The 2019 SEO Services Report
We surveyed 1,200 business owners to better understand the current state of the SEO services industry.
In this new report you’ll learn:
How much people spend on SEO.
Where people find SEO services.
Why people choose one agency over another.
Why people decide to leave their current SEO provider.
Without further ado, let’s get into our findings.
Highlights and Key Statistics:
1. American small businesses spend an average of $497.16 per month on SEO services.
2. We found a strong correlation between higher spending and higher client satisfaction. In fact, clients that spent over $500/month were 53.3% more likely to be “extremely satisfied” compared to those that spent less than $500/month.
3. Most small business owners find SEO providers through referrals, Google searches and online reviews. A small fraction of SEO clients (8%) found their current provider from online advertising.
4. When it comes to choosing a provider, 74% of business owners consider an SEO provider’s reputation “very” or “extremely” important. Monthly cost and the provider’s own Google rankings were also noted as important factors.
5. On the other hand, an agency’s presence on social media and client case studies were seen as relatively unimportant factors in deciding who to work with.
6. Most small business owners expect SEO agencies to help them drive immediate growth to their customer base and bottom line. Specifically, 83% of our respondents stated that SEO providers should be able to help them “access new customers”.
7. However, most small business owners don’t seem to value a provider’s ability to grow a social media following. In fact, only 26% of respondents cited “getting followers on social media sites” as extremely important.
8. Overall SEO client satisfaction is decidedly low. Only 30% would recommend their current SEO provider to a friend or colleague. However, we found that client satisfaction among marketing agencies was higher than freelancers.
9. Not surprisingly, clients are highly satisfied with SEO providers that help them get more traffic and customers. Also, 61% of business owners cite that “increasing brand awareness” is important to them.
10. An SEO provider’s location also seems to play a key role in whether or not a client chooses to work with or stay with an SEO agency. 78% of US-based small business owners consider their provider’s location a “very...
How to Write a Blog Post: The Definitive Guide
Today I’m going to show you how to write a blog post that gets:
Hundreds of comments.
Thousands of social shares.
And first page Google rankings.
Let’s dive right in.
The post How to Write a Blog Post: The Definitive Guide appeared first on Backlinko.
Create the Best Keyword Portfolio With This Acronym
A recent internal survey found that nearly 90% of clients are unsure of how to effectively market their brand, collect and analyze data, and maximize their use of software that's designed to help them do these things.
What Your Google Tag Manager Container Should Contain - Whiteboard Friday
Posted by DiTomasoAgencies, are you set up for ongoing Google Tag Manager success? GTM isn't the easiest tool in the world to work with, but if you know how to use it, it can make your life much easier. Make your future self happier and more productive by setting up your GTM containers the right way today. Dana DiTomaso shares more tips and hints in this edition of Whiteboard Friday.
Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!
Hi, Moz fans. My name is Dana DiTomaso. I am President and partner at Kick Point, which is a digital marketing agency based in Edmonton, Alberta. Today I'm going to be talking to you about Google Tag Manager and what your default container in Google Tag Manager should contain. I think if you're in SEO, there are certainly a lot of things Google Tag Manager can do for you.
But if you've kind of said to yourself, "You know, Google Tag Manager is not the easiest thing to work with," which is fair, it is not, and it used to be a lot worse, but the newer versions are pretty good, then you might have been a little intimidated by going in there and doing stuff. But I really recommend that you include these things by default because later you is going to be really happy that current you put this stuff in. So I'm going to go through what's in Kick Point's default Google Tag Manager container, and then hopefully you can take some of this and apply it to your own stuff.
Agencies, if you are watching, you are going to want to create a default container and use it again and again, trust me.
So we're going to start with how this stuff is laid out. So what we have are tags and then triggers. The way that this works is the tag is sort of the thing that's going to happen when a trigger occurs.
So tags that we have in our default container are the conversion linker, which is used to help conversions with Safari.
If you don't know a lot about this, I recommend looking up some of the restrictions with Safari tracking and ITP. I think they're at 2.2 at the time I'm recording this. So I recommend checking that out. But this conversion linker will help you get around that. It's a default tag in Tag Manager, so you just add the conversion linker. There's a nice article on Google about what it does and how it all works.
21 Ways to Triple Your B2B E‑Commerce Conversions
Posted by OliviaRossIt takes thoughtful work to scale an e-commerce store. I’m sure you’ve had a few growing pains of your own getting to the point where you are today. However, you’re reading this because you may not be content with where your conversions are at this precise moment. You may not even know if your conversion rate is good or not!
Today, I will give you 21 tips (yes 21!) on how to double (even triple) your current conversion rates.
But first, let’s determine what counts as a conversion.
