How to use Google Dataset Search for Dataset Schema

Google Dataset Search: How to use Dataset Schema for Queries

With the expanding quantities of digital data, search marketing strategists face a growing need to make sense out of the data.

Many advanced database applications are beginning to support Google Database Search. As well, SEO’s have new reports added to the Google Search Console in September 2019 to better understand their data. A lot is gained by incorporating domain-level knowledge encoded as ontologies into queries over relational data. With so much said about SEO, search marketers find it more challenging to sift out fact from fiction, harmful from helpful SEO tactics, and tested-true versus just talk.

Relying largely on past search marketing experiences and intuitions are nice, but too frequently incorrect. Data-influenced decisions prove up consistently better than “my gut told me so”. Many data-insights tools like Google Analytics provide actual supporting evidence, but now it easier than ever to locate Google Cloud Public Datasets. By accessing high-demand public datasets that relate to your business niche, you can uncover new consumer insights from cloud data. By analyzing additional datasets hosted in BigQuery and Cloud Storage, it is easier to experience the full value of Google Cloud.

Data journalist and are already familiar with obtaining government data and data sets for social sciences.

This article will help you establish a baseline and set up a data-driven framework to measure your digital progress and make use of the latest Google schema markup opportunities.

Datasets Simplify Data Intelligence and Complicated Ontology

Datasets are simpler to locate when supporting information such as the provider’s name, description, creator and distribution formats are marked up with structured data. Google makes dataset discovery easier through and other metadata standards that can be added to web content that depicts datasets.

“It is extremely difficult to express queries against graph structured ontology in the relational SQL query language or its extensions. Moreover, semantic queries are usually not precise, especially when data and its related ontology are complicated.”

Users do not even need to know ontology representation. All that is required is that the user gives some examples that satisfy the query he has in mind. The system then automatically finds the answer to the query. In this process, semantics, which is a concept usually hard to express, remains as a concept in the mind of user, without having to be expressed explicitly in a query language. – Google Whitepaper

This presents an opportunity.

The evolution of a search marketer’s role has become more complex with an increasing need to digest data. Creating your own dataset is a form of positive SEO that can lean into academic literature. Rethinking about how you can apply your image data at a wider level, may be a place to start. This will assist scalable systems for determining short paths within your link graph and weblink network. It’s likely to assist Google when re-crawling and recalculating the link map of your site.

Steps to Add Dataset Schema

  • First, read the dataset documentation markup to learn how to add it to your domain versus a single DCAT file.
  • Next, add to your collection of structured data snippets in Google’s preferred JSON-LD markup format; use the Dataset type of schema>.
  • Test your dataset implmentation with the Google Structured Data Testing Tool.
  • Lastly, submitted your URLs in a sitemap which tells Googlebot to start crawling the dataset pages.

NOTE: Google does accept markup with DCAT formatting. Google’s Dataset schema is intented to show a body of structured information describing some orgainzed infoemation. It works to either insert JSON structured data either in the body or the head.

Google Datasets using JSON-LD code and Schema Vocabulary

What is Google dataset search engine?

Google Dataset Search means that a user engaged Google to try to locate online data that is publicly available to source. Google Dataset Search is intended to work alongside Google Scholar, the corporations’ search engine for academic studies, research and reports.

Recent changes to Google’s datasets documentation page let the way to the datasets structured data rollout to webmasters, SEO’s, and publishers in the rich results in Google search.

Aaron explained that Google dropped the paw icon in the notice with a star, which he said “suggests that the roll-out of dataset rich results is imminent.”


former datasets



Why you should Markup your Datasets with Schema

The ideal customer experience can often feel elusive. It is not easy to map the customer journey and sort through mounds of digital data strings. It takes more than having just the right offer for the right customer. It starts with the purchase times, which digital channel, data collection from past offers, and sometimes even more. Data management has gone from tactical media-buying thinking to implementing the right strategic insights that are at the heart of enterprise customer experiences.

Datasets that are marked up with schema are easier for others to interpret, as well as for search engines to understand the data better. This helps them translate that understanding into visual illustrations of that data.

Google says datasets can be used for these cases:

  • A table or a CSV file with some data
  • An organized collection of tables
  • A file in a proprietary format that contains data
  • A collection of files that together constitute some meaningful dataset
  • A structured object with data in some other format that you might want to load into a special tool for processing
  • Images capturing data
  • Files relating to machine learning, such as trained parameters or neural network structure definitions
  • Anything that looks like a dataset to you

We found some huge datasets. It is best to keep it simple. Google recommends “limiting all textual properties to 5000 characters or less. Google Dataset Search only uses the first 5000 characters of any textual property. Names and titles are typically a few words or a short sentence”.

Table-to-text Models extract Textual Information from Structured DataExample of the Schema: JSON-LD Context Data-set

Be Data-Driven and People-Focussed

Gaining a sequential mechanism for field-level data extraction helps to perform the ultimate classification or regression task evaluating your overarching input features, over mapping them to an alternative data type.

Google data sets reports can help your learnings to power your thinking around matching search intent better. Search the online data library to find what you need. Dataset rich results are useful for the rapid research and development workflows that help to streamline encoding the raw data into meaningful insights. Businesses benefit by streamlining their decision-making processes and coming up with higher performance results faster.

“One of the major enablers of the rapid research and development progress is the availability of canonical neural network architectures to efficiently encode the raw data into meaningful representations. Integrated with simple decision-making layers, these canonical architectures typically yield high performance on new datasets and related tasks with small extra tuning effort.” – Attentive Interpretable Tabular Learning on Google Cloud AI

What’s Changed in Google Dataset Search Beta

Formerly, the Google documents stated that: “Dataset markup is available for you to experiment with before it’s released to general availability” and warned that, while you’re able to use the Structured Data Testing Tool for validation, that you “won’t, however, see your datasets appear in Search.” For those who waited for this to roll out, adding dataset structured data to your site can help measure mobile challenges and property specifications. Google Dataset Search supports Google Scholar, the tech company’s search engine for academic studies and fact-based reports.

You can learn how to be more factually informed using different machine learning tasks with more realistic data sets. For each of your business KPIs, Hill Web Marketing can help you understand which metrics are important, how to align them with your industry goals, and plot how to gain improved performance.

Natasha Noy, a Research Scientist for Google AI, published Making it easier to discover datasets on Sep 5, 2018 and states, “Dataset Search works in multiple languages with support for additional languages coming soon”. Clearly, this is a direction that the web is going.

Using Datasets Helps Ensure Product Revenue Streams

How does Google dataset work?

Datasets can be discovered easily when you provide information that includes something like their name, description, creator and distribution formats as structured data. Google’s is empowering dataset discovery and makes use of and other data formats that can be incorporated into web pages that describe datasets.

Your business’s future success depends on insights needed to drive your organization toward sustained revenue streams. Messages about your products need to inspire a prospective buyer’s confidence enough to take the actions required to seal the deal. “The stakes are high, with International Data Corporation estimating that global business investments in D&A will surpass $200 billion a year by 2020”, according to Harvard Business Review.

“A robust, successful D&A (Data and Analytics) function encompasses more than a stack of technologies, or a few people isolated on one floor of the building. D&A should be the pulse of the organization, incorporated into all key decisions across sales, marketing, supply chain, customer experience, and other core functions.” – Harvard Business Review

Product images can be a part of a Google Image Dataset! There are 8.4 objects per image on average in some datasets. Here is a dataset list that is frequently updated.

Google’s documentation page includes a JSON-LD example for implementing As the tubular dataset is in beta, best practices for dataset description and use will emerge.

“A tabular dataset is one organized primarily in terms of a grid of rows and columns. For pages that embed tabular datasets, you can also create more explicit markup, building on the basic approach described above. At this time we understand a variation of CSVW (“CSV on the Web”, see W3C), provided in parallel to user-oriented tabular content on the HTML page.”, it states as of 9.30.2019.

Stay tuned to the Gooogle documentation page for updates in case the properties listed for Dataset, DataCatalog or DataDownload change. Current documentation has updated the organizational aspect; property specifications are now consolidated under the type to which each belongs (formerly they were organized thematically).

Dataset Structured Data Properties

Really, there are few required properties at this time. To encourage it’s use, the technology giant may be going with a “keep it simple” startegy when it comes to providing content intended for machine data consumers.

Required proplerties:

  • name
  • descritiopn

Recommended proplerties:

  • alternateName
  • creator
  • citation
  • identifier
  • keywords
  • license
  • sameAs
  • spatialCoverage
  • temporalCoverage
  • variableMeasured
  • version
  • url

You may not already have a published dataset on the web, but search marketing is quickly moving toward more of a data science approach to search. As individuals and people make more and more datasets accessible, Dataset Search will increase. What is surprising is that anyone who publishes data can describe their dataset using’s open standard for describing information.

When testing your data in the Search Console Index Report, read through the “Known Errors and Warnings” section, the “errors or warnings in Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, and the Structured Data Linter validation system. Hire a schema data implementaion expert or use the forms to help sift out what warnings you can safely let rest.

As this relates to the parsing of web content – regardless of if it already contain structured data – it is best to make the data available in a format that the highest percentage of data consumers (formost, search engines) comprehend.

Datasets Provide a Roadmap for Building Knowledge Graphs

Find find datasets and leverage academic search from open data sources and https

Researchers value clarity on the pinpoint analysis of Global Data science and machine learning solutions that reveal market dynamics. Search marketers with the quest to measure sustainable marketing trends rely on big data to support future market growth. Once Google Dataset Search comes out of beta, it may have new capabilities to conduct data research that may reduce current risks and challenges in front of businesses. Extensive research on the details in your data can improve your sales approaches.

We continue to seek practical approaches for building client knowledge graph and chances to leverage it for business applications. Try your hand at this.

A few examples of my dataset discovery:

Once you have used dataset schema on your site, you’ll find a new report in your GSC under enhancements.

Data Set Features and new Google Enhancement Report

As is the case with other structured data implementations, just because you incorporated schema structured data, you become eligible. However, it doesn’t guarantee appearing in Google search. Prioritize using datasets that support sales nd your retail landing pages.

Simultaneous with the structured data feature announcement, a new dataset Enhancement report in the Google Search Console appeared. This informs search marketing strategists as to whether or not Google has learned and recognizes your structured data for your dataset schema. Read through and fix any structured data errors once you understand the Dataset Structured Data Documentation specifications. It will feed your Google Assistant data.


As new and comprehensive as deep learning is, Google and other search engines still face data-management challenges that surface in the context of machine learning pipelines deployed in production. New efforts to understans semantic search queries are meant to support understanding, validating, cleaning, and enriching training data. From this, the growth of trusted database sources will hopefully expand.

Hill Web Marketing is eager to participate in this initiative and hope that it encourages our readers to expand the number of datasets currently available. While it may have originated from the data science community, any business can use it. We also recommend seeking peer reviewed input from high level experts that are experienced in structured data markup for datasets.

Hill Web Marketing is eager to participate in this initiative and hope that it encourages our readers to expand the number of datasets currently available. While it may have originated from the data science community, any business can use it.

Call Jeannie Hill, a digital marketing strategist, to partner: 651-206-2410. Schedule Your Consusltation to
Gain a Competitive Edge


Search Marketing Strategies That Successfully Lead Site Redesign

How to Define Your Search Marketing Strategies for a Site Redesign

Experience tells us that high-level strategic thinking, research and search marketing pre-planning is of particular importance to websites before ever building them or embarking on a re-design.

Results-driven Website redesigns that begin with proven search marketing strategies have happier clients in the end. Website redesign often fails if it is a whimsical or in-the-moment decision. A website design or redesign is actually a marketing activity and therefore requires a digital marketing strategist. It shapes your data footprint and future business goals, so it needs to be data-informed to move your business needle in the right direction, Spending money on visual appearances that may or may not produce the results you intend merits finding the right strategies and execution processes. This article will teach you the key points you need to know.

Every entity on your website becomes part of your on-going digital knowledge graph. This consists of a graph data store coupled with a knowledge toolkit. It creates a library of your domain’s data as entities and relationships that make sense through a graph model, which abides by an ontology. This is much more than which images you choose and fun widgets that move, like a slider.

Your website is still important, but search engines now use the continuous integration of data from multiple sources. Where your brand is referenced off-site and how your web pages display in Google-owned SERPs allows end-users to query this data graph effectively. They don’t have to go to your site to learn about you and your products like they used to.

Every website needs audience trust and integration across all digital-related brand references. People chose how and where they want to learn about you. Your website may become relegated to more of a business calling card without smart search marketing strategies informing every design decision. Both potential buyers and search engines draw inferences from existing information. To take charge of your information and have a website that is useful to end-users, know what builds your data graph. You want to be thankful in the years to come for everything that goes into it.

The web is a database. Understanding just how knowledge graphs work helps industries modify their websites and SEO. Visual design elements should amplify your data versus coming first in the workflow of owning a successful website.

Search Data will let you know if you Need a Website Redesign

In order to win sales in today’s competitive world of no-click SERPs, you need a current approach. By prioritize search marketing strategies before you build or redesign a site, your business has a better set-up for long-term success. Visual appeal alone cannot drive revenue.

As a business owner or one responsible for the redesigned site launch, your time is valuable. It may not be practical for you to learn about how to implement structured data and what size your images should be for JSON-LD markup. Rather, this post gives you important areas that you should know about and delegate to a skilled search marketer. This typically includes critical, upfront research for you in the scope of such delegation. The accurateness and thoroughness of your initial planning will directly determine if the site redesign was worth it at the end!

Note: Dismay is often the result when resources are given to site design without early integration of SEO-effecting factors. We aren’t providing a pre-launch technical SEO checklist (testing your AMP code, htaccess file, robots.txt, consumer purchase journey, user intent analytics, social proof metrics, performance, and metadata implementation are intentionally omitted here). Instead, we have prepared a list of SEO-affecting elements that are harder to update after a website redesign in launched. If you just spent a significant sum of money redesigning your website, and then learn that you need to invest an additional sum into fixing the design so potential consumers can find it and use it easily.

Research and strategic search knowledge come before web redesign. A Digital Marketing Strategist can help you from start to completion by identifying/testing what information and strategies you need.

What is a Digital Marketing Strategist?

Digital Marketing Strategists handle achieving the client’s strategic brand and business objectives through research and analysis to provide teams with guidance. The strategy sets the frame for the creative people to work within to achieve execution of strategies.


12 Search Marketing Strategies that Lead Site Redesign ProcessesResearch and strategic search knowledge come before web redesign

1. Goal-focused site redesign: Website communicates and aligns with mission statement.

The site’s design can help — or hinder — your progress toward your business goals. The mission statement needs to be crafted and communicated clearly to establish business credibility and trust.

After defining your core marketing ‘value proposition,’ plan how you convey and market it. Are the keywords or page elements clearing describing and answering the customer’s problem? If your business niche or value proposition have few search query phrases, craft a clever brand association with your problem-solving solutions that answer your target audience needs.

Do you have the needed resources to compete? If you are jumping into an arena that is too competitive, find alternate wordings or explore long-tail variations that describe your products. Or develop a product that has more demand and fits your mission. Establish your strategic business and search marketing decisions before a web designer or web developer is engaged to build your digital world.

Do you know how to decide on your site’s identity and purpose? Or how a redesign can reflect your niche? Or who has the skills to determine where, what, and how your site can help you realize your end business goals?

The key limitation to your site redesign’s success is how well you have planned for its impact. Start by understanding the different paths you can take to reach your goals. Avoid limitations by a web designer who only knows one WordPress theme, or one CMS, or relies heavily on plugins to get it developed. Your site will either be remarkable because it’s discoverable and useful or invisible if it doesn’t surface in both typed and voice-activated search. Make informed choices.

Then go for a facelift!

2. Website Design by Market Segmentation: Know your customer segments

  • What is your market footprint? Is your target audience size growing or shrinking?
  • Are your buyer personas accurately defined — their geo-locations, needs, intent, roles, top questions, and needs?
  • Where do they interact online and offline? What are their common touchpoints in each state of their journey to purchase?
  • Is your site striving to reach too broad or too narrow of an audience?

Outcomes are better if you have your most important business goals and customer segments in your marketing considerations in place. It is a better project sequence to do this before ever going all-in with a new website look.

Uninformed Website Redesign is Risky

Include your principal stakeholders and team players in your company when determining your customer segments. Most opposition to user research can be defused by stating a simple truth: Making changes to the design down the road in the process—when development resources are concerned — is very, very costly. Performing user research upfront and often lessens that risk.

It also safeguard that the functions in your redesign are truly what your customers want. If they don’t, audience trust and engagement will drop. That is a huge loss.

“Website redesigns are a huge risk. You can throw away years of incremental gains in UX and site performance — unless you have a battle-tested process. How do you know if your team — or the one you’ve hired — is focusing on the most important things? Many areas yield minor improvements, but to make a real difference, and protect past progress, you need a repeatable, evidence-based approach.” – Zach Watson of


You can avoid weak assumptions about who your target audience really is, page structures, linking structures, and which topic clusters are targeted when search marketing informs design. Hastily launching into a site redesign project could mean organic traffic plummets. You don’t want your business to lose its organic search-driven revenue streams. Instead, it can gain a better reach if well-planned to connect with the right consumer audience. And then focus on the customer from a site’s usability perspective.

3. Domain History/Trust: Know what Google knows about you – historical web traffic data.

Often we find that a business has a new owner, or someone has an inspiring new direction to take, and they think that a full flip will work. What happens is that then search engines aren’t sure who you are and if sending web traffic you way may cause user confusion or disappointment. Don’t risk losing converting web traffic from existing high keyword ranking positions.

Know your business history before taking off with a new design. Know what works for you, what has/is failing, and where you can head into something new and have a realistic chance of being successful. Audit your Google Business Listing and see how Google sees you. Should the need to later remove content from Google arise, it is far more challenging than simply updating a website. How Google views your business historically/currently influences the degree to which it sends organic traffic to your website.

4. Marketing Plans: Know how your business is positioned in the overall cloud market

Before a search engine ever sends anyone to your site, they first evaluate who is the best response to each search query. You have to know if you are the best answer or how to become the winning click. The crowded Cloud Marketplace is undaunted by our opinions; you are up against everyone else in your niche and geolocation. Earning the searcher’s click comes before they ever see what your site or web page looks like. Your search marketing strategies directly impact your revenue streams. It is not a popularity contest for the best looking web design.

This knowledge empowers you to craft your site architecture around your customer’s real needs and helps them attain their search intent faster. When this is fundamentally established, well in advance of a site design-build, it will inform what content you need, how it is added to a page, how to target specific user intent, and which search phrases best signify them.

5. Benchmarks: Know existing Performance Metrics and Crawl Budget

A key component is your site’s performance.

Since GoogleBot is the leading referral for most businesses’ referral traffic, see what glaring fixes are needed first. Set your self up for faster success by making what on the live site is functionally correct and useful.

For example, if you currently have a faulty backlink building penalty or a sitewide spammy markup penalty, they should be fixed before taking on a redesign.

Google also lets you know here what is missing or misaligned and if improved, they can send more traffic. Have a data analyzer scout out your Google Search Console reports for insights.

Identify the most valuable content with in the site; what pieces are outperforming others. It should be your evergreen content. Then ensure that is a focal point during the redesign and relaunch process. By reviewing your past data it is possible to align your crawl budget to these pages.

6. Keyword Research: Identify head topics and keywords that reach users

Search is no longer keyword based like it used to be. Your site’s data graph in search is now topic-based. How you interlink your content and how you use semantic search to discover which keywords phrases work naturally together should lead your content creation.

Topic, keyword research, and competitor research are the best guides to which pages should remain, be improved, or be created. Next, the manner in which these pages are grouped and connected should be user-focused. Search engines and users map out relationships between your web content with a card sorting technique. Which keyword phrases are used in link anchor text plays a huge role.

If your company goals and marketing strategy have changed then your website should reflect that. Content hubs are harder to change than supportive blog posts. But your head topics should closely mirror top-tier company goals. Be crystal clear about the intent behind doing the site redesign in the first place. It is not so much about the design’s “appearance”. It’s more about supporting the direction that the company is going. Tie in design and keyword changes to measurable results on multiple search engines and devices.

If your website redesign helps you reach more people in your targeted audience, you can also increase your word of mouth referrals. This means having the type of content they engage with and share.

7. Machine Learning: Address machine readability Issues (Flash, JS, iFrame) that impede the customer experience.

Your web pages may rely on a number of technologies such as JavaScript libraries, Flash, and Ajax that can be hard for crawlers to understand or refuse to render. Although you may like how these resources provide widgets and do the design work for you, be aware of the issues these technologies generate. In order to improve your site’s machine readability, mark up your pages with schema data as described here: “How to Audit your Site for Structured Data Opportunities”.

Plan constructive tags that identify entity families within your website. This improves machine readability.

Don’t just chop challenging content to resolve this. It may be better to recreate it in a machine-readable format.

“If you end up removing a page from your site that has accumulated a high number of inbound links, you could potentially lose a lot of SEO credit, which will make it increasingly difficult for you to get found in search. Keep in mind that many web designers don’t consider this step because they are neither marketers nor SEO specialists. Don’t hesitate to remind them about this step, and help them along by auditing your site and providing them with a list and strategy for maintaining or updating critical pages on your site.” – How to Develop a Website Redesign Strategy That Guarantees Results by Hubspot

8. Digital Transformation: Ensure ease of editing and flexibility.

Google frequently updates its recommendations and requirements. Your platform and who is in control of it needs to be flexible/skilled enough to make quick changes at scale on your site. Web developers that align with SEO’s and make their recommended adjustments quickly will save the company time and money. Ian Lurie of Portent says it well.

Developers don’t do SEO. They make sure sites are SEO-ready“.

The aspects of design should be evaluated initially by the search marketing team in order to avoid a future redesign. By the time a site redesign is complete, you may feel forced by the rapid pace of digital transformation to rethink and reassess your website platform.

9. Customer-Centricity: Ensure baseline metrics are stored and tracking is in place.

Developers typically carry the job of installing tracking onsite.

  • Track how users search onsite. Leave offsite user metrics to your search engine marketer. By storing and evaluating onsite query data you can learn a lot. Know where it is filed and how you can get to it quickly. This can help to avoid sending regrets later when the SEO department asks for it.
  • Track how site visitors navigate across your own domains and subdomains. If your business runs several domains or divides content across subdomains, developers need to provide SEO’s data on what users do across all of those properties.
  • Filter users by IP in order to track your target audience. Exclude your internal staff and project partners for cleaner data. You want to know what your competitors are doing. This will influence what you need to do to win in competitive niches. It will influence how you place and connect content entities.
  • Track on-page user actions. Put the code in place that your analytics and AdWords team give you. Use “hooks” to trim valuable time later on.

The right sequence in your workflow will always save your company money.

On-Page foundational SEO needs to be woven into interactive responsive design. It should not be an afterthought or “next step”. Tracking user engagement and trust before and after a site relaunch helps businesses make future data-influenced decisions based more on facts.

10. Content Marketing: Ensure ease of onsite navigation to consume content.

Where possible, try to create a flat site structure with good taxonomies that will keep pages no deeper than 4 clicks from the homepage; 3 is preferred. This aids search bots and site visitors in finding content in as few clicks as possible. If crawlers struggle to access and decipher the content, it’s unlikely these pages can rank well. Site architecture and internal linking are about usability. These decisions are the best when lead by the SEO professional.

You need to understand pillar content placement, topic buckets, content relationships, the consumer’s onsite journey to purchase, and how your data gets linked.

Redirects and URL structure

Both missing and misconfigured redirects are the most common mistake we uncover. It confounds or slows and users ability to get around. So, even though this is not a list of technical issues to pre-check, we’ll cover it briefly here. Before hitting the button on a site migration, ensure that all pages either:

  • Maintain the exact original URLs (ideal)
  • Correctly implement 301 redirects from former pages to new ones

A site owner I met with recently had trusted the developer when they said they knew SEO; but rankings and traffic had derailed the former level of successful lead generation after migration. The dev team had tested the redirects and assured him that all was okay. When my technical SEO audit analyzed the headers, they were actually all 302 temporary redirects. I fixed them and traffic bounced back to usual levels. And we won a long-term contract to be the Digital Marketing Lead going forward.

In another emergency “Site Design Recovery Project”, the web designer/developer team had tested all former URLs and concluded that each had a 301 redirect in place. Later they were embarrassed as they never noticed that the pages they were redirected to were all 404s.

Because URL structure assists users, we recommend always hands-on verifying all-important redirects before migrating to a new design. For redirection validation, we use the paid version of ScreamingFrog, among other header tools, to ensure that 301 redirects actually points to a live page. Also, keep the percentage of 301s as low as possible, and point to the page that correlates closest to the referrer page. Common mistakes are pointing too many 301s to the home page or blog page.

In developer’s eyes, a page is unique if it has a unique ID in the website’s database, while for search engines the URL is a unique identifier. A developer should be reminded that each piece of content should be accessed via only one URL. Duplicate content issues may arise when Google can access the same piece of content via multiple URLs. Without one clear version, pages will compete with one another unnecessarily. – Strategic SEO Decisions to Make Before Website Design and Build by Moz*

“Often …the site launches. Organic traffic tanks. And then panic sets in. Unfortunately, I get a call like this every week. Most often from small business owners where the loss of organic traffic means that leads or sales slow down and put the business at risk.” – Writer on Search Engine Land**

11. Measurable Business Objectives: Is responsive design and AMP reaching more users.

New devices and new mobile UX requirements continually surface along with shifting behavior patterns of mobile device users. Google will be looking for the ‘mobile version’ of your site first. It is no longer a separate or secondary channel and instead is already an underlying technology for most users accessing the web. Google is preferring AMP pages.

Therefore, any design changes should be centered on creating a seamless and consistent user experience on mobile-first and then across all devices. Incorporating data science into your site architecture should be one of your top priority search marketing strategies. In the interest of reaching the most people, dynamic serving methods can assist with creating the best device-specific user experiences. If the interest of pleasing users, AMP pages load the fastest.

Delegate tasks on how to implement structured data and whether JSON-LD is better than Microdata to the implementation expert. It takes a keen understanding of how structured data works and how unstructured data impacts your knowledge graph and work with AMP versions. Also schema updates often, as well, Google frequently rolls out new schematic opportunities.

Combined, these tactics will improve your mobile search results. Make use of our handy Mobile Advertising Checklist.

12. Strategic Thinkers: Ensure that everyone is on-board with a research and search marketing strategies-first approach

To their credit, most web developers and web designers that we know are very busy. They know that most clients want to be dazzled with how their website looks. It is very important. And there is a ton of pressure on them to roll out new sites all the time. Most often, they are not able to stretch as far as staying current with changes in the demands of creating top User Experiences and which technicalities and best practices updated last week. A good search marketer champions and aligns their efforts to ensure that their end success is reached. It is easiest for everyone if this partnership is functioning before the web developer and designer begin.

Search engines place great emphasis on web page URLs; they are a lead indicator of what the page is about. Therefore, try to avoid someone dropping or changing URLs before the launch of the concerned website without prior examination. Search engines need this to identify what your web pages are offering to display your pages in search results to the correct people.

Frequently web designers/developer have thin SEO experience and comprehension of its depths. This can totally tank a site. Or not move it forward. We all know that tomorrow it will be tougher to play in the digital space. Average SEO doesn’t compete. It takes better-than-most SEO to be effective and command a competitive edge.

Recently a client of mine was convinced by a fairly new web design firm that they’d save money if they were in charge of the site redesign and SEO package. Most likely their proposal for providing SEO services was considerably less. Often we find that in the reach to expand services, someone tags SEO on. AFTER they had possession of the site through an Agency WordPress Dashboard and published it, they indicated they’d have more time for search marketing strategy input. It was a disaster for the business.Site-traffic and organic keyword positions plunge without digital marketing strategist


Note the drastic plunge in the weeks after the site redesign went live. The losses could have been avoided. Though they can be regained, this hurts the business’s search history and recovery will be at a higher price tag. A site redesign should help not hurt your efforts to build online credibility.

It takes Technical SEO for a Website to Function Right

Its all about function.

  • The site needs to function in a way that search engines can match its content to someone searching for it.
  • Then it needs to function efficiently for the person who visits it. Users often could care less about what is in the sidebar, header, or footer. They want the answer or information that they searched for.

A skilled technical SEO professional can audit a site in development before it ever goes live. This puts your best-foot-forward with each search engine that you’ll be wanting trust and favor from. Additionally, it may save you the embarrassment of apologies when a site loads too slow or has other issues. It is an all too familiar story that site rankings drop drastically after a redesign because someone thought that SEO could be an afterthought.

In addition to redirects, crawl budget issues, wrong or missing canonical tag placement, indexation – there is a ton that can go wrong. Your e-Commerce sales depend on technical SEO solutions.

“Of course, you can always choose to do SEO after you’ve implemented your website. However, you might be missing out on a lot of great ranking opportunities during this time. You may require a website change, content revamps, and other necessary remodifications in order to properly rank for search engines. Therefore, the process could get troublesome and costly for your business.

Search marketing, or what some still know as SEO, takes time. It’s a process that requires on-target planning and an on-going effort in order to see worthwhile results. However, these results are long-term and extremely important in developing your digital data graph, brand, audience trust, and domain authority. Therefore, starting early is better than starting later.” – Should I Consider SEO Before Or After My Website Launch? by TechWyse

Put Your Money Where it Returns Profit

Why we have found that the above search marketing strategies help confirm if a web redesign is even needed or establish how to align end goals.

You benefit by first knowing what it takes for web content to have a good chance of showing up in Google’s News Feed. Or how to gain a featured snippet answer box. Or what is required of a web page to get your products populating mobile product carousels.

It’s wild all the reasons we hear that a business thinks they need a new web design. In the long run, is it about winning new and recurring business? Your search marketing tactics should involve a sufficient amount of research and strategizing before you ever dive into a “new look”.

Many individuals redesign a site for the wrong reasons. They spend huge amounts of money and time on things that produce little benefit and never pay back that investment.

Thankfully, more clients are asking for SEO services before the website build. Formerly, most clients lacked the skills to know how consumers find a product. But they visually know what they like. So they start with a web developer and are sold on responsive design, when it may well be detrimental to the positioning of the website and future sales. A web page that is very “pretty”, can have very poor performance because of a lack of knowledge on contextual ontologies and taxonomies, images, support files, HTTPS, and code cannot be read nor rendered properly by browsers and search engines.

Avoid Troublesome Scenarios when SEO is an Afterthought

SEO strategies that lead web redesign keep you competitive.

Start by creating a list of which SEO elements need to be researched and decided on before the website brief is ever sent to designers and developers.

Without this proper workflow, the following scenario is all too common: a client asks why they have lost their organic rankings. After a diligent technical SEO audit, competitive market analysis, content audit, and a conversion funnel review, often one of the following serious recommendations ensue:

  • “A site architecture redesign is needed”
  • “A full site migration is the faster route to recovery”
  • “You have to reassess your business model and goals because currently, you are not providing any compelling value.”

This can happen when SEO is an afterthought and is now intended to clean up the site and make it function properly for business. Too many college programs miss this overarching problem in their marketing mix. Many businesses overlook this area and less-costly workflow.

Search marketing (SEO) should not be delayed until after your SWOT analysis and pricing models; it is better if it’s in place before you design so that project supports your digital advertising strategy.

A Website Redesign Should Add Value to Your Business

The 1 January 2019 write up by Gulsen Erkilic titled How To Create A Perfect Website Redesign Project Plan For Your Client talks about adding value to the business. Otherwise a redesign may offer a new look and some new elements but still fail to meet your business goals.

Erkilic references Standford University research that discovered that 75% of people judge the credibility of a business based on the design of its website. They don’t think about how they got there; your search marketing strategist has to think about that. People should enjoy your site and find it useful when they arrive. A perfect website redesign project plan may carry both you and your clients to a happy ending. That may sound daunting or like “pie in the sky”, but it can be achieved with brilliant site redesign research and marketing strategies.

SUMMARY: Search Marketing Strategies Save the Day

Remember that everyone prepares and test plans differently. Usability testing and tweaking isn’t something you do 1x and then stop. Evaluate and retest after each iteration of your design for comparison results. This is where reporting and baseline metrics can establish if the new look is truly a business improvement.

Keep in mind: You are not your users. You need research to really know what they want. Consider using Google Dataset Search as part of your research. Every web redesign project is unique, so amend your strategies to fit its parameters. Hill Web Marketing can help you reduce the risk of a radical redesign and partner with you to ensure that you own a website that your audience loves. Our team of experts has the experience and resources you deserve to gain a world-class effective web presence for your company.

Once you’ve completed the research and strategy stage, you’ll be in a much better position for a successful website redesign. This workflow prepares you for better social media marketing and Google AdWords performance, as well as other types of paid marketing.

At Hill Web Marketing, we are ever learning and flex when it makes sense to. Check back as we add new search marketing strategies that successfully lead site redesign project planning with strategic thinking, research, and search marketing guidance. Fellow marketers, you are welcome to add additional areas/issues you believe should be addressed during the initial site redesign planning stages. Please use the comment section below.

Call Heannie Hill, a digital marketing strategist, to talk and ask your questions. 651-206-2410. Schedule an Audit Coupled with Strategy & Research





Evergreen Content for a Evergreen Sales Funnel

How to Create Evergreen Content for Your Sales Funnel

How do you build an evergreen sales funnel and content marketing that perpetually generates customers – use evergreen content.

Find an evergreen market and then audit and craft great evergreen content for each stage in your customer’s journey to purchase. Your evergreen content may need an update in order to work harder in supporting site visitor’s process of making purchase-related decisions.

This way you can improve the user experience and build relationships on the web where there is clear and continual traffic can feed your business with evergreen sales. Cornerstone content isn’t just great for evergreen purposes; it is also an effective tactic for making it easy for readers with purchase intent to enter your sales funnel. Pillar content that has evergreen value is how you can stand out in competitive markets and the data library of ever-expanding online content levels.

This article will help you supply Google’s Answer Engine with trusted content to surface in SERPs that supports your marketing initiatives. Even in an industry where that seems daunting, the right content type in the right moment helps you convert prospects into customers. With so many questions being asked on the web, to answer them all requires a large content marketing team and a heavily scheduled content calendar. But evergreen content will keep feeding your sales funnel.

“High-quality content is the best currency for reaching and engaging consumers.” – Google *

What is an Evergreen Sales Funnel?

ANSWER: It offers interested buyers evergreen information and a easy process to make a purchase decision.

A sales funnel consists of the path website visitors take when buying your product or services. It consistently converts new customers and perpetually generates sales. The sales funnel concept is easier to grasp when you relate it to evergreen content that consistently appeals to people and helps them navigate your website to reach buying decisions. This is where content is king. It’s the entities you write and optimize for consumers that matter most when it comes to your sales funnel.

What is Evergreen Web Content?

ANSWER: Evergreen content is your sustained hub content marketing that continues to meet your readers’ core needs and support sales years after it is first published.

It is foundational content that stays relevant. It centers on a topic that’s always important to readers, in spite of typical news cycles, trends, or seasons. Its name is derived from thnale (evergreen) — a non-deciduous tree or plant that retains its green leaves all year round. Evergreen content is content that is always relevant in the same way that evergreen trees retain their leaves all year round. Compelling and relevant content that retails its usefulness is vital in order to be found online by search engines. In other words, its key entity doesn’t “fall-off” come a seasonal change.

Semantic evergreen search marketing is search with meaning and value that stands the test of time and user preferences. It may be an in-depth topic guide that people come to rely on as the go-to reference source for one narrow answer. A particular document or piece of information that has a steady search demand of individuals seeking and sourcing it is “evergreen” in nature. I was just in Montana with my family and visited a redwood forest. The years and years that these trees last is staggering!

Evergreen content is foundational to every good sales funnel. It is your business’s content that reliably drives traffic, shares, inbound links, and ultimately supports your site’s sales funnels. It offers essential solutions and answers that your current audience and prospective customers will need today and in years to come. Long-tail content plays into the foundation of most evergreen creative content. Schema structured data is a content reinforcement, but the major task is to identify what lasting topics are most important to your target audiences. The way that you create and support those critical evergreen web pages needs to consider providing lasting value.

Building high-value evergreen content on your own website generates organic web traffic that increases overtime vs the short shelf life of a post on social platforms. Content writing that has repurposibility provides better returns. Your content marketing team should be asking, “Will the content we are creating remain important in the future?” Time-sensitive content has its own merit in generating web traffic and typically capitalizes on current trends or events.

What is an Evergreen Market?

ANSWER: An evergreen market is an area of business that is in continual demand, year after year.

People will continually have problems they want to be solved immediately. Not everyone has the time to work hard at it when an issue surfaces; they prefer to find a product or service that will work wonders for them.

It’s a market niche where the interest stays constant over the years and new people are added to it continually. Think of medicine, groceries, shelter, banking, travel, etc. Yesterday’s generation needed them, we do, and so will tomorrow’s emerging generations.

And whether you are recognized as being in an evergreen market or not, every business benefits from an evergreen sales funnel.


Every online sale begins with a consumer searching for sufficient and reliable product information.

1. Choose Evergreen Head Topics for Each Phase in Buyer Journey

2. Research to Determine what Evergreen Content Consumers Consistently Seek

3. Curate Evergreen Content that Aligns with your Brand

4. Include Compelling and Representative Visuals

5. Provide Lasting Answers to Consumers Questions

6. Help the Consumer Easily Take “Next Steps”

6 Steps to Create Timeless Content that Supports Your Sales Funnels

Now we’ll look at each in-depth. Here are tips on how to discover and create your cornerstone content that increases sales. Keep in mind that your goal for creating evergreen content is to drive key web traffic and sales for YEARS.

Step 1. Choose Evergreen Head Topics for Each Phase in the Buyer JourneyChoose Evergreen Head Topics for Each Phase in the Buyer Journey

The buyer’s journey is the route buyers take to become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to purchase a new product or service.

Begin by choosing a search phrase (or keyword) that has maintained stability over time or is trending upward. You need to ensure that they truly represent green content that supports product sales. Your head topics layout the groundwork for your evergreen content marketing campaigns and paid advertising. This helps shape the digital data path that your content creates to stay on track. These content pieces that support your sales funnel can drive traffic to your site for months, even years.

“Broad topics”, or “head terms” is another name for “head topics”, which tend to be shorter keywords, with are more competitive. Writing on a broader piece also is more difficult for the writer as there is more scope to cover. Be prepared to commit on-going resources to maintain a high ranking on a timeless head term.

Use Google Trends and search volume

If there is a lot of search volume on a specific phrase or it’s been increasing in popularity for years, it’s a fairly sure bet that it will likely be a good topic for your next evergreen post. The balance to keep in mind is avoiding a topic that has a high likelihood of being too competitive SEO wise. Use Google Analytics Reports and other SEO tools to make a more data-driven content curation decision:

  • Ahrefs
  • Answer the Public
  • Google Correlate
  • Google Search Console
  • Google Trends
  • Keywords Everywhere
  • KWFinder
  • SEMrush

* authoritative evergreen content examples

Let’s say you have a commercial painting service website. To grow awareness as a trusted brand, you can blog and offer valuable and timeless tips. You can write about specific painting techniques, how-to’s, provide lists, and answer the questions you readers ask most often about your core products and services.

For example, a great title for an evergreen article based on your business niche would be “How to paint a historic wood-sided building”. That is more lasting than something like, “new paint products in 2019”. In subsequent years, these blog posts become obsolete. “How a quality paint job helps when selling your property?” will be more evergreen. Remember that citable topics get shared more often. One component in a well-written article is including original ideas, experiences, product case studies, or even original statistics.

It is not always easy to know at first blush whether an article is evergreen or not. It depends on the angle and tone of the written piece. The topic of “How to Choose Health Insurance” will remain relevant so long as people exist. However a news article about “7 Big Health Insurance Changes in 2019” will become obsolete in 2020. Likewise, a general guide about “Choosing a Search Marketing Company” and a page about “Healthiest Foods to Eat” will outlast content that is specific to one year.

Tool Tip: Try Ahrefs’ Content Gap tool to discover search phrases for which other top‐competitors rank and you don’t. Just add several of your competitors top‐ranking URLs, select “Prefix,” add your URL in the bottom box (labeled “But the following target doesn’t rank for”), and click “Show keywords.”

* Evergreen Content Should be Hub Content

You may even have content on popular topics that provide key answers that Internet users are looking for. But if it is ranked poorly for one reason or another, you are in a position of power because you now possess the know-how to improve these pages. Know how Google thinks about content quality, trust, and authoritativeness. If you want free organic traffic to these critical pages, make sure that you have a trusted search marketer who knows the Quality Rater Guidelines.

Your content can bridge the gulf between what consumer wants and need and what your company’s goals are. Well-written content by an expert who understands the two inside and out can help the readers connect with you. Hub content includes published entities that remain versus blog content that more often gradually disappears over time and descends in your site’s hierarchy.

A site may have multiple content hubs, but each one is “hubbing” around one of the services or topics that you need to be recognized for. This typically isn’t blogged content, which recedes lower in rankings and may eventually vanish. A content hub makes it easier for the user to navigate between content pieces of interest. Your business benefits because it gets known for your strong content hub.

An evergreen web page may be one central article linking them all related posts or entities together. You need one single page that is the center of the content about that topic – a “hub” page.

Your pillar content will need to be 100% stellar in every way. Conduct a cornerstone content SEO analysis to see where you are at and then refine or create your best articles. It demands patience and time, as this is going to be the content that’ll rank and stay high in search ranking positions. It’s about real people who actually take the time to read and act on it. You need to convert those people into customers. So, think about users more than search engines – give them something valuable. Build a lasting relationship.

Step 2. Research to determine what evergreen content lasts foreverResearch to Find what Evergreen Content Buyers Consistently Seek

Research can help you determine not only the best topic clusters but also how to speak so that people want to listen. You can add fresh product features, facts and current industry highlights to it to keep it rich and relevant.

Evergreen content is high-value content that is backed by research and proven studies, is continually relevant and stays “fresh”. It avoids stretching product claims. It needs to relate to the core of your business values and goals, so do your keyword research upfront. For content to be around forever, it takes real people that trust and interacts with it.

To own evergreen valuable content, conduct research for every new topic you publish. Poor content and topical structure needs a site content audit and then resolving issues that it surfaces. Reputable voices in each industry rely on well written and informative sustainable pages. This will help you to connect with both customers and industry peers.

Some studies will become obsolete in a few years and need replacing. For example, you can perform market research on how users respond to 5G connections in the largest metro areas. In three years, however, maybe the same study will not nab the reader’s interest in the same way as perennial content. While an article’s URL is harder to change later on, the simple solution is to come back to this particular content piece and update your stats. There is always room for improvement as long as it doesn’t come across as manipulation to improve rankings. Content updates should always add real value to your target audience.

However, no one knows everything on a specific niche topic. Referencing a well-researched article will help your content be perceived as more trustworthy than a personal opinion. Conduct original research is a worthwhile endeavor if you can dedicate the time and resources. It will help your article stand out from the crowd and at the same time, it will attract citations and backlinks. Worthy content that gains a featured snippet has a commanding presence in position zero.

Producing and publishing content frequently and without research and planning runs the risk of:

  • Moving too far away from your core business goals
  • Diluting your website’s crawl budget
  • Missing the chance to support your head services and products

Step 3. Curate Evergreen Content that Aligns with your BrandCurate Evergreen Content that Aligns with your Brand

One can easily go off track publishing content that intrigues the writer, but if it is not in line with your brand goals and tone, it may be detrimental. A key outcome of evergreen content is that it should grow positive awareness about your company and what products you sell or services you provide better than anyone else. When you are more visible to Internet users, you’ll want to find it a fair and likable representation in the future. Content should be useful to attract more customers, fans, and followers, but simultaneously, it leaves a memory of who you are. It should associate your name with stellar content, a stellar product.

Evergreen content should be core to your overall brand marketing strategy. It may be your best reoccurring lead generation and sales conversion tool. A first-time sale is seldom just about your product’s features page. It may start with a “how to shop for …”, “the potential benefits of …, “top reasons why you need a …”, “the on-going value of investing the purchase of a …”, or “how to take care of your….”

Writing core content that supports your KPIs and provides sought-after information to your target audience can attract potential leads big time. Ongoing content developed for intermediate and advanced information, or updates for existing customers, can help you continually provide value to the buyer and stay on track. What you really want is evergreen customers; loyal purchasers who come back after they buy for repeat sales.

Don’t just copy your competitors. There is no brand distinction in that.

Researching the pages that have climbed above you in the SERPs can help you understand Google’s goal of serving the best, most relevant result to the individual shopping or searching for information. Pages that currently outrank you may offer clues on what’s missing from your content. Note what do they topic aspects that they address and you don’t. Consider updating your content with those points in a way that speaks of your brand in your own tone of voice.

Creating and optimizing pillar content for a sales funnel takes time. It’s hard work. But it’s the only way to survive in a competitive market niche. Google is shifting its focus to content quality that provides consistent user-value. Largely, all of the traditional search signals remain, but search engines are doing a better within recent years in deciphering Expertise, Authority, and Trust or E-A-T. So producing exceptional quality content today means it may become evergreen in search if GoogleBot continually promotes it – even if it’s older – if it’s still relevant.

Step 4. Include Compelling and Representative VisualsInclude Compelling and Representative Visuals to support a evergreen sales funnel

Great content demands great visuals. Your visuals can speak to your products’ benefits. Selecting the proper and most relevant images and charts in articles may feel like a daunting task but it is a significant aspect of what holds that content in a viewer’s memory. Consider product infographics or product comparison graphs. SERPs are now more visual-rich, churning out images accompanying multiple answer formats, product image carousels, news carousels, and growing.

They are all visual, a testament that evergreen content that presents to a higher percentage of today’s Internet users needs a great image. Choose images that stir an emotion or memory to help viewers remember your content. Try to avoid image backgrounds that may have too many possible distractions. Avoid elements that pull the viewer’s attention away from the main focal point. Adhere to all of Google’s Image Guidelines; it will put you on the path to stronger and more visually appealing images that get indexed faster.

Your visuals need to align with your topics and represent something solid over time. When presenting concepts with long-term relevance, avoid seasonal images, like Christmas, winter, or a past one-time event. Publishing seasonal content is vital when your business is addressing an “in the moment” topic and paying attention to what’s happening around it.


  • Images for most product tutorials are easy to obtain as you can take screen shots through the entire process.
  • Join to a stock photography service and buy images that are easy to ammend and make your own.
  • Find repositories of open images and download free visuals while providing proper attribution.
  • Hire out the work to gain your own custom designs, graphics, and visual representations.
  • Use your phone’s camera and snap a full library of options to glean from.

Evergreen Content Strategy for Google Discover:

As posted by Google; note the emphasis on users and images that reach them.

  • Post content that you think users would find interesting
  • Use high-quality images in your content

Evergreen content supports evergreen relationships. It’s about serving your audience, it may even be entertaining, but it is not showing off or “too salesy”. Images fall is this same bucket, like words do. While creating killer content is a strategy that includes a “killer image”, you want imagery that you can constantly refer people to. It’s not too trendy, age or time defining. In the same way that evergreen content is sometimes known as Pillar content, visuals should support your basic your content strategy, and act as a base that anchors and reaffirms the article’s intent.

Google Discovery Favors Evergreen Content

The new Google Discover includes new Google cards formats that highlight video and evergreen content. In this application, Google explains that “evergreen” pertains to articles and videos that may have been around for a while, but maybe “new to you”. Google Discover is now rolling out in the US, with wider availability in the cards coming before the end if 2018. To access it, open on your smartphone; it works on both Safari and Chrome.

“When relevant, we do and will continue to surface high-quality evergreen content as part of the overall search results,” a Google spokesperson told

The information technology giant clarified that the coding used in for that content category has changed, and that is likely the cause behind why tracking tools show a drop in In-depth Articles. the Internet technology company may see evergreen content, at its core, as similar to a timeless classic. With established trust becoming an increasingly important factor in winning SERP visibility, it makes sense to boost “titanic classic content”. Consider the value of a classic car, its value goes up over time. Evergreen content topics, then, are those search queries that your readers are still using today, much the same as they were 10 years ago.

A great image helps explain content and makes it “sticky”.

Step 5. Provide Lasting Answers to Common Questions that Buyers AskEvergreen sales funnel; provide lasting Answers to Common Questions that Buyers Ask

Evergreen content has to help the consumer. It needs to be “answer-rich content”.

Increase the value that your business offers to users by answering their questions and providing unique solutions. Better conversion rates will follow; this is both a vital and challenging project. An evergreen post is like a battery that continually recharges itself. Answer Engine Optimization or AEO schema markup is needed to support your evergreen content. Great copywriting is about solutions … not sales. In the end, being a great “solution provides” naturally generates consumer loyalty and sales. That principle is all the more true for evergreen content.

Consider evergreen QandA topics that are essential answers or eternally interesting (representing an extended period of time in human business years). They outlast the consumer interest levels better than a standard piece of content does.
An evergreen blog post or article that answers a key question and covers fundamental information about a certain topic is bound to be asked by the majority of people.

Add schema markup to your evergreen Q&A pages; it is a form of communication to help your content be better understood by both people and search engines. You want this content to be in your own knowledge graph as well as Google’s Knowledge Graph, which depends on people being logged in to Google. By implementing Schema’s JSON-LD markup on this cornerstone content, you create digital data arrays in JavaScript that are rich with semantic information about digital property and relationship entities. This is a top way to provide Google with facts about the web pages that you want indexed and understood.

For small businesses in a competitive industry with highly established sites, speakable content can help surface your core content. Resourceful digital marketers that can implement a content marketing strategy that revolves around producing quality “evergreen” pieces of content, voice assistant content. Help Google cherry-pick from your content by helping voice assistants find your evergreen onsite content.

Numerous search queries only necessitate the traditional approach of ranking a set of matching results. Yet others require a more multifaceted search marketing approach, either because they are broad head terms or ambiguous. By offering searchers additional search filters and bubble menu options, a search engine can better detect and distinguish broad queries from ambiguous questions. All foundational aspects of good SEO help your cornerstone content get added to Google’s informational repository of answers faster. This takes the searcher one step further to disambiguate or refine their query to get the best answer faster.

If you re successful at your business, you are an expert. Most likely people are asking questions about your product and you have the answer.

Step 6. Help the Consumer Easily Take “Next Steps”Help the Consumer Easily Take Next Steps

It should include a call-to-action (CTA) inserts that leads into a sales funnel that makes the purchase process easy for the customer.

Writing core content that supports your KPIs and provides sought-after information to your target audience can attract potential leads big time. It should include a call-to-action (CTA) that inserts that lead into a sales funnel that makes the purchase process easy for the customer. Ongoing content developed for intermediate and advanced information, or updates for existing customers, can help you continually provide value. What you really want is evergreen customers; loyal purchasers who come back after they buy for repeat sales.

Once you are considered an authority on your subject matter or the best retail provide for a specific product, optimize to include a CTA. Readers love a logical way to navigate your website and move on to a shopping cart.
Data mine your site’s Google Analytics’ traffic reports. They are an information goldmine to know where most people enter your site and what actions they take to move through content pieces. Learn what information or content gaps you may be missing that your competition provides. Create this content even better and then markup with structured data.

If your analytics reveal a high traffic count along with a high bounce rate, that’s a signal that the content you provided needs improvement. Consider enhancing it and use that information to help bring higher volumes of buyer-intent traffic to your site. Measuring what types of click results show up based on specific types and styles of content can help you continually refine your content strategy.

Online, consumers at the end of the purchase funnel don’t need a list of one-hundred-plus tips, tricks or ideas. What they’re desperate for at this stage is the easiest, most actionable means to solve the one problem they’re facing right now. If they have figured out what to buy, then help them navigate to the shopping cart quickly.

So, if this sounds like a lot of work, will it pay off? Does it really matter?

Evergreen Content Case Study

Miles Anthony Smith says “evergreen content that is longer than 2,000 words gets more links, social shares, and longer dwell time than shorter content does. His March 4, 2018 post titled Evergreen Content Case Study: Why Long Form Content Performs Infinitely Better on Google’s Search Engine offers proof. he reports having grown organic Google traffic by 237,648 visits in 12 months for four websites using his evergreen article writing process.

16 Types of Evergreen Content

As many blogs or website evolve, they may incorporate evergreen content naturally, without planning where to start. A few common and useful forms of evergreen content are:

  • Frequently Asked Questions, known as FAQ pages
  • Case studies
  • “How To” instructional guides
  • Foundational video tutorials
  • Client review pages
  • Niche Resource pages
  • Glossary of Common Terms and Phrases
  • Article archieves
  • Comparions pages: products, services, tools
  • Best practices pages
  • News stories spun under a longer lasting topic
  • Summary task checklists
  • Instructive infographics
  • Educational Lists of statistics
  • Human-interest featured stories
  • Evergreen guides

If one or more of these elements on your site, consider these content types as a start point for your own evergreen content creation. Generating content that is unique and stand outs from the rest is hard work. Your evergreen content can offer consistent and relevant traffic to your website or blog for years to come.

6 Content Formats that Expire and Loose Reader Interest

  • In-the-moment news articles
  • Seasonal content (like content about what to do on Spring Break)
  • Newsjacking
  • Opinions
  • Writng about on-trend topics (like “SEO trends in 2018”)
  • Product reviews (like “Apple iPad 9.7 review”)
  • Events (like “Olympic Games Rio 2016”)

Next: How to Keep your Evergreen Content Strategy Alive

  • Be Factual: The quality of your evergreen content will only be as good as the trust-worthiness of the information that it is based upon. Support your most important web pages with proven facts and FactClaim markup.
  • Clearly state your business: Brand authority still matters a lot. Use business and niche markup for your brand, are a critical component of your SEO strategy. Additionally, define on-page entities easily by using Wikipedia definitions too.
  • Requires a maintenance commitment: Evergreen content means sustained content. That means that after the hard work of initially creating it, your top marketing team lead may need to continually and proactively monitor and refine it. Don’t let your cornerstone content gather dust. Social media and publishing fresh Google Posts will help individuals find and consume it. Instagram and Facebook, especially Instagram stories, can support your sales process and get your evergreen content noticed and shared. Include your competitive keywords in your social postings, Google Posts, and off-site publications.
  • Site UX: It has to be “findable” offsite and onsite. Good site ontologies and taxonomies set-up and high-value content that both search engines and users can easily be understood need not rely as heavily on schema. Winning rich results in Google SERPs highly depends on the quality of the data you provide. And the more you can curate and control that data the more you will gain visibility on page one of Google search real estate.
  • Which pages? Make smart choices!: Understand where you need to invest in evergreen content quality. Know-how and the breadth and depth of that content is a critical aspect of your overall SEO and digital marketing strategy. Changes in how Google interprets the relevance of your site and its cornerstone content’s usefulness to given user search queries is a major part of your digital landscape. Yet how you create, markup and augmented your content contributes to how it can be used to provide an answer to a search query.
  • Optimized content for local searchers: Nearly all search starts with local intent. We find that one of the most missed opportunities building out your Google Business Listing correctly and completely. This is a key form of Local Search Marketing, as is local schema markup. Eventually, Google will no longer rely on markup for finding their data. Today, it enormously helps them identify data better. GoogleBot, Bing, and Yahoo are getting smarter every day.
  • Optimized content for voice search: Voice search is becoming increasingly popular and marketers need to recognize the value of user-centric content that voice-activated searches will find.
  • Be consistent: Only add new web content of value that a sufficient number of your existing and prospective clientele want to read, share, and or purchase. E-commerce sites face added challenges when it comes to copy. Whether you’re restructuring an existing online shopping cart or designing a new e-commerce site. Crafting a stable strategy for your cornerstone content will impact sales and search rankings.
  • Become known for your evergreen content: Check your cornerstone information across multiple occurrences across known entities. You want an evergreen attribute on multiple connected graphs. If you can, have your evergreen content referenced in Wikidata and DBpedia.

Outdated Content that no Longer Supports Your Sales Funnel

Your evergreen content may need an update in order to work harder in supporting site visitor’s process of making purchase-related decisions.

What you write and publish is what you become known for. Whether you hire or write your web pages and communications yourself or hire them out, to the reader, it is you. Content should have a fresh and timeless quality that supports your business revenue. Topics that feel “old hat” in the coming months or next year are boring. There are two primary ways to deal with out-dated content. You want to invest in topics with consistent search traffic potential vs dying potential to drive sales.

Older content may need to be:

  • Removed: past events and topics that no one continues to be interested in (Drastic)
  • Updated: dictionaries, resource pages, lists (Better option)

A successful blog has achieved that status because it provides excellent, helpful, factual, in-depth and pertinent information to individuals who are interested in a purchase or topic. It engages them emotionally, generates a relationship of value, and may also be entertaining in the process. It does not “push” products nor needs to state its brand name excessively. But it supports your brand and ability to improve sales volume. If you place the needs of your target audience first, you become a trusted resource to meet their needs and interests in an on-going manner.

