Tag: Google Search

Internet Marketing

Why Good Content Isn’t Enough: Lessons From The Latest Content Marketing Studies

Why Good Content Isn’t Enough: Lessons From The Latest Content Marketing Studies

It used to be that as long as you wrote long-form, valuable content on a regular basis, you could do well at content marketing .

Unfortunately good content isn’t enough anymore.

The SERPs are getting more competitive, and the marketplace is turning into a winner-take-all battle to the death.

Here’s what the latest content marketing studies can teach us about ‘good’ content and why it’s no longer going to get you the results you want.

1. The battleground is overflowing

On average, four million blog posts are published daily. With so much competition, it’s becoming nearly impossible for your content to be seen.

There are millions to billions of search results for even the most absurd keywords on Google:

The battleground is overflowing for content marketing studies

“Good” content isn’t enough to make your post the one-in-a-million (or billion) articles that earn a coveted spot on the first page in SERPs. After all, only the top ten make it onto page one. At most.

Back in 2015, Moz reported a significant spike in the number of SERPs showing fewer than ten results .

SERPs showing fewer than ten results for content marketing studies

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And this trend hasn’t reversed.

But wait: does it matter if page one is only showing 5–7 results instead of the usual 10? If your article is ranking in position 8, you’re probably screaming, ‘Hell yeah!’

While, in reality, it’s not going to make much of a difference. Because over 95% of people click on one of the first five results:

International exact position for content marketing studies

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So, if you’ve been competing to get on the first page, you’ve been wasting your efforts. You need to be within the top 5 results. Which takes a lot more than just good content.

Optinmonster recently shared the ten most important SEO ranking factors for 2019.

the ten most important SEO ranking factors for content marketing studies

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When looking at the list, it’s understandable if you start to feel a little excited about your chances. After all, the first three ranking factors (site security, page speed, and mobile friendliness ) are all fairly easy to meet with little to no technical or SEO knowledge .

Unfortunately, it starts to go downhill from there. It’s nearly impossible to gain the links and social signals required to rank in the top positions on search results.

Research from Moz and Buzzsumo indicated that 75% of blog posts received zero links and fewer than ten shares.

And it’s only gotten worse over the last four years. Much worse.

Today, according to a study by Backlinko, 94% of all blog posts have zero external links . 94%!

94% of all blog posts have zero external links for content marketing studies
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That means only 6% of the content being produced earns even a single backlink.

And your chances of getting multiple backlinks is even less likely. The same study shows that only 2.2% of posts earn backlinks from more than one external website.

Yet the top SERP spot holders have acquired thousands of links:

SERP spot holders for content marketing studies

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Competition is fierce. And the newer your site is, the more you’re at a disadvantage.

No one is going to link to your post unless it’s the best of the best.

That means content that: is audience and intent driven, has compelling copy, and covers a wide variety of subjects.

Sure, these types of articles might have been good enough in the past. But these days, all the experts agree that anything surface level isn’t going to make the grade :

Result Comparison for content marketing studies

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It’s no wonder that bloggers are relying more and more on paid traffic and influencers to help them reach their audience.

According to research conducted by Orbit Media, the number of bloggers who pay for website traffic has increased by 322% in the last five years!

Bloggers who report strong results based on type of promotions for content marketing studies

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These days, only the top 1% of 1% will ever show up in the top five SERPs.

And that’s not even the worst part…

2. Click-through rates are abysmal

We’ve already covered that 95% of click-throughs go to the first five results in SERPs. Which is bad enough. But just how closely did you look at that graph that I shared?

Let’s blow it up for easier viewing:

Click-through rates are abysmal for content marketing studies

Over 30% of CTRs on a desktop go to just the first SERP result. And that rate gets cut roughly in half as soon as your article slips just one position. While things are mildly better on mobile devices, it’s still a shockingly steep curve.

By the time you’re in third place, you’re only getting a third of the click-throughs of first place.

At this point, you may be so depressed by the competitive SERP environment that you’re thinking about your other options. After all, SEO is far from the only way to get your content out there.

