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Digital Marketing Statistics and Trends [in 2022]

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Here’s our most comprehensive list of digital marketing statistics and trends this 2022. 

I’ve made sure that every number provided in this post is current and up-to-date. 

Even if we’re almost halfway through 2022, you can still make use of and incorporate the following data to improve your performance and update your marketing strategies.

SEO Stats 2022

81% of shoppers do their research first online before they purchase. In this case, every important information about your business must be visible online. 

Here are some statistics that will encourage you to optimize your website for search engines now:

  • Google tops its competitors as the most used search engine with an 85.55% market share in Feb. 2022. (Datareportal)
  • Google receives over 102,123 searches per second. (Internet Live Stats)
  • 70% of search users never scroll past the search engine’s second page. (Hubspot)
  • Google Chrome has the highest share of web traffic by browser with 64.06%, followed by Safari at 19.22%. (Datareportal)
  • Google ranks second for a mobile share of 58.1%, while Instagram takes the top spot at 63.3%. (Datareportal)
  • There are over 200 ranking factors used by Google’s search algorithm to rank websites. (Backlinko)
  • 65% of Google searches ended without any click. (Sparktoro.com)
  • Web pages that take 5 seconds to load have an increased bounce rate to 38%. (Website Builder Expert)
  • Web pages with low bounce rates rank higher in search engines. (Backlinko)
  • The average number of words to get to Google’s average first-page search result is 1,440. (Backlinko)

Also Read: Learn SEO: The Complete Guide for Beginners

Podcast

Over the years, we see more and more content creators, brands, and entrepreneurs jumping on the podcasting bandwagon. The podcast has become a fascinating platform for advertisers as well.

But before you delve into podcast advertising, take this advice from Ahref’s UX Writer, Rebekah Bek:

Quote Card

  • The number of podcast listeners around the world is estimated at around 424 million people (Insider Intelligence)
  • 94% of podcast listeners are multitasking a.k.a. doing household chores, driving, running errands, exercising, etc. This makes these listeners more receptive and engaging. (BBC)
  • 40% of podcast listeners choose to discover new podcast channels via their listening app’s directory. (The Podcast Host)
  • Apple is the most popular podcast directory, with 38.7% of podcast listeners around the world. (BuzzSprout)
  • The top podcast listeners are from North America and the Asia Pacific. (BuzzSprout)
  • Podcast listeners refer to podcast channel descriptions to check what it is about. (The Podcast Host)
  • 45% of podcast listeners have an annual income of $250,000. (Small Biz Genius)
  • 73% listen to the podcast on their smartphones. (Edison Research)
  • 69% of podcast listeners say podcast ads helped them become aware of brands, products, and services. (BuzzSprout)
  • Advertisements read by podcast hosts are 3.5 times more effective than scripted third-party ads. (DigiDay)
  • Millennials and Gen Zs dominate the podcast listener demographic. (PRCA)

Social Media 

There is no denying that social networks have significantly changed the way we do our marketing.

Here are some important figures that will help improve your social media marketing and strategies:

  • YouTube streams 694,00 hours of video per minute. (Statista)
  • The average amount of time internet users spent on social media is 2 hours and 27 minutes per day. (Statista)
  • There are 4.62 billion social media users worldwide in January 2022. (Datareportal)
  • Social media platforms in the Philippines last year 2021 saw an increase in the number of influencers led by Facebook (67.06%), Instagram (37.42%, and YouTube (35.96%). (Datareportal)
  • Number of users per social media platform (early 2022) (Datareportal)
    Facebook- 83.85 million users
    YouTube- 56.50 million users
    Instagram- 18.65 million users
    Tiktok- 35.96 million users
    Facebook messenger- 55.15 million users
    LinkedIn- 11.00 million users
    Snapchat- 10.60 million users
    Twitter- 10.50 million users

 

  • Facebook Live videos receive 10 times as many comments as regular videos. (99 Firms)
  • Tiktok has approximately 650,000 new users every day or more than 8 new users per second. (DataReportal)
  • 73% of users feel a stronger connection to brands on TikTok than they do on other social media platforms. (Newsroom.TikTok)
  • TikTok has the highest 5.96% engagement rate compared to other social media networks. (Social Insider)
  • Instagram Stories is used by 500 million accounts every day. (Hootsuite)
  • 70% of customers go to Instagram to make their next purchase. (Instagram for Business)
  • In 2022, short-form videos will last an average of 3 minutes and 23 seconds. (ReelnReel)
  • Instagram Reels content receives 22% higher engagement than typical Instagram videos. (EarthWeb)

Also Read: Social Media: A Comprehensive Guide

Mobile Marketing 

More than half of web traffic and two-fifths of email opens come from smart phones or mobile devices. This means your search and email strategies must be aligned with your mobile marketing strategies.

