Service Pages and Local SEO: 20+ Principles to Make Them Your Rock-Solid Foundation

I work with clients on all kinds of local-visibility-related challenges, but you would not believe how much time I spend on service pages: explaining, critiquing, troubleshooting, inventorying, creating, and refining them, and then doing it all over again.

By “service page” I mean any page that’s focused on a specific service you offer.  But everything I recommend here also applies to whatever you may offer: products you sell, medical treatments you perform, legal cases you handle, etc.

Service pages can help you in many ways, including in that they:

Turn more of your visitors into customers, no matter how good or bad your search engine visibility is.Can bring you most of the organic rankings you’ll get.Can pop you into the Google Maps results / local 3-pack.Can produce a “local one-box” result, for more-specialized search terms.Serve as landing pages for Google Ads, likely helping your conversion rate and Quality Score.Help you develop a better understanding of your customers’ problems and why they might want your solutions.

Service pages never get less important.  I spend about as much time on them for super-longtime clients as I do for newer clients.  They help businesses that are squeaking by and businesses that are breakin’ necks and cashin’ checks.  No matter where you are in the local SEO process, time you spend on service pages is time well-spent.

They’re also one of the most basic parts of local SEO (and non-local SEO).  Without them there’s usually not much on the site you CAN optimize, or much for would-be customers to see if they even make it to your site.  If you’re a business owner who can’t or won’t put in the time to get your service pages right, your local rankings will have a Denver boot on them until that changes.  If you’re a local SEO who doesn’t put much time into service pages, your clients are in trouble.  Service pages should be your fastball, your cover of “Yesterday,” your Hamlet.

On the one hand, if you won’t do crackerjack “service” pages, you might as well not bother with other types of pages and other aspects of local SEO (and marketing) that are much harder to do well.  On the other hand, in most cases you can get just about everything else wrong and still get at least some business if you can develop powerful service pages.

How do most competitors approach them?  As an afterthought, as something to try after gimmicks and hacks haven’t worked out, or not at all.  The relatively few businesses that produce strong service pages tend to do well in the search results and in terms of business.  That’s your opening.


So, how can you make service pages that haul some freight for you?  Below are the main principles I suggest you apply.  (I show examples where it makes sense, and I have a list of examples at the end.)

Principle 1: Start making service pages very early in your local SEO effort. Are they priority #1? Probably not, because you’ve probably got a few quicker wins at hand.  But right after taking care of the urgent stuff, start cranking out service pages.  It takes time to draft, build, optimize, and link to them.  It takes a while longer for Google to index your pages, and for them to start ranking for anything, for you to see what’s in the net and to make changes, and for those pages eventually to rank higher or for tougher terms (or both).  You’ll want to get a jump on it.

Principle 2: Figure out roughly how many service pages to aim for by sticking to a simple rule: if you want customers for it, create a page on it. There isn’t much to it beyond that, but I will throw in a few caveats:

You shouldn’t have multiple pages on exactly the same service; the services should be distinct.I don’t suggest creating city-service permutation pages.Even if you’ve got a page on each distinct service, you may have some opportunities to create good spin-off pages.

Principle 3: Don’t let your menu limit the number or types of pages you create. You don’t have to link all your pages in the main menu, and sometimes you may conclude it just doesn’t make sense to do so. That’s fine.  All that matters is you link to your service pages in multiple noticeable spots on the site.  On the other hand, if you’ve found the main menu has started to rip its pants but you want to keep adding pages to it, consider something like a mega menu.

Principle 4: Make it a page, not a post. If you also have a post about the service, fine. You can always consolidate later.  You can always make a complementary post later.  But at least get the page.

Principle 5: Know, produce, and use the types of content that are effective on service pages:

FAQs, especially from customers/clients/patients and from leads. If you have to pick just one type of service-page content to focus on, FAQs should probably be it.Reviews from people who got your service. If possible, link back to where the person wrote the review (like on Google Maps).Photos, especially before-and-after photos.Videos, preferably YouTube embeds, and preferably of you at work or speaking.Case studies or war stories (on specific projects, cases, procedures, etc.).Links to related pages on your site, particularly related service pages.“Steps in our process.” As you describe what goes into the sausage, you’ll probably use some of the other types of content (e.g. photos)Bio / profile info on specific people in your business who offer or specialize in that service.Synonyms and near-synonyms of the service. You may be able to rank for some o those, too, without too much sweating.

Here’s a great example.

Principle 6: Scavenge content from dud blog posts and low-performance pages and use it to better effect on your service pages. Do you have old service pages with 90% junk but 10% good info? Did you write some blog posts that not even the bug on your laptop screen read?  If they’ve got some content that describes your services pretty well, see what you can grab and use on a new services page or on an existing one.  If the old page or post had some decent rankings, traffics, or links, you’ll probably want to 301-redirect it to the current / new services page.

Principle 7: Avoid creating city-service permutation pages, as in a service page for each city where you offer. Occasionally there’s a good reason to have them, but in the final shootout they tend to disappoint.

Principle 8: Get the 1.0 version up quickly, but work on the page continually. You can and should develop and improve the page over the long haul, and you may want the 2.0 version to happen sooner rather than later. Always look for ways to show off recent work, address questions you get, and describe people’s problems and your solutions in more detail.

Principle 9: Make your target geography explicitly clear. Specify your exact service area, or the specific places where you get the most customers/clients/patients, or (if you’re a multi-location businesses) which locations offer the service. Good service pages don’t just describe what you do: They’re also about where you do it, where you’ve done it, or where people who have gotten it have come from.

Principle 10: Front-load your page: start off with brief description of what the service is and who needs it, then put a call-to-action (maybe even a contact form), then go into all kinds of detail on the service, and then put another call-to-action at the bottom. Most people flub their service pages in one of two ways: either they don’t describe the service at all and assume customers have enough info to take the next step, or they go into a PhD dissertation about the service before they tell customers what the next step is.

Principle 11: Go heavy on the internal links – both to your service pages and on your services pages. Don’t have just one trail of breadcrumbs to a service page. In general, I try to link to each high-priority service page on the homepage, in the main menu, in the footer, on the main “services” page, at the very least.  If possible, also link to them on your pages for related services , and on “bio” pages for specific people on your crew.  In general, how heavy you go on the internal linking should be proportionate to how important you consider this or that service.  Inbound links from relevant other sites to your service pages will be hard to come by, so it’s extra important to feed those pages the link juice from your other, perhaps more-linked-to pages.

Principle 12: Continually look for or create opportunities to add more internal links to any given service page. On other service pages, on relevant blog posts, etc. This is in addition to the initial batch of internal links you should have added right after you created the service page.  Over time the opportunities and the need to add more links to that service page will taper off, but you should always be on the prowl.  Especially once you more pages than fingers and toes, you’ll be surprised at how many good places there are to add relevant internal links.  By the way, I wouldn’t be too concerned about overdoing it.


Principle 13: Don’t burn yourself out by making niche pages way more detailed than they need to be. Or you won’t get all the pages you need or it’ll take you forever. The more niche or specialized the page is, the less detailed the page needs to be.  Also, the more niche the page is, the more likely it is to rank across a wider patch of geography.  Go extra long and detailed on services for which you have more or tougher competitors.  On more-specialized service pages, though, it probably won’t take as much effort to rank.

Principle 14: Create spin-off pages at every opportunity, and link to them on existing service pages at every opportunity.

Principle 15: Embed every half-decent video on your site. If you do nothing else with a video you put on your business’s YouTube channel, put it on at least one “service” page you care about. In my experience, the view count is a big factor in how visible a video is in YouTube and in turn in Google’s main search results.  Which creates a chicken-and-the-egg question: if your video doesn’t rank for anything, how do you rack up the views?  You do it by getting people who visit your site to watch videos relevant to the service(s) they’re interested in.  (Similar to the “seed audience” approach I suggest for your blog, if you blog.)  Also, if the video doesn’t suck, it can be persuasive and help you get more business out of however much (or little) visibility you’ve got.  This is the single highest-payoff thing you can do with your videos.  Don’t just keep them cloistered on YouTube.

Principle 16: Add a section your online/virtual offering, if applicable. See my 2020 post on the topic: Doable Examples of Online/Remote Services Offered by Local Businesses

Principle 17: Wheel out your best copywriting and other persuasive stuff. Like your homepage and contact page, a service page is a “money” page, where people can and often do decide whether to take the next step. In many cases it’s the first page visitors have seen, and you don’t want it to be the last you’ve seen of those visitors.  Your service pages can get customers in the chute even if the rest of your pages aren’t very persuasive yet, or if your USP still isn’t crispy enough.  That means now is the time to copy and paste reviews from customers who got that service, show relevant photos/videos, address every frequently asked question, say exactly who does NOT need your service, describe all the alternatives, and make it plain as day how your service differs from competitors’.  As my track coach used to say, “Leave it all on the track.”

Here’s one of my all-time favorites.

Principle 18: Add “refer a friend” offers, pro bono offers, and discounts for certain customers, if possible. It’s a small bit of relevant content, but more important is it’s a way to expand your customer base beyond the footprint of your current rankings. Even as your search engine visibility improves over time, you want to become less reliant on it.  Rustling up business is still the ultimate point of it all.  But even that feeds into your rankings, too, because each customer can also yield a review or testimonial, a case study, photos, a video, or even more – all of which can help your rankings.  At least in that odd respect, customers are your content.

