Daily Archives: October 11, 2021

What is indexing in regards to Google?

By | October 11, 2021


Indexing is an important part of what a search engine does. Without indexing, all the pages Googlebot crawls don’t have a place to live — and the ranking systems don’t have the input they need to do their work. If Google can’t index your site it can’t appear in the search results.

The basics of a search engine

Let’s start by looking at the absolute basics of what a search engine does. A search engine is an incredible piece of technology, but the workings of it come down to three main parts: crawling, indexing, and ranking. Crawling has to do with spidering the web and finding content, indexing with reading the pages and putting it in a database, and ranking with determining which page to rank for a specific user query.

Crawling

A search engine needs to discover content to add it to the big index. The process of doing that is called crawling as it is literally using robots to trail the web in search of new and updated content. These crawlers use links and sitemaps to find content that might be useful for users. After finding that content, the process of indexing begins. By improving your crawlability you can determine how well your site works with or against these robots.

Indexing

Indexing is about understanding the content and filing it in the proper place. After finding the content, Google has to read and understand it before they can put it in the right buckets. For this, it first must parse the page or, in other words, translate it in a computer language that it can understand. After that’s done, it renders the page — like a regular browser does — to discover the content and what it looks like. When that’s done, it uses the signals and information on that page to file it in the proper location inside Google’s index — a.k.a. the big filing cabinet.

Ranking

Lastly, a search engine has to have a way to rank the results based on a user query and present it in a proper way to the user in the SERPs. The ranking process consists of understanding the question the user is asking and retrieving the most relevant content fit to answer those questions. The ranking algorithms heavily influence this process and they have loads of variables to go on.

After finding the most relevant results, a search engine serves these to the user in a way that makes sense. This might be a regular spot in a SERP or something rich like a knowledge panel, or something local if the topic is locally oriented.

What is indexing at Google?

Indexing is the process of organizing data in a structured way with the goal of helping find the information quickly when asked for. Search engines crawl millions of pages, extract the data and put that data in a big bin called the index. Without a proper, highly-optimized index, search engines would have no way for their algorithms to quickly extract the relevant content.

The process of indexing has a couple of steps. After discovering a piece of content during the crawling process, a parser is going to look at it and determine what it is. The parser recognizes structural elements like titles, links, headings, and more. It also identifies the text and tries to connect words to topics and entities. During parsing, it might encounter errors that make it hard for the parser to fully understand the page.

If the page does translate well, the system will use a browser and try to render it to see a more accurate picture of the content, the design, and the user experience. All these factors determine how a search engine sees and values your site. All of this influences your performance in search.

After reading the page, the contents — text, images, videos et cetera — will be analyzed and classified in the index. The data will be sorted and weighted to determine relevancy. For that, Google uses an inverted index to map all the words to the place in the index, making them easier to discover during the ranking process.

How to influence indexing in Google?

Roll out the red carpet for Google, so to say, if you want them to properly index your site. You need to do everything you can to make your site easy to crawl. Take away technical barriers and improve the discoverability of your URLs.

Keep your robots.txt clean and don’t block pages that you don’t need to block. Update your XML sitemap, check the pages you’ve — accidentally? — noindexed with robots meta tags. Improve your internal linking structure. Have a ton of underperforming pages? It might be a good idea to do something about these low-quality pages. Also, regularly check Search Console to see if Google found errors on your site. There are more things you can do to optimize your crawl budget.

In other words, make sure that the technical SEO of your site is on point. Luckily, Yoast SEO can help you with a lot of the technical bits.

Keep in mind that it might take a while for Google to index your site. It might also not index everything you have. In the case of indexing, having better content helps. If Google finds the millionth bad article about a popular topic, it won’t get a high priority from them.

A short primer on indexing in search engines

A search engine needs to do three things before it presents your content to visitors: crawling, indexing, and ranking. In this article, we’ve given you a basic overview of the different processes, with a focus on indexing. By improving your technical quality and your content quality, you increase the chance of Google properly indexing your pages.



Source link : Yoast.com

The Complete Guide to (Effective) Customer Analysis

By | October 11, 2021


One thing in business will never change: understanding your customers is the key to success. 

However, for many organizations, real customer analysis is easier said than done. Sometimes, customer research only scratches the surface and focuses on unnecessary information. Other times, teams work in silos, and the research they’ve worked so hard to produce isn’t actually used across the organization or in their marketing campaigns.

Effective customer analysis is based on in-depth research, shared with the entire team, and focused on what really matters: customer pain points and goals – and insights on what influences their buying decisions. 

In this guide, we’ll take you through how to do it step-by-step. 

What is customer analysis?

