Want to increase your sales and rankings at the same time? If so, you should consider giving the sales pages of your website a tune-up.
Maybe you don’t have a sales page on your website. Or maybe your sales page needs some work. An incomplete or non-existent sales page is going to hurt your sales. Period.
Websites that neglect to write strong sales pages for their products or services leave customers confused, wanting more, or unsure of what to do next.
I’m going to give you the full breakdown of how to create a killer sales page that’s designed to convert customers, drive sales, and improve the user-experience of your website. It’s a win-win-WIN.
Let’s get to it!
What Is a Sales Page (And Why Should You Have One)?
A sales page is an individual page on your website for each product or service your business offers.
The point of this page is to connect with a potential customer, address everything they would want to know about the product or service you offer, remove any doubts they may have, and guide them to a sale.
A sales page has the potential to dramatically increase your conversions and rankings, but if it’s not done effectively it could hurt your business. Here are the most common mistakes I see with sales pages:
There is no designated page on the website that discusses the service or product
All of the services or products have been lumped together onto one page
They’ve tried to optimize the sales page for all of the keywords related to the products/services which causes the page to cannibalize itself
If done right, here’s how a killer sales page will help you.
If you create an individual sales page for each product or service you offer, it will increase your ranking ability.
When you have an individual page for each service, Google will be able to index and rank each page when a customer searches for that service.
Google rankings have a direct impact on your page visits. So the higher you rank, the more visitors you’ll get to your website.
An individual page for your service or product will also improve the user’s experience on your website.
A page for each service makes it easier to navigate your website. Users like information right at their fingertips, so if anything is difficult to find or confusing to operate they’ll jump right off the page.
If you make it simple and easy, they’ll stay on the page longer–giving you a better chance of achieving a sale.
Now that you know why it’s useful, let’s get into how to create one.
Sales Page Template
A killer sales page highlights the following sections:
How it Works
CTA (Call to Action)
That said, each product or service can vary significantly, so some sections may not be applicable to you. It is up to you to determine which of these sections you’ll need for your sales page.
Let’s break these sections down step-by-step.
1. Grab Attention & Make An Impression With A Bold Headline
It’s not enough to get a customer to land on your website. The biggest challenge you’ll face is getting them to stay there (and better yet, buy your product or service).
The problem is that the average person spends around 10 seconds on a web page. Those first 10 seconds are meant to assess the page’s validity and usefulness to them. Users are hardwired to bounce from web page to web page because they know most web pages are useless.
If you don’t grab the attention of your customer within the first 10 seconds, they will be long gone before you can say the words “20% OFF!”
That’s where a powerful headline comes in.
Hook Them in With a Catchy Headline
Your headline should be a brief statement of the service or product you offer, and should be catchy enough to grab the interest of the customer.
If a website says “ Boarding in St. Pete, FL” and another says “The Most Trusted Boarding Facility in St. Pete FL” which one is the customer more likely to click on? Probably the second one.
If you are creating a local service page, be sure to include the city or region in your headline as well.
Finally, make sure your headline contains your targeted keyword and is formatted with the <h1> tag.
Include a Subhead
Now you’ll need to expand on your headline and answer the question “What benefit will my customer receive?”
Customers are looking for solutions to their problems. If your customer doesn’t know how you’re going to help them right from the beginning, you’ll lose their business.
Keep your subhead short, sweet, and to the point. No more than two sentences. And then format it with the <p> tag.
2. Provide Them With a Quick Overview
When people land on a web page, they are looking to access information quickly and easily. Make sure your page is set up to help someone skim for information.
Your page will need an overview after the headline. This gives the customer a general idea of what they can expect from the page and whether or not it will be useful to them.
Create a Section Headline for the Overview
This should be a compelling headline that encompasses the main problem or solution.
If my page headline is “The Most Trusted Boarding Facility in St. Pete FL” then my Overview Headline might be “Leave Your With People You Can Trust”.
What’s my problem? I don’t want to leave my with some sketchy stranger (a valid concern).
What’s the solution? I need to choose a -boarding facility with trusted professionals.
Your section headline should use an <h2> tag.
Briefly Describe the Problem and the Solution
Now you need to identify the problem and offer a solution to introduce your product or service.
If my headline is “Leave Your With People You Can Trust” my description might sound something like this:
No one wants to leave their pet behind when they leave town, but sometimes there’s no way around it.
When you have to leave your pet with someone else, you want it to be with people you can trust.
Here at The Pampered Pet, our staff is filled with dedicated professionals that **** what they do and treat your pet like family. If you need a daycare or boarding facility in the St. Pete area you can trust, call us today!
Address the problem. Acknowledge the solution. Offer the service to help.
Finish Strong With a CTA
Don’t know what a CTA is? Pay attention, because you’re going to need this.
A CTA is a Call to Action. It gets the customer to do something. Do you want your customer to call you? To fill out an online form? To book an appointment?
Give them the tool to do it!
If a customer has to spend more than a couple of seconds combing through your website to find the right link, you’ll risk losing them to a competitor.
People want quick access to what they need. So make their life as easy as possible to keep them on the page.
End your Overview with a CTA like this:
[Call Us Today: 888-988-8909]
[Schedule a Free Consultation Now]
And then link your CTA accordingly.
3. Let Them Know Why Your Product or Service Is The Best
**** are you’ve got a lot of competitors out there, and your customer will undoubtedly be weighing their options.
Why should they choose your service/product over the X amount of options out there?
You need to highlight the reasons your service is THE BEST hands down. How do you do that? By spotlighting the benefits or features of your service.
Add a Compelling Benefit or Feature Headline
Don’t get lazy here. This is your selling point. If the customer sees a section that just says “Benefits” they’ll likely keep scrolling.
Be specific and make it POP!
Try something like:
“Fast and Reliable Service”
The customer should read the headline and instantly want to know more.
Don’t forget to format your headline with an <h2> tag.
Highlight the Feature or Benefit With a Quick Description
One of the biggest mistakes you can make here is drone on and on and on about why your product or service is soooo great.
Nobody is going to read a huge wall of text. It’s an eye-sore. And as previously mentioned, no one wants their time wasted.
Your description should get straight to the point about why you’re their best option.
Keep your sentences short and straightforward and add bullet points when you can. This should be as easy to read as possible.
Here’s an example:
Trusted Animal Professionals
Our team of dedicated experts has years of experience in working with dogs of all breeds, sizes, and special needs.
We screen everyone here to make sure that they **** animals and have a zero-tolerance policy for the mistreatment of animals.
We have a licensed vet on staff, so if anything happens with your pet, they’ll be in professional caring hands.
We also offer top-notch facilities for your pet while you’re away. Our facilities include:
playground with climbing areas, fire hydrants, and doggy obstacle courses
Dedicated spa area where your pet will receive a bath and blow-dry before pick-up
A medical center with a vet on staff
Two acres of land where we’ll walk your dogs 3 times a day
A private sleeping area for each during down times
Your may not want to come home!
See what I mean? Quick. Easy to read. Attention to the highlights. Done.
4. Walk Them Through Your Process
Now that the customer knows what they’re buying, you’ll want to show them the process.
If they don’t know where to start or what to expect, they might jump to a different site. So break down the process and make it fool-proof.
Create a Headline for Your Process
This Headline doesn’t need to be complicated. You can use “Our Process” or “How it Works” to start it off.
You want the customer to know exactly what this section is about.
This will use the <h2> tag.
Breakdown Your Process Steps
The worst thing you can do here is confuse or overwhelm your customer. You want them to feel like this process is going to be a walk in the park!
If your process shows a ton of complicated steps, they’re going to run in the other direction to find someone who makes it easy.
Use the <h3> tag to format your process steps, and then break down the step in a sentence or two.
It’s easier than it seems. Here’s a visual:
Step One: Contact Us To Get Started
Contact our team via phone or online form and a care technician will reach out to set up a tour of our facility.
Step Two: Tour The Facility
We’ll give you a full tour!
You’ll see where your will sleep, play, eat, and relax. You’ll even get to meet some of our staff and ask any questions you may have.
Step Three: Book Your Appointment
When you’re ready to book your pet’s stay, we’ll give you the intake form to fill out about your ’s age, ***, breed, medical conditions, medicines, and any dietary restrictions.
This information will go straight to our vet so that they’ll know exactly what your needs during his or her stay.
Once this is filled out, you can book with us in person or through our online booker.
Step Four: Leave Your With Confidence
On the day of, you’ll bring your to our facility, along with their favorite treats, toys, bed, and stuffed friends. If you accidentally forgot to bring something, we can provide it for you!
You can leave feeling confident that your pet is in good hands.
Sounds easy, right? Now the customer feels good getting started.
5. Give The Buyer Confidence With Social Proof
The customer will be looking for proof that they can trust YOU, so now’s your chance to convince them with some testimonials.
If you have any positive feedback from previous customers, show it off. If you don’t, you can include a snippet about your business that will help establish trust.
You want them to think, “If other people like it, I probably will too!”
Start With a Trust-Building Headline
Yeah, you could say “Customer Testimonials” but where’s the fun in that? Your headline has just as much potential to build trust as the actual proof does.
Kick it up a notch with “We Are Your Best Choice for Your Pet.”
And then add that <h2> tag.
Show off a Little
Now you can share your testimonials. If you have a lot–kudos to you–try to narrow it down to your top two or three.
A good rule of thumb is to choose testimonials that highlight the benefits or features you talked about earlier on in the page.
Remember to get the point across quickly and efficiently. Too much text and the customer will stop reading.
6. Clearly Address Pricing
If the customer has made it this far into your sales page, they’re going to be wondering about the cost.
If you don’t address the pricing upfront, or if you tiptoe around it because you’re worried about spooking the customer, you might lose the customer.
Instead, build trust with them by staying honest and direct with the pricing section.
Add a Pricing Headline
Now is not the time to get fancy. Call the pricing section what it is. “Pricing” “Packages and Pricing” or another headline that clearly introduces the pricing.
You can even pose the exact question the customer will ask, like “How Much Does It Cost To XYZ?”
Format it with the <h2> tag and you’re set.
Give a Price Breakdown
Clearly show the pricing for the service or product, or address how the pricing is calculated and where to find it.
