3 Words That Need To Be In Your SEO Strategy
Recent SEO updates shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone. But with digital change often driven, by search engines, it’s time to recognise that there may be a gap between brands’ definition of “quality content” and what audiences are expecting to see.
by CMO.com Team
Posted on 10-18-2018
To perform well in the world of search engine optimization (SEO), you need to produce “quality content.” Stop me if you’ve heard that one before. That phrase has been liberally sprinkled across search marketing PowerPoint decks, blogs, and strategy documents since the dawn of search. But what does it actually mean?
Triumvirate Of Terms
In August, the definition of “quality content” became more readily defined, exposing, in the process, a possible gap between the search engine definition and brands’ interpretation. In fact, what many brands saw as “quality content” was, in fact, just “content.” Nothing more, nothing less. if he’s talking about Google’s guidelines, we need to state that. Also, it seems to have come out in late July. [https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//insidesearch/howsearchworks/assets/searchqualityevaluatorguidelines.pdf]
That doesn’t mean to say the content was bad. But it wasn’t necessarily serving the needs of consumers, which made it hard for them to know what they could trust, whether they were receiving a balanced opinion, and, indeed, whether that opinion was coming from someone with genuine expertise.
That brings us to the three words that stand out in the latest search quality evaluator guidelines, which should replace “quality content” in your search strategy: expertise, authority, and trust.
This might sound obvious. Expertise, authority, and trust seem like goals we should all be working towards. Surely, these things are implied in every brand and marketing strategy?
However, search marketing blogs are currently full of graphs showing that SEO performance has been challenging for large, trusted brands since the applications of the search engine updates.
SEO strategy should not be subjective and shrouded in unspecificied aims; it should be clear, concise, and tangible. The term “quality content” is nothing of the sort. While spectrums of expertise, authority, and trust exist, they are, at the very least real, measurable qualities, and that’s what matters.
Adopting Proactive Practices
This issue becomes even more acute when we dig deeper into the inconvenient truth that simply too many search strategies are written for SEO, not consumers.
Too many brands spend time being reactive to search engine changes, rather than focusing on strategic search marketing that puts audiences at the heart.
We all knew that consumers value security, but it wasn’t until it became a factor in ranking that we created safer Web experiences. We knew that mobile experiences weren’t up to scratch, but the pace of change only accelerated after search engines put a tangible cost on poor mobile delivery.
And that is now where we find ourselves with content. The rules have changed when it comes to search and content marketing, in the way that they never changed when it came to HTTPs or mobile-friendly user experience, but the consequences and the costs of failing to comply have become much clearer.
Updating Your SEO Strategy
The solution to all of this starts by ridding ourselves of this lazy concept of “quality content” and understanding that our audiences and consumers are looking for more.
Consumers are looking for more information, more relevance, more personal experiences, and more value. As brands, we need to invest in delivering on ever-increasing expectations from an increasingly savvy audiences.
We need to think much more carefully about the relationship between our content and our audiences. Who is best placed to deliver on those expectations? Who are the experts that carry influence? Are we giving those audiences the full picture? Are we, as brands, being accountable for the things that we say and do?
The moment that we stop hiding behind this unspecific notion of “quality content” is the moment that we start creating content for the right reasons, and put our audiences at the heart of our search strategies.
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