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5 Key Tools to Improve the SEO Potential of Your Content

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Coming up with good quality content, consistently, is a difficult task.

You have to create something that reads, looks and sells well – but wait, as they say in infomercials, ‘that’s not all’. A huge part of a webpage’s success in the long term is also about which search queries the content ranks for, and for how long, ensuring you get optimal traffic flows to your site.

SEO is a whole other consideration –  four essential things you need to cover for perfect SEO writing are: 

  1. Pick the topics that attract a lot of clicks
  2. Discover the keywords needed for the search engine to rank you
  3. Write a piece of content that adheres to search engines’ best practices
  4. Attract organic links by engaging with your audience, and refining your publishing process 

There’s a lot of elements to consider – but luckily, there are tools to assist with each aspect.

In this post, I’m going to go over some of my go-to apps for each, and provide some additional recommendations to assist, which will help you improve your content SEO process.

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1. Google Trends

All content creation starts with a question – ‘What should I write about?’

And, sure, you can just wing it, and you can create content that’s engaging for you, that you yourself would like to see online. 

But unfortunately, most of us can’t afford to rely on luck and/or personal taste. What we need to know is what specific types of topics and posts are popular in our niche, and which will help us connect with our target audience.

For reliable search data, you can’t go wrong with Google’s own. Google is the world’s dominant search engine, and basically for whatever your business does, and wherever you are in your process, having a high ranking in Google Search remains a key way to gain traffic.

With Google Trends, you can see how the interest in your focus topics have changed over time, related queries stemming from them, and even which geographic locations are the “search hubs” for the topics you’re interested in. 

Advantages:

  • The data comes direct from Google
  • You can monitor trends locally
  • It’s free

2. Google Keyword Planner

Keyword research is one of the best ways to increase your traffic – using the right keywords will ensure search engines are able to understand what you’re writing about, and how deep you’re covering your topic of choice. 

For example, let’s say there’s a search engine results page with top 10 ranking of pages for the search query “leather boots”. The vast majority of the pages displayed will likely have “women’s leather boots” sprinkled all through the text, headers, and/or title. Now the search engine is likely to consider “women’s” a vital part of the topic when creating a page about “leather boots”. 

Even though you want to rank for “leather boots”, “women’s” will also need to be covered to get some of that coveted relevancy. 

To know which umbrella of words is needed to be ranked for a certain query – that’s what keyword research is for.

With Keyword Planner, you’re able to enter a bunch of seed keywords and the tool will come back to you with a range of suggestions, synonyms to cover, and possibly extensions for your topic that you haven’t thought of before. 

Keyword Planner will, of course, show you the average number of searches for the keywords you’re interested in, but that’s not the only criterion you need to be looking at. 

Use the “Historical” data tab to see how the stats for the keywords changed over time – and of course use Google Trends to see where and how intensely people searched/are searching for it. 

Advantages:

  • Again, the data is direct from Google
  • You can research up to 10 keywords at the same time
  • There are lots of ways to filter the keywords you’re getting
  • CPC/PPC information
  • It’s free

3. WebSite Auditor’s Content Editor

WebSite Auditor’s (disclosure: this is a tool from my company) Content Editor is, as the name suggests, a tool for creating and editing your online content.

It’s a word processor app with SEO features, so you get to create and edit webpages while having a wealth of custom SEO tips and tricks on-hand.

As you’re writing your future page, the tool will give you a bunch of SEO alerts to turn to – for example, if you’re using too many or not nearly enough of your target keywords (or words in general), or if you need to fill out a certain tag or image alt text – you’ll know immediately.

There’s also quick access to “People also ask” boxes about your topic, giving a continuous feed of ways to expand your page, while the tool will also automatically recommend additional keywords you might want to cover that you haven’t already to avoid missing any opportunities.

Advantages:

  • SEO advice as you’re writing the page
  • List of highest-traffic competitors always on hand
  • You can create a new page from scratch, or edit an existing one
  • It’s free

4. Yoast’s Real-Time Content Analysis

Chances are that most people reading this are familiar with Yoast, given that it’s the most popular plugin for WordPress in the world, and helps millions of people do SEO on the fly. 

Their content editor, Real-Time Content Analysis, offers similar functionality to Website Auditor, but with a particular WordPress bent to it.

It also combines the word processor/SEO auditor functionalities under one hood – and thanks to the fact that it’s a web-based service, like all of Yoast’s SEO plugins, you get to edit your page anytime, anyplace. 

Advantages:

  • A list of SEO advice right near your writing
  • A cloud service, so you can write your page anywhere
  • It’s free

5. Buffer

As we’re all painfully aware, your content’s success (SEO success included) doesn’t stop at the content. 

Both SEO and content marketing need the same slippery thing to be successful — the buzz. And while in content marketing we’re talking about likes, shares, and clicks, what the search engines crave are organic backlinks

Organically attracted backlinks are solid proof for any ranking algorithm that your pages are great, that people enjoy them and find them useful. The chances of getting ranked higher increase substantially thanks to that.

To get those precious organic links, you need people linking back to your content – you need to inspire engagement and prompt sharing. This is where content marketing collides with SEO.

