This is the thirty-fifth episode of, ‘This Week In Organic’, the weekly show that debates the ramifications of the latest SEO and content marketing news.
In this episode we discuss the fact that brands can now edit their knowledge graph cards in Google, the difference between B2B and B2C SEO and how you can content market effectively around live events.
Topics this week include:
=== Topic #1: Brands Can Now Edit Their Knowledge Graph Cards In Google.
Greg Finn published an article on Marketing Land saying that Google’s Knowledge Graph now lets you update your own data.
But is this a good thing and if so, how do marketers take advantage of this?
=== Topic 2: Might Wikidata be more important than on-site markup in the future?
Google’s answers are a result of the semantic markup found around the web – and that’s increasingly from third party sites like Wikidata.
Is it essential that most businesses take advantage of this?
=== Topic 3: What’s the difference between B2B and B2C SEO?
A couple of days ago, Keith Hodges published an article on B2Bmarketing.net on the difference between B2B and B2C SEO.
What do you think? Do you agree?
- B2B tend to sell intangible products
- Different performance indicators – B2C = leads, B2B = number of sessions
- Sales life cycle
- B2B SEO must expose the business’s services on relevant websites
- Keyword research – for B2B and agency must truly understand the business
=== Topic 4: Twitter is rolling out a new Algorithmic Timeline
This means that Tweets are going to be ranked by quality in addition to timeliness.
What might this mean for Twitter strategy in the future?
=== Topic 5: Online advertising during the SuperBowl
We seem to be seeing a boom in content marketing opportunities around live events. So how do you content market around live events?
DAVID BAIN: Brands can now edit their knowledge graphs in Google. What’s the difference between B2B and B2C SEO? And how do you content market effectively around live events? All that and more on This Week In Organic, Episode Number 35.
Hello and welcome. I’m David Bain, and each week I’ll be joined by some knowledgeable, opinionated folks to discuss the latest happenings in anything that impacts organic traffic. And as for you in the live audience, get involved – so click on the tweet or the post buttons in your top left hand side, and share the show with your own followers. And tell us what you think in the comments box to your right hand side there of course as well.
So let’s find out more about today’s guest. So hopefully we’ll be able to hear them okay there. We’ve got Sonia that’s joined us there. Hi, Sonia, how are you doing?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Hello, I’m good, thank you. Hope you are too. My name is Sonia Mazzotta, and I come from Global University Systems. I’m the head of SEO there. I would like to talk about the knowledge graph, and the metadata as well.
DAVID BAIN: The knowledge graph – yes, absolutely. It’s interesting that Google appears to be letting you edit it now, so that wasn’t available in the very recent past, so that could be another opportunity to optimise in the organic listings. And also joining us today is Andreas. Hello there. Or maybe not joining us today. Andreas – if you can hear me, what you need to do is refresh your screen again, and hopefully I’ll be able to let you in again, and we’ll be able to see you, and hear you a little bit more effectively. So obviously he’s left now, so he could hear me, we couldn’t really hear him. But that’s okay, we can have a decent conversation about quite a few different topics in terms of what’s happening there.
So first of all, shall we move into the topic of the knowledge graph in fact, because that’s the topic that you mentioned there, Sonia. So what about that do you think may be quite appealing to SEOs?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Well, I think it’s really important because obviously Wikipedia, which is the main source of information for Google, sometimes they can be outdated. For this reason it is really important for SEO people to have access to this sort of data and information, and making sure that we have also the correct keywords in order to be recognised as relevant to certain types of queries. So brands need to have more power over the information they are obviously owning of.
DAVID BAIN: Absolutely, yes. I mean it’s interesting; it was something that Google introduced obviously two or three years ago. They appeared to be testing it just to begin with, but we’ve got Andreas trying to join us there, trying to find a silent spot there. That doesn’t really seem to be that possible to find a silent spot.
ANDREAS: I’m really sorry guys. I have to switch off from my internet connection Wi-Fi to 3G, to my phone, because really where I am is not working.
DAVID BAIN: Okay, I’ll tell you what, Andreas. I’ll kick you out just now, and if you find an area that you’re comfortable in, then we can keep the conversation going after that. But don’t worry – just find a good area for yourself, and we’ll talk to you in a few moments’ time.
