Tom Wells, SEO and content marketing consultant at Searchmetrics, joins Ben to discuss changes in SEO data sources. We are continuously confronted with technological developments in optimizing websites. Tom and Ben dive into why web performance is having a hard time catching up.
Discover a hands-on approach for making sure your website performs better. Read our blogpost on How to Conduct SEO Experiments to Optimize Your Website.
“Every Interaction in any form is Branding.”- Seth Godin.
Social media started as a tool back in the 2000s, but it has become a whole world in itself when you look at it today. From staying in touch with our loved ones to following the latest in the world to creating entirely new ecosystems, social media has come a long way. And today, it has become one of the go-to mediums for brands to garner more users for their products.
One of the most recent ways that social media celebs and brands have found to expand their user base and engage their audience is via Facebook Live. With live streaming, businesses get the opportunity to interact with their audience and get their feedback unfiltered. They can even drive up sales by launching a new product or offer on a live stream.
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, brands charted new paths to engage their audiences and kept their images rife in people’s minds. And most of it happened via Facebook Live. Be it a small brand or a large conglomerate; everyone used Facebook Live in their own limited capacity to achieve consumer success. However, just like with any other way of building a community, working with Facebook Live has its own challenges.
One of the biggest ones is figuring out when to use it, and the next one is the context of using it. The answer to this lies in reflecting whether your community is looking for a one to one Q/A session or for a long term solution that they can keep coming back to at a later point in time. These are imperative to deciding whether you should do a Facebook Live session or just an explainer video post.
Perfect Moments for Streaming on Facebook Live
With Facebook Live, brands unlocked the capability to engage their loyalists, patrons, and new followers directly. This has helped reimagine what social media can actually do. So, what are the moments that are perfect for streaming on Facebook Live:
To Connect with Your Audience in a one to one chat
One of the best ways to connect with your audience is by being a human in front of them. Instead of being just a brand or a business entity, show emotions, empathize and understand what they are saying. Try to give them a heartfelt reply and be as genuine as possible to make them see that you have their best interests at heart.
This will help instill trust in their hearts about your intentions and what you aim to do for them. The connection should happen both ways. They should connect with you as you to them for it to be mutually and financially viable and beneficial.
Answer Questions in Real-Time
The newest trend in town is to conduct a live Q&A session with your audience. Getting on board this bandwagon is pretty straightforward, as you just need to answer some questions correctly. Using Facebook Live for answering questions in real-time is just what you need to solve customer queries, generate leads, and maybe even provide customer satisfaction.
Using Facebook Live, when you show your emotions and be human whilst answering questions, it automatically drives up your credibility. Furthermore, it makes you seem genuine on your end. Answering questions will also help you understand your audience’s problems while giving you points to ponder about running your business.
Showcase an Event to People Who Couldn’t Attend In Real Life
One prime example of using Facebook Live properly is allowing people to attend an event they cannot physically attend. Some examples of this were the Apple iPhone launch in October 2020 and the Tomorrowland 2021 in January 2021, all of which were streamed live for audiences.
Doing this shows that you care about your audience and you are willing to go the extra mile to give them what they want without compromising their comfort. Live Streaming further allows them to be immersed, similar to being there.
To Share Industry-Related Updates
Sometimes, some updates in your business or your industry would be much better conveyed via your mouth instead of a press or news release. In cases like these, the best would be to come up in front of your audience and clear the air.
Whether it is a change in your company policy, a shift in the business practices, or just informing about adapting to a new industry norm, a Facebook Live stream is the best way to do it.
To Show Off Your Company Culture
With tons of workplace reviewing websites, it is pretty easy to get a bad rap about having a not so friendly work environment. This can worsen as your attrition rate may go through the roof, and scouting new employees will be a struggle.
So, to prove the naysayers wrong, a Facebook Live stream about your company culture is the perfect answer. Use the live stream to talk to random colleagues in real-time and show off the excellent work culture you have.
Suppose you plan the event properly and convey the emotions properly to your audience in that brief interaction via Facebook Live, you can rest assured that you will get the desired outcome.
Top 10 Tips for Successful Facebook Live Stream
While there are many ways to become successful at Live Streaming in general, with Facebook, you will be better off with some proper tactics and planning. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the top 10 tips for a successful Facebook live stream:
Promote before and after the Facebook Live Stream
One of the best ways to make sure your Facebook live stream is successful is by making sure you garner an audience. And to do that, you need to promote it on various channels in numerous forms, ranging from personal invitations to posts and remarketing posts. Not only that, you can enable it before it happens to build hype.
And once it is done, you can promote the live stream to make sure that you can get more traction from the Facebook Live Stream. Promotions have now become increasingly important to achieve success for Facebook Live. So, if you want to get more audience and be noticed by the relevant people, promote as much as you can and be tasteful and subtle about it.
Source your content and talking points from your community
When you have formed an audience, there is a high chance that you might have come across a few problems or concerns or topics of discussion within your community. Facebook Live Stream is the perfect platform for this kind of discussion. But, of course, the best would be to pick up a favorite subject from your community, and you could even research the content in this forum.
Setting your talking point and the discussion topic relevant to your community will automatically drive more audience towards you. This is because everyone is looking for answers, and if you have managed to find them, you are essentially solving a problem, which makes it more valuable. So, make sure to include this fact in your promotions if you are answering a widespread problem.
Prepare your location and limit distractions
Like a presentation venue for an audience, Facebook Live is pretty similar, and you need to make preparations. So, if you are going to do a pre-planned Live Stream, make sure to have a location ready with all the necessary products and things for the streaming. Furthermore, make sure you are isolated so that you are not distracted by anyone or anything.
While many people do it spontaneously, that seems more like a thing left to people and professionals who have a relatively decent background in working with FB Live. So, before the Live Stream, make sure that your workplace is ready according to what you want to do and there are no elements that can intrude on your process.
Do a dry run with the “Only Me” feature
Before putting yourself on the pedestal in front of your audience, make sure that you do a tester run without any distractions. This also helps you understand which parameters to change/alter if they look bad in the actual video. To do this, you need to activate the “Only Me” feature of Facebook Live.
This will allow you to pick the problems at the source and let you decide the best route for directing the Live Stream on Facebook. Furthermore, you can understand and correct the implementation plan for the overall stream. Sometimes, things might look better in our head than in reality, and doing a dry run helps figure that out.
