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With more data on purchase intent, consumers, advertising methods and the shift from big-box retailers to online stores, the apparel industry has seen a massive shift in its advertising structure over the past few years. More powerful marketing technology and a more competitive market have forced the industry through its most profound transformation since the industrial revolution.
Google regularly changes their search result types based upon user intent, allowing them to home in on what people need in certain verticals. A search engine results page (SERP) may displayvideos, related articles or answer boxes based on the user's presumed intent. That means apparel retailers need to expand and optimize their content offerings based on SERP displays for their target keywords.
Furthermore, advertising and marketing areno longer solelyabout conversions - apparel brands are also setting goals and measuring success in terms of how well they appeal to, interact with and engage returning and new consumers. To stay relevant in today's apparel industry, it's essential for brands to embrace new marketing methods and measurements.
The apparel vertical's competitive landscape continues to increase with new brands, shifting search trends, and of course, the increase of online conversions versus in-store sales. By leveraging the reach of new digital methods and different devices, apparel brands can improveuser engagement in ways that gobeyond the simple click to purchase.
Have a relatable voice
Brands must engage their core audience members by relating to them through personalized content. By understanding their users, brands can create a content strategy that aligns with their SEO and social media goals.
While conveying their relatable tone of voice and personality through content, brands must also use key insights from purchase data, audience data, and even seasonality to appeal to people. For instance, Nordstrom has mastered tailoring content around important events and seasonality. This includes events like prom, wedding season, seasonal work attire and swimwear for different occasions.
When searching for the query of wedding guest, Google understands my user intent: finding something to wear for a friend's wedding. Nordstrom ranks highly in the SERP, as they have formatted their online content and optimized it with the user intent in mind.
On Facebook, Nordstrom leads the discussion for work attire and the newest wedding looks. They're simple and sleek throughout imagery, post copy and the links provided that clearly result in engagement, visibility, word-of-mouth, and even conversions. It's no wonder the brand's millennial mindset has paved the way for their future.
Content that's written for the purchase intent prevails with this strategy. The key is to focus on what the consumers want to interact with.
For another example, take the online male apparel brand,Chubbies. This brand isextremely niche, selling mostly shorts and swim trunks for men. The brand has developed a distinct voice and culture for all its digital channels with a unified brand image.
Find your influence
Marketers know that people trust people more than they trust brands. Developing and implementing an influencer campaign exposes your brand to new audiences that are more likely to enjoy your products. It's also a chance to harness relationships that may have not derived from more traditional methods of digital marketing.
For example, this BlackMilk Clothing influencer taps into her own social circles and followers to share her favorite items. She answers user questions and spreads word of the brand to new audiences.
At ZOG Digital, we've seen a targeted increase in followers when employing this strategy. By working closely with niche fashion influencers for blogging and social media efforts, we directly saw over 300 percent increase in average engagement rate on Facebook only and over 520 percent increase in new followers on Instagram.
And influencers are not just for social media; many influencers run their own blogs on top of social media platforms. When influencers develop new blog content featuring or linking to your brand, it can have a direct impact on the visibility of your brand in SERPs.
Brands should varyhow they communicate with (potential) customers, pushing content across their own webpropertiesand those of influencers. With their now expanded media metrics, the outcomes can all be connected and work toward a specific brand goal, like visibility, increase of engagement or followers and simple brand awareness.
Take online shopping to specific products
While many brands recognize the power behind traditionalsearch adsand Facebook ads, they still have not expanded into or experimented with Shopping ads.
Shopping ads, also known as Product Listing Ads (PLAs), appear at the top of Google mobile search results and in the right rail on Google desktop search results. They're more than a simple text ad-there's a visual aspect as well. These ads show users a photo of your product, a title, price, store name, color and size. And if that's not enough, ad extensions can help you add more detail to your Shopping ads.
Brands that use Shopping ads to promote their inventory have often seen improved website and in-store traffic. These ads can alsonurture leads who may be thinking about purchasing a product. We've seen significant success within apparel brands utilizing Shopping ads with tailored strategies encompassing different product categories.
When implementing a shopping campaign as a part of our client's paid strategy, we saw a direct impact on the total site conversions and traffic. During the first month of the new Shopping campaign, the clientsawnearly 5,000 conversions, with the Shopping ads playing an essential role in 40 percent of those conversions. Since the campaign'simplementation, the client has seenyear-over-year growth in direct traffic revenue of 90 percent, with Shopping ads assisting overall site revenue by over 50 percent.
It's time for apparel brands to evolve their strategies and measurement beyond just conversions. Rather than rest on your laurels, take these digital marketing tactics for a test drive and see if they work for your audience.
It's imperative to test content strategies, influencer marketing, shopping ads and other approaches. Otherwise, you'll be left behind in the heat of competition -optimizing and hoping for conversions, rather than embracing and accepting the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing.
The post It's time to embrace new strategies for apparel: Broadening tactics through user intent appeared first on Search Engine Land.
Google Plus has risen from the dead! No we're only joking, that's highly unlikely.
Google have now rolled out their Posts function for all small businesses with a Google My Business account.
No idea what Posts are? You'd be forgiven for being confused, managing your business information on Google calls for some deciphering of the difference between Google My Business and Google+, which can lead to some serious head scratching.
Hence why we are taking the time to explore what Google Posts are and what they mean for small businesses (and celebrities, big businesses and Twitter).
Google has also refrained from making a big song and dance of Posts so the amount of information out there is particularly limited on this occasion. To add to the confusion, the term 'Google Posts' or 'Posts on Google' is not actually the official name given to this feature, as per some of the Google search algorithm updates, Posts has been named as such by the wider community.
The term Google Posts was presumably born out of the language used by Google when describing the feature, e.g 'post with Google'.
Let's start from the beginning: What are Google Posts?
Originally tested during the 2016 US elections, Posts offered candidates the ability to submit updates that would appear directly in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and Google Maps.
These posts were also categorized with dropdowns, further helping users to access critical information. In 2016, selected businesses and individuals, including musicians, were used to trial Posts. Apparently these test results were good enough for a wider roll out in 2017.
The posts appear as cards in the SERPs with various calls to action including 'more' and social sharing to Facebook, Twitter and Google.
How to use Google Posts
First things first, if you're based in London like us, Google haven't fully rolled posts out to everyone so you have to join the waiting list. In our opinion it is definitely worth registering.
Once you have been approved, the format appears to be reasonably simple. Simply log on to your GMB account, select 'Create a Post' and follow the options.
You can use Google Posts in a variety of formats including events (with dates and times), image based, video, animated GIFs and text based posts.
Google say that each post will be removed after 7 days, after the date for an event has expired to ensure that posts are timely
Impact on SEO
In a case study last year on Search Engine Watch, Rebecca Sentance noticed that Google Posts were appearing for search terms such as 'engagement rings Buffalo', i.e non branded search terms. This was particularly exciting, however upon investigation it would appear that Google has now backtracked on this decision to have Posts.
Probably a good thing it would be a safe bet that the underbelly of the SEO world would look to spam Posts should they appear for transactional terms. Regardless, as discussed in a previous blog post, SEO is more than just onsite, content and links.
Great SEO also takes into account the whole user flow, including improving click-through rates from results pages, which Posts should contribute to.
We will have to wait for a wider roll out to see the real effect that Google Posts will have on CTR. However, it does not take a huge leap of faith to bet that, if used properly, Posts will draw the eye and add to credibility and subsequently improve CTR.
The fact that you can incorporate autoplay GIFs into Posts that appear in search adds another dimension to your appearance in the SERPs. We believe that early adopters could gain a critical edge over competition in the SERPs, especially for those in 2nd, 3rd or 4th place who could differentiate their listing from those above them.
Finally, let's face it, Google has an assumed level of authority with most internet users. That's what makes them so profitable people trust Google's search results. They may not trust them as a brand, but that's slightly different.
Accompanying your Google Posts is a nice blue tick next to your name, giving your brand a boost in terms of social verification. Google has endorsed you. If that doesn't have an effect, then we can all forget about the influence of status in all walks of life.
