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SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020 – Search Engine Journal

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1. Search-Intent Oriented Content

The web has a content problem. There’s just too much of it.

Search Google for literally anything, and the total number of results will be in the hundreds of millions – and it’s an everyday thing.

What’s more, nobody expects all of those results to be good.

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However, users expect to see something good on the Page 1 of Google.

Can you imagine digging through those millions of results to find only a dozen that deserve to be displayed there?

That’s what Google does every day, over 79,000 times per second.

Now, users might not occupy themselves with how Google is getting it done. But you, as a website owner, are different: you need to know the ins and outs of online search because you have content to promote.

How does Google decide which pages deserve to be at the top?

There are over 200 major ranking factors, but it all boils down to one thing: who’s the best at being helpful to users. Or, in SEO terms, at satisfying user search intent.

So how do you pull that off?

Have a Clear Grasp of What Exactly You Are Offering to Your Users

There was a reason you created your site in the first place. This reason is the foundation of your entire plan.

It could be selling products, or spreading information such as news and research, or maybe entertaining visitors with your original content.

What makes the “why” behind your creation so important?

If you can name it with clarity, then it brings you to the next step of the plan: the kind of people you want to come to your site.

Your relationship with them is going to decide your site’s fate – they are your target audience.

Once the “why” and the “who” are decided, they are followed by the “how”. The reason there are many different types of websites is because some of them are better suited for specific tasks than others.

For example, ecommerce stores are the best for selling products, and blogs are great for sharing articles.

If you aren’t using the best way to present your content to users, you should rethink this part before everything else.

Many site owners stumble on this first step because they don’t think about what they are doing.

Be better than that.

Pick Keywords That Will Lead Users to Your Content

Users try out all sorts of search phrases in Google, and only a precious few of them will be any good for your site.

The trick is to find those few phrases and turn them into your chosen keywords. So, how do you know you’ve found what you need?

  • They clearly reflect what you have to offer. Short, vague keywords like “buy boots” won’t be of any use to you. Even if a miracle lets you outrank the big brands, you’ll still risk bringing in users who don’t want the kind of product you have. Try optimizing for more specific phrases like “winter boots for women”.
  • They have a high search volume. The more people use a search phrase in a given area, the more people you can turn into your users. Keywords with a low search volume can also be useful, but only when you use many at once to make up for their individual low potential.

You can find search intent-oriented keywords with the Get Suggestions tool.

Proceed to Create High-Quality Content

In spite of how hard it is, people are getting better at making great content, and the quality standards keep rising.

Fortunately, the core principle remains the same: give users the best version of the thing they are looking for.

How do you make such content?

  • Research what the users want, as accurately and in-depth as you can. Users always want more details. If they can get those details from you, then you already have an advantage.
  • Make your content visually appealing. As humans are visual creatures, you should know how to make a good first impression and make it last.
  • Provide the best user experience you can. Let nothing on your site get on the users’ nerves. You are supposed to be helping them and making them feel welcome.
  • Address the users’ pain points. If you revive their problems in their heads, it will make them hungrier for the solutions you are about to offer.
  • Give detailed solutions to the users’ problems. Often users don’t know about all the pitfalls they can encounter on the way to their goal. Be sure to include solutions to those issues too: that’s what real experts do.
  • Seal the deal with a call-to-action.

And if you connect relevant pieces of content on your site with links, you can turn the user journey into a cycle, ensuring they’ll keep using your site (at a later time, if not immediately).

It will be even easier for them the next time, since they are already familiar with the whole process. Example: “people also buy” on ecommerce sites.

2. Keyword Research & Optimization

Have you figured out how to make your users’ dream content?

Great job! You have a good reason to be proud of yourself if you have pulled it off.

Now it’s time for the next step: helping users find your content in search engines. This part requires keywords.

In the previous section, it was said that your content needs to be tailored to users’ search intent. The same applies to keywords.

Phrasing reflects what exactly users are looking for, so keywords phrased with a specific intent in mind are the best at bringing in the audience you need.

