Here you find the link to the slides regarding the February 2021 online SEOnerd Switzerland meetup ‘C-T-R-You Ready for 2021?’ with Izzi Smith.
The decreasing organic SERP space is a natural development we’ve witnessed over the past years, yet we still need to work on the correct sustainable methods to ensure that our documents are represented correctly and prominently within all the right features Google makes available for us.
In addition to digging into some hands-on tips and tricks for scaling and improving features like Rich Results, Featured Snippets, and your standard snippets, this session also provides some educated speculations and advice regarding what 2021’s SERP spaces may likely throw at us so that you can be prepared to keep driving meaningful CTR to your pages.
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Izzi Smith, Technical SEO Analyst, Ryte
Izzi Smith is an SEO nerd and analyst, award-winning speaker and digital marketing podcaster. She has a passion for all things Search, but her biggest strengths and interests lie in SERP optimization, Structured Data, UX, local SEO, and tech SEO. At Ryte, she acts as a sparring partner for clients and helps educate on technical topics.
Izzi Smith, Technical SEO Analyst, Ryte
Visit izzismith.com for hilarious SEO memes
LinkedIn Izzi Smith
Full webinar recording
Izzi Smith’s slides
💡 You find further insight about on page SEO optimisation for copywriter in this webinar (in French) Intro On Page SEO Pour Copywriters. In the webinar recorded for the Content Strategy Meetup, Isaline Muelhauser shares tips and tricks for copywriters.
Thank you Izzi Smith for your presentation
💛 Thanks to our speaker Izzi Smith, we are so happy to welcome you! Preparing a presentation and being present at the meetup take a lot of time.
The association SEOnerd Switzerland is nothing without speakers willing to share their knowledge. I am happy SEOnerd Switzerland got to welcome Izzi! I feel ready to go on auditing my client’s website to prepare them for the page’s experience update.
SEOnerd Switzerland is a non-profit association that aims at promoting and sharing knowledge about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEOnerd Switzerland organizes events in person and in webinars.
🔥 Join the community of SEO enthusiasts by joining the meetup group. If you have any questions or ideas, contact the co-hosts, Sara Moccand-Sayegh and Isaline Muelhauser.
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Full transcript of the webinar with Izzi Smith
Transcript created with the help Ross John dela Rosa. Thanks Ross.
Sarah: Thank you for joining. I don’t know, can you tell us if you can hear us, see us? Or, say, ‘Cheers!’ Whatever you say. No?
Isaline: I’m going to start the conversation. In the chat, you can choose panelists and everybody just choose panelists. And everybody, so we can all participate. And we need you to tell us if you can hear us. Otherwise, there’s no point.
Sarah: Okay, at least we have somebody that answered because they all are getting scared. Okay.
Isaline: So, can you hear us well? Oh, it’s coming. Hey, hello from India!
Sarah: India, they’re getting us so far away.
Isaline: That’s awesome!
Sarah: Okay, is there somebody from Switzerland? Yes? Oh no. I don’t know.
Isaline: Oh, hearing us loud and clear. Thumbs up! Hey, Annette from Berlin. Hey!
Sarah: I have somebody from Fribourg.
Sarah: So, Fribourg, for those who doesn’t know it, is a small city in Switzerland.
Isaline: Yeah. Hey, that sounds good! From Brighton.
Isaline: It’s so– It’s so nice.
Izzy: I miss the Brighton SEO so much. I hope it’s- Well, it’s coming back at the end of summer, in-person. Hopefully, it takes place but if not, I’m confident for next year. Though, we will be there again. Yeah.
Isaline: Yup. My god! Someone from Atlanta. What’s the time there? Like, early…
Izzy: Must be—
Isaline: …morning something?
Izzy: 10 a.m.? 9 a.m.?
Izzy: Yeah, wow!
Sarah: Okay, I see. I look at it. It says 10 a.m.
Isaline: Oh… So, if you want to send the messages to everybody, you have to choose panelists and participants. And so, everybody can then, see the messages. Otherwise, by default it’s just panelists which means, Izzy and Sarah and me.
Sarah: Okay, so let’s start. Thank you everybody because at least we know then, that you can see us. And we start sharing our slides first of all. So, can everybody see the slides? Yes? No? I don’t see the chat. So, I can see panelists.
Izzy: I see them.
Sarah: Okay, fantastic! So, first of all, thank you for joining SEOnerd, as we say probably 10 times. And… For those that are like, the first time that they join SEOnerd, you probably don’t know what SEOnerd is about and the association. But don’t worry, I will explain it to you and for those that are already aware of it, you’re so lucky, then you can hear it even to this meet-up.
So, mainly SEOnerd is an association. Then, Isaline and I create it like… one year and a month ago, I think. And it was because we wanted to speak a little bit more with other people doing SEO at the time. And then, we decided to join a meetup but then we realized, there were no meet-up Switzerland for that and especially in our area. So, we were like, “Okay, so let’s open a meet-up ourselves then.” Like, this at least we can speak with other people and enjoy everything that is SEO and share the knowledge, mainly. So, that is why we created SEOnerd. And… obviously, as we saw in the chat, we go a little bit more global than expected. That is because of Corona reach. But again, that is fantastic. So, we just hope, and also, we have Swiss people like then, they can also learn. And… okay, I think that’s all about the association. Correct me Isaline if I’ve forgot something.
And… the other thing that I would like– I’ve introduced to you before the super Travail d’équipe is like, we have sponsor.
