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Part 5 in James Gurd’s website optimisation series

In Part Five of this SEO series, I’ll show how to improve page titles and meta descriptions to increase traffic from natural search. This type of testing should be an integral part of any optimisation program and these two elements are often overlooked.

As many of you will know, there are two key elements that appear in every listing, regardless of whether or not you have optimised your webpages to display targeted content:

Page title

Meta description

Why is this important?

While the meta description doesn’t directly affect the ranking in Google it should ideally be unique to the page to avoid problems with duplicate content.

The meta description is dead. Long live the meta description!

Many people dismiss the meta description as an SEO irrelevance because search engines no longer give it much love. However, the core goal for SEO should be to attract customers to your website, not obsess over how much search engines love you. The latter will come inevitably if the former is achieved.

Deciding which pages to run tests on

1.    What is the market potential for the keywords the webpage is targeting?

Use tools like the Google External Keyword Tool and Google Insights to identify the total number of local market searches and which keyword searches are trending.

2.    What is your market share growth potential?

What is the gap between your current keyword traffic and the total available in the market? If you have high market penetration, the growth potential is limited.

3.    Do you have a competitive product offering?

There are many factors to this but focus on the most obvious: are you price competitive, do you have an authoritative product range, is your delivery offer competitive?

4.    Do you have the right content to deliver value to new visitors?

This relates to product and non-product content. Will a customer find the information they need to make a purchase decision? Does your website provide sufficient information for people researching who aren’t yet ready to make a purchase but want their questions answered.

5.    Are your webpages performing well?

You can create a propensity matrix by scoring each webpage against these criteria, helping you to define a priority list for testing.

Using data insights to drive page title and meta description testing Keyword research

You can use free tools like the Google External Keyword Tool to identify keyword combinations that have a high search volume. The trick is to be as precise as you can, so the keywords you select match exactly with what your webpage provides to the customer. Here we can see the volume of monthly searches for

For example, if you are testing the page title for a webpage that sells “Organic facial serum” then avoid generic keywords like “organic skincare” as people searching for this will be expecting different content.

Screenshot: Google UK search terms related to “Organic facial serum”

Adwords data

You can translate this learning into actions for your SEO activity, using paid search insight to shape your testing plan for page titles and meta descriptions.

Google Base

If you’re running an e-commerce website, you might already have a Google products data feed set-up. You can use this channel to test different product titles.

You can use Google Analytics to measure the impact of the traffic before and after testing, to learn what product title format drives the most traffic and conversion.

As most websites use the product title to drive the page title for product pages, you can apply this learning to your main website product titles.

A good example is for a retailer of skincare products I’ve worked with that sells a range of organic and natural skincare products. The page title is structured to include the product brand name + website domain, leaving a maximum of 40 characters for the product title to ensure the total page title remains within the recommended 64 character limit. The challenge was to include the primary keyword targets “organic” and “natural” within the product title. This wasn’t possible without cutting key product descriptors essential for customers, so different page titles were tested, one version using “organic” and one version using “natural”.

Recommended reading:

Benchmarking current performance

You’ve got to know what you are measuring to be able to decide whether or not your test has worked. This means knowing what your SEO KPIs are before, during and after the test.

The following are the recommended metrics:

2.    Keyword Visits

3.    Page Views and Bounce rate

 4.    Goal conversion

5.    Revenue and Per Visit Value

I’m not suggesting these are definitely the best metrics for your website but they are the basic KPIs that I look at when evaluating SEO tests.

Stick or twist?

Yes and no. The beauty and frustration of SEO is that search trends and customer behaviour are prone to change. There are so many influences on our search behaviour that what may work now, might not hold true in 6 months’ time.

Keep an eye out for next month’s article, “Using web analytics data to identify poor performing organic keywords”.

Missed Steps One to Four? Catch up on the earlier reading when you’re ready:

Thanks

james

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Seo For Ecommerce: How To Write Meta & Product Descriptions

Editor’s note: “Ask an SEO” is a weekly column by technical SEO expert Jenny Halasz. Come up with your hardest SEO question and fill out our form. You might see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post! 

I just had my Magento ecommerce website revamped and I’m working on creating blog content and rewriting 6k product descriptions. This all seems overwhelming to tackle and I have a lot of questions…

Question 1: What’s the best way to figure out what your customers are searching for when it comes to a specific product? (Example: candy coatings vs candy melts vs confectionery coatings). Can I use all these keywords or should I pick and stick to one?

In general, it helps to do some keyword research first, and have an idea of how people search for the words. You can use Google’s Keyword Explorer tool for this, or a third-party site like BuzzSumo or Answer the Public (different purposes).

Chances are, different targets search for these things in different ways.

A professional baker/decorator might search for “confectionary” while a mom making a kid’s birthday cake might search for “coatings.” (Note: I don’t know those for sure, you’ll need to do the research.)

When it comes to choosing which ones to use in content, understand that Google will recognize if certain words are very similar or related to one another. I would expect them to equate coatings and melts for example.

The best way to know for sure is to do some sample searches and see what other sites that are ranked in the top 10 are doing. Note that you may see some false positives here because the area is competitive, so don’t just copy what high ranking sites are doing without considering if they’re going against guidelines to do it. They will eventually get in trouble for it.

Question 2: Can I use the same description and meta description across multiple products that are the same but have different colors and just change the color name across the descriptions? For example, pink candy coatings and blue candy coatings both have the same description except one says pink and one says blue.

Do you need a page for each individual color? A much better user experience would be to have a candy coatings page where the user can then select the color or colors they want to add to cart.

Question 3: Should I be including my keyword at the beginning of product descriptions and meta descriptions? (Does it have to be the first word?)

No. This is old school thinking. The keyword should be in the title and the H1 heading, but beyond that, just make it useful and readable.

Question 4: When I search for this product on Google, my blog page with directions to melt candy coatings comes up on the first page of Google but my product category page does not. What’s the best way to utilize this?

Think about the intention of the query. If someone is searching for “candy melts”, Google may be interpreting that as “how does candy melt” or “how do I use candy melts” or “what temperature does candy melt at”.

Chances are that the keyword you’re ranking for has more of a “how to” intention than a direct purchase intention. If that’s the case, just make the blog post helpful (which you obviously already have) and include the opportunity to buy (link to a buy page) the candy on the page.

