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9 Essential Steps In Building A Winning SEO Strategy

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9 Essential Steps In Building A Winning SEO Strategy


Online shopping has taken over the world.

While people still run to the store to pick things up, the allure of buying just about anything from the comfort of your home is unstoppable.

From plumbing fixtures to pizza rolls, if you want it, you can get it delivered with the push of an app – without leaving the house.

And even if your business sells services, rather than products, there’s an incredible chance that the majority of people are shopping for it online.

This means ecommerce should be a focus for every company that’s selling something. And that means you need an increased focus on web traffic.

After all, you could have the best website in the world, with cutting-edge design, optimized for ideal user experiences, and copy that would make David Ogilvy gnash his teeth in envy, but if no one ever sees it, it’s not doing you an ounce of good.

You need to get found. And that, of course, is why SEO is a crucial part of any modern marketing plan.

You want to rank highly in search engine results pages (SERPs), so you get found organically by your targets.

However, this is much easier said than done. But don’t fret, we’re here to help.

Whether you’re an experienced professional looking to brush up on the fundamentals for a client or a complete newbie trying to figure out how this whole SEO thing works for your business, you’re in the right place.

Here, we’ll walk you through the steps of creating, implementing, and optimizing an SEO campaign that will have your site shooting up the rankings in no time.

What Is An SEO Strategy?

You’ve probably already figured out that an SEO strategy is your plan to make your website or landing page more appealing to Google and other search engines

The goal here is to rank higher and drive more organic traffic (and hopefully conversions).

It sounds simple enough, but there’s a big catch: Search algorithms are always changing.

As Google seeks to enhance the quality of its searches and provide users with better solutions to queries, its algorithms are updated several times a year.

What that means for SEO is that you can’t just set it and forget it. Every search engine optimization needs iterations.

You need to regularly analyze and course-correct to ensure you’re taking advantage of the latest best practices and strategies.

That’s good for SEO professionals – otherwise, we’d be out of jobs rather quickly

But it means a bit of a commitment for you.

To stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the world of search, you need to regularly consult with reliable sources (like this one).

Luckily, there are a wealth of resources you can mine for quality information. Whether you prefer articles, webinars or podcasts, there’s SEO content available for you.

Do You Really Need SEO?

Right now, some of you contrarians are sneering at your screen and asking if you really need SEO to find customers.

You have somebody handling paid search or affiliate marketing for you, so you’re not sure there’s much of a benefit to investing all this time into organic search. Don’t fall into that trap.

Organic search is what drives more than half of all website visits and should be an important part of any organization’s digital marketing strategy, whether you’re a multinational mega-corporation or a mom-and-pop shop.

And it’s especially important for direct-to-consumer sites. By providing useful content, you’re not only building trust, but you’re matching your website with customer intent, which means higher quality leads.

And even better, you’re not paying for every click, which means a lower cost-per-conversion.

So, even if you have the world’s best pay-per-click (PPC) and affiliate marketing campaigns routinely driving motivated customers to your site, you’re still only fighting half the battle by ignoring organic search.

Creating An Effective SEO Strategy: 9 Fundamental Steps

Though SEO requires a comprehensive strategy, you can break it down into several manageable steps.

1. Align SEO With Business Goals & Define KPIs

First things first, you need to know where you currently stand, where you want to go, and how you’ll measure success along the way.

You’ll want to begin by performing an SEO audit.

This is the roadmap that will guide you throughout the entire optimization process and allow you to benchmark against your current site.

You need to examine a variety of aspects, including:

  • Domain name, age, history, etc.
  • Page factors like headlines, keyword & topical targeting and user engagement.
  • Content organization, content quality, and the quality of your images (no one trusts stock photography).
  • Duplicate content.
  • Website factors like architecture, schema, markup. and click-through rate (CTR).
  • Past and upcoming website updates.
  • The quality of inbound links.
  • On-site factors like sitemaps, image optimization. and robots.txt.

For a step-by-step guide on how to perform this audit, we have an excellent series that will guide you through it.

Once you know where you’re starting from, it’s time to plan your timeframe and allocated budgets and resources.

This is yet another area of life where you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for fast and cheap, you’re not going to get the results you would by investing more time and money.

Obviously, your budget and timeframe will depend on your company’s unique situation, but if you want good results, be prepared to pay for them.

