What’s the Difference Between Short-tail and Long-tail Keywords?

short-tail vs long-tail keywords

Regarding SEO, keywords play a crucial role in helping your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Therefore, choosing the right keywords to optimize your website can significantly impact your search visibility and traffic. One of the main decisions you’ll need to make when selecting keywords is whether to go for short-tail or long-tail keywords.

Short-tail and long-tail keywords refer to the length and specificity of search queries that people enter into search engines. Understanding the difference between these two types of keywords, their pros and cons, and tips on finding them will help you improve your chances of ranking higher in search results. 

What’s the difference between short-tail and long-tail keywords?

Short-tail keywords are short, general terms that are commonly used in search queries. These keywords usually consist of one or two words and are often very broad in nature. For example, “shoes,” “travel,” or “music festival” are all examples of short-tail keywords. As a result, they have a higher search volume than long-term keywords and are much more competitive, as many websites use them.

On the other hand, long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that are less commonly used in search queries. These keywords typically consist of three or more words and are often more targeted and specific in nature. For example, “women’s running shoes size 8,” “cheap flights to Miami,” or “grain-free dog food for small breeds” are all examples of long-tail keywords. They have lower search volume than short-tail keywords but are generally less competitive and can be more effective in driving targeted traffic to your website.

Should you prioritize long-tail keywords?

Whether you should prioritize long-tail keywords or short-tail keywords depends on your business goals and target audience. However, here are some things to consider:

  • If your goal is to drive a lot of traffic to your website, you may want to focus on short-tail keywords since they tend to have higher search volumes. However, remember that the traffic you get from short-tail keywords may not always be as targeted or valuable as the traffic you get from long-tail keywords.
  • If your goal is to attract highly qualified leads or make sales, you may want to focus on long-tail keywords since they tend to be more specific and targeted. Long-tail keywords can help you attract visitors who are further along in the buying process and are more likely to make a purchase.
  • If your website covers a wide range of topics or serves a diverse audience, you may want to use a mix of both long-tail and short-tail keywords to reach a broader range of people.

How do you identify long-tail keywords?

There are several ways you can identify long-tail keywords to use in your SEO strategy:

  • Use keyword research tools: There are many tools available that can help you find long-tail keywords related to your business or industry. Some popular options include Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and SEMrush. These tools can help you see how often specific keywords are searched for and suggest new keywords to target.
  • Look at your website’s search logs: Your search logs can provide valuable insights into what people search for when they visit your site. By looking at the search queries people use to find your site, you can better understand what long-tail keywords to target.
  • Monitor your competitors: Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and see what keywords they are targeting. This can give you a good idea of what long-tail keywords are working well in your industry and help you develop new ideas.
  • Use customer feedback: Your customers can be a great source of information when identifying long-tail keywords. Ask your customers how they found your business and what keywords they used to search for you. This can help you understand what people are looking for and suggest new long-tail keywords to target.

Pros and cons of short-tail keywords

Short-tail keywords have a high search volume, meaning there is a lot of potential for traffic from these keywords. However, the high competition for these keywords can make it challenging for your website to rank well for them. Additionally, short-tail keywords are often too broad to help drive targeted traffic to your website. For example, if you sell shoes and someone searches for “shoes,” they could be looking for any type of shoe, making it difficult to know how to optimize your website for that keyword.

Pros and cons of long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords have a lower search volume than short-tail keywords, but they are generally easier to rank for. This is because long-tail keywords are more specific and tend to have less competition. Additionally, long-tail keywords are more likely to drive targeted traffic to your website, as they are more specific and relevant to what your website offers. For example, if someone searches for “women’s black leather boots,” they are more likely to be interested in buying a specific type of shoe, and your website is more likely to be relevant to their search if it sells women’s black leather boots.

However, one of the main drawbacks of long-tail keywords is that they have a lower search volume, which means that they may not drive as much traffic to your website as short-tail keywords. Additionally, long-tail keywords can be more challenging to incorporate naturally into your website’s content, as they may be more specific and not fit easily into your website’s structure.

How to find short-tail keywords for SEO

There are several ways to find short-tail keywords to use in your SEO strategy:

  • Use keyword research tools: There are many tools available that can help you find short-tail keywords. Some popular options include Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs. These tools allow you to enter a seed keyword and generate a list of related keywords with their search volume and competition level.
  • Look at your competitors: Analyzing your competitors’ keywords can be an excellent way to find short-tail keywords to target. You can use a tool like SEMrush to see the keywords that your competitors are ranking for, or you can manually review their website content to see

How to find long-tail keywords for SEO

  • Use keyword research tools: Many keyword research tools, such as Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs, allow you to generate a list of long-tail keywords related to your seed keyword. These tools often provide information on each keyword’s search volume and competition level, which can help you identify the most relevant and valuable long-tail keywords to target.
  • Analyze your website’s search traffic: Your search traffic data can be a valuable source of information on the long-tail keywords already driving traffic to your website. By reviewing your website’s search traffic data, you can identify the long-tail keywords that are bringing the most value to your website and optimize your website’s content and metadata for those keywords.
  • Use a content creation tool: Content creation tools, such as Answer the Public, can help you generate long-tail keyword ideas based on a particular topic or theme. These tools use data from search engines to generate a list of questions, prepositions, and comparisons related to your topic, which can be used as long-tail keywords.
  • Look at your competitors: Analyzing the long-tail keywords your competitors use can help find ideas for your long-tail keywords. By reviewing your competitors’ website content and using tools like SEMrush to see the keywords they are ranking for, you can identify long-tail keywords that may be relevant and valuable for your website.
  • Use social media: Social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit can be a great source of long-tail keyword ideas. By monitoring relevant conversations and hashtags on these platforms, you can identify the long-tail keywords used by your target audience and incorporate them into your SEO strategy.

