What is Penetration Pricing?

Before launching a new product or service, the businesses use a variety of pricing strategies and methods to determine its selling price. Some pricing strategies focus on recovering the cost of production, while others help businesses to generate more revenue and profits. Unlike other pricing strategies, penetration pricing strategy helps businesses to penetrate a new product or service into the competitive market.

What is Penetration Pricing?

While adopting the penetration strategy, businesses offer a new product or service to the customers at a lower price during the initial release period. The low price makes a larger number of customers avail of the product or service. At the same time, many customers switch from competitors to the new product r service to save money.

According to Investopedia,

Penetration pricing is a marketing strategy used by businesses to attract customers to a new product or service by offering a lower price during its initial offering. The lower price helps a new product or service penetrating the market and attracting customers away from competitors.

Your business should adopt a penetration pricing strategy to create demand for a new product or service in a short amount of time. In addition to making more customers aware of your product or service, the pricing strategy will make customer switch from competitors. But you must remember that penetration pricing, like other pricing strategies, has its own advantages and disadvantages.

What are the Major Advantages of Penetration Pricing Strategy?

Make Customers Aware and Interested

Unlike other pricing strategies, penetration pricing is effective in making more customers aware of the new product and driving the sale of the new product. The lower price will make customers switch from competitors and promote the product or service through word of mouth.

Beat Competition

Often businesses find it challenging to promote and sale a new product or service by beating the competition. Penetration pricing strategy helps businesses to create demand for and drive the sale of the new product by beating the competition. The lower price of the product will make many customers buy the new product as well as switch from competitors.

Promote Brand Loyalty

While launching a new product or service, businesses have to invest huge resources to create a popular brand and promote brand loyalty. They can adopt a penetration pricing strategy to make more customers buy the new product. The surge in sales helps businesses to promote brand loyalty by offering superior quality, value, or experience.

Curtail Production Cost

A business can easily boost the sale of a product or service by adopting penetration pricing. The surge in demand and sale of the product will help the business to curtail overheads by scaling up production. The economies of scale help businesses to avoid increasing the price of the product or service after the initial launch period.

Acquire Market Share

A business can easily disrupt the marketplace by offering products or services at a lower price. The competitors will need some time to reduce the price of their products. Hence, a business can easily acquire and increase market share by offering products or services initially at a lower price.

What are the Important Disadvantages of Penetration Pricing Strategy?

Difficult to Meet Customer Expectations

Penetration pricing strategy makes businesses to increase the price of the product or service after the initial launch period. The increase in price will affect the sale of the product directly. The customers will expect your business to offer the product or service at the same price. Also, the increase in price will make many customers switch to competitors.

Negative Brand Perception

According to Entrepreneur.com,

Whether customers perceive a product as “cheap” or “affordable” is crucial to its success in the marketplace. But if companies think they lack control of this perception, well, they are simply wrong.

Often customers associate the lower price of a product or service to poor quality. Hence, businesses cannot drive the sale of luxury or premium items by adopting a penetration pricing strategy.

Chances of Starting a Price War

There were many instances when a price war was started as a company reduced the price of a product or service in a competitive marketplace. There are always chances that your competitors will offer the product as a price lower than yours. Hence, a business must prepare itself to fight a price war while adopting a penetration pricing method.

When Should a Business Adopt Penetration Pricing Strategy?

While adopting the penetration pricing method, you must evaluate the pros and cons of this pricing strategy. In addition to boosting the sale of the product or service during the initial launch period, your business must keep in place a strategy to sustain the demand and sale in the long run. That is why; you must consider a slew of factors while adopting a penetration pricing model.

  • The demand for and sale of a product is directly driven by its price
  • Your business can curtail production cost by achieving economies of scale
  • The product will be produced and launched in a mass-market where there is adequate demand
  • Your business is ready to face competition and fight price wars after launching a new product
  • When there is product standardization instead of product differentiation

Penetration pricing strategy helps your business to boost the sale of a new product or service during the initial release period. The lower price helps the product or service penetrate the competitive market. But there are always chances that the customers will switch to a competitor as the price of the product or service increases after the initial release period.  You must consider integrating penetration pricing with other pricing strategies to drive sales and promote brand loyalty in the longer run.

What is Voice Search

What is Voice Search SEO?

In 2011, Google introduced voice search as a new feature in web search. The feature enables users to find information using voice commands instead of typing search queries. Major search engines have been updating the voice search feature regularly. Likewise, the number of searchers switching from text search to voice search has been increasing consistently.

According to ThinkwithGoogle.com,

27% of the global online population is using voice search on mobile.

Likewise, the research conducted by Adobe Analytics suggests,

The most common voice activities are asking for music (70%) and the weather forecast (64%) via smart speakers. Other popular activities include asking fun questions (53%), online search (47%), checking the news (46%), basic research/confirming info (35%), and asking directions (34%).

What is Voice Search SEO?

As a speech recognition technology, voice search allows searchers to collect information by saying search queries to a mobile phone or speaker instead of typing search queries into a search field. While making search engine queries, searchers find it easier to give voice commands instead of typing search queries.

According to WhatIs.com,

Voice search is a speech recognition technology that allows users to search by saying terms aloud rather than typing them into a search field. The proliferation of smartphones and other small, Web-enabled mobile devices has spurred interest in voice search.

What Makes Voice Search Different from Text Search?

An average person can type 30 to 40 words or 190 to 200 characters per minute. But an average person can speak about 100 to 130 words per minute. That is why; average words per minute (WPM) makes voice search different from text search. We cannot understand what voice search is without understanding the key differences between voice search and text search.

