Woman at computer with pencil in hand

How to Improve Your Website’s Bounce Rate

Get the conversions you're after by improving your website's bounce rate.

When it comes to online marketing, keeping users’ attention is necessary. The longer a user stays on your website, the more likely they will convert to a sale for your business. Conversely, the quicker they “bounce” away from your site, the lower your chances of converting a sale. 

If you’re dealing with a high bounce rate on a vital landing page or across multiple pages on your website, you’ve come to the right place. Learn why your website might have a high bounce rate and how to fix it ASAP.

Bounce Rate: What It Is and What It Means

Before jumping into bounce rate improvement strategies, let’s start with some essential terminology and common questions about bounce rates.

What is a bounce? 

A bounce is a single instance of a user finding your website, clicking on it, viewing one page (and one page only), then leaving your site. “Leaving” can be navigating to an external website, clicking the back button on their browser, closing the browser tab, or letting their session time out.

What is bounce rate?

When looking at Google Analytics or similar data dashboards for your website, you’ll see the total number of sessions and bounces (amongst other metrics). Bounce rate is the percentage of total sessions during which visitors leave your website after visiting only one specific page. 

Exit rate vs. bounce rate: what’s the difference?

The most significant difference between a bounce and an exit is the number of pages a visitor views during their session. To be considered an “exit” for a particular page, a visitor would have to view multiple pages on your website then leave the website immediately after viewing that specific page. 

Here’s an example of the difference:

  • Session 1: Visitor views page A on your website, then leaves the site. 
  • Session 2: Visitor views page B on your website, then navigates to page C, then page A, then leaves the site. 

Session 1 would count as a “bounce” for page A. Session 2 would count as an “exit” for page A. Each of these would affect page A’s bounce rate and exit rate, respectively. 

What is a good bounce rate? 

In general, an average-to-good bounce rate is under 55%. A higher bounce rate is not always an indication that something is wrong, though. 

A desirable bounce rate can depend on several factors:

  • Page purpose. When a page is meant to be informational or allow users to submit a form, they don’t necessarily need to navigate away from that page for the page to fulfill its purpose. In this case, single-page sessions and high bounce rates are expected. If reaching your desired end goal requires users to navigate multiple pages, a high bounce rate may cause concern. 
  • Industry average bounce rate. Some industries and business types simply lend themselves to one-and-done user sessions. Do some research to find the industry average bounce rate, and make adjustments if your website is outside the typical range. 

How to Improve Bounce Rate

Whether you’d like to improve average bounce rates across your site or focus on a few specific pages, these strategies can help.

1. Keep Your Content Short and Sweet

People are looking for quick answers. Can they get them from your brand? The average user stays on a web page for 10-20 seconds — that’s only extended if they like what they see as soon as they open the page. If key information on your page is buried in long paragraphs toward the bottom of the page, it’s time to fix that. Showcase a clear message and value proposition at the top of your pages to keep users engaged. 

2. Prioritize Easy Readability and Flow

Breaking content into subheadings can help with search engine indexing (hello, higher ranking!), but it can also keep users interested. When creating content for web pages and blog posts, use a hierarchy of headings to make your content skimmable. Numbered lists and bullet points can also help the reader get maximum value in a short amount of time, which ultimately keeps your brand top-of-mind as a helpful resource they’ll want to turn to again in the future. 

3. Make Page Speed Improvements

You only have a user’s attention for a few seconds before it wanders, so make those seconds count. Eliminate user frustration (and missed opportunities) by improving your website’s loading speeds. Use PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse to quickly identify site components that are slowing things down.

4. Overhaul Your Page Navigation

Once users land on a specific page, is there a clear path of where to go next? Do you give them good reasons to keep clicking? Besides having top-quality, search-optimized content, your site pages should have easy, intuitive navigation. Don’t make searchers hunt for more information or next steps—you’ll lose them if they have to work too hard to find what they need.

5. Optimize for Mobile Use

Think you don’t need a mobile version of your website? Think again. Mobile users account for more than half of all search engine queries. Make sure your website is up to par with mobile-friendly features, navigation, and visual flow. 

Improve Your Average Bounce Rates with High-Quality Content

High bouncing is fun on a trampoline, but in online marketing, a high bounce rate can spell trouble. GPO’s tried-and-true content approach can improve a high bounce rate— and turn page views into sales for your business. Schedule a demo today to see how our team can help.

