How User Intent Changes the SEO and Content Game
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How User Intent Changes the SEO and Content Game


Hello, and welcome to
our MarketMuse webinar. How user intent changes
the SEO and content game. Before I introduce
our guest host. I wanted to just do a
few housekeeping things. We have a Q&A
Kevin and I as I’ll introduce them in a minute. We’ll be answering
any questions you have that relate to content
strategy, search engine optimization, that relate to user
intent, task completion, and any of the topics that we talk
about here if you have any questions for us
individually on just put them in the Q&A box
and my colleagues Elizabeth and Roger we’ll be setting
them up for Kevin and I field and like I mentioned, I’m going
to introduce the head of SEO and he’s a focus on
all areas of SEO but has a really strong strong
worked in the technical SEO space is Kevin Indig and so
thank you for joining us today Kevin. Thanks for having me Jeff. Glad to be here. And Kevin works with
Atlassian and you know if you’re not familiar
with Atlassian they own a lot of great brands
and you know probably your development team
knows every single one of them and can spout them off. We are Confluence
users and lovers. But what are the other
sites that you manage. Kevin, just to give everybody
an idea for the types of things that you’re optimizing
types of content that you’re working
with and types technical challenges that face. Yeah, absolutely. We have about 13
sites total ranging from just a couple
of hundred pages to a couple of
million pages. Some of them are products like
Trello, BitBuckets, Jira as you mentioned
Confluence and then there’s a there’s a whole
set of other products. And so we have different
types of content as well. We have product pages. We have a community, a
marketplace separate. So there is a lot going on. Absolutely I’ve definitely
looked at some of the content inventories for a
number of your sites and they have there’s
challenge after challenge. So I’m sure you face so many
different projects every day. And I really appreciate
you joining us today and to kick things off. I really wanted to talk about
an after you from where you sit and the research
that you’ve done. How do you define user intent
and how has the changes that the search
engines have gone through how does that
influenced your research your applications, your projects
and everything in between. Yes, absolutely. So user intent is
obviously the intention the user has when
performing a search. And to put it into
easier even easier terms I would say it’s the
problem the user is trying to solve when he
performs a search. It has become really crucial
in SEO over the years to satisfy user intent. So I would say that
this development started when Google introduced
their Hummingbird algorithm or switched to
Hummingbird as an engine and we saw the first signs of
that already back in 2007 when Panda was introduced,
but Hummingbird was really, really changing the game a
lot in from there on Google would really double
down user intent and make sure that pages
and sites would fulfill the required user intent,
which will dive deeper into the next couple
of slides and words. However, it has really
changed my work and our work. And I would say
everybody’s work. And so far that it’s an absolute
pre requirement nowadays, to satisfy user intent and
to recognize it correctly also as it changes. And this is also something
we’ll speak about more over the next couple of slides. So how does that differ
from your perspective from meaning or disambiguation of meaning and what are the types of
things that you run into. You know clarifying this
internally with your writing teams you know to try to
just get the definition clear and I know I see that a lot
of times where I’m saying, you know it’s not that
that word is a synonym or it has multiple meanings
all of those things collectively drive you know what
the intent of the user. You’ve got to know each of
those stages of knowledge to make the right decision
about how to approach a topic. Yes, absolutely. So the way that it
differs from meaning is that’s specific intents
fit to a specific format that people expect. So if you just to pick
out a couple of examples if you are interested in
any sort of inspiration then you probably want to
see images or videos if you’re interested
in something in a very quick
piece of information then you’re probably
more interested in text across the board. However, it leads us
to the logical problem that I’m also trying to
clarify with the writers and creative people
that I work with and that is that’s user
intent often is very specific to the actual query. Right? So it is hard to say
that every query that has word ‘X’ in it
is automatically satisfying a certain intent.
