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Cumulative Layout Shift: What It Is and How to Measure It

SEO
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Cumulative Layout Shift: What It Is and How to Measure It We’ve all had it happen to us: we try to choose an option on a website, and right before we click, the page jumps away and we end up clicking something we didn’t mean to. Doh! Like a game of “down low, too slow”, this website behavior makes us feel slow and frustrated. Fortunately, website developers are now incentivized to improve their site experience with the release of Google’s Core Web Vitals; a set of metrics that help site owners measure and improve the user experience of their web pages. Cumulative Layout Shift is one of these key metrics that measures the “jumpiness” of a website and how it unexpectedly moves as elements load. Let’s take a closer look at how this metric works, and how you can make sure your own website is following best practices so you rank higher on search engines and provide your users with a better experience. What is Cumulative Layout Shift? Cumulative Layout Shift (or CLS) is a measure of how much a webpage unexpectedly shifts during its life. For example, if a website visitor loaded a page and, while they were reading it, a banner loads and the page jumps down, that would constitute a large CLS score. Along with Largest Contentful Paint (the amount of time it takes to load the largest piece of content) and First Input Delay (how long it takes for a page to be interactive or...

How to Outsource SEO Correctly & Avoid the 5 Most Common Mistakes

SEO
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How to Outsource SEO Correctly & Avoid the 5 Most Common Mistakes If you want to grow your business, great search engine optimization (SEO) is a must: Recent survey data found that 53 percent of all trackable website traffic originated from organic search, which means that if you want to get noticed, you need to show up at the top of search rankings. The challenge? Many small businesses don’t have the time, skills or expertise necessary to handle everything that comes with a solid SEO strategy. From keyword research to content evaluation, from page optimization to internal linking, it’s easy for companies to end up with a generic web presence that doesn’t inspire engagement or drive conversions. The result? It’s worth considering an SEO consultant or agency to help manage this process and maximize your impact. In this piece, we’ll tackle key outsourcing operations, including how it can benefit your business — and why SEO can’t be entirely outsourced. Then, we’ll break down top SEO pitfalls and offer actionable advice to find an SEO agency that best fits your brand. Why Outsourcing SEO Can Be a Good Idea Designing an effective SEO strategy isn’t a simple task. Companies have to consider how search engines are evaluating content, what aspects of SEO offer the most impact, and where they could change their current content to better align with search engine expectations. This is especially critical as search engines like Google continually refine their ranking process. For example, page loading...

30 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website

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30 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website You know you're a marketer when you're sitting in traffic on the highway, it's completely bumper to bumper, and all you can think about is "Why can't I drive traffic to my website like this?" If you've struggled with driving traffic to your website, you're not alone. According to 2020 research done by Content Marketing Institute, 63% of content professionals are challenged with finding enough staff skilled in content strategy which is one of the top drivers of website traffic. Between writing a new blog post, posting on social media, and strategizing for a new email campaign, it's hard to look back and see what's driving traffic to your site and what isn't. The list below will help you increase the traffic to your website, generate more leads, and improve ROI. 1. Content Creation Inbound marketing focuses on attracting the right people to your company. One of the best ways to do this is by creating content through blogging. To come up with content that will attract the right visitors to your website, you must first understand the buyer persona you’re targeting. Once you know your audience, you can create content that will naturally attract them to your website. But how do you write a good blog post that will draw in the right audience? Follow these five steps: Identify your buyer persona: Find out more about your target market. Understand everything from job title to pain points. ...

