Marketing Trends 2

What’s Trending in Marketing for August 2020

Staying current on marketing trends is especially important to assess whether your marketing efforts are harmonious with today’s evolving world. We know the difficulty of keeping up with these trends given the abundance of information thrown at us every day. The following articles highlight current August 2020 marketing trends that we think are worth paying attention to:

Noteworthy Marketing News

Hulu Launches Beta for Self-Serve Advertising Platform

In effort to combat the negative economic backlash of Covid-19, Hulu has created an opportunity for small businesses to use its platform. Hulu has recently launched a self-service advertisement program eligible for any company with a minimum ad budget as low as $500. The process is simple: a company creates and submits a 15-30 second creative video along with details on budget, date range, and an area to upload the ad to Hulu Ad Manager. Hulu approves or denies within 3 days. Brands also have the option to specify their target market by age, gender, genre and location. Hulu provides approved brands with a simple walk-through of set-up and launch. For this program, Hulu permits a maximum of one version of a creative video per campaign.

As part of its recent Enabling Dishonest Behavior Policy, Google Ads is banning any advertising for “spyware and surveillance technology” in both search and shopping starting August 11. Examples of services include fake passports, fake degrees or diplomas, drug test aids, exam or paper writing services, invalid reviews and clicks, and fake social media endorsements. Examples of unauthorized access includes hacking, cable-stealing, radar jamming technology, traffic signal changers, and phone/wiretapping. Google explains that its list is not exhaustive and only mentioned for example. Google exemplifies spyware as GPS trackers, cameras/recorders marketed for spying purposes, and software that monitors someone else’s texts and phone calls, with the exception of parents tracking underage children. Violators on Google Ads will receive a 7-day warning.

Social Short: Twitter Ad Engagement Drops, Snap Minis Launch, more brands pause Facebook Ads

Twitter’s ad revenues have fallen in the past years though daily active user rates have increased. However, Twitter’s CFO Ned Segal is confident in the rebuilding process of Twitter’s ad server. He expresses optimism for the future of advertisements on Twitter through the advantage the platform has for live events.  Snapchat reports a 17% increase in revenues. Though its audience is largely younger, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel found that the average number of users on the Discover page are in their thirties. Additionally, the platform has benefited from the increasing Facebook ad withdrawals. Twitter has also taken action against QAnon content, suspending thousands of accounts for sharing or associating with any “conspiracy theory-ridden content”.

Improving your Marketing Program

Lessons Learned: Buyer Persona Gone Wrong

Before a company can establish a solid marketing plan, it must be aware of the specific target markets or customer profiles it has the best chance to attract to its product or service. Creating a buyer persona is essential to effective attraction marketing. In order to perfect your approach in buyer persona launch, here are some common mistakes to avoid.

30 Ways to Boost Instagram Engagement & Following

Looking for ways to boost your social media brand presence? Knowing how to increase brand engagement on Instagram, the latest and hippest social media platform app, is a great start. People are online all day due to working from home. Virtual shopping has risen due to restrictions and pandemic fears. As we have geared toward a more online world, your brand’s presence on the web is more important now than ever. According to Forbes, 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business or brand, and 200 million users on Instagram visit business profiles daily. 70% of users turn to Instagram to look up a brand, and 60% learn about new products using Instagram. Now is the time to catch up with the competition that is already using these trends to their advantage.

Istanbul, Turkey – December 15, 2018: Person holding a brand new Apple iPhone X with Instagram profile on the screen. Instagram is an online mobile social networking service, launched in October 2010.

5 Ways to Improve Your B2B Marketing Strategy

B2B marketing can be a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t have a clear cut marketing strategy in place. To have any hope of running a successful B2B marketing campaign, you’ll need to establish what your goals are. Once you’ve done so, you should implement marketing strategies that will support those goals and help you achieve them. The following are five B2B marketing tips that you should use to help improve your marketing efforts.

Free Digital Marketing Tools To Cope With COVID-19

Recent Marketing Reports, Updates, and Trends

No in-person events until 2nd half of 2021, marketers say

According to a recent Marketing Land survey of 300 people, 3 out of 10 people responded that they anticipate attending in-person events in the first half of 2021. In another survey, 70% of respondents plan to attend solely online events until a Covid-19 vaccine emerges.