That is true in some cases. Right? So. But obviously the query contains
words like images or videos, and that’s very clear. But in other queries
it’s not so clear. And so we have to
look at the query, look at what Google is showing
us to then better understand what people are
actually expecting in terms of the format. Right now that’s great. And then we like to reference
that is either explicit intent or you know hidden or
fractured or having a lot of different
reasons why somebody would read and research a
particular query that could mean a lot of different things. And so when we get
, we’ll get into how people do these things. And I know that analyzing SERPs
analyzing search engine results pages is one technique,
but we’ll kind of walk through some other
techniques for ways to think about your content
and content marketing too. So just you know
I know you’ve got into you’re just getting started
on some of the challenges. I know one of them
that we’ve talked about in the past is how do
you do topic or topic based research. How do you do intent
based research at scale. How do you do those things
today at Atlassian and then what are some of the
other challenges that you run into internally. Yes! Yes it’s a, that’s
a very great question. So there are three inherent
problems with user intent. The first one is that,
as you mentioned, it is hard to get
scale and we’ll talk about how to do it actually. The second one is that it
is not always 100% clear what the actual user intent is. And even for Google that is
not always 100% clear and that is why, for
example, on mobile devices, they sometimes ask you directly. Did you mean X or
did you mean Y. So they’re trying
to quantify what the user intent is in some cases,
and then the third problem is that user intent changes over time. So there are certain
queries for which it will be different
over time, or it will have a certain seasonality. For example, the
Korean Independence Day around 4th of July. Obviously has a very,
very different connotation than in December, for example. So these are three
inherent challenges. But when it comes down to user
intent research and how can we actually figure
that out in scale where we danced
around it a little bit and it comes down to
what SERP features Google is actually showing. So on a very small scale. When I do keyword
research for a query, I basically Google the query. And I look what gold
is showing is it showing maps is it showing
images, videos, or any feature snippets, knowledge
card et cetera, et cetera on a large scale. When we zoom out a little bit. We can actually you can
actually quantify that by exporting all the different
SERP features per query. And then in an
article that I wrote, I have a whole list of
which feature actually expresses which user intent. Right so obviously, when you see
a map or a local integration, then that intent is
probably that people want to get a local result
or want to navigate somewhere. Right, if you Google
for something or if you see an image pack,
then it’s probably something that people have a
visual connection to et cetera et cetera. So this is how we can basically
reverse the user intent by looking at the
search engine result pages. So you mentioned kind
of a tactical 101 kind of getting
started with user intent as looking at the SERP. And do you see anything special
about this search result that you might be able to
glean not just the pages that are ranking but is
Google providing some sort of special
experience like a map, which might lend itself to a local. And so what you know referencing
that some people are. That’s the limit of the
search user intent research that you’re doing. And as we’ve discussed
and by the way, Kevin mentioned a
blog post, which I very much recommend and
we’ll put it in the show notes. We’ll put it in the follow up. It’s on Kevin dash
Indig, his site, Kevin dash Indig
there’s a couple of great articles
on user intent profiling and doing
scalable keyword research while considering user intent. So one of the first
one you published was really, really wonderful. I recommend
everybody look at it. That’s on this. That’s on this call. The other piece is, though,
that, like you mentioned, this is just what
Google favors for today. Thank you. It could be a
temporal situation. It could be a seasonal thing. How do you adjust to the
fact that sometimes in order to be great today or in order
to be the most favorite user intent of today, you have to
build more content than that. You have to tell the
story that you actually are an expert on all the
different things that people care about on these topics. How do you reconcile
that with someone that might want to only be
focusing on that long tail query or focusing on a
particular stage of the buy cycle. So what kinds of
challenges do you run into with those
types of situations. Yeah, I think the best
expression of the solution is something that is a
quote that I recently heard from Cyrus
Sheppard in a video made. It was that you don’t
just want to answer the problem that people
come to your site for. You want to answer the next
10 problems that they have. I think that. Yeah, that was
brilliantly expressed and I think that this
is exactly what I’m trying to achieve when I
put content in a sequence or in a funnel and obviously,
we have a different user intents but it can be that people
try to solve a problem. And in the solution process
they experienced different user intents. Somethines they want, First have a visual
expression of the problem. And then sometimes read
a bit more text about it. Sometimes they have a
simple question about it. Sometimes the more ambiguous
or complicated question. So all that has to be
wrapped up in the funnel. Obviously, there are different
expressions or meanings of the funnel. So there’s obviously
the bias funnel, which is awareness, interest,
consideration, purchase. But then there’s
also this funnel that people go
through where they are aware there’s a problem. And then they shape and
iterate on their understanding of their problem over time. And then also shape and
iterate their best solution in that case. All right. So there are several processes
that people go through and you want to create content
for every step in that process. So in best case,
even when they’re not even aware that they’re
having this problem right. There’s a certain phenomena
called Serendipity where we discover
something in the search… Yeah your unknown need. Right yes. Yes the unknown unknowns. Right So you also want to try
