Google rolled out a lot of animal updates including Penguin, Pigeon, Panda, Hummingbird etc. Out of all of its updates 3 algorithms had significant impact on Google search results. They are: Hummingbird, Panda and Penguin.
In this post, we’ll discuss about how you can get rewarded whenever Google rolls out these 3 updates. Before diving into the details, let’s talk about what these updates are actually all about.
What is Google Panda all about?
Panda update is all about content. Thin content gets punished and websites with quality content gets rewarded.
What is Google Penguin?
Google Penguin is all about the links. It penalizes the sites with bad links. It rewards the sites with high DA (Domain Authority) and quality links pointing to a site.
What’s Hummingbird update?
Hummingbird update is about improving search results by using semantic search. It means this algorithm was launched mainly to give top results to the web pages that use semantics or meaning to the relevant keywords rather than stuffing their pages with the same keywords.
Let’s now talk about what you can do to improve your search rankings after getting hit by these 3 Google updates.
Improve your rankings with semantic keyword research
Whenever you are researching keywords for your blog posts, make sure to focus on finding “buyer keywords” that are relevant to your audience instead of finding most popular keywords.
Find out a list of semantic keywords if you want to drive relevant visitors to your blogs or websites. Semantic keyword research is determining what users mean when they type in a certain keyword on Google search results.
Semantic keywords are usually the synonyms of keywords. For instance, if a visitor typed in “car” do they mean:
- Do they want to buy a car?
- Upgrade their cars?
- Or do they want to sell their cars?
Usually people use long tail keywords while typing on Google instead of single keywords like “cars”. This is where semantic keywords come into place, if you type “second hand cars” on Google, it will show up the results related to “second hand cars + [your city]”
So how can find semantic keywords?
You can usually use Google advance search. Just type in a keyword like “car painting rates” and click “show search tools”
Always write for your readers first not search engines. Remember, people will buy stuff from you and share what you create, not search engines. And then click “related searches”, you will now be able to see all the semantic keywords related to the query you typed on Google.
You can also use “Google Instant” for finding more relevant semantic keywords.
Give readers what they want
Define your target audience and readers first. Ask yourself what questions they might type on Google to solve their problems. And create content around that.
It’s not easy as it sounds, but it can give the most effective results as you go. It not only sends you the most qualified buyers to your sites but you can build a loyal readership around your blogs.
Did you know one of the simplest ways to find what your readers want?
Ask. Ask your readers what type of content they want to read on your blogs. You can make use of your own blogs, email newsletters, social media, surveys etc., to do this.
It’s not about what you think is great, it’s about what your readers really want. So give your readers what they want and you will be able to create the most useful content that naturally attracts incoming links, social shares and lots of traffic search engines.
Don’t build links, earn them
Whether you know it or not, backlinks are the key stones for any successful website that drives massive traffic from search engines. If you want to grow your organic traffic, make sure to focus on building backlinks. Unfortunately most bloggers focus their time and energy on quantity but not quality when building backlinks.
It’s not about the number but it’s mostly about the quality of backlinks that help you boost your search engine rankings. 1 link from an authority site is equal to 100’s of backlinks from ordinary blogs. I hope now you get the point, here how to attract quality links from the web.
- Create a blogger outreach strategy. When you write a piece of great content on your blog, don’t sit back and relax. Go and reach out to other bloggers and tell them to tweet or link to your articles. While doing this, make sure to link to their articles first. This way you’ll increase the chances of getting links from other blogs.
- Frequently write for other top blogs in your niche. Guest posting is the surefire way to acquire quality backlinks. Whenever you have a great article, think about posting on other blogs instead of yours to get more subscribers, traffic and links.
- Create infographics on the latest trends. They usually attract more eyeballs than any other form of content creation. Spend time to learn how to design infographics if you don’t have enough budget to outsource.
Final thoughts about increasing your search traffic after every Google update
Don’t worry if you lost a lot of search traffic when a new update from Google is rolled out. Just make sure to follow the tips mentioned in this guide and you’ll get the best rewards when new updates are rolled in.