Here are some important data you will need to take note of for your mobile marketing strats:

  • A typical mobile phone user spends 4 hours and 48 minutes per day on average. (Datareportal)
  • There are 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide. (Website Builder)
  • More than half (53%) of US shoppers prefer to use their mobile device to research deals and offers before buying than speak with an associate in-store about promotions. (Retail Me Not)
  • Social commerce in the Philippines is predicted to expand 30.4 percent each year, reaching US$681.6 million in 2022. (Research and markets)
  • 80% of internet users own a smartphone. (Smart Insights)
  • The global revenue growth of mobile applications is expected to reach $925 billion by 2023. (Digital Examiner)
  • TikTok motivated 67% of its users to purchase even when they weren’t looking to do so. (TikTok Newsroom)
  • 62% of marketers believe that TikTok content creators are the best communicators with their customers. (TikTok Newsroom)
  • Instagram is important to 68% of marketers for influencer marketing initiatives, down from 80% last year. (Influencer Marketing Hub)
  • 37% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a mobile-optimized site. (Website Builder)

Video Marketing

Video marketing is growing because it captivates the audiences’ emotions and stimulates the consumers’ psyche with effective storytelling. 

If you want to invest your time and energy in video marketing, here are some of its important statistics:

  • 96% of users watch explainer videos to learn more about a product or service. (Wyzowl)
  • 59% of executives would rather watch a video than read texts. (Forbes)
  • About 70% of millennials often watch company videos when shopping online. (Animoto)
  • 76% of millennials follow brands on YouTube. (Animoto)
  • YouTube content creators (such as reaction videos, instructional films, and anything of public interest) thrived during the pandemic. (Adobo Magazine)
  • Short-form video marketing will be more prevalent than ever before, with more than 70% of marketers utilizing it. (ReelnReel)
  • Marketers that utilize video generate revenue 49% quicker than those who do not. (WordStream)
  • Companies produce a wide variety of videos. 42% prefer live-action videos, 33% prefer animated videos, and 15% prefer screen recorded videos. (Wyzowl)
  • 60% of YouTube videos are watched on mobile devices. (Inc.)
  • 88% of people would like to see more videos from brands in 2022. (Wyzowl)

If you’re looking to Pay Per Click advertising for your business this year, here are some statistics you might want to keep in mind:

  • 59.7% of search users can’t tell the difference between paid and organic search results. (Varn)
  • Over 50% of paid ad clicks come from mobile. (Web FX)
  • Google, Facebook, and Amazon hold a 64% share of total ad spending. (eMarketer)
  • 33% of search users click on paid ads because they directly answer their search query. (Clutch)
  • Over 90% of mobile search users will likely click on the first two or three search results. (Search Engine Land)
  • 42.7% of internet users around the world use ad blockers. (Backlinko)
  • The top three ads at the top of the first search engine results page get all the clicks at 40%. (Techjury)

User-Generated Content

Many customers turn to user-generated content (UGC) in the form of peer reviews and recommendations before they make a purchase from brands.

  • 92% of consumers around the world trust the reviews and recommendations from friends and family over advertising. (Nielsen)
  • 86% of companies use UGC in their marketing strategy to make them trustworthy.
  • 78% of millennials say they prefer customer photos over professional photos shared by a brand. (Social Media Week)
  • 57% of marketers say their biggest concern when it comes to UGC use is copyright issues. (Social Media Week)
  • 60% of consumers would love brands to tell them what type of UGC to use and create. (State of User-Generated Content)

Source: Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey in 2021

  • 77% of shoppers are more likely to buy from brands that provide a personalized shopping experience. (State of User-Generated Content)
  • 64% of users have used a hashtag or tagged a brand on their social media. 
  • Emails that contain user-generated content increase click-through rates up to 73%. (Salesforce)
  • 48% of customers discover new products through user-generated content on social media feeds. (Taggbox)
  • 78% of Millennials find a photo and video user-generated content extremely helpful when it comes to their purchasing decisions. (BusinessWire)

Metaverse statistics

Metaverse is a shared virtual environment in which users interact via avatars. In other words, it merges reality with the virtual world. Some data you might need to take note of:

  • Metaverse is a network of virtual worlds in 3D that people can connect through Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Some AR and VR games include Minecraft, Roblox, Pokemon, and Fortnite.
  • Virtual reality experts claim that the number of VR users in the US is 57.4 million, while the number of AR users are 90.9 million. (eMarketer)
  • Metaverse’s target audiences include young Millennial to Gen-Z professionals and C-level executives. (Statista)
  • 11.3% of the Metaverse demographics are men, and 8.3% are women. (Statista)
  • 35% of customers will do more shopping online if they can virtually try on a product. (BigCommerce)
  • Virtual influencers are computer-generated characters that have almost been trending at the same rate as real-life influencers. To date, Lilmiquela, a virtual influencer has 3 million followers on Instagram.
  • 35% of respondents have bought a product or service promoted by virtual influencers. (The Influencer Marketing Factory)
  • Many brands are taking virtual and augmented experiences outside mobile phones already. (Smart Brief)

