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We’re nearing the end of an eventful year, and so I figured it would be interesting to reflect on what I’ve learned about SEO this year.

In the process, I realized that some of the points I ended up writing down have been lingering in the back of my mind for quite some time – but were confirmed this year.

Here’s what’s stood out to me this year so far.

1. Plan for What’s Coming & Implement What Works Now

I see a lot of SEO professionals obsessing about new developments that will – or may – become important in the future while neglecting what’s working well right now.

They’re neglecting to really do what’s needed to hit their goals for 2023.

Now, it’s important to look ahead and see where the ball is going.

In fact, that’s essential for succeeding in SEO.

But don’t lose sight of what’s moving the needle right now.

And don’t stop doing what’s moving the needle right now.

At the end of the day, it’s your job to do whatever works now, and in the future.

Take whatever you learn about new developments you dig into, apply it to what you’re doing right now, and include it in future plans.

Tip: Follow JH Scherck on Twitter for no-nonsense SEO and digital marketing insights.

2. Google Has Become a Lot Stricter About What Content It Indexes

Ever since the May broad core update rolled out, Google has been a lot stricter about what content they’ll spend their indexing resources on.

It seems they’re done with being fed low-quality content.

The downside of this is that it looks like there’s a lot of collateral damage.

While most established, authoritative sites can still get anything to rank, the little guy/gal now needs to work twice as hard to get into Google’s good graces.

What’s made this even more tricky is the fact that a few weeks later, Google started experiencing indexing issues.

Many SEO professionals thought the issues they were having were related to this, but after it was resolved, their indexing issues persisted.

So, what can you do to keep your content indexed?

This is a bit of an open door: do whatever you can to make sure your article adds the most value to your visitors and sends all the right signals to Google to get it indexed.

In brief, that means focusing on creating high-quality, well-researched content that satisfies user intent.

Be sure to back up its claims with authoritative sources, and include references.

Then build internal and external links and make sure people start talking about your content on social media.

3. GPT-3 Is Going to Change Content Creation Dramatically

Over the next few years, we’ll see a dramatic shift in how content is created.

With the rise of OpenAI’s GPT-3 and the likes of MarketMuse’s First Draft, content marketers will move into an editorial role.

AI systems will be given the right input and will draft content.

Then editors will finalize and publish it.

Even though GPT-3 can already do impressive things – including fooling a lot of Redditors into thinking it’s a real account – it still has a long way to go to churn out content that’s comparable to what’s written by humans.

It’s clear to me, though, that a content marketer’s role is going to change dramatically over the next few years.

4. Google Has Gotten a Lot Better at Content Extraction (Featured Snippets & Ranking Passages)

This year we’ve seen a lot of developments when it comes to featured snippets.

Google may even start combining multiple passages from different articles into single answers.

But as a Google user, I’ll have a better experience if this helps me to satisfy my query much faster.

Tip: Dawn Anderson wrote an in-depth piece that ties neatly into this exact topic.

5. There’s No ‘One Truth’ When It Comes to Your Rankings

Regardless of whether your rank tracker updates daily, bi-weekly, or monthly – it’s never going to give you the exact positions for your queries.

Put simply, it can’t.

Why?

Because of previous search history, location, freshness indicators, experiments being run by Google, new content making its way into the SERPs, and more.

Rankings are a snapshot of a partial truth, an approximation of what you can roughly expect them to be.

Nothing more.

I’m not saying there isn’t a use for rank trackers anymore, because there is.

They’re useful to keep track of your positions, but it’s not smart to rely just on them.

Always combine them with Google Search Console and Analytics data to get a better picture of how your SEO performance is evolving.

6. Consistently Sending the Right Signals Is Key

Although it’s not a sexy subject in SEO, consistently sending correct crawling and indexing signals to Google is key if you want to see predictable crawling, indexing, and ranking behavior.

Redirects are a signal for canonicalization, but they’re not the only one. Internal, external links, sitemaps, hreflang, canonicals, cleaner URLs, etc — all play a role. Make everything align, give it time to settle, and leave cookies & almond-milk for Googlebot.

— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) July 31, 2023

This especially holds true in the current situation, where Google has temporarily disabled the “Request Indexing” feature in Google Search Console.

While this reduces your control, if you stick to all of the best practices around crawling and indexing, you should be fine.