Search Query Length:

The searchers find it easier to give voice commands than typing search queries. While typing search queries, the searchers often use abbreviations and include about two words. But the searchers answer questions and speak full sentences while initiating voice search. Hence, voice search queries are longer than text search queries.

Natural Language:

Often, searchers do not type questions while doing a text search. But they ask questions while giving voice commands. Most voice search queries start with commonly used question words like what, when, where, who, and how. Hence, the voice search queries appear natural and complete, unlike the text search queries.

Location:

Unlike text search queries, mobile voice search queries are often location-based. While using mobile devices or smart speakers, the searchers often give a voice command to get localized information.

According to Meticulosity.com,

Most voice searches are location specific and mobile voice-related searches are 3X more likely to be local-based than text. Users often opt for voice search when looking for a product, shop or service near them and 50% of local mobile searches by a consumer leads to a store visit in a day.

What Does the Voice Search Results Look Like?

A featured snippet or answer box appears on top of the organic search results delivered by Google. The features snippet appears in a box just below the paid ads displayed by Google. Google displays featured snippet with the intention to answer the question asked by the searchers directly and instantly.

The popular search engine created the features snippet dynamically using content collected from various online sources, including articles and blogs. Google displays information in the featured snippets in a variety of formats – paragraphs, data sets, and lists.

While processing voice search queries, Google delivers voice search results from the featured snippet. The featured snippet appears on the SERPs before the organic search results. Hence, digital marketers have to focus on making their content appear in position zero on SERPs.

How Does Voice Search Work?

Both Google and Bing these days use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to interpret the voice search query and understand the searcher’s intent. But they still rely on text-to-speech technology to analyze the voice search query and identify the questions. Hence, search engines process voice search commands and deliver voice search results through a series of steps.

  • The voice command given by the searcher is processed and transcribed by the device into a text
  • The device detects questions, instructions, or command by analyzing the text
  • The device connects to the search engine to find relevant information or answers
  • Search engine delivers voice search results using the information in the featured snippet
  • The device delivers the voice search results in a digestible format to the searcher after translating the information

Voice Search SEO: How to Create and Optimize Content for Voice Search?

The smart speakers and AI-driven voice assistants these days deliver voice search results by collecting information from diverse sources – search engines, Wikipedia, and reputed websites. The digital marketers cannot boost the articles, blogs, and website content for voice search using conventional search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. They have to fine-tune SEO techniques to make the content discoverable by various devices and applications.

Include Question Words

As mentioned earlier, searchers ask questions while doing a voice search. While selecting keywords for the content, you must explore ways to include commonly used questions words – what, when, who, why, where, and how – in the keywords and keyphrases. The question words will make your content match various voice search queries.

Use Longtail Keywords

While giving voice commands, the searchers neither shorten the search query nor use abbreviations. Hence, you must optimize the content for voice search by including longtail keywords and keyphrases. Also, you must make the longtail keywords and keyphrases conversational by including commonly used filler words like to, from, I, of the, on the, and the.

 Optimize the Content for Rich Answers

In addition to delivering information from the featured snippet, Google also delivers rich answers to the questions. You can optimize the content for rich answers by targeting Google’s knowledge panel, knowledge graph, knowledge snippet, and knowledge box. The optimization will increase the chances of your content appearing at position zero on voice search results.

Optimize the Content for Local Search

While doing voice searches, many searchers look for information about local or near me businesses. They give voice commands to gather a variety of information about local businesses – direction and opening hours. You can easily optimize your website for voice search by enhancing its local presence. Google helps entrepreneurs to optimize their business for voice and local searches by listing on Google My Business. The listing will help searchers to collect your business’s address and phone numbers while doing voice search.

Restructure the Existing Content

In addition to creating fresh content for voice search, you must restructure and optimize the existing website content for voice search. You can make the website voice search friendly by including questions and precise answers. But several studies suggest that voice search results deliver results in about thirty words. You have to keep in mind the search result length while restructuring the content. Also, you must explore ways to add multiple frequently asked questions (FAQs) pages to various pages and blogs.

Use Conversational Language

While giving voice commands, most searchers use conversational language. Hence, you must use conversational language while creating articles, blogs, and website content. The conversational language will increase the chances of your content appearing on voice search results. However, it is also important to keep in mind the searcher’s intention while creating and updating the content. The search intent will help you to prepare a list of questions that a searcher will ask while looking for your products or services.

Boost Your Website’s Mobile Experience

In addition to optimizing the content for voice search, your SEO strategy must focus on improving the website’s user experience according to the latest search engine guidelines. For instance, Google advises you to boost the website’s loading speed, mobile experience, and security. You can easily make the content appear in featured snippets by making the website deliver superior user experience of mobile devices.

While answering questions like what is voice search, we must remember that both Google and Bing have been updating voice search features regularly. The latest voice search options enable searchers to give voice commands directly using devices or speakers with no screen. Also, disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) enables searchers to initiate voice searches using a variety of devices and applications.

What are Stop Words in SEO

What are Stop Words in SEO?

What are Stop Words?

While writing content, writers do not consider if a specific word will be considered or ignored by search engines. But major search engines like Google ignore particular words either fully or partially while indexing the content. The term “stop words” refers to the words that are ignored by search engines. Hence, stop words in SEO do not influence the search engine ranking or visibility of the content despite improving content readability.

According to Wikipedia,

In computing, stop words are words which are filtered out before or after processing of natural language data (text). Though “stop words” usually refers to the most common words in a language, there is no single universal list of stop words used by all natural language processing tools, and indeed not all tools even use such a list. Some tools specifically avoid removing these stop words to support phrase search.

