Laura Niemi talks ‘This Is Us,’ Liev Schreiber and streaming

In the hit drama television series, This Is Us, Niemi plays Marilyn Pearson. “It is nice to be a working actor and to top it off, to be in a show that is so successful. It is well-written and well-performed and I hope to be in it more,” she admitted. Each day, she is inspired as an actress due to “good writing.” “I am a sucker for good writing,” she said. “Recently, I did a short by a female writer and director and it was so well-written. If the form is there, and it comes on the page, I have to say ‘yes.’ It is my Achilles heel. Great writing turns me on.” When she picks her roles, she enjoys playing different characters and branching out to do various things. “I like doing drama and I like to pop in and focus on some comedies,” she said. “At the end of the day, I need to grow. I need that acting muscle flexed.” Digital transformation of the entertainment industry On the impact of technology and streaming on the entertainment business, Niemi said, “I love it. It’s fantastic. People can be in the middle of America and can’t get to the theater, and technology makes everything accessible. A lot of creators are being able to use that platform and get deals that are outside the studio system. The content is really great on there.” Regarding her use of technology as an actress, she shared that “everything is digital now.” “Sometimes, I am reading scripts on my phone or on my computer. It is very rare that I print out a script. Digital is fantastic,” she explained. She added that occasionally she writes her notes down on her scripts. Niemi shared that she serves as a mentor for young actors. “You need to create a tribe. If you can’t find a tribe, you can create one. There is a lot of rejection in this business. You need to have a strong support system of peers so that you don’t burn out your family,” she said. She listed Liev Schreiber and Mark Ruffalo as her dream male acting partners. “Liev and Mark are fantastic. I would love to work with Liev on stage. He is brilliant. There is so much talent out there right now,” she said. Niemi concluded by thanking the fans for their support. “The fans are just wonderful. I love that I am on the show This Is Us that focuses on stories that we can all relate to, and it tackles topical issues that are happening now so that people can see that as well. I am glad that people are seeing themselves on the show.” To learn more about actress Laura Niemi, check out her IMDb page and her Facebook page.

Google Responds to Claims That Maps Has Millions of Fake Business Listings via @MattGSouthern

Google has responded to a Wall Street Journal investigation claiming Maps is home to millions of fake business listings.

The article goes into great detail to examine the issue of fake listings in Google Maps. Here’s an example of what The Journal found in one area of New York City:

“A search for plumbers in a swath of New York City found 13 false addresses out of the top 20 Google search results. Only two of the 20 are located where they say and accept customers at their listed addresses, requirements for pushpin listings on Google Maps.”

While some fake listings only direct customers to phantom businesses, others exist to scam customers out of significant sums of money.

In other cases, fake listings are set up by competitors to misdirect customers. This is strictly forbidden by Google, but the Wall Street Journal says the policy is not well enforced.

According to WSJ’s sources, hundreds of thousands of fake listings are popping up each month:

“Hundreds of thousands of false listings sprout on Google Maps each month, according to experts. Google says it catches many others before they appear.”

Google’s Response

Shortly after the Wall Street Journal’s article started to spread, Google published an article on its blog titled “How we fight fake business profiles on Google Maps.”

Google acknowledges there’s a problem with fake business listings, although it was careful not to reveal any specific details:

“It’s a constant balancing act and we’re continually working on new and better ways to fight these scams using a variety of ever-evolving manual and automated systems. But we can’t share too many details about these efforts without running the risk of actually helping scammers find new ways to beat our systems—which defeats the purpose of all the work we do.”

Google says it took down over 3 million fake business profiles last year – 90% were removed before a user could even see the profile.

Google’s internal systems were responsible for 85% of those removals, while roughly 250,000 of the fake business profiles were reported by users.

So it sounds like there is significant progress being made with respect to stopping bad actors in Google Maps before they can scam customers.

Google recognizes there is still more work to be done and says it is committed to doing better.

Making the case for more non-brand funding in paid search

Making the case for more non-brand funding in paid search

When you’ve worked in paid search for as long as I have, you’ve undoubtedly received emails from your clients that all go a little something like the one given below.