Principle 19: Don’t be too concerned about duplicate content – either between different service pages or between service pages and other pages. If you avoid the misguided “city-service” page strategy, there’s not much risk of your making service pages that are too similar to each other. One page is about this service, and the other page is about that service.  There will be some overlap – some boilerplate – and that’s fine.  Google is used to seeing that, and I’ve never seen a “penalty” of any kind from Google.  Assuming you did an OK job on both of the pages (by following my other recommendations), the worst that happens is one page doesn’t rank so well and you need to take another chop at it.

Principle 20: Study your service pages early and often in Google Search Console. Look them up in “Performance” -> “Pages” and see what terms they rank for (and don’t rank for), how many impressions they get, how many clicks they get, what the months-long trend looks like, and which service pages are doing better than others. You’ll get a sense of whether you need to develop your page more, make it more enticing to click on in the search results, or blast more internal links to it.  Once you know how the page stacks up, the action items probably won’t take too much thinking.

Principle 21: Become a connoisseur of competitors’ and others’ service pages. Don’t just give them a sniff in the search results and move on. Go through the pages in search of good ideas you can adopt or adapt.

Principle 22: Don’t put all of your effort into service pages. I know that sounds strange, given how much I just talked about service pages. But those are only part of the rigging.  Your homepage, “areas served” page, maybe “city” pages, and other pages all can rank and convert, and require your effort.

Examples of local-business sites that use service pages effectively

Below are a few examples of sites with rock-solid service pages.  (I have more examples if you’d like them; just let me know what industry you’re looking for an example in.)

Relevant posts

Local Justifications Are a Big Deal and You Can Influence Them – Miriam Ellis

Title Tags for Local SEO: Increase Your Local Traffic and Click-Through Rate – Darren Shaw

How Does YouTube Count Views? We Break It Down – Kayla Carmichael

One-Time Work vs. Ongoing Work in Local SEO – me

Should You Make It a Page or a Post? – me

You Offer 10 Services and Serve 10 Cities, So You Create 100 City Pages? Why City-Page Proliferation Is Dumb – me

Spin-off Pages: a Bazooka for Your Local SEO – me

10 Bootstrap Ways to Grab More of Your Service Area in Local Search – me

How to Rank for “Near Me” Local Search Terms – me

Odd Relationships in Local Search – me

Any principles I forgot – SOPs that have worked well for your service pages?

Any examples of sites that are dialed-in on their service pages?

Leave a comment!


What to Do If You Lost All Your Google Reviews after Accidentally Deleting Your GMB Page

As I’ve observed and written for many years, your Google reviews are never completely safe – and never completely gone.  You can lose them in bulk or in a drip.  You can lose them because of Google’s filter, manual removal, a bug, or a reviewer’s change of heart.  You can also lose your Google reviews – all of them – in a puff of smoke when trying to move to a different Google account.

The specific scenario I’m thinking of is that you deleted a G Suite account or other Google account and thought your Google My Business page and reviews wouldn’t be affected, only to discover that both your GMB page and your pile of reviews are gone.


If it makes you feel better, Google’s messaging often is unclear, such that routine steps sound scary and shooting yourself in the foot is easy.

That recently happened to a guy I sometimes do consulting with.  He wanted to move away from a G Suite account, in favor of a self-hosted email address used for Google properties.  Turned out that G Suite account was the only one he used to manage his Google My Business page.  In the process of deleting that G Suite account, his GMB page went poof – along with the 60 reviews he had earned over the last 7 years and the power that goes with them.  Gone without a trace.

He got in touch, told me what happened, I asked some questions, and we put together a plan.  A few days later, and without too much back-and-forth between me and him or him and Google, we got all 60 reviews back.

Now’s probably a good time to say that I do NOT want you to do the steps below if your GMB page is still up (as in accessible in Google Maps) and is missing only reviews.  If you didn’t accidentally nuke your page, but you’re shy some reviews, then something else is going on and the steps below are not the solution to your problem.

Below is what I suggest you do to recover your Google reviews if you lost your Google My Business page and its reviews because you pressed the wrong buttons.

1. Create and owner-verify a NEW Google My Business page, in whatever account you like.

Presumably it’s not the same one your page used to be in. For the love of Pete, at least make sure it’s an an account that you will keep around for the long haul and will want to use for years to come.  Use the same name, address, phone number, and landing page URL you had in the old GMB page.  The other details (e.g. description) don’t matter, but now is not the time to change the basic info you use on your page.

The reason you need a new page is simple: Google needs a place to transplant the reviews if and when they’re exhumed.  I’d guess a secondary reason is security: Google needs to know you’re the same person as the one who deleted the old page, and are still located where you say you are.  (That would make it harder for someone to hijack your GMB page.)  For that reason, I don’t suggest trying to get the old page back now, or back at all.  The goal is to get your reviews back, and that’s less likely to happen if you don’t have a GMB page and can’t or won’t create a new one.

2. Contact Google My Business support, and tell them the facts:

The name and location of both the vanished GMB page and of the new one (the one you just verified).What you were trying to do and what happened instead.How many reviews the old page had.The usernames / email addresses used for the old GMB page and for the new one (the one you want the reviews dug up and moved to).If possible, provide a link to the old Google My Business page. You may have that link handy if you sent a link to customers when asking them to review you.

3. Provide info the Google rep asks for, and follow up as needed.

It shouldn’t be a super-long process, but if all your reviews are gone it may seem like an eternity. You probably won’t need the patience of an oyster, but it’s good to have one anyway.  Whatever your opinions of Google as a company, the GMB support reps do try to help, and in general are helpful.

That’s it.  Of course, I can’t promise Google will do what you need, or do it soon.  But it’s your only move.  The main thing is to do step #1 quickly, rather than to flounder around in an attempt to get back your GMB page and the reviews in one motion.


I don’t like it any more than you do, mainly because I’m a bit of a purist, in that I don’t like solutions that involve relying on someone else’s discretion.  In any event, the above process worked in the situation I described, and should work for you if you’re in the same situation or a similar one.

Thanks to Lenny from Kammes Colorworks in Elburn, IL, for chronicling the whole shootin’ match.

Do you have – or have you had – a TARFU situation like that?  Leave a comment!

(By the way, though I haven’t seen anyone talk about this exact problem or solution, please tell me if you know of a blog post or other resource on the topic, so I can give the author his or her due credit.)

Did you miss our previous article…


Seed Audiences: the Most Practical Way to Make Blogging Work for a Local Business

For most business owners and others who try it, blogging is a frustration factory.  The way they go about it, it’s a time gobbler, a grind, and a disappointment until they give up – 47 blog posts and 0 new links, 0 visitors, and 0 customers later.

What’s wrong with the way small / local businesses blog?

I’ll be the last one to say blogging isn’t effective.   It sure can be.  This blog is a vital organ of my business, and that’s true of some of my clients’ businesses, too.  But certain pieces need to slide into place first, preferably on the sooner side.

The big trouble is that blogging (as it’s commonly done) is at best a tough way to earn links, build an audience, and pick up local rankings for semi-competitive terms.  As in it’s ineffective at all 3 most of the time.  Why?  One issue at a time:

Your post probably won’t get links because (paradoxically) your site probably doesn’t have much of a backlinks profile at the moment and won’t help you outrank posts on more-established sites, and because it’s unlikely you have an attentive following in your email newsletter or on social media. For any or all of those reasons, people won’t find your post, and so nobody will link to it.Even the few people who stumble across your post probably won’t find your other posts relevant, or find them at all. Even if they notice that you have other posts, they may not have an urge to read those posts now, and (usually) won’t have an occasion to return to your site.  So you’re left with one visit per reader, rather than months or years of return visits per person.Even if a blog post ranks for a certain term you care about, it will be crowded out by and need to compete with competitors’ homepages, general directories, and industry and local directories. Those competing sites and pages tend to rank for a wider variety of search terms, whereas you’ll be lucky if your post ranks for a couple of terms you care about.  You’ll find it hard or impossible to replicate a success, and you’ll find you need to work too hard for too little.

If it’s much tougher sledding than you expected, you won’t stick with it to the point of seeing any benefits.

You might have tried or considered a swing-for-the-fences approach, in which you write giant posts that involve a lot of research, design, and maybe outreach.  That kind of approach has worked for some local business owners, and may work for you.  But the odds are long.  It’s not likely to work out the way you hoped, in which case it was just a big waste of time.

You’re in a bind.  You want to or think you need to blog.  You don’t want to skip trying to make it work only because it’s tough, but you also don’t want to go on a fool’s errand.  So what in tarnation are you supposed to do?

In my experience, there are only two practical ways to give your blogging mission a high probability of success – by which I mean it helps your business become more visible to the local people you’re trying to reach:

(1) Maintain a long stream of quick blog posts on niche, specialized, almost obscure topics – like on the kinds of questions only a few of your customers/clients/patients ever ask you – and crank out a lot of those posts month after month.  The idea is this: on any given day, maybe 10 people search for an answer to the geeky little question you write about.  But your post is the only one around that meets that exact need, so by Gum that post will capture every last one of those 10 searchers.

Shopping for food in March of 2020 - image courtesy

(2) Or you can start with a “seed audience.”  That’s my term for an early, small group of readers, all of whom are people you already know to one degree or another.  Those people form a core or nucleus – a seed – of what will grow into a bigger audience over time.

If you want your blog posts or other “content” to help you get more local customers/clients/patients – directly or indirectly, sooner or later – a seed audience is what’s most likely to work.  Let me explain more.

Who’s your seed audience, and what are you supposed to do for them?

