What Is GDPR, and How Can It Impact Your Business? [Infographic]

“GDPR” has been a buzzword lately, but it’s an important one. Failure to comply with new European data regulations—even if your business is US-based—could mean serious consequences. Read the full article at MarketingProfs
Source: https://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2019/33908/what-is-gdpr-and-how-can-it-impact-your-business-infographic

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Three Paths for Surging Ahead of the Competition

Market leaders often take one of three paths to beat the competition. See which strategy can work best for your brand. Read the full article at MarketingProfs
Source: https://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2018/34697/three-paths-for-surging-ahead-of-the-competition

How these 10 Trendsetting Companies use Product Tutorials to Activate Every Single Sign Up

If you’re looking to take your business to the next level and help your products stand out, you can’t afford to ignore the power of product tutorials.

Ever tried to use a product without any instructions? It’s not a fun process, is it?

Product tutorials solve that problem by helping current and future customers understand the value of what you’re selling because they showcase exactly how to use it.

But when a product tutorial is too lengthy, too complicated, or doesn’t look like something your customer needs, they might end up abandoning it all together.

And that’s not a good sales strategy for anyone.

Because the end goal isn’t to get a customer, it’s to keep a customer.

And that means creating a product tutorial that makes it super easy for a new customer to start using—and succeed at using—your product.

So much so that they want to keep on using it. You know, forever.

Here are a few companies that did just that.

1. Buffer keeps it simple

The global average for cart abandonment across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices is a staggering 77.24%.

cart abandonment rates across devices

That means there is an extremely likely chance you’ll lose your hard-won customers before they even make it through the onboarding process.

Avoid this classic pitfall by keeping your product tutorial super simple. Just like Buffer.

To get started, you just have to connect your social network accounts.

connect a social account on buffer

And compose your first social media post.

compose a post on buffer

Buffer sends a series of onboarding emails to customers to help them navigate their service, starting with this welcome email:

welcome to buffer onboarding email

The email cross-promotes the Buffer browser extension and provides a brief breakdown of why it’s useful.

A few days later, the company sends a similar email that explains their Android and iOS app.

take buffer with you onboarding email

The entire signup process takes less than five minutes and is virtually foolproof. The onboarding email series guides customers along the way without overwhelming them.

The Co-Founder of Buffer, Leo Widrich, explained it best in this Chargify blog post:

“As entrepreneurs we’re often so excited about the possibilities of our product that we feel like we need to show our customers everything the second they sign up for our product.

Instead of doing that, at Buffer we focused on taking a step back and think about what the most successful customers did when they first joined Buffer.”

Try a similar approach with a series of short onboarding emails about your products and services.

Mint breaks their product tutorials down into small tasks to keep things simple, transparent, and easy.

2. Mint breaks it down into smaller tasks

The goal of many online products is to make something that is ordinarily complex, simple.

Mint, a financial services company, allows customers to view all of their banking accounts, credit cards, loans, investment accounts, and properties in one place.

But to see all of this information in one spot, a user first has to sort through all of their accounts, remember usernames and passwords, and upload them to Mint.

As you can imagine, this can be a rather arduous task.

That’s why Mint breaks up a rather lengthy onboarding process into just one task: Add a bank account.

That’s it. Just one bank account.

see your money in one place mint.com

Once a customer has added an account, they can already see a small picture of their finances.

They already have a taste of success.

It’s so easy—and so gratifying—that it makes them want to do it again. And again.

And the onboarding emails sent by Mint are one of many reasons why the company grew to 1.5 million users in just two years.

Once customers sign up for the service, Mint sends out a welcome email to help users “manage their money” in five short steps.

mint onboarding email

From there, users receive customized weekly emails summarizing their account activity.

mint heres how you're doing

By simplifying a complex process into smaller, more manageable steps, you’ll increase the likelihood that your customer will stick around to complete them.

It doesn’t hurt to have a little fun throughout the process.

3. Canva makes it fun

Virgin America rocked the airline industry when they introduced a safety video people actually wanted to watch.

It was so good that more than 12 million people voluntarily watched it on YouTube—without ever stepping foot on an airplane.

