Daily Archives: November 10, 2021

5 Tips to Revamp Your Google My Business Page

By | November 10, 2021


Google My Business (GMB) is local SEO’s secret ******.

If you run what would be considered a “local business” in your community or city, it’s absolutely imperative that you have GMB set up and that you stay on top of it.

This blog will discuss five ways you can revamp your GMB if things have grown stagnant. Your first step should be claiming your listing if you haven’t done it already.

Then, simply follow these tips to start boosting your local SEO. Ready to begin? We’re going to count down the top five things you can start doing immediately.

Start scrolling to learn how to get started.

1. Add Keywords to Your Business Description

Our first piece of advice is to incorporate relevant keywords in your Google My Business listing, including within the 750 characters you get to describe your business.

That’s not to say you should overdo it by packing as many keywords as possible. As with any SEO content, the use of keywords needs to be natural and your description should be useful for visitors.

An effective GMB business description is clear and concise, and ideally, it would include a primary keyword to help your website rank.

Some enterprising businesses will attempt to add keywords to their business name. If that works for you, fantastic! Just make sure it doesn’t come off as spammy or fake.

In most cases, this only works for businesses whose names already contain a keyword. For example, a company named “Home Renovation Auckland.”

If you’re going to try to do this, we recommend proceeding with caution. Getting flagged by Google could result in penalties or losing your GMB listing.

2. Engage Visitors With Photographs

What’s the first thing people look at when they Google your business? That’s right, photographs!

If you operate a restaurant, for example, they want to see what it looks like inside before making a reservation. Or if you sell a unique product they want to see an image of it before buying one.

Here’s something to consider: businesses with images on their GMB get 42% more requests for directions and 35% more website clicks.

We live in a visual society and a majority of customers want to see pictures before they purchase goods or services.

The key here is to post high-res photographs. Blurry or badly composed pictures will reflect negatively on your business.

It may be worth it to hire a professional to get shots of the exterior and interior of your business, staff members, and any products or services you’d like to highlight.

3. Update Local Directories With Your Business

While optimizing your Google My Business page, you also want to ensure your business information is updated in other local directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, *** Frog, or Yahoo Local (to name a few).

Why does this matter? Any local directory with your business information can refer new customers. This means all of the key information like address, hours of operation, or contact information should be up-to-****.

It’s not an uncommon scenario for businesses to change their hours of operation and not have it reflected on local directories. This could be frustrating to customers and even result in a lost sale.

Not only do you want to ensure the information is always relevant but adding more directory entries can improve your SEO as well.

We know how this takes a lot of time and effort. That’s why we offer The HOTH’s Local Business Listings & Citation Building Service. Our team can conduct a full audit of all the places you appear and whether the information is correct.

Then, we can start building new optimized citations for your business to grow your exposure and search ranking.

4. Check All of Your Google My Business Settings Regularly

Details change all of the time. Parts of your business are always evolving and even Google updates its systems a few times per year.

That’s why it’s up to you, a business or the agency you hire to help with GMB, to stay on top of the listing.

One easy way to optimize your listing is by updating categories. Google automatically assigns your listing a category but you’re able to change it to something more accurate.

You can also add “additional categories” to get more specific with your listing, which could result in more qualified traffic.

Another strategy is to keep all of your information localized. Make sure your phone number is listed with a local area code, for example, and set your GMB service area to only include the areas where you operate.

It may be tempting to expand your search area in GMB to reach more people but don’t do it unless that’s the actual strategy your business is taking.

5. Solicit Reviews From Satisfied Customers

Our No. 1 tip for revamping your GMB listing is to get more reviews! After looking at your business photographs on GMB, most online visitors will check out your reviews next.

They want to know whether the products and services you’re offering are high-quality, and how past customers have felt about you. Getting good reviews not only attracts more customers but can also improve your SEO.

Google will be more likely to show your business in search results if you have more reviews than your competitors.

Reviews aren’t always easy to get but you can solicit them from customers by sending an email after the sale to follow up on their satisfaction. This could include a link to your GMB listing.

Some companies even provide this link at the checkout.

It doesn’t matter what strategy you use to solicit reviews but the important thing is that you start getting more on your GMB.

Watch Your Local SEO Soar!

It’s impossible to boost your local SEO without claiming and optimizing your Google My Business page.

Following all of the tips we listed above won’t take long and they’ll deliver results. Once your listing is optimized, you’ll want to set a schedule for checking on it to make sure no revisions are needed.

Do you have additional questions about GMB or are you concerned about possessing the experience to manage it?

Our expert team of SEO professionals can help you! Simply book a call with us to get started.



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XOHOW THE CUSTOM BOXES CAN BENEFIT YOU IN 2021

By | November 10, 2021

The demand for custom boxes is increasing because almost every business offers a wide assortment of different displays for their offerings. The top companies use custom containers and boxes since they are a gift to the clients and increase sales. There are a variety of designs and styles available on the market, assisting the companies in expanding and boosting sales. Furthermore, the custom boxes offer many advantages, and especially in 2021, customers and companies both benefit from the edges and use of customized boxes.

What Is The Market Share Of Featured Snippet Urls? [Study]

By | November 10, 2021


Featured Snippet Market Share Banner

To what extent do URLs share a Featured Snippet? What happens when Google uses more than one URL inside a Featured Snippet? Is there one URL that dominates the zero position box? What happens when Google oscillates between more than two URLs – how much visibility does each URL get? 

Based on the results of our last Featured Snippet study, which analyzed how often Google changes a URL inside of Featured Snippets, we wanted to know what the market share of a Featured Snippet URL looks like. 

Here’s what we found: 

Putting the Featured Snippet Pieces Together 

It’s worthwhile to recap how we got here. As mentioned, shortly before undertaking this study, I dug into how many times Google swaps the URLs used within a Featured Snippet over both a 30 and 90-day period. What I found was that overall, Google oscillates between two URLs within a given Featured Snippet (a bit under 2 over a 30-day period and a bit over 2 URLs during a 90-day period). The data also showed that over a 30-day period Google made just over two changes to the URL within the average Featured Snippet. 