Choose the right time for the Facebook Live
Just like posting on a social media platform should be done at a specific time, Facebook Live Stream should also be done at the right time. You need to ensure the maximum availability of users and the maximum audience for yourself at the right time.
While posting on Facebook is best preferred between 7 pm to 9 pm, going Live on Facebook is best chosen between 1 pm and 3 pm. However, don’t just rely on these numbers. Instead, survey the target audience, and observe the metrics to figure out the best time for the Live stream.
Give your broadcast a title and make formatting decisions
Giving your broadcast a title helps make things clear in a prospective viewer’s mind. It allows them to understand and contemplate what the outcome will be at the end. Furthermore, it lets them know what kind of value the Facebook Live stream will add to their intellect.
Once you are done with the title, make sure to decide on the formatting for the Live stream as well. These include the camera orientation, the dialogue delivery, whether it will be a solo act or having people invite guests into the stream. All of these are questions that need to be answered beforehand to provide more clarity to the user.
Make the video visually engaging and offer context constantly
Deciding on the formatting parameters, you will probably set the tone for the overall Live Stream. Now, it is time to make the video more visually engaging. Unless you have a ton of things that you want to show in a specific place, try moving the camera around along with yourself. That change in scenery and change in pace makes things more interesting.
Now, with Facebook Live Stream, the number of viewers can fluctuate constantly. Some people can join initially, and some people can participate in the middle, while the rest can join near the end. And to make sure that all of the viewers understand the stream, keep offering the context constantly throughout the stream. This will not only make it more informative but inclusive as well.
Be Spontaneous and don’t worry about mistakes
You must have a script or points to help you through the overall Live stream. And sticking to them is critical because you know your community best. However, sticking to them like robots is not the way to do things, especially in Facebook Live.
Facebook Live is a tool to engage other people in real-time, and hence, it needs to come off as natural and spontaneous. This means being genuine and being human. Of course, errors might happen in some aspects, so no need to worry about that. Instead, pick them up in your stride and maybe even laugh at yourself for it. This will show your audience that you have a sense of humor as well.
Engage, interact, and build relationships via comment/feedback
The prime aspect of using Facebook Live is to build a rapport with your community. And this will not happen unless you are more inclusive in engaging with your audience. To engage them, you need to call a few of the new joiners by name, reply to commenters, answer questions in real-time, and interact with the audience. Furthermore, you can even add people with yourself in the Live Stream.
Make use of that and allow one to one spontaneous interviews with the community people. The idea is to build your following for the brand and establish trust via building a relationship. Forming a relationship is always better than developing a follower, allowing the users to feel included.
Take feedback from your users about the pace of your stream or even about your brand, and take tangible steps to work on them. Maybe even give them an explanation or idea about a particular comment to make it clear.
Analyse your results and ask viewers to help in the promotion
After the Live stream, it is imperative to look at the results. And these include going over metrics like session time, number of users, number of comments, total engagement, and the overall likeability index of the stream. These are determining factors for the Facebook Live stream success rate. If it scores well against those parameters, then your stream is successful.
Once your Facebook Live Stream session is over, it is time to let the long term sharing do its work. And that is part of the post-stream promotions. If you have a loyal audience, then the chances are that they can do this job for you via sharing your stream, liking your page or posts, and subscribing to your channel on any other platform. All of these will directly impact your user base in terms of growth.
Best Ways for Finishing a Facebook Live Stream for Brands
If your content delivery has been on point and your Live Stream has been on a high, then it’s time to end with a bang as well. The following are some ways brands can use to complete a Facebook Live Stream:
Smile and Say Goodbye
If the entire purpose of the Facebook Live stream was limited just to this session, then the best way is to smile, say goodbye, thank the viewers, and provide them with a means to send you feedback later. This is a classic method of ending on a high with consumer satisfaction.
Solve the problem but leave it open-ended
Another classic way to leave your customers wanting more is to solve their problems and leave the discussion slightly open-ended. This helps generate user interest as they can ponder over the solutions offered and maybe even develop their own explanations. They will look forward to the following discussion or Live stream from you, and just like that, you will have garnered more traction for yourself.
Set the premise for an upcoming product/video or a follow-up stream
The most preferred way of ending a video like that is to do subtle marketing for your brand. And that can be done by relating the topic of discussion in the Facebook Live Stream to a service you offer. While some people go overboard with the marketing, keeping it subtle and classy is the way to go.
Furthermore, you can relate the context of the Live session with an upcoming product which the people can look forward to as the solution for a particular problem.
Verdict: Is Facebook Live Successful for Brands?
Absolutely! With Facebook Live, the arena has blown wide open to garner new audiences and gain more traction with the present ones. In addition, it bolsters your stance as a modern-day brand and shows that you care about the problems of your community to address them.
So, if you want to achieve business success in the modern era of social media, Facebook Live Stream is one of the best tools at your disposal!
Bhavik Soni is a Creative Writer at Auto Monkey. We provide an original analysis of the latest happenings in the social media industry. Connect with Latest Social Media Trends and News plus tips on Twitter, Facebook and other social tools on the web.
Looking to set up bulk redirects on your WordPress website to handle anything from a permalink structure change all the way to site architecture improvements?
Nobody likes broken links, which is why whenever you (permanently) change the original location of a webpage to a new one (where it’s still accessible), a 301 is the best & most suitable way to direct visitors to the new, updated page.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at:
1 What Is A 301 Redirect?
A redirect that returns the HTTP response code 301 Moved Permanently is used when the location of a resource (i.e. a webpage) is updated with the intention of being changed permanently. This is perfect for situations where you need to change the URL of a page on your website that’s already been published (and may also already be ranking in search results).
Common examples of scenarios in which using 301 redirects is an excellent choice include when a page isn’t relevant, useful, or has been moved, as well as after a site rebuild when URLs change – by changing permalink structure or overall site architecture. It is very important to avoid losing organic traffic due to the effects on SEO to implement redirects as soon as possible after the location of resource changes or is altered.
Note: It is important to note that canonical URLs are different and should be used in different situations. Learn more about canonical URLs here.
2 The Difference Between 301 Redirects & Other Redirects
A 301 redirect is specifically for permanent changes or changes that are intended to be permanent at the time of being made. In contrast, the purpose of 302 and 307 redirects are both designed for situations in which you wish to forward traffic to a new URL temporarily. In other words, if you’re looking to direct visitors to an alternative page temporarily but then intend on bringing the original URL back at some point in the future, use a 302 redirect.