Your very earliest readers will probably be a motley (Crüe) crew of people, all with different relationships to you.  To some extent that’s out of necessity, because you don’t have many other would-be readers yet.  But the mixed bag of people also happens to be useful in this case, because you’ll get a better sense of whom your audience can be or should be, and whom you should focus on.  You want feedback from various people.  Your seed audience should probably be some combination of these people:

Past customersCurrent customersLeadsPeople who refer customers to you, or vice versaPartnersEmployees / staffRecipients of pro bono workYes, maybe even friends and family – especially if anyone is involved in anyone else’s business or professionOther people you think may be interested

Either you keep a list of specific people to send your posts to individually, or you whip up an email newsletter (like with Mailchimp or Aweber –  or consider Tidings) and invite them to join it, or do both.  Preferably you do both.

In either case, your action item is the same: look for opportunities to direct those people to your blog posts – posts you’ve already written and posts you haven’t written yet – at a time they would find your information helpful and welcome.

If you don’t read any more of this post and don’t need more of my color commentary, just do that one thing and your blogging will be much more likely to bring you visibility / links / customers.

What does the seed audience do for you, exactly?

First of all, you need to do something for them: send them a blog post that answers a question they asked you, or that helps solve a problem you know they’ve got.  You can send them posts you did years ago, or new posts that you know to be dead-on relevant to their problems or goals.  Keep in mind that the seed audience consists of people who (to varying degrees) already know you.  This is the equivalent of the old-school practice of mailing newspaper clippings to someone.  Except those clippings are bits and pieces you wrote.

As long as the posts (or other content) you share with your seed audience is timely for them, over time the people in your seed audience will help grow your audience in several specific ways:

They are one of your best sources of ideas – between the questions they’ve asked you, concerns they raise, what you know about their situations. If what’s in your head is the only source of topics to write about, pretty soon you’ll run out of topics to write about.  See what’s in other people’s heads.They’ll provide your earliest shares on social media, when nobody else will (because nobody else knows about your posts yet).They’re likely to send your post to people they work with, or to their friends or family.They’ll give you feedback on your work, especially if you ask.You’ll get great keyword ideas, just by paying attention to how they describe what you do, how they describe their challenges and what they want, etc.Depending on exactly who’s in your seed audience, they may be more likely already to have some buying intent. So not only is there a chance they might hire you for something if you sent them a helpful post at the right time, but it’s also possible there are other people exactly like those people (e.g. past customers or leads).  In that case, consider focusing more of your posts on that little part of your seed audience.They may give you an early and merciful clue as to whether you should continue blogging at all. If after a while you can’t engineer your posts to be useful to people you already know, it’s not as likely you’ll figure out what kinds of perfect strangers your posts are meant to help if your audience gets bigger.  You need to know at least roughly what kind of person your posts are supposed to help.

How do you develop a seed audience?

This one’s as simple as it sounds: you email your posts to anyone you can, whenever the topics that you wrote about have come up.

You can also point people to your post if the topic comes up while you’re on the phone (or Zoom) with them.  That assumes, of course, that it’s a post you’ve already published, and that it’s named in such a way that you can tell someone the name of the post, and he or she can Google it and pull it up without much strain.

Consider creating posts for an audience of one.   Not in a creepy way, like, “I know what you’re thinking now, Bert.”  I’m saying if, for example, a past customer or employee asks you a stumper question, write a blog post on it.  Do some research if you have to.  Go to town.  Possibly give the person who asked you the question a shout-out or tip of the hat in the post.  I do that all the time.  In any event, send it to him or her (and ask for feedback), and send it to future people who have the same question or a similar one.  If nothing else, it’ll save you from having to answer the same question again and again.  More likely is that over time that post also starts bringing you some decent traffic and maybe even a couple of links.  That’s because it’s on a question or concern that someone actually has.

Get some practice at building an audience one person at a time.  Most will appreciate the timely post, many will stay tuned for more, and some people will bring others into your teepee.

By the way, I’ve found it extremely useful to keep a running list of posts.  That makes it quick and easy for me to send someone the link to a relevant post I did.

What are the alternatives?

With the exception of the one good, realistic alternative I mentioned at the beginning of this post (writing lots of quick posts on super-niche topics), the alternatives to the “seed audience” strategy have serious drawbacks.  Here are the common tacks business owners and marketers try:

Strategy 1: Swing for the fences: trying to write monster, “ultimate guide”-type posts.   This one is hard to ease into, harder to sustain, easy to burn yourself out on and stop, and runs contrary to most people’s naturally short attention spans.

Strategy 2: Hamster wheel: writing 17 unplanned, slapdash posts every month, sticking with it for 3 months, and giving up.

Strategy 3: “Build it and they will come”: the posts are solid, useful, and well thought-out, but you didn’t write them with a specific person or specific people in mind, and so you don’t send them to anybody.  You assume that just because you wrote it Google will find readers for it.

Strategy 4: Mass production: pay a third party to belch out posts that are so bad even you won’t read them – but that you’re certain will help your rankings because “Google likes fresh content.”  You need basic quality-control.

Can other approaches work?  Yes.  Will they work?  Probably not. With enough effort you can probably get any blogging strategy to advance your goals at least a little, but at what cost to the other things you need to accomplish in a day?  You can always tweak your strategy later.  For every one business owner who gets the skyscraper technique (for all its merits) to work, there are 20 who couldn’t make it work.  We don’t hear from those people much.  Also, what works for a marketing agency or for a non-local business has a good chance of not working for you – for your local business.

People who say you definitely should or definitely should not blog are missing the point.  Sure, you should have content that informs and helps anyone on your site, but who says that needs to be in the form of a blog post?  In most cases having very detailed “service” pages and other pages (and don’t forget the homepage) is your best way to do that.  Videos, too.

That’s why I’m working off the assumption you’ve already got your pages pretty much down pat, and that you want blogging to help you get even more visibility.  I’ve also assumed you don’t want it become your new full-time job.  A seed audience is the best way to go about that.


Again, the idea of the seed audience is simple: Make use of every opportunity to send your posts to people you already come into contact with.

Send a post whenever it’s helpful to the other person.  Pay attention to the questions and concerns of the people in your seed audience, and write more posts that help those people with those challenges.  I guarantee you there are more people like them, and in time those people will become your larger audience.

Preferably your seed audience includes past or current customers, but it doesn’t need to.

I find it very helpful to keep a list of posts (like this).

At first you grow your audience a person at a time, but eventually it’ll mostly grow itself.  That is when you’ll be able to draw a thick line from blogging to more traffic, links, customers, and other good stuff.  The big thing to realize is those are benefits you see after your blogging effort starts to work, not before you’ve gotten it to work.

A seed audience isn’t mutually exclusive with other ways you might grow your audience.  It’s complementary.  It will make your other plans more likely to work out.  Give it a try.

Side note

By the way, I speak from first-hand experience with the seed audience approach.  Not only because some of my clients have used it to good effect, but also because that’s how my blogging sprang up from the dirt.  My earliest readers were people who got my email newsletter (and those people had found me through a variety of odd little channels).  My earliest posts were simply what I thought those people would find useful.

To this day, half the reason I write many of my posts is so I can lay out a thorough answer once and simply send a link to the post every time that question or topic comes up again.  The benefits are too many to count.

Further reading

Should You Make It a Page or a Post? – me

8 Lies About Content Marketing You Probably Believe – Joel Klettke

Should a Small Business Have a Blog in 2021? – Colan Nielsen

Poll Results: Do Local Businesses Need Blogs? – Rosie Murphy

10 Bootstrap Ways to Grab More of Your Service Area in Local Search – me

Hit Blog Post but No Local Traffic or Rankings? 7 Ways to Make That Post Help Your Local SEO Effort – me

100 Practical Ideas for Small-Business Blog Posts – me

100 More Doable Ideas for Small-Business Blog Posts – me

What’s been your strategy for growing your audience?

What’s worked well and what hasn’t?

How have you been able to turn that blogging (or other “content”) effort into more business?

Leave a comment!


7 Phases of a Local Business Reviews Campaign That Makes It Rain

Even people who do a solid job of getting online reviews tend to make the process tougher than it needs to be, because they do the right steps in the wrong order.  That can mean unnecessary trial and error, frustration, wasted time, wasted money, and more bad reviews and fewer good reviews than you might have had otherwise.

Whether you’re the business owner, an employee, or a third party, you have a choice as to how you sequence your work.  Examples of good steps that can trip you up if you do them at the wrong time include offering customers a choice of multiple review sites, asking them to upload photos or go into detail, and using software or other tools to lighten your lift.  Good ideas?  Maybe, but the effectiveness depends on the timing.

What’s the least-bad order of steps?  Here are the stages that my clients have had the most success with, and so here is the basic 7-phase process I suggest you try if you want more and better reviews for your business:

1: Dissect what you’ve got

Where have people reviewed you so far? Is there a review site they seem to gravitate to?  How many of your reviewers (customers, clients, or patients) did you ask for a review, and how many wrote one spontaneously?  So far, who seems most inclined to write a review – the happy customers or the unhappy customers – or is it such a mixture of people that you just can’t tell?  Is there one service, product, treatment, or other offering of yours that seems to make people want to review you?  You get the idea.  Lots of ways of looking at what’s in the net.  You may want to spend 10 minutes scribbling down all your observations, big and small.

2: Shrink the goals and expand the efforts

It’s temporary, but whether you’re starting your push for reviews for the first time or this is Rocky II (or III or IV), the goal is the same: see what happens when you point everything you’ve got at getting your customers to complete the quickest, simplest review you can ask of them.

