Connect with us

SEO

How To Do A Complete Local SEO Audit: 10-Point Checklist

Published

on

How To Do A Complete Local SEO Audit: 10-Point Checklist

At its core, SEO is a multi-faceted keyword, content, and competitive analysis exercise.

Local SEO, by extension, includes several specific tasks geared to establishing the relevance and authority of a business within a targeted geographic area.

Even before you can convince a local consumer your search result is the best answer, you must it prove to the search engines and earn a high enough ranking to get in the running.

Search engines like Google reference many different data points to determine who gets top billing in organic search engine results, featured snippets, maps, local packs, image, video, or other SERP features.

How can you identify and prioritize optimizations with the greatest potential to deliver converting traffic to your website and your door?

In this column, we’ll walk through an evaluation of each key facet of your local search presence and uncover your best opportunities to improve search rankings.

What does a comprehensive local SEO audit checklist entail?

  1. Keywords/SERPs.
  2. Website.
  3. Google Business Profile.
  4. Review management.
  5. Local business listings and citations.
  6. Local content.
  7. Google Search Console.
  8. Analytics.
  9. Backlinks.
  10. Competitor analysis.

These tasks are listed in typical order of completion during a full audit, but some can be accomplished concurrently.

1. Keyword/SERP Audit

The natural place to start a local SEO audit is in SERPs for the keywords and phrases you are hoping your business will be found for, in order to identify where you stand relative to your competitors and other websites/content.

This research can help you quickly identify where you have established some level of authority/momentum to build on, as well as keywords upon which you should not waste your time and effort.

SEO is a long-term strategy so no keyword should be summarily dismissed. Even so, it’s generally best to focus on those keywords you realistically have a chance to rank and drive traffic for.

You may determine some keywords are better pursued in the short term via a paid Google Ads strategy until you are able to build up your local organic authority.

There are several excellent SEO and keyword research tools available to automate the process of gathering search results for specific or topical groups of keywords and assigning value to keywords based on metrics such as search volume or keyword difficulty.

Ideally, you’ll choose a tool that will break down the different types of search features, so you can understand whether you or a competitor has secured any of this search real estate and then devise strategies or tactics to proceed accordingly.

Alternatively, you can conduct your own searches manually. In that case, do so in an Incognito Window in Google Chrome or Private Window in Safari to remove potential bias/personalization tied to your Google login, location, or personal search history.

Most automation tools have processes in place to do the same.

For those businesses also running PPC campaigns, close attention should be paid to the keywords and search terms working there.

It’s likely that top-performing PPC keywords will also be top performers from an SEO perspective.

SEO and PPC should complement each other for optimal results.

Different people search in different ways and it’s important to not limit your research to single keywords, but rather account for the various ways and phrases your audience may use to try to find you or your offerings.

Your keyword analysis and the resulting content you create should address the intent of searchers, which will vary depending on where they are in the buying cycle.

Some are just beginning their search for a product or service and are simply looking for information e.g. “Where can I find x?”, while others are ready to buy now e.g. “Order x near me.”

A broader keyword view will provide a better picture of the overall strength of your presence and where to best focus your attention.

2. Website Audit

With your focused keyword data in hand, you can now conduct a full keyword and technical website audit to ensure your site is optimized for maximum crawlability, indexability, and visibility.

A typical audit is designed to analyze the underlying structure, content, and overall site experience.

Here again, there are many site auditing tools that will crawl a  website and then identify issues and prioritize actions to be taken based on SEO best practices.

A website audit and optimization can be broken down into several buckets.

Page Optimization

Web page optimization is all about ensuring pages are well structured, focused around topical keywords and provide a positive user experience.

As a search engine crawls a web page it looks for signals to determine what the page is about and what questions it can answer.

These crawlers analyze the entire page to determine its focus but specifically focus on Page Titles and Headings as primary descriptors.

Ideally, pages are keyword-focused and unique.

As such, keyword variations should be used consistently in Titles, URLs, Headings, and meta descriptions.

Google, and the other search engines, appreciate well-structured pages and will grab or create the components they need to construct a search engine result similar to the one below for “breakfast in Barrie.”

Note how the keyword “breakfast” is highlighted in the meta description.

Screenshot from search for [breakfast in Barrie], Google, February 2022

 Specifically, an audit will highlight issues related to:

  • Missing Title tags, or those that are too long (60 characters max) or duplicated.
  • Headings (particularly H1s) that are missing or duplicated.
  • Meta descriptions that are missing, too long (160 characters max), or duplicated.

Another important potential tag issue raised in an audit, depending on the nature of your local business, is image alt text.

As a best practice, all images should include relevant descriptive filenames and alt text, which may include pertinent keywords.

This becomes particularly important when images (e.g. product or service photos) are central to your business, as image carousels can and will show up in Web search results.

In every case, attention should be paid to the images appearing on your primary ranking pages.

Internal Link Audit

Over time, the various links within a website can become stale or outdated as content is moved or deleted.

A link audit will help you quickly identify any potential misdirected or broken links, which can create a less than optimal experience for your site visitors.

Links are likewise signals the search engines use to determine the flow of a website and its ability to direct searchers to appropriate, authoritative answers to their questions.

Part of this audit should include the identification of opportunities to crosslink prominent pages.

For example, if a page within your site has keywords that reference content on another page a link may be created.

This can have the effect of boosting both pages, provided the link logically guides users to more relevant content or an appropriate conversion point.

External links should also be considered, especially when there is an opportunity to link to an authoritative source of information.

From a local business perspective, this may include linking to relevant local organizations or events.

Pro tip: These links should ideally be opened in new browser windows, so your site visitors are able to continue on your site after they have explored any external links.

Schema Review

Featured snippets are increasingly superseding traditional organic search results in Google, as the search engine aims to provide the answers to questions directly within its SERPs.

Local businesses have an opportunity to have their content highlighted as featured snippets if they:

  • Publish highly authoritative and relevant content.
  • Use structured schema markup to tag content such as their local business details, products, events, FAQs.

An effective local SEO audit should include the identification of content within a website to which schema can be applied.

Mobile Audit

As more consumers begin searching via their mobile devices – especially for local services – it naturally becomes important for local businesses to provide a positive mobile web experience.

