SERP Analysis for Content Strategy

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[Music] as noted we kind of help our focus is content marketing with specialty and SEO...
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[Music] as noted we kind of help our focus is content marketing with specialty and SEO so a lot of our thought process goes around creating what I describe like a single asset on the web and trying to get that to rank for something so what we do on a constant basis and I'm sure a lot of you is SEO and digital marketing practitioners is analyze the search result and figure out the right recommendation of what that search result needs in order to rank best on that specific search so every search result I think especially in today's world maybe not as much five years ago it tells a story it's a lot going on sometimes a lot of complexity to it that as an SEO this is where we add value is kind of getting to know that search result and seeing what's there is it news is that images is that future snippets is there image is there video there are you seeing timestamps there what kind of title tags
Are being listed on that specific keyword all of those things are going to...
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are being listed on that specific keyword all of those things are going to inform your strategy as a whole and what you pick and at least in my opinion in order to rank best on that search result so I think as from a content strategy point of view you have to do that sir analysis and be feel comfortable in doing it and every single search result that exists in order to feel the most confidence that you can rank so in this presentation I'm going to run through several different search results things you can learn from those how to analyze them and kind of the lessons I think you can apply it's your day to day so the first is how to tie a tie I don't know how to tie a tie so I frequently go to this to look and see the different intent someone might have so there are many different users on certain search results that have different intentions so maybe some people want to watch a video some people want illustration according to Google or some people want that quick answer of how to do that also there's basic text posts as well that inform that intent where maybe someone is in some area where they can't play
Audio and they can't hear that instruction they might want to get the...
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audio and they can't hear that instruction they might want to get the illustration instead so there's a lesson there to be had and there's one way of doing it is you can rank on page four and create something that's Tec space and has some Thai illustrations and yes you sort of solve for that but based on this search result I don't believe you'll win based on that you have to hit every intent in order to have the highest confidence that you'll show up a video is obviously another example as I spoke to we see that and believe that it is an important thing on that search result because Google is showing it as a percentage of that overall and it's all these kind of like indicators and percentages of that search result that I think inform what we believe we should have on each search result or content asset that we create and as you can see both rank YouTube ranks we see illustrations from images on the bottom a basic text post is showing up or at least is a percentage of that but if we want to have confidence again I think the blend of those things are necessary and it's not just necessary it's those who do this
Quickly that I believe have the best chance of winning I think this matters...
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quickly that I believe have the best chance of winning I think this matters specifically here because we're also seeing a quick answer and in general more and more people Google wants to surface quick results so you have to give an answer and do it in a quick fashion so who does that that's Thais calm that's the first result this is kind of the three elements that are present on their page first you can't see the play button there but there's actually a video above the fold they solve for that even though it's a text link they solve for that intent of that person additionally they have a very quick text instruction that oftentimes gets pulled in the quick answer not always they're also solving with illustration as well because if you're that person you can't play audio you could just scroll down and hopefully be able to take that intuition from that text so I believe they rank well here and consistently guess one because they're Thais calm but also because they match every single thing that a user might want on this search result so us as SEO is must have come to bat with all three of these intents in order to have the best conference that we might rank so main takeaway there being you need to
Have content that maps to each element of the search result and in order to...
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have content that maps to each element of the search result and in order to have the highest confidence that you can rank for that said search so another example would be flower quotes flower quotes is a search you look at this on the surface you might think people just want the text list of flower quotes maybe a specific additional one or two images that makes it look nice scannable things like that but on quicker or on deeper inference of the search result we can take some clues based on the structure so one we see an image at the top right with a quote on it additionally Google has decided to show images as a second result on that search result and what that tells me is people are clicking one image tab more often and therefore wanting to get image quote inspiration or two they're clicking this more often and over time it's slowly moved up which means to me users actually want images more often on the search result than not so if you're not creating those images you're not going to have the the probability of ranking
As highly I think as a general equation the higher priority importance on the...
