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Amazon Posts: A feed-based shopping experience on Amazon

If your brand has social content created, adding Amazon Posts into the channel mix is an easy way to get some real estate with this new placement.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 1 year ago from feeds.searchengineland.com

Retailers can now link their PayPal and Google Merchant Center accounts

The integration makes it easier to get up and running with Google’s free Shopping listings.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 1 year ago from feeds.searchengineland.com

An Intro To Custom Reporting in Facebook Ads

Learn how to use Facebook’s Custom Reporting feature to more efficiently prepare and present data in a way that’s simple yet effective.

Read more at PPCHero.com

Reblogged 1 year ago from feedproxy.google.com

Planning Your COVID-Related Communications: A Flowchart [Infographic]

Because of the pandemic, companies are reconsidering how they communicate with their audiences. Many are unsure whether they should communicate at all, and some are uncertain what form their communication should take. This flowchart will help you make the right decisions. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Reblogged 1 year ago from www.marketingprofs.com

How to Create a Content Strategy for COVID-19 (or Other Crises) in Five Steps

If this pandemic has blindsided your business, you’ve been asking questions like these: How should we talk to our prospects and customers? Should we ditch our editorial plans, or stay the course? Is content promotion still acceptable, or is it a definite no-no? You need a content strategy for this … Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Reblogged 1 year ago from www.marketingprofs.com

36 Account-Based Marketing Stats to Know in 2020

As marketers, we’ve become experts in our target audiences. We know their typical demographic, what they like, the platforms they spend time on, and what they value in a product.

But unlike sales reps — who talk to and learn from our biggest prospects each day — we don’t always know tiny, but crucial, details about the brands or people we most want to sell too. This might be why only 28% of salespeople say marketing is their best source of leads.

So, how do we bridge the gap to better help our sales teams sell to high-priority clients? The answer to this question could be account-based marketing (or ABM).

Rather than just marketing to a broad target audience and hoping someone calls your sales reps, ABM is a strategy where sales and marketing teams align from the start to create campaigns that cater to their most qualified leads and current customers.

For example, as part of an ABM strategy, sales reps might offer marketing teams data from customers, prospects, and those that didn’t buy a product so that the marketers can create a targeted campaign that amplifies why their product is valuable and how it can help targets navigate daily pain points.

While inbound marketing is vital for pulling general audiences and demographics to your site, service, or store, account-based marketing can help you to reel in prospects or qualified leads that are most likely to buy your product.

To show you just how beneficial account-based marketing can be, while also informing you of the challenges it comes with, here are 36 stats you should know in 2020.

36 Account-Based Marketing Stats to Know in 2020

General ABM Stats

  • 67% of brands leverage account-based marketing. (HubSpot)
  • “Researching Accounts” and “Identifying Target Contacts” are the top two tactics used by marketers within an ABM model. (HubSpot)
  • Just one year ago, the top five account-based tactics were sales development rep outreach, digital advertising, direct mail, marketing email, and events. (TOPO)
  • Additionally, marketers strongly agree that personalized content (56%) and advanced data management (43%) are keys to ABM’s success. (Forrester)
  • Most organizations intentionally only pursue 38% of their target accounts at one time. (TOPO)
  • By 2019, 55% of marketers rated their ABM strategy as “established” compared to just 43% in 2018. (Forrester)
  • Companies dedicated 29% of their marketing budgets to ABM in 2019. (Engagio)
  • It’s estimated that ABM budgets saw an average increase of 41% in 2019. (TOPO)
  • 57% of professionals say their companies target 1,000 accounts or under with ABM. (TOPO)

