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Voice Search Becomes More ProminentWith the ever-growing market of smartphones, as well as with the fast adoption of smart speaker assistants, voice search is quickly making it way into the online marketing world. Voice search growth presents a few challenges to content marketers, including:
- Organic search discoverability: Being #1 is the only way to get any exposure from voice search.
- New content consumption journey: On-the-go voice searchers need solutions immediately, right now.
- Performance tracking: Too much is going on to be able to effectively analyze what helps and what hurts your organic search visibility.
Competing for #1 on Voice SearchBy default, there's only one search result being presented to a voice search user. While we were previously competing for top 5 positions, we are now going to compete for one. The good news, where there's a challenge, there's an opportunity. The searching behavior is changing: Search queries are getting longer, more varied and less predictable. We previously knew pretty well what we were optimizing our content for (and so did our competitors). Nowadays marketers are dealing with a much wider variety of ways our content can be discovered via search. Spoken speech is less standardized than written text. When speaking a search query to a machine, we are less confined by the rules of grammar and we are less influenced by popular search suggestions. Thanks to voice search, SEO relies more on natural language and less on SERPs design and algorithmic matching. With that in mind, what can really be done? Unlike what you may have heard, SEO is not going to die any time soon, neither is keyword research. You still need to research keyword queries people use when searching. The difference is:
- (Even) more attention to long-tail, less popular queries (Those are more likely to be generated by voice search users).
- A wider variety of keyword research sources allowing you to aggregate data and dig deeper into possible searching behaviors. These should include both standard keyword research tools ( Spyfu, Majestic, Ahrefs, Wordstream, etc.) and non-SEO sources, like Twitter monitoring and customer support emails.
Optimizing for the Immediate NeedAnother opportunity brought forward by voice searching is optimizing for "on-the-go" needs. Google claims that more than 90% of their users turn to mobile devices and voice search for inspiration while in the middle of the task. New consumers need information "right here" and "right now". Those brands that optimize their content for these searching "micro-moments" satisfying an immediate need at any given moment will win the organic search game. Micro-moment content optimization involves:
- Optimizing for featured snippets (news outlets can also use Google Speakable to record an audio which Google will read in response to a voice query).
- Optimizing for questions, lots of them (this includes using "People Also Ask" boxes for inspiration).
- Optimizing for search intent.
- Matches the search intent
- Includes related and neighboring terms
- Answers popular questions on each topic
- Run your core query you are creating content around (TextOptimizer runs your query in Google, extracts search result snippet and comes up with related terms to help you match Google's expectations better).
- Select 20-25 of the suggested terms you feel will fit your future content best and include them in your copy naturally.
- Use suggested questions to cover in your copy and structure it better (using subheads).
Monitoring Your Efforts CloselyFinally, with mobile and voice search on the rise, it has become much more challenging to monitor all your content marketing assets and, more importantly, identify the actual impact of each new (optimization) tactic you have experimented with. I am still trying to figure that part out (content analytics is never a finished task really), but what I started doing differently recently is recording all my content and website updates on a micro-level to see a bigger picture over time. Rankedy is an interesting tool allowing you to create a micro-journal for each of your important queries allowing you to track if any of your content marketing tactics is bringing the desired ranking growth. I am using it to record everything I am doing to the site to later see the impact. Rankedy tracks both mobile and desktop rankings helping you understand the impact of your content marketing efforts.
Video Marketing is Still on the RiseVideo content has been on the rise for a few years now bringing in new customers' expectations. Your audience expects to find your brand on Youtube and for many queries they expect to engage with the video rather than text content. Youtube being the second biggest search engine in the world and Google giving more and more organic search visibility to videos (through video carousels and video featured snippets), failing to embrace video marketing means failing to get found online. There are a few reasons why many brands still shy away from video marketing:
- Video production is hard to scale.
- Video market seems already over-cluttered.
- Video marketing requires solid investment (either in time or money or both).
- Blue Jeans to put together video interviews with influencers and customers.
- Filmora to create screencasts and how-to videos.
- Animatron to create professional entertaining or instructional videos.
PersonalizationFinally, another big marketing trend that is disrupting digital marketing in general and content marketing, in particular, is advanced personalization. While there's a lot being said about personalized marketing, not many businesses clearly understand the concept. Personalized marketing is often confused with these two older (but still valid) marketing tactics:
- Persona building
What's the difference between #personalization, #segmentation and #personabuilding.Click To Tweet
- Register a free trial account and grab their code to add it to your site header (Just like you'd do with Google Analytics code).
- Create your custom audiences using the huge variety of criteria they offer.
- Create personalized experiences to match the expectation of your customers better using a handy visual editor, for each of your content asset separately.
- Watch the stats and remove personalizations that seem to hurt your customer experience while using better-performing personalizations to inform your future settings.