Your product tutorial can be the fun part. Take Canva for example. Their growth process is simple, fun, and proven to work.

canvas growth process

Once the customer opens the program, they’re immediately taken through the process of creating their first Canva design.

The customer can pick what they want to use the design platform for.

canva onboarding

And what they want to design.

canva i want to create a

Then Canva uses animation to show them how to create design elements.

As the customer works their way through the design process, they can choose the colors, fonts, graphics, and design elements they want to create just about anything.

The fun, personalized product tutorial resulted in a 10% boost in activation for the company.

Canva’s emails are just as fun. They list which “Canva member number” that each new user is:

canva thanks for being amazing

You can find similar success by creating exciting product tutorials and onboarding emails.

4. Evernote gets you to start now

As Ankit Jain puts it, “The key to [product tutorial] success is to get the users hooked during that critical first 3-7 day period.”

That means your customer needs to experience a taste of what your product has to offer as quickly as possible.

That’s exactly what Evernote does.

The note-taking program gives customers an opportunity to stay organized while keeping track of their meeting notes.

To get customers hooked, Evernote wants their customers to write their first notes right away.

So the second the customer signs-up there is a note there waiting for them.

evernote getting started

It tells them how to compose their first note and all the fun things they can do with it.
Once the customer starts taking notes, they’ll likely be hooked.

In fact, they might eventually have so many notes that they need to pay for a premium Evernote account.

That’s probably why more than 220 million users use Evernote.

Evernote introduces new users to their service with a series of onboarding emails that teach them how to use the service to its full potential.

evernote tips

The series starts with a welcome email that wastes no time at all. There is a “Download Evernote” button right in the email body.

download evernote email

Cut to the chase quicker, just like Evernote, to activate more of your sign-ups.

5. Maven makes it personal

We know that email marketing is much more effective when it’s personalized. So why aren’t our product tutorials personalized as well?

For example, remember when doctors used to make house calls? Yeah me neither.

Despite the fact that house calls were way before my time, I still yearn for that level of personalized care.

I don’t want to look up answers to my health challenges online. That does nothing to reassure me.

And I don’t want to go to an urgent care clinic where no one knows me. They’ll just prescribe me something I don’t need.

Instead, I want to feel heard. I want to feel as though I’m taken care of.

And that’s exactly what Maven Clinic taps into.

maven homepage in 2018

Maven Clinic allows customers to schedule video appointments with doctors, physical therapists, and mental health professionals.

Even though it operates entirely online, it still feels personal, and they reinforce that level of intimacy throughout the entire product tutorial process.

And the company’s emails follow the exact same tone.

welcome to maven

Maven’s founder, Kate Ryder, says that this personal touch is what makes the company such a success.

“The responses we get from clients after launching Maven are fantastic — they get great feedback from their employees about how this sends a positive message about supporting a family-friendly culture.”

The second a customer signs-up they receive a welcome note from their own personal wellness coordinator.

maven email

The note gives the customer the opportunity to feel welcome, to feel taken care, and to feel as though there is someone available to care for their needs.

This level of personalization is important. Especially in a field as intimate as health care.

Customers want to feel as though they are part of something bigger. They want to feel connected to the world around them.

They don’t want to feel as though they are all alone in the world.

And companies are reaping the benefits. One Maven client offered unlimited maternity leave to employees.

But with the personal features offered by Maven, the longest leave taken was only 7.5 months.

Tap into that emotionality by personalizing your product tutorial.

Customers that feel included are more likely to engage with what you’ve created for them.

6. Asana lets you customize

The point of a product tutorial is not to help you get more customers, it’s to help your customers use—and love—your product.

If your customer goes through your product tutorial only to find that it doesn’t meet their needs, they’re never going to use it again.

But if you use the product tutorial as a way for your customers to customize the experience of your product, that’s a win-win.

Asana, a project management tool, does this brilliantly, which is probably why the company is worth over $600 million.

And because there is an infinite number of reasons a team might need a project management tool, the first thing Asana does is ask the customer to customize it to their needs.

asana signup form

It asks about their teams:

asana onboarding step 2

Their first project:

asana onboarding name of project

And how they want that project laid out.

asana project layout choice onboarding steps

From there, the customer can start adding tasks to their projects.