Question 5: Any tips on writing meta descriptions? Should price be included? How do I decide on what’s the best info to include?

Look at your competitors and see how you can stand out with your description. If you have the best price or if everyone else includes price, include it. If you offer free shipping, include that.

Summary

Always think about what would help your customers the most. Particularly in a mobile environment, more functionality on a page rather than needing to load separate pages is almost always better.

Consider your customers before you consider search engines and you will generally come out ahead.

More Ecommerce SEO Resources:

Have a question about SEO for Jenny? Fill out this form or use #AskAnSEO on social media.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by Paulo Bobita

Feature Page Seo For Saas: Non

Inspired by the SEO strategies embraced by Adobe and Canva, I began studying feature pages and the possibility of leveraging non-branded keywords to increase conversions.

A couple of months ago, I began building an SEO “swipe file” for SaaS and software brands, ranking the first page with non-branded keywords on their feature pages.

Initially, this was meant to be an easy project. Drop a few examples, and use this in my work with clients and colleagues to show what is possible.

Then it became very clear that many websites are not utilizing this strategy, so digging through hundreds of pages resulted in 30 winners.

In this article, we will explore why considering non-branded keywords for your landing pages is a profitable strategy, and bust a few SEO myths about building an optimized page.

Leveraging Non-Branded Keywords On Landing Pages

Landing pages aren’t typically an area SEO pros are shouting about, because the content is seen as thin and unable to rank due to low word count. Landing pages also don’t lend themselves to backlinks compared to other pieces of content.

Let’s rewind and clarify what I mean by landing page.

This includes feature, product, and solution pages, as well as competitor pages, use cases, or lead magnets.

While we can argue about the linguistics of it all, the point is that solution, industry, and feature pages can be optimized for organic reach. In fact, they’re quite powerful converters.

I dug into over a hundred feature pages to study what it takes to rank on the first page, and the results are quite compelling.

Disclaimer: I work for Flow SEO, which helped support this research through access to Ahrefs, and some of the companies included in the list are our clients.

Identifying Opportunities For Non-Branded Feature Pages

Unfortunately, we can’t be Salesforce or Oracle – which people know by name, and search their products with branded queries.

Optimizing your feature page for non-branded keywords is an opportunity to drive organic traffic for those who are not brand loyal yet. This is a chance to really let your product features shine.

Should all features receive a page? Probably not.

So how do we identify the right feature pages?

We get our hands dirty in keyword research and search engine results pages (SERPs).

This is a “put yourself in their shoes” exercise. Make a list of all the words or phrases around that feature while also imagining what one would search for if they were in the market for that product.

How is it used? What industries does it apply to? What problem does it solve?

This is where you will compile a list of potential keywords and use those to investigate whether the search intent, as depicted in the SERPs, matches the website’s feature page.

Tips for identifying pages and keywords:

Features like reports, SMS notifications, or other standard features are too vague as queries and will most likely never rank – unless there is a niche hook (i.e., industry, business size, etc.)

Get creative with keyword options by using action words like “find influencers” or “plagiarism checker.” People use these queries when they are in a moment of need and potentially ready to convert.

Avoid trademarking or branding anything in the keyword, especially if you are relatively new to SEO. Here are the top non-branded keywords found in my research:

Now, simply seeing that other brands have feature pages on the first page doesn’t mean your site will, too.

It doesn’t have to be difficult.

One of my favorite ways to do this is simply to ask my clients about their product, noting specific phrases and the language they use, and also ask about how their clients are using the product or specific feedback around that feature.

Interviewing your client or target audience is the single best way to connect through a shared language and perspective.

SEO Tips For Optimized Feature Pages

These recommendations are based on studying an endless number of feature pages, which resulted in a final list of 30 SaaS and software feature pages with first-page rankings for non-branded keywords.

There Is No Recommended Word Count

Previously, I mentioned how some people might not consider a landing page as an SEO opportunity.

One of the main reasons for this is that there is a false belief that the page needs to have a lot of text to rank.

My research shows that this is a completely false assumption.

The estimated word count of the 30 feature pages examined is 170-2,600.

As you can see in the chart above, the highest word count is for ZenDesk’s feature page.

This page is in the bottom half of the 30 regarding total keywords and referring domains.

While Grammarly and Adobe dominate total keywords, their word count is relatively low.

Breaking this down further, the chart above shows those sites with non-branded keywords ranking number one.

Once again, word count does not significantly rank these pages, as word count ranges from 170 to 970.

Rather, this suggests those pages are content-specific and answer someone’s query adequately.

Backlinks Won’t Make Or Break Your Page

The good news doesn’t stop with a lower word count.

This research also shows that referring domains is not a priority or not necessary.

At the absolute lowest, one feature page had 3 referring domains, and the highest had 2,400.

The above chart may look familiar, but I included a line for referring domains to the URL this time.

Interestingly, it doesn’t show a strong relationship with the total number of keywords on the page or word count.

Create A Free Tool

One thing that stood out the most to me while doing this research is that leveraging a feature of your overall product and making it available as a free tool is a great strategy.

This free tool doesn’t have to have all the same capabilities as your paid tool, but just enough to be useful for people actually to use, maybe even more than once.

Grammarly is a great example of this strategy.

Its feature page for plagiarism features a free tool for scanning a document or text, and it’s the first thing you see when you land on it.

This page doesn’t stop there as it continues down to explain “why use a plagiarism checker?” and who its product is for, while ending with a call-to-action (CTA) to “check your text now.”

This is a common strategy used by other well-known companies like Adobe or Canva.

It works because visitors to your website are being presented with an immediate solution without even having to sign up.

It creates a positive user experience with your brand and begins the dance of reciprocity.

Schema Helps Produce Rich Results

Your feature page is a landing page, so you want it to convert.

You want to draw in eyes from the very first moment search results populate.

Utilizing schema, or structured data, can help your feature page stand out in SERPs by adding rich results. These rich results can provide a visual review rating, carousel, pricing, or other visual elements.

Pop-Ups Are Out – Chat Bots Are In

Of the 30 websites examined, only one of them had a pop-up on the page, while 16 had chatbots, and 14 had neither.