So… oops, can you see that? All right, good. Okay, thank you.
So, thank you so much for these sponsors, LIIP and PILEA.ch. Because the two sponsors help us to cover the cost. So, for example, now we are transcripting the video. For the video then, I don’t forget to record, obviously. But then, you have the transcript and that is fantastic! Because… yeah. Because that is fantastic! That’s all. And also, they cover the cost of the meetup. And… so, thank you so much!
So, what else? Okay, our next event. So, many of you probably know her, know Ruth because of Python. She’s quite well-known about Python. I obviously, love Python and whatever is around Python. Isaline, too. But there is something that we particularly find important. And sometimes more important than the law for Python And that is ‘Accessibility’. And… often it happened and I would like, SEO under evaluate accessibility. And so, for this reason, we have a talk on that. And… you are super welcome to join.
Okay, enough for… I spoke about of blah blah blah. Now is, why you’re here and Izzy. Oh no, wait. First, Isaline. Oh, I cut the slides. And this is why we love direct—
Isaline: It’s fine. We don’t need the slides. So, I just wanted to shortly introduce Izzy. Because we, especially me, we are really happy to welcome her. She’s especially famous for the ‘meme’. And so, you should check out her Twitter account. I mean that’s first how I got to know her that was through the Fan. And then, first time I saw her, I mean like, as a person, it was at the Google Developer Conference. Not last year but 2019. And that’s what I was telling before you joined us is that I actually stalked Izzy after her talk because I was excited to meet her. Because I found her, she was so cool! But I couldn’t just… Find– I couldn’t dare just start talking to her because I was so insecure about myself being at a big conference at Google. You know? I was a bit so scared of everything. And so, I just followed her around from the buffet area to the entrance area. And Sarah kept telling me, “Oh, yes! Go for it, Isaline, go for it! You should just do it.” You know Sarah’s style like a little bit pushy. But so lovely, as usual. So, now, yes, we get to talk and we get to listen. I mean, this special talk that you prepared just for us. So, thank you for being here.
Izzy: Thanks so much for having me. And I really wish you would have come up and said “Hello!” Uh! Next time.
Isaline: It’s so hard.
Izzy: It is.
Isaline: It’s overwhelming. There were so many people. Too many people for me, I’m not…
Izzy: Yeah. I’m the same at these conferences. At some point, I just want to hide in a room. But it’s a lot of fun and I miss them so much. And I’m really looking forward to meeting you both in person. And having a drink and some really good nerdy chatter about SEO.
Isaline: Yeah! Oh, and also one thing before we start. For the question, you people can ask all of your questions, even though you’re feeling insecure. There are no silly questions.
Isaline: So, just ask them either in the chat, I’ll check it out, or in the Q&A little tool you have. And we’ll just answer everything after the talk. Okay, are we good?
Izzy: Yes, thank you so much Isaline and Sarah. It’s a pleasure to be here. Where are you normally hosting this event?
Sarah: In Lausanne.
Izzy: In Lausanne. So, definitely have to visit there very soon. I’m very excited to get back to physical conferences and back to a bit of normality. But it is a great feeling to be able to chat at a meet-up with an international audience. So, that’s I think a nice outcome.
So, yeah, my talk today is titled C-T-R-You Ready for 2021? And it’s all about how you can leverage SERP features and better strategies in your SEO tactics to get better Click-Through Rates.
First of all, a little introduction on myself. So, hey I’m Izzy Smith. And in my role at Ryte, I’m a Tech SEO Analyst. So, I act as like a Sparring Partner with customers. But I also worked in-house and on the consulting side. I love giving talks, and I love making lame jokes, especially memes, like Isaline just pointed out. I don’t know why. I just always want to make bad memes and you can check them out there. And I love a little bit of satire around SEO topics. So, I’m making fun of it just to make it a little bit more accessible.
Let’s say for example, I made a generator to predict SEO trends of 2020, and for this year, I just updated it to 2021, and this parodies real-life SEO issues. For example, like the important struggle of achieving a perfect 100 score in Lighthouse or in PageSpeed Insights which is just easy if you delete everything from your website. But some of them are a bit less silly and more on the point. For example, realizing that SEO is a gradual, strategic, and often agile process that isn’t confined to the Gregorian Calendar. And that got me to thinking for this presentation which isn’t always a good thing.
But I was thinking, what will 2021 bring for our SERPs? And looking to the future for me always feels like a tinfoil hat moment where I start to speculate what will be meaningful? What is going to be helpful in this year? So, I was considering, are there going to be new Rich Results? Because last year, there were lots of changes to Structured Data and Rich Snippets. So, we had new results around COVID-19, of course, for their announcements. We had image licenses. And we had a lot of great documentation changes that were also released newly.
If you want to learn more about the advantages, Samuel Schmitt created a really nice story on this. So, like, what the differences and advantages are of these stories compared to your classic Instagram and Snapchat stories there. One of the big advantages being the publicity in Google Search. Are these going to be big this year? Are they definitely have high potential? So, especially because they’re so engaging and it gives publishers a new way to interact with their audiences. But right now, the adoption rate is pretty low. But potentially, Google could keep pushing it and renewing it.
Another topic that could be a focus this year is Passage Ranking. Have we all heard about this? So, just to give you a little bit of insights of what passage ranking is and how this could affect your strategies. Well, let’s take a look at this nice example of a long tail query. In the past Google might have surfaced what seems to be a generic page covering like, UV glass windows for this term. How can I determine if my house windows are UV glass? But after the passage ranking update, then they can hopefully, directly get to the bottom of this user’s query and rank a deeper potentially diluted passage of information.