That means a few things.  One is that you designate a specific person to ask for reviews – preferably in-person and then with a follow-up email.  Another is that you put time into each email request, and tailor it to the person and to everything you know about his or her situation and what makes him or her tick.  Also, only ask for reviews on ONE site for now.  If it’s not Google Maps (which is usually what I suggest focusing on, at least at first), have it be Facebook or a site that’s big in your industry (where’s it’s usually easy to write reviews).  Send along instructions for how to write a review there, and a few days later send a friendly follow-up.

By the way, for a host of reasons I do not recommend you offer incentives for people to write reviews, but if you do insist on disregarding my advice, now’s the time to see what happens.  If nothing else, at least you’ll know that under certain circumstances some people will write you a review.

It’s OK if the reviews are terse at this stage.  Later on you can reviewers talking.

In general, now is the time to be as hands-on as you possibly can be, and to give people every single opportunity and reason to say yes.

3: Test big differences

It’s not yet time to fine-tune. Try something very different, even if what you’ve tried has worked out well so far.  Try having a different person ask for reviews.  Try sending people to different review sites.  Try a completely different email and subject line.  Try to follow up with a quick phone call / voicemail, instead of or in addition to the follow-up email.  Even try snail-mail.  Either you’ll discover something that works better than you expected, or you’ll find out what doesn’t work and that your original system was pretty solid after all.

4: Weave reviews into more of your marketing

Write friendly, thankful responses to them, for positive reinforcement (even if the reviews have developed a crust).

Send personalized thank-you notes/emails to people who reviewed you.

Stick certain reviews on your site.

Tell people on your site or in any ads (e.g. Google Ads) to check our your great reviews, 5-star reputation, etc.

Here you’ve got two basic goals: make sure just about everyone sees your reviews (at least the good ones!), and increase the likelihood that customers choose you because of your reviews, so that they’re predisposed to write you reviews later, when the time comes.

5: Expand your goals

If you’ve had some success in getting people to write reviews – even if those reviews are brief and only on one site – now’s the time find the edges. Get a little greedy.  Ask people who already reviewed you on one site (e.g. Google Maps) to review you somewhere else, too.  (They can just copy and paste their review.)  Ask reviewers to upload photos, if possible and appropriate.  Ask reviewers to go into detail – the more, the better.  If you’ve got repeat customers who reviewed you early on in your relationship, ask them to update their reviews to reflect everything you’ve helped them with since the 1.0 version.  Consider doing what little you can to scare up Yelp reviews.

This is when you want to find out what customers are willing to do and what’s a bridge too far.

6: Consider introducing some automation

This may have been your very first thought, and the first step you wanted to take: “I don’t have time to ask for reviews, so can’t I just use a reputation-management tool?”  Yes, now you can try.  Now that you’ve got a system that works at least OK, it’s fine to see if you can make it easier with software and still have it work at least OK.

But if you tried software right out of the chute, without knowing what works and what doesn’t, it’s likely that all you would have done is scale an ineffective system or automate failure.  And you’d have burned through your list of customers in the process.  Make it effective, then try to make it easy.  (If you’re at this stage, consider Whitespark’s Reputation Builder.)

7: Keep experimenting

It’s still worth repeating step #3 (the “test big differences” step) from time to time, but now is also a time to fine-tune your requests, try spacing out your requests differently, etc. To some extent you have no choice but to tweak, because the ecosystem of review sites change over time, the review sites themselves change over time, you get new customers, maybe you enter new markets, and you get curious (or inspired or greedy).  You’ll always need to stress-test your process.


In any event, you’ll never have it down pat, and you’ll never be 100% satisfied, and there will always be room to improve (which is either pretty frustrating or exciting, depending on your outlook). Word of the day: kaizen.


Relevant posts

How Should You Ask for Online Reviews? The Pros and Cons of Each Approach

The Ridiculous Hidden Power of Local Reviews: Umpteen Ways to Use Them to Get More Business

60+ Questions to Troubleshoot and Fix Your Local Reviews Strategy

Why Your Review-Encouragement Software Is a Meat Grinder

25 Hard Truths of Google Reviews

Is There Anything You Can DO to Get Yelp Reviews These Days – without a Public Shaming?

16 Reasons to Get Reviews on a Diversity of Sites

Why Send Good Customers to Crappy Review Sites?

The Perfect Stack of Online Reviews: How Does Your Local Business Measure up?

Who Should Ask for Reviews: Business Owner or Employee?


What’s been your process?  How well has it worked?

Any tips for any of the steps, or any phases you’d add to those 7 phases?

Leave a comment!


The future of gaming and streaming: a networking and SEO arsenal

30-second summary:

As the world starts to return to normalcy, the gaming and live streaming industry need SEO, social networking, and online marketing for continued growthI spoke with industry influencers Alinity, Matt Rehwoldt, and eUnited’s General Manager and VP, Matt Potthoff on the industry’s current scenario, the obstacle course for amplified audience engagement, and the budding need for innovation

Over the past five years, the boom of the live-streaming, esports, and gaming industries has been stealing headlines not only in the tech industry but also in mainstream media.

That boom only increased its radius during the pandemic, which saw astronomical highs in terms of viewership numbers for the Amazon-owned Twitch streaming platform, Google’s YouTube, and even Facebook Gaming, who jumped more aggressively into the marketplace with the acquisition of Microsoft’s Mixer platform during the summer of 2020.

Since then, much of the world has started getting back to more normalcy, which means that studios are back to work on big project games, esports teams are heading back to regular competitions, and the streaming landscape continues its evolution.

Despite the boom, the industry lacks some key ingredients

But despite the impressive numbers, the industry as a whole still lacks some key ingredients that can not only take the industry to the next level, but also improve the business landscape of content creators as well.

More often than not, the industry is splintered off into a number of sectors that, aside from annual conventions and events, don’t often regularly network efficiently.

Compounding the limitations of networking efficiency is the void in marketing practices such as search engine optimization (SEO) and traditional internet marketing that content creators and brands are leaving on the table.

Some of the core complaints among streamers and content creators, among others, is – the lack of discoverability provided by their platforms, and how their growth seems bottlenecked and capped due to the lack of visibility.

Furthermore, content creators and brands often find themselves in the cycle of social media posting, which can lean heavily into monotony and automation – two major factors that drive down engagement.

Sure, you can blame the platforms themselves and you would be partially right. Social media platforms are a wide net of interests and demos, so posts may not hit at high percentages consistently. Streaming platforms seem to be staying the course, which is smart business as it has proven to be profitable, even during the most challenging economic crisis in nearly a century.

That leaves content creators, esports teams, game studios, and the industry as a whole, at a crossroads. Where innovation has seemed to bypass the needs for more connected networking and growth potential, many are forced to double down on the work despite the lack of return just to stay afloat.

Natalia Mogollon, better known as Alinity, is one of the most popular streamers on the Twitch platform, boasting over one million followers to her channel and had leveraged the platform to build one of the more recognizable brands in the streaming industry.

Streaming and content creators

To get an objective perspective on the matter, I caught up with gaming content creator, Alinity and Matt Rehwoldt, former WWE wrestler and content creator.

“In regards to networking with other creators, I feel like most creators currently use Twitter for that”

“The problem is that I don’t know which creators are genuinely interested in networking and which just want interactions in order to increase their following. It’s probably 50-50.

“But again, I think the market for small to medium size creators is huge. People that are starting to grow and want to meet other creators”

And it’s the market that remains largely untapped or maximized.

Outside of the most famous streamers in the world, many streamers may be stuck under a ceiling or bottlenecked when it comes to growth, and that is where the streaming side of the industry needs to evolve.

A few years ago, professional wrestler and content creator Matt Rehwoldt was involved in the WrestleMania 34 United States Championship match between Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, Jinder Mahalm, and Rusev, performing in front of over 78,000 people in New Orleans, Lousiana.

And while Rehwoldt is back in the industry with promotions such as New Japan Pro Wrestling and rumored to be heading to Impact Wrestling, the ‘Drama King’ has carved out a home for his brand on both Twitch and YouTube.

Despite his name recognition and work on some of the biggest wrestling stages in the industry, the limitations that platforms present can still negatively impact his content.

Matt Rehwoldt on the gaming industry and the need for SEO skills

“The biggest challenge facing content creators is always discoverability,”

“Twitch struggles with this the most and it’s been said to death by any “How To Grow On Twitch” video you see on YouTube – which is the very point. You need to bring people to Twitch from other sources as their search and discoverability is extremely limited.”

“Here I’ll refer your readers to Alpha Gaming’s Harris Heller. He makes some great points about Twitch’s weaknesses with the most glaring being its searchability.

The inclusion of things like highlights or clips is very cool, but why can’t I search “Crazy FRAG” and find a whole list of clips around those search terms? Then through watching things like that I find new creators.  So there needs to be more searchable content on Twitch where you don’t have to just go to the search bar and type the exact name of the stream you’re looking for.”

“Browsability is key,” he said.

But Rehwoldt also points out that YouTube may present better discoverability but also has its own setbacks.

“YouTube is better but there you’re competing in an even larger ecosystem against clickbait warriors and what feels like the whole world”

he points out.

Rehwoldt goes on to point out how SEO is not only impactful but a valuable resource to learn and utilize.

“That said, if you can take the time to teach yourself a little SEO and how to use titles and keywords properly, it’ll help you a lot. It’s something I still struggle with and am learning too.”

But like many streamers, Rehwoldt has been frustrated with the issues that hold back his content. He stresses the importance of understanding that it all comes down to patience and hard work.

“I’m still learning,”

Rehwoldt says.

“My channels are growing but not nearly as fast as I’d like them to.  So for me, it’s more about keeping my mind right. Do good work that I love and the growth seems to come. Not letting myself get discouraged because some video or stream didn’t “pop off” is key too.”

