Connect with us

SEO

Look At The Past Before You Fear The New Year

Published

on

Look At The Past Before You Fear The New Year

Hello, my dear fellow search marketer, and welcome to 2023.

It’s time to make some New Year’s resolutions, or at the very least, be prepared to make some changes for the new year.

Unlike my New York Jets, there is ample opportunity to drop the crappy “guru” you’ve hired, forecast out a budget (even in a recession), play with a new bid strategy, make memes about Performance Max/GA4 and give Bing (I still refuse to call it Microsoft Advertising) the fighting chance it deserves.

Also, don’t forget to migrate your Twitter ad budget to something actually stable.

So, let’s discuss what you should be doing now, what you went through in 2022, and what you need to do in 2023.

Think of this as a really nerdy and “snarkastic” visitation of three ghosts.

What Should You Be Doing Right Now?

It’s the beginning of 2023, so you’re running a bit late – but you can still make up for lost time.

Forecasting A 2023 Budget

You’ve seen how to forecast search budgets year after year: the old “determine impression share (IS) lost due to budget and had 3%-5% increase in CPC assuming strategy stays the same” method.

Then the pandemic came along, and forecasting got a little iffier. Now, that method lacks some weight.

The reality is, if you keep with that approach, fine, not the end of the world, but understand that cost per click (CPC) growth, especially on brand terms, saw some obscene growth in 2022 (starting around April).

Why? There are a variety of theories, but for now, let’s just call it “inflation.”

If you keep the typical approach, expect to add anywhere from 10%-15% on brand CPC growth YoY in Q1 and, likely, more along the lines of 4%-7% growth on non-brand. This comes from our own in-house estimate – yours should vary.

Next, the ugly elephant in the room – Performance Max – appears. But it gets more complicated if you migrate smart shopping over to Performance Max as well.

There are two ways to forecast this, and honestly, neither will be all that accurate or insightful – I apologize in advance.

  • Look at Google’s recommendation tool, see what it says for growth on a budget (because we all know it never says less), take 15%-25% off that growth level (kill off the buffer), and try that.
  • Or, gradually scale upward of 5%-10% from your current budget, assuming you hit budget caps consistently while flexing up and down for seasonality.

As I said, neither option is great.

If you want to adjust your search strategy (not applicable for Performance Max), look at your IS lost to rank and work the fancy formula that PPC Hero posted a little ways back.

It’ll help you understand where your current strategy/bids are, causing you to miss opportunities.

This is a good time to pace out your budget (if you’re like me, you have a planned budget to spend for literally every day of the year, which will vary based on anticipated demand).

Content Calendar/Seasonal Flighting Planning

Often this is not as applicable if you’re new to a piece of business, but it should 100% be part of your plan.

If you aren’t new to the business and you haven’t done this, then you are Mr. Wilson of the Jets and deserve to be benched.

Make sure you know your deals, seasonality for peaks and lows, and everything you want to do creatively and budget-wise.

It allows you to get all of your assets built way in advance, approved, and scheduled for deployment.

Screenshot from author, December 2022

Assessing What You Didn’t Do

Life and work get busy. This happens to all of us. Odds are, you had laid out some plans for 2022 that you could not execute.

Now is the time to determine what builds, testing, flighting plans, etc., you never got around to doing last year and reprioritize them to determine if you should try them out in 2023.

I like to use this thought process when doing that evaluation:

Was this for “fun” or a necessity (i.e., Is this effort something that would’ve definitely made a business impact, or something just to try out and see if it could help or hurt)?

  • If it was a necessity, then I hope you have a good excuse for why it wasn’t done and put it on the books for 2023.
  • If it was for “fun,” file it away for a rainy day.

Was there a business implication (positive or negative) by not doing this?

  • If no, then no harm/no foul, and you can try it eventually.
  • If yes, then get it ready for 2023, and have a good explanation as to why it wasn’t done.

Consider what you’ve been through.

Much like dealing with your strange aunt/uncle who said something grossly inappropriate during the holidays, you need to sit down and process what did happen to your SEM campaigns in 2022.

This helps you decide if it was all good, all bad, or somewhere in between and what you need to consider carefully in 2023.

Look at both the big things and the small things.

Performance Max

If you migrated into Performance Max by choice or by force (anyone using Smart Shopping or local search), it likely made both a negative and a positive impact on your year.

Negative: You literally have no idea when/where your ad is showing, and all you can think (and you’re probably right) is that Google has thrown some of your direct-to-consumer (DTC) funds away on a really bad Google Display Network placement.

At the same time, you have very little information or ability to explain to your boss why Google has basically relaunched the SMB-targeted Adwords Express as a 2.0 version and just ruined your transparency.

Negative: You did the auto upgrade of a local campaign to Performance Max and discovered how many bugs there are, or you let Google create your YouTube video, and the music makes it far more cringe than you had hoped.

Positive: Especially for those running foot traffic campaigns, you’ve (hopefully) seen cost per store visits become somewhat more cost-efficient, and your ecommerce (for those running Smart Shopping) has seen an improvement in the cost per action (CPA).

Positive: Performance Max is slowly becoming more reliable, and the ability to move to other verticals that are leads driven has become an opportunity.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

I’ll go ahead and say what we’re all thinking (and it has been published multiple times already):

My god, this analytics platform was clearly made by someone who clearly only interacts with barnyard animals and has a vision and not by someone who did a user focus group.

If you somehow managed to survive the implementation of GA4, you’re now, more than likely, cursing it out due to lack of intuitiveness or more frustrated they rolled it out without a bounce rate or even conversion rate until months later.

All is not lost, though; I highly recommend deploying it immediately (if you haven’t already) and running it concurrently with GA UA, so you can work out the kinks and learn the platform while accruing historical data.

You may feel like Google decided to wake up and choose chaos with this platform and probably lost a few weeks of your life trying to understand it – so keep it in mind when you evaluate what you didn’t get around to doing in 2022.

Bing Multimedia Ads

You saw the hype for them in September, especially on the video side, and thought: Finally, Bing is getting into the video ad game.

But then you realized you needed a raw video file to upload it and how little it would rotate.

Big hopes, big opportunity, but just no volume.

Twitter

I know this article is SEM focused, but I would be remiss if I didn’t address this, as it is still biddable media.

Every brand has different views on brand association, but if you have even a hint of brand safety concerns on GDN, MSAN, YouTube, etc., then do not advertise on Twitter until it gets itself straightened out.

Some of these changes in 2022 impacted you in different ways, good or bad.

The question is, can you learn from them, use them, and progress in 2023, with or without them?

What You Need to Do In 2023

I’ve done several of these “What to Expect in the New Year for SEM” articles over the years, but the last two of these could never have anticipated what is going on now… again.

With that being said, I will go with what I believe is mostly going to happen, and you can take it with a grain of salt:

  • The NY Jets will not make the big game – just accept it.
  • CPCs, especially for Q1, will be higher than any other Q1 on record (especially brand terms), so be prepared to find a way to explain why and for your money make to become less cost-efficient.
  • There will not be a decline in demand/search volume until there is an increase in unemployment (ala 2007-2009 recession), so be prepared to address the uptick in volume.
  • Google will become less transparent, somehow.
  • Bing will eventually do whatever Google does.
  • If you work with healthcare brands, prepare to get rid of GA UA quickly due to HIPAA compliance.
  • Absolutely most important, use 1st party data as long as you can – but you need to get extremely good, and fast, at building in market audience segment groups and go all Criminal Minds/FBI profiling a serial killer mentality on targeting.

Have I scared you yet? Good.

2023 will be a wild year in search, and you must be prepared for it.

But you cannot move forward until you evaluate and process the past. Once that is done, you can plan out the future.

Best of luck, search marketers. We’re all going to need it.

More resources: 


Featured Image: 3rdtimeluckystudio/Shutterstock



Source link

SEO

AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

Published

on

AI Content Detection Software: Can They Detect ChatGPT?

We live in an age when AI technologies are booming, and the world has been taken by storm with the introduction of ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is capable of accomplishing a wide range of tasks, but one that it does particularly well is writing articles. And while there are many obvious benefits to this, it also presents a number of challenges.

In my opinion, the biggest hurdle that AI-generated written content poses for the publishing industry is the spread of misinformation.

ChatGPT, or any other AI tool, may generate articles that may contain factual errors or are just flat-out incorrect.

Imagine someone who has no expertise in medicine starting a medical blog and using ChatGPT to write content for their articles.

Their content may contain errors that can only be identified by professional doctors. And if that blog content starts spreading over social media, or maybe even ranks in Search, it could cause harm to people who read it and take erroneous medical advice.

Another potential challenge ChatGPT poses is how students might leverage it within their written work.

If one can write an essay just by running a prompt (and without having to do any actual work), that greatly diminishes the quality of education – as learning about a subject and expressing your own ideas is key to essay writing.

Even before the introduction of ChatGPT, many publishers were already generating content using AI. And while some honestly disclose it, others may not.

Also, Google recently changed its wording regarding AI-generated content, so that it is not necessarily against the company’s guidelines.

