What Creates Business Site Organic Traffic?

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by Robert Clough

Are you struggling to bring more traffic to your business website?

If so, you’re not alone. 61% of companies list generating traffic and leads as their biggest marketing challenge.

What’s the solution? While there are many paid ways to bring more traffic to your site, that’s not the only option. Driving business site organic traffic should be your ultimate goal.

What’s the difference between paid and organic traffic? And what steps can you take to boost organic traffic to your site? Read on to find out.

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Organic vs Paid Traffic

First of all, you want to be able to identify traffic that is being generated from Google.

Paid traffic results from users clicking on your business ad. This could be from Google, Facebook, Instagram, or another marketing platform. You pay for your ad to appear and you “pay per click” each time someone clicks on that ad.

This can drive a lot of traffic in a short amount of time, but is it sustainable? The fact is that people are finding your business because you’re paying for them to see it–not because Google thinks it’s the best match.

Compare that to organic traffic, which happens naturally in the search results. Let’s say you own a bakery and someone Googles “best bakery in Chicago.”

Your business site appears at the top of the search results, not because you’ve paid for an ad, but because Google thinks you have the best bakery in Chicago. Even better, you don’t have to pay a dime for those organic search results–they’re free!

The question is: How do you get Google to reward your site with that high ranking? It’s all about SEO (search engine optimization).

How to Boost Your Website’s Organic Traffic

Here are 3 proven ways to improve your SEO and drive more organic traffic to your site.

1. Focus on Keywords

Do keyword research to see what terms people are using to look for your product or service. Then you need to plug in those keywords to relevant areas of your site.

These include the page title, URL, SEO description, and image alt tags. You should also use keywords in your intro, conclusion, and at least one header.

2. Publish Great Content

To drive traffic to your site, you need to provide solutions and answers that users are actively seeking. You can do this through optimized landing pages, blog posts, or videos.

Target a specific topic and keyword for each page. The more relevant the information, the more likely you’ll be to get organic traffic.

3. Develop Backlinks

An often overlooked part of SEO strategy is getting backlinks. These are links from other authority websites back to your business website.

These can be tricky to obtain on your own, which is why many top SEO services offer backlinks as part of a package.

 

Business Site Organic Traffic: Final Thoughts

You want maximum visibility for your website, but not all traffic is created equal.

Paid traffic can drive initial results, but to really boost your site organic traffic should be your aim. Use the tips outlined above to improve your SEO and drive more organic traffic to your business site.

The more organic visitors you receive, the higher your conversion rate will soar. That’s a win-win for everyone!

Did you find this article helpful? Check out our other recent posts for more great information about marketing your website.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

January 31st 2020 Uncategorized

How to Find Time to Create a Product For Your Blog

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The post How to Find Time to Create a Product For Your Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

How to find time to create a product for your blog

This post is based on episode 118 of the ProBlogger podcast.

Creating and selling products such as ebooks and courses can be a great way to monetize your blog. But where do you find the time to create them?

A lot of bloggers already struggle with finding enough time to write posts, promote them on social media, respond to readers’ comments and emails, and everything else that goes with running a blog. And they often have a full-time job and family commitments as well.

I faced the same dilemma when I wrote the first ProBlogger book. I had numerous blogs at the time, as well as a business. We’d just started a blog network, and I was juggling it all myself. I was also newly married, and I think we’d just had our first baby.

I had no idea how I’d get the book written, and it started keeping me awake at night. (I’d committed to writing the book with the publisher and so I had a contract to get it done.)

And then it dawned on me: my life is completely full. I had no spare time to write the book, and the only way I could get it done was to find time somewhere else.

The good news is I managed to finish the book. And in doing so I learned a few things about creating products for your blog that I want to share with you today.

So here are my tips for finding the time to create a product for your blog.

Tip 1. Don’t abandon your blog while you’re creating your product

Yes, you need to find time to create your product. But you also need to be able to sell it, which means you need to maintain not only the size of your audience, but also the relationship you’ve built with them.

Over the years I’ve seen numerous bloggers abandon their blog while they created their product. Unfortunately, by the time they were ready to launch it their audience had either gone cold or shrunk significantly (if not disappeared completely).

You need to find a way to create your product while keeping your audience engaged and ideally growing and warming up towards you. Otherwise you’ll be a spending a lot of time and effort getting them back.

Tip 2. Scale back some of your blogging activities

While you shouldn’t abandon your blog completely, you don’t need to keep the pedal to the metal either. You can lift your foot a little. You just need to let your audience know why you’re doing it.

When I was struggling to write the ProBlogger book, I pulled back on writing content for my blogs. At the time I was publishing at least one post a day, and so I pulled that back to two or three posts a week. I told my audience there was a book coming, and so I’d be pulling back a little while I was writing it. And while a couple of people pushed back a little and said, “I want your content,” most of my readers understood.

You could also pull back on your social media posts, or how often you respond to readers’ comments and emails.

One advantage of doing this is that it can build the anticipation for your product. When I told my readers I was writing a book that would bring together all of my best advice, it built up a lot of anticipation as to when I’d be launching it.

Tip 3. Do your content creation and other blog activities in batches

Over the years I’ve talked a lot about batching, and how I try to write several posts or record several podcasts at a time. It means I can focus all my time and attention on them, and then forget about them for a couple of days and focus on something else.

By doing this, I didn’t waste any time switching back and forth from a blogging mindset to a podcasting mindset. I could get into the right frame of mind for what I was doing (blogging, podcasting, writing social media posts, etc.) and churn out piece after piece relatively quickly.

You can do the same, and not just for your blog. Batching is also a great way to focus on the product you’re creating and get the most out of your time.

