On Becoming People-Centric

This is a modified version of a post I originally wrote for CallidusCloud. It appeared on their blog on June 14, 2018.

If you want to move beyond cosmetic changes and lip service to real changes in both the employee experience and the customer experience, the first thing you have to look at is your company’s culture.

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Why Your Average Cost Per Click is So High and How to Fix It

There are a lot of different elements that go into a successful PPC account, but few things are more frustrating than setting up your account only to have your clicks limited by a high cost per click (CPC).

In this post, we will examine what causes high CPCs, and some cover a handful of strategies you can try to drive them down.

Max CPC vs. Actual CPC

Before we start, it’s best to make the distinction between Max CPC and Actual CPC. Max CPC is the maximum amount of money that you’re willing to spend on a click. Actual CPC is what you end up paying.

Example: If your Max CPC bid is $2.00, but you can secure the top spot with a bid of $1.65, you’ll only pay $1.65 per click instead of $2.00.
Of course, there are other factors that go into bidding, but we won’t get into them in this article. You can read about those factors here.

What Causes High CPC?

Before you can work on improving your average CPC, it’s essential to understand the factors that influence it. There are three primary considerations:

High Competition

Google Ads runs similarly to an eBay auction. Every time someone searches, the auction takes place. Several things determine the winner, but your bid is one of the most significant factors. The more people that are bidding on a keyword, the more expensive it will be.

Industry

This is one that you can’t really control, but it’s vital to understand. Using Google’s Keyword Planner can give you an idea of what the expected CPC is for keywords in your industry. In general, industries that have a higher value per conversion have higher average CPCs because advertisers are willing to pay more per click.

Example: For law firms, one conversion could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars for the business, so it makes sense to pay a much higher cost per click. Compare that to a retailer selling boxes of gelatin for $2 a piece. They have to pay a much lower cost per click to remain profitable.

Quality Score

Quality Score is a metric given by Google to rate the quality of your keywords. It combines your historical performance and the overall relevance of your ads, landing pages, and keywords. The end result is a score from 1 to 10 that directly affects what you will have to pay to reach a specific position on the page. The more relevant you are, the less Google will charge you to rank high. We’ll talk about improving your quality score later in the article.

Strategies to Lower CPC

Understanding why your CPC is a specific price empowers you to begin to improve it. Here are a few strategies to keep in mind when attempting to optimize your campaigns and drive down average CPC.

Lower Bids

The most straightforward tip to implement is to aim for a lower ad position. Experiment with showing up in position 1, 2, 3, etc. Does showing up in position 3 seriously decrease your clicks? If users are still clicking even when you aren’t in position 1, it may be worth it to settle for a lower position if it means significant decreases in CPC.

Long-Tail Keywords

Another solution to high CPC is to bid on keywords where your competitors aren’t. The more specific you can get with your keywords while still being relevant, the cheaper your cost per click will become because fewer people are bidding.

Example: If you are running an e-commerce gelatin company (pretty niche, I know), you might think of bidding on the word “gelatin.” Makes sense, but it’s likely that every other online gelatin retailer in the country is also bidding on that keyword.

Instead, bid on “sugar-free strawberry gelatin.” Still relevant, but much less likely to be bid on by competitors.

Improve Ad Relevance

Look to improve your quality score by improving your ad relevance. The closer your ad resembles a user’s search, the higher your rating will be.

Example: Let’s revisit my online gelatin retailer. Say a user searches for “strawberry sugar-free gelatin,” and this ad shows up:

Example of bad ad relevance for an online gelatin retailerExample of bad ad relevance for an online gelatin retailer

 

It’s relevant, sure, but it could be better.

Now, what if I changed the headline to this:

Example of improved ad relevance for an online gelatin retailerExample of improved ad relevance for an online gelatin retailer

 

Much more relevant to the search.

I know what you’re thinking: “But how can I make an ad that specific for everyone?” I’m glad you asked, that brings us to our next point.

Make Your Ad Groups More Specific

When creating campaigns and ad groups, separate your offerings into small, related groups so you can target each group individually.

Doing this gives yourself the flexibility to create ads tailored specifically to each ad group. This increased ad relevance will provide your quality score a boost, and decrease your average cost per click.

