8 Voice Search Statistics That are too Crazy to Ignore

8 voice search stats to crazy to ignore banner

 

Voice search is still being developed to be as robust and intelligent as the examples we see in our favorite Sci-Fi flicks. (Maybe one day we’ll all have our own C-3PO’s sarcastically helping us through our daily tasks). The SEO world is still trying to figure out how to optimize for this new technology, but in the meantime, here are some statistics about what we’re already experiencing with voice search and how it’s affecting the market:

1 in 6 Americans now own a Smart Speaker (Source: TechCrunch)

Google reports over X million units in circulation between Alexa and Google Home in December 2017. Apple and Samsung are going to be releasing their own voice speaker in 2018.

voice search statistic 1

40% of adults now use voice search once per day (Source: Branded3)

 

This is a MASSIVE number of people utilizing voice search. It speaks to the mobile nature of our lives and our willingness to incorporate technology into our lives.

voice search statistic 2

By 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches (Source: ComScore)

 

Is it that hard to believe? This number probably includes both voice searches on smart speakers, as well as laptops, phones and other devices. This has large implications not only for consumers but for marketers and all businesses alike.

voice search statistic 3

Google’s AI read over 2,865 romance novels in order to improve its conversational search abilities (Source: BuzzFeed News)

 

This is an interesting behind-the-scenes-tidbit to the making of this technology. Google is attempting to make AI seem more human…maybe one day we’ll all have personal besties instead of personal assistants.

voice search statistic 4

Voice commerce was a $1.8 billion retail segment in the U.S. in 2017 and $200 million in the U.K (Source: Voicebot.ai)

 

The voice search market is past its early adopter phase and is entering the early majority phase.

voice search statistic 5

20 percent of mobile queries are voice searches (Source: Google)

 

1/5th of people with mobile phones speak to their devices instead of typing. Sometimes, it’s just easier to ask than to type!

voice search statistic 6

Mobile voice-related searches are 3X more likely to be local-based than text (Source: Search Engine Watch)

 

When we’re on the go, we’re probably looking for something local on the fly. A coffee shop nearby, the nearest ATM or a parking lot. Whatever it is, we’re asking our phones to find it for us.

voice search statistic 7

72% of people who own a voice-activated speaker say their devices are often used as part of their daily routine (Source: Think With Google)

 

Speaking to our devices have become ingrained in our day-to-day lives. There are a million ways we can use help throughout the day and we’re using voice search to get it.

voice search statistic 8

How does Voice Search affect your day to day life?

Matthew Capala is the Founder and Managing Director at Alphametic, a boutique search marketing agency. He is also the Founder of SearchDecoder SEO Training Institute, an industry-leading platform for actionable workshops, bootcamps and online education for businesses and entrepreneurs. At Alphametic, Matthew helps clients increase their online visibility through integrated SEO and SEM solutions that yield higher ROI. His clients include L’Oreal, Novartis, Hoval, Quest Diagnostics, ilani Resort, Shopkeep and Primoprint. His work and ideas have been featured on Inc Magazine, Chicago Tribune, eMarketer Huffington Post, Mashable, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, and Inc. He has delivered talks and keynotes all over the world, from Trinidad to the Swiss Alps. He is the author of bestselling “SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization.” Formerly Adj. Professor at NYU (’12-’14) in the field of digital marketing, Matthew has three business degrees, including Marketing MBA.

Voice Search SEO Playbook: How to Optimize for Siri, Alexa and Cortana

voice search seo playbook featured image

What is Voice Search and Why Should you Care in 2018?

 

It seems a bit silly to define voice search, but we practice what we preach here at Alphametic, so we’re going to optimize for voice search here and now:

“Voice search is a speech recognition technology that allows a user to speak a search query into a device.”

 

On the off chance Google rewards us an answer box snippet for that definition (we can hope, right?), this brings us to the WHY. Why do marketers, especially SEO’s, need to pay attention to when it comes to this here-to-stay trend? Is there anything we CAN do? Let’s dig into this.

 

Voice Search Statistics

 

Here are some voice search statistics to visualize the current state of affairs:

  • 1 in 6 Americans now own a Smart Speaker (Source: TechCrunch)
  • 40% of adults now use voice search once per day  (Source: Branded3)
  • By 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches (Source: ComScore)
  • Google’s AI read over 2,865 romance novels in order to improve its conversational search abilities (Source: BuzzFeed News)
  • Voice commerce was a $1.8 billion retail segment in the U.S. in 2017 and $200 million in the U.K.  (Source: Voicebot.ai)
  • 20 percent of mobile queries are voice searches (Source: Google)
  • Mobile voice-related searches are 3X more likely to be local-based than text (Source: Search Engine Watch)
  • 72% of people who own a voice-activated speaker say their devices are often used as part of their daily routine. (Source: Think With Google)

The world is undoubtedly adapting to voice search. It’s not a matter of whether you SHOULD  adapt your SEO strategy to voice search, it’s HOW.

…but hold on, is adapting necessary? According to this article by Ian Lurie, it seems to suggest that voice search isn’t as large of a disruption as we may be making it out to be. And the fact that Google and Amazon have not given companies the option to advertise using these platforms suggests that voice search is more about the user experience more than anything else versus brands trying to get out a message to consumers.

In my opinion, SEO optimization is not mutually exclusive to optimal user experience. There are a few SEO strategies that lend themselves to voice search which we can leverage.

And the best part, it’s mostly things we already SHOULD be doing.  First, let’s take a look at how voice search is different than traditional search and then we can look at some tactics. Here we go:

 

How Does Voice Search affect SEO?

 

People Speak Differently Than They Type

According to Neil Patel in reference to voice search:

“No longer do you need to solely rely on using keywords inside your content a certain number of times. It’s all about natural language and the intended meaning behind the searcher’s query, rather than the query itself.”

Every since Googles Hummingbird update, semantic search has been an integral part of our search engine experience and is what made voice search possible. Whereas once we would’ve had to type in more exact phrases, such as “South America news 2017” to get this:

google voice search example 1

 

We can now type in the search query “What happened in South America in 2017” and it understands the inference – that we want to look at news coverage of important events, without having to type in the words, “news”, or “news sites”, or “newspaper” into the search box.

google voice search query example 2

For a search engine, this once might have been a directionless query, but it now understands my intention of wanting to look at important news coverage it and so served me results of major news sites with articles specific to that region

Because of this more natural, conversational tone, it’s to the benefit of webmasters and SEO’s everywhere to take a look at the language on their sites and see if their main pages fulfill their user’s intent by communicating in easy to understand, natural language.

 

Voice Search Will Give You One Answer, as Opposed to 8-10 Blue Links

Here’s the clincher. If you’re using a Google Home, or an Alexa echo, you’re only going to get one search result read back to you. There’s no ranking 2nd, 3rd or 4th. You must be the BEST result for that user’s command.

The interesting thing here is that according to a study done by Brian Dean from Backlinko:

Content that ranks highly in desktop search is also very likely to appear as a voice search answer. In fact, approximately 75% of voice search results rank in the top 3 for that query.”

So, although screenless voice search only gives you 1 result, when it comes to the Google Home, it can potentially choose between the first 3 top results, not always THE top result.

This is important to understand since it paints a more realistic picture of what’s happening. Although there is an objective winner when it comes to Googles algorithm when not taking into account personalization, the reality is, Google ALWAYS takes into account location, past search history and other factors when serving you a result. So, although you may not be number 1 for a search query, you might still make it into an individual’s top results.

 

There are 4 Main Intents With Voice Search (and Search in General)

Back in 2015, Google gave us some great insights into rising consumer search behaviors and coined them “micro-moments” in the online customer journey.