What are the Commonly Used Stop Words in SEO?

According to CSEO.com,

Statistics show that stop words make up for more or less 25% of a blog post, although they don’t necessarily have anything to do with the content. Search engines often ignore SEO stop words, in both search queries and results.

The stop words ignored by search engines can be commonly used articles, pronouns, prepositions, or conjunctions. We have prepared a commonly used SEO stop words list by gathering information from diverse online sources.

  • a, about, actually, almost, also, although, always, am, an, and, any, are, as, at
  • be, became, become, but, by
  • can, could
  • did, do, does
  • each, either, else
  • for, from, had, has, have, hence, how
  • I, if, in, is, it, its
  • just,
  • may, maybe, me, might, mine, must, my, mine, must, my
  • neither, nor, not, of
  • oh, ok
  • when, where, whereas, wherever, whenever, whether, which, while, who, whom, whoever, whose, why, will, with, within, without, would
  • yes, yet, you, and your

How Do Search Engines Filter Stop Words?

The search engines maintain a list of phrases. Also, they update the list regularly. The list includes the phrases from which stop words must not be removed. The search engines refer to the database while delivering search results to decide whether to include or ignore stop words. They normally ignore the stop word when it does not alter the meaning of the search query or intent of the searcher. The advanced search algorithms used by Google these days deliver search results by understanding stop words in context.

Do Stop Words Impact Search Engine Ranking?

Many SEO professionals advise writers to avoid including too many stop words in the content. They avoid using stop words in the web page’s keywords, titles, and URL slugs with the intention to boost search engine visibility. Also, a widely used WordPress plugin like Yoast SEO automatically removes stop words from permalinks and post slugs. But the SEO professionals must implement some best practices instead of removing stop words.

Page Title and Headings:

When the writer removes stop words from page title and heading, the web page will look both unprofessional and spammy. Also, human readers will find it difficult to understand the nature of content as titles are one of the key components of a web page. The SEO professionals should not remove stop words from the page title. But they must replace the longer stop words with shorter stop words as the search engines often truncate longer titles on search result pages.

Keywords:  

The keywords or key phrases become ambiguous without stop words. Sometimes the absence of stop words makes it difficult for the searchers to find more relevant information and content. For instance, a searcher cannot find information about flights when the keyword does not include to or from before London. That is why; the writers should not remove stop words from keywords.

URL Slugs:

According to Backlinko.com,

We found a very slight correlation between URL length and rankings. Specifically, short URLs tend to have a slight ranking advantage over longer URLs.

Also, the search engines do not consider stop words while assessing URL slugs. The SEO professionals can easily reduce the length of URLs by removing stop words.

Should Writers Remove Stop Words from Content?

While writing content, writers these days target both search engines and human readers. They can optimize the content for search engines by removing the stop words. But the human readers cannot understand the content clearly and precisely once the stop words are removed. Hence, the writers cannot keep the content readable and understandable without using stop words.

Also, stop words often help searchers to find more relevant and useful information. For instance, when a searcher searches “London”, the search engines will display information about the capital city of England. But the search engines will display information about London flights and airfare when the searcher searches “to London”. Hence, the writers should not affect the readability of content with the intention to boost the content’s search engine visibility.

Do Updated Search Algorithms Understand Contextual Stop Words?

As mentioned earlier, search engines ignore certain stop words fully and ignore certain stop words partially. But Google has updated its search algorithms to understand stop words in context. Google currently uses Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) model to process words based on their relation to other words in the same sentence.

According to Google,

BERT models can therefore consider the full context of a word by looking at the words that come before and after it—particularly useful for understanding the intent behind search queries.

That is why; the human readers and search engine bots cannot understand the content clearly when the writer does not use stop words. The BERT models make it easier for writers to convey information clearly and keep the content readable without focusing on removing the stop words in SEO.

Conclusion

The writers cannot present information and express ideas clearly without using commonly used stop words in SEO. The absence of stop words will make the content unclear and confusing. But the search engines ignore stop words either fully or partially while indexing and assessing the content. The BERT model used by Google enables the search engine bots to understand stop keywords in context. Hence, the writers can now focus on improving the value and readability of count without removing stop words.

Black Hat SEO Technologies to Avoid in 2021

Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid in 2021

The frequent search algorithm updates by Google create many new search engine optimization (SEO) trends and make many widely used SEO techniques ineffective. While implementing an SEO strategy in 2021, you must focus on adopting the emerging SEO trends early and proactively. At the same time, you must identify and avoid the black hat SEO techniques to avoid harsh penalties.

According to Search Engine Journal,

In its early years, Google only made a handful of updates to its algorithms. Now, Google makes thousands of changes every year. Most of these updates are so slight that they go completely unnoticed. However, on occasion, the search engine rolls out major algorithmic updates that significantly impact the SERPs.

Unlike white hat SEO techniques, black hat SEO techniques boost a website’s search engine visibility by violating search engine guidelines. Some of the black hat SEO techniques initially help you to get website traffic from organic search. But the unethical tactics always impact the website’s user experience and search engine ranking and visibility in the longer run. While implementing or finetuning SEO strategy, you must focus on black hat SEO techniques to avoid in 2021.

9 Black Hat SEO Techniques You Must Avoid in 2021

1. Posting Low-Quality and Duplicate Content

Each search engine algorithm updates aims to deliver more relevant and updated information to searchers. Hence, search engines use the quality of content as the key metric while ranking websites. You can easily improve your website’s search engine visibility by posting unique and useful content regularly. But you will violate search engine guidelines by posting low-quality content or posting the same piece of content on multiple locations.

