Are you an expert in online marketing whose finger is on the pulse of emerging 2016 SEM Strategies to Know and leverage to help your website gain an advantage over your competition?
If you answered "no" to that question we want to welcome you to 51Blocks' Friday Afternoon Confessionals - our video blog series dedicated to educating anyone and everyone about the digital marketing strategies that are working the best right now, as well as warn you about those that aren't. (If you answered "yes" to the above question, you're welcome too!)
Each week we'll tackle a new topic that is of interest in today's world of website marketing including tips and techniques that we're using to elevate online properties to dominant positions so you can begin to understand the components of a well executed online marketing campaign.
*The full transcript for 2016 SEM Strategies to Know can be found below.
Reggie, Anna and John are Search Engine Marketing experts at 51Blocks who are willing to share with you what they believe will be the top emerging techniques employed by winning websites as they separate themselves from their online competitors throughout 2016. Feel free to follow up in the comments section or via our contact page if you have questions about anything they're discussing!
Join us next week for episode 2 of the can't-miss video series from 51Blocks: "Friday Afternoon Confessional!"
John: Welcome to the Friday Afternoon Confessional at 51 Blocks. My name is John.
Reggie: I'm Reggie.
Anna: I'm Anna.
John: And we are here to discuss search engine market strategies. Particularly today we're looking to tee up the strategies we think will be most impactful in 2016. Don't hold us accountable to these necessarily but it's our best guess as to how the industry is moving and what you should be doing right now to prep your website strength for 2016. Who has an idea?
Reggie: A couple of months ago Google sealed a deal with Twitter allowing them to integrate tweets into their search. And a month ago someone on a local search forum posted that a tweet actually outranked a local pack and organic rankings. To me that says whoever figures out this whole social thing and how Google's going to treat that first - I think that's going to be pretty advantageous because no one really has a road map for social media. Much less using it for rankings on Google. So I think whoever strikes the iron first on that will be a clear winner for a while.
John: Is Twitter specifically the winner here? Because I've seen Twitter results in the last month where I've never seen them before and it’s particularly the top three-type results. I've never really recommended a campaign fulfilled on Twitter per se, except in certain industries.
Reggie: You're asking if there's a clear cut winner every time if they show up in a search or?
John: Well it seems as if Twitter has new favor in the Google algorithm right now just in the last 4 to 6 weeks.
Reggie: Yeah, I think so.
Anna: I don't know if that's a new favor or just any favor at all period.
John: Well I'm thinking mostly when Facebook started permeating results, it was Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. And then Google+ tried to compete and sort of competed. Now that they're pulling back on the integration of Google+ local all that stuff, it seems like Twitter and LinkedIn honestly - LinkedIn profiles seem to have new juice in name searches or brand searches specifically. Just curious if Twitter was a point of emphasis we should push all clients toward?
Reggie: In certain spaces yeah, but since most of our clients are businesses I don't think that's something we should push on too hard yet.
John: Okay. Well I'll be curious to see where it is three months from now.
Anna: Twitter requires a ton of updating. It's not something you can go post on once a week it's every hour even. To keep your following engaged and to keep building that community requires a lot of dedication.
Reggie: Well that's one of the reasons I've never really pushed clients toward it. No one really wants to take on the burden.
Anna: It would be a huge for all clients a huge budget. They cost.
Reggie: But maybe that's why Google likes it because it forces you to be so active. If you’re that dedicated to your space you're obviously going to be the most authoritative.
Anna: You're interacting in real time too so I think it's more. Google always seems to be big on providing information that's relevant and frequently updated. Twitter demands that you be that way almost. it's what their platform is about.
John: I was thinking the same thing conversely. Maybe it's just the real-time instant updating scheme that the Twitter lives within that's gaining preference, and the paradigm itself is just reflective of how important real-time information is.
Reggie: That does make sense going along with the update that supposed to roll out. So interesting point.
John: Wait. What update's supposed to roll out?
John: That update.
