Marketing in Times of Uncertainty – Whiteboard Friday

Our work as marketers has transformed drastically in the space of a month. Today, we’re grateful to welcome our good friend Rand to talk about a topic that’s been on the forefront of our minds lately: how to do our jobs empathetically and effectively through one of the most difficult trials in modern memory. We hope you’ve got a cozy seat in your home office, a hot mug of coffee from your own kitchen Keurig, and your cat in your lap as you join us for this week’s episode of Whiteboard Friday. Video Transcription Howdy, folks. I’m Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz and co-founder of Sparktoro. And I’m here today with a very special edition of Whiteboard Friday.  I think that now is the right time to talk about marketing in uncertain epochs like the one we’re living through. We obviously have a global crisis. It’s very serious. But most of you watch […]

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In Times of Uncertainty, Look for These 4 Signs of Stability in a Franchise

By Kumon You can’t predict the next recession or natural disaster. But the good news is, as a prospective business owner, you do have some control—there are specific things you can look for in your next business venture that signify stability, starting with a franchise and choosing one that’s ready to withstand almost anything. How can you tell if a potential franchise opportunity is as steady as it is exciting? A good place to start is by looking for these four signs of stability: 1. Financial strength. If you’re looking at a franchising business that’s in a questionable financial position, your venture may be over before it even begins. To assess a company’s financial strength, you’ll want to take a close look at their Financial Disclosure Document, or have a trusted accountant review it if numbers aren’t your strong suit. Franchises that are in particularly strong fiscal shape may even […]

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What Readers Want During COVID-19: Content Ideas for Every Niche

This is a stressful time to say the least. Everything is impacted by COVID-19 in some way, including our work. Once we’ve taken time to acknowledge how lucky we are to work in digital, it’s time to assess if our current content strategy needs any adjusting based on current events. Many marketers are finding themselves: Wanting to write about something topical Needing to add more content to their calendars At a loss for how to contribute at a time like this So, I spent hours using Ubersuggest, putting myself in the shoes of various Americans. I tested a variety of keywords to see which ones have exhibited a trend during the COVID-19 outbreak and might warrant some attention from content marketers. The results below are for the term “Coronavirus,” so for the other keywords identified, I looked for a noticeable spike in the months of January, February, and March to […]

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Operating During COVID-19: Helpful Tips for Local Businesses

Local businesses know better than any other model what it means to fully participate in community life. You are the good neighbors who are there to serve, inspire, and sustain the people and traditions that make your town a unique and enjoyable place to call home. As we explore this topic of what local businesses can do during the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to honor all that you have always done to take care of your community as a local business owner or marketer. Thank you. In this article, you will find local SEO tips that could make a difference for your business in the coming weeks, innovative resources for support, advice from my own tight-knit community of some of the world’s best local SEOs, and some serious thinking about building a better local future. Adhere to all regulations First and foremost, start each day with a review of both […]

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Generating Local Content at Scale – Whiteboard Friday

Building local pages in any amount can be a painful task. It’s hard to strike the right mix of on-topic content, expertise, and location, and the temptation to take shortcuts has always been tempered by the fact that good, unique content is almost impossible to scale. In this week’s edition of Whiteboard Friday, Russ Jones shares his favorite white-hat technique using natural language generation to create local pages to your heart’s content. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hey, folks, this is Russ Jones here with Moz again to talk to you about important search engine optimization issues. Today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite techniques, something that I invented several years ago for a particular client and has just become more and more and more important over the years.  Using natural language generation to create hyper-local content I […]

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Help Your Community from Six Feet Away: Non-Marketing Tips from Mozzers

For the last few weeks, you’ve probably experienced an influx of emails from companies detailing how COVID-19 is affecting them and thus you, their customer. It’s… a lot, isn’t it? So today, we want to take a departure from the world of “how this affects us” and focus instead on actionable things we can all do to make things brighter for ourselves and our communities. This won’t be your regularly scheduled programming — we won’t be discussing SEO or marketing. Instead, we’re sharing ideas and advice from the folks at Moz who’ve been finding ways to be helpers as we all navigate this new normal. Donate and shop For those who have steady income during this time of economic uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to support local businesses and charitable organizations. Many employers, Moz included, offer charitable donation matching to make use of as well. Food banks, shelters, and […]

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How to Handle Temporarily Out-of-Stock Product Pages

The next few months are going to be uncharted territory for all of us, with serious challenges for both brick-and-mortar and online businesses. Many e-commerce sites are already facing a unique situation right now, and it looks something like this: These are hand sanitizer results from Staples.com, and this screenshot is just a portion of the first page. I’m not picking on Staples — this page is representative of a problem across every major e-retailer right now. While there are many ways to handle out-of-stock and discontinued items under normal conditions, this situation is very specific: Multiple similar items are out-of-stock at the same time Retailers may not know when they’ll be back in stock These products may not stay back in stock for long Demand is high and continuing to rank is critical From an SEO standpoint, it’s essential that these pages continue to rank, both for consumers and […]

