4 Simple Ideas to Boost Your Content Quality

Content marketers are always trying new ways to engage their audience. The sheer number of campaigns they have to compete with demands such inventiveness, but most of them make the mistake of producing more content instead of better ones.

To stand out in a sea of identical and similar-sounding content, you need to make a splash with quality.

Buzzword aside, quality content means producing engaging material that hooks the audience. This type of content is what gets shared across social networks, attracting more eyeballs and eventually, converting these leads to some sweet sales.

Here are four ways to craft better content without sacrificing optimization and improve your organic search rankings.

 

  1. Specify Your Audience

In Seth Godin’s words, “Real content marketing isn’t repurposed advertising, it is making something worth talking about.”

Persuasive and entertaining content means being of value to your audience. It might be something your market can easily relate to or something that solves their problems in some way or takes them on a journey that’s only possible with your services. Better yet, fulfill them all! Successful content marketing knows who its audience is. Once you have that knowledge, it’s already half the battle.

 

  1. Check Your Facts

Trust is the most precious thing your audience can give you. In this era of fake news, misleading people with some made-up stuff just to boost views will quickly backfire on anyone foolish enough to try.

If your audience knows that you only speak and reference truth in your content, you’re establishing your brand as authoritative and trustworthy.

 

  1. Quote Some Expert Sources

Build your credibility by associating your content with words from industry experts. Operating on their quotes of wisdom adds weight and authority to your campaign, as well as expands your field of expertise. The additional insight from established names further adds value for your audience.

 

  1. Add Visuals to Highlight Your Points

Sometimes, words can be a little too sparse to convey your ideas. Visual examples help spruce up your content with accessible information that’s easier to digest. Incorporating graphics to your text-based content also demonstrates your brand’s creative prowess to the audience.

 

As your campaign goes on, you’ll develop more strategies to adapt to trends and updates in the future. Investing time and effort into creating useful and relevant content ensures brand recall and higher rankings.

Our digital marketing blog has tons more content creation hacks that will keep you updated on all the new developments.

Augmentation: Early Days, Big Promises

To make things easier for humans – that’s the central principle of most, if not all, of technology. It has always been about accommodating our tasks, whether we want to make these more fuss-free, or we simply wish to do away with doing them, entirely. Moreover, these days, it’s not so much about creating brand new technology, in terms of physical tools; the focus is now on developing new apps to help us with various aspects of daily life. That’s not to say that humans will avoid manual labor, completely. While that prospect may be in the very distant future, seeds of possibility are already germinating. For instance, we now have the potential to interface with computers, without physically doing so. It’s called brain-machine interface (BMI), and it’s hot property in Silicon Valley right now. Social media giant Facebook has concrete plans in that direction, to enable their users to type with their mind, while technology darling Elon Musk is going the medical way, using the tech to create implants that will help people with brain impairments.

These are actually refined ideas of what Larry Page laid out 2004, albeit with a scary connotation. “Eventually, you’ll have the implant where if you think about a fact, it will just tell you the answer,” he told one reporter. Not long after, criticisms poured in, on how corporations can manipulate this technology for their own gain. Loss of identity and freedom, life run by choices dictated by a company –  BMI would’ve been terrifying if it followed Page’s vision, to the letter.

 

On the Way to Augmentation: Two Sides of the Coin

When something as life-altering as BMI comes along, it’s important to see it from all perspectives. There are two prevalent angles on the integration of BMI: its practicality and its potential to mesh the human mind with artificial intelligence. Let’s have a look at both.

The Practical Side – When Facebook announced their BMI intentions, there were some doubts. This is, after all, a social media company. Perhaps the same technology will, in the near enough future, become SEO news, with searchers no longer having to physically type or speak their queries into their gadgets.  Optimistically, there will be more significant applications of the technology as there now are for virtual reality. What was once a tool purely for entertainment has become a surgical assistant, an educational supplement, and a showroom for goods. As of now, helping people with brain impairments, dementia and other neurological disorders are the more potentially useful, life-changing purposes of BMI.