2. Stuffing Keywords

Major search engines have already moved from keyword-based search to intent-based search. But many digital marketers still try to improve a website’s search engine ranking by including additional keywords in the content. They try to trick search engines by stuffing keywords in various sections of a page unnaturally. While creating and posting content for SEO campaigns in 2021, you need to ensure that targeted keywords are not stuffed into the content randomly and unnaturally.

3. Negative SEO

While implementing SEO strategies, many digital marketers focus on reducing the search engine ranking of competitor websites. Instead of focusing on increasing the search engine visibility of their own website, they try to penalize the higher ranked website by generating a large number of low-quality and unnatural backlinks. Your SEO strategy must focus on generating high-quality backlinks to your website without violating search engine guidelines. Also, you must audit your website’s link profile regularly to eliminate the impact of negative SEO.

4. Hiding Text from Users

While designing web pages, many digital marketers use CSS to hide text from human users. They hide text on web pages in a variety of ways – reducing the font size to zero, posting images over the text, or using the same text and background colors. They embed targeted keywords in the hidden text to boost the website’s search engine visibility. You must remember that the search engine crawlers these days use artificial intelligence (AI) to index and rank web pages. They can easily identify the hidden text on a web page.

5. Cloaking

The cybercriminals use cloaking as an effective technique to make it difficult for website owners to identify hacking. But many digital marketers violate search engine guidelines using cloaking an SEO technique.

According to Google,

Cloaking refers to the practice of presenting different content or URLs to human users and search engines. Cloaking is considered a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines because it provides our users with different results than they expected.

Your SEO strategy must not differentiate between search engines and human users while presenting content or URLs.

6. Misleading Redirects

As a widely used white hat SEO technique, redirects send search engine crawlers and human users to more relevant web pages. Digital marketers use redirects to present more relevant content without violating search engine guidelines. But the digital marketers violate search engine guidelines when they use redirects to in a manner similar to cloaking. They use redirects to present different content to human users and search engine crawlers. The sneaky redirects make the search engine crawlers index the original URL while taking human users to another URL.

7. Link Schemes

According to Google Search Central,

Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.

Your SEO strategy in 2021 needs to ensure that incoming or outgoing links to the website are not generated using back hat techniques like paid links, excessive link exchange, large-scale guest blogging campaigns, automated link building, and spammy bookmarking and directories.

8. Creating Doorway/Gateway Pages

Many digital marketers create doorway pages or gateway pages with the intention to make a web page rank higher for particular search queries. Such pages do not offer any valuable or relevant information to searchers. But they even lead a searcher to multiple pages on the same website on search engine result pages (SERPs). While implementing an SEO strategy in 2021, you must not forget to check if there are doorway pages or gateway pages that connect a particular section of the website to content-focused landing pages.

9. Misusing Structured Data

As a standardized format, structured data helps webmasters to convey additional information about a web page by implementing specific markups. Digital marketers can use structured data to describe entities, actions, and interrelationships without violating any search engine guidelines. But many digital marketers violate search engine guidelines by misusing the structured data. They use structured data as an SEO technique to increase a website’s search engine visibility by providing incorrect and misleading information. For instance, they divert more traffic to the website from search engines by posting fake reviews or increasing use ratings.

The frequent search engine algorithm updates make it essential for you to abandon commonly used SEO techniques and experiment with innovative SEO techniques. But your SEO strategy must comply with the latest search engine guidelines by focusing on black hat SEO techniques to avoid in 2021. You can easily boost your website’s user experience and search engine visibility in the long run by implementing only white hat SEO techniques in 2021.

What is Cost Plus Pricing and When to use it

What is Cost-Plus Pricing and When to Use It?

While determining the price of a product or service, you can consider several types of pricing strategies. Some pricing strategies help you to increase the demand for the product or service, while others make it easier for you to generate more profit. Unlike other pricing strategies, cost-plus pricing or markup pricing helps you to generate profit as a fixed percentage on the cost of production of a unit of product.

Wikipedia defines cost-plus pricing or markup pricing as “a pricing strategy in which the selling price is determined by adding a specific markup to a product’s unit cost.

Three Important Steps in Cost-Plus Pricing Strategy

Cost-plus pricing is one of the simple and straightforward pricing strategies. You can use a cost-plus pricing model to set the selling price of a product in three simple steps.

Step 1: Determine the production cost per unit.

You have to start by determining the cost of production by adding materials, labour, direct expenses, and overheads. You can divide the total cost of production by the total units of the product to determine production cost per unit.

Step 2:  Determine the profit margin or markup.

You need to determine the amount of profit you want to earn by selling a single unit of the product. Often businesses calculate the profit margin as a percentage of the production cost per unit.

Step 3: Determine the Product’s Selling Price.

Finally, you have to determine the selling price of each unit of the product by adding the production cost per unit with the profit margin or markup.

Cost-Plus Pricing Formula and Example

The cost-based pricing strategy enables you to determine the selling price of a product using the simple formula: Cost per Unit ((1 + the Markup Amount). We can describe the formula more clearly using the following example.

Let’s assume your business has to incur Rs 1000 as material cost, Rs 800 as labour cost, and Rs 200 as overheads cost to produce a single unit. Also, your business wants to set the markup or profit margin at 50%.

Material Cost:      Rs 1000

Labour Cost:         Rs 800

Overheads Cost:  Rs 200

Cost per Unit        Rs 2000

Markup: 50% or .50

Selling Price: Rs 2000 (1+.50) = Rs 2000 * 1.5 = Rs 3000

Your business can earn a 50% profit by selling a single unit of the product at Rs 3000.