 

Student hands paying with credit card on laptop at night

5 Reasons Brands Need to Create Personalized Content

Your brand needs personalized content. Here's why.

Long gone are the days of one-size-fits-all web copy. From email marketing subject lines to PPC landing pages, personalized content has revolutionized the digital marketing space — and the consumer experience. Savvy marketers are custom-creating engaging, individualized content to keep up with an increasingly competitive market. And it’s no surprise why: well-done personalized content is 300% more likely to convert. 

Strategic personalized content uses targeted messaging to provide a unique, relevant, and, above all, valuable consumer experience. However, personalized content isn’t about just inserting your consumer’s name in the subject line. The true goal of personalized content isn’t just to improve conversion rates but to make your audience feel seen, heard, and well represented. 

While creating personalized content takes additional time and effort, the results are well worth it. Here are five reasons why your brand needs to create personalized content. 

Reason 1: Improved User Experience Results in Conversions 

Personalization can open up the door to improved user experience. Consumers have come to know (and expect) tailored online experiences. Online shoppers now display less brand loyalty, comparison shop, and want to quickly execute a purchase. You need to grab their attention and keep them interested to make that conversion happen.

And, personalization can increase efficiency. Because personalized content is highly relevant, consumers are able to quickly and easily find what they’re searching for, determine whether or not your product or service is a good fit for them, then take an action: leave, purchase, make an appointment, or whatever the action may be.

A personalized user experience reaches beyond your “owned” web properties, too. As a brand, you must also consider crafting personalized content to be seen in other places where customers are conducting research, such as social media and search engines. Take Google, for example. Nearly 70% of all Google searches use four or more words and more conversational language, showing the searcher’s desire to find very specific answers to their very specific questions. 

As consumers conduct hyper-specific searches online, your brand needs to have hyper-specific content to show up as a relevant answer on search. Your highly tailored content will likely reach customers who are ready to convert. 

Reason 2: Greater Control Over Messaging

Compared to traditional content, creating and placing personalized content requires more strategizing, content creation, and often data collection. This additional effort ultimately allows your brand to have more control over how you communicate with your customer. 

Personalized content will require you to segment your audience, allowing you to choose which locations, offerings, products, or services are most relevant and useful to your consumer.

Additionally, personalization can allow you to meet your consumer where they are in the purchasing process. No matter how you use personalized content, having greater control over your messaging ensures that you’re consistently serving relevant results to your consumers tailored to their purchasing mindset. As a result, your brand will experience increased relevance. 

Reason 3: More Engagement Opportunities Across Multiple Touchpoints 

Quality personalized content is data-driven. Collecting, analyzing, and applying information related to consumer demographics, interests, and behaviors across multiple distribution channels can help you create content that speaks to your consumer. 

Personalizing your brand’s web copy is the first step in creating a more tailored customer experience. From localizing your content to creating dynamic content that changes based on the customer visiting your site, the possibilities are endless. Don’t forget about hyper-personalizing titles and meta descriptions to create a stellar CX on search. 

Next, make sure your social media accounts incorporate personalized content as well. An example: multi-location brands should post local-specific content and offers for every storefront. 

Finally, ensure your one-on-one email communication with customers is highly tailored to their interests. 

Reason 4: Insight into the Customer Journey

Personalization can help you see what is and isn’t working. Where are users clicking out? Why aren’t they completing a transaction? What strategies will help get them there? Personalization is a great way to discern what strategies are — and aren’t — worth investing in moving forward. 

Reason 5: Improved Brand Awareness and Affinity

If you’ve been prioritizing quantity of content over quality of content, it’s time to look into personalization. Many marketers fall into the trap of thinking that repeated exposure will eventually intrigue a potential consumer or increase consumer loyalty. However, consumers are constantly bombarded by marketing messaging and are able to easily tune out the noise. 

In addition to providing a better user experience when a consumer has entered the funnel, personalized content is better at initially capturing attention. 

From there, an exceptional online experience has multiple benefits. Personalized content translates into more brand awareness and increased brand affinity. Users who have a positive experience are more likely to share with others, remember your brand, and repeatedly engage with your brand. Therefore, personalized content is a great tool for building consumer trust online.

How to Create Personalized Content 

It’s clear there are many benefits to creating personalized content, but the task of creating so much copy sounds daunting (not to mention, pricey). The good news? You can likely use the data you already have to scale up content production. GPO can help!