With all of the new SEO developments going on, it’s easy to lose sight of the basics such as canonicalization, robots directives, chúng tôi sitemaps, and internal link structure.

You want to keep Google from having to create their own definition of your canonical URLs.

7. Even Google Suffers From Serious Bugs

We all know 2023 has been an eventful and all-around rough year for most.

And Google hasn’t been impervious either: they’ve had their fair share of problems, too.

Especially during the past few months, when they’ve been having serious issues with their indexing systems.

Here are some recent example issues:

This goes to show that even companies that can afford to hire the absolute best suffer high-impact bugs.

Maybe Google will return the “Request Indexing” feature for Christmas?

We’ll see!

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The 9 Most Important Security Innovations Of The Year

Knightscope K3: Autonomous Robot Mall Cop

Robotic guards already patrol empty lots at night, but navigating constantly changing indoor environments is trickier. The 4.3-foot-tall K3 robot uses multiple lidars (the laser range-finders on self-driving cars) and other sensors to build live maps and find its way around shopping malls, offices, and server farms. Soon this R2D2 of building security will get facial-recognition to compare suspects to a database of people it knows. For hire from $7/hour

Metasensor’s Sensor-1: Motion Sensors for Your Stuff

Most object trackers can help you find something you’ve already lost. The Sensor-1 lets you know when you’re about to lose it. Armed with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer, the quarter-size device alerts you to your gadget’s slightest movement. Connected to a phone or other device via Bluetooth, the trackers can catch snooping houseguests or stop laptop thieves while you’re getting a latte. $79

Scott Safety’s Scott Sight: Firefighter Super Vision

Hand-held thermal cameras have guided firefighters through smoke-filled buildings since the ’90s. Scott Sight moves the camera and display into a face mask, freeing first responders’ hands for more important things, like saving lives. $1,875

Roost Smart Battery: Not Just a Battery

Downed smoke detectors lead to almost 900 fire-related deaths a year. Roost’s Wi-Fi-enabled 9-volt battery will alert you when it’s about to die—no more annoying chirps. Plugged into any old smoke detector, Roost sends alerts to a companion smartphone app if the alarm goes off while you’re away. It can also talk to other smart-home gadgets, so it can carry out tasks like automatically unlocking the front door for firefighters. $35

Broadband Discovery’s Ronin, An Eagle-Eyed Checkpoint

Last December, New Orleans Saints fans passed between pylons embedded with security scanners that work faster and are more thorough than ordinary metal detectors. Adapted from military checkpoints, Ronin uses magnetic and pulse-induction sensors, which record minute changes in a magnetic field, to spot contraband and weapons. By reducing the need for pat-downs, Ronin could make lines at public venues move up to five times faster.

Red Balloon Symbiote Defense, Universal Anti-Virus

The more gadgets we put online, the more backdoors we give hackers into our data. The Symbiote Defense software protects anything—from printers to cars—regardless of their operating system. The program can spot malicious activity and remove threats continually. Developed with support from DARPA and Homeland Security, Symbiote debuted on HP printers this past fall, and more devices will roll out next year.

DARPA and Office of Naval Research: Sea Hunter, The Military’s First Drone Ship

The Sea Hunter warship is probably big enough for a human crew, but it doesn’t need one. It’s the armed force’s first ship designed to autonomously patrol the sea in search of submarines—a task too vast and tedious for even a ship full of trained human sailors. Sea Hunter‘s custom navigation algorithms ensure the 132-foot-long craft obeys maritime right-of-way rules to avoid collisions with other vessels. If a two-year trial is successful, the Navy might consider developing drone ships for other tasks, such as deactivating unexploded mines.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Sense ID, Unhackable Print Scanner

Hackers have shown they can trick common biometric scanners with faked fingerprints. The SenseID sensor makes that nearly impossible. It ultrasonically scans a fingerprint’s depth, reading a detailed 3D map of every nook, cranny, and pore.

Read about the other Best of What’s New winners from the November/December 2024 issue of Popular Science.

7 Things Parents Should Know About The Measles Outbreak

Vaccinations are key to keeping your family safe.

With more 700 cases of measles across the United States, this outbreak is the worst the country has faced in decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been cases reported in 22 states, with the largest outbreaks centered in New York and Washington state.

Felice Adler-Shohet, M.D., a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, chalks up the outbreak up to laws that allow parents to send unvaccinated children to schools, among other issues.

