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Understanding User Intent and Content Silos

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This presentation explores the concepts of user intent and content silos, while also discussing how they impact search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

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Understanding User Intent and Content Silos

  1. 1. UNDERSTANDING SEARCH INTENT & CONTENT SILOS Presented by Rebecca Gill April 20, 2016 iThemes Training
  2. 2. 2 SEARCH INTENT
  3. 3. 3 Search intent simply refers to a human’s intentions when performing a search. Search intent sounds scary. It becomes even scarier when you throw in terms like semantic search, which is another way of saying search intent. Don’t be intimidated. The concept isn’t that hard. You just need to think like Google. UNDERSTANDING SEARCH INTENT Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  4. 4. 4 Understanding what the user expected to receive for a given search phrase is search intent. When a user searches in Google for “hot dog” what does he really mean? Did he mean a dog that is hot from the sun? Or did he really want results that pertained to the food hot dog? CONSIDER THE PHRASE “HOT DOG” Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  5. 5. 5 There is a BIG difference between a hot dog you eat and a hot dog that is panting from warm weather. Google considers a number of user intent factors when deciding what content to deliver for a given search phrase. INTENT MATTERS In today’s world of SEO, search engines are smart and they care about what the user wants and expects to see in search results. OR Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  6. 6. 6 1. A game played in North America with an oval ball on a field marked out as a gridiron. British term for soccer. 2. A ball used in football, either oval (as in American football) or round (as in soccer), typically made of leather or plastic. LOCATION MATTERS Question: What does football means in search? Answer: It depends on your physical location. OR Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  7. 7. 7 NAVIGATIONAL Navigational searches are performed with the intent of going directly to a specific website. These are specific searches for a company, website, or person. EX: Facebook, Oprah, The White House COMMERCIAL Investigational searches are inquiries that lead up to a purchase and help a buyer find information. These searches could be consumer or business related. EX: Person Injury Lawyer, Yoga studios INFORMATIONAL This is the largest category and typically represents people looking for quick answers like recipes, game times, weather, or even the cure to an ailment or illness. EX: Brownie Recipe, Chicago Weather, Rash on Head TRANSACTIONAL These searches are largely for purchases or completing a specific task such as receiving a quote or signing up for a service. EX: Car Insurance Quotes, GQ Magazine Subscriptions DIFFERENT TYPES OF SEARCH INTENT 1 2 3 4 Intent makes a huge difference in today’s SEO, so while this is entirely boring it is still very important. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  8. 8. 8 WHY SEARCH INTENT MATTERS TO WEBSITE OWNERS Many years ago we used to be able to manipulate search results because search intent was not as important. By manipulate we mean reach for phrases that are outside our core focus area. In today’s world of SEO, it is much more difficult to stretch for keywords and phrases that don’t directly relate to your website, content, or offering. The reason for this is Google is smart. Google is fairly good at understanding what the user wants and will make sure the results in search match up closely to this want. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  9. 9. 9 SEARCH INTENT EXAMPLE This list of SERP results is for a Google search for the phrase Genesis Developer. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  10. 10. 10 WHO SHOULD BE ON PAGE ONE? People/agencies that are Genesis developers. Informational articles. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  11. 11. 11 Freelance Developer Home Page Bill Erickson Agency of Developers Home Page BYLT Freelancer Developer Home Page Carrie Dils Agency of Developers Informational Blog Post Web Savvy Marketing Agency of Developers Informational Blog Post Bourn Creative Which listings don’t belong based on the user’s actual intent? Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  12. 12. 12 THE TAKEAWAY ON UNDERSTANDING USER INTENT Before planning your website’s site map, you need to think through the users’ search intent and consider how it relates to your planned content. Don’t stretch for a keyword phrase that doesn’t match closely to your content and/or the nature of your website. Use keywords that relate closely to who you are, what you do, and what you offer. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  13. 13. 13 CONTENT SILOS