to be even present at that stage until the final solution. And so people make
their decisions. So when. So that’s an awesome segue
for kind of the content mapping challenge. And that is
something that I find you know we work with teams
of editors, teams of content marketers that have
search teams on them. And it’s you know
how do I decide if I’m going to
write content that appeals to multiple
stages of the buy cycle. How do I decide
if I need content that’s only going to appeal to
one and everything in between. Am I filling in gaps or
am I really going out with a robust
comprehensive plan. Because for example, if
I’ve got great content that tells the story about
maybe a pricing consideration on a B2B technology product. If I don’t have
foundational content that tells a story that I
am an expert on this, maybe it’s a CRM
software maybe I don’t have content
that tells what it is. What is CRM software. What is the basics. Why would I be
considered the best place to go to learn about
pricing considerations. So when we’re talking
about content mapping. How do you approach that,
considering that you even have support and user
generated content forums that are probably answering a wild
amount of troubleshooting post purchase and all those
types of user intent profiles. What have you learned from your
experience at Atlassian and based on working with
UGC and user generated content in how to
guide and map content. Yeah, it’s a fantastic question. And it is a fantastic question
because I think it’s a problem that nobody has yet
fully figured out. Neither us. So I don’t want to
give the illusion that we know that
we know everything and do everything perfectly. Some things were also just in
the process of figuring out. But content mapping is
one of the things where I think we’ve made great strides. We’re in a good
place as in I wanted to highlight a little
bit how we would do that. So we inform consent mapping
through a couple of sources. One of them is obviously
our understanding of the funnel and the
problem and everything that we talked about so far. Another one is through
actual user research right. So we actually talk
to our customers. We try to verify that our
understanding of their problems is also their understanding
of their problems and then in that kind of
customer feedback process we, We then iterate on our mapping
and our content in general. But then there obviously also
the quantifiable sources. The data that you get. So we pay very close attention
to basically three groups of data when it
comes to evaluating the performance of our concepts.
And the three groups are traffic, engagement,
and business impact. So for traffic with a
measure of something like rankings, organic
entrances, traffic sources, referrers, et cetera, et cetera. Then we look at the engagement. So do people share our
stuff on social media. Do people scroll all the way
to the end of the content. Do they click through other
pages on our site, et cetera. And then lastly, we look at
the business impact right. We can, some. There are differences there,
in terms of the actual revenue or signups that we find, or
maybe something like soft coversions, something like
newsletter sigups. So this allows us to
get a good understanding of how well our content
works and where we maybe have to refine a
little bit, especially across a broad scale or large
scale of content. When it comes to user generated content
it gets a bit trickier. But it’s actually a
blessing of course. The blessing is you have
you have a machine that that constantly generates
content and that that is kind of self-sustaining
once you get it going. It’s almost like a flywheel, right? So obviously getting
you have moderation efforts and you need to create a
lot of content yourself and engage people. But once that is spinning, people
help themselves right? They, they answer each others
question et cetera et cetera. The problem that this creates
is that Google sometimes favors these threads
over the content that we created
in certain cases. For example, our support
documentation or help documentation. And this is something that
we cannot fully control. So the art, then becomes how can
we make sure that in this case, we have the best balance
between user generated content and our own content. But in many cases where we can
provide better insights then certain customers. But, it also helps us to inform
or to understand what problems people are facing. So to boil it down to specific
action items. We actually look very
closely at our community Aa what people
are struggling with. And then use it to inform the
content creation on our side. So how can we make our
support documentation, better, our knowledge bases,
or onboarding, and tutorials. That is so your focus.
So far ahead of the game. We work, MarketMuse we work. We have a technology
that does content mapping and it also identifies
opportunities by looking at large
pools of foreign content and bubbling those, bubbling
those concepts that could be fielded with
prose or expository content on the site and you’re very,
very much ahead of the game. What you know what
I always like to say is if you’re looking at
a great user generated content or a content community, It tells you a lot of the
user intent targets of pre-purchased, post-purchase,
the desires, the challenges, troubleshooting wing. And you can really build out and
learn a lot from your community or from even another
community that isn’t affiliated with your
business about the types of things to cover. It’s a real great source
for research on how to cover a particular topic. And I thought you said something
that was really, really key in that relates to intent
mismatch and engagement is a great way of assessing
intent mismatch where somebody you’re ranking
for a lot of stuff. It might be because you’re
Atlassian and super powerful It might be just because you
have one page generate a lot have a significant
link philosophy or have a lot of power
on one section of pages and really monitoring all the
different types of queries that are making it to that page. A lot of times
companies will only look at the overall
engagement number and they’ll say this is 2%
conversion rate or 2% click rate right. But from what
topics, from what queries are those clicks coming
and are they leading to successful
experience. So many times I see someone looking at this
and saying, oh, woe is me. I’ve got such a low
engagement rate. But the query is
coming to the page, your content is not matching
the needs of the users. But because of an off page
