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5 Quick Tips for Writing Successful CTAs for Your E-Commerce Company (2016 Edition)

E-Commerce Company

When you operate an e-commerce site your primary goal is to have visitors take some sort of action once they land on your page. CTAs, or calls to action, are opportunities for users to act once they arrive on your site. These CTAs can range from urging people to input their email to receive updates from your company, take advantage of a discount, donate to a cause you care about, or make a purchase.

Regardless of what action you want your visitors to take, the most important thing is that they know what to do. One way to direct people in a step-by-step fashion is having a simple CTA on each page. This is a great strategy, but you still need to be sure that you are writing and creating successful CTAs each step of the way.

What Makes a Good CTA?

As we have already discussed, a CTA can be anything that informs a site visitor what they should do next. Some examples include:

  • Click a button to make a purchase
  • Click a link to learn more
  • Follow a company on social media
  • Watch a video to earn a coupon code
  • Take a survey

In order to create a CTA that actually works and gets people to take one of the actions mentioned above, you have to spend a lot of time understanding and analyzing your audience.

Below are five tips to make sure you are writing successful CTAs for your e-commerce company:

Make Your CTA Bold

First up, you want to make sure that your CTA is bold and stands out on the page, meaning you don’t want it to get buried under all of your images and other text. The whole point of CTAs is to elicit an action from readers, so you need to make sure your intention is clear and obvious.

Many times, doing this successfully comes down to placement on a page and using contrasting colors and your white space wisely.

Let’s take a look at an example:

E-Commerce Company
E-Commerce Company

As you can see, the Victoria’s Secret site has made it very clear that my shopping cart is empty. While there are not crazy colors waving in my face, the use of white space, bold print, and placement make me realize very quickly what they want me to do (shop now)!

Make it Short and Sweet, but also Detailed

There is a balance between being concise (short and sweet) and being specific/detailed enough to get people do what you want them to do. While it may be a challenge to make a CTA short and detailed, it is definitely possible.

One way one to look at this is to see your CTA as having two components. The first component is making sure you ask a reader to do something, this is the “short” side of a CTA (often in the form of a button).

The second component is making sure they know what to expect, which is the “detailed” side. Note that a CTA doesn’t have to just be what is included in your button or link, but also the context around it. Below is an example from Southwest:

E-Commerce Company
E-Commerce Company

In the above Southwest Airlines screenshot there are two different CTAs. The first being “Save up to 60% off” with a book now button, and an “earn 25,000 points”, learn more button. Both of these CTAs are short and sweet. I know exactly what Southwest is offering.

However, take a look closer, there is also some detail to each under the main text. This can a helpful way to add detail without overwhelming the reader. The main text may be enough to capture them, but if they want to know a bit more before clicking this is offered as well.

Include CTAs in Appropriate and Relevant Spaces

You also need to make sure the CTAs you choose belong where you put them. You have to make sure you that you have right CTAs on the right pages.

Let’s look at an example: if you’re working with a top-of-funnel page, which ultimately means that viewers may not quite be ready to buy yet, your CTA may offer free downloads and eBooks, or perhaps a sale they were not expecting to come across. On the other hand, if you are working with a middle-of-funnel page, you will want to have a CTA that has to do with pricing or talking with someone to learn more. E-Commerce Company.

Below is an example from REI:

E-Commerce Company
E-Commerce Company

On the REI website, you are immediately greeted with the opportunity to “find your pack” or earn a $20 bonus card. It is entirely possible that someone could go on to this site without the intention to buy, and realize that they really want to discover what backpack would be most suitable for their outdoor activities, or that a $20 bonus card is worth buying now rather than later.

Make the Copy Text and CTA Images Exciting

E-Commerce Company

Not only should your CTA stand out, but your page should be exciting and offer content readers want to read. Of course, not every page has to be full of excitement, but a CTA page should be able to draw readers in and interest them.

E-Commerce Company
E-Commerce Company

In the above screenshot, this is the first page you are taken to when you search for People magazine and are directed to their website. Rather than being a standard offer, it really highlights the amazing price per issue, and that by subscribing you are saving $10 now. It is far more exciting to visitors to feel like they are immediately getting a deal.

What this option really comes down to is web design.

Don’t Underestimate the THANK YOU

Your work is not complete when you make the conversion—use the Thank You page as an opportunity to have someone sign up for your newsletter or fill out a survey so you can improve your services. You can offer this by putting a CTA on that page, which will allow site visitors to provide you with great information at a time when you may least expect it.

E-Commerce Company
E-Commerce Company

As you can see, giving customers the opportunity to sign up for emails and stay in touch with your company after their initial purchase is a great way to maintain a customer relationship and a wonderful placement for a CTA.

Once you get a good handle on how it all works, let me know what works for you in the comment section below.

