4 building blocks to help your brand’s SEO strategy succeed

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Crawlability, optimization, brand engagement and knowledge-content creation are all important pieces to create a more competitive SEO program.

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The ad industry continues its quest toward fewer cookies and more consistent user IDs

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The IAB’s DigiTrust and the Advertising ID Consortium chart different, but intersecting, paths toward the goal of an industry-wide identity resolution.

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How A Best Answer Content Strategy Drives B2B Marketing Results

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Best Answer Content B2B Marketing

Best Answer Content B2B Marketing

For many B2B marketers content is a numbers game, especially as the number of channels for discovery and engagement grow right along with competition for attention.

We all know how the information overload story ends: buyers disconnect, they start to ignore marketing content and they lose trust in the brands trying so desperately to reach them.

Smart voices like Ann Handley in the B2B marketing industry have called for a focus on quality and even brevity over the hamster wheel of content mediocrity. Many have listened and yet many more B2B marketers are still fighting the uphill battle of creating uninspired blog post after blog post, ebooks, white papers, case studies and who knows how many social messages – and to what end?

Is your marketing about creating content or answers? Think about what your customers really want.

The failure to communicate by B2B marketers has numerous causes ranging from flawed thinking that more is better to content quality issues to what I like to call “invisible content syndrome”, or content without visibility to the buyer.

Answering buyer questions is nothing new. While best answer content is a topic we’ve been evangelizing at TopRank Marketing since our book Optimize was published 7 years ago and since, changes in voice search and what Google shows in search results has put Q and A content marketing into the SEO spotlight.

The new SEO is optimization for answers. Along those lines you can learn about AEO (Answer Engine Optimization) which focuses on voice search.  There’s also Google’s “People Also Ask” feature which now show up for 79% of search results according to Moz. The difference between optimizing content through AEO tactics or for PAA visibility with a best answer strategy is the difference between visibility on a single channel like Google and consistently visibility across channels for a specific topic.

Being the best answer is hard, but that’s the price for being in the winner’s circle of consistent top visibility. While it’s more difficult to achieve best answer authority on multiple channels than just Google, in this world of information overload, self-directed business customers are searching for useful, credible information they can use to educate, evaluate and make purchasing decisions.

If buyers don’t see consistent, credible and engaging “best answer” content across channels from your brand, they’ll begin to trust competitors who are.

B2B buyers are using Google but they are also asking their social networks, listening to influencers, seeing some ads, consulting with peers in forums, reading industry editorial, blogs, and a variety of offline information sources.

Successful B2B marketers understand their buyers preferences for information discovery, consumption and engagement. They use customer insight and understanding of intent to create best answer content that is easy to find in search, credible and a great user experience. They also create a cycle of optimization where ongoing performance analysis is used to refine and improve.

So how do B2B marketers create best answer content?

Josh Nite from our team has outlined a few good best answer content examples here. Let’s also look at some of the characteristics of best answer web pages aka “power pages”.

Power Page Layout

1. Customer Insight – Whether it’s keyword research, CRM or conversion data from your web analytics, it’s important to step beyond your own intuition about what topics to focus on and rely on data.Consider what is it that your brand should be the best answer for and what customers are looking for that best represents your solution. Metrics that give you an indication of demand like keyword research and intent like analytics and conversion data can point you in the right direction as to what topics to validate.

2. Best Answer Topic(s) – The research and insights work should help you identify the general topic to focus on for best answer content. Then you can leverage answer research tools like BuzzSumo’s Question Analyzer which pulls data from Q/A sites and forums to surface the actual questions being asked about those topics.

3. Hub and Spoke Publishing Model – I first outlined the idea of a hub with distribution channels back in 2010 and the idea has endured. At the center is a comprehensive treatment of your best answer topic. Today we call them “power pages”, more about them below. The spokes have evolved from simply being places to promote your hub content to also include other content representing variations of your main best answer topic.

accounting software hub and spoke content

15% of the daily queries used on Google have never been seen before, so it’s important to surface the most important variations on your primary best answer topic. Those variations present a more comprehensive representation of your brand’s dominance on the overall topic and also provide many repurposing and content promotion opportunities.

4. Power Page – The hub or Power Page provides specific and deep coverage of a Best Answer Topic in a way that appeals to search engines and buyers alike. Whether a buyer’s intent is to understand the topic broadly or to start evaluating what specific solutions can mean for their problem, a Power Page provides an easily findable, deep and engaging explanation. Some common characteristics of the best performing Power Pages include:

  • Leverage keywords/topics in titles to inspire clicks
  • Include page features that increase engagement (interactive, visual)
  • Provide comprehensive content on specific topics: examples, research, models
  • Cover related topics as well

5. Distribution Channels – Power pages are often hosted on a company website or blog. But that’s not the only place buyers will look for your solution topics. It’s important to have an integrated content plan that incorporates owned, earned, paid and shared media.

Hub Spoke Promotion

Whether you partner with industry influencers and industry press to boost credibility or run paid search and social ads for ultra specific targeting, the best answer topic should be consistent across channels where buyers are looking – not just on search engines!

What it takes to be the best answer:

  • Specific, in demand topic
  • More valuable and useful than other sites
  • Credible
  • High quality
  • Engaging
  • Device friendly, accessible
  • Loads fast

By doing the homework of leveraging customer insight and validating with keyword research, you can then identify the actual questions buyers are asking about topics important to your solutions. Answering those questions through a hub and spoke content publishing model ensures a deep focus and coverage of variations on your topic across the channels where customers are seeking answers.

