3 Small Content Creation Tricks Writers Often Overlook

Writers and content producers in general tend to see their work through the prism of industrialism, trying to hit certain quotas or word count every day. This is not a bad thing when you’re having a great day and amazing ideas seem to flow directly into your keyboard. But there are times when we spend the better of the day staring at our blinking cursor trying to come up with a topic or approach we haven’t touched on before.

The struggle is real. Sometimes we can whip out several thousand words in eight hours. And there are days when we struggle with writer’s block and other unspeakable evils that haunt content producers.

Yet, it is often our duty to produce a fixed number of high-quality posts and articles that generate engagement and readership for their clients every week.

So, how can we make sure everything we write is top-notch?

Well. There are three tricks I am happy to share with you today. They will not only help you become a better writer, but will also benefit your SEO. Don’t believe I’m only doing this out of pure altruism, though. This post will also serve as a future reference for me, since Google is a lot more organized than my hard drive, I must say.

But let’s get on with it.

Become an expert researcher

Even when it is not required that we have a background in science, I have found that the methods used by academic writers can get you a long way as a content producer.

For example, I constantly doubt everything I write and try to find differing opinions that directly contradict what I see. That way, I can anticipate most objections to my arguments, or even come up with interesting answers that sometimes end up in the “People Also Ask” section of result pages.

Having a detached attitude towards facts, stats, and opinions that are contrary to our own, always helps find stuff most people are overlooking or come up with original takes that keep your content fresh.

Find Your Content Heroes

Let’s face it, most of the content we create is already out there in the form of lifeless charts, cold stats, and 280 characters snippets.

The real secret to creating unique content is to give those facts a different shape and provide the reader with a completely different perspective. The best way to do this is to borrow ideas or approaches from different, and seemingly unrelated, sources.

As content creators we need to be reading constantly. Reading is the only way to exercise the thinking box and come up with cool ideas, but what we read has a direct effect on the final product. This is where content heroes come into play.

Try to figure out the kind of content that you find yourself reading the most and why. I have found that fiction authors usually come up with literary imagery that is incredibly engaging. What I do is I usually write down paragraphs and ideas that I later use when composing pieces for industries that make it difficult for us to come up with engaging or fun-to-read content.

Of course, I also read a lot of marketing related authors and I’m subscribed to a zillion marketing mailing lists specialized in PPC, SEO and email marketing. Interestingly, most of them draw examples from movies, TV shows, and even historical events to drive their point home. In other words, they have content heroes of their own.

Guide Your Readers

This is considered common courtesy. You want your content to be easy to consume.

Most of your readers will only have the time to skim through your article before bouncing back to search results. Usually, they will pay special attention to your H1, your H2s, and bolded words, and skip almost everything else. The best way to deal with this is to use this knowledge to your advantage.

A well organized text will allow the reader to understand what your article is about and decide if there is anything worth reading. If your headers are interesting, visitors might decide to read the whole article and share it.

Google also pays attention to header tags when it crawls a website, but there is yet another element that Google likes when it tries to understand what an article is about.

I think one of the most IGNORED, and totally non-secret, copywriting and SEO techniques out there is using bold and strong HTML tags in our content.

This is something that always comes up in every discussion about optimizing blog posts and copywriting in general. We try to be smart about our keywords and check all the usual boxes when writing: title tags, image alt text, interlinking, you name it.

However, I see that most posts (including mine) usually lack bold or strong elements. You might say that the reason I´m writing this section is to do a public mea culpa so I never again overlook the importance of using bold text.

Bolded text provides visual cues for readers so they can immediately spot the main idea inside a paragraph or piece of content. Users who like to glance over blogs looking for specific information appreciate the use of bold and strong tags as they can quickly extract what they need.

Moreover, Google has mentioned that bolding words benefits SEO. The search engine now tries to answer user questions right from the result page without them having to click any links. So, if your content offers clear definitions or answers frequently asked questions without too much fluff, it will have greater chances of being featured at the top of searches or on the “people also ask” section.

Bolding them helps Google easily locate these ideas, just like humans do, and understand what your content is about, allowing the search engine to offer small nuggets of information to their users.

One word of advice: Do not overuse this superpower. Overbolding is today´s equivalent of keyword stuffing. If you feel like a whole paragraph should be bolded, maybe you should rewrite it to make it simpler.

I understand that we sometimes do not have time to follow all the good advice we find online when we need to churn out reams of content like there is no tomorrow. But these three small tricks will keep your brain in top shape, and give you a definite SEO edge.

5 eCommerce Conversion Rate Techniques to Avoid

Ever since the dawn of eCommerce, shoppers have been creating gaps in how we understand buying decisions. Some insights required data to validate while others simply needed time.

But while most of us have evolved with time to fight sticky ideas with stickier ideas, other marketers have fallen behind it and continued to use eCommerce marketing tactics that are not working anymore—if they ever did.

In this article, we’ll discuss conventional eCommerce conversion rate practices that don’t work but some ill-advised online store owners might still be using.

But first, let’s talk about conversion rates: what is it and what is a good conversion rate for eCommerce businesses. Let’s dive in.

Understanding eCommerce Conversion Rates

A conversion rate refers to the percentage of your visitors at a given time that made a desirable action. These desirable actions are called conversions. Some conversions in eCommerce include:

  • Sales
  • Add to cart
  • Add to wishlist
  • Email list sign-up
  • Social media shares
  • and other Key Performance Indicators (KPI) your business identified

So if we want to find out our sales conversion rates, for example, we divide our total number of sales by the total number of visits.

So your conversion rate statement would be like 2 sales in every 300 visits. The conversion rate for this figure is 0.6%, which is low. So what is a good conversion rate?

What is a Good Conversion Rate for an eCommerce Store?

