5 Email Marketing Benefits for New Businesses

The goal of every new business is to generate revenue with a quick ROI. With today’s technological advancements, marketing communication has never been easier. The modern marketer can reach prospects through several digital channels, from search engine marketing to social media platforms.

With so many innovative ways to reach prospective customers, it can be challenging to determine the best marketing strategy for your new business.

The answer is simple: Share your message where your audience will most likely see it. As of last year, there were 3.9 billion email users around the world. Email marketing remains a successful platform for converting contacts to sales. Not sure how to develop a solid email marketing strategy? Campaign Monitor can help.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is the distribution of promotional messages via email to a carefully defined target audience. It can be utilized to boost sales, strengthen brand recognition, and build customer loyalty. Regardless of how many digital marketing channels develop, email marketing continues to be one of the best ways to contact and engage your target audience.

For more than ten years, email marketing has been the leading channel to deliver the highest ROI for marketers. It currently brings $38 in ROI for every $1 spent, a rate of 3800%. There are several contributing factors to email marketing’s success.

Email is one of the most utilized forms of communication. Most people use email daily, often several times a day. With the advent of smartphones, users can now check their email from anywhere. Last year, 293.6 billion emails were sent and received each day. These emails aren’t just person-to-person contact. They’re also a way for people to connect with their favorite companies. In fact, more than 70% of consumers prefer email communication as their source for updates from the businesses they follow.

Email marketing is cost-effective, so it appeals to businesses of all sizes. It’s possible to reach a large audience for very little investment. You gain direct access to inboxes of quality prospects while avoiding the costs associated with print advertising. Email marketing is a smart way to connect with your target base, identify new customers, and grow your business.

What makes email marketing successful?

The beauty of email marketing is that it enables you to keep in touch with your audience regularly. From welcome messages to follow-up thank you notes, email is an effective way to engage your audience and build customer loyalty. Personal messages can go a long way, and a customer who feels valued is more likely to support your business in more tangible ways.

 Introductory thank-you offer

Source: Really Good Emails

A recent study revealed that 68% of businesses had lost a customer due to indifference. Email marketing is an easy way to avoid this. Through email messages, a business can further enhance the customer experience and continue to boost ROI.

5 email marketing benefits for startups

As a new business, determining where to allot your marketing spend is critical to your success. It’s vital to generate new leads. However, your marketing strategy should be cost-effective and yield results. Here are five benefits that email marketing offers your new business.

1. Create individualized content with targeted messages.

Email marketing enables you to customize content. Messages can be personalized with the recipient’s name. Emails that include a customer’s first name in the subject line have a higher click-through rate than those that don’t. The more emails are opened, the more information you can learn about your audience. This allows you to discover their needs and pains and helps to develop strong relationships.

 Personalized email with customer name

Source: Really Good Emails

Additionally, you’re able to create customized content by segmenting your contacts. This allows you to tailor your marketing campaign to different target groups, like one-time customers versus return visitors. Identify your prospects’ needs. Consider geography, demographics, interests, and even behavior. By targeting your messages in this way, you’re increasing the relevancy of your content, which can lead to more conversions and higher ROI.

2. Drive traffic to your website.

Email marketing campaigns allow you to include links in your message that take your audience directly to your website. Whether it’s a hyperlink or a CTA button, sending readers to your site can positively impact your SEO. By promoting targeted content, you drive qualified traffic to your site. This tells search engines that you’re providing valuable content, which can boost your website’s online rankings. Higher rankings lead to more visitors, which can lead to higher ROI.

Clear call-to-action button

Source: Really Good Emails

You can drive more traffic to your site by solidifying your email list. Build your database by making signup forms easy to complete. Only ask for the most basic information. Make sure your emails can scale to any device. Most people now access their emails from mobile devices. Therefore, your emails should function on a variety of platforms. Effectively reaching more people can bring even more business to your site.

3. Build brand awareness.

In addition to reaching current customers, email marketing is an effective way to reach people who are unfamiliar with your business. Email is nearly 40 times more effective than social media in gaining new customers. It’s an easy way to share information about your business. There’s also an excellent opportunity to send coupons or discount codes.

 Special offer email

Source: Really Good Emails

Use email to set your brand identity that people will recognize when they receive your messages. People are creatures of habit. Set standards early on for what readers can expect to find in your emails. Display your logo in the same place on each email. Ensure messaging includes corporate colors. Establish patterns in your emails that help create brand recognition. Consistent communications will increase the likelihood that people will think of your business when looking for products and services that you provide.

4. Track with ease.

Email marketing allows you the opportunity to see the effectiveness of your campaign easily. An important metric to track is your open rate. Be sure you’re using compelling subject lines to entice people to open an email. Click-through rate tells you the number of people who click on the links in your messages. Clicks per link offer you further insight into the type of content your audience prefers.

Example of a compelling subject line

Source: Newoldstamp

Conversion rate shows how many new users you’ve converted with your campaign. Unsubscribe and forwarding rates reveal how people perceive your messages. Are they removing you from their contacts, or sharing you with theirs? Regardless of which information you track, set a campaign goal that includes a CTA. If people aren’t getting to your site, it’s time to re-evaluate your messaging.

5. Create brand advocates.

Email is one of the simplest communications to share with others. With the click of a button, your current customers can do your promoting for you. If you build a strong relationship with your client base, they can become advocates for your products and services. Word-of-mouth advertising is taken to a new level with email marketing. Make it easy for people to share your information by including clear CTA buttons that encourage readers to do so.

Consider special discounts to people who help promote your business. Ask long-time members to share your message in return for premium access to a new product. Encourage customers to refer a friend to build your contact database. Develop strong relationships with your current customers. Brand loyalty can lead to new prospects, exponentially increasing ROI.

Example of a refer-a-friend benefit

Source: Really Good Emails

Email marketing best practices for small businesses

It’s easy to see that emails are an effective marketing tool, and you can develop a successful email marketing campaign by following these best practices.

Run a test.

Before you blast a message to your contact list, send a test copy to yourself. Check for errors, typos, and broken links. CTA buttons must take viewers to your website. Be sure content appears correctly on a computer as well as a mobile device. Don’t give this campaign an excuse to fail.

Schedule with intent.

Be deliberate in your email campaign schedule. Studies have shown that the best day to reach an audience with email is Tuesday. Keep this in mind when setting your campaign. Use your own data to adjust based on your customers’ needs.

Send to a healthy list.

Develop a quality contact list and only target people who sign up for your email communications. Don’t use purchased email lists or enroll people against their wishes.

Wrap up

Email marketing remains a preferred channel for today’s marketers, as it allows businesses to reach a wide target audience easily and affordably. Email marketing allows your company to:

  • Create individualized content with targeted messages
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Build brand awareness
  • Track analytics with ease
  • Create brand advocates

Email marketing is an effective and beneficial way to boost business and improve your ROI. To ensure success, follow best practices like testing your messages, scheduling with intent, and sending to a healthy list.

We can help your new business develop a beneficial email marketing strategy. For more information, contact our sales team today.

The post 5 Email Marketing Benefits for New Businesses appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

Improve Conversions With These 5 Google Ads Extensions

This is a guest post from Dmytro Spilka at Solvid.

The web is full of companies vying for consumer attention—and the conversions that come with it.

In an industry that’s congested with PPC marketing, it’s important for you to use all the resources you can to stand out.

Google Ads extensions give your ads the best chance possible of getting noticed. They can bring an edge to your campaign, improve your quality score, and can ultimately make the difference between your ad and someone else’s.

But what exactly are Google Ads extensions and how can they help you improve PPC conversions? Read on to see the most effective extensions out there, along with how they can fit into your campaign.

Need help with reporting? Get the guide.

How ad extensions work

Ad extensions operate as additional snippets of data that expand your ad, making it more useful to readers. Ad extensions can include a range of valuable data, such as telephone numbers, further links to your web pages, and reviews from sellers, among other things.

Fundamentally, if you have a clear idea of the goals that are driving your ad campaign, it’s possible to utilize extensions that can drive the right conversions among your target audiences.

What’s more, it doesn’t cost more for businesses to tap into the potential of Google Ads extension options.

While it’s possible to manually input valuable data pertaining to your extensions, some are fully automated, meaning that Google Ads automatically adds extension information to your advertisement, including click-to-call and automated calling services, as well as sitelink extensions.

Source: VisualCapitalist

When it comes to PPC marketing, no other organization comes close to the power of Google (Facebook comes closest). The world’s favorite search engine has been used by businesses for decades and, although we can see that Facebook’s appetite for digital ads is growing exponentially, it has a sizable task in catching up with Google.

Plus, Google experiences around 3.5 billion searches each day, a figure that goes some way in illustrating the strength of the search engine’s dominance.

With such a vast market to tap into, it’s no surprise that marketers are desperate to gain PPC prominence while using Google Ads.

Considering the fact that there’s an ongoing battle for top positions, especially within high-competition niches like insurance, the advertisers are pushed to utilize every opportunity possible to stand out and attract the click.