You don’t need to name yourself repetitively. Rather, excellent evergreen content is all about helping your audience by fulfilling the intent behind the site visit.

Actually useful content that user’s come back to and that gains SERP visibility is worth your time spent. Content that is quickly outdated may be very costly in time and using up your crawl budget. Avoid time spent on unsustainable articles.

Curating evergreen content doesn’t exclude times when it still valuable to post up-to-date happenings. While this content form educates, informs, or helps your audience, taking a balanced approach is best. By weaving in posts that align with their need for news, your reliable, pillar information-rich pages will sustain your audiences for many days and years into the future. Then add structured data to your transactional content for increased chances to win a featured snippet.

Be careful about simply deleting “Old Content”. Should your analytics show that few people are actually reading these old articles, remember that search engines may still be surfacing them in search results. It’s an important factor for anyone who must manage brand visibility. According to Michael Martinez of “You might be able to leverage that visibility in ways that don’t count clicks as conversions. If nothing else, change the page titles so the branding is more prominent”.

Why Ephemeral Content is Important to Sales Volume

Before you are likely to embark on our evergreen content plan, first you need to know why it matters to you and how you’ll benefit.

  • The rebranded Google Discover uses topic headers to categorize feed results, favoring evergreen content, as opposed to only fresh content.
  • Higher Visibility: A new Topic layer is now rolled into the Knowledge Graph, helping Google to surface evergreen content suggestions for users whose interests align with a particular topic.
  • Showing up in Google Discover: The inclusion of evergreen content in addition to fresh content, indicates a key shift in how Google is thinking about its feed. This means that an increasing percentage of traditional search content will show up in the feed content replacing other content types.
  • Cost Effective Content: When it comes to content that continually pays off, let’s say we attribute a per-piece value of one written page at $4 per week. An evergreen article will earn that $4 every week during every month and year for the foreseeable future or $208 a year with unlimited growth potential. In contrast, a quick-decay news article may find it weekly repeat value dropping till it reaches zero.
  • Continually Generates Leads: When your content has a sufficiently high rank and page authority, search engines are more likely to determine it is something ephemeral and timely. Content that endures in value provides sites with a dependable and consistent means of generating traffic over time.
  • Reduces content curations headaches by naturally increasing return on investment (ROI).

There is also lots of room for you to leverage creative evergreen content forms.

The Case for Perennial Content vs Annual or “Shooting Star” Content

Remember: Keep your audience engaged with varied content formats. Timely content has its place.

The best kind of traffic is organic; it doesn’t require a non-stop involvement like the traffic from social media nor are you continually paying like in Google AdWords. You can gain consistent web traffic with sustainable and sought-after content.

Unique and compelling content remains the king of content marketing and SEO strategies. With competitive and user research helping you choose your topics, you can generate timeless content, making it cheaper than any other types of marketing. An audience built organically is the foundation of expanding brand awareness through direct interaction with your customers and followers.

You can use paid advertising to get in front of these same people. If those dollars are carefully managed and spent at the right time, that pays off. Evergreen content, however, is your most stable and valuable form of content as it is enduring by nature. It can deliver a solid marketing strategy that lasts as long as the page is live. This form of content never ages; it remains useful and relevant. While we talked about avoiding trendy topics, your brand might creatively capitalize on the evergreen trend of “how to become a jazz artist” videos.

“Shooting Star” content is a topic or entity that captures and intrigues people momentarily. Web traffic may shoot up temporarily due to its fleeting interest. Content that consistently brings large numbers of users back for more and makes them what to share it because of its lasting value, is the pillar content that your website stands on.

What is an SEO Evergreen Content Marketing Campaign?

It’s customized to market a product targeting a uniquely defined audience that is ready to take action. In theory, an “evergreen marketing campaign” is effect today and should be crafted in such a way that it works for months and longer. The evergreen funnel will continue to provide sales naturally without having to continually run new marketing launches throughout the year. You can spend less time curating new content to keep up with competitors when your pieces are this good.

1. The promotion and promotional content maintains value.

2. The targeted audience is consistently comprised of high-quality intent.

3. The targeted audience is one that is continuously refreshed and growing.

“The Topic Layer is built by analyzing all the content that exists on the web for a given market or topic and develops hundreds and thousands of subtopics. For these subtopics, we can identify the most relevant articles and videos—the ones that have shown themselves to be evergreen and continually useful, as well as fresh content on the topic. We then look at patterns to understand how these subtopics relate to each other, so we can more intelligently surface the type of content you might want to explore next.” – Nick Fox Vice President of Google Product & Design, Search and Assistant>

“Evergreen content maintains authority over time because it continues to be relevant.” – Jeff Bullas

“I think it’s always tricky because we do try to find a balance between… showing evergreen content that’s been around and… being seen more as reference content and… the fresher content. Especially when we can tell when people are looking for the fresher content, we’ll try to shift that as well.”

“Evergreen content maintains authority over time because it continues to be relevant.” – Jeff Bullas

“Why not put a date on it? I personally find it really useful to know when reading something. It’s great to see evergreen content, and it’s great to see new looks at an old or new topic. All have their place. Write something awesome & stand by it!” – John Mueller from Google **

In Conclusion

Stay tuned to how Google thinks about content quality even when they are not necessarily indicative of direct ranking factors. Over time, if you build your content creator expertise, domain authority, and trustworthiness you can count on residual traffic for your top producing search queries.

Have you already found an evergreen market niche? Is it well supported with evergreen content that fills your sales funnel? The marketing funnel isn’t the standard funnel any longer. You can still find and sustain an evergreen market among modern consumers. Thin pages and duplicate content rob you of sustaining leads and sales. Build out your sales funnel with quality content that represents what you want to sell for what your audience wants to buy.

Call 651-206-2410 Web Marketing can help your business Stand out in Search and Win a Competitive Edge





Win Google SERP Clicks and New Customers

How to Win Google-owned SERP Clicks

Many who have adhered more to an “it’s always worked” search marketing plan are feeling the shakeup in new Google search results. Zero-click searches cause worry about losing clicks through to websites.

Is Google the ideal place to connect with consumers? Even if you end up with zero clicks to your website? If you gain an offsite click or phone call that wins a new customer, does it matter that the person never visited your website? This article seeks to provide answers..

Whether a search query is text or voice-based, Google’s AI Assistant strives to garner more action and to transcend competitive smart speakers. The result is that Google SERP entities are overtaking much of what users see. To compete in this new and more visual space, it helps first ferret out how Google appears to bucket rankings for different types of users and search queries.

Society overall no longer has the patience to scroll to the bottom of a Google search results page nor much reason to. If your site is slow loading or not ready for featured snippets, which are at the top, are you ready to accept that another business is showing up? What if the answer to “What is SEO?” is “Showing up in Google SERPs”?

People want the best answer now; they know of Google. They trust Google to provide it. So let’s define what a Google SERP is.

What is a Google SERP?

A Google SERP is any Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) feature that is new and is distinctly different from a traditional organic result.

Is the Worry About Losing Clicks to Google a Valid Concern?

Google is aware if these zero click concerns Google is aware if these shared “zero click” concerns.

The answer is “that depends”. Danny Sullivan posted on Twitter that at Google internal “Ranking Fairs” he posted “webmaster ecosystem concerns” that he hears, with this image included and following text below. As our Google Search Liason, I really appreciate this effort.

  • Unclear how stats produced by this third party
  • Doesn’t reflect “traffic” might rise overall
  • Doesn’t explain types of searches, such as if things like whether or calculations included
  • May count search refinement as “zero click”
  • Doesn’t even define what “no-click” means

SEO is more effective than ever for lead generation; it has proven afresh as a key business performance driver. Yet, search is ubiquitous, increasingly vertical, demands immediacy, is more visual, and is enormously topical. This evolution includes a shift from website solutions to platform solutions. And Google owns an enormous platform!

Create a network of high authority properties around your brand that will properly reference who you are. Featured snippets offer multiple benefits for any business that can use them effectively. Earning them means that you rank in position zero, which is the ultimate ranking spot possible without paying for advertising.

The Power of Real-time SEO Featured Search Results

Many traditional elements of SEO carry over into today’s digital marketing workflows and is nearly synonymous with “change”. New breakthroughs for search marketing professionals begin with live, real-time data that right-now drives research and new strategies to produce in-the-moment visibility. Your business can show up faster in Google immediate answers.

Marketers see trends developing and actually recognize that they are already established. Insights in this article will enable you to predictively produce or optimize content to capitalize on what may at first seem to be a threat. Your business has the chance to displace competitors pre-emptively by learning how to respond to Google’s intent to keep users clicking within Google desktop and mobile search results.

What we learn from RankBrain is that consistently creating high-quality content that users actually want to consume and share will encourage them to interact on your site more. This investment in organic search engine optimization will improve your SERP rankings. This also factors into trust, which then plays into winning rich results.

Consider the percentage of modern-day search queries that answer a question or produce a combination of rich results above the standard blue links. Only by observing consumer behavior and your competition will you know which clicks have moved to Featured Snippets, People Also Ask boxes, Knowledge Panels, rich local map features, images, or other enhancements such as Google Quick Answers. It is now even possible to browse flights, hotels, jobs, events, and other searches that were previously only available via external websites – directly on Google.

If you rank well for answers and keywords that you’re not intentionally targeting, and you assume this will last, know that another business will eventually come along and steal this position. Today, it is best to build out new pages for them or adjust your existing content strategy to win more features snippets.

This article will help your business find how to gain topic subsets that can compete for the best richly featured Google SERPs in each space. Carve out a nice niche for yourself. Focus and think big; competition always comes.

Clicks from Highly-visible Google Rich SERPs

As search experts, we are pressed to keep pace with Google’s evolving landscape and the increase of answer-focused rich results. If an e-Commerce site has JSON-LD markup implemented correctly now impact bottom-line revenue streams. New and more SERP enhancements and featured rich results nabbing “position 0” means less organic traffic that most businesses have been relying on. Your business cannot afford to bury its head in the sand if this unsettling trend will stop that way. Updates to Google’s interface are resulting are fewer organic blue links to external websites. Rather users prefer the highly visible and immediate data information presented in Google-owned assets within the SERP.

As the digital marketing community, it is easy to fit the shoes of how changes to Google’s changing interface impact our worlds, but with the need to be customer-centric, hearing the opinions of the typical Internet user is paramount to survival online.

At Hill Web Marketing, we closely study in order to better understand how users search, how they engage Google’s search results, and both the type and the quality of information that gets consumer more often.

Google’s Changing Landscape is More “Off” Your Websites

The increased use of mobile devices and voice search means that adopting new digital technologies is needed to gain visibility in modern Google Rich Cards. Consumers are not concerned with a business’s need to track the customer journey, they want immediate and point-on relevant answers. The brands that are quick to gain a deeper understanding of today’s fast-paced customer journey; and leverage this knowledge to predict and deliver personalized web experiences win the customer.

Integrating your Google Analytics and Google Ads will uncover deeper insights and help you better manage both organic and paid search.

Where does Google extract an answer summary from?

“The summary is a snippet extracted programmatically from what a visitor sees on your web page. What’s different with a featured snippet is that it is enhanced to draw user attention on the results page. When we recognize that a query asks a question, we programmatically detect pages that answer the user’s question and display a top result as a featured snippet in the search results.

Like all search results, featured snippets reflect the views or opinion of the site from which we extract the snippet, not that of Google. We are always working to improve our ability to detect the most useful snippet, so the results you see may change over time. You can provide feedback on any Featured Snippet by clicking the “Give Feedback” link at the bottom of the box.” – Google Webmasters Support

Google is committed to making improvements. So expect evolutions. We are told, “When a user asks a question in Google Search, we might show a search result in a special featured snippet block at the top of the search results page.” It is their SERP; and they are king of it.

Google Innovates New Ways to Answer Users Question in Immediate ResultsProvide the best answer to gain featured snippets

While many wondered what will become of Google Plus engagements and relationships once the platform retires, a Jan 15, 2019 post titled Embed Google+ search streams in new Google Sites let us know that “You can now embed a stream of posts from a Google+ search in the new Google Sites”. Google doesn’t mind “failing forward”. It’s growth and services come from trails, tests, and better adaptions.

It also builds on its previous launch and certainly Google has a plan in mind. Many suspects that the search engine has tired of the hefty numbers of poorly optimized sites it had to pull from and is doing something to circumvent the need for them. Or, indeed, Google is cognitive that it’s a business that relies on revenue streams just like every other business. Why wouldn’t it be keeping its revenue growth and survival in mind? It’s the dominance factor that worries many.

Google now provides “Short Names”; which is the ability of a business to create a custom, short URL for users to quickly access their Google Business Listing. It works by entering the short name URL in the browser’s address bar, for example, “[yourcustomname]”. When I customized mine,, it leads directly to a Google site which automatically populates my Google Posts.

18 Types of Features Snippets on the SERP

Start by Optimizing for Conversational Phrases. This is your opportunity to offer a preview of your content and increase chances to improve organic CTR.

1. Answer Boxes

Example of Google Answer boxes with expanded bubble menusLook at this example chocked full of answers! When I ask “how many books are in the old testament?”, I can further indicate my intent by selecting from the bubble menu between five different types of Bibles. With a huge volume of search queries coming in the form of a question, the types of Answer Boxes is taking many forms, for example:

  • A Reformatted Knowledge Panel (consisting of the answer with expandable links)
  • Simple answer box (no expand option)
  • Unit converter
  • Time converters
  • Google Translate
  • Calculator
  • Dictionary definitions

Google showing users cornerstone answers in the clickless SERP that visually dominate its most valuable real estate is causing many digital marketer’s to stop in their tracks. It forces us to face the question: Where is all this headed?

2. People Also Ask

Example of a "People also ask" box in Google featured SERPsAlso call “Related Questions”. As voice search becomes more a way of daily life, your local businesses can be there with answers by focusing on optimizing your websites. By putting in place answers to frequently asked questions for local information and concisely answering general information, you are ready when they ask.

It’s rare that a single marketing case study definitively answers a question that has been pondered by advertisers and researchers for decades. But the questions people also frequently ask can be keep shallow and short, yet very effective.

These are algorithmically-generated questions that Google associates with the user’s search. Each question expands by clicking on the right-hand arrow and is similar in appearance to a Featured Snippet. Related Questions are integrated into organic results and where they show up in SERPs currently varies.

Try a search phrase in Google and observe the section called “people also ask” that is displayed. It is typically found under the featured snippet in position zero of the search results page. When optimizing a web page for featured snippets, why not also optimize for “people also ask” queries? Note how this is a condensed way to present SERP results in a table. When you click on a “people also ask” query, the dropdown reveals content scrape

On mobile devices, People also ask content consistently wins the zero position within the mobile SERP. In our tests every time they showed up, they were always above other organic results.

3. Searches Related To

Example of Related Searches in Google SERPsYou’ll find this if you skim to the bottom of a Google search results page, where often a section called “Searches Related To [phrase searched]” gives searchers more options. Currently, often four to eight phrases are listed, depending on the amount of related data that Google can source. They are additional search phrases that one can consider preparing optimized content for, as a high number of these also gain rich featured snippets when searching them directly.

We are finding these displayed with sets of image thumbnails or as the more commonly found two-column list. Notice the huge amount of space that Google is dedicating to this SERP feature!

4. Site Links

Example of Site Links Featured SnippetsCurrently Google automates site links at their sole discretion.

“We only show sitelinks for results when we think they’ll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn’t allow our algorithms to find good sitelinks, or we don’t think that the sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user’s query, we won’t show them,” says Google.

5. Knowledge Cards

Example of a Knowledge Card on Google SERPsFeatured Knowledge Cards only exist on the SERPs.

Examples: Google’s weather card offers a smaller illustration but populates the temperature graph and the chances of precipitation in the bottom details. Well-known sports entities have new cards with a stat tab that informs followers to know how a player performed in recent events.

6. Rich Cards

Google rich cards are an additional way for companies to increase visibility in highly visual search results. Most often rich cards rely on structured markup ( to exist and be displayed at the very top of the page when queried. Users seem to find them alluring.

These appear much like the sponsored product ads from Google Ads, but rich cards can be gained organically. Google clarified that the rich cards for a particular search phrase may be a mix of websites or multiple rich cards from the same source.

Ensure that each required field is correctly mark up with JASON-LD in order for you to have changes to gain a rich card. Take advantage of filling in any additional fields to further enhance your rich cards. Often these start as a recommendation and later become a required entity.

7. Top StoriesExample of the Top Stories Box in Google Search Results

In December 2016, Google switched-up it news results and now displays Top Stories. This looks more like what already existed in mobile searches. Currently, it displays a card-style set of stories to present readers with the most relevant stories of the day. Google indicates that the update was in the works for months, and wanted to more closely match its mobile version. Google Top Stories remain powered by Google Search versus Google News, meaning that it continues the effort to avoid fake news and to include a broader list of results.

8. Similar Products Carousel

Example of the Similar Products Carousel in Google SERPsProduct carousels are evolving and taking various display forms depending on the number of items in the carousel and the search intent. If you’re searching for the top SUVs in 2019, for example, you may see stacked images along with basic price details, ratings, and the number of reviews. Shoppers have the chance to use this for making the click closest to their interests. In this case, the click will more likely be from a prospective buyer with high purchase intent. Or they may be presented with the handy option of comparing the details of similar products right in SERPs.

9. Detailed Products Comparison Card

comparing the details of similar products right in SERPsThis take the buyer one step closer to a purchase without ever leaving Google’s prime SERP space. Here is an example of a detailed product comparison card when clicked on. Notice how much information the reader has without clicking anywhere! But what if your product did not show up here? If the shopper never sees your brand here, it definitely diminishes your chances of gaining the sale.

10. Price Information and Travel Boxes

Google's Price Information Box for Flights and HotelsThe travel industry is intensely competitive. And Google shows up immediately with more information than airline ticket shoppers have ever had before. A full table of carriers, flight length, type of flight, and price put the most important information immediately in front of buyers.

A flight finder embedded right in the SERP that let's your track flight fares and pricesExamples of Expanded Google Flight Information Modules:

Prior to Google’s advancements to search pages, the glory days of digital marketing let travel brands focus solely on optimizing website pages based on their content, so they could appear as high as possible in natural search results, and bidding against Google Ads competitors. This was purely keyword based and gained text ads on the right-hand side of the organic results.

Immediate low fare flight information for price comparisons in Google SERP modulesIf I can see this when searching for a flight to visit my son in Washington DC, I know immediately who offers the best price. It’s truly a flight finder embedded right in the SERP. It’s a handy feature from the user’s point of view. However, some flight airlines may be as thrilled about it.

This flurry of concise information entity additions to SERPs, with only an extra click, lets searchers gain more information directly from Google. And when it comes to Google’s own services, such as modules for Google Flight Search and Hotel Finder, the information found on Google-owned SERP real estate is quite staggering.

11. Google Dataset Search Results

Example of the new Google Data-set search results If a user triggers the Google Dataset search result when seeking information, instead of returning websites, GoogleBot returns a list of databases.

Basically, if we define a Direct Answer as something that lets the prime user gain information without a click to a website as the source, there is a ton of data entities here. Each entity in a Google Cloud Firestore mode database has a key that uniquely identifies it.

“Datasets are easier to find when you provide supporting information such as their name, description, creator and distribution formats as structured data. Google’s approach to dataset discovery makes use of and other metadata standards that can be added to pages that describe datasets. The purpose of this markup is to improve discovery of datasets from fields such as life sciences, social sciences, machine learning, civic and government data, and more”, Google tells us about the just release Science Data Sets.

12. Discover More Places

Example of Google's discover more places rich SERP featureA “Similiar Places List” or a “Top places List”. The later is a non-sponsored list curated by any content provider and must be independent.

If your business gains visibility in such a list, consider it an honor as such lists come from real people, namely reviewers. Becoming listed here makes your business given the assumed status of a real trend and a trusted place of business.

13. Featured Video

Google Featured Video SERP results Video marketing, video how-to’s, video news clips, etc, are all on the rise as a format on content that people prefer. Businesses should embrace video content to match what users want.

Strikingly simple, an optimized video has a good chance of winning clicks from a Video Featured Snippet. Add corresponding text in natural language on the web page where it resides, then add video structure data according to best practices. This text then outlines the details and steps users can visually follow. It may appear in a separate quick answer box or within the description of the video (YouTube description). A video link to its corresponding article URL is provided. Then upload in your video sitemap and linking to your article from the description of added to your YouTube video.

14. Local Featured Events Zero Position Box

Local Featured Events Zero Position BoxHere is an example of where a business that is using event mark up and/or Google Post for events has another chance for valuable visibility. This is a great way to get notice of your events out to the general public to increase ticket sales.

Currently it is like free advertising on Google. Not only that, if the user clicks here in Google SERPS, it will take them to a link to a direct website for making a purchase. This will further stretch your event advertising dollars.

15. Featured Lists or a Table Snippet

Example of Featured Lists and Tables that are pulled into Google SERPsAny business can gain a competitive advantage by using lists in their content. With SEM you pay for keywords, that in my experience, can show up right here. And they include a link to your web page for users to read more. Lists and tables put information in easy to consume format. They enrich your articles and expand your reach when Google sources them in its SERPs.

Keep them concise. A featured snippet cannot be gained if your lists are too wordy.

16. Google Local Maps Pack

Google Local Maps Pack Carousel When a person searches in Google, often Google responds with very different search results. Sometimes it a website. But one of the most often presented featured results is the Google Local Listing Map Pack. It quickly tells consumers where to shop, of reviews and consumer ratings, offers, which can lead to where they do business. Learn how this works and why it is a powerful local marketing strategy for your local company.

Consumers notice that right underneath the three options they have the opportunity to click on “More places”, which expands to more local options and details. This presence in search is vital for the success of any local business. Our society is on the go and often needing in-the-moment services.

17. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) icon representing a mobile featured snippetWe have known for years that because users are conducting more search actions from mobile devices, businesses must adjust to mobile-first indexing. Google encourages all the websites to prioritize mobile usage and done much to encourage AMP usage. It’s an adapted version of HTML that is known largely for loading pages faster. The web pages created in AMP HTML are noted in Google result pages with an icon that shows up on the mobile SERP.

This unique feature tells users that the pages that will load faster than those without it. While search engines read code, this mark is a standard for mobile-first indexing and lets people know that your page is prepared to load fast for them.

You can jump on board to get schema markup implemented and compete right in Google-owned real estate!

18. Knowledge Graphs and PanelsGoogle Local Knowledge Graphs and Panels

The area is typically on the right-hand side of Google search pages and has expanded to many versions and types. What major search engines choose to display depends much on the type of business and how it’s owned and operated. This image represents a huge international brand, but its missing core optimization for populating key details in it’s Google Knowledge Panel. Ah – the opportunity that awaits!

4 possible scenarios where your Knowledge Graph result may vary.:

  • Online-only companies
  • Business having a few locations
  • National business with a high volume of locations and sales
  • A business owning just one location but recognized as a strong brand

Page One Google Search Results with Zero-Clicks

Overall, Google is leaning heavily on structured data implementation; be sure to stay updated on the latest Google Structured Data Guidelines. While the Google Structured Data Testing Tool is very useful, it often reflects more code-based results than it can keep current with all guidelines.

While people searching seem delighted to explore their new and newly upgraded search result options, marketers who understand which search results can produce high traffic volume are finding it worth it.

A zero-click SERP provides a quick answer displayed directly at the top of a Google search result. The search intent of the person is met without having to click any traditional search result blue links.

“The dirty secret is that structured data, in fact, polarises your content, making it a binary decision in the search results. your content either becomes EXTREMELY attractive… or… on the dark side… becomes so useful and structured, that Google can simply assimilate the structured data as its own and put it into its knowledge graph… thereby answering the question for the user with no incentive for the user to click through to the site.” – Dixon Jones

But this is no reason to back away from efforts to gain more presence in Google search real estate. You just have to be savvier with your marketing strategies. Jones said, “If you create content that can then be assimilated into the knowledge graph, you need to ensure that the user still needs to engage with you, to be able to complete their transaction.”

Your business website has to earn your way here.

Google first pays attention to:

  • People who use their search engine
  • The Search Giant’s Partners and Stakeholders
  • Paying customer’s (Google Ads)

But if you offer the best answer or merit being rewarded a top position in organic search, it is yours. At least it can be (temporarily).

Users are known for visual parsing. It is a growing factor for search marketers. The future is not the same as the past. Hill Web Marketing believes that to sustain and improve organic search performance means embracing change. Google is not and will not be a one-size-fits-all SERP.

So what other case studies or research have been conducted that may shed additional light on the impact of more Google’s assumed attempt to keep users on its own turf?

Wikipedia Case Study on Google referral Web Traffic

Duane Forrester, long-time Bing representative and skilled SEO, was reported as stating at PubCon that “Wikipedia’s traffic dropped by 21% after Google launched their featured snippets”. Barry Schwartz’s Mar 8, 2019 Forrester: Wikipedia Lost 21% Of Their Traffic After Google Featured Snippets Launched article is a good read for publishers seeking to ferret out if they want featured snippets in Google.

Later, Wikipedia concluded that “Google refers are actually trending up over the last couple of months.” Wikipedia’s Google referral report compared both unsampled and sampled logs to determine if Google is passing more referers, while acknowledging that “it could also indicate that a chunk of our traffic, with no referer, has been decreasing – which could conceivably be Google-sourced”.

Are you on board and wanting to stand out in rich SERPs?

Google-owned Entity Properties Encompass Your Bigger Web Pressence

Most importantly, think big. Think beyond your website to your web brand presence. A digital marketing process needs to start with understanding where your business needs to show up. Both search engines and consumer requirements can guide and influence your content writing, technology solutions, and your marketing investments for maximum effectiveness.

Planned and built with fluidity in mind, you can manage a myriad of SERP changes, web front-end adjustments, and marketing tweaks. But if you are rigidly traditional and only process a single solution, missing a presence in Google-owned search results may force your businesses and brands into rethinking it later. Timeliness matters when it comes to SEO, SEM, and PPC.

Google reviews are powerful as they can show up multiple places, for example, Google may choose to add them to your local pack results.

How are People Adjusting to Featured Snippets and the Expanding Knowledge Panel?

This is harder to answer as with each passing week Google test more features and new featured snippets seem to become a standard. Naturally, those who are searching say that their responses fluctuate since what is displayed in the snippet can change from search to search. A concern has been commonly shared among digital marketers that snippets rob traffic once gained from traditional organic search results. Moz’s study brought further assurance that this isn’t much of a real worry as only 22.1 percent of survey participants “indicate that they generally read the snippet and consider their question answered without clicking the blue link”.

Hill Web Marketing’s findings are quite the opposite. It seems that both people and search engines seem to trust a business that can show up as a Rich Card in Google Discover, in a mobile carousel, feature-rich local map pack, or an answer provided by Google Assistant.

Responses vary by age group:

It may follow human nature that long-time Internet users in the age bracket of 70-100 years old are likely to search as usual. Moz found that they are “170 percent more likely to continue searching, depending on the answer in the snippet”. This should clue digital marketers to adjust for our youngest searchers (13–18) who are reported to be 220 percent more likely to be content with their question answered with Google-owned SERPs and never clicking through to the business website. These up-and-coming searchers, shoppers, and future business owners tend to demand an immediate response, while senior adults remain longer to research and take in a variety of results.

SEOs & Google-owned Real Estate in Search ResultsLosing organic traffic to new Google SERP features on Google-owned real estate

The truth, this isn’t new. Human nature often reacts to change. SEO’s cannot relax into set-up processes; SEO seems and is more difficult, but it has not died. Keep up with changes in how content is ranked and observe the number of visits through organic traffic. Ingenuity, observing consumer preferences, content gaps, any pages that are slow or outdated, adding missed industry-rich schema, server’s that hang, etc., can create a place for your business in the evolving Google SERPs.

Barry Adams draws much attention to the conversation on Twitter and believes it is about time we wake up and recognize what is happening. “I find it hilarious that SEOs are suddenly annoyed that Google is aggressively taking over some verticals with in-SERP features. They’ve been doing that for years.” (March 15, 2018)

As we study results, often when the query includes a potential transactional action, more often that GoogleAds also display. Google’s expanding dominance on their own SERP real estate has triggered a lot of panics. Rather than fret over changes, a positive sentiment will create a mindset that can find new opportunities in the midst of this.

“Often we cannot control what’s happening, but how we respond to it matters. If users respond favorably to their experience with new local pack features, new ways the Google Assistant provides answers, advanced Google Image Search, Flight options, booking options, new video and map driving features and map ads, then one approach is to value the user’s choice.- Jeannie Hill

Maybe these new SERP features are depressing your CTRs, but before you risk freezing in frustration, simply move on, embrace what you cannot control, and seek to gain more featured snippets. Users’ search activity is intuitive and will forever evolve, which prompts Google to implement new search features to remain the King of Search. We can thank Google innovations in new SERP displays for bringing new business your way.

Much of the changing SEO landscape boils down to this:

Google Doesn’t Have to Use Your Website

Google has been stock-piling trusted entity extractions, entity classes, entity properties, and Association Scores from millions of web pages to build a repository to draw upon for search results. When Google first announced the Knowledge Graph as early as 2012, we learned that it planned to prioritize things (entities) and not strings. That process has rapidly come in play as GoogleBot mines structured data for its entity extractions.

It is no longer dependent in the same way on mining information found on the web such as pages, documents, images, and links. “In web crawling, a node is a page, and an edge is a link between pages; in data crawling, a node is an entity, and an edge is a relationship between entities. It’s an evolution in thinking about the web,” according to Bill Slawski, owner of

Websites are becoming more obsolete as the initial place where customers find you in search. Expect that your website will simply be one aspect of a formula Google utilizes to deliver the best answer to a searcher’s inquiry. Your website will still have value. However, its role is changing. It may become used more like an online business brochure or identification card.

To gain and maintain visibility in these new rich featured search results, your site needs to have a measure of domain authority and be rich in fact-based and trusted information about those entities. Your level of “correctness” plays into Google’s trust factor. Google is very capable of pulling your brand information into its featured answers and knowledge graph from multiple sources, not just your website. A well-populated Google Knowledge Panel can help you get more web traffic and command brand visibility.

Answer Featured Snippets in Google Search are normal search results, emphasized with special layouts, and are different from Knowledge Graphs.

Truly Interested Users Still Click on Featured Snippet URLs

Are no click searches on the increase?

Since Google continuously iterates on existing things and strives to add new benefits to searchers, expect it’s algorithms to get even smarter. The current percentage of no click searches varies by industry. As you can see from above, the travel and hotel niche is vastly affected.

SERP Enhancements will always impact user clicks. Winning more clicks is worth testing and tweaking. If you’re targeting high search intent, we advocate testing and monitoring the above strategies. Build out an experiment and run it to determine if your web traffic benefits.

“In some instances, yes they’re (Google) using a landing page, but I think Google’s fine with them staying on the SERP. I know this is a problem with SEO as well with Knowledge Cards not getting people to your page most often. You might be optimizing your content but then they’re just living on the SERP as all their answers are already available. Even if the users get all their information from the Google My Business listing then Google is still winning as they’re serving the core customer base of searches.” – Zack Bedingfield with Mordy Mordy Oberstein

Optimizing for featured snippets adds a level of complexity to SEO. We love the data science aspect of it. By identifying SERP trends, extrapolating user information, and implementing strategies based on performance-driven results, you can continue to improve the volume of clicks to your website.

Set your sites beyond pure ranking positions. Study SERPs to uncover the types of the content present, where each content type is displayed, how it is positioned, and how much real estate each content piece occupies. For example, the knowledge graph is of significant size. By focusing on areas that will have the greatest impact in organic search’s richly visible results, you stand a better chance to catch consumers attention, and therefore clicks, and ultimately sales.

“SEO is no longer about optimizing for search engines anymore and trying to grab that organic traffic but the practice of SEO actually impacts so many other points within a business. So if Google’s now chasing the user experience then so should you.” Jennifer Hoffman speaking at Optimisey

The bottom line for every business is revenue. And your business can win clicks from Google-owned SERPs.

If you Gain Featured Snippets; You Gain More Traffic

aHrefs conducts studies that are trusted. Josh Hardwick found that, “you’re getting 31% less traffic by NOT owning the Featured Snippet position, even if you rank #1.” The April 19, 2018 artilce titled How to Find and Steal Featured Snippets talks about “You + featured snippets = more traffic (ALWAYS)” and lays to rest fears of losing traffic for this reason,

Use Ahrefs to discover what featured snippets you are already showing up for and which ones that are possible to go after. Here is how: Site Explorer -> Enter domain -> Organic keywords -> SERP Features -> Featured Snippets -> Target domain must be featured. Create your fresh content wisely to enhance your site atributes for mobile rich featueres.

“we consistently won 8-12% of the snippets that we optimized for versus the natural win rate of 1-2%. These results were statistically significant. For posts that moved into the featured snippet, we saw an overall 10.5% increase in the number of clicks from the SERP, a 10.13% click-through-rate increase, as well as a net positive impact on post traffic.” – Hubspot

SUMMARY: You can win Google-owned SERP clicks

Embraceing featured snippet optimization can be a clever business solution. Partner with Hill Web Marketing; spend more time making your site fantastic by providing more value to readers. We help businesses find opportunities when little relevant content is available on the web for the given query. This is your chance to gain visibility. Nothing substitutes technically clean code that empowers you to capture featured snippets. Our forte is optimizing content for Google’s highly-visible featured snippets.

Your business can both be current in its SEO practices and prepare for tomorrow. Improve Your Website & Boost Engagement

How to Gain Google Local Pack SERP Features

How to Get Your Website in the Google Maps Local Pack

Your business can gain more visibility in Google Maps search results by following the basic strategies of local pack optimization.

Getting your company featured in Google’s local 3-pack, Google Snack Pack, or Google Maps Pack may improve the number of your store visits, sales, increase foot traffic and ultimately revenue. If you are looking to learn which Google Maps Pack strategies can help you rank better in location-based search results, this article is for you.

Google’s Local 3-pack and Local Finder are top ways to get your business information at the top of search engine results. Google’s search algorithms are no longer limited to exact search term and now do a great job of matching search intent.

Google My Business is being more and more integrated with other datasets available on the web. This includes user-generated data submitted to GMB listings, along with the content you provide. Google chooses from data it trusts to populate its Map Pack and Local Finder.

Although Google can certainly pull information from your web pages and reformat it for search engine result pages (SERPs), there are ways help search engines if you pre-format and optimize your content with the intention of it qualifying for a chance at gaining a Featured Snippet. Read the tips below to learn what you can try to increase your positioning in local search.

What is the Google Local 3-Pack?

The 3-pack displays in local Google searches. If a local search serves up a 3-pack, it will always appear at the top of the page. Essentially, the 3-pack is just a new way for Google to display their local search results on page 1 of the SERP. When you search for a type of local business or service, Google gives you a “Top Results” panel.

The Google Local 3-Pack refers to the SERP feature that functions as a map and displays physical places matched to a search query. It includes a 3-point list of businesses as well as their NAP data (name address phone number). While additional features come and go, commonly review rate data, office hours, and a call button is included. Each one of these elements needs to be properly optimized and offer an opportunity for Digital Marketers to ensure that client information is correct.

In the past it was once called the Local 5 or 7-Pack as the number of business listings displayed has been trimmed to 3 for some time. The more it trims, the harder it is to be listed – and the more valuable for the businesses that gain those local pack positions. Google’s updates to its search algorithms can sometimes seem like a rollercoaster.

Consumers want current, accurate and updated information. So that both compels Google to keep evolving and is why your business needs to keep its NAP up to date and provide fresh and relevant answer-rich content for local customers.

Google Local Search Pack Prominence

In order to get in the local search pack, it helps to start with the purpose it serves and why its huge presence in SERPs continues to grow. Here are a few thoughts.

1. Google may be intending that a greater share of local marketing happens on Google.

2. The search giant wants to make it easy for local businesses.

3. As it currently is ad spend driven UX, this may boost revenue.

For the sake of a few readers who may feel relatively new to the topic, let’s recap the core components it contains.

What Elements May Present in the Local Stack

Formerly there were complaints that it offers the user NO significant information to the viewer. Today that has changed; Google has made its local maps stack more information rich. With the rapidly expanding importance of mobile search, being observant of new Google Local Pack features helps us better understand Google’s eye on mobile phone browsers.

By expanding the local pack in the search results, maps users can see more details and Google Local Guides can see a business’s most important keywords for competitive analysis. How to Gain Google Local Pack SERP Features

Optomizing for the Local Pack

Many buyers use Google Maps to find brick-and-mortar businesses that offer the products or services that they want and that are nearby. These organic searches are generally location-based and hyper-localized in competitive city areas. It typically responds to search queries that have a high commercial intent.

How to get listed in the Google Local Pack:

  • An accurate and prominent Google Business Listing
  • Be recognizable in your top business category
  • Have a trusted overall online presence
  • Adhere to Google Quality Rater Guidelines
  • Produce content that answers local search queries related to your niche
  • Have accurate NAP in local Citations, Listings and Directories
  • Use a local phone number
  • Include Yelp and Google reviews, photos, and prices
  • Include hours or Google will tell people that you are closed
  • Make it clear what you do and who you serve
  • Optimize your website’s local pages for your target local audience
  • Keep your social media channels updated and apparent with structured data integration

Notice the “top rated” in the answer filter bubble in the image above. This is how real people have rated your business. Google lets anyone contribute a review, images, or ask a question. Not only do your critical business NAP details matter, but it draws in data about your opening hours, review rating and count, contact info, and service and product details provided in Google Posts.

While local search engine marketers may be on the alert to Google changes with these already very crowded boxes, influence in what displays is limited. Google is focused on the end user, so what populates its local pack content box is based on the search term. Expect that the extra elements that show up in the Local Pack will continue to evolve. The best local search strategy is to include everything possible from subjective attributes to Google Q&A rich content.

Entity Aspects of Local Map Pack Optimization

Since a lot has already been written about the obvious basic task of optimizing your Google Business Listing, let’s look deeper.

* How GMB categories influence what shows up in the Local 3 Pack:

If the concept of entities feels new to you, consider that when filing for a registered busines ID, it refers to the identification number assigned to your business entity by the Secretary of State’s Office. Microsoft says, that in search “the one or more entities may include a person, a product, a company, a location, a combination thereof, or the like”.

Selecting the most relevant categories will help boost your entity signals to the Google algorithm. It turn, this will help you show up better in local searches for keyword phrases related to these categories. The local pack populates a known search entity that responds to the searcher’s query.

The categories you select for your GMB listing should closely align with optimized structured content on your website and within all owned assets online. While many predict that in the future most business will be conducted off websites, today you site is still your key opportunity to increase brand visibility within Google’s search results. Your chance to show up in immediate Google hosted featured search results can include both a well-optimized website and a well-optimized Google Business Listing.

Depending on the domain authority level, taxonomy expansion that includes “service + city” web pages can both boost and hurt sites. A site with a low domain score isn’t going to be helped by adding more thin URLs to it. Every page should have unique value to users that fits your business services and goals while avoiding “topical overlap.”

* How geo-location influences who shows up in the Local 3 Pack:

Geo-location can be expressed as “location services.” It starts when a search engine leverages data provided by the user’s device which may include data drawn from a GPS, cell towers, Wi-Fi nodes, and IP addresses. Combined they make accessible relevant, local information without the user doing a manually modify their search. This applies across most device type, whether the searcher is using a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop PC.

Since geo-location occurs spontaneously when location services are active, with no intentional intervention by the searcher, it is not, on its own, a strong signal of the user’s intent to visit a physical business location. Geo-modification, on the other hand, is taken as a super strong signal of a searcher’s local intent to buy.

local SEO expert Joy Hawkins, helps us learn that Google seeks to provide the best answer and yet some diversity. So along with the closet geo responses, it may include popular, more well-known, or a more trusted business due to review ratings that is miles further away. Where a search is conducted within close proximity to the location indicated in the query, Google 3 Pack results are fast and display highly relevant and proximal results.

* Build a dynamic “About” section: In case you are unaware, it is possible to create or edit the about section of your GMB listing. Start by typing in a browser and then appending your GMB and Google Maps ID to the end of the forward slash. If needed, find your GMB ID by visiting your listing in Google Maps where you can nab the long numbered portion of the URL only. Then add that page ID to the end of the about URL.

* Local Pack Ownership:

Make sure that any freelance marketing consultant or third-party help that manages your brand on Google does so at the source. This ensures that you maintain ownership of your business. All set-up should be in your name and with your direct email. Then you can add people and set their access level.

* Tracking Numbers: We prefer using the business own number as it can be an issue to use phone tracking numbers, even though you can use them on GMB. Know if it is appropriate for a Google Listing. If you change vendors, then you have to go back through and update phone numbers. Avoid the unnecessary work unless you are sure of the manpower to keep up with it. So, if you want to proceed, below are the steps to do so.

How to use a Call Tracking Number in a GMB Listing

  • Add the call tracking number for the ‘Primary phone’ field
  • Place the real business phone number in the first ‘Additional phone’ field
  • Connect all of your business listings to this GMB listing

* Duplicate Business Listings: More than one listing for the same business can cause issues. Audit and reduce any duplicate listings, such as you may have on Google, Yelp, or any directory. You may have a new person jump in and think that they are helping, but now it is necessary for someone to resolve duplicates.

* Q and A:

Questions and Answers can now be included in map listings. Right now some are seeing reviews show up in the local pack, which makes one wonder if short and concise answers will follow. If someone asks your business a question from your Knowledge Graph, try to respond immediately or another person in the Local Guides community may answer it first. It is important to be watching in order to hold on to your authoritative place to manage your own online presence.

Nearly every business niche has overlooked leads sitting in their Google Business Profiles — from questions about the cost of a dental implant, to whether a product is in stock, to queries about handicapped parking. Every time someone asks a question it represents a potential online lead that you should follow-up with. Make immediacy a core part of your search marketing strategies; user interactions are the core of markering.

A quick way for Google My Business listing owners and managers to receive notice of new questions is by using the Google Maps App. These notifications have yet to become a feature of the main GMB dashboard. Similar to reviews, you want to catch questions as they are posted. The faster a business responds to incoming queries, the higher their probability is of winning the foot traffic.

* Non-Branded Content:

Today, fewer brand searches are coming due to voice triggered searches. This means that you should integrate more non-brand content on your site so that Google can pull from it. Answers real user questions where ever possible and put a good plan in place that includes pre-scheduled time to maintain your local pack presence.

* Think of Entity-First Indexing for Mobile Users:

Mobile-First Indexing or Entity-First Indexing is influencing search results to varying degrees within different business niches. It tallies the location of the searcher, which influences what is included in mobile search results if the query has local intent.

A local map pack is a type of Hosted Inclusions in search results, and a powerfully visible one. It is immediate, visual, and interactive and is hosted directly on Google’s space. And Google is adding new features to it at a faster pace than we’ve seen in previous years. When displayed, it pushes fully indexed organic results down lower and takes clicks from those more traditional blue links.

With this kind of thing happening more and more in search, how one assesses organic ranking position and values those results are changing. With reviews, ratings, hours, posts, and core details of the business or place, Google seems to be collecting content from the web and presenting it directly in its own hosted platform to fill out an Answer, a map pack, or its Knowledge Graph.

What you see as on your screen is not what others see on theirs. Even search results for you will change by time of day or other location influenced results.

The Hummingbird algorithm prompted a lot of changes, particularly within local searches. Google Map Packs are winnowing data from your website and Google Business Listing to provide details that formerly a user had to click through to a website to see. Even if the user-interface stays largely consistent, how the map pack information is generated and selected has changed.

* Target Multiple Geo Locations

If your business services multiple locations, create unique and high-value landing pages on your site for each neighborhood. While it takes added effort, you could create a page per city. However, a load of then pages with just the city names switch out won’t work. First, know which search phrases people use and whether you need content about different services, and how you can serve content to value to those residents.

You will need Location-Specific Content created to make each of these pages meaningful to your readers. For example, your Burnsville, MN page might have photos of your Burnsville office. Or your Plymouth, MN page may include testimonials from your Plymouth customers. Or a Google Map showcasing your Minneapolis location. What you don’t want to end up with are ‘search and replace’ pages or nearly identical pages with only name switching for differences. These will generate duplicate content issues and will not rank.

Google Local Pack Featured Snippets Per NicheSEMrush sensor Google local pack tracking tool

Local search professionals can track SERP features by using SERP Analysis Tools that provide day-by-day insights on your competitors and the ways SERP features change. One of our favorites is the SEMrush Sensor Report.

  • See how volatile the SERP features per niche are for your top search queries.
  • See if your site or your competition gains or loses a SERP feature.
  • Find and select the most stable local pack features to optimize for.
  • Observe how any website shows up and in local SERP features, and how its rankings adjust over time.

“Local Pack consists of a map with pins indicating the business’ location and the three search results – some of which can be ads”, according to

Google gives priority to its local pack in SERP real estate by most often placing it right above the first organic results in SERP. The volume and nature of local search changes quite often and are more challenging to predict. For businesses that keep an eye on their Position Tracking results, higher levels of fluctuations are common.

Local Map Pack surveillance is uniquely important for Local SEO in niche industries like travel, home remodeling, local auto repair shops, and other local service providers, but less important for business industries like books and Literature publications. Run at least monthly Technical SEO Audits to catch needed fixes.

Some niches have more local pack SERP features available to them than others have.Hotel niche gets a Google local 4 pack

If you are in the hotel business, there are actually even more opportunities for a hotel chain to leverage additional SERP real estate. Check out the numerous categories that you can land in, such as “Top Choices”, “Budget”, “Guest Favorites” and “Luxury Stays”.

Therefore, make sure you have copy on your website that will speak to each category that fits your niche and remember that you needn’t cringe from the “budget” terminology if that’s what you offer. Note the full-page-width carousel of reviews from multiple review platforms and quick price comparisons.

By selecting the entity AC Hotel by Marriott Bloomington Mall of America, we found the most built-out local pack that Hill Web Marketing has seen to date. Check out the additional information that Google provides by clicking on the information button in the top right-hand corner called “About these results”. Then we learn that “Hotel prices come from Google’s partners”.

This is an example of where Google Search is headed. Your business needs to be prepared for reaching consumers who are less inclined to click through to a website.

Place the same value on Internet transparency that your prospective customers and search engines do for better results. In the long term, these rich details in hosted Google SERPs can work to set the right consumer expectations. It is one form of bad review management which if left unattended can have a direct effect on your web rankings.

If you are still lacking a purpose for going after your appearance in the maps pack, consider how its new features may gain valuable visibility for you.

New Google Local Pack Features

1. Google Posts Showing up in the Local Finder

Some businesses benefit from a “website mentions” feature. If not in the 3 pack, the local finder displays a lot of queries if they are not too generic or don’t already match a GMB category. There is more than one way to show up and it is helpful to understand the value of each result. A keen understanding of how Google Search works and evolves can lead your digital marketing efforts. Then you can assess what may be more relevant than a Google Post.

Posts remain a resource even after they have been published and exceeded the 7-day window of showing up in your Google Knowledge Panel. Various types, such as an “Offers” Post, seem to gain more immediate visibility in the local pack.

Being present here surely has CTR benefits, also it’s great to gain the added exposure of having your Post featured at the top of your Google My Business Listing as a related search result. In our trials, no Google Posts show up in local packs if the user has opted to use an incognito browser.

2. Google Tests Slideshow Images Within Local Pack Results

The Minneapolis Local Search Landscape evolves continually but the one thing that we can count on being the same is that everyone wants their local businesses to rank higher in Google Maps. Google continues to make local search more prominent and focuses on people who use mobile devices when you searching for a service, such as “Dentist nearby”, “movie theaters nearby”, “best seafood in Minneapolis” or “Auto repair near me”.

This focus on quality and visual results is now showing up directly in the snack pack making a quick scroll through brands easy to perform. Use the correct image size for JSON markup to help get your pages and images included. Have at least 5 positive reviews is needed as online consumer reviews are an increasingly important way that small businesses can compete. No one knows exactly what weight reviews take in SERP rankings, but it seems significant.

3. CTA’s in a Marketplace for ServicesWhere the Google Local Pack leads to a product link on your website.

People ask just where and how the Google 3 Pack links to their website. It requires several clicks through. If the Internet user clicks on the business link after searching on a product and then clicks on a product link in the results, they will come to the “VISIT SITE” link, which currently is all in capital letters, which makes it really stand out.

News has leaked that someone on the Google Maps Reserve team they were or are testing different CTA messaging alike ‘Find A Table’ at a nearby restaurant.

Reserve with Google (RwG) helps consumers find and book personalized appointments, classes and event tickets for local businesses without the need to leave Google Search, Google Assistant, or Google Map results. While more common to the Google Knowledge Panel, these quick to use Booking buttons also show up in the 3-Pack SERP results.

New features could be based on the industry category chosen in your Google Business Listing. Consider ones with scheduling or booking: like a restaurant reservation, purchasing travel tickets, hair salons, or to book a show.

Google’s Reserve service allows Internet users to search and browse through nearby service providers, compare and book an appointment from Google search, Google Maps or the Reserve with Google website. These appointments are automatically, and instantly integrated into your booking software.

If you are a small business (SMB), go to your Google My Business portal and connect your individual listing to a RwG partner solution. Google provides well-documented support pages that help explain your options.

The Local Teaser pack is a “SERP feature is similar to Local Pack. But, there are features in Local Teaser Pack that are not found in Local Pack. In Local Teaser, a short description of the business is shown instead of the business address and contact number. Likewise, by clicking the business photo you will know the products or services they offer”, according to LA SEO*.

Just now Google Maps is rolling out the ability for users to create public events at a specific business or location. As some new features in maps have previously followed suit in the Google Local Pack or Finder, we’ll watch and see if this one is added, too.

3 Local SEO Foundational Pillars: Relevance, Prominence, and Proximity

By starting your local SEO on these foundational pillars, you’ll have a solid approach and can reach a higher level of success in local search results. When a person is looking for a service that you offer, this will help your business show up in local pack SERP features so that you can take a lead.

  • Relevance: How can you increase your relevance?
  • Prominence: Does your brand stand out online?
  • Proximity: Is your GMB listing and content optimized so that a local searcher can find you?

Non-Geo Modified, Geo-Modified, and Near Me Searches

Geo Proximity is the distance between the person searching and the service or product that they want. Google, Bing and Yahoo algorithms continuously updated to ensure that search results provide the most relevant searches for a user. Immediacy and proximity matter to the searcher, so they matter to the search engine trying to help them.

People have 3 options when performing a local search; non-geo-modified, geo-modified, and “near me.” Know the difference between each one and optimize for all three.

1. Non-Geo Modified Searches

This is a search action taken by a user that is seeking something around them. For example, while living in the Twin Cities and shopping downtown, a local search for “best Mexican restaurants”, the local search results returned several relevant places to eat all within a few miles. Search engines are aware of location details to determine my proximity (one aspect along with prominence and relevance).

2. Geo-Modified Searches

People often plan ahead. For example, before traveling to Bethesda, MD, I perform a local search for “popular music events.” The local search results served up were current music festivals in that area, even before I arrived in Maryland. These responses were different after refreshing my query for “music events” while physically being in MD. Geo-modified search results draw heavier on the other two pillars (relevance and prominence) over proximity once they assess that searcher isn’t within the city used in the search query.

“30% of mobile searches are related to a location,” Google stated in 2016.

3.“Near Me” Searches

Google reported that the popularity of “near me” searches are growing. This is when a person performs a search like “a dentist near me.” Remember that only if your business is geographically relevant to a searcher query will you show up in a maps pack.

Keeping up with Changes in the Local PackUser settings influence how Google Maps works

The Common Local Pack SERP features continue to evolve.

Avid participants in the local SEO community continue to watch and alert follow members of spotted snippets. Google seems to test and evolve these results quite aggressively. With the huge role that personalized search plays in local results, a bigger picture emerges when sharing what one sees in search engine result pages.

For example, asked, “Why Is Content from Google Posts Appearing in Local Pack Listings?” and, “what could it mean for the value of Google Posts?” The comments are really helpful to know how many are seeing Google Posts show up, not only in the 3-pack but in the Local Finder as well.

Currently, the Local Pack is in the top three localized results in a Google search. It often displays on desktop, mobile and in maps. One notable difference is that on Google Maps users are given more than three results. Those top three positions are highly coveted and readily serve up relevant clicks. Often people don’t select “more places” or like to scroll a lot on mobile devices, so nabbing position one for your business listing is a huge accomplishment.

Comparing Local Finder Ranking Factors over TimeComparing Local Finder Ranking Factors over Time

No longer is structured data markup in code to inform Google and other search engines the only thing needed.

The Local Search Landscape is much about efforts for your local businesses to rank higher in Google Maps on both desktop and mobile, but especially mobile. We recognize that Google’s algorithm is a mystery, which is why this becomes such a study. As with each type of local listings management, information accuracy and uniformity across all of your brand’s locations is essential. Google’s trust in your brand is an important ranking signal; inconsistent and inaccurate information may result in negative consumer experiences (such as driving to the back door instead of your main entrance).

We’ve drawn from two pie charts for a comparison of what has changed in factors that contribute to getting in the Google local pack. The 2018 pie chart is from Dana DiTomaso, president and partner at for her presentation on the Local Search Ranking Factors Survey produced by MOZ.

And so, what are the influencers that Google Ads has on getting into the Google Maps Pack?

Top changes in local maps ranking factors:

* A Google My Business Listing now comprises 25% of its content population.

* The importance of domain-level links has reduced from to 20.94% to 16%

* Social metrics have reduced from 7.24% to 3%.

* Reviews have jumped to the chart and take a commanding 15%.

Your Linking profile, on-page SEO, citations, personalization and user behavioral signals comprise the bulk of Local 3-Pack ranking factors. You cannot afford to skimp on traditional SEO; it is a make-or-break aspect. Having your corporate and local websites’ SEO as a foundational priority is the bare minimum it takes to appear.

The bulk of your opportunity to get in the local pack lies is in its 40% of signals coming from your Google My Business optimizations and Reviews.

A look at Paid Ads displayed in Local Pack Map Listings

These ad formats are nearly identical to organic local pack results, meaning that a casual observer may not notice the difference and click on results from Google Ads. They are also notably similar to what we see in location-related mobile ad formats that require location extensions to be enabled in paid search campaigns. Those mobile ads pop up when a person searches for services or a product near their location.

Local pack ads are one of the best ways to get the most of your Ad Words budget, expand your local reach, and ultimately drive more business.

When Google’s local 3-pack of organic listings shows ads for certain searches, this brings the number of organic listings down to only two. That’s good news for advertisers but could make it more challenging for local businesses who have put in the extra effort to earn a spot in the 3-pack. Overall, map optimization is a very effective aspect of SEO.

You make this happen by setting up a location extension in your Google Ads. Our preference is to do so on the campaign level. Establishing it on this level will keep it apparent which ad you are pointing to. You can also eliminate the tendency to make errors if you’ve labeled your listings in Google My Business.

“They (local pack ads) are really based on keywords. So, you definitely have to have the keywords in your account. But the one thing that I found is, like, let’s say you’re in Minneapolis and your business is in Minneapolis. You could actually show up for, like, “auto insurance Minneapolis” or “auto insurance St. Paul.” It doesn’t matter if the search term actually has “St. Paul” in it. If the person searching is close to you in Minneapolis, they’ll still see your ad.” – Joy Hawkins on Whitespark

So, remember that showing up for these ads are less about your location keywords and more about the location of the searcher. When someone’ clicks on an ad, rather than linking to the business’s website, the link takes the person to the Knowledge Panel for that business.

So now you know that both earned and paid search show up in Local Packs. But “how often?”, you may be asking. That’s a fair question. It is always important to prioritize SEO tasks and techniques that are most likely to engage users.

Percentage of Page One SERPs Featured Snippets Displaying in Local Packs

Mordy Oberstein of RankRanger shares his premise that Google seeks to meet multiple user intents by showing both a Local Pack showing alongside another SERP Featured Snippet. Google gives itself and the person searching the chance of better matches when the intent is too varied to be certain of. This is especially true when someone seeks to find a local establishment.

His July 11, 2018 article titled Google Bumps Up Appearance of Local Packs & Featured Snippets says: “we tracked an 870% increase in the number of keywords within the dataset that now produce a page one SERP with both a Local Pack and Featured Snippet. Over the past six months (i.e., since February 2018) we’re showing a 303% increase!”

Your can increase your chances of showing up in imagea packs as well.

How are Spammy Sites Getting in Google’s Local Snack Pack?

There are plenty of reports of sites in the Local Pack SERPs that aren’t even real.