Essentially, these are 4 main intentions individuals have when searching online: when they want to know something, when they want to go somewhere, when they want to do something or when they want to buy something.

google micro moments voice search

As a business, you should be particularly interested in the “I-want-to-buy-moments”, but all of these moments are opportunities to lead a user through the customer journey. In fact, searches on mobile with the word “best” have grown over 80% between 2015 and 2017. In other words, people searching “best restaurants in X city” or “best moisturizer for dry skin” for example, increased dramatically once users understood that Google had the capability to serve them accurate results.

With the rise of voice search, your SEO efforts should focus on these search behaviors and “micro-moments” that are deeply entrenched in consumer’s minds. And with that in mind, let’s dig a little deeper.

Next, we’ll discuss some practical SEO strategies to position yourself to be discovered through voice search where it makes sense for your business.

 

What SEO Strategies Can You Use to Rank on Voice Search?

 

Find Opportunities to Rank for an Answer Box Snippet

This is something that most SEO’s are already doing, but it takes on a new dimension in voice search SEO. According to this study by Backlinko, 40.7% of voice search responses came from a Featured Snippet.

That feature typically gives a user a quick and simple answer to any query, so it makes sense that Google Home would be populating its answers from the algorithm for Featured Snippets. If you see an opportunity to become Position 0, it’s likely that you can also be a voice search query answer for that topic.

 

Tighten Up Your Local SEO

Google My Business is a huge source of information for people searching for local businesses. If you have your Google My Business listing fully optimized and up to date with current information, you’re giving it every chance to be an option on someone’s voice search results.

google local search query voice search

Place Schema on Your Top Pages

Although schema doesn’t seem to have a large correlation between its use and being the answer to a Google voice search, the purpose of on-page schema is to give Google a better picture of what your page is supposed to represent.

Ths is especially crucial in the ecommerce space when Google search results can expose your brand to a new customer. It doesn’t hurt to help Google understand the purpose of your page more clearly.

 

Optimize for the Long-Tail

As mentioned a bit earlier, individuals are using more natural language in their voice queries. This is a ripe opportunity for long-tail keywords with high search intent (and high commercial intent).

Let’s say you’re a company that sells French Press coffee machines. You have a great post on your blog that goes through the brewing times and temperatures for different coffee types that can be utilized for a great cup of Joe in your French Press. Someone interested in the French Press method of brewing is possibly searching for different brewing methods.

In the Google search bar you might type in “How to Brew French Press”

But on a voice search, you might say “How to Correctly Brew Coffee in a French Press”

This an opportunity for you to not only appear on results, but if the user if using a Google Home or Alexa and they’re not in front of a screen, you can optimize headlines for short answers to common questions that may be asked in a voice search.

 

If You Haven’t Already, Optimize for Mobile

Not to beat a dead horse, but mobile optimization is key to everything. 20% of people conduct voice searches on mobile, so the more mobile-friendly your business is, the more opportunity to land on a voice search answer.

This means fast page speeds, responsive web designs, easy and simple UX, AMP pages, and of course, great content.

 

DON’T FORGET BING

Yes, Bing. Many search marketers utilize PPC on Bing since it is the search engine with the 2nd largest market share in the U.S. But, the most relevant reason why Bing is important for Voice search SEO? – Alexa uses bing as her search engine.

The current top players in the world in the voice search market are Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa, with Alexa taking the lead by a landslide. Alexa has over 39 million units in circulation or 69% of the market. Google Home currently has 14 million units at 31% of the market.

This is one of the few areas where Bing has managed to one-up Google for years, so optimize for Bing and don’t forget it under the shadow of the Google behemoth.

voice search market share

 

And Finally, Relax.

At the end of the day the concept is the same, ranking for targeted keywords and getting to the top of SERP’s. A lot of these strategies are already well-established best practices in SEO, so keep following best practices and make a few tweaks if it makes sense for your business. The landscape is competitive, but not impossible. Set your goals, track your progress and keep up the good work. I’ll leave with this great quote by Bradley Shaw:

“People are not afraid of the machine anymore, they have gone beyond a period of discomfort and hesitance and into a place of comfort and instantaneous gratification. When we consider the full scope of voice search, we eventually break it down to a consumer being able to gratify a search need without ever having to pull away from decorating the Christmas tree.

The question for online marketers has now become, “will my goods or services fill the need?” 

For more SEO news check out Recent Google Updates and SEO Trends for 2018

Matthew Capala is the Founder and Managing Director at Alphametic, a boutique search marketing agency. He is also the Founder of SearchDecoder SEO Training Institute, an industry-leading platform for actionable workshops, bootcamps and online education for businesses and entrepreneurs. At Alphametic, Matthew helps clients increase their online visibility through integrated SEO and SEM solutions that yield higher ROI. His clients include L’Oreal, Novartis, Hoval, Quest Diagnostics, ilani Resort, Shopkeep and Primoprint. His work and ideas have been featured on Inc Magazine, Chicago Tribune, eMarketer Huffington Post, Mashable, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, and Inc. He has delivered talks and keynotes all over the world, from Trinidad to the Swiss Alps. He is the author of bestselling “SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization.” Formerly Adj. Professor at NYU (’12-’14) in the field of digital marketing, Matthew has three business degrees, including Marketing MBA.

7 Deadly Sins of Choosing the Wrong SEO Agency for Your Business [Infographic]

choosing seo agency infographic alphametic

 

 

If you need more information about choosing an SEO agency you can check out our 7 Deadly Sins of Choosing an SEO Agency Blog Post. If you’d like to embed this infographic on your site and share, you can use the embed code below:

 

<div style=”max-width: 1080px;”><div style=”left: 0; width: 100%; height: 0; position: relative; padding-bottom: 399.9074%;”><iframe src=”//cdn.iframe.ly/JkNd7Ju” style=”border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;” allowfullscreen></iframe></div><p>Credit: <a href=”https://alphametic.com/choosing-seo-agency” target=”_blank”>Alphametic</a></p></div>

 

 

Matthew Capala is the Founder and Managing Director at Alphametic, a boutique search marketing agency. He is also the Founder of SearchDecoder SEO Training Institute, an industry-leading platform for actionable workshops, bootcamps and online education for businesses and entrepreneurs. At Alphametic, Matthew helps clients increase their online visibility through integrated SEO and SEM solutions that yield higher ROI. His clients include L’Oreal, Novartis, Hoval, Quest Diagnostics, ilani Resort, Shopkeep and Primoprint. His work and ideas have been featured on Inc Magazine, Chicago Tribune, eMarketer Huffington Post, Mashable, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, and Inc. He has delivered talks and keynotes all over the world, from Trinidad to the Swiss Alps. He is the author of bestselling “SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization.” Formerly Adj. Professor at NYU (’12-’14) in the field of digital marketing, Matthew has three business degrees, including Marketing MBA.

18 Eye-Opening SEO Statistics to Prove the Value of Organic Search

You already know that having a prominent online presence supported by an effective SEO strategy is indispensable. People are searching for your business, and you need to make sure they find you online. The Internet, however, is a virtually endless resource with millions of search inquiries leading consumers to different places.

seo statistics alphameticMore than often, an online experience begins with a web search. Yet, how do you make sure people searching for companies and services like yours land on your website, and not someone else’s? One thing you can be certain of is that you’ll need to make a case to prove the value of SEO to be able to direct any of your company’s resources – or client’s resources – to site audits, content marketing, technical optimization, local, and backlink strategies.