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You Can Now Take Moz Academy Courses for Free

The well-being of our community — from our customers to our readers to our team members — is of the utmost importance to us here at Moz. The ongoing situation around the spread of COVID-19 is ever-changing. Many of you are experiencing the impact of this pandemic, and we want to address the difficulties you’re facing and acknowledge how you might be feeling. The state of the world and current events bring significant, often crushing, impact to businesses large and small. While it can be really hard to focus on work and on what is happening in the SEO industry during this difficult time, we also know that your work can’t stop. Whether you’re reading this as a small business owner concerned about your traffic, or an agency with clients who are hurting financially — we’re here to support you. Today through May 31, you’ll be able to access the […]

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Getting Smarter with SERPs – Whiteboard Friday

Modern SERPs require modern understanding. National SERPs are a myth — these days, everything is local. And when we’re basing important decisions on SERPs and ranking, using the highest quality data is key. Russ Jones explores the problem with SERPs, data quality, and existing solutions in this edition of Whiteboard Friday. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hey, folks, this is Russ Jones here again with another exciting edition of Whiteboard Friday. Exciting might be an exaggeration, but it really is important to me because today we’re going to talk about data quality. I know I harp on this a whole lot. It’s just, as a data scientist, quality is really important to me. Here at Moz, we’ve made it a priority of the last several years, from improving the quality of our Domain Authority score, improving Spam Score, completely changing […]

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How to Query the Google Search Console API

If you’ve been an SEO for even a short time, you’re likely familiar with Google Search Console (GSC). It’s a valuable tool for getting information about your website and its performance in organic search. That said, it does have its limitations. In this article, you’ll learn how to get better-connected data out of Google Search Console as well as increase the size of your exports by 400%. Google Search Console limitations While GSC has a number of sections, we’ll be focusing on the “Performance” report. From the GSC dashboard, there are two ways you can access this report: Once inside the “Performance” report, data for queries and pages can be accessed: This reveals one of the issues with GSC: Query and page data is separated. In other words, if I want to see the queries a specific page is ranking for, I have to first click “Pages,” select the page, […]

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A Beginner’s Guide to Ranking in Google Maps

For local businesses today, there are numerous different ways to market your brand online. The majority of your potential customers still use Google to find local businesses near them — businesses where they will spend their hard-earned money. In fact, 80% of searches with “local intent” result in a conversion. This begs the question: “What’s the best way to catch the attention of local searchers on Google?”  The answer: through Google Maps marketing. What is Google Maps marketing? Google Maps marketing is the process of optimizing the online presence of your brand in Google Maps, with the goal of increasing your brand’s online visibility. When you search a query on Google that has local intent, you often see something like this: Google Maps marketing utilizes a number of strategies and tactics to help your business become one of those three positions on local map packs. Why is marketing important for […]

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Content Expansion: From Prompt to Paragraph to Published Page – Whiteboard Friday

We’ve all been there. You’re the SEO on point for a project, and you’re also the one tasked with getting great content written well and quickly. And if you don’t have an expert at your disposal, great content can seem out of reach. It doesn’t have to be. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Russ Jones arms you with the tools and processes to expand your content from prompt to paragraph to published piece. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hey, folks, great to be back here with you on Whiteboard Friday. Today we’re going to be talking about content expansion. It’s a term you probably haven’t heard before because I just made it up. So hopefully, it will be useful in the future for you. But I think you’ll get the gist of exactly what we’re trying to accomplish here. […]

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We Need to Talk About Google’s “People Also Ask”: A Finance Case Study

For a while now, I’ve been disappointed with the People Also Ask (PAAs) feature in Google’s search results. My disappointment is not due to the vast amount of space they take up on the SERPs (that’s another post entirely), but more that the quality is never where I expect it to be. Google has been running PAAs since April 2015 and they are a pretty big deal. MozCast is currently tracking PAAs (Related Questions) across 90% of all searches, which is more than any other SERP feature. The quality issue I’m running into is that I still find several obscure PAA questions and results or content from other countries. When I run searches that have a universal answer, such as “can you eat raw chicken?”, the answer is universally correct so there is no issue with the results. But when I run a search that should return local (UK) content, such […]

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Crawled — Currently Not Indexed: A Coverage Status Guide

Google’s Index Coverage report is absolutely fantastic because it gives SEOs clearer insights into Google’s crawling and indexing decisions. Since its roll-out, we use it almost daily at Go Fish Digital to diagnose technical issues at scale for our clients. Within the report, there are many different “statuses” that provide webmasters with information about how Google is handling their site content. While many of the statuses provide some context around Google’s crawling and indexation decisions, one remains unclear: “Crawled — currently not indexed”. Since seeing the “Crawled — currently not indexed” status reported, we’ve heard from several site owners inquiring about its meaning. One of the benefits of working at an agency is being able to get in front of a lot of data, and because we’ve seen this message across multiple accounts, we’ve begun to pick up on trends from reported URLs. Google’s definition Let’s start with the official […]

