Traffic Mastery

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Master Traffic Generation

Internet Traffic Academy  Check Out The Video Below…  

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My 6-Step Content Marketing Formula That Drives 3,549 Visitors

sourced from: https://neilpatel.com/blog/content-marketing-formula/

Writing a blog post is easy.

If you don’t write often, you may feel otherwise, but just follow this
and you’ll be good to go when it comes to writing. Or, you can just watch the
video below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8rN3JKqUc8?feature=oembed&w=700&h=394]

But still, you write a blog post and then what do you do?

Well, I’ll tell you this… most people forget the “marketing” in content marketing. Most people write content but don’t do a great job of promoting it.

Here’s the thing: I figured out the perfect formula to promoting content.

Best of all, it’s not complex…. Read More

Progressive Web Apps: What Do Marketers Need to Know? 0

Progressive Web Apps: What Do Marketers Need to Know?

sourced from: https://conversionxl.com/blog/progressive-web-apps/

Often, marketing creativity encounters technical limitations. A web page can load only so fast. UX is constrained by browsers. Cutting-edge solutions are accessible only to those with large budgets.

Native applications resolve some of these issues but bring their own baggage—development costs, platform irregularities, download requirements, update needs, and issues with search indexability.

Mobile sites get more visitors, but apps fare better for engagement and conversion rates:

comScore Mobile Metrix, U.S, Age 18+, June 2017

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) have the potential to combine mobile reach with native app engagement. But few marketers know what they’re getting into when they go down that path—or decide against it.

That ignorance is expensive. Decisions related to site redesigns are often the most expensive—and least reversible—that marketers make. Take Hertz: They’re now suing their marketing partner, Accenture, for $32 million after a botched site and app overhaul.

When it comes to redesigns, you may be the sole decision-maker. You may simply be a voice in the room. In any case, you need to see past the shiny objects in web design pitches and know how PWA technology will (or won’t) help you achieve your marketing goals. 

This post delivers baseline technical knowledge about PWAs and focuses on aspects—like UX, SEO, and analytics—that most affect marketing teams.   

What are PWAs?

Born out of the issues highlighted above, PWAs are—per Alex Russel, who coined the term— “websites that took all the right vitamins.”  Made possible by modern browsers, PWAs enable an app-like experience within a regular browser, while circumventing the pitfalls of native apps. 

In other words, PWAs try to combine the best of web and apps:

Lightning-fast loading speeds, without bulky app downloads and constant updates;Optimized indexability, without sacrificing the UX benefits of native apps;Deployable to all app marketplaces, without requiring different codebases;Extended reach via lower data-usage, without curbing performance;Enhanced accessibility through the elimination of downloads and app purchasing;Offline web browsing, web access to mobile hardware, linkability…

Gartner has predicted that PWAs will replace 50% of mobile apps by 2020. Several digital titans—Twitter, Forbes, Uber, Alibaba, AliExpress—have already switched to PWAs, and there’s a growing collection of case studies that show the positive effect of PWAs on marketing KPIs: conversions, revenue, time spent, engagement, re-engagement, leads, etc. 

Check out any of these sites on your mobile device to experience a PWA first-hand:

Order a Starbucks coffee.Play the 2048 game in your browser.Plan your journey with MakeMyTrip.Browse a fashionable ecommerce store (demo).

PWAs might seem like every digital marketer’s dream come true, but there are significant challenges, which we’ll get into shortly. First, however, let’s dive into what makes PWAs tick.

How do PWAs work?

The web is littered with re-worded explanations, so rather than spilling more ink, here’s one of the better ones:

A Progressive Web Application is a software application, written in the Web platform and running in the browser, that behaves like a cloud-delivered native application. 

It’s an application because it installs and runs code on the shopper’s device or computer, with more speed and capability than the “single-page JavaScript apps” of the past. 

It’s web because it’s written in the languages of the Web—HTML, CSS, and JavaScript—instead of in some domain-specific language or in a native framework captive to one platform. 

And it’s progressive because it lazy-loads itself, along with any relevant data and assets, as the user navigates around your store.

Are PWAs compatible with most browsers?

Modern browser support of features like push notifications and home-screen save is integral to PWAs. PWAs require browsers to support “service workers” (more below), which almost all modern browsers do. (Safari, frequently lagging behind, is often referred to as “the Internet Explorer of PWAs.”) 

But the lack of support for specific features doesn’t impede PWA use. Since PWAs are websites, they’ll still work in all browsers (just without all features). 

Why “service workers” are essential for PWAs

A website sending push notifications when you’re not interacting with your phone? Browsing the internet when you don’t have a connection? This (and more) is possible because of the service worker. But what is it? 

Matt Gaunt of Google defined the service worker:

A service worker is a script that your browser runs in the background, separate from a web page, opening the door to features that don’t need a web page or user interaction.

We all know how a website works—the codebase is stored on a server, and any person can access it via their browser by typing in the domain name or direct IP address. 

When it comes to PWAs, there’s an additional element: the service worker. It resides between the server and browser, adding a new layer of background functionality to mimic app-like features (e.g., push notifications for food-delivery status from a restaurant website). 

While traditional web browsing consists of direct user-to-server interaction, the service worker enables indirect interaction:

In essence, a service worker is a client-side JavaScript file that’s added to your codebase. (If you want a deeper, more technical explanation, check out this talk given by the Google Chrome Developers community.)

The magic—and limitations—of caching

The service worker is also a crucial element to PWA performance that depends on caching. PWAs give developers unprecedented control over what is and isn’t cached on the user’s device.  

There’s a caveat: On the first load, users won’t benefit from the “caching magic” that’s responsible for subsequent, blazing-fast load times. PWAs can serve a small shell document with inlined resources to deliver the impression of a fast first load, during which time the Service Worker is installed.

While this may slightly improve the first-contact experience, PWAs have yet to provide instantaneous speeds right off the bat. That’s where Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) come in. 

AMP for acquisition, PWAs for engagement

AMPs are lightweight HTML pages designed to load as fast as possible. (Here’s a good explainer video.) AMPs are used mainly for static pages (e.g., news sites) rather than the more dynamic pages found on, for example, ecommerce sites.

Google integrated AMP into its mobile search results in 2016, and pages using AMP are intrinsically prioritized in the search results, marked with an “AMP” badge:

For complex websites with many dynamic elements, you can combine PWA and AMP to get the best out of each platform. 

PWA enriches user experiences and engagement through features like push notifications, while AMP can be integrated on static pages like the homepage and blog posts.

Tokopedia—the biggest marketplace platform in Indonesia—built AMP versions of their top three organic landing page types: product, category, and trending. This created 3.6 million AMP pages for organic search, their biggest product-discovery funnel. The AMP pages then transitioned users to a PWA to ensure consistent speeds and a great UX.

Armed with an understanding of how PWAs work, let’s dive into the outcomes of deploying the technology.

The impact of PWAs on performance, UX, and accessibility

The performance benefit of a PWA

First impressions matter. And the first experience your visitors get with your site is neither design nor content. It’s the page-load time. The most polished user journey means nothing if you can’t get your visitors to the starting line. And on mobile, some 53% of visitors abandon a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

PWAs scale down the weight of data requests to a fraction of their current level. PWA adopters commonly cite up to a 300% performance improvement. For sites that are already optimized for speed, this can lead to near-instant loading speeds, akin to those of native apps. 

Even without integrating AMP, PWAs help with the first page load by prioritizing the first meaningful paint and serving a light shell document with inlined resources. 

UX benefits of PWAs

Historically, native apps outperformed mobile websites in terms of user engagement. PWAs can close that gap with features previously reserved for native apps, like no reload when switching a page. (When designing a PWA, it’s recommended to proceed as if you were designing a native app, not a web page.)

PWAs even beat out native apps in a few places, like their elimination of app-install friction and decreasing web-to-app installs drop-offs. Below is an example of UX from a regular website (left) versus a PWA (right):

 

Here are seven other UX benefits:

1. Home-screen save

In an increasingly mobile-oriented environment, the most valuable digital real estate is a user’s home screen, previously owned almost exclusively by native apps. (Adding websites to your home screen, historically, has been a multi-step process. Chrome and other modern browsers now have a built-in feature for a one-tap home-screen save.)

A presence on the home screen puts your logo front-and-center and your site a click away. 

2. Push notifications

The service worker makes push notifications possible for your mobile website. Beyond the Rack achieved a 26% average increase in spend and 72% more time spent on their PWA from users visiting via push notifications. Carnival Cruise Line hit a 42% engagement rate with their push notifications. 

Launching marketing campaigns, informing about order progress, brand news—it’s a unique communication channel to help your brand become a part of your user’s every day (assuming you use that power wisely). 

3. Offline mode

“Offline mode” is not a fully native offline experience (though it could be made possible—at a great cost to UX). The service worker can override standard browser caching management with custom rules, and cache storage is independent of the remote server.

This means that, once your connection drops, continued browsing is possible through the service worker. Imagine you’re browsing your favorite clothing store while commuting on the London Underground or a rural area with spotty coverage.

When you hit the back button, rather than seeing a 404 error, the service worker delivers a cached page with the previously retrieved data. The offline mode is, effectively, a fail-safe.

(Technically, it’s even possible to checkout offline; however, the order would be processed after a connection is reestablished.)

4. Deployable to app stores

Having your app listed in app stores is valuable. It’s one reason why many businesses invest in (expensive) native app development for iOS and Android. PWAs can circumvent that need.

Thanks to technologies like Trusted Web Activity, which wraps a web tab into an application, you can convert any Progressive Web App into a native app within few hours. (There’s still a single codebase—the native app is partially a web view.)

It’s then possible to deploy it to both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store without the need to develop a native app from scratch.

5. Automatic updates

Updates are a chore for users—and a liability for all involved. PWAs don’t require them, actively updating themselves in real-time, like a website. 

6. Platform agnosticism

Every platform has benefits and downsides, leaving you the unenviable task of overcoming platform-specific limitations.

Platform-agnostic applications are an efficient alternative to building and maintaining separate native apps for iOS, Android, and the web. PWAs provide the same user experience to almost everyone (depending on browsers’ readiness for service-worker support).

7. Linkability and indexing

As with any website, PWAs have URLs and can be crawled and indexed by the search engines. Unlike native apps, users can find PWA pages directly in SERPs. The faster load times keep search engines and users happy.

Accessibility

PWAs’ fast load times support accessibility for companies that operate in emerging markets or need to provide users consistent site access at all times.

For instance, Uber’s rapid expansion into new markets demanded a fast, device-agnostic ride-hailing application that worked well regardless of location. Hence, they opted for a PWA. 

Requests came in at only 50kb, allowing the PWA to load in under 3 seconds on 2G networks.

These benefits come hand-in-hand with some hefty challenges.

3 PWA challenges that affect marketers

While a PWA might mean a familiar UI and a flat learning curve for users, there are significant differences in the backend, which affect developers—and marketers.