But which extensions are the best performers? And how exactly can certain extensions help to skyrocket your conversion rates? Let’s take a deeper look at the power of extensions and the conversions they could bring your business:

1. Call extensions

Source: Search Engine Land

Call extensions provide interested parties with a direct link to a conversion. As you may be able to guess from the name, this function adds a telephone number to your Google Ads search ads.

If you work for a large, multinational corporation, there might not necessarily be a pressing need for callers to speak to your staff on the phone, but for more localized businesses, (e.g. restaurants, shops, etc.), the addition of a phone number can be the bridge necessary to build enough customer confidence to prompt a sale.

Learn to localize your emails.

Call extensions can be constructed at an account, campaign, or even an ad group level. If you create a call extension at group level, then your call exension will be on display then for that group’s ads.

This function is ideal if you’re a national or international business that still wants to offer options to local customers. By providing a local phone number, it’s possible to arrange appointments or special reservations for people living near your brick-and-mortar location.

If your business offers local services, be sure to combine call and location extensions in a way that allows searchers to see telephone numbers associated with their geographical location. This will work wonders in encouraging visitors to act on their interest sooner rather than later.

2. Sitelink extensions

A prominent example of sitelink extensions.

Source: Clicteq

The sitelink extensions offered by Google Ads provide extra links to support your ad and your target audience to pages that may carry more relevance to them, depending on their query.

In the example above, we’re able to see that Nike has added sitelinks to focus on new products, women’s training ranges, football equipment and running goods.

How do sitelinks perform such a significant role in boosting your conversions? Well, this process offers unique levels of insight into your PPC performance.

Using this extension, users can see which specific links are performing better than others and optimize their strategies accordingly. If, for example, your shop is gaining more traffic for one product over another, it could be time to shift your links.

It’s key to monitor which ads and sitelinks are bringing the most traffic and which are the most valuable to the business in the long run (not just the first click).

To do that, you should be able to see the entire behavioral flow of the click. You’d need to connect Google Analytics to your Google Ads account. Another way of tracking conversions is through tools like Finteza that provide rich insights into the traffic coming from Google Ads.

(Image: Finteza)

In the meantime, tools like WordStream enable advertisers to optimize ads and apply recommendations with ease.

As with many things in the world of marketing, it’s worth running tests to see which links are bringing more conversions. Be sure to construct short-term campaigns to fine-tune the type of links you’re including in your ads to yield the best results.

3. Callout extensions

Source: WordStream

Callout extensions via Google Ads help marketers to include extra lines of text to accompany their ads. The application of these extra lines is relatively open-ended—meaning callout extensions can be used to tell prospective customers about your brand or notify them of certain promotions or signup offers. They can also be added to your Search Network Campaigns.

This particular extension gives businesses the chance to invest a little more time in promoting certain qualities of their brand or offer an additional flourish in the form of a CTA.

4. Click-to-text extensions

(Image: Blue Frontier)

If you’re looking to utilize the potential of a mobile audience, then click-to-text extensions can invite prospective customers to begin their journey through your sales funnel, all with a simple SMS text message.

The beauty of click-to-text Google Ads extensions is that they offer users a fresh avenue in which to get in touch with your business in a way that suits them.

This particular extension can be utilized in the form of a non-intrusive prompt at the foot of your ad, and really helps in making your company appear more accessible.

How to get engagement (despite the ad blockers).

What’s more, click-to-text functions double as a CTA, inviting users to choose. This opportunity for communication among users has shown strong signs of boosting conversions for businesses.

In fact, Hallam claims that click-to-text extensions can boost click-through rates by as much as 17.2% online—a massive increase on the 6% standard for the company’s headline-only ads.

5. Price extensions

Source: SEJ

It’s also possible to add more value to your search ads through the potential of Google Ads price extensions. This feature allows businesses to broadcast the price of their products or services (up to eight are possible) within their search ads results, so potential customers have a clear idea of what you’re selling and how much it’ll cost.

Price extensions can be implemented as links directly to your site, so it’s possible for users to bypass your landing pages and find themselves right in the midst of your checkout pages.

While this form of advert is great for offering users a direct insight towards your price ranges and your product offers, it’s also the type of extension where searchers could click multiple links within one ad, meaning that you’ll ultimately end up paying for two clicks in one go—a slight inconvenience that, in many cases, will be outweighed by a vast array of benefits.

Wrap up

As you compete with other companies in your industry for Google rank and number of clicks, remember to implement these Google Ads extensions for best results:

  • Call extensions
  • Sitelink extensions
  • Callout extensions
  • Click-to-text extensions
  • Price extensions

By incorporating these methods, you’re improving your chances of being seen and your chances of converting even more prospects into customers.

Dmytro Spilka is the Founder and CEO at Solvid, a creative content agency based in London. Dmytro is a contributor for Entrepreneur, TechRadar, SEMRush, and more.