The average conversion rate for eCommerce globally is 2.86% or 1 sales conversion (or add to cart, add to wishlist, etc) for every 35 visits to the site.

So if you’re getting 1 conversion for every 35 visits to your website, you have an average conversion rate which means you’re basically doing okay.

But average conversion rates differ per niche. If you’re selling expensive items, for example, 2.86% might be a stretch. After all, no one will likely buy a luxury boat twice a month.

Aside from the cost, the popularity of your niches must also be taken into account. If you’re in a popular niche like fashion, beauty, and others, a 2.86% rate is below the average which is 3.25% for fashion and 4.07% for beauty.

So what’s the number you should aim for to grow your eCommerce store? According to Wordstream, the top 10% of websites convert at 11.45% and higher. That’s the number to beat.

Aim to get a higher conversion rate always, but whatever you do, do not buy into the following tips:

1. Changing the CTA button colors can immensely increase your conversion rate

There was a time when marketers couldn’t quite agree if a green or blue button was better than red and vice versa. Various theories about web colors came out and widespread A/B testing for the CTA button color was the norm.

Frankly, if you’re still listening to experts telling you the colors of your buttons affect your customer’s decisions to click it, then you really should stop expecting any positive incline in sales.

A small change like button colors cannot bring you to the top 10%. It would take more than that.

The truth is, as long as your buttons are noticeable (i.e. there’s a high color contrast between the button and the background) it doesn’t matter what color they are. What matters is that you’re not making it hard for your customers to find them which of course, all boils down to customer experience.

2. Font colors and sizes influence purchase decision

While there’s enough scientific evidence to prove that people have indeed color preferences, we take that to mean that people like buying items in a color that are attractive to them.

For example, some people may skip buying products they want or even need if they’re not in the color they like.

Instead of focusing on page elements like these, your time is better spent creating a great value proposition that your customers will find hard to resist.

3. A/B test everything—everything!

Testing is good. But A/B testing everything is not. Test only for issues you identified as a point where your customers get stuck. Don’t waste your time testing for the wrong things.

Also, if you’re going to test the performance of a page, for example, and A/B test for every single element on it like the title, image or videos, button colors, etc, if that page has at least a hundred different elements, and your average A/B test takes four weeks to run, it’ll take you a little over seven years to test them all.

This is also related to the next item on this list.

4. Test only one change at a time

Instead of A/B testing every single element at a time, to accurately measure what change works and what doesn’t test one concept or issue at a time instead.

For example, if the promo page isn’t performing as well as it should, you can test for clarity as a concept or issue behind it. That will entail several changes at once but you want that change to be addressing the issue of clarity.

You can’t A/B test everything and lose valuable resources and time.

5. Just do what your competitors are doing and you’d be fine

You can’t build your entire eCommerce marketing strategy based on what your competitors are doing. You should create your own not because it’s wrong to steal ideas, but because your competitors are not you.

Though you may share the same industry, your competitors will have different branding, customer sources, and others. You will benefit from a personalized marketing strategy that’s right for your business.

Grow Your eCommerce Store with Us!

The key to a high eCommerce conversion rate is customer experience. But if you don’t know how to start, our team of experts here at Genius eCommerceⓇ have the skills, knowledge, and expertise in eCommerce SEO to take your business to the next level.

Strategy is our specialty – we’re a full-service digital marketing company that can help you reach your conversion goals and succeed in the eCommerce industry. Get in touch with us today.

Metaverse And The Future Of Facebook Marketing Services

Metaverse recently became a very potent buzzword for Facebook marketing services providers and tech journos around the world. Right after Mark Zuckerberg announced the change of Facebook´s parent company´s name to Meta, most of us were left hanging with a question: what does that mean for marketers and businesses that depend on Facebook?

Nevertheless, the announcement was received with mixed levels of enthusiasm (yet, enthusiasm nonetheless), and has helped spark a renewed interest in the future of social media and other marketing channels.

Everybody knows that Facebook is no longer just a social media platform, but a digital marketing channel. The company has tried to reshape this perception a few times with some algorithmic tweaks that seem to propel up organic posts and de-boost attempts of product placement. However, their efforts only exacerbated the need for Facebook marketing services that focused on PPC strategies. In other words, the social media platform no longer hides its true colors and openly tells marketers that the best way to raise brand awareness is by giving them a share of your marketing budget. Curiously, marketers actually feel more comfortable when adopting a more straightforward approach to the business aspects of social media as they have more objective ways to measure their success. But that’s neither here nor there.

The point is that Zuckerberg’s recent actions and revelations have put marketers on edge once again.

What will this new direction mean for Facebook marketing services providers?

It is hard not to make some parallels with Zuckerberg´s hard pivot into mobile channels more than ten years ago. Remember, this was a time when even Google engineers would insist that touch screens would never replace physical keys, and many were skeptical about mobile devices being able to replace desktop computers as the main access to social media and eCommerce. However, this push ended up placing the company way ahead of the curve, expanding Facebook’s market share many times over. It also allowed brands and merchants to broaden their audience pool and seamlessly add more sales channels with the use of Instagram and Whatsapp. A total win-win situation for everyone involved, if you ask me.

Now, this recent clubhauling maneuver signals the company’s determination to capitalize on technology as it becomes available, even before it is universally adopted. The pandemic made it clear that audiences are more than willing to change the way they usually do things and has unleashed the immense creative potential of massive communities who completely recreate their lives online within rooms and virtual environments where they meet, communicate, share experiences, play, work and, of course, shop.

Metaverse

The Current State Of The Metaverse

Users have embraced these virtual worlds that are “beyond” reality or “metaverses”, and are now actively contributing to their development. They do it in many ways: as world builders, by helping the community grow by participating and creating welcoming environments, or simply by financing them directly via in-game transactions.

