The templates, themes, extensions, tools, and plugins provided by content management systems (CMSs) help developers to reduce the time and effort required to build custom websites. Over 64 million live websites currently used CMSs. But the latest market share data posted on several websites suggest that over 27 million live websites currently use WordPress. Also, WordPress dominates the worldwide content management system (CMS) market with a whopping share of 44.29%.
The growing popularity of WordPress makes many market analysts forecast that the CMS will soon power 50% of all websites. But the experienced web developers understand that WordPress, like other CMSs, has several shortcomings. They focus on these shortcomings to make the WordPress website deliver a superior user experience. Also, many developers opt for popular WordPress alternatives in 2021 to build websites that stand out from the crowd.
According to the latest CMS stats posted on several websites, some of the popular alternatives to WordPress (in terms of market share) are Wix, Squarespace, Joomla, GoDaddy Website Builder, Weebly, Duda, and Blogger. But you cannot use market share as the primary criterion to compare the WordPress alternatives while choosing or switching CMS in 2021. You should remember that each of these popular CMSs and website builders has its own pros and cons.
You can choose the right WordPress alternative only by evaluating the pros and cons of these CMSs and website builders. It is also important to compare these CMSs and website builders with WordPress. The comparison will help you to choose a CMS that enables you to build websites that meet precise business requirements and deliver a superior user experience in the future. We are helping you to choose the right alternative to CMS by comparing some of the popular CMSs.
12 WordPress Alternatives to Consider While Choosing or Switching CMS in 2021
The drag-and-drop website builder helps you to build custom websites without writing code. In addition to allowing you to choose from over 800 customizable website templates, Wix provides access to a full-stack development platform like Velo. It further comes with solutions for various industries – music, photography, events, hotels, and restaurants. You can further add functionality to the website by integrating a variety of business tools – emails, phone numbers, online scheduling, reports, and analytics.
Wix makes it easier for you to increase website traffic and engage website visitors by offering useful tools for email marketing, social media posting, video creation, lead capturing, and community management. But you must remember that Wix is not a CMS. It does not allow you to change templates after launching the website. Likewise, it does not provide any solutions or tools to boost the website’s search visibility. Many developers opt for this WordPress alternative to develop and launch websites rapidly.
You have the option to choose from four distinct editions – free, connect, pro, and business – of Weebly. Each edition of Weebly comes with features to help you build a website that grows to accommodate your business growth. Weebly accelerates the development of custom websites by providing a wide range of tools – drag-and-drop builder, responsive themes, custom fonts, site search, audio, video, video background, and image editor. Also, it helps you to build online stores and ecommerce websites using customizable themes, email templates, and search engine optimization (SEO) tools.
You can access the App Center set up by Weebly to integrate the website with a wide range of apps related to marketing, communication, ecommerce, social, and website features. But you can optimize the website for search engines using the SEO tools provided by Weebly only when you are familiar with various SEO techniques. Also, you can optimize and modify the Weebly themes only when you have experience in writing code.
The easy-to-use website builder is designed with features to help users build a variety of websites without putting in extra time and effort. Squarespace accelerates website development by providing themes and templates for different types of websites – marketing, fashion, fitness, travel, photography, food, health, beauty, art, technology, gaming, consulting, and education. In addition to choosing from varying templates, you also have the option to use ecommerce features and business tools.
However, Squarespace still lacks some of the robust features provided by WordPress. Also, you lack the option to sell products or services to customers living in various regions as Squarespace does not support multicurrency sales. Often web developers opt for Squarespace as an alternative to WordPress while building small and simple websites. At the same time, Squarespace is often rated as one of the best website builders for beginners.
Like WordPress, Joomla is an open-source CMS. It curtails web development time by providing thousands of templates and extensions. Web developers use Joomla to build a variety of websites. Also, over 70 translation packs offered by Joomla help developers to accelerate the development of multilingual websites. At the same time, Joomla makes it easier for developers to boost the website’s search performance using robust SEO tools.
But Joomla is popular only among experienced and skilled web developers. The beginners have to put extra time and effort to build websites using this WordPress alternative. The developers often need assistance and support to resolve various plugin issues. The open-source nature of Joomla makes it essential for developers to rely on online communities and forums to get technical support.
The website builder leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to help self-employed professionals develop new-generation websites and online stores. Jimdo allows you to choose from four distinct products – domain, logo, website, and online store – according to their precise needs. Also, you can use the AI-powered website builder by choosing from four pricing options – play, start, grow, and unlimited. Jimdo is often regarded as one of the beginner-friendly alternatives to WordPress.
Like WordPress, Jimdo allows you to choose from a wide range of templates. But you have to put extra time and effort to customize and finetune the templates provided by Jimdo. Jimdo further lacks some of the robust features provided by other CMSs and website builders. But Jimdo is currently being used by over 20 million live websites.
6) Craft CMS
Craft CMS empowers the entire creative process by providing solutions related to website designing, website development, eCommerce, content creation, and content strategy. In addition to being developed using open source tools, Craft is supported by an active community. Craft simplifies and accelerates the development of custom websites. It offers a slew of useful features – templates, plugins, custom fields, tags, categories, versatile forms, image editor, user management, and live preview.
But Craft is often described as one of the developer-friendly WordPress alternatives. You can use the CMS to build and manage websites efficiently only when you know how to code. Also, the developers often lack the option to add functionality to the website by choosing the appropriate plugin. Professional web developers opt for Craft CMS to build complex websites without putting in extra time and effort.
While building online stores, many developers opt for Shopify as a robust alternative to the widely used ecommerce plugin for WordPress – WooCommerce. Shopify helps entrepreneurs and professionals to start online businesses by availing solutions related to branding, online presence, and store set up. Also, it facilitates online sales by offering solutions like online store, point of sale, buy button, and sales channels.
You can run retail stores efficiently by choosing from multiple versions of this popular ecommerce platform – Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify. Over 1200 themes and plugins provided by Shopify help you to build online stores without writing lengthy code. But you lack the option to avail of many free themes and plugins. Also, the ecommerce platform requires you to share a percentage of revenue in the form of transaction fees.
The open-source content management framework focuses on building amazing digital experiences. You can create custom websites by choosing from several editions of Drupal – Drupal for Developers, Drupal for Marketers, and Drupal for Agencies. The experienced web developers opt for Drupal to curtail the time and resources required to build complex and multilingual websites.
In addition to facilitating the management of large amounts of data, Drupal is one of the WordPress alternatives that focus extensively on security. However, you can use Drupal to build complex websites rapidly only when you have coding knowledge. Also, Drupal is often considered to be one of the CMSs that are not easy to install and configure. Often businesses have to hire skilled web developers to build complex websites using Drupal.
Like WordPress, Ghost is an open-source platform. The open-source platform is developed with the aim to simplify blogging and content publication. You should not consider Ghost as a WordPress alternative while developing large and complex websites. But Ghost helps you to speed up website development by providing hundreds of themes. Also, it makes it easier for you to preview and edit the content simultaneously by featuring an innovative editor.
You can add functionality to the website by integrating it with widely used applications and services like Google Analytics, Google AMP, GitHub, Shopify, LiveChat, and social networks. But you do not have the option to choose or use plugins while working with Ghost. You can use Ghost based on multiple pricing plans – starter, basic, standard, and business.
The cloud-based drag-and-drop website builder helps you to create custom websites without writing any code. PageCloud reduces the time and efforts required to design, develop, and launch websites by providing customizable web templates pertaining to various categories – personal, business, landing pages, events, community & non-profit, art & design, entertainment & music, restaurant & food, and travel & leisure. You can edit and customize these templates using drag-and-drop functionality.
You can easily optimize the website for search engines by availing of the SEO features and customizable forms provided by PageCloud. Also, you can monitor user behavior and track site performance by integrating with Google Analytics. You also have the option to use PageCloud based on two annual pricing options – pro and business. But PageCloud lacks some of the robust features required to develop and run ecommerce websites.
Over 100 customizable templates provided by Webnode help you to build custom websites without writing longer lines of code. Also, you can use the online service to book a domain and create up to 100 mailboxes. Webnode is one of the popular online platforms that simplify the development of multilingual websites. In addition to supporting over 20 languages, the website maker supports language-specific versions of the website.
Also, it makes it easier for you to divert traffic to the website from search engines by implementing SEO techniques. You have the option to choose from multiple editions of Webnode – limited, mini, standard, and profi. However, Webnode still lacks many features provided by other popular alternatives to WordPress.