For an idea of how much you should be spending, consult this article.

During this step of the SEO process, you’ll also want to define your key performance indicators (KPIs).

This is how you’ll measure the success of your new implementations and figure out what’s working for you and where you need to make adjustments.

Some of the KPIs you should be tracking are:

  • Organic sessions.
  • Keyword ranking increases.
  • Leads and conversions.
  • Bounce rate (keep i mind that bounce rate is an internal metric and  is 100% dependent upon the events you set up on your pages and will be phased out in GA 4)
  • Pages per session.
  • Average session duration.
  • Page load time.
  • Top exit pages.
  • Crawl errors.

For more information on what these are and why they’re important, be sure to read this piece on top SEO KPIs.

2. Perform Keyword Research

Search engine rankings are determined by an algorithm that evaluates a variety of factors to decide how well a website answers a particular search query. And a huge part of that is the use of keywords.

From single words to complex phrases, keywords tell search engines what your content is about. But adding keywords isn’t quite as simple as just plugging in the name of the product or service you want to sell.

You need to do research to ensure keyword optimization, and that means considering the following:

Search Intent

The beauty of the English language (and the bane of SEOs) is in its richness.

But words often have multiple meanings, which makes it crucial to consider search intent, so you don’t attract an audience that was searching for something else.

For example, if you’re trying to attract customers to a haberdashery, ranking highly for [bowlers] may attract people who want to roll a few frames instead of those looking for a new hat.

Relevant Keywords

Once you’ve identified your targets, you need to figure out which keywords are important to them.

It’s usually best to target only a few keywords, as targeting too broadly will make it difficult for the search engine to determine what your pages are about.

Keyword Phrases

These are short phrases consisting of two or more words that people type into search engines to find specific content.

For example, someone looking for dance lessons may ask Google for [tango classes near me].

Keyword Research Tools

The brainstorming process is a great place to start keyword research, but to ensure you’re attracting the right audience and proving your value to search engines, you should utilize a research tool.

Most SEO professionals use Google’s Keyword Planner for this, but it can be a bit frustrating to use, so you may wish to consider other options.

Long-Tail Keywords

These are specific search terms people use to find an exact match for their query.

They tend to be longer and are more likely to be used by people who are closer to making a purchase.

An example of this would be [vegetarian restaurants in San Antonio], which would most likely be used by someone with a craving for a plant-based meal.

Search Volume

This will tell you the number of searches for a particular keyword over a specified timeframe, giving you an overall idea of the term’s value and competitiveness.

[Christmas lights] is going to get a lot more volume in November and December than it will in July. A lot of terms are seasonal, keep this in mind.

Likewise, [used cars] is going to have more competition than [2006 Volkswagen Passant].

Funnel Keywords

These are keywords targeting users at various parts of the sales funnel.

People at the top of the funnel are more likely to be attracted by more general terms like [Cancun vacation], whereas those who are nearer to purchasing are comparing prices and brands and will more likely be attracted by things like discounts or hotel names.

Keywords are as much about your audience as they are your content.

For a more detailed explanation of every part of keyword research and optimization, we have a detailed ebook on the topic.

3. Define Your Most Valuable Pages

Every team needs an MVP, and in the case of your website, that’s your most valuable pages.

These pages are the ones that do the bulk of the heavy lifting for you.

For non-ecommerce sites, these are usually things like your home page, your services pages or any pages with demos or other offers.

These pages are also likely MVPs for ecommerce sites, but will also be joined by category and/or product level pages.

To find which pages are your site’s most important ones, you should consider what your organization is known for.

What verticals to you compete in? What pain points do you solve? Define these or add more based on the high-level keywords you came up with in the previous step.

Once you’ve identified the category and product pages that bring in the most visitors, you’ll be able to focus your strategy on improving them and increasing your organic traffic.

Read more about how to find your MVPs here.

4. Conduct A Competitive Analysis

If you didn’t have any competition, there would be no need for SEO. But as long as other companies are manufacturing refrigerators, Frigidaire needs to find ways to differentiate itself.

You need to have an idea of what others in your industry are doing, so you can position yourself for the best results.

You need to figure out where you’re being outranked and find ways to turn the tables.

You should know which keywords are most competitive and where you have opportunities.

You should have some understanding of the opposition’s backlinking and site structure, so you can optimize your own site for the best possible search ranking.

