Author: web_coder |
10 2015 |
Views: 134 |
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New data from Pew Research Internet Project finds that while Facebook is still the most popular social media site, Instagramis by far the fastest growing.

When it comes to attracting new users, no one can touch Instagram right now. The amount U.S. adults using Instagram grew nine percent over 2014 mean that 26 percent of all US adults are now on Instagram.

By comparison, Pinterests user base grew by 7 percent, LinkedIn by 6 percent, and Twitter by 5 percent. What about Facebook? Well it actually didnt grow at all last year in terms of user base, but it did see gains in engagement.

Facebooks user growth hit a plateau, but engagement on the network has increased. In fact, engagement across all major social media platforms Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn is on the rise.

Facebook draws the most engagement of all networks though, as 70% of its users are fully engage with the site daily, up from the 63% in the previous year. By comparison, 49 percent of Instagram users and 17 percent of Pinterest users engage with the respective networks each day.

Where the young adult population is concerned, meaning 18- to 29-year-olds, 53 percent are on Instagram. That means if your audience is young adults, Instagram is where your business needs to be. The company announced a millstone last month of reaching 300 millions monthly active users, surpassing Twitter for the first time.

Here are some other key findings, which are based on the 81% of American adults who use the internet:

  • Multi-platform use is on the rise: 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites, a significant increase from 2013, when it stood at 42% of internet users.

  • For the first time, more than half of all online adults 65 and older (56%) use Facebook. This represents 31% of all seniors.

  • For the first time, roughly half of internet-using young adults ages 18-29 (53%) use Instagram. And half 0f all Instagram users (49%) use the site daily.

  • For the first time, the share of internet users with college educations using LinkedIn reached 50%.

  • Women dominate Pinterest: 42% of online women now use the platform, compared with 13% of online men.

If youre hungry for more data, you can view the comprehensive 4-page report right here.

Matt Southern

Matt Southern

Freelance Writer at

Matt Southern is the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert articles he contributes to many well respected publications across the web. Contact him via his website if you'd like him to write for you.

Matt Southern


Matt Southern

Matt Southern

Matt Southern

+Matt Southern

Matt Southern

Matt Southern

Latest posts by Matt Southern (see all)

  • Instagram The Fastest Growing Social Network, Facebook The Most Engaged, + More Stats - January 9, 2015

  • Are Your Video Ads Actually Being Seen? Google Will Soon Report On Video Ad Viewability - January 9, 2015

  • LinkedIn Expands Its Blogging Tool To English Speaking Users Outside The US - January 8, 2015

Author: web_coder |
10 2015 |
Views: 126 |
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Pic of the Day Pink GlassesHello Friday Fans! Its time for another quick look at whats happening in the digital marketing world.

Well begin with Pinterest who wants you to know that tech companies are welcome, too.

There are more than 36 million tech Pins on Pinterest and more than 2 million tech boards.

Now youre saying to yourself, Isnt Pinterest mostly women? Women dont care about new tech.

Au contraire!

Women on Pinterest are 38% more likely to be early adopters, according to comScore. Theyre also 33% more likely to have bought any consumer electronics in the last 6 months and 25% more likely to have bought a computer in the last 6 months.

If youre working with a tech brand, its time to ramp up your presence on Pinterest.

Yelp would like everyone to know that the FTC has closed their investigation and wont be filing any charges against the site. The investigation began when several people complained about Yelps business practices. Reading between the lines, it looks like they were being accused of soliciting payment to delete bad reviews and allowing (possibly creating) bad reviews as a form of extortion.

The FTC didnt find any evidence to support these claims so its back to business as usual for Yelp.

LinkedIn is celebrating one million posts featuring the unique insights and experience-based wisdom of professionals like you. These are the longer, blog-style posts, not the short status updates. LinkedIn added this option about a year ago and if youre in the B2B biz, you should be using this tool on a regular basis.


I cant tell you how much I love this image.

