Connect with us

SEO

Why Would Optimizing Existing Content Cause Rankings To Drop?

Published

on

Why Would Optimizing Existing Content Cause Rankings To Drop?

[ad_1]

If only good intentions drove results in SEO.

Sadly, that’s not the case, as Tamar from Israel discovered recently. She submitted the following to Ask An SEO:

“Help! I just started working at a start-up. The blogs are a horrible mess for many reasons, but there are about 20 blogs out of the 140 that are converting a few people to try our software.

I wanted to do the minimum to optimize them, so I corrected all of the H-titles, made sure each post had a meta description, and checked that any images had an alt tag.

In less than a day, ALL of these blogs lost their position for the main keywords they were ranking for, according to Google Search Console. What gives?!

I can’t find an explanation for this anywhere! Almost all of them dropped by at least 20-30 in position for a keyword… going from #9, for example, to #55 for a top query. Please help.”

Although Tamar did submit the domain, we have no insight into which 20 of the 140 blogs indexed we’re discussing here.

Further, we have no context as to which keywords she was ranking on and lost positioning for.

Were this my client, those would be the first things I would want to have a look at.

So let’s talk about what we do know.

Fluctuations in rankings are normal as Google assesses the new/updated content, so I wouldn’t panic so soon after the change.

If the issue persisted, we’d want to start investigating potential causes.

Tamar, the chances your rankings dropped due to adding alt text or meta descriptions are slim to nil.

Meta descriptions are not a ranking factor.

And alt text, while an important accessibility aid, is only a ranking factor for Image Search.

Going back in and optimizing by adding alt text could only help.

So we’re left with “correcting” the HTML heading tags.

We’re going to assume this isn’t a technical SEO issue as the rankings drop would be wider spread than just the 20 posts that had content updates if that were the case.

We’re also going to assume this isn’t a case of a competitor or two stepping up their game and bumping you out as these are fairly sizable changes.

I have a couple of main suspects.

Are You Keyword Stuffing?

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines are clear on this:

“Keyword stuffing” refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group, or out of context (not as natural prose).

Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking.

Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.

If in “correcting” your subheadings you added an unnatural volume of keywords, Google may have demoted those pages.

Did You Make A Mess Of Relevance?

Depending on the keyword terms you tried to optimize for, it’s possible you could have negatively impacted Google’s perception of the content’s relevance to the terms it was already ranking on.

For example, you might assume that because a page was ranking well and driving qualified traffic for [JIRA project management] that you could piggyback off its success and tap into [agile project management], as well.

This would be a mistake.

Perhaps user behavior and its semantic understanding of the topic leads Google’s algorithms to believe that:

  • People searching for [JIRA project management] are looking for a tool.
  • People searching for [agile project management] are looking to learn about a process.

In trying to optimize existing content for a keyword with conflicting search intent and topical relevance, you may have muddied the waters.

Making the piece less focused could impact Google’s perception of it as the best answer for the queries you want to rank on.

Other Content Quality Factors Impacting Your Ability To Rank

I believe one of the two actions above was likely responsible for the rankings drop you experienced across those 20 blog posts.

However, in taking a look at the site, there are several content quality issues that could be holding you back.

Put these on your list of priorities and see whether you can get those money pages performing better in search:

Update your outdated content.

I see blog posts with 2020 in the title and URL as the newest content in some categories.

It gives Google and prospective customers the impression that you aren’t actively creating and maintaining the information you’re putting out into the world.

Create an internal linking strategy.

I see zero internal links in the 10 blog posts I spot-checked.

Internal linking not only helps Google understand your site hierarchy, but it also passes PageRank and helps visitors stay engaged and move around your site.

Improve writing quality.

There are grammatical errors and issues with sentence structure, word usage, and other writing mechanics throughout that make the content difficult to read.

Hire an editor and make good use of tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway to improve the quality of your writing.

Test Any Further Optimizations Before Proceeding

If nothing else, this experience should serve as a good reminder of the importance of testing any changes to existing webpages before a wider rollout.

Document the changes you intend to make and test them out.

See what happens. Measure the results.

Remember, too, that the same optimizations may produce entirely different results on another page.

That’s just part of the fun of SEO!

A good next step would be to conduct a content audit to see where your greatest opportunities are right now.

Then, prioritize your findings. You do not need to do it all at once – in fact, that can have unintended consequences, as we saw here.

Updating and optimizing existing content is a great practice that can dramatically improve user experience and rankings.

But it’s a process. Don’t rush it.

Focus on your most potentially lucrative pages and optimizations first, and always be ready to roll it back if you’ve accidentally tanked your rankings.

More Resources:


Featured image: Shutterstock/ViDi Studio

Editor’s note: Ask an SEO is a weekly SEO advice column written by some of the industry’s top SEO experts, who have been hand-picked by Search Engine Journal. Got a question about SEO? Fill out our form. You might see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post!



[ad_2]

Source link

SEO

A Comprehensive Guide To Marketing Attribution Models

Published

on

A Comprehensive Guide To Marketing Attribution Models

We all know that customers interact with a brand through multiple channels and campaigns (online and offline) along their path to conversion.

Surprisingly, within the B2B sector, the average customer is exposed to a brand 36 times before converting into a customer.

With so many touchpoints, it is difficult to really pin down just how much a marketing channel or campaign influenced the decision to buy.

This is where marketing attribution comes in.

Marketing attribution provides insights into the most effective touchpoints along the buyer journey.

In this comprehensive guide, we simplify everything you need to know to get started with marketing attribution models, including an overview of your options and how to use them.