Examples:

  • Plumber in my city: Your site is for users from your city who need plumber’s services.
  • How to remove rust off my sink: You provide instructions for removing rust stains from metal surfaces in bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Sell my old books: You buy books (and likely other things too) from people who don’t need them anymore.

What’s the best way to find such keywords?

Most likely, you will be starting with some ideas of your own. But you won’t know if those ideas are good unless you somehow test them out.

That’s where SEO tools come in. This is a job for a keyword finder like Get Suggestions.

SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020

Just enter what you have in mind and press Search. The Google global searches column will show the search volume for every keyword in the table.

Sort the table by this column to make it easier to find the best keywords.

If you plan to rank in and get traffic from a particular region, you can narrow your keyword search down to a specific geographical area in the Settings (or by clicking on Add location).

In this case, the Google global searches will be called Google local searches.

Note the All keywords filter. Clicking on it opens a menu where you can opt to show only regular keywords or only question keywords.

The Question keywords filter is particularly useful if you want to optimize your site for voice search.

There are a couple more ways to find keywords.

  • From Google Search Console: If you have connected your WebCEO project to your Google Search Console account, it will start drawing data from Google. Then you can check out the Keywords from Google Search Console tool for all the various queries that bring your website traffic after being found in search. It will also show the usefulness of each query through statistics such as click-through rates and average ranking positions taken from global data over the past 30 days.
  • From your competitors: This is a two-step process. What keywords do your competitors use to optimize their sites? First, enter their URL address in the Spy on Competitors tool to find out. Add the keywords you’d like to rank for yourself to the keyword basket, then open the Competitor Rankings by Keyword report to check their rankings for those keywords. If you see someone rank poorly for a good keyword, start using it yourself – it’s an easy way to outrank them.

That covers keyword research.

Once you have a list of keywords you want to use, it’s time to optimize your site for them. Make sure to include everything from your list at some point!

  • Page URL addresses.
  • Titles.
  • Meta descriptions.
  • Image filenames, ALT attributes and captions.
  • H1-H4 headings.
  • Anchor texts of internal links.
  • Other text.

3. Competitor Research

How do you measure a site’s success?

You can judge it by its rankings, traffic, conversions, and the revenue it makes.

Ultimately, this SEO strategy is supposed to make you more successful than your rivals in the niche.

I bet you already have your eye on a few competitor websites that you want to beat. And that will be much easier if you can view their metrics whenever you want, too.

There’s also the possibility they aren’t really your rivals, and you need to be fighting someone else.

What’s the word for beating someone at their game only to find out you have won nothing?

“Awkward” is the nicest thing that comes to mind.

Let’s remove all awkwardness from your path to stardom.

Our starting point is the Dangerous Competitors tool.

Click on the Settings button.

SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020

  • Keywords tab: Enter the keywords you intend to rank for.
  • Search engines tab: Select the search engines where you want to rank.
  • Mirrors & Subdomains tab: Enter the URLs of your site’s mirrors and subdomains (if you have any). It will let the tool know that they shouldn’t be considered competitor sites.
  • Competitors tab: Enter the URLs of the competitors you already know.
  • Search results tab: Check the boxes of all types of search results you want to scan.
  • Local searches tab: Select regions like states, counties or provinces to show keyword demand for (if you want to rank somewhere in particular and not just globally).

Once you’ve finished filling everything out, click Save.

SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020

The tool will generate a graph and a table. Look for the sites that are above yours in the table. They can be your real, most dangerous competitors.

Note the “most likely” part. To be completely sure, visit those sites personally and see if they really specialize in the same field as you.

Irrelevant sites may appear if they happen to rank for the keywords you’ve entered without actually sharing a target audience with your site.

With this, you have discovered your true rivals. Fight them with every trick in the book:

  • Creating content.
  • Promoting content.
  • Providing a superb user experience.
  • Building a cordial relationship with users.
  • Optimizing your site.