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as highly I think as a general equation the higher priority importance on the search result I think it's showing it's Google yelling at us put more images put News make it fresh make it scannable because they're saying that users are clicking these things engaging with these things and therefore if you want to be show up you have to solve for that intent and I you can see also brainy quote here's the number one result you click through it's not just basic text there are also showing images further quotes shareable things that you can share and pin all those things so my intuition my thought process based on this is if you don't create shareable images of things people can pin your share in some way or even scan and look at you're going to lose on this search result specifically and it's just not one or two images which may be on the service level you might have thought but at deeper glance you actually might need a lot of those in order to compete yes you still need text and copy that's unique in order to rank but there's
Something about the search result which if you think about it on a deeper level...
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something about the search result which if you think about it on a deeper level maybe it makes more sense maybe people searching flower quotes more often might be female if I'm making that guess maybe they share on Pinterest more often maybe they want more visual inspiration that's compared to something like motivational quotes maybe there's more images there or business quotes there might not be as many images but this specific search gives clues about what people want them not on the surface you might not realize so my take away based on this and and analysis is look at the proximity to the top of the page on a search result to inform what should be included and also what needs to be great in order to get those rankings sustainably best headphones is another interesting search result news results we also see timestamps littered all across this makes sense it's technology there's dates people want the newest and best headphones that exist when they do a search like this but what I think is interesting about this is not just the idea of freshness because I think in the
SEO world people say freshness all the time I think it's the degree of freshness...
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SEO world people say freshness all the time I think it's the degree of freshness which is interesting and can be analyzed on the search result which then informs our content strategy so I think when you look at this you see the news but also you see literally the results on this page have been updated in the last month when I took the screenshot there's fresh results that are a lot of dates that are maybe within the last year but this takes it up another notch and showing the last month so in my opinion in order to compete here you have to either update or QA and update your timestamps at least once a month in order to compete on the search result that doesn't mean you necessarily have to update the whole thing but you need to be constantly at least looking at it making sure to procs on are dated maybe there's a new product out there because if you're a user the reason this is happening is because people want the newest best headphones and also they're not clicking things that are older than a month because this is so quickly changing that people want the things that are less than a month so even if you're still a good result for best headphones that's over 30 days old
You're gonna get less clicks and we believe that google uses that as an...
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you're gonna get less clicks and we believe that google uses that as an engagement signal that's gonna move you down overall so my strategy based on looking at this analysis would be to look at the top 30 and create a strategy to update the timestamp once a month maybe you completely update the entire posts once every six months or even quarter obviously if a new product comes out it makes sense to include that but that's how I would interpret the search result based on the kind of queries that are there and the other thing that I think is interesting on this search results specifically is you can't rank as a first party here very reliably reliably best type searches tend to be curative users want authoritative source generally a publisher who gives that opinion it Kapila people come to us a lot that our first party is and they say we want to rank for best shampoo and they offer shampoo and I say you can't rank for that you can create a product that's so great we can work with you to work with the publishers to get on these posts but you can't directly rank there
Just because that's the nature of that semantic fit what users want they want...
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just because that's the nature of that semantic fit what users want they want the curative result from that and there are exceptions you might see one person there even Best Buy is not truly a publisher I believe they have some benefit because the URL is best and it has that and that's going to help them but overall I think 9 out of 10 times you're not going to get on this unless you're a publisher so you should probably find an alternative strategy to show up there and lean on publishers in some way as a first party in order to get those rankings so take away their use the timestamp trends on the search results to inform your update strategy and you must be updating post states in some way especially if you're on these competitive search results in order to compete another interesting one is how to fly a kite so we looked at how to tie a tie before kind of similar people want video they want text there's some brands on the search result there's some people also ask I think what's interesting on this one is there's a brand national kite month which shows up here ranks number
One actually and in the users perception even though they're not a real brand I...
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one actually and in the users perception even though they're not a real brand I think this is a non-competitive search result people might click that more often it feels like organization it feels like a non-profit in some way people probably will click that the problem is this is not good content this is hard to scan it looks poor they sort of get the quick answer that's not an optimal quick answer in my opinion at all that said they win and the problem is brands can't break the search results and rank sometimes and alternatively kind of nudge their way up on some things like this especially on less competitive search results that doesn't mean we should rely on that as SEO so we should instead I think map to all these strategies you know as a whole in order to best rank and also just know that you shouldn't use national kite month to inform your content strategy because this is a bad post-its are is not good visual no video etc etc so as an SEO I think especially one who wants to be great or a digital marker or however you define yourself you shouldn't leverage that but
You should be aware of obviously the brand advantage people have and their...