DAVID BAIN: Okay, so yeah. With regards to this knowledge graph, I mean it started off, obviously to begin with you had a long horizontal strip on the top of some Google search results. To begin with it was bands, musicians, things like that that were appearing. Then after a while it was Google+ that started getting integrated into it, and brands, because they’d signed up with Google+, were getting greater prominence towards the right-hand side of search results there as well.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah.
DAVID BAIN: Google perhaps have not given Google+ that much love recently, so maybe it’s surprising to some people that they still want to use these knowledge graph type results, but I suppose they’re taking the results from third party sites, rather than actually relying on Google+ now. So it’s really important, as you said, Sonia, to actually get your brand listing perfected on these third party sites.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yes, yes. Besides, as I said, it gives more ownership to the brand in terms of what type of information should be displayed on Google. And also it’s important for brand reputation; the knowledge graph is definitely something that needs to be looked at from that point of view. As you mentioned, Google+ is a source of reviews, and it definitely needs to be taken into consideration from SEO people.
DAVID BAIN: So are you still an active user of Google+ yourself?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Not that much, but I think it’s definitely something that we need to look into in terms of, you know, for brand reputation. Personally, my Google+ unfortunately is not that active, and you know, it’s one of those things that—I guess only SEO would be on Google+, but it is true that we need to take care of it. Definitely.
DAVID BAIN: Yeah. I’m in two minds about Google+ because obviously it’s integrated into a lot of what Google offers nowadays, but as an active social community, apart from SEOs, how many people use it? Well, I was talking to Greg Gifford a couple of months ago, and he was saying that there are actually a few motorcycle communities on Google+. But realistically there aren’t that many communities on there, and it looks like Google are using it to create the next version of an integrated Google, with lots of different products related to it, but they’re perhaps not actually now focusing on it as a social network. Would you say that’s fair?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, yeah, definitely, I think so.
DAVID BAIN: Yeah. We’ll see, I guess, if Google want to make a further move in the future into social media now, but I guess the most important thing that it’s trying to do at the moment is actually understand who their users are, and what they actually want. And obviously they’ve got a lot of information from being able to link these properties together, like YouTube, and other things that people are using. But perhaps they don’t have as much quality information as a site like Facebook has, where obviously people who have signed up to that site have given their demographic information. So do you think Google are playing catch up to Facebook in terms of actually trying to get information like that from its users?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, definitely. Through Google+ perhaps Google is trying to understand what the social activity of the users is, and perhaps trying to emulate Facebook from that perspective. So maybe there is a gist of a social kind of study there. But unfortunately it looks like Google+ hasn’t been a huge success, and the reason why users are on there is simply because by default, just by having a Google Gmail account, they would be enrolled, and it basically has such a large database. And also it’s quite confusing; in terms of reviews, as I mentioned earlier, it looks like you need to use Google+ in order to leave reviews on local business, for instance. So, as I said earlier, it is important to keep an eye on it, and making sure that the reviews are taken care of. And as a business, as a brand, those reviews need to be looked after.
DAVID BAIN: Okay. It’s interesting that you talk about reviews as being one of the most important parts of Google+, and Google Local maybe. What are a few tactics that businesses could do to encourage users, its customers, to actually leave reviews? Are there are a few things that maybe you do as a business to actually try and encourage your customers to leave better reviews or more reviews?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: So mailing lists, subscribers, and trying to get all those users from the database, encourage them to leave reviews, especially those that are positive, obviously, and then through events and things like that.
DAVID BAIN: Okay, okay. That’s interesting, because that means that you’re talking about integrating offline activities with online, and still a lot of companies are structured at the moment with their digital marketing teams being completely separate with their offline marketers, and it’s so important to start to integrate things a little bit more in the future.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Absolutely.
DAVID BAIN: Is that something that you’ve been doing for quite a while?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: I’ve been doing it for a while, yes. Unfortunately, not in my current role, because it’s so big, and still working on integrating. But in my previous roles, I had been working on that, yes.
DAVID BAIN: Okay, okay. Well, one of the things in relation to knowledge graph and Google+ is Wikidata, and we’re seeing that a lot of Google Answers are actually appearing as a result of semantic mark-ups found on other pages around the web. So it’s not necessarily pages on your own websites; it’s other websites out there that are marking up data, and giving Google greater confidence that that information must be correct. So it’s actually providing results for Google Answers. Can you see in the future it being more likely that Google will rely more heavily on third party websites for this mark-up data rather than your own brand websites for this schema mark-up?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Maybe. To be fair, Wikidata had quite a few critics, actually, because it’s so easy to change things, and there’s no need to even reference sometimes. It’s quite dangerous. So my understanding is that Wikidata is replacing Freebase, so basically the new version is very correlated to Wikipedia, and maybe the reason why Wikidata is basically replacing Freebase is because it’s quite easy to change things.
