So what are the top pro tips that can help you fix up your website design and turn it into a money-making machine? Let’s find out.
A rule of thumb in the website navigation world is that it should only take 3 clicks for a visitor to land on any page of your website from any other part of the site.
It encourages site exploration, increases time spent on a page, and improves user experience, resulting in higher conversions.
How to improve your site’s navigation:
Use descriptive labels. Instead of ‘Product’ and ‘Services’, use the names of specific products or services you offer. For example: ‘Body Lotions’, ‘Hair Care’, and ‘Spa Bookings’. Specific product labels not only help visitors, but they also help search engines rank your pages better as they focus on a single topic.
Rearrange menu items. Menu items that are clicked the most should be on the top or the bottom of the list. Average performing items should come in the middle. Human cognition is biased towards items that we see the earliest (Primacy effect) or the most recent (Recency effect).
Make navigation responsive. Your navigation bar should not change its architecture or design when viewed on mobile. Keep it consistent and add responsiveness to the design.
While we are on the topic of responsiveness of websites, consider this statistic: 52.2% of all website traffic is generated from mobile phones.
Search engines also don’t care deeply about web pages that aren’t mobile-friendly.
A few ways to increase your site’s mobile-friendliness and make sure every page is responsive:
Mobile-first approach. Google has a mobile-first indexing policy which means your site’s mobile version will be indexed for rankings before the desktop version. Therefore, use a mobile-first approach when designing.
Optimize images. High-quality images are necessary to make a site look presentable and ‘worthy’ to visitors. Optimizing images will ensure that they load faster on mobile phones and keep their quality intact.
Buttons on the site. The buttons on your website must be easily clickable on smaller screens. Increasing the size of the clickable area is a great way to achieve that.
With different parts of your website directing visitors to other areas of the page or the site, and each of them containing important information for the audience, it increases your web page rankings.
To improve your site’s internal linking, here are a few tips:
Use specific key phrases. The anchor text on the page you want to link must be specific. Instead of ‘click here’, use targeted phrases such as ‘check out our link building guide’.
Link high-traffic pages to high-converting pages. Analyze your traffic and conversions and try organic ways to link pages that bring high traffic with pages that convert well. This way, most of your traffic will be routed to pages that increase conversions.
Limit the number of links. Keep the number of internal links to a 100, max. Fewer internal links mean more authority for each internally linked page.
CTA buttons make decision-making easy for visitors.
The clearer and more direct a website’s CTA game is, the easier the experience.
Customers also feel encouraged using a website that lays out its goals, what it wants from you, and how it can help you solve your problems.
Some tips that will help you use CTA buttons more effectively:
Use a Verb. Tell people what action you recommend they take on a certain page. Use verbs. ‘Get a quote’, ‘Download eBook, ‘Submit a request’, ‘Call to book an appointment’ and such are clear, specific calls to actions.
Remain concise. Use no more than three words. Keep it simple, to-the-point, and action-oriented.
Smart colours. Use complementary colours for your CTAs so people can easily distinguish them from the rest of the text on the page.
Contact forms perform as lead generation tools for websites by giving visitors multiple ways they can connect with the business.
A contact form for each of the different services, or on specific help topics, etc.
can help a business collect valuable customer data and will also know which customer is interested in which service or product.
There are a few ways you can use contact forms to your best advantage:
Optimize field labels. The field labels on your contact forms should be optimized for the specific CTA or service you’re designing that form for. For a booking form, for example, ask about ‘Type of Booking’, ‘Preferred Dates’, ‘Number of visitors’, etc.
Thank-You Page. A thank-you page after a contact form is submitted encourages the continuity of the conversation between the visitor and the business. Try investing in that.
Keep it simple. Only ask for the information that you need. Don’t hinder the user’s experience by asking lengthy, unnecessary questions or asking them to fill multiple forms. A list of pre-designed questions included in your contact forms my further help matters.
While people may make snap judgments about whether a site is useful or not based on looks, useless or depthless content will cement such judgments.
To turn things around for your website, create content that is informative, knowledgeable, authoritative, engaging, and encourages discussion.