While in the case of a 301 redirect, the intention should be that the change is considered permanent.
Here’s a brief overview of the different redirect types:
Description / Usage
A permanent redirect is used in a number of scenarios such as when deleting a page (to redirect traffic to the next logical location) or when the original location of a resource is altered.
A 302 redirect lets search engines know that a website or page has been moved temporarily.
303 (See Other)
The 303 redirect status response code indicates that the redirects refer to another page (such as a confirmation page or an upload progress page). This response code is usually sent back as a result of PUT or POST
A temporary redirect – as above, is often used in more complex development environments such as when processing credit card payments and redirecting visitors to ensure that them refreshing their page doesn’t resubmit the checkout form.
There is no real difference in implementation with the use of the 308 redirect except that a 301 redirect does not allow changing the request method from POST to GET while a 308 does (since it repeats the request using the new URL).
Learn more about the different types of redirects here.
3 The Effects of 301 Redirects on SEO (and Traffic)
Google officially recommends using 301 redirects in the case of domain name migrations and the other scenarios we’ve suggested. And, as such, they have advised that 301 redirects (since considered permanent) can preserve PageRank. Meaning 301 redirects signal to search engines that the page still exists but just in a (slightly) different location – so they’ll be able to crawl and index the new page at the new URL to rank them as soon as possible.
In this video – which is still referenced to this day – despite being from 2013, Matt Cuts alludes to a loss of PageRank caused by using redirects. Google has since confirmed that this is no longer the case.
4 When To Use A 301 Redirect
A 301 redirect should be used when you’ve removed or deleted a page permanently from the website’s architecture yet want to preserve its traffic, rankings, and links.
Below are some of the examples where 301 redirects would be a good option:
Moving a new domain permanently
Original domain: https://www.yoursite.com/
New domain: https://www.yournewsite.com/
Moving a document or page permanently
Original “About Us” page: https://www.yoursite.com/about-us/
New “About Us” page: https://www.yoursite.com/about/
Changing a site’s structure permanently
Original structure: https://www.yoursite.com/2021/07/post-name/
New structure: https://www.yoursite.com/post-name/
You, however, would not use 301 redirects for the following:
5 How To Setup 301 Redirects In Bulk
Now, let’s get onto the best ways to implement 301 redirects in bulk:
With Rank Math’s Built-in Redirection Manager – managing 301 redirects couldn’t be easier. So without further ado, let’s help you set up your bulk 301 redirects.
[step 1] Install & Activate Rank Math
Every WordPress website needs a WordPress SEO plugin – ideally one that lets you take complete control of your website’s technical & on-page SEO. Fortunately, that’s exactly what we do here at Rank Math.
So, as you might’ve guessed, the first step – if you haven’t already – is to go ahead and install the Rank Math WordPress SEO plugin:
Download Rank Math
Follow Rank Math’s Setup Guide
And that’s it! Keep reading…
Note: Bulk redirections are possible in the free version of Rank Math but if you’re interested in learning why the best SEOs on the planet choose Rank Math PRO & Business to get a competitive edge, see how our plans compare here.
[step 2] Enable The Redirections Module
Next, since you’ve now installed Rank Math – while there’s nothing extra to install, you just need to head on over to Rank Math > Dashboard in your WordPress admin area in order to confirm that the Redirections module is enabled.
[step 3] Add A Single Redirect
Now that Rank Math is installed and the Redirections module is enabled, you’ll be able to navigate to Rank Math’s Built-In Redirection Manager by navigating to Rank Math > Redirections in your WordPress admin dashboard as shown below:
And then, you can go ahead and create a 301 redirect by simply entering the URL you wish to redirect as your Source URL and the location of the new resource (i.e. where you’d like to redirect the source URL to) as the Destination URL.
And once ready to activate, simply click Add Redirection.
Learn more about creating redirects in our documentation or in our detailed video tutorial below:
But that’s not all! You’re here to find out how to add 301 redirects in bulk. So that’s what we’re here for and let’s see how easy Rank Math makes this for you.
Option #1: Copy & Paste Multiple Source URLs
Depending on the scenario in which you are trying to create redirects in bulk – the first way to do this in Rank Math is simply creating a single redirect with multiple source URLs. Meaning that this would, of course, only work if each of these source URLs has the same intended, new location & destination URL.
Option #2: Updating, Editing & Importing Redirects via CSV PRO
Fortunately, we built Rank Math to make everyday, tedious and repetitive SEO work as easy as possible. So, in addition to being able to create 301 redirects in bulk by creating a redirect with multiple sources, you can also easily manage (add or modify) hundreds of 301 redirects, all of which have different sources and destinations in a matter of minutes.
Here’s exactly how to get started:
Export Your Existing Redirect(s) to a CSV
To do so, navigate to Rank Math > Redirections and then selecting Import/Export – as shown below:
Of course, in this scenario, we want to export the redirects first, this can be done by clicking the Export tab & then the Export CSV button:
Open the CSV file in Google Sheets (or Excel)
Now that you have your CSV file, it’s time to open it up in Google Sheets (if you want to collaborate with your team) or Microsoft Excel.
Edit the CSV file to update redirects, create new ones
Edit the CSV file to update the existing redirects, create new ones, or remove redirects that you no longer wish to have on your site.
Import the CSV file using Rank Math’s Redirections Module
And once you’re ready to apply your changes, simply navigate back to the Import tab in Rank Math’s Redirections Manager & upload your CSV file:
Note: Please proceed with caution as changes cannot be reversed. If you wish to have the option to undo all the changes made to redirects, we recommend taking a backup of your WordPress website before re-importing the CSV.
Option #3 – Using Regex (Advanced)
Regex – short for regular expression – is a string of text/syntax that allows you to create expressions that match certain text (i.e. ones that adhere to specific patterns). In the context of 301 redirects, this is incredibly useful as it means that you can create redirects in bulk simply by matching all URLs that fit into a certain pattern.
For example, if if you change your WordPress website’s permalink structure from Day and Name to a recommended structure such as /%postname%/ – you could add 301 redirects in bulk by using Excel & Google Sheets formulas along with Rank Math’s import/export options.
