How to Write a Perfect Facebook Post

Some helpful tips on how to rank my website.

This article was provided by Neil Patel.

how to write the perfect fb post

Ever feel like you don’t get the attention you deserve on your Facebook posts?

Every marketer wants more attention. After all, that’s the goal of social media marketing, right?

The problem is, it can be difficult to win time in Facebook’s spotlight unless you know exactly what to do.

The answer to better Facebook engagement is simple: You have to optimize your Facebook post to stand out.

In this post, we’ll show you how to consistently create posts that get engagement. 

No more waiting for likes and comments. No more spending 20 minutes crafting and curating each post.

You just want an easy process that gets results.

That’s exactly what we’ll cover—but first, let’s talk about what we mean by engagement. 

Engagement Metrics for Facebook Posts

Have you ever asked yourself exactly what gets the most engagement on a Facebook post?

According to Facebook, engagement is an umbrella term that can refer to all the actions people take as a result of what you post.

Here are examples of engagement on Facebook: 

  • shares 
  • reactions
  • saves 
  • likes 
  • comments 
  • Interactions
  • video plays
  • link clicks
  • photo views

These actions can be broken down into the following engagement metrics:

  • cost per engagement
  • link clicks
  • post reactions
  • page engagement 

Engagement metrics are important because they allow you to track how your content performs with your audience.

Generally, the more your audience interacts with your posts, the better your overall Facebook reach will be.

What makes your users take action on your post?

What kind of content does your audience want to see?

facebook post engagement pie graph

Let’s break it down.

People like Facebook posts that are interesting, timely, and funny.

Not every post you make needs to tick all of those boxes, but you do have to create something worth engaging with.

For example, Starbucks gets the most engagement when they ask for audience participation, like in this post.

facebook post- hand holds starbucks cup in front of yellow and white flowers

Special announcements also receive high engagement.

Facebook post - strawberry Frappuccino sits on orange table for starbucks

These kinds of updates are interesting, important, and sometimes funny. They inspire people who follow Starbucks, and they have good photography to boot.

Even if you aren’t as big as Starbucks, you can use the same tactics to drive your Facebook strategy.

Overall, remember your content needs to be interesting, important, timely, and funny (if it’s appropriate for your brand).

Let’s break down each one of these to see how they work.

Tips for Writing Engaging Facebook Posts

If you’re ready to start writing engaging posts, you need to start with a strategy built around your audience’s likes and needs. 

Follow these seven tips to impress your Facebook audience and improve your inbound leads.

1. Make Your Facebook Post a Source of Useful Information

Your audience wants information that is relevant to their interests.

More than that, they want information that is educational and interesting.

Starbucks’ new product announcements get high engagement because they are useful.

A Starbucks customer sees the post and gets excited about a new drink or food item they can try.

The key to writing engaging Facebook posts is to be an invaluable source of information. 

Take this example from the grocery store Safeway, which offers users valuable information about healthy eating.

Plus, they get to promote a partner product and benefit from influencer marketing at the same time!

Way to go, Safeway. We see you.

Tips for Writing Engaging Facebook Posts - Make Your Facebook Post a Source of Useful Information

2. Use Audience Insights to Inform Your Topics

The beauty of digital marketing is you can easily deliver curated content your users are interested in.

By creating content specific to their needs, you can improve engagement metrics on your branded Facebook posts.

How do you know what your audience likes?

Tools like Facebook Audience Insights show you what pages your followers like, what they buy, how much they use Facebook, and so much more.

Other tools, such as Google Analytics, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite Analytics offer data (though not all of these tools are free).

Tips for Writing Engaging Facebook Posts - Use Audience Insights

3. Be the First to Update on Industry News

The best posting times are often debated in the world of social media marketing.

However, being timely is about more than simply posting at the right time of day. It means putting out the right content when your customers are looking for it.

Specifically, timeliness means using seasonal content and leveraging current events.

Think of every major retail company in the world. They all take advantage of certain seasons like Christmas and summertime.

Why shouldn’t you?

Seasonal content allows you to be timely and create stuff people want to see.

That’s not all—seasonal content can refer to literal seasons, but it can also refer to trends.

Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

facebook post - example ALS image

Tons of companies like McDonald’s and Pillsbury participated in the challenge. 

Their content came out at just the right time. If they had waited six months to participate, the content wouldn’t have been timely.

If you want to create engaging Facebook posts, think about current news, events, and trends. 

Find ways for your brand to participate.

Then, let the likes and shares roll in.

4. Be Funny (If It Fits Your Brand, Product, and Campaign)

Humorous content will always have a place in marketing and advertising.

However, it’s easy to overuse. 

When you do it right, it can be wildly effective.

Take this post from McDonald’s, which takes on the persona of a Gen-X’er in an art museum.

Tips for Writing Engaging Facebook Posts - Be Funny

Funny, right?

McDonald’s uses humor in many of its posts, creating a laid-back and relatable persona and highly shareable content.

facebook post - chicken nugget in small pocket of jeans for mcdonalds

There’s no over-the-top, dark, or controversial humor here.

It’s all clean (and sometimes snarky) humor that connects with their audience.

However, this doesn’t work for all brands. A brand like UNICEF wouldn’t be able to use the same sort of humor that McDonald’s does.

perfect facebook post - unicef facebook page

When using humor, remember to stay aligned with your brand.

If your branding is more formal, you’ll want to dial down the humor and stay more professional. 

If your branding is more casual, you can be a bit more lenient with humor.

Of course, even formal brands can crack a joke now and then. Whatever you do, stay consistent with your branding.

5. Don’t Rely on Text Alone

Gone are the days of text-only Facebook posts—we’ll leave that medium to Twitter.

Facebook posts are perfect for sharing a nice photo or video, and your users will engage with that more than a plain text update.

Photos make up roughly 56 percent of all Facebook content. Yet, according to Buffer, more than eight billion videos are watched on Facebook each day.

Text still plays an important role, but it shouldn’t always stand on its own. 

That’s one of two big mistakes we see in this area.

Some pages post considerably lengthy status updates, and they don’t get much engagement from it.

The other big mistake is posting photos or videos without text.

To get the best engagement, you need to use the right amount of text, usually one to two lines, along with a photo or video.

If you look at high-performing pages, you’ll see they stick to this strategy religiously. Most brands only deviate when there’s a special occasion.

If you want to create a high-performing Facebook video campaign, try using these tools to make your Facebook video post stand out.

  1. Animoto
  2. Magisto
  3. Shakr

Once you’ve got a few formats down, play around with it a bit. Your followers may like status updates that are only one sentence long, or they may enjoy a full paragraph with media.

Find out what your users engage with and run with it.

6. Start a Conversation

Too many posts are one-sided, but your audience wants to engage with your content!

Asking questions, prompting responses, or even giving away free items in return for engagement can help your post perform better.

Take this example from Publix, which asks users a question before offering valuable information.

Tips for Writing Engaging Facebook Posts - Start a Conversation

Not all of your status updates need to be exactly like this, but you should aim to start a conversation with your audience.

You can ask a question.

You can pose a challenge.

You can give directions.

Anything that encourages your audience to do something, whether that’s commenting on your update or going to your site, can help drive engagement. 

7. Run Contests or Giveaways 

Contests and giveaways are a great way to drive engagement on your Facebook post.

By offering your users something in return for an action, you have a better chance at getting their attention.

According to HubSpot, contests bring in an average of 34 percent new customers for brands.

Contests also allow brands to grow their followers 70 percent faster

Try using a contest in your next Facebook post to encourage user engagement.

Take this KFC Facebook post as an example.

Tips for Writing Engaging Facebook Posts - Run Contests or Giveaways

By offering a range of prizes, KFC encourages its users to stay up-to-date with the channel, which drives engagement for all their posts. 

Other contest tactics can include asking your audience to tag their friends to improve your post reach and follower pool.

Tagging specific locations can also promote business in localized areas for brands that have multiple locations.

When creating your contest, offer something your audience is interested in.

This could be a product, discount, or even educational information.

Remember to exchange the prize for the desired action.

If you want more followers, ask users to tag a friend. If you want more website visitors, ask users to enter your contest through your website.

Whatever you do, be sure to measure your results.

Facebook Post Frequently Asked Questions

How do I increase reach on my Facebook posts?

The best way to get your Facebook posts seen is to understand your audience insights, create content they want to see, and supplement organic reach with paid advertising to grow your audience.

Can I pay to promote my Facebook posts?

Yes, Facebook’s advertising platform is a great way to boost the reach and engagement of your Facebook post. With 2.74 billion monthly active users spending 34 minutes per day on the platform, using paid Facebook advertising will improve your post engagement.

Should my brand post on Facebook?

Yes, Facebook should be an important part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Not only does it provide advertising opportunities in itself and within Instagram, but being present on Facebook can help drive traffic to your website and improve user engagement.