When I was writing the ProBlogger book, I booked a cheap motel for a couple of weekends. And as soon as I arrived I locked myself in my room and spent the entire weekend writing. It really helped me get through the larger chunks of the book.

Tip 4. Use some of the product you’re creating as blog content

This really helped me when I was writing my book. Some of the content I was writing for the book had already been published on ProBlogger. So I’d occasionally take content from the ProBlogger archives, edited and updated it, and put it into the book.

I was also writing about topics for the book that I’d never explored on the blog. And every now and then I’d publish an excerpt from the book as a blog post. This not only kept the blog ticking over with fresh content, but also built anticipation about the book.

Of course, you don’t want your product to be just a rehash of your blog content. It needs to be something that’s fresh and unique. But chances are delving into your archives can save you some time and effort, and make it easier to get your product finished and ready for launch.

Tip 5. Set yourself some deadlines

You may have heard of Parkinson’s Law, which states that, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” And as much as we don’t like to think it’s true, it often is.

If you give yourself a year to complete your product, then chances are it will take you a year to complete it. But if you give yourself a month, there’s a good chance you’ll get it done in a month.

Of course, you need to be realistic. If you give yourself a day to get it done you’re destined for failure. But if you give yourself a tight but realistic deadline then you will push yourself to meet it. Committing to the deadline my publisher set in my book contract really helped me get going.

One problem a lot of bloggers face is they only commit to meeting the deadline with themselves, which means there’s little (if any) accountability. One solution is to make the commitment to a partner, family member, friend or fellow blogger. You could also make the commitment to your readers, or even start taking pre-orders for your product. That will create not only create a moral accountability, but also a legal one.

Tip 6. Create a beta version of your product

If the product you’re creating is a big one, it may take some time to get it finished. But you may be able to make some money before it’s finished by creating a beta version and selling it on your blog.

I remember a conversation I had with a blogger who wanted to create her first course. When she showed me the outline, I could see it was going to be massive. She needed to produce more than 50 hours of video content, as well as create numerous written resources. She was even getting software developed to give away as a bonus. Understandably she felt incredibly overwhelmed by it all, to the point where she felt almost paralyzed.

I said to her, “Why don’t you just break it down and release it as ten modules? And why not start by finishing the first module and releasing it?”

And that’s exactly what she did. She got the first module done and got her mini course out the door. It gave her not only some initial income, but also some really valuable feedback. She discovered her readers didn’t want as much content as she’d created. They wanted something a little lighter. And with that knowledge she managed to roll out several more modules more quickly than shoe could have done with her ‘full’ course.

But what if you’re producing an ebook rather than a course? Well, could you make two ebooks out of your content, and then start selling the first while you’re working on the second? Could you produce one version now, and then update it later? (That’s the great thing about ebooks. You can always add more content later.)

Tip 7. Get some help

If you can’t batch, can’t pull back any further on your blog and still need to find more time, then maybe you need to get some help.

Perhaps someone can help you with your product. That’s what I did with the ProBlogger book. Chris Garett co-authored the book with me because I realized very early on that I couldn’t do everything. He also bought other expertise to the book that I didn’t have. I’ve probably taught a lot of what he wrote about, but I couldn’t have thought about it the way he did.

Maybe you need to get a co-author. Or maybe you need help with something else–design, development, or even setting up a shopping cart. Perhaps you need an editor, proofreader or marketer.

You could also get some help keeping your blog ticking over. Perhaps you could publish a guest post once a week while you’re working on your product, or even hire someone as a regular contributor. Maybe you could free up some time by having someone edit or proofread your blog posts. Or maybe they could take on managing your community or social media posts.

 

I hope these tips help you free up some time so you can work on your first product for your blog. And once that’s done and selling, you may be able to free up even more time to work on your next one.

Image credit: Kevin Ku

The post How to Find Time to Create a Product For Your Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

January 30th 2020 Uncategorized

How to Take Professional Photos for a Business: The Ultimate Guide

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by Robert Clough

Almost 50% of small businesses in the United States still don’t have a website. 

Without a website, your business is missing out on a large customer base. Instead of losing customers and money, it’s time to step up to the plate and create your own online presence. One of the most important aspects of your website will be the images you include. 

Keep reading to learn how to take professional photos for your website to bring your business into the 21st century. 

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Keep Your Content Simple

When it comes to professional business photos, you want to make sure you keep your images simple. You may think that you need flashy, busy images to grab the attention of your customers, but these could actually deter them away. And, if your photography skills aren’t the greatest, trying to take complicated photos will only magnify this. 

Instead, make sure every image is taken in a well-lit room or outside. The lighting is the most important thing when it comes to photography. 

From there, you want to keep the backgrounds of your photos minimal. Avoid taking photos in cluttered rooms or in a busy outdoor location. Instead, focus on the subject of your images and don’t leave anything in the frame that may distract the viewer. 

Diversify Image Types

To take professional pictures, you’ll want to make sure you’re diversifying your image types. If every page of your website has the exact same image or the exact same angle, the customer may easily become bored and click away. Instead, keep the content fresh and keep the customer engaged. 

Here are some simple image types to consider:

  • Professional headshots of employees for the About or Contact pages
  • Product shots on a blank background for your Shop or Purchase pages
  • Lifestyle images, (think unposed) of your product or service in use for your blogs or home page

If you focus on capturing a few good photos of each of these image types, you’ll have a decent amount of content to start your website. 

Edit Carefully and Strategically 

Now that you know how to take a professional photo, it’s time to edit the image before posting it online. 

There are a lot of editing options out there so it can be easy to get carried away. For professional images, focus on increasing the brightness, cropping out any distractions, and correcting any color balance issues. Many photo editing programs have an auto feature that will fix most of these things for you. 

If you find your image didn’t quite come out as you expected, it’s not a total loss. Instead, use a blur image online tool and place text over the image. Now you have a professional-looking graphic!

Use Professional Photos to Increase Your Business’s Online Presence 

With the above tips in mind, you can use professional photos to increase your business’s online presence. Not only will this increase your web traffic, but it will also make your business appear more professional and reputable. 

Start with keeping your content simple by focusing on well-lit photos with single subjects. Then, diversity the image types to give your website some variety. Finally, edit your images with a goal in mind and make sure the image remains realistic and professional-looking. 

Now that you know what to do when it comes to professional photos, what type of content will you work on next? If you’re interested in creating a business blog, head to the Content and Copywriting section of this site for all the best tips and tricks. 

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

January 30th 2020 Uncategorized

A First-Timer’s Guide to Google AdWords Campaign Management

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by Robert Clough

How many times have you been scrolling through Google only to see an advert for a service or product that you like or are familiar with? Perhaps you then went on to purchase this product or use this service.

This is not a coincidence. It was probably the result of a great Google Adwords campaign that connected the product or service with you exactly the right customer.

Here’s how to oversee Google Adwords campaign management.

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How Can Google Ad Words Help Your Business?

Google Ad Words allows a business to bid for certain SEO keywords – usually the most popular – with the highest bidder on those keywords awarded a top place on Google’s search engine ranking.  

The key to ranking highly is a combination of winning the bid but also constructing a great ad that customers are going to flock to. It will also give you a high ad quality score which will further increase your ranking on Google.

Choose Your Keywords

The important first mission is to choose relevant keywords. If you have a nice audience then you might want to target more obscure keywords in which case you may not need to enter a bid. 

If, however, you want to target big keywords that regularly get thousands or millions of hits a day then you might want to consider entering the bidding war.

Remember you are still going to be competing against the sites that have already gained traction on Google’s search page for these keywords. These sites will already have perfectly crafted ads that bring in thousands of dollars of revenue for them.

The best keywords are the ones that reflect your business’ aims and ethos. Remember you can also have negative keywords to ensure you understand the kind of message and ads you don’t want your business to project.

Don’t Waste Money on Unsuitable Keywords

If you choose a keyword for your business that doesn’t really fit with what your business is trying to achieve or your target customers then you have wasted your ad budget.

Google Ad Words is a tool and if it’s used incorrectly it could end up feeling like it is a waste of money. Don’t assume that if your traffic isn’t increasing Google Ads doesn’t work. It just means you have not used it in the right way for your business and need to reevaluate.

Set Your Budget

Google Ads campaigns can be expensive. This depends on various factors including the popularity of the keyword and the size of the audience you are trying to reach.

If you have a niche project then the audience might be naturally smaller so a smaller campaign would be sufficient. However, if your audience is bigger and your competition big then it makes sense to have a bigger budget for marketing and Google Ads.

Remember if you have a higher quality score then you can pay less to have a higher ranking on Google than someone that Google judges to have a relatively poor advert in terms of their SEO reach.

Write Concisely

Google Ads limited you to just 25 characters (not words) for the headline, 70 for the ad itself and 35 words for the name displayed on the URL.

This might sound like a tough order to fulfill but it’s based on an underlying principle that people are not going to bother to read something longer than this. The internet reduces your attention span and it’s easy to click off something on a topic you’re interested in, let alone irritating ads.

Writing concisely makes you think more carefully about the key messages of your product or service. You have to strip out the unnecessary fluff and get straight to the point.

If you know you are going to struggle with this then be sure to hire a PPC agency. Why hire a PPC agency? This is a legitimate question to ask. They offer a professional ad copywriting service. With their team of professionals, you can ensure you get top marks for quality from Google.

Focus Your Campaign

No campaign will work unless it is focused. If you don’t feel that your Google Ads campaign has been as successful as it could then be sure to answer some fundamental questions about your business.

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What do they like and dislike?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What other products do they consume?
  • What channels do they mainly use for accessing the internet?

If you can’t answer any of these questions in detail then it might be time to get back to the drawing board and do some more market research before you restart and realign your PPC campaign management. 

Google Adwords Campaign Management Is All About Knowing Your Audience

The key to Google Adwords campaign management is knowing your audience inside-out and how to target them. With a focused campaign you can start to select keywords that your audience is likely to respond well too.

Once you have some strong keywords lined up that you wish to target you can then start to plan your budget and figure out how much you are going to need to spend to generate the results you want. 

Learning to write a great advert that is punchy and concise will also help you to rate highly on Google and achieve a better score for quality.

If you are interested in reading more about how to start a campaign or PPC campaign management then be sure to check out the rest of our site.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

January 30th 2020 AdWords, Google

New Removals report in Search Console

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We’re happy to announce that we’re launching a new version of the Removals report in Search Console, which enables site owners to temporarily hide a page from appearing in Google Search results. The new report also provides info on pages on your site that have been reported via other Google public tools.

There are different tools available for you to report and remove information from Google, in this post we’ll focus on three areas that will be part of the new Search Console report: temporary removals, outdated content and SafeSearch filtering requests.

Temporary removals

A temporary removal request is a way to remove specific content on your site from Google Search results. For example, if you have a URL that you need to take off Google Search quickly, you should use this tool. A successful request lasts about six months, which should be enough for you to find a permanent solution. You have two types of requests available:

  • Temporary remove URL will hide the URL from Google Search results for about six months and clear the cached copy of the page.
  • Clear cache URL clears the cached page and wipes out the page description snippet in Search results until the page is crawled again.

Outdated content

The outdated content section provides information on removal requests made through the public Remove Outdated Content tool, which can be used by anyone (not just site owners) to update search results showing information that is no longer present on a page.

