the sites we want to include in our segmentation.

The segmentation works by using the np.select function which is like a mega nested Excel if formula.

First, we create a list of our conditions.

domain_conds = [
    commonstats_df['before_site'].isin(['google.com', 'medium.com', 'forbes.com', 'en.m.wikipedia.org',
                                        'hbr.org', 'en.wikipedia.org', 'smartinsights.com', 'mckinsey.com',
                                        'techradar.com','searchenginejournal.com', 
                                        'cmswire.com']),
    commonstats_df['before_site'].isin(['on24.com', 'gotomeeting.com', 'marketo.com', 'zoom.us', 'livestorm.co',
                                        'hubspot.com', 'drift.com', 'salesforce.com', 'clickmeeting.com',
                                        'qualtrics.com', 'workcast.com', 'livewebinar.com', 'getresponse.com', 
                                        'superoffice.com', 'myownconference.com', 'info.workcast.com']),
    commonstats_df['before_site'].isin([ 'neilpatel.com', 'ventureharbour.com', 'wordstream.com', 
                                        'business.tutsplus.com', 'convinceandconvert.com']),
    commonstats_df['before_site'].isin(['trustradius.com', 'g2.com', 'capterra.com', 'softwareadvice.com', 
                                        'learn.g2.com']),
    commonstats_df['before_site'].isin(['youtube.com', 'm.youtube.com', 'facebook.com', 'linkedin.com', 
                                        'business.linkedin.com', 
                                       ])
]

 

Then we create a list of the values we want to assign for each condition.

segment_values = ['publisher', 'martech', 'consulting', 'reviews', 'social_media']

 

Then create a new column and use np.select to assign values to it using our lists as arguments.

commonstats_df['segment'] = np.select(domain_conds, segment_values, default="other")
commonstats_df = commonstats_df[['before_site', 'segment', 'reach', 'wavg_rank']]
commonstats_df
new column to use np.selectScreenshot by author, January 2022

The domains are now segmented which means we can start the fun of aggregating to see which site types benefitted and deteriorated from the update.

# SERPs Before and After Rank
serps_stats = commonstats_df[['before_site', 'segment']]
serps_segments = commonstats_df.segment.to_list()


We’re joining the unique before SERPs data with the SERP segments table created immediately above to segment the ranking URLs using the merge function.

The merge function that uses the ‘eft’ parameter is equivalent to the Excel vlookup or index match function.

serps_before_segmented = getstat_bef_unique.merge(serps_stats, on = 'before_site', how = 'left')
serps_before_segmented = serps_before_segmented[~serps_before_segmented.segment.isnull()]
serps_before_segmented = serps_before_segmented[['keyword', 'segment', 'device', 'search_volume', 'before_snippets', 
                             'before_rank', 'before_url', 'before_site']]
serps_before_segmented['count'] = 1
serps_queries = serps_before_segmented['keyword'].to_list()
serps_queries = list(set(serps_queries))
serps_before_segmented
joining the unique before SERPs data with the SERP segments tableScreenshot by author, January 2022

Aggregating the before SERPs:

def wavg_rank_before(x):
    names = {'wavg_rank_before': (x['before_rank'] * x['search_volume']).sum()/(x['search_volume']).sum()}
    return pd.Series(names, index=['wavg_rank_before']).round(1)

serps_before_agg = serps_before_segmented
serps_before_wavg = serps_before_agg.groupby(['segment', 'device']).apply(wavg_rank_before).reset_index()
serps_before_sum = serps_before_agg.groupby(['segment', 'device']).agg({'count': 'sum'}).reset_index()
serps_before_stats = serps_before_wavg.merge(serps_before_sum, on = ['segment', 'device'], how = 'left')
serps_before_stats = serps_before_stats.rename(columns = {'count': 'before_n'})
serps_before_stats
Aggregating the before SERPs.Screenshot by author, January 2022

Repeat procedure for the after SERPs.

