A WordPress proposal admits it is falling behind Wix and similar platforms and suggests they need to create a performance team to coordinate speed improvements.
While some may find it controversial for someone at WordPress to admit they were falling behind in the race to improve speed scores, it’s a fact that platforms that manage the technical side of publishing are pulling ahead of WordPress in terms of speed.
Objective speed metrics from Chrome users, reported in Google’s monthly CrUX (Chrome User Experience Report) unquestionably shows that WordPress is slowly being left behind by platforms that are better able to control software development so that it conforms to best practices for speed.
Because the WordPress platform is relatively decentralized compared to platforms like Wix and Squarespace they are less able to influence best practices for speed performance across the entire WordPress ecosystem.
WordPress Admits Falling Behind Wix, Shopify and Squarespace
The proposal was blunt in its assessment that WordPress was falling behind:
“Compared to other platforms (e.g., Wix, Shopify, Squarespace), WordPress is falling behind.
Other platforms are on average faster – and becoming increasingly faster – than WordPress websites…”
That’s not an opinion, it’s a statement of fact that WordPress is falling behind Wix.
This proposal aims to take action to change that situation.
Being open-minded to the possibility that things need to improve is a positive sign because the first step to becoming the best often involves identifying areas of improvement.
The proposal is being spearheaded by WordPress developers from Google and Yoast.
WordPress Needs a Performance Team
The proposal states that it needs an official team to coordinate the performance side of WordPress core development.
So instead of performance being almost an afterthought to improvements to other areas of WordPress, speed performance can move to the front because of advocates who can now help coordinate improvements.
The proposal states:
“We believe that WordPress needs an official Performance Team responsible for coordinating efforts to increase the performance (speed) of WordPress.”
Why WordPress Needs a Performance Team
The next section of the proposal outlines why they feel a Performance Team is necessary.
The statement references user experience, user expectations, SEO and also economic and ecological benefits.
That last part is a reference to the little known fact that websites that are difficult to render are said to be “expensive.”
That means that devices need to expend more resources to build web pages that are complex and have multiple resources necessary for rendering the web page.
This in turn impacts energy consumption of the mobile device downloading the web page.
The impact is not only to the battery but also influences how much energy society needs to generate to keep on downloading inefficiently coded websites.
The proposal notes:
“Users expect and prefer fast experiences (consciously or otherwise). Research shows that fast websites can provide a better user experience, increase engagement, benefit SEO, increase conversion, and be more economically and ecologically friendly.”
WordPress Speed Should Not be the Job of a Plugin
The proposal says that the job of optimizing WordPress should not fall to third party plugins and that it should not be the burden of those who use WordPress to fix it and make it better.
“Average end-users can’t be expected to be performance experts.”
This is something that I suggested in February 2021 in the article:
Core Web Vitals Not Really Your Problem?
Google is burdening the USERS of software like WordPress and not the developers to fix it for Core Web Vitals. Is that fair?
WordPress is proposing that this job of optimizing WordPress should be performed natively by WordPress itself instead of relying on third party plugins.
The proposal introduces the concept of “performance by default” as a way to internalize a focus on speed throughout the development ecosystem.
“Achieving reasonable performance levels shouldn’t be plugin territory, but part of core (aka, “performance by default”)
Highlights of the proposal:
- Average end-users can’t be expected to be performance experts.
- Achieving high levels of performance requires technical considerations to be ‘built-in’ across the whole stack;
- The plugin ecosystem doesn’t help users who don’t know that they need help, or who are poorly served by the plugin ecosystem.
- Users determining which CMS to choose are / will be increasingly influenced by performance (and the associated UX/SEO/conversion factors), and we’ll lose ground to faster platforms.
- Democratizing publishing’ requires that published content be discoverable; which will be less likely to occur via search engines (which influence or account for the majority of new content discovery) for slow(er) sites”
WordPress Proposes Reconsidering Role of Plugins for Optimization
The proposal also suggests a reconsideration of dependence on third party plugins for optimization issues while also stating that there are some areas where plugins are better suited.
The WordPress proposal offered examples of where plugins were the preferred solution:
- “Integrations with specific CDNs
- Template transformation processes (e.g., AMP)
- Any non-standardized performance technology
- Any experimental standards (e.g., browser APIs / capabilities with limited adoption)
These distinctions will need exploring and lines will need drawing (and maintaining) as part of the team’s activity.”
How WordPress Performance Team May Proceed
If the proposal is accepted the proposal suggests steps to get the project organized:
- “Set up Slack channel and meeting schedule, and make.wordpress.org infrastructure.
- Benchmark performance and define ongoing/future measurement & success criteria
- Identify priority projects for CWV improvements with high-level timelines
- Assign responsibilities for the projects identified”
Response to the Proposal by the WordPress Community
Joost de Valk, founder of Yoast SEO Plugin underlined that this is a proposal and not a done-deal.
“This isn’t saying “we’re going to do this, just so you know”, it is: “we want to do this, will you join us?””
The response to the proposal was overwhelmingly positive.
“This is a great initiative. It might finally get the attention it deserves.
I am deeply excited by this proposal! Looking forward to the discussion here and being able to pitch in as things…
Excellent proposal! In the past year(s) WordPress has been making a lot of steps to tackle some front-end performance problems: lazy loading, WebP support, Gutenberg (yes, I will put this here). But overall there is much more potential and opportunities here. Sign me up”
A non-developer member of the WordPress community noted all the plugins they currently used and expressed how it would be an improvement to not have to rely on so many third party plugins:
“As someone who is not a developer but uses an array of plugins (Autoptimize, ASYNC CriticalCSS, Page Speed Booster, CAOS, OMFG, and ShortPixel – all in combination with WP Engine hosting and Cloudflare CDN, as well as now native Lazy Load feature of WordPress) to optimize my sites and those of my clients, I would like not to have to depend on this suite of tools all the time to increase performance.”
WordPress Performance Team is a Great Idea
The formation of a WordPress Performance Team is not just a good idea, it’s a great idea.
It’s arguable that WordPress should have had a performance team since day one. Nevertheless it’s super exciting to see this initiative given a breath of life.
Read the WordPress Proposal
Roger Montti is a search marketer with 20 years experience.
I offer site audits and link building strategies.
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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