“The outbreak currently happening is the result of a confluence of factors, including growing anti-vaccine messaging and propaganda as well as poor enforcement of vaccine policy with states such as New York allowing vaccine exemptions for religious reasons,” she says. “This is despite the fact that no mainstream religious group prohibits vaccination.”

1. Should I keep my newborn at home?

It may not be possible to keep your baby at home all of the time, but it is probably best to limit exposure with others. This is especially true since babies can’t receive a measles vaccination until they are at least 1 year old, says Beulette Hooks, M.D., a family physician in Fort Benning, GA, and Chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Commission on Health of the Public and Science.

2. Should I get a shot myself? Will insurance cover it?

The good news is that it is not too late, and physicians suggest you get the shot as soon as possible. “It is a two-shot series with the second shot being at least 28 days after the first shot,” explains Dr. Hooks. “If you are not sure about your status, you can have blood drawn to check your status and if you are not immune, many insurance companies will cover.”

If you were born before 1989, it’s worth checking. Until that year, the CDC only recommended one dose of the vaccine, but according to the agency, a single shot is 93 percent effective, compared to 97 percent for two doses. The CDC also noted some earlier versions of the shot weren’t as effective.

3. Should you ask that your unvaccinated coworker be sent home? 4. How do I find out if my child goes to school with unvaccinated children?

Due to the exemptions that some schools have for various reasons, it’s safe to assume there might be at least some unvaccinated children, says Dr. McTigue. It’s also unlikely schools would release names to parents or single out individual children who are exempt.

5. Should you ask your kid’s principal to keep unvaccinated kids home from school?

The problem with doing this, Dr. McTigue points out, is that there are some children who can’t be vaccinated for legitimate medical reasons. “While the measles vaccine is very safe and highly effective, it is a live virus vaccine,” he says. “This means that the vaccine contains an active but highly weakened strain of the measles virus. For this reason, children with highly compromised immune systems—such as those who have had a bone marrow transplant or are on certain medications for conditions, such as cancer or auto-immune disorders, or those with primary immunodeficiency—cannot be vaccinated against measles.” It wouldn’t be fair to exclude these children from getting an education.

6. Where are people most likely to get infected? The playground? Public transit?

The most likely locations are typically enclosed spaces filled with people, like airplanes, movie theaters and school classrooms, Dr. Hooks says. There is also a high risk in places that have a lot of people from different areas, like an airport, Dr. McTigue adds. There is, of course, also higher risk in any part of the country that is currently experiencing an outbreak.

7. What’s the best way to protect myself and my kids?

Both Dr. Hooks and Dr. MicTigue agree that the best and simplest thing you can do is to make sure you and everyone in your family is properly vaccinated.

Which Are The Most Important Retail E

Real-world data shows the most crucial sources of traffic for e-commerce websites

E-commerce/online retail is a booming sector. But because the latest marketing techniques change so rapidly, it can be tricky to keep up with the latest trends whilst also keeping your feet on the ground.

Datareportal’s 2023 global overview shows that search engines and social networks are the 2 biggest sources for self-reported online brand research. But how are users navigating to e-commerce websites?

B2C top traffic sources

Hubspot’s 2023 user survey, compiled by 400+ users, primarily of B2C audiences, demonstrates a mixed bag in terms of traffic attribution.

The biggest question mark is a sizable chunk of 22% direct traffic, which could include:

‘Dark’ social (untrackable social shares)

Bookmarked traffic

Direct links from pdfs, shared documents, or other non-trackable sources

But interestingly, after direct, we see the next top 2 website traffic sources, organic and social, mirroring the report above.

One benefit of our RACE Growth System is that you can use data to monitor your customers’ experiences of your brand during each stage of your marketing funnel. So you can quickly identify which channels or experiences you want to optimize to achieve your goals.

We have dedicated modules focusing on improving reach, interaction, conversion, and engagement for search traffic, social, email, and more, as part of your 90-day marketing strategy action plan.

Create your 90-day plan with the RACE Growth System

Download your free RACE Growth System guide today and unlock our three-step plan of Opportunity, Strategy and Action to grow your business.

Download guide Traffic sources for different types of e-commerce website

If you’re looking for traffic breakdown data segmented by type of website, you might want to take a look at Wolfgang Digital’s E-commerce 2023 KPI report, based on data from their European and US-based international clients. This giant KPI report took over 2 years to complete and is yet to be rivaled as a global source for e-commerce traffic statistics.