factor something else. It’s ranking. So as people are
getting to your site, you’re article
about pricing considerations and you don’t have anything
about pricing considerations on that page. So what do you do
in that situation. You start writing content
and a cluster of content about that if it matters
to your business. So that gap analysis
through variant tracking and through intent
mismatch is clutch. And it sounds like you’re
doing that for your UGC efforts and as well as for
your content team. So that’s just a
pro tip for sure. One other thing you
mentioned was where we reference demand fracture. So where you’re finding that
variance of keywords that explicitly express
a need or it’s a different type
of research profile have a unique amount of keyword
volume or search volume. And so how do you monitor. Do you think about that
when you’re saying, wow, this head term gets almost
as much as this variant. And so when you’re
thinking about intent also those demand
fracture situations can be seasonal as well. They can be something
that you should be ready for in case
it spikes or in case that gets more important. Do you consider
that in your process because I thought
that that’s what you were leading
to when you said, when you’re doing
variant targeting. So yeah. Yes, absolutely. The thing is in the S industry. There’s so many in-depth
topics that it’s hard to be subject
matter expert for things. You have to be
really careful doing keyword research. Very often. That’s another reason for why
we fall back to customers, but also pull in subject matter
experts, developers et cetera, et cetera. To understand some
of these topics simply better right because
some somebody that stops and then you find real
gems where as you said, were buried up to the
keyword has actually more so. Well where do these words
as much search volume as the short head so it
signals you once again, that people are dealing
with specific problems. Right. So when we
zoom out all the way. I think we also have to be worried
about industry and the space that we’re in and a lot of times
that’s just take developers. It’s one it is a very,
very important customer good for Atlassian and these
developers Google a lot, but they Google very
specific things. So it’s less often that
they need to understand what is software development. But often they kneed to know
something very specific that needs to some
of the variants that you’re talking about. And some of the variability. Now the way that we
address it is to find the right mix between
focusing only on search volume and focusing on conversions
or qualified traffic and focusing just simply
on the subject itself. Right. So I think I would say
that a lot of people understand that you cannot only
take search volume. But you also want to get an
understanding of how quantified that traffic is and
obviously, there is a certain correlation
between lower search volume and more qualified traffic or
long tail and more qualified traffic simply due to a neighbor
that the better people are able to express what they’re
looking for the more likely it is that they have a
specific intent in that that problem or that question. But that should not
make us blind to what the whole sequence is of
things that people search. So we would not shy away to
even tackle something that has a super low search volume or
almost no search volume simply to make the experience
a little better and to inform people
all the way. Again. Search and search engines are
used to solve problems, right? But we as product developers
or software developers. We also create new stuff that
might address a problem that people don’t know they have yet. So by definition, that
cannot have search volume. And if we’d only
look at that then we wouldn’t create content around it. But we also have that
fraction or that percentage of thought leadership
content or new stuff that people haven’t experienced
before, you have to be worried about that as well. So that’s what I
mean, what I’m saying Look at the topic as
a whole and don’t only let search volume guide you
it’s a strong indicator. But it shouldn’t be the. only one. Yeah, I frequently see teams
that only use it as their North Star for every decision. And you know the great example. I always give on from a
topic modeling perspective on any specific topic is
you’re going to have things that if you were a
subject matter expert you would naturally
include these related topics in a page that covers
this topic comprehensively and that is independent
of organic search. So you’ll see a lot
of time maybe you’ll see the word blog is in
a related topic model and someone’s like, oh, we’re
not trying to rank for the term blog. No, that’s not the point. The point is if you write great
content about content marketing and you don’t mention
the term blog. It’s not all that comprehensive. It’s actually giving a
negative signal that you truly know what you’re talking about. And so the importance of
doing comprehensive research on what it means to be
an expert on this topic. Who, that audience research
that you were talking about is so valuable. What are all the who
are all the people that are thinking about this. How do they learn? Are they you know
children? Are they you know developers who
have really specific needs and putting content
in front of them. That’s audience specific, putting
content from, that covers all stages of either the buy cycle
or the learning cycle, depending on what you’re doing
and not limiting yourself only to a buying cycle. If you’re in a situation
like Atlassian. I mean, you said
it very eloquently you know the
troubleshooting is so key and those are people that may
have already bought anything that you’d ever sell. But you’re creating a community
of people who are comfortable trading off these really
explicit user intent profiles to win. And that’s super key. I think that common. I know we’re going
to get into a few like some myths
or some mistakes. But a common mistake that I
see is where someone will only include keywords almost
like in a stack rank from the keyword tools. And in their stuff. And that completely
misses the boat of writing
comprehensive content. Yes, I couldn’t agree more. I think it funnels into
a bigger question that is, do i just as an SEO or as
a content marketer or inbound marketer or however you define herself,
Do I just kind of blindly take the data or do
I go the extra mile and think about it right. Do I tried to. Do I have empathy? Right there is some sympathy. Like do I. Do I
actually see the world. through my customer’s eyes.