Hi [insert your name here],

Revenue is looking a little lighter than usual this month versus last year. What can we do to close the gap? Please let me know by EOD today.

Thanks,

[insert client name here]

Short, sweet, and oh-so-stressful, or at least it used to be. But now? Well, this isn’t your first rodeo, my fellow PPC partner, you’re prepared. Placed firmly in your holster is a solution that’s fully loaded. Ok, enough with the quick draw metaphors, let’s dig into how to respond, assuming the following criteria are being met:

  • You can confirm the trends your client is seeing.
  • Brand checks out (since it accounts for the majority of your revenue at any given moment):
    1. Brand terms are maxed out aka meeting or exceeding a certain impression share threshold.
    2. You are serving against the same brand terms as last year, but if not they are at least being caught by BMM.
    3. No new competitors have entered the auction or suddenly become more aggressive, causing CPCs to rise and in turn, cause traffic and revenue to fall behind.
  • The right ads are active and all available real estate is being utilized.

Find yourself checking all the boxes? This is usually indicative of brand demand decline, a trend that is all too common among online retailers due primarily to the rise of Amazon. Yo, Bezos! What gives? As a secondary check, we use Google Trends to confirm brand demand decline. But if all the boxes above are checked, odds are the plague is real. Fortunately, you’ve got the silver bullet (metaphor alert). Unfortunately, your client may shoot you down before you’re able to use it. Why? Because that silver bullet is non-brand.

I’m serious, and I’d be happy to explain

All too often we neglect non-brand CPC advertising because, in the client’s eyes, it’s seen as one or all of the following:

  • Too expensive
  • Too competitive
  • A lot of work for a little payoff
  • Not beneficial to the bottom line

And most of the time, they’re completely right. Hard to argue with that, right? Wrong. Focusing purely on search text, non-brand has the power to close the gap widened over time by brand demand decline. However, there are stipulations. Most importantly, we’ve got to stop measuring the success, or validity, of non-brand based on last-click attribution. If we stay this course, the tactic will continue to be deprioritized and defunded and basically never given a chance.

Think of non-brand collectively as those keywords in your account that ads rarely get a chance to serve against because bids aren’t competitive enough. Instead, Non-Brand success should be measured based on its multi-touch influence. There are several apt attribution models out there, the trick is honing in on one that both you and your client can agree on. This usually requires both parties to do a bit of extra digging up front.

For example, one of my clients made the decision to increase its non-brand investment after (a) being plagued by brand demand decline and (b) learning that each time our non-brand investment increased, omnichannel sales — both grew online and offline. This happened outside of peak online retail season, too, so it wasn’t just an anomaly. From that moment on, we stopped viewing non-brand as a last-click attribution tactic and started assigning a certain multiplier to the last-click revenue it generated to better defend our investment. Positive by-products of this change included:

  • Increased brand awareness, resulting in more Brand searches which helped to reverse the downward trend caused by brand demand decline.
  • New customer acquisition, resulting in larger audience pools and more efficient spend, particularly in Non-Brand where audiences are often applied (why inflate brand CPCs by bidding up on audiences there?)
  • Greater SERP ownership by serving non-brand and PLAs simultaneously for certain products, resulting in higher visibility and CTR.

If you’re like me, even overwhelmingly positive change can be scary, so during this time, I kept my eyes peeled for the first hint of danger. Surprisingly, negative by-products of this change were sparse and totally manageable:

  1. Higher CPCs, resulting in a lower last-click ROAS, pre-multiplier
    • Solution: Created alerts using proprietary tech that pinged us on Slack when CPCs rose considerably (also set max bid rules)
  2. Larger potential for keyword and ad copy/extension misalignment
    • Solution: Created an Excel macros doc for fast-n-easy creation of new campaign/ad group/keyword structures, including a tab for ad group-to-ad copy concatenation + rigorous QA process (Manager > Senior Manager > Lead = Live)

Still not convinced?

One of our wiser presidents, FDR, once said,

“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.”