If the pricing requires a quote or contact to the business–explain it while being as straightforward as possible.
Here’s an example:
How Much Does It Cost to Board My ?
We charge $30/***** for boarding. We take pride in offering affordable prices and superior care and service. Use our online booker to get a free estimate of your pet’s stay.
[Schedule Your Stay Online]
Simple, yet informative.
7. Risk-Reversal With A Guarantee
If your company has a Guarantee, this is a great way to start wrapping up your page.
If the customer has doubts, a guarantee will help put their mind at ease. The fewer the doubts the customer has, the easier it will be to secure their business.
A Guarantee should look like this:
We’re so confident you’ll **** our -boarding services, we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
If you’re not satisfied, just give us a call at 888-988-8909 and we’ll be in touch for how we can best meet your needs.
If you do not have a guarantee, go ahead and skip this part (or consider creating one!).
8. Finish Off Strong With A Final CTA
Wrap your page up with a killer CTA. This is the final move to lock in your customer.
Create Your Final Headline
This is the last thing the customer sees. Finish it off with a powerful headline that compels the customer to do something.
Be sure to format it with the <h2> tag.
Sum It Up
In one to two sentences, sum up your page and give them the next step to take action.
Your final CTA can look like this:
Schedule a Tour of Our Top-Notch Facility
It can be stressful when you have to leave your pet behind, but we do everything we can to make it easy for you. Our friendly and experienced staff, on-site vet, and amazing facilities offer everything your pup needs to live in luxury while you’re away.
Contact us today to schedule a visit to our facilities.
[Call Now at 888-988-8909]
And you’re done!
Our sales page guide is one of many you’ll find online–but we can assure you that this template will boost sales and convince customers to buy your service or product.
If you want help creating a killer sales page for your website, you’re going to **** our HOTH Web Copy product.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. We **** hearing from you!
Preparing Your Post-Pandemic Holiday Local Strategy for Multi-Location Brands [E-Book]After a 2020 holiday season rife with uncertainty due to economic turmoil, retailers must solidify their local marketing holiday strategy to come out on top in 2021 and rebound from lost sales. Post-pandemic success can be achieved, however, to capitalize on these opportunities marketers must begin to plan now. And, with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and potentially another October Amazon Prime Day, shoppers continue to be motivated to start their holiday shopping early.
To assist you with your recovery efforts, we’ve created this guide packed with our top tips and takeaways to boost your local marketing strategy in time for the holiday season.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to set your post-pandemic holiday local strategy up for success. You’ll leave reading this ebook with the knowledge you need to:
Optimize your conversion opportunities both offline and online
Provide a seamless e-commerce experience for your customers from search to sale
Leverage your social channels for holiday promotions and to improve customer sentiment
Prepare your team for the influx of holiday orders
Download your free copy of “Preparing Your Post-Pandemic Holiday Local Strategy for Multi-Location Brands” today!
If so, there’s no doubt that you have felt the impact of COVID-19 on your customers’ purchasing habits.
More and more, it’s absolutely clear that local businesses need to take full advantage of the digital landscape to promote themselves and keep up with competitors large and small.
It’s also clear that the shop local movement shows no sign of slowing down through 2021 and beyond.
Regardless if your business has dabbled in digital marketing marketing, has been running complex campaigns for years, or still does not have a proper website, we’ve compiled the following high-level guide on how to advertise your local business online.
Know Your Audience
First and foremost — you need to know how to reach your target audience.
Think about your customers’ demographics, interests, habits, and so on. What sort of people are they? What conclusions can you draw about their online habits? What sort of websites do they visit? Are they likely to trust digital advertising? Are reviews important to them? Do they make quick purchasing decisions, or are their buying processes longer? Are they price sensitive, or are they more focused on quality?
You already know your customers, but understanding how they operate and make decisions online is key to properly planning and executing on a digital marketing strategy.
While many local businesses try to get by with no website or by using tools like Google My Business and social media as substitutes, we strongly recommend having a professional website for your business.
Your website is the heart of your online presence and should be the most important aspect of your digital marketing strategy.
Whether you choose to build a website using an easy-to-use, low-cost tool like Wix or Squarespace or choose to join the 40% of the world that hosts their website through WordPress, the most important thing is to ensure your users are able to find you online and find what they need on your website.
Another key to remember is that the majority of all website traffic now comes from mobile devices. 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile, so ensure that your website is built with mobile usability in mind.
Your Business Listing
If you are in the 50% of local businesses who have not claimed or created their Google My Business listing, you are missing an opportunity to drive more traffic, get more customers, and communicate key information to current and potential clients..
This can include information like important announcements, changes in hours, new promotions, your customer reviews, and more.
Sourcing and maintaining reviews for your GMB listing is particularly important. In the US, 93% of online customers determine whether a business has a good reputation or not based on available online reviews. 69% of online customers were more likely to do business with companies with positive reviews.
Your Google My Business listing is like a giant online billboard. Be sure to use it effectively!
How often do you use Google?
Probably pretty often.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your website for more and better website traffic..
Organic website traffic (from SEO) accounts for over half of all website traffic, so ensuring that your website is well optimized is a crucial part of any digital marketing strategy.
Local businesses in particular should leverage SEO strategies to drive traffic to their website and educate users on who they are and what they offer.
SEO is a complex and ever-changing process — tactics are dynamic and adjust as Google updates its algorithm and ranking factors.
There are 6 key foundational pillars of SEO:
Mastering each pillar through continuous efforts will guarantee a leg up on your competitors.
Paid advertising is any kind of advertising that you pay for rather than earn. With digital paid advertising, you pay the owner of the ad space for the use of said ad space.
Some of the most common types of paid advertising are display advertising, pay-per-click (PPC) and pay-per-impression (PPI).
Local businesses can use paid advertising campaigns to stay top-of-mind with their customers, show up for search terms they are struggling to rank for with SEO, and reach their target market when they are looking to make a purchase.
Common online paid advertising channels include Google Ads (Search, Display, YouTube, etc.), Facebook/Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads, Microsoft Ads, and more.
Each channel has its own benefits, drawbacks, and quirks. Doing thorough market research to determine where your audience browses online is paramount in running effective paid advertising campaigns.
It is also key to write ad copy and use creative imagery that reflects your business and resonates with your audience. Knowing where to reach your customers is only half the battle. Getting them to take action is the real trick.
In 2020 there were nearly 4 billion active social media users in the world. This was up from just above 2 billion users in 2015.
In the USA, 70% of the total population uses social media. In Canada, this figure is 67%.
Regardless of where your business operates, using social media to your advantage is now non-negotiable in today’s world.
The type of business you are will impact how you use social media. For example, if you are a local contractor, you can use social media to post pictures of projects as they are completed. Auto dealerships may use social media to advertise new ****** and showcase happy first-time car buyers.
No matter how you choose to use social media, the most important thing is to ensure you are doing it consistently. Having out-of-**** social media channels can be a detractor and make your business look less trustworthy than those with active social media profiles.
No matter your type of business, size of your marketing budget, or otherwise, there are strategies that any business can use to gain more and better customers online.
Hopefully this guide has helped you determine where your focuses should be when planning on how to advertise your local business online.
Remember, no matter where you are with your digital marketing journey, the most important thing is getting started.
Please feel free to reach out to seoplus+ with any questions. We are happy to help!
The following two tabs change content below.
Connor is an Account Manager, having been with the seoplus+ team since 2017. Connor manages a variety of clients across a range of verticals including local business, eCommerce, and B2B. Connor helps businesses grow their online presence using both paid and organic strategies.
A strong SEO strategy should encompass many things, but its heart should be all about content creation. Even if you can boost your site so successfully that it exceeds all your viewership expectations, those views mean nothing if they don’t become conversions. When somebody clicks on a link to a website, they usually do so because they’re looking for something and hoping that what they’re looking for is on the site. If your business gives the appearance of housing some content but fails to deliver, you’ll only be hurting yourself in the long run. That’s why it’s critical to have quality content that will drive conversions from new customers while retaining customer loyalty for those who have already chosen your business in the past. Unfortunately, creating genuine, high-quality content is one of the more challenging parts of improving your SEO strategy.
Why Is Content Creation so Important?
The more relevant, informative content you have, the more likely you will generate quality backlinks from third parties looking to reference or credit said content. These backlinks are, in turn, extremely useful for building your credibility within search engine algorithms. Keywords are also an important component of SEO, as using the right keywords in your content can ensure that your site is shown to the most appropriate context. Writing articles or blog posts provides you with an avenue to include those keywords in an organic way that doesn’t feel artificial or forced to the reader, with no disruption to the customer experience. And finally, content that successfully captures the reader’s attention and provides thorough answers to questions and concerns strengthens the relationship between your business and your viewers, resulting in higher conversion rates.
Powerful Tools to Inspire Content Creation
For your website to be successful, it isn’t enough to populate it with a handful of articles. Evergreen content, which remains relevant long after it’s been written, is an excellent way to invest your resources when launching your website, but it shouldn’t be the only content on your site. However, it can be very time consuming to develop and publish new content with enough consistency to keep your site relevant. Instead of trying to start from scratch with every post, why not take advantage of some of the amazing content creation tools at your disposal today?
One of the best ways to ensure that the posts you’re writing help your site is to center them around strong keywords. The right combination of keywords can inspire a whole host of articles that simultaneously draw in new readers and convert them into customers by giving them the information they want. To successfully apply this strategy, you need a reliable source of keywords, like Answer the Public, which takes basic keywords and generates a collection of suggested searches tied to those keywords in the form of a question. By answering each question in a separate post, you can maximize the usage of those initial keywords and spawn a significant amount of content in the process.
Another helpful tool is Portent’s Title Maker. To start using this tool, supply some basic keywords. These could be a product you sell, a service you provide, a topic your business is focused on, etc. The Title Maker then auto-generates a title centered around those keywords. With the simple click of a button, you can continue to generate as many new titles as you like, or you can try again with a new set of keywords.
Google also offers multiple tools for content creators. Two tools you might find particularly useful are Google Alerts and Google Trends. Google Alerts helps you keep track of what kind of content is currently popular. Fill out what sort of topics you’re interested in, and Alerts will send you high-quality content examples related to that topic regularly. While Alerts focuses more on trending content, Trends is more specific, tracking trending terms instead. Enter a search term or topic to start, and Trends will inform you of the term’s popularity. This can be refined further to show the term’s performance within a specific timeframe or location.
Additional Tools to Supplement Your Content
Beyond simple inspiration, other tools can help improve your site’s quality. After all, written content works best when paired with equally eye-catching visuals. Fortunately, you don’t have to have extensive graphic design experience to develop the perfect images for your content. If you’re looking to share anything discussing data and statistics, multiple tools allow you to easily create infographics, including Venngage and Easelly. Both are free to use and extremely user-friendly, allowing you to transform your data into a professional-looking infographic in a short time.
Finally, if you’re looking for free stock images, there are also plenty of resources available. These images can be inserted throughout your article to help illustrate a point or utilize banners to breathe some life into your site. Places like Pexels and Unsplash offer easily searchable galleries of images available in various sizes to suit your needs.
At Vizion Interactive, we have the expertise, experience, and enthusiasm to get results and keep clients happy! Learn more about how our Content Marketing services can increase sales and boost your ROI. But don’t just take our word for it, check out what our clients have to say, along with our case studies.
Ana suggests turning your edited script into a PowerPoint (PPT) slide show and then reading from the slide show into your recording software.
I’ve used Ana’s technique and it’s a great tip!
This is how to do it:
First, take the text of your blog post as a Word document and edit it (heavily).
Because, the shorter your video, the better.
ComScore reports that the average length of online video is 4.4 minutes. YouTube videos are on average a bit longer than that.
But you still want to keep your video to about 4 minutes or less, as those are the videos that get maximum engagement.
Reduce your paragraphs to one or two short sentences.
If you’re using Windows, follow the steps in this video and your headings and body text will be imported automatically into PowerPoint.
Unfortunately, this method doesn’t work on the Mac platform, as the Mac version of PowerPoint (PPT) will not import a Word document.
So, if you’re using Mac, you’ll have to simply copy and paste the text from your Word document into the PowerPoint presentation (you can save the Word document as a text file and import the text file to PowerPoint, but then all the text will be placed in the headings of your PPT slides).
Once your PPT presentation is ready, make a Screenflow audio recording, using an external microphone:
How to Setup a YouTube Channel
Then, in PPT, click on Slide Show > Play From Start and read the text out loud.
Once your soundtrack is ready, go to the Screenflow Timeline and arrange the visuals (images and screenshots) so that they appear at the relevant point in your sound track:
How to Setup a YouTube Channel
Lumen5 is an online video creation platform, powered by artificial intelligence, that turns blog posts into social videos.
Just enter the URL of your published blog post and Lumen5 will pull in the text or ‘the story’ and place it in the left-side panel:
The software also pulls in all the images from your published article so that you can place them where they need to be:
How To Turn Blog Posts Into Videos
It’s important to realize that Lumen5 simply places the text of your article on a series of slides with background images:
How To Turn Blog Posts Into Videos
This is not a spoken video but a silent video (unless you add a music soundtrack).
So, this is not really comparable to a blog post video created with Screenflow (as described in the previous section).
I haven’t published any blog posts on YouTube using Lumen5, so I can’t say how effective they are or how much engagement they get.
But Lumen5 is certainly a good option for quickly re-purposing written blog posts into video format. And there’s no significant learning curve in order to get started, as there is with Screenflow (or any other video recording software).
#5 – Tips for Creating YouTube Thumbnails
Once you’ve setup a YouTube channel and uploaded your first video, you need to create a thumbnail.
A YouTube thumbnail is the visible face of your video – it’s the first thing people see when your video turns up in YouTube Search.
First impressions are brief and decisive. So, a lot hangs on your thumbnail.
I’m going to give you 7 tips for creating thumbnails that people click on.
But first, how do you make your thumbnail?
There are a handful of free online tools for creating YouTube thumbnails.
You can also have a thumbnail made for you on Fiverr for as little as $5 to $10:
How To Turn Blog Posts Into Videos
Here’s a thumbnail I created for my first YouTube ‘blog post to video’.
I include it here because I’ll be referring to it in the following 7 tips:
How To Create YouTube Thumbnails
Use the Official YouTube Thumbnail dimensions
Your YouTube thumbnail should:
Have a resolution of 1280×720 (with minimum width of 640 pixels).
Be uploaded in image formats such as .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, or .PNG.
Be 2MB or less in size.
Use a 16:9 aspect ratio
Include a Title in your YouTube Thumbnails
This may seem obvious, but a lot of YouTube thumbnails don’t contain the title.
Your title is the key element on your thumbnail – it tells the searcher that your video is going to answer their problem or query.
Tip: Don’t try to include the entire title of your blog post, just the key words. In the example above, the full title of my blog post was: ‘My WordPress Site Is Stuck in Maintenance Mode – What Do I Do?
For my thumbnail I cut the title down to: ‘WordPress Site is Stuck in Maintenance Mode’.
If you try and include more words than that, none of them will be legible. You need to make your thumbnail easy to read, without squinting.
Use Contrast in Your YouTube Thumbnail Design
Your thumbnail is competing with dozens of others, so you need to use contrasting colors – make your thumbnail pop off the page.
Be Consistent with your YouTube Thumbnail Design
If you stick to a consistent, uniform design in your thumbnails, you’ll quickly build brand recognition.
Whenever people see those particular colors and design elements, they’ll immediately know that it’s you.
Notice how Neil Patel builds brand recognition with this simple, consistent design:
How To Create YouTube Thumbnails
Include your Logo and Branding
This tip follows from the last one: include your logo and any other branding elements from your website (e.g. color combos).
Include an Image of a Face
If you do a search in YouTube, you’ll notice that 95% of the thumbnails all have one common element: a human face.
Because human faces grab our attention.
The simple fact is: we’ve been programmed over millions of years of evolution to read, analyze, and interpret human faces.
So, in any kind of graphic, the human face is the first thing your eyes are drawn to.
Don’t Place Anything Important in the Lower Right Corner
YouTube often obscures the lower right corner of the thumbnail with a timestamp, so don’t put any important design element there, such as a logo:
How To Create YouTube Thumbnails
Here are some tips for getting your videos found in the YouTube search engine:
Include Keywords in your Video Filenames
Instead of uploading your video with a filename like ‘v00000045.mp4’, use keywords in your video filename: your-keyword-phrase.mp4
Use Video Meta Data
YouTube videos, like blog posts, have meta data that tell the search engine what the article is about.
On YouTube, this meta data comprises:
Write succinct, concise titles and descriptions using keywords or keyword phrases that people searching for your video would use.
Find Relevant Keywords & Tags
– YouTube Suggest
Use YouTube’s Auto Suggest function to find related keywords:
Tips for YouTube SEO
– Copy Keywords of Popular Videos on the Same Topic
Install VidIQ’s Chrome Extension and use it to examine and copy the keywords being used by high ranking YouTube videos on the same topic as your video:
Tips for YouTube SEO
Use YouTube’s Closed Captions (CC) Function
By adding Closed Captions to your YouTube video you’re adding text to your video, and that text will contain your keywords and keyword variations.
Not only that, but with YouTube’s Auto Generated Closed Captions, your video becomes accessible to a much wider audience.
So, adding Closed Captions improves the SEO of your YouTube video on two fronts.
Here’s how to add Closed Captions to your YouTube video:
In your YouTube account, click on ‘Creator Studio’, then click on ‘Subtitles/CC’, and then click on ‘Add new subtitles or CC’:
Tips for YouTube SEO
On the next screen, choose the language for your Closed Captions:
Tips for YouTube SEO
On the next screen, choose the third option, ‘Create new subtitles or CC’:
Tips for YouTube SEO
YouTube’s algorithm does a pretty good job of converting your voice into text (as you can see below). But if there are any errors, you can correct them in the box at the top:
Tips for YouTube SEO
Use an Auto Subtitle Generator
Automatic subtitle generators use artificial intelligence to generate subtitles for an entire video in just a few minutes.
The technologies involved in automatic subtitle generation are still in their infancy, so the end results are not 100% accurate. You will have to go through the text once it is generated, because the way a certain word is pronounced or the speaker’s accent can often cause mistakes.
That being said, these services make creating subtitles for your video much quicker than if you were to do it by hand.
Here are some video subtitle generators:
Increase Viewer Retention
YouTube’s Audience Retention is the percentage of your video that viewers watch.
If viewers leave your video after viewing an average of 25% of it, you’ll have a lower retention rate than a video that viewers leave after watching 65% of it.
YouTube watches this metric carefully (just as Google watches ‘time on page’) and will rank your video accordingly – the higher your retention rates the higher your video will rank.
Here are two tips for increasing retention rate:
Explain immediately what your video is about. When someone starts watching your YouTube video, they just typed in a search term and they want to know (immediately) if your video is going to answer their query.
Don’t place your video Intro or your ‘logo sting’ at the start of your video. Lots of people do this and it’s a primary cause of viewers leaving videos. Instead, explain immediately what your video is about, and then after 3 to 5 seconds, insert your video Intro.
#7 – How to Get Traffic From Videos to Website
The whole point of turning your articles into videos is to get traffic from your YouTube video to your website.
And to do that you need a ‘Call To Action Overlay’.
The CTA Overlay is a small rectangle that sits on top of your video:
Tips for YouTube SEO
A YouTube CTA Overlay contains:
a Call To Action (‘More Blogging Tips’)
a link to your website
a small image
In order to enable CTA Overlays in YouTube you need to:
Set up an account in AdWords
Link your YouTube account to your AdWords account
Have your destination URL approved by YouTube
This process can be quite tricky – it took me a couple of hours to get it all sorted out.
I’m going to go through the process, step-by-step.