There are three things to keep in mind:

It’s easy to break SEO.PWA analytics are difficult to set up and manage.Your development team might not be ready for PWA.

1. It’s easy to break SEO.

There are misconceptions about PWAs and SEO. The most popular states that “Google prioritizes PWA pages in their search results.” This is false.

Google doesn’t care about PWAs, but it does care about fast load times, which also influence user behavior (and, in turn, sends signals back to Google). In other words, simply having a PWA won‘t help you with SEO, but having a good PWA may.

There are other misconceptions—and challenges—when it comes to PWAs and SEO.

Why is SEO a challenge?

PWAs are JavaScript-based sites. The rendering mechanics for PWAs differ from those of standard HTML-based websites. To understand the difference between the two approaches, you need to understand server-side and client-side rendering:

Standard websites use a traditional rendering method called Server-Side Rendering (SSR). With SSR, a page’s full content is pre-rendered on the server side and passed each time a user requests a page. So, every time a user visits a new page, the whole page is downloaded, even if the difference between the two is minimal.JavaScript-based websites use client-side rendering (CSR). CSR renders a website in a user’s browser, hence the name. The user receives a small JavaScript file instead of a large HTML file, and the browser requests only necessary elements when switching a page or loading additional content. This is what makes JavaScript-based sites load quickly.

CSR is superior from the UX perspective but more complicated when it comes to SEO. You rely on search engines to render your JavaScript-based website correctly.

Usually, when a search engine bot discovers a page, it crawls the page’s source code (i.e. HTML) and eventually indexes all available information. This is easy for HTML-heavy websites, as most content sought by the crawlers is immediately available. But since PWAs usually have only JavaScript in the source code, it creates an added layer for search engines to parse.

Search engines retrieve the content from JavaScript-based sites in waves. During the first wave of indexing, search engines crawl your page and index only the non-JavaScript content. As rendering resources of a search engine become available, crawlers return to your page to finalize the process.

As this is a resource-intensive process—even for Google—it could take several extra days to get your content indexed. For many web businesses, especially news sites, content indexing speed is crucial. This can also affect ecommerce sites that have, for example, marketing campaigns with time-limited offers. 

There’s a solution, but it’s shaky.

There are several workarounds. Dynamic Rendering, for instance, is the method recommended by Google. With Dynamic Rendering, you combine both rendering methods: Search-engine bots get the SSR version; human users get the CSR version. 

(Does this count as “cloaking,” a common black-hat SEO technique to serve different content to search engines vs. users? According to Google, No.)

Search engines, especially Google, have praised PWA technology, but there’s little understanding of the readiness of search engines to handle JavaScript sites. As Google conceded:

Currently, it’s difficult to process JavaScript and not all search engine crawlers are able to process it successfully or immediately.

Other leading search engines, like Bing and Yandex, don’t guarantee proper indexing of JavaScript-based websites.

SEO best practices remain unchanged

Since PWA isn’t a ranking factor, all technical, on-site, and off-site SEO best practices apply to PWAs as well. Here are some of the usual SEO suspects you need to take into account if you’re migrating your site to a PWA: 

Implement self-referring canonicals for unique pages and canonicalize duplicates or set meta robots to “noindex, nofollow.” (This is especially important if you’re combining PWA and AMP.) Each page should have a unique URL.Make sure crawlers can access valuable content hidden in tabs, infinite scroll, etc. If you want crawlers to explore content behind buttons, images, etc., use an HTML link.Use Schema.org markup to help crawlers understand the content of the page and Open Graph markup so that URLs share nicely over social media.Don’t show different content to users than you show to Google (save for the caveat above).Make sure your page passes the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.Audit pages for speed on Google PageSpeed Insights.

2. Analytics implementation is complex.

Say, for instance, that you’ve implemented offline browsing and offline checkout in your PWA. How will your analytics and third-party marketing scripts track those events?

The main challenge for data tracking in a PWA is the hybrid web-app ecosystem. Since a PWA is a website (launched in a slightly different way), standard tracking tools like Google Analytics can work.

Standard pageview tracking

A PWA employs JavaScript frameworks like Angular or React, meaning standard pageview tracking won’t function properly. For example, the History API gives developers the ability to modify a website’s URL without a full page refresh.

Because PWAs load new page content dynamically, the analytics code is fired only once. So how can you track user behavior on every page? Your PWA implementation needs adjusted tracking code to ensure “virtual pageviews” are fired at the right moment.

Implementing tracking with Google Tag Manager or directly in the code requires thorough and thoughtful testing to avoid common issues:

Mismatches between page paths/titles and actual application state;Pageviews split across multiple URLs;Subsequent pageviews not being tracked.

The complexity rises when it comes to ecommerce and other advanced PWA implementations. The tag firing sequence and Data Layer pushes frequently face obstacles; data-layer governance is critical. 

Unique feature tracking

How do you track the unique features of PWAs—push notifications, offline mode, add-to-home screen, etc.—in analytics? 

On-page events

On-page events are the simplest part. There’s no difference compared to regular web tracking. 

User actions like subscribing to push notifications or add-to-home-screen are easily tracked using standard Google Analytics methods. Just push information to the Data Layer for the Custom Event you want to track. 

Service worker events

It becomes more complicated when the functionality is initiated by your PWA service worker, like the push notification itself. 

Your PWA service worker runs outside the main app, which makes it impossible to access the Google Analytics queue and push data about notifications triggered by the PWA or offline browsing data. In short, it means you can’t track the service worker’s behavior through your regular Google Analytics tracking code. Instead, the service worker needs to send hits directly to Google Analytics. 

This is possible via the Measurement Protocol, which bypasses the regular analytics.js snippet to send data directly from the service worker to a specified Google Analytics property.

How is that possible? Ultimately, what analytics.js does is generate custom POST requests to a Google Analytics property based on the on-site behavior of the user. In the case of the service worker, the same process is simulated manually.

Offline mode tracking

Analytics, of course, don’t work without an internet connection. However, there’s a workaround. 

By using Fetch API, you gain the ability to listen and respond to offline requests. The service worker intercepts requests to Google Analytics and retries them later if the initial request fails.

For offline pageviews, you may want to differentiate which requests happened while the user was offline versus which ones took place while the user was online. You can do this with a Custom Dimension in Google Analytics that identifies how long hits were queued (i.e. For how long was the user offline on a specific page?).

All of this can be done through adjustments to the tracking code, analytics property, and a Workbox configuration.

3. Your development team might not be ready for PWA.

Working with PWAs demands expertise in JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and Chrome DevTools. While these requirements might appear basic, most teams are short-staffed. An industry analysis showed that front-end engineers are the most constrained resource on IT teams.

As a first challenge, the development team needs to fully rewrite the front-end of your website to be JavaScript-based. That work requires expertise in specific frameworks, like React. 

Typically, you’re looking for full-stack front-end engineers. To deliver a PWA project, they need to be:

Professional in JavaScript and frameworks like React.Experienced with Single-page applications (SPA).Leverage DevOps knowledge for infrastructure, service workers, and server-side-rendering setups.Fluent with PWA architecture for linking all the components together (e.g., how mobile Apps are submitted to App stores, how add-to-home screen works, and how mobile and desktop communicate with each other).Understand PWA-specific analytics and SEO setups, manage requests from back-end to front-end PWA components, caching layer setups, etc.

The skills are easy to learn but hard to master, and nothing short of mastery will do. JavaScript was the most popular development language in 2018, with the React framework taking first place in what developers wanted to learn in 2019. 

Costs: Websites, apps, and PWAs

As with any new marketing initiative, it often comes down to a central question: How much will it cost? No matter your current setup, you need to define your web ecosystem first to understand a (potential) PWA’s place in it. 

You may have a responsive website, mobile app, and supporting tools like widgets, browser extensions, etc. Each component of your web ecosystem takes development effort, and your tech team development pipeline vs. costs breakdown might look as follows:

ComponentRelative costResponsive, feature-rich website development$$$Optimizing mobile experience$$Android native mobile app development$$$$iOS native mobile app development$$$$

PWAs have the potential to cut costs since a single investment removes the need for independent app develop:

ComponentRelative costPWA website development with app-like mobile experience$$$PWA app launch in the App Store as native app$PWA app launch in the Play Market as native app$

Native mobile apps can still exist for your regular and loyal customers (to get the most from the tighter integration with phone hardware), but supporting standalone mobile apps can drain resources. On average, based on our experience in the U.S. market, native app development costs are:

“Startup” native app development: $50K–100K“Enterprise” native app development: $500K+

With a PWA, you cut these costs by using the same PWA codebase for all platforms—desktop, mobile, and apps.

If you already have a successful ecommerce store, then PWA integration requires rewriting the front-end of your store. This usually takes 2–4 months of development work, depending on the complexity of your store. There are ready-to-use PWA frameworks like Ionic and ScandiPWA theme for Magento, which can integrate a PWA with your site in weeks, not months.

If you’re launching a new website or ecommerce store, then integrating a PWA at the start may offer greater value. For other businesses, a few key questions can help determine whether a PWA merits consideration. If you answer “No,” to all three, a PWA doesn’t make sense:

Are you planning to introduce a mobile app?Is your site due for a refresh?Is mobile traffic dictating demand?

Conclusion

PWAs have promised to bring some of the best of native apps straight to a browser. Compared to web and app development, PWAs are cheaper to create and maintain, and are platform agnostic. 

Marketers have a say in site redesigns. In many instances, it’s the most expensive (and hardest to change) decision they’ll make. In addition to the potential benefits, marketers are wise to remember the SEO and analytics challenges and requirements before signing off on a PWA. 

It’s also up to marketers to realize PWAs’ potential. Push notifications, for example, won’t help if marketers spam potential buyers. As with so many other technologies, PWAs are a tool—it takes an expert craftsperson to create value with it.

The post Progressive Web Apps: What Do Marketers Need to Know? appeared first on CXL.

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We Analyzed 5 Million Google Search Results. Here’s What We Learned About Organic Click Through Rate

sourced from: https://backlinko.com/google-ctr-stats

We analyzed 5 million Google search results to better understand organic click through rate.

First, we analyzed CTR data across 874,929 pages and 5,079,491 search queries.

Then, we looked at how factors like title tag length, sentiment and meta descriptions affect organic CTR.

Thanks to data provided from ClickFlow, we were able to get CTR data from several different Google Search Console accounts.

So without further ado, let’s see the results.

Here is a Summary of Our Key Findings:

1. The #1 result in Google’s organic search results has an average CTR of 31.73%.

2. The #1 organic result is 10x more likely to receive a click compared to a page in #10 spot.

3. Organic CTR for positions 7-10 is virtually the same. Therefore moving up a few spots on the bottom of the first page may not result in more organic traffic.

4. On average, moving up 1 spot in the search results will increase CTR by 30.8%. However, this depends on where you’re moving from and to. Moving from position #3 to position #2 will usually result in a significant CTR boost. However, moving from #10 #9 doesn’t make a statistically significant difference.

