Working in the digital world, you get to learn what SEO is and what it entails. But not everyone follows this path, and the technical aspects of a successful campaign aren’t always crystal clear.
It only gets more confusing when Google decides to update their system over and over for the benefit of the user—and sometimes for the benefit of the SEO-ers… which is the case this time!
Before we get into that here’s a peek at what’s to come:
- Google unveils an update that will benefit content marketing and SEO efforts
- The value of SEO reporting increases with storytelling features
- Unicorn growth relies on two growth channels, the first — SEO
GIFs, memes, videos and posts—we all know that content has played a serious role in shaping the culture around us. At Foundation, we believe that content can shape culture for the good.
If you feel the same or know someone who is looking to work with a digital marketing agency that is actively shaping culture in some of the fastest growing industries today check out our job postings.
We are growing like never before and want you to get on board. 🚀🚀🚀
Google’s Passage Ranking Update Favours Content Marketers
Google just went live, on February 11, with “Passage Ranking” as they call it.
Here’s a high-level look at what’s happening:
Google is going to start ranking pages that have individual sections covering a specific topic, even if the overall page itself is talking about a broader topic. 🙏
For Example: If we have a post on “Landing Page Strategies” — big topic — and within that post, we have a section on “Landing Page Copywriting Strategies” — smaller topic — Google’s going to be able to understand that our post could be helpful for folks looking up landing page copywriting strategies as well, even though the overall post itself isn’t talking about “copywriting” in the title.
It’s bad news for the spammy SEOs who try to game the algorithms with not-so-accurate page titles slapped on top of bad content. But — this is great news for quality content creators. 🚀
It’s going to be more important now than ever to make sure content is STRUCTURED well — H2’s and H3’s are hitting on relevant subtopics, the content in those sections is good enough to stand on its own, etc.
This piece has been brought to you by our content marketer & SEO expert Josh Gallant.
- Well-structured content is now more important than ever
- Google will begin to rank passages as well as overall blog content
- Focus on creating valuable content on subtopics to create greater SEO opportunities
Invigorate SEO Reports with Storytelling
With Google’s rollout of passage ranking, SEO is getting increasingly more interesting and important.
SEO reports can be confusing to clients that aren’t well versed in the subject matter. Now, one piece of quality content can rank for multiple sub-topics which can lead to added confusion. This means SEO reports need to be clear, well-structured and presented in a way that is easily understood by all clients.
Moz has provided a list of five tips to revive basic SEO reports with storytelling, to ensure you are sending out and creating beautiful, compelling, and clear reports.
- Organic impressions, clicks, and CTR
Bringing it back to the basics, high-level metrics offer a starting point to talk about changes in market trends and user behaviour.
It allows for upsell opportunities and for you to display your SEO prowess when discussing how everything is interconnected.
- Keyword ranking
It’s a no-brainer to include keyword performance and ranking in SEO reports. This helps to highlight the results of the SEO efforts and kick off conversations around user intent, while also linking SEO strategies back to business goals.
Using keyword ranking data is a great way to connect the big picture goal to the specific SEO tactics that are underway.
- Describe how people engage with your content
To some clients, SEO is a hodgepodge of strategies and abstract actions. To those who work in SEO, the domino effect of results is quite straightforward.
Including concrete terms, visuals, stories, and explanations in your reports is a great way to build trust, understanding, and deliver the results of all SEO efforts.
- Google Analytics events
Google Analytics works with Google Tag Manager to show the impact of SEO and CRO strategies on user behaviour as they enter your website. Although this may not be the majority focus of an SEO report, incorporating user behaviour helps to show how people are engaging with on-page content.
One way to identify the success of on-page SEO is to go through the clicks tracked on specific CTAs on individual pages to see which returns the greatest results – this is a great technique to optimize and A|B test on-page experience.
- Add local SEO info
Local SEO metrics are essential to local business owners. If this describes a business you’re working with, be sure to include plenty of these metrics in your reporting. Point to the metrics that matter most to the business owners.
Providing local SEO information in reports can lead to additional services like outreach, page optimization, and tailored blogging for a local audience.
