Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring an SEO Company

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

A good number of businesses have fallen victim to the tricks of cunning service providers when it comes to search engine optimization. This can cause you to think twice about working with these companies. However, once you know what you need to avoid and what you should do, finding the right company will be much easier. The purpose of this post is to educate you on the different mistakes you need to avoid when hiring a SEO company.

Not asking for references

More often than not, people do not take the time to consider the opinions of a company’s recent clients. They simply judge the book by its cover. One thing you need to understand is that just because a company looks great does not mean its services will also be great. Regardless of how great their promises and services are, you have to think twice before hiring. One way of doing this is by asking for a list of their current and past clients.

A reputable SEO company will be willing to share a brief list of their current and past clients with you. These references will help you gauge the effectiveness of the service provider as well as verify what they claim to do for you. Although the references will not give you specific analytics, they will surely help you determine if the candidate is the right one to work with or not. You have to contact at least three of the references given to you. Get to know what they think about the service provider and whether they would be willing to do business with the service provider again. The best thing about talking with references is that they will give you the much-needed peace of mind knowing your business needs will be in the right hands.

Failing to understand how the company works

Another mistake you must never make is that of assuming what the company will do for you. Prior to bringing the company on board, you need to spend some time with the service provider trying to understand what the service will entail. How will they improve your search engine rankings? This is the most important question you need to ask at this point.

The companies you need to avoid are those that are unwilling to discuss their methods in detail. If they keep deflecting or avoiding your questions, there is a good chance they will mess things up. A good company should be willing to explain the strategies it will use to drive up your search engine rankings and also give a realistic estimate of how long it will take to achieve those SEO goals.

This simply means that the candidate should give you a detailed proposal. The proposal should include the initial technical review of your website to remove any problems that may be affecting your ranking in a bad way. The proposal should also include an on-page optimization strategy that shows how they will make your website SEO-friendly. If the service provider only gives you scanty details on what he will do for you, you should definitely walk away before you end up in a trap.

Falling for companies that provide guarantees

The question you need to ask your SEO company is this; can you guarantee the website will achieve No. 1 ranking on major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing? If the answer he gives you is yes, then you should be warned. The truth is no service provider can give guarantees when it comes to search engine optimization. Only cunning service providers will give you guarantees. This is done to make you trust them before they change their story later on.

You must consider guarantees a red flag. This is because there are so many things that are considered before ranking is determined. What’s more is that these factors keep on changing. It is impossible to make guarantees. The best the service provider can do is to show you how they will help improve your ranking. They should also give proof of success by showing you websites whose ranking they helped improve.

Hiring companies that don’t do local search engine optimization

Appearing in the local search engine results is the most important thing for your business. This is because your customers are local. You need to ensure that they are able to find you with ease. Therefore, the SEO company you hire should have experience improving local search results. This is the only way you will be able to attract nearby customers. Only hire an expert who has expertise in local search engine optimization techniques.

The best thing about optimizing your website for local SEO is that it will appear when customers nearby search for keywords which are relevant to your business. For this to happen, your consultant needs to add your business’ city and state to the website’s title tags as well as Meta descriptions. He should also get your website listed on Google, Bing and Yahoo’s local listings. These are online directories of businesses that cater to the specific geographical areas.

Not considering result tracking

If your service provider will not measure the success of your search engine optimization campaigns, you should probably walk away. To gauge the success of your efforts, you need to track how much traffic visiting your site and where it is really coming from. This means the SEO consultant needs to be experienced in Google analytics to track improvements in your website’s search engine rankings. If he cannot track results, then he is most definitely not the best person to have on your team.

A lot goes into hiring an SEO company. The above points will help you get started on the right foot. Other things you must consider are the communication that the company has with its clients and the service fees. It is also important to know what happens once the work is done. Will the service provider come back to help with any SEO needs you may have later on?


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Katherine Norris is a freelance content writer. She has great knowledge in the field of SEO. In her free time, she loves to share her knowledge with her friends and colleagues. For more information about Katherine Norris, please visit the site.

The post Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring an SEO Company appeared first on SiteProNews.

5 Easy Ways to Produce Engaging Videos

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Video is a powerful medium for content marketing.

