Survey Questions for Market Research – with Examples

Survey questions for market research -- with examples

Are you wasting time and money because you don’t really know your customers? Creating products that your customers don’t want just doesn’t make sense. In any business, before you can meet your customers’ needs, you have to know:

  • What are their problems?
  • What solutions do they want?
  • How can you introduce those solutions to them?

So, do you know your customers’ needs? If not, now is the time to analyze who your customers are and how you can give them what they want, before they seek answers elsewhere.

Luckily, doing this is easier than you may think. You can gain practically everything you need to make your customers happy by using survey questions for market research.

While there are several ways to gather customer information, customer surveys work and are one of the most effective methods to use when collecting this kind of data.

Surveys are great information-gathering tools, but to get accurate results, you have to ask the right questions in the right way.

We’ll look at the kinds of questions to ask. These questions will unlock your customers’ innermost thoughts, get you the answers you want, and even help you segment your customer base.

First, here are some general guidelines to help you prepare result-focused survey questions for market research:

1. Remember KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

When it comes to surveying, simplicity is key.

Most people are pretty busy, so they don’t have time to answer overly complex, lengthy surveys.

This is why you have to make the questions easy to comprehend. Additionally, verify that your market research survey questions are easy to access and answer.

Brevity is important. A lengthy survey likely means high abandonment rates. High abandonment rates mean you may not get the best results because they create:

  • A poor survey experience.
  • Responses with incomplete information.
  • Less representative final data.

You want people to respond excitedly to your questions, right? A 40-minute survey won’t support that.

The bottom line here is to remember the KISS principle and apply it.

Here’s a great example screenshot of a short survey:

Survey questions for market research using the KISS principle

Instead of using a detailed questionnaire, go with plain, easy-to-understand survey templates, and rather than asking complex questions, ask simple questions with a well-defined approach.

Asking complicated questions may confuse or even frustrate respondents. When that happens, two things are bound to follow: they will either not answer the question at all, or, if they do, they will give you unclear, inaccurate answers.

By complicated questions, I mean:

  • Trick questions: These are purposefully deceptive and complex so respondents often answer in a specific way.
  • Long questions: These are long, convoluted questions that provide so much information that it becomes difficult to comprehend and answer accurately.
  • Confusing questions: These are simply questions that don’t make sense to the respondent.

Avoid these at all costs to engage participants and obtain accurate results.

When writing survey questions for market research, the main goal is to keep things as direct as possible.

Do you know the variations of the phrase KISS? “Keep It Simple and Straightforward” and “Keep It Short and Simple” also apply here.

To get respondents to answer your questions, keep it simple, short, and straightforward.

2. Avoid Too Many Polar “Yes/No” Questions

Polar questions have only two possible answers: yes (confirmatory) and no (negative). They’re also known as yes/no questions.

Why should you avoid asking only polar questions?

Well, the simple reason is that when you ask a yes/no question, that’s all you will get. Respondents don’t have the chance to tell you what’s on their minds (which may be other possible answers that you hadn’t considered).

Closed-ended questions may lead respondents toward a particular answer which can easily create bias. This won’t unlock your respondents’ authentic answers.

Survey questions that pull respondents toward one answer can disrupt the objective of the survey. When using questions in a survey, make sure the options for responses are as unbiased as possible.

An alternative to yes/no questions is multiple-choice questions. You can ask survey participants to select one answer or “all that apply.”

Here is an example of a polar question:

A polar survey question for market research .

Here is an example of a multiple-choice question:

A multiple-choice survey question for market research .

Just keep in mind that multiple-choice questions may not always provide the best information, as they are still somewhat closed-ended.

However, multiple-choice questions do give respondents the chance to choose from various choices, and you may find that their preferred choice is different from what you anticipated.

To get additional information, you can always provide a space for unique answers and call it “Others – please specify” or something similar.

When asking a multiple-choice question, remember to include all the possible answers you can think of that respondents may want to choose.

You should consider using polar or multiple-choice questions in a survey when you want to:

  • Offer a set number of responses to choose from.
  • Collect unambiguous answers.
  • Receive simple responses to simple questions.
  • Create a short, quick survey that takes respondents less time.

Polar and multiple-choice questions make it easy to capture and analyze data. In other words, you’ll be able to generate more quantitative data that gives clear-cut numerical results. You’ll know exactly what respondents answer with because you’re the one that wrote the responses.

What’s more, you can give customers some freedom by asking one or two open-ended questions after polar or multiple-choice questions to gain more clarity. This leads us to my next point.

3. Write a Couple of Smart Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are a type of survey question for market research requiring the respondent to write a comment, an essay, or other types of free-reaction text. They produce qualitative data, which is a little more difficult to analyze at the end of the survey than quantitative (numerical) data. These responses will give you a lot of juicy details, though, so it’s well worth the effort.

You don’t need to make all the questions open-ended, but you should aim to include at least one or two. This will free your respondents to blurt out what’s on their minds without holding back.

Below are two thoughtful, open-ended questions culled from a recent survey by an e-commerce company:

Open-ended survey questions for market research .

When asking an open-ended question, you need to be careful, as some respondents may get carried away and provide you with long blocks of text.

To prevent this, provide a text box where they can write their answers, but limit the number of characters the text box can accept. That way, they’ll provide you with only the most important things they have to say.

4. Ask One Question at a Time

How do you feel when someone asks you a string of questions?

“How did you find our products? What results have you gotten by using our products? Which of our products do you find most beneficial and why?”

You probably feel like the desperate interrogator wouldn’t let you finish your sentence. That’s exactly how your respondents feel when you ask a chain of questions at once.

In addition, multiple questions make it hard for people to give precise responses, making it difficult for you to interpret those answers.

A bad example of survey questions for market research.

One approach to solving this issue is to aim for questions that encompass multiple things you want to ask. However, avoid this if the question becomes too long or confusing. Otherwise, providing space to respond between each question is likely your best bet.

3 Example Survey Questions That Will Help You Know (and Solve) Your Customers’ Biggest Problems

Next, we will be looking at some specific survey questions for market research that can get you helpful answers.

These investigative questions will help you discover your audience’s biggest problems. They’ll also help you know what product to create and what to share with your customers in your newsletters, walk-through guides, blogs, etc.

The truth is, as a business, your job is to solve problems and meet people’s needs. This could be by rendering a service, creating a product, or sharing helpful information and fresh content, just as we do here at the Neil Patel blog.

You cannot solve any problem without getting to know it first; thus, asking these questions is critical.

With that in mind, here are some pin-pointing, open-ended survey questions for market research that will elicit helpful answers from your audience:

1. What’s Your Biggest Challenge in ___?

Are there challenging situations that customers are facing right now in your specialization? Your customers are the best people to give you this insight.

The answers to this question will help you understand the greatest problem your customers need help with so that you know where to focus your company’s energy.

Sometimes, you may receive diverse answers from respondents; however, with the data gathered, you will find the most significant common challenge among them.

2. What Are Your Most Burning Questions About____?

You’ve been doing all the interrogations so far. Now, it’s time for customers to take their turn. Sometimes the most useful information you’ll gather comes from customers’ questions rather than their answers.

The trick is to get them to ask only their most burning questions about the niche or subject you’re dealing with.

So, that means you might have to limit the number of characters in the text box or just tell customers to ask only their most important questions.

By the way, if you do share information with your audience (through blogs, videos, podcasts, newsletters, eBooks, eCourses, etc.), the questions your customers ask here will help provide you with a bunch of content ideas you can use for a long time.

Their questions may even generate ideas for services to add to your service list, products to create, and other ways to improve your existing offerings.

But, if you want to lay it on the line, you can really tap into their wits. That’s the job of the next question.

3. What’s Not Out There? What Product, Service, Tool, or App Would You Like to See?

A tweet directed at Mailchimp offering customer feedback and asking for help.

If you use only your own ideas for products without customer feedback, you may end up creating the wrong product. This is a product that won’t sell a piece, won’t make you a dime, and won’t solve a single problem.

Luckily, customers can help you avoid this dilemma. You can be explicit by asking this question to define what people want and need.

Surveys can make or break your start-up because they are all about how well you comprehend what your customers want to tell you. Not using them can mean taking a shot in the dark about whether a product will succeed. A product misfire can sink a company in its early stages. Even at the enterprise level, a product that doesn’t meet company needs can have severe consequences.

The answers you get here will help position you advantageously to create products that matter, thereby giving you an edge over your competitors.

2 Example Survey Questions That Will Help You Know How to Best Reach Your Audience

While the questions above will get you helpful customer-centric answers, it’s not all about knowing what your customers want. You also have to find out who they really are and how to reach them.

Here are some questions to help you do that:

1. What Level of Expertise (Beginner, Intermediate, or Expert) Do You Have in ___?

You may think you know who your audience is, but do you really? Without a basic knowledge of who you’re reaching out to, you may not be able to solve their problems.

This question is especially significant if you are responsible for training people (through in-app messages, blogging, video content, webinars, online courses, information products, etc.).

Knowing your customers’ level of expertise will help you comprehend how much support they need and what sort of content you should create for them. Also, you can easily determine which features a product needs based on customer experience and knowledge. Customers with less expertise may need features that those with more expertise don’t want.

All this information improves the customer experience and helps you better serve your target audience.

2. What’s Your Preferred Method of Learning (Reading, Listening, Watching, Practicing, or Other)?

Even if you create the best podcast that’s ever existed, it won’t matter if your customers prefer to receive information via written online content like blogs. You have to know how to reach your customers where they are.

This question is important for narrowing down where your audience exists, but it also helps you gain insight into alternative possibilities. Perhaps you’ve been focusing on helping your audience learn by listening when they really want to learn by watching.

Use the responses to this question to analyze where you’re meeting your audience’s preferences and where you may be falling short.

How to Build Survey Questions for Your Audience

So far, you know that survey questions should be:

  • Simple.
  • Honest.
  • Understandable.
  • Unbiased.

You also know that a healthy mixture of closed-ended and open-ended questions will give you the most accurate results. Also, it’s not a good idea to ask too many questions in a row before allowing respondents to answer because it can make the survey a little overwhelming.

With all this in mind, you are ready to build out your survey questions for market research.

A graphic with red, teal, and yellow stick figures and a magnifying glass.

The first thing to consider is what you want to gather from your survey results. What do you want to know, and how will this help you give your customers what they need?

Survey language is critical here because you want respondents to recognize what you’re asking so that they can give you the most accurate answers.

Second, think about your audience. What sort of experience do you want them to have while taking the survey? Respondents who can effortlessly complete a survey will likely give you better responses with more meaningful insights.

In addition to others mentioned in this blog, some survey design mistakes to avoid include:

The third factor to focus on is the format. If respondents have trouble navigating the survey or selecting their answers, this will lead to a bad experience and poor survey results.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should my survey be?

When crafting survey questions for market research, aim for less than 30 questions. The survey should take participants about 10 minutes or less to finish to avoid bad-quality answers or abandonment.

Where can I build an online survey?

Figuring out how to design survey questions for market research is so much easier when you use online resources and tools. For example, QuestionPro makes it simple to build, design, and distribute surveys to all of your participants.

What is a good sample size for a survey?

Statisticians agree that a good sample size should land around 100 participants or more if you want significant results. Nevertheless, aim for about 10% of the target population (or 1,000 participants max) to get the most accurate findings.

What types of questions should I ask on my survey?

You’ll need to use various question types to engage respondents and make the survey easier to complete. Ask a blend of yes/no, multiple-choice, and open-ended questions for the best survey outcomes.

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Conclusion

A great product and excellent customer service begin with getting to know who your customers are and what they want. For this to happen, you have to compile customer information, and surveys are one of the best methods to collect precisely what you need.

When reaching out to gather customer information, it’s essential to get it right from the beginning. The types of questions you ask play an important role in creating a successful survey.

You won’t get good responses when you ask bad questions. Pay attention to how you’re framing questions and what possible answers respondents may give to gain the highest-quality results from your survey.

If you take the time to write good survey questions for market research, you’ll be on your way to getting handy customer information that can help you drive your business in the right direction.

The next time you conduct a survey, try the tips above, ask the right questions just as I’ve pointed out, and you’ll be on your way to uncovering your customers’ deepest desires.

Do you use market research surveys? If so, what type of questions do you usually ask? Let me know below!

Source: New feed 2

16 Market Research Tools To Uncover Actionable Insights

16 market research tools to uncover actionable insights

In a world of increasing competition, understanding your target market is vital.

Conducting thorough research of past, current, and prospective customers helps you uncover insights to improve your product or create more effective marketing messages.

Those insights don’t have to be hard-won, either. Thanks to new tools and data sources, businesses no longer have to rely on traditional methods like surveys and focus groups.

Ready to learn what your audience really wants? These are the 15 best market research tools to use.

Benefits of Leveraging Marketing Research

There’s a reason the global revenue of the market research industry has more than doubled since 2008 and is now valued in excess of $76.4 billion. It comes with a heap of benefits. Any business wanting to improve its product or launch a new marketing campaign will be at a significant disadvantage without market research.

If you’re asking yourself “what is market research?,” look no further. Market research keeps your target audience at the center of every decision. By understanding their needs and desires, you can tailor everything from your product to your marketing to your customer. In doing so, you’ll reduce the number of bad customer experiences—one or two of which are enough to make 64% of customers switch to a competitor.

Market research tools can also help you discover new business opportunities and threats. New markets become obvious when speaking to customers and understanding their behavior. The same applies with competitors and external threats that could threaten your business if you don’t act. It can also be used to help create customer personas, which only add to the effectiveness of your marketing. Customer personas are fictional takes on your ideal consumer created by your team to describe the characteristics and buying motives of specific customer categories.

Ultimately, using market research will give you a huge competitive advantage. That’s because of the benefits above and because 6 out of 10 marketers are using consumer research to drive decisions. Do you really want to be on the outside looking in?

As a start, you can use these tools to spy on the competition and see where your brand stands against them. There are also tools to help you collect that all-important market research data.

