On May 17th, we partnered with BrightEdge to successfully launch an SEO webinar focused on how marketers can leverage user micro-moments to amplify their brand's voice online. Tune in to hear from the SEO experts about how to maximize your brand's visibility.
In this video, you'll discover how to:
1. Streamline content generation between your SEO and internal content teams
2. Say what your potential consumers want to hear, not what your brand wants to tell them
3. Select the right tools and processes to identify the correct topics for your content and pinpointing seasonality and demographic trends to target the right users at the right time
Looking to revamp your SEO strategy? Email email@example.com for a full consultation.
Hi everyone. This is Jonny Waite of Direct Agents. I'm the SEO lead over here. With me today, I have Brian Herskowitz from BrightEdge, and we're going to be getting into a little bit more of an expansive intro in a second.
But while people are signing in, I thought I would take this time to go through some of the administrative items of the webinar. We're going to have a couple of polls throughout the webinar, which when we get to them, you'll see them on your screen and they're interactive. Fill them out. We'll have about 45 seconds allotted for everybody to read through and give their answer. Immediately following the results, we'll be reviewing them just to make it more of an interactive thing.
If you do love the content on the webinar today, I wanted to mention that Brian and myself's info will be at the very end after the Q&A, so feel free to reach out to us via email following this. During the webinar, if you have any questions, in your upper left-hand side of your screen, you'll have a little chat window. You can type in your questions there, and we'll hold those until the end. We have some time allotted for a Q&A so we'll get to as many of those as we possibly can, and we'll leave a little extra time after the allotted time for the webinar to try to complete those. But yeah, feel free to ask us any questions that you have and we'll do our very best to get to all of them.
As I said before, I'm Jonny Waite. I've been in SEO about eight years, which for some of you might seem impossible. But yeah, I've been doing SEO for about eight years working both agency side, in-house, working on pretty much every vertical you can think of. I work for Direct Agents here in New York City. We're an omnichannel agency. We have offices in both New York City and LA, so both coasts. We handle a wide array of the digital marketing spectrum. Our services include SEO, obviously, paid search, programmatic, paid social, creative, and advanced analytics, and over the last few years, we've had a lot of cool opportunities to implement and test some of the items that we're going to cover in today's webinar.
We're definitely excited to go through today's material. I know us at Direct Agents and the guys over at BrightEdge have been working in conjunction for awhile, and we're really excited to go through this with you.
So with that, I'm going to turn it over to Brian to just give you some info on himself and BrightEdge. So, Brian?
Yeah, thanks Jonny. So a little bit about me. Been in the industry for about 10 years. Worked with BrightEdge for just shy of one year so far. BrightEdge as a whole is the industry-leading SEO platform, so we'll do some kind of high-level dives into it and how it ties into this presentation throughout. We work with great folks like Jonny over at Direct Agents, but we also work directly with some large clients as well and clients of all sizes, really. We work with over half of the Fortune 100 companies, so definitely the industry leader from an SEO standpoint in helping give a lot of visibility and strategy around how you attack SEO as a company.
Great. Thanks, Brian. So with that, I think we've had some time for everybody to log in and get settled, we're going to jump into the content and the webinar today.
This topic, "How to Leverage User Micro-Moments to Maximize Your Brand Visibility," has been something that if you've gone to conferences or you've been in the industry awhile or you have a agency partnership with Google or any of those guys, you've heard this term "micro-moments." The purpose of today is really to take these high-level terms that you hear that are the next big thing or what you should be focusing on in 2017 and beyond and really give a tangible outlook on it. You know, we need to focus on micro-moments is all long and good but what can we actually do that's actionable.
With that, we're going to go into a high-level overview of what a micro-moment is, what that can be segmented out into, and then we'll get into some very tangible material of what do we do to actually capture these micro-moments.
With that, you know, the [inaudible 00:05:00] here. We have the definition. What is a micro-moment? Some of you may have seen this before, have heard it a million times, but just to give you a clear-cut definition, it's a moment when a consumer acts on a need. For example, they want to learn something. They want to do something. They want to discover something. They want to watch or buy something. They want to take an action. We call those intent-rich moments where decisions are being made and preferences shaped. That's great, but what does that mean?
Really, from an SEO perspective, and I know Brian can attest to this over at BrightEdge, what we deal with is taking these high-level kind of market lingo and sentences and try to create something that a client or a brand can use to attract more customers to expand their visibility and ultimately grow their business.
With that, I'm going to have Brian lead into what's involved in a micro-moment.
Yeah, thanks Jonny. One of the things that a lot of folks in the SEO industry can relate to is, you guys are ranking really well for a particular query on Google. You go to bed, you wake up the next day, and all of a sudden, you guys aren't even on page one. I think a lot of people I speak to on a daily basis will say, "Yeah, I can totally relate to that," and then you have to try and figure out, well what just changed? Why did we slide down the rankings so dramatically overnight?