Creating your AdWords account:
Login to your Google AdWords account and click on the blue plus sign:
Next, click on ‘New campaign’:
Adding a Call To Action Overlay to YouTube Videos
On the next screen, choose ‘Video’:
Adding a Call To Action Overlay to YouTube Videos
On the next screen, choose ‘Website traffic’:
Adding a Call To Action Overlay to YouTube Videos
On the next screen, you’ll be asked to insert the URL of a video. This can be any video, as you are not actually going to run this ad:
Adding a Call To Action Overlay to YouTube Videos
Next, choose your ‘Video ad format’. Again, it doesn’t matter which one you choose, as we are not going to run this ad:
Adding a Call To Action Overlay to YouTube Videos
On the next screen, you’ll be asked to enter a CPA bid:
Adding a Call To Action Overlay to YouTube Videos
You won’t be running this ad, so don’t worry – just enter $0.01
On the next screen give your ad group a name:
You will now see a ‘Success’ message – just click ‘Continue to campaign’:
Adding a Call To Action Overlay to YouTube Videos
Now log back into your YouTube account and click on ‘My Channel’:
Adding a Call To Action Overlay to YouTube Videos
Next click on ‘Creator Studio’:
Adding a Call To Action Overlay to YouTube Videos
On the next screen, find your video and on the dropdown menu, click on ‘Info & Settings’:
Adding a Call To Action Overlay to YouTube Videos
In the ‘Info & Settings’ panel, you should now see an item titled: ‘Call-to-action overlay’:
Adding a Call To Action Overlay to YouTube Videos
Click on the ‘Call-to-action overlay’ item.
Then add the following information:
The display URL
The destination URL
Tick the ‘enabled on mobile’ checkbox
Adding a Call To Action Overlay to YouTube Videos
When you click back into the ‘Creator Studio’, you’ll see that your YouTube video now has a ‘Call-to-action overlay’:
Adding a Call To Action Overlay to YouTube Videos
This one element is the key to getting traffic from your video to your blog site.
Of course, you still need to end your video with a clear CTA in the soundtrack.
Tell the viewer what you want them to do next:
Visit your website for the full article
Subscribe to your blog
Subscribe to your YouTube channel
Download a pdf
Converting your articles into videos is a must for any blogger who wants to tap into a new audience and be part of the fastest growing content format on the Internet.
In fact, video is becoming so important that if you don’t make the move to video, you may well get left behind.
But creating good videos does involve some initial costs and some technical challenges.
Which is why very few bloggers are turning their articles into videos. Most of them are happy just producing blog posts.
But that’s good news for you! It means that ranking your content in YouTube Search is much easier than ranking in Google – there’s simply less competition.
So, go ahead and complete these key steps for turning articles into videos:
Create your own YouTube channel
Convert your articles into videos
Add a ‘Call To Action Overlay’ to each video (that sends YouTube traffic to your blog site)
The quality of your content is so important nowadays. By creating high-quality content you can improve your rankings, attract new people and build a strong relationship with the audience you already have. If you can show authority on a topic, this lends more strength to your high-quality content and lets users know they can trust you as a source. But what does that mean? And how can you demonstrate authoritativeness in your content? We’ll tell you all about it in this post.
This post is the second in a three-part series on E-A-T. In the previous one, we discussed the E in E-A-T: What is expertise, why does it matter and how can you showcase yours?
What does authoritativeness mean?
Before we go into the impact that authoritativeness can have on the quality of your content, let’s find out what it means. Merriam-Webster gives the following definition of authoritative:
having, marked by, or proceeding from authority
possessing recognized or evident authority: clearly accurate or knowledgeable
An authority can also be defined as a person or organization having power or control in a particular sphere. Authoritativeness is the quality of possessing authority. Meaning the level of power, control and/or knowledge someone (or something has). Someone or something that has authority on a topic is often considered highly reliable. It’s someone you can trust to have the proper knowledge.
Why authoritativeness matters
Authoritativeness is part of the concept E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. E-A-T is mentioned a lot in Google’s Search Quality Raters guidelines as one of the signals that Google uses to evaluate content.
Now, it’s important to note that E-A-T is not a ranking factor. You should consider it more of a check for Google to make sure they’re showing their users the right (accurate and trustworthy) results. However, working on E-A-T will improve the expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness of your content in the eyes of your audience. And that stuff matters: making sure your content is high-quality and that you’re offering people the best result out there. Having authority in your field shows that you’re a reliable source that can provide their users with valuable information. And that is something that Google loves.
How authoritativeness is determined
Not every site or source is authoritative, and that’s totally fine! Of course, if you do have authority to show, that’s a good thing – and if you do have it, be sure to show it. Still, most websites don’t have authority on the topics they write about, and that’s not necessarily a problem. E-A-T is only a major concern for YMYL pages, so if your content is truly ‘just for fun’ and doesn’t pose any risk, then it’s not a must-have.
And even if you do have YMYL content, if you can show expertise or trustworthiness in your content instead, that’s good enough. You don’t necessarily need to excel at all three. A page that has high-quality main content (with no red flags raised) only really needs to fulfil one of the three to achieve a good E-A-T rating. High expertise, authoritativeness or trustworthiness. That being said, if you can ace all three, go for it! It will benefit the quality of your pages and both Google and users will thank you for it.
Who’s the authority on this specific topic?
Google wants to show their users the best possible result for their search query. And one of the questions it asks to determine that is: who is the best source when it comes to more information on this topic? The answer to this question is partially determined by the level of authority that each eligible page demonstrates. Official websites usually have a higher chance to be the top result for queries that are related to that entity. For example, government information should be retrieved from a government site. And the best source for wheelchair-friendly areas in Yellowstone park would be the official National Park Service website.
But official websites aren’t the only way to show your authority on a topic — things like qualifications and being associated with well-respected organizations count, too. For instance, Investopedia make it really transparent who the experts are behind their content. You can see in the image below that their content reviewer, Ebony Howard, is a certified public accountant and QuickBooks ProAdvisor tax expert with over 13 years of experience. By sharing this kind of information consistently, across all of their contributors and pages, Investopedia create an even stronger impression of their overall authority on financial topics.
Reputation matters for authoritativeness
When Google is evaluating E-A-T, they check what other (impartial) sources say about you or your website. In the search raters’ guidelines they often refer to Wikipedia as a source. For instance, if you or your site are referred to as an authoritative/primary source for certain information on Wikipedia, that can count for a lot. e.g. Meanwhile, if other impartial sources suggest that your site provides unreliable information, even the information you provide about yourself or your own products will be taken as having lower authority.
Can you improve your authoritativeness?
Of course, we’re not all well known organizations or artists just yet. And the people you’re trying to reach might not be typing in your brand name or products in Google. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be considered as the best source of information. Sources that consistently provide high-quality information on a topic, can become an authority on that specific topic. But it’s not easy, and it won’t happen overnight.
How to build and demonstrate your authority
Becoming an authority in your field will build the trust that people and Google have in you. It takes some time, but it can increase your sales and online visibility. Using Google’s guidelines we have some tips you can use to a) build your authoritativeness and b) demonstrate the authority of your website.
Build authority with lots of original, high quality pages on a particular topic
The first tip we can give you might be an obvious one. To become (and remain) an authority in your field, you need to produce a lot of high-quality content. The more quality content you create and share with your audience, the more your audience will come to you when they want to know more about this topic. This creates a very strong relationship with your audience. A relationship that’s based on them viewing you as a credible and knowledgeable source. Which will not go unnoticed by Google.
If you’re putting in the effort to build your authority with original content, you need to make sure you’re getting credit for it! Unfortunately, some people do steal others’ content and try to pass it off as their own. So make sure your effort is benefiting your reputation, and not someone else’s! An easy solution to this is timestamping your content. A timestamp gives provides undeniable proof that this content exists, when it first appeared, who wrote it, and when it was last edited. By timestamping your content, you can prove that you are the owner of this content.
Demonstrate authority by getting others to refer to you
Having external websites link to your pages is beneficial for SEO. However, it does matter exactly who is referring to you, and what they’re saying when they do. Of course, you can’t influence every link to your website. And you don’t need to. But you can invest some time into asking your business relationships to refer to you as an authority in your field (if you are one). Where this is possible, ask relevant organizations to mention you on their website. Read more on link building from a holistic perspective.
A Wikipedia page can be really helpful for demonstrating authority, too. Not every organization has a Wikipedia page, and not every organization should. But if your organization is notable enough, yours could. So consider investing some time into getting your own Wikipedia page — but whatever you do, don’t write it yourself! Although you can request a Wikipedia page yourself, Wikipedia much prefers content that is written by independent editors. If your request has promise, a member of the WikiProject may start an article based on the sources you provide. You can read more on how do approach this on Wikipedia’s FAQ/Organizations page.
Demonstrate authority with official affiliations
Vice versa, it can be really good to showcase any relationships you have with official organizations. If you work closely with a government body, mention this on your website, and link to theirs. You can even place their logo on your website, after checking if they’re okay with that. The same goes for other official organizations that you work with. Make it obvious that you work together and what your relationship is exactly. This will improve your authority and the trust that people have in your company. But, this is something you should only do when you are actually associated with these organizations. Don’t just place someone’s logo on your page if you don’t work with them. In addition, don’t lie about the relationship you have with them. This can seriously backfire and damage your reputation.
Bonus tip: Schema can help with authoritativeness too
By using Schema you’re making it easier for Google to understand the content on your pages, and who is standing behind that content. And the easier it is for Google to understand your pages, the easier it is to determine the quality of your pages and to show your pages in the search results. Read more it in our ultimate guide to Schema and find out what benefits Schema has.
In short, Schema tells Google what your page is about and allows Google to show your content in a notable way. For example, adding the right Schema to your website can get you a knowledge panel in Google. This is the block you’ll find on the right side of your screen in the search results.
If you want to add Schema to your pages, the Yoast SEO plugin can do this for you automatically. In Yoast SEO Premium 16.4 onwards, you can add more detailed author Schema outputs to your site and pages. This helps Google to understand who you are, and why people should listen to you! It lets you include data such as honorific suffixes (PhD, MD, and so on), any awards you’ve received for your work, areas of expertise and languages you speak, too.
Read more: The E in E-A-T: What is expertise, why does it matter and how can you showcase yours? »
Camille is content manager at Yoast. She writes and optimizes blog posts and enjoys creating content that helps people master SEO.
In the post 10 Most Important SEO Patents, Part 5 – Phrase-Based Indexing I wrote about how Google’s then Head of Webspam sent a newsletter to Librarians. It described the inverted index that Google used to organize terms in their index of the web. It is no longer available online, but it was a great way for SEOs to learn how Google’s index worked.