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SEO Tactics For Ecommerce in 2020

As new online retailers open shop daily, it’s crucial that ecommerce marketers like yourself stay on top of upcoming tactics and algorithm updates if you want your business to stay ahead of the competition.

While some things will always stay the same—like using relevant titles and linking to external sources—other elements continue to evolve in a never-ending spiral.

What’s the biggest SEO ecommerce update in 2020? Google (as well as other large search engines) is trying to be the end destination of the user’s search journey. After all, Google alone handles 75,000 search queries per second and continues to grow 10%-15% per year.

In terms of driving traffic back to your website, this isn’t the best news for your ecommerce shop. However, with the right strategy and implementation, you can remain effective in the search engine’s framework and earn conversions. Read on to discover what SEO ecommerce tactics will help you dominate the SERPs in 2020.

What is SEO?

SEO is the strategy of increasing the quantity and quality of website traffic by increasing your website’s visibility on a search engine. SEO improves your site’s ranking in the organic section of search results.

How does SEO actually work? Search engines have a crawler that gathers data across all your website content to build an index. That index is fed through an algorithm that attempts to match all of that data to the user’s original search query. There’s a lot that goes into a search engine’s algorithm to determine which content ranks. Check out this graph from our friends at Moz:

 Google Algorithm Ranking Factors Chart

Source: Moz

After you’ve swallowed that information, you need to think about the actual optimization part of your website content. This is where ecommerce marketers step in to write fresh content for the search engines to understand and index.

Common SEO practices include optimizing content with keywords, building backlinks, and writing descriptive meta descriptions.

Why your ecommerce business needs SEO

If you want your website to be found organically, you need to prioritize SEO for your ecommerce store. 70.6% of all traffic starts with a Google, Bing, Yahoo, or YouTube search.

When set up properly, SEO is one of the only digital marketing channels that’ll continue to pay off for extended amounts of time.

For example, if you provide a fantastic blog post about the top 20 restaurants in Metro Detroit that ranks for the right keywords, your traffic can continue to increase over time to send traffic back to your site.

While your small ecommerce business may not have the resources to dedicate to a robust SEO strategy, it’s important to narrow down what matters to your audience and focus on those elements.

As an online platform, ecommerce shops need to be found on the internet to grow, convert users, and boost your bottom line.

Optimizing your website will allow you to deliver valuable content to search engines so your content is properly displayed in the SERP for your potential customers to find and click.

6 SEO ecommerce tactics for 2020

Now that you have a good grasp of the importance of SEO for your ecommerce business, it’s time to dive into the newest trends. Let’s take a look at the top SEO ecommerce 2020 tactics to help your business grow and earn substantial ROI.

1. User-focused optimization

For the past few years, Google has been utilizing learning algorithms to improve the search user experience and to avoid keyword-stuffed webpages that don’t provide real value.

In 2020, this will become even more important with Google’s latest algorithm model BERT. BERT analyzes the structure of a user search to better understand the context of why the keywords are used.

What this boils down to for your online store is that you need to write content your audience actually wants. Talk to your customers or ask your customer service team what they’re hearing to better understand what the needs are.

Develop content with user intent in mind and focus on each stage of the buyer’s journey, rather than just strings of keywords that a user might search for.

2. High-quality content

If there’s one thing that continues to be the lifeblood of SEO, it’s content. Even in 2020, content is still king and affects everything on your website from the actual structure to the types of links you build.

From your SEO strategy to email marketing campaigns, you need valuable content to connect with your users. To succeed with SEO ecommerce this year, you need to focus on writing content that’s relevant and authoritative with long-tail keywords.

Why? Not only will your users keep coming back to your website, but it’s exactly what the Google algorithm is looking for to satisfy user needs. to do this correctly, consider the following when developing your content:

  • Understand what your audience searches for
  • Give your users solutions with authoritative content
  • Develop content for every stage of the user experience
  • Understand the motives behind your users’ questions

3. Zero-click searches

Search engines are trying to be the end destination for users. With SERP elements like featured snippets and Google’s Local Packs, more than half of all searches now qualify as “zero search.” This means the user’s question is being answered in the SERP instead of your website.

First, don’t panic. Some of these queries may just be looking for a quick phone number or an answer to a question that wouldn’t result in a conversion either way.

However, to combat this, consider which long-tail keywords that’ll result in clicks. Also, start optimizing your content on Google’s platforms like YouTube, Maps, Knowledge Panels, etc. with keywords that have a higher CTR opportunity.

Zero-click searches in google increase in 2020

Source: SparkToro

4. Mobile optimization

With mobile usage increasing year after year, developing a mobile-first website and digital strategies is crucial in 2020.

