Google trend is a tool that every online entrepreneur should know. The program offers a large number of possibilities for keyword research. Combining a keyword suggestion tool and the search results in Google can lead to valuable insights. We would like to teach you how we use google trends, the possibilities, and what you should pay attention to.
What can google trends do?
In google trends, you can easily compare different keywords. Google has many data about search volumes and gives this data away in Google trends for free. In the tool, you can also easily see in which areas a keyword is popular. A good example is, for example, a comparison between different football clubs. When we put PSV, Feyenoord, Ajax, and FC Groningen in comparison, we see that it is clear to see where the interest comes from.
Google trends for online marketers
The comparison also shows which search terms or related search terms are rising fast and which search terms are popular. Even the related searches are neatly displayed in the overview. If a large increase is expected, this will also be displayed. As shown above, the results are also quite easy to find as HTML shortcode and put it on a website. The great thing about this is that the data will automatically adjust to the current state of affairs.
The search results can be filtered by country, but also by period. The data from google trends go back to 2004. The trends can also be viewed in google images, news, shopping, and youtube.
In addition to comparing keywords, google trends are also used to display trends. At the time of writing, there is a major fire going on in Loosdrecht. This is immediately reflected in google trends. The keyword “Brand Loosdrecht” has gone from 0 to 20k + searches in 1 day, an opportunity for companies that produce news.
How do you use google trends?
You do not need an account to use Google trends. Google trends are freely accessible to anyone who enters trends.google.nl in the URL bar. It is good to know that there are several pages in google trends, some of which have reasonable overlap. At the top left is a menu with which the pages can be viewed. The homepage provides some examples and the option to enter your own search term to view the developments. The video of year in search from google can also be seen here. In the video, Google gives an overview of the most searched words and events. The trending page is also featured on the homepage. Here you can find the current trends and greatest growth in certain keywords.
If you continue to explore, you will see suggestions provided. You also have the option to enter your own keyword here. Although it is possible to enter keywords for inspection or comparison on almost every page, the explore page is specially made for this.
The trending page is a daily overview of the most important daily search trends. This overview can be filtered per country, and there is also the option to subscribe to a feed. When you subscribe to a feed, you’ll get the main keyword trends in your mailbox once in a while (depending on how you set it up).
Further pages in google trends are the year in search page where you get an overview of the past year, and there is an option to adjust the subscription settings. These pages are less relevant for our internet marketing geeks.
How do you determine whether a keyword is good?
Different keywords have synonyms, but often also multiple meanings. Once you have planned your content on a large list and categorized everything, you can start writing your first article. In our case, the first article we wrote was, “More sales with your current site.” We started with this because our site is still quite young, so Google will never put us at the top of the search results on a keyword like “SEO.” To do this, we must first prove that we can produce relevant content on small keywords. Now we are indeed at the top of the keyword “More sales with your current site” and some related keywords such as “more sales with your current site.”
Nice, but not a great performance, given the low volume on the keyword (about 10-50 per month). Once this page has built up a bit more authority, we hope that the page will also rank for “more online sales.” The search volumes here are already a lot higher.
Then, of course, the question remains, when is a keyword good? Difficult to determine because keywords are a bit of the past. Since Google Rankbrain was introduced, we see that the exact keyword matters less and less.
Search queries are much more important and do not focus on the specific words but on the search intent. Good keywords are always words around a theme that has not been declining for years. Examples of such keywords are Hyves, iPhone 4. Still, even the keyword “Internet marketing” is on the decline and is being taken over by “Online marketing.” This is clearly visible in google trends when you put the two keywords next to each other.
Compare different keywords
Have you done your keyword research but are you not quite sure which keyword to focus on? Then Google Trends is definitely the solution to your problem. In the program, various trends can be compared, and you get a nice visual overview of which keyword you can best target based on search volume. You also have to take into account that keywords are becoming less important. A searcher’s query (or search intent) is much more important.
An example is keyword Internet marketing or online marketing. It won’t make much difference to Google, which of the two keywords you use as long as your page is valuable enough. This is because Google now knows which words mean practically the same.
How do we use google trends?
Google trends are used a lot with us. It is mainly to compare the difference between different keywords and see if keywords are very regional and to see if keywords are increasing or decreasing in volume. We personally are not a big fan of keywords where the volume is decreasing. However, we jump on top of rising keywords as quickly as possible, especially when we see many volumes and little competition. We never actually use google’s daily trends. Since we are not a news site, our articles will never rank overnight.
Content for SEO, is it all? Three pillars are described in Search engine optimization (SEO). Technology, authority, and content. A question that often comes up is: What should I do for each pillar.
I answered precisely this question in my thesis on search engine optimization factors. I went in search of the golden formula of search engine optimization by doing data analysis. In this data analysis, thousands of sites were compared to find the position’s predictive factors on a particular keyword.
You can read how you can do Technology, Authority, and Content work to rank higher in search engines in the article. A search engine optimization model is also discussed that can help in understanding a search engine and provides starting points for optimization.
It is interesting to see that the three pillars mentioned above all contribute to a better search engine position. Elements of the content, technology, and authority pillars that are also addressed in the conceptual model all have different influences.
We see that the Domain rating has the strongest influence on the search results.
The presence of the main keyword also has a strong influence. What would matter less (at least with our dataset) is the number of words. It seems there is a minimal amount of words to rank uberhoupt in the search results. During the investigation, few pages came up containing less than 600 words.
The speed (speed score) and the number of requests jointly have the lowest weighting. They are, therefore, matters that have less influence than the authority and content. The conceptual model states that the first step for a well-performing website is a good technical basis to be indexed. It seems that technology is indeed nothing more than that—a base. The data does not show a ranking factor that will make a page outperform a competing page.
Although the number of referring domains has only a low influence, we see that the domain rating does have a strong influence. So we can conclude that the number of links to a page is much less relevant than the quality of the links. This is also not surprising. The periodic table of SEO model already indicated that buying or spamming with links will not make a site perform better.
Link spam can even negatively affect the position of a page.
Content for SEO
With content, we see several relevant things. The theoretical framework has already shown that tf * idf is one method used to understand what a page is about. The method compared words on a page with how often words appear on the internet in total.
This method can determine what is likely the main subject of a web page. We therefore also see that the percentage of the text that consists of the keyword influences the ranking.
What we also see is that it matters whether the keyword is present in the domain name or not. Overall, we can conclude that the use of words on a page and titles and descriptions is an important part of the algorithm. It is interesting to note that the number of words has little or no influence. One of the hypotheses was that a page that was longer contains more information and is therefore better.
This does not seem to be the case.
Content for SEO is everything. Earlier, we wrote about the different theories and models that have been made. These models can be found here: SEO models.
The results of the research make it clear that every model is right. The LYONSCG model shows that a domain’s indexability must first be focused, then the content must be optimized. Then a website owner can focus on building authority.
This structure occurs in the same order in the conceptual model.
The conceptual model shows that the website must have good technology and the right content. When this is done, a site will be placed in the Google index. The rankings can then be influenced by increasing authority.
Although this order is not mentioned by the periodic table of SEO success factors or the MOZ ranking factors model, we see that the models’ content is comparable.
What does Google Quality Readers Guideline say?
The Quality readers Guideline from Google is a document in which a website must meet the requirements shown in Google’s eyes. The document contains more than 100 pages that indicate what is good and what is not good on a site. This document has been analyzed to become clear what Google wants to focus on when it comes to search engine optimization.
A similar conclusion can be drawn when looking at the Google Quality readers guidelines (Google, 2019b) and the google webmaster support answers (Google, nd). We see that in these documents, indexing is first looked at. An initial index is built up based on the words on a page, and only later on, additional factors play a role.