It will, in turn, affect how they are viewed and ranked by the search engines.

In short, websites need to load quickly, be easily navigated, and enable seamless user interaction.

Google offers a range of free mobile testing and three mobile-specific monitoring tools (Page Experience, Core Web Vitals, Mobile Usability) in Google Search Console.

More on this toolset below.

More in-depth user experience and SEO analysis can be done via Google Lighthouse, though a local business owner will likely want to enlist the help of a web developer to action any of the recommendations this tool provides.

Duplicate Content

High-quality, authoritative content is, by definition, original content.

As such, it’s important to let Google know if your website contains any content/pages which you did not create, by adding a canonical tag to the HTML header of the page.

Not doing so can have a detrimental effect on your authority and, by extension, your ability to rank.

Most site auditing tools will flag content that requires or has malformed canonical tags.

3. Google Business Profile Audit

A Google Business Profile (GBP) effectively represents a secondary website and highly visible point of presence for most local businesses.

An accurate, comprehensive GBP is critical to establishing visibility in Google Maps and organic search results.

A Google Business Profile audit should focus on the accuracy and completeness of the various components within the profile including:

  • Business information and location details.
  • Correct primary business category.
  • Hours of operation.
  • Correct pin location in Google Maps.
  • Proper categorization as a physical location or service area business.
  • Products.
  • Services.
  • Photos.
  • Offers.
  • Updates.
  • Events.
  • Appointment link(s).
  • Informational content.

The more complete the profile is, the more likely it will be viewed as a reliable local resource and be given appropriate billing in the search results.

Assuming you have claimed and are authorized to manage your GBP, you can access and edit your info directly within the search results.

Google Business ProfileScreenshot from Google Business Profile, February 2022

4. Review Management

Another very important aspect of a GBP is reviews.

Local business customers have an opportunity and are increasingly willing to write reviews, which appear on the GBP for other customers to view and play a significant role in determining visibility in the local map pack.

Google will notify business owners as soon as reviews are submitted and they should be responded to ASAP. This goes for negative reviews just as much as positive ones.

However, we all get busy and so a complete audit should include an analysis of your reviews to ensure none have fallen through the cracks. This will also help determine whether there are recurring customer service and satisfaction issues or themes that need to be addressed.

Of course, there are also several other places for consumers to submit reviews including Facebook, local review sites like Yelp, and industry-specific sites such as TripAdvisor and Houzz.

A full audit should take inventory of reviews left on any of these services as they can show up in search results.

The search engines and savvy modern consumers will most certainly find them.

A quick way to discover what reviews you may have on lesser-known properties is to simply search “‘your business name’ reviews.”

Alternatively, here too there are several good software platforms designed to help business owners ask for and manage their reviews on GBP and other review sites.

Pro tip: Request positive reviews from all customers and politely suggest they reference the product or service they are reviewing, as this can have a positive effect from a keyword ranking perspective.

5. Local Business Listing/Citation Audit

Local business listings and citations provide search engines with a way of confirming a business are both local and reputable within a specific geographic region.

It is important to have a presence in reputable local directories, review sites, business directories (e.g. Chamber of Commerce), or local partner sites.

Depending on the size and scope of your local business an audit of your listings and citations can be done in an automated or manual fashion.

Business listings and citation management tools can be used to find, monitor and update all primary citations with your proper Name, Address, Phone Number (aka NAP), and other pertinent business details found in broader listings (e.g. website address, business description.)

If you manage a limited number of locations and have the time, one quick method of identifying where your current listings can be found is to simply conduct a search on your business name.

The first 3-4 pages of search results should reveal the same.

If the goal is to understand where you are missing listing and citation opportunities, you can conduct a search on the list of keywords you have researched and want to be found for.

The most valuable directories and listing sites will be those which appear in the search results for these keywords.

It’s also important that you find and resolve any duplicate listings to prevent confusing customers and search engines alike with outdated, inaccurate information.

6. Local Content Audit

As noted, people search differently and require different types of information depending on where they are in their buying journey.

A well-structured local web presence will include content tailored and distributed for consumption during each stage of this journey, to bolster visibility and awareness.

You want to be found throughout your customer’s search experience.

A content audit can be used to make sure you have content for each of the journey buckets your audience members may find themselves in.

Informational content may be distributed via social or other external channels or published on your website to help educate your consumers on the products, services, and differentiators you offer at the beginning of their path to purchase.

This content ideally answers your prospects’ why, how, and what type questions.

Transactional content is designed to address those consumers who already know what they want, but are in the process of deciding where or who to purchase from.

This type of content may include reviews, testimonials, or competitive comparisons.

Navigational content ensures when people click through from Google after having searched your brand name or a variation thereof, they land on a page or information validating your position as a leader in your space.

This page should also include a clear call to action with the assumption they have arrived with a specific goal in mind.

Commercial content addresses those consumers who have signaled a strong intent to buy.

Effective local business sites and social pages must include offers, coupons, discounts, and clear paths to purchase.

Quality content is content your audience wants to consume, like, and share. In 2022, for many businesses, this means considering and experimenting with content beyond text and images.

Video content shared via platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and others is easier to consume and generally more engaging.

YouTube videos, in particular, can be optimized and do appear within organic search results.

Keep in mind, each social network includes a search function and any content distributed here should incorporate targeted keywords and hashtags to enhance visibility.

Pro tip: Make it easy for your readers to like and share your content by including visible share buttons; a simple best practice missed by far too many website owners.

While social signals are not a search ranking factor, shared content has a higher chance of being linked to, which in turn can positively affect authority and organic visibility.

7. Google Search Console Review

Google Search Console is an invaluable free resource for data related to keyword and content performance, indexing, schema/rich results validation, mobile/desktop experience monitoring, and security/manual actions.

A complete local SEO audit must include a review and analysis of this data to identify and react to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats outlined in each section.

Website owners and managers will want to pay particular attention to any issues related to pages not being crawled/indexed or manual actions having been taken based on questionable practices, as both can have a detrimental effect on search engine visibility.

Google Search Console does send notifications for these types of issues as well as regular performance updates, but an audit will ensure nothing has been overlooked.

Google Search Console OverviewScreenshot from Google Search Console, February 2022

8. Analytics Review

Whether you are using Google Analytics or another site/visitor tracking solution, the data available here is useful during an audit to validate top and lesser-performing content, traffic sources, audience profiles, and paths to purchase.

Findings in analytics will be key to your content audit.

As you review your site analytics you may ask the following questions:

  • Are my top-visited pages also my top ranking pages in search engines?
  • Which are my top entry pages from organic search?
  • Which pages/content are not receiving the level of traffic or engagement desired?
  • What is the typical path to purchase on my site and can it be condensed or otherwise optimized?
  • Which domains are my top referrers and are there opportunities to further leverage these sites for backlinks? (see Backlink Audit below).

Use Google Analytics (or another tool of your choice) to find the answers to these questions so you can focus and prioritize your content and keyword optimization efforts.

9. Backlink Audit

Backlinks or inbound links are similar to citations but are effectively any links to your website pages from other third-party websites.

Links remain an important factor in determining the authority of a website as they lend validity if they come from relevant, reputable sources.

However, links from non-relevant or non-reputable sites can do more harm than good from an SEO perspective, and sometimes these links can be created without your knowledge.

It is therefore wise to conduct a backlink audit every six to twelve months depending on the size and scope of your website.

As with other components of an audit, there are several good free and paid backlink tools available, including a link monitoring service in Google Search Console, which is a great place to start.

Google Search Console LinksScreenshot from Google Search Console, February 2022

In terms of auditing linking domains, you should quickly determine if there are any you don’t recognize or those which appear non-reputable or irrelevant to your local business.

Depending on the source, nature of the link, and the content it links to, it may be necessary to inquire about having the link removed.

An effective backlink audit has the dual purpose of identifying and building links via potentially valuable backlink sources, which can positively affect your ranking and visibility.

For local businesses, reputable local sources of links are naturally beneficial in validating location.

Potential backlink sources can be researched in a variety of locations:

  • Free and paid backlink research tools such as Ahrefs, Semrush, or Majestic. Identify any domains where your primary competition has acquired backlinks, but you have not.
  • Any non-competitive sites appearing in the organic search results for your primary keywords are, by definition, good potential backlink sources. Look for directories you can be listed in, blogs or articles you can comment on or publications you can submit articles to.
  • Referral sources in Google Analytics may reveal domains where you already have links and may be able to acquire more.

10. Competitor Analysis

A comprehensive local SEO audit would not be complete without identifying and reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of your competition.

You may already have a good sense of who your competition is, but to begin it’s always a good idea to confirm who specifically shows up in the search results when you enter your target keywords.

These businesses/domains are your true competitors and the sites you can learn the most from.

A recent Google algorithm update appears to signal more emphasis is being placed on results tied to the immediate proximity of a business, which means the most attention should be paid to your closest high-ranking competitors.

If any of these competitors’ sites and/or pages are ranking ahead of yours, you’ll want to review what they may be doing to gain this advantage.

You can follow the same checklist of steps you would conduct for your own audit to identify how they may be optimizing their keywords, content, Google Business Profile, reviews, local business listings, or backlinks.

In general, the best way to outperform your competition is to provide a better overall experience online and off, which includes generating more relevant, high-quality content to address the questions your mutual customers have.

Prioritizing Your Action Items

A complete local SEO audit is going to produce a fairly significant list of action items.

Many of the aforementioned keyword, site, content, and backlink auditing tools do a good job of prioritizing tasks; however, the list can still be daunting.

One of the best places to start with an audit action plan is around the keywords and content you have already established some but not enough authority for.

These are your keywords, webpages, and content assets sitting on the cusp of prominence in the local organic search results and Map Packs.

Determine how to best address deficiencies or opportunities to optimize this content first before moving onto more competitive keywords or those you have less or no visibility for, as we all know, SEO is a long-term game.

These audit items and should be reviewed every 6-12 months, depending on the size and scale of your web presence, for the best chance at being found by your local target audience.

More resources:


Featured Image: Ribkhan/Shutterstock




Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

SEO

Google Announces Gemma: Laptop-Friendly Open Source AI

Published

on

By

Google Announces Gemma: Laptop-Friendly Open Source AI

Google released an open source large language model based on the technology used to create Gemini that is powerful yet lightweight, optimized to be used in environments with limited resources like on a laptop or cloud infrastructure.

Gemma can be used to create a chatbot, content generation tool and pretty much anything else that a language model can do. This is the tool that SEOs have been waiting for.

It is released in two versions, one with two billion parameters (2B) and another one with seven billion parameters (7B). The number of parameters indicates the model’s complexity and potential capability. Models with more parameters can achieve a better understanding of language and generate more sophisticated responses, but they also require more resources to train and run.

The purpose of releasing Gemma is to democratize access to state of the art Artificial Intelligence that is trained to be safe and responsible out of the box, with a toolkit to further optimize it for safety.

Gemma By DeepMind

The model is developed to be lightweight and efficient which makes it ideal for getting it into the hands of more end users.

Google’s official announcement noted the following key points:

  • “We’re releasing model weights in two sizes: Gemma 2B and Gemma 7B. Each size is released with pre-trained and instruction-tuned variants.
  • A new Responsible Generative AI Toolkit provides guidance and essential tools for creating safer AI applications with Gemma.
  • We’re providing toolchains for inference and supervised fine-tuning (SFT) across all major frameworks: JAX, PyTorch, and TensorFlow through native Keras 3.0.
  • Ready-to-use Colab and Kaggle notebooks, alongside integration with popular tools such as Hugging Face, MaxText, NVIDIA NeMo and TensorRT-LLM, make it easy to get started with Gemma.
  • Pre-trained and instruction-tuned Gemma models can run on your laptop, workstation, or Google Cloud with easy deployment on Vertex AI and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).
  • Optimization across multiple AI hardware platforms ensures industry-leading performance, including NVIDIA GPUs and Google Cloud TPUs.
  • Terms of use permit responsible commercial usage and distribution for all organizations, regardless of size.”

Analysis Of Gemma

According to an analysis by an Awni Hannun, a machine learning research scientist at Apple, Gemma is optimized to be highly efficient in a way that makes it suitable for use in low-resource environments.