SafeSearch filtering

The SafeSearch filtering section in Search Console shows a history of pages on your site that were reported by Google users as adult content using the SafeSearch Suggestion tool. URLs submitted using this tool are reviewed, and if Google feels that this content should be filtered from SafeSearch results, these URLs are tagged as adult content.

We hope you will find the new report clearer and useful. As always, please let us know if you have any comments, questions or feedback either through the Webmasters help community or Twitter.

Posted by Tali Pruss, Search Console Software Engineer

January 28th 2020 Uncategorized

Data Privacy Day: seven ways we protect your privacy

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Keeping you safe online is a top priority at Google, especially for the thousands of Googlers who work on privacy and security around the world. Today on Data Privacy Day, we’re sharing some of the many ways we keep you safe online and across our products—from built-in protections to easy tools that keep you in control of your privacy.

1. Keep your passwords safe

Password Manager in your Google Account helps you remember and securely store strong passwords for all your online accounts. With Password Checkup, one click will tell you if any of your passwords are weak—whether you’ve reused them across multiple sites, or if we’ve discovered they’ve been compromised in a third-party data breach—and we’ll give you the link to change them.

2. Let Google automatically delete your data

With auto-delete for Location History, Web & App Activity and YouTube History, you can choose to have Google automatically and continuously delete your activity and location history after 3 or 18 months. You can also control what data is saved in your account with easy on/off controls in your Google Account, and even delete your data by date, product and topic.

3. Use your favorite Google apps in Incognito mode

Incognito mode has been one of our most popular privacy controls since it launched with Chrome in 2008, and last year we added it to YouTube and Google Maps. Tap from your profile picture to easily turn it on or off. When you turn on Incognito mode in Maps, your activity—like the places you search or get directions to—won’t be saved to your Google Account. When you turn off Incognito mode, you’ll return to a personalized Google Maps experience with restaurant recommendations, information about your commute, and other features tailored to you.

4. Try hands-free privacy controls with the Google Assistant

You can also manage your privacy settings with help from the Assistant. Just say, “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you last week” to delete Assistant activity from your Google Account, or “Hey Google, that wasn’t for you,” to tell the Assistant to forget what it heard if the Assistant responds to something that wasn’t actually a question or request. And to learn how Google keeps your data private and secure, just ask, “Hey Google, how do you keep my data safe?” 

5. Browse the web safely with Chrome

Safe Browsing in Chrome automatically protects you from malicious ads and warns you before you visit dangerous sites or download suspicious files. If you use Chrome, your password protections are automatically built-in. We’ll warn you if your username and password have been compromised in a known breach as you log into websites.

6. Check in on your privacy settings across your apps and devices

Data Privacy Day is a great time to check in on your privacy and security settings. Take a Privacy Checkup and we’ll walk you through key privacy settings step-by-step. You can do things like choose what data—such as your location and search history—gets saved to your Google Account or control what ads you see. When you’re finished, head over to Security Checkup for personalized recommendations to help protect your data and devices, like managing which third-party apps have access to your account data.

7. Control what ads you see from Google

We do not sell your personal information to anyone and give you transparency, choice and control over how your information is used. If you’re curious about why you’re seeing an ad, you can click on Why this ad for more information. If you no longer find a specific ad relevant, you can choose to block that ad by using the Mute this ad control. And you can always control the kinds of ads you see, or turn off ads personalization any time in yourAd Settings.  

No matter how you use our products, it’s our responsibility to keep your data private and secure. That’s why we work every day to build the best privacy experiences and strongest protections, and we’ll continue our ongoing efforts to make privacy and security simpler for you. 

January 28th 2020 Uncategorized

Data Privacy Day: seven ways we protect your privacy

No Comments »

Keeping you safe online is a top priority at Google, especially for the thousands of Googlers who work on privacy and security around the world. Today on Data Privacy Day, we’re sharing some of the many ways we keep you safe online and across our products—from built-in protections to easy tools that keep you in control of your privacy.

1. Keep your passwords safe

Password Manager in your Google Account helps you remember and securely store strong passwords for all your online accounts. With Password Checkup, one click will tell you if any of your passwords are weak—whether you’ve reused them across multiple sites, or if we’ve discovered they’ve been compromised in a third-party data breach—and we’ll give you the link to change them.

2. Let Google automatically delete your data

With auto-delete for Location History, Web & App Activity and YouTube History, you can choose to have Google automatically and continuously delete your activity and location history after 3 or 18 months. You can also control what data is saved in your account with easy on/off controls in your Google Account, and even delete your data by date, product and topic.

3. Use your favorite Google apps in Incognito mode

Incognito mode has been one of our most popular privacy controls since it launched with Chrome in 2008, and last year we added it to YouTube and Google Maps. Tap from your profile picture to easily turn it on or off. When you turn on Incognito mode in Maps, your activity—like the places you search or get directions to—won’t be saved to your Google Account. When you turn off Incognito mode, you’ll return to a personalized Google Maps experience with restaurant recommendations, information about your commute, and other features tailored to you.

4. Try hands-free privacy controls with the Google Assistant

You can also manage your privacy settings with help from the Assistant. Just say, “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you last week” to delete Assistant activity from your Google Account, or “Hey Google, that wasn’t for you,” to tell the Assistant to forget what it heard if the Assistant responds to something that wasn’t actually a question or request. And to learn how Google keeps your data private and secure, just ask, “Hey Google, how do you keep my data safe?” 

5. Browse the web safely with Chrome

Safe Browsing in Chrome automatically protects you from malicious ads and warns you before you visit dangerous sites or download suspicious files. If you use Chrome, your password protections are automatically built-in. We’ll warn you if your username and password have been compromised in a known breach as you log into websites.

