Category: Tools to Use

Great social media and other communication tools you want to try.


SERP Features and Your SEO Strategy

Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) have gotten more complex. They don’t just display ads at the top and about 10 organic/free results. There are now a variety of SERP features that are included on the first page of results for many searches.

SERP features are heavily used, so they are a worthwhile target for your organic search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

What Are SERP Features?

SERP features are unpaid, organic content shared in a format other than a traditional search result. Features provide answers or other helpful information to users.

In the main centered column of content, common SERP features include:

  • Featured snippet
  • People Also Ask
  • Top Stories
  • Packs: image, video, and local
  • Carousel

In the sidebar, SERP features can be Google Business listings or Knowledge Panels.

What SERP Features Mean for Your Business

Most web content is found via search, mostly using Google. To be visible, your content must be attractive for more than traditional organic search rankings. You must also pay attention to SERP features and how you might leverage them.

Featured Snippets

Featured snippets are excerpts of site content that summarize an answer to a query. Most searchers these days search in the form of questions, so featured snippets are often included in search results.

Featured snippets are presented in a card and may consist of a paragraph, list, table or a video. If your content succinctly answers a common question, you have a chance of being the source of a featured snippet.

People Also Ask

People also ask a list of questions related to the query, presented in accordions. Each question unveils a featured snippet along with additional questions. Essentially, these are collections of featured snippets for related queries. Again, having content that clearly answers common questions can get your content included.

Knowledge Panel

The knowledge panel appears in the right sidebar on some SERPs. It shows attributes of entities (people, places, organizations, things), using information gathered from the web, structured databases, and other sources.

For organizations, knowledge panels usually have high-level information about a company such as leadership names, address and phone number. Most knowledge panels contain important and relevant details — such as the dates of events at a concert venue or the stock price of the company. Google will scrape this information from your website and other sites.

Packs

Images and videos related to a search can be presented in a pack. Tagging non-text content with common keywords and search terms leads to images being included in packs for those terms.

The Impact of SERP Features

Research shows that SERP features are highly used by searchers. They help them get information with fewer clicks, guide them to refine their searches, and more.

User research shows that SERP features grab attention more than traditional search results. SERP features receive special visual emphasis and visual weight on the page. They stand out and attract attention.

Paying attention to the SERP features related to the keywords associated to your business is an important part of your SEO strategy.

Money and your Financial Purpose

Guest Post by Ben Offit, Offit Advisors

I have often seen some of the best financial planning clients – the ones who save and invest regularly, protect their assets, care about their futures and families, and are meticulous about being on track with their finances, and struggle to transition into retirement.

They have done a tremendous job and deserve credit for putting themselves in the fortunate financial position they are in. They have saved and lived within their means for so long, so starting to spend and use their money that they have accumulated feels so foreign to them. They aren’t necessarily depriving themselves, but they aren’t necessarily enjoying their position to the fullest either.

But the reality is that none of us will live forever, and everyone’s day will eventually come, and no one gets a reward for being the richest person in the graveyard. There are also many people who may have an underlying feeling or inkling as to what their purpose in life is or how they may want to use their money, but they don’t fully pursue it. There are many people who are successful with their money, but they also need to be more successful in not missing their opportunity to live their lives and enjoy a life of significance, right now!

Ultimately, everyone can and should utilize their money as a tool to help them enjoy life and realize their life’s purpose.

It’s their money, they have busted their butt to earn, save, and grow it, and as long as they are not jeopardizing their own financial security, they deserve to enjoy their money and utilize it towards fulfilling their life’s purpose today.

If one reaches the point of financial security and can afford to utilize their money, while not disrupting their financial independence, they should strive to take advantage of their position and look for daily opportunities to enjoy life, pursue their dreams, and live their purpose.  For example:

  1. If you want that extra tall coffee at Starbucks, go get it!
  2. If you have always dreamed of going to Fiji, go now!
  3. If you have always wanted to help your Son or Daughter launch a business idea that they have had but couldn’t afford to pursue it, help them now!
  4. If you have always wanted to help end poverty or end cancer, do something about it today!

Enjoy your journey along the way to the top of the financial mountaintop, but also don’t forget to enjoy the view once you get there.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra IS or Kestra AS. The material is for informational purposes only. It represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. It is not guaranteed by Kestra IS or Kestra AS for accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions. It should also not be construed as advice meeting the particular investment needs of any investor. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

About the Author

Ben is a Certified Financial Planner and Principal at Offit Advisors, a full-service financial planning practice whose professionals serve individuals, families, and closely held businesses, through a client-centric approach. The firms possess significant experience, expertise, and resources within a broad range of matters including financial planning, tax planning, investments, and insurance.

Marketing with YouTube

You Tube is so much more than a place to post your videos. It has grown to be a powerful place to market your brand and your expertise. Marketing with YouTube is important for B2B as well as B2C brands.

Some fun facts:

  • YouTube is larger than Facebook in terms of active users
  • YouTube has the second largest volume of daily searches next to Google
  • More than half all marketers (55%) use YouTube as part of their marketing strategy

As with every social channel, YouTube is not the right place for every brand. Not everyone has the budget or know-how to create effective video, and not every brand message translates well to video.

I recently asked my network if YouTube works for them as a marketing tool, and comments like this were common: “I post video content to YouTube and have picked up comments and subscribers from outside of my network.”

So, YouTube is a place with lots of active viewers where you have a good chance of expanding your reach. Like any marketing channel, it’s not as easy as just posting video.

The Downside of YouTube

500 hours of new content is uploaded on YouTube every hour. You’ve got a lot of competition. Your video has to be worthy of attention.

Start by understanding the types of videos that are most popular. When I surveyed my network about their YouTube use, it was clear that most people are looking for video that is a worthwhile investment of the time to watch.

What Gets Watched

Research shows these are the most popular types of YouTube videos:

  • Tutorials/How-To/Educational/Explainer
  • Ask Me Anything (AMA)
  • Product Reviews
  • Whiteboard Videos
  • Listicle/X Best…
  • Challenge/Contest Videos
  • Unboxing an item/exploring product contents
  • Product demo
  • Behind the scenes
  • Program/event teasers
  • Meet the team
  • Q&A
  • Video blogs (Vlogs)
  • Video Podcasts

Of course, what works best is interesting, unique and compelling content.

Marketing with YouTube

Successful marketing with YouTube requires that you consider the channel as a worthy destination. It’s more than your video library.

Take time to set up your YouTube channels as a worthy destination. Be sure to complete your channel profile with keywords and messaging that helps the right people find you there. As with all your marketing, make this channel consistent with the look and feel of your brand online.

As you post videos, complete the information for each that will help people discover your content. Knowing your keywords is as important on YouTube as it is for your website.

Take time to add a video thumbnail that will attract viewers to your content. Leverage YouTube’s built in tools to connect viewers of a video to more of your content.

Be sure to cross promote your video content. Embed your best videos at your website. Promote your channel as well as your content across all of your marketing channels.