I know I can’t be alone in celebrating the death of pop-ups.

Not only are pop-ups an intrusive feature that most people do not enjoy, but they can also contribute to a sensory overload for many individuals, so they are not accessible.

Domain Rating Is Important Until It Isn’t

Of the 30 feature pages studied, the average domain rating is 82, ranging from 57 to 96.

The chart below shows the sum of total keywords along with domain rating.

While the URLs with the most keywords tend to have higher domain ratings, it doesn’t show a very clear relationship in this chart.

It tells me that it does help to have a strong domain rating over 50, but doesn’t mean that you need 96 to rank on the first page with a non-branded keyword.

Non-Branded Keywords For The Rest Of Us

Sadly, most companies do not have brand recognition.

We have identified potential feature pages for non-branded keyword optimization and dug into the research to see what it takes to hit number one.

This is a solid framework to go out there and put this strategy into action.

I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on the topic, especially if you successfully implemented this strategy.

More resources: 

Featured Image: amgun/Shutterstock

11 Best Practices To Boost Landing Page Conversions With Video

When it comes to video content on landing pages, marketers tend to either totally crush it, or completely bomb.

Your landing page videos may fail for several reasons.

Typically, this is because the videos on landing pages are:

Too long.

On the wrong section of the landing page.

Missing a key component (like a call-to-action).

Don’t make these same mistakes!

This article will explain why landing page videos are so important, and share 11 landing page video best practices that will help increase conversions.

Why You Need a Landing Page Video

Ten years ago, having a landing page video was a high-end novelty.

In 2023, there’s no doubt having a landing page video means increasing your chance of converting.

In fact, having a landing page video can increase conversions by 80 percent (if you do it right).

According to a 2023 HubSpot survey, more than half of its respondents said video was the one element of content they wanted more of.

Video beat out ebooks, blog articles, and podcasts.

Why?

Well, a lot of us get lazy and just prefer watching videos over reading.

Forbes Insights found 60 percent of us would rather watch a video than read.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people spend more time on landing pages with videos – and those videos help those consumers make purchase decisions.

In addition, 70 percent of marketing professionals now believe that video converts better than any other medium — one modern landing pages can no longer ignore.

Let’s dig into best practices around how you can cash in through your own landing page videos.

1. Your Videos Should Educate

If someone has already landed on your website, there’s a good chance they’re there to find out more about your product or brand.

It’s a golden chance to educate them on your product.

Having a video full of fluff is worse than not having one at all.

When Marcus Taylor, CEO of BrokerNotes and Leadformly, added video to their home page, they saw a steady increase in signups and a drop in churn as a result:

“16 percent of all visitors to the Leadformly site watch the video, which has increased not only on-site engagement but the number of paid signups we receive by 34%. Anecdotally, we’ve also seen a reduction in customers signing up to use Leadformly who didn’t understand the product or may not be a good fit, which consequently helps to reduce churn and supporting bad-fit customers.”

Think about your landing page video as an elevator pitch gone digital.

In under a minute or so, you should try and get across:

Who you are.

What you do and why you do it better than your competitors.

Why you are different.

How all of the above will help your prospect and solve their pains.

Sounds simple enough, right?

Hardly!

Condensing all that information into a 1-2 minute video is anything but easy.

Automated email follow-up software Rebump is an awesome example of educating prospects through a landing page video:

This video is exactly one minute long, it condenses all the awesome parts of the product in a short time frame and manages to be convincing at the same time.

All the ingredients for a great landing page video.

2. Your Videos Should Have One Clear Goal

Many landing page videos are a jumbled mess — trying to stuff six goals into a single landing page.

Don’t be that company.

Pick a clear goal for the video and weave it through the content.

Map out what you want your video to achieve.

Buy your product?

Sign up to your list?

Make that message loud and clear.

Here are some examples of common goals:

Buy directly from the landing page.

Download a lead magnet, tool, or app.

Share the content to their friends and audiences.

3. Put Your Video Above the Fold & Highlight it

To increase your conversion rate, place the video above the fold for maximum impact.

What is the fold?

It’s just a fancy way of saying the area of your landing page that’s visible without scrolling.

Artificial Intelligence platform Inbenta has had their landing page video firmly above their landing page fold since they began.

The company said the average conversion rate of their landing page was 1 percent, but prospects who viewed their landing page video converted at a whopping 15 percent.

The company also uses another technique with their video; it’s displayed in a video lightbox.

This technique has a proven track record of increasing conversions by another 20 percent over traditional video offerings.

4. Always Include a Strong CTA

Having an awesome landing page video without a clear call-to-action (CTA) is like throwing money down the drain.

With conversions, you really do have to lead the horse to water.

A strong, clear CTA should define the next step in converting your customer, so they don’t have to figure it out themselves.

Don’t include any other CTAs apart from downloading the ebook, either throughout the video or at the end of it.

Instead, preach your chosen CTA to your prospects.

A simple “Download My Ebook” CTA is strong and clear.

If you’ve done all the hard work of creating high-quality videos, you should really do the same with your CTAs.

It will give your audience a simpler path to begin their journey down your sales funnel.

Dollar Shave Club is known for their quirky marketing techniques, but their CTAs really are genius.

They’re a good example of having a product that doesn’t work to a timeline, so they need to try and sell it without being a sleazy second-hand car salesman.

No, it isn’t your average landing page video. (It’s even better!)

But there is one clear message — $1 razors every month.

And you need to sign-up to get them.

Enough said!

5. Keep It Short!

You know how we keep mentioning one-minute videos?

Well, the time frame you have to capture a chunk of your audience’s attention is actually only 10 seconds.

The remaining 70-80 percent will give you 30 seconds of their time, on average.

But the real crux is what happens if you cross that one-minute mark:

As you can see from the Wistia research above, prospects tend to drop off at the 60-second mark.

Videos that are 5 minutes or longer also have a steady retention rate, until about the 13-minute mark. By that point, though, you’ve already lost about 20 percent of viewers.

Some videos are geared to long-form education or product sales. Which is great as well, if your content is engaging.

Key takeaway: If your videos aren’t short, make your longer content worth watching.

6. Always Use a Strong Thumbnail

Your video thumbnail plays a crucial role, just like the feature image on your landing page.

