It’s no secret that SEO is constantly changing. What works today may not work tomorrow, and what worked yesterday may now be considered obsolete. So it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in SEO, in order to ensure that your website remains competitive.
One of the most important aspects of SEO is the length of your blog posts. In general, longer posts tend to rank better than shorter posts. But how long should a blog post be? And what are the latest trends in SEO when it comes to blog post length?
In this article, we’ll explore the latest trends in SEO when it comes to blog post length, and we’ll provide you with some tips on how to write longer posts that will rank well in Google search results.
Trend 1: Longer blog posts are better for SEO
A recent study by Backlinko analyzed 1 million Google search results and found that the average word count of a first-page result was 1,890 words. This is a significant increase from previous years; in 2014, the average word count of a first-page result was only 935 words.
This trend is likely due to the fact that Google’s algorithm has become better at understanding the meaning of content, rather than just matching keywords. As a result, longer posts that contain more information are more likely to rank well in Google search results.
Trend 2: Blog posts with an “inverted pyramid” structure tend to rank better
An “inverted pyramid” is a term used to describe the structure of a blog post, where the most important information is at the beginning of the post, and the less important information is at the end.
This structure is effective for SEO because it allows Google to quickly understand what your post is about, and it also allows readers to quickly find the information they’re looking for.
Trend 3: Lists and “how-to” posts tend to perform well in Google search results
Lists and “how-to” posts are popular because they’re easy to read and they offer readers a lot of value. And as it turns out, these types of posts also tend to perform well in Google search results.
A recent study by BuzzSumo analyzed the most popular types of content on the web, and they found that lists and “how-to” posts were among the most popular types of content.
So if you want your blog post to perform well in Google search results, consider structure it as a list or a “how-to” post.
Trend 4: The ideal blog post length is 1,890 words
As we mentioned earlier, the average word count of a first-page result is 1,890 words. So if you want your blog post to have a chance of ranking on the first page of Google, aim for a word count of at least 1,890 words.
Of course, this is just an average, and there are always exceptions. For example, if you’re writing a list post, you may be able to get away with a shorter word count. But in general, longer posts tend to perform better in Google search results.
Trend 5: Blog posts with images tend to rank better
In addition to length, another important factor for SEO is the use of images. Google’s algorithm favors blog posts that contain images because they tend to be more visually appealing and easier to read.
So if you want your blog post to rank well in Google search results, be sure to include at least one image.
Tips for writing longer blog posts that will rank well in Google
Now that you know the latest trends in SEO when it comes to blog post length, here are some tips for writing longer blog posts that will rank well in Google search results:
1. Plan your post before you start writing
Trying to write a long post without first planning it out is a recipe for disaster. You’ll likely end up going off on tangents, and your post will lose focus.
Instead, take some time to plan your post before you start writing. Outline the main points you want to cover and make sure each point ties back into your overall theme.
2. Write in a clear, concise style
Just because your post is long doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. In fact, longer posts tend to perform better when they’re written in a clear, concise style. So don’t try to impress readers with big words and complicated sentence structures; just focus on communicating your ideas clearly.
3. Use subheadings to break up your text
Breaking up your text with subheadings makes it easier for readers to skim your content and find the information they’re looking for. Not to mention, it also makes your post look less daunting.
4. Use images and videos to break up your text
In addition to using subheadings, you can also use images and videos to break up your text and make your post more visually appealing. Just make sure you’re using high-quality images and videos that are relevant to your content.
5. Conduct research and cite your sources
When you’re writing a long post, it’s important to back up your claims with research. So conduct some research on your topic and be sure to cite your sources. This will not only add credibility to your post, but it will also give you more content to work with.
6. Edit your post before you publish it
Once you’ve written your post, take some time to edit it before you hit the “publish” button. This will help ensure that your post is free of errors and easy to read.
7. Promote your post once it’s published
Just because your post is live on your blog doesn’t mean people will automatically see it. You need to promote your post if you want it to get traffic.
So once you’ve published your post, be sure to share it on social media and other online platforms. You can also reach out to influencers in your niche and ask them to share your content with their followers.