According to Forbes, the second largest search engine in the world is YouTube. Billions of people are looking for videos to watch every single day.

Maybe that’s because you can’t beat video for storytelling. Need evidence? Look to films and television. The combination of visuals, sound, and movement add up to emotional resonance.

Videos are also easy to digest – just sit back and watch. They’re especially effective for how-tos, explaining concepts and illustrating ideas. Plus, as technology gets better and better, it’s becoming easier and easier to stream videos from anywhere, on any platform, on any device.

Videos also hit some requirements for good content – they’re useful and informative. For an example, check out this tutorial from Express Writers that shows you how to order from our Content Shop:

Finally, don’t forget videos are a fresh type of content that adds energy to an already-crowded, staid sea of blogs, articles, posts, and infographics.

These are all good reasons why video marketing is so of-the-moment. There’s one quid pro quo, however.

Videos provide a level of engagement that’s perfect for some types of content – but not all.

The question that remains: When should you utilize the power of video marketing? When should you refrain?

Most importantly, what are some low-cost, easy ways to produce videos for your content?

When Is Video Content Marketing the Right Move?

You can’t produce videos for every content need. Videos take a bit more time and effort than writing up a blog post or researching an article. When you do decide to use a video as your medium, it has to be worth it.

Content Marketing Institute says that you have to ask yourself an honest question when thinking about creating video content. If you removed the sound and visuals and the benefits they provide, would anything about the story get lost in translation?

If the answer is “no,” skip the video. You can tell your story just as effectively through written content. If the answer is a resounding “yes,” then producing a video could take your content to the next level.

Here are some ideas that could get you rolling. Customize them depending on your brand, what you sell, and your industry:

  • Film a behind-the-scenes video that takes your viewers inside your operations, to an exclusive event, or some other place they wouldn’t normally get to access.
  • Film a reaction video to a hot-button topic or event in your industry. Line it up with your brand values.
  • Do thorough product reviews that showcase features, shortcomings, and benefits.
  • Create a how-to video that simplifies a complex process.

To underline just how integral video and visual content is for your marketing, take a look at this snippet of an infographic from AdWeek. Bottom line: People crave it.

image1

There’s a lot that video can do for you. Now that you have some ideas to get you started, how do you go about producing videos? Here are some tips, tricks, and tools that will make it easier.

5 Easy Ways to Produce Engaging Videos for Your Content Roster

You don’t need fancy equipment to create compelling videos for content marketing. In fact, you probably have one of the only tools you’ll need right in your pocket – your Smartphone.

This leads us to the first big tip.

1. Use the Equipment You Already Have

You may not have the budget to either buy or rent fancy video equipment. However, there’s a simpler option.

Nowadays, Smartphones are equipped with great cameras. Use this to your advantage. The footage will have slightly lower quality than if you used professional equipment, but you can mask that with good shooting techniques and superb editing.

2. Invest in Accessories

Accessories for your Smartphone that help you get a steadier shot are inexpensive investments. Did you know you can get a tripod for your Apple device for less than 30 bucks? That cost is totally worth it for a steady, smooth shot – i.e., no amateur, headache-inducing shaky camera.

Another good, inexpensive investment is a microphone that hooks up to your device via the headphone jack. This tool will help you get clearer sound no matter the conditions. This means windy days and background chatter are no problem.

3. Get Different Angles

While shooting, create more visual interest by getting different angles of your subject. This is a good technique to use if you’re filming wide-angle shots of an event or landscape, or if you’re trying to show off the different features of a product.

Various angles will show your viewers every detail. This will help them feel like they’re right there with you, which is far more compelling than one long, steady, unchanging shot.

4. Use the Right Software

The right video editing software can help you create the exact look and feel you’re going for. There are limitless options for creating custom videos with your own footage, animated videos using templates, slide presentations, and more.