 

On Becoming Androids – We had a very different idea of what an android was until Elon Musk came along. His proposition that humans are already part android because we rely so much on our laptops and smartphones is an unexpected take on bio-mechanical life. He also wants BMI to bridge the gap between us and our potential AI overlords. As you may remember, Musk is one of the many luminaries who fear the prospect of singularity. Brain augmentation or meshing with AI will enable us to compete with the rise and domination of AI or prevent the uprising altogether, Musk theorizes. In short, we would be a kind of superhuman: controlling technology with our minds and maximizing our brainpower, with the implant helping address our weaknesses in real time.

When consumer BMI hits the market, in four years’ time, it will change how we view and live life. It may be frustrating to integrate a new function into our organic system, but considering what it can do for us, it’s hard to ignore the promise of the wizard era.

Calling All Travelers, Check Out Google’s Auto-Translated Local Reviews

Go where the locals go. You’ve probably heard that travel tip from almost everyone who has been on holiday to a foreign country. But, how exactly will you know what and where these local-approved spots are? Of course, you can ask a local, but it will be a definite challenge in countries where people don’t speak much English.

Perhaps, Google caught wind of this dilemma that is common to travelers. The most popular search engine recently announced that it is updating its search and Maps services with a small (but significant for you, travelers) improvement— auto-translated local reviews.

 

Google’s Update: Auto-Translated Business Reviews

With this update, it will be easier for you to find the best restaurants, shops, or attractions at your next travel destination. Just search for the place on Google and look for business reviews written by locals, which you will quickly understand because the new feature will automatically translate the language to match the setting on your device.

In the past, you’d have to copy and paste reviews onto a translation app, such as Google Translate, before you could have an idea as to why locals gave a two-star review to a popular tourist spot in their country, for instance. Not so, now. Google’s new update will surely make your travel planning faster and easier.

 

But… Will The Translation Be Accurate?

Using A.I. technologies, Google has been augmenting its language translation platform. Just two months ago, Google Translate expanded to support more languages, including Hindi, Russian, and Vietnamese. This is in addition to the languages Google is currently supporting: Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish.

With A.I. technology, Google aims to understand languages better— that is to say, the way a native speaker would use a particular language. Instead of translating sentences word-for-word, Google’s A.I.-powered translation platform looks at the sentences as a whole. In turn, it can more accurately translate the thoughts of a local review.

Google’s auto-translated local reviews are currently rolling out on mobile and will be live, worldwide, soon enough. If you’re a traveler (or a digital marketer targeting travelers), watch out for any updates about this new Google feature — and make sure to use it once it’s out!

For the latest news on tech and digital world, feel free to bookmark our digital marketing blog site.

Seeing Stars: Facebook Experiments with Star Ratings for Local Business Ads

Taking a leaf out of Yelp and Netflix’s (and a ton of other websites’) playbook, Facebook has started employing review stars in business ads. It’s still a rather small-scale experiment, where the stars only pop up in a small percentage of select ads. The social media giant plans to run the test for two months, but advertisers are free to opt-out of it should they choose to.

 

The Ratings Game

Web marketer Phillip Barnhart received a letter from Facebook regarding the experiment, which he shared online. The letter informed Barnhart that his FB page was among numerous business ads chosen to participate in the beta test for business ratings. The test’s purpose was to determine whether displaying ratings increased conversions from ads.

Scheduled to run from April 24 to June 24, 2017, the rating display along with test reviews will appear below business names in ads across Facebook’s Newsfeed. “Star ratings will only appear when the average star rating is 4 stars or higher and when there are at least 5 reviews,” the letter stated.

The chosen participants can tweak “Star Rating Experiment” settings for the beta test, and it is only available on Facebook’s desktop site.

 

Wisdom (and Revenue) in Online Reviews

Advertisers (both paid and organic) have long known that star ratings dramatically improve clickthrough rate (CTR). The beta test Facebook is conducting comes as little surprise, especially considering the volume of ads it now displays on its Newsfeed.

