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Confab 2018 Talk: "Empathy Behind the Algorithms: Creating People-Driven SEO"

Confab 2018 Talk: "Empathy Behind the Algorithms: Creating People-Driven SEO"

Search engine algorithms are always changing, and it can feel impossible to keep up. But effective search engine strategy always strikes a balance between technical optimization and understanding the people behind the keywords.

In this talk, I'll show you a practical approach to human-centered SEO that you can use to make sure your content is helpful, relevant, and findable, too.

In this session, you’ll discover how to:

- Understand search intent
- Use that understanding of intent to improve navigation, information architecture, tools, and functionality
- Make content more helpful by answering questions
- Use smart metadata and markup

Download a guide of my tips and takeaways from this talk >> bit.ly/understandingintent

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Chris Corak

May 23, 2018
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  1. Empathy Behind the Algorithms CREATING PEOPLE-DRIVEN SEO Confab 2018 by

    @CHRIS_CORAK
  2. None
  3. None
  4. Difference between low and high quality content

  5. The entire interconnected experience

  6. Voice, changing the tone ½ of teens + 41% of

    adults use voice search daily
  7. 15% of searches in Google have never been searched for

    before
  8. RankBrain, a machine learning (artificial intelligence) technology

  9. None
  10. None
  11. None
  12. None
  13. Google’s priority on mobile: Mobilegeddon (AKA Mobile-friendly update)

  14. Determining ranking factors from your mobile UX first, over desktop

    view
  15. Behavioral data is part of Google’s algorithm and increase in

    importance over time. @RANDFISH
  16. None
  17. Google doesn’t just give you search results online, they track

    real life actions offline, too. The takeaway: real life actions can impact your search visibility.
  18. If Google’s #1 goal is to give people what they

    want, then why would we cater to algorithms instead of working harder to make users happy? #CONFAB18 - @CHRIS_CORAK
  19. 4 key steps GETTING STARTED WITH HUMAN- CENTERED SEO

  20. 4 key steps GETTING STARTED WITH HUMAN-CENTERED SEO 1 –

    Understand search intent 2 – Improve navigation, IA, tools and functionality 3 – Make content helpful by answering questions 4 – Use smart metadata and markup
  21. Step 1: Understand search intent WHAT IS WHAT’S POSSIBLE LOOK

    FOR THEMES
  22. Understanding intent: One method to improve content quality + UX

  23. Using search data to gain empathy

  24. “Active intent is the intent that is explicitly described by

    the query syntax…You MUST satisfy active intent immediately.” @ajkohn Active Intent
  25. “Passive intent is the intent that is implicitly described.” @ajkohn

    Passive Intent
  26. Helps us understand from where and on what device Seeing

    what is in current state analytics
  27. Helps us understand from where and on what device Google

    Search Console to see how users are finding you now
  28. On-site search analytics to see what’s common or hard to

    find
  29. Seeing what’s possible throughout an entire industry

  30. Choose your weapon Moz Keyword Explorer http://answertheclient.com/assets/atp-dark-inline-9dc08e1790f7273b9aee6bcfa16580e9dda179dbea01081599f7d9a04f9ab112.png Link: Keywordtool.io

  31. My favorite, KeywordTool.io

  32. How they capture the long tail

  33. Test scenario: Imagine we’re an Insurance provider

  34. Phrase here

  35. Read for themes

  36. Read for themes

  37. Cost + Quotes

  38. Validation

  39. Taxable

  40. Meaning

  41. Local agents

  42. Value

  43. Themes we’ve identified within “life insurance” ✓ Cost + Quotes

    ✓ Validation ✓ Taxable ✓ Meaning ✓ Local Agents ✓ Value
  44. bit.ly/understandingintent My tips and takeaways

  45. 4 key steps GETTING STARTED WITH HUMAN-CENTERED SEO 1 –

    Understand search intent 2 – Improve navigation, IA, tools and functionality 3 – Make content helpful by answering questions 4 – Use smart metadata and markup
  46. Step 2: Improve tools, features, and navigation HIGH LEVEL NAVIGATION

    TOOLS + FUNCTIONALITY CONTENT TOPICS
  47. User intent data can help us win budget, gain internal

    alignment, and make changes that have the biggest impact on our users. #CONFAB18 - @CHRIS_CORAK
  48. Search intent for “Insurance” Summing up the search volume for

    each theme can: ✓ Prove value ✓ Help prioritize topics THEMES OF INTENT 1.8 MILLION MONTHLY SEARCHES
  49. Intent analysis informs information architecture

