Research is one of the most essential – and misunderstood – elements of the content distribution strategy.
Current algorithms offsets initiated by search engines make it difficult to be sure that you are doing everything in your power to optimize the performance of the content.
As part of the new CMI video series titled Mastering Content Marketing, we asked Courtney Cox Wakefield Digital Marketing Manager at Children & # 39; s Health, to give his perspective on the trends shaping the research landscape, as well as challenges and reserving them for content marketing.
You will find highlights of our filmed conversation at Content Marketing World 2018 in the video below. Continue reading for a more detailed analysis of some of the key issues discussed by Courtney. I also suggest some steps you can take to preserve the influence and authority of your brand on research, even in the face of Google's attacks on building outbound links.
New ranking factors rock the boat
One of the most discussed changes in the world of research this year was Google's transition to the first indexed site for mobile that is to say Exploring the mobile version of a site page to analyze the content and determine its ranking rather than using the desktop version.
Although Google insists that the inclusion of your site's content in its first mobile index is not taken into account in its ranking algorithm, the company notes (in a series of tweets ) that the content of the site is (and will continue to be) a ranking factor.
Courtney offers to understand what this change could mean for marketers:
Mobile is really the last thing that had a big impact, because Google was first looking at the factors related to our desktops – so, what was happening on our desktop – to determine how they were going to classify us. Recently, over the last year, they slowly started implementing the "mobile first" ranking; so they just say, "OK, let's first look at ranking factors for mobile devices. What are you doing on mobile, on your mobile site? Whether it's a responsive site, a separate mobile experience or the lack of a mobile experience, they will rank each search based on these mobile experiences.
Consider: In his analysis of the subject, the SEO strategist Mike Murray claims that, that the mobile-first index directly affects the ranking, the fact that Google has strongly changed its priorities suggests that compliance with the high standards of user-friendliness for mobile and content be be something that marketers should pay particular attention to.
RELATED HANDPICKED CONTENT: The loading time of pages is not always the culprit of mediocre SEO rankings
Last word on the voice
It already seems that the booming market of smart speakers is having a major impact on consumers' search for information. For example, data from Alpine.AI reveal that over a billion voice searches are performed each month and comScore estimates that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be based on the voice.
Why is it important for consumers to search for information with the help of their voice or fingers? Well, on the one hand (as I point out in my recent in-depth analysis of voice technology ), PDAs provide only one search result per survey.
This makes reaching the coveted SERP summit much more important. This also complicates the achievement of this critical goal – and measuring the impact of your content progress to achieve it -. Courtney admits the industry is not sufficiently prepared to handle:
The voice, which we can do for the moment, is limited because we do not have much measure for the voice. This is not separate in Google Analytics. We can not say many things, OK, I know it works because I can refer to this measure which shows that my voice traffic is increasing. The number of impressions I receive for the voice increases. We do not have these things. What we need to look at is these proxy metrics, which nobody really likes, but they are there and that's what we're stuck with for now.
RELATED HAND CONTENT:
Google devour your lunch?
Since the beginning of the research, an altruistic exchange is under way between content marketers and the big G: the brands allow search robots to explore and index the content of their content free of charge. sites to provide useful information and customer responses. Engine Result Pages (SERP) to provide. In turn, Google offers outbound links that refer to the pages of the site marketers so that brands can benefit from the extra attention and continue the conversation on their own territory.
But Google (and other search engines) started slowly and sneakily to stall the system against content creators by developing click-free features that ensure the consumer's journey remains firmly in the walled garden from Google. The increased importance of Google's self-hosted solutions – including its answering machines and excerpts its publications and knowledge panels – can provide greater comfort to consumers seeking immediate satisfaction. By breaking the terms of this undeclared social contract and eliminating any organic reach, Google is leaving content marketers the choice to make some policy changes themselves.
In his recent presentation at Brighton SEO Rand Fishkin, research expert and CEO of SparkToro, admits it will not be easy for content marketers to keep Google goliath at bay, but it proposes brands of strategic and tactical movements. should prioritize their content optimization efforts. They include:
Focus on tools, interactive features, data-driven narratives, and other types of content experiences that generate clicks rather than providing quick responses
Doubling the creation of the brand application to encourage consumers to search for you directly (rather than using general keywords for which you could be ranked or not)
Content creation for platforms that Google prioritizes (for example, YouTube, G News, Google Maps)
Build brand profiles on sites that occupy a prominent place in your space and / or create content partnerships with influential publishers that dominate the SERP for your most-used keywords
Think beyond the metrics based on the SERP
While Google appears to be in the process of cannibalizing brand traffic, another area in which Courtney thinks marketers need to make urgent changes is:
As a business, we spent a lot of time using clicks and traffic as an indicator of success. We also called vanity metrics but I think that clicks and traffic are vanity metrics. In the end, the only real indicator is the return on investment. What do you win with that?
This may be accurate from the point of view of search engine marketing (SEM); However, in the world of content marketing, switching from a click on a SERP to a sale is not as straightforward as it could be with pay-per-click advertising. It is there that some of the weaker ranking factors – influence and authority – are likely to come into play – something that Courtney acknowledges and addresses:
As a marketing industry, we're going to have to change a lot so we can lose clicks – and that's okay because we're developing influence, and that's the most important thing.
And this is where becoming more proficient in content marketing has a distinct advantage over marketing techniques such as SEM, as it encourages consumers to consider your brand as the inescapable source of information valuable and reliable on the subject. at hand. As Courtney says:
Just because you do not get a click does not mean you do not create influence. This does not mean that someone does not see you as a source of where this content comes from. So what if they get their answer there? If they find that the recipe they're studying comes from allrecipes.com, well, next time they'll need a recipe, they'll just be able to jump directly to allrecipes.com . It's really difficult to track that success until you appear in the answer box. Ultimately, it strengthens the influence and encourages more people to search for your brand in the future.
It is not because you do not get a click from the SERP that you are not building influence. @CourtEWakefield Click to Tweet
RELATED CONTENT HANDPICKED: Do you measure your content marketing correctly?
Conclusion of the content
Even if you can not compete with Google's self-directed strategic changes and ongoing algorithm adjustments, your business will still derive great benefits from the exchange of research value – as long as you focus less on click counting and more on content creation. experiences that meet the underlying needs of consumers. As Courtney advises:
One aspect of SEO is to make sure that people stay interested in your content, that they do not leave the site, that they do not come back to the search engine results page, and that they click on another person. Google follows this type of behavior. They know that people are not happy with the content on your page. Build engaging content, like what Drew (Davis) talked about in his main session (Content Marketing World); and make sure people are engaged, that you keep that tension, that you actually answer their question, but that you get a big paycheck in the end, it's so important. Even though it's not a direct ranking factor, it influences a ranking factor that can really make the difference to your content and rankings.
Do you have a topic you would like our team to address in a future installment of the Mastering Content Marketing series? We would like to see your suggestions in the comments.
RELATED HAND CONTENT:
Courtney presented at Content Marketing World 2018. Will you be a presenter at CMWorld 2019? The proposals of the speakers are expected by December 14, 2018. Submit yours today .
Cover image of Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute