All forms of marketing play a part in good brand management.
Using the same tone of voice throughout your ads and emails, and choosing the same photo assets for your website as your billboards, contribute to the picture that is painted when a customer considers your product or service.
Sometimes, however, your brand might be in receipt of some negative press or reviews that can alter the way it is seen.
If a potential customer wants to know if your business is reputable they will likely search for you online.
Visiting your website isn’t enough and they’ll want more objective feedback.
So, online reputation management is critical.
It is the process of shaping and controlling the narrative around your brand online.
SEO is an important step to consider in that process.
Why Is Online Reputation Management Important?
Research into a brand, product, or service often begins online with a search.
Your website is likely to only be one or two of the results brought up when someone searches for your brand.
All those other search results will potentially be saying something about your brand that might not be as favorable as you would like.
For Corporate Brands
Negative reviews happen.
Unfavorable comparisons about your product and a competitor can be made by an objective third party.
Bad press can be high ranking.
If you aren’t actively monitoring what appears at the top of the search results for your branded keywords then you could be missing out on the opportunity to spot potential reputation issues.
Once a news story starts circulating about your company, or even incorrect information is added to a third party website, it can be hard to repair the damage to your brand.
It is important that your brand’s message is what’s seen on the first page of the SERPs.
Proactively working on your online reputation management can put you in a strong position to correct misinformation or outrank unfavorable content.
Our Personal Brand
This all applies to your personal brand as well as your corporate one.
You need to make sure that the information available online paints a positive picture.
We’re all getting very good at portraying ourselves positively on social media.
Photoshopping images, curating our life highlights, and only sharing information that paints us in a positive light.
Employers and recruiters are increasingly visiting social media profiles when considering candidates for a job.
But what about when someone searches your name.
What comes up on the first page of the SERPs?
How to Carry Out SEO for Online Reputation Management
I’m not going to tell you how to get your website to rank for your brand term, just that you need to.
That can be particularly tricky if your brand name is a word that means something in your or another language.
It can be especially difficult if your brand name isn’t that unique.
You do want to be ranking as close to position one as possible for your brand name, however.
This way, the first result (excluding paid results) for your brand name is a property that you control.
That said, you want positions two, three, four, and five to be properties you own, too.
1. Control the Front Page
Wherever possible the first five or so top-ranking results for your brand should be controlled by you.
Your website, any other digital properties you host, and your social media pages.
If a potential customer is looking for information on your brand you want to be maintaining the information they read.
This means taking advantage of the prominent social media sites in your region.
Set up a branded Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles.
Social media sites are hugely authoritative and will rank highly for most branded search queries.
Don’t just settle for a social media presence though.
Set your company up with a profile on review sites, industry comparison sites.
Essentially, any property outside of your direct ownership that you can still have some say over the content of.
2. Be Active on Social Media & Review Sites
Setting yourself up on social media and review sites does come with risk.
People will comment, reviews will be left.
They will not all be favorable.
However, even if you do not have an official Twitter handle or a company created Glassdoor page doesn’t mean competitors or disgruntled employees won’t be talking about your company anyway.
You might just have less visibility of it.
Make sure you are responding to comments, positive and negative.
A negative Twitter comment might well be returned in a Google search for your brand.
3. Set up a Google My Business Listing
This is another area of the branded search results you can own.
Your Google My Business listing could well be the first result a user sees when searching for your brand.
Around festive holidays, or even during the COVID-19 restrictions, your opening hours or availability of your office might change.
Google My Business is the perfect place to keep that information updated.
If you don’t have a Google My Business listing then a search for “[your brand] opening hours” might pull information from a website that hasn’t been updated.
Another benefit to a Google My Business profile for reputation management is Google Posts.
Posts are small snippets of content that will appear directly on your Google My Business listing.
They allow your brand to inject timely offers, articles, or updates straight into the Google search results without having to battle the ranking algorithm or waiting for indexing.
If you are in need of some reactive PR or want to promote something quickly, this is an effective way to do that.
A Google My Business listing does bring with it the potential for reviews of your brand to appear at the top of the SERPs.
If a user leaves a review on your Google My Business profile there is little that can be done to remove it.
It would need to contravene Google’s review guidelines in some way and even then there is no guarantee it will be ruled by Google as such.
Good reputation management is about effectively dealing with negative attention as much as positive.
A negative review can be responded to on Google My Business giving your brand the opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Questions & Answers
Google My Business also features a Q&A section where the public can submit questions to your profile.