Strategic Advances of Cost-Plus Pricing Strategy

 One of the Simplest Pricing Strategies

Some pricing strategies require you to consider a variety of factors while determining the selling price of a product. But the cost-plus pricing strategy requires you to determine the cost of production accurately. You can determine the selling price of a product simply by determining the cost of production and profit margin.

Justifies Increase in Selling Price

Sometimes buyers complain about a sudden or unexpected rise in the selling price of a product. Cost-plus pricing strategy makes it easier for your business to justify the increase in the selling price of a product due to the increase in the production cost. Also, your business can cover the rise in production cost by increasing the product’s selling price from time to time.

Ensures Consistent Rate of Return

Unlike other pricing strategies, cost-plus pricing focuses on the cost of production fully. Also, it allows your business to determine the markup as a percentage of the production cost. Hence, your business can get a consistent rate of return in the long run by adopting markup pricing strategy.

Major Drawbacks of Cost-Plus Pricing Strategy

Ignores Prices Set by Competitors

The cost-plus pricing strategy focuses only on the cost of production. It ignores the price set by competitors for similar products. Hence, your business may set the selling price of the product too high with the aim to increase profit. But the higher price will make it difficult for your business to increase the sale of the product.

Relies on Estimated Sales Figures

The pricing strategy assumes that all units of the product will be sold out. The demand for and sale of a product is influenced by a slew of factors. Hence, there are always chances that your business may not recover the cost of production fully by overestimating the sales figures. Also, your business may not generate more profit by setting a lower profit margin based on the overestimated sales figure.

Does not Emphasize on Reducing Production Cost

Most businesses these days explore ways to reduce production cost to beat the competition and boost demand. But cost-plus pricing strategy enables businesses to increase profit margin despite a rise in production cost. Hence, the pricing strategy will not encourage your managers to improve operational efficiency and curtail manufacturing overheads.

Suitability of Cost-Plus Pricing Strategy

Many retailers these days set selling price of different products using a cost-plus pricing model. The retail products differ from each other in terms of production cost. Hence, the retailers set different rates of markup on the production cost of a specific product. The pricing strategy further allows retailers to apply different markup percentages of various products.

Also, many companies impress customers by keeping the pricing strategy transparent. They adopt the cost-plus pricing model to convince that they are applying a lower markup percentage than the competitors. The transparency helps businesses to implement a strategy to popularize their brands and promote customer loyalty.

But your business cannot determine the price of a customized software solution or software-as-a-service (SaaS) product by adopting the pricing model. Because your software solution will help businesses to get higher returns by boosting operational efficiency and curtailing cost. It is always advisable to avoid markup pricing model to determine the price of digital products and solutions.

Your business can opt for cost-plus pricing strategy to get a consistent rate of return on the cost of production. But you must remember that markup pricing, like other pricing strategies, has its own advantages and shortcomings. Your business cannot use the pricing strategy to generate revenue and boost sales of all types of product. It is always important to keep in mind the pros and cons of cost-plus pricing while comparing various pricing strategies.

App Store Optimization- A Basic Guide

App Store Optimization – A Basic Guide

The app developers cannot increase the number of downloads without making their apps rank higher on the search results of Apple App Store or Google Play Store. App store optimization or app store SEO is the process of improving the visibility and discoverability of an app on the search results displayed by app stores.

According to the latest mobile app download and usage statistics, “The iOS App Store launched in 2008 with 500 apps. Today, 1.85 million different apps are available for users to download. Android users have even more from which to choose, with 2.56 million available through the Google Play Store.

Therefore, you cannot increase the number of downloads and generate recurring revenue without complementing the mobile app development strategy with an elaborate app store optimization strategy.

What Do App Stores Consider While Ranking Mobile Apps?

Like search engines, app stores also use a variety of ranking factors while displaying mobile apps on search results. But the app ranking factors vary across Apple App Store and Google Play Store. App Store displays iOS apps and games on search results using key ranking factors like app name, app URL, app subtitle, keywords, in-app purchases, number of downloads, update frequency, and reviews and ratings.

On the other hand, Google Play Store displays Android apps and games on search results using key ranking factors like app title, app description (both long and short), in-app purchases, number of download, update frequency, and reviews and ratings. You must understand the key ranking factors used by the targeted app store while implementing app store optimization.

Also, you should remember that the Play Store considers both short description and long description while indexing and ranking an Android app. App Store allows you to include relevant keywords in specific keyword fields while listing the iOS app. Both app stores make changes to the ranking factors regularly. But none of the app stores reveals app ranking factors clearly and regularly. You can make the app store optimization strategy more effective by understanding the latest app store review policy and guidelines.

How to Optimize Your Mobile App for Apple App Store or Google Play Store?

Optimize the App’s Title and Subtitles

Both App Store and Play Store use an app’s title as one of the key app ranking factors. Also, the prospective users decide about collecting additional information about an app based on its title. While implementing app store SEO, you must focus on keeping the app’s title easy to remember and recall. Also, you must add context to the mobile app by adding a subtitle.

While creating the app’s title and subtitles, you must explore ways to include the most relevant keywords naturally and strategically. You can even add credibility to the app by including the brand name in the title. However, you must keep the app’s title short as Play Stores restricts the number of character to 50 and App Store allows only 30 characters for the title.

Optimize the App’s Description

 Unlike App Store, Play Store uses app’s long and short descriptions as a key ranking factor. But you can easily optimize both Android and iOS apps by writing compelling and engaging descriptions. Both app stores allow you to write the app’s description in 400 characters. Hence, you need to prioritize the information required to describe the app effectively.