What do the best Facebook posts have in common?

The best Facebook posts contain a mix of video, text, and photo, use links often, and use engagement tactics to improve audience relationships. 

How do I get more likes on my Facebook posts?

To get more likes on your Facebook post, create shareable content, keep your posts short, respond to your audience, and run contests. Looking for more info? Check out our seven tips for writing engaging posts above.

Facebook Posts Conclusion

Facebook is a powerful platform if you know how to use it right. 

The best way to improve the performance of your Facebook posts is to create content your audience wants to see. So how do you do that? 

By analyzing your Facebook metrics, understanding your audience’s pain points, and creating original content that speaks to their needs, you’ll create an engaging Facebook page that your audience will love.

Follow the steps above and measure your results. From there, it’s all about testing, optimizing, and finding what works for your business. 

How do you engage with your Facebook audience?

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Hurrdat Answers: What Does Your Life Look Like in a Parallel Universe?

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This post was shared by HurDat.

Have you ever wondered what your life might be like in a parallel universe? Maybe you’re more courageous and you do the things you’re too afraid to try in this universe. Maybe you followed your childhood dreams and became a full-time princess astronaut. Maybe you helped the world avoid a global pandemic (If only, right?). Or maybe you’re a scary doppelgänger who’s actively trying to hunt down and replace yourself.

We asked members of the Hurrdat team what they envision for their parallel selves in a parallel universe. Here’s what they had to say…

Alli Hipsher, Graphic Designer

If I were to imagine what my life currently looks like within a parallel universe, I would say that I am, in fact, already living in that one right now. I was born and raised in Nebraska, but I moved away to Kansas while I was still very young. Only a year ago did I finally return to Nebraska, where most of my family is and where I currently work.

Growing up in Kansas for a decade but still considering Nebraska to be home for so long made it very exciting for me to come back to be surrounded by things I vividly remembered as a child. And now that I’m here, everything seems to be the same…but also totally different. It’s much smaller in scale than I recall, and there are more places to explore around me outside of the zoo or children’s museum. It’s almost as if the moment I moved back, I crossed over into a parallel universe and left the old one—the Kansas one—behind.

I would have to say that this parallel universe is more suited to me, especially now as an adult, as I’ll always feel more grounded here. If I were ever to move away from Nebraska again, I imagine it would open another parallel universe for me to step into—that is, until I decide to return to this one again because this feels like the main one, and I think it always will be.

I have so many fond memories of this state—Omaha specifically speaking—so I’d like to say this version of me is probably one of the better ones out there. It helps to be able to look out my window and see real hills and huge trees (Those don’t exist where I lived in Kansas), as well as slightly better seasons!

Chelsea Miner, Content Strategist

Assuming there are an infinite number of parallel universes, the most interesting version of myself probably exists in the one where I’m a cow-girl. Not a cowgirl, as in a girl who herds cattle, but a human girl who was raised by a herd of cattle.

Once, when I was a small child, I ran away from my grandmother’s house. It was Thanksgiving, and I had gone over to her house early in the day to help out before everyone else arrived. But when we were done, I got bored. My house was only about a mile away, and since we all lived out in the middle of nowhere, I didn’t have to worry about stranger danger if I decided to walk home alone. So I did.

While my grandmother was in another room, I slipped out her front door and began what felt like a very long journey home. Given that this was out in the country, I was walking alongside a dirt road with a corn field on one side and a pen of cattle on the other. I was about halfway home when I started to get very unnerved by the way the cows were looking at me. As cows do, they just stood still and stared. And despite growing up in the country, I was suddenly petrified.

In this universe, I sat down and cried until my grandma came and got me. However, I’d like to think that in a much more interesting universe, the cows adopted me into their herd, and I assimilated to the bovine culture—Julie of the Wolves style.

If cow-girl Chelsea is out there somewhere in space time, I hope she’s doing well and that eating grass all the time isn’t getting too boring. Then again, I’m also a vegetarian in this universe, so maybe we aren’t so different after all.

Christian Andrew, Social Media Strategist

In eighth grade, my reading teacher had all of us write a letter to the soon-to-be high school graduate version of ourselves that we would open on graduation day. In that letter, 14-year-old Christian said that he would probably be getting ready to be drafted by the Celtics but would settle if it was just the Lakers. Those dreams were quickly killed when the NBA instituted its one-and-done rule shortly after I wrote the letter.

The truth is that I’ve been terrified by the parallel universe question since I watched the “Mirror Image” episode of The Twilight Zone. In it, a woman is waiting at a bus stop. She begins to experience strange things: People who she’s never talked to saying that she’s spoken to them, her luggage mysteriously moving around, and seeing a duplicate of herself in a mirror.

After fainting, she tells the people attending to her that she believes she has a doppelgänger who arrived here due to two planes of existence converging, and that her doppelgänger can only survive by eliminating or replacing her. I won’t ruin the rest, and I left a lot out, but you should check out that episode if you like Jordan Peele’s Us.

Long story short, I don’t know what I’d be doing in a parallel universe, but I do know that I’m more likely to fight another version of myself in this one than ever start at forward in the NBA.

Nick Castner, Development Coordinator

Growing up, my dad worked for the outdoor retail company, Cabela’s. He was involved in opening new stores, which caused us to go to a different Cabela’s location weekly. We would change routes on family road trips to maximize the number of store locations we could visit.

Whenever we entered a Cabela’s, my dad was laser-focused on speaking with cashiers, shoe salesmen, or managers. Before beelining it to the employees, he would give us $10 to feed into the arcade game “Big Buck Hunter.” Having Big Buck Hunter as a babysitter allowed me to become wicked good at the game. In a three-game series, I haven’t been beaten in over ten years. However, I’ve never played competitively.

In a parallel universe, I pursue a career in Big Buck Hunting. The Big Buck World Championships take place every year in Vegas. Most competitors qualify through the Big Buck Hunter loyalty card that’s scanned on the machine before games. Instead of qualifying through this normal process, I imagine my pathway would look more similar to Jack Dawson winning his ticket onto the Titanic.

Once in the tournament, I soon would garner respect from the Big Buck Hunting community. After a few years competing in and winning the championships, I would leverage my stature to advance the sport of virtual hunting. My team would develop programs for underprivileged youth, bring additional machines to rural areas, and create a competition circuit of our own. We would then monetize this community of like-minded Big Buck Hunters by hiring Hurrdat Media to create digital products like podcasts and YouTube channels.

Hurrdat Answers is an ongoing series of interviews with Hurrdat team members. Check back for more!

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AI for content marketing: How artificial intelligence is changing the game

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This article was sourced from by MOZ.

AI is the future of marketing. You might not know it yet, but AI will be running the show in just a few years. It won’t be long before we are all interacting with smart machines that know more about us than our closest friends and family members do. Already, artificial intelligence is being used to drive sales conversions for companies like Zillow and Netflix. In this article, I’ll discuss how AI will change marketing as we know it by 2020!

I didn’t write that opening paragraph. It was written by GPT-3, an AI developed by Open AI. It’s original, unedited, pure output from a machine that reads and learns from all the knowledge we humans have placed on the internet over the last decade.

It’s not perfect, obviously—and not just because of the seemingly avoidable wrong year 🤦—but it’s still pretty impressive for a robot. Leave it to Elon Musk, one of the prominent backers of Open AI, to attempt to kill off a bunch of marketing industries in one fell swoop.

But really, it’s not that bad: robots aren’t coming for my job…yet.

What kind of marketing can AI do?

A screenshot from GitHub copilot

Artificial intelligence (AI) uses computing power and the amassed information on the internet to teach machines to model human-like output very quickly. That means marketers can use AI to do things like conceptualize new products, optimize SEO strategy, and generate new main site articles, images, and videos. While the AI doesn’t understand the language and information it’s parsing when it scours the web, it can effectively reassemble this information into original, meaningful content.

In content marketing, GPT-3 has found its way into all sorts of spaces:

  • Writing. Copy, content, and ads automatically written out just by inputting a few words.

  • Editing. Not only checking for grammar errors, but also rewording whole sections of text.

  • Video. Changing what a person says in a video by editing a transcript.

  • SEO. Advanced language parsing to help content producers rank their articles better.

  • Social. Posts and pictures created from long-form articles and automatically sent to your social feeds.

To date, GPT-3 is one of the most powerful AI models. According to VentureBeat, GPT-3 has a memory size of 350GB and 175 billion parameters. These parameters are what “teach” GPT-3 its language models, so when it comes to learning, the more parameters the better. To give you a sense of where this technology is headed, the new Google AI was trained on trillions of parameters.

While I’d like to think these robots don’t have job-stealing potential quite yet, the future of marketing is going to include them. Programmers can access GPT-3’s API using Python, which means there’s a lot of opportunity there. So it’s time to buckle down and learn how to use these tools effectively—not to replace you, but to empower you.

How good is AI in the content marketing space?