Customer analysis is the practice of using qualitative and quantitative data to gain insight into your customers. The goal is to understand their wants, needs, pain points, and objectives. At the same time, customer analysis helps us understand what drives people to make a purchase, how and when these purchases happen, the frequency of these purchases, and other relevant information. 

Organizations that conduct customer-centric data analysis use research methods like focus groups, in-depth interviews, social media analytics, existing customer feedback – and more – to understand their customer base. In turn, this allows them to adapt their business processes to meet their customers’ real needs. 

Why is customer analysis important?

Here are a few concrete reasons why you need to implement customer analysis, it: 

  • Enables you to shape your communications and marketing to address customers’ goals (and really speak their ‘language’).
  • Lets you better target customers through segmentation and increase ROI (otherwise known as targeted marketing).
  • Helps you to define what marketing channels will reach customers best, and where to invest ad dollars. 
  • Helps you understand how to improve your products or services.
  • Lets you build better relationships with clients and improve customer loyalty overall.

What is a customer profile?

A customer profile is a fictionalized description of your ideal client – the “perfect” fit for your business solutions. You may also have heard of buyer persona – a closely linked concept that describes a range of different types of client characteristics. It might include information on your customer’s demographics, professional status, purchasing habits, values and goals, influences, and challenges, and anything else that’s relevant to your particular situation. Overall, the main goal of customer analysis is to create a customer profile and a range of buyer personas.

Customer profiles and buyer personas are also made to be shared across the entire organization – including with the sales, design, marketing, and product teams. So, they need to be concise and easy to understand. 

For example, your team might not need to know if your ideal customer likes strawberry ice cream, wears orange socks, and is a Sagittarius. These assumptions won’t help anyone make smarter business decisions. However, the real, in-depth insights we mention above will. Make sure to ask yourself (and your team) if the information you seek and include will have an impact on the way you are making decisions in the company. 

9 steps to running an effective target customer analysis 

how to run a customer analysis

So, how can you run an effective customer analysis? We’ve got you covered. Here are 9 steps you need to take. 

1. Segment the customers you already have. 

When you know what clients you already have, you can better understand what clients you would like to have. That’s why one of the first steps in your customer research involves customer-based segmentation (i.e. grouping your clients by certain characteristics). 

Segmentation depends on the goals you have as a company. For example, you don’t necessarily need to include demographics in a B2B scenario. Be sure to only include information that actually affects how you would market your product or service.

Brands often segment their customers into the following groups (but don’t feel like you need to stick to just these): 

  • Geographic (countries, cities, urban or rural areas)
  • Demographic (age, gender identity, religion, education, socio-economic type, etc.) 
  • Behavioral (how they interact with products and services, also known as customer behavior analysis)
  • Media (where and how they consume media)
  • Psychographic (opinions, interests, political leanings and beliefs)
  • Benefit (what they value about a brand or service)
  • Buying decisions (their role in the buying process, perceived barriers, decision criteria, perceived benefits)

You can get some of this information from social media, your CRM (customer relationship management) tool , paid campaigns, market research, and other data sources. For example, the Semrush Market Explorer tool can give you insight into market demographics in your sector: interests, social media consumption, and more. 

But, there’s probably nothing more effective than taking the time to speak with your customers in depth, especially if you offer a high-consideration product or service. This will allow you to ask follow-up questions, get an in-depth understanding of your clients’ needs – and get to know them on a more emotional level. These are all things we go into below. 

2. Talk to customers to find out what makes them tick.

You can invest hours researching online. However, it’s not until you speak to customers that you’ll understand their true sentiments. 

To conduct effective customer analysis, you need to invest the time in carrying out focus groups, surveys and in-depth interviews with clients and potential customers. 

There are two principal types of research you can employ:

Quantitative research

Quantitative research involves finding data. It can come from surveys, but also analytics harvested from your website, app, e-commerce store, third-party sites, CRM, etc. Statistics derived from your clients and target market can help segment audiences, predict trends, and help analysts uncover insights to make smart business decisions. This usually informs future qualitative market research, because from here you can better decide which questions to ask your target audience. It’s also useful when you want to run an initial segmentation analysis, requiring statistically significant results.

Qualitative research 

Qualitative research involves finding your target market’s opinions. Following data from quantitative research, you can decide which questions to ask. You can do this in in-depth interviews and focus groups, among other formats. Insights from qualitative research can help you uncover people’s motivations, challenges, opinions, etc. They also allow you to connect with your customers on a different level and ask follow-up questions, helping you to truly understand who they are. This is especially crucial for high-consideration products (e.g., in B2B markets), where the decision-making process can become complicated and take unexpected shapes.