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Defense Against the Dark Arts: Why Negative SEO Matters, Even if Rankings Are Unaffected

Negative SEO can hurt your website and your work in search, even when your rankings are unaffected by it. In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, search expert Russ Jones dives into what negative SEO is, what it can affect beyond rankings, and tips on how to fight it. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription All right, folks. Russ Jones here and I am so excited just to have the opportunity to do any kind of presentation with the title “Defense Against the Dark Arts.” I’m not going to pretend like I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, but anyway, this is just going to be fun. But what I want to talk about today is actually pretty bad. It’s the reality that negative SEO, even if it is completely ineffective at doing its primary goal, which is to knock your website […]

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Benchmark for Success: What Your Vertical Can Achieve With Content Marketing

You’ve produced a piece of content you thought was going to be a huge success, but the results were underwhelming. You double and triple checked the content for all the crucial elements: it’s newsworthy, data-driven, emotional, and even a bit controversial, but it failed to “go viral”. Your digital PR team set out to pitch it, but writers didn’t bite. So, what’s next? Two questions you might ask yourself are: Do I have unrealistic link expectations for my link-building content? Is my definition of success backed by data-driven evidence? Fractl has produced thousands of content marketing campaigns across every topic — sports, entertainment, fashion, home improvement, relationships — you name it. We also have several years’ worth of campaign performance data that we use to learn from our successes and mistakes. In this article, I’m going to explain how businesses and agencies across seven different niches can set realistic expectations […]

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Heart, Ear, Eye, Mind, Mouth: Local SEO Exercises for Your Least Technical Clients

When was the last time you relaxed with a client? As a local business consultant, I know that deeper marketing insights can be discovered when you set aside formality and share experiences: a moment, a laugh, a common bond.  When I’m looking for ways to make life easier for a client, I sometimes reflect on ancient practices like yoga, tai chi, and mindful breathing, which are increasingly understood as beneficial to human health. For a space in time, they reduce the complex world we live in to a simpler one where being, breath, movement, and focus bring the practitioner to a more intuitive state.  Local marketing agencies can empathize with the complex world their clients inhabit. Local business owners must manage everything from rent and employee benefits to customer service, business reviews, web content, and online listings. When you take on a new client, you expect them to onboard a ton of […]

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2020 Google Search Survey: How Much Do Users Trust Their Search Results?

While Google’s mission has always been to surface high-quality content, over the past few years the company has worked especially hard to ensure that its search results are also consistently accurate, credible, and trustworthy. Reducing false and misleading information has been a top priority for Google since concerns over misinformation surfaced during the 2016 US presidential election. The search giant is investing huge sums of money and brain power into organizing the ever-increasing amounts of content on the web in a way that prioritizes accuracy and credibility. In a 30-page whitepaper published last year, Google delineates specifically how it fights against bad actors and misinformation across Google Search, News, Youtube, Ads, and other Google products. In this whitepaper, Google explains how Knowledge Panels — a common organic search feature — are part of its initiative to show “context and diversity of perspectives to form their own views.” With Knowledge Panel […]

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The Rules of Link Building – Best of Whiteboard Friday

Are you building links the right way? Or are you still subscribing to outdated practices? Britney Muller clarifies which link building tactics still matter and which are a waste of time (or downright harmful) in one of our very favorite classic episodes of Whiteboard Friday. Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Happy Friday, Moz fans! Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today we are going over the rules of link building. It’s no secret that links are one of the top three ranking factors in Google and can greatly benefit your website. But there is a little confusion around what’s okay to do as far as links and what’s not. So hopefully, this helps clear some of that up. The Dos All right. So what are the dos? What do you want to be doing? First and most […]

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How Low Can #1 Go? (2020 Edition)

Posted by Dr-Pete Being #1 on Google isn’t what it used to be. Back in 2013, we analyzed 10,000 searches and found out that the average #1 ranking began at 375 pixels (px) down the page. The worst case scenario, a search for “Disney stock,” pushed #1 all the way down to 976px. A lot has changed in seven years, including an explosion of rich SERP (Search Engine Results Page) features, like Featured Snippets, local packs, and video carousels. It feels like the plight of #1 is only getting worse. So, we decided to run the numbers again (over the same searches) and see if the data matches our perceptions. Is the #1 listing on Google being pushed even farther down the page? I try to let the numbers speak for themselves, but before we dig into a lot of stats, here’s one that legitimately shocked me. In 2020, over 1,600 (16.6%) of the searches we […]

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