Source

  • At the beginning of 2018, only 18% of adopters had two years of experience in account-based marketing. (TOPO)
  • In 2018, 18% of account-based programs were run against current customers (larger organizations with more than $1 billion in revenue ran about 50% of these programs. (TOPO)
  • The most common metric marketers use to track ABM is revenue won. (HubSpot)
  • Two other metrics marketers most commonly track to measure ABM efforts are the number of pipelines created and account engagement. (Engagio)
  • In 2019, 7% of marketers reported a decrease in dedicated headcount for ABM teams, showing that this strategy is going mainstream and being implemented within regular processes. (Forrester)
  • In 2019, 40% of the average marketing team was dedicated to ABM. (Engagio)
  • 57% of marketers say their organizations have implemented ABM for more than one year. (TOPO)
average maturity of account based marketing tactics

Source

Benefits and Challenges of ABM

  • Marketing and sales teams that take an ABM approach together can be up to six percent more likely to exceed their revenue goals than teams less ABM-advanced. (Forrester)
  • 62% of marketers say they can measure a positive impact since adopting ABM. (Forrester)
  • 80% of marketers say ABM improves customer lifetime values, while 86% say it improves win rates. (TOPO)
  • 87% of account-based marketers say that ABM initiatives outperform other marketing investments. (ITSMA)
  • One in five accounts targeted through ABM becomes considered a qualified sales opportunity. (TOPO)
  • Organizations with a strong Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) — which is similar to a buyer persona — achieve 68% higher account win rates. (TOPO)
  • More than two-thirds (69%) of top-performing account-based organizations now have a dedicated account based leader. (TOPO)
  • 70% of companies that started account-based initiatives in the first six months of 2019 have dedicated ABM leaders. (TOPO)
  • 42% of companies that missed their account-based objectives don’t have dedicated leadership. (TOPO)
  • The most common challenge with ABM is delivering a personalized experience. (HubSpot)
  • The top three challenges of implementing ABM are creating a scalable strategy for multiple accounts, producing customized content, and coordinating programs across marketing, sales development, and sales teams. (TOPO)
biggest account based marketing tactics

Source

ABM Technology

  • By 2021, over half of all sales phone calls will be analyzed by software. (TOPO)
  • The conversational intelligence market was estimated to grow by 3x in 2019. (TOPO)
  • Voice assistants will account for at least half of automated data entry by mid-2020. (TOPO)
  • An estimated 55% of sales data entry was eliminated by automation by 2020. (TOPO)

Smarketing Benefits and Challenges

  • Organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing teams experience 36% higher customer retention rates. (MarketingProfs)
  • The most common measurement of success for content marketing programs is Total Sales. (HubSpot)
  • 85% of marketers with an SLA think their marketing strategy is effective. (HubSpot)
  • Only 7% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were very high quality. (HubSpot)
  • Only 28% of salespeople said marketing was their best source of leads (HubSpot)

Creating an Effective ABM Strategy

As a marketer, it’s important to know what makes ABM techniques successful and how they differ from other target audience marketing tactics.

Additionally, you’ll want to learn about the companies you’re interested in marketing to, similar to how you learn about a target audience. For example, before creating an ABM campaign, you’ll want to learn about the pain points of companies in your industry, company missions, and what their top decision-makers value in a product or service.

Once you discover valuable data about the accounts you’d like to market to and feel ready to create a campaign, check out our Ultimate Guide to Account-Based Marketing.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.hubspot.com

Social Media Marketing Examples of What to Stop, Start, and Keep Doing in 2020

Social media is always shifting and changing, so if you are still running on the same strategy as you have in years past, now is the time to start thinking differently.

The social media landscape today is incredibly different than it was in 2019. Primarily, the global pandemic of 2020 has meant that more people than ever are online.

More people than ever are on social media, and additionally, they’re paying attention in ways that are unprecedented, as suggested by an April 2020 Statista report, which showed that global social media usage has increased by a whopping 44%.

This means there is a lot of opportunity, but also a need for additional caution during a time when emotions are higher and tolerance for brand mess-ups are likely lower. Here, let’s cover what still works when it comes to social media marketing, what’s working better than ever — and what you should leave behind in 2020.