Hannun observed that Gemma has a vocabulary of 250,000 (250k) tokens versus 32k for comparable models. The importance of that is that Gemma can recognize and process a wider variety of words, allowing it to handle tasks with complex language. His analysis suggests that this extensive vocabulary enhances the model’s versatility across different types of content. He also believes that it may help with math, code and other modalities.

It was also noted that the “embedding weights” are massive (750 million). The embedding weights are a reference to the parameters that help in mapping words to representations of their meanings and relationships.

An important feature he called out is that the embedding weights, which encode detailed information about word meanings and relationships, are used not just in processing input part but also in generating the model’s output. This sharing improves the efficiency of the model by allowing it to better leverage its understanding of language when producing text.

For end users, this means more accurate, relevant, and contextually appropriate responses (content) from the model, which improves its use in conetent generation as well as for chatbots and translations.

He tweeted:

“The vocab is massive compared to other open source models: 250K vs 32k for Mistral 7B

Maybe helps a lot with math / code / other modalities with a heavy tail of symbols.

Also the embedding weights are big (~750M params), so they get shared with the output head.”

In a follow-up tweet he also noted an optimization in training that translates into potentially more accurate and refined model responses, as it enables the model to learn and adapt more effectively during the training phase.

He tweeted:

“The RMS norm weight has a unit offset.

Instead of “x * weight” they do “x * (1 + weight)”.

I assume this is a training optimization. Usually the weight is initialized to 1 but likely they initialize close to 0. Similar to every other parameter.”

He followed up that there are more optimizations in data and training but that those two factors are what especially stood out.

Designed To Be Safe And Responsible

An important key feature is that it is designed from the ground up to be safe which makes it ideal for deploying for use. Training data was filtered to remove personal and sensitive information. Google also used reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF) to train the model for responsible behavior.

It was further debugged with manual re-teaming, automated testing and checked for capabilities for unwanted and dangerous activities.

Google also released a toolkit for helping end-users further improve safety:

“We’re also releasing a new Responsible Generative AI Toolkit together with Gemma to help developers and researchers prioritize building safe and responsible AI applications. The toolkit includes:

  • Safety classification: We provide a novel methodology for building robust safety classifiers with minimal examples.
  • Debugging: A model debugging tool helps you investigate Gemma’s behavior and address potential issues.
  • Guidance: You can access best practices for model builders based on Google’s experience in developing and deploying large language models.”

Read Google’s official announcement:

Gemma: Introducing new state-of-the-art open models

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Photo For Everything



Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

A Complete Guide to App Store Optimization (ASO)

Published

on

By

A Complete Guide to App Store Optimization (ASO)

A mobile strategy is critical to your business presence, considering the saturation of mobile devices.

This is where app store optimization (ASO) comes into play.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What is app store optimization?
  • How does app store optimization work?
  • How do you optimize for Google Play & Apple App Store?

Whether you are new to app store optimization or simply keen to refine your approach to ASO, this post shares practical insights that are proven to maximize app store success.

What Is App Store Optimization?

Downloads, usage, and in-app spending continue to rise, but many users prefer to use a select few apps more consistently.

Discoverability has never been harder, but the rewards of locking in loyal users are bigger than ever – so maximizing visibility in app stores is crucial.

App store optimization (ASO) describes the process of optimizing the listing pages for your mobile app in app stores like Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

You may come across alternative phrases like “app store marketing” or “mobile app SEO,” but they all refer to the same thing.

The goal is to maximize the visibility (and downloads) of your app for relevant searches – basically, SEO for your mobile app rather than your website.

In many ways, the optimization process for ASO is very similar to SEO; in others, not so much.

Ultimately, ASO aims to maximize app installs while product development works on monetization, engagement, retention, etc.

An effective app store optimization strategy keeps new users coming in while your development team (hopefully) keeps existing ones active and spending.

With the right retention rates, app store optimization acquires the new users you need to drive meaningful growth.

The goal of ASO is nearly always app downloads, but supplemental goals can include items such as:

  • Increased brand exposure.
  • Positive app reviews and ratings.
  • More frequent and increased volumes of app reviews.
  • Audience engagement.
  • Additional marketing channel diversification.

How Does App Store Optimization Work?

If you’re new to app store optimization, it might help to think of it as SEO for your mobile app.

Except, rather than optimizing a website to show in search engines, you’re optimizing your mobile app listings for the relevant app stores.

In this sense, you could argue ASO is more like optimizing a Google Business Profile to show in Maps and local results.

The other key difference is you’ve got two major mobile app stores to optimize for: Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

These aren’t the only two app stores worth considering, especially if you’re developing apps for other devices (TVs, games consoles, etc.), but they are the biggest – by far.

According to Statista insights from Q3 2022, here are the top three app stores based on the number of available apps:

  • Google Play: 3.55 million.
  • Apple App Store: 1.64 million.
  • Amazon Appstore: 0.48 million.

As a result, most ASO guides focus on optimizing app listings for Google Play and Apple App Store. Aside from being the top two platforms, the optimization process is a little different for each.

This is mostly due to each app store having its own algorithm – much like different search engines.

In practice, most app store algorithms are more alike than they are different. So, the basic principles of app store optimization apply to all of them. However, some stores may use the odd ranking signal that others don’t.

To keep this guide simple, we’ll start by running through the most common ranking signals for app stores, in general.

Then, we’ll take a closer look at Google Play and Apple App Store to see how they’re different.

Organic Optimization: Your ASO Foundation

The key ingredient missing from many ASO marketing delivery approaches is organic search optimization and integration of app stores within the broader organic marketing mix.

There is more overlap between ASO and SEO than direct competition between the two.

The integration of these areas, and the application of consistent focus on ASO, can support numerous search marketing gains.

You may be surprised to discover that many of the traditional search engine optimization tactics that work for search engine performance, such as Google and Bing, can also be directly applied to ASO.

Examples of this include:

  • App name, title, and URL optimization.
  • Keyword research for ASO.
  • App rating and reviews generation and handling.
  • Deep linking within mobile apps.
  • Indexation of Apps in Google search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Click-through rate (CTR) optimization.

The biggest marketing mistake, however, when it comes to integrating SEO and ASO is overlooking the role of the website in driving volumes of referral visits directly to your store page and app downloads section.