That’s really all your client is asking of you. If it fails, it fails, then you move on to the next thing. In the meantime, however, here are some thoughts to get you started:

  • Consider investing as much as you did last year in non-brand, at a minimum.
  • Investment level could also be just enough to maintain a certain impression share threshold on various high-visibility products, especially if your competitors are less visible or non-existent in those spaces.
  • Try to maintain a steady investment level — even if it’s on the lower end, so as not to inflate CPCs by erratically pausing/enabling, as we undeniably tend to do with non-brand.
  • Running display? At least with non-brand search, people are actively looking for products associated with those terms (pull media) versus being served an ad for certain products regardless of search intent (push media)

What are your thoughts on non-brand CPC advertising? Share them in the comments.

Katy Winans is a Senior SEM Manager at PMG.

Related reading

Five ways blockchain will impact search marketing

Using IF functions on Google Ads to improve productivity

Tips to lower brand CPC for greater profitability

Daily Search Forum Recap: June 21, 2019

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Promotion Building

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

SMXcast: Tactics to improve your YouTube video ad performance

ashley_mo_insights_featured

For search marketers, YouTube offers access to 1.9 billion logged-in global users per month, making it the second largest search engine. And, Google reports that advertisers buying YouTube video ads in addition to search ads see, on average, 8% higher search conversion volume, 3% higher search conversion rates and 4% lower search CPAs (compared to advertisers who only run search ads).

However, YouTube’s automated bidding algorithm isn’t right for everyone. At SMX Advanced, Ashley Mo, regional director for 3Q Digital, discussed a few intelligent tactics that can improve your video campaign performance. Listen to her full Insights session below and head to the bottom for the full transcript.

Mo also provided Search Engine Land readers with some additional tips on automated bidding:

  • If you don’t have any conversion history for YouTube campaigns in your account, start with Max Conversions bidding and switch to Target CPA after the account has generated at least 30 conversions.
  • Wait at least 7-10 days prior to making bid changes. It is normal for performance to fluctuate, but over a 30 day period following an initial learning period, performance should be more stable. Use volume as an indicator of whether to change bids.
  • Campaign structure – separate different targeting types at the campaign level. As much as you may be tempted to, don’t change ad group level bids when making optimizations, always change at the campaign level.
  • Don’t overlay targeting on top of Custom Intent. This will reduce reach for users who have already expressed intent through their search behavior.
  • Consider testing micro-conversions like pageviews or an intermediate conversion if volume is limited.
  • Use different call-to-actions (with the same video creative) to see if you can improve CTR.

Transcript

GN:

This is the Search Engine Land podcast and I am your host George Nguyen. What you’re about to listen to, in particular, is an edition of SMXcast — content that comes straight from our SMX conference speakers and attendees.

You’re about to hear from Ashley Mo, a regional director at 3Q Digital. At SMX Advanced in Seattle, she delivered an Insights session on outsmarting YouTube’s automated bidding to drive more conversions. Enjoy and happy advertising.

AM:

Hi everyone. My name is Ashley. I have a lot of experience working with clients across verticals and specifically in YouTube. We’ve been working on trying to make it work for direct response, not just awareness and have managed to do that successfully with over $5 million in YouTube investment and hopefully a lot more. And, last year we took home Google’s premiere partner award in video innovation and, lucky for you all today, I’m going to share all of my secrets.

So to start off, the biggest news to YouTube is really that Google released TrueView for action into public beta this year. Some of you may have tested it last year, but now anyone can test it. So, by quick show of hands, who here has already run YouTube TrueView for action campaigns? Okay, it looks like maybe 5%, which is great that you’re here because I’m about to talk to you about why you should be testing it.

So, first, what is TrueView for action? So, if you are watching videos on YouTube, you’ve probably already been seeing these videos. This is an example of an ad and notably there’s this call to action overlay, which is designed to take someone outside of YouTube. So, that’s really the biggest difference here is before YouTube was focused on having branding campaigns and they wanted people to stay engaged and stay within the platform. And now they’re trying to monetize it and they realize that for advertisers to be successful, they need to be able to drive people to their landing page or to their app, because then they have a chance to take action. Whereas if they’re watching a video, maybe they’ll convert later. It’ll be a view through conversion. It’s hard to measure. So, by creating TrueView for action with a call to action overlay and the companion banner on the side, it’s making it easier for people on desktop, on mobile, on tablet to click on the ad and to engage and potentially convert.