5. Title tags that contain a question have a 14.1% higher CTR vs. pages that don’t have a question in their title.

6. Title tags between 15 to 40 characters have the highest CTR. According to our data, pages with a title tag length between 15 and 40 characters have an 8.6% higher CTR compared to those that are outside of that range.

7. URLs that contain a keyword have a 45% higher click through rate compared to URLs that don’t contain a keyword.

8. Adding “Power Words” to your title tag may decrease your CTR. We found that titles with Power Words had a 13.9% lower CTR compared to titles that didn’t contain Power Words.

9. Emotional titles may improve your CTR. We found that titles with positive or negative sentiment improved CTR by approximately 7%.

10. Writing meta descriptions for your pages may result in a higher CTR. Pages with a meta description get 5.8% more clicks than those without a description.

I have detailed data and information of our analysis below.

The #1 Result In Google Gets 31.7% of All Clicks

The initial goal of our study was to establish CTR benchmarks.

Using our full data set of ~5 million results, we found that the #1 result has the highest CTR (by far).

We also saw a sharp CTR dropoff starting on the 2nd page of the results.

In fact, only 0.78% of Google searchers clicked on something from the second page.

This CTR trend is consistent with other CTR industry studies, like this one from Advanced Web Ranking.

Because CTR starting on the 2nd page is extremely low, we wanted to zero-in on the first page results. So we re-ran this analysis with data that excluded results from page 2 and beyond. We also eliminated queries that may skew the results with an abnormally high CTR (for example, branded queries).

And after we analyzed only the first page results with this data subset, we found that the #1 result in Google has a CTR of 31.7%.

Here is the full CTR breakdown for Google’s first page organic results:

As you can see, the #1 result in Google has a 10x higher CTR compared to the #10 result.

For anyone that’s worked in the SEO field for any length of time, this finding shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s well-known that ranking #1 is significantly more valuable than any other position.

That’s because, according to a recent Moz survey, many Google users instinctively click on the first result in Google. This likely explains why the #2 result, which is just a few mere pixels below the #1 spot, has such a large CTR dropoff.

Key Takeaway: The #1 result in Google gets 31.73% of all clicks.

Organic CTR Spikes At Position #5… And Again At Position #3

As I outlined, the #1 result in Google has (by far) the highest CTR.

However, there are still clicks to be had outside of the top position.

Specifically, while CTR is relatively flat between positions #6-#10 there’s a significant CTR spike starting with position #5.

This suggests two things:

Most users don’t scroll past the 5th result.
Moving up from position #6 to #5 may result in a significant CTR boost.

We see another sharp CTR increase starting with position #3.

This may be due to the fact that, for results without ads or SERP features, the #3 result often appears above the fold.

In fact, we found that the top 3 Google search results get 75.1% of all clicks.

Key Takeaway: Our data suggests that “ranking on the first page” may not be a worthy SEO goal. Instead, it’s all about ranking in the top spot (or at least in the top 3). The top 3 organic results get 75% of the clicks.

Moving Up One Position Increases CTR By 30.8%

We discovered, all things being equal, moving up a single position in Google increases relative CTR by 30.8%.

However, this CTR boost isn’t evenly distributed. Not even close.

The CTR impact of moving up in the SERPs varied widely depending on position.

For example, moving from position #9 to #8 will result in 5% more clicks. Not a huge difference.

However, moving up from #6 to the #5 spot will result in 52.6% more clicks.

Key Takeaway: Moving up one position in Google will increase your relative CTR by an average of 30.8%. However, this increase varies greatly depending on position. We found that the greatest CTR increase came from moving from #6 to #5, which resulted in an absolute CTR boost of 52%.

Most Websites Get 8.1 Clicks Per Query

We also looked at, for all the queries reported in the Google Search Console, how many resulted in clicks.

First, we discovered that most of the queries that a site ranks for in Google get very few impressions.

This suggests that most of the keywords that a site ranks for are long tails with low search volume. Or that the site isn’t ranking highly for these terms. Or both.

And likely due to a low number of impressions, most queries result in a small number of clicks (8.1 per query).

Key Takeaway: “Ranking for X keywords” may not be a valuable SEO metric. That’s because most pages rank for keywords with little search volume. Instead, most impressions and clicks tend to come from a relatively small number of queries.

Question Titles Have an Above-Average CTR

We compared the average organic CTR between titles that contained and didn’t contain a question.

(We defined a question as a title that used the terms “How, Why, What, Who” or a title with a question mark).

We found that questions with titles had a 14.1% higher click through rate compared to titles without a question.

Here’s the full CTR breakdown across the top 10 results.

This finding is consistent with headline CTR studies, like this one published in the journal Social Influence.

Questions may improve CTR because, when someone is searching for something in Google, they’re essentially looking for an answer to a question.

(They are called “queries” after all).

And using a question title may confirm to the reader that your result contains the answer to their exact question.

For example, I used a question title on this page optimized around the term “nofollow link”.

According to my GSC data, that page has a CTR of 29.2%.

Most people searching for a broad term like “nofollow link” want to know what a nofollow link actually is. And my question title shows that my result will give the searcher the answer they’re looking for.

Key Takeaway: Question-based title tags have a 14.1% higher CTR compared to non-question titles.

Title Tags Between 15 to 40 Characters Have The Best CTR

What’s the ideal title tag length? Should you keep your titles short and sweet? Or use long titles that contain lots of info about your content?

According to our data, you want to aim somewhere in the middle.

Specifically, we found that titles between 15 to 40 characters have the highest organic CTR.

While there may be an SEO benefit of long title tags (longer titles=more keywords), this may be partially offset by a lower organic CTR.

In fact, Etsy tested numerous title tag variations as part of a large-scale SEO experiment. And they discovered that “It appeared in our results that shorter title tags performed better than longer ones.”

The author of that post hypothesized that shorter titles may perform better in Google due to query matching. However, according to our analysis, CTR may also play a role in why short and medium titles work best.

Key Takeaway: Title tags between 15 and 40 characters have the best organic CTR. Titles inside of this range have an 8.6% better average click-through-rate compared to those that fall outside of this range.

Keyword-Rich URLs Are Correlated With a Significantly Higher CTR

We wanted to see if keyword-rich URLs positively impacted CTR.

For example, take someone searching for “weekend trips”. Would a URL like travel.com/weekend-trips have a higher CTR than travel.com/travel-page?

To accomplish this analysis, we looked at each of the search queries, compared them with the URLs, and provided a similarity index that ranged from 0% to 100%.

A value of 0% means that the two words are not similar at all, while a value of 100% means a perfect match. We ignored all punctuation marks and symbols. We also treated certain words as the same (book vs books, cake vs cakes, etc.).

Indeed, we found a strong correlation between keyword-rich URLs and organic CTR (p-value = 0.01)

Although having a perfect query-keyword match resulted in the highest CTR, our data shows that a URL that partially matches a query can also result in a significant CTR boost.

Google’s Search Engine Optimization guide reminds webmasters that your page’s URL shows up in the SERPs. And they recommend that you use “URLs with words that are relevant to your site’s content…”.

And a 2012 paper published by Microsoft found that “trusted domains” had a higher CTR in search engines compared to domains that people weren’t familiar with.

The theory behind this is that search engine users use a page’s URL to figure out the best match for their query.

Key Takeaway: We found a 45% increase in CTR for pages with a perfect query match (the entire search query is in the URL) vs. a non-match (no search query term matches the URL).

“Power Words” May Negatively Impact Click Through Rate

“Power Words” are specific words and phrases designed to help your headlines stand out, and in theory, get more clicks.

For example, Power Words and terms like:

Secret
Powerful
Ultimate
Great
Perfect
Best
Insane
Amazing

Our data found that Power Words actually decreased CTR by 13.9%.

My theory on this is that, while Power Words are great for grabbing attention on noisy platforms (like Facebook), they may look like clickbait in Google’s search results.

For example, look at the top 3 results for the keyword “how to write headlines”.

For a keyword like this you’d expect over-the-top titles like “How to Write Insanely Amazing Headlines”.

However, the top 3 results all use title tags that are pretty subdued.

Key Takeaway: While Power Words may work on social media, they can hurt your organic click through rate. In fact, titles with Power Words have a 13.9% worse CTR compared to titles without any Power Words.

Emotional Titles Can Increase Organic Click Through Rate

Our data suggests that emotional titles (titles with a positive or negative sentiment) have a higher CTR compared to emotionally-neutral titles.

Specifically, we found that emotional titles have a 7.3% higher absolute CTR compared to non-emotional titles.

We also discovered that negative and positive titles tend to work equally well. Controlling for other variables (like ranking position), titles with a positive sentiment have a 7.4% higher CTR, while titles with a negative sentiment have a 7.2% higher CTR.

For this analysis we analyzed each word in the title for “text polarity”. And each title was assigned a sentiment score based on the title’s estimated negative or positive sentiment.

For example, a title like this was considered neutral.

And this title was scored as having a positive sentiment.

Several industry studies, including this one from BuzzSumo, have found a correlation between emotional headlines and engagement.

However, I wasn’t able to find any industry study that specifically looked at the relationship between emotional title tags and Google organic CTR.

And at least according to our data, emotional titles can result in a higher click through rate in the organic results.

What’s interesting is that, while we found that Power Words hurt CTR, emotional titles help CTR.

This may be due to the fact that sentiment is a more nuanced metric than the presence or absence of a single Power Word. In other words, it’s possible to write an emotionally-charged title without using a Power Word. And titles that deftly push emotional buttons without looking like clickbait can stand out and get more clicks in the SERPs.

Key Takeaway: Titles with negative or positive sentiment have a higher organic click through rate vs. neutral titles.

Pages With a Meta Description Have a Higher Average CTR vs. Pages Without a Description

Even though descriptions don’t directly impact SEO, Google still recommends writing a unique meta description for every page on your site.

In fact, they even suggest that well-written descriptions can improve the number of clicks you get from Google search.

Which is why we decided to compare organic CTR between pages with and without a meta description. We found that pages with meta descriptions had a 5.8% better CTR compared to pages without a description.

This finding shouldn’t surprise anyone with experience in SEO. Even though Google doesn’t always use the meta descriptions you write for them, your meta description can appear fairly often in the SERPs.

Without a meta description to fall back on, Google has to pull snippets from your page to fill in that space in your snippet.

And the text that Google pulls from your page is almost always going to be less enticing than a well-written description.

Key Takeaway: Writing unique meta descriptions for each page can increase your site’s organic CTR. We found that pages with a meta description had a 5.8% higher CTR compared to pages without a description.

Summary and Conclusion

Again, I’d like to thank Eric Siu from ClickFlow for helping make this study possible.

If you’re interested in learning more about how we collected and analyzed the data for this study, here is a PDF of our methods.

And now I’d like to hear from you:

What’s your #1 takeaway from this research?