Create a website that’s responsive for all mobile devices first, and then make it compatible with desktop usage after. All of your metrics need to reflect online reporting as well, so you can better understand your mobile performance.

However, SEO ecommerce 2020 tactics also need to include analyzing mobile SERPs. What’s your audience searching for on their mobile devices? How’s this different from a desktop? You need to understand what you’re up against with mobile search results, so you can drive traffic and impact your bottom line.

5. Brand building

In 2020, ecommerce marketers will need to focus on brand awareness that drives traffic and acquires top-tier links. Once again, you need to focus on a consumer-first approach with high-quality content that isn’t just about helping search rankings:

  • Planned editorial: topics that are written about every year (i.e., Black Friday, Valentine’s Day)
  • Planned reactive editorial: topics that are tied to specific seasons or themes (i.e., summer road trips, resort destinations)
  • Reactive editorial: topics that are written on the fly and can’t be predicted due to breaking news

Brand building also comes in the form of PR and social proof. You can consistently pitch your name to the media, so other websites can pick up your content and help you start acquiring top links.

Additionally, start collecting customer reviews on your Google My Business page to earn social proof and credibility. Most modern consumers treat online reviews like a recommendation from a friend and reference these before making a purchasing decision.

The truth is consumers are getting smarter and are no longer fooled by marketing. They expect more out of brands, and ecommerce needs to earn their trust before they buy products. How can you do this? Develop a credible brand that isn’t just about ranking #1.

6. Programming

Do you find coding time-consuming or redundant? We don’t blame you.

By utilizing programming languages like Python and R, you can use SEO automation to your advantage and free up your time for other marketing tasks like storytelling, creating stellar customer experiences, and providing an easy way for users to digest your content.

With programming and moving beyond Excel for analysis, you have the ability to:

  • Incorporate multiple data sources for analysis
  • Apply machine learning to solve problems
  • Reduce human input to make decisions

Wrap up

Ready to become an SEO whiz and grow your online business? As the digital landscape continues to evolve, it’s more important than ever to stay ahead of SEO ecommerce 2020 tactics to outrank your competition and provide potential customers real value.

After all, the more credibility you build with content, the higher the conversion rates you’ll have.

As you begin to analyze your website’s current SEO practices, consider:

  • Developing high-quality content that’s focused on improving the user experience
  • Focusing on long-tail keywords and optimizing Google platforms to rank with zero-click searches
  • Optimizing your website and content for mobile SEO
  • Building a brand that users trust, not just one that ranks
  • Use a programming language that makes your life easier

Now that you’re ready to tackle SEO, what about email marketing? CM Commerce offers a full suite of email marketing capabilities for ecommerce shops to help grow loyal customers. Try it for free today!

The post SEO Tactics For Ecommerce in 2020 appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

20 Voice Search Statistics That Will Help Brands Optimize Their Websites

This is a guest post from Matthew Fritschle at Aumcore.

If last year taught us anything, it’s that search behavior is constantly changing. Surviving means keeping track of said changes and making the most of them.

For example, when mobile searches exceeded desktop searches, brands that changed accordingly profited, while those that remained stuck in their ways didn’t.

After all, mobile users expect speed, and mobile optimization is all about getting pages to load fast so users get what they need, when they need it.

Searching with a mobile device means searching with a smaller window that can’t fit everything a traditional desktop window can. Naturally, certain modifications to the site have to be made, making the mobile version responsive and adaptive for every screen.

Today, the changes we’re seeing stem from mobile use and revolve around voice search (i.e. using voice assistants like Siri and Alexa to do the searching for us).

Read on to learn about voice search statistics for 2020, so you know the importance of optimizing for it. You’ll also get an explainer on how to optimize your website for voice search, so you don’t miss out on all the voice traffic coming your way.

Finally, check out our voice search predictions for 2020 and beyond so you can prepare for everything coming your way.

Click here to see our voice tech guide.

Voice search statistics 2020: 20 trends to watch

As you can see, mobile devices and voice search are connected, but don’t just take our word for it. You can see it in the voice search statistics below:

  1. Between 20% and 25% of all mobile queries are actually voice searches.
  2. In fact, about 20% of adults use mobile devices for voice searches at least once per month.
  3. Considering what’s above and the fact that typing while driving isn’t exactly safe, it makes sense that 52% of people use voice search while they’re on the road.
  4. Moving to intent, mobile voice searches are 3X more likely to be local-based than text-related searches.
  5. Smart speakers, another voice search tool, also have a local component: 76% of smart speaker users use voice searches for local searches at least weekly, and 46% perform them daily.
  6. Additionally, 27% visit the website of a local business after making a voice search.
  7. In terms of what they’re looking for, 51% of consumers use voice search to research restaurants.
  8. While just 15% of internet users currently own a voice-controlled smart assistant that can search for them, 34% say they’re interested in purchasing one.
  9. A PwC study also found that only 10% of respondents were not familiar with voice-enabled products and devices. As for the 90% who were, 72% had already used one before.
  10. Another finding was that 65% of 25-49 year olds speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once per day.
  11. Here are the devices they use to do so:
    ○ Smartphone (57%)
    ○ Tablet (29%)
    ○ Laptop (29%)
    ○ Desktop (29%)
    ○ Speaker (27%)
    ○ TV remove (21%)
    ○ Car navigation (20%)
    ○ Wearable (14%)
  12. Focusing on use, 50% of respondents admitted to using their voice assistants to make a purchase, and an additional 25% would consider doing so in the future.
  13. Likewise, an average of 80% of consumers who have shopped using their voice assistant are satisfied. As a result:
    ○ 39% shared their positive experiences with friends and family
    ○ 39% shopped again with the same retailer
    ○ 36% have a more favorable opinion of the retailer
    ○ 24% spent more money with the retailer
  14. Delving deeper into voice search and shopping, 51% of those who shop via voice use it to research products.
  15. When you consider that nearly 20% of all voice search queries are triggered by a set of 25 keywords that consist mainly of question words like the 5 Ws (who, what, where, when, why) and how, and adjectives like “best” or “easy,” you begin to see the connection between voice search and shopping.
  16. Going back to the point about researching a product, 22% make purchases directly through voice after researching and 17% have even used it to reorder items.
  17. To conclude our discussion on shopping, voice shopping is expected to jump to $40 billion in 2022, up from $2 billion in 2018.
  18. Moving to SEO to close our statistics, 70.4% of voice search result pages are HTTPS websites that Google and other search engines prioritize for their SERPs because of their bolstered security.
  19. The average voice search result page also loads in 4.6 seconds, reinforcing our discussion earlier about the importance of speed for mobile-based searches.
  20. Finally, the typical voice search result is only 29 words in length. (Tailor your website’s content and what you would want to be pulled for a voice query.)

How to optimize your website for voice search

Now that we’ve covered some voice usage trends for 2020, you may be wondering how to optimize your website for voice search. Lucky for you, we have a couple of must-haves and must-dos below so you can get started:

Secure your site with HTTPS

Like we covered in the stats above, Google likes websites that are secured with HTTPS and is more likely to use them for voice search results.

For you (if you haven’t already), this means migrating your website from HTTP to HTTPS. If you need some help with that, feel free to use this SEO HTTPS migration guide that ensures you migrate without negatively impacting your SEO efforts.

Use Structured Data

Another important thing you need to do to make it more likely that your content will be used for voice results is to structure your website with schema markup, which is metadata that’s seen by search crawlers as opposed to users.

This is important for voice search because structured data helps crawlers understand your content—they can’t actually read it, after all—and gives them data points they can use to match (voice) questions with answers.

Create a FAQ Page

If you want your content to be pulled up for a voice query, create a FAQ page with everything you want your users to know.

FAQ pages are perfect for voice search because their format in which an answer immediately follows a question is exactly what the search engines want.

After all, isn’t it easier to pull an answer from an FAQ page than a blog post? The answer is often clearer than other answers pulled by search engine snippets.

Publish blog posts that answer your users’ questions

Still, snippets are valuable. Like FAQ pages, your blog posts should answer the questions your users are asking.

As a bonus, consider that the average word count of a Google voice results page is 2,312 words. There are a couple of possibilities for this.

Long-form content offers more opportunities for a match between question and answer to happen, and this type of content is generally seen as more informative than its shorter counterparts.

Regardless, publish longer blog posts that answer your users’ questions if you want better search results for voice tech.

Wrap up

As we wrap up, let’s focus on more than voice search statistics. Let’s focus on the future of voice search so we can prepare for what’s to come.

The future of voice search in 2020 and beyond

What does it mean to live in a world where our voice is becoming the new keyboard? For marketers and business owners, it means modifying strategies to consider what an actual voice query entails: high intent and conversational content.

“Coffee near me,” is now, “Hey, Siri, where is the nearest coffee shop?” As you can see, this question is not only more conversational in nature (because you’re “talking” with a voice assistant), but it’s also highly suggestive of the searcher’s intent.

Still, even as we become more conversational, it’s important to remember that search engines and their crawlers can’t actually read your content the way a human would.

You still need to make it as easy as possible for crawlers and bots to pull your content and use it, especially since there are so many other sites trying to be seen and heard.