Or, you could alternatively use a simple regular expression. For example, here are some of the most common regular expression characters.
Zero or more occurrences of the preceding element.
ab*cd matches “acd”, “abcd”, “abbcd”, “abbbcd”, and so on.
Zero or one occurrence of the preceding element.
abc? matches “abc” and “ab”
One or more occurrences of the preceding element.
ab+cd matches “abcd”, “abbcd”, “abbbcd”, and so on, but not “acd”.
The important thing to note here is that Rank Math supports Regex right out of the box. However, we highly advise you to proceed with caution especially if you are inexperienced with regular expressions and changes that can break your site. So before making changes, the very least you could do is test a pattern and finetune it to ensure it matches only what you want it to using Regex101.
A great use-case of a Regex redirect is when you used AMP on your site previously but want to disable it. When doing this you’ll need to redirect all AMP URLs back to the original, normal URLs. This can easily be done with regular expressions adding the following as source & destination URLs in Rank Math:
Now, if you don’t wish to use Rank Math’s Built-in Redirections Manager – there are of course a whole range of single-use plugins (i.e. ones focused on only a single feature) that are alternatives that we can recommend.
Here are some alternative redirection plugins worth checking out:
All of the above plugins make it incredibly easy to create 301 redirects similar to how Rank Math’s built-in Redirections module works:
And, the Redirections plugin (which is free) in particular also has the ability to import & export your redirects to create bulk 301 redirects – as shown below:
Method #3 – Creating 301 Redirects in Bulk By Editing Your .htaccess File
A .htaccess file is a file that sits in the root directory of a website that controls Apache (a web server stack) which your web host may use – allowing you to easily enable or disable certain functionality, including creating redirects. For this method to work, you will need to be able to make changes to your website’s .htaccess file and your web host’s server configuration must support the use of .htaccess configuration files.
Here’s what the code to add a .htaccess redirect looks like:
“redirect 301 /old https://rankmath.com/new”
The beginning “redirect 301” simply indicates to Apache that the information that follows is a redirect (in particular a 301 redirect) to forward one URL to another. And, in the case above “/old” is the original location (i.e. redirect source) of the page. And the “https://rankmath.com/new” URL is the destination for this redirect.
Please note: this part of the code requires the full URL to be entered in its entirety including “http://” or “https://”, for a .htaccess server-level redirect.
If you already use WordPress, of course, Rank Math makes this very easy as it even offers the ability to sync redirects to your .htaccess file so that they’re performed on the server level.
But, even if your website isn’t powered by WordPress, you can still benefit from using Rank Math to manage your redirects since all redirects created can easily be exported to .htaccess files or NGINX config files.
Meaning that you can create and modify redirects in bulk using Rank Math’s Export to CSV option and then re-import the redirects into a WordPress installation so that you can export them to a .htaccess file and add the redirect rules directly to your website’s .htaccess file.
Note: Redirectly is a useful tool that helps take the guesswork out of generating more complicated redirect rules.
Method #4 – Creating 301 Redirects in Bulk By Editing Your NGINX .conf File
Depending on your web hosting environment, you may not be able to create 301 redirects by editing your .htaccess file – in which case, an alternative would be to use the NGINX config (.conf) file to do so instead…
Similar to how the .htaccess file functions, you can create a 301 permanent redirect in NGINX by adding the following line:
The “rewrite” matches regular expression patterns in parenthesis.
The “/old” provides the original location of the page
The “https://rankmath.com/new” is the new URL of the page and is where the server should redirect visitors to.
The “permanent” tells NGINX that this is a permanent redirect so it’ll use the 301 (moved permanently) response code.
Once complete, you will need to restart/reload NGINX for newly created redirects to start working as expected. As mentioned above, for .htaccess files – even if your website isn’t powered by WordPress – you can still manage your redirects with Rank Math as all redirects created can easily be exported to .htaccess files or, in this case, NGINX config files.
Meaning that all you need to do is:
Export the CSV redirects using Rank Math
Modify the file to create, edit and delete redirects as you see fit
Re-import the CSV using Rank Math
Export your redirects to your NGINX config file
Add the rules to your server (specifically to this web applications) NGINX .conf file.
Restart NGINX to ensure that the changes made take effect.
5 After Action Report – Test Your Redirects
Now that you know exactly how to set up & deploy 301 redirects in bulk – it’s important to note that you should thoroughly test your redirects as you implement them – especially if you used one of the advanced implementations or chose to use regular expressions. Test edge cases, variations of your domain (i.e. www and non-www) to ensure that the redirects do in fact work as intended.
A great simple tool for this which makes it super simple to bulk test URL HTTP status codes, response headers, and redirect chains is HTTPstatus.io.
If you have absolutely any questions or want to join the conversation – Tweet @rankmathseo! ?
A couple of years ago, a client hired me to write a piece of content. They’re in the SaaS space in the HR industry and the topic for the article was “the cost of hiring”. That was my keyword and the main aim was to show how much it costs to hire an employee. That’s all I knew and armed with that knowledge, I rolled up my sleeves and had a go at it.
After two days of work, the post was finished and live on their blog. A couple of months later and the post has more than 1,000 backlinks from over 500 referring domains and it ranks for more than 500 organic keywords.
How did that all happen? I wrote a solid piece of content back in 2019 and it was picked up by Glassdoor, the well-known HR website. After they linked to it, more links started coming to the article.
The reason for all of that success from a single article was research. Instead of writing another listicle with X Things To Know When… I wrote a comprehensive guide on the cost of hiring. It was relatively easy to do, with so much data available out there.
I found what the average cost of onboarding, replacing and hiring a new employee was. The sources for this were widely available online. I used the chance to link to these sources to make my research more credible and backed with data and facts.
Now here is the thing. Google and other search engines will determine the quality of your content according to a number of factors. One of those factors are the external links you have pointing from your piece to other websites. Your external links need to be high-quality and point to reputable articles from leading industry websites.
This is where research comes in. For this specific piece, I found lots of resources online. For example, you can find the cost of turnover in many articles on page 1, but each of those articles quotes another research done by a university or an independent research group.
Always quote the original research when you can. A lot of times, when you quote a piece with “X Statistics on Something”, you’re actually linking to a competitor and reducing your own chances of ranking for a certain keyword.