Find what your readers are craving for and create useful content around it. Give top priority to your audience rather than Google. Search engines are giving more value to the sites that are user-focused than keyword-focused!
Also create a natural link building strategy where you can attract incoming links. And use blogger outreach strategy to your advantage to explode your link building strategy. The only way to convince others to link to your blog posts is to first feature them. Then, use social media sites to build solid relationships.
So what are your thoughts about Google updates? Do you love when Google rolls out new updates or do you hate? Express your views in the comments.
Branding Your Blog: How to Make an Impact to Your Readers
People often think of branding as an exclusively visual component of their website or blog.
And while choosing a logo and coming up with a creative tagline or design plays a crucial role in your branding strategy, there’s actually more to branding your blog than meets the eye.
Before we proceed, ask yourself these questions:
Have you ever stopped to think about what your target market actually thinks of your brand?
What do your published content, your tone on your social channels, and your overall image say about your brand?
You see, to create a holistic brand for your blog, you also need to consider the non-visual aspects of it as well.
Therefore, if you want to generate more traffic to your blog, you need to develop a brand that will attract and engage your target market.
Here are some tips on how you can make an impact on your readers through branding:
Bank on beautiful yet functional design
When it comes to making the right impression on your target audience, there are two blog design elements that you need to focus on – your logo and layout.
Having a logo is important because it doesn’t just symbolize your brand’s identity. It also invites people to get to know you.
Your logo is one of the first things that people see. So if you want your blog to stand out, you need to have a professional logo design that will capture your brand’s core principles.
Renderforest logo maker is one of my favorite tools because it quickly gets the job done without the tedious process.
When it comes to your blog’s layout, it’s not enough that you post kickass content on your blo., You also need to make sure that your blog’s design is optimized for conversion.
Here are three tips to help you create a lasting impression.
- Use large, beautiful feature images to support your content – Using high-quality images is a great way to draw your readers’ attention to your blog. The current trend is to use large images that will compel readers to read your blog articles.
- Highlight your best assets – If you’ve been blogging for a while now, you probably already have a couple of articles that perform better than the rest. Put your best content forward by showcasing them on your blog’s main page.
- Improve your blog’s load speed and UX – Always check your website for lag. Remember, there’s no point in having a beautiful blog if it will take forever to load.
Deliver content that your audience craves for
Your blog’s driving force will always be your content.
This is why, if you want to turn visitors into loyal readers, you need to continually create compelling content that will keep them coming back for more.
Your content should not only clearly represent your brand as a blogger, but also the values that your blog stands for.
When creating content that is tailor-fit to your target audience, make sure to choose your topics wisely. You want to give your audience information that they’re explicitly searching for.
As a freelance writer, I help create customized content for clients using an SEO tool like Serpstat. It helps me to research for low-hanging fruit keywords, scout the competition for opportunities, and more!
If you want to learn how I use Serpstat to implement my content marketing process, check out this review I wrote about the tool.
Interact and engage through comments
Another way that you can make an impact on your readers is to connect with them on a more personal level.
Something as simple as replying to blog comments can make a significant impact on your readers.
When you reply to your readers’ blog comments with insightful and helpful information, you’re not only inviting them to interact with you more, you’re also showing them that they matter.
Or you can reverse engineer the process by commenting on other blogs.
Take a cue from Ryan Biddulph, founder of Blogging from Paradise.
He goes out of his way to leave insightful comments on everyone’s blogs.
Due to his ubiquitous comments, readers can’t help but associate his blog with the quality comments he leaves. As a result, Blogging from Paradise is now one of the most popular and respected blogs around.
Ryan discusses his commenting strategy in his interview here. You can copy his tactic so you can help create a good image of yourself and your online brand.
Get busy on social media
Your interaction with people shouldn’t stop with your blog.
Take the discussion to a broader audience by getting busy on social media!