It’s based on an analysis of over 250 million website sessions and over €500 million in online revenue over the 12 months from July 2023 to June 2023.

The data clearly shown the importance of paid and organic search marketing which account for over 50% of retail visits. Interestingly, retailers without a physical presence seem to struggle more with generating organic search, relying on paid search more heavily than any other type of retailer.

Email marketing and social media are surprisingly low in comparison – they may be under-represented depending on how well tracking of these channels has been set up in their retail clients.

Paid and organic search are also important for retail sales, but referrals from other sites i.e. including affiliate marketing are lower here.

B2C social media growth

The growth of social commerce, highlighted in our 2023 social commerce trends, demonstrates a new way for customers to interact with brands. Marketers investing in in-app experiences may see a decline in actual website traffic, but if done right social commerce UX will help increase sales from other pipelines.

Create your 90-day plan with the RACE Growth System

Download your free RACE Growth System guide today and unlock our three-step plan of Opportunity, Strategy and Action to grow your business.

Download guide 2024  data overview

Yotpo collated data from 65 million ecommerce orders representing $2 billion dollars in transactions over 120,000 ecommerce stores and established what the industry average is for digital media.

The results make for slightly surprising reading. On the face of things, Social makes up a healthy 6%, but this is still a relatively small slice of the overall pie. Paid makes up 5%, which leaves considerable room for growth, whilst email makes up a rather small 3%. The email figure is down to the data source – if you take a look at the Custora data on what influences sales it gives a different picture showing the importance of email to Ecommerce. It would be interesting to see the conversion rates by traffic, as it may be that referrals from emails are on the site because they’ve decided to purchase, whilst those from other sources may be more likely to be there to browse or research. I was slightly surprised that search didn’t make up a larger share since it is how most customers generally start their buying journey. Investing in better content marketing efforts could be more than worth it for many ecommerce stores, if done well it will attract quality links and boost SEO.

Relying too much on one source of traffic leaves you exposed to risks, just because a channel is fantastic for generating traffic today doesn’t mean it will continue to be. Some sites lost out when Panda put penalties on certain SEO linking practices. Others lost out when Facebook decided to massively restrict organic reach. If your site had relied exclusively on one of these sources of traffic then the changes will have put you in some serious trouble.

The best way to avoid these risks is by hedging your bets by acquiring your traffic from a considerable variety of sources. But what is a good variety? That’s where the data comes in.

Direct

The big surprise in many ways is how large a proportion of traffic comes from direct. 40% of traffic came from direct, which accounts for more ecommerce traffic than any other single source. Direct in theory is the people who have typed in the URL directly to their browser, but in reality, it means anyone who arrives at the site from a source that cannot be tracked. The source of this traffic is generally links that have been sent to friends/colleagues and then copied and pasted into web browsers. Traffic of this kind is generally referred to as ‘dark social’, as it is comprised of links that are shared socially, but cannot be tracked. This means ‘dark social’ actually accounts for a considerable percentage of direct traffic.

Dark Social

By its very nature, it is difficult to accurately account for what percentage of your direct traffic is actually ‘dark social’. However with direct accounting for 40% of ecommerce traffic, it seems likely dark social is making up a large proportion of the total. A general rule of thumb is that for every three people reaching your site via social, a further 7 will be arriving from ‘dark social’, which will appear as direct. If this is true for ecommerce traffic then dark social accounts for half of all the direct traffic, which is 20% of the total traffic. This makes dark social the 3rd largest source of ecommerce traffic by a considerable margin. Bear that mind when designing your landing pages and crafting the copy for your social shares. Social is probably more important to your bottom line than you think.

Other statistics on the most popular traffic sources and media channels for retailers?

If you’re not aware of it the excellent Custora Ecommerce Pulse shows orders by channel and is also of interest for retailers to benchmark against. This is the latest data in 2024 compared to 2024.

It’s a compilation showing traffic or media sources from some of the top US retail sites which drive sales.

What channels draw the most engaged traffic?

How important is mobile?

Mobile has been a buzz word in digital for several years now, to the point where it seems almost outdated to talk about how important it is as everyone should know by now. Mobile now makes up the majority of visits across the web, but this is not the case for ecommerce. Because of the fiddly nature of payment forms, mobile accounts for slightly over 1/3rd of all ecommerce visits. If your rate of mobile traffic is lower than this it might be worth seeing if your site needs further optimisation for mobile. Responsive design should be your first priority, and if this is already in place then it may be worth a bit of user testing to see if the customer journey is as smooth on mobile as it is on desktop.