These are the usual suspects for e-commerce conversion goals:
An online saleA user adding a product to their cartA user adding an item to their wishlistEmail signupsSocial media sharesAny KPI your company finds valuable
So, what's a good e-commerce conversion rate?
The Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly is a great source for regularly updated benchmarks on conversion for large e-commerce brands.
From this data, we know that the average e-commerce conversion rate is between 2 percent and 4 percent; but we don’t want to be average, do we?
Let’s break down some suggestions you can use to improve your site faster.
1. Fix your analytics
Analytics that are in tune to the needs of your business will give you real insight into how people are using your site, and show you obvious improvements that need to be made in your CRO strategy.
With most analytics, there’s usually something that isn’t tracking properly to give you full clarity into what your customers are doing. You need to properly track your goals to give you that insight and help you find out what your site visitors are doing. For instance, are you looking at what people who search your site are doing, or people who enter your site through specific categories, product pages, or information pages?
To find out which events are leading to a purchase, tweak your analytics by segmenting traffic that tracks repeat purchasers.
2. Use Hotjar or other qualitative data tools
You can make wild guesses based off of “best practices” all day, but you won’t know what your customers are doing unless you see it. By using qualitative data tools such as Hotjar or CrazyEgg, you’ll have real insight into what your customers are looking for.
You can achieve this by creating heat maps, session recordings, conversion funnels, and user polls.
Heatmaps will show you an average of where all visitors are clicking and scrolling in...
Rural Local SEO: A Marketing Package Strong on Education
Posted by MiriamEllis
Can your marketing agency make a profit working with low-budget clients in rural areas?
Could you be overlooking a source of referrals, publicity, and professional satisfaction if you’re mainly focused on landing larger clients in urban locales? Clients in least-populated areas need to capture every customer they can get to be viable, including locals, new neighbors, and passers-through. Basic Local SEO can go a long way toward helping with this, and even if package offerings aren’t your agency’s typical approach, a simple product that emphasizes education could be exactly what’s called for.
Today, I’d like to help you explore your opportunities of serving rural and very small town clients. I’ve pulled together a sample spreadsheet and a ton of other resources that I hope will empower you to develop a bare-bones but high-quality local search marketing package that will work for most and could significantly benefit your agency in some remarkable ways.
Everything in moderation
The linchpin fundamental to the rural client/agency relationship is that the needs of these businesses are so exceedingly moderate. The competitive bar is set so low in a small-town-and-country setting, that, with few exceptions, clients can make a strong local showing with a pared-down marketing plan.
Let’s be honest — many businesses in this scenario can squeak by on a website design package from some giant web hosting agency. A few minutes spent with Google’s non-urban local packs attest to this. But I’m personally dissatisfied by independent businesses ending up being treated like numbers because it’s so antithetical to the way they operate. The local hardware store doesn’t put you on hold for 45 minutes to answer a question. The local farm stand doesn’t route you overseas to buy heirloom tomatoes. Few small town institutions stay in business for 150 years by overpromising and under-delivering.
Let’s assume that many rural clients will have some kind of website. If they don’t, you can recommend some sort of freebie or cheapie solution. It will be enough to get them placed somewhere in Google’s results, but if they never move beyond this, the maximum conversions they need to stay in business could be missed.
I’ve come to believe that the small-to-medium local marketing agency is the best fit for the small-to-medium rural brand because of shared work ethics...
Podcasts in SERPs: Is Audio SEO The Next Frontier?
Posted by Dr-PeteOne of the many bits of news from Google I/O 2019 was that Google would soon start displaying podcasts in search results. "Soon" turned out to be very soon, as we're already seeing these results surface. Here's one from a search for our own podcast, MozPod:
While the feature itself is interesting, and the fact that the main result goes to Apple while the episodes go to Google is entertaining, the talk out of I/O suggested something much more intriguing – that Google would soon be indexing podcast content and returning audio clips in search results.
Can Google transcribe audio content?
Is this currently possible? In a word: yes. We know that Google has offered a speech-to-text service as part of Google Cloud Platform since 2017, which has already undergone a few iterations and upgrades. Earlier this year, Android Police spotted source code changes which suggested that Google was proactively transcribing some podcasts on the Google Podcasts platform.
We see evidence of this capability in the broader Google ecosystem. For example, here's an automatic transcript on my Google Pixel phone for a recent call ...
We even see evidence of this capability in search results, but in a different medium. As early as April 2017, Google was testing suggested clips in YouTube videos. Here's a current example from a search for "how to swim butterfly":
Note the "Suggested clip" highlighted in the blue box, and starting at the 2:30 mark. What's interesting is that variations on this search not only produce different videos in some cases, but different clips within the same video. Here's the result I got back for "how to swim the butterfly" (adding only the definite article "the"):
Now, the suggested clip is 101 seconds long and starts at the 1:54 mark. It's clear from some suggested clips that the feature is still in its infancy, but it's difficult to imagine Google being able to implement this feature dynamically without create a transcript of the audio portion of these videos.