How to Use Marketing Research Data in Your Marketing

You can leverage market research data in several ways, but using it to inform and optimize your marketing strategy, from campaign creation to execution, is one of the most powerful.

For instance, market research can ensure your new product launch goes off without a hitch. Almost half of all product launches are delayed, and 20% fail to meet targets. By understanding exactly what customers want, a successful product launch simply becomes a case of delivering it.

Market research can also help you focus your marketing efforts on areas where you have a competitive advantage. By understanding what customers are really searching for, you could identify untapped markets with very little competition in terms of paid ads or SEO. Focusing your efforts here, rather than on saturated verticals, will send your ROI soaring.

Finally, you can use market research data to optimize your marketing efforts after launch. Analyzing social media and other types of user engagement data can highlight how effective each message is so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Combine this with techniques to understand your customers and you fully understand what your content needs to accomplish to reach them. 

5 Best Free Marketing Research Tools

You don’t have to spend a dime to get the benefits of marketing research. There are plenty of free market research tools out there. I’ve highlighted five of my favorites below.

1. Google Trends

Google Trends market research tool

Google Trends shows you what people are searching for on Google. It was introduced in 2006 and tracks the popularity of topics over time by location. You can see exactly how popular searches are for Taylor Swift in the U.S. this year. Or how searches for Brexit have declined in the U.K. since 2019.

At the time of writing, Google processes 99,000 searches every second. That’s over 85 billion searches every day, making it the largest and most valuable search data source in existence. Google Trends gives you access to that data in a categorized and aggregated way.

Enter a trend and Google will show you how trendy that term is with a line graph and give you a score out of 100. You can also compare different terms.

Pros

  • easy to use
  • visually appealing
  • huge amount of data

Cons

  • doesn’t show the exact search volume
  • related topics aren’t always relevant

2. Facebook Page Insights

Facebook Page Insights market research tool

Facebook Page Insights is a fantastic and free market research option if you use Facebook to market your business. If you don’t use Facebook for marketing yet, you probably should. With 2.9 billion monthly active users, it’s one of the best social media platforms for marketing.

The tool provides insights into your audience, post performance, and the health of your pages. You can use the tool to see who likes your page and why, which posts get the most engagement, and learn how to increase the reach of your content.

If you’re struggling to get started, Facebook offers two courses: one on how to generate insights and make data-driven recommendations and one on how to make the most of marketing insights.

Pros

  • unparalleled insight into your Facebook audience
  • easy to use
  • courses available

Cons

  • limited to your Facebook pages
  • not as comprehensive as it once was

3. Think With Google

Think With Google market research tool

Think With Google is one of the search giant’s lesser-known tools, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful. It’s a free-to-use resource library of facts and figures based on Google’s own data and other research that can supercharge your marketing efforts.

If you want a broad understanding of what’s going on in the world, Think With Google is a great starting point. Search the platform, and you can uncover marketing trends, understand the latest consumer behavior and find the insights you need to drive your marketing strategy.

The site is split into four areas (Consumer Insights, Marketing Strategies, Future of Marketing, and Tools) which you can use to find the insights you’re looking for.

Pros

  • huge resource of statistics and studies
  • easy to use
  • great for marketing research

Cons

  • limited to marketing studies

4. Answer The Public

Answer The Public market research tool

See a familiar face? Answer The Public is now part of the NP family, and makes a great free asset for your market research needs. It’s one of the simplest options out there for getting a deeper understanding of what people are talking about.

Simply enter in the topic you want to research, the region you are looking at, and you’ll get a whole set of adjacent topics and questions that people are searching for about the subject. On top of that, Answer the Public puts these in flat data sets or handy data visualizations for you to share with your teams.

Struggling to come up with content ideas? Answer The Public gives you a bunch of baseline ideas, pulled right from the minds (and searches) of your audience.

Pros

  • Easy interface to get you insights fast
  • Data visualization to make sharing insights easier
  • Incredible insights on how a subject is approached in search.

Cons

  • Limited users and searches with free plan — but upgrading gives you that and a variety of other features, including comparing data over time and search listening alerts.

Price

Free with limited uses, paid plans range from $79 to $199 per month.

5. U.S. Census Bureau

U.S. Census Bureau market research tool

The U.S. Census Bureau website lets you search U.S. census data for free. The Bureau of the Census conducts over 130 surveys a year (which are used to allocate billions of dollars in federal funds), making it an in-depth source of reliable data.

You can filter by several variables, including age, location, and income. It also provides visualization of some data sets. One interesting way to use this data set is to filter the results using your business’ NAICS code to see where and with whom your industry is most popular. This is a great way to discover new target markets.

Pros

  • one of the biggest demographic resources online
  • easy to search through reports

Cons

  • limited to the U.S.
  • older census reports can become outdated quickly

Price

Free.

11 Best Paid Marketing Research Tools

Free market research tools are a great way to dip your toes into the industry. However, there will always be limitations when you don’t pay for the data. If you’re serious about market research, you’re going to want to pay for premium access. These are the best paid market research tools to use.

1. QuestionPro

QuestionPro market research tool

So far, we’ve only discussed secondary data sources. A primary data source would involve gathering results directly from people through surveys

QuestionPro is a great option, with over a billion questions answered, offering a range of free plans and professional research licenses. 

These plans are great for making, distributing, and analyzing surveys. Importantly, all users can get 24/7 LiveChat support, which is a huge asset. Surveys can be sent through a variety of means including email, links, social media, embedded text, etc. Analysis can be done in-app or through an export.

Pros

  • easy to start using, especially with built-in templates
  • a generous free plan
  • 24/7 LiveChat support for all

Cons

  • mastering the software takes time
  • user interface prioritizes function over aesthetics

Price

The Basic plan is free, while the Advanced plan costs $99 per month.

2. SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey market research tool

SurveyMonkey is one of the best and most popular tools to use, with over 20 million questions answered using the platform each day.

The company’s enterprise-grade platform makes it easy to create, send out, and analyze surveys. Surveys can be sent via a link, email, social media, or embedded into a web page. You can browse through individual responses or use the tool’s custom reports and charts to visualize data.

Pros

  • easy to use
  • good template selection
  • great free plan

Cons

  • analytics could be improved
  • lack of customer support

Price

Basic plan is free. Standard plan costs $99 per month.

3. Statista

Statista market research tool

Statista is a hub of visual data, market research reports, and statistics. It collates data from several reputable sources, turning most of them into graphs and charts that are easy to digest. Because Statista’s data is continually updated, you can keep coming back to the same chart year after year to see how trends are changing.

The site has data on almost any topic you can imagine, making it a great way to discover consumer behavior and market trends, no matter your business.

Getting started with Statista is as easy as searching for a particular topic. The site’s search functionality is excellent and will return hundreds of reports and dashboards that you can use to influence or support your marketing efforts.

Pros

  • one of the best statistical resources online
  • great UX
  • easy to search for data

Cons

  • free plan is limited
  • visuals aren’t the best

Price

Basic account is free. Premium account costs $59 per month.

4. Typeform

Typeform market research tool

Typeform is another survey-based market research tool and an alternative to SurveyMonkey. It benefits from a more user-friendly design with a bunch of pre-made templates, making it easy to create forms and online surveys that you can send to customers. Typeform drives more than 500 million digital interactions every year and integrates with hundreds of other apps.

You can format questions in multiple ways, including multiple-choice, scale ratings, and open-ended answers—perfect for collecting quantitative and qualitative data. You can even use conditional logic to change the structure of your survey based on a respondent’s answers.

The respondent experience is also different. Unlike other survey tools, respondents are only shown a single question at a time. This makes for a more user-friendly and less intimidating experience that can increase the number of responses.

Pros

  • easy to use
  • respondent-friendly
  • strong data visualization
  • mobile-optimized

Cons

  • lack of customer support
  • data reporting isn’t amazing

Price

Limited free plan available. Premium plans start from $25 per month billed annually.

5. ??Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo market research tool

Think of Buzzsumo as the content marketing and social media market research tool. It analyzes over 8 billion articles and 300 trillion social engagements, so you can see which topics or types of content receive the most engagement, what’s getting shared on social media, and find influencers who can help increase the reach of your content.

This makes Buzzsumo an incredibly effective market research tool for any marketer looking to put together a content marketing strategy. There’s no need to second guess what’s going to rank well and receive engagement when you can use Buzzsumo to see what’s getting traction at the moment.

There are several ways you can use Buzzsumo. The easiest way is to use the tool’s Content Analyzer to search for a topic and see which articles have the most engagement. You can also set up alerts to monitor mentions of a particular optic or keywords.

Pros

  • accurate social share counts
  • great for competitor research

Cons

  • doesn’t include every social media channel
  • filtering could be better

Price

Free plan available. Premium plans start from $99 per month.

6. Qualtrics

Qualtrics market research tool

Qualtrics is an all-in-one market research tool. From creating advanced surveys to segmenting markets and analyzing data, Qualtrics does it all. Create your own survey to gather data or upload an existing data set and Qualtrics will run statistical tests and apply visualizations to help you gather insights.

There’s no need to spend time finding respondents for your surveys, either. You can use the platform to find a representative sample of your target audience and have them fill in your survey.

There’s even on-demand training to help you get the most from the platform.

Pros

  • easy to build surveys
  • excellent data reporting

Cons

  • software has a steep learning curve
  • limited customization of surveys

Price

Plans start from $1500 per annum.

7. Qualaroo

Qualaroo market research tool

Qualaroo is an advanced customer survey tool that helps you ask the right questions at the right times. What separates Qualaroo from other survey tools is that you can embed surveys into your site, allowing you to catch users in real-time, with context. That makes their responses significantly more valuable and insightful.

Creating surveys is easy thanks to a wide range of templates and customization options. Analyzing and reporting results is also a breeze courtesy of the platform’s AI-powered analytics tool. There are also tons of other features like dozens of answer types, branching questions, and automatic language translation.

Pros

  • easy to create and deploy surveys
  • analytics reduces reporting time
  • easy to learn

Cons

  • pre-built templates can be generic
  • dashboards could be improved

Price

Plans start from $80 per month.

8. BrandMentions

BrandMentions market research tool

BrandMentions is another social media monitoring platform similar to Buzzsumo but with a greater emphasis on social media. It estimates it currently analyzes billions of social media mentions for over 10,000 companies.

You can use the tool to quickly understand social media users’ opinions on practically any topic. Simply search for a keyword, and BrandMentions will display the most recent social posts as well as the context in which it was used. So not only do you see what people are saying, you understand the broader sentiment around the topic.

The tool also shows a range of other metrics, including how many people view the topic each day, how many people engage with the topic, and which days the topic trends on.

Pros

  • great for social media research
  • can also be used for brand monitoring
  • intuitive UX

Cons

  • can be time-consuming to automate reports
  • only analyzes social media data

Price

Plans start from $99 per month.

9. Gartner

Gartner market research tool

Global research and advisory firm Gartner is a heavyweight when it comes to market research. The company has three core services (trusted insights, strategic advice, and practical tools). We’re only going to focus on its trusted insights offering here.

Trusted insights offer an incredible amount of detailed, verified, and peer-driven research. It’s a fantastic way to identify trends in your industry, spot gaps in the market, and discover other insights to power your business.

These reports are at another level compared to other research teams. Gartner boasts over 2,000 research experts and several proprietary research methodologies to deliver objective and unmatched insights.

Pros

  • unmatched insights
  • unbiased data

Cons

  • very expensive

Price

Plans start at $30,000.

10. Tableau

Tableau market research tool

Tableau is a business intelligence suite centered around data visualization. You can connect to almost any data source and Tableau will transform that data into beautiful visual reports that make it easy to analyze and share with stakeholders.

You don’t need to know any code to use Tableau, and the tool makes it easy to be as broad or granular as you like with data analysis. Import data from tons of different data sources, like PDFs, spreadsheets, and Google Analytics.

Tableau is a trusted market research tool for some of the country’s biggest companies, including Verizon, Lenovo, and Charles Schwab.

Pros

  • best visual data reporting tool
  • acts as a central repository for data
  • analyzing data is easy

Cons

  • can be slow to upload large data sources
  • requires you to source your own data

Price

Tableau Explorer starts at $42.

11. Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest market research tool

Ubersuggest is one of the best tools for doing SEO and PPC-focused market research. Full transparency, this is a tool I created, but I would think it’s pretty awesome even if I didn’t make it.

Put a phrase into the search bar and it will provide you with a list of other relevant keywords people are searching for, along with search volume and a difficulty score. You can also enter your own domain or that of a competitor to identify areas for improvement.

It’s a great tool for identifying the size of a potential market, how competitive that market is and what chance you have of ranking in it. You can also use it to get the low-down on a competitor and find out which audiences they’re targeting.

Pros

  • great UX
  • one of the best market research tools for digital marketing
  • wide range of affordable plans

Cons

  • limited to SEO and PPC data

Price

Ubersuggest has a free plan that allows for 3 keyword searches a day with limited insights.

Paid plans start at $29 per month or $290 for lifetime access.

Market Research Tools Frequently Asked Questions

What are the primary market research techniques?

There are five main techniques for conducting primary research: surveys, one-on-one interviews, observational studies, focus groups, and field trials.

What can I discover with market research?

The best insight from market research is the discovery of a relevant and actionable insight about your target market you can use to improve your offering or influence your marketing efforts.

Are market research tools worth the cost?

If you are on a budget, there are plenty of free market research tools available. However, the best market research tools cost money and provide access to more data and additional capabilities that can increase the effectiveness of your market research.

Why is it important to do market research?

Market research uncovers important information about your business and target market that can highlight opportunities for your business that would otherwise be missed.

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  • What’s your biggest challenge in___?
  • What level of expertise do you have in ___? (Beginner, intermediate, or expert?)
  • What’s your preferred method of learning (reading, listening, watching, practicing, others)?


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Conclusion: Market Research Tools

Market research tools are an invaluable way to find out exactly what your target audience is thinking. Whether you use free market research tools or paid market research tools, you can uncover plenty of insights that can have a transformative effect on your business.