Take a look at Pepsi’s bus-stop campaign on Talon’s YouTube channel:

Pepsi AR bus stop campaign screenshot

 

Cryptocurrency statistics

Do you want to understand the state of the cryptocurrency market? If you are a crypto enthusiast, here are some figures that you might find interesting to note this year:

  • Market segments for cryptocurrencies include banking, real estate, the stock market, and virtual currencies. Over $500 million of transactions took place in the stock market and the virtual currency sectors in 2019. (Facts and Factors)
  • Vietnam has the highest 28.6% adoption rate of cryptocurrency. (Finder)
  • Bitcoin has gained 136,260% between 2012 to May 2022. (Young and Invested)
  • The price of bitcoin went from $6,000 to $60,000 in 12 months after the pandemic hit in March 2020.
  • More than 14,000 posts related to cryptocurrency appear on Twitter every day. (Reuters)
  • The social media landscape will play a big role in driving traffic to crypto-driven ad content. (The Wise Marketer)
  • Almost 30% of US crypto owners had bought something online with their digital assets last March 2022. (eMarketer)
  • The industry with the highest 26.3% rate of BitPay acceptance is prepaid debit/gift cards. (Statista)
  • 67% of millennials (ages 24-35) like cryptocurrency so much that they prefer it over gold as an investment vehicle. (Finder)
  • In terms of energy use, Bitcoin mining consumes more than Argentina and slightly less than Norway. (BBC)

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing just keeps on growing and shows no signs of slowing down. Check out the numbers below:

  • As of 2021, the global influencer marketing market size is at $13.8 billion, growing 711.76% from $1.7 billion in 2016. (Statista)
  • 43% of respondents to a Statista survey in Brazil have bought products because of celebrity or influencer endorsement. China and India followed at 34% and 33% respectively. (Statista)
  • As of July 2021, 75% of internet users in the United Arab Emirates follow one or more social media influencers. This is closely followed by Indonesia and India at 73% and 71% respectively. (Statista)
  • There are between 3.2 million and 37.8 million influencers worldwide on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. (EarthWeb)
  • With 49% of sponsored Instagram posts coming from the United States in 2017, it is the world’s leading country for Instagram influencer marketing. (Statista)
  • With 12.71% of TikTok influencers coming from the United States in July 2020, the United States again leads in TikTok influencer marketing. (Statista)
  • Charli D’Amelio has the highest follower count at 140.6 million, followed by Khabane Lame at 138.1 million.
  • Brands spent $603.9 million on YouTube influencer marketing in 2021, with the top spenders being Honey, Express VPN, and GFuel. (Influencer Marketing Hub)
  • India is leading the charge with the biggest YouTube audience size of 467 million as of April 2022. (Statista)
  • 111 million subscribers make PewDiePie the top non-corporate YouTube account as of March 2022. (Statista)

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of online marketing in which businesses promote and sell products through third-party publishers. Here are the data you need to know:

  • Global affiliate marketing spending is forecasted to grow to approximately $13 billion this year and $15.7 billion by 2024. (Influencer Marketing Hub)
  • Affiliate marketing spending in the United States is projected to be at $8.2 billion this year, 2022. (Statista)
  • £627 million is projected to be spent on affiliate marketing in the United Kingdom this year. (Statista)
  • Mobile devices drive more than 50% of affiliate-referred traffic. (SaaS Scout)
  • A survey in 2016 by Rakuten found that 80% of advertisers and 84% of publishers had an affiliate program. (Rakuten)
  • Amazon Associates dominates the market with a 21.65% in market share. (Influencer Marketing Hub)
  • The United States is currently leading in Amazon Associates usage with 12,982 websites, closely followed by Germany with 12,595 websites. (SimilarTech)
  • The Amazon Associates website got 2.9 million visits in April 2022, 7.83% less than the 3.1 million in February and March of the same year. (Similarweb)
  • 48.61% of Amazon Associates website’s views came from the United States, with India trailing behind at 6.65% and Pakistan at 5.40%. (Similarweb)
  • The average affiliate link conversion is anywhere from 1% to 10%. (AffiliateWP)

Digital Marketing Trends in 2022 to Watch Out For

Consumer Data Privacy

Apple’s goal with the iOS 14 security update was to ask iPhone users whether they wanted their data collected or to track their browsing habits to help third-party apps display relevant ads.

This move done by Apple prompted many tech companies and Google to make similar changes when it comes to data privacy.

However, Google did say that its move won’t be disruptive; in essence, it will give existing companies at least two years to adapt to Android software’s forthcoming changes.