Matt Cutts Writes the First Librarian Newsletter on a Google Inverted Index
Besides ranking documents based upon the quality and quantity of links pointing to a page, Google also looks at whether the query terms searched for also appear upon specific pages. Google’s Matt Cutts wrote one of the best descriptions of how Google does this in the first Google Librarian Newsletter. The newsletter appears to have disappeared from the Web not too long ago. But, I found a copy on the University of Michigan website. It was a highly recommended document. Unfortunately, it is no longer available on the internet archive as of the past week.
That first newsletter asked and answered the question, “How does Google collect and rank results? If you were able to read it, you would have seen it refer to “posting lists.” These are lists of the terms posted in the inverted index of the Web. It matches those terms from queries with documents on the Web. it appears that a tweet from Nicholas McDonough has returned a link to that copy of that post:
Required reading. A lot of useful info…
I think I found the piece you mentioned by Matt Cutts. It might not be the exact one but it’s close ?https://t.co/sC3tltW7jR
This was very helpful to an SEO learning about how Google’s inverted index worked, and it had me interested in learning more about information retrieval.
You can look at the phrase-based indexing patent I linked below. You will see references to how phrases are in posting lists as well. It is impossible to tell if Google has actually done the work of making an inverted index of phrases on the web that would work with phrase-based indexing. Having around 20 related patents about Phrase-based indexing shows that they have spent a lot of time working on the processes behind phrase-based indexing.
An Inverted Index is an Information Retrieval Approach to Indexing the Web
This is one of the information retrieval approaches to making an index. It involves creating an inverted index of terms found in documents on the web. If a query contains more than one word, Google will try to return search results that consist of all the pages that contain the union of all of the words found in a query. Just like Matt Cutts describes a Google inverted index in his newsletter article for librarians.
Stanford University has a page A first take at building an inverted index. It does a nice job of illustrating how an inverted index works. This is one of the information retrieval-based approaches to indexing the Web that search engines use. Google innovated with their Web index based on an inverted index while they sorted and ranked pages on the Web. They also ordered search results additionally ranked on the use of PageRank to sort and display search results.
Search Results Ordered By a Combination of Information Retrieval Score and Authority Score
Google may calculate an information retrieval (IR) score based on whether query terms appear on the page according to the inverted index. It can also look at the location of those query terms on the page. So a page with a query term in a more important place on the page, such as the page title, may rank higher than if the query term was in paragraph-based content on the page. In addition to an IR score, Google combines that score with an authority score based on a link-based analysis such as PageRank. This approach combining those combined scores means that a different set of pages ranked highly for a query than in other search engines.
Other Meaningful Results Returned when Query Terms are Missing or Replaced
It is possible to do searches at Google where search annotations appear after a SERP. And tell us that one of the query terms is missing. This has been happening for a while, and I wanted to document it when it does. Here is one example that I had found when Google decided to show many search results when one or more query terms are not in a document returned for a query. I searched for the Jorge Luis Borges short story “Library of Babel” and the Book “Ficciones.” The story appears in more than one book from the author, and some SERPs don’t include the name of the Book “ficciones.” I found one of those, and it has a search annotation that allows me to see only results that include the name of that book.
Sometimes Google will find meaningful alternatives to some of the words in a query. They would use a process such as Hummingbird or some other synonym substitution to replace those query terms. I searched for “Best Place in Encinitas to Order Lasagna?” Google gave me a featured snippet in response. It was looking for a restaurant but didn’t include the word “restaurant” in the query. See the featured image at the top of this post to see how the word “place” from my query has been rewritten to use “restaurant.”
A Patent on a Google Inverted Index
When I first thought about these patents, I searched for “inverted index” on the USPTO.gov website. Surprisingly it returned a relevant result.
Rather than provide details of how this patent works, I will link to it and provide the abstract, and if you want to check it out, you can do that. Here is that patent:
Updating inverted indices Inventors: Muthian Sivathanu, Saurabh Goyal, and Rajiv Mathews Assignee: GOOGLE LLC US Patent: 10,073,874 Granted: September 11, 2018 Filed: November 21, 2013
Implementations provide an indexing system with an instant failover that uses a moving snapshot window. For example, a method may include receiving, by a processor, a query and determining that a main query processing engine is not responding. The method may further include generating a search result for the query using a secondary query processing engine that applies at least one snapshot record to a portion of a posting list, the snapshot record including the portion of the posting list as it appeared before a modification, and the modification occurring within a predetermined time before receiving the query. The portion is a fixed size smaller than the posting list. Applying the snapshot record can include overlaying the portion of the posting list with the snapshot record beginning at an offset specified by the snapshot record. The main query processing engine generates a search result without applying snapshot records.
Inverted Index for Phrase-Based Indexing
Another Google patent tells us about a different inverted index of the web for complete and meaningful phrases used with phrase-based indexing. This means that Google keeps track of frequently co-occurring phrases on pages of the web (unlike LSI Keywords). This patent is at:
An information retrieval system uses phrases to index, retrieve, organize and describe documents. Phrases are from the document collection. Documents get indexed according to their included phrases, using phrase posting lists. The phrase posting lists get stored in a cluster of index servers. The phrase posting lists can become tiered into groups and sharded into partitions. Phrases in a query get identified based on possible phrasifications. A query schedule based on the phrases can get created from the phrases and optimized to reduce query processing and communication costs. The execution of the query schedule can get managed to further reduce or eliminate query processing operations at various index servers.
I had to write about the Google inverted index because it is something that I haven’t written about in this blog. Still, it is one of the basic SEO 101 approaches for how SEO works. I wanted to show how that method can get used in phrase-based indexing. It is used there to build a phrase-based posting list to index phrases on the Web.
Simply type a query in the search bar, and voila, you get a relevant set of results organized and ranked in order.
While searching Google is a straightforward task, if you’re looking for something a bit more specific, like a website accepting guest posts on a niche topic, you’ll know that regular keyword searches don’t hit the mark.
If you want to get the most out of Google, you can’t rely on basic queries. You need to leverage the power of advanced search operators.
Whether you’re a seasoned search professional or have only the most basic Googling skills…
This special Google search guide will walk you through every Google search operator out there so you can leverage these “cheat codes” and become a Google search master.
Not only will you obtain more refined search results, but you’ll also have the ability to focus your search queries to target your particular niche or objective.
In this guide, I cover the complete list of Google search operators as well as some fun Google tricks and easter eggs you can use to surprise your co-workers.
I’ve also put together 15 actionable tips and tactics to help you make your Google search tasks more productive and efficient.
Let’s jump into it.
Free Bonus:Access a search command generator that will instantly produce dozens of search operators you can copy and paste to Google to find roundups, resource pages, guest post opportunities and much more.
What are Google Search Operators?
Search operators are special characters and parameters you can include in your search query to return more refined and granular search results.
Search operators cover a whole range of functions, from allowing you to narrow results to an exact phrase or exclude specific terms from your results. Using a mixture of search operators lets you uncover detailed information hidden away in a typical query.
For instance, say you run a food blog and have recently written a guide on succeeding with the paleo diet.
After all that work, you want to get your post included in paleo-related resources.
A search of paleo diet resources returns a wide array of results, from how-to guides to resource pages.
5.84 million results are too many for you to comb through.
Here is where search operators come into play.
By using the right search commands, you can turn that 5.8 million results into a mere 6,990.
A much more manageable number!
What’s more, all of the links in the search results are purely resource pages, allowing you to pick and choose which sites you want to reach out to for that all-important backlink.
In other words:
By using the right combination of search operators, you narrow down those convoluted results into highly targeted and relevant findings.
But before we tackle how you can apply these search operators in your daily Google search tasks, let’s break down each command in more detail.
Basic Google Search Operators and Commands List
These basic search operators are useful commands that help transform your standard text searches into more practical and filtered search results.
Applying these attributes to your search terms will open up a whole new world of search possibilities.
Using quotes (” “) refines search results by forcing an exact-match search. When wrapped around a single word, quotation marks exclude synonyms.
A search directive that tells Google to return results between two different search terms. This is useful for finding search results related to the two keywords. A pipe symbol (|) can also be used in place of OR.
The AND operator will return results related to the search terms that have been typed into the search bar. Because Google’s algorithm can accurately determine the difference between multiple search terms and phrase search, the AND operator doesn’t make much difference.
Adding a hyphen (or minus) in front of a search term will exclude any pages containing that keyword within its content. To exclude multiple search terms from appearing in your search result, additional hyphens are required.
“Site:” is a search operator that allows you to restrict your search results to a given domain. The “site:” command is most effective when used in conjunction with other operators like “intitle:” to find specific pages that mention your search term or the minus (-) operator to exclude a specified domain.
The asterisk symbol is considered a wildcard character in search because Google treats the asterisk as a “fill in the blank” or placeholder command. When the asterisk is used, Google will try to find the best match for the search term or phrase.
Using (..) with two numbers on both sides will narrow your search results to the range of numbers included. The (..) operator helps find specific information within a **** range or even prices, though the results can be inconsistent.
If you want to restrict your search to display only results posted from social media handles, use the “@” symbol in front of your keyword. The “@” symbol can be used to find a brand’s social media handles as well as businesses with a specific social media platform.
The “allinurl:” command is a specific search operator that returns results containing all searched keywords in the page’s URL. Using a search phrase that is too long may drastically reduce search volume or return no results at all.
The “intext:” Google search operator helps you find individual words or phrases within a page’s body. “Intext:” is rarely used as this search operator virtually functions the same as any Google search.
This command is most effective when used with another search operator like “site:” to find specific page content.
Using “filetype:” will restrict your search results to the specified file type such as PDF, DOCX, PPT, etc. The “filetype:” operator cannot be used on its own. Instead, it must be combined with another term to display results.
“Filetype:” can also be used to specify image types (PNG, JPG, GIF, etc.).
The “ext:” command can replace “filetype:” in the search term and return identical results.
A proximity search operator, “AROUND(X)”, lets you find pages that contain any given search term with X words from each other. A search term like “digital marketing AROUND(3) SEO” will return results where “digital marketing” and “SEO” are separated by three words or less.