With updates being done to Google’s search engine algorithm continuously, deciding to craft (an execute on) an SEO strategy sounds like a lot of work. How do you convince your boss or client that it’s worth it? Is keeping up with Google really that important? Yes. Being on Google’s good side, and making it to the front page, will impact your business tremendously. And what about other search engines? What is the value of being searchable? Do you show up online?

To help you make a better case for SEO to justify the value of organic search, I’ve compiled a list of eye-opening SEO statistics about organic search, Google facts, and the Internet at large. Be free to use them, tweet them, embed them, or insert them into your own presentation.

Check them out, and show them to your boss:

 

 

When Google went down for 5 minutes, global Internet traffic dropped by a whopping 40%

Source: CNET

Tweet: When Google went down for 5 minutes, global Internet traffic dropped by a whopping 40% #SEO @searchdecoder Source: @CNET

It seems like the Internet really does revolve around Google. In 2013, Google’s services were unavailable for only 5 minutes due to an outage and web traffic dropped by 40%. Google is the heart and soul of the Internet. How important is your Google presence and global web traffic? Very.

 

google statistic alphametic

 

 

There are more than 2.3 million Google searches conducted each minute

Source: Internet Live Stats

Tweet: There are more than 2.3 million Google searches conducted each minute. #SEO @searchdecoder Source: @NetLiveStats

What have you Googled today? When  “Googled” the appropriate temperature to bake Alaskan salmon, Google connected me with 338,000 results in under 0.81 seconds. The first result was more than satisfactory. With over 3.5 billion searches conducted a day, odds are that you’ve Googled something. It might have been that very search that led you here. Back when Google launched in 1995, users were conducting just 500,000 searches per day. Today, this statistic has more than quadrupled. The growth of organic search traffic has been growing consistently.

how many google searches stat alphametic

16-20% of all Google searches are being searched for the first time

Source: Internet Live Stats

Tweet: 16-20% of all Google searches are being searched for the first time. #SEO @searchdecoder Source: @NetLiveStats

How does Google answer questions that have never been asked before? Through extensive indexing, site crawling and millions of search precedents. Never before asked queries are more common than you’d think. Marketers should think about how to fashion their content strategy so that they find the right balance between targeting ultra-competitive, established keywords as well as the less popular queries that are ‘on the rise.’ Use Google Trends to find these niche golden nuggets.

google search statistic

 

The top 5 search results on Google get 70% of the clicks

Source: Amazee Metrics

Tweet: The top 5 search results on Google get 70% of the clicks @searchdecoder #SEO Source: @amazeemetrics

Does anyone ever go to the second page? No one really does, right? Turns out, that your position within search results is of utmost importance. Studies show that the first 5 search results receive the most clicks (70%).

SERP CTR statstics alphametic

 

 

One in six people on the planet use Google

Source: Search Engine Watch

Tweet: One in six people on the planet use Google @searchdecoder #SEO Source: @sewatch

A big chunk of the world is “Googling” away. With 2 trillion searches conducted on the planet every year, there’s no denying that Google is the world’s most powerful search engine giant.

how many people use google stat alphametic

 

10% of Google searchers are looking for detailed content, and Google’s algorithm keeps this in mind

Source: Moz via Results Driven SEO

Tweet: 10% of Google searchers are looking for detailed content, and Google’s algorithm keeps this in mind #SEO Source: @ResultDrivenSEO

There’s definitely a correlation between longer content and Google ranking. Moz’s study found that the most popular pages had over 35,000 words and generated more than 800 links. Google prefers well-written and longer content over those that are more superficial and short. Don’t get lazy on that blog! Articles over 1,000 words might just fare better SEO wise.

seo statistic alphametic

 

More than half of Google’s searches are conducted across mobile platforms

Source: The Verge

Tweet: More than half of Google’s searches are conducted across mobile platforms @searchdecoder #SEO source: @verge

This is no surprise. Smartphones and tablets have become the new prime way to communicate, and access information. According to The Verge, more people are searching on mobile devices than ever before. Taking into account the increased smartphone and tablet usage, Google has updated its SEO algorithm to take into account mobile website usability. In the world of mobile-first indexing, a website that doesn’t work well on mobile can be affected negatively in Google’s rankings.

SEO mobile statistic alphametic

 

88% percent of smartphone users are using their device to conduct search on Google

Source: Think With Google

Tweet: 88% percent of smartphone users are using their device to conduct search on Google@searchdecoder #SEO source: @thinkwithgoogle

In company with the previous statistic, is the fact that the majority of cellphone users use their phones to conduct searches. According to the report Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, 88% of smartphone perform searches, making the need for a mobile-friendly website crucial. People are searching on the go, and are looking for local results. Google is looking to provide the most practical, precise and relevant local search results through their regularly updated mobile-friendly ranking algorithm. Optimize your local listings with a smart local search marketing plan in place.

seo smartphone statistic alphametic

 

18% of local mobile searches lead to sales on the same day

Source: Google

Tweet: 18% of local mobile searches lead to sales on the same day @searchdecoder #SEO source: @Google

And what’s even more important, 18% of local searches will lead to a sale on that very day. In contrast, only 7% of non-local searches will. Capturing the local search market through SEO is a smart strategy. Potential customers and clients are searching, you just have to lure them to you. If you have a locally-focused business, you need to show up highly on Google Maps, and other local directories.

 

50% of mobile phone users are likely to visit a store on the same day they conducted their Google search

Source: Google

Tweet: 50% of mobile phone users are likely to visit a store on the same day they conducted their Google search @searchdecoder #SEO source: @Google

Having a mobile-friendly website is super important because people searching on their phones are more likely to visit your store on that very day. While 50% of mobile phone users will visit your store after conducting a search, only 34% of users searching on tablets and computers will do so.

mobile local seo stat alphametic

 

Globally, Google’s search market share reaches 82%

Source: Net Market Share

Tweet: Globally, Google's search market share reaches 82% @searchdecoder #SEO

And in the World? Google is still on top. Anyone you’re trying to reach, anywhere they might be, Google is your best bet towards generating an impression, and getting your product and brand across borders. Except for in the case of China, and a few others, Google is the dominant search engine in almost every country in the world.

google bing market share stat alphametic

 

Google owns 64% of the search engine market share in the US

Source: comScore

Tweet: Google owns 64% of the search engine market share in the US @searchdecoder #SEO source: @comScore

In the US, people use Google more than Bing, Yahoo, and all the others. The term “Google it” is popular for a reason. In a study conducted by comScore, out of a total of 17.5 billion searches conducted in one month, 11.2 billion of them were conducted through Google. Bing follows second with just 3.7 billion, and Yahoo with 2.2 billion.

google market share in us alphametic

 

36% of Chinese websites have hidden code that connects to Google’s servers

Source: The Guardian

Tweet: 36% of Chinese websites have hidden code that connect to Google’s servers @searchdecoder Source: @Guardian

Over 21% of the world’s internet users live in China. After having left an enormous market in 2010, Google plans to return. With twice as many people online in China compared to the US, a just a piece of the Chinese search engine market share will secure Google as the most utilized website in the world. Is your company interested in expanding internationally? You’d need to optimize for Baidu if you target Chinese audience. If so, this might be something to consider when crafting your SEO strategy.

 

78% of local mobile searches result in in-store purchases

Source:Search Engine Land

Tweet: 78% of local mobile searches result in in-store purchases @searchdecoder Source: @sengineland

People aren’t just Googling the latest cat video. They’re looking for the best store, the best product and the best service near them, and for them. With the power to Google, consumers are behind the wheel of their purchases and investments, and as we’ve learned, they never really go past the first page. So does “the best decision” = a high Google search ranking? To an extent, absolutely.