LinkedIn also rolled out an upgrade to their search engine which they say will save the average LinkedIn user a full year of cumulative time. Wow. Think what you could do with a whole extra year!

Not sure how to spell a contacts name? The new search engine will use context triggers to figure out if you want Kristen, Krysten, or Christen.

LinkedIn also removed the premium subscription requirement for higher level search results so you can find and make contact with more people outside of your network.

They also improved their general keyword search so you can find relevant slide shares and hone in on the best of those 1 million new posts.

Thats it for me this week. Im going to print out that picture of the smiley Todd with his pink glasses and look at it when ever Im feeling blue. I suggest you do the same.

Have a great weekend. Ill see you back here on Monday.

Author: web_coder |
10 2015 |
Views: 941 |
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Google will soon let advertisers and publishers know whether or not their video ads delivered via the DoubleClick ad services are actually being watched by customers, Bloomberg reports.

This news was announced by Neal Mohan, Googles vice president of display and video advertising, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.

In keeping with the Media Ratings Councils standard, Google will let advertisers know what percentage of their videos were at least 50% in a customers view for at least two seconds or more.

In order to take advantage of this new viewability reporting, advertisers and publishers will need to view the stats using Googles DoubleClick reporting tools.

As of now, the key metric Google was able to report to an advertiser regarding video ads is whether or not the ad was served. However, an ad can technically be served even if the end user never laid eyes on it. Now advertisers will know how many of the ads that were served were actually viewed.

One of the first questions to arise after this news was announced is if Google will be adopting a similar payment system as the one in place for display banner ads. Advertisers only pay when their display ad was viewed.

Googles VP of display and video advertising addressed that question with a very safe answer that no doubt pleased the PR team, saying more viewability solutions are planned for the rest of this year.

Google plans to extend its viewability reporting to YouTube ads bought on a reserved basis, as well as introduce the ability to report on the average time a YouTube ad was viewable, whether the ad was muted, or playing in a background tab, and so on.

Matt Southern

Matt Southern

Freelance Writer at

Matt Southern is the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert articles he contributes to many well respected publications across the web. Contact him via his website if you'd like him to write for you.

Matt Southern


Matt Southern

Matt Southern

Matt Southern

+Matt Southern

Matt Southern

Matt Southern

Latest posts by Matt Southern (see all)

  • Instagram The Fastest Growing Social Network, Facebook The Most Engaged, + More Stats - January 9, 2015

  • Are Your Video Ads Actually Being Seen? Google Will Soon Report On Video Ad Viewability - January 9, 2015

  • LinkedIn Expands Its Blogging Tool To English Speaking Users Outside The US - January 8, 2015

Author: web_coder |
10 2015 |
Views: 101 |
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Snapchat deleteSnapchat, the app with the self-destructing message posts, has taken the big leap into ad territory. Its a scary jump for sure especially when your app is a hit with young people who have something to hide. Sure, they love the app but loyalty only goes so far when it appears that youve sold out to the corporate man.

Snapchat was very careful with their integration, creating native ads with the same look and feel of the average post. So far, theyve come up with two options.

First up was the Brand Story; a collection of branded video clips and / or photos strung together to create a mini-movie.

Universal Pictures used this format to promote their movie Ouija. Its a fast moving jolt of creepyish images that seemed like a good fit for the audience. Some Snapchatters complained about the intrusion and a few Christian users were more upset by the content than the concept. The complaints couldnt have been too bad because Snapchat continued serving up ads for Dumb and Dumber To and the video game Dragon Age.

Millward Brown conducted a survey to test both the response and effectiveness and heres what they found out:

  • 44% of Brand Story viewers said they enjoyed the ads.

  • People who viewed the Dragon Age Brand Story were 7% more likely to buy the game.

  • Universal says their Brand Stories led to a 13% increase in tickets sales on those two movies.

Snapchats Our Stories ads fared even better with a 60% approval rating probably because theyre more user based than ad based.