If you want to know when a site or domain was last crawled by Google’s bots, use the “cache:” command. The “cache:” operator will return the most recent cache of a particular domain or URL. This will only work for sites that Google has indexed.
Note: The cached version of a domain will look different and displays a banner that specifies the **** of the cached version.
The “source:” operator lets you view news content from a specified source in Google News. Using the “source:” command will display all of the keyword-related web pages from the source listed in the search.
If you want to find the blog of a particular domain, use the “blogurl:” operator. The “blogurl:” command was initially used with the Google Blogs search, which got discontinued in 2011. While this command is now deprecated, it still returns relevant results from time to time, albeit inconsistently.
Google Search Tips and Tricks (How to Google Better)!
Want to use Google search more effectively for non-SEO tasks?
Here are my top Google search tips and tricks to maximize your search efficiency for day-to-day Googling:
The US and Euro symbols are handy when you need to search for products by their prices. Currently, $ and € are the only currency symbols that display prices. Other common currencies like GBP (£), JPY (¥) provide inconsistent results.
To further refine your search, you can combine a period with the currency symbol to display exact prices like “earphones $19.99”.
When you want to convert between two equivalent units, use the “in” or “to” search command. The “in” and “to” operator can be used for numerous conversion applications such as currencies, temperatures, speed, etc.
Using the “in” command will display a Knowledge Card search result.
Are you looking to learn more information about a certain movie?
The “movie:” command will return results about your specific movie such as trailers, film summaries, reviews, and so on. If the movie is still playing in cinemas, the results will also show movie showtimes.
Unreliable or Deprecated Search Operators and Commands
With the basic and advanced search commands covered, let’s look at Google search operators that have become deprecated or are now defunct.
In other words, these are search operators you should stop using since they do not work now – or won’t in the future.
The tilde (~) symbol was previously used to search for similar keywords or phrases. By using “~”, Google search would deliver synonyms related to your search query. Google is now able to return synonyms by default, making this search operator obsolete.
A prefix like a tilde symbol, using the “+” operator would force Google to return an exact-match search result for your given query. Google deprecated this search operator when it launched its social network Google+.
The “+” command was replaced by the quotation marks (” “) functionality in Google search.
The “inposttitle:” operator was used in conjunction with Google blog search and allowed search users to find blog posts with the given search term in the blog title. When Google discontinued its blog search, this search command no longer works.
Another Google blog search operator, the “postauthor:” command allowed you to search for blog content written by a specific author. Unlike “allinpostauthor:”, you needed to use quotation marks (” “) to narrow down your search to a particular author.
The “info:” operator previously gave you more details about a site, ranging from its search snippet and Google cache link to similar sites that relate to your search query. Google deprecated that search command in 2017, and now “info:” only shows the search snippet.
The “id:” command is identical to the “info:” operator and returns the same results.
If you wanted to find pages linked to your target domain, you would use the “link:” command. While Google officially deprecated this search operator in 2017, it can occasionally return some results that prove beneficial.
With that said, since there are numerous backlink analysis tools out there, I’d recommend
If you wanted to find a number via Google search, you were once able to use the “phonebook:” command. Google decided to drop this search operator in 2010 after many businesses and individuals claimed this feature caused an “endless source of hassles.”
Introduced to Google search as part of the search engine’s social network Google+, the hashtag/pound symbol “#” operator allowed search users to return hashtags from social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.
While deprecated by Google when Google+ ceased to function, the hashtag command still returns results, though inconsistently.
Now that you know how to maximize your Google search performance and get Google to deliver better results let me show you some fun Google tricks that you can use to surprise your friends and co-workers or accomplish more with your Googling.
A nifty Google search feature, the “timer” functionality allows you to set a timer right down to the second. To access Google’s built-in timer, either enter “timer” into the search bar or type in the amount of time you want Google to count down to.
The latter will start a countdown immediately, while the former will allow you to add your custom time.
Want to see Google’s search page perform a 360-degree somersault? Simply type in “do a barrel roll” or “z or r twice” in the search bar and hit enter. The “do a barrel roll” easter egg was first introduced in November 2011 and has since been a staple of Google’s many hidden tricks.
The term “do a barrel roll” was popularized by the 1997 video game Star Fox 64 by a non-playable (NPC) character named Peppy Hare. The “z or r twice” command was how the player would execute the maneuver on the Nintendo 64 controller.
Have you ever wanted to see what Google search would look like tilted slightly to the right? Well, a software engineer at Google has heard your request and included just the easter egg for you. Typing “askew” into Google’s search bar will return results that are, well, slightly skewed.
While similar searches like “slanted” and “tilt” used to work in the past, “askew” seems to be the only search term left that still results in Google search becoming lopsided.
If you’re a Seinfeld fan, then you’ve probably heard of “Festivus,” a Christmas alternative celebrated on December 23. If you’d like to start celebrating this anti-consumerism holiday, CNN has a great article that helps get you in the Festivus mood.
With the holiday becoming a cult classic among Seinfeld fans, it’s evident that someone at Google must celebrate the Festivus holiday. To experience this Festivus miracle for yourself, type “festivus” into Google search, and you’ll see Google’s search page adorned with a Festivus pole.
By definition, an anagram is a word or phrase that’s formed by rearranging the letters of another word or phrase. Some examples of anagrams include cinema from iceman, silent from listen, and dormitory from dirty room.
When you type “anagram” into Google search, the search engine willfully plays along and delivers an anagram of its own, which you can see below.
Typing in “define anagram” shows another playful anagram.
Popularized by the video game StarCraft, “zerg rush” is a real-time strategy video game tactic where an overwhelming number of weak enemies attacks a player. Google decided to join the ranks of real-time strategy games by introducing the “zerg rush” easter egg.
Originally, one simply had to type “zerg rush” into Google’s search bar to access the hidden game. The search user had to destroy the army of Google Os that appeared in the SERP to win. The Os could be defeated by repeatedly clicking on them.
Google added the “zerg rush” easter egg in 2012 but has since removed it.
To access it today, head over to Google’s homepage and type “zerg rush”, and click the I’m Feeling Lucky button. You’ll be redirected to elgooG, a mirrored website of Google that maintains all of Google’s previous easter eggs.
When Google was founded in 1998, the search engine’s design is vastly different to what it looks like today. The original logo, for example, was far from polished and included an exclamation mark to match the Yahoo! logo.
If you’re curious about what Google looked like in its early days, before Google began rolling out its many SERP features, type “Google in 1998” in the search bar and hit enter. This easter egg was included in Google search to celebrate the search engine’s 15th birthday.
While you can’t perform any actual searches on this nostalgic version of Google, it’s fun to see how Google transformed over the years. Google even has a list of search engines around in 1998 at the bottom of the page.
Do you have an appreciation for coding? Then you’ll **** Google’s blinking easter egg. By typing “blink html” into Google search, you’ll trigger an easter egg that returns search results where the words “blink” and “html” turn into flashing text.
Other terms you can use to create blinking text in Google’s search results are <blink> and blink tag.
As part of Atari Breakout’s 37th anniversary, Google decided to join in on the fun and release an easter egg for its search page. Search users could play this classic video arcade game directly on Google search by searching for “atari breakout” and clicking on the Images tab.
Unfortunately, the search term “atari breakout” was deprecated by Google, much like “zerg rush.” To play this Pong-style game today, you need to head to Google’s homepage, type in “atari breakout”, and click I’m Feeling Lucky.
What does Elmer Fudd, Klingons, Pirates, the Leet Language, and the Swedish Chef from the Muppets Show all have in common?
They’re the fictional languages Google offers its users.
To set one of these fictional languages as your search setting’s preferred language, navigate to the top right corner of Google and select Account > Data & personalization > Language. Click the + Add another language button and type in your desired fictional language.
There is another hidden fictional language, Pig Latin, though this cannot be accessed from your Account’s settings.
Another classic arcade game, Pac-Man, was first released to the world in December 1980. Over 40 years later, Google continues to pay homage to this beloved video game classic with their Pac-Man Doodle.
To start playing a Google-inspired version of the classic game, simply type in “pac-man”, “play pac-man”, or “google pac-man” into the search bar and hit enter. An interactive featured snippet will appear, allowing you to play directly in the SERPs.
Use your arrow keys to control the eponymous character.
Any fan of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will know that “the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything” is 42. And while seemingly cryptic, Adams has gone on record to state that there has never been a deep, symbolic significance to the number 42.
Whether or not the number 42 has the special meaning ascribed to it, Google’s own “supercomputer” has decided to play along with Adams’ version of the true meaning of life. By typing in “the answer to life, the universe, and everything”, Google search will respond with 42.
Another nifty visual feature, searching “flip a coin”, results in a coin-flipping game appearing above Google’s organic listings. The coin will automatically flip once you click enter on the search bar.
To flip the coin again, simply click the FLIP AGAIN text.
If you prefer to roll dice over flipping a coin, then Google has the easter egg for you. All you have to do to unlock this Google trick is to search for “roll a dice” or “roll dice.” Google also offers several-sided dice to choose from, ranging from six-sided to twenty-sided die.
Users can also select their combination of dice, making the dice easter egg completely customizable.
“42” is not the only graphical calculator easter egg that Google provides its users. Google can also help users quickly calculate the tip for their bill directly in the search results. The calculator can even divide the total amount of tip per person, making a convenient feature for a fun ***** out.
Other calculator easter eggs you can try out through Google are:
When Alex Trebek, host of the game show Jeopardy, died in 2020, Google decided to honour the late game show host by including a special Jeopardy tribute to its search results page. When you search for Trebek’s name, Google corrects your search term by suggesting “who is alex trebek.”
This is a touching reference to the rules of Jeopardy, where contestants must answer the game’s clues with a “who is” or “what is” response.
Another classic video game, Super Mario Bros., was first released in 1985 for the Famicom in Japan and the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in the United States. Super Mario Bros. has since gone on to become one of the most successful video game franchises.
Acknowledging Super Mario Bros’s storied legacy, Google has included a Mario-themed easter egg directly to its search results page. By typing “super mario brothers”, users will be shown a Knowledge Panel of Super Mario Bros., complete with a flashing “?” block.
This glittering box is an in-game reference, where players can hit the block to earn coins. And just like in the video games, clicking on the coin box in Google’s search result will give you 200 points and produce the same coin sound effect from the Super Mario Bros. game.
And just like in the game, if you click the box enough times to collect 100 coins, you’ll be rewarded with the 1-UP sound.
Another classic video game, Sonic the Hedgehog, also has his own animated gif in his Knowledge Panel. Clicking on the waiting Sonic will make him spin. After a few clicks, you’ll see Sonic transform into Super Sonic.
Google will often edit its logo to commemorate special events, holidays, or notable historical figures. These unique, temporary alterations to Google’s logo are known as Google Doodles and have been appearing on Google’s homepage since 1998.
If you miss any of these special logo edits or want to see every Google Doodle created, visit Google’s homepage and click on the I’m Feeling Lucky without typing anything into the search bar.
This will redirect you to the Google Doodle archive, where you can see all of the logo variations ever created and learn more about the history of Google Doodles. To view a random interactive Google Doodle directly in search results, type in “google doodle.”
15 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Google Search Operators
All of the search commands mentioned above will help transform your Google search skills from basic Googler to search powerhouse. But, to accomplish more with these search operators, you need to know how to mix and match them to your advantage.
Fortunately for you, I’ve compiled a list of 15 productivity boosters that will elevate your search capabilities beyond fun tricks and regular text searches towards Google mastery.
(1). Combine Numerous Operators Together
When it comes to search operators there is an infinite number of combinations.
The variety of commands you use is only dependent on your search requirement – and your imagination.
For example, if you’re looking for link building opportunities, namely sharing your content through link roundups, you can refine your search by using this set of search operators:
Using this combination of Google search modifiers, and the keyword “content marketing” I get 23,400 results:
But, I can focus the search even further by using the “intitle:” or “inurl:” search operators like so:
Now I’m down to 394 results:
Yet, I can still narrow my link roundup search even further by limiting the results to specific TLDs.
To do that, I combine the “site:” operator with the logical OR command:
intitle:”roundup” inurl:”round-up” (site:com OR site:org)
And, now I’m down to just six results:
You get the point.
The more search operators you combine in your search string, the more refined your search will be.
(2). Finding and Removing Duplicate Content with Search Operators
Having the same content appear on multiple URLs within your site can result in duplicate content issues. When search engines like Google see duplicate content, they have a hard time differentiating between versions.
As a site owner, this can mean:
Dilution of link metrics (e.g. link equity) resulting in ranking loss
Lowering of search visibility, resulting in traffic loss
In some (though rare) cases, duplicate content can result in the site being de-indexed from the search engine.
To double-check your site for any duplicate content issues, you can use “site:” and “intitle:” search operators:
site:yourdomainname.com intitle:”suspected duplicate title goes here”
Using this example, you’ll be able to return results where pages have been duplicated with the exact (or similar) content throughout the domain.
Here’s one example I found when searching the Farfetch domain:
And, as you can see these pages are EXACTLY the same:
What’s more, replace “intitle:” with “intext:” and you can find entire content passages that have been repeated within a website. Here’s the specific Google search syntax:
site:yourdomainname.com intext:”suspected duplicate text goes here”
Digging deeper into the Farfetch duplicate content issue, I copied the product description that was used on both pages:
Pasted it in to my search string.
And found the text had been repeated across seven pages.
Duplicate content is a big issue among e-commerce sites.
Many sites have thousands, if not tens of thousands, of products.
So if you run an e-commerce store, I recommend you put these search operators to the test to help you locate duplicate content pages that may exist on your website.
SIDENOTE: For e-commerce sites with duplicate content issues, check out our URL slugs guide. It explains why you should never serve the same content across different URLs and what you can do to address any duplicate URL issues.
But duplicate content doesn’t just sit on your website alone. Some sites may copy your content in a bid to wipe away your rankings.
The following actionable tip will help you deal with plagiarism issues.
(3). Hunt Down Content Plagiarism with Search Operators
When there are two identical documents on the web, Google will pick the one with a higher PageRank and use it in the search results.
If your domain is new and weak, you post content, and it gets stolen, you may be outranked by your own (plagiarized) article.
As you can imagine, if you’ve done the work to produce amazing SEO content, and you see that content outranked by copycat heavy-weights, it’s massively frustrating.
The good news is, you can easily hunt down plagiarism culprits with this search operator:
Using the “intitle:” operator with quotation marks will ensure Google only returns results with exact-match titles. By including the “-site:” command in your search, you exclude any sites you don’t want to appear in the results.
Which, in this case, is your own domain as that is the originator of the content.
For example, if I perform this search using James’ post about SEO experiments, I uncover eight duplicate versions.
Thankfully, SEO Sherpa ranks top for this keyword, and each page links to our post as the source.
But if that wasn’t the case, I could reach out to these sites and ask them to remove the content or add a “rel=canonical” to our post.
SIDENOTE: You’ll notice I also excluded pinterest.com. This was because there were many Pinterest results for my query and I wanted to narrow the results further. There is no limit to the number of domains you can exclude.
Of course, someone else just copying your blog post’s page title is not necessarily indicative of outright plagiarism. To double-check that a block of text has been copied wholesale without your knowledge, use the “intext:” and quotation marks (” “) command. Here’s how it looks:
This means if you want to know whether a keyword is easy (or difficult) to rank for, knowing how many pages target that keyword in the title tag is particularly handy.
Enter the “allintitle:” search operator.
As the name suggest the “allintitle:” operator displays results where all specified keywords are included in the title tag. To use the command simply type allintitle: followed the keyword phrases you want to check for.
Here is an example:
And another example of the allintitle: operator:
As you can see, despite my example keywords being similar, the number of results returned for each is wildly different.
If I was considering writing a post, and wanted quick and easy rankings, I’d choose the second keyword.
With only 59 pages actively targeting that keyword (Vs 12,500 for “best seo practices”) my chances of ranking would be much higher.
(5). Find and Address Indexing Issues with Google Advanced Search Operators
Getting your website indexed is an essential first step to appearing on search engines.
If your pages are not indexed, they cannot rank. If your pages are indexed but not properly, expect lower search visibility and subpar rankings.
A basic search operator that will show you all the indexed pages for your domain is the site: command.
Here is what the site: operator returns when searching the seosherpa.com root domain:
It reveals Google has 112 pages indexed for the domain, which looks about right.
If there were a big mismatch between the actual number of pages on our website and the number of pages in Google’s index, this would cause investigation.
I can also use the same search operator to see if a specific page is indexed. To do that, use a complete URL with its respective slug, instead of only the domain:
This basic search operator is useful for checking if a page has gotten indexed after publishing.
Beyond the single-site search operator, there are other combinations of search operators that are useful for auditing indexation issues.
Find Non-Secure Pages
If you’ve recently migrated your site from HTTP to HTTPS, combining the”site:” and “inurl:” commands allow you to audit your website for rogue non-secure (HTTP) pages. Here’s how it looks:
As the example demonstrates, be sure to include the exclusionary command “-” in front of the “inurl:” operator to omit any web pages on your site that have HTTPS in their URL.
When I searched for the National Football League (NFL) with the search operators listed above, Google returned 7,350 non-secure pages.
Despite the website being on secure https protocol:
That’s an issue.
Another search operator combo that can be used to help find indexation issues is:
By including the wildcard (*) operator to the “site:” search term, you’re able to find all of the subdomains that exist within a domain. The exclusionary (-) command removes any domain results that contain the www in its URL.
This combination of search operators helps you identify rogue subdomains indexed on Google.
For instance, when I run this search operator on Yas Water World, I discover a staging website that requires a no-index tag adding to it to avoid duplicate content issues:
Give these indexation checkers a test on your own website. You may surprised by what you find.
(6). How to Keep Track of Forgotten Files on Your Site Using Search Operators
Knowing how to perform a file search is useful.
It can help find unused or old files that have been forgotten on your website over the years.
One of the most common file types you should check for on your website is PDF files.
But the “filetype:” command will let you search for all sorts of files hidden away in your domain.
Remember, you can also replace the “filetype:” command with the “ext:” operator. Both are interchangeable and will perform the same task.
Using these search commands on Econsultancy’s domain, here’s what I found:
And when I clicked on the link, it simply returned a 404 error that I’m sure the webmaster at Econsultancy doesn’t want to appear in search results.
Multiple file types can also be used at the same time, for example:
site:yourdomainname.com (filetype:pdf OR filetype:docx)
This search query is looking for all files on a given domain with PDF and Microsoft Word extensions.
Super useful if you want to check if gated content like ebooks and guides have found their way in to Google’s index.
Now, let’s transition from searching for unwanted file types to improving your content marketing strategy.
(7). Find Missing Content Opportunities with the “Filetype:” Operator
The versatility of the “filetype:” search operator means it can also be used to support your content marketing strategy.
Depending on how large your site is or the age of your domain, you may have old yet relevant content that’s sitting hidden in the depths of your site in non-search optimized formats like PDF or Word Document.
So does this mean you should completely ignore guest posting?
As many in the SEO industry point out, guest posting still has value in amplifying brand awareness, especially if you target highly relevant and quality websites. And, Mueller specifically referenced paid guest posts rather than guest posting as a practice.
SEMrush’s Melissa Fach best sums up how you should go about writing guest posts in 2021 and beyond:
So how do you look for these highly relevant sites with search operators?
The most basic way of finding these sites is by using the “intitle:” command:
intitle:”write for us” [niche or keyword]
You can even include “inurl:” into your query to further qualify sites as a guest posting opportunity:
intitle:”write for us” inurl:”write-for-us”[niche or keyword]
This query will help you find sites looking for writers that relate to your keyword or content topic.
Other search terms you can try to find qualified guest posting sites are below:
“Become a contributor”
“Guest post opportunities”
“Submit your content”
“Suggest a post”
“Guest post guidelines”
“Accepting guest posts”
Be inventive with the phrases you use, as these are just a few examples of the many search terms available out there.
If your topic of expertise is email marketing, then your search results will look something similar:
Notice how I’ve added my niche in speech marks (” “) to narrow my results further.
