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This month's newsletter intro contributed by SEO team member Cristiana Hawthorne.
Hello everyone, and happy December!
We are right in the middle of the Q4 holiday season, and we're enjoying all the hustle and bustle... Even if it can get a bit crazy! We hope you manage to find some time off to cozy up with your loved ones and relax this December. We all need it after 2020.
Looking back though, we are grateful for the social movements that have picked up pace this year, including in our SEO/SEM worlds. Our own Abby Reimer just finished a great piece for Search Engine Land, about how best to support both female-identifying and BIPOC identifying people in the SEO field.
Going into the New Year, one easy thing to do is consider your commitment to mentorship. Women and BIPOC especially benefit from having a safe space to bounce questions and ideas and get trusted SEO/SEM advice. A few other ideas include building a flexible work environment, finding ways to publicly support women and BIPOC SEOs and SEMs on social media platforms, and advocating for diverse conference lineups.
Now onto this month's marketing news.
by Griffin Roer, Uproer
- Learn about an SEO strategy called "Wildcard Content" that we use to drive big results for a relatively small amount of upfront effort
- This strategy takes advantage of Google's autocomplete feature to help you generate content ideas quickly
- In the article, we walk through several content types that are ripe with Wildcard Content opportunities and share examples from our work
Why it Matters: A high-performing SEO strategy requires thoughtful research and planning upfront. Quality in, quality out. But, spending too much time planning takes away from time that could be spent doing. Deploying a scalable SEO strategy, like Wildcard Content, allows you to generate a ton of content for a relatively small amount of research time. Which, in turn, helps you drive more traffic!
by Ginny Marvin, Search Engine Land
- Google is going to start showing new Recommendations for switching to broad match in Google Ads.
- Google has been moving towards this paid search model, where automation has become a focus, and stringent rules have not.
- This follows an earlier decision by Google to show only search terms that reach a certain volume threshold, despite conversion status.
Why it Matters: Broad match is to paid search marketing as a crayon is to a writer - sure, it's usable, but is it the first thing they reach for when conducting their art? Not a chance. Since Google has reduced visibility on keywords, it has become harder to ensure that queries triggered in broad match are actually relevant.
Most paid search marketers won't touch the broad match option, but Google is urging us to give it another try, saying it'll be easier to manage campaigns - "By pairing [a broad match] keyword with Smart Bidding, you can use auction-time signals to set the right bid for each of these queries. This means that you no longer need to anticipate and manage every potential search".
by Ryan Law, Animalz
- In this article, Animalz shares 6 types of effective, low effort content that you can quickly turn around (like when you just don't have time around the holidays.) For example, we really like:
- Content round-ups: compiling resources (articles, tools, ideas, etc.) into one article.
- Content refreshes: Tweaking your content to rebound or maximize performance. This could be anything from adding in a new, relevant section to updating the page title to be more engaging.
Why it Matters: Anyone who has written a brand new piece of content knows - it takes serious time, and time is $$. By taking advantage of the many different ways you can curate, template or reframe existing content, you save yourself time and precious mental energy. In an industry where new ideas pop up at every corner, sometimes sticking with what works can reap the best rewards.
by Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land
- Google has confirmed that its page experience update will be launching in May of 2021
- Google search results will also feature new labels that will highlight pages Google deems to have excellent page experience
- Businesses should be prepared for this update by reviewing how they stack up in terms of Core Web Vitals and planning any necessary development work
Why it Matters: Page speed and overall user experience have been important to SEO for years, both directly and indirectly. However, there’s long been debate among SEOs about just how close the connection is and how we should quantify page experience.
While the update may not have a cataclysmic effect on SEO, we still recommend doing what you can to prepare. There will likely be an impact of some degree and the addition of the page experience label may have a strong influence on click-through rates.
Plus, a good page experience helps improve conversion rates, so even if your organic traffic doesn’t see a huge change from improving UX, your conversion rate very well may. A great first place to start is by checking in on your site’s Core Web Vitals to see which metrics could use improvement.
by Michelle Noonan, Seer Interactive
- Google Ads, Facebook, and Google Analytics don’t show the same user counts or revenue numbers for a given time period
- While it is annoying, it’s okay, and it’s by design
- This article outlines a few reasons why your data won’t always line-up and why 90% accuracy is actually a solid target to shoot for
Why it Matters: Knowing the limitations of tracking underscores the importance of a source of truth in your marketing efforts. For all digital marketing initiatives, you should have a place that you, and your clients or stakeholders, know and trust for your data.
Doing this allows us to limit the sources of error, which helps us recognize when things are trending in the right direction and when things are off. This data thing isn’t going away anytime soon, but it is changing.
As browsers block cookies, and we browse on more devices, being able to account for these problems will be increasingly important for maintaining accurate -- not necessarily perfect -- tracking we can trust.
Frase is a content optimization tool that helps speed up your process of researching and creating SEO content. And its recommendations are influenced by what's already working in search.
Some of our favorite time-saving features?
- Question Ideas Tool. Pop in a keyword and see what people are asking on People Also Ask, Related Questions, Autocomplete, Reddit, and Quora. No need to have 3 different tools open.
- Statistics. The tool includes common statistics about the topic pulled from the top 20 pieces. Statistics can be great attention-grabbers for intros, for example.
- Average word count. Frase includes the average word count of each piece and the average from the top 20. Helpful for (loosely) determining a target word count range for your own piece.
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