Our Stories are a collection of user-submitted photos and videos that are strung together with a brought to you by message from an advertiser. Samsung put their message into the American Music Awards story, Macys featured themselves in their Thanksgiving Day Parade feed and Amazon and Hollister double-teamed it for a Black Friday story.

Millward Brown says that, on average, only 17% of consumers are okay with ads on their smartphone so even Snapchats 44% is way above the norm. And with an average 16 point lift in ad awareness, it looks like Snapchat has found the secret to pleasing both advertisers and users.

Author: web_coder |
10 2015 |
Views: 103 |
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2015 may have just begun, but search is already full steam ahead. From a tragedy in Paris to buzz around the new Calvin Klein ads, read on to find out how the year got started on search.

Je suis Charlie
The world was left in a state of disbelief on Wednesday after three gunmen stormed into the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical news magazine, and killed 12 people, including the papers editor Stphane Charb Charbonnier. The shooters targeted the publication in response to satirical cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. Interest in the outlet reached an all-time high on the web and people looked for more information about Je suis Charlie (I am Charlie), a slogan adopted by free speech supporters in the wake of the shootings. A manhunt for the suspects finally ended Friday in a standoff at a Parisian grocery store, in which the two brothers behind the attacks were killed. Meanwhile, France mourns what is being called the countrys worst terrorist attack in generations.

The goals we cant promise to keep
You know what they saynew year, new you. Searchers took to the Internet this week to find out how they could turn their new years resolutions into reality. And the usual suspects of diet and weight loss were on everyones list. The Dash Diet made it onto the trends charts after it took the number one spot on The U.S. News & World Reports annual rankings of the best diets. Created by physicians to help treat high blood pressure, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) emphasizes fruits, veggies, whole grains and low sodium. So long, carbs; it was nice knowing you.

Were working to get our bodies photo-shoot ready, but Justin Bieber has beaten us to the punch. Beliebers everywhere were left drooling over a new Calvin Klein underwear ad. Meanwhile, Justins campaign co-star, Dutch model Lara Stone, is getting some unwanted attention: she received several death threats from Biebers fans.

Looking ahead
The years not even two weeks old and people are already excited for whats to come. If you blinked, you probably missed tickets for Coachella 2015, the star-studded desert music festival. The concert sold out after a mere 40 minutes! And comic book fans (and Paul Rudd loyalists) went into a frenzy when Marvel released the trailer for their latest superhero flick, Ant Man. Our take? This smells like a Millennial version of Honey I Shrunk the Kids.

Finally, while many were looking ahead to this years entertainment, others took the time to remember a legend. This week, searchers were feeling sentimental for Elvis Presleys 80th birthday and revisited the Kings classic songs and memorable white suits.

Tip of the week
Dont let this be another year of resolution failure: use Google to set reminders for all of your goals. Just say Ok Google, remind me to go to the gym when youre ready to commit to 365 days of sweat.

Author: web_coder |
10 2015 |
Views: 115 |
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The deadline for the migration to v2 of the Content API for Shopping is less than 2 months away! As such, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some useful features in the developer documentation for the Content API for Shopping, which will make it easier to find the information you need:
  • The Migration Guide shows you how to smoothly transition from v1 to v2.

  • The Guides section features in-depth coverage of implementing many aspects of the API.

  • The search bar now allows for auto-complete responses as you type your query.

  • Running into errors? Consult the Common Errors page, located in the Reference section.

  • The Reference section also contains our detailed descriptions of each API call, as well as an in-browser.

  • For troubleshooting your requests, check out the API dashboard.

  • If you have additional questions about the API, please head over to our support forum.

We hope these features will make it easy for you to navigate the documentation and find the help you are looking for.

Author: web_coder |
10 2015 |
Views: 98 |
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Editor's note: Todays guest blogger is Bilal Karim, Lead Geoweb Analyst for MyHEAT, a commercial energy mapping product spun off the HEAT research project at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. See how other forward-thinking organizations are investing in mapping technology and transforming their business: Maps are Going Google.