With these, you shouldn’t just be digging around for bits of random information. On the contrary, before you approach anyone, you need to understand what your end goal is. What do you want to find out? 

Perhaps you want to carry out a survey to segment your existing customer base or understand whether your customers are happy with your product. Maybe you want to find out what changes people would like to see with your services. Or, assess whether or not your marketing copy really resonates with your target audience. 

But no matter how you’re reaching customers – through focus groups, surveys or interviews – it’s wise to keep the scope of things tight. That is, don’t try to learn everything about how your customers feel in one sitting; you’ll get more actionable information if you delve deeply into just one topic. 

Customer analysis is meant to be an ongoing process, so you’ll always have time to learn more as you continue on the journey. Plus, by only digging into one topic, you’re more likely to encounter information about how people perceive your brand that you didn’t expect to find (and that’s always the best kind). 

3. Use existing customer feedback. 

Customers already reach out to you when they need help, are happy with your product, or want to make a complaint. Paying attention to all this existing customer feedback and customer support requests can be incredibly valuable when it comes to understanding client pain points and goals. This is also called Voice of Customer (VoC) analysis. 

Voice of Customer programs can help you analyze customer reviews on Google, Facebook, Twitter, the App Store, Google Play or any other public source will enable you to see where your brand goes right and wrong. 

Tools like Semrush Brand Monitoring can also help you keep track of all mentions of your brand and product/service in real time.

In many cases, VoC data will give you insights into how your customers speak, write and even think. For example, why exactly did they ask for a refund? What features were they unhappy with, but didn’t think were worth requesting a refund over? In what surprising ways has your product been useful for them or someone they know?

Customer support requests also feature a wealth of information. By categorizing your feedback – think website issues, shipping delays, or payment problems – and finding the patterns, you’re able to make actionable decisions about how to improve customer experience. And, of course, you’ll be able to understand who your customers are, what’s important to them, and what makes them happy or unhappy. 

4. Communicate with your team. 

Everyone on your team may work for the same organization, but not everyone sees the same side of clients – and therefore what makes them tick. For example: 

  • The marketing team might understand what style of copy leads clients to book an initial call.
  • While the sales team might understand what makes customers ultimately convert.
  • Account managers might understand what makes customers happy day in, day out.
  • But customer success managers (CSMs) might know how to go the extra mile to retain them. 

Compiling insights about customers as a team can be incredibly powerful, and enables a holistic approach to client analysis. One way to do this, for instance, is for marketers to take part in sales or CSM calls to get a better understanding of the users – and vice versa. 

Doing so can also be useful for teams in which not everyone works with the same clients; for example, when it comes to working with large B2B accounts or clients from specific sectors. 

Besides, it’s also important to make sure there’s constant communication and collaboration between all these teams. Working together and going after the same goal of creating better customer experiences is what can make your company truly strong and client-centric.

5. Leverage analytics. 

Analytics can provide incredible insight into customers and their behavior. If you use a customer relationship management tool, you may already have internal information about customer demographics and behavior, client profitability and value, as well as conversations with customers at your fingertips. 

Google Analytics and Facebook Audience Insights (for example) can also be extremely useful. They let you learn more about how customers interact with your website and social accounts. 

For example, you can see:

  • How your site visitors found you
  • The typical customer journey (where people enter and leave your website)
  • How long they stay on a particular page and what percentage leave immediately
  • The links your visitors click, etc.

In turn, you can understand more about their habits, interests, and behaviors.

There are other tools generating analytics for specific marketing areas. For example, ImpactHero is an advanced (AI) content analytics tool that helps you identify areas to improve in your content marketing, using a tracking code to scan and highlight content funnel issues and website pages to enhance.

6. Create buyer personas.

Now, it’s time to put these research findings into action. Semrush’s Head of Marketing (Market Research) Natalia Zhukova explains well how this fits into the analysis workflow in her post on buyer personas. She writes: 

Amalgamating all of the data will help to identify patterns and similarities from interview answers, sales team feedback, and competitor insights. And from these commonalities, a buyer persona’s portrait should become clear – all that’s left to do is to document all the findings and share these personas with the rest of the company.

Natalia Zhukova, Semrush’s Head of Marketing (Market Research)

According to a NetProspex case study, their buyer persona marketing efforts resulted in a 900% increase in website visit duration and a 171% increase in marketing-generated ROI.

buyer persona-based marketing results

So, what should the persona look like? We recommend including the following:

Demographic information*, such as:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender identity (optional)
  • Family status
  • Education level
  • Income level

*More relevant to B2C

Professional information*, such as:

  • Job title
  • Job responsibilities
  • Who they report to
  • Who are their subordinates
  • Information about their company (size, revenue, etc.)