“Everyone points to people like Ludwig or other creators who blew up seemingly overnight and then get frustrated when they feel like they make similar quality content and the same doesn’t happen to them.”

Well there are two things to consider here: First, that often those creators didn’t blow up from “nowhere” and they’ve been working hard either behind the scenes or prior to launching their content and got seen by the right people at the right time. A classic case of preparation meets opportunity.

Secondly, life is also full of incredible exceptions.

People who explode into stardom because they went viral etc.  But never ever try to compare yourself to the exception. I’ve known and spoken to so many creators, those who make a living at it, and it takes years of trying and putting out content that you later look back on and shake your head. Trial and error everyone. Have patience with your work and yourself.”


While SEO is not prominent in sectors such as streaming, and the collective industry as a whole, it has trickled in with regards to the Esports industry.

Matt Potthoff is the general manager and Vice President of eUnited, and a former professional esports player who has won championships as a player, coach, and general manager.


“eUnited has blossomed into a staple esports organization in North America since its inception in 2016”,  Potthoff said.

“We have competed across many titles and have accumulated over $3 million dollars in prize winnings.

eUnited’s most notable championships are winning the 2018 Smite World Championship and the 2019 Call of Duty World Championship. We pride ourselves on growing amateur talent into championship contender players over numerous gaming communities.”

Part of their growth has been the incorporation of SEO and internet marketing through leveraging social media.

“eUnited does use elements such as SEO to increase visibility when selling merchandise or showcasing new sponsors. Additionally, we help players revise their stream titles and descriptions for better chances of obtaining new viewership when users are searching for different topics on Twitch”

Potthoff points out that the integration of internet marketing, SEO, and targeted social networking can provide results and those results can impact profitability.

“eUnited leverages streaming platforms to grow their players’ brands and sell ads to sponsors by utilizing their player’s streaming audience. Most sponsorship activations in esports that aren’t held in person are done over streaming platforms like Twitch”

Innovation and moving forward with solutions

Regardless of the sector of industry, it seems the problems remain the same, and some success can be rooted in the implementation of SEO and optimized networking.

But how does the industry innovate to address this?How do content creators address the areas of need?How do we implement better networking and more meaningful connectivity between these different sectors?

Many brands and content creators face hurdles with finding these solutions. They may not have the budget to consistently contract a quality Internet Marketing & SEO agency, and the SEO agency market certainly doesn’t hone in on these offerings.

So, what is the solution?

I considered all of this when I initially launched Gamactica in October 2018. I asked myself these same questions, and I saw the very issues pointed out in this article when I started streaming.

This is why the foundation of what we have been building with Gamactica is rooted in SEO, internet marketing, and intuitive social networking for the industry. Award-winning internet marketing company Elite Rank Media is the backbone of the internet marketing initiatives and processes. Since 2009, the company has been providing marketing services to brands around the world and has been recognized for its work in both Medical SEO and localized Miami SEO marketing, among others.

An industry where content creators, streamers, gamers, esports teams, esports players, game studios and developers, and cosplayers are spread out so distantly on the social space is one that needs the innovation of improved connectivity.

Our purpose is to provide a professional social network to streamline social networking, bring these sectors together more efficiently, and provides the tools and resources that empower these brands and content creators to reach new levels.

And these are the innovations that can help push through the ceilings, break through the bottlenecks, and clear the hurdles that everyone seems to face, regardless of the industry sector.

Gamactica is implementing those innovations.

“I think the idea is very interesting,”

Alinity says of Gamactica.

“Most current social media platforms focus on relationships with our followings, but a new focus towards networking is innovative. It almost makes me think of LinkedIn.

“I feel like it has a lot of potential for connecting brands and creators, I think there is a big need in that regard. It seems like some streamers are really well connected and get lots of sponsorships, whereas the new creators have no idea how to get these. I think there is a big untapped market within the creators with about 100-500 concurrents (viewers)”

she adds.

“They have more tight communities and often get overlooked but I think there is a huge potential for brand deals with high return on investment for brands, as they tend to be more connected with their viewers. This connection becomes difficult once you get over 1000 concurrent viewers”

she continued.

Alinity points out the vitality of the current market size, the need for better networking, and industry innovation.

“I think the market for small to medium size creators is huge. People that are starting to grow and want to meet other creators. I think the large “whale” streamers would be a good influence for smaller ones to join.”

During the journey of Gamactica, it has been key to stand out as a unique platform, and showcasing how it stands alone is vital to the continued growth.

“I love the idea of something like Gamatica”,

Rehwoldt said.

“But I will be blunt – I’ve seen many trying to compete in this niche space as well. I myself have been approached by several ‘gamer social media’ sites where you open an account, you can link all your streams, socials etc, and it involves you in a like-minded community with the idea that you can all discover each other.

“The key here will be offering something to truly stand apart! Think outside the box!”

And that outside the box thinking is structured in Gamactica’s platform, community, and directories. Streamlining popular social networking features and intuitively interweaving them with the marketing and branding impact that is needed on a larger scale.

“I do think a platform that offers a solution to increase visibility for players is needed,”

Potthoff said.

“My only problem is that a majority of the users are on platforms such as Discord, Twitch, and YouTube.”

“I feel anyone can be discovered in gaming,”

he added.

“It just takes the right moment and presence to take advantage of a situation. If another platform is increasing the odds for a player or company to be discovered, they should definitely sign up and take advantage of it.”

Pushing the needed innovations is at the core of Gamactica’s journey, and implementing the proper concepts while listening to the industry, as a whole, will shape its continued growth.

Not only is the focus on connectivity and marketing, but also helping structure the platform to help combat the harassment and toxicity issues that plague the industry, and also help empower female creators and brands that are operating in a male-dominated sector.

The future requires innovation to achieve growth and continued success, and that journey is what Gamactica is dedicated to continuing.

Stay tuned for more articles in this series.

Anthony DiMoro is CEO of Gamactica. He can be found on Twitter @AnthonyDiMoro.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post The future of gaming and streaming: a networking and SEO arsenal appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Six content ideas to supercharge your marketing in 2021

30-second summary:

Keyword research is at the heart of understanding where your business stands and what your end-users expectSurveying or monitoring your analytics is a great way of listening to your customers or readers for effective content ideasSeasonality is a great way to find fresh content ideas by finding angles where your primary topic overlaps with seasonal interestsCollaborate and meet real people – use every opportunity (events, meetups, live sessions) to talk to people and listen to what they’d be interested in consumingUse “question research” to understand the existing information gaps in the marketRe-package your old, better-performing content into new (updated) assets

If you feel like everything has already been written and you have no idea what else you can write about, here are six content ideas for you that help you come up with valuable and engaging content this year:

1. Use new keyword research tools

Keyword research is not just for SEO! They can give you in-depth insight into your audience’s interests, questions, and struggles. Research and address them in your content.

The key is to try a new tool from time to time. Why? Each tool uses a different data source or a different output or a different way to organize those keywords. Any of these will be enough to give you lots of content ideas.

Luckily, we have quite a few tools to choose from.


This tool will give you pretty much everything you need to create a good topic list. Or at least point you in the right direction. Look at the left-hand channel to find popular concepts around your main topic and build your content around those!

Source: Screenshot by the author

Kparser offers a premium version for $69 a month but I’ve always been using its free version which is great! allows access to lots of data sources, including Google, Youtube, Amazon, Instagram, and Twitter.

Amazon keywords - content ideas for marketing
(Content ideas sourced from Amazon)

Source: Screenshot made by the author

The tool will give you lots of ideas for free but to see each keyword analysis, you need to upgrade to one of the listed plans.

nswer the Public

This one you may not have heard of. It features a man called ‘The Seeker’, who impatiently awaits your questions. You put in keywords or phrases, he suggests some interesting topics.

Apart from being a great keyword research tool, this one is also great for question research (see my #5 tip on the list!) Using different ways to group and organize your keyword lists will likely uncover more ideas. These grouping techniques include keyword clustering and semantic research.

Answer the Public
Source: Screenshot by the author

Answer the Public is freemium and comes at $79/month minimum if you pay for a year, but frankly I’ve never had to upgrade as the free version is simply awesome!

2. Turn to your actual customers for ideas

You know who you really need to listen to. Correct, your current and future customers. You want your content to make a difference for your bottom line, not just bring your word out there, no matter if anyone is there listening or not.

You don’t just want to be heard, you want to be heard by your target audience.

You can even gamify that process by building up your surveys with visualization tools, here are some extra tips on that.

You can offer a good mix of generic questions (like, ask about their lifestyle) which would help you build up your customers’ personas and target them better. Then come your brand-specific questions:

“What questions did you have when browsing our services?” “Were they sufficiently covered on the site?”

The latter will help you improve your site performance too.

The cool thing is that you will also be able to use your survey results in site content and articles, making your site intent-rich, trustworthy, and linkable.

It’s also a wise idea to set up a well-defined routine to help you record your customers’ questions as they come. This will help you in both content planning and social media goals.

Slack is a nice tool to help your in-team communication and idea-sharing. Simply set up a separate Slack channel and encourage your customer and support team to send your customers’ questions there as soon as they come across any.

Using your web analytics is another way to listen to your customers and readers. Finteza is a great solution to better understand which content and on-page elements your site users respond to best. It supports a variety of events including mouse-overs, clicks, and downloads allowing you to measure which content does a better job engaging your readers:

Conversion funnels and content's role in it
Source: Finteza

3. Take seasonal trends into account

There are holidays and seasonal trends to include in your content editorial plans. When you catch a trend, there’s always a huge boost of interactions, new followers, and clicks.