Here are a few areas where you can start personalizing content: 

  • Localized web copy.  Localized web copy offers a personalized touch without feeling overly creepy. You create a personalized feel without having to store tons of data while helping consumers find relevant results, offers, and more.
  • Tailored blog posts and web copy. Use long-tailed keywords to get hyper-specific about a relevant topic. Check out our guide on incorporating keyphrase research into your web and blog post content. 
  • Personalized PPC landing pages. Don’t drive paid traffic to your home page! Create tailored landing pages with personalized content to convert visitors. 
  • Chat opportunities. Chat features — whether AI or employee-driven — provide an opportunity to communicate. 
  • Video capabilities. When done well, video chat can create an in-store feel and allow for personalized, tailored experiences.

Interested in creating personalized content but don’t have the time to do it? Reach out to see how GPO can help you create tailored content that resonates with your audience. From localized content for all of your storefronts to unique, descriptive product descriptions, we have a solution that’s sure to work for your brand.

 

2022 Google Trends: What Are They and How Can You Use Them?

Emerging Google Trends: What Are People Searching For?

When writing content for the web, you have to consider supply and demand — you don’t want to create content that your customers won’t engage with. Thankfully, search trends can help you identify and pinpoint exactly what (and how) your consumers are searching.

If you’re not yet harnessing the power of popular search topics, it’s time to make a change. Read on to find out what’s trending and how searcher behavior is shifting.

From finding the best keywords for SEO to securing your place in consumers’ online comparative shopping efforts, GPO can help your brand capitalize on search trends with high-performing content at scale.


google trends

Getting Out of These Four Walls

After 2020’s “shelter in place” advisories and self-isolation periods, consumers wanted to emerge from their homes in 2021— but with safety still at the forefront of their minds. Here’s how that’s reflected in current search trends:

  • Outdoor activities
  • Live events
  • Travel

Shifting Lifestyle Priorities

It’s no secret that 2020 led many of us to closely examine what is — and isn’t — truly important to us. Over the last year, Google trends have shown that users took their reflections to heart and began looking for tangible ways to prioritize what matters most.

Wellness

After 2020’s “shelter in place” advisories and self-isolation periods, consumers wanted to emerge from their homes in 2021— but with safety still at the forefront of their minds. Here’s how that’s reflected in current search trends:

Time Saving & Convenience

When many brands pivoted to online, virtual, and no-contact options in 2020, users jumped on board out of necessity. However, as these options have improved and evolved, consumers have continued using them — because, well, they’re convenient! Search terms like “takeout restaurants” increased a whopping 400% from 2020, while “shopping apps” have remained popular. Additionally, searchers are frequently using non-branded search terms accompanied with qualifiers like “open now near me” to find restaurants and other businesses they can access ASAP. These types of searches offer opportunities for “zero moment of truth” brand exposure — but only if your brand has the high-quality content users want.

Improving Everyday Life

Many industries shifted to remote work in 2020, leading many consumers to DIY home improvement projects and maintenance at the time. — But, 2021 had them looking for help. While searches related to home renovations and improvement continue to trend upward, search terms like “handyman near me,” “house cleaning services near me,” and “lawn mowing services near me” indicate that users are delegating home tasks to the pros — and using Google to do their comparative shopping for those services.

Learning New Skills

“Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll never be hungry.” In 2021, more search users wanted to learn to “fish” for themselves, so to speak. Queries for “online learning” increased by 70%, and trends indicate that many consumers want to up their financial acumen, as reflected by searches related to investing, as well as “low- budget” and “no fees” purchase options.

Making Major Changes

2020 required us to shift our perspectives and pushed many people to make substantial changes that contributed to their overall health, well-being, and happiness. Many re- entered the job market, others searched for things like “how to write a resignation letter”. Many contemplated their long-term goals with searches like, “good career path.”

Consumers were eager to become homeowners (“calculator for home loan” saw a 200% spike in search volume compared to 2020). Terms like “furniture shop near me” and “tv wall design” saw significant increases as consumers opted to pour time and effort into their new or existing homes.


Looking at the Bigger Picture

Sustainability and Environmental Concerns

Consumers are looking closely at the impact of their purchase and lifestyle decisions — as evidenced by an uptick in sustainable and environmentally-focused searches, like secondhand shopping and electric cars.relatedSearchers are showing an increased interest in sustainably made goods from nearly every sector, from activewear and cleaning products to engagement rings and shoes.