It is interesting to see that Google writes that it is important whether a word appears in the URL. The research showed that a keyword in the permalink causes a lower ranking. Still, it is wise to mention the keyword. As discussed earlier, it is likely that if a website does not have the keyword in the permalink, it would not appear in the top 100 at all.
Recommendations for better rankings in search results
For any online marketer or entrepreneur who wants to score better, it is advisable to go through the conceptual model. Owners of new websites would do well to start with a good technical foundation. This means Clean code, a clear structure, and a good sitemap so that the site can be optimally indexed by Google. Also, start with a domain name that contains one of the most important keywords. This helps rank on these words.
When the technical basis state, the site must be filled with content. The research showed that the length of the content has no influence on the position of Google. However, the quality of the content does have an influence. Research a specific keyword because only the best information is put at the top by Google.
It is also important to target one keyword per text. Keyword density is an important factor that determines how high a text will appear in the search results. Texts that focus on multiple keywords will mention the main keyword less and, therefore, become less high.
However, the periodic table of SEO success factors shows that “stuffing” can negatively influence. So do not overdo the use of a keyword, but only put the keyword in the text to make sense.
When the content is present for all the keywords a site should score on, it is important to create authority on the web. This can be done by looking for other websites that want to link to the website. Look for websites that already have authority in a particular field. Only with these high-quality links will the website be higher in the search results.
For quick success, an entrepreneur is better off looking for a different way of marketing. Creating a website takes a lot of time. There is quite a steep learning curve associated with search engine optimization. The advantage of this way of attracting attention is that it does not have to cost much and provide a gigantic reach.
The rapid profit in search engine optimization mainly in obtaining quality links. These are links from websites that are frequently linked to. When looking for link partners, pay attention to the number of links they receive. A strong link partner is a website that has many inbound but few outbound links.
What is the crawl budget?
A search engine spider or crawler works with a certain crawl budget. It costs money to index a site. The smaller the site, the less often the crawler will visit because the crawl budget is still small. Technically bad websites need more crawl budget for the crawler to find the right information.
How do you get a bigger crawl budget?
A larger crawl budget can ensure that the site is indexed better or faster. So it is nice to have a more crawl budget. A site’s crawl budget is tied to the domain authority. So you will have to increase your domain authority if you want a higher crawl budget. You do this by getting more backlinks to your site.
You can start with link building, but you can also focus on writing better content. If your articles on the site are good, the links will come naturally.
What is a featured snippet?
The zero position in google (still above the regular search results) gives a short answer to the search question. This is called the Featured snippet.
In 2019 it was still possible to acquire the featured snippet in combination with a top 10 position. Nowadays, that is no longer possible, and you only get the featured snippet.
Still, it is useful to optimize your site for the featured snippet. You can already get the zero position if you are somewhere in the top 10 but have the best answer. For example, you can go from position 10 to 1 in one fell swoop without your website is the best.
Optimize your site for the featured snippet:
Your answer must meet several requirements before it can become a featured snippet. The most important thing is that the answer is in the correct form (a list, summary, or table) and that it is the best answer that can be found online.
What is Site Authority
The authority of a website is about the impact a site has on the web. It’s the power a site has to rank high. More links to a website help the site gain greater authority, but the quality of links is also very important.
Ways to Check the Authority of a Site
There are several tools to check the authority of your site. For example, you can try one of the following:
Each tool will give you a different value. You cannot compare the values of mutual tools because they do not check the same. So if you want to compare two sites, you have to use the same tool to check the authority.
Increase the domain authority
The best way to increase your authority is to create quality content and move in social media to reach the maximum number of people. In this way, people start to link to our website. Another web link is as if we are recommending, and the more “recommendations,” the more authority.
Of course, the more DA websites have to link us, the greater the authority to win. If only small links authority sites, our ranking could be negatively affected.
What is the bounce rate
The bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave a web page without interacting.
A high bounce rate can mean two things:
- The site is doing well; people view the site, have the information they need, and then leave the site.
- The site is not doing well; people view the site and decide to leave immediately because they do not feel they can find the right information.
Is a high bounce rate bad?
A high bounce rate is often seen as bad, but a high bounce rate is quite normal in many industries. Websites that provide information often have a bounce rate of 80-90%. However, these sites can still perform well.
How do you lower the bounce rate?
You don’t always have to lower your bounce rate. If customers find the information they are looking for, that may be enough. If you still want a lower bounce rate because you think it is better, you can try the following things:
- Make sure that people are presented with clear next action. An example could be adding a call to action on a page so that users know that they need to take a different action after reading the article or page.
- Refer to other pages within your site that are relevant.
- Improve site speed. If a site doesn’t load, people will leave the site faster. This is also a bounce.
- Use videos. Research shows that users are 2.5x more likely to click through your site if it contains videos.
At the beginning of 2020, I wrote my thesis on search engine optimization ranking factors. One of the parts of this thesis was an explanation of how a search engine works.
How does indexing work? How do keywords work, and how does the SERP work?
All these topics were explained briefly. In this article, you will find the results of this research, and I will show you exactly how a search engine works.
Search engine optimization can be done in different ways. Little scientific literature is available that is still relevant. Search engines are constantly changing, and with each update of the algorithm, previously written literature becomes less relevant.
Hundreds of small updates are made to the algorithm every year.
Typically, between 5 and 10 major updates are made per year that measurably affect search results (Google Algorithm Update History, 2019). The larger updates to the algorithm are called core algorithm updates. (Sullivan, 2019)
Entrepreneurs who maintain their own sites do not have to worry about these updates. The updates are all made with one goal: To provide the best results for a particular search query. An entrepreneur who focuses on providing the user with the best possible service will, therefore, experience little inconvenience from the updates.
The entrepreneur needs to know how he makes a site that is as relevant as possible; there are various theories and models about this. Understanding the algorithm is also important so that a site can be made so that it can be properly placed in the index by a search engine.
“If a core algorithm update can wipe out your performance, you were *always* doing it wrong / not good enough. You were just getting away with it.”(Alderson, 2019, pp. 1–3)
Indexing in a search engine
If we want to know how a website can be optimized for google, it is useful to first know how Google works.
When a user searches for information on the web, he does not search the internet. Still, he searches within the index of Google (Google, nd). This index is made with software programs called spiders. A spider starts on a website with a few pages and looks on those pages to see what information can be found.
This information is stored in google’s index. Then the spider looks at the links that are present on the pages. The spider continues to the referenced pages, indexes them again, and continues with the links contained within those pages.
The spider is aided by sitemaps (Google) placed on websites by website administrators. A sitemap states which pages are present where. The sitemap helps the spider to crawl through a website efficiently.
The resulting index contains millions of pages. This index is the basis of a search.
Searches in a search engine
When a user types in the search query in google, the words that are typed in are looked at, the index looks at which pages contain the words that are typed (Shehata, S., Karray, F., & Kamel, MS 2016).
A search query may return thousands of pages where the word is present.
The search engine will then have to provide an overview of the most relevant pages. The search engine does this by testing the pages against the algorithm. The algorithm is some questions that are answered, such as:
- How many times does the word appear on the page
- Does the word occur in the title
- the word occurs in the URL
- synonyms of the word are used
- the page comes from a reliable source (domain)
- what is the page rank of the page
The latter factor, the page rank, is determined by looking at how many websites link to the page and how important those websites are (Avrachenkov, K., & Litvak, N., 2006). In addition to these example factors, there are many more factors that are included.
Google indicates that more than 200 factors in total are being looked at (Luh, CJ, Yang, SA, & Huang, TLD, 2016). Not every factor has the same weighting, so in search engine optimization, it is advisable to emphasize the heaviest weighting factors.