5 Tips for Writing Successful CTAs | Search Engine Journal
E-Commerce Company

By Sergio Aicardi SEO Tips E-Commerce Company

Backlinks Blog E-Commerce Internet Link Exchange Search Marketing SEO Costa Rica SEO Strategies SEO tips Social Media

Cómo redactar un post: Fórmula sencilla para escribir un post en 7 pasos

Con toda esta información sobre cómo publicar en un blog, literalmente cualquiera podrá hacerlo, siempre y cuando conozca a fondo el tema sobre el que escribirá. Y ya que eres un experto en tu industria, no hay razón alguna por la que no puedas sentarte a diario a producir un excelente post.

Cómo redactar un post: la fórmula sencilla que debes seguir

Paso 1: Entiende a tu audiencia.

Antes de empezar a escribir, asegúrate de conocer con claridad la audiencia a la que te dirigirás. ¿Qué información le interesa saber? ¿Con qué se identifica? Aquí es donde crear tus buyer personas (perfiles de consumidores) resulta útil. Considera lo que sabes acerca de tus buyer personas y sus intereses cuando selecciones un tema para tu post.

Por ejemplo, si tus lectores son de la “generación del milenio” y buscan emprender su propio negocio, probablemente no necesites proporcionarles información esencial sobre las redes sociales, ya que la mayoría de ellos conoce muy bien este aspecto. Sin embargo, sería recomendable que les dieras información sobre cómo ajustar su difusión en las redes sociales para pasar de un enfoque más informal y personal a uno más comercial de forma profesional y enfocado en las redes sociales. Ese tipo de ajuste es lo que te separa de publicar material genérico en tu blog a publicar lo que tu audiencia realmente desea (y necesita) escuchar.

¿No tienes buyer personas (perfiles de consumidores) para tu empresa? Te ofrecemos algunos recursos útiles para que te pongas en marcha:

  • Cómo crear buyer personas (perfiles de consumidores) para tu empresa [plantilla gratuita]
  • Post: Cómo crear buyer personas (perfiles de consumidores) detallados para tu empresa
  • [herramienta gratuita]


Paso 2: Comienza por seleccionar un tema y un título provisional.

Antes de comenzar a escribir, necesitas elegir un tema para tu post. El tema puede ser general al principio. Por ejemplo, si eres plomero, podrías comenzar a pensar en que quieres escribir sobre los grifos que tienen fugas. Después, podrías idear algunos títulos provisionales diferentes; es decir, iteraciones o distintas formas de abordar el tema para ayudarte a enfocar tu redacción.  Por ejemplo, podrías decidir limitar tu enfoque a algo como “Herramientas para reparar grifos con fugas” o “Causas comunes de fugas en grifos”. Un título provisional es específico y guiará tu post para que puedas comenzar a escribir.

Tomemos un post real como ejemplo: “Cómo escoger un tema relevante para tu siguiente post” (post en inglés). Adecuado, ¿no es cierto? En este caso, el tema era, probablemente, la publicación en blogs. El título provisional podría haber sido algo como: “Proceso para seleccionar el tema de un post”. El título final terminó siendo “Cómo escoger un tema relevante para tu siguiente post”.

¿Notas la evolución del tema al título provisional, y luego al título final? Aunque el título provisional no acabe siendo el título definitivo (hablaremos sobre esto en un instante), aun así proporciona suficiente información para que puedas centrar tu post en un tema más específico en lugar de un tema genérico o abrumador.

Si no se te ocurren ideas, no te pierdas este post (post en inglés) de mi colega Ginny Soskey. En este post, Soskey describe paso a paso un proceso práctico para convertir una idea en muchas. Al igual que en el ejemplo anterior de los “grifos con fugas”, ella sugiere “repetir viejos temas para pensar en nuevos temas únicos y atractivos”. Para ello, podemos:

  • Cambiar el alcance del tema
  • Ajustar el plazo de tiempo
  • Elegir una nueva audiencia
  • Adoptar un enfoque positivo/negativo
  • Presentar un nuevo formato

Paso 3: Escribe una introducción atractiva.

Ya explicamos el tema sobre cómo escribir introducciones cautivadores en “Cómo escribir una introducción [consejo rápido]” (post en inglés), pero volvamos a revisarlo, ¿te parece?

Primero, tenemos que captar la atención del lector. Si pierdes al lector luego de que lea los primeros párrafos o hasta las primeras oraciones de la introducción, dejará de leer incluso antes de darle una oportunidad a tu post. Puedes hacerlo de distintas formas: cuenta una historia o un chiste, sé empático o cautiva al lector con un hecho o estadística interesante.

Después describe el propósito del post y explica cómo se abordará un problema que el lector podría estar experimentando. Esto le proporcionará una razón para seguir leyendo y creará una conexión sobre cómo tu post puede ayudarlo a mejorar su trabajo o su vida. Aquí tenemos el ejemplo de un post que creemos que hace un buen trabajo capturando la atención de los lectores de inmediato.

Paso 4: Organiza tu contenido.