You may be wondering just how they got there. Google says that they take spam seriously, but this surely has them tasked. In a recent Webmasters session, John Mueller alluded to ranking factors that may cause spammers to rank. Google uses a “bigger picture” approach; which seems to apply to the local pack just like it does to reviews and backlinks.

“…when it comes to competitive areas, what we’ll often see is that some sites do some things really well and some sites do some things really bad.

We try to take the overall picture and use that for ranking.”

“A lot of times what will happen is also that our algorithms will recognize these kinds of bad states and try to ignore them.

So we do that specifically with regards to links… where if we can recognize that they’re doing something really weird with links… then we can kind of ignore that and just focus on the good parts where we have reasonable signals that we can use for ranking.”

…we try to look at the bigger picture when it comes to search, to try to understand the relevance a little bit better.”

Google algorithms are improving all the time. Just because some businesses seem to be getting away with shady practices doesn’t make it a good idea to try replicating then. The best advice is to adhere to Google’s quality rater guidelines. As the search giant says little about its local pack, read up from trusted sources. Your efforts to help people needing your services to find you should result in producing qualified online leads.

“Over the past year, Google My Business has become a bigger ranking factor for Local Businesses, especially for the Local Pack. Google My Business signals, like proximity, categories, keywords in business titles, etc. are now making up as much as a quarter of the ranking signals for the Local Pack. Which means that while other things like backlinks and website structure are still important, a businesses’ Google My Business listing (and Local Pack SERP features) is almost as important if not MORE important than all other ranking factors.” – Moz **

“when Google knows more about what you do and sell, they can help match you with other types of search queries; the most valuable of these is Google’s 3-Pack.” – Impact


Hill Web Marketing seeks to sort out what is a limited test from what search results are triggered consistently, and then whats adopted into the core of Google local search. It is quite a job for most search engine marketers and we love it.

If you are going to implement even basic SEO (Seach Engine Optimization), you must know some best practices to assure visibility in tight markets. Hill Web Marketing reduces confusion as to what needs to be done to get your business to show up higher in the Maps Pack on a local search result.

We know that to get your business website into Google’s local Maps 3-Pack is vital to local SEO efforts.

We’d love to hear from you! Call 651-205-2410 for Personalize Local Search Marketing Services




How to Conduct a Consumer Behavior Data Analysis

How to Conduct a Consumer Behavior Data Analysis to Inform Your Marketing Campaigns

Strengthen your community of shoppers with data sets that help to understand user behavioral dynamics at the SERP Level.

Search engine marketers rely on datasets that model user behavior on a SERP that captures click behavior, consumer attention depth, and user satisfaction for making better marketing decisions. Learn how to read a Consumer Behavior Analysis to help you connect fragmented customer datasets used to produce answers that may gain the position of visually rich features in SERPs.

Many businesses are struggling to make sense of so much data, and don’t know how to glean timely and relevant insights on consumer intent. You can become smarter at delivering personalized experiences at scale by creating in-the-moment, cross-channel and cross-device experiences. Datasets resolve fragmented and hard to integrate data from across all of the technologies you may be relying on to reach your customers.

Make your content a winner for Google by moving from being keyword focused to being more about things within your web content that have specific properties. In doing so you can provide trusted facts that are useful for consumers who are trying to find answers.

Conversely, exploratory data analysis of e-Commerce data lets you, the Marketer; discover fascinating transactional patterns of each customer type and identify your evergreen content better. This lets you can be in step with online shoppers in your vertical.

What is buyer intent data?

Buyer intent data is used to determine the probability that a customer will purchase your product or services. With the sea of analytics and software available to marketing professionals, you can feel drowned due to the amount of data that exists to sift through.

What is consumer behavior?

Consumer behavior includes the data study of individuals, groups, or organizations and all the activities associated with the purchase, use, and disposal of goods and services. It takes into account the consumer’s emotional, mental and behavioral responses that precede or follow their purchase decision-making activities.

What are datasets?

A collection of related sets of information that is composed of separate elements but can be manipulated as a unit by a computer, according to a Google search.

JSON-LD Markup lets Businesses Feed Google Data Facts

When the subject of Google Knowledge Graphs (KG) emerges, search professionals often think of just Google, but they existed well ahead of Google announcing their Knowledge Graph. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is inherently linked with Big Data; it’s the data science that empowers AI and any highly visible knowledge graph. When a webpage utilizes valid Schema in JSON-LD markup, JavaScript data arrays are created which contain semantic information about entities. This includes properties and relationships. In this manner, business is feeding Google data facts about the things it is indexing.

Take, for example, the concept of digital audio watermarks, Google may opt to rely on sensors from mobile devices, which is more advanced than location history tracking. By gaining what is accessed over a day, digital marketers learn about user intent, preferences, and activities.

Focus on marking up text that is useful for matching search queries that show strong buyer intent.

Leverage Modern Datasets for Consumer Relationship Building

A successful SEO Marketing Strategy for 2019 will be geared more around consumer relationship building and understanding search intent during the purchaser’s journey.

Social media marketing is an ideal way to meet new consumers by conversing where they often are engaged in daily conversations. Each social network site has its own preferences. Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram give preference to Schema tags, but they also support Open Graph Protocol tags, that are preferred by Facebook and Pinterest.

SEO experts are now feeling forced to understand first-hand data on machine learning and automation. As more shoppers adopt voice search via Amazon Echo, Alexa, Siri, Google Home, and Smart TVs, it becomes necessary to adjust our knowledge and marketing practices to continue the same rate of success gained in previous years. Knowledge graphs are today’s generation of search success, and linked data embraces the web and expands the opportunity to have a very useful database for making consumer connections.

Data Information Retrieval Reveals Shopper’s Purchase History

Your Consumer Behavior Analysis is very helpful in understanding what consumers want most.

We encourage web content writers to overcome any reluctance to embrace changing approaches in the fields of data information retrieval, extraction, and user knowledge management. Businesses are gaining new visibility in the public space under the flagship of AI and Machine learning. A strong data science approach to site structure and Knowledge Representation empowers any web writing project. In whatever its form, communicating by text is everywhere and must be managed by programs and data analysts.

It is easy to get data about shopper’s purchase history for your consumer behavior analysis. Which links get clicked, percentage of scrolls to the bottom of a page, where site visitors enter/exit a site – all help to customize your content. Match the right content type and content length on each page to meet the searcher’s intent.

Rank tracking is an important aspect of learning whether or not an SEO investment is seeing a measurable return. If it helps you win clicks from new prospective buyers, how much is the value of a new sale?

Ranking prominently on Page 1 leads to more organic web traffic. When it’s relevant to your products and handled correctly, it should mean having the ability to generate more online leads. This ultimately is what matters most to a business since it grants the introduction needed to provide a solution or service. So, it matters a lot whether or not a search marketer’s client is ranking in the first position, zero position, a featured snippet space, or if they are in the Map Pack at the top of the search results page (SERP).

The individual who conducted the search may then wish to purchase the product. Do you need more convincing to use this method to increase sales?

Increase Sales by Understanding how Consumers Make Purchase Decisions

“Nearly 90% of marketers, across all types of organizations, agree that understanding user journeys across channels and devices is critical to their success”, according to Google research conducted with Econsultancy. Case studies from companies like Bayer and Sprint use integrated data and technology to better align with their audience and connect with the time is right. Published by Harvard Business Review, the April 19, 2018 white paper “Data-Driven Marketing Insights” by Matt Lawson talks about buying has become increasingly non-linear.

Algorithms Data Collection for Fetching Relevant Results

In our modern digital spaces, all search results are produced by some kind of algorithmic help. For example, if a person conducts an internet search for new medical treatments, search blocks are quickly combed within a certain medical field’s Big Data for providing immediate answers.

According to Teodora Petkova, “In the digital world of constant connectivity, the main forces of oblivion translate into lack of visibility and poor information retrieval techniques. That said, the ‘war with the forces of oblivion’ will take not only trained and devoted librarians but also some algorithms, capable of fetching relevant results quickly and efficiently.”

Google has designed its algorithms to scale well to extremely large data sets.

How to Discover and Use Datasets

Datasets reveal the meaning of the text on your foundational web pages.

Many people working with unstructured full-text datasets discover that their initial machine learning efforts do not provide user predictions with the accuracy that is needed. Even with standard Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques, like tagging parts-of-speech and named entity recognition, these still may come up short when trying to build a high-quality model.

Study datasets by semantic statistic vocabularies. The key is then adding structure and meaning to your raw data, thereby enabling machines to comprehend your text and learn what key questions your content answers best. By marking up your text for meaning you are providing a roadmap for search machines to navigate the text.

Use local details within your industry schema markup. Then it is easier to track local search data with Google Analytics. Ensure that your structured data markup is used on both your site’s desktop and mobile versions; If it has not been added on the mobile version the same way, Googlebot is not going to see that data.

How to Use Data Visualization ToolFinding data sets for consumer behavior analysis with SEMrush toolss

Rich data sources in semantic networks can become the semantic networks algorithms that help us learn and serve us by is unfolding the insights that we need. There are many free data visualization tools. Useful SEO report visuals may be gained from Google Data Studio because of its 250+ data connectors.

Other data mining sources that aid the discovery of user buying patterns:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Ads + GDN
  • New Google Search Console
  • DoubleClick Search
  • Bing Network Audience Insight / Bing Ads
  • SEMRush Digital Marketing Tools
  • Twitter Analytics
  • MailChimp Analytics
  • Advanced YouTube Analytics
  • Adobe Analytics

Meet buyers’ needs

Leverage all types of website audits and your data analysis will reveal how to meet your customer with useful information in their moment of need. Once your initial data mining has been completed, the real benefit comes when the changes are made that utilize the insights gained. Otherwise, shoppers may overlook your brand. Google research tells us that 51% of smartphone users have purchased from a different business from the one they intended to because the information provided was more useful.

Dataset mastery

The compilation of data from SEMrush alone provides easy charts to summarize the data that you are seeing. The numbers, percentages, comparisons, and titles like Keyword Rankings, PPC, and Organic Research, let you begin to piece the puzzle together and understand.

A data analyst has the competence to know more than the evident keyword ranking or positions, but will identify the underlying value of those keywords and their correlating metrics. Align your goals, with search volume, density, difficulty, and competitive metrics to determine which datasets should outweigh the others.

Mastery is perceiving the possibilities of the data exports and being able to engage them.

What is buyer intent data?

Buyer intent data is used to determine the probability that a customer will purchase your product or services. With the sea of analytics and software available to marketing professionals, you can feel drowned due to the amount of data that exists to sift through.

Here is another way that your Google Data is used to help prospective buyers find you.

Google Maps Dataset with many Places and Roads

The digital text your business puts out on the web is also a tapestry of semantic networks that algorithms can leverage to decipher what the text is about and what meaning it contains.

How you optimize your Google Business Listing produces key data used by Google Maps to help people find your location. An example of how you can go about data labeling to provide a predictive lift for your business:

Take the following two sentences from the medical industry:

The office was had to find.

The dental office in Woodbury, MN was hard to find

By more effectively labeling these sentences with longer keywords that provide meaning, both a person and a search engine can better understand that the someone was trying to visit a Plymouth, MN dentist, whose business may need a better solution for Google Maps integration. Without proper headers and clear labeling for meaning, a misunderstanding of these sentences will likely result in a poor dataset model.

KML- Key Hole Markup Language (kml) is another file format that can render geographic data in an Earth browser – it works great on both Google Maps and Bing Maps. You can generate KML files to identify business locations, add image overlays, and you’ll be able to expose rich data in additional ways.

NOTE: Your business won’t need to know the ins and outs of this if you have the right marketing freelance expert to guide you.

Now a look ahead at where we think datasheets and how the draw information may be going.

How Open Information Extraction at Web-Scale Works

One Open Information Extraction approach that may be used by a search engine reads through text on the Web, without predefined templates or human supervision. It may store and retrieve content that is centered on users and that it determines is needed to source for answers.

The extraction method identifies nouns and how they may be related to one another by the verbs that entwine them, and rates the quality of those relationships. A “classifier” determines how trustworthy each relationship may be rated, and stores only the trustworthy relationships.

Nouns, verbs, and things within your text have relationships to each other that are stored in an inverted index that can be later relied on to respond to search queries. Here’s an example of relationships that might be connected and identified during a crawl of the web that could be part of this data knowledge index:

(, worked at, ) (, studied at, ) (, is author of, ) (, is headquartered in, ) (, partnered with, ) (, was created by, ) (, was funded by, ) (, was founded by, ) (, worked with, ) (, reviewed by, )

This example open information extraction using connected data can be used to search for information about top paid search marketers to hire in Minneapolis. You can apply it to your own business and recognize how your current content may need to be enriched. Think in terms of your whole web ecosystem. Feed it the data about you that you want to be read and remembered.

There is a constant push to advance search technology to improve Google’s knowledge base and Google Now. Currently, it relies heavily on predictive query research and datasets that can respond and display results based upon context. Open Information Extraction is still a work in progress but may become a larger part of the future of search.

Google’s Approach to Dataset Discovery

A consumer behavior analysis is only as good as it’s data.

SEO continues to be an effective and important marketing channel when it draws its strategies from reliable data. If your web presence doesn’t stay active and current, your organic traffic may disappear. Conduct a search for your business brand or self and if limited data is rendered, then for sure, consumers can’t find you online. And to be sure, you need a website that is ideal for mobile user engagement.

Google encourages using the sameAs property to point to the most canonical URLs for the original in situations when the dataset or description is a simple republication of materials you already published. Your mobile site should present much the same data as your desktop version. Resolve all site technical issues that may impede how easy it is for users to have a great experience on your mobile site.

“Datasets are easier to find when you provide supporting information such as their name, description, creator and distribution formats as structured data. Google’s approach to dataset discovery makes use of and other metadata standards that can be added to pages that describe datasets. The purpose of this markup is to improve the discovery of datasets from fields such as life sciences, social sciences, machine learning, civic and government data, and more.” – Google Developers Community

“By 2020, there will be tens of billions of data-spouting devices connected to the Internet. And they’re already changing how we live and work.” – Borja Bonaque, The Globe and Mail**


More Ways to Collect Data for Your Consumer Behavior AnalysisConsumer Behavior Analysis to Decipher Buyer Intent

Intent behind consumer behavior varies widely. So mix up your approach to research to gain a variety of data. It will depend on your budget and time that you can invest.

  • Q and A sites – Sifting through these can give you a baseline of the questions and concerns that shoppers have that relate to your brand, service or product.
  • Customer Reviews – Whether positive or negative, customer reviews may disclose common problems or buyer preferences.
  • Online Surveys – Going directly to consumers can be easily done by using Google Surveys or Survey Monkey.
  • Keyword Research – Keyword research is still a pillar to learn what consumers care about most and levels of interest. It also helps to create messages that use the buyers’ way of talking.
  • Focus Groups – Ask a group of long-term loyal clients to collectively refine your approach.

The more you have invested in selling a product, especially higher-priced items, the less this seems too over-the-top. Identify the psychology behind what drives your buyer to purchase your product is critical to your brand and future sales if competition gets stiffer. Customers are the key to an effective marketing strategy.

How Hill Web Marketing Can Help with your Consumer Behavior Analysis

We analyze your user action statistics as well as the action trajectories that lead to someone downloading a piece of content to taking some other favorable action. We look to what questions your target audience is asking, analyze your datasets and optimize your content to win visibility in Google instant answers. And we’ll ensure that full-text data labeling provides a predictive lift.

Minneapolis digital marketing consultant Jeannie HillJeannie Hill is a professional digital marketing consultant who interprets data and turns it into useful information which can offer ways to improve business revenue.
I work and live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, providing both on-site and digital marketing services.


Does your business need help to implement search marketing strategies that have the potential to destroy any competitor’s hopes of challenging you in the SERPs? We love optimizing websites, landing pages, and sales funnels, which help us craft the best marketing plan for you. Once we’ve analyzed your user’s behavior, we can lead your in-house team to execute audience-targeted, optimized and constantly tested and tweaked PPC campaigns on AdWords, Facebook, and Instagram. Order your Consumer Behavior Analysis today and show up more in Google SERP real estate!

2019 will be about creating better customer experiences through personalization and AI-powered technology that helps you make data-backed decisions. Your analysis will help your business to get better at producing custom, conversational content to better reach smarter-targeted audiences. Hill Web Marketing can conduct a consumer behavior analysis and develop marketing strategies after understanding consumer behaviors and segmentation

We can help you leverage your consumer data insights for more
Effective Lead Generation




How Search Intent Shapes Consumer Journey Mapping

Search Intent is Reshaping Consumer Journey Mapping

Digital marketing changes most when it comes to the marketing funnel and purchase journey.

Consumers have moved past a linear path from awareness to consideration to purchase. They are distilling and broadening their purchase process in unique and unpredictable mobile moments. More than ever prospective buyers are relying on mobile devices to get immediate answers. Each time this happens, they are expressing search intent and reshaping the traditional marketing funnel in real time.

What is Customer journey mapping?

It’s the process that helps a company to understand and personalize the individual’s customer experience from they begin to consider a purchase to buying. It maps the target buyer’s search intent when they first research a product and continues through the stages and across devices until they reach a solution.

Across the globe, marketing funnels have reshaped and companies must tailor processes to engage each customer individually.

Be Consumer-Centered to Understand Your Customer’s Journey

Review your marketing strategies and update to deliver a better user journey, end-to-end.

We are all forced to learn how to deliver better-personalized experiences that are connected across channels. We must redefine the marketing funnel.

Technology Powers Digital Transformation: But the transformation itself is dependent on business results and people. When these worlds come together, that’s what brings business transformation – when a business can truly influence the customer journey. You may have the perfect customer-centric strategy, but for it to drive real revenue improvements, it’s vital to keep a fluid approach in order to evolve along with changes in user experiences.

Most businesses need a cultural change to do so at the pace needed. Since Google has learned how to determine search intent, the customer journey is no longer triggered by keywords nor is it static. How consumers search for information and make purchasing decisions is often based on emotional impulses. This, in turn, demands personalized responses from the business.

This level of change is hard-won. Buying a new technology program is easy in caparison. Changing the behavior of people and how your marketing team thinks, remains agile, and executing the right task order takes a lot longer. Digital technology is meant to serve the business, and the business focus is the customer.

Once there is unison as to what business results you’re trying to drive, and you have mapped how you will lead a customer to what they came to you for, then think about what technology would be of value that is currently missing.

There is a direct correlation between the time that consumers spend time on a page to your investment in improving online content to facilitate the consumer’s journey. Investing the time it takes to stay current with changes in users’ search preferences and digital marketing’s best practices, your business will most likely see a positive movement in the SERPs.

A product for services being sold will attract the right audiences better and faster by focussing on the search intent behind each phase. When we think of digital marketing, we used to think of reaching the #1 position for our target keywords and getting the right content in our knowledge graphs. While this is important and can drive relevant traffic, we can no longer ignore the rest of the buyer’s journey. Google’s machine learning algorithm is growing savvier as well as the consumer. But what exactly does this mean for marketers? And how do we adapt?

Multi-Modal Messages in Natural Language

The first and last interaction now is the most often voice. New Metadata standards seek to reward publishers who answer questions. When you are in a voice environment it is fundamentally different than when users are on a screen. Attribution across the consumer journey to to purchase is more complex with spoken search queries.

Businesses that embrace multimodality communication practices are able to connect with consumers by using textual, aural, linguistic, spatial, and visual resources – or modes used to compose messages.

People are conducting easy conversational search queries in language that is natural to them. This means they ask more pointed, specific, and personal questions about the products and services on their mind at the moment. Prospective buyers want to move quickly past online noise and obtain precise answers. Let them know that they’re getting exactly what they need.

United States Consumer Purchase Journey

The buyer journey is all about answering a series of questions to inform the consumer.

United States eCommerce marketers face the challenge to keep pace with where and how consumers browse, seek answers, and purchase online. A new report reveals:

  • How consumers discover products is shared evenly across retailers and search engines
  • How to connect your messaging semantically for optimal e-commerce performance
  • How to show when users rely on Conversational AI

Budget planning is stressful as teams compete across their verticals for the dollars needed for their jobs and it’s not everyone’s favorite list. Business must account for growth by being willing to invest. People like a sense of freedom when buying retail online. They don’t want the Internet to take up their time and take them down rabbit holes. They want just the information that they are seeking at each phase of making a purchase decision.

Staying ahead of the curve and being in front of your niche audience means taking advantage of opportunities that others may not have picked up. Diversify to future-proof your brand and get out of traditional SEO bubbles. Rather, only produce fresh content to meet user’s needs and align with consumer behaviors. Organizations should move off legacy devices and out-dated applications to embrace a growing segment of marketing teams that need better collaboration, mobility, and technology that matches the pace of changes in shopper’s search intent.

In our world of nonstop communication and market saturation, how digital marketers build relationships with customers and make sure our voices are heard is rapidly changing. We now must send not only the right message but utilize the consumer’s preferred channel at just the right time.

The Customer Decision JourneyThe consumer decision journey by McKinsey

“Consumer-driven marketing” is no longer an adoption choice for digital marketers who want to succeed. Mobile content marketing success depends on recognizing that customers have already seized control of the buying process and are in control of how they buy and connect with businesses. McKinsey & Company’s research found that “two-thirds of the touch points during the active-evaluation phase involve consumer-driven marketing activities, such as Internet reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family, as well as in-store interactions and recollections of past experiences. A third of the touch points involve company-driven marketing.”

When combined with traditional marketing strategies, your business has a better chance to influence the way your existing and potential customers make decisions. Today’s digital marketing teams must take aggressive actions beyond more offensive push-style communications. Featured snippets in Google-owned SERPs can introduce your brand to consumers and satisfy their search intent at the beginning of the customer journey. With this marketing strategy, you’ll find better engagement across consumer-driven touchpoints, including word-of-mouth and Internet information sites.

The November 17, 2017 article titled Ten years on the consumer decision journey: Where are we today? says:

“What I find remarkable is that so many people have more trust in what they read from total strangers than what companies tell them. That shows us that brands need to win back the trust of consumers. Every purchase is up for grabs today. In fact, more than half of customers — 58 percent — change brands from one purchase cycle to the next.” – Dave Elzinga, McKinsey’s Marketing & Sales

How to Incorporate Customer Journey Mapping Into Your MarketingHow to understand user's search intent

1. Identify top consumer actions

2. Let the purchaser lead

3. Optimize for the Customer Decision Journey

4. Predict consumer intent at scale

5. Create the right internal business focus

6. Understand your buyers and solutions

7. Be clear on what you offer

8. Get data on your user’s journey

9. Use context and word co-occurrence

10. Market to your ideal customer vs everyone

11. Get into how Search Intent impacts marketing funnels

12. facilitate impatient consumers

Ready for an indepth look at each one?

How Search Intent Influences our Consumer Journey Mapping

1. Identify Which Consumer Actions Are the Core of Your Business Growth

Today’s buyers are non-exclusive in their purchase journey. A startling amount of marketing spend is severely off-beat with consumer behaviors. Consumers are taking action right in Google-owned SERPs. The purchase journey shifts based on the product category that best meets the prospective buyer’s search intent. It’s key to developing the ability to know your target audience inside and out. If you are monitoring your data and conducting surveys, it helps to marry up user behavior with buyer attitudes. This knowledge lets you work from precise in-the-moment insights versus opinion.

A solid business growth plan needs a dual focus:

  • How to acquire more new customers
  • How to improve customer retention

Each focus has a unique customer journey. Few businesses have all the time and resources in the world and therefore must find a smarter way to maintain growth while achieving a high customer retention rate. The cost of keeping your customers coming back for more will result in a greater ROI that is much cheaper to gain. The Semantic Web is a vital extension of the current web in part due to the way URI provides the capability to move a reader along the purchase path from informational pages, enable content sharing, and the reuse of machine-readable data with little integration costs. Plan your landing pages wisely to meet the viewer at the right point in their experience with your brand.

Leverage AI Intelligence for digital audience insights to understand key online and offline touchpoints in the customer journey.

“One single interaction can hardly engage a customer, so a brand has to connect with its customer or prospects at different touch points.”

2. Let the Purchaser Lead throughout Their Marketing Funnel

Flex with the consumer; today marketing funnels take many shapes.

In order to advance further and improve your consumers’ purchasing experience when engaging with your brand, introduce crossover solutions. This involves the method of creating content and taking delivery that is led by the purchaser. This is what cross-channel marketing means.

For example, could you offer your customers the option of ordering and paying for your products online or by mobile and later coming to your physical store location to collect the items? Conversely, if they are already at your premise, in order to let buyers choose from more catalog items, in addition to what’s display on your floor space, is it viable to provide interactive terminals?

This way items can be ordered and later delivered to their homes. Because of how highly effective this is from a marketers point of view and creates ease of shopping for buyers, it is worth the challenges that cross-channel presents at each stage of buyer intent to logistics specialists.

Determine customer satisfaction level as each touchpoint and find ways to improve. Your basic chart may look something like this:Determine customer satisfaction level as each touch-point

Writing down your customer journey and communication touchpoints is a great place to begin. Do more and create a visual map of it. There is no need for being elaborate. Simply write each touchpoint down and determine the best sequence to gain a bird’s eye summary of the entire customer journey.

Align new communication touchpoints with buyer’s search intent to improve the customer acquisition journey; implement and test. If your hypotheses seem off, go back to your journey map, reevaluate, adjust, and improve.

Journey mapping processes can be intensive, but the big impact on your business justifies it. Be ready for a change. Customer preferences are likely to adjust; new technology will surface, as well, your business products might evolve. Set your marketing teams expectation to review journey mapping at least once a year and be on top of what’s currently working and what needs re-tuning.

3. Don’t Optimize for the Outcome: Optimize for the Customer Decision Journey

Digital marketers need to centralize, decentralize, automate, humanize, and embrace change. It’s not easy or quickly done, yet your marketing success depends on balancing all of these powerful, yet often paradoxical forces.

Enlist various methodologies to see how customers interacted with your brand in order that your marketing team can make better user-centered decisions.

“Interaction models” help businesses connect on the web, while actually being a chatbot. If you parcel everything into fraggles then its easier for Google to translate on the fly. Messenger bots can help marketers at the engagement stage of the buyers’ journey as they can follow the users up. Use different chatbot building platforms or experiment with Bing’s Microsoft bot framework to build a simple Q&A bot that you can train over time.

Digital marketers may feel like they need to develop a sixth sense to navigate these buyer steps by juggling first- and third-party data, chance variation modeling, or remarketing. But that’s a lot of work and will likely still fall short. Today’s consumers demand more. They want assistance at every point along the path to purchase.

When you understand what they need better than they do, you can be one step ahead of your customers. With little margin for error, it’s possible to anticipate consumer needs irrespective of what point they are at in their journey.

4. Predict Consumer Intent at Scale

Don’t confuse the entry to the journey with last-click attribution. Search data helps marketers access real insights across media to forecast consumer intent at scale. Once the right consumer actions are understood, you can go from fragmented planning and guessing intent to building a process that predicts what people need at every stage in the journey.

Google Ads is better today at automating marketing campaigns with consumer-intent signals. Machine learning can help you tie in a consumer’s purchase history and contextual relevance to customize messages on the fly. This automation can trigger positive user experiences and is just one way that companies can rely on machine learning to drive impactful marketing decisions.

“The reality is the customer journey is nothing short of dynamic. As the journey continues to shift and change shape, it’s becoming harder for marketers to make sense of all the consumer intent signals people leave behind.” – Think with Google

When someone starts searching for what they need, the digital world has become such a large part of the daily routines that they may switch between channels and devices. They may first ask a question on mobile, later move along their purchase journey by watching a video on TV, and finally decide what to buy after reading consumer reviews on their laptop.

5. Create the Right Internal Business Focus

It takes reshaping our approach to produce a more personalized customer experience.

To improve on your customer journey, all team players need to align. The people component is more challenging than any technology. Once everyone understands the objective of being more strategical so that all marketing efforts unify around making it easier for the customer, then technology choices and implementation flow better. The challenge for all of us is gaining open mindsets. Then time is needed to adjust work schedules in order to educate everyone on your new way of defining things. But if you improve your mobile ad spend with more high-value click, it is worth it.

So for instance, sending fewer emails or switching up some former marketing strategy that worked in the past will raise some eyebrows. But to evolve along with consumer preferences and advancing AI technology demands a flexible and teachable team. For those new to it, and even those steeped in it, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence are hard to grasp and apply. Be bold. Adapt and improve that customer experience to drive better results,

A recent Google Patent gives us insight about how Google’s knowledge graph updates itself through a process of collecting and connecting information about entities. By understanding relationships between our content, collective data, and how they can surface along a user’s journey, it helps SEO and SEM professionals evolve and become more knowledge-rich to answer the right question at the right moment.

“People say, ‘I’m sending out 1000 emails with a 1% open rate and we’re getting a certain return from that. Why do I need to change it?’ The conversation at that point is, “it may be working well today, but look at the trends: people are opening less email, paying less attention to the information being pushed to them, and using more search and social recommendations to go find the information they need.” – Kimberly Collins on Search Engine Watch

It is a practical exercise; staff education is key to helping each individual journey through the change in the same way that we need to educate those with high-buyer intent so the journey to purchase is easy for them. To move the needle effectively, businesses must align their marketing more closely with the questions and priorities of their customers to deliver a personalized approach at every digital touchpoint.

6. Understand Your Buyers and What it takes to Reach a Solution

Maintain a fluid empathy map to understand consumer’s journey.

Whether you sell a product or a service, your business is unique. Make your business website perform better to assist them by answering the following questions:

  • Intent: What intent or tasks are searchers trying to complete that your business answer best?
  • Questions: What questions do they most commonly ask to meet that intent?
  • Emotions: How is the user feeling? What are their emotions while on your site? What matters to them?
  • Influences: What people, reviews, social channels, or places may influence the user decisions and actions?
  • Pain points: What are the common pain points that most users experience trying to get a solution?
  • End Goals: What is the user’s ultimate goal? What can they take away and be satisfied with?

Don’t stop until you can deliver experiences that speak to what your customers want to accomplish. Create a method that works for you and can be repeated on other pages to increase motivation and remove the friction from the consumer’s journey.

To successfully create a user-friendly path to purchase that dramatically shifts behavior, generates faithful client engagement, and promotes a profitable cycle, every size of business must first understand the consumer journey. Consumer empathy is core to every successful product strategy, design, and marketing. This reveals unanswered questions, past unpleasant experiences, and idea catalyzing user behaviors.

But building your business, a new product or service around a single point-in-time understanding of your consumer is destined to fail. To successfully create a digital marketing plan that dramatically shifts behavior, organically generates habitual engagement, and promotes a profitable viral cycle, no one can afford to skip understanding the consumer journey.

* Embrace Voice-Enabled Assistants that are Revolutionizing Customer Journeys

Use a mobile site design and advertising technologies that are scalable, highly available, and cross-platform for both organic and Google Ads advertising to AMP landing pages.

The fact that people use the Internet to find answers is nothing new; just how people are conducting question and answer search has evolved. Use new FAQ and QandA structured data to surface your answers.

We can define the difference between voice search and conversational AI (the voice assistance component) in that searches are continuously happening, but voice-assisted search, using your voice to engage with some sort of intelligent technology, is taking over the lion’s share. Individuals now rely on a digital assistant, a chatbot, or even a voice skill to pose a question and gain an answer or to control other aspects of technology in IoT.

7. Ensure that it’s Clear What You Are Actually Offering

Paid search ad creatives to need to communicate effectively at the right stage in the customer’s journey to purchase, they cannot exist for creativity’s sake alone. Use speakable markup around clear concepts that serve your value proposition. Avoid “cute talk” or a play on words that are more vulnerable to being misconstrued. Creativity in advertising and marketing can work to break through online clutter and give your ideal customer a clear understanding of your value proposition. Use Google Ads more advanced features to leverage AI that gives you data at a vast scale to help you make more accurate predictions across your account.

Adding schema markup to appropriate content can explain your content. The most effective Schema type that we see currently working is industry-identifying organizational schema that shows information about local agents or affiliates of larger organizations. Let your tone of voice and markup add a human touch to your business.

4 Ways to adapt messaging to your consumers:

  • Adapt to user language in your market.
  • Be constantly innovating.
  • Reach users by going out of your way to be where they are.
  • Optimize for Google Local Maps

The customer journey can begin on Google Maps; make it inticing for consumers to use the new maps follow button. Your products and services should be easy to recognize.

8. Get the Data You Need to Know Your User’s Journey

Advanced analytics are featured within the Google Analytics 360 product and provide a more detailed and data-driven overview of the customer journey. Google indicates that it will become even better in 2019 at revealing how users interact with your online content. We anticipate the announcement of new tools and features that will make this happen.

Consumers have more loyalty towards retail brands that understand their wants and needs, and personalized experiences can help to build those strong relationships. Track and measures user activity at person-level for a people-based marketing approach. Consumers are real people, not just theoretical personas or numbers.

Currently, the 2 key search marketing reports to rely on for user journey mapping are:

  • The Funnel Analysis feature (it sheds light on the user’s journey as they complete actions on your web pages)
  • The Segment Overlap technique (it makes it possible to track how segments intersect with one another)

Both provide data that can be used to build a prospect marketing lifecycle structure that sets up your digital team for success. But you need more than data. Many businesses swim in a data sea and sink. You need a connected and logical process in place to make this knowledge work.

How to Succeed in Data-Driven Consumer Insights:

  • Starts by having digital-savvy leaders who value the process.
  • These leaders must build-in team capabilities for the workforce of the future.
  • Empower staff and freelance support to work in new ways.
  • Give day-to-day tools the digital upgrade that is needed. Example: move up to Google Analytics 360 if you haven’t already done so.
  • Communicate frequently across teams by both via traditional and digital methods to ensure proper implementation and readings.

This enlarges any business’s capabilities to understand how their audiences integrate with a search. It provides clarity on the user’s characteristics and shopping preferences. Then it requires the compassion and passion within your business to change your communication language to ways that better resonate with consumers.

Now, we get back to those web pages and make improvements.

9. Use Context and Word Co-occurrence to Reach the Mobile Consumer

Improve performance with topic clustering on search queries through word co-occurrence and bipartite graph co-clustering.

Given the burgeoning world of mobile commerce, today’s Internet buyers don’t “go shopping”, but instead make purchases in a vast range of different contexts and settings. It is becoming more complex for brands to understand their customers in context and appeal to the flux in constantly-changing needs.

Discover frequent and related themes from a large number of unorganized search queries and use them to mine insights about aggregated user interests. Typical topic modeling methods for document modeling often are more challenging given there is less search query data due to their shorter length than documents.

To find semantically meaningful head terms in search queries Google tells us to use:

  • Word co-occurrence clustering to generate topics from words frequently occurring together
  • Weighted bigraph clustering lets you use URLs from Google search results to induce query similarity and generate topics

Prioritize top traffic pages for each stage of your consumer’s buying funnel and create at least 1 quality piece of lead gen content for them.

10. Market to Your Ideal Customer Vs Everyone

Going forward it is less effective, if not impossible, to market to the average person or a wide range of buyers. It is a mistake to keep marketing to as many individuals as may someday buy from you. It is more realistic to know who your ideal customers are and market to them. It is like the money with his hand stuck in a jar because he cannot let go of something.

The cost of marketing can be staggering if you are attempting to reach every possible buyer. Rather, invest profitably. Tailoring your online business to the customer that shows promise. This way, you are both more likely to benefit. Start and stick to where you have a valuable return.

Research first and then pick a niche; learn as much as possible about that unique consumer segment.

11. Get into How Search Intent Impacts the Marketing Funnel

Writing exceptional content, optimizing it, and obtaining trusted incoming links is now only the start for a good ranking position for a keyword. The ultimate goal for Google is to understand the context and provide users results based on their search intent at the moment. Keyword research, choice, and use must now align with the searchers need at each phase.

A keyword’s contextual relevance must make sense for alignment to a search query. And it should be fit for voice conversational searches.

Content curation and marketing efforts should come after spending time and resources to first determine current ranking websites and phrases. If you don’t have a chance to reach consumers with your favored keyword phrase, spend your time pursuing what has a solid chance of working. It is best done with different content and wording for each phase of the buyer journey.

Know what Google is giving preference to, where there is a content gap, what search intent that you can best answer, and where you have a competitive chance to rank. Maybe that is in Google Maps; maybe it is in AdWords. You have too much to do to waste time on communication strategies that present lesser opportunities. Pursue what matters most to the consumer.

Then set up the right CTAs for a clearly tracked and signposted user journey. Make it easy for the consumer, even if it is more complex for you.

By identifying the messages and offers that resonate best at each touchpoint, retailers can deliver more meaningful experiences that are relevant and personalized. Applying user intent insights means marketers can elevate the consumer experience, drive engagement, improve purchase rates, and build long-term loyalty.

“The shopping journey is becoming increasingly complex, crisscrossing multiple online and offline channels and devices, with consumers now checking an average of 12 sources before making a purchase decision.” – Think with Google

12. Facilitate Impatient Consumers on every Step of their Purchase Journey

Retailers have less time to wade through marketing decisions if they want a competitive edge in this fast-paced and dynamic environment. The path to purchase is increasingly tangled. Most retail marketers find it challenging to understand of what motivates their consumers, what thoughts are in their heads, and what emotions trigger actions.

The bright side is that technology has opened wide the door of opportunity for retailers to better grasp consumer’s intent and their path to purchase. Lowe’s uses technology at all consumer touchpoints and assesses multi-touch attribution to better understand the role of each touchpoint. From broad to deep and narrow segments of consumers, data is available with much greater accuracy for making more effective marketing decisions.

“Consumer impatience across the entire purchase journey provides marketers with new opportunities. But the reality is some brands aren’t always keeping up. While over 60% of people expect brands to “provide consumers with the information they need when they need it,’ less than half of them feel that brands are delivering. Marketers can close this gap between expectations and reality. Brands and businesses that are ready to help at the moment will build trust, be appreciated, and earn the sale.” – Think with Google

According to new ClickZ research:

  • When consumers know what they are looking for, 50% of e-commerce journeys start with a retailer website and 50% start with a search engine.
  • When consumers are unsure what they are looking for or need, 62% of e-commerce purchase journeys begin with a search engine and only 38% start with a retailer.

What’s behind purchase behavior is complex and varied. Optimize and gain online brand credibility and trust by showing up. You may feel like you are too small and cannot manage the tasks involved. Don’t give up. Those who accomplish it are winning more revenue as online and offline marketing has blurred into one.

A Digital Strategy that Aligns with Consumers Search Intent

Voice search and chatbot use are important for your business growth. They have generated both an evolution and a revolution for digital marketers. Evaluate your brand’s consumer experiences for our new voice-first world. Seek to drive client acquisition through engaging, empathy-rich conversations.

They reshape the customer pathway to purchase and force the need to be:

  • Using the right words at the right stage of user interaction
  • Balancing effort and impact with user preferences
  • Uncovering consumer biasess and counteract with communications that trigger favorable emotions
  • Crafting your message to each market and channel
  • Knowing what outcomes your optimizing for throughout their journey

In all of this, artificial intelligence has invaded the Customer Relationship Management arena. While doing the above, there is also the pressure to speed up data entry and respond quickly to customers who demand transparency and privacy controls. Today, we must allow users to view, analyze and decide on which data you have permission to use. If they request it, align quickly with your consumers by making their personal data available in reports.

“The important point (in my eyes) is that this is not a “tweak h1’s, inject keywords, get links” kind of traditional SEO work, but rather you’d want to step back, understand where the site’s audience is & where it’s going, and rethink how you’d like to position the site within the 2019+-web. As an SEO consultant, you’ve probably seen a lot of potential directions, and how they’ve evolved over the years, so you might be in a good place to make informed recommendations. – Google’s John Mueller on Redditt

Build an Intent-based Keyword List for Consumer Journey Mapping

Understand how information intent, navigational intent, and transactional intent are different and support unique stages in the journey to purchase.

First, before you can truly align with search intent, set a solid foundation of core keywords to work from. Your Keyword Intent List should include products, features, and / or services that you currently own and that you’ll build. Informational search intent is a bit less uniform than navigational intent or transactional intent. Each needs to be evaluated separately and then combined into your whole content strategy.

These are foundational to the science of analyzing funnels, having the ability to predict intent, especially transactional intent. Conversion funnels take clues from spotted inspirations on the SERPs. The “people so ask” box and related searches are rich with intent-based search queries. They are Google-vetted and plentiful for sourcing related topics. It is all about how users search and how Google search works.

Now that our homework is done and we’ve grasped what Google is telling us about the new customer, it’s more likely that when creating next year’s Digital Marketing Plan, you’ll get it right!

How Marketing Funnels Work

This funnel means what steps a visitor typically goes through before they can reach a sales conversion.

User research can lead your content strategy at each stage of the funnel. Blog posts, engaging visuals, and calls to action can be useful for funnel steps to reach potential customers. Otherwise, we’re all susceptible to developing tunnel vision when preparing to market a product. We’re immersed in every little feature and every single internal process that goes into it.

But prospective buyers learn about and interface with your product from a completely different perspective. They’ve little reason to learn about your product until you demonstrate what it can do for them. Designers and Developers must understand the context in which the product will be used to generate the consumer’s journey roadmap.

Steps for Creating a Customer Journey Map

1. Learn about the motivation of your users; establish what their intent is.

2. Create a hypothesis journey map for each type of user.

3. Determine the general context of a general search.

4. Map out their journey.

5. Identify the critical points in your user’s journey.

6. Incorporate performance indicators.

7. Determine how to make them actionable for your stakeholders.

The end result is that your business can ease pain points along the user journey to help your users achieve their goals. By evaluating and staying in tune with your customers’ point of view, even if you only discover one critical piece of insight, it may drastically improve your conversion rates and improve your stakeholders’ engagement.

A Users journeys can take on a high level of detail. To uncover exactly what steps individual users take to complete a specific task on your website or mobile app requires a current (as-is) user workflow. It reveals areas of improvement for future workflows and content choices. User journeys focus solely on the user and what they see and what they click on. Then this data is valuable to improve your click path which is just a simple list of the text URLs that are hit when a user takes a particular Journey to Purchase.

“What makes customer journey maps especially powerful is the ability to layer other relevant information into the map along with the foundational journey elements and the ability to visualize your map in a way that will inform and engage your target audience. In fact, multiple versions of a customer journey map might be the most effective approach to meet the needs of different stakeholder audiences.” – John Quincy of UX 360


Google Search changes from answers to journeys.

Search intent is determining what a user means to accomplish when he or she enters or speaks a specific search term. It’s still like the holy grail of search with each engine seeking to get user’s search intent first and best.

Buyers seldom go from little knowledge about a product to buying it in one single search. Days, maybe weeks or months can fly by before the consumer enters the next stage of the process. By matching your keywords and content to that intent, you can better ensure that your content has a chance to be found at each stage.

Once initiated and tagged, that person’s search journey will become the focal point for Google’s future of search. Increasingly, search engines will know where people are in the journey, remember their actions and search history for where they’re most likely wanting to go.

Google has been using an AI method to improve its ability to match words to concepts to journeys.

“We’ve now reached the point where neural networks can help us take a major leap forward from understanding words to understanding concepts. Neural embeddings, an approach developed in the field of neural networks, allow us to transform words to fuzzier representations of the underlying concepts, and then match the concepts in the query with the concepts in the document. We call this technique neural matching. This can enable us to address queries like: “why does my TV look strange?” to surface the most relevant results for that question, even if the exact words aren’t contained in the page.” – Ben Gomes, Google’s VP of Search, News and Assistant

Now user searches without the exact words can lead to the correct answer on a landing page, a quick answer box, or a knowledge graph. It works more by “topic” than being limited to exact wording.

You can no longer just write out your thoughts on a new web page; it is increasingly important to know your topic inside out. Additionally, you need to know the competitive world in which your new content lives and try to learn how the conceptual connections to users are exactly made and what actions they take.

We put our customers at the heart of whatever we do, enjoying the challenge of pushing the boundaries of digital marketing to give them new, ingenious and easy ways to connect online.

Call Jeannie Hill owner of Hill Web Marketing at 651-206-2410 to Boost User Engagement Through Performance Checks

Conversational AI and the Rise of Chatbots

Conversational AI and the Adoption of Chatbots are Disrupting Search

Amid the entire buzz about voice search comes along another digital marketplace disruptor: Digital Assistants.

Indeed, voice search is disrupting the world of text-based searches, but it is only part of the larger shift on how businesses need to think about communications with current clients and new consumers who have the potential of becoming a client. Conversational AI represents an easy way to get immediate answers and is shifting consumer behavior; voice search is a key player in the bigger picture of getting solutions fast but is only one part of it.

The AI-based technology of natural language processing that enables voice search is pretty astounding, but in truth, Google doesn’t understand natural language processing yet. The race is on with many participants who are trying to. Answer engine optimization (AEO) is a means in which SEO’s are engaging with search engines to get their answer matched to a searcher’s query. Search engine marketers can take advantage of AEO and conversational AI can help your business transition into the realm that fits trends in how users gain information.

What is Conversational AI in eCommerce?

Conversational commerce is e-commerce conducted through various means of conversation. They may take the form of a live chat on e-commerce sites, a live conversation on messaging apps, through chatbots directly on websites, or via voice assistants.

Conversational AI for a voice-activated search has unique characteristics from text-based search. Considering that the top 80 percent of questions that are text-based searches usually consist of one to three words while voice searches typically range from four to six words. That conversational length provided more clues needed to understand the context of the search.

Voice assistance is using your voice to engage with some sort of intelligent technology — like a digital assistant, a chatbot, or potentially even a voice skill — to ask a question and find an answer or to control other technologies and the IoT.

Your Google Assistant is one of many assistants that engage directly with people. You can leverage your knowledge graph and Google Answer Box as well as additional knowledge repositories to provide the best response and a quick answer. Search is the intelligence platform powering these intelligent agents.

Consider the difference between voice search and conversational AI (the voice assistance aspect), the key thing to recognize is that searches are continuously happening in real time. Much of search hasn’t changed; what is disrupting the marketplace is the people are shifting how they prefer to initiate a search query. They want retail experiences that offer the luxury of immediate consultative interactions using the ease of chatbots. Assistive technologies are still in the emergent phase, so it is best to have a fluid mindset as you incorporate them into your marketing plans.

Conversational Interfaces have Disrupted the Manner in Which People Search

Study your Google Analytics to determine where your search results are coming from, and how that response is generated. no longer can digital marketers rely on our familiar ways of developing programs and marketing plans as if touch and screens are still the primary user interfaces between purchasers and devices. Analyzing your user data will reveal the insights you need to make even more memorable experiences for customers.

The age of digital touch as the primary user interface between consumers, their choice of device, and you, is vanishing. By embracing the age of conversational interfaces that are activated by people’s voice and gestures, your business can grow its engagement level where buying decisions happen.

We’ve already embarked on the age of conversational interfaces powered by voice, and sometimes even human gestures. Where an AR/VR technology element exists, a screen isn’t even needed. While such devices may include more screens in the future, their function largely involves listening and then returning a spoken response. Some may feel overwhelmed with this next change, but digital marketers have a real opportunity right here to make the transition and win better user engagement.

This article will help you understand the language of your customers and empower you to provide value in the words and phrases that they recognize.

How to use Digital Assistants that Engage with User's VoiceHow to use Digital Assistants that Engage with User's Voice

From augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality to bots, your brand has more engaging ways to connect with your consumers than ever before.

1. Understand how Individuals are using Conversational AI

Businesses need to know how their clientele is interacting with digital assistants.

Most people have become as comfortable talking to Alexa, Siri, Google, or Cortana as they are another person. So if this is where business conversations are, your company will do better to take a leap and adapt rather than stagnate and be left out of the question and answer conversations that happen every day prior to a sale. You may argue that it is too impersonal, but the chatbot use is a fact is heavily influencing the marketing sphere.

Those who wait another year to embrace voice and AI search will face the implications — and miss the opportunities presented when we recognize that buyers are in control of how they want to make purchasing decisions.

This reflects that people who engage with a digital assistant do so as if they are in a human conversation. They’re naturally speaking their questions and do so in a manner that is closer to full sentences. The searcher’s intent is typically clearer as more words are used when asking questions.

The connected vehicle ecosystem is a leading example of today’s evolution of existing business models as the automotive industry adapts conversational technology. The ability to analyze data and make communications on-the-go easier and safer is leading to new services that improve lives and make searches from mobile devices more efficient.

Google has become more prescriptive in the information that it provides.

2. Understand the Consumer’s Need that Prompts the Conversation

Discover The Voice of Your Consumer and offer people what they want to know.

Knowing that the very reason that Chatbots exist is to answer questions that your customers are now asking is reason enough to pause and listen to the conversations. It is the new consumer-centric response to searchers’ preferences. It is a huge opportunity to identify your top customer needs and the way that they naturally talk when trying to learn about you and your products.

This avoids some of the “marketers speak” or marketing terms that we have used. It forces digital marketers to get out off their niche languages and get inside the mind of consumers. The outcome is more value back to the average person using search. We all respond faster to messaging that we immediately relate to. A follow, a share, and a purchase all involve the aspect of human emotion. Using the voice of the consumer is both our responsibility and success; after all, the Internet is really a means to building real relationships.

Let’s take a quick look at A9. is a subsidiary of Amazon that develops a search engine and cutting-edge search advertising technology to help people find information and make a purchase. Are start-up marketers differentiating their offering enough? Formerly, a “tongue in cheek” approach to making statements online could get your content mixed up with another meaning. Today, Artificial Intelligence does a better job of deciphering the tone of the searcher or the context of the question asked. It is all about being a good listener and providing a more natural response that will meet the user’s need.

3. Engage in Meaningful Conversations with AI

Respond in a manner that matches the user’s need. If the intent behind the search was to gather information, then the conversation may lead to an in-depth article. Think of the times that human need propels a good sit down session and lengthy conversation.

In contrast, if someone is asking for the nearest medical emergency center, they need only one answer and they need it fast. Google has a lot more information than we know; make sure that you have a piece of content that fits the user’s intent. This is the way to create meaningful conversations online. As marketers, we tend to put more into what we can see or show for our efforts. Conversational AI is effect at engaging with a new connection, from there, the responsibility lies with the marketer to move the newly introduced connection into a meaningful relationship.

As of late, chatbots, or “bots” for short, have advanced into exceptionally intelligent computer programs that your business can use with core tasks ranging from your marketing efforts, human resource responses, to boosting sales communications.

These technology assistants are here to stay as they’ve already earned their mark in the business world. Users don’t need to fully understand their capabilities; they simple like the end result when they have a response that they are satisfied with. It’s on the end of business owners and digital marketing experts to understand their limitations, functionalities, and keep up with evolutions.

4. Leverage AI to Help Users on the Path to Purchase

The marketing easy button is over. Show that you care to gain an actionable audience.

Know what entities that you need to mention that demonstrate that you know your topic and are an expert on it. Add the right content to meet user’s needs at the right stage of the user’s path to purchase. Let the users keep their voice throughout their journey to purchase; they should feel in charge. It’s about embarking on a long-term relationship. Users may start with the software, but they want to know you as a person. Establish trust at every touch point.

Everyday, there is a huge investment in humanizing Healthcare searches with the use of Artificial Intelligence assisting medical queries. It is one of the largest and fastest growing telemedicine services nationwide, as there is a lot of data available from trusted sources, like the Mayo Clinic. Mayo is a great example of a business that is present, and relational along the path to purchase.

Determine how to connect in a meaningful way that is compelling and, but most importantly, adds value to the person. With conversational AI, it is worth the extra hours it takes to create an emotional connection through more high-value conversations with our customers to build relationships. Brands can differentiate themselves by adding emotional intelligence to IQ through these AI conversations. This will give you better mobile click-through rates and conversions.

The user experience (UX) when engaging your bot is your litmus test. People get frustrated if its answers are off the mark or it speaks in a confusing manner. Your success depends on if they don’t even recognize the bot is behind the conversation. Making it natural as if two human beings are conversing is hard. Conversational UX involves skilled UX designers who align with SEO’s who map the route for a flowing a conversation. It encompasses implementing helpful cues to let the user feel comfortable with the stage they’re at in the conversation.

This is a way to back to the basics where we can understand more about the user intent because consumers are giving us more personal information. They are telling us what is important to them. We may just need to listen better.

5. Create an Ongoing Immersive Experience

Be present. It remains important to get mentioned in reliable sources and show up in the right places. Search engines rely on the strength of site placement by domain trust and brand recognition. Weigh your business’s true impact. Protect it. Request edits if your Google Knowledge Graph’s content is inaccurate. Googlers take a manual look at the information someone provides when correcting information in its knowledge graph.

We have moved from marketing that we are familiar with to marketing that is outside the walls of our experience. The customers are THE MARKETER.

I find it helpful to stop and ask my marketing team to put themselves in the shoes of an in-store customer. Would the conversations we have online compel you to make a sale? Engaging a new potential customer online is one the initial step to getting the customer in-store or to make a purchase decision.

You can drive memorable user experiences that encourage people to come back for fresh content. Since AR is now on most smartphones, it is exciting to discover the vast array of new possibilities for brands to connect better. As always, exceptional content is useful and intuitive, making it easy to consume.

6. Use Voice Technology to gain Position Zero and Manage Your Graph

Almost every query produces hundreds of options a person can choose. That is not so with voice. When people utilize voice search using a digital assistant, roughly 40 percent of the spoken responses today come from a “featured snippet” within the search results. That what has become known as position zero. If your business can hold that featured snippet slot in a mobile organic search, that’s what a search assistant is going to default to as the one spoken response. Siri, Google, Cortana, and Alexa are not including the other ten links listed below that are presented as an option on that search page. Just one is offered.

This makes position zero a highly coveted spot. If your page comes up listed second in text-based searches, that works when someone types in their search query. Be aware that conversational search may mean less direct website traffic; for instance, if the person is using an intelligent agent and then listens to their spoken response, they may take immediate action. By embracing conversational AI, the opportunities are significant to align your business with consumer behavioral patterns and become the owner of that position zero.

Schema markup and structured data within your website have become best practices of organic search and basic SEO. They work to help provide search engines with content and context signals that are used for inclusion in the knowledge graph. Currently, they seem to contribute to improved chances of showing up in position zero.

Evenn though engaging buyers using mobile devices is more important than ever, his does not replace having a solid traditional search strategy. It should be implemented on top of all the optimization basics. This gives your business a better chance of winning the search and more relevant traffic to your corresponding web pages. Speakable markup is still in beta but already being successfully used.

According to Google, “The Google Assistant uses speakable structured data to answer topical news queries on smart speaker devices. When users ask for news about a specific topic, the Google Assistant returns up to three articles from around the web and supports audio playback using TTS for sections in the article with speakable structured data. When the Google Assistant reads aloud a speakable section, it attributes the source and sends the full article URL to the user’s mobile device through the Google Assistant app.”

7. Take User Engagement to a Higher Level with AI-powered ChatbotsChatbots help your business show up in SERPs when consumers ask questions

While traditional consumer interactions often occur on brand sites to assist customer service conversations, today chatbots are doing much more than just customer service. They have one job – assisting the user. That may be pointing them to a how-to answer, make a dinner reservation, order a plane ticket, or learn of popular activities nearby.

Give yourself the time to incorporate and positioned a chatbot correctly. Hill Web Marketing doesn’t see an imminent worry that they will replace human interactions but they can aid and enhance your relationships. They should never by pushing transactional actions, but be poised to be helpful and genuine. Gain the benefits of ongoing analysis to constantly optimize these conversations based on how customers are responding. Make every effort to align with the Google mobile search algorithm.

Leverage machine learning to do more than just gain interactions; the real goal is to drive more impactful site visitor experiences. Use your chatbot to provide better solutions to commonly asked questions. Recognize that this is an emerging technology, but expect it to become Status Quo in the future.

Align your marketing teams with IT and have the decision-makers communicate often so that a roadmap for success in embraced by everyone. Chatbots hold the promise of a profitable future.

8. Take “The Customer is Always Right” Approach

A new study shows 90% of top-performing B2B content marketers put their audience’s preferences ahead of their company’s onward march for higher revenue streams. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) seeks to accurately predict U.S. content marketing trends.

According to their latest study of B2B participants, putting audience needs first was unfamiliar to most of us just 10 years ago. Now it’s accepted among the most influential content marketing managers. In the 2018 study, CMI had over 1,000 participants who are avid and established content marketers. These proven results suggest that even if you feel like balking at the idea of chatbots, it will be better to be an early adopter than to dig in your heals.

Companies that seek to be present where most prospective buyers are will align with messaging applications that are consumer’s favored means of communication. Phone calls, text messages, and emails are giving way to messaging apps.

If your target audience is here, than focus your marketing efforts on these areas in the digital space where your audiences hang around. Today, that is inside messaging apps even more than on social media.

So what does this mean for your business?