Making sure your video’s thumbnail is enticing and highly relevant should be checked off your list before you ever upload it.

Remember, even if your video is highly relevant and compelling, if your thumbnail doesn’t communicate that — your visitors won’t play it.

What makes a good thumbnail?

A close-up of a person’s face (i.e., the video’s main character).

An image that portrays emotion.

Simple but strong text.

An image that actually reflects the content of the video.

Consistent style (like the example below).

Embedding your logo into the video may be a strategy worth considering if you change up your landing page video from time to time.

It creates consistency in your videos and thumbnails, which will carry across to your landing page – even when you update your video.

Your thumbnail can increase your video’s CTR by up to 15 percent, so you can’t afford to ignore them.

7. Always Use Closed Captions

Your landing page video should be easy to consume by everyone.

Closed captions are a tool that can help you make it more appetizing and allow users to view your video without thinking too hard.

Let’s say some of the terminologies in your video needs to be clarified, or you want to provide guidance and make sure viewers stick through the entire video.

Closed captions can help with both of these, and keep your video consistent throughout as well.

Some video file formats automatically support closed captions. For instance, an .srt movie file will allow you to edit your captions in your software before you upload it

Other file formats (e.g., .mov and .mp4) make it more difficult to add in closed captions.

Take this into account when making your video.

Using closed captions is a must.

For a more in-depth look into closed captions, check out this ultimate guide from Rev.

Bonus tip: Using closed captions can also significantly boost SEO. More on this shortly.

8. High-Quality Production Shows

This may seem obvious, but making sure your video is high-quality should be a top priority.

This doesn’t just mean the sharpness of the video itself.

Including a script, for example, can really help the entire production feel more high quality.

With the wealth of amazing video marketing equipment now available to us, people expect a quality experience.

Anything less and they’ll just leave your landing page.

If you are going to do your videos in-house, it’s worth investing in high-quality equipment.

Basic equipment includes:

A steady camera.

Microphone.

Box lights.

Editing software.

9. Autoplay vs. ‘Press Play’

While some guidelines say using autoplay is foolish, as it’s an interruption technique, it can also increase conversions.

So which is right for you?

The only way to figure that out is to test it yourself:

If you’re dead against auto-playing your landing page video, you still have a few options to increase your conversions.

Test out a silent, full-screen version of your video that acts as a background to your landing page instead.

Or, add a giant play button to your landing page video thumbnail just to really get your message across — that your video is a must-view.

10. Optimize Your Video for SEO

We all want to rank on the first page of Google.

You can re-use your landing page video content, add it to YouTube, and optimize it for SEO to do just that.

After all, a video is 52 times more likely to show up on page one of Google than a blog post, not to mention some people will actually use video search for content.

As video continues to grow as the widest source of consumed media, its importance to search engines and SEO is growing with it.

Google ranks content on how useful it’ll be to the searcher, so creating a video that solves a pain point is essential to ranking high.

Just follow these tips:

Only have one video per page, and tag/categorize them properly.

Use optimized metadata.

Have full transcriptions of your video and add them to the HTML of your landing page to boost your keyword search.

Host the video on your own domain.

Get YouTube’s help: not to host your core video, but to direct referral traffic to it through CTAs.

Give the option to embed your video to others. Any content sharing is a good thing for your brand.

Test your videos and keep an eye on them. Keep the ones that perform, and dump the ones that don’t.

11. Compress Your Files for Shorter Load Time

Marketers often shy away from placing videos on their landing pages as they think it’ll affect loading times.

The concern is real, as a slow-loading landing page can cost you customers.

If your landing page doesn’t load within two seconds, some of your prospects will have already left.

Video can massively slow down your landing page loading speed if you haven’t compressed the file properly.

Luckily, you can do this easily and for free.

Applications like Handbrake or VLC Media Player are super simple to use and will compress your video without stealing its quality:

How do you check your video isn’t hurting your landing page speed?

Use Google’s free speed test, which breaks down where your page is losing loading speed and why.

Increase Landing Page Conversions with Video

By now, you’ve probably realized having a landing page video isn’t really an option.

People simply want more video in their lives. And it’s easy to see why.

It’s bite-size information that’s easy to consume and, luckily for you, easier to turn into conversions.

Following best practices such as producing short, high-quality video will not only feed society’s digital appetite, but also increase your conversions.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, December 2023

Seo Vs. Ppc: How They Work Together To Boost Your Business

You’ve heard the age-old question: If a tree falls in the forest but nobody is around to hear it, does it really make a sound?

The same could be said for your business online: If you invest in a web presence but nobody finds your business, does your web presence even exist?

If you want your business to exist online, digital marketing is your best bet. And some of the best digital marketing strategies help you get seen by people where they’re starting most of their searches for new businesses – on search engines like Google and Bing.

Many experts might say that you need one or the other – SEO versus PPC.

But, the reality is that you need both. Here, we’ll get into the SEO versus PPC debate to understand what each strategy is, how it works, and how SEO and PPC can work together to help you get even more customers and build your web presence.

What Is SEO?

To truly understand the SEO vs. PPC debacle, let’s first chat about SEO.

SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the practice of optimizing your web presence, including your website and offsite factors, to help you rank organically on Google and other search engines for relevant searches.

For example, if you’re a vet in Columbus, OH, you want your site to rank for a search like “vet near Columbus.”

Organic is another word for “unpaid,” so these are the results that show beneath paid search results on Google and can include the Google 3-pack results, featured snippets, and the rest of the organic results listed on the page.

Search engines use an algorithm that takes a lot of factors into consideration (we’re talking hundreds) when determining which search results to show for specific queries. With SEO, you’re optimizing for those factors so you can show up for relevant searches.

SEO entails both onsite optimizations — including the content on your site and the backend structure of your site – as well as offsite SEO factors like your listings, reviews, and social media sites.

Why SEO? 6 Benefits

SEO is a beneficial marketing strategy for a number of key reasons. Here are six benefits of SEO:

SEO Increases Your Brand’s Credibility

The higher you rank on search engines like Google, and the more often searchers can see you, the more credible your business seems. This is because people trust that Google and other search engines are providing them with the best results for their searches — which is partly why many searchers don’t go past the first page of Google.

