Friday, May 22, 2015

"QUAP-TED-LUV" Factor For Creating Quality Content

Talk about the Panda update or the recent Phantom update, all are focussed towards identifiying quality content. The "QUAP-TED-LUV" factor is the only guideline you will ever need to create quality content for your website. Whether it's Google or Bing, quality content is one of the most important factor for ranking any website on Google. Let's explore this factor and see how you can improve your rankings based on content quality.

The "QUAP" Factor

Quality - The content should be unique and high quality. It should be created to provide a good user experience. It should serve the intent of the user. It should not be mass produced and must not be based solely on keywords geared towards improving the rankings of the website. It should not have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations.

Useful - Think about how you can make your content more useful for your own custom audience. If you are a restaurant owner then including the operating hours can be beneficial. Similarly, if you are an eCommerce site owner then including genuine reviews of your audience can be useful.

Authoritative - The content should have original research, citations, links, reviews and testimonials. Like for a health related query, will the users trust the information present on the site? Will the users recognize your site's content author as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?

Purposeful - Web pages that serve a purpose, providng information, answering queries, entertaining audiences, save a business some money or make a spending recommendation, represent high-quality content. The users should not complain after seeing pages from your site.

The "TED" Factor

Trustworthy - Do your users trust the content on your site? Would they be comfortable giving their credit card information to your site? Do the users trust the advice shared on your site? Do they share the content with others on their social profiles? 

Engaging - Make the user experience great by including images, videos, infographics etc. Make the content free from all forms of grammatical errors. An excessive amount of ads can also distract your audiences. Post regular updates, invite comments and promote social visibility by using social media widgets.

Detailed - The content should be well-edited and detailed. Does the page provide ample information on the given topic? Is it at the appropriate level of depth for the intended audience? Search engines prefer pages with relevant supporting multimedia content.

The "LUV" Factor

Less Distractive - Have you filled your pages with ads? Are you missing proper navigation on the pages? Are the CTA buttons unnecessarily making the users click on them unknowingly? Is your site serving as a gateway to affiliate products? Are they unnecessary popup's on the site? All the elements that tend to distract the audience should be avoided. Make the users love your site not hate it.

User Driven Topic - Are you creating many pages on the site focussed around the same topics but differed by keywords? Are the contents create solely for ranking well on the search engines? You should stop it. Instead, focus more on creating content based on user persona. Find out what the user wants and write your content accordingly.

Valuable - Make your content more noticeable. If you write about how to train a German Shepherd, make sure your article provides more value or a different perspective than the numerous articles on the web on dog training.

Great! Another lesson is over and you have moved a step ahead in making better content for your site and most importantly making web a better place. 

Also See:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Google Phantom 2 Update Strikes - WARNING - Major Issues That Might Penalize Your Website

Phantom 2 update is a sitewide update that affects the entire domain as compared to only affecting the low quality pages. This means, sites getting affected by this update might loose a bulk of traffic overnight causing decline in conversions and profits.

Why It's Called the Phantom Update?

This update is called the Phantom update because it launches itself silently and punishes the websites heavily making them lose bulk of traffic & conversions overnight.

When Did it Happened?

The Phantom update happened on April, 29th, 2015 but no official announcement has been given by Google.

Major Players Who Lost Rankings in the Phantom 2.0 Update

Lost traffic by around 2,133,386.

Lost traffic by around 54,020.

Lost traffic by around 67,907

Lost traffic by around 38,748

Major Players Who Gained Rankings in the Phantom 2.0 Update

Gained traffic by around 2,952,174

Gained traffic by around 246,777

Top Issues That Might Penalize Your Site 

1- Phantom affects sites having low quality, poorly written content, rewritten content that adds little to no value and how to style content which presents the same information with a little twist and misses uniqueness. 

2- Sites that have been affected by the Panda update in the past have greater chances of getting affected by the Phantom update.

3- Sites having lot of ads on the page that affects the user engagement and behavior. Stuffs like large list of links on the page or infinite scroll adding little to no value and pointing the user to a new site or a page for getting further information are at a greater risk.

