How B2B Marketers Can Drive Growth in the Age of Assistance #MPB2B

One of the key themes for this year’s MarketingProfs B2B Forum is the importance of ongoing learning. And part of learning is growing. And part of growing means stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Gopi Kallayil, the Chief Evangelist for Brand Marketing at Google opened his morning keynote by encouraging the audience to do things that make you uncomfortable. And to prove his point, he involved the ENTIRE audience. How?

He started by asking the audience to raise their hand if they were either a fan of or expert Bollywood dancers themselves. Then, he asked all those people to join him on stage. Here’s proof that it worked:

After everyone reached the stage he informed the rest of the audience sitting down, that it was their job to judge the group on their dancing skills.  This is when he flipped the script and engaged the entire audience in a 5 minute Bollywood dance lesson. And even though I am a bad (if not terrible) dancer myself, it was a fun and engaging experience.

“People learn best when they’re having fun.” @GopiKallayil #MPB2B Click To Tweet

How can the same lesson be applied to our everyday lives?

Consumers are Glued to Their Mobile-Devices

Not only are we all glued to our mobile devices, but we now expect them not just to give information, but to complete actions. To prove his point, Gopi asked his Google phone to complete a simple command: “Play Bollywood dance music.”

It only took his phone approximately four seconds to find and start playing music, but believe it or not, it seemed like an eternity. Something that wasn’t even possible three years ago now seemed inefficient.

Our connection to our devices is changing consumer expectations of all brands and creating some major cultural shifts along the way.

Would You Get in a Car with a Stranger?

Ten years ago, everyone would respond with a strong and resounding “NO!”. But if you ask the average person today, they jump into a stranger’s car at least a few times a month.

Brands like Uber and Lyft have completely changed the narrative and stigma about riding with strangers. The technology behind brands like these has created a series of safety checks and balances to put consumers’ minds at ease.

And this is where the lines begin to blur. Because consumers have a ride, plane ticket or pizza at their fingertips, their expectations have evolved.

3 Major Changes in Customer Expectations

Curiosity

At our core, humans are curious creatures. And this curiosity impacts how we search for things. Now if someone told you they spent weeks researching and gathering data to make a decision about a large purchase like a house or a car, you wouldn’t think twice.

But now, a comparable amount of time is spent researching something as simple as buying a new toothbrush. Gopi shared that searches for “best toothbrush” have increased 100% in the past year. And many of the videos on YouTube have over 10million views.

The world isn’t suddenly interested in better oral hygiene, it’s that the information is available. When you remove the friction associated with content access, customers will consume.

Demand

Let’s face it, we’re all becoming more demanding. Each technological advance carves a path for our how expectations change.

One of the biggest factors to consider is that our customers are on the move and want instant access from their phone. That could include using voice search to find a nearby store or searching for some mobile-friendly B2B content to read on their morning walk to work.

Impatience

A recent study by Neil Patel showed that if a webpage takes more than 3 seconds to load on a mobile device, half of your customers will abandon your site and move on.

Gopi provided a great analogy that applies to B2B and B2C marketers alike:

If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, it’s like you took all of this effort to market your product and bring customers to the door. And the door is jammed. @GopiKallayil #MPB2B Click To Tweet

Each brand should think about the digital experience that they offer. We often assign value to a contact request, time on page or number of pages viewed. Additionally, B2B marketers should start to calculate how much every extra second of load time is costing your business or your client’s business.

3 Characteristics of Brands Driving Growth

Organizations that are successfully reducing friction and providing assistance are implementing the following three tactics.

Show Up

As marketers, it’s our job to know where our customers are in the lifecycle with our product or service. We should continually ask ourselves:

Am I showing up in front of my customers in those moments in a non-intrusive way and being of assistance?