And by the end of the product tutorial, the customer will have a product that is specifically catered to their needs.

Asana’s welcome emails are just as effective. The headline reads: “What do you need to get done today?”

asana welcome email

The result is that the customer always gets what they want.

And that’s always a winning strategy.

7. Timely has two fields

How many fields do you really need your customers to fill out?

Historically speaking, analysts have recommended using no more than three form fields on a landing page.

Yet so many onboarding processes ask for way too much information. Do you really need your customer’s first name? Last name? Phone number?

Every field you ask your customer to fill out is another chance they might not stick around to get through it.

This is an era of instant gratification we’re living in.

If you don’t need a field, don’t ask for it.

In the case of time management software Timely, they only ask for two fields.

timely signup questions

From there the customer can get right to managing their time.

timely managing time

And if they need more information, there’s an email for that.

timely welcome email

Timely understands what their customers are looking for and they only need two pieces of information to give it to them.

A good product tutorial should do the same. Ask only for what is most vital to getting your customer into your product and engaged with it.

Anything extra is just giving your customer an easy out.

8. Slack gives you the basics

I know. You want to teach your customers all about your product.

After all, you created all of those amazing features and benefits just for them.

But if your product is a little more complicated to use, please don’t try to teach your customer everything they can do with it at once.

Instead, start with just the basics. Give your customer the bare minimum of functionality they need to get started.

Once they’re hooked, you can teach them more. But at the beginning, the last thing you want is for your customer to get overwhelmed and quit.

Take Slack for example. The company has over 5 million daily active users and 1.5 million paid users.

slack 5 million active users

The workplace communication service was designed to roll email, instant messenger, and video chat into one app. And they even do so much more than that.

But they don’t tell you that all at once. Instead, they tell you the three most basic things you can do with their app.

They tell you all about channels:

slack onboarding create a channel

Messages:

slack post a message

And uploads:

slack upload a document

Once you have the basics mastered, Slack tells you how you can learn about the rest when you’re ready:

slack nice work onboarding

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield explained this tactic in an interview:

He said, “It’s less (about) features that are ahead of where the users are and trying to understand” [the need of the customers].

Slack’s onboarding emails keep it basic, too. Their welcome emails are sleek, simple, and get to the point right away.

welcome to slack onboarding email

By keeping to the basics, Slack users can get right to work reading through their channels, sending messages to their co-workers, and uploading important documents.

Once they see the value of your product, they’ll come back for more.

Until then, give them the bare minimum they need to succeed.

9. MailChimp hides their advanced functionality

Most businesses don’t start out with 100,000 customers. In fact, most businesses start out with just one.

Over time they grow and scale and require a lot more functionality than they used to.

But at the beginning, they don’t need all that functionality.

More likely than not, they need only the most basic functionality.

MailChimp gets that. The email platform has every bell and whistle you could possibly imagine.

That’s probably why the company made more than $400 million in 2016 and grew their user base from 12 million to six million in just one year.

They have A/B testing, integration with Salesforce, newsletter sign-up forms, and complex analytics.

But when you’re just starting out, you don’t need any of that.

In fact, when you’re just starting out, all you need is to be able to email your customers.

That’s where Tiny Letter comes in.

mailchimp tinyletter

Tiny Letter is MailChimp’s lite program. All you do is sign-up, upload your existing customers, and send them an email.

That’s all there is to it.

compose message on tinyletter

There’s no analytics. There’s no A/B testing. There are no embedded forms. There are no design elements.

It’s just a simple way for your business to send an email to everyone you want to send an email to.

You can keep using Tiny Letter until you have 5,000 subscribers. But by then you’ll probably want to add a bell or whistle or two.

That’s when MailChimp pulls back the curtain and lets you see all of your deepest desires.

But not a moment before you’re ready to see them.

MailChimp emails are designed to serve the exact same purpose.

mailchimp welcome to the party onboarding email

Online training, a knowledge base, marketing guides, and a blog are listed to help users become acquainted with the service before diving in deeper toward advanced features.