A veces, los posts pueden tener una cantidad de información abrumadora tanto para el lector como para el escritor. El truco es organizar la información para que los lectores no se sientan intimidados por la longitud o la cantidad de contenido. Puedes organizar la información de varias formas: secciones, listas, consejos o lo que sea más adecuado en tu caso. ¡Pero el post debe estar organizado!

Echémosle un vistazo al post “Cómo usar Snapchat: una mirada detallada sobre la estrategia para Snapchat de HubSpot” (post en inglés). Hay mucho contenido en este post, por lo que lo desglosamos en distintas secciones usando los siguientes encabezados: Cómo configurar tu cuenta de Snapchat, Snaps vs. historias: ¿cuál es la diferencia?, y Cómo usar Snapchat en la empresa. Las secciones se separaron en subsecciones, las cuales están más detalladas y también hacen que el contenido sea más fácil de leer.

Para terminar este paso, todo lo que necesitas es crear un borrador de tu post. De esta forma, antes de que empieces a escribir, sabrás qué puntos quieres cubrir y cuál será el mejor orden para llevarlo a cabo.

Paso 5: ¡Escribe!

El siguiente paso, pero no el último, es escribir el contenido en sí. No podíamos olvidarnos de eso, desde luego.

Ahora que ya tienes tu borrador/plantilla, estás listo para llenar los espacios en blanco. Usa tu borrador como una guía para asegurarte de detallar todos los puntos, según sea necesario. Escribe sobre un tema que conozcas y, si fuera necesario, investiga un poco para reunir más información, ejemplos y datos que respalden tus puntos. No te olvides de proporcionar la atribución adecuada (post en inglés) cuando incorpores fuentes externas. ¿Necesitas ayuda para encontrar datos precisos y atractivos para usar en tu post?Consulta este resumen de fuentes, desde Pew Research hasta las tendencias de búsqueda de Google.

Si descubres que tienes problemas para enlazar las oraciones, no eres el único. Encontrar tu “camino” puede ser realmente desafiante para muchas personas. Por fortuna, hay cientos de herramientas que puedes aprovechar para mejorar tus dotes de redacción. A continuación, te mostramos algunas:

  • Power Thesaurus: ¿No te sale una palabra? Power Thesaurus es una herramienta de subcontratación masiva voluntaria que sugiere a los usuarios miles de alternativas de palabras que provienen de una comunidad de escritores.
  • ZenPen: Si tienes problemas para mantenerte enfocado, dale un vistazo a esta herramienta de escritura libre de distracciones. ZenPen crea una “zona de redacción” minimalista diseñada para ayudarte a pensar solo en las palabras sin tener que lidiar con cuestiones de formato de inmediato.
  • Cliché Finder: ¿Sientes que tus palabras podrían estar sonando un poco cursi? Identifica instancias donde puedas ser más específico usando esta herramienta práctica de clichés.

Paso 6: Revisa y corrige tu post y arregla el formato.

Todavía no has terminado, ¡pero estás a punto de hacerlo! El proceso de revisión es una parte importante de los blogs; no lo descuides. Pídele a un compañero que sepa de gramática que revise y corrija tu post. Asimismo, considera crear una lista con la ayuda de la Lista básica de cosas por hacer en una revisión (post en inglés). Y si buscas refrescar tus propias habilidades de autoedición, mira estos posts útiles para obtener trucos y consejos que te ayudarán a ponerte en marcha:

  • Confesiones de un editor de HubSpot: 11 consejos de edición de la mano de los expertos
  • Cómo convertirse en un editor más eficiente: 12 maneras de acelerar el proceso editorial
  • 10 correcciones sencillas para mejorar al instante cualquier texto

Cuando estés listo para revisar las cuestiones de formato, ten en cuenta lo siguiente.

Imagen principal


Asegúrate de escoger una imagen visualmente atractiva y relevante para tu post. Debido a que las redes sociales prefieren procesar el contenido con imágenes, ahora los elementos visuales tienen más responsabilidad que nunca en el éxito del contenido de tu blog que compartes por las redes sociales. De hecho, se ha demostrado que el contenido con imágenes relevantes recibe un 94% más de vistas que el contenido sin imágenes relevantes.

Para ayudarte a seleccionar una imagen para tu post, lee “Cómo seleccionar la imagen perfecta para tu siguiente post” (post en inglés) y presta mucha atención a la sección sobre derechos de autor.

Apariencia visual

A nadie le gusta un post feo. Y no son solo las imágenes las que hacen que un post sea visualmente atractivo; también importa el formato y la organización del post.

En un post con el formato y atractivo visual adecuados, notarás que se utilizan encabezados y subtítulos para dividir bloques grandes de texto, y estos encabezados siguen un mismo estilo. He aquí un ejemplo de esto:


Asimismo, las capturas de pantalla siempre deberían tener un borde definido y similar (observa la captura de pantalla anterior si deseas ver un ejemplo), para que no se vean como si estuvieran flotando en el espacio. Y este estilo debería respetarse siempre en todos los posts.