By thinking about the engines searching your site as well as the humans using it, your voice is more likely to be heard above all the others.

Matthew is a content writer for Aumcore, a digital marketing agency based in NYC that specializes in voice search optimization and SEO. He writes on a variety of topics that range from the evolving search landscape to emerging technological trends.

The post 20 Voice Search Statistics That Will Help Brands Optimize Their Websites appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

Identifying Underperforming Content: A Guide To Content Analysis

This is a guest post from Deana Kovač at Point Visible.

How many times have you heard that tired old “content is king” adage?

Probably a few too many.

But when it comes to content, you really can’t ignore its effectiveness, especially when it comes to growing your strategy.

How we produce content might change, but audiences everywhere want to absorb new information quickly and efficiently. In other words, content is here to stay, and all you can do is work on improving your own.

The benefits of having well-crafted content in place are clear: Quality content marketing drives visits, increases conversions, boosts brand awareness, improves email campaigns, and allows your brand to develop a personality.

See the best content marketing examples of 2019 here.

The one downside of content production? It requires you to invest resources like time, creativity, and money—especially if you have underperforming content.

What is underperforming content?

Underperforming content is anything that isn’t achieving the ROI you’d hoped. If your blog isn’t getting traffic, or your videos aren’t being watched, or your emails are lacking engagement, you’re experiencing underperforming content.

Naturally, there’s a way to circumvent the costs we discussed above and improve your numbers, and it comes in the form of content analysis and content upgrades.

Read on to discover how you can pinpoint your underperforming content and make it work for you.

How to identify underperforming content

First, let’s dissect what underperforming content actually looks like.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll divide it into three categories:

Content that once performed well, but no longer does:

Your blog might host several articles that were once popular, driving traffic and sales. But for some reason, you’re now seeing that these once-popular posts have dropped in both rankings and visits.

This is the type of content that lends itself well to upgrades and revamps.

Content that never performed well:

On the other hand, you might also have pieces that are dead and have never actually had much potential.

These could be pieces about obsolete topics that no one is searching for anymore, pieces about obsolete tech or tactics, etc.

You’d do best to remove this content from your blog and redirect any links it may have acquired over the years to pages with more potential.

Content that hasn’t been successful but that has potential:

This is content that can work very well, if you spruce it up a bit. (We talk more about this below.)

How can you tell which content isn’t performing but could? Here are some of the metrics you should be keeping an eye on, to ensure your content is doing the best it can:

  • Pageviews – If they’re low, not many people are seeing what you produce. This is clearly an issue you want to fix—but only for pages that meet other criteria.

This is an example of how you can see pageviews on underperforming content using SEO sites.

Source

  • Time on page – If this number is low, site visitors end up leaving fast. This often means that what you have to say doesn’t answer their questions. The way to remedy this is to write a more in-depth piece, going into more detail and providing actual value to the reader.
  • Keywords the page ranks for – Most pages will naturally rank for many keywords, and you don’t have to focus on adding specific words to the text anymore. What you should be paying attention to is the anchor you use when building links to your pages.

This is an ahrefs screengrab showing organic keywords.

Source

  • Social shares – If your content was once shared a lot, this can be a great sign that you can use the same piece again and give it a facelift.
  • Backlinks – If a piece of content is acquiring backlinks on its own, it’s a great sign. You’ve done something well, and people are linking to you as a resource.

This referral path screen grab shows which sites are backlinking to your content. If it's underperforming content, you'll want to redirect the links to new links.

Source

  • Organic visits – If this number is low, people aren’t finding you in search. In other words, it’s time to bust out your SEO toolkit and upgrade your page and try to revamp the content.

There are several tools you can use to acquire these metrics: Google Analytics and Google Search Console are the obvious candidates, but you can also buy an Ahrefs subscription to gain access to some additional insight.

You might also keep your data in a spreadsheet, where it will be easy to access and understand.

Make sure you analyze data over a period of time (e.g. month after month). This will give you insight into the trends and potential trends you can tap into.

Curious about email benchmarks data and how you compare? Our guide can help.

What causes content to drop?

Once you have access to all of your data, you can start asking the fun questions: Why is something performing well vs. why is something underperforming?

We’ll only be looking at the latter case. Here are some of the more prevalent causes for underperforming content:

Outdated information

Search engines love fresh information, as do users. If you have a post that was last updated several years ago, all you need to do is add in fresh information and numbers and republish at today’s date.

Better content published by another source

There are literally millions of blogs being written right now. It’s likely content is being published about something you’ve already covered, and it’s possible that it’s more relevant to users.