The ranking factors are applied to the websites that answer the initial questions. It is then determined which page is most likely to match the search query.
Display the search results
The results of the searches are displayed in the SERP. This is the overview of pages that are relevant to the search query.
Each page in the search results contains the title, URL, and a summary or snippet of the text. This ensures that the user can determine whether a certain result is relevant to him or her. You will find queries relevant to the user as the next query at the bottom of the search results.
Sometimes ads will also appear in search results. They are always above the organic search results. Additional functions recently added are:
- Relevant images
- Featured snippet (a box that provides an immediate answer)
- Section with questions that were also asked
The search algorithm has an extra function, understanding the search query. Many words have double meanings. Google needs to understand these double meanings because otherwise, irrelevant keywords may be displayed based on the wrong meaning.
An example of this is the word “late”. In the example that Google gives in the explanation about algorithms, it concerns the search questions:
- What time is it in Tokyo?
- Let the sun in your heart
- Where do I leave my old bicycle?
As can be seen, the word is used with different meanings. A time indication in the search query what time it is in a specific place. In this search query, the word is part of song lyrics and a query where the word should be left out because it is not a keyword.
When this part of the search is resolved, the search is only compared to index pages, so only the relevant pages are included in this process. The keywords that remain after the intent is determined to form the basis of the index search.
This is done based on the algorithm’s ranking factors discussed earlier.
The first factors to consider are the words on the page. Then interaction data is looked at. (Hatch, 2018)This data is the historical data of searchers. If it has previously been found that people were presented with a page that they quickly left again, the page will be displayed less quickly during the next search. This data helps estimate relevance based on user data and interaction with pages.
The algorithm also looks at what the user is looking for. A search that is clearly information related will show long articles. A search that shows that another form of information such as a video or images is a better match will yield different results.
Finally, the query’s language is looked at, and priority is given to information available in the same language.
If it is clear which pages match the search query, it is important to rank these pages. Hundreds of factors are used to determine which page is most relevant. We look at how old the content is (Soulo, 2019), the number of times the search query occurs in the text, and whether the page can be used by users, for example, by looking at the bounce rate page picking.
Finally, all pages that are misleading by mentioning a keyword too often, buying page rank, or clearly containing spam are filtered from the search results.
When a user then clicks on one of the search results, the user’s interaction is measured. This information is included as part of the algorithm. The user data tells google whether the page it recommended was relevant to the user.
How do search terms work
A search term is also called a search query. It refers to the input that users give to the search engine to arrive at certain information. A search term usually contains a word that describes what the searcher is looking for, combining it with a word that indicates the search intent. Some examples are:
- Buying shoes
- How old is Donald Trump?
- How does a search engine work?
Each of these questions asked in the search engine can be asked in different ways. When we look at the search term “how old is Donald Trump,” this becomes clear.
Search queries like
- “Donald Trump Age”,
- “Trump Age”
- “Donald Trump How Old?”
Are equal to each other.
The information required is the same. Thus, the search engine will cluster these queries, and the search results will be comparable.
Yet, in such an example, there is a difference in the pages that come up. Pages that contain the keywords “how old” score better on questions that use exactly those words.
Pages containing the word “age” score better on the query that contains the wordage.
Precisely for that reason, many online marketers look at keyword search volumes. This is called Keyword Research. Keyword research is finding keywords with sufficient search volume and where there is little competition.
In the past, keyword research has been very abused. A painter who wanted to score well wrote texts about the painter, painters, painter costs, painter price, etc. Each variant of a keyword was given its own text in which that word then appeared very often. This was seen by Google, and several algorithm updates were rolled out to counter this.
The panda update was rolled out in February 2011, followed by the hummingbird update in August 2013. These updates ensured that keyword variants were clustered. The update also ensures that pages that were written purely to fool the algorithm no longer surfaced.
Keyword research is still useful. When creating a page, it is useful to know how much traffic the page can theoretically bring in for a site owner. However, the exact data is not given by google.
Therefore, the amount of traffic that can be brought in with a keyword can be estimated but cannot be determined exactly.
In addition to keyword research, a lot of attention is paid to the second part of many searches. The search intent. There are three search intentions:
- Informational searches: the user is looking for specific information. This can be a review, knowledge, or comparison. Often informational searches start with who, what, where, why, how, or when.
- Navigational searches: Searches where the searcher is looking for a specific site or page are called navigational searches. An example could be Facebook.
- Transactional searches: When there is a purchase intention, we speak of transactional searches. Examples are buying shoes, renting a car, or cheap airline tickets. Also, searches where there is no direct purchase intention, are categorized under transactional searches. In this case, search queries contain, for example, the words: Review or compare.
The search intent indicates what type of page a user is looking for. A page of information is not valuable to a user who simply wants to buy something. Similarly, a sales page is a nuisance for someone looking for information. So when creating a page, it’s important to understand a combination of a keyword and a search intent. (White, RW, Richardson, M., & Yih, WT 2015, May).
When you start with affiliate marketing, you are dizzy with the things you have to do. In reality, we don’t have much time to promote our online activities. Simply because other activities often have more priority.
4 steps in 4 hours
The question is actually: ‘How can you set up a reasonable affiliate marketing strategy with the smallest possible investment in time and energy?’ An investment that is at least enough to have some impact.
I started with that question and set up a mini affiliate marketing strategy consisting of 4 steps. And that together, when you get into this routine, shouldn’t take more than four hours. How often you repeat the steps depends on your needs.
Don’t have 4 hours to spend on your website now? Then hire an Adwords specialist to set up an Adwords campaign for you. Keep in mind that this costs a few hundred euros per month, and its impact will stop once you stop paying.
What about an SEO specialist?
When an SEO specialist optimized the website, and you started to receive more visitors are already several years behind us. There is now so much content available online that a distinction must be made mainly regarding content. Besides, we will also look at what happens after a visitor comes to your website within the mini affiliate marketing strategy.
Step 1: Analyze
This is a relatively simple but important step because the analysis gives us the information we need in the following steps.
There are several ways to analyze your website. There are statistics systems such as Google Analytics, tools that record your visitors, such as Hotjar. There is the Search Console from Google, and there are services that keep an eye on which position your website can be seen on Google.
These are super exciting tools for when you’re a full-time internet marketer. We only have four hours for all four steps for this mini affiliate marketing strategy. We’re focusing on one system, and that’s the most used of all: Google Analytics.
Google Analytics offers a lot of data. Much of that data is only interesting when you view it in a particular context. For our next steps, we want to know a few things:
Number of visitors
By looking at the number of visitors compared to previous periods, we learn whether our affiliate marketing strategy is paying off or not. The real indicator lies, of course, in the number of contact moments, quotation requests, growth in new members, or registrations for the newsletter. But the growth in this starts with an increase in the number of visitors.
To see if there is an upward trend in the number of visitors, it is best to go to the ‘Target group’ and then to ‘Overview’. You will immediately see a graph with the number of unique visitors per day. You must look at a longer period, for example, 30 days or three months. Especially then, you can clearly see whether there is an increase. See the period set at the top right.
Average time on a page
This tells you which content resonates with visitors to your website. Visitors do not read, scroll, or avoid pages with a lot of text that is often assumed. However, practice and research into this show the opposite. When visitors are interested, they want to read as much as possible before taking the next step.
When you go to ‘Behavior’ in Google Analytics and then to ‘Site content’ and then click on ‘All pages,’ you will see the’ Avg. Time on pages’.
By default, this overview is set to the ten most popular pages. I would leave this sorting as it is. Depending on your website’s amount of content, you can increase the displayed pages within Google Analytics.