It’s like you’re reading my diary. I have I have stuff on my wall. It literally says empathetic
content is good content. And so it is. It’s about are you
putting yourself in the… in the potential
customer or the prospect or the potential
community members shoes. When you’re making
these decisions and what I find a
lot of times also, I think you mentioned
this before when you’re doing content mapping. It’s really trying to
put all of your content into one bucket or two
multiple buckets. I see a lot of the
mapping solutions that are out there and they’re only you
know it’s against this funnel that I’ve got on my
screen right here. You put this informational. This is commercial. But you’ve really got to go a
step further to be successful. Right now to be able
to really critically think who is being
satisfied by this page. What am I enabling what
tasks am I enabling. And like you quoted
with Cyrus, I mean, yeah everyone should
be reading his stuff. Here he is. He is a fantastic resource
for our community. And when he said,
you know the answer. Answer the next 10 questions. Rapport build rapport
with your content and give them that next step. That’s the definition
of engagement. I mean, that is the definition
of engagement is to say, are you smart enough
about this topic that you can guide
them on their way and build that great resource. And so I think I
think that that’s a really good a really good
point for when you’ve been auditing large sets of content. I know you probably do fun
content audits and inventories all the time. What are the what does the
guidance what comes out of the bottom of
an audit from Kevin that you know that you
give to the team and say, this is what we’ve got to do as
a result of all this research that we’ve done on user intent. Yeah! So again, we’re constantly
iterating on our content. And I don’t think I think it’s
really hard to get any content perfectly right from scratch. So you don’t have
that expectation that whatever you put
out is going to is what should be there forever. So you want to iterate. You want to change
want to update as well. Which Google often rewards.
When I do an update I look at a couple of factors. So again, I talked about these
three groups of metrics before. But there are other things
that I looked at as well. So I have to I have become
a really big fan of content pruning which means
to either edit or redirect or remove
underperforming content. So the question becomes, what
is underperforming content. And I usually look at it from
a couple of perspectives. Again, I have these
three groups of metrics, but specifically with rankings
if it doesn’t rank anymore for something or if it doesn’t
get organic traffic anymore, that’s when my
red flags come up. And that’s when I look a
bit closer at the content. And so what I often
do is I take a crawler Screaming Frog or any
other crawler that you like and I call the whole
block or the whole sites. And I pull all the
metrics for the content from the last six to 12 months. So look at how much
of the organic traffic it gets, what does it look like
in terms of social shares engagement et cetera, et cetera. And then I cluster that
into a couple of groups and then usually you quickly
find that about 10% to 30% depending on how you do
that process depending on how well you create the content
has to be taken out or edited. And so what I often do you with
it is I did a couple of dates and it’s something good. I’m also a long content
that doesn’t really have a clear target or
isn’t clearly adjusted towards a problem. So you become aware of all
these patterns when you compare or when you look at all the
content that aren’t performing. So you find all these issues. You you make a plan. But at the same time, you want
to get them out of Google site first. So a lot of cases I set
the meta no index or try to block them
in some way from Google’s access which is
relative to the reticle. But I have seen great
results with that. And then obviously that
is not the end stage. Next, you want to make sure that
somebody looks at that content and reworks it or you
just redirect it just redirected to the home page. If you’ve got some links or
some incoming referrals from the site. And then you’ll find a
more long term solution for that piece of content
than simply by getting it out of Google’s eyes or
whatever you want. I’ve seen great results. It almost seems
that it very much seems that the articles
or the content that still live actually gets a boost
from cutting off the underperforming stuff. So that’s an audit that I perform
on a regular basis that. There’s so many nuggets in that. And I think there’s
probably people sitting there frantically writing it down. There will be a replay
available after this. What I typically
find is a challenge in that the process that you
describe you’re not considering you said links you know you’re
not considering the off page value and not asking
that next question. So the key on auditing
for user intent is I’d like to put myself
in the writer’s shoes and say, you know what
was the original goal of this article of this content
item and having that document. That’s great if you have
a documented content strategy or a content
brief that rides along with every page
in the first place is. So you can reference it. If you don’t, then you
know disclaimer. That’s one of the things that
we build that MarketMuse. And the if you have that
riding along with the content, you can go back and say,
well, this was the goal. And clearly, if it’s on
this, then this group. It’s not achieving that goal. So no. No rankings, no value. Does it
have off page value of any kind? Does it have links? And not
just taking all of the buckets and deleting them or not just