SEO Is Free(ish)

You may spend some dough by partnering with an SEO agency to optimize your website to be easily searchable but you won’t be paying for the number of visits you receive or ongoing traffic as a result of your SEO efforts.

SEO Promotes Better Site Usability

In order to have better SEO results, your website needs to be in great shape, which is why SEO and website design go hand-in-hand. So, you basically get a two-for-one with SEO because optimizing your website for search engines enables it to become more user-friendly and easier to navigate with more readable and keyword-rich content.

Site traffic generated via organic searches translates into higher conversion rates for most sites. Why? Because in order to rank in search results for queries, your site and your content has to be relevant to that search.

SEO Has Sustained Success

Once you invest in an SEO strategy, it can take anywhere from three to nine months to start seeing success. But, that success is long-lasting because you’re putting in work to optimize the foundation of your website and your web presence and then continuing to build off that foundation with additional strategies.

So, it could take three months to start seeing some of your pages rank on Google, but you can continue ranking with minimal effort for many more months.

SEO Success is Self-Perpetuating

Once you start to rank high on search engines, it’s easier to continue ranking high and for other pages you publish to improve their rank. The better your rank, the more traffic you get, and the more traffic you get, the better your rank.

Related: See how your online presence stacks up with our website grader. 

What Is PPC?

Next up, let’s talk about PPC.

Related: We discuss the differences between SEO vs SEM here.

Why PPC? 5 Benefits

There’s a reason so many businesses run PPC campaigns. It’s a highly successful marketing strategy for a lot of reasons.

PPC Gets You on Top of Results PPC Has a Controllable Cost

Although PPC costs money, you’re completely in control of how much it costs. Your PPC cost will never exceed the budget you set at the beginning of your campaign, so you always know how much you’ll be spending for your PPC.

PPC Gives Quick Results PPC Is Highly Targeted PPC Is Easily Measured

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3 Ways SEO & PPC Work Together

Now that you understand the differences between SEO and PPC plus the benefits of each, let’s talk now about why the conversation shouldn’t be SEO versus PPC but rather SEO plus PPC.

Here are three huge ways SEO and PPC work together to help your business:

A Combined SEO + PPC Strategy Boosts Results

We already know that running a marketing strategy that encompasses multiple tactics is your best bet at reaching consumers across the web. So it’s no surprise that running SEO and PPC together can boost your results.

An SEO + PPC Strategy Gives You More Chances of Getting Seen

As mobile search becomes more popular, organic results are getting forced further and further down the small screen’s page. PPC gives you more real estate on the page so you have a better chance of attracting searchers to your site.

But that doesn’t mean you can discount organic results, either. In desktop or tablet search results, Google My Business listings appear on the right-hand side of search results and also impact how you appear in Google Maps results. Plus, Google often uses information pulled from websites to flesh out its featured snippets.

After searching “leaky faucet repair Columbus,” I received this featured snippet as a result.

Running a combined strategy that includes both PPC and SEO gives you a better chance of appearing multiple times on a single search results page for relevant searches.

Running SEO + PPC Gives You More Marketing Data

You might not always be able to see results like that, but if you’re working on a combined approach, there are opportunities to execute on trends that you’re seeing from your campaigns based on the comprehensive marketing data you’re able to collect from each strategy.

Throw Out the SEO Vs. PPC Debate & Get Started with Both Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the Associate Director of Content for LocaliQ and WordStream. She has over 10 years of experience in content and social media marketing and loves writing about all things digital marketing. When she’s not researching the latest and greatest marketing news and updates, she’s probably watching reality TV with her husband, reading, or playing with her two pups.

Other posts by Stephanie Heitman

130 Social Sharing Sites That Boost Seo & Drive Traffic

SEO is complex, to say the least.

So, when tools come along that make the art of search engine optimization a little easier, we stand up and take notice.

Why? Because social sharing sites fuel one of the most important elements of SEO: links.

Take, for example, Pinterest.

Pinterest, one of about 130 sites we’re going to tell you about, are important for SEO.

But don’t be fooled.

Search engines are looking to these sites for more than link signals.

Start by taking a look at the 130 of our favorites we’ve gathered below.

My Top 24 Social Sites 1. Twitter

Twitter is huge.

While it might not be the first site that pops into your mind for submitting content, it has a large audience and is an efficient platform for posting.

Many people use it to post links, content, and images that they find interesting and worthy of a revisit in the future.

2. Pinterest

In its lifetime, more than 50 billion pins have appeared on Pinterest.

3. Mix

In June 2023, the popular discovery platform StumbleUpon became Mix.

Mix lets you experience the internet as curated by machine learning, editors, or publishers.

You can also tag content that you liked, in particular, to share with others.

4. Slack

Slack is a group messaging program that provides users with customizable channels in which chats can occur.

You can also create private groups, and have direct messaging.

In 2023, Slack had 12 million Slack groups.

5. Delicious

Delicious is a great booking marking site when you’re looking to build up maximum traction on your content.

6. Pocket

Appropriately named, when you put something in your Pocket, it’s there to be found later.

Users of Pocket can hold onto anything they find on the internet or through various apps.

Bonus points for the fact that once something’s in your Pocket, you don’t need an internet connection to access it.

7. Digg

Got great content?

Then it belongs to Digg.

8. Folkd

The more saves a piece gets, the higher it’s rank in their social search, which helps connect their visitors with even more quality content.

9. Reddit

What can’t be found on Reddit?

Reddit is a great tool when you’re looking to quickly promote your own content.

10. Fark

One of Fark‘s best attributes is their commitment to quality.

As a social networking news site, Fark receives mountains of submissions on a daily basis but presents only the best to their audience.

This site isn’t for wimpy, weak content.

But, if you’re ready to showcase your talent and drive traffic to your own site, Fark is the way to go.

11. BizSugar 12. Slashdot

Users of Slashdot submit and share content on gaming, cloud computing, computer hardware, security management, and more.

13. We Heart It

The site is nice to look at, easy to use, and inspirational – especially for anyone who loves great imagery.

14. Scoop.It

This site, aimed toward professionals, offers solutions for content creation, content curation, predictive analysis, and content intelligence.

Scoop.It offers two different platforms – a free version for individuals and a paid version for businesses.