My understanding is that probably it’s got to do with Hummingbird, so there is a connection between entities and properties, so Google will basically retrieve the correct search listings to the user’s query.
DAVID BAIN: Okay, okay. We’ve got Andreas trying to join us again there. You’ve got a little bit of background noise there, Andreas. So I’ll tell you what we’ll do; we’ll get your opinion on a couple of things there, and we’ll see if you can perhaps meet yourself when you’re obviously not being part of the discussion. But with regards to schema mark-up, and the knowledge graph, we’re talking about the fact that Google are obviously looking to take information from third party websites. What kind of experience have you got in relation to that?
Okay, so I’m not sure if Andreas is managing to see us at all there. Andreas, can you hear me there? Okay, so we’ve got to assume that Andreas’ headphones aren’t actually working today. So what I’m going to do is actually kick him off there again as well. So Andreas, if you can hear me, obviously get to a quiet spot, and then hopefully you can come back in there again. So we’ve got a couple of guests here that haven’t been able to join us that well. Hopefully we’re going to have Sonia pop back in in a second there as well.
So to summarise what we’re discussing there, obviously we had the knowledge graph to begin with. That was at the very top of search results, at the very beginning. It now seems to have moved towards the right hand side of search results, which appears to be more of a permanent position for it there as well, and obviously Google is actually taking information there from third party sites to actually make that up there as well.
So we’ve got a couple of guests just trying to join us again there as well. Sonia, can you hear me there?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: I can hear you. Apologies – it looks like my laptop decided to betray me.
DAVID BAIN: That’s okay, that’s okay. We can hear your audio; we saw you for a bit, so that was great, but it seems to be the day that every one of my guests seems to decide not to be able to join me properly. But not a problem at all. I mean, it’s good to have you on anyway, on audio, and offering your opinions and that. I assume that you can hear me quite well yourself.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, yeah. I can hear you.
DAVID BAIN: Okay great, great. So yeah, it’ll be intriguing to see what happens there in terms of the data that Google gets from third party sites. The most important thing as far as I’m concerned, from Google Answers, is the answers have to be completely reliable, because users and other websites will get very frustrated if Google start delivering answers directly at the top of its search results that aren’t the correct answer. Surely Google should only actually be answering questions if it’s a fact, it’s a simple thing that needs to be answered yes or no. If it’s trying to drive traffic either to its own properties, or to other websites, then that’s not a good user experience at all. What’s your general opinion of direct answers in Google search results?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: I think it’s generally quite good, I have to say, with the Hummingbird especially things are really improved. But in terms of Wikidata, as I said, there are quite a few concerns with regards to the lack of resources, and apparently there is a permissive license which allows third parties to use its content without attribution. So it’s a quite powerful tool for SEO people, certainly, but I think it will be definitely reviewed in terms of quality. So yeah, it is a bit risky for the users, whether they’re going to receive the correct answers, but generally speaking, Google is quite good at it.
DAVID BAIN: And have you ever tried to optimise a website in order to try and appear as a direct answer in Google search results?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Direct answer in terms of – sorry, what do you mean by direct answer? Just a general question?
DAVID BAIN: Yes, I mean sometimes obviously in the top of Google search results it will give you the direct answer to something, and then the resource of something.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, like Obama.
DAVID BAIN: Exactly, yes.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Obama’s wife kind of thing.
DAVID BAIN: Yeah.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: No, no, I haven’t optimised for that kind of answer yet, no.
DAVID BAIN: Okay, okay. Well, I mean it’s something that has increased as a percentage of search results quite significantly over the last year. I believe, off the top of my head, it’s something like from 18% to about 30% of search queries now have a direct answer at the top of it, and that’s obviously something else that can drive traffic away from what you’re trying to do. So you can’t just rely on maybe your organic search results for your traffic anymore.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: That is true, that is true. Certainly something that we need to take into account.