1. First off, pause and re-evaluate your upcoming social media posts.

This is something you already should have done this year, but it’s also something you should keep doing as part of your strategy for any crisis. Take a hard look at what you have scheduled and see if the imagery, the voice and tone, and messaging are right for the current situation. If they aren’t, put those pieces of content on pause until it makes more sense. Then consider how you can revisit a campaign. Hotels.com did a great job with this.

The company needed to change everything in their approach to social media as a result of global bans on travel. The previous Hotel.com ad that they shared in social featuring their mascot, Captain Obvious, contained imagery of people getting close on vacation, a message that would not resonate well in the current climate:

The company quickly pivoted and developed a new video that makes more sense, and shares an important social message:

2. Next, think about how you can shift your messaging to be more helpful or human.

If you work for a brand that is used to a strategy heavily geared toward push marketing, this is the time to start being more human than product-centric. Some companies will be able to do this better than others. If you work for a company that sells yoga pants, your marketing may not need to change as much as a restaurant or an airline. But even then, the best companies aren’t doing the hard sell on their products.

Lululemon is a fantastic example of a company that understands that people need a few more virtual hugs and encouragement than normal, and they acknowledge that in their posts:

3. Adjust your messaging and stop campaigns that could come across as insensitive.

When basketball player Kobe Bryant died in an aerial crash in early 2020, Planters immediately paused their #RIPMrPeanut campaign, which featured Planters’ mascot, Mr. Peanut, falling to his death in an explosion. The company knew the backlash could be strong and halted the campaign to be sensitive to their audience:

Additionally, Google is well-known for its annual April Fool’s jokes, but they realized that this year there might be backlash that plays out in social media over what might seem flippant when much of the world is feeling more stress and fear than normal.

In general, make sure you are paying attention to current events and are ready to pull your posts at a moment’s notice if need be. That’s more important than ever in a climate where emotions are already high.

4. Start placing more emphasis on connection over content.

We are more connected than ever, but for the first time in modern history, as a global society, we’re more apart than ever before as well, with so many people working from home, far from their families, and unable to travel. Even an act as simple as going to the store might be impossible or feel harrowing to people in your audience.

This is a time when pushing content out may be less meaningful for your audience than connecting with them directly.

For example, HubSpot has shifted our Facebook strategy to embrace the method of asking questions that get people talking and thinking:

Additionally, Canva reshares and responds to their customers regularly, winning them even more love for their product:

5. Keep or start being more empathetic — in your messaging, your content, your responses.

In a time when people may feel more vulnerable, it’s important to adjust your brand voice to take that into account. Exploiting a crisis situation is never a good idea. Alternatively, you’ll want to ensure your brand comes across as friendly, helpful, and empathetic.

For instance, sustainable shoe company Allbirds donated shoes to workers on the front-lines of the healthcare crisis. Not only are they directly being helpful, but their messaging and interactions are empathetic and caring:

At a time when many hotels are closed, it’s somewhat hard to stay top of mind. The Sheraton Commander in Cambridge shared a photo on Instagram that is both heartwarming and and full of care:

Coca-Cola took a wildly different tactic altogether. They have a Twitter audience of 3.3 million followers, and are one of the largest brands on the platform. During this time, they’re choosing to avoid posting about their product at all, and are instead resharing tweets that will inform and help people:

6. Stop being spammy.

This goes hand in hand with empathy and engagement. Brands that are using a push strategy for their marketing in social will not have the same results as companies that are taking a more engaging approach.

Be thoughtful of how often you are posting, and where you might have advertising that could be seen as intrusive. Adjust content to fit three main categories: how you can be informing, engaging, or entertaining your customers and fans.

7. Keep up the great social customer service.

Be cognizant of how your audience might be feeling when responding. They may need a bit more care and patience.