With these tips, you can write longer blog posts that will perform well in Google search results. So if you want your blog to succeed in 2022, make sure you’re paying attention to the latest trends in SEO.
SEO for early-stage startups: 6 steps to grow on a budget
If you’re just launching your startup, you’ll have a lot on your plate, including determining market fit, researching your target audience, developing feasible marketing strategies, etc. However, everything begins with building a website, as no one will find you if you are not visible. When it comes to establishing an online presence, we eventually consider SEO.
Despite the fact that search engine optimization is a lengthy process, you should get started from day one if you want to reap the benefits of free traffic and almost automatic growth in the future.
If you’re running an early-stage startup on a shoestring budget, it’s definitely worth investing in Google-friendly website optimization. To avoid blowing your budget, it’s important to develop a strategy based on industry best practices and constantly improve your SEO score.
Fortunately, you aren’t alone. There are a lot of free resources available to help you get started in the right direction. One of them is this article.
Continue reading to discover the top 6 steps for SEO for startups, based on expert advice and best practices.
Why should early-stage startups invest in SEO?
People are constantly looking for the best products or services online. SEO can assist them in locating your services. Even the representatives of Good say – “People look for a product first, not for you.” Before your brand is recognized, people will need to search for [your brand name] and find you through general search queries.
Let’s enumerate the main benefits of investing in search engine optimization for early-stage startups.
Startup owners are always on the lookout for the cheapest ways to promote their products, but at the same time, they need results. What about obtaining qualified leads for free? Yes, that’s what every business needs and SEO is a good way to build a lead generation channel.
SEO is not free, as time and resources must be invested in creating optimized content and outbound promotion. However, once the flow starts, you will not have to pay for every impression, click, or lead, as with paid advertising campaigns.
Influence over a large number of marketing funnels
The hidden power of search engine optimization lies in its ability to boost other marketing efforts and influence different stages of your integrated marketing funnels.
For instance, creating great educational content that is search engine optimized is essential to your inbound marketing strategy. Your audience needs your help to learn your product or service better and faster, obtain advice related to your niche, etc. Internal linking within your blog allows you to recommend useful resources to your readers and build loyalty.
Working on SEO for your startup’s website will impact every phase of your marketing funnel.
Brand awareness and credibility
Before ordering a specific product or service in today’s digital world, everyone relies on online proofs. A great website and blog are essential for growing your startup credibility and being recognized as a leader in your niche.
For example, if you respond to users’ queries via blog content in an expert and comprehensive way, they will begin to recognize your brand and consider your startup a great solution for specific needs.
SEO can help you grow your business online in 6 simple steps
- Focus on the basics
Because early-stage startups usually don’t have a large SEO budget, it’s critical to divide the resources as evenly as possible. Concentrate your efforts on the most important things, such as creating content, ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly, and ensuring no technical SEO issues.
Do you recall the Pareto Principle? It states that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts. So, the first step in starting your SEO process is defining and focusing on the fundamentals that will lead to that percentage of effective efforts.
You can expand your SEO activities and grow more quickly with a larger budget.
- Define goals and craft a feasible strategy
Obviously, the primary goal of search engine optimization is to generate organic traffic from search engines and convert online leads into customers. However, this end goal should be broken down into specific steps to achieve the desired results.
Setting SEO goals entails thinking about what you want to achieve and how to achieve the KPIs. Ahrefs, a well-known SEO tool, suggests envisioning SEO goals as a pyramid.
Source – https://ahrefs.com/blog/seo-goals/
Begin with small goals and work your way up
For example, for early-stage startups, you could set the following SEO goals for the first 3-6 months:
Increase organic traffic to 2K+ unique monthly visitors.
How to reach: fix technical issues, optimize meta descriptions, properly gather semantic data, and create SEO optimized content.
How to measure: data in Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or rank tracking tools, like Semrush or Wincher, can be used.
- Find the resources
To make your SEO strategy a reality and begin receiving organic traffic, you need to consider the available resources and allocate a budget for specific actions.
