Connect with us

SEO

How to Use Ahrefs to Improve SEO

Published

on

How to Use Ahrefs to Improve SEO

Whether you’re new or old to Ahrefs, you’re in the right place.

This tutorial will walk you through the most practical, repeatable, and actionable Ahrefs use cases from our six core tools that will help improve your SEO.

Site Explorer is our competitive research tool. With Site Explorer, you can see a website’s:

  • Backlinks
  • Keywords it ranks for in Google
  • Site structure in a tree format
  • Pages that are responsible for generating the most search traffic
  • Google ads campaigns

And more.

Because there are so many things you can do in Site Explorer, we won’t be able to go through every use case. Instead, we’ll cover a few low-hanging fruits:

1. Restore lost link equity from broken backlinks

If there are broken pages with backlinks on your website, that link equity is wasted.

You can reclaim the value of the link equity by either restoring those pages or redirecting the broken URLs to relevant live pages.

Here’s how to find broken pages with backlinks on your website:

  1. Enter your domain 
  2. Go to the Best by links report
  3. Set the HTTP code filter to 404 

For example, we could redirect this blog post about asking for tweets to this one on blogger outreach to reclaim around 42 referring domains:

One of our dead blog posts with 42 referring domainsOne of our dead blog posts with 42 referring domains

2. Find featured snippet opportunities

Featured snippets are full or partial answers to a query directly on the SERPs.

An example of a featured snippetAn example of a featured snippet

If you can grab the snippet, you can jump ahead of everyone else. That means more search traffic to your site.

Here’s how to find low-hanging featured snippet opportunities:

  1. Enter your domain 
  2. Go to the Organic keywords report
  3. Set a Positions filter from 1 – 10 (you need to be on the first page to win it) 
  4. Set a SERP features filter to “where target doesn’t rank” and check featured snippet 
Low-hanging featured snippet opportunities for our website, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerLow-hanging featured snippet opportunities for our website, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

You can now see thousands of keywords where you can try and optimize your pages to win the featured snippet.

Follow the tutorial below to learn how to capture featured snippets.

3. Reverse engineer a site’s structure

Investigating a site’s structure shows you which parts of the site attract the most search traffic. 

Here’s how to see a high-level overview of a website’s structure:

  1. Enter your competitor’s domain 
  2. Go to the Site structure report 
Mailchimp's site structureMailchimp's site structure

For example, we can see that most of Mailchimp’s search traffic goes to its root domain. We can also click on the arrow to see a more detailed breakdown.

A breakdown of Mailchimp's subfoldersA breakdown of Mailchimp's subfolders

From here, we learn that Mailchimp has a subfolder called “marketing-glossary” that gets an estimated 600K monthly search visits. 

MailChimp's marketing glossary subfolder gets around 600,000 monthly search visitsMailChimp's marketing glossary subfolder gets around 600,000 monthly search visits

If you’re a competitor, creating a glossary could be a potential strategy you might want to replicate.

4. Replicate your competitors’ top pages

If competitors get lots of traffic to pages about certain topics, you probably can, too.

Here’s how to find your competitors’ top pages:

  1. Enter your competitor’s domain 
  2. Go to the Top pages report 
The pages that attract the most search traffic for MailchimpThe pages that attract the most search traffic for Mailchimp

This report shows you the pages that attract the most search traffic for your competitor. 

For example, Mailchimp’s email marketing guide gets an estimated 53,000 monthly search visits. The keyword that sends them the most traffic is “email marketing,” which they rank #1 for in the US. 

Mailchimp ranks #1 for email marketing and gets a estimated total of 53,000 monthly search visitsMailchimp ranks #1 for email marketing and gets a estimated total of 53,000 monthly search visits

If you’re a competitor, this might be a topic worth targeting.

5. Analyze your competitors’ backlinks for link-building opportunities

If you want to rank for anything remotely competitive, merely publishing content isn’t enough. You need backlinks.

One way to do this is to analyze your competitor’s backlink profile to see how they’ve been acquiring theirs. 

Here’s how to see your competitor’s backlinks:

  1. Enter your competitor’s domain 
  2. Go to the Backlinks report
The backlink profile for MailchimpThe backlink profile for Mailchimp

You can see that Mailchimp has close to 800K backlinks. 

Here’s the thing: Your chances of finding anything useful by manually sifting through all 800K is slim. But if you know what you’re looking for, you can add the right filters and find the right link prospects.

For example, if you’re looking for resource page opportunities, you can add a “Ref. page URL” filter to search for terms like resources.html, resources.php, resources.asp, links.html, links.php, and links.asp.

Using the referring page URL filter in Site Explorer to find resource page link building opportunitiesUsing the referring page URL filter in Site Explorer to find resource page link building opportunities

Apply the filters and hit show results, and you now have over 700 potential opportunities for resource page link building.

There are 761 resource page link building opportunities, discovered by analyzing Mailchimp's backlink profileThere are 761 resource page link building opportunities, discovered by analyzing Mailchimp's backlink profile

6. Analyze competing pages’ backlink profiles for link opportunities

You can also do the same backlink analysis as above but on a page level. 

For example, say we want to analyze the backlink profile of HubSpot’s blog post on email marketing statistics. We want to create a competing page targeting that topic, so we want to know how HubSpot got so many links to their page.

