January 2020

Social Media Metrics that Matter – It’s Not All About Likes and Followers

Social Media is an essential tool that can either be harnessed or misused.  Often times, businesses see the accumulation of likes or followers as the almighty metric in determining social media success.  The truth is likes and followers are really just vanity metrics that are pretty useless if the majority isn’t engaging with your content.  There is a big difference between actively communicating with people who are in your target market and broadcasting announcements that nobody cares about or responds to.  The social media metrics that matter the most are ampliciation rate and conversational rate.

Conversational rate is the number of likes and comments divided by the number of contributions.  So if last week 3 pieces of content were posted to your company’s Facebook and Instagram pages and together they accumulated 9 comments and 20 likes, then your conversational rate for that week would be 29/3 or 9.7.  The higher the conversational rate, the better.

Amplication rate is the number of shares you’ve received for any given piece of content.  The more your content is shared, the higher the likelihood that it will go viral.

So how do you get your followers to engage with you and increase the social media metrics that matter?

    • First, make sure your followers and people who “like” your page are actually part of your target market.  Understanding your target audience is critical to engagement.  Know how old they are, where they live, what they do for a living and what sort of lifestyle they lead.  Review audioence insight demographics and assess how much of your social media following is WHO YOU WANT to engage with.  If they aren’t, then it’s time to come up with a strategy to attract your target market to your social media profiles.  Example:  if your target market is in the US and you have followers in Australia, then you are attracting teh wrong people.  Social media engagement should provide your business with a return on investment be it generating new customers or retaining established ones.
    • Now that you know your audience, make sure that what you are posting is actually of value to them and is relevant to your brand.  If you are a yoga studio and are posting about the new album from Justin Bieber, you might want to rethink your content strategy.
    • Stop broadcasting.  Ask questions in your post.  Polls are a great way to encourage a response.  Ask trivia questions as long as you can keep it relevant to your brand.
    • Consider creating a branded quiz that is both relevant to your brand but something that has a broad range of interest.  If you can find an overlap there and the timing is right, there can be potential for it to go viral thereby increasing your amplification rate.
    • Don’t ghost them. Nobody likes being ignored, customers especially.  These are people who have either given you money for services or product or are thinking about it. Make them feel valuable and important and give them your full attention!
    • Be nice.  Sometimes customers use social media to vent frustrations related to your brand.  Use this opportunity to connect with them and let them know they are understood.  Remember, other people are watching on the sidelines and how you engage with someone who is being negative could win them over or lose them for good.
    • Be in the loop on what’s being said about your brand.  There are plenty of social media listening tools that range in free to enterprise versions that can offer all sorts of insight on how your brand is being talked about on social media.
    • Encourage user-generated content.  Ask your customers to share how they use your product or how your service has benefited them.  If you are a travel company, ask your clients if they would be interested in sharing memories from the trip that you curated for them.  Be invested in their experience and they will appreciate it.

Stay diligent and be inventive in your social media strategy and focuse on the social media metrics that matter.  Happy engaging.

social media metrics engagement not broadcasting woman with megaphone

RIP Featured Snippets Domination

knowledge graph compared to featured snippetGoogle announced yesterday that they were “decluttering” the SERPS by not duplicating a featured snippet domain in the organic results.  No doubt many SEO’s all over the world are rejoicing over this as there can only be one featured snippet and the benefactor of the coveted featured snippets slot can easily dominate the results above the fold if they are investing in Ads.  This is not such great news for those who have been reaping the benefits of featured snippet monopolization.  Losing an extra link to your site on page one of Google will definitely see a dip in organic traffic.

Prior to the recent update, the featured snippet was in addition to the 10 organic listings, now they will be included as one of the ten organic results.

Google defines featured snippets as “Listings where the snippet describing a page comes before a link to a page, not after as with our standard format. Results displayed this way are called “featured snippets.” 