 

Black Friday SEO Strategy Checklist for eCommerece

black friday seo checklist

This time of year tends to sneak up on even the most organized marketing teams. The heat of summer barely wears off and you’re already moving on to the holidays! For Ecommerce, most companies make the majority of their revenue in the last quarter of the year. If you’re part of an organization’s marketing team, a Black Friday ecommerce strategy is a vital part of the overall efforts. Let’s take a look into how Black Friday SEO can be incorporated into your brands marketing mix every year and how to win the holiday rush with it.

Why do You Need an eCommerce SEO Strategy for Black Friday?

At the end of the day, paid advertising is not enough. On average, a user is more likely to click on a search result if both a Google Ad and an organic blue link are present on SERP’s. So, making sure that “black friday” related keywords in your niche are serving up your organic landing pages will be a key factor. 

Also, Black Friday on its own is a huge keyword modifier, but there is a ton of volume around long-tail keyword phrases for Black Friday and even a branded strategy. For example, for people who know your brand, they are most likely going to type in something like  (“Brand name” black friday”) and you want to get your promotions in front of them as easily as possible. Let’s look at some data around SERP’s that is relevant to know for creating a strong Black Friday strategy. 

Black Friday SEO Data

  • 67% of searches resulted in a zero-click search in 2021 for the keyword “black friday 2021 (Similar Web Data, 2022)
  • 98.83% of clicks were on ORGANIC results during black friday (Similar Web Data, 2022)

Similar Web Data black friday 2021

(Similar Web Data, “black friday 2021”, pulled October 2022)

SEMrush most popular categories of Products for Black Friday

(SEMRush, November, 2021)

  • Black Friday as a search term begins to gain traction around October (Google Trends, 2022)

black friday google trends chart

(Google Trends, 2022)

This data shows that people start to research and become interested in Black Friday around October and are still mostly clicking on organic results. With the advent of product image search, rich results, and other enhancements to SERP’s it is more important than ever to have a well-rounded product strategy year-round and especially for Black Friday.

Without further ado, here are our Black Friday SEO tips to get your brand ready for this holiday season!

Step-by-Step Black Friday SEO Checklist and Tips

1. Start Planning Early

As mentioned above, users start searching for Black Friday deals by mid to late October. This time frame should be used to prepare your email lists, and any technical issues on your site. You don’t want a site that’ll crash on Black Friday!

Begin planning at the end of summer for any creative assets that need to be created as well as any approvals that need to get done.

Black Friday oogle trends chart

(Google Trends, October, 2022)

2. Create a Dedicated Landing Page

If you can create a dedicated Black Friday landing page, this ensures you’ll be found on any branded searches or local searches. You can also use this landing page for Google Ads.

This page doesn’t disappear after Black Friday, you need to keep the URL. The page will build value over time, and will only need a content refresh on a yearly basis.

Make sure to NOT INCLUDE THE YEAR IN THE URL. This is important because you want to be able to reuse the URL next year. Only change the year in the page titles, meta descriptions, headers, and throughout the body copy, but never the URL of the landing page.

3. 302 Redirect Black Friday Landing Page or Keep Live the Whole Year

It is vital that this landing page builds a history over time. The way to do this is to start the page and after Black Friday/ Cyber MOnday, either 302 redirect the page to temporarily redirect to somewhere else only our site, or just keep it live but not too visible on the site. 

We recommend 302 redirecting since it doesn’t confuse the end user and you can redirect the user to the homepage or an evergreen sales page.

4. Add a Link to the Black Friday Page to the Main Navigation 

This ensures a higher CTR to the page and is an immediate indicator to Google that it’s one of the most important pages on your website. Anything on your main navigation will get more eyeballs. After Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, it can be removed from the navigation.

5. Homepage Updates

Create creative and clear sales messaging above the scroll to capture users when they enter your site. You want to keep the Call to Action above the fold for Black Friday.

You can feature your main promotion or some kind of creative that details all the sales in different product categories. 

6. Change metadata during Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Change metadata on the homepage to reflect the Black Friday sales. The Black Friday Page can be updated slightly to “Happening Now!”  or something with urgency, like “Black Friday sale ending soon!”, “Save 50%” or “Best Sale of the Year”.

She's Happy Hair Black Friday Google SERPs

(Google SERPs, October, 2022)

7. Make Sure all Products Have Complete Product Schema and That the Product Tag Appears in Google Image Search

With google image search becoming more relevant, it’s less likely your customers will click on a blue link on SERP immediately. Manu users will go to Google Image Search.

72% of U.S. consumers search for visual content before making a purchase. Check tools like Google search console and check if your products are pulling impressions and clicks for “Product Results” under “Search Appearance”:

google search console product results

(Google Search Central Blog, 2019)

Shopify will usually automatically create some schema for products uploaded to the site, but it’s usually not complete. Double-check that all fields are completed for the schema so all elements can be shown, like ratings, price, descriptions, etc… You can use technicalseo.com to create manual code for a product.

She's Happy Hair Shopping Ad SERPs

(Screenshot from Google, October, 2022, “She’s Happy Hair”)

8. Gift Pages

The Black Friday page isn’t the only page that should be added, during the holiday season consumers have come to expect gift guides and curated filtering options on eCommerce websites. Examples of pages to add include:

  • Gift Sets
  • Gifts under “$50”, “$25”, etc..
  • Gifts for Him/ Her

The more variations and options the better, this way you can capture keywords around specific groups people are searching for gifts for.

Nordstrom.com homepage Holiday Gifts

(Nordstrom.com homepage, 2022)

9. Email (or Text) Sign Ups

Before Black Friday gets started, you want to make sure you capture as many emails/phone numbers before that date so you can blast out sales emails the week of Black Friday. Email is still the leading channel in terms of conversions and returns on spend.

This moves consumers further down the sales funnel and allows you a captive audience on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Build off of existing data from previous customer segments and campaigns 

  • VIPs by lifetime value 
  • Back Friday/Cyber Monday Purchasers from the previous year
  • Engaged users with above-average email open rate 
  • Core email list (remove inactive subscribers) 

Over 116.5 million emails were sent on Black Friday 2020, so make sure your captive audience is able to see and click on yours!

10. “Best Sellers” categories

There is a lot of overwhelm on a normal day, and Black Friday ramps that level to 100 for customers. Curate their buying options by featuring great deals on best sellers. Having your best sellers tagged on the website will increase clicks to those products.

Sephora.com Best Sellers

(Sephora.com, 2022, “Best Sellers”)

11. Create Synergy between your marketing channels

All marketing campaigns are carefully choreographed dances. All the players need to hit their mark for it to be a success. Make sure all channels are aligned and communicate the same message.

  1. SEO – follow the checklist above
  2. Email – plan your messaging way in advance and align it with sales messaging
  3. Social – announce sales, countdowns, 
  4. Paid – create strong Black Friday branded campaigns, as well as focus on high-converting products. Utilize your best-converting keywords from paid ads to inform your keyword targeting strategy for SEO

Bonus Tip – Install a BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) Option

This tip is both a conversion and SEO tactic. When online retailers added a buy now pay later option to their checkout process, their revenue increased by an average of 20-30% and increased total checkout prices by 30-50%!

We witnessed this phenomenon ourselves with one of our clients: their revenue DOUBLED YoY on Black Friday and overall SEO increased with it for months after installing a BNPL provider. This can be a quick way to increase your sales during the holiday season. 

A Black Friday SEO strategy isn’t made in a day, but if you start now you can have a well-oiled machine for the highest revenue-making time of the year. 

Happy Holidays!

 

4 Reasons to Love Rank Ranger for SEO

When it comes to SEO tools, there’s too many to count. SEMRush, Moz, Majestic, AHrefs, Ubersuggest, Keyword Planner, Screaming Frog, keywords.io, Answer the Public, and on and on and on…

One of the struggles that every SEO faces is how to organize all this information and report on data. A hodgepodge of charts and graphs from various tools with completely different API’s is not the most effective, or time-efficient, way of reporting data. 

Recently, we had the opportunity to review a tool which seemed too good to be true. Why? Because it meant that I could reduce my daily open tab number from twenty, to just one. Imagine, only needing one tab to view all the data you need for all your clients!

This tool does many things, but here are the four main reasons why I love Rank Ranger: 

Fast, Easy Set-Up of Keyword Campaigns

The rank tracker tool for keyword tracking is much easier to set up and more powerful than any tool I’ve used before. Their easy to use upload sheet has you input the keyword, as well as a corresponding “tag” for each keyword. For example:

Keyword: SEM Services

Tag: Alphametic – SEM

Keyword: search engine market share

Tag: Alphametic – Blog

You can then create reports ONLY for a specific tag. If I wanted to separate all SEM keywords and view position changes and corresponding landing pages, I just filter the “Rank Tracking” report by keyword tag.

rank ranger tag filtering

And one of the best features is that tracking a keyword on mobile and desktop doesn’t count as two keywords. You not only extend the value of whichever package you choose, but it makes the setup much less complicated, since you can filter all charts by search engine device as well.

rank ranger filtering by search engine

One Stop Shop Reporting

Automation and time management. I just customize one dashboard and everything is at my fingertips.

For example, they allow each campaign to have a “Marketing Dashboard”. You can create multiple tabs, all connected to different tools.

For Example:

Marketing Dashboard tabs rank ranger

Here, I have Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Keyword position tracking, and a competitor report all in one tab. You can also connect Google Ads, and Google my Business to this report.

More Competitive Data

The competitor analysis tool is more advanced than any other tools I’ve used. You’re able to compare yourself to competitors at the keyword and landing page level, as well as having a more crystal clear dashboard to view keyword gaps. Typically, you have to set up a campaign or a project to view this data in other tools if you want to compare yourself to a specific competitor, but Rank Ranger let’s you see keyword data from the get go.

Here is how the keyword tracking looks when you set up your keywords and designate a competitor:

rank ranger competitor keyword rankings

Also, when doing initial research, not only can you see which keywords a competitor ranks for, but which keywords you have in common, and which landing pages the keywords correspond to. 

Common keywords rank ranger

Unlimited Customization

Almost unlimited customization and report functionality. I have yet to look for a feature or type of filtering for a report that I couldn’t do.

As an example, I wanted to view every single kind of chart/ data point I viewed for a client in one place. For example, at Alphametic, we like to filter out the blog landing pages from the rest of the site, as well as the specific industry guides we have created to evaluate their individual performance for the last month:

In one place, I have a tab for google search console report, google analytic reports, Rank tracking, and more with the exact filtering I need. You can also add paid search data and local GMB data in these reports if you have local clients.

