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SMX London: What Really Matters for SEO Success

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SMX London: What Really Matters for SEO Success

  1. 1. @SWallaceSEO Machine vs. Human W HAT REALLY M ATTERS FO R SEO SUCCESS Stephanie Wallace, Vice President, Owned Media, Nebo
  2. 2. @SWallaceSEO What do you visualize when we talk about Google ranking factors?
  3. 3. @SWallaceSEO Source: Pixelystic Real people?
  4. 4. @SWallaceSEO Or something else?
  5. 5. @SWallaceSEO The search landscape is changing
  6. 6. @SWallaceSEO Google doesn’t have just one algorithm running the show
  7. 7. @SWallaceSEO We have to prepare for RankBrain, Deep Learning and AI technology
  8. 8. @SWallaceSEO The definition of a search engine has changed
  9. 9. @SWallaceSEO And devices are getting smarter Siri AlexaGoogle
  10. 10. @SWallaceSEO SEO has evolved
  11. 11. @SWallaceSEO The Answer: Rethink your SEO strategy
  12. 12. @SWallaceSEO We have to optimize for consumer discovery, not traditional search
  13. 13. @SWallaceSEO Human-centered SEO puts the user first and prioritizes relevancy & accessibility
  14. 14. @SWallaceSEO Optimizing for Consumer Discovery On-SERP Optimization Voice Engine Optimization Today We’ll Cover
  15. 15. @SWallaceSEO Optimizing for Consumer Discovery On-SERP Optimization Voice Engine Optimization Today We’ll Cover
  16. 16. @SWallaceSEO Optimizing for Consumer Discovery On-SERP Optimization Voice Engine Optimization Today We’ll Cover
  17. 17. @SWallaceSEO Optimizing for Consumer Discovery
  18. 18. @SWallaceSEO Historically: Optimize for Algorithms Traditional ranking factors are still important, but this is only the foundation Unique Linking Domains Quality Content AnchorText Secure SitePage Speed Mobile Usability Schematic Markup KeywordThemes
  19. 19. @SWallaceSEO Today: Links, Content and RankBrain RankBrain measures how people interact with the SERPs and relies heavily on “on-SERP” success metrics Organic Click-Through Rates Long vs. Short Clicks Shares / Amplification Bounce RatesAdditional Searches Scroll Depth Total Pageviews DwellTime
  20. 20. @SWallaceSEO RankBrain has been a ranking signal since 2015…but not in the way we think about traditional ranking signals. Source: ComScore
  21. 21. @SWallaceSEO Optimizing for RankBrain starts with writing in a way that uses natural language and sounds conversational. Source: ComScore
  22. 22. @SWallaceSEO Beyond RankBrain Different ranking signals apply to different queries, and no two sites are evaluated the same Today, basic on-page is no longer sufficient Google is more focused on reputation and credibility
  23. 23. @SWallaceSEO Authority Rules: Optimizing for E-A-T Include authors & biographies for all editorial content Create expert content – promote on social and share on 3rd party sites Protect visitor information & offer accurate information
  24. 24. @SWallaceSEO Content Depth over Breadth Focus your content efforts on niche topics you can own Provide value and deeper expertise on specific topics to be a subject matter expert Quality Volume Depth Breadth
  25. 25. @SWallaceSEO Improving Site Engagement Search engines have placed a greater emphasis not only on authority, but also on user-experience Create content that provides value Make your content easily shareable Optimize internal links Improve page load speeds Streamline navigation Build a site that is mobile friendly
  26. 26. @SWallaceSEO On-SERP Optimization
  27. 27. @SWallaceSEO Over 34% of all desktop searches and 63% of mobile searches result in no click. Source: SparkToro & Jumpshot