High bounce rate
A bounce is when a visitor from Google goes to your page and returns to Google (presumably not finding what they are looking for). This tells you which content does not work or at least fails to persuade visitors to click further.
You can also find the bounce rate on the content overview in the column ‘Bounce rate.’
We should now have an idea of good and less good content, and we know whether what we are doing has any success. We will take this information to the next steps.
Step 2: Optimize
We have to lead the visitors we get to our website to a specific goal. This can be registration, a request for quotation, or the download of a brochure. We also call the navigation towards such a goal a marketing/sales funnel.
But don’t let this term intimidate you. A website is quite simple. They are HTML pages with links to other HTML pages. Our visitors click from page to page. By responding to the visitor’s needs, we can show him or her the correct information and thus persuade them to click further. That, in a nutshell, is the affiliate marketing/sales funnel of your website.
Why not just one page with a button ‘Request a quote?’ On the homepage. Because as humans, we are suspicious, and we must first be convinced.
A car salesman does not approach you with a contract in hand as soon as you walk into the showroom. First, your interest is aroused, you have explained the advantages of that model, you can sit in the car or take a test drive and then have a cup of coffee with the seller.
This is quite a process, and your website can work the same way.
First, arouse the interest, on the next page explain more and show the benefits, show examples of other customers, and then offer a cup of coffee, eh newsletter.
Just as the car salesman has a certain process in mind, you can also use this process on your website. However, that does not mean that the visitor must necessarily follow this. Everybody is different.
An affiliate marketing sales funnel can look like this:
- Blog article. You arouse the interest of the customer and immediately show that you are knowledgeable.
- Cases. You show examples that give the customer the idea: ‘I want that too.’ The case reference ‘proves’ that you are a reliable partner. The visitor wants to know more about you or your company.
- The ‘About us’ page. You will tell us about what makes you unique. You can gain extra trust by showing the people behind the organization or showing certificates or awards that have been obtained.
- Contact page. Here you show how you can be reached. This also creates trust and makes the threshold for requesting a quote lower.
When creating the funnel pages, also look at the information we collected in step 1. We would rather not see the pages with a high bounce rate on our website, let alone in our funnel.
The pages that are read well, so with a high average time on the page, we would like to put in the affiliate marketing sales funnel.
- Each step in your funnel should have one clear call-to-action button. Preferably, it should be at the bottom of the page and have a clear design. You can place multiple calls-to-actions, but it is wise to send the visitor to one next step.
- Set up each page within your funnel with a clear visitor in mind and consider what question that visitor has at that moment. Do you notice that the page also serves all kinds of other questions or visitors? Create extra pages for this.
- Remove as much noise as possible. Let the visitor focus on the content of that step and the call-to-action button to the next step. We are quickly inclined to want to tell everything. Sometimes this is because we are enthusiastic about our products or services. We often also see that different departments within an organization want to promote a product or service as prominently as possible. Watch out for this. Anyone can get a place on the website, but this should not be at the visitor’s expense.
- Make the page a pleasure to read—clear headlines, a pleasant layout, a picture every now and then, or a bullet list. Naturally packaged in a clear design that also looks good on a mobile or tablet.
Step 3: Create content
As you can see in the affiliate marketing sales funnel, I start with a blog article. That is not without reason. A visitor (unfortunately) usually does not come to your website because of the description of your product.
The visitor is usually not actively looking for that information. The visitor is busy solving his or her own problems and probably doesn’t know much about your product or service yet.
That is why we need to bridge the gap between visitors’ problems and the affiliate marketing sales funnel you would like the visitor to go to.
That requires some empathy, but you can start with the questions that visitors are already asking in many cases. They often put this to sales or help desk employees, so they usually know the customer’s problems. Based on this information, you can often already write dozens of articles. You usually see that even more ideas emerge from starting.
Write these ideas for content in a document, share it with colleagues, and use it to keep an overview of the content you have already created and that you want to create.
Tips to make your content even more effective:
- Use a question in your title. As humans, we’re naturally curious and are more likely to click on a title with a question because we want to know the answer.
- Showcase your knowledge and make your content substantive. In practice, I regularly see our clients use copywriters who produce short, easy to read articles. However, the question is whether this fits with your target group. Who Google on technical terms, and is looking for a partner with expertise.
- Make sure the visitor clicks further. Preferably to the next step in your funnel, of course. (See step 2) To provide a clear call-to-action button towards that next step.
Step 4: Promote
The content you have created can not only be used as a magnet for Google users, but you can also distribute it through other media to reach even more people.
Think of a newsletter that you send out once every few weeks to collect your created content. Also, posts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc. in which you report your new content. Tools such as Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor make setting up your newsletter incredibly simple.
Once you have chosen a template, it is a matter of title, intros, and a picture copy and pastes, and your newsletter can be sent out.
Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer help you to quickly post your posts on social media, leaving you time for other things.
Which social media platform you are active on mainly depends on your target group, what content you create, and what product or service you offer.
Not a social media fan at all? No problem, there is really no obligation to be active on this. In fact, many companies and organizations are withdrawing or focusing on one or two platforms.
When the newsletter is out and your social media posts have been sent, the affiliate marketing activities are over.
Good luck, and if you have any questions regarding this article? Then I’d be happy to answer them below in the comment section.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the world’s most famous analysis program has received a new, major update. With the introduction of the event-driven data model, the end of the bounce rate in Google Analytics, easier cross-platform measurement, and more. I share the most important innovations in this article.
Google Analytics 4 is the latest major makeover from Google Analytics. It was on trial as the ‘App + Web’ beta since July 2019, but now Google is bringing it as the new standard. Everyone will have to learn how to work with it because Google Analytics 4 is intended to replace the current Universal Analytics (UA) in a while.
Users + sessions vs. the event-driven data model
The biggest change is at the core, namely how Analytics measures the website. In contrast to UA, Google Analytics 4 works with the event-driven data model, which has many consequences for how your website is measured.
Previously, Google measured everything via sessions, linked to user data. User data is data about the user that collects analytics from cookies or from your browser settings, such as age, gender, or location. Sessions are the collected events in a visit, such as page views, downloads, or purchases. Google collects all this data and processes it in neat graphs and tables.
For many websites, this method of measurement still works fine. However, with the rise of mobile apps and single page sites, tracking sessions and pageviews are no longer always the best way to measure a visitor experience.
Important measures such as bounce rates in Google Analytics, time on page, and pages per session are all based on this data. While apps, games, and video players often do not load separate pages. So you immediately miss a lot of valuable data here. More and more websites are also being built on a single page with tabs or other solutions.
Previously, most user-friendly solutions did not always give the best figures. That problem is now being addressed with Google Analytics 4.
Google Analytics 4 changes and the event-driven data model
The new way of measuring disconnects sessions and pageviews from each other. Instead, it measures in a series of events, with each Google Analytics event passing additional information via Google Analytics parameters.
This resolves a major annoyance for many marketers: the number of ‘eyes’ is no longer leading. More emphasis will be placed on valuable visits and interactions.
What are the parameters, and how do I use them?
Parameters are the data that is measured during these new events and sent to Google Analytics. An example: a scroll through the page is measured as an event. The corresponding parameter is Percent_scrolled, which is how many percent of the page was scrolled. Depending on the type of event, other parameters are included. Incidentally, a scroll will become one of the most important new measurement points in Google Analytics 4.
More benefits of Google Analytics 4
In addition to the event-driven data model, other new functions have been presented for Google Analytics 4. In fact, all these functions have the same effect: your figures reflect the modern consumer better and more clearly.
Managing target groups has become easier.
Google Analytics 4 makes it easier to create audiences based on what users have done on your site. For example, based on the collected data, you can soon automatically group visitors into people who are likely to return to your website within 7 days and people for whom this is unlikely.