Your website should be seen as the driving force behind leading people throughout the information-seeking and buying funnel from your main online entity (your website) through to an engaged, ready-to-buy/download audience (your app store).

As content levels are limited within the app stores themselves, the more you can leverage your website content to increase app awareness and discovery to build external app authority and visibility, the greater the value, traffic, and downloads your app will receive.

The Most Important App Store Ranking Factors

Like search engines, app stores don’t reveal the details of their algorithms to the public.

That being said, the following seven ranking factors are key, functional components of all major app stores:

  • App name or title.
  • App descriptions (including keywords).
  • Installs.
  • Engagement.
  • In-app purchases and events.
  • User reviews.
  • Updates.

You can break these ranking factors into three categories: discovery, conversion, and validation.

Discovery signals help app stores connect your app with relevant searches. This includes your app name /title, description, keywords, and other contextual signals.

Conversion signals tell app stores that your listing compels users to download your app – a strong indicator that your listing should show for more relevant searches.

Finally, you’ve got validation signals (engagement, in-app purchases/events, reviews, reports/flags, etc.). These help app stores determine whether users get a positive experience after installing your app.

Positive validation signals (strong engagement, positive reviews, etc.) are an even stronger indicator that app stores should show your app to similar users.

What Do Users Want From An App Store Listing?

Optimizing your app listing for visibility is one thing; getting users to actually download your app is something else entirely.

The catch-22 here is that installs directly impact your ranking in app stores.

The more people install your app, the higher it should rank. This, in turn, should result in more installs, higher rankings once again – and so forth.

So, what are the key factors on your mobile app page that determine whether users hit the install button?

  • App icon: On most app stores, your app icon is the most visually prominent element on results pages and recommendation lists.
  • App details: This includes your app name/title and, usually, some short descriptive text explaining the purpose of your app.
  • App rating: Most platforms show the average rating/review score for your app in search results and at the top of your app listing page.
  • App description: With Google Play and the App Store, users can see a brief description on your listing page and they can click to see the full description – so that first sentence or two is crucial.
  • Visuals: This includes any feature images, screenshots, and demo videos that you can add to your listing, showcasing the key benefits and user experience of your app.
  • User reviews: Unless users are already familiar with your app, they’re probably going to browse through some reviews from existing users.

Here, you can see this in action.

Screenshot from Google Play, February 2024App Store Optimization Elements for ASO

Much like SEO, app store optimization is a careful balance of optimizing to maximize visibility in app stores while prioritizing the needs of your users.

Google Play Vs. App Store: Key Differences

Google Play and the App Store are more similar than different when it comes to app store optimization.

Firstly, the ranking factors are very similar, and the differences are mostly technical – for example, Google and Apple handle keywords differently.

Here’s a quick summary of the main ranking factors for Google Play and the App Store.

App Store Google Play
Listing Listing
App name App title
Subtitle Short description
Long description
Keywords (app name, keyword field) Keywords (all inputs), incl. keyword density
Ratings & reviews Ratings & reviews
Listing CTR Listing CTR
App performance App performance
Downloads Downloads
Engagement Engagement
Uninstall rate Uninstall rate
In-app purchases In-app purchases
Updates Updates

As you can see, there’s not much of a difference here – in fact, most of your time will be spent on things like specifications for icons, videos, and other assets for each app listing.

As a general rule, Apple is more strict with its developer guidelines and it’s usually harder to get an app approved for the App Store.

So, if you’re promoting iOS and Android apps, optimizing your listings for Apple’s guidelines will often satisfy both app stores while maintaining consistency and reducing workload.

Now, let’s take a closer look at app store optimization for Google Play and, then, the App Store.

App Store Optimization For Google Play

To give your app listing the best possible start, you’ll want to dedicate the most time to the following nine elements:

  • App title.
  • App category.
  • App descriptions.
  • App icon.
  • Feature graphic.
  • Screenshots.
  • Promo video.
  • App rating and reviews.
  • Google Play Android Vitals.

We’ll take a closer look at optimizing each of these elements, but always refer to official Google guidelines while managing app listings for Google Play.

App Title

Optimizing your app title for Google Play will feel familiar if you’re used to optimizing website titles for search.

You want to start with the product/branded name of your app and then include a brief description – in no more than a few words – using your primary keyword.

Google Play SearchScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024Google Play Search

You can use up to 30 characters in your app title, but try to keep it as short and punchy as possible.

Prioritize accuracy over keyword targeting and highlight the key benefits of using your app.

App Category

Selecting the right category for your app is essential for matching with relevant searches.

For example, let’s say you’re promoting a heart rate monitoring app. In this case, “Health and Fitness” is the most appropriate category.

Google Play example 2Screenshot from Google Play, February 2024Google Play example 2

When users specifically search for “heart rate monitor,” the keywords in your title are a stronger signal.

However, your app category can help your app show for more general searches like “health and fitness apps” or “productivity apps.”

Crucially, users can also browse categories in the Google Play store to discover new apps without searching.

Google Play Categories ExampleScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024Google Play Categories Example

For more info on selecting the right app category for Google Play, take a look at this Play Console Help page.

Short & Long Descriptions

In Google Play, your app listing includes two descriptions: A short description that shows under the About this app preview and a full description that users can reveal by clicking on the arrow highlighted below.

Google Play Descriptions - ExampleGoogle Play Descriptions - Example

You can use up to 80 characters for your short description and 4,000 characters for your full description.

In your short description, try to describe the core functionality of your app in the most compelling way possible.

Accuracy is key here, but you want to convince users to install your app – so highlight the most attractive benefits.

Your full description provides a more in-depth summary of what your app offers.

Remember that most people won’t click through to read the full description, and those who do are looking for information, not a sales pitch.

You’ll find Google’s official guidelines for creating app descriptions under the “App descriptions” section of this Play Console Help page.

App Icon

App icons show on the left side of search listings in Google Play and the top-right of app listing pages.

Google Play App Icon ExampleGoogle Play App Icon Example

These are the most prominent elements on app store results pages.

Ideally, you want an app icon that either visually describes the role of your app or leverages your brand image as a differentiator.

Designing a unique icon is more challenging if your app has a specific purpose and many competitors – e.g., a heart monitoring app.