If you get winter temperatures around -20F, like we do in Calgary, keeping your house warm while saving energy and reducing heating costs is a high priority. As a former masters degree candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of Calgary, I worked with Dr. Geoffrey J. Hay, who came up with the idea of quantifying and visualizing the waste heat escaping from homes, communities, and cities in an effort to improve urban energy efficiency. If residents could click on a map and see the inefficient areas of their homes, they could take steps to lock heat inside the house, where it belongs. And so the Heat Energy Assessment Technologies (HEAT) project was born.

Our research team brainstormed how to use detailed airborne thermal imagery to map the energy efficiency of Calgary homes. We developed a number of multi-scale maps and metrics, including HEAT Scores which we assign to houses and neighborhoods so residents can compare their homes energy efficiency to their neighbors. To showcase these levels of detail, we implemented the Google Maps API. In particular, the Google Maps API allowed the maps to be user-friendly, included useful customization, and built on users prior knowledge, experience, and familiarity with the Google Maps products.

Heres what we did:
  • We deployed custom styling using the Google Maps API to choose our own colors for the base map. The thermal maps already have many hues to indicate heat efficiency, from blue to orange to red, so we picked neutral shades of gray for the base maps to establish a visual balance.

  • We integrated code from the Google Maps Utility Library to display information to homeowners in three tabs. These tabs show residents (a) their homes HEAT score, (b) a thermal image of the home showing Hot Spots where the most heat is escaping, and (c) estimated savings and reductions in greenhouse gases based on heating with different fuel types.

  • We also integrated the Google Maps Street View from the Google Maps API. The Street View images show a great amount of detail, linking our colored thermal images for each home, to allow residents to figure out where heat might be escaping like through sliding-glass porch doors, windows, or from their roof.

  • Since we began this project, we used KML Layers to sub-divide the larger city and community maps into tiles, which helps our application load faster. However, these will soon be replaced by new additions to the Google Maps API such as GeoJSON for better performance.

  • We also invite HEAT users to upload information about their roofing materials so we could refine their HEAT scores and provide better information back into our energy models. So far, about 2,600 people have volunteered this data.

Were currently showing 37,914 houses in 29 different communities, and plan to expand to nearly 300,000+ single-dwelling homes in Calgary. In the meantime, weve launched MyHEAT, a startup company that will offer commercial products to utilities and municipalities based on our HEAT project. These new products, aimed at utilities and municipalities, will also use the Google Maps API to help people stay warmer every winter.

Author: web_coder |
10 2015 |
Views: 106 |
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In 2015, web content will surround us (I think it might even drown us). There will be more content than ever on the web, since the Internet is only growing: so what do we do with this content? How do we find our own great ideas, make our own stamp, and come out with content that matters?

One word, with many ideas to come from it: curation.

Why You Must Curate Content in 2015 | SEJ

Content curation, I believe, is a foundational key to how to both create (from scratch) and share (other peoples work in your industry) great content your fans and followers will engage with and read. In a world of over-saturated content, its hard to find great content and know where to start. With the right tools and the right way to go about it, I think curation can hold the key to a better content future in 2015.

What Is Content Curation?

Basically, content curation is the curating of ideas and existing content to share existing content, or make your own content.

Lets make this super simple. Here is a very brief example of curating content: I see an article about How Yesterdays SEO Is Bad For Your Website in 2015. I read the article (or skim, depending on how interested I am), and review the comments. I know my readers would love this topic, so I notate the article after Ive reviewed it and come up with an article for my readers on my own. It could be inspired from a paragraph inside the article, a comment, the title itself, etc. I might link to this article in my own piece. Just before I close the page, I open the share icon and share it to my followers, or I might even grab the link and schedule it out in Hootsuite to all my platforms, being sure to mention the authors handle.