Featured Snippet URL Behavior

Despite studying numerous query types the study left me wanting a bit more. It’s one thing to know how many unique URLs Google places within a Featured Snippet over the course of the month but it’s another thing entirely to know each URL’s market share. Being that Google makes but two URL changes each month, and given that the search engine is predisposed towards using but two URLs within a Featured Snippet each month I wanted to know if one URL was more dominant than the other and if so to what extent. 

To that end, and with the help of our eager team, we analyzed 300 keywords that produced a Featured Snippet (US – desktop) which utilized but two URLs over a 30-day period. From there we simply determined which URL was the most dominant (i.e., which URL appeared within the Featured Snippet the majority of the time) and calculated its market share. 

What follows are the results of our efforts: 

Featured Snippet URL Market Share 

As mentioned, we took 300 Featured Snippet producing keywords that had but one criteria; Google only used two URLs within the zero position box over a 30-day period. The obvious goal was to see how Google’s tendency to show but two URLs within the Featured Snippet over the course of a month actually plays itself out. 

This is what we found: 

Featured Snippet URL Market Share

You’ll notice I refer to one URL as the dominant URL and the other as the alternate URL. That’s because for those instances where Google shows but two URLs within the Featured Snippet per month (and remember, that is the general trend) one URL is clearly the dominant URL. It’s not even close (on average, of course). One URL clearly takes up the vast majority of Featured Snippet market share, specifically over 77% of it. The second, or “alternate” URL (as will be referred to in this post), is present but 23% of the time during the average month. 

Of course, nothing is as simple as it first appears as this data reflects the mean average.  

The data returned when looked at from “percentage range” perspective tells a slightly different story. The chart below shows the number of “alternate” URLs that fell within the listed percentage ranges: 

Alt Featured Snippet URL Market Share Ranges

Looking at this data, there were a disproportionate number of alternate URLs that appeared within a Featured Snippet for a given keyword more than a quarter of the time. This means that nearly half of all the alternate Featured Snippet URLs studied (specifically 138 out of 300) had a market share above 25%. Even within the 26% – 50% range, 49 of the 138 URLs had a market share above 40% (that’s 36% of the URLs found within the range). 

Conversely, only 35 URLs, or 11.5% of the total dataset, had a Featured Snippet market share of 5% or under. The point is, there are only a relatively few Featured Snippet URLs that represent a one-shot deal within the zero position box. That is, very few URLs are employed just once or twice during a 30-day period, relatively speaking. Compare that to the nearly 20% of URLs within the dataset that
have a market share of 40% or better. 

Indeed, we recorded 11 instances where there was essentially no dominant URL, where there was a 50/50 split between the two URLs, which reflects about 3.5% of the keyword dataset analyzed. [Disclaimer: for these 11 instances, one URL was”deemed” the dominant URL and the other the alternate URL, however, in reality, you could look at either URL as being both the dominant or alternate link used. It all depends if you see the cup being half empty or half full.]

 

‘How-To’ Keywords and Alternate URL Market Share within the Featured Snippet 

As we did when analyzing the average number of URLs used and URL swaps made within Featured Snippets, here too we pulled out the how-to keywords and analyzed them in isolation. This was done due to the highly relevant nature these queries represent vis-a-vis Featured Snippets. That is, the “how-to” query aligns to the most essential nature of what the Featured Snippet intends to achieve. Thus, it would be prudent to see if Google displays unique URL market share patterns for the keyword category. 

An analysis of 52 Featured Snippet producing how-to keywords shows a nominal difference in the alternate URL’s market share when compared to the overall data-set: 

How-To Featured Snippet URL Market Share

As is indicated, there is but a one percentage point difference between URLs representing how-to queries and those that reflect “generic” search terms.

At the same time, when I analyzed the dataset overall, I could find no commonality between the keywords that produced an alternate Featured Snippet URL with a substantial market share and those that produced URLs with a paltry market share. This would seemingly indicate that the dominance of the “preferred” URL has less to do with keyword type or user intent per se, but with Google’s overall strategy and approach to placing URLs within its ever-coveted zero position box. 

Check out our guide to winning SERP features.

 

Featured Snippet URL Market Share for Multiple Alternates 

As discussed earlier, the initial study undertaken showed that Google is predisposed towards alternating between two URLs for Featured Snippet placement. This is why the above data dealt only with keywords that produced Featured Snippets where just two URLs were utilized within a 30-day period. 

That said, Google does go with multiple alternate URLs for its Featured Snippets. We wanted to get a taste of how market share looks in these instances. The issue is, the more URLs you add the more market “sharing” there has to be, by definition. Meaning, it’s not like you can analyze the Featured Snippet market share of all Featured Snippets with multiple alternate URLs. Rather, you would have to look at keywords with two URL alternates separately than those with three URL alternates and so forth. 

Due to this, we surveyed keywords where Google made use of two alternate Featured Snippet URLs within a 30-day period. That is, we looked at keywords where Google employed three total URLs within the Featured Snippet over 30-days (the three URLs being the dominant URL and two alternate URLs). In such instances, the Featured Snippet URL market share looks as such: 

Featured Snippet Multiple Alt URL Market Share

The most notable takeaway, and what I was most curious about at the onset, is from where does that third URL get its market share? That is, does Google siphon market share from the dominant URL or from the alternate URL when it decides to utilize a third URL for a Featured Snippet?

As you can see here, and interesting enough, Google mainly funnels market share from the dominant URL. Whereas the dominant URL’s market share stood at 77% when Google utilized but two URLs within the Featured Snippet, that number drops to just 66% when another URL is introduced. This compared to the “initial” alternate URL (Alternate URL 1), which saw its average market share actually move up a point (which, of course, is statistically negligible).  

That said, the “second” alternate URL has what is all but a minimal market share that averaged in at 10%. Meaning, it’s a bit of an outlier and as such its placement inside a Featured Snippet has minimal value as compared to the dominant URL and even to the initial alternate URL. 