It is said that gamers today spend more than $85 billion on virtual goods every year. These range from virtual pets, in-game items, accessories, cosmetics, and even virtual land.

Blockchain technology has made it possible to create virtual objects that have real intrinsic value and can be traded outside these digital worlds. For example, there are many initiatives right now in the gaming world that depart from the premise that the demand for virtual assets might become a big driver for the economy in the future.

Play-To-Earn games and worlds are exploring the use of non-fungible tokens or NFTs as a way of storing value into in-game or in-world items that could be traded outside said worlds. One example is Decentraland, a 3D virtual universe or metaverse that allows you to buy virtual estate that uses blockchain technology to ensure property rights and scarcity. The virtual universe will let users develop their land and produce in-game currency based on the Ethereum blockchain that can be employed to buy assets or more land. Virtual owners can attract users, and monetize resources, making world-building an attractive future career for those intent on pursuing virtual careers. There is a lot of skepticism surrounding this new economy. However this year a digital real estate investment fund bought a patch of virtual estate for almost $1 million, making it evident that there is real interest in developing virtual worlds.

Local SEO Overview of Manhattan

Zuckerberg´s Bet

The same way Zuckerberg was able to foresee, and push for, an almost universal adoption of smart devices before anyone else, we might be witnessing yet another epiphany, or at least an undisguised effort to change the direction of human preferences and attitudes towards new technologies.

Facebook predicted, or even accelerated, the adoption of mobile technology around the world, and they seem hellbent on repeating the same feat today. This time they place their bets on the metaverse, augmented reality, and VR.

Mark Zuckerberg admitted that most people today are not interested in acquiring expensive virtual reality gear for shopping. A disheartening 9% of consumers showed real interest in the adoption of virtual reality, and most of them were in the 18-34 years old bracket. However, these young audiences who are familiar with virtual worlds will become homeowners and breadwinners in the not-so-distant future. Facebook, along with many big names such as Microsoft, NVidia, and Epic Games are aware of this. Current trends indicate that this young audience will lead the shift in preferences and fuel the metaverse revolution within the next decade, and will make Facebook marketing services more prevalent than ever.

How Can Brands And Businesses Prepare?

Today, every brand knows that if they can´t be found online, they might as well not exist. We are also witnessing a huge shift towards omnichannel strategies that allow brands to approach audiences as they browse their social media feed or interact with friends online. However, these interactions are still limited to 2D experiences where users still have to interact with brands through screens and keyboards.

The metaverse finally blurs the boundaries between the online-offline world, providing brands with opportunities to let users directly interact with their products, try them on, and express their brand preferences in virtual environments and communities full of potential audiences. Those who embrace the metaverse will have an incredible advantage over businesses that choose to remain bound to the limited capabilities of their websites.

There are already many brands building virtual showrooms that cater to the social media giant’s ever-growing network of virtual communities. If you or your business want to be kept in the loop, or learn more about upcoming Facebook marketing services and how to prepare your brand for the metaverse revolution, contact our expert marketers at Genius eCommerce®.

How A PPC Marketing Plan Can Increase Your Overall Income

The whole idea of having a professional SEO company on your side is to increase your chances for brand exposure and customer interest in an efficient and impactful way. There are many ways of achieving maximum exposure while making sure every marketing dollar is doing its part, and one of the most effective is to have a PPC marketing plan.

Inbound or “pull marketing” strategies, like PPC, seek to draw customers in by the use of certain channels that show them the right message when they are actively looking for your products or services. It is a simple yet effective principle: someone shows signs of interest in a product or service; a marketing agency proposes a solution.

Search engines and social media platforms have refined this art, making sure that customers are always presented with highly relevant ads that do not interfere with their user experience. In fact, high-quality ads and posts tend to look a lot like other results and content the user regularly interacts with, providing a seamless navigation experience and a more natural customer journey.

However, designing ads that have high-quality scores is not easy. It is a process that requires extensive research, knowledge of current trends within your industry, and specialized skills for designing professional copy, graphic elements, and efficient landing pages.

We have covered the most common mistakes people make when running PPC campaigns in a recent entry. This time around, we want to focus on the importance of having an effective PPC marketing plan.

Measuring Google Quality Scores

Determining Quality Scores

Google Ads Quality Score is the way the search engine measures how well your campaign will perform when compared to the historical performance of similar campaigns.

Nobody knows the factors they use to determine Quality Scores. However, it does not mean Google is not willing to provide merchants with easy to understand clues. The Big Tech giant grades your campaign in three general areas: keywords, ad relevance, and landing pages. It uses a 1-10 scale that provides marketers with clear indicators on where their campaign needs improvement. In other words, Google evaluates our campaigns so we can adjust them accordingly to reduce wasted ad spend and increase conversions.

Now, let’s look at the three general areas Google measures before assigning a Quality Score to your campaign:

Expected CTR: Google analyzes past keyword performance to determine how likely your chosen keyword will result in a click-through. Google takes many factors into account when evaluating expected CTR, such as the type of device used by searchers or how likely it is for searchers to match your keyword exactly. If there is a disconnect between your ad text and your keyword group, your Quality Score will suffer.

Ad Relevance: The copy of your ads is as important as the chosen keywords. Google analyzes the copy used in ads that target similar keywords and determines how likely it is for a user to click on your ad based on objective comparisons. It is important that the copy is always relevant to the keyword, but also compelling enough to entice users to click on your ads and continue down their customer journey.

Landing Page Experience: How people interact with your landing page tells Google if you are fulfilling the expectations created by your ads. Landing pages should be clear and useful, providing straightforward cues that lead users towards conversion. Confusing pages where users can´t locate what they want will lower your landing page experience and your overall Quality Score.

Why Are Quality Scores Important?