No technical jargon. Use simple and useful vocabulary that most people can understand and benefit from. Search engines are looking for content that people find valuable.
Use bullet-points and lists. Lists keep everything neat and tidy. Since the majority of visitors only skim the content, lists make sure that a high portion of your content will be consumed and hopefully shared with others.
Subheadings in paragraphs. Paragraphs that use subheadings are a dream-come-true for content marketers. They are so much easier to link, build authority, and easier for search engines to crawl for keywords and relevant phrases.
There are dozens of ways to improve your website’s designs.
Take advantage of your site’s analytics and figure out the areas where your site may be performing poorly.
Knowing your weak areas will help you build a better business.
Hopefully, the information we’ve shared here will help you arm-up your web design plans and enjoyricher results.
If you know ways to fix up website designs in more unique ways, shout out in the comments below and help the community.
Authored by Michelle Richards
Michelle Richards loves to chew on words, graphic design and bubble gum. Her writing reflects this combination – practical, aesthetical, and fun. She also likes to explore technical topics such as web development, and gadget reviews.
This halt has led a notable number of employees to witness a dreary panorama of losing their jobs.
Another analytical report presented by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) reveals that if the economic activities remain stranded, the economy may shrivel by 0.9% by the end of 2020.
July 15th, 2020 Anshul Sharma is an eminent app developer and digital marketer. He is presently serving as the CEO of a digital marketing company named Brandburp. His clients have always appreciated his expertise in the world of marketing and app development.
It means people want to watch more of relevant, high-quality video content.
Hence, being a small business owner, it is time for you to embrace the benefits of video marketing and consider it as an effective strategy to achieve your marketing and business goals.
Let’s jump right to the top five benefits of video marketing that will drive more small businesses to explore this content medium.
Increase your visibility and reach
Video marketing helps you make your brand and products more visible and accessible for the ideal buyer.
As people are exponentially using the web and digital platforms to find information about different products and services before making a purchase, being a small business owner, you should establish your brand’s online visibility and accessibility.
The following are a few ways that video content increases your visibility and reachability.
Rank high in search engines
Google is the biggest global search engine, with more than 90% of the market share shared between Google and Google Images, as of September 2018.
It means to maximize your visibility on the search engine you need to adopt all the best practices that boost your ranking.
Adding videos to your website helps increase your search ranking on all major search engines, including Google.
Hence, creating and sharing video content highly improves your chances of not only increasing your social media visibility but engagement and interaction with followers as well.
That said, having interesting content on your social media that your audience can relate with also boosts your brand’s overall popularity and loyalty, which again results in more social media engagement.
Reveal your brand’s personality
In the age of awareness, people want to make more informed decisions.
As a small business, you no more have the option to hide behind your products and services anymore.
Video marketing empowers small businesses to not only reveal their brand’s personality, but this enables them to create brand loyalty that drives them to compete with big corporations.
In other words, people want to find out more about the brands that they buy and use.
Everyone loves watching videos, which makes them the best medium to create content that helps to give your brand the human element.
Video gives your brand a face for the audiences, and they allow them to see, hear, and truly communicate with you.
Video helps you build a real connection with the people at a level that no other type of content can.
Videos make your brand stand above other competitors in the market, and they give your brand an edge.
Beyond increasing your conversation rate, videos build your goodwill, which will continue to drive your return on investment for a long time.
Tell a compelling story
There isn’t any better way to keep your audience engaged and make them feel a connection with the brand than to tell a strong story with compelling visuals.
When it comes to video marketing, you have as much creative space as you like.
You can create various styles of videos for leads at a different stage of buyers’ funnel, different digital and social media platforms, and numerous purposes.
The following are a few of the most popular types of videos that marketers and small business owners often use.
2D animation videos – This style of videos has been popular for the longest of time. It offers exceptional versatility, from iconic Disney movies to amazing product videos that you often see on social media and websites.
Live-action videos – This style of videos is mainly being used by small business owners to record their customer testimonials and share them on different digital platforms. Client testimonial or product review videos are a great form of user-generated content that helps give more credibility to your brand and increase your social media influence. These videos also encourage prospects on the final stage of sales funnel to make their decision.