So, why as search marketers, should we care about YouTube? It is a different platform even though it’s still available in the same Google Ads UI. So, a couple of statistics, there’s a ton of people on YouTube watching videos. I mean who here watches videos on YouTube? Probably everyone, right? So 1.9 billion people, 1 billion hours is a completely difficult to fathom and you might not think of YouTube as a search engine, but it is, and it’s actually the second largest search engine right after Google, so a great place to expand from search. And then based on some research that Google has done, they’ve seen that advertisers who run YouTube in addition to search ended up seeing an 8% higher search conversion volume and 3% higher search conversion rate. So there is actual incrementality by running both campaigns. And I can say anecdotally, we worked with a video streaming client and we used to run keywords on videos in their library. No one was searching for those, period. Sometimes those keywords wouldn’t even serve. And then when we started to promote them heavily on YouTube, we started to see searches for those and conversions. So it definitely does drive impact and with TrueView for action, it’s going to be easier to measure what happens after someone sees your ad. So that’s why you should care about YouTube.

And then the next question is, well, how exactly do I make it work for me? How do I drive conversions? This is really the tough part. So I have three tips for you today, but please come talk to me after if you want to learn more. I could talk for hours about YouTube. So my first tip is that contrary to what Google tells you, I think you should actually limit your reach when you first launch a campaign. Especially nowadays you have to use target CPA, which is automated bidding, with a TrueView for action campaign. It’s machine learning, so it takes time to learn. And if you allow it to target anyone across YouTube.com or the video partner network on desktop or mobile, it could very easily spend hundreds of dollars, not drive many conversions and you’ve already used up a large portion of your budget before you even gotten meaningful results. So I would say that you should always start conservatively. Think about what works for you on search. I think, for the most part, desktop-only targeting is going to work better than mobile as well as opting out of video partners. I can say that from experience, the YouTube.com traffic is premium. We see people click at a much higher rate and convert at a much higher rate. So just make sure you go through all of your campaign settings when you set up your campaign to make sure that you’re not — uncheck a lot of the things that Google defaults to, to make sure you’re kind of limiting the scope of it. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t ever run on mobile, because that is where over half of the YouTube views are. But, once you see that performance is consistent and that the target CPA stabilizes, then you can use that as an option to expand for scale.

So next tip is — this is pretty exciting for anyone who’s new to running on YouTube — you can actually use some of your insights from your search campaigns on YouTube with the new custom intent targeting, which is only available with TrueView for action. So you can actually target people who are actively researching your brand or your competitors or even non-brand keywords with video ads. You just pump in all the keywords and it creates an audience and then you can target that group. And some of the best practices here are going to be the same as search: You wouldn’t put all your different keyword types into one campaign. You’d want to separate them out so you can more easily measure performance. So I’d recommend setting up different buckets based on different categories like your search campaigns: so brand, competitor prospecting, etc. And that way, after you launch, you can kind of see how the audiences perform relative to each other.

So final tip is about creative. So anyone who’s run any type of video campaign knows that created is the most important thing and that’s what’s going to be key to success. And I know a lot of times it can be hard when you don’t have a lot of bandwidth or creative resources. I can’t tell you how many times clients say, “Oh, we just have this one video. Just go and run with it.” And the problem with that is that if that video doesn’t work well, then well then what do you do, right? You can have the best targeting and the wrong video and you’re not going to hit achieve any success on YouTube. So you should at least have multiple creatives. And that way you can compare performance. And then when your campaign, if it doesn’t do well, then you can see, well, did the view rate vary between the videos? Did the click through rate vary? You have something to compare. Another point about creative is that you don’t necessarily need a high-production video. I’ve seen clients have success with kind of low production where they take still images and kind of create this slide show. There are a lot of great tools out there, like Shakr is one of them, where they have pre-built templates and you can plug in existing images and assets and create a video. So definitely look into those options if you are having trouble coming up with multiple videos.