U.S. Mobile Ad Spending Update

In March, E Marketer’s Mobile Ad Spending Report forecasted that the pandemic would cause a 20% increase in mobile ad spending, but they have now updated this expectancy and reduced it to 4.8% growth. Among mobile advertising results, location-based advertising has suffered, and gaming and streaming video apps have done well. This year’s lost growth in mobile ad spending will affect overall spending through at least 2024.

COVID-19 Is the Asteroid That Struck American Small Business

Positive news regarding the virus is 78% of small businesses report being able to survive 7 to 12 months or more with existing cash on hand, and 57% could last over a year. Restaurants suffered primarily, as there were over 133,000 business closures total and of the 26,000 Yelp restaurants that have been closed since March, 60% were now permanently closed. A majority of 92% of businesses report pivoting strategy in at least one way form the pandemic. The most common change was a creation of delivery channel, and 96% of businesses reported planning to keep some new services and channels post-pandemic, while 43% will maintain all changes. Find out more on Search Engine Land.

 

Free Marketing Consultation

 

inbound marketing strategy

Developing Inbound Marketing Strategies For Your Business

Everyone is familiar with traditional marketing. Traditional marketing includes TV commercials, radio ads, magazine ads, billboards, and more. While such marketing can still be very useful, it’s not always a cost-effective option for smaller businesses. It’s one of the reasons why most businesses have set up websites and social media pages (such as on Facebook). What you may not realize is that marketing your company online in such a way is known as “inbound marketing.” You should also know that a lot more goes into inbound marketing strategies than just setting up a website.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

People often think of inbound marketing as being the same as online marketing. However, while online marketing is often a form of inbound, they are not the same. Inbound marketing refers to any marketing strategy with a focus on attracting an audience. Most traditional marketing strategies, such as TV commercials, directly engage an audience. This type of marketing is known as “outbound marketing.”

How Is Inbound Different Than Outbound Marketing

Instead of directly engaging an audience, inbound marketing involves letting your audience come to you. To achieve this, you need to put yourself in a position to be found. For example, when someone does a Google search and finds your website on Google’s SERP (search engine results page) and they visit your site as a result. This is a form of inbound marketing.

The Benefits Of Inbound Marketing Strategies

First of all, inbound marketing is the most affordable option for companies with a smaller budget. What’s particularly beneficial about inbound marketing is that you can scale your efforts as you grow. It’s also a more effective way to build your brand authority, thereby helping to increase your reputation while building a larger audience.

Inbound Marketing Is A Long-Term Strategy

In addition to being cost-effective and easier to scale, inbound marketing is also a long-term strategy. You’ll rarely see significant results from your inbound marketing efforts the moment you implement them. But if you keep at it, you’re much more likely to achieve long-term success. This differs from outbound marketing, which tends to be more short-term in its results.

5 Essential Inbound Marketing Tips

Hopefully, your business has a website or a social media page. Most small businesses, including mom and pop shops, at least have a Facebook page. This is a good start; however, you’ll want to expand your inbound marketing efforts to increase your chances of success. The following are five essential inbound marketing strategies that you should adopt:

1. Create Attention-Grabbing Content

To attract people to your business, you need to have something of value to offer.  Because of this, you need to create content. Content is the reason people use the Internet, whether they are doing research, looking for help, or seeking entertainment. By creating website content, you put yourself in a position to be found. The content you create can continue to attract new leads over the long run. However, not just any content will do. You need to develop content that’s relevant to your business and that provides value to your target audience.

2. Promote Content On Social Media

Creating high-quality content is the first step. However, you need to promote it to attract as many potential customers as possible. Social channels are arguably the best way to promote new content since billions of people use social media. By posting content on social media, you will generate awareness of that content to your followers. Additionally, you will have a chance of attracting more leads if your followers share your content.

3. Set Up A Blog

The blog is one of the most effective ways to generate and organize content. By setting up a blog, you create a dedicated section on your site where you can publish new content. Your audience will know that they can continue to visit your blog to view new content in the future. As such, a blog also makes it easier to nurture your leads and maintain your audience.