Having said all this, some pieces just don’t have the opportunities to link to independent research. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do your research. Link to relevant sources in your industry and make sure that the sites you link to are relevant and with high domain authority. Needless to say, do not link to the competition that you’re trying to beat in the SERPs.
As for my piece that performed well, the reality is that it didn’t bring anything new to the world. All of the great data was already out there, I just had to do some research and put it all together in one well-structured post and that’s all it took for it to rank.
Everybody knows that the search volume of a keyword is an essential SEO metric.
But it’s equally important to know what it takes to rank for that keyword. That’s why every keyword research tool operates with a metric called Keyword Difficulty.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at what it is, how it’s calculated and why it’s so important when doing keyword research.
What is keyword difficulty?
Keyword difficulty (also known as keyword competition or SEO difficulty) is an SEO metric that estimates how difficult it is to rank for a keyword.
The higher is the keyword difficulty, the harder it is to rank on the 1st SERP due to the high competition of the ranking websites.
There are many factors (both external and internal) that influence the degree of keyword difficulty, including the quality of the competitors’ pages and the quality of your page.
The term is usually used with two slightly different meanings:
Keyword difficulty as a metric on a scale from 0 to 100
Keyword difficulty as a general term taking into account all the aspects (both internal and external)
Keyword difficulty as a metric
Very often, the term keyword difficulty refers to the metric used in SEO tools that scores the ranking difficulty of each keyword on a scale from 0 to 100.
It works quite simply: the higher the score, the more difficult it is to rank for the keyword.
Note: Google Keyword Planner has a metric called Competition. Please note that this metric estimates the competition of paid keywords for PPC campaigns and has nothing to do with organic results and SEO.
In KWFinder, the difficulty scores are also differentiated by color to help you navigate through the list of keywords more easily:
How is keyword difficulty calculated?
When quantifying the competition of a keyword into a metric, there’s only one aspect of the website quality taken into consideration – the backlink profile.
Each website ranking in the 1st SERP is given a certain score based on the quality and quantity of the backlinks.
The authority of your competitors can be measured in various ways. In KWFinder, you can find the Link Profile Strength metric that estimates the quality of the website’s link profile.
The calculation is based on the selected metrics by Moz, Majestic and our know-how, namely:
After that, the average score is calculated to give one final value that gauges how hard it is for a website to break into the 1st SERP for this term.
Keyword difficulty as a general term
When estimating how hard it will be for you to rank for a certain keyword, you need to consider a couple of factors, both internal and external.
The most important factors are:
1. Your competitors
SEO is all about outranking your competitors.
So looking at the competing websites is one of the best ways to estimate the difficulty of ranking for a keyword. You should focus on the quality of their:
Backlinks are still a very important ranking factor, so they provide a good estimation of how hard it will be to rank for a keyword.
It’s also the only factor that can be measured and put into a metric. That’s why estimating the keyword difficulty is often reduced to finding out how authoritative (in terms of link profile) your competitors are.
The more authority the websites ranking for a keyword have, the harder it will be for you to outrank them.
2. Authority of your website
Besides the competitors, your ability to rank for a keyword is also determined by the authority of your own website.
This is especially important to keep in mind if you have a new website. Even if the competition for a keyword is relatively low and you write a great piece of content, you probably won’t rank with your brand new site with zero backlinks.
Remember that they’re not used by Google in any way and only serve as a guideline for you. Make sure to compare the values within one metric.
3. Quality of your content
There’s another side of the coin – the authority of your website won’t help you if the quality of your content is not able to compete with the pages ranking in the 1st SERP.
You should ask yourself these questions:
How hard will it be for me to write content that is of equal or better quality than the competing pages?
Can I provide the same level of expertise as my competitors?
Is there any benefit I can provide to the readers when compared to the competitors? (quality, depth of knowledge, unique data, visuals, etc.)
All of these are subjective factors that contribute to the overall level of keyword difficulty in your specific case.
4. Search intent
Last but not least, you should consider the search intent behind the search query.
In other words – what kind of content are people who used a particular keyword expecting?
There are 4 basic types of search intent:
So, how to find out the search intent behind the keyword?
The easiest way is to “reverse engineer” it by looking at the search results and see what kind of pages are ranking for the keyword.
If your keyword is “best air humidifier” and all the pages on the 1st SERP are reviews, you most probably won’t rank for that keyword with your e-commerce landing page. Even if your website was more authoritative and your content would be better optimized.
Why should you care about keyword difficulty?
Many beginner bloggers choose a keyword, write great content and optimize the page only to find out that they’re not ranking at all. The most common reason – the competition is too fierce.
This is why your keyword research process should always account for keyword difficulty.
By keeping an eye on keyword difficulty:
You’ll get a good overview of what are the “***” keywords and “big” players in your niche
You’ll be able to identify alternative keywords in your niche that you have an actual chance to rank for
You’ll be able to save a lot of time by focusing on keywords that can bring you results even if your website does not have much authority yet
How to use keyword difficulty in your SEO strategy
1. Look at the big picture
Keyword difficulty is only one of the aspects you should consider when doing keyword research.
The other two important aspects are the popularity of the keyword and relevance.
If there’s low difficulty but the keyword has no search volume, you won’t get any traffic.
On the other hand, without relevance, you will not rank for the keyword even if the difficulty metric is low because the search intent doesn’t match your type of content.
2. Analyze the SERP results
Never rely on a single number given by a keyword tool. The keyword difficulty metric is there to give you a quick overview – not to replace the competitor research. In other words – SERP analysis is non-negotiable.
Besides the difficulty metric, always look at the SERP results and the actual websites that rank for the keyword.
You’ll learn much more about the search intent, the type of content that ranks for the keyword as well as how deeply your competitors cover the topic.
You may also notice, for example, that the top positions are taken by “big brands” (e.g. Amazon, Pinterest, YouTube) with high authority, which may not be reflected in the 0-100 metric but will influence your ability to rank for the keyword at the top.
That being said…
3. Don’t be afraid of high difficulty
The keyword difficulty metric alone shouldn’t deter you from trying to rank for a keyword with medium or higher difficulty.
It’s more about getting a general sense of what you’re up against and determining what you need to do to make your page a viable competitor.