How HubSpot Helps Users Prepare for Google’s Core Web Vitals

SEO
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How HubSpot Helps Users Prepare for Google's Core Web Vitals It's no secret that poor user experience (UX) isn’t going to keep your customers and target audience coming back to your website. Poor UX also negatively impacts your ability to rank on Google's search engine results page (SERP). To ensure your website has delightful UX for your visitors as well as one that meets Google's standards for ranking, you'll want to focus on Core Web Vitals. Core Web Vitals At a high level, Google's Core Web Vitals exist to fix poor user experiences on your website — Google knows that poor UX leads to higher bounce rates and that's why they take page performance into consideration when determining your page's ranking. Core Web Vitals are meant to be applied by all site owners on each of their web pages to ensure all three Vitals — which we'll talk more about below — are measured. HubSpot Core Web Vitals HubSpot’s SEO audit tool reviews all three of Google's Core Web Vitals metrics for you. Below, we’ll cover the ways in which HubSpot can help you prepare for Core Web Vitals. How HubSpot Helps Users Prep for Core Web Vitals Google’s Core Web Vitals metrics are part of the search engine’s page ranking algorithm. HubSpot’s SEO audit tool flags pages with unsatisfactory scores based on Google’s Core Web Vitals metrics. Specifically, HubSpot uses Google Lighthouse to automatically scan all pages that make up a website. The tool then flags pages...

What Is SEO Copywriting?

SEO
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What Is SEO Copywriting? Creating connections with potential customers is essential when it comes to driving interest and boosting sales. Making these connections can sometimes be difficult, though, as it’s one thing to want to create them and another to figure out how to establish them. However, one of the great ways to establish these connections is through copywriting, where you use words to speak to consumer emotions and try to entice them to take action after reading your words. While it may seem simple to write something that you think will resonate with your audience, there are essential principles to follow to ensure that you can effectively convince them. In this post, learn what SEO copywriting is and discover best practices for the process that will help you draw in customers, convert leads, and drive more sales. SEO copywriting differs from other SEO content writing you may be familiar with, like blogging, as the end goal is to convert leads rather than generate organic traffic. In addition, SEO copywriting is shorter; where a blog post may have almost a thousand words, copywriting content may have less than half of that. However, the two can go hand in hand. You might create a blog post that includes a CTA created with SEO copywriting principles in mind, and the words entice users to click on what you’re offering to learn more, like downloading a free ebook or another related source. Here are some examples of content types that may...

A Simple Guide on How To Conduct Backlink Analysis

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A Simple Guide on How To Conduct Backlink Analysis Link building is an invaluable part of SEO. In fact, it's one of the top factors search engines look at when determining your ranking. Whether you're developing a new link-building strategy or revising a current one, it's important to look at where you currently stand. That's where a backlink strategy comes into play. Let's cover what a backlink analysis looks like and the tools needed to conduct one. Backlink Analysis What is backlink analysis? Backlink analysis is a comprehensive review of a website's backlinks to analyze the site's performance and identify issues that could affect its search engine ranking. Backlink analysis is like the SEO version of going to the doctor for a check-up. You should do it regularly to ensure everything is in order, but you also do it when you notice something is wrong. Completing this process is one of the best ways to understand your site's health and understand what factors are contributing to its ranking. Perhaps you've noticed a sharp dip in your ranking, or you're simply not seeing the progress you were expecting. A backlink analysis will also show you how your website measures up against your competitors. You'll gain some insight into what strategies your competitors are using and what you could implement in your own process. Lastly, it's a chance to identify new growth opportunities that you haven't yet explored. 1. Choose the sites you want to analyze. While it's obvious you'll be...

What Are Core Web Vitals? + How to Improve Yours

SEO
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What Are Core Web Vitals? + How to Improve Yours Long gone are the days of dial-up internet when web pages loaded line by line. Today's internet users expect an instant response, with 93% of people leaving a website because it didn't load properly. No one wastes time on a poor experience. To elevate the online experience, Google released Core Web Vitals — a set of metrics to help site owners measure the speed, responsiveness, and visual stability of their pages. The Core Web Vitals report gives you insight into page performance, so you can improve your site experience and let the Google bots know it's worthy of a high search ranking. But why does speed and user experience matter for your business? If page load time increases from 1 second to 3 seconds, bounce rate increases 32%. If page load time increases from 1 second to 6 seconds, bounce rate increases by 106%. (Google) A high bounce rate hurts your bottom line. Potential customers will simply jump to a competing site if yours is slow to load. But if you learn what metrics to hit and start to improve your pages, Google will reward you with better rankings — and you'll create a more enjoyable experience for potential customers. To do so, you need to understand the metrics that make up the Core Web Vitals: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures the loading performance of a page. It considers the amount...