HubSpot's email marketing statistics blog post has around 13,000 backlinksHubSpot's email marketing statistics blog post has around 13,000 backlinks

Manually sifting through 14K backlinks is a huge waste of time, so we’ll go to the Anchors report to see all anchor texts of backlinks pointing at HubSpot’s article.

Anchor texts of links pointing at HubSpot's article on email marketing statisticsAnchor texts of links pointing at HubSpot's article on email marketing statistics

Eyeballing the report tells us that most people are linking to HubSpot’s page because of some specific stats:

People are linking to HubSpot's page because of specific stats they featuredPeople are linking to HubSpot's page because of specific stats they featured

There are two actionable takeaways:

  1. We should include similar stats on our page, as these earn links. 
  2. We should replace outdated stats so we can use them in our outreach campaign. 

FYI, that’s exactly what we did for our SEO statistics post. Since then, we’ve earned thousands of backlinks and ranked #1 consistently.

Our SEO statistics post has 2,000 referring domains and ranks #1 on GoogleOur SEO statistics post has 2,000 referring domains and ranks #1 on Google

Learn how we did that in our video series below.

7. Find broken link building opportunities

Broken link building is where you:

  1. Find a broken page that has backlinks 
  2. Create your own page on the topic 
  3. Reach out to those linking to the broken page to link to you instead 

Here’s how you can find broken link building opportunities:

  1. Enter your competitor’s domain 
  2. Go to the Best by links report 
  3. Set a HTTP code filter to 404 not found 
GetResponse's broken pages, which are potential broken link building opportunities for a competitorGetResponse's broken pages, which are potential broken link building opportunities for a competitor

For example, if you’re a competitor to GetResponse, this topic on “what are popups” might make sense for you to cover because 21 websites are linking to it.

GetResponse's article on what are popups, which is now deadGetResponse's article on what are popups, which is now dead

To see who’s linking to these pages, click on a caret beside the URL and go to the Backlinks report.

Clicking the Backlinks report to see the backlinks pointing at GetResponse's dead articleClicking the Backlinks report to see the backlinks pointing at GetResponse's dead article
Backlinks report for GetResponse's dead articleBacklinks report for GetResponse's dead article

From here, you can reach out to the people linking to these broken pages and ask them to link to your new guide on the topic. 

Keywords Explorer is our keyword research tool. 

Let’s look at a few ways to find good keywords to target, fast.

1. Find keywords by search intent

Search intent is the reason behind a searcher’s query. To rank high on Google, you’ll need to match search intent.

But, analyzing the SERPs for thousands of keywords manually can be incredibly time-consuming. So, a quick way is to use keyword modifiers like “best,” “how,” and “buy.”

So, let’s say we have an ecommerce store that sells camping equipment. Here’s how we would find keywords by search intent:

  1. Enter a few broad seed keywords (e.g., camping, tent, sleeping bag, campfire) 
  2. Go to the Matching terms report
  3. Add an Include filter for these modifiers (how, what, when, where, why, tutorial, tips) 
Finding informational keywords using the Include filter in Keywords ExplorerFinding informational keywords using the Include filter in Keywords Explorer

This will show us a list of informational keywords we can create content for on our blog.

If we want to find commercial investigation keywords, we can simply add an Include filter for words like “best,” “vs,” and “review.”

Finding commercial keywords using the Include filter in Keywords ExplorerFinding commercial keywords using the Include filter in Keywords Explorer

9. Find low-competition keywords

There are two ways to find low-competition keywords in Keywords Explorer. 

The first way is to set a Keyword difficulty (KD) filter. Set it to a low number, like 10, and you’ll see low-difficulty keywords you can target:

Applying a low KD filter to find low difficulty keywordsApplying a low KD filter to find low difficulty keywords

The second way is to set a Domain Rating (DR) filter. DR is widely used in the SEO community to estimate a website’s authority. So, setting a DR filter can help you find keywords where non-authoritative sites rank high in the SERPs. 

So, let’s set it to a low value like 30. This will show us keywords that have at least one website with a DR up to 30 in the top 5. 

Applying a lowest DR filter to find keywords where a site with low-authority is rankingApplying a lowest DR filter to find keywords where a site with low-authority is ranking

If we expand one of the SERPs, we see a result with <DR30 and 0 backlinks!

A result ranking for best pop up tent with <DR30 and no backlinksA result ranking for best pop up tent with <DR30 and no backlinks

This certainly seems like an easy topic to rank for. 

10. Bulk analyze a list of keywords

You can enter up to 10,000 keywords at a time in Keywords Explorer, which allows you to analyze any custom list of keywords.

Once you’ve pasted your list, you’ll be able to view all their metrics.

You can bulk analyze up to 10,000 keywords in Keywords ExplorerYou can bulk analyze up to 10,000 keywords in Keywords Explorer

You can also cluster them by terms or Parent Topics.

You can group your custom keyword list by parent topics or termsYou can group your custom keyword list by parent topics or terms

11. See organic share of voice for your competitors

If you’ve entered your own list of keywords, you can go to the Traffic share by domains report to see sites that rank for your list of keywords, along with the traffic share they own.

See the organic share of voice for your competitors by going to the Traffic share by domains reportSee the organic share of voice for your competitors by going to the Traffic share by domains report

This tactic is great for keyword research. 