 

Featured Snippet URL Market Share Takeaways 

There’s a lot to say on this data (obviously) and you can take a conversation as to what it means in a wide variety of directions. That said, here are a few takeaways that struck me along the way: 

Know What’s What with Your Featured Snippets

 

Sure, you could say I’m suggesting this as the top takeaway because I work for a company that offers multiple Featured Snippet tools… or it could be because there’s a significant difference in being the dominant Featured Snippet URL as compared to the “alt” URL! The data almost screams that tracking a Featured Snippet win in isolation is not enough. Rather, you need to determine if your win reflects you being the dominant or the alternate URL. This is all the more applicable when Google goes with more than one alternate URL. In fact, in such instances, even if you’re the dominant URL within the Featured Snippet it makes sense to pay close attention each day to see what that placement looks like, since, as we saw, Google siphons additional alternate URL market share from the dominant URL. 

Featured Snippet URL Market Share Is Not a Zero-Sum Game 

Despite Featured Snippet URL market share overwhelmingly belonging to the dominant URL, there is hope. I’m saying, there’s a chance! There’s a chance that your page reflecting the alternate Featured Snippet URL is a pretty decent win. That is, while the average alternate Featured Snippet URL has a market share around 25% a good chunk of them have a much greater hold. Our keyword data-set showed that 20% of keywords that produced a Featured Snippet that oscillated between just two URLs have a market share of 40% or more! That’s nothing to sneeze at. So if you’re thinking, “I already know I don’t have the dominant URL anyway,” it’s worthwhile to pay attention to it regardless because it could be you have a gem on your hands. 

It Pays to be a Featured Snippet Hawk! 

Hawk Eye Close-Up

Before I send you on your way
…. For all the talk about user intent for specific groups of keywords Featured Snippet URL market share seems to be constantly inconsistent across all sort of keyword subsets. As discussed above, how-to keywords, the epitome of Featured Snippet queries, had the same URL market share proportions as your run of the mill search phrase. There were how-to keywords with alternate URLs that had a Featured Snippet market share of 3% and how-to Featured Snippets with alternate URLs sporting a market share of more than 40%. Whether it was a Featured Snippet that related to a product or a service or even just general information, there was no clear (or even unclear) pattern, the numbers were all over the place with alternate URLs spanning the full market share spectrum no matter the keyword category. 

All roads lead to the notion that Google’s Featured Snippet behavior has less to do with keyword intent and more with the nature of the SERP feature itself. This makes it a bit harder to offer advice for sites that focus on a particular type of keyword and the like. Rather, it makes my earlier point more poignant. Without even as much as a general pattern of behavior for a given keyword subset, your best bet is watching your Featured Snippet performance like a hawk. Be the hawk!  

About The Author

Mordy Oberstein

Mordy is the official liaison to the SEO community for Wix. Despite his numerous and far-reaching duties, Mordy still considers himself an SEO educator first and foremost. That’s why you’ll find him regularly releasing all sorts of original SEO research and analysis!



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New Year Means New Beginning: How Serpstat Has Changed in 2020 — Serpstat Blog

By | November 10, 2021



It is worth talking about newsletters – in a year, we have doubled our subscriber base, and we please them with useful and funny letters once a week (sometimes more often). By the way, our mailing lists have repeatedly hit the top of the best, thanks to their creativity and usefulness. So do not hesitate to subscribe;)



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5 unique and stunning ideas of packaging for cookies that are custom designed to your specifications

By | November 10, 2021

Cookie packaging boxes are essential for the sales of businesses to continue as they perform the function of protecting and serving a greater purpose. They’re incredibly efficient in terms of both protection as well as promotion of products. As a result, marketers are constantly looking for new designs that aid in increasing sales more sustainably and provide a more enjoyable experience for the customers when using the products.

Affordable Luxury Mayfair Area Rugs

By | November 10, 2021

Superior is delighted to introduce our gorgeous Mayfair Area Rugs. Mayfair features a repeating traditional medallion pattern, made contemporary with thoughtful distressing. This rug’s unique diamond pattern is beautifully showcased in a chic neutral color palette to complement shabby chic, vintage traditional, and global bohemian aesthetics. Mayfair is available in four versatile color schemes: Ivory with green, tan, and grey; Green with white, grey, and brown; Black with ivory, red, and green; and Red with white, dark grey, and gold.

In Search SEO Podcast 16: Why Mobile Page Speed & UX Has Become More Important Than Ever

By | November 10, 2021


Don’t forget, you can follow the In Search SEO Podcast by subscribing on iTunes or by following the podcast on SoundCloud

The In Search SEO Podcast Poll Question of the Week!

Poll Question Episode 16

Assuming a site is not super slow, which is more of a priority – mobile page speed or mobile UX? Let us know so that we can feature you on the next episode of In Search! 

Summary of Episode 16: The In Search SEO Podcast

 

In Search SEO Podcast Banner

In this, our 16th episode, we talked with Stephen Alemar and Russell Jeffrey of Duda all about site speed and mobile UX:

  • Why site speed and mobile UX are more important than ever!
  • Where does mobile page speed and UX sit on the SEO totem pole?
  • Has AMP faded out of relevancy? Was it ever really relevant?


Fraggles & Google Knowledge Graph Indexing – What’s *** In SEO [2:10 – 7:08]

A few weeks back Cindy Krum came on the show to talk about entity-first indexing and in the
process we got into a whole discussion on
Fraggles . Since then we’ve been anticipating her full analysis!

That analysis is now here and with perfect timing as a few days prior to her article another piece, this one from Dinsan Francis at ChromeStory.com, pointed out that Chrome is going to let you link to a specific part of your page… a certain sentence and so forth – which is pretty much a Fraggle!

So what’s a Fraggle? According to Cindy, a Fraggle is that which lets you click a link from the SERP which then takes you to a specific part of the page. Think of a carousel of answers from within a forum that shows up in an organic result.. that jumps you right to that answer upon being clicked. For this, it seems Google is indexing parts of a given page into the Knowledge Graph so that they can feature snippets of content in all sorts of SERP features (thus allowing Google to include more in the Knowledge Graph without indexing irrelevant info).