Image from Twitter, November 2022

This is why I decided to try out existing tools to understand where the tech industry is when it comes to detecting content generated by ChatGPT, or AI generally.

I ran the following prompts in ChatGPT to generate written content and then ran those answers through different detection tools.

  • “What is local SEO? Why it is important? Best practices of Local SEO.”
  • “Write an essay about Napoleon Bonaparte invasion of Egypt.”
  • “What are the main differences between iPhone and Samsung galaxy?”

Here is how each tool performed.

1. Writer.com

For the first prompt’s answer, Writer.com fails, identifying ChatGPT’s content as 94% human-generated.

Writer.com resultsScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the second prompt, it worked and detected it as AI-written content.

Writer.com test resultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

For the third prompt, it failed again.

Sample ResultScreenshot from writer.com, January 2023

However, when I tested real human-written text, Writer.com did identify it as 100% human-generated very accurately.

2. Copyleaks

Copyleaks did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written.

Sample ResultScreenshot from Copyleaks, January 2023

3. Contentatscale.ai

Contentatscale.ai did a great job in detecting all three prompts as AI-written, even though the first prompt, it gave a 21% human score.

Contentscale.aiScreenshot from Contentscale.ai, January 2023

4. Originality.ai

Originality.ai did a great job on all three prompts, accurately detecting them as AI-written.

Also, when I checked with real human-written text, it did identify it as 100% human-generated, which is essential.

Originality.aiScreenshot from Originality.ai, January 2023

You will notice that Originality.ai doesn’t detect any plagiarism issues. This may change in the future.

Over time, people will use the same prompts to generate AI-written content, likely resulting in a number of very similar answers. When these articles are published, they will then be detected by plagiarism tools.

5. GPTZero

This non-commercial tool was built by Edward Tian, and specifically designed to detect ChatGPT-generated articles. And it did just that for all three prompts, recognizing them as AI-generated.

GPTZeroScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

Unlike other tools, it gives a more detailed analysis of detected issues, such as sentence-by-sentence analyses.

sentence by sentence text perplexityScreenshot from GPTZero, January 2023

OpenAI’s AI Text Classifier

And finally, let’s see how OpenAi detects its own generated answers.

For the 1st and 3rd prompts, it detected that there is an AI involved by classifying it as “possibly-AI generated”.

AI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Likely AI-generated

But surprisingly, it failed for the 2nd prompt and classified that as “unlikely AI-generated.” I did play with different prompts and found that, as of the moment, when checking it, few of the above tools detect AI content with higher accuracy than OpenAi’s own tool.

AI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generatedAI Text Classifier. Unlikely AI-generated

As of the time of this check, they had released it a day before. I think in the future, they will fine tune it, and it will work much better.

Conclusion

Current AI content generation tools are in good shape and are able to detect ChatGPT-generated content (with varying degrees of success).

It is still possible for someone to generate copy via ChatGPT and then paraphrase that to make it undetectable, but that might require almost as much work as writing from scratch – so the benefits aren’t as immediate.

If you think about ranking an article in Google written by ChatGPT, consider for a moment: If the tools we looked at above were able to recognize them as AI-generated, then for Google, detecting them should be a piece of cake.

On top of that, Google has quality raters who will train their system to recognize AI-written articles even better by manually marking them as they find them.

So, my advice would be not to build your content strategy on ChatGPT-generated content, but use it merely as an assistant tool.

More resources: 


Featured Image: /Shutterstock



Source link

Continue Reading

SEO

Five things you need to know about content optimization in 2023

Published

on

5 Things You Need To Know About Optimizing Content in 2023

30-second summary:

  • As the content battleground goes through tremendous upheaval, SEO insights will continue to grow in importance
  • ChatGPT can help content marketers get an edge over their competition by efficiently creating and editing high-quality content
  • Making sure your content rank high enough to engage the target audience requires strategic planning and implementation

Google is constantly testing and updating its algorithms in pursuit of the best possible searcher experience. As the search giant explains in its ‘How Search Works’ documentation, that means understanding the intent behind the query and bringing back results that are relevant, high-quality, and accessible for consumers.

As if the constantly shifting search landscape weren’t difficult enough to navigate, content marketers are also contending with an increasingly technology-charged environment. Competitors are upping the stakes with tools and platforms that generate smarter, real-time insights and even make content optimization and personalization on the fly based on audience behavior, location, and data points.

Set-it-and-forget-it content optimization is a thing of the past. Here’s what you need to know to help your content get found, engage your target audience, and convert searchers to customers in 2023.