Or maybe you have a question.

Either way, go ahead and leave a comment below.

The post We Analyzed 5 Million Google Search Results. Here’s What We Learned About Organic Click Through Rate appeared first on Backlinko.

0

How to Make Your Google Search Snippets More Clickable

sourced from: https://conversionxl.com/blog/google-search-snippets/

An alarming digital marketing trend should scare all online publishers: Organic traffic from Google is vanishing:

Google’s latest search elements (featured snippets and People Also Ask) steal clicks from organic listings.The first three positions account for over 50% of clicks. This means that you’re still “buried” on the bottom or middle of Page 1.Organic click-through rate (CTR) is declining across the board: The top position had a CTR of 38.7% in May 2014. As of June 2019, it was 31.0%.

On top of all that, most browser-based searches on Google result in zero clicks:

Zero-click searches result from Google’s ability to give quick answers on search result pages—current local weather, definitions, solutions to math problems, currency conversions, etc. (Image source)

Yet, Google remains the most effective online traffic source. With more than 3.5 billion searches a day (and 1.2 trillion per year) worldwide, a presence on Google isn’t optional. If a business isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist.

Search (read: Google) is still where most buying journeys start. It’s also the only scalable, sustainable source of free traffic. You may not like the trend, but there’s no alternative to Google’s traffic. So how can you still get organic clicks from a Google SERP?

Making your search snippets more clickable is a good place to start. Whether you rank first or fifth, improving your click-through rate is low-hanging fruit that will impact your bottom line—without a major investment in link-building or dedicated marketing campaign.

Here are things you can do to improve your click-through rate in Google.

1. Get more clickable links inside your search snippet.

There’s an accepted truth from email marketing: The more clickable links you have in your email, the more clicks you get. When web users see something that looks like a link, they feel compelled to click it. Links invite clicks; it’s as simple as that.

The same principle applies to Google’s search snippets. The only difference is that we can’t directly edit links’ appearance on a search results page (SERP) or—more importantly—how many links they choose to include.

There are two ways to increase your odds of having more than one clickable link inside your search snippet:

Create an on-page clickable table of contents.

Have you ever seen “Jump to” links inside a search snippet? They take you right to the part of the page with the information you’re searching for. Here’s what they look like:

And here’s what populates that link from the document:

Google’s “Jump to” link is populated by a “named anchor” HTML element that identifies (or “names”) a part of the document.

There are two ways to add these:

Do it manually. Create anchor links for fast navigation. This method requires a bit of work, but, on the bright side, you have full control over how you name your anchors and links for better usability and SEO-friendliness.Use a WordPress plugin like Easy Table of Contents. Automatically add a clickable, named-anchor table of contents to each article based on H2 and H3 subheads. Here’s a detailed tutorial on using this plugin.

Optimize for mini-sitelinks.

While generic sitelinks usually appear for navigational queries, mini-sitelinks may be triggered for all kinds of searches, and there may be more than one search snippet with mini-sitelinks on a SERP.

Both types of sitelinks rely on on-page navigation (and whether Google deems your navigational links relevant to the current query). This is what mini-sitelinks look like for an informational query:

You don’t have control over mini-sitelinks, but you can increase your odds of earning them. Google uses on-page clues to generate mini-sitelinks, especially:

On-page tables of contents (see above);Related content blocks underneath your content. This is the case in the screenshot above. Mini-sitelinks are populated from a “related reading” block underneath the article:

Having both (named anchors and related content blocks) increase your chances of getting those extra links.

2. Get more words in bold in your search snippet.

Bold font immediately attracts user eyes. Within search snippets, Google highlights certain words in bold to help users choose the best result. Having more words in bold inside your search snippet will help it stand out and likely attract more clicks.

Here’s how you can ensure that more words are highlighted in bold in your search snippets:

Use your target query strategically.

This is an easy one: Google will bold the query (or part of the query) that the user typed into the search box:

The obvious solution is to use your target query in your content (more than once) to give Google more opportunities to generate a search snippet with those words in bold. Note that I’m not talking about keyword density, a concept that should have been long forgotten (yet stubbornly reappears in our industry).

Strategic keyword usage means using your target query in prominent places around your document to ensure search crawlers and human readers instantly see them when landing on the page.

I previously wrote a detailed guide on keyword research, which lists places to include your target query:

Headline;URL slug;First paragraph;Subheadings.

Use related terms and synonyms.

Google has long moved away from exact keyword matching. These days, they understand search queries in context. Specifically, Google can understand closely related words as well as synonyms, which they often highlight in search results:

Google bolds related terms—not just exact keyword matches—that relate to the query.

You’re likely doing this already without realizing it. Good writers use varied vocabulary and include synonymous phrases and concepts without thinking about “click-through optimization.”

However, being a bit more strategic about it will help you on many fronts, including creating better, more thorough copy, improving your organic rankings, and, yes, increasing your click-through rate (CTR).

Tools you can use to make this easier

Ahrefs

Ahrefs has a cool section inside their “Keyword explorer” called “All keyword ideas.” This section offers “keyword extensions” (i.e. extending your base term into a longer phrase) and lists closely related terms you should consider using in your content.

To use the tool to go beyond your core term, use the “Exclude” filter to filter out phrases containing it:

Text Optimizer

Text Optimizer is the semantic research tool that goes right to the source—Google’s search snippets. It uses that data to generate a list of closely related terms and concepts.

You need to use common sense and editorial judgement to pick terms you want to use, but if you choose at least 25, you’re likely to see an organic visibility boost (i.e. higher rankings) and higher search snippet CTR:

The tool also helps you use those important phrases in close proximity. Click any term, and it generates possible sentences for you to use:

3. Structure your content well.

Optimize for enhanced snippets with structured markup.

Structured markup adds code to a webpage to make it easier for search crawlers to understand, extract, and display key information in SERPs.

When it comes to the actual search snippets, Google supports a limited number of structured markup types. Most supported structured markup helps Google include data in additional search elements (e.g., brand knowledge graph elements, video and image carousels, claim-review results, book reviews, etc.)

To impact your organic search snippets, you can use the following types of structured markup:

Structured markupWho/when it should be usedWhat it does to your search snippetRatings and reviewsTool reviewers, product reviewers, etc. If you review entities often, consider installing one of these plugins.Depending on how you implement it, the search snippet displays the reviewer’s name and the star ratings given.LogoEveryoneIn mobile search results, it shows a logo next to your search listing.BreadcrumbEveryoneOn desktop, it generates a prettier URL path showing section names instead of the actual URL. (On mobile, it is displayed this way, regardless of markup.)CourseIf your page lists available coursesShows a list of courses underneath your page title in SERPs.FAQIf your page contains a list of questions and answers around the target query. Shows a collapsible list of questions underneath the search snippet.How toIf your page contains a detailed how-to tutorial on any topicShows time required, list of required tools/materials, and collapsible steps to follow.Q&AIf your page features a question with multiple answers posted by usersLists all available answers, including the “best answer,” underneath your search snippet.

Create lots of comparison and summary charts and tables.

Google loves good-old tables and charts. They often use them to generate enhanced search snippets. Here’s what it may look like:

Notice how Google also highlights key sections of the chart in bold, making them stand out in search results even more.

And here’s the summary <table> that triggered the enhanced search snippet:

Note that the table is preceded by a keyword-based subhead, which may have helped Google discover it.

To give Google more reasons to generate enhanced search snippets, summarize multiple tools and tactics with tables.

4. Work on your title tags.

This is a no-brainer, which is why I’m not listing it first, even though it’s vital.

But some people don’t realize that the title tag (i.e. article headline) impacts the click-through rate from search results—not just rankings—as it’s the biggest clickable part of the search snippet.

Using well-discussed headline tricks (e.g., numbers, adding colons or hyphens to separate parts of the headline, experimenting with negative words, etc.) will likely help your page stand out in search and improve its CTR.

5. Update your ranking content regularly.

Google loves fresh content. So do users, which is why Google shows dates in search results:

Keeping your content up-to-date helps organic rankings and CTRs. However, don’t just re-publish the same content with a new date. Google may frown upon that.

To justify an updated publish date, you need to provide substantial new value. How “substantial” is up for discussion, but Ross Hudgens suggests that at least 5% of your content should be updated:

(Image source)

To make sure your content remains up-to-date, evaluate and update old content as part of your monthly marketing routine. Make it a task in your editorial calendar.

I use ContentCal to keep my team organized and alert them of upcoming projects:

Apart from organizing a content maintenance routine, the tool also urges your team to market it again, sending fresh signals to Google.

Tools to help you keep your content up to date

Revive

Animalz came out with a free tool that connects to Google Analytics, analyzes your traffic for the past 12 months, and identifies pages that have been steadily losing traffic:

By updating these pages, you may “revive” their performance in search results. A new publish date may help clickability, but, as part of the updating process, consider all the other tips in this tutorial.

Finteza

While Animalz looks at all your content, Finteza limits the audit to the pages that drive the most traffic. You need to have it installed for some time before you can access historical insights.

Once you accumulate some data, log in to your account and follow these steps:

Click “Websites” and open the report for the site you’re analyzing.In the left-hand panel, navigate to “Sources > Search” to access your organic traffic report. Until you disable it, this will filter all further reports.Click “Pages” to see the list of your best-performing pages. You can clearly see if any are losing clicks:

The report is ordered by the percentage of total traffic each page brings to the site, making it easy to monitor the most important assets.

Google Search Console

Finally, Google Search Console offers a helpful “CTR” report inside the “Performance > Search results” section, which you can use to monitor changes:

Click the “Pages” tab underneath the line chart. Then, filter pages for a minimum number of clicks to focus your attention on those that drive the most traffic:

Using a date range comparison, you can sort pages by changes to CTR, helping you identify those that would benefit from further optimization:

Once you identify a page that’s suffered a decline in CTR, you can add in “Average position” to see if a drop or rise in CTR was likely caused by a change in rankings—or something else. 

In the example below, the CTR declined substantially even though the average position remained the same. That suggests that a change to a SERP element (like a featured snippet) may be costing you clicks. 

From there, you can investigate the SERP to see if optimization of your content may help you recover those lost clicks.

Conclusion

Keeping your content well-structured, up-to-date, and in-depth will improve rankings, as well as click-through rate and on-page engagement. It’s a win-win.

Choose from the optimizations above to boost your overall content performance in an essential, albeit fickle, acquisition channel.

The post How to Make Your Google Search Snippets More Clickable appeared first on CXL.

0

How to Generate More Traffic with Google’s New Features

sourced from: https://neilpatel.com/blog/google-my-business-optimization/

You’re probably already familiar with Google My Business.

If you aren’t, as a quick recap, Google My Business is a simple way to claim your office address or storefront on Google.

That way, when someone searches for your business, you’ll show up on the right side of a Google search like the image above.

Or better yet, when someone searches for a product or service you’ll offer, you’ll show up in the local pack.

