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How To Simplify Boring Tasks & Win Customers Over

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How To Simplify Boring Tasks & Win Customers Over

This post was sponsored by WebCEO. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

SEO always involves a tremendous amount of work, no matter what kind of website you are dealing with.

At any given time, you and your agency are:

  • Creating high-quality content.
  • Building authoritative links.
  • Providing a good user experience.
  • Fixing technical issues.
  • Creating show-stopping reports.
  • Generating leads for future clients.
  • Balancing hundreds of websites, and more.

What if it were easier?

What if you could focus on what you do best?

What if time-consuming, repetitive, simple but impactful tasks could be automated?

The right SEO automation tool can reduce tedious, checkbox workloads and allow for a stronger implementation of strategy by you or your team.

When you are operating at a high level, don’t let those tasks slow you down. Automation of SEO is a vital necessity for agencies and freelancers!

What SEO Tasks Can I Safely Automate?

When you are implementing SEO on a website, your typical, time-consuming, repetitive tasks include:

  • Monitoring site rankings in Google (and other search engines).
  • Finding and fixing technical issues in a timely manner.
  • Ensuring the content is optimized with the best keywords.
  • Analyzing and strengthening internal link structures.
  • Keeping track of backlinks, especially the toxic ones.

A major portion of this work can and should be automated using tools — you just need to find the right ones.

Freeing up these tasks helps your team focus on project pieces that truly move the needle.

How To Find The Right SEO Automation Tools

Finding the right SEO automation tools can be your agency’s ticket to higher revenue, happier clients, and lower overhead.

As you begin exploring the automation space, you’ll quickly learn that there are many options on the market.

Knowing what to look for can help you make the best decision for your team and clients.

The right SEO automation tools can:

  • Make your SEO team’s workflow more organized and efficient.
  • Let you automate as much of your SEO as possible.
  • Automatically present you as “crème de la crème” experts to your prospective clients.
  • Generate SEO leads, even while you are asleep.

That last point is no fantasy from Aladdin’s cave of wonders; it can easily be your reality.

As you begin to search for and build your tool stack, it’s important to keep it simple.

How To Avoid Automation Tool Bloat

The number of tasks you and your SEO team can automate is amazing.

You’ll be able to increase production while expanding and trialing new, creative strategies.

However, with such a wide variety of automatable tasks, you may find yourself using a large number of different tools, which can become overwhelming and expensive.

Instead, try to entrust the majority of your automated tasks to a single platform.

In today’s world, robust, single-platform tools are easier to come by and even easier to configure!

Learn how to configure a single-platform tool, like WebCEO, to automate SEO management and reporting.

How To Configure A Single-Platform SEO Automation Tool For Improved Capacity

Setting up your business or agency for automated SEO success is as easy as configuring one tool — WebCEO.

In just a few steps, you can configure each automatable task, plus 23 additional SEO software tools, and begin elevating your agency and its reputation.

Step 1: Set Up Automatic Diagnostic Scans & Alerts

Easily offload daily website scans and analysis by using automation.

By automating these tasks, you’ll get up-to-date actionable insights and help with structuring your team’s day.

If you run websites that rarely have emergencies or drastic changes, your team can save a lot of time by removing the daily data analysis step and only getting alerts when something needs to be updated, fixed, or repaired.

In WebCEO, simply:

  1. Create a project for the website you are working on and choose what you want to scan.
  2. Decide how often you want to scan the site.
  3. Let the tools perform data pulls automatically.
  4. Customize your preferred scan schedule.
Screenshot from WebCEO, January 2022

The best part about this automation is that you can do this for multiple sites at the same time.

WebCEO’s customizable dashboard allows you to see all your sites’ overall performance along with positive and negative trends on a single screen.

SEO Automation: How To Simplify Boring Tasks & Win Customers OverScreenshot from WebCEO.com, January 2022

You will receive automatic alerts to your email when something goes wrong on your site.

SEO Automation: How To Simplify Boring Tasks & Win Customers OverScreenshot from WebCEO.com, January 2022

This is the most effective way to respond to SEO issues on time.

On-time response to SEO issues is the best way to keep your clients happy.

Without lifting a finger, you keep your clients up to date on daily wins and keep your team up to date on daily required changes.

Where Does WebCEO Get Its Data For Automatic Alerts?

WebCEO has integrations with big-name tools such as Google, Alexa, Majestic, and more, making it easy to incorporate into your existing framework.

These trusted integrations help provide you with more SEO data and save you time.

You no longer have to spend valuable hours hopping from one tool to another, collecting the data bit by bit.

Everything you need to start your team’s day is emailed to you from one single tool.

Streamlining SEO has never been easier.

Step 2: Streamline Your SEO Workflow & Project Management

Whether you are a freelancer or agency specialist, onboarding a client and their workload starts with the same process: discovering what resources you have available.

With an AI-driven project manager, you can automatically discover, delegate, and track new project and AI-discovered tasks:

  1. Select relevant, pre-made project plans to get your team started on a new client.
  2. Create custom tasks for the AI-driven project manager to delegate.
  3. Add your teammates to your project, assign the tasks to each of them, and set deadlines.
  4. Automatically get updates and auto-generated tasks for newly discovered errors and issues.

For example, here’s what you may find in our platform:

SEO Automation: How To Simplify Boring Tasks & Win Customers OverScreenshot from WebCEO, January 2022

The really handy part about this task manager is its library of premade tasks. This library removes the need to create manual tasks, making it much faster to get your team started on a new client.

You can use the same task manager to track even the tasks that are tangentially related to SEO – such as graphic design.

WebCEO also comes with a built-in translation tool to localize the entire platform and its SEO reports.

Now, you can easily assemble a team from all over the world — no language barrier will impede your work.

Step 3: Automatically Create Branded, Centralized & Complete SEO Reports

As your team successfully completes their designated tasks, the time will come when you need to share the fruits of your work with clients.

SEO reports look the best when they contain all the information at once.

Splitting the data into multiple reports because you may be using multiple tools is a terrible idea — it often confuses clients.

Automatically generated reports from a single, universal SEO platform make it possible to always look great in front of clients.

Configuration is easy with a tool like WebCEO:

  1. Brand the reports with your company’s name and logo.
  2. For a stronger positive effect on your clients, add the date of scanning and your contact information.
  3. Set WebCEO to automatically collect SEO data, compile the data into reports, and email the reports to your clients.
SEO Automation: How To Simplify Boring Tasks & Win Customers OverScreenshot from WebCEO, January 2022

 

SEO Automation: How To Simplify Boring Tasks & Win Customers OverScreenshot from WebCEO, January 2022

Step 4: Set Up Automatic SEO Lead Generation

Now that your workflow is solid and time-saving tasks have been automated, you have the bandwidth to take on more clients — let your universal SEO tool automatically source and generate leads for you.

Sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it?

You can automatically generate qualified SEO leads and send quick audits without spending extra bandwidth by:

  1. Creating a clickable widget for your website.
  2. Configuring its appearance and settings (such as SEO report contents).
  3. Inserting the generated HTML code into your site.
  4. Automatically enticing prospective customers who can’t resist a “Free SEO Report,” from which they automatically receive a branded, professional audit from your agency.

You, on the other hand, don’t have to lift a finger to complete audits or reports.

Automated SEO tools have the power to make your agency look incredible with less work.

SEO Automation: How To Simplify Boring Tasks & Win Customers Over

Screenshot from WebCEO.com, January 2022

While you are at it, don’t forget to use cold leads.

Send your ex-customers SEO reports and describe how you can make their websites more successful.

This automated, professional-looking, branded report highlights real site issues, which will pack a stronger punch than any promises written on your agency’s site.

Bonus Step: Brand The Tool As Your Own & Increase Your Reputation

Keep your clients and your staff believing in your brand by white-labeling your automated SEO management solution.

Don’t let staff or clients take your winning solution and your business with them.

Using WebCEO’s white label domain, you can disguise its SEO tools as if they were your own, original brand:

  1. Create your own domain or subdomain for using your automated tool.
  2. Once you’ve set it up, manage your SEO team: add members, give them rights and privileges, and assign tasks.
SEO Automation: How To Simplify Boring Tasks & Win Customers OverScreenshot from WebCEO.com, January 2022

Appearances matter. A white label domain will make you look like a pro in front of your clients and your employees. Be your own thing and be great.

Ready To Automate Your SEO?