Mobile vs desktop
This is where there is a big difference for Posts. The long and short of it is that Posts are almost immediately viewable when scrolling on mobile (just under the maps result) whereas for branded search on desktop they are on the right hand side Knowledge Graph, below all of your other GMB information.
With Google's push towards mobile-first indexing and AMP, Posts take a prominent position in the SERPs on mobile. Does this dictate that they will be considered a ranking factor? Not necessarily. However, expect businesses to receive higher levels of engagement and CTR from mobile when compared with desktop, especially for branded searches.
On the other hand, this advantage could be neutralized for non branded searches where the Post carousel is appearing directly beneath the search result, rather than under the business' GMB profile.
How do Google Posts influence yourranking?
Considering the almost stealthy roll-out of Posts, we do not expect Google to comment on whether Posts will be taken into account as a ranking factor in search. For the moment, therefore, we would recommend concentrating on utilizing them as a feature to improve CTR, and therefore traffic, to content.
Posts are certainly not a social network in the traditional sense, when compared with the major platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Furthermore, we only need look at the ambiguous information out there on how social media may or may not affect ranking ability to guess that Google will not be commenting on the influence of Posts on SERPs for some time if ever.
Are posts a spin off of Google Authors?
Posts appear to be somewhat of a spin off of the now defunct Google Authorship experiment, but with more functionality, i.e. the ability to advertise events in Posts. Much like Google Authorship, Posts will provide almost instantly indexable content and another dimension to search results.
Businesses will be able to drive traffic through search results to specific pieces of content or key calls to action from Posts, adding further options for users compared with the more standard main search link or associated sitelinks.
Top stories and Twitter carousel
Again, we will need to see this roll out fully to see the impact on search results, but it is an interesting conundrum for Google. Currently big brands will tend to have Google's 'Top Stories' and a Twitter carousel appear in search results. Add Posts to this equation and it raises interesting questions. Which takes priority? Content published directly to their GMB page, or Twitter/news outlets?
One would imagine that Google would look after their own interests, but their recent record 2.4 billion fine by the EU for essentially providing biased Google shopping results may influence their decisions on this matter.
Posts do seem to compete more directly with the Twitter carousel due to their time-sensitive nature, which is not exactly great news for the already presumably very sweaty and sleep deprived team at Twitter. Especially considering the language used on Google's page explaining Posts: Your Presence on Google, Fresher than Ever.
We are actually quite excited about the potential of Posts. It adds another dimension to our role as SEOs, and we can see early adopters using it to significantly boost content marketing efforts.
Interestingly and a topic which has been briefly touched upon by Search Engine Watch the way in which businesses utilize Posts could be a substantial influencing factor on their effectiveness. Businesses will have to be conscious of whether they use it to promote new products, events, provide key information (e.g guides), or a blend of content.
First impressions count, even before the user has clicked on your search result. Subsequently, early adopters should look to define their strategy for Posts quickly rather than being an early adopter for the sake of it.
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We have two primary forms of leads: online and offline. This article talks about how to combineonline and offline marketing for more efficient lead generation.
In today's world we are mostly narrowing in to online leads, thanks to the Internet essentially opening up the entire world for us to peruse. But offline leads should still be a factor we consider moving forward.
Looking at the two it is easy to see that online leads are going to be the more important source of generation. It produces the most, after all.
That isn't an excuse to ignore the harder work involved in offline lead curating, as that will ramp up your marketing benefits by leaps and bounds. Especially in terms of B2B interaction something that we should all be trying our best to take advantage of.
Bringing offline and online lead generation together
Finding ways to combine offline and online leads isn't nearly as difficult as it sounds. Actually, the two really help the other to succeed.
Here are some ways you can start making each work for the other, making your marketing strategy more effective than ever before.
Online lead generation helps more informed offline marketing decisions
Cold calling has got too old. Online marketing has turned the things around: These days you can make sure your lead is ready (and even waiting) for your sales call. Here are a few examples of how your online lead generation efforts can lead to more offline deals.