8 Image SEO Best Practices to Make Your Content More Discoverable

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8 Image SEO Best Practices to Make Your Content More Discoverable To consider the importance of visual search in 2021, let's start with an example. The other day, I Googled "how to conduct a vlookup in Excel". I skimmed a few articles but still felt dissatisfied — I didn't want to read about vlookups, I wanted to see it. Enter: The power of images. Once I clicked on "Images", I found what I needed quickly: I know I'm not alone. In fact, nowadays, half of all Google searches end on the search results page, without the user clicking through to any results. In 2021 and beyond, it's critical marketers begin paying attention to the importance of visual images as a powerful opportunity to reach new audiences on the SERPs. Plus, as HubSpot's Marketing Manager Kristen Baker told me, "After running an image experiment on the HubSpot Blog, I discovered that ranking in Google's image packs increases impressions and clicks to our content." But ... easier said than done, right? Here, let's explore what image SEO is, and the best practices you'll want to follow to make your webpages more discoverable in image search results. Image SEO Best Practices 1. Use relevant, accurate alt text for user accessibility and SEO. As a quick refresher: Alt text is written copy that describes an image. For instance, if you click on Pipcorn's popcorn product and inspect the page, you'll see the alt text describes the product image accurately as "Popcorn Family Pack...

How HubSpot Content Strategists Improve SEO

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How HubSpot Content Strategists Improve SEO If you need help building a website, creating a company blog, or getting webpages discovered by search engines, there's plenty of SEO training that can help you get started. But, once your website is built and your customers find your content online, how do you improve your search ranking and reach a larger audience? While keyword research, overlap tests, and link-building, are a must for creating an online presence, there's much more you can do to increase the amount of traffic coming to your webpages. That's why we spoke to experts on HubSpot's SEO team to learn how they've improved content strategy over time. Read on for a list of their tips that can help you rank higher on search engines and optimize the accessibility of your marketing campaigns. How to Improve SEO Like HubSpot 1. Encourage visitors to search for your brand. When your business is growing, it's important to increase the share of unbranded searches coming to your website. These are keywords that aren't specific to your brand, but they may be relevant to your industry. For example, if you were a power-washing company located in Massachusetts, then you would want to rank for a search like, "best power-washing companies in New England." While the name of your company isn't included in this search, you would still want your website to appear in the search results when someone is looking for power-washing services in the New England area. Once...

User Engagement Is the New SEO: How to Boost Search Rank by Engaging Users

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User Engagement Is the New SEO: How to Boost Search Rank by Engaging Users Many businesses aim for their websites to rank highly in search engines, but it's a moving target. Google, for instance, updated its algorithm 3,234 times in 2018 to meet user needs (emphasizing the "optimization" part of SEO). You might remember when Google's featured snippet addition disrupted the numbered ranking system of search pages. Because the snippet's goal is to provide a simple answer from a strong piece of content, it might pull from the second or fourth website listed on the search engine result page instead of the first. As a result, 34% of desktop users don't even click on a webpage, since their questions are answered by a featured snippet on the search results page. This may seem like a cheap tactic to hoard traffic, but it's not. By prioritizing the searcher's experience over the hierarchy of web pages, Google ensures satisfied users. Optimizing for search engines shouldn't be your main focus anymore. The ongoing shift in Google's algorithm over the past decade indicates a new market focus on meeting user expectations. In this post, I'll do my best to pull back the curtain and show you how improving the user experience on your site will also improve your rankings and increase traffic. Search Engine Engagement Metrics Before we delve deeper into the metrics that will likely correlate with an increase in rankings in the age of user experience, it's worth noting that no search engine is an open book. Google notifies the public when it updates its...