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You’re a savvy digital marketer. You follow Google best practices and read “all the SEO blogs.” You sound like a zookeeper with your extensive knowledge of Pandas, Penguins, Possums and Pigeons. You’re always looking for ways to improve organic search rankings. Instead of investing your time researching some of those gray (or even black) hat tactics that are oh so tempting, I suggest you take a step back and look at the basics of your organic SERP listing.

An area that often gets overlooked by digital marketers is engagement and the click-through rate (CTR) associated with their organic listings. No matter how much you improve your ranking, if your listing itself is not compelling, it’s all for nothing!

Google has not confirmed that CTR is a direct ranking factor, but this slide from a Google engineer at SMX West in March 2016 suggests that click-through rate plays a significant role.

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Regardless of Google’s ranking algorithm, all digital marketers strive to make organic listings compelling to searchers and enticing to prospects. These recommendations will help you improve organic search results and drive additional qualified traffic.

Step 1: Identify pages with a relatively low click-through rate

In Google Analytics, navigate to Acquisition > Search Console > Landing Pages and export the data into a CSV or Excel document. Identify pages with high Impressions, a low Average Position and a relatively low CTR based on position.

AdvancedWebRanking.com has a great study on average CTR by position that you can use as a guide. This analysis will help you create a list of prioritized landing pages to be improved.

Step 2: Find opportunities to expand title tags

One of the best things you can do to increase the CTR for a listing is improve the effectiveness of the Page Title. Back in 2014, Google changed the Title Tag limit to be based on pixel length (estimated to be 512px) which resulted in a significant reduction in organic Title Tag width. In May of this year, SEOs everywhere rejoiced as Google expanded this limit to 600px, a 17 percent increase!

Take advantage of this increased space and the opportunity to include more high-priority keywords (if you haven’t already). An easy way to view your current Meta Tags is to download them from the free Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool.

The challenge is that the new pixel-based limit is harder to adhere to and more difficult to visualize than a simple character count. For example, a “W” takes up more space than an “l.” It’s all about size now, not number of characters. As you’re improving and expanding your Meta Tags, I recommend using a SERP Preview Tool. This will help you visualize how your listing (URL, Title and Description) will appear on a Google SERP.

After the Google SERP update in May, we noticed that popular SEO tools had not been updated to reflect the new guidelines, so we created our own Google SERP Tool to help SEO experts visualize the new, expanded pixel limits.

Step 3: Make your meta tags more compelling

The best Page Titles are often written like a newspaper headline. They are intriguing, interesting, descriptive, and often evoke emotion. Here is an example of two boring headlines and one compelling/engaging headline that really stands out.

killer-serp

Title Tag tips

It’s still crucial to have target keywords in your Title Tag, but don’t ignore the importance of engaging prospects. Optimize for user intent first, and SEO keywords second. Here are a few proven tips for Title Tags:

  • If your web page provides a list of some sort, state the number of items. For example: 17 Delicious Broccoli Recipes Your Kids Will Love
  • Mention if the page includes a video or a presentation. For instance: 10 Reasons Why The New Macbook Stinks w/Video Review
  • Special characters stand out, but don’t go overboard.
  • Mention pricing or sales numbers.
  • Timely/relevant content is key. Provide a date. Example: The 12 Lightest Laptops Available in November 2017
  • Use a free headline analyzer such as: http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer

Description tips

Don’t forget to have a compelling and descriptive Meta Description as well. Use your Meta Description to complement and expand upon your Title Tag statement. Be persuasive; encourage an action.

Since Meta Descriptions have no explicit SEO value (other than CTR), don’t be obsessive about forcing keywords into your Description unless they fit naturally. Most of all, inspire curiosity and entice searchers to click.

Step 4: Make your SERP jump off the page with rich snippets

The buzz for structured markup has quieted in the last few years, but this is a powerful strategy that should not be ignored. Rich snippets can really make your SERP jump off the page, increasing your CTR and stealing clicks right out of the hands of your competition.

Using structured markup properly can really make your products stand out. This example below shows powerful information such as star rating, number of reviews, price and if the product is in stock or not. That’s a lot of valuable information in the search engine results!

macbook-snippit

Using the Recipe structured markup can also be really powerful. In the snapshot below, you can see a large photo and most of the ingredients needed for a recipe. It really jumps off the page as the first result. For the second result, you notice the star rating, number of reviews, time to cook and, of course, a picture! Wow, that’s powerful.