  28. 28. @SWallaceSEO But at a rate of 11% on mobile and only 9% on desktop over the past 2.5 years, it’s not growing as fast as it could be. Source: SparkToro & Jumpshot
  29. 29. @SWallaceSEO SERP features have evolved into an interactive first impression of your company, for both branded and non-branded queries We need to take the same approach to optimizing branded SERPs to increase visibility SERP Features
  30. 30. @SWallaceSEO Take advantage of local knowledge panels by optimizing your listing in Search & Maps via Google My Business and Bing Places for Business Go beyond the basics & add the data that makes sense: Restaurant? Add your menu. Accept appointments? Add a link. Local Panel
  31. 31. @SWallaceSEO Google now allows users to claim their brand panels Once verified, it is easier to maintain and edit the information displayed Owners can directly request additional information that may be beneficial for users Brand Panel
  32. 32. @SWallaceSEO Leverage structured data markup: organization schema is the most important markup for optimizing knowledge panels Call out social profiles, logo, contact info, founding date, website, products, blogs, videos, etc. Schema
  33. 33. @SWallaceSEO Posts appear on your brand panel and may be used to highlight events, blog posts, products, offers or announcements Google Posts
  34. 34. @SWallaceSEO Answer questions that consumers post and flag answers from users that are incorrect Go above & beyond by posting your own FAQs Questions & Answers
  35. 35. @SWallaceSEO Voice Engine Optimization
  36. 36. @SWallaceSEO 65% of 25-49 year olds speak to their voice- enabled devices at least once per day. Source: PWC
  37. 37. @SWallaceSEO Half of all online searches will be voice searches by 2020. Source: PWC
  38. 38. @SWallaceSEO Voice Search vs. Voice Answers Voice search includes any device where different options or results are given in response to a query Voice answers are specific instances where a single, audio answer is provided – changing the marketing landscape
  39. 39. @SWallaceSEO Optimizing for Voice Search Understand the types of queries affected and use the appropriate mix of content Google queries related to local services or businesses pull from the local search pack, results for purely informational queries pull from featured snippets
  40. 40. @SWallaceSEO Google Assistant / Home Optimization Invest in Google My Business to reach users searching for location based queries and specific services Invest in Google Actions, extensions of Google Assistant, to provide solutions for direct informational queries
  41. 41. @SWallaceSEO Featured Snippets Understand common questions for your product/service to optimize FAQ and direct answer content via formatting and structured data
  42. 42. @SWallaceSEO Speakable Schema New schema that just came out of “pending” on Schema.org It is still in BETA in Google documentation Use to highlight text that provides a succinct answer to a conversational invocation
  43. 43. @SWallaceSEO Amazon Alexa / Echo Alexa provides answers using a combination of search results and skills and has significantly more gaps in the accuracy and availability of results Identify voice-driven queries and create and optimize content to address them
  44. 44. @SWallaceSEO bit.ly/SMX-London-2019
  45. 45. @SWallaceSEO Take a human centered approach
  46. 46. @SWallaceSEO We have to strike a balance
  47. 47. @SWallaceSEO Establishing a foundation
  48. 48. @SWallaceSEO While optimizing for discoverability
  49. 49. @SWallaceSEO Thank You! Stephanie Wallace Vice President, Owned Media Nebo See You at the next #SMX!