Why start with video? For Google, it just makes bottom-line sense. YouTube is a planetary system to the pleasant suburb of Google Podcasts and has an immensely powerful infrastructure backing it. If Google can return results based on the audio portion of a video, it's only natural they can do the same for audio files.
How will audio surface in search?
The obvious starting...
17 Ways to Get More Views on YouTube (In 2019)
In this post I’m going to show you how to get more views on YouTube.
In fact, these are the exact techniques that I used to grow my channel to 244.6K views per month.
Let’s dive right in.
1. Use “BOGY” Thumbnails
2. Copy This Proven Video Description Template
3. Alternate Playlist Layouts
4. Boost Your Video Title CTR
5. Get More “Suggested Video” Views
6. Use The “MVC Formula” For Video Tags
7. Share Videos On Quora, Reddit and Forums
8. Rank Your Videos in Google Search
9. Optimize Videos for Comments, Likes and Subscribes
10. Improve Your Channel’s “Session Time”
11. Optimize Your End Screen for Views
12. Master YouTube SEO Fundamentals
13. Use Eye-Catching Playlist Titles
14. Feature Your Videos On Your Blog
15. Share Video Clips On Social Media
16. Upload Videos When Your Audience is On YouTube
17. “The Card Bridge” Technique
Bonus #1: Get Featured On The YouTube Homepage
Bonus #2: Double Down On What Works
Bonus #3: The Community Tab Preview
1. Use “BOGY” Thumbnails
It’s no secret that your video thumbnail is HUGE.
According to YouTube, 9 out of 10 of the most-viewed videos on YouTube use a custom thumbnail:
And YouTube themselves state that:
“Thumbnails are usually the first thing viewers see when they find one of your videos.”
The question is:
How do you create a thumbnail that stands out?
BOGY Thumbnails are thumbnails that use these four colors:
Why is this important?
Well, if you look around YouTube, you’ll notice that the site is mostly red, black and white.
And if your thumbnail also uses red, black and white… your video will blend in.
But when you use BOGY thumbnails, your videos stands out and grabs attention.
(Which makes people MUCH more likely to click)
For example, I use green as the main color in my thumbnails:
This is partly for branding reasons (green is the main color on my blog and YouTube channel).
But it’s also to stand out on the YouTube platform:
How about another example?
The Bright Side Channel (which has 19 million subscribers) uses yellow, orange, blue and purple...
7 Proven SEO Reporting Best Practices That Boost Client Retention
Posted by KameronJenkins“Let’s hop on a call to go over this report.”
Did you hear that?
That was the collective sigh of SEOs everywhere.
If we’re being honest, most of us probably view reporting the same way we view taking out the trash or folding the laundry. It’s a chore that robs us of time we could have spent on more important or enjoyable things.
Adding to the frustration is the reality that many clients don’t even read their reports. That’s right. All that time you put into pulling together your data and the report might be forever resigned to the dusty corner of your client’s inbox.
In the words of Mama Boucher, reporting is the devil.
Hear me out though… have you ever thought of reporting as a client retention tool? While reporting is something that takes your time away from SEO work that moves the needle, reporting is also critical if you want to have a campaign to work on at all.
In other words, no reporting = no value communicated = no more client.
The good news is that the reverse is also true. When we do SEO reporting well, we communicate our value and keep more clients, which is something that every agency and consultant can agree is important.
That all sounds nice, but how can we do that? Throughout my six years at an SEO agency, I picked up some reporting tips that I hope you’ll be able to benefit from as well.
P.S. If you haven’t seen it already, Moz’s own Meghan Pahinui wrote an amazing post for the Moz blog on creating relevant and engaging SEO reports using Moz Pro Campaigns. Definitely check it out!
1. Report on what they care about
I’ve seen my share of reports that highlighted metrics that just didn’t reflect any of the client’s main objectives. Your clients are busy — the first sight of something irrelevant and they’ll lose interest, so make your reports count!
My process for determining what I should report on is fairly simple:
Identify the business objectiveCreate an SEO plan that will help achieve that goalExecute the planReport on the metrics that best measure the work I did
In other words, choose appropriate KPIs to match their business objectives and your strategy, and stick to those for your reporting.
2. Set specific goals
You: “Good news! We got 4,000 organic visits last month.”
Client: “Why wasn’t it 5,000?”
If that’s ever happened to you before, you’re not alone.
This simple step is so easy to forget, but...