10. Expensify makes it easy

In some cases, it’s relatively easy for a customer to want your product and even to sign-up for it, but then they struggle to roll it out for their employees.

The product tutorial is the perfect opportunity for you to address those concerns.

Take Expensify, who doubled their customer base in six months, for example.

Expensify lets employees submit their expense reports and get reimbursed for them.

But getting employees to start using the program means making it as easy as pie.

expensify dashboard

Expensify simply asks who it should submit receipts to.

expensify who should submit receipts

And when they should be submitted each week.

expensify when should be submitted

That’s it! The employee can immediately start uploading pictures of their receipts.

expensify upload images of receipts

And Expensify will do all the rest.

expensify upload images of receipts

The brand doesn’t even require users to create a password at first. Instead, users can create a password once they receive a welcome email. The entire sign up process is practically infallible.

expensify email confirmation

The easier it is for companies to roll your product out to their employees, the more likely they are to bridge the gap from purchaser to loyal customer.
Mind the gap. Make it easy.

Conclusion

You should be thinking about your customer and what they need from your product. Period.

Find ways to make your product tutorial simple and engaging. Give your customers what they came for. And fast.

Your product tutorial should be so easy and intuitive that anyone can get started. Even your grandmother.

Encourage your customers to take (at least one) action right away, like sending an email.

They’ll be able to see what your product can do. And whether or not they prefer your product to another one.

Keep tutorials simple like Buffer or break things down into actionable, smaller steps like Mint.

Spice tutorials up and make them fun like Canva or make users get started right away like Evernote.

Be personable like Maven or let users customize their experience like Asana.

Timely only has two required fields, which could help you keep onboard customers more effectively. Slack only gives users the basics, which keeps them from becoming overwhelmed.

MailChimp hides advanced features until users are much more experienced, while Expensify makes it easy to sign up for their service right away.

As a result, users of these services can get hooked on using these products and services monthly, weekly, or daily.

That’s what a successful product tutorial should do. It shouldn’t turn your subscribers into churners. It should turn your subscribers into users.

How have you used product tutorials to activate your sign-ups?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.

Source: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/product-tutorials-to-activate-signups/

Featured Snippets: A Data Driven Way to Rank Faster

If SEO were an Olympic sport, it would be race walking.

Everyone is after that first place slot – but it’s a long, slow, and strategic path to getting there.

By now, just about every marketer knows the basics of how to rank.

Find and target the right keywords.

Create high-quality content that your audience is looking for.

Prove time and time again that Google should value your content – and that it’s worth showing off to their users.

It’s a tedious and time-consuming process.

And if you do happen to make it to the top slot, it can be snatched away by a competitor at any moment.

Do you ever wish there was a shortcut that would allow you to breeze right past the competition and secure your slot at the front of the pack?

There is an underutilized market that might allow you to leapfrog your competition in a ranking list.

Featured snippets.

Featured snippets can act like your race track to first place.

By targeting this up-and-coming feature, snippets can help you rank highly in less time.

What are featured snippets?

When searching on Google, have you ever noticed the text boxes that jump out and answer your question before you ever even make it to a website?

Well, that is a featured snippet.

These descriptive boxes flip the traditional Google search result listing around.

Rather than giving you the headline, URL, and website first, you get the information, otherwise known as the “snippet.”

Featured snippets can come in many different forms.

First, we have the paragraph featured snippet.

Do a quick Google search of “why is the sky blue,” and you’ll be met with this result:

why is the sky blue google search results

This box breaks down exactly what makes the sky blue is an example of a featured paragraph snippet.

The paragraph featured snippet is the most basic of all the snippet forms.

However, it’s the standard response to questions like “who is…” and “why is…”

For “how to” questions, you’re likely to get a list featured snippet.

Let’s say you clogged your drain and you’re looking for some help before calling the plumber.

You jump on to Google and search “how to unclog a drain.”

These are probably the results you’ll get…

unclog a drain google search results

Like the paragraph featured snippet, a list featured snippet provides the details first.

While less common, how to questions may also bring up a new kind of featured snippet – a video.