Here’s a couple of things that can help your rank for a highly competitive keyword:
Outstanding content – you may outrank highly authoritative competitors with quality content that shows better expertise and covers the topic in a much deeper way (see the 10x content strategy)
Topical relevance – having a narrowly oriented website with quality internal links can help you outrank authoritative websites that cover the topic only sporadically and rank mostly due to their overall brand authority
Quality backlinks – a high number of quality backlinks to a specific page can help you rank for that page even if your overall domain authority is lower
4. Compare the values within one tool
There are many keyword research tools out there and each may use a different backlink database or a different way of calculating the keyword difficulty.
Therefore, the keyword difficulty scores may differ from tool to tool and it’s important to compare the values within one tool.
The rapid and widespread shutdown in response to the COVID pandemic in March 2020 necessitated substantial marketing and operational shifts across industries worldwide. While few organizations were truly prepared to do well what was required, the ones that fared the best, quickly embraced the new reality and monitored the changing market closely.
The impacts of the pandemic were vast and immediate, but rapidly changing market forces are nothing new. They are typically more limited, affecting only an organization, an industry or a small segment of consumers. Even so, if/when your organization is impacted, many of the competencies required to react effectively to a global pandemic still apply.
The ability to see and understand what’s happening in the market at any point in time and be able to respond quickly and comprehensively is what we refer to as Global Agility.
Use Search to See and Act on Market Trends
Search is, by far, the largest point of entry to online experiences. According to Imforza, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. Beyond its scale and reach, search is uniquely informative. Because it is comprised of consumers’ specific inquiries, requests and interests, it provides direct insight into the consumer’s mindset. Taken in aggregate, search data can uncover both simmering trends and rapid shifts in the market.
Whether it is a global pandemic, a new competitive entry in the marketplace, or a cultural event provoking a change in the zeitgeist, change is always happening. Search provides a window into the changing marketplace as it is happening and while it is still possible to capitalize on an opportunity or head off a threat.
The pace of change and the ability to monitor it through search have created a new market imperative. To respond with agility, companies must:
See dynamic changes as they happen.
Plan and optimize budgets using real-time macro trends.
Identify new opportunities as they emerge.
Coordinate across channels to capitalize on opportunities.
Global Agility in Practice: Supreme Court Rules Against NCAA
Now that a market-shifting judgment has been made, these agile institutions will need to rethink their approaches to recruiting, including competition for recruits. They will need to account for how, to whom and for how much they award student-athlete scholarships and if or how raising limits for student-athletes will limit overall scholarship dollars for other students. Most importantly, at this stage, even the savviest, most agile organizations are only forecasting what will happen. Search monitoring will be essential to help them reconcile the market’s response with their expectations. As they better understand the reality of the market shift, it will be essential that the key functions that contribute to athletic programs are on the same page and coordinated in their response.
Centralize Reporting and Response
In order to meet the new market imperative, organizations must develop and maintain a streamlined visual of the market. Search data, like any expansive set of data, require translation to understand the inherent insights.
Understanding and responding to search insights requires organizations to:
Develop targeted intent ****** – Define for your organization what intents and search behaviors are important (Informational, navigational, transactional, or specific mindsets that keywords represent) and organize the keywords accordingly to help the organization understand the behaviors happening in the marketplace.
Centralize data visualization – Agility is attainable by even the largest global organizations, but to even settle on the size and shape of a threat or opportunity, everyone must be following the same map. When everyone has access to the same data visualizations, like the examples shown below, the organization can move quickly to action with a coordinated response across channels.
Global Agility Webinar: Learn how Intel.com Responded with Agility to the Pandemic
To learn more about how to identify trends that matter and operate with more agility, check out the BrightEdge webinar: Activating with Agility on a Global Scale – How Enterprises Remain Agile in Uncertain Times.
How global brands such as Intel leveraged data and insights to pivot and activate quickly.
How to utilize macro search data to fuel faster and more deliberate omnichannel strategies.
How to tie your actions to outcomes automatically within the BrightEdge platform.
Did you know Spanish is the second-most spoken native language on this planet, after Mandarin Chinese? Over 500 million people natively speak Spanish. What’s more, Spanish is the fourth-most spoken language in the world. For Yoast, millions of Spanish-speaking people use our tools to improve their websites in their markets. We like to help them succeed. As of today, we offer Premium subscribers customer support in Spanish.
Read this post in Spanish »
The value of Yoast SEO Premium in Spanish
Yoast SEO Premium comes with many cool features, like the redirect manager, internal linking suggestions, a growing list of SEO workouts to keep you going, and access to our excellent customer support team. In addition, you get free access to the Yoast SEO academy to learn all about SEO. Please note that, for now, our course materials are all in English and the videos have English subtitles.
But Yoast SEO Premium also comes with features tailored to your specific language. Yoast SEO works properly in most languages, but some advanced features require tailoring for a specific language. Not every rule is the same for every language, so our team of linguists fine-tunes these for every language we offer. One of the most impressive language-based features you can use is word form support.
Word forms in Spanish
Traditionally, Yoast SEO lets you add one focus keyphrase, which it uses to analyze your content to give you suggestions to improve it. A while back, we took this up a notch by adding support for word forms. This means that we now understand the different grammatical forms of a keyphrase, so we can detect these in the text and count them in our scores. This makes for a more natural writing and optimizing experience.
Another of those language features is the possibility to add synonyms and related keyphrases to your text. Together, this makes the analyses in Yoast SEO so much more powerful. Of course, Spanish was one of the first languages where we made this available.
Customer support in Spanish
As a Premium subscriber, you can always contact our customer support team whenever you have an issue. But, it can be hard to tell us about your problem if you have to do that in a language that’s not your native one. We understand that, and that’s why we bring you customer support in Spanish.
We have a dedicated team ready to answer all your burning questions about Yoast SEO Premium in your language. This makes it a lot easier for you to communicate your issues and for us to respond in the language you are most comfortable with. We’ll do everything we can to help you on your way quickly!
Get Yoast SEO Premium
To the millions of Spanish-speaking Yoast SEO users: ¡Hola! You’ve been able to use our tools in Spanish for a little while now, but today we’re offering Premium users an excellent new service: customer support in your language. Don’t have Yoast SEO Premium yet? What are you waiting for?
Edwin is a strategic content specialist. Before joining Yoast, he spent years honing his skill at The Netherlands’ leading web design magazine.
So many businesses try to find a quick and easy way to boost their SEO.
The fact is some of the most valuable SEO moves take time and energy. One example of this is long-form content.