A quick point to order. You don’t need a jump link for a Fraggle to work. Remember those AMP URLs within the Featured Snippet? The ones that jumped you to the portion of the page where the content within the snippet came from? Here Google creates the jump link themselves hence – FRAGGLE!

This is also similar to a video Featured Snippet that jumps you to the middle of a video.

Why is this a big deal? Cindy outlines a few significant implications which you can read in her article but one thing Mordy thinks will change, assuming this sort of SERP functionality becomes widespread, is how we view a web page itself, from a conversion perspective, from a brand awareness perspective. Meaning, with Fraggles you don’t need to sift through the entire page. Thus, you most likely won’t see or interact with the content that comes before what you’re being jumped to. That means you’ll miss all those CTAs, you’ll miss any ads, and most importantly users will miss all of the build-up i.e., all of that “story” that comes before that snippet of content.

If Fraggles become overwhelmingly wide-spread it is possible that Featured Snippets will no longer be the king of voice search but rather Fraggles will be used to answer voice search queries.

Where Mobile Page Speed & UX Fits into the Wider World of SEO: A Conversation with Russel Jeffrey & Stephen Alemar [7:08 – 38:11]

Mordy: Joining me today are Stephen Alemar and Russell Jeffrey from Duda. Can you please start with sharing with our audience what is Duda and what can it do for you?

Stephen: Duda is a web-design platform. We specialize in creating tools for agencies, hosting companies, digital publishers, web professionals, etc. And the real way we’re unique in the market is that we try doing everything at scale and increasing efficiency like reducing the build time of a website or creating tools that optimize the communication flow between you and your clients and a variety of other in-depth tools that will optimize your workflow as much as possible and make you the most efficient agency you can be.

M: Sounds great! You have to explain what “Duda” means…

Russel: So Duda comes from our two co-founders who are Israeli. They are both huge fans of the film, The Big Lebowski. So when they first started working together on the business they kept talking to each other by saying, “Hey, dude. Let’s do this” or “Hey, dude. Let’s try this.” That’s just the way they communicated. So they just changed it slightly from “dude” to Duda. To this day it’s a huge influence
to our internal culture here at Duda, we’re all big fans.

S: Yeah. All our conference rooms are named after things from the movie like “White Russian.”

M: Nice! Let’s start this off a bit general, what should SEOs focus on in 2019? What’s important and what’s not important?

R: So we have two answers to this. The first is structured data and filling in the Knowledge Graph. This is an area that we see Google continue to expand. Things like zero-position search results, filling in Knowledge Panels right off the bat. Trying to help Google better understand the content on your website. These are all things that all SEOs should be focusing on as they are of utmost importance.

And this is the data that fills in for voice search. They need it to be in a structured format and know that it’s accurate in order for them to give solid voice results.

S: On the flip side, what is important and what
SEOs should pay attention to beyond structured data and informing Google of the content that is on your page…. Google for a long time has had a problem with mobile (in particular). Site speed and user experience
has been getting more attention over the last couple of years and we definitely expect that to continue throughout the coming year.

M: I don’t know if you heard Cindy Krum’s theory, but she has this whole theory that mobile-first indexing is really about entities. That Google has better figured out how entities relate to each other and that Google is going crazy through its understanding of entities by indexing not just by mobile (as in mobile-first indexing) but also according to entities.

Speaking of site speed and UX, what happened? Speed and UX have always been important, but the amount of buzz they both got as of late has reached new heights. Why is this buzz legitimate? Let me rephrase, what has happened over at Google to increase the importance of both speed and UX?

S: So it all started with the smartphone. When this all started bounce rates on mobile were very high and this was a major problem with Google because they were returning pages to people that they didn’t want to engage with. So first came Mobilegeddon and once layouts got better they turned to site speed as the next thing they wanted to go after. And now the next step is Lighthouse, and with Lighthouse we’re looking at new user experience metrics that we never had before. We can continue going down this route as the next step might be security.

R: And even today Google says that speed isn’t a high-ranking factor. But if you look at the tooling they’re using you can see that they really improved. The metrics that they give you in Lighthouse are very detailed. My prediction is they will be using this data to influence search results even further.

S: Yeah. This is a soft-ranking factor now because
content is still king, but site speed is going to be something that will be increasingly important.

M: It’s interesting that John Mueller is saying that site speed isn’t so important yet they invested so much in these metrics. Why aren’t they pushing site speed considering how much they’re working on the metrics?

S: So one theory I have is that it’s very difficult to optimize websites to the levels that Google wants. There’s a lot of lag across the web and speed is just a difficult thing for web designers to tackle.

M: Right, but isn’t all of this relative? Meaning, your site speed is relative to the site’s in your niche (i.e., those you compete with on the SERP). As a site owner, how much should I care if the overall web is slow?

R: It absolutely matters. With faster site speeds you will have lower bounce rates and more valuable and engaged users. So you’re right all things being equal having a faster site might get you one rank higher, but that doesn’t mean you’re giving the best possible experience to your end users. You can’t compare it to other sites in your same vertical you have to compare it to what the user expects.

We know from psychology studies that people lose interest after about two seconds of nothing happening on the web. They’re going to click away and shift their focus. So if your site isn’t performing well and is not giving the experience people expect and react to on a psychological level then you’re going to lose potential customers. You can’t just say you need to be better than your competitors, you need to hold yourself accountable to the standards that humans live by.

M: So does Google need to set a bar as to what’s fast and what’s slow?

R: They do. And they’re trying to do this with Lighthouse. They show you a range of green, yellow, and red and anything less than two seconds will be green. Right now we don’t have a direct impact on SERP results based on Lighthouse, but we see this as a critical component to your infrastructure and website build as the future progresses.

S: Yeah, and even though it’s not a factor now it doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future. It’s just like in the Mobilegeddon when they gave a lot of recommendations and a tool to check it and then one day they announced mobile-friendliness is now a ranking factor.

M: Do you think then that in two to five years that site speed will be as important as other factors like safety, intent, relevancy or will there always be a drop-off in its importance inherently?

