Key Takeaways From SMXCreate, part 2

by May 26, 2021Blog

Optimizing content for increased findability

You know that you should be watching what people do on your site often, even outside the SEO context. Here at marketANDgrow, we like to watch these statistics daily. We usually watch what users are doing on our site, where they land or exit from, and when possible, we find a trend from the data.

Something that you might not have thought of doing is a crawl budget analysis. But what is a crawl budget? This is the number of URLs Google’s bot can and wants to crawl on any given day. While the number varies slightly from day to day, it is relatively stable. You can see how fast your website takes to load and if there are any indexing issues. And the analysis process steps include:

  • First, you need to get log files.
  • Make sure to use data from 1 month minimum.
  • Then, look at URLs with errors.
  • Look at what bots are crawling.
  • Evaluate days, weeks, months.
  • Finally, look at URL parameters and missed content.

What do you need to drive traffic?

You need to spend some time in the SERPs and look around the keywords that you are targeting. SERP refers to the page that a search engine returns after a user submits a search query. Spend some time to see what websites appear first and see how they are relevant and connected to the given keyword. Make sure your content is up to date – your headlines, above-the-fold content, FAQs, and schema markup. Schema markup is code that helps search engines return more informative results for users. Don’t forget to look at your page speed and page rendering. What does Google see when rendering a page? Look at the industry’s average page speed and compare your page speed VS site speed.

The above-mentioned features are also part of your site architecture, which is foundational. An optimized site architecture helps search engine spiders find and index all of the pages on your site. It also sends link authority around your site. And most importantly, good architecture will make it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for on your site.

Did you know that 56.10% of users click on the first 5 organic results on the search page? The search results from the 6th to 10th position account for approximately 39.69%. And from that 39.69%, only 4% go to the bottom of the page. This is precisely why your search engine optimization should be a priority in your daily activities. However, if you’re not ranking as high as your competitors, you can still drive more leads by having a fully optimized Google My Business (GMB) page. Check out our article on that topic.

When Google wants to answer a question that isn’t in the core Knowledge Graph, it might try to find the answer in the index. This creates a particular class of organic results with information extracted from the target page called Featured Snippet. Usually, only 1 featured snippet is shown at a time, and it’s the one that answers the query in the most specific way. 

Here is an example of what a Featured Snippet would look like:

Let’s talk about Image Packs. Image packs are results displayed that click through to a Google Images search and appear in any organic position. They are considered special results for specific searches where Google deems that visual content would be valuable. It is recommended to optimize your images for best practices through the following: descriptive file name, descriptive alt text, human-readable URL, optimized image size, and title attribute included. Pay attention to your image’s size, which also directly impacts your page’s load speed.

Here is an example of what an Image Pack would look like:

How can you determine if your content is a success? 

Firstly, define what “success” looks like for you and your business. Agree on the important goals, whether that would be traffic, brand awareness, sales, lead generations, or else, and identify 3-4 KPIs. For example, when analyzing engagement, you will want to look at time spent on your posts, likes, comments, shares, conversations started, social engagement, etc. While KPIs are direct metrics that impact your goals, don’t forget to look at Levers – the departmental metrics that impact KPIs. 

Creating interest-based content for Google Discover 

Google Discover is a personalized content feed that proactively serves relevant content to users, no query required. It’s available on android devices, google app, and mobile browsers when logged into a Google Account. Google Discover uses the information to identify and display topics Google believes will be relevant to your customers, known as “interests.” In this case, the understanding of the user replaces the understanding of the query. 

While Discover displays content from multiple industries, News is leading with 46%, followed by E-commerce with 44%. Out of those displays, 99% of clicks have gone to News. It is always good to optimize for Google Discover. It aligns with SEO best practices; it increases your traffic potential, and it reaches a relevant audience since it only shows content based on a user’s interests. 

Here is how you can optimize your site for Google Discover:

  • Page experience – core web vitals; being mobile-friendly; safe browsing; HTTPS.
  • Technical SEO – crawling; rendering; indexing; signaling.
  • Credibility – the quality of content; expertise and authority; website information and online reputation.

Credibility is often overlooked, but here is how you can emphasize more on that aspect:

  • Quality of content – well written; factually accurate; up to date; comprehensive, answers questions.
  • Expertise and authority – proof of claims; verifiable expertise; known for a topic; clear who created the content. 
  • Website information – contact info easily accessible; optimized “About” page; customer service information.
  • Online reputation – credible reputation across the web; awards/accolades; majority positive user reviews.

By creating a mix of fresh and evergreen content relevant to your brand and users and following the described optimization strategies, you are on your way to success in Google Discover!

All the content we absorbed from SMXCreate has been highly beneficial and valuable, and we look forward to implementing some of these strategies. If you want to be updated on our progress and SEO and PPC practices, subscribe to our newsletter!