Example: Gelatin Town offers many different types of gelatin, for many different, gelatin-related needs. It’s important to distinguish between all our diverse offerings. So, I would create ad groups like “sugar-free gelatin” and “flavored gelatin” and tailor my ad copy to those specific ad groups.

Test New Landing Pages

If you have multiple landing pages or have the budget to create them, testing new ones can be a fantastic way to improve CPC. Landing pages influence two factors in the quality score: ad relevance and landing page experience. You can find more information on how to create a killer landing page here.

Example: Back to Gelatin Town. If I have an ad group for “sugar-free gelatin,” I want my ads to go to the most relevant landing page possible. So, instead of having the ad linking to my site’s home page, it should link to a page displaying all of Gelatin Town’s delicious sugar-free gelatin.

Now, Go Do It!

So, what did we learn today?

Hopefully, you learned a bit about what causes your actual CPC to be what it is, as well as a few ways to improve the overall health of your account. Following these tips should help you begin to make progress driving your CPC down.

The post Why Your Average Cost Per Click is So High and How to Fix It appeared first on Portent.

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How Long Should Your Blog Post Be for SEO?

300 words? 800? 1,600? What is the SEO “sweet spot” to make sure your blog post ranks high in search results? Questioning the relationship between the length of a blog post and search result ranking implies that Google sets a minimum word count for blogs. Yet, no such standard actually exists.

I get it—the idea of a magic number for content length is incredibly appealing. To tempt this notion further, logically, the more words there are the more opportunities there will be to rank for keywords. But at what point does your content become a page full of keywords and content fillers in an attempt to satisfy search engines instead of fulfilling user needs?

The need to assign an optimal standard content length reflects the amount of effort people are willing to put into their SEO practices. In an attempt to stop you from drinking the Kool-Aid (i.e., to resist low-quality cookie-cutter SEO), this article will teach you how to determine the best content length based on search intent, how to create quality content, and how to monitor your content’s performance.

Let Search Intent Be Your Guide

Most SEO experts have opinions on what constitutes the optimal content length. Some will tell you that “300–500 words are best,” or “2,000 words should be the minimum for a blog,” or claim that they’ve found the “sweet spot” at 1,890 words.

However, knowing how long your content should be depends strongly on what is typical for the industry you are writing for, and what fulfills the intent of the search query.

Does the intent behind a keyword require long-form content to answer? If so, write long-form content. But, maybe, the intent is better answered in less text and more images. If that’s the case, then optimizing your images for SEO and reducing the number of words on your page is the best answer.

An effective way to determine the searcher’s intent in googling a keyword may be quite different from how Google interprets it. Perform a SERP (search engine results page) analysis and see if Google finds the blog content valuable for your target keywords. If Google does value the blog content, what does that content look like?

Performing a SERP analysis can teach you a lot about what kind of content succeeds in the search results for a given keyword. Here is an example of a SERP analysis measuring the content length of the top five results for one of my target keywords:

SERP Analysis for Content Word CountSERP Analysis for Content Word Count

 

Of course, some pages included a comment section and videos, and have higher authority and credibility, so there is more to look at than the content length word count. However, this should give you a comprehensive idea of what length of content the target audience prefers and what you’re going up against to rank on the first page. For the keyword example used in my SERP analysis “when to use Oxford comma,” I can tell that people want the content to be direct and to the point without all the fluff. When I looked at the second page of Google (as we all know, nobody else does), I found articles with content over 1,200 words.

Create Content With Substance

Blog posts that perform well and rank well are the ones with high-value content. So, do the blog posts that are exactly 1,890 words long motivate people to make a purchase? Probably not. That is why you need to be innovative and consistent in creating high-quality content. When you create unique and valuable content you have the opportunity to build rapport, authority, trust, and brand awareness every time a searcher lands on your page.

In other words, if you can write your blog post and fulfill your reader’s intent in 300 words, then maybe you should. If it requires 3,000 words to make the reader feel the blog post was of value, then that’s perfectly fine, too.

The writing style you choose will influence your content’s length as well. Some blog topics and writing styles tend to be short, concise, and to the point. Others aim to be more conversational and interactive, which often lend to longer content.

Measuring Content Performance

It is important as you are writing blog content that you monitor your blog’s content performance. Some marketers are comfortable measuring the success of their blog with keyword rankings and organic traffic. In reality, your blog analytics give you access to pools of data beyond that. By getting information on whether your content is performing well, you can make the necessary adjustments to bring value to your users and maintain your rankings in the search results.