What this change means for you is that you will need to aim your efforts at persuading your customers in the form of more personalized experiences on their end.

Create genuine relationships with your customers by providing real value and identifying the optimal channel through which you can offer your product or service.

Zero-click searches

The zero-click search claim has created a slight divide between some webmasters and search industry practitioners.

According to Similarweb and Sparktoro, a zero-click result is a search result that does not generate a click-through to a website.

When people usually search for answers online, Google shows an instantaneous answer in the form of featured snippets, Knowledge Panel, and People also ask features.

While Similarweb and Sparktoro have provided well-thought-out research to support the claim, Google’s David Sullivan published a detailed post that overrule the zero-search clicks claim.

Sullivan said Similarweb’s report did not properly account for how people use Google search and that their report was misleading.

As a search industry practitioner myself, I only want to lay emphasis on building your online presence.

And to build your online presence, you still need a website.

If you want to show up on any of Google’s featured snippets, the Knowledge Panel, and People also ask, you need to optimize your website.

 

And lastly, your ultimate goal is to provide the most relevant content to your web visitors, and to Google.

Want to optimize your website and make your content relevant to people and to Google? Read: Technical SEO: The Complete Guide for Advanced Users (with Checklist)

Short-form videos

In 2013, Vine rose to popularity as its users were allowed to create entertaining 6-second short-form videos. Not long after, many social networks found short-form video content’s potential to captivate their users, including musical.ly (now TikTok).

Short-form videos have become a crucial part of many social media channels and can be created, posted, and viewed across most platforms by 2016.

Furthermore, short-form videos have played a significant role to gain brand exposure and build customer loyalty.

For brands, posting their recent post on Instagram and Facebook stories can help them reach and engage their customers.

Online gamers are showcasing their expertise in playing specific games by streaming live videos. Streaming live videos attract their audience to buy and play the game.

Even small home-based businesses now do live-selling on different social media and e-comm platforms to interact with their customers.

When considering short-form videos, aim for authenticity. Find and gather data and analytics that will help you create campaigns effectively.

Seamless omnichannel experience

If your business provides consistent and seamless experience to your customers, you’re on the right track. Interacting with your customers across multiple channels has now become the norm.

Customers have now become digital-savvy, so it’s no surprise if they’re looking for seamless shopping experience online. A report done by McKinsey showed that 60 – 70% of consumers are shopping the omnichannel way, with Instagram and Facebook acting as the virtual window shopping platform.

Positive impacts of an integrated omnichannel experience include enhanced customer experiences and higher levels of engagement.

Key Takeaway

I rounded up these digital marketing statistics and trends with the aim of helping out small and medium-sized businesses to either jumpstart or improve their marketing efforts and strategies this 2022.

While this guide required great effort, I enjoyed and learned a lot from it at the same time.

If you have any questions or suggestions on how we can make this guide more all-inclusive, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

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The Challenges & Opportunities For Marketers

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The Challenges & Opportunities For Marketers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Does This Mean For Marketing Professionals?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Featured Image: Sergio Photone/Shutterstock

Source: Alphabet



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How to Use WordPress in 9 Simple Steps (Beginner’s Guide)

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How to Use WordPress in 9 Simple Steps (Beginner’s Guide)

WordPress is the world’s largest content management system (CMS)—around 810 million websites are built on it.

It’s free to use and includes all the features any website owner could need. And if it doesn’t have a feature you want or need, you can have a developer create it for you because it’s built on open-source software.

But with all of these features come some complications. WordPress has a fairly steep learning curve compared to other CMSes like Wix or Squarespace.

I’ve built dozens of websites using WordPress.org (not WordPress.com, which is a totally different beast) and have narrowed down the process to nine simple steps that anyone can follow.

Let’s start with…

Step 1. Get a domain name and hosting

Every website built on WordPress.org needs a domain name (www.thisisyourdomainname.com) and a hosting service that stores and displays your website on the internet.

You can buy a domain name for a small fee from a domain name registrar like NameCheap or GoDaddy. However, if you buy your domain name and your hosting from separate companies, you will need to change your website’s Domain Nameservers (DNS) to point your domain name from your registrar to your hosting company.

They look like this:

SiteGround DNS settings example

It’s a little cheaper to do it this way but not worth the hassle in my opinion. Instead, most hosting providers (such as SiteGround or Bluehost) can also sell you a domain name and connect it with your website automatically, allowing you to skip messing with DNS settings.

You can check out this guide to choosing a domain name if you’re not sure what to pick.

Step 2. Install WordPress

Once you purchase hosting, most hosting providers have a one-click install to set up WordPress on your website. Here are some links to guides on how to do this with common hosting services:

You can also opt for a faster (but more expensive) dedicated hosting provider like Kinsta or WP Engine. These companies will set up WordPress for you when you buy their hosting.