# SERPs  After Rank
aft_serps_segments = commonstats_df[['before_site', 'segment']]
aft_serps_segments = aft_serps_segments.rename(columns = {'before_site': 'after_site'})
serps_after_segmented = getstat_aft_unique.merge(aft_serps_segments, on = 'after_site', how = 'left')
serps_after_segmented = serps_after_segmented[~serps_after_segmented.segment.isnull()]
serps_after_segmented = serps_after_segmented[['keyword', 'segment', 'device', 'search_volume', 'after_snippets', 
                             'after_rank', 'after_url', 'after_site']]
serps_after_segmented['count'] = 1
serps_queries = serps_after_segmented['keyword'].to_list()
serps_queries = list(set(serps_queries))
def wavg_rank_after(x):
    names = {'wavg_rank_after': (x['after_rank'] * x['search_volume']).sum()/(x['search_volume']).sum()}
    return pd.Series(names, index=['wavg_rank_after']).round(1)
serps_after_agg = serps_after_segmented
serps_after_wavg = serps_after_agg.groupby(['segment', 'device']).apply(wavg_rank_after).reset_index()
serps_after_sum = serps_after_agg.groupby(['segment', 'device']).agg({'count': 'sum'}).reset_index()
serps_after_stats = serps_after_wavg.merge(serps_after_sum, on = ['segment', 'device'], how = 'left')
serps_after_stats = serps_after_stats.rename(columns = {'count': 'after_n'})
serps_after_stats
Repeat procedure for the after SERPsScreenshot by author, January 2022

With both SERPs summarised, we can join them and start making comparisons.

serps_compare_stats = serps_before_stats.merge(serps_after_stats, on = ['device', 'segment'], how = 'left')
serps_compare_stats['wavg_rank_delta'] = serps_compare_stats['wavg_rank_after'] - serps_compare_stats['wavg_rank_before']
serps_compare_stats['sites_delta'] = serps_compare_stats['after_n'] - serps_compare_stats['before_n']
serps_compare_stats
Comparing before and after rank by keywordScreenshot by author, January 2022

Although we can see that publisher sites seemed to gain the most by virtue of more keywords ranked for, a picture would most certainly tell a 1000 more words in a PowerPoint deck.

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We’ll endeavor to do this by reshaping the data into a long format that the Python graphics package ‘plotnine’ favors.

serps_compare_viz = serps_compare_stats
serps_rank_viz = serps_compare_viz[['device', 'segment', 'wavg_rank_before', 'wavg_rank_after']].reset_index()
serps_rank_viz = serps_rank_viz.rename(columns = {'wavg_rank_before': 'before', 'wavg_rank_after': 'after', })
serps_rank_viz = pd.melt(serps_rank_viz, id_vars=['device', 'segment'], value_vars=['before', 'after'],
                     var_name="phase", value_name="rank")
serps_rank_viz
serps_ba_plt = (
    ggplot(serps_rank_viz, aes(x = 'segment', y = 'rank', colour="phase",
                             fill="phase")) + 
    geom_bar(stat="identity", alpha = 0.8, position = 'dodge') +
    labs(y = 'Google Rank', x = 'phase') + 
    scale_y_reverse() + 
    theme(legend_position = 'right', axis_text_x=element_text(rotation=90, hjust=1)) + 
    facet_wrap('device')
)
serps_ba_plt
Google RankScreenshot by author, January 2022

And we have our first visualization, which shows us how most site types gained in ranking which is only half of the story.

Let’s also look at the number of entries into the top 20.

Desktop vs. smartphoneScreenshot by author, January 2022

Ignoring the ‘Other’ segment, we can see Martech and Publishers were the main winners expanding their keyword reach.

Summary

It took a bit of code just to create a single chart with all the cleaning and aggregating.

However, the principles can be applied to achieve extended winner-loser views such as:

  • Domain level.
  • Internal site content.
  • Result Types.
  • Cannibalised results.
  • Ranking URL Content types (blogs, offer pages etc).

Most SERP reports will have the data to perform the above extended views.

While it might not explicitly reveal the key ranking factor, the views can tell you a lot about what is going on, help you explain the core update to your colleagues, and generate hypotheses to test if you’re one of the less lucky ones looking to recover.

More resources:  


Featured Image: Pixels Hunter/Shutterstock





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