Rethink Your Content Strategy in 2018 to Get Noticed – Part 1

Content marketing and SEO are changing — quickly. Strategies that just a few months ago grew your organic website traffic simply aren’t as effective today.  

Not too long ago, Google changed its algorithms and started using Google RankBrain. You may be wondering why this change was so critical! Let’s dive in!

The Way We Search the Internet has Changed

Most households started connecting to the Internet in the late 1990s, and smartphones weren’t in everyone’s hands until later in the next decade. Technology changes have been fast and furious, and consumers needed to adapt quickly. Need a jolt of caffeine when you’re on the go? Siri helps find the nearest Starbucks. Remember printing maps at your home or office before setting out? Now map apps get us to our destination via the fastest route.

Google adapted as well, researching how people search for topics, and the words they use. And now, with RankBrain’s power, the days of exact keyword-matching are over. Rather, Google now favors content (the stuff we marketers put out on the web) that helps the searcher’s user experience.

We’ve all searched for something specific before and gotten frustrated when we couldn’t find it fairly quickly. A marketer today has to emphasize the importance of user experience by creating content Google RankBrain will interpret as helpful to the searcher.

User Satisfaction and Finding the Right Content

Google RankBrain is intelligent and understands terms similar to the words users enter into the search bar. This is changing the way marketers plan their SEO strategy. There’s been lots of buzz about medium-tail keywords, optimizing a website page around a single keyword, LSI keywords, and more.

Google’s internal tools, including RankBrain, don’t just look to match keywords, but what users actually mean when they enter words or phrases into the search bar. They do this by seeing what results users are selecting in answer to these queries, and those sites rank higher in their algorithms.

In our own research, we’ve found using emotional titles and headlines fare much better in reaching your audience than the standard, boring ones. Plus, there are new ways to grab attention from your audience — who are already inundated with emails, news feeds, and simply too much content to digest.

What’s Next?

You’ve probably heard “Content is King” for some time. Well, today, with so much information available to us, it’s more about “Quality & Structured Content” is the new King.

Marketers are taking a step back. We’re looking at content we already have in order to re-purpose it, while creating new quality content that will attract your audience. The content has to answer the questions your audience is looking for, more quickly and comprehensively.

Over the past few years all available marketing channels have been flooded with way too much content leading to “information fatigue.” To grab the attention of your audience today, only relevant quality content will get read. This means marketers need to show context in order for Google RankBrain to judge that your content will provide a good user experience — and that gets your content ranking high in search results.

Next Week: Part 2 We’ll look at how to organize your own content to take advantage of Google’s search tools and give your audience what they’re looking for. Until then, if you want to get a more detailed explanation of RankBrain and how it sorts searches and results, we like this explainer.

Written by RLO Training

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