Tactical Keyword Research in a RankBrain World

Posted by Dr-Pete

Summary: RankBrain represents a more advanced way of measuring relevance, built on teaching machines to discover the relationships between words. How should RankBrain change our approach to SEO and specifically to keyword research?

This story starts long before RankBrain, but the action really kicked in around May of 2013, when Google announced conversational search for desktop. At the time, voice search on desktop may have seemed like a gimmick, but in hindsight it was a signal that Google was taking natural language search seriously. Just a few months later the Hummingbird update rewrote Google’s core engine, and much of that rewrite was dedicated to dealing with natural language searches.

Why should you care about voice? For most sites, voice is still a relatively small percentage of searches, and you’ve got other priorities. Here’s the problem, illustrated by the most simplistic Google algorithm diagram I’ve ever created…

If there were two algorithms – one for text search and one for voice search – then, yes, maybe you could drag your feet. The reality, though, is that both text and voice search are powered by the same core algorithm. Every single change Google has made to adapt … Read the rest

December 6, 2016  Tags: , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

Success Metrics in a World Without Twitter Share Counts

Posted by EricaMcGillivray

On November 20, 2015, Twitter took away share counts on their buttons and from their accessible free metrics. Site owners lost an easy signal of popularity of their posts. Those of us in the web metrics business scrambled to either remove, change, or find alternatives for the data to serve to our customers. And all those share count buttons, on sites across the Web, started looking a tad ugly:

Where's my shares?Yep, this is a screenshot from our own site.

Why did Twitter take away this data?

When asked directly, Twitter’s statement about the removal of tweet counts has consistently been:

“The Tweet counts alone did not accurately reflect the impact on Twitter of conversation about the content. They are often more misleading to customers than helpful.”

On the whole, I agree with Twitter that tweet counts are not a holistic measurement of actual audience engagement. They aren’t the end-all-be-all to showing your brand’s success on the channel or for the content you’re promoting. Instead, they are part of the puzzle — a piece of engagement.

However, if Twitter were really concerned about false success reports, they would’ve long ago taken away follower counts, the ultimate social media … Read the rest

February 18, 2016  Tags: , , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

What Really Earns Loyalty in the Local Business World?

Posted by MiriamEllis

St. Valentine’s Day is on the way, and I’ve been thinking about love and loyalty as they apply in the local business world. It’s been estimated that it costs 7x more to acquire a customer than to retain one; in my city, most of the major chains offer some type of traditional customer loyalty program. Most rely on a points-based system or an initial sign-up investment to receive benefits, but I wondered about Main Street.

I picked 15 locally owned businesses at random to see if they had created loyalty programs, and then I checked Google and Yelp to see if any of these programs had been inspiring enough to generate mentions in reviews (the most obvious online signs of devotion or dismay) in the past year. Here’s what I found:

Read the rest

Business Model Loyalty Program Mentions in Reviews
Toy store coupon for every 0 spent; birthday card gift; teacher discount 1 mention
Grocery store Grocery purchasing card that donates to local schools 0 mentions
Video store Rent 12 videos, get 1 free 0 mentions
Craft store Senior Tuesday 10% discount; birthday discount of 20% 0 mentions
Hardware store No program N/A
Bookstore Purchase rewards card

February 14, 2016  Tags: , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

Headline Writing and Title Tag SEO in a Clickbait World – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

When writing headlines and title tags, we’re often conflicted in what we’re trying to say and (more to the point) how we’re trying to say it. Do we want it to help the page rank in SERPs? Do we want people to be intrigued enough to click through? Or are we trying to best satisfy the searcher’s intent? We’d like all three, but a headline that achieves them all is incredibly difficult to write.

In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand illustrates just how small the intersection of those goals is, and offers a process you can use to find the best way forward.

For reference, here’s a still of this week’s whiteboard!

title tag whiteboardRead the rest

March 20, 2015  Tags: , , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

10 Predictions for the Marketing World in 2015

Posted by randfish

The beginning of the year marks the traditional week for bloggers to prognosticate about the 12 months ahead, and, over the last decade I’ve created a tradition of joining in this festive custom to predict the big trends in SEO and web marketing. However, I divine the future by a strict code: I’m only allowed to make predictions IF my predictions from last year were at least moderately accurate (otherwise, why should you listen to me?). So, before I bring my crystal-ball-gazing, let’s have a look at how I did for 2014.

Yes, we’ll get to that, but not until you prove you’re a real Wizard, mustache-man.

You can find 
my post from January 5th of last year here, but I won’t force you to read through it. Here’s how I do grading:

  • Spot On (+2) – when a prediction hits the nail on the head and the primary criteria are fulfilled
  • Partially Accurate (+1) – predictions that are in the area, but are somewhat different than reality
  • Not Completely Wrong (-1) – those that landed near the truth, but couldn’t be called “correct” in any real sense
  • Off the Mark (-2) – guesses which didn’t come close

If the … Read the rest

January 6, 2015  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments



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