Nespresso has made adjustments to their customer care and are responding with well-wishes for customers as part of their customer service efforts:

While the nuances of social media today may be a little different, the foundation of your great social media strategy still remains the same. To learn more, you can take the HubSpot Social Media Certification course, which has been recently updated with new interviews and information to help build the best marketing strategy for your business.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.hubspot.com

How to Stay Creative With an SEO-Driven Content Strategy

Posted by Caroline-Forsey

When I first joined HubSpot’s blogging team in January 2018, I loved our writing process. Once a month, we all met in a conference room with a list of ideas on Google Docs which were pitched one-by-one (intricate, I know).

The process was extremely creative, iterative, and collaborative. Of course, it was also often a matter of guess-and-check. Plus, brainstorming can be a bit of a selfish process. The ideas I pitched in those meetings, I pitched in part because I wanted to write them and because I was interested in them as a reader. I could only hope our audience would be interested as well.

While we developed a pulse for understanding what our readers liked from reviewing top viewed posts from the past, our process didn’t enable us to develop content that matched what our potential readers wanted from us.

So, just a few months into 2018, our team pivoted and created a brand new SEO-driven content strategy to address our inability to move forward. Take a look at the organic growth we’ve seen as a result of that strategy over the past two years:

How did we do it? To start, the blogging team partnered with the SEO team. The SEO team now delivers a fresh Search Insights Report (what we’ve come to affectionately call the “SIR”) to us every quarter, which are packed with blog topics vetted for search potential. We diligently move down the list, assigning individual blog topics to be written or updated by writers on the team. From the graph above, you can see the almost immediate growth we expereinced as a result of this new strategy. Within two years, we more than doubled the keywords for which we rank on page one.

As Editor of HubSpot’s Marketing Blog, this left me with a bit of a void. I was thrilled to see the results of the SIRs and recognized how they helped us reach new audiences and rekindle our organic traffic, but, from a personal perspective, I missed the creativity that came with pitching big-risk ideas and watching them pay off. (Believe it or not, articles like “What Is Semi-Structured Data?” wasn’t exactly what I dreamt about publishing when obtaining my English degree.)

However, I’ve learned over the past year that there are ways to remain creative even within a grander, primarily SEO-driven strategy. Here, let’s dive into six tips to ensure you don’t have to sacrifice your own creative freedom for the sake of organic growth.

1. Enlist the help of experts to spark creativity while ensuring posts are still keyword-driven.

A few months ago, I tackled the topic of first versus third party APIs. While I am confident in writing about our product line, “Force quit” is about the extent of my software knowledge (option+command+esc, for those wondering), so I dreaded writing the post. It was both daunting and not particularly inspiring to me as a writer.

Of course, I could’ve written this post the way I’ve written about plenty of other dry topics — by sludging through it, chugging copious amounts of coffee, and listening to Spotify to make it a little more “fun”.

However, when I began writing the post, I wasn’t impressed with my work. Since I didn’t fully grasp the concept, it was surface-level and ambiguous. If a marketer stumbled across it, they wouldn’t learn much.

To solve for this issue, I reached out to a few IT specialists at HubSpot and ended up speaking to two developer support specialists. I even met with one of them via Zoom to further discuss the intricacies of APIs, and recorded the meeting to transcribe later on.

Suddenly, I felt like an investigative reporter. I collected quotes from experts in the field, drafted up a new post that made sense to both myself and the developer support specialists, and published it. I was incredibly proud of the piece because I felt I’d worked as a liaison between the developer world and the marketing world, making the whole concept of APIs a little clearer to my team while ensuring it remained accurate and tactical.

If you’re feeling frustrated by a topic you don’t feel comfortable writing about, don’t hesitate to reach out to experts — even within your own company. Their passion for the subject will fuel your desire to write the piece from a more human angle. Remember, keyword-driven content still leaves plenty of room to angle the piece in a number of interesting directions, as long as the insight you’re providing aligns with the intent of the keyword you’re targeting.

2. Interview leaders in various industries and tell their stories.

Over the past year, I’ve spoken to happiness researcher and speaker Shawn Achor on how happiness leads to success, Harvard professor Amy Edmondson on psychological safety in the workplace, and leadership consultant Simon Hazeldine on using performance psychology to get ahead in the workplace, among many others.