What’s interesting, though, is Google has been making changes to it, which means it just got easier to generate leads and sales for you.

Best of all, very few marketers are even leveraging these features.

Welcome Offers

What’s one of the easiest ways to generate more sales?

By offering discounts and coupons, right? Just think of it this way, if it didn’t work, Cyber Monday wouldn’t bring in $7.8 billion in sales.

Google knows that people are looking for ways to save money and find good deals. With this new feature, businesses can reward their customers by giving them welcome offers.

By following your business, they can get first-time deals and always keep in touch to see when new deals are posted.

Not only will this bring you new customers but also repeat customers because people will be notified every time you have new deals.

To set up a welcome offer, open your Google My Business app and tap on your profile. Under “Turn followers into customers,” click on ‘Create Welcome Offer’ and hit ‘Create.’

You can enter the following information in your offer:

Title (30% off oil changes)
Description
Coupon Code (Optional)
Terms and Conditions (Optional)
Website (Optional)

Once finished, you can preview your message and publish. For notifications on new followers, and editing or deleting offers, you can read more on Google Support.

Generate leads in just a few clicks

Google is now adding a “Request a Quote” button in your business listing which was discovered by Joy Hawkins and can also be seen on mobile when searching branded terms.

This is happening with businesses that have the Google My Business messaging feature on.

To enable messaging, open the Google My Business app and go to your listing.

Navigate to Customers -> Messages and turn on!

People will now be able to ask for quotes on cars, insurance, and pretty much any service out there.

You can even review these quotes and reply to them within the Google My Business App and connect with your customers easily for a quick sale.

Make sure you claim your URL

Businesses can now claim a Short Name and URL for their listing.

If you haven’t claimed your URL, make sure you do so before it gets taken by someone else.

Don’t get too crazy though as you can only change your short name three times per year. You can enable this by navigating to your locations page, click “Info” on the left-hand side, and see “add short name”.

You may not think this is a big deal, but if you have used Google My Business before, then you know it’s not easy to share your profile on business cards, emails, and text messages without posting a huge URL.

With short names, your landing page will show as g.page/businessname and can be easily shared.

A business can choose a name between 5 and 32 characters and it can contain the business name, location, and more. People can still flag a name for impersonating another business or if the name is offensive, fake, spammy, or contains inappropriate terms.

So, remember not to violate any policies with your name.

I recommend doing this as it will make it easier for your customers to refer back to your profile where they can read updates, post, make reservations, read/write reviews, and more!

And eventually, people will be able to search short names in Google Maps to find the businesses they love.

Google Assistant

Google is now letting customers order food from restaurants and stores via Google Assistant, which is delivered through DoorDash, Postmates, Delivery.com, Slice, ChowNow, and Zuppler, with other partners possibly coming soon.

Users can click on Order Now on the listing and can choose pick-up or delivery and if they want to order ASAP or schedule for later. Payment happens through the default payment on Google Pay. If they do not have one, they will be able to add credit card information through this too.

Additionally, customers can order food by using Google Assistant by saying “Okay Google, order food from [restaurant].” If the user has ordered before, it will let them see past orders.

Updating your menu online, as well as delivery service carriers and their apps will help get you started on this.

You’ll want to make sure your menus are consistent through all your service carriers to get the best orders to your hungry customers.

And of course, I know there is a good chance you don’t have a restaurant or aren’t in the food delivery business, but expect to see more ways Google My Business gets integrated with Google Assistant.

It’s better to be early than late.

And speaking of food, Google has also added the popular dish tab on your menu which features images and menu items that people love the most.

This scans reviews and images on your Google My Business profile to find the most commonly mentioned dish and adds it to your popular dish tab. Of course, if anything is wrong, you can suggest edits to these.

This helps if there are dishes without names, wrong names, or typos can be fixed.

Auto-generated posts based on reviews

Look, you are busy, but you have no choice but to create content.

Google has given you easier ways to generate posts… in essence, they are now creating auto-generated posts for you.

These recommended posts are suggested through customer reviews on your Google My Business profile and are similar to their Small Thanks program, which tried to get you to highlight reviews given by previous customers on social media and even being able to print it out and display it on your business walls.

You are probably wondering why should you use it, right?

This helps keep people engaged in your profile if you haven’t posted on Google My Business in a while and gives you fast and easy publishing. It even gives you options to customize backgrounds with images and colors.

This will pop up on your Google My Business dashboard and all you have to do is hit “Create this post”.

There’s no real way to pick other reviews for Suggested Posts, but you are always welcome to create your own. This is just a simple feature created to help engage your audience more.

Boost your conversions by controlling your images

Businesses can now set a preferred profile cover photo in your image carousel and have a place for logos at the top-right of your profile next to the business name.

This is an additional feature to the regular NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) as well as business hours and will be prominently featured.

You can easily create offline material

Google is launching a website where businesses can order and get custom promotional items such as stickers and posters to advertise their business. This is in hopes that it will entice customers to follow places on your profile, add reviews, and create bookings.

You can even order signs like ‘follow us on Google’ and more for free (one shipment per location).

For posters, you can use the editor to create your own type of poster that can be downloaded and easily printed by yourself or a local printing company. If posters aren’t your cup of tea, you can even share these on social media.

This is currently free as it is a downloadable offer, but you may want to pay to have someone print this out in poster size or as stickers to put on your business windows.

Just think of it this way, people put Yelp signage everywhere because it works. Chances are, it will work on Google as well.

Place Topics

Google launched Place Topics which uses data based on reviews to help give information on what previous customers think about your business.

This can help users see themes of reviews at a glance for businesses and it’s all automated.

It’s kind of like a tag cloud.

This does mean that you cannot generate these yourselves or edit them. So, if you don’t have one, you may not have enough reviews.

Also, if you have a negative one, there’s potentially no way of removing this unless you get the review removed. So, make sure your happy customers are leaving reviews is very important.

Possibly entice them with a 10% discount the next time they come… assuming you aren’t breaking any policy guidelines.

Q&A Auto-Suggest Answers

This feature that Google updated uses previous answers to questions and Google My Business Reviews to answer new questions on the spot. As you start writing the question, different answers start to pop up to give you the best match.

So how can you make sure people get the most accurate answer?

Similar to place topics, encouraging your customers to leave detailed reviews of their experience really helps. The more detailed the review is, the better the question gets answered.

Of course, people who are searching for answers can potentially see negative reviews such as prices are too high, service takes long, very long waits on weekends, and more.

In other words, always encourage positive reviews from your loyal customers.

Conclusion

If you haven’t used Google My Business before, you should check it out. With their updates and new features, it is now easier to generate sales and collect leads.

In the future, you’ll see a much deeper integration between Google My Business and Google Assistant. This is going to be important as 50% of the searches will soon by voice searches according to ComScore.

Make sure you are leveraging all of these features and releases Google is launching because it doesn’t cost you money and if you get in early enough, you’ll have an advantage over your competition.

So are you using Google My Business to it’s fullest extent?

The post How to Generate More Traffic with Google’s New Features appeared first on Neil Patel.

0

The Definitive Guide to Mobile Deep Linking

sourced from: https://neilpatel.com/blog/mobile-deep-linking/

The average consumer is spending five hours per day on their smartphones and this number is only going up.

We do everything on our phones these days, from shopping to browsing social media and managing our businesses.

This is why it’s more important than ever to optimize the user experience to keep people on your app for longer periods, enjoying it more, and sharing it with friends.

If you’re trying to optimize your mobile app, I’m sure you’ve already tinkered with the layout, fonts, copy, and more, but there’s one thing you probably haven’t…

Mobile deep linking.

It’s a small detail that can drastically enhance how users engage with your app but few are taking advantage of it.

That’s why I’m going to be teaching you what mobile deep linking is, why you need it, and how you can implement it yourself.

Let’s dive in.

What is mobile deep linking, anyways?

Mobile deep linking is the practice of funneling users deeper into your app through the use of a uniform resource identifier or URI for short.

This allows mobile app developers to push to a specific page within an application versus simply opening it.

Think of it as a website URL.

If you were trying to sell a product, would you want users landing on the homepage or being forwarded to a sales page found deeper in the website?

The latter, of course.

By helping users go to a certain page within an app, you’re making the customer journey easier by getting them closer to the end goal sooner.

Here’s a visual of what the process looks like:

While it might seem simple, mobile linking comes in three different forms that you need to be aware of. They include the following:

Standard deep linking

This is the straightforward deep linking that forwards a user to a specific part of the app. It’s also known as universal linking.

It only works if the customer already has the app installed.

The problem is within traditional linking is that when a user clicks a link, it won’t open the mobile app, but rather directs them to the browser version.

If someone is on a mobile device, the app version will always be more optimized and streamlined.

Here’s what happens if you search for my Instagram on Google for example with the app installed.

The results appear to be the exact same whether you have the Instagram app or not, but clicking it opens up the app seamlessly.

This is a good example of basic deep linking. 

Someone that doesn’t have the Instagram mobile application installed will be given an error or redirected to a fallback page.

Deferred deep linking

This form of deep linking works the same way as standard linking does with the exception that it will direct users without the app to the download location.

This is beneficial because it can help app developers and companies acquire more customers.

Once the app is installed, the user will be referred to where they were originally navigating.

Check out the Skip The Dishes app to see what I mean.

While a user is creating their order, they are able to download the mobile app for Android or iOS.

They are forwarded back to the exact step they were taking, except in the mobile app after downloading it.

This means that they don’t have to manually go through the entire process again to get back to where they were.

Contextual deep linking

Contextual deep linking, also known as onboarding, is commonly used for gathering information on customers to personalize the user experience of an app.

Data such demographics, how users navigate to the app, and more is recorded.

The app onboarding process can be different depending on if the user installed via the Google Play Store, the Apple Store, a Facebook campaign, or another source.

A mobile app downloaded through a Facebook Ad might look different than when it’s downloaded through a Google Display Ad, for example.

The landing page is able to be customized through what is known as a deep view in mobile app development.

Just as the deep link forwards users to a specific deeper page in the application, the deep view is the visual result they see that’s different than others.

URI schemes

Deep linking is only doable thanks to what is known as URI schemes. These schemes are similar to how a website URL can direct you to a specific page on a website.

They look something like this:

See the fetched URI? Its format is appname://path/to/location.

Custom URIs are simple to set up for developers (Often created by default) and present the opportunity to redirect users wherever you please.

The mobile customer journey and how it applies to deep linking

The mobile buyer’s journey is the individual’s steps a user takes to find, use, and share your application.

It’s similar to the regular funnel a customer goes through when purchasing a product with some small differences you need to be aware of.

Here’s how the various steps in the mobile buyer’s journey can be applied to mobile deep linking.

Discovery

The first step in the mobile customer journey is discovering your app in the first place.

While this can be achieved through strategies like content marketing and SEO, deep linking gives you a nice boost to these tactics.

Google indexes deep links from mobile apps, giving you more opportunities to rank and drive organic traffic.