The power of programmatic advertising, but from your own data.
The end of the bounce rate
Do you measure engagement now? Then you often include the bounce rate here. But this has been replaced by ‘Engaged sessions’ in Google Analytics 4. To comply with such a session, the visitor must meet at least one of the following conditions:
- They have the website/app open for at least 10 seconds in the foreground.
- They have activated a ‘conversion.’ You decide what this is and is comparable to UA’s ‘Goals.’
- They have run 2 or more ‘page view/screen view’ events.
This provides new statistics. Like:
- Engagement rate (Engaged sessions/sessions)
- Engaged sessions per user (engaged sessions/users)
- Engagement time = (sum of engaged time)
No more unnecessary clicks to other pages. The bounce rate can (finally!) Go to the trash.
You can now measure cross-platform campaigns.
Do you have a website and an app? Then you can now link the data sources of both to each other. This is called Google Analytics data streams. This allows you to really measure how well your campaigns are working.
The analysis hub is now available for free.
The analytics hub collects many reports that you can customize with segments, dimensions, and metrics. You will also find the well-known path, funnel, and segment analysis reports here.
Switching to Google Analytics 4
It started with this message in Google Analytics: “We are introducing a new version of Google Analytics that allows you to collect exactly those insights that are essential for a decisive future. You can use the new version of Google Analytics by setting up a Google Analytics 4 property (formerly App & web property).”
The first shock reaction is, fortunately, far behind me. We have since migrated several websites to GA4. This article is intended to help you get over that first bump as well. So you don’t have to postpone the upgrade for you.
I will first discuss some common questions about GA4. And then go through step by step what to do with the upgrade.
Google Analytics 4 currently works alongside the old version (Universal Analytics)
Under the hood, Google Analytics 4 is completely different. The data model of Google Analytics 4 is so different that you cannot transfer your current data to the new version. Google Analytics 4 will, therefore, not continue in your current property. The upgrade opens an additional property in addition to the one you already have.
After the upgrade, you will have two versions of Google Analytics on your website: Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics. Both versions of Google Analytics collect their own data. In your old property, you just pick up where you left off. In your new property, you start all over again with collecting data. Both versions are currently running side by side.
Can Google Analytics 4 already replace the old version?
After the upgrade, you can continue to use your old Universal Analytics property. And that is really handy for the time being. Not only does GA4 contain no historical data at all. The reporting interface in Google Analytics 4 is pretty stripped down. Here and there, there are still features that you might have been used to using in Universal Analytics.
Here are some examples of features and reports not currently available in the new Google Analytics:
- Create dashboards
- Bounce Rate
- Reports for searches on your site
- Site speed reports
- Integration with Google Search Console
- Multiple views per property
Some functions may be discontinued. Other functions may return in a different form or be replaced by a different technology. In the coming period, Google promises to invest heavily in the further development of GA4. But at the moment, the new version lacks some important features and reports that Universal Analytics does have.
Why upgrade to GA4 now?
With Google Analytics 4, you start all over again, without historical data. Google Analytics 4 is still under development, and features are still missing. Why should you upgrade anyway?
Think of this time as a transition period. Further development of Google Analytics will only take place in version 4. In time, Google Analytics 4 will, therefore, become more and more complete and attractive.
The sooner you start collecting data, the better.
Upgrading now means that you will already start building historical data in Google Analytics 4 for the moment you want to switch.
Are you curious about how switching works? Below is a step-by-step instruction on how to upgrade your Google Analytics properties to Google Analytics 4.
Step 1. Upgrade to GA4
To start upgrading, go to Google Analytics management. Then you open the property you want to upgrade. Click here ‘Upgrade to GA4’.
Click on the button ‘Get started’ and then click on ‘Create property’.
Congratulations, your new Google Analytics property has now been created!
Step 2. Place the new tracking code on your website
The next step is to place the new tracking code. To do this, open the Installation Assistant and go to ‘Tag installation’.
You will now be forwarded to your website data streams. Your website data stream is already ready. Open it.
If you install GA4 via Google Tag Manager, copy the Measurement ID here. You can also continue to work without Google Tag Manager. In this case, use the tracking code under ‘Global site tag (gtag.js)’ and have it placed on your website by your web builder.
Open your website’s Google Tag Manager container to place GA4. Create a new tag of type GA4 configuration. Enter the Measurement ID and place the tag on all pages.
Note: In this step, you mustn’t change the old tags and tracking codes. You add the new code and just leave the old one. This way, you can continue to use GA4 and Universal Analytics side by side.
Step 3. Check the property settings
Go to the property settings and check if the time zone and currency settings are correct.
Step 4. Set up Google Analytics following the AVG
Please note this is not legal advice. No rights can be derived from the tips in this article. For a complete step-by-step plan to set up Google Analytics under the GDPR.
GA4 has many new settings to better protect the privacy of the end-user. For this article, I will limit myself to one important new setting that you want to check in any case. That’s because “Sharing data for advertising purposes” has been replaced by “Enable data collection by Google signals.”
This setting can be found under Data settings »Collect data. To prevent your new GA4 property from accidentally placing ad cookies, make sure this setting is off.
By the way, IP anonymization is set by default in GA4. You do not have to adjust the tracking code required with Universal Analytics in your Google Analytics 4 property.
Step 5. Set up conversions in Google Analytics 4
From Universal Analytics, you are probably used to setting up conversions via a thank you page. In this step, I’ll show you how to transfer these conversions to your GA4 property.
Go to the ‘All events’ report in your Google Analytics 4 property and choose ‘Create event’ and click on ‘Create’.
Enter the name of your conversion here. In my case, I choose ‘contact form_supplied’.
After that, set up the thank you page. You need the parameter ‘page_location’ for this. Take your thank you page from your Universal Analytics property. In my case, I choose ‘Starts with https://loreleiweb.com/contact/thankyou’.
Note: GA4 works with full URLs. If you create a condition with ‘Starts with’ or ‘Equals’, then you must include the domain name (including the ‘https: //’ part) when completing your thank you page.
Then visit the thank you page again and test your GA4 property’s real-time report to see if this event went through.
Finally, in your GA4 property, you go to ‘Conversions’ and then to ‘New conversion event’.
Enter the event name you chose earlier in this step. For me, that is ‘contact form_filled’. From now on, conversions are measured. Check again after one day whether conversions are properly entered in your report.
Step 6. Filter internal traffic
Under ‘Administration’, go to ‘Data Streams’ and click on your website to set up internal traffic filtering.
Scroll all the way down and click on ‘Tagging settings’. Then click to define internal traffic.
Create a new rule for each location you want to filter.
To activate the filter, we then go to ‘Data settings’ in GA4 management. Click to ‘data filters’.
Open the ‘Internal Traffic’ filter. By default, this filter is set to ‘Test mode’. Scroll down, select ‘Active,’ and press ‘Save’ to activate the filter.
Step 7. Migrate events
In this step, I’ll show you how to bring Universal Analytics events into your new GA4 property. You will need Google Tag Manager for this step. You could skip this step if you weren’t already using events in Universal Analytics.
The migration procedure is roughly the same for each event.
Copy the tag from the menu at the top right:
We are only going to adjust the tag settings. The trigger remains unchanged. Choose the GA4 event as the tag type.
Edit the name and select the Configuration tag you created in step 2 of this article.
Now enter an event name. In this case, I chose the name ‘button_click’. You can also send some more information under parameters. In my case, I have chosen a parameter ‘button_name’ with the value ‘Contact button’.
Publish your changes and test your GA4 property’s real-time report to see if the event went through. In my case, I do that by clicking the button.