Whiteboard videos – This is another style of video that can fall under the broad range of animated and explainer videos. Whiteboard videos are great to explain a new concept, and mostly they follow the problem and solution approach.
Demo videos – You can create animated demo videos or screencast videos for software. These videos help share useful and essential information with audiences through an engaging medium, and these videos often cater to the middle of the sales funnel leads.
At its core, the idea of video marketing is to tell a story in a visual manner that keeps your audiences engaged.
The more you understand your audience and what kind of videos and stories they want to watch, the better results your video marketing efforts will yield.
These top five benefits of video marketing should help more small business owners see what amazing opportunities they are missing out by not yet investing in video content.
Video marketing can yield fantastic results, particularly when integrated with other marketing efforts like email campaigns, social media engagement, building a brand persona, and creating product awareness.
Authored by Jane Collen
Jane Collen is a distinguished and highly experienced industry voice. She is an incredibly eager learner and is always excited to write about new and trending topics, but her field of expertise are 2D animation, and corporate video production trends.
No two SEO tools were created equal. And if you’ve been a marketer for more than 2 minutes, then you know that SEO is one of the most important parts of online marketing.
And since more than 90% of the people search on Google, they learn more about a local company online than through word of mouth like they used to in the old days (god I sound so old).
As an SEO myself, I know it can get pretty expensive once you start paying for just a handful of these tools. So that isn’t realistic.
And so in this list, I’m going to cover the top 6 chrome extensions you can use as an SEO to help you save time and make your workflow more efficient.
In the world of SEO, everything is judged based on a website’s DA/PA (Domain Authority/Page Authority). The higher these two numbers are, the higher your rankings will be. And if you’re out hunting for guest posts, you can use these metrics to determine whether a website is worth doing a guest post for or not.
Thankfully, Mozbar is a chrome extension that Moz created that tells you the domain authority and page authority of any web page you visit. This makes things incredibly efficient for you, especially when you’re doing keyword research and competitor research to see how your website stacks up against theirs.
#2 Keyword Surfer
Whether you’re a high roller and use Ahrefs or SEMrush’s most expensive subscription plan, or whether you love saving money and use Ubersuggest, there’s one thing all of us go back to, is getting the keyword data we need to decide whether or not the volume and competition is worth going after.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you didn’t need to go back each time you needed to check that data for a keyword? Could you see all that info on the same page just like Mozbar?
Well, lucky for you Keyword Surfer already does that. So whenever you search for anything on Google, Keyword Surfer pulls the volume and your region.
And not just that, you also get a bunch of similar keywords that you can also dig into to find more low competition keywords you can target.
On top of that, if you scroll down a bit, you also get to see how many backlinks every result has. This will give you a bird’s eye view on how many backlinks you’d need to rank your website.
And from there you can dig into the results and see where those backlinks are coming from and try to get the same backlinks for your website as well.
Keywords Everywhere is an alternative of this tool that provided all the same data (except the no. of backlinks) for free until last year. Now they have moved to a credits system which is still very cheap. You can get 100,000 credits for $10, which to be honest, should last almost every SEO for at least a year unless you have 10+ projects running simultaneously and you have to constantly keep doing keyword research for each one of them.
I’ve been using Keywords Everywhere for over a year now and haven’t run out of credits yet. I’m still at 96,000 credits as you can see.
#3 Ninja Outreach
This one is for SEOs like me who LOVE doing guest posts. And let’s be honest. It doesn’t matter how much on-page SEO you do. You won’t rank if you don’t build any links.
And this is why most people are never able to rank their websites – because they hate to do the tedious work of doing the outreach, writing the articles, and customizing the articles to make sure that they fit the guidelines of the website owner.
But with Ninja Outreach, it makes outreach a little bit easier. Once you land on a webpage, this extension will show you all the email addresses that are associated with the domain name.
And if you like the website, you can get all the contact info you need with a click of a button.
From there all you need to do is to craft a customized email that they’d like to respond to, and hit send.