Step 3. Familiarize yourself with the UI

Now that you have a website with WordPress installed, let’s get into how to use WordPress. You can log in to your WordPress dashboard by going to www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin.

Once you log in, your dashboard will look like this (with fewer plugins since you’re on a fresh install):

WordPress user interface

Let me explain the options here:

  • Posts: This is where you’ll create blog posts.
  • Media: You can go here to see all the media on your site, such as images and videos. I typically upload media directly to my posts and pages and don’t visit media often.
  • Pages: This is where you’ll create static pages on your site, such as your homepage, about page, and contact page.
  • Comments: Here is where you’ll moderate any blog comments.
  • Appearance: This is where you’ll customize the appearance of your website, such as your website’s theme, font type, colors, and more.
  • Plugins: A plugin is an add-on to your website that adds functionality, such as custom contact forms or pop-ups on your website. I’ll discuss these in more detail later.
  • Users: Here is where you can add users to your website, such as writers, editors, and administrators.
  • Settings: Pretty straightforward; here is where your general website settings are located.

Now that you know what each option does, let’s get your website settings dialed in.

Step 4. Optimize your settings

Your WordPress website comes with some generic settings that need to be changed, as well as some things I recommend changing to optimize your website for search engines.

Specifically, you should:

  • Change your title, tagline, time zone, and favicon.
  • Change your permalink structure.
  • Configure your reading settings.
  • Delete any unused themes.
  • Change your domain from HTTP to HTTPS.

Let’s walk through each of these steps.

Change your title, tagline, time zone, and favicon

Head to Settings > General to find these settings. Change the title of your website and the tagline, which can appear underneath the title if you choose to display it.

Next, check that the time zone is correct (according to your local time zone) and upload your favicon. A favicon is the little icon that shows up in browser tabs next to the title of the page, like this:

Examples of favicons

You can make a favicon for free with Canva. Just make a 50×50 design with whatever you want your favicon to look like. Check out this guide to learn more. 

Change your permalink structure

Head to Settings > Permalinks. A permalink is the URL structure your blog posts take when you publish them. By default, WordPress displays the date in your URLs, which isn’t great for SEO or readability.

WordPress permalink structure settings

I always change this to the “Post name” option (/sample-post/) to add the title of the post by default. You want to optimize all of your URLs individually when possible, but this setting will make the process easier.

Configure your reading settings

Head over to Settings > Reading to choose whether you want your homepage to be a static page or if you want it to be a feed of your latest blog posts. 

WordPress homepage display settings

Personally, I always create a unique static page to use as my homepage because it gives me more control over the homepage. I like to add internal links to specific pages to help them rank higher on Google, as well as add an email opt-in form on the homepage.

Check out this guide to homepage SEO to learn more.

Delete any unused themes 

By default, you have a few themes installed. Once you choose a theme in step #5 below, you should delete any unused themes to remove vulnerabilities from your site (hackers can attack WordPress websites with outdated themes).

To do that, go to Appearance > Themes, click on the unused theme, then click the red Delete button in the bottom right.

How to delete unused themes on WordPress

Change your domain from HTTP to HTTPS

The “S” in HTTPS stands for secure. Adding this is done with an SSL certificate, and it’s an important step. It means your website is encrypted and safer for viewers.

Having HTTPS instead of HTTP gives you the “lock” icon next to your URL—Google (and most internet users) wants to see a secure website.

HTTPS secure "lock" icon

Most hosting providers automatically activate the secure version of your website. But sometimes, it needs to be manually activated by you. Here are guides on how to do this with common hosting providers:

If your host isn’t shown here, just do a Google search for “[your host] SSL encryption.”

Step 5. Select and customize your theme

Once you’ve optimized your settings, it’s time to start actually building your website using a WordPress theme. A theme is a customizable template that determines what your website looks like. 

You can browse for themes by going to Appearance > Themes, then clicking the Add new button at the top of the page. 

WordPress theme page

The generic Twenty Twenty-Three theme is actually pretty good. Most WordPress themes these days are optimized to show up in search engines and for requirements of the modern user, such as being mobile-friendly. 

However, some themes have a lot of added bloat that can slow a website down, so choose a theme that only has the features you need without extras you won’t use.

Alternatively, if you don’t like any themes or want something that’s more drag-and-drop, you can use a website builder like Elementor or Thrive Architect. These tools make building a website extremely easy, but they do add bloat that can slow a website down.

I use Elementor to build my websites but only use it to build static pages that I want to convert well. Then I use the built-in Guttenberg editor for my blog posts.

If you decide to go with a regular theme rather than a theme builder, you can edit the theme by going to Appearance > Customize. You’ll be taken to the following editor:

WordPress theme customization options

Depending on the theme you installed, you may have more or fewer options than the screenshot above. Rather than trying to cover every option you may encounter, I’ll just recommend that you go through each option to see what it does. 