Now, how do you get these articles? How do you know your audience will love this content? Well, lets talk about that.

Five Tools to Curating Content

First, lets start with how to find your content.

You can go through media you like and read everything to discover relevant pieces. This approach will require a lot of time and hard research. If you need to curate content for various social media profiles, this approach will turn into a full-time job.

The good news is that you can rely on a medley of useful online tools and platforms designed for the sole purpose of content curation.

  1. This content curation publishing platformis quite different from typical content aggregators. It enables you to choose topics youre interested inand use relevant keywords to pull content from all kinds of sources. In addition, allows you to add your favorite sources to the list, which means youll never miss another great update. is very easy to use, once you understand the platforms design and functionalities.

  1. Quora: This online community is based on question-and-answer form. People post thousands of questions on topics of interest and you can do in-depth research about what your audience wants to know. Using Quora gives you insight into the audiences interest, which is tremendously valuable for boosting engagement and providing relevant content. Quora is not an automation tool but it certainly can boost the relevance of your content curation efforts.

  1. ContentGems: This website will be gaining more popularity in 2015 because of the speed with which content is being updated. It aggregates articles and pages presented in social media platforms and RSS feeds. You can use keywords to do research and the information is updated almost in real-time.

  1. Storify: As the name suggests, Storify can be used to create stories. The information is pulled from blog content, articles, tweets, videos, and other social media updates. The Storify content curators can customize the elements, rearrange the bits used for story creation and choose the sources of information. The platform creates a perfect blend between original material and audience comments, resulting in engaging presentations on topics of interest.

  1. This is another tool to watch in 2015. It is labeled a smart content curation system because its intelligence grows as you use it. relies on more than 100,000 sources of content that you can trap by choosing the right keywords. Based on your preferences, the content recommendations will improve with time and you can trap as many topics as you wish to.

6 Guidelines You Can Use for Finding Industry Leaders

Automation is great, but its up to you to recognize reputable sources of information. Quoting industry leaders and dedicating enough time to finding unique articles will affect your own online presence and the reputation of your social media profiles.

So, what does it take to find the industry leaders and pinpoint the best articles for topics of interest? You can rely on several basic strategies to recognize and curate real quality.

  1. Subscribe to specialized journals. Each industry has its specialized publications that are setting the standards. If youre active in the hi-tech niche, for example, following Mashable is going to be a must for content curation success. Forbes, Enterpreneur, and Wall Street Journal have excellent economy and finance pieces. Apart from pinpointing such journals, look for the best authors. Jayson DeMers, for example, is a Forbes contributor who de-mystifies SEO and online marketing for business owners. Mayo Clinic, Everyday Health, and MindBodyGreen are also seen as authorities in the healthcare niche.

  1. Use Twitter. By following industry leaders on Twitter, youll get access to a plethora of excellent content curation options. The premise is similar to finding the best online journals and authors. For a start, you can search Twitter profile biographies for particular keywords. The who to follow recommendations will also give you some great ideas on the basis of your interests and your own profile. Finally, you can use a third-party app like WeFollow to discover prominent Twitter users and industry leaders.

  1. Use Facebook and Google+. Both of these social networks enable you to join groups dedicated to a particular industry. Apart from giving you excellent content curation suggestions, these groups will also let you know which individuals to follow. There are active group participants and experienced professionals whoshare interesting curated content, as well as their original pieces. Being an active member of such groups will also let you know what industry reps are interested in, what the newest trends are and how to diversify your content. Apart from text, these groups often feature engaging multimedia like videos and infographics.