Community Activism

Sure, being “together” might look different these days, but that hasn’t stopped many searchers from finding ways to connect with their community. More searchers are looking for ways to give back, as evidenced by increased search volume related to “Volunteer opportunities”. Other searchers are showing they care by self-isolating, donating, or shopping to support a local charity. Recent search trends prove that activism — on both a local and global scale— is on consumers’ minds.

Trends Can Help You Can Find the Best Keywords for SEO… But Is That Enough?

As search engines continue to grow and evolve, so does searcher behavior. While you can generate a list of keywords to attract your ideal customers, your digital search-friendly content strategy shouldn’t stop there. You’ll also want to consider how users are searching and take into account the behavioral trends we’ve seen recently.

Zero-Click Searches

blog trendsConsumers want information at their fingertips, and they want it fast. In more than half of searches, users don’t even bother to click on a search result, leading to what’s called a “zero-click search.” Do you know how to optimize for zero-click searches?

When users initiate an unbranded search, is your brand at the forefront to provide a quick, reputable answer? When it comes to local non-branded search queries, many Google searches direct users to other aggregators, which provide a subpar user experience (and often out-of-date information). Capitalize on zero-click searches and provide your consumers with a branded snippet that builds trust and improves your brand positioning in a matter of seconds.

Voice Searches

More and more consumers have smart speakers in their homes and vehicles, resulting in increased voice searches and purchases. Voice search isn’t going away in 2022. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to use natural phrasing, anticipate customer needs, and optimize your content for geographical searches.

Shifting Lifestyle Priorities

You know your brand can offer value to searchers — you just need to get that value into their hands. With scalable eCommerce content and local-search-optimized content from GPO, harnessing search trends to connect with consumers doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Contact the GPO team today and start turning online search trends into bottom-line results for your brand.

Woman at whiteboard completing content planning in 2022 after reviewing 2022 content trends

8 Content Trends to Watch for in 2022

Stay ahead of the curve with these 8 content trends.

According to Statista and World Wide Web Project, there are 1.88 billion websites in existence. Needless to say, no matter how big your brand is, it’s easy to feel like a tiny fish in a giant ocean when it comes to the vastness of the internet. While the amount of content in existence can be overwhelming, content marketers know that all content is not created equal. Quality, relevant content outranks subpar copy all day long.

But with so many competing priorities and shiny distractions, how can content marketing teams create content that matters? We’ve compiled a list of up-and-coming trends to keep in mind as you develop your content strategy for 2022.

1. Valuable Short and Sweet Content

Aiming for time spent on page and further on-site navigation used to be a goal of many content marketers. Instead, content marketing best practices dictate that brands should aim to move users through their site experience faster.

Consumers are strapped for time. Even the most comparative buyers are looking to find an answer — and fast! On average, users are spending less than 15 seconds on-site, and will leave mobile web pages if they don’t load within 3 seconds — a significant decrease from years past. Help your consumers find what they’re looking for, act on it, and move on by keeping your content short, sweet, and to the point. Aim to create informative, brief content that gets the attention of your target audience. Consolidate any relevant data so that users don’t have to hunt or navigate offsite to complete any additional research.

2. Specific, Quality, Scaled Content

People are turning to Google more than ever for specific and sentence/question queries. More than 3.5 billion searches occur on Google every single day and 20% of queries are brand new. Brands need content about their products and services at the ready to answer specific queries such as “F150 tire size” or “chicken wing delivery near me.” Most importantly, content marketers need a methodical approach to creating a large volume of content quickly without having to rely on — and manage — low-wage freelance writers.

Not quite sure where to publish scaled content? Here are a few places to start:

  • Product descriptions on your e-commerce site
  • Longer, search-optimized content on your local pages
  • Educational content on your customer journey pages
  • Personalized paid landing pages

3. Emphasis on Owned Channels

Expect to see a decrease in paid social media efforts in 2022 and an uptick in time spent building owned channels.

Wondering why paid efforts are on the decline?

  • Saturation. Paid digital, including paid social, is a saturated space. Users are accustomed to seeing both paid social posts and banner ads. And, campaigns are increasingly expensive and competitive. Which leads to…
  • Decreased ROI. Paid digital has historically been emphasized as a must across a variety of industries. Therefore, nearly everyone’s in on the game. Since you must pay to play, you could find yourself in an endless bidding war with your competitors vying for placement.
  • Desire for portfolio building. Paid digital and social efforts move quickly. They’re great for disruption campaigns. However, they are not long-lasting — both organic and paid social posts quickly vanish from consumers’ timelines out of sight (and out of mind). Owned channels allow brands to create a long-lasting archive of relevant content and information.