Well, the answer's probably that Google's algorithm changed. It changed over 500 times last year alone, so it's more than once a day. So it leads to the question is, well how do I stay ahead of this? I think, really, if you try and stay ahead of each change, it's nearly impossible because you're just never going to be able to do that. Why not take a more macro-level approach and understand what Google's trying to do with these algorithm changes, and that's where these micro-moments really come into play and kind of map your SEO strategies and efforts to them.
Essentially what Google's trying to do is with every query on Google, it's trying to put them in a certain bucket. Is it an I-want-to-know moment? Is this an I-want-to-go moment and I-want-to-do moment or an I-want-to-buy moment? Based on that, Google's going to change the shape and the result of the search engine results page. More and more, as we go through this presentation, you're going to see that as Google classifies a query there, they're going to classify it into one of these buckets and based on that, it's going to then change the dynamic of the search engine results page.
So just a couple of quick examples here with an I-want-to-know moment, you might see an AMP page or a knowledge graph, which Jonny's going to talk about the AMP specifically and the knowledge graph, actually, here in a couple of minutes. An I-want-to-go, you might see a local 3-pack, so bars near me, restaurants near me, all of a sudden, you see a local 3-pack. An I-want-to-do moment could be how to change a tire and I'll send it to you quick answer or video, and then finally, an I-want-to-buy micro-moment, Google could potentially serve up that four pack of ads, which we'll talk about each of these throughout the presentation as well.
Thanks Brian. So to take a deeper dive into some of these elements, first thing we want to talk about is within the I-want-to-know moment, how to maximize mobile and more specifically a AMP, which is an accelerated mobile page. Just to give you an idea of what that is, if you've ever Googled something on your mobile phone and seen a little lightening bolt in the bottom left corner of the result, that's called a accelerated mobile page, and what that is is just a light version of a mobile page on your site that Googled caches and serves up to user in an extremely, extremely fast load time.
What that means is load times of one second, less than one second, three seconds, tops, and it creates this user experience where somebody's searching for either a recipe or a piece of content that's served up in a news platform, and Google promotes that in a top story, in a rich card, and serves up these AMP pages that users can then click through and see that content in a very real-time fashion.
What we've seen so far has been nothing short of miraculous. As you see on the screen, we've seen bounce rates go down by 50%. We've seen brand loyalty go up, and we've seen user experience on the positive side. Really, what these pages do is just provide the content you want to serve up to your users in a very fast, very easy way, and it benefits client side as well. AMP pages use 10 times less data versus your non-AMP pages. The pages are very, very easy to build. It's very, very light HTML, and it's open-source, so as the project gets updated, your development teams are able to make updates to your pages as they go up.
A little bit more into the accelerated mobile pages, we can see here that these AMP pages have a wide array of uses. This is a snapshot from the BrightEdge platform. What we can do here is identify areas for AMPs within top stories. That's really where you're going to see a lot of these pages, is top stories. That doesn't necessarily mean that you need to be a news platform or anything like that. Top stories can contain any kind of article that is trending right now.
If you have content that you're putting out that isn't necessarily national news but is very real time and lines up with user intent, that's something that can be pushed into the top story section, and especially if you have AMP pages enabled, something you can capitalize on as well.
Really, what we want to look at here is that you can boost your traffic and conversions because of these AMP pages and utilize something like the BrightEdge platform to identify content areas where you can use these.
Additionally, as we have done at the bottom left of the slide, you can know which topics are AMP-preferred by Google, and that's really where the money is, is not just creating AMP pages and saying, "Yeah, this would be great," but identifying what pages will make the most use of this and capitalizing on that.
With that, I wanted to take a quick poll, and I know that some of you have either heard from me or heard from your own SEOs or internally or from outside sources, AMPs or you Googled something on your mobile phone and you say, "What the heck is this little lightening bolt?" But I wanted to take a quick poll. There's just three little options to choose from. "Yes, we're using AMPs today." Second option is "I know how to implement an AMP ... " or "I know what an AMP is but not sure how to implement," or you're "familiar with the concept but unsure how to implement."
So if you guys want to take about 45 seconds here and just fill it out while we view the results together. Again, this is interactive so you can just click the option right there and submit. We'll go through that.
And just as a kind of high-level on this stuff, if this content is useful or if you have follow-up questions or want to take a deeper dive into what some of these topics mean or what's involved, again, you can fill in the question section here, we can try to answer those at the end or we'll have a ... You can send me or Brian an email afterward and we'd be happy to go through that with you. But really, we want to just kind of give a high-level overview on this stuff, how to utilize it, and what its uses are.