So, here’s my very horribly constructed simple diagram. I was like, if someone is searching for facts about kiwi fruit and it’s hidden on my fruit salad page, in the past I would have really struggled to rank for kiwi related terms. And now, if this tucked away nugget of information is useful, Google can rank it as a passage and highlight it. And we should not call it passage indexing. It’s not about indexing individual pieces of content. The whole page will still be indexed like normal. But Google systems will consider the content and meaning of passages when determining what is most relevant versus previously when we were looking at the page overall.
There was a great discussion among these SEO legends. I think it was, yes, in November, where they started to unravel these passages ranking update. And Martin Splitt of Google, could really shed some light on what this means for content publishers. So, I just wanted to give a couple of quotes there. So, “I think that the core myth is that it’s a thing. Because really, it is just a smaller change where we try to help those who are not necessarily familiar with SEO or how to structure their content. Because lots of people end up creating these long-winded pages that are having a hard time ranking for anything, because everything is so diluted in this long content. And we (so Google) are helping those.” You can check out the full video and the transcription there.
And then, a week later on my Friday show that I have every week with my colleague markers, ‘302 of a Kind’, we had Cindy Krum on as a guest to discuss this. And she had some really great angles and perceptions of passage ranking and how it’s going to improve search. So, she started with, and this is totally true, like, “It’s heartbreaking that language is a barrier to knowledge.” So, she expects that hopefully passages help surface stuff that’s not in your language, one passage at a time. This could be an easier lift, so one excerpt at a time, then going for everything translated and entity understood all at once. Especially when there’s a hole in the web, so, when there’s no information there or nothing of good quality. And this matches back to what Splitty was describing, where if they’re struggling to find quality content on a specific thing and this seems to be the answer that might get a passage. So, some really interesting insights there from Cindy about how passages could really improve the quality of search results, internationally as well.
So, is this going to be a factor this year? Probably, because it’s going to impact apparently seven percent of queries which is quite a lot of terms and searches. I think I’ve gotten really blurry but that’s okay, you don’t need to see me. No worries. Yeah, so this is going to impact 7% of queries. That’s quite a lot. And if you haven’t really invested that much in structuring your content that well or you haven’t split topics up into subtopics, you know, you could stand to see a lot more visitors to your content. So, yeah. It’s going to have an impact but it’s generally not something that you can work on that much. You can’t really go out there and do passage optimization.
What about zero click searches on the rise? This is inevitable. Having zero click searches, so searches made by someone that results in no-click to a page, is inevitable. This is like a natural occurrence brought on by Google’s improvements and enrichments to search. But don’t worry too much about that. SEO will never die. And there’s going to be ways that you can always get value from search and organic search.
So, rather than trying to predict Google’s movements in 2021 and what new enrichments they’re going to add, I like to realistically uncover what makes sense to focus on within our strategies. So, my trend to highlight here was doing the same as last year but in a smarter more efficient ways. I think all too often, smart SEO strategies don’t always involve super new shiny trends but they try to evoke tried-and-tested strategies. And see how they can be improved scaled and maybe even automated especially if you’re into Python which is very handy. Probably optimized for lack of a better word.
So, I want to answer and ask these right questions. How can I get the right visitors from the SERP to my website? How can I uplift the amount of meaningful clicks to my pages? And how can I provide any and all positive refinement feedback to Google’s ranking algorithms? So, to prove to them that I deserve to rank where I am or if not even better using all of the SERP enrichment tools in my tool shed, such as being present in relevant ecosystems. Maybe that’s discover or in more visual search facets. Maybe it’s going out there and getting Featured Snippets, or driving better Rich Results, or just your classic search enhancements. And that’s why I’m here today.
So, bring on 2021, not just for SEO but for many, many reasons. Yay! So, first of all, my first strategy is developing a full ‘SERP-to-Satisfied’ approach. If you’re not aware of what SERP stands for, it’s a Search Engine Result Page. Sometimes, I get clients who come to me like this, a bit upset.
“Where’s my rich SERP feature?” It could be a Featured Snippet or a Rich Result.
“I did this, I rolled out Structured Data.”
“I added lists.”
“I made paragraphs 40 to 60 words like the article said so.”
“I made this content subjective like you said so.”
Which leaves me a little bit confused because I would have just analyzed their website and try to understand their business goals and I would just be confused. And I will see webpages, not like this because this is an amazing page full of polite cats and Comic Sans. But I will see stuff like spun copy that’s created for the sake of a result and not for the sake of any human being. And it’s 2021, it’s time to get over that.
And if you haven’t already you should really try and get out of this mindset of, “As an SEO, I get people to the page. I increase clicks. I increase traffic. That’s what I do. Well, I increase rankings that gets people to the page.” Really get out of this behavior, this approach. And try to have more of this SERP-to-Satisfied approach. And this is going to form the basis of lots of following strategies that I’m talking about today.