Stop making uninformed decisions and start taking time to understand your customers and use that information to inform your marketing strategy.

What are your favorite market research tools?

Source: New feed 2

How to Overcome Writer’s Block with Ubersuggest

Graphic that says, "How to overcome writer's block with Ubersuggest."

You’re staring at your screen.

Your screen’s staring back at you.

Only one of you can win this writer’s block contest (and believe me—I’m rooting for you).

You’re not the only one who experiences writer’s block.

In the blogosphere, 70 million posts are published monthly on WordPress alone.

Their authors all likely hit a wall somewhere in their content creation process.

Even I had to fill my blogger toolbox with writer’s block tools.

So, how do I manage to crank out four to five high-quality blog posts every week?

I developed a creative inspiration formula.

I’ll show you how I use Ubersuggest to generate content ideas to break my writer’s block.

I believe it will work for you too.

You’ll be able to content batch dynamic ideas to keep your brand’s content fresh and exciting.

More than just your audience will enjoy the end result.

Your team will feel inspired to think big, win big, and crush writer’s block.

What Is Writer’s Block, and What Causes It?

Do you want to know my nickname for writer’s block?

I call it the creativity killer.

You want to write but don’t know what to write.

I call it this because it puts you in a creative slump. Thankfully, you can reverse-engineer your way to a great writing breakthrough.

You’ll know when you’ve hit a block.

You may be feeling uninspired. Maybe your message is unclear.

Stress can also block your creative flow. This can come in the form of self-doubt or lack of motivation.

You may even be plagued by perfectionism.

Or your foundational knowledge of the topic isn’t sound.

But you’ve got to break through the wall at some point.

Understand what led to the block. Once you can put your finger on it, you can get that spark back.

How Writer’s Block Impacts Your Business

Overcoming writer’s block is a delicate process, but it shouldn’t interfere with your business.

You don’t have to wait to let the sentences form in your mind to get started.

Allow your research and notes to guide you.

Planning helps you commit to communicating with your audience.

Your audience wants to hear from your content to take their next informed steps. You don’t want to negatively impact your brand by failing to post regularly because of writer’s block. It’ll cost you both organic traffic and brand awareness.

HubSpot reported your blogging frequency should be at least two to three posts a week, no matter your blog length or content goals.

A graphic designed by HubSpot that is titled, "How often should you blog?"

You’ve gained your audience’s attention through what you have to say—and they value you.

While trying to up your page views and domain authority, don’t lose their attention over one tricky topic.

Be patient with yourself and work through your process if you want to stay connected with your audience and maximize the visibility of your business.

So, mix up your approach. Try something different.

Have you thought about using an AI writer or other tools to overcome writer’s block?

Can Tools Help You Overcome Writer’s Block?

Push through that empty page with tools to overcome writer’s block.

I know, like you know, that there’s nothing more frustrating than writer’s block. But a checklist of tips and tools to overcome writer’s block will help you solve the problem quickly.

One of the best ways to overcome writer’s block is to start with an “I can” vs. an “I can’t” attitude.

That includes thinking outside the box and seeking out tools to help come up with the words and ideas you need to move forward.

Overcome writer’s block with resources like question forums. Everybody knows Quora, so get some answers and ideas from a community of users likely in your niche.

Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is also helpful in gathering expert advice and quotes on topics. You can set a query to help you expand on topics and even draw inspiration from the responses you receive.

Need a writer’s block tool that’ll help beat a time crunch? Try Copy.ai, an AI writing tool. Just enter a few sentences or phrases about your topic, and it’ll generate copy you can use to help crush your content project.

Think of AI writers as your copywriting assistant. Even if you’re writing for SEO, AI writing assistants take your topic and turn it into content that converts.

Perhaps your topic isn’t working, or your keywords need beefing up.

To optimize your copy, use Ubersuggest. You can expand keyword long-tail phrases, drawing from sources like videos or images. You can even shape your content with the built-in AI rewriting tool. All you have to do is enter text into the tool and it rewrites it into fresh and unique content.

AI rewriting tools can write quickly, generating high-quality content for your company. This is a great starting point to ensure you’re hitting the mark for your audience within your niche and industry.

Using Ubersuggest to Overcome Writer’s Block: How It Works

Using Ubersuggest helps you reorganize your idea(s) to overcome writer’s block.

As a savvy content marketer, you know when it’s time to get innovative.

One way is to give direction to your writing.

Let me show you how to use Ubersuggest—an SEO content marketing tool—to help you break past your block.

Say you can’t think of what to cover about the topic.

Head to Ubersuggest and enter your target keyword(s) or topic into “Content Ideas.”

Screenshot of Ubersuggest's homepage.

We’ll plug in the keyword “mobile-friendly website” as your topic is optimizing a mobile-friendly website.

Screenshot of Ubersuggest's page when searching for content ideas to overcome writer's block.

We can then look at the top-performing URLs alongside your query.

Let’s see the keywords they used to help them form the piece by zooming in on the site with the most backlinks.

Screenshot of Ubersuggest's webpage and SEO information to help overcome writer's block.

Look at the keywords generating these visits.

We can draw from these results that many brands don’t have mobile-friendly websites and want to know how to make changes for the better.

Based on the demand from the audience, here are angles to take with your post:

  • Include subtopic listing strategies for making WordPress websites compatible with mobile.
  • Add the coding changes needed on your website’s CSS style sheet to make your website mobile-friendly.
  • Write a step-by-step on making websites mobile-friendly.
  • Scroll down to find more relevant keywords worthy of writing as a subtopic in your post.

You can also gather any other keywords you didn’t consider to get in front of your target audience.

Finding other related keywords with this quick content research session will help you reach your audience and rank well in Google.

You just defeated writer’s block with your golden ticket of an outline.

If you find your page headings or titles are really not the direction you want to go, rework them with the AI rewriter on Ubersuggest.

Screenshot of Ubersuggest's AI writer to help overcome writer's block.

These are the components of your post that will help navigate your reader down the page. So, the flow matters for you to express your ideas and for your audience’s comprehension. To top off your work, use the tool to shape your meta descriptions.

Screenshot of Ubersuggest's AI writer to help overcome writer's block.

Now your reader and search engines will know what your content is all about.

Being Proactive to Beat Writer’s Block

Being proactive to beat writer’s block molds you into a more efficient writer.

Sometimes finding inspiration is hard.

Some of the greatest writers, like Hemingway, wrote daily to stay on their toes with topics.

A writing routine can help you with this. Try different exercises like picking a topic randomly and giving yourself timed writing assessments.

A simple way to find inspiration is reading. The more you read, the more new concepts, ideas, and words you’ll have. Use these as writer’s block tools.

As you get the words on the page, think of questions your users might ask along the way. You are responsible for being the subject matter expert. Use their potential questions to spark ideas and shape how you communicate with your audience (including a FAQ section on your post).

Suppose you need to brainstorm. Set time aside before you start writing for content ideation or research. This way, topics you aren’t familiar with will be easier to navigate.

Maybe you’re experiencing mild writer’s block. You know, like when you aren’t landing that punchy line.

Write down what you’re trying to say in a paraphrasing tool like QuillBot. Allow the tool to form your words in a different way to help you land a phrase well for your audience.

This is how you can train your writing muscles for success and beat writer’s block.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is writer's block?

Writer’s block is the overwhelming feeling of not knowing how to express yourself to move forward in the writing process. Everyone experiences it differently, but there are many tools to overcome writer’s block, like Ubersuggest’s AI rewriting tool.

How to overcome writer's block?

Ways to overcome writer’s block—other than free writing for creative flow—include:

  1. Changing your work environment
  2. Getting energized (i.e. take a break or have a cup of coffee)
  3. Read quality content
  4. Use an AI copywriter
  5. Use a keyword or content generator

What tools can I use to beat writer's block?

Tools to overcome writer’s block include:

  • Quora: A Q&A forum
  • HARO: A service providing expertise and quotes from industry leaders on yo,ur research query
  • Copy.ai: An AI copywriting tool
  • Ubersuggest: An SEO content marketing tool

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  2. Getting energized (i.e. take a break or have a cup of coffee)
  3. Read quality content
  4. Use an AI copywriter
  5. Use a keyword or content generator


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  • HARO: A service providing expertise and quotes from industry leaders on yo,ur research query
  • Copy.ai: An AI copywriting tool
  • Ubersuggest: An SEO content marketing tool


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Conclusion

Stop overthinking it.

If you experience writer’s block, it doesn’t make you any less of a writer.

There’s more than one solution to every problem. This is where tools to overcome writer’s block come into play.

You’ll likely get past the block by embracing new ways to overcome writer’s block, like an AI writer or Ubersuggest.

Don’t give up or stress about writer’s block when you have tools to overcome writer’s block (that don’t include going to buy a coffee and sitting at a coffee shop all day for inspirational vibes).

You can use tools to seed writing ideas and prepare you for future writing pieces.

If you’ve experienced writer’s block, how do you fight it? Have you tried Ubersuggest or other tools to overcome it?

Source: New feed 2

Leverage Keyword Research for Product Naming

Graphic that says, "Leverage keyword research for product naming."

Naming products is no easy task.

You’ve got your product and a whiteboard full of random phrases and ideas being tossed around.

Some names sound ok, maybe a few seem like a good fit, but no one on your team can agree on a winner.

So how do you choose the right name for your product?

Here’s where keyword research comes into play!

By understanding what people are searching for, you can optimize your product name to better meet their needs.

Not only that, you’ll also increase the odds that they’ll find and buy your product.

Stressed? Don’t be.

I’ll show you the ins and outs of product naming to make the process a breeze.

What Makes a Good Product Name?

In general, you want your product name to be easy to remember, easy to understand, and easy to say!

Think about it.

If I can’t even pronounce your product’s name, how am I going to remember it?

And if I can’t understand what your product does through its name, I’m probably going to go see what the competition has to offer instead.

So before you release a product, it’s always a good idea to research online marketing challenges that could arise.

If you don’t, it could limit your team’s ability to make the right branding strategy. On the other hand, using SEO hacks to discover your next brand name works surprisingly well!

You likely already understand the importance of SEO, and the data backs you up. A study that analyzed billions of Google searches discovered that the first three organic results had a combined 44.5% click-through rate. But how can SEO help you name your product?

Two words: search intent.

When someone searches for something online, their intentions become clear through the words they use.

Looking for reviews? You’ll probably add the word “best.” Searching for someplace to eat? The words “near me” might be used. Search engines like Google have gotten great at inferring user intent based on the queries they enter and the context around them.

The point is, you can also search your own product’s name or product category and see what keywords the top ranked results share. Those first few results likely have things in common. Are your potential customers looking for a product that has certain qualities, like increased speed or strength? That might be a sign to incorporate similar words into your brand.

Don’t make the mistake of only looking for intent in the top search results. At least for Google, you can check out related searches and what “people also ask.” Both of these provide insights into what your customer base is thinking when it comes to your product.

Screenshot of the "People Also Ask" section on Google.

Here are a few branding tips to think about when you name your next product:

  1. Make it Relevant

Ask yourself, what category does your product fall under? It’s likely a term that people also search for when looking for similar products.

That’s why you should include as many of your category names in the name of your product whenever possible.

Product names are also usually cited as anchor text in online articles, so including a category in the name can lead to more qualified clicks to your page. This is just one way of leveraging SEO to build your brand.

A clever example of this is the brand name for a project management tool for businesses called MOE Assist. This play on words hints at “more assistance” for projects by using MOE Assist.

A screenshot of Moe's Instagram account.
  1. Use Search Engines/Tools

Have trouble coming up with keywords in your field?

Ubersuggest is a useful keyword generation tool for honing in on the perfect name. It’s easy to use with a smooth interface and offers a ton of extra information about every keyword. Ubersuggest offers suggested keywords to use instead, as well as related words, SEO difficulty, and volume and more.

One cool bonus feature of Ubersuggest is each keyword search result comes with a list of content ideas that could give you a boost in SERPS (search engine results pages).

A screenshot of Ubersuggest's webpage showing a keyword overview for "ai software."
A screenshot of Ubersuggest's webpage showing keyword ideas.

YouTube is also an excellent resource, as it is the second largest search engine in the world. To find popular keywords on this platform, use YouTube’s search bar to enter in your brand name ideas. YouTube’s auto-suggest feature will activate and show you a drop down list of related searches.

Google Ads can help as well, providing access to data on individual keywords, their search rates and suggested alternative words.

  1. Stay Positive

You’ve probably heard of the phrase “guilty by association.” Product names are bound by the associations they elicit.

How many people would buy an Apple product if the company was named after something sour, like a lemon?

Words and meanings can shift across international lines. If you plan on selling your product all over the world, think about how your name will resonate in different cultures. You’d be astonished to find out how many corporate brands alter their product names in different regions. For example, in China Heineken Beer is instead called Xi li, which translates to “happiness power.”

  1. Don’t be Ambiguous

Sure, that random word may sound catchy, but if it bleeds into another category then you end up diminishing your ranking on the organic SERPs. Ambiguous words are open to more than one interpretation. Let’s say you are starting a make-up company and use the word “Compact” in your name. While it can mean a make-up holder, it’s also used for all sorts of products trying to market a small size.

A screenshot of Google's product page showing different product names.

Keep your product names category-specific and direct.

Product naming may not be rocket science, but it does take time to learn how to do it right! Learn more about why SEO is so important for your brand.

Scout the Competition

It can never hurt to take a peek at the competition. Look at the reviews left for your competitors. It will tell you all about their strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of their audience. What are the most common complaints you see? You can use those reviews to differentiate your own product from the competition.

Dive deep into their publicly available data, like social media accounts and websites. What unique features do their products have?

Product Naming Success Examples

Look no further than two of the biggest tech giants, Microsoft and Apple, for examples of great success stories in product naming.

Take Microsoft. Windows was their flagship product of the 90s and still has 76% of the global market share held by operating systems in 2022.

So what made them choose the name Windows?