To create fun animated videos quickly, try one of these:

Here’s a screengrab that showcases an animated video LinkNYC created using Powtoon:

image2

To edit basic video clips, including cutting footage, fine-tuning audio, tweaking brightness and contrast, and adding text, here are some good options. Some of these are apps you can use right on your phone:

Nutshell, in particular, is a super-simple app that uses very few elements to create a fun video. Here’s an example video from Buffer that shows us how it’s done (the possibilities for this could be endless):

5. Use Stock Images, Clips, and Royalty-Free Music

Many programs include the use of backgrounds, stock photos, mini clips, and royalty-free music in their editing offerings. However, if you’re using a basic program, you can nab these for yourself to jazz up your video content.

Some good stock image sources:

Great sources for royalty-free music (for background sound or mood music):

Stock videos (some of these are free!):

There are so many fantastic resources out there for video creation. Dig in and play around. You may come up with something truly snazzy!

Add Zip and Pizazz to your Content Marketing with Videos

If you’re struggling to stand out in a crowded market, videos could be your way to the top. They’re a fresh means to present information and speak to your readers. You could end up turning more of those casual visitors into customers with this energetic approach.


avatar

Julia dropped out of college to follow her passion in tech and writing, and hasn’t looked back since. Today, she’s been named among the top 30 content marketers, is the founder and CEO of leading content agency Express Writers, hosts the Write Podcast and #ContentWritingChat, and is a published, best-selling author. She’s also the creator of a brand new, leading industry course, The Practical Content Strategist Certification Course.

The post 5 Easy Ways to Produce Engaging Videos appeared first on SiteProNews.

5 Easy Ways to Produce Engaging Videos

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Video is a powerful medium for content marketing.

According to Forbes, the second largest search engine in the world is YouTube. Billions of people are looking for videos to watch every single day.

Maybe that’s because you can’t beat video for storytelling. Need evidence? Look to films and television. The combination of visuals, sound, and movement add up to emotional resonance.

Videos are also easy to digest – just sit back and watch. They’re especially effective for how-tos, explaining concepts and illustrating ideas. Plus, as technology gets better and better, it’s becoming easier and easier to stream videos from anywhere, on any platform, on any device.

Videos also hit some requirements for good content – they’re useful and informative. For an example, check out this tutorial from Express Writers that shows you how to order from our Content Shop:

Finally, don’t forget videos are a fresh type of content that adds energy to an already-crowded, staid sea of blogs, articles, posts, and infographics.

These are all good reasons why video marketing is so of-the-moment. There’s one quid pro quo, however.

Videos provide a level of engagement that’s perfect for some types of content – but not all.

The question that remains: When should you utilize the power of video marketing? When should you refrain?

Most importantly, what are some low-cost, easy ways to produce videos for your content?

When Is Video Content Marketing the Right Move?

You can’t produce videos for every content need. Videos take a bit more time and effort than writing up a blog post or researching an article. When you do decide to use a video as your medium, it has to be worth it.

Content Marketing Institute says that you have to ask yourself an honest question when thinking about creating video content. If you removed the sound and visuals and the benefits they provide, would anything about the story get lost in translation?

If the answer is “no,” skip the video. You can tell your story just as effectively through written content. If the answer is a resounding “yes,” then producing a video could take your content to the next level.

Here are some ideas that could get you rolling. Customize them depending on your brand, what you sell, and your industry:

  • Film a behind-the-scenes video that takes your viewers inside your operations, to an exclusive event, or some other place they wouldn’t normally get to access.
  • Film a reaction video to a hot-button topic or event in your industry. Line it up with your brand values.
  • Do thorough product reviews that showcase features, shortcomings, and benefits.
  • Create a how-to video that simplifies a complex process.

To underline just how integral video and visual content is for your marketing, take a look at this snippet of an infographic from AdWeek. Bottom line: People crave it.

image1

There’s a lot that video can do for you. Now that you have some ideas to get you started, how do you go about producing videos? Here are some tips, tricks, and tools that will make it easier.

5 Easy Ways to Produce Engaging Videos for Your Content Roster

You don’t need fancy equipment to create compelling videos for content marketing. In fact, you probably have one of the only tools you’ll need right in your pocket – your Smartphone.

This leads us to the first big tip.

1. Use the Equipment You Already Have

You may not have the budget to either buy or rent fancy video equipment. However, there’s a simpler option.

Nowadays, Smartphones are equipped with great cameras. Use this to your advantage. The footage will have slightly lower quality than if you used professional equipment, but you can mask that with good shooting techniques and superb editing.