What Is Marketing Attribution?

Marketing attribution is the rule (or set of rules) that says how the credit for a conversion is distributed across a buyer’s journey.

How much credit each touchpoint should get is one of the more complicated marketing topics, which is why so many different types of attribution models are used today.

6 Common Attribution Models

There are six common attribution models, and each distributes conversion value across the buyer’s journey differently.

Don’t worry. We will help you understand all of the models below so you can decide which is best for your needs.

Note: The examples in this guide use Google Analytics 4 cross-channel rules-based models.

Cross-channel rules-based means that it ignores direct traffic. This may not be the case if you use alternative analytics software.

1. Last Click

The last click attribution model gives all the credit to the marketing touchpoint that happens directly before conversion.

Last Click helps you understand which marketing efforts close sales.

For example, a user initially discovers your brand by watching a YouTube Ad for 30 seconds (engaged view).

Later that day, the same user Googles your brand and clicks through an organic search result.

The following week this user is shown a retargeting ad on Facebook, clicks through, and signs up for your email newsletter.

The next day, they click through the email and convert to a customer.

Under a last-click attribution model, 100% of the credit for that conversion is given to email, the touchpoint that closed the sale.

2. First Click

The first click is the opposite of the last click attribution model.

All of the credit for any conversion that may happen is awarded to the first interaction.

The first click helps you to understand which channels create brand awareness.

It doesn’t matter if the customer clicked through a retargeting ad and later converted through an email visit.

If the customer initially interacted with your brand through an engaged YouTube view, Paid Video gets full credit for that conversion because it started the journey.

3. Linear

Linear attribution provides a look at your marketing strategy as a whole.

This model is especially useful if you need to maintain awareness throughout the entire buyer journey.

Credit for conversion is split evenly among all the channels a customer interacts with.

Let’s look at our example: Each of the four touchpoints (Paid Video, Organic, Paid Social, and Email) all get 25% of the conversion value because they’re all given equal credit.

4. Time Decay

Time Decay is useful for short sales cycles like a promotion because it considers when each touchpoint occurred.

The first touch gets the least amount of credit, while the last click gets the most.

Using our example:

  • Paid Video (YouTube engaged view) would get 10% of the credit.
  • Organic search would get 20%.
  • Paid Social (Facebook ad) gets 30%.
  • Email, which occurred the day of the conversion, gets 40%.

Note: Google Analytics 4 distributes this credit using a seven-day half-life.

5. Position-Based

The position-based (U-shaped) approach divides credit for a sale between the two most critical interactions: how a client discovered your brand and the interaction that generated a conversion.

With position-based attribution modeling, Paid Video (YouTube engaged view) and Email would each get 40% of the credit because they were the first and last interaction within our example.

Organic search and the Facebook Ad would each get 10%.

6. Data-Driven (Cross-Channel Linear)

Google Analytics 4 has a unique data-driven attribution model that uses machine learning algorithms.

Credit is assigned based on how each touchpoint changes the estimated conversion probability.

It uses each advertiser’s data to calculate the actual contribution an interaction had for every conversion event.

Best Marketing Attribution Model

There isn’t necessarily a “best” marketing attribution model, and there’s no reason to limit yourself to just one.

Comparing performance under different attribution models will help you to understand the importance of multiple touchpoints along your buyer journey.

Model Comparison In Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

If you want to see how performance changes by attribution model, you can do that easily with GA4.

To access model comparison in Google Analytics 4, click “Advertising” in the left-hand menu and then click “Model comparison” under “Attribution.”

Screenshot from GA4, July 2022

By default, the conversion events will be all, the date range will be the last 28 days, and the dimension will be the default channel grouping.

Start by selecting the date range and conversion event you want to analyze.

GA4 model comparison_choose event and date rangeScreenshot from GA4, July 2022

You can add a filter to view a specific campaign, geographic location, or device using the edit comparison option in the top right of the report.

GA4 Model comparison filterScreenshot from GA4, July 2022

Select the dimension to report on and then use the drown-down menus to select the attribution models to compare.

GA4 model comparison_select dimensionScreenshot from GA4, July 2022

GA4 Model Comparison Example

Let’s say you’re asked to increase new customers to the website.

You could open Google Analytics 4 and compare the “last-click” model to the “first-click” model to discover which marketing efforts start customers down the path to conversion.

GA4 model comparison_increase new customersScreenshot from GA4, July 2022

In the example above, we may choose to look further into the email and paid search further because they appear to be more effective at starting customers down the path to conversion than closing the sale.

How To Change Google Analytics 4 Attribution Model

If you choose a different attribution model for your company, you can edit your attribution settings by clicking the gear icon in the bottom left-hand corner.

Open Attribution Settings under the property column and click the Reporting attribution model drop-down menu.

Here you can choose from the six cross-channel attribution models discussed above or the “ads-preferred last click model.”

Ads-preferred gives full credit to the last Google Ads click along the conversion path.

edit GA4 attribution settingsScreenshot from GA4, July 2022

Please note that attribution model changes will apply to historical and future data.

Final Thoughts

Determining where and when a lead or purchase occurred is easy. The hard part is defining the reason behind a lead or purchase.

Comparing attribution modeling reports help us to understand how the entire buyer journey supported the conversion.

Looking at this information in greater depth enables marketers to maximize ROI.

Got questions? Let us know on Twitter or Linkedin.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Andrii Yalanskyi/Shutterstock



Source link

Continue Reading

DON'T MISS ANY IMPORTANT NEWS!
Subscribe To our Newsletter
We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

Trending

en_USEnglish