Search first content strategy
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Search first content strategy



The view from the book "Audience, Relevance and Search: Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content" in a nutshell.

The view from the book "Audience, Relevance and Search: Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content" in a nutshell.



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  • The center of a digital strategy for our constituents is a content strategy. The center of a content strategy for our constituents is a search strategy. The investments in tooling, human resources and infrastructure are necessary to make these things work.

Search first content strategy Search first content strategy Presentation Transcript

  • Search-first content strategy February 18, 2011 James Mathewson Global Search Strategy and Expertise Lead Co-Author: Audience, Relevance, and Search: Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content
  • Audience Content Strategy Digital Strategy Media strategy Business analytics Web analytics Text analytics Search Strategy Social strategy Taxonomy/tagging strategy UX design strategy Architecture strategy Mobile strategy
  • Media strategy
    • Constituents prefer a mix of media with a growing preference for video*
    • Constituents are far more likely to click search results that contain rich media^
    • Optimizing these experiences for constituents requires an institutional understanding of universal search principles
    *Source: TechTarget, 2009 ^Source: Google, 2009
  • Mobile strategy
    • Google estimates that by 2012, more people will access the Web through mobile devices than traditional PCs*
    • Mobile users are far more likely to use search than traditional PC users*
    • Mobile apps usage is expected to grow faster than Web usage during this period*
    • The standard for these experiences is HTML5, which enables constituents to search mobile pages and blended apps
    * Source: Google
  • Social strategy
    • The web is a social medium, it is ever more social as new applications such as Facebook “like” help users find more relevant content
    • External linking depends on robust external social presence
    • Efforts such as Expertise Locator and Social Aggregator depend on search functions to automate content curation
    • Semantic Web functionality can further aid with social content strategy
    • Keywords and tags function in similar ways in search and social search functions
    • Tagging is the intersection of search and social content efforts
    • Most of the optimization errors caught by Covario related to improperly tagged pages
    Taxonomy/tagging strategy
    • Architecture can either make it easy or difficult on crawlers and constituents
    • A search-first architecture will tend to make it easier on both
    • A search-first architecture emphasizes choosing the navigation words based on keyword research
    • With proper governance, search-first architecture also enables more elegant user experiences by minimizing apparent duplication and helping content collaborators with gap analysis
    Architecture strategy
    • UX cannot drive content strategy: When it does, we tend to create data-heavy pages that the crawler can’t parse
    • Some of the most beautiful pages never get found by search engines
    • The principles of elegant design, driven by W3C standards for searchability and usability must govern UX strategy
    UX design strategy
  • Text analytics Search Strategy Audience Content Strategy Digital Strategy Business analytics Web analytics Resource Model Infrastructure Tooling
  • Tooling
    • Web Analytics/Business Analytics: We simply can’t know how well we’re doing and what we’re delivering to the business without better analytics
    • Keyword research for practitioners : It must go beyond Google AdWords to understand how our constituents search and tailoring pages to them
    • Linking resources for practitioners : Most internal link juice is not captured because nobody knows when a related page is published
    • Writing, SEO and taxonomy assistance: Needs to be baked into the publishing process
    • Explore and pilot tooling in emerging technologies such as Semantic Web (automated metadata extraction and other text analytics) and HTML5 authoring
  • Resource Model
    • The investment in content human resources tends to be starved for lack of an understanding of the business value of writers and editors
    • A recent A/B test demonstrated a 30% engagement rate improvement when putting the appropriate level of editing resources into the content process
  • Infrastructure
    • Many URL structures prevent Google from recognizing most of our external link juice
    • Many internal linking relies on JavaScript, which prevent crawlers from capturing internal link juice
    • The way country and language are designated on pages prevents Google from recognizing whether an EN page is from AU, US, GB or CA, for example
    • Social and mobile application infrastructure investment is needed