The commercial web design platform allows you to choose from a slew of tools and solutions – website builder, client management solution, team collaboration tools, ecommerce, and app store. Based on your precise needs, you have the option to choose from multiple editions of Duda – Duda for Agencies, Duda for Hosts, and Duda for SaaS Platforms. In addition to accelerating custom web development, the templates provided by Duda help you to build websites that look both attractive and polished.
Further, you can use the customizable widgets provided by Duda to add functionality to the websites without writing longer lines of code. But web developers often find it challenging to find the appropriate widgets to improve the website’s performance, user experience, and search visibility. Also, they lack the option to curtail website development costs using the free edition of Duda.
Many market analysts predict that 50% of all websites will be powered by WordPress in the near future. But the shortcomings of WordPress often impact the websites’ user experience adversely. That is why; you must compare several popular WordPress alternatives to build custom websites that deliver superior user experience as well as meet predefined business requirements in 2021.
Last month I wrote a post on best SEO tools, which can be used for better SEO ranking. This is the second article in that series, where I will write about the list of SEO audit tools.
Major search engines like Google and Bing use over 200 ranking factors while displaying web pages on search engine results pages (SERPs). Also, they keep updating algorithms frequently to deliver relevant and updated search results to searchers. Often the algorithm changes affect the search engine performance and visibility of millions of websites in a few hours. That is why; the smarter website owners and webmasters measure and monitor the website performance metrics of their websites by conducting an SEO audit.
What is SEO Audit?
According to Search Engine Journal,
“An SEO audit refers to the process of evaluating various elements of a website that impact its performance in organic search. An SEO audit is important because it reveals problems with any site’s SEO so you can address them and start ranking where you belong.”
You can easily identify the onsite and offsite problems and issues affecting your website’s search engine performance by conducting an SEO audit regularly. SEO audit results will help you to finetune the SEO strategy by identifying high-performing keywords, analyzing competitors, creating better content, and improving the website’s user experience. But SEO audit is a multistep procedure. Also, you have to prepare an elaborate checklist to measure the SEO health of your websites based on over 200 ranking factors used by search engines.
The SEO audit tools help you to conduct SEO audits regularly without investing extra time, effort, and resources. In addition to facilitating SEO audit automation, these free and commercial tools can assess the SEO health of large and complex websites in a few minutes. You can automate and accelerate the auditing process by choosing from a wide range of SEO audit tools. But it is always advisable to consider some of the SEO audit tools that are used widely by digital marketers and search engine optimizers across the world.
13 SEO Audit Tools to Measure and Improve Your Website’s Search Engine Performance
Semrush is designed as an all-in-one digital marketing tool. It comes with features to help professionals plan and run a variety of digital marketing campaigns – SEO, content marketing, social media, and advertising. But you can use Semrush as a robust SEO audit tool to measure your website’s search visibility by analyzing your competitors and evaluating their ad strategies. Semrush assesses a website’s SEO health by identifying over 120 technical and on-page SEO issues using a robust website crawler. It helps you to improve your website’s search visibility by generating a comprehensive list of SEO issues. You can make SEO audit an ongoing process by scheduling auto-crawling.
2) Moz’s Site Crawl
Moz has designed Site Crawl as an online website crawling tool. But Site Crawl comes with built-in features to simplify SEO audit by identifying a slew of issues affecting a website’s search performance. While crawling websites, the commercial tool tracks both recurring and new SEO issues. Also, it divides the issues into multiple categories using colourful charts. Site Crawl helps you to understand the nature and impact of individual SEO issues, along with providing instructions and solutions. You can monitor the SEO auditing process by flagging specific issues as fixed or ignored.
3) WooRank Site Crawl
The premium SEO audit tool launched by WooRank helps you to measure your website’s search visibility by identifying technical SEO issues. You can use Site Crawl to identify and fix a variety of SEO issues – title tag, body content, meta description, and crawl errors. Also, you can improve your website’s search performance without putting extra time and effort by organizing the audit results into groups. Also, you can use the contextual helpers provided by Site Crawl to understand the SEO issues clearly. At the same time, you can use the online tool to monitor your website’s SEO health by scheduling automated web crawls.
The all-in-one SEO tool aims to make SEO affordable for business owners and digital marketers. You can use the Website Auditor to assess your website’s search visibility by identifying and diagnosing a variety of issues. The premium online tool divides all issues identified during the SEO audit into six broad categories – content issues, link issues, visibility issues, image issues, semantic issues, and meta issues. You also have the option to prepare an SEO audit checklist simply by changing the audit results are visualized. The checklist will make it easier for you to fix all SEO issues by getting actionable information and instructions provided by the SEO audit tool.
5) SiteAnalyzer’s Crawl
Crawl is developed by SiteAnalyzer team as an econsultant for websites. The premium online tool helps you to boost your website’s search visibility by identifying crucial SEO issues like broken links, inaccessible pages, redirects, duplicate content, page title, metadata, web page load speed, and exploration issues, and indexation errors. You can easily identify and track these issues by generating reports in multiple formats. Crawl further helps you to understand why does the SEO error occurs and how to fix the SEO errors.
The SEO Analysis Tool developed by WebCEO helps you to identify critical SEO issues and explore SEO opportunities. You can use this commercial SEO analyzer tool to measure your website’s search visibility by conducting mobile optimization and page speed tests. Also, the detailed SEO audit report helps you to identify the technical SEO issues, learn about each SEO issue in detail, and fix the issues by following how-to-fix instructions. The tool further makes it easier for you to identify the best optimized and worst optimized web pages on your website.
SEOptimer allows you to measure your website’s search visibility and performance using a slew of tools – site crawler, embeddable audit tool, and white label reports. You can use SEOptimer to assess your website’s SEO health based on the ranking factors or signals used by leading search engines. Also, you can fix the issues identified during the SEO audit using the clear and actionable recommendations made by the commercial SEO auditing and reporting tool. The do-it-yourself (DIY) SEO tool provided by SEOptimer helps you to identify and fix the SEO issues without availing the assistance of SEO professionals. Also, you can start the SEO audit on demand simply by generating a white label SEO report in PDF format in a few seconds.
8) Screaming Frog SEO Spider
9) SEO Site Checkup
You can use the commercial SEO audit tool to assess your website’s search performance by performing a variety of tests – most common keywords test, keywords usage test, competitor domains test, backlinks test, image alt test, sitemap test, robots.txt test, site loading speed test, social media test, image caching test, page cache test, HTTPS test, and safe browsing test. Also, you can use SEO Site Checkup to compare the search performance of your website to that of the top five competitors. You can refer to how-to-fix tutorials shared by the developers to fix all SEO issues identified during the SEO audit.
10) Ahrefs Site Audit
11) Free SEO Report Card
Free SEO Report Card helps you to analyze your website’s SEO health based on an online report generated by UpCity. You can generate and receive the report over the internet simply by providing important information like website, main keyword, and competitor domain. UpCity will assess your website’s search performance based on the information submitted by you. You can refer to the report to conduct an SEO audit in a short amount of time using important parameters like rank analysis, onsite analysis, link building, website accessibility, current indexing, and trust metrics. But you lack the option to get suggestions, instructions, or tips while using this simple SEO audit tool.
12) Alexa’s Site Audit Tool
The premium SEO audit tool developed by Alexa helps you to identify and fix the technical issues affecting your website’s search visibility. You can use the tool to identify crawl errors, on-page SEO, page loading speed, and security problems. In addition to identifying the technical SEO issues, Alexa’s Site Audit Tool helps you to fix these issues by providing tips and instructions. The tool makes it easier for you to identify and fix technical issues by generating reports in an easy-to-read format. You can even use the tool to measure the performance of SEO strategies by making SEO audit a recurring process.
13) Google Search Console
The free web service launched by Google helps you to measure and improve your website’s visibility of Google search results using tools and generating reports. Many digital marketers leverage Google Search Console to understand how the popular search engine sees the website. You can use Google Search Console to boost your website’s search engine visibility by identifying and fixing common issues like page load speed, HTML markup, broken links, and indexed web pages. Also, you can assess the website’s performance based on the number of clicks and impressions. But Google Search Engine lacks some of the features provided by commercial SEO audit tools.
You can easily measure, monitor, and improve your website’s search engine performance using a slew of SEO audit tools. Most of these SEO audit tools are available in multiple versions. Also, they are being updated regularly to assess your website’s SEO health according to the latest search engine guidelines and algorithm changes. But you must remember that each of the SEO audit tools has its own pros and cons. Hence, you must focus on choosing an SEO audit tool that analyzes your website’s search performance accurately.