2. Invest in Accessories

Accessories for your Smartphone that help you get a steadier shot are inexpensive investments. Did you know you can get a tripod for your Apple device for less than 30 bucks? That cost is totally worth it for a steady, smooth shot – i.e., no amateur, headache-inducing shaky camera.

Another good, inexpensive investment is a microphone that hooks up to your device via the headphone jack. This tool will help you get clearer sound no matter the conditions. This means windy days and background chatter are no problem.

3. Get Different Angles

While shooting, create more visual interest by getting different angles of your subject. This is a good technique to use if you’re filming wide-angle shots of an event or landscape, or if you’re trying to show off the different features of a product.

Various angles will show your viewers every detail. This will help them feel like they’re right there with you, which is far more compelling than one long, steady, unchanging shot.

4. Use the Right Software

The right video editing software can help you create the exact look and feel you’re going for. There are limitless options for creating custom videos with your own footage, animated videos using templates, slide presentations, and more.

To create fun animated videos quickly, try one of these:

Here’s a screengrab that showcases an animated video LinkNYC created using Powtoon:

image2

To edit basic video clips, including cutting footage, fine-tuning audio, tweaking brightness and contrast, and adding text, here are some good options. Some of these are apps you can use right on your phone:

Nutshell, in particular, is a super-simple app that uses very few elements to create a fun video. Here’s an example video from Buffer that shows us how it’s done (the possibilities for this could be endless):

5. Use Stock Images, Clips, and Royalty-Free Music

Many programs include the use of backgrounds, stock photos, mini clips, and royalty-free music in their editing offerings. However, if you’re using a basic program, you can nab these for yourself to jazz up your video content.

Some good stock image sources:

Great sources for royalty-free music (for background sound or mood music):

Stock videos (some of these are free!):

There are so many fantastic resources out there for video creation. Dig in and play around. You may come up with something truly snazzy!

Add Zip and Pizazz to your Content Marketing with Videos

If you’re struggling to stand out in a crowded market, videos could be your way to the top. They’re a fresh means to present information and speak to your readers. You could end up turning more of those casual visitors into customers with this energetic approach.


avatar

Julia dropped out of college to follow her passion in tech and writing, and hasn’t looked back since. Today, she’s been named among the top 30 content marketers, is the founder and CEO of leading content agency Express Writers, hosts the Write Podcast and #ContentWritingChat, and is a published, best-selling author. She’s also the creator of a brand new, leading industry course, The Practical Content Strategist Certification Course.

The post 5 Easy Ways to Produce Engaging Videos appeared first on SiteProNews.

5 Easy Ways to Produce Engaging Videos

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Video is a powerful medium for content marketing.

According to Forbes, the second largest search engine in the world is YouTube. Billions of people are looking for videos to watch every single day.

Maybe that’s because you can’t beat video for storytelling. Need evidence? Look to films and television. The combination of visuals, sound, and movement add up to emotional resonance.

Videos are also easy to digest – just sit back and watch. They’re especially effective for how-tos, explaining concepts and illustrating ideas. Plus, as technology gets better and better, it’s becoming easier and easier to stream videos from anywhere, on any platform, on any device.

Videos also hit some requirements for good content – they’re useful and informative. For an example, check out this tutorial from Express Writers that shows you how to order from our Content Shop:

Finally, don’t forget videos are a fresh type of content that adds energy to an already-crowded, staid sea of blogs, articles, posts, and infographics.

These are all good reasons why video marketing is so of-the-moment. There’s one quid pro quo, however.

Videos provide a level of engagement that’s perfect for some types of content – but not all.

The question that remains: When should you utilize the power of video marketing? When should you refrain?

Most importantly, what are some low-cost, easy ways to produce videos for your content?

When Is Video Content Marketing the Right Move?

You can’t produce videos for every content need. Videos take a bit more time and effort than writing up a blog post or researching an article. When you do decide to use a video as your medium, it has to be worth it.

Content Marketing Institute says that you have to ask yourself an honest question when thinking about creating video content. If you removed the sound and visuals and the benefits they provide, would anything about the story get lost in translation?

