Connect with us

SEO

Keyword Prominence As A Google Ranking Factor

Published

on

Keyword Prominence As A Google Ranking Factor


Keyword prominence is an SEO best practice that involves using a page’s target keyword early in order to send a strong signal to Google about what the page should rank for.

It’s a concept comparable to the journalistic standard of never burying the lede. To “bury the lede” means to hide the main focus of a story underneath information that’s less relevant to the reader.

That’s considered a mistake in journalism because it sends a confusing message about what the most important details are in a given story.

Burying the lede in a piece of web content, with the “lede” being the target keyword, is considered a bad practice in SEO because it sends confusing signals regarding what the page is about.

That’s the consensus within the SEO industry at least. But is it an unsupported theory or has Google confirmed keyword prominence is a ranking factor?

Here’s more about the claim related to keyword prominence, followed by the evidence to back it up.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

The Claim: Keyword Prominence Is A Ranking Factor

Where a keyword appears on a page is said to play a role in search rankings.

SEO professionals advise using a page’s target keyword early in order to benefit from a ranking signal known as keyword prominence.

Keyword prominence correlates positively with higher rankings. The closer a keyword appears toward the beginning of titles and text, the more prominent it is.

Using a keyword less prominently is said to reduce the chances of ranking for that keyword.

When conducting a search in Google it’s common to see results where the exact keyword you entered appears at the beginning of page titles.

Anecdotally speaking, a case can be made that keyword prominence is a ranking factor.

Is it confirmed by Google?

Let’s take a look at the supporting evidence.

Keyword Prominence As A Ranking Factor: The Evidence

Early Evidence

Evidence supporting keyword prominence as a ranking factor dates back as far as 2011 where it’s mentioned in a video with former Googler Matt Cutts.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

He discusses how Google picks up on the use of keywords when crawling the web, and that the first few uses of a keyword will send signals to Google about a page’s main focus.

Cutts cautions site owners not to overdo their use of keywords, however, because more isn’t necessarily better.

“The way that modern search engines, or at least Google, are built is that the first time you mention a word — [Google thinks] “Hey that’s pretty interesting, it’s about that word.”

The next time you mention that word, [Google thinks] “Oh OK, it’s still about that word.” And once you start to mention it a whole lot, it really doesn’t help that much more. There are diminishing returns. It’s just an incremental benefit, but it’s really not that large.

… So the first one or two times you mention a word than that might help with your ranking, absolutely. But just because you can say it seven or eight times that doesn’t mean that it will necessarily help your ranking.”

Recent Evidence

A lot has changed in SEO since 2011, but Google’s guidance on keyword prominence remains the same.

Here’s more recent evidence from Google’s John Mueller addressing the topic in 2021 during one of his weekly Q&A sessions (at the 6:43 mark):

“I would recommend, if there’s something that you want to tell us that your page is about, to make that as visible as possible. So don’t just put that as a one word mention on the bottom.

But rather, use it in your titles, use it in your headings, use it in your subheadings, use it in your captions from images, all of these things to make it as clear as possible for users and for Google when they go to your page that this page is about this topic.

So that’s kind of the direction I would take there. I would not worry about like, can Google get to the word number 20,000 or not. Because if you’re talking about the word 20,000, and you’re saying this is the most important keyword for my page, then you’re already doing things wrong.

You really need to make sure that the information that tells us what this page is about is as obvious as possible so that when users go there they’re like “Yes, I made it to the right page, I will read what this page has to tell me.”

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Mueller makes a great point about thinking of keyword prominence from a user experience perspective.

Circling back to our analogy of burying the lede, when you use the most important keyword as early as possible you end up optimizing for readers and Google at the same time.

Other Considerations For Keyword Prominence

We’ve touched on how keyword prominence impacts SEO, how it impacts the user experience, and now we’re going to discuss how it can potentially impact click-through rate.

Mueller strongly advises making your most important keyword obvious in titles, headings, subheadings, and the main copy.

Page titles are not only a factor for SEO, they can also influence click-through rates from organic search results. That’s another reason keyword location is particularly important, as rankings mean nothing without traffic.

In the English language we read left to right, so a page title with the keyword closest to the beginning is going to catch a searcher’s attention since it matches what they typed into the search bar.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

The goal with SEO isn’t just to appear at the top of search results, it’s to get searchers to click on your page over others. Strategically placed keywords can help accomplish that.

Now think about what your visitors are going to do when they land on the page. They’re most likely going to skim through the content rather than read word for word.

