Semantic search and the 'new' seo

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Presentation slides from my seminar at Business Network South West, July 2015. H

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  • Taking Action provides a broad range of practical information, and not all of it will be relevant to your business. Go through the guide and focus on the areas that meet your specific needs. Select the sections that interest you and adapt the information to your company culture, your working environment and your HR procedures that make your Search better and gives you the best results in return.
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Semantic search and the 'new' seo

  1. 1. SEMANTIC SEARCH WHY FINDING THE BEST PIZZA IN TOWN IS EASY Richard Hussey
  2. 2. The £10 Note People you know will happily exchange a £10 note for two fivers. But can’t tell you whose picture is on the back. Why? Trust underpins our transactions in real life and we need to replicate this online. Trust is also a central component of the ‘new’ SEO.
  3. 3. Thanks to the semantic search I can type: ‘Where’s the best pizza in town’, and get the result on the following slide.
  4. 4. Or I can type: ‘Marketing Agencies in Exeter’ and get the result on the next slide.
  5. 5. Marketing Agencies Exeter Search
  6. 6. Google is anticipating what I might want to know. And it can understand the context of my search.
  7. 7. SEO Used to be Easy(ish) • Identify your highest volume keywords • Use them often (and exactly) • Get links (ideally with keywords in anchor text) • Refresh your content regularly • EVEN SO – PAGE 1 RANKINGS WERE HARD TO GET without paying money to somebody
  8. 8. The Temptation to Cheat was Overwhelming
  9. 9. We used to want more links – now we need better links. Instead of crude keyword matching we need semantically rich content.
  10. 10. OLD Style SEO was Inwardly Focused • Talk about yourself and pack in the keywords • Obsessed with structuring your site for spiders rather than humans • Led to over-segmentation of content and complex navigation
  11. 11. ‘New’ SEO is Different TRUST REPUTATION AUTHORITY THESE CANNOT BE FAKED
  12. 12. Face the Facts You may never get on page 1 for popular search terms without paying There are fewer places up for grabs and large brands dominate But don’t panic – the ‘concept’ of page 1 is becoming less meaningful
  13. 13. What Google Wants To deliver the most RELEVANT, TRUSTED, and USEFUL answers to QUESTIONS created in NATURAL LANGUAGE
  14. 14. Synonyms, Context and Meaning • ‘Apple’ could mean a number of things. • The rest of my content tells Google what sort it is. • Google treats SEO ‘Specialist’, ‘Expert’ and ‘Consultant’ equally • ‘Trademark’ and ‘trade mark’ are treated the same in SERPs • We don’t have to be obsessed with exactly how the most popular search terms are written • THINGS NOT STRINGS
  15. 15. The Knowledge Graph • Plots links between data ‘entities’ • Delivers answers implied by the search. • Pulls multiple sources of information, location data, reviews and displays them in search results. • It’s how you find great pizza and Leonardo’s birthday.
  16. 16. Google Search is Personalised Location Search History Connections Social Networks Likes
  17. 17. One result on the following SERP is based entirely on my social media connections. Can you spot which one?
  18. 18. RELATIONSHIPS AND NETWORKS MATTER MORE THAN EVER!
  19. 19. Another example of personalised search. What happens when I type ‘business’ into the search box?
  20. 20. Google tries to predict what I’m searching for. I may never get to type the keyword I might have used. The next slide shows what happens when I’m logged out.
  21. 21. ‘Incognito’ Results
  22. 22. Back to that TRUST Word • Is your brand trusted? • Are you recognised as a topical authority? • Did you EARN your links the hard way?
  23. 23. When Reputation was Everything • We used to find the best people by asking. • No reputation meant no business. • Google is now attempting to do this on a massive scale.
  24. 24. How Does Google Measure Trust? • Click through rate and pogo-sticking (bouncing straight back to the search results from your site) • Earned links, in-content citations, shares • Content depth, richness and quality • Topical authority and consistency • Relationships
  25. 25. Google ‘Rewards’ Rich Content (Real Example) • Client’s rankings were trashed by a penguin update. • Within 6 months main keywords outperformed pre-penalty levels. • Now ranks on page 1 for multiple terms including ones where they were outside top 100. • Content was not keyword focused!
  26. 26. Good Content Always Has Value • Lead nurturing • Converting traffic into enquiries and sales • Pre qualification of leads • Differentiation – if you create the content that only you could have created.
  27. 27. Things to carry on doing • Research high value keywords (not necessarily highest volume) • Use keywords, site structure and internal links to help Google • Earn backlinks • Use intelligent keyword variations • Understand and answer the questions your customers are asking • Google Business page and reviews
  28. 28. Things to stop doing • Over using keywords • Focusing on Google at the expense of user needs and experience • ‘Acquiring’ low value links from dodgy sources • Publishing mediocre or thin content (web pages, blogs, ebooks etc) • Talking about yourself
  29. 29. The FRIEND Process • FIX your online presence • REACH OUT to prospects, advocates, influencers • INVESTIGATE the questions ‘customers’ are really asking • EDUCATE, entertain and inspire • NEXT – plot the pathway to becoming a customer • DEVELOP and refine GOOD content is not enough
  30. 30. Want to know more? • Read Google Semantic Search by David Amerland • Follow accounts: Moz, Rand Fishkin, Eric Enge, Stone Temple Consulting, Brian Dean, David Kutcher, David Amerland.
  31. 31. A Final Thought People don’t visit your website to read about what you do! Richard Hussey @RichardHussey1

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