Well, around the time that Windows launched, all graphical user interfaces (GUIs) were being described as “windowed systems.” Rather than becoming yet another windowed interface, Microsoft flipped the script by claiming the window name for themselves.

In turn, this positioned Windows as the category definer instead of a reinforcer, with other companies now using Microsoft’s branded name to describe their interfaces.

Another great example of successful product names is Netflix. Simple, direct, and includes the category in the title: what more could we ask for?!

By combining the first half of the word “internet” with a slang word for movies, Netflix says what it is with minimal effort.

Find What Your Audience Wants and Thinks

You can save time and money by learning from your target market what they want, rather than guessing.

If you have a client email list, send them a survey and ask them a few questions to get to know your audience better.

Once you have results, look for repeating themes and common answers. Use these responses to reword your product name appropriately.

Don’t have an email list? Use your social media accounts instead!

With the average amount of time spent on social media at 2.5 hours per day, there is a lot of data available to comb through.

Get insights on your followers by looking at what they kept watching and what they clicked on. Post mini-polls to gauge interest. Find audience members who are more engaged with your page and send a direct message.

Asking a few questions from engaged followers can give valuable feedback from the people most interested in your products.

Future-Proof Your Product Naming Strategies

You’ve jumped through all the SEO hoops and finally have a product name worth using. Secure that name for ages to come!

To avoid any future SEO or social ramifications, double-check to see whether someone has already taken your planned social media profile name.

If you don’t want to be associated with somebody who has a negative reputation, this is critical, particularly if there’s already someone out there with the same account name as your product.

Future-proof your product names by claiming social media accounts with your product’s name on all the main platforms. In addition, check web domains with your product name as well. If they are available, buying them is a good way to protect your brand name’s reputation.

FAQs

How important is my product name?

Your product name is vital to the success of your product! 77% of consumers buy products based on the name instead of the product itself. The name is one of the first things that potential customers will see. Product names without any association to the product’s category can make it hard to find on search engines. Names with negative associations to other words and social media accounts can hinder sales.

How do I know I am naming my product something people want?

By researching your audience through surveys and data analytics, you can help ensure that the product name you choose is something that people want.

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Conclusion

The creation of catchy and unique product names doesn’t have to be hard.

By leveraging SEO to build your brand, you can come up with a name that speaks to your audience!

Remember to pick a brand name that is relevant, has positive associations and is unambiguous. If you can include a category title in your product’s name, all the better.

With the right name for your product, you’ll rise in the SERPs.

Higher rankings lead to higher traffic, which leads to more revenue.

How will you leverage keywords to help your next product soar?

Source: New feed 2

Core Web Vitals for Small Businesses: How To Pass The CWV Assessment

Graphic that says, "Core web vital for small businesses: how to pass the CWV assessment."

Did you know 1 in 2 visitors abandon a website that takes more than 6 seconds to load?

You may think that sounds extreme, but it’s pretty reasonable.

In a digitally connected world, people expect a quick and easy user experience, especially on mobile.

Google agrees. Page experience signals such as page loading speed are now among the factors that help you rank on search engine results pages (SERPs).

In other words, you should be concerned with page experience. Google wants to make sure people get the answers they’re looking for and have an enjoyable user experience.

This Google metric measures the user experience that visitors have when they arrive at your page. As you rack up visits, you have the opportunity to convert them into sales and grow your audience.

Core Web Vitals are crucial to your website’s growth, no matter the quality of your content.

I know keeping up with Google feels like a full-time job. I’m here to help you through it.

If you’re struggling with Core Web Vitals, let me explain why you need to keep working on them.

Let’s get technical.

What Is Core Web Vitals and Why Is It Important?

Core Web Vitals are a little complex, so let’s break them down.

CWV affects algorithms based on Google’s page experience metric, which measures “how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value.”

Core Web Vitals take three metrics into account:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP or load time): How long a page’s primary content— including large elements like a hero picture or header—takes to load. A good score is 2.5 seconds or less.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS or visual stability): The amount a page’s layout shifts after loading. This is a measure of your site’s visual stability.
  • First Input Delay (FID or interactivity): The amount of time that passes from when a user performs an action on your site (like clicking a link or button) to when the browser responds to that action.
A screenshot of a glossary of words, including LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), FID (First Input Delay), CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift), FCP (First Contentful Paint), TTFB (Time to First Byte), DOM Content Loaded, and Onloaded.

As a small business owner, digital marketer, or website developer, you can improve your Core Web Vitals to enhance your website’s user experience. If your page isn’t loading fast enough, visitors will bounce and you can lose your rank position to a page that loads more efficiently.

This is why Core Web Vitals are so key for small business SEO. Besides keeping your website organized and clean, strong CWV scores help your website rank higher and gain more recognition.

By prioritizing page experience, you can pass Core Web Vitals.

A graph showing the importance of passing core web vitals.

So, why is it important that you keep working to pass Core Web Vitals?

Reduced search performance is the clear result of a poor page experience in terms of CWV metrics. Even if your website has the best content ever, if users are having trouble accessing it or interacting with it, Google will respond accordingly.

Since Google is shaping the web, CWV and SEO for small businesses need to work hand in hand to help you boost traffic.

While the value of search traffic varies from business to business, CWV is incredibly valuable as a low-cost, natural way to draw interested visitors to your website. Because of this, Core Web Vitals must be a priority if you rely on this kind of traffic or believe it will increase in value in the future.

Give your audience a hassle-free experience while browsing your site to remain favorable with Google.

Google is getting more and more competitive, so continue to adapt and keep up with the changes.

Why Small Businesses Can Fail Core Web Vitals

How often are you monitoring your site’s user-friendliness?

If you’ve neglected your site’s performance, let’s make sure you pass Core Web Vitals.

A graph showing the core web vitals of a webpage.

All images by Philip Walton and Ilya Grigorik (CC-BY 3.0, source)

Earlier, we talked about what Core Web Vitals measures—largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay (FID), and cumulative layout shift (CLS). Now let’s put these concepts into real-life scenarios.

My team and I have collected data from different companies to show you why small businesses can fail Core Web Vitals.

Of the companies we collected data from, 50% did not pass Core Web Vitals.

Let’s look into what causes them to fail and what happens when you fail Core Web Vitals.

What Happens When You Fail Core Web Vitals?

First—don’t panic.

So much has changed since the initial rollout after the Core Web Vitals announcement.

Initially, these new rules were only applied to mobile search. As of February 2022, Google added the ranking signal of page experience from desktop.

I can get you to where you want to be, and along the way, you’ll see a boost in your rank.

In the meantime, let’s study the sites that failed. What are they getting wrong with page experience?

Core Vital Measurement Failed
Layout Shift 81.24%
Largest Contentful Paint 73.49%
First Input Delay 91%

For the failing sites, largest contentful paint, or LCP, is the area that needs the most improvement.

For sites that fail LCP, I suggest looking at how large elements are loading. This includes videos, images, and fonts. Even how they’re maximizing on SEO for small business promotion plays a big part.

Of the components within Google’s Ranking Algorithm, 12 to 15% are SEO-based. The “page experience” improvement from Google have a direct impact on the SEO of your website. The largest portion of Google’s page experience signals are the Core Web Vitals. This is why fast LCP gives the user confidence that the page is useful, boosting the page’s SEO content.

Another interesting callout linked to SEO is that sites that did not pass Core Web Vitals in some cases ranked higher than businesses that passed. However, businesses that did pass Core Web Vitals had substantially higher monthly organic traffic metrics.

So, while competitors that fail CWV may rank better for certain keywords, passing Core Web Vitals will help the site as a whole and drive more traffic to the site.

Remember, it’s about the experience on the site overall, emphasizing being faster and well organized.

What Our Data Taught Us About Core Web Vitals for Small Businesses

From what our data taught us, small businesses that pass Core Web Vitals had higher domain ratings, more backlinks, and a larger pool of non-branded keywords.

To give you a clear picture of the brands we’re profiling, we used the CrUX Dashboard to track and trace user experience trends for each brand, and PageSpeed Insights to pull reports on their page performance on desktop and mobile view.

From the captured data in June 2022, we could see who failed or passed Core Web Vitals, offering variables as to why this was the brand’s outcome. Post-assessment analyzation, the following factors helped us understand what contributed to a brand passing or failing CWV:

  • Largest Contentful Paint
  • First Input Display
  • Cumulative Layout Shift
  • Mobile Users
  • Net Organic Traffic
  • Domain Rating
  • Backlinks
  • Referring Domains

Now let’s look at what contributed to each brand’s CWV status.

Bearded Bastard: What Happens If You Fail Core Web Vitals

We took two beard grooming brands and two glow accessories brands to analyze what makes the difference for a brand that experiences failed CWV versus passing CWV.

For the beard growing brand that failed CWV, the Bearded Bastard, here’s what we saw in the data pulled:

A screenshot of the Bearded Bastard's webpage as an example failing to pass core web vitals.
  • LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) : Scored a 72% for good user experiences with 2.6s load time. The preferred time is 2.5s or lower, so this doesn’t pass, but it is close.
  • FID (First Input Display): scored a 90% for good user experiences for the website as a whole with 15ms load time. 100 ms or lower is considered good.
  • CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift): scored a 75.69% for good user experiences with .1 second load time
  • Mobile Users: 81.5% find this site from their phones
  • Net Organic Traffic: about 11.1K every month, according to Ahrefs
  • Domain Rating: 35
  • Backlinks: 3.2K
  • Referring Domains: 360K

In June 2022, they ranked in positions 1-3 for 28 keywords related to their products which has a sum of 1670 for search volume. Yet, they net 277 visitors from these ranking 1-3 positions keywords.

The Beard Brand: Auditing and Learning from CWV Success

For the beard brand that passed CWV, the Beard Brand, we noticed a shift in numbers that contributed to their assessment.

A screenshot of the Bead Brand's webpage as an example of passing core web vitals.
  • LCP (Largest Contentful Paint): Scored a 84.09% with a 1.4s
  • FID (First Input Display): scored a 97.23% with a 16ms
  • CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift): scored a 79.54% with 0s
  • Mobile Users: 74.6% find this site from their phones
  • Net Organic Traffic: about 316.2K every month, according to Ahrefs
  • Domain Rating: 73
  • Backlinks: 33.7K
  • Referring Domains: 3.4K

By June 2022, they ranked in positions 1-3 for 1,950 keywords related to their products while ranking in positions 1-3 for 1,910 non-branded keywords.

Other than mobile optimizations and providing quick page load times, domain rating and backlinks are the main differing metrics. These are potential variables that show why a site may be successful despite failing CWV.

The Secret Woods: Results from CWV Reporting

We also looked at two glow accessories brands and found what made the difference for each brand’s CWV results:

My Secret Woods received a passing CWV report, so let’s look at the numbers:

A screenshot of the Secret Woods' webpage as an example of passing core web vitals.
  • LCP (Largest Contentful Paint): Scored a 87.36% with a 2.2s
  • FID (First Input Display): scored a 98.54% with a 12ms
  • CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift): scored a 71.34% with 0.9s
  • Mobile Users: 80.98% find this site from their phones
  • Net Organic Traffic: about 8.7K every month, according to Ahrefs
  • Domain Rating: 58
  • Backlinks: 6.2K
  • Referring Domains: 776

In June 2022, they ranked in positions 1-3 for 108 keywords related to their products while ranking in positions 1-3 for 76 non-branded keywords.

Carbon 6 Rings: What CWV Issues Are Most Common?

Unlike its competitor, Carbon 6 Rings did not pass Core Web Vitals. Let’s see why:

A screenshot of Carbon 6 Rings' webpage as an example of failing to pass core web vitals.
  • LCP (Largest Contentful Paint): Scored a 74.98% with a 2.7s
  • FID (First Input Display): scored a 92.05% with a 18ms
  • CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift): scored a 86.79% with 0s
  • Mobile Users: 84.57% find this site from their phones
  • Net Organic Traffic: about 18.2K every month, according to Ahrefs
  • Domain Rating: 50
  • Backlinks: 1.1K
  • Referring Domains: 237

For June 2022, they ranked in positions 1-3 for 114 keywords related to their products while ranking in positions 1-3 for 69 non-branded keywords.

What Can We Learn About Core Web Vitals and Site Success

Now that we’ve broken things down individually, let’s show these different metrics side-by-side.

A table showing the web vitals of different companies.

The key differences we see with these competitors are the lack of ranking keywords in high positions like 1-3 for the failing CWV brand.

However, those businesses that passed CWV had substantially higher metrics for organic traffic per month. You’ll see while competitors that fail CWV may rank better for certain keywords, Core Web Vitals will help the site as a whole.

More traffic is then driven to the site since the experience is overall better quality attributed to speed.

So, if you want to look at your performance through the eyes of Google, use Core Web Vital tools such as Google Lighthouse.

These tools will help you improve your website performance in more areas than one.

To pass Core Web Vitals based on our learnings, small businesses need to improve their technical SEO in order to increase overall page speed. This is done through practices like progressively loading images and delaying third-party scripts.

The long-term success of any small business depends heavily on providing a pleasant website user experience. Core Web Vitals is a chance to enhance page experience and maybe see a bump in search engine results.

I know the recommendations for improving page experience in Core Web Vitals may sound quite technical. However, focusing on the metrics that matter most makes it less intimidating.

Core Web Vitals is just a place to start when trying to enhance page experience. As we’ve seen, Google is becoming more confident in the data as those metrics change over time.

It makes sense that small business owners would have a range of inquiries concerning technical SEO for small businesses and Core Web Vitals.

The most crucial thing is to start improving your online experience.

How to Start Passing Core Web Vitals

A Semrush study found that nearly 84% of URLs ranking in the top 10 on mobile SERPs in the U.S. were flagged as either “Poor” or “To improve” on Core Web Vitals reports.

So, before you get started with adjusting your current performance, check the metrics of your site with a Core Web Vitals report in Google Search Console. It’ll list everything that’s good, poor, or needs improvement.