4 Essential Seo Strategies You Need To Focus On This Year

“What should I focus on this year?”

This is a question that I have been hearing a lot since 2023 kicked off.

I’ve been going back and forth on what the right answer to that question is, which is also why this article is being published in March and not January.

Already this year, so many new ideas, arguments, and hypotheses have been thrown out into the ether for discussion, and I wanted to see how some of those unfolded before I made the final call on which way to direct people this year.

I take this seriously because SEO is such a slow burn. I always want to make sure I steer people in a positive direction based on real-world experience and data. That’s the practical side of me.

The other side always wants to throw out-of-the-box ideas out into the world to get folks to start thinking a little bit differently about how they approach organic search within their organizations (which is mainly based on my 15-year gut instinct in the field).

Below are what I believe is a balance between those two sides.

1. On-SERP SEO (Or Whatever You Want to Call It)

Rand Fishkin gave an interesting talk at BrightonSEO back in September on what he believes is the future of search: “On-SERP SEO.”

The data is thought-provoking – but also somewhat disturbing.

So that sucks.

Getting more visibility on the SERPs to gain more real estate is not a new concept, but this is the first time in the history of SEO where someone has put a name to it and made it an actionable practice.

Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t really know, and who really cares?

The point is that getting creative and thinking differently about how you approach your SEO campaigns is becoming more important when it comes to your presence in the SERPs.

Fishkin talks about anything and everything you could do, which unfortunately means that SEO professionals will inevitably try to do all of these things regardless if it makes sense for them – simply because Fishkin suggested it.

My take? Try and keep it as simple as possible. Don’t try to boil the ocean.

Everyone should be targeting answer boxes (more on that below).

If you have brick and mortar locations, spend time in Google My Business, manage your locations, and ensure your NAP information is consistent.

If you’re a retail brand, sync up your organic efforts with your paid/PLA keyword to see where you convert well and increase your visibility for your traditional organic listings.

Make video content.

If you are a publisher, use AMP. If you aren’t a publisher try AMP on your blog/articles.

Leverage and control the knowledge graph for your brand.

Run a local business? Use Google Posts.

Talk to influencers and get them to promote your brand.

You guys get my point. Don’t just think about how your users see your brand on your site, think of how they see you in the SERPs.

2. Write Articles/Blog Posts That Answer Questions & Solve Customer Problems

I’ll let the collective sighs and groans dissipate for a moment before I move into this one.

Yes, this is not news. But it is so, so important today.

Google is appropriating your content into their interface and answering people’s questions without them having to go to your site. That’s the world we live in now. And it’s probably only going to get worse.

All that said, it isn’t all doom and gloom.

This obvious strategy is one that you should ramp up to prepare for our new future.

To prove why you should do this, and that it actually does work and affect the bottom line, I want to talk about a small business I’ve been working with for several years. They developed a blog based on asking and answering questions and saw tremendous results after 12 months.

Below you will see a chart that represents a local business in New York City that came to me asking what they could do to increase organic visibility with the hope of bringing in new sales.

The goal was traffic and rankings and not revenue at first, that happened to just be a happy byproduct of the effort.

We went through everything they could talk about, all of the questions they could answer and to their credit, they dove right in and started creating this content with both images and video content to support. We began this effort in January 2023.

Here is how that strategy panned out for them:

As you can see above, we saw 160 percent in growth in sessions, 166 percent growth in users, and a 93 percent increase in goal completions due mostly to this effort.

Out of all organic sessions driving traffic and revenue, 63 percent of it came from the blog and drove an incremental 300,000 in 2023 for a small business.

In 2023 they are already up 10 percent in both sessions and goal completions due to the blog strategy.

I’ll take it.

Regardless of how large or small your business is, do this.

3. The Technical Health of Your Site

In 2023, folks finally realized the technical foundation of your site is important.

While many of us in-the-weeds SEO professionals have been preaching this for years (it’s always nice to bask in the warm glow of being right), the best part was being able to have serious conversations around this topic with the majority of customers last year.

Listen to me folks:

Regardless of how great your content and brand is, you will never reach your full organic potential if your sites foundation is crap.

You will perform better. Believe me.