Your social channels like Facebook and Twitter are not just tools for getting your message out there. They can also be used to reach out to your audience and build your brand.
While there’s a lot of competition on social media platforms these days, you can set yourself apart by following these tips:
- Develop your brand’s personality – Your target audience will be more likely to engage with you when they can relate to your brand’s personality. While developing your brand’s personality may take time, you can find your unique voice by considering your company culture, audience, and values.
- Stick to your content strategy – Stay consistent by picking a few topics that are related to your specific niche. This way, your audience will easily associate you with the industry that you’re a part of.
- Reach out to influencers – Influencers can help you reach out to a broader audience. Building relationships with key influencers in your niche will help you amplify your branding with minimal effort.
How about you – any tips you know that can help others with their blog’s branding? Comment below and share your insights!
The Importance of Eye-Catching and Trendy Topics for Your Blog Content
Today, there are more blogs on the internet than ever before and over 3 million blog posts gets published on the Internet every day. So, you have to develop a strategy to separate yourself from other blogs and show your audience that you’re worth remembering. Getting your blog noticed requires three essential elements: focusing on a niche and writing for a targeted audience, balancing evergreen topics with trends and ensuring shareability. As we see, it all starts with eye-catching and trendy topics. But why? Let’s explore.
What keeps a blog alive? It’s consistent flow of traffic – new as well as returning. Creating a perfect balance between evergreen topics and trendy topics is one of the best ways to have sustainable traffic. Ideally, your blog should have a perfect mixture of both trending and evergreen content. While evergreen content never expires, trendy content keeps it relevant. Eye-catching and trendy content proves that your blog is living “in the moment” and paying attention to what’s happening around. That’s why it’s always important to cover the space that’s trendy and interesting to your audience. One of the most significant ways to develop a loyal online following is being part of the conversation. Readers value fresh and trendy content. And they prefer frequent sites that feature constant updates about whatever matters most to each individual user. So Be There or Be Square!
Avinash Kaushik, the author of Web Analytics 2.0 and Web Analytics: An Hour a Day, once said “Content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life”. To rise above the noise, you need to provide incredible value to your readers consistently using your blog. Timely and relevant content is the best way for creating value for your audience. That’s why when it comes to capturing and holding attention, trending content always wins over other content. Trending topics get more traction as they’re relatively more valuable to the reader. Being useful and relevant is the only way to get readers to tune-in. They relate with your post, thank you and engage. When users are engaged, they will be your returning visitor, interact with your content and share it.
Better Search Ranking
Creating fresh trendy content is much more fun than creating back-links but it has the same effect. Such content is more likely to get organic links and social shares as well. Always keep in mind that social networks represent a huge mass of people who stand behind the web page and the brand. So, increase “shareability” of your content with trendy and eye-catching topics. That’s how you outrank the competition when there are millions of people posting content daily. At its core, fresh content is content that is up-to-date, newsworthy and relevant to current events. When it comes to Query Deserves Freshness (QDF), Google tries to identify the topics and search requests where the user has a desire for new and current contents. Thus, when the spike in search volume occurs, Google prioritizes websites with high freshness score (fresh results) compared to websites with low freshness score (stale results). Celebrities’ death, affair, break up, new release etc. always create a massive amount of new articles around the topic. For example, Stan Lee died in 12 November, 2018. If we look at the Google trends data for that particular week – 12 November, 2018 to 18 November, 2018, we notice that Google marked the search term “Stan Lee” as “Breakout”. It means this particular search term grew by more than 5000%. Now let’s see how content publishers leveraged this spike in search volume. If you google “Stan Lee”, you should find lots of articles on the Google first page which were actually published on 12 November and the following week! These pages didn’t even exist before 12 November. They just outranked thousands of pages with their fresh contents.