Now that you know which pages are impacted, you can move ahead with your strategy.

Take it section by section.

Start with LCP.

This is usually what makes a page score as “poor.” Optimize LCP by eliminating any unnecessary third-party scripts to speed up page speed or setting up lazy loading – deferred loading for non-critical resources.

Next, optimize FID.

Minimizing JavaScript enables users to interact with a page better and having the cache clear helps load page content noticeably faster.

Finally, optimize CLS by using set size attributes for all media. This means video, photos, GIFs, infographics, etc. Even ads need a designated spot on your site so they don’t alter the flow of your content.

There’s so much to the structure of Core Web Vitals. So, take each part one by one to improve your site.

The good thing is you’ll see results and be closer to owning a page that can pass Core Web Vitals.

FAQ

Does SEO work for small businesses?

Yes, SEO works for small businesses. SEO for small businesses can even be easier by using other tools like social media to build backlinks to your site. This will help with domain authority and help your rank higher on search engine results pages.

Because search engines utilize sophisticated algorithms to offer users the precise results they want. If you produce useful material with SEO, you can rank against some of your fiercest competitors.

What are the 3 pillars of Core Web Vitals?

The three “pillars” of Core Web Vitals are:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) refers to how long a page’s main elements take to load
  • First Input Delay (FID) refers to the time that passes from a user’s first interaction with a web page (like clicking a link or button) to when the browser responds to that action.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) refers to the degree to which a page’s layout shifts once it’s loaded.

What is a good score on Core Web Vitals?

Overall, Core Web Vitals is graded as pass/fail. For more specific benchmarks, you need to look at the specific elements of the system. For example, 2.5 seconds is generally the cutoff point for a “good score” for Largest Contentful Paint. For Cumulative Layout Shift, you should try to be at 0.1 second or below. First Input Delay should be 100 milliseconds or below.

How to improve Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals improvement is a long-term process, so don’t get frustrated if it feels you have a lot of work to do. In general, you need to focus on any and all means to improve overall site speed and performance. This can include basic steps like resizing your existing images to speed out loading times, or more involved steps like moving from shared web hosting to a dedicated server.

Does Core Web Vitals affect ranking?

Core Web Vitals performance does impact SEO ranking in Google. While failing CWV doesn’t necessarily mean that your site will fail to rank for all keywords, it does ultimately impact both your rank as well as the user experience.

What are other technical SEO best practices?

Other technical SEO best practices to boost small business SEO are:

  1. URL structure optimization: To organize content and use keywords
  2. Page speed/Website speed: Fast pages = good page experience
  3. SSL and HTTPS: Encrypted connection secure for users
  4. Mobile friendliness: Efficient for users on the go anywhere at anytime
  5. Establishing a preferred domain: A hub for users to find your brand

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Conclusion

Customer experience, according to Forbes, is the new SEO, and the rollout of Core Web Vitals clearly supports their theory.

The launch of Core Web Vitals was a big move toward improving the web for every user. And it appears that these measurements will remain a big part of Google’s ranking algorithm.

Even if you don’t notice any problems now, you should continue to keep an eye on them.

Google won’t stop ranking pages if those pages don’t pass Core Web Vitals.

You can pass the assessment or have better results if your website is secure, mobile-friendly, features useful content, and doesn’t show intrusive ads.

Google’s idea is to help users find the most relevant and quality sites. So, make sure that site is yours by providing users with the best and most informative experience.

Are you struggling with Core Web Vitals and debating whether to keep working on them? Let us know!

Source: New feed 2

Search Beyond Search: The Biggest Opportunity in Digital Marketing

When you think about search, what comes to mind?

I bet you are thinking “Google”.

But there is more to search than Google. And even with Google, if you want to succeed you have to think beyond traditional SEO and PPC ads because everyone is using traditional tactics.

You must think outside the box. And that’s what I am going to help you do today.

So, let’s first go over the trends we are seeing, and then we can go over how you need to adapt.

Search trends

Although no one really talks about search like they used to, people still find it extremely valuable.

According to an MIT study, search engines were valued more than 2x as much as email, nearly 5x as much as online maps, and +50x more than social media.

As marketers, this is important to keep in mind because we tend to focus on shiny objects. You know, the channels everyone is talking about.

But a lot of the old channels out there like search engines and email are still very effective and people place more value on them.

And here is a fun fact that you probably didn’t know about search either… 15% of all searches that take place on Google each day have never been searched before.

That’s kind of crazy to think about knowing that Google has been around for a while and so has SEO.

And according to Google people go through a handful of emotions as they search that lead up to a purchase.

So, what are marketers doing? Well, they create tons of content to appeal to each of the above stages in hopes of landing a customer.

They know it’s effective too because Google even tells you… 85% of people will purchase from brands that provide trustworthy information.

But marketers forget is that 63% won’t buy from brands that provide irrelevant information.

So, if your content doesn’t help people or even worse is off, it’s going to hurt you over helping.

Now when I first started off in the digital marketing world 22 years ago marketers didn’t have this problem.

When you created content, you stood out for one simple reason… there was a lack of content. But these days that isn’t the case.

Just look at the term auto insurance. There are 165,000 searches in the United States each month, but over 1.1 billion results.

Do you think we really need anyone else to write content on that subject? Not really unless something drastically changes within that industry.

So when you create content on a keyword you want traffic from, what do you think is going to happen?

There may be a slim chance that you have something new to say that no one else has talked about… the reality is you are going to regurgitate what everyone else is already talking about.

It went from being where your website was “waldo” and you stood out from the crowd, but now everyone is waldo and it is hard to tell one site apart from another.

Image was taken by William Murphey during a Waldo competition in Dublin Ireland.

So how do you stand out? Well, we will get to that in a bit, but let’s go over a few more trends. ????

Google isn’t the only player in town

I want you to do a fun exercise. Think about all the platforms you use on a regular basis and ask yourself if they have a search feature.

Search is everywhere… it’s not just on Google or Bing.

Perform a search on each of the platforms you use on a regular basis. For fun let’s search for “Amsterdam”.

On Booking.com you may find hotels in Amsterdam. On Google you may find information about the city.

On YouTube, you may find videos about the movie and on Pinterest, you may find images from the city. And on Instagram, you may find pictures of restaurants and food dishes people ate in Amsterdam.

But here is where it gets interesting. According to Prabhakar Raghavan, SVP at Google, young people are turning to Instagram and TikTok for search over Google.

In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search… they go to TikTok or Instagram.

It shows in the data too. Just look at data from an average minute on the Internet.

Every minute 167 million TikTok videos are watched, versus only 5.7 million Google searches.

It’s not just TikTok either, people are spending more time on Facebook Live, iMessage, and even shopping online.

To reinforce this trend, just look at the top 10 searches on Google.

Notice a pattern?

4 of the top 10 searches are social networks.

7th and 9th searches emphasize globalization. If you haven’t thought about global SEO, check this out.

And the 8th most common search emphasizes shopping and the boom of eCommerce.

I know this is a lot of data, but if you ignore trends, you’ll end up going extinct.

Just look at what happened to Blockbuster, Netflix ate their lunch.

Or how US teens for the first time prefer YouTube over Netflix.

This may be one of the reasons why YouTube’s ad revenue is almost matching Netflix’s.

If you don’t pay attention to the trends out there and adapt to what people want, you will lose.

Heck, even Google pays attention to trends and they try to adapt.

Remember when they created the social network Google Plus? It didn’t work out, but they tried.

And now they have web stories, which will help them compete with Instagram and TikTok. Just like how they also created YouTube Shorts too.

I don’t think web stories will work as people don’t really see Google as a social network, but time will tell.  

So, where’s the opportunity?

There are a few opportunities for you if you want to stand out from all the other waldos and be able to compete in a way that doesn’t mean just spending more than others as that is unrealistic.

Let’s go over them.

Go after the 15 percent of searches that have never been searched before

Remember how we talked about that earlier?

Using most SEO tools out there doesn’t solve this because they all focus on “popular” keywords.

Hence, they show keyword volume. But there is more to the search universe than bottom-of-the-funnel, middle-of-the-funnel, or top-of-the-funnel search terms.

What about a strategy that involves going after terms that are on the cusp of becoming popular and people are starting to search for them?

These terms will be easy to rank for and will become more popular over time.

But how do you find them if SEO tools are focusing on already popular and sadly competitive terms?

You go after Google Suggest terms. These are terms that people are searching for that don’t really show up in most tools.

An easy way to get a list of all the Google Suggest terms is to use tools like Answer the Public.

Just type in a term related to your space, like “digital marketing”, and you will get a list of all the up-and-coming terms people are searching for.

Answer the Public will give you hundreds of keywords to target based on questions people are asking, prepositions, comparisons, and overall, what Google is showing as up-and-coming terms.

Take an omnichannel approach

You may have heard me talk about this one before but you don’t have a choice but to be on all the platforms these days.

It doesn’t matter if the algorithms favor you or not… getting some coverage is better than none.

Plus, omnichannel marketing helps with the rule of 7. When someone sees or interacts with your brand 7 times, they are more likely to evangelize and buy from you.

Now I don’t want to bore you to death with hundreds of marketing tactics for each platform, so I am going to break down 1 thing that each platform loves that you can use to get more traffic, views, and engagement.

And to be clear this one thing that I am giving you for each platform, should have a much bigger impact than other tactics, hence I focus a lot of my efforts on the exact tactics I break down below.

  • YouTube – this platform focuses on the first 24 hours. Videos that do well in the first 24 hours are more likely to rank higher and keep getting suggested. Right when your video goes live on YouTube promote it through push notifications, email blasts, and SMS messages.
  • LinkedIn – they really love comments more than anything else. Right when you post anything on LinkedIn, round up people in the first 4 hours that have similar audiences and have them leave a comment. The comment needs to be engaging and be at least 12 words long. For example, if I posted on LinkedIn about 5 ways to rank higher on Google, I may have a buddy or mine leave a comment on a 6th strategy to rank higher on Google.
  • TikTok – similar to LinkedIn they love comments. But the comments need to be engaging. For example, I posted a TikTok video on how blogging is more competitive than podcasting and that marketers should leverage podcasts. Someone left a comment on how I was wrong, even though the stats and data backed up my point. This created more controversy which caused over 138,000 views. So have people leave comments similar to what you would do on LinkedIn and ideally right when your video comes out.
  • Instagram – they have seen a 17.6% decrease in live video content yet users prefer live video over reading a blog post. And the demand for it is expected to grow 15x from what it was in 2022. If you create live videos on Instagram with other influential members and you make sure your content is amazing, it will help you get more reach which leads to more followers, and then when you post other forms of content you’ll find that it will perform better. So go live at least once a week.
  • Google – they love brands. As the ex-CEO once said, “brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.” An easy way to create a bigger brand is to release free tools on your website. It keeps people coming back and searching for your brand name, which will increase your overall rankings over time. You can find free tools that you can white label and put on your site from Code Canyon.
  • Facebook – they want you to create longer-form videos. Videos over 5 minutes long on my page generate on average 268% more views. To see if that pattern held for others, we analyzed 939 other company profile pages and found that their videos over 5 minutes generated 81.39% more engagement.

Follow the Peak-end-rule to build a brand

I talked a little bit about brand building earlier about how Google loves brands. And you can release free tools to help you build a brand.

That’s a great tactic to help with SEO.

But brands really are the future. Just look at Nike, more people search for the term “Nike” than they search for the term “shoes” which is crazy considering so many companies offer shoes.

You create a great brand by building an amazing product or service. But that is just the start of it.

It really comes down to how people emotionally connect with your brand. And this involves the Peak-end-rule.

Typically when people work with your brand they have positive and negative experiences. You want to make sure they typically have a good experience when they first start using your product and service. You also want to make sure towards the end they also have an amazing experience.

A simple example of this is riding a bike. When a child first gets a bike they are filled with joy and excitement and it creates a great first peak. But as they start riding their bike they may fall a few times and it can create negative peaks. But once they get the hang of it, they are off to the races, having fun and not falling, which creates a positive end peak.

With your product or service, continually survey your customers and figure out what you can do to continually delight them. It’s the best way to figure out how you can create those emotional peaks.

That’s what builds an amazing brand.

Conclusion

I love Google. It’s a big part of my business at my ad agency NP Digital.

But we don’t stop with Google. From social media to email marketing to CRO… there are many marketing channels that you should consider.

And when it comes to search, keep in mind search is everywhere. From Google to YouTube to TikTok… search is everywhere. Heck, my father-in-law does SEO on his Airbnb listing as people “search” when they are on Airbnb.

But if you want to stand out from the crowd and not be another Waldo, focus on the 3 main things I broke down above.

So, what do you see as the biggest opportunity?

Source: New feed 2

Do Minimalist Website Designs Help or Hurt Your SEO?

Graphic that says, "Do minimalist website designs help or hurt your SEO?"

As a website owner, do you feel as if the line between a good user experience and optimal search engine optimization (SEO) is a tightrope?

It’s not uncommon to feel like you have to prioritize one over the other. When it comes to minimalist website design, that feeling becomes more pronounced. After all, search engine optimization requires ample content for optimization. Doesn’t it?

This article will explore the relationship between minimalist website design and organic keyword rankings. We’ll look at six websites, including one non-minimalist one, to answer the burning question: Do minimalist website designs help or hurt your SEO?

Why Are Minimalist Website Designs Getting So Popular?

A minimalist website is one that uses content sparingly. This may include words, but it can also include images, graphics, and videos.

So why are minimalist website designs getting so popular?

As more users use smaller screens, the desire for minimalist website designs increases. This is because you want the experience for desktop users and mobile users to be consistent. A minimalist website design means fewer changes for the mobile platform.

A minimalist design is also better for the user experience. With less content cluttering up the viewer’s eyesight, they can more easily journey through the site.

In addition, minimalist websites are prone to faster page loading times, and they are quick to respond to size or orientation changes (such as when viewing on a tablet or smartphone).

How Do Website Design And SEO Interact?