Users can click the search engine listing and open the link directly through the app instead of an internet browser.

Look at this search for Google Analytics to see what I mean:

This helps businesses acquire more users and increase brand awareness versus having a single search engine listing.

Check out my video on skyrocketing mobile app organic traffic, and pair it with deep linking for mind-blowing results.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdBBG4aRldI?feature=oembed&w=700&h=394]

Compare

Once a user has narrowed down a few options, they’re naturally going to want to find the best app by comparing them.

They’ll look at factors such as pricing, ease of use, and features. 

Deep linking enables you to push users to the best features of your app, reviews, or customize the experience to make your application better than competitors.

By reducing the number of steps it takes to get to important functions of the app, you’re also decreasing the chance of users bouncing.

Decision

The third step in the mobile buyer’s journey is making a decision and commitment to a single app.

Having a clear value proposition and refined user experience is crucial here. 

Better yet, contextual deep linking helps you collect data to make the application as tailored as possible to your buyer’s persona. 

Marketing campaigns can also be optimized with this information to improve targeting and performance.

Retain

Once you begin acquiring more users, you need to keep them.

Standard and deferred deep linking will help navigate users back to your app when they are on search engines, social media, and other platforms. 

This keeps them using your app more often.

Data that can be collected as a result of deep links will assist you in understanding why and how they use your mobile application.

Doubling down on these is what we call Pareto’s Principle or the 80/20 rule.

This rule can be seen everywhere and defines that 80% of results come from 20% of actions.

In the case of mobile app development, you might discover that users are only engaging with a few features and others are taking up space.

You could hypothetically update the features and pages that are used the most, boosting engagement and retention.

Businesses will miss out on discovers like this if they don’t use deep links to collect information.

Why mobile deep linking matters

I know what you’re thinking.

“Why should I bother with mobile deep linking?”

Let me explain.

It improves the user experience

If you can save the user from going through multiple steps instead of one, why wouldn’t you?

That’s exactly what deep linking does, and improves UX because of it.

You’re making the life of users easier by using deep linking to get them where they want to go faster.

This gives them a better experience and impression with your app as a result.

Here’s what the difference between not using mobile deep linking and taking advantage of it looks like:

Much simpler, right?

This brings me to my next point.

It increases customer retention and engagement

Wouldn’t it be nice if every user that downloaded your app stay active all year round?

Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

It’s been found that 55% of users will churn after the first month of use. That means nearly half of the new downloads will be lost.

Look at mobile app user retention the same way you approach a website.

It’s common for nearly half of all visitors to leave a website and not take any action.

Do you just sit there and do nothing about it? Of course not!

You implement strategies like email options through popups and exclusive content to capture those users before they leave.

This is precisely what deep linking can be used for but in the sense for a mobile app.

Once a user has visited your app, you can retarget them and use a different style of deep linking to improve their experience.

It improves the onboarding of new users

When a mobile app uses a form of deep linking like the deferred approach, you are capable of acquiring more users.

This is because as a user goes through the mobile browser version of your application, they will be given the option or automatically forwarded to the appropriate download location.

The contextual linking technique can be used to onboard new users in different ways depending on where they originally download the app from.

If you understand that users coming from a Facebook ad campaign regularly navigate to a certain product category, you can push them there automatically.

Furthermore, perhaps users from Google like to learn more about your business first before purchasing.

You can use contextual deep linking to direct those users to the page detailing your company’s history.

You can re-engage users

Once a user has used your app, you have a small window of opportunity to retarget them.

Did you know that 46% of search engine marketers believe that retargeting is the most underused form of marketing right now?

It’s a hidden gem that deep linking enhances.

If a segment of users downloaded your app, viewed product pages, and bounced, you could retarget them in advertising campaigns and use deferred linking to forward them back to the high-interest product pages.

Strengthens your marketing

Personalization is key. Contextual deep linking allows you to customize the user experience, which improves marketing results.

Take into consideration that 39% of consumers will spend more money when given a mobile coupon.

You could collect data on users via contextual deep linking to discover what product categories they enjoy the most, then offer a discount for them to align with this behavior.

Similarly, mobile deep linking has the potential to increase conversion rates.

This is because you are pushing users through the sales funnel quicker. Normally this consists of:

The user lands on the homepage of your website.
They navigate to a product page and add a line item to their cart.
They visit the cart page to confirm their order.
Finally, they pay and check out.

Mobile deep linking can effectively cut the sales funnel in half by helping customers go straight to sales pages.

Take the ticket mobile app SeatGeek as an example. They were able to increase revenue by 10.6% and app open rate by 8.8% with deep linking.

Here’s how…

Firstly, they struggled with reminding users to finish their purchases and buy tickets through the app.

They resolved this issue by using deep linked mobile ads. These target ads based on past user activity would display relevant ads in other existing apps the customer used.

SeatGeek noticed that they were getting thousands of new users per day and had to keep them.

Their team began creating ads that would serve different audiences based on previous behavior.

An example of this would be a user adding tickets to their favorite basketball team’s game to cart, but then abandoning before checking out.

When this user was on another application that supported ads, they would see an advertisement for that same basketball game.

The ads were simple in nature, using a related image, and straight forward call to action.

Boosts app discoverability

Don’t you want to get discovered by more customers?

Of course, you do!

And that’s precisely why you need to implement more deep linking in your mobile app.

Deep links are indexed on Google, giving you more opportunities to rank and drive traffic to your business.

And seeing as Google receives over four billion searches per day, you don’t want to miss out on the free exposure.

Think about how a website like mine ranks for thousands of pages, and not just the homepage.

You can achieve that same performance but for your mobile app.

Users on search engines like Google will be able to visit deeper functions and features versus landing on the welcome page.

This creates the opportunity to optimize applications for SEO via keywords, meta descriptions, and title tags, as well.

Provides analytics and insight into campaigns

Mobile deep linking allows you to refine your buyer’s persona and better understand their behavior.

This information can be used to improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and the overall experience of your app.

You will also be able to discover which links are being clicked the most and by whom.

Doing so creates the opportunity to double down on the best-performing links and optimizing who you target in advertising campaigns.

Deep links also shine light in which parts of your app are used the most and which aren’t.

Google offers its Firebase product to track deep linking in an easy to use platform.

You can begin using it by selecting the Android, iOS, C++, web, or Unity options.

Using Android as an example, you will need to ensure that you meet the prerequisites Google outlines in their documentation.

Firebase’s SDK automatically captures various metrics, user properties, and allows you to create custom events if you wish to track a specific action.

This data is then relayed through the Firebase dashboard which has a very familiar look and feel to other Google products.

You will feel right at home if you’ve ever used Google Analytics.

Which by the way can be connected to Firebase if you need to add events specific to your business like e-commerce purchases.

How to perform mobile deep linking

Now that you’re excited to get started using mobile deep links, here’s how to implement it yourself.

Deep linking on Android

Android devices will select one of three options when a URI is requested:

It opens a preselected app with the URI.
It opens the only available app that can handle the URI.
The user is prompted to choose an available app.

To begin adding deep links to achieve this, you will need to navigate to the AndroidManifest.xml file of your Android mobile app.

You will then have to add the following elements to the file through an intent filter:

Specify the ACTION_VIEW attribute in the <action> element.
<data> tags which include the URI scheme, host, and path.
CATEGORY_DEFAULT and CATEGORY_BROWSABLE attributes to move users from a browser to your app.

Here’s an example from Android’s official documentation on deep linking of what the code will look like:

The second step is to ensure that your app can read data from the intent filter you created.

This is achieved through adding getData() and getAction() methods like so:

Deep links should not require users to log in or perform other actions to visit the desired content unless desired like in the case of promoting app downloads through deferred linking.

iOS

Adding deep links to iOS apps begins by enabling them through what is known as Associated Domains Entitlement.

That’s a fancy way to say you’re letting search engines know what app belongs to what website.

This way when a user clicks on your website, it activates the specified type of deep linking you choose.

You will then have to add an Apple App Site Association file to your website to verify it.

This association file needs to contain the following code, as you can see from Apple’s official documentation:

Similar to how Android apps have the manifest file, the app delegate file acts as the root of iOS apps.

This is why you will have to program your app delegate file to respond to deep links like Apple shows in this example:

They are specifically handled through the NSUserActivity object and activityType value of NSUserActivityTypeBrowsingWeb.

Your iOS app will be prepared to handle and accept users that navigate to it from browsers like Safari after you complete these steps.

Conclusion

Mobile deep linking is a powerful technique to improve the user experience, on-boarding, and marketing of applications.

The three types of mobile deep linking are standard, deferred, and contextual. It’s important to understand each of these to know when to use them properly.

Standard deep linking is used when customers already have an app installed. When they click on a mobile link, it will give them the option to open it in the app or automatically.

Deferred deep linking works by forwarding users to the appropriate app store to download the app if they don’t have it, then pushing them to the originally intended page.

Contextual linking is the most complicated but allows developers to collection information on users to customize the on-boarding and overall experience of the app.

Mobile deep linking can be implemented in each step of the buyer’s journey to acquire and retain users, too.

How do you use deep linking to improve mobile app performance?

The post The Definitive Guide to Mobile Deep Linking appeared first on Neil Patel.

0

High Rankings & Low Traffic: How to Fix It

sourced from: https://www.digitalmarketer.com/blog/high-rankings-low-traffic-fix/

A recent BrightEdge report said that organic search drives 51% of all website traffic. That means organic traffic is the best traffic source for almost any business. And there are several reasons for this:

With organic search, you can get the most targeted traffic
It’s more affordable than paid advertising (I don’t say it’s free, because SEO may also require some costs)
Unlike traffic from paid advertising, the organic search usually results in long-term traffic

But even without knowing that stat, it’s likely that you’ve taken efforts to make organic search work for you, and maybe the results have appeared to be impressive: now your page is ranking on the first page of Google search results.

But your ranking is not the final goal. Often, when you are tracking your traffic, you’ll notice it doesn’t always improve with higher search rankings. How’s that possible?

In this post, I’ll tell you 3 possible reasons why your high rankings didn’t result in high traffic and help you fix the issues.

1. Your Content is Ranking for the Wrong Keywords

This is the most common reason. But what does the concept of “wrong keywords” mean? It means that in the process of keyword research, you collected the terms that wouldn’t bring you any profit.

There are 2 ways this could have happened.

1. You selected too specific keywords

Long-tail keywords are trending these days. These phrases are longer and more specific than 1 and 2 keyword phrases. Because they are less generic, long-tail keywords also have lower search volume than “head” terms. However, this is their main advantage. Using these keywords, you avoid competing with niche giants that are unlikely to lose their positions.

That’s why you are focusing on long-tail keywords. But there’s always the flip side of the coin. You might have selected very specific keywords.

Ranking high for keywords almost nobody is searching for is the same as not ranking at all. For instance, showing up on the first page of Google for “black superman t shirt with red logo” is pretty useless.