For the most part, the options are self-explanatory. If you hit a snag, you can always do a Google search for that option in your theme to see forum posts from other users or even the theme’s FAQ or manual.

Step 6. Build your basic pages

After you’ve selected a theme, you can start building your website’s pages. Every website typically needs at least the following pages:

  • A homepage
  • A contact page
  • An about page
  • A privacy policy page
  • A terms of service page

Rather than going through how you should create each of these pages, I’ll refer you to the following guides:

Keep in mind that your privacy policy and terms of service (ToS) pages will vary depending on the country you live in. If you’re in the U.S., you can follow this guide for privacy policies and this guide for ToS pages.

That said, there are some general tips you should follow when building any page on your website. In general, make sure that your font is easy to read and a good visible size (18–20px is typical), your colors match, and you avoid too much clutter.

Here’s a good example of a webpage that is clean, legible, and thought out:

Ahrefs about page example

Here’s an example of a webpage that has too much clutter and displays an ad over half the page, causing confusion:

CNN poor website design

In general, less is more and legibility is better than fancy fonts.

Step 7. Install these essential plugins

One of the best parts of using WordPress is access to its massive library of plugins

A plugin is a custom piece of code written by a developer that anyone can install on their WordPress website in order to add specific functionality to the site, such as a contact form, extra customization options, or SEO features.

You can install a new plugin one of two ways. Head over to Plugins > Add New. From here, you can either:

  1. Browse the plugins directly on this page, then install and activate them directly.
  2. Download a plugin .zip file from the plugin’s website, then click the Upload plugin button at the top of the screen and upload the .zip file.
How to upload a plugin to your WordPress website

While many plugins are free, some are paid or have a premium paid version. It depends on what you need. However, I always install the following free plugins on my websites:

Rank Math: This plugin makes basic on-page SEO easier. It tells you if you’re missing basic things like metadata, image alt text, and more. It also allows you to create a robots.txt file and a sitemap, which are important for search engines to crawl your website the way you want.

Wordfence: This is a security plugin to help prevent your website from being hacked. I always install some sort of security plugin on my sites.

Insert Headers and Footers: One of the things you’ll often find yourself needing to do is insert code into the header or footer of your pages. You need to do this for everything from setting up Google Analytics and Google Search Console to adding the Facebook Remarketing pixel and more. Having this plugin makes it much easier to add this code.

Keep in mind that installing a lot of plugins on your website can cause code bloat and slow down your loading speeds, so only install plugins that you really need. 

Step 8. Start creating content

Now you know all the basics of how to use WordPress. But another important thing I want to talk about, which is probably why you wanted to start a WordPress website in the first place—how to create content for your blog.

Writing blog posts is an essential part of showing up on search engines like Google, having something to share on social media, and attracting more visitors to your website.

What you write about depends on your goals. I always start with some basic keyword research to figure out what people are searching for on Google that relates to my website.

A quick and easy way to do this is by plugging a broad keyword into Ahrefs’ free keyword generator tool to get some keyword ideas. 

For example, if I’m starting a website about farming, I may type “farm” into the tool. I can see keyword ideas like “farming insurance” and “vertical farming,” which are two potential blog topics I can write about.

Keyword ideas for farming, via Ahrefs' free keyword generator tool

If I want to get a little more specific, I can try a keyword like “how to start a farm.” This gives me ideas like “how to start a farm with no money” and “how to start a farm in texas.”

Keyword ideas for "how to start a farm," via Ahrefs' free keyword generator tool

Try different seed keywords—both broad keywords and more specific ones—to come up with some blog topics. Once you have a few ideas, go ahead and outline the article and then write it and publish it.

Check out our guide to writing a blog post to learn more.

Step 9. Monitor your website for technical issues

A regular part of maintaining your WordPress website is keeping plugins and themes up to date, as well as monitoring your website’s technical health.

WordPress automatically notifies you of updates to your plugins or themes with a red circle next to Dashboard > Updates. Log in to your dashboard at least once a week to update everything.

WordPress updates dashboard

Beyond weekly updates, use the free Ahrefs Webmaster Tools to run a technical audit on your site and see any issues your site may have, such as broken links, missing metadata, or slow loading speeds. 

Ahrefs website audit overview, via AWT

If you click the All issues tab, you can see every issue your site has—with an overview of what the issue is and how to fix it if you click on the ? icon.

All issues report, via AWT

You’ll also get email alerts when anything on your site changes, such as a link breaking or a page returning a 404 code. It’s a helpful tool to automatically monitor your WordPress site.

Final thoughts

Congratulations, you now know the basics of using WordPress. It may have a large learning curve, but learning how to use this CMS is one of the most valuable skills you can have in today’s digital age.