AI automation going to be integral for content optimization

Technologies-B2B-organizations-use-to-optimize-content

As the content battleground heats up, SEO insights will continue to grow in importance as a key source of intelligence. We’re optimizing content for humans, not search engines, after all – we had better have a solid understanding of what those people need and want.

While I do not advocate automation for full content creation, I believe next year – as resources become stretched automation will have a bigger impact on helping with content optimization of existing content.

CHATGPT

ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a powerful language generation model that leverages the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) architecture to produce realistic human-like text. With Chat GPT’s wide range of capabilities – from completing sentences and answering questions to generating content ideas or powering research initiatives – it can be an invaluable asset for any Natural Language Processing project.

ChatGPT-for-content

The introduction on ChatGPT has caused considerable debate and explosive amounts of content on the web. With ChatGPT, content marketers can achieve an extra edge over their competition by efficiently creating and editing high-quality content. It offers assistance with generating titles for blog posts, summaries of topics or articles, as well as comprehensive campaigns when targeting a specific audience.

However, it is important to remember that this technology should be used to enhance human creativity rather than completely replacing it.

For many years now AI-powered technology has been helping content marketers and SEOs automate repetitive tasks such as data analysis, scanning for technical issues, and reporting, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. AI also enables real-time analysis of a greater volume of consumer touchpoints and behavioral data points for smarter, more precise predictive analysis, opportunity forecasting, real-time content recommendations, and more.

With so much data in play and recession concerns already impacting 2023 budgets in many organizations, content marketers will have to do more with less this coming year. You’ll need to carefully balance human creative resources with AI assists where they make sense to stay flexible, agile, and ready to respond to the market.

It’s time to look at your body of content as a whole

Google’s Helpful Content update, which rolled out in August, is a sitewide signal targeting a high proportion of thin, unhelpful, low-quality content. That means the exceptional content on your site won’t rank to their greatest potential if they’re lost in a sea of mediocre, outdated assets.

It might be time for a content reboot – but don’t get carried away. Before you start unpublishing and redirecting blog posts, lean on technology for automated site auditing and see what you can fix up first. AI-assisted technology can help sniff out on-page elements, including page titles and H1 tags, and off-page factors like page speed, redirects, and 404 errors that can support your content refreshing strategy.

Focus on your highest trafficked and most visible pages first, i.e.: those linked from the homepage or main menu. Google’s John Mueller confirmed recently that if the important pages on your website are low quality, it’s bad news for the entire site. There’s no percentage by which this is measured, he said, urging content marketers and SEOs to instead think of what the average user would think when they visit your website.

Take advantage of location-based content optimization opportunities

Consumers crave personalized experiences, and location is your low-hanging fruit. Seasonal weather trends, local events, and holidays all impact your search traffic in various ways and present opportunities for location-based optimization.

AI-assisted technology can help you discover these opportunities and evaluate topical keywords at scale so you can plan content campaigns and promotions that tap into this increased demand when it’s happening.

Make the best possible use of content created for locally relevant campaigns by repurposing and promoting it across your website, local landing pages, social media profiles, and Google Business Profiles for each location. Google Posts, for example, are a fantastic and underutilized tool for enhancing your content’s visibility and interactivity right on the search results page.

Optimize content with conversational & high-volume keywords

Look for conversational and trending terms in your keyword research, too. Top-of-funnel keywords that help generate awareness of the topic and spur conversations in social channels offer great opportunities for promotion. Use hashtags organically and target them in paid content promotion campaigns to dramatically expand your audience.

Conversational keywords are a good opportunity for enhancing that content’s visibility in search, too. Check out the ‘People Also Ask’ results and other featured snippets available on the search results page (SERP) for your keyword terms. Incorporate questions and answers in your content to naturally optimize for these and voice search queries.

SEO-and-creating-content-in-2023

It’s important that you utilize SEO insights and real-time data correctly; you don’t want to be targeting what was trending last month and is already over. AI is a great assist here, as well, as an intelligent tool can be scanning and analyzing constantly, sending recommendations for new content opportunities as they arise.

Consider how you optimize content based on intent and experience

The best content comes from a deep, meaningful understanding of the searcher’s intent. What problem were they experiencing or what need did they have that caused them to seek out your content in the first place? And how does your blog post, ebook, or landing page copy enhance their experience?

Look at the search results page as a doorway to your “home”. How’s your curb appeal? What do potential customers see when they encounter one of your pages in search results? What kind of experience do you offer when they step over the threshold and click through to your website?