6. Check in on your privacy settings across your apps and devices

Data Privacy Day is a great time to check in on your privacy and security settings. Take a Privacy Checkup and we’ll walk you through key privacy settings step-by-step. You can do things like choose what data—such as your location and search history—gets saved to your Google Account or control what ads you see. When you’re finished, head over to Security Checkup for personalized recommendations to help protect your data and devices, like managing which third-party apps have access to your account data.

7. Control what ads you see from Google

We do not sell your personal information to anyone and give you transparency, choice and control over how your information is used. If you’re curious about why you’re seeing an ad, you can click on Why this ad for more information. If you no longer find a specific ad relevant, you can choose to block that ad by using the Mute this ad control. And you can always control the kinds of ads you see, or turn off ads personalization any time in yourAd Settings.  

No matter how you use our products, it’s our responsibility to keep your data private and secure. That’s why we work every day to build the best privacy experiences and strongest protections, and we’ll continue our ongoing efforts to make privacy and security simpler for you. 

January 28th 2020 Uncategorized

Google Product Search and Learning about New Product Lines

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It’s interesting seeing patents from Google that focus on eCommerce topics. The last one I recall had Google distinguishing between products and accessories for those products in search results. I wrote about it in Ranking Search Results and Product Queries.

New Product Lines in Product Search

A new patent from Google is about when new products appear in existing product lines, like a laptop that comes with more Ram or a bigger hard drive, or a camera with a zoom lens that it didn’t have before.

This patent is about determining in product search whether a query is looking for a particular product line, from within a specific brand.

Searchers frequently search for products offered for sale. Google is trying to understand the intent behind shopping-related search queries.

For Google to be able to do that well, it has to understand different aspects of product categories. This can include such things as:

  • Whether a product as an association with a brand
  • Whether a product is in a specific product line

The patent tells us it is essential to detect terms designating product lines from within product queries from searchers.

That includes associating detected product line terms along with their corresponding brands, to let Google keep up with new product lines and retiring product lines soon after changes occur.

Under the new Google patent is a process aimed at determining product lines from product search queries:

  • A product query might be classified to identify a product category
  • A brand may be identified for the product query
  • The brand may be chosen from a list of known brands for the product category

Unknown Product Lines

The patent tells us that unknown product line terms may be identified within a product query.

A metric may indicate how well the unknown product line terms correspond to an actual product line within the brand.

The metric may be compared to a specified threshold. The unknown product line terms may be designated as a new product line of the brand if the metric compares to the specified threshold.

A product search may be performed using the product query. Product search results may be returned according to the product search.

This product lines patent can be found at:

Detecting product lines within product search queries
Inventors: Ritendra Datta
Assignee: GOOGLE LLC
US Patent: 10,394,816
Granted: August 27, 2019
Filed: December 27, 2012

Abstract

Systems and methods can determine product lines product searches.

One or more computing devices can receive a product query of search terms. The product query may be classified to identify a product category. A brand may be identified for the product query. The brand may be selected from a list of known brands for the product category.

One or more unknown product line terms may be identified within the product query. A metric may be computed to indicate how well the unknown product line terms correspond to an actual product line within the brand. The metric may be compared to a specified threshold. The unknown product line terms may be designated as a new product line of the brand if the metric favorably compares to the specified threshold. A product search may be performed on the product query. Product search results may be returned according to the product search.

High Precision Query Classifiers

This patent shows Google trying to identify new products and product lines, so it can distinguish them from older product lines.

Interestingly, Google is looking at search queries to identify products and product lines. As the patent tells us:

Product lines associated with product brands may be determined from analyzing the received product search queries.

The patent refers to a “high-precision query classifier,” which is the first time I have seen that mentioned anywhere at all.

How does a “high precision query classifier” work?

As described in this patent:

  • A search query may be automatically mapped to a product category
  • A list of known brands within the product category may be used to identify terms within the product query specifying the product brand
  • Similarly, a list of known category attributes may be used to identify terms within the product query specifying attributes of the product being searched

Attributes of Products

Product Attributes

The patent provides some examples of attributes for products:

  • A number of megapixels for digital cameras
  • An amount of RAM memory for laptop computers
  • A number of cylinders for a motor vehicle

Product Query Forms

We are told that the forms that a product query may take may vary a bit, but we are provided with some examples.

A product query could take the form “[B] [PL] [A].”

In such a query form, one or more terms [B] may indicate a brand that is a known brand within a list of known product brands, and one or more terms [A] may indicate attributes that are known attributes of the category. One or more unknown terms [PL] may then be identified as a potential new product line. Such an identification may be strengthened where [PL] is in a form associated with product lines. The identification may also be strengthened where [PL] is found with brand [B] frequently over time within various product queries. The identification may be further strengthened where the terms [PL] are infrequently, or never, found with brands other than the brand [B] throughout many product queries over time.

A metric is calculated by comparing what might be the attributes of products from a new product line, with attributes of an actual product line associated with a brand.

This metric may consider the number of unique product queries containing the terms [PL] having the correct structure and/or category along with the extent to which [B] dominates among every query that has a brand preceding [PL].

Why would Google be looking at Queries to learn about new product lines from brands instead of from product pages that describe the attributes of products?