Businesses use websites as a powerful tool to accomplish a slew of goals – generate leads, drive sales, and automate customer service delivery. But no business can accomplish the predefined business objectives without delivering a superior user experience continuously. The user experience delivered by a website is directly impacted by its accessibility, usability, functionality, performance, and security.
Hence, the user experience of a website varies from time to time. The smarter website owners and webmasters measure and finetune the performance of their websites to engage visitors and enhance brand reputation. They measure and evaluate the performance of the website using a wide variety of metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs).
These website performance metrics help owners to assess the strengths and shortcomings of their websites. Also, the website owner can use the metrics to compare his website’s performance with competitors. But they need to use multiple metrics in 2021 to measure the overall performance of a website accurately.
Website Performance Metrics to Measure a Website’s Performance Accurately in 2021
Number of Unique Visitors
According to Wikipedia,
“Bounce rate is an Internet marketing term used in web traffic analysis. It represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave (“bounce”) rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site.”
The website bounce rates vary across industries. For instance, retail websites have a higher bounce rate than FAQ sites or self-service sites. That is why; a website owner must keep in mind the industry while measuring a website’s performance based on bounce rate. However, it is always important for website owners to convey the desired information or message to visitors by reducing the bouncing rate. They can reduce bounce rate by focusing on a slew of factors – reducing page load time, improving content quality, simplifying navigation, and boosting user experience.
No business can generate leads or drive sales without keeping visitors engaged. A website owner can assess his website’s effectiveness in keeping visitors engaged by using session duration as a key metric. As its name suggests, session duration depicts the amount of time a visitor was active on the website. However, the webmasters understand that a visitor may not interact with the website or take the desired action despite longer session duration. Hence, they use session duration along with other website performance metrics to evaluate use engagement reliably.
Average Page Views per Session
The website owners can engage and influence visitors only when they browse multiple web pages during each visit. The average page views per session is a metric that helps owners to measure the average number of web pages a visitor accessed during a single session. For instance, a higher average page views per session indicates that a visitor is browsing more products on an ecommerce website. At the same time, a lower average page view makes it essentials for webmasters to impress and engage visitors by publishing compelling content. However, a visitor may not take the desired action despite accessing more web pages during a visit.
Average Time on Page
The performance of individual web pages on the same website differs. This website performance metric helps website owners to measure the performance of individual web pages. It measures the performance of every web page based on the amount of time a visitor spends on specific web pages. The information helps webmasters to identify the web pages that keep visitors engaged. For instance, the owners of retain site can know if landing pages are more effective than product pages in engaging visitors based on the average time on the page. Likewise, the owners can use the metric to compare different forms of digital content – blogs, videos, and infographics.
Interactions per Visit
The visitors these days interact with websites by taking a variety of actions – clicking, buying, liking, sharing, subscribing, downloading, and commenting. But they interact with a website using different options – buttons, links, and interactive elements. The owners can keep website visitors engaged by identifying what makes them interact with the website. Interaction per visit is one of the simple metrics that help website owners compare different parts or sections of a website. The information helps website owners to optimize the performance of various parts of the website. Also, they can leverage the information to boost the performance of digital marketing campaigns.
Onsite Search Queries
Most visitors gather information about various products and services using the custom search feature embedded in the website. The tools provided by popular search engines make it easier for website owners to implement custom search functionality. But the business owners cannot understand the needs, expectations, and experiences of visitors without tracking and analyzing the search queries used by them. The onsite search queries help businesses to assess the content quality and identify user experience issues. Also, the website owners can use the metric to boost the performance of SEO and content marketing campaigns.
Every web page on a website is designed with the aim to accomplish a specific goal. Some web pages influence visitors’ purchase decisions by providing relevant information, while others persuade visitors to take a specific action like view, click, share, and buy. It is always important for a website owner to check if the web page is persuading visitors to take the desired action. Also, they must finetune the web page to persuade visitors to take the desired action. The website owners measure the performance of individual web pages using this website performance metric. The metric helps them to boost the performance of other web pages by replicating content and elements.
Conversion rate is one of the most important website performance metrics. The website owners use the metric to check if the website is effective in accomplishing predefined sales and marketing goals. Conversion rate depicts if the website is persuading visitors to take the desired actions – share contact information, make inquiries, or place orders. If the conversion rate is low, the website owners have to identify the issues or factors that prevent visitors from taking the desired action. However, they must focus on increasing conversion rate consistently by optimizing the website’s performance and user experience.
Landing Page Conversion Rate
The landing pages are not linked or connected to other pages on the website. But they help businesses to run various marketing and advertisement campaigns. The visitor always lands on the landing page directly by clicking on an ad, link, or email. Hence, the quality of the landing page impacts a website’s effectiveness in generating leads and increasing sales directly. The landing page conversion rate is a metric that helps website owners to check the percentage of visitors becoming leads or customers after landing on the landing page. The website owners can boost conversion rate by implementing a slew of landing page best practices.
Cost of Conversion
No business owner can calculate return on investment (ROI) without measuring the cost of conversion. They have to use the cost of conversion as a key metric to measure the time, efforts, and resources required to convert a website visitor into a lead or customer. The businesses can get higher ROI by reducing the overall cost of conversion regularly. At the same time, they can use the cost of conversion as a KPI to measure the performance of digital marketing campaigns launched by the business to generate leads and drive sales conversions.
Most businesses these days get website visitors by running multiple digital marketing campaigns – search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertisement. That is why; they need to identify the channels or mediums that drive visitors to a website. The traffic sources of a website can be divided into multiple categories – direct, organic, search, social media, email marketing, referrals, and paid. In addition to identifying the important sources of website traffic, the website performance metric helps website owners to use other KPIs like average session duration and average page views more effectively.
Users these days access the same website using different devices, operating systems, and browsers. For instance, a user can access the website using a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Also, she can access the website on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. An owner cannot optimize the website’s user experience without understanding the devices, operating systems, and browsers used by a large percentage of website visitors. The device sources will help him to evaluate the website’s user experience by performing elaborate testing. Also, the website owners can serve more engaging ads to the prospects and customers according to their preferred devices and browsers.
Page Load Time
According to Entrepreneur.com,
“Typical consumers expect your website to load in less than two seconds, and they will leave your site if it doesn’t.”
Also, search engines use page speed or page load time as a key signal while ranking websites. Hence, page load time is one of the website performance metrics that affect a website’s user experience and search engine performance. In addition to monitoring page load time regularly, the website owners must focus on decreasing web page load time by focusing on a slew of factors.
According to Statista.com,
“In the third quarter of 2020, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 50.81% of global website traffic, consistently hovering around the 50% mark since the beginning of 2017.”
The percentage of people accessing websites on their mobile devices will increase steadily in 2021. Hence, website owners must use mobile responsiveness as a key metrics to evaluate website performance. They need to perform elaborate testing to ensure that users can access the website seamlessly on computers and mobile devices. But they have to engage and retain visitors by boosting the website’s mobile user experience.
Most websites generate leads and drive sales through a series of steps. For instance, they request visitors to become subscribers once they read articles or blogs. Likewise, a website visitor can compare and evaluate many products before placing an order. But often visitors abandon a website when the process is lengthy or complex. The website owners can retain visitors only by understanding why they leave the websites. Exit pages help website owners to identify the section or web pages where the visitors are abandoning the website. The webmasters can prevent visitor abandonment by changing and improving the exit pages.
The performance of a website varies from time to time based on a variety of factors. The website performance metrics help website owners to measure and optimize their websites’ performance and user experience. But the website owners must choose and combine the appropriate website performance metrics according to goals set for every web page.
Unlike other digital marketing campaigns, content marketing does not promote a product, service, or brand explicitly. Instead, content marketing emphasizes creating brand awareness, generating audience interest, driving search engine traffic to the website, and nurturing leads through the creation and distribution of relevant, valuable, and targeted digital content.
According to research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute,
“86% of B2B marketers used content marketing to create brand awareness, 79% of B2B marketers used content marketing to educate customers, and 75% of B2B marketers used content marketing to build trust or credibility.”
Digital marketers accomplish predefined goals by creating and distributing digital content that addresses the needs, expectations, and pain points of customers and prospects. Also, they increase ROI on content marketing campaigns by creating and distributing a variety of digital content – articles, blogs, audio, video, infographics, and social media posts.