Today’s customer requires that we show up in front of them and offer assistance. Below are two examples of brands showing up for their customers:

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Speed Up

Speed is an enormous point of friction for many customers as we discussed early. Slow load times lead to abandonment. Gopi recommended each brand run the following test:

  1. Pull out your mobile device
  2. Turn off your wifi
  3. Enter your brand’s website URL
  4. Hit load and count how many seconds it takes for your website to load

What was the result?

Another tool you can use is Google’s Test My Site. The tool will run some diagnostic tests and share an average load speed and estimated percentage for loss of visitors due to slow load speeds.

Wise Up

Marketers MUST start to look at each of our customers as individuals. This means customizing your marketing campaigns to their location, preferences and even the weather. That way you can meet immediate needs.

Keep in mind that personalization applies just as much to B2B marketing as it does to B2C. The customers purchasing B2B platforms or services are people with specific preferences and needs. Get to know what they are.

Go-Forth & Assist Your Customers

While a lot of the examples included in Gopi’s presentation showcased how B2C companies are meeting customer needs, the same rules apply for B2B marketers. As you work through your upcoming marketing plans, keep the following question top of mind:

How am I assisting my customers?

50 B2B Marketing Influencers and Experts to Follow Into 2019

B2B Marketing Influencers 2018

MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2018 is here, as some of the world’s savviest B2B marketing leaders and innovators come together in San Francisco for a much-anticipated conference.

To help business marketers find helpful voices to learn from, we’ve sorted through the nearly 100 excellent speakers and are thrilled to publish our annual list of B2B marketing influencers speaking at MarketingProfs B2B Forum.

List Methodology: First, we pulled the list of all speakers from the MarketingProfs website. Then we added those speakers to the Traackr influencer marketing platform to crawl each speakers’ respective social profiles and start tracking their content and the impact of that content amongst their networks. Using Traackr’s algorithm for ranking, we then sorted the speakers according to their respective social influence: reach, relevance, resonance, and audience metrics.

A variety of criteria go into such a ranking including the topical relevance of the content each influencer publishes, how much their networks engage with that content and the size of their networks with online data pulled from Twitter, blogs, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, SlideShare, and several other platforms. This is important to know, because many lists rely entirely on Twitter and we all know Twitter alone does not represent the entire social media universe.

2018 #MPB2B Influencers Network

Many thanks to all who continue to actively share their knowledge about B2B marketing through year-round engagement and by providing help to others with insight and expertise in our vast social realm. We hope this list will serve as a handy jumping off point to start your ongoing journey of learning from these leading B2B marketing industry influencers.

You’ll likely see both many familiar faces and a wonderful variety of new speakers. We are very happy to see that 5 out of the top ten influencers are women. In fact, of the list overall, 45% are women and 54% are men. Not perfect, but definitely improving.

We plan to learn new lessons from these 50 B2B marketing experts and hope you’ll do the same throughout the year and on into 2019.

50 B2B Marketing Influencers Speaking at MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2018

Fittingly, at the top of this year’s list of the most engaging B2B marketing influencers, according to our Traackr analysis, is conference founder Ann Handley. Congratulations, Ann!

Ann Handley

Carla Johnson @CarlaJohnson
Global Keynote Speaker, Best-Selling Author and Storyteller
Presenting: The Innovation Factory

Lee Odden @LeeOdden
CEO, TopRank Marketing
Presenting: Panel – The Confluence Equation: How Content and Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success

Margaret Molloy @MargaretMolloy
Global Chief Marketing Officer + Head of New Development, Siegel+Gale
Presenting: Keynote — CMO 2 CMO: What’s Now, What’s Next in B2B Marketing

Matt Heinz @HeinzMarketing
President, Heinz Marketing Inc
Presenting: Revenue-Responsible Marketing: Aligning Marketing & Sales Priorities for Predictable Results

Brian Hansford @remarkmarketing
Vice President – Client Services, Marketing Technology and Performance Management, Heinz Marketing Inc
Presenting: Building a Predictable Pipeline: Strategies and Tactics to Increase Your Confidence in Hitting Your Number Month After Month

Katie Martell @KatieMartell
Marketing Consultant, Katie Martell, On-Demand Marketing
Presenting: Can I Have Your Attention… Please?

Michael Brito @britopian
Executive Vice President, Zeno Group
Presenting: Using Social Data To Win The War of Brand Relevance

Mari Smith @MariSmith
Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist, Bestselling Author
Presenting: Facebook Marketing: What’s Working for Brands Today (And What Isn’t)

Kerry O’Shea Gorgone @KerryGorgone
Director of Product Strategy, Training, MarketingProfs
Presenting: The Secret to Memorable Marketing: Lessons From 300 MarketingProfs Podcast Interviews

Christopher Penn @cspenn
Co-Founder and Chief Innovator, Trust Insights
Presenting: Digital Marketing Analytics: From Data Zero to Marketing Hero
Presenting: The Present and Future of B2B Analytics and AI

Jon Miller @jonmiller
CEO and Co-Founder, Engagio
Presenting: The Secret Sauce for ABM: Maximizing New Business & Lifetime Value

Larry Kim @larrykim
Chief Executive Officer, MobileMonkey
Presenting: 10 Facebook Messenger & Chatbot Marketing Hacks for Content Marketers

Ardath Albee @ardath421
CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist, Marketing Interactions
Presenting: B2B Tech Marketers Create Experiences That Convince Customers to Stay

Tim Washer @timwasher
Keynote Speaker, Event Emcee, PowerPoint Comedian, Ridiculous Media
Presenting: Creating Lifelong Customers With Laughter

Andrea Fryrear @AndreaFryrear
President and Lead Trainer, AgileSherpas
Presenting: Grain by Grain: How Small Content Creates Huge Results

Nancy Harhut @nharhut
Chief Creative Officer, Nancy Harhut & Associates
Presenting: How to Attract Eyeballs and Action: The 26 Words and Copy Constructs You Need Now

Robert Rose @Robert_Rose
Chief Troublemaker, The Content Advisory
Presenting: Killing Marketing: The Great Content Marketing Reboot

Paul Roetzer @paulroetzer
CEO, PR 20/20
Presenting: How to Get Started with Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

Zontee Hou @ZonteeHou
President and Founder, Media Volery LLC
Presenting: How to Build Customer Loyalty Through Behavioral Economics and Big Data

Carlos Hidalgo @cahidalgo
Founder & CEO, VisumCx
Presenting: Buyer-Centric Demand Generation 101: Demand Generation in the Age of the Sophisticated Buyer

Samantha Stone @samanthastone
Founder & CMO, The Marketing Advisory Network
Presenting: Marketing Strategy & Planning: How To Rise Above The Competition

Allen Gannett @Allen
Chief Strategy Officer & EVP, Corp Dev, Skyword
Presenting: *GOLDEN TICKET* The Inspiration Myth: Four Scientific Laws to Creative Success

Amisha Gandhi @AmishaGandhi
VP, Influencer Marketing, AR & Partners, SAP Ariba
Presenting: Panel – The Confluence Equation: How Content & Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success

Jason Miller @JasonMillerCA
Head of Content and Social Media Marketing, LinkedIn Sales & Marketing Solutions EMEA, LinkedIn
Presenting: How LinkedIn Uses LinkedIn for Marketing

Randy Frisch @randyfrisch
Co-Founder, CMO & President, Uberflip
Presenting: How to Personalize Content Experiences at Scale

Karen Talavera @SyncMarketing
President and Founder, Synchronicity Marketing
Presenting: Secrets to Successful Automated Email Journeys: Series & Sequenced Campaigns

Bryan Kramer @bryankramer
International Keynote Speaker, Emcee and Event Host, PureMatter
Presenting: Redefining “Human” in a Machine-Driven Age

Sean Callahan @sean_f_callahan
Senior Manager, Content Marketing, LinkedIn
Presenting: Effective Video on a Shoestring Budget

Stephan Hovnanian @stephanhov
Social Strategy Consultant, Sprout Social, Inc.
Presenting: Advocacy in a Box

Ashley Zeckman @azeckman
Senior Director of Digital Strategy, TopRank Marketing
Presenting: Stranger Things Have Happened: How Collaborating With Influencers Can Help You Save the Day and Change the World

Andy Crestodina @crestodina
Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Orbit Media Studios
Presenting: Content Strategy and SEO for B2B

Scott Sweeney @scotttsweeney
CEO, MassMarTech.com
Presenting: Your 2019 Marketing Technology Strategy Simplified

Doug Kessler @dougkessler
Creative Director & Co-Founder, Velocity Partners
Presenting: Eureka! The Power of an Experimental Mindset in B2B Marketing

Ashley Faus @ashleyfaus
Sr. Manager, Integrated Media, Atlassian
Presenting: How to Add Live Streaming to Your Marketing Mix

Dr. Konstanze Alex @Konstanze
Director B2B Influencer Relations, Dell
Presenting: Panel – The Confluence Equation: How Content & Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success

Lucy Zarlengo Moran @lucymoran
SVP, Digital, Content & Creative, Dun & Bradstreet
Presenting: Panel – The Confluence Equation: How Content & Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success

Nancy Duarte @nancyduarte
Principal, Duarte, Inc.
Presenting: Keynote — Turn Marketing Data Into a DataStory™Closing

Kathy Klotz-Guest @kathyklotzguest
Speaker, Chief Storyteller, and Ms. Chief Officer (say it out loud), Keeping it Human
Presenting: Turn Your Content Culture Into an Idea-Driven Startup

Bill Sebald @billsebald
Founder / Partner / SEO, Greenlane Search Marketing, LLC
Presenting: Overcoming SEO Roadblocks: Identifying and Curing Difficult SEO Problems

Clare Mcdermott @clare_mcd
Co-Founder and Head of Research, Mantis Research
Presenting: Give Them What They Want: Produce Original Research Your Audience Craves

Jon Burkhart @jonburkhart
Founder/Chief Creative Officer, TBC Global
Presenting: The Blockchain Trust Tango: A Constant Curiosity Game Show

Kevin Carroll @kckatalyst
Owner, Kevin Carroll Katalyst, LLC
Presenting: Keynote— [email protected]: Unleashing Growth Through Creativity and Innovation

Gopi Kallayil @GopiKallayil
Chief Evangelist, Google Social for Brands, Google
Presenting: Opening Keynote — The Age of Assistance

Donovan Livingston @DLive87
Program Manager, Pre-College Programs, Wake Forest University
Presenting: Keynote — Lift Off

Ahava Leibtag @ahaval
President, Aha Media Group
Presenting: The Top 7 Writing Secrets of Rockstars

Jessica Falarski Cross @JFayeSF
Head of Account-based Marketing, RollWorks, a division of AdRoll Group
Presenting: Make ABM Actually Work: A Blueprint Forward

Keith Reynold Jennings @keithjennings
Vice President of Community Impact, Jackson Healthcare
Presenting: Six Hats & a Banana: A Tactical Playbook for Others-First Marketing

Michael J. Barber @michaeljbarber
SVP, Chief Creative Officer, Godfrey
Presenting: Don’t Do This, Do That for B2B Email

Allen Weiss @allenweiss
CEO & Founder, MarketingProfs
Presenting: Mindfulness With MarketingProfs CEO Allen Weiss
Presenting: Marketing Strategy & Planning: How To Rise Above The Competition

Rashmy Chatterjee @rashmyc
Global Sales leader, IBM Security
Presenting: Keynote: CMO 2 CMO: What’s Now, What’s Next in B2B Marketing

Statistical analysis, no matter how deep and well-researched, can only go so far in finding the people who you’ll find the most helpful and influential in your daily professional marketing lives, which is why we’d love it if you’d please share the name of B2B marketers that influence you most in the comments section below.

To further your own B2B marketing expertise, here’s a bonus list of our top 10 posts about B2B marketing from the past 12 months:

What Do You Do When You Lose Organic Traffic to Google SERP Features?

Google’s increasing dominance of their own search engine results pages (SERPs) has kicked up a lot of panic and controversy in the SEO industry. As Barry Adams pointed out on Twitter recently, this move by Google is not exactly new, but it does feel like Google has suddenly placed their foot on the accelerator:

Follow that Twitter thread and you’ll see the sort of back-and-forth these changes have started to create. Is this an ethical move by Google? Did you deserve the business they’re taking in the first place? Will SEO soon be dead? Or can we do what we’ve always done and adapt our strategies in smart, agile ways?

It’s hard to think positive when Google takes a stab at you like it did with this move on Ookla:

But regardless of how you feel about what’s happening, local packs, featured snippets, and SERP features from Google, properties like Google News, Images, Flights, Videos, and Maps are riding on a train that has no plans on stopping.

To give you an idea of how rapid these changes are occurring, the image below is what the SERP rankings looked like in November 2016 for one of our client’s key head terms:

And this image is the SERP for the same keyword by early December 2017 (our client is in green):

Check out MozCast’s Feature Graph if you want to see the percentage of queries specific features are appearing on.

Who is this blog post for?

You’re likely reading this blog post because you noticed your organic traffic has dropped and you suspect it could be Google tanking you.

Traffic drops tend to come about from four main causes: a drop in rankings, a decrease in search volume, you are now ranking for fewer keywords, or because SERP features and/or advertising are depressing your CTRs.

If you have not already done a normal traffic drop analysis and ruled out the first three causes, then your time is better spent doing that first. But if you have done a traffic drop analysis and reached the conclusion that you’re likely to be suffering from a change in SERP features, then keep reading.

But I’m too lazy to do a full analysis

Aside from ruling everything else out, other strong indications that SERP features are to blame will be a significant drop in clicks (either broadly or especially for specific queries) in Google Search Console where average ranking is static, but a near consistent amount of impressions.

I’ll keep harping on about this point, but make sure that you check clicks vs impressions for both mobile and desktop. Do this both broadly and for specific key head terms.

When you spend most of your day working on a desktop computer, sometimes in this industry we forget how much mobile actually dominates the scene. On desktop, the impact these have on traffic there is not as drastic; but when you go over to a mobile device, it’s not uncommon for it to take around four full scrolls down before organic listings appear.

From there, the steps to dealing with a Google-induced traffic drop are roughly as follows:

  1. Narrow down your traffic drop to the introduction of SERP features or an increase in paid advertising
  2. Figure out what feature(s) you are being hit by
  3. Gain hard evidence from SEO tools and performance graphs
  4. Adapt your SEO strategy accordingly

That covers step one, so let’s move on.

Step 2.0: Figure out which feature(s) you are being hit by

For a comprehensive list of all the different enhanced results that appear on Google, Overthink Group has documented them here. To figure out which one is impacting you, follow the below steps.

Step 2.1

Based off of your industry, you probably already have an idea of which features you’re most vulnerable to.

  • Are you an e-commerce website? Google Shopping and paid advertising will be a likely candidate.
  • Do you tend to generate a lot of blog traffic? Look at who owns the featured snippets on your most important queries.
  • Are you a media company? Check and see if you are getting knocked out of top news results.
  • Do you run a listings site? Maybe you’re being knocked by sponsored listings or Google Jobs.

Step 2.2

From there, sanity check this by spot-checking the SERPs for a couple of the keywords you’re concerned about to get a sense for what changed. If you roughly know what you’re looking for when you dig into the data, it will be easier to spot. This works well for SERP features, but determining a change in the amount of paid advertising will be harder to spot this way.

Once again, be sure to do this on both mobile and desktop. What may look insignificant from your office computer screen could be showing you a whole different story on your mobile device.

Step 3.0: Gain hard evidence from SEO tools and performance graphs

Once you have a top level idea of what has changed, you need to confirm it with SEO tools. If you have access to one, a historical rank tracking tool will be the most efficient way to dig into how your SERPs are evolving. I most frequently use STAT, but other great tools for this are Moz’s SERP features report, SEOmonitor, and SEMRush.

Using one of these tools, look back at historical data (either broadly or for specific important keywords) and find the date the SERP feature appeared if you can. Once you have this date, line it up with a dip in your organic traffic or other performance metric. If there’s a match, you can be pretty confident that’s to blame.

For example, here’s what this analysis looked like for one of our clients on a keyword with a regional search volume of 49,500. They got hit hard on mobile-first by the appearance of a local pack, then an events snippet 10 days later.

This was the clicks and impression data for the head term on mobile from Google Search Console:

As this case demonstrates, here’s another strong reminder that when you’re analyzing these changes, you must check both mobile and desktop. Features like knowledge panels are much more intrusive on mobile devices than they are on desktop, so while you may not be seeing a dramatic change in your desktop traffic, you may on mobile.

For this client we improved their structured data so that they showed up in the event snippet instead, and were able to recover a good portion of the lost traffic.

How to adapt your SEO strategy

You may not be able to fully recover, but here are some different strategies you can use depending on the SERP feature. Use these links to jump to a specific section:

Have you tried bidding to beat Google?

I cover what to do if you’re specifically losing out on organic traffic due to paid advertising (spoiler alert: you’re probably gonna have to pay), but paid advertising can also be used as a tactic to subvert Google SERP features.

For example, Sky Scanner has done this by bidding on the query “flights” so they appear above the Google Flights widget:

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

AMP is a project sponsored by Google to improve the speed of mobile pages. For a lot of these challenges, implementing AMP may be a way to improve your rankings as Google SERPs continue to change.

If you’ve noticed a number of websites with AMP implemented are ranking on the first page of SERPs you care about, it’s likely worth investigating.

If you are a news website, implementing AMP is absolutely a must.

Featured snippets and PAA boxes

If you’re losing traffic because one of your competitors owns the featured snippets on your SERPs, then you need to optimize your content to win featured snippets. I’ve already written a blog post for our Distilled blog on tactics to steal them before, which you can read here.

In summary, though, you have a chance to win a featured snippet if:

  • The ones you’re targeting are pretty volatile or frequently changing hands, as that’s a good indication the owner doesn’t have a strong hold on it
  • If you rank higher than the current owner, as this indicates Google prefers your page; the structure of your content simply needs some tweaking to win the snippet

If you’ve identified some featured snippets you have a good chance of stealing, compare what the current owner has done with their content that you haven’t. Typically it’s things like the text heading the block of content and the format of the content that differentiates a featured snippet owner from your content.

Local packs

At SearchLove London 2018, Rob Bucci shared data from STAT on local packs and search intent. Local SEO is a big area that I can’t cover fully here, but if you’re losing traffic because a local pack has appeared that you’re not being featured in, then you need to try and optimize your Google My Business listing for the local pack if you can. For a more in depth instruction on how you can get featured in a local pack, read here.

Unfortunately, it may just not be possible for you to be featured, but if it’s a query you have a chance at appearing in local pack for, you first need to get set up on Google My Business with a link to your website.

Once you have Google My Business set up, make sure the contact and address information is correct.

Reviews are incredibly important for anyone competing within a local pack, and not just high reviews but also the number of reviews you’ve received is important. You should also consider creating Google Posts. In a lot of spaces this feature is yet to have been taken advantage of, which means you could be able to get a jumpstart on your competitors.

More queries are seeing paid advertisements now, and there are also more ads appearing per query, as told in this Moz post.

If you’re losing traffic because a competitor has set up a PPC campaign and started to bid on keywords you’re ranking well for, then you may need to consider overbidding on these queries if they’re important to you.

Unfortunately, there’s no real secret here: either you gotta pay or you’re going to have to shift your focus to other target queries.

You should have already done so, but if you haven’t already included structured data on your website you need to, as it will help you stand out on SERPs with lots of advertising. Wrapped into this is the need to get good reviews for your brand and for your products.

Google Shopping

Similar to paid advertising, if the appearance of Google Shopping sponsored ads has taken over your SERPs, you should consider whether it’s worth you building your own Google Shopping campaign.

Again, structured data will be an important tactic to employ here as well. If you’re competing with Google Shopping ads, you’re competing with product listings that have images, prices, and reviews directly in the SERP results to draw in users. You should have the same.

Look into getting your pages implemented in Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which is sponsored by Google. Not only has Google shown it favors pages that are in AMP, better site speed will lead to better conversion rates for your site.

To see if implementing AMP may be beneficial to your business, you can read some case studies of other businesses that have done so here.

Knowledge panels and carousels

Knowledge panels such as the one below appear for broad informational searches, and rarely on highly converting keywords. While they are arguably the most imposing of all the SERP features, unless you’re a content site or CelebrityNetWorth.com, they probably steal some of your less valuable traffic.

If you’re losing clicks due to knowledge panels, it’s likely happening on queries that typically can be satisfied by quick answers and therefore are by users who might have bounced from your site anyway. You won’t be able to beat a knowledge panel for quick answers, but you can optimize your content to satisfy affiliated longer-tail queries that users will still scroll to organic listings to find.

Create in-depth content that answers these questions and make sure that you have strong title tags and meta descriptions for these pages so you can have a better chance of standing out in the SERP.

In some cases, knowledge panels may be something you can exploit for your branded search queries. There’s no guaranteed way to get your content featured in a knowledge panel, and the information presented in them does not come from your site, so they can’t be “won” in the same way as a featured snippet.

To get into a knowledge panel, you can try using structured data markup or try to get your brand on Wikipedia if you haven’t already. The Knowledge Graph relies heavily on existing databases like Wikipedia that users directly contribute to, so developing more Wikipedia articles for your brand and any personal brands associated with it can be one avenue to explore.

Search Engine Journal has some tips on how to implement both of these strategies and more in their blog post here.

Google Jobs

Google Jobs has taken up huge amounts of organic real estate from listing sites. It will be tough to compete, but there are strategies you can employ, especially if you run a niche job boards site.

Shifting your digital strategy to integrate more paid advertising so you can sit above Google and to generating content in other areas, like on news websites and advice boards, can help you.

For more details on how to employ some of these strategies, you can read Search Engine Journal’s Google Jobs survival tips.

To conclude

Look, I’d be lying to you if I said this was good news for us SEOs. It’s not. Organic is going to get more and more difficult. But it’s not all doom and gloom. As Rand Fishkin noted in his BrightonSEO speech this September, if we create intelligent SEO strategies with an eye towards the future, then we have the opportunity to be ahead of the curve when the real disruption hits.

We also need to start integrating our SEO strategies with other mediums; we need to be educated on optimizing for social media, paid advertising, and other tactics for raising brand awareness. The more adaptable and diverse your online marketing strategies are, the better.

Google will always be getting smarter, which just means we have to get smarter too.

To quote Jayson DeMers,

“If you define SEO as the ability to manipulate your way to the top of search rankings, then SEO will die. But if you define SEO as the practice of improving a website’s visibility in search results, then SEO will never die; it will only continue to evolve.”

Search, like nearly every other industry today, will continue to come against dramatic unanticipated changes in the future. Yet search will also only continue to grow in importance. It may become increasingly more difficult to manipulate your way to the top of search results, but there will always be a need to try, and Google will continue to reward content that serves its users well.