Identifying Product Lines

How this identification process may work:

  • Software for product line resolution may identify product lines associated with brands for product categories determined by the query classifier
  • Product line resolution may use a category attribute dictionary and a product brand dictionary to establish pairings between brands and product lines
  • The product query and the determined brands and product lines may then be provided to a product search engine
  • The product search engine may then provide search results to the searcher
  • The query classifier may map the product query to a product category
  • Product line resolution can use product category information with the category attribute dictionary and the product brand dictionary to identify terms from the product query about specific product lines relate to product lines
  • The unknown terms identified by the product line resolution module for a category may be fed back into the category attribute dictionary as attributes for that category
  • Each identified product line may also be related to a particular brand listed in the product brand dictionary
  • The product brand dictionary can provide a list of known brands within various product categories
  • The known brands may be used to determine and resolve terms associated with product lines within each brand
  • The product line terms may then be used to identify a potential new product line

The identification of a new product line may be strengthened:

  • When unknown terms information is in a form associated with product lines
  • Where the unknown terms are found with a brand frequently over time within various product queries
  • Where the unknown terms are infrequently, or never, found with brands other than the brand identified throughout many products queries over time

Identifying When Unknown Terms Maybe in a form associated with product lines

Here are some observations about the form of product lines:

  • Product line terms generally start with a letter
  • Product lines generally contain few or no numbers (differentiating product line terms from model numbers or serial numbers
  • Product lines may be related to a category or a brand (One brand may generally have single word product lines while a second brand may use two-word product lines where the first word relates to performance and a second word is a three-digit number

These kinds of patterns or forms about product lines could be used to associate unknown terms within a product query as product line terms.

Using a Category Attribute Dictionary to Resolve Product Line Terms within Product Queries

The category attribute dictionary can provide a dictionary of attributes associated with various product categories and brands.

Terms from the category attribute dictionary may be used to resolving product line terms within the product query.

When unknown terms are often found within product queries along with brand information, those unknown terms could be seen as product line terms associated with a specific brand. When known attribute terms are found in the category attribute dictionary to be consistent with brand [B] or the category associated with the product query by the query classifier.

Product Query Processing

The patent includes this flowchart to describe the process behind the product search patent:

Where does Google Learn about product lines?

The patent doesn’t mention product schema, or merchant product feeds. It does tell us that it is getting a lot of information about product lines from searcher’s queries.

Google also collects information about products and product attributes from web sites that sell those products, in addition to looking at product queries, as described in this patent.

Collecting such information from site owners may be the starting source of much information found in the product and category dictionaries and product attribute categories that are mentioned in this patent.

The process of updating information about products and product lines from product queries from searchers is a way to crowdsource information about products from searchers and get an idea of how much interest there might be in specific products.

It is quite possible that Google can learn a lot about products from product data feeds that merchants submit to Google. Google is trying to get merchants to submit product feeds even if they don’t use paid product search, to make those products visible in more places on Google in Surfaces across Google as described on this Google Support page: Show your products on Surfaces Across Google.

We saw that Google is using product feed information to help it distinguish between product pages and accessory pages for those products as I wrote about in the blog post I linked to at the start of this post.

Google also describes product markup on their developers page Product. Google tells site owners that they should include that markup for their products because:

Product markup enables a badge on the image in mobile image search results, which can encourage more users to click your content.

By collecting information about products from product feeds, Product Schema, product web pages, and product queries from searchers Google is collecting a lot of data about products, which could enable it to be pretty good at providing answers to product queries, and to understand when new product lines are launched.


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January 28th 2020 Uncategorized

What Does a Digital Marketer Do? This is Everything You Need to Know

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by Robert Clough

Did you know that a digital marketing manager can make as much as $112,100?

Your current role may not provide you with a career path that allows you to earn that amount of money. Following this, you might be interested in learning more about digital marketing and how you can secure a role as a digital marketer.

Read on, and you’ll learn more about the life of a digital marketer. By the end of this post, you should be able to answer the question, “what does a digital marketer do?”

Let’s begin!

digitalagency.jpg

What Does a Digital Marketer Do?

Digital marketers help businesses or individuals gain awareness and generate sales. They do this by focusing on online platforms such as Facebook, Google Search, or LinkedIn.

Most digital marketers tend to focus on one specific marketing strategy.

This is because different strategies require different kinds of knowledge. If you don’t specialize, it’s tough to understand how each strategy will deliver results.

For instance, one digital marketer might focus on PPC ads, while another may concentrate on SEO.

In some cases, digital marketers will focus on a certain subcategory, within a particular marketing strategy. So a digital marketer that deals with PPC marketing might focus only on Facebook Ads.

In doing so, the digital marketer will develop a better skill set, and this will then make it easier for them to secure a job at a digital marketing agency

How Can You Become a Digital Marketer?

If you want to become a digital marketer, you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of resources that’ll help you get started.

To begin with, you might want to purchase a course on Udemy. If you’re short on money, you can take the free digital marketing course offered by Google.

One of the cool things about digital marketing is that you can often put your knowledge to the test, without having to work an actual job.

This is because you can set up digital marketing campaigns and then monitor the results. For example, if you want to become an SEO expert, you can try to rank a website for a particular term.

It’s vital that you do this sort of work on your own so that you understand how your chosen marketing channel works. Plus, you can always show this work to a potential employer, thereby making it easier for them to appreciate your abilities.

Time to Become a Digital Marketer?

Now that you’ve finished this post, you should be able to answer the question, “what does a digital marketer do?”

When learning about digital marketing, you might feel a little bit overwhelmed. If that’s the case, narrowing down your focus can help make things easier.

So, if you’re interested in SEO, you might focus on link-building. Then once you have a good grasp of this topic, you can branch out and focus on another SEO topic such as on-page optimization.

If you do this consistently, you should eventually know enough to land a job as a digital marketer.

Did you like this post? If you did, please consider reading some of the other content on our site!

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

January 27th 2020 Uncategorized

Google Podcasts App and Making Podcasts Easier to Find

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Podcasts Can Be Hard to Find

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately. They can be fun to listen to while doing chores around the house, like watering plants, washing dishes, cooking meals, and cleaning up. There are podcasts on many different subjects that I am interested in. A good number about Search Engine Optimization.

Someone asked me If I had seen any patents about podcasts on Twitter recently. I hadn’t at the time and I told them that. A patent application later appeared on January 9, 2020. I returned to the tweet where I replied that I hadn’t seen any, and tweeted that I had found a new one, and would be writing about it. This is that post.