 

Website URLs that are not mobile friendly have experienced a 21% decrease in search engine rankings

Source: BrightEdge

Tweet: Website URLs that are not mobile friendly have experienced a 21% decrease in search engine rankings. @searchdecoder Source: @BrightEdge

Is your website’s search ranking being affected for sure? Seems like it. According to a study conducted by BrightEdge shortly after the Google’s mobile algorithm update last year, the presence of non-mobile friendly websites on the first 3 pages of Google began to fade fast. Over 20,000 websites were tested and scored for mobile friendliness, and then had their ranked recorded. A 21% decrease in ranking was found for those URLs scoring low in mobile-friendliness.

 

Web users exposed to slow loading times, will conduct less searches on average

Source: Google

Tweet: Web users exposed to slow loading times, will conduct less searches on average @searchdecoder Source: @Google

This is according to studies conducted at Google using their search engine. Speed matters. Even after rectifying a low speed, users will be reluctant to return to your website. Get rid of anything that hinders your website’s speed. Music players, flashy graphics and unnecessarily large images will stagnate loading time. Google has a few tips on how to fix a slow website.

 

51% of website traffic comes from organic search results

Source: BrightEdge

Tweet: 51% of website traffic comes from organic search results @searchdecoder Source: @BrightEdge

How are people getting to your site? They’re Googling their way there. Chances are, more than half of your web traffic started with a search. According to a study conducted by BrightEdge, this means that over 40% of revenue is captured through organic search traffic. Social only accounts for merely 10% of web traffic, and paid search just 10%.

 

Users focus more on organic search results 94% of the time

Source: Search Engine Watch

Tweet: Users focus more on organic search results 94% of the time @searchdecoder Source: SEWatch

There is good news for those reluctant to invest in an AdWords account. According to Search Engine Watch, organic results fare better over paid ads. The higher you rank, the more clicks you get, and paid ads don’t count. Users tend to ignore the advertisements on top of the page and go straight to the organic search results listed first.

Hope the list is helpful! Have I missed any of other important SEO statistics? Please drop me a note in the comments below.

Matthew Capala is the Founder and Managing Director at Alphametic, a boutique search marketing agency. He is also the Founder of SearchDecoder SEO Training Institute, an industry-leading platform for actionable workshops, bootcamps and online education for businesses and entrepreneurs. At Alphametic, Matthew helps clients increase their online visibility through integrated SEO and SEM solutions that yield higher ROI. His clients include L’Oreal, Novartis, Hoval, Quest Diagnostics, ilani Resort, Shopkeep and Primoprint. His work and ideas have been featured on Inc Magazine, Chicago Tribune, eMarketer Huffington Post, Mashable, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, and Inc. He has delivered talks and keynotes all over the world, from Trinidad to the Swiss Alps. He is the author of bestselling “SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization.” Formerly Adj. Professor at NYU (’12-’14) in the field of digital marketing, Matthew has three business degrees, including Marketing MBA.

Recent Google Updates and SEO Trends for 2018

google updates seo 2018 revisited

Update: Republished on May 31, 2018 with updates in these sections: Meta Description Snippet, Mobile-First Indexing

2018 is looking to be HUGE for SEO. Official mobile-First Indexing, voice search, RankBrain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, increased search personalization, and the list goes on and on. There have been many Google updates that have rocked the boat in the SEO world in the last few years, we’re going to take a look at some of the major recent Google algorithm updates and then look at some SEO Trends for 2018 that are on the horizon.

 

2017 Google Algorithm Updates

 

January 2017 – Intrusive Interstitial Penalty

Those pesky ads that pop up on your phone when you’re trying to read an article became Google’s target in early 2017. What is referred to as “Intrusive Interstitials” are pop-ups that take up a large amount of screen space on mobile and disrupt the user experience. Websites that featured these pop-ups directly after a user enters their site began to experience a decrease in traffic because of this algorithm update, according to the SEO Roundtable.

What’s an SEO to do?

Be mindful of the kinds of pop-ups you place throughout your mobile site. Google is increasing its focus more and more on the user experience. Ads and pop-ups are notoriously obnoxious, so ask yourself next time you consider placing a pop-up screen on your mobile site – are you adding value to the user experience?

 

March 2017 – The “Fred” Update

Google began to penalize sites with thin content more aggressively in the post-Panda world. In other words, this update was meant to target sites whose purpose was to drive ad revenue by bringing a ton of traffic to their sites, but not delivering much value in terms of content utility for the user. This is an example of Google cracking down on a practice that it already says is a no-no for rankings.

What’s an SEO to do?

Keep on delivering high-quality, high-word-count content that is useful and informative for your audience. If you’re overhauling your site, run a content audit and determine where you may have ‘thin content” and work on ways to improve your website’s on-page value. Siteliner is a useful free tool to identify duplicate and common content on your site that you want to keep in check, as well as analyzing the word count of your text content.

percentile graph

June 2017 – Google Jobs Search Widget

Google rolled out a SERP widget that targets users searching for job listings. Its right underneath the search bar and is prompted by searches like “Entry level jobs near me” and more broad job searches as well. It lets you filter by title, full-time, part-time, date posted, etc. Once you choose the job, it sends you directly to the page where the job listing lives that has the most relevant content.

What’s an SEO to do?

This update affects the staffing industry, job recruiters and the like, but it can be a preview of what’s to come as Google continues to try to mediate between a user’s search intent and related web pages.

google job search snippet

 

October 2017 – Chrome HTTP Warnings

Back in April of 2017, the Google Security Blog declared that Chrome browsers would start to indicate whether a site was “Secure” or “Not Secure” by indicating it in the URL. Here’s an example:

secure chrome address bar

HTTP sites with forms and credit card fields would have the not secure warning. The update was rolled out officially in October of 2017. Google has also officially announced that in July of 2018, they will start to mark ALL HTTP sites, regardless of whether they have field entry forms or not, as “Not Secure.”

What’s an SEO to Do?

Websites that have not yet switched over to HTTPS could experience a decrease in conversions and click-throughs as well as an increase in bounce-backs because of this address bar warning which is not visible to the user. A no-no for any sustainable SEO strategy. This is also concerning on its own, especially when you know that Chrome is the most popular browser. A user can be less likely to give out their information on a form or online transaction without the credibility of a “Secure” heading. Go into 2018 with HTTPS.

 

November 2017 – Meta Description Snippet Length Increase  

This has been updated as of May 2018, Google has reverted back to their original character limits, but many of the concepts below still apply. Your meta description should stand on it’s own between 155-165 characters, but you can add more lines in case Google chooses to dynamically lengthen your descriptions. For more information on this update, check out this article from Moz.

Meta descriptions once had an industry standard of a 155-165 character limit. During November of 2017, there seemed to be a spike in SERP results with longer snippets within the 300-320 character range (Moz). Google confirmed this update in December with Search Engine Land, saying they wanted to provide more descriptive snippets to users by helping them better determine whether a webpage was relevant to their queries.

What’s an SEO to do?

Overall, the implications of this update meant SEO’s now had more room to be descriptive and communicate value when they set their descriptions for their pages. This can also impact the click-through rate of your web pages on organic SERP. Check out more information on this update as well as what to do to improve your SEO results on the Alphametic blog here. Start re-writing the meta descriptions to optimize your top performing web pages. Here’s an example of Alphametic’s keyword research services page when we updated the meta description.

alphametic hompage meta description

Looking forward into 2018, here are updates that have been in the works for years – but are really now taking shape:

 

SEO Trends for 2018

 

VOICE SEARCH

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that 20% of mobile searches are voice searches. And this trend isn’t stopping anytime soon. It’s natural that people use voice search on their mobile phones while they’re on the go, and while mobile use continues to skyrocket – we can expect voice search to grow right alongside it.

voice search infographic screenshot

(Image source)

What’s an SEO to do?