Learn more about how to perform this analysis and develop a template for it by reading this piece.

5. Plan For User Experience & Technical SEO

Don’t overlook the importance of how your site is structured, both technically and how users interface with it.

The best content and keyword strategy in the world won’t lead to a single sale if your site is constantly broken or is so frustrating to use that people close your page in disgust.

You should carefully consider your site’s architecture and user experiences to ensure people are taking the desired actions.

Likewise, you should find and fix any technical issues like broken links, slow load times and bad site schema.

There are a number of free tools you can use to ensure your site is working optimally.

6. Consider Your Resources

SEO doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it impacts many other parts of your organization, including marketing, sales, and IT.

If you’re looking for the budget to perform SEO, you may find some of your employees are already well-qualified to help.

For example, your sales team probably knows which products people are most interested in.

Enlisting them in your SEO strategy development will help with lead generation and find new targets who are already qualified.

Similarly, SEO can tell your marketing team what types of content resonates best, so they can fine tune their campaigns. And your copywriters and graphic designers can develop the type of content that will help you shoot up the rankings.

Your IT team probably already has control over your website.

Your SEO strategy should be designed around their expertise, to ensure website design and structure, development cycles, data structure, and core principles are all aligned.

And these are just a few ways you can integrate SEO into your existing workflows.

Others exist if you look closely and it’s very unlikely that you’ll need to start completely from scratch.

Evaluate your existing software, technology, and personnel, as there’s a good chance you have some of the pieces already in place.

And if you need to scale production up, you may find the budget already in place in existing departments.

7. Align Your SEO Strategy With Your Customer Funnel

At the end of the day, sales are the name of the game. Without customers, there’s no revenue, and that means no business.

To aid in the sales process, your SEO strategy should align with your customer funnel.

Sometimes described as the customer journey, your sales funnel is a summation of the touchpoints customers have with your company as they go from awareness to post-purchase.

SEO fits neatly with every stage of this cycle:

  • Awareness: In the modern world, many customers first hear about your business online. Through a Google search, for example.
  • Interest: This is where customers start doing research. And what better place to do research than your website?
  • Decision: The customer wants to buy and is deciding between you and the competition. Your meta description mentioning free shipping could be the thing that sways them.
  • Purchase: Ecommerce continues to grow. Having a search engine optimized point of sale makes it easy for people to buy.
  • Post-purchase: Customer reviews, either on your website or on a third-party site are a great way to build trust and increase your relevancy for keywords.

8. Report And Set Realistic Expectations

Reporting is essential. You need to be able to effectively measure and report on the progress you’re making.

Reporting allows you to establish consistent, accurate data that earns trust.

It helps you understand the factors behind your ranking and identify areas where you could improve, and not least of all, it proves the value of SEO to the organization’s decision-makers.

One of the most common mistakes people unfamiliar with SEO make is expecting overnight results.

And because of the variables involved with competition, inbound links, and the content itself, it’s nearly impossible to provide a definite timeframe.

You need to go into the process with an understanding that SEO takes time and the more competitive the keywords you’re going after, the longer it will take to climb to the top.

This needs to be conveyed to stakeholders from the start, to ensure expectations are realistic.

For a guide on how to create impactful reports that generate quality insights, read our guide here.

9. Measure And Document Your Strategy

Congratulations on making it this far, but you’re not quite done.

After you’ve generated the reports on how your SEO strategy is working, you need to track the metrics and prove its impact.

Some of the most important metrics you’ll want to consider include organic sessions, bounce rate, top exit pages, and crawl errors.

By identifying all of these, you’ll get a better idea of what you customers are looking for – and what’s driving them away.

For more information, read this article on top SEO KPIs.

There are a variety of both paid and free tools available that you can use to measure and track conversions, and compare them weekly, monthly, or by another timeframe of your choosing.

Simply find one that works for your budget and needs.

Conclusion

No one ever said SEO was easy, at least not anyone who has done it. But it’s a vital part of any modern organization’s business plan.

However, with a solid strategy, a willingness to learn, and a little old-fashioned elbow grease, even a complete beginner can send their website to the top of the SERP.

In this piece, we’ve given you nine steps to take to get your SEO strategy off the ground. But of course, this is just the start.

You need a unique plan that will work for your industry and your needs.