When you’re designing for SEO purposes, you may run into some elements that seem counterintuitive. The good news is that there are ways to ensure SEO doesn’t suffer for the sake of a good user experience and vice versa.

There are some elements of both website design and SEO that are so inextricably linked, it’s hard to tell where one ends and another begins. Those are the best places to start if you’re redesigning a website with SEO in mind.

Those website design elements include:

  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Website speed
  • Sitemaps
  • Readability
  • Image file names
  • Alt tags
  • Website navigation
  • URL structure
  • Metadata
  • Indexable content

With the elements above, the needs of both website users and search engine crawl bots converge. That’s because what’s best for the visitor is what’s best for the crawl bots. That’s always the goal with an SEO-minded website design.

Especially as of late with all the algorithm updates rolling out.

If website design is something that’s seriously on your mind, you’ll be happy to know we have an in-depth guide to follow.

What We Found In Our Data About Minimalist Web Design

Before we dive into the analysis of minimalist websites, let’s define a few things.

First and foremost, our definition of a minimalist website is one with less than 700 words on the homepage. To determine the performance of each site, we analyzed various points, including:

  • The number of total organic keywords the website ranks for
  • The number of organic keywords the website ranks on the first page for
  • The number of organic keywords the website ranks in the first three positions for
  • The number of rich snippets a website has
  • The total organic traffic number
  • The revenue generated from organic traffic

It’s also important to note that any averaged metrics are the average over a 12-month period.

Beautiful, Minimalist Website Inspiration: Tiffany & Co.

A screenshot of Tiffany & Co.'s webpage for minimalist website design.

With a whopping 190 words on their homepage, Tiffany & Co. certainly qualifies as a minimalist website design. That’s even with the 20 images incorporated throughout the homepage, as it uses imagery only where needed and beneficial.

How has this worked out for Tiffany & Co.?

Tiffany brought in an average of 3.2 million visitors per month, resulting in an estimated traffic value of $2.4 million per month.

How is it drawing in such large organic traffic numbers? As you might expect, Tiffany & Co.’s keyword universe consists of 336 thousand total organic keywords. Of those, 22.2 thousand keywords ranked in the top three positions.

Becket + Quill: Minimalistic Design with Large Impact

A screenshot of Becket + Quill's webpage for minimalist website design.

Coming in at even fewer words than Tiffany & Co., Becket + Quill has only 96 words on the homepage. They do also incorporate images, 18 in total on the homepage, including Instagram images just above the footer.

When looking at a 12-month of data, Becket + Quill brings in 632 organic visitors per month. This nets them a total of $434 per month in organic traffic value.

It’s no surprise they perform at a significantly reduced volume when compared to Tiffany & Co. After all, the Becket + Quill keyword universe consists of only 529 organic keywords, with only 28 ranking in positions one through three on SERPs.

Loveness Lee: Exploring Minimalist Web Design

A screenshot of Loveness Lee's webpage for minimalist website design.

Loveness Lee is another jewelry website with a minimalist homepage design. That means 115 words in total (including words in the navigation) and 14 images plus one video banner.

How does Loveness Lee fare when it comes to organic traffic? Over a 12-month period, on average, Loveness Lee has 358 visits with a $2 per visit traffic value.

That’s not bad, considering the website ranks for only 254 organic keywords on average per month. Only three of those rank in the top three positions.

Minimalist Web Design in Action: David Yurman

A screenshot of David Yurman's webpage for minimalist website design.

With a very similar word count and image count to Loveness Lee, David Yurman has 104 words on the homepage (including words in the navigation) and 17 images.

Perhaps you’d think David Yurman’s keyword profile would be similar to that of Loveness Lee. If you take into account domain rating, though (David Yurman’s 69 to Loveness Lee’s 39), it’s understandable why David Yurman’s keyword universe is so much more robust.

David Yurman has an average organic traffic volume of 439.7 thousand with a traffic value of $271.5 thousand per month. This is thanks to the website’s robust organic keyword profile, including 104.6 thousand organic keywords with 3.2 thousand ranking in positions one through three.

Bringing SEO and Minimalist Design Together: Blue Nile

A screenshot of Blue Nile's webpage for minimalist website design.

On the upper end of minimalist, Blue Nile is a good example of pushing the limits but still staying well within the boundary. Its use of white space, clean fonts, and clear typography make its robust word count appear minimalist.

The homepage boasts 616 words and 40 images including a mix of product imagery and graphics. Blue Nile has an average of 2.1 million visits per month with a traffic value of $2.9 million.

How does Blue Nile’s keyword universe fare?

Blue Nile ranks for 217.2 thousand organic keywords, with 28.8 thousand of those rankings in the top three positions.

How Minimalist Websites Support SEO: Taylor & Hart

A screenshot of Taylor & Hart's webpage for minimalist website design.

While not minimalist by our own definition, we’ve included Taylor & Hart for two reasons.

First, it’s important for us to compare the minimalist websites above with a non-minimalist website in the same industry. This helps to give us a greater perspective when it comes to drawing conclusions.

Second, it’s also good to see that a non-minimalist website can still appear minimalist and clean with effective design.

So here’s how Taylor & Hart breaks down.

The homepage has 928 words (including words in the navigation). The majority of this is in the form of a testimonial carousel that allows users to click through without being visually overwhelmed. It also includes 46 images, including product imagery, graphics, and images embedded within the testimonials carousel.

The monthly traffic averaged over a 12-month period is 117 thousand per month with a value of $115 thousand.

Taylor & Hart also boasts a robust keyword profile consisting of 72.1 thousand organic keywords. Of those, 2.8 thousand rank in the top three positions on SERPs.

Is Minimalist Website Design Good or Bad For SEO?

Before we answer this question, let’s consider the “winner” in the analysis above.

A table of minimalist web designs and SEO among company websites.

Blue Nile was the most profitable site, even beating out Tiffany & Co. for traffic value by $500 thousand per month. It had more words on the page than Tiffany & Co. (616 versus 190), a lower domain rating (76 versus 80), and even a smaller keyword universe (217.2 thousand versus 336 thousand). However, more of its organic keywords ranked in the top three results.

Can we say with certainty that the amount of content on the Blue Nile homepage was the sole contributor? Of course not. However, more content (when presented well) does mean more opportunities for optimization and customer engagement.

But is having more content the be-all-end-all to better rankings? No. If that was the case, Taylor & Hart would have been the clear winner.

With all of that said, to answer the question “is minimalist website design good for bad for SEO?” the answer is neither. There are many other factors at play. So as long as you’re optimizing the content you do have, whether that’s 100 words or 1,000 words, you’ll likely find yourself in a good place.

FAQs

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions on the topic of minimalist website design for SEO.

Does a modern website design hurt my SEO?

A minimalist or modern website design is unlikely to hurt your bottom line when it comes to SEO. There are many factors that go into SERP rankings, and web content is just one of them.

Does changing website design affect SEO?

Website design changes absolutely affect SEO, though how much will depend on the type and degree of changes that you are making. It’s important that you evaluate every change that you plan on making through an SEO lens so you can adapt accordingly.

How do I redesign a website without affecting SEO?

Chances are that site redesigns are going to affect SEO in some capacity, especially if you are making any changes to the site structure or UX. Because of this, it’s important that you audit your existing site and make changes that will allow for better SEO as part of the redesign.

Is a custom website better for SEO?

Most custom websites have better SEO performance than their free counterparts, largely because they are able to be built from the ground-up for search engine performance. With that said, custom websites can still have weak rankings if they are not optimized. Think of it in the sense that custom has the opportunity to perform better, but that opportunity still needs to be executed properly.

Does site architecture affect SEO?

Good site architecture is essential for SEO for multiple reasons. First, grouping relevant content together helps build context around the pieces, and helps search engines get a better idea of what your site is about. Also, a good site architecture makes your pages easier to crawl, so search engines can start ranking new content faster. Good site structure also helps with items like building backlinks and reducing keyword cannibalization.

What are ways to add more content without cluttering my website?

There are plenty of options for adding more content to your site without cluttering the design. These include carousels, accordions, and tabbed sections. You can also utilize more white space to offsite larger pieces of content.

Are accordioned or read more sections considered of lesser value to Google?

It does seem that Google crawls and indexes “hidden” content, like those in accordions or tabs. There is no clear answer on whether tabbed content carries less value. As long as you’re not purposely hiding content but are simply using it for the user experience, you should be fine.

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Conclusion

Whether you have a minimalist website design, or you prefer a maximalist approach, you’ll be happy to know that what matters most is how you optimize the content you do have. There is not much difference between minimalist and maximalist websites in terms of SEO, as long as you’re following white hat SEO strategies.

Is a minimalist website design appealing to you but you already have an established website? A redesign is always a possibility. Fortunately, there are even redesign checklists available to ensure the project is a success.

Source: New feed 2

Content Gap Analysis: 5 Ways to Find Them & Fix Them

A graphic stating: Content Gap Analysis 5 Ways To Find Them & Fix Them

When it comes to content creation, gaps are inevitable. You can be the best writer out there, but that doesn’t stop the world from continuously evolving.

Information becomes outdated.

Keywords fluctuate over time.

Customers shift interests.

It’s not your fault. But if you want to stay ahead of the game, it IS your responsibility to find and fix any content gaps that arise.

Why are content gaps a big deal?

Content gaps are basically missed opportunities. When customers can’t find what they’re looking for on your page, you can bet their next step will be in the direction of your competition.

The trick is learning how to identify content gaps and knowing what to do when you find them.

What Are Content Gaps?

Content gaps are topics not currently on your website that your target audience is looking for.

Your audience is always on the lookout for new information. And with content gaps so common, you would think that companies would pay closer attention to them. However, a 2021 study shows that 46% of companies with unsuccessful content marketing strategies don’t analyze their content once it’s been published.

Your industry may have thousands of topics your target audience is searching for that you have yet to cover.

For example, say you’re an SEO agency that has dozens of blog posts on advanced SEO techniques. However, you notice readers are bouncing from your pages quickly and far too often.

Analyzing the site-wide bounce rate of a website.

You might wonder if your content is engaging enough.

A quick content gap analysis can shed some light on the problem. Maybe your target readers are looking for basic SEO techniques while you only offer advanced information beyond their interest or ability to understand.

If you want to make sure your readers stay engaged, it’s important that the content they’re reading is current and useful for their needs.

Why Is It Important to Identify Content Gaps?

Content gap analysis sounds like a lot of work, but the results are worth the effort.

  • Improved SEO: Eliminate content gaps to improve your site rank on search engines. Your placement on the search engine results pages (SERPs) matters because 88 percent of searchers only visit links on page 1 of search engines like Google.
  • Better connect with your target readers: Fixing content gaps can give your readers exactly what they’re looking for, thus establishing a connection with your site. It’s important and possible to build a relationship with your audience— in a survey of 1,000 American participants, over 65 percent say they felt an emotional connection to a particular brand.
  • An optimized buyer journey: Content gaps analysis reduces bounce rates and increases on-site time, which in turn will improve your conversion rate, resulting in more sales.

What Are the Different Kinds of Content Gaps?

In order to perform a content gaps analysis, you have to learn how to identify them in the first place. Content gaps generally take one of three forms: keywords, topics, and media.

Keyword Gaps

Not all keywords are created equal.

For instance, the click-through rate (CTR) for the top spot in Google for one-word search queries is 32.5 percent, which is higher than the CTR for long tail keywords. However, starting at position two, the CTR for long-tail keywords is actually higher than the CTR for one-word queries.

A chart showing keyword gaps for long tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are so effective because they reach customers that are further along in the purchasing process. While 1-keyword searches tend to be used for information gathering about a topic, searches with 4 keywords or more are used, also known as long tailed keywords, when potential customers are honing in on the product or service they are looking to buy.

If you focus all your marketing resources on short, popular keywords, consider integrating these longer chains of keywords into your content.

The best part? While short keyword searches are highly competitive and lead to low conversion rates, long-tail keywords typically have less competition. So your website will likely rank higher than sites that only optimize their content for generic, overused target phrases. Less keyword competition means your content ranks higher in the SERPs and traffic to your website goes up.

Check out my free tool, Ubersuggest, for some extra help.

Ubersuggest's keyword suggestions.

Topic Gaps

When people think of content gaps, topics are typically the first thing that comes to mind. Each time you run a content gap analysis on your topics, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my site cover every topic readers are interested in?
  • Does my site have comprehensive content for readers at all levels?
  • Are the topics relevant to readers’ current interests?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions, congratulations: you have found a content gap!

Topic gaps are hidden opportunities to add brand-new content to your site. Whether you are diving deeper into a specific aspect of a broader subject you’ve already covered or you are solving new problems that have sprung up in your field, filling topic gaps is a fast way to provide new quality content to potential customers.

Media Gaps

Media gaps refer to a lack of video content on your website. If you have trouble finding time to make video content, you’re not alone. However, you are in a swiftly shrinking demographic.

A survey released in 2022 found that only 14% of businesses refrain from video marketing.

There’s a good reason businesses have shifted to video: it’s what their audiences crave.

Recent studies show nearly 75% of users prefer to learn about a product or service by watching a video instead of reading about it.

The benefits of adding media to your content should not be ignored. Increased brand awareness, higher website traffic, and more direct sales are all possible by simply converting your written content into a video format. In fact, 81% of marketing professionals surveyed say they increased their direct sales with the use of video content.

This is a huge wake-up call for all the content marketing teams out there to find media gaps in their content and fix them by adding videos to their posts.

5 Methods for Finding Content Gaps

You’ve learned what content gaps are, why they’re important, and what you should be looking for.

Now let’s look at how to find and fix them using content gap analysis.

1. Run a Content Gap Analysis Using an SEO Tool Like Ubersuggest

If you’re worried about spending hours poring through data, manually analyzing every piece of content you’ve ever posted, I have some good news for you.

Free and paid online tools like Ubersuggest will do this job for you.

Ubersuggest offers a number of features that let you dig into your website’s data to quickly find problem areas.