S: I would argue that page speed is part of relevancy as Google wants to return the most relevant pages in search engine results. So if something is great content but it’s not great to access on a mobile device then Google may decide that it’s not relevant.

M: That’s interesting. So does site speed sit as important to a user as relevancy does? Is it even possible that UX and site speed can be more important than content relevancy?

S: No, probably not. Content will always be king as the content on the page is what people are looking for so you can’t have a page that has zero authoritative content but loads really fast. But the importance that you have to assign to UX and mobile experience is just going to increase and as more web developers get better at this it’s going to be a much more competitive environment we’re looking at.

R: And on top of that we know that site speed is valuable for other reasons besides search results. It’s about engaging users, selling your products or service and delivering a quality experience.

S: We actually have some data on this. We took to benchmarking our websites before and after the site speed optimization. For sites that had a render/start time of under one second, we saw a 10.5% conversion rate. When it got up to 3.9 seconds it dropped to a 7.7% conversion rate.

R: And this was across the thousands of websites that we host and manage. These are average conversion rates.

M: So with that data what should sites do or not do to improve site speed?

R: Site speed takes a lot of time and work, but if I can provide some quick tips with my first tip being to compress your images. First, reduce the overall pixel size of the images and then use compression algorithms to make them smaller. The second tip would be to reduce the total amount of Javascript that you are sending or need. A lot of developers when creating sites build all these additional libraries and pieces of code that aren’t necessary or are needed for just one part of the site. There are a lot of small things on top of this, but these two things, image size
and Javascript, are the main two things that can kill site speed and are the most important to take into consideration when building sites.

As a site developer, you need to set goals from the beginning. You need to always be thinking from day one that site speed is important and you need to make sure the site always loads in three seconds on any device on any connection speed.

M: You talk about images and Javascript. Do you recommend that sites go AMP?

R: So you don’t need AMP to build a fast site. AMP does a great job of sending you restrictions or putting them in place so as to force you to build a fast website. With that comes a lot of restrictions. Restrictions in design, restrictions in components you can use and how you can engage users with what you want to accomplish. So AMP was primarily made for publishers and was optimized recently for e-commerce, but it isn’t a full solution and doesn’t support every use case. Which is part of the problem… that it’s a framework that isn’t built in the standard set of web development tools.

So at Duda, we believe you don’t need it to build a fast website and if you were to build an AMP site that means having a whole new HTML, a brand new website that you’re building which just adds a whole new overhead to managing sites. And this is why we haven’t adopted it for now.

S: For small businesses, which is a lot of the people that we
service, they are not just looking for a website that’s functional with all their content that will load quickly. They are looking for an overall brand experience they can create online which they can create their own business out of. They want engaging designs that really communicate who they are because their website is their storefront window.

M: That’s very true. I saw a study that showed that if your site design isn’t appealing then users can’t trust you. It’s that first impression.

So based on your data do you think AMP has hit a wall? In our data, we track on the average number of AMP results that appear on the SERP and even the percentage of SERPs that contain an AMP result on it… that AMP has hit a wall (the average number AMPs on page one results stands at 1.5 results and it’s been that way since 2016), that it hasn’t overcome its poor perception and hasn’t shown itself to be a need. Has it hit this wall and lost its momentum?

R: Yeah. I would say so. For a lot of the reasons I mentioned. It’s not part of the standard web development life cycle to build AMP pages. Now going forward they’ve been working with WordPress and news publishers, so they’re still trying. But absolutely, from our clients, we’ve seen a drop in clients requesting needing AMP pages. We think it hit its peak potential right out of the box.

S: Yeah, they have not been able to crack the small business world of websites.

R: That is the vast majority of websites that we have today.

M: Yeah, and it’s even slowed down in the SEO community. You don’t go to conferences and hear about AMP. Point blank, do you think AMP is a ranking factor?

R: No. Full stop.

M: Okay, do you think Google would like it to be and do you think they’re going to somehow try to make AMP a ranking factor?

R: I would think this is an internal conflict with Google – between the Chrome team, the search team, and the news team. It’s actually the news team that built AMP initially. I think Google is conflicted in whether to do it in an open source or in the quasi-closed source way that they built it today… or whether it should be part of the W3C and become part of the general web going forward. This is something that Google really needs to resolve on
their side.

AMP has a lot of problems, the biggest one being delivering the URL from the Google URL instead of the primary website.

M: Let’s jump into
user experience. What do you think the correlation between UX and intent is? What I mean is, during the Medic Update, we saw sites with a UX not aligned to the site’s core profile get slammed. Meaning, a site that professes itself to be an informational site with a UX that suggests it heavily leans towards being focused on commerce. Do you think there is a relationship between UX and how Google looks at the site via the lens of intent? And how do you think Google looks at a site via intent from a UX perspective or does it not look at UX when looking at intent altogether?

S: So the Medic Update is interesting as a lot of the sites affected were YMYL sites (Your Money Your Life) because of the impact they can have on a user’s current or future wellbeing via physical, financial, safety-related, etc. And as a result, they should avoid trying to convince users through marketing and sales content to purchase products they had no intention of buying.

I think Google will be looking at these sites to see if they have authoritative content but at the same time have all of the hallmarks of an e-commerce website. Meaning, it doesn’t look like its conforming to the intent of the searchers. I think that they are going to look at usability in that way as a ranking factor.

R: And it’s an E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) framework you’re trying to get to. You’re not going to build trust if you’re selling a shady product that may or may not help their life. I think Google will see that content primarily as spam.

M: Do you think Google has gotten better in defining what UX works better for what site? Is it able to distinguish on mobile what UX works better?

S: We haven’t seen that yet. We have seen the broader mobile best practices (no pop-ups, no overlays, etc.).



M:
So going forward, what are some of the big-ticket items a site should consider when considering its design and functionality?

R: I think it’s user search intent. It’s asking the question to yourself when building the site, “What problem am I solving, what question am I answering by writing this content and giving this information to a user?” For example, if someone was searching for the top five workouts that will help your core I would want to write content that really solves that question and gives answers in an authoritative and thoughtful way.