I am not the only one listening more to podcasts. Techcrunch from last year had an article about the growth of audiences for podcasts: After a Breakout Year: looking ahead to the future of Podcasting.

It seems Google noticed this trend and has worked on making podcasts easier to find in search results and by releasing a Google Podcasts app.

Google Tries to Make Podcasts Easier to Find

At the Google Blog, the Keyword, a post last August from Sack Reneay-Wedeen, Product Manager at Google Podcasts, called: Press play: Find and listen to podcast episodes on Search

If you produce a podcast or are looking for one to listen to, you may find this article from last autumn helpful: Google will start surfacing individual podcast episodes in search results.

It tells us that:

Google is taking the next step in making podcasts easier to find. The company will now surface individual podcast episodes in search results, so if someone searches for a show about a niche topic or an interview with a specific person, Google will show them potential podcast episodes that fit their query.

In Google Search Help is a page about finding Podcasts titled Listen to podcasts with Google Podcasts

There are also Google Developer pages about how to submit your Podcasts for them to be found using Google at this page: Google Podcasts, which offer guidelines, management of podcasts information, and troubleshooting for Google Podcasts.

The Google Play Music Help pages offer information about using that service to subscribe and listen to podcasts.

There are also Google Podcast Publisher Tools, which allows you to submit your podcast to be found on the Google Podcasts App, and preview your podcast as it would appear there.

The Google Podcasts App is at: Google Podcasts: Discover free & trending podcasts

How the New Podcast Patent Application Ranks Shows and Episodes

The new Google patent application covers “identifying, curating, and presenting audio content.” That includes audio such as radio stations and podcasts.

The application starts out with this statement:

Many people enjoy listening to audio content, such as by tuning to a radio show or subscribing to a podcast and playing a podcast episode. For example, people may enjoy listening to such audio content during a commute between home and work, while exercising, etc. In some cases, people may have difficulty identifying specific content that they would enjoy listening to, such as specific shows or episodes that align with their interests. Additionally, in some cases, people may have difficulty finding shows or episodes that are of a duration that is convenient for them to listen to, such as a duration that aligns with a duration of a commute.

It focuses on solving a specific problem – people being unable to identify and listen to audio content.

The method this patent uncovers for presenting audio content includes:

  • Seeing categories of audio content
  • Being able to select one of those categories
  • Seeing shows based upon that selected category
  • Being able to select from the shows in that category
  • Seeing episodes from those shows
  • Being able to select from an episode, and seeing the duration of playing time for each show
  • Ranking the episodes
  • Seeing the episodes in order of ranking.

Rankings are based on a likelihood that a searcher might enjoy the episodes being ranked.

The episodes can also be shown based upon a measure of popularity.

The episodes may also be shown based upon how relevant they might be to a searcher.

The identification of a group of candidate episodes is based on an RSS feed associated with shows in the subset of shows.

The patent application about podcasts at Google is:

Methods, Systems, and Media for Identifying, Curating, and Presenting Audio Content
Inventors Jeannette Gatlin, Manish Gaudi
Applicants Google LLC
Publication Number 20200012476
Filed: July 3, 2019
Publication Date January 9, 2020

The methods described in the patent cover podcasts and can apply to other types of audio content, such as:

  • Music
  • Radio shows
  • Any other suitable type of audio content
  • Television shows
  • Videos
  • Movies
  • Any other suitable type of video content

The patent describes a number of techniques that podcasts are found with.

A group of candidate shows are selected, such as podcast episodes using factors like:

  • Popularity
  • Inclusion of evergreen content relevant to a listener
  • Related to categories or topics that are of interest to a particular user

Recommendations of shows look at whether a show:

  1. Is associated with episodic content or serial content.
  2. Typically includes evergreen content (e.g., content that is generally relevant at a future time) or whether the show will become irrelevant at a predetermined future time
  3. Is likely to include news-related content based on whether a tag or keyword associated with the show includes “news.”
  4. Has tags indicating categories or topics associated with the show.
  5. Has tags indicating controversial content, such as mature language, related to particular topics, and/or any other suitable type of controversial content
  6. Has previously assigned categories or topics associated with a show that are accurate.
  7. Has episodes likely to include advertisements (e.g., pre-roll advertisements, interstitial advertisements, and/or any other suitable types of advertisements).
  8. Has episodes that are likely to include standalone segments that can be viewed or listened to individually without viewing the rest of an episode of the show.
  9. Has episodes often with an opening monologue.
  10. Has episodes featuring an interview in the middle part of an episode.
  11. Features episodic content instead of serial content, so it does not require viewing or listening to one episode before another.
  12. is limited in relevance based on a date (after the fact).

Human evaluators can identify episode based upon features such as:

  • General popularity
  • Good audio quality
  • Associated with particularly accurate keywords or categories
  • Any other suitable manner

Some podcasts may have a standalone segment within an episode that may feature:

  • A monologue
  • An interview
  • Any other suitable standalone segment
  • That standalone segment could be trimmed as a new episode and included to be selected with the other episodes.

    Blacklisted Content

    Episodes that are deemed too long in duration could be blacklisted or deemed not suitable for selection as a candidate episode.

    An episode that contains adult-oriented content may be blacklisted from being presented to a user during daytime hours based on parental controls.

    An episode containing a particular type of content may be blacklisted from being presented to a user during weekdays based on user preferences (e.g., particular topics for presentation on the weekdays as opposed to particular topics for presentation on the weekends).

    Ranking of Candidate Episodes

    Ranking can be based upon:

  • Popularity
  • Likelihood of enjoyment
  • Previous listening history
  • Relevance to previously listen to content
  • Audio quality
  • Reviewed by human evaluators

The patent tells us that this process can rank the subset of the candidate episodes in any suitable manner and based on any suitable information.