Google Play example 3Google Play example 3

If this applies to your app, use design principles like contrast to make your listing stand out from other results.

Notice how Pulse App’s Heart Rate Monitor app stands out from the other listings above?

This is thanks to a combination of simple iconography with strong contrast, using a black background to stand out from the white Google Play results page.

Compare this to the REPS app, which uses similar iconography without a black background, and the Bodymatter app, which uses a black background but a more complex design.

Google Codelabs has an excellent tutorial on designing and previewing app icons. It includes best practices and tips for making an icon that stands out on results pages and the latest Android features, such as adaptive icons.

Feature Graphic And Promo Video

Feature graphics show on your app listing page and can also show for branded searches, paid ads, or recommendation sections on Google Play.

Until recently, you could only use images as featured graphics, but you can now use promo videos in their place.

Google Play Feature Screenshot from Google Play, February 2024Google Play Feature

This is one of the most visible assets on your Google Play listing, so use feature graphics to capture attention and showcase the best of your app.

Google suggests:

“Use graphics that convey app or game experiences, and highlight the core value proposition, relevant context, or story-telling elements if needed.”

You’ll find more guidance on creating feature graphics under the Preview assets section of this Play Console Help page.

App Screenshots

App screenshots show in the same horizontal panel as feature graphics on your app listing page.

They’re designed to showcase the best features of your apps while showing users what the in-app experience looks like.

Google Play Screenshot ExampleScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024Google Play Screenshot Example

You can include descriptive text in your screenshots to emphasize the key benefits of your app’s most important features.

Keep things descriptive, though.

Google prohibits the inclusion of performative or ranking text in screenshots, such as “app of the year” or “most popular…” and promotional information like “10% off” or “free account.”

If your app supports multiple languages, you’ll need to provide screenshots for each language version, including any translated descriptive text.

See the screenshots section of this Play Console Help page for more info.

App Ratings & Reviews

App ratings show prominently in results and at the top of the app listing pages in Google Play. Besides this, you’ve also got a prominent Ratings and reviews section as the largest element on your listing page.

Google Play Rating ReviewsScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024Google Play Rating Reviews

Aside from being a ranking factor, app ratings and reviews are one of the biggest trust factors that help users choose which apps to install.

You don’t need perfect review scores but a positive (3.5+ stars) is a great asset for rankings and installs.

Your review profile also allows users to view the feedback left by others – and how you respond. Once again, how you deal with user problems is often more important than the scores or feedback itself.

You’ll need a framework in place for generating regular reviews and replying to them, engaging with reviewers, and solving user issues.

Your replies are also visible, so avoid generic responses – show new, potential users how good you are at dealing with problems.

In fact, don’t take inspiration from Google’s own support team for Google One. Privacy is great, but the tone of the reply below is more dismissive than helpful, and the exact same response appears throughout replies.

Google Play Review ExampleScreenshot from Google Play, February 2024Google Play Review Example

This feedback can also help you develop a stronger product, and users often edit their reviews, following updates or resolved tickets.

Always remember: Long-term revenue is the goal, which starts with quality app experiences, engagement, and retention.

Google Play Android Vitals

Google provides an extensive toolkit for optimizing your mobile app. Its Android vitals initiative sets out the most important usability metrics that affect the visibility of your app on Google Play.

If you’re used to optimizing websites for search, this will sound a lot like Google’s Core Web Vitals.

The principle Android vitals is similar in terms of performance affecting your search ranking, but this is a far more extensive initiative than Core Web Vitals, as it stands.

Android vitals are broken into two key components:

Core vitals

All other vitals

To maximize the visibility of your app in Google Play, keep the user-perceived crash rate below 1.09% across all devices and 8% per device, with the user-perceived ANR rate below 0.47% across all devices and 8% per device.

Google Play Bad Behaviour ExampleScreenshot from developer.android.com, February 2024Google Play Bad Behaviour Example

Take a look at the official Android vitals documentation page for more information.

App Store Optimization For App Store

For the App Store, we’ve also got nine key elements to optimize, but they’re not quite the same as Google Play:

  • App name.
  • App subtitle.
  • Categories.
  • Keywords.
  • Description.
  • App icon.
  • App previews.
  • Screenshots.
  • App ratings and reviews.

One of the key differences here is how the two platforms handle keywords. While Google analyzes your whole listing for keywords, Apple provides a single field for you to add keywords.

Again, always refer to official Apple documentation when optimizing listings for the App Store.

App Name

In the App Store, your app name simply provides a recognizable and memorable name for your mobile app.

You don’t need to worry about keywords or descriptive text here – that comes later.

App Store NameScreenshot from App Store, February 2024App Store Name

For now, concentrate on coming up with an app name that’s easy to remember and spell while somewhat describing what your app does.

Apple offers the following advice:

“Choose a simple, memorable name that is easy to spell and hints at what your app does. Be distinctive. Avoid names that use generic terms or are too similar to existing app names.”

You can use up to 30 characters for your app name in the App Store, but try to keep it as short and punchy as possible.

App Icon

As with most app stores, the app icon is one of the most prominent elements as users browse the iOS app store. Apple provides extensive design guidelines for app icons and it’s more strict than most.

App Store IconScreenshot from App Store, February 2024App Store Icon

So, if you’re promoting your app across the App Store, Google Play, and any other platforms, you might want to start with Apple first. In most cases, this makes it easiest to maintain a consistent design across all platforms.

Generally speaking, the same design principles apply. Keep it simple and impactful with intelligent use of iconography, color, and contrast.

Look at your competitors and try to come up with something that stands out from the other apps your target audience is likely to see.

Subtitle

Your app subtitle provides a brief description below the app name. Use this to highlight the purpose and benefits of your app in the most compelling way possible.

App Store SubtitlesApp Store Subtitles

This is your first opportunity to excite potential users about your app, so try to make an impression here. You’ve only got 30 characters to work with, which means punchy subtitles tend to do best.

You’ll want to test and refine your subtitles over time, paying close attention to CTRs and installs as you try different variations.

Categories

As with Google Play, categories are key for discoverability in the App Store.

You can assign primary and secondary categories for iOS apps to help users find your app; the primary category has the strongest weight. – so choose the most relevant one.