4. Monitor Social Media And Website Analytics

You’re going to have a difficult time determining the success of your inbound marketing efforts if you can’t judge their performance. Fortunately, there are tons of website and social media analytics tools that you can use. By tracking various KPIs, you can identify what inbound efforts are performing well and which ones are doing poorly. This data can help guide your future marketing efforts.

 Six Steps to Better Use of Marketing Analytics & Dashboard 

5. Use SEO For Your Headlines

Search engine optimization makes it easier for Google to identify what your content is about and how engaging it is. It factors these things into ranking content. The better your content ranks, the more organic traffic you’re likely to receive through Google’s search engine. As such, make sure that you optimize your content’s headlines using strong, relevant keywords.

Develop an Inbound Marketing Strategy Today

As beneficial and cost-effective as inbound marketing can be, it’s important to understand that it’s not superior to outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is just a different type of marketing strategy than outbound. The best approach is to use both inbound and outbound marketing strategies that work with each other. Either way, you’ll want to make sure that you use the right inbound marketing strategies to get the most out of your inbound marketing efforts.

 

Inbound marketing will help you grow your business by attracting website visitors, converting them into leads and closing leads into customers
b2b marketing

5 Ways to Improve Your B2B Marketing Strategies

B2B marketing can be a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t have a clear cut marketing strategy in place. To have any hope of running a successful B2B marketing campaign, you’ll need to establish what your goals are. Once you’ve done so, you should implement marketing strategies that will support those goals and help you achieve them. The following are five B2B marketing tips that you should use to help improve your marketing efforts:

email marketing metrics 31. Streamline Your Email Marketing

Effective email marketing is vital to your ability to convert subscribers into leads and leads into customers. It’s estimated that 83 percent of B2B businesses have an email newsletter strategy. In addition, 40 percent of businesses believe newsletters are the most important component of their content marketing efforts. To get the most out of your email marketing strategy, you need to streamline it. This means that you should segment your email list so that you can personalize your messaging and target subscribers more effectively. Doing so will help ensure that your email campaigns are relevant to your email list, making it easier to nurture your leads.

2. Enhance Your Online B2B Marketing Presence With SEO

SEO (search engine optimization) is essential to putting your business in a position to be found by potential B2B clients. Many businesses will begin searching for information or solutions through Google. If you have a strong SEO strategy in place, your website will receive more exposure on Google’s SERP (search engine results page). This will bring in more organic traffic from Google. To receive the most exposure on Google’s SERP, you will need to rank high on their page. Most people will click on one of the top three results and rarely ever go past the first page. By optimizing your website for SEO, you will boost your page rankings. The following are a few SEO factors that contribute to Google’s page rankings:

  • Keyword use

Keywords help provide Google with information about what your website content is about. You need to use keywords that are relevant to your content and that are competitive, meaning that you have a chance to rank well compared to other websites ranking for the same keywords. Your keywords also need to match your user intent to ensure that they are actually being used by people who are in your target audience. Finally, you’ll need to properly optimize your site using these keywords, such as by using them in your titles, headers, body content, anchor text, alt image tags, meta titles, and more.

  • User engagement

High user engagement indicates that the content is of high quality, which is why Google pays attention to certain factors that indicate high user engagement, such as social signals (shares and likes), comments, and backlinks.

  • User experience

User experience is another element that indicates quality. Technical issues, such as slow-loading pages, hinder the user experience. As such, you need to make sure your website is technically sound.

8 Ways That You Can Improve Your SEO

3. Know Your Audience

One of the ways in which B2B marketing differs from B2C marketing is that B2B clients are much more specific. B2C companies tend to have more general audiences that they can market to. Because B2B companies have to target a more specific type of client, you will need to figure out who exactly your audience is. To do this, you should develop your buyer personas. Buyer personas are representations of your ideal clients. They help you define the different types of clients that make up your target audience. You can then use your buyer personas to guide all of your marketing efforts. For example, when creating content, you can make sure that the content you’re creating is relevant to at least one of your buyer personas. Additionally, you’ll be able to make sure that you address your entire audience by making sure to create content that’s relevant to all of your buyer personas.