Using seasonal trends to create content ideas
Source: Screenshot by the author

The great thing about seasonal trends is that you can plan your editorial calendar months in advance because they are easy to predict and repeat yearly. This means you’ll be able to re-use your calendar as a reference point to structure your seasonal content strategy and improvise for maximum success.

Simply sit down and plan your content assets for upcoming big holidays, seasonal events like spring cleaning season, summer holidays, Amazon Prime Day, and other noteworthy days that are relevant to your target customers.

Editorial calendar for roadmap
Source: Screenshot by the author

You can use Google Spreadsheets to create your content roadmap. To better focus on ideation and get more inspired, I usually start with planning my seasonal content using a printable calendar which you can easily find using these steps.

There are handy calendar apps that can even integrate into WordPress to keep track of those holidays you may want to include in your social media editorial plan.

You can schedule social media updates as far as one year ahead to make sure there’s always something going on your brand channels no matter how busy you get.

4. Get out into the world

We have a tendency to look for our inspiration online because we are targeting an internet-based audience, which is totally understandable: you can discover so many wonderful topics on the web. It just isn’t the only place we can look and purely searching online actually limits our scope, and so our returns.

The most popular piece of content is one that comes from the real world. People love personal stories!

Go out into the real world. Seek out events in your industry, or things that are tangentially related. Discover how everyday experiences connect to your niche and use your social media channels as a platform to explain and share with others.

Get out of cyberspace and into meet-space!

A good way is to engage with your local community (now in a safe and socially distanced way!)

This serves as a great way to understand the pulse of your audience/target customers, their intent, and personal experiences that impact their decisions. Plus, you also earn a chance to introduce new people to your brand.

You can also connect with other local brands, businesses, and business owners and potentially work out some topic ideas that way.

5. Find out what people are asking online

Question research offers a few important marketing opportunities:

Questions give you lots of insight into what your target audience is struggling with and how to best help themQuestions are your best content ideation sourceCovering niche questions online opens up more organic search visibility opportunities including getting featured and ranking in “People Also Ask” resultsAsking a question on social media is one of the most important ways to increase your social media engagement because whenever they see a question mark, people have that natural reflex to stop and find an answer

So ask questions on social media often and engage with answers you receive.

If you are open to trying tools to bolster this exercise, Text Optimizer is a smart option. All you Just type your keyword into its “Topic Ideas” section and it will generate a list of topic ideas for you:

Questions for research and content creation
Source: Screenshot by the author

Every question is rated based on how many people are searching for it and how many sites are covering it – giving you a clear analysis of demand vs competition which informs your decision making.

The tool is paid and I am not aware of any alternatives. But the good thing is, question research will be mostly free. You will get some content ideas without the need to pay or register an account.

Quick tip: If you install their Google Chrome extension, most of that analysis will come for free as long as you use Google Chrome.

Source: Screenshot by the author

6. Learn the art of content re-packaging

Right off the bat, re-packaging content is going to be the best weapon in your arsenal. It takes what you already have and makes it stretch, getting more out of every piece you write. A lot of those prolific writers are using this tactic, albeit at its extreme. That is how they manage to get so much out without others writing for them.

So what does re-packaging content entail? It is creating new content directly from the old. Some ways to do that are:

Collecting articles into an ebook to give away on your site (As a bonus, this would also make a great lead magnetCreating a webinar with the information you have writtenTurning your content series into a (mini) email courseCreating newslettersRecording a podcast with the old post contentShooting a video with the old post contentConverting info from posts into infographicsMaking a Slideshare presentation with condensed slidesWriting new posts based on small details mentioned in old posts that have been expanded

These are only a few examples, but you get a general idea. A piece of content should never remain on its own without some form of recycled item coming out of it.

Looking at that list of ideas for re-packaging old content, did any of them stand out as forms of media you have never tried before? It may be time to start expanding what you create and produce something brand new.

This will attract a new kind of audience, one that is drawn to the media in question. Do you usually write blog posts? Start making infographics or videos. Never done a Slideshare slideshow? Consider it now, and see if it gets any bites.

You will be able to recycle your content better this way, and it will keep you from being burnt out. That will inevitably have an impact on the speed and quality of your content creation.

Content ideation isn’t easy and moreover, it is a continuous struggle. Let’s hope these ideas will get you out of that writer’s block!

Ann Smarty is the Founder of Viral Content Bee, Brand and Community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post Six content ideas to supercharge your marketing in 2021 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


The importance of accurate keyword difficulty scores

30-second summary:

Keyword difficulty (KD) scores help digital marketers understand potential search engine performanceKD scores are useful in building SEO strategies, filtering out ineffective keywordsLow competition keywords give an advantage in attracting trafficSome KD calculating tools may be inaccurate due to the use of limited parametersSemrush has developed a new formula for KD score calculations that it says has improved accuracy

With countless companies competing for the same audience, digital marketers need to develop a highly effective and targeted content strategy to find a way through the crowded market and connect with potential customers. Keyword difficulty (KD) is an essential metric to assist marketers in formulating an effective SEO strategy for reaching the top of search engine results pages (SERP).

Focusing on a keyword with a low KD score can achieve faster results with traffic from search engines as there is less competition. Whereas keywords with a higher KD score will typically have far more competition in search results, making it much harder to appear near the top of SERPs in the short term. Long-term improvements are achievable but will take time and require multiple SEO measures to be implemented.

KD calculation tools can determine how effective a keyword may be in search results. However, a lot can depend on the SEO tools that digital marketers are using. Such tools are not always accurate due to the limited parameters that can vary from developer to developer. The result is that the KD calculation may be inaccurate and even lead a digital marketer to believe that their keywords will perform better in practice than in reality.

Content created in partnership with Semrush.

Semrush, an online visibility management platform provider, has developed what it says is a proven formula to achieve an accurate KD percentage score based on in-depth research into SEO patterns and client feedback.

How Semrush’s Keyword Difficulty platform works

This year, Semrush released an updated version of its KD metric. The new formula was the result of extensive lab testing by the company’s team of data scientists and engineers. They studied patterns of SERP activity for approximately 120,000 keywords, covering more than 100 parameters and varying contexts to determine an accurate KD value. Alongside this, the teams analyzed the data to determine the difficulty that keywords would face in using SEO to appear on the first page of search results.

The three steps to decode your SERP standing and opportunities

Semrush’s platform has three steps to calculate the formula.

1. SERP analysis

The first involves SERP analysis, where the median value is identified for three metrics throughout URLs on the first page of search results. The three median values are:

The number of referring domains pointing to the ranking URLsThe authority score of the ranking domainsThe ratio of follow/no-follow links to the ranking URLs

2. Keyword parameter analysis

The second step is an analysis of keyword parameters. This considers the above SERP factors, alongside a closer inspection of individual keywords. All factors are weighted differently in Semrush’s formula regarding the likelihood of influencing the first-page ranking.

The parameter weighted the highest by some way is the median number of referring domains for ranking URLs, totaling 41.22 percent. While the second-largest weighted share is the median authority score for ranking domains at 16.99 percent. Search volume is third with 9.47 percent, and the median follow/no-follow ratio for ranking URLs is a fraction lower in the fourth position at 9.17 percent.

Other parameters include featured snippets, branded keywords, and site links, with the weighted share becoming progressively smaller. Factors that can harm the KD score are keywords with a high word count and no SERP features.

3. The calculations

The third step is the calculation itself. The formula also adapts for each country, taking a nation’s population size and the number of websites into account when calculating the KD score based on Semrush’s regional database.

What KD scores mean for your SEO performance

On Semrush’s KD platform, the user can enter up to 100 keywords at a time to check the KD score. Crucially, the platform can help the user find valuable low-competition keywords. KD scores can also be calculated for both long-tail and local keywords. In addition, the tool allows the user to compare their SEO strategy with competitors to see what is performing well and identify any keyword gaps.

The results provide the user with the KD rating and advice on what they need to do next to gain hits. At the lower end of the scale, scores of 0-14 percent are classed “very easy” with the strongest likelihood of new pages appearing near the top of Google rankings without the need for backlinks.

The next step up is 15-29 percent, which is considered “easy”. While there may be some competition, it remains possible to achieve a high ranking for new web pages. However, this will require quality content based on the keywords.

Things get progressively harder as the KD scores get higher. A score of 85-100 percent, for example, is classified “very hard”, where keywords face the strongest competition and the odds are stacked against new websites breaking through. A ranking is still possible through features such as on-page SEO, link building, and campaigns to promote content. In this instance, pay-per-click advertising may prove more beneficial.

To find out more about Semrush and its Keyword Difficulty platform download its recent whitepaper.

The post The importance of accurate keyword difficulty scores appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


How to use PageRank for ecommerce websites

30-second summary:

The PageRank still exists and here’s a deeper look at how Google’s Reasonable Surfer Model plays a key roleA well thought linking strategy both internally and externally for your ecommerce site can amplify search visibilityGoogle expert, Susan Dolan and Founder of leading agency NOVOS, Samuel Hurley share an ecommerce SEO guide ahead of the holiday season

PageRank is a patent Google introduced, which used links to help determine websites rankings in the SERPs. The algorithm was named after Google founder Larry Page.

The original patent has not been renewed and has since been updated by other algorithms, which work to achieve the same goal. However, by understanding the fundamental principles, we can better understand how to position our eCom sites to drive traffic and revenue.

PageRank key concepts

PageRank is passed between websites through links and can be distributed through a single website with internal links.

Some pages have a higher PageRank than others and thus can pass on more PageRank to pages they link to. When a page links to another, a dampening factor is applied. The original patent set this as 0.85 – so a page with a PageRank of one, linking to another page would pass 0.85 PageRank.