15. Trendiee

For people who loved Newsvine, and were disheartened when it shut down, Trendiee offers a similar platform that’s super easy to use.

Their goal is to connect people with trending news, and it’s one that they accomplish beautifully.

16. Diigo

Educators, students, researchers, and anyone with an inquisitive mind love the features that make keeping track of their resources and sharing them easy.

Diigo is perfect for content that’s focused on statistics, analytics, or research of any industry.

17. BibSonomy

Granted, not many businesses publish scientific material as part of their marketing strategy.

18. Instagram

Instagram is for photo, video, and live video sharing.

In the 2010s, it was the fourth most downloaded mobile app.

One billion people use Instagram monthly, and 500 million use Instagram Stories daily.

On average, Instagram users spend 28 minutes on the platform daily in 2023.

19. Pearltrees

There’s a simplicity to Pearltrees that makes it a favorite among users who love to create collections of their favorite things.

Pearltrees offers functionality and a platform that makes it easy to share and gather new content.

20. DZone

Each day, thousands of developers come to the site to learn, share, and read about the latest technologies and trends in the world of software development.

21. Medium

Typically used to share personal, original stories, Larry Kim has shown just how successful Medium can be for repurposing content.

22. SlideShare

While some claim SlideShare is on its way out if you’ve created an amazing keynote or PowerPoint presentation, you’re going to want to repurpose that on SlideShare.

23. Quora

Not only a great research tool for Q&A content brainstorming, but Quora is a question-and-answer based site filled with a wide range of topics to discuss and follow.

24. Facebook Groups

A Facebook Group is a closed or open community within Facebook where users can post content ranging from links to events and questions.

As of 2023, 1.4 billion people used Facebook Groups, and there were over 10 million groups on Facebook.

69 More for Good Measure

A few of these you’ll be familiar with because they’re already insanely popular, but there’s also plenty of lesser-known sites on the list.

25. Facebook

Facebook is arguably the most popular social network in the world.

26. Flipboard

Flipboard curates the world’s stories you can focus on investing in yourself, stay informed, and get involved.

27. Feedly

Feedly is the most popular RSS blog reader with more than 15 million users and acts as a news aggregator for various web browsers and mobile devices.

28. Pinboard 29. Instapaper

Instapaper is touted as the simplest way to save and store articles for reading offline, on-the-go, anytime, anywhere.

30. Kirtsy

Kirtsy, initially a content aggregator, now allows users to submit slideshows focused on art, design, products, pins, photos, and projects.

31. LinkaGoGo

LinkaGoGo has been around since 2001.

32. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a 500 million+ member social network designed to build and engage with your professional network.

33. Disqus 34. Listly

Listly helps bloggers and publishers engage readers by viral top 10 lists created by the community.

35. Tumblr

Tumblr, the popular “microblogging” network, allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog.

36. Crazybacklink 37. Dotnetkicks

Dotnetkicks is a community-based news site edited by the community who specializes in .NET development techniques, technologies, and tools.

38. Emolinks 39. TikTok

TikTok is a video sharing service in which users share videos that are 3 to 60 seconds long.

The app is credited largely with the success of many celebrities whose reach extends beyond the app and into the mainstream.

As of publishing, TikTok boasts 800 million users.

40. PiPiNews 41. Sitejot 42. Skybacklinks

Skybacklinks is an online service that enables users to store, share, and add links across the web.

43. SocialBookmarkNow 44. SocioPost 45. TechDirt

TechDirt is an online newsblog that allows users to post their own stories.

46. Tracky

Tracky is a social collaboration and project management tool that allows anyone to socialize projects and store all of your digital “stuff.”

47. Zypid 48. MetaFilter 49. AixinDashi

50. Steemit

This is a blogging and social media website that gifts users with its cryptocurrency, STEEM, for publishing and curating content.

51. Bookmarkfeeds 52. BookmarkMaps 53. Leavemark

Leavemark launched in 2023 is an ad-free data storage and social media app that lets you save videos and photos and share them later.

The app features a time and space capsule option that allows information to be released in increments of 2 weeks, 2 months, 10 years, or when the recipient is within proximity of a given place.

There is also direct messaging, a newsfeed, and a family tree feature that allows you to preserve information for future family members.

54. Fabric

Fabric is like VH1’s Pop Up Video but in real life (IRL).

55. Vero

Vero is a social media app designed to compete with the one-two punch of Facebook and Instagram.

Instead, users select who gets to see their posts, and posts appear chronologically.

You can share suggestions for music, books, films, and more.

You can also shop within the app for any recommendations that you found particularly striking.

56. Caffeine

Caffeine is a platform that streams live content that you can interact with including gaming, sports, and music.

57. Twitch

Twitch is a video streaming service owned by Amazon.

The platform focuses primarily on live video game streaming, but also includes e-sport competitions, music broadcasts, and other forms of creative content.

As of February 2023, 3.8 million streamers had broadcasted on Twitch.

58. Houseparty

Houseparty is a group video chatting app that runs on mobile and desktop devices.

Users get updated when their friends are online and available to chat.

There are 20 million Houseparty users, as of publishing.

60. Facecast

This is a global video community that people use to share a short video, live broadcasts, and chat roulette style video chats.

61. Masterminds

Mastermind is a social media platform for coordinating goal-oriented video chats with like-minded individuals.

The aim is to benefit from each other’s shared experience, encouragement, comradery, and accountability.

62. Triller

Triller is a social media video app in which you film yourself lip-syncing, dancing, or both.

Triller’s editing algorithm then goes to work to edit your video for you based on audio and facial analyses.

63. WhatsApp

WhatsApp is an encrypted messaging service that allows you to send text and audio messages, make video and phone calls, share media, and send each other locations.

WhatsApp currently has 2 billion users worldwide.

64. Tagged

Tagged is a social discovery platform that lets you browse the profiles of any members and share tags and virtual gifts.

65. Wattpad

Wattpad is a platform that services user-generated stories.

As of 2023, Watpad has 400 million stories and over 65 million users who spend over 15 billion minutes on the app each month.

66. Badoo

Badoo is a social networking website meant to facilitate friendship, romantic relationships, or just brief conversations.