Reggie: They’ll be continuously refreshing.
John: Right. I think we'll also have people look at our next video about Penguin next week.
Anna: Yeah, next week.
Reggie: But that'll be fascinating to watch too.
Anna: Speaking of Twitter, I think another factor in it being displayed in search results is the way that the information is displayed. Maybe Google accounting for that shorts and a bit of content and people want to digest information that way now.
John: So what you're saying is 144 characters is the new essay?
Anna: Yeah honestly the way people's minds think and what I think is still going to be important in 2016 and probably will always be important is content and how you're displaying that. We always say content is king and I think it will always continue to be a king, one of the kings. But the way that people digest content is changing so we need to make sure that SEOs are producing content in a way that people want to read it and interpret it and view it on their mobile devices even. Not only is content still important but it needs to be attractive on a 5" screen.
Reggie: I think it needs to be concise. A lot of times I'll be scrolling through Facebook waiting in a doctor's office or something just as a user. And if I come along an article and I see the little scroll bar look it's miles and miles, I'm going to back right out of that thing. If I had opened Facebook and it's just two or three paragraphs that I can scroll out and see it's much more easily digested. So I wonder if the 300 word mark is going to decrease at any point.
John: I think it's already decreased.
Anna: I do too.
John: I don't ascribe to that one any more at all.
Anna: We've officially mobile searches have vastly bypassed desktop searches now.
John: Is that true?
John: Are you making stuff up?
Anna; No, it's true.
John: You got that in your notes.
Anna: I do. I read it online so…
John: “I read it online so it must be true.”
Anna: I read it on Bugle somewhere.
John: It was in a 140 character tweet.
Anna: It's true. I look at the way I go to find information. If it's not easily accessible on my iPhone then I'm probably not going to look at it because I'm in a hurry and most people are in a hurry.
Reggie: You just say the first sentence of any piece of content that you write is the most important and the meta description? How would you prioritize those?
John: Well possibly the formatting and I hate to say this but the staging of intro and then a page two so that you get people like you who see a scroll bar and thus think i"m not committing to that. If you could just get them in for 150 word introduction and then offer the second page maybe that's a new formatic structure w'ere going to be leaning forward.
Reggie: Into the canonical rail mixed.
John: Content is king.
Anna: A king.
John: A king in our multi [inaudible 00:07:05] I don't even know. The point about formatting to phone and mobile use I think is driving all that.
Anna: Yeah and I think it's more than becoming a mobile friendly website now. It's about how do your blogs look on a little screen? Do they look good? Are they attractive? That's what people want now.
Reggie: I think the photo in the blog will come back. Used to be you just wanted ranking so you can slide your keywords in the alpex [SP]. But now just as I'm thinking about all the articles I read usually two scrolls in, six scrolls in, nine scrolls in it's always got another photo or a graphic of some sort. It's not always just text there's at least tow or three in there. That's something I'll have to think about in my next content strategy.
John: That leads me to what I think for 2016...if you're not involved in different sources of media in getting your website to have video content whether it be survey content or interactive content of some sort things that engage the visitor in a way that present opportunities to work with pages or to activate elements of pages. I think all that stuff has already started picking up momentum but will become a cornerstone of any successful website and natural search in 2016.
John (cont.): Part of the reason we're doing these videos is to do test cases against video distribution resources in video series. We'll do some write-ups on these videos’ successes or failures and have some cause and effect reads for you guys to look at later. For now we're just trying to put together a series of conversations between search engine marketing experts. Anna is a local marketing expert with a lot of content experience as well. Reggie pretty much knows everything there is to know about search engine marketing so…
John: And I just lean on their expertise. So when you come back next time whatever the conversation may be, whoever's involved - the point here is to try to educate the public about things that will help you, and to let you know about things that won’t, so that you're not getting burned by our industry. We know some of that's out there and that's not something we're proud of.
Reggie: Afraid so.
Reggie: Until next time.
Anna: We're signing off.
John: See you next week.