  1. Use Social Influence Metric Tools. How can you recognize a true industry leader? Social influence metric tools assess the social influence of each company and individual that uses social media. The social media authority and the audiences response are both used to determine the relevance of content shared via particular profiles. Klout is probably the most popular tool of this kind. It relies on more than 400 metrics to evaluate the social influence of Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and even WordPress accounts. Using its algorithm, Klout gives e

Author: web_coder |
10 2015 |
Views: 76 |
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We can no longer deny the significance of inbound marketing. Customers are smarter, and they know what they want. Its not about seeing something and buying it on the spot. Its about research, looking at reviews, and checking out feedback on social media. Consumers have various media methods at their fingertips. And with the migration more toward inbound, its imperative to be where the customer is at the right place and the right time.

My, how purchasing has changed in the last few years!


Inbound marketing is about nurturing the customer through the journey to purchase. And paid search is a strategic element of that journey.

Are you using PPC as part of your inbound strategy? Below are five important reasons why you should:

1. Its There When They Are Searching

According to Mashable, U.S. adults spend about 11 hours per day with digital media. Thats a lot of time! And during that time we go to search engines and start doing research, or think about something we might want to purchase. And having your PPC ad there ensures you are there when they are online and doing searches.

2. It Can Complement Your SEO Efforts

PPC can be there if your SEO results are not quite where you might want them to be. Granted, with PPC, showing up in the search results is based on a variety of factors such as CPC, Ad Rank, Quality Score, and budget. However, having search results show in both organic and paid listings shows that you are more relevant.

3. It Provides the Ability to Change Messaging in Real Time

One of the best things about paid search is the ability to create messaging that is targeted, with a call to action and then can be changed quickly and easily. Have a business that has hundreds or thousands of products and prices that change daily? Paid search tools like ad customizers, this process can be made more automated, and real time. The usage of site links and extensions can also enhance your ads to provide additional links and information to consumers.

4. It Can Have a Broad or Targeted Reach

If targeting a broad audience is your objective, PPC can provide this, based on your settings. If you want to target a very geo-specific area, paid search can provide that as well. This tactic can be very useful if your have a more limited paid search budget, or if you are only wanting your ads to show up in a certain geographic area.

5. It Can Provide Lift to Other Marketing Strategies

A customer will touch a vendor multiple times before making a purchase. And this path can be in a variety of media forms it can start with something offline, like a magazine ad. The Top Conversion Paths in Google Analyticsprovides the ability to show the sequences of how people convert on your website, as in the example below.


This view of how people convert using various channels can help you develop more synergetic marketing strategies. Its important to have paid search alongside your other channels in order to capture your potential customers and any point of the purchasing funnel.

Having PPC as a component of your inbound program will help ensure your marketing strategy captures your future customers at the right point in their buying journey.

Author: web_coder |
10 2015 |
Views: 82 |
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SEOs rely on tools, data, numbers, metrics, reports, charts, graphs, and huge Excel spreadsheets bristling with pivot tables. Wedolove our data.

But sometimes, the best information comes from the good ol eyeball test. One of the best eyeball tests is the Google SERP. Using information from the Google SERP, you can discover how your website is succeeding or failing. This is less about securing rank than it is about discovering a new strategy source.

Why the Google SERP is the SEOs Friend

Heres why the Google SERP should not be overlooked as a weapon in the SEOs arsenal.

  • The types of results Google displays tell you what it prefers to return in search results.

  • Google provides search results according to a variety of algorithmic factors, but many of these factors are apparent from a cursory look at SERPs.

  • Page titles, one of the most essential SEO factors, are easily viewable at a glance from Googles search results.

  • Relevant content that corresponds to the search query is also available at a glance from the search results.

  • The more you are able to intuit what kind of results Google displays, the better youll become at SEO.

SERP information is the kind of information that delivers powerful knowledge for the SEO. With this information, you can increase the SEO perfection of your site or your clients site.

1. Identify the Presence of the Keyword or Query String in the Title

Lets start with title tags, because they are the single on-page element that is most closely correlated with a highly optimized site.

When you type in a keyword, pay close attention to the titles of the sites that are displayed. These titles are critical to the sites ranking success. If you see your competitor outranking you, understand how the title may function into their ranking.