- Don’t lose clients or forfeit upsell opportunities with bland SEO reports
- Including concrete terms, visuals, stories, and explanations in your reports is a great way to build trust, understanding, and deliver the results of all SEO efforts.
- Providing clear and understandable SEO reports to clients help to highlight the success of campaigns. Using storytelling techniques is a great way to achieve this for clients that aren’t well versed in SEO.
Unicorn Companies’ Growth is Accredited to Two Channels
Scaled growth is not always easily achievable.
Unicorn companies rely on multiple significant acquisition channels, but two stand out as most common.
SEO and referrals. And this week we are talking SEO.
Due to the 3.5 billion searches that occur every day on Google or should I say, 3.5 billion free chances to show up to users. SEO is a highly scalable channel as costs don’t increase with user acquisitions.
Unicorn companies aim their SEO efforts at scaled landing pages. Ross has written about the Airbnb content moat previously which is a testament to the importance of scaleable landing pages.
Beyond landing pages, achieving SEO at scale falls on one main requirement: having a growing base of quality user-generated text content.
Search trends are forever changing and it’s important to create relevant and fresh content. You can always update content (not just the title) and include modifiers like “new” or “2021” to refresh the piece.
More important than refreshing content is creating QUALITY content. Ask yourself, “does this piece answer [search query] in a way that is better than any other answer out there?”
If your answer is no, think of how to turn that into a yes – otherwise your hopes of ranking go out the window.
Where does user-generated content come into play?
According to Jeff Chang, of the Growth Engineering Blog, the number of pages needed to earn 1M organic site visits a day ranges from 10 to 100 thousand.
Unless you have a highly dedicated and large in-house content team, producing that level of content isn’t achievable.
User-generated content can come from guest posting authors, freelance writers, community discussion boards, posts by community members, or question/answer pages. As long as they are offering quality text information on site, you have unlocked SEO opportunities.
Quality text is key to unlocking SEO opportunities.
Google bots love to read, making text copy the most beneficial way to have your content understood. Images help for user readability, but if that image doesn’t somehow work for image-based queries it won’t offer much SEO value.
Most scaled landing pages have many sections, varying content forms (with alt descriptions), and various targeted keywords on them which is done to increase the text footprint of the page. By having text, lots of quality text, on your page you are entering the race for a wider array of queries.
(Referrals will be covered next week 😉)
- Quality text is the best way to increase your chances of getting noticed organically
- SEO is a highly scalable channel when done well through landing pages and copious content
- User-generated content (audience-based or freelanced) will best support the efforts of creating the content needed to successfully scale
OTHER NEWS OF THE WEEK:
💰 Synthetix provides a financial trading platform where users can create and trade synthetic assets and commodities; it has recently raised $12M in funding to expand its business reach and recruit talent.
💻 Raising $13M in Series A funding, Zomentum is working to create a platform that allows IT partners to amalgamate their entire sales process to close more sales and increase revenue.
📊 Lots of annotated data is required to train AI and machine learning algorithms, but most data is presented unannotated. To free up human resources and limit human error Labelbox has created a tool for data labelling annotating and has raised a total of $79M in investor funding.
BRAIN FOOD OF THE WEEK:
Designed to be a safety alert panic button, a Canadian company, Tektelic Communications, has revamped its wearable technology device to work for COVID tracking.
Now, this piece of wearable tech is being blended with a freight tracking app into a Distance Guard Device (DGD). The DGD will be able to track how close employees are getting to one another, emit a noise notification when two devices are closer than six-foot proximity, track when contact occurs, and also who the contact occurs between.
Not to replace the federal and provincial COVID tracking apps, the DGD is another safeguard in contact tracing for in-person warehouse workers working in close contact during the pandemic.
TWITTER THREAD OF THE WEEK:
WHAT WE’RE WIRED INTO THIS WEEK 🎧:
Originally Sent Out Thursday, February 18, 2021. Stay up to date with all of our latest findings by subscribing to our newsletter today. Signing up also gives you early access to Ross’ Tuesday essay full of exclusive industry insights.