Luckily, Search Engine Journal can help with this too.

Download our ebook on SEO strategy with a full-year blueprint for an easy-to-follow 12-month plan you can use to develop a solid strategy, track your progress, and adjust to changing situations.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Lena Noir/Shutterstock





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SEO

A Guide To Social Media Algorithms & How They Work

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A Guide To Social Media Algorithms & How They Work


Why do so many marketers keep asking, “How do social media algorithms work?” Because the algorithms for the major platforms can change quickly.

But, marketers should also keep asking, “Which social media platforms have the most users?” Because that data can change frequently, as well.

So, here are the latest answers to the first question about the algorithms for the eight platforms that you should be considering today.

Spoiler alert: This update contains some surprising shifts in the latest data on monthly unique visitors, monthly visits, and monthly average visit duration from SimilarWeb.

How Does The YouTube Algorithm Work?

YouTube got 1.953 billion unique visitors worldwide in May 2022. The platform received 35.083 billion monthly visits that month with an average visit duration of 21:41.

Now, some social media marketers may be shocked, shocked to find YouTube ranking ahead of Facebook.

But, SimilarWeb’s data above is only for desktop and mobile web channels. It doesn’t include data for connected TVs, which became the fastest-growing screen among YouTube viewers in 2020.

This makes it imperative to know how YouTube’s algorithm works.

YouTube’s algorithm tries to match each viewer to the videos they’re most likely to watch and enjoy. But, with over 500 hours of video content uploaded every minute, this is a Herculean task.

YouTube’s search and discovery systems tackle this challenge by paying close attention to:

  • What viewers watch.
  • What they don’t watch.
  • How much time do they spend watching?
  • What do they share and like?

Next, you need to learn that YouTube has multiple algorithms, including ones for:

  • YouTube Search: Videos are ranked based on how well titles, descriptions, and video content match the viewer’s search and which videos get the most engagement for a search.
  • Up Next: The ranking of suggested videos is based on machine learning’s understanding of which ones viewers are most likely to watch next. These videos are often related to the video a viewer is watching, but they can also be personalized based on the viewer’s watch history.
  • Your homepage: Videos are selected based on how often viewers watch a channel or topic, how well similar videos have interested and satisfied similar viewers, and how many times YouTube has already shown each video to a viewer.
  • YouTube Shorts: YouTube wants both short and long videos to succeed. So, relative watch time is generally more important for short videos, while absolute watch time is generally more important for longer videos.

So, what should you do next?

First, read my column, How To Optimize YouTube Videos To Help Ukraine, which provides tips on keyword research, title optimization, writing descriptions, custom thumbnails, and other video SEO best practices.

Next, read Jon Clark’s article, 13 Key Elements Of Successful YouTube Videos. He focuses on how to make a great video.

Why is that important? Because YouTube’s search and discovery system “finds” videos for each viewer and their varying interests in order to get them to watch more videos that they’ll enjoy so they’ll come back to YouTube regularly.

How Does The Facebook Algorithm Work?

Facebook got only 1.620 billion unique visitors worldwide in May. The platform received 19.739 billion visits that month with an average session duration of 10:05.

Now, Facebook’s unique visitors started dipping worldwide in February 2022.

But, as you can see in the chart below, there was a substantial drop in unique visitors in Russia in early March, after Russia blocked Facebook in an effort to control the spread of information on the invasion of Ukraine.

Screenshot courtesy of Similarweb, June 2022

This had a negative impact on Facebook’s total unique visitors worldwide, which were already losing momentum. Nevertheless, the platform is still too big to ignore.

So, how does Facebook’s algorithm work today?

Well, we knew how Facebook’s News Feed ranking process worked in December 2021 when Anna Stepanov, Head of Facebook App Integrity, wrote a post that said:

“News Feed uses personalized ranking, which takes into account thousands of unique signals to understand what’s most meaningful to you. Our aim isn’t to keep you scrolling on Facebook for hours on end, but to give you an enjoyable experience that you want to return to.”

And she summarized half a dozen of the biggest changes Facebook had made in 2021 to give users more control over, and insight into, how content appears in their News Feed.

This included publishing a new series of Widely Viewed Content Reports to share what content is seen by the most people in News Feed in the U.S.