Key update: the Reasonable Surfer Model

Google’s Reasonable Surfer Model indicates that a link that is more likely to be clicked on will pass more PageRank than a link that is less likely to be clicked on. This is determined by a whole host of factors, including font size, color, and anchor text. However, the position of a link on a page is also something that we often have control over as SEOs and that we can, therefore, leverage.

Here is a simple, rather crude representation of how certain links will pass more/less PageRank based on the prominence of a link and how likely it is to be clicked on.

Build external links through to key pages

As linking pages pass PageRank, it stands to reason that we want to generate backlinks to key pages that we want to rank. For most ecommerce sites, the pages that rank for the highest volume and most revenue-driving keywords are category pages.

Wherever possible, we should therefore look to use tactics that support link building through to the pages that drive revenue, which for most sites looks something like:

Category pagesProduct pagesHomepageBlog posts

This is obviously easier said than done. Practicing these tactics with an overall aim to drive PageRank to your key pages. This reduces the dampening factors at play.

How to get past this

One common way to bypass this difficulty in building links to category pages is internally linking to key category pages we want to push from blog posts/Digital PR pieces that then get links themselves.

Although the PageRank passed to the page we ideally want to rank will undergo a dampening factor, this can still be more beneficial than failing to get any links at all to your target page.

It is worth considering how relevant the category page is to the blog/PR piece it is being included on, as well as where the links are placed on the page, being mindful of the impact the Reasonable Surfer dampening effect can have.

1. Build links from pages with high PageRank

As any Digital PR will know, high authority pages or pages that have lots of PageRank to pass onto your own site are some of the most sought-after links to attain.

Most of the time, this is actually viewed at a domain level, however as is demonstrated in this great review of how PageRank works by Majestic, a domain that should theoretically have a high PageRank can actually be significantly decreased at a page level by its own internal linking.

One caveat for Digital PR teams in this regard is not being too reliant on domain-level metrics as a proxy for links that pass a lot of PageRank and are thus good for ranking. Exactly which pages have high PageRank is nigh-on impossible to know, and although an over-reliance on third-party tools is never optimal, they may be the closest we can get to figuring out PageRank passed by a specific page, rather than a domain.

2. Build links from relevant sites

As part of the Reasonable Surfer Model, it suggests that a link is less likely to be followed if the links are unrelated to the document:

“This reasonable surfer model reflects the fact that not all of the links associated with a document are equally likely to be followed. Examples of unlikely followed links may include “Terms of Service” links, banner advertisements, and links unrelated to the document.”  (Source)

As a result, building links from sites that are of higher relevance to your own site, is likely to pass more PageRank.

3. Remember it is not just about the number of links

Due to how PageRank is calculated, the PageRank value passed by one site can be drastically higher than the PageRank passed by the culmination of 1000s of others combined.

This is why the reliance on the overall number of links can be misleading.

Use internal linking to spread PageRank

We need to consider a few different methods while identifying pages that will benefit the most from ranking and how you pass PageRank around an ecommerce site:

Link to pages you want to rank from pages that have high PageRank themselvesLink to pages you want to rank more frequently throughout the siteGive links to pages you want more prominently ranked

1. Link to pages you want to rank from pages that have high PageRank themselves

Pages that have high PageRank, from which we can assume to be the pages most linked to from external sites, can be used to pass PageRank to – 

Homepage linking

The best example of how you can do this is through the homepage. The homepage for most websites tends to be one of the most, if not the most externally linked to page on a site.

This means that in terms of PageRank, the homepage has the most to pass on to other internal pages.

By carefully selecting which pages you link to from the homepage, and therefore pass the high levels of PageRank to the key pages you want to rank.

2. Link to pages you want to rank more frequently throughout the site

Another method to consider is how frequently you link to the most important pages you want to rank.

Considering that each page can pass PageRank on – this stands to reason that if a page is internally linked to more frequently, it is likely to pass on more as compared to a page less internally linked to (although obviously influenced by the PageRank of the linking pages).

Therefore, you should be considering where you can add internal links to ensure that important pages are linked to more frequently, including:

Global navigation

Due to being outside of the main body content of the page, we can reasonably assume there is a dampening factor applied to links in the menu. However, given its role in navigation, this is likely to be far less than in the footer. 

Therefore, since the global navigation is, as the name suggests, linked globally from every page on the site, the sheer number of links that will be passing PageRank is likely to funnel to those pages included in the navigation. These should therefore be the key pages you want to be ranking.


As long-time fans of breadcrumbs at NOVOS, their benefit of passing PageRank to key pages should not be underestimated, due to the frequency with which different levels of pages are linked to.

The benefit of breadcrumbs on ecommerce sites (outside of usability benefits for the customers) is that they pass PageRank up to the core pages that generally rank for competitive keywords. They are typically helpful to rank the categories.

Most ecommerce websites have a pyramid structure with the homepage at the top, followed by some core categories, an increasing number of subcategories, and lots of product pages. By implementing breadcrumbs on the site, you use the pyramid structure to your advantage (both SEO and CX wise). Since every product page will link up to its relevant subcategories and category, and every subcategory will link through to its relevant category.

In this sense, you distribute internal links as an inverse pyramid, concentrating the highest number (if we disregard the homepage) on the core categories that are the pages generally targeted for high volume keywords. In this sense, your ecommerce site stands a great chance of receiving large amounts of PageRank from internal links.

Product pages also generally are easier to build links to and also naturally generate them. The higher PageRank product pages can distribute upwards, the greater is the relevance – which implies lesser chances of suffering significantly from dampening factors.

Hierarchy of ecommerce site structure and how PageRank can be transferred


Based on the Reasonable Surfer Model we can assume that the PageRank passed by footer links is significantly impacted by dampening factors. However, the fact that these links are site-wide may mean that there is some benefit to including important pages in the footer for the accumulation of PageRank.

3. Give links to pages you want more prominently ranked

As the Reasonable Surfer Model applied to the likelihood of a link being clicked on a page, it is therefore worth considering whereabouts on a page. This could also mean considering page templates in general links.

For example, in a content strategy, where multiple blogs are being written on a given relevant topic to support a category page, linking to the category page early in the article, with clearly related anchor text, is likely to drive more PageRank than right at the end of an article. On a case-by-case basis, this distinction may appear trivial, however, on an ecommerce site with hundreds and thousands of blogs, the PageRank passed in total may be significant.

Susan Dolan is a Search Engine Optimization Consultant first to crack the Google PageRank algorithm as confirmed by Eric Schmidt’s office in 2014. 

Samuel Hurley is the Founder of NOVOS, Global SEO Agency Of The Year 2020 and 2021.

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The post How to use PageRank for ecommerce websites appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Did you miss our previous article…


Social media marketing: four keys to boost lead generation and sales

30-second summary:

Social media has increasingly become a key avenue for the fate of brands’ online performanceThere is a relation between brand perception, social listening, customer service, and the eventual consumer spending powerHere’s how social media marketers can make the most of social channels to drive business value

In order to gain sales and increase leads, social media marketing must be fully integrated within a company’s overall marketing strategy – including search.

For companies looking to increase lead generation for sales conversion and build upon long-term customer relationships, social media involvement tends to be more cost-effective and successful, in the long run, than traditional short-term-oriented marketing methods.

Social media’s return on investment is best measured over time in the form of customer loyalty, customer relationship management, and an improved corporate perception in the general marketplace.

1. Regularly updated content boosts search engine rankings

Research proves that by providing relevant and constantly updated content, companies can gain new customers, achieve a higher search engine ranking, and increase online visibility. Online marketing methods that center around search-optimized content can also improve a company’s SERP ranking.

Now that search engines like Google is indexing social media content, keyword-rich posts, and relevant comments within social networks. This has become a viable marketing tactic.

According to Google’s Gary Illyes in one of his discussions with SEO Eric Enge on social media mentions and rankings and how Google might use online mentions of a brand on social media and networks:

“The context in which you engage online, and how people talk about you online, can actually impact what you rank for.”

Furthermore, related research conducted by CognitiveSEO discovered an equivocal link between social shares and SEO. Analyzing 23 million social media shares on selected platforms showed that – likes, comments, and shares that posts receive are vital signals for Google and other search engines to rank websites.

2. A positive social media brand presence strengthens online reputation

Engaging potential consumers – in social networks – can bolster a company’s reputation and strengthen its ability to improve customer service. A business that engages its customers online and participates in the dialogue is better positioned to respond to customer inquiries.

According to Convince & Convert, 32 percent of customers expect a response to be within 30 minutes and 42 percent of customers expect it to be within the hour. Moreover, about 57 percent of customers expect response time during weekends and nights to match response times during normal working hours.

Having a fast response time not only leads to a happy customer but can also lead to additional revenue for companies. A study conducted by Twitter found that when an airline responded in six minutes or less to a tweet, the customer was willing to pay about $20 more for that airline in the future. When an airline, however, took more than an hour to give feedback, that customer was willing to pay only an additional $2.33 for that airline in the future. This really makes you want to put some pep in your step when it comes to responding to customers, doesn’t it?

Also, a business with a strong social media presence is better positioned to respond to customer complaints. Negative comments can act as an early warning system, empowering a brand to:

quickly adapt its message,reinforce its product’s value,positively nurture relationships with customers, influencers, and brand advocates.

Whether negative word of mouth buzz comes in the form of a disparaging online video, as a comment in a user forum, or from an adverse online review of a product, companies with an active and solid social media presence can help repair their reputation by responding in real-time.