I’ve been experimenting with many of these AI-based tools since they came out. Some of them I found incredible. Others are ok, but definitely not “there yet,” especially given all the hype.

The issue when using AI for writing in particular is always quality—these are far from finished products. They can help writers move more quickly (creating a skeleton of an article, for example), but you’ll need to fact check the heck of it, look for weird logical fallacies that a robot wouldn’t grok, and then make it sound like a human.

Let’s take a look at an example.

What it looks like when AI writes

GPT-3 is a lightning-fast writer. For most of these AI writers, you feed it basic information about a story, describe what content you want the AI to write about, and even select the type of voice you want it to use. The AI will start spitting out text almost as fast as you can hit enter.

Here’s the input screen for the long-form writer in Jarvis, one of the biggest AI writing platforms. It’s pretty basic: you create a title, give a description of what you want the AI to write, and include some keywords.

The input of a content marketing AI tool

Once you hit go, the AI spits out your content. Here’s what the output screen looks like.

The output of the article

Not bad, but I absolutely can’t vouch for the accuracy of the “facts” in there. Also: is coffee’s popularity really what spawned the controversy (so dramatic!)? I highly doubt it.

Beware the Jabberwock

Sometimes the issue is even worse than just questionable accuracy.

Below is a bread recipe I asked Jarvis to write in the voice of the famous chef James Beard.

An AI-produce recipe

Notice that the amount of milk you add is weather-dependent. James Beard would be rolling over in his grave.

AI is also prone to writing complete nonsense—not like logic-based nonsense but actual non-language. Here’s an example of the AI describing how to play the game of Bingo:

Lots of gibberish in an AI output

There’s a potential here for marketers to use these technologies liberally without attention to detail and quality. But in a world where content is king, businesses can’t rank for a 400-word ramble on a subject, stuffed with keywords. Google’s SEO standard of expertise, quality, and trust (EAT) will weed out any low-quality garble, teaching people pretty quickly that AI can’t run your content marketing team.

In the end, our language, cadence, voice, and personality are what customers connect with. Most savvy customers aren’t just interested in information: they’re interested in information and emotion. What’s at stake here is value: both for you and your customers. So please…edit your AI.

Types of AI tools for content marketing

If, after all those warnings, you’re still willing to give it a shot, that’s great. I’m part of many AI writing Facebook Groups, and plenty of marketers swear by AI for their content output. So if you go in with the right expectations—that is, that you’re going to get speed, not quality—it’s a fun experiment.

Here are some of the AI tools available for content marketing. After doing a bunch of testing for my own content marketing business, I chose to list these tools because of their reasonable price (under $100/month), their unique offering, and whether or not I was able to get them to work as intended.

AI writing tools

Marketers can use AI writers for most writing tasks, including social media articles, ad copy, product copy, main site outlines, and even full main site articles.

Tools for both short- and long-form content

Tools for just short-form copy

Tools for longer-form content

AI editing tools

AI editing tools check for typos and help reword phrases and entire sentences by suggesting AI-written alternatives. They can also help implement brand content guidelines through smart style guides.

By the way, Grammarly thinks I should be more diplomatic about Elon Musk. Like I said: not perfect.

Grammarly suggesting I add "please" before "leave"

AI video tools

AI video tools can change what someone says in a video with a quick edit of the video’s transcript through a process called overdubbing. They can also do things like replace backgrounds around a subject, lessening the need for greenscreens and article-production editing.

AI SEO tools

AI tools for SEO help automate things like content briefs and headlines. They generate lists of topics to include in articles by analyzing the structure of the top pages in Google. They can also help with keyword research, topic clustering, and more.

AI social tools

Social AI tools create original articles from a brand’s existing content and help generate ideas for new social articles by “learning” what a brand is about.

These AI content marketing tools are already out there, and businesses, brands, and marketers that learn how to use them well—as a guide, not a hack—will be one step ahead.

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How to Use SERP Features to Inform Your Content Strategy

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Many marketers approach Search Engine Result Page (SERP) features from the wrong angle. Instead of asking what you can do to rank for SERP features, ask what SERP features can do to inform your content strategy. By flipping this thought process, you can build a successful content strategy that speaks to your audience at every stage of the buyer’s journey, using the most efficacious language and content format.

SERP features are designed to provide users with the most relevant answers to their questions, and they’re formatted to package this information in the best way possible. In other words, the exact language and format of each SERP feature is the most accurate representation of the type of language and content format that your audience seeks (at least according to Google). As a digital marketer, this is gold. With a little digging, you can now mimic the keyword topics, style, and format of the SERP features present for your target keywords, creating content that engages your audience exactly where they are in the buyer’s journey, and in the format they desire.

Top organic SERP features

While chasing the sought-after SERP features, many marketers fall short because they overlook the most important clue: the SERP feature itself. SERP features contain meaningful knowledge about your audience and how they prefer to consume information. Here are a few of the most popular organic SERP features used on Google:

Knowledge Graph

Featured Snippet

Related Questions

Image Pack



In-Depth Article

In this next section, I’ll break down these features into stages of the buyer’s journey and explain how they can inform your SEO content strategy.

Aligning SERP features with stages of the buyer’s journey

Awareness stage

The top of the buyer’s journey is the awareness stage, where your audience is aware that they have a problem and will begin to conduct research to better understand and define this problem. At this stage, your audience is seeking a concise explanation of the problem and is not ready for a solution yet. SERP features that indicate an awareness stage audience include:

Knowledge Graph: often illustrates high-level biographical information and keyword cluster definitions. This feature is a staple of the awareness stage.

Featured Snippet: often provides concise keyword definitions and explanations of concepts or problems. This feature is also a staple of the awareness stage when it provides definitions or answers “what is” questions.

Related Questions: when the inquiries begin with “what is” and “how to” they align perfectly with the educational aspect of the awareness stage.

Videos: FAQ videos and how-to videos indicate the high-level thinking of the awareness stage.

Images: often indicate a one-word or short-tail keyword query, in line with the awareness stage.

Tips for content strategy

When creating content for an awareness stage audience, it’s important to remember that they have very little understanding about who you are, what you do, and why you do it. By addressing these high-level questions, you can introduce yourself in a way that frames your company as a thought leader in the industry. When doing so, pay close attention to the type of language you are using.

SERP features in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey take advantage of clear and concise language, so make sure you do the same. Avoid flowery descriptions or rambling explanations, and keep your definitions short and to the point (ranging from 40-50 words).

Likewise, this is your chance to develop trust with this new awareness audience. Keeping your content informative and easy to understand helps build trust, illustrating that you care about educating your audience without bogging them down with complex industry jargon or heavy handed branding.

Questions abound at this stage in the buyer’s journey, and it’s a good idea to include a question and answer format when you observe it in the SERP feature. Use headers, bullet points, and/or numbered lists when possible, and make it easy for your audience to scan the content without committing a chunk of their time. Images are especially useful at this stage, but make sure to include an image alt tag.

Consideration stage

The middle of the buyer’s journey is the consideration stage. At this point, your audience can identify and understand their problem (with the help of your educational awareness content), but they still don’t know the best way to solve it. They’re seeking information about various solutions, and want to learn more about how your solution can solve their problem. SERP features that indicate a consideration stage audience include:

Featured Snippet: when the snippet is formatted for lists or comparisons instead of clear cut definitions, it indicates the consideration stage.

Related Questions: “why” and technical questions belong in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey.

Reviews: service or product reviews indicate that your audience is actively searching for and comparing solutions, which aligns with the consideration stage.

Videos: service and product videos belong in the consideration stage, as they explain why a specific service or product is a viable solution to your audience’s problem.

Tips for content strategy

When creating content for a consideration stage audience, it’s important to focus on building a comprehensive and compelling argument. By using specific examples to frame your service as the most valuable solution to your audience’s problem, you can illustrate how and why they should consider investing in your solution.

SERP features in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey allow for content that is longer than in the awareness stage, and the language also employs more descriptors. Technical language is appropriate at this point, and this is your chance to explain what makes your solution stand out.

However, staying true to your solution’s capabilities is critical here, because you don’t want to over promise results that aren’t actually possible. Instead, use this moment as a chance to build trust with your audience. Keep your reasoning authentic and your examples specific to the value that your solution can deliver.

Comparative language is also more prevalent in the SERP features at this stage, so include detailed reviews that demonstrate why your service or product is the best. When using video, make sure your content is also searchable on YouTube.

Decision phase

The end of the buyer’s journey is the decision phase, where your audience has already identified their problem, compared different solutions, and is now ready to commit to a final decision. At this point, your audience knows how to talk about the solution they’re looking for, and now they want to know exactly why they should commit to you. They want content that proves that other customers have had a positive experience with your solution, and are willing to commit more of their time to confirming their final choice.