As 2022 approaches, expect to find marketers emphasizing and investing in their owned channels — websites, blogs, organic social, and email campaigns. Beefing out or revamping an owned channel can act as a budget-saving measure and a wise long-term strategy. Plus, enhancing existing owned channels can help complement, boost, and support existing paid campaigns.

4. Value-Driven Branding and Content

From an uptick in ethical consumption to looking for ways to give back, it’s clear that consumers are drawn to brands with values that align with their own. Therefore, expect to see more value-driven marketing campaigns in 2022 related to inclusivity, sustainability, community building, and fair labor practices.

Looking to successfully connect with consumers over a cause? Here’s what to keep in mind.

  • Be genuine. For the sake of consumer trust, don’t claim to support causes if you’re not willing to follow through. In today’s world, digital-savvy consumers are quick to do their research — and call you out if you’re not living up to your promises. Therefore, be prepared to make a genuine and transparent effort to give back, whether it’s through volunteering, donating, or offering services ad hoc.
  • Be human. Consumers are looking to make a connection. So, don’t hide behind the curtain of a perfectly polished, corporate presence. Humanize your brand by showcasing leadership and employees as “real” people who celebrate, work, and lead dynamic lives both in and out of the office.

5. Personalized Content

Consumers are increasingly experience-focused and increasingly online. But, rising consumer expectations are calling for new and exciting ways to create an in-person feel without ever stepping foot in a brick and mortar location. However, creating a memorable online experience can be difficult. That’s where personalization comes in.

Here’s how to create a personalized feel in the digital realm:

  • Localized web copy. Publish city-specific content to connect with consumers and provide them with the most relevant-to-them content possible.
  • Chat opportunities. Chat features — whether AI or employee-driven — allow your consumer to reach out for assistance, ask questions, and even enjoy introvert-friendly shopping assistance from the comfort and convenience of their homes.
  • Video capabilities. Video chat can be used to connect associates with consumers, and when done well, can create an extremely personalized and tailored experience. Video has its applications across all industries but has particular strength within the clothing retail sphere. Using video, you can create a private, by-appointment experience to answer questions about sizing and provide shopping assistance.

Keep in mind that personalization isn’t just simply inserting your consumer’s name into email marketing campaigns. Instead, it’s about creating an experience where your consumer feels informed, guided, and seen.

6. AI Influence

Artificial intelligence is changing how marketers conduct research, devise strategies, and even create content.

Digital marketers can expect to continue leveraging AI into 2022, including:

  • Chatbots. Chatbots can help you create a personalized feel. Simple chatbots are capable of answering questions outside of normal business hours, but advanced chatbots can even walk a consumer through purchasing, returns, and troubleshooting.
  • Research. AI tools can quickly compile, organize, and aggregate relevant data — helping you cut back on research time.
  • Lead generation. In B2B applications, AI-powered tools can be used to prospect and sift through leads to find those most qualified. Multiple AI platforms enable marketers to track prospects across multiple touchpoints, and from there use predictive analysis to determine how likely a lead is to follow through.
  • Content optimization and creation. Artificial intelligence is already being leveraged to optimize and quickly create web content. But, never fear fellow writers: you won’t be replaced by AI just yet. While AI can work quickly, it still lacks the nuance of human touch.

7. Content Optimized for Voice Search Capability

“Hey Google, how many people use voice search?” An estimated one-third of the U.S. population uses voice capabilities on their phones or smart speakers, and a further 71% prefer to conduct searches by voice rather than putting their fingers to the keyboard.

Voice search is used by consumers to carry out basic tasks (like checking the weather), conduct research, and even order products. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to create content that’s easily digestible and primed for voice search features.

To create content optimized for voice search, focus on:

  • Natural phrasing. When compared to traditional search engine queries, voice searchers tend to use more natural, conversational language. Therefore, create search optimized content that includes natural long-tail keywords and key phrases devoid of any grammatical parses.
  • Meeting searchers at their purchase stage. Anticipate micromoments and the questions that consumers ask about your product at different levels of the purchasing process. Then, create content that directly and concisely answers their burning questions.
  • Incorporating geo modifiers. Both smartphones and smart speakers use location-based services to aggregate results that are most relevant to their searchers. Plus, many voice-searchers are looking for a specific product or service “near me”. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to create localized content. (Psst — we can help with that.)