If so, it’s possible that post will perform better. When looking to upgrade a post, look at the posts that are performing best in Google for said topic.

Wrong choice of keywords

If you’ve tried to rank your post for a certain set of keywords and succeeded, you might still be facing a high bounce rate.

This will most often mean that visitors don’t see the point in your post and aren’t looking for what you have to say.

The solution to this is venturing into your Search Console and Analytics, taking a look at what you’re ranking for, and what brings in the best traffic.

Use this information to curate content to the visitors you already have.

Grammar errors

There’s nothing worse than trying to read a post that’s informative but poorly written.

Make sure you always fix any errors and typos. You can use any number of online tools available, and even Google Docs has automated fail-safes for grammar.

Poor formatting

Humans are visual, meaning a blog post without some visual variety (e.g. short paragraphs, subheadings, images, etc.) won’t likely be read.

How you format your post is half the job, so make sure you use subheadings, bullet points, reputable links, and high-quality images.

The video below discusses how you can balance content in your emails: This also applies to how you format content on your webpage.

What content can you save?

There are three main choices to consider when it comes to cleaning up underperforming content.

Delete a post completely and redirect all links pointing to it to other posts; write a brand-new piece from scratch and replace an existing post; upgrade a piece you already have in place.

Delete what can’t be saved: no traffic, very poor rankings, and no interest in the subject.

Write new pieces on topics that are popular on subjects that interest your target audience, but which have been done poorly before.

Upgrade well-performing pieces that have shown potential.

Here’s what can help you make the best choice:

  • Keyword potential: Ahrefs has a great feature, which allows you to determine how easy it’ll be to rank for certain keywords. If you have a post you can rank easily, the choice is simple.

This is a graph showing search volume for underperforming content.

This is an Ahrefs screen grab showing search volume.

Source

  • Search volume: if certain keywords are often searched for and you already have a post on the subject—no brainer.
  • Trending and viral topics: this one is a bit tricky, as we can never actually guess what will go viral. On the other hand, you can use Google Trends to gauge the potential of certain topics, and try to direct your own work in a relevant direction. On the other hand, be warned: evergreen topics perform better over the long term than viral posts, so don’t chase a trend merely for the sake of it.

This is a screenshot of Google trends.

  • Time and effort: creating great content takes a lot; you can’t expect to do it in one sitting. Focus most of your energies on posts with the most potential, and those that could bring in the best ROI.

Repurposing content vs. remaking it

Another point we should discuss is repurposing content (as opposed to updating it) and how beneficial this process can be.

Turning a blog post into a video, a video into a podcast, or a podcast into a blog post can be a great way to create something new, without spending too much time and effort on the project, especially since you already have the data.

The choice will largely depend on what your audience likes and how easy it is to reshape a topic.

Some topics won’t work well in different formats, but will greatly benefit from an upgrade of the same format.

Let’s illustrate this concept with an example.

At one time, this post on web hosting didn’t rank for anything. It was a chunk of text with plenty of info but not much digestible content.

Once they changed the layout, added in a table of contents, implemented a box with pros and cons, and updated their outdated information, it began ranking.

This is an example of an updated post that was previously underperforming content.

Think about how you can do the same: Improve user experience by making it easy for visitors to get the information they need from the page.

Add useful links for further reading; improve the images; write new meta descriptions and titles.

In short, try to make it both informative and accessible.

A caveat on blog performance

Finally, we need to mention that there’s no hope for great content to rank if it’s hosted on a bad website that isn’t performing well.

What this means is:

  • Your domain name needs to be in line with your brand. Try not to have any numbers, superfluous interpunction, etc. in the domain name.
  • Choose a reliable host.
  • Ensure all of your on-page elements are up to snuff.
  • Be careful where you promote your blog. Don’t build links on shady websites and don’t use content farms.
  • Think of the user first, and the search engine second. UX is gaining traction as a ranking factor, and you need to ensure visitors have a pleasant experience with you, rather than trying to outsmart an AI.

Wrap up

We may roll our eyes at the “content is king” cliche, but cliche or no, content is still pretty important.

In order to do well online, useful and interesting content is crucial.

What those two terms mean will differ from user to user, from brand to brand. Your task is to match your voice with that of your target audience.

And, yes, producing content is expensive—which is why you can turn to your existing posts and work on them, rather than invest in something new.

Performing a content audit once a year will allow you to not only to make the most of what you have, but it will also allow you to gain a new sense of the direction you need to be going in the future.


This is a headshot of Deana Korvac, a marketer at Point Visible.

Deana is an internet marketing specialist at Point Visible, a digital agency providing custom blogger outreach services. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and singing karaoke. Also, her day just can’t start without a hot cup of coffee.

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