It’s different to optimize for voice search in the sense that people speak differently than they type. They tend to use more natural language patterns than the typical, choppy search engine queries. But this actually makes optimization more intuitive. One strategy laid out by Neil Patel is to optimize your content based on question queries, since most users who use voice search are asking a question like who, what, when, where and how. Use natural, full sentences and write blog posts answering your audiences main questions and concerns. Ideally, you’d get a featured snippet, so the user’s digital personal assistant can read out your content as the best answer to their question. AnswerThePublic.com is a useful tool to discover trending “question keywords.”

 

Mobile first indexing

Mobile first indexing has been in the works since 2016, but it was announced by Google spokesperson Gary Illyes that mobile first indexing would rollout sometime in 2018. What this means is that now Google will be using your mobile content to determine your rankings to a much greater degree.

What’s an SEO to do?

Hopefully, by now, your site is mobile responsive and looks great when viewed from a mobile phone. Google spokesperson Gary Illyes has given us the heads-up that if your domain is mobile responsive – you’re solid. Sites that are not yet mobile responsive will be highly affected by the mobile-first indexing update. If there are areas of your site that could have an improved mobile experience, it’s worth it to go back and check where you can make changes in order to be fully optimized for the rollout in 2018. Use Google’s Mobile Friendly test to determine if your site is optimized for mobile.

Update: As of March 26 of 2018, Google has announced that it has started migrating sites that follow mobile best practices to mobile-first indexing. It is slowly bringing more sites on board to mobile-first indexing. They’ve also mentioned that they will notify webmasters through Search Console if their sites have been migrated.

 

RankBrain and Search AI

Think of Google’s RankBrain algorithm as a machine trying hard to think like a human, using every possible piece of data at its disposal – social, user-generated content, browser footprints, click patterns – to match individual searchers with the best answers to their questions.

AI personal assistant

According to Google, “If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly, making it more effective at handling never-before-seen search queries.” If you want to get geeky, RankBrain converts the textual contents of search queries into “word vectors,” also known as “distributed representations,” each of which has a unique coordinate address in mathematical space. Vectors close to each other in this space correspond to linguistic similarity.

In more plain English, when people type a search query – aka a keyword – that’s never been made before, RankBrain attempts to map this query to words – or “entities” (clusters of words) – that have the best chance of matching it. RankBrain attempts to guess what people really mean when they make queries over time, records the results, and adapts results to provide what it sees as better user satisfaction.

If you’re serious about SEO, you need to optimize for RankBrain. Why? Google recently announced that RankBrain is Google’s third most important ranking signal. And it’s becoming more important every day.

What’s an SEO to do?

Brian Dean of Backlink recommends rethinking your keyword research strategies to optimize for RankBrain.  He predicts that the Long tail keywords are becoming dead due to how well RankBrain understands that these long-tail terms often refer the same thing. So Google shows nearly identical search results. Brian recommends that SEOs focus on the “medium tail keywords” instead. In the example below, he demonstrates how to spot these search queries in your keyword reports.

paleo diet search volume

Image Source: Backlinko

“When you optimize your page around a medium tail keyword (and make that page awesome), RankBrain will automatically rank you for that term… and thousands of similar keywords,” says Brian Dean.

 

Brand Mentions Over Link Building

There’s been a lot of buzz recently over whether “no-follow” links and brand mentions have any ranking weight, supplementing the good old-fashioned “do-follow” links. The evidence, based on this excerpt analyzed by Neil Patel from a Google Panda Patent seems to suggest that Google’s algorithm is learning to take into account unlinked brand mentions across the web as an indication of authority. That both do-follow links and “implied links” are being looked at more closely.

What’s an SEO to do?

This is GREAT news in the SEO world. Links still matter, but now you can get more credit for all those social mentions as well as unlinked brand mentions online in a more direct way. You also get credit for other areas of the web where people are talking about your brand, but not necessarily giving you the links you’d like. This is an opportunity for SEO’s to expand their backlink strategies to incorporate other PR-focused outreach methods into their framework for a more well-rounded online footprint that isn’t just focused on earning hard-to-get links.

 

Highly Personalized SERPs

SERP personalization has been a thing since as far back as 2007. But as of recent years, Google has gotten very sophisticated with its algorithm by serving up results that are based on your local geography, your search history, your interests and activities throughout other Google apps. This means that every user is going to have a search experience that is unique and personalized, like this search for taco places in Miami which not only gave me results for Miami but pinpointed EXACTLY where in Miami I was and what was close by:

taco in miami personalized results

What’s an SEO to do?

Although you can’t guess what every user’s personal results are going to be, users that DO click on your site and engage with it are more likely to see you again in search results. If every user is getting personalized data, how do you know your keyword tracking data is accurate?

Location is a huge factor in personalization, so one way around this is by setting up your tracking by individual location. You can use a tool called Rank Tracker to customized your rank tracking by location to get more “Real-time” results of users and be assured your results are more targeted..

Also, if you’re a local brick and mortar business, it still pays off to optimize your sights for your local geography, add schema markup on your site, and make sure that all your business listings are up-to-date and fully optimized.

 

The Gist of It

Google continues to update and test its algorithm in a way that encourages practices it wants to make standard (like HTTPS certified and mobile-responsive sites) and changing their own user’s experiences to give them as much information as possible up front.

These trends are here to stay, so the question is, how will they fit into your SEO strategy?

Want to take your SEO performance to the next level in 30 days? Check out Alphametic’s SEO Quick Wins.

 

seo trends 2018

 

Matthew Capala is the Founder and Managing Director at Alphametic, a boutique search marketing agency. He is also the Founder of SearchDecoder SEO Training Institute, an industry-leading platform for actionable workshops, bootcamps and online education for businesses and entrepreneurs. At Alphametic, Matthew helps clients increase their online visibility through integrated SEO and SEM solutions that yield higher ROI. His clients include L’Oreal, Novartis, Hoval, Quest Diagnostics, ilani Resort, Shopkeep and Primoprint. His work and ideas have been featured on Inc Magazine, Chicago Tribune, eMarketer Huffington Post, Mashable, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, and Inc. He has delivered talks and keynotes all over the world, from Trinidad to the Swiss Alps. He is the author of bestselling “SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization.” Formerly Adj. Professor at NYU (’12-’14) in the field of digital marketing, Matthew has three business degrees, including Marketing MBA.

Meta Description Length Has Increased to 320 Characters in Google. What’s next for SEO?

google-update-meta-data

It’s official, Google has increased their meta description length to a max of 320 characters! Now, some of you may be saying “This is fantastic!” and the rest of you are probably saying “Oh crud…I have to update everything.”

Well, truth is, you’re both right. It IS a great opportunity to communicate more value to your target audience, but it’s also going to take a bit of work on your part to update your pages. Let’s talk about how this can affect your SEO efforts.

But first, let’s answer what’s on everybody’s minds:

 

How Does the New Meta Description Length Affect Rankings?

Meta descriptions are an INDIRECT ranking factor, what does that mean?

Google doesn’t actually count the keywords you put into your meta descriptions towards your SERP ranking. If you don’t have a pre-set meta description, it’ll just take a piece of your webpage that it thinks describes the intent behind the page the best.

Now, why it an indirect factor? At the end of the day, your meta descriptions for your webpages is like the “Hook” of an email. If an individual reading their email has gotten past the subject line, they’ll take a peek at the hook and, as you probably guessed, the “hook” reels them in towards actually clicking on the email.