The main issue with this is, the public can also answer those questions.
This is a good opportunity to understand what your target audience is interested in knowing but it is a very public way to find out.
It is crucial that you stay on top of any questions asked so you can ensure the answer is accurate.
There is nothing to stop a well-meaning (or ill-intending) member of the public from answering a question and it being wrong.
Ensure you are managing your online reputation well by keeping an eye on this corner of the SERPs.
4. Create Content Around Potentially Negative Keywords
Brand searches will often yield a series of People Also Asked (PAA) search prompts.
The PAA results are a goldmine of information for your reputation management keyword analysis.
These prompts can cause searches to consider questions about the brand they may never have asked.
For instance, based in the UK, I have little exposure or understanding of the brand Walmart.
However, searching the keyword “Walmart” produces these PAAs.
Prior to seeing this PAA, I would not have known that some people may consider it a bad idea to buy clothes from the brand.
I do now.
Not only is the question “is it bad to buy clothes from Walmart?” off-putting for someone who doesn’t know much about the store, the search result it features is even worse.
Other common PAAs that will appear for brand searches include “is [brand] legit?”, “is [brand] a scam?” and “can I cancel [brand] subscription?”
Your potential customer might not have any reason to consider your brand a scam, but seeing those questions that have been searched by others may raise that concern.
Check the PAAs that appear for your brand.
If they are even slightly negative you need to ensure you are ranking as the featured snippet for them to counter that notion.
5. Be Newsworthy for the Right Reasons
If you are trying to bury a high-ranking negative news article that is grounded in fact, many will have little sympathy for you.
Instead, work on being newsworthy for the right reasons.
Gain press about your charitable giving, your encouragement of local teams, or your work to protect the environment.
Focus on digital PR for PR’s sake, even if all you get is a brand mention.
If it is on a high authority website it might be enough to outrank review sites, comparison sites, and other more dangerous properties for your brand terms.
The key is stacking the front page with positive commentary of your brand beyond the properties you have direct control over.
Set up a Brand Alert
Using Google Alerts or other brand mention monitoring tools keep an eye out for when you’re mentioned online.
It may be that a journalist, or reviewer, will be amenable to hearing your side of a negative story.
It might simply be that your company opening hours have been misreported or other inaccuracies stated.
That alert could give you the opportunity to correct misinformation or damaging accusation before it is too widely read.
6. It’s Not All About Google
Don’t forget that there are other search engines aside from Google.
Make sure you are following these steps for those search engines too.
Set up a Bing Places listing and monitor the first page of DuckDuckGo for your brand phrases.
If there is the potential for your brand to be searched in a different search engine, it is critical that you are managing your reputation there.
All screenshots taken by author, October 2020
10 Creative Whitepaper Ideas To Score Big With Your B2B Audience
Whitepapers are among the top lead generation tools of B2B marketers, but they must present unique information to warrant an exchange of information.
After all, the lead is giving up their name, contact, and demographic data for a free asset.
This is enough of a deterrent for the lead to bounce if the landing page doesn’t convey enough value.
Wikipedia defines B2B whitepapers as:
“…papers (that) use selected facts and logical arguments to build a case favorable to the company sponsoring the document.”
To me, this is a fair definition since whitepapers not only inform an audience but also present their brand favorably.
They are editorial content that informs opinions, not unlike a journalistic op-ed or even a sponsored article.
The key differential of a whitepaper is that it must convey authority with the depth of its research – and it must be valuable enough to convert that lead.
In this article, you’ll find 10 creative whitepaper concepts that will stand out in social media feeds, email newsletters, and programmatic advertising so you can score big with your B2B audience.
1. A Guide Written By A C-Suite Member
With this idea, you combine thought leadership with the level of detail required in a whitepaper to shape opinions in your niche.
Rather than a faceless document, it is authored by a C-suite member, such as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
These often cover a pressing issue in your industry.
For busy C-suites, ghostwriting is often an option that is quite effective so long as it captures the right tone and ideas.
What makes these whitepapers stand out is their personal voice, which sparks a connection and conveys trust.
Include the author’s contact information in the footer so readers can get in touch easily with their thoughts or feedback.
2. Whitepaper With Results From A Survey
Polling your audience is a great way to cater to their interests.
After all, people in your industry want to know what other decision-makers in their niche are thinking, so they often crave credible data from surveys.