Mantener esta coherencia hace que tu contenido (y tu marca) luzcan más profesionales y atractivas a la vista de los lectores.


Las etiquetas son palabras clave específicas y públicas que describen un post. También permiten a los lectores buscar más contenido relacionado con la misma categoría en tu blog. Evita agregar una larga lista de etiquetas en cada post. En lugar de eso, analiza muy bien tu estrategia de etiquetado. Piensa en las etiquetas como si fueran “temas” o “categorías” y selecciona de 10 a 20 etiquetas que representen todos los temas principales que deseas abarcar en tu blog. Luego, apégate a ellas.

Paso 7: Inserta una llamada a la acción (CTA) al final.

Al final de cada post, debes colocar una CTA que indique lo que deseas que haga el lector a continuación, ya sea suscribirse a tu blog, descargar un ebook, registrarse para un webinar o evento, leer un artículo relacionado, etcétera. En general, se considera que las CTA benefician al profesional del marketing. Los visitantes leen tu post, hacen clic en la CTA y, tarde o temprano, generas una oportunidad de venta. Pero las CTA también son un recurso valioso para las personas que leen tu contenido. Usa tus CTA para ofrecer más contenido similar al tema del post que acaban de leer.

En el post “Qué publicar en Instagram: 18 ideas en fotografías y video que te darán una chispa de inspiración” (post en inglés), por ejemplo, los lectores reciben ideas prácticas para crear contenido valioso en Instagram. Al final del post, hay una CTA que insta a los lectores a descargar una guía completa para usar Instagram en las empresas:


¿Ves cómo todos ganamos con esta táctica? Los lectores que desean saber más tienen la oportunidad de hacerlo y la empresa recibe una oportunidad de venta a la que le puede dar seguimiento… ¡alguien que incluso podría convertirse en un cliente! Aprende más sobre cómo elegir la CTA correcta para cada post en este artículo (en inglés). Y no te pierdas esta colección de CTA inteligentes que te inspirarán a crear los tuyos.

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Does Social Media Help SEO? SEO in Costa Rica

The impact of social media on SEO has, and probably always will be, one of the most talked about topics in the search industry. Specifically, whether social media really helps your SEO efforts.

So does it?

Short answer: yes.

For the longer answer, however, you really should read the rest of this post.

Social media doesn’t help SEO in the way many people think it does.

Let’s answer this question by digging into some data, evidence from Google employees, and personal insights.

Social Media ≠ Ranking Factor

First off, in reality, it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever know exactly what’s in Google’s algorithm unless someone works at Google, doesn’t sign an NDA (good luck!), and decides to share that information with us. No shocker here — that isn’t likely to happen.

So we’re left to infer based on what Google employees have said and what we have in case studies/data. Google has repeatedly told us that social signals aren’t a direct ranking factor.

Let’s start with What Social Signals Do Google & Bing Really Count? by Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan. In this article, Google confirmed that links shared on Facebook and Twitter are used as a ranking signal.

After this article was published, Matt Cutts, the former head of Google’s webspam team, confirmed that Google used links from Facebook and Twitter as ranking signal. Here’s that video:

Fast forward to 2014. Cutts produced another video tackling this question. This time he said that Google treats Facebook and Twitter pages like any other web page for search, but not as a ranking factor.

In 2016, Gary Illyes, a Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, was asked if Google takes social into account for SEO. He then retweeted Cutts’ video and said: “the short version is, no, we don’t.”

Since Google’s algorithm is so secretly guarded, we have to take these comments at their official word — that social media isn’t a direct ranking factor.

But just because Google said that social isn’t a ranking factor doesn’t mean that it doesn’t impact rankings. According to Searchmetrics’ 2016 Rebooting Ranking Factors White Paper:

“The correlation between social signals and ranking position is extremely high, and the number of social signals per landing page has remained constant when compared to with the values from last year’s whitepaper. … The top-ranked websites in Google’s rankings displays vastly more social signals than all other pages…. This is primarily due to the overlap between brand websites performing strongly in social networks and being allocated top positions by Google.”

I believe the answer to this lies in the second word in that quote — correlation. Cutts hints at the same thing when he says, “It’s correlation, not causation.”

We know links are one of the top Google ranking factors. Google has said that social media shares don’t count as individual links. But there most likely is correlation here.

If you create good content, it will most likely be popular on social media, and people are probably going to like it and link it to — which does boost your rankings.

So is it a surprise that sites with high ranking positions also have high numbers of social signals? It shouldn’t. It makes sense, but that doesn’t mean it is a direct ranking factor.

How Social Media Helps SEO

Although social media isn’t a direct Google ranking factor, here are four ways social media actually does help your SEO efforts.

1. Potential for Links

The more shares on social media you have, the more opportunities people have to see your content and link to it.