People Also Ask: questions leveraging phrases like “the best solution’” or “most advanced solution” indicate users transitioning from the consideration to the decision phase of the buyer’s journey. Customers want to confirm that they’re making the right decision, and are looking for hard proof.

Videos: customer testimonial videos align with the decision phase, providing your audience with proof about whether they should commit to your solution or not.

Long-Form Content: long-form pieces of content range from 2,000-5,000 words.These pieces of content can appear as organic site links, scholarly articles, or in-depth articles. They tend to position themselves as thought leaders in the industry, and explain the overall problem and solution. Quite often they take the form of buyer’s guides, providing in-depth information about each solution and answering questions with long-tail keywords.

Tips for content strategy

When creating content for a decision stage audience, make sure to address any questions that haven’t already been answered in your previous pieces of content. While this may sound intuitive, it’s an essential part of the process seeing as an unanswered question can trigger your prospect to leave your site and go to a competitor’s site to find the answers they’re looking for. At this point in time, don’t underestimate the depth and detail of information your audience is seeking.

SERP features in the decision phase of the buyer’s journey address the audience as pseudo-experts in the subject matter, as should you. At this stage your audience is able to string together long-tail keywords that include modifiers, and your content should provide detailed answers to these highly specific inquiries that address your audience as knowledgeable members of the industry.

Leverage compelling statistics and results-oriented examples that explicitly frame the value that your solution provides. By using clear data points and specifications, your audience can easily see for themselves how your solution can benefit them.

Technical language is widely understood, and the audience wants to hear the nitty-gritty details of your solution. Long-form content is encouraged at this point, so don’t shy away from a high word count. Cite your customers when possible, and consider using video to break up the heavy reading.

Content strategy takeaways

Google SERPs are designed to anticipate user needs, and the SERP features present for your target keywords are some of the most telling clues about the type of audience associated with your keywords. By taking note of the SERP features present for your target keywords and paying attention to the style and format of the content, you can leverage Google’s search engine algorithms to your own advantage.

Once you’ve identified the types of SERP features present for your keyword, you have also discovered your audience’s stage of the buyer’s journey and the keywords, style, and format of content they prefer. As a digital marketer, you can use this information to craft a content strategy that perfectly aligns with your audience’s desires. This takes the guesswork out of your content strategy and ensures that your content resonates with your audience exactly where they are in the buyer’s journey.

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Beyond bookmarks: The 4 best read it later apps in 2021

SEO and General Business tutorials and tips.

This post was shared by MOZ.

Reading things online is more interesting than most jobs. It’s a big problem, and read it later apps are the solution.

If you stumble upon an interesting post, or if someone sends one to you, you can send the post to a reading queue. Then, when you’re done being productive, you can read everything you saved, all in one place. Even better, the posts are presented cleanly—all the sidebars and ads that clutter the modern web are stripped away. You can even read offline, if need be.

We considered over a dozen read it later apps, and after extensive testing, here are the four best.

If you’re just looking for a bookmarking app, which stores links to posts but doesn’t let you read them from within the app, here are our picks for the best bookmark and archiving apps.

What makes a great read it later app?

Read it later apps do one thing: store posts you intend to read later. This is different from bookmarking apps, which simply store links to those posts, and different from note-taking apps, which can be used for clipping posts but aren’t primarily designed with reading in mind.

So, what makes the best dedicated read it later app? I’m glad you asked. To us, the best read it later apps:

  • Let you save posts in one click. Ideally there’s a browser extension and a mobile app, but bookmarklets work in a pinch.

  • Download those posts for offline reading on your phone, tablet, eReader, and (ideally) computer for offline reading.

  • Offer custom typography and color schemes. At the very least there should be both a dark and a light mode, but the more options the better.

  • Make it easy to organize your archive of posts. Tags and folders are both great, and ideally you can also highlight things for future reference.

  • Work on as many platforms as possible. You need to be able to save an post on one device and read it on another, seamlessly.

We tested the fifteen most popular apps on the market using these criteria. Two—Pocket and Instapaper—rose to the top for all criteria, and we included two other apps whose unique features make up for the lack of breadth.

The 4 best read it later apps

The best read it later app for turning posts into a podcast

Pocket (Android, iOS, Mac, Chrome, Web)

Pocket screenshot

Pocket is the most feature-complete read it later app on the market. There are apps for every browser and mobile operating system you’ve ever heard of (and a few that you haven’t). A surprising number of apps also have Pocket integration built-in, thanks to a robust API. So, you won’t have any trouble sending posts to Pocket.

You also won’t have any problem reading those posts—they’re extracted cleanly and show in a clutter-free environment. You can also control how your posts look: there’s a dark, paper, and light color scheme, along with a couple of font choices in the free version.

Pocket is built for reading, but it can also read to you using a surprisingly lifelike text-to-speech engine. Tap the audio button in the mobile app, and your phone will read posts to you. The voices are passable, if a little robotic, and you can adjust the playback speed if need be. It’s the best way to turn an post into a podcast short of hiring voice actors, and perfect if you want to cook dinner or go for a walk while catching up on your reading.

There are also plenty of options for sorting your reading list after reading. The main reading list is meant for posts you haven’t read yet—you can archive things you’re done reading, keeping this list as an inbox of posts for later. You can mark archived posts as favorites for future reference, then organize them using tags. You can also highlight key phrases as you read, allowing you to reference them later.

Want to do more with your posts? Connect Pocket to your favorite apps through Zapier. You can create automated workflows that automatically send links from tweets you like over to Pocket, or even send every post in an RSS feed over. Those are just examples—you can customize your workflow with thousands of apps.

Pocket Pricing: Free; $4.99/month Pocket Premium for a permanent personal backup of the posts you’ve saved, suggested tags, full-text search, and more.

Want to learn more about Pocket? Check out our complete guide to using Pocket.

Best read it later app for speed reading

Instapaper (Web, iOS, Android, Kindle)

Instapaper screenshot

Instapaper, more than any app I can think of, is all about simplicity. There’s not a lot of color or graphics in the user interface—the focus is entirely on text. This is an app designed with readers in mind, which makes sense given what it’s for.

Saving posts is simple thanks to extensions for every major browser, and there’s a bookmark you can use if that doesn’t work for you. Reading happens in the mobile apps for Android and iOS, both of which support offline reading, or on the website if you’re on your computer. The reading experience is clean, with custom font and color choices.

The unique feature here is the speed reading button, which flashes one word at a time in quick succession. You can adjust the speed, if you want, but the idea is that this forces you to keep reading in a way that results in getting through posts more quickly. It’s interesting, but probably not for everyone.

There’s also plenty of tools for organizing your posts. The Home screen is meant to contain posts you haven’t read yet, and you can archive posts when you’re done. There’s a folder for posts you “liked” by default, and you can also add as many folders as you like for sorting posts by topic.

There are a few features offered by Instapaper that Pocket doesn’t have. You can highlight quotes in an post, as in Pocket, but you can also add notes, which Pocket doesn’t offer. You can also browse all of your highlights and notes in one place, without having to open the posts again. This makes Instapaper a great way to review your thoughts after reading. Instapaper also offers built-in support for sending posts to a Kindle eReader. If any of these features appeal to you, Instapaper is probably the app for you.

You can automate your reading workflows with Instapaper’s Zapier integrations, which let you do things like automatically send posts from tweets you like over to Instapaper or send every post from an RSS feed to your reading list. You can customize these workflows to use your favorite apps.

Instapaper pricing: Free; Instapaper Premium for $2.99/month offering full-text search for all of your posts, unlimited notes, and text-to-speech.

There are two clear frontrunners in this space, if you haven’t noticed. Be sure to check out our Instapaper vs. Pocket showdown to learn more about how these two apps match up.

Best read it later app for using your inbox as your reading list

EmailThis (Web)

EmailThis screenshot in Gmail

The problem with most read it later apps is that you need to remember to open the app and actually read things. EmailThis solves this problem by putting posts in a place you already look regularly: your email inbox.

Install the browser extension or use the bookmarklet to save posts. There’s no website or app you can use to browse things you’ve saved—instead, the posts are sent to your email address.

This isn’t for everyone: lots of people would rather not fill their email inbox with stuff to read on top of everything else. But think about it: email newsletters are an increasingly common way to keep up with the news, and mobile devices are set up to download emails for offline reading already. Why not also use your inbox to keep track of long-form posts you want to read?

There’s not much in the way of custom font choices, outside how you’ve configured your email app. And there’s no built-in option for sorting your posts after you’ve read them, although you could use dedicated folders or labels in your inbox to sort posts after you’re done reading them. But these downsides are potentially outweighed by simplicity—you can keep track of things you want to read without having to remember to check yet another app. That’s valuable.

