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Semantic SEO: 5 Ways to Future-Proof Your SEO and Search Rankings

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As search evolves, so does optimization. Search results are less about phrases (combinations of words and letters) and more about topics (semantic meanings and entities). So a smart content marketer optimizes for “things, not strings.”

But what exactly does this mean for the writer? This presentation covers five specific actions we take as content marketers to make sure that your marketing is aligned with the future of SEO.

• Find clues into what topics are semantically linked to each other
• Target topics, not just phrases, through writing (Semantic Search)
• Incorporate natural language into your content (voice search, answer boxes)
• Make visitors happy in ways that make Google happy (user interaction signals)

You're about to learn the step-by-step process for semantic search optimization each of the specific actions in SEO that will future-proof your search engine rankings.

Published in: Marketing
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Semantic SEO: 5 Ways to Future-Proof Your SEO and Search Rankings

  1. 1. Semantic SEO 5 Ways to Future-Proof Your Rankings Andy Crestodina Strategic Director | @crestodina
  2. 2. @crestodina QUICK REVIEW Which keywords are helpful? Which links are helpful?
  3. 3. @crestodina Rank Authority Relevance
  4. 4. @crestodina Rank Links Keywords
  5. 5. @crestodina Rank Offsite On-Page
  6. 6. @crestodina blog post guest post research post on another site keyphrase keyphrase
  7. 7. @crestodina blog post guest post research post on another site keyphrase keyphrase
  8. 8. @crestodina blog post guest post research post on another site keyphrase keyphrase
  9. 9. @crestodina blog post guest post research post on another site keyphrase keyphrase Which of these links and keywords affect your rankings?
  10. 10. @crestodina blog post guest post research post on another site keyphrase keyphrase Which of these links and keywords affect your rankings?
  11. 11. @crestodina We’ve been working on an intelligent model... that understands real-world entities and their relationships to one another: things, not strings. Amit Singhal Google
  12. 12. @crestodina Target the topic, not the keyphrase
  13. 13. @crestodina
  14. 14. @crestodina
  15. 15. @crestodina
  16. 16. @crestodina
  17. 17. @crestodina
  18. 18. @crestodina
  19. 19. @crestodina
  20. 20. @crestodina Semantic connections to “footer design” website copyright copyright text website footer examples header and footer website footer definition at the bottom of the page designing a website footer fat footer guidelines standards best practices usability content ideas inspiration links SEO sitemap social media navigation purpose of responsive template
  21. 21. @crestodina Semantic connections to “footer design” website copyright copyright text website footer examples header and footer website footer definition at the bottom of the page designing a website footer fat footer guidelines standards best practices usability content ideas inspiration links SEO sitemap social media navigation purpose of responsive template
  22. 22. @crestodina
  23. 23. @crestodina@crestodina
  24. 24. @crestodina
  25. 25. @crestodina Rankings climb for “website footer design”
  26. 26. @crestodina What was the search volume?
  27. 27. @crestodina And finally, the traffic...
  28. 28. @crestodina ACTION: Indicate the relevance 1. Use the target phrase in the title, header and body text 2. Find and use the words and phrases that are semantically connected to the phrase you’re targeting
  29. 29. @crestodina@crestodina
  30. 30. @crestodina
  31. 31. @crestodina@crestodina
  32. 32. @crestodina Questions and Answer Boxes
  33. 33. @crestodina
  34. 34. @crestodina
  35. 35. @crestodina 1. Write content that answers questions 2. Use sentences that include complete questions and complete answers 3. Write detailed posts that rank high in the first place! How to Rank #0 @crestodina
  36. 36. @crestodina User Interaction Signals
  37. 37. @crestodina User Interaction Signals ...and “RankBrain” 1. Click through rate from search results pages 2. Bounce Rate 3. Time on page
  38. 38. @crestodina Evidence that these are ranking factors source: How Google Works: A Ranking Engineer’s Perspective, Paul Haar (slide 30)
  39. 39. @crestodina Time on page correlation
  40. 40. @crestodina Time on page correlation
  41. 41. @crestodina The Short Click vs. The Long Click @crestodina
  42. 42. @crestodina ACTION: Keep your visitors on your page 1. Format for Scanners 2. Add Multiple Images 3. Add Video 4. Internal Linking 5. Go Deep!
  43. 43. @crestodina
  44. 44. @crestodina Avoid long, blocky paragraphs
  45. 45. @crestodina Your “readers” are scanners source: How Little to Users Read? NN Group Users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit. 20% is more likely.
  46. 46. @crestodina Add multiple images source: 2016 Blogger Survey @crestodina
  47. 47. @crestodina Build a Network of Content Creators
  48. 48. @crestodina Links are authority
  49. 49. @crestodina more links = more authority
  50. 50. @crestodina links from authoritative websites = much more authority
  51. 51. @crestodina