Although definitions of long-form content vary, most digital marketers would agree that it includes any blogs or articles over 1,000 words. Online businesses can post long-form content with word counts as high as 2K, 4K, or even as high as 8K.
If done right, a few pieces of long-form content can increase your search rankings faster than most short-form content (blogs or articles under 1K words). It’s a good idea to start adding a few to your existing blog schedule.
Below we will discuss why you need long-form content and how it improves your SEO. We’ll also offer some tips on doing it effectively.
Ready to begin? Keep scrolling.
Blog Length Does Matter
Have you ever wondered why SEO blog services like The HOTH give you the choice of selecting 500 words, 1K words, 2K words, or more?
It’s because blog length does matter and it’s important to figure out what length is the most advantageous for your website and marketing strategy.
Short-form blogs are good at grabbing your target audience’s attention with interesting information or offerings. But, long-form blogs are designed to educate visitors about your products or services and to preemptively answer their questions.
The other is that online readers are more likely to share long-form content on social media.
The assumption for so long has been that online readers prefer short copy and snippets, but data on long-form content is proving that’s not so accurate. People also enjoy long-form content (if it’s done right).
They found that short and long articles both attracted the same number of visitors, yet people would actually keep reading the longer pieces versus navigating away to something else. This has huge implications for your site.
Here’s How Long-Format Helps SEO
Besides sharing information with your potential customers, SEO-optimized blogs are also designed to rank for keywords.
Good long-form content will rank for way more keywords than a 500-word blog. One study also found a direct correlation between the length of content and the number of backlinks a website receives.
Writers of long-form content need to conduct extra research, go more in-depth, and ensure their final version is high-quality. Doing this will improve a site’s domain authority, which results in more backlinks over the long term.
The Google algorithm also favors long-form content because it caters perfectly to E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness). It rewards this type of content with higher rankings.
Now that you understand how long-format content can help your SEO, let’s go over a few tips on how to create your own blogs that will get the algorithm’s attention.
Tips on Writing Quality Long-Form Content
If you’re interested in developing some long-form content for your website, here are some things to consider.
Start off by carefully researching your topic and relevant keywords. You’ll need a lot of reliable research because long-form content is more in-depth. Focus on finding long-tail keywords as well. Try out free SEO tools!
Organize and structure your blog or article. We recommend outlining before you write so you’ll know where everything goes.
Write short paragraphs and divide your content into different sections using H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, or H6. Don’t forget your other SEO information like alt-texts or meta descriptions.
Hook the reader with an engaging introduction that will ensure they read the entire piece. This may be an interesting statistic or something they’ve never heard of before.
Your writing style should be accessible and conversational.
Add images or graphics where you can to break up the text. These can also make it easier to digest complex information.
As we explained above, the most important thing to do is focus on quality. Not only should you provide rich information to the reader, but the writing should be error-free.
Most business owners can get away with asking staff who have no writing experience to crank out a few short blogs here and there. But, if you want to include long-form content on your site you should have it written by a professional.
That brings us to the most important part of this blog. The HOTH offers an affordable and effective blog product that can help online businesses get long-form content.
Need Help Crafting Long-Form Blogs?
Many businesses don’t have the time or experience to craft long-form content. And that’s ok!
With our most popular SEO product, HOTH Blogger, you can order professionally written and researched blogs about your specific business ranging from 500 words to 3,000K. Our writers are selected from the top 1% of all applicants.
Each blog is optimized for SEO with the right keywords to generate traffic and our team of digital marketers can even publish it to your site.
These flexible options through HOTH Blogger allow you to add a few long-form blogs while you continue posting shorter pieces on a consistent basis.
Are you ready to start adding long-form content to your site and watch your rankings grow? Simply book a call with us now to get started.
Gearing Up for Google Updates [E-Book]Google sorts through billions of pages in its index to find the best answer for an individual query in a fraction of a second.
Google relies on its search algorithms to find the best answer. According to the search engine giant, “These ranking systems are made up of not one, but a whole series of algorithms.” And they’re constantly being tested and updated. It would be impossible to stay on top of every one of these changes.
According to Moz, in 2018, Google reported over 3,000 improvements to search, more than 8 times the number of updates less than a decade ago, in 2009. That’s an average of almost 9 per day. While many of these changes are relatively minor and often unnoticed, there are a number of Google Core Updates that enterprise brands should have on their radar
In this guide, you’ll learn more about:
What Google wants you to know about them
The best practices for positioning your brand to be prepared for Google’s updates in the future
The most impactful Google updates that have recently rolled out to have on your radar
Download your free copy of “Gearing Up for Google Updates” today!
Banner ads are easy to spot on the Internet. If you’ve ever read a blog or browsed a social media platform, you’ve likely spotted one.
PPC marketers use banner ads to grab viewer attention and encourage clicks to their websites. With the right strategy and budget, they can be a valuable boost to any display advertising campaign.
Let’s review how banner ads work and how to design your own.
What Is Display Advertising?
Display advertising is a type of online marketing that involves using visual ads to encourage customers to take a specific action. Visual ads combine text and images (static or animated) to inform viewers about a service or product.
How Are Display Ads Used?
Brands commonly use display ads to earn:
Brand Awareness: Much like the more traditional newspaper ads, flyers, or vouchers, and posters in public places, these kinds of ads aim to earn the maximum amount of exposure. Marketers can create banner ads and distribute them on as many platforms as possible to gain the maximum number of clicks.
Conversions: However, some advertising platforms will allow you to specify the audience you want your ads to appear to. Marketers may target their audience by specific demographics (age, location, etc) to earn more clicks but pay less for impressions.
What is a Banner Ad?
Banner ads are a type of display ad. These adverts are placed on websites, social media platforms, and apps to earn views and clicks. You can link your banner ad to any URL on your website, though most marketers prefer to point to a landing page.
Banner ads usually include a focal image, minimal text, and a clear CTA.
Common Banner Ad Sizes
Banner ad sizes differ according to the advertising platform you use. Choose a size that best suits your ad and has the best potential return on investment.