  50. Priority on Me, low priority on “Local Agent” intent

  51. Higher priority on User, including “Local Agent” intent

  52. High priority on “Local Agent” intent

  53. “Local Agent” level content boosting visibility in local search

  54. 45% + in Organic traffic since New strategy

  55. Satisfying “Value + Cost” intent through interactive tools

  56. 4 key steps GETTING STARTED WITH HUMAN-CENTERED SEO 1 –

    Understand search intent 2 – Improve navigation, IA, tools and functionality 3 – Make content helpful by answering questions 4 – Use smart metadata and markup
  57. Step 3: Make content more helpful ANSWER QUESTIONS SATISFY PASSIVE

    INTENT CREATE SEMANTIC RELEVANCE
  58. Questions uncover more intent

  59. 52% of questions trigger a featured snippet *semrush Tips on

    structuring your content to win snippets: > bit.ly/tips-from-ann-smarty
  60. Gathering questions Moz Keyword Explorer http://answertheclient.com/assets/atp-dark-inline-9dc08e1790f7273b9aee6bcfa16580e9dda179dbea01081599f7d9a04f9ab112.png Link: Keywordtool.io

  61. Great for presentations

  62. Click this tab

  63. Satisfying passive intent + answering questions in content

  64. Content for special circumstances

  65. Content for special circumstances

  66. None
  67. Visibility for passive intent #1 Local pack + #1

  68. 28% improvement in bounce rates + 53% increase in people

    asking for a quote
  69. 4 key steps GETTING STARTED WITH HUMAN-CENTERED SEO 1 –

    Understand search intent 2 – Improve navigation, IA, tools and functionality 3 – Make content helpful by answering questions 4 – Use smart metadata and markup
  70. Step 4: Use smart metadata and markup TITLES META DESCRIPTIONS

    STRUCTURED DATA
  71. Of traffic comes from Organic Search. While 29% start directly

    on your site. 47% CONDUCTOR, ENTERPRISE ANALYTICS STUDY
  72. Not readable or helpful Reads well and is extremely helpful

    Make sure it’s readable and helpful Doesn’t even make sense 63,000+ reviews, price, in stock, trial period
  73. Lacks clarity Straight forward + helpful Make sure it’s readable

    and helpful This is about “ life insurance? ” Passive intent A+ : quotes, validation, taxes
  74. Structured data

  75. How “entities” are formed

  76. None
  77. Entity optimization How Google understands your brand

  78. None
  79. Schema.org Wells Fargo ~ Showing relevance to a Bank location

  80. Schema.org by type Product Local business Reviews Organization Images &

    videos More… Healthcare & Medical Finance & Banking Real estate Travel & tourism Arts & music Software More… Schema.org by industry
  81. Ratings / Reviews + Product markup Event markup Structured data

    enhancing UX + CTR
  82. Logo Step #1: Markup your home page with Schema.org/Organization Official

    profiles Points of contact Parent organization
  83. Knowledge Graph Official social properties Official logo Parent organization “Organization”

    markup can influence the Knowledge Graph
  84. Download code + implement on home page: > bit.ly/sample-organization-markup Name

    Logo Official profiles Start with the basics
  85. Link to Google’s testing tool > bit.ly/structured-data-test-tool Paste your code

    here to test
  86. Step #2: Add semantic relevance Research in-depth markup on Schema.org

  87. People-driven SEO THE WRAP UP

  88. 4 key steps GETTING STARTED WITH HUMAN-CENTERED SEO 1 –

    Understand search intent 2 – Improve navigation, IA, tools and functionality 3 – Make content helpful by answering questions 4 – Use smart metadata and markup
  89. Takes a team to achieve a success SEO outcome Successful

    SEO Outcome Content Dev / IT UX Design Creative Digital Marketing SEO Expertise Executive Stakeholders Analytics Social Media + PR
  90. bit.ly/understandingintent My tips and takeaways

  91. Staying up to speed in SEO For latest news www.seroundtable.com

    Google patents + implications @ bill_slawski on Twitter www.seobythesea.com @badams on Twitter www.polemicdigital.com/blog Technical SEO, Barry Adams
  92. Real world application Moz Blog https://moz.com/blog Whiteboard Friday https://moz.com/blog/category/whiteboard-friday

  93. SEOs with human considerations Rand Fishkin @randfish sparktoro.com/blog AJ Kohn

    @ajkohn blindfiveyearold.com
  94. Confab 2018, “Empathy Behind the Algorithms,” @CHRIS_CORAK My tips and

    takeways >> bit.ly/understandingintent Questions? www.onwardand.co