If the answer is “no,” skip the video. You can tell your story just as effectively through written content. If the answer is a resounding “yes,” then producing a video could take your content to the next level.

Here are some ideas that could get you rolling. Customize them depending on your brand, what you sell, and your industry:

  • Film a behind-the-scenes video that takes your viewers inside your operations, to an exclusive event, or some other place they wouldn’t normally get to access.
  • Film a reaction video to a hot-button topic or event in your industry. Line it up with your brand values.
  • Do thorough product reviews that showcase features, shortcomings, and benefits.
  • Create a how-to video that simplifies a complex process.

To underline just how integral video and visual content is for your marketing, take a look at this snippet of an infographic from AdWeek. Bottom line: People crave it.

image1

There’s a lot that video can do for you. Now that you have some ideas to get you started, how do you go about producing videos? Here are some tips, tricks, and tools that will make it easier.

5 Easy Ways to Produce Engaging Videos for Your Content Roster

You don’t need fancy equipment to create compelling videos for content marketing. In fact, you probably have one of the only tools you’ll need right in your pocket – your Smartphone.

This leads us to the first big tip.

1. Use the Equipment You Already Have

You may not have the budget to either buy or rent fancy video equipment. However, there’s a simpler option.

Nowadays, Smartphones are equipped with great cameras. Use this to your advantage. The footage will have slightly lower quality than if you used professional equipment, but you can mask that with good shooting techniques and superb editing.

2. Invest in Accessories

Accessories for your Smartphone that help you get a steadier shot are inexpensive investments. Did you know you can get a tripod for your Apple device for less than 30 bucks? That cost is totally worth it for a steady, smooth shot – i.e., no amateur, headache-inducing shaky camera.

Another good, inexpensive investment is a microphone that hooks up to your device via the headphone jack. This tool will help you get clearer sound no matter the conditions. This means windy days and background chatter are no problem.

3. Get Different Angles

While shooting, create more visual interest by getting different angles of your subject. This is a good technique to use if you’re filming wide-angle shots of an event or landscape, or if you’re trying to show off the different features of a product.

Various angles will show your viewers every detail. This will help them feel like they’re right there with you, which is far more compelling than one long, steady, unchanging shot.

4. Use the Right Software

The right video editing software can help you create the exact look and feel you’re going for. There are limitless options for creating custom videos with your own footage, animated videos using templates, slide presentations, and more.

To create fun animated videos quickly, try one of these:

Here’s a screengrab that showcases an animated video LinkNYC created using Powtoon:

image2

To edit basic video clips, including cutting footage, fine-tuning audio, tweaking brightness and contrast, and adding text, here are some good options. Some of these are apps you can use right on your phone:

Nutshell, in particular, is a super-simple app that uses very few elements to create a fun video. Here’s an example video from Buffer that shows us how it’s done (the possibilities for this could be endless):

5. Use Stock Images, Clips, and Royalty-Free Music

Many programs include the use of backgrounds, stock photos, mini clips, and royalty-free music in their editing offerings. However, if you’re using a basic program, you can nab these for yourself to jazz up your video content.

Some good stock image sources:

Great sources for royalty-free music (for background sound or mood music):

Stock videos (some of these are free!):

There are so many fantastic resources out there for video creation. Dig in and play around. You may come up with something truly snazzy!

Add Zip and Pizazz to your Content Marketing with Videos

If you’re struggling to stand out in a crowded market, videos could be your way to the top. They’re a fresh means to present information and speak to your readers. You could end up turning more of those casual visitors into customers with this energetic approach.


avatar

Julia dropped out of college to follow her passion in tech and writing, and hasn’t looked back since. Today, she’s been named among the top 30 content marketers, is the founder and CEO of leading content agency Express Writers, hosts the Write Podcast and #ContentWritingChat, and is a published, best-selling author. She’s also the creator of a brand new, leading industry course, The Practical Content Strategist Certification Course.

The post 5 Easy Ways to Produce Engaging Videos appeared first on SiteProNews.