Quality scores serve two purposes: they help marketers improve their chances of ranking high in searches, and they create a tiered list to determine cost per click and cost per conversion. Higher Quality Scores mean that Google will charge you less money per click.

For example, if you have a low Quality Score, your Cost-Per-Click increases from 16.70% at 6 points, up to 400% when scoring 1 point. In general, you will want to keep your score above 7 for a discount that varies from -28.60% to a full -50% at ten points.

A professionally designed PPC marketing plan helps you create more relevant ads and increase your Quality Scores, which in turn greatly reduces your overall ad spend. However, PPC marketing plans require the help of multiple professionals specialized in different fields if you hope to achieve its general goals.

The Conception Of PPC Marketing Plans

Almost every PPC marketing plan starts by narrowing down a list of target keywords related to the products and services we want to promote. However, Google´s focus on search intent forces marketing experts to think outside the box when deciding the keywords they want to target.

For example, short, generic, high-volume keywords might seem like obvious choices for a specific ad campaign. But low-volume long-tail keywords that more closely match the way audiences regularly start their customer journey towards your products, usually bring in high-quality traffic located further down the customer journey and are more likely to convert. This, in turn, reduces overall ad spend, increases overall conversion rates, and positively impacts your Quality Score.

In the same vein, your keyword strategy must also include a negative keyword discovery phase. This necessary step will prevent your ads from showing up for irrelevant search queries. Negative words are one effective way to reduce wasted ad spend and increase click-through rates.

After you have narrowed your keyword list, you need a professional team of copywriters to craft compelling content for your ads. The structure of the copy wildly varies from one industry to the next. This variation means that you better hire a team with experience in your niche to increase ad efficiency.

Lastly, you need a design and development team to create highly efficient landing pages, with eye-catching imagery and engaging copy that effectively captures the attention of visitors, seamlessly guiding them through your conversion funnel.

Hiring a digital marketing agency might seem like a steep expense. However, a well-thought-out PPC marketing plan crafted by an experienced eCommerce SEO company is usually the best way to ensure increased revenue and long-term growth.

What Does Google MUM Mean To eCommerce Marketers?

At their recent Google Search On event, Google unveiled a TON of search-related improvements that will be rolled out during the next few months.

We believe the most important thing was something they call MUM or Multitask Unified Model. This new piece of technology is aimed at better understanding our language to provide more helpful responses. In other words, they want to reduce the gap between what we type when performing searches and what we really need. Those trained in the arts of Google-Fu know that you need to speak “keyword-ese” if you want to get specific results from searches.

You might think they already addressed this problem when they released BERT back in 2019. It was a network-based technique that allowed anyone to train a question answering system. It kind of worked as people could input more conversational queries, and allowed Google to “understand” context and analyze prepositions. All fine and dandy, but it didn’t really change how eCommerce marketers designed their content strategies.

However, during their presentation dedicated to MUM, Google showed how different this new model is when compared to anything we have seen before.

First, the Big Tech giant stated that MUM is at least 1000 times more powerful than BERT. It not only understands contextual language but is also capable of generating language. The model takes into consideration text and images. Google stated that it will add audio and video modalities in the future. With Google’s deep knowledge of our world, it is capable of understanding information across types, generating original insights or subtopics for the searcher.

What does it mean for eCommerce Marketing Experts?

Google searches will include new features to their user interface section. These will display many types of information to help users understand the results they get or even help them find the search path that is right for them. Let’s look at some of these features.

About This Result

MUM will allow Google to understand what a website or page is about and generate content that the searcher will be able to read before entering a page. This will affect meta titles or even replace them altogether. Search results will include accurate descriptions of the site based on what it says about itself. Moreover, searchers will be able to know more about what others have said about the site, being able to have a detailed background before clicking.

This calls for a completely different eCommerce marketing approach when creating website content. We will probably see a switch towards contextual product descriptions and even circumstantial content where your copy or pictures change according to factors such as season, location, or even the news cycle.

Local SEO Overview of Manhattan

Things To Know

When you use a keyword or perform a search, Google usually has a hard time guessing what you really want to know. This new feature will present the user with all the different dimensions related to the topic and what people typically search for when using the same terms. So, instead of going to the dreaded page two of searches when you don’t see adequate results, you will be able to choose a search path that is right for you.

It is more than a nifty feature that will certainly help knowledge-thirsty users like us. Digital marketers that refine their keyword strategy and content copy, will greatly benefit from this feature as it will help deliver higher-quality leads.
Refine This Search & Broaden This Search
When I saw this feature in action it reminded me of a typical zoom-in/zoom-out feature but for content. It is basically a supped-up related search section that helps the user refine their search journey.

Shoppable Google Search

This is a real game-changer that has the potential of putting severe pressure on social media marketing. The feature allows users to shop directly from search results without even entering the store. Products are presented in different formats such as images and video. When combined with their new In-Store Inventory feature, users will be able to experience in-person-like online shopping from their mobile devices. Google will display “in-stock” products from stores located nearby, so users know what they have on their shelves right this moment. This feature was launched on September 29th in select markets. For now, it is available in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Denmark, Canada, France, Switzerland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Japan, Austria, and Brazil. But it is expected to roll out in more countries in the near future.

The Shoppable Google Search certainly looks like a direct contender for other platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. It also presents new opportunities for eCommerce businesses focused on local SEO as they can effectively market their products to audiences ready to walk into their store and make a purchase.

These new features will surely rock the SEO boat in the next months, and we are certain eCommerce growth will greatly depend on our understanding of new technologies. If you want to stay on top of the latest news or want to hire the best eCommerce marketing experts, visit Genius eCommerce and start your path towards success today.

What is PageRank And How Does It Affect Your eCommerce SEO?