It’s the same with your meta description. If the individual gets past the page title and hasn’t committed to clicking on it yet, they’ll further determine the utility behind your webpage based on the few seconds they’ll spend reading your meta description. If your meta description can get you more clicks, and therefore traffic and potentially conversions on your webpage, THEN those factors will start counting towards your ranking.

At the end of the day, Google will reward the web pages that consistently attract clicks from SERPs, solve users’ problems, and deliver value. Thus, strong meta descriptions can help improving your click-through-rates, which translates into better rankings and more traffic.

 

What’s an SEO to do?

 

Review your priority pages and their meta descriptions

This is an opportunity to enhance what you’ve already got. Determine how the extra length can add further value at a glance on SERP results.

Step 1: Review your Google Search Console data to identify the 20% of your web pages that drive 80% of your traffic.

Step 2: Expand your meta descriptions to include more descriptive, keyword-rich content that speaks effectively to your customers.

If you are offering SEO services to clients or working in-house on Internet marketing campaigns and looking for “quick wins,” consider adding this two-step approach to your marketing toolbox in 2018.

 

Optimize for click-through and use the extra space to give them what they want

Maybe add a call to action or an extra line of services you offer to drive click-throughs. Just think: a person looking for the keyword this page ranks is looking to answer what question? Your meta description should promise an answer.

Check out one of our meta descriptions written in the longer character limit below:

new meta description length example

Utilize the extra space on all meta content moving forward

Now you get the opportunity to set a new standard for all future web pages and content. If you have a company-wide style guide that includes meta description standards, consider updating this information or just establishing a go-forward methodology with your team (or for yourself, if you’re a lone-wolf SEO).

As Bill Carmody says in this article on Inc aptly title Google is Your Homepage”     

Like it or not, Google is your homepage. In fact, I’ll go one step further and confirm that you and your company are who Google says you are.”

He’s got a point. Many times, a google search result is the first interaction a person has with your brand. Let’s make it a good one.

 

At Alphametic, we follow SEO news and keep up to date with the industries latest stories. Want to see another update? Check out this article about the new Google Search Console Update.

Matthew Capala is the Founder and Managing Director at Alphametic, a boutique search marketing agency. He is also the Founder of SearchDecoder SEO Training Institute, an industry-leading platform for actionable workshops, bootcamps and online education for businesses and entrepreneurs. At Alphametic, Matthew helps clients increase their online visibility through integrated SEO and SEM solutions that yield higher ROI. His clients include L’Oreal, Novartis, Hoval, Quest Diagnostics, ilani Resort, Shopkeep and Primoprint. His work and ideas have been featured on Inc Magazine, Chicago Tribune, eMarketer Huffington Post, Mashable, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, and Inc. He has delivered talks and keynotes all over the world, from Trinidad to the Swiss Alps. He is the author of bestselling “SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization.” Formerly Adj. Professor at NYU (’12-’14) in the field of digital marketing, Matthew has three business degrees, including Marketing MBA.

Here’s the Low-Down on the new 2018 Google Search Console Update (and how it affects your SEO)

Google Search Console logo header

As I’m sure many of you have heard, Google has FINALLY released an official version of their new Google Search Console Update– and just in time for the New Year! Start off your 2018 search reporting on the right foot with their new reporting features and 16 month’s worth of data.

twitter screenshot

Here’s What Happened

So, do you remember how you only had 90 days worth of data to backtrack? Remember having to download (ugh) reports to see data year-over-year? Remember missing the 90 days deadline and losing data forever…

Point is, this is the biggest feature – 16 months worth of data allows you to see year-long trends at a glance without having to get fancy with your excel skills. Anything that is a time-saver is a winner in the world of SEO reporting.

Along with the new wealth of data being added, they’ve also improved some of their reporting functionality to address some common concerns. Here is an outline of the feature improvements and additions according to the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog Announcement Post:

The Search Performance Report

  • Similar to the Search Analytics Report, it now includes 16 months worth of data

google search console search performance report screenshot

         source: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2018/01/introducing-new-search-console.html

 

The Index Coverage Report

 

search index report screenshot

source: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2018/01/introducing-new-search-console.html

 

  • A newer version of the Index Status Report which reports the status of your site’s link indexing
  • According to Google’s announcement, it features a “new Issue tracking functionality that alerts you when new issues are detected and helps you monitor their fix.”
  • You can “validate a fix” and re-submit URLs which Google will then prioritize when indexing your site
  • A share button to show reports to other team members that need to be involved in implementing these changes
  • A filter feature that allows you to see indexing information on specific lists of URLs that are based on your sitemap

The AMP Status Report

  • Get quicker feedback when trying to fix an AMP page problem. The new Search Console will run “several instantaneous tests once you click the validate fix button. If your pages don’t pass this test we provide you with an immediate notification, otherwise, we go ahead and reprocess the rest of the affected pages.” according to the Google Webmaster Central Blog.

The Job Postings Report

  • If you have job postings on your website, you might be eligible to appear on Google for Jobs.
  • Only available in certain locations

 

Here’s how it Affects You

At the end of the day, this seems to be the crux of the update according to Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land:

  • provide more actionable insights.
  • offer better support of your organizational workflow.
  • enable faster feedback loops between you and Google.

The biggest boon that has been given to SEO’s has been the 16 month’s worth of data that is now available, hands down. Previously, if you wanted to look at year-over-year data, you had to download reports and create your own database to compare trends. Now, you can look at that data at a glance and see trends on search console’s graphs and analytic tools.

The ability to share indexing reports is also a time-saver. Instead of creating your own type of report, you can send your developer these reports directly or whoever else needs to made aware of indexing issues. This is how it works, according to an article by Clark Boyd in Search Engine Watch:

“As part of the Search Console update, users will now be able to share ticket items with various team members within the platform. Given how many people are typically involved in identifying and rectifying technical SEO issues, often based in different teams or even territories, this change should have a direct and positive impact on SEO work streams.”

Google is also claiming to give higher priority to URLs you mark for validation, so instead of the URLs getting updated whenever your next crawl occurs, you can make sure certain links get updated quicker.

The filter to look at specific URLs from your sitemap also seems to be an improvement for the eyeballs. It’s a more organized way to prioritize your own links based on how you’ve organized your sitemap.

Overall, the effect it will have depends on what you do with the new data and what initiatives you can create with these insights. And hopefully, with the extra time you save with the new reporting features, that time can be devoted to other business goals.

 

Next Steps

The most obvious next step is to use the new search console! Get a feel for it. For right now, Google has both the old and new versions available so you can ease into the new platform until it’s complete. They will continue to roll out new features and are encouraging feedback on the changes. There is a feedback link on the sidebar of the new tool so you can share your thoughts.  

Let’s hope the new things coming our way will continue to improve our experience with the platform.

 

Alphametic is a boutique SEO agency that follows updates and trends in the SEO community. Interested in Content? Check out our latest post on the Alphametic blog: 5 Ways to Improve Your Content Writing ASAP

 

Matthew Capala is the Founder and Managing Director at Alphametic, a boutique search marketing agency. He is also the Founder of SearchDecoder SEO Training Institute, an industry-leading platform for actionable workshops, bootcamps and online education for businesses and entrepreneurs. At Alphametic, Matthew helps clients increase their online visibility through integrated SEO and SEM solutions that yield higher ROI. His clients include L’Oreal, Novartis, Hoval, Quest Diagnostics, ilani Resort, Shopkeep and Primoprint. His work and ideas have been featured on Inc Magazine, Chicago Tribune, eMarketer Huffington Post, Mashable, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, and Inc. He has delivered talks and keynotes all over the world, from Trinidad to the Swiss Alps. He is the author of bestselling “SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization.” Formerly Adj. Professor at NYU (’12-’14) in the field of digital marketing, Matthew has three business degrees, including Marketing MBA.