Keywords in the title are important, but they dont necessarily trump all other factors. With the rise of semantic search, titles can have a range of keywords, all of which may be a part of the overall ranking of the site.

These results are for the query iphone 6 phone protector. Notice how the results feature the keyword screen protector instead of phone protector. Sometimes, Google decides that it doesnt quite agree with your keyword, so they will deliver results that are a little bit different. This is important information to know.

Six SEO Tips You Can Discover From Every SERP | SEJ

2. Pay Attention to the Significance of Keywords in the URL

Its obvious that URLs are important for SEO and search results. If your competitor is outranking you for a given keyword, figure out what they are doing with their URL.

Ask the following:

  • Does the URL of their page have any of the keywords in the query?

  • Does the URL of your page lack the keywords in the query?

If the answer to both questions is yes, then you may have identified an area of opportunity. You may wish to create a page with a URL that contains some of the target keywords.

Heres an example. The keyword video ad monetization platform has the following top two results.

Six SEO Tips You Can Discover From Every SERP | SEJ

Notice several significant things about these results.

First, Brightcoves page has the following words in its URL: video, platform, advertising, and monetization, all of which correspond semantically to the query.

By contrast, SpotXChanges page has a URL with none of the keywords.

Again, there are a lot of factors at play here. Its impossible to make a definitive case for URL being the only algorithmic influence that has produced the higher ranking from BrightCove. But we must at least admit that it has some level of influence. Furthermore, we have to acknowledge that if SpotXChange were to produce a similar page with closer URL relevance, it might achieve higher ranking.

3. Understand What Kind of Results are Favored in the Search Results

All types of content are not created equal, and Google doesnt treat all content as equal when they deliver it up in the search results.

When you type in your query, find out exactly what kind of content seems to be ranking best. This could be your clue as to which kind of content you need to be generating.

The type of query is the most significant factor in determining what kind of results will get returned. Obviously, if someone types in infographic or video, Google knows to deliver infographics or videos. But some of the fuzzier queries are less obvious. These fuzzy queries are what you need to be focusing on. Here are some examples:

  • best type of ____.

  • how to use ____

  • ratings for ____

  • reviews of ____

What kind of results will those queries get? It depends, but here are some of the possibilities:

  • best type of ____ sponsored ads, in-depth review articles, customer rating sites

  • how to use ____ markup, detailed articles, videos

  • ratings for ____ articles on review sites, customer ratings

  • reviews of ____ User generated content, highly informative blog posts

Ill use the query how to use a bluetooth headset as an example. Heres what I get.

Six SEO Tips You Can Discover From Every SERP | SEJ

This could be a bit of a surprise. Theres nothing branded about that query at all, but a brand Plantronics, takes the SERP cake, because they have powerful content that corresponds to the query.

Lets look at another example: reviews of jawbone era.

Six SEO Tips You Can Discover From Every SERP | SEJ

There are a few notable features about this SERP regarding the type of content that is being delivered:

  • First, there are plenty of sponsored ads. No surprise there.

  • Second, the top two results are not on the jawbone site. They are on review sites. This is a testament to the power of detailed articles.

  • Third, the top results from Jawbone arent product pages at all. Its user-generated content! This indicates two things. First, Jawbone needs better product pages with more and higher quality content. Second, Jawbone is doing a great job with UGC. Their forum site is getting third-position results for reviews of jawbone era.

When you dive into a SERP with an eye to the type of content being displayed, it can powerfully inform your content marketing efforts.

4. Observe How Keywords are Distributed in the Title, Description and/or Content

This may be surprising to a lot of SEOs, especially those who havent kept pace with the rapid development of semantic search.

We all know that longtail keywords are significant. We know, also, that keyword intent is significant. But how does this all look like when Google chews up the query and spits out results?

It looks like weve lost the longtail keyword!

In this result, I searched for title tag keyword implementation. The search results have no occurrence of that specific long tail keyword. None.

