The Ultimate Guide To State of Search 2017

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Thanks to Ruth Burr Reedy & DFWSEM. Much of content here is from their live tweeting. Thanks to WrightIMC for letting me do this on company time!

General Notes:

Gary Illyes seemed to hint that Google search pays attention to brand sentiment on social media. Google looks at off-site sentiment to find supporting signals about quality of a site. For a 2nd time today @methode said Google pays attention to negative sentiment about your site online.

If you thought featured snippets were interesting before, w/voice search “position 0” becomes “position only” — Mark Traphagen.

There will be more than 35 million smart speaker devices in use by the end of 2017.

Use slides for Audits. Many c-suite people think in slides, not Excel and Word.

Chat tells you what your customers want to know. use your site search data.

Awareness > Consideration > Familiarity > Purchase: The customer awareness journey.

51% of people believe it is important that brands ask about their needs. 10% said brands do this well.

Remote work enviros are the future.

Strength of corporate culture and team are what makes your business successful.

Give your team the independence to work and to talk back. Don’t build teams of Yes people.

Google Data Studio pro tip:Set filters to report-level. Also use calculated fields (it’s like an Excel formula). — Greg Gifford

Looking for automatic data warehousing?Adrian Vender recommends Stitch to pull from multiple data sources.

Digital Knowledge Manager is the future role that many in the SEO space will play. There will always be SEO to do, because people will always screw up websites. DKM is how you build a career. — Duane Forrester

PPC:

If you are not willing to pay for money making keywords, you probably have to look for informational searches.

Larry Kim gets a much higher conversion rate from free tool giveaways over whitepapers or ebooks.

When using Geo radius bid mods for your store fronts, are you considering distance/density of competitors?

Create square videos, not horizontal, so they can take up more space in mobile news feed on Facebook & perform better.

Design video ads for sound off. Tell your story visually & try using captions.

Even the slightest bit of motion in an image improves ad performance

“The human brain processes images 60K times faster than words.” Use relevant, interesting, compelling creative assets in ad.

Bing Ads is piloting Chatbot extensions in ad. 47% of users don’t care if they’re talking to a chatbot or human.

Look at your “time to purchase” numbers in Analytics to determine appropriate frequency capping in advertising.

SEO:

Google: 13 potential paid placements over organic results.

Google Now uses personalization to do away with queries entirely.

Organic is not going away but will become more complicated thanks to multiple devices.

Google is creating their own custom content. Maybe not in your industry ‘yet’ but when? Big in medical right now.

In many organic searches, being number 1 isn’t enough. In highly commercial queries, you MAY need to pay for it.

OPTIMIZING FOR FEATURED SNIPPETS CAN BRING AS MUCH AS 300% ORGANIC TRAFFIC GROWTH. Ordered lists are a great way to get Featured Snippets.

Bing doesnt read JSON-LD. Use proper Schema. Use How To schema where applicable.

Look at internal linking in GSC: Are your most important pages what Google thinks they are?

Mark Traphagen and a lonely panda.

Site Optimization:

It is better to improve pages instead of just noindexing them. Comments are better on-site for engagement signals for SEO than moving to social. Penguin is now on autopilot and is only tweaked occasionally.

RELATED:  6 Most Effective SEO Tricks for Small Business Exposure

Saying “we’ll SEO it later” can make sites so difficult to fix, they’re worthless. — Dawn Anderson

Stop creating a new URL for your annual event every year — just update the page! Build on a mature URL.

Clients say “let’s start w/a clean slate” — but websites aren’t disposable & search engines have long memories. — Dawn Anderson

Amazon — .1 decrease in page speed = loss of $1.3B / year. 40% of users abandon a site if it doesn’t load in 4 seconds.

Visit http://makefastsites.com . Tons of info everyone needs.

https://checkgzipcompression.com/. And use EWWW plugin for WordPress. use SVG for simple images and icons. Use png for screenshots & non complex images. Use Jpg for photos & complex img. Use prefetch / prerender instead of AMP — true open standards for speed.

Great cache plugin — https://wp-rocket.me/

https://imageoptim.com/mac https://wordpress.org/plugins/truenorth-srcset/

Googles fonts are great but can also slow down your site . To make your site fast, USE SYSTEM FONTS.