You can conduct a survey on your own (or hire a survey provider) to glean insights from your audience.
This can be buyer behavior, industry outlook, or even top challenges and ideas on how to address them.
From this data, create a whitepaper that showcases the results but also provides commentary by experts on these ideas and what they mean for your industry.
This type of content positions your brand as an authority, which in turn will serve as a lead magnet for prospects that trust in the quality you bring to the table.
3. Predictions For The Next Quarter (Or Fiscal Year)
Whenever a new quarter looms, marketing and sales teams are under pressure to strategize how they will improve (or recover) their pipeline productivity.
Thus, a whitepaper with predictions provides valuable guidance for these professionals to mould their strategies.
These predictions can be backed up with data on trends, hashtags, and even interviews with decision makers across the industry as to what they can expect for the months ahead.
4. Insights From Academic Research
Worldwide, academics are publishing valuable research for your audience that you can leverage to create groundbreaking, credible content.
All it takes is for you to check scientific paper websites such as JSTOR and Elsevier with keywords that pertain to your niche.
And if you want to get local, contact your regional university for research to fuel your whitepaper ideas.
Just don’t forget to credit the authors. If they are willing, they can be featured in a video or webinar later that, in turn, will boost the value and credibility of your insights.
5. “Antihero” Whitepapers
If there’s any rule held as a gold standard in your niche, yet you believe it has room for improvement (or is plain wrong), then you have a perfect opportunity to publish an “antihero” whitepaper.
An antihero challenges conventions – and in this case, it is a whitepaper with shocking ideas that will invite readers to ponder new possibilities.
However, be careful, as these daring pieces of content can flop if you challenge well-regarded concepts wrongfully.
Make sure to support your arguments with enough proof as to why certain rules should be broken, and if successful, you will open a path for new practices in your industry (or at least a valuable discussion).
Bonus points if your antihero whitepaper turns into viral content that promotes your personal brand or that of your business.
6. Forgotten Lessons
Historical figures are often forgotten as their legacy is taken for granted or upstaged by recent, more trendy insights.
If you have any books of classic thinkers that serve as perfect analogies for how your company is shaped today, you can present their thoughts as “forgotten lessons” for your readers in a form of thought leadership.
For example, when it comes to technology, books by pioneers such as Tim Berners-Lee (an English computer scientist best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web) provide insights on how we can use the internet today or at the very least, are an interesting read.
7. Professional Reference Guide
A reference guide is a comprehensive go-to resource for a professional to find what they need quickly for their job.
It must cover the basics and contain a summarized overview of the advanced tasks of a role with links to further reading.
Reference guides commonly include an introduction for beginners, descriptions of the main tasks the job entails, a brief FAQ, and resource recommendations for professional development (books, courses, certifications).
This type of whitepaper is hard to pull off, yet it has the potential to be an invaluable asset for your audience, especially those who are just starting their careers.
For example, the ‘Mechanical Engineer’s Pocket Book‘ is a comprehensive guide for beginner and senior engineers to consult symbols, formulas, reference charts, and components.
The book has been revised three times since its publication in 1990 to keep up with the latest technology.
However, its structure has remained the same, which proves how this type of content can be easily refreshed to continue to be relevant.
8. Case Study Roundup
If you have correlated case studies, why not pack them together into a single whitepaper?
‘5 Case Studies of [Product] for Healthcare SMBs’ is a hypothetical example in which you would provide a summary of each case study with an overview of the general results.
This allows your case studies to pack more punch and is an easy whitepaper to produce if you already have the original content available.
9. Lessons from Past Trends
This whitepaper idea is also inspired by lessons from the previous year.
However, it is based on insights from trends rather than the ideas of your industry’s trailblazers.
While it can be argued that trends are unpredictable, a common element these whitepapers share is a fresh, unexpected perspective for an audience.
In other words, a trend cuts through the noise.
So, if you compile the past trends of your niche, you’ll understand why they were highly regarded and distinguished by your audience.
You can publish what you learned in a whitepaper such as ‘7 Lessons from the Biggest Hospitality Trends of 2020,’ for example.
10. Co-marketing Whitepapers
With co-marketing, you partner with another company to launch an asset and share the generated leads.
Partnering with an authoritative brand can not only elevate the perceived value of your services but also lessen your team’s workload.
If, for example, you wish to launch a whitepaper on educational technology, why not co-market with a brand that has different offerings (but isn’t a competitor)?