So, it starts in the beginning with having some searcher intent analysis. So, you’re there properly discovering topics that you are the best resource to cover and then you analyze what those searches want. Like, what gets them out of bed in the morning? And what gets them onto Google to make that search? And you cater to that with a fulfilling and useful search result Snippet. No matter if they actually don’t want to click on your result, yet. I know, it sounds interesting but I’ll cover that later. Even if they don’t want to click on your result yet, this is fine. As long as they don’t want to click on a competitor’s result or go back and refine their query. And then, you build brilliant pages. For those people who just got out of bed in the morning or didn’t, I won’t judge, that proves to them and thus Google that you are an engaging, a factually correct, reliable, and authentic source of information or services on this topic. Even if they don’t convert now, which is not always the case for organic traffic. We do have a relatively low conversion rate. But consider that there is more than just buying something. There’re many different conversions that you, as a content provider and SEO can influence. And you have this great chance to nurture their journey. So, that finally they can have their intent completely satisfied.
And this is a really vague view but it’s really important to bear in mind, like, how do you see your organic visitors converting? And how do you see them behaving? What type of SERP to satisfy journeys can you think of and what can you influence? Like, what part of this search journey is your site lacking in? So, these types of questions to really ask and solve. Because all too often, SEOs can forget these later stages. They forget to maybe provide engaging content. They forget to guide this visitor to their goal. And maybe, this is a problem with SEO team’s priorities and goals. I don’t know. But they might be too focused on clicks and sessions and not conversions. But when there is limited assessment of these stages, then the whole thing struggles to take off. The SERP feature is lost maybe. The query ranking declines. And they have to start this process all over again. Like, manually pushing individual keywords until something sticks. So, always try and consider that journey and that approach.
And that was the basis of our 2021 strategies but let’s get into some nitty-gritty. And I don’t think I can fix my camera. Let’s try that now, just restart.
Ta-daaaah! Yeah, that’s better, right? But focus on the content, not on me.
So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. So, all about Searcher Intent Analysis. Like what a crucial process that we have when we’re developing an SEO strategy. And it leads to several great benefits that you can justify, such as knowing which page and what type of content is the best for the job. Because when you have that information and you’re aware of that, you can intelligently target that query in the best possible way. Also, understanding the most appropriate call to action, the most appropriate conversion to use and when. As well as knowing, what’s the best SERP feature is most likely to be displayed? Is Google going to show a Featured Snippet for this result? Are they going to display ads and try to earn money? That way, and therefore my chances are slimmer and it’s also a great way of discovering new topics that you can target.
So, yes, when it comes to this keyword research, we really need to attempt to cluster these intents as best as we can. So, in the basic format we have these three, wherever I’m pointing at. So, we have Informational, ‘I really want to know something,’ Navigational, ‘I want to go directly to a website or a service,’ or Transactional, ‘I want to buy something or carry out an action.’ But these just aren’t as detailed as we’d like, right? So, we should definitely create a finer segmentation. Because a term like, Xbox versus Playstation, is this informational or are they wanting to buy something? Like are they looking for info or what’s going on there? Or Photoshop Download, is this transactional or is this navigational? So, to help with this, I created this handy segment. I’ve shared this on social media recently. I did make some tweaks to it. But yes, this is basically my more detailed way of doing user intent segmentation. So, I don’t need to look for all of it at the moment. Maybe just point out my favorite user intent that is transactional research under-
Oh! Do you see what mistake I made? Yes. Yeah. Okay, so on that third column over there, it should be transactional. Sorry about that.
So, if you’re ready to make a purchase- I will fix that before we share the slides. All good.
So, if you’re ready to make a purchase, yes, it’s transactional. But if you need more information before buying, that’s what I like to call transactional research. And this is gold because you can really be there at this high-funnel phase of awareness. You can stand out in results like Featured Snippets because it’s not super transactional. So, Google is less likely to monetize it. So, there’s not going to be that many ads there competing with you. So, if you’re standing out in those SERP features, you can get a lot of great interested traffic to your website. And I know that’s all gone in theory having these intents types but how can I classify and filter my existing keywords myself? And this deserves its own presentation. This was in Zurich, actually. Yes. Especially when I have a lot of keywords to deal with every week and I don’t want to sift through all of them. So, at Ryte, we pull in as much Google Search and sold data as possible using the API to give you this full scope of your true organic search performance. But you can also turn it into magical reports. And what I like to do is classify my keywords using rules and just creating handy segments.
So, using my logic I wanted to explain that today. So, first of all, I like to create some keyword refinement lists like these. So, I printed a couple that are hopefully going to give you some inspiration. So, these are the types of keyword modifiers I would expect to see in transactional keywords. And you can create a final list of your known keyword refinements. So, it will always differ depending on the type of products and services that you offer. You can then go out there, run some keyword research using your tool of choice. I use Google Ads because it’s free and I hate spending money. So, I take my Google Keyword Planner Data and I combine it with my Commercial Keyword List. You know, it’s those transactional keyword modifiers there. While also then, checking out other tools like answer the public we all love and know to get some questions around the topic and so on.
And I’m learning Python at the moment and I just wanted to mention this. It’s a really simple script that I created that all it does is it passes in your keyword refinements and then it loops for your keyword research and then it just filters out all the fitting keywords just to combine it in one sheet. And it took me a while to make that and I’m very proud of it. It was part of the process. But you could easily do this in Google Sheets, trust or excel. So, you really compile all this into one action plan that you can, of course, enrich with other data sources. So, you can pass in like, Google Analytics. And then, I try and derive priorities based on their existing performance and on some benchmarks.
You will get the slides afterwards and I put in some handy pointers in here like some segment constellations for your keyword discovery. So, when it comes around like, transactional research, what are the types of question modifiers going on there, branded navigational, local navigational, et cetera? And then, you can try and understand the keyword intent based on that. Yes, this was my screenshot of the segments I created. And then, I have my epic keyword action list of 2021.