5 Less Common Career Paths

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

No matter your age or work experience there is something exciting about breaking the mold from the usual marketing or accounting degree and career. However, a unique path often seems too risky to be sustainable and secure—even today, when Instagram celebrities take in $100,000 per post. Fortunately, no path fits all, and there is ample opportunity to work in a less common industry while still having a secure, reliable income. Take a look at these five more unique roles:

User Experience Designer (“UX Designer”)

Simply put, a user experience designer develops and creates user interfaces for various digital products. As anyone with a Smartphone knows, technology takes you through countless systems and interfaces. The goal of a UX designer is to create user experiences that are efficient, intuitive and enjoyable for users.

UX designers are known for combining creative design with logical interfaces on webpages, mobile applications and operating systems. A UX designer spends a typical day testing the usability of products, designing organizational systems and templates and analyzing user feedback. A UX designer should have Web design experience and an understanding of customer psychology and workflow. Many people interested in this type of occupation tend to study computer science and specialize in Web developing.

Manager of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a relatively new concept that shifts the marketing focus from blatant promotional tactics to a more indirect way of reaching an audience: social media celebrities. While many advertisements fail to interest consumers because they feel fake or manufactured, word-of-mouth recommendations consistently win over customers. Influencer marketing entails working with (and through) public figures, celebrities and bloggers to convey a more genuine, yet subtly promotional message.

A manager of influencer marketing, sometimes-called community or brand manager, leads the charge in identifying and developing relationships with social figures. After they deem the relationship a genuine fit, they will offer product and/or payment for the individual to post about their brand online. Lastly, a key step in the process, just like any campaign, is for the manager to determine the effectiveness of the relationship and social share. Managers of influencer marketing spends the majority of their days communicating with marketing teams and influencers.

Outgoing, personable individuals— this one is for you.

Ethical Hackers

Ethical hackers (AKA ‘white hat hackers’) are paid by an organization to determine the flaws in their computer systems. The hackers attempt to break into the organization’s computer systems (including social hacking) and report the exploitable susceptibilities. With this knowledge, the organization can fix these vulnerabilities and mitigate the damage caused by potential cyber-attacks.

The average day for an ethical hacker would include planning, executing and reporting their cyber-attacks. Most major corporations and organizations employ ethical hackers, which is a great option for graduates with computer science degrees, but who don’t want to get into any legal mischief.

Computer Systems Analysts

A computer systems analyst is an unbiased member of a development or engineering team who makes sure the team reaches their technical goals. A test analyst develops a list of qualities to evaluate a product or in a certain environment and then determines how to do so. In many cases, the computer system analyst also personally executes the tests, records, organizes and interprets the data. Computer systems analysts spends their day-to-day researching, executing, and reporting product tests and their results. From product assurance engineers to quality assurance test program managers, there are a number of different job titles and work environments where one can excel in this field.

Data/Computer Scientist

With the influx of data from the information technology field, companies need someone to make sense of it all. A data/computer scientist analyzes the massive chunks of data, identifies useful information and reports on trends. On top of that, a data scientist works to develop ways to automate systems. Data scientists spend the majority of their time using and writing software to interpret and represent data in new ways. They also would spend some time presenting their findings to various colleagues and supervisors.

Data scientists are in high-demand at companies of all sizes— and not without a hefty paycheck to boot.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

One undeniable theme of these careers: new technology. To stay on top of this new technology, many people are finding it advantageous to pursue a degree in the technology field at local colleges or state universities. As our society continues to adapt and develop new technologies, look for even more “non-stereotypical” careers to appear. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box and try something new.


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The post 5 Less Common Career Paths appeared first on SiteProNews.

Google Posts: Growing under the radar

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Google Plus has risen from the dead! No we’re only joking, that’s highly unlikely.

Google have now rolled out their Posts function for all small businesses with a Google My Business account.

No idea what Posts are? You’d be forgiven for being confused, managing your business information on Google calls for some deciphering of the difference between Google My Business and Google+, which can lead to some serious head scratching.

Hence why we are taking the time to explore what Google Posts are and what they mean for small businesses (and celebrities, big businesses and Twitter).

Google has also refrained from making a big song and dance of Posts – so the amount of information out there is particularly limited on this occasion. To add to the confusion, the term ‘Google Posts’ or ‘Posts on Google’ is not actually the official name given to this feature, as per some of the Google search algorithm updates, Posts has been named as such by the wider community.