Okay, with that, let's look into the results. Wow. So there we go. About 85% of you are familiar with the concept, but unsure how to implement. I do want to talk about that for a second. We have a couple more slides to follow up that get deeper into what an AMP page is, but that's kind of the sentiment we've been getting with our own clients. Me and Brian talk pretty regularly and we've connected on that point that people have heard this. They've seen it. They don't really know if it's for them or actually how to implement that.
With that, we're going to get into a couple, just little snapshots of how to implement this stuff and what are the usages.
Right here, why should you care, what's the best of an AMP. We showed before that the BrightEdge platform can help you identify what pages and what content Google prefers as an AMP, but really what we want to look at is how would you actually make these? We give a small little snapshot just to show you what AMP HTML markup looks like, but as you can see, even if you're not familiar with coding, it's very, very light. Really, an AMP can be used for mostly anything. Lately, what we've been seeing is websites that have an issue with mobile page speed. They'll actually set their AMP pages as the preferred page to rank which is something you can do.
But really, the focus here is you can increase your mobile traffic and you can build brand loyalty. What we mean by that is because AMPs can get preferential treatment, they can populate in carousels on a mobile device, they can populate in the organic listings alongside your actual mobile pages. You're just increasing the likelihood of a piece of content that you've put out appearing in multiple places in the search. That helps on shelf space for your brand which increases brand trust, and then also the functionality of the AMP pages themself which we've mentioned a few times. The fast load time really just says to users, hey, this is a site that has useful information, we're not bogged down with technical difficulties, that sort of thing.
If you have questions about the build, what I would suggest is connecting with your development team to A, see if they know how to develop it, and B, if it's something that they can do. One thing I did want to mention is that a lot of the CMS platforms that your websites are running on, you know, the big ones, WordPress, Drupal, Magento, all have plugins and modules to enable AMPs either through your blog posts or your articles or your product pages. Most of those CMS systems have plugins available to automate this process.
I would also say if you're running a CDN for anything like Facebook instant, you would also be able to implement AMPs into your CDNs so that whenever you create a piece of content, push it live, it is pushed out as an AMP page as well.
Then just kind of as a visual but to show you what are examples, these are a couple of examples that we've made here at Direct Agents. Blog posts are an easy one. If you have a blog, you're utilizing content marketing, and I know everybody's hooting and hollering about content marketing now and I think rightfully so, I think you should definitely consider pushing out all of your blog content as an AMP as well. It's only going to increase the likelihood that those posts are visible and ranking in search engine results.
And then product pages. Product pages have a lot of cool functionalities. You can put your PDPs, your product display pages, your featured products, your product category pages, they can all be set as AMPs, and if you enable all those, on a mobile search somebody can land on a category page or a specific product and have a limited navigation within that AMP platform. Again, because of the page load time, the quick response, the simple design, users tend to interact really well with those.
I hear you on the front where a lot of people were hearing about accelerated mobile pages, they're familiar with the concept, don't really know how to implement. I would recommend if you know what CMS platform you're on, you're on one of those that I mentioned, asking your dev team if you can enable a plugin and have it, troubleshoot that with them, or if you're on, say, a older CMS or a custom CMS, talking to your development team about what it would take to build those out.
Now we're going to move on to our knowledge graph section, and I'm just going to briefly touch on those because I think most of you are pretty familiar about the concept. A lot of brands have knowledge graphs enabled but don't capitalize on everything that's available. Really, what this has to do with is if you're a big enough brand where you have a Wikipedia page that is accepted by Wikipedia, that is absolutely info that you should pull into your knowledge graph, if you have that set up properly as a brand within Google Plus, it should automatically pull in.
Also, connecting your social channels, providing your customer service line, hours of operation if it's applicable to you, these are all things that you can include in your knowledge graph.
And just from a high level, what I would say is take a look at your Google Plus page that's verified for your brand. Make sure that that's updated. Make sure that your logo is crisp and clear, that the descriptive info that you have on there is correct, your phone number, your location info. We'll get into that in a bit where we kind of talk about the local 3-pack but one of the biggest mistakes that brands make with local info, even if you are a brick and mortar is displaying different pieces of information about your location on different platforms.
I would say for this, just make sure that everything's sill plate because that is very good branded traffic that you don't want to lose out on.
With that, we're going to go into the next section, and I will turn it back over to Brian.
Perfect. Yeah, so the next micro-moment is I-want-to-go. This is really focusing on the local 3-pack and the "near me" queries on Google. What's interesting here is this is growing quite a bit, and as we're going to go through each micro-moment and kind of the potential search engine results pages and what those dynamics might be, that's the common theme is these are showing up more and more places, so Google's trying to answer your query as quickly as possible through their algorithm.