With this information, once you’ve understood the intent behind these keywords you can nominate the best content type for that job. So, if it’s like transactional research which I love so much, sometimes depending on the term, it’s really better to nominate content around How-to-Guides and FAQs. So, for example, someone looking for Xbox versus Playstation. Let’s go back to that. They have this transactional intent in mind. They’re looking to make a purchase but they need more information first. So, a really useful catch-up blog article on this topic that you’ve created on your electronics e-commerce, online shop website, that you’ve created there is going to rank better for this term. And then also, you have the capabilities to convert them and get them further on along with funnel.
And then next, it’s all about heading to our tool shed and finding the most appropriate SERP feature for that job. There they are again. So, first of all we have Rich Results that are powered by Structured Data. I don’t think I need to go into too much detail on what Rich Results are. But just so we’re on the same page, these are like the enrichments that you’ll see in under organic features and organic search results Then, we have Featured Snippets that aren’t powered by Structured Data. It’s more about quality and structure and better formatting of the content on the page. And then third, there are Entity Results that are powered by the Knowledge Graph. Knowledge Panels are displayed for primary brand searches whereas Knowledge Cards are the responses to quick questions people are searching for around an entity like, a phone number or a person of interest. And then, there’s just your classic Snippet enhancements that is powered by Structure and Navigational Elements. So, one-line sitelinks that jump you either to a sub page or to a part of the page. And Structured Snippets like these table type results under a normal result. It looks like a Rich Snippet but it’s not. It is actual just formatting of the pages content.
There’s so many to mention and I don’t have time to go through all of them today. But Paige Hobart, she’s got you covered with this SERP features glossary. So, definitely check that out. And also, this handy tool by Sam Schmitt who I just mentioned actually earlier. He’s really cool. This tool also displays what SERP features are going on for a query that you enter.
Yep, next so. And of course, I love Mobile Moxie which is a tool created by Cindy Krum. And it has handy features like, serperator that’s free and it just helps you get to the bottom of query displays around the world. Because it’s also important to check what type of search feature is being displayed in the countries that you’re targeting and not just the one that you’re based in. And with that knowledge in mind, roll-out some scalable optimizations that enrich your Snippets organically. I’ve given quite a lot of talks already on Rich Results, on Featured Snippets. Actually, Featured Snippets was a big topic that I aimed to own when I was starting out speaking. But as well as like my presentations, there’s so many great resources out there that cover all these individual optimizations that you can carry out, if that’s something that you are looking to do. But today, I just wanted to cover some ways that you can intertwine and weave these optimizations in your content strategies.
So, if you want to win a Featured Snippet, the basic formula is having this informational intent satisfying content. Because Featured Snippets are usually displayed for informational-related terms and sometimes, transactional research as well. Actually, quite a lot of transactional research. But also being powered by concise summaries, having a better structure like using lists, concise paragraphs, tables and having a great page quality. Page quality is a very vague term for saying that you cover but you’re just a good page. I don’t know how to quantify page quality, but yes.
And if you’re wondering like, “Okay, I did all that Izzy. Where is my Featured Snippet?” Most of the times, it’s related to relevance and, you know, it’s really important in this area. But you can always do a quick check where I like to do. So, take a look at the Featured Snippet on the SERP and see who the domain is that is ranking there. Then you can minus them out using the search operator and it’s going to then return the same query but with the next in line Featured Snippet. I find it really useful. So, if you saw, that was BBC and then I got rid of them and you see that Live Science is behind.
And if you see that you’re in the Featured Snippet queue but you’re not number one, this means that probably your page quality needs to be improved and check the needs met of nominated page content. I’m going to go into Needs Met, next. And if you’re not in the Featured Snippet queue, ‘see above,’ Do that as well. But also, the structure should be improved and check that content can be pulled doing pulling the query and doing a site search at the same time. And if Google is displaying the result as a Featured Snippet, it’s all good. Just work on the other factors. But if not then, something has gone horribly wrong.
And regards to Rich Results, the formula is a lot easier. It’s really about having the required Schema markup. And by required, Google has guidelines on what is necessary for each of those Rich Results but also targeting a relevant query abiding by the rules and not manipulating it and page quality again. If you did all that and you still don’t see a Rich Result then, I have a big list of things going on here. Again, I don’t need to go through all of them but just check that you don’t have things like a manual penalty or a problem with your site’s quality. I’m talking a lot. And then, once you’ve found these winning factors to get more Rich Results, it’s really like a case of reworking page templates and content briefings. Because you want to make sure that you’re getting like a widespread effect on winning them. So, integrating things technically, like table of content, HTML anchors for each section, automated Structured Data.
And also, in the content briefings, making sure that the writers are covering aspects like having a concise paragraph. Like a too long didn’t read paragraph at the beginning and at the end. Because you want to roll-out changes to templates that have a wider impact, again on those Snippet achieving abilities. So, by rolling out clear headings and the table of contents this improves your chances of getting Featured Snippets and fraggles so those like one-line sitelinks there. And rolling-out table structured content. So, just basic HTML tables really improves chances of getting a table Featured Snippet and those nice Structured Snippets, like you see down there. And by actively going out there to create how-to content, this increases your chance of getting really nice list Featured Snippets. But you can also mark it up to get nice Rich Results, too.