Also include their:

  • Frustrations (pain points)
  • Motivations (goals)
  • Factors influencing buying decisions
  • Preferred communication channels
  • Preferred content types and formats
  • Content themes and topics that resonate
  • Known/preferred brands and influencers

More personal information related to their buying behavior:

  • Biography: How would you describe your persona’s background and their personal history?
  • Journey: What steps did they take from product discovery to purchase?
  • Doubts: What questions did they ask on the way?
  • Your content: How can you use content and copy to guide them?
  • Immediate need: What pain point caused them to make this purchasing decision a priority now?

You may also like to include:

  • Jobs to be Done: The job your buyers want to get done when purchasing a product or a service 
  • Gains from my product: How your product or service will benefit them
  • Feedback on my product/service: Useful for dealing with objections and for future improvements
  • What gets them to click “buy now”? (for example)
  • What stops them from purchasing?
  • What criteria are they using to compare providers?

Using the Buyer Persona Templates

The free Semrush Buyer Persona Template tool helps you make sure all the information you include is as helpful and usable for your organization as possible. The ready-made templates or customizable personas also help speed up the process of collating all your information.

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Here’s how a buyer persona profile created in the Semrush Persona tool can look like

Overall, it’s a quick and effective way to organize your personas into an easy-to-read and share format. 

How to use the Buyer Persona Templates:

  1. Make sure to conduct customer research using the quantitative and qualitative methods we discussed earlier. 
  2. Categorize the insights you’ve collected. Running a segmentation analysis and deciding on the criteria to distinguish segments or personas might be helpful.
  3. Use the free Semrush tool to create each persona: choose one of the templates (e.g., the B2B Persona Template) and feel free to change anything in it, adding and removing fields as needed.
  4. Save your personas and make sure to share them with the rest of your team.

7. Use the customer analysis results and your personas across the entire company.

Why do you need buyer personas

Your customer analysis and buyer personas won’t be very valuable if only used by a few select people at your organization. They need to be leveraged across the entire company, and this will enable you to keep your messaging consistent and effective.

We recommend getting buy-in and collaboration from every strategic and customer-facing department when creating these personas. Once completed, it’s worth holding an all-hands meeting—or individual department workshops—to share the personas, describing how they can be used. 

At the same time, give each team’s head an objective to begin incorporating the insights you have uncovered in the research. Be sure to follow up on these and consistently update the personas with fresh information from each department as it becomes available. 

Now, let’s take a look at how buyer personas can be valuable to different teams: 

  • Sales teams use them to boost conversions and build better customer relationships from the start.
  • Marketers use them to shape content marketing strategies and marketing plans – including how content is positioned and on what channel. 
  • Product managers and developers use them to define new product features and improve existing ones. 
  • Design teams use them to create web pages and graphics that resonate with customers, as well as to develop intuitive user interfaces (UI) and improve user experience (UX).

Organizations re-brand all the time because their messaging or design doesn’t attract the customers they want/doesn’t reflect the reality of their actual customer base. For example, Old Spice was viewed as old-fashioned until the brand partnered with NFL Player Isaiah Mustafa, who spoke in snappy sentences in popular and quirky TV commercials while topless. Buyer personas help you ensure that your messaging, brand, and, most importantly – your product – are actually tailored to the real customers you want to attract. 

8. Based on the research, decide which segments and personas should be your focus.

Now, the big question is: how should you decide which personas your brand should focus on? 

Perhaps the most important metric to focus on is Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) – which is the average value a customer brings to your organization throughout the entire relationship. The buyer personas that increase your LTV, over time, are ones that would be smart to focus on. 

It can also help to have a unique customer journey map for each persona. This map will determine how to attract, engage, convert and upsell specific personas and segments based on their challenges, questions, preferred platforms, and types of content at every step of the way. 

Use your personas – and these customer journey maps – to determine the following:

  • The best channels to advertise on and deliver content through
  • Which selling point or differentiator to focus on
  • The right calls to action
  • The best influencers to use

Download the Free Content Mapping Template Kit that includes a Buyer’s Journey Map Template 

9. Remember that this is an evolving environment.

Customers are constantly changing. Since the start of the pandemic, many people’s preferred communication platforms have changed. Their demographics have changed, too; lots of people have moved out of cities and into the suburbs.

Even more, people’s values have changed. For many, spending time with family and friends has become more important than working long hours or going after a big promotion.

In this evolving environment, collecting customer feedback is key. And you should undertake customer segmentation analysis and voice of customer analysis periodically to ensure your research and buyer personas are up to ****. Otherwise, your messaging, marketing, pitches, and (even worse) products risk becoming stale.

Unique customer data analysis examples

We’ve gone through how to carry out customer analysis. But keep in mind, your customers don’t just need to be segmented into typical market segments based on geography, demographics, or behavior. Your business is unique, and, in turn, there are a number of unique ways to target clients. Here are some customer analysis examples:

This Survicate blog outlines a few cool things companies have done. For example, the brand TravelFreak segmented customers based on the number of places they’ve visited, travel budget and distance traveled. Another brand, chatbot company Tidio, segmented customers based on the products they use, such as Shopify and WordPress (and then saw one blog convert at nearly 50%).

The moral of the story? With customer analysis, it can pay off to color outside the lines – and be creative to find what works best for your particular brand. 

Conclusion 

Customer analysis is arguably one of the most important things you can do for your business. When done right, it’s felt through every single element of your operations, and impacts everything from your marketing messaging, sales pitch, product features – right down to your customer loyalty and retention. 

Want to get started? Learn how to consolidate your customer research with our buyer persona templates. 

Build Unlimited Buyer Personas for Your Business

Try the free Semrush Persona tool: use our highly-customizable templates or build your personas from scratch.

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Source link : Semrush.com

United States Blood Glucose Test Strips Market Insights Report 2020-2027

By | October 11, 2021

Bharat Book Bureau Provides the Trending Market Research Report on “United States Blood Glucose Test Strips Market Insights Report 2020 – 2027”under Life Sciences category. The United States Blood Glucose Test Strips Market is projected to exhibit highest growth rate over report offers a collection of superior market research, market analysis, and competitive intelligence and industry reports.

India COVID-19 Vaccines Market–Growth, Demand, Trends, Opportunity, Forecasts (2021–2027)

By | October 11, 2021

Bharat Book Bureau Provides the Trending Market Research Report on “India COVID-19 Vaccines Market – Growth, Demand, Trends, Opportunity, Forecasts (2021 – 2027)”under Life Sciences category. The India COVID-19 Vaccines Market is projected to exhibit highest growth rate over report offers a collection of superior market research, market analysis, and competitive intelligence and industry reports.

Tibco BW Training

By | October 11, 2021

FolksIT offers the best Tibco BW Training by expert professionals. Tibco BW course aims to deliver quality training. Join to get Tibco BW Certification with more knowledge.

Form 1095-C Online

By | October 11, 2021

Form 1095-C will indicate your name and the name of your large employer, the months during the prior calendar year when you were eligible for coverage, and the cost of the cheapest monthly premium you could have paid for coverage under your employer’s health plan.

What Are Content Delivery Networks & How Can They Impact Your Site?

By | October 11, 2021


Thanks to Google’s Core Web Vitals update, page load speed has become an important factor with SEO. One of the ways you can improve your web pages’ page load speed is through the rapid loading of images and other content.

A content delivery network (CDN) is a great way to upload content quickly and upon request. 

What Is a CDN (Content Delivery Network)?

A CDN is a network of computer servers located at different geographic locations around the world. A CDN’s location allows them to distribute content to their target location faster. For example, you can load content from a US server if you’re in the USA faster than from a server-based in Europe.

CDNs load web page assets like images and videos. A properly configured and secured CDN can also help protect against cyber-attacks, including DDOS attacks.

CDNs aren’t a replacement for web hosting. Instead, they help web hosts cache content so hosts can load assets with less bandwidth. 

How Do CDNs Work?

CDNs can read your IP address and determine your location on the network. When a user loads a web page, the closest CDN sends a cached version of the web page’s content through to the user’s web browser. 

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Image: Global Dots

Loading the cached version web page can decrease your page load speed and increase your users’ experience. It’s common for webmasters to use multiple CDNs in different regions to serve users across the world. 

How CDNs improve network performance

The diagram below illustrates a common problem solved with a CDN. A user in Asia is trying to access data hosted on a server in the United States. Due to his location, it will take 3 seconds for the data to reach him — that’s quite a long time on the Internet. 

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When using a cached server in Europe, the user in Asia can access the content in 1 second. Not only does this speed up the download times and the user experience, but it also keeps the network lines free from unnecessary traffic, making it faster and more efficient.

What Is a CDN Provider?

A CDN provider is a company with data centers across the world. Providers store cached versions of your content in these data servers, then load the content for the user upon request.

Well-known CDN providers include Slackpath, Cloudflare, and Rackspace. Check out Wpforms for a top ten list of CDNs they’ve reviewed

Key Benefits of CDNs

  • Improve page load times: CDNs are distributed globally to reduce the physical distance between a user and the web host. Less travel time for the data means faster load times on the web page. Additionally, you can avoid traffic jams and hold-ups due to distance and constant access requests. 
  • Improve Core Web Vitals metrics: Core Web Vitals weigh your website’s speed against your SEO ranking. You can use a CDN to reduce loading times, which can improve your user experience and impact your ranking. 
  • Reduce bandwidth costs: With CDNs in place, your web host doesn’t have to load all of the content all of the time, saving time and money spent on bandwidth. 

How Do I Add a CDN to My Website? 

  1. Research which CDN you want to use. Consider important factors like security history, technical specifications, and pricing. 
  2. Set up your account. Follow the guidelines included with your preferred CDN. For our example, we’ll be working with Cloudflare. 
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  1. Add your website domain. Your CDN will collect and cache your content, then share it through the network.
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  2. Change your nameservers. When your nameserver changes, the Internet searches for new nameservers to update the information they have on your domain, like web and email addresses. Your CDN will likely provide instructions on how to update your nameservers. In our example below, Cloudflare shares step-by-step instructions on changing your nameservers:
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CDN Security Best Practices

Information security is a useful benefit of working with a CDN. You can keep your CDNs and site secured with updated TLS and SSL certificates. A well-maintained CDN can add an extra layer of security and encryption.

However, CDNs alone cannot stop bots or malware from infecting your website. If not properly secured, a vulnerable CDN can be hijacked to send malware to users across the network.

When selecting a CDN, research its security history, and review documentation to ensure you understand how the CDN works. 

Things to consider when selecting a CDN:

  • How often is the data cached? 
  • How often does the company perform security checks? 
  • Do they have any documentation to tell you what happens if there is a security breach? 
  • What happens if a server fails, do they have redundancies? 

You’ll be investing money into a CDN service, so it’s best to maintain a good idea of how your service works. 

Alternative Methods to Improving Site Performance 

CDNs are an excellent step to reducing your web pages’ load speeds. If your website is larger or stores a ton of content, a CDN network can make a huge difference to and for your users.

However, sometimes longer page load speeds are the result of multiple factors. Before you turn to a CDN, it can be helpful to fix any site issues impacting your page load speed like poor implementation, minified CSS, or large HTML page size.

The Site Audit tool’s Site Performance thematic report measures your average page load speed and indicates any site issues impacting it. The tool also provides a list of issues affecting your site’s general performance, as well as recommendations on how to fix each error.

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It’s important to note that some CDNs can block the Site Audit’s crawlers, so it might be useful to run an audit before utilizing your CDN. Common CDNs that block the Site Audit crawlers include Cloudflare, Imperva, ModSecurity, and Sucuri.

Find and Fix Sitemap Errors

with the Site Audit Tool

ADS illustration

Final Thoughts

With remote work becoming more available and internet use increasing, CDNs will become even more essential for businesses looking to increase their reach and global audience. Faster loading times improve your users’ experience, enticing them to return for the products, services, or information they need.

By reducing page load speed, CDNs are a great asset to your overall business and SEO strategy. Even if you’re not ready to use one of your own, you can always benefit from finding alternative ways to reduce your page load speed. 



Source link : Semrush.com

Google Search Console testing tools to match URL Inspection tool

By | October 11, 2021


Google Search Console’s public facing testing tools will be aligned more closely to the URL Inspection tool, the company announced today. Google said it is updating the these tools “designs and improving features to be fully aligned with the URL Inspection tool.”

Which tools are impacted. Google said this is impacting specifically the  AMPMobile Friendly, and Rich Results testing tools.

What is changing. Google is updating the design and improving some of the features of these three public facing tools. Specifically, these fields will be both on the public facing tools and the URL inspection tool:

  • Page availability – Whether Google was able to crawl the page, when it was crawled, or any obstacles that it encountered when crawling the URL.
  • HTTP headers – The HTTP header response returned from the inspected URL.
  • Page screenshot – The rendered page as seen by Google.
  • Paired AMP inspection, Inspect both canonical and AMP URL.

What it looks like. Google shared this screen shot of the rich results public testing tool and the new design and features:

Why we care. This should help you align what you are reporting on between the various Google tools. Just this morning Google said a discrepancy between the URL inspection tool and the crawl status reports may cause confusion. Having all these tools more aligned will lead to less confusion and a more efficient use of your time.


About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.



Source link : Searchengineland.com

7 SEO Crawling Tool Warnings & Errors You Can Safely Ignore

By | October 11, 2021


In many cases, what an SEO crawler marks as a fatal error needs immediate attention – but sometimes, it’s not an error at all.

This can happen even with the most popular SEO crawling tools such as Semrush Site Audit, Ahrefs Site Audit, Sitebulb, and Screaming Frog.

How can you tell the difference to avoid prioritizing a fix that doesn’t need to be done?

Here are a few real-life examples of such warnings and errors together, with explanations as to why they may be an issue for your website.

1. Indexability Issues (Noindex Pages on the Site)

Any SEO crawler will highlight and warn you about non-indexable pages on the site. Depending on the crawler type, noindex pages can be marked as warnings, errors, or insights.

Here’s how this issue is marked in Ahrefs Site Audit:

Noindex page issue details form Ahrefs Site Audit.Screenshot from Ahrefs Site Audit, September 2021

The Google Search Console Coverage report may also mark non-indexable pages as Errors (if the site has non-indexable pages in the sitemap submitted) or Excluded even though they are not actual issues.

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This is, again, only the information that these URLs cannot be indexed.

Here is what it looks like in GSC:

Google Search Console Coverage report non-indexable pages as Errors.Screenshot from Google Search Console, September 2021

The fact that a URL has a “noindex” tag on it does not necessarily mean that this is an error. It only means that the page cannot be indexed by Google and other search engines.

The “noindex” tag is one of two possible directives for crawlers, the other one being to index the page.

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Practically every website contains URLs that should not be indexed by Google.

These may include, for example, tag pages (and sometimes category pages as well), login pages, password reset pages, or a thank you page.

Your task, as an SEO professional, is to review noindex pages on the site and decide whether they indeed should be blocked from indexing or whether the “noindex” tag could have been added by accident.

2. Meta Description Too Short or Empty

SEO crawlers will also check the meta elements of the site, including meta description elements. If the site does not have meta descriptions or they are too short (usually below 110 characters), then the crawler will mark it as an issue.

Here’s what that looks like in Ahrefs:

Meta description element issue in Ahrefs.Screenshot from Ahrefs Site Audit, September 2021

Here is how Screaming Frog displays it:

Meta element issue in the report of Screaming Frog.Screenshot from Screaming Frog, September 2021

Depending on the size of the site, it is not always possible and/or doable to create unique meta descriptions for all its webpages. You may not need them, either.

A good example of a site where it may not make sense is a huge ecommerce site with millions of URLs.

In fact, the bigger the site is, the less important this element gets.

The content of the meta description element, in contrast to the content of the title tag, is not taken into account by Google and does not influence rankings.

Search snippets sometimes use the meta description but are often rewritten by Google.

Here is what Google has to say about it in their Advanced SEO documentation:

“Snippets are automatically created from page content. Snippets are designed to emphasize and preview the page content that best relates to a user’s specific search: this means that a page might show different snippets for different searches.”

What you as an SEO need to do is keep in mind that each site is different. Use your common SEO sense when deciding whether meta descriptions are indeed an issue for that specific website, or that you can safely ignore the warning.

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3. Meta Keywords Missing

Meta keywords were used 20+ years ago as a way to indicate to search engines such as Altavista what key phrases a given URL wanted to rank for.

This was, however, heavily abused. Meta keywords were a sort of a “spam magnet,” so the majority of search engines dropped support for this element.

Screaming Frog always checks if there are meta keywords on the site, by default.

Since this is an obsolete SEO element, 99% of sites do not use meta keywords anymore.

Here’s what it looks like in Screaming Frog:

Screaming Frog highlights that meta keywords are missing on the site.Screenshot from Screaming Frog, September 2021

New SEO pros or clients may get confused thinking that if a crawler marks something as missing, then this element should actually be added to the site. But that’s not the case here!

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If meta keywords are missing on the site you are auditing, it’s a waste to recommend adding them.

4. Images Over 100 KB

It’s important to optimize and compress images used on the site so that a gigantic PNG logo that weighs 10 MB does not need to be loaded on every webpage.

However, it’s not always possible to compress all images to below 100 KB.

Screaming Frog will always highlight and warn you about images that are over 100 KB. This is what it looks like in the tool:

Screaming Frog will always highlight about images that are over 100 KB.Screenshot from Screaming Frog, September 2021

The fact that the site has images that are over 100 KB does not necessarily mean that the site has issues with image optimization or is very slow.

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When you see this error, make sure to check the overall site’s speed and performance in Google PageSpeed Insights and the Google Search Console Core Web Vitals report.

If the site is doing okay and passes the Core Web Vitals assessment, then usually there is no need to compress the images further.

Tip: What you may do with this Screaming Frog report is sort the images by size from the heaviest to the lightest to check if there are some really huge images on specific webpages.

5. Low Content or Low Word Count Pages

Depending on the settings of the SEO crawler, most SEO auditing tools will highlight pages that are below 50-100 words as low content pages.