You’re trying to solve the searcher’s query and solve their intent by building these pages. It’s really about taking a step back and thinking about the content you’re trying to put out and what problem people are trying to solve by searching for it in the first place.

S: And, of course, don’t do any sort of bait-and-switch like pulling up a Wikipedia entry then adding e-commerce stuff to it because that will go against the trustworthiness of E-A-T.

M: Did you notice any new trends come up on mobile or has it developed as is and this is the future?

R: Personally I don’t think we’ll have a major jump forward in UX design until we get to the next device type out there like voice, watches, etc. We’re not going to have a new design paradigm until we get a new interface for people to build for.

S: Mobile design will continue to grow moving forward like, for example, progressive web apps.

R: Yes, I see it as an evolution, it’s a step forward but it’s not a huge rethink how we process and design.

M: Speaking of voice, based on what Google shows on devices like Google Hub (a mix between Google Home and a tablet), do you think that will change UX or how users interact with the interface or
is it basically like a tablet and you happen to hear the answer?

R: So it really depends on how they use the broader data from the web. Today they do, with voice results, schema markup, those are things you can influence and as they open it up more then it will absolutely be more important for website owners to influence that as much as possible.

Mobile Page Speed or UX: Optimize It or Disavow It [38:11 – 40:28]

M: I have a segment called “Optimize It or Disavow It!” (It’s a bit like a “Marry, ****, or Dump” game). Basically, it’s a fun little thing where I give you the choice of either two terrible ideas or two essential ideas and you have to choose one over the other – which of course is frothing with conflict – which is the entire point.

Site speed or user experience…. If you had to go with one over the other… which one do you optimize for? Which do you optimize for and which do you disavow – site speed or usability?

R: I would have to disavow speed and optimize usability. If I built a site that has dark, gray text on a black background then I can’t read or understand the text why would anyone want to stay there? So it’s critical to have good display and content which is the reason your users are there in the first place.

M: Well thank you so much for coming on the show. To our audience, please check out their website.

R: Thank you so much, this was great and we really enjoy chatting with you.

S: Yeah, thanks Mordy!

SEO News [42:25 – 45:09]

Google Discover Feed Data Possibly Coming to Search Console: There are rumors that Google might be on its way to putting data from the Discover Feed into Search Console! Putting Discover on the mobile homepage was sure to have changed user behavior. It would be great to see if and how that’s had an impact on sites.

Google Confirms YMYL Sites Being Ranked Differently: Google has confirmed that they can indeed identify YMYL sites algorithmically. In a new Google whitepaper, the search engine said the algorithm weighs the applicable ranking factors differently for YMYL sites. Part of that process seems to be a more substantial reliance on a site’s link profile. 

Less Clicks Needed for Google Mobile Speed Score: Google is giving advertisers more mobile landing page speed insights as fewer clicks will be required for a page to receive a score.

Google is Testing Giant Image Search Ads: Google is testing bringing its large and highly visual ads to more business categories. The ads are a carousel of very large images that when clicked on bring you to a Google page dedicated to the product/advertiser.

The Fun SEO Send Off Question [45:09 – 47:05]

 

Is Google a coupon cutter?

Does it use coupons when going to the grocery store? 

Kim thinks that although Google wouldn’t be using a real set of scissors on paper, it is for sure on top of the game with all deals that are out there. Mordy agrees and adds that Google is all about the finer details and if it could save 10 cents on a cherry pie filling it will do as such!

Be sure to catch another episode of The In Search SEO podcast next Tuesday!

About The Author

The In Search SEO Podcast

In Search is a weekly SEO podcast featuring some of the biggest names in the search marketing industry.

Tune in to hear pure SEO insights with a ton of personality!

New episodes are released each Tuesday!



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Continuous Scrolling on Google Mobile: What Does it Mean For Brands?

By | November 10, 2021


Google recently announced a major change to the mobile search experience by way of the introduction of continuous scrolling. This new functionality builds on Google’s redesign of the mobile search results page, which began rolling out early in 2021.

By removing the natural stopping point that is the “See more” button, Google is enabling searchers to seamlessly continue browsing until they find the best answer for their needs.

What does continuous scrolling on mobile mean for enterprise brands, and how can you best take advantage of this opportunity for greater online visibility? We’ll explore the answers to these questions below.

What Is Continuous Scrolling?

Google explains the change for users:

“Now, when you reach the bottom of a search results page on your phone, the next set of results will automatically load with relevant information.”

Often, the result a searcher is looking for is in the top results – but not always. Google knows this, and this update is designed to make it easier for searchers to dig deeper into the results without having to click the “See More” button.

New results will not load infinitely; the automatic load with continuous scroll is limited to the first four pages of results for any given query. After that, the searcher will need to click the “See more” button to load page five and beyond.

We know that each time you ask users to click to complete an action, you lose some. Continuous scrolling makes navigating to results in positions 11 to 40 seamless.

What Does it Mean for Brands?

Results that may have been considered within striking distance to the front page previously are now readily available with continuous scrolling – at least, on mobile. Searchers no longer have to wait for a new page of results to load, which will directly impact both user experience and the visibility of those lower-down results.

If optimizing striking distance results to achieve the front page on mobile was an area of focus before, it may not be the most worthwhile place to invest your resources now.

Certainly, brand marketers and SEOs will want to analyze mobile performance reports to gauge the impact of this change. “Striking distance” may be redefined as positions 10-40 may enjoy higher click-through rates than before.

There may be measurable changes for advertisers, as well.

How Does it Impact Advertising?

According to Mohamed Farid, Product Manager at Google Ads, Google expects clicks, conversions, average CPC, and average CPA to remain flat. However, he says, “Search campaigns may see more impressions from top ads and fewer impressions from bottom ads.”

As for any potential impact on reporting, Google clarified on Twitter:

“Continuous scroll also does not change how position reporting works in Search Console. Positions reporting remains as if pages weren’t automatically loaded.”