DAVID BAIN: So do you see yourself as an SEO also getting more involved with social media, and other forms of digital marketing then?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, yeah. Certainly, certainly. It’s definitely correlated, the social media helps to spread the voice, and helps to reach influencers, and we call the social signals as perhaps a ranking factor, so definitely something that needs to be looked at.
DAVID BAIN: That’s a debatable point – is social media a ranking factor or not?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yes, I know.
DAVID BAIN: You know, are those signals a ranking factor? It’s like the meta description, because the meta description is obviously important. It can influence people’s click through from search results, and if you have a higher click-through rate, then that probably positively impacts your rankings, but most people say that the meta description isn’t part of Google’s algorithm. However, if you have a great meta description then it encourages click-throughs, so it does improve it anyway. So it’s not about whether something is part of Google’s algorithm, it’s whether something influences your rankings ultimately.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah.
DAVID BAIN: And social shares, even if they aren’t actually listed as part of Google’s algorithm, as long as if your content’s good, your social shares are probably going to positively impact the amount of users sharing what you do, and that in turn will probably impact positively your search results.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, I think about the exposure, I think about the relevancy of who shares the information or the content. So I think all these factors need to be taken into account.
DAVID BAIN: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, one other article that I found this week was an article called “What’s the Difference Between B2B and B2C SEO?” A couple of days ago a guy called Keith Hodges published an article on b2bmarketing.net on the differences between B2B and B2C SEO. So he wrote five different points, and that was quite interesting for me because I’m head of growth for authoritas.com, and we focus on B2B heavily, but I’ve worked for B2C type organisations in the past, so it was interesting to think about the different way that you do things as an SEO based upon the type of business. And I think maybe a lot of SEOs are guilty of treating every business as the same, and just using the same tactics to try and optimise different businesses. Is that something that resonated with you as well?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Bearing in mind that I never really dealt with B2B, but I agree with what the article says because the type of SEO activity has to be different. The B2B completely relies on a different market, and you need to really have a deeper understanding of the different cycles within the sales, and then you need to basically do the keyword research based on that. So yes, it is a different approach, a different type of optimisation for B2B. B2B looks at leads whilst B2C looks at sales, and the different types of KPIs. I do agree with the article, definitely.
DAVID BAIN: Yes, yeah. I did a little bit of consultancy work for a big management consultancy, and they were just very focused on just getting more visits to their website, and improving their brand, but they didn’t have any call to action on their website, but they were quite happy with those as metrics. But obviously if you’re a B2C company that are selling products, which maybe only cost £50 each, or something like that, then you’re looking for a sale to happen pretty quickly. And that influences the kind of keywords that you’re going for. If you’re just looking for visits to demonstrate that you are a knowledge leader, then perhaps it’s longer keyword phrases, and not talking about your own products and services. But if you’re a B2C maybe it’s actually call to action keyword phrases in relation to exactly what you sell.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah.
DAVID BAIN: Yeah. And also, you know, the length of the sales cycle is something that jumps out as well. I mean B2Cs can be twelve months, or even more certainly. So quite different types of SEO. Lastly, keyword research for B2B, maybe agencies, or at least point five in the article said that agencies don’t really have to understand the business of a B2C company; they just have to actually understand the products they sell. But if you’re a B2B business, then if you have an agency doing keyword research on behalf of them, then you really have to understand the business – understand the challenges that the potential clients are facing before actually acting on that business’ behalf. So I thought that was probably the most interesting point for me, because it made me think yeah, actually, that’s really spot on because unless you really understand a B2B-type business, you can’t really do a good job for them from a keyword research and SEO perspective. That’s my thinking anyway.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, yeah. I agree.
DAVID BAIN: Okay, good stuff. You agree. Hopefully everyone else agrees – that’d be a very easy conversation to have there. So I’m not sure if we’re going to have Andreas popping on again; obviously he was having challenges there with his audio as well. We might have had Chris Green popping on there as well, but let’s just have a more intimate conversation, and it perhaps even gives other people viewing an opportunity to pop on as well, so if SEO, if content marketing is obviously your area of focus, and you’d like to be involved in the conversation, feel free to click the call in button, and perhaps be involved with the conversation there as well.