A few tasks that your Chabot can handle:

  • Answer people’s questions with the right information.
  • Draft and send business messages in various languages.
  • Craft personalized offers created to appeal the shoppers based on their purchasing history.
  • Assist in the research and booking of travel, hotel accommodations, business appointments, etc.
  • Schedule, invite, and edit meeting times.
  • Make a purchase.
  • Use real time to inform specific agents of updates.
  • Align with home appliances and business property security notices.
  • Create and send emails, texts, and make phone calls.
  • Responses when your business is closed.
  • Provide account details and log concerns.
  • Rectify many consumer complaints.
  • Use as an internal communication channel for employees.
  • Transform data into something of value.
  • Automate a number of your daily business processes.

Voice Technology is Revolutionizing the Customer Experience

Conversational experiences are an area of big business. It has altered and enhanced the way consumers conduct transactions and interact with the brands that they love. Chatbots have become core to assisted decision-making and enhanced voice experiences.

Voice-controlled technology is not a device war — it’s the race to create the best consumer experience, and that experience already includes voice-activated conversations.

Recent news of conversational AI purchases and mergers:

  • LivePerson acquires Conversable, a conversational AI company – October 2018
  • Tech Mahindra and Avaamo to partner for conversational AI solutions – September 2018
  • Microsoft acquires conversational AI startup Semantic Machines – May 2018
  • Facebook buys Ozlo to boost its conversational AI efforts – July 2017
  • Cisco acquires conversational AI startup MIndMeld for $125 Million – May 2017

These purchases represent players who what to compete with conversational computing initiatives from Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa Skills Kit, Amazon’s Echo Dot, Apple’s Siri, Samsung’s Bixby, and the like.

Look for the names of widely recognized experts in the conversational AI arena; you’ll find Larry Gillick, the former chief scientist for Siri at Apple, and other researchers with national acclaim like UC Berkeley professor Dan Klein and Stanford University professor Percy Liang. They are leaders in successful experiments with new channels and platforms.

The basic reason behind all this voice development is that consumers do not want to download one more app or navigate to a website to place an order. They want to type, tap, or voice order fast and get what they want from a messaging service they already trust. Digital assistants do the tasks of social listening and have outbound marketing capabilities that enhance conversational commerce.

So where is the headed?

AI-based Future Traffic Predictions for Mobile Computing

Mobile computing and smart home devices that leverage conversational AI are disrupting the digital marketing space.

Built in combination with call center agents, conversational AI and predictive analytics are attracting more mobile device users. Smart home speaker systems are hitting mainstream adoption. Being fluid in your approach to content creation can help your business better understand trends, growth, challenges, and what approaches to search engine marketing that is best to adapt for 2019 and beyond. Then you can join other businesses that are successfully using Artificial-Intelligence to find, convert and monetize valuable clients.

Research and optimize your content to make sure that your answers are correct, sourced, and detailed so that your business is trusted. Test how it presents on a visual device, within the Google Maps platform, and test your audio-based answers with speakable markup. Because they can detect tone and inflection, by adding the use of an AI-based platform it is possible to connect with people to generate leads, kindness and empathy.

AI will be embedded in chatbots, VCAs, Conversational UI & IoT

Advancing technology trends indicate how artificial assistance is helping customer service frontrunners deliver continuous consumer experiences. It is reshaping how Digital Marketers are reaching consumers at different stages in their buying journey.

Today it is already a common pattern to measure how customers engaging with multiple channels concurrently. The buyer’s trend is for a video-based customer support agent to additionally allocate the user interface for a chatbot to respond as a type of customer support service while communicating with the customer.

“By 2021, 15% of all customer service interactions will be completely handled by AI, an increase of 400% from 2017”, according to Jordan Bryan in her Jordan Bryan article,
4 Trends in Gartner Hype Cycle for Customer Service and Customer Engagement.

Customers are expecting more from virtual customer assistants (VCAs) and chatbots. While simultaneously many organizations doubt if these technologies are taking hold at a pace that to has a significant impact. Gartner expects the underlying technology and methodologies behind bot and VCA development will progress swiftly over the next few years, as will individual’s expectations and use cases. “AI will be embedded in chatbots, VCAs, conversational UI and the IoT. This will drive deeper use of self-service’, believes Jordan.

Voice-activated Speaker Owners like the Ease of Chatbots

According to Think with Google, “72% of people who own a voice-activated speaker say that their devices are often used as part of their daily routines.” In her Jan 5, 2018 article 5 ways voice assistance is shaping consumer behavior, Sara Kleinberg explores how this emerging voice technology is reshaping consumer behavior when searhing for answers and purchase patterns.

Immersive Digitally Enhanced and Connected Environments

Business that wish to create an immersive digitally enhanced and connected environment, should embrace modern search. The Holy Grail is about natural language processing and whoever masters it first will steal a huge lead. If your site proves up with a strong knowledge-based trust factor versus hypothetic statements, (or even worse, is assessed as a gossip site), search engines will definitely favor your content.

Also, seek to build the number of citations your business has and make a strong effort to request positive client reviews that can be marked up for high visibility. If someone has never heard of your business before a chatbot or smart home device connects you, this will be valuable confirmation that your brand stands out and is trusted by others.

Success in search remains a team effort.

Conversational advances impact every facet of marketing. Everyone on the team should be advancing far from thinking that SEO is just about keywords and links. Google’s algorithm gathers signals you’re your brand’s entire ecosystem – on site and off site, so influencing your search presence requires full integration.

“Chatbots have seen a rise in popularity over the last few years, with the cost of implementing the technology going down and the curiosity around AI taking off.” – Jade Perry on Econsultancy

“Conversational AI is responsible for the logic behind the bots you build. It’s the brain and soul of the chatbot. It’s what helps the bot bring your users to a specific goal. Without conversational AI, your bot is just a bunch of questions and answers.” – Biance Nieves on botsociety


Google and other leading search engines use a weighted formula bias system to determine what results they serve up. Remember that each search is unique and the results will be unique to what Search Bots know about that user. Today including chatbots is now a part of effective SEO. While they make mistakes, we do too. Weight the benefit of being interconnected with your audiences 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the load that takes off your staff. As we are at the beginning of this search trend, expect to see new opportunities for the e-commerce world open up.

Knowledge graphs have come a long way to provide immediate information but still have a long way to expand and be more useful. They also include messaging within your Google Posts. If you want your business more prepared for Voice Search and able to nab Position Zero in search results, we can help.

Jeannie Hill, owner of Hill Web Marketing loves geeking out about search and digital marketing. Most of all, we love helping others be more successful online.

For a more effective earned and paid search marketing plan that embraces voice search inquiries, ask about our Digital Marketing Services

Customer-Centric Engagement Strategies for User-focused Content

User-Engagement Strategies that Drive Customer-Centric Marketing

Rapidly evolving consumer requirements and search engines’ intense dedication to producing trusted answers that meet search intent, means that businesses are forced to get laser-focused on what users want and how they make buying decisions.

It is all about meeting the customer’s needs. This article will answer how you can come up with a strategic marketing plan that will help to reach the people you want to ignite a relationship with. Our customer-centric engagement strategies do just that. The future of online marketing is being redefined. Smartphone and tablet markets face rapid digital transformation, with areas of saturation, user-centric content, and chatbot services are where the next stage of transformation is taking place.

Keeping the pace with this change requires an understanding of how Google answers users at different touchpoints in their journey to purchase. You’ll want to leverage multiple channels to strengthen relationships with current and potential customers.

What is a customer-centric organization?

Digital marketers that serve customer-centric organizations understand what customers want, and rely on customer data to capture customer insights and share this across the organization. Brands that are committed to customer-centricity concentrate on what their clientele wants and needs, and develop new products and services based on that. A consumer behavior analysis may discover even one key missing concept that can unleash new revenue streams.

It no longer works to show up online when a person is on the cusp of making a purchase. To win in today’s media mix, the customer dictates reach, frequency, and how they buy. The stark message is that they opt to engage with brands that are present in a relevant, accommodating, and personal manner.

Shoppers want assistance and remedies, and the companies that provide it are the ones that gain the sales.

Every digital effort includes a workflow and process. Just how your customers and prospects are being engaged is critical to sustained success in the long term. More and more companies, who have relied on email marketing as the default method for communications, are now wondering if a better, more engaging way exists. And there is.

Page Speed is Core to a User-Centric Site

Genqing Wu and Doantam Phan wrote a Google Webmaster Blog post April 5, 2019 about how optimizing our website’s performance is critical to the user experience. It title sends a clear message about the need for User Experience Improvements with Page Speed in Mobile Search. If you don’t care about how long visitors’ wait for slow loading pages, you are missing them. This matters more for evey business since the Google Moible Speed Update became a ranking factor.

For the slowest one-third of web traffic, Google reports:

  • “User-centric performance metrics improve by 15% to 20% in 2018. As a comparison, no improvement was seen in 2017.
  • On a per country basis, more than 95% of countries had improved speeds.
  • Thanks to these speed improvements (AMP), we’ve observed a 20% reduction in abandonment rate for navigations initiated from Search.”

Voice Search is Aligning Marketers with the Customer

Voice search has topped typing text into a search box and totally transformed content strategies. Businesses must be keen to align with evolving customer requirements and need a new content writing strategy for more natural “ask an assistant” searches. People want that one right answer and search engines are focused on the ability to provide it.

Your business will benefit if you can view things from the customer’s perspective, and not from an internal business standpoint. By producing goods and services that improve the lives of users, your business will not only see annual financial growth, but predictively will gain a larger pool of long-term loyal clientele.

You are not alone if you simply lack the know-how or feel overwhelmed. With the demise of traditional inbound and outbound marketing efforts, the need to find a bulls-eye marketing plan starts with a better understanding of your customer. After the right content is created, schema markup helps to match content to user queries, and then the many forms of marketing that piece are needed. Continual content audits, ad copy tweaks, and investments to nurture those relationships are vital. How people search changes and search marketers need to change with them.

Predictive guesses vary widely but the common consensus is that it’s five times more expensive to gain a new customer as to retain an existing on fore. So paying heed to current clients and site visitor wishes is by far the most cost-effective method.

A 2 Phase Approach to User-Centric Marketing

Phase 1:

  • Better topic alignment
  • Better messaging
  • Focus on answer content
  • Better assests
  • Get calls-to-actions in place
  • Better integration between sales and digital marketing

Phase 2:

  • Display ads
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing integration
  • Seek and add client testimonials
  • Fast followup to comments and questions

Connect with Customers Who are Ready to Buy

When you are spending marketing dollars to make it easy for people to find the solutions and products that you offer, put your focus on individuals who already display purchase intent.

Leverage intent data and predictive analytics to create user-centric communications. Engage prospects with a personalized message. The mind-boggling explosion of business transactions on the Internet every minute has empowered changes in buyer behaviors that are disrupting traditional marketing and sales approaches.

It’s allotted companies to give better experiences to prospects and buyers and creates exciting opportunities to innovate. Sometimes, if your content aligns with user needs and your SEO is superb, you can spot early signals that a prospect has an intent to buy. They will find you more easily if your business is showing up in position zero in a Rich Card or another featured snippet.

Websites that are Created With The Customer In Mind

If you are a customer-centric company that wants to engage your customers in more mutually beneficial ways, it will require co-operation from design teams, sales, and customer support for brand alignment and ultimate success.

Due to the nature of their training and function, it is difficult for most web designers to get away from thinking only about visual appeal. This approach often misses a businesses chances to show up in rich featured snippets. They generally don’t place site structured and users’ values first. Preparing for our in-progress voice search revolution is a real challenge for designers. In order to accomplish what is needed, entire teams should look at where your business is currently at in terms of rankings, and user satisfaction.

As SEO and SEM professional’s were naturally pay keen attention to conversion rates and meeting business goals. It may seem like the tables have turned, but watch your metrics and by focussing on the user’s intent and needs first, those should follow.

In the future, customer engagement strategies must go deeper than just to creating content to maintain strength and positioning. User feedback should be considered through every product iteration; this is what it takes to become a competitive player in today’s market space. Real data that leads design decisions will better satisfy the user experience than fancy widgets and flashy design elements. Users are more serious about getting answers and often care less about the design.

How to Create a Customer-Centric Approach to Marketing Decisions

Identify the questions prospective customers are asking, how they seek answers, and how to use those insights to shape your content strategy.

* Head and Sub Topic phrases: Keyword research remains an integral part of crafting a successful user-focused SEO strategy. Today, one and two-word phrases have morphed into topic hubs that identify head terms, and three-four-five keyword phrases are best to answer use cases that seek more specific and well-defined content.

* Search format: Little is static is keyword strategy, search marketers must evolve as search evolves. Along with the changes in the search algorithms, devices, and competitive landscapes, search marketers must respond and revise according to the fluid ways users chose to use search. That may be voice, text, desktop, apps, query length changes, channels, question formats, and user expectations.

* Be where your clients are: Businesses cannot expect users to simple “find” them; go where your customers actually are. Show up where they are looking for answers. Maybe that means switching to video content on YouTube, or developing your Google Assistant page, or being more visible on Google Maps, as well as social platforms.

* Align with the User’s Voice: Use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to gain lists of common questions asked on a topic. Ask your sales team, phone answering staff, and employees out in the field interacting directly with clients. Once these questions are identified, audit your content to determine what may be missing from your site and to categorize existing content.

How many times have you been handed something to post where the language used in the new content can immediately be identified as a poor match to the language used by your customers? Few have the enormous brand footprint that is needed if one expects to shape the world by some inventive way that company execs or an author wants to describe or coin.

Adding customer reviews can help put your content in the users’ voice and make a case for why the language you are using may miss them entirely.

* Proofread for natural language: Have one or several people evaluate your answers to each question, and judge if it is in natural language that your customers use and can relate to. Build out new ways to respond to the related queries that users have; this will also improve your chances to show up in Google News.

A marketing campaign for a new product or service will need lots of research on the search habits of those potential customers. Have someone who can critically assess if your terminology is too much about closing the deal and not enough about addressing customer pain points by offering easy to understand solutions.

* Trust your customers’ opinion and align: Marketing tactics that once relied heavily on cold calls and not-so-subtle persuasion messages are not achieving the same level of success today. Consumers are less tolerant of companies who tout at length their amazing product; rather, searchers are more practical. They want to get down to an everyday solution and real answers – fast.

They no longer need to rely on salespeople to inform them about the product. Search is much easier and lets the consumer be more in control of how they gather information.

About 81% of customers begin their journey through the sales funnel after they have already conducted extensive online research. Technology is now much more homogeneous, and users have more options than ever. Your website’s performance metrics impact user engagement.

This means that sales volume depends on customers’ responses to what they find about you online. And whether or not they feel heard and respected. Simply expounding on the virtues of what you sell lacks the unique value and voice that triggers connection. Measure to know what improves online sales. Study the results after changing up your messaging and interactions to a user-centric approach and see if whether or not they are more organically drawn to your site, to your company, and turn to you more for on-going answers and service.

* Track and measure: Tracking what users find valuable on your website helps you to figure out where your traffic came from, what actions visitors took on your site, how to get more user engagement, who you can align with as a business partner to drive more visits, and overall website performance.

Without tracking real user metrics to understand your web analytics, your business will continue to struggle to create sustainable online growth.

And if you’re passionate about business growth, you’ll want to have a track growth plan in place to make it happen.

User-Rich Data Reports

Published on Dec 14, 2017, by Susan Wenograd, the article titled Google Analytics releasing 4 new functions to offer more user-centric insights states that “Ninety percent of marketers say understanding how users engage across channels and devices is vital to success”.

She discusses the new version of standard reporting and how it now includes “Users,” instead of just “Sessions.” This improves the data that businesses can leverage to have better ongoing engagement focus. In particular, this helps in instances where users visit the same site multiple times, in contrast to just the sum number of sessions. Prior to this Google Analytics update, you had to build custom reports to gain a reliable summary picture of user data.


1. Turn on Google Analytics User-focused Reporting

Google’s newer version of user data reporting now includes “Users,” whereas formerly we only had “Sessions.” This reflects the technology giant’s commitment to improving search results by fine-tuning to meet engagement demands. Most businesses need a site visit to come back after reading informational content to learn more about a specific strategy, product, or service. This means that often users visit a site multiple times before making a purchase decision, and marketers need to know more than just a total number of sessions.

Companies no longer have to rely on an search marketing specialist to build custom reports to obtain a reliable summary of user data.

3 Steps to Set-up Google Audience Reporting:

  • Go to Admin
  • Go to Property Settings
  • Tap the toggle switch for “Enable Users in Reporting”

3 Key User Data Reports

  • User Audience Report
  • 2. Conversion Probability Report
  • 3. User Explorer Insights

Take advantage of the new User Explorer tool to study user lifetime metrics and dimensions. Based on the life of their cookie, marketers can gain new details about user activity onsite, such as the number of transactions made or total time spent, or the user journey across pages.

Digital marketers that publish these same audiences to Google Optimize now obtain insights on which website optimizations are likely to have the highest impact on mobile advertising that converts clicks.

You need a current SEO keyword research strategy to ensure your content aligns with the right informational needs of your users.

From this report, it is easier to use your blog as a way to offer users actionable advice, answers, and valuable suggestions; avoid sounding like a preacher on the virtues of your product. When site users recognize that you genuinely care about helping them solve their problems, versus just making a sale, they’ll naturally feel more loyal to your company.

2. Weigh-in on Cyber Security, Privacy Controls, and Trust

As more websites and applications migrate to the cloud, many have yet to eliminate the risk of a breach. The end-user is now more aware of their rights and cares about what personal data is stored and how it is used. Social engineering, unauthorized Ad pushing, phishing and spear-phishing are still big issues. Businesses now have more software choices that offer solutions, they all mainly revolve around user awareness and education. But you need to offer more, like opt-in levels, and clear privacy disclosures.

Facebook data breaches and similar news stories hurt our ears daily and are a source of user pain and uncertainty. Before you can expect many people to consume your content and come back, make access easy. Make security easy by enlisting a digital rights management and data loss prevention plan that shows your business respects user concerns.

3. Gain More User Input

If your company wants a deeper knowledge source offering user insights that the free version Google Analytics provides, consider a technology service or platform that can enable customer input. A unique client identifier (UCI) is most beneficial for firms in terms of return on investment, marketing and innovativeness. This is based on the provision that your company considers a number of key influencing factors relating to the strategic management of user data.

If your business is thinking of developing a new product, monitors product life cycles, or invests in Google Ads retargeting, this will take your data to another level. For companies to improve their position in a niche market, predictive user research opens the door to the fastest growing audience segments, product trends, purchase channels, and the most profitable marketing strategies that pull that all together.

You can learn a lot without spending money on software just by reading consumer reviews, social media conversations, and conducting client surveys.

4. Follow changes in Customer Dynamics

There are many rich sources of industry and market research data, charts, and reports available that reveal which topics have the most user interest. You can set up several that will arrive right in your inbox.

However, most business owners are too busy running their business to read them all and know which actions to take. Speaking for the digital space, we watch ad spending, advertising benchmarks, market reach, media device usage, mobile user engagement, e-commerce trends, social media engagement, video marketing reach, and other user demographics.

The goal is to better optimize your offline messaging and web content to better meet user intent.

5. Build a Culture of Loyalty

Demonstrate that you value your customer’s needs and opinions. Craft a way to recognize customers, especially those who consistently offer feedback or make purchases. Learn how they prefer to be rewarded. Don’t give away the stockpile of something no one was interested in purchasing before, rather, reward your shoppers in ways that are meaningful to them.

Craft promotions on your product items that are most appealing and have the most repeat buys by current customers. If your business wants a successful promotions program, then promote the products that your customers love the most. Consider hiring a service to make Google Product Posts or Google Posts with an Offer for you.

6. Make Personalized Search Easy

The popularity of voice-activated search, is a good reason to tackle personalizing your own Google Assistant Directory Page. By doing so, your structured-data powered content will assist in claiming your brand and chances for Google Actions to produce features snippet results for you.

Gather everything you can around which topic entities your users are seeking more information on and use semantic search for much-improved queries. Buyer intent data can empower marketing teams along with their sales colleagues with in-depth user insights that are critical to sales staff who are navigating the complexity of consensus team buying.

7. Use Ontology-based Intervention Networked Services that Understand Users’ Tone and Intent

The ability to apprehend a users’ tone makes personalized search the new frontier. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is researching how to use artificial intelligence in semantic search to distinguish the tone of dialogues that take place through digital devices.

If you are in a conversation with someone where you can hear their voice; you intuitively recognize tonality and emotion naturally through verbal signals. If you both see and hear the person, non-verbal cues can speak volumes. These same fundamentals of conversations are missing in typed searches. Machine learning and voice technology are different and have the ability to take in nuanced intonation.

The world of marketing is shifting to be in better tune with shoppers’ state of mind. To understand what compels shoppers to hit the buy button or to abandon a shopping cart is a major factor behind any successful marketing strategy.

What if Google understands search buyer tone, worry, indecisiveness, excitement, or other mood changes?

A case study by Research Gate published July 13, 2018 and authored primarily by Josep Domenech, associate professor in the Department of Economy and Social Sciences (DECS) at the Technical University of Valencia, uncovers “Digital Vapor Trails”. The study of geographically granular user online activity states that: “Applying Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs), psychology and behavioral science, an infrastructure for semantic transfer of human thoughts, thinking processes and communication directly to the Internet can be designed. This will facilitate the intellectual labor and its representation in human and machine-readable forms, and address the aspects difficult to account so far, f.e. non-verbal communication.”

So where is this going? What does this mean for digital marketers?

The article calls it a ”transition step from Big Data to Smart Data.” It concludes that “the evaluation outcomes are to confirm the technical feasibility of ontology-based intervention networked services enablement, as well as its added value from the, originated new usage scenarios, and its acceptance by the end-users”.

Stay Aligned with the Voice of Your CustomerHow customer satisfaction affects business and how to create content that resonates with The Voice of the Customer

Digital marketers and business who invest in research that helps them determine aspects of lifetime customer value, client satisfaction, and consumer loyalty, find that they can lower content creation and marketing costs over time. When research explores the relationships within subsets of these constructs, mainly in business-to-consumer (B2C) markets, wasted spends on lower-value items can be reduced or entirely eliminated.

To develop a positive business cognition-affect-user-behavior model, customer satisfaction is recognized as the primary relationship between customer value and customer loyalty. No one contests the premise that the end result of having a higher percentage of satisfied customers is “loyalty”; however, proving it with increased revenue in the bank is better than guessing.

A though the costs and benefits upfront may seem daunting, and may also include social or emotional elements, grasping the voice of the customer and actual lifetime customer value is worth it.

3 points to remember when establishing lifetime customer value:

  • The customer value figure is an involving dollar amount.
  • This must be well thought out and carefully considered.
  • It merits being built into your regular schedule of marketing checks.

“Voice queries are leading to new pools of intent-driven, contextual, real-time data that marketers can use to develop more customer-centric engagement strategies.” – Steve Tutelman on Martech Today

A Customer-Centric Culture

Consumer intent is redefining the marketing funnel.

Great companies identify something more life-changing than transactions to provide purpose and meaning; they provide meaningful solutions to a real need.

Today, you are not behind your competition, you are not behind the technology, you are behind your consumer. You must be consumer-centric to win new sales.

To scale your business for success, you have to be successful at nurturing your customer relationships. When the core of your business is customer satisfaction, your products and services will reflect that commitment. And people can feel it.To name a few, your consumer insights can help to determine which mobile apps are developed, product development, what topics to write on next, and what social channels are best for additional customer engagement.

Ed Marsh’s June 14th, 2018 6 Ways Buyer Intent Data Fosters Sales & Marketing Alignment*** article says, “with search rankings in the top 3 and strong organic SEO click-through rates (CTR) of 30%, less than 1/3 of prospects will visit your site. Then, even a strong 5% visit-to-lead conversion rate on-site means only 1.5% of people conducting a search will become our leads”.

The remaining percentage of viewers may not be interested or may simply be at another phase in their search for information or purchase journey. Customer-centricity begins with each unique customer and aims to meet the needs of that one customer everywhere, at each touchpoint, and as much as possible. Build evergreen content to support your sales funnel. People tell their friends and business partners about remarkable products and customer service. Client reviews spread the word. And happy customers remain loyal to providers, the companies who go the extra mile to look after the needs of their clientele. Earning customer loyalty takes time and a consumer-centered marketing team heartbeat.

It takes more than just gathering a plethora of data; identifying your top consumer insights is the bigger challenge. According to Jason Spero in the August 23, 2017 How successful businesses win consumer experiences article, “that’s why leading marketers are 46% more likely than mainstream marketers to increase investments in capabilities, like machine learning, which can predict customer needs.” As VP, Global Performance Solutions at Google, he is a trusted source on what consumer performance metrics matter.

Modern technology can do some heavy lifting to aid your marketing decisions. When data analysis and application include buyer’s emotional responses, then everything from dynamically served email, mobile content creation, to programmatic media buys can better align with the right consumer need in the right moment. Digital marketers are discovering fresh and innovative means to drive relevance at scale.

Effective SEO is really about meeting your consumers’ needs.

“The orientation of an organization toward serving its clients’ needs. Having a customer focus is usually a strong contributor to the overall success of a business and involves ensuring that all aspects of the company put its customers’ satisfaction first.” –*

“Voice of the customer (VOC) is a term used in business and Information Technology to describe the in-depth process of capturing customer’s expectations, preferences and aversions. It is a market research technique that produces a detailed set of customer wants and needs, organized into a hierarchical structure, and then prioritized in terms of relative importance and satisfaction with current alternatives.” – Wikipedia**

Better Customer Data Yields More Granular Knowledge

As retail competition gets tougher, digital marketers need to continually evolve their understanding of how customers make decisions. Doing so requires constantly finding sources of knowledge about what customers are asking and how they make purchasing decisions. We can help you discover ways to promote a positive and customer-centric mindset that enhances the buyers’ experience, promotes sales and, above all, helps you to increase customer loyalty. Check out our Search Marketing FAQ page.

Voice search opens the way to getting answers faster, which provides frictionless retail experiences that improve online sales. Accepted authors with news publisher status that embed niche rich markup from into the HTML code of their published articles make it easy for Google to parse out information that users are seeking. Hill Web Marketing can help with that.

A website content audit may quickly become the cornerstone of your entire content strategy. With a consumer-centric focus, this form of auditing helps to determine how your website’ content can improve in the consumer’s eyes. Your brand goals and marketing objectives can take on a new depth with a continual thumbs-on approach to your customer’s needs while also aligning with your target audience segments.

To know your customers better and to evolve along with consumer demand, call 651-206-2410; we’ll start with a Website Audit to Assess Consumer Alignment






SEO Social Media Marketing Strategies

Why SEO Hubs Social Media Marketing: Advanced Social Strategies

Your social media marketing strategy is the backbone to scheduling standout content that people on social media platforms want to engage with.

More recently, social and retail are merging with the vast expanse of new ‘buy now’ functionality in social content. Social media needs to be in an integrated component of your digital strategy; it all comes down to how it works with SEO. Every mobile search optimization strategy that focuses on the mobile app user can increase conversion rates by employ the social strategies we’ll cover in this post.

We expect that social signals will become a bigger component in future ranking algorithms. This article will discuss exactly which strategy and why a more advanced social media attention may be a key component to improving your SEO and site rankings. Both social and search engine marketing are really all about people. We have found that too many solo social media marketers are left to struggle and wonder whether their strategies are actually effective.

Avoid the stress of last-minute what-are-we-doing drills of writing, designing, and scheduling your social media posts. With the proactive planning of assigned tasks, approvals, and curation, and your social media marketing process is less stressful, more efficient, and has a better chance to reach your social marketing goals. The real purpose is to improve performance for better audience engagement and ultimately increase your ROI.

What is Social Media SEO Marketing?

Social media SEO marketing, or a social SEO campaign, is the art of combining social media and SEO strategies to improve your business’s user engagement, brand building, and search rankings.

Social media marketing strategies and Search Engine Optimization strategies are frequently planned and implemented by varied team members, departments, or hired marketing consultants, and are poorly managed as independent marketing tactics.

All marketing strategies should be integrated into one customer-centric Digital Marketing Plan versus in a silo, and no one aspect can reach full success in climbing up in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and producing leads without a tandem approach.

A success data-driven digital marketing strategy merges social media and SEO into a fully integrated marketing ecosystem. The married efforts and shared data will substantially increase online conversions and expand your revenue potential. This is good business!

Social Media is a Form of Hyper-personalized SEOstrategies is a lack of integration and over site from SEO

The top barrier to effective social media marketing strategies is a lack of integration and oversite from SEO.

Every social post, comment, and engagement adds to a business overall data graph that is providing a far richer picture for brands, enabling precision targeting for paid social and content curation for more personalized product experiences, according to Third Door Meida. (Image source: Data provided by Third Door Media)

More people globally are communication on social media use continues; each country has increased social engagement by almost 1 million new users every day during the past 12 months. “More than 3 billion people around the world now use social media each month, with 9 in 10 of those users accessing their chosen platforms via mobile devices”, according to We Are Social.****

Social channels are still in their infancy; they constantly change. Given the power to be an arm of your SEO, they can help people find your web pages, and new posts, and news articles. In today’s age of explosive digital disruption, shoppers and patrons are becoming not just more connected, but hyper-connected at each stage of the consumer’s journey. Businesses that formally pass on using social media cannot any longer afford to have little or no social presence.

Social Media Marketing Success is Fueled by SEO IntegrationSocial Media Marketing Success is Fueled by SEO Integration

Social networks when aligned with your marketing goals and companies KPIs can change everything.

This offers enormous benefits to your chances for business growth. The world of social media has become an integral part of SEO. When your digital lead is a savvy Search Engine Marketing specialist, your entire marketing team will be given the right steps to take that include a successful social strategy so your company can stand out and be recognized for its key products and knowledge. Some posting features work better than others; learn which messages and hashtags perform the best, as well as how different social channels can support your SEO best.

Largely, you can apply the same SEO techniques used on your web pages right in your Social Media Campaigns. They easily transfer over to your social media campaign. The main one again is listening to users and then responding by aligning with their preferred tone, choice of channels, and topics.

General social media advertising statistics

More recent user engagement research data shows that as ads get more relevant, purchasers are turning to social media for purchasing research and inspiration, and then moving directly into the buyer funnel on your website.

On June 5, 2018, Paige Cooper reported on Hootsuite that “A million new social media users are ‘born’ every day.” According to the “Social Media Advertising Stats that Matter to Marketers in 2018“ article, “As of 2018, there are 3.196 billion people using social media on the planet, up 13 percent from 2017 to 2018”. Also noted is that video spending for social advertising has climbed. In 2017, for advertising on social platforms, video advertising spending increased 130 percent compared to 2016. “Forty-six percent of respondents in Hootsuite’s annual customer survey said they are already implementing social videos, with another 26 percent planning to implement at some point in 2018.”

Audience Building through Social Listening

It is all about understanding your prospects better.

When it comes to social listening, you want the most effective way to hear what your audiences want and then know how to reach them with your solutions, The social media tactics, and channels that will work best in helping you get there, can first be determined by a social media audit.

Hill Web Marketing provides in-depth social media SEO listening services to keep you in the know of what’s going on. We create social media data models to help you understand the size of and characteristics of social audiences you may elect to reach and correctly integrate with your SEO.

We can then tell you how those audiences are influenced, what keywords they use, which hashtags help them find your key topics, which media publishers they align with, what times they’re active, and how to engage with them. Our goal is to deliver social insights that you can act on – with live, meaningful data that empowers you to create personalized communications to individuals for spot-on marketing engagement.

Leverage Your Channels to Gain Valuable Social Proof

So, what is Social Proof?

It is when your business is validated because humans are quicker to believe friends and relatives rather than online ads. It is a good reason why your business should integrate social proof tactics. This is particularly helpful to strategize for reaching mobile users.

Reviews left on Google, Facebook, Yelp and other platforms have the power to showcase your business. If they go into the stream, you can print them out and use them to bring in new customers by sharing them on future social posts or to put up at work.

Social proof is a physiological phenomenon that thrives because individuals make decisions based on the opinions and actions of others. Just like a long queue at one MN State Fair booth attracts everyone’s attention. It’s a type of “social approval” that is generated by the throng.

Social proof will generate trust in your business. Building online credibility is important to increase conversion rates, as consumers tend to buy from businesses that they know.

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy That Wins

If last year you left social media marketing out of your SEO strategies, you may have still maintained an edge over your competitors.

That story isn’t likely today. In the 7 Steps in Creating a Winning Social Media Marketing Strategy article****** published February 19, 2018 by Alex York, Sprout Social says that “30% of millennials saying they engage with a brand on social at least once a month, your strategy can’t be only about existence. Brands must be fully invested in their social media marketing strategies and focus on engagement.”

It is less about the number of social followers and social likes that you have and is more about conversations with real customers; people who recognize your brand and what to engage with your posts.

  • Find your ideal audiences on social media.
  • Develop unique and high value content and channel strategies.
  • Choose KPIs, set goals, adhere, measure your success, and tweak.

How to Come up with the Right Social Media Goals

Creating and writing down your business goals will steer all aspects of all marketing and business strategies. Social media fits right into your SEO here, too. Narrowing down your objectives is easier with the following guidance:

* Gain more followers: Consider a goal like surpassing your competition by at least 200 followers in the first 3 months. Each follower has a real relationship potential.

* Get your brand more visible: The more people who recognize your brand, the easier it is to win consumer’s trust and build new relationships. If you provide meaningful social messages and in-depth content to support them, your brand personality will surface and become a more trusted source to connect with via your social channels. Google Analytics Reports reveals what percentage of your web traffic is coming from a social channels, which social platform, and to what web pages.

* More sales profit: Gaining real value from your social channels will be achieved faster by monitoring and listening to how users interact with certain keywords, search phrases or hashtags. Then you can scale messaging through advanced social media targeting and connect better with your ideal audience.

* Drive in-store sales: More retailers are coming to leverage their social media marketing calendar to drive in-store sales. Just like you can use Google Maps, social marketing is another way to reward consumers who buy at your brick and mortar shops. It is an in-the-moment way to let customers see a daily special.

* More money in the bank: Social media may have begun as a way to chat with interested parties on a given topic. Today, it can majorly increase the impact on your bottom lines. But on social, the means to achieving this goal requires a thorough audit of your social channels to know how your cost of labor, advertising, and social design stack up.

* Accrue a strong fanbase: Social is a top means of obtaining user-generated content to augment your website. Followers often say something that we never thought of. Or they word questions in a way that helps when it comes to providing better answers. This advanced social media marketing goal has enormous rewards when achieved. A business with a positive brand persona on social can rely on high levels of immediate consumer actions.

* Improved industry knowledge: Search engine marketing success involves knowing where and how your competitors are connecting with the same consumer audience. You can learn what social strategies they rely on for achieving strong user engagement and sales. Niche knowledge will assist your efforts and help you move forward with dead-on alignment.

high levels of customer-support- occur on social media. according to Sprout-Social s Q2-2016 reportPlan How your Business Responds to Complaints on Social Media Channels

Twitter and Facebook have become the first places consumers turn to for customer support, product inquiries, or to note an exceptional experience with a business. It is important to be present for these key conversations. Negative comments can escalate unnecessarily into problems fast.

Early numbers in 2013 estimated that “67% of consumers use Facebook and Twitter for customer service”, records Buffer*****. We know that the numbers have grown. Monthly, over 8 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses on Facebook Messenger. If social platforms have surpassed the number of people who turn to their cell phone and email as the first means to connect when they want to voice a problem or issue with a product or service, can your business afford to NOT be there?

Whether it is a customer complaint messages or a shout of praise, that social message merits a fast response, yet the same study says that “brands reply to just 11% of people”.

There is nothing wrong with being focused on your company’s revenue. But there is a huge relational gap if you come back posting promotional material before addressing such critical consumer concerns or product feedback! After all, if they cannot get their new TV to work will they care about another coupon? The simple and quick gesture of a timely human response can make all the difference in keeping or losing your customer.

Where social marketing efforts go wrong according to the consumer survey:

  • 73% of people have had a negative experience with a brand on social.
  • 36% of people have used social to shame a company for poor customer service.
  • 30% of people will go to competitor if a brand doesn’t respond.

“People aren’t asking for the world. They would simply like to hear back when they reach out to your brand. If your responses lag for a bit, that’s totally reasonable in the eyes of most people—but within an acceptable range of under 4 hours. After that, most people are out; in fact, they may even switch to a competitor. Brands need to rethink their social strategies and staff up accordingly.” – Sprout Social

Conduct a consumer behavor analysis to align social postings better and avoid common messaging mistakes.

Think of Social Marketing as People-Based Marketing

Use the Voice of the Customer in your social marketing creatives to improve your People-Based Marketing.

Maximizing your Google Ads paid search and social campaigns is an on-going challenge. But you are not alone. All brands fight for the same SERP space and number of impressions. As paid marketing costs climb, your success may entirely depend on your ability to show the right type of ad to the right person at the right time on the right medium. And that’s where how well your communications are prepared for voice search will show up in voice analytics. Marketers who use what happens on social to optimize ad messaging, campaign targeting and bidding strategies across channels have a major advantage over others in the same space.

A holistic approach to social should evaluate voice-activated searches to tune with what our customers want and what they’re asking everywhere on the web. Customer-first marketing has always been at the heart of search marketing, but with voice search growing in popularity, anticipating our users’ wants and needs will be paramount to ensure we are providing the best answer to prospective client’s questions. Many consumers start by asking questions on social channels.

Every time the phone rings because a web searcher found your phone number, your business can glean key marketing insights to generate more customers from paid search and social.

  • Gain social marketing strategies to connect with the right audience in all phases of your sales cycle.
  • Then optimize your social campaign bids and creative to deliver a personalized social experience.
  • Include core SEO principals to reach better ROI for the media spend you have in marketing.
  • Include success stories and reviews in your social selling.

”Social media marketing will be affected in a similar way to SEO, with more device integration and ways to mine what customers are asking them when that data becomes available.” – Patrick Reinhart, lead digital strategist at Conductor

We don’t recommend jumping into creating profiles on every social media channel available with the aim of reaching as many people as possible. Unfortunately, with that mindset, you may stretch yourself too thin, and even more concerning, miss your chosen target audience.

Find out first where your customer is and make it easy on yourself and them by aligning with their preferred form of social engagement. Below we will list a few of our favorites along with key social engagement strategies.

3 Steps to running an Effective Twitter Hashtag Campaign3 Steps to Running an Effective TWITTER Hashtag Campaign

This takes a unique and well-planned ahead of social media. Avoid the common mistake of inserting too many hashtags. Skimping on proper research upfront will limit your results.

1. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

  • Start by identifying your well-defined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • Stayed tuned to your Twitter Analytics data so you can make needed adjustment throughout the campaign.

How to find your best Twitter hashtags to use:

  • Which hashtags do your followers currently associated your business with?
  • Which hashtags do your competitors leverage successfully that you should be using?
  • Which hashtags are trending and most recognized by your ideal social audience?

2. Identify Useful Campaign Goals

After you have made a list of the KPIs that you identified for making hashtag enhancements to implement as you launch your campaign, set goals. Goals might include creating brand recognition, identifying related content users want, to promoting user-generated content.

For example, if the KPI you’re attempting to help others recognize your brand; you’ll be attentive to your Twitter metrics such as volume, exposure, reach, and amplification. They will inform you of how extensive your message is being dispersed.

3. Measure and update

Very few Twitter marketing experts hit the full potential from the moment a hashtag campaign gets up and running. Measuring your results and tweak your campaign strategy as needed to end up delivering on the KPIs that were initially established. Say on top of your campaign to determine what is working and what is not in relation to your original KPI’s and goals.

Since our goal most of the time centers are on engagement rates, while there is nothing wrong with more website clicks than Retweets or likes, taking another approach mid-campaign may ignite the type of conversation you’d prefer. Include video content to improve user engagement; most social platforms make it easy to include video.

Running an Effective INSTAGRAM Hashtag Campaign

How Instagram works:

The Instagram platform, owned by Facebook, is primarily an image sharing social network, which has also entered the video-sharing niche. Instagram users are now circling a greater age expanse; 59% of users are between the ages of 18 and 29, followed by 33% of users being of the ages 30-49. In some regions Instagram social accounts have users engaged 10%+ of their daily time spent on social media minutes, so if you are not already exploiting the latest Instagram Ad techniques, then it’s worth looking into these

Instagram makes it possible to follow hashtags which means that rather than someone having to search for an Instagram hashtag and scroll back and forth in the lengthy feed to try and find your content, your posts may simply display automatically in potential new followers Instagram feeds.

It’s not new that the Instagram algorithm favors posts that leverage specific and relevant hashtags, but now it works better to use hashtags that help connect people to the topic. an even bigger deal. Be aware that Instagram users may choose to mark your hash-tagged content as something they prefer to have left out.

Things to know about the Instagram social platform:

* Once an Instagram user opts to follow a specific hashtag, then related posts will populate their feed. As part of personalized social engagement, they can select a new “Don’t Show for This Hashtag” option and indicate that the content misses their interests.

* Select different Instagram Hashtags that provide variance and relate well to each individual Post; this will help you to sideline any “Spammy” behavior red flags. If you aren’t familiar with the chaos surrounding the shadow-ban, you need to be clued in that copying and pasting the exact same Instagram hashtags list every time you post will be problematic.

* The Instagram algorithm knows how to manage spam and it does so by limit a post’s visibility if you aren’t abiding by the new rules for Instagram hashtags. To make your time investment on Instagram productive, take the time to form new hashtags lists every time you post; consider using Later’s Saved Captions feature to lighten your social media workload.

How to Use SNAPCHAT’s new Voice Feature

Snapchat’s new feature that helps users find Stories by conducting a simple voice search over having to manually type it i.” is a plus for social networks. Now users are sharing moments of their lives and experiences on various platforms without having to open their apps.

Social media marketer can leverage this Snapchat feature by adding links, voice filters, and backdrops to their snaps: The ‘paperclip’ feature permits users to add a link to their snap, which people on the channel can open easily by swiping up. The ‘backdrops’ feature rolls in a motif backdrop to your snap by drawing what you prefer to stand outside of the filter. The ‘voice filters’ allows users to remix the sound of their voice in various different styles, including that of a cat or someone from outer space.

In Q2 2018, after rolling out voice integration, Snapchat has significant growth. Knowing how to how to connect in the manner that works with user behavior on Snapchat will lead to how you use this social channel to reflect your brand personality and consequently influence social users to buy or unfollow you!

2018 Snapchat User Demographic Statistics*:

  • 191 million Snapchat daily active users (5.1.2018)
  • 301 million monthly active users (11.23.2016)
  • 70 million daily Snapchat Lenses active users (7.10.2018)

Facebook and Instagram offer their own live streaming features that few companies are using to its full potential. Getting started today before your competition catches on.

Live stories are ideal for:

  • Becoming more of a real entity with your audience versus just a money-making machine.
  • A compelling way to engage and inspire your customers.
  • Provide easy to share and memorable content.

How Your FACEBOOK Marketing Can ThrivePeople's  trust in the Facebook platform has greatly diminished in 2018

Advanced social media advertising on Facebook is where today’s gains are.

An SEMrush study reveals that many people are simply exiting the Facebook platform. The climb in the number of people searching for instructions on “How to Delete Facebook” is staggering. However, we find that Facebook is still worth investing in along with other social media platforms or at least have a presence on. To have anything like you former results, today you will need to spend money on Facebook paid social and have a Facebook niche-specific person running the daily side of it.

Ongoing changes to Facebook’s News Feed and user’s perceived trust in the Facebook channel has led to shrinking organic reach and lowered it to minuscule levels. Digital marketing managers increasingly diversify their approach to Facebook Advertising spends in order to offset traffic losses and insulate against future updates. If you are willing to pay, Facebook Ads are always an option. It may also be too expensive for companies who are struggling with a small budget.

As will all marketing dollars, it should be evaluated from the perspective of what ROI comes back for every $1 spent. Facebook Groups help smaller businesses with tighter social marketing spends to still have engagement-driving potential. Facebook Groups, of course, are nothing new, but many marketers have yet to take full advantage of what the feature has to offer. Groups can serve as an “engagement loophole,” enabling you to maintain a connection with your audience, despite News Feed shifts.

Facebook is one social media source that is increasingly being used as a customer service platform where your existing clientele and potential customers want answers quickly and in real-time.

The Facebook platform has a 10.7% average post reach vs page like and 26.8% average paid post reaches vs total reach. It currently is a great social platform for both organic and paid opportunities with a huge potential reach varying by your niche and whether your ideal audience is B2B or B2C. Incorporate a Facebook marketing strategy that targets content to business personas to gain quality leads.

Social is “Attraction Marketing”

Once you have tracking enabled, you can gather user behavior details. You can pick up on conversations where people left off. They can see your ad next time they go to your Facebook business page and you can show a different and compelling ad, such as a testimonial. Dynamic re-engagement can change up your communications; you can create a logical process to track and nurture prospect leads by offering the right message.

Integrate GOOGLE+ into Your Wholistic Google Search Marketing Plan

Yes, if you are asking, Google Plus remains a viable social media platform, and yes it matters to your business’s digital marketing strategy. But there are fewer social marketing experts who know exactly what is it, and how can it benefit your business.

While many regard Google Plus (G+) as a failed social network, for businesses, the platform still has merit and unique opportunities. In particular, Search Marketing Experts (SMEs) and local businesses seeking ways to connect with potential customers via local mobile search will find lots of value on this channel. Bundled into the biggest technology platform on the planet, G+ has a lasting foundation for businesses to build on.

Posts on G+ garner nearly as much engagement per follower as the average Facebook posts and have almost 2x as much user engagement per follower as the average business Twitter posts.

The only way to make this social channel work is to closely adhere to its rules. Few novices survive unless they are willing to learn and adapt to their guidelines. G+, unlike Twitter and Facebook, has its own localized, engaged and highly technical audience. And the community monitors of this unique audience don’t like the lower quality engagement of cutting and pasting your marketing strategy on to the G+ platform. It is a higher level and will not work, plain and clear. To gain value from G+, you’ll need to align your strategy and use a different voice.

The power of Google Posts is that it works in tandem with Google Search, just being on the platform alone is a huge opportunity for every small business. Potentially, with strategic use, your linked pages may rank higher on SERPs. More people are engaging with businesses that have provided their key business information (location, phone number, directions, reviews, photos) on the search pages and online synthesis with the associated Google for Business services.

If you haven’t used it already, step into the world of using the “Call Now” feature on Google Posts, special deals, products, and other unique or targeted content. We find it has a tremendous reach and ability to connect with those searching for your business using some form of Google Search.

“In many respects, Google+ is more of an ‘information network’ than a social network. Facebook was created to connect with friends and socialize, and LinkedIn to connect professionals, whereas Google+ is to find others with similar interests. Google+ is an asymmetrical social network and this gives users the ability to grow their network of followers much more easily because the growth of the network is not dependent on reciprocity.” – SmartInsights**

Leverage Schema Markup for your Social Profiles

Start by adhering to Google’s general structured data updated guidelines, and then work to comply with the Social Profile markup guidelines:

Implement structured data markup within the pages of your public website to show which social profiles you are active on. Here are the things that Google tells us to remember. Markup must include a Person or Organization record with the following properties:

  • Url — the url of your official website
  • SameAs — the urls of your official social media profile pages
  • The social profiles in your markup must correspond to what users see on the same page.

Currently Schema Supported Social Profiles:

  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Myspace
  • Pinterest
  • SoundCloud
  • Tumblr
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Specifying additional social profiles is fine, but they aren’t currently included in Google search results that will display in your Knowledge Graph.

Create a Smart Social Advertising Timeline

We recommend gaining a following, getting your social audience research done, accruing a sufficient about of social analytics, and then advance to using social media advertising. With a working knowledge of people are consuming ads across social networks, digital advertisers may connect social audiences to your onsite relevant and targeted content.

At Hill Web Marketing, we get it; we all have to justify our budgets. The value of social media advertising is best arrived at when SEO leads your social campaigns. We can craft it to fit almost any budget and go at a pace that intelligently improves with insight tweaking.

And if this feels too daunting, take a look at why developing and executing a sound social advertising strategy will pay off.

Benefits of an Advanced Social Media Marketing Strategy

Search Marketing Strategy:Social media SEO marketing has higher payoffs when integrated naturally across your social networks and web pages. Showcase your evergreen content.

1. You get to know your customers better: While you likely already have buyer personas that identify the basic characteristics of your customer base, you can always learn more from everyday conversations. You can get a better idea of through focus group research as to which social networks they prefer. If you create a business profile on the top networks your customers spend the most time on, you keep your business solutions op of mind. It is easier to attract new customers and engage with your existing clientele with this type of targeted social messaging.

Social engagement growth is more than just a number; it is more about the process of how your business obtains new and engaged followers. Providing continuously fresh and relevant posts is part of healthy growth. A social account that can tout 5k followers doesn’t mean that its user engagement is healthy and purposeful. A skilled social media manager can still drive engagement off of a small account. With time and being run correctly, watch and enjoy gradually grow as it turns into a large account.

Do your best to make it a great user experience for each follower. Respond as if each one is a real customer.

2. You have real followers and engagement: The total number of followers that you have increased the number of connections your social media profiles provide. This helps you have the pulse of more engaged users and does have a significant influence on your web rankings. Don’t shy away from striving to have 100 Twitter followers if you are just starting out. Just be realistic. Most likely you won’t receive nearly the ranking presence of a mega-site that has follower number to match. Use Google Dataset Search to understand users social media patterns better.

That is not the whole sum of it though, Google can detect the quality of your followers and whether or not they elected to follow you and participate with actions. too many think that buying 100,000 proxy Twitter followers helps rocket them forward, but that isn’t the case. For true and sustained ranking power, everyone needs to build a following by being present and build naturally.

Growing your number of followers requires a committed effort over time. Be consistently present and posting so that your brand has a chance to become something that social users can count on for updates. Find your brand voice and speak in it to your users on a daily basis. Share useful news articles, helpful tips, surveys that hold intrigue, images that add value, and general discussion items.

When you connect with someone on social, turn it into a meaningful conversation by engaging with them indirectly. It all about building real relationships and staying in stride to maintain a sizable, interactive following. This encourages your existing followers to return, trust your post content, and help build your social authority for new, potential followers.

3. Naturally Gained External Inbound Links: SEO can use the help of social media that encourages more external sites to link to your web pages. It is a great way to build a diverse external link profile for added domain authority. Google and all major search engines see this as a key indicator that your business provides high-quality, authoritative content and solutions that people need. Other forms of attracting quality links exist and you can benefit from all of them.

4. It’s a great way to rank visual content: Look at getting your stunning images and infographics out on Pinterest and Instagram, as both are very image-rich social channels. Use SEMrush to evaluate your Pinterest content by filtering in both topics and images. Once you have come up with your keywords, look for low-hanging fruit and assess by keyword difficulty. Your image of a stellar dinner dish, wedding dress, or perfect smile makeover may nab the eye of online in-market shoppers who favor social shopping.

Find active social users that relate to your industry, as well as social influencers who are reaching the masses with their visual storytelling. Borrow ideas from their images to inspire fresh visual content for your company’s marketing.

5. Ability to shape user perceptions: You may be pleasantly surprised at the powerful forces of social engineering through innocuous platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. More consumers are placing an unparalleled level of trust in the interactions they have on social media. Social experiments and tech advancements can educate your readers and allow you to capture web traffic, inject key information, and change user perceptions.

IMO, it is best if those who manage social media engagement are at heart “social folks”. A “work” focus comes across quickly. If you love hearing what others say and learning from that, then the beast of making each social channel work in your favor is no longer beastly. There are many social media datasets to explore. It is fun.

Every social post, repost, reply, like, and comment should serve a purpose. The more specific your social strategy is operative. Keep it concise and doable for within your means. Avoid a plan so grand and broad that it ends up being impossible to measure or too challenging to obtain.

Hill Web’s Social Media Marketing Management Services

Our talented social media partnership can take care of it all for you: Twitter, Google+, Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube! Not only can we manage your social media posting calendar, we help you develop and share your brand’s story with a custom, targeted audience who cares about what you have to say. Social media can be the most powerful tool in your digital marketing set–if you wield it correctly. When you need to hub your social networking service, we can offer comprehensive coverage that fully integrates with your onsite search engine optimization and overall business goals.

Our social media networking service can boost your onsite content creation as well; it works for social information seeking and helps you leverage the Wisdom of the Crowd to better understand your audiences’ behavior. You can follow the benefits in your Search Marketing Progress Reports.

  • Benchmark your social media performance against the competition
  • Analyze competitors’ social activity, audience growth, and engagement
  • Identify top-performing content in your niche so that you can repurpose it yourself

Learn more about people-based marketing on social channels from Hill Web Marketing by following us on the social platforms listed below. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools, which enable companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of social ad campaigns.

The problem with social-optimized content is that it’s overt, eerie familiarity drapes a kind of lowest-common-denominator cynicism across the internet. Social media tends to favor positive sentiment over negative, and exaggeration over subtlety. –***

If you have a reason to repair your personal reputation online, optimizing your Twitter account is a key social channel to start with.

How to use Social Media to Boost Sales

“Out of an estimated world population of 7.524 billion people, over 3 billion people are logging into social media accounts around the world. This means, that about 40 per cent of the global population is currently engaged in social media’, according to Deepti Jain. The June 24, 2019 5 Social Media Strategies To Boost Sales For Your Startup article talks about how social media channels can be a great platform to boost your sales.

  • Research your target audience and potential clients
  • Be willing to invest in paid ads
  • Track and learn from past social mediaz campaigns
  • Connect with niche influencers on your social platforms
  • Focus on relationship builing more and less on sales


You need a results-driven social media marketing strategy for your business!

Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur managing your own social content or partnering with a digital marketing agency, such as Hill Web, your social voice reflects your brand; tone consistency will help make it recognizable across all platforms. Most of all, as with all marketing, engage with your consumer’s best interest in mind. Keep it clear; remember “social” correlates to relating with others.

You need good statistics to make actionable marketing and SEO decisions. This means that you need an ongoing commitment to an integrated approach to SEO and social marketing in order to obtain the reports that will hold these insights. Your social media manager will pay attention to which blog posts qualify as quality content to reach your ideal customer on each social media channel. We also help businesses establish and scale their social media budget.

Ask for help if you need it to come up with the best social media marketing strategies that will apply to your social media SEO. We test and re-test each of them for each business that we manage. By giving this level of dedication to your social media SEO campaigns, the end results are worth it. Call Jeannie Hill, owner of Hill Web Marketing to partner in improving your social media effectiveness. 651-206-2410

Ask about how to use Social to Generate Leads Online









Create Google Posts to Win More Clicks and Sales

How to create Google Posts and Schedule Them to Win Clicks and Sales

A recent and exciting development for your Google My Business Listing is Google’s new Posts feature. This helps Google My Business users to better manage what information is added in your SERP sidebar. And here we mean going well past the location, phone, store hours and such that we are already familiar with They are versatile and appropriate for every business niche.

First, What Are Google Posts?

Google Posts enables businesses to share messages directly from their Google My Business profile dashboard. These posts were formerly available to a handful of specific industries, but Google recently made the feature available to all verified Google My Business active users. You can provide text, links, and photos that show up in the Google Knowledge Panel along with your Maps listing. They are a one type of “Off-Page SEO; (read about foundational “On-Page SEO“).

Your business can take advantage of this new feature to boost the visibility of your latest product announcements, sales, and feature services. They show up directly in Google’s search results at the right stage of the buyer journey. Each store branch manager may add or edit location-specific dale promotional material as well, aiding efforts to build brand awareness and customer engagement with your digital audiences.

Another benefit of stepping into an active role using Google Posts is how beautifully presented they are on mobile search formats. Post content currently appears in the coveted zero position at the top of SERPs when viewed on mobile devices. On tiny screens, it is not only the first things users see, but its prominence is unmistakable. You now have this new way to nab the attention of mobile shoppers with your products and specials.

Introduction to Google Posts

Google Posts are social media-like content blurps that appear in search results or in Maps if your business’s Knowledge Graph is displayed. You share them through the Google My Business platform. Posts are especially useful for local business owners and digital marketers to share the latest industry news or products for searchers to engage with and find easily.

Some surmise that Google’s intention behind this feature is to keep searchers within its own results pages or with the Google Maps interface. I would guess that Google introduced Posts to help users find what they looking for about a local business without multiple clicking. Perhaps it is a way to complete with social accounts like Facebook or Twitter pages, which can route mobile users into social networks. Google is taking a larger place by empowering digital managers to communicate with searchers who want an immediate response. In one glance they can have directions, call, or know your hours of operation.

At first blush, some confuse these Posts with Google+, but they are different and created separately. The difference may be explained as Google+ serves more directly as a social network for active users to share back and forth; Google posts help companies communicate with Internet Users directly in immediate SERPs. They contribute to your digital knowledge graph and Google datasets.