With that in mind, you want to use the keyword as early on as you can in an article. You want to make sure the reader is going to see it as they’re skimming.

Use the keyword toward the first paragraph, or even in the first sentence if you can. You want to immediately show the reader that they’ve found the right article to assist them with their search query. Otherwise, they’re going to leave.

As you continue writing the content make sure to use the keyword again in headings, and anywhere else the reader’s eyes are likely to jump to as they’re skimming a page.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Keyword Prominence As A Ranking Factor: Our Verdict

Keyword prominence is a confirmed ranking factor.

Google has reinforced time and again that using a keyword toward the beginning of a piece of copy is better, from an SEO standpoint, than if it first appeared further down a page.

If you want to maximize your chances of ranking for a particular keyword, then include it in your intro paragraph. Use the keyword early, but don’t use it too often, or you may run into problems with keyword stuffing.

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

For more on how frequently a keyword should appear on a page, see our chapter on keyword density.


Featured image: Paulo Bobita/SearchEngineJournal





Source link

SEO

Google Be Colorful Sign from Peter The Greeter

Published

on

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.





Source link

Continue Reading

SEO

Google Automatically Selecting Background Colors For Search Result Snippet Images

Published

on

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.





Source link

Continue Reading

SEO

Top 6 Free Survey Maker Tools For Marketers

Published

on

Top 6 Free Survey Maker Tools For Marketers


The number of online surveys has risen dramatically in the past decade, according to the Pew Research Center.

From short social media polls to lengthy feedback forms, it’s never been easier to survey your target audience and find out what exactly they’re thinking.

When it comes to free survey makers, you have plenty of options to choose from.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is you have to wade through your options to figure out the best survey tool for you.

In this article, I’ve done that dirty work for you.

Below I outline the top six free survey makers, with a simple bulleted list of their pros and cons, so you can quickly select the best one for your needs.

But first up, the caveats.

What You’re Missing With Free Survey Makers

When something’s free, there’s usually a catch. The same goes for free survey makers.

Free survey tools, or the free plan offered by a paid survey tool, often come with the following limitations:

  • Limited export options. You may not be able to export your survey data for review in Excel or Google Sheets. There may be a PDF-only export option or no export ability at all.
  • Limited analytics. Free survey tools often skimp on the analytics. You may be left to your own pivot tables and Excel expertise if you want to create anything fancy from your survey data.
  • Limited survey functionality. This runs the gamut, from a limit on how many respondents or questions you can have per survey, to only allowing so many question types (e.g., multiple-choice, long-form, etc.).
  • Limited extra perks. By perks, I mean those other features that make software from good to great. With survey makers, that might mean easy-to-access support, the ability to embed surveys in email or webpages, multiple user accounts, or integration with other email marketing or CRM software.
  • No branding. Free survey makers give you their tools for free. In return, you provide them with free brand awareness. Don’t expect to be able to swap out their logo for your own. You’ll probably be stuck with their branding, along with a prominent link to their site throughout the survey or on the thank you page (or both).

If any of the above is a dealbreaker for you, you should plan to drop a little dough on a paid survey tool. That’s why I’ve also included the starting price for all six of the tools featured below.

In case you end up having to upgrade later, it’s easier to do so from a tool you’re already familiar with.

Top 6 Free Survey Tools

Without further ado, I present the best free survey makers you’ll find today. These are listed in no particular order.

1. Google Forms

Screenshot by author, June 2022

Do you live and die by your Google Drive?

Great news: Google also offers free survey software via Google Forms.

Alright, I know I just said these were presented in no particular order, but I’ll openly admit Google Forms is my personal favorite. Just look at all of the features they include in their free plan!

All you need is a free Google account to get started.

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • Unlimited questions.
  • Unlimited responses.
  • Export to Google Sheets.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Ability to embed images and YouTube videos.
  • Ability to embed the survey on your website and share to social media.
  • Survey analytics, updated in real-time.
  • Integration with Google Docs, Sheets, Slides.
  • Unlimited collaborators.
  • Customizable survey templates.
  • Free branding.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Enhanced security and collaboration options.
  • Integration with your existing Google Workplace account.

Price: Completely free. Google Workplace pricing starts at $6 per user per month.

Best for: Anyone and everyone, for business or casual use.

2. SurveyMonkey

surveymonkeyScreenshot by author, June 2022

SurveyMonkey is the online survey tool. Established in 1999, it’s still the most well-known online survey software.

Despite the limitations of its free plans, SurveyMonkey continues to be popular thanks to its intuitive interface and brand recognition. Notable clients include Allbirds, Tweezerman, and Adobe.