8. Content Engineered for the Virtual Reality Landscape

Enter: the Metaverse. While currently in its nascent stage, virtual reality will soon shake up how consumers browse the internet, shop, and otherwise engage with content. Stay forward-thinking and keep on top of upcoming developments within the VR industry.

As we approach 2022, one thing is clear: brands need quality content — and LOTS of it. GPO can help you develop your content at scale strategy for 2022. Get in touch to see how to leverage our Content Solutions for your brand.

Woman typing on computer

What Does Keyword Stuffing Mean and How to Avoid It

More keywords doesn't always equal better performance.

Must. Include. One. More. Keyword. Nope — GPO doesn’t believe in keyword stuffing. In fact, it can be downright harmful to your content. From selecting the right keyphrases to working them into your content, here’s our keyword stuffing definition and advice on how to create keyphrase-rich content without overdoing it.

What is Keyword Stuffing?

You know it’s bad, but what is keyword stuffing in SEO? Keyphrase stuffing is often used in an attempt to “trick” search engines into giving your site a higher ranking by repetitively using the same keywords. The tactic creates a high level of keyword density — the percentage of keywords used in relation to other text.

Some common keyphrase stuffing strategies include:

  • Using multiple keyphrases in succession
  • Using keyphrases out of context
  • Using keywords that are unnatural or are incomplete phrases
  • Using lists or groupings of keywords that add little to no value to the content

Theoretically, it makes sense: the more keyphrases, the better for your site, right? Not necessarily. Gaming the system doesn’t work when it comes to search engines as smart as Google. Keyword stuffing makes your content hard to digest and search engine algorithms easily weed out and penalize spammy sites. So, your best intentions could end up harming your site on multiple fronts: losing you valuable clicks, calls, and ultimately business.

How to Avoid Keyword Stuffing

We’re ALL about content best practices here at GPO. We believe in keyphrase research, but we don’t want our content to sound like a bot wrote it. Our team believes in strategy — so we select the keyphrases that are relevant to the brand, audience, and ultimately the topic at hand.

Trust us: there’s no need to resort to robo-speak. Here are our tips to avoid keyword stuffing and instead create engaging and keyphrase-rich content.

Step One: Choose Your Keywords Strategically

The terms keywords and keyphrase are often used interchangeably. Both derive from the search queries (the words and phrases) that searchers type into their search engines. However, they are different.

Single keywords are typically non-specific and hard to work with. They quickly get repetitive and drive your keyword density up too high — read: you’ll end up with an unintentionally stuffed piece. Not to mention, single keywords are often difficult — or costly — to rank for. Let’s take the word shoes, for example. It has a high keyword difficulty with over 4 million variations. There are, after all, many types of shoes and many shoe brands. If you’re a mom-and-pop shoe shop, you’re not going to have much success with just, “shoes”.

On the other hand, multi-word keyphrases are a bit easier to work with. They can be general or specific and their variations tend to feel more natural for the reader. Keeping with the example of shoes, you may end up with “shoe stores near me”, “women’s shoes”, or even “off-white shoes”. While these keyphrases are more specific and interesting for the reader, they may still be difficult to rank for.

Long-tail keywords refer to either keyphrases or keywords paired with one or more specific modifiers. Long-tail keywords tend to have a lower search volume, but their specificity typically draws in high-intent users and results in higher click-through rates and conversions.

Here, you might pair the variations of the keyword “shoes” with one or more words, including descriptors or geo modifiers. As a result, you may end up with long-tail keywords like: “ pink kitten heels,” “mens high top sneakers,” “best shoes for nurses with plantar fasciitis,” or “boot shops in Nashville.”

In addition to drawing in high-intent consumers, these variations are more unique and interesting for the reader.

Keep Relevancy in Mind

While it may be tempting to use your own trademarked or technical phrasing, it’s wise to stray away from jargon. Instead, put yourself in your target market’s shoes. Figure out how potential customers actually describe and search for your product, service, or the topic at hand. Then, you’ll be able to look for top-of-mind keyphrases that best match their search intent.

Next, select keyphrases that clearly align with the piece you’re going to create. At this point, you may have a list of hundreds of potential keywords. Whenever possible, eliminate incomplete or incorrect phrasings — example: “why car not start” — as you go.