Google My Business API Automates the Posting Process

Search marketing strategists now have the easy of an updated Google My Business API which adds ways to make creating and editing Google Posts easier. This feature supports digital marketers and the businesses they represent when seeking to create content directly on the Google platform, which typically is highly ranked in Google search results. It helps your brand name come up more often in SERPs.

The API 4.0 version prompted a statement from Google saying that “you can now create Posts on Google directly through the API.” Its changelog provides additional features, but Google Posts seems to have a commanding focus. Technically, this can enable third-party developers and tool designers to automate a lot of the posting in the Google Posts interface, in much the same way that competing brands manage their social media accounts with Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.

How to create a Google Post:List of publication on Google Posts

  • Sign into your Google Business Listing
  • Click on “Manage Locations”
  • Select the business name that you wish to publish for
  • Click on “Posts NEW” on the left menu
  • Select the post type you want
  • Follow the prompts that pop up next
  • Publish your Post

7 Advantages Google Posts Offer Your Business

1. Google Posts are Free to Publish

Google Posts categories are nifty to use, too. You can not only use Google Posts to inform individuals of what’s new at your company or of upcoming events, you can also post about special offers and recently added products that you may be featuring. While Google Posts originated as a means for businesses to highlight offers, Google has updated the interface to segment out new Posts types. Different fields of data are available to fill in based on the type of Google Post that you select. If it is event-driven, dates are essential as well as the event location, and if it is product-driven, then pricing and a product summary is key.

From the dashboard of your Google My Business listing in the listings manager, you can also create a post. Here you opt for whether you want to create an Event Post to your Google My Business listing or another type. You can post an update style post which grants businesses the selection to create a button that will link directly to the page of your choice on your website.

2. Google Posts are Easy to ShareReaders have a one-click option to easily share your post

Even when writing concisely 200 or 300-character posts on topics with high search volume, even though short, readers may be willing to share them with their friends. Engaging or actionable content with a great offer, they might do just that. Test, tweak, and retry different strategies till you find your best way to post communications that generate engagement.

Google gives viewers the option to share posts with one click. Now your posted content your content can reach more viewers – and exponentially expand your marketing reach.

3. Immediately in Google’s Index to Win Internet User’s Attention

When people are searching for your or business online like yours, your company’s knowledge cards and knowledge panel are easy to find search results real estate.

Google Posts let businesses get right to their key message with real-time information. After you have logged into your local listings, you can communicate a post that is advisory, promotional, a how-to marketing message, answer typical search questions or whatever. While not all business categories are currently available, but if you are wondering why or long to see one that better fits your company, you can ask Google. Google appears to be favoring support for business chains with more than 10 locations or more.

The main criteria for using Google Posts is that your businesses must already use the Google My Business (GMB) platform. The new Post feature gives users creative ways to engage with consumers by providing them with timely information such as new service or product promotions, or the opportunity to promote content blog posts. You can add any content you choose, between 100-300 words in length. Posts will appear directly on your Google business listing and Google Knowledge Panel, where up to two shows at a time. They are an ideal way to utilize the mobile search algorithm. Customers can simply tap to read your full posts and share your post with their peers and family directly from Google.

4. Google Posts Make Bookings Online Easy

Shoppers and customers can book an appointment in less than a minute directly through your listing. If they are trying a new business, this is ab easy to become a new customer by trying you out. Marketers can also track how many bookings you get from your Google My Business dashboard.

For a business that doesn’t have a formal booking feature (like Reserve with Google*), or which to augment one, you can do so instantly within Google Posts. It is easier than Google’s booking program. If you want to provide a way to easily schedule an appointment directly with your real estate agent, hair salon, or dentist, a reservation service is marketed through Google My Business.

To help your existing and new clients to book an appointment with you, Select “Book” and then add a link to your website’s scheduling page or simply include your phone number so that it’s a breeze to schedule the appointment. Google says, “you can expect to find more types of bookable services in the future”.

This simple booking process can be the enhancement that your business is seeking to offer a fast, upbeat, customer-focused experience that will likely keep clientele coming back.

5. Google posts may Automatically Suggest Star Reviews

“In some countries, Google My Business now provides suggested posts to help you showcase positive reviews. These posts are automatically suggested based on 4 or 5-star reviews recently left for your business,” the technology company announced on Twitter.

We have yet to learn just which countries this works for.

You may get suggestions for new testimonials to post when you sign in to Google My Business, or via email notifications. These posts are automatically suggested based on 4 or 5-star reviews recently left for your business. You’ll be able to review and edit the post before publishing it.”

6. These posts appear on the local panel and on Maps

As this Google feature is still realitivly new, time will tell all the places where post content may show up. Because it is on the search giants own platform, it is easy for them to catalog answers and pull at will. Whereever they do display, it only increases potential traffic to your website, which may boost sales, and will help you to engage with your audience.

7. These posts are automatically ready for voice-activated searches

In the smart speaker niche, Google nabs the market share of sales. In the face of increased competition, Google Assistant commands the highest percentage of correctly answered questions according to a 2018 study by Eric Enge in which they evaluated voice assistants. Google’s proven outperformance along with its increasing market share makes it one of the most important to consider in your marketing plan. A fully optimize your GMB listings is one of your best ways to ensure high voice-activated search results.

Things to Do and Not Do When Crafting a Google Post

* Don’t wait if the option is missing. If you have lagged with filling in all the fields in your Google Business Listing, you may need to request it.

DO: Request to have the feature added. Google is pretty actively at ensuring its available for all the enabled categories. If your missing the posts feature, here is the link to a short form to request Google Posts activation. Be patient and check the Google Advertiser Forum. A numeric Case ID will be assigned in the email subject line when you hear back. This helps if you have further questions.

* Don’t look like everyone else. Utilize this space that Google provides to create Posts that nab a visitor’s attention. The GMB Post is an ideal opportunity you to connect directly to individuals who can see this post in your Google KnowledgeGraph.

DO: Make your message stand out with intriguing headlines and images. Incorporate your brand colors and look so that you are easier to come back to.

* Don’t link to a generic product list. If your Post is talking about a specific product, then avoid making them click through too many pages to find it. If they click on a specific product post, then they most likely are already interested and can be sent to a page that fits that stage of the buyer journey.

DO: To encourage prospective buyers to find what they already want, link directly to your shopping cart or corresponding service page match what you’re featuring in your Post.

* Don’t leave your CTA bland. You can customize your buttons and make them fit your brand style and color versus the lazy way of sticking to out-of-the-box buttons.

DO: Be creative with your communications and your Call to Action button (CTA) you select to provide readers with a next step. When selling a product or service, use the “Buy” or “Order online” option vs “Read more”.

* Don’t waste key real estate with hashtags or keyword stuffing. They are not a top SEO benefit as some have stated. Hashtags have a place, but if misused to used too often, they quickly come across as spammy or confusing to the user.

DO: Try instead to feature an offer that your potential customers will love. Make first-time buyers interested in learning more about your business!

Don’t misalign your post type. Slow down and match your posts to the best options that Google offers you. For example an “Event” is more important to immediately provide a start and end date as well as location details vs a discount promotion.

DO: When your post’s intent is to help a visitor to book an appointment with your business, choose the “Book” option and link to your website’s “book and appointment” page. If you are seeking to increase your email subscriber list, select the “Sign up” option. Are you using the means to get the work out about your latest offer? Then pick “Get offer” and include details about that special offer or coupon. Use buyer language that is effective to encourage that potential customer to visit your brick and mortar store or buy products from you online.

* Don’t delay getting started for perfection status. Your Post insights can start to acquire data and will be worth examining to reach that state of perfection. Note which topics perform better and watch for new Post features.

DO: Improve your local search rankings by claiming and optimizing your (GMB) listing. No fallacy should exist that claiming your Google My Business listing guarantees top rankings in Google search results. This opportunity to further build your GMB listings can certainly contribute and is praised as a lead local search ranking factor.

Know how to Leverage All Post TypesGoogle Posts dashboard

Currently you have 4 distinct post types to choose from:

  • What’s New
  • Event
  • Offer
  • Product

There are few other specifications, so you’re able to be creative with what you choose to share. For newcomers, Google makes it easy by providing suggestions directly from Google when you sign in to your GMB dashboard. Meeting milestones, and post-expiration reminders are sent via email notifications. You can include newsletter sign-ups in your posts.

Here is a brief description of each Google post type:

  • What’s new posts: Posts that provide general information about your business. You can include a photo/video, link, CTA button, and other information. For example, a restaurant could make a post to promote a new menu item.
  • Event posts: Posts that promote an event your business is involved with or supports. Event posts require a title, start/end dates and time and may include a photo/video, CTA button, and other information. For example, a bookstore may advertise a local author’s book signing or a book club meeting.
  • Offer posts: Posts that provide promotional sales or offers from your business. Offer posts require a title and start/end dates and times. A “View offer” CTA button is automatically added to the post. You can also include a photo/video, coupon code, link, and terms and conditions with the post. For example, a pizza parlor may advertise 20 percent off large pizzas for a week.
  • Product posts: Posts that emphasize a specific product your business sells. Product posts require a title and photo or video. You can also include a CTA button and other information. For example, an electronics store may promote a new phone for sale.

The Technical Details Behind Google Posts

With a 7-day lifecycle, Posts are intended for sharing timely updates with information valuable to searchers. Posts must be between 100 and 300 words, though only the first 100 characters will display within the Knowledge Graph. Being cognizant of truncation and sharing the most important information within those first 100 characters is crucial to delivering a high-quality Post.

* In addition to word content, I always include an image as users love visual elements. Google recommends a 700x525px or a 750×750px in a .jpg or .png file format, with 250×250 px being the minimum dimensions required, but they don’t look as good.

* Short video files can also be used; animated GIFs are not supported at this time.

* Digital managers who share Posts may choose one of four call-to-action buttons at this time. Use the same ease-of-reading UX design features that you incorporate in your blog posts, such as bulleted lists and short paragraphs.

* Your Google My Business page can feature a maximum of 10 individual Posts at once. They are automatically placed in order of the newest to the oldest in a carousel format.

* You can create and share Posts on either your Desktop or by opening the Google My Business app.

* As soon as your Post is being generated, a preview button will be displayed on the top right. I always preview my post before publishing, even though the platform lets go straight to publishing. If you want to improve on its appearance, go back edit it before hitting publish.

* After a Post is published, you can still edit or delete it through either the desktop or mobile interface. The Post will be immediately added to your Knowledge Graph and Maps.

* Google will send you an email notice that your post is about to expire the day prior to its 7-day lifespan concludes. If it was a post about a date specified event, once the date has come and gone, you will be notified.

* As soon as a posts 7-day lifespan is up, while it is no longer visible to searchers, they are archived in your Google My Business account.

* Posts titles create an immediate context to help a searcher that is already familiar with your brand. If they are actively searching for information, but do not regularly receive news from you, this can act as a micro-moment. Align the best CTAs to match the intent that your title conveys.

* Businesses that have multiple store locations will do best by regularly sharing Posts specific to each address.

Like other social media channels, Google Posts lets you humanize your business and interface with potential customers via short messages. The biggest difference between Posts and social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is that there is no need for you to amass a following. Rather it is fueled by Google search volume.

* Integrate your Google Business Posts with regular social media posting and fresh content curation. It takes planning (consider a Google Post Calendar) and testing to fit the way searchers prefer to engage your business and go along with the 7-day post-life window.

* You can update your published Posts daily if more to up-to-date information is needed. Or simply create back-to-back posts. Just remember, only your last two posts will be visible in your knowledge graph.

* One quick tap on the Call Now button will trigger a phone call directly to the primary phone number used in the Google My Business listing. No way exists for businesses to switch the phone number associated with this button, which means today marketers cannot use a tracking number. Be mindful that exceptional customer service over the phone matters, because the customer may be prompted by the system to leave a review at the end of the call.

* Keep new Posts coming and past post updated with fresh details and it will urge users to rely on your website for valuable answers. When potential shoppers interact with your listing more often, it is likely to trigger one of the 8 key Google local search ranking factors. A notable success in click-through rates driven by your GMB listing to your website is judged as a favorable behavioral signal.

* It is possible to generate custom URLs for your Post’s link buttons in order to view in Google Analytics when someone lands on your website or takes an action (like filling out a contact form) after clicking on a Post link.

How Google Post Insights WorkHow Google Post Insights Work

We had 2.61K potential new clients who viewed our Google My Business listing organically in one months time.

Post Insights let you see how users are viewing, clicking on, and the percentage adjustment in the rolling period. The insights rolling period includes the most recent 7 or 28 days and can have a gap delay of up to three days. Your Posts’ summary is located on the Posts tab of your dashboard. Assess why a change in views may have occurred, you can opt to view more insights on individual posts.

Should one of the following happen, your percentages won’t be visible in the summary:

  • Your posts didn’t received a view
  • You haven’t create any Google posts yet
  • Your percentage change is greater than 99.99%

Like other Google products, posts integrate with Google Assistant. Google Posts Google Assistant SDK Developter

“The SDK allows you to capture a spoken query, for example ‘what’s on my calendar’, pass that up to the Google Assistant service and receive an audio response.” – Google

Why Google Posts are Part of Your SEO

They are a great way to boost your overall SEO efforts. By posting to Google, the search giant immediately has that content in hand to serve up in SERPs. Our experiments so far also conclude that you generate more organic clicks as people want to read their full content. You have options to add CTA buttons. Those provided are the springboard where users take action within each post.

Ways that Google posts support your SEO efforts:

  1. Organic clicks on CTA buttons in return will build up your page rankings.
  2. Increases direct traffic to additional web page on your site.
  3. You can connect a post to a form that gleans user information.
  4. Invite them to leave a Google Product Review.

Because this content is quickly indexed, it is probable that they could eventually be rolled into traditional organic search results. Whatever occurs, today you can make use of this feature to gain instant publicity with the consumer public by making it a routine to post.

Foremost, Posts give you the means to bring people from Google Search to your own business website. Once on-site, they will read your carefully prepared content in full. Content derived from Google Posts has been appearing in listings for businesses in the Local Pack and Local Finder as well.

Option to “View previous posts on Google”

Some local businesses may find it hard to not skip a beat and miss getting a Google Posts done as soon as a previous one expires. In this scenario, Google is displaying a link near the bottom of local business knowledge panels that says “view previous posts”. Readers have only to click this link to view your previous posts.

If for no other reason, I find it handy to “View previous posts on Google” so that I chose to vary my next post after having that quick refresher.

Here is a screenshot that you can click on to enlarge: For now we know that Google is testing it. Time will tell if it morphs into something else or stays.

How Google Posts and Voice Engine Optimization Mix

Google Posts is quickly being regarded as one of the most important components of your SEO, voice search optimization, video marketing, and overall content strategy.

It is predicted that by 2020, 50% of searches will be voice-activated, meaning that it is important to include Google Posts in your Voice Engine Optimization (VEO) planning. Voice search is 3x more likely to be conducted on mobile over the sum of other devices. In mobile voice searches, you’re given the option to view the top listing results (1 – 3 results, depending on the device). By including a compelling image and optimized content through Posts to your listings, it will be easier for potential customers to find and do business with you over a business less prepared.

In the smart speakers market, Google is credited with 26.9% of the digital market share. This represents a notable climb of 7.6% over the previous year in the face of stiff competition. Google Assistant was found to have the highest volume and most accurately answered questions according to Stone Temple’s 2018 study which resulted in the rating of voice assistants. Google’s ability to outperform competitors and its increasing market share make it one of the most important voice assistants on the market. This means that if you optimize your GMB listings, it gives your business a chance to win more voice search results from content in your Posts.

Eric Engie stated in his April 23, 2018 article that “Google Assistant still answers the most questions and has the highest percentage answered fully and correctly”.

Measuring Post Interactions Toward Your Business Goals

To accurately compare the time you spend between Posts and social media posting, we create our own spreadsheet to measured against social content impressions, while Post insights provide engagement metrics that can be compared to clicks and website visits taken gained from social content. Specific social media user actions, such as Twitter likes, LinkedIn comments, Facebook shares, messages, or retweets, really don’t match up fairly to any Post metrics provided currently by Google My Business. Include your evergreen content in your Google Listing Strategy.

Where Posts On Google May be HeadedWhat are Google Posts? And how you can add a Product Collection

More ways to gain immediate visibility for your products and services in Google Posts:

Last week a few blurps surfaced that two new Google My Business features (currently in beta), are being tested: ‘Add Product Collection’ and new GMB Insight’s data, ‘Branded Searches’. Reportedly, this is what tests look like. We’ll continue to watch and role this in once when feasible for more changes to show up in snippets.

Rumors of potential for Paid Promotion for these posts continue to surface. It remains a guess at this time, along with speculation that Google will introduce more paid features – but not just for Posts. Knowing how innovative the search giant is, Posts could be rolled into other advertising products in the future. SMX Advanced hinted that the company may announce a new ad product promoting businesses in the coveted local 3-pack Map search results. Maybe paid placements featuring Google Posts will encompass promotions or messages meant to entice people to click the paid content.

As more devices pop up and current ones advance integration with the Google Assistant, Android operating device system and Google Home, may come up with Post-specific features. What we do expect is to see Google Posts continuing to offer opportunities to help businesses show up in local search and introduce your products with video content.

Look for this tying into Google reviews that clients post.

The “Post” is a recent enhancement. Why not jump in, if you haven’t already, and get your Posts displayed front-and-center in your business’ Knowledge Panel? Consider it as a core opportunity to connect online with new potential customers or clients who need your services and products. Google is making their Google My Business program richer than ever. Since its conception, Google has added great features that make your local business listings robust and valuable.

After a searcher clicks on your Post, it expands into a stunning ad-like box that will surely nab visitors’ eye focus. You can pay for marketing in GoogleAds; at this time you can take advantage of Google My Business, the Knowledge Panel, and to complete your full range of ROI and traffic directly on Google real owned real estate, use Google Posts. This gives marketers more control over what readers see when they Google a brand or local business.

Different people engage with different types of content with different responses.

If you can gain additional free visibility and actionable content in front of your audience, why not?

“Posts are displayed as mini-updates in a carousel as part of your knowledge panel, although they expire after seven days. As with a standard social media post, you can add media, some copy and a link to a website. It’s always a good idea to include an image but be careful of them being cropped within Google Maps. It’s therefore worth checking how the image formats on both desktop and mobile.” – Jessie Moore on Search Engine Watch

Services to Post on Google for Your Business

It is challenging to know what questions people are asking and how to write in their language unless you are emersed in it. It will likely take a posting schedule and consistency to win visibility over your competition. We are both present and passionate to help you show up and win new customers from Google SERP real estate.

Hill Web Marketing’s Google Post Services Include:

* Semantically prepared information

After getting to know your business, location, goals, competition, page rankings, website content, along with your target audience, we can then create content that we know your customers and potential buyers are interested in.

* Enriched with custom media

In partner with you, we will choose custom images, short video clips, or animated GIFs for every Google post to gain visibility that viewers relate well to.

* Consistent content creation

W’ll publish 8 custom posts per month (100-300 words each), which include calls to action and/or links to related content on your site.

* Customized Results in your Google Knowledge Panel

Each new post provides a center-stage call-to-action that is highly visible in Google search results. You control your voice, offer, and own your SERPs.

* Post Insight Reports

Using your Google My Business Platform, we can see precisely how many impressions each Google Post gains along with how many clicks the CTA is attributed with.

Minneapolis digital marketing consultant Jeannie HillAt Minneapolis-based Hill Web Marketing, owner Jeannie Hill is passionate to provid you the best ways to gain reach and visibilty through carefully crafted messages, Google Post that reach your audience directly in the Knowledge Graph, and give readers a way to immediatly connect with you.
My residence and place of business is in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, providing both in-state and out of state US services.

Hill Web Marketing digital consultants can create a tailored social media marketing plan just for you. Call and request a free consultation and we’ll get right on it.



Posts are evidence of Google’s continued commitment to make it easy for users to source relevant content and get answers to their questions fast. Businesses and brands are right there in the picture with this tool to engage clientele. Posts make it easy for your align your SEO, SEM, and social media marketing efforts. If you really blundered, or wish to delete a post after publishing it, just click on the post and select “Delete.”

Every great Local SEO strategist today needs to include current, enticing, and relevant content. Utilizing Google Posts is a perfect way to draw attention to your GMB listings and deliver location-specific updates to your ideal audience. If you are nodding “yes” to considering this for your company’s local search presence and get more leads, we are ready for you! Posting your content right on Google is an ideal way to use Artificial Intelligence to complete in the latest search trends.

Contact Hill Web Marketing today for more information on how to get started with Google Posts!




Google Expands Video Marketing To Reach Wider Audiences

How to Maximize Your Video Marketing Efforts to Reach a Wider Audience

Every business is pressed to provide it’s viewers with the best video viewing environment on their website, in AdWords display marketing, and mobile video advertising.

Video is one of the most versatile and profitable digital marketing tools in existence. That is why Google is expanding its video marketing options mid-year of 2018. High-value video content is useful to drive traffic, for brand building, to promote tutorial and informational content, to sell your products, to increase customer engagement, to entertain, and to boost ROI.

In the mix of now video posting and advertising opportunities, video is clearly an innovative ways to tell your business story, build trust in your business with reviews, gain brand exposure, and a key driver of value in media investments. Already in June 2018, companies have new ways to get more people interested in their business brand with video ads created specifically to reach people on their phones and tablets.

Mobile Video Marketing Nabs Viewers Via Newsfeeds

Overall, video immediately commands visual attention in newsfeeds and it’s more likely you’ll catch your audience’s attention with a compelling splash screen on a mobile device versus text. Once they have landed on your web page, text-based assets that take time to read and process are important. They should feel like an everyday conversation between you and the viewer and easy to share.

Facebook’s Newsfeed loves video. And so do most platforms. A video on our web page, accompanied with exceptional written content, breaks up walls of text and intrigues site visitors. While images can much of the same, they don’t capture curiosity the same as a video. Popular media channels now prioritize shorter segments ideal for mobile users.

The potential for mobile digital lead-generation has been evident since and growing annually. Millennial prospects regard a smart, pithy video in their social feed as a chance to opt-in for future messaging with the ease of a couple of clicks.

Always start by aligning the objectives for your video project with your business goals. What user action are you hoping to encourage? What are trying to achieve? From there you can tie specific videotaped metrics to your goals and begin measuring success.

It almost goes without saying that the more initial planning you do for your filmed content, the better reporting metrics you will have. Setting your cinematic goals should be your first step — not only will your content itself benefit from greater direction, but you’ll have more time to ensure access to all the data insights you want.

Google Smart Video Ads & TrueView Video Campaigns

Google’s new Smart Video Ads: To improve your video content rankings, consider Google’s new Smart Video Ads. These new ad campaigns provide businesses with real-time results. Such as calls coming in, actions on your website, and more store visits. Smart campaigns leverage newer machine learning technologies to continuously improve your video ad campaigns and give you better results.

Targeting ad optimization relies on Google’s machine learning algorithms and automatically aims to show ads to the right audiences using behavioral, location, device and other signals.

Google TrueView Video Campaigns: “Each ad group can contain only one video ad format, either in-stream, video discovery, bumper, or outstream. To create bumper or outstream video ads, you’ll need to create a separate campaign”, the platform instructs. You can either let your video’s go live by default and these ad formats will show on all eligible devices Or you can indicate which particular operating systems, device models, and carrier you prefer.

Reportedly, Smart Campaigns are 3x more successful at reaching a business’s target audiences than AdWords Express campaigns. Just like Universal App Campaigns, Smart Campaign ads can also be distributed across Google’s properties, and viewers aren’t given the access to turn off channels on their own.

Another brand newly announced is the Google Marketing Platform, which combines DoubleClick Digital Marketing and Google Analytics 360, the enterprise’s analytics tools for digital marketers. Under that bucket, Google introduced a new product called Display & Video 360*, which marries features from the DoubleClick Bid Manager, Campaign Manager, Studio and Audience Center.

Story-Telling with 6-second Videos in Successionvideo marketing with 6-second video segments for sequential storytelling

Short-form video ads can provide powerful touches to boost your longer story.

This quick nibble video format allows companies to up their quest to reach a younger demographic. If your e-commerce product is ideally purchased by millennials and Gen Z consumers with shorter attention spans or preferences, adjust and reach them with content that they are more likely to embrace. They may watch a Featured Video in Google SERPs and take action later.

When your video material is broken down into 6-second specific, consumable segments, each part will be easier to view more efficiently and work harder in a more productive manner for you. Smaller video segments are also easier to add metadata to for more granular identification by both people and search engines.

When video content is more searchable people can both (1) find your website and (2) consume more content once on your web pages. It also makes it easier for all of your sales staff. Since video consumption is up and climbing, a quick-paced call coming from an on-the-go consumer typically indicates high purchase intent. This makes it easier for your business to answer the call spot-on by aligning faster with what aspect of your site generated the introduction.

Our research indicates that expanding your client base by reaching someone for the first time via video, the shorter the better. For Google Ads retargeting campaigns, we find that a 15 or a 30-second segment does best. That may be attributed to the logic that if someone has already heard of you, they are more likely to give you more of their time.

Short-form video is proving that it has a role. Six seconds is actually an ideal bite-sized moment to play with and forcing you to be more focused on your meaty and most effective messages. The best means of getting your videos consumed by a wider audience is simply to publish more than one and make them short enough to complete fast while getting one message. If you create a plan for a running series of videos (for example, a how-to series or the latest trends in the industry) that are easy to execute, then you could build up your internet presence with ease.

“You can really get to a level of poignancy and a level of human connection that you cannot get to even in a 15-second spot. It’s because you sort of have to understand your subject matter, your medium, your production tools so much more intimately in order to make use of six seconds in an effective way. I think it’s one of the most important ad formats—if not the most important ad format—that we are going to see more of.” – YouTube expert, Maud Deitch*

If you need some reasons to jump into video advertising, here are top reasons why.

Benefits of searchable video for businesses of all sizes:

  • It’s an ideal format for instructional content and tutorials.
  • It encourages your clients and staff to increase their knowledge
  • It makes it easier to grasp more complex concepts

The Need for Video Creative

Video is the fastest growing medium that people are electing to consume online.

Most younger audiences like “skippable ads” and smart marketers are tailoring their videos for this demographics unique business model. This is where 6-second ads are producing incredible results. For anyone trying to fit a video of value into 6 seconds, you know that it is much harder than compiling a 2-3 minute video.

YouTube Unveils 3 new Types of Video Experiments

New ways Google and Bing let Digital Marketers Target Audiences with Video

In June 2018, Google and Bing rolled out In-Market Audiences for Search for all US advertisers.

1. Advertise your video using “in-market audience ads”. This allows the use of features like age, location, and income.

2. First-click, maybe gained cookie tracking privileges (IP), and email address, to those who really indicate intent to buy. New “custom intent ads” for those further down the funnel; those connections are even better than your “in-market” audience.

3. Take an identified audience (in Ignite), understand them, and hitting them within their journey.

On April 24, 2018, Digital Marketing Depot posted Best Practices for Optimizing Media-rich Web Page Speed and talked about how consumer media preferences are quickly moving to higher levels of visual media consumption. “Website content that includes compelling images averages nearly twice as many views as text, and four times more customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it,” it states.

With the launch of Video experiments, we can now convert non-working media spend typically used for focus groups in simulated ad environments into working media that is better invested in real ad environments. On YouTube, consumers tend to only watch what they want, making it an ideal petri dish exponential growth and actionable results you can trust. Google measures user engagement and search history and attributes a lot of weight to the contennt that they prefer to engage.

Thse reports will help video content creators understand how effective their videos are at capturing the attention of different audience segments. Google indicates that it wants to let users annotate key moments within a video, which will allow reports to show what percent of viewers saw those moments. The upcoming YouTube Director Mix will let users create multiple versions of the same video, each with customizable elements that can be shown to different audience segments. Serving up personalized content produces better video watch times.

Video Advertising Statistics

  • Intent-based campaigns have 20% higher ad-recall lift and 50% higher brand-awareness lift compared to demographics-based campaigns alone. (YouTube data, May 18, 2018 )
  • Worldwide viewers visually consume 3 trillion minutes of Internet video per month by 2021, that’s 5 million years of video per month. Video will continue to dominate most online traffic – representing 80% of all Internet traffic by 2021, up from 67% in 2016. (Cisco, May 9, 2018
  • 46% of users act after viewing an ad. An initial email with a video receives an increase click-through rate by 96%. Wordstream, May 1, 2018)
  • Because of its visual nature, 80% of users can recall a video ad they’ve seen. (Forbes, February 3, 2017)
  • T-Mobile says its 6-Second World Series Ads were the most effective (Adage, Nov 20, 2017)
  • 57% of consumers have said that watching videos gave them more confidence to purchase online. (Moovly, Feb 9, 2016)
  • The length of LinkedIn video ads must be three seconds to 30 minutes. However, successful video ads are less than 15 seconds long. (Socially Sorted, May 4, 2018)
  • 51% of viewers think less of brands that rely on auto-playing video ad. (HubSpot, 2016)
  • In 2016 brands dropped a whopping $10 billion on digital video ads in the U.S., and experts estimate that figure will reach $18 billion by 2020. (Think With Google, April 24, 2018)
  • You are 53x more likely to appear on Google page one if you have a video on your website. (Dreamgrow, May 21, 2018 )

Running a Video Marketing CampaignWhere people watch videos the most

Google’s YouTube Revenue and levels of viewer engagement for video watching have placed Youtube as the world’s 2nd biggest search engine for more than 1,8 billion people registered on the site. These devoted video watchers often check it daily to watch approximately 5 billion videos. Managing a video marketing campaign from start to finish seems complicated at first. It is easier than you may think if you start by knowing your audience and thorough pre-planning.

When we look at all major free video content platforms that US citizens are watching videos and movie content on, we see Google sites (the bulk of which is obviously YouTube) being number one with 149 million (3x that of FB) viewers a month. Oath (former Yahoo) holds the next position with 74 million, Facebook is number three with 68 million and all the rest hold holding much more modest positions with less than 50 million monthly viewers.

Every business niche has its own cast of video followers. Once you know there demographics and preferences, we recommended starting your video marketing campaign where most of your clients and prospective buyers already hang out.

Google offers 3 tips for creating effective direct-response video ads on its platform:

  • Understand your customer’s intent
  • Entice people to take action
  • Keep tweaking — it can make all the difference

Post your video content in a strategic way so that it is easier to have accurate metadata information surface that achieves a connection point between its content and someone interested in viewing it. This goes a long way in making your SEO more effective.

Build Trust First and then Build Your Subscriber BasePost your video where  people already watch video formats most often

More people than ever before are deleting their Facebook accounts.

It is a lot more work to bring viewers to where your video content resides than it is to simply post a video where your people already watch video formats most often.

Its important to build your subscriber base. Subscribers are your business’s most loyal fans. Once subscribed to your YouTube video channel, they will be automatically notified of new videos and playlists to watch. It is also key to design a solid plan to promote your content and that ensures it’s viewed by your target audience. Unless you already have millions of YouTube subscribers, you’ll need to seed or market your new content once it launched. The audience segment that your business needs to reach is out there — however, today you need a lot of strategic SEO planning put into it to get potential viewers to find your newest videos.

“A common mistake is reusing the same video across platforms without respect to how users consume video differently on different channels, how they channels themselves can handle them, and the different length requirements of each space.” – Hill Web Marketing

Test and read your data. What worked yesterday may not be the best type of video marketing spend for today or tomorrow. For example, many businesses who reached new viewers through video marketing on Facebook no longer find that it garners the same return on investment. With higher-than-ever volumes of people deleting their FB accounts, they are not on Facebook any longer to even see your video. They simply aren’t there if they don’t trust the platform. That is not a reflection on your business.

Trust is the foundation of client conversions and product sales. Building relational credibility and trust is first. Content marketing success is achieved by opening the door for people to come to you by providing them interesting and useful information. Video can foster those long-term relationships, not just traffic, but by content that connects versus just sells

Your efforts will go a lot further if you understand the specifics of YouTube, and each platform that you choose to add video to. Learn how to best make the most of each format.

Video advertising encompasses online display advertisements that have video within them, but it is generally accepted that it refers to advertising that occurs before, during and/or after a video stream on the internet. According to Wikipedia, “The advertising units used in this instance are pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll and all of these ad units are like the traditional spot advertising you see on television, although often they are “cut-down” to be a shorter version than their TV counterparts if they are run online”.

Best Video Length for Popular Social Media PlatformsBest Video Length for Popular Social Media Platforms

If you are using video, you might as well make the most of the format to reach a higher number of people.

Research proves that users who consume video prefer quick and succinct clips. the message from people behind most Internet video consumption is clear: keep it short.

Research shows that “the human brain can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text”, says Clifford Chi on Hubspot. His Apr 18, 2018 article titled How Long Should Your Videos Be? Ideal Lengths for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube also includes a handy infographic.

Optimal video length for popular social media platforms according to Hubspot:

  • Twitter: 45 seconds or less
  • Instagram: 30 seconds
  • LinkedIn: 15 seconds
  • Facebook: 1 minute
  • YouTube: 2 minutes
  • Pinterest: maximum allowed is 30 minutes; Best length for Pinterest promoted videos: 15-30 seconds
  • Google Posts: under 30 seconds

Video Ideas for Google Business Listing or Google Ads:

Many people get hung-up up on which type of videos to create or perfection—when really, that’s the easiest part!

  • Show your staff in action completing work that surpassed client expectations.
  • Highlight and show off an employee of the month (season/project)
  • Create and record a video tour of your office
  • Ask a client if you can video a project planning meeting so others can see how decisions are typically made
  • Having a company picnic or annual event? Bring the camera along and share the fun. Capture and demonstrate your business culture
  • Feature a case study
  • Interview employees about what they like best about working for your company
  • Invite your customers to upload videos to your Google Business Listing

Consider partnering with a content creator who is currently reaching the viewers you would like to. By pooling ideas and connections with the right content partner you increase your chances of reaching the right audience faster. It’s a way to be high on the charts for user engagement at a lower cost.

Your Google My Business listing has new video features – and Google favors them in search! Guidelines:

  • Google My Business Video Max Duration: 30 seconds
  • Google My Business Video Max File size: 100 MB
  • Google My Business Video Min Resolution: 720p

“On YouTube, our audience engages the most with videos right under two minutes. So we try to keep them around 120 seconds. That might not seem like enough time to dig into a substantial topic, but think about how long YouTube videos should be to cover a concept that would take a blog post 1,000 words to explain.” – Hubspot

“It comes down to creating the right video for the right platform for the right audience. We don’t make one thing and expect it to work everywhere.” – Nadine Ajaka, Washington Post’s Senior Producer of Video Platforms

Video Titles and Descriptions

Now that you have the right video length for each use case, add video titles and descriptions that are engaging and front-load the keywords that people connect with. Use tags having variations with both common and specific words; skip the head term buckets of one-word tags. These not only help to make the video findable, but something that people will want to respond to. Make it clear in a succinct way what each video segment is uniquely about. Ask questions, get video responses. If your video elicits a user action, it (and your brand) will have better recall. At the end of the day, your ultimate goal for video marketing is engaging your customer.

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps Listings, and your Google Business Listing aren’t just a place to host a few random business videos. It takes time and commitment to build and maintain a video marketing plan. If you’re ready to make that commitment, you have to understand how each channel works before you can gain any traction. And then, you’ll need the knowledge of how to optimize your videos in order to see results.

No one wants to be surprised by irrelevant content. Let them know before they click on the title of why this video is different from others. If every video title starts with your business name, you will frustrate users. Make it about the answers they are seeking and less “brand pushy”. Viewers want a productive experience, so make sure you’re targeting appropriate keywords and choosing relevant titles for your videos.

Tips for YouTube video titles:

  • Titles perform best when kept at 55-60 characters in length
  • YouTube marketers have about 65-70 characters if you include spaces. Say what’s most important and use your most valuable real estate to capitalize on. YouTube allows 100 characters with spaces, but know that your4 titles will be truncated depending on where they are showing up.
  • Make sure that your video actually uses the keyword you opt to target. If it’s not used in the video, then YouTube, for example, will assume you’re engaging in spammy behavior.
  • Think outside the box but avoid catchy phrases that have no search value and could be misinterpreted.
  • Show value. Clever wording and proverbial slogans offer less than a solid Value Proclamation.
  • Craft titles that offer a constant and continuing claim of distinction.

When you keep YouTube’s goals in mind and optimize accordingly, they’ll reward you by moving your video up in search!

Elements of Great Video Creative:

  • A clear goal and message
  • Fantastic introductions
  • Consistent branding
  • A voice that creates a sense of community
  • Easily digestible content
  • Seamless Format across all major devices
  • Multi-Platform plan and execution
  • Compelling Call-to-Action (CTAs)
  • Meets the requirements of the platform it is hosted on

Yhen you keep YouTube’s goals in mind and optimize accordingly, they’ll reward you by moving your video up in search!

Google Ads Using Video to Reach Every Stage in the Buyer Journey

  • Awareness
  • Research
  • Consideration
  • Current customer
  • Cross advertising

How to Use Video on Social Media to Get Traffic

Your big chance is during in the first 24 Hours of publishing a video online, especially if it was published on YouTube, your website, and in Google Ads.

You can’t rely on YouTube to do all the work and promote your video for you. It’s important to learn how to include video clips in social media to your advantage. This will help you build a following on other platforms around your channel niche and interest. Watch your Google Analytics and glean key insights so that you know what is working and can apply that to future decisions. As Google expands video marketing, stay fluid in your approach to be using better options as they become available.

One of the key reasons this is important is because the YouTube Algorithm favors outside traffic. This is something people familiar with ranking websites in Google have always known, you must gain external traffic. Be present and vocal to win those views and watch time up in the first 24 hours!

You can edit your own videos. Video editing tools are constantly improving their capabilities, becoming more affordable, and are easier to use. Start with your smartphone; it can make pretty decent videos already. Check on your mobile device for which image editing apps are available and most compatible for your setup. Today’s consumers care less about perfection and more about finding a solution, and fast.

Measuring Video Watch Time, Audience Retention, and Audience Interaction

If one glance at these statistics is getting you focused on how to get your clients latest videos discovered, then you are aligning with what viewers want. Given the huge volume of videos already live on the web and the plethora of fresh video content being added every minute, your business cannot realistically assume that your content will be immediately found and viewed by a throng of people. It requires well-prepared video content, some dollars, and marketing skills.

Video pieces that go viral have much more behind that success than just “write optimized titles, tags, and descriptions for your video.” To keep viewers watching, commenting on, organizing, and sharing your content, note the data for watch time, audience retention, and audience interaction to determine where your successes are.

Adding video content to your Google Business Listing can increase your web traffic and audience interaction. In YouTube Analytics, sort by Live, On-demand, or Live and on-demand, to see granular audience activity. We can key insights for our clients by comparing data for each video. View one content piece from the other by selecting from the list of your channels, videos, playlists, and groups; then compare data. Taking time for the detail information lets you know more about which like content, and time frame are most effective.

Use watch time in tandem with additional video performance metrics. This allows you to gain a better assessment of what attracts and engages viewers of your video content.

Impressions and click-through rate let you know where viewers are being shown your thumbnails and click through to watch. The viewers reached report provided the details on how many viewers are watching a video from a different device. It is not just about clicks, it is about viewers who take action. Look at video average view duration and average percentage viewed metrics for a real understanding of how long viewers remain after clicking on an impression. Traffic sources take you from surmising to knowing where watch time occurs. It also gives you impression data to know where you can reach more people with better video optimization.

We love the Audience retention report for gaining the overall data-backed measurements of how well your video keeps or loses its audience.

Optimizing for YouTube View Rate

A definition of view rate is that it’s a primary metric for knowing how effective your video creative (video ad) is performing. A higher view rate typically means that your video Ad is retaining the attention of prospective buyers. Making smart tweaks to your video Ad is one way to improve your view rate, but you’ll also want to study the audiences that your ads are reaching.

Lowed CPC Cost and Increased Subscritpions with Video Ad Campaigns

A remarkable story of leveraging Marin Social, The Economist reports an increase of 66% in new subscriptions by investing in video ad campaigns. Which they say lowered CPC costs by 72%. Maria Breaux reports in a July 11, 2017 The Economist: Facebook Video Ads for More Subscriptions article that the find:

  • 66% rise in new subscriptions through video ad campaigns
  • 12% lower cost per subscription than through the static image format
  • 72% lower CPC for video ad format than static image

If one of your business goals is to improve user engagement rates, video ads performance may prove to be a positive effect and help you gain the desired results. So what should you try out?

Google Video Experiments That Can Build Your Brand

Google announced a new set of tools that aid content creators when testing and measuring the effectiveness of YouTube videos.

The new set of creative YouTube features, which Google is calling YouTube’s “creative suite,” draws on the muscle of AdWords’ reporting capabilities to garner data that helps uncover creative insights.

Content creators now have the ability to conduct video experiments with a head-to-head testing tool in AdWords.

The tool works with brand lift measurement and allows users to measure the impact of creative on key metrics like awareness, consideration, purchase intent and more. The results from your video experiments can be obtained in three days or less after they start running.

When your business brand makes a statement about its distinction it separates you from your competitors. It should do so in a memorable and positive way that resonates with your target audience. The one thing your video marketing can clearly accomplish making a serious proclamation of your brand’s value to customers.

Searchers using mobile devices can see videos on Google Maps listings. This means that the thumbnail image size and selection for your video matters. Google Local Guides have the ability to upload a video with an Android device. Videos on Google Maps can be viewed by users on iOS, Android, or desktop – so your business can get its video content in front of more consumers who are checking out who you are or seeking a service like yours.

If you have yet to utilize video on your website and for your social media marketing, our team can help. We can help you respond to the user on-demand quest for easy to consume content. With 78% of people streaming online video content every week, your business can benefit from full HD videography.

Google Expands Video Marketing Ads by Offering Marketers More Choices & ToolsSmartphone Video Viewers Want Choices

Smartphone video viewers want choices. Digital marketers can gain a deeper personal connection on mobile – but do so by giving consumers a choice.

Google research discovers that in addition to being more likely to stay longer on a page and share ads and content from brands, “smartphone video viewers were nearly 2X as likely as TV viewers to feel a sense of personal connection to brands that show video content or ads on their devices and 1.3X as likely as desktop viewers”.

Taking the perspective of the users watching video on their smartphone; most regard it as a more comfortable and personal experience than watching on desktop or TV. It seems natural that mobile video goes where ever they are, which makes it ideal as being the way for brands to best build personal connections. Read your Google Analytics to know which performance metrics are boosting user engagement.

Businesses are being forced to be sensitive to the personal experience people have on the Internet through the GDPR, which has user sentiments behind it. An immediate way to respect mobile users is to give them choices. Not only in the ads they consume, but in how they are tracked while engaging them. Giving a clear majority, three out of four smartphone viewers surveyed in Google’s research stated that having the choice to skip an ad is important to them.

Use Live Streamed Video for Brand Awareness and Chats

A successful live streaming video can yield fantastic dividends for your business’s conversion rates and brand awareness. It merits a role in your video marketing strategy. Always include your brand. That may be in an understated but easy to recognize way; make your talk about solutions they are seeking less about who you are.

Video live streaming is one way to take viewer questions and engage them at the moment. However, to take the whole recorded event and post it everywhere as a new video doesn’t fit the length time that engages after the event viewers.

Live streaming video is different. In YouTube, it is possible to view Peak concurrents and chat messages. The platform provides a report at the video level. Metrics are currently only available in YouTube Analytics for 48-72 hours once a live stream ends. If you promptly download the data as a CSV file once it ends, you can save your own record. Remember that Data in YouTube Analytics is based on Video ID. The data is processed and despammed and measures different details from those provided in the Live Control Room.

The most difficult part of including things like product placements or brand mentions in your live video is making it sound authentic without being overly “sales-y.” Nothing turns a customer off faster than obvious self-promotion – in fact, an Ad Age survey claims you could lose up to 60% of your audience by doing this.” – Marketing Insider Group***


“Video campaign optimization includes everything you can do – analysis, in-account changes, and creative updates and so on – to improve the performance of your video marketing.” – YouTube Channel


Turn Your Website into a Niche Library of Knowledge and Answers

Videos go a long way to achieve this end. They’re the easiest way to explain complex details and show off your top-performing products and what you are good at. You may want to add video content under your “resources” or “library” tab.

Ture, this form of content is harder to measure. It’s difficult to put a cost value on things you’re your business reputation, authority and the customer loyalty you can gain from live-streaming followers or those who repeatedly come back to your video library as their preferred resource. But it is very worth it if implemented correctly; you then add fresh content regularly and schedule ongoing testing for opportunities and ways to improve optimization.

Video marketing can become an additional income source, immediately benefiting your bottom line. Videos can be monetized in multiple ways: The right video use drives money from ads, opens up sponsorship opportunities, and use videos to market paid content upgrades, like video how-to courses and premium on-demand video channels.

Diversify Your Video Marketing

While planning is core and there’s never such a thing as too much video content organization and optimization, diversifying is essential to reach a broader audience. Your cross-channel video marketing success depends on it.

You cannot expect that one single video format that will work effectively for every audience on every platform. Some folks respond more favorable to long educational content while others will only consume quick bite-sized videos explaining your point or product.

Similarly, some types of videos or one platform over the other, will work better for explaining and selling your product, while other video formats will do better at generating social media engagement and building your brand presence.

”How-to” Video Content

People are turning to the web every second searching to find how-to content. For example, if you are a small to medium-sized business with services, like waste management, home building services, dental surgeries, etc., you can demonstrate your services best by video content and should include them. You can win new online audiences by offering how-to videos that answer frequently asked questions.

This is logical since we know that content that garners stronger user engagement answers a specific need. Answers or how-to video tutorials can show someone how to do something right in their moment of need. A quality how-to format is easy to accomplish, especially when people already recognize your brand.

3 Tip for creating the best “how-to” video content:

Google Local Guides can Upload videos from Their iPhones

While anyone can upload an image of you or your business, A Google Local Guide specialist can help review your place of business in motion and make your marketing come to actionable life. They will also know how to engage video for local search marketing.

How to upload video from a smartphone:

  • Take a video of where you are. Then upload the first 30 seconds of video about a place.
  • Search and select that business or location on Google Maps
  • Scroll down and select the” Add photos or videos” button
  • Tap and add the video clip from your iPhone’s camera roll
  • Hit “ POST” and the video is live!
  • Going forward, enrich your Google Posts with video formats

“It’s important to invest in the overall quality of your videos for two reasons. First, videos that are designed with as many viewing devices as possible in mind attract more viewers simply because more people have access to them. Second, viewers tend to lose interest faster when watching low-quality videos. –


Download our each to use YouTube Video Marketing Checklist by Hill Web Marketing.

A modern website cannot afford to be just a visual calling card. At the end of the day, it is about providing a great web experience, which goes beyond a visually engaging experience. An effective website must have a proven strategy; in our experience that only comes from knowing what you are doing. Call-to-action buttons like “Contact Us Now” and “More Insights” invite user action and can be tracked so you can learn from real user engagement metrics.

We are proud of our partnering team of search marketing professionals and together can cover all your Google Ads Video marketing, onsite rich media video content, as well as video for social media ads and posts.

Call 651-206-2410 and request a Website Audit for Strategic Video Mapping




Mobile Advertising Checklist: Better CTR & Conversion Rates

Moving to a mobile-first marketing focus is helping search experts to build proper bids in Google’s Money Machine, AdWords. Learn how to operate very targeted mobile marketing campaigns by evaluating your ad copy, landing pages and CTR.

In the last five years, mobile marketing and in-app advertising have been successful in the forms of digital advertising that are recording the fastest growth and advancements in technology. Today most businesses have embraced the mobile revolution and are investing more in advertising on mobile devices. This places a higher priority on how to build your own mobile marketing strategy around search intent and mobile ad relevance. Our Mobile Advertising Checklist can help.

AI, Machine Learning, Relevancy, and Transparency Shape Mobile Advertising Trends

Mobile advertising relies on qualities of Ad stability and click-through rate (CTR) predictability. Ad testing and innovation by digital marketers who embrace necessary changes quickly tackle low-performance issues. Paid mobile marketing managers who innovatively and incrementally approach their mobile campaigns can to de-risk mobile projects and learn quickly how to obtain a successfully targeted mobile campaign. This article will help you gain better returns for your mobile advertising spend and avoid common mistakes when setting up new advertising campaigns.

Entrepreneurs in the mobile space need to always anticipate and spot upcoming video advertising opportunities and mobile marketing trends that will impact their business advertising and be ready. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are being leveraged to enhance the customer experience of mobile apps as well as for mobile marketing automation services, and improving mobile conversion rates. Machine Learning is helping companies increase conversions and predict buying behavior. The goal is to build one-to-one relationships with every one of your mobile users and offer relevant messages. An efficiently launched and finely-tweaked mobile marketing campaign can become the big bang in impacting SERPs, traffic, user engagement, and mobile conversions. Along with voice search, AI, and machine learning, every SEO professional is paying more attention to users across devices in 2018.

Always respect Google as your marketing partner when using their platform. Remember that the company is dedicated to matching content to search intent and is only charging you per click. Your responsibility is to make the most out of this mobile marketing opportunity. It is up to you to ensure that you are showing the best Ad at the right time to the right audience. Google cares about clicks so it rewards efforts that produce Ad clicks. And Ad clicks, in turn, need to sustain a sufficient level of purchases.

Plan Before Executing a Mobile Display Ad Campaign

Delivering ads to target mobile audiences comes down to effectively meeting revenue goals.

The validation of your mobile display Ad Campaign strategy is money. At the end of the day, because businesses are paying for this, it must be profitable for continuous mobile marketing investments. Google tools available to help you choose your keywords can be used in tandem with other tools. The individual marketer who knows how to interpret user data can also be able to better match semantically related search query terms.

” As the size of data collections to be searched grows, it is no longer enough to correctly return query results that match query terms entered by a user.” – Google

Earned search engine marketing uses search engines to reach target audiences, while paid search can benefit a company with the goal of extending revenue gained by SEO. If a user is on their mobile phone that has a limited connection, mobile ad delivery can be both efficient and display your ads on Google Search, Google Maps and Mobile Shopping Carousels, as well as a host of other platforms.

Your Revenue-Producing Mobile Marketing ChecklistYour Revenue-Producing Mobile Marketing Checklist

Mobile Ad Revenue is Exploding; here is how you can get in on it!

* Ensure your Website and Apps are Mobile-ready

The days are past when only a desktop version suffices; your websites and mobile applications must work seamlessly across every mobile device. To enhance your website for mobile marketing means responsive design and excellent load time, which are best achieved with Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Getting under three second load times will boost bottom lines. Based on Google’s mobile page speed research reveals that as page load times take even one second to seven seconds longer, the bounce rate gradually increases by 113%.

Neither users nor Google tolerates non-optimized, poorly navigable pages much: hard to click buttons and tabs, disproportionate or fuzzy images that do not scale to the page, and unreadable content that requires finger zooming can ding your site.

With smartphone users growing exponentially year-after-year, ensuring that your sites and apps mobile-friendly is fundamental. Otherwise, you’ll likely see a loss of considerable chunk traffic, clicks, and customers.

* Understand Searcher Intent:

Search engine marketing, whether through organic SEO or paid methods is strategically simple. If you are a home remodeler in a small town, and someone searches for “home remodeler” and includes the name of the town, then there is a high chance your site can meet what the intent of the search that was performed. Getting in front of the right buyer at the exact time they have a requirement is smart marketing. Commonly, commercial terms are highly competitive across both paid and organic search. For most businesses, there are multiple opportunities for brand-building and targeting relevant customers higher in the marketing funnel. To improve your mobile reach means developing a better understanding of the intent behind search keywords and getting your mobile content in front of viewers fast.

* Mobile Ad Impressions:

You need a sufficient number of Ad impressions to trust your data test results. The impression numbers let you test more variations at once. If low, only do two Ad variations. In this case, we typically kill the ad test and go with the control if there is no clear winner.

* Optimize for Ad Clicks and Conversions

AdWords marketers have a goal of getting that search to result in the form of a lead with the strong potential for a conversion. It is about the searchers intent and providing the user with what they are looking for before being aggressive in pursuing ways to convert. The mobile buyer’s emotions and preferences for transparency and immediacy tell you what is important and digital marketers can take advantage of it. Mobile advertisers depend on seeing and expressing the value of a strong and well-structured Ad foundation when creating new Google AdWords and Bing Ads mobile campaigns.

* Keywords:

Since you are paying per click, it is important that you know how your keywords are performing and their value. Review stats found in the data that your marketing produces to come with the CTR you need. A quality score will make your AdWords campaign profitable. The keyword, Ad, and landing pages are closely related. Each one’s role is unique and a great AdWords manager understands what each one does and how it relies on the other. Relevancy is key. For example, If you offer a 20% discount within your Ad Copy on a buyer’s next car repair order, make sure you show that on the landing page where the user will arrive.

To find the actionable keywords to target that might be found at the bottom of the sales funnel. The search begins often with a head keyword and then continues with a more specific landing page that can convert people. The story begins with a keyword, the landing page answers buyer questions, address concerns, and gives a clear path to purchase. By running your landing pages up against something else, you can make tweaks that lead to the very best landing page per paid search campaign.

Know which of the historical keyword queries to prioritize. It takes time to know who your audience is, where your audience is, and the language they use when searching. Once you have the knowledge of hyper-targeted search keywords it becomes the foundation of your mobile Ad campaign.

* Headlines:

Make your headlines clear, relevant, and rich with promises. If someone is going to click on it, it should reward their choice. Make the time they spend arriving at your desktop or mobile landing page meaningful. Google has recently divided Ad headlines into two parts. They can be used to relate to the search while avoiding the use of superlatives. Stronger buyer sensitivity to ad experience and more sophisticated targeting begin with an enticing title.

Google Product Data permeates many areas, including titles and descriptions. Google Express has retail ratings that influence how your mobile ads show up and how often.

* Display URLs:

You can reach your ideal customers while they’re on the go with ads on mobile devices; for image ads, your campaign must have opted into the Display Network. Display URLs test how to best use the 80 characters.

* You’ll Pay more if you Skimp on Technical Mobile SEO:

While there are plenty of landing pages factors that are binary, meaning either good or bad, having your code technically correct on your landing pages is critical. Google makes it simple to locate issues such as if your JavaScript doesn’t load right, images need caching, and whether or not the keyword (or search query) is reflected with the landing page’s content. If a landing page is only built to convert, you may nofollow the ones that aren’t engaging users and tend to generate duplicate content issues. Canonical links can also relieve duplicate content that otherwise wastes your site’s crawl budget. We lean on nofollow tags more on web pages that an Ad points to over-relying on the canonical tag.

* Craft Mobile-focused Ad Copy:

Include not only keywords, CTAs, and specific details of your products and services, but also add phrases like “purchase easily on your smartphone,” “order on mobile,” “mobile user’s special,” etc. Use the natural language of your buyers that invites the purchase. Then optimize your AdWords campaign by using mobile ad extensions. Specifically, leverage sitelinks, call extensions, click-to-call ads, and local extensions (such as location, affiliate location).

* Optimize Mobile Spend and Bid Strategies:

If you favor automated bid strategies, try out Google’s Smart Bidding tool. Should you choose to go the manual route, bid your ads to top-performing search results and make sure to test and optimize them to target your mobile marketing goals. This will help keep your campaign with your spend limits.

* Use Micro-moments to the Fullest:

According to Google’s user behavior study, the typical buyer’s micro-moments are heavily sourced from mobile. Ninety-six percent of customers with intent to buy reach for their smartphones when wanting to find something online or entertain themselves. Here is where your mobile paid advertising spend needs to nab their click.

Consumers’ shopping micro-moments are different in each retail category. Learn the exact moments that your ideal customer shops for products like your and then adjust your PPC bid during those time frames.

Think with Google** also states that, “at the beginning of the shopping journey—before consumers have started thinking about specific products or brands—they rely on their mobile devices to provide inspiration and to help fine-tune their design sensibility. Fifty-seven percent of searches in I-need-some-ideas moments occur on mobile, up 35% year over year”.

* Strive for a High-Quality Score:

Generally, having a “7” AdWords quality score is considered good, but we shoot for higher. Load time on mobile landing pages is a critical aspect of SEO and one way that organic search and paid search benefit from close integration. Sufficient mobile SEO budget is needed to understand mobile buyer preferences, different audience targeting options, ad impressions and click ratios. In the long run, if clicks don’t convert, your paid mobile advertising will have little value.

* Know the Value of a Sale:

If the value of a sale if $1000, and you are able to obtain 100% of the needed searches organically to fill your order quota, then you don’t need to rely on PPC. If the value of one visitor is higher than the CPC, than it is definitely worth investing in. Great pay for click campaigns make more sense at lower cost if your organic search results already have solid user engagement. Site visitor engagement remains as solid proof to Google that your website’s landing pages have something going right.