It is important that you’re captivating your audience very early on. Even though your goal with this campaign is not going to be — your number one goal is going to be at least click through rate; maybe conversion rate. But, if you have a low view rate on your video, then it’s not engaging, so make sure that you’re getting their attention right away.

So, just to recap this very short presentation: number one, limit your traffic to desktop traffic only on YouTube.com, and then make sure that you are using existing knowledge you have from search, testing that in YouTube, and make sure you have more than one creative. Thank you.


About The Author

George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.

ELN say will keep fighting in Colombia’s out-of-sight war

As night blankets a makeshift camp in the Colombian jungle, amid the rain tarps comes the dull gleam of automatic rifles, kept close at hand. Latin America’s last active rebels travel light and often. It’s how they survive.

Fighting a low-level war in the jungle, the National Liberation Army guerrillas remain a thorn in the side of Colombia’s conservative government, hampering Bogota’s campaign against rampant drug trafficking and preventing a wider peace.

“We’ve heard presidents and paramilitaries predict our defeat as a guerrilla force over the last 55 years and we are still active,” says the commander of the rebel’s “Western Front,” who goes by the name Uriel.

In a daytime training exercise, camouflaged rebels barely distinguishable from their surroundings show off their readiness to repel attacks to an AFP reporting team.

Those attacks seem inevitable, given President Ivan Duque’s hard line against the ELN, sending his army to root it out from its jungle strongholds.

“The Colombian conflict is going to last. There will be a war for a while here,” Uriel told AFP.

“There is no political will on behalf of the Colombian state to put an end to this conflict without resorting to weapons.”

Since it was founded in 1964, the ELN has funded itself from kidnapping, drug trafficking and extortion — or, as the ELN puts it, a “revolutionary tax” levied on the drug trade, which thrives on the thousands of hectares under plantation in this western Choco region.

Duque has demanded they release all hostages as a prerequisite to re-starting the peace process.

The taxes “are tributes of war and as everywhere else, when tributes are not paid, there is a deprivation of liberty to compel payment,” said the commander, his face masked for the cameras.

Latin America's last active rebel group is preventing the government from achieving total peace...

Latin America’s last active rebel group is preventing the government from achieving total peace in a country with a long history of bloodshed

Raul ARBOLEDA, AFP

Colombia has enjoyed relative calm since a 2016 peace accord signed by then-president Juan Manuel Santos with Colombia’s much larger FARC rebel movement.

Duque, who took office last August, stalled talks in Havana with the ELN rebels and broke them off altogether — calling for the arrest of their negotiators — following the January bombing of a police academy in Bogota that killed 22 people.

“The ball is in the government camp. If the talks won’t resume, that’s their decision,” the commander said.

– Swelling ranks –

Commander Uriel of the ELN's Ernesto Che Guevara front says it is up to the Bogota government t...

Commander Uriel of the ELN’s Ernesto Che Guevara front says it is up to the Bogota government to take the first step toward resuming peace talks

Raul ARBOLEDA, AFP

But why continue fighting a war they cannot win?

“Because otherwise, there would be no hope. Persisting means the possibliity of seeing a change, like the struggle some people are fighting against genetically modified crops. They create seed banks,” said Uriel.

“We have a seed of revolution, a seed of social transformation. Our task is to cultivate it, to preserve it, to reproduce it.”

Colombia has been accused of failing to fulfill its promises under the FARC deal, which includes a commitment to agrarian development and rehabilitating ex-combatants.

The lack of progress has caused many to return to arms, rejoining FARC dissidents and boosting ELN ranks.

Colombia’s military intelligence says the group has 2,300 members, up from 1,800 in 2017 — tiny compared to more than 250,000 in Colombia’s military.

High unemployment in Quibdo, Choco’s capital, fuels recruitment.

“Many guys get involved. It’s their only opportunity,” said a female rebel, Yesenia, 39, one of the 15-strong unit at this camp.