Brand marketers and SEOs may want to implement the following tips in light of this update:

  • Monitor your local reporting and rank tracking on impactful local keywords for new opportunities to optimize content and apply CRO tactics where content may be getting more visibility now on mobile.
  • Plan to refresh older pages that are resurfacing as opportunities in positions 10 to 40, particularly in your most competitive and lucrative markets.
  • Look for opportunities to adjust your PPC spend down where organic results are now more visible.
  • Look for new keyword opportunities for local pages and optimize accordingly. Terms that may not have seemed worth targeting before could offer new visibility with continuous scroll.
  • Be aware of how your search snippets appear. The flip side of enhanced visibility for positions 11-40 means it’s more important than ever that your search results capture the attention of mobile searchers, compelling them to click. We know that Google rewrites title tags and may not use your meta description as the search snippet. Often, it will pull content from the top of the page if the meta description you’ve written doesn’t appeal to the engine.

Google’s switch to continuous scrolling on mobile makes monitoring your search rankings and appearance across all locations essential. Get in touch with your Account Director if you’d like to learn more.





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What is the Google Site Kit plugin?

By | November 10, 2021


Site Kit is an official Google plugin designed for WordPress. It brings together a collection of Google tools to manage and optimize your site. It’s easy to use, even if you don’t have a lot of technical knowledge. So if you’ve ever wanted to check things like which of your pages gets the most visitors, but you didn’t want to learn how to use Google Analytics, Site Kit is the plugin for you! But it’s not only for checking your site statistics, you can do loads of other stuff with it too. And it’s free. Keep reading to find out all about what the Site Kit plugin can do for your and your site.

Why you should consider using Site Kit

There are loads of Google tools available to help you monitor and improve your site’s performance. Each of these tools exist independently of each other, and they offer a different array of features for different purposes. Some of those features are must-haves for good SEO and site maintenance, while others are really only useful for technical SEO experts. Unfortunately with the time and effort needed to set up each tool individually, in some cases it just wasn’t worth the hassle to use them all.

The difference with Site Kit is this:

  • You can set it up much more easily, with simple steps to get everything connected.
  • You’ll get the must-have features in the back-end of your site, so you won’t need to go to various different locations to find what you need.

You can install the plugin by visiting the Site Kit homepage, where you can read more about what it is and how to use it. Or alternatively, you can head over to the WordPress plugins library and search for ‘site kit’ to find the plugin.

What’s included in Site Kit?

Below you’ll find a description of all the tools you can use with Google Site Kit. Note that Site Kit only adds the ‘best bits’ of these tools. So, which features are included, and what can you do with them?

Search Console

Google Search Console has loads of features to monitor your site’s performance in Google Search. You can find out which queries users search for that are leading them to your site in the search results. You can also see your average search position for different searches, as well as how many people see those results, and how many people actually click on your result too.

This information is really essential for SEO, so Site Kit always includes it by default. If you find this kind of information useful or interesting for your site, you can find even more in the full version of Google Search Console.

Read more: What is Google Search Console? »

Google Analytics

The Google Analytics part of Site Kit will show you more info about where different users came from. What countries are your visitors from? Did they come via search, did they click a link somewhere else, or did they go directly to your site by entering a URL in their browser? And what kind of devices are they using to visit your site: desktop, or mobile?

Once people have reached your site, it can be really useful to see what they do there! So you can also see some (anonymous) data about user behaviour. For instance, you can see which pages users are looking at the most and how long they spend on your site.

These are really just the basics of what you can do with Google Analytics! If you want to delve deeper, you can do so by setting up Google Analytics for your site and learning how to use this powerful tool.

Keep reading: Tracking your SEO with Google Analytics: a how-to »

When you install Site Kit, it will add Search Console and Google Analytics automatically. The rest of the tools listed below are optional, and you can connect them by navigating to Site Kit > Settings in the back-end of your WordPress site:

And image of the Google Site Kit Settings menu
Add these optional Site Kit tools in the Site Kit Settings menu

AdSense

If you’ve got a website, chances are you want to make some money from it. One of the easiest ways to do that is by enabling AdSense, Google’s advertising service. Doing that lets Google to place relevant ads on your pages. And if people click on them, you’ll get paid for it.

When you’re using AdSense, you can track the performance of your advertising easily with Site Kit. The reports include information such as:

  • how many adverts AdSense is showing on your site,
  • your estimated earnings from those ads,
  • which pages earn you the most money (you’ll need to have Google Analytics enabled for this last one).

PageSpeed Insights

Do you want your pages to rank well in Google? Then you need to make sure they load quickly for your users. When you activate PageSpeed Insights in Google Site Kit, you’ll see how your homepage is performing for real users visiting your site. Are there any important aspects that can be improved? If there are, you’ll get helpful recommendations to help you get your site loading more quickly and smoothly.

PageSpeed Insights are based on data from Google Lighthouse. If you want to check the speed of more pages on your site, you can download the Google Lighthouse extension for Chrome. Tip: you’ll probably need some developer skills or technical SEO knowledge to get the most out of this tool. Find out more about how to use it with this guide from Google Tools for Web Developers.

Read on: How to check site speed »

Tag Manager

Tag Manager is a tool for setting up marketing tags, which help you to monitor the performance of your marketing activities. If you don’t do any marketing, you probably don’t need these. But if you do, then tags offer you the capability to track what’s working (and what isn’t). That stuff can be pretty technical to set up, so using Tag Manager is a great solution if you’re not an expert. Site Kit can help you to get everything set up from the back-end of your site.

Once your Tag Manager tags are up-and-running, you can add the data they generate in Google Analytics. This will give you a more complete overview of what’s happening on your site and how users are interacting with your content. If you want to manage more aspects of your tags, you can do so using the Google Tag Manager tool.

Keep on reading: Google Tag Manager: an introduction »

Optimize

Have you ever wondered if doing things a bit differently might make a big difference? With Optimize, you can find out! This neat Google tool will let you run A/B tests (and more) to see if users respond better to version A or version B of your website. With a bit of trial and error, you can really perfect your site and your users’ experience.