* Combine Metrics:

When evaluating the AdWords accounts that you manage, consider that an Ad with 30 clicks has enough data so that you can be confident of making a solid decision. “Visitors” and “Conversions” are close metrics to look at. An inevitable mobile advertising shift is happening to be more contextualized and create consumer-friendly ads because interstitial ads only alienate mobile consumers rather than boost relationships or deliver real return on investment. Read all your key metrics and tweak to honor what they want. Remember how small a mobile screen is and maximize your mobile advertising on them.

* Mobile Local Ad Optimization:

Analyze your past and current user data more from the AdWords Settings Tab and implement the right Bid Adjustments that reflect mobile user preferences. If you are targeting all US, adding the United States as a whole and not the individual states will force you to perform an additional step and cross-reference your Dimensions/Analytics Geo reports and end up doing the same thing.

Local Ads rely much on location details for effectiveness. Google always takes about the proximity factor and how much it matters for capturing search intent. Geographically specific mobile Ads for specific brick and mortar stores mean that reaching your local audience is your priority. It is the atomic unit that builds out your local Ad. You may gain ancillary eyeballs if local content is not clear. Use local business schema on your landing pages to indicate the area served as well as use industry niche markup.

When people search using the “nearby” or “near me” on or Google Maps (for example, “dentist near me”), they may see local search ads that feature your business locations. Add your business logo on Google Maps, which naturally increases the visibility and accessibility of your website in mobile search.

Mobile Marketing Trends Change just as fast as Mobile Technology

Mobile marketing winners are typically those who possess the ability to follow trends fast by adopting a tactic before others in your market do. And at the same time, never ignore the timeless marketing basics that move the needle. Every aspect of digital marketing is, by definition, an area where you should follow your audience. Do two businesses are exactly alike. You will need to read and understand your data smartly as well as keep up with the fast pace of mobile marketing trend changes that that are rapidly advancing due to improved mobile technology..

Asif Khan talks about the integration of QR codes, using facial recognition, leveraging AR capabilities in Location Marketing. QR stands for ‘Quick Response’ and was originally invented in Japan for tracking components in factories. Today they provide a way of effectively adding web-based content for integrated campaigns to use with a digital offer and drive engagement with your business brand, ultimately leading to interactions on a website through a mobile experience.

Mobile Rich Image Ads: According to Moz, “Across the board, what we’ve seen is that paid searches on average, in all of Google, gets between 2% and 3% of all clicks, of all searches result in a paid click. Organic, it’s something between about 47% and 57% of all searches result in an organic click”. The article title How Google AdWords (PPC) Does and Doesn’t Affect Organic Results by Rand Fishkin goes on to talk about his research on mobile rich image ads vs desktop and how that influences CTR. In the end, “if you bid in certain cases, you may find that you will actually change the click-through rate curve for the entire SERP and change that click-through rate opportunity for the keyword.

Mobile advertising checklist  for Google AdWords; it is about text Ads and display Ads* Video Ads:

Google AdWords is about text Ads and display Ads, while Video Ads are sourced from the Google’s own YouTube platform. It is best to let them complement each other. Whether you prefer starting with one or the other, using them in conjunction will produce even better results. US ad buyers in search of the best return on investment (ROI) are using the Google platform first, and Facebook second; both make Video Ad Marketing easy.

eMarketer predicts that one in four individuals of the global population will use a mobile device to watch video monthly, which will be an 11.9 percent increase from last year.

Additionally, reports that “64% of live streamers have engaged with ads”, adding video content for mobile viewers will align better with their media consumption preferences.

“52% of those viewers prefer free, ad-supported live streaming over a subscription or à la carte services”, according to Marketing Drive’s take on the June 2018 IBA’s Live Video Streaming Report.

* Use Mobile Apps and Implement MobileApplication Schema:

Create a schema markup strategy that can be leveraged in AdWords. Structured data in the format of schema markup can have multiple uses, both for earned and paid search. With the increasing percentage of smartphones usage, many companies now have mobile applications and can then create advanced AdWords strategies to personalize user experiences. Add schema MobileApplication markup on your sites. More websites are using dedicated landing pages for their mobile applications. Mobile marketing success means more than trendiness and novel headline to deliver what a growing number of connected consumers want. New research from Google indicates that consumers are searching for what’s important to them through mobile devices. In this way, they are clearly expressing what they want. We need to hear those messages. These user cues lay the foundation for app marketers to find people who will love their app experience.

* Be Transparent:

Mobile buyers are hyper-transparency sensitive. They want to know what is happening with data collected about them and are more empowered than ever. The GDPR’s reach to US markets has caused a growing realization among advertising professionals that better online transparency may mean more web traffic and sales. “Fake news” scandals and Facebook’s misuse of user’s trust has surfaced the value of trustworthiness in all forms of media advertising. Use factual content and prove your trustworthiness with FactClaim Schema.

Transparency is key across the e-commerce buyer’s journey, say from a product selection on a mobile device to if checkout and shipping is finalized on a desktop; the only surprises that your customers encounter should be pleasant. Make sure that you inform site visitors of your cookie policy and offer detailed product descriptions and high-quality product images to make it easy for your customers to feel confident in their purchasing decisions. Site policies should be easy to find in the content of a page, perhaps under “details see our site”.

Mobile ad networks encounter the challenges of user transparency. Struggling advertisers who now request a user’s GAID (phone ID) may be missing a significant segment of mobile web traffic, knowing that in-app traffic currently makes up a small portion of the overall mobile traffic.

“You should also be transparent when it comes to fees and policies. The most common reason for shopping cart abandonment is that extra costs are too high. Too often these costs aren’t listed until the final step of the checkout process, which can cause customers to leave the site before completing their purchase. In fact, 23% of abandoned carts stem from customers being unable to see or calculate total order cost up-front.” – Digital Commerce 360*

* Use Multi-variant Testing:

Decipher which ad bombs and if Ad Variation A has the better impression rate and CTR amounts over Ad Variation B. Know when an Ad, that even if it has a high CTR, is not a winner in terms of cost balance to sales. Google Analytics let you evaluate two ideas and then see clicks versus conversions to find the best Ad copy variations. Multi-variant testing lets you come up with the best Ad headline. AdWords managers gain confidence by seeing over time how performance relates to Ad tests. It is easier than ever to know how your ads perform across devices.

* Mobile Ad Photos: Great imagery helps site visitors connect with your brand and message. Use images that engage buyer’s emotions and help them connect to your ads’ intent once they connect with your business. Keep current with image guidelines for specific forms of advertising. Image ads and App promotion ads need a well-chosen image to immediately connect with the viewer. Both Google and Bing continue to test images in search text ads. Adhering to Ad image best practices will improve your Click-Through-Rate and user engagement.

* Ad Timing and Quality: Marketers are paying more attention to the “timing” of their mobile ad. That’s because mobile users are typically more on-the-go and they prefer that their search is not disrupted with what they were currently doing. That means that timing seems is more critical followed by relevance and a quality ad. Continual messages accomplish less than one that is high-quality and served up at the right time.

If you irritate your mobile audience, they can quickly resort to ad blocking. The “less is more” approach can produce successful mobile marketing results. Marketers that place more thought on being empathetic with user preferences and shift their perspective from being intrusive and interruptive to being more human will find a better following.

Have a Better Mobile Landing Page Than Everyone Else:

This is the page that will be producing revenue for your business, so build in adequate time for testing and for teaks that lead to improvements. The perfect landing page produces traffic that is only achieved by testing properly. Let users show you what your ideal landing page is and should be. Multiple surveys and tests so far prove that fast-loading retail AMP landing pages don’t keep someone waiting after the click and out-perform others.

  • Keep it direct to the search and minimal above the fold.
  • To encourage the viewer to scroll down, engage the user and entice them to want to learn more.
  • Don’t risk boring the reader with too many technical specifications. Know what you are selling. For example, you are selling a FitBit, you are not selling the technology behind it. Buyers care about benefits first and features second versus how a product is made.
  • Make them one page in length. Avoid clutter.
  • Typically, they should not be accessible from another page on the website, making measurements easier.
  • Be tightly themed to searcher intent.
  • Express content that assures the reader of quality and relevancy.
  • Let the reader be in charge. Focus less on company history. They can search and learn that.

Components of a High-Converting Mobile Landing Page:

  • Content that shows why they should trust your business
  • Benefits of the product or services (speeds up internal work flows, healthiest diet)
  • Unique selling point (USP)
  • Clear customer service examples of how purchases are managed if something goes wrong (no fear monger tone)
  • Features that display/talk about solutions
  • Trust elements (company guarantee, user testimonials, volume of sold of orders, security seals)
  • Complete a strong story in natural language
  • Make your offer clear and provide compelling call to action “get your own now”
  • Easy customer journey and shopping cart flow throughout

The purpose of the ad is to gain a relevant click. You don’t need a click from someone who is seeking something else and immediately leaves your site. A/B tests need to be equal to produce trusted data for making bid and Ad copy changes. Be on top of this and stop tests before running the risk of breaking down your overall click-through rate (CTR). Your goal behind your AdWords spend is to win the highest CRT for the search. Gaining it means that your Ad is shown more often and at less cost to you.

Agile Processes Produce the Best AdWords Mobile Marketing Results

Give yourself and your marketing team an agile process from the get-go. Make sure everyone has a focus on users. It is the most effective tactic for achieving short-term marketing success. Whether planning a new AdWords campaign or introducing a new digital application for health care or making it easier to manage content creation, user-centered projects prove up strong every time for real and tangible benefits. Seeing things from the user’s perspective offers a huge political value for every business. Focusing on users also serves as a way to navigate through bureaucracy and force divergent interests to agree and partner toward a common goal.

For example, know if a local competitor is running a new promotion. Half of all home furnishing mobile researchers say that retail promotions and discounts affected their purchase decision, and we find that is reflective of mobile shoppers in general.

Use Google Mobile Ads SDK for Native Ads in Android, iOS Application

Mobile native advertising is a popular type of paid media where showing mobile ads follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed. Native ads are paid-for spots that attract and gain a relevant and targeted audience with the intent to drive profitable customer action by personalizing or enhancing the consumer behavior. This makes them more apt to stand out in search for a competitive edge, to be viewed and clicked by users.

Mobile native ad formats aim to benefit both buyers and sellers through an integrated plan to execute and evaluate mobile native ad campaigns. To accommodate new mobile device user preferences, as of March 14, 2018, Google’s native express ad format is discontinued; marketers using paid mobile advertising are directed to now use the Google Mobile Ads SDK.

Mobile Apps are popular because of the many ways a marketer can customize them. Native advertising can be modified for best display on any screen. App design makes it easy to creatively display Ads to appear like an inherent part of the app. It yields a higher CTR and a more positive user experience.

GDPR Changes Google AdWords Conversion Tracking

Column modification AdWords conversion tracking

By default, paid marketers only get tracking for:

  • Number of clicks
  • Number of impressions

You don’t automatically see the number of conversions. Google AdWords provides accountable marketing results, which is a killer aspect of mobile marketing. Search clicks, on their own, do not provide you with an indicator of a real lead coming through. You have to modify your columns to actually see conversions in AdWords new interface. Google leaves getting conversion tracking results up to AdWords Campaign Managers who must have the skills to know how to do this to gain conversion tracking results. It is quite a rich “ah-ha” moment to see these conversion results.

See what converts on mobile is harder to find in the new AdWords interface. It is under the wrench and “conversions”. It used to be one conversion tag on your “thank you” page, now Google wants it across your site, too. Now you need a global tag across your site. Conversion Linker, as well as other recent Google updates, are the result of Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) being added to the Safari browser, which many find confusing as there is yet little documentation. Once you have the global tag on, you will need to update your tracking code to an event. No worries about your remarketing tracking code, it is inbuilt with the new global tag.

Google’s AdWords interface has now been updated with this message: “The global site tag adds visitors to your basic remarketing lists and sets new cookies on your domain, which will store information about the ad click that brought a user to your website. You must install this tag on every page of your site.”

ITP and AdWords data were formerly tracked using third-party cookies. The purging of third-party cookies becomes more of an issue under the GDPR, and could prevent companies in the United States “from tracking the source of AdWords conversions that occur in Safari. This would break AdWords click attribution on almost half of all mobile searches”, according to Jeff Sauers, owner of PPC Course.

“Google’s solution to ITP is to push all the AdWords ad click data that used to get tracked via a third-party cookie into a first party cookie. This is the same way Google Analytics tracks conversion data. Tracking via first-party cookies falls into compliance with ITP.” – Jeff Sauer

Cross-device conversions should be included; these are conversions that are tabulated whenever a user interacts with an ad on one device, and later converts on a different device or browser. This metric shows how your ads influence conversions that happen across multiple devices and browsers, such as someone whose first interaction is on mobile and later completes the purchase on desktop.

Google sent emails that offer the following information:

To help ensure conversions are reported accurately in your AdWords account, we’ll be making three changes, consistent with Apple’s recommendations for ad attribution:

1. If you have auto-tagging enabled and a Google Analytics tag on your website, we’ll begin to set a new Google Analytics cookie on that site’s domain, which will store information about the ad click that brought a user to your site. If you have linked your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts, the AdWords conversion tracking tag will be able to use that click information.

2. AdWords will continue to report conversions for users who have recently interacted with Google services and domains.

3. AdWords will also use statistical modeling to estimate website conversions that could not be measured from Safari, and include them in your AdWords reporting

“The idea is that relevance can help to create a better user experience when it comes to delivering ads to target audiences, especially for the mobile environment that now dominates everything we do in business and life.” – Steve Olenski on Forbes***

“I think paid is a solid investment so long as you can prove a good ROI. My frustration comes when folks refuse to invest in organic because it takes a long time to show a similar return. Give it time, energy, and creativity, and organic can vastly outperform paid (but you have to be willing to stick with it, learn, iterate, and improve).” – Rand Fishkin

The Future of Mobile Marketing

AdWords is changing, and more and more it lets digital marketers align with the shopping habits of mobile users. Apps and mobile native advertising is on the increase. Some former AdWords optimization practices and options don’t even apply anymore. Ten years ago advertisers weren’t forced to push mobile advertising to the same extent. Now, as mobile users surpass the level of desktop users, it is time to adjust and keep measuring cross-device user actions.

A mobile marketing approach may well take longer, but shaping a mobile-first advertising foundation saves businesses time and money in the future and your campaigns can experience a better set up for success. Mobile advertisers increasingly seek more granularities in targeting capabilities to reach consumers on mobile devices. To be sure, your ideal customers are there, too.

Mobile Advertising Checklist Conclusion

Every little bit of improvement contributes to your success and makes your site more mobile- accessible and user-friendly – Search Bots and Voice Assistants notice! All forms of web traffic are paid for in one way or the other, if you pay for the click from the search result, or if you pay for SEO services, time costs money. In our experience, mobile marketing optimization around every user experience is where most businesses need to focus in 2018.

We have to stop limiting ourselves to desktop or mobile optimization. We cannot afford to assume that everyone will stop and build iOS apps. That also is not the single sole experience. We have to see anyone who consumes content on all devices and in any situation. Hill Web Marketing believes that businesses are best served when walls come down between the paid side and the organic side.

Over 2/3 of the people who get through the average customer journey still abandon a purchase. Andrey Lipattsev, Partner Development Manager at Google, says “We make it hard!” In the mobile-first world, if your sites are not convenient for mobile users, your business will undoubtedly lose a needed chunk of your market share to more mobile-ready competitors. Mobile marketing is one of today’s big deals and by all accounts will become an even more important aspect in the near future.

Check back soon; we will have a handy Mobile Advertising Checklist PDF downloadable version available.

Obtaining the best mobile advertising ROI requires timing and testing. Hill Web Marketing can help you create relevance and emotional connections to take the relationship between the mobile user and your brand to the next level. Start with a Mobile Site Audit



Oracle and code samples are licensed under the Apache 2.0 license and we provide creative commons attribution 3.0 were it applies.

The Transition to Google’s Answer Engine

How to Use Google’s Question and Answer Feature

The Transition to the Google Answer Engine: People using the Internet want to find answers to their questions as fast as possible. When trying to sell your products, it’s critical to prepare for prospective buyer questions.

Google answer engine optimization is revolutionizing search. Users want the answer, not billions of web pages, not pushy ads. So Google ranking systems born out of many “answer patents” sort through the hundreds of billions of web pages crowding into the Search index to give users the best answers.

To make it easier to gain solutions, Google Maps launched Questions & Answers right within a business’s Google Listing. This helps prospective customers to ask the company their questions and give the business owner another way to provide a fast answer. When first introduced in August 2017, it was usable on Android with other options rolling out later in the year and has quickly become an essential aspect of effective SEO. The Google Answer Engine is now core to most if not all aspects of search.

Google’s answer’s engine runs on top of Wikipedia and other trusted sources. One key to getting more of your content sourced in Quick Answers is increasing your website’s trust factor. These highly visible answer cards are giving users a new way of getting quick answers to their questions. Getting your content in featured snippets can lead to increased relevant traffic on your website. I This post will help you learn how to create question-and-answer style content that’s user seem to prefer and that is Google-friendly with the intent to gain targeting Featured Snippets.

Companies that demonstrate relational qualities within their mission and value alignment, innovation, and collaboration, are poised to welcome consumer queries. One demonstration of providing exceptional customer service is letting your clients know that no question is too big or too small to ask. Conversational AI that leverages Chatbots and is a trendy way to help them reach your business anytime and anywhere. Creating the best products and services begins by investigating the questions asked by hundreds of buyers in surveys and in seminars letting them describe their ideal experience and then turning this research into relationship building communications. This post can help you to better understand how to edit your schema to add phrasings so Google’s Q&A can answer more questions about your industry expertise from your data. If those code implementations are not accurate, your answers may not be shown as often.

Winning clicks on mobile is hard. On mobile, Google’s focus is to be an “answer engine” more than a “search results list”.

Now that Google is monetizing the SERPs heavily, there are fewer winners than there used to be. To win, you must align with what users are looking for.

What is Google Q& A?

Google Q& A became common knowledge in August 2017 when introduced as a consumer-facing, crowd-sourced FAQ results feature. It is much like the Ask the Community feature on Yelp, TripAdvisor and other forums, that aids consumers (and businesses) by making it easier to ask and answer questions about a particular business within their local Knowledge Panel. These results can show directly in traditional search results as well.

Viewers can quickly indicate the answer’s usefulness with a quick positive or negative vote to questions and answers. Google uses this to further determine their order, and where they might appear, and future answer results. People are asking questions, a lot of questions, especially before buying on an e-Commerce site.

Google’s intent for its local Q&A feature is to provide those consumers with quick, concise, and enhanced details about a business. These informational snippets will help prospective buyers to find meaningful, in-the-moment answers to questions, making their decision-making process possible directly from the Knowledge Panel. It is a leading SEO technique that can help your business provide user with more valuable content.

Mobile user preference has completely disrupted the e-Commerce landscape, creating changes in shopper’s behavior and advancements in voice-activated purchases, how business can leverage the Google Assistant and artificial intelligence to provide solutions. While change does create challenges, it equally provided opportunities to connect with your ideal customers in more personalized ways. Providing answers is a key means of gaining new clientele. Questioning is the art of learning. Learning to ask important questions is the best evidence of understanding there is, far surpassing the temporary endorphins of a correct “answer.”

Questioning is the art of learning. whether to choose the right product, resolve a problem, or to find the best service provider. Learning to ask important questions is the best evidence of genuine interest that there is, far surpassing the temporary endorphins of coming up with the most correct “answer.” Unless we are talking about search. Then it is very rewarding to provide the answers that someone needs.

With direct answers, Google’s intent is to provide a searcher with the best possible user experience by answering questions in searches as quickly as possible. Google has repeatedly underscored the value of direct answers, as we say in a 2014 annual report it filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission:

“We used to show just ten blue links in our (search) results. You had to click through to different websites to get your answers, which took time. Now we are increasingly able to provide direct answers — even if you’re speaking your question using Voice Search — which makes it quicker, easier and more natural to find what you’re looking for.”

What is a Google Answer Card?What is a Google Answer Card?

A “Google answer card” is a SERP feature, usually displayed in a light-gray box, that occurs above the organic results and seeks to directly answer a specific question.

From March 2018 forward, Google has been removing search results from specific queries where they believe that it is possible to answer a consumers query, without sending that traffic to a third-party site.

Glem Gabe provided the above example on Twitter on December 5, 2017*. The intent is to improve the speed of results returned to users. Google never skips a beat at putting it “Users First”, as we can see from the Zero Result SERPs position given to these answer cards.

Google search results now favor showing the Best Answer within their Answer Cards that typically win a position above everything else. Since their appearance in December 2017, people have been eager to learn how to achieve this stellar result. Scanning the Google developer documentation only offers hints of question-answer schema markup.

Readers seem to love an answer that has been designated as the best response, typically on a Question/Answer site. Some sites lean on community opinion and/or the opinion of the Question author. We can find no available proof that featured snippets must have Schema Markup, and yet by examine code we often find the “best answer” highlight within the Answer card is accompanied by acceptedAnswer and upvoteCount (a property showing how many individuals have voted for that answer, as often is used in a forum or community).

If a common question has multiple answers, then they may be displayed in the form of a carousel with the most upvoted response indicated as the “Best Answer.”

What are Questions & Answers in Search?Voice search trends driven by consumers who want answers

You can find user questions by joining the chorus of inquiries found in Google autocomplete.

Questions and Answers on Google Maps or directly on your web pages allow business owners to provide specific answers to specific questions directly. Your Google business listing is more important than ever to help you reach potential customers. Digital marketers can now anticipate FAQs by adding commonly asked questions and their respective answers wherever possible online. As Google offers new ways to do so both onsite and offsite, it is an ideal SEO task to complete.

Both retailers and Internet can both rate content to boost its Q & A positioning and red flag content that is incorrect, misleading or spam.

SEO’s that are watching their data closely are seeing and content that answers consumer’s questions is flourish today. It is not surprising given the mobile-first index, the increasing number of voice assistants, and machine learning advancements. With a mindful, Artificial Intelligence is taking marketers right back to the basics of having one-on-one relationships with customers. Customers are asking new questions every day that tell us what they need. You can decrease their time to gain that outcome from you by preparing now to answer their key questions.

It is best to build content that muscles up your organization’s answer library to become better problem solvers and be there when your customers expect it. That is where the current and next competitive advantage is. Users have left a trail of history questions that you can glean intent from.

What are Rich Answers?

Rich answers are similar to the Knowledge Graph, giving people direct information to their queries rather than forcing them to hunt through websites. However, they have one crucial difference: they’re gleaned from existing websites, rather than coming from Google’s knowledge archives. These may include an excerpt of trusted text to directly answer a question a user typed, or a carousel of varied historical characters or statistics associated with a certain time in history.

Why The Push for Faster Answers?

Just like Google is committed to building a database of the world’s knowledge, which will improve Google’s ability to answer questions posed by its users, so you can make your website answer-rich.

You can spare your phone answering staff from answering the same question repeated or the hardest questions by putting them to print. Your site can provide these answers any time of day, and potential customers with quandaries and doubts to hurdle will appreciate having the ability to learn what they need to with ease. All of us, from companies to consumers to vendors can find answers easier than ever. Robots are connecting user intent behind search queries to the right material at a pace that surpasses human ability.

Google Launched its Knowledge Graph to provide user’s answers faster; it is less about providing links. Google Posts show up right there and not at the bottom either. Always leave your contact details so buyers can reach you even if Google gives them answers from your content without their need to go to your website. Make it easy for some to simply call you or gain directions.

Machine Learning has become so humanlike that its machinelike qualities are becoming harder to detect.

Legend is a new voice for Google Duplex, an experiment that was unveiled at Google I/O 2018 that allows the Assistant program on an Android to make phone calls on behalf of a person. It can ask questions and serve up answers without necessarily being detected as a robot.

Ready or not: Google is Providing More Immediate Direct Answers People want on-target answers by HillWeb Marketing

Above is an example of what a direct answer box looks like.

Direct answer boxes often provide sufficient information to forgo the need for traditional organic search results altogether. With Google may be tiring of all the sites that pay little regard to its guidelines and wish to simply take more control over answer content that users are looking for. This way it has can take charge of user satisfaction—as well as the types of content that are listed in its Google search results. This can limit liability in some cases, as we have seen Google under fire for serving up the wrong answers. We would probably all do the same if we were the feet in the shoes of an answer engine.

Google seems to be returning more direct answers in visual search results, with “10% of mobile SERPs now containing a direct answer box”, according to RankRanger. It’s latest report on mobile SERP features in the US.

New data: We’re seeing less Featured Snippets on mobile and more Direct Answers! – RankRanger

This represents an increase of 1.4% more direct answers compared to last month. That’s one of the greatest month-over-month increases of all search features that appear at the top of the page. RankRanger report on direct answers in SERPs is key because it illustrates that Google is placing more effort in delivering immediate answers to queries.

It pays to weigh the benefits to searchers. While some may consider it a disservice to publishers. If searchers are pleased with their results in the SERPs, they will find what they are looking for and be less likely to move on to another site. Add the service of a Digital Assistant for conversational AI, but first, you need your technical SEO correct.

Make Your Website a Rich Source of Answers

As search marketers, we always strive for better: helping business to answer service questions, product inquiries, and follow-up communications that provide clarity, et cetera. Useful content will always be a kingpin in the SEO world. It takes technical steps to implement mark up your answer-rich content, but combine that with aggregated positive reviews and you’re solidly prepared to be a key answer in voice search today.

Designing your website and content for your customers is as important as your products – so that people will find and buy them. For web designers, developers and product managers, this often requires a change in mindset. If your focus more on providing the answers people are searching for, more likely they will come. Google’s Knowledge Graph is continuously expanding its size, use, and ability to answer more user queries with short and rich answer statements.

Current key insights from the Mobile SERP Features Report (4.8.2018)Direct answer types dominating in SERPs

On April 18, 2018, Matt Southern of Search Engine Journal reported that Google is returning more direct answers in search results, with 10% of mobile SERPs now containing a direct answer box.

  • 23.54% of page one SERPs include at least 1 AMP result.
  • 4.01% of all organic results are AMP (of the SERPs with at least one AMP.)
  • 64.14% of all News Box results are AMP
  • Ads appear on 33.24% of page one SERPs.
  • Rich Cards appear on 20.89% of SERPs, an increase of 5.64% over last month.
  • 45.75% of SERPs include sidelinks, an increase of 13.61% over last month.

Google Patents Point to the Huge Demand for Answer Content

Google Patents Reveal Early Intent to be an Answer Engine

Google patents reveal the company’s dedication to crawling facts on the web from which it can better answer query strings. This aids in assembling ontologies in a storehouse of topics on the web that they can source to answer questions when serving results for question-answering searches and if they deem it best to show featured snippets. One can see how the web is developing in an expansive database, according to the 2014 Google abstract called Biperpedia******.

“A computer program product and method provides a question and answer service that accepts an initial first question from a user and analyzes the question by a first generation subsystem to generate a first answer. A second generation subsystem of the question and answer service is configured to generate a second question based at least in-part on keywords from the first question and the first answer,” according to the Google patent filing US9471668B1.

Another answer application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/159,959, filed Mar. 13, 2009, entitled “Question-Answering System And Method Based On Semantic Labeling Of Text Documents And User Questions” and to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/159,972, filed Mar. 13, 2009*******.

Remember that answer content is just one form of content that you need to provide. Evergreen content educates audiences. Case studies on topical content, informational content, seasonal content, statistics, walkthroughs, product reviews, how-to guides, start-up guides, informational lists, industry roundups, best practices, checklists, tutorials, podcasts, failure and success story, pros and cons articles – all have their place.

Answer content focuses on common problem solutions.

Google is unquestionably investing in restructuring its SERPs with a focus on user-friendliness and convenience, and part of that may include squashing organic results in favor of new, more intuitive answers, especially if sites continue to heavily self-promote.

“Some of this work is simple — if technical — while other elements are more difficult to move the needle on, and some even beyond a company’s direct control. For example, including structured data mark up on your page can help (and is a great starting point for this). That’s a technical item you can directly change.” – Duane Forrester, search marketing expert and VP of industry insights at Yext

Top Benefits of Questions & Answer Content

Google’s real consumer is the users that rely on their products to meet their needs. The average person who uses search may not be thinking of Google, but your company can be thinking of them.

* You become more valuable. If your business will focus on current questions that are going unanswered, you can fill a real need. Your answer content becomes more valuable. By providing a means that the business owner and consumer can meet for Q & A provisions, Google’s intent is to help users make decisions more quickly about who to engage with for business.

* Uncovers ideas. Once you know what your ideal consumer is asking, you can uncover patterns based on regions, product categories and implement those insights into your web store design to provide better communications along the customers’ purchase journey.

* Reaches a global audience. Targeting a lower-grade reading level makes your content more easily understood by a global audience. Content that is written using over-technical, company-specific or intense legal jargon may result in customers who abandon your self-service FAQ page.

* Strengthens your library knowledge base. Being in touch with consumer questions help you align your supportive answer content with your products and services as to avoid content gaps or overlaps in your knowledge base.

* It is a road to quality content. If you documenting the changes to make to your answers over time, it will help you to more efficiently manage and provide fresh quality content.

Concerned About the Spam Q and A Algorithm?

ANSWER: It was a big deal to businesses last year when Google’s Questions and Answers surfaced in the news. We are not aware of a credible algorithm that currently handles spam questions and answers adequately. No one quickly lines up for the task of sorting through spam reviews in our experience. At the same time, it is important to respond to all business Q&A’s, especially if someone flags it. A credible spam algorithm is present because Google is watching to find answers worth sourcing.

Prior to launching, a body of Google TC’s expressed concern regarding the open door this may create for Spam together with the struggle that business owners may face to moderate the Questions & Answers on their own. Who wants to face having a “ red flag” a wrong or spammy question or answer show and be attributed to them.

Google reviewers are check for accuracy; so should you. A Google Local Guides may be helpful.


* Provide Concise & Useful Answers

Writing for voice-activated searches means have a writing tone that fits natural language.

Your content writers may come up with the best-written page on a search topic, but it must be relevant to someone’s search query – or these efforts may be wasted. Content that can be quickly matched to answer a mobile user’s intent will be favored for serving up an answer to. It’s less about publishing lots of content and more about content quality. The best and fastest wins come from improving your existing content and adding the material that someone is seeking. Today we need to optimize for ‘eyes-free technology,’ or voice search; that is when the searcher skips our traditional screens when seeking for an answer.

Google’s machine learning and algorithms update continually to deliver voice responses and answers that are concise, grammatically perfect, use natural language and are explicit to the query. That does not equate to thin or short content – unless it is a simple fact query. Example question: “who was the presiding president when the Whtie House developed its first website? The simple answer is Clinton, according to the White House Historical Association*****.

Google invites raters and opens feedback to sure that the answers it provides are acceptable and useful across several dimensions. This means writing out answers to the top questions people ask just as if you were speaking to them in person.

Use this style when writing new content. You will see better results if you can to deliver the message on your Web page in this conversational manner. Get right to the point. Avoid being salesy or corporate here. The simpler the answer the better for short spaces like on Google Maps. But the best answer content delves into supportive data and answers secondary questions.

Dr. Peter Meyers of Moz contends that “Questions that can be very easily answered should be avoided. Answer how-to questions and questions with rich context instead”****. He suggests a pyramid approach.

Brilliant content writers can keep a lengthy read engaging all the way through. Yet, the day-to-day reality for most writers is that reader’s attention spans are short. If multi-tasking or faced with many answers, use H2 and H3 subtitles so it is easy to skim directly to the information they need. Most days, that means giving people a structure that’s familiar and clear without demanding that they read all of any one webpage to find the answer.

* Setup Google Chat so People Can Ask Directly

In 2017, Google added a chat feature to allow businesses to chat directly with users. This feature has already used across the US and through iOS operating systems as well as Android.

To set up chat messaging your business will:

(1) Create a welcome communication

(2) Switch “Messaging” to “On”

(3) Enteryour phone number

(4) Once you begin using test messaging to answer questions, you’ll receive an average response time.

* Use Paginated Pages and FAQs

To improve your chances of appearing in the Knowledge Graphs, it’s essential to plan around user intent when structuring your site and curating new content. An optimal way to achieve this is to preemptively answer top questions users ask. This may mean creating a series of pages, each on a particular topic by providing brief and meaningful FAQ style responses to the key questions your audience is likely to ask.

Answer the questions people ask while you are logged into your Google My Business dashboard. This helps others as well as the person who asked the question to see the response coming from you, the owner of the GMB listing.

* Prepare for Voice-Activated Searches

Prepare your responses for voice searches, even for B2B clients. Implement micro-formatting structured data to help Google with their SEO process as they further develop their algorithms. Structured data and conversational content are two major ways to help ensure that when people ask Google Home, Siri, or Amazon Echo and say something like “Hey, Google, who’s the best implant dentist in Plymouth, MN” the voice assistant serves up the best business.

* Value your Google QandA’s like a Social Media Account

Monitor it on a regular basis. Don’t begin and forget it. Find out the reason behind the query and what they are hoping the answer will solve. Google has functioned for a while like they know that people want to use Maps for reasons other than simply getting from one place to another destination. It starts conversations, too. Some even wonder if it is a type of “answer network”.

Google knows that people favor immediacy. Leverage this feature to display your knowledge on hot topics when out-of-towners come to visit and shop.

* Stay Current

If you’re going to provide a value-added answer to a topic that changes from day-to-day, like SEO, it’s best to be well informed. Knowing the nuances of a topic can make all of the difference inadequately answering. Step up to the plate if you are a topic expert who can address what is trending. Markup it up with Google Structured Data and keep it updated for but best results. Especially consider revamping thin pages with outdated answers. In this manner, you can build trust as an industry expert who stays in the know and leads with fresh solutions.

If the query really only applies to a segmented audience, use niche specific keywords that are generally within that audience. That is, by knowing the key pain points on common topics or genres within a niche, your page can be the best answer. Long-form informational keyword rich answers may produce a following that that quite weak content cannot do.

“If Google is showing more direct answers on mobile versus featured snippets, that means your websites are getting less play on mobile search and voice answers.” – Barry Schwartz

Google Affirms that 15% Of All Queries Are Still Never Seen Before

Google has reported that 15% of daily queries are new and never seen before by its search bot. In 2007 it stood at 25% of search queries, but the interesting part, this 15% stat was first posted in 2013 and now five years later it remains that high.

Google’s John Mueller and Mariya Moeva shared a session at I/O and said “we serve trillions of searches each year and out of those this is quite surprising for me every time I look at it about 15% of the queries every day are completely new one’s things we’ve never seen before.”

This implies that they checked the stat and find it unchanged. Consider how long it takes you to create a new page that thoroughly answers a specific question. Consider how many times parent tires of a child’s numerous question before they bore of asking them. Answers are a key part of life let alone search. To keep up, both Google and your business need to find better ways to get those answers to the people asking the questions.

The Rise of Answer Engine Optimization (AEO)

Search engines are now more sophisticated in surfacing what a user is really hoping to find the answer to. The search Engines original intent was to deliver results based on keywords used. Given the rise of voice assistants and how popular they are with Internet users, search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo have improved their algorithm for AEO. Which means that it is not just people but search bots that favor websites that are richly optimized for voice search, that means having content that answers frequently asked questions.

Learn What Questions People are AskingHow to Learn What Questions People are Asking

1. Quora

You will have to sort through some of the off-beat questions asked on the Quora. Set aside frustrations due to many of the answers provided by so-called “experts” that offer old or differing solutions. The process is still insightful because it offers an understanding of the thought processes of searchers who are looking for answers on a particular topic. Create a process to gather data from Quora on as many of these “questions people ask” as you want to so that your business can gain a competitive edge by being relevant to user’s needs.

2. User Research with Prototypes: Ask the Right Questions

One steadfast rule of user research is to not ask yes-no questions, like “Are you happy with our product?”. My favorite construction for this is “What do you like most about our ____?” Refresh their memory in your followup communications as to what they said earlier to refresh their memory and get them talking. By asking how it’s different from their previous experiences, you can encourage them to jot down what they really need and wonder about.

3. User Surveys

After participants provide core answers and explanation, create a great opening for probing further. Leave a space for them to offer why. Or to provide their ideas for improvement. You can learn a lot if your survey questions are strategic and you don’t over utilize them.

Increase in the number of Direct answers to Voice Searches

Recent research of over 850,000 search queries reveals that “Google served up some form of direct answer 19.5 percent of the time”, according to Eric Enge, CEO of Stone Temple Consulting and Perficient Digital.

Enge was quoted by James A. Martin on for saying, “A year ago, Google users would have received direct answers about 4 percent of the time, according to Enge. The May 6, 2015 article titled How voice search and Google ‘direct answers’ are changing SEO, contrasted how Microsoft’s Bing search engine currently delivers direct answers just 1.1 percent of the time”.

Businesses need to first determine whether a consumer’s question can be sufficiently answered — many questions make false assumptions or are just too ambiguous to be answered concisely. You want to provide trusted and factual answers. And you need to know just what questions buyers are asking.

How to Provide Answers that Convert Customers into Sales

Reevaluate your marketing goals and business KPIs to determine how to better align your efforts on making your customers happy by answering their questions. Develop a culture of gaining the feedback you need to keep customers happy and turn them into advocates.

The skilled marketer converts the flow of top user questions into opportunities to provide answers and gains:

  • Key insights into what are your most frequently asked questions
  • Better personalized content
  • Improved data attribution
  • More focused marketing strategies

All of these are ways in which you can improve your buying journey and make your customers happy. Prospective buyers base their quality-of-shopping experience on how fast they can find answers to their questions. Give your customers the reliable, relevant, personalized communications that they crave, and you’ll reap the rewards of a trusted relationship that produces repeat customers and lifelong brand advocates.

But remember: No two businesses are exactly alike. While you can learn from competitive research, find what works for yours. Take the time to clearly define where you excel at offering solutions that your customers are asking for and where you currently have a content gap that misses providing remedies and responses that empower shoppers to make better decisions. Determine where you’ll see the biggest ROI and then focus your efforts on answering user questions in those areas.

Craft your marketing messages to teach and inform your leads as much as possible so that they can confidently pulling the trigger on a sale. This means answering all key questions before you ask for their money. The closer you get to addressing buyers questions and concerns in advance the better. Your content can show them you know what they need, emphasize with their concerns, and are prepared to be the best solution via Google’s Answer Engine. By providing social proof, simplifying your solutions, and building curiosity, you can convert leads into customers.

We anticipate that Google will continue to incorporate structured data in SERPs and push the limits of “knowledgeable answers” displayed on Google results, moving the search engine ever deeper and better and providing what users are looking for.

If you don’t answer the user’s questions, someone else will. Why lose the chance to build your brand?

The truth of the matter is that Google is often providing responses to user questions that aren’t from the company itself that is trying to reach people. In fact, Google Local Guides are doing most of the answering. These people are offered points, badges and other incentives to try get answers out there. They are notified by the Search Giant every time there is a question asked that Google wants a better answer for and they get encouragement to go about answering those questions.

They may not know how to answer as correctly as you do. And their answer probably won’t help your business like the best answer on your own site can. That is why you will do bet to be answering these top user questions directly yourself! Read how Google seeks a QA system that learns to Google seeks to reformulate questions to elicit the best possible answers.

Google Natural Questions by Google AI

More recent indications of how important providing answers is to Google were posted on the Google Blog Wednesday, January 23, 2019. An article titled Natural Questions: a New Corpus and Challenge for Question Answering Research by Tom Kwiatkowski and Michael Collins. We learn that “NQ is large, consisting of 300,000 naturally occurring questions, along with human annotated answers from Wikipedia pages, to be used in training QA systems.”

Google also exlains how it’s dataset is used to for naturally occurring queries and focus on finding answers by reading an entire page, rather than extracting answers from a short paragraph. In my opinion, this aligns with contextual search. while establishing NQ, the Search Giant begin with “real, anonymized, aggregated queries that users have posed to Google’s search engine”.

Other Top Platforms Focusing on Answering Users Questions:

  • Twitter: Twitter hashtag #AskMeAnything is another way to let your followers know that you are ready to provide whatever they need.
  • Reditt: Reddit’s question-and-answer format highlights the aspirational norms of honesty and authentic conversations from Internet forums and takes them mainstream.
  • Quora: Quora provides “Short Answers”; it revolves around users are customers.
  • Check out what is going on there, what questions and queries your consumers have, and who is answering what. You may come away with ideas for a fantastic one-pager that prompts dialog on how you could start answering your clients better.

Your product is just as much what you put on user’s screens. They are not purchasing code. They’re buying a user interface in the journey to buying your product. A shoppers measure of your product is whether your user interface and content makes it easy or hard.

“Products and ideas are designed in order to provide users with easy solutions for their real-life problems which can simplify life. Your product’s success will be based on how well you understand your users and how they actually use your product.” – Quora**

“As Webmasters were by this point, already addicted to the free traffic from Google, they continued to improve the serving of their data to search, in these ever more efficient ways. The very process of providing this data, for free in exchange for traffic, enabled Google to morph from the Search Engine they were, into a new product: an Answer Engine.” Web Marketing School***

Summary Thoughts

The Google Answer Engine is sure to be tested in multiple ways and may have a formal title one day from the company itself.

What remains the same is that people ask a lot of questions. That said, customer expectations for answers and the customer evolutionary cycle toward purchasing are definitely going through a steep change. A return to providing what users want takes us back to the essentials of those one-on-one conversations with people – online. New innovative ways to help them find your answers are like magic connections. Prepare great answers in advance by anticipating frequently asked questions. Focus on uncovering your users’ state of mind. And remain humble and open as you provide answers vs a “know it all” attitude.

Don’t forget that technical SEO can make or break the functionality of your pages. As you invest work and money into solution-rich online content, it’s important to remain balanced by embracing SEO, user’s demands for transparency, and eliminating critical barriers to user engagement. Content is great, but the more you have, the more you may be creating a need to provide those answers on a page whose performance is sound and can ensure your presence in the Google Local Pack.

Contact us and ask about also partnering to Optimize for Google Now Cards




GDPR User Transparency and Customer Consent Requirements

Digital marketers have a shared responsibility for GDPR compliance in the realm of preparing for and upholding General Data Protection Regulation GDPR compliant practices.

Minnesota user transparency and consent law in 2018 are no longer just about topics like a refusal to take a chemical test or breath tests to keep our roads safe. Nor is it about obtaining a medical patient’s permission to use photography in marketing efforts or consent in user research. Ethics may also be legal obligations when respecting user’s rights. It is now more about how you are collecting Internet user data, will use data-driven insights to market better, and manage requests for internet user transparency data usage. GDPR user transparency and customer consent requirements are being better defined and that is a good thing.

It is about respect for persons. Today, privacy is a right. They are autonomous when searching on the web. We have long known that Google returns “not set” data in Google Analytics reports.

A lot of great questions are surfacing. Is this GDPR talk just hype? Will users put up with it if they go to my website and face new privacy terms to agree to? What should I do and what must I do as a US small business to take data protection seriously? Larry Downes, Project Director at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy believes that user information collection and how it is used is becoming more expensive through GDPR and its progeny; regardless, most digital enterprises are finding themselves forced to accept it.

In anticipation of meeting better transparency and user choice requirements, we are participating in the digital media, advertising and analytics ecosystems as to collaboration on Transparency and Consent Frameworks to meet client needs. Before customers engage with your business website, they expect to know how you will track their activities and use their personal data.

We believe that businesses can make customer data transparency and trust a competitive advantage.

Do Businesses in the United States Need to Worry About the GDPR?

Providing transparency and user choice to ensure that users know, understand, and consent to the data collected.

The New York University of Law (7) states that “Also important to note is the possibility that, because these definitions—particularly the definition of personal data—are specific to the EU and the GDPR, U.S. companies may be less familiar with their scope and contours.” To address levels of awareness, it also states that “U.S. organizations that handle even small amounts of EU personal data may be surprised to find themselves subject to the GDPR and need to take steps to bring themselves into compliance before the regulation goes into effect.“

“The European courts have a strong relationship with the United States government and much of the GDPR is bound to international law.”

While there are no actual policies in place to deal with specific GDPR measures, it is widely accepted that, due to long-standing levels of official cooperation between both U.S. and EU data protection authorities, the U.S. will support any cases of GDPR infringement made against American corporations.

The result is that if you are found to be in breach of GDPR, penalties will be levied against you. If you fail to meet the demands of the European data protection authorities, the U.S. government will enforce the ruling. The bottom line is this: You cannot hope to avoid the impacts of GDPR by sheer distance between your company and the governing body enforcing the new regulations.” – Russell Smith, chartered accountant (

A few foundational terms used to understand what GDPR compliance means:

“Personal data” broadly means “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.” “Processing” means “any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data.” The “right to be forgotten” regards individual’s right to have their personal data eradicated and to prevent further processing in certain circumstances. “Data minimization” is about the process of restricting personal data collection levels, storage and usage of user data, simplified disclosures of the intent and reasoning for which the data was processed.

Since the GDPR mandates the same user data safeguards be carried over for “onward transfers” or transfers following the initial third-country transfer, falling in line with transfer requirements may be critical for any organization down the chain.

In China, Wechat has comprehensive access to users’ lives. Laws regarding personal privacy control aren’t as restrictive. The app has full permission to store users’ fingerprints and DNA. It can track users’ contacts, locations, and transactions. Is this what people living in the EU and US want? No. And this is why the privacy controls and the opt-in notice comes across the screen of a website the first time a person arrives there.

Normally front-and-center large popups, called interstitials, are considering an interference to the user’s intent to gain information and answers when clicking on a URL. However, Google says that “Interstitials that appear to be in response to a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage (GDPR) or for age verification for age-sensitive data”.

“The GDPR not only applies to organizations located within the EU, but also to all organizations processing and holding the personal data of any individual in the EU (citizens, residents and visitors) as well as EU citizens living abroad, including all organizations processing and holding the personal data of these individuals, regardless of the organization’s location.” – Baker Tilly (6)

“More directly, users will be barraged with interruptions to the flow of their online lives, forced to review, decide, and reconsider each element of information they enter. In economic terms, every new mandatory disclosure, user control, and privacy “dashboard” introduces transaction costs into interactions that previously didn’t have them.” – Harvard Business Review

Keeping Business Advertising Practices in Check

According to IMDEA Networks Institute’s March 14, 2018 article titled Raising Transparency in the Online Advertising Ecosystem “online advertising business, led by companies like Google or Facebook, generated over $200 billion revenue in 2017, with an year-over-year growth over 15%. This online advertising explosion is raising serious data privacy concerns”. Dr. Arturo AZCORRA, IMDEA Networks Director speaks to how advertisers track users when they are interfacing online by shadowing and tracking them as they browse websites, perform web searches, visit social profiles, or watch movies. Many stockpile a profile of each individual based on such activities.

The data protection directive hopes to reduce the percentage of data breaches by enforcing its new privacy laws. One of the more complex tasks of a digital marketer is to understand their third-party service provider’s user privacy stance or ignorance of the GDPR.

The general data protection regulation includes disclosures by vendors that are Controllers to end user. Clearer privacy-related disclosures to users are actually a watershed chance to engage with your customers and build trusted relationships. When data is collected it should be done in a transparent manner way while simultaneously offering a reasonable value added factor to users.

Key GDPR Compliance Action Plan for Readiness

  • Improved Ad Choices support; proudly displaying business logos on all units.
  • Endorsed IAB’s Transparency & Consent Framework for obtaining user consent.
  • Make it super easy for readers to opt-out of personalized business recommendations and communications.

Multiple webinars, events, and even entire conferences are currently devoted to this topic in the United States and globally, so, at this point, there’s no excuse for your business not getting educated. Conduct a simple search on the topic to find events that you can attend. Learn along with others how to meet critical implementation GDPR checkpoints and what all is involved with better user transparency.

“Legal Disclaimer: Due to the dynamic nature of websites, no single step or one plugin can give your business 100% legal compliance. Please consult a trusted internet law attorney to decipher if you are in compliance with all applicable US laws for your jurisdictions and unique use cases. Our efforts are to build awareness and offer helpful insights. Nothing on this website should be considered legal advice.”

Brief GDPR Overview that Impacts a US Based based Company

* The first GDPR proposal surfaced in 2012. It was generated in response to the need for better data regulation law and was the 1995 European Data Protection Directive. It moved the realm of much-discussed data protection policies into an enacted law. As with many new regulations, the need for a more improved and comprehensive law was quickly evident.

* In our ever-more global world, European markets indicted their protectionism in EU technology policy since in the March 25, 2015 release of the plan for a “Digital Single Market” (11) including recent announcements of new taxes for U.S.-based internet companies and continued antitrust complaints by EU regulators.

* On March 7, 2018 Github posted an easy to download PDF version of the draft for Public Comment Transparency & Consent Framework.

* On April 9th, the Harvard Business Review brought this home to business owners in the United States. It says, “In the U.S., lawmakers are now circling waters bloodied by revelations regarding potential abuse of Facebook’s social media data, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill this week about the “use and protection of user data.” Facebook’s woes, following continued reports of major data breaches at other leading companies, have amplified calls for GDPR-like legislation in the U.S.”

As the GDPR compliance deadline goes into effect on 25 May 2018, your business can get prepared and avoid any last minute panicky compliance efforts.

* Technology advancements mean that websites can transfer data at faster paces, especially outstripping many businesses’ understanding of user data privacy issues on social media platforms. Foremost Facebook has faced interrogation. Its Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg squirmed tough questioning during recent congressional testimony, largely due to American lawmakers being poorly versed about how the social network functions.

* Come May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation will take effect, and will look to change the way EU and US business owners handle data control, online conversations, and user protections on the internet for the foreseeable future. This regulation is seen as addressing one of the biggest issues on many websites; it requires better user information and private data management and accountability.

“While there has been a lot of alarming headlines about GDPR, mainly that the fine for non-compliance with GDPR regulations is equal to 4% of annual global revenue or €20 million, remember that this is the maximum fine, and will likely be reserved for repeat offences.” – Aaron McKenna, Managing Director, Digital Marketing Institute, The Definitive GDPR Checklist for Marketers April 5, 2018

Small Business are Targeted in over 50% of Data Breach Attempts

As we look at user permissions and take to clients that Hill Web Marketing serves, the questions that come up from small businesses are typical: “Does GDPR really require an explanation of Machine Learning algorithms?”, “what user data do we track?”, “do we need tracking anyway”, why would a small business need to worry about potential data issues? They are great questions. No business wants to deal with fines and the bad publicity that comes with data breaches. News has been full of many data breaches. People are global. Our URLs are global, We have worked hard to structure our URLs for the greatest global impact; meaning brands extend beyond the US shores and to individuals and possible searches in the European Union.

Marketers have long relied on the ability to use predictive analytics for qualified leads, align marketing spends to consumer preferences, activities, and geo-location. The means to maximize advertising dollars come out of the insights gained from user data. What is changing is the focus intensity on big data in medical search and law on keeping customers’ information secure.

Profit-driven marketing must center around the best messages to users without leaving them vulnerable to unwanted data collection. One of the most manually intensive requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that ripples over to US businesses is documenting compliance.

According to Joseph Steinberg at, “someone attacking a small business is much less likely to get caught, arrested, and punished than someone who attacks a large business. Criminals know this”(8).

Understanding the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)Consumers demand transparency when on-your website

How to feel clear, be transparent, and miss the probable misconceptions about rules and best practices to protect consumers personal data that is uploaded in the cloud market:

According to Timothy Morey, consumer trust is key to leveraging personal data in an increasingly connected world. Consider GDPR “compliance” as a means used to achieve an end more than obeying a clearly defined legal regulation, like a 65-speed limit law. What remains challenging about much of GDPR is the uncertainty that remains, which is why we see such a wide range of approaches to implementation and compliance. Keep the goal in mind; it is to protect consumers’ personal data.

For a fair comparison of how much consumers valued their data, Timothy Morey and the Harvard Business School participated in a conjoint study to determine what amount survey participants would be willing to pay to safeguard various types of data information. (They went by purchasing parity rather than exchange rates to convert all costs to U.S. dollars.) Though the value assigned varied widely among participants, a median price by country, for each data type was established.

Some folks are adopting the approach that adherence to GDPR should be left to the lawyers. What is clear to digital marketers is the message: “You should deploy security measures everywhere you engage/track users.” While the aim is to keep hackers and the myriad of data thieves away, some specific ways to achieve that is left up to you and your business.

Adherence to GDPR is a needed form of “risk management 101″. It includes whenever your company creates new policies, buys new software, and forms new approaches to reduce the risk of leakage or misuse of personal data. More sensitive types of data such as health histories, financial information, and sensitive communication records merit more consideration. In fact, according to Morey work in tandem with the Harvard Business Review, “97% of the people surveyed expressed concern that businesses and governmental organizations might misuse their data. The more trusted a brand is, the more willing consumers are to share their data”.

The May 2015, Customer Data: Designing for Transparency and Trust Issue assess the number of businesses still in the dark about data collection issues and the price the average US resident is willing to pay for additional data protection.

10 Marketing GDPR Compliance Responsibilities

1. Ensure that your privacy policy aligns with the prescriptive guidelines set out in the GDPR legislation as impacts US marketing online privileges.

2. Audit and improve opt-in consent processes, ensuring site visitors are actively opting-in for each way in which you wish to use their data and that consent is documented.

3. Educate marketing teams and sales departments about the new marketing consent processes and the importance of data privacy compliance, and which databases they are permitted to use for certain online sales and marketing activities.

4. Audit and streamline third parties who have access to your customers’ personal data. Review whether these permissions are necessary to access levels, their own GDPR practices, and whether you need to supply any additional information regarding them to your existing privacy policy.

5. Create a digital process for user’s freedom of information requests, striving for providing an adequate response within 30 days, assuring users that personal data can be expunged on request.

6. Prepare a crisis communication plan for a security breach.

7. Audit existing company databases for opt-in consent records for the way in which you decide to use that personal data.

8. Determine when consent has not been granted or recorded, and create communications to reach out to those individuals and ask for opt-in consent.

9. Businesses can ensure that an atmosphere exists so that freelance digital marketers can work with their internal IT departments to ensure that the right processes and procedures are followed and that third-party partnerships and vendors are vetted properly.

10. Businesses need to ensure that teamwork exists so that internal marketing staff, outsourced marketers, IT security and legal teams understand the right process and requirements for marketing’s infrastructure (stack) and ensuing third-party risk.

NOTE: You can expect that most digital marketing agencies will be auditing and adjust their own levels of access to client databases and be requesting decreased levels of access to reduce personally identifiable information (PII), or sensitive personal information (SPI). it is best to schedule routine and on-going technical SEO audits of tracking pixels all forms that collect data.

Web Forms that Collect Customer Personal Data

  • Registration for an event
  • Request for a download or brochure
  • Request for timed coupon or offer

The GDPR pertains to any party inside or outside the EU who is marketing goods or services to, and/or tracking user behaviors of any EU citizen. If your online activities involve the processing of their personal data, this ruling applies to you. Collecting someone’s personal data for a specific purpose has become commonplace and will need to adjust to comply within GDPR regulation that stipulates the need to be more “specific and granular”.

What you can do to offer better data security:

1. This can be accomplished by adding a field on all forms so your customers can choose their preference before sharing their information on the form. It is also a good idea to provide a link to your privacy policy right there so that onsite visitors can still be aware of how their data will be used—even in a limited capacity.

2. Let them know that you will remove the data after the event has ended or the promotion has expired.

Requesting Internet User Transparency, Internet Privacy Ethics, and User ConsentInternet user transparency, Internet Privacy Ethics, and User Consent

Add a simple marketing permissions checkbox to all your website forms that users fill out.

Every business owner has the responsibility of knowing about and following the state consumer protection laws that apply to your business type. Conversely, on many social media marketing platforms and other third-party services, you will now need to indicate you have read and accepts their terms of service and privacy practices.

  • Twitter has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018. “We believe you should always know what data we collect from you and how we use it, and that you should have meaningful control over both. As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, and in preparation for new data protection laws that take effect next month, we’re updating our Terms of Service and Privacy”.
  • “Following May 25th, you will be unable to receive your monthly newsletter unless you re-opt in. For those who do not re-opt in, we will be sending a reminder email leading up to May 25th.” Hover email communication.
  • Termsfeed: “You can visit our website without giving away your personal information. Our business uses Google Analytics and Cookies in order to improve our service, the user experienced and analyses how the website is used. Aside from the approximate location (IP address), the information collected by Google Analytics is mostly anonymous traffic data including browser information, device information, and language.”


“Feel free to change your mind at any time and let us know by simply clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us. Learn more about our privacy practices by visiting our website. By clicking below, you approve that we may process your information and agree to these terms.”