Lowering bounce rate
One of the most common blogging obstacles is finding a way to hook and keep your audience engaged and lower bounce rate. Time sensitive content can be the answer. Trendy and fresh content is catchier than general truths or case studies. Time sensitive trendy content shows that you’re on top of the news and you’re ready and willing to write something that can be used immediately. So, do not hesitate to get going right away when you are working with eye-catching and trendy topics. By introducing an element of urgency, you can get your target audience to take notice. While working with trendy contents, don’t go for random trends. Identify the core target audience of the blog and create trendy content around that audience and your niche. Google loves niche content on websites. When someone clicks a result on the SERP, Google pays attention to how long they stay on that particular website or blog and there are no better signals than engaged users on a specific site.
Love it or hate it, social media is integral to how audiences discover, consume and engage with content. That’s why shareability of your content matters. But what makes a piece of content shareable in the first place? There are certain qualities that shareable pieces have in common. And undoubtedly, eye-catching and trendy topics is one of them. If more people share your content, it will increase your reach and the likelihood of others engaging with your content. Anytime a reader shares your content on social media, search engines count it as a “vote of confidence” in your brand.
Now you know the importance of eye-catching and trendy topics for your blogging. So, the next question is: how to find trendy topics? There are many ways to tap into trends, understand what your audience is searching for, and discover unexpected ways to reach new people. Let’s explore some very effective tools.
When one term in particular spikes in relation to other searches, Google classifies it as a trend. And Google suggests us to use Google Trends to find the trends. While traditional keyword research tools tend to be very one-dimensional, Google Trends shows you a multidimensional view of queries. If you want to check factors like seasonality, geographic location, and media coverage, Google Trends is second to none. It helps us to “Explore what the world is searching.” Google Trends enables us to compare search terms and see their popularity over time. Google has recently revamped the Trending searches option available within Google Trends. This revamped Trending searches section shows what is trending in search right now, both daily and minute-by-minute. If a trend is going up this means to focus energy on creating content for this trend.
Google Keyword Planner
Keyword research is the process of learning the words and phrases people typically use to search for information online. If you want to do keyword research to understand what people are actually searching for, Google offers a free keyword research tool: Google Keyword Planner. It’s a wonderful tool for the bloggers looking for topics to blog about. Google Keyword Planner enables you to stay on top of keyword trends and ensure content remains relevant. With Keyword Planner, you can find trendy topics for your blog that are relevant to your niche. Google’s Keyword Planner tool has very recently undergone a rigorous revamp. With this revamped planner, you can see beautiful chart illustrating the keyword volume trends for a certain period of time. The new mobile, location and trending data paired with these super-useful visualizations should help bloggers to find trendy topics for blogging. But keep in mind that Google Keyword Planner has been designed with Adwords advertisers in mind. So, it is quite natural that there are some features in the tool that might not be useful for the bloggers.
Ahrefs Content Explorer
When it comes to topic finding tools, there are a few that are as effective and efficient as Ahrefs Content Explorer. Content Explorer helps blogger find the most shared and ‘linked-to’ content. You can use publish date filter to figure out latest trends for a particular niche. You can also use any keyword into content explorer and it will generate a list of the most popular articles based on their “performance metrics”. There are different types of metrics including Social shares, Organic search traffic and Referring domains.
One final tip. Each type of blog has its particularities, rules, and trends. So, go with the trends but don’t forget your audience and you niche. Don’t forget why you do blogging or the reason that prompted you to initiate the blog. You might have a million trendy topics bouncing around your head, but stay focused on and loyal to your niche and choose the ones that your audience is waiting for.
8 Brilliant Ideas to Improve Customer Service for Your Business
The business world is booming across the globe and America is leading the way with 30 million registered small businesses in operation across the country.
Why is business so hot right now? Because the economy is on fire.
Consumer confidence is up, unemployment is down, and people are spending money. All of that means tremendous opportunity for business owners who are willing to throw their products and services into the fray.
Just because opportunity is out there though doesn’t mean that cashing in on it is easy. With all of the competition, it can be hard to attract and retain customers.
One of the best ways to cut through your market’s clutter is to have outstanding customer service. Therein lies the aim of this article.
We want to teach you how to improve customer service within your organization so you can boost consumer retention and create brand evangelists!