App Store Categories Screenshot from App Store, February 2024App Store Categories

Apple provides extensive guidance for choosing app categories. Make sure you follow Apple’s guidance because selecting the wrong categories violates the App Store guidelines.

In some cases, you may find multiple categories that match your app.

For example, if you’re running a photo-sharing social media app, you could select either Photo & Video or Social Networking as your primary category.

In such cases, Apple suggests considering the following:

  • Your app’s purpose: Your primary category should be the one that best describes your app’s main function or subject matter.
  • Where users look for an app like yours: Understanding your audience will help you identify the category in which they will likely look for your app. Will they consider your app more of a social network or a photography app?
  • Which categories contain the same type of apps as yours?: Research how similar apps are categorized — users may already know to visit these categories to find this type of app.

If multiple categories accurately reflect the purpose of your app, you’re unlikely to run into any violation issues.

At this point, it’s more a question of which category matches the search and everyday use of your app – not only to maximize visibility but also to set the right expectations for users who install your app (think engagement and retention).

Keywords

While Google Play looks for keywords throughout your app listing (similar to how Google Search analyses web pages), the App Store provides a dedicated keywords field.

You can use up to 100 characters to add keywords (separated by commas – no spaces) to help users discover your app. Apple offers the following advice for choosing keywords:

“Choose keywords based on words you think your audience will use to find an app like yours.

Be specific when describing your app’s features and functionality to help the search algorithm surface your app in relevant searches.”

Apple also recommends considering “the trade-off” between ranking well for less common terms versus ranking lower for popular terms.

The most popular keywords may generate a lot of impressions and traffic, but they’re also the most competitive, which can impact CTRs and installs.

App Description

Your app description should provide a short, compelling – and informative – description of your app, highlighting its main purpose and benefits.

Similar to Google Play, you can use up to 4,000 characters in your app description, but users can only see the first two lines (and most of the third) without clicking to see more.

Apple suggests the following:

“Communicate in the tone of your brand, and use terminology your target audience will appreciate and understand. The first sentence of your description is the most important — this is what users can read without having to tap to read more.”

App Store Description ExampleScreenshot from App Store, February 2024App Store Description Example

If you want to update your app description, you’ll have to resubmit your app listing, so it’s important to try and get this right and only make considered changes.

You can also add up to 170 characters of promotional text to the top of your app description.

Crucially, you can change this text at any time without having to resubmit your app listing, making this a great place to share the latest news and info about your app – such as limited-time sales, the latest features, or fixes from the last update.

App Previews

App previews are the App Store equivalent of promo videos.

You can add up to 30 seconds of footage to illustrate the key benefits of your app and the experience of using it.

App Store App PreviewScreenshot from App Store, February 2024App Store App Preview

Again, Apple has strict guidelines and specifications for app previews – make sure you tick all the right boxes.

As with most things, if you’re listing your app in the App Store and Google Play, getting your app preview approved for the App Store first should mean you can use the same format for Google Play – as long as you include footage from the Android version of your app.

Screenshots

You can add up to 10 screenshots to your app listing for the App Store.

If you don’t have an app preview, the first one to three screenshots will show in search results, so make sure these highlight the core purpose of your app.

App Store ScreenshotScreenshot from App Store, February 2024App Store Screenshot

In your remaining screenshots, you can focus on the main features or benefits of using your app.

Try to stick to one feature or benefit per screenshot to communicate each purpose clearly.

App Ratings & Reviews

Once again, app ratings and reviews are important for maximizing visibility and installs in the App Store.

If anything, user reviews are more prominent in the App Store than Google Play, but we can’t say whether this has any meaningful impact on downloads.

App Store ReviewsScreenshot from App Store, February 2024App Store Reviews

The same general principles apply here: try to develop a regular stream of reviews and manage a positive app rating.

Again, you don’t need perfect scores, but you do need to respond to user reviews and address potential issues.

Prioritize negative reviews and respond as quickly as possible with responses that deal with issues – avoid generic, unhelpful responses.

Extra App Store Optimization Tips

App store optimization is an ongoing process that needs ongoing attention. Getting your listings approved for app stores is only the beginning.

Maximizing visibility and – more importantly – revenue from your mobile apps requires a complete product development strategy.

Here are some final, additional tips to help you drive long-term success from app store optimization:

  • Know your KPIs: Don’t get distracted by the wrong metrics and KPIs – know what you’re optimizing for and center every decision around your business goals.
  • Prioritize user experience: Visibility is one thing, but you’re not going to maximize it or take full advantage of it if people uninstall your app or rarely use it – so make sure quality product development and UX design are at the heart of your ASO strategy.
  • A/B test key app store elements: Test and optimize the most important elements on your app listings to increase visibility, CTRs, installs, and retention (descriptions, videos, screenshots, reviews, etc).
  • Master each app store’s analytics system: Google Play and the App Store both provide capable (albeit in different ways) analytics systems to help you improve visibility, revenue, and product quality – so make full use of them.
  • Promote your app with ads: Both Google and Apple provide dedicated ad systems for their respective app stores to get your app in front of more eyes.
  • Promote your apps outside of app stores: Use other marketing channels to promote your apps – social media, app directory websites, app review websites, affiliate marketers, tech publications, etc.
  • Localize your app listings: App stores can connect you with global audiences, but only if you optimize your listings for each target language and location (this is called localization) – with translated text, screenshots, videos, etc.

Conclusion

The mobile app industry still shows growth despite smartphone penetration being way past saturation.

Smartphones aren’t the only devices in people’s lives anymore, either.

Apple Vision Pro launched with over 600 compatible apps, opening another space for mobile experiences beyond the confines of traditional smartphones.

App store optimization (ASO) will become more complex as new devices and app stores emerge.

However, the rewards will also grow, and the companies already mastering ASO for today’s app stores will be first in line to benefit as emerging technologies bring new opportunities.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Billion Photos/Shutterstock

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

Published

on

My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

I’ve used Ahrefs since 2016. I thought I was a power user, but since joining the team, I’ve discovered a bunch more use cases that I can’t imagine living without.

Here are five of my favorite ways to use Ahrefs for content marketing:

Let’s be honest: we all snoop on our competitors to see what’s working (and isn’t). But today, a lot of the most exciting content strategies live outside of the company blog: free tools, app integrations, programmatic content, you name it.