But coming up, we’re going to be talking about the fact that Twitter is rolling out a new algorithmic timeline, and we’re also going to be asking the question how do you content market effectively around live events? But first of all, I just want to point out the fact that Authoritas is actually going to be broadcasting BrightonSEO live on our website, so if you can’t actually go to BrightonSEO, then you can watch the whole event live – the main stage live – on our site. So just go to www.authoritas.com/brightonseo, and you can sign up for free to watch BrightonSEO live. And Sonia, I believe you’re going to be speaking at BrightonSEO.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yes, I am.
DAVID BAIN: Wow, okay. That’s superb. Is that on the main stage, or another stage there? Do you know that yet?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: It’s going to be on a small stage, so there will be about a hundred guests. I’m quite happy about that actually, because I don’t cope very well with large audiences. It’s going to be a personal challenge, so fingers crossed it will go well.
DAVID BAIN: I’m sure it will go very well. So do you know what topic you’re actually going to be talking about?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yes, it’s going to be about why brands should be on Google News, and what are the SEO benefits?
DAVID BAIN: Right, okay. That’s intriguing actually, because you can drive quite a bit of traffic from Google News, can’t you?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, and it’s also very tricky getting into Google News actually, so I’m going to share some tips on how to avoid the obstacles.
DAVID BAIN: Okay, okay. Well, if you’re not speaking on the main stage, that means that unfortunately our live broadcast of the event isn’t going to include your tips there as well. So if you’re listening to this then you’re going to have to get along to BrightonSEO in person to hear Sonia’s tips. So that should be quite intriguing, so hopefully I’ll be able to make it along to that one there as well. So all the best with that anyway.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Thank you. I hope to see you.
DAVID BAIN: Great. Well, one other topic that we were going to talk about is the fact that Twitter are introducing more of a timeline, where you now have an option to actually just view top tweets, and that actually quite appealed to me, because you know, I follow some people who I feel are a little bit repetitive with what they tweet about; maybe they’re a little bit too self-promotional, and they just tweet the same thing twice a day, every day, and you’re just thinking I don’t know if I can be bothered with this. And instead of unfollowing that person now, perhaps if I just ticked the button that I only want to see the top tweets, perhaps that will encourage them to focus not on quantity but a little bit more quality when it comes to tweeting. Are you a big tweeter, Sonia?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: I have a relationship of love and hate with Twitter. I find it a very powerful social media channel. If I’m not careful there I can be in trouble basically. But I think yes, it’s good that Twitter is reviewing a bit the type of timelines, and it’s good that there will be more quality rather than quantity. I agree with you in that.
DAVID BAIN: So love/hate relationship – so what are the things that you hate about Twitter then?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: It’s basically that I feel as if you really need to – I don’t know. It’s just personally I’m not a big user of Twitter, so it’s just that thing. I mean it’s great.
DAVID BAIN: Are you a fan of other social networks, or is it more just Twitter that you don’t love that much?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: I prefer Facebook personally, because I know I can share whatever I think with my friends without worrying about…
DAVID BAIN: What the world sees.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, yeah exactly. No, I think Twitter is great also for news. I normally keep an eye there just to see what– You know, it’s very quick in getting any source of news. So I think it’s a great tool of information, but yeah, personally I’m more of a passive person on Twitter unfortunately.
DAVID BAIN: You’re more of a watcher rather than a writer.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, exactly, exactly.
DAVID BAIN: Okay, so be careful what you write if Sonia’s following you then.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yes.
DAVID BAIN: We’ve got a comment in the chat here saying that behind this timeline is an auto way for Twitter to analyse us a little bit more. So that’s interesting, because obviously Twitter has had challenges with actually making money; it needs to make money. Its last reported profits was a loss in fact, so not really a profit at all. Facebook don’t have that challenge at all. So one of the things that Twitter obviously needs to do is understand its users a little bit more, and perhaps actually deliver more targeted adverts. Would more adverts on Twitter, Sonia, actually put you off using Twitter completely, do you think?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Kind of. Yeah, probably. I don’t want to see too many ads there, but it’s not as bad as Facebook, I guess.
DAVID BAIN: Yeah, Facebook. But you don’t have a love/hate relationship with Facebook – even though you like using Facebook, you’ll put up with the adverts if it’s a network that you really find useful, and enjoy using.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, yeah definitely, because of the privacy settings.
DAVID BAIN: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And another comment there saying don’t forget when the product’s free, you are the product. So obviously that means that when you’re actually using anything such as even Google’s products, you are delivering your information to that service provider, and then they can obviously tailor advertising towards what you do. So I guess whatever you’re doing you have the choice as to whether you’re actually going to pay for a product, or if it’s going to be free, you’ve got to question why it’s going to be free, and what you’re willing to put up with in terms of giving information to that particular service, that particular brand, in order for them to provide you with that service.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah.
DAVID BAIN: Yeah absolutely. Okay, well it’ll be intriguing to see what Twitter does over the next year, because obviously the focus is on profit. They’re going to make quite a few changes, so watch this space. But let’s just move on to our final topic, which is quite a few brands use Snapchat to advertise using the Super Bowl. And Snapchat is something that I’ve tried out – I haven’t really got into it massively, but there seems to be a boom in Snapchat at the moment. But it had me thinking well surely it means that there’s a bit more of a boom about producing content around live events. There’s a real opportunity for a lot of businesses to actually be involved with content marketing at the same time of these live events going on, and maybe even take advantage of things like Google News as part of these live events to distribute your content. So you mentioned that your talk at BrightonSEO obviously is going to relate to Google News. Do you find that one of the best things to do with Google News is to actually try and write your content based upon events that are actually happening at that moment in time?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Definitely. Because it’s news – by writing news related to a big event is a way of getting exposure, and therefore generate traffic for the website. So I believe that Google News is another channel as social media channels as a way of getting exposure. I’ve seen a very interesting presentation from the managing director of Twitter a couple of years ago in a conference – the SES London. It was talking about this actually – it was how it’s important for brands to be present during the live events, massive events such as the Super Bowl, and even engaging with celebrities, or famous people is really important. You really need to have a plan in order to make it happen because obviously it generates interest, and as I said, exposure.
DAVID BAIN: So I mean, do you not think though that it needs to be a plan based upon what you do as a company? I mean, for instance, if you happen to come across a celebrity, can you, if you’re a brand that isn’t really related to what that celebrity does, can you still try and actually relate your content to them, and generate visitors to your website, in the hope that people will then find out about your products and services? Or should you only try and focus on events and hopefully interview celebrities who are very relevant to exactly what you do?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: I think you need to do both. You really have to do both in order to generate more awareness around your brand. You really have to think outside the box in order to get attention. So something really quirky and funny always works. If there would be an occasion in the future, I will share some examples that I found.
DAVID BAIN: If you’d like to share one example just now, feel free.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, I don’t have it now, but yeah, I will. I will share it.
DAVID BAIN: Okay, that’s intriguing. That’s intriguing because a lot of SEOs tend to focus on the keyword phrases that are immediately relevant to that business, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult, certainly for some industries, to compete effectively, and give yourself a good opportunity to drive traffic as a result of that. So more progressive SEOs are involved with other forms of marketing, but also are one step away in terms of the keyword phrases that they actually research, and try to optimise for. They’re not thinking about the types of phrases that people are likely to type in relation to that product or service; they’re thinking about how to actually capture people before they even search for the keyword phrases. And that’s quite a tough point to actually enter the market at. I mean, do you have any thoughts in terms of how a business would actually think about the keyword phrases to optimise for that aren’t directly related to what they do?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: We’re still talking about big events, or just a more general question?
DAVID BAIN: More of a general question really.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Okay. Well in that case, obviously with the keyword phrases, we’re looking at optimising through the guides, and having content on a website which covers as much as possible on the topic that you would like to cover. So we have mentioned the algorithm, the Hummingbird, so that really helps. So obviously the quality of content and the length of it is definitely a hot topic with that.
DAVID BAIN: Okay, okay. One other thing I was thinking of is also within Google Analytics and other analytics packages, you can start to see things like the demographics of your users, and to see what interests are more likely to be relevant to them. So you can start to see things like the age profile, or the average age profile of who visits your website, and also maybe what categories of things that are of particular interest to them – it could be technology, it could be travel, or something like that. So you can take that information from Google Analytics, and then maybe even actually build your future content marketing campaign around that.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Absolutely.
DAVID BAIN: Yeah, is that something you’ve actually done?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, yeah, definitely. It is data that we capture, and can be analysed, and we base our content marketing on that, so it’s definitely something that we need to look at. Also with regards to the tone of voice, when we decided to write an article, and things like that, we definitely look at the type of language that the users are using. So it is crucial to know your target audience in order to have a targeted content marketing campaign.