taking them all and redirecting it. It’s making sure that
there is a story of why I’m making this decision. I see so often people do blanket,
blanket deletes and redirects without examining and
doing that, by the way, I am for every one
story I’ve heard of it work I’ve heard 20 sob stories. So you really do have
to ask you come up with a great protocol for the
things you’re looking for. And when you’ll make
that hard decision to redirect when you’ll
make the hard decision to prune or should you
be making this statement. The original intent of
this article was this. I need to write or
rework this page and maybe republish it or
maybe publish the same URL. So you’re making a lot
of different decisions during an audit with
respect to pruning the bad that I think a lot of people
fall short they’re only looking at it as I got to delete stuff
people told me to delete stuff. And that’s really
that’s where we run into a lot of shaping
discussions that’s to say it’s to say think
about it. At one point somebody put hard work
into writing this page. What were they
trying to accomplish. Could you do a better
job today than was done then? Make that choice
more often than you can if you have the resources. So I think that’s an awesome,
awesome, awesome, awesome process there. And like you mentioned
with user generated content when you’re building
new content. I think that that
was cool to it was it was just to say you know am
I actually providing a better experience for users than
that thread was or am I doing this for
a selfish reason? I know a lot of people who
are doing about they’re not putting out as good content
as their forum provided. So really think about
think critically about what I what would be a
great experience for the user can I provide a
supplemental next step with my editorial content
and somehow weave it into that experience. So I think that was great. And so we’ve had a few
questions and frankly, as we’ve been talking
some of them got answered. But one question from
Kelly in the audience is. So it’s safe to say that
the purpose of Google Packs are to target
specific user intent. Should content attempt
to answer that intent with the goal of capturing
explicit targeting on the image knowledge panel or
whatever? Should I be writing content targeted
specifically to try to achieve a particular Pack? So that’s a great question. There’s so many so much
controversy in this question is, should I be. Should I be writing definitions. You know that those types of
questions, I commonly hear. So yeah, I’m interested
in your perspective here. Yeah, yeah, it’s definitely
a lot of question, I’m happy. That was asked
because I think it’s important in the
whole discussion. So trying to answer that
as clearly as I can. I mean, my answer is yes. Yes you know there’s like
Slack mastermind channels Kevin I are in a couple Slack mastermind
communities. Like they’re going nuts right now. So I hope you don’t get
blown up right now. Yeah but there’s no
such a definitions. Yes, I see. I on the side of yes. I don’t want to just leave
you hanging with this site. But then it says all depends. There’s obviously
more nuance to it. But generally, I are
on the side of yes. And what I mean is we have to
accept a couple of realities. After my mind is
on the one reality is that Google tries censor
more and more of these questions itself and it tries to not
necessarily leads traffic to sites anymore. But to keep them in the
search results pages and keep them coming
back for the answers. But you know missed that
last little step. Now that’s a pretty
harsh reality. But what are you going
to do with it right? Don’t be romantic about
your you know? You still have a business. So should you try to strengthen
certain Google search features, especially the… knowledge graph. Yes, of course. If that means that you have
to make the little adjustments for content. I’m sure there is a
creative way to get around that in every situation. We do it Atlassian as well. We have, we have, we know some
of the parameters for example, that when it comes to features
snippets, it’s a certain length. You have to repeat the
question and answer in the same way the question was posed. But that does not
rip apart pieces of content completely right. And again, there are
creative ways around that. Maybe you can edit
the banner of the box where you give a
definition right. It doesn’t need
that your content all of a sudden has to be very
dull and very uninteresting. And then at the same time. Yeah, a definite edit
inspired the rich media that she used as well. Again, if you have an
image to integration that you should think about
what is the visual aspect that a user might try to
get out of this content. Let’s not forget that
Google doesn’t randomly show these images or
these sort of features, but it shows that
because it thinks it has a good understanding of
what people actually expect. And you can use that
for your own content. So don’t think of it as
competition or it’s something that puts you in a box. Think of it as a
positive constraint. It is as an impulse
for creativity and think about how
we can address it. I mean, that’s what SEO for the
longest time has always been. This has been a creative
way to give people the answer to their problems. So I would less shy away and
be intimidated by these things and more use them
for creative input. So yes, I would try to. I would try to get into these
Google Packs or Google search features as much
as possible. Yeah and I think that that’s an
interesting visionary approach and things to consider. One thing that I also would
add is watching them over time. If it’s something that
you’re really interested watch who keeps