Let’s do a quick search for “how to braid hair.”

how to braid hair rich snippets on google search

The featured snippet you’re given is taken straight from YouTube. You can watch the content right on the results page.

You’ll also notice that the snippet offers additional options to make your search more specific.

These are known as refinement bubbles.

Refinement bubbles help to narrow down your search without needing to start the search over.

Another popular type of featured snippet is the table.

You’re most likely to see a table featured snippet after searching for comparisons or statistics.

Here is the result when you search “biggest growth industries” in Google.

biggest growth industries

As you can see, the CollegeBoard table is pulled directly to the top of the SERP.

Featured snippets like these now appear in about 30% of Google results.

However, featured snippets can cause some complications when it comes time for Google users to go back to your site.

According to a study from Ahrefs, only about 8.6% of clicks go to the featured snippet.

Compared to 19.6% of clicks to the first natural search result, this is a major difference.

average ctr of featured snippets

However, those 8.6% of clicks can still drive a massive wave of traffic to your website if you were previously struggling to reach the top of a SERP.

Featured snippets also have the added benefit of making your content competitive for voice searches.

With an estimated one billion voice searches each month, it’s an area you can’t afford to ignore.

When a user performs a voice search, the response played back to them is often a featured snippet.

In fact, Moz did a study to see how many featured snippet searches would deliver a voice response.

Pulling 1,000 searches that contained featured snippet results, they performed voice searches to see if the response matched.

71% of the time, the answer was yes.

However, they then broke down these results based on type.

Text snippets were 87% likely to be featured as a voice response.

List responses appeared about half the time, while tables only came up about a third of the time.

snippets with voice results by type

When we think about the nature of voice search, this isn’t too surprising.

While lists and tables make for great visual results on a traditional search engine, the ease of reading a snippet makes text much more practical for voice search.

As more and more individuals purchase voice-powered smart speakers, the need for appropriate responses will only become more important to brands.

However, there is no guarantee that you’ll land a featured snippet slot.

Like all things SEO, getting your content placed in a featured snippet slot takes some planning.

Here are the steps you need to follow to secure a featured snippet slot of your own.

1. Create content that answers a direct question

Featured snippets typically appear as a result of a direct question.

Moz posted a study on featured snippets where they compared results using the following question starters.

featured snippet questions

They found that most of these questions delivered paragraph featured snippets.

Questions beginning with “does,” “why,” and “are” resulted in paragraph featured snippets about 99.9% of the time.

“How” and “have” questions resulted in list featured snippets while “which” questions were the highest for table featured snippets.

Let’s take a look at the featured snippet that appears when you search “how to tie a tie.”

how to tie a tie rich snippet on google

When you type this question into the search bar, you’re given a featured snippet.

However, let’s look what happens when you simply search “tie a tie.”

tie a tie google search rich snippet

The results are much more basic.

Rather than the featured snippet, you’re given images and traditional results.

Simply targeting keywords associated with questions isn’t enough. To land the featured snippet placement, you need to be sure to include a direct question.

Let’s look at the way some other questions turn up on Google.

Say I want to learn more about who Mark Cuban is. I go to the search engine and just type in “Mark Cuban.”

This is my result.

mark cuban search result

While I’m able to pull some key information from this listing, the snippet isn’t the primary resource.

However, let’s turn my search into a question.

Here is my result for searching “Who is Mark Cuban.”

who is mark cuban rich snippets

By simply adding the “who is” to my search, we get an entirely new featured snippet.

Again, you’ll notice that the source of the featured snippet is not the same resource from the first search.

To secure the featured snippet placement for yourself, you want to be sure you’re targeting direct questions – not just keywords that may appear within the question.

If you’re trying to secure a list featured snippet, focus on “how to” questions.

Use “which” when trying to target table featured snippets.

Stick to the basics. “Who,” “how,” “why,” “when,” and “where” are all great places to start.

One way to cover a number of questions at once is through an FAQ or Q&A page.

Moz was able to help an orthodontist increase organic sessions to their website by 46.10% by targeting featured snippets through a Q&A.

organic sessions

A FAQ or Q&A page can help you cover many questions without overwhelming your visitors.