1. Don’t Aim for the Lowest Common Denominator
You may be surprised to hear this, but when it comes to how to improve customer service, for most organizations it’s not about building policies around offering outstanding consumer experiences. It’s about building policies around competition.
That’s a horrendous way to approach your customer service philosophy.
Having good customer service doesn’t mean offering the average of what everybody else is offering. It means taking the time to dig into the consumer experience and ask yourself what it is your customers want.
Once you have an answer to that question, even if the resulting directives put you ahead of what’s expected per industry standards, implement them.
Be a trailblazer when it comes to your customer service experience. Be consumer-centric. Don’t be a copycat.
2. People Want Their Issues Solved… Period
A lot of people mistake offering good customer service as being over the top. You hear stories all the time of companies sending people pizzas or giving them $1000 worth of products because they experienced a simple shipping snag with a product.
That’s not where your team’s head should be at.
Doing outlandish things for customers isn’t scalable and it isn’t what’s going to put your business on the map as one that’s noted for outstanding customer service.
What’s going to move the needle for you systematically is simply being able to solve people’s problems, fast.
Focus on what consumers need, not on what they don’t.
3. Get Customers In Front of a Person Immediately
There is nothing more frustrating than arguing with robots on the phone. Do not subject your customers to that experience.
Only have them interfacing with robots for the most necessary reasons and get them to an operator, ASAP.
4. Make Customer Service a Priority
Answering the question of how to improve customer service isn’t something that can be done by making it the keynote in a meeting, coming away with some bullet-point directives, and revisiting the issue in a year.
Good customer service takes being made a priority.
Remember, people are willing to pay more for products and services if they know they’re going to get good service.
Because of that, you don’t want to look at customer service attention as something that’s going to drain your resources. You’ll want to look at it as a financial investment!
5. Find Opportunity in Negative Feedback
If you’re annoyed whenever you see a 1-star review come in on Google, Facebook or Yelp, don’t be. There is a lot of opportunity that can come from bad reviews.
For starters, your bad reviews may reveal places where you can make improvements to your business. That insight is extremely valuable.
Second, when you respond to negative (and sometimes irate) reviews with professionalism and tact, you show onlookers that they can trust you.
That will translate into more level-headed customers taking the leap and doing business with you.
You can read more here about the opportunity that exists in angry customers.
6. Survey Customers
Feedback is essential to successfully navigating all of your “how to improve customer service” concerns. Don’t be afraid to ask people for it.
When a customer service call or chat is over, ask people if they’ll take a quick survey. After a call, send a follow-up email to customers asking for their feedback.
Whatever you can do to get people’s honest perspective on how your team is performing is well worth any time and investment it takes to get those features in place.
7. Have Self-Help Resources, but Don’t Make Contact Impossible
Having an FAQ document on your website is a great way to answer consumer’s simple questions without tying up your phone lines. They are not an excuse to not let people contact you though.
So many companies hide their contact information behind pages and pages of tutorials and FAQ’s when all customers want to do is speak to someone.
If your customers don’t want to read, don’t make them. Always give people the option to reach out to someone on your support team.
8. Never Tolerate Unprofessional Behavior From Your Team
We appreciate that irate customers can be difficult to deal with and that some of those customers may not be worth the money they bring to your company. Still, there is no reason for your customer support team to stoop to customer’s bad behavior.
If you’re noticing your staff firing back at rude customers in a way that is unprofessional, reprimand them. If the behavior continues, re-train them. If it persists, let them go.
As a business, you’re held to a higher standard than your customers. If you or your team doesn’t believe that, you have no business competing in today’s market.
Wrapping Up Ideas on How to Improve Customer Service for Your Business
We’ve just shared with you 8 outstanding ideas on how to improve customer service for your business. Our recommendation is to implement as many of our suggestions as possible as quickly as possible.
If you do, you’ll notice the benefits almost immediately.
For more of the best business advice you can find online, check our additional content on Blogging Tips!
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