This one is for SEOs who check their website rankings every day, and then verify those rankings manually by typing the search terms in Google.
I know we all do this, and it’s good, unless of course, this turns into a time suck and you end up wasting 2-3 hours figuring out where your webpage is and why it isn’t ranking as high as it should be.
An easier way to do this is to add the Fatrank extension, go to the website you want to check the rankings for, and type in the keyword you want to check your website’s ranking for.
It’s simple. It’s easy, and it’s quick. That way, you don’t spend too much time contemplating the reasons why your on-page SEO might not be good enough when in reality, you might just not have enough relevant links going to your homepage and the inner pages.
If you want a detailed view of a website you’re visiting, this is the extension you absolutely need.
With this extension, you can get an overview of things like Alexa rank, indexing info for both, Google and Bing, and also your SEMrush rank.
For me personally, this is an invaluable tool because I spend most of my time searching for guest posts in various niches, and this extension gives an overview of all the outbound links going from a webpage that I’m visiting.
That info, combined with the indexing info helps me decide whether or not the website is worth getting a guest post from. Most of the websites you find when searching for guest posts will be almost similar to link farms, as in, they link out to a ton of different websites from within their blog posts, post about a ton of topics, and also posts 5-6 articles every day.
SEOquake helps me filter those websites out by showing me all the outbound links of the page in one place.
#6 Detailed SEO Extension
If you do a lot of local SEO for clients, then you know how important it is to have your on-page SEO on point. In a lot of cases, all you need to do is to get your on-page SEO right, create social profiles, and just send some citations. And that’s it. The website will rank for the keyword you’re targeting.
But all of that depends on whether or not you get your on-page SEO right.
So how do you know what you should do?
You can reverse engineer what your competitors are doing by using this extension.
Just go to their website and see what they’re doing in terms of the title tag, meta description, H tags, etc.
See what keywords they’re repeating in those places and see how you can include them on your website in a unique way.
There are a ton of tools you can use as an SEO to make things more efficient for you. But you need to choose the right tools for YOU that will help you deliver better results than other SEOs out there.
Choosing the right chrome extensions is the right place to start because you spend almost your entire day in a web browser. So you need to be more efficient with the time you spend there.
Check these extensions out. You don’t have anything to lose because they are all free.
Also, what extensions are you currently using? Are any of them from the list I mentioned above? Let me know in the comments below.
Authored by Nabil Ansari
Nabil has been doing SEO for almost half a decade and he is the owner of NabilAnsariSEO.com. He helps local businesses dominate their industries and achieve their goals by ranking them #1 for their target keywords and getting them the exposure they deserve.
3 Fast as Hell Ways to Make More From Your Google Ads
by Linden Schwark | June 09, 2020
In the last couple of years, I’ve had the chance to work with numerous successful and struggling Google Ad accounts.
It was hard not to notice the patterns that made a struggling campaign fail and a successful campaign succeed.
It’s crazy how much of a difference fixing a few trouble areas of a campaign can completely turn things around.
Over the years, I’ve condensed a simple, straightforward strategy to turning around struggling ad campaigns consistently… and it took a lot of trial and error along the way.
So today, I wanted to share the common mistakes I’ve seen and how to fix them before they deal a sucker punch to your campaign… so here goes:
Tip #1: Track Your Audiences
Before we even get started with optimizing your Google Ads, let’s get you set up with some of the tracking functionality that isn’t activated out of the box on your Google Ads Account, because of that, almost everyone misses it, or are afraid to mess with it.
I’m talking about Audiences. If you haven’t explored every part of your Google Ads dashboard yet, there’s a really good chance that you don’t have your audience tracking set up yet.
Audience tracking is incredibly important long-term.
Setting up your audience tracking is super simple and will allow you to start building up your data on which audience groups are most likely to click on your ads and convert.
Targeting the right audience groups can increase your return per dollar by 2x, 3x, or even more.
If it’s easy to set up, and allows you to make more out of your ad campaigns, why wouldn’t we use it, right?
So here’s what you need to do: first, go to your Google Ads dashboard and go to the “all campaigns” page.