Use it to generate reports for keywords, browse top-performing content and even analyze your competitor’s site.

The process for using my tool is simple.

  1. First, visit the Ubersuggest homepage.
  2. Next, enter the domain name or keyword you want a report on.
  3. Click “View all” or select the appropriate filters at the top of the report.
Entering the domain name on Ubersuggest.
  1. Finally, click Export at the top of the report to store the information elsewhere.
Ubersuggest's similar websites research.
Ubersuggest's keyword research.

How to Fix Keyword Content Gaps

Once you have found stronger keywords for your posts, you can fill the content gaps in several ways.

Include the new keywords in your upcoming content. Don’t just sprinkle them haphazardly. Instead, incorporate keywords organically, in ways that increase the quality of your content.

Update old content with missing keywords. This often entails reworking sentences and even whole sections in order to maintain quality content for your audience.

As a preventative measure, you may want to alter your current keyword optimization strategy as well. Make a habit out of searching for keyword content gaps in your articles to remain at the top of the search results in your field.

2. Audit Your Customer Journey and Identify Content Missing from the Funnel

Not all content gaps are as easy to fix as keyword content gaps. The trick here is to dive deeper into your customer journey to figure out what your target readers need at each stage of their buying process.

Not every customer visits your website ready to make a purchase. Some are just curious, while others are comparing your products with the competition.

For the best results, you want to create content for each of these stages.

You need posts that make users aware of your products and services. You also need posts that provide valuable industry insights that address customer pain points and solve problems.

Even USA.gov took this approach to figure out what content they were missing. With the help of a specific customer audit process called journey mapping, USA.gov created detailed customer personas which were given behavior lines similar to their actual customers. From there, they were able to identify problem areas, confusing web pages, customer pain points and more.

Let’s use my site as an example. New website visitors wondering what my companies are all about can find everything they need to know with one click.

Neil Patel promoting thought-leadership.

You’ll also need content for users to compare options between your product and the competition. This can be as simple (and powerful) as a “vs” article. You can offer comparison points for well-known competitors.

Buy Me a Coffee does this well with an attractive comparison page featuring their top competitor, Patreon. Notice how they highlight features that are exclusive to their brand.

Buy me a Coffee's pricing plan.

How to Fix Content Gaps

Content gaps are the easiest type of gap to find and fix. Once you’ve mapped your customer journey, you’ll have a better idea of which stages in the buying process you need to add to your existing content.

Create helpful tutorials and interesting industry articles. Write about the products and services you offer. Take what you have to offer and compare it to the competition.

3. Manually Search Competitor Websites to Identify Content Gaps

It’s not always clear what your content is missing. Thankfully you can always take a peek at what the competition is up to!

It can be hard to figure out what’s missing from your content on your own.

That’s where you can get help from the competition!

It’s quite simple.

Identify what your competitors are doing right and then replicate it. Remember, the goal isn’t to create an exact copy. Rather, your aim is to find keyword, topic, and content gaps that your competition fills.

You can do this manually by visiting competitor websites and noting what is missing from your own site.

For example, you may visit another SEO agency’s page and see they’re covering Google’s most recent algorithm update, but you haven’t yet.

How to Find and Fix Content Gaps Through Manual Competitor Research

  1. First, make a list of your top competitors. If you aren’t sure who they are, Google some of the most important keywords you target and see who else is ranking for them. You can also use SEO tools to help you find competitors.
  2. Next, visit each competitor’s page and make a list of topics your website is missing.
  3. Finally, brainstorm with your team about how to create a page on the same topic in a different or better way.

Be careful, though.

While competitors can provide inspiration for new content ideas, avoid copying exactly what they do. You want to look for new perspectives they failed to cover. A competitor may be getting great results with a particular keyword, but it doesn’t mean you should always create similar content. Think critically about whether what your competitor is doing is even applicable to your website and audience.

4. Use Google Search Console

Did you know you can use the Google Search Console to perform a content gap analysis?

I’ll show you how.

First, log into Search Console and click “Search Results” on the left side of the page.

Google search consoles side bar.

Next, click the “+ New” next to “Search type” and “Date range” (which you can modify).

Google search console's filters.

When the box pops up, click “Page.”

Enter the URLs for your top-performing pages, one at a time.

When the results populate, see what keywords you’re ranking for on that page.

Go to the page on your website or in your CMS and search for all of your top keywords from Search Console (either top clicks or impressions).

Top keywords from google search console.

Finally, go to the post on your website and make sure the content is related to your top-performing keywords. Odds are, some of the keywords you rank for will not actually be covered on the page.

Once you identify the keywords you’re ranking for that are not covered on the page, create content that does by either creating a new post or adding a section to your existing one.

5. Perform a Self Content Audit

When was the last time you poked around your own website to find gaps in your content?

Using SEO tools and checking out the competition can be effective, but sometimes it’s easier to perform an audit on your own content instead.

Self content audits are a solid practice to perform on a regular basis, as it develops your eye for identifying gaps faster. This can help you find problem areas in your current approach and improve the creation process for future content.

Not only that, by running a content audit, you’ll occasionally discover broken links, outdated images, and even grammatical errors that can then also be fixed before they give visitors a negative experience.

For instance, you can start by updating old reviews on your page. Studies show 79 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as they believe in personal recommendations, so updating outdated reviews can increase customer trust in your website.

An important thing to keep in mind here is that self content audits aren’t the type of thing that you only do once. A regular cadence is key here to keep your content fresh. How often you do it will vary based on how much content you have and your industry, but 6 months is a good starting point.

Content Gaps Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fill a content gap?

Create content for new topics, update older content with more recent data and research the best keywords to use. Check the competition for other content gaps. Run a self content audit on your entire website.

What tools do I need to find content gaps?

Free and paid SEO tools like Ubersuggest can help find content gaps through competitor analysis, keyword research, and SEO audit features. You can also perform these functions manually with the help of offline tools like spreadsheets.

What kinds of content gaps are most important to fix?

The keywords you use in your website or blog can make a world of difference when it comes to ranking higher on search engine result pages. Data shows that less than one percent of users visit the second page on Google, so it’s best to optimize your keywords to get on the first page.

Media gaps are the next most important gaps to fix. The need for video content will only increase. If you haven’t already, start transforming your written content into video. 

How bad is it to have content gaps?

Content gaps make it difficult to attract new readers, retain your current readers, and encourage them to convert. If your page has a lot of content gaps, your readers will move on to a competitor that fills the void. Having content gaps will diminish your authority in your space. Being up to date and relevant will instill trust within your readers that you are the industry expert.

Conclusion: Content Gaps

By utilizing SEO tools, like Ubersuggest, to find keyword and topic gaps in your content, your pages will see more traffic than ever before. Examine your keyword strategy with Google Search Console to figure out where you can close the gap.

Use content gap analysis on competitor pages or on your own site to discover what you can change.

Content gaps are secret opportunities that, when fixed, lead to valuable material that attracts new audiences and the potential revenue your business can earn.

Using these methods, you should be able to generate plenty of new content ideas and drive more traffic to your website.

Which method for filling content gaps are you going to try first? Let me know!

Source: New feed 2

5 Blogs That Are Making Money in 2022 (and How You Can, Too)

Have you ever wondered how to make money blogging about the things you love?

What if I told you it’s possible to write about your passions and make money with a blog? There are a variety of niches you can monetize in different ways.

Finding the right one can bring in a steady stream of income. The average blogger sees up to $1,000 every month.

I want you to aim higher. Let’s talk about how you can make money blogging.

There’s no one formula to creating a successful blog, but there is one common thread: Have a unique story to tell.

Blogging is not dead, and it’s not too late for you to start one.

Why Do Some Blogs Fail to Make Money?

Blogs fail to make money because they’re focused on the wrong thing. What are the right things?

You want to make sure your blog is interactive and informative. Your blog supplies something to your audience, so you need to bring value or you’ll be just another blog of many.

While quality of content is the most important factor in your blogger success story, let’s get you bringing in some money.

However, the money won’t come without earning your audience’s trust.

You want to build authority, right? You want to show you’re an expert in your field. Well, don’t treat this like a hobby or a side hustle.

After all, we know how important E-A-T—which stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness—is to ranking in SERPs.

Have a Plan in Place

Build upon a workable plan. Don’t just “wing it” and set yourself up for failure.

Some fail to learn how to make money blogging because:

  1. They don’t research the niche they’re blogging about prior to launch.
  2. They aren’t investing in their blog like the business it is.
  3. They aren’t building a team to assist them.
  4. They aren’t connecting with their audience.
  5. They aren’t setting actionable goals.
  6. They don’t measure their success.

You must have a clear purpose and intention with your blog. If you want to build trust in your niche, it takes a strategy.

Making money from your blog is possible, but it won’t happen if you set a blog post and forget it.

I’ll show you some success stories so you can focus on creating standout content that attracts and builds a community.

You can make money with blogs, and I’m going to show you how.

2022’s Blog Success Stories

Your blog may not be an overnight success, but you can spark interest in people to engage with your content.

Let’s look at some of 2022’s most successful blogs generating a sizable revenue.

Huffington Post: How Blogs Make Money Without A Product

A screenshot of Huffington Post's website.

I’m sure you’re not surprised by this one.

Since 2005, Arianna Huffington and her Huffington Post co-founders have been publishing news stories as they unfold. Thousands of readers daily rely on their articles. They’ve established themselves as not just one of the world’s largest websites but one of the most popular.

A graphic indicating the profitability of Huffington Post's website.

In June 2022 alone, HuffPost’s organic traffic of 6 million had a value of $1.8 million. Note that by organic traffic value, we mean the monthly equivalent cost of traffic from all the keywords that a given URL or website calculates for if the site owner was paying for it through PPC versus earning the traffic organically.

Not only does HuffPost make money with blogs, but its revenue consists of online ads and money from corporate investments.

Seeing the numbers above, it is easy to understand why they are among the top-earning blogs worldwide.

While no products are sold on HuffPost, they make money with blogs that speak to their value—creating trustworthy content that engages readers.

goop: Profit Through Lifestyle and Wellness Branding

A screenshot of goop's website.

goop is a wellness and lifestyle brand started by actress Gwyneth Paltrow as a weekly lo-fi newsletter back in 2008. Her slogan “Nourish the Inner Aspect” resonates with her audience based on the average 732K organic traffic.

A graphic depicting the revenue generated by Goop.

This traffic value is about $423K but wellness products are also sold on the site.

A screenshot of goop's website with a yellow highlighter circling the words "Shop Wellness."

Let’s look at goop’s third-largest revenue driver, “Are Mediums Real?” The reason it’s likely successful is because it’s thought-provoking. This is an edgy topic you probably won’t see on other sites, let alone the extensive research to support the ideas mentioned.

Other top pages that bring in organic revenue on goop are generally guides. They educate the audience aside from having product offerings listed on screen and ads from aligning brands. goop shows that when you’re true to your audience and provide unique content for them, you will see the return in numbers.

Yaro: Building Revenue Through Ad Space

A screenshot of Yaro Starak's webpage.

Unlike the last two examples, Yaro is written in “true” blog fashion. It’s not a true media publisher, and he makes money selling advertising space.

The data shows backlinks and the use of organic keywords drive this blog’s strong numbers. The majority of the high-ranking positioned keywords are non-branded.

What does that mean?

It means Yaro Starak provides solutions for those seeking his expertise on personal growth and success. He captures people searching for queries related to the space – not those specifically searching for this name.

A graphic depicting the revenue generated by Yaro.

Yaro drives success through meeting search intent. By having the answers that people need, he is able to increase his rankings, which in turn, increases the value of the ad space he sells.

Yaro’s blog is a good example if you want to make money with blogs using a more organic method. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you stay true to your audience and site goals.

Abby Organizes: Relatability As A Marketing Tool

A screenshot of Abby Lawson's blog page.

Abby Lawson took to her blog to create a space where she could share inspirational tips on organization. Her hobby has grown into a six-figure family business, helping others with productivity and home décor tips along the way.

Her content is relatable and covers the bases for those who, as she puts it, don’t have the “organized gene.” She’s likely earned her audience’s trust by helping address this issue for many other hard-working families.

A graphic depicting the revenue generated by Abby Organizes.

Her organic traffic is reflective of her traffic value. More than 175K backlinks show how credible others deem her site and information.

We can also see this broken down in her URLs and keywords. Lawson’s top keywords— branded and non-branded—include reviews from supporting sources and printable templates. There’s value in what she’s offering that is tangible for her audience.

With so much to offer her target audience, she gains more income from ads, affiliate marketing, and various sponsorships. Because Lawson’s audience trusts her, they are likely to support and trust her paid recommendations.

This is a great way to foster your community online.

A Beautiful Mess: How Helpful Content Makes Money

A screenshot of "A Beautiful Mess," a lifestyle blog founded by sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman.

Founded by sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman, this lifestyle blog resonates with those looking for an ideal DIY project. It’s one of the largest DIY style blogs in the world. You name it. They’ve probably already made it.

A graphic depicting the revenue generated by A Beautiful Mess.

A Beautiful Mess has garnered over 4 million backlinks, showing just how many sources find the site credible. The road to 4 million backlinks takes work.

High-quality, or link-worthy, content is what gets you there.

Why?

Because backlinks are like testimonies for your web page(s). Backlinks are some of the most important SEO ranking factors. The more high-ranking URLs link to your page, the more domain authority you gain.

Besides the huge number of referring domains and backlinks, Elsie and Emma offer skills to their audience. This is key to relationship building with an online community.

How these sisters mix in products, affiliate marketing, and ads works because their audience trusts them to educate them. They’re all about getting creative, and their audience is looking to get creative—whether it’s in the kitchen or through a project.

The keywords they use put them in the position to make money while blogging. What’s especially ideal is their branded and non-branded keywords are ranking equally. From Elsie and Emma’s results, it’s clear that their site is who Google, and other search engines, deem the authority in the DIY and recipe space due to their keyword dominance in those important positions 1-3.