4. Measure Your B2B Marketing Online Performance

Not all of your marketing efforts may achieve the success you were hoping for. However, the only way to judge your marketing performance is through various analytics tools to monitor key metrics. By doing so, you’ll be able to determine what is working and adapt accordingly. The ability to adjust your strategy mid-campaign can help ensure that you’re not wasting resources on tactics that aren’t effective. In the end, measuring your online performance is critical to achieving a high ROI on your B2B marketing.

5. Take Advantage Of Referral Marketing

Capturing leads and converting customers requires you to build trust. One of the best ways to build trust is through another customer’s referral. Implementing a referral marketing strategy can help you attract new leads through word of mouth of existing and past customers. To do so, you should give existing customers an incentive to provide referrals, such as a discount on a product or service.

These are five B2B marketing tips that can enhance your marketing campaign. Keep in mind that you should continuously monitor and adjust your B2B marketing strategies as needed. Doing so will help ensure that you’re not pouring resources into tactics that aren’t working out for you and will help you achieve a higher ROI in the long run.

Download Our White Paper Guide To Learn How To Perfect Buyer Personas For Your Business
Improve SEO 1

8 Ways That You Can Improve Your SEO

Although you might think that you have a pretty good grasp of SEO (search engine optimization), it’s important to understand that your SEO strategy, while effective today, can become outdated tomorrow. It’s why it’s important to continuously look for ways that you can improve SEO. The following are just a few ways in which you might be able to improve your existing SEO efforts:

1. Perform Routine Keyword Research

Keyword research isn’t something that you can do once and be done with. You need to continually do keyword research so that you can identify what keywords your target audience is using, what keywords your successfully ranking for, and what keywords your competition is using and successfully ranking for.

Keyword research doesn’t just help you identify keywords that you can use, it can also help you determine whether you’ll be able to compete using those keywords. The more thorough and up-to-date your keyword research is, the stronger and more effective your keyword use will be.

2. Optimize For Google Snippets

Google’s Featured Snippets is a feature that answers user questions without forcing the user having to leave the SERP (search engine results page). By optimizing content for these Featured Snippets, your content will have a better chance of appearing at the top of SERPs.

Start by identifying whether snippets exist for the keywords you’re using. If they don’t, you’ll be in a better position to have a snippet of your content showcased. To have your content showcased as a snippet, ask the question that your snippet answers in one of the subheadings of your content and answer that question immediately following the subheading.

3. Update Your Old Content

Google takes into account how fresh the content is. It’s one of the main reasons why you should publish new content on a regular basis; however, that doesn’t mean your old content is useless. Going back periodically to update old content can help to improve your rankings. For example, you could take a list article published a year or two ago and turn it into a Slideshare. You can also update facts and data used in older blog posts once new studies are released to keep them relevant.

Enjoy The Article: 5 SEO Concepts For An Improved ROI

4. Use The Skyscraper Strategy

The skyscraper strategy is a strategy in which you identify high ranking content that’s relevant to your business and your target audience. Create similar content that’s better written or more comprehensive. Once you’ve published this content, reach out to the websites that linked to the original content and request that they change their links to your content. The skyscraper strategy can be very effective in terms of outranking competition and building backlinks.

Improve SEO2

Earning backlinks is essential to SEO. Google monitors the backlinks that your pages earn, using them as an indication of your content’s quality. After all, the more backlinks you earn, the more authoritative your content is considered by other websites. However, Google does monitor where your links are coming from. If they are from poor sources, they may not count towards your rankings. In cases where Google thinks you might be trying to spam backlinks from a single source, they may even penalize you. As such, monitor where you are earning backlinks from.

6. Promote Your Content

The more traffic, backlinks, and social signals that your content gets, the higher your content will rank. With that in mind, promoting your content is essential to improve SEO. For example, simply adding social buttons to your content as well as sharing your content on social media can help generate more traffic to your content. More people will be likely to share, like, and comment on your content as well, which will also increase exposure, leading to more traffic and potentially more backlinks.

7. Improve Technical SEO

Technical SEO is important because it relates directly to the user experience. If your website isn’t technically sound, it will hurt user experience. You will want to make sure that you monitor and improve your technical SEO by making sure your links are working properly, that your content is optimized for mobile use, and that pages load quickly.