But the content marketing trends, like search engine optimization (SEO), trends change from time to time. You cannot run content marketing campaigns successfully in 2021 without adopting the current and emerging trends in content marketing. While planning content marketing campaigns, you must not forget to look out for some of the hottest content marketing trends in the near future.
15 Current and Emerging Content Marketing Trends You Must Adopt in 2021
1) Posting Long-Form Content to Increase Search Traffic
In 2021, Google and Bing will update their search algorithms many times. But they will emphasize providing more relevant and updated information to the searchers. Hence, digital marketers can easily divert traffic to websites from search engines by posting high-quality and long-form content. In addition to meeting the consumer’s needs and expectations, the content must appear authoritative by getting linked to both internal and external resources. Also, the writers will optimize the long-form content for search engines by including relevant keywords naturally and experimenting with content styles.
2) Delivery of Personalized and Targeted Content
The digital marketers will nurture leads and drive sales conversation in 2021 by interacting with customers in various stages in the sales funnel. They will influence the purchase decision of a prospect by sending content that is highly personalized and targeted. They will leverage the customer data collected through multiple channels to personalize the content and communications. Also, they will deliver targeted content that caters to the exact needs and expectations of the prospect according to her current position in the buyer’s journey. The AI technologies will be used widely to facilitate the creation and delivery of hyper-personalized content in 2021.
3) Optimizing Content for Voice Search
According to Think with Google,
“20% of searches in the Google App are now done by voice.”
With more and more consumers gathering information by giving voice commands, it becomes essential for businesses to optimize the content for voice search. While creating content for digital marketing campaigns, the content creators have to focus on both conventional search and voice search. Instead of focusing on including keywords naturally in the content, they have to explore ways to include questions that searchers will ask while initiating voice search. For instance, the content writers have to replace keywords like “restaurant-style butter chicken masala recipe” with questions like “how to prepare restaurant-style butter chicken masala.”
4) Accelerating Content Creation Using Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The leading digital marketing agencies already leverage AI technologies to reduce the time and efforts required to create hyper-personalized content. They use AI solutions to create hyper-personalized content on demand according to specific buyer personas or content marketing strategies. The AI solutions leverage the customer data collected by a business to create a variety of content – predictive content, insight-based content, intuition-based content, and autonomous content – in a few minutes. They can further streamline and speed up the content creation process by creating multiple content profiles.
5) Growing Popularity of Short-Form Videos
Consumers these days spend more time watching online video clips than viewing conventional television.
According to Smart Insights,
“It is predicted that customers will spend 100 minutes a day watching online videos in 2021. This is a 19% increase compared to daily viewing minutes in 2019, which stood at 84.”
Hence, most businesses will attract and engage customers in 2021 by uploading and sharing shorter video clips. Also, they will convert the longer videos into a series of shorter video clips. But they have to focus on changing the format and duration of the video content according to the targeted social network or video-sharing platform.
6) Focusing on Meeting Immediate Needs
The lead generation and nurturing activities are planned by keeping in mind the position of a prospect in the buyer’s journey. But the statistics released by Google suggest that people use their mobile devices in hundreds of micro-moments throughout the day to solve problems and answer questions. Hence, digital marketing campaigns in 2021 will use content that caters to the immediate needs of a searcher. The content will make the consumer aware, buy, do, or go by meeting his immediate needs or answering his current question. However, the content must be optimized for voice search to meet consumers’ immediate needs right here and right now.
7) Switching to Conversational Marketing
In 2021, digital marketers will find it challenging to generate and nurture leads only by adopting landing page best practices. In addition to optimizing landing pages, they have to focus on implementing conversational marketing. Instead of requesting website visitors to fill in lead capturing forms, the digital marketers will interact with them using AI-powered chatbots. The chatbots will initiate and continue real-time conversations with the website visitors just like human marketers. Also, they will boost customer experience and engagement by personalizing the conversations and interactions based on data collected from diverse sources.
8) Making Content Appear on Featured Snippets
While optimizing content for search engines, digital marketers no longer focus only on increasing the search engine visibility of an article or blog post. They these days explore ways to make the content appear on top of Google’s organic search results – featured snippets. When the content appears in the featured snippet, it caters to both conventional search and voice search. The content writers will focus on answering the questions asked by searchers in the best way. Also, they will increase the chances of the content appearing on featured snippets by including questions, bullet points, summary paragraphs, and how-to lists.
9) Switching Focus from Keywords to Search Intent
While ranking content, the search engines these days prioritize search intent over search keywords.
According to Backlinko,
“Search Intent (also known as “User Intent”) is the main goal a user has when typing a query into a search engine. Common types of Search Intent include informational, commercial, navigational and transactional.”
While creating content, the writers will still focus on choosing and including relevant keywords in the articles or blogs. But they will keep in mind search intent while doing keyword research and targeting. They will boost the content’s search engine visibility by focusing on relevance, authority, and user satisfaction. Also, they will finetune the content according to varying search intents – transactional, informational, preferential, and navigational.
10) Building Credibility Using User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is one of the hottest trends in content marketing. Many businesses these days request and persuade customers to produce and post content. Some companies even convert customers into content creators by offering incentives. In addition to reducing content generation costs, UGC helps businesses to impress new customers by showcasing quality, trust, credibility, or experience. Also, the businesses can make customers a part of a community by requesting them to produce and share content.
11) Establishing Content Communities
The smarter digital marketers always boost content marketing campaigns by leveraging popular content communities like YouTube and SlideShare. In addition to creating personalized and targeted content, they focus on making the readers experience a sense of belonging to a community. The members of the content community help businesses to get more likes and shares on social media through word-of-mouth promotion of content. Also, the content communities make it easier for digital marketers to generate content through bloggers and industry experts. In 2021, most businesses will focus on developing content communities while creating content.
12) Repurposing Content across Multiple Channels
Content marketing enables SMEs to compete with large and established businesses by overcoming resource constraints. But many small businesses and startups still lack resources to create, distribute, and promote fresh content regularly. That is why; content repurposing will emerge as one of the hottest content marketing trends in 2021. The enterprises will generate valuable, original, and engaging content once. But they will repurpose the content across multiple channels of communication to reach out to a larger audience.
13) Engaging Customers through Webinars and Live Videos
The COVID-19 pandemic made people spend more time on streaming videos and video conferencing in 2020. The steady video streaming growth creates opportunities for businesses to engage prospects and customers in 2021 by streaming live videos. Many enterprises will organize webinars to get frequently asked questions (FAQs) about products, services, or industry by industry experts. Also, they will engage customers by live-streaming from trade shows, exhibition booths, and field events. In addition to highlighting key aspects of a product or brand, live videos and webinars will drive content marketing campaigns. Here are some webinar promotion ideas which can get the maximum RoI from your webinars.
14) Creating Infographics to Engage Millenials
The search engines prefer long-form content to short-form content. The content writers explore ways to increase the length of articles and blogs to increase organic search traffic. But the youngsters and millenials lack the time and attention span required to read lengthy content. They look for options to get the desired information or instructions in a few minutes without reading the content. The businesses will impress and engage the millennial customers in 2021 by conveying information quickly and easily by creating infographics. But the content creators have to make the infographics appealing by experimenting with storytelling styles and colors.
15) Generating Content to Persuade Customers Buy Local
The content marketers often reuse the same content across geographic locations. But the consumers these days can be persuaded to buy local only by using personalized and localized content. In 2021, digital marketers cannot influence the purchase decisions of customers living in different locations by posting and promoting the same content. The content writers have to do some research to make the content appealing to buyers by adding local flavors. The content marketing strategies will focus on complementing the global or general-purpose content with content optimized for specific locations.
In 2021, your business can accomplish a slew of digital marketing campaigns by running content marketing campaigns. But you cannot get higher ROI on content marketing simply by focusing on content and distribution channels. It is always important to adopt the current and emerging content marketing trends proactively to make the content marketing campaigns more successful.
Unlike paid search and social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) delivers results in a longer timeframe. But several studies suggest that SEO helps businesses to generate much higher long-term ROI than paid advertisement options. But your business can get higher ROI by running SEO campaigns only by combating the frequent search engine algorithm changes.
The free and paid SEO tools make it easier for you to plan, track, and finetune organic search campaigns without investing in extra time and resources. But the SEO tools differ from each other in several aspects including features and performance. You must focus on choosing and combining the right SEO tools to divert organic traffic to the website from popular search engines in both short and long runs.