Leadfeederlets you identify companies behind your website logs and provides you with detailed contact information for you to build that connection further. Normally, a combination of online and offline relationship building works best. For example, you can engage with the lead on social media and then bring that connection offline by giving them a call.
Offering free downloads or a free product prior to getting in touch could be even more powerful. For example, at Internet Marketing Ninjas, we give away free case studies and whitepapers and have a nice private dashboard where we can see what exactly was downloaded by a particular lead. This helps our sales team to put together a more targeted proposal before giving this lead a call.
Giving away freebies (free services or products) is another effective option here, and it can be less work than you may think. As an example,SE Rankingallows marketing companies to install a lead generation widget for visitors to request a free report. The free report will be generated, white-labeled and sent to the prospect automatically by SE Ranking and as a result you have a qualified lead with no work done (apart from attracting that visitor with your content).
From here on out, you can get in touch with the customer by phone and hopefully get a deal:
Salesforceprovides more ways to qualify your leads automatically before you reach out to them offline. Once leads begin to respond to nurturing efforts and their scores increase, you can automatically assign them to sales for follow up.
Use social media listening to better under understand your customers
Social media provides a lot of opportunities for businesses to understand their customers better and thus build their offline lead generation strategy accordingly. What questions do your customers ask on social media? What do they think about you or your competitors? How can you design their offline experience to serve them better?
Brand24is one of the most powerful social media listening platform allowing you to find online leads, identify where to promote your products and find customers before they find you. Itprovides one of the most powerful sentiment analyses on the market and lets you snatch leads from your competitors by beingthe first to engage with theirunhappy customers.
It alsointegratesnicely with Slack allowing your whole team to better engage with social media leads more efficiently (and learn more about your customers too!).
Make your offline marketing materials link to your online assets
Let's say you create a stack of physical brochures that you are giving out at a trade show. You don't want to make people work to find you online make it easy for them! Or maybe you have business cards to give out. Your website should be right there, easy to see, the URL clear.
Businesses have been utilizing this marketing tactic for ages now. Yet, many of them still need a reminder. Here'san old Mashable postencouraging businesses to design social-media-friendly business cards, for example.
Canvais an easy way to design online marketing materials which you can also re-use offline:
Social media pages are also a great inclusion, as it ties in all your sources of leads nicely. If you give out other promotional items, such as pens, magnets, keychains, etc., make sure they also reflect your online presence.
Start looking for community outreach opportunities
Recently there was a local art fair put on downtown in my city. The booths were mostly local companies and artists, but among them were some huge names in the telecom, financial and medical business. They were giving away free items, holding contests and answering questions from people visiting their booths.
I have seen these same brands at other community events such as library gatherings, unveilings, and charity auctions. All of them promoted those appearances heavily online ahead of time and used the chance at being face to face to take photos and run social media contests. It is great PR.
To get you inspired, here's a neat example of an offline event utilizing Twitter marketing: in 2015 PubconorganizedPregame Twitter Tailgate Party contests, giving away prizes for the best tweets promoting the conference.
Online tools provide a great way to organize and funnel those leads before you reach out to invite them to become part of your competitor. I useSalesmateto organize leadsthat integrate well with my favorite online apps:
Get to those conventions on social live feeds
This is my favorite tip on this list. Social media sites like Youtube, Twitter and Facebook allow you to livestream. So the next time you are at a big convention or floor show, make sure you are showing your followers.
Hype up a hashtag to follow for a couple of weeks in advance, take questions or run interviews and show your followers what is going on. It is a great way to catch some attention where otherwise you might have been ignored. Plus it shows people at the convention who you are, as well.
There's a great guide over at Convince and Convert on how brands are usingstreaming video for conference marketing. As an example, Nissan streamed the launch of its2016Maximaat the New York auto show and Dunkin Donuts summer music effort across sevenplatforms, including Periscope and Spotify.
Online and offline lead generation are not at odds. They are a chance to combine your efforts for greater value! Start including both in your marketing campaigns and you will be amazed at how much more productive those efforts will be.