“Young people arrive every day seeking refuge in the ranks of the guerrillas,” claims Uriel. “We will continue to incorporate them, but not indiscriminately — we are not in a mad rush to grow.”

Around him is a motley crew of hardened revolutionaries bearing the scars of conflict, and some new raw recruits, all Afro-Colombians and indigenous people from the Pacific coast.

One combatant, Jeiner, said he lost his arm two years ago as a bomb from an air raid blew him from his tent. Another lost an eye, yet another some fingers.

“There were six bombs, the last one got me. When I came round, the arm,” he said, “It wasn’t there anymore.”

– On the move –

After the firing practice, the weapons — Galils, M-16s, AK-47s and R-15s — are dismantled and oiled, the parts laid down on a tarpaulin to keep them off the muddy forest floor.

These fighters travel on foot through the dense jungle or by skiff on a network of rivers, and only in small groups because of the threat of air strikes.

They move in groups of five, staying no more than four nights in one place: “Preventive measures,” says Uriel.

The rebels travel light and move fast to avoid air strikes from government forces

The rebels travel light and move fast to avoid air strikes from government forces

Raul ARBOLEDA, AFP

Then the rebels set up camp again and stock up in surrounding villages. Locals have long grown accustomed to seeing soldiers in Choco.

Those who don’t get used to it leave: the ELN, narco gangs and FARC dissidents clash frequently over territorial control. All have to be on guard against an increasingly determined military.

From 2017 to 2018, some 21,000 people were displaced in Choco, government figures show.

Uriel said FARC dissidents are preparing an advance into ELN territory soon and a clash is inevitable.

It won’t even be a footnote in Colombia’s long history of bloodshed, but Yesenia says she will be ready: “The one who moves fast wins, and we know how to move.”

Google: Disallowed URLs Do Not Affect Crawl Budget via @MattGSouthern

Google’s Gary Illyes updated his original writeup on crawl budget with clarification about disallowed URLs.

The document now includes the following information:

“Q: Do URLs I disallowed through robots.txt affect my crawl budget in any way?

A: No, disallowed URLs do not affect the crawl budget.”

The question refers to the “User-agent: * Disallow: /” protocol in robots.txt that blocks web crawlers.

It can either be used to block an entire site from being crawled, or it can be used to block specific URLs from being crawled.

According to the update from Illyes, blocking specific URLs will not impact the crawl budget throughout the rest of the site.

Pages will not get crawled more frequently as a result of other pages on the site being disallowed from crawling.

There’s also no disadvantage to disallowing URLs when it comes to crawl budget.

The updated information appears at the bottom of this article, which is a Webmaster Central blog post from 2017.

Illyes said on Twitter that there are plans to turn the blog post into an official help center article.

Five easy SEO strategies: Increase search engine rankings and gain qualified customers

Five easy SEO strategies Increase search engine rankings and gain qualified customers

Understanding how search engines rank websites and applying simple nontechnical SEO strategies will lead to increased traffic from qualified customers.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a technique used to assure that customers searching for a product or service can easily find a company’s website on search engines such as Google. Just as a physical location is essential for brick-and-mortar stores, search engine rankings are essential in driving walk-in traffic to a website.

How potential or qualified customers find websites for a product or service

1. Direct traffic

A user finds a website by typing the web address directly into a browser or by clicking on a bookmark or an email link. These are typically customers that are familiar with the company and are maybe repeat visitors.

2. Referrals

Users are directed to websites by clicking on a link from another website. For example, linking from a Facebook page to a corporate website would produce referral traffic. Ideally, referrals will be qualified customers possessing a desire to buy products from the website they are referred to.

3. Search engines

Analyze web content and create a ranking of websites that most likely will correspond to keywords that a customer uses to search for information. For example, typing the keywords “search engine optimization” in a Google search will provide a list of websites that provide information or services dealing with SEO.

Generally, a company has more control over direct or referral traffic than over search engine traffic. In addition, direct and referral traffic is influenced more by an organization’s offline marketing. SEO seeks to provide a strategy for improving a website ranking resulting in increased traffic to that website.