DAVID BAIN: Yeah, absolutely. And a lot of people talk about having a buyer persona as well – having that one ideal customer in mind; actually thinking about them as an individual as opposed to thinking about them as a group of people.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, yeah. So it’s a marketing thing. So we think about segments. So we think about user persona. It really depends on your strategy. User persona is more relevant, in my opinion, for the online environment, otherwise the segments are more a classic type of marketing. So yes, the user persona is definitely an answer for us.
DAVID BAIN: Okay, okay. And do you think that should be an answer for most businesses, or is it only for certain types of businesses?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: It depends on the type of business of course, but generally online I think the user persona, it is probably the answer.
DAVID BAIN: Probably a good thing to do. Okay, intriguing.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: I think so, but you know, it depends of course.
DAVID BAIN: And do you think most SEOs are quite good at understanding things like that, or do you think in general too many SEOs are just still a little bit too much focused on keywords, and links, and the actual site itself, rather than thinking about users?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: I’m hoping that we’re going towards the user, because that’s what Google is looking at – providing the best user experience. So we need to make sure that the user is at the centre of our attention. So we don’t optimise for the search engine; we optimise for the user. Bearing that in mind, obviously it means that we will have to provide the best website, the best content, and obviously the best campaigns for our users. And obviously, hopefully, they will find us online in a better way.
DAVID BAIN: Absolutely, yes. Okay, well that just about takes us, I reckon, to the end of this week’s episode. So just in a second I’m going to ask you for one takeaway from our conversation that you think our listeners should go away and do in their businesses. So just before I do that, I’ll offer one myself, because the initial part of our conversation we were talking about Google’s knowledge graph, and where it gets data from as well. So one step I would recommend people to actually do is have a think about where Google might take data from in relation to your industry, and have a look to see if your company information, your results, are up to date and relevant, and contain all the right logos, the right addresses, the right phone numbers as well. Because the more other results out there from websites that are of quality, that contain the right information about your business, the more confident that Google will be about the information on your website that you provide them, so the more trust they will actually have in your domain.
So what’s your takeaway? What are your thoughts, Sonia?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yes. So definitely the takeaway is thanks to the knowledge graph, we can keep our brand’s information up to date, so keep an eye there, and have a look on Wikidata – see how we can optimise connecting entities and properties. And yeah, quality over quantity.
DAVID BAIN: Quality over quantity. Absolutely, absolutely. And that’s so much more fun to be involved with, because years ago it used to be about getting as many links as possible, or syndicating your content to as many places as possible. But of course if you do that, you’re not going to be able to see where that content is consumed. You’re not going to be able to interact with people who are actually consuming your content. If you focus on a few core websites to interact on, then you can build that quality orientated relationship with your potential customers, rather than actually just focusing on driving numbers to your website.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah.
DAVID BAIN: Great, okay. Well thank you so much for joining us today. If our listeners would actually like to find out more about what you do, is Twitter the best place to follow you on, even though you don’t like it that much?
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yes, of course. You can follow me on Twitter. Hopefully I’ll be able to share more insights, and more experience in what I do. So yes, apologies if sometimes I tweet silly things. That’s just me. That’s why I have a love and hate relationship about Twitter, but yes, please follow me.
DAVID BAIN: You know, everyone on Twitter has tweeted something silly, and that’s the nature of social media, isn’t it? It’s understanding the personality behind that person.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yes.
DAVID BAIN: It would get a bit boring if it was just SEO content all the time.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Yeah, that’s true. That’s very true.
DAVID BAIN: Well, I’m David Bain, Head of Growth at Authoritas, providing big data solutions to give your enterprise the content marketing edge. Sigh up for a demo of our platform at authoritas.com, and you can also find me interviewing online marketing gurus over at www.digitalmarketingradio.com. Now if you’re watching this show as a recording, or listening to this show as a recording, remember to watch the next show live. So head over to wwwthisweekinorganic.com, sign up there, and be part of the live audience for the next show. But for those of you watching live, we also have that audio podcast, of course, of previous shows. Again, you can get a link to that at www.thisweekinorganic.com if you just sign up there. But until we see you again, have a fabulous weekend, and thank you all for joining us, and adios. And thank you again, Sonia.
SONIA MAZZOTTA: Thank you, bye.
Working as Content Marketing Director for Authoritas since March 2015, David also hosts our own weekly show – “This Week In Organic”, commonly referred to as #TWiO.