In this case study, a company achieved over 130,000 Facebook shares to a web page and shot up the rankings for keyword phrases that were competitive. It still ranks #1 (as of this writing) and is a really good example of a good content creation and promotion strategy.

Back in 2014, we assumed Facebook shares were a good ranking signal and, therefore, we preached Facebook shares would help rankings. What we were unable to see was that it wasn’t about Facebook shares at all. It was about links that can come from Facebook shares. Here’s an example:

Unhealthiest Foods

The author found the article on Facebook and then decided to link back to it. This shows that having popular content on social media helps to attract potential links.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook. If you make high-quality content that gains traction on social media, you’re more likely to get links from other websites.

2. Build an Audience

You can have the best product or service out there, but if people don’t know about it, you can give it up. “Build it and they will come” doesn’t cut it in today’s competitive marketplace. You have to be proactive and reach people where they are.

Download Your Competitors SEO & PPC Campaigns
Get instant access to competitive insight that will help you increase your traffic and increase profit. SpyFu is free to try. No CC required.


And where are the majority of people? Social media. In fact, Facebook has nearly 2 billion users.

With the number of people on social media, its worldwide reach, and its ease of sharing, social media is a great way to build your web presence and quickly build an audience. If you want to be found among the millions of sites on the web (and the 571 new websites being created each minute), you’re going to have to up your social game.

We also know that click-through rates can impact search engine rankings. Social media marketing helps build brand awareness and an audience, which increases the likelihood that people will click on your brand’s content in Google’s search results.

Here’s a good example, a search for [three most important google ranking factors]:

Three Important Google Ranking Factors

Since I know that Search Engine Journal is one of the most trusted voices in search engine marketing, I’m more likely to click on their organic listings than any of the others.

Think about it from your own experience — if you were to Google “men’s running shoes”, wouldn’t you be more likely to click on Nike, as opposed to You might not want to admit it, but yes, consumers are more likely to turn to companies they know and trust.

The bigger your brand is and the more consumers trust you, the more likely you are to receive a larger share of clicks in Google. Social media can be a great and efficient way to help you build your brand and get in front of people who wouldn’t have otherwise found you. Once you start getting more of the share of clicks in Google from your expanded audience, the higher you will start to rank.

3. Branded Searches

When consumers Google your brand name plus a keyword phrase, it can help you rank for similar keyword phrases.

An example of this would be if you have a horde of consumers searching “[Your Brand Name] Jeans” and they interact positively with your content, Google would think that since your web page ranks well for “[Your Brand Name] Jeans”, it would also be a good result for “Jeans” and place you higher for the keyword phrase “Jeans”.

In a quick analysis of a fashion website we did earlier this year, the site, FashionNova, rose from nothing to 88,000 keywords (in SEMrush) over the course of a year. We discovered that the only positive SEO ranking factors it had over everyone else were that its bounce rate was much lower than other sites, according to Alexa, and they had 6.3 million Instagram followers.

Instagram doesn’t have the best linking procedure, so what happened was hundreds of thousands of consumers each month were searching Google for things like “Fashion Nova Jeans” and other related keyword phrases. This enabled Google to understand more of what consumers wanted when they searched particular phrases.

If consumers interacted positively with the web page — which ranks for “Fashion Nova Jeans” — then, over the course of 100,000 search queries a month for the keyword phrase “Fashion Nova Jeans”, you might imagine Google would eventually have thought perhaps that particular web page would be good for the keyword phrase “Jeans” as well.

4. Helps Promotion

Although this article has focused mostly on Facebook and Twitter, we can’t forget YouTube.

YouTube is actually the second most-searched search engine. However, most of the YouTube search queries have low commercial-intent, whereas Google brings in all the converting customers.

But you can still use YouTube to positively influence your SEO performance. You can create videos to promote your content or brand, which can lead to links, and your videos can potentially rank organically in the SERPs.

A good example is a company which blends random items and made a website out of their YouTube videos once they realized YouTube videos hosted on YouTube provide no real SEO value.


You can use this example, and other social media platforms, to promote your content to your audience and be able to acquire high-quality backlinks. There are a few dependencies though:

  • Your audience must be on social media.
  • Your audience must care about your content.

This is why B2B is a pretty hard sell when doing social media marketing in order to help SEO. Engagement is challenging for most B2B companies.

Generally, people using social media aren’t thinking about work. They’re thinking about their interests and hobbies. So if you can take a different approach (perhaps creating humorous content or something outside of your service offering), you just might get better engagement.


Will Google ever include more social media signals in its ranking algorithm? Maybe, maybe not.

Regardless of what the future holds, it’s clear that social media can, in fact, help your SEO efforts. Social media offers many long-term benefits.

Even if social media isn’t a direct Google ranking factor, it is one of the best ways to promote content and be found online. Which is, ultimately, what SEO is all about.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Pixabay
Screenshots by Ronald Dod. Taken April 2017.