With co-marketing, you can double outreach, too, publishing the asset on more proprietary channels and leveraging separate paid media budgets.
Thus, it’s a win-win, which allows marketing teams to select the most qualified leads from the campaign for their company.
Often, it’s simply not enough to choose the right whitepaper idea.
To ensure it’s also an engaging lead generation tool, here are four additional considerations:
Be Concise, But Don’t Skimp On Content
Your audience will read your whitepaper precisely for its in-depth knowledge, but that doesn’t mean mulling over unnecessary information.
It also doesn’t mean repurposing an article into a multi-page PDF just so it can generate leads.
Whitepapers aren’t supposed to be dense like scientific resources, but rather long-form reports on an interesting topic.
They may be a problem-solving tool (such as a reference guide) or can simply showcase results.
What you need to keep in mind when creating a whitepaper is readability, which can be improved by featuring summaries, indexes, sub-sections, and listicles.
Include only as much information as the reader needs to understand the topic.
Keep In Touch With Your Organization’s Leadership Team
Whether you are a freelancer or an in-house content writer, talking with your leaders (or clients) is a must to craft thought leadership content that engages your audience.
It also helps to spark creativity, which is often necessary to produce the groundbreaking content needed for a noteworthy discussion.
This way, leaders can better anticipate needs in the market, rather than create content based solely on what worked in the past according to CRM and SEO metrics.
Don’t Copy What’s Already Out There
If you read a whitepaper from a competitor and think, “Wow, we could make this,” then don’t!
Many companies fall into the trap of copying other brands, polluting the infosphere with duplicate content.
Instead, analyze what makes that content so good and which features apply to your brand.
Then, you’ll be ready to create better-informed and new whitepapers that can outperform your competitor’s success.
Like the antihero whitepaper idea from this list, presenting an unexpected view can make your whitepaper stand out.
And maintaining this perspective prevents you from publishing run-of-the-mill content as you’ll creatively question the why behind your industry’s status quo.
Keep in mind that rebellion works best contained, so don’t foster this side for no reason in your work.
Featured Image: SkyPics Studio/Shutterstock
Getting Started In International SEO: A Quick Reference Guide
For many companies, having a global website is one of the best ways to reach a wider audience to grow their business.
As more quick and easy website design services become available, even an individual can start a business by targeting foreign countries via a global website.
The thing is though, having a global website does not make you successful in other countries.
Also, following the standard SEO best practices does not make your global website competitive in all target countries. While there seems to be boundless information about international SEO available, it is a fact that many of them are either outdated or incorrect.
In this post, I’ll cover some of the key areas of international SEO.
What Are The Differences Between International & Regular SEO?
I’d say that international SEO is built on standard SEO knowledge and skills.
So, what makes international SEO different? The main reasons are:
- Multiple websites.
- Popular search engines.
- Local audience.
- Local competitors.
While you pay attention to each site, you must keep an eye on the overall performance when you have global websites. Otherwise, your local market websites may be competing against each other or the worst case, may not be indexed at all.
For example, your website designed for Mexico should not outrank or appear in the search results in Spain, if you have a different site designed for Spain.
If you misuse the canonical tag or hreflang tag, certain sites may not be indexed by the search engines or create duplicate indexing.
Should I Go Global? And Where Is My Market?
Before you get into international SEO, it’s always a good idea to review some market reports, stats, and even your own website data to help make the decision.
This is particularly important if you are not sure about the opportunities in different countries or have some convincing to do with your bosses.
Here are some informational sources you can use to decide or prioritize the countries/markets to go after:
- Government and trade organization websites, such as Trade.gov and WTO.org provide the latest international business and trade news and statistics.
- Many companies provide Internet-related reports and statistics, such as Internet World Stats, Econsultancy, and McKinsey & Company. There are numerous sites providing information about specific countries, too.
- Your own analytics data. Do you see anyone visiting your site from other countries? Is there any country that sends more traffic to your site than another? It’s worth paying attention to these markets, especially if any of them are converting already.
One Global Site Or Multiple Website?
If the market is big enough for you to invest in, definitely go with a separate site for each target country.
Not just for SEO reasons, but also to provide a better user experience to the local visitors, it’s always better to have a dedicated site for each of your target countries. It also allows you to use different designs and content on each site, if needed.
However, this may not be a feasible option for you, at least not at the beginning. In that case, you’ll have a site for each language that is spoken in your target countries.