Six SEO Tips You Can Discover From Every SERP | SEJ

What do we have then?

We have a mashup of every conceivable combination of that query. All the words are still there. Theyve just been moved around, swapped, traded, synonymized, and altogether changed.

Title is present as a keyword, along with title tag.

Six SEO Tips You Can Discover From Every SERP | SEJ

Tag is present, but its sometimes paired with meta instead of title.

Six SEO Tips You Can Discover From Every SERP | SEJ

Keyword is there.

Six SEO Tips You Can Discover From Every SERP | SEJ

The word implement is present, too. It appears as implementations, implementing, implement, and implementation.

Six SEO Tips You Can Discover From Every SERP | SEJ

Results for your particular keyword, of course, may vary. The important thing is to be aware of how keywords are appearing in the various areas of the SERP title, URL, description, and content.

5. Whether Sites are Using Structured Data or Not

If the competitor sites have no structured data, its a clear sign that you have an opportunity to outrank them.

And, according to the data, not many domains have Schema integration.

Six SEO Tips You Can Discover From Every SERP | SEJ

Image from Searchmetrics

On the other hand, if your competitors are using Schema, its a pretty strong indication that you should do the same.

Heres an example. Little Tikes, the makers of the Cozy Coupe toy car have the rank advantage for the Cozy Coupe car keyword. They may not, however, have the CTR advantage. Why? Because their SERP entry lacks the structured data present on the Toys R Us entry.

Six SEO Tips You Can Discover From Every SERP | SEJ

Heres why. Google obviously prefers to rank sites with schema markup. According to the jaw-dropping study from Searchmetrics in early 2014, the search community found out that pages with Schema markup ranked four positions higher in the search results.

Whether the schema causes the higher rank or not is still a matter of conjecture, but the correlation is obviously there. Even if Schema doesnt produce rank, it can at least enhance a SERP entry.

But my site is different. Theres no data that I need to markup.

This is one of the most common objections to the use of markup. Theres a mistaken notion that many of the Schema implementation is only relevant for movies, offers, TV series, reviews, or product pricing.

Schema is for much more. Check out the full list of Schema types available. Does your business have a name? Alright then; you can use Schema.

A word of caution is in order. Google recommends against the use of rich snippets on your homepage. Every other page on your website? Go for it. Homepage? Not so much.

6. Get a Feel for the Descriptions

Most SEOs will tell you that the description doesnt matter for SEO. Thats only partiallytrue.

Descriptions matter very much for SEO, because they

  • Affect clickthroughs

  • And clickthroughs affect search results.

Its highly likely that Google uses CTR to rank sites in the SERPs.

So, what has the greatest effect on clickthroughs?


Descriptions are the secret sauce to many high-ranking pages. Sites with very appealing, powerful, relevant, and readable descriptions tend to rank higher. The likely reason for this is that they have higher CTRs, which eventuated in higher SERP ranking.

As you peruse the descriptions, take a look at top ranked sites. In addition, simply get a feel for how each description affects you. Is it appealing? Relevant? Powerful?

Take a look at these two descriptions. Which one would you click on?

Six SEO Tips You Can Discover From Every SERP | SEJ

If you live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, you might be interested in the second one. However, the first result from has greater appeal, simply because its complete. It has two sentences, not several fragments and ellipsis.

The quality of your description has an effect on your CTRs, which in turn has an effect on your SEO as a whole. How you write them matters.


When was the last time you looked at the SERPs for your target keywords? If its been a while, this is one of the easiest eyeball tests you cando. There is a ton to learn.

Give it try. Google your target keyword, and see what comes up. Figure out what the top ranking sites are doing, and copy them.

What kind of actionable information do you gain from looking at the SERPs?

Image Credits

Featured Image: Sohel Parvez Haque via ShutterstockAll screenshots taken 2014

Neil Patel

Neil Patel

Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at Quick Sprout.

Neil Patel


Neil Patel

Latest posts by Neil Patel (see all)

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