Ironically, Facebook’s latest Widely Viewed Content Report showed the top four domains in Q4 2021:

  • youtube.com (168.1 million content viewers).
  • media1.tenor.co (118.4 million).
  • gofundme.com (112.4 million).
  • tiktok.com (105.0 million).

But, then in February 2022, Matt G. Southern reported Facebook Shifts Focus To Short-Form Video After Stock Plunge. And on June 16, 2022, Southern reported Facebook To Restructure Main Feed Around Video Content.

So, what should you do next? First, read Southern’s stories and learn why Tom Alison, head of Facebook, plans to turn its main feed into a “discovery engine” for video content.

According to Alison, the main tab in the Facebook app will become a mix of Stories and Reels at the top, followed by posts that its discovery engine will recommend from across both Facebook and Instagram.

Next, follow Southern’s expert, authoritative, and trustworthy advice:

“The best way to prepare for this change, if Facebook is a priority for you and your business, is to get comfortable with creating and publishing more short form video. While Facebook will continue to surface text and photo posts, they’ll be ancillary to the main attractions of Reels and Stories.”

How Does The Instagram Algorithm Work?

Instagram got 1.050 billion unique visitors worldwide in May. The platform received 6.497 billion visits that month with an average session duration of 07:51.

Russia has also banned Instagram, but the growth in unique visitors from other countries around the world has offset that.

So, you still need to know how Instagram’s algorithms work.

In June 2021, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, wrote a post entitled, Shedding More Light On How Instagram Works. He revealed:

“Instagram doesn’t have one algorithm that oversees what people do and don’t see on the app. We use a variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each with its own purpose.”

For the Feed and Stories, the key ranking signals are:

  • Information about the post: How popular a post is, when it was posted, how long it is, if it’s a video, and if it’s attached to a location.
  • Information about the person who posted: How many times users have interacted with that person in the past few weeks.
  • User activity: What a user might be interested in and how many posts they’ve liked.
  • User history of interacting with someone: How interested a user is in seeing posts from a particular person.

For Explore, the key ranking signals are:

  • Information about the post: How popular a post seems to be as well as how many and how quickly other people are liking, commenting, sharing, and saving a post.
  • User history of interacting with someone: (See above.)
  • User activity: What posts a user has liked, saved, or commented on as well as how they’ve interacted with posts in Explore in the past.
  • Information about the person who posted: (See above.)

For Reels, the key ranking signals are:

  • User activity: Which Reels a user has liked, commented on, and engaged with recently.
  • User history of interacting with someone: (See above.)
  • Information about the reel: The audio track, video data such as pixels and whole frames, as well as popularity.
  • Information about the person who posted: (See above.)

So, each part of the app uses similar ranking signals, but their order of importance varies. Mosseri explained:

“People tend to look for their closest friends in Stories, but they want to discover something entirely new in Explore. We rank things differently in different parts of the app, based on how people use them.”

For more tips and advice, read the article by Shelley Walsh entitled, 22 Ways To Get More Instagram Followers Right Now. Then, read Amanda DiSilvestro’s article, How To Use Instagram Reels For Business.

How Does The Twitter Algorithm Work?

Twitter got 979 million unique visitors worldwide in May. The platform received 7.056 billion visits that month with an average session duration of 10.39.

This data does not screen for fake or spam accounts. Nevertheless, it’s worth investing the time and effort to keep up with how Twitter’s algorithm works.

Like most social media platforms, Twitter has multiple algorithms.

Twitter says its “algorithmic Home timeline displays a stream of Tweets from accounts you have chosen to follow on Twitter, as well as recommendations of other content we think you might be interested in based on accounts you interact with frequently, Tweets you engage with, and more.”

If users want to, they can click on the star symbol to see the latest Tweets as they happen. But, few people choose to drink water from a firehose.

If they want to, users can click on “Explore” and see Trending tweets or ones about COVID-19, News, Sports, and Entertainment.

If users want to, they can click on “More” to see the Topics that Twitter thinks they’re interested in.

Like most social media platforms, Twitter’s algorithms use machine learning to sort content based on different ranking signals.

And it’s worth noting that Twitter is currently involved in analyzing the results of its algorithms as part of its “responsible machine learning initiative.”