5 Content Writing Apps to Improve Your Writing ASAP

man thinking in front of his computerImage by [Matthew Henry https://www.instagram.com/matt_henry_photo/] via [Burst https://burst.shopify.com/].

You’ve already done all your keyword research, you’ve structured your content around your main topics, your outline is ready to go and… Now you actually have to write.

It’s hard, isn’t it? Sometimes you get so caught up in the planning process that the actual writing seems like a monumental task.

Thankfully, we live in the day and age of web apps and online tools built to facilitate every aspect of our daily lives. So when it comes to content writing – yes, there’s an app for that.

Content Writing Apps to Make Your Life Easier

There are some common roadblocks every copywriter can fall into when writing your next “viral blog post” (can we all just stop using the word viral? Please??). Here’s is a list of 5 apps our digital copywriting team at Alphametic have used in our content writing process to help us churn out some kick @** content that got us mentions on sites like Forbes, Inc Magazine, and Entrepreneur. We also use the same apps in our content writing process for our clients and blogs.

Grammarly

grammarly text editor home page

 

I’m sure many of you used this tool before – but it’s always worth mentioning because it’s so dang awesome! It’s like having a second pair of eyes on your work (but not in the scary head-editor-looking-over-your-shoulder kind of way, but more in the you-asked-your-smart-friend-to-look-over-this-paper-right-quick kind of way).

You can add the Grammarly extension on chrome and it’ll check almost everything you type into your browser, not to mention your emails in Gmail.

In fact, I’m using Grammarly right now to check this sentence! FYI – if there’s a mistake, it’s not Grammarly’s fault, it’s most likely because I’m on my 4th coffee refill and it’s only 11 am (help).

Unique Features:

  • Advanced spell checking capabilities
  • Understands context to a certain degree
  • Can be installed on windows, Office 365 and Chrome
  • Can also be used to spell check emails in Outlook (yay!)
  • Has a free plan with the option of premium

Platforms:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Android Devices
  • iOS Devices

Marinaratimer

web app timer to schedule workflow

No, this tool doesn’t help time your pasta to a perfect Al Dente (unfortunately), it’s actually an online application that allows you to use the famous Pomodoro Time Method in an automated way – while also allowing you to customize a sequence of timers.  

If you are the type of person, like myself, who has to take their eyeballs off the screen every once in awhile to maintain brain cells, then this is a great tool. You can use the productivity-boosting Pomodoro method timer or personalize your break times/ work times in the custom timer to match your workflow.

If you know how much time Al Dente pasta takes to reach perfection, then you can definitely use this timer for that task as well.

Unique Features:

  • Personalized timer to match your workflow
  • A pre-set Pomodoro timer
  • Straight on your browser, no need to download anything

Platforms:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Android
  • iOS

Convertcase

convertcase homepage editor

Sometimes you’re typing away furiously on your keyboard and you don’t stop. You can’t. The ideas are fresh and flowing – you can’t stop the creativity rushing out of you!

And then you look up and you wrote the whole thing in All Caps. It’s the worst.

When such indiscretions happen, I go straight to Convertcase and dump the whole bit of text into its free tool. Next thing you know my writing goes from SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS to normal human volume in a second.

It also gives you different capitalization options, which is the part I find most useful. You can use “Sentence case” which is typical, or you can choose “Capitalization Case” which capitalizes the sentence as if it’s a headline of an article. It’s also got a few funky options as well if you want to have some fun with it!

Unique Features:

  • Plethora of options for capitalization
  • Different language options
  • Free to use

Platforms:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Android
  • iOS

Hemingway Editor

hemingway app text editor homepage

If you’re like me – you write the way you speak. You yap and yap and there’s no stopping you. Thankfully, our dear late Hemingway did not have that problem. This app takes a page out of his book to teach us lesser beings how to be concise.

“Short and to the point” text is becoming increasingly more important as people’s attention spans get shorter and shorter. If there’s a simpler way to say something, this app will catch it. It has an automatic setting that warns you if you’re using too many adverbs or if you’re using passive voice.

Although not perfect, it’s a good tool to keep you in check when you know you have a tendency to ramble or just want to stay concise.

Unique Features:

  • Discourages rambling and run-ons
  • Simple interface
  • Named after an awesome author

Platforms:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Android
  • iOS

Calmly Writer

Calmly Writer word processor homepage

Sometimes your biggest obstacles are distractions. Your dog is barking. Someone passed by you with a delicious, aromatic coffee and now you can’t stop thinking about it. Whatever your distraction is, Calmly Writer seeks to combat these nuisances through it’s clean, distraction-free interface.

It offers simple formatting options and takes away all the bells and whistles so you’re left with what matters – the text. My favorite feature is the optional typewriter sound so you can pretend you’re locked away in a cabin writing the novel of the century.

Unique Features:

  • Simple interface
  • Option of white on black text
  • Optional typewriting sound

Platforms:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Android
  • iOS

Well, there you have it, folks. These have been the tools that have accompanied me throughout all my copywriting endeavors to help me get a little better with my words. Whether you’re a novice content creator, a brooding novelist, or a time-worn copywriter – I hope these tools make your process a little easier!

 

At Alphametic, we take content seriously. And keywords. Want to learn how we combine the two? Check out our digital copywriting page.

Melissa is a firm believer in the power of content and its effect on modern digital marketing. With all the information in the world at a consumer’s fingertips, she seeks to educate and convert customers using thoughtful, SEO-driven content users love and search engines rank. Before joining Alphametic, she worked with Perry Ellis International as a digital copywriter and content strategist. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies and Marketing.

Enterprise SEO Process

Source: Alphametic Source: Alphametic Matthew CapalaMatthew Capala is the Founder and Managing Director at Alphametic, a boutique search marketing agency. He is also the Founder of SearchDecoder SEO Training Institute, an industry-leading platform for actionable workshops, bootcamps and online education for businesses and entrepreneurs. At Alphametic, Matthew helps clients increase their online visibility through integrated […]

Matthew Capala is the Founder and Managing Director at Alphametic, a boutique search marketing agency. He is also the Founder of SearchDecoder SEO Training Institute, an industry-leading platform for actionable workshops, bootcamps and online education for businesses and entrepreneurs. At Alphametic, Matthew helps clients increase their online visibility through integrated SEO and SEM solutions that yield higher ROI. His clients include L’Oreal, Novartis, Hoval, Quest Diagnostics, ilani Resort, Shopkeep and Primoprint. His work and ideas have been featured on Inc Magazine, Chicago Tribune, eMarketer Huffington Post, Mashable, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, and Inc. He has delivered talks and keynotes all over the world, from Trinidad to the Swiss Alps. He is the author of bestselling “SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization.” Formerly Adj. Professor at NYU (’12-’14) in the field of digital marketing, Matthew has three business degrees, including Marketing MBA.

2016 SEO Audit Toolbox: 36 Tools to Check Website Performance

Is your website SEO ‘optimized’ for 2016? Keep your website at peak performance this year with the help of these 36 SEO tools. We’ve got them all right here for you: from speed tests to competitive analysis tools, this list will have everything you need.

These are the exact tools we use for website SEO audits and client projects at Alphametic.