Speaking about resources, there are three elements:
According to the goals and tests you set up in the previous paragraph, you should consider dividing responsibilities among your colleagues or hiring freelancers or part-time employees to get the job done.
It’s always a good idea to have an inbound content manager run a blog because this person will be fully devoted to the startup and will understand the product better.
Consider hiring a part-time employee to help with keyword research and off-page SEO. You’ll save money while covering all of the SEO basics.
Unless your startup has a consistent huge revenue stream, your budget for search engine optimization is limited. Invest 10-20% of your overall budget in SEO. If the KPIs and pull of efforts are chosen correctly, it will eventually pay off and bring you a consistent flow of leads and profit.
I wouldn’t recommend purchasing expensive SEO tools at once for early-stage startups, especially if you can hire a freelancer or part-time employee to handle basic SEO stuff. They usually have their own tools for conducting keyword research or performing SEO audits.
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are the first platforms you should set up. There is no need to invest money in these Google products because they are free. But they are indispensable if you want to remain aware of your SEO results and measure online performance.
You can also look for a keyword rank tracker. It will give you accurate information about your search engine rankings and content marketing results.
If you want to start SEO at an advanced level, consider buying Semrush or SimilarWeb subscriptions. They will provide you with a huge range of data, needed to analyze your competitors, conduct research, and measure the performance of your website.
It’s crucial to get your technical SEO in order before you start working hard on outbound promotion for your business and investing in a blog.
Check that Google can find, understand, and index your pages. Otherwise, all of your efforts to rank will be futile.
Conduct keyword research and begin creating content
This is, in my opinion, one of the most important points. Because conducting proper keyword research and selecting the appropriate semantic for your web pages and blog is the foundation of a long “friendship” with Google.
Find the right key phrases you want to rank and optimize each web page to improve your SEO. It is important to investigate how people search for what you do, their intentions, and so on. Here’s a good resource for beginners to learn the basics of keyword research.
Basic link building
Link building is the process of getting links from external sources to your website. It’s important to build your domain authority and amplify all the other SEO efforts.
I must admit that this part of link building is pretty complicated for beginners. It requires enough knowledge and practical skills.
Consider free options such as guest posting (contributing to other blogs with your own piece of content) and HARO to start earning backlinks for your website (providing your expert quotes to journalists)
Search Engine Optimization is an investment that will definitely pay off. It won’t happen overnight, but consistent efforts to improve your online visibility will increase brand awareness, free organic traffic, build brand identity, and amplify all your marketing efforts.
If you are on the lookout for a reliable way to scale your early-stage startup, start working on SEO for your business website right away.
5 Important Ways Web Hosting and a Domain Name Can Impact SEO
When starting a new business, creating a functional, memorable, and visually appealing website is considered to be one of the most important aspects, as well as focusing on search engine optimization (SEO) efforts that will make your site more visible and highly ranked in search engine results, thus possibly attracting a wider audience. But when attempting to achieve online success, your website will heavily depend on two factors many often forget: your domain name and your web hosting provider. These aspects can significantly impact your SEO strategy, and here are just some ways in which this could happen:
1. Significance of a domain name
From appealing to your target audience to pleasing search engines, a good domain name can have a significant impact on the overall success of your website. However, one of the most important roles of a domain name is to establish trust with your customers, which can easily be achieved through customization. For instance, simply using a top-level extension such as the trusted me domain can help to personalize your website and genuinely appeal to your audience.
Apart from being a safe and secure option, such domain extensions are also an incredibly quick and simple way to create a more memorable website name that easily evokes images of a more refined, humanized, and trusted business. This is one of the most efficient ways of attracting new customers to your website, while slowly building up their trust and loyalty over time.
2. Keywords in domain names
In an effort to rank higher on search engine results and appear more relevant, many businesses will decide to incorporate a number of keywords in their domain name. Unfortunately, this could often have an adverse effect, especially if businesses don’t follow through on their websites by utilizing reviews, product descriptions, and other on-site copy.
While it’s true that relevant keywords could help your website rank higher, it’s recommended to only stick to one creative keyword that succinctly describes your products and services. Short and simple domain names that are easy to remember are often favored among audiences, which is why implementing one relevant keyword in a memorable phrase or playful manner might be helpful when it comes to search engine recognition, as well as attracting and retaining potential customers.
3. Increased website speed
Once a relevant and memorable domain name is chosen, it’s time to select the best web hosting options. When it comes to purchasing hosting, speed should be one of your top priorities. While we might think that customers have more patience and understanding, the truth is that a simple delay in loading speed of a couple of seconds could lose you around 40% of your audience.
Apart from leading to a loss in customers and revenue, slower loading speeds might also impact search engine results. For instance, Google has recently started rewarding websites that provide a better and more favorable user experience, meaning that if your website is significantly slower than other similar sites, this could lead to a noticeable drop in rankings, as well as overall SEO.
4. Improved website security
Although every website could be a potential target for hackers, this becomes an even larger concern when it comes to businesses. When you’re looking for the best web hosting provider, it’s not only the security of your own information you have to take into consideration, but that of your customers as well. In case your website gets infiltrated by someone wanting to exploit your site’s data, your customers might be subject to personal data breaches and identity theft, which could take a significant toll on your business’s reputation.
For this reason, opting for a superior host that offers maximum security and protection is always advised. But apart from the safety of your business and your customers, the host you select might impact your SEO as well, as websites that are often under attack tend to deter visitors, thus lowering in rank.
5. Availability of the website
Ultimately, no customer will be able to locate your site if it’s never there. A website that often crashes, goes through long maintenance periods, or simply takes several tries in order to fully load will truly destroy your SEO efforts, more quickly than any other aspect.
Of course, no host will be perfect. Even large websites such as Twitter and Facebook experience an occasional crash, but a good web host provider will ensure near-ideal network uptime. Apart from costing you new users, potential customers, and higher revenue, having a website that is constantly down might also communicate to search engines that you’ve closed your business, being one of the worst things that could happen to your SEO.
While web hosting and a domain name might not seem quite as important at first, they are clearly the key to a stronger online presence. The more you invest in the intricate decisions mentioned above, the higher your chances will be of surviving influxes of new customers, higher revenues, and overall growth.
How large brands use SEO and Digital Marketing to reach their target audience
Digital Marketing is becoming a must-do for all businesses today. Whether small, medium or large, there are very few businesses that are immune to the allure of digital marketing.
There is often a misconception that large and successful brands have it easy when it comes to marketing, given the reputation that they’ve already earned, and the huge marketing monies and resources at their disposal.
But here’s the real deal. Despite the obvious advantages that these brands might have, it is as much of an effort to stay on top, as much as it is to reach the top. And in the digital world, where young brands do not need huge budgets to have a presence, the competition can get even more intense, with many more players vying for the same space and the same audience on digital. Moreover, there is much information and misinformation about what works and what doesn’t.
However, there are some large players across the globe that are leading the way when it comes to doing Digital Marketing & SEO, and continue to lead both online and offline. Irrespective of the budgets they employ, these brands are focussing on doing simple things right, in a consistent manner. And while at it, they also adapt their communication and strategy as needed, to real-time market and customer dynamics.
I’d like to spotlight the top proven tactics that would be of value for small and medium businesses as well.
- Investing in User Experience
Creating a pleasant user experience (UX) online is an extremely important aspect of digital success, and for that matter, even marketing in general.
Successful brands understand that the quality of a visitor’s online experience can have a huge impact on whether they choose to interact or not with the brand. It is for this reason that they invest significant time and effort in creating a stellar experience for their online visitors, akin to their offline experience.
Right from the content and design to creating a smooth user journey, the focus is to design an experience around what the target audience needs and wants. While research can help in understanding what works best, it is important to keep in mind that your owned online assets should be optimized for both web and mobile, so as to ensure a seamless experience for the visitor.
A great UX can augment visitor interest, which can translate into leads and hopefully, revenue in the long run and it is worth investing time in getting this right.