Cool! I’m being very aware of time. I’m sorry that I have a lot of slides to get through but I’m going to zip through the next categories here. So, number four is all about getting your aiming to achieve ‘Needs Met’ for your results. And Google has so many channels of gathering user feedback and one way that they do is by directly asking on the SERPs. But another known way is by working with external search quality raters who measure the quality of search results on an ongoing basis and of the pages that Google is ranking. And to ensure this consistent approach, they publish and update the search quality rater guidelines that gives these raters concrete guidelines. and examples to help them make their decision. It is 175 pages long. It’s quite hefty. But it can be really useful to read through to get an indication of what Google considers a good page quality.
And just to quote here, because it’s really important to remember. “Your ratings will not directly affect how a particular webpage, website, or result appears in Google Search, nor will they cause specific webpages, websites, or results to move up or down on the search results page. Instead, your ratings will be used to measure how well search engine algorithms are performing for a broad range of searches.” So, search quality raters do not decide what pages move up and down. They just help Google refine their algorithms. Jennifer Slegg did a great write-up on the quality rater guidelines. She does it every time they’re updated so definitely check those out.
And I wanted to cover it today because it’s really interesting that this year, for this update, they’ve updated a section that provides us with more clarity around how search feature results and their associated pages are evaluated for achieving satisfaction. And they go into these search features and they call them Special Content Result Blocks. So, it’s really interesting that search quality raters are also told to look out for these specific SERP features. And in here, we have mention of result blocks like Featured Snippets because they say, some Special Content Result Blocks may have links to landing pages, like a Featured Snippet. In these cases, think about whether a user would click on the link in order to satisfy their user need. If most users would not click, rate the Special Content Result Block based on the block content alone or evaluate the page or both. So, it’s really interesting. I find that Google is not asking their evaluators to rate the Featured Snippet or the Rich Result, that type of content as well.
And initially, I wanted to go through each of these ratings but there is a lot of content in there. I just want to go through the main difference between Fully Needs Met and Highly Needs Met. So, Fully Needs is like, I answered my question directly on Google. And that’s a query like, ‘how to find the security code on a visa card.’ And it’s telling me directly and I can say, “Okay, my needs were met.” Whereas Highly Meets, I’m getting some good indication but I need more information before I have my needs met. So, always try and evaluate based on this scale here. And again, I’m not going to go through but you will have access to these slides.
And I wanted to focus on how you should aim to achieve a Highly Needs Met for your results and not Fully Needs. Because it’s about also, again like standing out in search results, it’s about showing off your brand as a really strong expert. And therefore you need to satisfy what they’re looking for. But you also should try, and for a lot of queries, gets them to the page. So, if you’re going for this Highly Needs Met, they still need to find out a little bit more information to be satisfied. So, then you’re hopefully going to increase the CTR and get more clicks to your page.
Unless that is of course, the intent is pure answer or navigational. Because here, you should aim for Fully Meets. So, Firebox customer service, we want to make sure that these results meet the needs completely on the SERP. But when you’re evaluating, you know, maybe you’re a little bit biased so try and have like an external or a newcomer help you evaluate on that scale.
And the fifth point is taking control of your Entity Results. So, this segue is pretty nice. And I’m going from this navigational pure answer intent query result here. Yes, because again, we’re talking about enriching your branded Knowledge Panels and Knowledge Cards. And a lot of people come to me like, “Why would I enrich my entity features because if I’m giving Google all of the answers and all of the facts, then, why would someone have the need to click onto my page?” And actually, I would much rather have things like, representation over exclusion. So, if I’m not feeding all this Structured Data to Google, they might just exclude me completely from Entity Results. And I want to be in control of the facts. I want to make sure that I’m giving them my contact details so that they can display this correctly and not give false numbers that they scraped from some other website. Also, sometimes it’s better to have this quick satisfaction, these quick needs met on the search engine result page rather than visiting the page and just finding the phone number and then jumping back.
So, there’re some search tools I already mentioned. But you can also use Carl Hendy’s Knowledge Graph Search here. So, you can find your primary entity. And just see how your Knowledge Panel is looking if there’s any data conflicts. Sometimes you can claim the Knowledge Panel to be in control of the facts there. Sometimes you can also use Organization Structured Data across your website. So, just feeding all these facts to Google in this, the schema markup form, that use organization, or the most specific type, like if you’re a local business, then use that type. But also you want to nest it within relevant pages not just on your home page. For example, here on the Yoast plugin page, it really makes sense for them to specify that this plugin was created by the Yoast Organization. And again, it’s really about proving those intrinsic connections like, with the products that you surface and the services and your organizations. This is a really great way of feeding that data to Google.
And my last point is this year, don’t forget about this upcoming Page Experience Update which is coming very, very soon, in May 2021. You might have heard about it. It’s really revolving around user experiences and better interactivity and accessibility of your pages. What was nice about this was that to Top Stories, to be in this Top Stories feature. And previously you had to use AMP but soon you won’t have to. So, it also means that you can optimize your non-AMP pages to rank well in the Top Stories section. But revolving this Page Experience Update that is looking to even improve the ranking of pages that have a good Core Vital scorings or they have HTTPS or SSL encryption and they’re mobile-friendly. They also said that they’re going to show visual indicators on the search engine result pages. So, it is going to be a CTR impacting result, if you have a good or bad Page Experience. We don’t exactly know how this is going to look. But there was this test in 2015 that showed slow pages. And also last week, JR Oakes discovered in Google Search Console codes that, yeah, there’s going to be this search enrichment filter going on there. So, you’ll be able to filter for your pages that have this good Page Experience badge. And apparently, some people found this little icon in the SERPs that could mean Page Experience but I’m not sure, I’m not sure. Let’s see.