In 2016, let the tech do the work for you to ramp up your website performance:

Website Performance Analysis Tools:

Optimize your website with these technical SEO tools:

Google Search Console

Monitor your website’s visibility in search. Easy to navigate for both advanced and general developers. Google suggests this tool can benefit all roles: business owner, SEO specialist, site admin, web developer, and app developer.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Similar to Google’s Search Console with some additional benefits, Bing Webmaster Tools aims to help you find traffic, analyze traffic, and improve your site’s content overall. Find more info about the tool and its specs versus Google Search Console here.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

This is a desktop program designed to audit websites on a large scale. The program is continuously updated with data gathered from your website, finding key SEO elements and organizing them for logical navigation. You can even export all the data to an Excel spreadsheet.

Screaming Frog SEO

Check my Links

A Chrome extension for checking links while editing or adding content to a web page. The app highlights which links are broken and which are working properly- simple and very helpful when developing a page with a lot of links!

Browseo

With Browseo, you can view your web page like search engines see it. This tool is just a web page itself which you simply visit to enter any URL and see a page in pure HTML. The idea is to view the page without style distractions as to notice any SEO issues.

DeepCrawl

Crawl test environments, check tag applications, identify high and low performing pages, improve crawl efficiency, and more. DeepCrawl says it’s “the world’s most comprehensive website crawler”- check it out.

Google Mobile-Friendly Test

Mobile-Friendly or bust. Make sure your website is keeping up. All you have to do is visit this Google page and enter your URL.

Lipperhey

This free online tool will analyze your site for technical and SEO aspects and then show you a report of ways to improve your conversion rate. It will track and even suggest keywords.

WooRank

This tool scores high on user-friendliness. All the tests you want to run on your site with interactive and personalized reviews and presentation styles. It will make a checklist to help you complete your marketing tasks.

Site Analyzer

Particularly helpful for those analyzing sites for clients: you can run ten free tests per month and export the reports into a personally branded PDF.

Webbee SEO Spider Tool

Download to your desktop to search every little nook of your website. It has easy settings and ability to custom crawl so you’re getting exactly and only the data you’re aiming for.

WebBee SEO

Website Speed Test Tools

Become fast like cheetah with these speed optimization tools.

PageSpeed Insights

Measures mobile and desktop performance and returns a speed score 1-100. Anything over 85 points is considered to be performing well. The tool will also yield suggestions for improvements which are color-coded for importance.

Pingdom Speed Test

Enter your URL and view a results waterfall, performance tips, page analysis, and history of speed tests. Results are all coded with charts included on the website. 

DareBoost

Overall quality control and optimization monitoring. Get weekly emailed reports of performance indicators and speed tests. Among other paid features, this online tool will test speed and quality for free.

dareboost-SEO

GTmetrix

Get the full picture on how your site loads and learn what issues could be slowing it down. You can schedule monitoring and alerts, or even record a video of your page loading to pinpoint where issues occur.

Duplicate Content Checkers

Check if your website might be suffering from duplicate content.

Siteliner

A free online scanning tool- the only one you need for finding duplicate content and broken links.

Keyword Rank Tracking Tools

Track your keyword performance and discover new keyword opportunities.

SEMRush

“For digital marketing professionals.”  Track yours and your competitors’ use of keywords, find keywords with less competition, and keep track of all of your campaigns (plus much, much more.)

SEMrush

KeywordSpy

The goal here is actually to learn from the keyword success of your competitors to apply to your own marketing campaigns. Big brands like Toyota and American Express use the Keyword Spy to gain a competitive advantage online.

Advanced Web Ranking

Reports gathered avoiding local search biases so you can serve your clients no matter where you are. Get accurate rankings and efficiently manage complex SEO projects. Expert tool.

Authority Labs

This tool is for use of anyone from the everyday designer or the advanced site builder. It makes monitoring and understanding keyword rankings quick and easy. You can sign up for a free trial and get daily data on the sites you want to track.

AuthorityLabs-SEO

Rank Ranger

Rank Ranger puts your focus on the future. Analyze your rank metrics and improve your SEO through keyword research and competitive insights for a more informed future.

Backlink Analysis Tools

Grow backlinks to your website by getting competitive link buidling insights.

Open Site Explorer

This tool from MOZ is representative of the company’s overarching goal to simplify online marketing. The Open Site Explorer allows you to research backlinks, find link-building opportunities and discover potentially damaging links.

Majestic SEO

It calls itself “The planet’s largest Link Index database.” Use the backlink history checker to find backlinks for up to 5 domains.

Citation Labs’ broken link Finder 

Citation labs compares the rebuilding of broken links to the circle of life: one thing dies and a new entity must take its place. Use this tool to replace the dead parts on your website with new life (AKA working links).

Ahrefs

Build a content strategy on a solid foundation by discovering what type of content works for your niche. Analyze and optimize the content that gets the most shares and backlinks.

cognitiveSEO

This tool offers a comprehensive audit of backlinks by crawling and analyzing backlink data from the most trusted databases. You will receive extensive and complete data that is easy to understand and apply.

Link Research Tools

Includes unique features such as Link Velocity Trends and Link Redirect Trace. Also offers a free 21-day link strategy training.

Open Link Profiler

Get a Link Influence Score to show the strength of your pages. Updated data and fresh backlinks, all organized after just one click.

Link Building and Content Analysis Tools

AuthoritySpy

Find and analyze online influencers. The program can also help you plan and manage multiple campaigns for clients. It makes finding and presenting results easy.

AuthoritySpy-SEO

BuzzSumo

Research content and influencers, or get updates and alerts while monitoring a topic or brand. Find the most shared content online.

LinkBird

This online tool helps you plan and manage campaigns by organizing company goals, locating websites for link building, and checking availability of backlinks.

Linkody

Monitor your backlinks in real time and get a notification if links are removed or gained. Linkody also helps you learn how your competitors are using backlinks to gain traffic.

Raven Tools

This tool might just do everything. Automated crawls to audit yours and competitors’ web pages, comprehensive backlink data, social campaign reports, and more.

Raven-Tools-SEO

SEO Competitive Analysis Tools

SimilarWeb

You can use this tool to get insights about any website OR app. Get your traffic statistics and those of your competitors.

SpyFu

Want to know which keywords and ad spaces are the most profitable for your competitors? SpyFu helps you figure it out.

AdGooroo

Actionable insights on Paid and Organic Search to help benchmark campaigns, uncover competitors’ search strategies, performance stats and budgets, and gain a competitive advantage.

It’s all here for you- the tools you’ll need in 2016 to ensure website optimization and performance. Try a few in each category to figure out which interfaces are most suitable for you, as they are all slightly different. Now you can sit back and trust your toolbox. Are there other tools you think we should add to this list? Leave your ideas in the comments below.

Featured photo credit: Tools via photopin (license)

Matthew Capala is the Founder and Managing Director at Alphametic, a boutique search marketing agency. He is also the Founder of SearchDecoder SEO Training Institute, an industry-leading platform for actionable workshops, bootcamps and online education for businesses and entrepreneurs. At Alphametic, Matthew helps clients increase their online visibility through integrated SEO and SEM solutions that yield higher ROI. His clients include L’Oreal, Novartis, Hoval, Quest Diagnostics, ilani Resort, Shopkeep and Primoprint. His work and ideas have been featured on Inc Magazine, Chicago Tribune, eMarketer Huffington Post, Mashable, Entrepreneur, The Next Web, and Inc. He has delivered talks and keynotes all over the world, from Trinidad to the Swiss Alps. He is the author of bestselling “SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization.” Formerly Adj. Professor at NYU (’12-’14) in the field of digital marketing, Matthew has three business degrees, including Marketing MBA.