EmailThis pricing. Free; Premium for $19/year offering

Best read it later app for Apple loyalists

Safari Reading List (Mac, iOS)


Safari is the default browser on Apple devices, and it comes with a built-in reading list that automatically syncs between all of your devices. It’s not the most advanced read it later service, granted, but you can use it right now without having to install any software. Just tap the + button in the address bar to add an post on your Mac or, on mobile, find the Add to Reading List option in the Share menu. Articles can optionally be saved for offline reading, and using Safari’s Reader Mode you can customize the colors and fonts.

Articles are listed chronologically, and there’s not really any way to organize them other than archiving. There’s a search feature, though, so you should be able to find old posts easily enough. It’s not the most robust tool, but it works.

Safari Reading List Pricing: Free on Apple devices

Other apps you can use to read it later

Read it later apps aren’t the only tools for the job—they’re just the ones that are built with reading in mind. Having said that, some other categories of apps could work for you. Here are a few worth thinking about.

  • Note taking apps like OneNote and Evernote offer web clippers, which extract posts and save them for future reference. The downside: they’re not designed with the reading experience in mind. Still, they might work for you, particularly if you wanted to mark up and edit the posts anyway. Check out our list of the best note taking apps if you’re curious.

  • Bookmarking apps like Pinboard and Google Bookmarks can also be used to keep track of posts you want to read. They don’t extract your posts for offline reading, or offer custom fonts and color schemes, but they make up for that with organizational features. Check out our list of the best bookmark apps to learn more.

  • Amazon offers a free Send to Kindle tool, which sends posts to the popular eInk devices as well as the Kindle app. We think Kindle users are better off using Instapaper for this, but Amazon’s offering is simpler if sending posts to your Kindle is all you care about. It’s not a complete read it later service, and it doesn’t seem to be actively maintained, but it works.

Where did the idea for apps like this come from? Check out our interview with Pocket finder Nate Weiner to learn more.

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Using Keywords in YouTube Videos: How to Get More Views

Online Marketing news bytes.

This article has been previously published here:

With more than 3 billion monthly searches, YouTube is not just a popular social networking platform, but the second largest search engine on the Internet. Five hundred hours of video footage was uploaded to YouTube every single minute in 2019 — and that figure has likely grown since.

YouTube has 2 billion active monthly users who watch over 1 billion hours of content on the platform every single day. With content coming in at that volume, it gives a more accurate sense of scale to think of any individual video not as a person shouting amidst a crowd, but as a single grain of sand on a beach. It’s not a perfect analogy, because grains of sand on the beach are not individually identifiable, searchable, or able to be organized and catalogued. YouTube videos are.

That doesn’t mean that it’s in a marketer’s best interest to have an “if we build it, they will come” mentality on YouTube. Content creators and marketers who publish video to YouTube sometimes assume that the most interesting content is naturally selected by the algorithm and pushed to the front page, to be rewarded with millions of views by some combination of timing, luck, and merit. But considering the sheer scale of content available on YouTube, it’s a bit more useful for our purposes to think of YouTube as the largest video library archive ever to have existed. The key to getting more views on YouTube videos isn’t to be special enough or loud enough to get noticed in the throng. Rather, the key is to tag your content with lots of detail-rich identifying information, making it searchable in the catalogue for viewers who are already looking for videos like yours.

YouTube is a search engine

Does this sound really similar to the SEO principles that get websites to rank on Google? That’s because it is. YouTube is a search engine for video, which means that videos can be optimized to perform better by making them easier to search for.

This post is a primer on how YouTube tags, catalogues, and recommends videos to their users, and how you can use those features as tools to help you set your video up for success. This assumes, of course, that generating more views on your videos is a part of your strategy. Many people use YouTube as a convenient hosting platform for their videos to embed to their own websites and social feeds, and attracting viewers on YouTube isn’t a priority for them. That’s a perfectly legitimate way to use the platform. We’re going to focus on how to optimize video content that is intended to attract new viewers and broaden your audience, and the technical steps needed to do it.

Plan for the audience you want, then work backwards

To increase the views on your YouTube videos, you need to start by making it easy to find you for those already interested. You can only do that effectively when you know who those people are, and why they would want to see what you post. Starting there, you can work backwards to tag your video as likely to be relevant to them.

The benefit of posting to mega-networks like YouTube is that the audience is already there without you having to build it. But because of the sheer amount of video content offered, waiting for viewers to find your stuff serendipitously is unlikely to get you more than a handful of views and very little return for your investment. For your video content to be worth the cost and effort of producing it, you need to proactively plan your content and posting around the specific people you want to see it and marketing outcomes you want to achieve.

Check out Moz’s resources on audience targeting and content strategy if you’re just getting started on that. With those basic outcomes in mind, you can start working backwards to determine what metrics you’ll need to watch to gauge your success, and how you’ll structure your content to get there.

A refresher on YouTube analytics

YouTube Studio Video Analytics, Overview, from “Relics from a Lost Future (Full Album 2021) [INSTRUMENTAL POST ROCK]” courtesy of Undercover Rabbis.

Before we take a deeper dive into YouTube keywords, it’s important to define the different KPIs that we use to measure the success of videos. In simplest terms, they’re the stats on your video that tell you whether your plan for video marketing is working or not. They include:

Watch time: This KPI measures the total amount of minutes a viewer spends watching your content. Content and channels that have longer watch times are elevated by YouTube in the recommendations and search results. A low average watch time can indicate that your viewers are getting bored or that your video is too long to hold their interest.

Retention rate: This is the percentage of audience members who stay to watch the video all the way through compared to those who leave before it’s over. The YouTube platform favors videos with high retention rates, judging them to be more likely to be relevant and recommending them to more viewers.

YouTube Video Analytics (under Overview) from “Bosses Hang (Godspeed You! Black Emperor Cover)” courtesy of Undercover Rabbis.

Engagement: This refers to the actions that viewers take beyond just watching the video, like taking the time to comment, like, share, subscribe, or bookmark for later. Engagement is often the most important metric for marketers to track, because it tells you how many people are interested enough in your content to take further action. Comments can paint a clear picture of how your content affected viewers. Shares gauge how much viewers value your video and your brand, and are crucial to growing a following. Likes and dislikes can help you evaluate what content did or did not work, and it further indicates to YouTube what content is likely to be high quality when recommending videos in users’ feeds.

Thumbnails: The thumbnail is the picture of your video that appears with the title on a results page or link. It provides a sneak peek of the content you’re sharing to help the viewer decide whether to watch it or not. A thoughtfully crafted thumbnail is easy to make and can have a big impact on how many viewers will ultimately choose to click and watch your video.

Title keywords: The keywords you use in your video title tells YouTube what’s in it, and helps guide viewers to your content when they search for similar words or phrases.

Re-watches: This metric measures the number of times viewers re-watch particular parts of your video. If there is a high re-watch rate, viewers are likely interested and invested in the topics you’re covering, and might want to know more. This can be useful for strategizing and planning future content.

Demographics: These stats account for the different types of viewers who are watching your content, segmented by gender, age, and geography.

It’s important to understand what these YouTube metrics are meant to measure. They all play an important part in your video rankings on both YouTube and Google, so it’s prudent to implement some basic best practices to keep these stats out of the gutter, as we’ll outline below. However, it’s important to keep your focus on the end goals, and not just chase the stats. Good metrics are to be used as indicators of your progress, not the goal in and of itself.

How Google ranks YouTube videos

YouTube views don’t only come from people already logged on to YouTube. Google is also a huge driver to your YouTube videos. Google needs to understand the content of your video in order to include it in search results. Google ranks YouTube content in the following ways:

Crawling the video and extracting a preview and thumbnail to show the user

Extracting meta tags and page texts from your video descriptions to tell the user more about the video’s content

Analyzing the video sitemap or structured data to determine relevance

Extracting audio to identify more keywords

Keywords aren’t pulled just from the text attached to your video in the descriptions and tags — they can also be pulled from the audio itself. This is why including the right keywords in your video script will help boost the video’s rankings on Google.

Choosing keywords is about relevance, not volume

This begs the question: what, then, are the “right” keywords? A better question might be: what makes a keyword the right one? Let’s return to the “YouTube is like an enormous library archive” analogy for a moment. If only making noise and getting noticed mattered, then the right keywords would be the ones that get the most search volume to attract the most viewers. But like we said, YouTube is too saturated a platform to count on viral spread. Search engines don’t really think in terms of “best and worst” videos to make their rankings. (Search engines don’t really think at all, but that’s a topic for another day.) Search engines are designed to identify “what video is best for this particular viewer, in this particular instance?” That’s not a question of volume or popularity. That’s a question of relevance.

It is rarely going to be an effective marketing goal to merely seek out lots and lots of viewers regardless of who they are. Most campaigns are better served by a smaller group of highly engaged fans than by millions of lukewarm passive viewers. If you spend all of your focus optimizing your content for Google’s bots, high volume and low engagement is what you’re likely to get. If you want to build a meaningful fan base, then you must build your content for the people watching it, not just the search engines ranking it.

Defining your audience and their needs

You must have a clear idea of who you are trying to address with your YouTube content if you want to know what to say to them. Defining your target audience first will make the SEO optimization process more goal directed and specific.

Identifying and defining your target audience can start with the motivations behind their video searches. Some common motivations include:

YouTube Studio Channel Dashboard courtesy of Undercover Rabbis.

I want to know: The user wants to learn more about a specific topic they’ve already identified. They’re likely to be interested in tutorials, how-to’s, and explainer videos.

I want to do: The viewer has a specific action already in mind that they want to take, like planning a trip or exploring a new hobby. They might watch videos either aspirationally or proactively, like vlogs for inspiration or travel guides for actionable tips.

I want to buy: The potential viewer is seeking information related to a specific product they want to purchase, including reviews or comparisons. They might look for unboxing videos, reviews from influencers, or product demos.

Understanding your audience, their pain points, and their purchase drivers is key to identifying which keywords can help guide those viewers to your YouTube videos. Keywords are the language viewers use to ask a search engine for specific content, which is why we often start with viewer intent and work from there. Jot down a few words or phrases that a viewer might use to describe what they want to see in your video. Think about both the featured topic (like “dogs” or “makeup” or “golf swing”) and format/genre (like “tutorial” or “vlog” or “Let’s Play” or “reacts”). List the relevant verbs, like “buy”, “play”, “learn”, “explain”, “explore”. By building out a word cloud like this, you’ll have a starting point for your keyword research.

Begin your keyword research with an autocomplete tool or competitor browsing

The simplest way to start the keyword research process is by playing around with a keyword tool (Moz offers a free Keyword Explorer,) or the search function right on YouTube and Google. Trying out some different searches that your audience is likely to make can give you insight into what your target audience is already searching for, what they’re interested in, and the specific words or phrases they use when they’re talking about it online.

Type one of your potential keywords into the search box. As you type, YouTube will suggest related popular searches — this is an autocomplete feature built right in. The Ubersuggest tool is also a good place to try this exercise, which will run through the alphabet for the first letter of the next word in your search phrase.

Gauging YouTube keyword search volume

It’s also good to know which of your keywords people search for most frequently. The free Google Trends application “YouTube search” option lets you compare potential keywords in your list to see which ones rank higher and appear in more searches. Keep in mind that higher search volume usually also means more competition to rank for that particular word or phrase.

You can also keep tabs on the keywords your competitors are using to compare to the ones on your list. Find channels within your niche that have a few thousand subscribers, and sort through the content using the “Most Popular” option. Click on the video with the highest number of views and make note of the keywords used in the title, tags, and description. This can show you which keywords might already be saturated in your market with high competition, or reveal gaps where there are opportunities to provide content.

Attaching keywords to your videos

YouTube Channel, Basic Info Keywords courtesy of SustainablePR.

When you’ve identified a list of high-value keywords, it’s time to put them to work. Here are all the places you can incorporate keywords when first posting your YouTube video:

Video file name: SEO optimization begins before you even upload the video. Include keywords prominently in the video file name.

Video title: The title should be punchy and concise. Think about what you would want to click on. Avoid using video titles longer than 70 characters, because they’ll get cut off on the search engine results page and thumbnails. Try to include the keyword towards the beginning of the title when you can.

Description: Many content creators make the mistake of only writing a couple of sentences in their video description. The more words your description has, the better. YouTube allows up to 5,000 characters for video descriptions, so be sure to utilize that real estate. Include strategically placed keywords, information about the video, an enticing hook, and a specific call to action.

Transcript: The video transcript, or caption, is another opportunity to include keywords because it provides additional text used by the platform’s ranking algorithm.

Tags: When tagging your video, include the top relevant keywords, the brand or channel name, and the more specific keyword phrases. Keep all tags under 127 characters. The more the merrier, as long as they are all relevant and concise. No one likes a bait and switch, and too broad a range of topics in your tags will signal to YouTube that your video isn’t strongly relevant to anything in particular at all.

Try audio keywords to get more traction

A unique way to include even more keywords in your video is to speak them in the video itself. Since Google and YouTube no longer need to crawl a transcript to understand what you’re saying, you can utilize audio keywords. Always try to include the keywords in the first two sentences you speak in the video to keep your viewer retention rate up.

Bottom line: prioritize relevance over volume, and start with the viewer and work backwards

If you take nothing else away from this guide, know that a search engine like Google or YouTube has no concept of what “best” means. It cannot judge a video by merit, and it does not rank individual videos as being more or less worthy of views. Only the viewers can make value judgments like that. A search engine can only make determinations of relevance, and only using the keywords we give it, as compared to the keywords provided by the user when they perform a search.

The search engine only knows if it provided the right video for the right search by interpreting the actions the user takes next. If you give YouTube and Google plenty of keywords to parse by completely filling out your description, tags, titles, and transcripts, your video will be returned in more searches. If the viewer then leaves comments or subscribes to your channel after watching, YouTube’s algorithm concludes that your video was highly relevant, and returns you in more searches. It’s a relatively straightforward cause-and-effect relationship, not a mystical process.

Play around with some of the free SEO tools and Learning Center resources that Moz makes available, and see what you turn up. A little bit of effort, forethought, and consistency goes a long, long way when it comes to improving your performance on YouTube.

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Simple Social Media Patterns You Need To Know to Grow Your Reach, Followers, and Engagement

Tutorials and tips on how to rank my site.

This video was provided by Neil Patel.

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How to Create Search Engine Friendly Title Tags

Some helpful tips on how to rank my website.

This article was provided by Neil Patel.

How to create seo-friendly title tags

One of the most frustrating things about SEO is getting everything to work together as it should.

If you’ve done SEO, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There are so many little elements in SEO that sometimes it seems impossible for everything to work out perfectly.

Even today! I know I talk a lot about how “smart” the search algorithms are and how it’s virtually impossible to game the system.

However, there are still a lot of elements you need to pay attention to for your SEO to succeed.

Case in point: Page title tags.

Before you yawn and find some more sexy SEO topic to jam on, hear me out.

Title tags are one of the cornerstones of SEO. They always have been, and as far as we can tell, they always will be.

Moz explains, “Title tags are the second most important on-page factor for SEO, after content.”

When it comes to low effort/big results, title tags take the cake. It’s such a small element, but has such a massive impact!

You know it’s important to create eye-catching headlines, but optimizing your titles also matters for SEO.

That’s where page title tags come in. They’re how your titles are relayed to search engines, and they’re an important part of any SEO strategy.

This is one of the few times when you need to write for both people and search engines, and that can be tricky. (Especially with headlines.)

In short, you have to create a clickable headline that also makes search engines happy.

Here’s the challenge: People have to like it. Search engines have to like it. Yikes!

Does that sound difficult?

Yes, it can be if you don’t know what to do. That’s why I’m going to break down my process step-by-step.

We’ll go through that process, but first, let’s look at why title tags are important for SEO.

What are Page Title Tags?

If you’ve ever used a search engine before (and I’m guessing you have), you’ve seen a page title tag whether you’ve realized it or not.

It’s simply the headline on the SERP (search engine results page).

For example, if you Google “kitchen appliances,” you’ll see that one of the top results is from IKEA.

In this case, the page title tag is “Kitchen Appliances – IKEA.”

This is what both people and search engines will see as the title of your page. Often, this is the first thing they’ll see, and that’s a big reason why it’s so crucial to put time and effort into your title tags.

The point you need to remember is this: real people are reading your title tag.

They are going to respond to it. They will judge it. They will be compelled by it. They will be put off by it. They will learn from it.

Basically, the title tag is your page’s message to the world!

Title tags work with the meta description (the text below the title). In the case of the IKEA search result above, this is the meta description — a sentence or phrase that adds more information about the page.

I’ve written about meta descriptions before, but title tags are even more important.

Both the title and the meta description together give a brief idea of what your content is about, but the title tag stands out more.

There are two big reasons why page title tags are so important.

First, if you have a clear title that’s relevant to your page, both humans and search engines will see that as a sign of a good page.

If your title tag isn’t optimized, then people could skip right over your content, and search engines may determine that your page isn’t as good as it could be.

A second reason why title tags are important is they show up in browser tabs:

title tags guide show up in search bars

So when someone wants to find your page out of all their browser tabs, they’ll look for your title tag.

Title tags are often what people will see if your page is shared on social media. For example, here’s an example of a title tag on Facebook:

example of a title tag

Can you see why title tags are so important? A good title tag means maximum visibility, while a bad title tag can sink your page.

There are three important steps to take to optimize your title tags.

  1. make sure your headlines make for good title tags
  2. create the title tag
  3. make sure the title tag is optimized for SEO

Let’s dive into all three.

Step 1: Write Your Title Tag

You might be wondering how writing a title tag is any different from writing a headline.

In some cases, your headline and title tag will be the same exact title. But there are some cases where they won’t be.

Check out this SERP result from Copyblogger:

copyblogger example of a title tag

It seems like the title for the page would be “How Content Marketing Builds Your Business,” right?

But when you go to the page, you’ll see a different title:

copyblogger title tag example

The title shown on the page is longer and more descriptive.

So why would Copyblogger do this? It’s most likely because the shorter title tag looks better on the SERP, and it takes less time to read.

The actual title that you see on the page goes into more detail, and that’s probably why they used it. They get the benefits of having both a streamlined title tag and a descriptive page title.

It’s a sneaky and useful tactic that’s the sort of SEO stuff I love.

With that in mind, here’s how to write a great title tag.

There are a few elements of title tags:

Title Tags Should Be Short

Shorter titles are easier for people to read and for search engines to crawl.

But there’s a better reason for shorter title tags.

If your title tag is too long, search engines will cut off your title with an ellipsis (…):

title tag example

Ideally, your readers and search engines should be able to see the entire title tag so they get the best idea of what the content is about.

Google typically shows no more than 60 characters of the title tag. So if your title tag is 60 characters or less, you can generally expect that the entire title will show.

If you want to make sure, Moz has a handy preview tool:

title tag tool moz

This is a great feature that I recommend you use. Remember, keep it short if possible.

Title Tags Should Contain Your Main Keyword

You probably expected to see something about keywords in an article about SEO.

For best results, try to put your focus keyword as close to the beginning of your title as possible. That’s so search engines (and people) will see the keyword early on.

Here’s a title tag with the keyword right up front:

title tag example

Contrast that with this result that has the keyword closer to the end of the title tag:

title tag example

One tip: Make sure the keyword placement is organic. It’s preferable that the keyword is close to the beginning, but it’s not necessary for great SEO.

Title Tags Should Describe a Benefit

Much like a headline, a title tag needs to communicate a benefit to stand out.

This is one of many reasons Google warns against keyword stuffing and boilerplate titles.

Your title tags are representatives of your pages, and you want people and search engines to know that your pages have unique, valuable content.

Make sure your title tag is related to your content. It should read naturally and grab the reader’s attention.

Keep in mind, you’re not trying to trick people. All you need to do is clearly explain the benefit of clicking on the page.

Often, the “benefit” is nothing more than telling them what the page is about! At this point, you’re not trying to sell anything. You’re simply giving them information.

Here’s an example that clearly expresses a benefit (ignore the jargon-filled, not-so-great meta description).

title tag example laptops

On the other hand, this title tag is plain and doesn’t explicitly state a benefit (they did a nice job with the meta description, though).

title tag for seo example amazon

(Sure, Amazon probably doesn’t need to state a benefit, but your site probably does.)

Stating a benefit probably won’t do anything for search engines, but it goes a long way for human users who come across your site with a search.

Step 2: Create Your Title Tag

Once you have your page title tag written, you need to set it as the title for your page.

The way you’ll do this will depend on what powers your website.

If you have a custom site, you’ll need to edit the HTML directly. (And it’s super easy to do.)

If you use WordPress, it’s also super easy.

If you use another CMS or host, it might look a little bit different for you.

Let’s take a look at each of these three different cases and how to create a title tag for each scenario.

Case 1: You Have a Custom Site Not Hosted on a CMS

If your site isn’t hosted on a CMS, you can edit your HTML to add titles.

First, you access the HTML for your specific page. I recommend checking with your hosting service on how to do this.

Once you’ve found the editable HTML, make sure you’re between the <head> tags.

how to add title tag to custom site example

(Note: This is an example code using Your code will probably look different, and there might be extra code here. That’s okay––just make sure you’re only between the <head> tags and not any others.)

To create the title, use <title> tags. For example:

how to add title tag to custom site example  HTML

That’s it! Save your code, and your title will now show up correctly.

Case 2: You Use WordPress

If you use WordPress, you’ll be happy to know there’s a super simple solution — it’s actually way easier than editing the HTML.

In fact, this method uses something you’re probably already using: the well-loved Yoast SEO plugin.

This is a powerful plugin that you can get a lot out of. And it’s great for editing your title tags.

First, if you don’t have Yoast installed, go to Plugins > Add New.

add yoast plugin for title tags

Type “Yoast” into the plugin search bar.

type yoast title tag guide

Look for “Yoast SEO.”

add yoast SEO to WordPress - title tag guide

Click “Install Now.”

Next, click “Activate.”

Now the plugin is up and running.

To edit the title tag for a page or post, navigate to that content and open the editor.

Scroll down to the bottom of your post or page, and you’ll see the Yoast box, where you can edit the title tag and meta description.

It’ll also give you a nice preview of both your title and meta description:

where to add title tag in Yoast

If your title tag (or meta description) turns out to display differently on the actual SERPs, you can always go back and edit it in this section.

Case 3: You Don’t Have a Custom Site or a WordPress Site

I know not all of you fall under these categories.

You might use a completely different kind of CMS, or your web host might have a different setup.

In those cases, I recommend contacting your CMS company or web host to find out how to access your HTML to edit your page title tags.

This is really a case-by-case scenario, so it will probably look different for a lot of you. However, you should be able to get an answer with a quick email to your web host’s support email.

So far, you’re two-thirds of the way done! Now you just need to make sure your title tag is the most SEO-friendly it can be.

Step 3: How to Optimize Your Title Tag for SEO

We’ve talked a little bit about this already, but there are a few more steps you can take to make sure your title tag is optimized.

This is the step that most people miss entirely!

They think, “Yay. I’m done with my title tag!” But they forget that one of the primary methods of marketing and promotion is through social sharing!

Here are my best tips for optimizing your title tags for social.

Use Your Brand Wisely

The title tag can be a great place to include your brand, but if you overdo it, you could face some consequences.

Google suggests using your homepage title tag to include the most branding. Their example: “ExampleSocialSite, a place for people to meet and mingle.”

For most of your pages, adding your brand to the end of the title tag will suffice (if there’s room, that is).

Here’s how I do that:

title tag example neil patel

Prevent Search Engines from Rewriting Your Title Tags

You read that right: Sometimes Google will rewrite your title tags.

It’s crazy, I know! But why the heck would this happen?

According to Silkstream, “Google will automatically change how your title is displayed in the SERPs if their algorithm is under the impression that the page title doesn’t accurately represent the content on that page.”

So if your title tags don’t look good to Google, they’ll consider other factors, including:

Take a look at this title tag:

title tag example rewrite

If you go to the homepage and view the source code (right-click and select “View Source” or “View Page Source”), you’ll see the company set the title to be something else:

title tag example source code

Google rewrote it because they felt their revised title tag would help people more than the original.

The good news: If you follow the steps outlined in this article, Google should keep your title tags as they are.

If you do see your title tags showing up differently, revisit them and try to identify how you can further optimize them.

Consider Making Your H1 Page Heading Different From the Title Tag

This is exactly like the Copyblogger example from earlier.

You can use two different sets of keywords in your title tag and H1, which organically enhances your SEO. Search engines will count the title tag as the “heading.” (Just make sure it’s optimized.)

Avoid Duplicate Title Tags

Google explicitly says that “it’s important to have distinct, descriptive titles for each page on your site.” So don’t copy and paste your title tags.

If you’ve done everything so far, you should now have an optimized title tag! Finalize it and send it out into the world.

Title Tag Frequently Asked Questions

What are title tags and why do they matter for SEO?

Title tags are the title of a page users see in the search results. They serve as a first impression and can encourage — or deter– people from clicking on your pages.

What’s the difference between title tags and meta descriptions?

Title tags are shorter and appear first in the SERPs.

How do you write a good title tag?

Pay attention to the length, use the main keyword the page targets, and explain what benefit the user will get by clicking.

How long should title tags be?

Between 50 and 50 characters. Any longer than that and Google may truncate your title.

How many keywords should be in my title tags?

Generally just one. You can add a second if it is closely related and makes sense. Don’t keyword stuff; the goal of the title tag is to explain what users can expect if they click.

Title Tag Conclusion

I know first-hand that SEO can be a headache., but it doesn’t have to be.

I’m all about demystifying SEO because I know it’s something anyone can do. Even if you’re a technophobe, you can do this!

It doesn’t take years of experience in digital marketing to get SEO right. You just have to learn the ropes and get used to it.

For example, creating page title tags is pretty simple. It might seem complicated at first, but once you take a peek behind the scenes, you see how easy it is.

If you’re not currently leveraging the power of optimized title tags, use this article to start doing that. It can be a game-changer and help your visibility on the SERPs.

Best of all, it only takes a few minutes.

What tips do you have for using title tags for maximum SEO power?

I hope that you found the above of help and/or of interest. Similar content can be found on our main site:

Let me have your feedback in the comments section below.

Let us know what subjects we should write about for you next.

The Marketer’s Guide to Slideshare

Tutorials and tips on How To Rank My Website.

This article was first published by Neil Patel.

Slideshare: What it is and How Marketers Can Use It

The internet is a visual place. With the absence of body language, social cues, and audible tone, the best way to communicate with your users is through visual content.

Now and then, an online platform comes along that makes it easier than ever to showcase your visual content on the internet.

SlideShare is one such example. 

The presentation-sharing platform has created a simple and seamless way to promote visual content while also encouraging user interaction.

In this post, we’ll teach you all about SlideShare, how to use it, why it matters to marketers, and how you can use it to create amazing content for your business.

Let’s get started.

What Is SlideShare?

SlideShare is a content-sharing platform that allows you to upload media presentations and share them on your website or social media profile. Content compatible with the platform includes presentations, infographics, videos, and documents. 

While SlideShare is not a tool for building content, it does work with existing content formats such as Google Slides, Adobe PDF, OpenDocument, and Microsoft PowerPoint.

SlideShare is best known for being a comprehensive educational resource that makes it easy to display presentations and webinars online. 

Here are some of the most popular ways to use SlideShare:

  • to share online webinars or training materials
  • as a visualization tool for presentations
  • to promote products or services
  • to display newsletters and attract new signups
  • to showcase visual materials such as guides or brochures

Acquired by LinkedIn in 2012, the company was later bought by the audiobook subscription platform Scribd.

SlideShare remains free to use and allows anyone to create a presentation to share privately or publicly. 

Why Should You Use SlideShare for Marketing?

For marketers, using SlideShare offers a unique and interactive way to display content online. By adding a presentation to your blog posts, web pages, and social media feeds, you create a completely new content type to engage your users.

SlideShare also allows you to display longer, more complex content in a simple way. Webinars or presentations can be easily uploaded and displayed for users to click through on their own time. 

You can think of these presentations as an infographic with more interactivity. 

It’s also important to note SlideShare boasts a user base of 80 million. Most of its user base are business professionals, and its most searched tags are:

  • #market
  • #business
  • #statistics
  • #socialmedia

SlideShare also receives 500 percent more traffic from business owners than Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. This offers a huge benefit to B2B marketers looking to connect with relevant audiences. 

5 Strategies to Use SlideShare for Marketing

Now that you understand what SlideShare is and why it’s important for marketers, it’s time to learn how to create an effective and successful presentation. 

Here are five steps to follow when using SlideShare for marketing.

1. Use Visual Content

Anyone who’s made a PowerPoint presentation knows they shouldn’t be text-heavy. When formatting your presentation for SlideShare, this is especially important, as online readers tend to lose focus on text-heavy content.

A general rule to follow when creating any type of presentation is the 5/5/5 rule:

  • 5 words per line of text
  • 5 lines of text per slide
  • 5 text-heavy slides in a row

Keep your readers interested and engaged in your SlideShare presentation by using mostly visual content and keeping your text short and succinct.

Visual metaphors can also be used to further cement the messaging of your presentation. You can see an example of a visual metaphor in the image below.

Strategies to Use SlideShare for Marketing - Use Visual Content

2. Add a Call-to-Action (CTA)

Your SlideShare presentation should work as part of your sales funnel, moving customers through the education, nurture, and convincing phases. In order to effectively move your customers through these phases, you’ll need to integrate calls to action (CTAs) throughout your content.

A CTA can be a request to contact your business or even a link to start a free trial. You could also ask your customer to sign up for your email list or visit your website.

Whatever you choose, place it strategically at a place where you know your customer will see it. As well, use a benefit-forward statement that shows your customer how they’ll see value from their click.

3. Keep Your Presentation Short and Sweet

Keeping online reader attention spans in mind, it’s important to keep your presentation short to ensure your users stay engaged.

Presentations that are too long or too bulky will lose reader interest and result in lost leads for your business. Shorter presentations are easier to digest and offer a better chance of a reader seeing your final CTA.

SlideShare itself has noted that shorter visual content is most effective on its platform.

Strategies to Use SlideShare for Marketing - Keep Your Presentation Short and Sweet

4. Use Customer Pain Points to Inform Content Decisions

The first step in determining the kind of content you should publish in your SlideShare is to understand your customer pain points

  • What do your customers want to see from your brand? 
  • What kind of content do they enjoy?
  • How can you strengthen your relationship with them through SlideShare content?

Before you publish your content, conduct customer research to find out what your leads are looking for and why.

Once you know what they’re after, give it to them. It’s really that easy.

5. Use Keywords in Descriptions and Tags

SlideShare comes equipped with presentation descriptions and tags. Be sure to make use of these features when uploading your content.

Adding keywords to your SlideShare descriptions and tags will help your SEO efforts and ensure your presentation is being seen by the right people. If you’re looking for a keyword research tool, try Ubersuggest.

SlideShare for Marketing Tips and Best Practices 

SlideShare can be a marketer’s best friend when used correctly. Here are a few SlideShare best practices to guide your process:

  • Source quality images and fonts: Because it is such a visual platform, it’s important your presentation looks professional and high-quality. Using grainy or low-quality images, hard-to-read fonts, or bad design will turn users away from your content.
  • Make your presentation simple and clear: As discussed above, don’t overdo it on text, slides, or images. Your users want quick and clear information they can easily digest. The sooner you give them what they want, the better your chances are of converting them.
  • Start strong: Think of your presentation as an essay. You want to set up your thesis at the beginning and continuously reaffirm your message throughout your slides. If it isn’t clear what you’re trying to say early on, users will likely click away and lose interest. Start your presentation off with your main idea and strongest imagery to hook your reader immediately. 
  • Measure your results: Like anything in marketing, it all comes down to the numbers. Leverage any analytical powers at your disposal and continuously A/B test and optimize your SlideShare content.

Examples of Great Marketing SlideShares 

You’re almost ready to start taking the SlideShare world by storm! Here are a few success stories to help you get started.

The Brand Gap by Neutron LLC

The Brand Gap by Neutron LLC is a beautifully designed SlideShare that explores the makings of some of the world’s most iconic brands.

This presentation is successful because it harnesses strong visual design with simple copy to deliver a clear, concise message. The conversational tone of the copy invites readers to continue moving through the presentation, ending with a clear CTA at the finish.

While this presentation is longer than we recommend, Neutron LLC gets away with it because of its masterful design work and messaging. 

How Google Works by Google

How Google Works by Google is a creative and effective presentation that explains how Google operates as an innovative company. 

Google used completely original and unique illustrations to provide clear visual metaphors throughout the presentation. Google’s brand colors are present in every slide, cementing their brand in the minds of the readers.

You Suck At Powerpoint by Jesse Desjardins

You Suck At Powerpoint by Jesse Desjardins is a humor design presentation that tells you everything you’ve done wrong in your past presentations.

Leaning on visual metaphor, this example is funny, concise, and clear in its messaging. 

Not only does Jesse tell you what you’ve been doing wrong, but he tells you how to fix it. If you can’t do it yourself, his information is on the last slide.

SlideShare Resources

How to Create and Share a SlideShare Presentation

Ready to create your first presentation? Follow these steps!

  1. Create a SlideShare Account

    The first step in creating and sharing your first SlideShare presentation is to sign up for an account. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can use your LinkedIn account to sign in. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, you’ll need to create one in order to use the platform.

  2. Create Your Presentation

    When creating your presentation, be consistent in your use of fonts and colors.
    It’s always a good idea to use your own branding assets when creating your presentation to ensure cohesion across your content.
    Create an intro and outro slide at the start and end of your presentation, and remember to add a CTA so your customers stay active after the presentation. 

  3. Upload Your Presentation

    Once you’ve finished creating your presentation, it’s time to upload it to the site. You can upload your presentation as a Google Slide, Microsoft PowerPoint, or PDF. 
    SlideShare allows you to schedule your presentation if you’d like it to go live at a specific time. Once it’s live, be sure to promote it widely and share it across your social channels to ensure a wide reach.

SlideShare Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to use SlideShare?

It is free to use for anyone.

Can you earn money from SlideShare?

Not directly, no. SlideShare does not pay users for ads, and there is no direct way to make money from its platform. That said, by strategically including CTAs and actionable points, you can get an ROI from the presentations you upload.

What are the disadvantages of SlideShare?

It does not offer any direct monetization processes for its users, and it also does not include a built-in way to measure analytics. 

What’s the difference between SlideShare and PowerPoint?

SlideShare is an online platform that allows you to share your presentations across the internet. PowerPoint is simply a tool for creating presentations. 

SlideShare for Marketing Conclusion

SlideShare is a visual content tool that helps you share educational presentations across the internet.

Because online readers want fast and efficient information, it is a great way to engage your audience and move your customers through your sales funnel.

Have you found success using SlideShare?

We hope that you found the post above of help and of interest. Similar content can be found on our blog:

Let me have your feedback in the comments section below.

Let us know what topics we should write about for you in future.