Maybe you’re willing to put your money into paid ads?

Well, that’s no guarantee that your content will be seen either. According to WordStream’s latest survey, the average AdWords CTR is 3.17% for search and 0.46% for display ads.

Google Adrrords Industry Benchmarks average click through rate

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Both these averages are higher than when the survey was first done in 2016. But the average cost per click has also gone up over that period. Which brings us back to the insanely competitive battleground.

You could opt for social media ads instead. But the competition is just as fierce there. Acquisio reports that the average CTR of a Facebook Ad ranges between 0.5%–1.6%.

What about email marketing?

This option is marginally better, with an industry average CTR of 7.06%, according to Constant Contact.

All Industries Overall Average for content marketing studies

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But of course, you need to account for the insane reduction in potential reach. Since you’ve now gone from a SERP or social media audience in the 6–7 digits to a small mailing list. Even with the right lead magnets , your list is probably only in the 4–5 digits.

Wait, what about video content ? Cisco reported that 82% of all internet traffic will be related to video content by 2021. And as a newer development, it should be less competitive, with better results, right?

Wrong.

Video marketing is already as saturated a market as blogging , if not more so. Companies are already dominating with video, and first to market advantage for it was lost years ago:

Case Study Snowboard addiction for content marketing studies

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People already watch a staggering hour or more of online video content every day. And video-based ads have skyrocketed by 95% in the last few years.

Andrew Chen coined a special name for this CTR problem: the Law of Shitty Clickthroughs.

Back in the early days, even mediocre content got noticed, because there was very little competition. Skip ahead to 2011 and CTRs had already dropped to alarmingly low levels.

Check out Andrew Chen’s display ad example:

Check out Andrew Chen’s display ad example for content marketing studies

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And as he predicted, CTRs have continued to decay.

3. The game is rigged

We’ve already talked about the fact that Google is reducing the number of SERPs on page one. But we didn’t talk about what those organic results are being replaced with.

Enter the Knowledge Graph.

The game is rigged for content marketing studies

The knowledge graph was created by Google to answer people’s questions without making them click on a result to find the answer.

In other words, you’re now competing with the house. And the house always wins.

A recent study conducted by Moz reports that 40% of search results now end without a single click.

Which means that 40% of people have got their answers straight from Google, without ever having to click through to your website or anyone else’s.

And that percentage will only continue to grow.

Back on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, Google started experimenting with zero-result SERPs where organic search results were entirely removed from a small number of keyword searches such as the one shown here about the time in Seattle:

Google started experimenting with zero-result SERPs for content marketing studies

The experiment was halted less than a week later . But it is still an important omen of what may come.

Danny Sullivan update post for content marketing studies

And we shouldn’t be surprised since this has been Google’s primary objective since Day 1 .

Couple that with the fact that most people only read for 15 seconds on your content, leading to scroll maps and heat maps that look like this :

heat maps for content marketing studies

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All that hard work for almost zero real content consumption, and therefore, no brand awareness or development.

I’m not trying to suggest that SEO will disappear. Far from it. After all, Amazon and Voice search both equal SEO.

But we need to start looking at SEO and content in a new light. It’s no longer just text. And it’s no longer even static. Content is becoming more conversational, both through voice search and chatbots .

This is just yet another sign that SERPs have become winner-take-all markets. And ‘good’ content is not enough to survive. So what makes the cut? What is better than “good enough” in today’s market?

Let’s cover a few examples of how companies are standing out.

Check out this customer service resume article by Freshdesk . It covers multiple subsections and targeted keywords in the customer service space. This is a great start. Then, it delivers with detailed content and a free PDF to drive big-time on site and user satisfaction, all while building their brand:

customer service resume article by Freshdesk for content marketing studies

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Want to produce better content? Stop settling for mediocrity. Drive value through depth, content upgrades, and understanding what the user wants to see.