Solution: Check search volume

When selecting the right keywords, always consider their search volume–a number of searches for a particular keyword in a given period. Most keyword research tools provide this score for every queried keyword.

In case you don’t use any, you can go with Google Trends. This website analyzes the popularity of search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages. Moreover, with this tool, you can compare several terms. If you aren’t sure which topic or keyword is more popular, you can check it with Google Trends:

2. You didn’t consider search intent

Is your page ranking for keywords that don’t match searchers’ intent? To answer this question, let’s look into the concept of search intent.

People conduct searches for different reasons. The ultimate goal of a person searching for a specific keyword is called search intent.

Google has learned to determine the search intent of a queried phrase and show results that meet this search intent. That’s why if you search for “how to shoelace shoes,” you don’t necessarily see the exact keyword match in the results. The search engine understands what kind of information you need and provides you with relevant content:

There are 4 types of search intent:

Informational: to learn something new. The following modifiers are specific to this type of search intent: how to, what, why, guide, tips, learn, etc.
Navigational: to find particular information on a specific website. These queries usually contain branded keywords.
Commercial: to find the best solution. The searcher is going to take action, but he or she is still trying to make a final decision. Commercial queries are followed by such words as best, review, top, vs., etc.
Transactional: to take action. Transactional intent is the intent of making a purchase. The modifiers are: buy, order, price, purchase, etc.

So if you didn’t denote your page’s intent with keywords, Google could have started to rank your e-commerce website for informational queries (and vice versa). In the result, people seeing your snippet won’t click and your target audience won’t see it in the search results.

Solution: Denote search intent

To make your content rank for the relevant queries, denote the specific intent with your keywords. For instance, if your product page contains a long description, add the modifiers specific to transactional search intent.

To avoid this problem in the future, Google your selected keywords before implementing them. Check every top snippet to understand the majority intent.

(NOTE: Before you get started fixing your traffic problem, you need to know who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Download our FREE proven Customer Avatar Worksheet now and get clear on who you’re selling to.)

2. There are Too Many Special Elements in the Search Results

According to Andy Crestodina, the more features there are on search results pages, the lower the click-through rate is.

If there are too many special elements (featured snippets, ads, “people also ask” box, etc.) in the search results, there’s a chance that users simply don’t scroll down to your number 3 post.

Solution: Adapt to the changes

You shouldn’t despair. Trends are changing, and so should we. There are various techniques to increase your search traffic, and I’ll highlight 2 that work the best:

1. Target keywords with fewer SERP features

You can optimize your content for keywords that result in fewer special elements. Your SEO tool of choice will help you cope with this task. To illustrate the process, I’ll go with Serpstat.

First of all, enter your target keyword into the tool’s search bar and select your country. In the Keyword Selection section, apply filter Special elements in SERP > Does not include > *here you should select any feature you don’t want to appear in search results for your query*. I selected 3 of the most popular (and massive) elements: featured snippets, related questions, and top PPC block.

When you see the list of keywords filtered by the specific criteria, you can either export it or select only the most suitable for your goals.

2. Try to win featured snippets

Featured snippets usually take up a bunch of space in the search results. By winning these snippets, you will increase the visibility of your page significantly (and steal some traffic from #1 ranking page). But how to win them? Although nobody can guarantee winning Google’s featured snippets, you can increase your chances significantly with these simple steps:

Among all the keywords your page is ranking for, identify those with featured snippets in the search results. If you use Serpstat, the algorithm is pretty much the same as when we were filtering out specific SERP elements. But this time, the condition is just the opposite, and the filter should be: Special elements in SERP > Includes > Featured snippet.
Analyze your competitors’ featured snippets to have an idea on the most efficient content structure.
Provide clear content structure with H1–H3 subheads, lists, and bullet points.
Implement the keywords you selected into your subheads.

Check my recent post to find a detailed guide on optimizing for featured snippets.

3. Your Meta Data Doesn’t Make People Click

Last but not least. What if your meta descriptions simply don’t look appealing enough?

Your meta data is the first thing users judge your page content by. If your headline and meta description don’t provide a clear description of your page content, people don’t see what they should expect. In the result, they give their clicks to your more compelling competitors.

Solution: Improve your meta data

Here are the simple rules for creating efficient meta data:

Don’t ignore meta tags. Google will build a description for you using some random text abstracts
Titles should contain no more than 65 characters. Search engines cut long lines. For your potential visitors to see the full title of your page, make sure its length lets them do it
Place the keywords at the beginning—this will help you attract people’s attention right from the start
Denote competitive advantage
Add call to action (CTA). Such invitations as “Learn more,” “Order now,” “Read here,” etc. will help people better understand what your page offers them

Organic search isn’t the only traffic source

Search is a great source of long-term traffic, but it’s not a panacea. Experiment with new potential traffic sources, and you can find channels that also drive a significant number of visits and links to your website. Moreover, diversify your traffic channels to reduce your risks of losing all your traffic when your site is affected by some new Google update.

(NOTE: Before you get started fixing your traffic problem, you need to know who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Download our FREE proven Customer Avatar Worksheet now and get clear on who you’re selling to.)

The post High Rankings & Low Traffic: How to Fix It appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

0

Sales Copy: 7 Never-Fail Principles

sourced from: https://conversionxl.com/blog/7-principles-of-effective-sales-copy/

Why is it that some books become bestsellers and others can hardly sell a 100 copies? Why do you read some books with passion and interest but can’t get past the first 10 pages of others? What’s the difference?

It’s simple: word choice. The words you use—and the order in which you use them—make all the difference when it comes to crafting sales copy that wins sales. It doesn’t matter if it’s books or websites, but words do matter, so pick yours carefully.

As Mark Twain said, “The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

Here are seven principles of effective sales copywriting.

1. Know who you’re talking to.

Look at the three pictures below. A skater dude, a busy mom, and a backpacker. If you’re writing sales copy for a product, you should always talk to a specific person.

You should talk differently to each of the people below—no brainer, right? Still, most people try to write copy that works for everybody. Try to figure out the common denominator among all the potential buyers.

Create a customer persona. Describe this person. Give them a name. Imagine what this person is like, how they spends their days, and what their key issues are. Your sales copy will be much better if you write it with a specific person in mind.

If you need some more help with the process of creating your persona, check out these articles:

How to Identify Your Online Target Audience and Sell MoreHow To Create Customer Personas With Actual, Real Life DataHow to Drive Product Growth with Behavioral PersonasHow Data-Driven Marketers Are Using PsychographicsHow to Build Robust User Personas in Under a MonthLearning Styles: The Impact on Marketing Messaging

Or, if you want to go more in-depth, check out our buyer persona course.

2. Write to your friend (wife, colleague, etc.).

Don’t forget you’re dealing with people. Even if you sell B2B products, there’s always a person with a name and an identity reading your copy and making decisions.

If you know this, then why are you writing business jargon? Forget buzzwords (“social media management system”) and nonsense that doesn’t mean anything (“flexible solutions”). Say it as it is.

Use the “friend test.” Read your copy, and if you spot a sentence you wouldn’t use in a conversation with your friend, change it.

Human relationships are about communicating. Business jargon should be banished in favour of simple English. Simplicity is a sign of truth and a criterion of beauty. Complexity can be a way of hiding the truth.

– Helena Rubinstein, CEO, www.labgroup.com

3. Work hard to create a compelling headline.

People don’t read; they skim. The main thing they do read is the headline, so make it good. If the headline doesn’t capture their attention and make them interested to read further, the rest of the copy doesn’t matter.

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

– David Ogilvy, ad guru

Questions to think about while coming up with a great headline:

What does your prospect care about the most?What’s their biggest problem?What’s their biggest goal or dream?How can you help them achieve it or solve it?

The best headlines communicate a direct benefit. It’s hard to know off-the-bat which headline will work the best. Test them.

4. Don’t make them think.

Thinking is hard. Most people don’t want to do it.

They look at your copy and want to understand what you’re offering. If it’s not obvious in the first few seconds, they’ll move on.

Your main headline might be benefit-oriented, but, underneath it, describe in 2–3 lines:

What your product is;What your product does;Who you product is for.

A photo or screenshot of the product is a smart idea—people “get” images much faster than text.

5. AVOID ALL CAPS AND DON’T USE EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!

There are no good reasons to put your text in all-capital letters. Putting a lot of words in all caps or bold slows down reading, comprehension, and interest.

Lower-case letters have more shape differences than capital letters. Text in lower case is recognized faster than all caps.

Also, using more than one exclamation mark in a row just shows that you’re 12 years old. Nobody wants your stuff more because you add exclamation marks. Au contraire.

6. Readability matters.

If you want people to read your text, make it readable. The most interesting copy in the world will go unread if the readability is poor.

Key things to improve readability:

Font size: minimum 14px, preferably 16px;Line height: 24px;New paragraph every 3–4 lines (empty line between paragraphs);Use sub-headlines as much as you can (at least after every two or three paragraphs);Use images to break text apart. People read more if patterns are broken.Line width: max 600px. If your lines are too long, people won’t read them.Use dark text on a light background (ideally black text on white background).

7. Sales copy should be as long as necessary.

Tests have shown that 79% of people don’t read. However, 16% read everything. Those 16% are your target group—the most interested people.

If people aren’t interested in what you are selling, it doesn’t matter how long or short your sales copy is. If they are interested, give them as much information as possible. A study by the International Data Corporation (IDC) showed that 50% of uncompleted purchases were due to lack of information.

Your readers can always skip parts of your sales copy and click “Buy” once they have the information they need. But if they read through the whole thing and they’re still not convinced or have questions, you have a problem.

Conclusion

Great sales copy is essential—and elusive. The best copy ditches the corporate jargon and speaks directly to customers.

If you can remember these seven principles of sales copywriting, you’ll be way ahead of most (and have the sales numbers to prove it):

Know who you’re talking to. Write to your friend (wife, colleague, etc.). Work hard to create a compelling headline.Don’t make them think.AVOID ALL CAPS AND DON’T USE EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!Readability matters.Sales copy should be as long as necessary.

The post Sales Copy: 7 Never-Fail Principles appeared first on CXL.

0

4 Steps to Grow a Profitable Facebook Page

sourced from: https://www.digitalmarketer.com/blog/grow-profitable-facebook-page/

Every now and then, I hear someone say:

“Facebook is dead.”

And for a second I think, could it be true?

Could Facebook, one of the most powerful marketing platforms in history, already be on its way out?

And I gotta tell you. I don’t think so.

Because when you know how to position your page in a way that appeals to the right people, in a way that makes your content naturally shareable, then the potential upside on Facebook is staggering.

Here’s an example of what I mean by staggering:

Over 53.9 million people reached.

Here’s another:

Over 26.1 million reached.

And here’s a few more, because why not?

Keep in mind, these aren’t my posts. They’re from my students. And they’re NOT huge brands.