By providing short, scannable responses to questions you get asked frequently, you can provide high-value content to your target audience while also increasing your chances of getting a featured snippet slot.

However, you want to be strategic about the questions you target.

Which brings us to our next point…

2. Find the ranking opportunities unique to your audience

What is one of the key best practices when doing SEO?

Keyword research.

But what is one of the most important things to consider when doing keyword research?

Your audience.

If the keywords you target aren’t used by your audience, you may turn up in a search, but you’re not going to get any clicks.

Featured snippets work the same way.

Targeting just any slot is a waste of time and resources.

Instead, you want to get your featured snippets placed at the top of searches your audience is already looking for.

You can identify these ranking opportunities in a few different ways.

First, start with keyword research.

To rank for a featured snippet, you need to be among the Top 10 results for that keyword 99.58% of the time.

To identify snippets you may be able to be featured for, consider what keywords you’re already ranking highly for.

Next, think of a basic question that applies to your industry or business.

For this example, let’s use “what is AI.”

Here are our results.

what is ai google search results

While this doesn’t show a featured snippet, what we do get are some additional questions people are also searching for under “People Also Ask.”

Users can click one of the “People Also Ask” questions and get a short response.

what is ai software google question

These “People also ask” questions can be a great place to start learning about what your audience is looking for.

There are a few different ways you can find the questions your audience is asking.

One of the best places to look is on Quora.

Quora has 190 million monthly users, all asking questions, providing answers, and engaging in conversations.

Here is what you find when you search “what is AI” in Quora.

what is ai quora

In addition to a response, you’re also shown a list of related questions.

Like the “People Also Ask” section from your Google search, these questions can give you an idea of what people want to know.

Another great place to generate potential questions is Answer the Public.

By typing in a keyword, Answer the Public will generate some question responses.

artificial intelligence answer the public

However, these questions are computer-generated without considering important metrics like search volume or popularity.

Based on these suggestions, you’ll want to do additional research to see what questions are actually being asked by your audience.

You can also use the SERPStat tool to pull some additional data about questions.

search questions serpstat

The content marketing section of the tool can break down different search questions associated with the keyword you’ve searched.

This can help you better understand which questions are actually being used and how frequently they’re appearing.

SERPStat also allows you to see which keywords are already displaying featured snippets.

Within the Keyword Selection tool under SEO Research, you can filter results to see only those already featuring snippets.

This can help you hone in even more on the keywords you should target.

Doing the proper research before determining which snippets you’d like to target can increase your chances.

However, you need to remember that you’re trying to connect with your target audience.

Pay close attention to their unique needs or search behavior.

In addition to knowing what keywords and questions are popular with search engines, take a minute to look through social media or other platforms that can give you direct access to your target audience.

The more you learn about your audience, the more likely you are to reach them through a featured snippet.

3. Maintain extremely high-quality content with the right formatting

If you’ve ever done SEO before, you know that keyword placement alone isn’t enough to rank in the top spot.

In fact, there are dozens of on-page, backlink, off-page, and domain factors that are considered in where a piece of content ranks.

On-site factors include everything from domain authority to affiliate links – and this is just the tip of the SEO iceberg.

ranking factors analyzed

However, each factor revolves around one thing – user experience.

When Google decides which results should make the top of the list, it looks at which pieces are most likely to help the user.

The same applies to featured snippets.

If you want your snippet to be featured, you need to produce the best response to the question.

As we mentioned in the first point, your response should be in answer form.

You’ll also want to make sure your response is clear, to the point, and your steps are not extremely detailed.

The results for “how to screenshot on a Mac” are a great example of how you can do this.

take a screenshot google search

Within this featured snippet, we’re able to see the entire four-step process of how you can take a screenshot on a Mac computer.

Each instruction is direct and concise, allowing the user to get the full amount of information right within the SERP.

You’ll see that some steps have an ellipsis.

This indicates that there is additional information that goes with that step, but it isn’t necessary for the instructions.

Keep this in mind when writing out your instructions. Start each point with a sentence that is capable of standing alone.

When formatting this content on your website, you’ll also want to display it as the featured snippet type you’re trying to target.