  52. 52. @crestodina Everything in marketing is based on relationships.
  53. 53. @crestodina lead
  54. 54. @crestodina lead traffic conversions
  55. 55. @crestodina lead traffic conversions search email social
  56. 56. @crestodina lead traffic conversions search
  57. 57. @crestodina lead traffic conversions rank
  58. 58. @crestodina lead traffic conversions rank content links
  59. 59. @crestodina lead traffic conversions rank content links content relationships
  60. 60. @crestodina There are two kinds of people on the internet Creators Contributors and “lurkers”
  61. 61. @crestodina Who makes content? • Journalists • Authors • Podcasters • Academic Researchers • Event Producers And of course... • Bloggers and blog editors
  62. 62. @crestodina There are two types of social media
  63. 63. @crestodina There are two types of social media
  64. 64. @crestodina 1. Weekly Outreach Calls 2. Coffee, Lunch, Beer 3. Mastermind Groups 4. Office Hours 5. Slack Boards 6. Attend Events Ways to Build Your Network source: 5 Ways to Produce Better Web Content, Orbit Media @crestodina
  65. 65. Mastermind Groups
  66. 66. 1. Monthly one-hour call, Skype or Hangout 2. Bring a guest each month 3. Miss it twice and you’re kicked out! Start a mastermind group
  67. 67. 1. What are you doing that we can promote? 2. What are you writing that we can collaborate on? 3. What are you doing to be more productive? 4. Do I know anyone that you want to meet? Content marketing mastermind agenda
  68. 68. 1. What are you doing that we can promote? 2. What are you writing that we can collaborate on? 3. What are you doing to be more productive? 4. Do I know anyone that you want to meet? Content marketing mastermind agenda
  69. 69. 1. What are you doing that we can promote? 2. What are you writing that we can collaborate on? 3. What are you doing to be more productive? 4. Do I know anyone that you want to meet? Content marketing mastermind agenda
  70. 70. 1. What are you doing that we can promote? 2. What are you writing that we can collaborate on? 3. What are you doing to be more productive? 4. Do I know anyone that you want to meet? Content marketing mastermind agenda
  71. 71. @crestodina Get Out There! ...events are the best shortcut
  72. 72. @crestodina
  73. 73. @crestodina  Sit in the front row  Ask a question during Q & A  Thank them in person after the session  Have them sign a book  Ask if you can email them to get a contributor quote later... Tips for attending events @crestodina
  74. 74. @crestodina 1. Quote and Mention 2. Contributor Quote 3. Roundup Posts 4. Deep Dive Interview 5. Invite to Guest Post 5 Ways to Collaborate source: 5 Ways to Produce Better Web Content, Orbit Media @crestodina
  75. 75. @crestodina
  76. 76. @crestodina Search + Social One post, optimized for both
  77. 77. @crestodina@crestodina Content designed to attract visitors
  78. 78. @crestodina@crestodina Optimized for Search
  79. 79. @crestodina@crestodina Optimized for Social
  80. 80. @crestodina How many people are waiting for your article to go live? Make sure it’s not zero.
  81. 81. @crestodina Social actions, search outcomes
  82. 82. @crestodina Social actions, search outcomes
  83. 83. @crestodina WHERE to publish YOUR SITE OTHER SITES
  84. 84. @crestodina WHO does the writing CREATED BY YOU CO-CREATED WITH INFLUENCERS
  85. 85. @crestodina Blogging vs. Guest Blogging Content = 2 Links = 0 Friends = 0 Content = 3 Links = 1 Friends = 2
  86. 86. @crestodina Blogging vs. Guest Blogging Content = 4 Links = 0 Friends = 0 Content = 6 Links = 2 Friends = 4 (better links + real connections)
  87. 87. @crestodina Blogging vs. Guest Blogging Nice blog, but… This is what great content marketing looks like.
  88. 88. @crestodina If you’re not making friends, you’re doing it wrong.
  89. 89. @crestodina
  90. 90. @crestodina What Does “Quality” Mean to Google?
  91. 91. @crestodina Google’s Search Quality Guidelines source: Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines
  92. 92. @crestodina 3 Ways to Meet Google’s Guidelines source: Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines 1. Content is “Front and Center” 2. EAT: Expert, Authoritative, Trustworthy 3. “Highly Meets” vs. “Fails to Meet”
  93. 93. @crestodina Content is Front and Center source: Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines “Is the content is at the top of the page?” Put information high on the page, so visitors can read without scrolling.
  94. 94. @crestodina E-A-T the Results source: Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines "Can you trust the source of this content?” • Expertise • Authoritativeness • Trustworthiness Prove that you’re an expert, or "borrow" authority by citing sources and other experts.
  95. 95. @crestodina Highly Meets vs. Fails to Meet source: Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines “Does the content succeed at meeting the goals of the visitor?” Provide comprehensive answers, truly meeting visitors’ needs. Create long, in-depth content that covers every angle of your topic.
  96. 96. @crestodina Answer all the related questions source: answerthepublic.com
  97. 97. @crestodina Answer all the related questions source: answerthepublic.com
  98. 98. @crestodina Andy Crestodina Strategic Director | @crestodina THANK YOU!

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