Here’s what Twitter has said publicly about its Home timeline, Trends, and Topics ranking signals:

Relevance:

  • ​​Users’ previous actions on Twitter, like their own Tweets and Tweets they’ve engaged with.
  • Accounts they often engage with.
  • Topics they follow and engage with most.
  • The number of Tweets related to a topic.
  • For Trends: their location.

Engagement:

  • For Tweets: “How popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with [the Tweet].”
  • For Trends: “The number of Tweets related to the Trend.”
  • For Topics: “How much people are Tweeting, Retweeting, replying, and liking Tweets about that Topic.”

Recency:

  • For Trends: “Topics that are popular now, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis.”

Rich Media:

  • The type of media the Tweet includes like an image, video, GIF, and polls.

For more advice and tips, read Lisa Buyer’s article, 8 Terrific Tips To Optimize A Twitter Business Or Brand Profile. Then, read the article by Julia McCoy entitled, How To Be A Top Tweeter: 10 Tips That Will Get Your Tweets Noticed.

How Does The TikTok Algorithm Work?

TikTok got 690 million monthly visitors worldwide in May. The platform received 1.766 billion visits that month with an average session duration of 03:48.

This data doesn’t include Douyin.com, which is counted separately. But, as the chart below illustrates, TikTok.com gets about 98% of the unique visitors worldwide for both of the ByteDance apps.

TikTok.com gets about 98% of the unique visitors worldwideScreenshot courtesy of Similarweb, June 2022

So, you should probably learn how TikTok’s algorithm works ASAP.

In June 2020, TikTok revealed how its recommendation system selected videos in a post entitled, How TikTok recommends videos #ForYou.

Little has fundamentally changed since then, except the U.S. government is no longer trying to ban the social media platform.

TikTok’s For You feed presents a stream of videos curated to each user’s interests, making it easy for a user to find content and creators they love.

In other words, there isn’t one For You feed for over one billion monthly active TikTok users. There are a billion For You feeds tailored to what each user watches, likes, and shares.

TikTok added, “This feed is powered by a recommendation system that delivers content to each user that is likely to be of interest to that particular user.”

And recommendations are based on a number of factors, including:

  • User interactions such as the videos they like or share, accounts they follow, comments they post, and content they create.
  • Video information, which might include details like captions, sounds, and hashtags.
  • Device and account settings like their language preference, country setting, and device type.

TikTok also revealed:

“All these factors are processed by our recommendation system and weighted based on their value to a user. A strong indicator of interest, such as whether a user finishes watching a longer video from beginning to end, would receive greater weight than a weak indicator, such as whether the video’s viewer and creator are both in the same country.

Videos are then ranked to determine the likelihood of a user’s interest in a piece of content, and delivered to each unique For You feed.”

On the other hand, TikTok said:

“While a video is likely to receive more views if posted by an account that has more followers, by virtue of that account having built up a larger follower base, neither follower count nor whether the account has had previous high-performing videos are direct factors in the recommendation system.”

So, what should you do next? First, read Miranda Miller’s article, 40+ TikTok Stats Digital Marketers Need To Know. Then, read my column, How TikTok’s Search Algorithms Power Content Discovery.

How Does The Pinterest Algorithm Work?

Pinterest got 409 million unique visitors worldwide in May. The platform received 945 million visits that month with an average session duration of 05:29.

With Instagram declaring it is “no longer just a square photo-sharing app,” this is the time to learn how Pinterest’s algorithm works.

The ranking factors on Pinterest relate more to engagement metrics and social shares, but it also involves keywords.

And Pinterest autocomplete provides ideas by automatically suggesting semantically related modifiers to a core keyword.

Pinterest’s search feature then curates a user’s “feed” based on what they’re searching for and how those key terms are used in the Pins being shared by content creators.

Pinterest also categorizes and sub-categorizes topics to make it easy to find keywords for your particular niche.

To optimize your Pins:

  • Use long images: The optimal Pin size is 1,000 by 1,500 px or a ratio of 2:3.
  • Use eye-catching colors: Catch users’ attention and stand out with high-contrast colors.
  • Use enticing, keyword-rich titles: Entice users to click through to your content.
  • Use detailed descriptions: Include your target keywords in your descriptions.

Then, optimize your boards. Boards provide a great opportunity to tell Pinterest’s search engine how you categorize your products and/or organize your content, which will only aid visibility.

Finally, aim for engagement, which can increase your Pin’s (and your profile’s) visibility in search, increasing your traffic.