4- Poor user engagement is a key component of the Phantom algorithm. You can assume Phantom to be stricter than Panda. 

5- Pop-up's that distract the audience won't do any good either. If the user didn't likes it, Google didn't likes it, it's that simple!

6- Thin quality content that have a lot of supplementary content and ads or affiliate links are a thing to worry.

7- Lots of stacked videos also hurts the user negatively and impacts the rankings of the site.

8- Lots of sponsored links and site wide banners forcing users to click on them might hurt the site.

9- If the site has thin content and it links out to other inner page links on the site or if it has a lot of 
boilerplate content.

10- Site design is also an issue. Poor quality and less user friendly design which impacts easier user navigation.

11- This update seems to affect even the subdomains. So, mind the quality of each of your subdomains.

12- Lots of low quality user generated content on the site.

13- Having spam comments on the page. Many webmasters seems to ignore the comments on their site and they grow old and make the overall content look bad or ineffective. It is important to keep an eye of user generated spam comments or old comments and edit the affected pages accordingly so that it does not affects the user experience negatively.

14- Deceiving the users by displaying ad and content in the same color and font in order to make them click on the ads. 

15- Having lots of duplicate pages like the search resuts pages without the proper use of canonical link element.

16- Having low quality unnatural links pointing to the pages or site.

17- High frequency link (generating many links within a short span of time) as opposed to stable link profiles. 

Make sure to have quality content on your site. Get rid of thin content at the earliest because even if Panda misses, Phantom will surely strike. Ensure optimum user experience on your site and dont display ads that distract the users. Was you site affected by the Phantom update? Please share with us in the comments below.

Also See:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Google Rich Answer Box Ranking Factors - How to Rank Your Site for "How-to" Related Queries on Google?

"How-to" queries comprise of a larger portion of daily search queries for Google. If we are able to rank our site for "How-to" style queries based on our niche then it can help us to divert extra traffic to our site making more way for conversions.

An example of an "How-to" query can be "how to tie shoelaces" where Google displays a set of steps to answer the question searched by the user. Such type of answer display is called as the "Rich Answer Box". A screenshot for this can be seen below:

Rich Answer Boxes started displaying in June 2014. Some display complete answers while others display incomplete answers as marked by a “…”. The above example is actually an incomplete answer and is marked by a "...".

In the above example, URL from kidspot is ranking on the number 1 spot. What does that mean? This means, Google considers the information provided by Kidspot to accurately satisfy the intent of the user. For Kidspot, this means extra traffic to its website. 

Major Ranking Factors to Display Your Site In the Answer Box

The following are the main ranking factors that will help your site to easily get dislayed in the answer box:

1- The site should be authoritative and must be in good terms with Google.
2- The Trustrank of the site should be high.
3- The page content should be written in a step by step pattern that is easy to read by the user.
4- The volume of content on the page should be sufficient.
5- The domain and the page should have high quality natural backlinks.
6- The page should have a low bounce rate.
7- The page should have a high CTR.
8- It should have a high time on page spent by the user.
9- In case a manual review of the site takes place then your site should pass with good grades.
10- Should have high relevancy score based on user search query.
11- The semantic score should be high based on the data gathered from Wikipedia and Freebase. (See: Topic Modeling) 
12- A how-to video on the page can increase the relevancy score.
13- Positive comments on the page can increase the trust score.
14- Anchor text of the backlinks should contain the main keyphrases. 
15- The TF-IDF score of the page should be high.
16- The H1 tag of the page should have the exact searched phrase for better relevancy score.
17- If the search query requires the answer to be calculated then having a answer calculator helps. For ex- for the search query "how to calculate bmi", a page having a calculator for calculating BMI wins.

18- Use proper images with every step of instruction. 
19- Don't be afraid to make the list comprehensive, if the search query demands it. 

This list is not exhaustive but I have tried to cover as many points as possible. If you know about any other point then share with us in the comments below.

Also See:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Checklist For Building Your Best Display Ad

How can you build the best display ad that helps to generate the maximum engagement and ROI? Display advertisement from Google lets you create text, image, interactive and video ads in order to reach the maximum targeted audience. 