It’s been quite a while since any of us last wrote a word about PageRank. The term has fallen into obscurity and there seems to be no need to use it as a selling point. But it wasn’t always like that. Ten years ago, the whole SEO industry revolved around this metric and the old PageRank toolbar. Almost nothing else mattered back then, and eCommerce SEO was all about making a website increase its PageRank score.

Today, PageRank has been relegated to oblivion while other metrics have taken absolute precedence.

Interestingly enough, PageRank is still alive and kicking, guiding Google in its task of measuring authoritativeness and worthiness. Then why don´t eCommerce SEOs ever mention it?

First, let’s find out what PageRank is.

What Is PageRank?

When Google was still in its embryonic stage, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were trying to develop a system that analyzed the relationships between websites in order to provide a more useful way of ranking pages.

This was against the then-common practice of ranking websites by the number of times a search term appeared on a page. They found that this generalized practice was giving the wrong incentives for website creators and brands. Search results were being flooded by landing pages stuffed up to the eyeballs with nonsensical gibberish, slowly rendering them useless from a user experience standpoint.

So Page and Brim came up with PageRank, a system that determined the relevance of a website based on the number of links pointing to it. Moreover, it also measured the relevance of pages linking to a website, giving the system an extra level of complexity.

Notice how this is precisely why eCommerce SEO experts still insist on link building when designing a campaign today. Relevant or authoritative sites, those with high PageRank scores, are able to “pass” some of that PageRank on to other pages by linking to them. This, in turn, is one of the reasons a website must focus on generating high-quality content, as it is by far the best way to earn valuable links in the long run.

Back in the early 2000s, when browser toolbars were ubiquitous, Google launched its own toolbar for Internet Explorer. The most important feature of this toolbar was its ability to measure a website’s PageRank almost in real-time, turning it into the only metric that mattered for marketers. You could literally see it go up as more pages linked to a website. Of course, this soon was exploited by black hat SEOs who built the infamous link farms and fishy private blog networks to pump millions of artificial links into shady websites.

Fortunately, Google stopped using the original PageRank algorithm and, in 2016, they retired their toolbar, making it impossible for people outside the Tech Giant to know a website’s score. However, PageRank is still an extremely important factor today.

So why is it that eCommerce SEO agencies never mention PageRank?

There are two possible reasons for that.

The first one is that PageRank is no longer as visible as it once was. Since Google hid it from the public, digital marketers could no longer use it as a selling point for new clients as they would not be able to see how SEO efforts affected it.

Secondly, the opaque nature of Google’s algorithm has muddled the conversation so much that SEO is now an esoteric term for many. Some terms, such as PageRank or user intent, are extremely abstract and difficult to explain, making it easier for eCommerce companies to focus on metrics they can objectively measure like PageSpeed or keyword volume.

However, Google has publicly stated they´re still using a version of PageRank, along with hundreds of other signals in ranking.

Can PageRank Be Measured Today?

Not directly. When measuring a page´s ability to rank in search results, professional eCommerce SEO agencies like Genius eCommerce must take into account factors such as Domain Authority, number and quality of backlinks, social signals, and content quality to have an approximate idea of a website’s Google PageRank. This is important when crafting SEO strategies for our clients. When measured as a whole, these factors tend to yield a solid reading of a website´s health and potential for ranking.

Search engine guru and Google’s Web Spam specialist Matt Cutts stated that links remain the best indicators for how relevant and important a person or brand is. Cutts mentions some caveats, though. There is a difference between popularity and reputation. Many websites are very popular without that meaning they have a good reputation. One example of these is porn sites. They receive massive traffic, but people refrain from linking to them. Reputation is related to what people like to link to, such as official or government websites. These sites might not receive as many visits, but they surely get a lot of links as people like to give their publications some weight by linking to official or recognized sources. Google interprets these links as votes of confidence people give to certain content.

How do eCommerce SEO Agencies Leverage the Power of PageRank?

When crafting a digital marketing campaign, SEO agencies must devise a content strategy that can position your website as an authority in your niche in the long run. This is not only done by writing professional meta titles and product descriptions. The best eCommerce SEO companies help produce content that is engaging and relevant enough to generate backlinks from authoritative websites and domains that effectively pass valuable PageRank to your pages.

Find out how to increase your website’s PageRank with professional and effective eCommerce SEO services. Start with an SEO audit and talk to one of our digital marketing experts today.

Top 4 WordPress SEO Plugins

There are over 450 million websites built using WordPress, which is, according to some estimates, over 30% of the “entire internet,” and up to 60% of all content management systems. Not only is WordPress an immensely popular CMS, it is also open-source; the support community can only be described as massive.

Partially as a result of its popularity, WordPress is compatible with a number of tools and plugins that make it easier to use. There are plugins that do everything from auto-generating forms to capturing and displaying analytics to streamlining SEO procedures. Many of them are free.

Speaking of SEO, WordPress is compatible with some of the best SEO plugins on the market, which can help everyone from bloggers to entrepreneurs optimize their websites to generate better organic rankings and traffic. These are some of the best of them, which, together with WordPress SEO services, can help your online presence grow.

1. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is one of the most popular and practical SEO plugins for WordPress. Yoast is free, easy to install, streamlines the optimization of ranking signals, and awards easy-to-understand page-by-page “SEO Scores,” evaluating each page either as red (bad), orange (average), or green (optimized).

Yoast SEO automatically creates an XML sitemap (an important technical SEO ranking signal) for your WordPress website and easily allows you to select target keywords for each page on a website. With it, you can also easily optimize meta titles, meta descriptions, and even URL slugs. It also gives you suggestions for how to format and optimize content for optimization and readability. It also seamlessly integrates with Google Search Console.

Easy to use and practical, Yoast SEO is a practical plugin for any WordPress site and can be used to give an added boost to any SEO strategy.