For more information on how to determine if your content is performing well, check out our guide to 16 content KPIs.

Don’t Believe the Word Count Myth

There is no perfect blog post length for SEO. It all comes down to the searcher’s intent and how detailed they expect the answer to be. It just so happens that long blog posts tend to answer the searcher’s question comprehensively. But it is not the length of the blog post that leads to higher rankings; it’s the fact that the blog post satisfies the question being asked. It is not uncommon to find top ranking pages for valuable keywords that are no more than 500 words in length, as my example above displayed.

Remember, the advice given here consists of guidelines, not requirements. The best thing you can do for your blog is to fill it with unique and valuable content and get rid of everything you don’t need.

It doesn’t matter if your blog post is 300, 1,500, or 2,000 words, or 100 words more than the top ranking page. By creating valuable content consistently for your audience, over time, you will help Google identify your website as an expert, and a trustworthy source on a topic/industry, and in return will rank higher for competitive keywords.

The post How Long Should Your Blog Post Be for SEO? appeared first on Portent.

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Marketing Tips For Bloggers in 2018 and How to do it in an Easy Way

In recent years, blogging has proven to be one of the most valuable tools within the digital marketing strategy of companies that want to grow and increase their sales in a productive and lucrative way.  A blog analysis and monitoring company, more than 175,000 blogs are published daily and 1.6 million posts are published. Amazing, right? If you do not know how to create a blog and still do not have one, it can be a problem. Do not panic with numbers, blogs are valuable for companies to build a lasting and trusting relationship with consumers and potential customers. Besides being an excellent way to generate leads and opportunities for your sales team.