From here, you’ll strategically narrow down your keyphrases by examining both search volume and keyword difficulty scores.

Balance Keyphrase Search Volume with Keyphrase Difficulty

Search volume, or monthly volume, refers to the number of searches for a given keyword over a month’s time. Search volume is a great indication of demand. In order to capture the most traffic, you’ll want to look for keywords that are frequently searched.

Still, keyphrases with high search volume are also high in keyphrase difficulty. Therefore, you’ll need to strike a balance between search volume and difficulty to find the right keywords to fit your site’s strategy.

Keyphrase difficulty refers to how difficult it will be for your brand to rank within the top ten results on a SERP. The higher the difficulty, the less likely it is that your brand will rank for a given keyphrase.

Ultimately, you’ll want to select keywords that are an appropriate difficulty level in relation to your brand’s domain authority. The higher your domain authority, the more likely it is that you can rank for a difficult keyphrase.

Select a Target Keyphrase

Your strongest keyphrase, also known as your target keyphrase, is the most relevant keyword or keyphrase to your piece of content. Your target keyphrase should be high up in your piece — preferably within the title or headers.

Ideally, your target keyphrase should strike a balance between low keyphrase difficulty and high search volume. Selecting a focus keyphrase is dependent upon relevance as well as your site’s domain authority.

Step Two: Determine How Many Keywords You Should Use

How many keywords and phrases you use depends upon the piece of content you’re working with and the types of keyphrases you’re using. The number of keyphrases you’d incorporate into a 1,000+ word article isn’t the same strategic approach you should take when writing 200-word product descriptions.

Generally, a longer piece of content can support more keywords — so long as the content itself remains useful. In shorter pieces, like a 600-word blog post, you’ll want to select 3-4 strong keywords or keyphrases. When in doubt, use a keyword phrase density checker to make sure that you’re not overdoing it.

Step Three: Naturally Incorporate Keyphrases Into Your Writing

With keyphrases in hand, you’re finally ready to begin writing. In this step, what’s most important is how and when you use your keyphrases. To avoid keyphrase stuffing, you’ll need to keep in mind that you’re writing for people first and search engines second.

Here are a few tricks that can help if you’re struggling to incorporate your keywords naturally:

  • Use questions to frame keyphrases: Wondering, “where to find women’s shoes near me”? Shoe Spot has you covered.
  • Use keyphrases in your headers and titles: “7 tips for How to Style Sneakers with Jeans”
  • Write naturally. Then go back and find those keyphrase opportunities during the editing phase

Writing Tip #1: Choose Quality of Content over Quantity of Keywords

Keep in mind, while keyphrases can help a user get your site, you need strong content to draw them in and keep them there. The average user spends just seconds on a webpage, it’s important that your content satisfies their inquiry and provides a value proposition — and fast!

In terms of content, quality is determined by a variety of factors, including:

  • Are you answering your audience’s question?
  • Are you using factual, proven information?
  • Is your content timely, focused, relevant, and engaging?
  • Does your content cover the topic with appropriate scope?

If the answer to any of the above questions is no, it’s time to take a second pass at your piece.

Writing Tip #2: Keep Zero-Click in Mind When Writing

While keyphrase-rich content can help your brand show up in organic search results, keep in mind that nearly half of all searches result in a “zero-click.” This behavior shows that people find the answer they need right on a search engine result page — including rich results.

You may not have the opportunity to drive people to site to read the entire piece. Write with search in mind. When crafting content, envision how your content may show up as a rich snippet on Google. Snippets, on average, are 160 to 230 characters long. Create bite-sized content that’s relevant and has the opportunity to show up as a rich result on search.

Step Four: Publish Your Content and Track Your Progress

The time has come: you’re ready to publish! Schedule your content — keeping in mind best practices — and then have a little patience. You’ll need to wait for your pages to be indexed before they’ll appear in any search engine results.

Step Five: Repeat the Process — Often!

Whether you choose to post twice a week or twice a month, find a posting schedule that works for you and stick to it. Consistently monitor your site and adjust your content strategy as needed, learning as you go and keeping in mind that it takes time to see results.

Need help with your content? Whether you need to create a thousand product descriptions or content for your local pages, GPO has a team of expert writers at the ready! Reach out to learn more about Tailor Content and see how your content can make the internet a better place.