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How to Maximize Your Reach Using Google’s Knowledge Graph

The evolution of Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs) over the past few years has lowered the emphasis on achieving top organic rankings and opened up tremendous opportunities.

One of the most significant updates, the Knowledge Graph, has made discoverability even easier. To put it simply, both producer and consumer can benefit from its existence.

In this post, we are going to take a closer look at exactly what the Knowledge Graph is, then move on to explain how you can best influence it to drive more visitors to your website.

Maximize Your Reach on Google’s Knowledge Graph | SEJ

Let’s start by setting the scene.

What the Knowledge Graph is and Why it Exists

Google has been rolling out updates over the past few years that intend to infer what people are trying to find when they search for something, rather than simply taking a literal view of the keywords they use.

This evolution of piecing together context and other semantic data has brought about entity-based search, which helps connecting different pieces of information together in one helpful section for searchers.

The Knowledge Graph has become an essential way for marketers to leverage search engines for increased visibility and click-through rates, due to the combination of hyper-relevant information, sheer size, diversity of media types, and primary location on SERPs.

Some publishers are concerned with the growing influence of immediate answers appearing, which potentially removes the need to visit their website for that information. However, Google recently included a publisher URL to the Knowledge Graph, which can help alleviate some of those concerns.

Now let’s explore what the Knowledge Graph looks like in the wild.

Common Knowledge Graph Types and Examples

Depending on the search performed, your brand stands a good chance of grabbing the extra detail contained within the Knowledge Graph to influence where and how a searcher interacts with the results they’re seeing.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular search query examples to see what changes and updates the Knowledge Graph provides, after which we’ll examine how companies, influential people, local businesses, movies, TV shows, and even healthcare can capitalize on these new developments in a variety of ways.


Maximize Your Reach on Google’s Knowledge Graph | SEJ

The Knowledge Graph provides large companies with the opportunity to immediately answer a basic questions for each user.

For example, when doing a “branded” search for Staples (above), you can see prominent sitelinks under the first organic position, helping people immediately dive deeper into product categories. This is extremely useful for consumers with a specific product in mind, while also benefiting Staples by removing friction (or extra steps) to finding and purchasing a product.

In addition, the Knowledge Graph results provide a few easy-to-use resources like their customer service number, stock price information, and social profiles. Having this aggregated data in one place provides a quick jumping off point for people to learn more and further engage with the company.

Influential People

Maximize Your Reach on Google’s Knowledge Graph | SEJ

The Knowledge Graph also helps popularize influential people-as-brands. A simple “Gary Vaynerchuk” query reveals instant information like his best-selling books, the organization he’s affiliated with, and other pop-culture appearances.

The SERP now becomes one big advertisement for all things Vaynerchuk, providing you the ability to control (or at least influence) large sections of how you want someone to be perceived, and what they’re associated with.

Local Businesses

Maximize Your Reach on Google’s Knowledge Graph | SEJ

Local businesses might benefit the most from the extra Knowledge Graph “real estate” by displaying exactly what people need in customer reviews, daily hours, and popular times.

You can also see Zagat’s influence extend into these local results, bringing Yelp-like features directly to a searcher’s fingertips with minimal effort (and negating the need to visit Yelp). That’s good news and bad news depending on where you’re investing time and money, because (as we’ll discuss later) Google+ integration is key to appearing in the Knowledge Graph.

Movies, TV Shows, and Books

Maximize Your Reach on Google’s Knowledge Graph | SEJ

Let’s say you’re considering seeing a new movie like The Martian. With the Knowledge Graph in action, there’s no need to leave the original SERP – you’re now getting local showtime listings, editorial reviews from credible third-party sources like Variety and Empire (this is currently only available for movies, but the functionality is expanding into TV shows and books later this year.

Publishers can also utilize this space to show off their artwork to visually influence SERP visibility and click-through-rates.

Health Information

Maximize Your Reach on Google’s Knowledge Graph | SEJ

The Knowledge Graph also helps those with common health conditions (or those who like to play doctor) by including important health information.

Now searchers can get the ‘cliff notes’ version of a health issue with diagnosis, symptoms, and treatments from reputable sources like the Mayo Clinic in just a click.

How to Get to the Knowledge Graph

Unfortunately, you currently can’t add information into the Knowledge Graph directly, but you can influence what shows up by tapping into a few key sources that Google pulls from.

Let’s start by examining the most popular sources, then move on to discuss how you can begin to optimize them and increase your influence over important SERPs.

Knowledge Graph Sources

There are three primary sources of information that Google officially uses to populate the Knowledge Graph: (Previously, Wikipedia, and the CIA World Factbook.

Beyond these sources, Tony Edward recently mentioned two more sources used: sites leveraging Schema Markup, and content from “high authority sources”.