(If you don’t see what I’m talking about, you’re probably in “simple mode” and need to switch your dashboard to “expert mode” before you will be able to see everything).
Now, on the sidebar menu, click the “audiences” drop-down
The next step is to click the blue “+” or pencil icon to add new audience groups to your campaigns.
Here’s where you can add new audiences to your campaigns and ad groups.
We don’t want to start exclusively targeting any of them just yet, and observing audiences at the ad group level will allow us to make more precise decisions for each search intent grouping.
You’ll want to click the “browse” tab to get a full list of audiences to choose from.
I like to add a lot of relevant audience groups to a campaign. The more data the better, right?
But if you like keeping it a little bit tidier, I suggest you add at least 20 of the most relevant audiences to your business that you can find in the list.
For example: if you’re in the real estate niche, you’ll definitely want to include in-market audiences related to real estate (people showing signs that they are preparing a purchase.)
You should include In-market audiences like residential, commercial, and rental properties, and demographics like home owners and renters.
You will also want to add relevant interest groups like luxury travel and home & gardening.
You might find that your best customers have interests you didn’t expect!
After you’ve got your audiences set up for all of your ad groups and campaigns, your account will start tracking a ton of information about who your customers are.
Leave your audiences to gather information for a while and once you’ve got enough conversion data to work with, you can start targeting your best audiences, excluding your worst, and significantly increasing your return.
Trust me, you’re going to be very happy that you added the audiences to your account now instead realizing months down the road that you have next to no demographic information to optimize your campaign with.
Now that we’ve got the audiences set up to earn you more from your ads in the next few months, let’s talk about how to properly, and quickly, set up your keyword targets for better and faster results.
Unlike a single keyword strategy, these keyword lists often contained thousands of specific phrase-match and exact-match keywords.
If you’re not sure, “phrase match” keywords match with any query that has the same phrase in it (“yellow socks” -> query: “where do I get yellow socks”), and exact-match keywords match with queries that are exactly the same (“[yellow socks]” -> Query: “yellow socks”).
Although this can sometimes be enough to get relevant clicks and conversions to your campaign, depending on how good the keyword research was, There are three huge problems with this approach.
If you have hundreds, or THOUSANDS, of keywords in an ad group, only a handful of your keywords will be perfectly relevant to your ads, and the rest are going to suffer.
This will leave you with a ton of keywords that have mediocre or bad quality scores plumeting your ad positions and raising your costs – sometimes stopping your ads from running entirely.
Instead of doing a long list of keywords, here’s how I recommend you set up your campaign to give you the best return on your time, solid keyword coverage, high quality scores and consolidated, actionable data.
Setting Up Broad Match Modifiers
The answer to getting a high performance, low fuss campaign is “broad match modifier” keywords.
If you don’t know what a broad match modifier is in Google Ads, a broad match modifier shows your ad on any query that has the words that you’ve put a “+” in front of [“+example +keyword”].
For comparison, an exact match keyword only show your ad on queries that are exactly the same as the keyword, and a phrase match keyword only show your ad on queries which have the same phrase as the keyword.
Exact match, written as: [water bottles] triggers on the query: “water bottles”
Phrase Match, written as: “water bottles” triggers on the query: “where can I get water bottles from?”
Broad Match Modifier, written as: +water +bottles triggers on the query: “what are the best bottles for water?”
Broad Match, written as: water bottles triggers on the query: “spray bottles for watering plants”
So here’s what you’ll want to do.
Let’s pretend we’re an ecommerce store selling sports shoes only to Vancouver, and we’re making an ad group to target people searching generally for performance footwear:
Have Google help you come up with around 3 words or phrases that describe your product or service (even using 1 will give you plenty of targets)
Example: shoes, footwear, sneakers
Next, we’ll want to list a few very relevant descriptors about our products that people would be searching (customers searching for non-specific sports shoes might also use “performance” or “active” in their search)
Example: active, running, sports, performance
OPTIONAL: If you’re a service, or brick and mortar, it can sometimes be beneficial to choose a couple more business-type modifiers to further separate search intents. (company, service, agency, store, etc.):
Example: company, store, brands
Finally, if you want to advertise to a specific location, add that in too (if you have geo targeting set up for your ad group, adding the location is optional.)