For example, we can click on the caret for any of the websites, choose Top pages, and we can see all the topics that are sending them the most search traffic.

Click on Top pages for any site in the Traffic share by domain to see their pages with the most search trafficClick on Top pages for any site in the Traffic share by domain to see their pages with the most search traffic

Site Audit lets you crawl your website to find and monitor for 100+ technical and on-page SEO issues.

To run a crawl, create a new project and either import your websites from Google Search Console (GSC) or add them manually.

Import or add your project into Site AuditImport or add your project into Site Audit

When your crawl is complete, you’ll see the Overview report, which will show you a high-level overview of all technical and on-page issues Ahrefs found on your site.

Overview report for Site Audit, after your crawl is doneOverview report for Site Audit, after your crawl is done

If your main goal is to keep your site in good technical health, then all you need to do is work on fixing the issues we found when crawling your site.

To do that, head to the All issues report.

The All Issues report in Site Audit, where you can see all your site's technical and on page SEO issuesThe All Issues report in Site Audit, where you can see all your site's technical and on page SEO issues

You can prioritize by working on the red ones first, which represent errors. Then, work on the yellow ones (warnings) and the blue ones (notices).

To see the affected URLs, click on the number in the corresponding row:

Click on the number in the Crawled column to see affected URLsClick on the number in the Crawled column to see affected URLs

There’s more to Site Audit than maintaining your site’s technical health, though. Here are some more use cases (that are not technical SEO):

12. Find all affiliate links on a website

Let’s say you own a recipe blog that mostly makes money from Amazon affiliate links. However, you recently joined a new affiliate program with higher payouts than Amazon. Now, you need to swap out the Amazon links for your new affiliate ones. 

But rather than doing a sitewide change, you want to test the new affiliate links on a few pages to get a sample size for conversion rates.

Here’s how you can do this with Site Audit (after running a crawl):

  1. Go to Page Explorer
  2. Hit Advanced filter 
  3. Create a rule to find URLs that have an external link containing amzn.to (Amazon’s short link). 
  4. Set an Organic traffic filter to show pages that get at least 1,000 monthly organic visits 
Setting up advanced filters to find Amazon affiliate linksSetting up advanced filters to find Amazon affiliate links

Hit ‘Apply,’ and you’ll see 51 pages that match these filters:

51 results matches the filter we set in Page Explorer51 results matches the filter we set in Page Explorer

You can pick from these pages to replace the Amazon links.

13. Find internal linking opportunities

The Internal Link Opportunities report shows you internal linking opportunities based on keywords your pages rank for. 

Specifically, it shows:

  • The page we recommend you link from 
  • The keyword that’s mentioned on the source page (also the keyword that the target page ranks for) 
  • The page we recommend you link to 
The internal link opportunities report for AhrefsThe internal link opportunities report for Ahrefs

For example, let’s say we want to add internal links to our blog post on keyword research. In the report, we can set a Target page filter and paste the URL to our keyword research guide.

Searching for a page to internally link to using the Target page filterSearching for a page to internally link to using the Target page filter

We now have over 200 potential pages we can link from.

Rank Tracker lets you monitor your Google rankings over time. You can track rankings from any country, city, zip, or postal code. On top of that, you can segment your keywords using tags and track your performance against your competitors.

In the Rank Tracker Overview, you can see charts that give you a nice visualization of various categories like share of voice, average position, traffic, SERP features, and positions. And these graphs are affected by the filters you set. 

Rank Tracker overviewRank Tracker overview

Below these groups is the data table where you’ll see ranking, keyword, and traffic data for each tracked keyword.

Ranking position, search volume, traffic, keyword difficulty, SERP features, and more for your tracked keywords, via Rank TrackerRanking position, search volume, traffic, keyword difficulty, SERP features, and more for your tracked keywords, via Rank Tracker

A cool feature in Rank Tracker is that we keep track of your competitors too:

14. Automatically track your competitors’ rankings

Go to the Competitors overview report and you’ll see the same data, plus how your competitors are performing for every keyword.

Competitors overview in Rank TrackerCompetitors overview in Rank Tracker

Even if you didn’t add any tracked competitors to your project, you can still get competitor insights by going to the Competitors traffic share report.

Competitors traffic share report in Rank TrackerCompetitors traffic share report in Rank Tracker

This report shows you all your organic search competitors for your tracked keywords. If you look at the Pages tab, you can see the exact pages you’re competing with in organic search. If you go to the Domains tab, you’ll see all websites ranking for your tracked keywords.

See all websites ranking for your tracked keywords in the Domains tabSee all websites ranking for your tracked keywords in the Domains tab

For example, both HubSpot and Shopify own a lot of traffic for our tracked keywords. So, they likely rank for a ton of topics that might be interesting for our own blog, which means we could dig deeper into them in Site Explorer.

Content Explorer is a search engine for marketers with billions of pages in its index. Search for any topic, and you’ll see all pages that match your query, along with their SEO and social metrics. 

The best part: You can apply any combination of filters to dig into the data.