From Jon Henshaw

Use inline JS at the end of pages. Identify and test which JS and CSS code is actually being used. Strip away the rest of the library you don’t need. https://thewebshed.co/onsite-optimisation-without-code/

Avoid relative Urls vs absolute URLs, especially in WordPress. Strip out unused CSS and JavaScript as much as possible, everywhere you can. Find and chop back redirect chains: use the Redirect Chain report in Screaming Frog.

Social Media:

Social media isn’t supposed to be a place to just barf out information to our customers. 52% of publishers are seeing a decline in social traffic. The average reach of an organic Facebook post is 2%.

Use net promoter score as your primary KPI instead of revenue for social. 71% of customers that have a positive social experience will recommend the brand to someone else. 65% say if a brand engages with them on social, they’re more likely to become a customer. — Katy Katz

Content Strategy:

Quality content questions –
-Is it useful?
-Is it aligned?
-Is it unique?

Usefulness is the catalyst of content effectiveness. Useful content MUST be credible and believable. Do your homework, research, use citations, links, reviews and testimonials. Boring content is never useful. Dont publish clickbait for the sake of it. Create content with purpose. Needs to be unique, but not one of a kind. Don’t get hung up on creating new content. Find content that’s already working and do it better. “‘How to’ searches were up 140% since 2004.” “Your content has to have goals. Meet business objectives and help your prospects.”

-do a site: search for a competitor click tools > any time > past month to see what they’ve published recently. — @JoyanneHawkins

Having employees share content on LinkedIn vs. paid advertising on the platform is more effective.

Research:
-Existing answer box results
-People also Asked
-Click for more questions
-Searches related to

It’s cheaper to have someone brand-new write content, but a true expert will write better content.

Would you want to wait a full year for the next link spike in viral activity? Linkbait assets fail to deliver measurable results. Creating consistent linkable content that is on-brand is the right way to grow your brand. Build relationships with people and get quality links from influencers through those relationships. Create simple, digestible, linkable content throughout the month vs one big link bait piece per quarter.

RELATED:  10 Digital Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

If you’re in the lifestyle space, hire a photographer to create awesome content on a regular basis. Invest in great photography, videography, animation, web design, & designer. Find top/middle funnel topic with search volume that have link intent (30+ linking root domains).

Only 20% read a blog to the end. Answer: Add interactivity — a benefits calculator, printable checklist. — Kelsey Jones

Examples of evergreen content: White papers, E-books, case studies, interactive quizzes and tools. The most successful sites don’t rely on only one type of content. Plan a variety!

To recruit unpaid contributors, look into Facebook groups, Slacks, Twitter hashtags, and industry groups. — Kelsey Jones

Even if you didn’t write it, you’re still vouching for it if it’s on your site.

Mobile/AMP:

70% of hotel searches on mobile inc specific type of amenity such as “hotel with indoor pool” “hotel with jacuzzi in room.”

Sites will be rolled into #MobileFirst index as Google sees them ready, so there will be no single release date.

A Major media site did a custom AMP implementation on 90% of their pages, and saw 60% uptick in traffic. If you aren’t in News or Google News AMP is not a ranking factor.

By implementing AMP, a real estate site saw a 25% registration increase, and a 77% renter/tenant increase. Myth: AMP cant be used for Ecommerce Site. Analytics with AMP will be seen as referral. Bounce rate will be high etc. AMP can mess your Google Analytics data if you don’t stitch your sessions.

You can hand craft AMP pages that looks nearly identical to the mobile responsive version. Use Chrome 41 to debug JS.

“49% of people say they would purchase more on mobile if it were easier.”

68% of people access mobile while shopping in store. Content consumption is 32% faster on a mobile device.

Look at these mobile reports in GA:
-geo and near me searches
-adwords account
-avg time on page
-bounce/exit rate

High bounce rates on mobile are a dead giveaway something’s not loading properly.

Local SEO:

Google is trying to get rid of terrible local websites! Google wants to be the local website with My Google Business.