Digital marketing blogs agree that this strategy is a logical step for social media sites reliant on ads. In a survey by software company ReviewTrackers, one of the key findings indicated 67% of consumers believed in the importance of online reviews when choosing local businesses.

Many FB users haven’t seen this change implemented widely so far, including targeted ads. Users do presume that the visibility of star ratings will increase as tests detect an increase in CTRs.

Google Wages Battle against Fake News via “Project Owl”

The internet has become a hotbed of false and inaccurate information. While yellow journalism has been around since medieval times, fake news is an internet-borne epidemic, and its implications have set off great confusion and unrest, worldwide.

People accuse fake news of having increased the polarization between political parties and their supporters. This has led the big guns of the internet, like Google, to crack down on fake news, once and for all.

“Project Owl” is the codename for Google’s initiative to curb the epidemic. During its initial launch in April, the search giant rolled out new ways for users to report content or search results that they perceive to be unreliable or objectionable.

 

How Dangerous is Fake News?

Fake news and bogus conspiracy theories are nothing new. They have been around even before the internet was born. For centuries, people have used fake news as a weapon to taint public trust, win Infowars, and advance malicious interests.

But, the biggest danger of fake news is that it is divisive. People believe what they want to believe, and malicious groups take advantage of this human frailty to discredit facts and gain profit to the detriment of the community. Those who create and circulate fake news are enemies of the people, and this has led Google to rethink and interfere with its algorithms.

 

Google’s Three-pronged Approach

The “Project Owl” initiative is part of Google’s ongoing efforts to deliver high-quality content to search engine users. Like Facebook and other internet giants, Google has gotten a lot of flak for allowing offensive and inaccurate content to circulate on the web. But, it has since rolled out algorithm updates to keep problematic content at bay. Here are the changes, so far:

  • Improved Feedback Tools

When you type in a query, you will see several information boxes, which Google calls “snippets,” on the results pages. These snippets display a small sample of content found on these web pages. One of the biggest changes rolled out via Project Owl is a new feedback form for Featured Snippets answers, which appears on the lower right corner of the box.

With just one click, you can directly report the content if you find something ridiculous, offensive, or false. By clicking the Feedback button, a short survey will ask you what you think of the content. On the same form, you can also make comments, suggestions, or a legal removal request.

  • Improved Suggestions

Google Suggest, the search engine’s auto-complete function, allows users to see the most frequently searched terms as you type your query. The drop-down feature then lets you choose among the search terms to automatically complete the search.

Over the years, this feature has allowed marketers to see what terms people are searching for in real time. However, many people have been pointing out several instances of Google suggesting outrageous and offensive terms. The problem is that this function diverts users’ attention, sometimes taking them to disturbing web pages.

Improving the auto-complete search suggestions is perhaps the biggest change in this year’s rollout, as Google has been, for the longest time, algorithm-centered. Now, in response to people’s criticism of this feature, Google has created a system to allow people to report these problematic search suggestions.

  • Authority Boost

What’s even worse than fake news is denial content. Denial sites are those that discredit significant events in history, such as the Holocaust. When a user searches or sees a suggestion for “Did the Holocaust happen?” these denial sites would spring up on SERPs.

As a response, Google has decided to take bigger strides to pushing high-quality content to the upper ranks of SERPs. A long-term solution to curbing this issue is to put more emphasis on authoritative content. For Google, this means making sure that no denial sites will appear, and only the most authoritative content will surface for unusual queries. In addition to human feedback, Google promises to make the criteria to determine authority even more refined.

 

Rebuilding Public Trust

Project Owl is just the beginning of Google’s bid to combat fake news and rebuild public trust. The best minds working on the initiative are combining technology and human expertise to make sure that facts win.

 

Google’s Call to Action

Google promises more advanced updates in the future, but for now, it calls on all internet users to play their part in the fight against fake news. One way individuals and businesses can help is to take advantage of the new feedback and reporting tools the moment they detect dangerous and inaccurate content.