With this, it used to just be focused on hospitality, but now it's really expanding moreso so it's including shopping, dining, finance, all could be things that pop up with local 3-pack. I think a lot of times, businesses think, "Well, this doesn't apply to me," but it actually does, and if it doesn't yet, it might in the very near future. It's definitely something you want to think about. It also shows up both in desktop and mobile today. Definitely a really relevant piece that we want to focus on here.
One thing here that kind of a little bit about BrightEdge functionalities, we'll be able to see exactly where these local 3-packs show up, so kind of the workflow is you could track specific keywords within a platform, figure out where these local 3-packs show up where you guys are currently showing up for local 3-packs, and then you could actually track your location pages through the platform as well and track those results and potentially try and grow that local 3-pack footprint on Google.
I'll turn it back to Jonny to talk a little bit more about the specifics here.
Thanks Brian. Yeah, and this is something that we've been playing around here at Direct Agents with for awhile. The reason being is it keeps updating. As Brian mentioned in the beginning, Google's releasing algorithm updates, they are playing around with betas, and really, their focus is to provide the best experience to users.
For your brand, if you have locations, even if you're not brick and mortar, really beefing up your Google My Business Listing is something you should do. Maps data, local three pack rankings, they're all directly linked to your Google My Business account. I remember back in the day, before it became Google My Business, going into Google Local and playing around with what information was available and then a month later, it would update, and I'd have to go back and ... This is just something that even if you're sealed tight in this area that you'll want to keep an eye on and check up on pretty much monthly.
Just kind of some high-level points here is non-brand keyword association with your business is a really easy way to build brand visibility. If any of you have ever done any kind of app store optimization, you know that just putting your brand name kind of does a disservice to the non-brand visibility you could have. That'd be something we would definitely recommend.
Click to call, obviously, local ad extensions within your paid search, and it just increases your local presence. Even if you're not looking to have people come to your headquarters, if they're looking for a brand or a service that is within your wheelhouse and they just happen to be local, it'll just give you an extra boost of visibility there.
It's definitely something that we've gone back and forth with clients that say, hey, we're national or we're international, why would we want to be locally visible? I get that sentiment, but really comes down to you want your brand to be as visible as possible of the most relevant queries, and this is really one of those areas that if you're not utilizing or you haven't looked at in awhile, I would definitely recommend looking at it just because it's an easy win. When we go through our SEO audits and everything, we always talk about low-hanging fruit, and this is definitely near the top of the list.
Then outside of that ... Oh, sorry. We're going to, we're jump to a poll real quick before we get into some more about beefing up local listings. I just want to get everybody's consensus on how comfortable they are with Google My Business, the functionality of it.
Again, you have an interactive screen here. Just in a level one to five, five being the most confident. How confident are you that your Google My Business listing is optimized? Keep in mind that it changes, and if you were confident in it three months ago and you haven't looked at it since, that may be something that you want to keep in mind. I know from our end, that's something that we look at right away and we have to read up on every few months for our clients.
Again, keep in mind that there are some areas where you can optimize further if you just have your brand name submitted. You only have a few images displayed in your Google My Plus, sorry, Google Plus profile that's connected with a Google My Business, you have a Google Plus profile but it's not connected Google My Business, all those types of things would qualify into your confidence in the optimization of that. So give everybody a couple of more seconds to fill that out.
Okay. All right. Majority of you said not confident. We have 8% saying very confident, 16% saying confident, around 30% somewhat confident, and then what is Google My Business listing?
Kind of on the not so confident, somewhat confident middle ground here, and that makes sense. Google releases updates and does not tell anybody. There's always confusion as to we're not a brick and mortar business, why would we even want this? Really, what it comes down to is Google owns the market share and uses the platforms we have to play in. Google My Business is something that local businesses capitalize off of a lot, but some things that some of the bigger brands definitely miss out on.
Again, what we would say is if you know your Google My Business login, just going back in there and making sure your information is correct, if it's not connected to a Google Plus profile, making sure that's corrected, connecting your AdWords with Google My Business so that location and click to call's enabled on your paid search.
Those are all pretty easy things to do that you can do right away, and then getting into what is the non-brand keyword that defines your brand? Maybe something that you want to tag on to your brand name in your listing. Google's pretty good about updating that stuff rather quickly. I think on the high end, they take about three days to verify your info and display that information in search.
Glad that you guys ... Some of you are very confident in that area, and I definitely get sentiment as to Google can be confusing in this regard as to ... They update this and don't really tell anybody.
One last thing, touching on to local search is local page optimization. I'm not sure sure how the group here on the phone, how closely you guys follow search engine updates, but as Brian said before, they're pretty constant.
In September of 2016, Google released a update that was, the "Possum," and it was a pretty massive update to the local algorithm. Mobile search got hit the biggest for local businesses. What we saw in that result is Google was trying to shift some of the visibility from the large brands in the big cities to, you know, maybe some businesses that are nearby but not ... We're in Manhattan but we sold some ships from search results in Manhattan to maybe some smaller surrounding areas where they think might be more useful for users.
Just some high-level pointers here, making sure on your local pages that you're optimizing, and I would say the mantra here is consistency. City and state in the title tag, your header tags, your URL, the content on your page, your description. Again, making sure your business name, phone, and address are exactly how they are listed in your Google My Business account or any other local aggregate you have on the web. Just making sure that that stuff is consistent will go a long way.
Really, this is not too SEO-heavy, but it's more or less tell people where you are. Tell people what your business is about, and tell them where you are, and utilize the content you have on your website to do so.
With that, we're going to get into I-want-to-do, and I will turn that back over to Brian.
Cool. Yeah, so the next micro-moment is I-want-to-do. Specifically, what I really want to focus on is the Quick Answer piece to this. In case you guys aren't aware, Quick Answers are essentially Google trying to answer whatever your query may be within the search engine results page. An example might be "How to Change a Tire," and then Google will give you the instructions on the search engine results page with the link from where they got that content from.
A couple of interesting point on it is one, when they first came out with Quick Answers, I think it was about two years ago, it represented about 2% of searches on Google. In other words, 2% of all queries on Google would have a quick answer. Now, it's representative of anywhere from 20% to 40% of all searches and growing. This is a really relevant example of kind of a micro-moment and how it's growing and how adapting and changing and kind of competing for this landscape could be really meaningful.
Another piece that I think is really interesting on Quick Answers is when they first came out, a common conception was that that would cannibalize your organic result. So Google's answering the question, and now that person has no need to click on that link, but what we actually found through doing some research is quite the opposite. When you actually show up for a Quick Answer result, you reap the benefits of a huge traffic increase.
This is actually a third-party research paper that BrightEdge came out with and released and some of the statistics we've seen in here are huge traffic increases when you show up for Quick Answer result.
One thing you could do within BrightEdge and just a good strategic move overall is one, understand where you guys are currently showing up for Quick Answers on Google, but two, it might be really interesting to understand where your competitors are showing up for Quick Answers, and then writing content to compete for that landscape, knowing that if you win that landscape and that organic kind of real estate, that you're going to reap the benefits of a huge traffic and revenue increase, potentially, from ranking for Quick Answer.
I'm going to pass it back to Jonny here to do a little bit of a deeper diver. I think there's a poll question first.
Yeah, thanks Brian. We're going to go into our next poll. Again, we want to get an assessment of everybody's comfort level with Quick Answers. Four options here. "Great, we're already doing Quick Answers. We're ranking for a lot," or "We're writing for Quick Answers. We haven't seen a huge uptick or haven't seen an uptick at all." Third is "We're planning to, but we're unsure how to write for these," or the last one, "No idea where to start" or "Never heard of Quick Answers."
Again, take a minute. Submit your answer. Quick Answers is something that, I think, most people are still trying to understand. After the poll, we're going to get into the different types of Quick Answers and, spoiler alert, there is one that Google prefers over the other.
Okay. Let's see what our results are. Okay. This is what I thought. We have seen this a lot, and over the last year and a half, we have increased our SEO engagement with our clients to get into content marketing, and this has become a huge topic of discussion.
Quick Answers is something that I think people just started randomly seeing and unsure what they were. I talked to people who thought they were there the whole time. But as Brian said, had more become more and more of a search base. 2% was a very, very small share, and now it times up to 40%. Really, what it comes down to is your brand, what you represent, and then what your brand can answer. That's really why Quick Answers exist is, does your brand answer a question or does it solve a problem that people would want to see right away?
It's that micro-moment of I want an answer right away or I want a video tutorial on how to do something. If your brand happens to fit that query or answer that question, that's where you can really get into visibility with micro-moments.
I'm going to get into a couple of things about micro-moments, just how do you approach these, what to focus on, and if you have a content team and you're utilize your SEO team to lead your content strategy, what your brand should be focusing on and really where the wins are.
We look at ... This is, again, this is a screenshot from BrightEdge. We can actually identify via your keyword groups what the potential is for your Quick Answers. Within that platform, we can see universal results, we can see what your brand is regnant for. When we begin an SEO engagement, one of the first things we do is do a keyword research and then bucket those keywords into categories so that we can target the site and content silos. Being at the BrightEdge platform, what we can do is take those content silos and the keywords contained therein and see what the potential is to rank for Quick Answers.
Something I wanted to point out here, if you look at this top bullet point, 82% of Quick Answers populate in paragraph format. So 82% of the time when a search populates for a Quick Answer, it's just going to show up as a 40 to 60 word paragraph. A little over 10% show up for lists, and that is something I think in the beginning a lot of the SEOs targeted and then quickly realized that is not where a majority of the market share is. And then 7.3% for tables, and tables is a bit more difficult to rank for. That tends to a lot .govs, a lot of .edus, kind of on that space.
Really where the wins are are within the paragraph format. What we like to do within a content marketing program is when we decide on the amount of content we're going to put out, what we're going to target, we reserve a nice little section of that for blog posts specifically catered for quick answers. The biggest thing there is making sure that your content is useful to answer whatever question you're asking or whatever users are asking. Don't force it. If you can answer the question very easily, go for it. If you can't, pick something else.
The Quick Answers rely on something we call "power phrases." Just very simply put, it's the "How-tos," "What is," "Best ways," "Top 10." When you're picking, you're targeting, you look at your keywords, you look at how many people search it per month, you may look at your PPC data to see if that keyword is a converter, and then you want to do some research to see is there a long-tail version of that keyword that we're targeting that populates a quick answer, and that's when you get into these power phrases.
In a given example here, "What's the Best Way to Shampoo for Curly Hair?" You're answering a very simple question. If you look at the result there, it's really talking about the best way to wash your curly hair, and a supplier answered that question with their own product which is generally how it goes.
What we found through studies of our own, through other case studies is that within targeting these Quick Answers, the best way to do it is A, target what keywords you're going to be focusing on on that blog post, make sure that the content is useful to your reader and then identify the power phrase that ranks. See who you competitor is, see if you're within your competitor's set. If you are just starting up, you maybe don't want to go up against Apple.com or something like that. Then write the question in your content and then write a 40 to 50 word paragraph that answers it and look at what keywords your competitors are using that populate for the Quick Answer. There's no problem in conquesting in that way.
Then the last piece of this, and this is one of the first things that we do when we get into management of the site's blog or building out something is how are you structuring everything? It's great to have a blog. It's great to have an outlet for fresh content, but is it organized? Do you segment out your content so that you have silos you can look in your blog, and then will your Quick Answer content cater to those silos?
That's really how you build visibility and breadth over time, is focusing on a subject and really continuing to generate content that your brand may have expertise in or is real time, and you can fluctuate between the two, but I would say one of the biggest pieces of outside of the actual writing and identifying the power phrases and knowing where to place each paragraph is just how is this categorized, how does it fit into your brand image and your brand voice and then how is it going to help people. Have you put out more than one piece of content that fits into a content silo that you've created that can complement that and just keep rolling that way and really look at what works, what doesn't, and play off your strengths.
With that, I'm going to hand it back over to Brian. He's going to touch on the last piece here, and then we're going to wrap things up about what you should focus on as an overall strategy and then we'll get into Q&A.
Cool. Thanks Jonny. This last micro-moment is the I-want-to-buy micro-moment. When Google identifies queries as you're about to actually make a purchase, they're serving up ads, and they've done that in the past, but it used to be kind of on the right side of the search engine results page which didn't ... It really impact the organic listings. However, in February of 2006, the ads were moved to the top of the organic results page and pushing all of the organic listings down.
This is an example, on this slide, you can see in yellow, those are four ads that are served up, and the first organic listing is Office Depot in this example which is pointed out there by the organic listings mark there on the slide.
As you could imagine, that's going to dramatically impact the the click-through and conversion rates, the click-through rates and the conversion rates here because it's getting pushed all the way down. Because of that particular micro-moment, these ads are taking precedent. It's definitely a dynamic to pay close attention to, and we'll talk about how BrightEdge ties in as well as a couple of other pieces here in the next two or three slides.
I'll turn it back to Jonny and then I'll show you another last piece at the end.
Excellent. Really, what we want to look at is how do we identify these micro-moments because I think for a lot of people, they're aware that they exist, they're aware that ... Either accidentally, their brand is ranking for them or they've been trying and some pieces of content populate for these micro-moment queries and others don't, and you're not sure why.
At Direct Agents, we tend to really leverage the BrightEdge platform for that very reason is it does a very good job at easily identifying where you are populating for micro-moments, where the potential is, and how your competitive set is doing in comparison to you with these. We look at those, we call them universal results. If any of you on the line have received a report from me, in the keyword section, you see blended rank, and what blended rank is is that in a classic rank, you have paid search and then you have 10 organic listings and then you have page two.
But if you've really looked at the evolution of the Google search results over the last, I would say, five years, that's really transformed, especially with the rise of mobile search. Those listings, it's very rare that you come across a search page on Google or Bing that doesn't populate some sort of image or some sort of video or a carousel or a Twitter feed or top stories. Really, what we're utilizing the BrightEdge platform to do is identify those areas because oftentimes, they have higher click-through rates. Users click on the thing that's ... Very simple way of putting it, the most fun. It's the most interactive. It's the most visual.
In some regards with the Quick Answers things with the AMP pages, a lot of those we call rank zero because they populate above everything else. We use our keyword tool in BrightEdge to identify what are your keywords that you rank for was universal results.
If you look at the screenshot, you have a light gray and a dark green. The dark green is your universal presence and the light gray is your potential. That is really where we want to shift that, where your potential is equal or less than your actual presence. We can identify it was different moments within the BrightEdge platform to really capitalize on the keyword groups that are performing well, and if they are, can we mimic that to our other keyword groups? Or like Brian said before, to see how our competitive set is doing and to mimic some of their strategy or take their strategy and do it better and then grow out from there.
With that, we're going to get into one more thing, just kind of wrapping up why you should care about micro-moments, what they mean to your brand visibility, and that's just that more people are going to visit your site. There's, on average, a 69% increase in click-through rate in organic above the fold results versus those below.
That has changed a lot over the years. What we say above the fold is the page before you scroll down. That varies greatly from desktop to mobile, obviously, but this increase of universal results, of Quick Answers, of AMP carousels, of top news stories, the knowledge graph, local results shifting, paid ad extensions, paid ads populating in four packs, all of this affects what the top fold looks like.
Really, our goal is not to say hey, we got you to page one or we got into rank one, but to say hey, because you're in rank one, you have an increase of click-through rate and you have expanded traffic. It's more relevant, qualified traffic, and whatever your KPI is, whether that be contact, revenue, transactions, things like that, that's really what we're focused on in SEO. I think that has become uncovered over the last few years.
I remember when I started in SEO, that was more of a misnomer. They thought we were keyword stuffers and we just were concerned with rankings, but really what we're concerned with is are we getting more qualified users to your site, are they finding your content useful, and are they either engaging with your brand or making a purchase as a result of the content that you put out there?
Here, it's pretty drastic and it's meant to be that above the fold is really where you want to be, and the way to focus on that is use micro-moments and capitalizing on these universal results.
With that, I'm going to turn it back over to Brian. He's going to just kind of cap everything off with how you look at everything and really what you need to do from a high level, and then we'll get into our Q&A section.
Perfect, thanks Jonny. Yeah, I actually clicked the slide by accident, but it worked out perfectly.
This is really tying together exactly what Jonny was talking about is, well what does the search engine results page landscape actually look like? This is a kind of a rough example of a report you could get from BrightEdge where you can see if the keywords that you're tracking within the platform, if there are opportunities to be above the fold or not.
So you'll kind of have an idea of is there a four pack of ads pushing down the organic listings below the fold? If so, I may need to change my strategy and I may want to partner with my PPC team to include them in that particular query or grouping of queries because I know that they're all getting pushed below the fold. I may have a strategy around, I know that we're above the fold for these queries, and I know that we're also ranking number one or number two or we're doing a really good job, so I may want to actually set some alerts around that to make sure that I'm maintaining our position there.
Really, the overlining theme to wrap up and then we can get into the questions is to really just understand as the search engine results pages are changing constantly with Google's algorithm changes, it's vitally important to understand those changes and understand how your organic footprint has been impacted by these changes. That's really where a company like Direct Agents and Jonny and his team can help and where a platform like BrightEdge could really help from a visibility and a strategy standpoint, and that's what we do. Jonny and I work on a lot together.
With that, I guess we'll jump into questions. Jonny, maybe it makes sense for me to, I'll read out the questions and you could answer them? Would that work?
Yeah. That works. Before we get into that, we have about 10 minutes left. I'm pulling up this last slide to everybody can see. If you didn't have the time or you think of a question later, we want to make sure that you guys have the availability to reach out to myself or Brian at any time. Even if we don't get to your question now, we're going to do our very best to get to all the questions, or if you have a question that you didn't ask during the webinar, feel free to reach out to us then.
With that, we'll get into the Q&A. Brian, I think that's a good idea if you want to read them out to me and I'll do my best to answer them.
All right. Perfect. The first question is "Why does Google's algorithm change so often?"
That's a great question. That is something that we've been trying to uncover for awhile. Google's mantra has always been to mimic the user. We've seen that through the years where we call it the Wild West of SEOs and it kind of gave us a bad name where you had guys who made these businesses off of creating websites that offered no value to users and they would rank high.
If any of you are like me, and please don't report me, I downloaded music back in the day or streamed movies. You'll notice that over the last few years, if you search for services like that, they're almost nowhere to be found. That's due to ranking algorithm updates.
What Google's trying to do is provide the best results in real time for people. The reason that we're seeing updates where top news stories are populating, why they're slamming down on backlink schemes, things like that, or even just simple updates where they say, "Hey, our latest big algorithm update was something called Fred," and it was very simple. Their answer was "We've had this in our webmaster guidelines for years." They're really just trying to provide the best experience for users.
We've seen promotions for secure sites. They don't want people's information to get stolen. We've seen them promote mobile because they've seen the mobile usage has gone up and Google's understanding was if their usage is going up, we should roll with that.
Really, it's kind of been a shift in, for all of you in marketing have seen, less what you're trying to say as a brand and more saying what people want to hear. Google's been trying to cater to that need for awhile, from a technical standpoint, from a content standpoint, they are continuously updating it. They're not perfect. They test things. They see what works. They see what doesn't. With all these updates, they've had another 100 set of things that they've rolled out that they've taken back because it didn't work or people didn't want it.
But really, the simple answer is they're trying to mimic user experience and do that through machine learning.
Perfect. Next question here for you, Jonny, "I heard that AMP traffic cannot be tracked via Google Analytics. Is this true?"
It is not true. It's true in the sense of you won't see that traffic populate in your existing view. What we do is we set a different tracking code specifically for AMP pages. Google is still trying to figure out a good way to show that kind of traffic without it being a referral.
Right now, if you're caching your accelerated mobile pages through Google which you can do, when you go into that AMP page, you actually won't see your domain name, you'll see an extension of that AMP. They're still trying to work out how to track that traffic so that the AMP traffic and metrics are displayed in your website view.
There is a workaround for that, and that is creating a tracking code specifically for your AMP pages. The way that the URL displayed for those pages is simply the URL that you have on your site /amp or /?amp. So it's not much different, but the answer to that is to create a separate view and a separate tracking code for your AMP pages.
Perfect. Next question. "What is the most common SEO practice committed that companies do that really just hurts their rankings?"
That is a good one. I would say I wouldn't ... I don't know if I want to get into what that would hurt their rankings. There's a couple things. I'm going to list them off very briefly.
Sometimes, it ... We have studies that we've done, a lot of different businesses have done on what is the trend for a really well-ranking page. The answer to that's very simple. It's content. On average, page one results have over 2,000 words of content on the page, and then a majority of pages that rank on page one are over a year old. The pages that do rank on page one before one year, which is rare, are six months old.
I would say content length, targeting, making sure it's useful, and then if you make an evergreen page, put it up there, and unless you have to make some minor optimization tweaks, leave it alone, unless it's severely underperforming, then go back to the drawing board. But generally speaking, brands are afraid to put too much content on their page. They aren't paying ... In our discussion of above the fold, that also applies to your own website. People will bounce if they come to your site and the first thing they see is a large image with no explanation of what that page is, or you're on a product page and then you have to scroll down to the bottom to buy.
Those are all things to pay attention to and really, I would say, don't be afraid to have a content-heavy page. Work with your design team to make sure that it fits in there nicely, but especially on the mobile experience, people are more willing to scroll so if there's a lot of content on there, people will scroll more than they would on their desktop.
That's what we've seen. We try to base all of our ... We try not to make too many assumptions and try to base all of these things off of data that we've seen, and what we know is that the more content, the better. Two thousand ... Obviously there are a myriad of other factors, backlinks, internal links, user engagement, all that kind of stuff, but if you were just taking a new evergreen page and saying, "How would I make this rank well?" Make sure you know who you're targeting is, make sure that it's not buried in your URL structure, and make sure that ... I would say the minimum, there's 1,500 words on that page.
Okay, great. Looks like we have maybe time for one or two more questions. This one just came in. "What's the best approach when you definitely don't want to send people to your offices? The examples, you don't have a brick and mortar type of business."
Sure. Actually within the Google My Business, you can set your business as a service as opposed to a brick and mortar. There's actually an option for that. I would work with your web team. If you don't have your login or you need a new one, it's very easy to claim that.
Just go in there and see how it's set up. If it's set up as a local brick and mortar, then yeah, people may look up your location, but if not, you can set it up as a headquarters, and then it will populate. Like the example I gave, that's a knowledge graph, but map results can show up similarly.
Perfect. Yeah, I think that pretty much wraps it up. There were a couple of questions about, I think coming from BrightEdge clients that were asking about where can I get a report or can I look at AMP. Definitely reach out to your client services manager or feel free to email myself. I think somebody asked about a specific slide as well, so feel free to email Jonny, email myself. We're more than happy to send over any resources that you guys need and answer any follow-up questions that you have.
Excellent. And just to wrap things up in that vein, Brian and myself working in conjunction so if there are questions that involve the BrightEdge platform, feel free to reach out to your client services.
If you're not a BrightEdge customer, you can reach out to BrightEdge directly or you can reach out to me as one of the benefits of that. We get ... We're aware that there are other platforms out there. We go through that a lot, so we're happy to answer those questions.
Like Brian said, if there's any questions on the content or any follow ups or if you're in need of SEO work or you want to utilize BrightEdge, our phone numbers, our emails are there, just feel free to reach out.