Category Archives: Search Engine Optimization

content audience

Your Content is Good — But is it Aligned to Your Audience?

How to Ensure Your Website Resonates

In many ways, content creation is as much a passion as it is a career. The desire to create and express ourselves is a fundamental part of what makes us human. And although content marketing can scratch that itch to some extent, content created for your business is not artistry. 

It’s part of a strategy

The thing a lot of people don’t realize about content marketing is that you cannot simply sit down and write whatever comes to mind. You need to be purposeful and deliberate in what you create. Whether you’re making blog posts, videos, infographics, or something else entirely, each and every one of your creations must be made with two things in mind. 

  • Your audience.
  • Your end goal. 

As you might expect, those two are interconnected. Successfully achieving one’s content marketing objectives demands an understanding of one’s audience. Because without that understanding, it doesn’t matter how good your content is. 

So how do you develop an understanding of your audience? How do you determine if the content is strategically-aligned to your brand? And finally, how do you go about defining your content marketing goals? 

Let’s break this down by section.

Researching Your Audience

You probably have at least some concept of the people to which your products and services appeal. You know, in a very general sense, who you need to draw in with your messaging. Before you start working on your content strategy, you need to drill down to specifics. 

You can leverage the following sources for this research: 

  • Social media. Specifically, pages and accounts operated by your competitors. Look at the people who most frequently and actively engage with your competition, and see if you notice common traits.
  • Internal survey data. Consider offering incentives to people who purchase your products or services so that they’re motivated to respond. 
  • Facebook Audience Insights. And other similar tools. 

Defining Your Goals

Before you start working out the details of your content marketing objectives, you need to know who you are. Your brand identity may not play a direct role in content marketing, but it will inform everything from topic ideation to the language you use in your content. 

Your brand identity consists of: 

  • Visuals. Logos, colors, fonts, etc.  
  • Your mission statement. Why your brand was founded, and what you ultimately want it to achieve. 
  • Messaging. Words that describe your brand, slogans, common statements, and sentiments. 

Sit down and brainstorm everything you currently know about your business, and figure out where you want to be in the near future. Focus on defining an objective that’s specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant. You may also consider the use of smaller milestone goals. 

Aligning Your Content

From here, it’s simply a matter of answering the following questions: 

  • What does your audience care about?
  • What entertains your audience? 
  • Why is your audience interested in your brand? 
  • What causes your audience to seek information? 
  • To what concepts and ideas is your audience resistant? 

There’s a bit more to strategic content marketing than we’ve covered here, of course. But for now, this should suffice as a primer. 

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What is the Largest Contentful Paint?

Officially added as a ranking factor in 2021, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is one of Google’s Core Web Vitals — the metrics by which the search engine measures user experience. In LCP’s case, it measures how fast a page loads. This is done by analyzing the load time of the largest piece of content on the page 

Content types that LCP may measure include: 

  • Background images 
  • Video thumbnails
  • Images
  • Block-level HTML elements such as paragraphs 
  • Headers

How is LCP Measured?

There should be a section in your Search Console that allows you to generate a Core Web Vitals Report. This will provide a granular view of how each URL on your site performs based on historical user data. Each URL will receive a score of Poor, Needs Improvement, or Good. 

For LCP, these values are measured as follows: 

  • Good: 2.5 seconds or less
  • Needs Improvement: Between  2.6 seconds and four seconds. 
  • Poor: Greater than four seconds. 

Alternatively, you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, Chrome Lighthouse, or the AMP Page Experience Guide

How to Optimize for LCP

Load time has always been extremely important, even before Google officially started considering it a ranking signal. As noted by Google’s own support documentation, if a page’s load time increases from one to three seconds, the page’s bounce rate increases by 32%. Meanwhile, an increase from one to six seconds will see a 106% increase in bounce rate. 

What we’re saying here is that if you’ve been properly optimizing your website for performance, you shouldn’t need to do anything specific for LCP, as you’re already optimized. All the general advice and best practices from before still apply today. 

If you haven’t done much in the way of page performance or are simply curious if you’ve missed anything important, some areas of focus include: 

  • Reducing HTTP requests.
  • Minifying your JavaScript and CSS. 
  • Compressing and optimizing your images. 
  • Avoiding the use of resource-heavy content like video or hosting on external sites where possible. 
  • Enabling browser caching. 
  • Using a content delivery network or working with a host that leverages its own. 
  • If you’re using a platform like WordPress, eliminate any unnecessary or redundant plugins. 
  • Leveraging responsive web design, or else designing your site first and foremost for mobile devices. 

Google’s Core Web Vitals are neither new nor revolutionary. They aren’t going to change the way anyone searches, nor should they have any impact on how you optimize and design your site. Provided you’ve already been following the proper best practices, you’re likely safe just to keep proceeding as you have been.

And if you’ve been falling short in any way, let these new ranking signals serve as a wakeup call for you. 

What Is Meta Data

What Is Metadata, And Why Should You Care?

Hey there, folks! Today we’re going to talk about Metadata. For the uninitiated, that’s just a fancy way of saying we’re going to talk about data which is focused on other data.

The topic’s neither as boring nor as useless as you might at first believe, particularly from an SEO standpoint. The truth is, a thorough understanding of the metadata on your website is vital if you ever want to properly optimize your site. Continue reading

In An SEO Campaign, What Metrics Really Matter?

In An SEO Campaign, What Metrics Really Matter?

Last week, we wrote about how Google is taking legal action against SEO firm Local Lighthouse. Amidst the claims leveled against the company is that it guaranteed customers placement on the first page of the Search Engine Results Page – something Google staunchly maintains is impossible. That last piece concluded with the message that SEO is an intensely strategic practice which requires hard work and a strategic mind. Continue reading

No Such Thing As Guaranteed Rankings

It’s Official – There’s No Such Thing As “Guaranteed” Rankings

As most people who know a thing or two about SEO have steadfastly maintained, there’s no such thing as guaranteed rankings, or perfect, ironclad SEO. Now, at long last, we’ve been given a bit of ammunition for our arguments, straight from Google. See, recently the search engine giant took SEO firm Local Lighthouse to court. Continue reading

Anatomy Of Rebranding

The Anatomy Of A Restructuring According To Google

By now, you’ve likely heard the news – after all, everyone’s been talking about it. Google’s been bitten by the reorganization bug and announced that it will operate under a parent company known as Alphabet. I know, I know, reorgs don’t exactly have the best reputation in the business world, and they’re often the result of a business that’s either seeking a way to revitalise or lacks any sort of meaningful direction. Continue reading

Advanced On Page SEO

Five Advanced On-Page Tactics Every SEO Professional Should Know

Advanced On Page SEOAlthough traditional search engine optimization doesn’t hold quite the same weight as it used to, that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile to school yourself in a few of the tactics generally associated with SEO. After all, even in the era of semantic search, older techniques can still help you rank – and understanding them can give you a greater understanding of the semantic web, besides.

At any rate, search engine optimization is just like any other field – you’re only as good as what you know. That’s where we come in. Today, we’re going to go over a few advanced, less-understood on-page techniques.

Let’s get started. Continue reading