15 Free and Paid SEO Tools to Boost Your Website’s Search Engine Ranking
1) Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress. The WordPress plugin helps digital marketers to divert traffic to a website from both search engines and social networking sites by providing a slew of features and tools. While planning SEO campaigns, you can use Yoast SEO to find high-performing keywords, optimize the keywords, get internal linking suggestions, make search engines understand the web pages, and enhance content readability. The plugin further performs complex technical SEO tasks automatically in the background. But you must subscribe to the premium edition of Yoast SEO to avail of these advanced features.
SEMRush allows you to avail of over 500 tools for content marketing, SEO, and social media marketing. You can use the SEO tools provided by SEMRush to perform keyword research, competitor analysis, website audit, keyword rank tracking, local SEO, on-page SEO, link building, competitor SEO analysis, content marketing, and social media management. You have the option to choose from several editions of SEMRush – Pro, Guru, and Business.
3) Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is one of the most popular and trusted free SEO tools. Most digital marketers rely on Google Keyword Planner to perform keyword research while implementing SEO strategies. Google Keyword Planner makes it easier for you to discover new keywords, organize keywords into multiple categories, see monthly search volume, and plan SEO campaigns based on new keywords. The SEO tools allow you to discover and organize keywords for SEO campaigns using a slew of options.
Ahrefs is currently being used by leading brands Facebook, Linked In, Netflix, Uber, and Adobe. The all-in-one SEO toolkit is designed with five important tools – keyword explorer, site explorer, site audit, content explorer, and rank tracker. Digital marketers can use the content explorer to plan SEO and content marketing strategies by accessing conversion-friendly content from diverse online sources. You can use Ahrefs on a trial basis for 7 days by paying $7. Also, you can choose from several editions of the SEO toolkit – lite, standard, advanced, and agency.
5) Moz Pro
Moz Pro is designed as a paid all-in-one SEO toolkit. Digital marketers can use Moz Pro to simplify common search engine optimization activities like website audit, keyword research, backlink analysis, keyword performance tracking, and resolving crawling issues. Moz Pro further helps users to identify new and critical issues early by sending alerts automatically. Digital marketers can avail themselves of the reporting features of Moz Pro to send custom reports to clients without putting in extra time and effort.
You have the option to choose from three editions – basic, profession, and team – of Spyfu. Each edition of Spyfu helps you to plan, implement, and evaluate SEO strategies using tools for keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink analysis, domain comparison, and keyword rank checking. Also, you can generate special SEO reports using the reporting tool provided by Spyfu to monitor the performance of SEO campaigns based on real-time data.
GrowthBar is designed as a simple Chrome extension. But many digital marketers prefer GrowthBar to other SEO tools due to its innovative features. You can use GrowthBar to get keyword suggestions, assess the competitiveness of keywords, track keyword ranking, and analyze backlinks. GrowthBar makes it easier for you to monitor and finetune SEO campaigns by accessing critical SEO data points related to the website instantly. You can leverage the features and tools provided by GrowthBar by paying $39 per month.
The SEO tool helps digital marketers to boost a website’s search engine visibility by identifying and fixing a variety of technical issues. You can use DeepCrawl to optimize your website for search engines by getting actionable insights. DeepCrawl produces and provided actionable insights by crawling the website and assessing its technical health. In addition to crawling millions of web pages, DeepCrawl allows you to schedule crawls and prioritize the crawling issues. You can integrate DeepCrawl with Automator to assess the impact of code changes on the technical health of the website.
9) WooRank SEO Analysis & Website Review Tool
The Chrome extension developed by WooRank helps digital marketers to assess a website’s onsite and offsite SEO performance in a few seconds. You can use WooRank SEO Analysis & Website Review Tool to know the SEO health of a website based on an overall SEO score. The simple SEO tool calculates the overall SEO score using a wide range of parameters – mobile-friendliness, usability, structured data, search engine optimization, website traffic, quality of backlinks, and social media. You can download and use the tool free of cost.
10) Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool
Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool is designed as desktop-based website crawling software. As its name suggests, the SEO Spider tool helps users to improve on-page SEO by identifying and highlighting many technical SEO issues. You can use the popular SEO tool to discover duplicate content, analyze meta data, find broken links, manage redirects, identify URLs blocked by robots.txt, and generate XML sitemaps. You can choose from the free and paid editions of the SEO Spider Tool. Unlike the paid edition, the free edition crawls only 500 URLs.
The SEO tool aims to help digital marketers plan and run SEO campaigns by providing actionable insights and recommendations. You can use LinkResearchTools to boost your website’s search engine visibility by increasing the number and quality of backlinks. LinkResearchTools evaluates every backlink using over 150 SEO metrics and 25 link data sources. The tools provided by LinkResearchTools make it easier for you to check backlinks to competitors, trace link juice being transferred through redirects, simulate link building, and import thousands of backlinks.
12) Bing Webmaster Tools
As its name suggests, the free SEO tools help you to boost the visibility and ranking of web pages on Bing search results. While planning SEO campaigns, you can leverage the tools included in Bing Webmaster Tools to perform keyword research, manage targeted keywords, audit sites on demand, and analyze backlinks. Also, you can identify the issues and errors affecting the website’s search performance simply by generating an elaborate SEO report. The SEO tools further help you to monitor and evaluate the website’s search performance by sending alerts and notifications automatically.
13) RankMath SEO
RankMath is one of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress. You can configure and customize RankMath according to your precise SEO strategies using over 15 built-in models. Also, you can use the tools provided by RankMath to track keyword ranking, identify technical SEO issues, generate schema markup, import schema markup from other websites. RankMath further boosts SEO campaigns by supporting several types of schemas – product schema, article schema, recipe schema, events schema, video schema, and local business schema. You also have the option to choose from three different editions of RankMath – free, pro and business. Here is a comparison between RankMath SEO and Yoast SEO.
Whitespark is one of the SEO tools that help users to optimize their website for local search. While planning location-specific SEO campaigns, you can leverage the tools provided by Whitespark to track search engine ranking, find citations of your competitors, and get online reviews and customer testimonials. Also, Whitespark helps you to focus on improving customer experience by offering managed local SEO services. You can avail yourself of a slew of free SEO tools simply by signing up for Whitespark.
15) Seed Keywords
Seed Keywords helps digital marketers to find the most valuable keywords for SEO campaigns by creating varying scenarios. After creating a scenario for a particular search query, the digital marketers can share and evaluate the scenario with multiple contacts. The feedback and suggestions received from contacts help digital marketers to understand what the searchers will type to get specific information. They can further conduct real-time keyword research simply by typing a scenario or question in a textbox. While performing keyword research, you can leverage Seed Keywords as a free SEO tool.
While planning and running SEO campaigns, you have the option to choose from many free and paid SEO tools. The popular SEO tools differ from each other in several aspects. You cannot boost a website’s search engine visibility using a single or specific SEO tool. Your SEO strategy must focus on choosing and combining the right SEO tools to divert search engine traffic to the website continuously.
As a standalone web page on the website, the landing page acts as a powerful marketing tool to convert website visitors into leads and customers by making them share contact information. Digital marketers can easily generate more leads by diverting website traffic to dedicated landing pages instead of the home page. In addition to facilitating lead generation, the landing page helps businesses to collect important customer experience, track customer engagement, and assess the performance of marketing offers.
But your business cannot generate more leads without optimizing the landing page. Google recommends digital marketers to drive conversion rates and get higher returns on ad-spend by optimizing the landing pages with relevant and targeted messaging. But you cannot optimize landing pages effectively in 2021 only by following the latest search engine guidelines. Along with adhering to the latest guidelines, you must implement a slew of landing page best practices.
11 Landing Page Best Practices to Boost Lead Generation and Conversion in 2021
Align the Landing Page to Ad Campaigns
Most website visitors land on the landing page by clicking on paid search engine ads or social media ads. You can keep them engaged and persuade them to share contact information only when the landing page complements the ads perfectly. While designing or optimizing the landing page, you must keep in mind the ads. The compatibility is essential to meet the expectations of visitors by including the most relevant and targeted messaging in the landing page.
Keep the Landing Page Responsive
Like other pages on the website, the landing page also needs to deliver a superior user experience. You must remember that a large percentage of visitors will access the landing page on their mobile devices. Also, they will abandon the landing page if it does not load in less than 2 seconds. That is why; you must make the landing page accessible on both computers and mobile devices seamlessly by adopting responsive web design.