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you should be aware of obviously the brand advantage people have and their search results marking automation pulling it back to b2b another interesting one I think this one is interesting it's two to three word term to two-word term obviously but you see a lot of definitional type searches what is marketing automation Wikipedia is functionally definitional people also ask is a lot of definitions at the end we see some tools kind of sprinkled in there as well and you get further down you get even more it actually ramps up but at the top there's clearly a want to or users are clicking tools or definitions more often so what I think is interesting is the general framework this search pads it's a jargon term is how I would describe it a two to three word jargon term so what I would mean by that is like industry specific the average person doesn't know what that is I think most of these searchers also will have this exact framework where it's a what is type search when you remove the what is part of it most of time that will be searched volume for what is but if you
Remove that you'll also get right you'll be able to rank for this by creating a...
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remove that you'll also get right you'll be able to rank for this by creating a what is type definitional search experience because I think a lot of people are just like what is it's another way of saying what is without saying what it is is bringing in the short tail version of that so you could map this to whatever two to three word jargon term space you want to rank for off seas or highly valuable terms a lot of the time and they all sort of look like this in some way another thing that's interesting is that sometimes you might not want to call your post what is inbound marketing what is SEO that's not always super linkable or shareable there's other ways of doing it for example Moz specifically they have the beginner's guide to SEO which there may be a lot of you have seen they rank for SEO that is a one-word jargon term in this case but it's still very definitional in its nature if I was building that guide and I decided that I wanted to structure it that way not call it what is SEO guide that's not as exciting or shareable what you could do there is create an h1 very high on that
Post and have that be or h2 rather defining that definition...
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post and have that be or h2 rather defining that definition because you're matching to that user content of the two to three were jargon term where they want to find this information near the top they were coming to these searches to find that definition even if you don't call the post that you have to solve for that intent high up or you're not going to be able to rank and similarly the next piece of this is solving for the quick answer so a framework I've thought about and it's just if you think about quick answers in general is the idea of what would a robot or a spider extract from a page confidently and know that that's a quick answer in this case I believe a definition is what is X is keyword here and then the first sentence needs to be X is blank a lot of people make the mistake of making X is blank some kind of like fluff story or something like that you can imagine if you're a spider or a robot crawling the web would you be confident and be able to pull out two to three sentences about this in the quick answer that would confidently be a
Definition more reliably you are more reliably close you are to that h2 to...
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definition more reliably you are more reliably close you are to that h2 to that that statement what is it about marketing a definitions right about to come after this and then you lead with the framework that a normal definition would have more likely it is they would return that in the quick answer obviously you don't always see this you're gonna see some broken disconnects of how Google shows us in quick answers but my recommendation for most definition type queries is either call to post this and lead with keyword is blank or then do an overarching guide start with an h2 that says this and then say keyword is blank and you'll get pulled into the quick answer a good percentage of the time I can't guarantee you're gonna win but that makes a lot of sense intuitively to me and we've seen success in doing that so in addition on this search specifically we saw those tools so a natural framework here would be define what is in marketing automation you could have that post and for the beginner you could then sequence into a list of tools that they should start looking
About looking at thinking about and think about including on their posts but...
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about looking at thinking about and think about including on their posts but if I was building this as someone who had the authority to rank I'd probably call it what is marketing automation and then maybe say over reach overview and tool as a title or something like that so you're matching boats in tents people might click you and both in tents that's gonna help your quickly rate your engagement etc and an overall hopefully best map to every single searcher which in turn should help your user engagement signals so long story short two to three word jargon terms sometimes one it doesn't have to be two three actually now that I think about this but normally it's one two three in some way it's like kind of complex term they use what I would use what is is a primary element and then right after that create an X is framework instead of going into some story or fluff make it very direct punch them in the face with that definition and you're more likely to actually get that quick answer it's unfortunately you have to do it that way which is kind of the nature of the beast with these search results living room my ideas
Going back to be to see a lot of image results inspiration quick answer again...
