Digital Marketing can be hard to visualize. Data driven efforts, like Search Engine Marketing (SEM), sometimes need to be shared with graphics. SEO defined by using a whiteboard (video below) lays out a comprehensive understanding of data and SEM that can help your organization focus not primarily on click-through rate, but also on your site's user experience, the path to conversion, and how fresh content may influence your Google rankings.

SEO Defined in 60 Seconds

How do people find what they’re looking for on the web?

Search engines.

And in order for business owners to ensure that their content appears as the most relevant resource for prospective customers, they must optimize web pages to show up in search engine results for specific keywords.

But let’s say you’re a beginner when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO).

What exactly is SEO?

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55% of Visitors Read Your Articles For 15 Seconds or Less: Why We Should Focus on Attention Not Clicks

The internet is a daily battle for attention. Everywhere you turn, people are trying to share the latest marketing hacks with many of the same points echoed repeatedly.

I’m guilty of it myself, and I completely understand why many of us write articles that are a little similar and repetitive. It’s because they work. You could argue that content is becoming less art and more science. There are formulas to it — if you find the best keywords and write the correct content, you can build a high-traffic blog (that’s almost a guarantee).

But is traffic the goal of content? Or can there be some new and unusual ways of measuring content success? I have some ideas I’d love to share.

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What Your SEO Needs to Know:

With mobile device use continually on the rise, how you target a specific audience is rapidly changing. Sessions and Pageviews have long been the key metric of measurement since the very beginning of website traffic monitoring. But having a large volume of traffic may not be the indicator of good conversion or website success. Knowing how long a user browses your site, how many pages they viewed during their session, and bounce rates (how often users exit your site) all contribute to the quality of your traffic.

Having higher-quality traffic will lead to better conversions. Whether your conversion goals include a visitor guide request, RFP, or hotel booking, it is critical to learn how deeply your users are engaged. This can be measured in three ways:

  • How long they were on the site
  • How many pages they visited during their session
  • Bounce rate

A user is more likely to convert when they have a higher number of pages per visit, stay on the site longer, and have a lower bounce rate. However, mobile users typically have higher bounce rates, spend less time on websites, and also visit fewer pages during their visit. This does not mean that their lack of engagement is less valuable than someone browsing from their desktop. A healthy site will have a mixture of devices that see both high and low engagement, which provides trending averages and context of how users are interacting with the content.

How does it affect your business:

Spending the extra time and effort to create engaging and informative content will not only increase conversions but also improve overall site traffic. Excellent content increases the likelihood that users will share your pages and articles via social media. The social amplification of the article or page will increase the social links that lead back to your site and will mean more people are reading your content.

Pay attention to your site engagement statistics as well as your social engagement. These demonstrate the value of the content.

10 Illustrations of How Fresh Content May Influence Google Rankings (Updated)

How fresh is this article?

Through patent filings over the years, Google has explored many ways that it might use "freshness” as a ranking signal. Back in 2011, we published a popular Moz Blog post about these "Freshness Factors” for SEO. Following our own advice, this is a brand new update of that article.

In 2003, Google engineers filed a patent named Information retrieval based on historical data that shook the SEO world. The patent not only offered insight into the mind of Google engineers at the time, but also seemingly provided a roadmap for Google’s algorithm for years to come.

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What Your SEO Needs to Know:

Gone are the days of tossing keyword-saturated content onto a page and counting on Google’s simple and broad algorithm to index and promote anything and everything. These days, your content is scrutinized and analyzed by the sophisticated Googlebot, and the emphasis is on how human-friendly your page appears. To sum this up, your content must be inspiring, sharable, engaging, educational, and entertaining (I.S.E.E.E.)? Add in scannable and skimmable for technical topics and lists, and it will round things out nicely.

Google continues to change its algorithm's content reviewing parameters. Google’s humans have a large influence on how these algorithms learn, but the algorithms are also starting to teach themselves what high-quality content should look like.

The frequency with which you update and refresh your current content, and how often you publish new content will directly influence how authoritative you are in your subject (page authority) and how relevant you become in the little niche of the web that Google has carved out for you.

Link to relevant current events. Keep your content fresh and engaging. Google will reward you.

This article provides many useful insights into the factors Google takes into account to rank your content.

How does it affect your business:

Creating engaging, relevant, and useful content on a regular basis will organically drive traffic to your site. Updating your site’s current content will also help provide peripheral value to your user and increase your website’s legitimacy with Google. Adding content to current pages, fixing broken links, keeping your redirects up-to-date, and otherwise ensuring your content’s technical accuracy will also raise your authority with Google (and your users).

The one thing you should remember when considering new content and updated content for your SEO strategy is that Google does in fact recognize changes in navigation, site design, and layout — no matter how much they tell you those items are a lower priority.

To Sum Up This Week’s SEM GEMs:

2 Great questions to ask yourself when you post a blog, create a page, or share content on social media:

  • I.S.E.E.E. Will your visitors find your content inspiring, sharable, engaging, educational, and entertaining? Also remember scannable and skimmable for technical content and lists.
  • Will it keep them on the site longer than 15 seconds?

Add in a heaping spoonful of the other factors which Google uses to rank, and your high-quality content will lead to an increasingly-hard-to-obtain improvement in traffic, and therefore, conversion.