8. Track Performance

Tracking how your content is performing can provide you with a lot of information. There are numerous metrics that you should monitor that will help improve the SEO. This includes traffic per page, conversion rate, new traffic vs. returning traffic, and traffic by source. These metrics can help you discover potential issues that could be negatively affecting your SEO and that will need to be addressed.

Continuously adapting new SEO practices may seem like a real chore, but it’s essential that you keep your SEO strategy up-to-date. Effective SEO is crucial to your overall inbound marketing success, after all. This means that it’s worth investing both time and effort to improve SEO.

17 SEO Myths
New call-to-action
Web Design

6 Web Design Principles to Increase Conversions

Putting thought into your web design is a must if you have any ambitions to grow your business. While the content that you host on your site and the strength of your SEO strategy will help you attract leads, your web design will play a big part in your ability to convert leads. Keeping that in mind, the following are seven web design principles for conversions:

1. Use A Responsive Design

If you’re not using a responsive design, it means that although your website may load properly on desktops, it may not be displayed correctly on smaller screens, such as those on smartphones and tablets. If your website doesn’t load properly on a smartphone, it will require the user to not only scroll up and down but also left to right — and to zoom in and out. Few mobile users will have the patience to deal with a site like this, which will lead to a significant bounce rate. Use a responsive design so that you don’t lose your mobile leads.

2. Ensure That Your Pages Load Quickly

Even if your site does load properly, few visitors will have the patience for pages that load slowly. It should take no more than one to two seconds for your site to load. If it takes three or more seconds, you’re in trouble. Leads will get frustrated and will likely abandon your site. Test your page speeds to ensure that they load quickly.

3. Don’t Include Too Many Choices

Too many choices can make it difficult for visitors to figure out what they want or to find what they’re looking for. For example, a navigation menu is a great addition. It lets visitors find your blog, contact page, product page, etc. However, if you fill up that navigation menu with dozens upon dozens of links, it becomes overwhelming. Not only will it actually be more difficult for visitors to find what they’re looking for, but too many choices requires them to commit more of their time to make a decision. To capture leads, you need to help guide their decision making–offering too many choices does the opposite. Keep it simple.

Why are call-to-action phrases so important? Learn more by clicking here!

4. Use Negative Space

The visual design of a page should be kept relatively simple to prevent visitors from becoming overwhelmed. The last thing you want is a page covered in text, links, images, videos, and more. This makes it hard to find anything amidst the clutter. To avoid this, make sure that there’s plenty of negative space throughout each page. Negative space helps reduce clutter, gives your site a clean and elegant look, and makes your page easier to scan.

5. Choose Colors Carefully

The way you use color is psychologically important. Colors evoke different emotions and reactions from your visitors. For example, blue indicates trust, which is why it’s a color often used for CTA buttons. However, the colors you choose should reflect the content on your page as well as your brand in general. Just make sure you keep your colors consistent and that you don’t go overboard using colors. You should stick to a few main colors and their variations. Typically, it’s best if you choose one color along with a second that offers some contrast.

6. Use An F-Layout

Studies have shown that the attention of users is focused in an F-pattern. This means that when they first come to a page, they will be most focused on the top left and top right parts of your page. This slowly diminishes as they work their way down, which means the bottom right of a page gets the least amount of attention. Designing your pages so that they display information in an F-layout is therefore a good way to ensure that the information you want to convey is consumed by your visitors. For example, having the bulk of your content on the left side, positioning important links on the top right side, and then adding your CTA to the bottom left will create an effective F-layout.

The design of your website is essential to not only keeping your visitors engaged, but to keep them on your website for as long as possible. The longer you’re able to keep your visitors on your site, the better of a chance you have of converting them. These are six web design principles for conversions that you should consider implementing.

Website Redesign Checklist
New call-to-action
earned media vs paid media

Inside Adwords: Exploring The Differences Between Smart Display Campaigns & Custom Intent Campaigns

The use of PPC (pay per click) advertising can be beneficial for countless reasons. Not only are PPC ads a great way to bring in more traffic, they are incredibly cost-effective and are particularly useful for trying out new keywords or copy. It’s why Google AdWords continues to be popular with advertisers. Let’s take a closer look inside AdWords to discover some of their newer PPC options, including their smart display ads and their custom intent ads.