New technologies are ushering in a completely different era of SEO. Online search is changing to be more powerful; faster-paced website optimization is becoming the norm — make sure your agency is up to speed.

Whether you are an agency, or a freelancer, or just want your own site to rank higher, get your automated SEO tools and be always on schedule.


Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by WebCEO. Used with permission.




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Gen Z Ditches Google, Turns To Reddit For Product Searches

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In this photo illustration, the Reddit logo is displayed on a smartphone screen.

A new report from Reddit, in collaboration with GWI and AmbassCo, sheds light on the evolving search behaviors of Generation Z consumers.

The study surveyed over 3,000 internet users across the UK, US, and Germany, highlighting significant changes in how young people discover and research products online.

Here’s an overview of key findings and the implications for marketers.

Decline In Traditional Search

The study found that Gen Z uses search engines to find new brands and products less often.

That’s because they shop online differently. They’re less interested in looking for expert reviews or spending much time searching for products.

There are also frustrations with mobile-friendliness and complex interfaces on traditional search platforms.

Because of this, traditional SEO strategies might not work well for reaching younger customers.

Takeaway

Companies trying to reach Gen Z might need to try new methods instead of just focusing on being visible on Google and other search engines.

Rise Of Social Media Discovery

Screenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Gen Z is increasingly using social media to find new brands and products.

The study shows that Gen Z has used social media for product discovery 36% more frequently since 2018.

This change is affecting how young people shop online. Instead of searching for products, they expect brands to appear in their social media feeds.

1719123963 547 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Because of this, companies trying to reach young customers need to pay more attention to how they present themselves on social media.

Takeaway

To succeed at marketing to Gen Z, businesses will likely need to focus on two main things:

  1. Ensure that your content appears more often in social media feeds.
  2. Create posts people want to share and interact with.

Trust Issues With Influencer Marketing

Even though more people are finding products through social media, the report shows that Gen Z is less likely to trust what social media influencers recommend.

These young shoppers often don’t believe in posts that influencers are paid to make or products they promote.

Instead, they prefer to get information from sources that feel more real and are driven by regular people in online communities.

Takeaway

Because of this lack of trust, companies must focus on being genuine and building trust when they try to get their websites to appear in search results or create ads.

Some good ways to connect with these young consumers might be to use content created by regular users, encourage honest product reviews, and create authentic conversations within online communities.

Challenges With Current Search Experiences

The research shows that many people are unhappy with how search engines work right now.

More than 60% of those surveyed want search results to be more trustworthy. Almost half of users don’t like looking through many search result pages.

Gen Z is particularly bothered by inaccurate information and unreliable reviews.

1719123963 785 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Takeaway

Given the frustration with search quality, marketers should prioritize creating accurate, trustworthy content.

This can help build brand credibility, leading to more direct visits.

Reddit: A Trusted Alternative

The report suggests that Gen Z trusts Reddit when looking up products—it’s their third most trusted source, after friends and family and review websites.

1719123963 403 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Young users like Reddit because it’s community-based and provides specific answers to users’ questions, making it feel more real.

It’s worth noting that this report comes from Reddit itself, which probably influenced why it’s suggesting its own platform.

Takeaway

Companies should focus more on being part of smaller, specific online groups frequented by Gen Z.

That could include Reddit or any other forum.

Why SEJ Cares

As young people change how they look for information online, this study gives businesses important clues about connecting with future customers.

Here’s what to remember:

  • Traditional search engine use is declining among Gen Z.
  • Social media is increasingly vital for product discovery.
  • There’s growing skepticism towards influencer marketing.
  • Current search experiences often fail to meet user expectations.
  • Community-based platforms like Reddit are gaining trust.

Featured Image: rafapress/Shutterstock

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Google Clarifies Organization Merchant Returns Structured Data

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Google updates organization structured data for merchant returns

Google quietly updated their organization structured data documentation in order to clarify two points about merchant returns in response to feedback about an ambiguity in the previous version.

Organization Structured Data and Merchant Returns

Google recently expanded their Organization structured data so that it could now accommodate a merchant return policy. The change added support for adding a sitewide merchant return policy.

The original reason for adding this support:

“Adding support for Organization-level return policies

What: Added documentation on how to specify a general return policy for an Organization as a whole.

Why: This makes it easier to define and maintain general return policies for an entire site.”