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going back to be to see a lot of image results inspiration quick answer again people trying to get quick ideas even though I don't think that's a great result in my opinion you see also the list numbers on these results high numbers I think inspiration type searches you're gonna want to aim to get the best amount of listings that can be difficult sometimes but it may be it's 50 ideas in this case which would do two things one if I'm a user wanting aspiration I might want to click that more often second the content depth will keep them on site longer than these other sites will based on an engagement kind of metric like if I'm yeah I would think our content will be longer more engaged in etc because it's 50 also I might click this because it's 50 all those things in total pretty simple one but it's kind of one we use as a rubric is in inspiration type searches look for the best in class title plus content combination in order to rank consistently well but on the converse side of that is a search like email marketing tools this one is a little bit
Different in that you if you guys have heard of the skyscraper technique which...
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different in that you if you guys have heard of the skyscraper technique which is to make the best thing on the search result make it so much better than everything else and some people might go the route of building 300 tools that you should check out for an email marketing I think that's a misapplication of the rule and sometimes you can't actually add value pass 2:22 I do think an inspiration is possible but here you get about like even SEO tools if you there's probably a core seven to ten that you would probably tell that first person that starts at your company and then the next forty tools are less valuable less useful and I think that finds its way into the search result now users are more likely to click things that have a solemnity number of searches or I live in a number of tools because they want that quick punchy give me the ten tools I really need today not the hundred tools just because I read that on Brian Dean's blog that I need to create a skyscraper or what-have-you so that's where I think this search result differs and in most software spaces it's more of a limited curation where you want a small number of tools
Really punched at home show your authority of why they should believe you...
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really punched at home show your authority of why they should believe you when they give you those ten to fifteen tools and yes there are exceptions to these kind of things where there are big massive posts that rank I think that doesn't mean it's necessarily the best user experience it might be some combination of domain Authority or something else Brian Dean specifically actually did put a post that has like 200 tools but he also gives you some filter options to like Brian's picks at the end of the day so there's that combination I think if you're really trying to rank for this you need high demand Authority and a limited number is actually what people want from these results so it's kind of counterintuitive but it's kind of the nature of the beast on these results but you can see how that counter is against what we just said we saw the UX difference of the tools and then the living-room ideas had very high numbers if you compare these two search results I think the mental signifier we can use here is actually the images up here left means visual inspiration right is just more curative small list because if I'm there's no definitive answer for most
Ideas terms its inspiration it's a multiple different options available to...
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ideas terms its inspiration it's a multiple different options available to people with software it's a little more limited obviously at some personal opinion but with inspiration you hypothetically can go for a while in terms of the number of things you can do and I think the images show there is no absolute right answer for every person for living room ideas therefore more results on average makes sense and people might click that more often because of that but this email marketing tool side does not have any like thing to click or is no usual images that google showing us there obviously it's software so it's a little obvious on that side you see how the constructs of these two search results inform also our strategy for titles and the content as well so long story short on that one know when to shoot for the highest number know when not to know when to bring it home with a shorter piece of content because that's really what it makes sense for that asset and click answer specifically and taken away from the specific search results I think there are also interesting things there we can learn as
Well I have the specific theory and this is where I goes back to I can't really...
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well I have the specific theory and this is where I goes back to I can't really guarantee you that you can get a quick quick answer so I think they're actually a be testing search results it makes sense to me because if I'm Google I want to make more money from ads I'm going to a be tested things most least likely to make me click something actually that's sorry that right one is a mistake screenshot but focus on the left basically the idea is that they might want to show quick answers that makes you click ads more often or do more searches more often because the more searches you do on average the more likely you're going to click an ad the whole reason they do quick answers is so you do more searches yes it's good for users as well but you might do more searches which in turn click more ads and here specifically I was thinking about this I was like if I was Google and we saw who's advertising on that top result and you you were kind of at the whim of who's bidding up there as a quick answer if they're trying to show the thing least likely to drive a click
Because if you're mapping to something that's in that ad section you're...