Let’s take a look at the above-mentioned sources in more detail:

  1. (Previously This free database contains over 15,000,000 data points. At the end of last year, Google announced it was shutting down Freebase and transferring its information over to Wikidata. Data can be manually entered into Wikidata (Wikipedia’s sister site), or sent directly through an API.
  2. Wikipedia: Anyone can enter information into Wikipedia; the trick is doing so without it being flagged and removed almost immediately. Anything appearing overly commercial or spammy without “reliable published sources” is usually removed immediately. Therefore, only proceed if you can contribute an unbiased entry that won’t be flagged for removal.
  3. CIA World Factbook: A one-stop shop for “information on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities”. There is no way to manually submit your information into the Factbook, but it remains a highly credible and influential source of information for the Knowledge Graph.
  4. Sites Leveraging Schema Markup: Implementing “schema markup” on your website helps search engines better understand what they’re looking at. Applying these tags across your site (just like any metadata) help enable “rich snippets”, which can improve SERP visibility and click-through-rates while also powering Knowledge Graph results. Details on the specific types of markup to use will be provided below.
  5. Content from High Authority Sources: Information from websites with high value or “authority” has been given more credibility by Google. The search giant measures authority through a variety of methods, including (but not limited to) the age of the domain, number of relevant and informative pages on the site, number of quality links, and diversity of those links. The goal for publishers is to develop their own authority on specific topics, or at the very least get press mentions and referrals from other high authority sources that are topically relevant.

How to Influence the Knowledge Graph (In 5 Steps)

Now that you know which sources Google pulls information from, let’s discuss what you can do to maximize the odds of getting information into the Knowledge Graph (and thus increase the visibility of your brand).

1. Leverage Structured Data through Markup

There are a few ways you can leverage markup, each of which depend on your objectives, website, and types of searches you’d like to show up on (two of the most popular being organization and person). Google provides a summary of crucial markup types for customizing one’s Knowledge Graph, including logos, company contact numbers and social profile links.

However, there are others for local businesses, reviews, health and more. After implementing, you can use Google’s Structured Data testing tool to ensure your Schema markup is valid.

2. Get Listed at and Wikipedia

These influential sources are open to anyone, but they have strict guidelines for what they’re looking for, and any unbiased listing will be removed immediately.

An old (but still relevant) article from the Content Marketing Institute provides a few great tips, including to double-check your verifiable third-party source data, and try to get a few different opinions or pass-throughs from various people to eliminate any unintentional bias or obvious slant.

3. Local Businesses: Optimize Google Maps and Your Google+ Business Page

If you have a local bricks-and-mortar location, your local presence on Google My Business is the first place to start.

It’s a combination of Google’s old Google Places for Business listing and Maps integration as well as your Google+ Business page. Make sure all the little details (like business hours) are completely filled out and accurate. Then make sure you’re actually using your page, with acquiring new reviews and local citations or backlinks as some of the most important ways to help show up on the new competitive “local three pack.”

4. Conduct Keyword Research

Google is introducing critic reviews as a way to provide additional third-party credibility into search results, bringing publishers a tremendous opportunity.

Trusted websites can get exposure in the Knowledge Graph in the review section, and the recently-shared The New York Times case study is a good example. Foundation of the strategy would be keyword research.

Specifically, publishers can research long-tail keywords with tools like Rank Tracker, then differentiate between evergreen topics they’d like to consistently “own” and trendy topics that they might be able to capitalize on due to low competition.

5. Utilize YouTube

There’s already evidence of Google pulling artist, musicians, and song-related information from YouTube into their Knowledge Graph.

This trend, in addition to their extremely large user base and tight integration with other Google products, makes YouTube a safe bet for publishers that excel with multimedia content.


The SERP layout changes over the past few years aren’t simple vanity, but a move to provide better answers or results through more comprehensive and contextually relevant data.

Instead of being stuck with basic text links and possibly a few sitelinks with little-to-no control over what showed up, now you have carousels, updated local packs, direct answers and other engaging Knowledge Graphs that immediately catch a searcher’s eye – ultimately influencing how and where they’re interacting.

The result of this is the diminishment of number one spot in the SERPs as the Holy Grail.

The broad trend of entity-based search provides companies, brands, and publishers with an integrated method to capitalize on their core strengths of branding, communications and creative.

All of this brings us to a clear conclusion: the Knowledge Graph isn’t a threat – it’s an opportunity.

Now it’s over to you. Have you seen benefits from the new SERP layouts, or is Google overstepping their boundaries? Please share your comments and feedback below!

Maximize Your Reach on Google’s Knowledge Graph | SEJ

By: Aleh Barysevich SEO Tips.

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Basic URL Redirection Types

Basic URL Redirection Types

URL Forwarding (sometimes known as URL Redirection) is a technique which can be used to redirect a domain to another URL which is either too long or too hard to remember for a web user. The URL redirections types are represented by a numeric code say:301,302,303,410. These numbers refer to the HTTP Status Code returned by the server for a given URL.

