Tag Archives: technique

The Million-Dollar Question: How Answering Questions Can Help Your SEO Efforts

SEO tips

In the twenty plus years since the internet was made publicly available and a decade since the iPhone made it possible for us to access the internet almost all the time, we now rely on the internet for almost everything. We use the internet for dating, to watch a film, to listen to music, to order food, to get a ride somewhere or to simply talk among ourselves. Because of these various roles the internet has now filled within our lives, it’s easy to forget what it was designed for in the first place, to provide an easy mean of exchanging information.

Technically, exchanging information is still what the internet is primarily used for. The various social media platforms available are an extension of that but it’s the kind of thing that people tend to easily forget given just how versatile the internet now is these days. Whenever I stumble upon a word I don’t recognize in a book or when I want to check some trivial information about a famous person, the internet is what I use to answer those questions. To help answer a question remains one of the most popular uses of the internet and knowing how to take advantage of this fact could be very useful for SEO services and marketers.

The changing roles of a search engine

It used to be that when you’re trying to find an answer to a simple question, like “how old Nicole Kidman is”, you type the quoted phrase into a search engine and the search engine will show you a list of pages where the answer to that question might be found. Usually, you’re just going to be led into the Wikipedia page of Nicole Kidman, where her detailed birth date can be found. However, if you type that phrase into Google now, you’re going to be presented with a direct answer (she’s 51 years old FYI) plus a short biography taken from Wikipedia for good measure.

Search engines no longer act as a signpost that tells you where something can be found, they’ve begun to act more and more like a place where those answers can be found, even if technically, they pull that answer from other places. By taking advantage of this feature, it is possible for a page from your website to be featured prominently, above the rest of the results, on a given search engines results page (SERP), which can potentially draw a huge amount of web traffic your way. If you’re thinking of optimizing your content for questions, you might want to take note of the following.

Avoid optimizing for questions with short, easy and direct answers

The Nicole Kidman’s age question above is an example of this. Because of the nature of the answer, Google could simply pull the answer out of your page and display them on the SERP, which is going to effectively stop any traffic coming your way. Sure, the URL for your website might get some prime real estate at the top of the page but have you ever actually paid any attention to the URL when you’re using Google? I honestly don’t know anyone who does.

The idea is then to look for questions commonly asked of your industry that either can’t be answered in a single sentence or one that would need to be backed up by a solid argument. On the other hand, you’d want to provide a summary of sorts for Google that partly answers the question while giving a tantalizing glimpse of what users might found on the actual page. You want to give them enough to be interested but not too much that they’re satisfied with what you’ve already given them.

Use the inverted pyramid approach

The inverted pyramid approach is what I like to call good journalism. In this age of clickbait and misleading headlines, it’s very common to see overly melodramatic article titles that don’t really tell you anything and whose sole purpose is to entice unsuspecting users into seeing the story, which tends to have an anti-climatic result. The oft-cited headline ‘Man tries to hug a wild lion, you won’t believe what happens next’ is one example of a clickbait headline.

This ultimately meaningless headline is in contrast with the practice of quality journalism, which tends to be forthcoming with the gist of the story and uses the article to fill out the details. As I’m typing this for example, a headline in The New York Times simply states ‘Alternate Brexit plans rejected, Theresa May offers to step down’. With the inverted pyramid approach, you already have an idea on what the article is going to tell you.

In this approach, you start with an answer and then fill in the rest with the details and the context of how that answer came to be. This approach fits in with the point above, by giving out a summary or a shortened version of the answer, you provide enough information to the readers but in order to understand the big picture, they’re going to have to read the rest of your article. As with journalism, this approach helps build your credibility as publication that has to resort to clickbait headlines is never going to be taken seriously.

Take advantage of the ‘People also ask’ feature in Google

So you’ve landed on a popular question with no easy answers related to your field of business that has a potential to draw traffic to your website but optimizing the content for your website around a single question isn’t practical so you’re going to have to find more questions to optimize for. The good news is that you can use that one question in your repertoire to find related questions easily by using the ‘People also ask’ feature in Google. Try typing that question into Google and see what happens.

In Google, right under the featured answer at the top of SERP is the ‘People also ask’ (PAA) column, which is a list of expandable questions that are related to the question you typed into Google. If I ask Google on ‘who is the best F1 driver of all time’, the PAA column list questions such as ‘who is the most successful F1 driver’ and ‘who is the highest paid F1 driver of 2018’. Clicking on those questions will open up more questions relating to the ones I’ve just clicked.

By taking advantage of the PAA column, you could land on an ever-growing list of questions in your industry that you could optimize for. Combine this list of questions with keyword research tools to ensure that the question you’re optimizing for is actually getting some heavy traffic. What’s also great about the PAA column is that each of the questions listed there also have their own featured answer, giving SEO services and marketers more opportunity to be featured in a given SERP.

Like Moths to a Flame: 4 Ways in How to Attract More Customers to Your Website

web development tips

We’ve arrived at an age where quality is actually not a primary concern; it’s discoverability that’s the issue. A couple of months ago, I was looking for a new pair of shoes to wear semi-daily for work. Since I’m going to be abusing this pair of shoes, so to speak, for an extended period of time, I was looking for something that would look good on a meeting while still being rugged enough to handle my commute and cheap enough that I won’t feel guilty when I have to step into a puddle or whatever. Clearly, I was up for quite a challenge.

To my surprise, I actually managed to find a pair that fits most of the above requirements while being somewhat above of my intended price range. Still, I ended up buying that pair of shoes only to later on find another pair from another brand that also meets the above requirements while still being considerably cheaper. Given the amount of things available on the internet, it’s very likely that it has everything you’re looking for, the issue in web development is how to make it so that you’re easier to find in the first place.

Getting some time on the spotlight

Take for example the online dating app Tinder. In the app, there’s a premium feature named ‘Boost’ that would enable your profile to jump ahead of the queue and be instantly displayed on other Tinder users around you. It costs money and since I’m cheap, I’ve never personally used it and I’ve been regularly getting matches anyway but a close friend of mine have a Tinder Plus account and I’ve seen firsthand just how useful this Boost feature can be.

Of course, getting a match is far easier than to land an actual date but you’d be in a much better place compared to those still swiping for matches and the same thing applies to web development. Sure, having a high-quality website, products and contents are definitely important but those are a moot point if you can’t even get people to actually see your website in the first place. There’s so much data floating around the internet that I don’t think anyone has actually come up with an estimate, which is why you should seriously consider these ways in attracting more potential customers to your website.

Blogging

Yep, you read that right. What used to be an outlet for angsty and emotional teenagers to rile against the collective world is now considered one of the primary drivers for traffic. This isn’t much of a surprise, one of the main things people learn to use the internet for is to look up things on Google and when you’re looking for answers to a question that Wikipedia can’t answer, search engines would usually lead you to blog posts. To this day, the majority of websites I visit are blogs.

I regularly visit music blogs like Stereogum and Pitchfork because their website came up when I was looking for reviews on a particular album and that’s just one example. Blogs are a great way of showcasing your knowledge or point of view in your own terms and people are always looking for writings on a topic they care about, making blogging a valuable channel to introduce yourself to people. I found that people are all natural writers when it comes to things they care about so if you haven’t tried blogging yet, now would be a good time to start.

Having a presence on social media

The likes of the Kardashian-Jenner clan managed to build a multi-million dollar empire thanks to their presence on social media. It doesn’t matter where your opinion lies on their existence because you can’t deny just how much social media have helped them to where they are now. For a more conventional example, look at how the watch brand Daniel Wellington became the poster boy for 21st century marketing through their clever use of social media.

Of course, learning to do social media properly can be a bit tricky and even with the amount of time and effort you’re putting into this, it’s actually very possible that you might not hit the target you set out for yourself when it comes to social media. Still, given the outsized success of the examples I’ve mentioned above, social media is definitely something worth trying out and there are a bucketload of tips you could find online you could use to help you with this. It’s not like it’s going to hurt your business anyway.

Use promotions and giveaways

When Epic, the company behind the global video game hit Fortnite decided to open up a digital video game platform of their own, the aptly named Epic Games Store, they did so by offering gamers one free game every two weeks. The free games are decided by Epic and given the still-limited offering available at their stores, it probably won’t be to everybody’s liking but so far, I found the offering to be more than decent. Still, everybody likes free stuffs and if they like what you’re giving, there’s a good chance they’ll come back for a second round.

Leverage the power of YouTube and video marketing

A report from the entertainment publication Variety that came out in 2014 details just how popular YouTube celebrities are among the younger member of the population. Do you even recognize the name Smosh, The Fine Bros., PewDiePie, KSI and Ryan Higa? I’m ashamed to say that I don’t and I have it on good authority that I’m better read than the majority of my peers. I wouldn’t even know who Logan Paul was if it wasn’t for that Aokigahara scandal. My point is, YouTube can feel like a world unto its own and it would be a huge waste for businesses to not try and tap into that world.

Design in Every Aspect: Increase Your Company’s Productivity by Using Design

design tips

My design lecturer once told me something absolute about design. It is the fact that a design is made to make things either more beautiful or more useful or both. If a design is neither one nor both of them, then we might as well leave it. And until now somehow I’m still aware of how true it is. As someone who has been working in a creative agency for almost 2 years, every now and then, I’d watch my co-workers in the web design team communicating with the developers about how the design will make things easier not only for the developers but also for the website visitors. From that, I learned that with so many ideas turned into a full-fledged design, a designer can change many things from every aspect. This is actually what is needed in a business. In the world of business, a good design is what defines a business. If you have a business, you might want everything from every aspect to go according to your plan. However, for some reasons, not everything will go your way sometimes, especially when your office situation lacks productivity. But that’s why design exists in the first place; to change things, and for better or not; it’s up to the design itself. If you want to increase your company’s productivity, you can use design for that. How? Keep reading to find out!

Start with research

When it comes to increasing company’s productivity, it starts with the employees. Conducting a survey on your employees is the right thing to do, because the information you get can be the benchmark in learning what you need in order to increase your employees’ passion and productivity in the office. Are there enough facilities in the office? Are the facilities convenient to the employees? Do they need an extra space somewhere quiet so that they can concentrate?

Change up amenities

Having simple amenities may make life easier, but if your business requires creativity and fun to get the job done, then you need to work on your office environment. You don’t have to build a fancy room with luxurious amenities, like a sound-proof music room or a game room to get your employees passionate with their work. A simple vending machine filled with healthy snacks and healthy drinks can also be something you can invest in so that you can improve your employees’ experience when working for your company. Also, if you have employees who are young parents that need to pick up their children in the childcare, maybe it’s time for you to have on-site childcare services for them. Not only will this help your employees be at ease because they know their children are nearby, they won’t have to worry about their children’s safety and so they can work peacefully knowing that their children are safe and even though something happens, you are not far away from them. Having an on-site clinic is also wise as it helps your employees get their monthly check-ups without having to be absent.

Improve and automate technology

We are living in the world where almost everything is digital. Technology has changed the face of business today. Therefore, you need to make sure that your office tech is up to date and in a good condition and make sure your employees know what they are doing with the devices. Do as much automating of functions as possible, from meeting room software that chooses rooms and times based on employee schedules and presentation requirements, to wireless presentation hardware that talks with employee devices. Technology is improved to make things easier for us, so making use of today’s technology for your business is a good step towards success.

Success may be defined by our efforts, but our efforts are determined by our willingness and passion to be productive and do our best. Therefore, creating a “booster” for your employees in your office is the right way to build more productive atmosphere. Need another booster to improve your business as a whole? Contact or visit us now and let our awesome team help you grow and build your business in a professional way. Our highly experienced team is professional and fun to work with as we always build a nice environment even for our office. I’m sure we can help you do the same too.