- Strategic Content Marketing
Content Marketing is becoming a highly ranked buzzword today and has evolved from a “good to have” to a “must-have” element in the digital marketing mix. Loosely defined, content marketing stands for creating relevant, engaging and valuable content, and distributing it on the right channels to attract, convert and retain your target audience. In other words, delivering the right content at the right time to the right person forms the crux of good content marketing.
It is interesting to note that while the broad digital tactics might be similar across competing brands, it is really content that helps a brand stand out amidst the information clutter in the online space.
Successful brands usually have a well-defined content strategy with clearly outlined goals and KPIs in place. If we were to look for commonalities among the content strategies of these brands, we would see that they employ different content formats that span text, audio, visual, video and more. Also, we would all agree that the brands we feel closest to bring us content that is entertaining, informative, evocative, inspirational and enriching or even all of these at once! These brands invest significant time and resources to create high-quality content for each step of the buyer journey, and beyond. There are some smart brands that not only create their own content but thrive on user-generated and curated content as well.
Whether you choose to create or curate, good content is deeply rooted in an accurate understanding of your target audience and what they really want.
- Optimizing Social Media
Social Media platforms have become the place to hang out online, especially post the pandemic. Unlike the case a few years back, an increasing number of social media users are willing to engage with brands online. Social channels offer a dynamic, ever-evolving virtual space where people share about what is important to them, and connect with people, brands and causes that they care about.
Successful online brands use this as a wonderful opportunity to not only reach out and engage with their diverse audiences’ online, but also have interactions that drive preference, conversions and encourage repeat purchases. These brands also monitor their social metrics and correlate it with business performance metrics like ROI, leads and sales.
For success on social, it is also important to also identify the right platforms where your customers spend more time and build a strong presence with well-planned content, campaigns and real-time responsiveness.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEM or PPC usually makes it to most digital marketing plans, but SEO is where the real reward lies. Most purchase decisions today start with a simple online search, and organic search results command much higher credibility as compared to paid results. In fact, this behaviour is so deeply embedded, that it feels only natural to look online when we are considering making a purchase decision. This is an era dependent on search engines, and no brand, big or small, would want to miss out on the opportunities to connect with newer audiences online.
Given that Google, which is currently the most popular search engine, receives over 57,000 searches per second, SEO is something that nobody can take for granted. It isn’t enough for large brands to rest on their offline reputation, as if they do not hold their rank, they could be toppled over by newer entrants to the market. Yes, SEO can be an equalizer of sorts.
And so, successful online brands look at SEO as an investment to maintain their online turf. Not only is it a great way to strengthen the brand association with the category, but it is a great avenue for cost-effective lead generation as well. Most of these brands and businesses also optimize for local SEO, to ensure that they are discoverable by those in close vicinity, as most people search for products and services on their handheld devices when they are on the go. Social SEO is yet another tactic that can contribute to overall visibility and rankings.
- Customer Behaviour Tracking & Data Analytics
Data mining and analytics has become a veritable buzzword today, and rightly so. Digital Marketing success today cannot be perceived without data analytics. The various analytics tools available today allow businesses to fairly predict customer behaviour and plan their campaigns accordingly. It is now easy to understand what drives prospective customers to you, what makes them stay or leave, how they feel about your brand and even whether your digital marketing efforts are working the way you had intended, among other things.
From Google Analytics for your website to independent social media analytics tools, there is a tool to measure almost anything on digital. And this makes it possible to observe and understand behaviours and patterns that we might have otherwise missed.
Successful brands have a habit of closely monitoring their data from their website as well as social media channels, mining actionable insights from it and swiftly responding as necessary, to always stay on top of their digital game. Correctly interpreting data requires a certain level of expertise, but when done correctly, it can empower businesses to make the best possible use of digital.
To sum up, well-executed Digital Marketing and SEO strategies can help your business reap rich dividends in the form of higher brand awareness and preference, and a positive impact on your bottom line. But there is one thing more important than the perfect digital marketing plan. Successful online brands go a step further and ensure that there is alignment and synergy between the online and offline interaction with their visitors. There is no point in offering a great virtual experience if you cannot back it up in the real world. And if you are aspiring for digital success, this is something you cannot ignore.
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