Basic URL Redirection Types:
There are 4 types of URL Redirections:

  1. Permanent redirection: 301 –  A 301 redirect tells the search engine that the page has moved permanently to the new URL. The Search engines should change their index to use the new URL. When you redirect your pages, you should always use a 301 http server redirect. This tells the search engines that the redirect is permanent and that they should change their index to use the new URL. Spammers use other types of redirects (HTTP 302 redirects and meta refresh), so they are not a good idea to use.
  2. Temporary redirection: 302 – A 302 redirect tells the search engine that the move is only temporary, and you may decide to show content at the original location in the future without a redirect. The search engine should remove this URL from the index. Many spammers use 302 redirects to fool the search engines. HTTP 302 redirects are for temporary redirects. The only time you should use them is for redirecting ugly URLs to more user-friendly ones. This tells the search engine that the ugly URL should not be removed from the index, because the user-friendly URL is just to make the URL palatable. Keep in mind that many spammers use 302 redirects to fool search engines. So be judicious in your use of them.
  3. Redirection: 303 – In contrast to the 301 and 302 redirects, the 303 redirect is not used for making a substitute reference for the originally requested URL. This status code is used for the redirection of web applications to a new URL, particularly after an http post has been performed. This response indicates that the correct response can be found under a different URL and should be retrieved using a GET method. The specified URL is not a substitute reference for the original resource.
  4. Gone status code: 410 – It indicates that the page has been removed and the URL is permanently unavailable. The 410 error also indicates that the Web server has no forwarding address for the URL, so can provide no redirection to the new Web server. This condition should generally be considered permanent. If the Web server does not know, or has no way of knowing, whether or not the condition is permanent, the status code 404-Not Found should be used instead.
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Facebook Introduces Snapchat-Like Enhancements to Mobile Profiles

It’s possible that someone on the Facebook design team is a Snapchatter, because some of the profile enhancements announced today are straight out of Snapchat’s playbook.

The three main enhancements announced today provide further opportunities for people to express themselves on the world’s largest social network.

Profile Videos
With the first of the new features, you can add some action to your profile photos with Snapcode Selfies animated GIFs. Facebook sidesteps the Snapchat comparison by calling this an “obvious evolution” of profile photos.

Using Facebook’s profile videos you can film a short, looping video clip that will play when people land on your profile page on their mobile device.

Improved Profile Controls
A new, customizable space sitting at the top of your profile will help you to better control what people see about you when they land on your profile.

You can curate this space with data about yourself that you want others to see. In addition, there will be a new one-line bio field, and the ability to upload up to 5 featured photos.

Everyone can see this box on your profile, but you have full control over what goes in there.

Design Improvements
The overall design of profile pages have been improved to put your face front and center — reminiscent of many popular mobile designs for Tumblr pages.

Some miscellaneous improvements have been made to help you learn more about people you’ve just met and catch the interesting visual content from the friends you already know.

“People love seeing photos and mutual friends when viewing the profiles of friends or someone they’ve just met, so those are easier to see now on profile. Photos and friends are right at the top, making getting to know someone and seeing the world through your friends’ eyes as easy as scrolling.”

These new features are all initially be rolled out as a test amongst a small number of iPhone users in the UK and California. Facebook says these features will be available to more people soon.

By Matt Southern SEO Tips.

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CMI Releases its Annual Content Marketing Survey for 2016

Last month, Content Marketing Institute released their content marketing survey for 2016. The CMI team decided to explore what an effective B2B content marketing looks like. Moreover, the survey also details how many businesses know what “effectiveness” means.

According to their latest research:

55% of business-to-business (B2B) marketers said that it is unclear within their organization what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like.

In this survey, CMI defined effectiveness as “accomplishing your overall objectives.” Check out some of the key findings and find out how you can make an effective content marketing strategy.

Make Sure the Entire Team is on the Same Page

The survey shows that 44 percent of B2B marketers have so-so content marketing strategy. However, there’s a correlation between companies with clear goals and  effective content marketing strategy. That’s why it’s important for a team to be on the same page to build an effective content marketing strategy.


Mature Content Strategy is Effective Content Strategy

The survey shows that 29% of B2B marketers are in adolescent phase when it comes to the level of maturity of their content marketing strategy. In other words, marketers have developed a business case and are seeing early success on it. Marketers are also getting sophisticated when measuring the success of their content marketing strategy.


Communication is an Important Factor

The most effective content marketers are not just those who have clear business goals. They are not just mature enough when it comes to measuring and scaling their strategy. They also hold regular meetings.

According to research, 61% of B2B marketers meet online or in person with their team on a daily or weekly basis. Also, 70% of those who meet daily or weekly find the meetings to be more valuable.

Documentation is Still an Issue

When it comes to documenting content marketing strategy, the survey show that only 32% of marketers have done it. It dropped three points from 35% last year. Meanwhile, 48% of marketers have a content marketing strategy but it’s not documented.

What do you think of this year’s findings? How does your company define effective and successful content marketing? Let us know in the comments.

By Aki Libo-on SEO Tips.