Now, we’re going to put these all together into our final ad group keyword list using each variation of core words, descriptors, business-type modifiers, and location.
I’ve created a simple spreadsheet to pump these out for you instantly so you can quickly get them into your campaign.
Remember to make a copy of the sheet for your personal drive.
You should end up with a list of 4-20 keywords like this:
+shoes +active +Vancouver
+footwear +active +Vancouver
+sneakers +active +Vancouver
+shoes +running +Vancouver
+footwear +running +Vancouver
+sneakers +running +Vancouver
+shoes +sports +Vancouver
+footwear +sports +Vancouver
+sneakers +sports +Vancouver
+shoes +performance +Vancouver
+footwear +performance +Vancouver
+sneakers +performance +Vancouver
+shoes +athlete +Vancouver
+footwear +athlete +Vancouver
+sneakers +athlete +Vancouver
Using a broad match modifier strategy like this one will help you collect enough data on your keyword string variations to confidently make decisions on where to best allocate spend, while significantly tidying up clutter, saving you tons of wasted research time, and keeping your ad quality higher across the board.
Once you’ve been running the ad group for a while, check to see if any of your new keywords are marked as “low volume” or have a poor quality score and remove them to hone in your keywords even more.
You can always add more keywords to scale later once you’ve maxed out the spend for your current keywords.
Now that we’ve got an awesome list of broad match modifier keywords, you might be thinking “but Linden, aren’t these keywords a bit too board, dude? Won’t I get a bunch of bad clicks?”
Good question, while it’s true that even with the location modifier, +Shoes +Active +Vancouver could trigger on “which active shoe store is best in Vancouver” or “free active shoes in Vancouver” or even “active shoes repair in Vancouver”. Luckily,There’s a solution.
Eliminate all irrelevant phrases from your ad-serving queries using a negative keywords list.
Lets make your ad clicks even more effective by using negative keywords (I’ll make it very easy for you, I promise).
Tip #3 Improve Your Negative Keyword List
If you’ve run Google Ads before and have looked at the “search keywords” that you’ve received clicks for, then you’re probably familiar with the occasional “junk click”.
What I mean by junk click is any click that is clearly not a relevant search for the products or services you’re advertising.
Here’s an example: If I’m advertising for “real estate agent” and I get a click from someone searching for a “real estate agent”, that’s pretty spot on.
I’ve done the majority of heavy lifting for you so you can copy and paste the file into your campaign and cut out a majority of junk click sources that are killing your campaign, just like that.
Now, before you throw my negative keyword list into your campaign,make sure you read the rest of my instructions below and within the speadsheet so you can get the most out it and avoid killing any of your profitable clicks.
So which keywords do we want to add to our negative keyword list?
Descriptors can have a huge impact on the quality of clicks you’re getting. Depending on the price point of your product or service you may consider eliminating economic or premium keywords.
Words like “cheap”, “deal”, “clearance”, and “sale” indicate a searcher who is very conscious about pricing, and may almost never convert at a luxury or premium price point.
On the other end of the spectrum, anyone using words like “premium”, “professional”, or “high quality” may rarely convert at an economic price point.
Another thing you should consider for your negative keyword list is your competitors. Advertising on your competing brands can be a great way to snatch up business from your competitors, but consider who your competitor’s customer is.
If you’re advertising a premium sports footwear line, your target audience probably isn’t the people shopping at budget brands like Ardeen, The Shoe Company, or Pay Less Shoes right?
Consider which of your competitors have a very different audience than you and put them on your negative keyword list.
Is there any classes, certifications, licensing, or information seekers in your niche? Think about some of the main words that would indicate a bad (or good) click: “certification”, “how to”, “course”, “lesson”. (We added a lot of the common ones in the negative keyword spreadsheet above).
Once you’ve given a few minutes reviewing my list for your big “junk click” keywords and compiled a list for yourself, it’s time to upload the list to your campaign.
To update the negative keyword list for your campaign, go to your campaign or ad group, then click the drop-down for “keywords”, then click “negative keywords”.