The term Google Posts was presumably born out of the language used by Google when describing the feature, e.g ‘post with Google’.

Let’s start from the beginning: What are Google Posts?

Originally tested during the 2016 US elections, Posts offered candidates the ability to submit updates that would appear directly in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and Google Maps.

These posts were also categorized with dropdowns, further helping users to access critical information. In 2016, selected businesses and individuals, including musicians, were used to trial Posts. Apparently these test results were good enough for a wider roll out in 2017.

The posts appear as cards in the SERPs with various calls to action including ‘more’ and social sharing to Facebook, Twitter and Google.

The big G state that:

“Posting on Google is a new way to share relevant, fresh content with the people who are searching for you. Use image, videos and even animated GIFs to engage your audience, and ad inline links to drive traffic to specific content. This enhanced format allows searchers to hear directly from the primary source – you – and complements existing results from across the web.”

How to use Google Posts

First things first, if you’re based in London like us, Google haven’t fully rolled posts out to everyone so you have to join the waiting list. In our opinion it is definitely worth registering.

Once you have been approved, the format appears to be reasonably simple. Simply log on to your GMB account, select ‘Create a Post’ and follow the options.


Image credit: Google. (Very telling that Google are using mobile screenshots, reinforcing their mobile first approach)

You can use Google Posts in a variety of formats including events (with dates and times), image based, video, animated GIFs and text based posts.

Google say that each post will be removed after 7 days, after the date for an event has expired “to ensure that posts are timely”

Impact on SEO

Click-Through Rate

In a case study last year on Search Engine Watch, Rebecca Sentance noticed that Google Posts were appearing for search terms such as ‘engagement rings Buffalo’, i.e non branded search terms. This was particularly exciting, however upon investigation it would appear that Google has now backtracked on this decision to have Posts.

Probably a good thing – it would be a safe bet that the underbelly of the SEO world would look to spam Posts should they appear for transactional terms. Regardless, as discussed in a previous blog post, SEO is more than just onsite, content and links.

Great SEO also takes into account the whole user flow, including improving click-through rates from results pages, which Posts should contribute to.

We will have to wait for a wider roll out to see the real effect that Google Posts will have on CTR. However, it does not take a huge leap of faith to bet that, if used properly, Posts will draw the eye and add to credibility and subsequently improve CTR.

The fact that you can incorporate autoplay GIFs into Posts that appear in search adds another dimension to your appearance in the SERPs. We believe that early adopters could gain a critical edge over competition in the SERPs, especially for those in 2nd, 3rd or 4th place who could differentiate their listing from those above them.

Finally, let’s face it, Google has an assumed level of authority with most internet users. That’s what makes them so profitable – people trust Google’s search results. They may not trust them as a brand, but that’s slightly different.

Accompanying your Google Posts is a nice blue tick next to your name, giving your brand a boost in terms of social verification. Google has endorsed you. If that doesn’t have an effect, then we can all forget about the influence of status in all walks of life.

Mobile vs desktop

This is where there is a big difference for Posts. The long and short of it is that Posts are almost immediately viewable when scrolling on mobile (just under the maps result) whereas for branded search on desktop they are on the right hand side Knowledge Graph, below all of your other GMB information.

Desktop:

 

Mobile:

With Google’s push towards mobile-first indexing and AMP, Posts take a prominent position in the SERPs on mobile. Does this dictate that they will be considered a ranking factor? Not necessarily. However, expect businesses to receive higher levels of engagement and CTR from mobile when compared with desktop, especially for branded searches.

On the other hand, this advantage could be neutralized for non branded searches where the Post carousel is appearing directly beneath the search result, rather than under the business’ GMB profile.

How do Google Posts influence your ranking?

Considering the almost stealthy roll-out of Posts, we do not expect Google to comment on whether Posts will be taken into account as a ranking factor in search. For the moment, therefore, we would recommend concentrating on utilizing them as a feature to improve CTR, and therefore traffic, to content.