Recipe reviews are so popular that if you’re not using them, you may not make the first page of Google. The good news is that there are a variety of WordPress plugins and free tools to help make implementation very simple.

recipe-snippet

Some other powerful rich snippets are breadcrumbs, music, (notable) people, video content and events. You can find a rich snippet to improve click-through rate for almost every page imaginable. Google has a great Guide to Structured Markup, a Testing Tool, and even a Data Highlighter to use structured markup from the Google Search Console without having to implement any code. There are no excuses for not using these free features!

Getting back to basics

Once you expand and enhance your Meta Tags, track progress in Google Search Console. Continue to test and improve your organic listing over time.

You might be shocked by the dramatic increase in organic traffic delivered simply by getting back to the basics of writing a unique, compelling and relevant Page Title and Description. Remember, your Meta Tag is the only thing standing between a search result and a visitor!

Author: Jason Decker
Source: http://searchengineland.com/4-steps-make-organic-listings-effective-260192

Are you interested in making your job search more effective moving forward? If so, then it doesn’t hurt to observe what others avoid to boost their effectiveness.

Here are 9 things effective job seekers don’t do in their job searches. Carefully read them. Upon reading them, you’ll know what habits you should avoid or remove for a smarter job hunt.

1. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Underrate The Impact of Their Attitudes.

Effective job seekers don’t proceed without attitude reflection daily. Why? Because they know their attitudes matter in their job search processes.

“Maintaining a positive attitude,” says Harry Urschel, Job Search Coach and Writer, in one of his post, “is one of the most difficult yet most important things you can do for a successful job search. It affects every other aspect of your search and will have a dramatic impact on how you are perceived by potential employers.”

So, one of the best things you can do is step back and reflect on your attitude. Are you pushing through positively or negatively? Are you allowing the frustration, associated with looking for a job, get you down?

Please know your decision influences the way you manage your job search. And, if you want to get through this process with your sanity, then you must foster a positive attitude. A few ways to stay positive in a challenging job hunt include: keeping hope alive, moving onward after rejections, and building your skills through activity.

2. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Sacrifice their Health and Well-Being.

Effective job seekers don’t sacrifice their well-being for long hours of job searching. These job seekers know they must take care of themselves, if they want to get through their job hunts effectively.

Without taking care of yourself, you’ll reach the point of exhaustion. And, you’ll stretch yourself too thin.

Several healthy ways to take care of yourself are:

  • Feeding Your Body.
  • Quenching Your Thirst.
  • Getting the Sleep You Need Every Night.
  • Staying Physically Active.
  • Taking Breaks When Necessary.
  • Engaging in a Hobby.

There’s an urgency to land a job, but you must still take care of yourself.

3. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Focus on Full-Time Hours.

You might’ve heard the saying: “looking for a job is a full-time job.” Right? Well, effective job seekers know this isn’t solid advice.

They don’t focus on meeting so many hours a week. They know a full-time (40 hours/week) job search affects your well-being and effectiveness. There’s no way to keep going, in this way, without experiencing burnout, frustration, and inefficiency.

When you don’t set limits in your job hunt, it consumes you. It takes up your full day, if you allow it. This isn’t healthy for someone out of work and already dealing with unemployment.

What you should do instead is: put in a full-time effort as opposed to full-time hours. Designate time, your mornings or your evenings, for example, to job search activities. And, put forth your best efforts throughout this time.

Also, shut your job search down when it’s time. Set and keep time boundaries in place. Hallie Crawford, Career Seekers Coach, says:

“Establishing boundaries with your time can be another way to maintain balance during your {career} transition.”

4. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Break Time.

You might think setting aside a break time is a counterproductive activity. But, effective job seekers know it isn’t.

Nothing’s wrong with taking a break from your job search activities to rest, when you need it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests five minute breaks every hour.

You can do several things doing your break: read inspirational material, take a walk or stretch, recount the good things of the day, or get out of the house for a while.

Breaking is a good way to prevent burnout, stress, and overwhelm in your job search. But, you must be intentional about this time to avoid procrastination.

5. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Blindly Apply and Interview.

Effective job seekers don’t blindly apply and interview for jobs. They don’t walk around thinking:

“I’ll apply to (and interview for) as many jobs as I can to increase my chances of getting a job offer.”

They know better. They know you must be realistic in your job search. They also know time is too precious for wasting on mass job application submissions.

Instead of blindly applying and interviewing, you should bring intentionality into your search. Target your job search. According to Eli Amdur of Amdur Coaching and Advisory Group, a targeted job searchincludes:

  • Identifying the Business or Occupation You’re Interested In.
  • Researching the Leading Companies by Culture, Leadership, Products, and Market Positions.
  • Determining Whether You Can Grow Within Company.
  • Figuring Out Logistical Issues, such as the Commute, Working Hours, and Extra Taxes.
  • Rating Your Potential Happiness at the Targeted Company.