2. Rank Math

Rank Math, like Yoast SEO, is free. It is also a very popular WordPress SEO plugin that offers much of what Yoast does. With Rank Math, users can easily optimize metadata for their blog posts and generate an XML sitemap for the website. Rank Math also integrates seamlessly with Google Seach Console. However, Rank Math enables users to optimize for unlimited keywords.

The above draws make it seem like Rank Math offers a lot of what Yoast does, which is true, but what sets Rank Math apart is its ability to integrate a website with social media accounts. As social signals are becoming increasingly important for generating organic traffic (and as potential ranking signals themselves) the ability to manage SEO across all channels becomes more important. Social signals will only become more important and Rank Math’s ability to manage them centrally makes it a key WordPress SEO plugin.

3. SEO Press

SEO Press is another robust WordPress SEO plugin that is available in a free version, making it fairly popular among owners and administrators of WordPress websites.

Touted as an all-in-one solution, SEO Press creates breadcrumbs, schema markups, redirects, and sitemaps. It also has a broken link checker to help you keep your link structure optimized from one central system.

Like the other plugins mentioned here, SEO Press also makes optimization of titles and metadata easy. It also streamlines the management of meta bots. SEO Press creates XML and HTML Sitemaps, contains a content analyzer with unlimited keywords, and can improve social media management and sharing with Open Graph Tags.

4. SEO Ultimate

SEO Ultimate is another plugin available in a free version. One of the unique features of this plugin is its “Website Silo Builder” that automatically generates nested categories and content to create a logical, sound website hierarchy that will benefit your SEO campaign. This plugin also makes it possible to add a multitude of internal links very easily and efficiently, improving your internal link structure.

SEO Ultimate also enables the creation of structured data and rich snippets from schema markups, improving UX and SEO in one move. For exceptionally large WordPress websites, SEO Ultimate features a Global Mass Editor that makes it possible to edit hundreds of pages and posts at once.

For WordPress website admins considering switching from another WordPress SEO plugin to SEO Ultimate, they’ll be happy to know that SEO Ultimate allows for the importation of data from other plugins and allows settings to be saved.

Installing Free WordPress SEO Plugins

Any of these WordPress SEO plugins can be easily installed into a WordPress website. From your WordPress Dashboard, simply click on “Plugins” and then “Add New.” Search for the plugin you wish to install and then click “Install Now” and “Activate.” In a few seconds, you’ll be ready to start optimizing your WordPress website to have it ranking higher and attracting the attention of new customers.

How and When WordPress SEO Services Can Help

One of the most important reasons that WordPress SEO services can benefit a WordPress website is there is no SEO plug-in that “does it all,” and furthermore, many of them are not compatible with each other. That is, you should only ever choose and install one, as they will conflict with each other.

WordPress SEO services can then pick up the slack. In the same fashion that computers make poor translators because they cannot think, a problem-solving team of WordPress SEO experts can respond effectively to changes in user behavior and craft solutions as eCommerce SEO evolves over time. SEO plugins and other such tools are just that – they are tools; it still takes a thinking engine to drive them effectively.

The SEO team behind our WordPress SEO services takes a holistic approach since no plugin can account for all of the ranking factors that impact a website and influence the search results. Our WordPress SEO specialists can perform all of the features of the plugins and more; optimizing your website with fresh content on a page-by-page basis, building an internal link structure, optimizing the technical aspects of your website, and more. We even build a backlink profile for your website which is something that a plugin can’t do on its own.

Another thing to remember is that a plugin can assist you with keyword research, but it can’t actually perform the research. That requires reflection and analysis, which are two things only a thinking mind can offer. That sets the stage for success.

If you’re interested in learning more about how WordPress SEO services can change your business for the better, consider starting with an SEO audit or get in touch with our WordPress SEO experts today.

How To Get Leads With Social Media?

Most businesses know the power of social media by now. With 3.6 billion users, social media is the place to be if you want to reach new audiences who are frequently talking about or interacting with accounts related to your line of business.

The best part about social media is that it allows marketers to present their products in an engaging and non-obtrusive way. Social media ads now tend to blend in with organic posts, increasing their chances of converting.

Social media also opens a direct channel for businesses to interact with their customers and build strong ties with like-minded people, increasing the chances to generate leads and sales.

However, it is never enough to open a profile and post every once in a while. In fact, without a sound and carefully planned social media strategy, you risk giving off the wrong vibe to your audience. Customers have become extremely good at identifying insincere posts and impersonal communication. They will quickly punish unresponsive or out-of-touch accounts with dislikes and unfollows.

So what are the best ways to generate social media leads?

Let’s review some of the most effective tactics used today for securing a sizable following base and strong sales. But first, we need to understand what lead generation means.

Facebook Advertising Tips Video

Social Media Lead Generation

The term lead is an old marketing buzzword that refers to individuals or organizations who are potentially interested in what you offer.

There are variations within this definition. For example, a cold lead extends to everyone that´s within reach but has not expressed any interest in buying your product. These are very likely to reject any attempt to approach them.

Warm leads are those individuals who regularly read or like your posts or show interest in your products. They are familiar with your brand and will likely sign up for your newsletter or participate in your events.

A hot lead is basically someone who is ready to make a purchase. This includes regular customers or people who have already submitted their personal information for future transactions. Note that hot leads can be turned into cold leads very easily if they feel your business does not share their core values.

Generating social media leads generally means reaching out to audiences who are statistically likely to want to buy your product, and collecting their information. This means keeping close tabs with likes, shares, follows, and commenters, and also with global trends and the performance of your competitors. Social media platforms now provide you with the necessary tools to target each segment of your audience with the most relevant content and posts based on their behavior and past engagements with similar posts. This makes them the ultimate sales machine.

But how do you effectively generate leads with social media?