One nice perk is that you can test out any of the paid features with your free plan. (You just won’t be able to actually use it in your live survey until you pay up.)

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • 10 questions.
  • 15 question types.
  • 100 responses per survey.
  • Over 250 customizable survey templates.
  • Ability to embed the survey on your website.
  • Mobile app.
  • One user.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Unlimited questions, question types, and responses.
  • Data exports – this is a biggie!
  • Custom branding.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Team collaboration.
  • Advanced security (single sign-on, HIPAA compliance).
  • A/B testing.

Price: Freemium. Paid plans start at $16 per month for individuals, $25 for teams.

Best for: Those who want a tried-and-true survey maker with all the features you could ask for.

3. Typeform

typeformScreenshot by author, June 2022

Many online survey tools are designed for the general public.

Readers of Search Engine Journal will be happy to hear that there’s a survey tool created just for us. Typeform was built specifically with marketers, UX researchers, and business owners like us in mind.

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • 10 questions per survey.
  • 10 responses per month.
  • Basic question types.
  • Basic reporting and analytics
  • Ability to embed the survey on your website.
  • Integrations with MailChimp, HubSpot, Trello, Google Sheets, Zapier, and more.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Unlimited questions and responses.
  • Custom thank you screen.
  • Custom branding.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Team collaboration.
  • Ability to accept payment.
  • Ability for survey respondents to upload files.
  • Integration with Facebook pixel and Google Tag Manager.

Price: Freemium. Paid plans start at $29 per month.

Best for: Enterprise users, UX researchers, and marketers hoping to track customer behavior.

4. Zoho Survey

zoho surveyScreenshot by author, June 2022

Zoho Survey is part of the same Zoho suite of apps that caters to sales, HR, IT, finance, and virtually any kind of business user you can think of.

Given their tenure creating SaaS software for business, their survey tool is just as robust as you might expect. Customers include big names like Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, and Change.org.

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • 10 questions per survey.
  • 100 responses per survey.
  • Ability to embed surveys in email or website, or share to social media.
  • Export to PDF.
  • 250 survey templates.
  • Password protection and HTTPS encryption.
  • One user.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Unlimited questions and responses.
  • Ability to export to XLS or CSV.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Custom branding.
  • Team collaboration.
  • Real-time responses.
  • Multilingual surveys.
  • Integration with Google Sheets, Tableau, Shopify, Zendesk, Eventbrite, and others.

Price: Freemium. Paid plans start at $25 per month.

Best for: Zoho users, or anyone who needs an extra level of security for their surveys.

5. Alchemer

alchemer survey makerScreenshot by author, June 2022

Alchemer is an advanced survey maker developed for the enterprise client.

Paid features include custom coding so you can customize every single element of your survey, from the survey URL to the form logic.

They stand out among free survey makers for being one of the few (besides Google Forms) to offer unlimited questions and Excel exports in their free plan. Clients include Disney, Salesforce, Verizon, and The Home Depot.

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Three surveys at a time.
  • Unlimited questions.
  • 100 responses.
  • 10 question types.
  • Export to Excel.
  • Customizable templates.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • Unlimited responses.
  • Unlimited question types.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Custom branding.
  • Ability to embed surveys in websites.
  • Export to PDF, PowerPoint, or Word.
  • Ability for survey respondents to upload files.
  • Survey analytics and reporting.
  • Ability to accept payment.

Price: Freemium. Paid plans start at $49 per month.

Best for: Enterprise users needing to create long surveys with advanced logic and question types.

6. Jotform

jotform survey makerScreenshot by author, June 2022

With over 10,000 templates, Jotform takes the cake as the survey maker with the most form templates on our list.

Jotform also stands out for letting you accept payments with the free plan (although you’re limited to 10).

This popular survey maker includes clients as wide-ranging as AMC and Nickelodeon to Redfin and the American Medical Association.

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Five surveys.
  • 100 questions per survey.
  • 100 responses per survey.
  • Ability to embed surveys in email or website.
  • Export to PDF or Excel.
  • 10,000 survey templates.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • Unlimited questions and responses.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Custom branding.
  • HIPAA compliance.

Price: Freemium. Paid plans start at $29 per month.

Best for: Users who want a template for every kind of survey possible.

Which Survey Tool Will You Use?

There truly is a survey maker for everybody.

The above options are all solid choices. Which one works for you may depend on your organization’s needs and your personal preferences.

Take advantage of the free trials and see which one you like best.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Liveseo.com