So, I’m almost done but just so you’re aware, I do quite a few webinars on many different topics like this on Tech SEO and so just check out our product webinars page there. It’s not just about Ryte. It’s all like a lot of topics that we cover. And we do them almost every week. So, if you’re still not confident and hopefully you’re ready. Hopefully I pointed you in the right direction for improving your Click-Through Rates. Improving your search appearance this year. Don’t worry you got this and thank you so much. Thanks for watching! Please follow me if you want to find out more. If you want to ask me any questions, you can do so with @izzionfire on Twitter or on Instagram or wherever. And yeah, all good! Thank you!
Sarah: Thank you Izzy!
Isaline: Thank you, thank you! That was awesome!
Izzy: It was so long, right? I didn’t realize that it would go on for so long. Sorry about that.
Isaline: I think we were all happy to listen.
Izzy: Oh, cool!
Isaline: Oh, my god! I’ve had a vision of of the SERP and with the little logos of what is slow. And I know that I would be exactly the type of person to select only what is quick because I have absolutely no patience. So—
Izzy: Yeah. It’s worrying.
Isaline: So, that would be a disaster for so many of my clients.
Izzy: Yeah. We still have time. We have plenty of time before May. So, I would say to everyone like, it’s not related to Structured Data or Featured Snippets but definitely check out your Page Experience scores and well the metrics that make up the Page Experience like your Core Vitals, your mobile-friendliness. Just try and get that worked on before the update. Yeah.
Isaline: Yup. So, does anyone have a question? Oh, so we have one from Mikhail. Izzy, what’s the better form to create one entity?
Izzy: I guess, if you’re trying to develop, let’s say your brand into an entity so you want to get something like a Knowledge Panel, or yeah, so if you want to be in the Knowledge Graph it’s really about making sure that you have all this connected data around the web that is consistent. And that you’re in respected places like for example, Wikipedia. Now, that’s pretty difficult if you don’t have one of those brands that would fit in Wikipedia like my own company that I work for. It’s a software company, that makes SEO software. So, we wouldn’t really deserve to be there just yet. So, there’s many different ways and I showed a few of them today. So, using Organization Structured Data across your website. Just like embedding that within, let’s say the products that you have listed. So, this pair of sneakers is sold by this brand or this paper is manufactured by my brand. I’m so bad with examples. But hopefully that makes sense. And also, improving what I like to call your relatedness score. And that is where you are listed and ranked on articles that are summarizing what your entity is all about, like what your brand is all about. So, for example, I use this in previous conference talks, it was best RPG games. And Google is understanding this information from list articles, from trusted sources like, TechRadar and GameStop, I can’t remember the game. Publishers, but they’re looking for these mentions and related scores with, let’s say like, Fallout, which is a game an RPG and seeing, what is the relatedness score there? And like, what is the sentiment? So, try and see like what roundup articles you can be listed on that is going to improve your brand’s relatedness score as well. So, being on Wikipedia and if not using Structured Data, being listed in related articles on the web and…
Did I forget something else? Try and claim your SERP feature result like, if I’m still sharing, I can go back. I think I skipped over it. Yes, so, if you have a Knowledge Panel result out there for your brand that Google has created for you, you can also try and claim that Knowledge Panel result using like, a Google Search Console account or some type of validation. Yep, there’s many ways. You got this!
Isaline: Thanks for the answer and thanks for the great question. Do we have other questions?
Sarah: Yes, there is another question. So, it’s about newspaper. Does it make sense to create a personal Structured Data for each news? Like okay, so when you’re speaking, for example, about Trump then, to create a personal Structured Data for Trump, Biden, Beyonce, et cetera.
Izzy: So, for a newspaper, what makes more sense to focus on is News Article Structured Data. And this really improves your chances of ranking in these Top Stories features because you’re making this data really easy for Google to understand. You’re saying, okay, this is the date it was published. This is when it was modified. This is the topic. So much that you should mark up there for each of your news stories. So, it’s going to improve your chances of getting in these really cool features like these carousels. It’s also helping Google understand and index the content a lot quicker. And just generally improving the appearance of your search results. So, don’t worry too much about the topics that you’re mentioning there. Just try and improve the Structured Data that’s rolled-out across your articles. So, News Articles Schema Markup, check it out.
Cool! Yeah. I’m seeing your feedback and I just want to say thank you to everyone and for your kind words. It’s very nice to see.
Sarah: So, I don’t know if we have another question if not, I will do the question.
Sarah: I mean, then it could be useful for everybody. So, Izzy, what about Wikidata-Google?
Izzy: That’s what I forgot. Yeah, this is another great way to improve your entity. Thanks so much for raising this. I know that Jason Bernard, he is like the go-to knowledge source for this topic of like improving your branded SERPs. He speaks a lot about Wikidata and its power of connecting your entity in the web and just improving your Knowledge Panel results. Yeah. I think, definitely check out the work that he’s created as well.
Sarah: Okay, so… Okay there is another question, Isaline.
Isaline: This is Jenny, about passage ranking. She says… So, I’m going to read it out loud. It’s going to be easier. So, she says, “I guess this means my not-so-great page on a topic could get bumped down the rankings by a more general page that has a great paragraph on the topic. Is that right?