Have a tip for combining online and offline leads? Let us know in the comments!
Today, brand storytelling is about creating a consistent experience and invoking emotion across multiple channels - meaning marketers have to become masters of those channels and content types. Brand storytelling is at the heart of driving emotional connections with consumers, and successful brands have proven there are many ways to tell stories.
Companies need a platform that lets them develop the content, create the stories and post content on social platforms the way they want, while delivering the right content to the right audience at the right moment.
This white paper from Brightspot outlines the best practices of successful storytelling and identifies four key technology functions to look for that support those best practices. Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download Technology That Enables Great Storytelling.
Posted by bridget.randolph
Recently I made the shift to freelancing full-time, and it's led me to participate in a few online communities for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners. I've noticed a trend in the way many of them talk about SEO; specifically, the blocks they face in attempting to do SEO for their businesses. Again and again, the concept that "SEO is too hard to stay on top of... it's always changing" was being stated as a major reason that people feel a) overwhelmed by SEO; b) intimidated by SEO; and c) uninformed about SEO.
And it's not just non-SEOs who use this phrase. The concept of the ever-changing landscape of SEO is common within SEO circles as well. In fact, I've almost certainly used this phrase myself.
But is it actually true?
To answer that question, we have to separate the theory of search engine optimization from the various tactics which we as SEO professionals spend so much time debating and testing. The more that I work with smaller businesses and individuals, the clearer it becomes to me that although the technology is always evolving and developing, and tactics (particularly those that attempt to trick Google rather than follow their guidelines) do need to adapt fairly rapidly, there are certain fundamentals of SEO that change very little over time, and which a non-specialist can easily understand.
The unchanging fundamentals of SEO
Google's algorithm is based on an academia-inspired model of categorization and citations, which utilizes keywords as a way to decipher the topic of a page, and links from other sites (known as backlinks) to determine the relative authority of that site. Their method and technology keeps getting more sophisticated over time, but the principles have remained the same.
So what are these basic principles?
It comes down to answering the following questions:
If your website is set up to help Google and other search engines answer these 4 questions, you will have covered the basic fundamentals of search engine optimization.
There is a lot more that you can do to optimize in all of these areas and beyond, but for businesses that are just starting out and/or on a tight budget, these are the baseline concepts you'll need to know.
You could have the best content in the world, but it won't drive any search traffic if the search engines can't find it. This means that the crawlability of your site is one of the most important factors in ensuring a solid SEO foundation.
In order to find your content and rank it in the search results, a search engine needs to be able to:
This is primarily a technical task, although it is related to having a good site structure (the next core area). You may need to adapt the code, and/or use an SEO plugin if your site runs on Wordpress.
For more in-depth guides to technical SEO and crawlability, check out the following posts:
In addition to making sure that your content is accessible and crawlable, it's also important to help search engines understand the hierarchy and relative importance of that content. It can be tempting to think that every page is equally important to rank, but failing to structure your site in a hierarchical way often dilutes the impact of your money pages. Instead, you should think about what the most important pages are, and structure the rest of your site around these.
When Google and other search engine crawlers visit a site, they attempt to navigate to the homepage; then click on every link. Googlebot assumes that the pages it sees the most are the most important pages. So when you can reach a page with a single click from the homepage, or when it is linked to on every page (for example, in a top or side navigation bar, or a site footer section), Googlebot will see those pages more, and will therefore consider them to be more important. For less important pages, you'll still need to link to them from somewhere for search engines to be able to see them, but you don't need to emphasize them quite as frequently or keep them as close to the homepage.
The main question to ask is: Can search engines tell what your most important pages are, just by looking at the structure of your website? Google's goal is to to save users steps, so the easier you make it for them to find and prioritize your content, the more they'll like it.
For more in-depth guides to good site structure, check out the following posts:
Once the content you create is accessible to crawlers, the next step is to make sure that you're giving the search engines an accurate picture of what that content is about, to help them understand which search queries your pages would be relevant to. This is where keywords come into the mix.