While writing the app’s description, you must focus on answering the questions asked by users before downloading an app. The description must clearly highlight the key features and important aspects of the app. Also, you must clearly mention why a user should download the mobile app. Also, you must not forget to include the relevant keywords in the description strategically and naturally.

Choose and Include the Right Keywords

Like search engine optimization (SEO), app store optimization also requires you to perform elaborate keyword research. You can identify and shortlist the relevant keywords from the mobile app using a slew of keyword research tools. The tools make it easier for you to understand the keywords or keyphrases used by searchers to find similar mobile apps.

Also, you can identify the relevant keywords by assessing the title and descriptions of the mobile apps launched by your competitors. After identifying relevant keywords, you must focus on including them strategically. You must include the main keyword in the app’s title and description strategically.

Showcase the App Visually

In addition to optimizing the app’s title and descriptions, you must focus on showcasing the app visually. Both App Store and Play Store allow you to showcase the app visually using screenshots and videos. App Store allows you to include up to 10 screenshots, while the Play Store allows you to include up to 8 screenshots.

Also, the App Store, unlike the Play Store, displays the screenshots on search results. You can highlight important aspects of the mobile app visually by including the maximum number of screenshots. In addition to showcasing key features of the app, the screenshots will help you to achieve higher click-through rates.

However, many users these days prefer gathering information about the app by watching videos. The videos can highlight the important aspects of your mobile app more effective than the static screenshots. Hence, your app store SEO strategy must focus on beating the competition using short but compelling videos.

Encourage Users to Rate and Review the App

Both App Store and Play Store use reviews and rating as a key ranking metric. They assess the quality and popularity of a mobile app based on the reviews and ratings posted by existing users. Hence, the apps will higher ratings appear higher on the app store search results. Your app store optimization strategy must focus on encouraging users to post reviews and rate the app.

You can request and persuade users to review and rate the app by sending emails and using social media. Also, the app must request the uses to leave a review internally when the user experiences something positive by reaching the next level or completing a transaction. At the same time, you can use gamification techniques to make users earn rewards by posting reviews and ratings.

Focus on Increasing Downloads

Both App Store and Play Store use the number of downloads as a key ranking factor while displaying apps on the search results. You can easily boost the mobile app’s visibility and discoverability on app store search results by persuading users to download your app. Hence, your app store optimization strategy must focus on increase app install rate consistently.

You cannot achieve a higher app install rate by implementing a slew of techniques – social media promotion, email marketing, content marketing, and app directory site listing. Also, you can make increase downloads by allowing users to download the paid app for free for a short duration. However, your strategy must focus on understanding and meeting the expectation of users.

Review and Finetune the ASO Strategy

The app stores include new ranking factors to deliver more relevant search results to users. Also, the app store trends change from time to time. You cannot increase downloads consistently without adopting the emerging trends in app store SEO early. You must keep the app store SEO strategy flexible enough to adopt the emerging trends proactively.

At the same time, it is also important to assess the performance of the ASO strategy from time to time using the right parameters. You can easily make the ASO strategy more effective by implementing simple changes like refreshing the keywords, changing screenshots, and rewriting the app’s title, subtitles, and descriptions. Also, you must update the app regularly by adding new features and improving the user experience.

Both Apple and Google change their app store guidelines regularly. Also, they use new ranking factors while ranking mobile apps on their search results. That is why; you must focus on making app store optimization or app store SEO an ongoing process. Also, you have to review and finetune the app store SEO strategy regularly to boost your app’s discoverability, increase number of downloads, and leverage app monetization options. You also need to keep an eye on the recent SEO trends which will also impact the ASO trends.

SEO Trends in 2021

SEO Trends to Look Out for in 2021

Every year Google makes thousands of changes to its search algorithms. Some of the major search algorithm updates impact the search engine visibility of thousands of website in a short amount of time. Also, the search engine algorithm changes often make widely used search engine optimization (SEO) techniques obsolete and create many new SEO trends. Businesses, with a great organic SEO strategy, get a significant percentage of your website traffic from organic search. Hence, you can get organic traffic to your website or online platforms regularly by fine-tuning your search engine optimization SEO strategy by adopting the emerging SEO trends early and proactively.

According to a Channel Performance Report released by Brightedge,

51% of all website traffic comes from organic search, while over 40% of revenue is captured by organic traffic.

Also, you must keep the SEO strategy dynamic to adopt the emerging SEO trends in 2021 proactively.

12 Hottest SEO Trends in 2021 to Get Website Traffic from Organic Search

1. Long-Form Content

The search engines do not consider content length as a criterion for ranking websites. But the statistics posted on various websites suggest that long-form content get more organic traffic, social media shares, and backlinks than short-form content. Your SEO strategy must focus on creating long-form articles and blogs in 2021. But you must divide the content into small sections using sub-titles and headings to make it easier for the searcher to read blogs and articles on their mobile devices. Also, you must include the links or button to make it easier for readers to share the content on social networks instantly. 

2. Google E-A-T Principle

Google has already started assessing the quality of content using the EAT principle. The EAT principles measure content quality using three key parameters – expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. In addition to creating long-form content, you must focus on improving the content quality. You can keep the content relevant for readers by meeting the reader’s precise search intent. Also, you must allow the reader to access the content in her preferred format. At the same time, you also need to make the content authoritative by including the latest statistics, facts, and external links to authoritative websites.

3. Video Content

According to Hubspot.com,

In 2020, it’s likely that the expectation of brands to provide marketing videos has gotten even stronger. Each day, consumers use product demos, video reviews, and unboxings to learn about products before they buy them.” 