It can be based on a popularity metric associated with a show corresponding to each episode and/or based on a popularity metric associated with the episode.

That popularity metric may also be based on any suitable information or combination of information, such as:

  • A number of subscriptions to the show
  • A number of times a show and/or an episode has been downloaded to a user device
  • A number of times links to a show have been shared (e.g., on a social networking service, and/or in any other suitable manner)
  • Any other suitable information indicating popularity.

This process can also rank the subset of the candidate episodes based on a likelihood that a particular user of a user device will enjoy the episode.

That likelihood can be based on previous listening history, such as:

  • How relevant a category or topic of the episode is to categories/topics of previously listened to episodes (Is it associated with a show the user has previously listened to?)
  • A number of times the user has previously listened to other episodes associated with the show
  • Any other suitable information related to listening history

This process can also rank candidate episodes based on the audio quality of each episode.

Alternatively, this process may also rank candidate episodes based on whether each episode has been identified by a human evaluator, and episodes that have been identified by human evaluators are ranked higher than other episodes.

A combined episode score might be based upon a score from:

  • A trusted listener
  • The audio quality
  • The content quality
  • The popularity of the show from which the episode originates

Takeaways

This patent appears to focus primarily upon how podcasts might be ranked on the Google Podcasts App, rather than in Google search results.

The podcasts app isn’t as well known as some of the other places to get podcasts such as iTunes.

I am curious about how many podcasts are being found in search results. I’ve been linking to ones that I’ve been a guest in from the about page on this site, and that helps many of them show up in Google SERPs on a search for my name.

I guess making podcasts easier to find in search results can be similar to making images easier to find, by the text on the page that they are hosted upon, and the links to that page as well.

SEO Industry Podcasts

making podcasts easier to find with Google SEO Podcases

I thought it might be appropriate if I ended this post with a number of SEO Podcasts.

I’ve been a guest on a number of podcasts, and have been involved in a couple over the past few years. I’ve also been listening to some, with some frequency, and have been listening to more, both about SEO and other topics as well. I decided to list some of the ones that I have either been a guest on or have listened to a few times. They are in no particular order

Experts On The Wire Podcast

Hosted by Dan Shure. Dan interviews different guests every week about different aspects of SEO and Digital Marketing. I’ve been on a couple of podcasts with Dan and enjoyed answering questions that he has asked, and have listened to him interview others on the show as well. There are some great takeaways in some of the interviews that I have listened to learn from.

Search News You Can Use – SEO Podcast with Marie Haynes

A Weekly podcast about Google Algorithm updates, and news and articles from the digital marketing industry. This is a good way to keep informed about what is happening in SEO. She provides some insights into how to deal with updates and changes at Google.

Webcology

Jim Hedger and Dave Davies have been running this podcast for a few years, and I’ve been a guest on it about 4-5 times. They discuss a lot of current industry news and invite guests to the show to talk about those. My last guest appearance was with David Harry, where we talked about what we thought were the most interesting search-related patents of the last year.

The Search Engine Journal Show!

Danny Goodwin, Brent Csutoras, Greg Finn and Loren Baker take turns hosting and talking with guests from the world of SEO. No two SEOs do things exactly the same way, and learning about the differences in what they do can be interesting.

Edge of the Web Podcast

Erin Sparks hosts a weekly show about Internet Marketing, and he takes an investigative approach to this show, asking some in-depth questions. He asks some interesting questions.

Search Talk Live Digital Marketing Podcast

Hosted by Robert O’Haver, Matt Weber, and Michelle Stinson Ross. They offer “Expert Advice on SEO and SEM. I had fun talking with these guys – I just listened half of my last appearance on the show.

The Recipe For SEO Success Show

Kate Toon is the host of this show, and she focuses on actionable tips and suggestions from guests on doing digital marketing.

Last Week in Local

Hosted by Mike Blumenthal, Carrie Hill, and Mary Bowling. They often discuss news and articles that focus on local search, but also discuss topics that have a broader impact on sites such as image optimization.

#AEO is SEO Podcast

This is hosted by Jason Barnard. The “AEO” in the title is “Answer Engine Optimization” and Jason has been attending conferences to give him a chance to interview people for his podcast. The last time we did a show it was in a bakery across the street from my hotel in a suburb of Paris, talking about Entities at Google.

Connecting the Digital Dots

Martha van Berkel is the host of this show and is one of the people behind Schemaapp. She and I talked about featured snippets.

Search Engine Roundtable Vlog

Barry Schwartz runs Search Engine Roundtable, which is originally based upon the roundtable in tales of King Author that knights would sit at. In this VLOG, he visits people where they work, and asks them questions about what they do. It’s fun seeing where people are from and learning more about them.

Bill and Ammon’s Bogus Hangout

This is a weekly conversation between a number of SEOs having discussions, often about marketing and SEO, but sometimes veering off into different topics. It takes inspiration from early days of SEO where conferences such as Pubcon were often meetups in bars, with people sharing stories about what they had been doing. I am one of the hosts, and recently I’ve been joined by Doc Sheldon, Terry van Horne, Zara Altair, and Steve Gerencser.

Page 2 Podcast

Hosted by Jacob Stoops and Jeff Louella. They have guests join them from the world of SEO, and they ask them about their origin stories as SEOs. They have added a news section to the show as well,

Deep Crawl’s Open Dialogue

These shows feature interviews with some really sharp and interesting SEOs and provide details on tips and techniques involving digital marketing and technical SEO.

SEO Training Dojo

With David Harry, and Terry van Horne. The Dojo is a center for training and learning SEO. It often includes guests who have been sharing ideas and approaches about SEO for years.


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January 23rd 2020 Uncategorized