Common issues to look out for:

Page Speed: Much bigger factor than it used to be.

Mobile-Friendliness: This is how Google judges your site now.

Duplicate Content/Elements: Don’t compete with yourself.

JavaScript/Rendering Issues: If you use JavaScript and have a gut feeling you have indexation issues, you should look into a prerender software or dynamic rendering.

Index Bloat: Are you controlling parametered, search result and paginated pages correctly? Check to see how many pages are in the index in Google Search Console and if you can focus your footprint. Google doesn’t care about the quantity of pages in the index, they care about quality. Don’t let them get lost in a fog of random pages on your site.

Overbearing Security: Make sure Google isn’t hitting a wall when it’s simply trying to crawl your site. If you run your site through Screaming Frog or DeepCrawl and halfway through it starts throwing 429 errors, you might be a little too stingy on the security.

This is another instance where I can go on and on.

Just be aware that the crawlability and performance of your site from a technical standpoint has become an increasingly larger factor and should be an ongoing part of your day-to-day SEO strategy.

4. Don’t Obsess over Voice Search

If voice search is a “big” part of your 2023 SEO strategy, stop it.

Now, you can Google articles that I have written recently and webinars I have hosted which state my belief that voice search was already going to be a much larger thing for search.

Sorry, everyone. I was wrong. For now.

By now I had expected some type of reporting on voice search at least from Google and we haven’t gotten it.

I have customers asking me all the time, “how can I win at voice search?” and the simple truth is, you can’t, or at least you can’t prove to me or anyone that you are winning because there is no way to report on it.

I have sat through many presentations over the last year with agencies and consultants who have come up with really great ways for people to say, “this is how you win at voice search”, but the problem is it’s all total bullsh!t because there is no way to prove it.

Until we have a universal way or dataset that we all agree on that shows what users are actually searching for on their home assistants and apply some form of MSV/value to that query, it’s all pontification.

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with a few folks about this and some really cool and interesting points came up that had been heard at a conference regarding voice search, but one in particular stuck with me:

“People can speak 5 times faster than they can write.”

That’s a powerful statement because that would lead one to believe that voice search should be 5 times faster than traditional search.

Fair statement, no?

A counterpoint came up however that actually made even more sense than the previous one:

“Yes, but they can’t listen 5 times faster than they can read.”

This one really blew my mind because it is so true.

When you think about the delivery mechanism of voice search, the logic is totally flawed.

Our search bars are confined spaces that keep searches to a certain length (this isn’t something Google has determined, it’s just how people search, short, to the point phrases…most of the time).

People who search using voice tend to use a more stream-of-consciousness method, which I don’t think anyone really thought of for this application. This is probably why we haven’t seen any real reporting around it.

That and because I truly believe more people are asking their home assistants what the weather is versus how to make an octopus costume as the commercials imply (i.e., most voice “searches” are actually voice “commands”, which is must less valuable to a marketer in my opinion at this juncture).

Regardless, the point made above that folks cannot listen five times faster than they can read really resonated with me because when you think about it, it’s much easer to scroll through results visually than it is listening to them read aloud.

Think about it. If you are looking for the best Mexican restaurant near you, it’s a lot easier and quicker to scroll through reviews visually than it is to have a voice assistant dictate them to you.

Maybe that’s SEO’s reprieve, who knows?

The main issue is that voice search is a distraction for most companies right now.

Shiny object syndrome is the most widespread plague of the SEO community and this is one of the shiniest objects that has come down the road in recent years.

Most sites have a lot of basic things they have to address before they even come near a concept like voice search (see strategies listed above).

While voice search will become an important part of search in the next few years, you shouldn’t be focusing on it right now – even if your site is the most SEO-sound site on the web.

Focus on making your site technically sound, create content that helps your customers, and focus maybe 5 percent of your efforts on something like voice search.

At the end of the day, you can prove the effectiveness of the first two to your bosses while you can’t prove you’re winning at voice search to anyone. So if you have made that one of your Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) this year, you’re screwed.

Try Something New This Year

Everything above is approachable to anyone with a website. There are no excuses to not try some new things.

2024 is going to be a big year for search experts who approach the practice with new ideas and passion.

Will you be one of them?

More Resources:

Image Credits

Screenshot taken by author, February 2023

What Are The Most Important Goals Of Digital Marketing?

To ensure that your digital campaigns are running smoothly, it’s essential to establish detailed objectives. First and foremost, decide which goal will deliver the most impact for your business and set a timeline for when you want to achieve it. Once you know what success looks like in numbers and have set a plan in place to reach those targets, then your entire team can focus on taking concrete steps toward achieving them.

Therefore, having realistic yet ambitious goals is key when developing any strategy associated with digital marketing efforts. Without measurable objectives in mind from the start, it can be hard to evaluate progress or strategize ways of reaching a certain milestone – both of which are fundamental elements of successful businesses today!

In setting your goals think about how different activities influence each other when it comes to creating an overall strategy for success; consider both short-term objectives (what do I want out of this campaign?) and longer-term efforts which may form part of a wider initiative like brand awareness or customer acquisition growth.

All of these measures will help you evaluate whether you’re achieving success in reaching potential customers, engaging with new prospects, or retaining existing customers in order to meet your overall objectives.

Opt for SMART Setting

SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) setting is a powerful technique to create goals that are achievable. SMART goals force you to think through your objectives in each area of life instead of setting vague resolutions.

One should always remember when creating specific goals, it’s important to focus on outcomes rather than activities – goal setting isn’t about what you’ll do but rather they will achieve when you do those things.

Specificity makes the goal much more realistic and measurable which helps increases motivation by providing focus and direction toward achievement. Making sure the goals are relevant to personal desires is also key as this boosts enthusiasm for reaching them making it much easier to stay motivated during challenging times or setbacks on long-term projects.

Adding a timeline helps keep everyone accountable so there’s an endpoint for success or failure accordingly. If a deadline cannot be established, then measuring progress routinely against predetermined checkpoints can help ensure short-term successes along the journey and aid in getting closer to achieving the overall goal within reason based on allocated resources available at any given time period.

How to Measure Your Goals?

Measuring your digital marketing goals is an essential part of any successful strategy. To ensure that you are reaching your desired results, it is important to track and measure key performance indicators (KPIs).

There are a number of ways to go about doing this, including using analytics tools such as Google Analytics and tracking software to evaluate the effectiveness of certain tactics over time. Additionally, surveys and customer feedback forms can provide valuable insight into how customers perceive and respond to different aspects of a campaign.

Finally, setting milestones for yourself or team members and monitoring progress towards them will help keep everyone on track in terms of achieving the desired goals. In all cases, measuring will give you data-driven answers about what works well for your business so that you can make changes if necessary and stay focused on achieving success with digital marketing campaigns.

Strategies You Must Opt for Digital Marketing Prioritize personalization

Personalization increases the chances that a reader will actually engage with it. People often see impersonal content as an indication that you don’t care enough, and they’ll move on to something else before they take the time to read it.

Incorporate personalization into headlines, emails, and website copy to make sure readers feel like they’re being talked directly to instead of just another part of an audience of millions.

Additionally, use tools like IP targeting or retargeting where possible – this will show customers you understand their needs in a more direct way since these techniques change up offers based on location or other factors.

Look for first-party data

Be it through Privacy Policies or yet another data scandal, the average web user is painfully aware of how many different types of data these websites collect. As such, organizations must be more conscientious than ever in protecting and managing their collected customer data. They have to strike a tricky balance between complying with relevant regulations while also making use of customer information to increase engagement and loyalty.

When you have accurate, real-time data available, it not only allows you to better understand your customers and make smart decisions but also lets you act on those decisions quickly. Furthermore, first-party data provides a more complete picture of the customer journey that can inform content creation along with targeting tactics.

Whether it’s optimizing current marketing efforts or launching new initiatives, well-developed campaigns are built upon an understanding of who your customers are and what they want from their digital experience. Be sure to assess how effectively each campaign is performing and adjust based on relevant learnings.

Put simply: if something isn’t working for you; evolve your approach by analyzing the success metrics as closely as possible against the goals set before launch. This will help ensure that budgets are used efficiently for maximum return—and better serve your mutual success in the long run.

Conclusion

Utilizing data to better understand your customer experience is key. Companies must collect and analyze their different customer touch points, or points of contact with customers—such as a website visit, email interaction, or phone call—in order to create truly meaningful content. This will help them determine what strategies are most effective at driving consumer behavior.

In addition, marketers need these insights if they want to remain competitive; without accurate data from which to draw meaningful conclusions about the success of past campaigns and predictions for future ones, companies will fall behind in no time.

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