Two types of search engine results that appear

1. Pay per click (PPC)

These results are usually prominently displayed on top or on the side of the search results. To attain these listings, companies enroll in services like Google Adwords to budget resources into certain keywords and pay a fee whenever a customer clicks on the link. A well-orchestrated PPC campaign is the quickest way to drive qualified traffic to a website.

2. Organic or natural results

These are the rank-ordered results provided below the PPC results. These results are attained on the merits of the website and are not purchased. However, since most customers will not look at several pages of search results, a high organic placement, preferably in the top three positions, is necessary to succeed in driving qualified traffic to a website.

How search engines rank websites

The criteria used to rank websites in search results vary by the search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing, and the others) which are constantly evolving. Although these criteria are not publicized, general strategies applied consistently over time will increase website rankings. Despite promises offered by some SEO companies, attaining a high search engine ranking will not happen overnight.

Although the exact formulas are not widely publicized, search engines provide high ranks to websites that are relevant, important, trustworthy, authoritative, and popular. Any strategy that seeks to increase these five criteria, will ultimately improve your search engine optimization.

Five non-technical strategies for SEO

1. Improve relevance by writing better web copy

Writing better web copy that focuses on how a product meets customer needs will help to improve your search engine rankings. In addressing the needs of the customer, web copy will naturally be filled with rich keywords. Avoid writing copy specifically designed to increase web rankings. Ultimately a website needs to be written for customers and not web rankings.

2. Improve by increasing the number and quality of inbound links

Search engines look at both the number and the quality of those links when determining rankings. By registering with web directories like DMOZ or getting referral traffic from high traffic sites like Wikipedia, websites can improve site visibility and perceived importance. Companies can increase links to their site by regularly providing new and entertaining content. Providing content including videos, games, and other interactive features that people want to share with their friends is a great way to encourage other websites to link to yours.

3. Become trustworthy by being ethical

Questionable tactics like providing pages with long lists of keywords and little usable content will eventually lead to penalties by search engines. Encouraging trust among customers, just like in brick-and-mortar business, is important in increasing sales and search engine ranking. Provide customers with a contact page and give them the opportunity to comment on products and services received.

4. Become an authority by networking

Develop a reputation as an authority with a product or service by using networking sites such as LinkedIn or by creating blogs and topic relevant articles or whitepapers. Over time customers will begin to associate the company with being an expert on the products and services it offers. Not only will this perceived authority increase traffic to the website, but it will also ultimately increase search rankings.

5. Increase popularity by encouraging repeat visitors

Marketing is a long-term proposition aimed at meeting and satisfying customer need. Satisfying customer need will encourage repeat visitors and repeat visitors will increase traffic. By providing relevant, interactive content that is demanded by customers, the website will become more popular and ranking will increase over time.

When using nontechnical techniques, sound marketing principles will ultimately lead to increased web rankings. If you’re looking for technical SEO strategies you can use Google Webmaster Tools.

Got any strategies you would like to talk about? Share them in the comments.

Related reading

Why we should stop using DA to measure influencers

How to make online reviews one of your most powerful SEO weapons

Regulation in the SEO industry - Impossible or essential

Exclusive interview with Craig Campbell Golden nuggets every SEO needs to know

Daily Search Forum Recap: June 20, 2019

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Shopify launches machine learning powered network for US merchants

This week, Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify launched its brand new Shopify Fulfillment Network for US-based merchants. The new network uses Shopify’s machine learning-driven smart inventory allocation technology to determine the closest and most efficient fulfillment centers for your business. 

Why we should care

For SMBs being edged out by giants like Amazon, accessibility to an inventory fulfillment network — and the integrated technologies — could play a key role in helping small businesses stay competitive and allow them to grow.

According to Shopify, the new system does not require advanced technical skills. Thanks to this, the system can be used by busy digital marketers operating with limited resources to market products and drive e-commerce sales.

More on the news

  • Shopify is working with fulfillment partners in Nevada, California, Texas, Georgia, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
  • Shopify also announced upgrades to its Shopify Plus experience.
  • Shopify is also launching a new Shopify point-of-sale system.

About The Author

Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.