Using Site Kit will let you easily set up Optimize and run tests on your site. You can also connect Optimize with Google Analytics to find areas needing improvement and see the results of your optimizations. Plus, if you use AdSense you can use Optimize to make your advertising more effective too. You can find out more about Optimize here if you’re interested.

Try Site Kit for yourself

Now you know the basics of what Site Kit is and what it can do. All you need to do now is install the plugin and get to know the tools yourself. It’s not a problem if you don’t use every part of Site Kit — just give it a go and see what works for you. It could really help you improve your site, so give it a try. Let us know what you think about this official Google plugin in the comments section when you’re done!

Read more: Top WordPress plugin recommendations »



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Getting Started on Walmart Marketplace: What You Need To Know | SEOblog.com

By | November 10, 2021


Is there anyone who hasn’t heard about Walmart? Every fourth American visits the Walmart website each month. The company started its journey in 1962 in Arkansas as the store that would offer products at low prices and “make customers’ lives better.” Founded by Sam Walton, also known as “Mr. Sam,” the company was incorporated under Delaware General Corporation Law on October 31, 1969.

Decades into its success, the well-known brick-and-mortar company decided to launch Walmart Marketplace in 2009. This rollout enabled third-party sellers to list and sell their products on Walmart’s website. Its massive growth over the years has made it one of the three top marketplaces in the United States. 

So, if you are a seller considering putting up your products on Walmart Marketplace, here’s a quick overview of some best practices, costs, fees and shipping options:

How To Start Selling on Walmart Marketplace

Selling on Walmart means arranging a partnership with Walmart. With this partnership, your product listings will become visible to more than 100 million monthly visitors of the Walmart website. 

Walmart strives to build relationships with sellers with an excellent reputation, high-level customer service and a proven track record of delivering customer satisfaction. Unlike other marketplaces, Walmart doesn’t allow the sale of used products. To check products prohibited from being sold on Walmart, check Walmart’s Marketplace Prohibited Products Policy

If your products are not part of the list, follow the steps below to get started.

The first step is completing the Request to Sell Application. The application should not take more than 15 mins to fill out. Before starting, make sure you have the following documentation and information ready: 

  • US Business Tax ID
  • W9 or W8 and EIN Verification Letter from the Department of Treasury
  • Walmart Integration Method

You will need a planned integration method for your product catalog. You will provide information on primary product categories, catalog size and related information (e.g., total SKUs you will be selling on Walmart.com initially with verified UPC information and used vs. refurbished).

Walmart usually approves or declines requests within 14 business days. In case of approval, you’ll acknowledge the Retailer Agreement and then start the onboarding process. 

After that, you will get an invitation to sign up and register on Seller Center, a place where you will integrate your products, manage inventory, shipments, returns and customer service, as well as check for your seller profile performances. 

Your items will look like any other items listed on Walmart, except they will include your company info, shipping, return policy and contact information. 

Costs, Fees, Payout and Shipping Options

With Walmart, there are no setup, subscription or monthly fees. A referral/commission fee is deducted once a sale occurs on its website, and that is everything about basic fees. Percentages vary based on category, but the range is usually between 8 percent and 15 percent. Since you have fees only in case of having sales, everyone will agree this is a great option.

Walmart usually processes payouts to sellers automatically to their US Bank account every two weeks. However, there is a seven-day payment cycle for some sellers though. 

When we speak about shipping options, it is essential to know that you can’t use shipping services from other marketplaces, including FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon). 

You can fulfill Walmart orders using your warehouses/third-party shipping services or apply to Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS). Sellers approved for WFS send their inventory to Walmart Fulfillment Centers. And that’s it! Similar to Amazon, Walmart will take care of storing, selecting and shipping your orders. 

How Much Does WFS Cost? What Are the Requirements for Application?

You don’t want oversized items because Walmart fees for “special oversize tier” items are super high. You want to have dimensions as per WFS maximum package weight and size requirements: 

  1. Maximum weight of 30 lbs
  2. Maximum dimensions of 25 x 20 x 14 inches

Fulfillment fees depending on the weight of the item:

  1. If weight is less than or equal to 2lbs, a fee is $4.95
  2. If weight is less than or equal to 3 lbs, a fee is $5.45
  3. If weight is less than or equal to 4 lbs, and up to 20 lbs, a fee is $5.75 + $0.40 for every additional lb
  4. For weights above 20 lbs and up to 30 lbs, add $3.00 to the above fees

Storage fees depending on the period of the year. According to that, we have fees for: 

  • January – September (Q1 – Q3), fees are $0.75/cubic foot per month.
  • October – December (Q4), fees are $0.75/cubic foot per month for items stored less than 30 days. Add $1.50/cubic foot per month (total: $2.25/cubic foot per month) for items stored for more than 30 days

These best practices and overviews should make your decision to start selling on Walmart much easier. 

Ultimately, to be a great seller on Walmart Marketplace, don’t forget to maintain: 

  1. Low Cancellation Rate: This is the percentage of canceled orders after receiving an order from Walmart. Low cancellation rate means maintaining this number below 2 percent in a 14-day period.
  2. High On-Time Delivery Rate: On-Time Delivery Rate is the percentage of orders that shipped or received shipping confirmation by the expected shipment ****. High On-Time Delivery **** means maintaining this rate higher than 99 percent.
  3. Low Return Rate: Having a low number of returns is crucial for any Walmart Seller. A high number of returns will cost you money and time and it will affect your order defect rate.
  4. Valid Tracking Rate: Tracking Rate is a percentage of the orders with valid tracking information on or by the expected delivery ****. Valid tracking rate also should be above 99 percent.

All of these metrics combined are parts of the Order Defect Rate (ODR), which is required to be lower than 2 percent in a 90-day period. 

Conclusion

If you are considering selling your product on Walmart Marketplace, make sure you have product dimensions as required, consider all costs you will have, and that you can provide a great experience to the customers.

As mentioned before, Walmart wants to build a community of sellers with a great reputation. A high on-time delivery rate with a low number of returns is one of the top KPIs that every seller needs to keep in mind. Happy selling on Walmart!





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