Sometimes, I just want to see keyword performance for the whole website:

keyword performance sc rank ranger

Top Overall Landing Pages:

rank ranger top landing pages sc

Usually, I would have to filter everything in search console and have analytics open in a separate tab, but with these reporting features I can create a template for the marketing dashboard, then set it and forget it. 

Where this tool really stands out is on scaling. I was able to create a one-stop shop report for myself as an account manager for a specific client. But what do I do with the rest of my clients?

Easy. I copy the template, save it, and it can be automatically applied to every other client you have within Rank Ranger

Let’s say you want to give a client a customized reporting dashboard. You can also change the look of the dashboard to whatever you like through their development services. They also have code input features for you to update the HTML and CSS files:

rank ranger report customization

Within Rank Ranger, you can upload a new client and have them plugged in under 20 minutes. You just have to connect their google tools, add the templates you created and voila! They’re set up!

In summary, Rank Ranger is a powerful tool which allows you to get more done at a greater value than many SEO tools currently on the market. They have some limitations when it comes to non-English keywords for example and their keyword research tool is not expansive, but if you’re an analyst or account manager that is constantly having to go to several tools to look at all the data you need, Rank Ranger can streamline your entire process. 

Exclusivity is What Sells with Carlos Gil

Social media trends are constantly changing, and there’s not much time before a new trend takes over. Right now, in the digital space, there’s one trend that seems to be gaining and sustaining its momentum: exclusive social media apps.

Exclusive Social Media Apps

In my interview with Carlos Gil on the Iconn Live app, he brought up an interesting point that in today’s world, exclusivity is what sells.

Just look at the apps on the market. They’re all about giving the user exclusive content and access for a premium or through invite-only access.

Jarule’s App, Iconn, is an excellent example because it gives users with an access code exclusive content from their favorite content creators, influencers, celebrities, and musicians without having to attend concerts or meet and greets. People want to get close to their favorite creators, especially when they can do it at home on their phones.

Clubhouse also saw success with its exclusive invite-only platform. Invites were limited, so everyone wanted to be a part of this exclusive app’s community. The app’s nature allowed creators to give a select few content that they couldn’t find anywhere else.

Do you think in the future social media will go towards the route of exclusive communities and content?

Check out the full clip on exclusive social media from my interview with Carlos Gil:

If you enjoyed this interview, check out our other ICONNic Talk with one of the top 50 Business Thinkers in the World, Dorie Clark

To watch the full interview, download iconn.live app on the app store and watch on my feed @searchdecoder.

Check out my new book The Psychology of a Website: Mastering Cognitive Biases, Conversion Triggers, and Modern SEO for Massive Results to learn more about some of the topics discussed in my ICONNic talks. 

6 New Social Media Apps to Explore to Gain a First-Mover Advantage

To successfully play the game of social media, you need to be keen on which new social platform will soon dominate the online world. Being the first on-trend for a new social media app gives you an advantage because you have more visibility and less noise, giving you the opportunity to grow your profile and become a popular creator. With so many apps released on the app store every day, it’s hard to know which apps are worth creating a profile. We’ve compiled a list of new social media apps you need to explore so you can gain a first-mover advantage before they become the latest must-have social network. 

Iconn Live 

Iconn Live was founded by celebrity rapper and entrepreneur Ja Rule. The app’s premise is to get fans connected with their favorite artist in a new and innovative way. On Iconn, fans can experience meet and greets, live vibes, and “chop it up” with their favorite celebrities in a more intimate setting that you can’t find anywhere else. The platform has interactive features where fans can ask questions in the comments, send likes, and even tip or donate towards the artist or event. I have used the Iconn app to host interviews for my new book, The Psychology of a Website. These ICONNic talks featured special guests like Ja Rule, Dorie Clark, and Carlos Gil. During these interviews, viewers dropped questions in the comment section, sent emoji likes, and tips. We raised money from these interviews and donated the profits to local Miami charities. Check out my ICONNic talk with Ja Rule to see how you can use the ICONN app:

 

 

When Iconn Live first came out in 2020, the app was only available for beta-testing, but recently it was released on the app store. Iconn is just hitting the market but will soon take off, so jump on the app and get it before it’s hot. 

Bitclout 

Bitclout is a social media network all about decentralization and cryptocurrency. The first of its kind, this social network allows users to have their Creator Coin, which friends can buy or “speculate” on. Of course, this wouldn’t be a successful social network without celebrities and influencers; Bitclout allows you to invest by purchasing popular creators’ coins. This social network is based on cryptocurrency, so as more people buy a coin, the price goes up. Bitclout has created a social market where you can “bet” on an influencer’s popularity and watch the coin’s value increase or decrease depending on the celebrity’s popularity. The app allows you to profit from your investments and generate money from selling and growing the value of your Creator Coin. 

In its first month of launch, Bitcoin amassed “over $225 million in trade and has no sign of stopping its growth.” Combining socialization and investing all in one app is Bitclout’s formula for success. 

Clubhouse 

Clubhouse is part of the new wave of social media apps that have become “invite-only.” Part of the reason the app has seen so much success since its release is the exclusivity factor. The app’s main selling point is that any creator or celebrity can host a virtual room for live podcast-style discussions, thought-provoking conversations, and networking opportunities. You can join and “raise your hand” to participate in the chats or simply listen in. Clubhouse has become the place for socializing, especially since the pandemic limited the “real-life” interactions we could have on a day to day basis. 