To manage the buzz of your content, you’ll need a tool like Buffer, both for coordinating the publishing process of your content cycle, and for analyzing social media data for higher engagement level with your audience. 

Within Buffer’s dashboard, you can see exactly what kind of reach you get when you publish new content, and what kind of audience is responding. Armed with that kind of knowledge, you’ll be able to more easily improve the spread of your content – and ultimately, its position as a relevant and useful page that search engines will want to rank higher.

Advantages:

  • Manage your content strategy across all social media platforms
  • Analysis features included to improve your reach
  • Free trial available

Slutsats

Content marketing and SEO activities always have to go hand-in-hand for us to really step up our SEO rankings, and, consequently, the traffic we see.

Most people today use search to find everything, and seizing the opportunity provided to us by the search giants is key to ongoing success. 

Socialmediatoday.com

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Publicis Performance Marketing Unit Acquires Influencer Platform Perlu 01/30/2023

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Publicis Performance Marketing Unit Acquires Influencer Platform Perlu 01/30/2023

Publicis Groupe-owned performance marketing agency CJ, which specializes in affiliate marketing, has acquired Perlu, a Syracuse, New York-based influencer networking and technology platform.
Perlu’s platform enables companies to activate, network, and collaborate with a community of influencers.   

Perlu will initially retain its name and organization as it is
integrated …



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Reports Show that Facebook Usage is Up, as Meta Continues to Develop its AI Targeting Models

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Reports Show that Facebook Usage is Up, as Meta Continues to Develop its AI Targeting Models

While Facebook is no longer the cool app, especially among younger audiences, it remains a key platform for many users, and its capacity to keep people updated on important updates from friends and family is likely to ensure that many continue to return to the app every day for some time yet.

But more than that, Facebook usage is actually increasing, according to internal insights viewed by The Wall Street Journal, which also include some interesting notes on overall Facebook and Instagram usage trends.

As per WSJ:

Data gathered in the middle of the fourth quarter showed that time spent on [Facebook] was up worldwide, including in developed markets, over the course of a year.”

Which seems unusual, given the subsequent rise of TikTok, and short form video more generally. But actually, Facebook has been able to successfully use the short-form video trend to drive more usage – despite much criticism of the platform’s copycat Reels feature.

Indeed, Reels consumption is up 20%, and has become a key element in Meta’s resurgence.  

How is it finding success? Increased investment in AI, which has driven big improvements in the relevance models that fuel both Reels and its ads, which are also now driving better response.

On Reels, Meta’s systems are getting much better at showing users the Reels content that they’re most likely to be interested in. You’ve likely noticed this yourself – what was initially a mess of random clips inserted into your Facebook feed has now become more focused, and you’re probably finding yourself expanding a Reels clip every now and then, just to see what it’s about.

Reels has actually been too successful:

“Because ads in Reels videos don’t currently sell for as much as those sold against regular posts and stories, Reels’ growing share of content consumption was denting ad revenue. To protect the company’s earnings, the company cut back on promoting Reels, which lowered watch time by 12%.

So again, while Meta has been criticized for stealing TikTok’s format, it’s once again shown, just as it did with Stories, that this is a viable and beneficial pathway to keeping users engaged in its apps.

You might not like it, but replication works in this respect.

But for marketers, it’s likely the development of Meta’s AI targeting tools for ads that’s of most interest.

Over time, many performance advertisers have been increasingly recommending that marketers trust Meta’s AI targeting, with newer offerings like Advantage+ driving strong results, with far less manual targeting effort.

Advantage+ puts almost total trust in Meta’s AI targeting systems. You can choose a couple of targeting options for your campaigns, but for the most part, the process is designed to limit manual impact, in order to let Meta’s systems determine the right audience for your ads.

Which may feel like you’re ceding too much control, but according to Meta, its continued AI investment is now driving better results.

Heavy investment in artificial intelligence tools has enabled the company to improve ad-targeting systems to make better predictions based on less data, according to the interviews and documents […] That, along with shifting to forms of advertising less dependent on harvesting user data from off its platforms, are key to the company’s plans to overcome an Apple privacy change that restricted Meta’s capacity to gather information about what its users do outside its platforms’ walls, the documents show.”

That’s likely worth considering in your process, putting more trust in Meta’s targeting systems to drive better results. At the least, it may be worth experimenting with Meta’s evolving AI for ad targeting. 

It’s not all good news. Meta also notes that while time spent in its apps is on the rise, creation and engagement is declining, with fewer people posting to both Facebook and Instagram than they have in the past.

That’s particularly true among younger audiences, while notably, usage of Instagram Stories is also in decline, down 10% on previous levels.

So while Meta is driving more engagement from Reels, which draws on content from across the app, as opposed to the people and Pages you follow, that’s also led to a decline in user posting.

Is that a bad thing? I mean, logically, engagement is important in keeping people interested in the app, and Meta also relies on those signals to help refine its ad targeting. So it does need users to be sharing their own content too, but if it can get more people spending more time in its apps, that will help it maintain advertiser interest.