Then, click on the “+” button.
Select “add negative keyword list”, add to: campaign (or ad group), select your campaign or ad group, paste your new list into the box, then click “save”.
If you would like to use the same list of negative keywords again in the future, click “save to new or exisiting list” and give the list a name before saving.
Finished, you are now filtering your ad from showing to a slew of junk searches.
Every niche has a few of its own unique junk keywords to filter.
From here on, you will want to consistently check on your “search keywords” inside of your campaign dashboard and adding any new “junk click” words that you see until all of your clicks are relevant and on target.
For many campaigns, having a robust negative keyword list is extremely important and can completely transform a losing campaign into a winning one.
There’s a lot of strategies that can help you campaign perform better, and a lot of those lessons come with making lots of mistakes on how you’re serving your ads.
But hopefully, I can help you save a lot of time and money in wasted ad spend by teaching you some of the lessons I’ve learned over the past few years.
Debloat your keywords, and add audiences and negative keywords to your campaign.
If you follow these three strategies, you’re well on your way to a scalable campaign.
Was your campaign suffering from one of these mistakes? Have a question? Want to let me know how you’re liking the content?
Let me know about it in the comments.
*MORE TIPS UPCOMING* BOOKMARK THIS PAGE TO CHECK BACK REGULARLY
How To Use Artificial Intelligence To Rank On Google With Dataiku
by Braeden Schwark | May 31st, 2020
Artificial intelligence — the new frontier.
It seems like only yesterday that A.I. had surfaced as the new promise for technological advancement.
Google themselves have driven down their energy costs using AI by a huge amount, just by letting machine learning do its thing.
Everyone has heard about AlphaGo, AlphaZero, and even AlphaStar taking the mental-sporting field by storm.
But few truly realize what goes into these deep learning achievements, and feel it’s a big mystery that only Big-Tech can solve.
So why does it feel like AI is so out of reach for the average person or business?
Well, I think it’s because there just isn’t enough accessible information out there.
Just like everything else worthwhile, it takes a bit of time, and effort, to learn a new skill.
I’m here to help you understand the basics, and how to leverage this technology today in improving your Google rankings.
The A.I. Basics
Although they’re spoken of interchangeably, machine learning, AI, and deep learning, all have their own meaning behind them. Let me explain.
Artificial Intelligence, otherwise known as A.I., refers to the broad idea that machines can be trained so as to perform a task that requires a certain degree of creativity. In other words, it’s the science of creating a machine capable of mimicking human tasks or abilities.
Deep learning, and machine learning, are both subsets of A.I., they help recognize patterns, build correlations, and typically attempt to mirror basic ways humans learn. One great example of this is a neural network.
Neural networks are a kind of machine learning made up of units connected similar to the neurons of a human brain. In this way, the computer can learn more abstract ideas such as video games with uncertain information, such as Starcraft, or Dota.
Natural Language Processing is what we use to analyze and understand the complexity of languages. If you’ve ever spoken with Siri or Alexa, you have spoken with one of these NLP AIs.
Understanding these terms is important in taking your first steps in using artificial intelligence.
Using AI To Rank On Google
As you know, Google’s SERPs are all determined by the RankBrain algorithm, which is an artificial intelligence.
By using machine learning, we can reverse-engineer parts of Google’s ranking factors by collecting the key SERPs data and running it through predictive modeling.
STEP 1 | Collect The Data
There are hundreds of ranking factors, and there’s no way we can collect every single one, even if we tried.
However, there is a lot of on-page and off-page data we can collect in bulk using a few helpful tools.
You can export just one keyword SERP, but the more data you have, the more accurate the predictive modelling will be. So I suggest you export at least 5 related keyword SERPS (~500 results) to work with.
Run List of URLs Through Screaming Frog
Screaming frog is an SEO favourite when it comes to scraping tools, as it gives you loads of useful data about any list of URLs or domains.
First, you’ll need to use the “list” function on Screaming Frog to manually upload the list of URLs.
Once uploaded, press start, and allow the crawl to run its course.