 

Caffeine 

Caffeine is a live streaming social media site that offers fast live streams of gaming, sports, and entertainment. The social network prides itself on its fast streaming services so users can watch live shows in real-time. Caffeine has interactive features where you can comment, upvote, @ your friends, and give props to support your favorite creators. Featuring top network entertainment like FOX Sports and ESPN, Caffeine has the potential to compete with Twitch, another social network popularized by gamers.

Caffeine can become a new entertainment hub for gamers, sports fans, and up-and-coming creators with its excellent streaming capabilities. 

Houseparty

Houseparty is another app that gained traction during the pandemic because when social interactions were limited, Houseparty allowed friends to video chat and play online games together. Socializing with your friends in a “house” with virtual party games is Houseparty’s main appeal. The app lets you know when your friends are in their house, and if the “door” is unlocked, you can join the party. The app allows you to “lock the room” to have small game night gatherings with close friends or keep the door unlocked for larger parties to network and socialize. This app has a lot of potential to innovate the way we socialize, even post-pandemic. 

Speakeasy

From Genghis Technologies, the minds of Tai Lopez and Dr. Alex created a new social app called Speakeasy. Speakeasy allows users to watch high-quality audio/video streams from their favorite content creators. 

Creators on Speakeasy can put on talk show-style live video podcasts and invite guest stars, while audience members watch along and interact through the comment section. Similar to Clubhouse, Speakeasy is an app where users can host live discussions but with the added feature of video. Content creators can build their own audience by engaging with followers in real-time through a fun Q&A-style panel. The interactive question and answer format allows users to build a genuine relationship with their audiences. Through your Speakeasy account, you can select video categories to follow creators based on your interest to curate a personalized streaming experience. 

Marketers can use Speakeasy as a way to build communities, engage in industry discussions, and gain audience insight. Speakeasy works for marketers by opening opportunities to interact with consumers and get honest feedback from real people.

The most popular social media app will always change depending on how we like to socialize and interact with our communities. Keep an eye out for new releases to always stay on top in the digital world. Now that you know the rundown of the latest apps with the potential to take over, create your profile and explore how each app can benefit you.

The Secret 6-Step Formula for Optimizing your Website [Infographic]

 

You’ve created your website and implemented SEO best practices and you’re still not getting the leads and conversions from your site, now what? 

Optimizing your site doesn’t end with SEO. To capture your visitors’ attention and hook them with your website, you need to think about your website’s layout, design and content. How will this help get your website visitors to take the desired action on your site? 

My new book, The Psychology of a Website, goes into detail on how to leverage human psychology to create more opportunities to generate conversions. Check out this infographic to see a sneak peek of the tips offered in my latest book.

 

If you’d like to embed this infographic on your site and share, you can use the embed code below:

</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p><strong>Please include attribution to https://alphametic.com with this graphic.</strong></p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p><a href="https://alphametic.com/the-secret-6-step-formula-for-optimizing-your-website"><img src="https://alphametic.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/WebsitePSY_Inforgraphic_v3.png" alt="WebsitePSY Infographic" width="246px" height="1030px" border="0" /></a></p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

 

The Habit of Professional Reinvention

If you’re a professional still working from home, the concept of professional reinvention may have already crossed your mind as you sit in on virtual meetings and communicate with your team through email. The professional world went through a massive shift as team bonding events and company outings shifted to virtual Zoom happy hours, and office spaces became almost obsolete. Not many people saw this transition coming, but those who were ready are the successful business leaders who maintain career longevity because of professional reinvention. 

During our interview on ICONN Live with Dorie Clark, she said it best “we need to be ready to reinvent ourselves at a  moment’s notice.” Dorie is a Harvard Business Review Author, Duke & Columbia Business Professor, #1 Communication Coach, and one of the top 50 Business Thinkers in the World. She spoke to us about how professional reinvention is no longer a choice but more of a necessity to stay afloat in your industry during changing times. 

Now the question remains, how can we prepare for these uncertain and unpredictable moments. Dorie shared with us the secrets to professional reinvention: 

Prepare in small ways

Professional reinvention may seem overwhelming if you try to do it in one day. Make it a goal to work towards reinventing yourself, whether it’s in your industry or starting an entirely new business venture or project. Incorporate small daily tasks that make you step outside of your professional bubble. Sign up for courses to expand your skillset or see how you can transition your skills into a new project or side hustle. The most important thing to remember is to always keep working towards a new goal so you can build a dynamic career for yourself. 

Make it a habit

The biggest takeaway from our interview with Dorie is that to be prepared we need to “make a habit of reinvention.” Preparing in small ways becomes effective when it becomes a part of your daily routine. If you can better yourself or expand your professional scope a little bit each day, you’re on the right track to professional reinvention. Habits start to stick after around a month of consistently practicing them, so challenge yourself to take up a new skill every month. It’s easier to form a habit when you write down the desired goal you wish to achieve and work towards it by completing bite-sized daily tasks. This practice will eventually lead you into making a habit of professional reinvention. 

Be smart and always be ready to reinvent

To maintain our careers, we need to realize that our jobs may not be safe in this economic climate. As Dorie mentioned, “nobody can take anything for granted anymore.” Not our current position or career, and we certainly can’t become comfortable and complacent in our industry. The smart thing to do is to always be searching for your next business venture or challenge. Stay agile and on your toes, so when the next significant shift in the professional world comes around, you’ll be ready. 

Professional reinvention is a skill that needs cultivating, so follow these tips to ensure you’ll have career longevity and security. 