If truth be told, the fight against fake news is everyone’s fight, as it begins in the individual user’s mind. While the internet can be a breeding ground for dangerous content, it can also be used to search for the truth. Google, among other things, is meant to be a tool to seek and identify the truth.

The fake news and fake history epidemic don’t just affect the media and political landscape; it has also spread to the realms of business. Small businesses to corporations are under direct threat of these malicious activities. But, Google assures that if it defeated black hat SEO tactics, it can beat fake news.

 

What SEO Strategies Remain Dominant in 2017?

It’s almost the middle of 2017. By this time, several of last year’s SEO tricks may no longer work. Professionals have to consider how fast the field moves, including the techniques and tools that go with it. Some strategies, however, continue to stand the test of time. For this year, the key to a successful SEO campaign is a more mixed approach, both for professionals and businesses.

 

Mobile Browsing as the Standard

For sure, mobile search and browsing practices aren’t likely to die soon, as a lot more people are consuming digital media on the go through their smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Mobile-optimized websites and pages must be the norm now among businesses. Websites should be readily available on all mobile platforms and problems such as slow loading times and incomplete pages/options must be a thing of the past.

 

No More Pop-Ups

The year ushered in a new set of search algorithms that is affecting many advertising strategies. For instance, Google is already penalizing websites that use pop-ups to promote their products and services; these diminish the user experience, particularly on mobile.

The update has been in effect since January, so it should be ingrained in everyone by now. Businesses crafting a fresh SEO strategy should consider this and all other additional algorithm updates that are expected to roll out later this year. Perhaps it would be best to anticipate updates that focus on improving semantic searches.

 

Intentional Link Building Gains Ground

Link building remains a good SEO strategy despite its relative age. According to research firm Stone Temple, links can do much more than was initially assumed. Google itself also considers links among the three major ranking factors. The other two are content and RankBrain. Experts advise, however, that links are almost useless if the content behind it is irrelevant. Otherwise, link building is an excellent tool.

 

Voice Search Is the Future

You surely know what (or ‘who’) Siri is. Apple’s digital assistant, along with the Microsoft counterpart Cortana, is touted as today’s earliest working example of how voice search might work. It would be best to anticipate further improvements in voice search technology.

Preying on Easy Dupes: Protecting Your Organization from Cyber Criminals

Millions of cyber criminals and spammers are hard at work. They are testing the strength of your organization’s cyber security, looking for a chink in your armor where they can launch their attacks. Sometimes, they don’t even have to search for a weak spot in the system; they just create one, instead. To gain the information they need to bypass your cyber security system, they simply have to get employees to download a corrupted attachment or click a malicious link. Hackers also have other avenues where they can wreak havoc online, such as social networking sites, phone calls, and emails — all without raising any red flags.

In light of the ingenious ways cyber criminals can conduct attacks, companies should, therefore, make security a business-wide responsibility. What are some of the strategies attackers use to target employees, that companies should watch out for, then?

 

 

Social Networking

Social networks are at a high risk of cyber security threats. LinkedIn is one of the biggest sources of wealth for hackers because the platform allows users to expand their network while putting them at risk of connecting with people they don’t know. On a similar vein, Twitter also carries a great risk of social engineering since attackers can send direct messages to users in ways that seem legitimate even when they aren’t.

 

Impersonation and Identity Theft

With access to a few social networks, attackers can put together a full picture of a person’s life. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram can reveal almost everything about an individual including their family, interests, music, and favorite restaurants. This leaves any employee vulnerable to impersonation since a hacker can easily create an account and pretend to be someone they’re not.

 

Voice Phone Solicitation

Otherwise known as “vishing,” voice phone solicitation is a cheap, yet dangerous technique used by cyber attackers to target their victims. Through a simple phone call, attackers do what they can to learn more about a client and their internal systems to know where to spot red flags. Vishing poses a huge problem for companies since they’re often hard to detect. Attackers establish a rapport with their victim, making it sound like a normal conversation.