Just like I’ve done, experiment with multiple search commands to find guest posting opportunities:
(intitle:”write for us” OR intitle:”become a contributor” OR inurl:”contributor-guidelines”) [niche or keyword]
That way you’ll uncover the greatest array of opportunities.
Once you find the right websites, carefully review their content and writing guidelines. You want to be sure that you’re offering to write content related to the blog you’re reaching out to.
It’s just a waste of your time and the editor’s time if you don’t do this research beforehand.
With guest posting covered, let’s see how search operators can be used to find sites that feature infographics.
(10). Use Search Operators to Find and Pitch Infographics
Infographics continue to be an effective visual medium for content marketing.
Infographics are the perfect creative outlet for conveying complex information in an impactful and visually pleasing way.
A well-designed infographic can make your content stand out, be easier to understand, and leave a significant impression on your readers’ minds.
But like in guest posting, you can’t simply blast your infographic outreach without rhyme or reason. It would be best to find websites that want to feature your infographics not to waste your outreach efforts.
And similar to guest posting, the best way to find sites to submit your infographic is to use the “intitle:” and “inurl:” search operators.
To further ensure you find highly qualified sites for your infographic, consider using Google’s in-built **** filter found under settings > advanced search. After all, a site that heavily published infographics two or three years ago may have pivoted and no longer accept infographics.
SIDENOTE: When pitching infographics to websites, the main thing to remember is the quality of the infographic and the message it’s trying to convey. You’ll want to create an infographic that’s visually persuasive and highlights your expertise.
Now let’s continue with link building operators to find resource page opportunities.
(11). Locate Resource Page Opportunities within Your Niche
Resource page link building is one of the most popular link building tactics out there, meaning that your business can benefit from building links with resource pages no matter your niche or industry.
But before we get into how you can find resource pages for link-building opportunities, let’s quickly define a resource page.
Resource pages are web pages that include a curated list of helpful industry resources. For example, a food blog that’s focused on the Keto diet may have a web page dedicated to Keto recipes, cooking tips, how-to guides, and so on.
Such a page would be considered a resource page.
Resource pages are a go-to link-building strategy (only second behind content publication or guest posting) for many businesses.
This is because resource pages link out to authoritative content on other sites and are typically aged and authoritative pages themselves.
Site owners want to keep the quality and quantity of their resource page links as high as possible. This means if you have a relevant resource (and it’s good) site owners won’t need much convincing to include it.
So how can you use search operators to find these resource pages and start building links?
You can further narrow down your searches to avoid a lot of junk by using the search command “allintitle:”.
Once you’ve generated a list of resource pages that work with your niche, then you need to find their contact information and reach out and offer your content as a resource.
Speaking of outreach here’s an easy way to find contact details with search operators:
(12). How to Improve Outreach Prospecting with These Search Operators
If you have used any of these above strategies to find link-building opportunities, then it’s time to find the right people to contact so you can pitch your content.
Finding the correct contact details can be tricky but can be done with search operators.
site:targetdomain.com “name of author”
Typically, authors have their email address listed in their author bio or byline. But if their email address is not readily available, then another way to reach out to your prospective contact is through social media.
You can use the “site:” operator to find your contact’s social profiles.
author name targetsite.com (site:twitter.com OR site:facebook.com OR site:linkedin.com)
Once you have their social media handles, then you can contact them directly through their social accounts. At times, some authors may even mention their email address in their responses.
If these tactics still fail to produce the desired results for your outreach efforts, you can check our complete guide on finding anyone’s email address.
(13). Use This Search Operator to Steal Your Competitors’ Links
Without links, you cannot rank, period.
And, don’t just take my word for it. Google themselves admit that links are one of the top-ranking factors out there:
If your competitors are outranking you in search results, then chances are, their backlinks are better than yours.
Now, what if you could steal your competitors’ links and replace them with yours?
While it sounds too good to be true, this is possible with the “link:” operator.
NOTE: Google officially deprecated the “link:” command back in 2017. Still, as you can see below, it can yield results that may prove beneficial to your link-building efforts.
As you can see from the example, using the “link:” command will allow you to find any sites that refer to your competitors, while the exclusionary “site:” operator removes your competitor’s domain from the search results.
Since the “link:” operator is unreliable, I recommend you experiment with it to see what kind of backlinks you can loot from your competitors.
By the way, there’s another search operator you can use to further spy on your competitors.
(14). How to Use Search Operators to Find Competitor Mentions
Knowing where your competitors are mentioned on the web is a great way to inform your marketing strategy.
Even better if you can swipe their mentions list and use it for yourself.
To find a complete list of competitor mentions, use a combination of the “intext:” operator and an exclusionary “site:” command. Here’s how it looks:
You can also include the OR operator to finding multiple competitors at the same time, like so:
(intext:”competitor 1″ OR intext:”competitor 2″) -site:competitorone.com -site:competitortwo.com
Competitor mentions also extend to content opportunities.
For instance, you can use search operators to find websites for whom your competitors have written content and approach those sites yourself.
To find these sites, use the quotation (” “) operator and the exclusionary or minus (-) command.
“Author name is” -competitordomain.com
Now that you’ve gone through all the trouble of finding guest posting opportunities and competitor mentions, let’s apply some search operator knowledge to your content writing efforts.
(15). How to Use Search Operators to Enhance Your Content with Relevant Statistics
Few things help your blog posts gain trust from their readers as research-backed statistics.
Compelling statistics from influential, high-authority websites makes readers believe you and can make your posts more persuasive.
In fact, a study was conducted on the impacts of statistics in writing, and researchers found that after a week of reading a story, statistical evidence was “more persuasive” and more memorable than anecdotal or story evidence.
So how can you find statistics that support your content from reliable sites?
You turn to Google, of course!
Using the “site:” operator, you can find trustworthy sites with research-backed statistics for your content.
For example, say you’re writing a blog post on the science of color and its impact on marketing and branding. To find actual research, rather than just a list of benefits or definitions, search for a scientific site with your keyword.
You can add the OR command to search for additional sources at the same time.
Just remember, when organizing your content, some statistics are best served as visuals. After all, we’re visual creatures and can process visual data much faster than text data. So when you really want to grab the attention of your reader, use visuals.
If you want to learn more strategies and techniques to improve your writing for SEO, you can check out this article on SEO content frameworks.
Over to you!
Mastering these search operators can turn your Googling skills into a powerful SEO and marketing tool. Knowing how to combine different search operators can help you uncover detailed information previously hidden away in Google’s SERPs.
Of course, I recommend you play around with all of these operators, from the most basic to the obscure ones, to understand their usefulness.
If there are any fantastic combinations you discover that help improves your Googling, which haven’t been mentioned in this post, leave a comment below.
I’ll happily include it in this database of search operators.
To help you out further, I’ve created a search operator generator you can use to quickly and easily find link-building opportunities for SEO.
Simply plug in your target keyword, and my generator will spit out dozens of search operators you can copy and paste in to Google.
What is E-A-T? E-A-T stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.”
“Expertise” – You need to be an expert in your field. Expertise means you need to show the skill of the creator for the Main Content or (MC) and mention it in your content. Expertise is less critical for humor or gossip websites, but it’s vital for medical, financial, or legal websites. The good news is any site can show expertise if the content is truthful and useful for users.
“Authoritativeness” – You need to show that you are an authority or the authoritativeness of the creator for the MC. And you can get this from the expertise of your writers or yourself. If your page is a community or forum discussion, the quality of the conversation drives authority. Credentials are necessary, but so are personal experiences like reviews.
“Trustworthiness” – You need to show users they can trust the creator or company of the Main Content, the MC itself, and the website. Trustworthiness is especially important for eCommerce websites that ask users for their credit card information. Everything about your site should make users feel safe while they’re visiting. As a starting point, you should immediately implement an SSL certificate on your site as at least 70% of first page results are using SSL (It’s one of many of Googles scoring signals)
You need to eat to live. And so does your website content. A different kind of “eat,” but the idea is to rank better in Google.
That’s right, and we’re talking about E-A-T. We first saw this acronym when Google’s Search Quality Guidelines got leaked in 2014.But with Google’s official 2020 release, we now know just how vital E-A-T is. This year, E-A-T is set to be a huge deal. Our SEO Services deal with getting your site to comply with Google’s E-A-T most essential factors.
So why is having expertise, authority, and trust so significant? After all, the Google quality rater guidelines don’t determine a page’s rankings.
Essentially, E-A-T determines a website’s value. Quality raters keep E-A-T in mind when judging how good a site or page provides what they need. They look to see if they’re getting a good online experience and if the content meets their standards. If the raters feel like a user would feel comfortable reading, sharing, and recommending the content, that earns the site a high level of E-A-T.
Think of E-A-T as the reason why users would choose your site over your competition’s. E-A-T could have a direct impact on how Google receives — and ultimately ranks — your website.
“Your Money or Your Life” or YMYL
So how does E-A-T affect visitors to your site?
E-A-T is closely related to what Google calls “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) pages. YMYL pages are those that have topics on medical advice, legal advice, financial advice, that sort of thing. Anything that could positively or negatively affect a user’s happiness, health, and wealth. Examples include:
An online store asking for your credit card info
A mommy blog giving parenting advice
A financial institution blog offering legal advice
A medical health page listing symptoms for a rare disease
High-ranking YMYL pages will show a high level of E-A-T. That’s because the safer a user feels while visiting a page, and the more the content meets their search query, the more it will meet the needs of E-A-T. Sites that are genuinely offering helpful advice or a solution to a problem will meet these needs more readily than sites that try to game Google’s system.
So your site will only be as useful as what you put into it. Since E-A-T on both the page-level and site-level, you need to make sure every part of your website is trying to meet Google’s requirements. And if your pages qualify as YMYL pages, this is even more important.
But don’t just take our word for it. Google says that a page or site found lacking in E-A-T is a “sufficient reason to give a page a Low-quality rating.” So if you aren’t an expert, an authority, or trustworthy, your site page could be considered low quality.
You have to craft engaging, useful, and accurate content. And you have to use E-A-T to meet the needs of both quality raters and actual users. Do that, and you’re doing what Google wants.
Be sure to keep this page bookmarked – you never know when you may need a reminder to implement E-A-T correctly.