Another stellar example is from SpyFu , a competitive analysis tool. In a blog post about SEO audits , a topic that has been covered more times than you can probably count without going crazy, they vastly improved their value. How? First, they added a table of contents for usability:

blog post about SEO audits for content marketing studies

But that was just a minor step. Then, they took usability to the next level and created a video showcasing how to do it for visual learners and those that want to follow along:

How to do an SEO Audit for content marketing studies

Finally, they were responsive in the comments section answering any and every inquiry:

Responsive comment for content marketing studies

Want better results? You have to go the extra mile as SpyFu did. That means better-formatted content, more formats to consume it, and responding fast.

Conclusion

Content marketing can still provide significant results for your business. If it couldn’t, people wouldn’t still be creating millions of blog posts every day.

But in this hyper-competitive market, with no barrier to entry, anything less than extraordinary will languish in obscurity.

If your content is not amazing, unique, or controversial… don’t bother. Because the odds are literally stacked against you in almost every way possible.

You’re fighting an uphill battle. Where you need to be the one in a million to get noticed.

Guest author: David Zheng is the Founder of Growth Wit  and Wisemerchant  and the Head of Growth at BuildFire . He specializes in growth and content strategies to help influencers, eCommerce brands, venture-backed startups, and Fortune 500 companies grow their traffic and revenue online.

The post Why Good Content Isn’t Enough: Lessons From The Latest Content Marketing Studies appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog .

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Jeffbullass Blog

Search Engine Optimization

A Quick Guide to Google Search Console [Free Guide]

The Hallam team has published ‘A quick guide to Google Search
Console’.

Google Search Console (previously known as Google Webmaster Tools) helps us to learn about how a website is performing, both technically and in terms of visitors.

This
guide covers the following:

  • What is
    Google Search Console?
  • How do I
    sign up for Google Search Console?
  • Navigating
    Google Search Console
  • Performance
  • URL
    inspection.

www.hallaminternet.com/quick-guide-to-search-console/

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Making Money Online

Top 7 Ways To Make Money With Your YouTube Channel

YouTube gets more than one billion unique users per month.

Even if you only get seen by a fraction of a fraction of that audience, you can build a very nice income in 7 different ways, like this:

1: Send traffic to your website.

If your website is built to create income, you can use YouTube to get traffic to your site. Repurpose your older content into videos, and create new videos, too. Place your website URL in the first line of your video descriptions and funnel your new traffic straight to your website.

Killer trick: Inside your video, offer a content upgrade found on your site. For example, if your video teaches how to get clients using LinkedIn, offer an email template on your website that professionals can use to get those clients.

2: Sell your own products.

If you’re creating your own products, such as ebooks, courses, apps, music and so forth, you can use YouTube to promote them.

Add your link to your product in your video’s description so viewer’s can check it out.

3: Make your Kickstarter campaign successful.

If you’ve got a great idea for a product or service but you need funding, create some videos and encourage viewers to comment.

You’ll find out what they like and what needs improving, or if your idea is even viable. Tweak your idea until you get it right, and then launch on Kickstarter.

4: Do affiliate marketing.

There are hundreds of thousands of companies that would love to pay you a commission for sending them buyers.

Review the product you are promoting in a video or create a “how to” use the product tutorial.

Place your affiliate link in the YouTube description to get credit for the sales.

5: Join the YouTube partner program.

When you’re ready, you can make money simply by getting a lot of views by sharing in YouTube’s advertising revenue.

You might create your own YouTube series.

For example, you could do a talk show, drama, comedy or whatever you’re good at. Keep making new episodes and getting people to subscribe.

Or become a personality. If you’re passionate about your interests and love talking about them, why not? You could be the next YouTube star.

6: Create tutorials.

Are you good at teaching? Then show people how to do things, such as apply makeup, build birdhouses, baking cakes and so forth.

Monetize with affiliate links or AdSense or even by linking to your own products.

7: Build your brand and have fun.

Regardless of your niche, or even if you have a niche yet, it’s a great idea to build your brand. Make videos of whatever works to your strengths and interests, have fun and see what works for you. You might even turn yourself, your pet or your child into a star simply by being yourselves and seeing what you can make happen.

And if you start getting tons of views, then you can choose how to monetize your newfound fame and audience.

7 Ways to Get More Views on Your YouTube Videos

There’s no sense in creating videos if no one is ever going to see them, right? Well, unless of course you just like seeing yourself on the screen.

But we’re here to get our videos in front of real viewers, prospects and future customers.

Thus, rule #1 of getting views is simple – do not BUY views. No one will be impressed, including YouTube.

Here’s how you get real people watching and liking your videos:

1: Pay for Views using AdWords

“Pay? Oh no, I don’t want to PAY for viewers!”

I thought I would get this one out of the way first, since many people don’t like to pay to get their content seen. And I understand that, too.

If you don’t know your numbers, or your funnel isn’t even in the black yet, then maybe paying for traffic is something you should do later, once you know for a fact that the traffic will make you money.

But if you have a well-honed funnel system, then your goal is to get qualified prospects into that funnel at a price that is lower than what you will eventually earn.

Make sense?

In other words, if you can pay $1 to make $2, then paying to get your videos seen is a great idea.

And the only way Google and YouTube approves for a pay for view structure is through AdWords. Gee, I wonder why that is…

When you use AdWords, you can get your video to appear in the search results before competing videos. Your video will also appear more often in search results, as well as showing up in the sidebar of “related videos” section on YouTube.

The key is to target the people most likely to become customers. You don’t want to pay for just any viewing audience – you want the folks who will one day spend money with you (and hopefully one day SOON).

Once you determine how to target these exact people with your videos and your AdWords, you are sitting on a perpetual goldmine.

2: Use Social Media

Share your videos on each social platform where you are active.

I know, I know, this one is so obvious. But I see marketers forget to do this all the time.

Be sure to include a message that asks your audience to share the video.

And by the way, there is more to “like, comment and share” than just getting your video to go viral.

Search engines such as Google and YouTube pay attention to the “social signals” that tell them which content is important, engaging or worth sharing.

The social signals and backlinks pointing to your video content can help you rank higher in the search engines.

3: Use Video Tags and Keywords

Be sure to tag specific people or places in your description. If you’re targeting a local market, use your city name and state.

Use popular keywords that are appropriate to get your video to show up in the search results.

Use the names of popular YouTube channels that are related to your video’s content. This will help your video to show up in the ‘related videos’ section for those channels.

Also write a compelling description of your video. Google can’t “read” your video content in the traditional sense, but it can index and understand the text associated with your videos.

And don’t forget your keywords. While ranking for a short, super popular keyword can be difficult, ranking for a longer one is much easier.

Choose a popular keyword phrase (long tail keyword), and then create your video around that keyword. Place the keyword in your title, and your video will likely show up when anyone is searching for that keyword.

4: Add Closed Captioning

Search engines can and do index the closed captioning file you upload to YouTube along with your video. That’s why videos with captions rank higher.

When you upload the optional closed captioning file, the hearing impaired can watch your video, as well as people in noisy environments and those who speak a different language.

This gives an overall better user experience, makes Google happy and gives you better rankings.

5: Get Your Viewers to Subscribe

Every time you upload a new video, your subscribers will be notified, giving you more automatic views each time.

Just don’t use click farms or any of that nonsense. Fake subscribers will hurt your ranking or even get you banned.

6: Swap with Other Channels

Find YouTube channels that are related to what you’re doing and invite their experts or spokespeople to appear in your video.

In return, you appear in one of their videos and now you can cross-promote each other’s channel.

7: Use Attention Grabbing Thumbnails

YouTube lets you choose the image people will see that acts as a video preview in the YouTube search results.

You can either choose an image straight from your video or use something else entirely. It’s good if you can keep consistency from one video to the next, so they all have the same basic look.

For example, a cooking channel might always use a brightly colored graphic art border with the food front and center. A vlogger might use a split image, with a screen capture from the video on one side, and her name and / or the title of the video on the other side.

This way when someone finishes watching one video, it’s very easy for them to pick out more videos in the sidebar listings.

YouTube Q and A

Q. Can you really make money with YouTube?

A. Yes, but unless you’re already a well-known figure, don’t expect it to happen overnight. I’ve seen some estimates on what the biggest YouTube players make, and it’s huge. For example, here’s what the top 10 YouTubers for 2018 made, according to Forbes:

• Logan Paul – $14.5 million

• PewDiePie – $15.5 million

• Jacksepticeye – $16 million

• VanossGaming – $17 million

• Markiplier – $17.5 million

• Jeffree Star – $18 million

• DanTDM – $18.5 million

• Dude Perfect – $20 million

• Jake Paul – $21.5 million

• Ryan of ToysReview – $22 million

Ryan of ToysReview is a 7 year old who – you guessed it – reviews toys. And we’re guessing $22 million buys a LOT of toys.

Logan Paul made news and lost his elite status in the Google Preferred Ads program when he posted a controversial video. He filmed himself in a Japanese forest near what appears to be a human body hanging from a tree – a victim of suicide. Despite being banned for 3 months and losing massive ad revenue, he still made Forbes top 10 list.

And Jeffree Star used his YouTube platform to launch a $100 million dollar makeup line (Jeffree Star Cosmetics.)

Q. Are there requirements to be met before I can get paid for ads (AdSense) attached to my videos?

A. Yes, the requirements have gotten a lot tougher. You’ve got to have over 4,000 hours of watch time on your channel within the past month, and you must also have at least 1,000 subscribers.

Q. Why are the requirements so high? It’s going to take me time to reach 4,000 hours and 1,000 subscribers.

A. The requirements weren’t always this stringent. But tighter ad rules followed a small number of high profile events. For example, certain major advertisers left the platform after their ads were displayed next to videos with predatory comments or hate speech.

YouTube is much more interested in keeping advertisers happy and on board than in worrying about the smaller video makers. Sadly, that’s just the way it is right now. But when you’re starting out, there are plenty of other ways to monetize your videos than with AdSense.

Q. How much can I expect to make through YouTube’s AdSense ads on my videos?

A. As a basic rule, figure you will earn $1,000 per one million views on YouTube. If your videos are getting that kind of viewership, then using the advertising program can make you good money.

Q. Are there better ways to make money on YouTube than by allowing YouTube to place AdSense ads on my videos?

A. Yes, for many YouTubers there are ways to make additional income beyond AdSense or even instead of AdSense.

For example, if it’s appropriate, you might post an affiliate link in your description box. For example, if your videos are on home remodeling, an affiliate link to a Lowe’s or Home Depot kind of website would work well. If you do book reviews, then of course link to the book through your Amazon affiliate link.

Anytime someone clicks your affiliate links and then makes a purchase, you’ll earn small percentage of that purchase.

Q. How else can I monetize my YouTube videos?

A. You might sell digital products, such as ebooks, tutorials, courses and so forth. These might be your products, or you might be acting as an affiliate.

Be sure to read the article, ‘Top 7 Ways to Make Money with Your YouTube Channel’ in this issue.

Q. How do I get people to subscribe to my video channel?

A. Ask them. At the end of every video, ask them to hit the subscribe button so they don’t miss out on the great videos you’re currently creating for them.

If your videos are longer, you might also ask them in the middle of the video, too.

Q. What if a person has a face for radio and or doesn’t like being in videos?

A. Then use a screen capture, slideshow or some other means of creating videos. Do not let your fear or dislike of being in front of a camera stop you from profiting from videos.

And don’t think you have to be movie star beautiful or handsome to be in videos, either. Personality and great content are far more important and valuable than just a pretty face.

Q. I’m just starting on YouTube. How often should I post videos?

A. 2 to 3 times per week, even if you don’t have an audience yet.

Why? Because that is how you will get an audience and ensure you have a steady stream of views.

And it’s also how you get better at making videos. Guaranteed, your 20th video is going to be far better than your first one.

Read the rest of this article in “The Internet Marketing newsletter”

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