Check out the full clip on professional reinvention from my interview with Dorie Clark:

If you enjoyed this interview, check out our other ICONNic Talk with celebrity entrepreneur Ja Rule

To watch the full interview, download iconn.live app on the app store and watch on my feed @searchdecoder.

Check out my new book The Psychology of a Website: Mastering Cognitive Biases, Conversion Triggers, and Modern SEO for Massive Results to learn more about some of the topics discussed in my ICONNic talks. 

Mastering Cognitive Biases to Optimize Your Website Content

Human Brain Algorithm

 

“It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.” – Voltaire

It’s not enough to conquer the mind. To connect a website to an audience, you need to learn to seduce it. 

The evolutionary wiring of our brains makes us respond to certain emotions in a fairly consistent and predictable fashion. We like to buy from who we trust. We like to hire and do business with the people we like. We like to be in control. We are averse to risk. We are influenced by social proof and what others say. We like to seek out the most compelling offer and to feel like we got the best deal. Sometimes we experience buyer’s remorse, but more often than not we find ourselves enthusiastically recommending the brands we like to our friends and family. 

Provoking any combination of these simple emotions will determine the fate of your website. What is more, emotions such as trusting or liking are usually triggered subconsciously, almost automatically, during the first few seconds of an interaction with a website. The human brain is powerful but subject to limitations. We like to think that we are logical, reasonable, and objective in our decision-making… but the truth is, we rely heavily on these mental shortcuts to make sense of and thrive in our environment.

What are cognitive biases?

We cannot be running thousands of conscious calculations per second in our brain every time we visit a website or meet someone new. It would be exhausting! So, we’ve learned to trust recurring appearances to help our brains make sense of new environments. When you see a police car in your rearview mirror you’ll almost automatically check your speedometer and find your foot touching the brake pedal. Our brains rely on these systematic behavioral patterns to form mental shortcuts to help us make decisions, which are referred to as cognitive biases in the field of psychology. 

These biases are often a result of your brain’s attempt to simplify information processing. They can work as “rules of thumb” or “standard operating procedures” that help us make decisions with reasonable speed. Most human behavior is driven by these mental shortcuts whether we like it or not. 

Researchers at Cornell University estimate we make 226 decisions each day on food alone. And as the number of options continues to increase with widespread access to the Internet, so does the multitude of choices we have to make every day. It’s estimated that the average adult makes about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day. We would not be able to function in a modern society without some reliance on these cognitive biases. 

This process of simplifying information processing happens every time someone visits your website. It is reflected in the common Google Analytics metrics. We don’t read content online the same way we read a book; rather we scan for key information to satisfy our intent and then we move on. The extent to which your web content can grab and hold attention will make or break its chances for success.

The Authority Bias

The authority bias, for example, has a tremendous split-second impact on whether someone will trust your website or not. People only do business with people or brands they trust. If they do not know your brand, they will subconsciously look for clues of your expertise and credibility.

If you haven’t figured out how to project instant credibility with your content, you’ll struggle online. Convey your authority instantly and methodically by displaying unquestionable proof of your expertise to convert skeptical observers into appointments or check-outs. The surest way to develop authority ethically is by building a long-standing reputation in your field, but gaining endorsements from established brands or other authorities, will also have a similar effect. 

I have to admit I often find myself an easy prey to sophisticated sales schemes. I remember buying my first car in America. The car dealer invited me to his office to go over some paperwork after I already agreed to buy the car for a set price. Little did I know, I was being led into a “sales funnel.” After we sat chatting for a while, I felt more and more comfortable with the car dealer, who knew someone who was also Polish and had a cousin or brother with the same name as mine (what a convenient coincidence!). 

The car dealer casually showed me a picture of a completely ripped tire, which looked like it was hacked with a chainsaw. The man passionately explained that it was from his customer who had to bear the significant cost of roadside assistance and tire replacement. As you can probably guess, I enthusiastically agreed to the tire insurance offer that followed. The picture was used as an anchor to frame the tire insurance offer in a more persuasive light.

I’m not suggesting you should replicate this car salesman’s pitch on your website, but go ahead and Google “tire insurance” right now to find out for yourself that most landing pages selling tire insurance will use similar imagery to frame their offers. Below is just one example from AutoNation.com.

Source: https://autonation.com

I urge you to understand the power of building scripts while designing your conversion funnels. Every car dealership knows that their dealers will close more deals following a carefully crafted sales playbook, rather than rely on charm or personality alone. Once you have a script, you can test it to improve on it.

I remember sitting in the consumer behavior class during the second year of my MBA studies thinking of the different emotional factors that affect the process of making choices. Consumer behavior incorporates ideas from several science studies including psychology. The study of why people buy is as important as to how and where they buy, but not given enough credit.

The Framing Bias

For example, the framing bias is a powerful factor when presenting your offers. Ultimately the big idea behind the conversion funnel is to get someone from a web page to your offer. The words and images that precede the offer have a tremendous impact on how your offer will be perceived, which is why there are so many ads flashing the before-and-after images. After all, the choices we make are strongly correlated to the expectation of a reward as well as to dissatisfaction with a current state. This should be obvious, but many marketers tend to underestimate the importance of placing reward incentives on their websites. A behavior that is systematically rewarded can also be habit-forming, which is the Holy Grail of the website marketing game.

In the second year of business school, I worked in market research at Mattel, which is one of the largest toy makers in the world. At Fisher-Price Brands, I got a first-hand look at how consumer research data was collected and refined into marketing insights for Tickle Me Elmo. Thousands of hours of research are devoted to market research at large corporations. Make no mistake, if the marketing MBAs and the largest brands in the world put so much emphasis on understanding how buyers make choices, so should you.

The scope of research required to master the fundamental principles of decision-making can be overwhelming. I spent countless hours reading some of the most famous, densest academic papers and psychology textbooks to dissect the key cognitive biases affecting website behavior. If you have the time and interest to do the same, I recommend starting with “Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind” (6th Edition) by David M. Buss, Ph.D, and “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D.

You can spend all your time studying the roots of a tree, or you can just learn to pick the fruit. With “The Psychology of a Website,” my approach lets you focus on picking up the fruit, not studying the tree. I researched and organized these cognitive biases into an actionable framework that every marketer, entrepreneur, and business owner can put into practice today to generate more conversions and clients tomorrow.

To learn more about cognitive biases, read about it in my new book, The Psychology of a Website: Mastering Cognitive Biases, Conversion Triggers, and Modern SEO for Massive Results, now available on Amazon.

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The Psychology of Color Design for the Web

 

color psychology

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” Georgia O’Keeffe

Color is a visual perception that enables us to differentiate between objects and to assign meanings to them. Colors evoke an emotional reaction that affects our attitudes and behaviors more than we may realize. 

Website design involves more than aesthetically pleasing color combinations. The colors you choose on your website can affect the actions users take.  Depending on which colors you choose for your site, you can influence visitors’ moods and behaviors. According to a recent study, adjusting color on your website can increase conversions by as much as 24%

Color psychology is a part of behavioral psychology because it studies how human emotions and actions are affected by color. As marketers, we can use color psychology to incite emotion in our consumers when they see branding colors on our website, logo, CTA buttons, and advertisements.

When using color psychology, you need to be aware of not only every color’s effect but also how that changes based on demographic and personal experiences. Colors can awaken different parts of the brain, triggering a variety of responses; this is why color holds so much power. Our subconscious is what reacts to different color combinations springing us into action based on our instincts and emotions.

Every color has positive and negative emotions associated with it. This means that depending on your industry, product, and demographics, you can use colors to evoke different reactions on your website.

Tradition has stated that pink is considered a girl’s color and blue a boy’s color, but when it comes to color psychology, this does not apply. Differences do exist in what colors appeal to men and women, so use this knowledge when designing websites and logos. According to research from Kissmetrics, colors that appeal most to women are blue, purple, and green, while orange, brown, and gray are the least appealing. As a marketer, consider your target demographic and which colors will appeal most to your target audience, so you can grab their attention and keep them interested in your website.

We can see this prominently in Urban Decay’s branding of their website. The trendy beauty brand displays purple prominently across its website, products, and logo. Their dominant use of purple achieves two goals: the first is that it appeals to their target market, women. The second is that purple is used to signify opulence and luxury, which perfectly drives Urban Decay’s identity as a prestigious beauty brand.

Men are said to prefer blue, green, and black, while brown, orange, and purple were their least favorites. Brands that market to men should keep this in mind when deciding on their website color palette. AXE.com is a well-known men’s grooming company that uses black heavily in its branding and pops of blue, which is another popular color with the male demographic. Black is associated with power and elegance, a great message to convey to men when selling deodorants or cologne because that is what you want them to feel when using your products. This associates your brand with positive feelings of confidence so customers will keep coming for more.

How to Leverage Color Psychology to Increase Conversions

Color psychology may seem complicated, but if you start asking yourself questions like “who’s my target audience?” and “what perception do I want my consumers to have of my branded website?”, you can start to narrow down which colors will work best for your website styling and design.

Let’s say your goal is to position yourself as a leader in the finance industry. You probably want to establish trust with your consumers and be perceived as a credible company. There are a few colors you can combine to incite these emotions with your Web design. Blue is a great color because it is associated with trust and stability, perfect for a financial institution because it can give your customers the perception that they can trust you with their money. Green is also a popular color in this industry because it is associated with growth and affluence. You may want your customer to have the perception that you can offer them prosperity with their finances. CapitalOne.com or Fidelity.com are good examples of financial websites using dominant green.

Merrill Lynch uses blue as their primary branding color on their website. As a wealth management organization, blue allows them to show their consumers that they can trust them to manage their finances. You can also see pops of red links and buttons on their website because red is a great color to incite action or attract consumers’ eyes. The balance of blue and red on Merrill Lynch’s website inspires trust and engagement on their website. Bankofamerica.com offers another example of this strategy.

Not all colors are industry-specific, but they are still associated with powerful meanings that your brand can leverage. Colors can be versatile and have various meanings, but depending on how you use them will send a particular message to your website users. If you are looking for your brand to be associated with positivity and happiness, yellow can be the perfect color for your branding elements. Yellow can also be a subtle call to action when used in isolated areas on websites. Make sure to use yellow sparingly because if overused, yellow can incite feelings of anxiety.

Cheerios.com uses yellow well because it combines it with great complementary color, orange. Yellow can be associated with cheerfulness which is excellent to represent Cheerios. Their website also uses orange because it can bring about feelings of youthfulness, which goes along with Cheerios’ message of keeping your heart healthy! 

Red is a difficult color to use as a primary branding color because it can incite negative emotions like rage, anger, and danger. However, it can still benefit you when used moderately on your website. Red is a call to action and attention grabber color. In fact, in a study done by Hubspot, “The red button outperformed the green button by 21%.” It would be wise to use this color on buttons that say things like: apply now, sale, or other areas on your website requiring urgent attention. 