However that change left unanswered about what will happen if a site has a sitewide return policy but also has a different policy for individual products.

The clarification applies for the specific scenario of when a site uses both a sitewide return policy in their structured data and another one for specific products.

What Takes Precedence?

What happens if a merchant uses both a sitewide and product return structured data? Google’s new documentation states that Google will ignore the sitewide product return policy in favor of a more granular product-level policy in the structured data.

The clarification states:

“If you choose to provide both organization-level and product-level return policy markup, Google defaults to the product-level return policy markup.”

Change Reflected Elsewhere

Google also updated the documentation to reflect the scenario of the use of two levels of merchant return policies in another section that discusses whether structured data or merchant feed data takes precedence. There is no change to the policy, merchant center data still takes precedence.

This is the old documentation:

“If you choose to use both markup and settings in Merchant Center, Google will only use the information provided in Merchant Center for any products submitted in your Merchant Center product feeds, including automated feeds.”

This is the same section but updated with additional wording:

“If you choose to use both markup (whether at the organization-level or product-level, or both) and settings in Merchant Center, Google will only use the information provided in Merchant Center for any products submitted in your Merchant Center product feeds, including automated feeds.”

Read the newly updated Organization structured data documentation:

Organization (Organization) structured data – MerchantReturnPolicy

Featured Image by Shutterstock/sutlafk

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What Is It & How To Write It

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What Is It & How To Write It

In this guide, you will learn about alternative text (known as alt text): what it is, why it is important for on-page SEO, how to use it correctly, and more.

It’s often overlooked, but every image on your website should have alt text. More information is better, and translating visual information into text is important for search engine bots attempting to understand your website and users with screen readers.

Alt text is one more source of information that relates ideas and content together on your website.

This practical and to-the-point guide contains tips and advice you can immediately use to improve your website’s image SEO and accessibility.

What Is Alt Text?

Alternative text (or alt text) – also known as the alt attribute or the alt tag (which is not technically correct because it is not a tag) – is simply a piece of text that describes the image in the HTML code.

What Are The Uses Of Alt Text?

The original function of alt text was simply to describe an image that could not be loaded.

Many years ago, when the internet was much slower, alt text would help you know the content of an image that was too heavy to be loaded in your browser.

Today, images rarely fail to load – but if they do, then it is the alt text you will see in place of an image.

Screenshot from Search Engine Journal, May 2024

Alt text also helps search engine bots understand the image’s content and context.

More importantly, alt text is critical for accessibility and for people using screen readers:

  • Alt text helps people with disabilities (for example, using screen readers) learn about the image’s content.

Of course, like every element of SEO, it is often misused or, in some cases, even abused.

Let’s now take a closer look at why alt text is important.

Why Alt Text Is Important

The web and websites are a very visual experience. It is hard to find a website without images or graphic elements.

That’s why alt text is very important.

Alt text helps translate the image’s content into words, thus making the image accessible to a wider audience, including people with disabilities and search engine bots that are not clever enough yet to fully understand every image, its context, and its meaning.

Why Alt Text Is Important For SEO

Alt text is an important element of on-page SEO optimization.

Proper alt text optimization makes your website stand a better chance of ranking in Google image searches.

Yes, alt text is a ranking factor for Google image search.

Depending on your website’s niche and specificity, Google image search traffic may play a huge role in your website’s overall success.

For example, in the case of ecommerce websites, users very often start their search for products with a Google image search instead of typing the product name into the standard Google search.

Screenshot from search for [Garmin forerunner]Screenshot from search for [Garmin forerunner], May 2024

Google and other search engines may display fewer product images (or not display them at all) if you fail to take care of their alt text optimization.

Without proper image optimization, you may lose a lot of potential traffic and customers.

Why Alt Text Is Important For Accessibility

Visibility in Google image search is very important, but there is an even more important consideration: Accessibility.

Fortunately, in recent years, more focus has been placed on accessibility (i.e., making the web accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities and/or using screen readers).

Suppose the alt text of your images actually describes their content instead of, for example, stuffing keywords. In that case, you are helping people who cannot see this image better understand it and the content of the entire web page.

Let’s say one of your web pages is an SEO audit guide that contains screenshots from various crawling tools.

Would it not be better to describe the content of each screenshot instead of placing the same alt text of “SEO audit” into every image?

Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Alt Text Examples

Finding many good and bad examples of alt text is not difficult. Let me show you a few, sticking to the above example with an SEO audit guide.

Good Alt Text Examples

So, our example SEO guide contains screenshots from tools such as Google Search Console and Screaming Frog.

Some good examples of alt text may include:

”The
”Google
”List
”Screaming

Tip: It is also a good idea to take care of the name of your file. Using descriptive file names is not a ranking factor, but I recommend this as a good SEO practice.

Bad And/Or Spammy Alt Text Examples

I’ve also seen many examples of bad alt text use, including keyword stuffing or spamming.

Here is how you can turn the above good examples into bad examples:

”google search console coverage report
”google
”seo
”seo

As you can see, the above examples do not provide any information on what these images actually show.

You can also find examples and even more image SEO tips on Google Search Central.

Common Alt Text Mistakes

Stuffing keywords in the alt text is not the only mistake you can make.

Here are a few examples of common alt text mistakes:

  • Failure to use the alt text or using empty alt text.
  • Using the same alt text for different images.
  • Using very general alt text that does not actually describe the image. For example, using the alt text of “dog” on the photo of a dog instead of describing the dog in more detail, its color, what it is doing, what breed it is, etc.
  • Automatically using the name of the file as the alt text – which may lead to very unfriendly alt text, such as “googlesearchconsole,” “google-search-console,” or “photo2323,” depending on the name of the file.

Alt Text Writing Tips

And finally, here are the tips on how to write correct alt text so that it actually fulfills its purpose:

  • Do not stuff keywords into the alt text. Doing so will not help your web page rank for these keywords.
  • Describe the image in detail, but still keep it relatively short. Avoid adding multiple sentences to the alt text.
  • Use your target keywords, but in a natural way, as part of the image’s description. If your target keyword does not fit into the image’s description, don’t use it.
  • Don’t use text on images. All text should be added in the form of HTML code.
  • Don’t write, “this is an image of.” Google and users know that this is an image. Just describe its content.
  • Make sure you can visualize the image’s content by just reading its alt text. That is the best exercise to make sure your alt text is OK.

How To Troubleshoot Image Alt Text

Now you know all the best practices and common mistakes of alt text. But how do you check what’s in the alt text of the images of a website?

You can analyze the alt text in the following ways:

Inspecting an element (right-click and select Inspect when hovering over an image) is a good way to check if a given image has alt text.

However, if you want to check that in bulk, I recommend one of the below two methods.

Install Web Developer Chrome extension.

Screenshot of Web Developer Extension in Chrome by authorScreenshot from Web Developer Extension, Chrome by author, May 2024

Next, open the page whose images you want to audit.

Click on Web Developer and navigate to Images > Display Alt Attributes. This way, you can see the content of the alt text of all images on a given web page.

The alt text of images is shown on the page.Screenshot from Web Developer Extension, Chrome by author, May 2024

How To Find And Fix Missing Alt Text

To check the alt text of the images of the entire website, use a crawler like Screaming Frog or Sitebulb.

Crawl the site, navigate to the image report, and review the alt text of all website images, as shown in the video guide below.

You can also export only images that have missing alt text and start fixing those issues.

Alt Text May Not Seem Like A Priority, But It’s Important

Every source of information about your content has value. Whether it’s for vision-impaired users or bots, alt text helps contextualize the images on your website.

While it’s only a ranking factor for image search, everything you do to help search engines understand your website can potentially help deliver more accurate results. Demonstrating a commitment to accessibility is also a critical component of modern digital marketing.

FAQ

What is the purpose of alt text in HTML?

Alternative text, or alt text, serves two main purposes in HTML. Its primary function is to provide a textual description of an image if it cannot be displayed. This text can help users understand the image content when technical issues prevent it from loading or if they use a screen reader due to visual impairments. Additionally, alt text aids search engine bots in understanding the image’s subject matter, which is critical for SEO, as indexing images correctly can enhance a website’s visibility in search results.

Can alt text improve website accessibility?

Yes, alt text is vital for website accessibility. It translates visual information into descriptive text that can be read by screen readers used by users with visual impairments. By accurately describing images, alt text ensures that all users, regardless of disability, can understand the content of a web page, making the web more inclusive and accessible to everyone.

More resources: 


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