It is okay to do this as you may want to test the waters first before you dive in too deep.
Luckily, we can use hreflang tags to tell Google which language and country each site is created for.
Which Domain To Have: ccTLD or gTLD?
If you asked me this question in 2008, my answer was always to go with a ccTLD. The reality is that not everyone can have this option for different reasons.
Note that some of the search engines such as Baidu still favor websites with local ccTLD.
Also, people outside the U.S. tend to click websites with local TLD over sites with .com or other generic TLDs.
Does Hosting Location Matter?
The location of the website host was one of the important signals for the international SEO related to geotargeting.
However, it’s not as important now that we have other ways to correctly indicate your website’s target market to the search engines and regionally managed CDNs.
Still, the host location has a large impact on the page speed. Make sure that your site can be accessed in the target countries quickly.
How Should I Go About Alternative Geotargeting?
Perhaps, geotargeting is one of the simplest practices where many websites make mistakes as site owners moved from ccTLDs and local market hosting.
There are several ways to geotarget your websites and pages. Here are some of the popular methods:
- Geolocation assignment in Google Search Console.
- Hreflang tag for Google.
- Language meta tag information for Bing.
Side Note: Google now generates the search results based on the searcher’s location no matter which local version of Google a searcher is using.
For example, you used to get different search results from Google.com than Google U.K. (google.co.uk) or Google Australia (google.com.au) even when searching for the same keyword.
But now, you will get the same results in all three Google searches unless you do that search in three different countries.
Google Or Not Google?
While Google is by far the most popularly used of the search engines around the world, in some countries, there are locally grown search engines that are far more popular than Google.
If your target country is one of those below, you’ll need to pay some extra attention to monitor these local sites and for additional optimization work.
- China (Mainland, Simplified Chinese language).
- Russia and Eastern European countries.
- South Korea.
Do I Need to Care About Other Search Engines?
While Google is by far the most popularly used search engine around the world, in some countries, there are locally grown search engines that are very popular.
By ignoring these search engines, you are ignoring huge business opportunities in those countries.
If your target country is one of those below, you’ll need to pay some extra attention to monitor these local sites and for additional optimization work.
- China (Mainland, Simplified Chinese language) – Baidu.
- Russia and Eastern European Countries – Yandex.
- South Korea – Naver.
Of course, even in the countries where Google is most popular, ignoring other popular search engines including Bing limits your business potential.
Translation And Localization
Your global sites should not be the copied and pasted version of your home country website in different languages, though I see that happen to many websites.
Yes, translation and localization of website content are one of the first steps. But then, you need to optimize the sites for each country’s local audience from messaging and offerings to the overall user experience of the site.
A site with popular and well-performing content in the U.S. market may not do as well in Asia or in South America and may require additional content edits and optimization work.
For these reasons, it is important to conduct the keyword research in each targeting country from the standpoint of understanding the local interests and the words they use.
Keep in mind that although the translators or the translation agencies provide a correctly translated document, they may not use the same words that people use to search the information.
Do I Need To Build Links For Each Website?
It’s a hard, “Yes.”
Even when you have one global site with all country or language sites under the same domain, you still want to build links to each site even when you already have tons of links pointing to your domain.
It is because your home country website is likely to have links coming from external sites that are in the same home country.
In order for your global websites to be competitive in each country, you need links from country-specific to the website.
For example, you want to gain links from websites in India or targeting India to your Indian website. Having links from local websites is a good indication to the search engines that your website is designed and suited for that country.
What Else Should I Consider Before I Go Global?
One of the biggest challenges that most companies with global websites face, even the multinational Fortune 100 companies, is the local resources.
No one has the luxury of having unlimited resources in each target country, and this can become a major bottleneck especially since SEO is not a one-off project but requires continued efforts.
The key is to plan task and responsibility allocation between the headquarter and local offices such as:
Now, you may not have any offices or representatives in other countries, or no resources available in local offices.
In those cases, you need to consider whether you’d want to hire one or multiple outside resources.
Conclusion and Takeaway
International SEO is built on top of the standard SEO best practices.
The optimized website doesn’t always produce an optimized global website even after it is translated, and there are several key points in both technical and content optimization efforts that need to be considered.
In fact, adding more languages and content creates more work due to the duplicate content and geotargeting issues as well as the link building.
A global website is a great way to expand your market reach, but it also requires extra resources and budget to do international SEO right.