 

Awareness of the potential strategies hackers make use of to target employees is a must. At Bungemoe, our digital marketing blog covers a vast range of topics to keep readers up-to-date with the latest news in the industry and stay safe from potential cyber attacks.

Voice Commands: The Future Search Marketing

People have it easy today if they want to look for something. Nearby restaurants, groceries, boutiques, and almost every business imaginable can be found by typing a few words into search engines. This opens up a host of opportunities for both digital marketers and companies. We at Bungemoe know this well — with the right tools and techniques, search marketing can provide great ROI.

There is, however, one question that may define the essence of technology: what if we can make it better? The future holds a lot of surprises for search marketing, as a whole. Voice commands bear much potential, for instance.

 

Voice Search

 

The difference is that there wouldn’t be much waiting for voice search to be a thing. Experts predict that this year will be the one for voice search. Forbes contributor Amine Bentahar cites a survey of 39 SEO experts who were asked whether voice search will be a major SEO trend this 2017. They put it in third place. It’s nothing surprising since voice commands are already a thing. Digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana are standard features in their proprietary operating systems.

Despite their current use, the likes of Siri and Cortana still have limitations in terms of effectiveness. The way these applications interpret voice commands and translate them into searches has a long way to go. Artificial intelligence (AI) may present opportunities for advancement. What’s left now is the continuous improvement of text-to-speech technologies.

There is positivity in this — between 2014 and 2015, voice queries improved to comprise about 10 percent of all searches. That’s a massive change from the previous value: ‘statistical zero.’

 

Voice search providers may look to how different demographics use the technology. Two major groups (teenagers and adults) use voice search for various purposes. 43 percent of teens use voice search to call someone, 30 percent ask for directions, 31 percent use it for homework, and 30 percent use it for music streaming. As for adults, 40 percent ask for directions, 39 percent dictate texts, and 31 percent use it to call someone.

If you’re interested to know more about subjects like this, check out our latest digital marketing news at Bungemoe.

The 10K Policy: How YouTube’s New Policy is for the Greater Good

YouTube is a haven for big brands who want exposure, and for people who just want to kill time watching videos. For this reason, the social platform has become the go-to site for such audiences — and for brands who want a growing market.

It’s no wonder YouTube ads are also massively popular.

 

Behind the Scenes

For regular viewers, the first 30 seconds can be annoying. Instead of seeing the videos they want, they encounter ads that require waiting before they can skip. For brands, however, it’s one of the best ways to connect with the audience.

The growing popularity of its ads encouraged YouTube to come up with better policies to protect viewers and businesses alike.

That’s when the new policy came in.

 

Change is Here

YouTube’s new policy is simple: if you want to make money from ads on videos, the channel should have more than 10,000 views. New creators aspiring to be part of the YouTube Partner Program should wait until they achieve the said number of total video views before they can start displaying ads.

What was the purpose of the change?

YouTube has been working hard to reduce bad site behavior, particularly content stealing.

 

Say “No” to Content Stealing

Content theft has always been an unfortunate reality YouTube creators face. The trend of bootleg DVDs and illegal re-posting of videos is creating financial losses for independent creators.

With its new policy, YouTube aims to reduce the number of channels that steal content. The site will review the applicant’s activities against their policies; this ensures that all their channels will promote unique and quality content.

Since distinctiveness is a selling point, you may not need to worry about other people poaching and making money out of your unique ideas.

 

Managing Reputation

Another good reason to implement the new rule: to protect brand reputation. When big brands boycotted YouTube ads, they did so with good reason: their ads played over videos with offensive content. There is a tendency for viewers to then associate the business with unsavory or extremist ideas. No entrepreneur wants an association with any video that casts a bad light on the business. The new policy gives you the power to control the content linked to your ads. So your brand stays on the public’s good side.

The change may seem overwhelming, which is a typical reaction for any new guideline. While not everyone’s a big fan of updates, the video sharing site’s current policy may just serve the greater good.