3. Measure social media effectiveness

Companies concerned with analytics and other metrics for measuring social media effectiveness can employ several simple methods for gauging the success of social marketing campaigns. Some ways to measure and track social media marketing include:

. Increase in followers

An increase in the number of followers on social media means an increase in a brand’s popularity. It is worth understanding the audience engagement and crafting social media campaigns that can increase your social media following.

B. Reactions on published posts

Evaluating the reactions of audiences on social media posts helps determine what is interesting the most. This helps focus more on what interests users the most.

This applies to all social media channels, be it Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. The inbuilt analytics provided by these channels helps evaluate the way audiences are reacting to published posts.

Similarly, online marketers need to check when someone tags them in a post or, mentions them. The more tags they get, the more users they reach. This helps instantly increase business visibility as more people engage online with the brand’s content.

C. Social media reach

Social media campaigns’ reach helps determine the total number of people that are reached both within and outside of targeted audiences. The more reactions and engagements to published posts, the better is the online visibility.

Having a good reach to business posts on social media is a clear indication that the marketing campaigns are on point.

D. Referral traffic

Another important metric that businesses consider when measuring social media effectiveness is gauging referral traffic. This gives a clear picture of how the marketing campaign has performed on social media. Every online marketer should evaluate performance by measuring the difference between the actual target achieved and the target set.

This will help gauge the efforts needed to be put in. If a particular channel is found to be unable to get sufficient traffic, then it should be reconsidered. A social media channel that is not resonating with the nature of the business is probably a waste of time and effort.

E. Click-through rate (CTR)

Click-through rate is another important factor when measuring the effectiveness of social media, as it is closely associated with direct conversion.

Generally, a higher CTR means that a marketing campaign is effective. Because more clicks mean more visitors that are drawn to the website. CTR is considered as one of the KPIs by a majority of the businesses and is generally used in PPC ad campaigns, a link on a landing page, etc.

4. ROI based on soft metrics

While hard metrics of conversions (sales, cost-per-sales, and profit) are the way many businesses tend to rate social media ROI, businesses should also consider some softer metrics as a means to measure their campaign effectiveness.

In fact, according to research by the Association of National Advertisers,

“80 percent of US client-side marketers measured the effectiveness of their social content, with social media metrics such as “likes” the most common.”

Measuring campaign effectiveness considering softer metrics can be done by asking the following questions:

Are brand-relevant tweets being re-tweeted on Twitter?Are there more fans and brand-friends on Facebook?Is there an uptick in online conversations about a new product launch or web design improvements?Are site visitors and customers sharing opinions and discussing what they want and need?

Questions such as these may not add up, in the short run, to actual sales and quantifiable profit but ROI based on soft metrics could certainly provide insight on social media marketing’s worthiness. This has the potential, in the long run, to convert into profit and hard ROI.

Make definite social media marketing goals

To take full advantage of social media channels for effective marketing and improved profits, marketing teams need to execute strategic marketing plans. Businesses must apply measurable metrics, take a long-view approach, and define clearly their social media marketing goals.

Only through this, can social media marketing prove itself worthwhile for proving business value.

Jacob M. is a copywriter, marketing blogger, inbound marketing consultant, and founder of Write Minds. He can be found on Twitter @jmcmillen89.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

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The post Social media marketing: four keys to boost lead generation and sales appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


The Future SEO: Boardroom edition

30-second summary:

SEO’s dynamic nature and Google’s mysterious algorithm specifics keep the industry on its toesIs it possible to simply spot the inefficiencies of SEO in its infancy and foresee trends?With over 20 years of leadership roles, SEO pioneer Kris Jones taps into his experience to help SEOs derive more strategic value

Pretty much anytime we speak about something’s future, we’re doing something called extrapolating. By definition, extrapolating involves extending existing data or trends to assume the same procedure will continue in the future. It’s a form of the scientific method that we probably use every day in our own lives, quite reasonably, too: the summers will be hot, the downtown traffic will be bad at 9 AM, and the sun will rise tomorrow morning.

But how can we look into the future of something as complex and ever-changing as SEO? As with all cases of hindsight, we are clear on how SEO began and how it has transformed over time.

We see the inefficiencies of SEO in its infancy and how advancing search engines have altered the playing field.

The catch is this: how can we surmise about the future of SEO without having access to all the mysterious algorithm specifics that Google itself holds?

The answer is simple: we have to extrapolate.

I’ve seen SEO from the boardroom perspective for more than 20 years. I’ve seen the old days of keyword stuffing to the semi-modernization of the late 2000s to the absolute beast that Google has become now, in the 2020s.

Given that, where do I think SEO is going in the not-too-distant future? Here are some thoughts on that.

User intent will remain crucial

One aspect of SEO that is essential right now and will become only more vital as time goes on is user intent in search queries.

It’s an antiquated view to think that Google still cares much about exact-match keywords. Maybe 15 to 20 years ago, getting keywords exactly right in your content was a huge deal. Google matched queries to corresponding word strings in content and then served the best of that content to a user.

Today, trying to optimize for exact-match keywords is a futile effort, as Google now understands the intent behind every query, and it’s only going to get better at it as time goes by.

If you recall Google’s BERT update from late 2019, you’ll remember that this was the change that allowed Google to comprehend the context of each search query, or the meaning behind the words themselves. And the latest Multitask Unified Model (MUM) update adds further depth and dimensions to understanding search intent.

No longer does Google look only at the words “family attractions.” It knows that that query references children’s activities, fun activities, and events that are generally lighthearted and innocent.

And all of that came from two words. How did Google do it? Its consistent algorithm updates have allowed it to think like a human.

All of this is to say that user intent has to be part of your keyword and content strategy going forward when you’re doing SEO.

Produce more evergreen content

Sometimes, over the years, I have heard people mention that devising an effective content marketing strategy is difficult because as soon as a topic’s period of relevance is over, that content will never rank again. Use your data to analyze content performance and strike the right balance between content and formats. 

If you don’t know any more about this subject, you might be tempted to believe that. Maybe, at one time, you got a content piece entitled “Top Furniture Brands of 2019” to rank for the featured snippet. That makes sense. The post was probably a long listicle that described the best brands and linked out to the manufacturers’ websites or retail stores that carried those brands.

But maybe, as spring of 2019 transitioned into fall and winter, that post fell way down the rankings and now can’t be found anywhere anymore.

The reason is obvious: you haven’t made the content evergreen. The best furniture brands of 2019 may not be the best brands of 2020 or 2021 or 2022. So, what do you do? You put the work in to make the blog post evergreen by updating it. Go through and change out the best brands, change the content, change the post’s title, and then republish the post.

You can also just plain focus on subjects that will almost never need any updating at all:

“Top 20 Christmas cookies to bake this year”“How to train a dog”“10 Steps for Hanging Heavy Objects on the Wall”

Whether it’s 2021 or 2050 or 2100, there are going to be people who have never hung a thing on a wall before and will need some help online.

Whatever your market niche is, do some topic research in Answer the PublicSemrush, or BuzzSumo to find relevant subjects for you. You can also mine the SERPs to see what kinds of content are ranking already for your desired topics. Just remember to mix in plenty of evergreen content with your more timely content posts. Google will reward you for it.

Mobile will remain first

This final point is about mobile-first indexing, but you likely already know about that. It’s certainly no secret that Google is going to rank your website’s mobile version when it crawls your pages. About 60 percent of all searches are now performed on mobile devices, and so Google now prioritizes a site’s mobile web pages over the desktop versions.

As I said, you knew all that.

What some people still may not know is that Google’s new Core Web Vitals should be a major part of your mobile page optimizations.

The Core Web Vitals are primarily a web-dev task. Overall, the three vitals work together to give users positive, seamless experiences when they access a web page.

The vitals are Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), and First Input Delay (FID).

CLS refers to the amount of moving around that a web page’s content does before it actually loads fully.

If you have a high CLS, that’s bad. It means some elements are appearing before the page loads all the way, which increases the chances of a user clicking on something that then moves elsewhere. That, in turn, means the user will probably click on something unintended.

LCP, meanwhile, is the time it takes for a page’s content to appear. It specifically refers to the amount of time between when you click on a URL and when the majority of that URL’s content appears for you to see.

Finally, FID measures how long it takes users to be able to interact with a web page in any way. These actions could be typing in a field or clicking menu items.

Even if you don’t work in web development, you can see how useful these three measures actually are. They all take user experience into account, which, coincidentally, is why they are part of Google’s larger 2021 Page Experience update.

The Core Web Vitals are essential in and of themselves, but I think my “boardroom” perspective on them is one we can all safely adopt: that they are just examples of more great things to come from Google.

The search engine giant is always thinking of new ways to make users have better, more helpful, and more positive experiences on its platform. As SEOs, we need to be ready to respond so we don’t get left in the dust.

To know the future, look to the past

We know that extrapolation can be taken only so far, but that’s why the past is so vital to understand. It can give us hints at what lies ahead.

What will Google think of next? It’s going to respond to whatever need is out there for improved online search experiences.

Think of 2020, when the pandemic was in its infancy. People needed information, and Google responded. Within months, you could tell whether restaurants were requiring masks indoors, how many virus cases were in your county, and where you could go for more information or help.

What, then, is the future of SEO? It’s going to be whatever the masses need it to become.

Kris Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and affiliate network Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay Enterprises in 2009. Most recently Kris founded SEO services and software company and has previously invested in numerous successful technology companies. Kris is an experienced public speaker and is the author of one of the best-selling SEO books of all time called, ‘Search-Engine Optimization – Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing’, which has sold nearly 100,000 copies.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post The Future SEO: Boardroom edition appeared first on Search Engine Watch.