These posts, which enabled me to synthesize complex psychological issues and translate them into tactical strategies for marketers, allowed me to exercise my creative muscle. I interviewed experts via email or on the phone, and used their responses to craft meaningful, coherent narratives. Ultimately, I never felt more “in the flow” than I did when writing these posts.

Your industry undoubtedly has leaders that interest you. If you’re a marketer in the catering or hospitality industries, consider speaking to top chefs in the area. Alternatively, if you’re a marketer for an e-commerce website, try reaching out to e-commerce consultants to get quotes about the future of the industry.

It’s not impossible to align your own interests with business impact, even if those interests are outside the scope of traditional marketing. As someone who’s personally interested in psychology, for instance, I was able to find the intersection between psychology and workplace performance, which helps our readers grow in their own roles.

Including feedback from experts can also give you a competitive advantage in the SERPs. For instance, we published “HubSpot Marketers Give 6 Tips for Fighting Burnout”, on January 20, 2020, and within one month, it already had over 5,000 views. This piece, over time, will likely perform better than a more generic “how to fight burnout” piece without the expert angle.

Ultimately, it’s important to consider who you’re interested in speaking with and how that expert’s experience might align with your audience’s interests, and brainstorm ideas from there.

3. Find the human connection.

As marketers, we’re often tasked with writing about less-than-thrilling topics, particularly if these topics are part of a keyword-driven strategy. For example, take a quick glimpse at some of the pieces we’ve seen on our SIR in the past:

These titles are helpful for our readers, but presenting the information in a creative way becomes difficult. I often tell new writers on the team that you can find an interesting human angle to any topic, no matter how boring it may seem, which makes writing about the topic more exciting and offers more ways for readers to connect with the piece.

The easiest way to find the human angle is to consider the reader’s point of view when searching a topic on Google. Start by asking yourself, “why would I ever search for this topic?”

Searches don’t happen in silos. Nowadays, Google is increasingly trying to continue a “searcher’s journey” through People Also Ask boxes, People Also Search For panels, and Related Search links at the bottom of most SERPs. These features enable searchers to rethink their search and find similar, relevant answers to other questions they might have.

Ultimately, anyone searching for one keyword is searching for that keyword as part of a larger marketing and business strategy. As a content creator, it’s critical you find the bigger picture element and use these new SERP features to tell more creative, holistic stories around the topic at hand.

For instance, recently I wrote a post on how to embed videos in emails. The body of the post itself, I knew, allowed for little creativity — it was essentially a brief step-by-step guide to embedding video. However, I could still find space for creativity in my introduction, and I knew that meant developing empathy for my reader.

I started by imagining the motivation behind any marketer searching “how to embed video in email”. They are likely someone who’s struggling to increase CTR or email subscriptions, so I introduced the topic with a brief, big-picture overview on why email is important for a business’s bottom line (in case you wanted to know, it’s because 87% of businesses use video in their marketing tactics).

Then, I empathize with the reader, acknowledging that sprucing up your emails isn’t always easy, and neither is embedding videos — particularly since major email clients don’t support video embeds.

Suddenly, a topic I’d initially found boring became exciting to me because I could sense the urgency and real-world impact that publishing the piece and answering the reader’s query would have. In essence, what they’re really asking is “How can I continue creating engaging content for my audience?”

That’s a human angle to which I think we can all relate.

4. Use multimedia to freshen up old content.

If you’re struggling with a particularly dry topic, you might evoke creativity by adding multimedia elements like podcasts, YouTube videos, images, or graphs — all of which open up new traffic opportunities since you can generate image traffic through the SERPs as well.

These designs can help you stay engaged when writing the piece, and can also help your post rank on Google, since search engines prefer multimedia components such as images or video.

For instance, we embedded a video in “How to Create An Incredibly Well-Written Executive Summary [+ Example]”. Readers have the option of reading my post, but alternatively, they can watch the discussion take place on-screen.