Your can easily get more traffic from organic search by focusing on the creation and promotion of video content. You consider creating a dedicated video channel to create and post video content regularly. The video content will help you to convey information about your products, services, and brands to customers. However, it is also important to optimize the videos for search engines by including the most relevant keywords. Also, you

4. Featured Snippet

Google displays the featured snippets at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) to provide quick answers or solutions to the questions asked by the searchers. You can get website traffic from organic search regularly by making your content appear in the featured snippet. But you must remember that the long-form content does not appear in the featured snippets. While creating featured snippets, you need to focus on presenting a chunk of information in Q&A format or using bullet points or including relevant keywords. Also, you need to ensure that the snippet answers question-based queries precisely.

5. Site Experience

Search engines will focus on the site experience in 2021 while ranking websites. Your website cannot get more traffic from organic search without delivering an excellent user experience. While optimizing your SEO strategy in 2021, you must not forget to assess the loading speed of the website. You need to ensure that the website keeps visitors engaged by loading in less than 2 seconds. Also, you must check if a searcher can access the website instantly and seamlessly on both computers and mobile devices. At the same time, you need to focus extensively on improving the website’s mobile experience.

6. Google Maps

According to SEOExpertBrad.com,

46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information. Also, 97% searched online to find a local business.

The local search rankings help small and local businesses to get website traffic from organic search by competing with large enterprises. Google makes it easier for local businesses to improve their ranking on Google Maps by creating free profiles. Unlike Google Search, Google Maps do not allow Google Ads to dominate organic search results. While preparing SEO strategies for a local business in 2012, you must explore ways to improve its ranking on Google Maps.

7. Predictive Search

Major search engines these days predict what search query a searcher will type using predictive search algorithms. Also, they update the predictive search algorithms regularly to prevent searchers from typing the search query. Google does not recommend webmasters to optimize content for predictive search. But Google Discover considers the quality of content and the intent of the searcher while ranking content. The AI-driven tool further ranks content using a slew of parameters – browsing history, location history, and search history. While creating content for SEO campaigns in 2021, you must keep in mind the factors considered by Google Discover.

8. Voice Search

According to the voice search statistics posted on QuoraCreative.com

55% of teenagers are using voice search daily basis, while 60% of smartphone users have tried voice search at least once in the past 12 months.

The statistics indicate that voice search will remain one of the hottest SEO trends in 2021. Your SEO strategy must focus on boosting voice search. In addition to including relevant keywords, you must focus on including the longer phrase that searchers use in daily conversations. Also, you can make it easier for the voice search technology to identify the keywords by making the phrases sound natural. You must not forget that the searchers do not use abbreviations while initiating voice searches.

9. Search Intent

In 2021, you cannot make SEO strategy effective by focusing only on keywords. Google has already started displaying search results based on search intent. Hence, you can make content rank higher on SERPs by focusing on search intent instead of keywords. Google recommends businesses to create content that is both useful and understandable. In addition to presenting information in a simpler way, you must focus on meeting the precise needs of the customers. It is also advisable to create the content with the information that answers some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) by the searchers.

10. Data and Analytics

The businesses these days collect a large amount of real-time data from various sources. They can leverage big data to boost the performance of SEO campaigns. Also, the data and analytics tools will help you to assess the performance of SEO campaigns using a variety of parameters – indexing, page loading time, redirects, bounce rates, and response errors. Also, the new-generation SEO tools are designed with built-in data analytics to automate common SEO activities like keyword research, competition analysis, backlink generation, on-page SEO and technical SEO.

11. AI-Driven Tools

Google already uses machine learning to deliver more relevant search results by understanding search intent accurately. Many enterprises have started investing in artificial intelligence (AI) driven tools to optimize and automate their SEO efforts. The AI-driven tools help enterprises to optimize content for search engines by including the right keywords, fixing grammatical errors, and generating backlinks. In 2021, more enterprises will leverage AI-driven content generators to create content according to the updated search algorithms. Also, the AI-driven SEO tools will be used widely by digital marketers to analyze big data, perform keyword research, and monitor search engine optimization campaigns.

12. Freemiums

In 2021, tech companies cannot generate qualified leads and drive sales conversion simply by creating and promoting content. They have to attract prospects and leads by offering a variety of freemiums. Many companies already use freemiums as a seducing marketing tool to drive more organic traffic to their websites. For instance, the fintech companies these days attract relevant customers by offering free EMI calculators or online interest rate comparison tools. While implementing SEO strategies in 2021, the tech companies must focus on promoting the freemiums aggressively just like promoting informational content like blogs.

The search engines will update their search algorithms frequently in 2021 to provide relevant and updated information to searchers. Hence, the SEO trends in 2021 will change from time to time. You must track and adopt the emerging SEO trends proactively to get regular website traffic from organic search beyond 2021. Also, you need to keep a track of the overall marketing strategy that competitors and similar companies are following

Is Work From Home the Future of Modern Day Working

Is Work from Home the Future of Modern Day Working?

Note: This is a guest post by Soumen Das. Soumen is a specialist in the field of raising money through an IPO (Initial Public Offering) at NASDAQ. He works for a US based firm which launches Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation (SPAC) on NASDAQ to take private companies public. Prior to starting his career in finance Soumen was a Consultant at Accenture advising clients on implementation of tools to streamline their business processes. He is an enthusiastic blogger on Finance and Economics and frequently writes on current topics. 