bubbling up and try to consider it almost
a competitive analysis of the people who are winning
those knowledge facts. Why is this happening and not
just by looking at that page. But look at their entire
collection of content that relates to that topic. And is it telling the story
that they’re more of an expert as I am, than I am? Because if
I can go back into my writing to my writing team and say,
you know XYZ site is getting a lot of early stage
awareness, Knowledge Packs we’re not really covering
early stage awareness very well. They also cover the other
stages of the funnel and maybe that’s why they’re
getting granted as the mecca of early
stage awareness content. So I always like to
use it as a competitor. And then, if there’s
a lot of variation in what item is chosen
that’s maybe theoretically why would that be. But that can give you some
signals as to that someone had a stranglehold
on this pack and I’m going to burn a lot of
money trying to get there. Or has there been variance
over time and thus there is in this something
is in striking distance. It’s in striking
distance for me. So those are things that I
would add that would really help the research that anyone
is doing to try to target. But I think that’s
it’s great advice. We did have a follow up question
on our controversial topic of deleting pages, which
frankly, I rarely ever directly delete and
redirect. I’m always trying to look for another place
for that to live because I’m always concerned that
the makeup of the links and the makeup of the imbalance
and the makeup of my site structure is telling stories
that I can’t possibly know to the search engine. So I’m going to lose
something I’m always on a little bit of
a worrier there. And so deleting content
without considering the impact of the
site’s structure or the it’s a bad idea. So the question
from Michelle was what if I delete content
won’t I just like always lose traffic and if you’re
deleting it without considering those things. And I think you mentioned this. If you’re not considering all of
the components of that the site structure where it
lives doesn’t is it passing through
value to other pages then yeah you’re
arbitrarily deleting it’s going to have bad bad impact. But can you add a little
bit on kind of when to strategically delete. Yes, absolutely. So I would look at it almost
from an algorithm perspective. So you have a piece of
content, does it get traffic? Yes, then don’t delete. Look at where that traffic
is coming from. It’s like a decision
tree. Do you still get
traffic from social? Then maybe you will leave it
and you just put it to meta noindex. So it’s still there right. It just doesn’t get
indexed by search engines and you still get
traffic from social. You can share in email
campaigns and you might link to it internally. If it doesn’t get any
traffic right then the question is, why is that? Is it because it’s not
targeting a keyword? Is it because it has no links? Is it because of maybe there’s
something technically wrong? Then you want to fix that. If all these check marks are
ticked, then technically every piece of content
should get traffic. So by definition, if it
doesn’t air traffic anymore. There’s something going on. You want to identify
why and fix that. That is that is the
whole idea behind it. So So I think that’s right. And then I think that
it’s a lot of processes out there just in the err on
the side of deleting too much. And I think that
that is a problem. If you’ve got that sequence
of steps and you’re really, really thinking hard
before you hit that button. You’re always usually able to
find something that’s great. Then you have to figure out
if you want to resource it. If you want to resource
actually doing this you know best perfect plan or otherwise. And you know my list,
find a difference in my content planning
between delete and doing something else
almost always falls on do I want to resource. It is is the juice
worth the squeeze and I think that that’s
like you mentioned that. I think that that’s
top top strike. The other question I
got another good one coming up on Q&A. It was so OK. So if you’re explicitly writing
to the certain features. And you win do you risk losing
clicks on your organic traffic because you’re surfacing
content one stage earlier. I’ve got a great
answer for this, but I’m looking forward
to hearing yours as well. You built anticipation here Jeff. Yeah, thanks for the
follow up question Kelly. So the answer is yes. And no. So what we’ve seen is that
once you are in a Google Pack or in a SERP
integration, it usually does start to answer or
feature snippet that you actually get a lot of traffic still. Now let me let me
take a step back. When do you actually get
into a featured snippet. Usually that is only shown
for questions or search queries that have a
relatively simple answer. Sometimes that answer
is a sentence, sometimes that answer is a
list or a process. And so very often what we
see is that even first of all some of the features snippets
don’t look really good. So you have to through anyway. Let’s say they all look great. We just lost two Google
participants just dropped. I’m on their radar. No, I can’t wait for Gary or Don to call me. Yes no but it always is it. Let’s pretend they all look
great. In a lot of cases, people have follow up questions
and they still click through. So it becomes more of a winner
takes it all situation where whoever is in the
feature snippet or the direct answer actually gets much more
traffic than the other results. So I think you
would still want to. Once try to get him to
those SERP integrations or SERP features because
it shows that you actually get more traffic in most cases. And if it’s I would even