We use keywords to tell the search engine what each page is about, so that they can rank our content for queries which are most relevant to our website. You might hear advice to use your keywords over and over again on a page in order to rank well. The problem with this approach is that it doesn't always create a great experience for users, and over time Google has stopped ranking pages which it perceives as being a poor user experience.
Instead, what Google is looking for in terms of keyword usage is that you:
You should only ever target one primary keyword (or phrase) per page. You can include secondary keywords, which are related to the primary keyword directly (think category vs subcategory). I sometimes see people attempting to target too many topics with a single page, in an effort to widen the net. But it is better to separate these out so that there's a different page for each different angle on the topic.
The easiest way to think about this is in physical terms. Search engines' methods are roughly based on the concept of library card catalogs, and so we can imagine that Google is categorizing pages in a similar way to a library using the Dewey decimal system to categorize books. You might have a book categorized as Romance, subcategory Gothic Romance; but you wouldn't be able to categorize it as Romance and also Horror, even though it might be related to both topics. You can't have the same physical book on 2 different shelves in 2 different sections of the library. Keyword targeting works the same way: 1 primary topic per page.
For more in-depth guides to keyword research and keyword targeting, check out the following posts:
Another longstanding ranking factor is the number of links from other sites to your content, known as backlinks.
It's not enough for you to say that you're the expert in something, if no one else sees it that way. If you were looking for a new doctor, you wouldn't just go with the guy who says I'm the world's best doctor. But if a trusted friend told you that they loved their doctor and that they thought you'd like her too, you'd almost certainly make an appointment.
When other websites link to your site, it helps to answer the question: Do other people see you as a trustworthy resource? Google wants to provide correct and complete information to people's queries. The more trusted your content is by others, the more that indicates the value of that information and your authority as an expert.
When Google looks at a site's backlinks, they are effectively doing the same thing that humans do when they read reviews and testimonials to decide which product to buy, which movie to see, or which restaurant to go to for dinner. If you haven't worked with a product or business, other people's reviews point you to what's good and what's not. In Google's case, a link from another site serves as a vote of confidence for your content.
That being said, not all backlinks are treated equally when it comes to boosting your site's rankings. They are weighted differently according to how Google perceives the quality and authority of the site that's doing the linking. This can feel a little confusing, but when you think about it in the context of a recommendation, it becomes a lot easier to understand whether the backlinks your site is collecting are useful or not. After all, think about the last time you saw a movie. How did you choose what to see? Maybe you checked well-known critics' reviews, checked Rotten Tomatoes, asked friends' opinions, looked at Netflix's suggestions list, or saw acquaintances posting about the film on social media.
When it comes to making a decision, who do you trust? As humans, we tend to use an (often unconscious) hierarchy of trust:
To bring this back to SEO, you can think about backlinks as the SEO version of reviews. And the same hierarchy comes into play.
If a site collects too many links from poor-quality sites, it could look like those links were bought, rather than "earned" recommendations (similar to businesses paying people to write positive reviews). Google views the buying of links as a dishonest practice, and a way of gaming their system, and therefore if they believe that you are doing this intentionally it may trigger a penalty. Even if they don't cause a penalty, you won't gain any real value from poor quality links, so they're certainly not something to aim for. Because of this, some people become very risk-averse about backlinks, even the ones that came to them naturally. But as long as you are getting links from other trustworthy sources, and these high quality links make up a substantially higher percentage of your total, having a handful of lower quality sites linking to you shouldn't prevent you from benefiting from the high quality ones.
For more in-depth guides to backlinks, check out the following posts:
Theory of Links
Getting More Links
Mitigating Risk of Links
Does anything about SEO actually change?
If SEO is really this simple, why do people talk about how it changes all the time? This is where we have to separate the theory of SEO from the tactics we use as SEO professionals to grow traffic and optimize for better rankings.
The fundamentals that we've covered here - crawlability, keywords, backlinks, and site structure - are the theory of SEO. But when it comes to actually making it work, you need to use tactics to optimize these areas. And this is where we see a lot of changes happening on a regular basis, because Google and the other search engines are constantly tweaking the way the algorithm understands and utilizes information from those four main areas in determining how a site's content should rank on a results page.