For most websites, you can use the Site structure report in Site Explorer to quickly see how the website is structured, and which parts generate the most organic traffic.

In the example below, we’re looking at Copy.ai’s site structure. We might expect their blog to drive most of their organic search traffic, but according to the Site structure report, it only accounts for 4% of organic traffic. Instead, their /tools subfolder drives almost 60% of their traffic:

Click deeper into the site structure, and you can see the individual pages generating the most traffic. In this case, three tools alone account for an estimated 20% of the entire website’s organic search traffic:

1708502174 559 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502174 559 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

We can even compare metrics from today to a point in the past and see how their strategy has changed. Compared to a year ago, Copy.ai has grown traffic to its /tools subfolder but removed 195 pages from its blog:

1708502174 652 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502174 652 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

It’s easy to track the performance of any blog as a whole. Add the URL into Site Explorer, and a second later, you’ll see key metrics:

1708502174 4 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502174 4 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

But for big blogs (ours has some 2.5k indexed pages), it’s harder to answer questions like:

  • Which authors are driving the most traffic?
  • How does link acquisition differ between SEO content and thought leadership content?
  • Does updating our articles with an on-page SEO tool improve performance beyond just updating them normally?

Enter Portfolios. Portfolios allow you to group a list of URLs together and view their aggregated metrics. I use one portfolio for tracking the performance of my articles:

1708502174 611 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502174 611 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

And another for tracking recent articles published by my team:

1708502174 920 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502174 920 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

And another still for monitoring the search performance of some of the biggest “parasite SEO” publishers (to see whether or not Google is really doing anything to combat it):

1708502175 763 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502175 763 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

In every case, you can click into your portfolio and see the same detailed metrics you’re used to from Site Explorer:

1708502175 207 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502175 207 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

Portfolios has become my default way of using Ahrefs, and there are tons of use cases:

  • Compare articles written by freelancers, in-house terms, and (dare I say it) AI tools
  • See which article topics drive the most traffic
  • Analyze the performance of different content types (helpful for separating out the impact of search content and thought leadership content)
  • Monitor the performance of key competitor articles
  • Measure the impact of newly updated or rewritten articles
  • Track experiments (create one portfolio as a control and another for the articles you want to experiment on)

The hardest part of keyword research (at least for me) is always generating seed keywords.

When you have a few terms to explore, it’s easy to find long-tail variations, matching terms, related terms, you name it. But coming up with those first few topics? Not always easy, and it becomes even harder once you’ve exhausted obvious topics.

But now, we can just use a little AI brainstorming power to turn a blank page into dozens and dozens of seed keywords. In Site Explorer, just ask our little AI friend for help:

1708502175 13 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502175 13 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

Let’s use the bog standard keyword “content marketing” as an example. Here are technical and specialized terms related to content marketing:

1708502175 654 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502175 654 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

Here are emerging trends:

1708502175 42 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502175 42 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

And now controversial and debate-generating keywords (“quality vs quantity”—going right for the meaty topics):

1708502175 266 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502175 266 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

With our big list of seed keywords, hit “Search” and we’ll see the estimated search volume, keyword difficulty, and a bunch of other data points for our ideas. Click the Matching terms or Related terms reports and our list of possibilities will grow massively:

1708502176 245 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502176 245 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

Not every idea will be a home run in terms of significant search volume, but many will—and they might be ideas you wouldn’t otherwise have considered.

It’s pretty tricky to refine a list of 300 target keywords to a realistic selection of article ideas. Many keywords will have overlapping intent, others might be subtopics that make more sense to mention as part of another topic. Tricky!

Here we’ve used AI to brainstorm seed topics and used the Matching terms report to find even more ideas. We’ve wound up with 1,622 keyword ideas in about 30 seconds of research:

1708502176 487 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502176 487 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

Great, but also totally overwhelming. But we can make life much easier by using the Cluster by Parent Topic tab.

Parent topic aims to cluster keywords with similar or the same search intent, so you can target them all on one page instead of many.

If we wanted to target the keywords “content marketing audit” and “content audit definition”, we could instead target the parent topic “content audit”—and also rank for “content marketing audit” and “content audit definition”.

Three keyword rankings, one article.

In the image below our 1,622 keywords are grouped by their parent topic. We’ve gone from 1,622 keywords to just 162 clusters—much more manageable:

1708502176 236 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502176 236 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

Just one of these clusters, content audit, contains 43 keywords. So by writing one article targeted at content audit, we stand to rank for 43 of the keywords we were interested in:

1708502176 706 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502176 706 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

Competitive SERPs are usually a never-ending game of content optimization and updating. Competitors publish new articles, or update their existing ones, and you have to update your content to avoid sliding down the rankings.

When you formulate your plan for updating an article, it’s useful to see exactly how competitors have updated their articles.

Here’s the organic traffic graph for Zapier’s most popular blog post, How to Use ChatGPT. We can see a huge increase in organic traffic starting in November 2023:

1708502176 649 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502176 649 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

This begs an obvious question: what happened in November? What caused the massive traffic increase? Is it something that we can learn from?

Well, good news: we can use the Page inspect report to find out.

By default, you can see the current HTML and page text for your chosen URL:

1708502176 871 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502176 871 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

But more importantly, we can use Page inspect to compare the on-page text at specific points in time: like just before and after their big traffic surge in November 2023. In a couple of clicks, we can actually see if Zapier updated the page in a way that might have triggered the traffic increase.

In this case, we can see entirely new sections of text that were added to the article around the time of the traffic increase, like this collection of “how to” content:

1708502176 729 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers1708502176 729 My 5 Favorite Ahrefs Use Cases for Content Marketers

There are plenty of factors that can improve search performance, but this is a powerful way of isolating the impact of on-page changes. If we were writing an article on the same topic, or refreshing an article Zapier had dethroned, this is exactly the kind of section I would consider adding.

Final thoughts

I’ve used Ahrefs for keyword research, link building, and reporting since forever, but these new-to-me workflows have made my life much easier. If you’re a content marketer, they might help you too.

Got any interesting Ahrefs workflows to share? Let me know on X or LinkedIn!



Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending

Follow by Email
RSS