argue if it’s an answer that can be a question that can be
fully answered in the search results pages then
it’s questionable how much business impact
that keyword for you had in the first place. I’m not saying don’t
tackle that keyword. I’m just saying it’s probably
not the situation that is making a lot of
money for you, right. So say you do to try to make
up an example on the spot. Say you Google the soccer
World Cup final. Which teams played in it. And you sell. Gosh I don’t know soccer
uniforms or something like that. I think the question is how
much how much sense does it make for you anyway. If it’s such a simple. I think that that’s a great
example as well of an intent mismatch. Are you truly
solving the problem. Just because you knew
that France beat up Croatia a little bit. And so you get to get
into the details of you know where this comes from. But your bottom line
your bottom line. And what you’re
trying to accomplish. We’ve actually done pretty
extensive studies of a couple of certain features as well. Internal site is just
kind of proof things out similar to the
ones that were done. Gosh 10 years ago
with paid where we’re saying if you have the
paid and the organic you’re multiplying you click
you click through rates. So that isn’t going to be
the case in all queries like you mentioned, if
they’re very simple. And we’re showing a
feature snippet you, there may be a
degradation patterns. If it’s not truly very simple. It’s often times leading
to sometimes a larger click patterns for us. For our sites we manage. For sites we manage for our clients. And I think that
that’s something that also real estate is
money. Free real estate. If your features live
it looks bad sometimes that can be very frustrating. But really real
estate is money and it will have a cascading impact
on the performance of the site to get more and more
of those things, I would be looking at
my entire keyword pool ranking for these pages on
how has that been influenced. I’ll be looking at
click through rates. The keyword level
in Webmaster Tools or wherever you have
however you’re tracking them and try to make a decision
on a page by page basis. Are you giving the
right landing page? Can you learn something
from your competitors in that search that for new
pages to write to maybe get yourself to the main
page plus maybe even two listings to
try to just paint the paint the board
with your brand. Oftentimes you know
it’s going to be pretty rare that the value
you achieve from that is, in my experience, is going to over
is going to be the overshadowed and you know it
is going to impact the bottom line negatively. So I think your
mileage may vary there, especially if there is some huge
ordered lists in the survey. That’s the one area where
we saw some negative impact where there’s just this weird
long form ordered list. Like you mentioned that
might be a problem. Google would like to solve that. But that’s one exception
to that and the research that I’ve done on that. So that’s a great question too. Great well we’re getting
on the end of time. I really appreciate all the
questions and all the comments. Any last words at Kevin on user
intent profiling or anything that we’ve discussed, we just
had so many good rabbit holes that I want to go
down to deeper. I mean, one last tip that
I did a loosely formalized is that don’t only limits
your research is when you try to figure out user intent. When we to try to
figure out problems don’t only limit your
research to search engines and it all sounds a
bit counter-intuitive in the first place. But don’t forget social media
where people have discussion over these things and where
you can find great stuff for example, when you when you
check out hashtags on Twitter you check out Facebook groups
or you know check out hashtags even on Instagram right. Let that inspire you, and you’ll
find a lot of interesting. I always find
interesting problems that wasn’t aware of before. There are also,
obviously, the question answer platforms, the Reddit
and the Quoras of this world. And even for specific needs. Don’t forget the
specific ones or forums where people talk
about things that helps you to create empathy. It helps you to
find interesting keywords. And it helps you to find the
problems that people really care about because
they talk about it. I mean, that’s the
best brilliant advice and it’s something that we
practice at all the time. And on top of and
even finding subject matter experts in
your community. In the community that you’re
targeting and you know what do they know that nobody
else might know. And really getting going to
the bottom and that research is worth its weight in gold. And so you know looking at
forums, brilliant advice looking at question and answer platforms,
other media, you know maybe it’s media that isn’t search
engine friendly wink wink, nudge nudge. And that can lead to success
with user intent profiling and so I think that
that’s a great place to close because that’s
the best tip of the day. And I really, really
appreciate the time. Kevin I had an average
really appreciate everybody for joining and laughing
we had almost no drop off Ray with the webinar. That’s what you’re looking for. And Kelly and all the
questioning responders put in the chat that they were
very thankful for our responses. looked for the replay. You’re going to get a email
with some show some links. And if you have any
questions, send them our way emails listed in
here and we look forward to you joining with us on a
future market news webinar. And thanks again. Kevin, we really appreciate it. A pleasure. Thank you, Jeff. Cheers

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