You prepare your application materials based on what you learn through research. You’ll also know everything you need to know before your interview.

6. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Submit “One Size Fits All” Resumes and Cover Letters.

This relates to number 4 above, but I must emphasize it here.

Effective job seekers know quality matters in their job searches. They don’t submit a “one size fits all” resume because they know you must speak directly to the needs of the job.

If you don’t tailor your materials for every job, then you don’t show your ability to perform the job.

Instead, consider the targeted job search approach already discussed. And, prepare your resumes and cover letters accordingly.

7. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Let Employment Rejections Halt their Efforts.

The longer your job search, the more rejections you receive. And, while others tell you not to take these rejections personally, I won’t. I can’t. Why? Because I’ve taken them personally in my job search.

There’s no way you can’t, when you’re putting forth your best efforts. However, you shouldn’t let these employment rejections halt your efforts.

Employers reject you, and this rejection stings. But, bounce back from these rejections and move forward. And, when you bounce back, remember the words of Liz Ryan, Founder and CEO of Human Workplace, in her Forbes article:

“You can’t squander it {i.e., your mojo} worrying about whether you’re acceptable to other people, or not. You learned something on each of your interviews and each of your recruiter calls. That’s magnificent. How else would you learn?”

8. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Stop Maturing Mentally.

Effective job seekers don’t stop learning. They use time outside of job search activities to enrich their minds.

They know this is a great investment and do so in many ways: reading books, journals, and (valuable) blogs. Listening to audios and podcasts. Volunteering or freelancing. Taking a class or two.

And, they build skill(s) while job searching. They know these skill(s) are beneficial, professionally and personally.

So to you: how will you keep enriching your mind? What skill(s) are you interested in learning? How will learn?

You make room for learning and skill-building, when you remove those extra hours of job searching. You have time to commit to a project of interest, learn, and apply what you’ve learned.

9. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Forget to Reevaluate Their Strategies Regularly.

Effective job seekers don’t embark on their job searches, without evaluating their strategies regularly. They know they must make improvements when things aren’t working out and do so.

They honestly evaluate their strategies and whether they’re getting any results. Reevaluating your job search approach involves: reviewing your goals, resumes, and activities. And, an effective job search strategy consists of many things discussed here:

  • Defining Your Job Goal with Specifics.
  • Targeting Your Job Search Approach.
  • Tailoring Your Resume and Cover Letter for Every Job.
  • Putting Forth a Full-time Effort vs. Full-Time Hours.

Conclusion

Looking for a job takes time and energy, so effective job searching is vital. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what you should avoid while looking for a job. And, it doesn’t hurt to reevaluate your job search and make eliminations, where necessary.

Author:  Priscilla Christopher

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org/

Categorized in Online Research

While it’s always a  good idea to concentrate on ways to bring in new customers to your business and ramp up revenues, as a result, don’t forget that you can help your cash flows significantly by cutting costs around the office, too.

When it comes to saving money in the workplace, there are many innovative ways that you can get ahead without feeling like you’re tightening the purse strings too much. Read on for some tips for cutting costs as soon as possible, that you may not have considered just yet.

1. Crowdfund for Capital

Whether you’re operating a fledgling startup that you’re just trying to get established, or currently run a solid business that has been around for a while, you will probably look for a loan or investment capital at some point along the way to help you grow your organization. If this is the case, keep in mind that you may be able to cut costs by crowdfunding for capital rather than paying for expensive bank fees and interest rates.

In this digital age, technology and the rise in crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo mean that it is easier than ever to access a cash injection by unconventional methods. You can now connect with customers and investors who are keen to back your venture’s mission and product offerings through third-party sites which handle the paperwork while also giving you the chance to reach out to a receptive audience.

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Do you, for example, need to raise some money to create, introduce, or try out a new product, or perhaps purchase an important piece of equipment for the production of certain goods? If so, you may be able to raise the money you need online, through a crowdfunding website instead of going to a bank or other lender.

You usually won’t have to pay too much in the way of set-up fees to list your information on a crowdfunding site, and generally, don’t have to worry about expensive interest rates on the capital you raise either. Most crowdfunding investors simply want to receive a product when it is made or other low-cost goodies such as posters, T-shirts, key rings, signed copies of books, and other investment incentives. These are all usually much less expensive for a business to come up with than what they would have to pay when obtaining funds from a more traditional lender.

2. Use Free or Low-Cost Information

Before you go and spend lots of money on lawyers, accountants, financial consultants, and the like, it pays to remember that fees for such services can rapidly add up and end up costing you way more than expected. To save some money then, you should do everything you can to minimize the billable hours racked up by every consultant or service-based business you deal with.

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Keep in mind that you will find a lot of valuable information and other resources for free (or just a low cost) online, at libraries, and through business or other groups that help entrepreneurs. You may even have mentors, colleagues, or family and friends who can provide you with the information you need. Even just spending some time searching through the results on a search engine such as Google can provide you with a lot of the information you might have had to pay for in the past.

If you want to save some money consider, for example:

  • Online legal sites which provide free or reduced-rate legal agreements and case-law information
  • Accounting programs which provide tutorials, videos, and other step-by-step information to help people keep their bookwork in order and read or create reports
  • Free and low-cost photography websites which provide images you can use for your marketing and other tasks

3. Utilize Freelance Websites

No matter the type of business you run, you will likely have to, at some point in time, engage in activities such as graphic design, content writing, social media marketing, video creation, and the like to promote and grow your business. If you don’t have the skills and time yourself to handle these tasks or have the staff on hand to do it for you, you will have to outsource the work to a company or contractor that specializes in each area.

While this used to be quite expensive, these days you can save some cash by trying out services on websites like Freelancer, Fiverr, and Upwork. It is important to be discerning when you select a person from those advertising online, but it is definitely possible to find experts in their field who charge a lower rate than traditional, larger outfits.

Due to the fact that many professional service providers now work from home and don’t have to pay for large overheads such as an office or retail space, they can charge more affordable rates. These savings can then be passed on to other business owners.

Author:  MELISSA THOMPSON

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org/

Categorized in Business Research

The irony of this age of information technology is that the more there is for us to utilise, the more difficult it becomes to do so. There is so much information out there in the digital world that accessing what’s appropriate and reliable becomes a huge task. We end up wasting a lot of our time and energy only to find half-baked information. But the boon of technology is that it comes with the hacks to break it and utilise it. Google, the God of all search engines, provides numerous such ‘tricks’ to access its database better. Here are some relevant tips for the everyday user.

Use more keywords

Google hosts over a million websites, so help it help you by using more keywords – ideally no less than five. More keywords result in a more specific search, and therefore more appropriate results. Google uses your keywords to prioritise pages. This means that the pages containing most of your keywords will appear first. So the more, the merrier.

Find missing words

When you’re not sure of the keywords to use for your search, or you have forgotten phrases and their order of words, use the asterisk (*) in place of the missing words. Google will not only fill in the gaps but will also give you a specific result. For instance, typing lazy fox*fencewhen you can’t remember the entire phrase (the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog) will give you the result in the right order of words. This technique, called truncation, can be used even when you’re blindly looking for ideas.

Specify order of keywords

Google normally shows results for all the words in your search. For instance, brown girl in the rain would give you results for brown, girl, and rain. But when you fit your words in double quotation marks – brown girl in the rain – Google will only show results that have the words in that order.

Exclude words

When you want a more specific search, you can exclude results that Google would typically show for your keywords, by using the minus (-) symbol. For instance ‘red flower’ will give results of all red flowers but specifying “red flower” -rose will exclude roses from your search result. Keep in mind that this is not a ‘hyphen’. The symbol is placed next to the word that you want excluded and not in between the keywords.

Find words in URL

If you can’t remember the name of a website but are sure of certain words within it, you can use the command, in url: keyword. For instance, typing in url:yum will show you results for all the URLs that contain the word ‘yum’.

Search within a site

When websites don’t have a search engine of their own, you can use Google search to find results from that website alone. For instance, site:yourstory.com “social media” will show all results related to the keyword ’social media’ and only from YourStory. In contrast, if you type “social media” yourstory.com, (without the ‘site:’ command), only the first few results of the Google result page will correspond to the website.

Find related websites

You can find websites that have content similar to a website that you already know, by using the ‘related’ modifier. For instance, when you type related:wikipedia.com, you will find a list of websites that contain information similar to Wikipedia.

Find citation links

You can use the ‘link’ command to find all the pages that cite or link to a website. For instance, link:wikipedia.com will fetch you result of all the pages that have linked to this site.

Search for a file type

If you want your results to be of a particular file type such as pdf, poerpoint etc., you can use the filetype modifier with your keyword. For instance, “self-help” filetype:pdf  will produce results that are pdf files.

These tips are more effective when you use the right keywords, and to use the right keywords you need to have a clear idea of what you want to search for. Making your Google search more effective takes some trial and error but with the right tricks up your sleeve, you can take full advantage of it.  Happy searching!

Author:  Varsha Roysam

Source:  https://yourstory.com

Categorized in News & Politics

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