The important thing to know is that, although the tactics which people use will change all the time, the goal for the search engine is always the same: to provide searchers with the information they need, as quickly and easily as possible. That means that whatever tactics and strategies you choose to pursue, the important thing is that they enable you to optimize for your main keywords, structure your site clearly, keep your site accessible, and get more backlinks from more sites, while still keeping the quality of the site and the backlinks high.
The quality test (EAT)
Because Google's goal is to provide high-quality results, the changes that they make to the algorithm are designed to improve their ability to identify the highest quality content possible. Therefore, when tactics stop working (or worse, backfire and incur penalties), it is usually related to the fact that these tactics didn't create high-quality outputs.
Like the fundamentals of SEO theory which we've already covered, the criteria that Google uses to determine whether a website or page is good quality haven't changed all that much since the beginning. They've just gotten better at enforcing them. This means that you can use these criteria as a sniff test when considering whether a tactic is likely to be a sustainable approach long-term.
Google themselves refer to these criteria in their Search Quality Rating Guidelines with the acronym EAT, which stands for:
In order to be viewed as high-quality content (on your own site) or a high-quality link (from another site to your site), the content needs to tick at least one of these boxes.
Does this content answer a question people have? Is it a *good* answer? Do you have a more in-depth degree of knowledge about this topic than most people?
This is why you will see people talk about Google penalizing thin content - that just refers to content which isn't really worth having on its own page, because it doesn't provide any real value to the reader.
Are you someone who is respected and cited by others who know something about this topic?
This is where the value of backlinks can come in. One way to demonstrate that you are an authority on a topic is if Google sees a lot of other reputable sources referring to your content as a source or resource.
Are you a reputable person or business? Can you be trusted to take good care of your users and their information?
Because trustworthiness is a factor in determining a site's quality, Google has compiled a list of indicators which might mean a site is untrustworthy or spammy. These include things like a high proportion of ads to regular content, behavior that forces or manipulates users into taking actions they didn't want to take, hiding some content and only showing it to search engines to manipulate rankings, not using a secure platform to take payment information, etc.
It's always the same end goal
Yes, SEO can be technical, and yes, it can change rapidly. But at the end of the day, what doesn't change is the end goal. Google and the other search engines make money through advertising, and in order to get more users to see (and click on) their ads, they have to provide a great user experience. Therefore, their goal is always going to be to give the searchers the best information they can, as easily as they can, so that people will keep using their service.
As long as you understand this, the theory of SEO is pretty straightforward. It's just about making it easy for Google to answer these questions:
This is why the fundamentals have changed so little, despite the fact that the industry, technology and tactics have transformed rapidly over time.
A brief caveat
My goal with this post is not to provide step-by-step instruction in how to do SEO, but rather to demystify the basic theory for those who find the topic too overwhelming to know where to start, or who believe that it's too complicated to understand without years of study. With this goal in mind, I am intentionally taking a simplified and high-level perspective. This is not to dismiss the importance of an SEO expert in driving strategy and continuing to develop and maximize value from the search channel. My hope is that those business owners and entrepreneurs who currently feel overwhelmed by this topic can gain a better grasp on the way SEO works, and a greater confidence and ease in approaching their search strategy going forward.
I have provided a few in-depth resources for each of the key areas - but you will likely want to hire a specialist or consultant to assist with analysis and implementation (certainly if you want to develop your search strategy beyond simply the table stakes as Rand calls it, you will need a more nuanced understanding of the topic than I can provide in a single blog post).
At the end of the day, the ideas behind SEO are actually pretty simple - it's the execution that can be more complex or simply time-consuming. That's why it's important to understand that theory - so that you can be more informed if and when you do decide to partner with someone who is offering that expertise. As long as you understand the basic concepts and end goal, you'll be able to go into that process with confidence. Good luck!
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There are millions of people on Pinterest, searching, pinning, and sharing so it's important to recognize its potential for building awareness and filling the top of the funnel, particularly for ecommerce companies.