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because if you're mapping to something that's in that ad section you're probably more likely to not drive a click which is actually what they want because you if you're saying Bo's is the best headphones the most 35 are the best headphones in that quick answer your authoritative in some way to a user your Forbes and then you see the quick answer shopping result a bit for a percentage of people they're just going to click that at it and never going to click your site so I have the feeling that there's some benefit to kind of aligning to who is in the the ad section because if your quick answer in some way aligns and still quick it is a quick answer to whatever that thing is there's probably a higher percentage chance they're going to drive less clicks but maybe more likely stick there so hopefully be a benefit to your business which in turn would get you just stick there so Google is a be testing these search results if that's accurate and you're seeing the people that are bidding there and your quick
Answers show what's bidding there you're less likely to click it therefore they...
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answers show what's bidding there you're less likely to click it therefore they might have you stick there which is a bummer overall we're trying to solve for Less clicks but it's a reality that they're gonna do that so we have to play with what we're we're given and I believe that makes sense on that search result that if we think about what's what's there you can potentially inform an even better optimized QA to get more stickiness there unfortunately just because that's the way Google is playing the game today and of course this is just what theory I mean you guys are probably seeing the quick answer is getting rotated in and out it makes sense to me that even if you're following a good process someone else does something new they want to do that test to see if it drops clicks on average therefore these kinds of things could be in plays if you're up against someone who's bidding a lot up top and not every search results going to be the same could be more possible that you could do something smart there to make sure you stick is a quick answer waffle recipes takes it to another level it's
Actually what I would describe is a quick Meta Description I hear they have...
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actually what I would describe is a quick Meta Description I hear they have a quick answer already I didn't show this Queen screenshot of that you can see they're actually doing the same thing they actually pulling the most quick answers is they'll take the steps of how to create waffles and put it there and they do this a lot on search results like this and you'll see it because most of the Medus shion's get extended in some way they're higher they're trying to answer how to cook waffles without having to ever click something it's a bummer for us but it gives you better click-through rate to solve through that and also it's just the name of the game and hopefully most people can't cook waffles without actually clicking something or at least well so in general it's something to look for is google solving for the quick answer and equip meta description I think a lot of people don't realize why when Ghoulies are changing right now I believe like 70 80 percent of the time and it might even be stronger than that to be honest that when they're pulling in something else they're trying to give user quick answer in a different location so they're trying to double up on my quick answer experience in order
To drive less clicks so they can get more ad clicks I do believe as a user as...
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to drive less clicks so they can get more ad clicks I do believe as a user as someone who's structuring the content that makes sense to do and will also inform what users want also the move content up these are ranking extremely high when you go lower on the search result you see that third place not using the quick Meta Description but the one through four at the time of the search we're all using quick meta descriptions possibly because this result did not have that structure in order to get that pooled into that and that might be partially informing why there is no quick meta description or why that one is ranking worse because it's a nice optimal experience for users so yeah if you aren't structured quick on search results that are pulling in things like this I think it's less likely you'll actually be able to rank well and rank effectively over time and of course you might not get the quick answer either but sometimes you're actually fighting for a quick Meta Description as well that's another way to kind of level up your thought process about how to get more clicks better rankings and etc even if you don't get
The quick answer it's not just for quick answers these can actually get you...
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the quick answer it's not just for quick answers these can actually get you better click-through rate because your meta description will be taller you'll have more real estate on a search result and also I believe give users something they'll actually stick on for a second and hopefully then click and go make those waffles so obviously these are just like a lot of different micro examples that I went through there's a lot of search results out there all with their own story and telling you how to think about formulating a content asset they're all different they all have news images blah blah blah you have to use each element of that to inform what your content should look like what your page should be structured as and I think that will better inform the rankings and if you just go very basic and you just make the flower quotes with a lot of flower quotes and one image at the top that looks kind of nice I don't think you're going to reward ranked consistently and overall will be behind all the people on page 100 maybe not there but not doing well overall so hopefully this was useful you guys have any questions I'd be happy to answer you
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