Here are some use cases for Content Explorer:

15. Find low-competition topics with high search traffic potential

Here’s how:

  1. Enter a broad query (e.g., backpack) 
  2. Set a Referring domains filter <10 (to find low-competition topics) 
  3. Set a Page traffic filter >500 (to find topics with high traffic potential) 
  4. Set a Word count filter >500 (to find blog content) 
The filters for finding low-competition topics with high search traffic potentialThe filters for finding low-competition topics with high search traffic potential

For example, this seems like a great topic to cover for a website that sells backpacks:

A page on how to solo backpack that gets 770 monthly search visits with only 10 referring domainsA page on how to solo backpack that gets 770 monthly search visits with only 10 referring domains

Click the Page traffic box and you’ll see the exact keywords it ranks for, its ranking positions, and more:

The Page traffic tab shows you the exact keywords it ranks for, its ranking positions, and moreThe Page traffic tab shows you the exact keywords it ranks for, its ranking positions, and more

16. Find guest post opportunities

Here’s how:

  1. Enter a niche-related query (e.g., knitting) 
  2. Set a DR filter of 30-65 (to find low- to mid-authority websites) 
  3. Set a Website traffic filter of >5,000 (to find sites that get a good amount of search traffic) 
  4. Set a Word count filter of >500 (to narrow results to blog content) 
The filters for finding guest post opportunitiesThe filters for finding guest post opportunities

Head to the Websites tab to see sites that match our filters:

The Websites tab helps you identify guest post opportunities fastThe Websites tab helps you identify guest post opportunities fast

Eyeball the report to find potential sites to pitch. For example, a site like Nimble Needles would make a good guest post target. 

Web Explorer allows you to search through all pages, domains, and links that are indexed by Yep, which is our search engine. This index is around 500 billion pages, ~36 times larger than Content Explorer’s index. 

Basically, you can search through almost anything and filter them down by SEO metrics.

Here are some use cases:

17. Find unlinked brand mentions

Unlinked mention link building is when you: 

  • Find pages that mention your brand but don’t link to you 
  • Reach out and ask them to link to you 

The reason why this tactic works well is because the battle is halfway won. They know who you are and probably like you, but they may have just forgotten to link to you.

To find unlinked mentions, search for [your brand] -outlinkdomain:[yourwebsite].com -site:[yourwebsite].com.

The filters for finding unlinked brand mentionsThe filters for finding unlinked brand mentions

You’ll see over 61 million pages that mention Ahrefs but don’t link to us. 

18. Search niche-relevant pages that link out to Amazon affiliate URLs

For example, let’s say you want to find pages on gardening that link out to Amazon affiliate URLs. The reason you might search this is to find potential acquisition targets, find websites that might be interested in joining your affiliate program, or find affiliate content ideas for your own gardening website.

To find these pages, run this search: “gardening” (outlinkdomain:amazon.com OR outlinkdomain:amzn.to)

Filters for finding pages that link to Amazon affiliate URLsFilters for finding pages that link to Amazon affiliate URLs

You’ll see 14 million pages that match this query. 

FYI, if you want to explore more use cases in Web Explorer, simply hit the Examples tab. 

Web Explorer has an examples tab to help you find more use casesWeb Explorer has an examples tab to help you find more use cases

Final thoughts

We’ve barely scratched the surface with all available use cases in Ahrefs. That’s why we’ve also created a 7-hour certification course that digs deep into how Ahrefs works. I highly recommend checking it out.

Even though we’ve covered our core tools, we have some other tools as well. 

Check out Competitive Analysis, which includes tools like Content Gap and Link Intersect.

Ahrefs Competitive Analysis toolAhrefs Competitive Analysis tool

Our Batch Analysis tool lets you get SEO metrics on up to 200 targets in seconds:

Ahrefs' Batch Analysis toolAhrefs' Batch Analysis tool

And don’t forget to install our free SEO toolbar where you can get Ahrefs metrics laid over your SERPs and web pages. 

Ahrefs SEO toolbar overlays SEO metrics on your SERPsAhrefs SEO toolbar overlays SEO metrics on your SERPs

Any questions or comments? Let me know on X (Twitter).



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

New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

Published

on

By

New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

A keynote at Google’s Marketing Live event showed a new AI-powered visual search results that feature advertisements that engage users within the context of an AI-Assisted search, blurring the line between AI-generated search results and advertisements.

Google Lens is a truly helpful app but it becomes unconventional where it blurs the line between an assistant helping users and being led to a shopping cart. This new way of engaging potential customers with AI is so far out there that the presenter doesn’t even call it advertising, he doesn’t even use the word.

Visual Search Traffic Opportunity?

Google’s Group Product Manager Sylvanus Bent, begins the presentation with an overview of the next version of Google Lens visual search that will be useful for surfacing information and for help finding where to buy them.

Sylvanus explained how it will be an opportunity for websites to receive traffic from this new way to search.

“…whether you’re snapping a photo with lens or circling to search something on your social feed, visual search unlocks new ways to explore whatever catches your eye, and we recently announced a newly redesigned results page for Visual search.

Soon, instead of just visual matches, you’ll see a wide range of results, from images to video, web links, and facts about the knowledge graph. It gets people the helpful information they need and creates new opportunities for sites to be discovered.”

It’s hard to say whether or not this will bring search traffic to websites and what the quality of that traffic will be. Will they stick around to read an article? Will they engage with a product review?

Visual Search Results

Sylvanus shares a hypothetical example of someone at an airport baggage claim who falls in like with someone else’s bag. He explains that all the person needs to do is snap a photo of the luggage bag and Google Lens will take them directly to shopping options.

He explains:

“No words, no problem. Just open Lens, take a quick picture and immediately you’ll see options to purchase.

And for the first time, shopping ads will appear at the very top of the results on linked searches, where a business can offer what a consumer is looking for.

This will help them easily purchase something that catches their eye.”

These are image-heavy shopping ads at the top of the search results and as annoying as that may be it’s nowhere near the “next level” advertising that is coming to Google’s search ads where Google presents a paid promotion within the context of an AI Assistant.

Interactive Search Shopping

Sylvanus next describes an AI-powered form advertising that happens directly within search. But he doesn’t call it advertising. He doesn’t even use the word advertising. He suggests this new form of AI search experience is more than offer, saying that, “it’s an experience.”

He’s right to not use the word advertisement because what he describes goes far beyond advertising and blurs the boundaries between search and advertising within the context of AI-powered suggestions, paid suggestions.

Sylvanus explains how this new form of shopping experience works:

“And next, imagine a world where every search ad is more than an offer. It’s an experience. It’s a new way for you to engage more directly with your customers. And we’re exploring search ads with AI powered recommendations across different verticals. So I want to show you an example that’s going live soon and you’ll see even more when we get to shopping.”

He uses the example of someone who needs to store their furniture for a few months and who turns to Google to find short term storage. What he describes is a query for local short term storage that turns into a “dynamic ad experience” that leads the searcher into throwing packing supplies into their shopping cart.

He narrated how it works:

“You search for short term storage and you see an ad for extra space storage. Now you can click into a new dynamic ad experience.

You can select and upload photos of the different rooms in your house, showing how much furniture you have, and then extra space storage with help from Google, AI generates a description of all your belongings for you to verify. You get a recommendation for the right size and type of storage unit and even how much packing supplies you need to get the job done. Then you just go to the website to complete the transaction.

And this is taking the definition of a helpful ad to the next level. It does everything but physically pick up your stuff and move it, and that is cool.”

Step 1: Search For Short Term Storage

1716722762 15 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows an advertisement that when clicked takes the user to what looks like an AI-assisted search but is really an interactive advertisement.

Step 2: Upload Photos For “AI Assistance”

1716722762 242 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above image is a screenshot of an advertisement that is presented in the context of AI-assisted search.  Masking an advertisement within a different context is the same principal behind an advertorial where an advertisement is hidden in the form of an article. The phrases “Let AI do the heavy lifting” and “AI-powered recommendations” create the context of AI-search that masks the true context of an advertisement.

Step 3: Images Chosen For Uploading

1716722762 187 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows how a user uploads an image to the AI-powered advertisement within the context of an AI-powered search app.

The Word “App” Masks That This Is An Ad

Screenshot of interactive advertisement for that identifies itself as an app with the words

Above is a screenshot of how a user uploads a photo to the AI-powered interactive advertisement within the context of a visual search engine, using the word “app” to further the illusion that the user is interacting with an app and not an advertisement.

Upload Process Masks The Advertising Context

Screenshot of interactive advertisement that uses the context of an AI Assistant to mask that this is an advertisement

The phrase “Generative AI is experimental” contributes to the illusion that this is an AI-assisted search.

Step 4: Upload Confirmation

1716722762 395 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

In step 4 the “app” advertisement is for confirming that the AI correctly identified the furniture that needs to be put into storage.

Step 5: AI “Recommendations”

1716722762 588 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

The above screenshot shows “AI recommendations” that look like search results.

The Recommendations Are Ad Units

1716722762 751 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

Those recommendations are actually ad units that when clicked takes the user to the “Extra Space Storage” shopping website.

Step 6: Searcher Visits Advertiser Website

1716722762 929 New Google Search Ads Resemble AI Assistant App

Blurring The Boundaries

What the Google keynote speaker describes is the integration of paid product suggestions into an AI assisted search. This kind of advertising is so far out there that the Googler doesn’t even call it advertising and rightfully so because what this does is blur the line between AI assisted search and advertising. At what point does a helpful AI search become just a platform for using AI to offer paid suggestions?

Watch The Keynote At The 32 Minute Mark

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Ljupco Smokovski

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

How Do I Get A Job With A PPC Agency

Published

on

By

Conversion Tracking In PPC Campaigns

This month’s “Ask A PPC” question is particularly significant because the job market has been quite volatile.

“How do I get a job with a PPC agency when I have only worked in-house. What experience would they want?” – Karl Toronto

It’s understandable that people want to know which skills employers seek when hiring for a PPC team. There can be a disparity between what people think they need and what the market actually demands.

We’ll delve into some data and commentary to explain why various traits are valued.

It’s crucial to understand that the ideal candidates will be versatile and have an aptitude for all aspects of digital marketing.

However, no one can excel at everything, so leveraging your strengths or preferences is beneficial.

Ensure that you’re securing the best role for yourself while the company hiring you finds the best fit for them.

Here Are The Essential Skills

  • Analytics.
  • Creativity.
  • Ad network knowledge.
  • Willingness to test/learn.
  • Culture fit.

Discrepancy Between Market Demands And Perceived Needs

I conducted a poll on my LinkedIn to gauge the skills desired by current employers and practitioners.

Screenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024

Analytical skills emerged as the most sought-after trait. Employers seek individuals who can interpret numbers and discern the story behind them.

However, relying solely on analytical prowess may overlook the importance of creativity.

Creative skills are vital in today’s ad networks, especially emphasizing visual content like videos and campaign types that force visual content (Performace Max/Demand Gen). Neglecting creativity can hinder a company’s branding efforts.

Unexpectedly, ad network skills and cultural fit were deemed far less critical than analytical skills. Brands should prioritize team cohesion for long-term success, yet this aspect is often undervalued.

The disparity between job descriptions and actual skill requirements contributes to the difficulty in the job market.

Agencies that hire for how PPC used to work will be left wanting. Practitioners who only focus on popular skills instead of needed ones will be made obsolete by the privacy-first era obscuring data and AI owning creative.

Analytical Skills

Analytical abilities involve knowing where to find relevant data sources and understanding how they contribute to success.

While PPC historically relied on measurable outcomes, the landscape is evolving, necessitating adaptability in data analysis. Technical proficiency and strategic acumen are crucial for navigating different data sources.

These include:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
  • Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
  • Ecommerce platforms.
  • Content management platforms (CMS).

Empathy for various ad channels improves your candidacy, and knowing how to work with post-click data will give you an edge over those who can only work with ad platform data.

While being highly technical isn’t required, having empathy for coding and scripts will give you a better chance to stay current with evolving data mechanics (especially as APIs become even more important for accessing data blocked by privacy-first regulations).

Here are some takes from PPC experts on why analytics is the most important:

A screenshot of a LinkedIn comment by Georgi Zayakov, who describes himself as analytical Screenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024
A LinkedIn post by Kathryn B., a paid media specialist at a PPC agencyScreenshot from LinkedIn, April 2024
Screenshot of a LinkedIn post by Nikolaos B., discussing how marketers must become data-savvyScreenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024

Creativity

Creativity is essential for crafting compelling ad content, yet many PPC agencies struggle in this area.

Clients are often tasked with providing creative materials due to cost or complexity constraints.

You’ll get a competitive edge if you have these skills:

  • Video Editing: With the rise of PMax, as well as many ad networks leaning heavily into connected TV, having video editing chops will be a huge asset for any team. If you’re not comfortable using conventional editing tools, AI tools like Descript are a great way to take on those tasks.
  • Graphic Design: No matter the ad network your potential employer is hiring for, you will need some ability to design static images. Whether you use stock photos or AI-generated images or come up with the creative yourself, the days of purely text ads are over. Tools like Canva can help bridge the gap for less technical designers, but don’t discount ad network AI.
  • Content Creation: While the first two categories leaned toward visual content, written content is still important (i.e., most ad formats include some text). Having the ability to understand how diverse audiences prefer to be addressed while respecting the specific requirements of each format is a great skill to hone.

While some roles may prioritize analytics or ad network knowledge, emphasizing creative abilities can distinguish you during the hiring process.

Here are some experts who value creativity:

A screenshot of a LinkedIn post by Erik PetersonScreenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024
A screenshot of a Linkedin post by Amy HebdonScreenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024

Ad Network Knowledge

Ad network expertise is valuable, but adaptability is paramount as platforms evolve rapidly.

Some agencies will have specialists, while others hire folks they expect to be passable at every network they service. It’s important to understand what workflow will enable you to succeed.

If you’re happy working with all platforms, then don’t shy away from it. However, if you do better in focusing on one aspect of PPC, that’s totally valid. Just know it might limit your ability to get hired into smaller “familyesque” agencies.

Understanding auction dynamics and bidding strategies is crucial.

Many of us who entered the industry when manual bidding was more popular have an unfair advantage over those who came in during the Smart Bidding era (i.e., anything from 2020).

This is because manual bidding requires you to think about the mechanics of each ad platform’s auction and how you could use those mechanics to your advantage in building account structure.

Knowing what to track and allocating appropriate budgets are key considerations.

Understanding that some networks require more conversions than others to run (e.g., Meta Ads’ 50 in a 7-day period vs. Google Ads’ 15 in a 30-day period) should influence what you choose to track, as well as how you report the data.

Additionally, if you are under or over budget, you’ll set yourself up to fail. Knowing which channels require a big investment upfront and what the breaking point for each network is (either on underspending or spending too much) is critical.

Awareness of potential pitfalls, such as false positives or negatives, enhances campaign effectiveness. For example, it’s important to know how to check if automatically applying recommendations is on and what tasks it’s on for.

It’s worth noting that none of the experts who chimed in on the poll made a clear case for ad network knowledge specifically.

Willingness To Test

Success in PPC requires openness to experimentation and a willingness to adapt. While this wasn’t one of the criteria in the poll, it was one of the most popular traits experts look for in hiring.

Perfectionism can hinder progress in a fast-changing environment. Testing new ideas and embracing failure as an opportunity for growth are essential.

While analytical skills aid in test design, empathy and creativity are equally vital for devising effective experiments.

Here is an expert who favors a willingness to test:

Screenshot of a social media post by Mike RhodesScreenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024

Cultural Fit

Cultural alignment with an agency fosters productivity and job satisfaction. However, you can only achieve that by being honest with yourself about what you want and the mechanics of how you work.

Agencies demand intense effort and collaboration, making compatibility with colleagues crucial.