You can search based on who’s nearby, a more specific geographic search, a Tinder type feature where you swipe left or right, and you have the option of video chatting as well.

Users are verified by uploading a photo of themselves in a specific pose that’s then verified by a moderator. People can also request selfies to confirm an identity.

Since launching in 2006, Badoo has had 435 million members.

67. Bubbly

Bubbly is an app that allows users to record voice blogs upwards of 90 seconds in length to subscribe to the voice blogs of others.

Currently, you can apply voice filters, effects, and background music to the posts.

68. Cellufun 69. Classmates 70. CollegeHumor

CollegeHumor is an internet comedy company that, in addition to creating original content, allows for user-submitted videos, pictures, articles, and links.

71. Discord

Discord is an instant messaging software that allows you to communicate via text, image, video, and voice.

As of July 2023, Discord had over 250 million users.

72. GIPHY

In July of 2023, Giphy reported that it had 200 million daily users on both its app and website and around 250 million monthly active users on their site.

73. Imgur

Imgur is an image sharing community and image host.

Many popular viral images and memes are hosted by Imgur.

74. LINE

Line is a messaging service that lets users community using smartphones, tablet devices, and PCs.

Text, images, video, audio, and free VoIP calls and video conferences are all available.

Line also has a digital wallet called Line Pay, a news stream called Line Today, a video-on-demand service known as Line TV and two digital comic services known as Line Manga and Line Webtoon.

As of October 2023, 217 million people use Line.

75. LINE PLAY

Line Play is an app wherein you create a cutified avatar that serves as your alter ego.

You can then interact with other users, keep a diary, create a room for your avatar, and share your creation with your friends.

Currently, more than 70 million people use Line Play.

76. LiveJournal

LiveJournal is a social networking platform where people keep diaries. LiveJournal’s highest recorded number of users is 2.5 million.

77. MeetMe

MeetMe is a mix between a social media platform and a dating app.

Meetme works by verifying and populating your profile with data from Facebook.

You’re then shown users nearby who you have the opportunity to chat with and even arrange an in-person meeting.

In 2023, MeetMe reported that it had 100 million users.

78. MocoSpace

Inspired by Myspace, MocoSpace is a mobile social network that includes games, chat, instant messaging, eCars, and photos.

In 2008, MocoSpace reported that it has 2 million registered users and 1 billion monthly page views.

79. Myspace

Between 2005 and 2008, Myspace was the biggest social networking platform in the world, catering to over 100 million users per month.

As of 2024, MySpace had 15 million monthly visitors.

80. Open Diary

Open Diary is an online diary community similar to LiveJournal and Xanga.

81. Skype

Skype is a popular video chat software that lets users community via audio, video, or text.

You can also send images, videos, files, and more.

There’s a group chat feature as well. In March of 2023, it was reported that Skype was used by 100 million people monthly, and 40 million people daily.

82. Telegram

Telegram is a chat app available for both desktop and mobile users.

The mobile version features encryption.

You can also send photos, videos, stickers, audios, and files.

As of April 2023, Telegram has reached over 400 million monthly active users.

83. Tribe

Tribe is a social messaging app.

You can record and send messages to your friends just by holding your finger on their photo and then releasing it.

You can also create groups to send videos to several recipients at once.

Once the video is tapped and viewed, it disappears.

84. Viber

Viber is a software that allows for VoIP and instant messaging-based communications.

Users are verified by their cell phone. The app can also be used on desktops.

Viber gives users the opportunity to trade images, videos, and access to a paid international dedicated video and phone service called Viber Out.

As of 2023, Viber recorded having over a billion users.

85. Vimeo

Vimeo is a video hosting platform.

Vimeo is ad-free and instead derives its income by providing hosting plans to content producers and tools for video creation, editing, etc.

Vimeo also helps professionals connect with one another.

86. We Heart It

We Heart It is an image-based social network.

Users can collect or “heart” their favorite images, share images with friends, and organize images into collections.

As of 2024, We Heart It had over 40 million members.

87. Dropmark

Dropmark is a collaborative sharing tool.

You collect files, drag them into your browser to upload, and then share that collection with a group or individual of your choosing.

88. Droplr

Droplr allows you to take your screenshots or screen recordings, upload them to the cloud, and then share them with anyone.

89. CloudApp

CloudApp allows you to share screenshots or screen recordings.

Using its Instant Video feature, users can broadcast screen recordings instantaneously.

90. AixinDashi

AixinDashi is a social network used to promote content submitted by members.

91. Patreon

Patreon is an American membership-based platform that provides creators with the means to maintain subscription-based content.

Creators include video makers, podcasters, artists, writers, adult content creators, and more.

As of January 2023, there were 3 million patrons supporting 100,000 creators on Patreon.

92. OnlyFans

OnlyFan is a content subscription service akin to Pateron that is particularly popular in the adult entertainment industry as well as fitness experts.

Creators receive funding based on subscriptions, tips, and pay-per-view events.

As of May 2023, OnlyFan had around 450,000 content creators and 30 million registered users.

93. Substack

Substack is a platform that allows creators to have paid email newsletters.

Substack provides a content management system to create email newsletters, a way of collecting payments using Stripe, and a website that can provide free or paid-for content.

Don’t Forget the Music/Audio Social Sites 94. Datpiff

DatPiff is an online distribution platform focusing on hip-hop, rap, and R&B.

Basically, DatPiff is the modern-day equivalent of the sort of mixtapes or mix CDs fledgling artists would distribute with the hopes of having their music exposed to a larger audience.

95. Last.FM

Last.FM is a social media platform that follows the listening habits of users to create custom playlists.

Last.FM can gather data from popular music streaming apps, internet radio stations, or the user’s own desktop or mobile devices.

96. SoundCloud

SoundCloud is an audio distribution and music sharing platform.

The platform would go on to have over 175 million monthly users worldwide.

It has launched the careers of many professional and wildly successful musicians.

97. ReverbNation

ReverbNation is a website where musicians, producers, and venues collaborate and communicate.

98. Bandcamp

Bandcamp is an audio distribution platform.

Artists and labels upload their content to bandcamp, and then set how it’s sold, for how much, in what format, and can sell merch or physical media as well.

Plus, 20 Even More Niche Social Sharing Sites 99. Dribble

If you like to explore with graphic and visual design, or you have someone on your team that does, Dribble is a great spot to get some SEO backlink action.