And watch the metrics which reflect your progress: there’s no better way to find out if something is wrong.

  • Rankings: compare your ranking positions to theirs for your chosen keywords in the Competitor Rankings by Keyword
  • Backlinks: check the Competitor Link Profile report for everyone’s link profile statistics, including the total number of backlinks and domain authority.
  • Traffic: the Competitor Traffic report has everyone’s traffic data for the last 12 months.

Another hugely important matter: competitor backlinks.

If you can look them up, you can find a huge number of sites where you can build backlinks to your own site.

How do you do that?

Just feed your rivals’ URLs to the Competitor Backlink Spy.

SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020

Then sort the table by the Domain Trust Flow column to put all the best potential link sources where you can see them.

4. Page Speed Optimization

Something has been bothering me for the longest time. So, electricity travels at the speed of light, right?

The Internet runs on electricity, and data packets move at the same speed. Then how come there isn’t even a single website which can load at the speed of light? It’s unfair.

Of course, humans cannot comprehend such tremendous speeds anyway. So we are perfectly fine with the next best thing, which we usually describe as “in the blink of an eye”.

That’s how fast we want websites to load, and we get really upset when it doesn’t happen.

Fortunately, some people are slow blinkers. That must be why most users are comfortable with a couple of seconds of loading time. Any more can cause a problem.

Scan your site with the Page Speed Insights tool to check its loading speed. If the score is low (100 is excellent), there are plenty of ways to make your site load faster:

  • Host your site on a fast server.
  • Host your site on a CDN.
  • Optimize your images’ dimensions.
  • Save your images in the right format.
  • Compress images.
  • Use fewer elements.
  • Merge elements.
  • Use gzip compression.
  • Leverage browser caching.

SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020

5. Technical Audit

Errors are a nuisance no matter where you encounter them. Users won’t be appreciative if you let your website go.

Would you let garbage pile up in your office where everyone can see it?

Of course you wouldn’t; it would be disrespectful to the people who visit you.

The place where you receive your customers should be kept clean and run like a well-oiled machine. Websites are the same.

What kind of issues on your site could be hurting user experience?

  • Broken links
  • Broken images
  • Broken redirects
  • Server errors
  • Missing meta tags
  • Indexing issues
  • Crawling issues
  • Orphaned pages
  • Dead-end pages
  • Schema markup errors

Look at how many things can go wrong when you are not even looking. But you can’t possibly keep an eye on your site every waking hour.

Good thing there are fully automated tools for such tasks, isn’t it?

I can recommend a couple. The first is the Technical Audit tool.

SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020

You can use it to detect the most common technical issues with your site, and then you can just proceed to fix them.

To make your job easier, you can (and it’s heavily recommended) set this tool to scan your site automatically as often as you want.

Once a week is good, but if you’d rather do it more or less often, it’s up to you. It’s all in the Scan Schedule.

SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020

You can even set the tool to send you alerts when you get site errors.

For that, click on Reports -> Email Alerts in the top menu.

The other tool of importance is the On-Site Issues Overview.

SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020

This tool detects SEO errors on your site, such as issues with meta tags (short, repeating or outright missing). It, too, can be set for automatic regular scans and email alerts.

What else do you need to keep your site free of errors?

The Robots.Txt File

If you don’t have one in the first place, the On-Site Issues Overview tool will tell you, but there may also be issues with the file itself.

Be sure to check that it’s formatted correctly and that it allows search engines to crawl your site’s content, and prevents them from crawling pages you don’t want to appear in search.

Sitemap

If you haven’t uploaded a sitemap, its absence can be picked up by the On-Site Issues Overview, too.

Use a validating tool to make sure your sitemap is formatted correctly.

Also, if your site has more than 50,000 pages, you are going to need at least two sitemaps.

Schema Markup Validator

If you are using structured data on your site, you should always test your marked-up pages for errors before rolling them out.

Google has a free Structured Data Testing Tool you can use anytime.

SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020

Want to See Steps 6-10?

To see the complete list of the most effective SEO tips and tactics, please download the SEO Strategy Guide: Beat Your Competition in 2020 below.

This guide was created exclusively for WebCEO users who wish to make the next decade one of their biggest triumphs. Sign up now to enter a bright future!

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You can now use Siri with ChatGPT on iPhones – Yahoo Canada Sports

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“Hey Siri, ask ChatGPT…” (Apple)

A handy little update to the official ChatGPT app means you can now use Apple’s Siri to talk to the chatbot.

The useful trick works through an Apple feature called Shortcuts that lets you automate tasks on your iPhone.

Once set up, you can basically ask Siri to fetch answers from ChatGPT. It’s kind of like rewiring Siri’s brain to make the otherwise limited digital assistant a lot smarter. Until Apple gives the voice bot an AI language upgrade, this is the next best thing.

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OpenAI launched the free ChatGPT iPhone app in the US last month, and quickly brought it to the UK. Although the app already offers a voice input feature that relies on its Whisper speech-recognition system, linking it to Siri means you can also use it on other Apple devices like a HomePod smart speaker.

Setting up the new feature is a breeze – here’s what you need to do.

How to get Siri to work with ChatGPT

First, make sure to update the OpenAI ChatGPT app on your iPhone.

Now, head to the Shortcuts app, which is available on any iPhone running iOS 12 or later.

Here, you can click the plus icon in the top-right corner and search for ChatGPT to set up the default Shortcut.

However, if you want to customise it, then you should click on the Shortcuts button in the top-left corner, and you should see ChatGPT under “App Shortcuts.”

Now, select “Add to shortcut” and tweak it how you want. For instance, you can set it to react to a specific command, such as “Hey Siri, Ask AI” instead of the standard prompt “Hey Siri, Ask ChatGPT”.

Watch out for ChatGPT clones

Within three weeks of its launch, the OpenAI ChatGPT app was downloaded 5 million times, according to data.ai.

The bot landed in an App Store full of clones and duplicates with similar-sounding names, some of which were using shady tactics to charge users for their services.

Thankfully, you can usually spot these dubious “fleeceware” apps by their low review scores. Google and Apple also removed some of the worst rip-offs after they were contacted by cybersecurity researchers.

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Assassin’s Creed Mirage Gameplay Highlights Stealth And Classic Elements

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Assassin’s Creed Mirage finally showed the much-anticipated return of classic elements from the franchise during the PlayStation Showcase. This trailer highlighted various elements, encouraging fans to anticipate future gameplay from Ubisoft.

A developer diary from the studio has now been released, highlighting classic elements featured in the Assassin’s Creed title. This includes stealth, assassinations, and parkour mechanics.

Why it matters: Many fans have been waiting for a classic Assassin’s Creed experience since the RPG trilogy. Mirage promises a return to the basic formula, focusing on the core Assassin’s Creed experience.

The developer diary explains Ubisoft’s thought process and focuses when returning to the classic formula.

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Assassin’s Creed Mirage brings parkour mechanics like elevators, vaulting, and a dense map that encourages creative movement. Basim is more agile than recent Assassins, making parkour more fluid than before. Ubisoft also introduces new mechanics like the pole vault.

For fans of stealth, elements like social stealth will be making a comeback. Additionally, players can utilize bench assassinations, and Ubisoft has added more animations for stealth kills. This should ensure players are encouraged to pick the stealthy approach as they play through the upcoming release.

The game promotes freedom in story missions, allowing players to approach assassinations at their own pace. Assassin’s Creed Mirage also features bureaus that act as mission hubs, allowing players to take up side quests like assassinations and rescue missions.

Latest Updates

Assassin’s Creed Mirage is set to launch on October 12. Ubisoft has previously stated that the game was inspired by fan demand for a classic Assassin’s Creed experience, and the first developer diary shows just a few ways, in which Ubisoft is looking to bring the old formula to life.

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9 Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Trailer Deets That Have Fans Stoked

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One interpretation of the beginning footage in the trailer is that it’s showing the events in an alternate timeline. Cloud is missing from the group of Avalanche members’ bodies recovered by Shinra, seemingly after their attempt to break out of the headquarters or potentially during a routine reactor bombing mission. The fact that the spikey-haired hero is missing has some fans wondering if the footage is a brief look at a Final Fantasy VII timeline where he never made it to Midgar, or perhaps one where he joins Sephiroth instead of fighting him at the end of Final Fantasy VII Remake.

A screenshot shows a destroyed city in flames.

 

Another theory is that the footage is made-up altogether. We don’t actually see direct shots of the Avalanche members’ bodies. Instead it’s through the eyes of Shinra TV, an organization with a clear and documented history of fake news and propaganda. It’s possible the footage is just showing how Shinra will eventually try to cover up the team’s headquarters rampage and ensuing car chase to keep the residents of Midgar calm and in the dark.

A screenshot shows Cloud walking toward a Chocobo.

 

The trailer gives us our first look at a Chocobo out in the wild at the farm where players were eventually able to breed them in the original game. It’s unclear if that mechanic will be saved for the final game in the remake trilogy, or if players will get the chance to breed a Gold Chocobo in Rebirth and even take it to race it at the Gold Saucer. I can only imagine how many hours I’ll be spending on the Chocobo tracks if that’s the case.

A screenshot shows Elena in Rebirth.

 

The Turks are on the chase again and Elena is their newest member. The reckless recruit is as much of a punk as ever in the new trailer. She has a crush on Tseng, the leader of the Turks, and her antics with Rude and the rest will no doubt spawn an endless number of memes. Her cameo in the trailer is already leading to a ton of fan art.

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A screenshot shows the new, improved version of Bugenhagen.

 

Ho Ho Hooo! Bugenhagen has made the jump to PS5 as well and the Cosmo Canyon elder looks glorious. Red XIII’s surrogate grandfather can be heard explaining how the planet relies on the Lifestream to exist, and he still doesn’t have legs and floats around instead. One of the game’s most beloved and strange-looking characters in his original 32-bit form, the glow up is real and players are loving it.

A screenshot shows the large Highwind airship in the distance.

 

The Shinra airship doesn’t get a moment to shine in the trailer, but it can be seen in the background of the initial shot of the seaside military base Juno. It might end up that only in the trilogy’s final game will players get to step inside and take the reins over for themselves, but in the meantime the Highwind is already getting fans excited for when that moment comes.

A screenshot shows Tifa and Sephiroth fighting.

 

“I saw you lying there. I figured it was too late,” Cloud said in the first Rebirth trailer. “Wait, what are you implying? That I died? That I’m some kind of imposter?” responded Tifa. In the new trailer Sephiroth says, “You know that I killed her, so who is she?” This has fans wondering if the Tifa we know from Remake is actually a clone, or a version of Jenova, Sephiroth’s mutant alien half-mom. It’s possible that the developers are just building intrigue by how the dialogue is framed, or maybe it’s laying the groundwork for a radically different outcome to the rest of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s story.

A screenshot shows Aerith from the new trailer.

 

This all culminates in what would be the weirdest twist of all: Aerith not dying in the remake trilogy. The dream of saving Final Fantasy VII’s iconic flower girl is as old as the game itself, with urban legends that an option to stop Sephiroth from killing her or bring her back to life were hidden inside the game or cut at the last minute. If Tifa, or at least the original version of her, was killed at some point, maybe it implies that Aerith will live instead, or that Cloud will have the option to choose between different timelines where one set of tragic events is replaced with another. Or maybe this is all just the same type of wishful thinking Final Fantasy VII fans have been using to cope since the game came out. We’ll see what answers Rebirth provides when it arrives early next year. For now it’s fun to believe anything’s possible.


Kotaku is covering everything Summer Game Fest, from the main show on Thursday to other events happening throughout the next week. Whether you’re into larger-than-life triple-A games or intimate, offbeat indies, you can keep up with all things SGF here.

 

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