Netflix uses red as their logo color but it isn’t prominent on their website making it perfect to attract consumers’ attention while inciting a feeling of urgency. Besides the logo, red is only used on the “Sign In” and “Try 30 Days Free” buttons which are actions that Netflix wants their customers to act on.

Getting started using colors to leverage conversion rates may seem overwhelming if you are not a graphic designer or a branding expert. For example, yellow is proven to make people feel hungry while red is a passionate color, so combined, it makes for a feeling of passionate hunger perfect if you’re trying to sell food. Which is why McDonald’s and Wendy’s leverage these two colors excessively in their banding. Blue does quite the opposite as it is associated with suppressing appetite. 

Here a few universal principles of color psychology to keep in mind when you optimize your website.

A color’s shade and tone can have very different meanings.

Not all shades of color are associated with the same meaning; therefore, before choosing a branding color, make sure the tone matches the intent of your message. 

Use Green for your company if you are promoting eco-friendly or organic initiatives.

Green is strongly associated with nature, which makes it the perfect pick to be the color of your eco-friendly campaigns. Consumers’ will automatically associate your company as an eco-friendly company. It is also associated with money thanks to the color of the American Dollar. 

Studies show that men generally prefer bold colors, while women prefer softer colors.

This is an excellent tip if you have a specific demographic because you can play with the shades and tints of your branding colors to attract your target audience. Men tend to favor shades, while women prefer tints of colors. 

Brighter colors energize consumers while neutral colors relax them.

This tip can be helpful because you can coordinate your website colors depending on the response you want from your customers. If you want consumers to act fast, use bright colors, but if you want consumers to read your blog post, neutral tones will relax them so they can focus more on processing information.

Color psychology can dramatically increase website traffic, sales, and much more because “up to 90 percent of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone (depending on the product).” This means that the right color combinations can have a significant payoff on these first website impressions. 

Get started with your color strategy by analyzing your business needs and what message you want to convey to your consumers through your branding. Remember that to be successful in using colors as leverage in marketing, you need to pay attention to where you use specific colors, when you use them, to what audience, and what purpose will the colors serve.

To learn more about how you can leverage color psychology on your website, read about it in my new book, The Psychology of a Website: Mastering Cognitive Biases, Conversion Triggers, and Modern SEO for Massive Results, now available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle.

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Dorie Clark’s 3 Hacks to Become a Bonafide Expert in Your Niche

Expertise can help you get trust, recognition, and credibility. But how does one achieve expertise? When can one be considered a true expert? 

I recently sat down with Dorie Clark to discuss my upcoming book, The Psychology of a Website: Mastering Cognitive Biases, Conversion Triggers, and Modern SEO for Massive Results. Dorie is a Harvard Business Review Author, Duke & Columbia Business Professor, #1 Communication Coach, and one of the top 50 Business Thinkers in the World. Throughout the interview, she shared insightful tips on what it means to be an expert and how you can become one.

My interview with Dorie was part of my ICONNic Talk series, where I sit down with industry experts to get insider tips on social media, marketing psychology, and much more. Check out my interview with Ja Rule and other ICONNic Talks interviews. 

Being an expert isn’t just about a title; when you’re a true expert, you’re seen as a go-to thought leader in your field. During the interview, Dorie and I discussed the fascinating psychology behind what makes other people consider someone an expert. Dorie shared with us some hacks on how you can position yourself as an expert in the eyes of others.

Create Valuable Content

To position yourself as an expert, Dorie advised, you need to create content. Social media is a great tool to share your thoughts and ideas with a community of people who gain value from your content. Start by jumping on social platforms that fit your field and start creating content that will bring value to your audience. This way, you can share your opinions, foster a community, and build a portfolio of valuable content.

Professional reinvention is the key to career longevity and content can help push you to reinvent your personal brand or business. New content ideas or joining up-and-coming social platforms can help you make a habit of reinvention. Create different types of content to help you pivot your brand to explore new business ventures and opportunities. Content is your #1 tool when it comes to reinventing yourself, so don’t be scared to step outside of your comfort zone.

For more of Dorie’s tips on professional reinvention, watch the full ICONNic Talk interview: 

Leverage Social Proof

Throughout my talk with Dorie, we kept coming back to social proof as a primary factor in positioning yourself as an expert. On Dorie’s website, her call-to-action invites people to “join her community of 60,000 subscribers.” This is an excellent example of social proof because it showcases how many people value her opinions enough to subscribe to her newsletter and, in a way, persuades you to do the same. 

In my book, The Psychology of a Website, I advise readers to add testimonials and reviews front-and-center on their website to trigger the social proof cognitive bias. Whether it’s reviews, testimonials, or press, social proof is a sure-fire way to establish validity that you are an expert.

Network with Other Experts

Positioning yourself as an expert also has to do with associating yourself with other experts in your field. The more you talk with other experts, the more knowledge you can gain. Being associated with experts in your field can also lend you a sense of authority in the eyes of others. Reach out to someone you admire in your field, and see if you can schedule an interview with them on ICONN or Instagram Live.

No one is born an expert. By admitting that you aren’t an expert yet but are working towards becoming one, you can free yourself from imposter syndrome and focus on establishing credibility and respect. Leverage these credibility-boosting hacks to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Check out my upcoming book The Psychology of a Website: Mastering Cognitive Biases, Conversion Triggers, and Modern SEO for Massive Results to learn more about social proof and other topics discussed in my ICONNic talks. Get on the list at websitepsy.com