Capture Visitor’s Undivided Attention
The landing page can generate leads only by capturing the undivided attention of the visitors. While designing the landing page, you must not include any navigation options and alternative links. Also, you must make the visitor notice the key elements of the landing page – headline, offer and call to action – clearly and directly without scrolling down.
Convey Key Benefits in Seconds
In addition to persuading a visitor to share her contact details, the landing page must influence her purchase decisions in a few seconds. You can convey the benefits the visitors can avail of by sharing her contact information by creating a headline. The visitor will read the benefit-focused headline immediately after landing on the web page. Hence, the headline will make her understand the key benefits or values immediately and directly.
Make a Relevant and Compelling Offer
You can persuade a website visitor to share her contact data only by making an offer that is both relevant and compelling. In addition to meeting the visitor’s expectations, the offer must highlight your product or service. You can even convey the offer more effectively by using images that showcase the emotional feeling of a person who accepts the offer made by you.
Write Compelling Ad Copy
You have to complement the headline and images by writing compelling ad copy. The ad copy must be compelling enough to persuade the visitor to take the desired action. The copy must convey the most relevant information to the visitor clearly and quickly. Also, it must persuade the visitor to complete the desired action like sharing contact information. You can easily keep the ad copy compelling and engaging using words like you and your.
Keep the Lead Form Accessible
The primary purpose of the landing page is to persuade the visitor to fill in the lead generation form. Hence, you must place the lead generation form above the fold to ensure that the visitor can share information without scrolling down. At the same time, you also need to ensure that the lead generation form is visible and accessible to the visitor when she scrolls down.
Include a Direct and Clear Call-to-Action
You cannot persuade the visitor to perform a specific action without including a call to action that is clear and distinct. You must keep the call to action persuasive by including words like download, submit, and get. Also, you must make the call to action button stand out from the crowd by using a unique color or different font.
Include a Thank You Page
Once the visitor takes the desired action, you must thank her by displaying a thank you page. You can display the thank you message on the landing page. But you can leverage a slew of benefits by redirecting the lead to a thank you page. The page will help you to form an emotional bond with the lead by delivering the offer. Also, you can use the thank you page as a tool to convey additional information and content.
Evaluate Multiple Versions of Landing Page
You cannot create a conversion-friendly landing page without creating and evaluating multiple versions of the landing page. You can easily evaluate and compare different versions of the landing page by performing A/B testing. But you must focus on each of the four most important elements of the landing page – headline, value proposition, call to action, and lead generation form – while performing A/B testing.
Optimize the Landing Page for Search Engines
Your business will divert visitors to the landing page by running digital marketing campaigns, search engine ads, or social ads. But you must not forget to optimize the landing page for search engines. The landing page SEO will help searchers find and access the landing page directly while searching using relevant keywords. Also, you can generate more leads by diverting organic search engine traffic to the landing page.
Your business can easily generate more leads and increase sales conversion by implementing landing page best practices. But you must assess the performance of the landing page from time to time using the appropriate metrics. Also, you must explore ways to make the landing page conversion-friendly by implementing new landing page best practices regularly.
In addition to making the textual content more appealing and engaging, images contribute hugely towards improving the content’s search engine visibility. Major search engines like Google and Bing advise webmasters and digital marketers to divert higher-quality traffic to the website by adding high-quality images and adding context to the images.
According to Google Search Central,
“By adding more context around images, results can become much more useful, which can lead to higher quality traffic to your site. You can aid in the discovery process by making sure that your images and your site are optimized for Google Images.”
The search engine guidelines recommend digital marketers focus on creating a superior user experience while implementing image search engine optimization (SEO). Along with adopting the latest search engine guidelines, savvy digital marketers increase website traffic by implementing a slew of image SEO tips.
11 Image SEO Tips to Boost Content Visibility and User Experience Simultaneously
1. Find and Use the Right Images
While choosing images for a blog or article, digital marketers always prefer free stock photographs or original images. The unique images differentiate the content from similar articles and blogs. But search engine algorithms can check if the image is relevant to the topic or content. The experienced digital marketers always choose images that complement the content perfectly. Also, they add context to the images by placing them near the most relevant paragraphs or sections.
2. Explain the Image through the File Name
The novice digital marketers often do not change the default file name while adding images. But the smarter SEO professionals always boost the image’s search engine visibility by changing and optimizing the default file name. They choose an image file name that describes or explains the image clearly. Also, they embed the primary keyword in the file name and use hyphens instead of underscores.
3. Decide the Right Image Format
While adding images to articles and blogs, digital marketers can choose from a slew of image formats – JPEG, GIF, PNG, and SVG. The image formats for the web differ from each other in several aspects – transparency, animation, vector, and raster. The experienced digital marketers often opt for PNG for simple images and JPEG for imaged with varied and vibrant colors.
4. Compress the Image without Affecting Resolution
The original size of the image file directly impacts user experience by increasing the web page’s loading time. Digital marketers often compress the images to make the web page load in less than 2 seconds. But they often sacrifice the resolution while compressing images. The seasoned digital marketers use the appropriate image compression tools to minimize the file size without sacrificing image quality by adjusting the resolution percentage.
5. Add Image Captions
The captions depict the nature and purpose of the image by appearing just beneath the images. The captions do not affect the images’ search engine performance directly. But they boost user experience by making showing relevant information about the images to readers directly on the web page. The smarter digital marketers add a caption to every image to add credibility and reduce bounce rates.
6. Describe the Image Using Alt and Title Attributes
The search engine crawlers gather information about images by referring to two important attributes – alt and title – of the IMG tag. They understand the content of the image by referring to the title attribute. Likewise, the alt or alternative text display information about the image in case the image does not load. In addition to describing the images using these attributes, savvy digital marketers optimize the title and alternative text for search engines by embedding relevant keywords.
7. Add Structured Data to the Image
Google displays the images as rich results when structured data is added to the images. At present, Google supports three distinct types of structured data for images – product, video, and recipe. But Google requires digital marketers to create and add structured data following a set of guidelines. The experienced digital marketers leverage popular SEO tools like Yoast to add structured data to images without putting in extra time and effort.
8. Use Image Extensions for Sitemaps
According to Google Search Central,
Google recommends digital marketers create separate sitemaps for images or add images to the existing sitemap. The savvy digital marketers create image sitemaps using online tools to ensure that the search engine crawls or indexes every image. However, they do not create separate image sitemaps when the website is small and simple.
9. Design and Use Responsive Images
Unlike static images, responsive images are adjusted or customized automatically according to the size of the screen. The smarter digital marketers make images responsive using CSS. The CSS code scales up or scales down the original images based on the values of specific attributes – height, width, and max-width. However, some web browsers and search engine crawlers do not understand these attributes. Hence, the digital marketers still deliver images using the src or source attribute of the IMG tag.
10. Serve Images through CDNs
As a global network of servers, the image content delivery networks (CDNs) optimized the delivery of images in a number of ways – changing the image size, reducing the image loading time, and tailoring the image according to devices. They allow digital marketers to change the image format and customize the image loading process based on present conditions. The smarter digital marketers leverage image CDNs to boost user experience by accelerating image delivery.
11. Test the Optimized Images Elaborately
In addition to implementing many image SEO tips, savvy digital marketers always assess the impact of the optimized image on the web page’s loading speed. They leverage online tools to check if the image affects user experience by making the web page loading slowly. The rework on the image and apply innovative image SEO techniques to ensure that the web page loads in less than 2 seconds.
Google has been adding new features regularly to make it easier for webmasters and digital marketers to optimize images. But savvy digital marketers never forget that image SEO is an ongoing process. While implementing SEO strategies, they focus on improving the search engine visibility of images by adopting new image SEO tips and best practices. They also need to keep an eye on the recent SEO trends to get the best results.
While delivering search results, Google provides additional information about the content and URL by displaying a concise sample of the content. The sample of the content or additional data displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) is called rich snippets or rich results. Google introduced the rich snippets feature in 2009 with the aim to help searchers click on the most relevant link adding summary information to individual search results.
Google generates and displays the rich snippets based on the structured data included in the HTML source code of the web page. But, Google does not use the structured data as a direct ranking signal. But the popular search engine understands the nature and relevance of the content based on the structured data. You can make it easier for the popular search engine to generate rich snippets by adding relevant and valuable information to the web page along with the title and description.
What are Rich Snippets?