Communicate Clearly and Be Transparent About User Data

In this case, over-communicating is better than under-communicating. Transparency builds trust and protects your relationship building processes. GDPR gives businesses in the United States the freedom to individually establish their own rules, processes, and timelines for data collection and storage, as long as they fall within the regulations. Let your followers and customers know how you collect email addresses for communication purposes.

Communicate that to your site visitors and customers.

Giving people the ability to opt-out of personalized recommendations and business communications is simply a polite and professional way of doing business. No one wants messages crammed into their mailboxes. Make your communications and data collections process seamless by allocating sufficient resources to accomplish it. Remember, going forward, anyone may request their personal data from you, at any time. And it will be up to your business to supply it.

Feeding this trend of data tracking invasion, are consumers who use new smart, connected products, like fitness trackers to home systems, GPS systems used for Google Maps, all that gather and transmit detailed information. People are demanding to know more about the information businesses gather and be given control of their personal data. It is clearer than ever that business communications should offer fair value in return for personal information. Transparency on how data is collected and used fosters trusted relationships and will earn ongoing and even expanded business opportunities.

GDPR Action Plan: Getting Your Google Analytics Ready for GDPR

Even if your business doesn’t have a physical office or a staff person living in the EU, these new data privacy regulations may have an impact on how you use Google Analytics.

Google has announced additional new analytics tools with the intention of helping businesses and marketing managers to comply with data privacy regulations. These new features include a data retention setting and a user deletion tool. While they are not active until May 25th, it is a great time to get educated on the pending changes and decipher how to use these Google Analytics features.

Survey Predicts About 60 percent of companies will be compliant on time. Many are unaware of risks:

On April 23, 20a8, London-based McDermott, Will & Emery released pertinent GDPR research carried out by the Ponemon Institute that announced that “40 percent of the companies surveyed will not be ready. The Race to GDPR: A Study of Companies in the United States and Europe surveyed a total of 1003 individuals: 582 in the United States and 421 in the European Union.”

Almost half (48 percent) of the companies surveyed say they will not meet the May 25 deadline though 40 percent expect to be in compliance after the deadline.

Forrester research released January 31, 2018, reported that 39% of organizations were still almost completely unprepared for GDPR compliance. The report also discovered concerns about over-reliance on IT departments to lead the charge within companies on GDPR compliance. 53% of the businesses surveyed reported that the Chief Information Officer was the ‘owner’ of their GDPR compliance program, whereas it is better to engage a lawyer who can assure businesses of the legal terms and that they are complying with their obligations.

How the GDPR May Impact SEO

For SEO and SEM professionals, the major impact that these new user transparency regulations will have will be on website email subscriptions, user insight data, and event registration services. Every business using the web will have to comply with new data protection policies by obtaining data consent. The technical aspects of this will need auditing, review, and updating. It is a pivotal change for AdWords advertising.

Just how will become more prominent in the next few months. For WordPress sites, in particular, those already migrated to Accelerated Mobile Pages; new functions have already been added to select plugins. Further testing will come.

A lot of questions are being asked as to who this might impact web rankings, since we know the user experience will be impacted due to the data permissions and prompts that must be present to gain new user permissions. Time will tell how users react. Analytics is another area of SEO that is forced to update, as users must be told how their data would be leveraged in website analytics. Google is already rolling out numerous updates with more sure to come shortly; changes may ensue as to how SEO’s use Google Analytics to improve online sales.

Key Takeaways from Cybersecurity’s March 26, 2018 Report

Cyber criminals as the biggest threat to sensitive data

The security survey respondents see “cybercriminals as the biggest threat to sensitive data (60%), closely followed by accidental loss through employees (57%), and deliberate theft by employees (30%)”.

The 2018 cybersecurity report was produced in partnership with vendors Alert Logic, AlienVault, Bitglass, Cavirin, CloudPassage, Dome9 Security, Edgile,, GoAnywhere, HelpSystems, (ISC)2, Securonix, and Sift Security.

  • Cloud security concerns – While adoption of cloud computing is escalating, security and consumer transparency concerns are showing no signs of declining. 9 of 10 cybersecurity professionals confirm they are concerned about cloud security, up 11 percentage points from last year’s cloud security survey. The top three cloud security challenges include protecting against data loss and leakage (67%), threats to data privacy (61%), and breaches of confidentiality (53%).
  • Most significate threats to cloud security – are the misconfiguration of cloud platforms jumped to the first spot in this year’s survey as the single biggest threat to cloud security (62%). In 2nd is unauthorized access through misuse of employee credentials and improper access controls (55%), and insecure interfaces / APIs (50%).
  • Cloud Security Concerns – As more workloads move to the cloud market, cybersecurity professionals are increasingly aware of the challenges to protect these workloads. The top three security control challenges security operations centers (SOCs) are burdened with: visibility into infrastructure security (43%), compliance (38%), and setting consistent security policies across cloud and on-premises workspaces (35%).
  • Need for more cloud market legacy security tools – Only 16 percent of organizations report that the capabilities of traditional security tools are sufficient to manage security across the cloud, a 6-percentage point drop from our previous survey. Eighty-four percent say traditional security solutions either don’t work at all in cloud environments or have only limited functionality. Cybersecurity professionals are struggling with visibility into cloud infrastructure security (43%), compliance (38%), and setting consistent security policies across cloud and on-premises environments (35%).
  • Means to better cloud security – For the 2nd simultaneous year, training and certification of current IT staff (56%) ranks as the most popular path to security compliance. 50% percent of survey respondents use their cloud provider’s security tools, and 35 percent deploy third-party security software to ensure the proper cloud security controls are implemented.
  • Effective cloud security solutions – Encryption of data at rest (64%) and data in motion (54%) heads the list of the best cloud security technologies, followed by Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platforms (52%).
  • Cloud security budgets get more expensive – Looking ahead, close to 1/2 of organizations (49%) expect cloud security budgets to climb, with a median budget increase in 22%.

What’s Included in Enhanced Consent Requirements

Before your business collect basic personal information online (email addresses, names, financial details, race, etc.), you need to obtain clear, unambiguous affirmative consent. This is necessary under the new GDPR user transparency law.

Before collecting sensitive personal information such as sexual orientation, health information, political or religious opinions, etc.), you need to have gained explicit consent. The best way to satisfy these requirement is to add checkboxes and use clickwrap in your UX web design.

Another approach suggested by the California Department of Justice is to supplement your more comprehensive privacy policy with simpler, shorter privacy notices to be delivered in context and “just-in-time,” for addressing a specific practice. For example, “mobile device operating systems that use location data often deliver a notice just before collecting the location data and give users an opportunity to allow or prevent the practice”*********.

While consumers may be upset by the data privacy breaches that they read about in the news, and are oblivious of the fact their data is collected, a surprising lack of knowledge exists about the specific types of information collected. The GDPR is improving awareness. The widespread expansion of smartphone usage has escalated data concerns. A mere 25% of users in 2014 indicated awareness that their data footprints included information on their geolocation.

GDPR, User Transparency, and Google’s AMP Viewer

GDPR compliance questions about user interactions when using Google’s AMP Viewer spurred a response from Antje Weisser on the Google Product Forum as to how data flows in the hybrid environment of the Viewer.

Here are the unabridged user data flow consequences she listed:

  • During a visit to an AMP page via the Google AMP viewer, any data that the Google AMP viewer may collect, such as a record of the visit happening, is covered by Google’s Privacy Policy.
  • Separately, a publisher can use features in their AMP page that collect data on the publisher’s behalf. Because the publisher chooses the behaviors and vendor integrations on the page, the publisher is responsible for managing the compliance obligations that stem from those choices. Check out this post on how to implement user choice flows in AMP documents.
  • A publisher may use a Google service (e.g. Google Analytics) on their AMP page and create an additional relationship between Google and the publisher concerning data. In that case, there are specific additional arrangements in place to cover the relationship between Google and the publisher with respect to that data and scoped to the Google service involved.

This may be our best effort until references to Google’s Privacy Policy for AMP viewer are tested after the May 25th GDPR compliance deadline. We’d love to see less ambiguity between publishers and Google to minimize legal risks.

Data collection is important. Resolving privacy tensions requires companies and policymakers to esteem the data privacy discussion beyond advertising use and the simplistic notion that we don’t need to worry about this in the United States. The nuanced guidance that includes guidelines that align business interests with their customers can ensure that both parties gain from personal data collection.

“The only conclusion you can reach when looking at such disparate survey results is that there is a world of confusion around GDPR. Even while I was sitting in a workshop about GDPR compliance at this week’s MarTech Conference, attendees were unclear about issues such as what is data (yes, it does include photos); can you bundle data (no); and what they needed to do to be in full compliance. The only thing we can say for sure that is that May 25 is coming, whether companies are prepared — or not.” – Robin Kurzer on MarTech***

“The GDPR’s definition of what personal identification information has a broad scope, requiring a high level of protection for a wide range of information. It also has an extensive reach, with many firms — particularly in the U.S. — not even aware they will be subject to the new EU regulations. The primary principle behind the GDPR is that it views personal data as the property of the individual, not data controllers or processors. It applies to all EU citizens wherever they may be situated and regardless of the organization’s location. Consequently, in today’s digital and global world, it’s almost impossible to avoid dealing with some form of personal data from the European market.” -Thompson Reuters****

“[The trend toward a unified view of data privacy] has been percolating for years. It takes time for things to catch up. What GDPR is doing is forcing function. By pure chance, we have a seminal event that’s forcing companies to finally get it together. Because they’ll either be fined, or they’ll be dragged to Capitol Hill [to testify like Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg did earlier this month].” – Rob Glickman, Chief Marketing Officer at Treasure Data, Global SaaS Marketing Leader, Digital Transformation Executive******


UPDATE: Avoid Intrusive Interstitial Pop-ups for GDPR Notifications

You do not need to use an intrusive interstitial to notify the people who visit your website about any GDPR updates and consents.

Google’s John Mueller responded to the question during the May 29, 2018, Google webmaster hangout at the 37:55 mark********** into the video. He explained the use pop-ups is okay but recommended ensuring that they are not intrusive.

“A question about GDPR pop-ups. How will they affect SEO and usability?

I don’t. They are sometimes quite annoying, these pop-ups but they are how they are.

So in general, if the pop-up is on top of the content itself, so if the content loads within HTML and you’re using Javascript to show a pop-up on top of that, then we’ll still have that normal content behind the pop-up to to index normally. So that part usually works fairly well.

What doesn’t work on our side is if you replace all of the content with just an interstitial or if you redirect to an interstitial and Googlebot has to click a button to actually get to the content itself then that’s not going to happen. Then what will happen there is will index the interstitial content because that’s only thing we have on this page and we won’t know that you can actually like to click a button and get a little bit more information there. Googlebot also doesn’t keep a cookie. So it wouldn’t be able to say well I’ll click accept now and the next time I crawl your website you just show me your content normally. Googlebot wouldn’t be able to kind of return that cookie to you and say I agree with your kind of Terms of Service.

So those are kind of the two extremes that we’ve seen.

For the most part sites get this fairly right. And you can test it, of course, you see it fairly quickly in search if your site doesn’t show up at all and the search results for normal content and probably we can’t pick that up anymore. So, for the most part, I think that’s working well.

You can test this on a technical level with things like the mobile-friendly test. Where you can render the page as a mobile Googlebot and then look at the HTML that is generated. So within the mobile-friendly test, you can now look at the HTML after rendering and you can double check in the HTML that we can actually find your normal content and not just the interstitial.” – John Mueller

Wrapping it up:

Additional Resources on GDPR User Transparency:

  • The 60-Day Countdown to the GDPR Checklist by Zapproved (
  • The Definitive GDPR Checklist for Marketers from the Digital Marketing Institute (
  • All the GDPR resources marketers need, in one place from Econsultancy (
  • GDPR Privacy Policy Generator by Terms Feed (

We personally place the highest value on building and nurturing lasting relationships by being present and well informed. The data explosion creates a bigger need for personal integrity, a positive approach in the midst of increasing workloads, and being forward looking to enjoy the silver linings amidst evolving marketing complexities. Stay tuned in for addressing critical cybersecurity and privacy needs through the development, integration, and promotion of GDPR compliance.

Hill Web Marketing strives to be educated and help the marketing teams that we partner with, and give oversight to, concerning the changes necessary to adhere to marketing consent best practices and the importance of these changes to each organization. As a marketer, we love to inspire, motivate, and nurture teams by doing what’s right, not just what’s easy or expected. We are all familiar with the importance of tracking and learning from performance metrics that boost user engagement

If you have questions or comments about how to ensure that your data collection is done properly and ethically, please leave a comment below and let’s chat further.

Schedule a time to talk with us about your Website Data Collections via a Technical Audit


NOTE: The information presented at this site should not be construed to be any form of legal advice. It is meant to educate and support online digital best practices. We have conducted more advanced research, sought professional advice, and attended more webinars than ever before prior to completing this post in a dedicated effort to offer complete and accurate information. Hill Web Creations LLC urges our readers, partners, and clients to ask their own business legal representatives for respective legal compliance obligations.


Is SEO Effective? Changes in SEO Best Practices

Is SEO Effective? Results-Driven Search Marketing Trends in 2018

SEO and SEM specialists continually refine their SEO techniquesearch marketing strategiesn user engagement and find that SEO is the Gift that Keeps Giving!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another angle and effective method to try and increase brand awareness and relevant traffic on your site. Whether you are an entrepreneurial start-up or a well-established business, you need a current and integrated SEO and SEM plan for long-lasting success. Every year the question “is SEO effective?” comes up and merits a review. More and more the answer aligns with just how consumer-centric your website is.

What does it require to be successful in SEO today? A lot more than yesterday! But the payoffs are bigger, too. By mobile-friendly optimization, the number of links built and targeting search terms that matter to users, businesses are seeing improved long-term search engine results that produce revenue. Higher page rankings can be gained by businesses whose overall marketing in search engine space ever-evolves. Staying on top of current SEO trends and best practices is a difficult task. This article will help you stay on top of SEO news and changes that may impact your website and your SEO strategy.

Your SEO tactics for Google Maps and other ranking factors merit website owner’s due diligence to know that their marketing consultants are savvy on what to avoid and what to focus on.

Search professionals nearly daily hear of some new technique or strategy touted as the Next Big Thing in SEO. We love learning about the latest SEO enhancements; it is interesting. It’s fun; like being present in Google responses to voice-activated queries. However, nothing replaces the basics of SEO.

The Value Of SEO And SEM For Your Businesses

The value of SEO and SEM is most often questioned as technology and search advance. it is natural to wonder if something changed their role. Rather than comparing them as doing one or the other, today it typically takes a combination to increase online revenue streams. When used cohesively, companies can create integrated digital marketing campaigns that produce better results. Have someone at the helm that understands their individual values and benefits.

For a decade or more bloggers, businesses, and news writers have competed fiercely to win the first-page result for top search queries relevant to their website. A core aspect that every SEO strategist pays attention to is the competitive level that can take a business to the top of search engine result pages. Research continues to demonstrate that few searchers click on the second page or beyond. Differing from paid advertisements, knowing what your first page search result is actually worth can shape better content marketing decisions.

Some feel that long-term investments in organic SEO and SEM is often largely a matter of faith. Given the rise of the Google Knowledge Graph, featured rich snippets, and the mobile news carousel, does reaching the first page with for the organic rank for a specific keyword promise to deliver the traffic you anticipated? We can assess click-through rates of first page results to learn how to identify projected traffic, and once published, how to assess the value of that ranking.

In-depth case studies over the years have helped to determine just how many clicks each spot on the first page of Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) actually produced. Taking a close look at the first page of SERP click-through rate studies and applying a balanced blend of math and logic offers a good idea as to the benefits of all your SEO work. Know whether or not your business shows up in local map packs, quick answers, and elsewhere. If so, it proves that your SEO is working effectively.

So should you slack off in investing in SEO in the future?

Businesses will Spend Near 82 billion on SEO by 2020

SEO remains the best way to increase relevant web traffic to your blog or eCommerce storefront. “It’s estimated that by 2020, business owners will spend around 82 billion dollars on their SEO marketing plan”, according to Syed Balkhi in his June 5, 2019 article. How to understand searcher intent to boost SEO rankings discusses how SEO will continue to grow in value in coming years.

Marketers view SEO as Becoming more VitalSEO priorities in 2018 by BuzzSumo

Whether a small business, medium-sized, or a digital manager working with enterprise-level clients, the importance of SEO is clear. With 82% of marketers reporting effectiveness is on the rise and 42% of those queried believe that SEO’s effectiveness is increasing significantly. Analyzing the importance of your top SEO strategic priorities, matching them to who you have to execute them, and identifying the most challenging barriers to overcome yields a balanced and successful advertising strategy.

As more businesses mature their search tactics, it’s no surprise that companies must continually improve to vie for a blue link in organic SERPs or AdWords auction. People and bots are looking for who has the best answer, which means that your competitors are getting smarter at SEO, so the chance to get found by shoppers much be a major factor in your SEO strategy going forward.

David Kirkpatrick’s November 14, 2016 Creating content is most effective and most difficult SEO tactic article talks about Ascend2’s study and address the challenges involved. Coming up consistently with relevant, quality content and link building are demanding tasks and time to consume to implement and test. “Which is why 76% of companies execute all or part of their SEO tactics using external resources, the article quotes.

SEM – Most Effective Acquisition Channel for 85% of Retailers

A 2014 study** by and Forrester produced tallies showing that 85 percent of retailers surveyed said search marketing (including both paid and organic SEO) was the most effective customer acquisition approach. Participants said that it revolutionized their online marketing. Search Engine Marketing or SEM, as we call it, is a rapidly evolving strategy that requires persistence and the ability to make fluid updates as competition and search factors change.

In highly competitive markets it is nearly impossible for a small business to compete with a large competitor in an AdWords auction for the highest position on a Google search, but it is possible to gain and sustain a solid competitive advantage through smart SEO.

What we find:

Users are Demanding Personalized Answers to Search Queries

Digital marketers must respond to the needs and questions of thier site visitors and prospective buyers. Personalisation
in the real-world means continual engagement online with real people. This is not to replace the more traditional tasks SEO’s have created to-do list for, it is that additionally the use of emerging technologies to drive personalisation will help your organisation to seize new opportunities to connect. Effective SEO demands understanding search intent, which contributes heavily to your chances to double your conversion rates.

Digital transformation is like changing a tire on your car while driving. Challenging… but possible. Impossible for many. Read the fascinating September 12, 2016 article titled Digital transformation is like changing a tire while driving. Challenging… but possible. Author Marc Sirkin talks about the migration to cloud-based enterprise markets, which we also encourage along an SEO professionals need to grasp how Artificial Intelligence is shaping digital marketing trends.

Artificial Intelligence is now more approachable and actionable for every marketer and SEO practitioner.


1. Your SEO Strategy for 2018 Should Focus on Topics Vs Keywords

Search is more about concepts.

It is more about what you are trying to say and less about the actual word-for-word copy. Search has advanced to understand what you mean better, so it doesn’t rely as it used to on keywords. It is now about providing what users want, what content has the answers to their search intent. Only focusing on content creation for the keywords your customers are searching for is both time consuming and incorrect.

Modern SEO strategies involve the process of organizing a website’s content by topic, which aids search bots like in understanding a user’s intent when searching. By optimizing a web page around topics first, you can rank well for long-tail keywords related to that topic. Your site’s UX structure should rely on contextual content that is organized by taxonomies.

Sora Wondra from Braze* believes that, “Relevance is key for maximizing mobile conversion rates. When users feel known and trust your recommendations, purchases and subscriptions become easier. Respect their communication preferences and make use of user data to customize their experiences. Your goal is to be helpful at just the right time. Abandoned cart reminders are one of the best examples of this–you already know what the user is interested in buying and you’re just providing a timely nudge.”

ACTION: Make a Topic List

Keywords remain at the heart of what SEO is, but they no longer are an initial step to an organic growth play. Begin by creating a list of topics that your readers are most interested in from one month to the next. Scratch out 10 short keyword phrases and terms that users associate with your product or service. Both Google’s Keyword Tool and Google Trends are excellent to identify search volume on these phrases and for deriving new variations that make sense for your business.

In this way you can associate topics with the most commonly used short-tail keywords. However, individual blog posts should now include these keywords but not center on just one. Long-tail keywords are ideal for informational articles and are typically less competitive to rank highly for on Google. Develop content based on live metrics to instruct your content writers and tailor it to perform for a local audience

Know which keyword phrases you can target and win on. Your Google Search Console’s performance analytics will let you see how your category page ranks. Drilling down to specific URLs will reveal search terms that have demand but you are not winning clicks because you rank in position 75 or don’t have a sufficient answer in content. Check first to make sure that the page is indexed correctly.

2. Schema Structured Data is now a Core SEO PracticeSEO is your Center of Profit - Look for your SEO Data-Backed Reports

While not a large ranking factor, Schema is very effective as an SEO technique because it is written in name-value pairs. And it is not hard to prove. Look for your SEO Data-Backed Reports that prove it. So we have entities, concepts, and things so then we can use schema markup to help search engines better understand our web content. If you are wondering if the learning curve is a worthwhile investment, whether structured data for product recognition will be short-lived, many experts, including Gary Illyes indicate that it will be around quite a while. Schema is like “signposting”. Google’s machine learning is still not smart enough yet to be at its best without it.

While it may seem a stretch to say, if your business doesn’t plan to rely on search engines for traffic in the next 5 years, you can skip it.

Even if your business performed a structured data check recently, it’s worth double-checking now that Google’s switched to mobile-first indexing. Catching any overlooked structured data on your mobile rendered pages are now at risk of losing rich snippets and SERP visibility if in error.

Structured data should test as being present and valid on both mobile and desktop versions of your site and that mobile pages should have URLs that are updated to your mobile version. Even though it’s technically permissible to use markup to communicate more information than Google requests, removing irrelevant schema markup from web pages ensures that mobile load times remain as efficient as possible.

If adding schema through the Google Tag Manager, it’s easier to combine schema and JSON to further boost the strength of your structured data implementation, resulting in a higher CTR and visibility in SERPs, without having to spend a ton. A professional who understands how to conduct a Deep Schema Audit of your site and opportunities, will reveal new ways to make your pages easier to be understood and found.

“In addition to per-link Rich Snippets, annotations in are used as a data source for the Knowledge Graph, providing background information about well-known entities (e.g., logo, contact, and social information)”, according to Guha and Dan Brinkly, of Google. The December 15, 2015 Evolution of Structured Data on the Web article also said that “a few hundred thousand sites were marking up their pages with structured data markup”. Today that has vastly grown.

We find that industry rich schema implementation when it improves targeted content matches to search intent. John Mueller when replying to Glenn Gabe on Twitter when he asked about structured data: “Does it impact ranking or doesn’t it impact rankings?”

“There’s no generic ranking boost for SD usage. That’s the same as far as I remember. However, SD can make it easier to understand what the page is about, which can make it easier to show where it’s relevant (improves targeting, maybe ranking for the right terms). (not new, imo)”.*****

3. Ranking Online is More about Credibility and Trust

The CREDIBILITY aspect of your domain is more important in the e-commerce digital space, but matters to every site. Some have called this domain authority, but Site or Domain Authority does not exist as a metric that Google has ever mentioned using. It talks a lot about trust.

Jason Barnard, Freelance Search Marketing Consultant, stated in the April 4, 2018, SEMrush webinar, “Remember that Google is putting itself on the line every time it sends someone to your site. If you as a company put your customers first, the rest will fall into place. If you think you deserve the traffic, ask yourself, ‘why do you deserve it?’ Prove it!”

Building your domain’s authority may seem like an SEO tactic, but it’s actually a relational process. The customer relationship is more about them than you. First, determine whether there are mutual attractions and benefits. Just like people you meet in person, online relationships are based on respect and trust. Demanding, interruptive, old-school marketing techniques didn’t work today to grow your leadership as a trusted source of knowledge.

Relationships online are built with useful and relevant information. Developing them starts with a clear understanding of your company’s buying cycle and ideal customers, knowledge of the power of quality content, and coming from the premise that, as a marketer, we are not in control—the consumer or searcher is.

Building a domain authority has its foundation is a service mentality and a sound SEO strategy. Understand what your company offers best in the marketplace and how others perceive your product or services. Then, provide solutions in multiple iterations—video, blog posting, infographics, podcasts, images, white papers, seminars, and presentations. Do the hard work upfront of deserving to be the best answer in search results.

“(Domain authority) signals can be social media mentions, links, brand name mentions, comprehensive nature of the content itself, ratings, user-generated content on the site that indicates site visitors are engaging with the site and so on.

Those are a lot of signals that help a site rank better. taken together they can signal that a site has authority. But they are not a site authority metric. They are a vast amount of signals common to Google’s Core Ranking Algorithm.” – Roger Montti, SEO Consultant at Search Engine Journal***

4. Mobile-First Indexing Rolls OutAMP pages convert better than desktop

When it comes to mobile-first indexing, if your site completely qualifies and you are already in this mobile-first indexation, it may impact your ranking. If you are being indexed by mobile metrics, and that is lower than your desktop, this should be looked into. If it is just a change in how Google gathers information versus ranking information, then the question is more, what information is it gathering?

Check whether or not your domain is being reached by an increase in user percentage coming from mobile devices; any site not mobile-ready will do best by prioritizing this as an SEO focused task. No one knows search engines as well as better-than-average Search Engine Marketing experts. Even if your AdWords is on point, if you have only the lowest prices SEO or an average SEO, most likely some aspects of your SEO efforts have been overlooked. This can compromise your site’s rank. This is where proven search engine optimization experts have the ability to increase your profits with better Internet Marketing Solutions than your competition is implementing.

Notably for our site, after being mobile indexed, our Google Search Console Search Analytics showed the impact. For our page The Key Types of Website Audits, mobile conversions jumped to 14.29% and our regular HTML page version dropped to zero. The interesting factor was that this was higher than our previous 12.3% conversion rate on desktop.

Website’s not ready for mobile users may face a BIG problem. As Google goes mobile-first they’re considering the mobile version of your page the “true” version. Sites with hidden content will be 100% ignored by Search Giant. You need to display 100% of the content found on your desktop version to mobile users as well.

5. Changes in Online Purchasing

Shared shopping baskets and a one checkout process is being tested with a limited number of retail websites across the United States. Amazon has become the retailer who offers one payment options for many marketers. Instead of Google having one place to shop like this, it is now offering a way for purchasers to buy multiple products and then check out via a Google service. Anti-trust legislation, privacy rights, and taken into consideration along with how many people have a Google account that produces consumer data insights.

Google has rolled out “shopping actions” and AdWords Adversion History is useful for tweaking Ad copy to blend your organic search efforts for maximize beneifts. Shoppers can see inventory levels, the number of product reviews, product versions, and much more right in the expanding use of Knowledge Graphs in organic search results. Not only that, purchasers can easily send feedback on these featured results without out ever going to your website. If a product arrives broken, late, is different from what was ordered, your quality of customer service, or anything else that they wish to let the next purchaser know, is now easier than ever.

The biggest change comes in the form of new expanded Google SERP features. In addition to achieving page one, there are “zero position” results, top three rankings, sites leveraging be expanded schema usage are winning varied featured snippets.

6. Domain Name Changes

Geo politics is playing a larger role worldwide. EU domain extensions have new criteria and agreements. If a US business is operating in the UK without any presence in the EU, or a physical store presence there, there are new risks. After the UK leaves the EU, some businesses will no longer be allowed to use the domain name that they have history on. Grabbing a domain name that looks good for SEO, needs to be reevaluated. Global SEO plays and the use of location keywords in a URL may end in the long run with having that domain name and authority taken away from you. Site migrations have new factors for SEO agencies to consider.

After the UK leaves the EU, some businesses will no longer be able to use the domain name that they have history on. Know where your sites are strong, take stock of what backlinks are giving your domain authority, otherwise, you may botch a website migration to a new domain name. For US site’s having a UK inbound link, audit as it may become lost.

7. Link Building is Harder

Another great way to drawn inbound links is to make your blog or articles related to current events or popular news topics. This often provides a way of winning links from an industry influencer or other bloggers in your industry.

In today’s current SEO climate, a no-follow may provide as much weight as a do-follow. Some assume they do internally, which makes sense for showing what content your business prioritizes, but knowing for sure in an evolving search world is tough.

It is best to not be so trusting of who you are linking to and hoping to gain a link from. Higher levels of research are necessary. A quality site at one point, may not be one today. Some have a belief in the old stigma surrounding no-follow links as being of less value. Consider Wikipedia; everyone wants a wiki link as they are solid links, but they are also no-follow. Getting a link of this type of a relevant and trusted site with lots of traffic is more important than worrying about this tag as in previous years.

James Murray, EMEA product marketing manager at Microsoft Bing, and Laura Hampton of Impression clued us into Bing’s plan to lessen the power that links play in their general search ranking algorithms. Clearly, they are still a significant contributing factor, if only less so. Relevance and speed are gaining.

Here is a quote directly from that interview by Murray, in the interview conducted in Paddington, London:

“We’re still not at the stage where links are going to go away, and so they will continue to be a factor that we look at. What we might see is that links start to decrease in importance that they have in the general context of the various factors that we use to determine relevance.”

Wheb content is tailored to every audience with a focus on earning links versus buying them, they come naturally more often. Natural backlinks speak volumes about your content. We like using SEOquake, MozBar, SimilarWeb, Ahrefs, SEMrush, BuzzStream, Majestic, Screaming Frog, and Google Sheets. You don’t need a ton of expensive tools to build links. Focus more on high-value content.

Mentions of your business matter in 2018 and we expect that they will in the future. Building inbound links has long been the backbone in SEO, but unlinked website mentions now carry weight, too. That changed in 2017, when Bing updated its algorithm to consider unlinked mentions. Many SEO experts believe Google is doing the same or will soon. This is recent news that small businesses can leverage on local SEO.

8. New Ways to Target Voice Search Advertising

More Internet users are reaching out to businesses directly from Knowledge Graph Cards and featured snippets.

Many voice searches seek quick answers to user’s questions and, increasingly, Google’s providing these in its knowledge graph section on the right of SERPs. The knowledge graph is regarded as a coveted position zero since it stands visibly above conventional listings. It features more often in voice-activated results.

Target and Google jointly crafted the first voice-activated coupon on Google Assistant, which opens up new ways to reach shoppers who have never heard of your Minneapolis business before. The promotion intended to run longer but because its goals were reached so quickly, a Target spokesperson told Adweek****** that it ended early. All people had to do was say or type “spring into Target” on their Google Assistant app on iOS or Android or other devices that provide voice-based abilities.

In August 2017 Think with Google reported that more than 20 percent of searches in the Google app is now made by voice.******* To be sure that number is climbing. Conversational UI importance is increasing due to deep learning and Artificial Intelligence

9. Marketers Must Now Obtain User Consent

As the GDPR came into force on May 25, 2018, digital marketers will be required to obtain user consent. The Facebook news stir about its Custom Audiences update is just another reminder that the SEO game is changing and SEO consultants need to be prepared for the marketing teams that they manage if they want to keep playing the Facebook platform. The AMPhtml platform now offers a new component that enables a publisher to get consents from readers and manage their consents***.

If your business site is on the Google Cloud platform, GDPR compliance options are provided. On January 25, 2018, Jon Krafcik, Google AdWords Group Product Manager, Data Privacy and Transparency, announced new Ad settings are given to users to permit or block ad preferences.

“Millions of people use Mute this Ad on a daily basis, and in 2017, we received more than 5 billion pieces of feedback telling us that you mute ads that aren’t relevant. We incorporated that feedback by removing 1 million ads from our ad network based on your comments.” – Google

Google expressed intentions to expand this feature to additional services, like YouTube advertising, Search and Gmail, in future months. Any space that you track users in, should be reviewed for how your business will answer if queries as to how it handles its data. The company also spoke of several changes to its “Mute This Ad” tool, which was introduced back in 2012. The feature is used by “millions of people” daily, and lets them block ads they don’t want to see.

10. Relying More Heavily on Data-Backed SEO Decisions

In 2018, we already see more ways that location intelligence provides businesses with the information needed to guide better data-driven decisions and increase local revenue streams. For one, maps marketing using location data; your analytics can yield a ton of data used for targeting the audiences already interested in the products your company offers.

Owning, and finding ways to use data-driven decisions is key to retailers gaining a competitive advantage. When you can respond to consumer’s buying behavior, then you will know first-hand why the State of Digital Marketing in 2018 ranked Big Data (including market and consumer insight and predictive analytics) as second on the list of the most effective marketing actions. Survey participants believe that data mining has the most commercial impact on their business. Both SEO and SEM professionals, who are focusing more on data-driven campaigns, are finding positive figures that they credit to insights drawn from location data and analytics.

11. Online Security is More Important – Migrating to HTTPS

If your website still throttles at the migration to HTTPS, there is more pressure to consider the move. We see an improvement in page-one organic results on across all sites that have move HTTPS (and fixed other technical SEO issues). Both Firefox and the Chrome browsers are aggressively warning visitors of the risks of proceeding to a non-secure site. Whether or not one likes it, the pressure to switch is increasing.

The aim shouldn’t be to just provide the most relevant search results, it’s to provide the results that tend to best satisfy a searchers situation and information intents, let them be in control, AND feel secure on your site. Over 40% of the websites winning first-page visibility from Google is HTTPS, which is not surprising, since Google has confirmed that they favor HTTPS sites as a way of looking out for the people it sends to a site.

“If you haven’t made the move to HTTPS, at least spec it out. We’re seeing over 80% of page-one organic results on MozCast as HTTPS now, and Google is pushing alerts in Chrome aggressively.” — Pete Meyers, Moz’s marketing scientist

12. The pace of Change is Search Engine Optimization has Increased

SEO is always evolving in response to what users prefer and the search engines adjust to in the process of serving up better results. It by nature is meant to, anyway. The strategies of an SEO ten or fifteen years must update and include current best practices in search engine optimization. “To diverge constitutes a biblical level of heresy”, according to Roger Montii, owner of

For example, at one time many webmasters used keywords in H1 and Title Tags quite liberally, but today the evolution of search engines means that they are not dependent on keywords in traditional like headings in order to interpret what a page is offering. While it remains a trusted practice to use H1’s in a proven manner, Google is no longer as dependent on them to rank a web page.

SEOs who keep to the methods that you absolutely must have your keywords a specified number of times in content in order to rank- are finding such pages are dropping in SERPs. Rather than adapt and grow with how search engines today decipher the value of a web page, they are in the grip of old search engine optimization practices.

Martin MacDonald shared with Cognitive SEO that “Doing SEO it’s no longer about finding ways of hacking the system, it’s about providing the best possible answer, but providing it in the most efficient way possible to Google. It has become much more complicated over the last ten years as well.”


QUESTION: What Keeps my SEO effective?

ANSWER: SEO strategies that evolve with the needed flexibility to comply with user demands, GDPR compliance, and Google Best Practice Guidelines are effective in the long-term.

For example, we use the AMP Validator to measure both our success and any pages that say “FAIL”. The benefits are minimal in making a page “nearly AMP, but not truly AMP”. It is worth achieving the true benefits of fully indexed AMP pages for the best mobile search optimization. As AMP becomes more standard, an invalid AMP page, while still being a valid HTML page ‘rendering’ just fine in browsers, will not appear in Google’s dedicated AMP index.

Your site is doing its job when user engagement increases on it; that means how long you hold a user’s attention and they take action. There is evidence that indicates Google reward sites that do this by granting them higher page ranking. There is a logic here that if a user spends more time on site or page, it’s probably because its content is useful and optimized. And since Google’s goal is to deliver the best possible results to people who rely on Google Search, it will reward sites with strong engagement and be more confident that future users will find it useful as well. Effective SEO is all about the user.

QUESTION: Why do I still need SEO?

ANSWER: According to Google, people are “researching early and often”. Can your business afford to not be providing answers that build relationships with buyers>

Today, people of all ages look to their phones for almost everything. From booking a flight, buying movie tickets, checking traffic, to browsing for a new designer purse, to learning about where their nearest bank office is. They have questions, have ideas, seek advice, and researching every decision they make. No choice seems too small.

Why not invest in SEO? It is the gift that keeps giving. Once you achieve a top page number 1 position, it becomes less and less expensive to maintain, but the Gross Value typical stays within the same cost range.

SEO is far from an exact science. It needs continual testing. Multiple factors such as the strength of your competition, “Brand Related Searches”, “Mobile Searches”, Google and Bing Places (nap pins), ongoing algorithms and SERP layout updates and many other factors continue to change these SEO task priorities but one that marketers count on is, they are a baseline for determining Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s and Return on Investment (ROI). As well as content, how your business handles user transparency is a part of building trusted relationships that last.

Stephen Arthur, Google’s Financial Services Industry Director, says that “Mobile searches with the qualifier “should I ______” have grown over 65% in the past two years, including searches such as “what should I invest in” and “should I invest in ___”. The February 28,2018 article titled When people are ready to invest, digital is their first stop talks about how “86% of potential investors spending more than an hour researching online”.

QUESTION: Should AMP pages be part of my SEO strategy?

ANSWER: Browsing behavior on tablets and smartphones is similar to that observed on desktops. However, individuals that use smartphones do so on the go, they demand much quicker response times. Mobile advertising continues to be less expensive overall than marketing to desktop users. Google stated that beginning in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor in mobile search as well; this follows Google’s move to mobile-first indexing. Nothing is as fast as AMP for load speed.

A page’s load speed is one of the most critical elements in technical SEO today. Users expect a page to load fast, and that if they are on your radar, you won’t keep them waiting. Abandon pages that take too long to load can really hurt. In fact, they often leave before it ever loads. A study for one online retailer found that just a 1-second increase in page load time resulted in a 56% increase

Kyle Mani, president and SEO of OWDT gots specific in his August 10, 2017 article as to why Maximizing Mobile Device Conversion Rates matters. I really align with his assessment that businesses that provide better access to product information, secure/fast payment systems, and who have earned their consumer’s trust are going to come out ahead.

How research clues Marketers into mobile-device user preferences:

  • Smartphone users go online with their mobile devices 150 times a day on average
  • Users are connected to their smartphones from 7 AM to midnight.
  • Though smartphone browsing is brief, if your advertising is attractive enough, the user will return to the large screen version of your site when they get home.
  • Smartphone sessions are 1.5 times shorter than on other devices.
  • Mobile devices have become indispensable to answering important questions on the fly and making decisions—usually based on consumer ratings and advice found on social networks.
  • Landing pages need to download quickly because the average user will wait for only a half-minute at most to access content.
  • Smartphone users scan and leap—taking 40 seconds on average to decide whether to leave a page.
  • Smartphone users spend 80% of their time on apps that have very limited e-commerce potential.

QUESTION: Is it okay to buy backlinks?

ANSWER: Earn your inbound links naturally. Former means of purchasing them are now labeled as generating spammy links. Avoid anything that points to an intermediary page, a “link wheel” or “link pyramid”. Many sellers may state that it’s supposed to protect you, but it not wise. This form of SEO may work for a while. But Google is quickly evolving and catching this. It is best to do the hard work and do SEO the white hat way.

A vast number of credible sources exist for Search Optimization and Search Engine Marketing education, but also, a ton of noise in our industry and outdated practices are still being published. It takes a lot of skill and dedication to cut through the noise to provide the best results for clients. It matters who you listen to for news, acclaimed leaders like Barry Schwartz, Jason Barnard, Aaron Bradley, Rand Fishkin, Jarno Van Driel, Dan Brickley, Gary Illyes, and Wil Reynolds on Twitter, and a few of my niche-specific gurus who have deep understandings of the SEO business behind trusted digital marketing tactics.

QUESTION: How do I Use extensions GS1 SmartSearch?

ANSWER: This first of extensions is meant to help businesses garner new sales by improved relevancy in search results.

Google relies heavily on aggregated data to make search smarter. The GS1 SmartSearch standard and guideline achieves these benefits by making it possible to create structured data about a product and relate this data to its GTIN. The structured data informs search bots about the product so that they can then be used to deliver a richer experience to the consumer.

GS1 SmartSearch announced that steps that standardize the process and empowers businesses to improve their sales by:

  • Improving the relevancy of search results
  • Improving the details and product information displayed in search engine results

The W3C works alongside search engine companies and many volunteers to make it easier for users to discover and business owners to describe products on the web. GS1 SmartSearch is an external extension to SEO Best Practices include different factors relating to data publishing and user behavior and consumption levels, like data formats, data access, data identifiers, and metadata.

QUESTION: Why isn’t Google sending me the traffic I deserve?

The Blunt Truth about How Google Works

ANSWER: Google doesn’t feel like it owes websites free traffic. You have to earn that right. As well, how people find answers is evolving. So is search. It has to – in order to meet the new ways shoppers use the web. All the time.

Every day, search algorithms work to better match site visitors to solutions and filter out spammers. Their client is the user. Not you or me. What works today may not work tomorrow – it may even hurt you. Google has millions of websites it can serve up; follow its guidelines closely if you want to earn its trust.

Formerly, Google seemed slow to penalize a site for a webmaster’s mistakes. Today often it isn’t just about withholding benefits, a site-wide manual penalty could actually reduce your rankings or even make your business disappear from SERPs.

It is your job, our job, to meet customers where they are, on whatever channel they like, or in whichever buying stage they may be. It is no longer about just creating content; it must be of the best value to deserve their click. And then, marketing it with equal diligently across multiple channels is necessary in order to cement client relationships and nurture prospects to leads.

Coming up with Winning Search Marketing Strategies

Not all SEO consultants and specialists have the same ideas. Various kinds of SEO talents exist but being current is search best practices must be present in each and every successful SEO specialist. We actually love highly competitive niches and the skill of taking a business forward with cutting-edge yet proved and effective SEO.

I’ve seen marketing teams waste months or years because they don’t understand the current principles of search marketing. I hope it will save you months of time by moving forward with these SEO insights.

Helping your business gain better search results on the internet can produce sustainable online organic growth for your company. This means identifying together with your marketing team an actionable coherent set of successful SEO strategies that will improve your content, technical needs, social presence, linking and your brand reputation, all within the context of search engine marketing (SEM).

The bottom line is the effective SEO will yield higher search engine rankings. Undertaking an effective Local SEO campaign may be what your site is currently lacking to boost your business to appear on Page 1 of Google’s search engine results pages, both in the “Map Pack” and the blue “Organic Listings”. Ten or twenty years ago when SEO was easier, there wasn’t such a difference between SEO, e-Commerce SEO, and Local SEO. However, today there are several nuances that specifically and exclusively affect your unique business.

“The search engines are literally changing every day. That’s what those Core Algo Updates are all about. Our understanding of SEO and how it is practice should also be ready to adapt and evolve as well. It’s the best way to keep relevant!” – Roger Monttion Search Engine Journal

“Search engines are constantly improving the search experience and, as a result, search engine optimization (SEO) is in a nonstop transformation. For SEO marketers, the challenge isn’t to simply understand the complex science behind the strategy — it’s to be able to adapt to the ever-changing rules of the game.” – Forbes*

“As simple as SEO can be to utilize, it is a constantly evolving technique that needs a good understanding and a knowledge base of what is new or on the horizon for ranking schemes. This year is no different, as several SEO trends are coming to light that can help your organization achieve a top result in a Google search, giving your business an edge over your competition. – Forbes Agency Council********

“Jeannie Hill’s expertise of SEO far exceeds that of her competitors! She is constantly on top of all the updates in her field and provides relevant information based upon the client’s needs. I cannot recommend Jeannie enough! – Carol Osnes, owner of Wardrobe ReImagined LLC

Conclusion: Focus on Meaningful Relationships with Consumers

It works best if the intent of your SEO efforts is to build authentic relationships with your existing customers and prospective buyers. It will protect your messaging from slipping into “more about you” and “less about them” way of speaking. Building genuine relationships with consumers requires carefully planning; digital audiences are becoming more aware of product mentions, endorsements, citations, and placements in their feeds.

Patrick Reinhart published a February 7, article on Search Engine Journal titled How Important Is SEO in 2018? 4 Trends That Suggest Big Changes*********. We find that his answer spot-on to the question of the importance of SEO, or if it is still effective, as businesses contemplate if they should invest more or less in organic search in the coming years. “The quick answer to that question is unequivocally ‘more than last year.’ When given the proper attention the organic channel can be the most powerful weapon in your digital arsenal and every year more and more businesses are realizing this”, he firmly states.

Hill Web Marketing interface daily with our international leaders in the search marketing world so we can keep our marketing teams and clients upon which results-driven search marketing tactics are successful for 2018 and beyond. Our approach is to support your team and oversee audits, implementation, and management. If you still wonder if SEO is effective, we would love the opportunity to prove to your company that it is.

Our approach is to support your team and oversee audits, implementation, and management. 651-206-2410

Click or call for a chat to to enlist our Digital Services for Lead Generation













Content Marketing that Incorporates a Mobile Strategy for 2019

How to Create the Best Content Marketing Mobile Strategy to Reach Ideal Clients

Businesses cluing into the importance of high quality, niche-targeted content ideal for mobile audiences, find that their content marketing strategies are paying off.

Unlike some marketing strategies that target a broad range of likely customers, niche marketing focuses on a specific segment of consumers that are already searching for a business like yours. Are you asking how to find the best content marketing mobile strategy to reach the right customer in 2018? Market to who matters most. And market in the format that users want, like video content.

The Bottom Line is that mobile content marketing strategies are taking precedence over traditional content forms.

In the vast expanse of clickbait content, being the one to capture people’s attention isn’t easy. While observing new trends in content, we observe the importance of quality over quantity. Mobile content marketing needs to be worked on over time, tested and adjusted to demands from your niche audience. With patience, perseverance, and willingness to adapt, your content can drive revenue in 2018 and beyond.

Businesses are getting serious about treating their online content as a strategic resource, which means developing a customer-centric approach. And if more customers are finding you on mobile, that forces marketers to prioritize a mobile content marketing strategy.

Google will now let purchasers buy items directly through Assistant and search. Yes. That means without navigating to your website. So we are not only crafting content marketing plans for a website but for all possible means encompassing your online visibility.

Consistently Deliver a Distinctive Content Experience

A digital marketer who has studied the fundamentals of content marketing knows the concept isn’t all that complicated – consistently provide material of relevant value to your target audience. This gives a business more than hope. You need steps that activate your strategy, including your editorial planning processes, the roles, and skills involved, and how to ensure that your team’s efforts will align and prove up with revenue.

Niche Marketing Strategies for Mobile Audiences

If you feel overwhelmed when planning your content strategy for the year ahead, this post is for you. You can focus on generating web content that your readers want and that generates leads.

A great content marketing strategy drives profitable customer action. It will keep your company on the cutting edge in order to remain relevant to users, and, more importantly, efficient and effective. People search for relevant information on the web; content marketing married with SEO provides it. If you are asking how to develop and execute a well-crafted mobile content marketing strategy for your business, you need to first understand the importance of content marketing and how people consume content.

Tooled with color-coded spreadsheets, well-defined goals, knowledge of both your readers and your competition, and a solid dose of on-course optimism over next 12 months is going to carry your content curation efforts and make them count. Ultimate success means not only measuring the ROI of your content marketing but, just as vital as tracking ROI, is what it takes to increase it.

The well-planned content strategist should have a couple months’ worth of topics laid out for future publishing and amplification, but being flexible may top that all. If a new or different blog post topic illuminates the horizon, roll with it! Readers want to stay in the know about immediate happenings that impact the world around them.

It starts with research, next you build content, and then you market your content. It is not good enough to have superior messaging today; you must have a number of healthy backlinks to your top content in order to obtain high higher traffic levels from audiences that you are trying to reach. It is impossible for one person to determine, execute, measure, and tweak your content on a consistent basis. To design and implement a content strategy that will grow your customer base, you need a Director of Content Strategy. You still need people to craft your storytelling, create visual content, and others to get readers attention on social media platforms.

Content creation requires teamwork.

The secret ingredient to an impressive content is teamwork with a skilled person at the helm. Your business cannot afford to skimp on this element of business and marketing. Content has become the poster child for search engine optimization. Whether you’re a marketing guru or not, grasping the basics of SEO equates to brand visibility and exposure—two things every company, brand, and publisher needs.

How to Best Position Your Content StrategyHow to Best Position Your Content Strategy

Getting SEO, content creation, and PR working effectively together is challenging; however using key PR messages in your SEO content makes your brand easier to recognize.

The sheer volume of content required in today’s digital landscape makes it difficult to maintain a consistent message with your key audiences. We help businesses quickly move from being too broad with their business goals, like “increase revenue” to the more awkward but needed questions, like: “Are you able to measure and track those goals?”, or “Does your business have the capacity to meet them?” If the answer is unclear or negative, no worries, you can now dedicate the time to catch up. We’d love to help your company exceed the goals you initially set.

Every day is a fresh start.

When creating a content strategy for the upcoming year, or reviewing your existing one, planning well in advance is necessary. The truth is, a ton is changing in the future of content and SEO in 2018. A lot of the old systems we’ve all familiar with are quickly being replaced with more advanced technologies, like matching content to voice-activated searches. Make sure who you give your ear to is an agency that specializes in this and is current in their content strategies.

Through your Google Analytics, Google Reviews, research and customer feedback, valuable insight into what’s working and what isn’t will identify the content on your site that needs improvement, what needs to be added, and what needs to be deleted.

Our post will guide and turn your content strategy into one of greater strength. Content revisions only yield better results if you are not just guessing at it. We all tend to love our own opinions, but data is typically much better at it. It always surprises me when as humans, we so often assume that our hunches are right. I have mellowed much and learning (the hard way) to let data at least affirm my thoughts before moving on them. More often than not, long-term marketing benefits are gained from a lot of the right research and hard work.

8 High-level Ways to Revitalize Your Content Strategy

1. Align Your Marketing Messages with the Consumer

Content-rich pieces for your niche will keep your target reader actively involved – if you know who those readers are. Revolution your microservices and embrace content strategies that nurture a customer lifetime value. Whether you are crafting content that introduces new services to your market or adapting old services to new requirements, more niche targeted content is providing consumers what they want.

Discoverable mobile content that answers questions in an area of little to no competition on the web will give you a fighting chance of breaking through our mass of content proliferation. It’s not only what makes you unique, but it’s also so unique that you get found by your audience. That audience rewards you because you gave them what they wanted. Start by determining your high-value customers (HVC).

When it comes to mobile marketing these days, you must not only match your message to your ideal client, but you have to engage them on mobile devices and keep their attention as well.

As writers, we often do better when we set aside our egos. Current clients and potential clients don’t care about products or services (as frank as that sounds, it needs to be said). What they simply want is someone to solve their problems.

If you can identify those issues and succinctly explain how you address and solve those problems within your messaging, then you’ve basically won the client. Make it clear that you understand what they want and need.

One of the key reasons behind a failing content strategy is a manner of communicating that doesn’t speak to most viewers. Content marketing is about using words, imagery, and video to better relate to audiences in a manner that is natural and conversational. It is not meant to feel one way. Even if they are just reading, if you have invoked an emotion, or met a need, they are a part of it. To be successful, you need to speak “real” versus “salesy” and at the point of interest of the people you are marketing to.

2. Align Your Marketing Messages with Your Goals

Remember, your content messaging should not be about you and your business. Putting your audience front, center, and back will help you arrive at your best content strategy. Your thorough research should speak to them and demonstrate that you understand what the want – perhaps even better than they do. You know what they will need next. Your business can move forward and your marketing investments will go to the next level.

It is an exciting age of niche content. Targeting marketing campaigns requires an intimate understanding of your target audience coupled with a well-planned and consistent content theme that aligns with user’s interests. We help our clients choose the head content theme for each page so that it matches your business goals and entices audience engagement. The truth is a page’s content theme isn’t merely an element only of the copywriting world; it’s relevant to all lines of business from service and product offerings to independent publishers.

Vital work must be done to speak to your audience with beautifully aligned content messaging. It’s your job, or your Digital Marketing Team’s to make sure it aligns with your business goals as they adjust with time.

3. Place Your Priority Content Correctly

Viewers want solutions and answers quickly. They don’t want to have to hunt for it. Or work hard to figure out who you are and what you sell. State it clearly in “consumer speak” right on your home page and on top of each subsequent page. Place your most important messages on top or at least above the fold. Someone who arrives on the page should be able to view it without scrolling. It should be your highest priority content so that it can immediately reach your audience and help you achieve your content marketing goals.

Make a spreadsheet to list your high priority to low priority web content. This process helps you to determine what you should offer first, second, and third on a given page of your website.

4. Keep your Content To the Point

There is a false assumption that readers bore with long pages. User testing proves that you need to ensure that your content length is sufficient. The real content problem child is insufficient, irrelevant content that misses user intent.

Most websites that come to us for fixing have struggled a long time with duplicate content issues. Pages that are too thin and or too similar cause a strain on-site visitors to find what they are looking for. If you say it on one page, rarely do you need to repeat the same topic at length in the exact same words. Develop content with your target audience in mind; be specific as to who your target audience is. Not everyone has the same interest level. Learn where, when, and how they prefer consuming content. And then stick to that topic on that page and cover it thoroughly.

Twitter’s new rule restricting simultaneous tweets with identical content across multiple accounts reflects on today’s level of content proliferation. It is the same wherever your messages can be found. Repeating yourself saying the same thing across many pages is redundant and bores readers.

It frustrates a user to see a list of web pages in a search result with exactly or super similar content. Users want solution-rich custom content that will quickly answer exactly what they are looking for. Not being forced to click through thin pages to find answers.

5. Create Scannable Content

The average website visitors spend less than 15 seconds on your website, meaning people quickly skim through the content instead of reading every word from top to bottom. We can logically assume that most guests aren’t actually reading the full post. They scan it and take in what they need. While speed readers may be the exception, many only take the time for a quick perusal or to summarize its value.

Written content that is comprised largely of lengthy sentences and paragraphs can send a visitor away. If you do this too often, you may drive your prospective customer to seek content elsewhere that’s easier to consume.

How to present your content in a manner that is easy for the eye to scan:Unordered lists aids the simplest form of content consumption.

  • Use short paragraphs: Keep your paragraphs bite-size, like 3 to 4 sentences in length or less. By presenting your content in brief paragraphs, it takes less effort for your readers to take it in and get the concepts you are sharing.
  • Write interesting subheaders: Readers should be able to quickly assess your key talking points and be able to quickly identify the pieces of your content that pique their interest. A subheader that is amusing, a hot topic, conveys positive emotion or is easy to identify will with trigger the curiosity of someone on-page and maintain their interest.
  • Use bullet points and lists: Using a bulleted or numbered list aids the simplest form of content consumption. One’s eye reads through it quickly. Such lists stand out on a page and break up paragraph content, which is refreshing to the reader.
  • You don’t just want traffic to a page; you want visitors to consume it. And come back. Some who leaves a comment, shares it, or adds a backlink to it has stepped out from the crowd of readers and become an active participant.

Unordered Lists – An unordered list is simply a list of related items whose order does not matter. Creating an unordered list in HTML is accomplished using the unordered list block-level element, <ul> . Each item within an unordered list is individually marked up using the list item element, <li> .

6. Create Content Discoverable for Mobile & Voice Search

US consumers now spend an average of five hours a day on their mobile phones.

Google’s John Mueller is urging SEO professionals to optimize content for voice search and Google Assistant. This makes your content available to Google Assistant for speakers and cars, which serves up information on screens for people on the go. Google notified publishers on how to make their content more discoverable. He emphasized that it is helpful to think in terms of how your content may fit into the context of a voice snippet and that adding schema structured data makes that a lot easier.

Automated sourcing is never the way to go if you can avoid it. Create more mobile-ready content. Your content strategy must include creating mobile-friendly content for this growing readership. Writing content for mobile readers is no easy task. Or more accurate, serving content fast enough is now paramount to your content being consumed.

To reach more people who use voice search, rethink how your content is delivered and avoid pages that have content consisting largely of links or huge tables of data. Tables are still useful for organizing your content, but it may help to discuss the contents of the table so that makes more sense to the user. Then use the table as a visual device for underscoring the same information.

The switch to Mobile-first content means that search bots crawl, index, and then rank sites based on how poor -well each site works on a smartphone or mobile device. Sites that aren’t optimized for mobile, those that aren’t AMP ready or created with responsive design, don’t provide a good smartphone or tablet user experience, now receive dropped rankings in the SERPs. Also ideal for mobile users, you can easily share your website’s content through Google Posts.

“Really kind of focus more on trying to make it so that Google and other search engines can understand the context of information a lot better and to make sure that your content is written in a way that can be read aloud. Which I think is a general guidance anyway.”

“If you write naturally and you write in a clear kind of language that’s consistent across the type of queries you want to target then that’s the type of information that we could pick up for voice as well.” – John Mueller of Google

7. Provide Rich Local Content

Local Search Engine Optimization can win your business an edge over the national competition by reducing competition to only your own geographic locality. To achieve this, incorporate local-specific content on your website. Start armed with a better idea of pre-determined persona lists and then work backward to clarify the locations with the highest density of a given persona.

