Hi, I’m Katherine Griwert with your monthly content marketing recap from Brafton. September saw a lot of search updates that might influence how you create and measure content to reach searching Americans. Click play or read the post below for a full overview on last month’s biggest content marketing insights.
Keyword (not provided): Not the end of smart SEO content
The update we’re getting the most questions about from customers here at Brafton is Google’s move to secure search. You may have seen the change in your analytics before Google announced it. A site called Not Provided Count tracked that the average percent of (not provided) keyword data jumped from under 50 percent in August to above 70 percent last month (reaching past the 80 percent-mark as of this week). Google confirmed it’s moving to secure search, which means that insights on organic traffic-driving keywords are unavailable.
This can present a challenge for marketers who were tracking which phrases bring the most convertible organic traffic to their sites, although this is information is still available in AdWords. But this is also a good reminder to break out of keyword obsession for search success. There’s still information available in the form of which organic landing pages win the most traffic and drive the most conversions. Marketers can use this data to reverse engineer questions that users are asking and use successful landing pages as models of where they’re effectively answering them.
New Hummingbird algorithm and Panda updates: Answer questions, don’t match queries
Keywords aren’t obsolete, but this is a healthy reminder that SEO and good content marketing should start with a consideration of which topics are going to answer online prospects’ questions – not match their keyword queries. And new Google algorithm updates indicate the search engine wants to rank content that answers questions over queries.
The company announced Hummingbird, designed to better focus on the meaning behind the words. As Search Engine Land‘s Danny Sullivan reported, one Google-er said knowing these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words. The update builds on the company’s earlier Knowledge Graph, which Google said focused on returning results about things – not strings of queries. It also seems in line with Panda, focused on signals about the quality of content.
Earlier in September, Matt Cutts said Panda updates are now part of Google’s regular indexing process. Just 38 percent of brands report improvement after Google softened Panda, and it’s now clear that quality content is par for the course.
Content diversity: Support the full customer journey
In an effort to create more user-focused content, a B2B LinkedIn survey suggests more companies are outsourcing interactive content types. Thirty percent hire external teams to execute their video marketing efforts – and infographics aren’t far behind, outsourced by 26 percent. Companies should start thinking about strategically adding visual content o their marketing mix – plus, videos can give SERP snippets to help catch more organic search clicks. And speaking of snippets,
Authorship – and AuthorRank? – generates content marketing buzz
Authorship and AuthorBadges are getting even more attention this month. At last week’s SMX event, Google’s Pierre Far adamantly said there’s no ranking benefit to having it set up – yet… But he announced Authorship for images and image search. And Far other panelists talked openly about the click benefits of Author badges in results pages and offered some technical troubleshooting. You can learn more about why and how to set up Authorship with the free guide available in Brafton’s online resource center.
Those are some of this month’s biggest content marketing highlights – catch ongoing updates on Brafton.com.