Here’s what that same bit of information looks like on the Apple Support website.

screenshot directions for mac

While you’ll see there are some additional bits of information, it’s more or less formatted the same as the snippet.

This is particularly crucial for table snippets.

With paragraph snippets, you don’t need to have particular formatting to get featured.

You do, however, need to use concise writing.

Here is a featured paragraph snippet that appears when you search “who is Elon Musk.”

elon musk rich snippet

Within this one paragraph, you get his full biography.

If you’re hoping to target paragraph snippets, then try to fit all your information into two or three sentences.

To further increase your chances, use an H2 header containing the question you’re trying to rank for.

Then immediately after, provide a short and concise response that also contains your targeted keyword.

Structured data, sometimes just called Schema markup, can also help you rank for a featured snippet.

However, you don’t need to have structured data to be ranked.

Structured data just helps Google understand what your content is about. The easier it is for Google to see your value, the more likely you are to rank highly.

You can use the Google Structured Data Markup Helper to get started with your markups.

4. Know the other available answers, then do better.

So, you’ve landed the coveted featured snippet position.

You can finally relax, right?

Nope.

Just like traditional SEO, a featured snippet can be snatched away from you before you even get comfortable.

With competitors making their own strategic movements to land that “0 placement,” you always need to be aware of what they’re doing.

Even if Google deems you the most worthy of that slot for a little while, they’ll constantly be searching the web trying to find someone who can answer the question better.

If you’re not paying attention to the responses your competitors are generating, they may surpass you.

However, SEO competitors aren’t necessarily your business competitors.

This is especially true when users are looking for questions.

Here’s an example.

content marketing serp

When you search “content marketing,” you can select between two posts – one from my site and one from Wikipedia.

While Wikipedia may not be one of my direct business competitors, when it comes to fighting for SEO rankings, we might as well be enemies.

If you’re only monitoring your direct business competitors, more generic response or information pages may sneak up behind you.

There are a few ways you can identify and track these SEO competitors.

First, let’s go back to Google “People Also Ask” questions.

Here are some related questions when searching “what social media is most popular.”

first form of social media

While neither of these responses answers the question of the most popular social media, they’re still responding to the same audience and industry.

Both Small Biz Trends and Statista should be seen as competitors within this space – even if they’re not necessarily your business competitors.

Once you have a list of a few potential competitors, you’ll want to keep your eye on them.

Now, you don’t need to check every blog post they upload.

You don’t need to spend hours trying to scan their social media profiles.

Instead, you can set up alerts so you’ll be notified whenever there is new content on a particular topic.

Google Alerts is your best friend when it comes to tracking specific topics or individuals.

Let’s say you’re Statista wanting to defend your feature for the question “how many users are on social media.”

You might set up a Google Alert that looks a bit like this:

google alerts for social media

Every time a new post containing the phrase “how many users are on social media” is uploaded, Google will send you a message or deliver the content to an RSS feed.

Here is an example of some of the results you may get.

how many people on social questions

Google Alerts also gives you some options to create an alert that fits your unique needs.

If you’re looking for only results in a specific language, only blog posts, or even only posts coming from a certain region, you can narrow your alerts down.

You’ll want to create a few different alerts around the featured snippet questions you’re targeting.

In this case, you may also want to establish alerts for phrases like “social media users,” “number of Facebook users,” or “how many users on Twitter.”

Conclusion

Slow and steady may win the race when it comes to traditional SEO, but featured snippets are here to shake things up.

As snippets become more and more popular and new forms of featured snippets are rolled out, the competition will only grow.

By appealing to these newer areas of SERPs early on, you can leapfrog your competition – getting you more search engine traffic faster.

How have you used featured snippets to increase awareness or website traffic?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.

Source: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/featured-snippets/

What Is Dropshipping, and Is It Best for Your Online Retail Business?

E-commerce businesses have options for shipping: do it yourself, outsource to a fulfillment center, or dropship. Explore the pros and cons of each to find the right option for your company. Read the full article at MarketingProfs
Source: https://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2018/34683/what-is-dropshipping-and-is-it-best-for-your-online-retail-business