Posts are certainly not a social network in the traditional sense, when compared with the major platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Furthermore, we only need look at the ambiguous information out there on how social media may or may not affect ranking ability to guess that Google will not be commenting on the influence of Posts on SERPs for some time – if ever.

Are posts a spin off of Google Authors?

Posts appear to be somewhat of a spin off of the now defunct Google Authorship experiment, but with more functionality, i.e. the ability to advertise events in Posts. Much like Google Authorship, Posts will provide almost instantly indexable content and another dimension to search results.

Businesses will be able to drive traffic through search results to specific pieces of content or key calls to action from Posts, adding further options for users compared with the more standard main search link or associated sitelinks.

Top stories and Twitter carousel

Again, we will need to see this roll out fully to see the impact on search results, but it is an interesting conundrum for Google. Currently big brands will tend to have Google’s ‘Top Stories’ and a Twitter carousel appear in search results. Add Posts to this equation and it raises interesting questions. Which takes priority? Content published directly to their GMB page, or Twitter/news outlets?

One would imagine that Google would look after their own interests, but their recent record €2.4 billion fine by the EU for essentially providing biased Google shopping results may influence their decisions on this matter.

Posts do seem to compete more directly with the Twitter carousel due to their time-sensitive nature, which is not exactly great news for the already presumably very sweaty and sleep deprived team at Twitter. Especially considering the language used on Google’s page explaining Posts: “Your Presence on Google, Fresher than Ever”.

Moving forward

We are actually quite excited about the potential of Posts. It adds another dimension to our role as SEOs, and we can see early adopters using it to significantly boost content marketing efforts.

Interestingly – and a topic which has been briefly touched upon by Search Engine Watch – the way in which businesses utilize Posts could be a substantial influencing factor on their effectiveness. Businesses will have to be conscious of whether they use it to promote new products, events, provide key information (e.g guides), or a blend of content.

First impressions count, even before the user has clicked on your search result. Subsequently, early adopters should look to define their strategy for Posts quickly rather than being an early adopter for the sake of it.

Facebook Debuts New Instant Articles Analytics Tool for Publishers

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Facebook has introduced an analytics comparison tool to help publishers measure how their Instant Articles content stacks up compared to other mobile web equivalents.

Facebook product manager Mona Sarantakos said the social network has been working with global data company Nielsen to “validate” its system for calculating the rise in traffic Instant Articles publishers experience.

“In the past we’ve shared this measurement across all Instant Articles publishers, and we worked closely with partners over the last few months to develop a way for publishers to see this comparison for themselves,” Sarantakos said. “This insight provides an important signal publishers can use to make informed business decisions about how they share content on Facebook.”

Launched Wednesday, the tool will be available to publishers who have published a sufficient number of Instant Articles and mobile Web versions to assess the difference.

Facebook will add more metrics to the tool to help track Instant Articles’ performance over the coming months, Sarantakos said.

Facebook’s data revealed that “regional differences” are the main influence for article views across various markets. For instance, people in the following regions read more Instant Articles than mobile Web equivalents:

  • U.S. and Canada click and read more than 25 percent more;
  • Europe click and read more than 30 percent more;
  • Middle East and North Africa click and read 80 percent more;
  • Southeast Asia read and click 60 percent more;
  • Latin America read and click 60 percent more;
  • India read and click more than 75 percent more.

“Our analyses showed on average, people read more when they see Instant Articles than when they see the mobile web link equivalents,” Facebook engineer Gayan Edirisinghe explained in a blog post. “People are responding to articles in this format. We’re continuing to invest in ways to help people read more articles from publishers on Facebook. Over the next few months we’ll share more about some of our efforts to help readers find more publisher content within articles as well.”

Meanwhile, publishers may be able to look forward to a little reimbursement for posting their articles on Facebook’s service. The social network reportedly has plans to test a paywall that would direct Instant Articles users to sign up for digital news subscriptions after hitting a maximum number of articles each month.

The Street reported that Facebook’s head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, told attendees at the Digital Publishing Innovation Summit in New York earlier this week the social media firm’s new subscription service would request readers to subscribe to the news platform after reading 10 articles. Failure to subscribe would lock a reader out until the following month.

It is not yet know how much publishers would make from the subscription service, if anything.


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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