You do not need to target many languages and countries.
Research your business opportunities using your own data as well as market reports from trusted authorities to decide where you want to be visible in the search results.
Featured Image: Sozina Kseniia/Shutterstock
11 Stunning Data Visualizations To Inspire Your SEO Reporting
We’ve all heard that data tells a story. But sometimes that story is difficult to follow – especially if you’re not really a numbers person.
As SEO professionals, we know what we do has an effect on a business’s bottom line. So how do we convey that to our clients in ways that resonate?
Data visualizations are growing in popularity, and rightfully so.
These visualizations illustrate the compelling stories that SEO data can tell.
Whether you’re just getting started with data visualizations or looking for inspiration to improve your reporting, you’ll find what you need here.
What Is Data Visualization?
Data visualization is the act of turning numbers into visual graphics.
Those graphs you made in grade school? Visualizations.
Gradient maps? Visualizations.
Data visualization is also how you present your numbers.
It all paints a picture.
Not only do visuals make your data easier for clients to digest, but they also make it more interesting.
And when you’re trying to get executive or client buy-in, that’s essential.
11 Examples Of Stunning Visuals For SEO Reporting
The good news is that you don’t have to start from scratch.
There are plenty of data visualization tools and examples you can draw from to make quicker work of telling the right stories with your SEO data.
Here are 11 you can check out in your pursuit of visualizations to improve your SEO reports.
1. Datapine Dashboard
On the lefthand side of the datapine dashboard, there are six rectangles in different shades of blue.
At the top is the lightest shade of blue which represents the least qualified audience; at the bottom, you’ll see a dark blue rectangle representing the converted audience.
As SEO professionals, we are often working with people to solve a specific problem.
No matter what that problem is, there are different key performance indicators that can illude to whether or not we are on the right track.
The best way to determine these key performance indicators is to start at the end and work backward through the pipeline.
If the goal is to get more people to reach the end of the blog post and click on the “related articles,” you will obviously need to track those clicks. But scrolls to the bottom of the blog post, 75% scrolls, 50% scrolls, 25% scrolls, page visits, and page impressions are all also indicators of whether or not we are headed in the right direction.
It is also a great way to be able to quickly see where drop-offs may be happening.
Personally, I’d create make this left-hand side overview a workshop with the client to identify all of the KPIs we will focus on.
Then, I’d choose graphics with the client for each of those clients so they can put a picture with the name and jog their memory as to what that KPI means.
Lastly, if you report each month, you could also put a comparison number under the name of the metric to let the client know if you are performing better month over month.
2. Oneupweb ROI Report
There is one section of every report a client’s eyes always looks for first… the one that talks about money.
Far too often, we get hyper-focused on the nitty-gritty of the work we’ve done and want to show that off, even though we know that is not what is most important to our clients.
Whether ROI is up or down, the reality of it is that clients always go there first, so own it.
Make the numbers big and show your impact.
This example from OneUpWeb sets the numbers up in a way that draws your eye right to what matters.
At the top, you see the price of the retainer.
Right in the middle in a large font, you see the ROI percentage and towards the bottom, the formula that makes up the ROI in dollars.
This report is transparent and really plays to the wants of the clients.
3. KeySearch.co Keyword Tool
The KeySearch keyword tool spits out a lot of information, but the table that lays out the information by URL is extremely useful.
In just a second, you can see which URLs have the most good (and which have the most bad, too).
While it’s not overly complicated or artistic, it simplifies the data in a stunning way.
While this table is used to layout metrics for certain URLs, it could easily be used for tracking important keyword metrics for clients.
For instance, you could track:
- what position you currently rank,
- whether there are any owned rich snippets,
- how much traffic was sent to the site from that keyword,
- buying intent, etc.
4. Smart Insights Bot Traffic Report 2016
Smart Insights is constantly putting out beautiful reports, and this one is no exception.
They published this infographic to explain the types of bots hitting websites.
The color green represents good bots and red are bad, a concept we are very familiar with from a young age – that was their first win.
The infographic has a pie chart in the middle. There is nothing too special about that, except that the bottom half of the pie chart down is broken down a bit further right a bit further down the page.
Under the pie chart, the same color scheme is followed to break the information down a bit further and give the view context as to how the “good” and “bad” bots are made up.
This concept could easily be replicated for device reports in your SEO reporting.
You could use a pie chart for the device category and you could break it down further by browser type or device model further down the page.