Izzy: Could be, yes! Oh, I think the passage ranking’s update is already out in the US for English queries but Jenny, I think you said you’re from Brighton. So, Google said that they’re not trying to outrank already well-existing pages. They just want to better understand deeper topics on a page and understand the terms and the relationships of the entities on that page. There’s so much they want to do with passage ranking. And you said, “I guess this means my not-so-great page on a topic could get bumped down the rankings by a more general page that has a great paragraph in the topic.” Like yes, that’s what could happen. So, really try and make sure that your not-so-great page is great, is awesome. Yeah. If you’re afraid of that happening but you did understand it correctly. And I think Google will, they haven’t said this specifically and I’m not sure if I’ve seen it in the wild, but they definitely need some type of functionality that gets someone to that deeper passage on the page especially if it’s like a 3000 word article and that the passage is deeper down. I don’t want to come from the search engine result page and land on this article right at the top and then have to like, scroll, scroll, scroll and find it. So, I hope they then like, jump down deeper into the page. Sometimes with Featured Snippets, they highlight the content in yellow. And maybe that they’re going to do that there as well. Yes, hope that was helpful.
Yes, thanks Jenny. And to Hansah, the name was Jason Bernard. You’re welcome.
Isaline: And I do have a question. What is the best way to deliver the findings? And what should be done on a page? Because I think what’s taking up my mind the most at the moment is that, even though you did the research and you know what should be done on search-to-search product page. But you not doing the content, someone else has to implement it. And it’s, I find it really hard to transfer that knowledge to the person who is doing the copywriting who has the knowledge about how the brand communicates best. But you need to transfer that technical knowledge about how in a structural way it should be done. And I just find it, I don’t think I have found the right way to do it because this transfer of information between the SEO and the copywriter is incredibly hard. Like, how do you do it? Like, excel sheets? I feel lots of copywriters are not so happy when I transfer in excel sheets. So…
Izzy: Yeah. It’s tricky. And I work more like, with the developers. And I think there’s certain ways where it’s like, any sort of non-SEO team member or colleague, you really have to be, I’d say, an advocate on the SEO topic. And you really have to come from understanding their challenges and their struggles and trying to see, how you can work with their processes as well? So, I’m not sure how you work with your content writers. But when I was in-house, we had a team who sat in Berlin. And we basically, created briefings and we had weekly meetings with them. And they didn’t know so much about SEO. So, what we did was like, I went to Berlin, How awful? I know. Nice weekend in Berlin. And I did training courses with them and I got them really excited about SEO And this was fun for everyone involved. And the more they saw like, what impact their content creation was having on the output of like, having more engaged visitors and having better rankings and more traffic to the website and more people that were seeing the content that they were creating, they got really excited. So, I think in stuff like this that you can team up with them. Get them really passionate about it. And also, maybe try and run some of these tests yourself. If you have access to changing content, you could maybe play around with the structure yourself and say, “Okay, I formulated this as a list or as a table.” And then, hopefully you’ll have an output to show on the search engine result pages. And show them and be like, “Look, look what we did and if we just tweak our briefing a little bit we could have so many more of them and so many more people are going to click through to the page.” Yeah, so like proving the evidence and hopefully showing like, we get more traffic and people are going to read what you create which is amazing. Something like that, yeah.
Isaline: Yeah. Thank you for the answer.
Izzy: It takes time. And it’s a lot of like relationship-building as well, I find.
Isaline: Yeah, I think it’s really difficult as a freelancer. I work with other freelance for clients. And so before text can be actually published, it has to be validated by the clients. So, you cannot really run a test and so it’s kind of tricky to show a test done on other websites and on other subjects. So, I suppose it’s lots of convincing here.
Izzy: It is.
Isaline: Convincing the clients and then…
Izzy: And use FOMO.
Izzy: Do you know FOMO? Fear of missing out.
Isaline: I’m not, I know. But I’m not ready to do that.
Izzy: You could show a Featured Snippet like, “Do you want this? Isn’t it cool? Look at how much you’re standing out and we could get it if we do this.” Yeah.
Isaline: Yeah. I need to try that. I’m not really so skilled at saying, “Oh, yeah! Be scared otherwise someone is going to take the spot.”
Isaline: But I suppose—
Izzy: I know, it’s tricky.
Isaline: It’s convincing though.
Izzy: You’ll find your way.
Sarah: Okay, Isaline, if you have somebody else then, I would also suggest like it’s been in the neck, okay. I heard something else before. Just make sure they understand that the content isn’t going to make it too any short list for any content. This is just a reaching audience who have no time to read really.
Sarah: Okay. So…
Isaline: Any last questions anyone, maybe? Before… Nope? Okay. Well, I think in case you have any more questions you can always, I think tweets directly, Izzy or tweet us. Also I’m—
Izzy: That should be.
Isaline: Yeah, or message us but not on Twitter right now with the association because I blocked the account, I’m sorry. But just ask directly on Twitter. And we’ll just answer the questions, I mean, whatever channel we will get it there.
Izzy: Yeah, thanks so much for having me. It was a pleasure. It’s great to chat with you both, finally, as well.
Sarah: So, thank you so much. Thank you everybody for joining. Yeah, so everybody’s happy. Izzy with your super talk, everybody is super happy. Fantastic.
Izzy: Thanks everyone.
Sarah: Thank you and bye and see you soon. And maybe to an event in-person. We never know. So, okay.
Izzy: And see you next month.
Isaline: Thank you.
Sarah: Okay. See you, ciao, ciao!
Sarah: Ciao, ciao!