Repeat this procedure for each event tag you want to migrate.
Step 8. Link with Google Ads
If you use Google Ads, you can link this to your GA4 property. This way, your GA4 conversions will also be available in Google Ads. To do this, go to the management screen of your GA4 property and click on ‘Installation assistant’. Click here to ‘Link to Google Ads’.
Go to ‘Link’ and tick an account that you want to link.
Go to ‘Next’ and turn off the slider behind ‘Enable personalized advertising’.
Go to ‘Next’ and then to ‘Send’. The link with Google Ads has now been made!
Switch to GA4, now you!
Congratulations! You have now updated your Google Analytics property to GA4. Repeat this procedure for each property or website that you want to upgrade further.
Did you also manage to upgrade to the new Google Analytics 4?
Trial and Error
Because Google never sends manuals with their updates, it is always a bit of searching and trying before you have all the options at a glance. Did you find out about the applications of Google Analytics 4 that I missed? Please share them below!
When you are looking for WordPress plugins that should help you with SEO (making your website easier to find in Google), many plugins are available. Sometimes it is good to use a plugin, but sometimes it is better not to…
There are tens of thousands of plugins you can install to make your WordPress website function better. This is especially true when you are looking for plugins that should help you with SEO.
And they are all good.
So, here are our top 10 ways to make your website SEO friendly and optimized if you are running a WordPress-powered blog.
Backlinks are important. However, only exchange links with websites relevant to your site or target audience.
It’s not about quantity but about quality. The era of “who has got the most backlinks” is long gone. There was a time when many websites offered so-called backlink packages, selling in bulk. After all, if 1000’s of websites point to your website, your website must be so important, right?!
Search engines like Google no longer look at the number of backlinks but at the backlinks’ quality and relevance. Suppose there are 1,000 Chinese or Australian websites pointing to you that also write about another topic. In that case, that is suspicious and will backfire.
WordPress plugin tip: our tip for backlinks is not to use plugins. Do not use paid services either. These do more harm than good.
Ensure that “friend’s” websites (preferably with the highest possible page rank) refer to your niche, websites that discuss the same topics. Of course, your internal link building must be well structured too. By linking to relevant pages within your blog posts, you show search engines which articles you find relevant and, therefore, important for visitors.
Use good SEO optimized names for your media/images. Always add an ALT and TITLE tag.
It may sound stupid, but come up with creative and good names for your images. Content is, of course, essential, but don’t forget the quality and power of well-used images. Make sure to replace the default image names, for example, “DSC12345.jpg”, with what the image actually shows. Another example, “Grand-Prix-Vienna.jpg” if it is a picture of the Grand Prix in Vienna. Don’t forget to adjust the ALT and TITLE tags as well.
Make use of short and powerful permalinks/titles.
Make sure your URL is logically structured and describes what your page or post is about in four or five words. This says nothing about the actual subject. The first 4 keywords of your URL are the most vital.
WordPress plugin tip: Head to Settings> Permalinks, here you can see and adjust your WordPress Permalinks structure. You would do well to choose the structure “/ post-name /” or “/ category / post-name /”. For the first build, you have to change the default setting to /% postname% /. For the second structure, you have to adjust the setting to /% category% /% postname% /.
Use a sitemap and add an XML format for Google analytics + Webmaster Tools.
Are you skilled enough to create a Sitemap in XML format? This is a fairly easy job with the WordPress “Google XML Sitemaps” plugin. By doing this, you make Google’s life a lot easier to inventory your website. This is a lot faster, and this, of course, also works to your own advantage.
WordPress plugin/tip: The most used plugin is that of Yoast: the Yoast SEO plugin. However, we find it more interesting to use the “Google Sitemap Generator” plugin to create automated Sitemaps. After installing the plugin, head to Options > Google sitemap and click “Build sitemap manually.”
Congratulations! You have created a Sitemap for your WordPress blog where all new pages or posts are automatically added.
Extra tip: Don’t forget to upload your Sitemap to Googe’s Search Console after installation and configuration.
Link all your posts and pages to social networks, in doses!
Like it or not, being visible or present on social media is actually a must. Make sure you are there, even if you don’t do much with it. Have you created a new post? Or an old page updated (don’t forget to give it a new date!)
WordPress plugin/tip: Hundreds of plugins can be found alone for automatically placing Facebook or Twitter messages. But almost all of these are manufactured for the English language, or the result resembles robot language. It is better to create Twitter or Facebook yourself so that you will have full control over it. Also, don’t forget to include a link to your blog or page.
By the way, try not only to do this to your own website but also to other relevant websites. The search engines are more likely to see your “social page” as an important and independent page.
Do not use Adobe Flash.
The awesome thing about WordPress is that there are thousands and thousands of templates available that can give your website a completely different look in an instant. Unfortunately, there are still templates that use (Adobe) Flash. Suppose valuable segments of your website are built with Adobe Flash. In that case, it is not or, to a very large extent, not visible to search engines. This segment is not displayed on iPhones and iPads, either.
WordPress plugin tip: Only use the possibilities within WordPress, not because of WordPress itself but because of the fact that search engines find this “more fun.” Besides, Flash is not shown on Apple devices in particular, so you will miss a large audience. When parts of a template use HTML 5, give preference to this.
Use so-called “Breadcrumbs” to show your visitor the way.
Breadcrumbs or “breadcrumbs” are often shown on the website as “Blog> Subject> Post Name.” This is an important part of any SEO strategy. This is because it allows your website to display the content hierarchically.
WordPress plugin/tip: Using a breadcrumb, you can quickly indicate to the visitor where he is. When that visitor lands on a page with a particular topic, he or she can easily jump to a higher level topic by clicking on it. This is actually included as standard in every good WordPress template. If not, there are some good and free plugins available.
We can recommend the Yoast SEO plugin for this. Unfortunately, a little technical knowledge is needed because, for most plugins, a piece of code will have to be pasted on the page (page.php) or single page (single.php) before it becomes visible to every visitor.
Use keywords/keywords selectively but above all; strategic. The story has to be right.
Choosing and using the right words should play an important role in any SEO quest you take. Don’t forget, not only is a scientific approach not enough, but it must also be ‘natural.’
Many experts state that the subject should be about 5 to 7% of the total. Luckily, there are various online tools available to make your life easier in this area;
- Wordtracker Keyword tool
- Google’s free Keyword Tool for AdWords
- Google Suggest.
WordPress plugin tip: Make sure you are using the most vital keywords throughout your website. Of course, in the content and in the page title, in the Headers, as ALT text with images (see tip no. 2). Search engines search your entire website. All steps are very important, but using the correct keywords in the Headers such as h3, h2, and h1 is perhaps the most important.
Choose an SEO optimized and mobile-friendly template + install an SEO Plugin.
Briefly mentioned in tip 6; the WordPress theme. WordPress has over 100,000 different templates. But not every theme is SEO optimized and responsive. Although the latter, in particular, is strongly on the rise to become a standard, we still advise you to check this in advance. Well-functioning templates that also load quickly are vital to distinguish yourself from your competitors and be well found in search engines.
WordPress plugin/tip: Useful WordPress plugins are “wp SEO,” “All in One SEO Pack,” and also “SEO by Yoast.” The latter, in particular, is unbelievably strong. With over 4.5 million downloads, it is one of the most widely used SEO tools in the world. Fun fact, this plugin is from Dutch brokerage, is often updated, and is one of the most up-to-date plugins at the moment.
Good, relevant, unique content is still king.
A good SEO plugin will certainly help in making your WordPress blog easier to find in SE. However, don’t forget that content is ultimately the most important factor in the whole picture. Concentrate your efforts on writing good blog posts and use your own writing style so that your visitors will appreciate you. Put the interest of your visitors first, the importance of being found well in search engines. But of course, do not lose sight of the importance of Google.
WordPress plugin tip: There are many advanced plugins available. After specifying a subject, text (content) can be automatically generated from Twitter, Facebook, and website data are chosen by the plugin itself. Sometimes, these plugins give a “weird” result, but the text is usually not correct. The ultimate tip to achieving good content is to invest time and attention in this.
Don’t write a blog post for the sake of having an article, but research it. Hatch parts of the text, highlight some parts in a thicker printed font or use special lighting techniques such as quotes or parts of the larger font’s content. Not only it shows the visitor what important information or pieces are within your text, but search engines also appreciate this.
Start with some tips that you think will help or appeal to your target audience the most. Are your visitors currently dropping out quickly? Or do they only view 1 or 2 pages? Make sure you highlight your text and use hyperlinks to relevant articles that really matter. Provide images that the user likes to see, or that makes the page unique.
As soon as you see that visitors stay longer, give comments or contact you, you will see that more visitors come to your website. Follow our tips, and you will see that search engines rank you higher in the search results, so you can expect even more visitors. Search engines sometimes also play with the results, making websites appear higher and sometimes lower.
This is to see how visitors react to your website. Search engines can now very accurately see how many pages are visited after being redirected. If there are more than 3, your website will be labeled as valuable, and you will gradually progress further.
Do you have questions about making your website findable? Then I’d be happy to answer them below in the comment section.
Setting multi-channel funnels in Google Analytics is essential if you want to get the most out of your data analysis. Insight into the online paths that your customer makes to the final conversion. If you use Google Analytics to measure your conversions, you will most likely focus on the standard reports.
You can find a lot of information about how your customers ended up on the website (information about the last interaction before the conversion occurs). But did you know that Google Analytics also makes it possible to look further than just the last interaction before the conversion took place?
Focus on all interactions with your company/brand before the conversion
Customers will likely encounter your brand/company online in several places. For example, in a newsletter, an advertisement, a search engine, or an entry on another website. Often Google Analytics focuses only on the channel where the customer was last before visiting your site and conversion took place. This determines the value of that channel. But in many cases, there are also interactions with another channel at an earlier stage that also led to a conversion.
An example of Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics
Imagine that you sell women’s clothing online. For this, you send out monthly a newsletter to inform your customers about the new collection. You also have a website that is easy to find in the search engine. There are also several blogs in which your clothing is written about. A customer has read your newsletter and seen your new collection. At that moment, the customer does not immediately feel the need to buy something.
One week later, that same customer has a party for which a new dress has to be purchased. She then searches for the internet and then finds a blog in which the dresses of your company are mentioned. Then she remembers the new dresses from your newsletter and then goes to your site to buy the dress.
At the moment, in this case, you only start from the last interaction. The only value would be attached to the online blog. But in this case, the customer has not only based his choice on the blog but also the newsletter (the first interaction) and the search engine (supported interaction). If you do not include the other interactions in your analysis, it may be that no value is attached to your newsletters and you, therefore, decide that they are not relevant to your conversions. But in this example, you can see that it is essential during the conversion process.
To gain insight into your customer’s online interactions with your brand/company, you need to set up your Multi-Channel Funnel in Google Analytics. By fine-tuning your Multi-channel funnels, Google Analytics allows you to view:
The first interaction: this is the interaction/channel through which the conversion process starts.
Supporting interactions: these are the interactions/channels where the customer comes into contact between the first interaction and the last interaction, contributing to the final conversion.
Last interaction: this is the interaction that takes place / the channel used before the conversion.
The reports in the Multi-channel funnel section of Google Analytics
The Multi-Channel Funnel reports provide insight into the online path that the customer has taken before they have made the conversion. These reports also show how long a conversion process takes; this means information about the customer’s time from the first interaction to the final conversion. All this information can then be derived from how all your online marketing initiatives lead to the conversion, which initiatives work well together and do not have the desired effect. Now let’s move on to multi channel funnel settings and then to multi-channel funnel reports.
Which of these are required for multi-channel funnels?
The Multi-channel Funnels section can be found in Google Analytics under Conversions. In the Multi-channel hoppers section, the following reports can be viewed:
This report shows how often an interaction/channel contributed to a particular conversion. Besides, insight is provided into how often an interaction/channel has been the earlier, supporting, or the last interaction.
Best conversion paths (Top Conversion Paths)
This shows how customers ultimately ended up on your website during the conversion process, which online path they have taken before the final conversion has taken place.
Besides, you can obtain information about the conversion process; how much time the customer takes before switching to the conversion (the time between registering a newsletter and reading a related blog). Some conversion processes take longer than other conversion processes. This has to do with your product, price, findability, etc.
Path Length (Path Lenght)
Here, you can see how often customers visited certain channels/websites related to the final conversion.
If you want to know more about how the Multi-channel funnels should be set up, visit the Google Analytics website: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1191180?hl=en
Source: Google Analytics
No Instagram, YouTube, or LinkedIn Stories, but Web Stories! If it were up to Google, we will soon also see this new way of sharing content in the search engine. The first number 1 positions for this story form have already been spotted. What exactly are Google Web Stories, how do you create them, and how do you combine Web Stories and SEO so that your stories also appear at the top?
As an SEO and content specialist, I am always looking for new ways to market qualitative information (via Google). Web Stories is such a new form of content that makes me very happy. It is contemporary, fast, indexes well, to the point and above all: very easy to make!
What exactly are Web Stories?
Web Stories are a slideshow in the form of tappable content, which we now only know from social media. They are separate photos, videos, and/or texts that together form a story on a web page. By tapping on a story, you go to the next slide. Unlike stories on Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, these stories don’t disappear over time.
In fact, informational stories can reach the top of Google and attract a lot of traffic in the long run. This feature was available in the beta version in recent months, so we have already tested a few things. The plugin has been available to everyone since last week!
Benefits of Google Web Stories
There are a lot of reasons to get started with Web Stories:
- The most important: it’s super cool! Stories make your content look a lot more attractive than an old-fashioned webpage. And for my part also better than all online magazines that are now offered;
- It is the ideal content for smartphones: the slides are vertical and work on AMP technology so that they also load super fast on phones;
- The stories can be embedded and therefore reused on multiple pages;
- It is a modern way to share content and information with your target audience. Almost everyone already knows the principle of stories from social media and is used to absorbing information in this way;
- Stories on your website are interactive because you have to click, listen, and watch. This makes your message stick better with the user;
- It is in line with Google’s trend to display results that quickly answer a search query;
- The attentive reader already noticed: it is not for nothing that they are Google Web Stories. This is Google’s answer to the fast content of social media. The search engine itself has developed a handy plugin for this content form, making the stories easily indexable and quickly rank in the search results!
The first # 1 positions in Google for (English) Web Stories have already been spotted.
Sure, this is a very specific search term. The nice thing about this example: the story is above a branded (disqus.com) result! This shows the enormous potential of these stories. The content is easy to handle and thus perfectly meets the search intent.
How do you make these Web Stories?
Google makes it very easy for websites that run on WordPress to create Web Stories. They have developed a special beta plugin, which makes putting the Stories together super easy.
Getting started with Web Stories, but you don’t work on WordPress?
Google has now built a handy plugin for WordPress. If you don’t work with this CMS, there are fortunately other ways to create Web Stories! For this, it is good to know that stories work via AMP technology. This means that there are options for every CMS to get started with these visual stories. Send this link to your web builder, and he will arrange it for you.
How do you make your stories attractive?
Just like on Instagram, you can easily make your stories dynamic and interactive by adding fun extras per slide. Think of:
- Images, gifs, and even videos. Make each slide visually appealing by adding the right visuals.
- Combining text with audio. Be careful with this, as most users are never so fond of unexpected music from their speakers or in their earphones. Still, audio is a nice addition if you want to record additional information with a slide if you want to record additional information.
- Animations and interaction. You also keep your stories attractive by animating text and images via the plugin. And ensure a good follow-up step in your last slide. This way, you serve the users even better.
How do you combine Web Stories and SEO?
Of course, creating a Web Story does not mean that you will automatically find your story at the top of the search result pages (SERP) of the keywords you desire. Therefore, make your story SEO-proof. Google has listed several tips for this:
- Integrality. Make sure your story is around one. In other words: if your slideshow turns out to be a disguised ad after 5 taps, you will not rank. So do not put any links in your articles that refer to other websites or apps.
- Maximum one affiliate link. If you want to refer readers to a marketplace so that no more than once per story.
- The number of slides. Minimum 5 slides, maximum 30. Google recommends that you keep between 10 and 20 pages.
- Title length. Keep a maximum of 40 characters.
- Text. Keep a maximum of 200 characters per slide.
- Video. If you use videos in your stories, make sure they are around 15 seconds per page. And that the videos you use are subtitled.
- AMP test. Test your story in Google’s AMP tester. This way, you can be sure that your story is properly indexed.
- Structured data (optional). Add structured data to your story so that Google and other search engines better understand what the content is about. The following 4 mark-ups are possible for stories:
Want to see the possibilities of Web Stories? There is already a lot in circulation. For example, check the story of:
- BBC about what people left on the moon
- USA Today about Beyoncé
- The Atlantic about the gold rush in the Amazon
I am convinced that we will see Google Web Stories a lot in the search results! Do you also want to get started with this? I would be happy to help you with this.
In this ultimate SEO checklist, you will find 21 SEO checks that ensure your website is better found in Google. Can you check them all off? Then your website is 100% SEO-proof!
The ultimate SEO checklist is a list of factors that can be divided into technical SEO optimizations, content-related factors, and your website’s hosting.
Of course, we could have mentioned more than 21 factors in this article, but the factors must demonstrably work. Of the factors on this checklist, Google has confirmed that the algorithm looks at them or has reputable SEO experts indicate that they are really effective.
Technical SEO optimization
Let’s start with technical SEO optimization. These are usually the areas for improvement that SEO experts look at first. In our view, these improvements should mainly be seen as basic requirements to ‘participate’ in the search results. These improvements are sometimes difficult to implement. If you cannot find a solution, ask your internet agency or hosting provider for help.
1 – Correct Page Titles
A very important factor.
(Perhaps the most important.)
The page title is the title of the page, and you will see it in the tab within your browser and shown as the title in the Google search results.
Why is this factor so important? Not only Google looks at the word usage in your page title. The visitor also determines based on your page title to click on your page in the search results. This ‘clicking’ determines whether you get visitors at all via Google. The indicator for this is called your CTR, the ‘Click Through Ratio.’
Each page has its own CTR, and the more people click on a page, the higher the CTR of that page. Google naturally likes to fill its search results with pages that people click on to have a high CTR.
2 – SEF URL structure
SEF stands for ‘Search Engine Friendly.’ In the early years of developing systems for publishing websites, a legible URL was not high on the list of priorities. This created URLs such as
Google cannot do much with this, and the result was that HTML websites without CMS scored better in the search results. Hence, almost all CMS nowadays have a method to change the internal URLs to SEF URLs.
In many cases, this SEF URL is built based on the title that you give to your page. Sometimes a category or tag is also added to this. And so you can get a page like: /articles /the-ultimate-SEO-checklist, while this page is actually called/node/23 internally for our CMS.
Besides the fact that the URL must be readable, the structure is also important.
This allows Google to discover a structure within your website. It becomes clear that / articles / is an overview page for our articles where the URL starts with / articles / *. If you were to change the URL for all articles to / article / the-ultimate-SEO-checklist, this might be correct grammatically, but the structure would be lost.
3 – Use of H1, H2, H3 tags
Google uses the headings to determine what the content is about. The H1 tag is seen as a title and may only appear once. The H2, H3, etc. tags are seen as subtitles and can be used more freely. Although it is preferable to build it up logically.
4 – Responsive web design
A website with a responsive web design adjusts the website’s layout so that it is properly displayed in the visitor’s browser. Your web designer should have taken into account visitors from different devices and come up with different layouts for this. Because your website is optimized for visitors who Google via a smartphone or tablet thanks to a responsive web design, Google sends more of these visitors to your website.
5 – XML Sitemap
By offering Google an overview of your website, Google will index it better. You can have this overview in XML format automatically generated by an XML sitemap plugin for your website. Then you must pass the URL of your sitemap to Google’s Search Console.
6 – A fast and light website
Google has been trying to encourage us to speed up our website for years. Makes sense because one of Google’s highest costs is indexing all websites. If they become a fraction faster, Google will save a lot of money with this. Google’s promotion for the fast website started in the Search Console and later expanded with Google’s Pagespeed Insights.
You create a fast website by working with a hosting provider that invests in it and by optimizing your website.
You can optimize your website by turning on your CMS’s cache system and using an optimization service such as cloudflare.com.
Another option is to make your website lighter. This involves the use of movies or images that are large or not properly compressed. The easiest way to fix this is to minimize image usage.
7 – HTTPS Secure connection
Offering your website via https is now a requirement for good findability. Especially because Google insists on offering safe websites for its users.
With services such as letsencrypt.com and cloudflare.com, you can purchase an SSL for free and offer your website via https. Do you want to know more about this: How do you switch to HTTPS?
Substantive SEO optimization
Now that your website is optimal in terms of SEO technology and hosting, it is time for perhaps the SEO improvements that have been increasingly rewarded by Google in recent years. We are talking about the quality of your website and content. By offering a website that is pleasant to use and actually offers a solution for your visitor, you can make a distinction.
But how does Google know if your content is good? There are numerous indicators that Google can use to measure this. An important one is the bounce rate of your page.
This is the percentage of people who go to the page after a search from Google and then go back to Google. This ‘bounce’ is a clear indication that the page does not provide an answer or solution to the question or problem the visitor has.
The checks and points for improvement below will cost you relatively more time, but, on the other hand, have the potential to make your website stand out head and shoulders above the rest!
8 – Long pages
For years, there has been a clear correlation between longer pages and a high search results position.
It is not yet entirely clear why that is. Visitors may appreciate a lot of text because they can answer multiple questions with more information. It may also be that the longer pages ensure that Google measures that the visitors stay longer on the pages and uses this as an indication of good content. Another possibility is that a longer page contains more keywords and therefore attracts more visitors who use other keywords.
An optimal length of 2500 words for one page can be derived from various SEO studies. If you notice that your pages are stuck at 800 to 1000 words, you can consider merging them. In addition, you can provide additional explanations for parts that you name within your pages.
9 – Keyword usage
Sounds logical, but it is not the case that if you only place a certain keyword in your text 20x, you will automatically be found correctly. By keyword use, we mean a natural structure of your keywords. You think about related keywords and use them in places outside of your normal text. Think of the alt text of an image, a category, a tag, or a link.
10 – Call-to-actions
A call-to-action is a button on a page that clearly asks the visitor for action: ‘sign up,’ ‘order our brochure,’ or ‘do you want to learn more?’. These are all calls-to-action, and they take care of a number of things.
- You write the page with a purpose.
- The visitor knows what your goal is. (And therefore also test the content with this goal in mind.)
- Your visitor will not click around aimlessly and is more likely to go to the next step.