In addition to helping search engines understand your content, rich snippets or rich results help searchers to click on the most relevant search result. While generating rich snippets, Google looks for a variety of markup formats – microdata, RDFa, and microformats – on the web page. You can easily add the structured data to the web page using specific tags.
According to Google Search Central,
“You can help us by providing explicit clues about the meaning of a page to Google by including structured data on the page. Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content; for example, on a recipe page, what are the ingredients, the cooking time and temperature, the calories, and so on. Google uses structured data that it finds on the web to understand the content of the page, as well as to gather information about the web and the world in general.”
However, Google generates rich results using various techniques. Also, it updates search algorithms frequently to display more relevant rich snippets for every search query. You can easily add rich snippets to the content by adding structured data to the web page using specific tags. You also have the option to add several types of rich snippets according to the content and website.
What are Different Types of Rich Snippets?
While rolling out the rich snippets feature, Google initially supported structured data to help searchers find the most relevant products or services. You can add structured data to display additional information about a product – features, pricing, availability, and rating.
Businesses and Organizations:
Many local businesses and organizations add structured data to convey additional information to searchers. Some of these structured data help searchers to compare businesses, while others make it easier for them to find the local business.
Reviews and Ratings:
You can help searchers to assess the quality of your product or service by adding structured data related to reviews and ratings. The structured data will make Google display the reviews on the SERPs along with the web page description. However, Google recently restricted the number of self-serving reviews posted by a webmaster.
When you add structured data about a recipe, the searcher can see your recipe directly on the SERPs. The rich results will further help the searcher to compare your recipe with others.
You can convey additional information to the prospective candidates by adding structured data related to the job opening. Also, Google will highlight the information while including the specific jobs in the Google Jobs interface.
The searchers need a variety of information to attend a specific event. You can make more people attend the events organized by you by adding structured data about the event.
You can add structured data about a course or training program to help prospective learners access important information like the institution, tutor, description, duration, and fees.
You can differentiate the how-to articles and blogs from other pieces of content by adding how-to structured data. The structured data will help searchers to understand how to perform a task or accomplish a goal by following a series of steps. However, Google currently displays how-to rich snippets only on mobile search results pages.
The growing popularity of voice search makes many webmasters create content in Q&A format. You can add structured data to a page to make Google differentiate FAQ pages from block-based content. Also, Google will refer to the FAQ page while delivering search results based on specific questions asked by the searcher.
How to Add Rich Snippets to Your Content?
Evaluate Your Content
You cannot boost the search engine visibility of each type of content by adding rich results. Before adding them, you must evaluate the piece of content using a slew of parameters. You can make the search engines display additional information about your web page only by adding structured data to the visible content on the web page. You must not add them through the hidden tags or markup elements on the web page like div.
Choose the Appropriate Markup Specification
While adding rich snippets to a piece of content, you must present the structured data using the appropriate form of markup specification or rich snippet. At present, major search engines support three distinct forms of markup specifications – microdata, microformats, and RDFa. But many webmasters prefer microformats to other forms of markup specifications while adding rich snippets to a page.
Choose the Structured Data Markup
You must choose and use the right type of rich snippet according to the nature of your content. For instance, you must not use the same structured data to create rich snippets for textual and visual content. Also, you must create them using specific page elements like itemscope, itemtype, and itemprop. Itemscope will indicate that the HTML code embedded in a particular <div> tag is related to a particular item. At the same time, itemtype will indicate the nature of the item like product or event, while itemprop will convey important properties of the item.
Consider Using Popular Plugins
You can reduce the time and effort to add rich snippets using popular SEO plugins for WordPress like Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO is designed with features to generate structured data for the content automatically in the background. It further allows you to create the structured data on your own or make changes to the auto-generated structured data. But you need to ensure that no structured data is added to hidden content while working with Yoast SEO. Here is a quick guide on Yoast SEO.
Do Rich Snippets Boost Your Content’s Search Engine Visibility?
As noted earlier, Google and Bing are yet to use rich snippets or rich results as a key ranking factor or signal. Hence, they do not consider rich snippets while ranking content on SERPs. But the popular search engines recommend webmasters to add rich snippets to the content. The purpose is to make it easier for searchers to identify the most relevant search result.
You can add them to a web page to make search engines understand the content clearly and increase click-through rates. You must remember that Google displays them on the SERP only after analyzing the new markup added to your content elaborately. The search engine takes 10 to 14 days to assess the markup and structured data.
Hence, the snippets will appear along with the URL of your web page on SERPs only when Google completes the review and assessment. Also, they will be added to your content initially for a temporary period of time. Google will stop displaying the rich snippets along with your URL after about 5 days.
Also, the rich snippets will appear on the SERPs infrequently over the next few weeks. Google will analyze and assess the structured data over the next eight weeks before displaying the rich snippet on SERPs on a semi-permanent basis. That is why; you have to wait for about two months after adding the rich snippets to the content to leverage the SEO benefits.
Google is yet to use rich snippets as a ranking signal. But it displays rich snippets to help searchers click on the most relevant search result. You can add structured data to a web page to make it easier for Google to understand your content and generate rich snippets. But you must boost a web page’s search engine visibility only by adding the right type of rich snippets in the right way.
The shutdowns and lockdowns caused by COVID-19 pandemic compelled many businesses to switch from conventional marketing campaigns to digital marketing activities to meet the changing consumer behavior. In 2020, the growth of digital marketing industry is often attributed to the disruptions caused by COVID-19. But the digital marketing industry in India will continue to grow steadily in the post-pandemic age.
According to Statista,
“The digital advertising industry across India had a market size of around 160 billion Indian rupees in the financial year 2019, up from just 47 billion Indian rupees in financial year 2015. This was projected to go up to around 539 billion rupees by financial year 2024, indicating a big growth in the industry segment.”
Likewise, an article posted on The National TV suggests,
“Digital advertising spends are set to reach Rs 25,000 crore in India by 2021, at a growth rate of more than 10.5%. This is going to lead to a situation where lakhs of jobs will be available in the digital marketing sector which includes social media marketing, content creation, and online retailing, online advertising.”
The market research studies conducted by several agencies and companies suggest that the digital marketing industry will grow consistently in the near future. But the digital marketing trends change frequently. Also, emerging trends keep transforming the digital marketing industry regularly. Hence, the growth of digital marketing in India will be driven by a slew of factors during and beyond 2021.
What Will Drive Digital Marketing Growth in India in the Near Future?
Increase in the Number of Digital Consumers
According to Analytics Insight,
“India is set to reach 1 billion internet users by the year 2025. As of 2020 YTD, there are over 687.6 million internet users in India.”
The increase in the internet user base will increase the number of digital consumers will increase consistently. More and more consumers will use the internet to conduct pre-purchase research and purchase products/services. Also, the increase will create many new business opportunities for enterprises from various sectors. Many businesses will invest in digital marketing campaigns to influence the buying decisions of the digital consumer.
Changes in Consumer Behavior
The disruptions created by COVID-19 pandemic made many people spend more digital time on accessing social networks and mobile apps. Many consumers even started buying products from online stores and retailers to remain safe. The changes in consumer behaviour will contribute immensely to the growth of digital marketing in India. Indian consumers will continue to use the internet to collect information and place orders. Hence, businesses can leverage the opportunities only by carrying out digital marketing activities.
The emergence of Personal Commerce
Most enterprises these days personalize both advertising and commerce by leveraging the customer data collected from diverse sources. The customer data enable businesses to recommend what to buy and when to buy. Many consumers these days prefer brands that meet their precise needs and preferences at the right time. The digital marketing campaigns help businesses to influence the purchase decisions of customers by sending highly targeted and personalized content according to their current position in the sales journey.
Virtual Events instead of In-Person Events
Many businesses and organizations organized virtual events in 2020 to combat the travel and visa related to COVID-19. In addition to keeping participants safe, virtual events help businesses to curtail cost and overheads. Also, virtual events can be attended by a larger number of participants than in-person events. The new-age communication solutions facilitated bidirectional communication during live events or virtual events. In 2021, the businesses will make virtual events more successful by launching large-scale digital marketing campaigns.
Better Engage Target Audience
According to the Times of India,
“Time spent by Indians on smartphones increased by 24% to 4.3 hours per day in March driven primarily by the lockdown, according to data from analytics firm App Annie of android phones. This is a significant spike as compared to 3.5 hours a day on average.”
The increase in the time spent with mobile devices creates opportunities for businesses in India to keep customers and prospect engaged by through personalized experience and communication. The businesses can launch targeted digital marketing campaigns to interact and engage with customers in the most native environment.