100. Meetup

Meetup uses online groups to coordinate in-person meetings based on people’s shared interests.

In 2023, Meetup had 35 million users.

101. Weed Life

Weed Life is a social network built for cannabis enthusiasts.

102. Nextdoor

Nextdoor is a social media platform that allows you to connect with people in your neighborhood.

You have to submit your real name and address (your street name without your unit number).

It’s currently available in 11 countries.

Only other members of your neighborhood can see your posts.

As of 2023, Nextdoor has 236,000 neighborhood and 27 million active monthly users.

103. DeviantArt

DeviantArt is an online community where people share artwork, videos, and photography.

As of 2023, the site had over 26 million members and 251 million submissions.

Art can be browsed by categories such as type, operating system customization utilities, skins for applications, and more.

Users also have the option of creating groups based on suggestions, surveys, polls, blogs, and discussions.

105. CouchSurfing

CouchSurfing is a social networking platform that allows users to coordinate lodging, meetings, or join and create events.

106. RunKeeper

Runkeeper is a fitness-tracking app that uses GPS to map your workouts.

Some activities include walking, running, and cycling.

As of July 2023, Runkeeper has over 50 million users. You can share your workouts with others and the Runkeeper community as well.

107. Care2

Care2 is a social media platform that connects people based on the activist causes that they’re passionate about.

Care2 currently has over 56 million users, 2,750 nonprofit partners, has created nearly 450,000 petitions, and has accrued over 1 billion signatures.

108. eToro

eToro is a social trading platform and multi-asset brokerage company that offers financial and copy trading services.

Users are able to follow, view, and even recreate the practices of top traders on the platform.

As of June 2023, eToro has roughly 10 million users.

109. Gaia Online

Gaia Online is an anime-themed social network and forum based platform.

110. Italki

Italki is a platform that connects language learners to teachers using video chat.

Teachers earn money as freelance tutors.

111. Ravelry

Ravelry is a social networking service for people who are interested in knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, and other similar activities.

Users share projects, ideas, and their collections of yarns, fiber, and tools.

As of March 2023, Ravelry had almost 9 million registered users and roughly 1 million monthly active users.

112. The Dots

The Dots is a social networking program for creative professionals (writers, illustrators, videographers, etc.).

Members get to network, connect, collaborate, and be inspired by the individuals, teams, and brands that themselves have profiles.

113. Ello

Ello is a social networking platform that allows people to showcase art, photography, fashion, and web culture.

It also gives users the option to offer services and collaborations.

114. Funny or Die

Funny or Die is a comedy video platform where celebrities and users alike submit their content.

Although overwhelmed with user-submitted content, Funny or Die still offers users the opportunity to submit their own content.

115. MyHeritage

MyHeritage is a platform that allows users to create family trees, upload and browse photos, and search through over 9 billion historical records.

116. Viadeo

Viadeo is a professional social networking platform that connects business owners, entrepreneurs, and managers.

117. Yelp

Yelp is a crowdsourced review based website that provides ratings for businesses.

It is also partnered with a reservation service called Yelp Reservations.

As of June 2023, Yelp states that it has over 192 million reviews.

118. Letterboxd

Letterboxd is a social networking service that focuses on sharing reviews and adoration for film.

Users can keep a diary to track their opinions, films watched, and make lists. Users can also interact with one another.

Last But Not Least, 12 International Social Sharing Sites 119. FilmAffinity

Registered users can rate, find, and create lists of movies.

In the Spanish version of the site, it’s possible to write reviews.

In Spain, which is the platform’s country of origin, there are 3 million unique users.

120. Kuaishou

Kuaishou is a Chinese video-sharing app.

It’s known as “Snack” video in China, and “Kwai” in other markets.

Kuaishou is used to create short videos that capture the everyday experiences of its users.

As of 2023, 200 million active users can be found on Kuaishou daily.

121. Mixi

Mixi is a Japanese social networking service.

Its focus is on connecting with others based on shared interests.

Registration is confirmed using a valid Japanese cell phone number.

122. Qzone

Qzone is a social networking platform centered in China.

It lets users keep blogs, send photos, listen to music, and watch videos.

As of July 2023, it has roughly 517 million monthly active users.

123. Sina Weibo

Sina Weibo is a Chinese microblogging site akin to Tumblr. Users can upload videos and pictures for instant or extended sharing.

There’s also an instant messaging service.

In 2023, the platform reported it had over 290 million registered users.

124. Skyrock

Skyrock is a French-based social networking platform that allows users to create blogs, profiles, and instant messages with other registered members.

125. Tencent QQ

Tencent QQ, known as QQ, is an instant messaging program and web portal in China.

It provides online social games, music, shopping, microblogging, movies, and group and voice chat.

126. VK

VK is a Russian social networking platform. VK facilitates both private and public messaging, groups, public pages, and events.

With VK, you can also share and tag images, audio, and video. There are browser-based games as well.

As of August 2023, CK had 500 million accounts.

127. WeChat

WeChat is a Chinese developed platform that allows for messaging, social media, and mobile payment.

In China, the app has been called the “app for everything”. As of 2023, WeChat had roughly 1 billion active users.

128. XING

Xing is a Hamburg-based social networking site for professionals primarily focused on the German-speaking market.

As of April 2023, Xing reported that it reached 16 million members.

129. YY

YY is a Chinese based video social network with its very own virtual currency.

The currency is paid to people who create content ranging from karaoke videos to tutorials. The currency can later be exchanged for real money.

The platform also streams concerts, fashion, and sporting events. Users can chat as well. As of November 2023, YY had 157.8 million monthly active users.

130. Douban

Douban is a Chinese social networking platform that allows users to document information and create content about movies, books, TV, activities in China, and more.

Douban has 60 million registered users and 150 million unregistered visitors.

Registered users get recommendations and add them to other social networking options; unregistered users get reviews and ratings of media.

Start Driving Traffic with These Social Sharing Sites

We’ve taken a peek into the digital universe, and what we’ve discovered is that it’s immense.

Each business is one of the millions hoping to succeed online.

Digital marketing is a comprehensive strategy for success, but only if you know which tools will help you get there.

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