Laptop, Amazon Alexa, and Apple iPhone on desk

Hey GPO: Tell Me About Voice Search in 2020 (and 2021)

Here's what you need to know about voice search.

Voice search used to be extremely popular — like animating PowerPoint slides, or voting for American Idol. People were passionate! There was even talk that voice search would overtake all other search methods when it first came on the scene. But has the technology fizzled? Or has it reached a new level of fandom with advancement in the voice-capabilities of cars and homes? We revisit what voice search is, how it’s being used, and how your brand might be able to leverage it in the coming year.

Voice Search 101

Voice search allows you to search the Web by speaking to a smartphone, speaker, or another voice-enabled device instead of typing on a keyboard.

Because of the nature of how we speak vs. type, voice searches are different from traditional searches. While you might type “leather couches for sale” into Google (and 6,600 people do each month), you wouldn’t use those same words if you were talking to a voice assistant. Instead, you’d ask, “Where can I buy a leather couch,” or “Who sells leather couches near me?”

Voice searches are more conversational than typed searches, more likely to include question words, and also longer. Text searches average 1-3 words, while spoken searches fall into the 7- to 10-word range.

Voice Search Usage

In 2019, Emarketer reported that about one-third of the U.S. population uses voice search features.

The number of voice assistant users in the United States is expected to grow, though slowly, from 117.7 million in 2020 to 122.7 million users in 2021.

Who’s contributing to these statistics? Looking at U.S. voice assistant users by age, individuals 25-34 make up the majority (23%), followed by the 35-44 year-olds (18.7%).

What are people doing with their voice-enabled devices? Because the majority of searches are performed on smartphones, we’re going to focus our attention there.

Adobe released survey data in July 2019 that found 48% of consumers are using voice for “general web searches.” A majority of survey respondents (85%) reported using voice to control their smartphones, with 39% using voice on smart speakers.

According to Adobe, the top-use cases for voice usage include:

  1. Directions while driving – 52%
  2. Making a phone call – 51%
  3. Sending a text – 50%
  4. Checking the weather – 49%
  5. Playing music – 49%

Microsoft echoed Adobe’s findings but got a little more specific. Microsoft identified the following as the top-use cases for voice:

  1. Searching for a quick fact – 68%
  2. Asking for directions – 65%
  3. Searching for a business – 47%
  4. Researching a product or service – 44%
  5. Making a shopping list – 39%

Voice Search Devices

Not all voice-enabled devices are created equal, and not all of them pull from the same data sources.

SEMRush released a study in August 2020 that examined factors influencing voice search rankings, specifically local search. Their study found that Google Assistant (on Android smartphone) and Siri had the lowest percentage of unanswered questions (2%), while Alexa couldn’t answer 23% of questions.

Also, “given that various voice assistants rely on different sources of information when picking answers, they mostly return different results for the same questions,” explains SEMRush’s Olga Andrienko.

Google pulls information for local queries from Google My Business and the local pack. Siri mostly pulls from Yelp. Alexa turns to Bing, Yelp, and Yext.

Voice Search “SEO”

There’s no secret sauce for being found through voice search. Implementing SEO best practices will mean that you perform relatively well in voice results.

“If you were paying attention to actually writing for your users instead of machines,” says Google’s Gary Illyes, “then I strongly believe that you are already optimized for voice search.”

Writing for users means understanding a user’s intent, too. You can create content for each phase of their intent, from research to action.

Different questions signal different user stages, Neil Patel points out. “What” and “who” questions are more likely to be asked by people in the research phase. “When” and “where” questions signal that someone is getting ready to buy. Create content around your products and services that targets every phase in the process.

Also, if you know specific information about your customers’ preferences or your business vertical, you can narrow your efforts to optimize for certain platforms. For instance, if a majority of your customers come to you through Google, optimize for Google. Focus on GMB, use structured data, and create conversational content that answers common user questions about your products and services. Or, if you know your customers are big fans of Alexa and Siri, focus on your Apple Maps and Yelp presence.

As you look toward 2021 and beyond, focus on implementing best-in-class technical SEO and creating valuable content — not carving out time and energy specifically for voice search optimizations. Optimize for search and you’ll be optimizing for voice search. The two go hand in hand.

“Creating the right content for customers and prospects — while paying attention to listings and review management best practices — will probably satisfy the voice SEO gods,” Greg Sterling of Search Engine Land adds.

Need support? For help creating the right content and curating your business listings, reach out to GPO.

Feature image credit: Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels