I understand your confusion. I believe you are seeing SEO only as something IT. You can’t be more wrong.
So let me take you on a journey. Imagine a fruit market 50 years ago. And let say you wanted to buy some apples. But not just any apples.
You want to find the best-tasting apples out there.
So you go to the market and instinctively you are drawn to the table with the best-looking apples – big, red juicy apples. Job done. You are happy.
Would you be able to find those apples if they were hidden under a bag of potatoes underneath somebody’s table? I don’t think so.
This is what SEO is. Search engines are our eyes in the digital world so we can find the best apples online. But in order to find them, they must be positioned online in such a way (search engine optimized) so our eyes – the search engines – can see them.
Whatever your product is you need SEO for the people to find you online. It’s called SEO – search engine optimization but in the real world, we are optimizing for the people.
Or in the words of David Amerland (as you’ve mentioned him earlier in our conversation),
“semantic search is the beginning of the convergence of traditional ‘online’ with ‘offline’ – the two will become one and the same, characterized by a different bandwidth and available functionality.”
Hi, guys. it’s Monday 27 of March and I am on my way to work.
Nice weather so I am thinking: Every time people want to start something new they will do it on a Monday.
So this week I want you to start thinking about Voice Search and the effect it may have on your SEO/Digital Marketing in the future.
Alexa, I am going to the shop. What’s on my shopping list?
Alexa: You have five items on your shopping list.
Cheese. Dark Chocolate. Black olives. Whiskey. Wine.
Busted. The whiskey is for my neighbour. He loves whiskey.
Yes, Martin. I am so happy you are asking about Voice Search because your business is a prime target. Yes, a prime target of Voice Search.
I will give you some tips. Do you mind if I record them for my Sunday Talk? Don’t worry – I’m not gonna mention your company.
So let me give you some tips.
The second thing structured data. Yes, Purna Virji mentioned it in the video. You’ve seen the video. Good. Structured data is very important so Google can really understand your website.
You have to implement structured data. If you don’t know I will give you some tips.
And then when it comes to content keep in mind the conversational nature of voice searches. People don’t just say ‘Bus’.
They say ‘Alexa, when is the next bus coming?’ or ‘Where is the nearest bus stop?’
Develop questions that searchers may ask and make sure you have content that answers those questions. This includes adding Q&A content to your site.
And then something very important. Optimise local sources as mobile voice searches often involve “near me” questions.
You do it all the time (Asking “near me” questions).
Purna:Anyway, you can call Omi. Omi is one of the best technical SEO’s in the whole world, and I can truly vouch for that. So yeah, talk to Omi for any technical SEO questions. Make sure your citations are diverse if you have.
The third step is to go and do some keyword research, now I know the sort of intent people are coming from.
Omi: Can I just stop you here for a second? Because for the second time, you’ve mentioned citations. Are they really that important?
Purna: They are that important because people tend to just go and look and they may not even click through save all the information that people are seeing is on your citation and they don’t have a chance to go to your website to find the address, and then yes it going to be really important. Make sure your address is fine, the phone number is correct, hours are correct.
I’ll give you an example. It was Easter weekend, my mum and I wanted to go shopping, and we said okay is any store open? So I did a search for a large retailer here and I asked is he open? And he said yes open until 9 am to 9 pm so I’m like fabulous. We went. It was closed. It was so frustrating when I went out, I was like “I’m not going to this stupid store again”. I was so annoyed. And so we looked up another store.Yes, Easter hours, we are only open till 5 but we are open today. So that was good. That was helpful.
Reviews are also really important, especially If you are local. Make sure that reviews are what people see first and they may not click anymore to give you more chance to explain.
The first impression is all that is going to matter. So yes even if you are not a local business, sometimes citations just seem, just your reviews online are important.
The third one is: think about the intent and look at only a couple of different places. We’ve seen examples of companies that we’ve consulted with and who’ve started optimising for voice and the results that they’ve seen are lift in traffic and then engagements when they’ve optimised.
So the question is always where do I start? And it’s not that difficult. It’s like prioritise from your top 2 or 3 most profitable keywords – start from that – and look at the longer tail versions that could be most relevant to it. So rather than say Bahamas vacations, “what’s the best family vacation deal for the Bahamas?”.
That’s probably a good keyword longer tail that could be on voice search right? Bahamas vacations might be your number one keyword but like “what’s the best family vacation deal for the Bahamas?” is a really good voice search keyword. It gives you so much more information than just Bahamas vacation. It tells you that they are looking for a deal. It tells you that they are family and they probably have immediate purchase intent. So try to look at those type of queries and then you can think about how do I best optimise, do I have a page that answers that question? Do I have a page that talks about this family vacations? Do I have enough supporting content? And that’s all it is. It’s like think about the intent and the right actions that they are likely to take and optimise just for that.
Guys, whether you like it or you don’t Voice Search is here to stay.
Not many people are talking about it but when it comes to voice search there is no competition for the SERPs positions a there is only one position THE MOST RELEVANT.
So if your company is not there yo gonna suffer big time in the future.
Many people are asking me ‘Where should I start with Voice Search?’
Well, my video with Purna Virji is a good starting point.
But I will also ask you to go back in time and read the Google Semantic Search by Mr. David Amerland as relevancy is getting more and more important by the day.
Guys, next week I am going to the biggest SEO conference in Europe – Brighton SEO – where I will be presenting but you do come back here next Sunday because you’ve got the problems and I’ve got the solutions.
Hi, Guys! It’s Monday. But you woke up, didn’t you? So it means you are still alive. Go and kick some butt. Don’t let Mondays bring you down.
Own them like a boss!
It’s Thursday morning and I am on my way to work but I can’t stop thinking about a video I saw yesterday by Matt Daley. Obviously, he is talking about sales but I can relate his vision to SEO and Social Media. It is becoming increasingly obvious that we have to connect to our customers in a meaningful way. I know a lot of people are talking about it so the point I am trying to make is that it’s not out meaningful way anymore but what the customer determines to be a meaningful conversation. As a business, you cannot afford anymore not to know your customer.
Knowing your customer is of a paramount importance for future business success.
And now one of those midweek wisdoms (#wednesdaywisom).
People always ask me ‘How do you grow in Social Media?’ and I would extend this to business and life. And my answer is always very simple. Be prepared to do things that you are not entirely ready to do.
Surprise yourself, surprise your friends – the people around you. Surprise life. This is how you grow!
Digital Marketing is a commitment. Not a growth hacking strategy.
I love the way Amy Schmittauer hustled Gary Vee. But this is exactly why I’m reading her book. This girl gonna be very big one day. I’m gonna tweet about it.
Many people said so many things about a statement that I made this week that old rules of marketing no longer apply.
Let me be very clear about one thing. I don’t think that old rules of marketing are dying. I strongly believe that they are dead.
Let me give you some examples.
1. Advertisements in the past were meant to appeal to the GENERAL public. Basically, old-school marketing tactics were aimed at a large group of nameless, faceless group of people that may or may not have been interested in the products or service in question.
Today, successful marketing campaigns that capture the minds, the hearts, and the wallets of customers are those that are strategically tailored to the consumer’s unique interests, needs, lifestyles.
One-size-fits-all marketing is out. The sooner you understand it the better.
2. We all remember the time when advertising INTERRUPTED the audience with a one-way message. In a way, companies were pushing their message in front of audiences.
(In all honesty, this strategy did work for some time.)
Today instead of pushing your company should pull people towards your brand with relevant and engaging content.
You probably already know my 3 golden rules: Customer. Platform. Content.
Let me explain this one to you.
Instant access to information (even when on the road using our mobile phones) has led to INCREASED demand for information. People EXPECT the marketers of a services or products to provide information that backs up their marketing claim.
Without solid information, you’ve got no credibility. No credibility means no TRUST. Without trust, there can be no sustainable business!
Have a nice week, guys. You’ve got the problems. I’ve got the solutions.
Somebody was just asking me about good content writing. And I am like ‘Stop writing about everything. So many companies and brands are trying to cover everything instead of finding one thing and becoming experts around it.
Find your niche and then go even more niche!’
I came up to the conclusion that success in whatever it is that you are doing is never an accident.
Wake up early. Work hard. Always stay positive.
“Being trusted is the single most sustainable way to grow your business.” – Omi Sido
And if you think that I sound a little bit like Mr. David Amelrand, it is only because the guy is so so right.
Yesterday I met a bunch of local businessmen and one question kept on popping up. Why do I talk about Social Media so much? Why do I put so much emphasis on Social Media?
To understand my obsession with Social media I have to start from the very beginning.
The main goal of every organizational design is to ensure there is an efficient information flow – internally between different stakeholders, different departments, managers and externally with customers and suppliers – in order for a business to make a timely and informed decision for future products and services.
But now businesses that historically relied on top to down information flow are losing their competitive edge to smaller, more agile startups that are leveraging the power of the Social Media Brain in order to process information more efficiently.
Instead of relying on their limited knowledge pool they are diving into the sea of information that Social Media is creating.
So what’s happening in real life is that in order to survive the so-called ‘old companies’ have to learn from the newcomers.
You can be one of those newcomers if you make the effort to leverage the power of Social Media.
Today was my first day at work in 2017 so let’s talk about 3 Digital Marketing lessons I learned in 2016.
The first one is a community. Building a community around an idea or industry takes a lot of time and effort. But once you lure them in you can sell anything in your niche. So say if I continue talking about SEO or Digital Marketing I can eventually sell SEO or indeed Digital Marketing services.
The second one is newsletters. Following the steps of Gianluca Fiorelli, I started producing a daily newsletter (last year) talking about Digital Marketing and SEO. And to be honest with you I am overwhelmed with the results.
(Anton Shulke knows everything about it)
So in my opinion Newsletters should be part of your content delivery strategy.
Tip: Keep them straight to the point. Look after your headlines.
The third tip – last but not least – is influencers. Influencers are essential for your Content Marketing success. I will give you an example.
On a bad day, I can tweet about a nicely written article about SEO or Digital Marketing and I can have zero interactions within two days.
On another day I can just tweet a quote from an influencer like Mark Traphagen or David Amerland and I’m gonna have two hundred interactions within two hours.
When it comes to influencers: find them, follow them, talk to them.
Influencers can amplify your online presence. Or in other words, influencers can open the gates to your Content Marketing success.
I’ve never been good at fixing things. I’d rather to it the right way from the beginning.
Sunday gym and two weeks into the New Year’s resolution cycle the parking lot behind me is empty. Coming to the gym on a Sunday is not a New Year’s resolution. Coming to the gym on a Sunday is a state of mind. Or like some people say “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”
Adidas, Adidas, Adidas, Do they have the best materials? I don’t know.
Do they have the most comfortable gear? I don’t know. What I do know is they’ve got their branding. While you were thinking that they were brainstorming about the cotton level in their materials they were actually researching, looking into the customer behavior.
“When customers buy from you, they are not just buying a product. They are placing their trust in your company!”
Many people are asking me about Donald Trump, the election, the USA.
I can’t hide it I am a bit disappointed. But then let me tell you something: America is the biggest democracy in the World. One man cannot hurt it. We don’t live in the 60’s. We live in 2016. With the Internet and Social Media, there are no borders anymore.
One thing is becoming quite obvious – you not gonna thrive in the future if you don’t understand that the Internet and Social Media are basically the future of business. Not just that. The Internet and Social Media are the future of humanity. Especially with the forthcoming Augmented Reality.
Don’t get fooled by Trump and his borders. In fact, don’t get fooled by any politician. Country borders are thing of the past.
Have you ever been in a fight where somebody was punching you in the face but you kept on going? Well doing SEO is like that. Google is constantly coming up with new updates. But you know what? Nobody ever told you it’s gonna be easy. It’s not about you, it’s about their business. So instead of concentrating on Google concentrate on your customers.
Successful SEO Strategy
Creating a successful SEO strategy means employing a thoughtful, adaptable approach that covers everything from technical SEO to your website’s infrastructure to the customer journey and the one very important to understand is targeted approaches to content marketing.
You need an SEO strategy that not only outlines your basic plans of action but also defines the goals you’re trying to achieve. And I am not just talking about your SEO goals but also your business/company goals.
Digital Marketing is the Future of Business
Are we bad marketers? No, we are not. We are just used to the old ways (of doing marketing). But there is a new kid in town. It’s called Digital Marketing. How do I define Digital Marketing? First find who your customers are. Second follow them and talk to them on every Social Media they spend their time online. It’s that simple.
“I hope you’ve managed to make the right moral choices this week in your shopping which means that you are now considering all this from the midst of lakes of coffee and mountains of doughnuts, cookies, croissants and chocolate cake. Have an awesome Sunday wherever you are. ” – Mr David Amerland
“Real search is about providing valuable information when it’s really needed to those who are actually looking for it.” – David Amerland
Last week Google started giving health related answers in the #KnowledgeGraph answer boxes. So from now on Google will start giving relevant medical facts right up front from the Google Knowledge Graph.But those facts are not coming from Wikipedia or other websites (official announcement here: goo.gl/jl1XC5).
Is there a reason behind this bold move by Google?
Well on average one out of 20 Google searches are seeking health-related information. The search giant now wants to show answers that were created especially for Google and not collected from the web. Here is how Google describes the creation of this content:
“We worked with a team of medical doctors (led by our own Dr. Kapil Parakh, M.D., MPH, Ph.D.) to carefully compile, curate, and review this information. All of the gathered facts represent real-life clinical knowledge from these doctors and high-quality medical sources across the web, and the information has been checked by medical doctors at Google and the Mayo Clinic for accuracy.”
Is this shift from information presenter to information creator the future of the search giant?
Well only the future will tell. For now all we have to do is structure and mark up our data to make it more appetizing as a data source for the Knowledge Graph (http://goo.gl/Pj4G47 by Aaron Bradley).
On the other side from a consumers point of view: Should you ever have more confidence in ‘Dr Google’ than your GP?
My opinion: I believe the thing with GPs is, obviously, being general practitioners their in depth knowledge of serious conditions is limited. Unfortunately with the state of the NHS in England you’re looking at a 3 week wait to see the GP and a 3 month wait to see a specialist. Being able to seek advice from Google may give you an advantage and leap past a few rounds of ‘let’s try this treatment’. Many doctors (and I have seeing it with my own eyes) use Google too.
In all cases it should be not very wise to ignore Google’s own advice:
“That doesn’t mean these search results are intended as medical advice. We know that cases can vary in severity from person to person, and that there are bound to be exceptions. What we present is intended for informational purposes only—and you should always consult a healthcare professional if you have a medical concern. “
“Why would Google show this answer when it is clearly wrong? Is it an Easter Egg? I strongly doubt it. But it does look to be a case where Google got it wrong when it comes to getting answers from third party sources.” – Barry Schwartz
Peter Hatherley: Still semantically relevant of course Omi Sido. This is where context comes into it’s own, I believe, and that remains a major part of the deep learning process that Google is currently engaged in …
Omi Sido: Peter Hatherley I was about to say something similar, but I got stuck in the thinking of how this has happened.
Not a long time ago Google was talking about entity salience. As far as I know names are always salience entities. And the Knowledge Graph has a lot of background information about Barak Obama and the difference between a king and a president.
As you said yourself : The deep learning continues.
Peter Hatherley: Omi Sido the how of the incident is as much a part of the picture too. Appreciate you bringing it to our attention 🙂
David Amerland: Omi Sido this shows the weakness that exists, still, in the veracity component of semantic search.
Peter Hatherley: This is why contextual categorization is so important David Amerland. This is why a simple contextual system that isolates positive, neutral and negative elements could answer correctly. The analysis of the textual content obviously being related more clearly to entities and authority etc.
The truth is that king’s and president’s are intrinsically linked semantically yet there is no King of America.
This would be easily solved by matching these titles against countries as a boolean query.
David Amerland: Peter Hatherley agreed, it shows the complexity of the problem: i.e. what is semantically correct is incorrect at a human understanding level and in this particular example the issue is compounded further by the sourcing of the Barry Shwartz photograph to illustrate it. It shows that Google’s social-mining component is not yet linked quite the same way, in the verification process.
Peter Hatherley: Yes quite true David Amerland it does expose that flaw. The point is that now that this has been activated will it remain part of his semantic profile for the future?
David Amerland: Peter Hatherley no, I suspect it will drop off quite quickly. The checks and controls are in place, though the speed we expect them to work at, is not. One unique element of the semantic web is that results are cached so that new calculations are made on top of new ones instead of starting from scratch each time like we had to with Boolean search. Thus, with time, veracity and the speed at which it is calculated will improve. What we are seeing here are the issues of a nascent technology that has not yet scaled adequately.