Optimize Your Social Media Profile

The first step in every social media campaign is to properly optimize your social media accounts. Make sure your graphic elements are on-brand and uniform across your social media profiles, and that your business descriptions include the right keywords to boost discoverability in search engines. In other words, your profiles should act as additional storefronts for your business.

Bear in mind that each platform caters to different audiences. For example, LinkedIn tends to be more effective for B2B lead generation, while Instagram advertising allows businesses to capitalize on its picture and video capabilities. Audiences differ greatly between platforms, so you must adjust your content and intent accordingly.

Create Hard-To-Resist Offers

Social media was created to keep people constantly updated on the latest events and trends. Successful businesses have adjusted to this new need people have of being constantly bombarded with updates from friends, celebrities, and favorite brands.

You have to take all this in mind when creating a post. Do not make your post about your product. Instead, create events or experiences that users feel they can be part of.

A perfect example of great marketing is the MasterClass campaign. They constantly invite their audience to participate in different seminars held by real authorities in specific fields.

This strategy is effective for many reasons. First, they created a product that could be consumed by an incredibly wide audience. You would enjoy the offer no matter what walk of life you come from.

The other foot to this strategy is that their product becomes more attractive with time. As they add more classes and topics to their product list, their annual fee constantly increases in value. So, whether you want to learn cooking secrets from Gordon Ramsey, or to gain a deeper insight into astronomy from real astronauts and scientists, the product is always the right one for you.

Share Powerful Testimonials

More than 70% of people prefer to buy something when it has good reviews. Customers want to know if others had the same problem or need and if the product helped them solve it. They are also really interested in watching how the product works and the reaction others had when trying it.

A campaign that makes good use of this strategy is the one put forward by Established Titles. They used the power of Facebook campaigns to show how their customers react when they receive a personalized certificate that says they are officially a Lord or a Lady. They even showcase testimonials from celebrities such as Snoop Dogg. Established Titles soon became a very popular gift among couples who wanted to give something truly unique, but also among people who care about preserving nature and woodlands.

Aerial view of a Manhattan retargeting strategy

Retarget , Retarget, Retarget

Not everyone who visits your landing page ends up converting. Most visitors will only browse through your products, prices, and benefits before closing the tab. Others will go even further and add items to their carts, only to abandon them. However, this gives you valuable information to create additional ads or posts that surgically target these individuals, enticing them to go further down your conversion funnel.

Retargeted ads have proven to be ten times more effective than regular ones, mainly because they are more personalized and directed at people who already know the product but need a nudge in the right direction.

For example, imagine a customer who goes through the checkout process, and suddenly abandons all items and closes the tab. With your analytic tools, you can know what these customers wanted to buy and the precise instant they decided to leave. This information allows you to create a personalized ad for this person showing that specific product coupled with an offer or addressing common objections such as shipping costs.

The point is to keep moving your audience down their customer journey by using all the tools social media has to offer.

If you want to find out how an eCommerce marketing agency can help you generate social media leads, get in touch with one of our specialists today.

What’s Best for my eCommerce Business? Shopify vs BigCommerce Store

When embarking on your first business adventure online you will be forced to make a crucial decision: What’s best for my business? A Shopify or a BigCommerce store?

This is not a question to be taken lightly. Most people only do a quick search on the internet and go with the first result they find. However, each platform has its unique strengths and weaknesses and will either give your business a nice traffic boost or hinder your marketing efforts due to some limitation you didn’t anticipate when choosing a home for it.

But first, let’s see why you need an eCommerce platform in the first place.

What Do eCommerce Platforms Do?

In the days of yore, and I mean just a few years ago, building a website required extensive knowledge of programming languages. Even if you only needed a small landing page.

Unless you were a big commercial brand, your websites would look and feel clunky right off the gate. Entrepreneurial individuals with enough drive to dive into coding developed and maintained websites for their businesses with relative ease. However, internet moguls would always outpace them in terms of aesthetics, user experience, ease of use, inventory management, content generation, and search engine optimization.

Platforms are the market’s response to these pains. They are basically website builders that allow users with limited development knowledge to create and customize online stores. ECommerce platforms are easy to use, and they have become the best way to start selling products online in minutes. Just pick the template you want, upload your product pictures, set your prices, and you just got yourself a Shopify or BigCommerce store. That’s an ideal world, and we don’t live in an ideal world, do we?

It is always better to give an eCommerce SEO expert a call when you are ready to take full advantage of your Shopify or BigCommerce store.

What are the advantages of setting up a Shopify or BigCommerce Store?

We already mentioned the ease of use. Technically, you don’t need to know much about website design or development to get your eCommerce store up and running.

They all come with an immense catalog of themes that allow you to effortlessly give your online business a professional feel. Moreover, theme customization is now easier than ever, giving you the freedom to move things around, try different locations for your products or services, and create pages at will.

Additionally, platforms are SEO-friendly. You only need to install a couple of plugins to make sure your content, URL structure, metas, and redirects are all in working order. This reduces the time you would spend learning how to optimize your website for search engines.

Both BigCommerce and Shopify have incredibly easy-to-use checkout processes. One of the stickier points of building an online store is managing payment options, inventory, and shipping (not to mention returns). Both platforms now easily integrate with payment gateways that virtually automate much of the financial aspects of your business.

Finally, they all provide useful metrics that give you a bird’s eye view of how your business is performing. They not only provide information about traffic and sales. You can also see which products are performing better, where your visitors are going once they enter a page, and what part of your website is causing people to stop on their heels before completing their customer journey. This data helps businesses save time and resources by giving them the tools to constantly tweak their stores depending on their marketing strategy.

However, this sounds almost too good to be true. “These automated platforms that do everything for you and allow you to set up a store on autopilot must cost a fortune”, I hear you say.