Here is what this issue looks like in Ahrefs:

Low word count issue in Ahrefs.Screenshot from Ahrefs Site Audit, September 2021

Screaming Frog, on the other hand, considers pages below 200 words to be low content pages by default (you can change that setting upon configuring the crawl).

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Here is how Screaming Frog reports on that:

Screaming Frog Low Content Pages report.Screenshot from Screaming Frog, September 2021

Just because a webpage has few words does not mean that it is an issue or error.

There are many types of pages that are meant to have a low word count, including some login pages, password reset pages, tag pages, or a contact page.

The crawler will mark these pages as low content but this is not an issue that will prevent the site from ranking well in Google.

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What the tool is trying to tell you is that if you want a given webpage to rank highly in Google and bring a lot of organic traffic, then this webpage may need to be quite detailed and in-depth.

This often includes, among others, a high word count. But there are different types of search intents and the content depth is not always what users are looking for to satisfy their needs.

When reviewing low word count pages flagged by the crawler, always think about whether these pages are really meant to have a lot of content. In many cases, they are not.

6. Low HTML-Text Ratio

Semrush Site Audit will also alert you about the pages that have a low text-HTML ratio.

This is how Semrush reports on that:

Semrush Site Audit report about low text-HTML ratio.Screenshot from Semrush Site Audit, September 2021

This alert is supposed to show you:

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  • Pages that may have a low word count.
  • Pages that are potentially built in a complex way and have a huge HTML code file.

This warning often confuses less experienced or new SEO professionals, and you may need an experienced technical SEO pro to determine whether it’s something to worry about.

There are many variables that can affect the HTML-text ratio and it’s not always an issue if the site has a low/high HTML-text ratio. There is no such thing as an optimal HTML-text ratio.

What you as an SEO pro may focus on instead is ensuring that the site’s speed and performance are optimal.

7. XML Sitemap Not Indicated in robots.txt

Robots.txt, in addition to being the file with crawler directives, is also the place where you can specify the URL of the XML sitemap so that Google can crawl it and index the content easily.

SEO crawlers such as Semrush Site Audit will notify you if the XML sitemap is not indicated in robots.txt.

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This is how Semrush reports on that:

Semrush Site Audit report about sitemap.xml not indicated in robots.txt.Screenshot from Semrush Site Audit, September 2021

At a glance, this looks like a serious issue even though in most cases it isn’t because:

  • Google usually does not have problems crawling and indexing smaller sites (below 10,000 pages).
  • Google will not have problems crawling and indexing huge sites if they have a good internal linking structure.
  • An XML sitemap does not need to be indicated in robots.txt if it’s correctly submitted in Google Search Console.
  • An XML sitemap does not need to be indicated in robots.txt if it’s in the standard location – i.e., /sitemap.xml (in most cases).

Before you mark this as a high-priority issue in your SEO audit, make sure that none of the above is true for the site you are auditing.

Bonus: The Tool Reports a Critical Error That Relates to Few Unimportant URLs

Even if the tool is showing a real issue, such as a 404 page on the site, it may not be a serious issue if one out of millions of webpages on the site return status 404 or if there are no links pointing to that 404 page.

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That’s why, when assessing the issues detected by the crawler, you should always check how many webpages they relate to and which ones.

You need to give the error context.

Sitebulb, for example, will show you the percentage of URLs that a given error relates to.

Here is an example of an internal URL redirecting to a broken URL returning 4XX or 5XX reported by Sitebulb:

Example of a report about an internal URL redirecting to a broken URL.Screenshot from Sitebulb Website Crawler, September 2021

It looks like a pretty serious issue but it only relates to one unimportant webpage, so it’s definitely not a high-priority issue.

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Final Thoughts & Tips

SEO crawlers are indispensable tools for technical SEO professionals. However, what they reveal must always be interpreted within the context of the website and your goals for the business.

It takes time and experience to be able to tell the difference between a pseudo-issue and a real one. Fortunately, most crawlers offer extensive explanations of the errors and warnings they display.

That’s why it’s always a good idea – especially for beginner SEO professionals – to read these explanations and the crawler documentation. Make sure you really understand what a given issue means and whether it’s indeed worth escalating to a fix.

More Resources:


Featured image: Pro Symbols/Shutterstock





Source link : Searchenginejournal.com

Photos: NYC Googlers Returning To Office

By | October 11, 2021


Google has been slowly opening the offices to limited number of Googlers over the past couple of months and it seems like a nice number of New York City based Googlers started to come in over the past few weeks. Here are photos I found on Instagram of Googlers saying they are back in the Google NYC office.

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.





Source link : Seroundtable.com