5. Lucky Orange Heatmaps
Much of our job as SEO experts is making a site more user-friendly.
At times, this can be hard for our clients to really understand.
Therefore, one of my favorite things to do is share click maps with clients.
Here’s an example from Lucky Orange that gives them a visual of what people click on the most on their pages.
As you can see, a glance at this visual can give anyone an idea of where clients might get lost.
The best time to pull out heatmaps is for forms. You’d be surprised how the click density shrinks the longer the form goes on.
This may be especially useful for comparing how forms perform on mobile vs. desktop.
6. Gov | DNA By Werner Helmich
It’s no wonder this next visual was a winner of the World Data Visualization Prize.
This bubble graph from the Gov | DNA site is beautifully simple.
Unlike traditional scatter plots, this bubble graph is color-coded and has different size bubbles.
This is a great way to plot a lot of metrics in one place in an understandable way.
On the other hand, the bubble graph is much like a scatter plot in the sense that it makes spotting outliers very easy.
In my mind, this would be a great way to map out sessions vs. conversions of different keywords.
I would also use the color groups to represent different keyword groups and have the size of the bubble represent the total monthly volume of the keyword.
7. Popular Programming Languages On The Cran Network Visual
Much like tracking keywords, tracking the performance of blog posts and categories of blog posts can get a bit complicated.
However, after taking a look at this visual, it seems there may be an easy way to do it.
The visual above shows the different programming languages, how many CRAN packages were written in the languages, and what the different types of packages were.
The languages are color-coded and found in the middle of the visual while the types of packages are attached to the respective languages in the outer circle.
We could use the same setup for blog content.
The colors and large cells in the middles could be based on the categories and how much traffic they bring in and all of the large cells could be attached to the individual blog posts in each category in the outer circle.
This type of setup could make it easy for anyone to see where the biggest wins are coming from as well as which categories may need more attention.
8. The Women Of Data Viz
This visual is a unique one with a lot of moving parts.
I’m not too sure I would keep all of the parts, but I think the concept could be used to track progress for an audit.
On the left side, you see a heart with all of the potential attributes.
These attributes indicate whether or not a qualification is met. If the qualification is met, it goes on the heart, if it’s not, it doesn’t.
So, this visual could be made to represent an “optimized page checklist.”
If you created attributes for all of the things that need to be done for any given page, you could easily show the progress made on the site as a whole in an easy-to-digest way.
You can look at this visual and see that most of the hearts at the bottom have a larger white ring, if that larger white ring represented content length, we could see that the other pages (hearts without rings) still need a bit more content.
9. The Invisible Heartbeat Of New York City
There are a ton of ways to show geography, but none of them are overly exciting anymore.
At some point, you start to look past the visuals that you’ve seen many times before.
But this visual of New York City by Justin Fung is sure to get your attention.
This map uses 3D bars going up and down to represent each block of the city’s population.
Color is also used as a secondary indicator of population.
For local SEO marketers, this could be an awesome way to shake up your reporting and show your clients something new.
Imagine showing your clients where directions were requisitions from on their Google Business Profile with this awesome visual!
Hoaxy is a tool used for identifying spreaders of misinformation on Twitter.
However, it can also just be used to identify sharers of information and the circles they influence.
In this specific instance, I searched the name of a new Search Engine Journal article to see who shared it and influenced others to do the same.
What is really interesting about this is that it actually pulls in all of the Twitter usernames – which could be super useful.
This would be a very interesting way to show your clients how a particular blog post performed on Twitter and who picked it up.
This is especially helpful if you’ve been working with PR people for link building.
Lastly, this could also be great information for identifying potential people for guest posting opportunities.
11. Visual Link Explorer
Now, this is a really cool visualization because it comes from a tool specifically created for SEOs!
Not only can you see which pages have the most links at a glance because of the size of the element, but you can also tell how authoritative those links are but seeing how far out those links reach.
The further out the tether from the center, the more authoritative the link.
Further, this tool is interactive and allows you to color-code the theaters based on the type of domain linking to the page and whether the link is live or lost.
Honestly, this list could go on for days but hopefully, now you have a bit of inspiration!
I challenge you to take a look at the reports you are currently giving to clients and try to make at least one new visual to either replace or complement the data you are already reporting.
I have a good feeling it’ll end with more compelling reports and happier people on the receiving end.
Featured Image: Wichy/Shutterstock
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