Of course, multimedia depends on your budget. We aren’t able to add a video to every post we produce. However, there are plenty of simpler forms of multimedia that are free, such as embedded images and graphs.

Additionally, if you’re interested in other aspects of marketing besides writing, this is a good chance to expand your professional portfolio and learn a new skill as well.

5. Frame your content from a unique angle that differentiates it from other search results.

It’s important to note: not all posts need to agree with what’s already on the SERPs for you to rank.

For instance, my colleague Lestraundra wrote “10 Reasons Why You Don’t Need a CRM“. This article currently ranks on page one for the search query “you don’t need a CRM” … but the article actually explains why you do need a CRM, in a playfully sarcastic way.

We managed to rank well while also giving readers something they weren’t expecting. You might consider similar provocative arguments you can make, as the uniqueness (and sometimes controversy) of your writing will enable you to rise up the ranks on the SERPs while providing fresh, interesting content to your audience.

6. Engage with your readers in real life whenever possible.

On one particularly uninspiring day, I set up a 30-minute chat with a customer to learn more about her personal marketing challenges.

As we spoke, I realized how out-of-touch I’d become with some of our readers’ primary struggles. For instance, she was a team of one, which meant while she understood the importance of blogging, she didn’t always have time to develop an in-depth strategy since she was juggling content creation for social media, email marketing, and PR for her small business.

When I got back to my desk, I had no problem writing my assigned post about free social media analytics tools, because I understood the real-world importance of this post for that reader’s daily life. Ultimately, she didn’t have time to research the pros and cons of various tools, and she didn’t have a budget for anything fancy. The inspiration and creativity I felt that day derived from my in-person interaction with my reader.

Of course, it’s not always possible to set up a call with a customer, but there are plenty of other options for engaging with readers. For instance, you might consider creating a poll for your social media audience, engaging with readers in a Twitter chat, or sending a survey to your readers in an email newsletter to learn more about what they want from your brand.

Conclusion

Ultimately, it can be difficult to stay creative when your department is primarily focused on using technical SEO to achieve major goals. And, of course, you’d never want to entirely forgo SEO for the sake of creativity, since that prevents you from reaching a larger audience and ensuring your content is useful and actionable for your readers.

Nonetheless, if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past two years as a result of our new strategy, it’s that analytics and creativity can, indeed, work hand-in-hand. Ideally, with these six tips, you’ll be able to inspire some creativity in your daily process. Feel free to comment below with your own thoughts — I’d love to hear them!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Reblogged 1 year ago from feedproxy.google.com

Use the Blank Sheet of Paper Test to Optimize for Natural Language Processing

Posted by Evan_Hall

If you handed someone a blank sheet of paper and the only thing written on it was the page’s title, would they understand what the title meant? Would they have a clear idea of what the actual document might be about? If so, then congratulations! You just passed the Blank Sheet of Paper Test for page titles because your title was descriptive.

The Blank Sheet of Paper Test (BSoPT) is an idea Ian Lurie has talked about a lot over the years, and recently on his new website. It’s a test to see if what you’ve written has meaning to someone who has never encountered your brand or content before. In Ian’s words, “Will this text, written on a blank sheet of paper, make sense to a stranger?” The Blank Sheet of Paper Test is about clarity without context.

But what if we’re performing the BSoPT on a machine instead of a person? Does our thought experiment still apply? I think so. Machines can’t read—even sophisticated ones like Google and Bing. They can only guess at the meaning of our content, which makes the test especially relevant.

I have an alternative version of the BSoPT, but for machines: If all a machine could see is a list of words that appear in a document and how often, could it reasonably guess what the document is about?

The Blank Sheet of Paper Test for word frequency

If you handed someone a blank sheet of paper and the only thing written on it was this table of words and frequencies, could they guess what the article is about?

An article about sharpening a knife is a pretty good guess. The article I took this word frequency table from was a how-to guide for sharpening a kitchen knife.