Even prior to the current pandemic there were discussions about the feasibility of Work from home especially in offices located in big cities. During those times the underlying reasons were high cost of commercial real estate, commuting time and pollution. Nowadays because of the pandemic, corporations are making it compulsory to work from home. It’s no more a virtue to be co-located. Thus arises the question whether work from home would continue even after the pandemic. In order to answer this we need to understand the challenges associated with it and the benefit it brings to the employees, corporations and nations.

Benefits for Individuals:

Work life balance:

Undoubtedly the first thing which comes into the mind when it comes to work from home or for that matter anywhere else is the flexibility it provides to spend time with family and friends. Being closer to elderly parents or younger kids while still able to complete the official tasks is something which the newer generation prefers. This makes them less stressful and hence more productive at work.

Saves commuting time:

Work from home completely saves the hassle of commuting. In a big city like New York or Mumbai the time saved per day could be at least 2hours per day which means 10 hours per week or 40 hours in a month. This roughly translates to addition of 1.5 days per month of time. One can safely invest this time in doing more productive activities.

Avoids rental and living cost:

The cost of living in big cities are enormous. Individuals pay roughly 50% of their salary in rental and other non-discretionary costs in urban areas. This can be completely avoided if someone can work remotely from a less expensive place.

Access to greater opportunities:

In today’s age of digitization anyone in the services or knowledge industry can work from anywhere. They just need high speed internet and good computers. They don’t need to be in a particular city or country to do a job. This opens the door for them to tap into better opportunities in different countries without worrying about immigration issues.

Benefits for Corporations:

Saves office cost:

This is an obvious thing as fewer employees in the office means smaller office space requirements and reduced real estate. This could be quite handy as commercial real estate in urban centers around the world are quite expensive.

Tap larger talent pool:

With this option of working, corporations can tap into talented employees in far off places and not just in the city they are based. They can also get hold of talented freelancers at a much cheaper pay grade than their normal employees.

Reduces attrition:

Work from home provides flexibility to employees and reduces stress. This motivates employees and they prefer to stay longer in the company.The immediate consequence is drop in attrition rates.

Increased productivity:

Work from home often enhances productivity as employees remain less stress and avoid wasting time and energy in commuting.

Benefits for Nations:

Reduces environmental pollution:

Offices guzzling huge quantities of electricity by account of using Air Conditioning, bulbs, equipment etc. are a burden on the society. The decrease in number of fully functional offices have the potential to reduce pollution and Carbon Dioxide emission drastically.

Stop brain drain:

This is an issue for emerging markets whose talented citizens often move to developed countries for search of better jobs. If employees could work from their own country rather than traveling to the country where the company is based, it could limit the brain drain.

In spite of its benefits Work from home has not been whole heartedly embraced by corporations. There are genuine hurdles to making it a norm. Employees not co-located are often not easy to manage.

Challenges from Work from home:

Synchronous working is disturbed:

As employees are distributed its often a challenge to have everyone on the same page all the time. Physical meetings and bondings during lunches have their own charm. Its important to have regular meetings so that everyone feels part of the team and no one gets isolated. Time zone differences are a reality. Tools such as Zoom, Skype, Google hangouts and Microsoft teams can create a nice virtual working environment and keep employees engaged.

Knowledge sharing:

Although organizations create repository of documents accessible from anywhere its a reality that co-located employees are often seen discussing tasks with colleagues sitting next to them. This cannot happen in a Work from home environment. Also, the office chat boxes and mobile chat apps come in handy to maintain the flow of communication.

Data security regulation:

Its a big issue for corporations as employees working from home could compromise confidential client sensitive data. Organizations invest massively on cyber security products to keep such data safe and secure. Work from home option thus would require additional expenses to keep the data safe.

Performance evaluation:

Corporations rate employees on the basis of both soft skills and quality of their output. As employees are not physically in touch evaluators have to make an extra effort to tap into those metrics. Secondly, compensation packages also needs to be modified if employees work from low cost centers. Human Resources team needs to make sure that employees don’t get hurt by the process of evaluation as this could increase attrition.

Conclusion:

Corporations are well aware of the pros and cons of work from home option. Management and senior executives need to set the right expectation from it. If corporations can keep their employees engaged through virtual tools, invest in tools to keep client and confidential data safe and deliver on organizational goals through enhanced productivity then the option of work from home could emerge as the norm for future modern day working.

Pricing Strategy: A Quick Guide

Types of Pricing Strategies: A Quick Guide

Your business can make a product or service accessible to more customers by offering it at a lower price. But your business cannot maximize shareholders’ value and profits without offering the product or service at a higher price. Hence, you need to implement a tiered pricing strategy that maintains a balance between increasing demand for the product or service and maximizing the shareholders’ value or profits. While analyzing different types of pricing strategies, you must consider key factors like cost of production, organization’s revenue goals, prices of competing products, price elasticity, brand positioning, and prevailing economic trends. You can consider a wide range of pricing strategies to determine the best price for a product or service.

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How to Do a Content Audit and Boost Your Organic Traffic

How to Do a Content Audit and Boost Your Organic Traffic in 2021

Popular search engines update their search algorithms frequently. Each search algorithm update aims to provide more relevant and updated information to the searchers. Hence, you can get organic traffic to your website in 2021 by focusing on keeping its content relevant and up-to-date. In addition to posting fresh and well-researched content regularly, you must focus on boosting the performance of the existing content on search engine result pages (SERPs).

As a white-hat search engine optimization (SEO) technique, a content audit helps you to assess and analyze the performance of the existing content on your website. The content audit result will help you to identify the content that needs to be updated, removed, redirected, or consolidated. You can even improve the search engine visibility of the website by removing the low-performing and underperforming content.

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