Inside AdWords’ Smart Display Ads

Smart display ads are ads that are automated by Google. This helps to make creating display ads much easier since all you’ll need to do is submit your creative assets (such as images, headlines, subheaders, and copy) along with your cost-per-acquisition (CPA) goal and Google will determine what the best possible combination of these elements are in order to meet your CPA. Google will also automatically find placements for your ad.

There are a number of advantages to creating your ads this way. For example, benefits include:

  • The ability to test out different ad elements for other ad campaigns.
  • Test ads that haven’t been working to see if any elements are salvageable.
  • Find new placements.
  • Spend less time optimizing and managing your own ads.

However, it’s worth noting that there are a few drawbacks. Namely, you’re giving up a lot of control over your ad. For example, you can’t bid down, you can’t exclude placements, and you don’t have control over the devices your ads are placed on.

What’s New With Google: How Your Web Page Speed Effects Your SEO and Adwords Performance

Even though you do give up some control, what makes smart display ads worth using is the fact that Google will automatically test out different elements of your ad to find the best possible combination.

Inside Adwords’ Custom Intent Campaigns

The custom intent audiences option now offered by Google AdWords provides a more accurate way to target consumers who are looking to make a purchase right now. It’s the equivalent of being able to walk up to a customer who is browsing items inside of a physical store and engaging with them. Using custom intent audiences, you’ll have a much better chance of closing a sale since the audiences your ad will be targeting will be looking to buy something that’s similar to your product or service.

For example, if you’re marketing an airline service and want to target customers who are going on vacation, you could set your customer intent to target people who are looking to go on vacation in Hawaii. Not only can you target potential customers searching for flights to Hawaii on Google using keywords like Hawaii vacation or flights to Hawaii, but you can also reach them on YouTube while they are watching Hawaii travel videos.

Adwords’ Custom Intent Makes Finding Your Audience A Breeze

Using the custom intent audience feature is easy. When creating a display ad, simply select “target” and choose “intent.” You can then choose either ‘DIY” which allows you to combine links and topics in order to pursue customers who are most likely looking to buy what you are selling, or you can choose “Auto-generated,” which leaves the work to Google’s machine learning technology in order to create audiences that are exclusive to the data of your brand based on inference.

When creating your new audience, you’ll name the audience, enter any keywords or URLs that are related to your target audience, and then create it. Based on the custom audience you’ve created, you’ll be provided with useful information like estimated reach, associated keywords, and potential audiences according to phrase.

Although the custom intent audience feature can be extremely useful in reaching customers who are looking to buy immediately, it’s worth noting that this feature is only valuable as a short-term strategy. If you’re looking to nurture leads over the long-term, using this feature is not the best option.

Choosing Between Smart Display Ads and Custom Intent Audiences

When looking inside AdWords to determine what the best PPC option is for you, you need to figure out exactly what you’re goal is. If you’re trying to boost sales short term, then using the custom intent audience feature can be quite valuable. When it comes to smart display ads, there’s much more that you can use them for, whether it’s attracting more long-term leads, finding new places to reach your target audience, or identifying what elements of your ads are the most effective to help with future ad campaigns.

17 SEO MYTHS YOU SHOULD LEAVE BEHIND

How To Strike A Perfect Balance When Writing For Search & Writing For Brand

Writing content can be tricky. Implementing the best SEO practices is important in order to help attract organic traffic to your site in order to read your content, but you should also make sure that your SEO efforts don’t detract from the quality of your writing–it needs to be of a high quality in order to engage those visitors, after all. Finding that perfect balance between writing for your brand and writing for SEO is no easy task. The following are a few tips on how to maintain that perfect balance:

1. Do Your Keyword Research

If you do the proper amount of keyword research, then you shouldn’t have to worry about trying to include the keywords you’ve chosen into the content you’ve written. If the keywords you chose were relevant to the content you wrote and vice versa, then odds are those keywords will be naturally used as you are writing your content and you won’t have to worry about going back and adding in keywords in potentially unnatural or repetitive ways that could lower the quality of your content.

2. Using Keywords In Your Headers

You don’t need to add keywords to each header you use. Your headers don’t just tell readers what the following content is going to be about–they also need to help incite reader interest. A lot of the time, adding keywords to your headers can make the header seem bland. Use keywords in your headers when the following paragraph is the meat and potatoes of your content. When it comes to the concluding header, worry more about creating a header that leaves a lasting impact than about finding a way to include your keyword.