The good news is that they are pretty affordable. The bad news is that eCommerce platforms are not a set-and-forget solution. There is still plenty of work to do if you want to give your competitors a run for their money. But let’s take a look at the pricing of the two biggest eCommerce platforms today.

BigCommerce vs Shopify: pricing

If you do a side-by-side comparison of the pricing structure of these two platforms trying to find a clear winner, you would be disappointed. The two are apparently identical at first glance.

However, there are plenty of differences between the two.

One of the most glaring differences is on sales limits. BigCommerce imposes a $50k sales cap on their standard plan, a $180k cap on their Plus plan, and a $400k cap on their Pro plan. The only way to get rid of gross merchandise value limits is to hire their custom-priced Enterprise plan.

There are no such limits in Shopify, which gives them a plus here. However, Shopify does impose transaction fees while BigCommerce has a nice and flat 0% transaction fee on all of its plans. There is a way to get around those pesky fees on Shopify, though. If you use their Shopify Payments system, they waive all transaction fees. The problem is you have to live in one of the following countries to qualify for their Shopify Payments program:

Australia
Austria
Belgium
Canada
Denmark
Germany
Hong Kong SAR
Ireland
Italy
Japan
The Netherlands
New Zealand
Singapore
Spain
Sweden
United Kingdom
United States of America

If your business is not located in any of the countries listed, you have to use a third-party payment gateway or app for processing your customers´ credit cards. Shopify might be adding more countries to that list as it expands, allowing more people around the world to use their convenient Shopify Payments.

BigCommerce recommends using PayPal as a partner for processing credit cards. PayPal is less region restrictive than Shopify Payments and, all things considered, features fairly similar advantages and fees. In fact, when comparing credit card rates, Shopify Payments has slightly higher rates than BigCommerce (2.4%-2.9% against 2.2%-2.9% respectively). These percentages might not mean much for small businesses. However, for those dealing with high-volume sales, it might leave a pretty noticeable dent in the bottom line.

Website Visuals

The importance of aesthetics cannot be overstated. ECommerce platforms came into existence to eliminate the need for web designers and developers to put together a nice-looking and functional website.

With the help of templates, we can instantly have a properly organized homepage that looks professional and clean without the fear of having to learn to code when we feel like moving things around.
Both platforms offer a wide variety of free templates to get you started right away.

BigCommerce used to take the cake here by offering more free templates and more customization options and tools. One frequent quibble among designers and developers was that their templates were too similar to each other. They only had slight differences in color palettes. That apparent lack of diversity is offset by the ease of use of their customization tools, which was deemed superior to how Shopify approached their design process.

However, in 2021 Shopify launched their online store 2.0 and added a ton more features to make our lives even easier. They adopted a modular building approach that eliminated the gap between them and BigCommerce in terms of ease of use, but it is evidently based on their competitor´s most successful features.

Product Categories and Options

The first thing we want to do is upload our product to our store. We want to see how our virtual shelves look, write product descriptions, set prices, and start selling, right?

Both platforms offer pretty intuitive ways to do all that. However, they have slight differences.

Shopify allows you to create categories and populate them in bulk. But they really hit it out of the park with their “Smart” collection feature. It automatically populates your categories with new products according to conditions you set to said category. You can set a condition that says that any product with the tag “dog snack” should be included in the “Pet” category, and forget about manually entering your products. This is a real-time saver for businesses that have hundreds or thousands of products.

BigCommerce does not lack a bulk product upload process, but you still have to place them in the right category or collection. That is not to say that there are no advantages to having a BigCommerce store. For those who sell products with a wide variety of sizes or colors, the platform allows you to create up to 600 product options and varieties, giving a lot of room for combinations. By contrast, Shopify only offers up to 100 combinations.

For those offering products that require user input, we find that BigCommerce is a lot easier to use than Shopify. This is due to Shopify´s requirement of third-party apps to be able to enter custom data (like a line of text or a file). BigCommerce allows you to do this effortlessly without making you learn to code or spend money on third-party applications.

Content Generation Tools

This is where both platforms fall short when compared to others like WordPress or even SquareSpace.

They are eCommerce platforms that focus on selling products and making your life and that of your customers easier. They do not aim to inform or educate people about the products you sell or the latest news in your industry.

This makes it a bit tricky if your business depends on search engines to generate traffic. A comprehensive search engine optimization strategy must include blogging and constant content production to be able to rank.

BigCommerce and Shopify know this, and they have included basic blogging features in their platform. However, for those used to more advanced content management platforms, these features feel pretty bland. For example, they won´t give you access to basic SEO plugins aimed at content optimization. Additionally, BigCommerce lacks RSS feeds which prove vital to syndicate your content to other outlets, thus closing the door to massive link-building opportunities.

Of course, many workarounds allow Shopify and BigCommerce store owners to leverage the power of other CMS such as WordPress, but they require an in-depth knowledge of the platform.

If you´re wondering how to properly optimize your online store, get in touch with one of our eCommerce SEO experts and ask for a free SEO audit of your website.

BigCommerce vs Shopify: Conclusions

As we can see, both platforms are well-balanced and offer very similar value. The fact that they´re constantly trying to outpace each other, incentivizes them to keep improving their platforms and offer increasingly better features.

But, only one platform will get the job done depending on your business model.

Shopify seems better suited for small stores that need to start selling a handful of products in the least amount of time. Their smart categories feature is fantastic for those who plan on growing their catalog. Additionally, they offer a free “abandoned cart saving” tool which is fantastic for generating additional sales.

However, we feel like BigCommerce offers more value for high-volume businesses. Lower credit card fees and more flexibility become more attractive if your plan contemplates long-term growth and scalability. The platform also includes more features like reporting, multi-currency selling, ratings, and reviews. Shopify forces users to purchase third-party apps if they want to expand their tool belt.

Which one is better for you? Let us know in the comments!

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