Google Ads offer banner ads in the following sizes (in pixels):
200 x 200 (Small Square)
250 x 250 (Square)
468 x 60 (Banner)
728 x 90 (Leaderboard)
300 x 250 (Inline Rectangle)
336 x 280 (Large Rectangle)
120 x 600 (Skyscraper)
160 x 600 (Wide Skyscraper)
300 x 600 (Half-Page Ad)
970 x 90 (Large Leaderboard)
Facebook banner ads have the following image sizes:
Facebook Feed Image Ads – 1200 x 628
Facebook Feed Video Ads – 600 x 315 or 600 x 600
Facebook Carousel Ads – 1080 x 1080
Facebook Right Column Ads – 1200 x 628
Facebook Marketplace Ads – 1200 x 628
Facebook Instant Articles Ads – 1200 x 628
Facebook Stories Ads – 1080 x 1920
Facebook Collection Ads – 600 x 600
Users can create banner ads in at least one of the following sizes for Instagram:
Instagram Single Image Ads – 400 x 500
Instagram Video Ads – 400×500 max
Instagram Carousel Ads – 1080 x 1080
Instagram Stories Carousel Ads – 1080×1920
Instagram Slideshow Ads – 600 x 600 pixels, max. 1080 x 1080
Instagram Stories Image Ads – 1080 x 1920
Instagram Stories Video Ads – 1080 x 1920
Banner Ad Examples
1. This ad repurposes the game’s packaging for the banner’s design. Repurposing your content can strengthen brand awareness over time, as certain design elements become more recognizable.
2. This half-page ad from Square balances image and text on a banner ad. This combination is effective in communicating what the product is, what it does, and how it can help you.
Sometimes an image of your product alone is not enough to convey its features and benefits. In these cases, add text to your banner ad. But remember to keep it simple and short: provide product information that’s easy to understand at a glance.
3. Banner ads can appear on busy web pages with tons of graphics or other visual elements. Color naturally draws a user’s eyes. In this banner ad, we get straight to the point with our offer (“7 competitor insights…”) once we have their attention.
4. This banner ad from Bulldog uses humor and color to draw viewers’ attention. The contrast of white and green adds a friendly spin on a humorous image.
5. This Audible banner ad highlights an offer or promotion with color and text. The promotional offer is in bold, earning the most
It can be difficult to get promotional messaging across effectively in a banner ad. But remember that less is more. You can always add a click for terms and conditions CTA if you need to cover any legal issues.
6. In this banner ad, Brita makes text the focal point. But it works because the copy is short, snappy, and delivers the message effectively.
7. Here’s another ad from Brita that alters the ad’s creative for placement. It conveys the same image, but the design adjusts to the size and format of the placement. Its design elements are still easily recognizable.
If you are placing multiple banner ads, consider how your creative looks with different placements. How you can keep the creative interesting yet consistent?
8. This ad from Samsung is a great example of a simple yet effective creative. The ad is simple and direct, which matches neatly with Samsung’s overall branding.
On a busy website, whitespace can be a highly effective design technique.
9. This Apple ad is eye-catching, colorful, and simple. Although less can be more, your ad can include an offer and an expressive image, as long as the messaging is clear.
10. AST’s creative for this banner ad draws attention to its text with bold formatting. It uses humor to answer a common question about its business.
Most businesses stick to formal language when designing ads, but informal language applied correctly can make your ad stand out. However, remember to stay on brand and consider if this would work with your brand tone of voice.
11. In this ad, FinalStraw uses a humorous customer quote to describe their product. Their brand’s bright color and word play lets us know they’re advertising to a younger, more relaxed audience.
12. This Hitachi banner ad employs both color and placement to draw attention to their CTA. The CTA itself is short and actionable. Effective ads cause users to take action.
13. This ad from Mcdonald’s uses interactivity to drive action. Instead of offering their product, McDonald’s encourage views to create their own version of the Quarter Pounder burger.
14. Fanta’s bright, colorful ad clicks through to an interactive game. We know this from the CTA (“Play now”) and the headline (“Play games.”)
15 This Disney banner ad entices viewers with a rare offer (“Exclusive Original series.”) Its CTA contrasts nicely with the earth tones of the creative and encourages direct action (“Start your free trial.”)
You don’t have to advertise a sale or exclusive offer with your banner ad. Simply highlighting your brand’s unique selling proposition (USP) can be enough to drive action.
Tips for Creating The Perfect Banner Ad
Developing a successful banner ad will ultimately depend on a host of factors: your budget, your resources, your brand, etc.
We recommend keeping a few best practices in mind:
Appeal to current trends and in-season colorways
Keep it simple—less is often more
Use high-contrast colors to grab attention
Animate your ads to convey more information
Try adding humor to your ads (if your brand personality allows)
However, creative skills aren’t the only thing that guarantees an effective ad. Good banner ads start with proper advertising research that reveals your target audience and determines your ad’s best placements.
Try research tools that specialize in tracking your competitors’ ad metrics or keywords. You can use these insights to plan your strategy and take advantage of any opportunities your competitors may have missed.
Tools for Creating Banner Ads
The Advertising Research tool can show you any positions your competitors’ ads currently hold, keywords they’re targeting with their ads, and ad copy. Simply enter your competitor’s domain into the search input:
The tool returns an Overview report, which can be used to track any paid search trends, their projected traffic and costs, and their target keywords:
You can spot any position wins or losses your competitors earn over time with their SERP ads. To view any lost positions, click the Position Changes tab and toggle the Lost option in the toolbar:
The Keyword Magic tool helps you discover the right keywords to include in your banner ad campaigns. You want people to see your banner ads, so target keywords you know people are searching for.
Start by entering your seed keyword into the tool input:
The tool returns a list of relevant keywords and their metrics. Keep an eye on each keyword’s search volume, average CPC cost, and competitive density. Though they’re based on SERP ad data, these columns can help you determine which keywords to bid on.
Select the + symbol to add keywords to your Keyword Manager.
If you’re new to developing ad copy, generate ideas with the Display Advertisting tool. The tool analyzes your competitors’ text ads, banner ads, publishers, ad impressions, and more.
To get started, just enter a domain’s address or keyword. Click “Explore now.”
Select the Ads tab to your competitor’s current banner ads:
If you’re low on time or design resources, the Instant Banner Generator can help you create banner ads in a flash. You can design and save an unlimited amount of banners for different placement types and formats.
Banner ads are a type of display advertising that can drive brand awareness and clicks.
Good banner ads fit their target audience. Use advertising research to determine the best look and placement for your banner ads.
Use third-party research and design tools to develop effective display advertising campaigns.