Leverage storytelling about happenings in your local community and coverage from local news organizations as it relates to your business niche. If your company won a local award, is involved in community events or local event sponsorships, talk about it. You can build strong, “meaningful” community ties in your content statements that new algorithms for local search might reward.

Take video clips at local events and include them in your content marketing; video is being hailed as the future of content.

Statistics on Content Marketing Strategies B2B vs B2CStatistics on Content Marketing Strategies B2B vs B2C

An October 1, 2017 article titled 13 Experts Share How to Build a Well-Run Content Team puts some real numbers behind why a fine-tuned content marketing plan is so important. It reveals that “Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing yet produces almost three times as many leads. It’s easy to see why 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing as part of their strategies. However, executing an effective content marketing program is no simple task.”

Of the B2B Marketers surveyed, 4% say that they have no plan in place to gain a digital marketing plan. 17% revealed that they will have one in place within 12 months.

How to Partner with a Content Auditor / SEO Expert

A strong team effort will always multiply your rewards. As what is needed to strengthen your content comes to light, you will find that there are things you can do to support the following forms of content that users love.

The scope of content marketing includes (not exhaustive):

  • Blog posts on your site
  • Infographics
  • Press releases
  • Reviews
  • Forums
  • Video marketing
  • Lists
  • Podcasting
  • Guest blogging
  • Webinars
  • Memes
  • Gifs
  • Downloadable documents
  • Social media

“Your audience doesn’t care about your products and services. They care about themselves. That’s why content marketers who want results must make their audience – not their brand – the hero of every story. Yet the pressure to promote brand and products can seem relentless.” -Content Marketing Institute

The task of your website is to provide valuble content that does the following:

  • Gets found
  • Builds trust
  • Informs
  • Solutions
  • Freshness
  • Nurtures
  • Converts
  • Goes Viral

Content that Gets Found:

Provide a structured approach to your content so that it can get found. Bottom-line, highly-driven companies are moving mega-bucks from traditional forms of media to content marketing initiatives for the clear reason that it engages mobile buyers to drive both sales and profitability. If no one is looking for it or no one can find it, even fantastically written articles just sit there and go unread.

People’s browsing habits change and require a fresh content distribution approach. Businesses that have not yet undertaken or delay staying current with consumer trends risk falling behind. Today, spreading out your content to new platforms instead of just on your website is part of a content marketing plan. After creating your new pages and posts, be prepared to invest as much time and resources to deliver notice of that content to prospective audiences.

Successful content begins and ends with a customer-centric approach that gives people a seamless experience on whichever platform they choose.

Julie Hoffmann shares how important understanding your customers is to your marketing campaign’s success. In her April 18, 2017, Programmatic Advertising Wins Big Through Personalization post, she quotes a Rapt Media survey that reports that “63% of consumers say they would think more positively about a brand if it gave them content that was more valuable, interesting, or relevant”.

Your potential customers want simple and personalized shopping experiences across every communication with your company. But generating content that provides a consistent customer experience is daily a greater challenge. Personalized content marketing can be achieved through the power of data that helps digital marketers to orchestrate unified campaigns, online and offline messages, and deliver consistent brand promise at each touchpoint.

Know your audience by learning what the most popular questions they ask about your product, services or any other queries relating to your business niche that you have great answers for. After identifying a minimum of 10 key customer-related questions, next conduct the necessary research to identify those that bo one on search is already directly answering (these are the search queries that pull highly visible answer boxes content from websites). This lets you determine who is featured in the answer boxes and gauge if you can offer a better answer by optimizing your content and gain that visibility!

Great content is content that is recognized by both potential consumers and search engine robots. Having SEO optimized content is a key element of every winning content marketing strategy. It leads you into new customer markets, connecting your content to the exact person who is searching using search query phrases that relate to your industry.

Content that Builds Trust:

Congruence builds trust. If you optimize a landing page, be sure that it aligns with your social messages and paid search ads and landing pages. You need to have on-page elements that work to build trust, particularly on your homepage. On product pages, include product awards, clients testimonials, and descriptive product details that are easy for visitors to see.


* If a site visitor comes after clicking on a PPC ad phone number, but when they arrive on the landing page it links to, that doesn’t match the phone number on the top of that page.

* The price in an advertisement’s title doesn’t match the website’s title on page pricing exactly. If it says $7.95 in the advertisement and then $8.50 is what is costs once on the page, that may cause confusion or frustration. Don’t risk a content mismatch that leaves them with a greater likelihood of checking elsewhere and instead of the adding work of needing to ask which price is correct.

* It’s confusing if the ad’s call-to-action CTA is “order today”, but the page they land on has links to click on everywhere and offers up a “Free Sample ” instead of the expected “Order Now’ option to match the ad. The potential customer may quickly leave because of the number of options presented is overwhelming or the mismatch dispells trust.

Your content strategy should work hard to remove any possible friction in the customer experience. Smartphones have created a new era of higher consumer expectations. Your content needs to load quickly on mobile and reach them anywhere in on-the-go moments. Tons of websites have great content they few ever read because they leave before it ever loads.

“As technology changes, so do consumer expectations. Customers today are impatient and their standards are unforgiving. Increasingly, consumers expect brands to intuitively know what they need, when they need it, and deliver it instantly.” Dennis Maloney on Think with Google

Content that Informs:

Content that is profitable is educative and which answers the value expectation of the one reading it. The Knowledge Graph is, in brief, a visible search results page where viewers can immediately see if your site offers the information that they are seeking. It typically shortens search time, presents accurate, concise, and trusted information that Google pulls out in order to contextualize specific search result for users. We help our clients make the most of it.

Information that is valuable to the reader is seldom too long. However, if you incorporate too many promotional marketing elements to gain that length, it thereby makes that page look more like an advertisement. Even you long-form information content can be visible through a Google Post that currently shows up in the bottom half of the KG with the most relevant data that matches the person’s search phrase.

There is a false assumption that readers bore with long pages. User testing proves that you need to ensure that your content length is sufficient. The real content problem child is insufficient, irrelevant content that misses user intent.

Before publishing new content, research your competition and plan to outperform them in terms of how comprehensively you cover your topic as it relates to your niche audience. It is less about the number of words and more about relevancy and proving that you are the topic expert.

For example, if you search a famous person or brand by name, search engines can draw up your content to come up with quick answers, pictures, rich product pages, and other information. If your content is unique, well presented, and without erroneous technical mistakes, it becomes easier for search engines to associate your site to the user’s intent behind a search query.

“Content marketing gives you a way to build a subscribed audience, which is what differentiates content marketing from other forms of marketing. The intent of content marketing is to offer valuable information so people want to hear from you … so they sign up to receive your content.” – Lisa Murton Beets, CMI Research

Content with Solutions:

People are saturated with messages and tired of too many sales pitches. Provide the best content for the user. Make it rich with answers and solutions to their problems. Users have many choices and want evidence that you have the best solutions. If you do – and are mobile optimized to show it – this can trigger maximum conversion. Controlling and improving the flow of your mobile page content can keep your viewers on site long enough to read through to the solution that you provide while actually help your SEO.

One source for this type of content is client reviews or comments. User-generated content is powerful because it touches people’s inherent desire to be heard and make a contribution. A happy client who is willing to talk about how your product resolved an issue can provide another person the confidence to make a purchasing decision.

Are you trying to reach young professionals with an interest in relaxing and enjoying their next vacation (travel niche)?

Are your seeking to gain an audience with aging adults who are searching online for an ideal home to buy for retirement (real estate niche)?

Are you attempting to get found online for providing pediatric heart surgeries (medical niche)?

To create the right content to reach them, know their pain points, what questions they ask, and how to provide solutions that they can find.

Fresh Content:

Google may determine freshness to rank your content. As someone starts reading a page, they want to know if the content they are reading is still relevant. For example, if your business no longer offers residential remodeling, and now only provides commercial renovations, your home page content should reflect that upfront. If you no longer sell purple crew-neck T-shirts, why keep it on your top selling products page? Changes made in core areas of a page will signal freshness differently than changes made in less important content. Updating the content links in your sidebar, or footer’s copy, likely won’t be considered as a signal of freshness content.

A history and domain authority score gets attached to every website. What you say in your content is a huge part of your business’s reputation. Google may determine exactly which queries require fresh content by monitoring the web and their own huge storehouse of big data, including “latest review ratings,” event times, pricing changes, product announcements, new positions open, current trends, etc. The nature of such content topics needs continually refreshing.

Keep the purpose of each page clear. For example, a page written about “How SEO is evolving”, “What’s Changing in Medical Technology, or “How the Olympics have Reshaped Over the Last 20 Years”, in these cases, having a well-aged document may actually help you. For this type of content, if you update a page’s content, don’t deviate too much from the original context to avoid losing equity from your pre-existing links or rankings. If it drops out of Google’s index, its tough for your content to get found.

Cyrus Shepherd’s 10 Illustrations of How Fresh Content May Influence Google Rankings article leads to a discussion that the “freshness factor” may be a reason why Wikipedia is so highly trusted as a go-to content source.

“They have one URL per topic that never changes. But the content on that page is updated regularly.” For example:

A news magazine continually generates new pages on the latest newsworthy topics and may drop or achieve old news.

In contrast, Wikipedia has one page with all the documented information.

Therefore, if a person is researching information about “England’s Monarchy” in general, from search bots’ point of view, they are more likely to match the search query to content on a page with all the information, than an article that only talks about one facet of the topic. When I enter that search query Wikipedia has the top 3 positions in SERPs and is in zero position of Google’s article carousel. Every image needs only one click to take people directly to the correlated content.

Relationally Nurturing Content:Relationally Nurturing Content is content that other's want to share

Unlike other digital marketing techniques, content marketing needn’t empty your pockets if you focus more on what nurtures the reader. Perhaps, it is the most cost-effective of all digital marketing techniques to build relationships. The value of this digital marketing effort compounds over time. In a few years’ time, the results of return might quadruple. Indeed, this type of “flipped” digital marketing has proven to be the safest digital marketing technique. Hence, brands that invest in this digital view at the earliest possible time end up observing better results. The uniqueness of this emerging digital marketing technique is that it can be incorporated into your overall digital marketing effort regardless of your evolving objectives.

After gleaning content performance data that shapes your buyer personas, you can follow up with the right content that nurtures this budding client relationship. For example, if articles intended to be further along in a customer’s purchasing journey perform poorly, by researching other facets of your audience, you will know how to add and answer additional questions that your buyers are asking. Avoid stalling progress seeking perfection. Keep the conversation moving forward. The need content when their interest is peaked. Endless researching defeats its purpose if not kept in balance with sending fresh content or actively marketing existing content. Weigh content delays that may end up producing missed opportunities to build relationally. Consumer’s attention spans are shorter than ever.

Truly effective content, reaches people when they need it and solves pain points for your audience. It leads them toward a solution. It nurtures them through every step of the buyer’s path as they progress through your marketing and sales funnels.

Content without a direction contributes to why viewers don’t come or abandon your shopping cart. Compelling content works better for personalized search. It carries the right tone at the right stage of the purchasing journey.

Infosys reports that “over 78% of consumers will only engage offers if they have been personalized to their previous engagements with your brand”.

Marketers often come up short on prioritizing the consumer experience. While “82% believe they have a deep understanding of who they’re trying to reach. Yet over half of all consumers (56%) think brands could do a better job aligning with how they prefer to engage, according to Marketo.

Online shoppers are weary and wary of ‘one size fits all’ marketing messages and typically regard them as spam. If they provide you with their information, they expect brands to reach them with solutions and more often feel “connected” with brands that achieve this. It’s surprising to me that when there is revenue to be gained right here, many businesses continue with the busyness of their more familiar processes and totally miss the chance to be the provider that delivers the exceptional experiences that customers are demanding.

Content that Converts:

Your call to action is your opportunity to convert your reader towards becoming a client. A number of things are effective, such as a request for more information, a form to schedule a consultation or download a free report. Each pages’ call to action needs to be relevant to the page it is on and be useful to the reader.

Create content around data and research valuable to your audience

Not targeting the right people is a common reason why we see curated content that misses the mark. Most often it is because someone assumes that they know who their customers are and the questions they are asking. Anyone can develop a buyer persona based on assumptions. However, too often those personas if not backed up by real data head into risks of targeting the wrong people. Confidently know who you’re targeting, the triggers that inspire them to convert and whether or not they’re the ideal customers for your company.

Consider the practice of “Content Gating”. Content gating intends to increase site conversions. Readers may be cautious if faced with the continual need to leave their contact information in order to gain something. Relevant content material that is suitable for your niche audience works to grow your list by keeping a small and select portion of your content for subscribers only. This encourages your readers to join your email blasts or to request notice of new content that publish.

Answer boxes are rich featured snippets of highly converting content. They were first introduced by Google in 2012 and intend to provide better mobile-rich content. They are able to recognize related content to search queries that provide steps, facts about people, places, and things – and how all these entities are related to one another. Your business can leverage these new opportunities for businesses to optimize their content for this feature> Givin the ever-improving localized results that can serve up your content without even going to your site reduce the pressure to have your content ranking on page one.

Google doesn't show all your pages in search results. They are known as omitted results.

Google doesn’t show all your pages in search results. They are known as omitted results. Seldom does anyone ever see them. You will not have “converting content” if it doesn’t even show up.

5 Content Types that Generate Links:

Steve Rayson summarized what works to draw backlinks in his Nov 1, 2016 The Magical Content that Gets Links and Shares – New Research** post.

  • Authoritative content with answers
  • Strong opinion posts
  • Content that provides original research
  • Content that leverages a trending topic + has practical insights
  • Authoritative news content on new products

This research gives you key glimpses into what works and tactics that are quite often overlooked by companies. These are the gems can make a difference in creating more effective content. BuzzSumo find that “even if you are the third or fourth best answer, your content is likely to attract both shares and links”.

Evergreen Content Goes Viral

We all love when we find excellence, something that really strikes us. Others come back to superior content over and over. While your initial marketing campaign goes viral and being widely shared, nurture those relationships so that users want to visit your site again and again.

Consider the Red Bull Flugtag, many continue to search for videos of the event when looking for a good chuckle. The quality of the experience offered creates a constant flow of traffic and is therefore evergreen in that it continually builds brand image and recognition.

When curating blog content on your company website, create an informative, fun or rich and fresh piece of content; this will increase your chances of it going viral. Don’t worry if it doesn’t go viral among the universal public as a funny video does; it is even better if it can go viral within a specific demographic. When this demographic is your targeted customers, which is most likely as the content counts to their interests, you have really achieved success.

When a knowledge sharing piece gains authority like this, typically it gains publicity and wide recognition, thus becoming your “evergreen viral content”. Take a data science approach to your content curation and how its organized to help users easily find it.

12 Questions to Answer to Improve Web Content:

Your skilled digital marketing team can evaluate what makes your website unique, valuable, or compelling.

1. Do I need AMP sitewide to serve up my content faster?

2. Is my content discoverable for user’s demanding an surperior mobile experience (responsive, separate site, etc.)?

3. Does this web page provide a comprehensive enough description of the topic?

4. Have I addressed the most frequently asked questions?

5. Are my solutions clear enough for a reader to have a takeaway action?

6. Did I provide facts, statistics, or testimonials to back up my message?

7. Can the reader see the value or benefits of taking the action I suggest?

8. Is the reader provided with clear enough instructions to follow through?

9. Did I provide support material if my readers want additional information?

10. If they need my help or services, do they know what that would look like?

11. Is the content I am creating and distributing for my customers any different than anything else out there?

12. Why should my customers care to read my stuff?

It’s about creating the minimum amount of content with the maximum amount of behavior change in our customers. Every business owner needs to make sure that they have talent onboard that creates usable content for mobile users. One person can never accomplish it all; consider that Kristina Halvorson, a Twin Cities content guru, discusses 10 definitions of content strategy. When asked the question, “Our content is all over the place. Where should we start?”, we love her answer, “Leave content chaos behind with customer-centered, future-proof strategy”.

Before ever hitting that publish button, under your website’s UX taxonomy and content modeling.

“Find someone who pays meticulous attention to detail, is highly organized, can work to a deadline, and is a good copywriter – so the editor can improve upon (rather than destroy) the work of your other writers. Large egos and editing don’t go together well,” – Aaron Agius

Why a Content Audit is Important

Google’s algorithms now update continually meaning that we may never fully understand them, but the Search Giant’s stance on fresh content is logical. Imagine a user conducting a digital search, and a result says: ‘April 2011.’ Why would they click on it, right?

Your Google Analytic data will reveal if the Click Through Rate on your older content is way lower than on new content. Google certainly recognizes that. You should too. It is going be more willing to serve up your content again if past users navigated to that page and show interactions. Examined the keywords on your pages that have a higher bounce rate and try to make that content more relevant to that pages’ theme.

It’s worth acknowledging too, that you’ll actually rank higher if people click on your on-page content instead of search engines results page. A key content strategy is to recognize when ‘historical’ content is of value and where ‘new’ content is critical. A full content audit should be conducted first to decipher which outdated content to recycle and which need updating to climb up in coveted SEO positions.

A content audit is the foundation of content strategy, which manages content marketing. The aim is to perform a qualitative analysis that summarizes the state of all the content on a website (or online). Google Now has become a live cloud repository for answers; writing content is one thing, getting that content found in featured snippets’ zero position is quite another. If you’re a retail site, your e-Commerce pages should solve user problems.

First and foremost, an audit evaluates if your digital content is relevant, both to customer wants and your organization goals of the organization. It can help answer important questions: Is content accurate and consistent? Does it speak in a tone embraced by the customer and in the voice of the business? Is it optimized for search? Are staffs sufficiently trained? Are tools and software, such as the content management system (CMS) up to the task of handling it?

Don’t just push out more content for the sake of it; you may be simply diluting your site’s crawl budget. This could potentially push your priority content lower is SERPs. A position “0” spot or a top listing in earned search results receives 33 percent of the traffic, in contrast to 18 percent for the second position, and the traffic quickly diminishes from there:

A site that ranks in the first position on Google can bring in 33% of the total traffic for a search term, drops to 18% for the second position, and as low as 2.4% for the bottom of the first page.

Your Content Audit that helps assess needs, shape content governance, and help determine the feasibility of future projects.

Schedule a Full Content Audit and Analysis

A content audit is the foundation of content strategy, which manages content marketing. The aim is to perform a qualitative analysis that summarizes the state of all the content on a website (or online). In particular, see if your content is prepared for mobile advertising.

First and foremost, an audit determines if your digital content is relevant, both to customer wants and your organization goals of the organization. It can help answer important questions: Is content accurate and consistent? Does it speak in a tone embraced by the customer and in the voice of the business? Is it optimized for search? Are staffs sufficiently trained? Are tools and software, such as the content management system (CMS) up to the task of handling it?

Google is much smarter at avoiding websites with duplicate content and scraped content issues. If your business has hired much of its content publishing, this may well be a problem.

Your Content Audit that helps assess needs, shape content governance, and help determine the feasibility of future projects.

Hill Web Marketing’s SEO agency services as a Content Creation Manager

If you are wondering how to partner with Hill Web Marketing, we welcome a conversation. Modern content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) are both vital components in today’s digital world, and function best within the same conversation. Typically, content created and promoted will help the reader in some way. It brings a unified digital marketing plan to you right out of the box. The scalable way for your business to be found online in the right place at the right time is to marry SEO and content marketing. If you have been approaching them in completely separate silos, it is time to retool your digital strategy.

Our expert SEO service can help get your published content more visible on Google Maps, customized on your Google Assistant Directory page, schema enhanced for better chances to show up in featured snippets, and indexed more quickly with all major search engines.

Based on your content audits, the outcome of further research, and your identified goals, we will craft an Effective SEO Content Action Plan to prioritize and plan out your writing efforts based on value, complexity, resources, budget, and competition. One of our essential strategic services is the Content Theme Strategy (CTS), which creates the foundation for a natural process in your content/site development process.

Just creating more content is not the answer. You also have to learn how to amplify your content reach, make it niche-specific, mobile-friendly and develop an engagement SEO framework for increased ROI.

A successful mobile content strategy yields many bonuses, but one of the more tantalizing dividends is the chance of significant organic search traffic increases that produces a continuous flow of leads. Remember, when we say organic we’re referring to visitors to your site that arrived by typing or voice-activated searches, find your business in search results, clicking through to your website and liking what they find enough to call or connect somehow.

If your business is in a niche with tight competition, part of a retailers’ content solutions the ability to drive better transactions with smarter content.


If you are too busy running your company and your staff is prioritizing other tasks, it is better to outsource your content creation then to leave it undone. It takes additional time and skill to integrate it with your social media marketing strategies. Crafting fresh content can include a mix: you can borrow and attribute content from other sites to reinforce your content’s purpose and provide added value to your audience. Or you can repurpose and update content you previously published. But overall, your own original, consistent, and fresh content will influence followers, make your SEO more effective, and page rankings.

Technical challenges can reduce user engagement, so get a Technical SEO Audit done and remove any such barriers to profitable content consumption. For complex projects, you need someone with technical skills; web content production is vastly streamlined when you have a developer who keeps you free of backend tangles.

The more you are consistent and present with your audience, the better off you’ll be. You can outsource your content writing and still own your process and strategy.

Order your content audit today!

Your full content audit and analysis by Hill Web will assess user needs, your current content, shape content governance, and help determine the feasibility of future content curation projects. Call Hill Web Creations at 651-206-24510 for an accurate quote. Our content audits generally start at 1,800 (expires January 10, 2020).

Call us at 651-206-2410 and ask for your business’s personalized answer as to how to create an evergreen content marketing mobile strategy to reach ideal clients that convert.If you’re searching for SEO Management services that actually work hard for you, you’ll love Hill Web’s Content Marketing SEO Services!

If you are confident that your traditional content marketing is in place, ask for a Advanced Schema Content Audit




Schema Enhanced Retail AMP Pages for Best PPC Performance

How to Prepare your Retail AMP Pages for Top PPC Performance

Are you still trying to sell your wares from the back of a pickup truck? Or have you advanced your mobile marketing strategies to AMP pages and to leveraging AdWords profitably to show up where most buyers are?

Are you wondering why AMP eCommerce websites outperform traditional pages? Or are you seeking a deeper understanding as to how AMP eCommerce pages compare to traditional HTML pages? We are happy to share our experience.

To strategize, manage, and optimize E-commerce for the mobile market, you need to set targets, review performance, and compare your progress against other competitors. Getting into the e-Commerce retail mobile space is fast-paced and offers the potential for enormous success. If you are you interested in making solid changes to your digital marketing strategies; you need to invest where Google invests. Rather than extensively probing into each individual algorithm update—and adjusting your search marketing accordingly — your business is best served by focusing on the underlying themes that each one of Google’s update was intended to address. Mobile search, and the wonders of Artificial Intelligence that are behind it, clearly point to the value of putting time and budget into fast-loading retail Accelerated Mobile Pages!

The mobile version of your website should be rich with metadata, schema markup, quality content, and AMP pages so that it is equal to or superior to your desktop version. Google has switched to the mobile-first index and PPC managers are forced to consider new ways to optimize paid search spends for improved retail sales volumes.

Google began testing AMP-enabled landing pages from mobile Search ads over a year ago, as the company’s commitment to the AMP project is continually underscored. More recently Google’s experiments to render the AMP lightning icon next to the description in some of those text ads have been found. According to Ginny Marvin, who writes for both Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, a Google spokesperson stated: “We’re always testing new ways to improve our experience for our advertisers and users, but don’t have anything specific to announce right now.”

Quick Checklist of What Ecommerce Marketers can Use on AMP Landing Pages:

  • Structured data
  • Full HTTPS protocol integration
  • Developed product content
  • Clean URL structure
  • Match search intent

AMP Accelerated Mobile Pages Drive Retail Shopping

Adding structured data to a site demands that webmasters keep their code current. This aspect of mobile SEO is rapidly changing and favoring Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

Shoppers don’t wait. You have to be immediate, relevant, and show up wherever they are. Online companies that are taking a larger slice of retail sales have figured out that “fast = more revenue,” and so they accommodate consumers’ insatiable demand for instant answers. In this way, they build a strategic retail advantage. Many are embracing conversational AI and chatbots for personal and immediate responses.

It doesn’t require a huge monitory investment to deliver more speed. The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) program is both free and open-source. AdWords advertisers can still use the technology to serve faster AMP landing pages that provide a critical edge in a crowded retail niche. Mobile’s expanding role can be found in every step of the customer journey. Having a strong mobile presence is essential for improving your brand awareness. PPC advertisers must go beyond taking into account mobile’s influence in client’s advertising strategies; they must make mobile a core principle of your digital marketing plan.

Not only do these pages have load optimizations that display a full page instantly, they leverage prerendering. The semantic web is more about data that lives in one state, regardless of what device a user prefers. While this supports user choice, it expands all the different types of potential search results and makes indexing all of them harder. With anticipations that the new Google mobile-first index will mash websites together with apps, PWAs, and other data sets that aren’t reliant on URLs, structured data markup on AMP will become increasingly necessary.

eCommerce Accelerated Mobile Pages and AMP Shopping Carts

In 2018, you can do just about everything in a retail AMP shopping cart that you can in HTML 5. RocketAmp is a Shopify app***** to integrate Google’s Accelerated Mobile technology with just a click. The adoption of mobile technology is influencing how retailers use AMP pages. Google is now organizing its new index with a wider range of unique identifiers that may include web URLs and app URIs.

After adding AMP versions to a website, this is where we find that Google is more demanding as to how schema code is implemented. For example, even though the AMP test link results the Google Search Console (GSC) says: “Valid AMP page. Page is eligible for AMP search features in Google search results”, only after updating the product schema code will that specific page be dropped from the GSC “Prohibited or invalid use of HTML Tag (Critical issue)”.

Desktop pages that test fine for correctly implemented Product schema at this moment, still have AMP smartphone pages which only validate without spammy structured data when using JSON-LD code, versus older formats. Getting both HTML 5 pages and AMP pages functioning with a validated schema can be a differentiator. For eCommerce businesses in a highly competitive retail landscape, today it is must.

Common Questions and Answers about Retail Accelerated Mobile Pages

  • 1. What makes up a great retail AMP page?
  • 1. What makes up a great retail AMP page?
  • 2. Will Schema Markup Help my Mobile PPC Performance?
  • 3. Do AMP Landing Pages Offer a PPC Advantage?
  • 4. Is there an Expanded Reliance on Structured Data Markup in Mobile Search?
  • 5. Does Structured Data Markup for HTML 5 work for AMP?
  • 6. Do I Need Both AMP and Structured Data Markup?
  • 7. How Do I Fix Missing Structured Data Elements?
  • 8. If I Mark Up my Retail Listings Will I Get Found in Voice Search?
  • 9. How will Google AMP affect Semantic SEO?
  • 10. Are Retail-related AMP Insights in my Analytics?
  • 11. Can Structured Data help me Customized the AMP Shopping Experience?
  • 12. Should I Use GSI Workflows, Review Processes, and Infrastructure for AMP Landing pages?
  • 13.

1. What makes up a great retail AMP page?What makes up a great retail AMP page

  • Fast loading
  • Content that is relevant
  • Page elements that assist the buyer in making the purchase quickly
  • The customer feels in control
  • Markup makes the content and its context easy for search engines to understand

Jason Spero, the VP of Global Performance Solutions at Google, wrote on Sep 2017 in How to make every mobile moment a brand-builder that “Nearly 9 in 10 smartphone owners who describe a mobile brand experience as helpful or relevant would purchase from the brand again”.

So while being slow matters, there is more to having a great AMP page experience that speed alone. For example, retail buyers will avoid annoying experiences. If they click on your URL because they already have purchase intent, they may leave shortly if a frustrating pop-up Ad blocks their ability to read the page. When it comes to mobile, marketers need to make sure content assists the buyer, is relevant to the item they are interested in, and that they can make decisions while feeling in control throughout their purchase.

2. QUESTION: Will Schema Markup Help my Mobile PPC Performance?

ANSWER: Schema structured data makes it easier to match your AMP content to the user’s query. The end result is that it lowers bounce rate issues simply by better relevancy, which is core to the user experience. One notable change in the pay per click (PPC) channel for e-commerce retailers in 2018 is a rise in the mobile cost per click. The difference can be made up by winning more relevant clicks by engaging structured data. Cost Per Click (CPC) refers to the real price you spend for each click in your pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns. iProspect reports that one huge shift in Q4 performance was a 41 percent spend increase in Shopping ad CPC and a 26 percent year-over-year CPC increase in the cost of mobile ads.

AMP-supported structured data for better PPC results:

Many e-commerce marketers who manage retail brands find the importance of capitalizing on structured data, both site wide and on product pages. It has the potential to yield featured rich snippets or visible product data directly in organic search engine result pages (SERP’s). Machine learning also uses this data in the Google Merchant Centre in combination with feed data to screen and display certain information on page.

Taking it a step further, this data may be additionally leveraged for Google Shopping / Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns and begins to circumvent the data submitted from product feeds or at least expand the extent of data that will be dynamically gleaned from landing pages. Anticipated advancements envision further enhanced rich product details being presented as knowledge graph cards or new types of display within paid search results.

A focal point for e-commerce retailers is increasingly on structured schema markup implementation that provides data to platforms such as Google Manufacturer Center and Google Merchant Centre.

The key potential organic SEO benefit is the performance increase in SERP’s CTR because shoppers can respond quickly to the enhanced and engaging data that is immediately displayed such as pricing, stock availability, and the number and the score of review ratings. PPC works in the same manner. Your Google AdWords quality score, how your ad groups are optimized, and how user-friendly your mobile website is, contribute to your mobile PPC performance. They should all be on your mobile marketing checklist. Structured data makes it clearer to search engines what the content is about, and makes it easier for Google algorithms to dynamically pull more product information to display within PLA / Shopping results. On the human side, people feel more confident of a rich URL before clicking, arrive where they want to go, and positively influence CTR’s due to an enhanced user experience.

Projecting into 2018, iProspect says, “Mobile clicks are now declining partly due to CPC increases. In addition to expecting continued CPC increases, advertisers should also keep an eye on additional advancements in automation through machine learning and audience targeting as well as well as new opportunities in structured data and mobile”.

3. QUESTION: Do AMP Landing Pages Offer a PPC Advantage?Mobile landing pages that convert by Hill Web Marketing

ANSWER: Yes, it is possible that your PPC marketing dollars are being wasted due to slow landing page load time on mobile devices. In September 2017, advertisers were granted the ability to designate AMP landing pages as destination URLs for their AdWords campaigns. Early adopters have already reported significant improvements in key performance indicators like bounce rate, time on site, and conversion rate.

The AdWords platform continues to expand its features; examples are contextual smart bidding (with eCPC), dynamic ad copy serving, and data-driven attribution. With progression, advertisers can test these features to make the most of new opportunities. With the new AdWords feature called In-Market Audiences for search, it is possible to target people who are both searching your keywords AND have already shown purchase intent through their recent search behavior. Now that you can show up faster than non-AMP pages, you can nab that strong candidate!

“The number of mobile phone users in 2018 is 5.135 billion, up 4 percent year-on-year”, according to Simon Kemp who authored the January 30, 2018 Digtial in 2018: World’s Internet Users Pass the 4 Billion Mark article. The increase in affordable smartphones and better mobile data plans has tipped even more people into buying their first mobile device in 2017 and joining the burgeoning number of mobile retail shoppers.

“The latest data from Statista’s Digital Market Outlook shows that the total value of the e-commerce market for consumer goods grew by 16 percent over the past year. Total annual spend in 2017 reached almost US $1.5 trillion, with fashion products representing the largest single category,” he recaps from mobile user statistics provided by We are Soclia, Hootsuite, and Statistica. Nothing offers users the speed of an AMP page and the assurance that they are reaching the most relevant page as one that is highly optimized for a specific product query.

Over half of today’s handsets that are being used are ‘smart’ devices, making it easy to enjoy a rich internet experience wherever one is by simply talking to a digital assistant. Going forward, businesses must know how to market in the mobile space if they want to grow – or even stay alive. Your business can leverage Google Ads and Ad Extensions for better mobile engagement.

Building visually-rich, interactive AMP pages for E-Commerce were covered at the Google I/O ’17 event.

4. QUESTION: Is there an Expanded Reliance on Structured Data Markup in Mobile Search?

ANSWER: Yes. Google has continued its push for it. Webmasters are asked to mark up everything possible with structured data *******, from reviews and factual data to social profiles, corporate contact information, books, events, courses and industry-specific data. Structured data and specifically schema markup that is formatted with JSON-LD offers a better semantic understanding, which assists GoogleBot in determining “entities.” The “LD” part of the term JSON-LD represents Linked Data.

Most SEO’s are now aware that structured data must become a significant aspect as it helps Google know what a web page is about without being so dependent on crawling and parsing all the content available about a business — which is a gigantic-sized task that continues to escalate. This is what prompted Google to request more data-rich assets are marked up in the JSON-LD format. And it seems to be especially seeking trusted and fact-checked web content. Featured rich snippets utilize schema markup to show content in a way that displays in more engaging visual formats.

These are especially useful for interactions user have with Google Home, Google Assistant and Chromecast; it simplifies tasks like securing restaurant reservations, booking travel tickets, finding desired music, TV, movies, authors, performers, and recipes. Schema markup on AMP’s fast pages gives Retailers who have a strong commitment to enhance the user experience and who are seeking opportunities in the fast-growing mobile space a real advantage.

Web pages that have correctly implemented structured data make quick work of parsing and presenting relevant results on non-traditional devices when leveraging voice search from Google Assistant, Google Home, Android Auto and similar platforms such as Amazon Alexa, Siri, Fitbit and voice-enabled TV remotes. One area needing more content is Google’s structured data documentation for databases or dataset markup. Databases aren’t as dependent on URLs or websites, which leads to speculation that the mobile-first index won’t be built only on URLs for indexing and will make better use of schemas and entity perception.

On mobile results, Google aggregates rich results that pool information to answer popular queries that often includes lists and links to a Wikipedia page. Below that, Google displays a “People Also Searched For” carousel of content that offers additional information, such as when looking for a book, about authors who write in the same genre.

Research suggests that Google is using clicks on carousels that load in the bottom of its knowledge graphs to verify and vet the linked data that it has assimilated about this business, movie, or author. The greater the number of clicks that a carousel item gains, the more likely that it will be linked to in future queries on the topic.

Google is Encouraging Responsive AMP-compatible Ad Units*:

You can create your own retail AMP ad Unit. After you’ve placed your AMP ad code between the head tags of your AMP HTML, test and tweak your ads on several mobile device types to ensure that the responsive behavior is working as intended. When checking how these ads display on your own AMP pages, be aware that there may be a delay before ads start to show as AMP prioritizes the content. How AMP pages are cached is changing as more advanced use cases emerge. Current favorites include fixed-sized AMP ads and the ability to style your AMP ad. For more sophisticated use cases, just style your AMP ad elements to control layout options like any other AMP element.

5. QUESTION: Does Structured Data Markup for HTML 5 work for AMP?

ANSWER: Yes. But it involves more technicalities. To fully emerge your site in AMP and completely give your pages the full benefit that can offer, you need to add structured data wherever possible, making sure that you include schema that includes your industry’s niche. Google uses several items to take care of the more interactive parts of AMP elements. You can use Yoast SEO in conjunction with our AMP Glue plugin to take care of most AMP needs.

On February 24, 2016, Google initially rollout Accelerated Mobile Page results into its mobile search engine. Web pages enriched with AMP coding are given special places in mobile SERPs with a special AMP lightning indication. This new algorithm is highly dedicated to improving load speed on mobile devices. Anyone can benefit from this Google-backed open source initiative that supports publishers and web designers who seek mobile-friendly content that load instantly across the burgeoning world of mobile devices.

Digital Marketers are becoming more keenly aware of the benefits that Google AMP is likely to provide on their website ranking as well as in additional spheres of their marketing efforts. Embracing AMP as a frontrunner can make your business more competitive. Speed is said to be the most important area that ranks high with users and Google in the year ahead. And when it comes to making it easier for machines to comprehend your site, there are key things that you should be aware of when it comes to structured data on their Google AMP pages.

Google documents state: “Use the same structured data markup across both the canonical and AMP pages”. Then it adds, “For AMP-specific examples, see Internationalization“.

Here is where we think it takes a familiarity with AMP to understand its terminology. After all your hard work to implement markup for your products, aggregated customer reviews, business events, and menu items, you want to know that Google can pick up this data and present it in an enhanced way on your designated mobile pages.

6. QUESTION: Do I Need Both AMP and Structured Data Markup?

ANSWER: Yes, if you want to be competitive. AMP is already showing great promise and results for several businesses, and Google seems committed to its future. The success of AMP will depend largely on how quickly and correctly SEO’s integrate it. Schema markup will help explain your page so it is more useful when matching search intent.

As 2018 began, it has already become more of a standard. For the foreseeable future, we believe that AMP is the future of the mobile web. It delivers the best results available for something that most users really care about – speed.

Google is not slowing its AMP investment pace but is rather adding plenty of resources to implementing AMP’s new features. This means that marketers can expect to see visibility improvements if they choose to use it. In particular, if their website had no markup and was previously slow to load. And despite its limitations, its benefits seem to be stronger. Test your schema on both your HTML5 and AMP pages. Find what could be something that is dropping in your AMP versions; most likely you need to watch for page elements that are more strictly coded for this type of page. Correcting any dropped code or mobile schema errors can possibly increase your page rankings.

AMP pages have become recognized as fast, but without customization, some seem ugly or too plain. Your customization options are expanding with new functionality for user interactivity; it’s now easier than ever for an AMP version of a page to look much the same as the non-AMP version. Recent AMP tests show results no longer are being served up for only mobile search; increasingly, they display for desktop searches as well. Don’t just consider having a responsive site, but rather ensure that your AMP pages are also responsive to provide a positive experience for desktop users.

7. QUESTION: How Do I Fix Missing Structured Data Elements?

ANSWER: Audit thoroughly. No one starts out as an expert. Currently, the validation tools are relatively new, too. If you have added your first AMP page and now find the Search Console message, “Missing structured data element: add structured data element”, it may validate without errors and yet fail to meet all guideline.

Google’s data structures are highly optimized so that a large document collection can be crawled, indexed, and searched as fast as possible. Although CPUs and bulk input and output rates have improved dramatically for AMP pages, Google wants to avoid load delays for fancy page elements whenever feasible, which has a considerable influence on the design of its data structures. Most Internet users simply want answers, not highly-designed pages stuffed with ads and duplicate content. Individual page content should be less about everything that your business offers and more tightly woven with a specific topic.

Focus on the quality of your content. All the bells and whistles that you currently have on your website may not work with AMP. Nor are they desired by readers who want solutions. Mobile searchers want immediate access to relevant information. Google staff Tom T. says, “Don’t worry about the ‘Info: Missing structured data element’ error – it’s not really an error more a warning saying that we can’t see the structured data we’d expect for eligibility for the Top Stories carousel which is specific to news-y type content. As your page type isn’t news-y the warning can be ignored.”

Each individual page stands on its own. The issue may be that the page doesn’t contain any structured data, or that its structured data is not of the required type. Test your AMP pages and listing With Fetch as Google and Google’s AMP Test****because it’s largely how search engines see the web. To narrow down which element is missing the properly structured data, think in terms of a block-level analysis. This will help to map areas by each section of a page to the section of a page. So that means using section as well as div.

Check the supported attributes for each AMP tag and remove or repair the one that is disallowed. For example, one of your AMP error pages was fixed when we loaded the video content via iFrame instead. We monitor all our AMP page content weekly if not daily to check for new validations and or errors.

8. QUESTION: If I Mark Up my Retail Listings Will I Get Found in Voice Search?

ANSWER: Add voice actions. To get ahead of your competition in AdWords paid search and rank for relevant buyer queries, you may want to be a frontrunner by migrating to AMP for your retail product pages and mark up your listings. By prioritizing the adoption of SEO strategies for voice search and mobile, your schema markup on your website can help you gain a stronger presence on Google Maps, quick answers, Knowledge Graphs, and additional forms of featured rich snippets.

Users’ voice and text action requests can take a potential customer directly to your Android app, so they can get to your native mobile shopping cart quickly and easily. The search giant is preparing a broad expansion of voice actions beyond its search app. All a person needs to do is simply say “OK Google…” and complete their query. Hollywood takes advantage of speech recognition to thrill and excited moviegoers with a memorable scene, shoppers call up a business to make a travel booking or dinner reservation, and now they can even find out who has an item in stock for immediate pickup.

JSON-LD markup for E-commerce is helping many businesses connect and offer amazing shopping experience online. SEO markup helps both search engines and site visitors find what they are searching for while assisting your business by getting them to click, convert, and become a customer. With immediacy being a clear demand in consumer shopping behaviors, online brands have to adjust how they market to prospective customers, as well as the user experience. By marking up your listings, visitors won’t be disappointed by arriving on a less relevant page and will instead ensure an enjoyable experience.

9. QUESTION: How will Google AMP affect Semantic SEO?Google mobile page site speed tool

ANSWER: Speed is foremost. In our world of voice technology, it is easier than ever for people to gain answers while on the go. Ask yourself, why would they wait for your pages to load if someone else answers them faster? To provide stellar user experiences, your content needs to be readily available for all search query types and found instantly. By providing answers shoppers are looking for, you can increase your Ad spend conversion rate.

even though up till now AMP has not been a direct search engine factor, page load speed is. It is core to search engine ranking. As a result, Accelerated Mobile Pages will impact SEO substantially if your website is not up to par for being quick. For example, two otherwise equal sites in terms of SEO will find that the one with the better speed will receive precedence. This search trend isn’t going away. If you want free or paid traffic from Google, it is best to provide the mark up for your listings that they are asking for. Too many website owners haven’t been making their sites fast enough: they seem stuck by what they can see on the page versus what works best for searchers.

“A Google spokesperson said “as you know we do tens of thousands of experiments in search every year but there are no such plans at this moment to change anything. The (AMP) logo tells users that the page they will open will do so reliably and consistently fast.” – Google Support

“Enhanced listings give searchers an easier way to pick a result from the list of links. If your listing is rich, and your page does what your listing promises, you are a valid result for the customer and that will lead to a lower bounce rate. A lower bounce rate tells Google that your site is a well-regarded result that promises and delivers.” – Edwin Toonen on Yoast******

It is best to keep a balanced approach. To truly future-proof your website, don’t over-rely on one thing, such as AMP to trim page load times. Make use of additional tools like GTMetrix and Google Page Speed Insights to find all factors that contribute to longer page load issues. Seek to reduce those load times as much as possible; the payback is enormous.

10. QUESTION: Are Retail-related AMP Insights in my Analytics?

ANSWER: Yes, you can track AMP visits. Google is rolling out more AMP data in their Analytics Reports to let businesses know how their AMP users are engaging content. In the future, we hope there will be more data to support where a publisher’s content is loading from. In deference to a user’s privacy, cookie restrictions can limit visitor identification. Google Analytics is now doing a much better task of tracking AMP visits; plan for someone skilled being in charge of your setup to get it working best.

The Twitter platform has supported AMP since its inception by making it possible to embed tweets directly within AMP articles, and now Twitter provides analytics on AMP content shared on the platform.

Eric Enge of Stone Temple urges, “If you are using Google Analytics, session stitching is a critical issue. Without it, your analytics will simply be wrong. In a nutshell, Google Analytics will see the visitors to your AMP pages as being on a different site. Your AMP pages will show poor user engagement metrics as a result. To measure how you are doing with your AMP pages, you need to get accurate data!”

We believe that every business website needs to identify and apply insight-driven decisions, whether you are in retail, consumer goods, banking, sell services online or are a non-profit organization. Along with an on-going audit process, those best practices are the backbone of your e-Commerce technical SEO for retail AMP pages.

11. QUESTION: Can Structured Data help me Customized the AMP Shopping Experience?

ANSWER: Yes, schema plays a role in CRO. The AMP Project lists examples of how to customize your checkout flow ( Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a priority for most e-commerce brands; there is too much revenue to lose otherwise. However, it is not a standalone task. Evergreen high-value content curation, improving the user experience and load times, all need to be balanced and viewed for each aspects’ overall impact on your online brand. Each always benefits the others.

The amp-access element is one way to customize the content shown to visitors based on the status of that individual, for example, whether or not they’re logged in. This allows you to personalize the shopping experience (which can improve CRO). Where you place your aggregated review and product schema is very strategic in the buyer journey. It also matters to Google and you need to be well versed in their AMP on Google Search Guidelines**.

Additionally, the AMP platform is easy to make GDPR compliant for US businesses that need to take precautions.

The September 15, 2016 article titled Improving Click Through Rate; the power of Schema by SEO Liverpool states, “It’s(Schema) much more engaging and useful to a user. Engagement alone can play a massive role in improving click-through rate to your website!”

Begin improving your click-through rate with Schema by:

  • Gaining trust online to start improving click CRO
  • Offering detailed and markup up information that search engines and people can find
  • Pleasing visitors and entice them to return because your content is relevant
  • Gaining more visibility in the Google Maps Local Pack

How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line

According to Smart Insights, “every delay of just one second in your load time you take a 7% hit in your conversation rates because visitors start bailing”. Kissmetrics found that “A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions***.”

Shopify says, “90% of AMP Publishers are seeing higher click-through rates with AMP”. The web page posted December 20, 2017 by Carliz Teague of Hairextensions is titled RocketAmp – Ecommerce Plugins for Online Stores and runs $14 per month for the plugin.

Myriam Jessier stresses in Smashing Magazine that “The main advantage of AMP for retailers is that slow loading times kill conversions. Selling products to people when they want them makes a huge difference to a business’ bottom line. Many shoppers will go to a competitor’s website if yours is too slow to load. Put that in a mobile context, and a slow loading time means losing 40% of visitors — potential customers who will take their dollars elsewhere”. Her April 12, 2017 AMP For Retailers: Is It Worth It? article states that AMP product and listing pages are add value to the customer decision journey.

Improved search ranking and faster time-to-interactive are essential to ensure that retailers hold or gain market share. The average retailer is challenged with flat or declining organic search traffic, and slow sites now faced being penalized by Google with lower rankings in search results.

Use Shopify or WooCommerce (a favorite e-commerce platform for WordPress) to benefit from AMP: start with a plugin like WP AMP, or the official WordPress AMP plugin. WP AMP integrates with WooCommerce out of the box. The normal WordPress AMP plugin is best with custom adjustments to work with WooCommerce. Depending on your SEO technical skills you may want to read more on GitHub****.

12. QUESTION: Should I Use GSI Workflows, Review Processes, and Infrastructure for AMP Landing pages?GSI Workflows, Review Processes and Infrastructure  for AMP Landing pages

ANSWER: GS1’s vocabulary is still in its infancy stage. Dan Brickley and Google’s John Mueller confer that it isn’t a separate thing. It contributes finer detail to Product markup that both Google Search and mobile shoppers use. The emphasis on Twitter communications is adding a more useful structure to your web content. As one could expect, Google doesn’t make any promises but indicates that adopting this e-commerce marketing strategy is worthwhile, saying “that direction seems healthy”.

Brickley emphasizes that “Strong identifiers are foundational for richer metadata!”

Implementing GSI SmartSearch involves many of the same Schema elements SEOs are already using, with the addition of more advanced elements. GS1 posts a full guide that provides the details on Product and other types of Schema markup. Currently, the best code format is JSON-LD and akin to the regular Schema Product markup, it must reside within the body section of its web page and the content must be easy for site visitors to read on the page.

The AMP Project offers web developers with example code that they need to generate attractive, highly functional eCommerce landing pages.

13. QUESTION: Do I Need Both Non-AMP and AMP Forms of Schema for Retail Products?

ANSWER: One should work for all. However, we find that because AMP pages have their own unique set of coding rules, often if missed, the schema implemented on your desktop pages does not validate as well on AMP versions.

AMP-supplied JavaScript is now less limited in what it can do. Sliders, forms, and unique calls-to-action have overcome many former challenges. As both new ways to use schema entities and AMP formats expand, more sophisticated branded site designs with richer functionality are no longer such a matter of compromise. Also, soon we are told that AMP URLs will no longer send users to cached URL, but that they will remain on the marketer’s site.

“In some cases, you might want to have both a non-AMP and an AMP version of the same page, for example, a news article. Consider this: If Google Search finds the non-AMP version of that page, how does it know there’s an AMP version of it? Linking pages with link in order to solve this problem.” – AMP Project Discovery

SEO is more about preparing today for how to win in search tomorrow. It can be rough to forever be in a “catch up” mode. Last year AMP pages that were eligible to show up under Top Stories in Google’s mobile results increased in number. Now we are seeing an increasing percentage of major non-Google sites have begun to display AMP versions of pages when available. Key such sites are Twitter and Bing. By incorporating as much schema structured data in your evergreen content as you can, you increase your chances of having high image-rich visibility in retailer related AMP carousels.

If these 13 AMP Landing Page answers helped you, please share or leave a comment below.

Improve Mobile PPC Performance with Google AMP

An essential strategy of any PPC mobile campaign should be on the user experience. Mobile-optimized sites with fast-loading landing pages that your ads point to are now a necessity for advertisers. Among other features, mobile-optimized sites should contain clear but simplified navigation, user-friendly interfaces, adapted content, optimized images, and on-topic, structured text.

User demands for improved mobile site speed can strain developers’ bandwidth and, in some cases, their ability to compete. For web designers, it is easy to be distracted by the “shiny objects” of emerging tech.

Robin Kurzer of MarTech says that “online ad spending will grow by $47.8 billion in 2018 and of that growth, 91 percent will come from mobile including mobile social, search and display”. The 2018 Mobile AdWords marketing priorities it draws in its Get back to basics: New Forrester report lays out priorities for mobile marketers Feb 26, 2018, article strongly urge reviewing business KPIs to increase mobile’s share in your marketing mix.

Structured Data Attributed for EBay’s Strong Growth in Mobile Retail

If your business is waiting to see how AMP for e-commerce is working for others, there is a new flush of data surfacing. For example, often cited in 2017, eBay is investing copiously in engaging Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to personalize the mobile shopping experience. Notably, the integration of eBay’s Shopping Assistant with Alphabet’s Google Home capacities means that users can converse with Google Assistant to locate specific items on eBay and then tell Google Assistant to send the listing information to that person’s phone.

Motley Fools’ January 28th, 2018 Watch When eBay Reports Q4 2017 Earnings Report ( praises eBay for its quick inclusion of technological changes that have benefited its retail industry. Author John Ballard noted that “Only 12% of marketplace pages feature the use of structured data, so the company still has a long way to go with this effort that played a key role in the revenue growth acceleration last quarter”.

Fandango and 1-800-flowers also are great examples of e-commerce sites that have published statements as to how they have grown their sales volume with AMP retail pages.

Now that we sought to answer many common questions about the efficiency of AMP pages for e-commerce sites, should you consider implementing Google AMP for your retail pages? In general, we find that the pros outweigh the cons. For research., we recommend ready Eric Enge’s article AMP Case Studies: The Argument for AMP by Stone Temple. To facilitate your decision we can meet with you in person.

“AMP can work really well with e-commerce sites. In fact, it can offer strong conversion advantages. Users like speed. Faster e-commerce sites will convert better.” – Eric Enge

Improve Your Mobile PPC Performance with Google AMP Pages

Mobile search technology is remaining true to its history of forcing organizations to continually face the need to adapt. Marketers who have a mindset of an expanding approach to sharpening their SEO skill sets. User preference is behind the proliferation of mobile. The rapid pace of digital innovation in Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, both small are large companies are pressed to constantly change the ways they tackle SEO. consists of open vocabularies showing how to add metadata to all sorts of retail web content. For AMP, the properties that make sense in context include the specific type of content (i.e. ‘news article’), the article headline, published date, and unique preview images. Avoid a spammy markup penalty by adhering to Google’s AMP rules for images.

And so, with constant changes in PPC automation, targeting, competitive levels, and new opportunities for structured data implementation, digital advertisers have an obligation to regularly adjust their approach. Without this fluid, search programs, SEO and PPC campaigns can quickly become obsolete. Invest now in a search strategy that permits for reallocation to meet larger trends and competitive shifts so that you can enjoy a better return on your media dollars.

Some say that SEO is dead. We would say that former SEO strategies are dead. Today, better datasets for mobile performance is a fundamental facet of retail digital marketing growth and achieving your business goals. We find that businesses can’t afford to misjudge the impact of mobile advertising nor delay taking up schema and AMP as a part of their PPC strategies. E-Commerce challenges with difficult structured data implementation for multiple and similar retail product pages or lack of bandwidth must be overcome to be competitive. If your mobile site’s loading speed is sub-par, Google AMP can be the best tool available today to improve mobile performance in the ever-increasing internet retail space.

Retail Accelerated Mobile Pages Optimization Services

This varies widely depending on how many products you sell. On average, product AMP page optimization starts at #3,500.00 (Offer ends 1 January, 2020)

Helping business improved performance on their local web pages after implementing AMP. Delivering consistently fast and beautiful web experiences that are perfect for e-commerce retailers looking to gain an edge with mobile shoppers. Call Hill Web Creations at 651-206-24510.


How we work: We are dedicated to moving our customers’ websites ahead of their local and national competition. Most people who find AMP too limiting are working with AMP plugins, which often pose issues as they are hard for some developers to keep current. Many limitations are not directly from the AMP specifications in and of themselves. We work with professionals in the marketing industry to help make their company more successful, through the use of strong technical skills and an understanding of retail markets. By working directly with clients on an executive level, we manage their digital marketing performance. We have clients that are thrilled with success in building retail revenue streams in the mobile marketplace. We prove this on a daily basis and look forward to earning your business and building a long-term relationship.

We work as a team with your existing staff or our partners. Together we offer stunning combined experiences, instincts, and tested knowledge to collaborate, innovate, and make the best decisions that impact your business revenue. We are confident that we can truly move your digital marketing efforts forward. Hill Web Marketing can make it possible for your business to switch over to AMPs for better mobile performance. We care about your brand and can accommodate any reasonable marketing budget.

Call 651-206-2410 to Update Your E-Commerce Schema




Google Assistant Directory Page Setup for Personalized Search

How to Personalize your Google Assistant Directory Page

With the rise of voice search, personalizing your own Google Assistant Directory Page and early adoption of this structured-data powered content is allowing publishers to claim their brand new Google Actions page in the Assistant directory.

Given the exploding number of ways to use the user-savvy Assistant throughout the day, preemptive structured data implementation may result in winning an surprising competitive lift once it propagates through your indexed pages. From starting the business day with a news briefing to setting a reminder alarm for a key business meeting, planning your travels on Google Maps, and almost anything else. To customize your Google Assistant Directory Page for mobile search, we’ll cover the core settings and features you will want to set-up.

Google is growing the number of devices that integrates Google Assistant. First, there are the sundry voice-activated speakers from Altec Lansing, Anker Innovations, Bang & Olufsen, Braven, iHome, JBL, Jensen, LG, Klipsch, Knit Audio, Memorex, RIVA Audio and SōLIS (listed alphabetically). It capabilities surpass the need for speakers to smart displays. Google announced that Google Assistant intends to operate “new smart displays from four companies, including JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony.” Currently, it is already functioning on “over 225 home control brands and more than 1,500 devices.” The Assistant can help send web traffic to your AMP landing pages.

How to Personalize your Google Assistant Directory Page

Expanding Google Assistant capabilities include smart home commands to assisting new search queries. offers this handy table.

The commands have been revamped recently from that carousel interface to a grid of cards with visual recognition.

Check financial marketsGet directionsManage personal infoRemember important info
Check newsGet good newsManage photosSet alarms
Check sport scoresGet info about animals and plantsManage remindersSet timers
Check weatherGet info about history and eventsManage shopping listsTranslate
Control lightingGet nutrition factsNotes and ListsUse calculator
Covert unitsGet random numbersPlay audiobook
Find fast food recipesGet triviaPlay fun sounds
Find food and drinkHave funPlay games
Find servicesManage messagesPlay music
Find storesManage ordersPlay podcasts

Using Google Assistant Actions is a primary functions to achieve the desired results.

Google Assistant Actions

At this time, Google is sending a notice to US podcast, recipe, and news publishers who have already preempted into either Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) or structured data markup. The company has developed Google Assistant “Actions” specifically for those content types, so users can ask the Assistant to return content from such publishers.

Here is the content of Google’s notification that many are receiving:

Google Assistant helps a user find the information they want, including content from publishers across of many of Google’s platforms, e.g., Search, News, Maps and more. Now we’re making it even easier for users to find content with the Google Assistant’s browsable Actions directory.

Specifically, for U.S. English podcast, recipe, and news publishers who have invested in structured data markups and/or Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) we