You can use your WordPress website to make money blogging, promote your services as a freelancer, or even sell products online. Knowing how to build a website is almost mandatory these days for anyone who wants to start a business.

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Top 5 Essential SEO Reporting Tools For Agencies

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Top 5 Essential SEO Reporting Tools For Agencies

Your clients trust you to create real results and hit KPIs that drive their businesses forward.

Understanding the intricacies of how that works can be difficult, so it’s essential to demonstrate your progress and efforts.

SEO reporting software showcases important metrics in a digestible and visually represented way. They save guesswork and manual referencing, highlighting achievements over a specified time.

A great tool can also help you formulate action items, gauge the performance of campaigns, and see real results that can help you create new and innovative evaluations.

The latest and allegedly greatest tools hit the market all the time, promising to transform how you conduct reports.

Certainly, you have to weigh a few factors when deciding which software to implement. Price, features, and ease of use are the most important to consider.

A cost-effective tool with a steep learning curve might not be worth it for the features. Similarly, an expensive tool might be more appealing if it is user-friendly but could quickly run up costs.

Just like any transformational business decision, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons carefully to determine the right one for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Cost, accessibility, and features are the common thread of comparison for SEO reporting tools.
  • To truly get the best use out of an SEO reporting tool for your agency, you’ll need to weigh several details, including scalability, customization, integrations, and access to support.
  • What might be considered a subpar tool could be a game-changer for an agency. Due diligence and research are the keys to knowing what will work for your team.

What To Look For In SEO Reporting Tools

It can be tough to make heads or tails of the available tools and choose which will benefit your agency the most.

Here are the 10 essential requirements of SEO reporting tools.

1. Accurate And Current Regional Data

SEO reporting is all about data. The software must have access to accurate and current data localized to your client’s targeted region.

Search data from the U.S. is meaningless if your client tries to rank for [London plumbing services], so localization matters.

The tool must update data regularly and with reliable accuracy so you can make informed decisions about where your client stands against the competition.

2. Integration With Third-Party Tools

Especially for full-scale digital marketing campaigns, the ability to report on all KPIs in one place is essential.

The more available integrations with third-party tools (e.g., Google Analytics, Google Business Profile, Majestic), the better.

Some tools even allow you to upload custom data sets.

3. Scalability

You don’t want to have to retrain or reinvest in new software every time your agency reaches a new tier.

The right SEO reporting tool should work well for your current business size and leave room for expansion as you onboard more clients.

4. Strong Suite Of Features

A great SEO reporting tool should include:

  • Position tracking.
  • Backlink monitoring.
  • Competitor data.
  • Analytics.

It is a bonus if the tool has reporting features for social media, email marketing, call tracking, and/or paid ads to make it a full-suite digital marketing software.

5. Continually Improving And Updating Features

SEO is constantly evolving, and so should SEO reporting tools.

As we continue the transition from website optimization to web presence optimization, a tool’s ability to integrate new features is essential.

6. Ability To Customize Reports

Each client will have different KPIs, objectives, and priorities.

Presenting the information that clients want to see is paramount to successful campaigns and retention.

Your reporting software of choice should be able to emphasize the correct data at the right times.

7. Client Integration

A good SEO reporting tool must have the client in mind.

It should have a simple bird’s eye overview of the basics but also be easy for clients to dig into the data at a deeper level.

This can mean automated summary reports or 24/7 client access to the dashboard.

8. Ability To White Label Reports

While white labeling is not essential (no client will sniff at receiving a report with a Google logo in the top corner), it helps keep branding consistent and gives a professional sheen to everything you send a client’s way.

9. Access To Support Resources

Quality support resources can help you find a detour when you encounter a roadblock.

Whether it’s detailed support documentation, a chat feature/support desk, or responsive customer support on social media, finding the help you need to solve the issue is important.

10. Cost-To-Value Ratio

With a proper process, time investment, and leveraging support resources, it is possible to get better results from a free reporting tool than one that breaks the bank.

This can mean automated summary reports or 24/7 client access to the dashboard.

Top 5 SEO Reporting Tools

In evaluating five of the most popular SEO reporting tools, based on the above criteria, here is how they stack up:

1. AgencyAnalytics

My Overall Rating: 4.7/5

Image credit: AgencyAnalytics, December 2022

AgencyAnalytics is a quality introductory/intermediate reporting tool for agencies.

Among the tools on this list, it is one of the easiest to use for small to mid-sized agencies.

It starts at $12 per month, per client, with unlimited staff and client logins, a white-label dashboard, and automated branded reports. The minimum purchase requirements mean the first two tiers work out to $60 per month and $180 per month, respectively. But your ability to change the payment based on the number of clients could help keep costs lean.