Often revered to as “ranking zero”, featured snippets are located just below Google Ads and above organic results.  Featured snippets are shapeshifters.  They can appear as a short paragraph, a bulleted or numbered list, a table or a video and they may or not be accompanied by an image (often taken from another source).  Featured snippets are not to be confused with Knowledge graphs which can show up in two forms.  1) in the top right column of the SERPS where it will pull information from various sources or 2) as a carousel at the top of the SERPS under any ads.  Featured snippets highlight one domain hence the reason they are considered SEO gold..

While the term “answer boxes” are used interchangeably with “featured snippets” and the two things appear similar, there is one major difference.  Answer boxes don’t actually link to any source.  They simply spit out an answer hence no SEO benefit.

Since featured snippets are answers to questions, is there another type of search that is query-based and therefore may also benefit from featured snippet optimization?  That’s right! Voice queries.  So conceivably, optimizing for featured snippets can also optimize your content for voice searches.

How to optimize your content for featured snippets?

  1. google suggested queries 1. Know what you want to rank for.  Featured snippets are answers to questions, therefore in order to optimize your domain for a featured snippet, you need to know what question you want to rank for.  There are a number of keyword research tools that offer insight into featured snippets including SEMRush and Ahrefs. Typically you want to go for phrase queries that start with What is, Who is, Why is, How to, etc…  You can also get suggestions from Google (see image to left).   Ahrefs did a study a few years ago related to top keyword that trigger featured snippets.  Be inspired by these.

2. Develop content that explicitly relates to the query.  Include a good combination of text, imagery and bulleted or numbered lists.  Remember, you can rank as a paragraph, a list or a table and sometimes an image alone can rank (and be paired with a different result from another domain).  Optimize that same piece of content for similar queries as that same piece of well-optimized content could easily rank for more than just one.

3. Make sure your content has clean formatting.  The average length of a featured snippet is between 40 and 60 words so keep paragraphs within that range. Be logical. Remember, Google trust this piece of content to display it as an authoritative answer.

4. Already be on page one.  Anyone competing for the featured snippet slot must already rank organically on page one of Google

5. Follow best SEO practices, target your keywords in the title and in H tags.

6. Utilize structured data which is a hidden markup code that basically translates to google exactly what the content on the page is.  While structured data is also referred to as “rich snippets” it is not to be confused as synonymous with “featured snippets”. but it definitely contributes to your site’s organic presence.

While Google has put the kibosh on featured snippet domination through multiple placements on page one, ranking zero is still the most primary placement in organic results.  Not only will you be front and center in the SERPS but you could potentially be Siri or Alexa’s answer to any voice queries.

How has the new Google update to featured snippets impacted you?   Comment below.












Macbook with Google Home page

Audience Segmentation, a Celebration!

I am often asked if I prefer SEO over paid advertising and the truth is I don’t lean favorably in either direction.   They are like my two children with overlapping similarities but each unique in their own way.  I love them both and it would be impossible to pick one over the other.   SEO is like the patient and quiet child who keeps to himself while SEM is full of energy and likes to run around the house keeping me on my toes.  Search Engine Optimization is a lot like gardening.  You spend all this time planting seeds, nurturing the soil, watering it and then one day you see sprouts of green coming to the surface.  That moment when you see your hard work finally paying off is so gratifying.  SEO is much the same.  You research keywords and find a golden opportunity with one in particular that gets a considerable amount of search volume but has minimal competition in the SERPS.  You put your heart and soul into a piece of content.  You make it interesting and unique and strategically insert keywords in all the right places.  Then you put it out there.. in the vast wonderland of the world wide web.   You check in on it periodically to see how it’s faring out there on its own.   You gradually see it picking up its own organic links and then that day comes when that piece of content that you worked so hard on makes its way to page one of Google.  That feeling of accomplishment can be a pretty amazing thing and it gets even better when that page monopolizes the top of the SERPS for years to come.   SEO is really the gift that keeps on giving! …

Cool suit guy with audience segmentation in magnifying glass
Magic Touch Media Digital Marketing | SEO | PPC | CRO
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