This post explores the top 20 checklist for making every display marketing campaign a success

Best Practices for Building the Best Display Ad

1- Identify the main purpose of your image ad. Do you wish to increase traffic, increase conversions, retarget the customers or upsell your products? Every purpose will require a different ad based on the user persona.

2- Use dynamic ads wherever possible as this helps to increase your return on engagement.

3- Use high quality images that helps to attract the users. Color combination and the CTA text plays an important role. Make sure that the ads you create matches the look and feel of your website. Customers should be able to clearly figure that the ad is of a particular brand. 

4- Deliver the right message to your targeted audience based on the different stages of the purchase funnel.

5- Always follow the image ad guidelines as suggested by Google.

6- Highlight your USP (Unique selling point) on the ads. Including prices, promotional offers like FREE delivery or COD helps users to take actions.

7- Try to animate your messages but do not overdo them. Also, include your main logo in every frame.

8- Ensure that your messages are delivered to your audience. Keep your text and images complementary and visually balanced.

9- Ensure that every frame has a big Call to Action button to help you deliver the maximum positive impact from your ads.

10- The content on the landing pages (both facts and offers) must match the message on your ads. 

11- Create 3-4 ad variations and try them in your high volume ad groups with different messages and images to help you find the best possible combination.

12- Test your ads on a constant basis in order to improve conversion and ROI.

13- Rotate your ads and keep them fresh.

14- When using image formats, upload in HD sizes and be sure to include at least 300x250, 728x90, and 160x600Specifying on ads in these 3 dimensions helps to fill up more placements for your ad bringing in more conversions and traffic.

15- Adding photos of people always helps to boost the performance of your ad. 

16- Using green color increases clicks, red helps in audience attention while orange persuades the audience to take action.

17- Add a level of urgency by including CTAs like “only a few left” can encourage immediate action.

18- Make sure to show your image ads on all sorts of mobile devices, including smartphones, feature phones, and tablets.

19- Don't hesitate to try out special discounts aimed at your loyal customers. 

20- Get rid of extra punctuation in your ads and simplify it as much as possible.

Do you have any other idea for building the best display ad? Please share with us in the comments below.

Also See:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Facebook's New Add a Link Feature A Threat to Google?

Social networking giant, Facebook is looking to cut down the time the users are spending on Google. The new in-app search engine of Facebook will allow users to post links in a status update without having to visit Google. This feature is still in the testing process. The below screenshot displays it.

(Image credit: Techcrunch)
As per this new feature, whenever any user will type in a search term on FB, a drop down list of links will appear. The user will be able to preview what is on that website and then share the link easily. This will cut down the extra visit to Google in search for links and allow FB to keep the users on its app.

Facebook already has more than one trillion indexed user posts. The new  add a link functionality seems to provide a more advanced display of Facebook’s search feature by focusing on links to other content online.

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Search Analytics Report in GWT - Measure Your Site's Performance in Google More Accurately

The Search Analytics report is a great way to determine the performance of your website in Google. It displays how often your site appears in Google search results. You can group the data by clicks, impressions, CTR, positions or by queries, pages, countries, devices and search type.  It has replaced the older "Search Queries" report.

Where Can You Find The Search Analytics Report?

This new report can be found under the "Search Traffic" section in the Google Webmasters Tools.

What Can You See in the Report?

It helps you to determine for how many Google searches is your site ranking. It displays clicks, impressions, CTR and the current position of the top pages on your website.

How to Change Metrics?

To change the metrics shown, select one or more metric checkboxes, such as clicks or impressions, at the top of the report. See Choosing which metrics to display.

How Can You Group Your Data?

You can group your data by query, page, country, device, search type and date. Just click on the checklist as displayed in the below screenshot and you are done.

How Can You Filter the Data?

To create a filter, click the drop-down under a category to specify a filter OR Click a row on the table below the chart to filter by the selected grouping value.

How to Compare Different Group Values?

Choose Compare in the drop-down under a grouping selection.

Where is the Old Search Queries Report Gone? Can I Still Access the Data?

You can still access the old search queries data but that will remain live for 3 more months only. 

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