When the crawl is complete click on export, and save the CSV to your computer.
Run the URL List Through BatchSpeed
With Googles recent announcement on Core Web Vitals, it is a good idea to also test our dataset URLs for those same vitals.
Batchspeed.com will allow you to crawl your URL list in bulk, and receive critical webpage performance metrics.
Using BatchSpeed, you’ll be able to export mobile and desktop performance data that can help build correlations between Core Web Vitals and a URL’s position on Google.
Combine the Data
Once all of the data is collected, it’s time to combine the data into a single sheet, so our machine learning platform can access all of the pertinent information from one place.
An easy way to port data across spreadsheet tabs is the VLOOKUP formula, which can help you match the data with the proper URL.
STEP 2 | Download Dataiku
Dataiku is a free machine learning platform that is beginner-friendly and offers done-for-you algorithms. There is no better platform to start with if you are looking to learn the ropes of artificial intelligence and it’s applications.
You’ll need to, first, visit the Dataiku website, where you can then click on the “get started” button.
When you land on the pricing page, look for the “free” pricing package and click “install now”.
Now you only need to follow the instructions for your operating system.
It’s important to note that if you are using Windows OS, the installation process will be slightly more complicated.
Once you have Dataiku running, you’re ready to start your machine learning project!
STEP 3 | Create a New Project
To create a new project, simply click the “New Project” button on the top right of the dashboard.
When prompted, give your project a name. I chose “Top Ranking Factors”.
STEP 4 | Import Your Dataset
Once you reach your new project dashboard, click on the “+ IMPORT YOUR FIRST DATASET” button.
The button will take you to an upload page, where you’ll want to click “upload your files” under the “Files” category.
You’ll be taken to an upload terminal where you can now import your dataset of ranking factors.
Now that your file is uploaded, you can click “create” on the top right of the screen.
STEP 5 | Create a Visual Analysis
Continue by clicking on the circular icon on the top left of the toolbar for visual analyses.
Now click on “+ New Analysis”, and select your dataset with the dropdown, and click “Create Analysis”.
You will now be presented with the data you’ve imported.
If needed, you can make changes like deleting irrelevant data columns, and more.
STEP 6 | Create Machine Learning Model
This is where things get fun.
Head over to the “Models” tab on the top right of your page, and then click “create first model”.
Choose a “Prediction” task.
Select your target variable, in this case, that’s “Rank”. Also, click “Automated Machine Learning”.
Then, select “High-Performance Models” with the “In-memory” engine.
We can run this model as-is, but we still want to make a couple of changes before we pull the trigger.
Head to the “Design” tab.
Under “Modeling”, click “Algorithms”. Then make sure you only have “Random Forest” and “XG Boost” algorithms active. You should also change the “Number of trees” to 1000.
That’s it, we’re ready to go. Click “Train” at the top right, name your training session, and confirm.
Allow the magic of machine learning to take its course. This may take some time.
STEP 7 | Analyze Your Results
When the algorithms have finished processing, they’ll return a number of the most important variables according to their calculations.
You can click on the title of the algorithm report to view more detailed information.
In the case of the Random Forest session, it has evaluated that “Dofollow Domains” is the number one variable related to top-ten rankings, and XGBoost agrees with that assessment.
Feel free to look around the additional charts and information within the models by clicking on them after they’ve finished calculating their reports.
STEP 8 | Put Your Data Into Action
Now that you have a clear model on what ranking factors have the most impact on your given keywords, you can now put it into action for your SEO campaigns.
By prioritizing your budget, time, and resources towards the metrics that matter most, you can drive organic growth at a faster pace, and at a lower cost.
If your ML results are showing a high “variable importance” for do-follow backlinks, with a low variable importance for on-page factors, consider allocating more of your campaign budget towards link-building and visa versa.
I hope you found this guide helpful in getting started with machine learning, and how it can benefit your business or agency.
Again, to make the most out of A.I. it’s important to continue learning, and experimenting with more models, algorithms, and datasets to find new ways it can bring value to you or your clients.
If you think of some ideas on what you can do with this technology, give it a try. You never know, you might just discover something extraordinary.