But that’s not all. There are many ways to create even better Best Answer content experiences. Having industry experts help answer customer questions segmented by stage of the buying cycle creates and a more credible and targeted experience. In fact, showcasing industry experts in a brand context for best answer content that is more visual or interactive content can really set a B2B brand apart. Easy to find, credible content that’s also a great user experience is exactly what a Best Answer content strategy can do for B2B customers that are actively looking for solutions.

There’s a lot more to this topic and I will be digging in more deeply during an upcoming Webinar with BuzzSumo on January 23rd at 2pm EST.

B2B best answer marketing webinar
How A Best Answer Strategy Drives B2B Marketing Results

This presentation will show you:

  • The modern content marketing integration model
  • How to use SEO question data to inform credible content and influencer selection
  • What “best answer” content looks like with examples from B2B companies

Check out the details here on the BuzzSumo site and I hope to see you there!

The post How A Best Answer Content Strategy Drives B2B Marketing Results appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Google Search Console for small businesses [Video]

Post from: https://searchenginewatch.com/2019/01/16/google-search-console-small-business/117633/

What’s changed in the new Google Search Console? And how might those changes affect us?

In this article, contributor Mike Zima gives us a text / video combo showing us around the updated Search Console. Specifically we explore how these updates can be beneficial to small businesses.

Watch the nine minute video here, or read the text below.

Ps, he filmed it in Mallorca, Spain, so you really might want to check out the video.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktXWIDSyB6o?feature=oembed&w=640&h=360]

First, it was Google’s mobile-first index. Now, it’s the new Google Search Console.

These might seem like they’re designed to make your life more difficult (or at least, more confusing). But in reality, these updates, especially the updated Search Console, can make your life as a small business owner easier.

Here we list the three important features in the update, how they work, and why they’re great tools for small businesses to use in growing their search strategy.

The Performance Report

The most powerful section of the redesigned Search Console is the Search Performance Report, previously known as the Search Analytics section.

How it works

The Search Performance Report contains features that are similar to the old Search Analytics, which is helpful for those trying to make the change over to the new system. In fact, if you liked the functionality of Search Analytics, you’ll love Search Performance.

Search Performance offers more long-term data than Search Analytics, showing you up to 16 months of search performance data for a more complete long-term analysis.

Like Search Analytics, you can overlay various performance metrics (total impressions, total clicks, average CTR, average position data, etc.) with one click. The difference is that you don’t have to choose between filtering for a search query, search type, country, or device—you can look at all of them at the same time. The only downside is that you can only overlay two comparisons at once, for example, desktop vs. mobile.

Why it’s good for you

If you need to see all of the necessary information in order to make an educated decision about your SEO strategy, this is the tool for you.

You can see your short-term and long-term performance at quadruple the previous range offered—allowing you to track campaigns through their entire life cycle and take action.

Better still, you won’t have to jump between graphs to juggle information. It’s all in one place and ready for you to begin using.

In short, it’s hard to find a tool that will give you more insight into your search strategy.

The Index Coverage Report

The Index Coverage Report is a combination of the old Blocked Resources and Index Status sections.

How it works

The updated report is a great way to stay up-to-date on how your site URLs are indexed.

Let’s say you discover an issue with your URLs. Clicking on those error URLs will bring up page details and diagnostic tools.

Now, you probably have several teams that work on fixing a problem like this, right? Which means those teams have to have the correct information (not to mention, the same set of information!) at the right time in order to fix the issue and keep your site running with minimal disruption.

At the top of the report is a share button that allows you to send the diagnostic information to all the relevant team members who need it. This will create a shareable link, sort of like when you share a Google Doc.

Of course, you also need to be able to see when a problem has been resolved so you can know to move forward to the next item.

Plus, if the problem has been fixed, Google can update their index accordingly. The Index Coverage Report allows you to validate a fix. This signals to Google to crawl the page and reprocess the affected URLs at a high priority.

Why it’s good for you

The Index Coverage Report is fantastic for small businesses because it’s a free and easy way to monitor how your site is performing in the Search Index. It helps you spot issues quickly, get information quickly to your team, and fix problems with minimal downtime.

With the Index Coverage Report, your site can perform better and faster and your team can stay on top of their game—no matter how big or small the problem is.

AMP Status

AMP Status, or Accelerated Mobile Pages Status, is a way for website owners to validate fixed AMP URLs.

How it works

In the former version of Google Search Console, you would get a list of AMP URLs with errors and recommended fixes, but you couldn’t request that Google process the repaired AMPs.

The new Search Console remedies this issue by allowing you to validate repaired URLs and request higher priority processing.

The Console will run several tests once you validate a fix to see if you’ve handled the problem properly and will let you know right away whether the page passes muster.

If it does, Google will go ahead and process the remaining pages. If it doesn’t, it will give you a notification and recommendations.

In addition, the new Console has an expanded validation log so you can see a list of all fixed URLs as well as URLs that failed validation or are still pending.

Why it’s good for you

This is good for your business because it helps you stay on top of your URLs. You can see exactly where the issue is and how to fix it, then you can take charge of it. You can share the information with your team, work on a solution, and verify that solution right away.

From there, you don’t have to wait to get indexed again. You can ask for priority processing to make sure your site starts performing as soon as possible. And that means you can spend less time worrying about your search strategy and more time putting it into action.

Ready to use the new Google Search Console?

The new Google Search Console is designed with your business needs in mind. Google’s developers took requests and feedback from businesses like yours to create a more robust Search Console than ever before.

We hope this article has given you more insight into the new Search Console and how you can take advantage of its features to see success in your own business.

Have any questions? Leave a comment below or on the video!

Mike is the Co-founder of Zima Media.

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