These are small business owners. Solopreneurs. Regular people like you and me.

So far I’ve had more than 38 of them achieve a reach of at least 10 million people on a single Facebook post—most of that coming organically.

And guess what?

If they can do it, you can too.

It doesn’t take a master’s degree in marketing. It doesn’t take a million dollars.

All it takes is a solid understanding of how to grow a Facebook page. And I can teach you how to do that in 4 basic steps.

So what are we waiting for? Here they are: the 4 steps to growing a profitable Facebook page.

Step 1: Figure Out Who Will Be in Your Club

Do you have big dreams of reaching millions of people and generating tons of new customers from Facebook?

Awesome. I want to help you get there.

But before we get to your Facebook page itself, the #1 most critical thing you have to do is figure out who those people are.

Who’s your audience?

If you’re going to reach 10 million people, what kind of people are they?

What kind of person is going to appreciate and share your content?

It’s important that you think about this early on in the process, because so many people make the mistake of focusing on themselves—their company, their product.

But you don’t grow an audience by focusing on yourself. Do it by focusing on the people you want to attract.

Here’s a great exercise to help figure this out. It’s super simple and it works amazingly well.

Just complete this sentence:

For example:

Hi, I’m Rachel. And I help people sell their products even if no one knows who they are.
Hi, I’m Rachel. And I help people grow an audience even if they don’t have a lot of friends.

The first 2 parts of this sentence are really easy. Everybody knows who they are and what their company does.

What tends to be missing is that last part. The “even if” statement. And that’s a problem, because that’s kind of the most important part of the sentence.

In fact, you should repeat that last line as many times as possible. Go for at least 15 “even if” statements.

For example, a weight loss coach might help people to lose weight, even if they…

Hate the taste of vegetables
Have never exercised in their life
Don’t know what to eat
Have low self-esteem about their body
Are addicted to sugar

And so on.

See how this helps you to appeal to the real problems people are facing?

Those “even if” statements are what sell your products. So spend some time to get as many as you can.

(NOTE: Before you get started growing your Facebook page, you need to know who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Download our FREE proven Customer Avatar Worksheet now and get clear on who you’re selling to.)

Step 2: Decide How You’ll Build Your Page

There are 3 main strategies you can follow to build your Facebook page:

Build it around a person or lifestyle
Build it around a single topic
Build it around yourself, your company, or your product

There are pros and cons to each of these, so here’s some advice on how to do each one effectively.

1) Build your page around a person or lifestyle

The first way to build your page is to focus it around a particular kind of person or lifestyle. For example:

Men in their 50s who are high-performers
Moms with kids in preschool
High-income golf players in their 40s

You need to understand this person. You need to know their concerns, their hopes, their fears, their dreams.

This can be a really effective strategy, but you have to approach it the right way.

First and foremost, you have to really understand this person or lifestyle.

In a lot of cases, this lifestyle is going to be your lifestyle. If you’re creating a page meant for moms with kids in preschool, and you ARE a mom with kids in preschool, then you’re creating this page for people like you. You already understand your audience.

But that’s not always the case. Maybe you’re a 35-year-old guy creating a page for moms with preschoolers. If that’s the case, it’s OK, but keep in mind you are going to have to talk to your audience to learn about them.

Call them on the phone. Ask them questions. LISTEN to them.

You need to understand this person. You need to know their concerns, their hopes, their fears, their dreams.

In a nutshell, you need to know the important issues to this person right now. Because on this page, you’re going to become a cheerleader for those issues.

2) Build your page around a single topic

The second way to build a page is to focus it around one specific topic.

For most people, this is the approach I recommend. This is the easiest and fastest way to grow an audience—and it works not just on Facebook but also on Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

When I say a “single topic,” it could be just about anything. Such as…

Funny cat videos
Crockpot recipes
Mystery novels
Party planning
Wreath making

Some people might read that last example and think, “Wait, wreath making? Seriously?”

Yep. Seriously.

Damon and Parker have grown the audience for Deco Exchange (a company that sells wreath-making materials) up to almost 200,000 people. And they make thousands of dollars a day from their Facebook Lives.

Why is Deco Exchange so successful in such a weird little niche market?

For starters, they make it immediately clear who their content is for. Take this video, for example:

Anyone who sees this video will instantly know if they’re interested or not. If you’re a crafty person who loves making things at home, your eyes will light right up. If not, you’ll keep scrolling.

This goes to show you that you do not have to make your page about some huge topic with mass appeal. You’d be surprised at the kind of audience you can grow around a niche topic that people are passionate about.

In fact, you want to make sure your topic doesn’t get too broad.

For example, I knew a woman who created a page that was all about how to build your own deck. She was an older woman who was really passionate about building decks—which is unusual, but also pretty awesome.

What wasn’t so awesome was the fact that she also posted a lot about her dogs.

And she also posted a lot of new margarita recipes.

Can you see how those are too far off-topic? It makes the page unfocused, and that’s going to push people away.

A page focused on margarita recipes could be a great topic. But not when it’s also focused on deck-building and dogs.

So pick one topic, and make sure your page keeps a tight focus on it.

3) Build your page around yourself, your company, or your product

The third and final way to create your page is the one that a lot of people default to, which is to make their page all about them.

An example would be my own page, Moolah Marketer:

Now, a page like this can work. But I want to make you aware of some caveats here.

First of all, even if your page is focused on you or your product, it should never be entirely about you or your product. You also want to include content relevant to the topic or lifestyle that appeals to your audience so that it relates to THEM.

(RELATED: DigitalMarketer’s 21 Best Articles for Organic Traffic in 2018)

If you scroll through some of the stuff I post on Moolah Marketer, you’ll notice I’m not talking about my products or how great I am. Instead I share marketing strategies that I know my audience is interested in.

And here’s another thing to think about:

If your goal is to create a personal brand, consider starting out with a topic-focused page first and then pivoting.

This is what Deco Exchange is in the process of doing right now. They started as a topic-focused page that was all about wreath making. Then over time, they’ve pivoted to more of a personal brand that helps wreath makers and other crafty people to build a business around their hobby.

(NOTE: Before you get started growing your Facebook page, you need to know who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Download our FREE proven Customer Avatar Worksheet now and get clear on who you’re selling to.)

If you want to build a personal brand, this is a really good way to go about it.

Because like I said earlier, your page will grow the fastest if you focus on a topic. And it’s actually pretty easy to pivot from that to more of a personal brand, AFTER you’ve built up your audience.

Step 3: Wear Your Niche’s Bumper Sticker

At this point you know who your audience is. And you’ve chosen the type of page you’re going to build.

The next thing you need to do is make sure your page appeals to those people. I like to think of it as wearing your niche’s bumper sticker.

One way to measure this is to see if your page passes the “blink test.” In other words, if you look at the page long enough to blink, you should know what it means.

This sounds simple, but you’d be amazed how many pages get it wrong.

Here’s an example of a page that fails the blink test:

Blink your eyes, and what do you see?

Invisible children. The cover image is a video with someone driving a car. And if you’re really perceptive, maybe you noticed they have a lot of events under the cover image.

What is this page about? No idea.

Now let’s compare it to this page:

Much clearer, right? You get it right away. They sell crazy suits.

So, how do you make sure your page passes the blink test? How do you make sure you’re wearing your niche’s bumper sticker?

This involves the 3 most visible parts of your page:

Page title: You want your page title to be clear. You also want it to resonate with the way your audience sees themselves. One super-easy way to come up with a great page title is just to ask:

“What would my audience call themselves?”

Do this, and you just might come up with a perfectly named page like…

Profile picture: When choosing your profile picture, there are 2 things to keep in mind.

First, a very small version of this image is going to show up next to all your posts. So don’t make the image too detailed, because people won’t be able to tell what it is.

Second, remember that this image is going to show up right next to your page title. So if all you do in your profile picture is repeat the page title, you’re not taking maximum advantage of this space.

Notice the page for Invisible Children does this:

It basically says “Invisible Children” twice in a row. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it is a bit of a missed opportunity.

Cover image: Because this is a much bigger image, it gives you some room to really show what your page is about.

Here’s an awesome example from Genuine Fishing:

This is a great cover image because it makes the promise super clear: we’re going to help you catch that BIG fish.

Step 4: Make Your Reader Feel & Look Good

At this point, your last step is to actually start posting content. But be careful here—the wording, point of view, and positioning you use on this content can mean the difference between a viral post and a dud.

In general, your goal with every piece of content is to make your readers…

Look good
Feel good
Have a better life

This is not about making YOU look good. It’s about making your READER feel good.

And preferably, it can also make their FRIENDS have a better life. Because if your reader thinks it will help their friends, they’ll be much more likely to share it.

For example, pretend you’re creating a post about how to clean the carpet. And let’s say your audience is married, stay-at-home moms.

Which of these headlines would get more shares?

“10 ways for you to get cleaner carpets”
“10 ways to get cleaner carpets, even if your husband never vacuums”

This is not about making YOU look good. It’s about making your READER feel good.

Both of these headlines promise the same general benefit (cleaner carpets). But for an audience of married, stay-at-home moms, the first headline is NOT particularly shareable.

Just imagine how it would feel if your mother-in-law shared that post with you. Or imagine how it would make you look if you shared it with one of your married friends.

It would kinda make you look like a jerk, right? It would imply that they aren’t already doing a good job of keeping a clean house. Which is rude.

The second headline, by comparison, is much better. Because it implies it’s the husband’s fault that the carpets aren’t clean. And that’s going to make this audience more receptive to it.

Another thing to think about with your content is, are you going to appear threatening to your audience?

Take Damon & Parker from Deco Exchange for example.

Some people have suggested that these guys should clean up their image. That they should dress more creatively, and clean up their house so that it looks neat and organized.

But here’s what those people don’t understand:

It doesn’t make your readers look good to share someone else’s perfection.

A 45-year-old woman is not going to feel threatened by sharing Damon & Parker’s content. After all, they’re 25–30-year-old guys with a messy house and an unpolished video style.

(In fact, if anything it makes their audience feel GOOD to know that at least their house is cleaner than Damon’s.)

But if that same content came from another 45-year-old-woman with perfect hair and a spotless house, that would come across as more threatening. Because the audience of 45-year-old women would compare themselves to her and feel inadequate.

These aren’t hard concepts to understand. But they do require looking at your content from your audience’s perspective and thinking about how it’s going to make them feel.

Now Go Grow Your Page

Notice that I used the word grow in the title of this blog post. Because the reality is, you don’t just build a Facebook page with a huge reach.

It’s more like planting a tree. If you plant the right kind of seed in the right kind of soil, and then take care of it the right way, it will flourish.

And that’s exactly what the 4 steps in this post will help you to do with your Facebook page.

So go out there are start growing.

(NOTE: Before you get started growing your Facebook page, you need to know who your ideal customer is, where they are, and what they will buy. Download our FREE proven Customer Avatar Worksheet now and get clear on who you’re selling to.)

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