Are Keywords Still Required To Increase SEO Rankings? Click here to find out.

3. Know Where To Use Keywords

While you should use your keywords in the body of your content in a natural way, you should also make sure to include it in your title, meta title, meta description, and image alt text. This will make your content more easily identifiable for Google without potentially affecting the quality of your actual content.

Keywords aren’t the only way to write for search. Add relevant backlinks throughout your content. However, if the links don’t add value to the experience of your readers, then don’t add them–you’ll just frustrate your readers and clutter up your content with anchor text.

5. Don’t Overdo It

First of all, keyword stuffing is going to be penalized by Google, which is why you should try to keep your keyword density below two percent. Secondly, you should read through your content to get a feel for how it sounds. If any of your keywords sound out of place, then they’re affecting the quality of what you’ve written. Additionally, if it feels like the keyword is being repeated too often within a short span of space, it’s probably dragging the quality down.

The content you write serves many purposes as far as your inbound marketing strategy goes. It can help increase your search rankings, thereby boosting organic traffic and bringing in more potential leads. It can also help your readers to engage with your brand. However, this requires you to both write with your audience in mind as well as with SEO in mind. These are just a few tips that will help you maintain that perfect balance between writing for your brand and writing for search.

Still want to increase your SEO? Here’s how to do so using Google trends.

17 SEO MYTHS YOU SHOULD LEAVE BEHIND

How AI Marketing Effects SEO

For years, artificial intelligence (AI) was mere science fiction — an idea with unlimited possibilities. As technology has advanced, AI has developed to the point where it’s not only implemented throughout our everyday lives, but it’s become so commonplace that it’s beginning to be taken for granted. For example, virtual personal assistants, such as Siri and Alexa, movie recommendation services, and smart cars are all known quantities.

One area in which AI is currently upheaving the status quo is in the online marketing world. The emergence of AI marketing over the past few years is already changing the way businesses market their brands — and for the better.

How AI Has Affected SEO

Traditionally, search engine optimization (SEO) was based on a handful of factors, from keyword use to link building. Google and other search engines would use algorithms to rank content based on these factors. However, the introduction of marketing AI has changed the way Google is able to rank content. AI marketing software allows for the collection of valuable user and website data and analysis in real time. Take for example Google’s RankBrain.

Google introduced its RankBrain AI marketing software a few years back with the aim of more accurately identifying high-quality, relevant content for its search engine users. It has become their third most important ranking factor in their overall algorithm. It works by being able to accurately analyze queries in real time and returning relevant search results even if the exact keyword phrase used in the search doesn’t appear in the content. It does this by scanning website content and identifying related terms and concepts that make it relevant to the query. This means that there no longer needs to be an emphasis on forcing keywords into your content to make sure that Google identifies what your content is.

The use of marketing AI has also ushered in the ability to perform voice searches. Consumers are increasingly using voice search features via their virtual personal assistants, such as Alexa, to find what they are looking for. One of the reasons voice search is possible is because of how advanced AI marketing software is able to determine context without specific keywords. As a result, you will need to focus more on user intent in order to position yourself to be found by voice search. Fortunately, you can use AI software to collect and analyze user data and website data in order to identify what that user intent is.

The Future of AI Marketing

Considering how marketing AI has already changed the SEO landscape over the past few years, it’s not difficult to predict that there’s going to be even more change on the way. The following are a few ways in which marketing AI is likely going to change the way you market your brand in the near future:

No more keywords

RankBrain has already shown that AI is advanced enough to be able to infer meaning from certain words to help supply its queries with relevant content. AI is only going to get smarter in the future, which means soon enough, it will be able to scan content and determine relevance to user queries without having to identify specific keyword phrases or phrases that are similar to those used in queries. This will become even more necessary as voice search becomes more prominent since while users have been trained to perform searches using keywords, they rarely speak naturally using keyword phrases. This means that instead of competing with keywords, you’ll have to focus on just creating good content that is relevant to your audience, thereby placing even greater importance on your audience’s user intent.

Are there ways to increase SEO? With the help of Google Trends, anything’s possible!