Anyone looking to make the shift from in-house to agency needs to be prepared for a much faster pace of work and a lot more agency.

Open communication with leadership regarding preferred management and learning styles will ensure a positive working relationship.

Respect for peers and a supportive atmosphere contribute to a fulfilling work environment.

Here are a few thoughts on cultural fit from polled experts:

The image shows a LinkedIn post by David Zebrout containing text discussing the importance of integrating PPC network knowledge with intertimed optimizations in generating profitable growth.Screenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024
LinkedIn post by Lisa Erschbamer discussing the importance of cultural fit and individual personality in team dynamics for effective performance at a PPC Agency.Screenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024
A screenshot of a LinkedIn post by Aaron Davies discussing the importance of cultural fit, individual skills, and team communication in marketing for a PPC agency. The post has reactions and a question comment by NavahScreenshot from author, LinkedIn, April 2024

Final Thoughts

Navigating the current job market can be challenging, but understanding industry needs and honing relevant skills increases your chances of success.

Balancing technical proficiency with creativity and cultural fit is essential for thriving in a PPC role. By aligning with market demands and showcasing your strengths, you can secure rewarding opportunities in the field.

Have a question you’d like us to address? Fill out the form!

More resources:


Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

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

Why Every Marketer Should Be On Reddit

Published

on

By

Why Every Marketer Should Be On Reddit

In its nearly 20 years of existence, Reddit has built a robust, dynamic, and highly engaged community.

It has cemented itself as not only one of the key influencers for the internet culture we have come to know today, but also as one of the top 10 social media sites in the world, with more than 500,000 monthly visitors across more than 100,000 active communities.

Despite its size and influence, marketers have long avoided, overlooked, and failed to establish a presence on what is arguably one of the most influential social media sites today.

To be fair, Reddit has always been known as one of the hardest communities to have marketing success with, requiring months (if not years) of dedicated commitment to actually being a part of the community and engaging with your audience through meaningful, genuine, and honest interactions.

To many, that is just too much risk and too much work, but let’s be honest – most amazing things take risk and hard work. And for all of you who put in that work to be successful on Reddit, you already see the payoff it brings.

Regardless of the reasons, marketers who continue to overlook Reddit’s potential are missing out on an extremely influential community with ideal targeted demographics, where authenticity and genuine connections lead to valuable information, positive branding, and marketing success.

Not convinced? Let’s take a closer look at Reddit!

Reddit Stats You Cannot Ignore

Reddit users are dedicated to their use of the platform, with a reported 82 million (16.4%) of its 500 million users visiting the site daily, sharing over 1 billion posts, with over 16 billion comments across 100,000+ active communities, making it easily one of the top visited and most active sites in the United States today.

The user base is so loyal that they spend, on average, 20 minutes on the platform each day (and over 45 minutes a day for long-time users of more than 7 years) and, in many cases, are inactive on other social platforms.

This makes Reddit one of the only places to actually get in front of this massive audience, with 32% being inactive on Facebook, 37% on Instagram, 41% on TikTok, and 53% on X.

When it comes to demographics, a 2019 survey concluded that the overall Reddit audience was majority male (59%), ranged in age (36% aged 18-29; 25% aged 30-49), and well educated (42% college degree; 31% some college) making them an ideal audience many businesses looking for success.

They also helped Reddit improve revenues by 21% to $804 million in 2023, with a global addressable market for advertising estimated at $1.4 trillion by 2027.

Thought by many to be mostly a North American audience, Reddit claims more than 50% of its traffic comes from international users, a rather impressive climb from its earlier years.

It is important to remember, though, that Reddit is a platform that allows communities to grow and thrive, so those demographics change from subreddit to subreddit.

If that isn’t enough to grab your attention, surveys have found that 75% of users find Reddit a trustworthy source for making purchasing decisions.

For years now, it has been included heavily and prominently in Google search results, which have become even more visible due to reports following their inclusion in SGE results and with Google’s recent $60 million a year deal with Reddit to have real-time access to Reddit content and to use its content to train Google’s future AI models.

Speaking of Reddit’s visibility in Google’s search results, let’s take a closer look at why that deal is so important, especially to search marketers.

Reddit In Google Search, SGE, And Google’s Reddit Deal

For years, Reddit results have been prominently displayed in Google’s search results – so much so that users have even started adding the term “reddit” to the end of their search queries.

So often, you will see Google suggest search lines with the term “reddit” prefilled at the end.

Screenshot by author from search for [are purple mattresses good], Google, May 2024

Even without selecting the query that includes “reddit,” you will notice Reddit’s prominent placement in two places: discussions and forums, and Reddit sitelinks, which are both just below the ads and the first organic result.

Reddit resultsScreenshot by author from search for [are purple mattresses good], Google, May 2024

This was amplified by Google’s recent Helpful Content Update (HCU), which allowed platforms like Reddit and other forums to show up more frequently in search results,

Reddit’s ability to be helpful in satisfying a user’s search for information is so successful – in combination with reported shortages in new content for AI models from all major platforms – it is not surprising Google struck a deal with Reddit to show its content faster in search results and to use the content in training future AI models.

Since news of the deal between Reddit and Google was reported, there has been a lot of additional focus on Reddit’s visibility in Google’s search results.

Experts throughout the search industry report an increase in not only the total visibility of Reddit going up within search but also the speed at which a Reddit post is indexed and shown to users.

Google responded to concerns about Reddit showing up more in search results, saying that “some of the SEO folks who tend to be vocal on this platform (X) really dislike seeing more forum content in our search results. But actual searchers seem to like it. They proactively seek it out. It makes sense for us to be showing it to keep the search results relevant and satisfying for everyone.”

Google responded to concerns of Reddit showing up more in search resultsScreenshot by author from X (Twitter), May 2024

Although disputed by Google, Roger Montii wrote about one report of Reddit content being indexed within five minutes.

ChatGPT to Surface Reddit Content

Adding to the deal Reddit made with Google, it was recently reported that OpenAI has partnered with Reddit to surface their content in ChatGPT, adding to the clear value that both OpenAI and Google see in Reddit’s content today and in the future.

Of course, this has sparked a lot of interest in companies of all sizes. They want to figure out how their brands can participate and succeed on Reddit in hopes of increasing their visibility in Google’s search results, SGE, and ChatGPT and building their brand’s visibility amongst one of the most influential audiences on the internet today.

**Quick warning: Reddit requires genuine, long-term engagement and a strategy for success. So, I would definitely advise individuals and businesses to avoid trying to game, spam, or blindly jump into marketing on Reddit and take the time to really understand the platform, its audience, and your place of value within its communities.

Let’s look at how some major brands have been successful on Reddit in the past.

noosa Yoghurt

Noosa Yoghurt’s 2021 back-to-school campaign on Reddit was a great example of tapping into niche audiences to create engaging, user-driven content.

To capitalize on Reddit’s community of vocal yogurt enthusiasts, noosa launched a Flavor Poll that invited Redditors to upvote their favorite noosa flavors in the comments. This created a sense of community and interactivity around what could have been a standard poll.

Noosa Yoghurt’s 2021 back-to-school campaign on Reddit.Screenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

After tallying the upvotes, noosa published a Promoted Post that showcased the results using a sleek custom infographic, highlighting the community’s favorites while also giving the brand important insight into consumer preferences.

Noosa published a Promoted Post that showcased the results.Screenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

The results:

  • 49% increase in brand recall among Reddit users who were exposed to the campaign.
  • 30% increase in brand favorability.
  • 39% increase in purchase intent (15X the typical lift observed in the food vertical).
  • 50+ billion monthly views.

Sony Pictures Germany

To drum up excitement around the release of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” in Germany, Sony Pictures Germany crafted a Reddit campaign that combined organic and promoted content to engage the platform’s robust fan communities.

The brand created a Reddit account under the protagonist’s name, u/MilesMorales, and used it to share exclusive content directly within Spiderman-related subreddits.

It also organized an AMA with the German voice actor Miles Morales to create a more personal connection with fans and promoted video posts featuring the movie trailer to amplify the excitement.

Sony Pictures Germany crafted a Reddit campaign.Screenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

The results:

  • Sony Pictures Germany achieved a click-through rate (CTR) that was 344% higher than that of its standard paid media.
  • 831 upvotes.
  • 618,000 impressions.
  • The film remained No. 1 on the German movie charts for three consecutive weeks.

It is important to note that promoting your content and your brand on Reddit is definitely not the only value Reddit can bring you and your business.

Reddit is an amazing place to get honest feedback.

Whether you are trying to figure out what your target audience wants from your brand, test out a new feature or concept before investing and launching it openly, or even just to have continued open communication with your customers to support them and keep them connected to your brand, Reddit can help you succeed in an amazing way.

Transamerica Helping Reddit Make Dollars Make Sense

Transamerica’s campaign on Reddit is a great example of a company identifying an opportunity to connect with its target audience on the subreddit /r/finance.

This allows the company to better understand its customers’ needs and focus on content creation and future marketing plans.

Transamerica’s campaign on RedditScreenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

Aligning itself with its audience by demonstrating awareness of the topics around personal finance happening in the subreddit, as well as acknowledging the Redditors working at the company, it asked what topics it could create “specifically for the reddit community” around the topic of finance.

It stayed involved and engaged throughout the campaign, responding to threads and maintaining a lighthearted and sometimes humorous tone.

Transamerica’s campaign on RedditScreenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

After getting all the feedback it needed, it created content around the more popular requests, going as far as branding and designing them similar to Reddit.

IRA vs 401K venn diagramScreenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

It even took the time to individually comment a link to the published content on its site, bringing attention back to the overall campaign and the content it created.

This campaign was 10 years ago, and it is still referenced as a core example of engaging on Reddit as a brand in a respectful, thoughtful, and meaningful way.

Why You Should Be On Reddit Wrapup

TL;DR: If your brand has something meaningful to say and is interested in truly connecting with your audience, then yes, you should be on Reddit.

These successful brand campaign examples showcase Reddit’s power when used correctly. With research to understand the specific communities you want to reach, Reddit can have exceptional performance compared to other channels.

The stakes are high to get it right because Reddit communities can be highly negative toward self-serving promotion. But if you put in the effort and solve people’s needs and problems, Reddit has the potential to be a high-performance channel.

Edit: Updated daily active users figure based on Reddit’s Q1 Earnings Report

More resources:


Featured Image: Julia Tim/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

Trending