  14. 14. 14 Think back to your last visit to a library – you know before Kindles and iPads existed. How did the library staff help you find books of interest? They grouped content into sections such as fiction or nonfiction. Well, guess? That is a content silo, but the old school kind. WHAT IS A CONTENT SILO? A content silo (or SEO silo) is a method of grouping related content together to establish the website’s keyword-based topical areas or themes. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  15. 15. 15 CONTENT SILOS ARE IMPORTANT TO BOTH SEO AND USABILITY
  16. 16. 16 Barnes and Noble groups content into subject matter areas so you can easily find what you are looking for when you visit their website or physical store. SILO EXAMPLE
  17. 17. 17 SUBJECT MATTER AREAS FOR BOOKS Architecture & Photography Bibles & Christianity Biography Business Cookbooks Food & Wine Fiction Graphic Novels & Comics Diet Health & Fitness History Mystery & Crime Religion Romance Science Fiction & Fantasy Self-Help & Relationships Sports Thrillers Westerns Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  18. 18. 18 While most people would assume the company does this for ease of use for their buyers, they also do this for search engines. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  19. 19. 19 Content silos help search engines because just like the human visitor, search engines need to have a good understanding of your website’s content. Search engines want to know what your website is about, how it is structured, and where content is located. Content silos help with this effort by providing a set of structure to content that mimics that of old-school index cards at the library. ORGANIZATION MATTERS Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  20. 20. 20 Content silos help provide relevance. Keyword relevancy (or the level of importance) is based on the page’s content as well as the relevance of the entire website. If I want to rank for the term SEO, it would be much easier for me if I had a section of content in my website about SEO related topics and not just one page. Having topical content helps support the website’s overall authority and thus an individual page’s rank. RELEVANCE MATTERS Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  21. 21. 21 It is easier for search engines to find and deliver relevant content when it is focused and organized around topics.
  22. 22. 22 SITE MAP EXAMPLES Small Yoga Studio Large Blog or Directory Site Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  23. 23. 23 EXAMPLES OF CONTENT SILO URL STRUCTURES Examples of the Yoga website: http://www.yogabliss.com/studios/new-york/ http://www.yogabliss.com/studios/chicago/ http://www.yogabliss.com/studios/dallas/ http://www.yogabliss.com/studios/orlando/ http://www.yogabliss.com/classes/yoga-rx/ http://www.yogabliss.com/classes/pilates/ http://www.yogabliss.com/classes/vinyasa/ http://www.yogabliss.com/classes/hot-yoga/ Examples of the Vegas blog: http://www.vegasbaby.com/hotels/mgm-grand/ http://www.vegasbaby.com/hotels/bellagio/ http://www.vegasbaby.com/hotels/wynn/ http://www.vegasbaby.com/hotels/venetian/ http://www.vegasbaby.com/hotels/luxor/ http://www.vegasbaby.com/shows/cirque-de-soleil/ http://www.vegasbaby.com/shows/david-copperfield/ http://www.vegasbaby.com/shows/elton-john/ http://www.vegasbaby.com/shows/blue-man-group/ http://www.vegasbaby.com/shows/carrot-top/ Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  24. 24. 24 Before you consider any content silos for your website or blog, you need to do a thorough review of your existing content and future content with both being guided by keyword research. Remember – the data of keyword research will help guide you down a path that will produce tangible results. DATA MATTERS Spend time on research, evaluation, and planning before you make any changes to your site structure or content. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  25. 25. 25  Keyword research  Existing content structure or hierarchically  Future content needs  Places where content silos can exist: pages, blog categories, blog tags, product categories, product tags, custom post types, custom taxonomies  Places where you can reinforce that structure: menus, breadcrumbs, links, URL structure  Creation of 301 redirects for use in URL structure updates DATA POINTS TO REMEMBER Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  26. 26. 26 Anyone have any questions? LET’S CHAT Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  27. 27. BARIDIK STEVENSON Founder of Web Savvy Marketing Instructor at DIYSEOcourses.com @rebeccagill on Twitter REBECCA GILL Coupon: LOVEiTHEMES Discount: 25% Expires: April 30, 2016 Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved

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