The best content meets visitors where they are at with relevant, high-quality information presented in a way that is accessible, fast loading, and easy to digest. This is the case for both short and long form SEO content. Ensure your content contains calls to action designed to give people options and help them discover the next step in their journey versus attempting to sell them on something they may not be ready for yet.

2023, the year of SEO: why brands are leaning in and how to prepare

Conclusion

The audience is king, queen, and the entire court as we head into 2023. SEO and content marketing give you countless opportunities to connect with these people but remember they are a means to an end. Keep searcher intent and audience needs at the heart of every piece of content you create and campaign you plan for the coming year.

Source link

Continue Reading

SEO

Headings With Hierarchical Structure An “Awesome Idea”

Published

on

Headings With Hierarchical Structure An "Awesome Idea"

Google’s John Mueller discussed heading elements with a member of the SEO community where he affirmed the usefulness of using hierarchical structure when using heading elements.

Background Context to What Mueller Said

Heading elements <H1> – <H6> are supposed to be used to indicate what a section of a webpage is about.

Furthermore the heading elements have a ranking order, with the <H1> being the highest rank of importance and the <H6> being the lowest level of importance.

The heading element purpose is to label what a section of content is about.

HTML specifications allow the use of multiple <H1> elements. So, technically, using more than one <H1> is perfectly valid.

Section 4.3.11 of the official HTML specifications states:

“h1–h6 elements have a heading level, which is given by the number in the element’s name.

If a document has one or more headings, at least a single heading within the outline should have a heading level of 1.”

Nevertheless, using more than on <H1> is not considered a best practice.

The Mozilla developer reference page about the use of headings recommends:

“The <h1> to <h6> HTML elements represent six levels of section headings. <h1> is the highest section level and <h6> is the lowest.

…Avoid using multiple <h1> elements on one page

While using multiple <h1> elements on one page is allowed by the HTML standard (as long as they are not nested), this is not considered a best practice. A page should generally have a single <h1> element that describes the content of the page (similar to the document’s <title> element).”

John Mueller has previously said that it doesn’t matter if a webpage uses one <H1> or five <H1> headings.

The point of his statement is that the level of the heading isn’t as important as how they are used, with the best practice being the use of  headings for indicating what a section of content is about.

What Mueller Said on Twitter

A member of the SEO community was joking around and gently ribbed Mueller about using more than one H1.

He tweeted:

The SEO followed up by sharing how he preferred using the best practices for heading elements by using only one <H1>, to denote what the page is about and then using the rest of the headings in order of rank, give a webpage a hierarchical structure.

A Hierarchical structure communicates sections of a webpage and any subsections within each section.

He tweeted:

“I’m too traditional with header elements. (HTML 4 for Life! lol)

I’d still recommend using just one H1 element on a page.

I patiently go back to pages to implement header hierarchy for fun.”

John Mueller tweeted his approval in response:

“I think that’s an awesome idea & a great practice.

Header hierarchy is not just useful to Google, it’s also important for accessibility.

(Google still has to deal with whatever weird things people throw up on the web, but being thoughtful in your work always makes sense.)”

Hierarchical Page Structure

In the early days of SEO, <H1> used to be counted as an important ranking factor, one that was more important than an <H2>.

So, back then, one always put their most important keywords in the <H1> in order to signal to Google that the page was relevant for that keyword.

H1 used to have more ranking power so it was essential to use the <H1> to help rankings.

Google’s algorithm was using keywords as a way to “guess” what a webpage was about.

Keywords in the anchor text, keywords in the title tag and keywords in the <H1> helped Google guess what a page was relevant for.

But nowadays, Google doesn’t have to guess.

It is able to understand what sections of a webpage are about, and consequently, what the entire webpage is about.

Despite those advances, many SEOs still believe that using an <H1> is some kind of magic ranking factor.

Headings are no longer about shouting what keyword you want to rank for.

The role of heading elements are now about telling search engines what a section of content is about.

Each section of a content is generally about something specific.

Heading tags make it easier for search engines to know what a page is about.

And that helps them rank the page for the topic.

And according to the official HTML specifications, that’s technically the proper way to use heading elements.

Lastly, Mueller mentioned a quality of the heading element as a way to better communicate for accessibility reasons, like for people who use screen readers.

The official HTML specifications say:

“Descriptive headings are especially helpful for users who have disabilities that make reading slow and for people with limited short-term memory.

These people benefit when section titles make it possible to predict what each section contains.”

So thank you John Mueller for calling attention to the benefits of using headings with a hierarchical structure, for calling attention to how hierarchical structure is useful for Google and for accessibility.

Featured image by Shutterstock/Asier Romero



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

en_USEnglish