In essence, despite all of the reports of Facebook’s demise, it remains a key connective platform, in various ways, while Meta’s improving ad targeting systems are also helping to drive better results, which will keep it as a staple for brands moving forward.

If you were thinking of diversifying your social media marketing spend this year, maybe don’t reduce Facebook investment just yet.

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Effective Ways To Personalize Your Customer Touch Points Even More In 2023

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Effective Ways To Personalize Your Customer Touch Points Even More In 2023

Will 2023 be the year of personalization? Consumers hope so. For the past two years, shoppers have been craving the personal touch: In 2021, McKinsey & Company noted that 71% of customers expected companies to deliver personalization. In 2022, a Salesforce survey found that 73% of people expected brands to understand their needs and expectations. So, this year is looking like one where personalization can no longer be seen as a “nice to have.”

The problem, of course, is how to get more personalized. Many companies have already started to dabble in this. They greet shoppers by name on landing pages. They rely on CRMs and other tools to use historical information to send shoppers customized recommendations. They offer personalized, real-time discounts to help buyers convert their abandoned shopping cart items to actual purchases.

These are all great ideas. The only problem is that they’ve become widespread. They don’t move the needle on the customer experience anymore. Instead, they’re standard, expected, and kind of forgettable. That doesn’t mean you can afford to stop doing them. It just means you must devise other ways to pepper personalization throughout your consumer interactions.

If you are scratching your head on how to outdo 2022’s personalization in 2023, try implementing the following strategies:

1. Go for full-blown engagement on social media.

One easy way to give the personal touch is through your social media business pages. Social media use just keeps growing. In 2022, there were about 266 million monthly active users (or MUAs) on Facebook, one billion on Instagram, and 755 million on TikTok. Not all these active users will fall into your target audiences, but plenty of them will.

Make engaging with your social followers one of this year’s goals. People spend a lot of time on social media. It’s where many of them “live,” so it only makes sense that it should be a place to drive personalization.

One quick way to ratchet up your company’s personal touch on social media is to personalize all your retargeted ads. Quizzes can also offer a chance for personalization. Simply set up an engaging quiz and allow people to share their results. It’s a fun way to build brand recognition and bond with consumers. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with going very personal and answering all comments. Depending on your team’s size and the number of comments you receive, this might be a viable option.

2. Leverage AI to go beyond basic demographics.

Most companies rely on customer demographic information to bolster personalization efforts. The only trouble with this tactic is that demographics can’t tell the whole story. It’s impossible to get a lot of context about individual users (such as their lifestyles, personal preferences, and motivators) just from knowing their age, gender, or location. Though demographic data is beneficial, it can cause some significant misses.

Michael Scharff, CEO and cofounder of Evolv AI, explains the workaround for this problem: “The most natural, and therefore productive, personalization efforts use demographics as a foundation and then layer in user likes, dislikes, behaviors, and values.”

You can leverage AI’s predictive and insightful capabilities to uncover real-time user insights. Scharff recommends this technique because it allows you to stay in sync with the fast-moving pace of consumer behavior changes. He adds that AI can be particularly beneficial with the coming limits to third-party cookie access because it can be a first-party data source, allowing you to maintain customer knowledge and connection.

To flesh out your organization’s strategy, look to other companies that have gone beyond demographics. Take Netflix, for example, which constantly tweaks its AI algorithm to help improve personalized content recommendations. Bottom line? Going deeper than surface information makes all the sense in the world if you want to show customers you know them well.

3. Keep your data spotless.

The better your data, the better your personalization efforts. Period. Unfortunately, you are probably sitting on a lot of unstructured or otherwise tricky-to-use (or impossible-to-use) data. One recent Great Expectations survey revealed that 77% of data practitioners have data quality problems, and 91% say that this is wreaking havoc on their companies’ performance.

You can’t personalize anything with corrupt or questionable data. So, do your best to find ways to clean your data promptly and routinely. For example, you might want to invest in a more centralized data system, particularly if the personalization data you rely on is scattered in various places. Having one repository of data truth makes it easier to know if the information on hand is ready to use.

Another way to tame your data is to automate as many data processes as possible. Reducing manual manipulation of data lessens the chance of human error. And you’ll feel more confident with all your personalization efforts if you can trust the reliability and health of your data.

4. Go for nontechnical personalization.

It’s the digital age, but that doesn’t mean every touchpoint has to be digitized. Consumers often react with delight and positivity when they receive personalization in decidedly nontech forms. (Yes, you can use tech to keep track of everything. Just don’t make it part of the actual personalized exchange!)

Consider writing handwritten thank-you notes to customers after they’ve called in for support or emailed your team, for instance. Or send an extra personalized gift to buyers who make a specific number of purchases. These interactions aren’t technical but can differentiate your customer experience from your competitors’ experiences.

A groundbreaking Deloitte snapshot taken right before the pandemic showed that people were hungry for connection. By folding nondigital experiences into your personalization with customers, you’re showing them that you see them first as valued humans. That’s compelling and appealing, making them more apt to give you their loyalty in return.

Putting a personal spin on all your consumer interactions takes a little time. It’s worth your energy, though. You’ll wind up with stronger brand-buyer connections, helping you edge ahead of your competitors even more.

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