For additional information and advice, read Southern’s story, Pinterest Updates Algorithm To Surface More Content Types. Then, read Jessica Foster’s article, 12 Pinterest SEO Tips For High-Traffic Success.

How Does The LinkedIn Algorithm Work?

LinkedIn got 306 million unique visitors worldwide in May. The platform received 1.479 billion visits that month with an average session duration of 07:32.

So, social media marketers – especially ones at B2B organizations – need to know how LinkedIn’s algorithm works.

In June 2019, Pete Davies, Senior Director of Product Management at LinkedIn, wrote a post entitled, What’s in your LinkedIn Feed: People You Know, Talking about Things You Care About. He explained, “The more valuable the conversation, the higher in your feed the post will be.”

How does LinkedIn’s algorithm know if a conversation is valuable? It uses the following framework:

  • People you know: LinkedIn’s algorithm looks at a user’s connections and prioritizes who they’ve interacted with directly through comments and reactions; the user’s implicit interests and experiences based on information in their profile; explicit signals, such as who a user works with; as well as who would benefit from hearing from the user.
  • Talking about: A lot of sophistication goes into understanding a good conversation. As a rule of thumb, better conversations are authentic and have a constructive back and forth.
  • Things you care about: LinkedIn’s algorithm also looks at whether the content and the conversation are relevant and interesting to a user. It considers a number of signals, including joining groups and following hashtags, people, and pages.

So, what should you do next? First, read Jessica Foster’s article, How The LinkedIn Algorithm Works & Optimizing For It. Then, read Matt G. Southern’s article, LinkedIn Debunks Algorithm Myths In New Video Series.

How Does The Reddit Algorithm Work?

Reddit got 237 million unique visitors worldwide in May. The platform received 1.669 billion visits that month with an average session duration of 09:59.

With Facebook setting its sights on video to regain its momentum, this is a good time to learn how Reddit’s algorithm works.

In June 2021, the official blog for Reddit posted Evolving the Best Sort for Reddit’s Home Feed. It provided insights into how Reddit determines which relevant posts to show users.

The post revealed that:

“Reddit’s systems build a list of potential candidate posts from multiple sources, pass the posts through multiple filtering steps, then rank the posts according to the specified sorting method. Over the years, we’ve built many options to choose from when it comes to sorting your Home feed.”

Here’s how each sort option recommends content:

  • “Hot” ranks using votes and post age.
  • “New” displays the most recently published posts.
  • “Top” shows users the highest vote count posts from a specified time range.
  • “Controversial” shows posts with both high count upvotes and downvotes.
  • “Rising” populates posts with lots of recent votes and comments.
  • ‘Best” uses machine learning algorithms to personalize the order in which users see posts.

For more tips and information, read the article by Brent Csutoras entitled, A Beginner’s Guide To Reddit: How To Get Started & Be Successful. Then, read Southern’s story, Reddit Makes Comments Searchable.

Why Should You Keep Asking Questions?

The latest data from SimilarWeb indicates that you should continue asking “Which social media platforms have the most users?” as well as “How do social media algorithms work?”

Things change too quickly and frequently in this particular arena for anyone to think that past performance is even remotely indicative of future results.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock





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Google Be Colorful Sign from Peter The Greeter

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Google Be Colorful Backdrop


Here is a photo from Peter the Greeter at the GooglePlex in front of a “Be Colorful” sign that is super colorful with a lot of fun scenery around it. I assume this was for the Pride celebrations at the Google office.

He shared this on Instagram.

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.





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Google Automatically Selecting Background Colors For Search Result Snippet Images

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Google Automatically Selecting Background Colors For Search Result Snippet Images


Over the past few months Google has been auto-selecting background colors not just for image search results and not just for shading Google Shopping Ads but also for images added to the search result snippets in Google Search.

Punit spotted this a few months ago and he shared a couple examples on Twitter that shows how Google is taking an image with maybe a light gray background and then replacing it with a green background. He has more examples but here is the bigger one.

On the left is an image of a heel on a dark green background in the Google Search result image snippet:

But if you looked at the web page, that image as on a light gray background:

Here are more examples:

Pretty cool for Google to do this but I do wonder if the publishers won’t like Google changing the image backgrounds like this?

Forum discussion at Twitter.





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