But to generate leads and sell more, it is important to have a good blog organized, attractive and constantly updated. Therefore, we create a complete and detailed content, providing all the knowledge you need to create a successful blog and potentialize your content and digital marketing strategy.
WHY ARE BLOGS IMPORTANT?
The forms of communication have changed over the years. The time when brands only spoke and consumers only listened is past. Today, the communication and marketing process is two-way: Consumers also speak and companies also listen.
Therefore, it is important for any company to create a channel that generates these relationships, through visits and educating those visitors through relevant content. But first, we go in parts. A friendly company is always remembered.
WHAT PROVES THAT THE BLOGS CAN HELP ME?
The number of companies that invested in digital marketing and inbound marketing has grown considerably over the years. We are talking about various businesses, small businesses, SMEs and large companies, all of them perceived the importance of designing their brands online and be seen in blogs as a powerful tool. But how?
  • Positioning and recognition
  • Direct and simple
Create a blog and update it with relevant content helps your business to be found in the queries that are made in the search engines. Quality content attracts the attention of Google and visitors who require information. Some companies concerning the software administration and finance, demonstrate how they increased traffic and the correct use of tools marketing automation and how the conversion was essential for the newly launched brand, create recognition and generate more leads qualified for the sales team.
How to create a blog on WordPress?
WordPress is the main market platform, with more than 53 million blogs published each month with a community of more than 409 million people reading over 19.8 million pages each month. Creating a new blog in WordPress is really very simple. The first step is to access www.wordpress.com and click on create the site. The creation process is simple:
Choose a name for your blog (like ours is Content Marketing)
  • Register with your name
  • Password
  • Email
  • Choose your preferred template.
  • The process is simple and several attractive templates are available.
How to create a Blogger?
Blogger, also known as Blogspot, is a free Google publishing platform that works in integration with your Gmail account. Despite also being well known, it is less used for corporate blog, however, it is still worth checking out. To create a blog is really very easy. The first step is to have an account with Gmail and enter www.blogger.com. With the login made, click on the new blog. And choose the title, address and the theme or model of the blog. Super simple!  and the theme or model of the blog. Super simple!
EXTRA TIP: WHAT DOMAIN TO USE FOR YOUR BLOG?
One of the most frequent questions is about what domain to use for the blog. There are some options, of which not all are recommended. But one thing is a general rule: a good blog, serious, that inspires confidence should not be something like nor. The first step is to use your own domain
CHOOSING THE BEST HOST
Hosting your blog may not seem so important to have good results with your content marketing strategy, but think: this can make all the difference. Good hosting services are valuable weapons to position your site well and ensure that your visitors have stability and quality when accessing your blog. Well, it’s important but what difference does it make in practice? First, Google considers dozens of different aspects of organizing the indexing in searches and one of them is the quality of navigation.
When a site does not have a quality hosting, that is to say, it is unstable, it has constant drops, delay to load the page, because of the quality of the connection, this site appears in lower positions in searches and that is never good, mainly for your SEO strategy. The first step is to choose the right hosting for your needs and for your blog platform. In the case of WordPress, for example, the platform we use for our blog, there are specialized hosting services. Services for specific platforms have better integration with the format and content, which generates better hosting. 
IT’S TIME TO TALK ABOUT THE CONTENT
Creating a blog is not limited to placing a site on the air with a very good hosting and an attractive subject. The truth, those are just a very valuable tool for your digital marketing strategy and you need to have results.
Define a clear objective
The first step is to define what the main purpose of your blog is. Having a clear objective is the only way to define what success means for your content strategy. Some of the objectives that we see daily in Rock are: generate leads, attract traffic, become a reference, educate customers and increase brand recognition.
Define your people
Every business has an ideal client and every blog has an ideal visitor. Creating people, also semi-formal profiles of people who buy your product are the best way to get the language of your texts right and create a more effective content that really has value for visitors to your blog. To create buyer people we cannot make assumptions. It is necessary to conduct searches, interviews and collect data systematically with clients and prospects to know in detail what the characteristics of your visitor or ideal audience are. Many questions can be asked, but it is always important to remember that these vary according to your business. However, there is one of them that cannot be absent: how is it that your product or service helps to improve the life of your client?
Plan your content
We have already defined two important steps and now we need to put content production into practice. It is important to remember that the planning and strategy of content production are linked to your personal and the sales funnel. The first step to start the production of any type of content is to know well in which stage of the funnel is your person and what kind of content is interesting for this stage.
SEO, OPTIMIZING THE CONTENT
SEO (search engine optimization) has a very simple objective: to optimize your content to improve your position in organic Google searches for example. When they are applied, the techniques of content optimization for search engines have good results, but remember that these are a part of a whole. Let’s see a little more about what makes up SEO.
Head vs long tail
The basis of optimization is given by a keyword. That is a word that defines the theme of your blog post. This can be divided into two groups: long and short, but also, these are directly related. Keywords head tail, are the base words for publications. You summarize the general theme of the publication and help the visitor to decide if that post is interesting or not for what he is looking for.
Long tail keywords are longer variations of the head and refine the search on a topic. For example, in this post we talk about how to create a blog, we can assume that we are talking about: how to create a blog in WordPress or how to create a blog in blogger. They are more specific versions of the same keyword.

How Google works?
When starting with the use of SEO as a tool for blogs and sites, it was very common to saturate the texts with keywords that were repeated tirelessly and meaningless phrases that do not add anything to the content. Today, Google’s algorithm is very smart. It is not possible to deceive him. Now, the search algorithm not only needs keywords in texts, but it analyzes in context and the relevance of this topic to the user.
Therefore, it is not enough to fill your text with repetitive content, you need to build the context and the relevance for the reader because this is the crucial factor to position yourself in the results. Today what Google is looking for to index and position the sites is quality. Using SEO techniques it is possible to define the topics well and know what is the basis of the content that will be developed, but always remember that this content must be relevant to you.
BLOG READY AND NOW?
Having a well-updated blog is a constant job. It is necessary to revisit the old publications whenever there is any new material related to the published, create links with CTAs for rich materials published later, such as ebooks and whitepapers. Some practices can be applied regularly to ensure that your texts are well positioned and up-to-date.
A good topic should be:
Simple
If your blog is very confusing, surely you will have more difficulty attracting readers and retain those you already have, which will impact your conversion rates.
Responsive
Nowadays there are more users who access the Internet from mobile devices than from desktops and laptops. That’s why the chosen theme of your blog should be easily adjusted to different screen sizes and mobile devices.
Quick
Although most topics will not affect the speed of your blog, it is important to conduct some tests. After all, nobody likes to enter slow websites, right?
About the Author

Tom Sanders, of doit4state.com studied business and engineering at the New York Maritime College. His passion lies in educating, entertaining and empowering anyone who wants to learn.

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