Deep user intent

When you look at some of the more popular websites that rank high on Google’s SERP, it’s not uncommon to see sites like IMDB or Wikipedia. One of the reasons for this is not only because they provide high-quality content relevant to a lot of user queries, but they have a lot of supporting content as well that users continue to read, resulting in visitors staying on their sites for a longer time. This means that when identifying user intent, you’re going to have to take a more holistic approach to the buyer’s journey by considering every stage. By creating content based on user intent at every stage of the buyer’s journey, visitors will be more likely to stay on your site and look through more pages. There’s no doubt that in the near future, AI will begin taking into account how websites address the intent of visitors at every stage with its supporting content.

Automated content creation

Keeping in mind how advanced AI is likely going to be able to identify high-quality, relevant content based on the entirety of the content and not just a handful of keywords, it’s not that far of a stretch to predict that AI software will soon be able to create content for businesses as well. Right now, AI-created content reads like it was produced by a robot — but many believe that it will be able to create natural sounding content in the near future.

The use of AI marketing has already begun to improve the quality of search for users around the world. It’s never been easier for people to find what they’re looking for. Although you will need to adapt to the growing impact that AI is having on the inbound marketing world, doing so shouldn’t be difficult. As long as you focus on creating high-quality content for your target audience, you will find it much easier to adapt than those who were solely focused on earning high search rankings.

17 SEO MYTHS YOU SHOULD LEAVE BEHIND

Are Keywords Still Required To Increase SEO Rankings?

Although the use of keywords no longer has the power to increase SEO rankings the way they once did, they continue to play an important part in online marketing strategies.

SEO has evolved greatly over the years, to the point where it’s almost unrecognizable to what it was just a decade ago. Google has continuously updated its algorithm to make its search results more accurate and relevant, and they’ve cracked down on the abuse of keywords to artificially boost web rankings. These days, Google uses over 200 factors to determine search rankings; however, keywords still play a vital part. The following are three ways that keywords are still important to your SEO rankings:

Identify Relevancy

The use of high-quality keywords can help Google to identify what your content is about so that they can their SERP (search engine results page) more accurate. It’s important to use good keywords, such as long-tail keywords that are backed up by semantic keywords. This helps prevent Google from mistaking your use of keywords for similar keywords in subjects that are not the same.

For example, if you write a blog post about the best apples (as in the fruit) and your keyword is “how to choose the best apple,” Google might mistake this for the company Apple. Visitors who come to your site looking for information on new Apple computers are going to be annoyed and will leave immediately, thereby increasing your bounce rate, which will affect your rankings. The stronger your keywords are in regards to relevancy, the more accurately Google will rank your content.

Match User Intent

Knowing what your target audience is searching for will be very beneficial, not only in building your own keyword list to match their search queries, but to use those keywords in content created to match the user intent. Basically, the use of keywords and content created to match the user intent of the keywords your audience is using will put you in a greater position to fulfill their needs at whatever stage of the buying journey they are at. If they click on your page and it’s exactly what they’re looking for, they’re more likely to stay on your site for a longer period of time and to engage with your content, resulting in higher rankings.

Learn how to drive website conversions during each stage of the buyer’s journey! 

Attract Higher Quality Leads

Overly broad keywords will bring in traffic, but it won’t necessarily be your target audience. Bringing in empty traffic doesn’t do anything for your site if your visitors don’t have interest in your brand. By using stronger keywords that are more specific, you’re more likely to attract visitors that match your buyer persona.

While you might think that doing this could limit your web traffic, this may not be true. More specific keywords are likely going to have less competition than broader keywords, which means you’ll have a much better chance at ranking higher. For example, you’re not going to rank very high for “apple” for obvious reasons, but you’re more likely to increase SEO rankings with a more specific keyword, such as “best tasting apples in Sacramento.”

Keywords aren’t the only thing that you should be focusing on as you attempt to increase SEO rankings, but they still play a very important part in your SEO strategy. In fact, although they may not be as defining a factor in your rankings as they once were, you could argue that they play an even more important part in your inbound marketing campaign as a whole. For more professional advice on how to create an effective SEO campaign, contact us at Stevens & Tate today.

17 SEO MYTHS YOU SHOULD LEAVE BEHIND