Understanding Internal Linking and Redirect Chain

link

In the digital marketing industry, many believe that the strongest element of a web page is the content. Yes, it is true. Content is the king. But how can we make sure that the content we’re looking at is valuable and will support other pages on your website? How are you going to promote other pages without blatantly including their link in the main menu navigation? Footer navigation? The answer is you don’t. The key is to have an optimized Internal Linking Structure.

 

What is Internal Link?

An internal link is simply an anchor text with a hyperlink pointing to another page within the same domain. You often see them on the main menu navigation, sidebar, and footer section of the website. But these links are common and already present when you purchase a theme for your website (you just need to alter the anchors, design, etc.). What makes this link special is if you optimize and use their importance in a static content, you would then have an important anchor pointing to a relevant page within the same domain.

 

Link-Structure

 

However, you’re probably thinking – what’s in it for you and your website?

  1. User-Experience (UX) They allow the users to navigate through the content without breaking their experience, which might lead to conversion.
  2. Site Structure / Silo They allow to establish hierarchical information for the site (no orphaned pages).
  3. Homepage Power / Authority Power of the homepage will be shared and spread to other important/relevant inner pages. This leads to passing the power downwards, and contextual support upwards.

 
Setting up an internal link is easy and will not cause you any dilemma. Most of the modern websites have a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress that offer a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor and allow you to easily integrate a link to an anchor without any hassle.

insert-link

 

For some websites without any CMS and was built within a hard coded HTML, the code is pretty simple:

<a href=”example.com/internal-linking”>Internal Linking</a>

Just always be mindful about the closing tag (</a>) cause it will be a source of trouble if not implemented properly.

However, there are still negative effects on doing this strategy which might cause your site to devalue the content and the function of links. One of them is the Redirect Chain.

 

What is a Redirect Chain?

A redirect chain happens when a certain website changes its domain name or URL structure with optimized 301 redirects from point A to B, C, to D or worst from A to B to C to D (mostly known as multiple hops).

 

Redirect-Chain

Multiple Hops

The most common case for a 301 redirection is moving the domain (A) from one another pointing to the new domain (B). But keep in mind that the redirection inside the internal pages of domain A to B is different. You cannot just simply redirect all the URLs of the old domain to the root domain of the new site. You basically just wasted your time and effort there. Imagine users who are looking for a specific page from the old domain getting redirected to the root domain of the site? That is totally irrelevant, inconvenient, and misleading. You’re lucky to not have a minimum of 90% increase in your bounce rate. Make sure that the transfer should match and are not a reciprocal of one another.

Another question in mind is, “is there a limit on how many redirects that the site should have?”. The answer is NOPE. Sky is the limit, as cliché as it may sound. Even 100 thousand pages can be 301 redirected from domain A to B, permanently. Yes, you read it correctly. No turning back. If you want to make use of the page in domain B temporarily, a 302 redirect is necessary. (Well, that’s another conversation I guess). Google will always queue and process the request for a permanent redirection.

 

Multiple Hops

Now that we know that even 100 thousand pages can be redirected from the old domain to another (A to B domains only), there is a certain limit when multiple hops are involved (domain A permanently redirects to B then to C and then to D).

Google will follow all the redirects for about two to three domains, but they might stop if the redirects exceed four to five hops in a chain which is a very dangerous thing to occur. The latency and content value will drop and Google will not follow the links at all. Physically present, but no value at all. Kind of sucks, right?

Here’s a more thorough explanation from Matt Cutts:

This drastic change in the domain happens because of the following reasons:

  1. The user or website owner is not confident about their domain name. In layman’s term, the business is rebranding.
  2. The site security was compromised and hacked.
  3. De-indexed via manual penalty, or algorithmic penalty.

Conclusion:

As long as permanent redirection is concerned, keep the redirect chain to one or two hops, domain to domain, page level to page level and this will surely result in a great user experience. Moreover, your ranking equity will flow relatively well and everything will go smoothly.