Editor's Notes

  • What do you visualize when we talk about Google ranking factors? Or Google’s algorithm?
  • Do you think
  • Do you think
  • The search landscape is changing as searches focus more on semantic relationships, context and user experience.
  • Today, Google uses a combination of algorithms, machine learning and ongoing updates to curate search results 
  • We have to prepare for RankBrain, Deep Learning and AI technology to run search by doing the work the right way
  • We have to understand that the definition of a search engine has changed
  • Proactive suggestions leverage your website content or voice skills/apps
    And that’s on top of other signals like location and personalization
  • As SEOs we’re facing some big questions: How are artificial intelligence and machine learning impacting search? How do we optimize for non-traditional search engines like Pinterest, Amazon, and voice? What does this evolution mean for the future of search marketers?
  • The Answer: Rethink your SEO strategies & tactics.
  • If you only take away 1 thing from my talk today, I want it to be this idea that the most effective strategies will be the result of changing our approach to think through the lens of optimizing for consumer discovery as opposed to optimizing for traditional search. This is how we bridge the gap and take a human-centered approach with strategies that aren’t about us or selling products, and aren’t focused on chasing Google’s algorithms, but rather focused on adding value. 
  • Optimizing for search and virtual assistants
  • Optimizing for search and virtual assistants
  • Optimizing for search and virtual assistants
  • How to Optimize for Consumer Discovery vs. Traditional Optimization Tactics
  • Traditional ranking factors are still important, but we’re talking about optimizing for humans
  • Today, we’re optimizing for those foundational elements as well as RankBrain – which is what we’re focusing on today
    So we’re optimizing less for traditional ranking inputs like keywords, anchor text, pgae speed, etc. and really focusing more on those searcher outputs
  • quick on-page optimization tactics are no longer sufficient to obtain top positions in the search results, especially if the website contain
    Google is now honing in on the reputation and credibility of both the website itself, as well as the creators who contribute to its content. I
  • Authority Rules: Optimizing for EAT (Beyond “Produce Great Content”)
    Expertise – Authoritativeness – Trust
    invest in personal branding
    Links & unlinked mentions are measured

  • Focus your content efforts on niche topics you can own
    Provide value and deeper expertise on specific topics to be a subject matter expert
    Deeper expertise shared via robust and unique articles will win the rankings battle everytime


  • Capturing User Attention with On-SERP Optimization: SERP Features & Ranking in the Knowledge Graph

  • Published in late 2018
  • Thankfully
  • SERP features are near universal and massively impact click through rates
    These features have evolved into an interactive first impression of your company, for both branded and non-branded queries
    We need to take the same approach to optimizing branded SERPs to increase visibility
    Your New Homepage is Off-page
  • Even if you’re national/global.
    NAP, photos, reviews, Google Posts, Questions & Answers
    Then add other data that makes sense.
    Are you a restaurant? Add your menu.
    Can a customer make an appointment? Add a link.

  • Brand knowledge panels on Bing & Google largely rely on Wikipedia for the content they display
    Claim it!
    Suggest edits
    Add organization schema to your site
    Name your social profiles
  • Posts appear on the brand panel
    They last 7 days (then they move to the recent posts tab on the panel)
    They can be used to highlight events, blog posts, products, offers or announcements
  • This is potentially the least understood feature of the local knowledge panel
    -----
    Ultimately, all of these on-serp optimizations add value for consumers and tie back to that human centered approach by reducing friction for smaller conversions, like calls, and building out trust signals to make decisions easier
  • Optimizing for search and virtual assistants
  • Voice Search & Voice answers are different - A machine that responds with a single, audio answer vastly changes the marketing landscape and how we optimize for that and especially measure that is a bit of a black hole.
    So what we’re focusing on is a device that still shows options on a screen of results (like most Google Voice searches on mobile or desktop device)
  • Google queries related to locating services or businesses primarily pull from the local search pack,
    results for purely informational voice queries are primarily pulled from featured snippets. 

  • Earn featured snippets or go home
  • Optimize for voice search by using Schema to package your conversational content
    SPEAKABLE moved out of pending – it’s official as of late march / early April
    Google’s recognition still says in beta, but on schema.org it is officially published
    The support for this new markup is currently limited to News content. However, it is likely that support for the speakable attribute will inevitably expand as Google gains experience with this new structured data markup.

  • Alexa provides answers using a combination of search results and skills and has significantly more gaps in the accuracy and availability of results.

    Despite gaps in the smart assistant’s knowledge, Alexa does pull some answers from high-ranking pages and content
    Like Google Actions, the primary purpose of Alexa’s Skills is to provide a solution to a problem or question, and direct informational queries toward Arrow’s customer funnel.

     
  • Taking a human-centered approach is not about us or selling products, and isn’t focused on chasing Google’s algorithms, but rather focused on adding value for consumers

  • The future of SEO is in optimizing for authority, discoverability and voice capabilities

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