How You Can Start Making Money with Blogs

You know how to start a blog, but have you grasped how to make money blogging? There are many strategies bloggers use. Some are more demanding than others.

The majority of blog revenue sources depend on varying factors like search engine algorithms and brand budgets. Therefore, I strongly advise you diversify your income by utilizing a variety of sources like ads, products, or sponsorships.

When it comes to income potential, your blog feeds off two variables: your niche and your revenue sources. Once you know your audience, you can explore monetization strategies.

You know what makes sense to them and what benefits their needs as well as yourself financially. You don’t want to be paid for affiliations you don’t agree with. So, stay true to your brand and your audience will stay true to you.

But in the beginning, you need an entrepreneurial mindset.

Income does vary from blogger to blogger. However, as the money trickles in, you can experiment with ideas to see what is working in your favor.

Turning your blog into a moneymaker isn’t a linear process.

Focus on building content that converts to develop that loyal following — and the monetization opportunities that come with it — and you might just end up as successful as HuffPost or goop.

Conclusion

The bottom line is starting a blog can be fun and profitable.

But it won’t come easily.

You’ll wear a lot of hats getting your footing through an ever-changing medium. However, you can replicate what’s working once you see fulfillment and success.

So, ask yourself: Am I blogging as a hobby or in a way that yields income?

There are different strategies for simply running a blog versus monetizing a blog. Your endgame is to go from content for content’s sake to being able to consistently make money blogging.

Once you find a reliable host for your site, you’ll be ready to start building credibility and trust with your audience.

Always stick by what works, remember your audience’s needs, and the money will come.

Have you considered making money by blogging? Are you seeing the results you want, or have you hit a plateau? Let me know about your experience.

Source: New feed 2

Link Building for Local SEO: 7 Simple Strategies

Graphic that says, "Link building for local SEO: 7 simple strategies."

Consumers want to connect with local businesses.

According to Google, searches including “near me” are increasing by 500 percent year on year.

What’s more, 81 percent of consumers used Google to search for information on local businesses in 2021.

What does this mean for digital marketers?

Well, if you’re hoping to reach local consumers, then you need to ensure they can find your business online. You need to propel your content to the top of relevant local Google search rankings.

One way to do this is by embracing the power of link building, specifically, link building for local SEO.

Let me show you how local link building works, why it matters, and how you can start building your own link profile.

What Is Link Building for Local SEO?

Link building refers to the process of acquiring links from other websites back to your own. These links are known as “backlinks,” “inbound links,” or “incoming links,” and they help to drive traffic to your website.

Now let’s put the two concepts together.

Link building for local SEO is the process of acquiring backlinks from relevant local businesses. The goal of local link building is to boost visibility in organic local search results and draw more traffic from local customers who are more likely to purchase from you.

Why Link Building for Local SEO Matters

There are three major reasons local link building matters.

First, Google considers the number of backlinks you have when determining your page rank. The higher the number of quality backlinks you have, the better your chances of securing a page one ranking. Over 67.6 percent of clicks go to the first five organic search results!

Second, link building for local SEO helps you drive specific, highly targeted search engine traffic to your website. By targeting the right traffic, you’re more likely to draw people who are serious about making a purchase.

Finally, link building for local SEO is a great way to build your brand’s visibility organically. It takes, on average, seven brand impressions before someone takes action (the marketing “Rule of 7” as it’s colloquially known). Better brand visibility helps you nurture prospects.

Link Building for Local SEO Strategies

Are you ready to get started on building your backlinks? Here are my top six strategies.

1. Get Links From Travel and Local Review Websites

According to research, 98 of consumers read online reviews about local businesses, and 85 percent of consumers are looking for a high star rating.

In other words, you need positive reviews, and you want them from websites that can help you with your local link building goals. For example, here’s a rundown of nine great new restaurants in Kansas City:

A review website providing a list of the best new restaurants in Kansas City.

Each listing includes a backlink and contact details:

Local link building on a review website in Kansas City.

As another example, Visit Kansas City, a travel website, has listings of popular local restaurants:

Local link building on a travel website in Kansas City.

Want customer reviews like this? You need to encourage your existing customers to leave reviews.

Kansas City magazine reps visited restaurants based on existing customer reviews rather than accepting cold pitches.

  1. Make it easy for customers to leave reviews on Google, Yelp, and other popular platforms.
  2. Offer incentives, e.g., a kayak business might offer a discounted kayaking session for reviewers.
  3. Highlight customer testimonials on your social media platforms—they make great User Generated Content, and often encourage others to leave their thoughts.

Link building for local SEO often means doing some manual outreach, so you can, of course, pitch local websites and see if they’ll list your business.

Just make sure you send a professional pitch, include relevant business information, and provide links to any customer reviews (if available.)

2. Hold Special Events and Promotions to Get PR Links

Want to build your local presence and increase brand awareness, all while sourcing local link building opportunities?

Consider holding special events or campaigns.

If you need some event inspiration, you might:

  • sponsor a local sports team
  • host a charity fundraiser
  • run a workshop
  • hold a contest

Or, you could offer promotions like a free product demo or seasonal discounts. It all depends on what makes the most sense for your business model.

Once you’ve chosen an event or promotion, you need to advertise it.

  1. Do some online research to find your local news outlets such as local papers, radio channels, Facebook community groups, etc.
  2. Decide which outlets to target based on your consumer demographic. 96 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds and 87 percent of 55 to 66-year-olds check social media daily, so online platforms are a good place to start.
  3. Draft a short press release. Include key events, details, and a URL for the backlink.
  4. Don’t forget to include keywords in your press release, too. Ubersuggest can help you find relevant keywords.

3. Get Listed in Local Business Directories

According to research, 94 percent of consumers have turned to a business directory at least once in the last year to learn more about a new company.

For local link building opportunities, target directories and get your company listed. Popular business directories include:

Want to find more local or niche directories? Google is your friend. For example, if you search “local small business directory Colorado,” one of the top organic search results is Colorado Enterprise Fund’s Small Business Directory:

A screenshot of Google's webpage with "local small business directory Colorado" in the search bar.

When you’re ready to pitch a local directory, follow their instructions closely. Set out your key details, like your website and opening times, and include a short description of your business.

Every detail helps a directory verify your business which could improve your chances of acceptance (and acquiring a backlink).

4. Create a Blog Covering Local Topics

Do you have a blog yet? If not, start one and focus on covering local topics. Sure, this step requires more effort on your part, but here’s why blogging is worth it to build links for local SEO.

  • Blogging lets you showcase your knowledge and expertise, which increases consumer trust and, ultimately, encourages them to choose your brand over competitors.
  • According to a Demand Gen report, 60 percent of buyers read blog posts in the early stages of the purchase process.
  • Blog content is easy to share on social media. Over time, more shares mean more visibility for your brand which draws more traffic.

Once you’re ready to start your local blog, here’s how to get backlinks to your posts.

  • Backlinks begin with great content. Spend time researching what your audience wants and craft articles to meet their needs. If readers find your content useful, they’ll link back to it.
  • Pitch your content to link roundups. Roundups highlight great new content in a specific niche, and since the authors are always looking for content to feature, there’s a good chance they could offer a listing and backlink.
  • Highlight your posts on social media. The more people share your content, the more likely it is you’ll reach bloggers looking for content to link to.
  • Be active on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Build business relationships, establish yourself as a local expert, and you’ll acquire backlinks naturally.

5. Use an SEO Tool Like Ubersuggest to Find and Target Competitor Backlinks

Why should you care where competitors get their backlinks?

It’s simple.

These are the types of places likely to link back to you, too, so it’s worth doing some competitor research to find websites to target for local link building opportunities.

Here’s how to use Ubersuggest to target competitor backlinks if you’re link building for local SEO.

Say you run a bakery in Denver. If we run a Google search, we can see one of the highest-ranking local bakeries is Azucar Bakery:

Screenshot of Google's webpage with "bakeries in denver" in the search bar.

Enter their website domain into Ubersuggest and click “Search” to get started:

Use Ubersuggest to help with local link building.

From the main screen, go to the left-hand column, scroll down to Backlinks, and click “Backlinks Overview”:

Use Ubersuggest to help with local link building.

Enter the domain name again and hit “Search” to load the results:

Use Ubersuggest to help with local link building.

On the next screen, scroll down to the “Backlinks” results. You’ll see a list of the domains that link back to Azucar Bakery:

Use Ubersuggest to help with local link building.

Once you know the type of websites linking to your competitors, you can target them yourself.

How you use these backlinks depends on your marketing strategy and business goals; in this case, you might make sure you’re listed on Foursquare and also target websites for product reviews.

6. Find Unlinked Mentions of Your Brand and Ask for Links

Unlinked brand mentions can present golden opportunities to secure backlinks from high-quality, authoritative websites.

For one thing, it’s easier to send outreach emails to the relevant contact if they already know your brand.

If they’re discussing your products or services, then it’s reasonable to think you might ask for a backlink, right?

There’s no need to pursue every brand reference, though, especially if it’s on a low-quality website that won’t boost your rankings—so here’s how you might find backlinks worth pursuing.

First, scan the internet for unlinked brand mentions. You can do this by using a tool such as BrandMentions:

Screenshot of BrandMentions, a local link building tool.

Then, identify the relevant contact to send an outreach email. The contact could be the website owner or someone from the marketing department. You can usually find these details using tools like LinkedIn or social media such as Twitter.

Finally, send your outreach email. Compliment their company, and thank them for mentioning your brand. Politely explain why adding a backlink could benefit their company and consider offering them a link in return.

Don’t neglect those unlinked brand mentions. Instead, seek them out, build relationships with other website owners, and convert them into useful backlinks.

7. Work To Get Mentioned By Local Publications and Bloggers

While PR campaigns are a good idea, you should also look to get noticed more organically by local publications and bloggers. You don’t want every mention of your website to be linked to an event or publicity stunt. Instead, focus on building real connections with local bloggers.

You can also request to have your website added to local business roundups that may already exist on their blogs. These types of posts tend to be published and then not updated for years.

So seek out local round-ups that were published, but not updated, within the last 6 months or more and reach out. You really want to sell your website as a beneficial addition for readers, so don’t be modest.

Are you hesitant to reach out?

Remember that local publishers and content creators are always looking to network with, you guessed it, local businesses.

Just reach out with the intention of benefiting both of your interests and the reception is likely to be positive.

8. Purchase Domains In Your Industry

Did you know that a whopping 70 percent of domains are not renewed after the first year?

That’s a lot of opportunity for local businesses, like yours, to swoop in and buy relevant domain names in your industry.

You can purchase more than the domains, too. You can purchase the website outright from the owner. This is sometimes referred to as a domain name transfer agreement, or a website asset transfer agreement.

What’s the difference?

When you buy a lapsed domain from a host like GoDaddy, the domain name can then be used by you to set up a new website. You can also set it up as a redirect to your established website.

When you buy a website from the owner, you typically purchase the domain as well as all content that currently exists on it.

While the price tag for a complete website takeover may be daunting, just consider the time and money you spend by inheriting all of this worthwhile content. Not to mention, you retain the domain authority and the content retains its publication date, which lends more credibility to the site.

So where do you start?

If you have a domain in mind, head over to Whois.com and enter the domain in the top right search bar:

Screenshot of Whois website's.

You can usually find the contact information for the owner via the records that come up. That is, unless, the domain information is protected, like this:

Use Whois.com to help with local link building.

In that case, find a contact form on the website and reach out. It never hurts to ask!

9. Don’t Forget About Internal Links

Internal linking should be a part of your content strategy already. After all, it’s an opportunity to serve up more relevant content to your readers.

The longer time spent on your website, the more engagement.

Internal linking can also be a good strategy for local link building. How so?

Your website is considered local content. So, while internal links won’t count as backlinks, they will still count as local links to your content.

The benefits of internal linking don’t stop there.

Internal links help Google to understand the structure of your website, including the relationship between pages and their relevance. By linking to posts internally, you’re ensuring Google can find and rank all relevant content. This will serve you well when it comes to ranking for local search results.

Take this example from our blog post on prioritizing SEO:

Screenshot of an AI writer to help with local link building.

The phrase “AI writer” is hyperlinked to our blog post on, you guessed it, the Ubersuggest AI writer feature. This lets Google know that we think that article is 1) related to this topic; and 2) important enough to highlight.

Internal links can also help you to establish value for a new blog post without significant work. You’re essentially lending value from one (or more) blog posts to another. This is known as the “flow of link value.”

So, while internal links shouldn’t be your first line effort for link building for local SEO, they should be included in your overall strategy.

Link Building for Local SEO Frequently Asked Questions

How important are links for local SEO?

Links are hugely important for local SEO because they help to boost your local search ranking. With a higher ranking, you’re more visible in search results, and customers are more likely to visit your page.

Should I use an agency for help with my local SEO link building strategy?

You might find a digital marketing agency partnership helpful if you lack the time or resources to dedicate to marketing, but it’s absolutely possible to create your own strategy by following the tips I’ve outlined above.

How can I get reviewed by local publications to get backlinks for my business?

Link building for local SEO means liaising with local businesses. You could contact local publications directly, host an event and invite their representatives, sponsor a contest, or even reach out to and sponsor local influencers. It all depends on your marketing budget and what’s most likely to appeal to your target audience.

Is a blog a good way to build local SEO backlinks?

Yes! Blogging is a great way to build links naturally in the long term, so prioritize writing useful, engaging content on a regular basis. Don’t forget to optimize your articles for local keywords.

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Conclusion

Local link building is a great way to improve your SEO, boost search engine visibility, and draw relevant traffic to your website.

You won’t see results overnight, no, but you should consider link building as a key part of your longer-term marketing strategy.

While you don’t need to try all the tips I’ve suggested, start with the strategies that make the most sense for your business and, in the meantime, focus on producing regular, high-quality blog content to build your brand’s trustworthiness.

If you need any extra help with link building for local SEO, check out my consulting services to see how I can help you boost your local rankings.

Have you tried any of these local link building strategies? How are they working out for you? Let me know below!

Source: New feed 2