What if the words “step” and “how” appeared in the table? Would the person reading be more confident this article is about sharpening knives, or less? Could they tell if this article is about sharpening kitchen knives or pocket knives?

If we can’t get a pretty good idea of what the article is about based on which words it uses, then it fails the BSoPT for word frequency.

Can we still use word frequency for BERT?

Earlier natural language processing (NLP) approaches employed by search engines used statistical analysis of word frequency and word co-occurrence to determine what a page is about. They ignored the order and part of speech of the words in our content, basically treating our pages like bags of words.

The tools we used to optimize for that kind of NLP compared the word frequency of our content against our competitors, and told us where the gaps in word usage were. Hypothetically, if we added those words to our content, we would rank higher, or at least help search engines understand our content better.

Those tools still exist: Market Muse, SEMRush, seobility, Ryte, and others have some sort of word frequency or TD-IDF gap analysis capability. I’ve been using a free word frequency tool called Online Text Comparator, and it works pretty well. Are they still useful now that search engines have advanced with NLP approaches like BERT? I think so, but it’s not as simple as more words = better rankings.

BERT is a lot more sophisticated than a bag-of-words approach. BERT looks at the order of words, part of speech, and any entities present in our content. It’s robust and can be trained to do many things including question answering and named entity recognition—definitely more advanced than basic word frequency.

However, BERT still needs to look at the words present on the page to function, and word frequency is a basic summary of that. Now, word location and part of speech matter more. We can’t just sprinkle the words we found in our gap analysis around the page.

Enhancing content with word frequency tools

To help make our content unambiguous to machines, we need to make it unambiguous to users. Reducing ambiguity in our writing is about choosing words that are specific to the topic we’re writing about. If our writing uses a lot of generic verbs, pronouns, and non-thematic adjectives, then not only is our content bland, it’s hard to understand.

Consider this extreme example of non-specific language:

“The trick to finding the right chef’s knife is finding a good balance of features, qualities and price. It should be made from metal strong enough to keep its edge for a decent amount of time. You should have a comfortable handle that won’t make you tired. You don’t need to spend a lot either. The home cook doesn’t need a fancy $350 Japanese knife.”

This copy isn’t great. It looks almost machine-generated. I can’t imagine a full article written like this would pass the BSoPT for word frequency.

Here’s what the word frequency table looks like with some stop words removed:

Now suppose we used a word frequency tool on a few pages that are ranking well for “how to pick a chef’s knife” and found that these parts of speech were being used fairly often:

Entities: blade, steel, fatigue, damascus steel, santoku, Shun (brand)
Verbs
: grip, chopping
Adjectives
: perfect, hard, high-carbon

Incorporating these words into our copy would yield text that’s significantly better:

“The trick to finding the perfect chef’s knife is getting the right balance of features, qualities, and price. The blade should be made from steel hard enough to keep a sharp edge after repeated use. You should have an ergonomic handle that you can grip comfortably to prevent fatigue from extending chopping. You don’t need to spend a lot, either. The home cook doesn’t need a $350 high-carbon damascus steel santoku from Shun.”

This upgraded text will be easier for machines to classify, and better for users to read. It’s also just good writing to use words relevant to your topic.

Looking toward the future of NLP

Is improving our content with the Blank Sheet of Paper Test optimizing for BERT or other NLP algorithms? No, I don’t think so. I don’t think there is a special set of words we can add to our content to magically rank higher through exploiting BERT. I see this as a way to ensure our content is understood clearly by both users and machines.

I anticipate that we’re getting pretty close to the point where the idea of optimizing for NLP will be considered absurd. Maybe in 10 years, writing for users and writing for machines will be the same thing because of how far the technology has advanced. But even then, we’ll still have to make sure our content makes sense. And the Blank Sheet of Paper Test will still be a great place to start.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Reblogged 1 year ago from feedproxy.google.com

The time for a website migration is now

Each migration type has its level of risk but with proper planning, it is manageable and will set your site up for future growth.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 1 year ago from feeds.searchengineland.com