Experiment with Content and Communication Channels
While planning and launching digital marketing campaigns, a business can reach out to targeted customers through various communication channels – emails, text messages, in-app messages, and social networks. It can further lunch integrated marketing campaigns to connect and communicate with customers through their preferred communication channels. At the same time, marketers can evaluate and fine-tune the content used in digital marketing by performing A/B testing. The Indian businesses will lunch integrated digital marketing campaigns in 2021 to send personalized messages through the right communication channel.
Compete with Large and Established Businesses
Traditional marketing is more cost-intensive and resource-intensive than digital marketing. The large and established businesses have the budget to drive sales through traditional marketing. But the small businesses and startups launch digital marketing campaigns to overcome constraints related to cost and resources. Many startups in India already run digital marketing campaigns to create brand awareness and expand the customer base. In 2021, many small businesses and startups will launch digital marketing campaigns to increase revenue and curtail cost.
Measure and Improve Campaign Performance
The businesses often lack the option to monitor and measure the performance of traditional marketing campaigns. But they can measure and monitor the performance of digital marketing campaigns based on real-time data using a variety of analytics solutions. The advanced analytics help decision-makers to measure the effectiveness of every digital ad in driving sales and generate revenue. The decision-makers can further differentiate the high-performing ads from the low-performing ads. They can finetune the low-performing ads based on the actionable insights collected using analytics to drive sales.
Several market research studies suggest that the digital marketing industry in India will grow steadily in the near future. But the Indian digital marketing industry will be transformed by both current and emerging trends. Hence, digital marketing growth in India will be driven by a slew of factors and trends in 2021 and beyond.
While implementing search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, digital marketers use redirects to both search engine crawlers and human website visitors to a more relevant page or URL. They redirect users to a new or relevant URL using a number of redirects, including 301, 302, and Meta Refresh. A 302 redirection indicates that the URL of the resource requested by the searcher is changed temporarily. On the other hand, a 301 redirection depicts that the URL or web page requested by the searcher is moved from one location to another permanently. Since 301 redirect is the most important redirect, lets understand the 301 redirect SEO impact.
What are 301 Redirects?
You can use 301 redirects as a permanent redirect. The 301 redirects will make both searchers, website visitors, and search engine crawlers know that the URL or web page requested by them has moved from one location to another. You should use 301 redirects only when you will not use the specific URL in the future.
According to Google Search Console,
“If you need to change the URL of a page as it is shown in search engine results, we recommend that you use a server-side 301 redirect. This is the best way to ensure that users and search engines are directed to the correct page. The 301 status code means that a page has permanently moved to a new location.”
Hence, 301 redirects in SEO can be implemented on either the client-side or server-side. When you implement client-side 301 redirects, the web browser will redirect the user to the new destination. On the other hand, the web server determines which URL search engine crawlers and website visitors will be redirected to when you implement server-side 301 redirects.
When a searcher or visitor requests the URL, the server will send the 3xx HTTP status code. The status code will indicate that the requested content is already moved to a new location. You can implement both client-side and server-side 301 redirections in a number of ways. Also, the process of implementing 301 redirects varies across content management systems (CMS) and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
301 Redirect SEO: How Do 301 Redirects Impact Your Content’s Search Engine Visibility?
A visitor or searcher will not notice any difference between 301 and 302 redirects. But the search engine crawlers can differentiate 301 and 301 redirects precisely. Also, 301 redirects pass about 95% to 99% of the link equity or page authority from the old page to the redirected page. Once you implement 301 redirections, the search engines will consolidate the old URL with the new URL.
Hence, the new URL will appear on the search engine results pages (SERPs) instead of the old URL. Hence, you easily boot the content’s visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) by implementing 301 redirects accurately. You can implement 301 redirects for a website any number of times.
But your SEO strategy must not implement 301 and 302 redirects interchangeably. You must implement 301 redirects in SEO only when the content is moved to a new destination permanently. It is always important to use 302 redirects instead of 301 redirects to depict that the content is moved to another location temporarily.
When Should You Implement 301 Redirects?
Finetuning a URL
You can boost a website’s user experience by reorganizing its folder structure. Likewise, you can increase the content’s search engine visibility by tweaking the URL. When you make changes to a URL, the SEO value of your website will diminish. You can implement 301 redirects to divert visitors and search engine crawlers to a new URL without affecting the website’s SEO value.
Send Visitors to Canonical URL
Often webmasters allow visitors to access a website through multiple URLs. For instance, a webmaster allows visitors to access AbhijitPanda.com using a number of URLs – abhijitpanda.com, abhijitpanda.com/home, and home.abhijitpanda.com. The SEO professionals use canonical tags to make search engine crawlers differentiate between the master URL and duplicate URLs. You can implement 301 redirects in SEO to divert traffic to your preferred or canonical URL.
Moving a Website to a New Domain
Often webmasters change a website’s domain name to depict the nature and type of business more clearly. When you move a website to a new domain, the website will lose all SEO value. The new domain’s search engine visibility will increase gradually over a period of time. You can keep the website’s SEO value intact by diverting visitors to relevant URLs using 301 redirects.
Recreating or Replacing Existing Content
While implementing SEO strategies, SEO professionals perform content audits frequently to beat search engine algorithm changes and updates. Sometimes they replace a piece of content with a fresh piece of content. Likewise, they make the content appealing and engaging by recreating the web page with a new template. While replacing or recreating a URL, you can implement 301 redirects to redirect the visitors to the new URL directly.
Consolidating Multiple Pieces of Content
Sometimes webmasters post multiple pieces of content on a single topic or keyword. The overlapping impacts the search engine ranking of multiple URLs. While performing a content audit, you must consider consolidating the multiple pieces of content. After creating a consolidated or optimized version of the content, you can use 301 redirects to divert searchers and visitors from multiple old pages to a single new page.
Planning Phased Website Launches
Many organizations these days lunch large website in phases. They launch the website initially with the most important and relevant web pages. Then they create and add new web pages in phases. Some organizations even use separate domains throughout the phased website launch. You can use 301 redirects to divert search engine traffic from the old domain to the new domain while passing the SEO values fully.
301 Redirect SEO Guide: What Best Practices You Must Adopt While Implementing 301 Redirects in SEO?
Implement 301 and 302 Redirects Accurately
The novice digital marketers often impact a website’s SEO value by using 301 and 302 redirects interchangeably. You can leverage 301 redirects as a robust SEO technique by implementing 301 redirects when the content is moved to another destination permanently. Likewise, you should use 302 redirects only when the content is moved to another location temporarily. It is always advisable to use 301 and 302 redirects accurately by performing a website audit.
Fix 404 Errors by Implementing 301 Redirects
As a standardized HTTP code, 404 indicates that the page through which you want to access a website is not found on the server. When the server returns a 404 status code, the search engines do not crawl or index the URL. Hence, 404 errors impact your website’s search engine visibility directly. You can fix 404 errors by implementing 301 redirects. The 301 redirects will divert the search engine crawlers to the new target pages.
Focus on Keeping the Website’s User Experience Intact
While implementing a 301 redirect in SEO, you need to ensure that the website’s user experience is not impacted adversely. You need to ensure that 301 redirections are implemented only to divert searchers and visitors to similar and relevant content. You must not implement 301 redirects to divert visitors to a URL that is created for a different purpose or intent.
Avoid Using 301 Redirects for Chains and Loops
The redirect chains and loops impact your website’s search engine performance adversely by making it difficult for the search engine crawlers to crawl and index the content. While implementing 301 redirects, you need to ensure that no redirect chain and loop is created. Often digital marketers create redirect loops by implementing 301 redirects inaccurately. In addition to diminishing SEO value, the redirect loops affect the website’s user experience.
Don’t Forget to Fix Broken Links
The broken links impact your website’s user experience and search engine ranking adversely.
According to RavenTools.com,
“Search engines see links as a vote for a website’s quality. Links to your website and links within your website can affect where your website ranks in search results. Because of this, it’s best practice to either remove or update broken links.”
Your SEO strategy must not focus on fixing broken links using 301 redirects.
You can use 301 redirects to convey to both website visitors and search engine crawlers that the content requested by them is now available in a new URL. In addition to redirecting users to the correct web page, 301 redirects boost the content’s search engine visibility by passing link equity from the old page to the new page. But you can leverage 301 redirects as an effective SEO technique only by implementing it in the most appropriate way.