This blog will discuss a couple of recommended targeting types within Pinterest to help fill the top of the funnel and essentially build up your audience. From there, once your audience is built out, we'll run through how to actually capitalize on these new users to drive sales.
Let's jump in.
Use Pinterest to fill the funnel
Pinterest has some specific features that are highly effective for building your audience. These include:
You can leverage user intent by targeting specific keywords that usersare searching within Pinterest.
For example, if you are a trendy clothing brand that sells sweaters, you may want to target trendy sweaters and have your ad (in Pinterest lingo, your promoted pin) show up in the search results and related pins.
Pinterest will determine a user's interest based on the pins they have engaged with and saved. Your ad (promoted pin) will show up in the user's home feed or relevant topics feed.
A Promoted Pin on Pinterest
This is similar to Facebook's lookalike targeting; you can upload a customer list and Pinterest will target audiences similar in behaviors, traits, and characteristics as that customer list. Our recommendation is to start off with your top customers for example, your highest-LTV or AOV audiences.
I would initially recommend prioritizing the Actalike and keyword targeting as they tend to be more effective at getting in front of highly relevant audiences. But by leveraging any or all of the targeting options, you're discovering and engaging with new, relevant audiences and driving them to your site.
That said, make sure your expectations are aligned. You should not expect to see Pinterest as a lever for immediate purchases, but more as a longer-term play where you're developing an awareness and building your audience to hit later via a few different methods below to actually drive the sale.
That said, let's talk about how to
Convert Pinterest engagement into sales
Now that you've engaged with your audiences via Pinterest, you should be capturing those audiences for remarketing purposes.
First, to be smart with your remarketing efforts and truly understand the value of Pinterest, you should make sure every link on your Pinterest ads include a tag that labels it as Pinterest. You can use UTMparameters or anything else, but essentially you want to make sure that you can identify these audiences that have come through from Pinterest and segment them out.
You can then create specific audiences within both Google and Facebook (for example) that have come in through Pinterest. (E.g. url contains 'utm_source=pinterest). Now you can separate out these audiences, and as you usethem in your retargeting strategies, you can understand if the Pinterest audiences you have built are actually converting into sales.
Speaking of converting, I'd recommend the following methods:
RLSA (remarketing for search ads)
Layer your Pinterest audiences onto existing search campaigns and add a higher bid modifier. These audiences have already visited your site and developed a familiarity with your brand. If they end up searching for your product, you want to make sure your ad appears high in the search results to remind them of your brand, pull them to your site, and entice them to convert.
One RLSA strategy I'd recommend is to create a separate broad RLSA campaign where you can bid on head terms, and broader but still relevant terms that you normally wouldn't be able to afford.
For example, you typically may not bid on a term like womens clothing because it is so generic and has heavy competition, but given the user has already visited your site, you can create an RLSA campaign, layer your Pinterest audiences, and bid on the term.
The thought behind this is that by serving your ad on this more generic keyword, you are reminding them that you sell women's clothing. Since the users have been to your site, they'll have a sense of if it's worth visiting. Essentially, this is way of getting in front of relevant eyes without doing significant harm to overall efficiency.
You can do this on both Facebook and GDN where ads include the product the user has visited on the site (as well as other relevant products). The usual segmentation caveats apply; you want to make sure you're segmenting by time lapsed since the visit and depth of site pages reached and bid accordingly.
Remarketing for shopping
Make use ofyour audience list by layering it onto your shopping campaigns. Again, the goal here is to bid more aggressively so you can ensure your ad shows up for the audiences who have engaged with your Pinterest ad, visited the site, and developed familiarity with the brand. You'll typically see higher CVRs for these types of audiences.
The main takeaway here: if you're not investing in Pinterest, you're missing out on engaging a robust, potentially high-ROI audience. The platform itself has come a long way in adding marketing-friendly features and reporting capabilities to position itself as a long-term player. Get on board now; the traffic's not getting any cheaper.
For more on how to integrate Pinterest into your sales strategy, check out our visual guide to Pinterest advertising.