AgencyAnalytics comes with 70+ supported third-party data integrations.

However, this reliance on third-party data means you may have incomplete reports when there is an interruption in the transmission.

Though new integrations are always being added, they can be glitchy at first, making them unreliable to share with clients until stabilized.

With the ability for clients to log in and view daily data updates, it provides real-time transparency.

Automated reports can be customized, and the drag-and-drop customized dashboard makes it easy to emphasize priority KPIs.

2. SE Ranking

My Overall Rating: 4.5/5

SE Ranking has plans starting at $39.20 per month, although the $87.20 per month plan is necessary if you need historical data or more than 10 projects.

Setup is a breeze, as the on-screen tutorial guides you through the process.

SE Ranking features a strong collection of SEO-related tools, including current and historical position tracking, competitor SEO research, keyword suggestion, a backlink explorer, and more.

SE Ranking is hooked up with Zapier, which allows users to integrate thousands of apps and provide a high level of automation between apps like Klipfolio, Salesforce, HubSpot, and Google Apps.

SE Ranking is an effective SEO reporting tool at a beginner to intermediate level.

However, you may want to look in a different direction if your agency requires more technical implementations or advanced customization.

3. Semrush

My Overall Rating: 4.4/5

Semrush is one of the most SEO-focused reporting tools on the list, which is reflected in its features.

Starting at $229.95 per month for the agency package, it’s one of the more expensive tools on the list. But Semrush provides a full suite of tools that can be learned at an intermediate level.

A major downside of Semrush, especially for cost-conscious agencies, is that an account comes with only one user login.

Having to purchase individual licenses for each SEO analyst or account manager adds up quickly, and the users you can add are limited by the plan features. This makes scalability an issue.

Semrush has both branded and white-label reports, depending on your subscription level. It uses a proprietary data stream, tracking more than 800 million keywords.

The ever-expanding “projects” feature covers everything from position tracking to backlink monitoring and social media analysis.

Though it doesn’t fall specifically under the scope of SEO reporting, Semrush’s innovation makes it a one-stop shop for many agencies.

Project features include Ad Builder, which helps craft compelling ad text for Google Ads, and Social Media Poster, which allows agencies to schedule client social posts.

Combining such diverse features under the Semrush umbrella offsets its relatively high cost, especially if you can cancel other redundant software.

4. Looker Studio

My Overall Rating: 3.6/5

Looker StudioScreenshot from Looker Studio, December 2022

Formerly known as Google Data Studio, Looker Studio is a Google service that has grown considerably since its initial launch.

Though it is much more technical and requires more time investment to set up than most other tools on this list, it should be intuitive for staff familiar with Google Analytics.

If you’re on the fence, Looker Studio is completely free.

A major upside to this software is superior integration with other Google properties like Analytics, Search Console, Ads, and YouTube.

Like other reporting tools, it also allows third-party data integration, but the ability to query data from databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Google’s Cloud SQL, sets it apart.

You can customize reports with important KPIs with proper setup, pulling from lead and customer information. For eCommerce clients, you can even integrate sales data.

Though the initial setup will be much more technical, the ability to import templates saves time and effort.

You can also create your own templates that better reflect your processes and can be shared across clients. Google also has introductory video walk-throughs to help you get started.

5. Authority Labs

My Overall Rating: 3.2/5

Authority Labs Ranking ReportImage credit: Authority Labs, December 2022

Authority Labs does the job if you’re looking for a straightforward position-tracking tool.

Authority Labs is $49 per month for unlimited users, though you will need to upgrade to the $99 per month plan for white-label reporting.

You can track regional ranking data, get insights into “(not provided)” keywords, track competitor keywords, and schedule automated reporting.

However, lacking other essential features like backlink monitoring or analytic data means you will have to supplement this tool to provide a full SEO reporting picture for clients.

Conclusion

There are many quality SEO reporting tools on the market. What makes them valuable depends on their ability to work for your clients’ needs.

SE Ranking has a fantastic cost-to-value ratio, while Looker Studio has advanced reporting capabilities if you can withstand a higher barrier to entry.

Agency Analytics prioritizes client access, which is a big deal if transparency is a core value for your agency.

Authority Labs keeps it lean and clean, while Semrush always adds innovative features.

These five are simply a snapshot of what is available. There are new and emerging tools that might have some features more appealing to your current clients or fill gaps that other software creates despite being a great solution.

Ultimately, you need to consider what matters most to your agency. Is it:

  • Feature depth?
  • Scalability?
  • Cost-to-value ratio?

Once you weigh the factors that matter most for your agency, you can find the right SEO reporting tool. In the meantime, don’t shy away from testing out a few for a trial period.

If you don’t want to sign up for a full month’s usage, you can also explore walkthrough videos and reviews from current users. The most informed decision requires an understanding of the intricate details.


Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal



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