Go take picture of your competitors’ virtual office. Send to Google. Voila, they disappear from local pack.. Violating local guidelines works. But don’t do it. Joy will crush you. — @Joyannehawkins

Proximity #1 local ranking factor. Top factors influencing GMB filtering:
– organic ranking
– GMB categories
– content in GMB reviews

You need to know which categories your competitors are using in GMB.

Be careful signing up with 3rd parties who manage local data.

If you do nothing else for local SEO, DO reviews!

Load pictures of happy customers to your GMB listing.

The language *in* reviews matters for rankings.

Extra points to Casie Gillette for this slide.

Links/Tools:

https://www.stonetemple.com/the-three-marks-of-great-content/

https://goralewicz.com/blog/javascript-seo-experiment/

https://www.stonetemple.com/the-canonical-guide-to-amp/

https://www.stonetemple.com/featured-snippets-new-Insights-new-opportunities/

http://www.seerinteractive.com/blog/data-studio-tips-for-non-designers/

https://komarketing.com/stateofsearch2017/

http://Lumen5.com — a tool that will take your written content and turn it into video content

https://www.slideshare.net/DistilledSEO/searchlove-london-2016-stephen-pavlovich-habits-of-advanced-conversion-optimisers

https://www.slideshare.net/TomAnthony/next-era-of-seo-a-guide-to-seo-splittesting

Link outreach template: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11-_9Ehv3ba-QJxCHbsmMt21G-YB13ZeinStGD4I_5Q0/edit

Link followup: https://www.siegemedia.com/marketing/homepage-links-resource-outreach

Free split testing tool: http://distilled.net/diy-splittester

https://answerthepublic.com topical research resource

https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6596#section-3

Recommended tools: @MeetEdgar, @buffer, @BuzzSumo, @SproutSocial, @CoSchedule, @SERanking. @sendible

Check out keywordtool.io

Decks:

https://www.slideshare.net/katykatz/how-to-use-social-media-to-attract-and-retain-customers

https://www.slideshare.net/alanbleiweiss/owning-the-answer-box-knowledge-graph-and-featured-snippets

https://www.slideshare.net/jennyhalasz/analytics-in-the-mobile-age

https://www.slideshare.net/DawnFitton/cruft-busting-technical-debt-code-smell-and-refactoring-for-seo-state-of-search

https://www.slideshare.net/RossHudgens/how-to-not-go-viral-and-grow-by-500000-monthly-visits-stateofsearch-80623739

https://www.slideshare.net/crumplezone/paradigm-shifts-can-seo-survive-google/

https://www.stonetemple.com/the-canonical-guide-to-amp/

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B86HoPzhRvKCY3lXV3dhdGF1bEk/view

https://www.slideshare.net/Casieg/customer-experience-search-state-of-search-2017-80621441

https://www.slideshare.net/johnleoweber/state-of-search-2017-cross-channel-marketing-by-john-leo-weber

https://www.slideshare.net/goralewicz/javascript-indexing-and-seo-the-naked-truth-state-of-search-2017-80617471/1

https://www.slideshare.net/JoyHawkins/how-to-create-a-killer-strategy-by-spying-on-your-competitors/1

https://www.slideshare.net/KelseyJones2/state-of-search-2017-how-to-scale-editorial-strategy

https://www.slideshare.net/adrianvender/advanced-reporting-with-google-data-studio-state-of-search-2017

https://www.slideshare.net/rtkrum/cool-infographics-publishing-and-promotion-80663083

https://www.slideshare.net/UpasnaGautam2/state-of-search-2017-semantics-and-science-upasna-gautam/1

https://www.slideshare.net/TylerBrown23/what-makes-or-breaks-a-wikipedia-article#

https://www.slideshare.net/GilHong1/when-it-comes-to-shopping-ads-how-well-do-you-know-your-products-gil-hong/1

https://www.slideshare.net/NatalieBarreda/state-of-search-battle-of-the-3rd-party-platforms/1

https://www.slideshare.net/MarthavanBerkel/structured-data-from-az-managing-your-knowledge-graph-state-of-search#

Recaps:

https://getlevelten.com/blog/felipa-villegas/state-search-conference-recap

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